Latest update: 1/1/2005; 8:25:55 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem iii kalendas januarias

  • 39 A.D. (?) -- birth of the future emperor Titus

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 7:35:57 AM::

~ Classical Words of the Day

Today's selection:

riposte @

pinguid @ Wordsmith (great word!)

syncretism @

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 7:32:54 AM::

~ Ancient Tsunamis

Over at N.S. Gill wonders about a tsunami which happened in 365 A.D. and hit Alexandria which is getting passing mention in the press, so I decided to poke around to see what's on the web about tsunamis in the ancient Mediterranean. Of course, the 'big one' would be the one associated with the eruption of Santorini, and which is probably associated with the end of the Minoan culture (and witnessing the devastation in South East Asia, I can't help but wonder whether 'Neptune's Horses' did not have a role, say, in the destruction of other cultures like that at Troy). It's pretty much the only one that gets serious mention on the web. There's also the one associated with the destruction of Helike in 373 B.C. (which I keep mentioning). Outside of those,  I have often wondered whether the 200 ships destroyed at Ostia in 62 A.D. in a "storm" were actually destroyed by a tsunami -- there was an earthquake in Pompeii in 62 as well.

 Any more suggestions?

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 7:26:51 AM::

~ Betty Schroeder

The Baton Rouge Advocate has a food column which today features Latin prof Betty Schroeder and links to some of her favourite recipes. Here's the 'feature' part:

Betty Schroeder is a woman of many interests. She teaches Latin at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond (but lives in Baton Rouge) ; she's a folk musician; she's a birder and butterfly gardener; and she's a gourmet cook. Her biggest fans are her husband, Chris, and their 19-year-old son, Luke.

"My mother was a wonderful cook," Betty Schroeder said. "I was interested in cooking. She didn't teach me, but I watched her cook."

Schroeder especially enjoys cold-weather cooking -- things in one big pot, like chili and soups, along with homemade bread. Often she incorporates items from her backyard vegetable garden, where she also grows fresh herbs.

And, she cooks from scratch. "My friends call me a food snob," said Schroeder, who doesn't use convenience products. Her pet peeve is spice blends, which can contain "mystery ingredients." She prefers her own seasoning combinations.

With a doctoral degree in the classical studies of Latin, Greek and classical history, Schroeder works hard to make the modern-day study of Latin as "fun as possible for the kids."

Her students translate the Latin classics, but they also learn from Latin translations of the works of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. One of her favorite teaching tools is liturgical songs.

"There's always something new in a song, some new grammatical construction," said Schroeder, who has even tried her hand at writing her own music.

Last year, as part of upper-level Latin studies, Schroeder did a course on ancient Roman cuisine. "I researched the literature to see if there was any mention of cuisine," she said.

The students did their own research for each to create one dish from ancient Rome. "They talked about what they had to do to come up with the ingredients," Schroeder said.

These days, Schroeder spends much of her free time converting her entire back yard into a garden, soon to be planted with native flowers and shrubs. It's already a bird sanctuary, filled with the songs of birds that she feeds each day. "I would no more miss their daily feeding than I would miss feeding my little dog," she said. [more]

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:58:43 AM::

~ Quintus Pedius the Artist

A review in the Boston Globe of a biography of artist John Brewster Jr. (who was deaf) mentions:

 Lane also shines in his extensive history of deafness and deaf artists, mentioning Quintus Pedius, the first recorded deaf artist, who painted for Julius Caesar ...

Well let's hope that Lane does actually shine, because here's what Pliny the Elder (NH 35.7.21 courtesy of Lacus Curtius) says about Pedius:

fuit et principum virorum non omittendum de pictura celebre consilium, cum Q. Pedius, nepos Q. Pedii consularis triumphalisque et a Caesare dictatore coheredis Augusto dati, natura mutus esset. in eo Messala orator, ex cuius familia pueri avia fuerat, picturam docendum censuit, idque etiam divus Augustus comprobavit; puer magni profectus in ea arte obiit.

Outside of the apparent inaccuracy of the claim of painting Julius Caesar, I'm genuinely curious: does being "mute" necessarily imply being deaf? Is the Latin term 'mutus' used also to indicated deafness?

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:54:32 AM::

~ IPods in the Classroom

A lengthy piece in the Globe and Mail about the sudden 'need' for IPods includes this tantalizing in passing comment:

At the Brearley School, a private school for girls on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Samantha is in the eighth grade, the iPod went from a "want" to a "must have" this year when its use was incorporated into foreign-language and classics courses. For about 300 girls in grades 7 through 12, the iPod is now required to do homework and classroom assignments.

So ... who's using IPods in their Classics courses? [Speaking of IPods, amicus noster PTR informed us of a service to provide RSS feeds via IPod and I did sign rc up for it; unfortunately I lost PTR's address to thank him (thanks!) and I can't find the darned site to check if it's gone through!]

