Monday, March 30, 2020

M/M: Marathus, Don't be a Golddigger: Tibullus, Carm. I.9.1-2,5-6, 11-20, 29-39,53-54,67-72,77-81

Quid mihi si fueras miseros laesurus amores,
     Foedera per divos, clam violanda, dabas?
Parcite, caelestes: aequum est inpune licere               5
     Numina formosis laedere vestra semel.
Muneribus meus est captus puer, at deus illa
     In cunerem et liquidas munera vertat aquas.
Iam mihi persolvet poenas, pulvisque decorem
     Detrahet et ventis horrida facta coma;
Uretur facies, urentur sole capilli,               15
     Deteret invalidos et via longa pedes.
Admonui quotiens 'auro ne pollue formam:
     Saepe solent auro multa subesse mala.
Divitiis captus siquis violavit amorem,
     Asperaque est illi difficilisque Venus.               20
Haec ego dicebam: nunc me flevisse loquentem,
     Nunc pudet ad teneros procubuisse pedes.               30
Tum mihi iurabas nullo te divitis auri
     Pondere, non gemmis, vendere velle fidem,
Non tibi si pretium Campania terra daretur,
     Non tibi si, Bacchi cura, Falernus ager.
Illis eriperes verbis mihi sidera caeli               35
     Lucere et puras fulminis esse vias.
Quin etiam flebas: at non ego fallere doctus
     Tergebam umentes credulus usque genas.
Quid faciam, nisi et ipse fores in amore puellae?
     Sed precor exemplo sit levis illa tuo.               40
O quotiens, verbis ne quisquam conscius esset,
     Ipse comes multa lumina nocte tuli!
Saepe insperanti venit tibi munere nostro
     Et latuit clausas post adoperta fores.
Tum miser interii, stulte confisus amari:               45
     Nam poteram ad laqueos cautior esse tuos.
Quin etiam adtonita laudes tibi mente canebam,
     Et me nunc nostri Pieridumque pudet.
At te, qui puerum donis corrumpere es ausus,
     Rideat adsiduis uxor inulta dolis,
Tune putas illam pro te disponere crines
     Aut tenues denso pectere dente comas?
Ista haec persuadet facies, auroque lacertos
     Vinciat et Tyrio prodeat apta sinu?               70
Non tibi, sed iuveni cuidam volt bella videri,
     Devoveat pro quo remque domumque tuam....
Blanditiasne meas aliis tu vendere es ausus?
     Tune aliis demens oscula ferre mea?
Tum flebis, cum me vinctum puer alter habebit
     Et geret in regno regna superba tuo.               80
At tua tum me poena iuvet...

--Tibullus, Carm. I.9.1-2,5-6, 11-20, 29-47,53-54,67-72,75,77-84

If you were only going to hurt me,

Why would you commit to a trusting relationship (foedera) with me, only to violate it?

O gods, go easy on him: it’s alright for someone so pretty to break your oaths—just once.

You see, my boyfriend (puer) is mesmerized by gifts; but someday, a god will take those gifts and they will vanish into thin air.

One day he’ll come back to me, penitent, when dust smudges his beauty, strong winds muss his pretty little hairdo, his face will be sunburnt, his hair will be sun-scorched, too; walking the long, lonely road will blister his pretty little feet.

Time and again I warned him, “stop being a gold-digger; these free gifts come with price tags that you’ll have to pay for soon enough. Someone smitten by wealth who breaks off a relationship will have a tough time with lady Love later."

Oh, how often I said this! And how it shames me to admit, I said it groveling at your feet, weeping. And oh, you swore to me that you would never betray my trust for any weight of gold, nor gems, nor any rich villa in the Campanian countryside, nor any Falernian vineyard. Oh, and I believed you then! You made me believe those words were pure as the stars’ twinkling light.

Oh, and you were crying too: and I, having never been deceived before, I didn’t know any better, I believed you! And I wiped away your tears from your wet cheeks. What would I do? Would I treat you differently if you were in love with a girl?

But you, Mister Sugar-Daddy, who try to corrupt my Marathus with gifts, your wife is going to mock you when she finds out about your schemes, or worse, when she starts to date him, too!

