Most recent update:8/4/2004; 6:26:21 AM

 Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Let's try this again ... one more time ... almost there

9:46:13 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


pridie idus quinctilias

  • Mercatus -- after lengthy festivals, the Romans usually set aside a day or two as a 'market day'
  • 117 A.D. -- martyrdom of Phocas
  • 218 A.D. -- the emperor Elagabalus is coopted into all the priestly colleges

8:01:46 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AUDIO: Father Foster

This week Father Foster talks all about London, or rather, assorted words one associates with London. Some obvious stuff, but also the origins of the word 'bomb' (medieval Latin), and assorted others.
7:57:16 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

LUDI: Alley Oop

The visit to Milo of Kroton continues ...
7:48:53 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: Livia's Head Back in Place

Phluzein points us to this interesting article from the Guardian:

A caesar's wife may have to be above reproach, but one of them lost her head centuries ago.

The head was found late in the 19th century by a roving Guardian reporter who later became a distinguished archaeologist; her body was only found nine years ago, in modern Croatia; but now the two have been re-united at an exhibition in Oxford.

Christopher Brown, director of the Ashmolean, explained that the head of Livia, wife of Caesar Augustus, had come to the museum from Sir Arthur Evans. When the young Evans left England in 1879 for a spot of travel, archaeology and freelance journalism, his father insisted that, as he would be meeting many important people, he must take a top hat from Locks of Piccadilly.

Evans never wore it - top hats are not much worn by Guardian reporters even today - but instead swapped it for two marble heads from a shrine to the cult of Augustus, at what is now a village but was once the important Roman city of Narona.

In the 1990s, archaeologists of Croatia's national museum in Split re-excavated the site and found many statues, including the rest of Livia, from the wealthy shrine, which was deliberately destroyed when the area became Christian.

An exhibition recreating the lost splendours of the shrine runs at the Ashmolean until October 17, after which Livia's body will return to Croatia, complete with her head on extended loan.

There's a photo at the Guardian page ... I dunno ... the head looks a bit out of proportion to me.

7:47:26 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

USEFUL: Classical Timelines

Hypotyposeis alerts us to the existence of Bret Mulligan's Consolidated Timeline for Classical Studies. It's a series of .pdf documents in a multi-column arrangement with correlations on what was happening in the Roman world, Greek world, Egypt, and the Near/Far East. Definitely one to bookmark.
7:43:17 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: Fahrenheit 430 B.C.

Another appeal to precedent from the ancient world, from the opinion pages of the Star-Tribune inter alia:

We live in timid theater times, though, and "Lysistrata" -- let alone the more biting plays, plays where Aristophanes names names -- are seldom seen. Consider "The Knights."

"The Knights" was the "Fahrenheit 9/11" of ancient Greece. It's a direct personal attack on Cleon, the head of the Athenian State and chief cheerleader for the Peloponnesian war. Cleon was a useless, two-bit demagogue (The historian Thucydides called him "malignant" and "the most violent of citizens"), but malignant demagogues are often wildly popular.

Even though Aristophanes didn't actually call Cleon by name, everybody knew who he meant. That's why no actor was foolhardy enough to portray Cleon onstage and no mask-maker crazy enough to carve a life-like mask of the Top Gun.

So, like Michael Moore, Aristophanes put himself into the middle of the drama. Instead of wearing a mask, Aristophanes smeared his face with wine-dregs to mimic Cleon's bloated, blotchy face.

Getting personal with Cleon, Aristophanes made it payback time for the countless personal attacks Cleon had made on him at the Public Assembly. Cleon had even filed a nuisance lawsuit against Aristophanes, charging him with having "slandered the city in the presence of foreigners." In the same spirit, now hints darkly at links between Hezbollah and Michael Moore.

In "Fahrenheit 430 B.C.," Aristophanes portrays "The People" as a superstitious, self-indulgent and weak-kneed character who has several servant/managers reporting to him who manage his wealth, his estates and his slaves.

The first manager is "The Tanner," an "unprincipled, lying, cheating, pilfering scoundrel, fawning and obsequious to his master, but insolent towards subordinates."

The two other managers are named Nicias and Demosthenes, which just happened to be the real names of the high admiral and a vice admiral of the Athenian navy, both of whom would rise in power till they could carry off the disastrous Sicilian Expedition of 415-413 B.C.

The final character is the Sausage-Seller, who is pitted against the Tanner in a competition of "impudent flattery, noisy boasting and unscrupulous allurement." After a fierce battle of scurrilous sarcasm and dastardly diatribes, the Sausage-Seller beats the Tanner at his own game of invective and innuendo.

Like "Fahrenheit 9/11," which won top honors at Cannes, "The Knights" won the first prize by public acclamation at Athen's annual theater competition. The public was mad about it, couldn't get enough of it, and everybody talked about nothing else.

But the sad reality was that the public loved both "The Knights" and their mean and nasty leader, Cleon. People cheered for the play, then cheered for Cleon and then went on to some other divertissement or back to the exciting business of piling up more wealth until the next catastrophic war. [the whole thing]

7:30:17 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: Alexander Flick Redux

Apparently the stories of the demise of Baz Luhrman's Alexander flick were possibly premature ... from E! Online (same source as yesterday's report):

Alexander the Great's future is up in the air.

Contrary to published reports, Baz Luhrmann has not--repeat not--pulled the plug on his big-budget historical biopic on the Macedonian conquerer--at least not yet.

London's Daily Telegraph reported 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. The story was subsequently picked up by the New York Post.

However, disputing those accounts, Luhrmann's Australia-based rep, Maria Farmer, said the filmmaker has not scuttled Alexander and is still firming up plans for his next cinematic outing.

"Baz is currently in Europe working on the final draft of his script for Alexander the Great. When he completes that draft he will decide whether Alexander is the next film on his slate," Farmer told E! Online. "We do not know where these reports have originated from. They certainly did not come from Baz." [more]

7:25:00 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Thomas S. Burns, Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C. - A.D. 400.

C. M. Reed, Maritime Traders in the Ancient Greek World.

Olga Palagia, Stephen V. Tracy, The Macedonians in Athens, 322-229 BC.

Camillo Neri, Erinna. Testimonianze e Frammenti. Eikasmos, Studi, 9.

6:44:08 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AWOTV: On TV Today

9.00 p.m. |HINT| Lost Civilizations: Aegean: Legacy of Atlantis
This episode of the Emmy Award-winning series explores ancient
civilizations that spread through the Aegean Sea and searches for
historical roots of some of Western civilization's oldest legends,
including an examination of ruins on the Greek Island of Thera for
the basis of the Atlantis legend. On Crete, the Greek mainland, and
Turkey, we follow the trail of clues that leads from ancient myths to
evidence of the Trojan War, Trojan Horse, Minoan civilization, and
the Minotaur. Sam Waterston narrates.

HINT = History International

6:41:16 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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