Latest update: 4/3/2005; 2:14:53 PM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

TTT: Minerva

Minerva has put some new content up, of which the following should be of interest:

Sean Kingsley, "Sea-Lanes of Antiquity Feature at the Museum of Cycladic Art "

Sean Kingsley, "The Heracleion Survey. Goddio and Oxford University Join Forces"

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 7:38:11 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: Archaeology News from Kynthos

Anistoriton has just put up a report on some recent archaeological news, including the discovery of a temple on Kynthos with its adyton intact, more or less (the temple had been destroyed in an earthquake); assorted finds during preliminary work in anticipation of constructions of an Athens-Salonica highway, and other things. Check it out ...

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 7:31:41 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

CHATTER: Say What?

Never heard of the Turks.US website before tonight (is there a Turks.R.US site somewhere?)  and already I've got two things from them. This time, it's an editorial which takes that U.S.-as-Rome thing to its (il)logical conclusion:

Where did US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld get his creative ideas of culture destruction and culture change? Probably while he was sifting through the history books at the Pentagon trying to find a creative way to contain the Iraqi threat to Israel. He probably hit upon the Third Punic war in 146 BC when the Romans physically destroyed and occupied what is today known as Tunisia and founded a new city of Carthage — a Roman one. They called it the province of “Africa” — a name that was eventually used to refer to the entire continent. In the same manner, by destroying Iraq and looting its cultural heritage, Rumsfeld thinks that the US can create the new American province of Iraq and ultimately rename and repopulate the entire Middle East.

The whole thing has to be read ...

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 7:13:58 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

CHATTER: Cassandra Speaks

I can't believe how much stuff is turning up tonight. One piece comes from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, which has a review of an item from a journal called Holocene. It relates the result of a study of seven and a half millennia worth of tree rings from Lapland and mentions, inter alia:

The most dependable portion of the record, based upon the number of trees that were sampled, consists of the last two millennia, which the authors say "display features of century-timescale climatic variation known from other proxy and historical sources, including a warm 'Roman' period in the first centuries AD and a generally cold 'Dark Ages' climate from about AD 500 to about AD 900."

So it was warm in Lapland during Roman times. Even so, the study concludes:

The data reported in this study clearly indicate the recurring nature of relatively colder and warmer periods, such as the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period, in northern Swedish Lapland.  They also clearly indicate that the late 20th century warmth of this region was in no way unprecedented.  In fact, when viewed within the context of the entire record, it looks absolutely normal.

In other words, the study suggests there are regular intervals of warmer periods and colder periods. Despite that, I think it is safe to take wagers on how long it is before someone uses this study to suggest that the Romans caused global warming (heck, if the U.S. is Rome, then Rome must be the U.S. and if the U.S. isn't signing Kyoto, well we can't expect the Romans to either blah, blah, blah ..).

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 7:06:14 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

CHATTER: Boudicca

Okay ... not twenty minutes ago I was babbling on the LatinTeach list how I wasn't saying anything about this Boudicca movie thing that's coming on North American television in the next few weeks. Folks over on the Britarch list are already in the dry heaves stage over it and at least one rogueclassicism reader has written in to warn me away from it (thanks FF!). So, of course, the darned thing finally turns up in the scan. North American readers might get a better feel for it from a reviewish sort of thing in the Independent:

So goodness only knows what the American response will be to Boudica, Kingston's latest vehicle, which went out on ITV 1 on Sunday. Co-produced by the WGBH network in Boston, the film may well provoke strong comments in the current climate on the other side of the Atlantic.

Many strands of Andrew Davies's biopic about the feisty Celtic warrior queen could have been ripped from today's headlines. The wily old writer's script is full of such current buzz-phrases as "brute force - it's the only language these savages understand," "read my lips," "client state" and "the peace process".

At one point the Iceni leader, Prasutagus (played by Steven Waddington), is furious when Catus (Steve John Shepherd), the ruthless procurator with the marauding Roman army, suggests that the Ancient Britons are terrorists. "What you call terrorism," Prasutagus fumes, "we call defending our home." Prasutagus' even ballsier wife, Boudica (portrayed with characteristic spiritedness by Kingston) then wades in, urging her husband to resist the brutal invaders: "This is our land, and we'll fight for every last inch of it. If we die, we'll die a glorious death." Do these words sound at all familiar?

The sheer topicality of this tale of a defiant people fighting back against an imperialist invader proved irresistible to Kingston. "Andrew [Davies], in his usual naughty way, draws modern parallels," laughs the 40-year-old actress, who boasts the same stunning mane of hair as Boudica, but looks far more groomed and soignée now that she has finally cleaned off the woad. "He cheekily puts President Bush's words into the mouths of the Romans. In an early draft, the Emperor Nero even called his enemies 'the axis of evil.'

"Given what's happening in the world at the moment, you could easily liken the Romans to the Americans. I'm certain that Andrew was influenced by world events as he was writing Boudica," she says, before adding with a mischievous smile: "I will be fascinated to see the American reaction to the film."

There will doubtless be a lot of attention focused on Boudica in America because, thanks to ER, Kingston is now a major-league star over there. In her seventh season as the super-surgeon Dr Elizabeth Corday in the enduringly popular show, she enjoys third billing - behind Noah Wyle (Dr Carter) and Laura Innes (Dr Weaver).

Read (gack) the rest ...

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 6:57:11 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: Call in the Arbiter Elegantiae!

Imagine driving into San Diego and seeing this:

Here's the reaction according to the Christian Science Monitor ... Shouldn't Neptune have horses vel simm.?

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 6:50:26 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: Acropolis Strike

Another short one ... this time from News 24:

The Athens Acropolis, the most visited site in Greece, was closed on Tuesday by a strike by culture ministry workers over pay and contract demands.

