Latest update: 4/3/2005; 2:15:17 PM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca


The Budapest Sun has a touristy thing on Pula (Croatia), which includes this tidbit:

The highlight of Pula was its Roman amphitheater, locally called the arena. Able to accommodate 20,000 spectators, it is one of the largest and best preserved monuments of ancient architecture in Europe. Built of local limestone in the first century BC under the reign of the emperor Vespasian, it was used as the venue for gladiatorial fighting and wild animal spectacles. It costs 16 kuna (approximately $2.50) to enter and is well worth it.

Another Roman monument in Pula is the Temple of Augustus in the present-day city square called the Roman Forum. It is a magnificent structure with six large pillars outside and some Roman stone and bronze sculptures inside. Other monuments are the Triumphal Arch of the Sergi, Hercules' Gate - incorporated into the city walls - and a well-kept Roman theater, smaller than the amphitheater.

So I look for a photo ... check this one out; definitely impressive. Here's a very Roman looking temple, although I don't think it is the one mentioned above.

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 8:20:44 PM::
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NUNTII: Gotta Love Those Acronyms

Now a piece from the Scotsman pops up:

More vocational courses for teenagers are set to be given equivalent status to GCSEs, the Department for Education and Skills indicated today.

Ministers hope the move will help maximise the potential of students who are less suited to traditional academic GCSEs.

Okay ... that's fair. Let's skip down a bit and read the opinion of some important guy:

Doug McAvoy, NUT General Secretary, challenged the official’s use of the word “difficult”.

“Vocational qualifications are as difficult and as valuable as academic qualifications.

“There is a need to rid the world of the view that classical Greek is of much higher status than accountancy or business studies,” he said.

I think we'll just consider the source ...


::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 8:06:31 PM::
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NUNTII: More Adrienne Mayor

This time in the Christian Science Monitor ...

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 7:57:19 PM::
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REVIEW: The Goat Or, Who is Sylvia [that comma can't be right on its own] 

I don't know a thing about this one, so here's the tease:

Yet in his 2002 Tony Award-winning play "The Goat Or, Who Is Sylvia?" -- the second installment in the Goodman Theatre's ongoing Edward Albee Festival -- the playwright has gone decidedly Greek. Ancient Greek. As in "Medea," that mythic tragedy about a wife who is betrayed by her husband for a younger woman and subsequently wreaks bloody revenge on him and their children. Also as in more country matters -- specifically, all those tales of lonely, isolated shepherds who curl up with their animals because other humans are in short supply. And not to be forgotten, too, is the great sacrifice of Greek drama, which arrives here in the play's final startling moments, which should not be revealed here.

But these are just the most easily identifiable aspects of early Greek drama present in "The Goat." There are more.

The rest ...

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 7:54:28 PM::
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CHATTER: Future Administrators

So ... in the Telegraph we read:

The academic ability of Oxford undergraduates is undoubted but their Student Union is worried they will get lost on a 500-yard walk between two university buildings.

It is insisting on ferrying new students the short distance between two freshers' fair sites by coach this week.

The journey between the Examination Schools building in High Street and the Student Union offices in Bonn Square is three times the distance by coach because of a one-way system.

And the response of some Classics majors (clearly future department heads who can recognize when money is being wasted):

Not all freshers feel their union needed to bother. "It is a little bit insulting that the union thinks we can't find our way around," said Nicola Johns, 18, who is reading Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Keble College.

"They're probably only trying to help but I'm sure if they provided the freshers with a map, we could use that and follow the signs to find our way. I think the coaches are completely unnecessary."

Natasha Cobden, 19, a Classics student at Keble, added: "From what I hear, the two sites are not very far apart. I would have been perfectly happy to walk rather than get on a coach.

"The fair isn't until the end of the week, by which time we'll have been settled here for a few days. Everyone here should be intelligent enough to find their way around.

"The Union also seems to have a very active environmental campaign so it is quite surprising to lay on so many coaches when we could all walk the distance."

This one is a bit of a mind-boggler ...

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 7:49:49 PM::
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NUNTII: Alas, One That Got Away

Folks might be interested to learn about the latest Nobel prizewinner for physics, Anthony Leggett. What caught my eye in the Telegraph was:

A professor who started his academic life as a classicist won a Nobel prize yesterday for his work on quantum physics - despite his best efforts over two decades to undermine the quantum theory with his own research.

