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M. Porcius Cato

What Romans Were in the News?

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At long last, Google's project of digitally scanning the books of the world has been finished, polished, cross-checked, validated, and all the rest. The result is a tool of immense value to scholars -- a database of every term (or Ngram) to appear in about 4% of all book EVER published, spanning a range of hundreds of years.

 

You can use the tool yourself at http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/, and see how words like "neurons" suddenly pop up and overtake terms like "humours", how "dude" suddenly arose to prominence in recent years, and so on. It's really cool.

 

Of course, if you like Romans, then you'll want to see how the literature paid attention to your own favorites. Here I've mapped out how literary sources paid attention to folks like Cicero, Cato, and Caesar. As you could see (if this stupid forum software weren't so backwards), Caesar-worship is apparently of very recent vintage, with far more mentions of Cicero and Cato throughout the Enlightenment. Anyway, try it for yourself!

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