Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:27:57 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

NUNTII: VDH Watch -- Food Fight! (sort of)

A rogueclassicism reader passed this one along (thanks BM!) ... The September 2 edition of Roll Call mentions a recent run-in Victor Davis Hanson had with a staffer from Nancy Pelosi's office who took umbrage at VDH's discussion of his recent work, Mexifornia. Amongst other things, the journalist in question claimed VDH admitted to being a "classist" (would that make "Classicist" a slur?) ... on the way out, said journalist tried to steal a pizza.

Roll Call (as might be expected) is a subscription thing, but the article is on blogs all over the place, e.g., The Remedy. The story is also getting coverage in places like the Alameda Times.

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 7:43:52 PM::
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AUDIO: West Wing Finale, 2001

I've never been a fan of the West Wing -- my attention span is too short --  but I do recall the discussion on the Classics list which occurred when Martin Sheen made his rant against God. While poking around the NPR archives, I came across a brief interview (2:44) with Edward Phillips of Grinnell College about what was said. What's nice about the interview is they include Sheen's Latin rant, which might be useful for instruction purposes.

Listen with RealOne Player (it might update your Codec ... don't worry, it's tiny). If that link doesn't work, access it via this page.

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 7:30:51 PM::
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NUNTII: Apelles' Calumny

The Guardian has a very interesting feature (or series ... not sure what to call it) on missing/stolen art, among which is Apelles' (ca. 300 B.C./B.C.E.) Calumny, described thus:

The history of art is full of phantoms, and one of the sources of creativity is the desire to reconstruct what once existed. None of the paintings of Apelles, the ancient Greek, has survived. When Leon Battista Alberti wrote his book On Painting in 1435, the works of Apelles were remembered only through ancient writings rediscovered in monastery libraries. Alberti quotes longingly the ancient writer Lucian's description of Apelles's Calumny as showing "a man with enormous ears sticking out, attended on each side by two women, Ignorance and Suspicion; from one side Calumny was approaching in the form of an attractive woman, but whose face seemed too well-versed in cunning..." The 15th-century Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli's painting The Calumny of Apelles reconstructs this lost masterpiece, and is in turn one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance.

They include a link to the Boticelli ... Here's the links to the relevant articles:

Missing Masterpieces (more links, although none ancient)

Stolen, looted, lost and burned


::Thursday, September 04, 2003 7:14:28 PM::
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NUNTII: Recent Finds in Athens

Recent archaeological finds in Kotzia Square are going to get the 'glassed in' treatment (let's keep the seagulls away). The finds are important because, among other things, they provide evidence for the fortification of Athens in various periods.

Read more in eKathimerini ...

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 7:04:25 PM::
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NUNTII: The Island of Syros

The World and I (a journal/magazine with a title that has always irked me for some reason) has a touristy sort of thing on the island of Syros, with a nice captatio benevolentiae for fans of Classics:

A man is washed ashore from the sea. Sole survivor of a terrible shipwreck, he owes his life to a miracle: He has been rescued by a dolphin and carried to safety. But he is now alone on a deserted, rock-strewn island. The harsh landscape offers respite only from the raging ocean and winds. He finds a cave near the water's edge and takes shelter. Here, he will live out the rest of his days. 
        Kiranos became the legendary first citizen of the Aegean island of Syros (locals usually say Syra). His origins remain unknown, but his character is still remembered. Humble, wise, and virtuous, the cave dweller gained such great respect from the island's other occupants that he was recognized as their ruler and king.

Read more from  Echoes of Fickle Gods ...

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 6:55:13 PM::
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MOVIE: Mel Gibson's Passion

I haven't mentioned this movie much here yet (at all?) -- it's getting good coverage at Palaeojudaica (more on that tomorrow, by the way) -- but in the latest "explorator" I did mention they had put up a 'fansite' for the movie. Nothing spectacular as far as fansites go, but it does give you the option of reading in Latin! Ecce ...

