Latest update: 4/7/2005; 2:20:03 PM
quidquidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem xii kalendas februarias

  • ludi palatini - new starting date for the theatrical festival post-Augustus
  • 63 A.D. -- birth of Claudia (daughter of Nero and Poppaea)
  • 1609 -- death of Joseph Justus Scaliger ("Mr. Emendation")

::Friday, January 21, 2005 5:33:03 AM::
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~ Classical Words of the Day

Today's selection:

omnipresent @

animus @ Wordsmith

magiric @ Worthless Word for the Day (great word!)

::Friday, January 21, 2005 5:27:49 AM::
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~ New Interface at Perseus

The Stoa alerts us to the fact that the Perseus site is experimenting with a new interface. Lifting a bit from the Stoa:

If you would like to report problems, make suggestions or comments, or provide any general feedback on the new design, please send e-mail to: beta-bugs{AT}

At this stage, we would appreciate assistance in finding bugs, so provide as much information as possible, including URLs, your system and browser configuration, error messages, and the steps you took prior to discovering the problem. As always, we welcome suggestions for future improvements. Our short term focus is testing what we now have; this is only a first step. We will rely upon the input of dedicated testers as we rebuild, refine, and improve the system.

RS over at the Stoa did a test for lemmatized word searches and found it 'blazingly fast". I did a similar bunch of searches in the "collections in English" section and found it similarly fire-like. It doesn't appear that the image collections are part of this experiment, yet, but folks should give it a go and give the Perseids some feedback ....

::Friday, January 21, 2005 5:24:52 AM::
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~ CanCon meets ClassCon

Classics in Contemporary Culture (which has a flurry of posts of late) alerts us to the Canadian World Domination site (inspired, no doubt, by Pinky and the Brain), which includes this on its welcome page:

"Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny."
- Aechylus 525-456 B.C.

Coming to the defense of a fellow Canadian who seems to at least be aware of the ancient world (a rara avis in these parts), I'll offer that it isn't a spelling mistake, but actually how we pronounce Aeschylus up here ... with a mouthful of Upper Canada Dark, of course. Heck, you should see how the Newfoundlanders pronounce it with a mouthful of Screech.

::Friday, January 21, 2005 5:18:50 AM::
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~ Peter Jones in the Spectator

The incipit of Peter Jones' latest in the Spectator:

The Pentagon has apparently examined the possibility of developing an ‘aphrodisiac bomb’ which would cause enemy troops to find one another sexually irresistible. But what on earth would be the advantage in that, an ancient Greek would have asked?

Ancient Greeks were far more relaxed about homosexuality than we are. It seems to have been predominantly an upper-class phenomenon, and was quite compatible with a heterosexual lifestyle. It usually took the form of pederasty between older males and beardless young men, though we know of such relationships between youthful coevals too (beards, of course, appear at different ages: the poet Meleager describes a dream in which he excitedly embraces an 18-year-old). Greeks also saw a spiritual benefit in the relationship — the young learnt wisdom from such closeness to their elders and betters. This caused problems in Victorian England because Plato, who was co-opted into the battle for spiritual as against utilitarian values, advocated love of beautiful boys as one of the steps that would eventually lead to love of the Supreme Good. Such sentiments were routinely bowdlerised.  [more]

::Friday, January 21, 2005 5:10:47 AM::
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~ Nuntii Latini

Latest headlines from YLE's Nuntii Latini

Pensionarii in Russia reclamitant (21.1.2005)

Huygens in Titanem descendit (21.1.2005)

Airbus A380 publice expositum (21.1.2005)

Finni de venatione luporum accusantur (21.1.2005)


[... I'm trying to get the YLE folks to allow me to mirror (even one at a time) these things, but I'm not getting any response to my email]

::Friday, January 21, 2005 5:08:48 AM::
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~ Akropolis World News

Latest headlines from Akropolis World News in Classical Greek:

Futbol Club Barcelona reaches 130,000 members - Zhao Ziyang dies after 15 years under arrest

::Friday, January 21, 2005 5:06:22 AM::
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~ Classical Precedent

Someone at ABC seems to see a Classical influence of sorts operating in a robbery getaway:

Thieves who stole valuable watches from a shop in central Athens have reached back to ancient Greek mythology for their plan of escape.

