Most recent update:8/4/2004; 6:26:18 AM

 Tuesday, July 13, 2004

still fiddling with the recent posts macro ... trying to get rid of the dates


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CFP: Australasian Society for Classical Studies Conference XXVI

Australasian Society for Classical Studies Conference XXVI
Department of Classics, University of Otago, New Zealand
DATES: 30th Jan. to 3rd Feb. 2005
  Meeting of NZ and Australian Heads of Department: 30th Jan. 2005
  Conference papers: 31st Jan to 2nd Feb 2005
  ASCS and NZ Triennial General Meetings: 3rd Feb. 2005
VENUE: St Margaret’s College, University of Otago,
  Dunedin, New Zealand
GUEST SPEAKERS: Alan Cameron, Columbia University, USA;
  Colleen McCullough, Norfolk Island

Full details about the conference, including registration and accommodation, can be found at

The closing date for offers of papers is Monday 1 November 2004. Papers of either 20 or 30 minutes are invited on any topic connected with the ancient world relating to its languages, literature, thought, history and archaeology and embracing Greece, Rome, the Ancient Near East, Egypt and the Mediterranean generally from the beginnings to the Early Middle Ages.

Please send offers, with an abstract of 100 words, to William J. Dominik at the following e-mail address:, or mail to: Department of Classics, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Business meetings of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies and of New Zealand Universities’ Classics Departments will be held consecutively on the morning of Thursday 3 February 2005. There will also be a meeting of all Heads of Departments in Australasia or their representatives in the afternoon of Sunday 30 January. Please keep the dates and times of these meetings in mind when booking flights to and from Dunedin.

Excellent accommodation will be available at St Margaret’s College on the University campus for one week around the dates of the conference; motel/hotel accommodation is available not far from campus. The conference venue and University are within walking distance of the town centre.

... seen on various lists

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CONF: Aristophanes Upstairs and Downstairs

The Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford is pleased to announce that its third major conference, ‘Aristophanes Upstairs and Downstairs: Peace, Birds, and Frogs in Ancient and Modern Performance’, will take place at Magdalen College, Oxford, from Thursday 16 September to Saturday 18 September 2004. This follows the success of past conferences on Medea in 1998 and Agamemnon in 2001, the proceedings of which are published by Legenda (Oxford, 2000) and OUP (Oxford, forthcoming, 2005) respectively. 
We are extending the deadline for postgraduate bursary applications to 30 July 2004, since The Classical Association has generously provided funding for a further three postgraduate bursaries, in addition to those funded by the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. The conference is also supported by the British Academy and The Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford.
The provisional programme outline, details about postgraduate bursaries, and a printable version of the booking form are available online at If you wish to receive these details in hard copy format, please email  Conference bookings should be received by 18 August.
The provisional list of speakers and paper titles is as follows:
- James Baughan (Exeter), ‘Ambiguities in Lessing’s Reception of Aristophanic Comedy’
- Ewen Bowie (Oxford), ‘Exploring the Other? The Ups and Downs of Aristophanic Travel in Greek Culture of the 2nd & 3rd Centuries AD’
- Mary-Kay Gamel (Santa Cruz), ‘Tonight We Dine on Flamingo: Sondheim and Stanley Float Frogs’
- Malika Hammou (Toulouse), ‘Aristophanes in France: Recent Stagings’
- Charalampos Orfanos (Toulouse), ‘Revolutionary Aristophanes?’
- Francesca Schironi (Oxford), ‘A Poet without “Gravity”: Aristophanes on the Italian Stage’
- Bernd Seidensticker (Berlin), ‘Peter Hacks and Aristophanes’ Peace’
- Masaru Sekine (Waseda), ‘Kyogen and Aristophanes’
- Michael Silk (London), ‘On Translating Aristophanes’
- Matthew Steggle (Sheffield), ‘“That Scurrilous Carping Comedian”: Aristophanes in Early Modern Europe’
- Oliver Taplin (Oxford), ‘Aristophanes and Comic Vases from the Greek West – Taking Stock’
- Martina Treu (Pavia), ‘Poetry and Politics, Advice and Abuse: The Aristophanic Chorus on the Italian Stage’
- Gonda Van Steen (Arizona), ‘Staging Aristophanes' Birds in Modern Greece: From Koun's Scandal to Success Story’
- Betine Van Zyl Smit (Western Cape), ‘Aristophanes in South Africa’
There will also be a Panel on Translation and Performance with Sean O’Brien (Poet and Translator) and Mike Poulton (Playwright and Translator).

