Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Challenging Gender Roles: Agnodice, Hyginus, Fabulae CXIX

Antiqui quia obstetrices non habuerunt, unde mulieres verecundia ductae interierant (nam Athenienses caverant, ne quis servus aut femina artem medicinam disceret) Agnodice quaedam puella virgo concupivit medicinam discere. Quae cum concupisset, demptis capillis habitu virili se Hierophilo cuidam tradidit in disciplinam. Quae cum artem didicisset et feminam laborantem audisset ab inferiore parte, veniebat ad eam. Quae cum credere se noluisset existimans virum esse illa tunica sublata ostendebat se feminam esse: et ita eas curabat. Quod cum vidissent medici se ad feminas non admitti Agnodicem accusare coeperunt, quod dicerent eum glabrum esse et corruptorem earum et illas simulare imbecilitatem. Quod cum Areopagitae consedissent Agnodicem damnare coeperunt. Quibus Agnodice tunicam allevavit et se ostendit feminam esse. Et validius medici accusare coeperunt. Quare tum feminae principes ad iudicium convenerunt et dixerunt: vos coniuges estis, sed hostes, quia quae salutem  invenit eam damnatis. Tunc Athenienses legem emendaverunt ut ingenuae artem medicinam discerent.

--Hyginus, Fabulae CXCIX
In ancient times, they did not have midwives, and so women were dying because of their modesty (for Athenians did not allow slaves or women to learn the art of medicine).
A certain young lady, Agnodice, desired to learn medicine. Since she truly had it in her heart to learn, she shaved her head, dressed in men's clothing, and learned medicine under the tutelage of Hierophilus. Once she had learned what she needed to, she would visit women who were in labor.
Since these women did not want to be treated by her because they thought that she was a man, she would lift up her tunic and show them that she was a woman; then the patient would allow her to help.
When doctors saw that they were no longer sought by women, they began to attack Agnodice, saying that he was a pervert and a corruptor of women, and accused her patients of faking their illnesses to spend time with him.
They took Agnodice to trial, during which she lifted her dress and proved that she was a woman. And when the doctors began to double down, continuing to attack her, the top women of the town entered the court and declared: "You men are not our husbands, but our enemy, because you have condemned the one person who has discovered a way for us to be safe." Then the Athenians modified the law, and allowed free-born women to learn the art of medicine.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

M/M: Achilles & Patroclus Reborn: Alexander & Hephaestion, Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri I.xii.1-2

Porro Alexandro Ilium versus adscendenti Menoetius gubernator auream coronam imposuit: post hunc Chares Atheniensis, qui ex Sigeo venerat, atque alii nonnulli, partim Graeci, partim indigenae. Ab Hephaestione vero Patrocli tumulum coronatum esse narrant. Sunt qui Alexandrum etiam Achillis tumulum coronasse dicant: et felicem quidem, ut fama est, nominavit Achillem quod Homerum praeconem ad perpetuandam suam memoriam nactus esset. 

--Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri I.xii.1-2; Translated from the Greek by Fr. Duebner

As Alexander arrived at Troy, the Governor Menoetius honored him with a golden crown in front a crowd of Greeks and locals; then Chares the Athenian did the same, who came all the way from Sigeum to do so. They say that thereafter Hephaestion honored the tomb of Patroclus with a golden crown; there are also those who say that Alexander then crowned Achilles' tomb, too, and said that Achilles was blessed to have obtained Homer as the reporter of his deeds.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Our Voices in Classics: Presentation

I hope you can join us in New York City this weekend for the 1st annual event, Our Voices in Classics: A Conference for Inclusive Classics Pedagogy.  I will be presenting this blog and its lesson plans.

If you cannot attend, feel free to view my PowerPoint presentation:

LGBT Meets SPQR Presentation

as well as watch the YouTube video (Trigger Warning: Strong Language): here

Sunday, February 9, 2020

W/W: The Women From Lemnos, Apollodorus, Lib. I.IX.17

TRIGGER WARNING: human trafficking, murder, rape

Haec insula tum viris omnibus orbata Hypsipyles Thoantis filiae imperio regebatur, cuius rei causam hanc fuisse legimus. Lemniae mulieres Venerem nihili faciebant, quae ea de causa teterrimum illis graveolentiae virus iniecit. Et viri e Thacia Lemno proxima, abductis captivis mulierculis, cum iis concumbebant. Tum Lemniae quod a coniugibus spernerentur, non modo patres Ipsos, sed et viros, suum quemque iugularunt, una tamen omnium Hypsipyle Thoantem patrem absconditum servavit illaesum. 

