Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:28:13 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

NUNTII: Veteres in the News

I'm not sure about including this one within a blog that I'm trying to keep strictly within the world of Classics, but this one is intriguing and does have some ClassCon (Classical Content). It's a piece from the UCBerkeley News which comments on the discovery of some miniature figurines of Berkeley academic types from the 1930's, the function of which is unclear and, of course, much speculated upon. Interestingly, we read:

It should be noted that not all little men are created equal. The four tallest — mounted on weighted pedestals and measuring about four inches high — are W. Popper (etched with the number 1411), G.D. Louderback (a geology professor and L&S dean in the 1930s), J.J. Van Nostrand (a professor of ancient history and an active Senate member, bearing the date May 20, 1939, and the number 1395) and George M. Calhoun, a professor of classics. Their size “could indicate stature,” Gronsky speculates. “They were possibly used for campus battle planning.”

I've tracked down obits for Calhoun and Van Nostrand ...

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 8:11:18 PM::
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REVIEW: Victor Davis Hanson, Battles That Changed the World

In the Christian Science Monitor ...

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 7:57:13 PM::
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NUNTII: The Story of Clytie

The Phoenix includes a nice little bit metamorphosizing in its gardening column:

Long ago and far away in ancient Greece, Clytie, a female deity, was in love with the sun god, Apollo.

Unfortunately for Clytie, however, Apollo couldn't have cared less about her.

Apollo had the daily job of transporting the sun across the sky with his golden chariot, and day after day, Clytie looked up at the sky to watch Apollo as he worked.

But Clytie watched Apollo so often, one day she lost track of time and grew roots. Except for being able to turn her head and follow Apollo as he carted the sun, you see, she couldn't move.

Legend has it, Clytie became a "heliotropic," flowering plant. In other words, Clytie became a flowering plant that tracks the sun's path across the sky - just like sunflowers.

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 7:53:51 PM::
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NUNTII: I Clearly Went to the Wrong High School ...

This is amazing ... Brookline High School has just done some restoration work; here's the tease:

Brookline School officials partnered with some local groups and residents and have restored a 19th century copy of a band of artwork that once adorned the walls of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.

The copy was originally brought to Brookline by William H. Lincoln in 1886 after being assembled in Britain, where the originals, now known as the Elgin Marbles, are kept.

For over a hundred years, the copies were housed in the old Lincoln School, which was named for the purveyor of the art.

But years of neglect had taken their toll on the plaster casts, so in the mid-1990s several school officials began raising money to refurbish the copies of the Elgin Marbles, which were named for a British ambassador who plundered them from the Parthenon.

While I won't comment on that "plundered" comment, the rest of the article is in the Brookline Tab ...

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 7:50:26 PM::
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TTT: Coming of Age ... even more good stuff

That Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images From the Classical Past exhibition at the Hood Museum is getting a lot of press attention. Discovery Channel has an okay reviewish sort of thing, but even better, they've got a slide show of some of the objects. There's some good stuff here, including one which Discovery Channel dubs an "ancient Barbie", although I'm not quite sure it might not be an 'action figure'. Also of interest to techie types like myself is the image dubbed "ancient laptop", even if it isn't.

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 7:43:48 PM::
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NUNTII: Pindar Quotation!

The Marco Island Sun Times has a coherence-challenged piece on various accoutrements to wealth, which includes some items of passing interest, including:

In ancient Rome only nobles were allowed to wear pearls. The Latin word for pearl literally means "unique" and this is true, for no two pearls are identical.

But more interesting is a quotation from Pindar Olympian 1.1.1:

Water is best, but gold shines like fire blazing in the night, supreme of lordly wealth.

Good to see Pindar making it into the popular press. If you want to read the whole ode in translation (Lattimore), it's here (at one of my alma maters) ...

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 7:33:45 PM::
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FROM THE LISTS: Bradford Roman Villa

A message from GE on the Britarch list points us to the Bradford on Avon Roman Villa webpage which has been recently updated. The page gives a good overview of this season's excavations at the fifth century A.D./C.E. site and includes some good photos of the mosaics from the 'baptistry' and a mysterious hypocaust. Worth a look ...

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 7:23:02 PM::
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ante diem iv idus septembres

  • ludi Romani (day 6)

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 6:02:41 AM::
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NUNTII: Remains of an Ancient Banquet

Here's one I missed ... the Australian has a brief report on the discovery (it doesn't say when) of the remains of some major Gallic feast which they apparently didn't bother to clean up afterwards. What caught my eye, er, my search engine was this:

In the earth are at least 1000 amphoras, the tops sliced off with swords before guests consumed the contents.

Not much is said beyond that (hopefully we'll find out more), but here's the rest ...

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 5:50:49 AM::
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NUNTII: That Caligula Temple Thing

I think the jury is still out on this one, but at least we're getting more details. The Stanford Report has an extensive article on that dig this past summer in the Forum which claims to have found evidence that Caligula did, in fact, make the Temple of Castor and Pollux part of his palace. The argument is based largely on a drain which doesn't quite make sense architecturally:

Trimble gives Wilson, an authority on Roman hydraulics, much of the credit for having understood the significance of a drain that runs northward from the site of Caligula's palace and cuts across the street just south of the Temple of Castor. Because the street already had a drain that ran to the west, Trimble and her colleagues wondered why it would have been necessary to construct another one along a different alignment. Their theory: Caligula destroyed the street to connect his palace with the temple and, as a result, had to build a new drainage system. To Trimble, such an act points to someone with no sense of constraints. "Caligula associated himself with the gods," she said. "He played fast and free with the public streets of Rome."

Later, however:

Trimble, Wilson and Arya believe that Claudius, Caligula's successor, demolished the palace extension to the temple and restored the street. The scholars said they hope to return to the site, possibly next year, to continue the excavation. Their success in doing so depends on securing the necessary permits and funding, according to Trimble.

While I find the drain theory almost convincing, I find it hard to believe that Claudius would tear down something and either not get credit for it or not have a wife or freedman blamed for it. Since Caligula's principate was so brief, perhaps it is more reasonable to see in this a 'last straw' prior to his assassination (we know that Cassius Chaerea didn't 'act alone') and that construction didn't get beyond the drain work?

Read the rest of the Stanford Report (and if you have time, follow their link to the Digital Forma Urbis project too!).

::Wednesday, September 10, 2003 5:43:05 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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