Latest update: 12/2/2004; 4:51:55 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem viii kalendas decembres

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 5:39:31 AM::

~ Father Foster

Amidst all the Alexander-babble I haven't had a chance to listen to Father Foster's latest, so I'll cut and paste the 'official description':

Born in 1405 Pope Pius II once had a fortress built in the hills above Rome to stop a Turkish invasion. But he didn’t just stop at that, he also used his brilliant knowledge of the Latin language to better foment Christians against the invaders...

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 5:34:35 AM::

~ Unplundered Mycenean Tomb

From Kathimerini:

An unplundered family grave, dating back over 3,000 years, has been discovered in the southern Peloponnese, the Culture Ministry said yesterday.

The Mycenaean chamber tomb, an artificial cave dug into the soft rock, was found during terracing work on a knoll near the village of Peristeri, some 47 kilometers southeast of Sparta. It contained the skeletons of nine adults and a child, and was furnished with grave goods made of clay, bronze and semiprecious stones — including a steatite seal-stone, a bronze razor and a pair of tweezers used by Mycenaean women to pluck their eyebrows. The child’s bones were ringed with upturned vases.

The finds, tentatively dated to between 1340 and 1050 BC, were extracted during a feverish dig carried out around the clock for security reasons, in which state archaeologists and laborers were helped by local residents.

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 5:30:12 AM::

~ Hebe Controversy

From the Albany Democrat-Herald comes another tale of people with too much time on their hands:

She may not be as well known as Athena, the goddess of wisdom, or Aphrodite, the goddess of love, but Hebe, the ancient Greek goddess of youth, is at the center of a flap in Roseburg, worlds away from Mount Olympus.

At issue are the plans by city boosters to place a statue of Hebe in a city park to replace one that stood downtown almost a century ago, until it was toppled in a mishap with horses.

But some in the town see the goddess — often depicted bearing a goblet of intoxicating nectar — as a bad example for the youth of Roseburg.

"She is offering an intoxicant to the gods,'' resident Dick North told The Oregonian. "She doesn't uphold morality. We need to have a better model for the community's youth.''

Opponents are also worried that a statue of Hebe would offend Christians and foster goddess worship.

The original Hebe in Roseburg was the brainchild of the city's Women's Temperance Union and a group that later became the Roseburg Women's Club. The two groups chose Hebe as a way to promote the benefits of water over whiskey.

The 12-foot-high fountain, which had water spigots at a height for people to drink and a lower catch basin for dogs and horses, also marked the boundary between the "wet'' and "dry'' sides of town.

Until recently, attempts to bring back Hebe had failed. But in 2002, the Roseburg City Council voted unanimously to allow a group to raise money for a new statue to be placed about a block from the original perch.

This time, though, the statue ran into some stiff opposition. So far, about 150 people have signed an anti-Hebe petition — about half from Roseburg and the rest from outlying towns in Douglas County.

Two weeks ago, though, the City Council voted 4-3 to allow the statue to go forward if supporters raise the needed money by the end of next year.

Hebe backers are reinvigorated, said Thomas Whitney, a member of the fund-raising committee. Pledges and cash now top $10,000 toward a goal of at least $15,000 or possibly up to $30,000 for a different design.

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 5:25:17 AM::

~ Edith Hall on Slavery

Nice little feature from the Miami Student:

Professor Edith Hall, a professor at the University of Durham, explored how ancient Roman and Greek slaves were psychologically affected by death on Friday.

A handful of students, professors and local residents attended the lecture entitled "Ancient Slavery and Psychological Death."

"The prospect of death must have seemed very close to a slave," Hall said.

Hall said flogging, beating, threatening with castration and sexual abuse were some of the abuses slaves endured.

"The pressing reality of slavery is very hard for us to grasp or even imagine," Hall said.

She said it is important to consider what was happening inside the individual slave, as well as other issues in the slave’s life.

"Many slaves lived in perpetual fear of death," Hall said. "Confrontation of internal issues is just as important as the external."

