Monthly Archives: July 2012

Twists in the Plot

“I don’t know where I should be without the Botanical Gardens.”  So Sebastian tells Charles Ryder in Evelyn Waugh’s masterpiece Brideshead Revisited, as they head off together to Oxford’s famous arboretum, a plot of land occupying about four acres alongside … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, England, Mythology, Oxford, Poetry, Statues & Monuments, Trees & Flowers | 7 Comments

Flora, in the Country and City

Perhaps we have Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, to thank for the spate of good weather we’ve enjoyed the past few days. We were certainly thankful for the sunshine this past weekend on our visit to Stourhead, … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, England, Mythology, Poetry, Statues & Monuments, Trees & Flowers | 2 Comments

Attis by the Thames

Who could come upon this ornate Roman testicular clamp in the British Museum and not think of Catullus?  Not I! Yes, a testicular clamp, that’s what I said. A clamp that is meant to crush testicles. A castration device. It … Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Classics, Emblems, England, Mythology, Poetry, Sewanee | Leave a comment

Swithin and Sewanee

This morning, ironically enough, it is not raining in Oxford. It is St. Swithin’s Day, July 15th, and according to an English proverb, Saint Swithun’s day, if thou dost rain, For forty days it will remain Saint Swithun’s day, if … Continue reading

Posted in Emblems, England, Mythology, Oxford, Poetry, Saints, Sewanee, Tennessee | Leave a comment

Liddell & Scott, A Little About Both

The standard dictionary of ancient Greek was first compiled by Henry Liddell and Robert Scott in the mid-19th century.  Their masterwork is in constant use by classicists, but who were the authors? As you might suspect, both were prominent Oxford … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Emblems, Oxford, Statues & Monuments | 4 Comments

Veni Vidi Juicy

So, discovered at the market yesterday is the fact that the northern Italian river Caesar crossed in 49 BC to instigate the Civil War and shatter the political stability of his day is now the name of a British fruit … Continue reading

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Donec Rursus Impleat Orbem

High up on the wall of Somerville College, one of Oxford’s premier colleges formerly for women, is this inscription, Donec Rursus Impleat Orbem.  I have been passing by it now for a few days, and I have to say, I … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomical, Bible, Classics, Emblems, England, Oxford, Poetry, Sewanee | 2 Comments