NUNTII: Roman Ship Found
Hopefully we'll hear (much) more about this one ... ADNKronos is reporting (in Italian) on the discovery of a Roman commercial vessel, dating to the third or fourth century A.D., in the Straits of Messina near Ispica.
Friday, August 06, 2004 9:29:02 AM
We're Caught Up!
... The backlog is now clear; AWOTV and This Day in Ancient History will resume on Monday.
Friday, August 06, 2004 9:17:49 AM
A collection of modern items attributed ultimately to the Greeks and/or Romans in the popular press:
From the Herald:
Cherries were certainly known to the ancient Greeks as early as 300BC. It was the Romans who brought them to Europe and, later, to our shores.
From the Journal:
The interests of gardeners and cats have clashed, no doubt, since the Romans introduced domesticated felines to Britain.
From the chronologically-challenged New Kerala:
Spas got their name from a small village in Belgium where hot mineral springs were first discovered by the Romans, who used the waters to treat aching muscles and battle wounds. The word spa means health from water.
Spas then spread to the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Minoan and Greek civilisations, where they caught their fancy due to medicinal value.
From the Herald-Dispatch:
Friday, August 06, 2004 9:16:39 AM
Mustard seeds are mentioned in biblical parables, and evidence shows they were used thousands of years ago in China and Egypt. The Greeks cooked with them, and the Romans carried them throughout Europe. They carried them to areas we know now as French, hence the first modern-day mustard producer in Europe happened in Dijon, France.
CHATTER: The Olympic Torch's Journey
An account of the Olympic torch's passage through assorted places in Macedonia has some interesting details:
Friday, August 06, 2004 9:04:17 AM
The Flame reached the ancient theatre of Dodoni of the core hubs of the Greek civilisation, at dusk. The theatre re-opened after six years, only to greet the Flame. Down a winding country track, the procession reached the archaeological site. It was an imposing reception but at the same time it reflected the classical Greek moderation. Pantelis Kolokas, an Olympic Education teacher was the Last Torchbearer, entering the ancient theatre in the company of sixty children, olive-tree branches in hand. They were greeted by 35 priestesses. The High Priestess crowned the Torchbearer who then lit the Olympic altar. “It was an exceptional, unique experience, words cannot do justice to it. With my participating in the Torch Relay I wish to convey the message for the Olympic Education programme. The Flame illuminates everything that people need to have in order to win the major and minor battles in life”, said Kolokas. Writer, Eleftheria Tzala read a poem of hers about the Dodona scenery and a twelve year-old girl recited another, with Greece and the Olympic Games as the main theme. The ancient theatre was filled with the classical music of a string quartet, as the priestesses pelted spectators with rose petals. The mayor of Dodoni, Dimitris Themelis demanded that restoration of the theatre - a historic hub of culture - must be completed.
Eptahori in Kastoria was the Flame’s last stop in Macedonia. It arrived there this afternoon, to be received by ten priestesses who declaimed the Hymn to Apollo and boys dressed as Hellanodikes - the competition judges of antiquity - who arranged themselves in a circle around the Altar. Folk dancing by local ensembles gave local colour to the welcome ceremony. Sixteen-year old Giorgos Kassandros, who was selected to light the Cauldron, proclaimed that this was the best moment of his life: “This is a unique experience, a wonderful surprise that received in great joy. This gives me strength in pursuing my goal, which is to enter the University”. The mayor Zois Gakis said: “the flame of Athens has united the five continents in the name of peace and peoples’ friendship”.
CHATTER: Nero at the Olympics
The Herald has a little item on Nero's Olympic performances:
Friday, August 06, 2004 8:43:45 AM
NERO, notorious for fiddling while Rome burned, introduced music contests to the athletics games at Olympia.
He visited Greece in 67AD, and won 1808 victories at various festivals, all of which he demanded be held.
Those ever obliged to listen to granny play the piano will relate to the experience. The historian, Suetonius, wrote that when Nero played, nobody was allowed to leave. Theatre doors were locked and women even gave birth, while men are reported to have feigned death and been carried off for burial in order to escape.
When he entered a contest for heralds, in order that there should be no hint of previous winners, he decreed that all their statues be dragged away and thrown into public latrines.
