Most recent update:8/4/2004; 6:25:55 AM

 Thursday, July 01, 2004

kalendae quinctiliae

  • rites in honour of Juno
  • rites in honour of Felicitas
  • 69 A.D. -- Vespasian hailed as emperor in Alexandria
  • 1614 -- death of Isaac Casaubon

7:37:53 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: Olympic Opening Ceremonies

A tidbit from AP via the Globe and Mail:

The floor of the Olympic Stadium will be flooded during the opening ceremony of the Athens Games on Aug. 13, arousing suspicion that the theme will involve Odysseus -- and the Games -- coming home.

Construction crews have dug a huge hole in the middle of the arena and large truckloads of sand were dumped in the infield, ringing the hole.

"We will see a fairy tale about the essence of the history of the country," said Dimitris Papaioannou, the artistic director and the creator of the concept for the ceremonies. Papaioannou said the opening ceremony will draw from the myths of the ancient Greek god Apollo.

I'm sure I wasn't the only one who read that first line and immediately thought "Oh boy! A naumachia!"

6:11:31 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: Evelyn Waugh

The National Review has a 'flashback' piece which is Bill Buckley's obituary for Evelyn Waugh, written way back in 1966. Here's an interesting little tidbit with some ClassCon:

He died at 62 having completed only one volume of a long autobiography. In it he recorded, dispassionately, the impressions of his early years; something of the lives of his ancestors, many of them eccentric; and of the Chaos of his undergraduate career at Oxford, from which he was duly expelled, as so many interesting Englishmen are expected to be. He decided, in his mid-twenties, that the thing to do was to commit suicide, and he describes, as he would in a novel, his own venture in this dramatic activity — the verse from Euripides about water washing away the stains of the earth, neatly exposed where it could not be missed by grieving relatives or meticulous coroners; wading out into the ocean, thinking diapasonal thoughts; then running into a school of jellyfish, and racing back to the beach, putting on his clothes, tearing up Euripides, and resuming his career, for which we thank God's little jellyfish.

5:56:57 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: European Constitution Preamble

A while back we mentioned the desire (on the part of Ireland, apparently) to have a quotation from Thucydides taken out of the preamble of the proposed European Constitution. I've been trying to follow the debate and I believe the quotation has survived objections, but a piece in the Mayo News sheds some light on what the objections were based on ... here's the relevant bit:

The Preamble to the European Constitution is in Greek, literally not metaphorically! It translates: "Our Constitution … is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number." Thucydides II, 37

It seems strange to open with a quote in Greek from an historian and politician (circa 460-395BC) who was best known for his History of the Peloponnesian War. One could argue that its sole inclusion in the Preamble to the European Constitution is actually a contradiction! A quote, on the constancy of change, by his fellow countryman, Heraclitus, (circa 535-475 BC) would surely be more fitting to describe our experience of Europe. Why not have a ‘national quote’ from every member state inserted into the Preamble? That would be the best expression of democracy and place the ‘power’ in the hands of the greatest number! Thucydides must be feeling very proud in Hades or wherever Greek philosophers end up – he has achieved what thousands of years of common Judeo/Christian heritage and experience could not achieve. With all the ‘Babeling,’ the European Constitution has not included any reference to God.

So if I'm reading this correctly, the objection isn't based on what Thucydides actually said, but the fact that he's identifiably Greek as opposed to generically 'European'. That argument might have swayed me if it were not immediately followed by the complaint about the lack of mention of anything indicating 'common Judeo/Christian heritage'. Seems to be an inconsistency there ...

5:49:24 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Gabriel Richardson Lear, Happy Lives and the Highest Good: An Essay on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

Gregory Nagy, Homeric Responses.

Benjamin Isaac, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity.

Patrick Kragelund, Mette Moltesen, Jan Stubbe Ostergaard, The Licinian Tomb. Fact or Fiction?

Carl Phillips (trans.), Sophocles. Philoctetes. With introduction and notes by Diskin Clay. Greek Tragedy in New Translations.

Jan Assmann, The Mind of Egypt. History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs. Translated by Andrew Jenkins.

Sylvie Laigneau, La femme et l'amour chez Catulle et les Élégiaques augustéens.

Sorcha Carey, Pliny's Catalogue of Culture: Art and Empire in the Natural History.

Peter Kruschwitz, Terenz. Olms Studienbücher Antike.

Emiel Eyben, Christian Laes, Toon van Houdt, Amor - Roma: Liefde en Erotiek in Rome.

Henry John Walker, Valerius Maximus. Memorable Deeds and Sayings. One Thousand Tales from Ancient Rome.

Sara H. Lindheim, Mail and Female: Epistolary Narrative and Desire in Ovid's Heroides.


5:35:45 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AWOTV: On TV Today

7.00 p.m. |HINT| The Great Empire: Rome: The Republic of Rome
A sweeping chronicle of one of history's most dynamic empires. Part
1 features the city's fabled founding by Romulus and Remus; overthrow
of the Etruscan monarchy; and the republic's formation and ultimate
undoing with the rise of Imperial Rome. Host Joe Mantegna introduces
Rome's great faces--Pompey, Cicero, Caesar, Antony, and Cleopatra. 

HINT = History International

5:27:21 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Click for Athens, Greece Forecast

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