Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:28:07 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

TTT: Matters Hydraulical

The Portland Press-Herald has a review of a book on the history of the organ which mentions inter alia:

The first according to Whitney, "may have appeared in the 3rd century BC - a 'hydraulis' which used a water pump to maintain air pressure in a windchest beneath... rows of pipes like oversized whistles. The Romans later used organs like these in amphitheaters, circuses, and gladiator contests. Nero apparently played a mean hydraulis."

... which sent me a-searching, since I had forgotten this detail. Plenty of stuff on the hydraulis on the web, but most interesting are a handful of pages at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture called The Ancient Hydraulis. Along with the usual photos we find mention of a 'reconstruction project' based on archaeological evidence from Dion, more details (and photos) of which are found elsewhere at the HMoC site. A couple of years ago, the thing was to be played in public, and covered by the Times, and fortunately someone quoted the entire article to a listserv. Even better, though, the Archaeology Channel still has its page on the Ancient Hydraulis up, which includes a video (I couldn't get the Windows Media version to play; the RealPlayer version was fine, if a bit choppy) of the performance, and an audio interview with Dr. Richard Pettigrew on the thing.

::Monday, September 08, 2003 8:46:12 PM::
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OBSERVATION: Classics-imbued African Journalism

The other day I mentioned a couple of quotes from Thucydides which were found in African newspapers. Something that is becoming increasingly apparent, however, is that there is a definite 'Classics streak' which can regularly be found in the journalism from that continent. For example, an opinion piece from the Vanguard (Lagos) about what (if any) U.S. involvement there should be in Nigeria is peppered with allusions, to wit:

That is, they are to kit their squads for a kill whenever things move a verbis ad verbara  [sic], from words to blows.

The whole thing evokes some touch of bitterness or what Lucretius calls amari aliquid, if we must capture it in its original usage.

Military deftness is no surrogate for vox populi.

I doubt a Canadian journalist would even know who Lucretius was -- up here, "The Nature of Things" is a program with Dr. David Suzuki.

::Monday, September 08, 2003 8:15:21 PM::
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NUNTII (sort of): Procession to Remember the Eruption of 79 A.D..

Again, I'm mystified at what turns up in my scans and when. This one actually dates from August 11, but never showed up. Since it's so short, I quote in it's entirety from the AGI site:

A historic procession in costume will be held at Pompei's ruins on August 24th to remember the tragic eruption which, that same day 1924 years earlier, completely destroyed and buried the Roman city, as well as the cities of Herculaneum, Stabia and Oplontis. The procession, which is being held for the first time, will see the legionaries, ladies-in-waiting, matrons, common people and slaves amongst the 80 extras lead by the Emperor Tiberius, his wife Messalina and the gladiators. The procession will make its way through the streets of the unearted city and the visitors to the ruins will be able to assist without any added cost and will be allowed to use vide-cameras. The initiative is being organised by the Historic Roman Group, a non proft-making association that for about ten years now has been collaborating with Italy's superintendences, and the course will last from 45 to 60 minutes and will leave from Porta Stabia to pass through the Quadriporticus of the Theatres, via Stabiana, via dell'Abbondanza, the Forum, Via del Foro, via della Fortuna, Orpheus' Quadrivio, Via Stabiana and back to Porta Stabia. The costumes have been made by the members of the association who used iconographic cources, texts and bas-reliefs about life in the first centurt after Christ as inspiration.

This Gruppo Storico Romano shows up semi-frequently on RAI (in Canada via TeleLatino) as guests/hangers on in various programs and they were on some English language news because they run a gladiator school, so I wondered if they had a website. And of course, they do and they even have an English Language section! Alas, there's no section on the procession, but there are plenty of photographs at the site (a bit small!). The Gladiator School looks rather intense (16 lesson just to become a tiro!) ... interesting stuff.

::Monday, September 08, 2003 7:39:21 PM::
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ante diem vi idus septembres

::Monday, September 08, 2003 5:23:39 AM::
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NUNTII: Spartacus on the Rise Again

The strangest things turn up in the scans as I await my coffee. In this case, a piece from the Evening Star about the 'local boy' boxer who dubs himself 'Spartacus':

Spartacus, who enters the ring in full gladiator regalia, will have his usual big backing again.

He says: "My fans have been terrific. I've been very lucky with the support I've had in my career so far. The Spartacus Army, as they call themselves, have been an inspiration to me in both my amateur and professional career."

::Monday, September 08, 2003 5:13:42 AM::
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OBITUARY: Margaret Roxan

Margaret Roxan, known most for her studies of Roman Military Diplomas has passed away. An obituary in today's Sydney Morning Herald ...

::Monday, September 08, 2003 4:52:43 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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