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Writers of the Ottoman Empire – West Asia

By | 2017-09-11T11:49:07+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Literature, West Asia|

A copy of one of Mustafa Ali's books, from about 1600 AD Despite the lack of printing presses, some writers and historians continued to work in the Ottoman Empire. In the 1500s, Mustafa Ali, a court bureaucrat, wrote poetry and religious essays. İn the 1600s, Ibrahim Pecevi wrote a detailed history of the [...]

Roman schools – education in ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T10:20:52+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A Roman teacher home-schooling, about 200 AD Most Roman kids did not go to school. Like their parents, they worked in the fields hoeing and weeding and plowing as soon as they were old enough. Their parents needed them to work, to get enough to eat. They did not learn to read or write or do math. Some rich boys, [...]

Virgil – the Aeneid – Roman poetry

By | 2017-09-04T08:21:45+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Literature, Romans|

The death of Dido, Queen of Carthage, from an illustrated copy of Virgil's Aeneid, about 400 AD Virgil was a poet who lived during the civil wars in Rome and then in the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus, just before the birth of Jesus Christ. Virgil (VER-jill) was a friend of Maecenas (my-SEEN-ass), who was a [...]

Sulpicia – Roman poetry – ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T08:02:56+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Literature, Romans|

A woman from Roman Egypt, holding a notebook and a pen Sulpicia is one of very few Roman women whose poetry managed to last through the ages so we can read it. She lived in Rome in the time of the Roman emperor Augustus, around the same time as Ovid, maybe around 20 BC or so. Sulpicia wrote poetry [...]

Ovid and the Metamorphoses – Roman literature

By | 2017-09-04T00:41:36+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Literature, Romans|

Part of a page from a copy of Ovid's Metamorphoses (South Italy, 1000s AD, just as the Normans were conquering it) With the end of the Roman Republic, poets were excited to explore the new possibilities of the new Roman Empire under Augustus. Ovid, who was born in 43 BC, was about twelve years old when [...]

Latin Literature – the writers of ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-03T22:39:51+00:00 September 3rd, 2017|Literature, Romans|

A Roman papyrus scroll from a library of Epicurean philosophy (Herculaneum, Italy) The Roman Empire lasted for more than a thousand years, so there was plenty of time to produce a lot of writing. Latin, an Indo-European language, was written in an alphabet derived from the Greek alphabet, with some letters changed: the Latin or Roman alphabet is [...]

Phillis Wheatley – American literature

By | 2017-11-04T01:26:56+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Literature, North America|

Phillis Wheatley When Phillis Wheatley was seven years old, somebody sold her to European slave-traders, and she left Senegal or Gambia on a slave ship to North America. She got to America in 1761, just before the Revolutionary War. Her owners in Boston converted her to Christianity and gave her a good education. As she got older, they encouraged her to write [...]

American language and literature – North America – History

By | 2018-01-12T08:43:17+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Literature, North America|

American literature: Rock Art from Utah, about 1700 AD Native American languages In 1500 AD, people living in North America spoke many different languages. None of them were written down. Many of these languages died out in the 1500s and 1600s AD, because so many people had died of smallpox and measles that hardly anyone was left to [...]

Stowe – American poetry project

By | 2017-08-14T10:48:06+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Literature, North America|

Harriet Beecher Stowe Arrival in the Land of Freedom (1853) LOOK on the travellers kneeling, In thankful gladness, here, As the boat that brought them o'er the lake, Goes steaming from the pier. 'Tis Harry, like a girl disguised, His mother, like a boy, But the father kneels beside them, And their hearts [...]