Latest update: 4/7/2005; 2:14:23 PM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem xix kalendas februarias

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:59:48 AM::
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~ Classical Words of the Day

Slim pickings today:

heirophant @ also claims its 'topicbook' of the day is a bunch of Latin phrases, but the topicbook link itself doesn't work. The two exempla phrases do work, however:

ad calendas graecas (!)

nemo malus felix 

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:56:24 AM::
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~ Wondering About Elektra

I've been pondering Jennifer Garner's latest flick and Ashbury Park Press does answer the question (I'm sure others wondered too):

Otherwise, it is a humorless, plodding movie, with a ton of style and high-minded ideas, but a ton of attitude, too. Garner's Elektra, based on a comic book heroine (drawn from the classic Greek Electra of Sophocles), is a killing machine out to dispatch of evil people connected to a dreaded society.

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:51:22 AM::
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~ Another Alexander Mosaic?

The Turkish Daily News has a letter to the editor by Yuksel Soylemez as follows:

The photo on the back page of the TDN on Jan. 11, 2005 under the title Seductive Image on Cake has consistently been erroneously described as the Gypsy Girl Mosaic by some illiterate experts. In fact, I believe there were no Gypsies in the Roman Anatolia of the second through fourth centuries A.D. and there exists, to this day, no other Gypsy mosaic. The 14th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 11, page 40 and 41, under Gypsies reads as follows: The first appearance of Gypsies in Europe cannot be traced further back than the beginning of the 14th century. ... Their appearance in the West, probably from Egypt, is first noted by historians early in the 15th century. ... Their language seems to be rooted in the extreme Northwest of India. ... They are called Tshingian in Turkey and Greece, Czigony in Hungary, Zigeuner in Germany, Zingari in Italy and Gitano in Spain.

  This impressive Zeugma Mosaic has been attributed, without any proof, to be Gypsy girl Gaia although "she" appears less like a seductive woman and more like a forceful and handsome-looking man, from an artistic and aesthetic point of view.

  Roman artists are known to have depicted mythological and historic figures, rather than ordinary people. The Gaziantep Museum more than adequately testifies to this.

  Art history and indeed Turkey's interests may be better served if this mosaic were more properly renamed, Alexander the Great.

I don't know ... it doesn't seem Alexanderish to me (perhaps just the part in the hair) but it also isn't a 'gypsy girl'. Judge for yourself at this page of mosaics from Zeugma (it's about half way down the page).

  Until this is proven incorrect, I am aware of many archeologists and historians, both professional and amateur, who consider this to be the case.

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:48:44 AM::
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~ Roman Mosaic Found

Hopefully we'll get more details of this (either in Italian or English) ... Basilicatanet is reporting (briefly) on the discovery of a first century Roman mosaic during the course of excavations on the Oppian Hill. It depicts five figures involved in a grape harvest ...

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:41:43 AM::
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~ Feuardent Cameo

From a Press Release:

The field of ancient art and antiquities is often filled with excitement and mystery. Take for example, the spellbinding story of the "Feuardent Cameo," one of the most prominent, beautiful and valuable examples of Roman jewelry known today, which was recently sold to a private collector by the Geneva Gallery of Phoenix Ancient Art. It was only after purchasing this exquisite piece, which is estimated to be nearly 2,000 years old, that Phoenix Ancient Art discovered that it was in fact a "last of its kind" from a legendary private collection.

"There is a lot of detective work involved in the antiquities field," says Ali Aboutaam, president of Phoenix Ancient Art, one of the world's foremost ancient antiquities dealers, which has galleries in Geneva, Switzerland and New York City. "You must always do extensive research to make sure a piece is authentic and legitimate, but sometimes you make a truly exciting find, like the Feuardent Cameo."

Phoenix Ancient Art purchased the cameo when it surfaced in the market in early 2004. As always, the gallery initiated a rigorous research process to ensure that it held up to their standards, was authentic and in good condition, and had legitimate provenance and proper importation documents. To insure that the piece wasn't stolen or looted, the gallery checked it against the Art Loss Registry. Phoenix Ancient Art's investigations are so thorough, that it offers clients a full guarantee should a legitimate question arise about a piece.

