‘Even mortal hands break a stone’: electoral promises and the epigraphic habit

[disclosure: the writer is a member of the Labour party; but here at Argonauts and Emperors we think of ourselves as the BBC of classical bloggery: Scrupulously Fair And Balanced] One feature of recent UK politics might be called ‘promise inflation’. Once there were pledges; during the referendum campaign in Scotland the promise made by …

Coming Soon: Theatre with a Classical Connection…

Lynn Fotheringham has been searching out theatrical productions with a classical connection over the next few months, in Nottingham, nearby cities and London. Sheffield, 13th February only, 13.00: Phaedra’s Love, semi-staged reading as part of a season of the complete works of Sarah Kane, whose reputation for writing plays with lots of on-stage violence suggests …

We have two blog entries today, both from doctoral students in Classics: in the first, Peter Davies, reflects on the legacy of the poet Simonides’ words in commemorating the fallen…

After the battle of Thermopylae – immortalised by Herodotus and, in our own time, given new fame by Snyder’s epic 300 – the Lyric poet Simonides wrote an encomium for the Greek dead. In 1838 John Sterling would translate some of his words thus: Of those who at Thermopylae were slain, Glorious the doom, and …

‘Pitying Oedipus’

In our first Classics research workshop (also a Classical Association Lecture), Professor Patrick Finglass spoke on ‘Pitying Oedipus’; Professor Alan Sommerstein was inspired to offer this response… Professor Patrick Finglass kicked off the new semester on Tuesday 30 September with a talk in his usual sparkling style to the Nottingham branch of the Classical Association …

Happy Classical National Poetry Day!

In great haste… I spotted this morning, while procrastinating, that today is National Poetry Day! This clearly needed to be marked, and I’m just back from some rapid poetry-bombing of the Humanities Building. I felt that what was needed was some poetry in English (I wanted it to speak too everybody in the building) that …

The Spirit and the Argonauts Myth

Helen Lovatt finds some surprising references to classical Greek myth in The Spirit, a recent film by Frank Miller (author of 300)… When I sat down to watch a film the other night, I was happily anticipating a complete break from work. But perhaps it should not surprise me to find The Spirit (2008), directed …

Greek for the Globe

Requests for translation into ancient Greek are understandably rare. But one was passed on to Oliver Thomas recently from a friend-of-a-friend at the Globe Theatre. For their production of Julius Caesar the Globe’s creative team wanted to mark the three main deaths (those of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius) by adding a small female chorus of …

A Midsummer Night Reverie: ten top “lost” tragedies (and more) (1)

This post is by Professor Alan Sommerstein. A few weeks ago – on 24 June, Midsummer Day, to be precise (whence my title) – the Nottingham branch of the Classical Association held its Annual General Meeting (at Loughborough, whose admirable schools and teachers have long been one of the branch’s mainstays).  Between the business meeting …

Classics and the First World War: ‘Stand in the trench, Achilles’

A hundred years since the summer of 1914: people’s minds are turning to the First World War. I thought it might be of interest to spend a little time here drawing attention to some of the various ways in which this war was experienced, described and commemorated in connection with Classics. This poem was composed …

Simaetha revisited (1)

How silly is it to use a parody or joke to flag up features on an ancient text? In my post Simaetha’s letter, I provided a letter to an agony aunt, as if written by Simaetha, the speaker of Theocritus 2. This poem (a favourite of mine, which I teach as part of the first …