July 20th, 2015 by Chris Francese

Sulpicius Severus Life of St. Martin in full

St. Martin Simone Martini

At the kind suggestion of William Turpin I have collected the recordings of the Latin text of Sulpicius Severus’ Life of St. Martin that I originally made to accompany my commentary on that text. So here it is, the Life of St. Martin entire, over an hour and a half of Latin read aloud (no translation), broken up into three chunks. Hope you enjoy!

Praefatio and chapters 1-10:

Vita Martini Praefatio and Chapters 1-10

Chapters 11-19:

Vita Martini Chapters 11-19

Chapters 20-27:

Vita Martini Chapters 20-27

Image: St. Martin of Tours and the Beggar, painted about 1320 by Simone Martini for the chapel of St. Martin in Assisi. Photo: Jim Forest

July 7th, 2014 by Chris Francese

What SEO Means

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The intention of SEO is to write website content that is useful and at the same time, linkable. Also, it’s important to link to high quality sites when publishing your content. Although SEO is becoming more popular in marketing, it’s still one of the most overlooked techniques.

Effective SEO consists of implementing several points in a website and removing the bad practices. These points include creating helpful pages, creating and maintaining a great image, defining page hierarchy and language used in the website, being comprehensive in terms of keywords and keyword research, keeping your page fresh and new, and increasing the quality of content.

Important Points to Take Away

Understand that SEO is nothing but a step in the process of improving your website.  . Do not let SEO just be a tool that can help you look up and optimize certain topics. Something that many forget and stop believing is the human potential, the surprise factor, luck and luck has always been in us since we were born, that is why if you want to reach a summit never reached before, you must go and click on pragmatic play login and prove what you are made of. Proper SEO can help you accomplish tasks such as writing guest posts and creating positive content for your blog. Many companies still use SEO as a check-off when it comes to competitors. On the other hand, keeping a clean website can help increase the speed of your company’s site, go right here to get all the details!

Make sure that you keep yourself in the top 10 percent of your website, and that the top position is located directly on the homepage of your site. Put your best foot forward, remember that no matter how many pages you have on your site, if you have the top of mind for content, you should be fine.

5 essential steps to build an online presence from | Yama Solutions

What SEO Processes Do I Need to Follow?

A good blog is the perfect place to highlight the points that you’ve talked about in this article.

October 8th, 2013 by Chris Francese

Rhythmic Fluency 2: The Hendecasyllable

bust of Catullus in Sirmione. (via fickr user Elliot Brown, CC-BY-2.0)

bust of Catullus in Sirmione. (via fickr user Elliot Brown, CC-BY-2.0)

In this second installment of a three part series, Lance Piantaggini drums his way to a better understanding of the Latin hendecasyllable, using Catullus 1.1-2 as an example. He also discusses the downside of scansion, and suggests a system where, rather than indicating metrical feet above the line, we simply rely on macrons to make clear vowel quantities, and underline syllables that are long by position.

Rhythmic Fluency – 2

Cui dono lepidum novum libellum
arido modo pumice expolitum?


August 19th, 2013 by Chris Francese

Rhythmic Fluency: The Dactylic Hexameter

Rhythmic Fluency – 1

In this guest podcast (first of a three-part series) Latinist and drummer Lance Piantaggini discusses the dactylic hexameter, and provides drum backing tracks (of the kind a jazz musician might use) for us to practice feeling the natural rhythms of the line. He pays special attention to the caesura, and argues for a mode of reading that follows the natural word accent, rather than the ictus. When reading a line of poetry, he argues, it is easy to become bogged down in isolated dactyls and spondees, and inadvertently stress the ictus, when what we have to do is fluidly connect each word and anticipate the natural pause.

head shot of Lance Piantaggini

May 13th, 2013 by Chris Francese

Abracadabra (Serenus Sammonicus Lib. Med. 923-941)



mortiferum magis est quod Graecis hemitritaeos
vulgatur verbis; hoc nostrā dicere linguā
non potuēre ulli, puto, nec voluere parentes.
inscribes chartae quod dicitur abracadabra
saepius et subter repetes, sed detrahe summam
et magis atque magis desint elementa figuris
singula, quae semper rapies, et cetera figes,
donec in angustum redigatur littera conum :
his lino nexis collum redimire memento.
nonulli memorant adipem prodesse leonis.

