Harry Mount and John Davie unlock the wisdom of the past in this light-hearted and fascinating book, revealing how ancient Latin can help us to live better in the present.
There are so many Latin phrases in everyday use that often we use them without understanding the background and context within which they were actually used. 'Carpe diem'; 'Stet'; 'Memento mori'; 'Et tu Brute' – examples would fill a book. And often these phrases are also used in English translation: 'The die is cast'; 'crossing the Rubicon'; 'Rome was not built in a day'.
Many of these phrases are humorous, but they are also a rich source of wisdom: the wisdom of the ancients. The chapters of this book include: Latin for Gardeners, the Great Latin Love Poets, Cicero on How to Grow Old Gracefully and Seneca's Stoic Guide to Life. Each chapter starts with a quotation and is lightly sprinkled with many more, with accompanying English translations and entertaining cartoons and illustrations dotted throughout.
The background to each quotation is explained so that the context is fully understood. Who crossed the Rubicon and why, for example? At a time of great political and social turbulence, more and more people are turning back to ancient wisdom as a guide to life. Here they are in touch with two classical scholars of distinction who have the common touch and can help make Latin accessible to all, not to mention fun!
Harry Mount wrote the top 10 bestseller Amo, Amas, Amat and All That – How to Become a Latin Lover. He studied classics at Oxford and is now editor of The Oldie Magazine.
John Davie was head of classics at St Paul's School in London before becoming a lecturer at Trinity College, Oxford. He has published translations of Seneca, Horace, Cicero and Euripides.
“Both entertaining and informative, this is not to be missed.” —This England
“There's much pleasure to be had in Et Tu, Brute?...which carries a lot of learning very lightly.” —The Tablet
“…filled with memorable and fun facts.” —The Times Literary Supplement