Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Showdown between the Intersex Scholar Favorinus and The Roman Emperor Hadrian, SHA Vit. Hadr. XIV.10-13

10. Et quamvis esset oratione et versu promptissimus et in omnibus artibus peritissimus, tamen professores omnium artium semperut doctior risit, contempsit, obtrivit. 11 Cum his ipsis professoribus et philosophis libris vel carminibus invicem editis saepe certavit. 12 Et Favorinus quidem, cum verbum eius quondam ab Hadriano reprehensum esset atque ille cessisset, arguentibus amicis, quod male cederet, Hadriano de verbo, quod idonei auctores usurpassent, risum iocundissimum movit; 13 ait enim : "non recte suadetis, familiares, qui non patiminime illum doctiorem omnibus credere, qui habet triginta legiones." 

--SHA Hadriani XV.10-13

Hadrian was talented in public speaking and poetry, as well as all of the liberal arts, but he used to mock, criticize, and bully professors of every kind, as if he knew more than them. He often used to challenge these professors and philosophers by publishing little books or poems and they, in turn, would publish a response. This even happened to Favorinus [one of his dearest friends*].

When Hadrian criticized him for using a certain word, Favorinus bowed out of the argument. When his friends challenged this, since the term that Hadrian had criticized was used by Classical authors, Favorinus let them in on a little joke. He said, “Buddies, that's terrible advice: just let the guy who has thirty legions believe that he is the smartest man of all.”


* Later in the same text [XVI.10], Favorinus is listed as one of the emperor's dearest friends: in summa familiaritate Epictetum et Heliodorum philosophos et, ne nominatim de omnibus dicam, grammaticos, rhetores, musicos, geometras, pictores, astrologos habuit, prae ceteris, ut multi adserunt, eminente Favorino.



Name:  ???

Date:  4th c. CE

Works:  Historia Augusta





 Little is known about the author(s) of the Historia Augusta; even internal evidence within the text is either falsified, skewed or utterly fictitious. Although attributed to six different authors, the text was likely written by a single author living during the 4th century CE. It is a series of imperial biographies modeled after the works of Suetonius; these biographies cover the reigns of the emperors Hadrian through Carus.



Challenging Gender Roles: Hortensia Goes to Court--and Wins! Val. Max. 8.3.3

Hortensia vero Q. Hortensi filia, cum ordo matronarum gravi tributo a triumviris esset oneratus nec quisquam virorum patrocinium eis accommodare auderet, causam feminarum apud triumviros et constanter et feliciter egit: repraesentata enim patris facundia impetravit ut maior pars imperatae pecuniae his remitteretur. Revixit tum muliebri stirpe Q. Hortensius verbisque filiae aspirauit, cuius si virilis sexus posteri vim sequi uoluissent, Hortensianae eloquentiae tanta hereditas una feminae actione abscissa non esset

--Valerius Maximus, Factorum et Dictorum Memorabilium VIII.iii.3

When noblewomen were oppressed by the triumvirs’ taxation and none of their husbands deigned to advocate for them, Quintus Hortensius’ daughter Hortensia pled the women’s case in court—and won! By using the eloquence she inherited from her father, she managed to get a majority of the taxes remitted. At that time Quintus Hortensius came to life again, in female form; he inspired his daughter’s words. If his male descendants had followed in his eloquent footsteps, then the family’s eloquence would not have ended with the lawsuit of one woman.




Name:  Valerius Maximus

Date:  1st c CE.

Works:  Memorable Deeds and Sayings



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



Little is known about the life of Valerius Maximus except that he wrote during the reign of the emperor Tiberius. His work, Memorable Deeds and Sayings, is a collection of examples from Roman and world history categorized by theme for the purpose of rhetorical exercises.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE


Saturday, February 19, 2022

A Man's Soul In a Woman's Body: Amesia, Valerius Maximus VIII.3.1

8.3.1 Amesia Sentinas rea causam suam L. Titio praetore iudicium cogente maximo populi concursu egit modosque omnes ac numeros defensionis non solum diligenter, sed etiam fortiter executa, et prima actione et paene cunctis sententiis liberata est. quam, quia sub specie feminae uirilem animum gerebat, Androgynen appellabant.