Aww, you think she’s wearing a new hairdo *for you*?

You think her makeup is done *for you*?

You think she’s wearing her pretty purple gown, her jewelry *for you*?

Nope, she’s not doing this for you, she’s looking pretty for her pretty little man, she’d offer him her whole world—and your house, too.

So Marathus, little Mister Gold-Digger, you thought you could break my trust? You crazily thought you’d steal my kisses, too? You’re gonna weep, when I have a new boyfriend (puer), and he’s my entire world, not you!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Girlfriend, be merciful to my boyfriend: Tibullus, Carm.I.8.27-28, 47-51, 67-78

Tibullus offers love advice to his ex-lover Marathus and Marathus' new love interest Pholoe:

Nec tu difficilis puero tamen esse memento:
     Persequitur poenis tristia facta Venus....
At tu, dum primi floret tibi temporis aetas,
     Utere: non tardo labitur illa pede.
Neu Marathum torque: puero quae gloria victo est?
     In veteres esto dura, puella, senes.    
Parce precor tenero:...
Desistas lacrimare, puer: non frangitur illa,
     Et tua iam fletu lumina fessa tument.
Oderunt, Pholoe, moneo, fastidia divi,
     Nec prodest sanctis tura dedisse focis.      
Hic Marathus quondam miseros ludebat amantes,
     Nescius ultorem post caput esse deum;
Saepe etiam lacrimas fertur risisse dolentis
     Et cupidum ficta detinuisse mora:
Nunc omnes odit fastus, nunc displicet illi            
     Quaecumque obposita est ianua dura sera.
At te poena manet, ni desinis esse superba.
     Quam cupies votis hunc revocare diem! 

--Tibullus, Carm I.8.27-28, 47-51, 67-78

Pholoe, remember to not be so hard on the poor boy (puero),

Or Venus, the goddess of love herself, will smite you for your wretched deeds.

But remember to use your beauty while it’s in bloom; it does not last for long.

Stop torturing my boyfriend Marathus: what good in there in gloating over a defeated lover?

It’s totally ok to be mean to creepy old men, but go easy on this tender teen.

And you, Marathus, stop crying: her mind’s made up, her behavior won’t change, she’s just making your eyes all puffy and swollen from crying.

But I warn you, Pholoe, the gods hate the hard-hearted, and they won’t listen to your lip service.

Marathus used to play these games with his wretched partners (amantes), not knowing that the love god had a bounty on his head. He often used to laugh at his lover’s tears, and stand up his dates with made-up excuses. And now he hates the dating game, now he hates excuses and games.

Learn from his mistakes, don’t be as hard-hearted as him, or you’ll rue the day you acted this way!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Lesson Plan: Dangerous Beauty: The Impact of Gender in the Abduction Myths of Hylas and Persephone

Dangerous Beauty: The Impact of Gender in Two Abduction Myths: A Lesson Plan

Target Audience:

This lesson is intended for advanced readers of Latin


Students Will Be Able To:  analyze the impact of gender in the abduction myths of Persephone (Ovid, Metamorphoses V.385-408) & Hylas (Propertius, Eleg. I.20)

Essential Questions

·         How does gender impact Greco-Roman myths of abduction and assault?
·         How does Greco-Roman literature treat the theme of beauty as a curse?
·         What can we learn by comparing different cultures’ perspectives on gender and violence?


