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Category Archives: African Journey

Cato and South Africa.


I was speaking with one of the Classicists at our Latin-immersion workshop. “Cape Latin,” as it is called – the Latin texts relating to the Cape of Good Hope since the founding of the colony there – has been one of his topics, but he has looked more widely into the history of the Classics […]

With the Latinists.



Can You Belong On A Different Continent? Or Is That Just Colonialism Talking?


If you will indulge me, let me share with you a long excerpt from Karen (Isak) Dinesen, the beginning of her superb memoir Out of Africa. It is long and descriptive, but instructive, and I will have some things to say about it: I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong […]

South African All-In-One.


South African liquor stores have come up with an important innovation: the Three-Pack, an All-Inclusive combo: a pack of Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes, two liters of Coca-cola, and a bottle of Richelieu brandy.  All you need for an evening of fun.  Minus the cigarettes I think I could have a pretty good time this way myself. […]

The Real Othello – Writing About Male Enhancement.


We had a reading from Leo Africanus, a Moor and polymath who was supposedly the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Othello. He wrote of his journeys through Africa in Latin, taking note of certain plants, one of which is called Surnag: … Est quoque et hoc radicis genus in Athlantis Occidentalibus locis proveniens, cui vires inesse aiunt […]

Evan Gardner’s Language Hunting.


Had the pleasure of watching Nancy Llewellyn begin learning Afrikaans over lunch.  She uses a method pioneered by Evan Gardner known as “language hunting.”  She asks, in English, how to say “what is that?” in the target language.  Once she had it, she then used the phrase over and over again to learn the words […]

Highlights of South African Cuisine Part I.


Went to a restaurant which served French Toast – “filled with crispy bacon, garlic fried mushrooms, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and whipped cream.”  It came with french fries too.  Wishing your palate a healthy good morning!

Latin and Race.


The immersion program is begun, and it is worth noting that there are no black participants. For a Classicist this is nothing unusual – indeed, for anyone involved in the high levels of almost any academic discipline, this is not unusual. In the United States, where blacks comprise about ten percent of the population, it […]

Latin Beyond Classicism.


June 29th. We began the Latin immersion today. We read an account of Tungubutum (Timbuktu) written in Latin in 1595 by Adriaan Van Roomen. Tungubutum; situm ad magnum lacum piscibus abundantem, aqua tamen lacus est amara et venenata. Civitas magnae negotiationis, ad quam non tantum fit concursus Fessanorum et Maroccorum, sed etiam Cariensium. Huc magna […]

In the Living Museum.


A most extraordinary thing today: the sort of thing which only happens when one is on the road. We were walking through the university campus, as I was hoping to catch a glimpse the university botanical garden before having to give a Latin tour of it later this week. As we walked we passed an […]