Patrimonio greco e seduzione latina

Nel Guardian di oggi, in occasione della pubblicazione del suo libro It’s all Greek to me, Charlotte Higgins parla dell’eredità greca presente nella nostra cultura:

The intellectual achievements of the ancient Greeks were quite simply extraordinary. They shaped the basic disciplines and genres in which we still organise thought: from poetry to drama, from philosophy to history, from natural history, medicine and ethnography to political science. We have been inexorably moulded by ancient Greece: the way we think about right and wrong, about the nature of beauty, goodness and knowledge; the way we conceive of what it is to be a mortal being amid the immensity of the universe; the way we talk about the past, and our ambiguous relationship with war; the way we discuss politics and citizenship. The tracks that lead back from our world to the Greeks’ are narrow, meandering, sometimes virtually rubbed out or invisible – but they are there. What the Greeks did and said still casts light on what we say and do; by looking at the Greeks we can understand more about ourselves. The Greeks, in short, can help us answer their own challenge of “know thyself “.

La seconda parte dell’articolo, che potete leggere qui, propone un elenco di parole di origine greca, come:

Laconic
As in, “Darling, I know being a teenage boy is all about communicating in grunts, but if you could descend from your laconic monosyllables occasionally, I’d be terribly grateful.”

Laconia was the region of the Peloponnese that Sparta controlled; “laconic” refers to another Spartan quality: a severe, economic, and sometimes dryly witty way with words.

L’anno scorso la stessa Higgins, critica d’arte per il quotidiano inglese, aveva pubblicato un divertente articolo sull’arte della seduzione secondo i principi dell’antica Roma:

1 Get ready

As every marketing expert knows, attractive packaging is half the battle when it comes to selling a product. So it is time to consider a makeover:

et nihil emineant et sint sine sordibus ungues,

inque caua nullus stet tibi nare pilus.

nec male odorati sit tristis anhelitus oris,

nec laedat nares uirque paterque gregis.

cetera lasciuae faciant concede puellae

et si quis male uir quaerit habere uirum.

Keep your nails pared, and dirt-free;

Don’t let those long hairs sprout

In your nostrils, make sure your breath is never offensive,

Avoid the rank male stench

That wrinkles noses. Beyond this is for wanton women

Or any half-man who wants to attract men.

Postato da: IM

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