Description

There are so many Latin phrases in everyday use that often we use them without understanding the background and context within which they were actually used. ‘Carpe diem’; ‘Stet’; ‘Memento mori’; ‘Et tu Brute’ – examples would fill a book. And often these phrases are also used in English translation: ‘The die is cast’; ‘crossing the Rubicon’; ‘Rome was not built in a day’.

Many of these phrases are humorous, but they are also a rich source of wisdom: the wisdom of the ancients. The chapters of this book include: Life’s Misfortunes and how to deal with them; How to deal with old age (Cicero); Why Death is nothing to fear (Lucretius); The Stoic guide to life. Each chapter starts with a quotation and is lightly sprinkled with many more, with accompanying English translations.

The background to each quotation is explained so that the context is fully understood. Who crossed the Rubicon and why, for example? At a time of great political and social turbulence, more and more people are turning back to ancient wisdom as a guide to life. Here they are in touch with two classical scholars of distinction who have the common touch.

ISBN: 9781399400978

Harry Mount, John Davie