It was during this research that Phoenix Ancient Art discovered that the piece had been published and identified in Dr. Wolf-Rudinger Megow's authoritative reference work Cameos from Augustus until Alexander Severus. Dr. Megow is considered by scholars to be the world's foremost authority on ancient Roman Imperial cameos. With this finding, the gallery realized without a doubt that it now possessed the renowned "Feuardent Cameo," which had crowned the ancient jewelry collection of the aristocratic French Feuardent family for more than four generations.

According to Hicham Aboutaam, co-founder of Phoenix Ancient Art, "The fact that Feuardent's cameo was published in Megow's work is not only proof of its importance and authenticity, but also clear evidence that there are still numerous world class objects of ancient art that have been in private collections for decades and even centuries without having been widely published. The market still holds great potential for remarkable and beautiful surprises."

The cameo is a stunning piece carved in exquisite detail from a single piece of sardonyx. It is in pristine condition and features busts of a man and a woman. The facial characteristics of the male are rendered in such detail that he is easily identifiable as the Roman emperor Caligula. The female appears to be his grandmother, Antonia the Younger, with whom Caligula was said to have had a very close relationship. This would firmly date the cameo to within Caligula's reign, between 37 and 41 A.D.

In ancient Rome, wealthy citizens collected carved gems and cameos, which were highly prized due to the skill required to create them and were considered among the most popular luxury goods. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it became very fashionable in Europe to collect ancient cameos, as well as reproductions. Consequently, both ancient and modern pieces found homes in collections across Europe. Dr. Megow spent his career painstakingly studying and authenticating numerous cameos from around the globe, including pieces that are now on display at the British Museum, the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as well as pieces in private collections.

"We are always extremely diligent in checking a piece's authenticity," Ali Aboutaam says, "and in this case we were especially careful since so many reproductions were made in the 18th and 19th centuries. One can safely argue that Megow would only publish authentic pieces in his exhaustive work, and not reproductions."

The Feuardent cameo is arguably "the last of its kind," meaning that it is the only major cameo featured in Megow's reference work on the subject to remain in private hands.

The press release includes an address to send for a photo ...

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:38:17 AM::
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~ Lancaster Center for Classical Studies

Nice feature on the Lancaster Center for Classical Studies:

Ancient Greece and Rome are alive and well on Marietta Avenue.

About a dozen teens and preteens on Monday morning sat clustered around a table inside one of the street's large Victorian houses, engrossed in the story of Gaius Salvius Liberalis.

At that moment, the ancient Roman official was less than popular with the class.

As they translated the passage from Latin, the class booed Salvius' threat to kill a sick slave, and, later, his similar instructions regarding an unruly dog.

"This is typical Salvius," teacher Laurie Brown acknowledged.

 Brown helps preside over the growing number of students who are taking classes at the Lancaster Center for Classical Studies, a local nonprofit started five years ago by Brown and her husband, Peter.

The Browns, who charge tuition, offer courses in ancient Greek and Latin, with generous helpings of culture and linguistics mixed in.

In learning the languages, students translate stories about everything from life in ancient Pompeii to how slaves were treated on a Roman estate in Britain.

They take no tests or quizzes, but must demonstrate in class that they have mastered the material if they hope to move on to the next level.

The Center enrolls homeschoolers during the day, and public and private school students in the afternoon as an after-school activity.

Most students are about middle-school age, though the classes enroll students as young as 8, Mr. Brown said.

Among the couples' other pupils are a small group of adults, a college student doing a winter semester project and a class of mothers and their children.

Mr. Brown has a doctorate in classics and philosophy; his wife has a master's degree in Greek and Latin.

When the Center began, neither were working full time in the field.

What the Browns were doing was home-schooling their son and daughter. Parents of other local home-schooled students, aware of the Browns' academic backgrounds, began asking the couple to teach their children ancient languages.

Classes grew and grew, and this year the Browns decided to devote themselves full time to the Foundation.

The Browns taught 37 students last year. This year, they have 75 students and had 17 enrolled in a summer program.

Mrs. Brown also teaches a small Latin class at the Boys Club and Girls Club of Lancaster.

The apparent resurgence of interest in the classics has caught even the Browns by surprise.

"It's really extraordinary to me," Mrs. Brown said. "I think, if five years ago we set out to do this, we would not have met the response that we met at this time.

"There's not been one person that has asked me, 'Why would someone study Latin or Greek?' "

Not that learning Latin isn't practical.

About 65 percent of English vocabulary is Latin in origin, Mr. Brown said, and that figure rises to 90 percent for words of more than two syllables.

He thinks Latin's resurgence is due in part to a backlash against an increasing emphasis on standards and practicality in education.

"People began to see they were missing something, something was lacking in the curriculum," he said.

Not everyone, however, has such fond memories of Latin.

For Daleela Jarowenko of Lancaster, learning Latin as a child was all about war.

"All we did was translate war stories," she said wearily, recalling the three years of Latin her mother made her take.

Things are different for Jarowenko's 11-year-old son, Andrew, who is taking Latin with the Browns.

"(Latin is) really fun, just the way it's taught to us," the Lancaster Country Day School student said. "Because I know Latin has a lot of different languages that use parts of it, it's just interesting to me."

Andrew asked his mother if he could take the class.

The most difficult part of class is deciphering Latin words not related to English words, he said.

The best part?

"When you're trying to figure out a way to learn a word and suddenly it dawns on you," he said.

His mother is amazed at the enthusiasm Andrew has shown for his class.

"One day when I picked up (Andrew and his friends), they came running out and said, 'Mrs. Brown said if we're really good, she'll let us start learning some of the Greek alphabet!' " Jarowenko said.

"Suddenly, he wanted to learn another ancient language, and this was a treat."

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:35:51 AM::
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~ Alexander in Europe etc.

Just a note in passing, since this is a developing thing ... Alexander does appear to be doing much better in Europe than in the U.S., according to the BBC. Perhaps this is one of those if-the-U.S.-didn't-like-it-it-must-be-good things (despite the opinions of European reviewers).

On a semi-related note, as the world apparently reels at the breakup of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (the mind boggles on various levels), Robin Lane Fox has been dragooned to 'testify' ... from some South Florida site:

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's alleged romance has been debunked by Oliver Stone's historical advisor who claims the only man attempting to woo her on the 'Alexander' set was co-star Val Kilmer.

Robin Lane Fox -- who helped the much-maligned film about Alexander the Great stay faithful to the facts -- has quashed frenzied rumors Jolie and Pitt's alleged romance ultimately ended the actor's marriage to Jennifer Aniston.

Fox said Kilmer was the only male he spotted making a move on the sexy actress.

"In my view there is no question of Angelina interfering in Brad Pitt's marriage," he said.

"My money is on Val Kilmer who was making a very clever run for Jolie on the inside track. So watch this space."

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:26:28 AM::
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~ Ward Jones Lecture

William & Mary has (have?) a press release in anticipation of the inaugural Ward Jones lecture:

When Ward Jones is recognized at the inaugural classical studies lectureship that bears his name, even the featured speaker, George Fredric Franko, will be in awe. Franko, who graduated from William and Mary in 1987, can still recall the feeling of intimidation as he sat in Jones' advanced Latin classes nearly 20 years ago.

“He is one of those professors who you may not appreciate while you are in the class but in retrospect you say, 'My god, he was fantastic,'” Franko said of Jones.

Apparently many former students were similarly affected-enough that, when contacted, they eagerly provided the funds to initiate the lecture in honor of their professor. For his part, Jones is humbled by their gesture and is delighted that Franko, who as a professor at Hollins University has established himself as an expert on Roman comedy, will deliver the first address.

“Franko is one of the brilliant products of a liberal arts education at William and Mary,” Jones said proudly.

Jones started teaching in the College's department of ancient languages in 1961 and retired in 2001, although he taught one class per semester until last year. Along the way, he served as chair during a period of growth in the 1960s and 1970s, and he led the push to change its name to the department of classical studies to better reflect, he said, “the fact that we don't just teach the Greek and Latin languages, although thank God, we still do that.” During his tenure, Jones also served as president of the Classical Association of Virginia and as president of the Mediterranean Society of America, and he produced two critical editions of medieval commentators on Vergil's Aeneid.

Although he retains many fond memories involving people and changes at the College, Jones maintains that his greatest privilege involved teaching.

“In my mind, the remarkable thing about working at William and Mary was the students,” Jones said. “Through the years, I had a number of students whom I would consider quite brilliant.” He is proud of the fact that persons enrolling in advanced language courses has not only held steady but actually has increased-“It's not unusual to have 25 in one advanced class, which in this day almost is unheard of in this country,” he boasted.

Following the careers of both concentrators and non-concentrators remains a pleasure.

