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Finis Africae

Books about books, language about language, literature about literature.Books about books, language about language, literature about literature.

"Yes the Finie Africae; his burning library…very Index Librorium Prohibitium…sort of like the Vatican's old Prohibited Books short list… except of course, my father's Centuria and Catena are by subject…"

"These are rare editions of canonical Latin and Greek authors. Bion of Borysthenes Diatribes Vol 1…The Collected Works of Mennipus of Gadara… Lucian of  Samosota's Kataplous or as English…Downward Journey…The Golden Ass of Apuleius. Hope that one rings a bell…"

Luisa was fishing to see if I had finished , or even read her precious Marius The Epicurean which had The Golden Ass buried inside it

"I'm disappointed that your daddy's book of books, didn't come in the original golden scroll."

"Oh, you couldn't even begin to imagine the other half of his collection. This is just what we salvaged... Varro's 150 Satires,…Petronius Satyricon as is required , Seneca's Apocolocyntosis, and the emperor Julian's fourth-century Caesars…Lost and forlorn over there is an illegible copy of the Ur-Marcus by Lucilius. I always thought it belongs in the next row down."

Next row down were her sacred Doctors of the Church , Augustine of course , Ambrose  , Saint Jerome, Saint Gregory I The Great of the Dialogues, and Thomas of Acquinas in his Summa Theologica followed by other great Latin Fathers ; Tertullian, Epiphanius Panarion . ..Marcion, too…

Past them, as was chronological, things got mediaeval and at the same time, weirdly Romantic, capital R, as in Provencal ideals running from the love poetry between Ausonius and Saint Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, to all these Languedoc love ballads, which seemed a very strange thing for a man who scorned love to collect.

Taste is a dictatorship.


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