--Valerius Maximus, Factorum et Dictorum Memorabilium VIII.3.1


During trial, Amesia of Sentinum pleaded her own defense to the praetor Lucius Titius in front of a large crowd. She performed the proper methods and procedures with both professionalism and passion. She was acquitted of all charges. Because she had a man’s soul in a woman’s body, she was called the “Androgyne.”



Name:  Valerius Maximus

Date:  1st c CE.

Works:  Memorable Deeds and Sayings





Little is known about the life of Valerius Maximus except that he wrote during the reign of the emperor Tiberius. His work, Memorable Deeds and Sayings, is a collection of examples from Roman and world history categorized by theme for the purpose of rhetorical exercises.


Dangerous Beauty: Christianizing the Myth of Cornix & Callisto: John Gower, Confessio Amantis V.6145 & V.6230ff

TRIGGER WARNING: rape, victim blaming


Hic loquitur contra istos in amoris causa predones, qui cum in suam furtive concupissentiam aspirant, fortuna in contrarium operatur. Et narrat quod cum Neptunus quamdam virginem nomine Cornicem solam iuxta mare deambulantem opprimere suo furto voluisset, superveniens Pallas ipsam e manibus eius virginitate servata gracius liberavit.

Here it talks about those who prey upon other sexually: those who try to sneakily succeed in fulfilling their lusty desire, but who are undermined by chance. The story goes that one time Neptune had tried to rape a certain maiden named Cornix when she was walking on the shore by herself, but Pallas Athena intervened. The goddess rescued the maiden from the god’s clutches and thankfully saved her from the assault.

--John Gower, Confessio Amantis V.6145


Hic ponit exemplum contra istos in causa virginitatis laesae praedones. Et narrat quod cum Calistona Lichaontis mirae pulchritudinis filia suam virginitatem Dianae conservandam castisima voviset, et in Silvam quae Tegea dicitur inter alias ibidem Nimphas moraturam se transtulisset, Iupiter virginis castitatem subtili furto surripiens, quendam filium, qui postea Archas nominatus est, ex ea genuit: unde Juno in Calistonam saeviens eius pulchritudinem in ursae turpissimae deformitatem subito transfiguravit.

Here we have an example against people who prey upon women sexually. The story is about when Calistona, the exceedingly beautiful daughter of Lichaon, piously vowed perpetual chastity to Diana. Calistona traveled to a forest called Tegea, and spent her life there among other nymphs. Jupiter took her virginity in a clever assault, and from that union she bore him a son who was later named Archas.  Because of this, Juno attacked Calistona, transforming the woman’s beauty into the ugly shape of a bear.

--John Gower, Confessio Amantis V.6230



Name:  John Gower

Date:  1330 – 1408 CE

Works:  Confessio Amantis





 John Gower was a 14th century English poet. He was a contemporary and peer of Geoffrey Chaucer; both authors use overlapping characters and themes. Although his Confessio Amantis was written in English, the Latin text of this story was taken from the summaries that the author wrote for each chapter in Latin.




In Loving Tribute to Sappho: Greek Anthology VII.15 & VII.16


Nomen mihi Sappho: tantumque superavi cantu

mulieres, viros quantum superavit Maeonides.


οὔνομά μευ Σαπφώ. τόσσον δ᾽ ὑπερέσχον ἀοιδὰν

θηλειᾶν, ἀνδρῶν ὅσσον ὁ Μαιονίδας.


My name is Sappho. I excel women in song, just as Homer excels men in song.


--Antipater, Greek Anthology VII.15; Translated into Latin by Friedrich Duebner




Ossa quidem et mutum tumulus habet nomen Sapphus,

docta vero eius carmina sunt immortalia.


ὀστέα μὲν καὶ κωφὸν ἔχει τάφος οὔνομα Σαπφοῦς:

αἱ δὲ σοφαὶ κείνης ῥήσιες ἀθάνατοι.


This tomb holds the silent name and bones of Sappho;

But her wise words are immortal.


--Pinytus, Greek Anthology VII.16; Translated into Latin by Friedrich Duebner



Name:  ????