“We've had many students who have taken Latin and Greek and classical studies just to give themselves a good, basic liberal arts education, which they can use to go into other professions,” he said. “Alan Meese, a professor in our law school, is one of our graduates. We've had lawyers, doctors, ministers and people who have gone on to work in various levels of government. As far as we know, we haven't had any graduates who have had difficulty getting a job.”

John Oakley, current chair of the classical studies department, is not surprised that Jones' former students, among others, were eager to honor their former professor. Estimating that Jones touched more than 3,000 young adults during his stay at the College, Oakley said, “I think most of them probably continue to feel his influence until this day. Certainly for concentrators and those who have become Latin instructors, he had an influence that is profound.”

Franko certainly would agree. Summing up his recollections of Jones, he said, “He was demanding; he set a high standard. In class, the exterior of Jones was, as somebody put it, unassailable gravitas. But once you met him outside the classroom, you discovered that he was a hoot, that he was one of the most humane guys you ever will meet and, besides, he made a pretty good egg nog.”

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:23:35 AM::
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~ New Blogs

A couple of new blogs to add to your blogrolls ... first, The Undoctored Past bills itself as:

 The Undoctored Past is a journal for Ancient History and Archaeology edited by postgraduate students of the University of Leicester. The journal is partially peer-reviewed.

There are a few articles up there already ... Elsewhere, Hobbyblog welcomes another ancient numismatoblogger to the fold: Dadscoins. It doesn't have the 'daily photo' approach of Hobbyblog, but does have some interesting notes about ancient coins  ...

Both are definitely worth a look.

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:20:22 AM::
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~ CFP: Workshop on the Aegean World

The OU Greek Society, with the support of the University of Oxford, the University of Athens and the University of the Aegean (Lesvos), is organising a graduate-student workshop about the Aegean Koine : The Aegean and its cultures through the centuries. Contributors from other Greek and UK universities are also welcome.

The workshop will take place in Oxford on the 22nd and 23rd April 2005 and is planned to be the first in a series of research-exchange meetings. Short papers (c. 20 minutes) will be presented about different aspects of the Aegean history, archaeology, ethnology and literature from Prehistoric times to the 20th c. AD.

*** Keynote speakers of the workshop will be Professor Angelos Chaniotis (University of Heidelberg) and Professor Elizabeth Zachariadou (University of Crete)***


The participants will be asked to speak about their research, so that they contribute to an inter-disciplinary discussion concerning different levels of interaction among Aegean societies (of the coastal areas and the islands) and their links with other areas of the Mediterranean world (Anatolia, Middle East, N. Africa, the West) in different periods. Among the crucial questions of the workshop will be the extent to which we can speak of a cultural Aegean koine. Other topics will involve the impact of a central power over the large geographical area, the study of trade links vis-a-vis the movement of ideas, the long-term interaction between island, coastal territories and inland areas, the cohabitation among different cultural groups, population movements, local dialects, literature and more.

The central aim of this workshop is to encourage the exchange of knowledge and the transfer of research experience for a variety of disciplines among graduate students on the basis of annual meetings alternating between Oxford and Greece, which could eventually lead to future research cooperation between the universities. UK-based students will have the opportunity to become familiar with parallel research projects organised by Greek universities and foster links with Greek scholars.

The UK participants are requested to send an abstract of their work in English (c. 1000 words) to the organising committee (consisting of a mixed group of graduate students and Oxford fellows) by 31st January 2005. English will be the official language. All papers will be published online and in print, and will be accompanied by short abstracts in both English and Greek. A number of travel grants will be available for the participants.

The OU Greek Society will be responsible for organising the first meeting of the Oxford/ Athens/ Aegean partnership. The second meeting of the workshop is planned to take place in Greece in 2006, organised by the Societies of Graduate students and the Faculties of the Athens and the Aegean university.

For more information and paper submissions:

Greek Society
c/o Georgios Deligiannakis
Lady Margaret Hall
Oxford OX2 6QA (UK)

... seen on the Classicists list

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:13:53 AM::
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~ CFP: The Public Festival

Scholars and specialists, and especially those working within the fields of anthropology, archaeology, history, sociology and philology, are kindly invited to partcipate in an international congress which is going to be held in Greek Thrace within November 2005. The subject of the conference will be

"The public festival: a diachronic look at its social and political function", the term festival taken here to mean a general gathering of people, associated with feasting and trading, on the occasion of a religious celebration - a sociocultural practice originating in the Neolithic.

