Latest update: 4/4/2005; 4:06:03 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca


Source ...

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 9:10:41 PM::
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CHATTER: Drive by Aeneid Reference

In an 'I told you so' sort of piece on fires in California, we read:

Begin with the roofing. Combustible roofs collect sparks, and then give them out. The roofing is the point of greatest vulnerability. This has been known since forever. The ''Aeneid'' is a story that abounds with urban incendiary assaults that target roofs.

Now I'm trying to think of one ...

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 9:05:53 PM::
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REVIEW: The Bacchae

A New Zealand troupe's interpretation of Euripides looks interesting:

The Bacchanals present their tenth show since their Fringe 2000 season of Aristophanes¹ The Frogs ­ an all-new, multi-media spectacular production of Euripides¹ bloodiest tragedy, The Bacchae. Using their new virtual software programme R.E.N.E., The Bacchanals will populate the world of ancient Greece with exploding castles, epic battle scenes, car chases and a CGI-ed cast of thousands. Think Gone with the Wind crossed with Clash of the Titans crossed with Brotherhood of the Wolf.

In The Bacchae, Dionysus (god of theatre, wine and cheese) visits the home of his mortal mother Semele to wreak vengeance on his family for disowning him. He drives every woman in the city into a Bacchic trance, guiles the arrogant Pentheus and in true Greek Tragedy fashion, it¹s not over 'til someone brings on a severed head.

More ...

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 9:00:49 PM::
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CHATTER: Riplius

Let's see if I can write this like Ripley would:

The AP Wire Service and ESPN both did articles on Seattle Seahawks' running back Shaun Alexander. Both were written by someone named Tim. And both were headlined Alexander the Great! Believe or don't!

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 8:57:23 PM::
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Published by (October, 2003)

Suzanne L. Marchand. Down from Olympus: Archaeology and
Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1970
. Second printing. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 2003. xxiv + 400 pp. Illustrations,
notes, bibliography, index.  $49.88 (cloth), ISBN 0-691-04393-0;
$24.95 (paper), ISBN 0-691-11478-1.

Reviewed for H-German by Gary Beckman <>;, Department
of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan

The Strange Career of German Philhellenism

Intellectual historian Susan Marchand has taken a close look at the
evolution of Greek studies and the related disciplines of classical,
Egyptian, and Near Eastern archaeology in Germany from the
mid-eighteenth to the middle of the twentieth century.  As might be
expected from a non-classicist, her focus is not on the development
of Greek philology or archaeology as professional fields, a task
that would have required her to pay equal attention to developments
in England and France.  Rather, she considers "the evolving
relationships between humanistic scholarship and the [German] state"
(p. xxi), concentrating upon institutions and not the research of
individual scholars.

Modern German interest in ancient Greece was sparked by the work of
Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768), a Saxon cobbler's son who
became the greatest contemporary European authority on Greek art.[1]
Winckelmann himself never visited Greece, but spent most of his
working life in Rome.  There he became enthralled with Greek
culture, particularly that of the Hellenistic period, although his
acquaintance with it was largely limited to the viewing of Roman
copies.  His enthusiasm was conveyed to many others, including
Goethe, Lessing, and Schiller, through _Gedanken ueber die
Nachahmung der griechischen Werke in der Malerei und Bildhauerkunst_
(1755) and _Geschichte der Kunst des Altherthums_ (1764).

Winckelmann and those who followed his lead (the _Neohumanisten_),
shared what Marchand calls a "passionate, and nearly exclusive,
obsession with Greek beauty" (p. 5).  Although they associated the
Greeks with nature, spontaneous genius, and freedom, in contrast to
the stultifying social and intellectual life of the towns and
princely courts of their own day, these aesthetes had no overtly
political aims.  Rather, they hoped to reshape German culture and
its institutions after the model of the civilization whose putative
ideals they had embraced.  The neohumanists believed that the
ancient Hellenes and their civic life provided excellent exemplars
for contemporary individuals and society.

