Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:33:52 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

CHATTER: Gladiator

Australia's The Age has an interviewish thing with Ridley Scott in which he mentions in passing how he came to be associated with Gladiator:

"I hadn't done this before," he says. "But then I'd never done a Roman epic before either. I went into Gladiator without even knowing what the script was. Walter Parks from DreamWorks pitched me the idea. It wasn't even an idea. He put a piece of paper on his desk and said, 'Turn it over.' It was the representation of a very beautiful painting by a 19th-century French painter named Jean Gerome called For Those About To Die (a gladiator scene). I was immediately in."

Er ... I think he means the famous Pollice Verso canvas (this image courtesy of the CUNY Brooklyn Department of Classics' Gladiator page)

::Friday, September 26, 2003 6:58:19 PM::
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ante diem vi kalendas octobres

::Friday, September 26, 2003 6:31:52 AM::
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HMMM: Palestine

Not sure about this one ... it's from a piece in Israel Insider with the title "Logic Problems":

 There never was any sovereign state of "Palestine" in history. There was, however, a Roman governor who decided to rename the land of the Jews - Judea - Paelestina, in an effort to completely erase the Jewish connection to the land. In the same way, Jerusalem came to be called Aelia Capitolina. The city that is today Amman, Jordan, was named Philadelphia, after the Ptolemaic ruler Philadelphus, in the third century BCE. Did this name change alter the identity of the people whose land it was? Did the name change give rise to a "Philadelphian people"? Did there coalesce local terrorists calling themselves the PLO (Philadelphia Liberation Organization)?

The rest ...

::Friday, September 26, 2003 6:14:10 AM::
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So what does Arnold Schwarzenegger do when he's not running for governor of California? Ecce:

As to his other TV habits, "I have really only time to watch the news, and I haven't even watched that lately. Or I watch programs about the Roman Empire. I have a huge library of historic things on tape."

Movies? "James Bond movies are fun," he said. "And, you know, I think `Gladiator,' which gives you a little bit of history. In the old days, my idols were always John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Charles Bronson."

From the Charlotte Observer ...

::Friday, September 26, 2003 6:09:07 AM::
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NUNTII: Adrienne Mayor's Latest

Adrienne Mayor last hit the news with The First Fossil Hunters, which showed how ancient myths might be connected to fossil discoveries by the ancient sword and sandal (or at least sandal) set. Now she has turned her word processor to the subject of biological weapons -- Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World -- which appears to have just been released. A review/publication announcement at provides plenty of good teases, but here's a taste:

The "Iliad" provides several clues to primitive biological warfare. Written about 700 B.C., the poem centers on the war between the Greeks (or Achaeans) and the Trojans, thought to have happened around 1250 B.C.

Through memorable episodes, the poem tells the legendary 10-year siege of Troy by King Menelaus of Greece, who sought to rescue his wife Helen from her abductor prince Paris.

"Several passages hint strongly that poisoned weapons were wielded by warriors on the battlefield, although Homer never said so outright. When Menelaus was wounded by a Trojan arrow, for example, the doctor Machaon rushed to suck out the "black blood." This treatment was the emergency remedy for snake bite and poisoned arrow wounds in real life," Mayor wrote.

Indeed, snake venom does cause black, oozing wounds. The snake species used in the Trojan War were vipers as their dried venom remains deadly for a long time when smeared on an arrowhead.

"I think it is entirely possible that what we would now call biological weapons were used by warriors in antiquity. My favorite example is Odysseus, whose weapon of choice was arrows smeared with poison," Robert Fagles, chairman of the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, and translator of the "Iliad," told Discovery News.

The rest ....

::Friday, September 26, 2003 6:00:34 AM::
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QUOTES: Yankovic on Pythagoras et al.

The Sydney Morning Herald has an interview with 'Weird Al' which includes:

"You know, I just love them all so much, it's hard for me to pick my favourite," he says when quizzed on the subject of dress-wearing geniuses such as Pythagoras and Archimedes.

"I think the Pythagorean theorem is completely overlooked in terms of most pop music. I think that P. Diddy was toying around with it in some of his early work, but he never quite got all the way there. He was into the whole square root of A squared plus B squared kind of thing."

Weird Al fans can check out the rest ... (not much more that's Classical)

::Friday, September 26, 2003 5:54:18 AM::
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NUNTII: Archimedes Palimpsest

The Archimedes Palimpsest is back in the news at ScienCentral. The articles gives an overview of the technology used to view it and some of the results of research currently being done about it. Classicists Reviel Netz (Stanford) and Alexander Jones (Toronto) give their two obols' worth along the way. Check it out ...

::Friday, September 26, 2003 5:45:42 AM::
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NUNTII: Michael Bogdanos

Recently we mentioned Michael Bogdanos' news conference about what's still missing in Iraq ... today Forward Magazine has a brief item on him which includes the quote:

The colorful Bogdanos, a homicide prosecutor for the New York City District Attorney's Office who was called up to active duty after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, may be best remembered for his tenacious prosecution of Sean "Puffy" Combs during the rap impresario's trial on weapons and bribery charges. He also happens to hold a master's degree in classical studies from Columbia University, and has been known to wax sentimental about ancient bronze bowls and sculptures in bas-relief.

... just fyi!

::Friday, September 26, 2003 5:41:18 AM::
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NUNTII: This Can't Be Good

Egypt has apparently banned foreign archaeologists from undertaking new excavations in that country for the next decade. Ostensibly to "protect the monuments", there is clearly more lurking behind this (including notions of "face" and the British Museum). Full story in the Taipei Times (of all places) ...

::Friday, September 26, 2003 5:35:43 AM::
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REVIEW: Latest from BMCR

Werner Suerbaum (ed.), Handbuch der lateinischen Literatur der Antike.
Erster Band: Die archaische Literatur. Von den Anfa+ngen bis zu Sullas
Tod. Die vorliterarische Periode und die Zeit von 240 bis 78 v.Chr.
Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft, viii.1.
(review is in English)

::Friday, September 26, 2003 5:23:17 AM::
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The owner of the Iraq War and Archaeology site passed this one along (thanks FD!) ... it's a parody/satire (in the Mad sense of the word) by David Horsey called Empire Rising, depicting assorted current political events as Roman hystery. Check it out at Slate ...

::Friday, September 26, 2003 5:01:21 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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