One of the most common stereotypes that constantly shows up throughout movies, books, and other forms of medium is the dumb jock. The dumb jock is typically both attractive and athletic but never smart. One example is Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls; Cady Heron, the main character and new girl, pretends to be bad at math, so her crush can spend time with her to help her. However, Cady notes that while helping her, Aaron consistently messes up, so she has to drop hints for him to get to the right answer. We have all seen this type of character, whether it be in a book, movie, or in other popular culture references.
However, what most people don’t know is that the dumb jock stereotype originates from Heracles. Heracles, although abnormally strong, hated sitting and learning. Because of his irrational temper, this led to young Hercules striking, and killing, his music teacher, Linus, with a lyre. After this incident, Hercules focused on using his physical strength to develop mental strength. However, by our standards today, Hercules, in no way, was a smart man.
During the last school year, in my freshman Latin 2 Greek 1 honors class, I read a lot of poems written by Catullus. This included his erotic poems to his male friends, or what we called his homosexual poems. Over the course of the spring term, we read several Catullus poems, but one that we did not read was poem 16. This poem is somewhat a homosexual one but more harsh than anything. The first line, which reads “Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo” takes the reader by surprise and is shocking as well.
This led me to wondering how homosexuality was treated in Ancient Rome. Thanks to a quick conversation with my teacher, Mr. Ciraolo (buy his book here), I found out that not many people cared if a man acted on his homosexual impulses as long as he had children to success him. Although this is a very weird way of looking at a sexual orientation, I found that it was somewhat logical as well as tolerant.
According to Stanford University, there was nothing that differentiated homosexual and heterosexual behavior in both Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. However, it was illegal for a man to be passive during sex. I found this odd yet interesting, particularly because many people in the West, America in particular, discriminate against same-sex couples merely because they are of the same sex and have sex. One example is the baker who absolutely refused to bake a cake for a gay couple. Then, in the summer of 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the baker. Insane. It’s astonishing to think that Ancient Rome was arguably more tolerant of same-sex couples than we are today.
Warning: this article contains SENSITIVE CONTENT
Recently, a six-year old* was found dead in Pakistan. The young girl, Zainab, went missing on her way to her Quran class and was found dead , in a dumpster, a few days later. When her body was found, it was quite clear that young Zainab had been raped. Pakistanis, and other people, were filled with outrage. According to the BBC, Police in Kasur, her hometown, stated that there have been over TWELVE similar cases in the past two years. Protests have erupted in Pakistan, and many people around the world have sent their condolences to Zainab’s family. I was disgusted when I first heard about this, and I cried for her because she was an innocent kid who had done nothing wrong, yet she was killed in a brutal way. You can read more about the heartbreaking story here and here.
Here are a few more Tweets related to Zainab’s story and people’s thoughts on it:
This horrible incident led me wondering whether incidents like this occurred in Ancient Rome. While my heart tried its best to reassure myself that it didn’t, I took an educational guess that they most likely did. According to Vice, a popular magazine, there was no legal term for rape nor was it against the law. After all, the myths of the gods had many tales of them sexually assaulting mortals. However, what’s even more horrifying is that if a married women was raped, she could be tried for adultery. Besides that, according to a Classics professor at New York University, Michael Peachin, “If one did not want a baby, one could, without any legal consequence, throw it away––literally, on the garbage dump”.
Reading about how sexual violence was treated in Ancient Rome horrified me almost as much as Zainab’s story did. Ignoring victims and culprits is not alright. Making headlines for a few weeks and then disappearing into the back curtain is NOT okay (think of Brock Turner’s story). We, as a human race, need to do better; we must do better.
*different news articles state different ages for Zainab; she was between the ages of 6 and 8.
Today, Atlas Air Wolrdwide Holdings’ stock went down an estimated 1% (Google). What is Atlas Air? Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings is a cargo airlines that does a variety of things; it leases aircrafts (Boeing 747 freighters), provides expertise to companies that don’t have the people nor experience to fly, and has a training center for the US Air Force! There is one associated airline with Atlas Air: Titan Aviation. Both, Atlas Air and Titan Aviation, are owned by Atlas Air Worldwide. The company went bankrupt at one point, but now the it’s doing alright. Atlas Air and Titan Holding’s logos are a man carrying the world on his shoulders. Does that remind you of any myth? In Greek/Roman mythology¹, the titan Atlas had the burden of holding the weight of the world on his shoulders. The only way he could pass his burden onto someone else is if they took the burden willingly. The airlines was named after this mythological character.
¹ Greek and Roman mythology are largely the same; they use different names but the stories are quite similar.
I have never been to a concert before. However, a lot of people have told me that Coldplay concerts are the best ones. In the Spring of 2016, Coldplay performed during the Super Bowl’s Halftime Show. After listening (and watching) them, I started exploring their music. One song that I really liked was “Viva La Vida“. The song appealed to me because I see it as controversial. The song itself, literally, tells the story of Napoleon’s last moments before his death. It describes the French Revolution in absolute detail and all of the lyrics tie back to one theme: power will inevitably be corrupted. So, in this song, the chorus shows everyone’s awareness of the death of Napoleon, which is soon approaching. Because of that, another big idea emerges: live your life with no regrets. In fact, the phrase “Viva La Vida” is never spoken nor sang in the song itself. However, “Viva La Vida” is Spanish for “live (your) life”. Does that connect to the theme? Yep. So, where and how does Latin play a role in this? Well, the lead singer in Coldplay, Chris Martin, graduated in Classics (both Greek and Latin) at University College London. Vivir, the Spanish verb for “to live”, can easily be traced back to vivere, the Latin verb for “to live”.
Bioderma Laboratories is pharmaceutical company that specializes in skin care, as well as other things related to that. It was founded in 1977 and is worth around 280 million dollars today. Bioderma is also a French company! In Latin, the word bioticus means “used in common life” and “practical” (Mahoney)¹. Bio is also Greek for human life. That’s what biology is: the study of human life. Derma, the second part of Bioderma, means skin in Greek. So, when you put the two words together, Bioderma means ‘skin (care) used in daily life’. Think that’s the only connection? Try again.
Bioderma has a line of products, also known as Hydrabio, which was created to treat people with dehydrated sensitive skin. The word Hydra is Latin for water-serpent. Hydrabio gently removes dirt and makeup while simultaneously hydrating skin. It has an Aquagenium patent, which applies to every Hydrabio product. Aquagenium helps the skin moisturize by producing aquaporins. Aquaporins channel water into the skin and balances the amount of water particles. Oh and by the way, aqua is Latin for water. Mindblown yet? That’s it for today, so have a good rest of your Monday night, folks!
¹Kevin Mahoney is the person credited on Lat-Dict