Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:28:02 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

NUNTII (sort of): Pre-Invasion Roman Helmet Found in Britain

This 24-hour Museum just turned up in the scan (I'm not sure why) ... it's all about a find made back in April (if I recall correctly) of a collection of Iron Age coins in Leicestershire. What I don't recall having read, though, was that there was also found a silver Roman cavalry helmet ... here's the scoop (albeit late):

Although the entire discovery has thrilled experts, it is the silver Roman helmet that could cause the greatest impact on the way we see early British history.

A decorated Roman cavalry helmet, the silver piece is the first such artefact to be found in this country and would have been worn by high-ranking officers on parade. Evidence suggests that it might have been buried before the Roman conquest.

This raises the intriguing possibility that a Leicestershire man may have travelled to the Roman Empire and served in the cavalry before Britain was conquered.

There's a photo at the site as well ... I'll see if I can 'dig' up more on this over the next few days.

::Saturday, September 06, 2003 8:48:34 PM::
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TTT: More on Thucydides

When rogueclassicism was still in the germination stage, I had mentioned an article from, which is (I believe ... and no one corrected me) a libertarian website. I've just stumbled upon another article there worthy of note ... it's a sort of quick summary of the important bits of Thucydides. Not a bad intro, at any rate ...

::Saturday, September 06, 2003 8:14:22 PM::
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NUNTII: If I Wanted Two I Would Have Asked ...

Classicists show up in the strangest of places ... this time, in the Fashion and Style page of the New York Times, where, in a piece on the aesthetics of martini glasses one may read:

But then, it is the semidangerous nature of the martini glass, among the most top-heavy of drinking glasses (bested only by the Champagne coupe, perhaps), that gives it allure. Lowell Edmunds, a classics professor at Rutgers University and author of "Martini, Straight Up," a scholarly history of the drink, pointed out that the glass was not equated with its contents until the 1940's, 70 years after the martini's birth. As the martini gained in stature as the elegant, clean, modern cocktail, the glass came to stand as its visual equivalent (not to mention its pedestal).

"Yet it's a glass that's hard to drink from because it's so easy to spill," Mr. Edmunds said. "So it's beautiful as design and precarious as an actual object."

::Saturday, September 06, 2003 8:09:40 PM::
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NUNTII: Parthenon/Elgin Marbles Saga -- Backdoor Pressure on BM

Here's one I missed in "explorator":

EDINBURGH will be granted a major exhibition of priceless Greek treasures if Britain agrees to a controversial deal to allow the return of the Elgin Marbles to Athens.

Sources close to talks between the British and Greek governments have said the Scottish capital – dubbed the Athens of the North – has been earmarked by Greece as the host city for the event under new compromise proposals.

If agreed, the exhibition in Edinburgh is likely to include hundreds of “previously unseen” antiquities excavated recently from Athens as well as some of the most highly prized Greek artefacts from the dawn of civilisation.

More in the Sunday Herald (August 24) ...

::Saturday, September 06, 2003 8:02:55 PM::
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REVIEW: Brendan Kennelly, Martial Art

In Byron's Don Juan, the hero's mother Donna Inez hires tutors to give her son a "strictly moral" education, an aspiration which proves comically incompatible with her desire that he should also be well-versed in the classics. One after another, the ancient Greek and Latin poets turn out to be not quite comme il faut: for Homer and Virgil the tutors have to make "an odd sort of apology/ For Donna Inez dreaded the mythology", "Ovid's a rake", "Anacreon's morals are... still worse", "Catullus scarcely has a decent poem", Lucretius is an atheist and Juvenal an upstart. But the worst offender is Martial to whose "nauseous epigrams" Byron facetiously defies any "proper person" to be "partial". Don Juan studies them in an edition "Expurgated by learned men", though this does little to stem the tide of his adolescent curiosity since, instead of censoring the "grosser parts" outright, the learned men in question merely relegated them to "an appendix" - "Which saves, in fact, the trouble of an index".

The rest is in the Guardian ...

::Saturday, September 06, 2003 7:58:15 PM::
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NUNTII: The All-Purpose Quote from Thucydides

Since it's a slow news day, I've been poking around to see whether I can find any citations of ancient authors in the news and we might be on the start of a trend. An opinion piece in The Daily News (Harare) comments inter alia on the political strife in Zimbabwe thus:

In this game of power politics, the opponent must surrender or be wiped out! One is reminded of the Greek historian Thucydides in his History of the Peloponnesian War, which is about the savage war between two mortal political enemies. The Athenians (the strong state) declare candidly to their enemy: "You know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power . . . The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

A few days earlier, the Nation (Nairobi) had an opinion piece on globalisation [sic ... I know it's one way to spell it], which, inter alia, says:

That's the theory of it. The reality, unfortunately, is somewhat different. It is perhaps best encapsulated in a passage from the classic History of the Peloponnesian Wars, which Greek historian Thucydides wrote around 400BC.

In it an Athenian envoy addresses a rival delegation as follows: "You know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only a question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must."

In earlier things still lurking on the web, we find the "weak suffer what they must" quote being applied to the China-Taiwan dispute, the issue of punishing war crimes, and on and on. There was a 'cluster' of such quotes in April of this year (for obvious reasons), e.g. at The Dawn  and It has also given rise to the phrase "Melos Syndrome" in a piece on nuclear weapons (by Mike Moore ... I don't think that's 'Michael Moore' of Bowling for Columbine fame).

Interesting that the world appears to be reading the same translation of Thucydides. Think of the royalties he'd be getting ...

::Saturday, September 06, 2003 8:14:57 AM::
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NUNTII: Hybris in the News

The Christian Science Monitor has one of those who-forgets-the-past-is-doomed-to-repeat-it pieces about Iraq which opens:

Thucydides, the Greek historian, reminds us that in the 5th century BC the Athenian Greeks learned a lesson about having too much hubris - arrogance. The citizens went to the agora and voted to send a military expedition to what in those days was a distant Sicily. There the Syracusans were harassing a small nation-state that was something of an ally of Athens. On the day the expedition rowed away in 134 triremes - warships with three banks of oarsmen on each side - most of the populace of Athens came down to the harbor at Piraeus to cheer and send them off.

There was no reason to doubt victory. Syracuse was no more than a backward, uncultured nation-state on the outskirts of civilization. When the Athenians arrived, however, the military of Syracuse tried some new tactics that confounded the Athenian generals sufficiently that victory did not come quickly, as anticipated. Instead, the Athenians had to send home for reinforcements. After two years of war, the Athenian force in Sicily was so decimated that few managed to return home. This was only the beginning of problems for Athens, however. In another nine years the Athenians had lost their empire abroad and their democracy at home. The hubris that had carried them to Sicily had started them on the road to their downfall.

Read the rest of the analogy ...

::Saturday, September 06, 2003 7:39:29 AM::
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ante diem viii idus septembres

  • ludi Romani (day 2)
  • 1956 -- death of Michael Ventris, who deciphered Linear B (the
    ancient script used by the Myceneans)

::Saturday, September 06, 2003 7:09:49 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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