Latest update: 4/4/2005; 4:12:56 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

NUNTII: Latin News from Radio Bremen

Since it's the end of the month, we also get the Latin News from Radio Bremen. Here's the headlines for November:

Germania aere alieno liberanda

Hohmann eiectus

Conventus Factionis Socialis Democraticae
Officina nuclearis a rete dirempta
Pecunia nervus rerum

Amphitheatrum Romanum in Bavaria inventum

Mus non ridiculus       
MEMORABILIA Caroli Magni imperatoris coronatio
NOTABILIA Palatia imperatorum Romanorum

Lege plura ...

Audi ...

::Sunday, November 30, 2003 6:10:03 PM::
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NUNTII: Nuntii Latini

Latest headlines from YLE's Nuntii Latini:

Tranquillitas in Georgia restituta

Annan mercatione feminarum sollicitus

SIDA in mundo pervagatur

Mauno Koivisto, annos natus 80

Seminaria Latina Hispanica

Bush in Britanniam advenit

Legi plura ...

Audi ...

::Sunday, November 30, 2003 6:06:29 PM::
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NUNTII: Latin Surging in Popularity

This was sent by an "explorator" reader, but arrived too late for it to be included in today's issue (thanks JH!) ... According to the Detroit News, Latin is "cool again" ... here's the whole thing:

The Latin club scene is hotter than it's been in decades, but the attraction isn't J.Lo.

It's Cicero.

After a nearly half-century lull, studying Latin is cool again. Enrollment is up in high schools. U.S. college enrollment in Latin is the highest it has been since the Modern Language Association started keeping track in 1958.

The 2,500-year-old language is becoming a pop culture phenomenon.

The first Harry Potter tome has been translated into "Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis (the philosopher's stone)." Irish singer Enya performs Latin tracks on four of her CDs. In the 2001 season finale of "The West Wing," a grieving President Bartlet had some choice words in Latin for God.

It's a trend that's been brewing for the past couple of years.

"Every Latin teacher in the world went nuts when the movie 'Gladiator' came out (in 2000)," said Steve Perkins, a teacher at North Central High School in suburban Indianapolis.

Nationally, about 3 percent of all foreign language students take Latin.

At the Indiana Junior Classical League, a network of Latin clubs, membership rose 8 1/2 percent to 1,552 last school year. Five years after creating an undergraduate degree in Latin, Purdue University must regularly add classes, even in summer.

Not bad for a dead language.

Latin waned to a whisper after the fall of the Roman Empire, although it survived as an education staple. But by the mid-20th century, enrollment in Latin courses began to slide. The 1960s and '70s nearly choked Latin.

"Everything had to be relevant, and there was a cafeteria approach to curriculum: Take what you want to take," said national expert, Professor Richard A. LaFleur of the University of Georgia.

The Roman Catholic Church's decision to let local language dominate Mass also pushed Latin to the sidelines, he and others said.

So what's behind the renewed interest in Latin? The growing emphasis on test scores lures some students.

"It'll definitely pay off," said fourth-year student Kyle Cassidy, a senior at Elwood (Ind.) High School. "A big part of Latin is learning the etymology of words. If you know the Latin roots, you can break down a word and figure it out."

Career plans lead some students to pursue Latin, the mother of all Romance languages -- Italian, French, Spanish, Romanian and Portuguese -- and the root of half the English vocabulary.

"I always ask my students why they're taking Latin," said Elwood teacher Diana Garner. "Many of them are interested in the medical field or law. When it comes to science, easily 80 percent of the terms are Latin-based."

I dunno ... that seems to have ended in medias res ...


::Sunday, November 30, 2003 10:42:04 AM::
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pridie kalendas decembres

  • 147 A.D. -- birth of Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of the
    emperor-to-be Marcus Aurelius
  • 1817 -- birth of Theodor Mommsen, Nobel Prize-winning ancient

::Sunday, November 30, 2003 10:28:28 AM::
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GOSSIP: More Ancient Movies

More ancient-themed movies are in the queue ... According to the Scotsman:

WHAT have the Romans ever done for us? Well, in addition to roads, sanitation and wine, they’re about to give a boost to the Scottish film industry.

The spine-tingling legend of the ‘disappearance’ of the Roman Ninth Legion is about to feature in no fewer than three separate big-screen movies.

Producers - perhaps inspired by Gladiator - are all working on their own versions of how 4,000 elite Roman troops marched into Scotland and were, according to legend, never seen again.

Neil Marshall, who wrote and directed the horror hit Dog Soldiers, is planning The Ninth Legion as an action thriller, in which the Picts slaughter most of the invaders, but a few survivors attempt to fight their way back.

Ros Borland and Catherine Aitken, the Scottish producers of AfterLife, are also working on the premise that the Ninth Legion was massacred in their film Legion, and have a Druid priest using the Roman standard to rally the natives for an attack.

Finally Duncan Kenworthy, London-based producer of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually, has acquired the film rights to Rosemary Sutcliff’s children’s novel The Eagle of the Ninth, which has sold more than a million copies since its appearance in 1954, and was made into a BBC mini-series shot in Aberdeenshire in the 1970s.

Today, academics and amateur historians still argue over the scant historical evidence for the movements of the Ninth Legion and some suggest it didn’t disappear at all.

More ... 

Meanwhile, the Times of India also ponders the popularity of ancient movies which, although behind the times in regards to DiCaprio, does hint at a couple of other movies to add to the 'gossip' list:


First past the reel post will be Troy , based on Homer’s epic Iliad starring Brad Pitt Achilles, Orlando Bloom as Paris and Eric Bana as Hector. Then comes Alexander the Great. 

