Latest update: 10/1/2004; 5:34:15 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ Sausages and Lupercalia

I've been meaning to post this one for a while (and now that I'm using Thunderbird, which has a built in RSS reader, I won't forget this sort of thing in theory). Stephen Carlson over at Hypotyposeis appears to have figured out much of what's going on in our previously-mentioned puzzlement over a sausage ban, supposedly by Constantine. It likely is connected to a misreading of a Constitution of Leo VI; however, the mystery of some purported connection to Lupercalia remains. Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:47:24 PM

~ Roman Finds in Gloucester

From the Gloucester Citizen:

Roman remains and a gravestone of "national importance" have been discovered during an archaeological dig in the middle of Gloucester.

The discoveries - which included the skeletons of five Romans, the cremated remains of three other people, plus Roman and medieval pottery - were made underneath the former Esso petrol station on London Road. The recent excavation also turned up what could prove be a highly unusual find - a gravestone for a 14-year-old slave boy called Martialis.

City archeologist Richard Sermon said: "We are very excited about the tombstone. If it does turn out to be a tombstone for a slave, this is quite rare. These finds are of national importance."

If the gravestone turns out to be one dedicated to a slave, it will be a major coup for Gloucester Museum, which will receive the artefacts to put on display.

Jim Hunter, the consultant archeologist on the project said: "There were five inhumations - that is burials of bodies. And there were three cremations and two round pottery vessels.

"The most spectacular find was the remains of a grave marker. The inscription underneath suggests - that is we only have part of the inscription - that 'Martialis, the slave of Cloni, died aged 14 years and lies here'.

"That's quite striking in that the commemoration of a slave on a gravestone is very unusual."

Oxford Archaeology excavated the site at 118 to 120 London Road during August and the beginning of this month.

The mixture of unusual items has now been taken away for further analysis, but Mr Hunter believes the gravestone can be dated to between the first and second century A.D.

The site was dug up because 32 apartments are to be built on top of the known Roman burial ground.

Angela Boyle, from Oxford Archaeology said: "What's most exciting about this stone is that it was found in the original Roman cemetery soil and had not been moved. Usually these stones have been used in other contexts like walls or churches. This is quite significant."

Martialis may have been a Gloucester- born Briton taken into slavery and given a Roman name. However, many slaves were brought over with families who moved from Italy.

He may have even volunteered to become a slave because the life could be easier. Both men and women were sold as slaves but young boys were the most expensive slaves to buy.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:33:47 PM

~ Toutatis Rings Found!

Fans of Asterix and Obelix (especially) will be excited to learn that a ring which once belonged to a devotee of Toutatis has been found in Lincolnshire. According to the Lincolnshire Echo:

A ring worn by worshippers faithful to an ancient Celtic god during the Roman occupation of Lincolnshire has been found.

The second century finger ring is just the latest of around 20 silver rings found over the past year with the letters TOT inscribed in them.

It is thought that the letters represent the Celtic war god Toutatis and might have been worn to show membership of a tribal cult dedicated to him.

Toutatis is often invoked by characters in the French cartoon series Asterix - where tribesmen battle oppressive Roman forces.

His name translates as 'king of the world', 'king of battle' or 'father of the tribe'.

The rings have been handed into the Portable Antiquities Scheme - a project run by Lincolnshire County Council which records archaeological objects found by members of the public.

Finds officer Adam Daubney (25) said the rings could be significant. "The rings are Roman in design and similar ones have been found right across the Roman empire," he said.

"But rings inscribed with TOT have usually only been found in Lincolnshire - so its influence must have been fairly strong."

Second century Britain was a period governed by the Romans but included numerous tribes across the land.

In Lincolnshire the dominant tribe was Coritani which had centres in Ancaster, Owmby, Horncastle and possibly Spilsby.

Mr Daubney said the rings show the tribe was worshipping Celtic gods. "At the time England was into Roman religion and people would have looked to Roman gods like Minerva," he said.

"But it appears people continued to worship pre-existing religions - you could carry on worshipping your own gods.

"Toutatis is one of the principle Celtic deities linked with Mars and Mercury. These rings indicate there might have been a strong following in Lincolnshire."

Rings have been found throughout the county, including Sleaford and Horncastle.

Mr Daubney said: "This type of finger ring is an early example of its type. It must have been made by a local craftsman producing items to order."

Two similar rings which were unearthed in Lincoln in the 1920s have recently been put up for sale on .

Several websites have been set up which talk about Roman Britain.

Another website, , describes the people of Coritani as mild and agricultural people who were receptive to Roman rule.

Mr Daubney said: "It is quite a strange phenomenon for a certain type of ring to be found in a single area.

"But by discovering the rings and researching them, you can learn about religion."

Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:31:04 PM

~ Minoan Seminar



The Late Minoan IIIC site of Halasmenos is situated on a steep-sided hill of some 240m just to the south of the Ha gorge, near the village of Monastiraki, at the north end of the Ierapetra Isthmus. The investigations started in 1992, under the direction of the speaker and the late William Coulson. The settlement belongs to a dense pattern of occupation, known from sites excavated or located by survey. Its size suggests that it was of major importance to the area. The buildings have not suffered extensive damage through ploughing and reuse of construction materials. Consequently, this excellent state of preservation offers a unique opportunity for determining room function, construction techniques, and spatial relationships between buildings and streets.
The settlement consists of three separate areas, A, B and C. Excavation has been conducted in all three sectors for a total of almost 3000 m2. In Sector B the single-storey plan is agglomerative. Sector A, which is divided by a road in two parts, has larger rooms and more complex plans. In A Lower the architecture comprises three megara, parallel to each other. On top of the largest one a rectangular oikos was built in the second half of the 8th century BC.
In Sector C, situated on a slightly lower plateau, a public shrine of the so called «goddess with up raised arms» was discovered and excavated. The data from the excavation will be presented, and an attempt will be made at integrating the shrine within the framework of the other similar finds in the area. Also the issue of the provenance of this type of cult place (Mycenaean or Minoan) will be addressed.
The shrine has a megaroid plan and is freestanding. In it more than 9 large female clay figures of the type conventionally called "goddess with up-raised arms" came to light. The group of cult vases included at least 8 more or less complete "snake-tubes". The shrine contained also 11 plaques or pinakes with double horns on the upper part. The amount of pottery in the building was limited, the most important vessels being three large pithoi.
In order to understand the position of the shrine of Halasmenos in the wider framework of the Mirabello-Ierapetra area, the reasons of the foundation of these settlements, at the beginning of Late Minoan IIIC or slightly later, should be explored. The presence of Gournia, which was a Late Minoan IIIB center, in the immediate vicinity of Halasmenos and of at least another three important settlements, namely Kavousi-Kastro and Vronda and Vassiliki-Kephala, two of them equipped with a shrine of the «goddess with up raised arms», is of particular importance. Furthermore, the issue of the origin of the large female idols found in these shrines is a contentious one. Alexiou in his old and still valid study suggested the most plausible explanation.
Halasmenos, with a well organized urban arrangement, and the hierarchical organization of its buildings, offers the possibility for a re-assessment of the character of the Late Minoan IIIC settlements, in the Aegean in general, and Crete in particular.

24th Ephoreia for Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Archaeological Museum, Agios Nikolaos Crete 72.100 Greece  -


... seen on Aegeanet

Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:27:37 PM

~CFP: Neoplatonic Myth and Poetics (APA Panel)

Neoplatonic Myth and Poetics

A Panel to be held at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association in Montreal, January 2006 (Sponsored by the International Society of Neoplatonic Studies) Svetla Slaveva-Griffin, Florida State University, organizer

The stories that Plotinus tells about Rhea, Cronus, Zeus, Aphrodite, or Eros are not usually the first passages that come to mind. And yet, the images of Aphrodite Urania and Aphrodite Pandemos, Lynceus, Prometheus, or Apollo remind us vividly of the power of Neoplatonic myth. The compliment which Plotinus pays to Porphyry in the Vita Plotini (15.5-6), i.e., that Porphyry ³has shown himself at once a poet, philosopher, and expounder of sacred mysteries,² is equally relevant for any Neoplatonist. Both Plotinus and his successors are particularly eager to demonstrate how inherently Neoplatonic the works of the early poets and Plato are. The studies of V. Cilento and J. Pepin have already opened the discussion of the Neoplatonic adoption and adaptation of the literary and mythological tradition with a survey of Plotinus¹ poetic sources in the Enneads. The aim of the current panel is to reopen the dialogue on the nature of myth and poetics in the Neoplatonic literature, defined broadly.

Authors are welcome to send abstracts of 500-800 words, double-spaced, for papers requiring 15-20 minutes of presentation to Svetla Slaveva-Griffin via post mail addressed to the Department of Classics, Florida State University, 205 Dodd Hall, Tallahassee, 32306-1510, e-mail at <> , or faxed at (850) 644-4073, attn: Slaveva-Griffin. The author's name should appear only on the cover letter. The deadline for receiving of submissions is February 1, 2005. A committee of two anonymous reviewers will referee the abstracts. The panel organizer will notify the authors about the committee¹s decision and will provide feedback on the submissions.

... seen on the Classicists list

Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:17:23 PM

~ CFP: Roman Virtues and Vices (APA Panel)

Roman Virtues and Vices

Organizers: Karla Pollmann, St Andrews; Eric Casey, Sweet Briar College; William Harris, Columbia University; Brad Inwood, University of Toronto; Robert A. Kaster, Princeton; David Konstan, Brown University; Irmgard Männlein-Robert, Würzburg; Matt Roller, Johns Hopkins; David Wray, University of Chicago.

The cultural centrality and conceptual rigor of ancient "virtue language" provides a rich ground for exploring notions, representations and transformations of ancient virtues and vices. In the last decade or so, "virtue ethics" has become an increasingly prevalent avenue of investigation in modern ethical reflections, focusing on aretaic concepts of excellence and (in fewer cases) their opposites, and on the moral character and motives of actions. This new departure within ethical philosophy, which is influenced by Aristotle but has so far hardly taken any Latin texts into account, will provide the questions to be considered in the panels of the proposed colloquium and may also be challenged by papers. The colloquium focuses on Roman culture, from the beginnings of Latin literature through Late Antiquity, including early Christianity. It aims at contextualizing the academic conversation about virtue ethics in a new way by paying more attention to ancient social contexts-for example, through examining and questioning the specific "Romanness" of given ethical values, as well as their relation to Greek culture. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged, especially those involving philosophy, history with its subdisciplines, as well as linguistic and literary investigations. Junior scholars are welcome.

For the APA meeting in 2006 we solicit papers on the following topic:

Roman Virtues, Vices & Their Transformation The panel will explore the development of Roman morality in all periods through Late Antiquity.  We invite authors to ask the following questions by using a diachronic approach and/or comparing contemporaneous cultures in contact with one another: how stringent are the demands of 'Roman' morality through time? what is the good life as opposed to the bad life, and what part do virtues and vices play in it? how do human needs and economic, social, and political changes interrelate with virtues and vices?

For the APA meeting in 2006, abstracts (no more than 800 words) are due by February 4, 2005. Submit abstracts, by email (preferred) or as hard copy with disk, to Eric Casey (, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA, 24595. Abstracts will be judged anonymously by two referees.

... seen on the Classicists list

Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:15:12 PM

~ Job: Greek+ @ URegina (sessional)

The Department of Philosophy and Classics invites applications for a sessional lecturer to teach a course in introductory ancient Greek, second semester (CLAS 161) and either an introduction to Classical Studies (CLAS 100) or one other Classical Studies course during the 2005 Winter semester.

Applicants must have a minimum of a B.A. in Classical Studies, and preferably experience in teaching at a University level.

Applicants will include a current curriculum vitae and a teaching dossier with their application. The teaching dossier should contain a statement of the teaching philosophy as well as course outline, assignments, examinations and previous student evaluations (where available).

Applications should be sent to Dr. David Elliott, Department Head, Department of Philosophy and Classics, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S 0A2.

(Fax: 306-585-4827)

Deadline for application is until position is filled.

The University is committed to employment equity. In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, this advertisement is directed to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

... seen in the Canadian Classical Bulletin

Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:13:52 PM

~ Newsletter: Explorator 7.22

Issue 7.22 of our Explorator newsletter has been posted ... enjoy! Sunday, September 26, 2004 12:36:47 PM

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

5.00 p.m. |DISCU| Secrets of the Colosseum
Visit the ruins of this massive triumph of Roman building and engineering for clues to its ingenious design. Built in a remarkably short span of 10 years, the structure combined travertine stone, iron, concrete, brick and lava rocks from nearby Vesuvius.

6.00 p.m. |DISCU| Ancestors of Ancient Rome - The Etruscans
Extraordinary finds in Northern Italy reveal the startling story of Europe's original hedonists and first superpower. The fun loving Etruscans invented two spectator sports, gladiatorial combat and chariot racing.

7.00 p.m. |DISCU| Lost City of Pompeii: Secrets of the Dead
Journey to the playground of the Roman aristocracy, Herculaneum. Buried by the same volcanic eruption that leveled Pompeii, this city of luxurious villas, magnificent arcades and extensive library collections holds clues to the Roman's riches.

11.00 p.m. |HISTU| Hail Caesar!
Pharsalus, Thessaly (Northern Greece), 48 BC. Roman versus Roman for control of the civilized world! Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey) was the darling of the Senate, and Gaius Julius Caesar the champion of the troops. These two men had been pursuing one another all across Europe. And at Pharsalus, the Pompeians were confident of victory, with Caesar's forces on the point of starvation. But on August 9, generalship would decide the day as Caesar acted on inspiration into the tactics of Pompey.

Channel Guide

Sunday, September 26, 2004 12:35:31 PM

1. n. an abnormal state or condition resulting from the forced migration from a lengthy Classical education into a profoundly unClassical world; 2. n. a blog about Ancient Greece and Rome compiled by one so afflicted (v. "rogueclassicist"); 3. n. a Classics blog.

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