Hall said dream analysis is helpful for accessing understanding the psyche of ancient slaves.

"A free person’s dreams have many interpretations," she said. "If you dreamt you were dead that was actually good, because it meant the complete reverse of what you actually would end up being. In this case, it meant you would be freed."

Hall said slaves often wanted to be dead, believing they would return home after death.

"They couldn’t serve if they were dead, because they would be killing the economic power," she said.

Hall also said flying dreams were common, which symbolized running away.

She said it was a good sign if animals such as the cuttlefish showed up, as it would serve in helping escape.

If slaves dreamt of being born, it meant they would be regarded with affection by their master.

Senior Anne Reidmiller said this event was a big deal for the classics department.

"It brings in a lot of people from different backgrounds," Reidmiller said. "Dr. Hall did a really good job of making the topic have a broad appeal."

The lecture was sponsored by the department of classics at Miami University as part of the John W. Altman Humanities Scholar-in Residence program.

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 5:16:57 AM::

~ What to do with a Classics Degree

I suspect Susan Greenfield is more well-known in the UK than she is elsewhere (I've never heard of her), but a little feature on her in the Guardian includes an interesting tidbit for those pondering what to do with a Classics degree:

Greenfield had an eclectic education. She is from London, where her parents, an electrician and a dancer, encouraged her to follow her own desires. Through the example of their mixed marriage - her father is Jewish, her mother not, which in the 1940s caused no end of aggravation - taught her about rebellion. She recalls her mother being "very rude" about those of her friends' parents who tried to bribe their children to exam success, by promising them bikes or dolls if they performed well. "Mum said, 'No, do it if you enjoy doing it, if you don't, don't - I'll give you presents anyway.' That was very shrewd, showing me to do it for its own sake."

She won a place to read classics at Oxford and, after graduating, changed track and took up science. It was a natural intellectual progression from the work she had done in psychology. It did not occur to her that her talents might be limited to one side of the arts/science divide; but neither, she says, was she a genius. Her greatest gift is self-confidence. "It was a bit like a kid throwing himself off a high diving board without thinking what he's doing. Yeahwellyoujustgetonwithit."

These days, her parents don't understand in any detail what she does at work. But they find the whole razzmatazz element of her life "amusing and slightly baffling. They are hugely proud." She withstood a media frenzy when she split up from her husband, Peter Atkins, a chemistry professor, but Greenfield is more irked by being casually underestimated in the press.

She's a neuroscientist ...

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 5:15:49 AM::

~ Athens Subway

Nice piece in the Telegraph about balancing archaeology and progress in the construction of the Athens subway:

Yards from the backed-up traffic on one of Athens's busiest commuter streets, rough hewn cobblestones the size of a man's fist are posing George Leoutsakos a problem.

Flanked by upright slabs of rock, these cobbles are part of the Iera Odos, the ancient Sacred Way linking Athens to Eleusis where, from 1500BC, initiates sought a glimpse of the mysteries of the afterlife with sacrifices to the goddess Demeter and to Hades, god of the Underworld.
A metro station in Athens
In construction of the Athens's metro, the value of the old is being weighed against the needs of the new

This section of the Iera Odos has not been revealed by a careful archaeological dig, however. Mr Leoutsakos is directing extensions to the Athens metro, and the ancient cobbles were unearthed by a mechanical digger.

He has plenty of other hardware at his disposal: a fleet of concrete mixers, large cranes and tunnel-boring machines which slowly eat their way through the Athens's underground like vast worms.

But all the hydraulics in the world will not shift the Sacred Way from the path of George Leoutsakos and the future metro station of Egaleo. As so often in the construction of the Greek capital's public transport system, the value of the old is being weighed against the needs of the new.

On a computer simulation run in his Athens office, Mr Leoutsakos shows how Egaleo will eventually look. Where there is now a hole, 100 feet deep, an escalator neatly punches its way through a marble tiled municipal square. Just in front of it, on the screen, the uncovered stretch of the Sacred Way is shown preserved under glass.

"We actually wanted to have the station there," said Mr Leoutsakos, pointing to the Sacred Way. "But it's one of the oldest roads that exist. So we moved the station."

While Egaleo station was moved without too much fuss, other stations have not been so lucky. Another planned stop on the metro's western extension was scrapped when archaeologists complained that the tunnels would damage ancient tombs.

"We had paid all the money but were told, 'Bad luck, please delete this station,'" said Mr Leoutsakos.

The need to preserve antiquities increases cost and time, he pointed out. "And with any sensitive area, there's a two-year delay before you can even touch the construction."

The Athens metro dates back to 1891, but until 1990, the electric railway line linking the port of Piraeus to the gentrified northern suburb of Kifissia marked the extent of the system.

Then, in 1991, the construction of two new lines began in the heart of a city famed as an archaeological treasure trove. Within a decade, more than 10 miles of tunnels had been dug, and the first of 20 new stations were coming into service.

The project also became the biggest archaeological dig in Greek history, with more than 50,000 objects recovered. This extra work amid the excavations sent budgets ballooning by an estimated £30 million. While teams of men in hard hats worked the pneumatic drills, hordes of beady-eyed experts from the ministry of culture surveyed their every move. Of 41 construction sites, 16 were deemed highly sensitive. "We had archaeologists working around the clock," said Mr Leoutsakos. "They had all kinds of scanners to detect possible risks."

To the frustration of the builders, Syntagma station, in front of the country's parliament, was put on hold for 20 months. At another station, Monastiraki, building was delayed for 11 years.

"Engineers count in weeks - archaeologists in centuries. That sums up the difference in mentality," he said.

Despite all the hold-ups, building work has just got under way on three new extensions, adding another 19 stations to the metro by 2009, and Mr Leoutsakos conceded that this offered the archaeologists fresh opportunities.

"It's a fabulous chance for them," he said. "No state would give them billions to do their digging. But if you want to build a station, a few things do get broken on the way. Sometimes you have to take a bulldozer and raze everything. It doesn't sound nice, but you only destroy a tiny fraction of what's there. Archaeologists think they rule the world. But life goes on."

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 5:09:08 AM::

~ Alexander Roundup III

Well ... today's the day when the movie hits the theatres for rabble like me (I won't be going for a while, alas), so there's quite a bit of stuff to wade through, roundup-wise. We'll begin with an excerpt from a piece from the Star-Telegram which considers why Alexander was 'Great':

"There's a weird Alexander mania setting in," notes author and professor Guy MacLean Rogers, who wrote "Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness." "We're living in dangerous times, and there's a strong desire to believe there are superheroes out there. Unlike most, who are animated, Alexander was real."

Ian Worthington, a professor of Greek history at the University of Missouri, Columbia, agrees.

"After Jesus Christ, he's the most famous figure in antiquity because of everything he did and everything he was."

Wow. What a man.

So, who was Alexander and why was he so great? We offer a royal run-down.

• He was nothing if not ambitious: In less than a decade, Alexander succeeded his father, Phillip II, who was murdered. He then conquered the largest empire in the history of the ancient Near East, stretching from Greece to India and from Afghanistan to Egypt.

• But ...: Along the way, he killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and soldiers, which makes him more of a mass murderer than a philosopher-king in the eyes of some historians.

Alexander demolished entire towns, killing the men and selling the women and children into slavery. He was an alcoholic who believed he was a god and developed a paranoia that led him to kill his own men when they criticized him.

• Well, he was a forward-thinker: Alexander set the stage for Western civilization, including the world's three major religions.

He established city-states in every territory and brought a unifying language -- Greek -- to the masses. In turn, Greek culture spread throughout Asia, as did trade and the sharing of ideas.

"There is no question that he opened the East to the West and vice versa," Worthington says. "You could argue the legacy was 'great' because he laid the foundations for culture, literature, history and economics that came after him."