Thursday, March 19, 2020

M/M: The Dangers of Beauty, Propertius, Eleg. I.20

TRIGGER WARNING: abduction, human trafficking, rape

* A Lesson Plan on how to teach this myth can be found here *

Hoc pro continuo te, Galle, monemus amore,
    quod tibi ne vacuo defluat ex animo:
saepe imprudenti fortuna occurrit amanti:
    crudelis Minyis sic erat Ascanius.
est tibi non infra specie, non nomine dispar,                 5
    Theiodamanteo proximus ardor Hylae:
huic tu, sive leges Umbrae rate flumina silvae,
    sive Aniena tuos tinxerit unda pedes,
sive Gigantei spatiabere litoris ora,
    sive ubicumque vago fluminis hospitio,                 10
Nympharum semper cupidas defende rapinas
    (non minor Ausoniis est amor Adryasin);
ne tibi sit duros montes et frigida saxa,
    Galle, neque expertos semper adire lacus.
quae miser ignotis error perpessus in oris                 15
    Herculis indomito fleverat Ascanio.
namque ferunt olim Pagasae navalibus Argo
    egressam longe Phasidos isse viam,
et iam praeteritis labentem Athamantidos undis
    Mysorum scopulis applicuisse ratem.                 20
hic manus heroum, placidis ut constitit oris,
    mollia composita litora fronde tegit.
at comes invicti iuvenis processerat ultra
    raram sepositi quaerere fontis aquam.
hunc duo sectati fratres, Aquilonia proles                 25
    (nunc superat Zetes, nunc superat Calais),
oscula suspensis instabant carpere plantis,
    oscula et alterna ferre supina fuga.
ille sed extrema pendentes ludit in ala
    et volucris ramo summovet insidias.                 30
iam Pandioniae cessit genus Orithyiae:
    ah dolor! ibat Hylas, ibat Hamadryasin.
hic erat Arganthi Pege sub vertice montis,
    grata domus Nymphis umida Thyniasin,
quam supra nulli pendebant debita curae                 35
    roscida desertis poma sub arboribus,
et circum irriguo surgebant lilia prato
    candida purpureis mixta papaveribus.
quae modo decerpens tenero pueriliter ungui
    proposito florem praetulit officio,                 40
et modo formosis incumbens nescius undis
    errorem blandis tardat imaginibus.
tandem haurire parat demissis flumina palmis
    innixus dextro plena trahens umero.
cuius ut accensae Dryades candore puellae                 45
    miratae solitos destituere choros
prolapsum et leviter facili traxere liquore,
    tum sonitum rapto corpore fecit Hylas.
cui procul Alcides ter 'Hyla!' respondet: at illi
    nomen ab extremis montibus aura refert.                 50
his, o Galle, tuos monitus servabis amores,
    formosum ni vis perdere rursus Hylan. 

--Propertius, Eleg.I.20

Gallus, I’m going to warn you about your unfailing love,
so it doesn’t slip through your careless mind:

Unexpected stuff often happens to a lover caught off-guard:

Just look at Ascanius’ cruelty to the Argonauts.

Your passion runs for a lad like Theiodamanteus’ son Hylas;

He’s just as well-born, and just as cute.
Just watch out: whether you choose
to take a skiff down the waters of Umbrian forest,

Or you dip your feet in the Anio river,

Or you take a stroll on the on the Giants’ shore,

Whatever pleasing vacation you take in nature’s embrace,

Always keep your lad safe from love-sick nymphs,

(Italian nymphs are just as lusty, too!)

So Gallus, don’t wander the rough mountains and their cold boulders,

Don’t wander off towards new and unknown lakes.

Don’t make the same mistake as Hercules—this brought him to tears—

When he encountered the ever-victorious waters of Ascanius.

For they say that when the Argo departed from the Pagasan docks

And took a long journey to Phasis,

Slipping through the Hellespont, it moored on the Mysian rocks.

Here a band of heroes landed on peaceful shores

And made a camp of soft leaves.

But invincible Hercules’ companion wandered off from the group

In search of waters from a far-off spring.

Once spotted, the two sons of the North Wind pursued him,

First Zetes overpowered him, then Calais,

Planting kisses upon him as they hovered overhead,

Planting kisses on him as he turned to flee.

But he escaped them as they flapped their wings fiercely to catch him,

And thwarted their unwanted affection (insidias) with a branch.

Finally, the winged ones left him alone—

But alas! Hylas stepped right into the Hamadryads’ trap.

Here he was at the foot of the Arganthian mountain,

A spring called Pege, the moist home to Bithynian nymphs,

Where rosy, uncultivated apples hung down from their branches,  
Colorful lilies and scarlet poppies rose from untilled fields

Hylas childishly picked some with his tender fingernails

Picking flowers over his intended task,

Laying down by the beautiful river,

Unaware of the danger, he takes a minute to soak in the beautiful scene.

