epiStoa Magazine

where community members can add and comment articles or links pertinent to the epiStoa topics

European Values

Sentences regarding limitations of fundamental rights by anti-covid measures

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Covid-19 numbers: high correlation between rate of positives and intensive care unit-treated patients

In the context of the ongoing basic rights limitations, the communication of the relevant numbers is of upmost importance. It has often been discussed that the pure number of newly postive-tested persons (Fr: Incidence, cas confirmés, It. casi, G.: Neuinfektionen) is little informative.

Data published by
a) the association of German intensive care doctors and
b) the Robert Koch Institute (German state-run institute in charge of the monitoring of infection diseases)

show a high correlation between 
the number of patients that are treated in an intensive care unit and have the virus (upper curve)
the rate of positive tests (lower curve, red dots).

The rate of positive tests is thus a much more reliable and informative indicator than the number of new cases.

Clearly, it would be even more informative to communicate the number of patients who have the corona pneumonia as it makes a big difference whether those are 90% or 9% of all icu-treated corona patients.

Years in jail for complicity in crimes against humanity

A German court in Koblenz has sentenced a former Syrian intelligence officer to four-and-a-half years in jail for complicity in crimes against humanity.

The trial is unprecedented in that the prosecutors invoked the principle of "universal jurisdiction" meaning that neither the accused nor the victim need to be citizens  of the country where the trial takes place.

Timothy Garton Ash on Free Speech

In the war of fake news versus facts, here's what the next battle should be



Timothy Garton Ash delineates the history of free speech from Ancient Athens to today, .. and its importance today. 

His advice is (among others):

Outside China, the US is the world’s leading digital trendsetter while the EU is its leading norm-setter. Put together the trendsetter and the norm-setter, add a bunch of other leading democracies, and you have a combination of market and regulatory power to which even His Digital Highness must bow.

Also interesting: Ash's recent book on Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World

256 Polish and Hungarian Mayors opposing Orbán and Kaczynski

Polish and Hungarian Mayors write a letter to the president of the EU commission

Rule of Law Report of the European Commission

The Rule of Law Report is a new preventive tool and part of the new annual European Rule of Law Mechanism.

The report can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_20_1757
(in all European languages)

The aim of the report is to look at key developments across the EU – positive and negative – as well as the specific situation in each Member State. The aim of the report is to identify possible problems in relation to the rule of law as early as possible, as well as best practices. It is not a sanctioning mechanism. Areas covered by the report include: justice systems, the anti-corruption framework, media pluralism and freedom, and other institutional issues linked to checks and balances. The Rule of Law Report consists of a general report and 27 country chapters presenting the Member State-specific assessment.

CORONA FALSE ALARM? Numbers, data and background

The Proportionalists' Point Of View

K. Reiss (Univ. Kiel, Germany) and S. Bhakdi (Univ. Mainz, Germany ) answer the question whether or not the partial suspension of basic rights, unprecedented since 1949, during the corona pandemia was necessary.
Original title: CORONA FEHLALARM? Zahlen, Daten, Hintergründe. Goldegg Verlag, Wien, Berlin. 2020.

The authors mainly treat the situation in Germany, including numerous comparisons to other countries.

As the basic rights are at the heart of the European Values and as the authors' evaluation is not in the present main stream of the media, we here present a review on the book. 

Read review (in German);  download PDF version of the review in German.

Read review (in Italian);  download PDF version of the review in Italian.

Please feel free to hand in comments, objections, or additions to community@epistoa.eu, especially if you consider certain aspects insufficiently treated by Reiss and Bhakdi (e.g. legal issues, ethics, measure commensurability, ...).

Either the above texts will be changed accordingly or your contribution will be added here.

- Commentary on the commensurability of the anti-corona measures taken (German) (Italian) (French)

- Commentary on the meaning of numbers of infections (German)

- Commentary on ethical issues in corona times (Greek) (English) (Italian)

- Commentary on the five problems of "corona numbers" (German) (English)

Amnesty International: the fight against COVID-19 and human rights

Digital surveillance to fight COVID-19 can only be justified if it respects human rights


On the Future of the World

"Zhao Tingyang ist einer der einflussreichsten zeitgenössischen Philosophen Chinas."
The Washington Post 27.11.2018

JÜRGEN OSTERHAMMEL (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) reviews

Zhao Tingyang: "Alles unter dem Himmel". Vergangenheit und Zukunft der Weltordnung.