Several dozen strikers blocked the entrance to the Acropolis throughout the morning, turning away disappointed tourists from the archeological wonder, which attracted almost 900 000 visitors last year.

Greek archaeologists are working to restore the Acropolis in time for the Athens Olympics, which open in August next year.

Wow ... they're going to restore the whole thing?

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 6:44:44 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: Vaguely Described Church Stumbled Upon reports:

A church from the era of the ancient Roman Empire (late period) was discovered in the district of Golhisar, in the city of Burdur. A villager from Yusufca applied to the district governor of Golhisar after stumbling across painted frescos and he delivered these frescos to the district governor.

The director of Burdur Museum Haci Ali Ekinci announced that restoration of this ancient church will begin next year. It was reported that archaeologists from Burdur Museum have begun studies and to conduct historical research on the church.

That's all there is ... check it out for yourself!

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 6:40:59 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: Roman "Souvenir" Found

My box is filling up with this one (thanks to all!) ... the BBC reports on the discovery of a bronze "pan" in the Staffordshire Moorlands:

Archaeologists are excited because the names of four forts located at the western end of Hadrian's Wall - Bowes, Drumburgh, Stanwix and Castlesteads - are engraved on the vessel.


Sally Worrell, Roman expert for the PAS, said the name, Aelius Draco, was "perhaps a veteran of a garrison of Hadrian's Wall", who had the vessel made on retirement.

Full piece at the BBC ... including photo!

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 6:34:25 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central


pridie kalendas octobres

  • 286 A.D. -- martyrdom of Victor and Ursus
  • 420 A.D. -- death of Jerome

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 5:39:33 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

CHATTER: On Jeopardy ...

I've always been of the opinion that people with Classics degrees are 'pound for pound' the best potential contestants for Jeopardy and now we'll get to see if it works out. In the soon-to-be-taped College Jeopardy, the representative from Yale will be Robby Schrum, described as "a classics major and an a cappella singer". I'm sure we'll all be cheering him on. More (buried in a Harvard Crimson piece about their representative) ....

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 5:27:13 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

LUDI: Asterix and Obelix

I've never seen such things in the local Walmart, but apparently there are numerous Asterix and Obelix video games. Keep your eye open for the latest ... Asterix and Obelix XXL which is coming out (or might already be out) for PlayStation 2 and Gamecube. Ecce ...

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 5:13:44 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: ClassCon and CanCon in the Same Article!

Unfortunately this one's not on the web anywhere that I can tell, but it's an interesting article which has much Canadian content and just a touch of Classical Content. It comes from the Summer issue of the Canadian magazine Saturday Night -- a great magazine, but one which is perpetually on the verge of going out of business (we'll see if the newly-created Walrus falls into that category as well). An idea of what the article is about can be had from its title: Have Charter Will Travel and the subtitle Lorraine Wenrib has helped make the Canadian Constitution one of this country's hottest exports -- the notwithstanding clause notwithstanding (my fellow Canucks will understand that ref).

An excerpt from the article:

The American Constitution may bet more screen time on Law & Order, but since the 1980's it's the Canadian Constitution -- including the oft-maligned Charter of Rights and Freedoms -- that's become one of the most respected and emulated constitutions in the world, providing a model for countries seeking to write new constitutions or amend existing ones. Most often, the Canadian bearing our constitutional gifts abroad has been a diminutive 55-year-old academic with three children, an undergraduate degree in the classics, a master's in law from Yale, and King Solomon's faith in the brilliance of compromise: Lorraine Weinrib.

"Constitutional law always fascinated me,"Weinrib says in the living room of her home near Casa Loma in midtown Toronto."But my career has been the product of serendipity, not design. I could not have anticipated being catapulted into this work. In some ways, however, I found my way back to my original plan in classics: to read a culture through a text."

The difference is that instead of deciphering ancient Athens by parsing Plato's dialogues, Weinrib, who could be called the world's most influential constitutional "code breaker", now spends her time illuminating postwar democracies by consulting and writing on what makes a constitution work well.

Gloss: one does get real world skills from the study of Classics!

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 5:06:26 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

NUNTII: In Hoc Signo ... redux

Yesterday I bewailed the fact that an item suggesting Constantine's vision can be tied to a meteor shower was so brief. A long-time "explorator" and rogueclassicism reader (if the latter can be said to exist) passed along a couple of additional links which flesh things out quite a bit (thanks JM-Y!). This from the BBC:

But what was the celestial event that converted Constantine and altered the course of history?

Jens Ormo, a Swedish geologist, and colleagues working in Italy believe Constantine witnessed a meteoroid impact.

It is the small, circular Cratere del Sirente in central Italy. It is clearly an impact crater, Ormo says, because its shape fits and it is also surrounded by numerous smaller, secondary craters, gouged out by ejected debris, as expected from impact models.

Radiocarbon dating puts the crater's formation at about the right time to have been witnessed by Constantine and there are magnetic anomalies detected around the secondary craters - possibly due to magnetic fragments from the meteorite.

According to Ormo, it would have struck the Earth with the force of a small nuclear bomb, perhaps a kiloton in yield. It would have looked like a nuclear blast, with a mushroom cloud and shockwaves.

It would have been quite an impressive sight and, if it really was what Constantine saw, could have turned the tide of the conflict.

But what would have happened if this chance event - perhaps as rare as once every few thousand years - had not occurred in Italy at that time?

Maxentius might have won the battle. Roman history would have been different and the struggling Christians might not have received state patronage.

The history of Christianity and the establishment of the popes in Rome might have been very different.

The rest of the BBC piece ...

::Tuesday, September 30, 2003 4:43:20 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