---- from the Classicists list

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ante diem iii idus quinctilias

  • ludi Apollinares (day 8)
  • 431 B.C. (?) -- dedication of the Temple of Apollo in the Campus Martius (and associated rites thereafter)
  • 195 A.D. -- martyrdom of Serapion in Macedonia
  • 251 A.D. -- martyrdom of Myrope (at Chios?)

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LUDI: Shaquille O'Neal

This one's all over the place, so it might as well be here as well:

Lakers owner Jerry Buss has been vacationing in Italy, and Alan Massengale of KCAL-TV in Los Angeles says he hears Dr. Buss "has been studying and contemplating the ruins. You know, ancient Pompeii, the Colosseum and the Lakers without Shaq." [source]

Gloss for non-followers of the National Basketball Association: LA Lakers 'big man' Shaquille O'Neal has been traded to Miami ...

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CHATTER: Latin Exams in the UK

This one just appeared on the Classicists list ... there was an interesting debate in the UK House of Commons last night on the brouhaha over Latin and Greek exams being cancelled by one of the big examining companies ...
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ARTICLE: Gladiator

I now see the British popular journal ad familiares is making some content available online (yay!) ... here's the first I've come across:

Nick Lowe, "Hollywood, history, and the writing of Gladiator" (pdf)

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ARTICLES: Classical Quarterly

I just discovered that Classical Quarterly 54.1 (May, 2004) seems to be an online freebie ... there's too many articles to list here, but they all seem to be available as .pdfs at this point. Enjoy!
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LUDI: Alley Oop

The serial continues ...
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Blasi, Anthony J., Jean Duhaime and Paul-André Turcotte, (eds) Handbook of Early Christianity: Social Science Approaches. (pdf)
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Roy K. Gibson (ed.), Ovid, Ars Amatoria Book 3.
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GOSSIP: Alexander Flick on Hold

As if we didn't see this coming:

Baz Luhrmann has, at least temporarily pulled the plug on big-budget historical biopic on the Macedonian conquerer, according to a published report.
London's Daily Telegraph reports that Luhrmann decided to scrap the flick because he wanted to take a year off and spend more time with his production designer wife, Catherine Martin, and their new daughter, Lillian, born last October.

A coproduction of Universal Pictures and DreamWorks, Alexander the Great would have starred Leonardo DiCaprio as the boy king and Nicole Kidman as Alexander's mother, Olympia. It had been scheduled to start shooting this spring in the director's native Australia and hit theaters sometime in 2005.

Ever the perfectionist, Luhrmann had already postponed shooting on the film once, opting not to rush work on the film simply to "be drawn into a race," as he put it to the Los Angeles Times last year.

The delay ensured that a competing project from Warner Bros. and helmer Oliver Stone, simply titled Alexander, would be the first one into production. That film, budgeted at $150 million and starring Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins, is scheduled for release on Thanksgiving.

Luhrmann had scouted locations in Jordan, and producer Dino De Laurentiis signed a deal with Morocco's King Mohammed VI to build three soundstages there in exchange for the king putting more than 4,000 soldiers and 8,000 horses at Luhrmann's disposal.

However, following a series of suicide bombings in Casablanca in May 2003, Luhrmann opted to shoot Down Under as a safeguard against terrorism.

The filmmaker forged ahead with preproduction, beginning work on the flick's digital effects, filming some background shots in the Himalayas, and even shooting a promo reel, featuring DiCaprio in full gladiator garb, to hype Alexander the Great at last year's Cannes Film Festival.

