Cambridge Greek Play 2013 released on YouTube

I had a very fun morning yesterday (in between marking up final page proofs), because I was able to announce the release of the Cambridge Greek Play 2013 on YouTube. Thanks to a donor, both PROMETHEUS and FROGS were filmed over several performances, and John Watts and Helen Eastman have since worked very hard to…

Why Do Greek Plays have Latin Titles?

One of the most famous Greek tragedies is called Oedipus Rex. Well, sort of. Its original Greek title is Oidípous Týrannos, but usually everyone calls it by its Latin name. Even the English title Oedipus the King is heard much more rarely. And it’s not just this play that’s the problem. Ancient Greek plays are…

Umbrian in Tolstoy

My holiday reading this year was Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, which I had been meaning to read for a while. For the first three hundred pages, it was a total escape from work – but then what should pop up in Part III but a reference to Umbrian: Alexei Alexandrovich ordered tea to be served in…

A Stone Talking to Itself

pis: tiú: íív: kúrú: púiiu: baíteís: aadiieís: ahfineís: Who are you? I am a stone. Whose? Baitis Aadiis Afinis’s. (Oscan inscription on stone. Altilia, Italy. c. 150-90 BC. Imagines Italicae: Saepinum 2, Sabellische Texte: Sa 31) It’s not often that I’m tempted to describe an inscription as “cute”, but I’ve always found this short Oscan…

What is the Latin for “to tweet”?

Earlier today I tweeted a quote from an article by the University Orator, Rupert Thompson, in our Faculty newsletter. The Orator gives speeches in Latin when honorary doctorates are conferred – and writing speeches in Latin to honour the work of particle physicists, Hollywood actors, and the like, is not always straightforward. It’s an almost unique…