ギリシア・ローマ古典 (知のカタログ) 単行本 – 2000/10
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Michael Macrone gives readers a fine omnium gatherum of about 300 such phrases or concepts. All are explained and almost all are accompanied by well-written one page essays. Readable and fascinating, these sometimes correct misinformation, such as "thumbs up" being in Roman times the sign of despatching a wounded gladiator not "He's a good fella; spare his life" approbation.
The essays are far more than definitions; they pack much knowledge in small space, multum in parvo. For example, under "Fascist," just two of the essay's sentences include specifics encompassing Aesop, the dates for the PNF, and its members.
"From the Latin word fascis came the Italian fasci, "bundles, groups," which in the late nineteenth century came to mean "political groupings." Aesop's idea of "strength in unity" was joined to the fascis icon by Mussolini, who organized in 1919 a group of political radicals and outcasts in the Partitio Nazionale Fascista...."
Sources include Homer, Aesop, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Horace, Pliny the Elder, Juvenal, and Miscellaneous, who like Anonymous, is prolific. There is a 15 page glossary of writers and key characters alluded to such as Telemachus, in addition to a thorough index, and a map of sources.
Reader Alert: Although titled, "It's Greek to Me!" the sources are often Roman. Thus, for example, "Time flies" has a citation (accurately) from Virgil's "Georgics" and not a Greek source, if there ever was one. Not a biggie, but readers should expect many Latin sources (translated into English).
The book is generously illustrated with pen & ink drawings. Some are clever indeed such as an Airedale entoga'd to exemplify "cynic" which is derived from Greek/Latin for "dog." Some drawings are not as skillful but nothing really wince-worthy.
Highly recommended for readers who enjoy history, words, and lots of unusual stories told in a lively, engaging manner. There are other books giving English equivalents of Latin & Greek phrases still in use. None of these, as far as I know, are so wisely selective in choice of common phrases & have these excllent story/essays.
At low used book prices, this can be a real deal, too.