Category Archives: Ireland

“Thoroughly Useless Nation”: Mommsen on the Irish

From Theodor Mommsen (trans. William P. Dickson) History of Rome, Vol. 4 (London 1867), Book 5, Chapter 7, pp. 286-87 (link here) Mind you, an edition of this work won a fucking Nobel Prize for Literature in 1902 In the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Ireland, Language & Etymology, Race, Rome, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Drunken Pat Argument

A fine piece by Adam Gopnik in this week’s New Yorker on Frederick Douglass indicates that there was tension between the movements to enfranchise women and blacks, with a remark on how anti-Irish sentiment was used by either side: [Elizabeth … Continue reading

Posted in Ireland, Race, Slavery, The South | Leave a comment

The Green and the Red

I suppose if I were to mention the Post Office and the Irish fight for independence, the first thing to come to mind would be the GPO on O’Connell Street in Dublin. But quite another thing occurred to me as … Continue reading

Posted in Emblems, England, Ireland, Poetry, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How bloodthirsty democracies can be: a message from Michael Portillo

So, my former student Kayce Mobley (now a Ph.D, and tenure-track professor!) and I gave this paper last year comparing the situation of the Mytilene Rebellion described in Thucydides to the East Rising in Dublin from 1916. It was wonderful … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, England, Ireland, Military, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You have heard of Gettysburg, but does it haunt you?

It was just about two years ago that my late friend Michael, about whom I’ve written before, and I had the following exchange on Facebook chat. He was very Southern and conservative in his manner, and I am very neither. … Continue reading

Posted in Cemeteries & Funerals, Family, Ireland, Military, Sewanee, Slavery, The South, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What’s in a Place-name?

Metonomasia is an obscure term– it’s not even found in the OED!– but it’s a real thing, the alteration of a place-name. Very often this takes place for political reasons: think of the change of St. Petersburg to Leningrad and … Continue reading

Posted in Drama, England, Ireland, Language & Etymology, Military, Sewanee, Slavery, The South, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Crazy Salad: new and old views

Helen being chosen found life flat and dull And later had much trouble from a fool, While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray, Being fatherless could have her way Yet chose a bandy-leggèd smith for man. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Drama, England, Ireland, Mythology, Poetry, Sports & Games, Uncategorized | Leave a comment