Luhrmann's rep could not be reached for comment, nor was DiCaprio's rep, Ken Sunshine.

In an article last year, Variety hinted that Luhrmann was considering shelving Alexander the Great and taking on another project instead. Much of that decision hinged upon the latest draft of the script by David Hare, which was delivered in February.

And, despite shooting the preview footage, DiCaprio reportedly had yet to sign a contract. [more from E!]

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CHATTER: Class - something

Remember when Victor Davis Hanson was criticized for being a "classicist" when the pizza-eating protestor meant "classist"? Then remember the typo at VDH's own site which referred to a Classicist colleague as "classist"? Well, fulfilling the scholastic law of three, we now have someone referring to Bill Cosby as a "classicist" for his comments last week on how African-Americans should behave in front of their children:

Writer and commentator Michael Eric Dyson called Cosby’s comments “classicist, elitist and rooted in generational warfare.” He accused Cosby of waging a 10-year war against black youth. [from WFAA]

Looks like "Classicist" is on its way to becoming a dirty word ...

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CHATTER: The Constable-Maxwell Cage Cup

The Telegraph has a regular feature called "Object of the Week" in which they highlight something which is up for auction ... this week, it's the Constable-Maxwell Cage Cup:

About 1,700 years ago, one of the Roman empire's wealthier citizens commissioned an extraordinary piece of craftsmanship from a glassmaker working somewhere in the eastern Mediterranean. Months of painstaking work turned a single thick piece of colourless glass into a delicate 4in-high cup connected by slender bridges to a surrounding network cage. Just one mistake by the craftsman at any stage would have destroyed this fragile masterpiece.

The cage-cup was probably not a drinking vessel but was instead used as a hanging lamp filled with clear oil and placed high up in one of the rooms of its owner's home, where it cast an intricate shadow on to the walls.

Its manufacture was remarkable, but its survival was even more miraculous. It is thought to have been buried for many centuries, and although a chemical reaction with the soil turned the once clear glass to its present honey colour, it suffered only minor damage during its entombment and subsequent excavation. [more ... including photo]

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Gerald A. Honigman continues his campaign to use Roman evidence as proof of the legitimacy of Jewish 'possession' of Israel ... this time in the New York Jewish Times, inter alia:

It seems that planes were not the only things that Arafat's crew decided to hijack.

Too bad that besides the Jews themselves, the Romans, who ruled the land in Jesus' day, also left a clear record of the land belonging to the Jews-- whom they were in the process of conquering--and also made a clear distinction between Jews and Arabs as well.

Tacitus and Dio Cassius were famous Roman historians who wrote extensively about Judaea's attempt to remain free from the Soviet Union of its day, the conquering Roman Empire. They lived and wrote during, or not long after, the two major revolts of the Jews for independence in 66-73 C.E. and 133-135 C.E. They make no mention of this land being Arab, of it being called "Palestine," or its people "Palestinians." On the contrary, they detailed the difference between the native Jews Rome was fighting and the Arabs from surrounding lands who decided to join the massive Roman assault on their Jewish neighbors.

Listen to this quote from Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus:

"...Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea... he commanded three legions in Judaea itself... To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria... amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations..."

After the 1st Revolt, Rome issued thousands of Judaea Capta coins which can be seen in museums all over the world today. Notice, please...Judaea Capta...not " Palaestina Capta." Additionally, to celebrate this victory, the Arch of Titus was erected illustrating legionnaires carrying away the spoils of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. It stands tall in Rome to this very day. Arafat, of course, denies that such a Temple ever existed.

When, some sixty years later, Emperor Hadrian decided to further desecrate the site of the destroyed Temple by erecting a pagan structure there, it was the grandchildren's turn to take on their mighty conquerors.

