Latest update: 4/4/2005; 4:06:53 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

LAST POST: At the Auctions

Sorry ... report cards + flu is taking its toll, so I think we'll be packing it up early tonight. Here's a mid-fifth century B.C./B.C.E. Attic Red Figure Column Krater from Sotheby's ... seems rather dull, subject-wise:

The official page ...

::Wednesday, November 19, 2003 8:19:54 PM::
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GOSSIP: Last Days of Pompeii

The latest from

Universal Pictures is set to erupt with a film depicting the final hours of Pompeii, the Roman city buried by volcanic ash in the year A.D. 79. Clark Gregg will write the script, with helmer Fernando Meirelles attached to direct.

"Neither Fernando nor I are jumping out of our skin to do a traditional historical epic or disaster film," Gregg told Variety. "What's fascinating about Pompeii is that it was frozen in a moment in time."

Meirelles said, "What drew me to this project is the possibility of re-creating Pompeii in the most realistic way possible. One of my goals is to take the audience into the everyday life experiences in the Mediterranean 1,924 years ago. I'm also interested in capturing the connections between the end of Roman Empire and the present day, as well as the end of a civilization."

More ...

::Wednesday, November 19, 2003 7:43:36 PM::
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ante diem xiii kalendas decembres

::Wednesday, November 19, 2003 5:54:33 AM::
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CHATTER: Teaching Latin for How Long?

This one stands on its own (pardon me while I collapse into paroxysms of Wayne- and Garth-like "We're not worth(ies)"):

Sister Clarita Anneken knows her Latin. And how to teach it. Just ask the Goderwis family.

Sister Clarita is teaching Latin I to the Goderwis twins at Villa Madonna Academy this year. Nathan and Josh, 14-year-old eighth-graders, are the third generation of the Goderwis family to pass through her classroom.

She is in her 63rd consecutive year of doing so. She taught Latin I and II at St. Henry High School to the twins' paternal grandmother, Pat Goderwis, from 1957 to 1959, and to their dad, Doug, from 1976 to 1978.

More ...

::Wednesday, November 19, 2003 5:40:38 AM::
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ORIGINS: Garlic in Britain

This is one of those mentioned-in-passing-things, passed along by an "explorator" reader (thanks AM!) ... a piece on a recent study about the health benefits of garlic notes:

The study, from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, found that the humble plant, which is believed to have been introduced to Britain by Roman soldiers as a cure for wounds, could have the power to help treat potentially life-threatening superbugs such as MRSA and e-coli.

Further investigation suggests the Roman army was responsible for the spread of garlic throughout Europe. The Worldwide Gourmet, e.g., says:

Praised by Virgil and the poets of antiquity, garlic was progressively introduced into various parts of Europe during the Romans' campaigns.

... even though the same site precedes that paragraph with:

Originating in the steppes of central Asia, and grown in the Middle East by the Sumerians over 5000 years ago, garlic was introduced into France by Godefroy de Bouillon, leader of the first crusade who, when he returned to the country in 1099, was elected king of Jerusalem.

Further poking around brought me to a paper at Richard Rivlin, Historical Perspective on the Use of Garlic ... here's the sections dealing with Greece and Rome (the original has full footnotes for those wanting to track this down further):

As noted in Table 3 , excavations of ancient Greek temples have unearthed garlic, and the palace of Knossos in Crete, dating to 1400–1800 BC, contained well-preserved garlic when it was excavated (Moyers 1996 ). As with the Egyptians, garlic was associated with strength and work capacity. Garlic formed an important part of the military diet, particularly when soldiers were off to battle.

There is evidence that during the earliest Olympics, which originated in Greece, garlic was fed to the athletes before they competed (Green and Polydoris 1993 , Lawson 1998 ), conceivably functioning as one of the first of the so-called "performance enhancing" agents used in competitive athletics. If so, one wonders whether there were prescribed doses, clinical trials and limits placed on the amounts consumed. One imagines that there must have been someone in authority supervising the activities of the athletes as they prepared themselves for the sports competition.
Hippocrates, widely regarded as the father of Medicine, made garlic a part of his therapeutic armamentarium, advocating its use for pulmonary complaints, as a cleansing or purgative agent, and for abdominal growths, particularly uterine (Moyers 1996 ).

As in the cultures discussed above, garlic appears to have been consumed primarily by the lower classes. It appears not to have been a favorite food item among the ruling classes and its presence in religious temples was not permitted (Moyers 1996 ), a proscription also found in certain Asian cultures.