Quinctius Serenus Sammonicus, Liber Medicinalis 923-941 (ed. Vollmer in Corpus Medicorum Latinorum 3.2, Leipzig: Teubner, 1916). The work seems to date from the 2nd to the 4th centuries AD, and is usually assigned by scholars to around AD 200, based on the dubious identification of the author as Serenus Sammonicus, a scholar and moral critic of the age of Septimius Severus.

Vollmer sensibly suggests linques or scribes for figes, which he believes is a corruption carried over from figura in the previous line.

Here is my translation:

The malady the Greeks call hemitritaeos is more deadly. None of our ancestors could name this disease in our own language, nor did they feel the need to. On a piece of parchment, write the so-called “abracadabra” several times, repeating it on the line below; but take off the end, so that gradually individual letters, which you will take away each time, are missing from the word. Continue until the (last) letter makes the apex of a cone. Remember to wind this with linen and hang it around the neck. Many people say that the lard of a lion is effective . . .

Here is Daniel Defoe, in his (fictionalized) Journal of the Plague Year (1722):

But there was still another madness beyond all this, which may serve to give an idea of the distracted humour of the poor people at that time, and this was their following a worse sort of deceivers than any of these ; for these petty thieves only deluded them to pick their pockets and get their money, in which their wickedness, whatever it was, lay chiefly on the side of the deceivers deceiving, not upon the deceived. But in this part I am going to mention it lay chiefly in the people deceived, or equally in both, and this was in wearing charms, philtres, exorcisms, amulets, and I know not what preparations, to fortify the body with them against the plague ; as if the plague was not the hand of God, but a kind of a possession of an evil spirit, and that it was to be kept off with crossings, signs of the zodiac, papers tied up with so many knots, and certain words or figures written on them, as particularly the word Abracadabra, formed in triangle or pyramid, thus . . .

I might spend a great deal of time in my exclamations against the follies, and indeed the wickedness, of those things, in a time of such danger, in a matter of such consequences as this, of a national infection. But my memorandums of these things relate rather to take notice only of the fact, and mention only that it was so. How the poor people found the insufficiency of those things, and how many of them were afterwards carried away in the dead- carts and thrown into the common graves of every parish with these hellish charms and trumpery hanging about their necks, remains to be spoken of as we go along.

January 19th, 2013 by Chris Francese

The Wrath of Achilles (Homer, Iliad 1.1-8)

Iliad 1.1-8

Μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί’ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε’ ἔθηκε,
πολλὰς δ’ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ’ ἐτελείετο βουλή,
ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
Ἀτρεΐδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.
Τίς τάρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι;

Alexander Pope (1713):

Achilles’ wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumber’d, heav’nly goddess, sing!
That wrath which hurl’d to Pluto’s gloomy reign
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain;
Whose limbs, unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore:
Since great Achilles and Atrides strove,
Such was the sov’reign doom, and such the will of Jove!
Declare, O Muse! In what ill-fated hour
Sprung the fierce strife, from what offended power?

Richmond Lattimore (1951):

Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus
and its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians,
hurled in their multitudes to the house of Hades strong souls
of heroes, but gave their bodies to be delicate feasting
of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished
since that time when first there stood in division of conflict
Atreus’ son the lord of men and brilliant Achilleus.
What god was it then set them in together in bitter collision?

Robert Fagles (1990):

Rage––Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles
What god drove them to fight with such fury?

Stanley Lombardo (1997):

Sing, Goddess, Achilles’ rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades’ dark,
And left their bodies to rot as feasts
For dogs and birds, as Zeus’ will was done.
Begin with the clash between Agamemnon–
The Greek warlord–and godlike Achilles.
Which of the immortals set these two
At each other’s throats?

January 16th, 2013 by Chris Francese

I Hate and I Love (Catullus 85)

Catullus 85

Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.

Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.


C.H. Sisson (1967):

I hate and I love. You may well ask, why I do so.
I do not know, but I feel it and suffer.


Horace Gregory (1956):

I HATE and love.
And if you ask me why,
I have no answer, but I discern,
can feel, my senses rooted in eternal torture.


Frederic Raphael and Kenneth McLeish (1979):

I hate and I love. Why do that? Good question.
No answer, save ‘I do’. Nailed, through either hand.