Human Rights Watch 2019 Report

Human rights violations as documented in the 2019 Human Rights Watch report:


The pages on China (pp. 135-149) are particularly alarming.

L'etica spiegata a mio figlio: nuova edizione del "De Officiis" (28 Nov 2019)

Sulla nuova editione del De Officiis di Cicerone, a cura di Giusto Picone e Rosa Rita Marches (Einaudi, 2019),

e' uscita una recenzione di Alessandro Banda zu DoppioZero:  L'etica spiegata a mio figlio:


Human Rights and Human Future: Development of Standards

Temma Ehrenfeld on Epicureanism today and the pursuit of happiness

Europarat/Consiglio d'Europa/European Council: No to right-wing populist faction

Il Consiglio d'Europa boccia la formazione di una frazione populista di destra:

Der Europarat lehnt die Bildung einer rechtspopulistischen Fraktion ab:

The Council of Europe declines the formation of a populist right-wing faction


(DIE ZEIT, in German)

I partiti della destra populista non avranno un proprio gruppo nel Consiglio d'Europa. Il Consiglio d'Europa è stato fondato per proteggere la democrazia, non per distruggerla.

Rechtspopulistische Parteien werden im Europarat keine eigene Fraktion bekommen. Der Europarat sei gegründet worden, um die Demokratie zu schützen und nicht zu zerstören.

Populist right-wing parties will not have a faction in the Council of Europe since the Council of Europe has been founded to protect democracy, not to destroy it.

epiStoa: Latin and Ancient Greek as European Cultural Heritage

The promotion of Latin and Ancient Greek through epiStoa has been accepted as a European Cultural Heritage project:


Le latin et le grec séduisent encore




Ancient Greek and Latin

On the value and importance of Ancient Greek and Latin

Figaro Vox on the importance of Ancient Greek and Latin and their suicide ...

Or, si l’étude de l’Antiquité classique est, en Occident, plus nécessaire que d’autres, c’est précisément parce que nos sociétés se sont construites, siècles après siècles, en référence à cette civilisation modèle: des rois médiévaux qui voulaient recréer l’Empire romain au néoclassicisme du XVIIIe siècle, en passant par la querelle des Anciens et des Modernes du Grand Siècle ou la prière sur l’Acropole d’Ernest Renan.

Si les lettres classiques sont importantes, c’est parce que nos sociétés, nos littératures, nos vies politiques ont été construites en référence explicite aux civilisations grecque et romaine, restées omniprésentes dans nos imaginaires, contrairement à l’Assyrie antique ou à l’Egypte.

Here is a link to the full article


Epidemics perception: from Thucydides to today

Prof. Hendrik Müller delineates the reactions to epidemics in the course of history since Thucydides and draws parallels to the sars-cov2 pandemics. Here you can view his analysis. (in German)
Source: à propos - magazine of the Fresenius University, Idstein.

Hostis. Lo straniero, l’ospite, il nemico

Giusto Picone, professore ordinario di Lingua e Letteratura latina dell’Università di Palermo, sulla figura duplice dello straniero.

Pubblicato su la Repubblica, 20 ottobre 2020 (pdf)


"Enea giunge alle foci del Tevere" di Pietro da Cortona (1597 – 1669).

I testi latini, al pari di quelli greci, rappresentano lo straniero come una figura duplice, portatore di un dono, il conferimento della nostra identità che possiamo definire solo in rapporto con chi è altro da noi, ma al contempo accompagnato da un’inquietante carica di minaccia. Questa irriducibile ambivalenza si manifesta a partire dall’ambito linguistico: non è possibile ridurre lo straniero (xenos per i Greci, hostis per i Romani) semplicemente a ospite, come non è possibile ridurlo soltanto a nemico, giacché egli è sempre ospite e nemico insieme. Dipende in ultima analisi da noi, dalla capacità di stabilire relazioni basate su una reale conoscenza di chi ci appare ‘diverso’ se questi sarà latore di un dono prezioso o di una minaccia mortale. Una lezione, quella degli antichi, che oggi merita di essere attentamente meditata alla luce del fenomeno migratorio, che per le opulente società occidentali costituisce una sfida globale ed epocale, ancora priva, in tutta evidenza, di risposte culturali e politiche adeguate.

