Latest update: 4/3/2005; 2:14:58 PM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

CHATTER: Yeah ... whatever ...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I first heard the term "metrosexual" about a month ago and it is on the verge of becoming used too much to be effective. The Word Spy defines "metrosexual" thusly (click the link for further background ... the term is almost a decade old!):

A dandyish narcissist in love with not only himself, but also his urban lifestyle; a straight man who is in touch with his feminine side.

Or ... defined more loosely, an urban dwelling male with fashion sense. In any event, I never figured in a million years that it would be applied to the Romans, but, ecce! The Sydney Morning Herald has a review of Gimme Shelter, a movie about the Stones' Altamont-cum-Hell's-Angels' thing which, inter alia, suggest:

David Beckham's braids and white suits have nothing on Jagger's incarnation as Metrosexual Man - an exotically androgynous figure trailing velvet draperies, his silken hair crowned by a baker's boy hat.

Okay ... that makes sense. But the article concludes:

The sad thing is that you're left with the feeling that nothing really changes. After all, at Altamont, the Stones and their fellow musicians were only learning a lesson that those ancient metrosexuals, the Roman emperors, absorbed two millenniums back - that peace hasn't a chance if the macho men of the Praetorian Guard aren't under control.

I think we're kind of stretching the Classical connection this time around . Here's the rest of the article for fellow Stones fans ...

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 9:01:14 PM::
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NUNTII: More Roman Law

T'other day we mentioned how the old Rhodian Ship Law was still being applied, in particular in the case of the Sealand, which went down off the coast of South Africa. Today we read in the Miami Herald:

Golfer Harry Toscano decided he needed financial help after he sued the Professional Golfers' Association over its Senior Tour policies.

So Toscano turned to a company that advanced him thousands of dollars in exchange for his promise that, if he won the $9 million lawsuit, he'd turn over a large portion of the award to the firm.


The court likened the lawsuit-funding industry to intermeddlers who "gorge upon the fruits of litigation" when it ruled in a separate case that an 180-year-old Ohio law known as champerty prohibits outsiders from assisting, for financial gain, people who sue.


Champerty, which became state law in 1823, dates to Roman times. It was meant to prevent speculation in groundless lawsuits and to stop lawyers from giving money to clients for living expenses in exchange for higher fees.

Here's the rest of the article. Whatever the case, champerty appears to be a French word deriving from Latin phrase campi partitio. Interestingly, though, I cannot find the use of that phrase in a Roman legal text. The principle, however, is fairly well known, and can be traced to a senatus consultum Volusianum (poss. 56 A.D.), a provision of which made it into the Digest (48.7.6) as:

Ex senatus consulto volusiano, qui improbe coeunt in alienam litem, ut, quidquid ex condemnatione in rem ipsius redactum fuerit, inter eos communicaretur, lege iulia de vi privata tenentur. [Source, with a scary picture of Mommsen]

By the senatus consultum Volusianum, those  who dishonestly join another's legal dispute in order to share between them whatever material gain comes from the judgement, are liable liable under the lex Julia de vi privata. [my translation ... somewhat free]

Vis is a somewhat complex notion in Roman law ... in this situation it's what we might call 'compulsion' or 'undue influence'.

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 8:36:12 PM::
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REVIEWS: The Latest from BMCR

Tim G. Parkin, Old Age in the Roman World: A Cultural and Social

Michael Paschalis, Stavros Frangoulidis, Space in the Ancient Novel. Ancient Narrative Supplementum 1.

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 7:37:00 PM::
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TEST: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Over on the Britarch list it was announced that the above-mentioned society is making its out of print items available online. I've been playing with them, and there are a few items which are of interest, for various reasons. I'm not sure, however, whether I can link to them directly, so here's a couple just to try it out (there's assorted 'I agree' buttons) ... if it works, I'll put up two or three each evening. The following .pdfs come from volume 1 of Archaeologica Scotica ... that's from 1792, so you'll have to adjust to that non-final 's' that looks like an 'f'.

John Grant, "Of the Roman Hasta and Pilum; Of the Brass and Iron Used by the Ancients"

Alexander Geddes, "The First Eklog of Virgil, translatit into Skottis vers."