Works:  Greek Anthology; Anthologia Graeca; Florilegii Graecii





 The Greek Anthology is a modern collection of Greek lyric poetry compiled from various sources over the course of Greco-Roman literature. The current collection was created from two major sources, one from the 10th century CE and one from the 14th century CE. The anthology contains authors spanning the entirety of Greek literature, from archaic poets to Byzantine Christian poets. 

 Byzantine Greek


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

ROMAN VOICES FROM AFRICA: Printable Quotes for Black History Month!

Celebrate Black History Month by decorating your classroom with quotes from Roman Authors from Africa! The following PDF includes quotes on love and life from authors such as St. Augustine, Fronto, Hypatia, Luxorius, Nemesianus, St. Perpetua, and Terence! 

You can download the PDF here: Roman Voices From Africa

"Let each one sing of whomever they love, for singing can lighten our hearts." Nemesianus, 3rd century CE African poet

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Dangerous Beauty: the Punishment of Narcissus, Conon Narr. XXIV


In this version of the myth, Narcissus is punished for not being receptive to erotic love. 

In Boetia civitate Thespeia, quae non longe ab Helicone sita est, puer natus Narissus, pulcher admodum, sed amoris amatorumque contemptor. Quare alii quidem despondere animum amantes coeperunt: Aminiasque tantum assiduus erat, & pertinax precator. At cum neque hunc audiret ille, sed gladium insuper mitteret, se ipse pro Narcissi foribus occidit, dum vehementer precatus, ultor sibi ut fieret. Narcissus igitur vultum aliquando suum contemplatus, formaeque simulacrum in aqua fontis apparens, & solus & primus incipit [suum amatorem fieri]. Ergo consilii tandem inops, & iustas sese dare poenas arbitratus, quod AMiniam amatorem iniuria laesisset, mortem sibi conscivit. Ex eo, responso dato, ut amor magis honoraretur, colereturque, praeter communem cultum, privatim quoque sacrificare decreverunt. Ea autem incolarum opinio est, primum ex illa terra extitisse Narcissum florem, in quam effusus Narcissi sanguis fuisset.

Εν Θεσπεία της Βοιωτίας, έστι δ η πόλις ουχ έκας του Ελικώνος παίς έφυ Νάρκισσος πάνυ καλος, και υπερόπτης έρωτός τε και εραστών. και οι μεν άλλοι των εραστών έρώντες απαγορεύθησαν. Αμεινίας δε πολύς ην επιμένων και δεόμενος. Ως δ ου προσίετο, άλλα και ξίφος προσέπεμψεν, εαυτον προ των θυρών Ναρκίσσου διαχειρίζεται, πολλα καθικετεύσας τιμωρόν οι γενέσθαι τον θεόν. Ο δε Νάρκισσος ιδων αυτού την όψιν, και την μορφήν επί κρήνης ινδαλλομένην τω ύδατι, και μόνος και πρώτος εαυτού γίγνεται άτοπος εραστής. τέλος αμηχανών, και δίκαια πάσχειν οιηθείς, ανθ ών Αμεινίου εξύβρισε τους έρωτας, εαυτόν διαχράτα. και εξ εκείνου Θεσπιείς μάλλον τιμάν και γεραίρειν τον έρωτα, προς ταϊς κοιναϊς θεραπείαις, και ιδία θύειν έγνωσαν. Δοκούσι δ' οι επιχώριοι τον Νάρκισσον το άνθος εξ εκείνης πρώτον της γης ανασχεϊν, εις ήν εξεχύθη το του Ναρκίσσου αίμα.

--Conon, Narratio XXIV.

In Thespia, a town in Boeotia not far from Helicon, the child Narcissus was born. He was exceedingly pretty, but he despised love* and boyfriends. Many of his suitors fell into despair; Amainas was particularly eager and lovesick. But when Narcissus didn’t pay attention to him, and even sent him a sword [to kill himself with], he killed himself outside of Narcissus’ front door and begged that the gods would avenge him. Then Narcissus, having caught sight of his own face as it was reflected in the water, became the first and only lover of himself. Finally, in despair, he realized he was being punished for rejecting his lovers, he killed himself. From that time on, Thespians especially honor and revere love, not only in public, but they also make sacrifices in private to love, too. The Thespians also think that the Narcissus flower first rose up in this place, where Narcissus’ blood fell.