--Apollodorus, Bibliothekes I.IX.17,  translated into Latin by Thomas Gale (1675)

The island of Lemnos was ruled by Queen Hypsipyle. At that time, the island was completely free of men, for the following reason:
Because the Lemnian women did not value sex (Venerem nihili faciebant), Venus cursed them with a terrible smell. Their husbands then took captives from nearby Thrace as their concubines to service their needs. Dishonored by their husbands,  the Lemnian women murdered each and every man on the island: not only their husbands, but even their fathers as well. Hypsipyle alone saved her father Thoas by hiding him and keeping him safe.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

W/W: Aphrodite, Be My Wingman: Sappho, Fr. VI.

Versicolori solio, immortalis Venus,
puella Iovis, nectens dolos, supplico tibi,
ne me fastidiis, neque maeroribus doma,
Veneranda, animo,
Verum huc ades, si quando alias in amore
meam vocem tu audieris, (quam crebram acceperas)
auscultabas, patrisque domum relinquens auream venisti;
currum subiungens, pulchri vero te egerunt
veloces passeres alis pullis,
crebras vibrantes pennas de caelo per aethera medium.
Protinus vero pervenere: tu vero, o Beata, subridens immorali tuo vultus, quod vero
rogabas, quodnam erat, quod passa sum, et erat, quod te vocarem.
Et quodnam meo maxime velim fieri
penitus furenti animo, quamve rursus suadam,
atque irretientem amorem: quis te, o Sappho, laedit?
Etenim si te fugit, cito sequetur:
et si dona non accipit, quin ipse dabit:
et si non amat, cito amabit,
et si tu nolueris.
Veni ad me & nunc, durisque solve me
ex curis: quaeque mihi te perficere
animus concupiscit, perfice: tuque ipsa
Audiutrix esto.

Ποικιλόθρον᾽ ὰθάνατ᾽ ᾽Αφροδιτα,
παῖ Δίοσ, δολόπλοκε, λίσσομαί σε
μή μ᾽ ἄσαισι μήτ᾽ ὀνίαισι δάμνα,
πότνια, θῦμον.

ἀλλά τυίδ᾽ ἔλθ᾽, αἴποτα κἀτέρωτα
τᾶσ ἔμασ αύδωσ αἴοισα πήλγι
ἔκλυεσ πάτροσ δὲ δόμον λίποισα
χρύσιον ἦλθεσ

ἄρμ᾽ ὐποζεύξαια, κάλοι δέ σ᾽ ἆγον
ὤκεεσ στροῦθοι περὶ γᾶσ μελαίνασ
πύκνα δινεῦντεσ πτέῤ ἀπ᾽ ὠράνω
αἴθεροσ διὰ μέσσω.

αῖψα δ᾽ ἐχίκοντο, σὺ δ᾽, ὦ μάσαιρα
μειδιάσαισ᾽ ἀθάνατῳ προσώπῳ,
ἤρἐ ὄττι δηὖτε πέπονθα κὤττι
δἦγτε κάλημι

κὤττι μοι μάλιστα θέλω γένεσθαι
μαινόλᾳ θύμῳ, τίνα δηὖτε πείθω
μαῖσ ἄγην ἐσ σὰν φιλότατα τίσ τ, ὦ
Πσάπφ᾽, ἀδίκηει;

καὶ γάρ αἰ φεύγει, ταχέωσ διώξει,
αἰ δὲ δῶρα μὴ δέκετ ἀλλά δώσει,
αἰ δὲ μὴ φίλει ταχέωσ φιλήσει,
κωὐκ ἐθέλοισα.

ἔλθε μοι καὶ νῦν, χαλεπᾶν δὲ λῦσον
ἐκ μερίμναν ὄσσα δέ μοι τέλεσσαι
θῦμοσ ἰμμέρρει τέλεσον, σὐ δ᾽ αὔτα
σύμμαχοσ ἔσσο

--Sappho, Frag. 1 (Fragment 6, Translated into Latin by Jo. Christian Wolf)

Iridescent-throned goddess,
O immortal Venus, Daughter of Jupiter,
O crafty vixen, I pray to you,
do not overwhelm my heart with hatred or grief.
Blessed one, stay by my side!
For you have always heard my prayers as I languished in love,
you would listen to me and support me time and time again,
you would leave the golden palace of your heavenly father to come to me,
yoking your chariot with  swift doves,
their tiny wings  fluttering as they bore you between the sky and the ether.
They brought you to me quickly;
but you, o Blessed one, smirking with your immortal smile,
you asked me again and again what was wrong, what I felt, and why I was calling you.
And asking me what I yearned for most in my troubled heart,
and what love has caught me this time.
Asking, "O Sappho, who hurt you this time?
If someone plays hard to get, they'll soon start to pursue you;
if they don't accept your favors, soon they'll be the one to lavish you with gifts,
even if you don't like them that way.
Come to me, Aphrodite! Release me from my overwhelming anxiety;
let me obtain whatever my heart desires,
be my wingman.

