The Art of Safe Criticism in Greece and Rome


I thought that I’d make a quick post after reading an interesting article on ancient rhetoric that dealt with the art of criticism and “figured speech.” For the ancients (from Quintilian, a first century CE professor), speaking directly (palam) and speaking openly (aperte) were shaded differently: the former was unsafe, unwise; the latter, necessary and safe. One could criticize a tyrant so long as a favorable, flattering meaning was imparted at one level. This technique is one that Ovid uses – quite extensively – in the letter that I am studying. Here are two quotes from the article (author Frederick Ahl of Cornell) that I found interesting:

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Blog #4: Bacterial Production Assay and Epifluorescence Microscopy

Hi guys!

Here’s some additional information on how my project has been going. First, though, I would like to do a recap of what I am working on. There are three major components involved in acquiring data for my project: I used a tritiated leucine assay to determine bacterial production; I used epifluorescence microscopy to enumerate bacterial and viral abundance; and I am currently doing DNA extractions to prepare for T-RFLP assays, which I will use to determine bacterial community composition (this shows how diverse the bacteria in my microcosms from Lake Matoaka are after being exposed to different treatments). I will talk more about T-RFLP later, but here is a description of epifluorescence microscopy and the results from the tritiated leucine assay.

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