Ozymandias, c. 1303 BC –1213 BC; Colossal Wreck

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Ozymandias, Ozymandias-  wait, don’t tell me. Dusty fellow, immortalized by Shelley. Big broken statue of some sort? “Legless legs of stone,” something, something.  Curious sort of name, at any rate.  Obviously not Roman. Not Greek.  Something middle eastern, though. Mesopotamia, maybe, or one of the other dry places.  Sumerian?  Babylonian?

Nope, give up, haven’t got a clue. Who was he? Continue reading

Eustachio Celebrino, ca 1480-1555: Memoirs of Old Grub Street

Gutenberg got the printing press ball rolling with his Bible, and Aldine family and others pushed along the revival of classical learning by publishing the Greek and Latin texts that had been moldering in monastic libraries across Europe.  Scholarship flourished, academies grew, and the Western World kicked off the Renaissance.

Noble stuff, and the appetite for these books and various religious volumes made for steady work at the printing shops. The market was decent, but limited, given the large population that had finally cracked the literacy thing but had little Latin, less Greek, and probably no serious interest in the classics.  You can imagine a lot of nouveau riche merchant heads cracking open the fresh copy of the Aeneid and nodding off at about book three.  Granted, the books did indeed furnish a room and proved your wealth and taste, but really, was that all there was?

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