While Oliver Stone will direct Colin Farrell in Alexander the Great, Baz Luhrmann has chosen Leonardo DiCaprio. 

Similarly, George Clooney might lead the Spartans in battle in a movie based on the Battle of Thermopylae. However, the biggest epic of them all might just be Kleopatra,which is based on a two-part novel by Karen Essex.

More ...

Photos are starting to trickle in of Angelina Jolie as Olympias ... I'll post some eventually.

::Sunday, November 30, 2003 10:20:07 AM::
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NUNTII: Classics in Canada

I often bewail the paucity of interest in matters Classical in Canada ... according to an editorialish thing in the Montreal Gazette, the 'opposition' to Classics may be rather long standing:

Fires generally leave their effects visibly marked behind them. The fire which took place in the High School yesterday afternoon was no exception.

- Gazette, Saturday, Nov. 29, 1890

No one died in the fire that destroyed the High School of Montreal that day, but the blaze did claim a victim, nonetheless. Shortly afterward, Henry Aspinwall Howe, who had been headmaster for more than 42 years, handed in his resignation.


It was no coincidence the fire broke out just when Howe and the school were immersed in the most serious confrontation yet. The hint dropped by The Gazette's headline was plain to see: ''Who Set the High on Fire? Was It the Work of an Incendiary or Accidental?'' While no one was ever accused directly, it is likely the fire was started by students inspired - if that's the right word - by the bitter wrangling that had gripped the school since the beginning of the year.

Though English by birth, Howe was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was a classicist, and the curriculum he wanted for the High School was weighted heavily toward the language and literature of ancient Greece and Rome.

Alas, the emphasis on classics was not to everyone's liking. Parents often complained it took up time that could be better devoted to subjects more suited to preparing boys for business careers. In 1862, for example, Howe reluctantly agreed to reduce Greek and Latin instruction from four hours a day to two, and to give some of the freed-up time to subjects like bookkeeping. Similar struggles over the curriculum would recur in later years.


Despite occasional periods of decline, enrolment generally increased year by year. In 1878, the school moved into a new building, not at the University St. location familiar to most Montrealers today, but on Peel St. above Ste. Catherine St. Its design, with classrooms radiating off a central hall where the headmaster's desk was located, reflected the latest in pedagogical theory. It also included classrooms for girls.

About that time, the school's commercial program was discontinued and Latin returned as a requirement. Several years later, however, the Greek requirement was made less onerous and more attention was paid to the sciences, but that didn't quiet the mutterings. The board launched another inquiry. The staff lined up in two camps: one backing Howe and favouring the traditional curriculum, the other allied with assistant headmaster F.W. Kelley to urge new departures.

The board eventually decided to go with the new at the expense of the old, but that did not end the discontent. The poisonous atmosphere spread to the students. They saw little reason to heed their teachers when the teachers themselves so clearly could not agree. The poor lighting and ventilation of the school building rankled, as did its odd layout, and as Rexford put it, ''no doubt the pupils had heard that its total destruction would prove a blessing.''

On May 26, 1890, a small fire broke out in the school, followed by another six days later. Both were put out easily enough; both were called accidents; and both excited suspicions of something more sinister than mere student carelessness. The fight over the curriculum raged on. By the opening of the 1890 school year, it was being fought openly in Montreal newspapers. Some letters to the editor were traced back to one of the teachers, who was fired for his temerity.

Then, late in November, rumours spread as quickly as fire itself that someone had tried - again? - to set the building alight. Finally, after classes had finished the following day, a blaze broke out that could not be contained. Seven hours later, the Peel St. structure was a smoking ruin.

In 1892, a new building opened on Peel St., but by then Howe was gone. The school's closing exercises in June 1891, across the street in the MAAA building, included a lavish tribute in which he was praised for dedicating his life ''to a work worthy of man's best efforts.'' A painting of Howe, by the distinguished portraitist Robert Harris, was presented to him.

::Sunday, November 30, 2003 9:50:27 AM::
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NUNTII: Explorator

Issue 6.31 of "explorator" is now available online ...

::Sunday, November 30, 2003 9:43:41 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

7.00 p.m. |HINT| Time Team: Cirencester
"Around 1,700 years ago, Corinium--modern day Cirencester--was
the second-most important city in Roman Britain after Londinium.
By about 300 AD, it had developed into a bustling, wealthy city.
Time Team was drawn to Cirencester by the opportunity to
excavate in the gardens of a number of properties near the
center of old Corinium. Though it has been said that you can't
put a shovel into the ground in Cirencester without unearthing
Roman relics, Time Team adds their 2-spades worth!"

7.00 p.m. |DISCU| Who Killed Jesus?
"Explore the figures, events and political climate surrounding
the execution of Jesus of Nazareth. Experts examine the
motivations and methods of Herod, Pontius Pilate, the temple
priests, the judicial system and the crowd calling for Jesus'

8.00 p.m. |HINT| The Twelve Apostles: History's Great Revolutionaries
"Separately, they were nobodies--a handful of fishermen, an
angry tax collector. But united by a charismatic Jewish
preacher, this ragtag gang shaped into history's most famous
revolutionaries. Meet Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip,
Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the Lesser, Thaddeus, Simon,
and Judas in this 2-hour special."

HINT = History International

DISCU = Discovery Channel (US)

::Sunday, November 30, 2003 9:42:49 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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