Most recent update:2/22/2004; 3:10:48 PM

 Monday, September 29, 2003

NUNTII: In the Aftermath of 9/11

Some folks may remember back when 9/11 happened that ancient historian Richard Berthold said to a class "Anyone who can blow up the Pentagon has my vote." The incident received national attention and Berthold essentially lost his position because of it. Here's what he's been up to ...

8:01:09 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Rubens' Tarquin and Lucretia

The dispute over the painting is in the news again, this time in the Moscow Times and with a few more details. I find this bit interesting:

"Tarquin and Lucretia" arrived in Prussia in 1765 when Frederick the Great bought it and hung it in Sanssouci, the rococo palace that he had built just outside Potsdam. It remained there until 1942, when it was moved to a castle in Rheinsberg before ending up in the country mansion of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in the last few months of the war.

"It hung on the wall of the bedroom of Goebbels' lover," Culture Ministry official Vasily Petrakov said.

After a victorious 61st Red Army marched into Germany in 1945, a Soviet officer took the painting and spirited it back to the Soviet Union, Petrakov said, citing Logvinenko. It was sold for $800 and went through a number of owners before eventually ending up with Logvinenko, he said.

You kind of have to wonder at the mindset of someone who would put a painting of this event on their lover's bedroom wall . Full article(with photo) ...

7:56:30 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: In Hoc Signo ...

Hopefully I can find more on this one, tantalizingly briefly mentioned at Evangelical-Times:

A key turning point in church history was caused by a meteorite shower, Swedish geologists have claimed. They believe that the shower coincided with Constantine’s vision of a heavenly ‘cross of light’ before his decisive battle for the Roman Empire in 312.

7:51:05 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Another Roman Festival

This one was in Middlewich, and since the article about it is housed at one of those ephemeral 'This is ..." newspapers, I'll reproduce the whole thing: 

A Cheshire town turned the clock back 2,000 years at the weekend for its Roman Festival. Thousands of people from across the country gathered in Middlewich to witness the march of the Roman empire by historical re-enactment society the Ermine Street Guard.

In scenes reminiscent of ancient Rome, families thrilled at the colourful military manoeuvres staged on the site of the original encampment at Harbutt's Field, off King Street. It was the town's second staging of the Roman Middlewich Festival following its success two years ago.

A £40,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant helped to keep history alive by funding a virtual reality film plus other Roman attractions. Crowds tucked into Roman food and enjoyed mosaic and pottery workshops. Traditional artisans displayed the secrets behind the manufacture of ancient glass and leather products.

Here's the link to the article, which will no doubt be short lived. The masthead of the Sentinel is interesting, even if the article expires ...

7:47:44 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


A passing bit of movie gossip gives a couple of pauses for thought. Commenting on the theft of a motorcycle and other 'toys' by a bunch of security guards, Zap2It notes:

"Troy," which is set in ancient Rome," is shooting in Baja California Sur, close to the resort city of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Police captain Francisco Solis says that the six men had complained that they hadn't been paid since Hurricane Marty blew through the area last week.

Outside of the obvious howler, one wonders whether perhaps payday was this week. Read the whole article (not much more) ...

7:43:48 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Foreign Languages in Indiana

A piece on foreign languages being taught in Porter County (Indiana) includes this:

Andy Schrum, a 16-year-old junior at Crown Point Senior High School, finds the fun in learning Latin.

Schrum, president of the Indiana Junior Classical League, organized a statewide conference that invited school Latin Clubs from around the state to Crown Point. Held on Saturday, Schrum expected about 150 to 200 students to attend. The event included Roman and gladiator-style games and guest speakers.

"Latin provides a great foundation for other languages," Schrum said. "We need good building blocks and it also helps with vocabulary on SATs."

I'll look for press coverage of the event ... if you know of any, please pass it along!.

Read the rest of the article ...

7:35:31 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: New Method for Dating Archaeological Sites

Distinguishing pottery from one period to another isn't always easy solely on stylistic grounds. Accordingly, researchers have figured out they can carbon date the animal fat residues. The example used:

Ceramic pottery, on the other hand, has a long and stable lifespan. "If you go to a site and you find large amounts of Roman pottery, you know you've got a Roman site," said Richard Evershed, a chemist and lead author of a study on the new technique published Tuesday.

