Quoting the Classical World

with apologies to Bernard Levin

If you cannot succeed in completing a task and declare it Sisyphean, you are quoting the classical world. If you have made a Herculean effort, you are quoting the classical world. If you’ve worked like a Trojan, wasted time whipping the sea and even then failed to have a eureka moment, you are quoting the classical world. If you have had the sword of Damocles hanging over you, feared the Greeks even when bearing gifts, won a Pyrrhic victory or secured a Carthaginian peace, crossed the Rubicon and declared that the die is cast because love conquers all and fortune favours the bold, if you have opened Pandora’s box or been invaded by a Trojan horse, been rich as Croesus or endured Spartan conditions, assumed that the poor want nothing but bread and circuses, claimed wisdom in knowing nothing, been caught out by your Achilles heel or troubled by your Oedipus complex, been on an odyssey, tried to clean the Augean stables or enjoyed a Platonic friendship then, carpe diem! mea culpa! to speak ad nauseam and in vino veritas, O tempora! O mores! You are quoting the classical world.

Author: Emma Williams

Latin tutor with 21 years' experience in the classroom. Outstanding track record with student attainment and progress.

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