Latest update: 11/1/2004; 4:39:57 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

pridie idus octobres

  • rites in honour of the Penates Dei -- the Penates Dei were originally the penates who watched over the storehouse of the king (when Rome had such, obviously); at some point, the Penates Dei came to be identified with Castor and Pollux, but they still had a temple under their own name on the Velian hill which was apparently restored by Augustus.
  • 223 A.D. -- martyrdom of Calixtus

::Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:48:40 AM::

~ Possible Roman Villa Threatened

From the Dorset Echo:

A 2,000-YEAR-OLD Roman villa unearthed on Portland could be covered over with a sports field.

Islanders are concerned that the newly-discovered ancient site, on playing fields opposite Royal Manor Arts College at Weston, could be hidden away again.

Workmen preparing a new all-weather playing surface for the school called in experts after finding `rubble' and a series of buried walls under the topsoil.

An examination by the county council's senior archaeologist Steve Wallis found the remains of a well-preserved first century Roman building and related artefacts.

Work on the college's sports field has now been called off pending further excavations, but Mr Wallis said the find could be covered up and built over.

He said: "One of the options is to change the method of construction of the playing surface, which would mean we would not dig so far down.

"We would effectively cover the site with the surface, which would close off access indefinitely."

Mr Wallis claimed such a find on Portland was unusual. He said: "Most archaeological remains on the island were destroyed as the quarries were created.

"If it is a Roman villa it is of interest.

"The archaeological team will need to take a little time to analyse the findings before the next steps are taken."

Experts have called for the site to be fully excavated, hailing the find as one of the most significant ever on the island.

Director of the Association for Portland Archaeology Susann (corr) Palmer said it was potentially of national importance and needed to be properly investigated.

She said: "The site is so important and of such high educational potential that it must be properly excavated.

"It would be an absolute disgrace not to allow this to happen."

Mrs Palmer added: "I do not have any faith in the idea of covering the site up and leaving it for the future.

"Dorset has several good sites where this policy was followed with the inevitable results that nature, time and man has completely ruined them."

Island historian Stuart Morris said he had been overwhelmed by the find.

He said: "The word amazing comes to mind.

"I think it is the potentially the most significant Roman find on Portland in recent times.

"I hope we can take advantage of this now, and not have to leave it to future generations."

Mr Morris said Romans had been on the island in some force during the first to fourth centuries.

Portland Museum is home to a Roman stone coffin - one of scores found when quarries on the island were excavated last century.

Roman coins have also been found during excavations at Southwell and the Verne.

Mr Morris added: "The land at Weston is one of the few untouched sites on the Portland.

"To find a preserved site on a piece of land which hasn't been excavated is quite remarkable."

Portland Town mayor Kris Haskins said the island needed to make the most of the find.

He said: "We cannot keep destroying archaeology on the island - we have already lost so much."

Director of the government-funded Council for British Archaeology Michael Heyworth urged the county council to make the most of the find.

He said: "Sites in places like Dorset can make significant contributions to our state of knowledge.

"We need to make the most of opportunities like this when they come up.

"While we know about the greater Roman frame work, there's still an awful lot of find out."

The site is on more than five acres of land owned by Dorset County Council.

Royal Manor Arts College's all-weather playing service had been planned to be ready in a matter of weeks.

The school's head teacher Paul Green said he would be disappointed to lose extra games space if the development could not go ahead.

He said: "I am excited by the prospect of having a major archaeological site next door.

"It looks like it is a substantial building, which is very interesting for the school and Portland.

"But we do need the new pitch, so hopefully we might be able to work around it but we will have to see."

::Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:40:24 AM::

~ Ancient Fables

Language Hat points us to a the very interesting Aesopica.Net, which somewhat modestly describes itself as Aesop's Fables online. When I first saw mention of this, I thought -- "big deal, Aesop has been on the www practically from the time Al Gore claimed to have invented it". But Aesopica.Net goes much further -- not only is Aesop there in the expected translation, but there's a pile of other languages (and other fables) in Latin, Greek, English, and even some French and Spanish.

::Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:34:03 AM::

~ CFP: Agora

Special Issue: Agora


Deadline: January 15, 2005


The editors of Agora seek papers that examine the relationship between Modernism and Hellenism. The topic of Hellenism and the Arts in the Twentieth Century has been a rising area of scholarly interest, ranging from broad studies such as Roessel's recent In *Byron's Shadow* and Keeley's *Inventing Paradise* to author-specific works like Gregory's *H.D. and Hellenism* or Schork's *Greek and Hellenic Culture in Joyce*. Authors as diverse as Hemingway and H.D. or Conrad and Cohen have all found significant inspiration through an engagement with their Philhellenic interests. Moreover, given the prominence of Said's *Orientalism* over the past twenty-five years, analysis of Hellenism as a discourse is particularly welcomed. We encourage works with a postcolonial or colonial focus and aim for this issue to address a prominent gap in scholarship——studies of Modernism have largely endorsed the importance of postcolonial readings, yet Hellenism's role as a defining discourse primarily conducted by foreign powers remains understudied.

Submissions may address any aspect of Hellenism or Philhellenism in conjunction with Modernist arts and letters. Papers that take advantage of the electronic medium are encouraged, though authors are responsible for arranging rights for materials for which they do not hold copyright. Authors might consider, but are not limited to:

• popular culture materials related to or
  representing Greece
• Modernist circles based in Greece or centred
  around Greek authors
• Hellenism as an academic discourse with
  political and artistic implications
• tourism and cultural commodities
• travel literature
• emigrant/immigrant literature
• the Greek diaspora
• Hellenic locales and centres outside of

Please direct enquiries and submissions to the editors of this special issue, Beatrice Skordili <> and James Gifford <>, or <>.


Agora is comprised of an international board of Associate Editors. The journal is indexed in the MLA Bibliography and the Canadian Literary Periodical Index; it is also archived in the National Library of Canada. Submissions are welcomed from (post)graduate students and new scholars in any disciplinary field.

Manuscripts, with a 200-250 word abstract, can be submitted in either hard-copy or electronic format, although accepted papers must be submitted electronically in accordance with current MLA guidelines. The author's name should not appear on the manuscript, but on a separate cover page, or for e-mail submissions, in the body of the e-mail stating name, mailing address, e-mail address and the title of the paper. Electronic submissions may be sent to Agora on a 3.5 diskette, or via e-mail <> with the subject heading "Submission." Documents should be formatted in MS Word, HTML, or Rich Text Format. Print submissions may be sent in duplicate to:

Agora: An Online Graduate Journal
Department of English
3-5 Humanities Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta

Hard-copy submissions and diskettes will not be returned. For more information, please contact the editors at:

... seen on the Classicists list

::Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:28:24 AM::

~ Pompeiian Households

From the Stoa comes an announcement of an interesting online project: Pompeian Households: An On-line Companion which is meant to accompany Penelope M. Allison's Pompeian Households: An Analysis of the Material Culture. It consists of a nice online database of some 30 Pompeiian houses/villas, complete with floorplans, descriptions, and catalogs of artifacts etc. for each. Where available, there are also some nice photos. Very nicely done and a good example of how the WWW can usefully augment print.


::Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:26:05 AM::

~ Aerial View of the Parthenon

Posted to the Classics list yesterday:


::Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:21:14 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

7.00 p.m. |HINT| The Rise of Christianity: The First 1000 Years
The Eastern Roman Empire, based in Constantinople, survives in splendor for a 1,000 years after Rome's fall. But the sands of Arabia give birth to a new faith, Islam, that soon conquers half of Christendom. Though Europe is mired in the Dark Ages, Irish monks copy ancient texts, preserving them for the future.

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: Greece

8.00 p.m. |DISCU| Superweapons of the Ancient World: The Ram
This team, complete with military engineers, must recreate a Roman tortoise ram and try to demolish a recreated replica of an ancient city wall. Can they overcome a few obstacles and construct this weapon to breach a 20 foot high, 12 foot thick wall?

Channel Guide

::Thursday, October 14, 2004 4:45:34 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.

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