Latest update: 4/4/2005; 4:07:19 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca


Wow ... is there ever a pile of nice stuff coming to auction at Christie's December 11. I might have to do 'two a days' to fit it all in. There's so much to choose from, but I think I'll start with this First Century A.D. Roman bronze and iron cavalry mask:

I wonder if anyone has ever seen a connection between these things and the funerary masks of the rich and famous ... here's the official description ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 9:04:54 PM::
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TTT: Toussaint

The November/December issue of Humanities has a piece on Toussaint, the 'Haitian Spartacus', which begins thusly:

Toussaint-Louverture had been a general for two years when he experienced a vision. On a hill in Haiti in 1793, a black Madonna appeared before him on a cloud, scattering roses. There was the sound of trumpets and then the voice of the Madonna saying, “You are the Spartacus of the Negroes. . . . You shall revenge the evil that has been done unto the people of your race.”

The man who led the first successful slave revolt and created the first Haitian Constitution was, for most of his life, a slave. Toussaint was the eldest son of Gaou-Guinou, a slave who was said to be the descendant of a West African king. Converted to Catholicism by the Jesuits, he instilled a lifelong devotion to the Church in his son. They lived on the sugar plantation of Count de Bréda, a humane man, and Toussaint was allowed to receive a little education--an acquaintance with French, a smattering of Latin and geometry. As a boy, he indulged his love of reading while tending the herd. He read Caesar’s Commentaries, Epicetus, Herodotus, Des Claison’s History of Alexander and Caesar, Guishard’s Military Memoirs of the Greeks and Romans. He also read Abbot Raynal, who wrote with horror about the practice of slavery and predicted the coming of a savior among the slaves: “He will appear, doubt it not; he will come forth, and raise the sacred standard of liberty.”

More ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 8:17:55 PM::
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REVIEW: The Bacchae

I think this guy has been in Saskatoon too long (as my father -- from Prince Albert -- always says, Saskatchewan is a nice place to be from):

If you're not down with Dionysus yet, you will be after seeing Greystone Theatre's production of The Bacchae.

Forget that it's 2,400 years old, this play is so cool it should come with a windchill warning.

Director Neil Cadger blows the dust off Euripides with a vital, witty, and visually stunning production. The premise is simple but the ramifications immense. It's a conflict between Dionysus -- the god of wine and passion (and, not coincidentally, theatre) -- and Pentheus, the ruler of Thebes. Pentheus persecutes women for worshipping Dionysus (there's no small amount of feminism here) and questions his divinity. Dionysus then pays Pentheus a visit to, as the ancient Greeks used to say, lay some smack down.

You know you're in for a treat in the first second when Dionysus (Brad Milne) emerges in the darkness covered in fluorescent blue dots. He seems to fly across the stage, but you realize he's being carried by an almost invisible actor thanks to the magic of black light. The visuals continue throughout. The blind seer Tiresias (Ricardo Alvarado) looks amazing, not only because of his pale, unblinking eyes but because he's dressed to the nines in women's clothing. As is Pentheus's grandfather Cadmus (Matthew Josdal). It's not clear why two senior members of the court have come under the god's spell so early in the proceedings, but the togs are lavish and the visuals arresting.

More ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 7:37:16 PM::
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TTT: Simeon Inscription

The other day we mentioned the discovery of a Greek inscription in Jerusalem, apparently referring to "Simon the Just" of New Testament fame. SG on the ANE list posted a useful url today for folks wanting to know more. Wieland Wilker has put up a page which includes photos of the monument, transcriptions and photos of the inscription (as well as the Zacharias inscription), as well as a rendering of the inscription(s) in modern script along with a translation. Worth a look ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 7:26:27 PM::
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GOSSIP: No ... that's a different Greek story

Rearranging some paragraphs from This Is London for maximum effect (gloss, just in case you've been stranded on an island or something: Colin Farrell is playing Alexander the Great ... Angelina Jolie plays Olympias):


He and Jolie got off to a bad start after meeting on the set of the film Alexander The Great, in which she plays his mother.

She apparently got so fed up with his drunken antics during filming in Morocco that she moved hotels to get away from him.

But the duo appear to have overcome their differences. They reportedly went out for dinner on Saturday night with their director Oliver Stone before hitting the town together for drinks.


Earlier, Farrell, 27, the star of Phone Booth, denied that he is dating Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie, although they were seen kissing passionately at a London nightclub on Saturday night.


A witness who saw them at Elysium and Annabel's - where they stayed until after 3am yesterday - said: "They were definitely flirting and at one point he leaned over and kissed her on the lips. They looked like a couple on a romantic date."

Okay ... that's way to gossipy for rogueclassicism ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 7:10:59 PM::
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CHATTER: Histories

Here's something that turned up in today's scan (I'm a PC user, so apologies to Mac types who already knew about this):

Herodotus 1.2 ($5) updates the web browser history and bookmark search application. Version 1.2 can search the content of web pages (in addition to the title url), offers more search options, caches pages for improved performance, and supports Safari, IE, OmniWeb, Netscape/Mozilla, Firebird, and Opera.

Of course, the only problem is that we never can be sure whether Herodotus visited the sites himself or whether he is relying on hearsay (hearclick?) ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 6:55:57 PM::
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ante diem viii kalendas decembres

::Monday, November 24, 2003 5:48:13 AM::
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The Guardian's Media column muses about the recent success of 'hybrid' programs (things that blend science, history, drama, computers etc.), including the recent Pompeii, and then drops some details about the upcoming BBC/HBO collaboration thing:

Meanwhile, British-born Bruno Heller, brother of the writer Zoë Heller, touched down in Rome last Thursday to spearhead an ambitious BBC/HBO collaboration, a 12-part history series called Rome, the broadcasters' biggest joint project since Band of Brothers. This will cover a 30-year period from 52BC, when Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, says Heller, "but it is told through the eyes of two genuine rank-and-file soldiers named by him in his writings."

It will be filmed in Bulgaria, north Africa and Rome, and will use computer-generated imagery. "We venture into palaces, but it is much more about ordinary people. There is so much wonderful stuff on the record. Historically it will be rigorously accurate in terms of events and sociology. It won't be a Hollywood-style pastiche - people won't sit down to dinner with their breastplates on. And we are not going for the spectacular - Cleopatra will not enter Rome on top of a sphinx.

"It's not docudrama, but it uses documentary material in a fresh way. We are not casting stars - they tend to make things too theatrical - we are following the aesthetics of the documentary. All the cast will be from Italy or England, working-class Italians will play ordinary people, and there will be no Americans. We are using a fair amount of computer-generated graphics, not for spectacle but to create prosaic reality, so people won't notice it is being used."

The whole thing ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 5:28:47 AM::
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GOSSIP: Yet Another

Just as we hear of the shelving of Baz's Alexander the Great project (for the time being), comes news of another. According to

First up, Ilya Salkind, producer of the first three Superman films, and Jeffrey Taylor, plan to produce Macedonia's Alexander the Great as the first in a trilogy of films on the life and times of Hollywood's favorite conqueror.

The film is written by Dan Skinner and will be directed by Jalal Merhi, whose previous credits include direct-to-video actioners The Circuit and Sometimes a Hero.

Aris Papadimitriou will depict Alexander's best friend, Hephaestion (a role portrayed by Jared Leto in Alexander) and Egypt's Hala Sedki will play his mother, Queen Olympias (Angelina Jolie has the part in Stone's film).

Production is scheduled to begin Feb. 7 in Greece and Egypt. And although no distributor is in place, an October release is intended.

The piece also mentions the Cyrus movie we mentioned the other day ... here's an interesting 'in passing' statement in regards to that:

No star roles have been cast but Sean Connery is being courted to play Cyrus and Angelina Jolie to be his empress.