He was held in such fear that when he entered a 10-horse chariot race, and fell out, failing to finish, the judges still awarded him the victory. Nero was so pleased he granted Olympia freedom, and gave large sums of money and citizenship of Rome to all the judges. On his return to Rome he used the same chariot Augustus Caesar had used for his triumph many years earlier. He wore a purple robe embroidered with gold stars and wore the Olympic crown on his head.
Though Nero (emperor from 54-68AD) encouraged Greek sporting pursuits, it was one of his successors Domitian (81-96 AD) who was even more feared and reviled, who founded Rome's games in honour of Jupiter Capitolinus. These were held on what is now the Piazza Navona which to this day retains the classic oval shape of Domitian's original stadium.
JOURNAL: Electronic Antiquity 8.1 (July 2004)
Nice to see that Electronic Antiquity appears to have revived ... the latest issue (which has individual items as pdfs) consists primarily of reviews; I hope the editors will find some way to encrypt scholars' email addresses posted with their reviews, however ...
Friday, August 06, 2004 8:36:38 AM
JOB: Head Librarian at ASCSA
The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) invites applications and
nominations for the position of Head Librarian of the Carl W. Blegen Library. Founded in 1881, the ASCSA is a primary resource for American and international graduate students and scholars in ancient and post-classical Hellenic studies, and offers two research libraries located on its campus in Athens, Greece: the Blegen, with 87,000 volumes dedicated to the ancient Mediterranean world, and the Gennadius, with 110,500 volumes and archives devoted to post-classical Hellenic civilization. The School also sponsors excavations and provides centers for advanced research in archaeological and related topics at its excavations in the Athenian Agora and Corinth.
Responsibilities of the Head Librarian:
-Provides leadership for the Blegen Library, which serves primarily a constituency of
US and international scholars and graduate students in classics and the archaeology of
the Greek world;
-Supervises building and preserving the collections of the library, including the
acquisition, cataloging and indexing of new print and electronic materials;
-Provides leadership for creating and implementing a collection development plan
including digital materials, working in collaboration with the Director of the Gennadius
Library, the Archivist, academic staff and committees of the School;
-Oversees the maintenance and preservation of library resources in both print and
-Provides guidance and instruction for students, faculty, and visiting scholars in the
use of print and electronic materials in philological, literary, historical,
archaeological, and art historical research of the classical period;
-Sets and manages the Library's budget and a staff of four FTE's, part time staff, and
-Works with colleagues at related research libraries in Greece and abroad to develop
and promote collaborative efforts;
-Oversees the Library's web presence;
-Writes sections of grant proposals concerning the Library;
-In collaboration with the committees and staff of the School monitors change, thinks
strategically, and sets future directions for the Library, blending an appreciation of
print materials and the traditions of the School with the electronic needs of a modern
-As a minimum, BA in classics or classical archaeology; MA or PhD preferred;
-Demonstrated skills and experience in relevant information technology, including its
use and management, and possessing a comprehensive understanding of the
technology-driven information environment;
-Expertise in one of the disciplines of the Blegen's collection (classics, prehistoric
and/or classical archaeology, history of ancient art);
-Understanding of unique needs of a graduate research library and familiarity with
current issues in academic librarianship;
-Knowledge of best practices and current trends in managing academic libraries and
serving library constituencies;
-Excellent communication, computer, organizational, and interpersonal skills;
-Specific experience working with Ex Libris' Aleph highly desirable.
The salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include TIAA/CREF, health
coverage, group life insurance, a housing allowance, and relocation expenses.
Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is
filled. Send a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and three letters of
reference to Prof. Kevin Clinton, Chair, Committee on Personnel, American School of
Classical Studies at Athens, 6 - 8 Charlton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540-5232 or email
application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.ascsa.edu.gr. ASCSA is an EO/AA employer.
... seen on the Classics list
Friday, August 06, 2004 8:26:21 AM
CFP: Society for Ancient Medicine
The Society for Ancient Medicine invites submissions for a panel it will
propose for the 78th annual meeting of the American Association for the
History of Medicine, to be held in Birmingham, Alabama, 7 April - 10
April 2005 (conference details will be posted at:
<http://www.histmed.org/meetings.htm>). Topics on any area of ancient
medicine - Eastern and Western – and its afterlife into later periods
are welcome, but of particular interest will be those having to do with
the social, economic, political, and cultural issues that affect medical
concepts and practices or are affected by them.
The AAHM requests that papers represent original work that is not
already published or in press, and hopes that contributors make their
texts available for consideration by the Bulletin of the History of
Medicine, their official journal.
Papers should be on a topic appropriate for a 20-minute talk. If at all
possible, please submit your proposal as an e-mail attachment to Dr.
Julie Laskaris (email@example.com); otherwise, please send eight
copies of your abstract to Dr. Laskaris at: the Department of Classical
Studies, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, 23173, USA.
Abstracts should clearly state findings and conclusions as well as
research questions. They should also provide the following information
on the same sheet: name, preferred mailing address, work and home
telephone numbers, e-mail address, present institutional affiliation,
and academic degrees. Abstracts should be a maximum of 350 words and
must be received by September 1, 2004.
For more information about SAM, and to gain access to other resources
Friday, August 06, 2004 8:13:27 AM
for the study of ancient medicine in the Greco-Roman world, please visit
the new Medicina Antiqua website:
JOB: Temple - Generalist (one year)
Temple University announces a Visiting Assistant Professorship for
2004-5 in the Department of Greek, Hebrew and Roman Classics. This is
a full-time position with the possibility, if funding continues, of
renewal. The ideal candidates would be teachers who could bring their
scholarship to the classroom with enthusiasm and skill; evidence of
successful teaching experience is vital. Candidates should send ONLY a
cover letter, preferably by e-mail, with curriculum vitae (as an
attachment) indicating ability and experience for teaching Greek,
Latin and classical culture courses at all undergraduate levels, and in
the first semester of the Intellectual Heritage sequence required of
all Temple undergraduates. The first semester of IH contains a large
Greek component and the course is writing-intensive. Applicants should
consult the IH web site http://courses.temple.edu/IH . Address
applications to Classics Chair Robin Mitchell-Boyask, firstname.lastname@example.org
, Department of Greek, Hebrew and Roman Classics, 327 Anderson
Hall, 1114 W. Berks St., Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 19122.
Phone: (215) 204-3672. The Department's web site is
Applications should be sent immediately. While applications will be
Friday, August 06, 2004 8:11:56 AM
considered until the position is filled, they will receive the most
consideration if received before August 6th.
CHATTER: Aristophanes Controversy
This one was on the Classics list a while ago ... from Kathimerini:
Aristophanes, the ancient Athenian playwright whose raucous, priapic comedies are a staple of outdoor theaters every Greek summer, is currently starring in a drama with an all-star cast. Archbishop Christodoulos, head of the Church of Greece and a known raconteur and teller of jokes, is embroiled in a very public battle with Lakis Lazopoulos, perhaps Greece’s best-known current satirist.
The dispute is over a decision by the mayor of Serres, a northern Greek town, to ban Lazopoulos’s production of Aristophanes’ “Plutus” (Wealth) from an outdoor theater adjacent to a Byzantine church, following a complaint by the local bishop.
Following Lazopoulos’s and Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis’s protests, the archbishop noted on Thursday that Orthodox monks were responsible for saving the works of Aristophanes and other ancient writers. “But we will not put Aristophanes inside the Church. One can go see his plays in the theater,” he added.
Yesterday, Lazopoulos retorted, “Humor is not only the jokes the archbishop tells, it is also Aristophanes and satire.”
... but it's not being put on INSIDE the Church???
Friday, August 06, 2004 8:07:24 AM
REVIEWS: From BMCR
Ruth E. Leader-Newby, Silver and Society in Late Antiquity. Functions and Meanings of Silver Plate in the Fourth to the Seventh Centuries.
Edward W. Bodnar, with Clive Foss, Cyriac of Ancona: Later Travels. The I
Tatti Renaissance Library.
Barry Strauss, The Battle of Salamis. The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization.
R.W. Sharples, Alexander of Aphrodisias. Supplement to On the Soul.
