Summit Up 7-27-11: Special classical edition!
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s celebrating Biggus Dickus, Naughteous Maximus and Incontinentia Buttocks – as well as any other random classical stuff we can think of, preferably of the Pythonian persuasion.
Let’s explain: We have a letter here from classical scholar Dan Taylor of Wildernest, who writes thusly:
(Caution: Strap on your academic seatbelts; as always with Mr. Taylor, it’s a wild ride!)
“Wow! Tuesday’s SDN is a real classic. Not only does Morgan Liddick quote Suetonius in reference to Julius Caesar, but Summit Up cites the name of Hermione. Moreover, the crossword puzzle’s answers include Ovid, a Roman poet par excellence, and Eos, one of everyone’s favorite Greek goddesses.
“Suetonius is often more of a gossip than a biographer, but he’s always a good read. His life of Julius Caesar casts considerable doubt on the accuracy of Theodor Mommsen’s description of Caesar as “the entire and perfect man.” More to the point is the ditty that Suetonius reports Caesar’s legionnaires singing as they marched into the eternal city: ‘Guard your wives, ye husbands of Rome,/The bald-headed adulterer of Gaul is coming home.’
“In Greek mythology Hermione is the daughter of Menelaus and Helen; she ultimately marries Orestes, son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and they have a son, Tisamenes. The tragic poet Euripides has her married first to Neoptolemus, Achilles’ son, in one play, but in another says that she did not marry him. That’s Euripides for you. As her millions of fans know, J. K. Rowling is a classicist and therefore no stranger to the names and events of classical myths; she did not make up Hermione’s name, she simply borrowed it.
“Ovid’s poetry is frequently as steamy as his private life, and together they got him exiled to the boondocks of the Roman empire. His account of ‘afternoon delight’ (Amores I.5) is both a revealing and a virtuoso poetic performance. It’s last line is more than memorable: ‘May Jove grant me more such afternoons as this.’
“Homer’s formulaic adjective for Eos, goddess of the dawn, is rhododactylos, ‘rosy-fingered’ in English. Almost every morning we here in Summit County can readily appreciate both the accuracy and the charm of Homer’s mellifluous adjective as we gaze at rosy-fingered Dawn casting her colors on the Tenmile Range before Helios, the Sun, slowly but surely rises over the Continental Divide.”
Wow, thanks Dan! Good stuff – we didn’t know that about Hermione, although we do plan to deploy the phrase “That’s Euripides for you” at the next cocktail party we attend, even if it’s a total non-sequitur – to wit:
DRUNK CHICK AT COCKTAIL PARTY: Yeah, I was watchin’ Jersey Shore and The Situation, I don’t understand that guy.
US: (With condescending giggle): Yes, well that’s Euripides for you.
(Enter Fabrizio, the next-door neighbor with impenetrable Italian accent, who is holding a bunch of ripped-up tissue paper)
FABRIZIO: You rippa dese!?
DRUNK CHICK: He says your ripped his tissue paper. Did you?
US: No! And we were talking about Greek poets, not gift wrapping. (To Fabrizio) Why do you have all this tissue paper, for cryin’ out Pete’s sake?
DRUNK CHICK: I’m gonna hurl.
(deus ex machina arrives in the form of a massive explosion)
Moving, swiftly, on …
We have a note here from local dentist Dr. Joe Nieters, who writes as such:
“Dr. Scott Freeman, DMD, who was briefly associated with local dentist, Dr. Joe Nieters, has decided that mountain living was not for him after all and is moving out of Colorado. Dr. Joe will continue to serve his friends and patients at his office in Keystone until he finds just the right person to replace himself. Dr. Nieters can be reached at (970) 262-2002.”
Yep, mountain living’s not for everyone, and most employers around here have a tale or two to tell of a new hire who soon runs screaming back out of the woods shortly after starting work. It’s annoying and time consuming, but it happens.
Well folks once again we’ve made it through the Free Pie Day Summit Up, no mean task for sure but we hope you made it this far. Enjoy your Wednesday.
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