As in Greece, the Romans perceived garlic as an aid to strength and endurance; it was fed to both soldiers and sailors (Green and Polydris 1993 ) and was part of a ship’s manifest when it set out to sea. With the emergence of Rome as a leading power, Greek medicine and its traditions gradually were transferred to Rome. The leading medical authority was the Greek, Dioscorides (Bergner 1996 , Riddle 1996 ), who served as the chief physician for Nero’s army (Table 4 ). He was the author of a five-volume treatise that recommended garlic because it "cleans the arteries." It should be noted that the circulation of the blood was not discovered until hundreds of years later, and contemporary beliefs held that arteries transported air throughout the body, whereas veins were known to transport blood. Clearly, the concept that cardiovascular status may be improved by garlic, presently a subject of active research, has origins in antiquity. Garlic was also recommended for disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, for treatment of animal bites and for alleviation of joint disease and seizures.

Medicine in Rome was greatly influenced by the writings of Pliny the Elder, a Greek physician who wrote the five-volume Historica Naturalis (Bergner 1996 , Moyers 1996 ). Twenty-three uses for garlic were listed for a variety of disorders. Among these was that garlic was believed to confer significant protection against toxins and infections, a finding corroborated by contemporary investigations of the effects of garlic upon activities of P450-2E1 and other hepatic degradative diseases (Block 1985 , Pinto and Rivlin 1999 ).

The tables referred to are actually just point form notes type things, but are available at the original paper's site if you want to follow up. In any event, two things arise from all this. First, a crusade appears to be definitely in order to rescue Pliny the Elder from what appears to be a widely-held belief that he was Greek (remember the history of photography thing the other day?). Second, we clearly have to include the dissemination of garlic as one of the benefits of Romanization (or, if you were my grandfather, you'd include it as another aspect of Roman oppression).

::Wednesday, November 19, 2003 5:32:55 AM::
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CHATTER: Cowards and Heroes

In a piece which ponders the role of cowards in various wartime situations -- real and imagined -- in the Palm Beach Post, the Iliad is bound to come up:

The granddaddy of all wartime cowards is Thersites, in Book II of Homer's epic The Iliad. Thersites is fed up with the Trojan War and incites a mutiny, urging the Greeks to pack it in and go home.

In a book populated by gods and glorious heroes, Thersites is a standout, an ugly man, "the ugliest man of all those who came to Ilium, bandy-legged, lame of one foot, his shoulders twisted, curving into his chest, pointy-headed, his back covered with shaggy hair."

Thersites' pacifist views aren't shared by Odysseus, who silences him with a cudgel-blow across the back, whereupon "a swelling tear" wells up in the coward's eye. For the rest of the poem, we hear no more of him, yet he is an intriguing character, a poltroon surrounded by heroes.

The article goes on to consider the bravery produced by madness ...

::Wednesday, November 19, 2003 5:06:04 AM::
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NUNTII: Jewish Village Found

An "explorator" reader sent this one along (thanks JL!) ...What sounds like the ancient equivalent of a 'gated community' has been found by clumsy archaeologists on the outskirts of Jersalem. Here's the salient details from the Jerusalem Post:

The first century Jewish community was stumbled upon in late May near the entrance to the present day Shuafat refugee camp, in the wake of infrastructure work which the city was carrying out at the site for the Jerusalem's light rail-system, which is still under construction.

A three-month long archaeological excavation at the site - which archaeologists date back to the second temple period and was abandoned during the days of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans -- uncovered the remains of homes made of ashlar stone, courtyards and three bathhouses in the village.

Some of the walls of the well-constructed homes were found intact a meter and a half high.

Excavations director Debbie Sklar-Parnes said Tuesday that an assemblage of vessels, glass bottles and "extremely expensive" stone-basins were also uncovered at the site, indicating that the community was well to do.

Fragments of a red green and black fresco which were used to decorate the houses were also found at the site.

The archaeologist estimates that the entire well-planned village was built around 60-70 CE and abandoned about seventy years later in 130-135 CE, due to the Jewish revolt.

The whole thing ...

::Wednesday, November 19, 2003 5:01:05 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Ancient Apocalypse: Mystery of the Minoans

9.00 p.m. |HINT| Time Team: Birdoswald, Cumbria
"First occupied by Roman troops in around 122 AD and completed
in 138, Birdoswald is the 11th fort out of 17 from the east end
of Hadrian's Wall. The cemetery area was first identified in
1959, when a tenant farmer unearthed a number of Roman pots.
Time Team was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to
investigate at Birdoswald because the cemetery area had already
sustained serious damage. But Time Team's investigation soon
turned up more than expected."

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

HINT = History International


::Wednesday, November 19, 2003 4:38:19 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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