Most recent update:6/1/2004; 5:08:37 AM


 Wednesday, May 05, 2004


GOSSIP: The Other Rome Series

This a.m. we mentioned how one of the Rome series was in trouble ... the BBC/HBO series might raise some eyebrows as too. According to a Reuters report:

The empire may seem more colourful than expected, with gold statues topping turquoise columns, but production designer Joseph Bennett said they were true to history.

"Most people think about Rome being monumental, white marble. We try to push the aspect of colour -- not because it's not realistic, but because that's the way it was," he said.

Producers did take some linguistic licence, however, shooting in English and casting British actors. "An American audience expects a British accent from any period that's more than a 100 years old," Thomopoulos said.

Rome may also be more raunchy than some would think.

Behind grandiose temples, a maze of narrow streets and rickety market stalls is dotted with brothels covered in explicit graffiti and mosaics showing couples in Kama Sutra positions.

"It's about money, it's about power, it's about men being men," said Kevin McKidd, who plays one of the Roman centurions at the centre of the story.

"People raped and pillaged, all these campaigns, there were orgies, all that kind of stuff which was day to day life."

Oh oh ....


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NUNTII: Archaeologists Approve Shot Put at Olympia

The Miami Herald sends along an AP piece:

Archaeologists have approved a request by Olympic organizers to stage the shot put competitions at the site of the ancient games, the Culture Ministry said Wednesday.

The decision by the ministry's Central Archaeological Council, which reviewed the issue late Tuesday, cleared the way for the events to be held in Ancient Olympia, where the flame lighting ceremony takes place for each games.

Premier Costas Caramanlis, also serving as culture minister, must approve the council's decision.

There was no official date for the final decision, but no snags were expected because organizers have already started planning for the scheduled Aug. 18 events for men and women.

Athletes will arrive two days before the competition. They will stay and train at the modern Olympic Academy near the ancient stadium, about 200 miles southwest of Athens.

Spectators will watch the shot put from grassy slopes around the ancient field. [more]

This is interesting ... I thought it was a done deal when the IOC approved it.

 


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CHATTER: Thousands and Thousands Served

I just noticed that some time during the day our hit counter passed the 50,000 mark. Not bad for eight months. Thanks for coming out!


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THIS DAY IN ANCIENT HISTORY

ante diem iii nonas maias


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CHATTER: Don't Eat That Elmer ...

Classics in Contemporary Culture alerts us to a rather strange article from the Williamson Country Review Appeal on the subject of what Jesus looked like. Inter alia:

But a photo from the first century A.D.? Most people would regard that as impossible. They would be surprised to learn that cameras were in existence in the time of Christ. The rudimentary photographic device was used in ancient Greece and Rome among the rich. It was a darkened box with a small opening to admit light. This created an image on a screen inside the box.

An Australian anthropologist, according to a British tabloid, claims to have found a photograph of Jesus taken around 30 A.D., just before his crucifixion.

The article says Dr. Bradley Durbin, considered an authority on the Holy Land in the time of Christ, explained that the photograph was uncovered in a trunk in a house that appears to have been destroyed by fire.

According to the newspaper, the trunk also held a chalice and a tablecloth that Durbin said may be souvenirs from a meal where Jesus had been a guest. The family, he said, may have been followers of Jesus.

The photo Durbin showed reporters was of a bearded man with dark hair. On the back of the picture were the words, "The Son of Man, Light of the world," written in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke.

While this is the only purported photograph of Jesus, we have had written descriptions of Jesus' face and physique that are somewhat contrary to Durbin's findings namely, Jesus' hair color.

Okay ... this is just plain stupid ... and yet vaguely familiar. I recall seeing something like this before. A little poking around the web for Bradley Durbin -- something which the journalist presumably did -- found fewer refs than I have fingers on one hand. So basically we're to believe that such an amazing claim would not be all over the cesspool of dis/misinformation that the Internet can be. But one of those refs on the web does lead to the ultimate source and reminds me where I must have seen it: in the  Weekly World News of November 9, 1999 (although I thought it was more recent).


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NUNTII: Roman Statue Found on Cyprus

The Archaeology in Europe blog pointed me to this brief item from the Cyprus PIO (hopefully more details will be forthcoming):

Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (04.05.04) reports that an ancient statue was discovered yesterday in the occupied Ayios Theodoros village. As the paper writes, the statue is dated on the early Roman period and it is around two thousand years old. It has a height of one metre and it is without the head. It belongs to a man. It was found in a rather good condition.


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REVIEWS: From BMCR

Jon Hesk, Sophocles: Ajax.

Iris Mackel, Das Zeitbewusstsein und der Burgerkrieg. Eine Untersuchung zur geistigen und politischen Situation im Umbruchz wischen Republik und Principat.


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PASSING CLASSCON:

Seen at Axis of Logic:

"We protected, financed and legitimized." Those are the words US President George W. Bush should have used to end his prime-time news conference at the White House on April 14, in the manner of Julius Caesar who famously declared: "I came, I saw, I conquered," after he had won the battle of Zela in Asia Minor in 47 BC.


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CHATTER: Troy Hype

Some info on the face who plays the face that launched a thousand ships:

WHEN her face was chosen as the one to launch a thousand ships, Hollywood's reaction was unanimous: "Diane who?"

But willowy former model Diane Kruger - who stars as the legendarily lovely Helen of Troy in the swords-and-sandals epic "Troy," which hits theaters next week - has certainly seen the last of those days of anonymity.

The German-born blonde was plucked from obscurity to play the most beautiful woman in history - beating out Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman, who were rumored to be gunning for the prized role, opposite Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana.  [more]


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GOSSIP: ABC Series in Danger?

The ABC series in production which is set in ancient Rome is apparently having difficulties:

Rumors were swirling Tuesday about problems on ABC's Julius Caesar limited-run series. The series, which began production in Rome on April 19, a day before a massive executive shakeup at ABC, has been marked with a series of staff changes, including the departure of the production designer, line producer and first assistant director and a last-minute recruitment of Tony Jonas as an executive producer.

Sources said that the eight-episode "Empire" is running over its blockbuster $30 million budget in part because of fluctuations in the exchange rate. There has been additional pressure on the project since it had to compete for cast, crew, locations and props with HBO/BBC's lavish Caesar series, "Rome," which also is filming in Rome.  [Reuters]


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AWOTV: On TV Today

5.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Ancient Warriors: The Macedonians
dna

5.30 p.m. |DCIVC| Ancient Clues: Mass Death in Marseille
dna

9.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Mazes and Labyrinths: Solving Ancient Puzzles
dna
 
9.00 p.m. |HINT| Lost Civilizations: Greece: A Moment of Excellence
Journey back to Athens, where the world's first democracy took seed,
as Pericles ushered in a Golden Age of unparalleled learning in
philosophy, architecture, science, art, and drama, when small city-
states in Greece rose from obscurity to ignite one of the most
spectacular explosions of cultural achievement in Western
Civilization's history. Learn why, the modern world still clings to
the ideals of Ancient Greece for intellectual and aesthetic
inspiration. Sam Waterston narrates.

Channel Guide


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