Wednesday 1 April 2015

Dark History

I recently came across a Latin phrase I hadn't encountered before  - homo homini lupus est. Apparently it's a quote from Plautus and means something on the lines of man is a wolf to other men. I think it may be a bit unfair to wolves, but writers love new phrases.

Now, where can I use it?

It was in an article on the History Today website about dark tourism and our fascination with the violent past. As I'd been blogging last week about the attraction of writing and reading villains and crime, it was rather apt. We are fascinated. Practically every city has an array of ghost walks and trails that visit sites of murder and mayhem, most notably London and Jack the Ripper. And old buildings frequently have a macabre or spooky tale or two attached. We like to be scared and horrified.

The article raises some interesting issues about our preoccupations and mentions the commemoration of the Pendle witches. I was at Lancaster University and the story of the witches was local history/folklore. There again - the pull of the the dark side.

The full article by Suzannah Lipscomb is HERE

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