Interpretation of Catullus 16 at Issue in English Lawsuit

The notorious first (and last) line of Catullus 16, inscribed in a sidewalk near UPENN

The notorious first (and last) line of Catullus 16, inscribed in a sidewalk near UPENN

If you’ve taken LATN101, Catullus 16 needs no further introduction. The vulgar yet clever poem is now part of a high-profile lawsuit:

In London, a poem by the first century B.C. poet Catullus has been the focus for lawyers trying to prove that investment banker Mark Lowe illegally dismissed one of his female employees. Mary Beard, the eminent professor of classics at Cambridge University, discusses the story with host Guy Raz.

Check out the NPR story or Mary Beard’s further comments on the poem.

Classics on the Big (and Small) Screen

After the success of “300” it was only a matter of time before more sword-and-sandal picts graced the silver (and small) screen.

First up, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief, based on the first of the popular series of fantasy books authored by Rick Riordan. The title is a bit of a tongue-twister, but the story seems promising–“Percy”‘s short from Perseus, don’t you know.

Speaking of Perseus… the remake of Clash of the Titans, with Sam Worthington as our intrepid hero and Liam Neeson as Zeus. If you aren’t already familiar with the myth, this effects-heaver trailer does little to enlighten you. That, along with the hackneyed tagline and what I think is a vague reference to the God of War video game franchise in the clip’s only dialogue, provides little to cause to be optimistic.

Then again, even if this movie is bad…it could, like its predecessor the Ray Harryhausen extravaganza, be oh. so. good:

Finally, on the small screen is a new series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

Betrayed by the Romans. Forced into slavery. Reborn as a Gladiator. The classic tale of the Republic’s most infamous rebel comes alive in the graphic and visceral new series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Torn from his homeland and the woman he loves, Spartacus is condemned to the brutal world of the arena where blood and death are primetime entertainment. But not all battles are fought upon the sands. Treachery, corruption, and the allure of sensual pleasures will constantly test Spartacus. To survive, he must become more than a man. More than a gladiator. He must become a legend.

Quick take on the trailer: Spartacus, cool. Lucy Lawless, good. Involvement of Sam Raimi, promising. The brother from the Mummy movies, um… good why not. The “300”-style cinematography, score, sex and gore? I wonder how the gimmick will wear over the course of a whole series. Will this be “Caligula” with better visuals (not a good thing), or “Rome” turned up to 11 (a great thing)? Since the show has already been renewed for a second season, I hope the slave revolt will factor in the story.

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