Latest update: 3/1/2005; 5:14:59 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ Roman Numerals Again

Surprisingly few articles on Roman numerals in anticipation of this year's Super Bowl ... here's one from the Fresno Bee:

Back in MCMLXVII, when the first Super Bowl was played ó Green Bay beat Kansas City XXXV-X ó no one wondered what might happen if we attached Roman numerals to these things.

Well, we're to XXXIX now, which, in an odd coincidence, represents both this year's game and Andy Reid's shirt size.

And there is no turning back.

The NFL has no plans to come up with another system to track the games, even if football is played D years or even M years from now. So we will endure, in the coming decades, logo-friendly Super BowlsXL and LIX and ó 100 years later ó CLIX, and the more cumbersome constructions that accompany large prime numbers, such as LXXXIX or XCVII.

Roman numerals are meant to give the Super Bowl some sophistication. Presumably, people weren't taking it seriously enough when the NFL first attached Roman numerals to the Super Bowl ó Super BowlV, in which Baltimore defeated Dallas. The NFL went back and attached numerals to the previous Super Bowls, which is why you might see the connotation "Super BowlII B.C. (Before Colts)." Roman numerals are like a strong army, all straight lines and repetition, demanding to be taken seriously, unlike those curvy, flighty Arabic numbers.

Just compare the II to the 2, and the V to the 5, and you understand instantly why the Romans thought they could whip the Persians.

The Romans were fond of straight lines in their script, maybe because straight lines were easier to chisel, prompting the famous line from "History of the World, PartI," when Swiftus said, "You're nuts! N-v-t-s nuts!" For those of us living in this millennium, purposely replacing two-digit numbers with as many as seven-letter numerals is something we'd expect from the IRS, not the NFL.

Players don't understand why their championship game is the only one to use Roman numerals. Not even New England linebacker Roman Phifer ó Roman, apparently, in name only.

"I have no idea," said Phifer, who also has no idea his jersey No.95 translates as XCV.

His son might get it, since his third-grade class is studying Roman numerals now. That gives us hope that, when the time comes that no one can figure out what Super Bowl we're watching, we can turn to the nation's third graders.

"I think it looks cooler, though," Phifer said. "It looks cooler than writing '39.' It gives it that Roman, gladiator effect."

Phifer mentioned the idea of playing the Super Bowl in the Roman coliseum, called the Colosseum, which looks more misspelled than sophisticated.

But he might be surprised to know just how un-Roman the Super Bowl's numerals really are. The Colosseum, built in the first century by real Romans, had 80arched entryways, including four major portals. The other 76were numbered.

No.39 was marked "XXXVIIII."

It wasn't until centuries later, as Roman numerals were on their way to near-extinction ó their future use limited mostly to popes and monarchs, fancy watches, old churches, world wars, book prefaces, movie copyright dates at the end of the credits, and Super Bowls ó that they were contracted by subtraction, so that we are about to witness Super BowlXXXIX.

This is why this is so confusing. Few people, outside of some third graders at Jordan Phifer's elementary school, understand how to read Roman numerals. There are so many rules it's like learning a new language.

Only I, X and C can be used before a larger number to denote subtraction, for example, and those letters ó er, numerals ó must be 1/10th of the value of the thing next to it.

That's why Phifer's No. 95 is XCV and not VC.

And you can subtract only one numeral at a time. So 39 is XXXIX, but 38 is not XXXIIX.

Here's the clincher: MCMXCIX and MM are consecutive numbers.

Get it? Of course not.

At some point, if we aren't there already, the use of Roman numerals for the Super Bowl will be eliminated simply because they aren't simple enough.

Counting by Roman numerals doesn't even hint to what year the game was held, so Super Bowl L comes in 2016. We might as well be using the Chinese calendar.

And the larger the numerals go, the more we'll struggle to understand just what game we're talking about.

Maybe we've passed that point. Football fans probably can tell you who played in Super BowlIII or X or XVI, but probably not XXVII or XXXIV.

