Posts tagged Classical History (26)
Nos 1 to 10
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Discovery and Invention
A Man called ‘Beta’
For a perennial ‘runner-up’, Eratosthenes had a peculiar knack of being first.

BY day, Eratosthenes was responsible for the world-famous library in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. He tutored the Pharaoh’s sons, and - no mean poet himself - amassed a superb collection of the epic poetry, plays and philosophical writings of ancient Greece.

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No. 1
John Field
Classical History
Mark Antony Catches a Kipper
The surprisingly sensitive Roman commander was hoping to impress a girl with his angling skills.
By Plutarch
(?46-120)

HE was fishing once, and had bad luck, and was vexed at it because Cleopatra was there to see. He therefore ordered his fishermen to dive down and secretly fasten to his hook some fish that had been previously caught, and pulled up two or three of them.

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No. 2
Charles Villiers Stanford
Liberty and Prosperity
Judicial Iniquity
John Stuart Mill reminds us that governments and the courts must never be allowed to criminalise matters of belief or opinion.
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)

BORN in an age and country abounding in individual greatness, this man [Socrates] has been handed down to us by those who best knew both him and the age, as the most virtuous man in it; while we know him as the head and prototype of all subsequent teachers of virtue, the source equally of the lofty inspiration of Plato and the judicious utilitarianism of Aristotle, the two headsprings of ethical as of all other philosophy.

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No. 3
Henry Purcell
Classical History
The Golden Age of Carausius
A Roman commander facing court martial took refuge in politics, and for ten years London was an imperial capital.

IN 286, Carausius was appointed to command the ‘Britannic Fleet’, patrolling the English Channel to keep Franks and Saxons from raiding Britain’s southern coasts. Rumour had it, however, that he let some raiders through so he could pocket their plunder for himself, and Emperor Maximian summoned him for a court martial.

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No. 4
Edward German
Classical History
A Pyrrhic Victory
The ancient Greek King knew victory had cost his army more than it could afford to lose.
By Plutarch
(AD 46-120)

AFTER they had fought till sunset, both armies were unwillingly separated by the night, Pyrrhus being wounded by a javelin in the arm, and his baggage plundered by the Samnites; in all there died of Pyrrhus’s men and the Romans above fifteen thousand.

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No. 5
Richard Jones
Marcus Tullius Cicero
The Rewards of Treachery
Cicero warns those who seek power through civic unrest that they will never be the beneficiaries of it.
By Marcus Tullius Cicero
(106-43 BC)

MEN of another class, though crushed by debt, still expect to rule, still covet political power, nursing a hope that public unrest might bring honours they could never dream of in untroubled times.

Let it be clear to one and all, right now, that their quest is hopeless.

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No. 6
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
St Helen Finds the True Cross
The mother of the Roman Emperor goes to Jerusalem on a quest close to her heart.
Based on ‘Elene’ by Cynewulf
(8th century)

EMPEROR Constantine the Great secured his crown by displaying the sign of the Cross in battle, and soon afterwards, in 326, he encouraged his Christian mother, Helen, to go to Jerusalem to find Christ’s original, true Cross.

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No. 7
Frank Bridge
Classical History
Xerxes Scourges the Hellespont
The Persian King felt that a lord of his majesty should not have to take any nonsense from an overgrown river.
By Herodotus
(?484-?425 BC)

MEANWHILE, his men were bridging the Hellespont from Asia to Europe. But no sooner had the strait been bridged than a great storm swept down, breaking and scattering everything.

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No. 8
Henry Purcell
Classical History
Boudica
British sympathy for Roman imperial progress evaporated when officials began asset-stripping the country.

WHEN Prasutagus, King of the Iceni and a good friend of Rome, died in AD 60, Catus Decianus, Procurator of Britain, confiscated his lands in lieu (he said) of debts, kicking off a fire sale that saw Roman army veterans from Camulodunum help themselves to the treasures of his palace, raping his daughters and flogging his widow, Queen Boudica.

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No. 9
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
St George the Triumphant Martyr
One of the Emperor Galerius’s most trusted generals openly defied him.

IT was on 24th February 303 that Galerius issued an edict that the Christians’ churches should be demolished and their Scriptures burned, and that they should sacrifice to the traditional gods of Rome or face execution.

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No. 10
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Polywords (178)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grebe
Added on Monday November 20th, 2017
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Today in History
1120 The Disaster of the White Ship
From our Archive
The ruthless diamond magnate who donated his fortune to the education and empowerment of Africans.
It was the first war to be covered by embedded correspondents, and the public did not like what they read.
A ‘Christian’ mob kidnapped and murdered a much-loved professor of mathematics - for her politics.
By Anthony Trollope
(1815-1882)
Lady Glencora scolds the Earl of Brentford for political inactivity, but he warns her to be careful what she wishes for.
The former Prime Minister threw his weight behind a national home for Jewish people in their historic lands.

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Polyword ‘Signal’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘conclusive evidence’ (5 letters), and ‘perceptive realisation’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FRIES and finish with CHIPS.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.