But ultimately his legacy was "pitiful," because after his death the empire he worked so hard to create disintegrated, Worthington added. Bloody civil wars followed, and the lands were cut up by ambitious generals. There was no heir.

• A descendent of Zeus? A sort of messianic Napoleon, Alexander's megalomania was justified, at least to him, by his lineage to Achilles, the mighty Greek warrior, through his mother, Olympias. He carried a copy of Homer's "Iliad" until his death in 323 B.C.

Like Achilles, Alexander was ferocious, undeterred by war elephants at the Battle of the River Hydaspes or the fact that his army was always outnumbered. He had an uncanny ability to visualize how a battle would unfold by analyzing the area's topography and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents.

"No one who came up against him survived," says Rogers, a professor of history and classics at Wellesley College. "Some historic figures were good at fighting. Others were great leaders or strategists. The thing so amazing about Alexander was that he was all of those."

• Teacher's pet: Aristotle tutored Alexander from the time the would-be king was 14, and he advised Alexander to treat the people he conquered with care. Nowhere was that more apparent than with the Persians.

In order to legitimize his rule over them, Alexander dressed in their clothing, preserved their traditions and married several royal Persian women, including King Darius' daughter, Barsine, with the intention of creating the first mixed ruling class.

In 332 B.C., Alexander even put a woman, Ada, in charge of Caria, a strategically-important stronghold along the coast of Asia Minor. It was a move unprecedented in Greco-Macedonian history.

• International man of mystery: Despite a harem of 365 women and his three marriages, many believe Alexander was a homosexual because of his intimate relationship with Hephaestion, a lifelong friend. And then there was Bagoas, a young Persian eunuch given to him as a gift by Nabarzanes, a Persian commander. Alexander kissed Bagoas in a public festival to wild applause.

But back then, Rogers argues, bisexual relationships were fashionable, especially among the elite. Alexander's father had two male companions of his own.

"They didn't even have the language to differentiate (sexuality) back then," Rogers explains. "Whatever Alexander's passion or desire pointed to, that's where it led him. Men, women, war."

Even the great die young: Every element of Alexander's life was complex and mysterious, including his untimely death at 32.

Most scholars believe he died of a severe fever, but others say he was poisoned. It's also possible he died of acute alcohol poisoning.

We may never know the answer, because Alexander's corpse is missing. Shortly after his death in Babylon, his body was hijacked to Alexandria, Egypt, and has never been recovered.

"Finding his sarcophagus (tomb) is the dream of every historian," Rogers says. "It would unfold the biggest mystery in antiquity."

There's also an interesting little editorial from Kathimerini:

Worshiped though he was by various nations and peoples as a god or precursor of the Messiah, Alexander was no saint; for no one can achieve saintly status if he exists and acts within the context of history.

When we create hagiographies of a man who lived a short but turbulent life full of passion, we do nothing but shun the historical evidence for the sake of an unconvincing national expediency. When we sue a director before we have even had a chance to see his controversial movie, we only demonstrate that we are not interested in free art but rather in propagandistic, conformist and obedient art; that is, non-art. In any case, the attempt to criminalize myth-making around a commander whose life and achievements gave birth to countless myths is ludicrous.

Leaving aside the various myths that have been conjured up to immortalize Alexander, we also have history; history which was written by men, that resists criticism from the self-styled, pure-blooded Greeks of today or from the anachronistic builders and guardians of a creation that never was real. Plutarch, of course, was not an enemy of Greece, nor did he wish to deconstruct the myth of Alexander when, in his biography of the commander, he described what followed the death of Hephaestion: “Then seeking to alleviate his grief in war, he set out, as it were, to a hunt and chase of men, for he fell upon the Cossaeans, and put the whole nation to the sword.”

In order to overcome his grief, in other words, Alexander went on a killing spree to wipe out an entire nation by exterminating its adult population.

