Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:33:42 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca


It's kind of interesting how the press (the majority of it in North America anyway) seems to want to identify Classics and its subject matter as essentially propounding a 'conservative' political outlook. From Australia's Western Advocate, however, we get this little blurb about a Labor candidate:

He described how as a young man he attended classes at the Workers' Educational Association and Bathurst Tech, had books shipped from Sydney, reading Plutarch and Gibbons and subscribing to the Bathurst School of Arts, with its library of 20,000 volumes.

"I regard Chifley's background as quintessentially Labor, by the standards of his time and mine. He was a Labor man because he was earthy but also ambitious. He was prepared to see politics as a career, not just for its private benefits but overwhelmingly, as a means of serving the working people of this land, Mr Latham said.

::Monday, September 22, 2003 8:31:16 PM::
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MOVIE GOSSIP: Alexander the Great

This just in ... a major press release about the Oliver Stone version of the flick:

The story is an epic that is as daring, bold and ambitious as its subject, a relentless conqueror who by the age of 32 had amassed the greatest empire the world had ever seen. Past and present collide to form the puzzle of the protagonist, a tapestry of triumphs and tragedies in which childhood memories and Alexander's rise to power unfold side by side with the latter day expansion of his empire, its gradual decline and ultimate downfall. From his youth, fueled by dreams of glory and adventure, to his lonely and mysterious death as a ruler of a vast state, from the tumultuous relationship with his parents -- a powerful king and a queen determined to put her child on the throne at any cost, including murder -- to the rousing "band of brothers" bond with his closest companions and vast army, as they fought from the sun-scorched battlefields of the Persian Empire across the snow-peaked mountains of India, the film chronicles Alexander's journey to become a living legend. For as Virgil wrote, "Fortune favors the bold." And no king or emperor, either before or after, ever achieved such fortune, or indeed was so bold, as Alexander the Great.

Stated Oliver Stone, "Actually starting production on this movie about Alexander the Great is the culmination of 13 years of hard work for me, although my fascination with him goes back even further than that. In the spirit of Alexander, Colin Farrell is a force of nature, a defiant, rebellious young man who happens to be a hell of a good actor. It's a great story and Colin is the right actor for the part. We're determined to bring the story to life and do justice to Alexander the Great."

"Over the past few years there's been so much talk throughout the industry of bringing Alexander the Great's story to the screen," said producer and Intermedia chairman Moritz Borman, "and here we are in Morocco with the cameras finally turning, and Oliver Stone -- with an incredible cast and crew -- behind them. Alexander's story is so ambitious and complex, and Oliver has written an extraordinary script which captures the man in all of his myriad facets. Oliver Stone's movie will combine great spectacle with riveting, intimate drama."

More at the Business Wire ...

::Monday, September 22, 2003 8:19:47 PM::
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Not quite an ode:

"They were fired up and ready to go," Pindar said. "They shot well, the passing ... it was pleasant to see.

::Monday, September 22, 2003 8:14:57 PM::
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REVIEW: From the Journal of Roman Archaeology

S. Keay and N. Terrenato (edd.), Italy and the West. Comparative Issues in Romanization.

The tease:

This collection of papers on cultural change in Roman Italy and selected western provinces of the Roman empire is a useful addition to a long-running debate. The origins of the volume lie in a session at the European Association of Archaeologists conference at Ravenna in 1997, featuring two groups of papers, the first on regions within Italy, the second on other western provinces. The book follows this format by dividing the papers into two sections, reflecting the intention to compare the process of change in culture and identity within Italy (1-110), with the pattern observable in the Western empire more generally (111-223). The editors provide an overall introduction (ix-xii), and then separate ones for the two sections (Terrenato for Italy, 1-6; Keay for the Western provinces, 113-16). Summations were commissioned for both sections (J.-P. Vallat for Italy [102-10], S. Alcock for the West [227-30]). In May 2000, the editors presented the main results of the book to a meeting convened in Paris by J. Andreau and Vallat, and the former provides a final overview here (231-33). There is thus no shortage of internal commentary on the contents of the volume, even if it does not all point in the same direction.

::Monday, September 22, 2003 7:59:34 PM::
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REVIEW: Latest from VDH

An "explorator" reader sent this one in (thanks RH!):

Victor Davis Hanson, Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the Past Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think

Here's an excerpt:

During the early winter of the Peloponnesian War's seventh year (424 B.C.) unexpected Boeotian horsemen charging on the powerful right flank of Athens' hoplite column produced a stunning victory at Delium. According to Thucydides, "their sudden appearance struck a panic into the victorious wing of the Athenians."

Many Athenians fled in disarray. Many were slaughtered. Socrates, however, made a "stubborn retreat" into the woods and survived. Consequently, he became a hero in the nightmare that, according to Victor Davis Hanson, "must have quickly taken on mythic proportions and been recounted constantly throughout Athens." Think of the New York firemen and rescue workers during Sept. 11, 2001.