Testo integrale (plain pdf for download)

Does Oxford make Brexit persistent ?

In defence of Homer

Oxford is considering dropping the Odyssey and the Iliad from its compulsory classics papers.


no comment.

Epicurus - A Happy Greek

Christos Yapijakis has written a theatrical play "A Happy Greek"
which regards the life, humanism and work of Epicurus.
Sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw9QoJXIiXg
The book's title is
Politeía, Athens 2020

An English translation is in preparation.

We all speak Greek - Wir sprechen alle Griechisch

Broschüre unterstützt von der Kultusministerkonferenz und von der EU-Kommission sowie von der Botschaft der Hellenischen Republik in Deutschland.

The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany, the EU Commission and the Greek Ambassy in Germany support this brochure.

Its first statement is: We all speak Greek - Wir sprechen alle Griechisch. 

Here is a pdf of the brochure.

Totgeglaubte leben laenger

Heike Schmoll berichtet in der FAZ vom 24.12.2019 über einen Anstieg des Interesses an Altgriechisch und seine Hintergründe:


La notte nazionale dei licei classici : Vorbild für eine europäische Initiative ?

Coming up:

The Night of Classics Grammar Schools / Die Nacht der Humanistischen Gymnasien /

La notte nazionale dei licei classici 17 GENNAIO 2020 ORE 18:00 - 24:00

Il latino oggi: perché dobbiamo continuare a studiarlo

Stelio Fergola presents a summary on why learning Latin is still worth while:


Festival européen latin grec, 2 - 7 juin à Lyon

In Lyon wird jedes Jahr ein Festival (stadtweit) durchgeführt,
ein Jahr mit lateinischem Schwerpunkt, das andere Jahr mit griechischem Schwerpunkt.

La 14e édition mettra à l'honneur Les Métamorphoses d'Apulée. L'édition 2020 du Festival européen latin grec se déroulera du 2 au 7 juin à Lyon. https://eduscol.education.fr/lettres/actualites/actualites/article/festival-europeen-latin-grec-2020.htm

et (en anglais)


Eine ungewöhnliche Sicht auf den Lateinunterricht: "Metamorphosen der sexuellen Gewalt"

Katharina Wesselmann zu sexueller Gewalt in der Antiken Literatur und in der Mythologie in ZEIT online: https://www.zeit.de/kultur/2019-09/lateinunterricht-sexuelle-gewalt-antike-texte-metoo-10nach8/

Latein ist mehr als eine Sprache !

Es gibt Tote, die ein langes Leben haben. Latein zum Beispiel.
Eine Liebeserklärung von Thomas Ribi


Nachwuchswettbewerb Latein und Altgriechisch

Nachwuchslehrkräfte in den Fächern Latein und Altgriechisch können noch bis zum 31. Oktober 2019 innovative Lerneinheiten zum Wettbewerb „Ad Astra“ einreichen. Ausgerufen wird dieser erstmals vom Ernst Klett Verlag und dem Deutschen Altphilologenverband (DAV). Nähere Informationen finden sich hier.

Le latin et le grec séduisent encore

epiStoa: Latin and Ancient Greek as European Cultural Heritage

The promotion of Latin and Ancient Greek through epiStoa has been accepted as a European Cultural Heritage project:



Introductory texts


Bettini, Maurizio
A che servono i Greci e i Romani?
Einaudi, 2017
Wilfried Stroh
Latein ist tot. Es lebe Latein!
List, 2015 (9. Aufl.)

Wilfried Stroh
Le Latin est mort, vive le latin !

Petite histoire d'une grande langue
Les Belles Lettres, 2008

Augustin d'Humières, Marion Van Renterghem
Homère et Shakespeare en banlieue
Grasset, 2009

Press releases on epiStoa

epiStoa im Forum Classicum

Im Forum Classicum (3/2019) des Deutschen Altphilologenverbands wird über epiStoa berichtet:


Regarding the Annual Meeting of epiStoa in Verbania: IlSole24Ore, Milan

An article on epiStoa - as well as on a book published by Maurizio Bettini - has appeared under the URL:


and a second article by Lucia Orelli has appeared on DoppioZero under


ILMaschile-IlSole24Ore, Milan, on epiStoa

Kathimerini, Athens, on epiStoa

epiStoa in Italian TV talk show

epiStoa commented on Italian TV talk show Otto e mezzo :

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