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Nulla dies sine linea
  1. Andrea Cipriani
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrea Cipriani, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK;{at}

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Nulla dies sine linea is a Latin saying which can be literally translated into: ‘Not a single day without a line’. In his book Naturalis Historia, Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) attributes this maxim to Apelles of Kos, an ancient Greek painter. Apelles lived in the fourth century BC and was a renowned artist who worked at the court of Philip II of Macedon. Unfortunately, nothing is left of his work (not even the very famous portrait of Alexander the Great), but Apelles was regarded as one of the most influential and progressive artists of his period.1 Of Apelles and drawing lines Pliny says: Apelli fuit…perpetua consuetudo numquam tam occupatum diem agendi, ut non lineam ducendo exerceret artem,… (“Apelles had…a regular custom that he never passed a day, no matter how busy, without practicing his art by drawing lines,…”).2 The lesson from this passage is that everyone, no matter how talented, has to practise regularly and, to really improve, everybody needs to keep practising on the very basic elements of his/her art.

We have chosen this quote as a title for this editorial, because we wanted a motto to mark a big change in our journal, a single statement that highlights the importance of the job that we as editors and you as journal readers have to do.

What is the big change?

Please, have a look at the front page of the journal (or at the home page of the website, if you are reading EBMH on the internet) and then leaf through the pages of the present issue. You will see that EBMH has a new journal strapline and a new format for the commentaries.

As you probably remember, the previous strapline was ‘EBMH—An international digest for mental …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • i In this issue of the journal we are also publishing commentaries in the old format. This is because we have commissioned these articles before we reached the final decision about how to change the commentary's layout.