Latest update: 11/1/2004; 4:47:00 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem vii kalendas novembres

  • ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 1) -- games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla's defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.
  • 31 A.D. -- suicide of Apicata, wife of the disgraced Praetorian Praefect Sejanus

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 5:51:14 AM::

~ Judgement of Paris Lessons

The Advice Line blog has a piece on what's wrong with capitalism which makes an interesting analogy:

[...] There are ethics that stand beyond money which I am sure you know and understand well. What I have seen in the past decade is that keeping material wealth above all else has overtaken other values.

I am sure it didn't start with the Greeks but I often think of their example in the story of the Judgment of Paris. Paris was asked to choose the fairest among three goddesses: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. Hera offered Paris worldly power, and Athena military might. Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful human woman in the world -- Helen of Troy. Now, isn't that what currently happens under unchecked capitalism? We don't make a decision based on what is asked, but based on what we are bribed to do with money, power, and of course with threats of their removal as well. [...]

Actually, I suspect this isn't confined to "unchecked capitalism" ... it seems to be a constant in human behaviour (the what's-in-it-for-me syndrome). Interesting that I never considered the JoP in this light before ...

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 5:39:22 AM::

~ Louvre Buys Horse's Head

The Art Newspaper reports that the Louvre exercised an option and purchased that horse's head sculpture that is often seen as related somehow to the sculptures from the Parthenon:

At the “Art of the Orient” auction held at Hôtel Drouot by Boisgirard, led by specialist Annie Kevorkian, all eyes were on one object. Lot 136, an Attic Greek marble sculpture of the head of a horse, did not disappoint, as it soared to €2,792,859 ($3.46 million). In a surprise twist, the sixth-century BC marble head, which had been hammered down to the European trade, was then pre-empted by the Musée du Louvre, which like all French national museums has the right to buy lots after the conclusion of a sale, provided it can match the hammer price.

Broken at mid-neck, with a width of 52.2 cm and height of 62 cm, this sculpture depicts a powerful horse with open mouth, alert ears, large, oval-shaped eyes, deeply recessed nostrils and a cropped mane. The magnificent work of Attic Greek origin is considered by many to be a precursor to the famous horses found in the Parthenon sculptures, which date from the mid-fifth century BC. [more]

There's a photo at the site ... you'll recognize the piece ...

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 5:33:27 AM::

~ Homeric Hype

The Cornell Daily Sun has a nice (if somewhat obvious) bit of homeric hype:

In Homer's The Odyssey, the Greek hero Odysseus makes his way back to Ithaca, where he restores his power and finally ends his decade-long ordeal away from home. This past weekend, the volleyball team (12-6, 6-2 Ivy) finally made its way back home to Ithaca, and also emerged victorious, beating Ivy powerhouses Princeton (13-5, 4-2 Ivy) and Penn (9-8, 3-4 Ivy) in their first home Ivy matches since their first conference game of the season on Oct. 6 against Columbia. [...]

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 5:28:52 AM::

~ JOB: Generalist @ UIowa (Two-year)

The Department of Classics at the University of Iowa invites applications for a visiting appointment at the assistant professor level, to begin in August 2005.  The initial appointment is for 2005-06, and is renewable for one academic year, ending in May 2007, conditional on a positive performance review.  This is a non-tenure track position, ending in May 2007. The full time teaching load is two courses per semester.  Courses to be taught will include a large English language class (such as Mythology or Roman Civilization) each semester and an undergraduate course in Latin or Greek each semester.  Ph.D. required by time of appointment.  Salary is dependent on the successful candidate's experience and credentials.
Interested candidates should submit applications to Professor John F. Finamore, Chair, Department of Classics, 210 Jefferson Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.  (Email inquiries to  Screening of applications will begin December 15. Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, graduate transcript, and at least three current letters of recommendation.  Applicants are also encouraged to submit evidence of teaching ability and expertise, as well as scholarly publications.   All applications will be acknowledged, and applicants will be informed as soon as the position has been filled.
The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

... seen on AegeaNet

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 5:27:19 AM::

~ Seneca Audio

Also (see below) over on ARLT is an audio file of Seneca's Letter 44 being read/recited (awk. ... note to self, check caffeine) ...

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 5:22:36 AM::

~ EuroAnthem in Latin

ARLT alerts us to the existence of the European Union in Latin; there's also a sound file of a performance of it ... worth a listen.

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 5:20:37 AM::

~ Roman Forts Threatened

This is almost Pythonesque ... or perhaps it might appear as a response to the threat posed to some of the UK's prehistoric monuments by badgers (badger, badger, badger) ... in any event, the Telegraph reports bunnies are undermining a pile of Roman forts in Scotland and threatening to turn them into, well, piles:

Rabbits are threatening to destroy forts and watchtowers built by the invading Roman legions 2,000 years ago.

Archaeologists say burrows have undermined about 60 defensive sites in Scotland, and some structures are in danger of collapse.

The large fort at Ardoch, near Braco in Perthshire, established about 80AD, is one of the worst-affected sites.

Established more than 40 years before Hadrian's Wall, it is the earliest example of a Roman frontier fort in Britain and was one of the largest in the country, covering six acres.

Historians believe it was built at the time of the Battle of Mons Graupius, between the Caledonians and the forces of the Roman governor of Britain, Gnaeus Julius Agricola.

Hundreds of rabbits have now created burrows inside its defensive dirt ramparts.

David Woolliscroft, of Liverpool University, who has been working on the site for more than 15 years, said it was "only a matter of time" before it was damaged beyond repair.

"Rabbits have caused a visible deterioration in Ardoch even in the relatively short space of time I have been working there," he said.

"It is a similar story at Roman sites across Scotland. Some have already been devastated by the burrowing. The earliest forts were made of timber and turf, so they are ideal for rabbit warrens.

"Unfortunately, all that burrowing means the different layers of soil get jumbled together. As the archaeological deposits get churned up, it destroys our ability to understand the history of the site.

"Rabbit holes also open up the insides of the structure to the elements, which dramatically increases the damage done by wind and rain erosion.

"Ardoch is without question the best preserved Roman fort in Scotland, and it would be a tragedy if it too was to be destroyed by rabbits."

Mr Woolliscroft said that unless the population was brought under control, Ardoch would become "virtually useless" as an archaeological site.

Historic Scotland recently conducted an investigation into the damage done by rabbits and other mammals, and a spokesman said it was in negotiation with the owners of the fort in an attempt to reduce rabbit numbers.

"Many archaeological sites are protected by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act. Unfortunately the Act is not widely understood in Scotland's rabbit warrens," he said.

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 5:05:09 AM::

~ Reviews from BMCR

Andreas Bagordo, Reminiszenzen fruher Lyrik bei den attischen Tragikern: Beitrage zur Anspielungstechnik und poetischen Tradition. Zetemata, Heft 118.

Randall Baldwin Clark, The Law Most Beautiful and Best: Medical Argument and Magical Rhetoric in Plato's Laws.

Francesca Schironi, I frammenti di Aristarco di Samotracia negli etimologici bizantini.

Karol Mysliwiec, Eros on the Nile. Translated from the Polish by Geoffrey L. Packer.

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 4:55:24 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |HINT|  Hadrian's Wall
Why did the ancient Romans build a stone wall across England from sea to sea? This look at Emperor Hadrian's Wall suggests that it had to do with military necessity and the ego of Hadrian himself.

HINT = History International

::Tuesday, October 26, 2004 4:49:19 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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