Latest update: 12/2/2004; 4:51:21 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ Roman Reenacting

From the Ledger-Enquirer:

 Rusty Myers used to be a Civil War re-enactor, portraying Union soldiers, but he's traded his rifle and cap for armor, a shield and a spear.

Myers is one of a small but growing group of Roman re-enactors. A local group is staging a Roman encampment this weekend at Ghivens Ferry State Park in Dorchester County.

Myers, a Charleston police officer, said he drifted away from Civil War re-enacting because it became too political.

"It was just a lot of 'South shall rise again' going on there," he said. "We don't argue much about politics in Roman re-enacting. It really doesn't matter at this point."

When Myers is on an encampment, he uses the name Justus Rustius Longinus. This weekend's encampment will depict the life and times of Roman legionaries from the year 74 - roughly.

Myers said Roman re-enacting is relatively new and there are probably fewer than 500 participants around the country.

"We got a big influx when the movie 'Gladiator' came out," he said. "Any time there's a good sword and sandal movie, we get a lot of new interest."

Re-enactors don't have to know Latin, but it can help.

"Most of our drill is done in Latin. We base it on a tactical manual by Arrian," Myers said. "Sometimes we'll say the command loud in Latin but quiet in English so they know for sure what we'd like them to do."

Chris Nolan, a Savannah, Ga., firefighter, said he found the local re-enacting group on the Internet.

"I was actually stationed in Sicily for four years. I got to go to Rome and stand in the middle of the Coliseum," he said. "It really gave you a sense of history to stand in there among the ruins."

The encampment will feature gladiator games as well as exhibits of Roman-era pottery, blacksmithing and writing on papyrus, among other things.

::Saturday, November 13, 2004 8:09:12 AM::

~ Review from Scholia

Andrew Ford, The Origins of Criticism

::Saturday, November 13, 2004 8:01:27 AM::

~ Pliny Bloggius?

A column at Bellaciao pondering the reasons for suicide has this bit of ClassCon inter alia:

Human emotions are eternal. The horror one feels at the death by suicide of a friend is the same now, as it was two thousand years ago. Consider the following:

“Corellius Rufus is dead; and dead, too, by his own act! A circumstance of great aggravation to my affliction; as that sort of death which we cannot impute either to the course of nature, or the hand of Providence, is, of all others, the most to be lamented. It affords some consolation in the loss of those friends whom disease snatches from us that they fall by the general destiny of mankind; but those who destroy themselves leave us under the inconsolable reflection, that they had it in their power to live longer.

I keep thinking what a man, what a friend, I am deprived of. I sadly fear now, that I am no longer under his eye, I shall not keep so strict a guard over my conduct. Speak comfort to me then, not that he was old, he was infirm; all this I know: but by supplying me with some reflections that are new and resistless, which I have never heard, never read, anywhere else. For all that I have heard, and all that I have read, occur to me of themselves; but all these are by far too weak to support me under so severe an affliction.”

Of course, technology has changed in the intervening millenia. If Pliny, the Roman patrician, were writing today, he’d most likely be met with the equivalent of a Greek internet chorus of something like, “Oh Pliny get your own blog for the Gods’ sake!”

I think Pliny (the younger) would have been very much a blogger ...

::Saturday, November 13, 2004 7:59:38 AM::

~ Mythology Festival

From the Bowling Green Daily News:

Carla Criswell knows her students don’t have to travel to Greece to learn about mythology – they can bring Greece to them.

Criswell’s seventh-grade classes at Bowling Green Junior High School held a Mythology Festival on Friday, in which they all dressed up as certain gods and goddesses and made short presentations about their characters. Dressed in togas and carrying symbols representing their respective deities, the students were treated to Greek treats including cheese and “wine” – actually grape juice – throughout the day.

“I am the goddess of war, and also of wisdom and crafts,” said 12-year-old Will Newman, who was dressed as Athena. “Greeks worshiped me by building the Parthenon and statues to me. Reason rules me; I am not emotional or passionate.”

Most students wore togas made of bedsheets over their regular clothes; some went a little more elaborate. Grace Logsdon, 12, was wearing an ensemble of sheer cloth and dangling coins that jingled when she walked, which she said was her mother’s belly dancing costume. She was representing the Muses, seven goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences.

“(Mythology) was kind of boring in some parts, but it was mostly fun because I learned a lot,” Grace said.

Will said he had enjoyed the presentations. His costume, a bedsheet toga draped with a gold cloth over his shoulder and tied at the waist with gold rope, took him about 45 minutes to make, he said.

“I like mythology,” he said. “It was cool to see what (gods’ and goddesses’) powers are.”

Criswell, who was listening to presentations all day, said she was impressed with what she’d seen.

“They’ve done a really good job on their research and presentations,” she said. “Some went far and beyond what was expected, telling us about their character’s kids, marriages and how they were worshiped.”

Having the students dress up and enjoy food is a good way to help the mythology lessons – which she’s taught for three weeks now – sink in, Criswell added.

“It gets them away from the textbook,” she said.

::Saturday, November 13, 2004 7:52:27 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |HISTU|The True Story of Alexander the Great
334 BC--a 20-year-old military commander from Northern Greece set out to conquer the known world. During the next 12 years, King Alexander of Macedon led 40,000 troops more than 20,000 miles, defeated the world's most powerful ruler, King Darius of Persia, and conquered West Asia before dying at age 32. In a 3-hour special, host Peter Woodward explores the true story of Alexander the Great--a tale of conquest, love, hate, revenge, and ultimately tragedy. He visits locations of Alexander's youth, temples dedicated to Greek gods where Alexander sought divine counsel, and actual battlefields, as well as demonstrating his signature battle plans and weaponry. How could one man accomplish so much at such a young age? What led to his demise? These questions drive our analysis of Alexander's complex character, delicately balanced between genius and insanity.

11.00 p.m. |HISTU|   Ancient Civilizations
In this hour, we study sex in the ancient world--from Mesopotamians, who viewed adultery as a crime of theft, to Romans, who believed that squatting and sneezing after sex was a reliable method birth control. We also look at revealing Egyptian and Greek practices--from the origins of dildos, to intimate relations between Egyptian gods and goddesses, to the use of crocodile dung as a contraceptive.

HISTU = History Channel (US)

::Saturday, November 13, 2004 7:46:02 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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