Most recent update:5/1/2004; 5:36:57 AM

 Wednesday, April 21, 2004


ante diem xi kalendas maias

  • Parilia (a.k.a. Palilia) -- originally a festival in honour of Pales (who protected shepherds and their flock), it eventually evolved -- in the city of Rome, at least -- into a 'birthday of Rome' celebration
  • 753 B.C. -- traditional date for the foundation of Rome
  • 43 B.C. -- pro-Caesarian forces "under" Octavian defeat the forces of Marcus Antonius at Mutina
  • 47 A.D. -- Claudius celebrates the ludi Saeculares (?)
  • 148 A.D. -- Antoninus Pius celebrates the 900th anniversary of Rome
  • 248 A.D. -- Philip Arabus celebrates the 1000th anniversary of Rome

5:35:11 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AUDIO: Father Foster

This week Veronica and Father Foster talk about Shakespeare and lying. After a somewhat questionable start trying to translate the bard's name into Latin, they get into some quotes about lying from Shakespeare (from As You Like It), which Foster translates into Latin and eventually they get into Shakespeare's debt to the ancient Romans.

5:10:21 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Boudicca's Torq?

I've been flooded with this one, as might be expected, but have held off in the hopes that more detailed coverage would come out on it. At this point, the best coverage seems to be in the Independent:

In East Anglian metal-detecting terms, it is the equivalent of finding Venus de Milo's missing arms.

A lost piece of an elaborate gold torc necklace that may have belonged to Boudicca has been unearthed on Norfolk farmland by an amateur archaeologist.

The two-inch gold and silver terminal ring was lost after the rest of the torc was discovered in 1965 by a farm worker in fields near the village of Sedgeford.

That torc, valued at £3,000 at the time, was put on display in the British Museum, where it is one of the most prized exhibits in the Iron Age Collection.

The lost piece was discovered less than half a mile from the site of the original find by Steve Hammond, a retired chemist, who was surveying fields on the Sedgeford Hall Estate with a team from the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Mr Hammond, 65, said it was the "most fantastic thing" he had unearthed in more than 30 years of metal-detecting.


Norfolk was the heartland of Boudicca's Iceni tribe. Some archaeologists believe she may have been the original owner of the jewellery found in Snettisham, and the broken torc discovered in Sedgeford.

Mr Mackie said that the warrior queen may have hidden her treasure in the area between sacking Roman settlements in London, St Albans and Colchester before her final defeat in AD61, thought to have been at Mancetter, near Nuneaton.


Jeremy Hill, the curator of the Iron Age Collection at the British Museum, said that Boudicca was known to have worn such torcs, but new research had shown that most torcs found in Norfolk were buried about 200 years before her lifetime. [the whole thing]

No photo, alas, but the BBC coverage has a good one (or at least the same photo that seems to be used by everyone else when there is a photo).

5:01:22 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AUDIO: Elaine Fantham on NPR

This one has been mentioned on a couple of the lists I monitor ... the other day Elaine Fantham appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition. She's a semi-regular on NPR (I'll post some links to earlier stuff when it's a slow news day) and the topic of this discussion is why anyone would want to learn Latin, and related matters -- Fantham slips in some great puns along the way. Go to NPR's page for the segment entitled "It's All Latin to Me"  and select your preferred media player. 

4:52:33 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: EU Constitution

The 330-page draft (is it right to call it that?) of the EU Constituion has been getting a pile of attention in the British Press of late. Most coverage does, at some point, mention the preamble hails from Thucydides (this example from ic Wales):

The constitution draws together the provisions of all the EU treaties, from the 1951 Treaty of Paris to the 2001 Nice Treaty, which agreed to 10 new countries joining the current 15 next month.

The preamble is inspirational, and begins with a quote from the 4th century BC Athenian aristocrat, historian and writer Thucydides:

"Our constitution... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number."

Living as he did 25 centuries ago, Thucydides could not have known what everyone in Brussels understands: that power rests with the European Commission.

Oh I don't know ... there's all that oligarchic stuff in Book Eight (i.e. towards the end of most translations). I wonder how many journalists have read that far into Thucydides ...

4:42:57 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AWOTV: On TV Today

7.00 p.m. |HINT| Mystical Monuments of Ancient Greece 
A look at the Parthenon, Acropolis, and the Agora. Pericles, herald
of the Golden Age, commissioned tremendous monuments dedicated to
Athena, protectress of the city. Was their real purpose to promote a
new brand of politics called democracy, or to serve as a platform for
a brutally intense cult? We also visit the city's marketplace. 
8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Secrets of Ancient Empires: First Beliefs

Channel Guide

4:20:58 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Click for Athens, Greece Forecast

Click for Rome, Italy Forecast

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