Latest update: 4/4/2005; 4:12:59 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

CHATTER: I Swear This is True

From a columnist at Newsday:

Pindar Vineyards has a new winemaker, and it's a good bet that if this one ever departs, he won't leave the same bitter aftertaste in the mouth of the winery's owner, Dr. Herodotus Damianos, as his predecessor.

Partly that's because the replacement appears eminently qualified, with classroom training and apprenticeships spanning two continents. But also, that's because the new winemaker is Damianos' son.

In the conclusion we read:

Herodotus Damianos, meanwhile, says he hopes his son can take Pindar "to the next level," especially because Jason has separate bachelor's degrees in business and oenology and viticulture and additionally studied winemaking at the University of Bordeaux.

I poked around and found the vineyard's website ... clearly wines from here are an obvious choice for your department's next symposium (and you gotta love the Apollo with a grape leaf); heck, I wonder if one could hold a symposium in its "Old World Tasting Room", or at least host a talk of some sort. Hmmmm ....

::Monday, December 01, 2003 7:25:42 PM::
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NUNTII: Helike Excavation

The Helike excavation has received the John Noble Wilford treatment (perhaps trying to make up for that Atlantis thing a few weeks ago). Here's the incipit:

Digging on a coastal plain at the Gulf of Corinth three years ago, archaeologists came upon some ruins of Helike, a Greek city destroyed by earthquake in Plato's time. A search for the rest of Helike has now turned up something even more ancient, rare and inviting.

The archaeologists say they have uncovered the stone foundations, cobbled streets and pottery of a well-preserved 4,500-year-old urban center, one of the few Early Bronze Age communities ever found on the Greek mainland.

Preliminary investigation at the prehistoric site, the researchers say, reveals that this was a prosperous town at the time pre-Homeric Troy enjoyed one of its richest periods. The new-found ruins yielded a tall cylindrical cup in the style of graceful cups known from Troy, suggesting a wider Trojan influence than previously established.

The discovery of the ancient town, name unknown and its existence unsuspected, was described in recent interviews with members of the excavating team that came upon its traces in 2001. Further explorations last summer confirmed their assessment of what they had found.

The ruins were uncovered a few hundred feet from the earlier discovery among vineyards and orchards 26 miles east of the modern port city of Patras. The ceramics enabled archaeologists to date the Bronze Age site there at 2600 to 2300 B.C.

Dr. Dora Katsonopoulou, an archaeologist and co-director of the Helike excavation, said last week that "it was clear from the very beginning that we had made a significant discovery."

In interviews by e-mail and telephone from Athens, Dr. Katsonopoulou said the remains were undisturbed by later occupations of the site and "so offers the great and rare opportunity to us to study and reconstruct everyday life and economy of one of the most important periods of the Early Bronze Age."

In 2000, after 12 years of searching, Dr. Katsonopoulou announced the discovery of buried ruins of Helike (pronounced huh-LEE-kee) known to Homer, Plato and other writers in antiquity. The city was destroyed in 373 B.C. by an earthquake followed by a towering tidal wave. Its disappearance beneath the sea is said to have inspired Plato's story of the legendary Atlantis.

... and here's the rest ...

::Monday, December 01, 2003 7:10:58 PM::
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kalendas decembres

  • rites in honour of Neptune (probably commemorating an altar
  • rites in honour of Pietas near the Circus Flaminius (not much
    known about this one, apparently)
  • 147 A.D. -- Annia Galeria Faustina, wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, is
    given the title of Augusta
  • 283 A.D. -- martyrdom of Diodorus and Marianus
  • 303 A.D. -- martyrdom of Olympiades
  • 304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Ansanus the Baptizer, patron saint of Siena

::Monday, December 01, 2003 6:00:18 AM::
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NUNTII: How England Won the World Rugby Cup

A South African business newspaper ponders England's recent victory in the context of ... Roman marching camps!

According to Edward Luttwak in The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, the most characteristic device of the Roman art of war under the republic and early principate was the marching camp.

At the conclusion of a day's march, legionaries on the move were assembled on a site carefully selected in advance, where they were put to work for three hours or more digging a perimeter obstacle ditch, erecting a rampart, assembling a palisade with prefabricated elements and pitching tents.

The internal layout followed a standard theme: tent sites were neatly grouped by units around a broad T-shaped roadway at the centre of the camp, which faced the headquarters area, and a broad gap was left between the rampart and the first line of tents.

The strategic mobility of Roman forces was undoubtedly reduced by this tiring and time-consuming camp building routine. However, although the flimsy palisade, shallow ditch and low rampart would not do much to stem a major assault, it did provide an early warning system.

The broad roadways within the camp ensured that if the camp came under attack, the troops could be mustered in an orderly manner, avoiding the confusion and panic easily caused by men rushing about in a small space strewn with equipment.

Tactically, such a camp suffered from several shortcomings. However, according to Luttwak, it was the non-tactical functions that made the Roman marching camp much more than a mere defensive perimeter and that gave it a degree of importance without parallel in modern warfare.

The marching camp was, in effect, a powerful psychological device. For troops venturing into hostile territory, the familiar context of the camp design provided a sense of security. They could wash, care for their equipment and converse in a relaxed atmosphere that was familiar every night.

In the same way they could sleep soundly and so be fit for march or battle the following day. As such, the cumulative exhaustion of troops living in field conditions would be mitigated by nightly opportunity for recuperation.

The camp was also a labour-saving device. At night a protected perimeter would allow a proper watch with a minimum of men

Click here


The marching camp also provided some tactical insurance, since if the legion was defeated in the field, the surviving troops could take refuge in the camp and prepare to fight another day. The camp site would thus provide a natural rallying point and a ready-made framework for redeployment.

The strength of the Roman empire did not derive from tactical superiority on the battlefield, nor from superior generalship or more advanced weapons technology.

Roman tactics were almost invariably sound but not distinctly superior and the Roman soldier of the imperial period was not a warrior intent on proving his manhood but a long-service professional pursuing a career. The strength of the Roman army derived from method, not from fortuitous talent.

To find out what all that has to do with rugby ... here's more ... (I love the fact that there's a disclaimer after everything)

::Monday, December 01, 2003 5:46:49 AM::
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NUNTII: Classics at Texas A&M

Look what's happening to Classics at Texas A&M:

A new Hispanic studies department could be coming to Texas A&M in the fall of 2004 as part of the campuswide goal of becoming a top-10 public university by 2020.

The new department would include courses in the Spanish language, Hispanic cultures and the University's first courses in Portuguese, pending final approval.

"Students whom I have talked to are enthusiastic supporters," said Stephen Miller, chair of the reorganization subcommittee for Hispanic studies and a professor of modern and classical languages. "They understand how the new department will be able to help them attain their academic and professional goals."

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages would be divided into two new departments: the Department of Hispanic Studies and the Department of European and Classical Studies, Miller said. The current budget for the Department of Modern and Classical Languages will be split proportionately to fund the two departments, he said

More ...

::Monday, December 01, 2003 5:42:01 AM::
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CHATTER: Seen in Passing

Check this out, from a legal columnist/consumer advocate  in Boise:

She took the vehicle to Thrasymachus Motors on Plato Drive, a shop that also had a used car dealership as part of the business.

Now that the caffeine just hit, I suspect this is one of those exempli gratia things, not actual names, alas.

::Monday, December 01, 2003 5:37:17 AM::
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GRUMBLE: Matters Calendrical

Ye gods! What sort of editor at the Baltimore Sun would let this glaring error through? It can't even be called a howler ... it's just sadly misinformed:

Our own Gregorian calendar is the most widely used today, but it has changed over time, too. The name December, for example, is derived from the Latin decem, for 10. It was the 10th month of the year until the first century BC, when Julius Caesar inserted July and August.

Source ...

::Monday, December 01, 2003 5:31:50 AM::
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AWOTV: Delayed

The TV listings are delayed this week -- apologies for any inconvenience.

::Monday, December 01, 2003 5:23:53 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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