Latest update: 4/3/2005; 2:15:07 PM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca


Here's an indication of the sad state of Classical Studies in Canada --  or at least evidence of the lack of knowledge of same by the vast majority of the populace. The Timmins Osprey has a feature on a travelling (rather tacky, I think) sculptural exhibition depicting various scenes from the Bible. One series focuses, semi-Mel-Gibson-like, on the end of Jesus' life:

The third category is about the last three days of the life of Jesus.

“So you’ll notice a lot of Roman soldiers in this one,” Turcotte said, adding the largest of the sculptures in this category, “Jesus Before Pilot,” is valued at $12,000.

So, not only did the person who labelled the sculpture not know, but the writer of the article did not know, the person who wrote the caption to the accompanying picture (which has someone looking at said sculpture) did not know, and, it seems, the editor of the newspaper itself and/or the section did not know. I'm not surprised when elementary schoolkids take the name as "Pilot", but newspapers?

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 7:30:03 PM::
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NUNTII: Origins

With Hallowe'een just around the corner, we are probably going to start seeing the 'origins' pieces popping up in newspapers with great regularity. First off the mark, however, seems to be the Olympian which, in a piece on assorted treats mentions:

The practice of bobbing for apples has been linked to Roman celebrations during the same part of the year as far back as A.D. 43.

Of course, the skeptic alarm goes off in my head, so I poke around the web a bit and find one site which might link the practice (and/or Hallowe'en in general) with a festival of Pomona, "goddess of orchards and the harvest", which was held on November 1.  Another site also mentions the Pomona thing, and cites a work called The Apple Book, by Peter Blackburn-Maze (which, of course, is unavailable to me). Even so,  I am unaware of any such festival on the kalends of November although many websites seem to think there was (indeed, November is noteworthy for the paucity of festivals). If anything, she seems to have been honoured on the same day as her hubby Vertumnus (August 13). If anyone can cite for me an ancient source attesting this so-called festival for Pomona around Hallowe'en, please pass it along!

I should note as well the apparently ubiquitous year of 43 A.D., which is when, depending on the website, the Romans conquered the Celts, the Romans began to conquer the Celts, the Romans conquered the Celtics (I think Larry Bird was still playing with them then), etc.. It seems to be a necessary device to have the festival of Pomona merge with the Celtic Samhain, as if the latter was a bit 'too pagan' or something.

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 7:02:17 PM::
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TTT: Classical Prints

Consistent "explorator" source AS passed this one along (thanks!) ... it's actually a commercial site called Philographikon. They are purveyors of prints, etchings, and woodcuts, and they have an amazing selection of same dealing with maps and buildings of ancient Italy. Some of the prints are rather old and, as might be expected, rather imaginative, such as this one of Varro's 'Ornithon' (or aviary):

More at Philographikon ...

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 6:20:52 PM::
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There's some really nice stuff at Sotheby's coming up for auction ... I'm figuring out a way to link to it which won't slow down this page too much, but just to whet one's appetite, here's a nice ca. 1st century A.D. bronze of  Lar ... it's actually kind of large (8.5 inches or so), but I *know* someone will want an image of this:

Here's the official description at Sotheby's ... more later today.

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 11:40:28 AM::
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ante diem iv nonas octobres

  • fast in honour of Ceres -- in 191 B.C., consultation of the
    Sybilline books ordered a fast to be held every five years in honour
    of the Roman goddess Ceres, who presided over grain and harvesting.
    By Augustus' day, the fast was an annual event which curiously
    coincides fairly closely with the Athenian Thesmophoria.
  • ludi Augustales scaenici (day 2 -- from 19-23 A.D.)
  • 1909 -- birth of James. B. Pritchard ("Biblical" archaeologist and
    author of  The Ancient Near East among other things)

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 8:34:00 AM::
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REVIEW: Three Dog Night

No ... not the band (am I dating myself?) ... it's a novel by Peter Goldsworthy which might be worth looking for. A review in the Advertiser has this bit for a tease:

It is Felix's chance to make peace with the Warlpiri family he has accidentally wronged and, in a rehearsal for death that before long will become the real thing, to test, after Socrates, what he can do without. (Forget the apparently copious supplies of oxygen, morphine, love and other creature comforts borne by Lucy on his behalf.)

