Latest update: 4/4/2005; 4:06:00 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

LAST POST (it's been a long day)

... from the Frank and Ernest site (obviously)

::Monday, November 03, 2003 8:59:03 PM::
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CHATTER: Men in Skirts

There's an AP Wire story out there all about the Braveheart: Men in Skirts exhibit at the 'Costume Institute'. Inter alia it sez:

Men feel if they wear it (a skirt), their masculinity will be called into question. But if you've even seen a man in a skirt, the first thing you think of is male genitalia," he said. Roman gladiators, for example, proudly displayed their legs for all to see in short, skirted suits of armor as a sign of their virility.

Well, no ... that would have been Roman soldiers and in any event,  I highly doubt they were concerned about showing off their virility as opposed to having the freedom to move in a profession where such movement was essential. As it happens, though, I came across an excellent page documenting a visit to the Gladiatorial exhibit that was at the Colosseum a couple summers ago ... it's definitely worth a visit, with many photos of artifacts depicting gladiators which you don't generally see.

::Monday, November 03, 2003 8:54:52 PM::
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Ilaria Ramelli, Il Chronicon di Arbela: Presentazione, traduzione e
note essenziali.
'Ilu. Revista de Ciencias de las Religiones. Anejos.
Serie de sucesivas monografias, 8.
(Review in English)

Anton Powell, Kathryn Welch (edd.), Sextus Pompeius.

::Monday, November 03, 2003 8:42:25 PM::
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ante diem iii nonas novembres

  • 39 A.D. -- birth of the poet Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus)

::Monday, November 03, 2003 5:57:54 AM::
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CHATTER: William Lytle

Well ... something interesting finally showed up in the scan this a.m. (or the caffeine just hit). The Cincinnati Enquirer notes that today marks the anniversary of the birth of Civil War General William Haines Lytle, whose poem Antony to Cleopatra (1858) was the nineteenth century equivalent of a top ten hit (note in passing -- it's interesting that Lytle shares a birthday with Lucan). So much so, that when Lytle was killed on the battlefield in 1863, soldiers from both sides gathered to pay their respects and spent the evening reciting lines from the poem. Here's the poem itself:

I am Dying, Egypt, dying,
   Ebbs the crimson life-tide fast,
And the dark Plutonian shadows
   Gather on the evening blast;
Let thine arms, O Queen, enfold me,
   Hush thy sobs and bow thine ear;
Listen to the great heart-secrets,
   Thou, and thou alone, must hear.

Though my scarr'd and veteran legions
   Bear their eagles high no more,
And my wreck'd and scatter'd galleys
   Strew dark Actium's fatal shore,
Though no glittering guards surround me,
   Prompt to do their master's will,
I must perish like a Roman,
   Die the great Triumvir still.

Let not Caesar's servile minions
   Mock the lion thus laid low;
'Twas no foeman's arm that fell'd him,
   'Twas his own that struck the blow;
His who, pillow'd on thy bosom,
   Turn'd aside from glory's ray,
His who, drunk with thy caresses,
   Madly threw a world away.

Should the base plebeian rabble
   Dare assail my name at Rome,
Where my noble spouse, Octavia,
   Weeps within her widow'd home,
Seek her; say the gods bear witness -
   Altars, augurs, circling wings -
That her blood, with mine commingled,
   Yet shall mount the throne of kings.

As for thee, star-eyed Egyptian,
   Glorious sorceress of the Nile,
Light the path to Stygian horrors
   With the splendors of thy smile.
Give the Caesar crowns and arches,
   Let his brow the laurel twine;
I can scorn the Senate's triumphs,
   Triumphing in love like thine.

I am dying, Egypt, dying;
   Hark!  the insulting foeman's cry.
They are coming! quick, my falchion,
   Let me front them ere I die.
Ah! no more amid the battle
   Shall my heart exulting swell;
Isis and Osiris guard thee!
   Cleopatra -- Rome -- farewell!

