'it is a thing - it will soon go away - such things sometimes go about the earth for a while. no-one knows what they are.' - after ten years, c. s. lewis
seriously cannot deal with people defending the lol!history on reign by being like ~oh but it’s on the cw what do you expect~ or ~the target audience isn’t watching for a history lesson~ like oh yeah you’re totally right i forgot
teenage girls aren’t interested in difficult things like history
teenage girls don’t want a show about real things that actually happened
teenage girls want a show about boys
On this day in 43 BCE, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman orator and politician, was assassinated.
In this podcast, Dominic Berry, translator of Cicero’s Defence Speeches, talks about Cicero’s inauspicious beginnings and early life. For more on Cicero, his life and time, listen to the full Oxford World’s Classics audio guide.
abelard and heloise (requested by historiacalamitatum)
all men, i believe, are under a necessity of paying tribute at some time or other to love, and it is vain to strive to avoid it. i was a philosopher, yet this tyrant of the mind triumphed over all my wisdom; his darts were of greater force than all my reasonings, and with a sweet constraint he led me wherever he pleased.
oh anon, if you know anything at all about the tragedies you’re way ahead of where i was - i knew antigone and the plots of a few others and thought i was the shit. don’t worry. i’m doing a classical studies ma - at a scottish university, though, so the details of this stuff might differ a little depending on where you are, since we do things a bit differently up here - and the entire first year was taken up with these enormous year-long courses with names like ‘greek world 1a’ that were designed to give you a whistle-stop tour of the entirety of greek history from the bronze age up to the roman conquest, and the same for the romans. first-year language courses are done on a similar basis; they’re designed to get everyone, whether they’re completely new to the subject or a walking oxford companion to classical history to the same level of understanding of the subject. i mean, my first greek lecture included twenty minutes of sitting there chanting the greek alphabet in unison. second year is more of the same, but on a slightly more specialised basis (i can’t speak for other universities, but i had one-semester classes on classical lit and ancient history which went into greater depth on things that we’d touched on briefly in first year). that kind of thing might be challenging in terms of the sheer volume of material covered, but it’s definitely manageable. if you’re doing the languages too, again, it’ll be hard in terms of the amount of time you’re going to have to spend doing really boring shit like memorising verb tables, but it’s doable if you’re prepared to put the hours in.*
so, seriously, don’t worry. firstly, most uni courses - especially in something as relatively obscure as classics - start from the assumption that their students know nothing about anything. and that’s okay! knowledge is what you’re supposed to have when you come out, not going in. what you need going in:
okay no wait i lied: the only other thing i’d say is that no matter what subject you’re doing, it is really, really worth it to spend some time before you ever get to uni working out how you, personally, learn best. if you’re coming out of doing highers or a levels or whatever i’m sure this is all old news, but once you get to uni you’re going to get an enormous amount of information given to you every day, and there’s no-one checking up to make sure you’re writing it all down. if you know what kind of notes/essay plans/revision methods work best for you, consolidating all the knowledge that you’re going to get shoved at you will be a lot easier when it gets to the end of the semester.
so yeah that’s basically it; if i’ve missed something out or you want to know more, let me know!
* a general point: if you do find yourself having a hard time, talk to your tutor, or your lecturer, or whoever your contact point is. i know it can be awful admitting that things are getting on top of you, but they don’t want anyone to fail and the help you can get - extensions, read-overs of first drafts, tutoring sessions - can make such a difference.
and an ETA because i’ve just realised that throughout this bucket of word-vomit i haven’t actually answered your question: very little. i was lucky enough to get to do classical studies at school to advanced higher, but i spent most of that focusing obsessively on antigone and alexander the great. i knew very little greek history, even less roman, didn’t know who won the peloponnesian war, and couldn’t read a word of latin or greek. (i still dont know any latin shhh keep it secret keep it safe) i know people who knew less than that, and they’re all doing fine and mostly better than me. my classics bff didn’t know a word of greek before coming to uni; this summer the department sponsored her application to the british summer school in athens and she’s won the greek prize twice. you don’t need to know anything.
of all the cuties on a website overflowing w cuties of every possible variety, anon
you are the cutest
oh shit son
like no really oh my god??? ugh im seriously so grateful and surprised that people actually want to put up w my inanities, you are all beautiful stars in my tumblr firmament. also since i feel like i’ve been majorly slacking in the non-self-indulgent graphics department, TO CELEBRATE THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION does anyone have requests? like i will literally do anything, graphics, mixes, whatever, im seriously so knocked out by the fact that one thousand and two people actually willingly chose to follow me
[weeps softly into pillow]
u know the thing where you stare obsessively at the green dot next to someone’s name on fb chat for five hours but at no point consider messaging them first bc it would bring dishonour on the house of ur ancestors
daily reminder that “be strong, saith my heart; i am a soldier" is actually from the odyssey, book 20.18, when odysseus has returned home and found the suitors living in his palace, and has variously been rendered as "bear up, old heart! you’ve seen far, far worse" (fagles), "poor suffering…
Where does the “saith my heart” actually come from? I assume DT got it from some older translation (idt she knows Greek?). I have been wondering this for a while!
i actually have no idea - i mean, according to wikipedia she studied classics (during which time she also dated bret easton ellis, author of american psycho!fun fact: the characters from the secret history actually get an offhand mention in one of his novels, i think less than zero but i could be wrong) which would suggest that she either knew some greek or knew people who did. theories: