Latest update: 4/3/2005; 2:15:43 PM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

REVIEWS: The Latest from BMCR

Hans-Ulrich Wiemer, Krieg, Handel und Piraterie: Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des hellenistischen Rhodos. Klio. Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte, Beihefte, Neue Folge Band 6.

Francoise Van Haeperen, Le college pontifical (3eme s. a. C. - 4eme
s. p. C.).
Etudes de Philologie, d'Archeologie et d'Histoire
, 39.

David Sacks, Language Visible: Unraveling the Mystery of the
Alphabet from A to Z

::Saturday, October 18, 2003 6:46:03 PM::
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ante diem xv kalendas novembres

  • 48 B.C. -- Octavian dons his toga virilis
  • 17 A.D. -- restoration of the Temple of Janus at the Theatre of
    (and associated rites thereafter)
  • 31 A.D. -- Execution of the commander of the Praetorian Guard,
    Lucius Aelius Sejanus, after revelation of his activities
    against the emperor Tiberius
  • 33 A.D. -- Death of Vipsania Agrippina (Agrippina 'the elder'),
    wife of Germanicus and mother of the emperor Gaius (Caligula),
    among others

::Saturday, October 18, 2003 8:31:49 AM::
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NUNTII: Roman Precedent Cited

The world of the ancient Romans raised its ugly ... er ... finger this week in a court case in Houston Texas. In an appeal case involving whether "flipping the bird" was simply an exercise in "free speech" or came under the rubric of "fighting words", appeal was further made to Rome, so to speak. The decision, according to the Houston Chronicle:

The court's majority opinion, filed Thursday, quoted a Merriam-Webster OnLine definition of the "bird" as "an obscene gesture of contempt made by pointing the middle finger up while keeping the other fingers down."

The jurists further explained that "the middle finger jerk was so popular among the Romans that they even gave a special name to the middle digit, calling it the impudent finger: digitus impudicus.

"It was also known as the obscene finger, or the infamous finger, and there are a number of references to its use in the writings of classical authors. ... " the jurists continued. "The middle-finger jerk has survived for over 2,000 years and is still current in many parts of the world, especially in the United States."

Folks wanting to learn more about the digitus impudicus (or digitus infamis) might also want to consult the Straight Dope article on the subject. Those wishing for more ancient references (which go beyond the Romans, of course) would do well to consult the Classics list archives for June 11, 2002, under the subject "the least rosy finger". If you don't want to wade through the myriad posts, the posts of Dr. E. Moncanda and Dr. Butrica  (and another one) should be satis superque.

::Saturday, October 18, 2003 8:13:51 AM::
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NUNTII: Saddamodus

The Sonoma News has a feature on retired USMC Col. Bucky Peterson, who recently returned to Sonoma after a stint in Iraq which included a stay at former dictator Saddam Hussein's presidential palace. The interesting quote in this one:

"It is an enormously gaudy, lavish building," Peterson said. "Most notable were four enormous busts of Saddam Hussein dressed as a Roman gladiator. That characterized everything you dealt with in the region - depriving the rest of society of the national wealth. Everywhere was idolatry of Saddam."

Interesting because over the past year or so, there have been quite a few references to love of things gladiatorial amongst Saddam and his family; alas, not many such referecnes are still alive on the www. Nevertheless,  a taste of such things can come from the knowledge that Uday, e.g., is said to have had Gladiator hastily dubbed into Arabic shortly after its U.S. release, which resulted in a beating for the translator who messed up ten seconds of one of Oliver Reed's speeches. Just prior to the invasion, we are told by another source, "Iraqi television prepares Baghdad people for the bombardment to come with music from Gladiator."

We won't say what the World Weekly News did with its Saddam/gladiator references ... I still wish, though, I could find a photo of Saddam-as-Gladiator ...

::Saturday, October 18, 2003 7:49:53 AM::
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AWOTV: Also Seen

Folks might be interested to know that PBS' Masterpiece Theatre this weekend is showing an updated version (i.e. just made, not black and white nor starring Peter O'Toole ... it's actually set in the 1870's) of Goodbye Mr. Chips. Check local listings ....

::Saturday, October 18, 2003 6:44:36 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

10.30 a.m. |DCIVC| Ancient Warriors: The Legends of Rome

4:00 p.m. |DTC|Secrets of the Colosseum
"Visit the ruins of this massive triumph of Roman building and
engineering for clues to its ingenious design. Built in a
remarkably short span of 10 years, the structure combined
travertine stone, iron, concrete, brick and lava rocks from
nearby Vesuvius."

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

DTC = Discovery Times Channel (US)

::Saturday, October 18, 2003 6:14:40 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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