::Monday, November 03, 2003 5:49:25 AM::
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CHATTER: Hyperbole

If you're looking for an example to illustrate the concept of hyperbole, the New Bern Sun Journal's comments on NASCAR driver Ryan Newman would fit the bill:

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

I came. I saw. I conquered. That's Ryan Newman on pole day. His 10th pole of the season occurred at Phoenix International Raceway, but it might as well have been Gaul or Carthage. Julius Caesar, who actually said the Latin words quoted above, would have been envious of Newman's style.

Newman, 25, isn't bad on race day either. He leads the Winston Cup Series with eight victories, but he's never finished higher than 17th at this track, the site of Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500k, a race that has never been won by a driver who started out front.

I dunno ... I strongly suspect Julius Caesar -- if he had to sit through a NASCAR race -- would have spent most of it answering petitions and dealing with correspondence.

::Monday, November 03, 2003 5:37:58 AM::
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GOSSIP: Troy seems to be keeping on top of the Troy movie production pretty well ... today they reveal that the 'teaser trailer' for the movie is available on 'some copies' of The Matrix: Revolutions (which should be hitting theatres on Wednesday). Similiter, the 'teaser poster' will be hitting theatres in the next couple of weeks.

::Monday, November 03, 2003 5:27:47 AM::
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NUNTII: More on the Bactrian Hoard

Today's Telegraph has a piece on the efforts of a single security guard to protect the Bactrian Hoard from the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. Inter alia ...

Soon after the discovery, a guerrilla war against the Soviet occupation began, followed by civil war.

During those years, Mr Askerzai said, the treasure was kept in the Kabul Museum, which has since been looted. The day before the Russians fled Kabul in February 1989, the treasure was moved to the presidential compound, the safest place in the capital.

Mr Askerzai helped to seal the treasure in seven trunks and guarded it along with the assets of the central bank - gold bars the "size of your arm" worth about £50 million - also kept in the presidential palace.

It was hidden in a vault carved out of rock and protected by steel doors bolted by seven locks.

The keys were held by seven people, most of whom are now missing or dead. The German firm which built the vault is making another key so that the information and culture ministry can catalogue the treasure.

The real threat to the treasure came when the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996. A delegation of 10 mullahs arrived with a jeweller to inspect the vaults. A pistol held against his head, he opened the combination lock so they could inspect the gold bars. They had found the second prize, but did not realise the real treasure was in a vault above their heads.

The Taliban asked if there was any other gold, but Mr Askerzai remained silent. He was imprisoned for three months and 17 days, during which he was beaten and tortured, but he did not reveal anything. "I wasn't scared," he said. "I didn't care for my life. They were foreigners. They were not Afghans."

On the Taliban's last night in power, as coalition forces pounded the country with bombs, the Taliban stuffed the central bank's cash reserves into tin trunks and arrived at the vault for the gold bars. They spent four hours trying to open the vault. Mr Askerzai watched. Unknown to them, five years earlier he had broken the key and left it in the lock. The Taliban gave up and fled Kabul as Northern Alliance forces edged closer. That saved the bullion.

They did not think to ask about the Golden Hoard of Bactria, for a simple reason, Mr Askersai said. The uneducated mullahs were not schooled in Afghanistan's great archaeological heritage. They had never heard of Bactria.

The regime that destroyed much of the country's important antiques including the Bamian Buddha statues unknowingly saved the Bactrian gold. "Fortunately, in this case, the Taliban's lack of historical knowledge assisted us." The treasure remains for the moment locked up and beyond reach in case another invader tries to steal it.

Bravo ... now if only certain other regimes had a similar lack of historical knowledge; perhaps the site of Olympia could be saved ...

::Monday, November 03, 2003 5:14:40 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

4.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Rome: Power and Glory: The Grasp of Empire

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

::Monday, November 03, 2003 4:21:48 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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