~ Sentry Duty @ Laudator
Over at Laudator, MG has a nice W.H. Auden poem I'd never seen before evoking life as a Roman sentry ...
::Tuesday, December 14, 2004 5:32:07 AM::
~ ARLT Latin Audio
The ARLT blog alerts us to the existence of a pile of new audio recordings (of varying quality and in mp3 format) of various Latin texts aimed at various assignments/exams in the U.K., but obviously of interest to anyone who wants to hear latin. The ARLT posts are spread across three separate messages, so I'll gather the list of links here:
Seneca Letter 18
Seneca Letter 21
Seneca Letter 44
Aeneid 2, lines 10 to 56
Aeneid 2, lines 195 to 317
Horace Satires 1.6, lines 111 to 131
Horace Odes 3.13
Ovid Metamorphoses 4.55-166
Catullus 76, lines 13-26
... and a pile of Horatian Odes:
Ode 1, Maecenas, atavis edite regibus
Ode 2, iam satis terris nivis atque dirae
Ode 3, sic te diva potens Cypri
Ode 4, solvitur acris hiems
Ode 5, quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa
Ode 6, scriberis Vario fortis et hostium
Ode 7, laudabunt alii claram Rhodon
Ode 8, Lydia, dic, per omnis
Ode 9, vides ut alta stat nive candidum
Ode 10, Mercuri facunde nepos Atlantis
Ode 11, tu ne quaesieris
Ode 12, quem virum aut heroa lyra vel acri
Ode 13, cum tu, Lydia, Telephi
Ode 14, o navis, referent in mare te novi
::Tuesday, December 14, 2004 5:15:20 AM::
~ Parian Polyandria
Interesting item from the Hellenic News of America:
Soldiers' bones in urns-evidence of a forgotten battle fought around 730 BC. Did these men perish on their island home of Paros, at the center of the Aegean Sea, or in some distant land? The loss of so many, at least 120 men, was certainly a catastrophe for the community, but their families and compatriots honored them, putting the cremated remains into large vases two of which were decorated with scenes of mourning and scenes of war. Grief-stricken relatives carried the urns to the cemetery next to the ancient harbor in Paroikia, the island's chief city and placed them in two monumental cist graves.
Excavation of the ancient cemetery began after its discovery during construction of a cultural center in the mid-1980s. It proved to be a veritable guidebook to changing funeral practices, the cemetery yielded up seventh and sixth c. BC burials in large jars, fifth-century marble urns and grave stelae, and Hellenistic and Roman marble sarcophagi on elaborate pedestals. But the two collective burials of soldiers from the late eighth century are the most important of the finds; as the earliest such burials (polyandria) ever found in Greece [dated 240 years earlier that the Marathon polyandrion of 490 BC] their very existence offering evidence for the development of city-states at this time.
By about 1050 BC the Late Bronze Age civilization of Greece had collapsed, and the great palace sites destroyed or abandoned. Many explanations for this have been proposed--invasion, internecine war, earthquake, drought, economic disruption--but none can be proved. Regardless, the old social system was gone. Kings, supported by a warrior caste and administrative officials, had ruled over a larger class of serfs. Now that was all swept aside.
On Paros, the island's main Late Bronze Age center in Paroikia, located at a hilltop site on the shore, was destroyed and then reoccupied in the tenth century, but was soon exceeded during the Geometric times by a growing town supported by the new harbor of Paroikia. The people prospered, for Paros is ringed with fertile coastal plains and its marble, of the highest quality, was famed throughout antiquity. But its real wealth came after Paros colonized the northern Aegean island of Thasos circa 680 BC, seizing its abundant timber and productive gold mines.
What sort of society did the late eighth and early seventh-century inhabitants of Paros and contemporary Greek cities have? The soldiers' burials in Paroikia offer some clues. Two out of the 140 vases, most of which could be dated to ca. 730 BC, show typical funeral scenes of the time. The rest of the vases are like similar pots found in individual graves in the Kerameikos, Athens' early cemetery, and elsewhere (just with Geometric designs).
