Most recent update:5/1/2004; 5:36:29 AM

 Tuesday, April 06, 2004

just testing ... my high speed internet works, but my email isn't going out
9:38:56 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


ante diem viii idus apriles

  • ludi Megalesia (day 3)
  • 648 B.C. -- solar eclipse possibly referred to in a fragment of a poem by Archilochus (Zeus, the father of the Olympic Gods, turned mid-day into night, hiding the light of the dazzling Sun; and sore fear came upon men.)
  • 46 B.C. -- Julius Caesar defeats supporters of Pompey at Thapsus


5:53:34 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: The Trireme's Ready!

For some reason, I thought a Minoan vessel was going to bear the Olympic torch around ... but I guess it's the Olympias (which makes sense):

The replica of a 2,500-year-old Greek warship that will carry the Olympic torch was unveiled Monday after undergoing extensive repairs.

The ship, one of the most feared vessels in the ancient world, will deliver the flame to Athens' main port of Piraeus at the end of a Greek relay -- two days before the start of the Aug. 13-29 games.

That relay will begin when the flame lit at Ancient Olympia on March 25 returns from an unprecedented worldwide journey before returning to Greece. The international relay begins June 4 in Australia and ends July 8 in Cyprus.

The wooden trireme, with three levels of oars and a bronze ram used to sink rival ships, was put on display at the private Elefsis shipyards, near Athens, after an eight-month project to restore the vessel built in 1987.

"It was a major undertaking. All the wood had to be replaced, but we remained true to the original design," project coordinator Dimitris Tavoularis said.

Sea trials for the renovated ship, which was handmade, will start next month. [more from AP via the SF Chronicle]

Actually, had I read the Trireme Trust's most recent newsletter, I probably would have figured it out.

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NUNTII: Greek Independence

Some interesting remarks, inter alia, by Archbishop Demetrios at the White House in regards to the 183rd celebration of Greek Independence Day:

The 1821 fight for regaining independence and establishing a free country
again belongs to a lengthy chain of similar fights and has a long past
history. It is directly related to events that happened in the distant
past. It is in substantive continuity with the battles of Marathon in 490
B.C., of Thermopylae and of Salamis in 480 B.C. It is displayed the spirit
of the years between 334 and 323 B.C., when Alexander the Great reached
India having successfully fought gigantic battles throughout Asia. The 25th
of March 1821 is directly linked to one thousand years of the Byzantine
Empire, years replete with wars of the Byzantine Greeks in multiple fronts
against formidable enemies who were constantly attacking and threatening
the freedom of the Christian Orthodox Empire of the East.

Not quite sure how Alexander fits into the concept of 'liberation' ...

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NUNTII: Ancient Greeks to the Rescue

Once again, the world of science turns to the Ancient Greeks for inspiration -- or so we're told:

A new generation of materials inspired by the ancient Greeks have
been developed by scientists for use in miniaturised devices. The
materials are robust, flexible films with perforations on the nano
scale and have nano coatings. They are environmentally safe and will
enable ultra-fast optoelectronic communication. They are produced by
the self-assembly of an intricate 3D jigsaw which is then filled with
solid metal or active plastic using the same technology used for
plating jewellery. This new technique has been inspired by the lost-
wax casting process used by the ancient Greeks for sculpture, but
scaled down by a factor of one million. [...]

The rest of the article from the Institute of Physics continues, using plenty of 'nano-vocabulary', for those interested ...

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REVIEW: Trojan Women

A generally favourable review of a performance by the Classical Theater of Harlem:

A baby is murdered midway through Euripides' "Trojan Women." It's a shockingly brutal moment, but it can be tough to summon the actual horror of it onstage, where, more often than not, an infant is represented by an obviously fake swaddled doll. It's likely that the only surefire way to make the event resonate would be to show us a real baby.

Leave it to the Classical Theater of Harlem to be committed enough to the gut- punch of Greek drama to do just that. In its adaptation of "Trojan Women," which opened Friday night, the adorable little girl Rain Jack, who doesn't look more than 6 months old, plays the doomed son Astyanax. Onstage even during the somber pre-show tableau, the serene tyke remains present throughout the proceedings, until soldiers rip him from the arms of his mother Andromache (Robyne Landiss Walker) and carry him off to his doom.

Before that, the beaten, broken women of Troy - awaiting enslavement to the victorious Greeks - scuttle around the stage's chain-link enclosure, desperately trying to protect the child with a barricade of their own bodies. It's genuinely awful, as it should be, and it works because for the actresses, the stakes are as real as the baby.

This "Trojan Women," adapted and directed by Alfred Preisser, runs only about 70 minutes, and it's a good thing, too. With its war zone set (by Troy Hourie) behind a permanent curtain of fencing, plus the convincingly soiled finery provided by costume designer Kimberly Glennon, the production teeters on the verge of being relentlessly grim. This is especially true during the opening sequence, which introduces us to the women by incorporating testimonies from survivors of more recent conflicts in Somalia, Sierra Leone and Iraq. It doesn't take long for the litany of atrocities to become numbing and unsurprising.

Preisser, though, is smart enough to understand the value of juxtaposition, and he soon breaks the mood with the appearance of the comically mealy- mouthed Talthybius, a diplomat played with honesty and smooth humor by Ron Simons. The character proves a useful tool for modulating the tone and pace of the show, managing to right it nearly every time it threatens to tip over into arty finger-wagging. [more from Newsday]

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Philomen Probert, A New Short Guide to the Accentuation of Ancient Greek.

Helene Blinkenberg Hastrup, The Castellani Fragments in the Villa Giulia.

David Sedley (ed.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume XXIV

Angela Donati, Epigrafia romana. La communicazione nell'antichità.

P.A. Mountjoy, Knossos: The South House. British School at Athens Supplementary Volume No. 34.

Lorna Hardwick, Reception Studies. Greece and Rome New Surveys in the Classics, No. 33.

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