*eros / ἔρως: erotic love.



Name:  Conon

Date:  1st c. BCE – 1st c. CE

Works:  Διηγήσεις / Narrationes





 Conon was a Greek mythographer who lived during the reign of Augustus. Although his work, the Narrations, is lost, a summary of it was preserved by the Greek author Photius.




Saturday, February 5, 2022

Challenging Gender Roles: The Asexual Scholar Hypatia, Suda Y.166

 TRIGGER WARNING: misogyny, murder, rioting, violence

*Note: Please do not throw bodily fluids at another human being.

**Note:  In this passage, menstrual blood is referred to as "unclean, foul, impure" [ἀκαθάρτου]. This is a reflection of the author of the Suda, not Hypatia, and is in alignment with his general low regard for women. Please remember that menstrual blood is a natural occurrence, and no human being should ever be shamed for it. 

Hypatia, Theonis Geometrae, Alexandrini Philosophi, filia & ipsa Philosopha, & multis nota; uxor Isidori Philosophi. Floruit sub Arcadio Imperatore. Scripsit commentarium in Diophantis Astronomicum canonem; in Conica Apollonii. Haec autem dilacerata fuit ab Alexandrinis, & corpus eius cum ludibrio per totam urbem disiectum. Hoc autem ei accidit propter invidiam & excellentem sapientiam & praecipue, proter eximiam Astronomiae peritiam; ut quidam tradunt, A Cyrillo; vel, ut alii, quod Alexandrini natura essent audaces & ingenio ad seditionem proclivi. Nam multos etiam Episcoporum suorum ita tractarunt; ut Georgium & Proterium. Haec Alexandriae & nata & educata & erudita fuit. Cum autem esset ingenio generosiore, quam pater, non contenta fuit paterna in mathematicis disciplinis institutione, sed & relique philosophiae strenuam operam navavit. Mulier enim sumpto pallio, per mediam urbem progrediens, publice audire se volentibus vel Platonem vel Aristotelem vel cuiusvis alius Philosophi scripta enarrabat. Ceterum praeter peritiam docendi, ad summum etiam virtutis practicae fastigium pervenerat: eratque iusta & casta, & virgo semper permansit, adeo pulchra & formosa, ut quidam etiam auditorum amore eius captus, cum illum continere amplius non posset, affectuis sui significationem ei dederit. Et indocti quidem dicunt, Hypatiam illum ope Musicae a morbo isto liberasse. At vero fama perhibet, Musicam iam olim fuisse corruptam; ipsam vero pannis, qui menstruis inquinati erant, in eum coniectis & hoc signo impurae generationis ei ostenso, dixisse: hoc amas, adolescens, nihil vero pulchri. Hunc autem turpi illa re visa pudore & stupore ita affectum fuisse, ut animum mutaret & modestior evaderet. Talis igitur cum esset Hypatia, ^ tam prompta expeditaque dicendi facultate valeret, quam factis modestam & urbanam se praeberet, tum reliqua civitas eam merito amabat & insigniter colebat, tum rectores quoque urbis (Alexandriae) primum eam semper invisebant; quod Athenis etiam fieri consuevit. Nam etsi res ipsa perierit, nomen tamen philosophiae adhuc magnificum & venerabile videtur viris, principum locum in Repub. administranda obtinentibus. QUodam igitur tempore contigit, ut Cyrillus, Christianae religionis Episcopus, ante aedes Hypatiae transiens, maximam turbam pro foribus conspiceret hominum simul & equorum, quorum alii adveniebant; alii abibant; alii vero manebant. Cumque sciscitatus fuisset, quenam esset ea multitudo, & quorum tantus fieret tumultus, responsum est a sequentibus, Hypatiam philosopham tunc salutari, eiusque illa aedes esse. Quod cum didicisset Cyrullus, tantopere stimulatus est invidia, ut caedem ei protinus machinatus sit, eamque omnium sceleratissimam. Cum enim Hypatia more solito prodiret ex aedibus, multi ferini homines, nec Deorum vindictam, nec hominum ultionem reveriti, impetu facto eam trucidant; gravissimo piaculo & probro patriam suam obligantes. Et Imperator quidem eam rem gravissime tulit, ultusque essent nisi Aedesius amico Imperatoris corrupisset. Et intersectoribus quidem Imperator poenam remisit: sed in suum ipsius caput & stirpem suam ultionem attraxit. Eius enim nepos poenas exsolvit.