It’s hard to see how the hagiography can jar with Alexander’s lethal action. Clearly, Alexander was not just a war machine or a man prey to his passions. But surely, as Plutarch showed, he was a leader who could be cruel as well as merciful.


Of course, we also are getting a pile of reviews, almost all of which are overwhelmingly negative ... just check out the headlines:

'Alexander' unlikely to conquer audiences (Wicita Eagle)

‘Alexander' is an epic disappointment (MSNBC)

'Alexander' far from great (CNN)

Lofty 'Alexander' falls short (Gazette)

'Alexander' the Great: Barely even mediocre (USA Today)

'Alexander' is ambitious and sweeping but flawed (Citizen-Times)

'Alexander' great except for Farrell (Washington Times)

... but the 'best' of the negative reviews has to be the New York Post, which has this assessment as an incipit:

BUTT- and mind-numbing, Oliver Stone's three-hour "Alexander," like the equally silly "Troy," underscores just what an accomplishment "Gladiator" was four years ago.

It's tough to get contemporary audiences involved in a sand-and-sandals epic even if they have great battle scenes - especially if your leading man looks foolish and he spouts howlers in almost every other scene.

Brad Pitt may have resembled a surfer on a day off as Achilles in "Troy," but at least he had real blond hair.

Sporting a dreadful blond pageboy and a micro-mini toga while exchanging come-hither looks with his mascara-loving childhood pal, Hephaistion (Jared Leto), Colin Farrell looks more like Alexander the Fabulous than Alexander the Great. Embracing Alexander's bisexuality - though not to the point of actual guy-on-guy action - is the only subversive element in this otherwise surprisingly old-fashioned and plodding epic by the once-maverick Stone.

The only positively-spun review I've seen so far is in the Lincoln Journal-Star; being married, I'm not sure if the assessment of New York Metro that it's a "damn good date movie" is a good thing (I couldn't convince my wife to go to Troy ... not sure if this one will work either).

On other fronts, Robin Lane Fox continues to get press attention, first in a longish chatty piece in the Washington Post; at the Statesman-Journal he is paraphrased in one of those 'all about Alexander' things:

How good of a soldier was he?

No one seems to disagree on this; biographer Robin Lane Fox (adviser to Stone) says Alexander would have whipped Julius Caesar or Napoleon and was a warrior and strategist of incomparable skill.

More tomorrow, I'm sure ...

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 5:06:53 AM::

~ Classical Stalker?

Bizarre little tidbit from Newsday from the trial of some guy accused of stalking Sheryl Crow :

In a profanity-laced videotaped statement made the night after his arrest and shown yesterday, Kappos compared himself to Odysseus, the Trojan war hero of Homer's "Odyssey," and says Crow was his Penelope, waiting for him.

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 4:36:51 AM::

~ Roof Collapse at Iraklion Museum

The CBC picks up a brief AP Wire story:

A section of the roof of the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion on the island of Crete collapsed, authorities said Tuesday, reportedly damaging artifacts more than 3,000 years old.

The collapse was discovered after the museum opened early Monday, the Culture Ministry said, adding that it had ordered an "emergency investigation" into the incident.

The ministry gave no details and museum officials were not available for comment. But the Athens daily To Vima said several ceramic vases dating from the early Minoan era - around 1,900 BC - had been smashed.

The vases reportedly damaged were discovered at a Minoan palace in the Cretan seaside town of Zakros. British archeologist David George Hogarth began the excavations in 1901, and they were followed by more systematic digs in the 1960s by Greek archeologist Nikolaos Platon.

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 4:33:41 AM::

~ Review from H-Net

Published by (November, 2004)

Donald Kagan. _The Peloponnesian War_. New York: Penguin Books, 2003.
xxvii + 494 pp. Maps, index. $15.00 (paper), ISBN 0-142-00437-5.

Reviewed for H-War by Janice J. Gabbert, Department of
Classics, Wright State University.

