Friday, November 20, 2015

Description of the World - Part 6

Pausanias Guide to Greece, 2 volumes (The ancients already had a certain nostalgia for the archaic. The age of Socrates was already five centuries before the time of Pausanias.)

Frances Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age (I know I read this book because it dates from the time when I routinely wrote notes in the margin. I also underlined words or sentences, not because I expected to consult the book again but in order to make it more likely I’d remember. I often don’t remember, of course; but the information nevertheless increments the registers in my understanding of things, in the case of this book of the late Renaissance.)

Julius Caesar, The Battle for Gaul (This edition, translated by the Wisemans, features illustrations and maps chosen by Barry Cunliffe, a mavin of the ancient history of the Atlantic coast of Europe. Handling it makes me wonder what another de lux edition of the Commentaries was like, the translation with notes made by Napoleon the Third before he took the throne. Never seen that one.)

Numa Denis Fustel De Coulanges, The Ancient City (The book is stamped A.D. Pace in front. I don’t remember stealing it from David but that must have happened at some point. I think of De Coulanges as a bridge between Vico and Durkheim and Dumezil, though I’m not sure that my understanding of his ideas owes much to actually reading his famous book. My anthropology teacher Jose Ortiz talked about him in a lecture back in 1966.)

Livy, Rome and Italy (This volume is a translation of books VI through X of the history.)

C.M. Bowra, The Greek Experience (This crumbling pocketbook used to belong to my sister Val. Serious little books like this were formerly sold in drug stores. This one cost fifty cents. Written in childish handwriting on the inside back cover: “Grass was the first Greek, earth rooted but rising toward the sun.” )

Theodor Mommsen, The History of Rome (This volume is cut from a much longer history. It covers the period from the conquest of Carthage to the end of the Republic. There are several impressive 19th Century histories of this era beside Mommsen and Max Weber thought about the coming of Caesar a great deal too. The fall of the republic was in focus for these men. In the Levi-Straussian sense, t was good to think.)

Michele Slung, The Absent-Minded Professor’s Memory Book (Maybe I should memorize ‘Pass Everything Over, Miss, Politely, Please, and Reasonably’ except that the Anthropocene has replaced Recent recently so the young lady should pass everything assiduously instead of reasonably.)

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