Ὑπατία: ἡ Θέωνος τοῦ γεωμέτρου θυγάτηρ, τοῦ Ἀλεξανδρέως φιλοσόφου, καὶ αὐτὴ φιλόσοφος καὶ πολλοῖς γνώριμος: γυνὴ Ἰσιδώρου τοῦ φιλοσόφου. ἤκμασεν ἐπὶ τῆς βασιλείας Ἀρκαδίου. ἔγραψεν ὑπόμνημα εἰς Διόφαντον, τὸν ἀστρονομικὸν Κανόνα, εἰς τὰ Κωνικὰ Ἀπολλωνίου ὑπόμνημα. αὕτη διεσπάσθη παρὰ τῶν Ἀλεξανδρέων, καὶ τὸ σῶμα αὐτῆς ἐνυβρισθὲν καθ' ὅλην τὴν πόλιν διεσπάρη. τοῦτο δὲ πέπονθε διὰ φθόνον καὶ τὴν ὑπερβάλλουσαν σοφίαν, καὶ μάλιστα εἰς τὰ περὶ ἀστρονομίαν: ὡς μέν τινες ὑπὸ Κυρίλλου, ὡς δέ τινες διὰ τὸ ἔμφυτον τῶν Ἀλεξανδρέων θράσος καὶ στασιῶδες. πολλοῖς γὰρ καὶ τῶν κατ' αὐτοὺς ἐπισκόπων τοῦτο ἐποίησαν: τὸν Γεώργιον σκόπει καὶ τὸν Προτέριον. Περὶ Ὑπατίας τῆς φιλοσόφου. ἀπόδειξις, ὡς στασιώδεις οἱ Ἀλεξανδρεῖς. αὕτη ἐν Ἀλεξανδρείᾳ καὶ ἐγεννήθη καὶ ἀνετράφη καὶ ἐπαιδεύθη. τὴν δὲ φύσιν γενναιοτέρα τοῦ πατρὸς οὖσα οὐκ ἠρκέσθη τοῖς διὰ τῶν μαθημάτων παιδεύμασιν ὑπὸ τῷ πατρί, ἀλλὰ καὶ φιλοσοφίας ἥψατο τῆς ἄλλης οὐκ ἀγεννῶς, περιβαλλομένη δὲ τρίβωνα ἡ γυνὴ καὶ διὰ μέσου τοῦ ἄστεος ποιουμένη τὰς προόδους ἐξηγεῖτο δημοσίᾳ τοῖς ἀκροᾶσθαι βουλομένοις ἢ τὸν Πλάτωνα ἢ τὸν Ἀριστοτέλην ἢ ἄλλου ὅτου δὴ τῶν φιλοσόφων. πρὸς δὲ τῷ διδασκαλικῷ καὶ ἐπ' ἄκρον ἀναβᾶσα τῆς πρακτικῆς ἀρετῆς, δικαία τε καὶ σώφρων γεγονυῖα, διετέλει παρθένος, οὕτω σφόδρα καλή τε οὖσα καὶ εὐειδής, ὥστε καὶ ἐρασθῆναί τινα αὐτῆς τῶν προσφοιτώντων. ὁ δὲ οὐχ οἷός τε ἦν κρατεῖν τοῦ ἔρωτος, ἀλλ' αἴσθησιν ἠδὴ παρείχετο καὶ αὐτῇ τοῦ παθήματος. οἱ μὲν οὖν ἀπαίδευτοι λόγοι φασί, διὰ μουσικῆς αὐτὸν ἀπαλλάξαι τῆς νόσου τὴν Ὑπατίαν: ἡ δὲ ἀλήθεια διαγγέλλει πάλαι μὲν διεφθορέναι τὰ μουσικῆς, αὐτὴν δὲ προενεγκαμένην τι τῶν γυναικείων ῥακῶν αὐτοῦ βαλλομένην καὶ τὸ σύμβολον