If they don't work, or you can't wait to poke around the volume some more (the Rev. Dr. Geddes, e.g., has also 'translatit' the first 'Idillion of Theokritus', try this link ...

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 7:32:30 PM::
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kalendas octobres

  • rites in honour of Fides on the Capitoline at Rome -- these involved a procession
    of the flamines in a "two horse hooded carriage" to the shrine.
    The flamines had to bind themselves up as far as their fingers
    as a symbolic gesture that fides (good faith) had to be kept.
  • rites associated with Juno Sororia at the tigillum -- although
    a number of false etymologies associated this ritual of passing under
    a beam (the tigillum) with the tale of Horatius murdering his sister,
    it is more likely originally some sort of 'coming of age' ritual
    for Roman girls
  • 208 A.D. (?) -- birth of the future emperor Severus Alexander
  • 302 -- martyrdom of Verissimus, Maxima and Julia at Lisbon during the persecution of Diocletian

I also have (unverified):

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 5:51:59 AM::
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NUNTII: Vergina Reopens

The tombs/museum of Philip II reopened to the public the other day:

Visitors will now be able to see inside a tumulus, in place of the earth mound that covered the fourth-century BC graves, the pick of the rich funerary gifts and grave furnishings interred with members of the Macedonian royal family. The artifacts including an 11-kilo gold casket and luxurious arms and armor were originally exhibited in the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, from which the first batch was returned to Vergina in 1997. Together with the finds, archaeologists restored to the mound the bones of a man generally assumed to have been Philip II (382-336 BC).

More in eKathimerini ...

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 5:41:47 AM::
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NUNTII: Latin News from Radio Bremen

Here's the headlines for September:

Ministra Sueciae occisa
Rau praesidentiae iteratae renuntiat
Eximia victoria Stoiberiana
Leni Riefenstahl mortua
Comitia in oppido Bremerhaven habita
Altes Gymnasium Bremense iubilaeum celebrat
Fientne periegeses ad oras spatiales?
Cognitio stercoraria

There's also a short item on the Pax Westphalica and Harry Potter Latinus. Read along while you listen (or just read ... or just listen) ...

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 5:00:36 AM::
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AUDIO: Father Foster

The latest from Father Foster is all about assorted Latin expressions which made their way into English. On a side note, last week I learned you can link directly to the "Latin Lover" segment without having to fiddle with whatever else went on before it. It will also be up for a week (and is archived!). To listen to this week's version ...

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 4:54:58 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Tonight

10.00 a.m. |DCIVC| Byzantium: Building the Dream

7.30 p.m. |DCIVC| Ancient Clues: In Search of Warrior Women

8.00 p.m. |PBS|  Infinite Secrets
"Christie's, New York, 1998: In a blaze of publicity, an
extraordinary item was put up for sale. To the untrained eye, it
was nothing more than a small and unassuming Byzantine prayer
book, yet it sold for over $2 million. Its real value lay not in
the prayers, but in a much earlier, spidery script that lay
hidden almost invisibly beneath them. This turned out to be the
oldest and most authentic copy of a compendium of works by the
ancient Greek scholar Archimedes, lost for more than a thousand
years. Scientists are now using cutting-edge imaging techniques
to unlock the secrets of this time capsule and gain a unique
insight into one of the greatest minds the world has ever
known." [check local listings for when NOVA is on]

9.00 p.m. |HINT| Time Team: Cirencester
"Around 1,700 years ago, Corinium--modern day Cirencester--was
the second-most important city in Roman Britain after Londinium.
By about 300 AD, it had developed into a bustling, wealthy city.
Time Team was drawn to Cirencester by the opportunity to
excavate in the gardens of a number of properties near the
center of old Corinium. Though it has been said that you can't
put a shovel into the ground in Cirencester without unearthing
Roman relics, Time Team adds their 2-spades worth!"

10.00 p.m. |DISCU| The Real Mary Magdalene
"As a reformed prostitute, Mary Magdalene has become an icon
for the virtues of forgiveness. Experts peel away the layers of
mistaken identity and explore the role of women in Mary's
lifetime to show that she may not have been a prostitute at all."

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

DISCU = Discovery Channel (U.S.)

HINT = History International

PBS = Public Broadcasting System (confirm with local listings)

::Wednesday, October 01, 2003 4:40:13 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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