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Blog Posts by Subject: Greek and Latin Literature

2013: The Year of the Snake

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In the Chinese zodiac, the snake is equivalent to the Taurus in Western tradition. February 10th, 2013 to January 30th, 2014 will mark the Year of the Snake.

In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the snake is the sixth animal and symbolizes grace and calmness — it is introspective, cunning, and modest, but also mysterious, deceptive, and possessive. Those born in 2013, 2001, 1989 

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Literacy — What is it Good For?

Blades, William: Pentateuch of Printing with a Chapter on Judges (1891)Literacy is good, illiteracy is bad. Literacy is the foundation of civilization and culture. Who doubts it? History, however, tells another story. The Incas, for example, were not literate, yet had a sophisticated culture.1 Instead of writing, they used a system of knotted cords called quipus to store information and 

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Pangloss Regained

Dr. Pangloss Surveys the World (NYPL General Research Division)Thanks to Candide, the term "pangloss" has come to mean "overly optimistic fool." The Greek roots in the name, "pan-" and "gloss-" can be read as "all tongue" – an apt characterization of the tutor's speaking-without-thinking style. But I have another sense of the word in mind when I say that Candide was published in the hangover years of a nearly century-long panglossomania binge.

In the 17th century, 

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