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This may be a bit of a stretch, but given Vergil’s Alexandrianism I’m going to go with it.
In Aeneid 2.19, in the first description of the Trojan Horse, Vergil says that the Greeks enclose chose men caeco lateri, “in the hidden side.” I propose that we are supposed to think here also of the etymologically unrelated latere, “to hide, lurk, be concealed.” The sound of the word calls forth another word that is appropriate to the context. This is perhaps confirmed, or at least given plausibility, when Capys and some others shortly thereafter (9 lines) urge the Greeks to “test the hiding-places” of the horse (temptare latebras, 38) and when Laocoon warns (10 lines after that) that “some error lurks [in the horse]” (aliquis latet error, 48). He then throws a spear into its side (in latus, 51). But the fates of the gods were against them befouling the hiding places (ferro Argolicas foedare latebras, 55).
Posted by Eric » 2 Comments »
In his Commentary on Jonah, Jerome refers (4:6) to “gourds of small cups/vessels” on which images of the Apostles are sketched:
Et revera in ipsis cucurbitis vasculorum, quas vulgo saucomarias vocant, solent apostolorum imagines adumbrari…
I’d never heard of such an object. Has anyone else, and can you point me to where I might go to find out more?
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According to Plutarch’s Life of Alexander 8, Alexander the Great slept with a copy of the Iliad (along with his dagger) beneath his pillow. In reading Charles Norris Cochrane’s Christianity and Classical Culture a few minutes ago, I came across the following: “[I]t is recorded that Charlemagne habitually slept with a copy of [Augustine’s City of God] beneath his pillow” (377). This seems to be in imitation of the practice of Alexander, transposed into a Christian key. Does anyone know the source(s) of this claim about Charlemagne?