Of course, the glory of Greece could not be absorbed simply by
gazing upon statuary, but required the perusal of Greek texts.
German intellectuals, like those of the rest of Christian Europe,
had traditionally studied Latin literature as an adjunct
(_Hilfswissenschaft_) to theological and juridical education.  To a
much lesser extent, Greek had also been cultivated in the
universities, but the Winckelmannian boom led to increased interest
in this language.  A key figure in this regard was the Halle
professor Friedrich August Wolf, whose _Prolegomena ad Homerum_
(1795) applied the meticulous textual criticism recently developed
and systematized for biblical scholarship to the works of the Greek
poet.  Together, the careful establishing of the original,
non-corrupted, ancient text (_Urtext_) and close attention to
grammatical analysis constitute the basic methodology known as
philology.  As exemplified by the _Prolegomena_, philology soon
assumed the overwhelmingly dominant position in German classical
scholarship that it has retained to the present day.[2] But
collating manuscripts and memorizing uncommon verbal forms require a
different mind-set than the aesthetic rapture conveyed in
Winckelmann's reveries, and the character of Philhellenism was
correspondingly altered.  Indeed, Marchand writes of "the
post-Winckelmannian dominance of elite, expert, and philosophically
unadventurous university philologists over the study of the ancient
past"  (p. 24).

This development was institutionalized by Wilhelm von Humboldt,
founder of the University of Berlin (1810) and briefly the official
in charge of education at the Prussian Interior Ministry.  A friend
of F. A. Wolf, Humboldt so strongly promoted basic, sound philology
as the core of his educational philosophy that by the end of his
tenure "it would not be too much to say that he had made this
variety of neohumanist _Bildung_ the cultural philosophy of the
Prussian state" (p. 28).  Philhellenism thus became the property of
the _Bildungsbuergertum_, closely allied to the university
establishment and the Prussian royal bureaucracy.[3] Not
surprisingly, women and Catholics were now largely shut out of this
cultural discourse.[4]

German archaeology abroad began modestly in 1823, with the founding
of the _Hyperboreisch-Roemische Gesellschaft_ in Rome by Germans
resident in the Eternal City.  In 1829, this dilettantish group
evolved into the _Institut fuer archaeologische Korrespondenz_
(_IfAK_), under the patronage of the Prussian crown prince.  If at
first its activities were limited to the documentation of accessible
Greek and Roman antiquities and visible architectural remains, the
_Institut_ was soon able--through royal Prussian patronage--to mount
an expedition to Egypt under Richard Lepsius (1842-45).  Judged by
today's standards, Lepsius' excavations, like those of his British,
French, and Italian contemporaries, were little more than treasure
hunts, but they did yield a sizable Egyptological collection for the
royal museum.  The ethos of early German archaeology is manifest in
the words of one of its first practitioners, Eduard Gerhard, who
referred to his work as "the philology of monuments" (p. 41).

After the founding of the _Reich_ in 1871, archaeology became a
national enterprise.  The _IfAK_ was taken over by the state, and
eventually formed the basis of today's _Deutsches-Archaeologisches
Institut_ .  Rivalry with France and Britain extended to the
scholarly realm, and resulted in governmental support for
large-scale excavations by Ernst Robert Curtius at Olympia
(1875-81), Carl Humann at Pergamon (1878-86), and eventually Robert
Koldewy at Babylon (1898-1914) and Walter Andrae at Assur
(1903-1914) in Ottoman Mesopotamia.[5] Wilhelm II was a particularly
enthusiastic promoter of archaeology (pp. 192-199), and even
conducted his own amateurish dig on Corfu, where professionals
salted his site with fragments of statues and architectural remains
to make certain that His Highness would make satisfying

Archaeology abroad grew ever more dependent on the diplomatic[7] and
financial support of the _Reich_ for massive long-term
projects--what Theodore Mommsen in 1890 labeled _Grosswissenschaft_
(p. 75). At the same time, most university students learning
classical languages did so in preparation for service in the
Prussian bureaucracy.  Consequently, over the course of the
nineteenth century German Philhellenism became increasingly
nationalistic, jettisoning any earlier individualistic or
universalistic tendencies.  For instance, while Winckelmann had
admired the Greeks for themselves, many later writers celebrated
Greek culture more as a forerunner of Germanic Christianity (p. 43).
By 1900 Philhellenism in Germany was a thoroughly conservative
discourse; the symbiosis of _Kultur_ and state had been securely
established (p. 229).  During the Great War German classicists
proved especially strident in their patriotism and support of
annexationist aims (pp. 238f.).

Meanwhile, challenges had arisen to the primacy of classical
studies:  educational reformers and _voelkish_ philosophers like
Paul de Lagarde questioned the emphasis placed on classical
languages in the _Gymnasien_ (pp. 133ff.).  In the name of
relevance, the new _Realschulen_ substituted French and English for
Greek and Latin.  In archaeology, the devotion to Homer that led the
cosmopolitan Heinrich Schliemann to conduct his excavations at Troy
beginning in 1870 (pp. 118ff.) paradoxically contributed to a shift
of focus away from the classical world.  Since what Schliemann
actually recovered was not the city of the _Iliad_, but a settlement
of the preliterate Early Bronze Age (Level II, 2500-2200 B.C.), the
enthusiastic reception of his work signaled the end of the hegemony
of philology over ancient studies (p. 124).  The way was open for an
upsurge of interest in the archaeology of other non-literate
peoples, particularly that of the early Germans.

As promoted chiefly by Gustav Kossinna (pp. 180ff.),[8]
_Vorgeschichte_ (prehistory) concentrated on delineating the
settlement area of the early Germanic tribes, not least in order to
legitimize contemporary German rule over Slavs in Central Europe.
Holding as they did the now-discredited view that the _Urheimat_ of
the Indo-Europeans[9] had been situated in northern Europe, German
prehistorians of the early-twentieth century also maintained that
their countrymen represented the purest modern descendants of the
ancient Aryans.  Thus they contributed to the witches' brew that
would make up Nazi racist ideology.  Even among those scholars
excavating within the _Reich_ itself, the growing parochialism of
German archaeology was reflected in the ascendancy of researchers
digging at sites beyond the _limes_ (_Germania libera_) over those
concerned with provincial Roman remains (p. 178).

Given its close ties with the Prussian crown and bureacracy, it is
hardly surprising that in the years following World War I, classical
philology "became a hot bed of monarchist nostalgia and apoplectic
reaction" (p.  258).  Nor did the Weimar authorities endear
themselves to the Philhellenes through their efforts to demote the
Greeks from their special place in the educational curriculum (p.
265).  Archaeologists smarted under the lessened compliance of
antiquities authorities abroad to their wishes, as well as under the
greatly reduced levels of funding necessitated by reparations and

Indifferent or hostile to the _Republik_, classical philologists and
archaeologists as a group nonetheless did not particularly welcome
Hitler's national revolution.  After all, the Nazis had little
interest in _Bildung_ of any kind, and could be relied upon to
promote German prehistory[10] to the detriment of excavation in
Italy and Greece.[11] A few philologists, such as the Platonist
Werner Jaeger, emigrated.  A small number, such as Helmut Berve[12]
and Fritz Schachermeyer[13], enthusiastically embraced Nazi ideas.
Some archaeologists availed themselves of the opportunities that
opened up for Germans after the alliance with Italy and the conquest
of Greece (pp. 344ff.).

But throughout the Nazi period the majority of German classical
scholars, philologists and archaeologists alike simply devoted
themselves to their research under often difficult circumstances.
As a result of their relatively low political profile, most sailed
through the postwar denazification process in the west and the
university purges in the east.  Marchand calls attention to a
substantial "continuity in the classicist teaching corps between the
Nazi era and the late 1960s" (p. 360).

However, by the second half of the twentieth century, the zenith of
Philhellenism had passed.  In neither the _Bundesrepublik_ nor the
GDR did classics occupy the dominant educational position it had
enjoyed under the second _Reich_.  As in that other onetime bastion
of classicism, Great Britain, Greek and Roman studies in Germany
became a niche discipline, and acquaintance with the works of the
ancients was no longer felt to be necessary for every cultivated
person.  Indeed, the ability to read Tacitus or Herodotus in the
original would be a very unusual facility in a businessman or
politician today.  In the case of the latter profession, one
imagines that every effort would be made to keep knowledge of such a
peccadillo from the electorate!

Marchand tells the story of the rise and fall of German
Philhellenism with verve and remarkable insight.  Her command of the
scholarly issues involved[14] raises suspicions that classical
studies have played their part in her own educational background.  I
commend this book to anyone interested in the cultural history of
Europe over the last two hundred years.


[1]. The extraordinary life of this scholar and aesthete is well
presented by Wolfgang Leppmann, _Winckelmann_ (New York: Knopf,

[2]. The hold that philology gained over German pedagogy is summed
up by Hegel's view that grammar is "elementary philosophy"--quoted
by Marchand, p. 31.

[3]. It is interesting to compare the situation in
nineteenth-century England, where a radical-liberal strain of Greek
studies, personified by George Grote, challenged the Tory
mainstream.  See Frank M. Turner, _The Greek Heritage in Victorian
Britain_ (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), pp. 83ff.

[4]. Ironically, Winckelmann himself had converted to Catholicism in

[5]. Finds from these expeditions constitute the core of the
holdings of the Pergamon-Museum in Berlin.  On the ancient Near
Eastern collections, see Beate Salje, "Vorderasiatisches Museum,
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin,"  in _Vorderasiatische Museen. Gestern,
Heute, Morgen. Berlin, Paris, London, New York. Eine
Standortbestimmung_, ed. B. Salje (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2001),
pp. 7-23.