Inhuman Perfection

All human beings are imperfect, of course, but some attain near perfection in a particular endeavor. Thucydides, the Athenian general who wrote the history of the long war between Athens and Sparta, was such an individual. His approach to the writing of history is still the standard to which later writers aspire. Although his careful recounting of facts and astute analysis is indeed open to criticism or questioning in places, no modern historian would be insulted to be compared to him.

Donald Kagan, who has spent a good part of his adult life studying Thucydides, can be favorably compared to the ancient master. This book is as near a perfect recounting of the Peloponnesian War for a modern audience as can be had. It is derived from and is, in some sense, a summary of his masterful four volume scholarly treatment of the subject.[1] It also benefits from Kagan's more recent comparative study of wars in _The Origins of War_ (1995), where he analyzes the similarities in the Peloponnesian War, World War I, the Second Punic War, World War II, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Obviously, Kagan is a historian without adjective, as well as an accomplished ancient historian.

Thucydides presents considerable difficulties for the modern reader. The first problem, especially for younger readers, is his formal and rhetorical writing style. Many a student has complained to me, "but his sentences are so long!" To which my initial riposte is "you ought to try him in the original Greek! The translator has broken most of them up for you!" Thucydides must be read more slowly and carefully than is the modern custom. His original audience was quite familiar with long, detailed argument.

The second and larger difficulty is the nature of the subject itself, which admits of no easy solution. The war broke out after several years of protracted threats, counter-threats, and diplomatic efforts to avoid it; it lasted for twenty-seven years, and a lot can happen in nearly three decades. Both Athens and Sparta were leaders of large alliances: the total number of allies on each side is not known, but there were at least thirty or forty Spartan allies and probably several hundred Athenian subjects/allies. Each of these had their own interests; some within each alliance did not like each other very much and were constantly seeking advantage over their greater and lesser opponents. And some changed sides, or were encouraged to do so often. In addition, each city in this large cast of characters had two or more political factions within it which had different goals with regard to the war and against each other internally. Also, over the course of thirty years, the individ
 uals in prominent positions in each city changed many times. It is complicated. In short, this is not a story which can be read quickly in one sitting, no matter who is writing it.

In this book, Kagan essentially has paraphrased and rewritten Thucydides, with commentary. The commentary is extremely valuable, and flows seamlessly with the narrative. He explicates parts of the story where Thucydides is terse, and he asks questions and provides analysis where appropriate. He is willing to make judgments, cautiously and fairly. It will be useful to quote from the preface of the fourth volume of his scholarly treatment of the subject: "no one who aims to write a history rather than a chronicle can avoid discussing what might have happened; ... historians interpret what they recount, that is, they make judgments about it. There is no way that the historian can judge that one action or policy was wise or foolish without saying, or implying, that it was better or worse than some other that might have been employed, which is, after all, 'counterfactual history'.... I believe that there are important advantages in such explicitness: it puts the reader on notice t
 hat the statement in question is a judgment, an interpretation, rather than a fact, and ... [it makes] clear that what really occurred was not the inevitable outcome of superhuman forces but the result of decisions by human beings and suggesting that both the decisions and their outcomes could well have been different" (p. x).

Kagan tells the story chronologically; it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The book is divided into thirty-seven chapters, organized into seven parts. Coincidentally, the text of Thucydides is divided into eight books, with the last incomplete, but the division here is not exactly according to the books (scrolls) of Thucyides' work. The treatment is thorough: the political, diplomatic, military, economic and social aspects of the war are all discussed, often in considerable detail. There are twenty-nine maps which are, for the most part, excellent and absolutely essential for most readers. The reader would be well advised to consult the maps carefully and often.

In his analysis of causes and motives, Kagan is not afraid to disagree with Thucydides, who rather admires Nicias most of the time {Kagan is less impressed) and despises Cleon (who is somewhat rehabilitated by Kagan). We all like to play Monday morning quarterback or armchair general, to announce what they should have done (with hindsight which is 20/20) and Kagan is no exception; moreover, he does a very good job of it. Political and military strategy and tactics are critiqued thoroughly, to good effect, although the reader may not agree with all analyses. This is the value of a little judicious counterfactual history: what else could they have done? And why did they not? His dissection of the Sicilian Expedition is masterful, and the narration of the final disaster emotionally spellbinding.

