Category Archives: Poems and versions

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 in translation. Midday: a long, hot afternoon ahead; I threw my weary body on the bed. The blinds, half-shut, half-open to … 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 runner called Kharmos (‘Victor’), which I’ve translated as follows: When Kharmos, in Arcadia, once entered in … 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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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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3 limericks & a pastiche

On an ancient medical writer with a funny name The worthy physician Soranus Sought cures for conditions that pain us. So what a bum rap For that medical chap That his sore-name should so entertain us.   On hearing Caius … Continue reading

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