The proceedings will be published.

A second circular with further details will follow soon.
For applications and correspondence, please address, if possible no later than April 1 2005, the congress' scientific co-ordinator ass. Professor Manolis Melas, University of Thrace, Dpt of History & Ethnology, Komotini, 69100 Greece - email: - fax +2531039466 - tel. +2531039475, +6947579434

... seen on ANE

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:11:28 AM::
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~ CONF: Herod and Augustus


21st, 22nd & 23rd June 2005


Conference Advisers:  David JACOBSON and Nikos KOKKINOS

The past few decades have seen a blossoming of Herodian scholarship.  This has been largely stimulated by a series of excavations at sites in Israel and Jordan associated with Herod the Great (37-4 BCE), such as Caesarea, Paneas, Masada, Herodium, Machaerus and the enclosure of the Temple in Jerusalem.  These results are shedding important new light on various facets of the life and times of Herod, encompassing the art, architecture, technology, and economy of Herod's kingdom and its political, social and religious character.  This new information is adding clarity to our understanding of the culture of Herodian Judaea and its relationship with Hellenistic and Roman culture.  It is also helping to provide new insights regarding the interaction between Jews and Graeco-Roman society, and of the origins of Christianity.

The conference will bring together eminent experts in Herodian studies to present the results of their research, and create a forum for discussion.

Participants include:
Donald ARIEL, Jerusalem; Dan BAHAT, Toronto; Anthony BARRETT, Vancouver; Barbara BURRELL, Cincinnati, Ohio;  John CREIGHTON, Reading; Gideon FOERSTER, Jerusalem;  Karl GALINSKY, Austin,Texas; Joseph GEIGER, Jerusalem; David GOODBLATT, San Diego, California; Ittai GRADEL, Copenhagen;  Erich GRUEN, Berkeley, California; Malka HERSHKOVITZ, Jerusalem; Achim LICHTENBERGER, Muenster; Ehud NETZER, Jerusalem; Joseph PATRICH Jerusalem; Silvia ROZENBERG, Jerusalem; Denis SADDINGTON, Johannesburg;  Maurice SARTRE, Tours; Daniel SCHWARTZ, Jerusalem; Joseph SIEVERS, Rome; Mark TOHER, Schenectady, New York


The IJS is supported by voluntary contributions   ADMISSION IS FREE

For further information please contact:
Institute of Jewish Studies, University College London, Gower Street, WC1A
tel. 020 7679 3520;  fax  020 7209 1026
e-mail;  webpage jewish/ijs

... seen on Ioudaios ...

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:09:12 AM::
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~ AWOTV: On TV Tonight

7.00 p.m. |DTC| Hannibal
No shortlist of the greatest generals in history would be complete without the name of Hannibal, who was both feared and respected by his enemies. Hannibal's tactical genius is illustrated with exciting dramatic reconstructions of his victories.

7.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Lost City Of Pompeii - Secrets Of The Dead

8.00 p.m. |DTC| True Gladiators
Just outside the city walls of ancient Ephesus, the remains of the largest gladiator graveyard ever discovered have been excavated. This find gives new insight into the Roman Empire's bloody sport. Find out how gladiators lived, trained, fought and died.

9.00 p.m. |DTC| Lost City of Pompeii: Secrets of the Dead
Journey to the playground of the Roman aristocracy, Herculaneum. Buried by the same volcanic eruption that leveled Pompeii, this city of luxurious villas, magnificent arcades and extensive library collections holds clues to the Roman's riches.

9.00 p.m. |DCIVC|  Dead Sea Scrolls: The Haunted Desert

9.00 p.m. |DISCC| Seven Wonders of Ancient Rome
The latest archaeological research, 3D models and sophisticated graphics re-create the grandeur and majesty of ancient Rome's wonders, including the Colosseum, Pantheon, Aqua Appia and Via Appia, baths of Caracalla, Hadrian's Wall, and more.

10.00 p.m. |DTC| The Real Cleopatra
The life of one of the most powerful women ever is told in the places she lived it, from her romance with Julius Caesar to her suicide after losing her war against the Romans, shaping the course of history for centuries.

Channel Guide

::Friday, January 14, 2005 5:07:02 AM::
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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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