Police say three men, who robbed a jeweller of the watches at gunpoint, have resorted to throwing some of the 1,000 euro ($A2,218) watches into the path of their pursuers after the shopkeeper raised the alarm.

"We know the men deliberately threw at least four watches into the street as they ran from the scene but only one was handed in," a police source said.

The three thieves are still at large.

In ancient mythology, the suitor of a fleet-footed princess who vowed to marry only a man who could beat her in a race threw golden apples in her path.

That enabled him to win as the princess stopped to pick the apples up.

Ahhh ... Atalanta ... I think we're probably stretching the  metaphor a bit, but it's still nice to see her (although unnamed) getting some press attention. She's one of those 'ancient women' you always think should be the subject of a comic book or movie (come on ... if ever there was a role for Angelina Joli) ...

::Friday, January 21, 2005 5:00:23 AM::
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~ Review from BMCR

T.K. Johansen, Plato's Natural Philosophy. A Study of the Timaeus-Critias.

::Friday, January 21, 2005 4:49:50 AM::
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~ More Stonisms

Yesterday we mentioned a strange utterance by Oliver Stone made at a news conference in Tokyo ... today we get a fuller account from Japan Today of the conference (which includes yesterday's 'King Arthur' quote, in case you missed it) and find he made at least one other strange utterance from OS:

"He was a dashing hero who conquered the world and died young. The more I read about him, the more I admired him. He's unique in all of history. He wasn't a typical conqueror who plundered and exploited resources. He had a vision of the world and accomplished a great deal in just 32 years. This film we made is not 'Troy,' it's not 'Gladiator.' It is real history, the purest Greek tragedy of all."

I'm struck by how nice those last two sentences are from a rhetorical or rhythmical point of view ... unfortunately, I don't quite understand them.

::Friday, January 21, 2005 4:47:58 AM::
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~ Suburban Bath

I think we may have had something on this before, but it seems to be a slow news day ... from

A spa treatment followed by a trip to the suburbs for a bit of shopping and dining sounds like a day in the life of a wealthy suburbanite, but it also could describe someone's schedule from around the 1st century A.D., as archaeologists in Bath, England have identified an ancient suburb located outside of Bath's main city center.

Since suburbs dating to the Roman period also have been found around other major cities, such as London, the finding adds to the evidence that suburban living is not a modern phenomenon.

“ The people living at Walcot would have included town priests, bath workers, clerks, artisans and shopkeepers. ”

Tim Robey, projects manager at Bath Archaeological Trust, told Discovery News about his organization's ongoing work at Walcot, the Bath suburb.

Robey explained that during the Roman era, a wall encircled Bath's city center, which included the famous hot springs Spa, at least one temple complex, and probably a large public theater that has yet to be found.

Aside from a handful of religious leaders and city officials, most people lived at Walcot, located just over 1/2 mile to the north of the Temple of Sulis Minerva and its baths.

"Walcot" actually refers to a lengthy Park Avenue-like thoroughfare and its side streets, all of which are near a junction that could have led travelers to the London Road. This long road was similar to a highway in ancient Britain.

"The bulk of the area's population lived on and off of Walcot Street," Robey said.

He added that like most suburbs today, there would have been a mixture of classes and housing.

"Tumbledown wooden shacks mixed with higher-quality dwellings, some of which were constructed out of stone," he explained. "The people living at Walcot would have included town priests, bath workers, clerks, artisans and shopkeepers."

Robey does not believe the ancient suburb dwellers shopped at a centralized mall, but rather at individual shops and stalls that were scattered throughout the residential area.

The discovery of a hammer scale and iron slag in one section indicates that the site once had a blacksmith's workshop. Paint pots and pieces of blue frit, an ingredient found in glazes and enamels, suggest the presence of a painter's workshop. Other remains indicate that Walcot shoppers could have perused silverware and pottery.