::Monday, November 24, 2003 5:18:16 AM::
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NUNTII: Pisa an "Ancient Venice"

This is another one I had intended to put up yesterday. Recent research into the famed Pisa Ships find suggests that in Roman times Pisa was built on a lagoon, much like Venice. According to the Telegraph:

Archaeologists believe that traces of a community dating back to a pre-Roman era, a sort of "Etruscan Venice", may lie beneath the ships.

The end of the lagoon civilisation may also offer clues to the fate of modern Venice - the waterways were silted up by violent floods over a long period.

"The situation in Venice is not just similar to that of Pisa, but is practically identical," said Prof Stefano Bruni of the University of Ferrara.

The find first came to light five years ago when a bulldozer involved in work to build railway offices beside the San Rossore station on the outskirts of Pisa came across an ancient wooden ship 30ft below ground. A large archaeological dig which was started under Prof Bruni's direction later found four ships dating from various Roman periods.


Once the ships were discovered, experts were able to establish that there had been a lagoon system, thanks to investigative work of the terrain earlier to protect the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Prof Bruni said: "By re-examining aerial night photos taken at the time with special thermal film, we realised that the River Auser [one of Pisa's two rivers] had completely changed its course.

"We used the data to help reconstruct the landscape as it would have been in Etruscan times, and found that then there was a situation similar to Venice. Now Pisa is 10km [about six miles] from the sea. Then, it was 3.5km, and was a delta."

The whole thing ... Also worth checking out is the excellent home page for the Pisa Ships site.

::Monday, November 24, 2003 5:09:46 AM::
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NUNTII: 'Catacombs' Found Beneath a House in Cyprus

An "explorator" reader sent this one (Thanks DS ...) ... Renovations on a house in Cyprus revealed some looted tombs which form part of the Ayioi Omoloyites Necropolis. According to the Cyprus Mail

BUILDERS have discovered an ancient tomb hidden underneath a house in the Ayioi Omoloyites suburb of Nicosia when renovation works on the house began this week.

Construction Worker Costas Constantinou opened a hole, half a metre wide that revealed a space five feet below the surface and decided to investigate by squeezing down the shaft.

“I saw two rooms which were eight metres wide each. I don’t know what it is so cannot say much about it, just that we were surprised to find it as we were just doing our job.”

The tombs at the house in Miaouli Street are part of the Ayioi Omoloyites Necropolis, which is now the responsibility of the Department of Antiquities

Pavlos Flourenzos, Director of the Antiquities Department, yesterday expressed delight at the find. “The owners want the tomb to be visited by the public. They told me they want to preserve it and by no accounts will they charge people to enter their property to view the tombs, but obviously he is deciding how he will make it part of his home and accessible to the public.”

The owner, Achilleas Kentonis, is an artist and owns a cultural centre in the area, which influenced his decision to co-operate with the Antiquities Department to help preserve the site.

Flourenzos stressed: “It is not exactly an archaeological find as the tomb had been extensively looted many, many years ago. The department knows this find is only unique because of its chambers.”

The tomb was buried by a layer of debris that covered it for years and was used as a sewage system by residents in the area. Excavation work will only proceed if there is public interest in visiting the site, but Florenzou admitted, “it may not be worth excavating, we’ll have to do a lot of work to it.”

More ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 5:02:24 AM::
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NUNTII: Nuntii Latini

Here's the latest headlines from Radio Finland's Nuntii Latini (which I forgot to post yesterday ... sorry!):

Bush in Britanniam advenit

Res Iraquiae constituentur

Kasjanov Finniam visitavit

Caeliscalpium excelsissimum

De consilio mundi culturali

Violentia in Iraquia et in Arabia Saudiana crudecit

Lege plura ...

Audi ...

::Monday, November 24, 2003 4:45:37 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |DISCC| Warrior Women: Boudica 
"After her husband's death and ruthless attacks on her and her
daughters, Queen Boudica took up the sword, summoned her Iceni
warriors and went on a rampage against the Romans; the Iceni
were eventually stopped by the more disciplined Roman legions."

::Monday, November 24, 2003 4:40:16 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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