The result of the struggle of this tiny nation for its freedom and independence was, perhaps, as predictable as that which would have occurred had Lithuania taken on the Soviet Union during its heyday of power. Listen next to this next quote from Dio Cassius:

"...580,000 men were slain, nearly the whole of Judaea made desolate. Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war (the Bar Kochba Revolt). Therefore Hadrian, in writing to the senate, did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors, ' I and the legions are in health.' "

The Emperor was so enraged at the Jews' struggle for freedom in their own land that, in the words of the esteemed modern historian, Bernard Lewis, "Hadrian made a determined attempt to stamp out the embers not only of the revolt but also of Jewish nationhood and statehood... obliterating its Jewish identity."

Wishing to end, once and for all, Jewish hopes, Hadrian renamed the land itself from Judaea to "Syria Palaestina" -- Palestine -- after the Jews' historic enemies, the Philistines, a non-Semitic sea people from the eastern Mediterranean or Aegean area. Sorry Yasser...Trying to hijack the latter's identity, as you have tried to do with that of the Jews, won't work either. [more]

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NUNTII: Saving Hermes

An Explorator reader sent this one in (thanks AC!) ... from the Glasgow Herald:

A TEAM of Scottish experts have used the latest computer technology to protect a priceless 2300-year-old Greek statue.

Hermes of Praxiteles, the sole surviving work of one of classical Greece's finest sculptors, was threatened by earthquakes as it stood in the country's most important archaeological museum in Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic games.

However, pioneering work by computer experts from Glasgow, which involved scanning the statue, creating 3D models and pinpointing break lines, will now safeguard it from potentially catastrophic seismic activity.

Alistair Carty is technical director of Archaeoptics, a Glasgow-based 3D laser-scanning bureau operating in the archaeology and heritage sector, which carried out the research.
He said his team's work will be used to create a structure to protect the statue, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greek art.

Mr Carty said: "The Hellenic ministry of culture basically wanted the statue scanned for a seismic analysis to discover how the statue would collapse in the event of an earthquake.

"The area around the archaeological museum at Olympia (near the Kladeos river in the Alphios valley) is subject to high seismic activity and the archaeological artefacts of the museum are therefore prone to vibrations generated by the earthquakes.
"It took two days to carry out the scanning but a month or so to assess all the data, as it was a fairly hefty job.

"An analysis of the 3D model was carried out, looking at potential break lines." He added: "The information was fed into another programme which simulated the strains of an earthquake.

"This deduced what point on the Richter scale it would break, where the first breaks would occur and things like that."

The Hermes statue, dated to 343 BC, is made from Parian marble and is the only original work of Praxiteles that has survived.

It was found at Olympia, intact on its base, several yards under the ground. Its creator, Praxiteles (c390-330BC) was the son of Cephisodotos, another esteemed sculptor, and was one of the most popular artists in the ancient world.

Many of his sculptures were copied and his work is mainly known through ancient descriptions and Roman marble copies.

Despite centuries lying under the ground, Mr Carty said the Hermes statue was still awe-inspiring.

"The idea was to design a special plinth which could withstand the strain and not bring the whole thing down. The museum was closed when we were working as a lot of the sculptures were being moved to Athens for the Olympics," he said."It was a great privilege to get right up close and see aspects of the statue that the average visitor cannot.

"It is roughly four-and-a-half metres high and to see the quality of workmanship at such close proximity was breathtaking."

He added: "To minimise the ground accelerations and improve the likelihood of reducing damage to sensitive structures, such as the statue of Hermes, it was decided by the museum authority to construct a seismic isolation retrofitting assembly.

"The assembly is designed to enhance the statue's safety without impairing its appearance."

The statue shows Hermes, the herald of the Olympian gods, holding in his left arm the infant Dionysus, while in his raised right hand he probably held a bunch of grapes, which he dangled before the child-god. Olympia's archaeological museum also hosts in its collection artefacts from the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, in Olympia, where the ancient Olympic Games were born and hosted. The new museum, designed by Patrocolos Karadinos, a renowned architect, was constructed in 1975 and eventually opened in 1982, re-exhibiting its treasures.

There's also an 8-page paper on the project (.pdf).

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AWOTV: On TV Today

3.00 p.m. |DCIVC| The Mystery of the Parthenon

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

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