Latest update: 11/1/2004; 4:40:14 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem viii kalendas novembres

::Monday, October 25, 2004 5:53:57 AM::

~ Wine and Water

MG over at Laudator has a nice feature on the ancient practice of mixing wine with water.

::Monday, October 25, 2004 5:47:44 AM::

~ Toga Day Luncheon

The Sentinel has some good coverage of a local 'toga day luncheon':

Second-year Latin students got a real taste of the language when they participated in the toga day luncheon at Carlisle High School. Students dressed in togas and authentic gladiator gear to feast on Italian food.

"It's the way we wrap up our toga day," Latin teacher Meg McDermott says. "It lets people know we're here."

Spaghetti, lasagna, baked ziti, pasta salad and tiramasu were among the tasty dishes served up by volunteer parents.

This is the fifth year Latin students have participated in the luncheon. The first year only nine students were in the Latin II class. This year's class has 21 students.

"It's our largest toga day to date," McDermott says.

The event culminates with a young "Roman" student carried on a litter to classrooms, taking food to various teachers who could not come to the luncheon.

The litter was created by 2004 graduate Joseph Dragovich. The litter, along with authentic gladiator leather garments and helmets, were donated to the Latin class.

"It's really fun," says junior Kaitlin Dynarski, who brought lasagna. She says some students enjoy making the food and the chance to socialize more with others.

The Latin II class is a mix of sophomores, juniors and seniors who "help each other through class," she says.

McDermott credits world language and English as a Second Language chairwoman, Tina Trozzo, for helping to get the program started.

"(Trozzo)'s very supportive of the Latin classes," McDermott says.

Trozzo says the classes bring an ancient language to life.

"Megan has done so much to bring new life to our Latin programs," Trozzo says. "She has done so much to motivate students to take Latin."

With 46 Latin I students this year, a second class had to be added. This year also is the first for the honors Latin course at CHS.

Room parent Jude McLean thinks the luncheon is a great idea.

"I love my son taking Latin," she says. "I think it's an extremely interesting language and history."

Her son, Winston, a sophomore, agrees. "It's interesting." He also likes the chance to "get out of class" and enjoy the "great food" served at the lunch.

After a discussion on what to bring, the students prepared and brought in the food.

Asked what the luncheon means to her students, McDermott admits "it probably means to eat."

"The food's good," sophomore Travis Slaysman says, adding he takes Latin because he plans to be in the medical field.

He also liked the idea of "carrying people around on the litter" and his teacher's enthusiasm about the language.

"The class is wonderful," senior Abigail Wenzel says. "It's really nice to have Latin (in school.) It's rare."

She was glad to see so many participants.

"It's a good thing to do," she says. "It gives (us) a better sense of community. It keeps people interested in the program."

We won't quibble about the food selection (the 'idiom is the message', to paraphrase one of my fellow Canucks) ... actually, it's a bit of a relief after seeing the photo accompanying the article (which has a student being borne about on a litter) with the caption "Latin II students at Carlisle High School deliver food to teachers during their toga day luncheon." ... it took a while to focus and see that the student in the litter was actually the one carrying the food, not the food herself.

::Monday, October 25, 2004 5:46:03 AM::

~ Ovidian Hexameters

This one showed up on the Classics list ... the Ovid Project is a site based in Germany (although the site does have an English introduction), which has as its goal the 'restoration' of what Ovid's Metamorphoses would have sounded like. Currently, the emphasis seems to be figuring out what the 'restored pronunciation' actually was like although I can't seem to find any sound files on the site itself.

::Monday, October 25, 2004 5:36:36 AM::

~ Pilates Fitness

I'm sure I'm not the only Classical type who has driven past some Pilates fitness centre and had strange classically-connected thoughts, but now today I actually read this in a piece in Ha'aretz:

The training method was developed 70 years ago by Joseph Pilates, when he was searching for a quick way to rehabilitate injured dancers. He combined ancient Greek and Roman fitness methods with elements from dance and swimming to create a unique system that repairs weaknesses and restores balance.

Interesting ... I wonder where he got the info on ancient fitness methods ...

::Monday, October 25, 2004 5:29:35 AM::

~ NYT Michael Grant Obit

The New York Times finally has an obituary for Michael Grant, who went to the shades more than three weeks ago. Here's the incipit:

Michael Grant, a classical scholar who did groundbreaking research on the coinage of Rome, then wrote lucid, learned histories of the ancient world for the general reader, died on Oct. 4 in London. He was 89.

His son, Antony, said Dr. Grant died in a London hospital. He returned to London in April after living in Italy for many years.

"If there is a cottage industry in the world of classical scholarship, it takes the form of Michael Grant Inc.," The Canadian Journal of History said in 2001.

Dr. Grant's 50 or so books of nonfiction and translation elegantly synthesized familiar material about ancient Mediterranean history while introducing new scholarship.

He explored ancient Greece, Rome and Israel to write both overall histories and biographies of giants like Julius Caesar, Nero, Herod, Cleopatra, Jesus, St. Peter and St. Paul.

