Most recent update:7/1/2004; 5:36:58 AM


 Wednesday, June 09, 2004
THIS DAY IN ANCIENT HISTORY

ante diem v idus junias

  • Vestalia -- festival in honour of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth
  • 53 B.C. -- the Roman army under Marcus Licinius Crassus (Dives) suffers a massive defeat at the hand of the Persians under Surenas near Carrhae; Crassus dies as a result of the battle
  • 17 B.C.. -- ludi Latini et Graeci honorarii (day 5)
  • 62 A.D. -- Nero has his first wife, Octavia, killed while in exile for adultery on Pandateria
  • 68 A.D. -- the emperor Nero commits suicide
  • 86 A.D. -- ludi Capitolini (day 4)
  • 193 A.D. -- arrival of Septimius Severus in Rome
  • 204 A.D. -- ludi Latini et Graeci honorarii (day 6)

5:39:30 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: Troy Profits

This is interesting:

The news on Warner Bros.'s big early summer blockbuster, "Troy," is good and bad. If the studio's numbers are correct, then a lot of people in Europe and Asia really liked the story of Brad of Troy and not Helen of Troy complete with inane dialogue and a Trojan horse right out of the Neiman Marcus catalogue. The box office number being reported for everywhere but America is $265 million.

On the other hand, Americans themselves the people in whose language Troy was actually made and to whom it was marketed haven't been all that crazy about Wolfgang Petersen's retelling of "The Iliad." The box office take through Monday is $119 million, or less than half the number from places where English is not the primary language. The "Troy" budget is pegged at somewhere around $225 million including marketing costs. [FoxNews]

 


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ARTICLE: @ Ancient Narrative

Graeme Miles, "Music and Immortality: The Afterlife of Achilles in Philostratus' Heroicus" (pdf)

Ancient Narrative home


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CHATTER: Duh

I believe the East Carolinian is a student newspaper ... if so, the troglodyte who wrote this Troy movie synopsis appears to be either extremely culturally-challenged and/or has still skipped several classes, but doesn't even have the sense to look things up on the internet:

Troy - Based on Homer's "The Iliad," "Troy" tells the story of the Trojan War, which resulted from the conflict between Achilles and Hector over the woman they both loved, Helen of Troy.

It's really tempting to use their 'post some feedback' facility ...


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AUDIO: Father Foster

Father Foster and Veronica chat about Varus, Arminius, and the Teutoberger Wald ... not a heckuva lot of Latin in this one until the end (and I can't help but wonder about the wordy way Fr. Foster translates 'he killed himself'), but an okay account ... Listen ...
5:04:27 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: Troy and Israel

Arutz Sheva is really straining to tie the Troy flick to current events in the Middle East; here's the 'lead in':

I had to see this movie.

As a decades long student of classical history, as well as contemporary Middle Eastern Affairs, the chance to see the tragic clash between Achilles and Hector on the big screen was too much to resist.

With all the fuss over Brad Pitt as Achilles in Troy, I didn't realize that one of my favorite actors, Peter O'Toole, starred in the movie as Priam, the Trojan king.

I had recently been able to locate a set of video tapes of a made-for-television movie starring a much younger O'Toole as the Roman general who besieged the Jews in their last stronghold at Masada in 73 CE, during the first of two major revolts the Jews launched for their independence from the Empire. It was another tragic war, but one fought for far more important reasons than raging sexual hormones.

The contemporary Roman-sponsored historians such as Tacitus, Josephus, Dio Cassius and others lived right around the time of those latter revolts. A reading of their extensive works shows that the amazing story of the quest of the Jews for their freedom against the conqueror of much of the known world played second to none.

The fortress of Masada overlooks the Dead Sea to this very day and appears just as those ancient historians described it. The Arch of Titus stands tall in Rome as well, depicting the Roman victory over the Jews and the conquest of Jerusalem. Judea Capta coins can be found in museums all over the world, minted by Rome to commemorate its subjugation of the Jewish nation. So, if anything, there's far more historical corroboration for this story than that told by the Greeks' Homer. All that awaits is for some producer doing the story justice and putting it on the big screen.

But briefly, for now at least, back to the Greeks.

Virgil, the most famous poet in Ancient Rome, wrote one of the greatest epics of all time, the Aeneid. In Book II, the priest Laocoon warns the Trojans not to accept the giant wooden horse placed outside the impenetrable walls and gates of Troy. His legendary speech has been paraphrased in the now common saying, "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."

We all know how ignoring Laocoon's advice turned out for Troy. Now let's turn the clock ahead some three thousand years for a look at another Trojan Horse.

On June 24, 2001, the much-showcased model "moderate" of the Palestinian Arab team, the late Faysal Al-Husseini, gave an interview in the Egyptian newspaper Al Arabi. He was commenting about the so-called Oslo Agreements in which Israel was largely expected to yield concrete tangibles, essential to its security, in return for vague Arab promises. As it turned out, the more Israel gave and ceded for the sake of peace, the more it bled. Arabs predictably interpreted the moves of the Jews as a sign of weakness. More Jews were deliberately disemboweled and butchered by Arab terrorism -- blown up at Passover seders, at Bar Mitzvahs, on buses, in pizza parlors, teen night clubs, etc. -- during this time of the Oslo "peace" than at any other. Arabs see the currently much touted, if moribund, Roadmap as Oslo II. [the rest]

So let's see ... by my reckoning, the 'chain of thought' goes something like Troy movie > Brad Pitt > Peter O'Toole > Masada > conquest of Jerusalem > Greeks > Virgil (!) > Laocoon > timeo danaos and all that. Wow ... more stream of consciousness writing there than spills even from my own keyboard.

 


4:56:32 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AWOTV: On TV Today

9.00 p.m. |HINT|Lost Civilizations: Rome: The Ultimate Empire
Sam Waterston narrates this Emmy Award-winning series that sweeps
through 7,000 years of history--from Ancient Mesopotamia to modern-
day Tibet--and transports viewers across the ages using dramatic
reenactments, location footage from 25 countries, and recent
archaeological discoveries to reconstruct the ancient past. In this
episode, we explore the glory of Rome--from founding to its zenith--
and march along as the Romans conquer the then-known world. 
 
10.00 p.m.|HINT|Time Team: Turkdean, Gloucestershire
Tony Robinson (Baldrick on "Blackadder) and Time Team break their
golden rule for the first time and return to the huge Roman villa in
the Cotswolds that they discovered in 1998. The first excavation
unearthed buildings, including a bathhouse, and evidence of metal
working, plastered walls, jewelry, and coins. The second visit turns
out to be even more rewarding when they discover that the site dates
back to the early days of Roman occupation. In three days, they
unlock the secrets of Turkdean.

HINT = History International


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