Latest update: 4/4/2005; 5:42:31 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

No Update Tonight

Apologies to all, but I'm still recovering from a major allergy attack which began this a.m. and has left me pretty much zombiefied. Look for a major update tomorrow a.m. ... deo volente.

::Wednesday, December 17, 2003 8:16:00 PM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central


ante diem xvi kalendas januarias

  • Saturnalia (day 1) -- major, popular festival in honour of Saturn
    with banquets, the wearing of soft caps (pilei), and general
    good cheer. Shops and schools were closed, gambling was legally
    permitted, gifts were exchanged and masters might even wait on
    their servants. Obviously this festival is often seen as a precursor
    to our modern-day Christmas celebrations ...

::Wednesday, December 17, 2003 5:48:24 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

CHATTER: More Saddamania

The Telegraph today sports some excerpts from Saddam's novel, Be Gone Demons, which, according to an accompanying piece, went to press just at the coalition forces were beginning their invasion of Iraq. In any event, it is clear that Saddam was one of many folks who bought into that U.S.-as-Rome thing:

Saddam's description of himself as Salim, plotting to drive out Ezekiel, the Jewish leader, from his country:

"Salim's bride asked him if he was prepared to drive out the demon Sheikh [Ezekiel]. Salim said: "The intention and power are available. I have made my evaluation of the demon. I am sure of victory against those dogs"

Salim's defeat of Ezekiel and his Roman allies. His army is lying in wait to meet the Romans:

The king of the Romans gave his orders to begin the charge. The first line of Salim's army shot at the Roman riders with arrows. When the Roman riders fell down the women of the tribe beat them with sticks or killed them with swords.

Salim freed his long hair. He was so strong. He was fighting the Romans like a hawk. He was riding a white horse and shouting: "Allah akbar! Long live the Arabs and long live Islam!"

Salim was carrying a sword and his colleagues were giving him another sword when the first was broken. The Romans ran away as Salim got close to them.

Following the Romans' rout from Iraq, Ezekiel and the Roman king return to their own country to find the twin towers of the Roman capital on fire:

Then Ezekiel Hescel and the king of the Romans saw the twin towers of the Roman's city on fire. Ezekiel Hescel was beating his face and saying, "Everything I've collected is gone."

One of the Romans was laughing at Ezekiel and advised him: "Try building another two towers and sell the one and rent the other to the Roman king! Both you and the Roman king will rot in hell."

Arabs had set the towers on fire. How adventurous they are when they become nervous! The Roman watched the blaze and wondered who had done it. The king said: "Our enemies are great in numbers." Ezekiel Hescel answered no."Such a fedeyeen attack could only be carried out by the Arabs".

Ezekiel Hescel and the Roman leader ran away after because they had lost their power and money.

So now, if someone hasn't already done so, we can make the obvious comparison of Saddam and Nero, with Saddam scribbling while Iraq burned ...

::Wednesday, December 17, 2003 5:43:05 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

CHATTER: Matthew Arnold and Sophocles

Remembering a deceased colleague in the Opinion Journal, Claudia Rosett writes:

He reminded me of a line from a poem by Matthew Arnold, about Sophocles--a man "Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole."

So, naturally, I've found the poem, entitled To a Friend:

Who prop, thou ask'st in these bad days, my mind?--
He much, the old man, who, clearest-souled of men,
Saw The Wide Prospect, and the Asian Fen,
And Tmolus hill, and Smyrna bay, though blind.

Much he, whose friendship I not long since won,
That halting slave, who in Nicopolis
Taught Arrian, when Vespasian's brutal son
Cleared Rome of what most shamed him. But be his

My special thanks, whose even-balanced soul,
From first youth tested up to extreme old age,
Business could not make dull, nor passion wild;

Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole;
The mellow glory of the Attic stage,
Singer of sweet Colonus, and its child.

From The Poetry Archives. There's a nice selection of MA's Classically-inspired stuff at Representative Poetry Online as well ...


::Wednesday, December 17, 2003 5:34:23 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central


As any longtime rogueclassicism reader has probably figured out, I love finding any Classical link to whatever is the 'hot property' of the day. What really bothers me, though, is when I come across one and I'm in the midst of a major allergy attack so I can't quite figure out whether it has merit or not. For example, today a columnist at claims, in regards to J.R.R. Tolkien:

A British professor of philology, Tolkien's first love was linguistics, words and the study of cultures through their languages and literatures. His particular area of interest was Anglo-Saxon history. As one who read deeply in fable, legend and myth, Tolkien was well aware of ring-quest tales predating even the pyramids and Babylon. He read Pliny, who wrote of the blood feud over a ring between Drusus and Caepio that led to the Social Wars, which ended in the Roman republic's collapse.

I'm sure he read Pliny. I'm sure Drusus and Caepio contributed to the Social Wars. I don't think it all goes together, though, as suggested above and I don't recall a ring. Can someone please correct me if I'm wrong!

::Wednesday, December 17, 2003 5:23:36 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

AWOTV: On TV Today

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."

11.30 p.m. |DCIVC| Archaeology IV: Russian Amazons

HINT = History International

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

::Wednesday, December 17, 2003 5:03:27 AM::
Comment on this post @ Classics Central

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.

Valid HTML 4.01!

Valid CSS!

Site Meter