Book Club

Book Club | May 2024: Heron of Byzantium Siegecraft

Everything about siege machines is difficult and hard to understand, either because of the intricacy and inscrutability of their depiction, or because of the difficulty of comprehending the concepts, or, to say it better, because of their incomprehensibility to most men… The most competent military commander, kept safe by Providence above because of his piety, and obedient to the command and judgment and good counsel of our most divine emperors,… Read more

Book Club | April 2024: Juvenal Satires

“Yet what state did Xerxes return in, on relinquishing Salamis? He vented his savage rage by lashing the winds, Caurus, Eurus, Who’d never experienced the like even in their Aeolian prison, He bound Poseidon, the Earthshaker himself, with chains, (That was lenient. What? Didn’t he think him worth branding Too? What god would have chosen to be that man’s slave?) What state was he in? In a single ship, of course, sailing the Bloodstained waves, his prow slowly pushing… Read more

Book Club | March 2024: Aeschylus Agamemnon

Chorus of the Old Men of Argos: I still can hear the older warlord saying, ‘Obey, obey, or a heavy doom will crush me – Oh but doom will crush me once I rend my child, the glory of my house – a father’s hands are stained, blood of a young girl streaks the altar. Pain both ways and what is worse? Desert the fleets, fail the alliance? No, but… Read more

Book Club | February 2024: Bucolic poetry and Adonis

Wail, wail, Ah for Adonis! He is lost to us, lovely Adonis! Lost is lovely Adonis! The Loves respond with lamenting. —from Bion’s Lament for Adonis, translated by John Addington Symonds February’s Book Club selections are from laments and so-called bucolic poetry, with a focus on Adonis. These poems refer to myths and rituals, and include laments for the beautiful dead Adonis; a lamentation by Heracles’ wife Megara to her mother-in-law Alcmena;… Read more

Book Club | January 2024: Sumerian myths

From the great heaven she set her mind on the great below. From the great heaven the goddess set her mind on the great below. From the great heaven Inana set her mind on the great below. My mistress abandoned heaven, abandoned earth, and descended to the underworld. Inana abandoned heaven, abandoned earth, and descended to the underworld. For our first Book Club of 2024, we will be reading some… Read more