Author Archives: diyclassics

Scaliger on learning Greek, English translation

I had written earlier this year about J.J. Scaliger’s extreme experience as a Greek autodidact. I submitted this passage to @QuidAgitur‘s Lecta Delecta, The Best Ancient Literature of 2013. (Ok, Scaliger isn’t exactly “ancient”—but this passage is completely invested in Homer and the other Greek classics.) I didn’t include an English translation in the original […]

Homeri Batrachomuomachiae Initium

Among the fables my Latin III class is reading this week is about the battle of the frogs and mice. This made me curious about what the Renaissance translators did with the “Homeric” epic poem on this subject. Here are the opening lines Sebastian Castalio’s 1561 translation. Ὁμήρου Βατραχομυομαχία Ἀρχόμενος, πρῶτον Μουσῶν χορὸν ἐξ Ἑλικῶνος […]

Herodoti Libri Clius Initium

The opening sentence of the first book of Herodotus—the first book named after the Muse Clio—from Valla’s 1542 Latin translation. Herodoti Halicarnassei historiae explicatio haec est, ut neque ea quae gesta sunt, ex rebus humanis obliterentur ex aevo, neque ingentia & admiranda opera, vel a Graecis edita, vel a Barbaris, gloria fraudentur, cum alia, tum […]

Euclidis Elementa Prima, Definitiones 1-12

I had a conversation on Twitter last night with a teacher who has been incorporating STEM elements into her Latin classes. A very interesting approach and one that got me thinking about all of the Latin/Greek sources that could be used in a class like this. Aristotle, Theophrastus, Celsus, Vitruvius, Pliny, Galen, the list could […]

Aesopi Fabula de Vulpe et Leone

I just realized how text-heavy the diyclassics site is. So here’s a fable from Adamus Knopff’s 1551 edition of Aesop, which as the title page notes are elegantissimis eiconibus veras animalium species ad vivum adumbrantes. The volume also includes the four-line fables of Gabria, the Batrachomyomachia, the Galeomyomachia—wasn’t aware of this one, a battle of […]

Argumentum A Homeri Compositionis

Argumentum A Homeri Compositionis Chryses sacerdos Apollinis accedit ad navale Graecorum, volens redimere filiam suam Chryseidem: non recuperans autem, sed & cum contumelia expulsus ab Agamemnone, precatus est Apollinem contra Graecos. Peste autem orta, & multis (ut consentaneum est) pereuntibus, concionem Achilles coëgit. Calchante autem aperiente veram causam, & iubente Achille placare Deum: Agamemnon iratus, […]

Euripidis Orestes Argumentum

I’ve been looking at Greek textbooks from the Renaissance recently—large volumes written in Latin, all basically beginning with the Greek alphabet, working through morphology and up to rhetorical figures, most illustrated with examples from the auctores. The greatest variation in the format seems to come at the end of the books, where various extra readings […]