Finally, he dips his hands into the water to drink

Bringing his palms full of water up to his lips.

It’s love at first sight for the dryads: admiring his beauty,

They stop what they’re doing and easily drag him into the water;

Hylas cries out as he is taken.

Far off, Hercules responds to his cries: again and again,

But the wind carries off his words.
So listen up, Gallus, protect your lover-boy from predators like this,

Lest you lose another beautiful Hylas.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A Lesson Plan: "Let Each One Sing of Whomever they Love..." Nemesianus' Fourth Eclogue

Target Audience:  This lesson plan is appropriate for advanced readers of Latin (3rd semester +)

Objective: Students Will Be Able To:  compare portrayals of heteronormative and same-sex couples in Nemesianus’ Fourth Eclogue to analyze ancient perspectives of gender and sexuality

Essential Questions
• What were Greco-Roman perspectives of same sex couples?
• What are some tropes of Greco-Roman erotic poetry?
o Are there different tropes for heteronormative and same-sex couples?
• What can we learn by comparing different cultures’ perspectives on gender and sexuality?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Challenging Gender Roles: The Women of Sparta, Propertius, Eleg. III.14

Multa tuae, Sparte, miramur iura palaestrae,
    sed mage virginei tot bona gymnasii,
quod non infamis exercet corpore ludos
    inter luctantis nuda puella viros,
cum pila velocis fallit per bracchia iactus,
    increpat et versi clavis adunca trochi,
pulverulentaque ad extremas stat femina metas,
    et patitur duro vulnera pancratio:
nunc ligat ad caestum gaudentia bracchia loris,
    missile nunc disci pondus in orbe rotat,
et modo Taygeti, crinis aspersa pruina,
    sectatur patrios per iuga longa canes:
gyrum pulsat equis, niveum latus ense revincit,
    virgineumque cavo protegit aere caput,
qualis Amazonidum nudatis bellica mammis
    Thermodontiacis turba lavatur aquis;
qualis et Eurotae Pollux et Castor harenis,
    hic victor pugnis, ille futurus equis,
inter quos Helene nudis capere arma papillis
    fertur nec fratres erubuisse deos.
lex igitur Spartana vetat secedere amantes,
    et licet in triviis ad latus esse suae,
nec timor aut ullast clausae tutela puellae,
    nec gravis austeri poena cavenda viri.
nullo praemisso de rebus tute loquaris
    ipse tuis: longae nulla repulsa morae.
nec Tyriae vestes errantia lumina fallunt,
    est neque odoratae cura molesta comae.
at nostra ingenti vadit circumdata turba,
    nec digitum angustast inseruisse via;
nec quae sit facies nec quae sint verba rogandi
    invenias: caecum versat amator iter.
quod si iura fores pugnasque imitata Laconum,
    carior hoc esses tu mihi, Roma, bono.

--Propertius, Eleg. III.14

Sparta, I admire your customs, but most of all,
I like the benefits of your ladies' gyms.
Because it's not a problem for a lady to exercise her naked body
in front of wrestling men.
She can reach out her arms to catch a flying ball
(whether she can catch it or not),
she can clang that basketball hoop when contact is made.
A woman can stand, sweaty, at the end of a racetrack
or bruise up her pretty little face in the boxing ring.
She can bind up her hands with her favorite pair of boxing gloves,
or twist her curves to send forth a discus,
or whiten her hair with dewy frost by chasing
her family's hunting dogs over the vast Taygetan lands.
She can train her horses to barrel race,
She can gird her snow-white midriff with a sword
or protect her pretty little face with an iron helmet,
the kind that the race of the Amazons would wear
when they would bathe--topless!--in the Thermodon River.
Just like Castor and Pollux would do,
the one about to be victorious in the ring,
the other about to be victorious on horseback,
and, arm-in-arm with her godly brothers,
Helen herself (it is said) fought by their side,
topless and unashamed.
And Spartan law forbids lovers to be kept apart.
They can remain side-by-side in public,
There's no curfew or forbidden dates for a girl,
She won't be "grounded" by a harsh father or husband.
You don't need to call ahead, you don't need anyone's permission:
You can date whomever you wish; there's no delay or wasted time.
Women don't wear Tyrian purple, they don't deceive you with what their clothes are hiding,
they don't doll up their hair with too much hairspray or perfume.
But here in Rome, my girl is surrounded by her adoring public
and I can't even reach her with a fingertip.
I can't catch a glimpse of her face,
I can't even ask her to spend a minute to speak with me,
a lover's path is blocked and blind.
So Rome, if you could change your ways
and imitate Sparta--you'd really help me out.

