~ Galen and Physical Training
An article in Runner's Web credits the ancients in general and Galen in particular with recognizing the value of 'periodization' in training ... inter alia:
The notion that proper periodization of training is necessary for the achievement of peak performance originated over 2000 years ago, when the "ancient Greeks" utilized basic, periodized training schemes to prepare their athletes for the Olympics. For example, the legendary Milo of Croton (not to be confused, of course, with the renowned Milo of Manchester) varied only the intensity of his training, lifting a bull-calf on a daily basis until it was fully grown, at which point Milo was able to lug the adult bull around the Olympic stadium. Another legendary figure, Galen (A. D. 129-199), was the first person to write at some length about periodization. A Turk born in Pergamum, Galen eventually became "doctor to the gladiators" in Rome and also took care of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his son, Commodus. Galen believed that there were various types of exercise which needed to be blended in order to enhance performance; he classified exercises into those which exercised the muscles without violent movement (digging and weightlifting, for example), quick exertions which promoted activity (ball play and a form of gymnastics), and "violent" exercises, the ones which might be today called "plyometrics."
::Sunday, December 26, 2004 9:39:58 AM::
~ Joseph Duveen and the Elgin Marbles
A lengthy piece in Ha'aretz about art promoter Joseph Duveen includes this interesting tidbit:
Duveen was an indefatigable self-promoter. He loved publicity and enjoyed seeing his name in the papers after setting a record price for the sale of this or another painting. But just as he sold respect and reputation to the wealthiest people in America, he also craved them for himself. He was knighted at a relatively early age, as was his father before him, and took pleasure in being on the board of trustees of the National Gallery of England. He saw nothing amiss with proposing to the gallery, in his capacity as an art dealer, that it purchase works in his possession. With naivete (whether feigned or not), he claimed he was losing on the transaction and that if he were to sell the panels in question to another buyer, the National Gallery would afterward purchase them at a higher price. Thus, despite his friendship with the royal family and with the prime minister at the time, Ramsay MacDonald, and despite even his esteem for Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his "peace in our time" promise, Duveen was not elected to another term on the board of trustees. However, he donated funds to establish a wing of the National Gallery in his name, as he did at the Tate, and in 1933, when he was made a peer, he chose the title Baron Duveen of Millbank, the area of London in which the Tate is located. He gave funds for the construction of a wing in the British Museum to install the Elgin marbles, but ensured that they would be cleaned and renovated to make them look "like new."
Folks who have been following the Elgin/Parthenon Marbles saga will recall that it was the 'cleaning' in the 1930's which are said to have damaged the Marbles.
::Sunday, December 26, 2004 9:36:01 AM::
~ Romans in China Update
T'other day we mentioned an article in the Economist all about a people's claim to have been descended from the Romans -- several folks sent me Economist passwords to view the piece (for which I'm grateful ... thanks to all!) but it turns out the piece has been replicated in several locations on the web, such as at soc.culture.india and talkaboutculture.com. Thanks to MH at Classics in Contemporary Culture for the heads up!
::Sunday, December 26, 2004 9:27:11 AM::
~ AWOTV: On TV Today
1.30 p.m. |HISTU| 480 BC: The Battle of Salamis
In 480 BC, the Golden Age began when the Greeks expelled the invading Persians at Salamis Bay, sinking 200 Persian ships while losing only 40 of their own. But as sphinxlike Greek politics go, the naval commander Themistocles is not only not rewarded for his victory, but is removed as Athens' leader for accepting bribes and hubris--or in other words, for being too arrogant and tempting the Gods. Step back in time and live amongst the ancient Greeks as we recreate this momentous point in history. Featuring exclusive in situ dramatizations and the latest in historical research.
2.00 p.m. |HISTU| Search for Troy
When Heinrich Schliemann finds the site of ancient Troy, the mythical past becomes scientific fact. Schliemann, a German grocer's son, made a fortune in California's gold fields before becoming an archaeologist. He dug for three years in modern Turkey, determined to prove that Hissarlik was the site of the Troy of the Homer's ancient epic The Iliad. In 1873, he discovered a glorious horde of treasure and opened the world's eyes to the wonders of the ancient past. The mythical world of the heroes of The Iliad had suddenly become reality. Travel back in time to the Trojan War, as we reconstruct the great city's glory with exclusive in situ dramatizations, the latest historical research, and recent location photography
2.30 p.m. |HISTU| 31 BC: The Battle of Actium
If Antony and Cleopatra had won the Battle of Actium, there would have been no Roman Empire. Yet Octavius Caesar's victory in 31 BC led to an absolute dictatorship that sparked one of the greatest imperial and cultural expansions the world has ever known. Each turning point in history is backed by a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. Join us for a trip through time as we recreate the Battle of Actium, featuring exclusive dramatizations and the latest historical research.
3.00 p.m. |HISTU| Spartacus
Movie. By 72 BC, the Roman Empire had swept across the European continent, conquering countries and selling the people into slavery. But one slave dared to take a stand. This is the story of Spartacus (Goran Visnjic), from the country of Thrace, who, after witnessing his father's brutal death and enduring being sold into slavery, swears to one day live again as a free man. Based on Howard Fast's acclaimed novel, the miniseries was filmed in Bulgaria and directed by Robert Dornhelm. The cast includes Alan Bates, Assen Blatechki, Ben Cross, Henry Simmons, Angus MacFadyen, and Rhona Mitra. (2004)
7.00 p.m. |HISTU| The Real Spartacus
Long before Stanley Kubrick's film starring Kirk Douglas, Spartacus had unwittingly become a mythological icon of resistance against oppression worldwide. We'll look at the real Spartacus, focusing on his struggle against Roman forces, his time as a gladiator, and his role in the infamous slave revolt against Rome in 73 BC, which convulsed the great empire for 2 years before the uprising was put down and 6,000 slave rebels were crucified along 150 miles of the Appian Way.
HISTU = History Channel (US)
::Sunday, December 26, 2004 9:21:31 AM::