Latest update: 11/1/2004; 4:39:49 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ Review from Scholia

I. M. Plant, Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome

::Saturday, October 09, 2004 8:31:41 AM::

~ Alexander Hype

An Op-Ed piece in the Australian has a couple of interesting opinions about Alexander as part of a piece which started out being a sort of preview of the upcoming movie. A couple of excerpts:

To understand all is to forgive all, as the saying goes. But the more I understand about Alexander, the less forgiving I feel, particularly as his personal example of leadership became the model for all of Europe's absolutist monarchs from the age of Caesar Augustus. Alexander invented a leadership style that married the divine and unchecked right of kings with boundless opulence and unfettered ambition. He resembles no one so much as that other diminutive megalomaniac, Napoleon.


Alexander had his good points, certainly. He was kind to animals, became a champion of multiculturalism (he wanted Greeks and Persians to become one race) and conducted himself with a certain style. He spread Greek culture (while quashing Greek democracy). The Roman historian Livy summed up things well when he observed that the king had left Macedon as Alexander and had become Darius by the time of his death. He notes "the conceited style of dress that he adopted, and his wish to receive grovelling obeisance ... I hesitate to mention the appalling punishments he inflicted, his killing of his friends over drinking and the dinner table, and his famous lies [announcing he was the son of Zeus] about his parentage." Alexander was, in other words, the Great Git.

::Saturday, October 09, 2004 8:12:05 AM::

~Map of Rome

This AP story making the rounds seems interesting:

Imagine ancient Rome before its fall: The 1,350 or so fountains still trickle with water, the 1,790 palaces haven't fallen to ruins, and the 240 public latrines are still in business.

In painstaking detail, French comic book artist Gilles Chaillet has brought the ancient city back to life with an immense map based on a lifetime of research and a touch of artistic license.

Chaillet dreamed up the project when he was 9 years old. Nearly 50 years later, he came to the Eternal City to show it off to the Romans.

"This was an idea I could never get out of my head," Chaillet said Thursday. "It was a bit of an obsession."

There are no definitive surviving maps of ancient Rome, which accounted for most of the challenge, he said.

Chaillet's immense map is colored with cheerful greens, russets and pearly tones by his wife, Chantal. Looking at it, you can imagine a day's stroll in Rome circa A.D. 314: a leisurely morning at the bathhouses, a stop at the market to buy some chickpeas, and a trip to the Circus Maximus to take in a chariot race.

When Chaillet was a child in Paris, he discovered the ruins of Rome through a postcard and comic books.

"I announced to my parents, 'I want to re-create ancient Rome,' " he said. "They said, 'Calm down, and go do your math homework.' "

Chaillet's father was so frustrated by his son's lack of attention to his schoolwork that he set fire to some early Rome sketches.

Chaillet, 58, made other Rome maps at age 13, then at 20, during his military service. After high school, he became a successful comic book artist in a country where everyone from kindergartners to executives reads them.

Chaillet visited archives, libraries and museums to research his project.

He set his map in 314 because the majestic and well-preserved Arch of Constantine wasn't built until about then, and he felt that most Rome-lovers couldn't imagine the city without it.

When Chaillet finally sat down to sketch the 11 foot-by-6 1/2 foot map, he spent 5,000 hours at the drawing board. His wife spent another 3,000 hours coloring it.

The map has been displayed in museums around France, and in April Chaillet published a 200-page French-language book to accompany the project, "Inside the Rome of the Cesars." [more]

Alas ... the best I can find is a cover shot to the French edition; hopefully it will come out in English ...

::Saturday, October 09, 2004 7:55:08 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

... nothing of interest.

::Saturday, October 09, 2004 7:12:54 AM::

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.

Valid HTML 4.01!

Valid CSS!

Site Meter

Click to see the XML version of this web page.