Latest update: 4/3/2005; 2:21:00 PM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

LAST POST: Mother Goose and Grimm

From the Mother Goose and Grimm website ...

::Friday, October 24, 2003 9:05:43 PM::
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NUNTII: AIAC News Issue 36 Available

The latest issue of the newsletter of the Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica is online with a pile of articles of interest (the following link directly to the articles):

Géza Alföldy: Der Streit um die Zukunft der römischen Goldbergwerke von Alburnus Maior (Rosia Montana) in Rumänien: Stand Anfang Juli 2003

Berlin Resolution 2003  

Nathalie de Haan: Gli Incontri AIAC   

T. D. Stek: Paesaggio sacrale e romanizzazione: i santuari del Sannio  

Sinclair Bell: Images of Chariot Racing in the Funerary Sculpture of the Roman Empire: Typology, Chronology and Context 

Irene Mañas: Mosaici d'Italia  

Noor Winckel: Building history and methods of design of atrium houses in the social context of Pompeii 

Elizabeth Mae Marlowe: Liberator Urbis Suae: Constantine, Maxentius and the Velabrum Quadrifrons


::Friday, October 24, 2003 8:44:09 PM::
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MEANDERINGS: Skull and Bones

In last week's "explorator" there was a link to a story suggesting that Yale's "Skull and Bones Society" had desecrated Native American gravesites at some point in its history. In today's scan, from the same source -- Indian Country -- there's a followup piece which includes this little tidbit, which I found of interest:

The society attaches great importance to the number 322, referring alternatively to the year of its founding, 1832, and its status as the second chapter of the German society, or to the date, B.C., of the suicide of the Greek orator Demosthenes. In a possibly garbled campus legend, Bonesman Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War in World War II, once ordered an offensive to start at 3:22 a.m. in homage to his society.

Okay ... a connection to Demosthenes. Time to surf.  A piece in the Atlantic Monthly from May, 2002 adds some details:

THE story of Skull and Bones begins in December of 1832. Upset (according to one account) by changes in the Phi Beta Kappa election process, a Yale senior named William Russell and a group of classmates decided to form the Eulogian Club as an American chapter of a German student organization. The club paid obeisance to Eulogia, the goddess of eloquence, who took her place in the pantheon upon the death of the orator Demosthenes, in 322 B.C., and who is said to have returned in a kind of Second Coming on the occasion of the society's inception. The Yale society fastened a picture of its symbol -- a skull and crossbones -- to the door of the chapel where it met. Today the number 322, recalling the date of Demosthenes' death, appears on society stationery. The number has such mystical overtones that in 1967 a graduate student with no ties to Skull and Bones donated $322,000 to the society.

(The number 322 has also been a particular favorite of conspiracy-minded hunters for evidence of Skull and Bones's global connections. It was the combination to Averell Harriman's briefcase when he carried classified dispatches between London and Moscow during World War II. Antony C. Sutton claims that 322 doubles as a reminder of the society's mother organization in Germany; the American group, founded in 1832, is the second chapter -- thus 32-2.)

A few more details from Esquire, September, 1977 (this whole article is great for those of you with a 'conspiracy' switch in your head):

The meaning of the permanent number 322 in all Bones literature is that it was founded in '32 as the second chapter of the German society.  But the Bonesman has a pleasing fiction that his faternity is a descendant of an old Greek patriot society founded by Demosthenes, who died in 322 BC."


The third possibility is that the break-in pamphlets are an
elaborate fraud designed by the File and Claw crew to pin the
taint of Illuminism on Bones and that the rituals of Bones have
innocent Athenian themes, 322 being only the date of the death
of Demosthenes.  (In fact, some Bones literature I've seen in
the archives does express the year as if 322 BC were the year
one, making 1977 anno Demostheni 2299.)

Then we read on numerous websites (I chose this one because it has a nice font) that during a presidential campaign, Lyndon ...:

LaRouche pointed out that the symbol of Skull and Bones is the skull and crossbones of the pirate Jolly Roger with "322" placed under the crossbones. The 322 is thought to refer to 322 BC, the year of the death of the Athenian orator Demosthenes, whom LaRouche identified as a traitor to Athens and an agent provocateur in the service of King Philip of Macedonia.

And as we get further and further from Demosthenes, the 'ancient references' become even less reliable, to wit, from an 'investigative reporter' at the Federal Observer:

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar." - Julius Caesar.