The solution, of course, is to use Arabic numbers ó not as fancy, which is obvious by the word "numbers" and not "numerals." Or we can just remember the Super Bowls by the year they were played, which works OK for the Rose Bowl.

Or, fine, just keep using Roman numerals. And pretend the Super Bowl is some big deal.

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:54:37 AM::

~ Winslow Lecture

From Hamilton College:

Kathy Gaca, associate professor of classics at Vanderbilt University, delivered the Winslow Classics Lecture on Feb. 3 on the topic of "Eros and Fornication in Ancient Greek Society." Professor Gaca, author of The Making of Fornication: Eros, Ethics, and Political Reform in Greek Philosophy and Early Christianity, discussed the emergence of sexuality morality in the early Christian church under the apostle Paul and its relation to both Greek polytheism and philosophy.

Early Christianity was persistent in its mission against Greek polytheistic religion. Gaca said that current scholarship often assumes that the apostle Paul and the other patristic writers were equally averse to all Greek gods, but that she believes they paid special attention to female gods, which were often related to the areas of sexuality, marriage and reproduction. Goddesses such as Aphrodite, Artemis and Hera were central to the sexual and reproductive lives of Greek women, and getting women to stop invoking these deities in their daily lives was difficult. For example, Gaca said, when Greek men and women fell in love, they believed they had been struck by the supernatural power of Aphrodite, and invoked her power to ensnare their beloved as well. Hera, the goddess of marriage and motherhood, was featured prominently in those rituals.

Gaca said that the desire of the Christians to rid Greeks of this polytheistic worship led them to create a sexual morality that would be separate from these goddesses. Women and their sexual bodies were to be transformed into a new religious sphere that would focus entirely on the worship of Christ the Lord. As Gaca said, "Christian
women were to view their wombs as the craft shop of the Lord." Therefore, the Greek Bible, the Septuagint, forbid the inclusion of the Greek goddesses in sexual, marital or reproductive practice, as this would be not only idolatry but fornication. It also categorized sex between a Christian spouse and a polytheistic spouse as
fornication. Meanwhile, fornication was placed among the most heinous of sins, which caused direct submission to Satan and should be punished by death.

Also, Gaca said, the connection between Aphrodite and sexuality was so ingrained in the minds of Greeks that many early Christians called for the renunciation of all but reproductive sexuality in order to avoid worshipping an alien god. You can still see this philosophy of sexual renunciation in modern Christian religions that don't allow non-procreative sex, Gaca said. In fact, she said, the effects of the early Christian sexuality morality can still be seen in many modern Western traditions of sexuality, marriage and birth.

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:50:39 AM::

~ JOB: Neue Pauly translators

Brill Academic Publishers have been working on an English translation of Der Neue Pauly (Brill's New Pauly) for the last few years. Five volumes of this 20-volume work have now been published and two volumes are in an advanced stage of preparation.

We are now looking for new translators to complement the existing team of translators and editors. We would, therefore, be interested to hear from (near) native-speakers of English who have a good command of German and (post-)graduate knowledge in one or more of the following subject areas:

 1) archaeology
2) linguistics
3) law (esp. Roman)
3) numismatics
4) philology, literary studies/rhetorics
5) late antiquity (Roman nomenclature)
6) physics, astronomy, mathematics etc.
7) Oriental studies

For more information, please send an email to

Irene van Rossum, Ph.D.
Senior Acquisitions Editor Classical Studies
Brill Academic Publishers

... seen on the Later Roman Empire list

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:48:33 AM::

~ William Sanders Scarborough

Nice article in the Toledo Blade about William Sanders Scarborough and Michelle Ronnick's biography of him:

This is the story of one of black history's amazing unknown pioneers, a slave who, against all odds, rose to become the foremost black classical scholar, a major voice in the debate over the future of black America and, finally, president of Wilberforce University.

And it is the story of a young white woman, born long after he died, who found his fascinating autobiography tucked away and forgotten, and who has just given William Sanders Scarborough's incredible life back to the nation after it was somehow tragically lost for decades.