There are a few imperfections. The maps do not include all that a reader might wish. The south Italian city of Sybaris is discussed in connection with the pre-war founding of the city of Thurii by the Athenians (p. 20). One can find Thurii on several maps, but not Sybaris (it was near Croton before it was destroyed). Map 19 elucidates the battle of Mantinea in 418, which is discussed at some length (p. 231). The map has seven boxes labeled _katavothra_ and the word is nowhere translated or defined. It is a sinkhole. Although there is a four-page discussion of sources at the end, which mentions some modern works, there is no bibliography as such; the reader is referred to Kagan's four-volume scholarly work for a full bibliography.

This book is written for the layman and can be read by non-experts, although it remains necessarily a complicated subject. It is extremely well written, even exciting in places, and as the author promised in the introduction, "a powerful tale": "the story of the Peloponnesian War is a powerful tale that may be read as an extraordinary human tragedy, recounting the rise and fall of a great empire, the clash between two very different societies and ways of life, the interplay of intelligence and chance in human affairs, and the role of brilliantly gifted individuals as well as masses of people in determining the course of events while subject to the limitations imposed on them by nature, by fortune, and by one another" (p. xxvii).


[1]. Donald Kagan, _The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War_ (Ihaca: Cornell University Press, 1969); _The Archidamian War_ (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974); _The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition_ (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981); and _The Fall of the Athenian Empire_ (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987).

Copyright © 2004 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the Reviews editorial staff at

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 4:31:42 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |DISCU| Alexander the Great: Murder Unsolved
Unravel one of the strangest mysteries of ancient times, the suspicious death of history's most extraordinary leader, Alexander the Great. Experts attempt to decipher if his early death at age 32 was caused by disease, excessive drinking or even murder.
8.00 p.m. |HINT| Cities of the Sea and Wind
In between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, three coastal cities on the shore of the Mediterranean (Sabrata, Leptis Magna, and Oea--better known as Tripoli) comprised the rich Roman province Tripolitania. Thanks to advanced digital reconstruction, we watch the Forum of Leptis Magna come to life again. The Forum was already famous in ancient times for the Severan Bascilica, one of the largest buildings ever erected.  
8.30 p.m. |HINT| Secrets of the Island of Minos
Around 1500 BC, the great Minoan civilization thrived on the islands of Minos (modern-day Crete) and Thera (modern-day Santorini, for St. Irene, protectress of the island) in the eastern Mediterranean. An ancient architect conducts a virtual guided of the legendary sites at Akrotiri, Phaistos, Ayía Triáda, and Knossos culminates in a visit to the palace of King Minos, famous for its legendary labyrinth.

9.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Ancient Evidence: Who is Paul?

10.00 p.m. |NGU| Naked Science: Atlantis

11.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ancient Monster Hunters
One-breasted female warriors; the one-eyed, man-eating Cyclops; the ferocious griffin, part bird, part lion. Were these creatures, celebrated by the ancient Greeks and immortalized by Homer, something more than myth? Join the hunt with some of today's leading paleontologists as we explore newly-translated evidence and examine remains that may link the Greek classical age with earth's prehistoric past. New data suggests that the ancients searched for, excavated, measured, and displayed massive fossils.

Channel Guide

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 4:29:41 AM::

~ Apologies

Apologies once again for the lack of updates yesterday; I hope no one went through withdrawal. I wish I could have said I was attending some major conference (like the biblioblog gang is), but no ... report cards were due and proofreading needed to be done. On the upside, there's certainly quite a bit to read today ...

::Wednesday, November 24, 2004 4:25:56 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.

Valid HTML 4.01!

Valid CSS!

Site Meter

Click to see the XML version of this web page.