Friday, February 27, 2004
THIS DAY IN ANCIENT HISTORY
ante diem iv kalendas martias
116 A.D. -- supplicatio pro salute Traiani (day 2)
1874 -- birth of F.M. Cornford (author of Before and After Socrates, among several other works)
A review of Mary Zimmerman's adaption begins thus:
In Ovid's Metamorphoses, he wrote that time devours all things.
This is true in most cases, but writer Mary Zimmerman resurrects Ovid's ancient myths to remind humanity of the lessons that can be learned through stories. She reminds audiences, most importantly, of-the-magic in myths that our nine to five culture has left behind. Forgetting this has kept people from growing says Zimmerman
"Basically, the idea behind the adaptation is that the early myths were a teaching tool, and we've lost touch with that," said UNM professor Denise Schultz, who is directing the otherwise all-student production. "The story shows that eternal life is love."
Around the time of Ovid, Vergil and the like, stories were told through plays and performances, and now, in "Metamorphoses," that tradition remains intact, displaying the stories as they were truly meant to be told.
"We've gotten too practical," Schultz said. "We're into things and material objects and want things proven to us. But sometimes things just are."
The show focuses on learning what's important. Midas, who believes money to be the greatest power in the world, turns over a different leaf when his daughter is affected by his greed. Orpheus learns the hard way that trust is as important as love.
"We've lost touch with our inner lives," Schultz said. "We rely too much on proof and things we can touch instead of what's inside us." [more]
So there you have it. Put aside your inner child ... give the heave-ho to your inner bit*h, and come to terms with your inner Classicist. Now we need someone to come up with Metamorphotherapy ...
NUNTII: Roman Paris
An interesting AFP piece on recent archaeological discoveries in Paris and their implications :
The historic Paris - the Gallic town of Lutetia captured by Julius Caesar in 52 BC - lay not on the island in the centre of the modern French capital but in a suburb 10 kilometres (six miles) to the west, according to archaeological evidence published on Thursday.
Recent excavations at a building site in the suburb of Nanterre have brought to light a pre-Roman settlement that far outstrips in density and sophistication traces discovered on the Ile de la Cite - until now regarded as the main base of the Parisii tribe.
"Nanterre is the only agglomeration of size identified on the territory of the Parisii. Until now no significant remains from an occupation predating the Roman conquest have been found on the Ile de la Cite," said Alain Bulard, of the directorate for cultural affairs for the Paris area.
The Nanterre site, discovered near the bank of the river Seine at the end of last year, has revealed a rigidly planned urban area constructed around two parallel cobbled streets and a market square, Le Monde newspaper reported.
Ditches drained away waste water and each home, constructed out of wood and a clay-straw mixture, possessed its own stone-lined well. Items found on the scene include bronze brooches, coins and a cooking fork.
Taken together with a previously discovered site - also dating from around 200 BC - containing kilns and other evidence of handicrafts, the entire Gallic settlement spread over 15 hectares (37 acres), which is nearly double the size of the supposed proto-capital in central Paris. [more]
AWOTV: On TV Today
7.00 p.m. |HINT| Augustus: First of the Emperors
Story of the bloodthirsty leader who was also one of the most able
statesmen in world history. His rule launched the "Pax Romana" (Roman
Peace) that marked the high point of the empire.
8.00 p.m. |HINT| The Great Empire: Rome: The Republic of Rome
A sweeping chronicle of one of history's most dynamic empires. Part
1 features the city's fabled founding by Romulus and Remus; overthrow
of the Etruscan monarchy; and the republic's formation and ultimate
undoing with the rise of Imperial Rome. Host Joe Mantegna introduces
Rome's great faces--Pompey, Cicero, Caesar, Antony, and Cleopatra.
9.00 p.m. |HINT| The Great Empire: Rome: Age of Emperors
After Caesar's murder, his great-nephew Augustus was victorious in
the civil wars that followed, becoming the first emperor. Host Joe
Mantegna explores this sensational, scandalous age when the
proliferation of palace plots, hostile takeovers, and imperial family
intrigues became humdrum. Features Augustus, Caligula, Claudius, and
Nero, among others.
10.00 p.m. |HINT| The Great Empire: Rome: Building an Empire
Host Joe Mantegna visits the vast territories conquered by the
imperial army--by the 2nd century AD, the empire spanned three
continents. The over-4,000 Roman cities were cultural melting pots,
where diverse customs and beliefs blended. Features life in Pompeii,
the flamboyant Emperor Hadrian, and religious revolts in Judea.
11.00 p.m. |HINT| The Great Empire: Rome: The Enduring Legacy
The final episode reveals the birth of Christianity and how this
religion that the emperors initially tried to destroy ultimately
passed on the empire's legacy. Highlights include: the crucifixion of
Jesus; religious persecutions; rise of Constantine, the first emperor
to embrace Christianity; and Justinian, Rome's last emperor.
HINT = History International