Of particular interest to the British archaeologists is the recent unearthing of the stone foundation remains for six to seven elegant villas, which would have been the rural seats of wealthier individuals. Usually such villas were built in the remote countryside away from the city's hustle, bustle, and smells, but in this rare instance, they were located along the slopes of a valley near Walcot. [more]

::Friday, January 21, 2005 4:38:19 AM::
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~ CFP: Roman Virtues and Vices

Roman Virtues and Vices

Organizers: Karla Pollmann, St Andrews; Eric Casey, Sweet Briar College; William Harris, Columbia University; Brad Inwood, University of Toronto; Robert A. Kaster, Princeton; David Konstan, Brown University; Irmgard Männlein-Robert, Würzburg; Matt Roller, Johns Hopkins; David Wray, University of Chicago.

The cultural centrality and conceptual rigor of ancient "virtue language" provides a rich ground for exploring notions, representations and transformations of ancient virtues and vices. In the last decade or so, "virtue ethics" has become an increasingly prevalent avenue of investigation in modern ethical reflections, focusing on aretaic concepts of excellence and (in fewer cases) their opposites, and on the moral character and motives of actions. This new departure within ethical philosophy, which is influenced by Aristotle but has so far hardly taken any Latin texts into account, will provide the questions to be considered in the panels of the proposed colloquium and may also be challenged by papers. The colloquium focuses on Roman culture, from the beginnings of Latin literature through Late Antiquity, including early Christianity. It aims at contextualizing the academic conversation about virtue ethics in a new way by paying more attention to ancient social contexts-for example, through examining and questioning the specific "Romanness" of given ethical values, as well as their relation to Greek culture. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged, especially those involving philosophy, history with its subdisciplines, as well as linguistic and literary investigations. Junior scholars are welcome.

For the APA meeting in 2006 we solicit papers on the following topic:

Roman Virtues, Vices & Their Transformation The panel will explore the development of Roman morality in all periods through Late Antiquity.  We invite authors to ask the following questions by using a diachronic approach and/or comparing contemporaneous cultures in contact with one another: how stringent are the demands of 'Roman' morality through time? what is the good life as opposed to the bad life, and what part do virtues and vices play in it? how do human needs and economic, social, and political changes interrelate with virtues and vices?

For the APA meeting in 2006, abstracts (no more than 800 words) are due by February 4, 2005. Submit abstracts, by email (preferred) or as hard copy with disk, to Eric Casey (, Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA, 24595. Abstracts will be judged anonymously by two referees.

... seen on the Classicists list

::Friday, January 21, 2005 4:34:37 AM::
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~ CFP: Cambridge Society for Neo-Latin Studies



The Annual Symposium of the Cambridge Society for Neo-Latin Studies will take place at Clare College, Cambridge, between Friday and Sunday, 9-11 September 2005.  'Pastoral' is the theme of this year's symposium, and we invite proposals for 30-minute papers on any aspect of this genre in the cultures of Neo-Latin writing (for example, the novel, theatre, commentary, pedagogy, poetry, translation, court entertainments).

Abstracts of c.150 words should be sent by 15 April 2005 to the Secretary of the CSNLS, Andrew Taylor, at  Information about the programme, accommodation arrangements, and costs will be circulated soon after this closing date.  We would hope to be able to offer assistance towards accommodation and meals for those unable to attract institutional funding to support their attendance at the symposium, but unfortunately we are unable to help with travel expenses.

... seen on the Classicists list

::Friday, January 21, 2005 4:32:29 AM::
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~ AWOTV: On TV Today

5.00 p.m. |DCIVC| The Mystery of the Parthenon

7.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Ancient Earthquake: Sunken Cities

8.00 p.m. |DTC| The Quest for the True Cross
Based on the New York Times best-seller, scholarly detective work and historical adventure draw conclusions about the remains of Christ's actual cross. This comprehensive study could overturn centuries of academic assumptions about the

9.00 p.m. |DTC| Spear of Jesus
In the Hofsburg Museum in Vienna, Austria, lies a metal spearhead said to have been used to pierce the side of Christ during his crucifixion. For the first time, scientific testing will establish if this ancient relic really is the Spear of Christ.

10.00 p.m. |DTC| Skeletons of Roman Ashkelon
Archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Ashkelon in Israel made a sinister find: the skeletons of one hundred newborn babies, thrown into the sewers beneath a Roman bathhouse. Explore this two thousand-year-old murder mystery of sex and infanticide.

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

DTC = Discovery Times Channel

::Friday, January 21, 2005 4:30:06 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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