Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:28:18 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

REVIEW: Titus Andronicus

This turned up in the scan and although not strictly Classical, it is an amazing bit of theatrical review writing, I think:

Too bad about Lavinia. Just when the role is looking so promising, they have to go and cut out her tongue. Tonguelessness presents a significant challenge to an actress. But it's even harder, it seems, on a lyricist

"Ah ewwwww!" Lavinia, as played by Patricia Hurley, sings in the new slice-and-dice rock opera, "Titus! The Musical." "Eorrrrrrrrrr. Ah ewwwww!"

Budding composers, pay heed: When adapting a baroque bloodbath for the musical stage -- a work in which hands are routinely lopped off, heads get the ax, infants are stabbed in their swaddling cloths, and corpses are sauteed and fed to their mothers -- make sure that the defiled, tongueless virgin gets a solo.

The rest in the Washington Post ...

::Friday, September 12, 2003 7:51:26 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: 12 Black Classicists

A while back we mentioned a (then) forthcoming exhibit currently at the Detroit Public Library called "12 Black Classicists". It's now on and getting some press coverage at a Detroit Public Radio station. It comprises an interviewish sort of thing with the organizer, Classicist Michele Ronnick and is available in RealAudio (the text at this page is a transcript, by the way, just in case you don't have RealAudio).

::Friday, September 12, 2003 7:31:36 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: Shades of Caligula

We're in the midst of an election up here in Ontario ... there's also an election going on for governor in St. Petersburg; the latter seems rather more interesting:

Walking down Nevsky Prospekt on Wednesday, you were likely to be stopped by several clowns introducing a horse to you and asking you to support it.

This was, of course, no ordinary horse: According to a large poster next to it, the horse is running for St. Petersburg governor and is supported by the president.

The rest is in the St. Petersburg Times ...

::Friday, September 12, 2003 7:18:36 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: Roman Purple Dye

Plenty of folks (thanks!) have sent a BBC report in for inclusion in this weekend's "explorator":

A British amateur chemist has worked out how the ancient Romans dyed the togas of emperors this deep colour thanks to a bacterium found in cockles from the supermarket Tesco.

The hue had special significance as the colour of imperial power. Cleopatra also had the sails on her ship dyed the same colour.

The recipe for the dye had been kept a craft secret, even in ancient Egypt and Rome. There are few references to the dying process in the historical literature.

You can get in on the 'secret' here ...  or, go here for an extensive bibliography on Tyrian Purple (up to about a decade ago ... alas, they're not hyperlinks even though they look like they are).

::Friday, September 12, 2003 7:11:06 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: ClassCon Editorials

A loyal rogueclassicism lector (thanks LK!) has spotted  and passed along some ClassCon in some Guardian editorial of late. A piece called "Sage Advice", e.g., opens thus:

Chilo of Sparta did not get to be one of the seven sages of the ancient world for nothing. It is some time since he first expressed the view that one should speak no ill of the dead. But time has vindicated Chilo's maxim. As a general rule, when a person dies, it is seemly and wise to bury the hatchet. Even the death of an enemy can be a moment for magnanimity.

... and ends thus:

 If all men are bad, as Bias of Priene said, then maybe we should not be too proud to reserve our true feelings for another day.

I think we can tentatively give the Guardian the prize for quoting the most obscure DWEM's found in the popular press.

::Friday, September 12, 2003 6:53:41 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

TTT: Leo Strauss Watch

The Fall 2003 issue of The Public Interest has a piece by Steven Lezner and Bill Kristol entitled "What Was Strauss Up To?". It's a rather lengthy piece, but this paragraph will give you a sense of why I decided to include the article here:

Other contrasts include, fifth, that for the classics, the best regime provides the standard to guide political life, and “it is of its essence to exist in speech as distinguished from deed”; for the moderns, the “legitimate” or constitutional political order that protects rights provides the standard for political life, and it is meant to be actualized everywhere. Sixth, “according to the classics, political theory proper is essentially in need of being supplemented by the practical wisdom of the statesman on the spot”; generally speaking, the moderns reduce the need for prudence and statesmanship by lowering the goals of politics and emphasizing what can be attained by the right kind of institutions in conjunction with “enlightenment.” Finally, classical teaching identifies the life according to nature or the simply best life as the philosophic life and defends it, while the moderns, by divorcing natural right from “the idea of man’s perfection,” blur the status of the philosophic life.

If one considers even briefly these contrasts, one sees why Strauss elsewhere characterizes the classical writers as being “for almost all practical purposes what now are called conservatives.” And if one considers Strauss’s apparent preference for the classics, one can see why Strauss once remarked that his teaching was held to be “in the odor of conservatism.” At the same time, reading Natural Right and History, one is also struck by Strauss’s emphasis on the moderate character of classical political thought - its “sensible flexibility” and recognition of the necessary imperfections of political life, even its view of political justice as resembling what we today call equality of opportunity. Strauss brings forth the classical concern for virtue, but he also makes clear how far the classics are from a doctrinal moralism or an ideological conservatism.

Here's the whole thing ...

::Friday, September 12, 2003 6:35:13 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

TTT: Another Online Text

Over at "" N.S. Gill has put up the following:

William Smith, A Smaller History of Greece

A little out of date, but it runs from the 'heroic age' down to the Roman conquest and is a good basic presentation.

::Friday, September 12, 2003 6:28:41 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central


pridie idus septembres

  • ludi Romani (day 8)

::Friday, September 12, 2003 5:59:18 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

MOVIE GOSSIP: Alexander the Great

This is a good indication of how few items came up in the scan this a.m.. I am resorting to posting a piece on the Alexander film which basically says that one of the stars (not Brad Pitt) decided to move to a cheaper hotel. Hopefully there will be more gleanings later today.

::Friday, September 12, 2003 5:54:53 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: UCBerkeley's Greek Theatre Centennial

... and to celebrate, they will be putting on a couple of performances of the Medea -- one in translation and one in Greek. Mark Griffith will host a symposium on Medea as well.

Read more ...

::Friday, September 12, 2003 5:13:49 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

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.

Valid HTML 4.01!

Valid CSS!

Site Meter