cloudy symbols of a high romance

that kind of luxe just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz

Elsewhere on the internet I was asked to talk about my favourite ancient Romans, so I thought I’d share it here too.  In no particular order, they are:

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"Alexander was lying flat on his back, staring upward. Suddenly he grasped Hephaistion in an embrace so fierce that it knocked the breath out of him, and said, ‘Without you I should go mad.’ ‘I too without you,’ said Hephaistion with loving ardour. Change the meaning, he thought, and you avert the omen. Alexander said nothing. His strong fingers gripped into Hephaistion’s ribs and shoulder; the bruises would be there a week."

— Mary Renault, Fire From Heaven
Source: mansersshaw

I’m slowly falling in love with Pliny the Younger.

Reblogging because me too; he is just the loveliest person, with such a sweet and considerate nature and a generous spirit. (and I can’t not love his bookishness as well!)  Reading his letters I just want to cuddle him.  Even the ones to Trajan clearly arise from a conflict between his instinctive kindness and his need to honour the law.  (it’s impressive how firm and clear-sighted Trajan’s replies are; he was undoubtedly a good emperor, but you can see how much of a mess it would be if he weren’t - and how blackly comic would be all the vows celebrating his accession and imploring the gods to keep him safe.  Also, did every emperor have to deal with this kind of thing, from all the provincial governors?!  no wonder Justinian never slept!)

And I never realised until reading Pliny’s letters just how close-knit Roman society was; even beyond ties of blood and friendship, there was such a network of patronage and favours.  If you couldn’t get the people who mattered to recommend you, you would get nowhere.  No wonder the Civil War was so devastating. D:

Source: follow-me-into-madness
Source: camelionpoet

art history meme— 1/9 paintings 
phaedra by alexandre cabanel

phaedra is a woman from greek mythology. sister to ariadne, theseus chooses her over her sister upon returning from crete (their homeland), abandoning ariadne on the island of naxos. back in athena, he marries phaedra. there she meets theseus’ son with an amazon (either hippolyta or her sister antiope), hippolytus. according to the myth, during theseus’ absence, phaedra fell madly in love with her son-in-law, believing this love had been cursed by aphrodite. hippolytus rejected the woman’s advances, which provoked her wrath. upon theseus’ return, phaedra’s handmaid told him his son tried to rape her - hippolytus denied everything, but his father banished him all the same. devastated, phaedra eventually told the truth before poisoning herself. theseus called for his son, but he had been killed on the road. 

Source: prynnne

FAIRYTALE MEME:9 Heroines - [4/9] Bluebeard’s Wife   “ In short, everything succeeded so well that the youngest daughter began to think that the man’s beard was not so very blue after all, and that he was a mighty civil gentleman.”

9 Heroines - [4/9] Bluebeard’s Wife
   In short, everything succeeded so well that the youngest daughter began to think that the man’s beard was not so very blue after all, and that he was a mighty civil gentleman.

Source: lady-arryn