“Atopon: atopon is used in place of something that is amazing or illogical”
῎Ατοπον· τὸ ἄτοπον ἀντὶ τοῦ θαυμαστοῦ ἢ ἀλόγου τάττεται
Good recap of a great twitter handle. Many of these I read when they came out. Now that the people have chosen via analytics (presumably) what were your favorites posts to write @sentantiq? I know when I blog a lot the popular posts are rarely my favorites. https://t.co/XsIxtAHtBT
I had a taxi driver who claimed their was a worldwide conspiracy to conceal the existence of mermaids. I wrote a post about it. I used to love X-Files. It was foggy and in the late-winter. This had a very 1990’s occult show feel to it.
When I still lived in San Antonio, Palaiophron and I would regularly get together to read, translate, laugh. etc. Sometimes we’d drink. It was really one of the best things about living there. Dio Chrysostom would have understood. This summer, he came to visit Boston and we went to the MFA. It was fun.
Sometimes posts emerge out of random thoughts or research dead-ends. Before I started this blog, I might have spent weeks researching and then giving up on an idea. Now, I write about it, think a bit, post and then let it simmer. Most of the material fizzles.
Some posts come out of classes, preparing for teaching, or conversations from students. This post was a gift from a student. I learned something. I have an anecdote that will never get old.
I have a general idea when a post is going to be popular (hint: feces, phalluses and farting). Sometimes, I think something is hilarious, but it just doesn’t hit. For instance, this post on aporia and lusis in the Homeric Scholia using Vanilla Ice as a comparandum. Why didn’t this make me famous? Also, not the only time R. M. Van Winkle appeared on the blog this year.
Some of Palaiophron’s posts I think should be read regularly
Palaiophron [Erik] has, in my humble opinion, emerged as an important voice not just in selecting and commenting on ancient literature but in discussing its use and import in the modern world. If someone were foolish enough to write a history of this blog, they would note that his posts from when they first started in 2013 helped to transform this site incredibly. I am lucky to have Erik as a partner and collaborator in this endless project; I am luckier to have him as a friend
As I battled nazis on twitter, Palaiophron developed a pointed, disarming style of essay to contend with the larger cultural issues regarding the intersection of the study of the ancient world, modern politics, and racist appropriation. We took a political turn over the past year. Erik’s clarity and bravery provided us with the confidence to do so.
One of the things Palaiophron does so well is to excerpt from scholarship on scholars. He provides amusing, illuminating, sometimes depressing, and sometimes inspiring anecdotes. Since I first met Erik, one of his hobbies has been learning about the lives and thoughts of scholars in the classical tradition. He has really tapped into general interest with this.
“Now let us dine and drink in my home
And take pleasure while we recall to one another
Our grievous pains. For a man may take pleasure even in pain,
Later, when he has suffered and come through so many things.”
“Perhaps one day it will be a joy to remember even these things”
forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit
Plato, Hippias Minor 372a-c: Willingness to Learn is My Sole Good Quality
“Can you see, Hippias, that I am earnest when I say I am obsessed with questioning wise men? I probably have only this one good quality, since I exhibit others that are plainly wretched: for I stumble over facts and don’t know what they are. This is a sufficient sign of it for me, that whenever I meet one of the men famed for his wisdom or those all the Greeks recognize for their wisdom, I seem to know nothing…
And what greater sign of ignorance is there than differing from wise men? But I do have one wondrous quality that saves me: I am not ashamed to learn; no I investigate and ask questions and have much gratitude for anyone who answers—I have never deprived someone of thanks. For I have never denied that I learned something and pretended that the thing learned was some personal discovery. Instead, I praise the one who taught me because he is wise and I show off what I have learned from him.”