A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising by J. C. McKeown

By J. C. McKeown

"A cupboard of Roman Curiousities" is subtitled "Strange stories and wonderful evidence from the World's maximum Empire." i assumed it sounded attention-grabbing and will be a enjoyable learn. it's really beautiful fascinating, yet it isn't that enjoyable. it really is primarily a word list of Roman proof prepared byt subject (family, nutrition, the military, etc.) yet after the 1st couple of tidbits in each one part, it truly is stretching to be enjoyable. The evidence are, good, simply real. it truly is most likely a greater booklet for selecting up and interpreting an excerpt or at a time than a entrance to again learn. i attempted to learn it via and received bored, yet flipping round pages was once unique adequate.

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They all have two syllables. What’s in a Name? The everyday names of many flowers retain interesting associations from antiquity: • • • • • • • alyssum: ἀ and λύσσα (a and lussa, “not madness”). 95). delphinium: δελφίς (delphis, “dolphin”). Its seeds or flowers are shaped like a dolphin (Pseudo-Dioscorides On Female Herbs 57). 71). geranium: γερανός (geranos, “crane,” from the similarity of its flower to a crane’s bill). The name pelargonium, from πελαργός (pelargos, “stork”), was given in antiquity to a variety of geranium, not to the closely related flower now so named.

By the time Tyana fell, Aurelian had decided to be merciful to the citizens and told his soldiers to kill only the dogs. Despite being deprived of their expected plunder, the troops took his decision in good spirit, as if it were a joke (Historia Augusta Life of Aurelian 22). , Sulla’s army neutralized Mithridates’ ninety scythed chariots by charging at them, thus depriving these fearsome weapons of the momentum they needed to break through the Roman lines. When the Romans repulsed the chariots, they jeered and clapped their hands, calling for more to be sent out, just as if they were at the races in the Circus.

Lupin(e)s were not associated with wolves (lupi). By their bitterness they make the face of anyone who tastes them sad (St. 75). narcissus: as punishment for spurning the love of the nymph Echo, Narcissus was made to fall in love with his own reflection. ). 128) more prosaically supposes that the flower is so named because eating it causes numbness (νάρκη, narce). 95). onopordon acanthium: cotton thistle, the emblem of Scotland, derives its name from ὄνος (onos, “donkey”) and πέρδομαι (perdomai, “pass gas”).

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