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Although the Robert Fagles translation is modern, popular, and easy to understand if you've never studied Greek, Richmond Lattimore's classic translation captures the feeling of the original Greek more accurately.


Aristotle rose to prominence not through his ideas but as the academic favored by the most powerful man in the world at the time, King Philip II of Macedonia. Philip II loved this unknown philosopher and fellow Macedonian so much that he chose Aristotle to be his son's tutor--and his son was Alexander the Great. Aristotle was a guy beloved by kings who conquered the world and spread his ideas.


Although Herodotus is remembered today as the first historian, his strength was actually as a story teller; what he lacked in analytic rigor, he compensated for in his exquisite narrative prose.


More than the epic poetry of the Iliad and the Odyssey, what makes me most fond of Homer was his tendency to get lost in his own thoughts; indeed, Homer even died because he slipped while trying to solve the riddle, "What we caught we threw away, and what we didn?t catch we kept." I wonder if he realized the answer is "fleas" before he died.

Everyday Loopholes