Category Archives: Books

Quarantined in the Port

Snippets 160. In 1817 Henry Matthews went on a “tour in pursuit of health”, and wrote about his experiences in Diary of an Invalid, in 1820. His first port of call was Lisbon, and from there he travelled to Italy, … Continue reading

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Making Wine, the Roman Way (Cato 6)

Recently I have been providing modern translations of some selected passages from Cato’s De Agri Cultura.  The following quotes are from the section of the book concerning winemaking.  Please see below for further explanation of this series of articles, and … Continue reading

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Inspired by the Past

Snippets 159. Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was a German lyric poet, whose words were set to music by composers including Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. In his memoirs, published posthumously in 1884, he mentions his uncle, who was a source … Continue reading

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550 Pints and Some Strong Shoes (Cato 5)

In the previous four posts in this series I have been providing modern translations of Cato’s De Agri Cultura, and have included all the text from the start.  We have now reached a point in the book where we get … Continue reading

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Danger! Lady on Board!

Snippets 158. In John Bull and His Island (1883), Frenchman Max O’Rell describes the experience of travelling in England at the time.  He is largely complimentary about the railway system, commenting on the lack of bureaucracy in comparison with France, … Continue reading

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A Roman Farm Manager (Cato 4)

The following quote continues my modern translation of Cato’s De Agri Cultura.  Please see below for further explanation. The duties of the manager These are the duties of the manager. He should maintain discipline. He should observe the feast days. … Continue reading

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Stuck in Customs (in 1854)

Snippets 157. When the American Rev. George Foxcroft Haskins visited Italy in 1854, as part of his tour of Europe, he was in reality visiting a collection of independent states. This was just a few years before the reunification of Italy … Continue reading

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