Sunday, March 15, 2020


Voices of War PDF

Target Audience:

This lesson is appropriate for third semester  / advanced Latin students

Trigger Warning:  human trafficking, murder, rape, slavery, violence


Students Will Be Able To:  analyze the impact of war on women, noncombatants, and family structures through translation of passages from Quintus of Smyrna's Posthomerica

Nota Bene: This collection of texts may be used to extend discussions in AP core texts (i.e., Vergil's Aeneid).

Essential Questions
  • How does war affect family dynamics?
  • How does war affect women?
  • How does war affect noncombatants?
  • How does war affect one's relationship between self and society?

Table of Contents
Ch. 1: Andromache Laments Watching the Death of Her Husband Hector (Quintus 1.104-115)
Ch. 2: Tisiphone Inspires the Trojan Women to Fight in Battle (Quintus 1.407-434)
Ch. 3: Aurora, the Goddess of the Dawn, Laments the Death of her Son Memnon at the Hands of Achilles (Quintus 2.592-621)
Ch. 4: Phoenix Mourns the Loss of His Foster Son, Achilles (Quintus 3.461-489)
Ch. 5: The War Bride Briseis Laments the Death of Her Captor / Husband Achilles (Quintus3.550-576):
Ch. 6: The Goddess Calliope Comforts Thetis on the Loss of Her Son (Quintus 3.631-665)
Ch. 7: The War Bride Tecmessa, on the Suicide of Her Warrior Ajax (Quintus 5.519-556)
Ch. 8: Diadamia’s Lament to Her Son Neoptolemus, On the Day of His Departure (Quintus7.261-281; 7.329-339)
Ch. 9: Phoenix, On Seeing The Son of Achilles for the First Time (Quintus 7.639-666)
Ch. 10: The War Bride Briseis, Seeing the Son of Her Captor / Husband Achilles (Quintus 7.722-726):
Ch. 11: The Deified Ganymede, Unable to Endure the Sight of Troy’s Ruin, Begs Jupiter for Mercy (Quintus 8.427-445)
Ch. 12: Neoptolemus At The Tomb of the Father He Never Met (Quintus 9.46-60)
Ch. 13: Deiphobus Rallies the Remaining Trojans to Fight for their Homes (Quintus 9.80-110)
Ch. 14: Oenone to Paris, Unable to Forgive His Infidelity on His Deathbed (Quintus 10.306-331)
Ch. 15: Oenone, on the Loss of Her Estranged Husband Paris (Quintus 10.424-431)
Ch. 16: Trojan Queen Hecuba to Her Son Paris, On His Deathbed (Quintus 10.373-387)
Ch. 17: Helen to Her Husband Paris, On His Deathbed (Quintus 10.392-405)
Ch. 18: Andromache Begs for Death Instead of Slavery (Quintus 13.266-286)
Ch. 19: King Priam to Neoptolemus, At His Death (Quintus 13.226-236)
Ch. 20: Queen Hecuba to Her Daughter Polyxena, Before Her Execution (Quintus 14.288-300)

Challenging Gender Roles: the Roman Emperor Hadrian, Epit. de. Caes. XIV.