Later we get the sordid tale (all too familiar to many, I suspect):

The award is remarkable because Prof Leggett had been studying Greats at Oxford, a combination of classical languages and literature, ancient history and philosophy.

But he became disillusioned with philosophy, saying: "I wanted to work in a field where, in some sense, nature could tell you if you are right or wrong.

"I thought I had better do something to earn my living for the rest of my life."

The rest ...

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 7:40:42 PM::
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TTT: Archaeologie (not a misspelling)

If you can read German, back in 2001 the popular German (of course) magazine/website Archaeologie Online had a theme issue on the Alemanni in various periods which appears useful. More recently, there's an account of a project to rebuild a Roman war vessel (a 'lustschiffe' ... try typing that into a translation site!) ... earlier articles on Olympia, Alburnus Maior, and assorted other stuff is most easily accessed from this page. Enjoy!

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 7:30:56 PM::
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ante diem viii idus octobres

  • ludi Augustales scaenici (day 4 -- from 11-19 A.D. and post
    23 A.D.)
  • ludi Augustales scaenici (day 6 -- from 19-23 A.D.)

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 5:57:07 AM::
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CHATTER: Name that Sport

As you might guess, one of the things I have to wade through regularly (and try to ignore) is the overuse of the ancient world as part of the hype associated with major sporting events. But can you guess what sport (specifically a tournament) gave rise to this?

Open singles first place: $8,000 and a gold championship ring. Second place: $4,000. Third place: $2,000. On second thought, anything isn't possible. Not in singles anyway. Not since the high times of the Roman empire has murder been witnessed by so many people. Tony "Killing Spree" Spredeman, the humblest, nicest 18-year-old murderer you could ever meet, went on a frenzy. He has an international reputation for his aggressive style, a mix of dusted grizzly bear and wolverine.

Time's up ... it's foosball (!).

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 5:52:38 AM::
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Here's an interesting bit of synchonicity ... yesterday I came home and promptly tripped over our set of bocce balls, which some child or spouse decided to store next to an egress point of our house (I then proceeded to sit on a small Tonka dump truck which had somehow been stored on my chair at the dinner table, but that's a different string of epithets). Today I read about bocce:

The kids were learning to play a modified version of a relatively free-form bocce game known as lawn bowling. Invented by Roman soldiers centuries ago - about 260 B.C. - bocce is one of about a dozen games Owens' students will learn this year.

That 260 B.C. seems awfully specific, so I poke around a bit ... another site claims:

The origins of bocce date back to around 5200 B.C. in Palestine and Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) where it was originally played with stones; later it was played by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

So I meander over to the USBF (yep, that's the US Bocce Federation), which acknowledges two different versions of bocce's early history ... the first:

Bocce is an ancient game, its birth lost in the shadows of antiquity. Some authorities claim it originated in Egypt about 5200 B.C.; others, that the game was started in Greece during the 6th Century B.C. The most reliable sources agree that Bocce, as we know it today, was played between battles during Rome's Punic Wars against Carthage, which started in 264 B.C. Soldiers selected a small stone called a "leader" and threw it first. Then larger stones would be thrown at the "leader" and the stone coming closest to it would score. The game provided exercise and relaxation for the soldiers. Teams were composed of two, four, six, or eight men and the score would vary from 16 to 24 points per game ...

The second (just for the sake of including it):

Some historians claim bocce dates back 7,000 years. The Egyptians played it when they weren't struggling with pyramid stones, and the Romans picked it up from them (I don't think Cleopatra did, however, as it's not a game you can play in bed).

During that first Punic War eh? Now it all makes sense ... that corvus invention was originally the thing these soldiers used to measure whose ball was closest to the pallini (pallinus?) ... thence to the curling sheet (gotta fit in some Canadian content too). [note in passing ... always make sure your coffee maker is plugged in .... grumble]

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 5:42:12 AM::
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NUNTII: Ancient Renaissance

Below we mention the GreeceNow site ... another page from this site just turned up. It's all about the "Ancient Renaissance":

From lifestyle to fashion and entertainment, the Cradle of Civilization is the bedrock of a trend capturing the world’s imagination. Long-held practices like healthy food and the Mediterranean diet, Hippocrates-inspired herbal remedies and locally made, all-natural cosmetics are receiving high profiles in Greece and abroad, while books on Greek heroes, both real and mythical, are being written and re-issued.

