Latest update: 4/4/2005; 4:05:47 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca


Tonight's piece  comes from the Sadler Collection (as did the previous strange relief and the figure of Attis), which is being auctioned off at Sotheby's tomorrow night. It's an Etruscan bronze from the 3rd/2nd century B.C./B.C.E. depicting a goddess:

The catalog page ...

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 9:28:50 PM::
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NUNTII: This Sounds Like a Bad Thing

If I were to get up on my pedestal about the whole Parthenon/Elgin Marbles thing, I would probably point out that while Greece clearly wants the things back in time for the Olympics, it's this same Greece whose 'respect' for antiquity led to the destruction (sort of ... I don't think the full story ever came out) of the Marathon battle site and other sites for the construction of (in my opinion) a really ugly building to house the marbles. Now, from Kathimerini we read:

In a surprise move 10 months before the start of the summer Olympics, Athens 2004 officials yesterday leaked a proposal to relocate a track-and-field event from the capital to ancient Olympia, where the Games were held in antiquity.

Athens 2004 organizing committee sources said an approach had been made to the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) for a contest to be held in what remains of the ancient stadium at Olympia — which was built in the fourth century BC, replacing a smaller predecessor. The event is thought to be the shot put, which was not included in the ancient Games, or the discus, which was.

Athens 2004 officials are expected to discuss the matter with the IAAF during meetings next week at the federation’s Monte Carlo headquarters.

A last-moment venue shift — both the shot put and the discus are two-day events — to Olympia would involve massive rescheduling of current building and security planning, and would have to be approved by notoriously conservative Culture Ministry archaeologists.

I doubt that I'm the only one pulling for said archaeologists  to live up to their reputation ...

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 8:38:28 PM::
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NUNTII: Classicalia Redux?

One of our many amici sent this one along (thanks TP!) ... from the Washington Dispatch ... a call for a return to Classical education:

In my home state, and probably in yours, we often here about the deplorable state of public education.

The cure always involves more money, either to shrink classroom size, to hike administrator’s salaries, to install a few extra computers, or to build shiny new buildings.

Some states even shovel some of that money back to the parents in order to force the public schools to “compete” for those same dollars.

But what if the real cure isn’t about money and gadgets and buildings?

In choosing a path for education and for life, Thomas Jefferson outlined a course of education for one Peter Carr over two centuries ago. His recommendations, by today’s standards, are remarkable.

In a letter from Paris dated August 19, 1785, he advised the young Peter to “begin a course of ancient history, reading everything in the original and not in translations.”

“First read Goldsmith's history of Greece … [for] a digested view of that field … and then take up ancient history in the detail, reading the following books in the following order: Herodotus, Thucydides ,Xenophonti s Anabasis, Arrian, Quintus Curtius, Diodorus Siculus, Justin.”

“The next will be of Roman history”, says Jefferson [to include, Livy, Sallust, Cæsar, Cicero's epistles, Suetonius, Tacitus, and Gibbon].

After laying that foundation, the youth should move on to a study modern history.

But this was not all. Greek and Latin poetry ought to be studied daily. “[Y]ou have read or will read at school, Virgil, Terence, Horace, Anacreon, Theocritus, Homer, Euripides, Sophocles”, Jefferson said. “Read also Milton's "Paradise Lost," Shakespeare , Ossian, Pope's and Swift's works, in order to form your style in your own language.”

A study of morality was part of the program, as well. “[Read] Epictetus, Xenophonti s Memorabilia ; Plato's Socratic dialogues, Cicero's philosophies, Antoninus, and Seneca.”


If he did this, Jefferson promised the lad, no matter the perplexity, no matter the odds of success, the supposed Gordian knot would untie, and peace of mind would be “[his] in every moment of life, and in the moment of death.”

Could this be the cure to our modern educational crisis;—not gold, not gimmicks, not gadgets, but a need to return to the Jefferson styled classical education of old, an education in mind and in morals, that puts love of neighbor, country and personal integrity first? I suggest that it is.

No argument here ...

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 8:28:11 PM::
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ante diem iii kalendas novembres

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 6:00:16 AM::
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NUNTII: Hallowe'en Fun

Folks looking to Classics-up the Hallowe'en decorations might find inspiration from this piece in the Hillsborough Herald-Sun:

The theme to the movie horror classic, "The Exorcist," played in the garage while Ann created tombstones and her husband John tacked black plastic to the walls. In addition to the graveyard, the Melzers have transformed their garage into a haunted house.

"Forty hours, easy," John Melzer noted, explaining how much time they had been spent this year on the family's preparation for Halloween.

For the tombstones, the Melzers start with white panel foam. Next they write the epitaph on the board with permanent marker, break it around the edges, and etch in random cracks.

"Then we spray with black enamel paint, which eats away some of the foam and gives it an aged, stone-like appearance," Ann Melzer explained.

In what the Melzers call their "Dead-end Cemetery," one of the tombstones states, "Elvis has left the building," with a photo of the King.


A new Latin section of the graveyard has been added this year. Peggy Murray, a Latin teacher at Orange High, lives across the street from the Melzers. This year, the combined Latin clubs and Junior Classical League of Cedar Ridge and Orange High will help with the festivities as part of a national contest to publicize Latin.

