Latest update: 11/1/2004; 4:40:00 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ Vergil's Birthday @ Laudator

MG over at Laudator celebrated Vergil's birthday (yesterday) by posting some good/useful quotations from the Aeneid.

::Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:47:11 AM::

~ Roman Scale Armour Found

Some exciting Roman finds from Carlisle, as reported in the Cumberland News:

PRICELESS Roman artifacts were preserved in Carlisle for thousands of years because they were encased in one and a half metres of waterlogged clay.

The objects – clothes, leather chariot straps and coins – would normally rot.

John Zant, of Oxford Archaeology North, said scientists have used specialist techniques to prove the objects recovered were originally from a Roman Fort established in the winter of AD 73.

He said: “The sticky layers of natural clay at the site mean there has been an unusual degree of preservation.

“We have a preservation period spanning 100 years, and the number and quality of the objects is outstanding.

“We’ve had bits of metal coming out of the ground which were still shiny.

“Probably the most important and most unusual pieces have been the armour.”

Hundreds of coins and thousands of metalwork items, including armour, which has never been seen before, were recovered at the site of the old Roman fort Luguvalium near Carlisle Castle when it was excavated as part of the construction of the Millennium Bridge on Castle Way.

Today, more than 130 archaeological experts will attend a three-day conference at the city’s Swallow Hilltop Hotel, organised by Mr Zant.

They will be discussing Carlisle’s importance as a Roman frontier when they debate the results of the Gateway City Millennium Project.

Speakers include Lancaster University’s emeritus professor of Roman imperial history David Shotter and pottery expert Dr Vivien Swan.

The discovery of articulated scale armour – used by Roman soldiers to protect their arms and elbows – is thought to be a world first. This kind of armour had previously only been seen in statues. Some armour is battle-damaged. [more]

::Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:45:28 AM::

~ In Stabiano

The Washington Times (finally) has a review of the In Stabiano exhibit ... here's the incipit:

After 2,000 years, the villas at the foot of Mount Vesuvius remain the sleeping beauties of Western culture.

Even now, the expansive resort homes of ancient Roman society boast vaulted ceilings, gracious porticos and vast, if dusty, pools. Before the cataclysmic eruption of A.D. 79, dinner would have been taken in three-sided salons open to views of the Gulf of Naples. Walls were decorated with golden-haired goddesses in flowing garments. Fountains burbled in the middle of a swimming pool. One excavated garden is as big as a football field.
Painted images of Hermes and Minerva once watched over a 328-foot colonnade on a bluff overlooking the sea. Today, only fragments of the gods remain, and sculptures have found their way into museums. But a magnificent dining hall is sufficiently intact to have been reconstructed in the treasure show "In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite," at the National Museum of Natural History through Oct. 24. Incredibly, the room's deep red walls are as vibrant as a freshly opened can of Benjamin Moore's Mediterranean Spice.

Like neighboring Pompeii and Herculaneum, Stabiae was also buried in the volcanic eruption of Aug. 24, 79. Rediscovery of these glamorous lost worlds in the 18th century sparked a revolution in the "neoclassical" style. How much of the passion was due to the appeal of classical symmetry and how much to the dramatic narrative is conjecture. But on the fateful day, a plume of ash darkened the noon sky. Within hours, Herculaneum disappeared under 60 feet of volcanic mud. Pompeii, five miles away, suffocated under ash and lava. Stabiae, then a century-old resort eight miles along the coast toward Sorrento, was buried by ash and pumice, but no lava. The ash is now credited with preserving the clear greens, pale blues and blood reds of the excavated frescoes, which are among the finest of their kind. [the whole thing]

::Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:29:55 AM::

~ Peter Jones in the Spectator

Here's the incipit from Peter Jones latest Ancient and Modern column in the Spectator:

At the recent Tory party conference in Bournemouth, Michael Howard argued that words were not enough: what was required was action. The Greeks had words for both — logos (‘word, speech’), ergon (‘deed, action’) — and were fascinated by the relationship between them. One of the most interesting exponents of that relationship was the 5th-century bc Greek thinker from Sicily, Gorgias.

In his ‘Encomium of Helen’ Gorgias argues that Helen should not be blamed for running off with Paris and starting the Trojan war because, whatever explanation for her actions was offered, it could be shown that she had no choice in the matter. For example, if it was the will of the gods, no human can resist the gods, and if Paris abducted her by force, blame Paris. But what, he goes on, if Paris used logos?  [more]

::Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:26:27 AM::

~ Review from Scholia

Nathan Rosenstein, Rome at War

::Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:18:22 AM::

~ A Little to the Left

I wish they'd show more 'action photos' when temples are being restored, such as this photo from Kathimerini of the work going on with the Parthenon:

Now imagine the ancient Greeks doing the same with the technology available to them.

::Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:16:57 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

... nothing of interest

::Saturday, October 16, 2004 7:13:32 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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