David Drake’s translated some more bits of Ovid. One is a whimsical but touching elegy for a dead parrot. (Insert Monty Python joke here.) The other is an interesting bit on the Four Ages of Man, which shows just what sort of thoughts on life were floating around in the pagan Roman world.
(I have to say, it almost sounds like our man Ovid had dipped into some Jewish scriptures — though there’s a lot of parallel Greek material which is similar, and I’m sure Mr. Drake was purposefully bringing out those parallels here.)
To this point the lower forms of animals had lacked the capacity for higher thought. Now appeared man, a more blessed creature, to rule them.
Perhaps the creator of all things grew him from a divine spark to bring about a better world, or alternatively perhaps the Earth, freshly penetrated by the high Aether, retained the seeds of her heavenly kinsman. Yet again perhaps Prometheus, the son of Iapetus, mixed earth dampened with rainwater into an image of the gods who rule all things.
Other animals go on all fours, looking down at the earth. Prometheus made man to carry his head high and behold the heavens, standing erect and raising his face to the stars. The world, which had been unshaped and without form, began to change when men first appeared.
Also of interest, the body of Drake’s friend Jim Baen has been buried out next to Mr. Drake’s house, in a grove of trees. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.) Since the Southern part of my family has a mountain with a family graveyard on it, I can see the sense of this. And yet, it does seem a shame not to be buried in consecrated ground. Also, the logo on the stone cracks me up. Still, who has a better right to use it? Surely a book company’s imprint is no less honorable than heraldry. And yet….
Well, it’s not any of my business, and it’s an honorable burial ground. I won’t keep picking at it. Especially since I’m sure the Divine Mercy is a lot better at dealing with these things than I am.
Moving on, it’s good to hear that the next RCN book is in process. I love Adele and Daniel, and their next adventure will doubtless be even more interesting than the last.