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 6:48:04 PM::
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pridie nonas septembres

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 5:57:21 AM::
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OBITUARY: Donald Davidson

Donald Davidson seems to be more known as an academic on the philosophy side of things, but he did pursue a degree in Classics. Perhaps more interestingly, according to the obit in the New York Times,

He persuaded Harvard to let him put on "The Birds" by Aristophanes and played the lead, Peisthetairos, which meant memorizing 700 lines of Greek. His friend and classmate Leonard Bernstein, with whom he played four-handed piano, wrote an original score for the production.

The obit closes thus:

"He didn't give a damn what other people thought about him," [his wife] said. "He just took a problem that interested him. Each problem led into a large number of problems."

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 5:51:56 AM::
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REVIEW: Antigone

The Cornell Daily Sun brings an review of an interesting adaptation of the Antigone, set in a university during the Cold War ...

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 5:44:46 AM::
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MOVIE: The Human Stain

Our next portrayal of a Classicist in film, as some might be aware, is Anthony Hopkins as Coleman Silk in The Human Stain. The first review of the thing has hit the wires and doesn't seem overly favourable. What's worse, however, is that it gives away a major detail which will probably ruin the movie for many (or perhaps not ... it might have the same effect as reading a novel for a second time; some French intellectual/structuralist wrote about how this adds to the experience ... his name escapes me right now (did he write something called 'S'?). If you want to read the Hollywood Reporter review, ecce ...

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 5:41:24 AM::
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NUNTII: Bush is no Leonidas?

While the American-empire-as-Roman-empire thing has been commonplace among journalists for the past couple of years, it's always surprising to see them referencing the ancient Greek world for their analogies. Peter Chronis in today's Denver Post, however, uses Xerxes and Leonidas as a parallel of sorts to comment on the American experience in Iraq. I'm not sure whether it quite works ...

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 5:29:34 AM::
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EXHIBITION: Black Classical Scholars

Seen on a couple of lists ...


Local Scholar Produces "12 Black Classicists" to Honor African-American
Intellectuals Who Made Groundbreaking Achievements in Academia at the Turn
of the Civil War

        DETROIT - August 28, 2003 -- A historic exhibition profiling
African-American classical scholars who made groundbreaking achievements in
education at the end the Civil War will be on display at the Detroit Public
Library beginning September 2.  The exhibition, created by local scholar
Michele Valerie Ronnick of Wayne State University, is titled "12 Black
Classicists,"  and focuses on the lives of twelve African-American men and
women who taught Greek and Latin at the college or university level  and
whose academic accomplishments helped pave the way for future generations of
African-Americans entering American universities.

"With them," says Ronnick, "begins the serious study and teaching of
philology (the study of language) by African Americans. All who study
language and literature in the U.S. today, be it Italian, Swahili, Sanskrit,
English or Arabic, trace the origin of their disciplines to the men and
women featured in this photo installation."

Featured African-American academics in the exhibit include William Sanders
Scarborough, the first black member of the Modern Language Association and
author of a Greek textbook (1881), Lewis Baxter Moore, who earned the first
Ph.D. awarded by the University of Pennsylvania  to an African-American for
his work on the Greek tragedian Sophocles,  Wiley Lane, the first black
professor of Greek at Howard University and John Wesley Gilbert,  the first
black to attend the American School in Athens Greece. The installation was
created by Michele Valerie Ronnick, and funded by the James Loeb Classical
Library Foundation at Harvard University. The show will travel on for the
next two years throughout the U.S.

  The inaugural exhibition in Detroit will run September 2 - 27, 2003. A
reception and public lecture will be held from 10:30 AM - 12:00 Noon,
Saturday,  September 13, 2003 at the Detroit Public Library. All are invited
to this free event

Contact:  Michele Valerie Ronnick
Wayne State University

313-577-3250; 313-832-3009 or

::Thursday, September 04, 2003 5:06:23 AM::
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1. n. an abnormal state or condition resulting from the forced migration from a lengthy Classical education into a profoundly unClassical world; 2. n. a blog about Ancient Greece and Rome compiled by one so afflicted (v. "rogueclassicist"); 3. n. a Classics blog.

Publishing schedule:
Rogueclassicism is updated daily, usually before 7.00 a.m. (Eastern) during the week. Give me a couple of hours to work on my sleep deficit on weekends and holidays, but still expect the page to be updated by 10.00 a.m. at the latest.

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