Most recent update:4/1/2004; 5:06:14 AM

 Thursday, March 11, 2004


ante diem v idus martias

  • Festival of Mars (day 11)
  • 222 A.D. -- murder of the emperor Elagabalus
  • 259 A.D. -- martyrdom of Candidus and companions in Alexandria or Carthage
  • 263 A.D. -- martyrdom of Heraclius in Carthage
  • c. 300 A.D. -- martyrdom/crucifixion of Trophimus at Laodicea
  • 1903 -- birth of Ronald Syme (author of the Roman Revolution, and numerous other)

5:48:08 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Gregory Aldrete

So ... what's University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Classicist/Ancient Historian Gregory Aldrete up do? He's doing useful things on sabbatical:

Imagine having the opportunity to take time off from your job to write a book about a subject that you’re most passionate about.

That’s just what Gregory Aldrete, an associate professor of humanistic studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, will do beginning in June while completing his book, “Floods in Ancient Rome.”

Aldrete’s one year sabbatical is being made possible through a $40,000 research fellowship that he received recently from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The fellowship supports individuals pursuing advanced research that contributes to scholarly or public knowledge about the humanities.

Aldrete is among 180 scholars nationwide, and one of three in Wisconsin, to receive one of the fellowships.

“He’s only the second person here (at UW-Green Bay) who has received it,” said Joyce Salisbury, associate dean of liberal arts and sciences and history professor at UWGB.

“It’s a well deserved honor,” Salisbury said. “This award is for his research. His research is exciting and path-breaking.”

A historian specializing in ancient Greek and Rome, Aldrete is focusing his research on Roman floods and how they affected food supply, transportation and economics in the city.

The book will also examine the immediate and long-term effects the floods had on the city and how ancient Romans dealt with the destruction from the floods.

Besides ancient Roman history, the book will also focus on art, archeology, language, geography and other fields.

“It’s a scholarly book, but I hope it will be a greater interest to more than just ancient Roman historians,” he said. “Floods are still the number one natural disaster in the world. It’s a serous problem even in today’s time. The research from modern times can provide explanation of what actually happened during that period.”

Aldrete’s interest in ancient Rome began while he was an undergraduate at Princeton University.

“I was pre-med,” he said. “I took a Roman history class and fell in love with the subject. I had a real inspirational teacher who got me interested in it. That experience convinced me to change my focus.”

It’s that same inspiration he has passed to his students at UWGB since he began teaching there in 1995.

Each semester, more than 400 students take his courses in subjects such as ancient Greek and Roman history and the foundation of western culture.

To further engage his students, Aldrete wears a toga to class once a semester to illustrate what it was like to be an ancient Roman citizen.

“I try to give my students a glimpse of what life was like in the ancient world and try to show connections of that life to our life now,” he said. “How we tell time, our calendar system — it all comes from our Roman predecessors.” [more]

5:22:05 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Elgin/Parthenon Marbles Dispute

The CBC actually has something about the dispute:

Seeing London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics as a new window of opportunity, the Greeks have suggested that if the British are more flexible about returning the stone sculptures to Athens, it could help the city gain Greece's vote.

As usual, the CBC employs language designed not to offend anyone and in the process obfuscates what's really going on. Let's try the Houston Chronicle instead:

Proponents of the return suggested Great Britain should consider repatriation if London is serious about its bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

"You only get the Olympics if you've got friends around the world, and Britain, to be honest, doesn't have too many friends around the world at the moment," said Peter Chegwyn, the group's campaign director.

Hmm ... let's look at the other cities bidding: New York, Leipzig, Havana, Istanbul, Madrid, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro. Other than Rio, perhaps, were not exactly dealing with the international glee club ...

5:05:34 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


C.A.E. Luschnig, H.M. Roisman (comm.), Euripides' Alcestis.

Wilhelm Geerlings, Christian Schulze (edd.), Der Kommentar in Antike und Mittelalter. Beitrage zu seiner Erforschung.

Angelos Chaniotis, Pierre Ducrey (edd.), Army and Power in the Ancient World.

Oliver J. Gilkes (ed.), The Theatre at Butrint: Luigi Maria Ugolini's Excavations at Butrint 1928-1932. Albania Antica IV.

4:33:48 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |HINT| Arms in Action: The Sword
Examines history's most mythical, symbolic, and spiritual weapon--
the sword. Modern sword-makers try their hands at the lost secrets of
Celtic and Viking techniques, and in Japan, where sword-making is
deeply steeped in religion, we watch their construction. Produced in
partnership with the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London.

8.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ancient Discoveries: Ancient Computer?
Journey back in time for an eye-opening look at the amazing ancient
roots of technologies we like to think of as modern. New research
suggests that many of the inventions of the last 200 years may, in
fact, have already been known to the ancients. In Part 1, we explore
the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient machine that was discovered
deep in the Aegean Sea. Could it perhaps have been an ancient
computer? Could Archimedes have had a hand in its creation?

9.00 p.m. |HINT| Foot Soldier: The Barbarians
Profile of the savage fighters who surrounded and then conquered
ancient Rome, ushering in the Dark Ages. Hosted by Richard Karn.

9.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ancient Discoveries: Galen, Doctor to the Gladiators
In this fascinating series, we examine ancient inventions once
believed to have been created in modern times, and test the wits of
ancient inventors against some of the world's great modern inventors.
Part 2 uncovers the revolutionary work of Galen, the great Roman
doctor to the gladiators, who was performing brain surgery 2,000
years ahead of his time. We also explore the sophistication of Roman
medicine and compare it to modern techniques.

10.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ancient Discoveries: Heron of Alexandria
In Part 3, we travel to Alexandria, Egypt--the home of inventors and
philosophers in ancient times. One of the greatest inventors was
Heron of Alexandria, a Greek mathematician, geometer, and worker in
mechanics, who taught at the famous Museum. His strange inventions,
such as automaton theaters--puppet theaters worked by strings, drums,
and weights--automatic doors, and coin-operated machines, were famous
throughout the ancient world.

11.00 p.m. |HISTU| The History of Sex: Ancient Civilizations
In this hour, we study sex in the ancient world--from Mesopotamians,
who viewed adultery as a crime of theft, to Romans, who believed that
squatting and sneezing after sex was reliable birth control. We also
look at revealing Egyptian and Greek practices--from the origins of
dildos to the use of crocodile dung as a contraceptive.

HISTU = History Channel (US)

HINT = History International

4:17:21 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

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Click for Rome, Italy Forecast

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