The Gourdification of Claudius

Yesterday, we noted the anniversary of the death of the Emperor Claudius, and how it is treated by the Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius, and by the televised miniseries based on the historical novels of the British author Robert Graves, I, Claudius and Claudius the God. The title of the latter book reflects the fact […]

Cicero’s Best Friend Atticus

Today is the anniversary of the death in 32 BC of one Titus Pomponius, who is generally known by the nick-name Atticus. Born in Rome towards the end of the 2nd century BC, to a family of the equestrian order, he studied alongside his contemporary Cicero, with whom he became close friends. He moved to […]

Poggio Bracciolini and the Recovery of Ancient Literature

On this day in the year 1380, the great Italian humanist Poggio Bracciolini was born in a Tuscan village near Arezzo called Terranuova, which was renamed “Terranuova Bracciolini” in his honor in 1862. His scholarly talent was fostered early in his life by several prominent Florentines, and at the age of 24, he began working […]