Fashion has also turned toga: Gucci mounted a “Goddess” exhibition at New York’s Met on the timelessness of classical dress; Dior, Givency, Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier have all designed clothes harking back to ancient Greece, as do the creations of Paris-based Athenian Sophia Kokosalaki, with warrior-influenced tunics trendy for fall. Dolce & Gabbana and MaxMara have their own gladiator sandals and boots, while traditional Greek sandals have graced the feet of movie icons Sophia Loren, Jackie O and Anthony Quinn.

Togas and gladiators ... Greek ... maybe that father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was right about the kimonos. Read the rest ... (it really isn't that bad ... it gets into movies etc.)

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 5:20:42 AM::
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CHATTER: Say What?

Recently (i.e. just now) spotted in El Defensor Chieftan:

   There may be some things we don't know about ourselves, too.

   The oracle at Adelphi in ancient Greece said, "Know thyself." As if we needed a formal introduction.

Assuming that's an alpha privative ... if the oracle at Adelphi said Know Thyself, did the one at Delphi say Ignore Thyself? Never mind ... (where's that coffee?!?)

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 5:11:39 AM::
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NUNTII: Finds at the Athens Airport

GreeceNow is a touristy sort of site which has an overview of archaeological discoveries which have been made at Athens Airport since the 1980's. They're now part of an exhibit in the airport's departure lounge . The tease:

Behind the museum’s glass door are a total of 172 objects, dating back to the Neolithic and early Helladic periods through to post-Byzantine times, unearthed in 18 excavations led by 10 archaeologists and 3 architects working in the area since 1980

The rest (including a couple of photos) ...

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 5:05:28 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

4.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Byzantium: Envy of the World

6.00 p.m. |HINT| The Greatest Journeys on Earth: Greece:
Journeys to the Gods
"After creating the pantheon of pagan gods, Greece converted to
the Christian god. The monks built imposing monasteries nestled
in the most remote nooks, coastal cliffs, and volcanic islands.
Join us as our travels take us from the splendors of ancient
Greek religious sites to the glories of the mighty Byzantine
Empire and its heritage as traced through the awesome meteora at
Mount Athos, and Patmos Island, where St. John, the Evangelist,
is said to have written the "Apocalypse"."

7.00 p.m. |HINT| Jacob's Ladder
"Story of Jacob's magnificent stairway to heaven. Includes a
trip to the Middle East to explore 4,000-year-old ruins that
some believe were the palaces of Jacob and his son."

8.00 p.m. |PBS| The Great Fire of Rome
"In the early hours of July 19, 64 AD, a fire broke out in the
great city of Rome and spread across the city, engulfing some of
the greatest buildings in antiquity. Rome, by then a teeming
city of more than one million inhabitants, was utterly
devastated. Worse still, the finger of suspicion was pointed at
Rome's frivolous emperor, Nero. Had the ruler of the Roman
Empire burnt down his own capital city in order to fulfill his
own wild dreams of building a new city dedicated to himself?
Through careful historical investigation and using modern
techniques in forensic analysis, this program examines the
fire's origin, and offers a compelling new explanation for who
or what was responsible. "

9.00 p.m. |DISCC| Vesuvius: Deadly Fury
"Remains of 300 skeletons found huddled in 12 vaults on the
beach at Herculaneum offer a unique chance to reconstruct life
in the 1st century AD; computer graphics re-create the eruption
of Vesuvius in 79 AD."

10.00 p.m. |DISCU| Who Killed Jesus?
"Explore the figures, events and political climate surrounding
the execution of Jesus of Nazareth. Experts examine the
motivations and methods of Herod, Pontius Pilate, the temple
priests, the judicial system and the crowd calling for Jesus'

11.00 p.m. |HINT| How Did They Build That?: Arches
"British engineer Scott Steedman views three stunning examples
of one of the most reliable and enduring structural forms--the
arch. In France, he visits the Pont du Gard near Nimes, the
highest Roman aqueduct in the world, with its tiers of round
arches. Then in Koln, Germany, he investigates the largest
Gothic cathedral in the world for which medieval masons used two
types of arch--the pointed and flat. And at the Lufthansa
Tecknik Jumbo Hangar in Hamburg, he examines a modern use of the
double arch."

HINT = History Internation

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

DISCU = Discovery Channel (US)

DISCC= Discovery Channel (Canada)

PBS ... confirm against local listings

::Wednesday, October 08, 2003 4:38:32 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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