Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:28:04 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

NUNTII: Proteus the terrorist

The Oregonian has an unattributed editorial (by someone who clearly didn't sleep through their ClassCiv class) about the threat of terrorism in the next few weeks:

The enemy we face is a shape-shifter. Think of the slippery god Proteus, in "The Odyssey," who "took on a whiskered lion's shape, a serpent then, a leopard, a great boar, then sousing water, then a tall green tree." Such an enemy can be outwitted. But, as that great epic poet of war, Homer, instructs, you have to hang on.

::Sunday, September 07, 2003 5:57:07 PM::
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EXHIBITION: Curule: Ancient Design in American Federal Furniture

The New York Times Arts section has a brief item:

Sometimes its easy to forget that even 200 years ago, style-conscious consumers lusted after novel home furnishings. As this exhibition recalls, the sella curulis, a folding stool of ancient Greece, was a hot decorating commodity in the early 19th century, thanks to its unusual curved frame and a political symbolism that dovetailed neatly with the aspirations of the young republic of the United States. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.

While we might wonder about the 'Greekness' of the sella curulis, we can wander over to the exhibition website, which has a few more details.

::Sunday, September 07, 2003 5:50:59 PM::
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NB: Coming Soon

Over the course of the next week, I'll continue my introduction to blogs with an installment on "other blogs" and "how rogueclassicism came to be". I had intended to include these last week, but rogueclassicism was pretty 'full' already and I didn't want to overwhelm folks. It's also not helpful that the evil tech people removed the computers from my classroom over the summer and have yet to replace them (they're sitting in boxes down in the health room!), but that's another story.

::Sunday, September 07, 2003 5:42:17 PM::
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NUNTII: The Iliad and the 'Oddity'

The Washington Post has a nice piece on St. John's College, the only college in the U.S. which still requires its students to take two years of  ancient Greek:

Gillian Brockett and Caitlin O'Brien are outdoors skipping
around a little round table, bellowing the first lines of "The
Iliad" to all who will listen. Homer's ancient words come out in
a lilting singsong, brought back to life after more than 2,500
Menin aeide, thea, Peleiadeo Achileos

oulomenen, he muri' Achaiois alge' etheke . . .

It means "Sing, goddess, of the wrath of Achilles son of
Peleus, that condemned the Achaeans to countless agonies."

But the words drift away into the warm Annapolis summer day. On
the grass behind them, in a mob, students pound one another with
foam weapons. Another group plays Celtic music. This is, after
all, St. John's College, where one student's Mount Olympus can
be another's Valhalla.

More ...

::Sunday, September 07, 2003 5:39:22 PM::
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TTT: That Post Office Motto

The Times-Picayune (great name for a newspaper), opens a column by a young student with that oft-heard quote from the U.S. Postal Service:

"Neither rain nor hail nor sleet nor snow nor heat of day nor dark of night shall keep this carrier from the swift completion of his appointed rounds."

As might be suspected, the attribution is "Herodotus, 500 B.C." Now I'm probably not the only non-American who grew up thinking this to be the motto of my own (in my case, Canadian) postal service, but I have long wondered about the attribution of this to Herodotus. Godley's translation (of 8.98) at Perseus has it thus:

 It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day's journey. These are stopped neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.

A little ferreting, however, provides a reasonable answer. In the January 1997 issue of Harvard Magazine, we read that a certain William Kendall -- who was charged with the task in 1876 of finding an appropriate inscription for the frieze of the soon-to-be New York Post Office --  was dissatisfied with the 'official' translations of the passage from Herodotus. He approached some unnamed former professor from Harvard who came close, but in the end, Kendall came up with his own, which is what we have today.

(With apologies to Paul Harvey) now you know the rest of the story. Perhaps it wasn't as much a mystery to our American friends as it was to me ... if nothing else, at least there's a correct citation of the section of Herodotus which inspired the motto.

::Sunday, September 07, 2003 5:24:30 PM::
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TTT: Images of Childhood

This is one of the reasons rogueclassicism came into being. No sooner do I send off my "explorator" newsletter, than one of my source sites does an update with something that might be of interest. In this case, it's an article in Humanities magazine on that Coming of Age: Images of Childhood thing at the Hood Museum. This one goes beyond being a mere review and gives a good overview of various aspects of ancient Greek childhood.

Read Maggie Reicher's piece for Humanities ...

::Sunday, September 07, 2003 9:34:48 AM::
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ante diem vii idus septembres

::Sunday, September 07, 2003 9:23:43 AM::
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ITLE: Reunited and it Feels So Good!

An "explorator" reader (thanks AS!) has alerted me that the New York Times Art Page has this little tidbit in passing:

When "Petra: Lost City of Stone" opens at the American Museum of Natural History on Oct. 18, two halves of a stone sculpture dating from A.D. 100 will be reunited for the first time in more than 1,500 years.

"Bust of Zodiac Tyche Supported by Winged Victory (Nike)," which shows a Syrian goddess in the center of a celestial disk, will be prominently displayed with about 200 other objects on loan, largely from Jordan and Europe. The top half was excavated at a sanctuary site in southern Jordan in 1937. The American School of Oriental Research, which made the excavation together with the Jordanian authorities, sold it with 80 pieces of architecture and sculpture from the site in 1939 to the Cincinnati Art Museum for $5,000.

Meanwhile, the bottom of the sculpture, which had already been removed before the dig took place, turned up in 1970 in the hands of a dealer in Amman, who sold it to the Jordan Archaeological Museum. The museum knew the top half of the work was in Cincinnati, and in 1978 Jordan's director general for antiquities asked the Cincinnati museum to return the sculpture, calling it a national treasure.

A few more details at the NYTimes ... scroll down a bit

::Sunday, September 07, 2003 6:14:28 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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