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Rivalry & Feud

Volume XI, Number 4 | fall 2018


In love with the same slave girl, Iris, two men in first-century Pompeii fought via graffiti. Severus tagged the wall first, writing that Iris did not love Successus, adding, “His rival wrote this.” Successus responded, “Don’t even think to speak badly of a man more handsome than you, especially one who is both most vicious when crossed and yet also good.” “I have written all there is to say,” Severus retorted. “You love Iris, but she does not love you.”

Perish the universe, provided I have my revenge.

—Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, 1654

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Jill Lepore

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States. More

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