TE ACCIPIO (Vergil, Aen. IX.276-280): A Tiered Reading and Printable Wristbands

Lesson Plan 6: TE ACCIPIO:  Pride Week Tiered Reading and Printable Bracelets

Target Audience:

This is a tiered reading activity. The Tier 1 passage requires a knowledge of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd declension, as well as Present tense; Tier 2 requires a knowledge of Future tense; and Tier 3 requires a knowledge of 5th declension and deponent verbs.


Students Will Be Able To:  create wearable wristbands that celebrate a culturally authentic Latin text in solidarity of the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Week

Essential Questions:

• When is Pride Week?
• What is Pride Week? Why is it important?
• What is an ally?
• Why is it important for allies to celebrate Pride Week?
• What were Roman perspectives of the LGBTQIA+ community?
• What can I do to help make the world safer and more inclusive?

LGBT Meets SPQR Lesson Plan 6: TE ACCIPIO: Pride Week Tiered Reading and Printable Wristbands

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Birth of Pallas Athena: Apollodorus, Bibl.I.3.6


Jupiter ad haec Thetidi, varias alternanti formas quo illius vitaret amplexus, immiscetur. Quam, cum gravidam esse persensisset, absorbere occupat, quoniam post natam ex ea puellam, filium se parituram dicebat, qui caeli dominatione potiturus esset. Id futurum veritus eam absorbuit. Ubi vero pariendi tempus advenit, Prometheus, sive, ut alii tradunt, Volcanus eius caput securi percussit, deque illius vertice secus Tritonem amnem armata Pallas exilivit.

--Apollodorus, Bibliotheces I.3.6; translated into Latin by Thomas Gale (1675)

Thetis tried to escape Jupiter's seduction by changing forms, but was unsuccessful. When she became pregnant, Jupiter swallowed her whole, fearing a prophecy that claimed that after she birthed a daughter, she would bear a son who would rule the universe.
When the time had come for the child's delivery, Prometheus (or Vulcan, as others say), struck Jupiter's head with an ax, and Pallas Athena sprang forth from the wound fully armed.

M/M: The Myth of Hylas: Antoninus Liberalis, Met. 26


Hercules, cum Argonautis, a quibus erat dux creatus, navigans, una secum duxit Hylam Ceycis filium adolescentem pulchrum. Ut ad fauces Ponti pervenerunt, et Arganthones procursus praetervecti sunt, tempestate et fluctibus coortis, anchoras iecere, navemque inhibuerunt. Praebuit tum heroibus Hercules cenam: puerque Hylas cum urna ad Ascanium amnem ivit, aquam iis allatum. Quem ut viderunt nymphae, eius fluvii filiae, amore correptae, haurientem in fontem deiecerunt. Cum ad hunc modum e medio sublatus Hylas frustra expectaretur, Hercules, relictis heroibus undiquaque, silvam perlustrat, saepius invocato Hyla. Nymphae autem metuentes ne apud se absconditum Hylam inveniret Hercules, puerum illum in Echo commutarunt: itaque saepe clamanti Herculi, vocem reddidit.--Antoninus Liberalis Metamorphoses xxvi

While leading the Argonauts on the quest for the golden fleece, Hercules brought the lovely lad Hylas with him. As soon as their ship had traversed the Bosporus Strait and passed by the Arganthone peninsula, a storm arose, forcing the Argonauts to set up anchor and head inland to ride out the storm. To lighten their spirits, Hercules provided his men with a feast; Hylas went to the Ascanius River to fetch water for the crew. However, when the river nymphs saw him, they were overcome by love for the lad and pulled him into the river with them, and he was never seen again.
Unable to locate his companion, Hercules abandoned the Argonauts and wandered the forest, calling Hylas' name over and over again. Terrified of Hercules finding out what they had done, the nymphs turned the lad into an echo, to reply to Hercules' calls.