ἐπιδείξασαν τῆς ἀκαθάρτου γενέσεως, τούτου μέντοι, φάναι, ἐρᾷς, ὦ νεανίσκε, καλοῦ δὲ οὐδενός, τὸν δὲ ὑπ' αἰσχύνης καὶ θάμβους τῆς ἀσχήμονος ἐπιδείξεως διατραπῆναί τε τὴν ψυχὴν καὶ διατεθῆναι σωφρονέστερον. οὕτω δὲ ἔχουσαν τὴν Ὑπατίαν, ἔν τε τοῖς λόγοις οὖσαν ἐντρεχῆ καὶ διαλεκτικὴν ἔν τε τοῖς ἔργοις ἔμφρονά τε καὶ πολιτικήν, ἥ τε ἄλλη πόλις εἰκότως ἠσπάζετό τε καὶ προσεκύνει διαφερόντως, οἵ τε ἄρχον- τες ἀεὶ προχειριζόμενοι τῆς πόλεως ἐφοίτων πρῶτοι πρὸς αὐτήν, ὡς καὶ Ἀθήνησι διετέλει γινόμενον. εἰ γὰρ καὶ τὸ πρᾶγμα ἀπόλωλεν, ἀλλὰ τό γε ὄνομα φιλοσοφίας ἔτι μεγαλοπρεπές τε καὶ ἀξιάγαστον εἶναι ἐδόκει τοῖς μεταχειριζομένοις τὰ πρῶτα τῆς πολιτείας. ἤδη γοῦν ποτε συνέβη τὸν ἐπισκοποῦντα τὴν ἀντικειμένην αἵρεσιν Κύριλλον, παριόντα διὰ τοῦ οἴκου τῆς Ὑπατίας, ἰδεῖν πολὺν ὠθισμὸν ὄντα πρὸς ταῖς θύραις, ἐπιμὶξ ἀνδρῶν τε καὶ ἵππων, τῶν μὲν προσιόντων, τῶν δὲ ἀπιόντων, τῶν δὲ καὶ προσισταμένων. ἐρωτήσαντα δὲ ὅ τι εἴη τὸ πλῆθος καὶ περὶ οὗ κατὰ τὴν οἰκίαν ὁ θόρυβος, ἀκοῦσαι παρὰ τῶν ἑπομένων, ὅτι προσαγορεύοιτο νῦν ἡ φιλόσοφος Ὑπατία καὶ ἐκείνης εἶναι τὴν οἰκίαν. μαθόντα δὴ οὕτω δηχθῆναι τὴν ψυχήν, ὥστε φόνον αὐτῇ ταχέως ἐπιβουλεῦσαι, πάντων φόνων ἀνοσιώτατον. προελθούσῃ γὰρ κατὰ τὸ εἰωθὸς ἐπιθέμενοι πολλοὶ ἀθρόοι θηριώδεις ἄνθρωποι, ὡς ἀληθῶς σχέτλιοι, οὔτε θεῶν ὄπιν εἰδότες οὔτ' ἀνθρώπων νέμεσιν ἀναιροῦσι τὴν φιλόσοφον, ἄγος τοῦτο μέγιστον καὶ ὄνειδος προστρεψάμενοι τῇ πατρίδι. καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἠγανάκτησεν ἐπὶ τούτῳ, εἰ μὴ Αἰδέσιος ἐδωροδοκήθη. καὶ τῶν μὲν σφαγέων ἀφείλετο τὴν ποινήν, ἐφ' ἑαυτὸν δὲ καὶ γένος τὸ ἀφ' ἑαυτοῦ ταύτην ἐπεσπάσατο, καὶ ἐξέπλησε δίκην ὁ τούτου ἔκγονος.

