More Rouse stuff

You can buy audio cassettes of the Rouse translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey here.

There are some fascinating letters from Ezra Pound to Rouse about his translation of the Odyssey on Google Books. Rouse evidently sent Pound his draft versions for criticism, and Pound made trenchant comments. He said that the opening of Book V was simply bad!

From another letter:

No, I am not cursing you fer not making your kings talk like gangsters. -/-/
Where the translation can be improved is in dimension of inflection of the voice. Possibly no change of vocabulary required, but the greater variety of intonation and of sentence movement. The indication of tone of voice and varying speeds of utterance. In that, Homer is never excelled by Flaubert or James or any of ’em. But it needs the techniqueof one or more life times.

Aeneid 6 with macra, anyone?

Message from Brian Bishop:

I am very keen to find an online version of Aeneid 6, the GCSE verse set
text for 2009, with long vowels marked.  Can anyone help?

Incidentally I hope that the new OCR anthology will, as the ‘Cambridge Latin anthology’, include macra.

I read Brian’s request to the OCR Classics Community yesterday, and searched the web high and low without finding what he wants, but perhaps you know where such a text is to be found?

WHD Rouse books on line

There has been an explosion of on-line books in the past year. When looking up ARLT’s founder, Dr WHD Rouse, for a forthcoming article, I found about 20 of his books digitalised and available on the Internet Archive.

I have provided an index to these on one of the Rouse pages on

Books on the Internet Archive are available in several formats including flip book (the whole book photographed and there for you to turn the pages), PDF, Full Text and DjVu.

The Full Text version is a small plain text file to download, very useful if you want to do a search on your computer; but the examples I have looked at are ‘as is’, uncorrected and often full of mistakes. Also, they have no pictures. Flip Books have everything – text, pictures, graffiti, the lot.

A little more on the Bournemouth decree

Associated Press has added a little to the Telegraph report on banning Latin-derived English like, for example, ‘e.g.’ By the way, did you notice the latest stupidity from Oxford council? Christmas is banned from council celebrations. The leader of Oxford Muslims has protested, saying that Muslims as well as Christians look forward to Christmas. O.K., not Classical, but makes me wring my hands in despair.

No one from the Bournemouth council was willing to speak to The Associated Press on Monday, but a spokeswoman said the language guidelines have been in effect for two years without attracting notice.

Despite the policy, the town retains a Latin motto on its crest: “Pulchritudo et salubritas” — beauty and health.

Linguistic controversies are nothing new in Britain, cradle of the English language, where people have strong opinions on what constitutes proper usage.

In recent years officials have moved to avoid language that gives offense to ethnic minorities, disabled people and other groups.

Predictably, some feel the drive has gone too far. Many were bemused earlier this year when it was reported that a town council had banned the word “brainstorm” because it might offend people with epilepsy, a condition that involves periodic electrical storms inside the brain. Tunbridge Wells council advised using “thought showers” instead.

London’s Harrow Council says banning Latin is a step too far.

“I would have thought banning phrases which have been part of the texture of our language for centuries is frankly the least of a town hall’s problems when it comes to communicating with the public,” said Paul Osborn, the council’s head of communications.

See also Mary Beard on the subject.

A sudden thought: What happens to that couplet answering ‘God said “Let Newton be”, and all was light’?

It could not last. The devil, shouting ‘Ho!
Let Einstein be’ restored the … existing condition, state of things.

Anyway, status quo doesn’t mean ‘existing condition’. It means the condition before changes were made.