[6] Lamar Cecil, _Wilhelm II__, vol. 2 (Chapel Hill and London:
University of North Carolina Press, 1996), pp. 51-52.

[7]. German excavations in Asia Minor and Mesopotamia benefited
greatly from special privileges granted to them by Sultan Abdulhamid
II at the personal request of Wilhelm II, with whom he was on very
good terms.  In addition, the Kaiser and his foreign office viewed
archaeology in Ottoman lands as part of the German mission to bring
_Kultur_ to the Turks (p.  191).  See Wendy M. K. Shaw, _Possessors
and Possessed. Museums, Archaeology, and the Visualization of
History in the Late Ottoman Empire_ (Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 2003), especially pp. 108-39.

[8]. Ulrich Veit, "Gustaf Kossinna and His Concept of a National
Archaeology," in _Archaeology, Ideology and Society. The German
Experience_, second edition, ed. Heinrich Haerke (Frankfurt: Peter
Lang, 2002), pp. 41-66.

[9]. Tellingly, this almost universally accepted linguistic term
corresponds to "Indo-Germanen" in German.

[10]. For the flowering of prehistory under National Socialism, see
Henning Hassmann, "Archaeology in the 'Third Reich,'" in
_Archaeology, Ideology and Society_, pp. 67-142, especially pp.

[11]. Hitler's publicly expressed enthusiasm for Greek art and
culture (p.  350) to some extent shielded the Philhellenes from the
Germanomanes.  See Frederic Spotts, _Hitler and the Power of
Aesthetics_ (New York: Overlook Press, 2003), pp. 20-23.

[12]. As evidenced in "Zur Kulturgeschichte des Alten Orients,"
_Archiv fuer Kulturgeschichte_ 25 (1935), pp. 216-30.  Cf. W. F.
Albright, "How Well Can We Know the Ancient Near East?" _Journal of
the American Oriental Society_ 56 (1936), p. 122.

[13]. See his _Indogermanen und Orient. Ihre kulturelle und
machtpolitische Auseinandersetzung im Altertum_ (Stuttgart: W.
Kohlhammer, 1944).

[14]. My only technical criticism is with the slight deformation of
several Near Eastern toponyms on p. 195.  Read Boghazko+i, Fara, and
Qal'at Shirqat.

         Copyright (c) 2003 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits
         the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit,
         educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the
         author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and
         H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online.

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 8:51:54 PM::
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NUNTII: Socrates and Korea

I've never seen the JoonAng Daily before, and I don't know the shelf life of its parallel text articles (English and Korean), so I'll print this whole thing in case it disappears. I'm not sure the analogy works, but ...

When Xantippe said, "Dear, your death is not justified," the 70-year-old Socrates responded, "You don't wish my death to be justified." The ancient Greek philosopher was determined to accept his unjust fate with dignity. He might have wanted to prove his innocence to his fellow citizens of Athens with his own death.

The trial of Socrates was the product of direct democracy that the ancient state of Athens had developed. In 399 B.C., the once-prosperous society was exhausted from the defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian Wars that lasted 30 years, and you could find no prosecutor or counsel in the court of Athens. The plaintiff and the defendant would assert their positions, and the jury made up of citizens of Athens would decide the defendant guilty or innocent. The plaintiff and the defendant would propose a sentence, and the jury would chose between the two. Any citizen could sue another, but when the plaintiff could not obtain support from at least 20 percent of the jury, he would be punished for making a false accusation.

When the complaint against Socrates was first filed, officials underestimated the importance of the case and put 500 Athenians on the jury. He was as accused of corrupting the youth and blaspheming the gods. His aggressive speech offended many simple-minded Athenians; 280 members of the jury found him guilty while 220 said innocent.

Ironically, Socrates had a chance to persuade the jury with his proposal of a sentence. If the plaintiff demanded capital punishment, the person found guilty could suggest a lighter sentence. But Socrates continued to claim innocence and even demanded that the jury provide a banquet in recognition of his contributions to the state. As a result, 360 members of the jury voted for the death penalty.

Socrates brought death to himself and drank the poison when his friends urged him to escape. By accepting death, the philosopher who was confident of his life made a point of rebuking the evil of ochlocracy. Plato, his disciple and a witness who recorded the trial, declared that the ideal of direct democracy could become mob rule without proper leadership.

