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How minimal and commonplace can a quotation or allusion be, and still be traced back to its source with some degree of confidence? Labour’s adoption of “For the many not the few” as its election slogan provoked comments on the Twitter (e.g. from Jonathan Freedland of the Grauniad) about whether Jeremy Corbyn realised he was quoting Tony Blair’s revised version of the infamous Clause IV – doing away with references to the common ownership of the means of production etc. – followed by the argument from Phillip Collins of the Times that this was actually taken from Pericles’ Funeral Oration, the famous line (as included in the preamble to the draft European Constitution!) that “our constitution is called a democracy, because it is administered for the sake not of the few but of the many [or: of the whole people]” (2.37).

I don’t actually recall any discussion, back in 1994/5, of the possible sources of Blair’s new wording, and I haven’t found anything helpful on the internet – any suggestions or information gratefully received! (more…)

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gangstas

It’s podcast time! Welcome to another occasional episode of Radio Abahachi, in which I attempt to find some music inspired by Thucydides that I can actually bear to listen to!

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/63vs3-65cc4e?from=yiiadmin&skin=3&share=1&fonts=Helvetica&auto=0&download=0

[Update 15:35 21/12/16: just realised that there’s a minute or so of dead air towards the end; have hastily re-edited, and new version has been uploaded, but many apologies to anyone whose listening pleasure was spoiled by this.]

[As opposed to some of the actual ‘music’.]

[For further discussion of Bob Dylan’s reading (sic?) of Thucydides, see John Byron Kuhner’s ‘Tangled Up In Thucydides’ from Eidolon last year; more generally on T’s reception in modern culture, my chapter ‘The idea of Thucydides in the Western tradition’ in Lee & Morley, eds., A Handbook to the Reception of Thucydides.]

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve done a podcast – this one has been in the works for well over six months – but since I’ve finally managed to persuade the new microphone to talk to the computer, welcome to Radio Abahachi: Solid Gold Classics, the Gladiator edition:

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/gnyhg-5cd4c8?from=yiiadmin

Download this episode (right click and save)

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Draper's Ulysses

I’m celebrating today submitting a substantial (in both senses of the word) funding application for the next phase of the Thucydides project, which has involved several days’ worth of staring at figures wondering why they were refusing to add up. It really doesn’t help that the university’s Full Economic Costing system and the Je-S application system use different categories for expenditure, so it’s more or less impossible to input exactly the same information in the same format into each – and neither of them really suited my purposes so I produced my own master costings spreadsheet, and hence at times found that I had three different versions of what was supposed to be the same bit of the budget. Anyway, the application finally reached the “that’ll do” stage last night, and this morning I checked the last financial anomaly and pressed the ‘submit’ button on each of the systems (having spent five minutes wondering whether it would make a difference which one went first – this sort of thing does get to one eventually…); I’ve therefore spent a chunk of this afternoon indulging in a bit of light relief, and this podcast is the result; it’s ages since I did one, so it’s definitely a bit rough round the edges, but it’ll do…

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/gnyhg-5cd4c8?from=yiiadmin

Download this episode (right click and save)

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Solid Gold Classics

I think two things probably need explaining about this post, for everyone who knows me in the non-virtual world. The first is that ‘Abahachi’ is my well-established online identity (certainly well enough established that I have no intention of abandoning it now, however inconvenient it may prove in a context that’s a bit more closely related to my professional world); yes, this is Neville Morley. The second is that, under this alias, I intermittently produce music-related podcasts on one of the other blogs I frequent regularly. As it happens, the latest episode dealt with a selection of songs about ancient history, so the inauguration of a classics-related blog offers an ideal opportunity to try to add to my audience figures. Even better if I can stir up a bit of controversy: I’ve now come to the conclusion that the Nico song featured in this podcast is not merely puzzling but actively rubbish. Peter Hammill, on the other hand, offers a genuinely interesting take on the subject of Pompeii…

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/v3gup-5d1275?from=yiiadmin

Download this episode (right click and save)

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