Similarly it is Goldsworthy's opportunity to make an intriguing juxtaposition of classical and Aboriginal beliefs and images. Martin, who remembers, however improbably, the scientific name of every bird they come across, consistently refers to Aboriginal nomenclature as Desert Latin, while the major uncontested point of contact between himself and Felix is still the classics classes shared in boyhood, particularly and most relevantly a study of Plato's Phaedo with its disquisition on the philosophy and death of Socrates.

More ...

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 8:28:27 AM::
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NUNTII: U.S. Olympic Hero

Back at the first modern Olympics, the big hero for the U.S. was some guy named James Brendan Connolly, who is the subject of a feature that's wandering up and down the AP Wire. For ClassCon, other than the revivial of the Olympics, there's this:

       In 1890, he became the U.S. amateur champion of the triple jump — or hop-step-jump as it was known then.
       Five years later, he was a 27-year-old freshman studying classics at Harvard. He read Plato and Aristotle and then something else about Greece caught his eye: plans to revive the Olympics in Athens.
       He asked Harvard for permission to take a leave for the games. It was denied.
       Connolly’s written reply: “I am through with this college right now. Good day.”

The rest ...

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 8:20:16 AM::
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NUNTII: Fidelis Defensatrix

Here's what we like to see ... Classics professors defending the faith in letters to the editor. In this case, it's GMU adjunct professor Olga Arans, who, in response to another letter suggesting more contemporary authors are more relevant to kiddies, suggested (inter alia):

To live as a nation, we need solid cultural common ground. We do not teach just to get kids interested or inspired, leaving the rest to their own devices. (That would mean a short-change in general education.) We must communicate the sense of tradition built by the great minds and selected over the centuries precisely for its character-building, problem-focusing value.

Surely, modern writers deserve reading, and some may in time become classics. But ideas should travel longer distances in time, space, and social climates. Classics is the ultimate means not only to help us solve our problems, but also to expand our lives.

Read it all ...

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 8:12:28 AM::
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NUNTII: That Bowl From Hadrian's Wall Redux

Loyal reader JM-Y passed this one along, although I got a "fatal error" (not the blue screen of death, mind you, but something else) when I tried to open it. Then TE on the Classics list mentioned that if you do get a fatal error, to just reload the page -- thanks to both.

The UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme has a website (yes ... I'm bookmarking it) which includes an 'official file' of sorts on that recently-found bowl near Hadrian's Wall. Even better, they have six images from various angles and the inscription:


According to the page, these are all fortress names:

Mais, Coggabata, Uxeldunum, Cammoglanna

... then we get to Rigorevali followed by the name of the owner, Aelius Draco. The PAS website suggests Rigorevali is also a place name, but its position seems to me to more likely be epithets for Draco, describing how he served (i.e. rigore valide or something like that). I could also be pursuaded that we might have another new divinity lurking here with a name like Rigoreva.

Here's the page (don't forget to reload if you err fatally ...)


::Saturday, October 04, 2003 7:49:50 AM::
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MAGISTRATION: New at Textkit

For folks who aren't aware, the Textkit site makes available a pile of public domain Latin and Greek school texts/grammars (you know the ones ... every Classics department has a pile of them kicking around and you marvel that this is what used to be taught in schools) as well as an article/tutorial every now and then. They've recently added to their collection:

The Latin Noun Revisited by Dr. Biagio Vella

The Phormio Of Terence (pdf) (read the preface and intro ... it's been adapted to eliminate "anti-Ciceronian tendencies" in grammar and syntax)

Selections From Herodotus (pdf)

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 7:27:02 AM::
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REVIEWS: The latest from BMCR

R.D. Shackleton Bailey, Statius. Silvae.

Hubert Cancik, Helmut Schneider, Manfred Landfester (edd.);
Christine F. Salazar assisted by David E. Orton (edd. of English
edition), Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World.

James M. Rhodes, Eros, Wisdom, and Silence: Plato's Erotic Dialogues.

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 7:16:02 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

... nothing of interest ...

::Saturday, October 04, 2003 7:12:43 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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