"Later pottery, such as Roman, is relatively easy to date from its appearance. But earlier pottery can be much harder to date because of its rough and ready appearance," Evershed said. "That's where the appeal of having a technique like this comes in."

Until now, there has been no direct method for chemically dating pottery. Other researchers have analyzed residues left on the surfaces of pots, but these materials have been in direct contact with the soil and are likely to be contaminated, Evershed said.

In an earlier study, published in January, Evershed and colleagues looked at organic residue from pottery found in Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age sites in Britain and found the first direct evidence (milk fats) that Britons were tending dairy animals as early as 6,000 years ago

The full article ...

7:28:44 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

REVIEWS: The Latest from BMCR

Christoph Catrein, Vertauschte Sinne. Untersuchungen zur Synaesthesie
in der roemischen Dichtung
[review in English]

Georg Schmelz, Kirchliche Amtstraeger im spaetantiken Aegypten nach den
Aussagen der griechischen und koptischen Papyri und Ostraka
fuer Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete, Beiheft 13.
[review in English]

Roberto Danese (ed.), Andrea Bacianini, Alessio Torino, Tra 'volumen' e
byte: per una didattica sostenibile della cultura latina: una guida a
piu di 50 siti web (seri, divertenti, kitsch) che ospitano il latino.
[review in English]

7:24:05 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Appeal to Save Fishbourne Mosaics

An "explorator" reader sent this one in (thanks DS!) ... The BBC reports on a fundraising drive to raise a million pounds (not sure how to make the pound sign ... sorry) which would help conserve/preserve the mosaics at Fishbourne Roman Palace. Read the story ...

It's also worth visiting the "Official Home Page" of Fishbourne Roman Palace. It has details of excavations over the years, plenty of photos and links to various sites (including their 'new home page': "Romans in Sussex"; both seem designed for students.).


7:18:23 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


ante diem iii kalendas octobres

5:57:20 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Rhodian Ship Law in the News

This is somewhat strange ... in my scans for "explorator", I kept getting hits that the Sealand Express -- a cargo ship which ran aground recently  -- had hit some sunken underwater vessel. It didn't seem to fit my required "ancient" standard, so I ignored it. Now, however, I learn that the ship's owners are making use of one of the oldest maritime laws -- sometimes referred to as the Rhodian Ship Law or the Rhodian Law of Jettison -- which, as the name implies, originated on the island of Rhodes long ago. As Rome became a mercantile state, she incorporated it into her law as well. In any event, here's the scoop:

This is the fallout from a move by the ship's owners, United States Ship Management, which cited a little-known but often used maritime principle of General Average.

General Average allows a ship owner to force all parties with an ownership interest in any aspect of the voyage to help pay for a salvage operation.


Pearson said General Average was one of the oldest principles in maritime law. It dated back to laws valid in ancient Greece - Rhodian Law - centuries before marine insurance.


"Another example of General Average, especially in the old days when the Rhodians (of the port of Rhodes) implemented the law, was when a ship was endangered to a point where some cargo had to be thrown overboard to save the ship.

"The ship owner and the owners of the surviving cargo would then have to contribute to a fund that would repay the owner of the lost cargo for his damages."

The whole article can be read at IOL.

Here's a translation of Justinian's Digest 14.1 - 2  (2 deals with the Rhodian Law), if you'd like to see the Roman incarnation of the law.

5:50:36 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: What is Ancient Greek Good For?

An Op-Ed piece in the Daily Times of Pakistan advocates closing the gap between what the US spends on research and development compared to the EU. Amidst all the expected stuff about what role should be played by universities, one's eye catches:

Admittedly this is not true in all fields: the study of Ancient Greek fragments is valuable even it meets hardly any demand. But it is important in those fields, both theoretical and applied, that might be used as an input in the production of new technologies: physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, etc.

But then we knew that ... read the rest ...


5:37:33 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Click for Athens, Greece Forecast

Click for Rome, Italy Forecast

Site Meter