Author Archives: Armand D'Angour

About Armand D'Angour

Fellow and Tutor in Classics, Jesus College Oxford.

In memoriam Martin West

The unexpected death (at the age of 77) on 13 July 2015 of Martin West, the greatest classicist of his generation,  has left a hole in the world of scholarship and philology. It also leaves me with a sense of profound … Continue reading

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Ovid, the Latin lover

Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid), Roman poet, born 20 March 43 BC Ovid’s Amores 1.5: the poet’s most upbeat erotic composition. A cheeky poem (‘why itemize?’ the poet asks, having just itemized) that deserves a cheeky translation. Midday: a long, hot afternoon … Continue reading

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Dura virum nutrix

Kate Bucknell, the novelist, was curious about the origin of Sedbergh School’s Latin motto Dura Virum Nutrix – ‘harsh nurse of men’ . She wrote to me: ‘I am working out a preoccupation of Auden’s, 1927ish, with the Latin motto, the harsh … Continue reading

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Failing at All Souls

In 1983 I received my Finals results at Oxford, along with a note from Simon Hornblower, who had tutored me in Ancient History for a year, saying ‘Congratulations. Try for All Souls?’ I duly sat the exams for the All … Continue reading

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Losers and winners

Coming last in style The ancient Greeks didn’t always treat athletes and athletics with reverence. Nicarchus (1st cent. AD) wrote a witty epigram about a runner called Kharmos (‘Victor’), which I’ve translated as follows: When Kharmos, in Arcadia, once entered … Continue reading

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A woman at the Olympics

KALLIPATEIRA                     by Loréntsos Mavílis (1860-1912) “O noble Rhodian lady, how come you here, explain! By ancient custom, women are barred from this domain.” “I have a nephew, Eukles, who won Olympic fame. My father, son, three brothers, are honoured for the same.   … Continue reading

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Heineken in Herodotus

Herodotus’ mentions of Heineken constitute a hitherto unsuspected instance of product placement in ancient Greek writing. In Histories 1.2.2, Heineken — εἵνεκεν in ancient Greek — is found in connection with the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts to Colchis. The implication is … Continue reading

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A witty Latinist

John Owen (c. 1564-1622) was famous in his day throughout Europe for his Latin epigrams, which were based on those of the Roman satirical poet Martial. He was a curmudgeon, whose trademark sentiment is (Epigram 1.58, to his friend Edward … Continue reading

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