The pink flamingos, a trademark of the Latin Club, have surfaced in the Melzers' yard. Along with several mummy flamingos, there is a procession of flamingos in mourning, wearing black lace veils as they walk behind a little flamingo coffin.

"It's awesome, its exciting, it's life-giving," Murray said. A few feet away, a gravestone reads, "Veni, Vidi, Victus Sum," which translated means, "I came, I saw, I was conquered."

The Melzers do have a sense of humor and slipped in their own version of a stone to challenge the Latin students.

"Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam posit materiare" read the stone. For the non-Latin scholars, that's "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:42:42 AM::
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NUNTII: From the Sports Page

A sports opinion piece about Joe Paterno uses the latter's interest in matters Classical as a framework for the suggestion it is time for him to retire. It begins:

 "Timeo danaos et dona ferentes..."

- Virgil, "The Aeneid"

BEWARE OF Greeks bearing gifts. It is the only line from the mother of epic poems - Virgil's "The Aeneid" - to survive the intellectual downsizing of an age when antiquity is anything not recently headlined on "SportsCenter" and where a Trojan horse is a computer virus.

But that Latin sentence leaped from the page of the slim, red-bound textbook that began Joe Paterno's fourth year of Latin study at Brooklyn Prep. The year was 1945, and JoePa was a bandy-legged football star headed for Brown University. The hero of the asphalt schoolyards of Flatbush and parched grass of the Parade Grounds that year was Dixie Walker, the Dodgers' drawling slugger.

I never got to "The Aeneid" during my Brooklyn Prep time a few years later. Julius Caesar conquered me, as well as all Gaul. My amo, amas and amat were amiss. After going 0-for-Ovid, the good Jesuits gently suggested I should stick to my native tongue - at another school.

Read the rest ...

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:37:28 AM::
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NUNTII: Wilcox Classical Museum

The Lawrence Journal-World has a feature on the Wilcox Classical Museum's fifteenth anniversary:

Curator Paul Rehak wants to take the wraps off the Wilcox Classical Museum, a sleepy Kansas University institution that is hidden in plain sight.

"Unfortunately, we don't get many people walking in off the street," said Erika Dickey, a graduate student and guard at the museum. "I frankly don't think even people who would be interested know about it."

Most days, Dickey said, no more than 10 or 20 students -- most of them assigned to do so -- visit the museum, which is tucked inside Lippincott Hall and advertised with a small sign out front.

As the museum, which celebrates ancient Greek and Roman life, marks its 15th anniversary today, Rehak is looking to increase awareness of the collection.


The museum opened in October 1988. It has two sections. In one are displayed genuine antiquities, including tiles with Latin and Greek inscriptions, historical coins and other items, such as lamps.

It is the other section that typically gets the most attention. It is dedicated to plaster of Paris casts of famous Roman and Greek statues, including the "Venus de Milo" and sections of the frieze from the Parthenon

Read the rest ...

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:27:35 AM::
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NUNTII: Pompeii in the Telegraph

The Telegraph has a touristy thing on Pompeii today that isn't quite as touristy as these things usually are. It actually has some decent information, e.g.:

Most visitors spend only a few hours in Pompeii, but it's worth lingering over what was - even by modern standards - a large town. After thumbing through a booklet describing some of the site's more distinctive buildings, I settled on an itinerary that would take in those with the most intriguing names. First stop was the House of the Wild Boar, complete with a lurid hunting scene featuring a pair of ferocious-looking pigs. Nearby, the Villa of Mysteries was named after a mural that depicts a woman's mysterious initiation into marriage, though the house is thought to have been a weekend retreat for an upper-class family.

The House of the Dioscuri made my list too, on the basis of its booklet description: "This is one of the largest and most sumptuous houses from the latter period of Pompeii" - which just goes to show you can be struck by an urge to see how the other half lives even when they've been dead for nearly 2,000 years. The house's open-plan Corinthian atrium, complete with 12 splendid columns, still reeks of gracious living, and with the addition of a roof and some updated plumbing would make a fine summer retreat today.

In the same high-rent neighbourhood is the House of the Surgeon, but here your imagination has to do most of the work as its bizarre cache of surgical probes, catheters and gynaecological forceps was removed long ago to the National Museum of Archaeology in Naples (a must-see after you've done the rounds of Pompeii).

The most-visited house of all, however, is the one that bears the most romantically evocative name: the House of the Tragic Poet. A painting found here showed a choir of satyrs enacting a "tragic" theatre scene, but what actually pulls in the crowds is an extraordinary floor mosaic of a chained dog, complete with the warning Cave Canem (Beware of the Dog). Few mosaics left at the site are in such good condition, with the best of these also on display at the museum in Naples.

Read the rest ...

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:18:13 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

7.00 p.m. |HINT| The Rise of Christianity: The First 1000 Years, Pt. 1
"The story begins not with Jesus, but 50 days after his
crucifixion, when a rushing wind and tongues of fire descended
upon his followers "and all of them were filled with the Holy
Spirit and began to speak in other languages." When Saul of
Tarsus turns into Paul and travels to preach to the Gentiles,
the religion spreads."

HINT = History International

::Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:02:12 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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