Latest update: 4/4/2005; 5:48:06 AM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca

NUNTII: Ancient Leprosy

Nothing like an ambiguous headline from Ha'aretz:

2,000-year-old leper found in Jerusalem

While we try to drive images of Mel Brooks out of our heads,  the article itself -- about the discovery of some textiles and human remains dating from the first century A.D./C.E is quite interesting. Here's an excerpt:

After the dates were established, restoration work began. A piece of the material was relayed to Orit Shamir at the Antiquities Authority, for testing and restoration. By using regular and electronic microscopes, Shamir established that the material was composed partly of cotton and linseed.

"This sort of cloth was not made here during this period, and so it's plausible to assume that it was imported; and that suggests the deceased person was wealthy," Gibson explains. "The grave's location supports this hypothesis. The grave is located on the lower side of Mount Zion, where Jerusalem's aristocratic elite of the time dwelled."

Tests of hair samples, conducted by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Medicine, corroborated these conclusions about the deceased person. The tests established that the man did not have lice, suggesting that he upheld standards of hygiene observed among the upper classes of the time.

Tests of bone samples suggested to researchers that the burial cave was used by dozens of members of a family for several generations. Germ remains were found on the bones, and while tests of these germs indicated that three family members died of consumption, there were also intriguing traces of leprosy. Researchers speculate that while consumption must have been what killed members of the family, leprosy weakened their immune systems and set the stage for their death by other diseases. They also hypothesize that the man whose remains Gibson discovered was buried in a special hole because his family wanted to keep him isolated, as a leprosy victim.

"Up until now, the oldest archaeological findings of leprosy were from the Byzantine period, in the fifth century C.E.," says Gibson. "This is the oldest archaeological finding of leprosy in the Middle East. Leprosy is mentioned in the Bible, but until now, we could not be sure whether these biblical references are to the disease we know as leprosy, or to something else."  

... and here's the rest.

::Tuesday, December 30, 2003 7:45:09 PM::
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BLOGWATCH: @ Phluzein

Phluzein's been semi quiet for a while, but last week did post a very nice Classical Precedent of the Day.

::Tuesday, December 30, 2003 7:10:21 PM::
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CHATTER: from Boswell's Life of Johnson -- Latin Teachers notate bene!

I was pondering for the past little while giving Boswell's Life of Johnson the Pepys' Diary weblog treatment, but I don't think it is doable. Still, as I read through it (the Project Gutenberg edition) I find numerous items of interest. For instance, early on in book one we read:

He began to learn Latin with Mr. Hawkins, usher, or under-master of
Lichfield school, 'a man (said he) very skilful in his little way.' With
him he continued two years, and then rose to be under the care of Mr.
Hunter, the head-master, who, according to his account, 'was very
severe, and wrong-headedly severe. He used (said he) to beat us
unmercifully; and he did not distinguish between ignorance and
negligence; for he would beat a boy equally for not knowing a thing, as
for neglecting to know it. He would ask a boy a question; and if he did
not answer it, he would beat him, without considering whether he had an
opportunity of knowing how to answer it. For instance, he would call up
a boy and ask him Latin for a candlestick, which the boy could not
expect to be asked. Now, Sir, if a boy could answer every question,
there would be no need of a master to teach him.'


Indeed Johnson was very sensible how much he owed to Mr. Hunter. Mr.
Langton one day asked him how he had acquired so accurate a knowledge of Latin, in which, I believe, he was exceeded by no man of his time; he
said, 'My master whipt me very well. Without that, Sir, I should have
done nothing.' He told Mr. Langton, that while Hunter was flogging his
boys unmercifully, he used to say, 'And this I do to save you from the
gallows.' Johnson, upon all occasions, expressed his approbation of
enforcing instruction by means of the rod. 'I would rather (said he)
have the rod to be the general terrour to all, to make them learn, than
tell a child, if you do thus, or thus, you will be more esteemed than
your brothers or sisters. The rod produces an effect which terminates in
itself. A child is afraid of being whipped, and gets his task, and
there's an end on't; whereas, by exciting emulation and comparisons of
superiority, you lay the foundation of lasting mischief; you make
brothers and sisters hate each other.'

::Tuesday, December 30, 2003 1:19:37 PM::
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ante diem iii kalendas januarias

::Tuesday, December 30, 2003 6:14:34 AM::
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CHATTER: Audicious Origins

A question which comes up from time to time is whether the automobile known as the Audi has a Latin name (i.e. the imperative form of audire, "to hear"). According to Audi's own website (click on 1909):

In 1909 August Horch got into a dispute with the supervisory board of  A.
Horch & Cie. Motorwagen-Werke AG. Horch left the company he had set up. Shortly after, on 16 July 1909, he established a second company, Horch
Automobil-Werke GmbH, in the same city. Horch lost the legal dispute over
the company name. However, a solution to the problem was found: the Latin translation of his name (the German word for "hark!"). The new company name, Audiwerke GmbH, became effective on 25 April 1910.

::Tuesday, December 30, 2003 6:01:05 AM::
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NUNTII: Amphora 2.2

Just in time for the big paper fest in San Francisco, the APA has put out the latest edition of its outreach publication Amphora. Here's what's inside:

Marie Cleary, Myths for Millions [Bullfinch's Mythology]

Mary-Kay Gamel, The Palace of Fine Arts: Classical Architecture in San Francisco

Keith Hart, On Hannibal and Elephants

Jonathan Shay, Agamemnon, Achilles, Odysseus: Homer on Military Leadership

Lois V. Hinckley, Myth in the Mirror: Journeying with Aeneas

Patrice D. Rankine, Ralph Ellison, Ulysses, and "Invisible Man"

Elizabeth Lyding Will, From Italy to India: Mediterranean Amphoras and Roman Economic History

+ reviews of Route 66 A.D.: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists, Literature in the Greek World, Literature in the Roman World, Dr. J's Illustrated Guide to the Classical World (website), and Barabbas (movie) as well as assorted other items.

Download the .pdf version ...

::Tuesday, December 30, 2003 5:52:48 AM::
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AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |HISTC| Real Spartacus
"This historical detective program exposes the true story of the
soldier, robber, slave and gladiator who led the most memorable
slave uprising of the Roman Republic. Beneath the legend, there
lies the story of a man who was at times both a great leader and
a cruel one."

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| Spartacus (movie)
"Thracian Spartacus is sold as a slave to the Gladiator trainer
Batiatus. After being trained to kill in the arena, Spartacus
turns on his owners and leads the other slaves in rebellion.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence
Olivier, Jean Simmons and Charles Laughton."

11.00 p.m. |HINT| The Sunken City
"The ancient Roman city of Ostia was once a vital seaport. Yet
it died a slow, painful death. This documentary explores the
reasons for its demise and looks at the abandoned wasteland

HISTC = History Television (Canada)

HINT = History International

::Tuesday, December 30, 2003 5:01:14 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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