According to Hanson, professor of classics at Cal State Fresno, had Socrates perished at Delium, Western civilization would have remembered him primarily as the philosophical con man that Aristophanes' famous comedy, "Clouds" (423 B.C.), portrayed him to be. Had he perished, he would not have taught Plato, who's largely credited for introducing the Socratic method and primacy of ethics ("from knowledge comes virtue") to Western philosophical and political thought.

::Monday, September 22, 2003 7:53:22 PM::
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REVIEWS: Latest from BMCR

David Joseph Coffta, The Influence of Callimachean Aesthetics on the
Satires and Odes of Horace
. Studies in Classics 19.

Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, Tragedy and Athenian Religion.

::Monday, September 22, 2003 7:48:26 PM::
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VETERES: Chester Starr

Since the Classics list archives seem to have a problem this a.m. and I can't link to Starr's 1999 obituary, I reproduce it below:

 Ancient history expert Chester G. Starr, professor emeritus 
at the University of Michigan and author of more than 20 books, 
has died. He was 84. 
Starr died Sept. 22 at the University of Michigan Medical 
Center. The cause of death was not released by the university. 
Starr was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences and wrote more than 20 scholarly books. He was 
founding president of the Association of Ancient Historians. 
A native of Centralia, Mo., Starr earned a BA and MA at the 
University of Missouri and a PhD at Cornell University. He 
served as professor of history at the University of Illinois for 30 
years before joining the Michigan faculty in 1970. 
He served as the A.M. and H.P. Bentley Professor of History in 
the College of Literature, Science and the Arts from 1973 until 
his retirement in 1985. 
"Professor Starr has demonstrated a remarkable ability to treat 
with imagination and authority an impressive range of historical 
questions," the university regents said when he retired. "No 
ancient historian ... crosses as convincingly the boundary 
between Greek and Roman history, or moves as easily through 
the subsections of the historical discipline." 
The regents said his "virtuoso performances in the classroom and 
his evident delight in explaining the complexity and significance of 
ancient societies have captivated several generations of students." 
Starr served with the U.S. Army from 1942-46. He was chief of 
the Historical Section with the Fifth Army in Italy, and attained 
the rank of lieutenant colonel.

See also the ANS Newsletter for Fall 1999 ...

::Monday, September 22, 2003 6:04:24 AM::
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ante diem x kalendas octobres

  • Mercatus
  • 36 B.C. -- the triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus agrees to
    retire after losing all his military support to Octavian
  • 1999 -- death of Chester Starr

::Monday, September 22, 2003 6:00:28 AM::
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I think the jury's still out on this one. What would you think if you were to read the following description of a performance?

This year's show is entitled "Medusa," designed by Todd Marcocci and promises to be a real show-stopper. The show is presented in four movements, each influenced by the ancient Greek myth. The show opens with Medusa's seduction of Poseidon in the Temple of Athena in the movement "Medusa Lures Poseidon." Next, the band explores the vengeance brought down upon Medusa in the wildly chaotic movement "Athena's Rage." The show continues with a musical depiction of Medusa's most unusual physical transformation in the movement entitled "Serpents." The show concludes with "The Gorgon's Pursuit," as Medusa's sisters, also gorgons, chase the hero Perseus after he has defeated and beheaded his foe.

Some form of theatre perhaps? Perhaps a new symphony? It's actually the latest program from the Phoenixville Marching Band ...

::Monday, September 22, 2003 5:45:44 AM::
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Maybe it's due to the fact that we've run out of coffee and my brain is not yet functioning as it should, but I'm having difficulty understanding much of what I'm reading this a.m.. Consider the following excerpt from a theatre review thing in  the Chicago Sun-Times (one of the few newspapers Conrad Black still owns, I believe):

Symphony of Sex" explores the primal, vital, magical mystery tour that is human sexuality. Blacke has created dramatized versions of rituals she experienced on trips to New Guinea and others researched in her studies about ancient Greece, inspired by the poets Apuleius, Euripides and Homer, as well as the ancient manuscript "A Dkar Theg Pa (The Way of Pure Sound)" from the Tibetan Bon Po.

Okay ... Apuleius I can understand; Euripides I think I need to think about; but Homer? Perhaps you can figure it out ...

::Monday, September 22, 2003 5:39:24 AM::
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I hope the author of this quote (a professor of sociology at the University of Denver) can blame the editors of the Denver Post for this:

Egyptian pharaohs and Roman emperors often married their own daughters to avoid entangling family alliances and to keep their blood lines pure.

Someone obviously needs a bit of a history lesson .... the rest of the article (on defining marriage) at the Denver Post ...

::Monday, September 22, 2003 5:30:01 AM::
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NUNTII: 'New' Online Text

N.S. Gill over at "" has put up:

Charles Cruttwell, A History of Roman Literature: From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius. (1877)

What's really interesting about this one is that it has a pile (116) potential essay questions at the end of it. This one in particular caught my eye:

33. It has been remarked, that while every great Roman author expresses a
hope of literary immortality, few, if any, of the great Greek authors
mention it. How far is this difference suggestive of their respective
national characters, and of radically distinct conceptions of art?

I'll be thinking about that one for a few days, I suspect ...

::Monday, September 22, 2003 5:18:01 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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