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:38:03 AM::

~ Oded Golan Indicted

While this is the purview more of our Biblioblogger colleagues than me, rogueclassicism readers might be interested to know that Oded Golan and four others have been indicted on various fraud-related charges connected to forging antiquities. For our purposes, the most appropriate reference is that this is the group behind the so-called James Ossuary, but they're also connected to a few of the major 'discoveries' of the past while, including the Jehoash Inscription and that pomegranate relic which supposedly came from Solomon's Temple.  At this point, the AP story (via the Guardian) is providing what seems to be the most thorough coverage (although recent coverage from Ha'aretz adds another person to the indictment)... here's the incipit:

Four Israeli antiquities collectors and dealers were indicted Wednesday on charges they ran a sophisticated forgery ring that spanned the globe and produced a treasure trove of fake Bible-era artifacts, including some that were hailed as major archaeological finds.

Police said the ring forged what were presented as perhaps the two biggest biblical discoveries in the Holy Land in recent years - the purported burial box of Jesus' brother James and a stone tablet with written instructions by King Yoash on maintenance work at the ancient Jewish Temple.

Shuka Dorfman, head of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said the scope of the fraud appears to go far beyond what has been uncovered so far.

``We discovered only the tip of the iceberg. This spans the globe. It generated millions of dollars,'' Dorfman said. The forgers ``were trying to change history.''

Investigators warned that collectors and museums around the world could be in the possession of fakes, and scholars urged museums to re-examine items of suspicious origin. The forgery ring has been operating for more than 20 years, Dorfman said.

Scholars said the forgers were exploiting the deep emotional need of Jews and Christians to find physical evidence to reinforce their beliefs.

The indictments were announced at a joint news conference of the Antiquities Authority and the police, capping a two-year probe.

The forgers would often use authentic but relatively mundane artifacts, such as a plain burial box, decanter or shard, and boost their value enormously by adding inscriptions, Dorfman said. Then the forgers would try to recreate patina, or ancient grime, to cover the carvings, the indictment said.

The four men indicted were Tel Aviv collector Oded Golan, owner of the James ossuary and the Yoash tablet; Robert Deutsch, an inscriptions expert who teaches at Haifa University; collector Shlomo Cohen, and antiquities dealer Faiz al-Amaleh. The four are free on bail, police said. [more]

More in this weekend's Explorator, of course.

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:28:17 AM::

~ Father Foster

Again, family commitments have prevented me from listening to Father Foster this week (I'll hopefully get to it after my parents are on the plane later today), so here's the 'official description':

How did the Romans celebrate the New Year? Certainly not by making resolutions, rather by holding a sacrificial ceremony on the Capitoline hill to obtain the blessings of the gods. But only to request the essential things of life such as health, prosperity and peace!

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:16:23 AM::

~ Reviews from BMCR

Tobias Reinhardt, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Topica (edited with translation introduction, and commentary).

Barbara Feichtinger, Helmut Seng, Die Christen und der Körper. Aspekte der Körperlichkeit in der christlichen Literatur der Spätantike.

A. H. Sommerstein (ed.), Shards from Kolonos: Studies in Sophoclean Fragments.

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:14:20 AM::

~ More Firefox Stuff

A couple of more items for the Firefox crowd out there ... JP (thanks!) writes to inform me of the usefulness of the Needlesearch toolbar, which provides a means to usefully bookmark specific search engines (any search engine; in theory it could be done with specific sections of Perseus, e.g., but I'm still playing on that ... I suspect RS's plugins announced over at the Stoa a couple of weeks ago will remain the best way to handle Perseus). Outside of that, however, yesterday I somehow managed to come across this page at which outlines a simple way to make Firefox faster (only if you have a broadband connection)... not that it's slow, but it doesn't have the same speed that, e.g., Opera has. If you do what it says and you're on broadband, you'll notice an appreciable increase in the speed pages load (especially those which are image heavy). It definitely works!

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:10:21 AM::

~ Historia Augusta Online

I notice that amicus noster Bill Thayer has put the Loeb version of the Historia Augusta online at Lacus Curtius -- both English and Latin (although there are some gaps in the Latin at this point; the whole English thing is there).

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 5:59:14 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| The Roman Empire in North Africa

8.00 p.m. |HINT| Who Wrote the New Testament: What is Truth?
This is the story of a book, which at first sight is not very impressive--a collection of 27 compositions; and 21 of them letters. All were originally written in Greek. We do not have a single page or even the smallest scrap of any of the original writings. All we have are copies of copies written many years afterwards. And yet the impact of this book on the world is hard to exaggerate; impossible to measure. Christians have confidently revered the New Testament as authoritative--the word of God. But ours is a questioning age, and this series examines the truth behind the writings of the New Testament. Part 1 looks at the most famous quartet in history--Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Were they the men who wrote the four gospels? Who were they? Why did they write them and when? 

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

HINT = History International

::Thursday, December 30, 2004 5:54:02 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.

Publishing schedule:
Rogueclassicism is updated daily, usually before 7.00 a.m. (Eastern) during the week. Give me a couple of hours to work on my sleep deficit on weekends and holidays, but still expect the page to be updated by 10.00 a.m. at the latest.

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