In Korea's modern history, dictators have exploited national referendums, supposedly the symbol of direct democracy, to extend their rule. The lesson of Socrates versus the City of Athens still holds true after 24 centuries.

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 8:44:02 PM::
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REVIEWS: The Latest from BMCR

G.R.F. Ferrari, City and Soul in Plato's Republic.

J. Peter Euben, Platonic Noise.

Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr., Athena and Kain: The True Meaning of Greek Myth.  

Sacks on Dickey on Sacks.

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

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 8:39:01 PM::
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AUDIO: Father Foster

Although I haven''t had a chance to listen to it myself, today Father Foster apparently uses the poet Horace to go on a virtual picnic ...

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 8:31:09 PM::
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pridie nonas novembres

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 5:58:34 AM::
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REVIEW: From the Guardian

Geoffrey Lloyd and Nathan Sivin, The Way and the Word: Science and Medicine in Early China and Greece

Here's a tease:

Already hailed in America as "climactic" and "monumental", The Way and the Word is the product of a collaboration between an eminent Hellenist and an expert Sinologist. It compares ancient Greek thought and ancient Chinese thought.

The period of comparison is officially the six centuries from about 400BC to about AD200, but in fact a considerable part of the Greek material is taken from the fifth century BC. Although the area of comparison is officially the physical sciences, together with the "physical" part of philosophy, from which ethics and logic are excluded, a substantial part of the Chinese material deals with political and moral reflections.

The work has two ambitions. First, "it aims... to find a way of gaining from the joint study of two cultures understandings about each that would be unattainable if they were studied alone." Second, "the ambitious aim we have set ourselves is to explain why the various sciences that the Chinese and the Greeks developed took the form they did." Since "the key notion which guides our work is that the intellectual and social dimensions of every problem are parts of one whole", the joint study of the two cultures does not confine itself to philosophy and science but considers also the social and political backgrounds of the philosophers and scientists; and it is those backgrounds which provide the explanations for the different development of science and philosophy in east and west.

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 5:49:22 AM::
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From the Al-Jazeerah site ... I must have slept through that class:

Modern Israel was born as a result of the troubles of Europe. The creation of this state has a pattern that can be traced back in European politics for more than two thousand years. Beginning with the invasion of Egypt by Alexander the so-called Great (331 B.C.), the Europeans have nearly always found a way to drain the diseased pulse from their political sores and the lands of other people. This pattern continued through the aggressive Punic Wars (265–201 B.C) that resulted in the destruction of the city of Carthage. From this period to the present day the relationship of Europeans to non-European people has been protracted aggression.


::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 5:45:43 AM::
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From a news page which seems to be promoting the use of nutritional supplements (I can't figure out if this is written by the same guy whose infomercial always seems to be on at 3.00 a.m. or so):

According to Dr. Wallach, King Phillip, who was father of Alexander The Great, married the Egyptian teeny-bopper Queen Cleopatra (who was no Elizabeth Taylor) not because she was so beautiful, but because she commanded the most healthy wheat in the known world.

Phillip, of course, had an 'eye' for such things ...

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 5:36:35 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| Great Fire of Rome
"In the early hours of July 19, 64 A.D, fire broke out in Rome.
More than one million people ran for their lives as flames
devoured their homes. The fire raged for more than a week. For
centuries, questions surrounding the fire have remained
unanswered. What – or who – started this raging inferno? This
program takes viewers back to ancient times in search of
definitive explanations. Analyzing burnt remnants of the fire
excavated by Italian archaeologist Clementina Panella,
recreating the fire’s path and impact on Rome’s buildings and
streets, and assessing the validity and accuracy of Roman
documents, this episode tries to identify the real cause of
ancient history’s most infamous fire."

10.00 p.m. |HISTC| Lost Army of Cambyses
"While escaping the Egyptians 2500 years ago, the Persian King
Cambyses led his army into the desert and disappeared forever.
Despite efforts in the 1930s to discover what happened to him,
no clues were found until 1996 when a geologist stumbled on
evidence by accident. Lost Army Of King Cambyses returns to the
site to uncover the truth."

10.00 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"."

11.00 p.m. |HINT| The Hidden City of Petra
"Story of the Nabataeans, a desert people who carved the city
of Petra out of the Jordanian mountains some 2,000 years ago.
Their culture flourished, then disappeared. We visit the site of
the amazing sculpted city, which included temples and colonnaded
market streets."

HISTC = History Television (Canada)

HINT = History International

::Tuesday, November 04, 2003 4:41:13 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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