--Suda Y.166; Translated into Latin by Iohannis Christian Wulfius (1735)

Hypatia: Daughter of Theon (the Scholar of Geometry & Alexandrian Philosopher). She was also a philosopher, and was famous to many. She was the wife of the philosopher Isidorus. She flourished during the reign of Arcadius. She wrote commentaries for Diophantes’ Astronomical Canon, as well as Apollonius’ Conics. 

She was tortured by the Alexandrians. Her body was mutilated and scattered throughout the city. This happened to her out of envy of her exceptional wisdom, especially in the field of astronomy. Some say it was done by Cyril; others say it was done by the bold and seditious minds of the Alexandrians themselves, since they did this sort of thing to many other religious leaders (like Georgius & Proterius).


About Hypatia the Philosopher [proof that Alexandrians are rebellious]: She was born, raised & educated at Alexandria.  When she grew to be more talented than her father, she wasn’t satisfied with just teaching mathematics, she also devoted herself to the study of philosophy as well. Despite being a woman, she wore the ascetic philosopher’s cloak and went forth to the middle of the city,  and taught all who wished to learn the works of Plato, Aristotle or other philosophers.  Not only was she a scholar, but she also achieved the pinnacle of virtue: she was upright and modest, and she remained a virgin throughout her life. She was so beautiful and good-looking that even some of her students fell in love with her. When one of them couldn’t stand it anymore, he confessed his love to her.  Boorish people say that she crushed his crush through music, but the truth is that music did not change the way he felt. She offered him a rag that she had used during menstruation. She threw it at him, showing him the signs of her unclean womb, and told him: “Young man, this is what you love & it’s nothing beautiful.”  The youth, embarrassed at the shameful thing, changed his mind and acted more respectfully.  

This is the way Hypatia was, eloquent in speech and classy in her actions, and the whole city adored her—even worshipped her.

The city’s political leaders often visited her in class—something that also happened in Athens. For even if it weren’t true anymore, the name “philosophy” [“love of wisdom”] still seems important and revered among those who serve the state.

It happened that her rival Cyril, the Bishop of the Christian religion, once was passing by Hypatia’s home, saw a crowd of people excitedly gathering outside of her front door, some coming, some going, some just standing around.   He asked whose house it was and what the crowd was doing there, and one of his lackeys told him that it was Hypatia’s house, and she was giving a lecture.  Insane with jealousy, Cyril plotted to kill her as soon as possible  and in the most unholy way possible. When she went out in public again (as she was accustomed to), a bunch of savage people, who feared neither gods nor men, savagely attacked the philosopher, perpetrating the greatest crime against their country. The Emperor would have been furious, if Aedesius [his friend] hadn’t been offered a bribe. He pardoned the perpetrators, but the fault fell on his own head and his offspring. His offspring paid the ultimate penalty for it.



Name:  ???

Date:  10th c. CE

Works:  Suda





 The Suda is a literary encyclopedia created in the 10th century CE by an anonymous Byzantine scholar.


I Think I Love My Wife: Roman Masculinity and Conjugal Love. Ausonius XL

 Catullus has his Lesbia.

Ovid has his Corinna.

Propertius has his Cynthia.

Tibullus has his Delia.

Since a majority of Roman love poetry deals with the relationship between a male narrator and his puella [girlfriend] or puer [boyfriend], it might be difficult for modern readers to imagine a healthy relationship existing between a Roman man and his uxor [wife]. However, primary sources suggest that Roman men were capable of nurturing deep, meaningful relationships with their spouses, as this following poem by Ausonius attests:

Uxor, vivamusque ut viximus et teneamus

nomina, quae primo sumpsimus in thalamo

nec ferat ulla dies, ut commutemur in aevo

quin tibi sim iuvenis tuque puella mihi.

Nestore sim quamvis provectior aemulaque annis

vincas Cumanam tu quoque Deiphoben,

nos ignoremus quid sit matura senectus.

scire aevi meritum, non numerare decet.

--Ausonius XL   

Wife, let us live as we have lived

And let us keep the nicknames

That we made up for each other on our honeymoon. 

May no day pass that changes us ever

When I am not yours and you are not mine.

Although I am older than Nestor*,

And you rival the Sibyl Deiphobe** in years

Let’s not dwell on our old age.

It’s proper to know the benefits of old age, but not the number.

* Nestor was an elderly hero of the Trojan War

**Deiphobe, the Sibyl of Cumae, had eternal life but not eternal youth [similar to Eos/Aurora's lover Tithonus]



Name:  Decimius Magnus Ausonius

Date:  4th century CE

Works:  Letters, Mosella





 Ausonius was a Roman poet from Aquitania, Gaul [modern France] who lived during the 4th century CE. He is best known for his epic poem Mosella, which describes the Moselle River, and his Epistles, a series of literary poems between himself and the Christian poet Paulinus.