Margaret Roxan, Paul Holder, Roman Military Diplomas IV.
Ruby Blondell (trans.), Sophocles: The Theban Plays: Antigone, King Oidipous, Oidipous at Colonus.
Markus Sehlmeyer, Origo Gentis Romanae. Die Ursprunge des romischen Volkes.
Dirk M. Schenkeveld, A Rhetorical Grammar: C. Julius Romanus, Introduction to the Liber de Adverbio as incorporated in Charisius' Ars Grammatica II.13. Mnemosyne Supplement 247.
John Scheid, An Introduction to Roman Religion.
Gianfranco Agosti (ed.), Nonno di Panopoli. Parafrasi del Vangelo di Sant Giovanni. Canto Quinto.
David Wiles, A Short History of Western Performance Space.
O. Pecere, A. Stramaglia, Studi apuleiani.
Francois Hinard, Jean Christian Dumont, Libitina. Pompes funebres et supplices en Campanie a l'epoque d'Auguste.
Gyburg Radke, Tragik und Metatragik: Euripides' Bakchen und die moderne Literaturwissenschaft.
Nathan Rosenstein, Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic.
Elio Lo Cascio (ed.), Roma imperiale: una metropoli antica.
Eric Rebillard, Religion et sepulture. L'Eglise, les vivants et les morts dans l'Antiquite tardive. Civilisations et Societes 115.
Richard Goulet, Macarios de Magnesie: Le Monogenes. Edition critique et traduction franc,aise. Tome I: Introduction generale; Tome II: Edition critique, traduction et commentaire.
Marcel Detienne, The Writing of Orpheus: Greek Myth in Cultural Context.
Four Spanish books on Daimons and Magic.
David Abulafia (ed.), The Mediterranean in History.
... this list catches us up with all that BMCR posted while we were away ...
Friday, August 06, 2004 8:03:33 AM
CHATTER: Pindar Reborn
The Guardian has a report on a sort of Pindaric revival which will happen at the upcoming Olympics:
It's not quite the Parthenon marbles, but Oxford University is sending back to Greece a small cultural treasure with roots almost as ancient, in honour of the Olympic games.
At the closing Olympic ceremony in Athens on August 29, a British former Olympic fencer, Dame Mary Glen-Haig, will recite lines in a poetic form first heard there 2,500 years ago:
Blessed precinct of the land of Athena ...
Now as for a second time with good fortune
You have welcomed these contests here
Let us celebrate you with Pindaric song.
The occasion is expected to shiver the spines of listeners with a sense of history. The treasure is a Pindaric ode - a strict verse form which is regarded as one of the most perfect and most imitated in poetry.
Pindar is thought to have lived between 518 and 438BC. His odes were popular during the original Olympics in classical Greece.
An ode in his honour was composed and delivered by an Oxford academic at the first modern games, held in Athens in 1896, a time when Hellenic classicism dominated British education.
When Dame Mary, an international Olympic committee member, discovered this she asked the director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, Michael Vickers, if a new ode could be created this year.
Professor Vickers nominated Armand D'Angour, a classics fellow and tutor at Jesus College, Oxford, whose wife Karen happens to be great-niece of a 1912 Greek Olympic gold medallist.
Dr D'Angour's "tribute to Pindar and to Athens" is the result. Yesterday he said: "Pindar was the greatest poet of his time.
"He was famous for the complexity and beauty of his poetry, which generally employed a three-part structure using repeated rhythmical patterns of words. I have composed a contemporary ode in ancient style."
Prof Vickers said: "[It is] an exquisite piece of work, full of delicate allusions and wordplay of a kind worthy of the master himself. He has entered fully into the spirit of the genre."
The ode avoids the over-statement and hype for which Pindar was known, and updates the ancient Greek's politics by stressing that the athletes compete "in the cause of peace". [more]
The ode written by D'Angour is included with the article ... pity it isn't in Greek.
Friday, August 06, 2004 7:37:29 AM
Not off to a good start today ... my high speed appears to be down, my satellite dish appears to be down, and ragweed season appears to have begun ...
Friday, August 06, 2004 7:32:51 AM