TRIGGER WARNING: homophobic slur

Aelius Adrianus, stirpis Italae, Aelio Adriano, Traiani principis consobrino, Adriae orto genitus, quod oppidum agri Piceni etiam mari Adriatico nomen dedit, imperavit annis viginti duobus. Hic Graecis litteris impensius eruditus a plerisque Graeculus appellatus est. Atheniensium studia moresque hausit potitus non sermone tantum, sed et ceteris disciplinis, canendi psallendi medendique scientia, musicus geometra pictor fictorque ex aere vel marmore proxime Polycletus et Euphranoras.Proinde omnino ad ista et facetus, ut elegantius umquam raro quicquam humanae res expertae videantur. Memor supra quam cuiquam credibile est, locos negotia milites, absentes quoque, nominibus recensare. Immnesi laboris, quippe qui provincias omnes passibus circumierit agmen comitantium praevertens, cum oppida universa restitueret, auget ordinibus. Namque ad specimen legionum militarium fabros perpendiculatores architectos genusque cunctum exsturendorum moenium seu decorandorum in cohortes centuriaverat. Varius multiplex multiformis; ad vitia atque virtutes quasi arbiter genitus, impetum mentis quodam artificio regens, ingenium invidum triste lascivum et ad ostentationem sui insolens calide tegebat; continentiam facilitatem clementiam simulans contraque dissimulans ardorem gloriae, quo flagrabat. Acer nimis ad lacessendum pariter et respondendum seriis ioco maledictis; referre carmen carmini, dictum dictui, prorsus ut meditatum crederes adversus omnia. Huius uxor Sabina, dum prope servilibus iniuriis afficitur, ad mortem voluntaria compulsa. Quae palam iactabat se, quod immane ingenium probavisse,t elaborasse, ne ex eo ad humani generis perniciem gravidaretur. Hic morbo subcutaneo, quem diu placide pertulerat, victus, dolore ardens impatiensque plures e senatu exstinxit. A regibus multis pace occultius muneribus impetrata, iactabat palam plus se otio adeptum quam armis ceteros. Officia sane publica et palatina nec non militae in eam formam statuit, quae paucis per Constantinum immutatis hodie perseverat. Vixit annos sexaginta duos; dehinc miserabili exitu consumptus est, cruciatu membrorum fere omnium confectus, in tantum, ut crebro sese interficiendum ministrorum fidissimis precans offeret, ac ne in semetipsum saeviret, custodia carissimorum servaretur.

--Epitome de Caesaribus XIV.1-12

The Emperor Hadrian, the son of Aelius Adrianus, a member of an Italian family and the cousin of the Emperor Trajan, was born in a town Adria (in the Picenum region, a town that gives the Adriatic Sea its name). He ruled for twenty-two years.
Hadrian was called "the Little Greek" because he was very passionate about Greek literature and culture. He was quite enamoured with Athenian culture; not only their language, but also their other disciplines as well: he excelled in singing, playing the lyre, the art of medicine, music, geometry, painting, and even sculpting in marble and bronze! His artistic style resembled Polycletus' and Euphranoras'. He was also very refined, to such an extent that it seems that the human race could scarcely find one more elegant. He had a photographic memory, and could remember the names of locations, transactions, and soldiers, even those that were absent. He was incredibly energetic, travelling throughout the provinces on foot, surpassing them in his speedy gait. He renovated each town he visited, and increased their social classes.  For example, on the military legions, he recruited carpenters, stone masons, architects of all kinds, to build and amplify the city walls. He was diverse, complicated, and deep; born with an almost innate balance of virtue and vice; he cleverly covered his own pride with a rare sense of self-awareness; he presented himself as having mercy, and downplayed his own desire for fame that burned in his breast. He was very witty in both banter and insults, he could reply "tit for tat" whether in spoken word or verse, to the extent that you would think he had prepared them ahead of time. His wife Sabina was driven to suicide by servile taunts. She often boasted that, since she was the best judge of his character, she had seen to it that being pregnant by him would bring disaster to the human race. After enduring a subcutaneous disease for a long time, he could no longer put on a brave face and, being overcome by pain, he took it out on many senators by killing them.
Having obtained peace from many kings through gifts and tributes, he often boasted that he had accomplished more for the empire with leisure than others had done with warfare. With the exception of a handful of changes made by Constantine, Hadrian's organization of infrastructure, both imperial and public [not including military infrastructure], remain untouched even to this day. He lived sixty-two years, then, consumed by a utterly pitiful end, being overcome by pain in all of his limbs to the point that he begged his friends for death, lest in his pain he order those around him to be killed.