John Canaday, in reviewing "The Birth of Western Civilization: Greece and Rome" in The New York Times in 1964, extolled the intellectual verve of the volume, which Dr. Grant edited and partly wrote. "The ancient world is not embalmed here, but is revealed in its immortal vitality," the review said.

Dr. Grant wrote that Etruscan artists would have preferred Picasso to Raphael, that Cleopatra was more than a vamp and was quite knowledgeable about agriculture, and that all the West retains of ancient Greece was the product of fewer than 50 brains.

His "Jesus: An Historian's View of the Gospels," published in 1977, applied the standard disciplines of the historian's profession and reached the conclusion that the four Gospels are sufficiently reliable to deserve the utmost respect. This book remains widely mentioned in discussions about the historical Jesus.

Dr. Grant's ability to summarize texts in a lively, not to say irreverent, manner was suggested by his judgment on Ben Sira, the author of Ecclesiastes.

Dr. Grant wrote: "He offers a lot of detailed ethical and practical advice, highly conservative, and not unmixed with expediency and self-interest. He is sorry the poor are so poor, but there is nothing to be done about it."

Michael Grant was born in London on Nov. 21, 1914. His father, Col. Maurice Grant, served in the Boer War and later wrote part of its official history.

Michael was educated at Harrow, where he was captain of his house cricket team, and Trinity College at Cambridge University. After graduating, he wrote a thesis that would become his first book, "From Imperium to Auctoritas," published in 1946.

The book was an academic examination of Roman coinage and coin legends, which he argued were a vivid social record of the empire. Four more numismatic studies followed in the 1950's, with a fifth, more popularized volume appearing in 1968. Also in the 1950's, he began distilling and popularizing the works of other classicists. [more]

I find it interesting (telling?) that the death of Jacques Derrida generated more comment on the Classics list than the death of the man who probably did more than any other author in the past generation to bring 'Classics to the masses'.

::Monday, October 25, 2004 5:20:47 AM::

~ Alexander Flick: Interview with Paul Cartledge

From Salon comes a lengthy piece on Alexander, most of the info coming via an interview with Paul Cartledge ... here's the incipit (if you want to read the whole thing, it is free, but you have to sit through a flash-based ad first (it's worth the wait):

Maximus has long since maxed out, and Achilles had his moment of triumph at the box office. So now Hollywood has turned to Alexander the Great, the king of Macedon, conqueror of the Persian Empire and founder of a new world order, who died in 323 B.C. at age 32, as the muse of not one but two blockbuster movies about him: Oliver Stone's "Alexander," starring Colin Farrell as the sexually adventurous, hard-drinking legend and Angelina Jolie as his mother, Olympias, is headed to theaters Nov. 24, and is generating Oscar buzz before it has even been seen. And Baz Luhrmann is polishing up the script for his "Alexander the Great," starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role and Nicole Kidman as Olympias. (The project was pushed back because Luhrmann says he cares too much about it to be "drawn into a race" with Stone.) [more]

::Monday, October 25, 2004 5:08:15 AM::

~ Seven Wonders

This one appeared on the Latinteach list ... it's a site devoted to the Seven Wonders of the World, but even better, it has paper models of each Wonder (well, five of them, anyway ... the statue of Zeus and the Colossus of Rhodes aren't available) that you can download as a pdf and make for yourself! Definitely worth visiting if you're a teacher or just someone who wanted their own Temple of Artemis ...

::Monday, October 25, 2004 4:56:56 AM::

~ Peter Jones in the Spectator

I meant to post this one a couple of days ago ... it's Peter Jones' latest from the Spectator:

The Tory MP for Henley, accused of belittling Liverpudlians by claiming that their outpouring of grief for Ken Bigley (brutally murdered by terrorists) was nothing but mawkish hysteria, has been ordered by High Command to go and appease them. Aristotle had views on such matters.

The MP’s crime was, in Aristotle’s words, ‘speaking ill of things about which people are especially serious’, i.e., Liverpudlians’ sense of their own legendary compassion. But does that explain the severity of their reaction? It may do, but Aristotle goes on to say that people so treated will be all the more angry ‘if they suspect they do not really have these feelings at all, or only insecurely, or are not thought to have them’. Aristotle’s point is that, if Liverpudlians felt entirely comfortable in their superiority in the matters about which they were belittled, they would not become angry in the first place. The fact that they do become angry merely demonstrates their insecurity. One feels, however, it would be wise of the MP not to labour this point. [more]

::Monday, October 25, 2004 4:51:33 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |HINT| The Twelve Apostles
Separately, they were nobodies--a handful of fishermen, an angry tax collector. But united by a charismatic Jewish preacher, this ragtag gang shaped into history's most famous revolutionaries. Meet Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the Lesser, Thaddeus, Simon, and Judas in this 2-hour special.

HINT = History International

::Monday, October 25, 2004 4:48:21 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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