Ancient Bath, Palace of Pylos
The city of Pylos is in the Odyssey and mentioned in the Iliad, although it was destroyed centuries before those books came into existence.

18-08-12 Weekly Links

From the Temple Complex in Confucius' Family Cemetery

The Clouds - Aristophanes

Socrates farts.

Prometheus Unbound - Percy Shelley

This painting accurately represents the pain of the boredom I felt when reading this book. I can't believe someone read Prometheus Bound and thought this was the direction the story was supposed to take.

Ancient Mosaic, Found In Rome Earlier This Year

Psamtik III
Herodotus's Psammetichus

The Persians - Aeschylus

Xerxes is a funner character when he's not so sad and pathetic.

Yi Jing Translation Ratio

The Chinese tradition has interpreted the Yi Jing/I Ching in a number of different ways: as a fortune telling book, as a book on metaphysics, as a general guide for living your life. The first way is the most common in the west by a long shot.

Like a lot of Chinese books before the fourth century BCE, the Yi Jing writers placed a lot of value on eloquence, preferring to lightly imply things rather than state things outright, which is a translator's nightmare. The Yi Jing in particular has the worst source-to-target word ratio I have ever seen.

謙: 六二:鳴謙,貞吉。

Qian: The second SIX, divided, shows us humility that has made itself recognised. With firm correctness there will be good fortune. - 1/3


The trigram (representing) a mountain, and in the midst of it that (representing) heaven, form Da Xu. - 6/17


Xian indicates that, (on the fulfilment of the conditions implied in it), there will be free course and success. Its advantageousness will depend on the being firm and correct, (as) in marrying a young lady. There will be good fortune. - 7/40 or 0.175 Chinese words for every English word.

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius
Every moment... do what thou hast in hand with perfect and simple dignity, and feeling of affection, and freedom, and justice; and to give thyself relief from all other thoughts.

Marcus Aurelius, before and after being made Roman emperor, made notes to himself on how to treat people, how to deal with stress, why to stay honest. He was called the last good emperor by Gibbon, and he seemed to follow his own advice about avoiding luxury, as he spend most of his career camped near the border, supervising Rome's defences.

This was apparently never meant to be published, and it shows. It's pretty rough around the edges and occasionally repetitive, but I've also found it a constant source of motivation and stress-relief throughout my life. In a time where most people claiming to offer advice and motivation are blatant scam artists, this book is a treasure.

I would especially advise you to read the public domain George Long translation. Along with the translation being free, Long is one of the most readable Ancient Greek-to-English translators there has ever been.