Latest update: 4/5/2005; 4:33:54 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

QUID NOVI: Weather

I've just added a couple of things to the blog ... if you scroll down to the bottom, you will see the weather conditions in Rome in Latin. In the right hand bar (or further down, depending on your resolution), you should get the weather conditions in Athens in Greek. Enjoy!

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 8:19:08 PM::
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Every Classicist, rogue or otherwise, is familiar with Plutarch's description of Alcibiades in chapter 23 of his biography (here presented in Dryden's translation):

The renown which he earned by these public services was equalled by the admiration he attracted to his private life; he captivated and won over everybody by his conformity to Spartan habits. People who saw him wearing his hair close cut, bathing in cold water, eating coarse meal, and dining on black broth, doubted, or rather could not believe, that he ever had a cook in his house, or had ever seen a perfumer, or had worn a mantle of Milesian purple. (4) For he had, as it was observed, this peculiar talent and artifice for gaining men's affections, that he could at once comply with and really embrace and enter into their habits and ways of life, and change faster than the chameleon. One colour, indeed, they say the chameleon cannot assume: it cannot itself appear white; but Alcibiades, whether with good men or with bad, could adapt himself to his company, and equally wear the appearance of virtue or vice. (5) At Sparta, he was devoted to athletic exercises, was frugal and reserved; in Ionia, luxurious, gay, and indolent; in Thrace, always drinking; in Thessaly, ever on horseback; and when he lived with Tisaphernes the Persian satrap, he exceeded the Persians themselves in magnificence and pomp. Not that his natural disposition changed so easily, nor that his real character was so variable, but, whether he was sensible that by pursuing his own inclinations he might give offence to those with whom he had occasion to converse, he transformed himself into any shape, and adopted any fashion, that he observed to be most agreeable to them.

So tonight, when my wife asked me to download something "enquirerish" that she can use in an assignment for a course she is taking, the e-gods took me to the Weekly World News, which has a piece on Osama Bin-Laden, who is apparently hiding in Alaska. Here's an excerpt:

According to sources who have heard the tape, Bin Laden shaved his beard, lightened his skin and used fake papers to jet from Lahore, Pakistan, to Juneau, Alaska, in the guise of an American evangelist last May.

Once in the U.S., says the tape, Bin Laden "followed the North Star to find Falana and her clan."

And when he finally hooked up with them, the tape continues, "it was as if the great sheikh, the holy war honcho, had come home."

The tape says Bin Laden quickly acclimated himself to Eskimo life -- even to the point of mushing a sled, fishing for food through a hole in the ice, sleeping in an igloo and hunting seals and polar bear with a spear.

The tape goes on to say he traded in his turban and sandals for a fur hat and heavy boots.

On a more personal level, it speaks of "cozy nights of love and affection that the enlightened one shares with his shy and obedient wife."

It also hints that "having lots of strong male children" might be part of the happy couple's future "in the great north land so far removed from the great prince's camels and date palms."

Plutarch would have been proud ...

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 7:40:42 PM::
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SURFING: War Correspondents' Memorial Arch

There's a piece bouncing around the newswires for the past couple of days about a ceremony to be held at the War Correspondents' Memorial Arch, which is situated in Gathland State Park, about 50 miles from Washington, D.C.. The article appeared in a few subscription pieces before finally being available and the reason it kept turning up in my scans was because of this line:

The arch, decorated with carvings of ancient Greek gods and the words "speed" and "heed," is the only national monument to war correspondents.

