Latest update: 3/1/2005; 5:14:52 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem iv nonas februarias

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 5:40:10 AM::

~ Classical Words of the Day

Today's selection:

sinecure @ Merriam Webster

tribology @ Wordsmith (it probably doesn't mean what you thought it meant!)

iridology @ Worthless Word for the Day (and no, it's not the study of rainbows)

polemic @

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 5:34:11 AM::

~ Thinking Out Loud ...

I'm thinking of starting up an EZ Board forum for Classics ... the idea would be it would be a place for y'all to discuss items posted to rogueclassicism and/or Explorator ... then I start thinking it might go beyond that and provide a forum for folks who are growing increasingly disillusioned with the tone on the Classics list, with the apparent lack of discussion on Ancien-l, etc.. I know there is a group of such fora at EZ Board devoted to matters Roman already ... this would be more wide-ranging (and ideally, ad-free). If anyone has any experience with EZ Boards and can give me an idea of positives and negatives, it would be greatly appreciated ...

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 5:30:00 AM::

~ Nuntii Latini

Memoria camporum carceralium (28.1.2005)

Die Saturni coetus generalis Nationum Unitarum sessionem specialem in historia sua primam habuit, ut moneret sexaginta annos elapsos esse, cum captivi in campis carceralibus inclusi e servitute nazistarum Germanorum liberati essent.

Delegatis imprimis campus Auschwitz in memoria erat, ubi altero bello mundano sesquimilio fere homines, maximam partem Iudaei, vitam amiserunt.

Quae castra die vicesimo septimo mensis Ianuarii anno millesimo nongentesimo quadragesimo quinto (27.1.1945) per copias Sovietorum in libertatem vindicata sunt.

Reijo Pitkäranta
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 5:24:40 AM::

~ Classics in Contemporary Culture

A pile of posts went up at Classics in Contemporary Culture yesterday ...

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 5:21:25 AM::

~ Chester Amphitheatre

An incredibly slow day and I'm scrambling for material here ... fortunately, someone just posted to the Britarch list a link to the Chester Amphitheatre Project. I think we've linked to it before (I seem to remember the webcam), but it's worth a visit if you've never been there (there's also a recently-posted report on the history and significance of the amphitheatre and the surrounding area )

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 5:17:17 AM::

~ Valentine's Day

I think we can start to expect the usual wave of 'origins of Valentine's Day' pieces to hit the presses soon ... we are starting to see Classicists put their shingle out in that regard (a good thing). For example, from Newswise comes a press release:

Be mine. Yours forever. You hold the key to my heart. True Love. Hamilton College Classics Professor Barbara Gold can’t help but notice the difference between modern Valentine’s Day cards filled with sentimental sayings and ancient Romans’ wrenching expressions of love.

Today’s valentines focus on sharing, caring, love and friendship. The beloved is portrayed as gentle, sensitive, tender and compassionate, says Gold. The ancient Romans had quite a different take on love.

“Love for them was interesting, both to live and to write about, because it was painful, like a disease,” Gold says. Roman lovers described themselves as “‘wounded, wretched, enslaved by their lovers, having their bone marrow on fire and suffering from double vision.”

“They melded coarse obscenities with deepest expressions of sexual, erotic longing,” she says. “Above all there was no sharing or caring and no real idea of a friendship of equals.”

For example the love poet Catullus writes to his lady love, “I hate and I love. Perhaps you ask why I do that? I don’t know but I feel it happening and I am tormented.” (Catullus 85) Gold notes, “The dream couples of ancient love poetry are hardly the stuff of today’s romantic. They inhabit a world of playful and elegant poetry far removed from the (FALSE) sincerity of contemporary Hallmark romance. But the depth of the feelings expressed by the ancients is also far removed from the superficial and hyperbolic lovebites found in contemporary commercial expressions of love.”

Gold’s research interests are Greek and Roman literature, feminist theory, and women in the ancient world. She is the first woman editor of The American Journal of Philology, the oldest journal in the U.S. She has written several books, including "Vile Bodies: Roman Satire and Corporeal Discourse; Sex and Gender in Medieval and Renaissance" Texts: "The Latin Tradition;" and, "Literary and Artistic Patronage in Greece and Rome."

Interestingly, Barbara Gold seems to always be first off the mark with the 'responsible' articles/interviews about love in the Ancient world at this time of year. Another link at Newswise from UMaryland lists assorted media contacts on the subject, inter alia:

Judith Hallett - Professor, Department of Classics, University of Maryland.
Expertise - Latin language and literature; ancient Roman and Greek civilization; women, sexuality and the family in classical antiquity; and the classical tradition in America.

Hallett was interviewed by Discovery News last year for a Valentine's Day story comparing love in ancient Rome vs. today. It turns out that the Romans had a very different view of things. "Most expressions of love, particularly love poems, were directed to extramarital lovers," she says. "However, love was encouraged among married couples, and it was assumed that husbands and wives would grow to feel affection and devotion towards one another." She also told Discovery News: "The idea that two young people would decide to marry or live together respectably on the basis of mutual erotic attraction would have been totally unheard of in classical Rome."

I'm sure there are other such announcements as well (or will be) ... despite that, I'm sure we'll see the usual attempts to connect Valentine's Day to Lupercalia, to purported Roman beliefs about mating birds, to some connection with Juno Februata, etc.. I'm sure we'll also have the obligatory piece on the Greeks and/or Romans inventing kissing ...

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 5:06:57 AM::

~ Reviews from Blogcritics

Not sure if this is going to be a regular thing, but in the past couple of weeks, Blogcritics has reviewed a couple of books of interest:

John R. Clarke, Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C. - A.D. 250
Adrienne Mayor, The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times.

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 4:54:29 AM::

~ In the Bleachers

Yesterday's In the Bleachers comic had a Classical theme that is perhaps 'doorworthy' ....

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 4:48:10 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

6.00 p.m. |HINT| The Odyssey of Troy
What is it about the legendary city that more than 3,000 years after its fall, we still try to unravel Troy's mysteries? Scholars attempt to answer the question by researching the Greek poet Homer, possibly one of the greatest poets in Western Europe's history, and his epic tale of love and war, and comparing his text to archaeological sites.

7.00 p.m. |HINT| The Sunken City
The ancient Roman City of Ostia was once a vital seaport. Yet it died a slow, painful death. This documentary explores the reasons for its demise and looks at the abandoned wasteland today. 

8.30 p.m. |HINT| Egypt According to Cleopatra
Walk the streets of Alexandria, during the time of the Ptolemies, alongside its citizens as their pharaoh, Cleopatra, serves as virtual tour guide of Egypt. From the exotic yet cosmopolitan capital, built by her ancestor Alexander the Great, to the Sanctuary of Dendera to the magical Isle of Philae, we explore her empire by land and sea. And, we follow Queen Cleopatra as she sets sail for Italy on a visit to Caesar and end our journey within the city walls of Rome, where an Egyptian temple is being erected for Cleopatra's deity protector, Isis.

11.00 p.m. |HINT| Rome: The Ultimate Empire
Sam Waterston narrates this Emmy Award-winning series that sweeps through 7,000 years of history--from Ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day Tibet--and transports viewers across the ages using dramatic reenactments, location footage from 25 countries, and recent archaeological discoveries to reconstruct the ancient past. In this episode, we explore the glory of Rome--from founding to its zenith--and march along as the Romans conquer the then-known world.

HINT = History International

::Wednesday, February 02, 2005 4:45:01 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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