Sorry for the unannounced outtage y'all - I was off to see Dear Friend up on Battle Road. (yes, such an appropriate home site, don't you think?)
Anyhow, Boston is an interesting place. Stories are piled there four centuries deep. I know that's not much to y'all on the other side of the pond, but here it's simply amazing. Especially if you're used to the great wide open of the American West or Alaska.
Our first day out, we went to one of my favorite spots in Boston ever - the Harvard bookstore, the COOP. The bottom couple stories are pretty much what you expect from any modern SWPL bookstore - less toys and picturebooks and such, but by and large it's pretty familiar if you've gotten yourself lost in a Barnes and Noble for an afternoon.
The upstairs though - oh. Oh my. Go past the coffee shop, and climb the stairs. And beside the stairs, there is a bookshelf. And on that bookshelf, you will be greeted by the Loeb Classical Library.
All those old funny "-ius" and "-icles" and "-ides" authors you've seen referenced for ages but never sat down and actually read? There they are. All the green is Greek, the red is Roman - and not visible at the foot is some Humanist stuff in blue. Original text on the left pages, English translations on the right, they're a great way to make up a botched education.
Last time I got the first volume of Livy that's come walking with me now and again - that's where the story of Gaius Mucius Scaevola (Lefty) we were talking about came from.
(Livy was an Augustan-era historian compiling a history of Rome. Machiavelli wrote a commentary on his works, and Jefferson recommended him as a historical source. So that's why he was the first name to stand out the first time I got all agog at the Red and Green Wall.)
Anyhow - this trip - the Aenid! Professor Thomas F. X. Noble has described that work as a contemporary self-conscious exemplar of Roman virtues, so it seemed the perfect next stop in the reading list.
(As an side - another curious thing about Boston - you see evidence of the late 18th/early 19th century Classical fascination all over the architecture there. Neat! )
Later in the week, on the suggestion of The Gunny, we went by Springfield Armory. If your interests cross history and arms - you WANT to see the exhibits at Springfield Armory.
More on that tomorrow.