Of course, I was curious about which Greek gods would be associated with the monument, and after much fruitless poking about (there are numerous carvings which are allegories which I thought were being mistaken for Greek divinities) I happened on the Civil War Home Page devoted to the monument, which includes an excerpt of a description, which I'll further excerpt:

 "In appearance the monument is quite odd. It is fifty feet high and forty feet broad. Above a Moorish arch sixteen feet high built of Hummelstown purple stone are super-imposed three Roman arches. These are flanked on one side with a square crenellated tower, producing a bizarre and picturesque effect. Niches in different places shelter the carving of two horses' heads, and symbolic terra cotta statuettes of Mercury, Electricity and Poetry. Tables under the horses' heads bear the suggestive words "Speed" and "Heed"; the heads are over the Roman arches. The three Roman arches are made of limestone from Creek Battlefield, Virginia, and each is nine feet high and six feet wide. These arches represent Description, Depiction and Photography.
       The aforementioned tower contains a statue of Pan with the traditional pipes, and he is either half drawing or sheathing a Roman sword. Over a small turret on the opposite side of the tower is a gold vane of a pen bending a sword. (Note: This weather vane may now be seen in the Park Museum.) .

So the "Greek" divinities are Mercury and Pan. That Mercury (probably Hermes) might be associated with war correspondents seems reasonable enough, but Pan is a bit of a mystery to me. Seems like it might appropriately apply to the Geraldo types, but to other war correspondents?

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 7:14:56 PM::
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NUNTII: Pheidippides' Run

A brief item from the San Francisco Chronicle:

SPARTA, Greece (AP) -- Austria's Markus Thalmann won a 154-mile race Saturday on a course from Athens to Sparta that traces the route of an ancient Greek messenger.

Thalmann finished in 23 hours, 28 minutes, 24 seconds. He was two hours ahead of Brazil's Valmir Nunes. France's Jean-Jacques Moros was third.

The race, known as the Spartathlon, featured about 230 runners from 30 countries. It is a punishing reenactment of the legendary run by Pheidippides nearly 2,500 years ago. The messenger sought help from Sparta, which had allied with Athens against a Persian invasion.

The route across southern Greece was plotted by British officers in 1982.

There's a "Golden Thread" at the Atrium on Pheidippides' run ...

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 6:33:07 PM::
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REVIEWS: The Latest From BMCR

W. Cavanagh, J. Crouwel, R.W.V. Catling, G. Shipley, Continuity and
Change in a Greek Rural Landscape: The Laconia Survey. Vol 1:
Methodology and Interpretation.
ABSA Suppl. 26.

Marianne McDonald, The Living Art of Greek Tragedy.

Claire L. Lyons, John K. Papadopoulos (edd.), The Archaeology of Colonialism.

Penny MacGeorge, Late Roman Warlords.

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 6:25:37 PM::
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NUNTII: Al-Bas Necropolis Conservation

The American Ambassador to Lebanon is contributing a sizeable amount to help preserve the Roman necropolis and hippodrome in Tyre. Full story in the Daily Star.

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 7:32:53 AM::
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How goes the war? These two headlines appeared side by side (sort of ) in one of today's scans (honest!):

Romans Hand Out Scare to National Giants

Romans Wage War on Dog Droppings

... sort of a sublime to ridiculous thing.

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 7:27:54 AM::
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NUNTII: Roman Amphitheatre Found

Car park construction last year revealed the possible site of a Roman amphitheatre in Cordoba ... now archaeologists have a good idea of what they've found:

Archaeologists in the southern Spanish city of Cordoba have uncovered the third-largest known Roman amphitheatre measured by ground surface, after Rome's Colosseum and Carthage in Tunisia, municipal authorities said.

The elliptical site is 178 metres at its widest point, just ten metres less than the Colosseum which was built 40 years later.

"With an estimated capacity of 30,000 to 50,000, it was built for gladiatorial combat during the reigns of emperors Claudius and Nero in the first century, some 50 years after Christ," Desiderio Vaquerizo Gil, professor of archaeology at the University of Cordoba said.

Mr Vaquerizo said the site was ransacked at some point between the fourth and seventh centuries before Arab forces conquered the southern region of Andalusia early in the eighth Century.

More at ABC (the photo is of the Colosseum, by the way)

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 7:23:13 AM::
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ante diem v kalendas octobres

  • ca. 305 (?) martyrdom of Epicharus, the wife of a senator, during the persecution of Diocletian

::Saturday, September 27, 2003 7:17:31 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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