One of the two vases with the figured scenes mentioned above, slightly older (dated to approximately 750 BC-was it a heirloom used for the burial?) than the other, captures the images of a skirmish with a warrior fighting from a chariot with dead combatants laying next to him, cavalry men in action (one of whom is mounted with a smaller round shield), and foot warriors one of whom carries a large figure-eight shaped shield (a type known to have been in use in the Late Bronze Age) while fighting with the sword, whereas an other carries a larger round shield (typical in size and shape of the shields to be used in phalanx formation). The other of the two vases with the figured scenes (dated to approximately 730 BC) captivates the themes of war and mourning, showing in a continuous narration the killing of a warrior in battle, fighting over his body, and laying out the corpse (in prothesis) before cremation. The body is laid out on a high bed or bier. Mourners stand alongside, women with both hands raised (perhaps tearing their hair) and men with one hand uplifted (possibly in a gesture of grief or salute to the dead). The battle scene depicts the instance of a fight for claiming the body of a fallen warrior while cavalry men mounted with helmet, shied, and spear, supported by moderately equipped bowmen and flying arrows proceed against a team of lightly armed sling shouters, loading and throwing their missiles (the first and earliest time sling shouters are ever depicted in battle scenes in Greek vase paintings), situated in relative vanguard yet in formation with a larger group of heavily armed foot warriors each carrying two spears and a round shield, called the hoplon, the same basic type that would be used throughout the Classical period and would give its name to the citizen-soldier, the hoplite. Moreover, the soldiers are depicted acting in unison.
In the Late Bronze Age, elite members of society fought on foot or from a chariot, using a throwing spear, sword, and large figure-eight or rectangular "tower" shields. Hoplites, by contrast, were heavily armed infantry, equipped with a thrusting spear and sword, breastplate, greaves, closed helmet, and round shield or hoplon. But the difference was more than just what the soldiers carried, it was also in how they fought. War in the Aegean Late Bronze Age area was carried out in the form of individual duels rather than combat in organized formations; with hoplites came the tactic of fighting in close packed lines several men deep, known as the phalangeal pitched battle. The two vases from the Paroikia tombs show both older and newer fighting methods, recording an important change in society. [more]
::Tuesday, December 14, 2004 4:57:15 AM::
~ Cleopatra's Poisons and Ptolemaic Genealogy
T'other day I rejoined the Classics list (they're talking Classics again -- finally) to ask a question arising from a piece in the Sun, which, inter alia, cited precedents for the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko. Again, inter alia, they mentioned:
Cleopatra ordered that her brother Ptolemy be poisoned so she could claim the Egyptian throne.
The only Classical reference to Cleopatra's hand in this is Josephus, Antiquities 15.4:
NOW at this time the affairs of Syria were in confusion by Cleopatra's constant persuasions to Antony to make an attempt upon every body's dominions; for she persuaded him to take those dominions away from their several princes, and bestow them upon her; and she had a mighty influence upon him, by reason of his being enslaved to her by his affections. She was also by nature very covetous, and stuck at no wickedness. She had already poisoned her brother, because she knew that he was to be king of Egypt, and this when he was but fifteen years old; and she got her sister Arsinoe to be slain, by the means of Antony, when she was a supplicant at Diana's temple at Ephesus; for if there were but any hopes of getting money, she would violate both temples and sepulchers.
But even more interesting than that, further googling brought me to Chris Bennett's very impressive Egyptian Royal Genealogy site. There is a section devoted to the Ptolemies and clicking on "The Genealogies" will give you a nice Ptolemaic stemma, with each name hyperlinked. What's really impressive, though, is that each name has a pile of footnotes that are similarly hyperlinked to ancient sources and the like. Definitely worth a look ...
::Tuesday, December 14, 2004 4:50:30 AM::
~ JOB: Chair @ UDurham
Applications are invited for a Professorship in the Department of Classics & Ancient History, in one or more of Greek history; Roman history/culture; Greek/Roman visual/material culture. Two further appointments, at Lectureship level, are scheduled to be advertised once the profile of the new Professor is known.
The salary is negotiable within the Professorial range. The post is tenable from 1st August 2005, or the earliest date that can be arranged.
For informal discussion of the post, please contact Professor Christopher Rowe, Tel: +44 (0)191 334 1675, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Professor Edith Hall, Tel: +44 (0)191 334 1686, email@example.com
Further information and an application form are available on our website (http://www.dur.ac.uk/Personnel/vacancies/) or by contacting the Director of Human Resources, University of Durham, University Office, Durham DH1 3HP.
... seen on various lists
::Tuesday, December 14, 2004 4:36:34 AM::
~ New Classics Blogs
Blogographos alerts us to the existence of a new incipient blog (in Spanish) with a focus on the Classical Tradition named, appropriately enough, Tradicion Clasica. I also note (but can't remember how I happened upon it) a blog called Agnoscentia, which is the blog of a Latin teacher and comments on various things (not all related to Latin). We're already monitoring both ...
::Tuesday, December 14, 2004 4:34:25 AM::
~ AWOTV: On TV Today
11.00 p.m. |HINT| Pompeii: Buried Alive
Exploration of the archaeological site of the city that was encrusted by incendiary ash when deadly Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Archaeological director Baldasarre Conticello takes viewers on a tour of Pompeii's ruins, and visits Herculaneum, which was destroyed by Vesuvius at the same time.
HINT = History International
::Tuesday, December 14, 2004 4:28:48 AM::