Folks who spend a lot of time on the web are, of course, familiar with this quotation. It appears to have been much-quoted after a certain Barbra Streisand uttered it while criticizing assorted Republicans. Supposedly it comes from Shakespeare, but as plenty of sites are quick to point out, it doesn't. We've wondered about it on the Classics list and the Latin-l list, and obviously it isn't Classical at all -- in fact, it's been in my 'spurious quotes' file for a couple of years now (I'll share some of those with you over the course of the next few weeks).

So, we've meandered from the desecration of Native American gravesites, to Yale Secret Societies, to Barbra Streisand, to a spurious quote from Caesar. Is there anything to conclude? Fnord.

::Friday, October 24, 2003 8:29:06 PM::
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ante diem ix kalendas novembres

  • 31 A.D. -- execution of Strabo, son of the Praetorian Praefect
    L. Aelius Sejanus
  • 51 A.D. -- birth of the future emperor T. Flavius Domitianus,
    better known as Domitian

::Friday, October 24, 2003 5:52:57 AM::
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CHATTER: Speaking of Hannibal

Perhaps the greatest movie never made:

'When I saw a shot of guts spilling on the floor, I thought, 'Oh my God, that is not going to fly,' " Bay says, laughing. "It was like Ridley Scott's Hannibal, times a thousand. And in the scene where a leg gets cut off, Marcus had blood squirting everywhere. The arterial spray was just way too graphic."

Producer Michael Bay on having to 'tone down' director Marcus Nispel's original version of the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre ...

::Friday, October 24, 2003 5:46:06 AM::
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GOSSIP: Hannibal

Noted in passing:

Vin Dieselís HANNIBAL THE CONQUERER is emerging from development limbo with a targeted release date in the near future.

Sounds blessedly vague to me ...

::Friday, October 24, 2003 5:37:07 AM::
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NUNTII: Krongard and Thucydides

CIA executived director 'Buzzy' Krongard received some award the other day and apparently made reference to Thucydides in his speech:

In accepting the award, Krongard said the nation's historical moment might be compared to Athens in the fifth century B.C., when it faced a lethal challenge from Sparta. Krongard quoted the ancient Greek historian Thucydides in a passage that urged Athenian citizens to "fix your eyes on the greatness of Athens ... fall in love with her ... the secret of freedom is a brave heart."

::Friday, October 24, 2003 5:26:13 AM::
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NUNTII: Latin - Dead or Alive?

I'm not sure what the Ashbrook Center is, but I happened on their website while tracking down something referring to Victor Davis Hanson. This has nothing to do with VDH, however ... it's an editorial by Terrence Moore on the benefits of Latin. It opens:

Latin is a dead language. No one speaks Latin as his native language, and this has been the case for more than a millennium. In fact most teachers of Latin, even very good ones, cannot say more than a few sentences of Latin in succession. Latin has not been required for admissions into American universities for more than a century. Even Harvard, whose motto is "Veritas" (Truth) and The University of Chicago, whose motto is "Crescat scientia vita excolatur" (Let learning increase and thereby life be enriched), and a host of other prestigious institutions with Latin mottos do not require any knowledge of Latin for admission. Classics departments at universities are usually the smallest and least funded. Short of becoming a Latin teacher, and there are fewer of these jobs than any other position in schools or universities, there is not really anything you can do with Latin. So why bother with Latin? The language had its day, a very long one. Sed nihil ad infinitum vivit.

But hold the postmortem. One curious phenomenon of contemporary school reform is that Latin is making a comeback. Recent press releases indicate that nationwide certain schools are experiencing growth in their Latin programs, the number of students taking the AP Latin Exam has doubled in a decade, and students are actually enjoying their study of the language. The reasons for taking Latin are various, but they all stem from the advantages of either utility or pleasure.

The rest ...

::Friday, October 24, 2003 5:03:46 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

7.00 p.m. |HINT| Hercules: Power of the Gods
"Story of how the mighty son of Zeus became one of the most
enduring legends of Greek mythology. Includes saga of Hercules'
twelve labors, which included battles with the awful nine-headed
Hydra serpent and the Ceryneian stag with golden horns."

10.00 p.m. |DTC| The Emperor of the Steppes
"In a huge undertaking, researchers and archaeologists working
in Upper Mongolia unearthed the sepulcher of the Emperor of the
Steppes. This expedition may reveal insight into Mongolian
history dating back to the second century BC."

10.30 p.m. |HISTC| The Holy Grail
"Blending myth and history, the programme traces the search for
the most priceless treasure of the Christian world, The Quest
spans more than 20 centuries - from the magical era of the pagan
Celts to the shining knights of the Medieval Age....and beyond."

HINT = History International

HISTC = History Television (Canada)

DTC = Discovery Times Channel

::Friday, October 24, 2003 4:46:04 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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