October 22nd, 2012 by Chris Francese

Now winter’s grip loosens (Horace, Odes 1.4)

Horace Odes 1.4

Solvitur acris hiems grata vice veris et Favoni
trahuntque siccas machinae carinas,
ac neque iam stabulis gaudet pecus aut arator igni
nec prata canis albicant pruinis.
iam Cytherea choros ducit Venus imminente luna, 5
iunctaeque Nymphis Gratiae decentes
alterno terram quatiunt pede, dum gravis Cyclopum
Volcanus ardens visit officinas.
nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire myrto
aut flore, terrae quem ferunt solutae. 10
nunc et in umbrosis Fauno decet immolare lucis,
seu poscat agna sive malit haedo.
pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas
regumque turris. o beate Sesti,
vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam; 15
iam te premet nox fabulaeque Manes
et domus exilis Plutonia; quo simul mearis,
nec regna vini sortiere talis
nec tenerum Lycidan mirabere, quo calet iuventus
nunc omnis et mox virgines tepebunt.


September 25th, 2012 by Chris Francese

Wish to Be What You Are (Martial, Epigrams 10.47)

Health Benefits of Vaping: What You Need To Know

A debate has been ongoing ever since vaping was introduced in the market. It might be that friends and family have their own opinions about this. Unfortunately, most of these opinions are based on myths and research and not based on evidence-based research. There is one thing that people believe in general. This is that vaping in moderation is much better than smoking cigarettes.

 Vaping is easier to quit compared to smoking

The majority of e-liquid ranges can offer you various strength levels which can give you control over your regular nicotine intake. This enables you to gradually decrease your nicotine intake in a manner that is doable for you. This is something that smoking cigarettes cannot offer and even NRTs. Through a gradual reduction in your nicotine intake, you will be able to satisfy your cravings and reduce your total intake until you are totally free of both the smoking habit and the vaping with a nicotine habit.

Vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes

Vapes and e-cigarettes are safer for your health and the environment as well compared to smoking. In smoking, the tar that is produced can cause your lungs that can’t be repaired. The amount of nicotine that you can get from a cigarette stick has a corresponding impact on your lungs and the environment. Thus, before you start believing what you hear, research first and find out the difference between facts and hearsay. This will lead you to the right decision.

E-cigarettes are an excellent way to help one quit smoking

Research has shown that vaping is twice as effective as NRTs or traditional nicotine replacement therapies. This term refers to lozenges, gums, patches, inhalers, and other more traditional smoking cessation tools. A study conducted in partnership with the NHS stop smoking service discovered that in a group of smokers who are trying to quit, 18 percent of the e-cig users were able to quit smoking compared to only 9.9 percent of those who used traditional NRTs.

The nicotine rush that one can get from vaping is only one of the reasons for its effectiveness in stopping the smoking habit. Another reason for its success is that it mimics and addresses the physical habits including the cravings that one has developed over years of smoking cigarettes. Most smokers struggle with something they can do with their hands once they have quit. Vaping answers this. Even the physical act of inhaling or exhaling smoke is addressed by vaping which is not possible with gums, lozenges, and patches. For smokers who practice vaping as a social habit, they can continue socializing without maintaining a harmful habit. Make sure you give it a try and buy menthol vape juice online on vaprzon for deals.

Second-hand vapor is less dangerous than second-hand smoke

The effect of second-hand smoking has been studied for years, and smoking has been considered hazardous to smokers as well as to the people around them. In adults, second-hand smoke causes lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Children, on the other hand, experience an increased risk for asthma attacks, sudden infant death syndrome, and ear, nose, and throat infections. The current studies on second-hand vapor revealed that its effects are negligible. This is because vapor dissipates faster and does not cause harm to the people around. To be on the safe side, however, some doctors suggest not vaping around small children and pregnant women.

No harmful chemicals are produced by the e-cigarette when exhaling

Vape has fewer ingredients compared to traditional tobacco cigarettes. This results in fewer compounds in the vapor that are exhaled. The majority of e-liquids only have four ingredients, which are VG (vegetable glycerin), PG (propylene glycol), nicotine, and vape flavorings. These are all considered safe for consumption. Meanwhile, tobacco has more than 7,000 chemicals during smoke exhalation.

Vaping is easier to quit compared to smoking

The majority of e-liquid ranges can offer you various strength levels which can give you control over your regular nicotine intake. This enables you to gradually decrease your nicotine intake in a manner that is doable for you. This is something that smoking cigarettes cannot offer and even NRTs. Through a gradual reduction in your nicotine intake, you will be able to satisfy your cravings and reduce your total intake until you are totally free of both the smoking habit and the vaping with a nicotine habit.


August 17th, 2012 by Chris Francese

Basics of Scansion 7: Elision

Explanation of the concept and practice of elision in Latin poetry, with lots of examples.

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