"He was an American hero of the mind," Michelle Valerie Ronnick said. "His story remains living proof that if you work hard, aim high, and dream big dreams, you can overcome tremendous obstacles."

Thanks to her own hard work, Wayne State University Press has just published his book. The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough: An American Journey From Slavery to Scholarship (425 pages; $29.95).

Her achievement, like that of her subject, has been hailed as nothing short of brilliant by Henry Louis Gates, the famous scholar and critic.

Though they are separated by race, gender, and more than a century, the black pioneer and the young scholar have something in common. No one would have expected either to become experts in ancient tongues.

Growing up in Florida in the 1970s, Michele Ronnick took Latin as a senior in high school mainly because her brother liked the teacher. It started her on a lifelong passion for the classics.

Nobody would ever have expected Scarborough to become a scholar - let alone a leading expert on Greek and Latin. When he was growing up, it was illegal to teach blacks to read or write. U.S. Sen. John C. Calhoun, the famous fire-eating defender of slavery, once said that if he "could find a Negro who knew the Greek syntax, he would then believe the Negro was a human being."

Scarborough, who surreptitiously was taught to read, ended up not just knowing that ancient language fluently, he became the author of a Greek college textbook widely used in the late 19th century.

He rose to become an amazing example who fought hardship all his life; never took no for an answer, and who wasn't content to be a trailblazer in merely academic circles.

He dabbled in Ohio politics and fought Booker T. Washington's idea that African-Americans should be content to learn industrial arts and not worry about cultivating the life of the mind.

And William Scarborough was witness to some of the greatest moments of his time. He was a 12-year-old boy in Atlanta when the city was sacked by William Tecumseh Sherman. (When blacks were allowed to do some looting, he tellingly went after, he says, "pencils, envelopes, and paper.")

He saw Jefferson Davis dragged away as a prisoner of war; met Richard Wright and Frederick Douglass; knew Warren G. Harding, and attended Booker T. Washington's funeral.

He fell in love with a white divorcee when that was social suicide; they married in 1881, and lived happily ever after for 45 years.

Then, in the fall of 1926, he died, after struggling into his library for one last look at his beloved books. Shortly before he had finished writing an autobiography, to which his heartbroken wife added a few pages. But it was never published, and it and he were finally forgotten.

Meanwhile, Michelle Ronnick had gone on to become an expert on Roman literature, and ended up as part of the tiny classics department at this sprawling urban school.

Eight years ago, doing research, she came across a reference to one William Scarborough. It said he was African-American, a former slave, and was the author of a textbook of ancient Greek.

What amazed her was that she had never heard of him. Her interest was piqued. Then, after a lot of digging, she discovered a treasure trove: A copy of his autobiography, forgotten, in the Ohio Historical Society archives. For some reason, it had never been published. As she began to read, she was hooked.

Wayne State University Press has just published the manuscript. It reveals a black man who was a straight-laced Victorian; who was always proper, but whose remarkable life puts most of us to shame.

"I have never been ashamed of my birth conditions," he says succinctly. "I have left that to the slaveholders."

Shortly before he died nearly a century ago, Professor William Sanders Scarborough finished his memoir, writing, "I look ahead into years to come, when the melting pot - America - will have melted away racial lines, hates, and prejudices Ö a thing this country owes to its honor."

We can only guess what he would have thought today. But I think it might be something like what I heard a minister say once during a service in the African Methodist Episcopal Church to which the old professor belonged.

"Lord, we're not what we should be. We're not what we could be and we're not what we are going to be. But at least we're not what we were."

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:46:07 AM::

~ Caligulawatch

Haven't had one of those Caligula-and-his-horse references for a while, so here's one from MosNews:

Former Russian chess champion and current human rights activist Garry Gasparov has compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Roman emperor Caligula, famous for including his horse in the Senate.

In a column for The Wall Street Journal, Kasparov accused Putin of creating a puppet judiciary to persecute the opposition, such as the oil major Yukos, which has financed opposition parties.

ďTo add insult to injury, a man from Putinís St. Petersburg with no judicial experience was just named to the highest arbitration court in the land, a move akin to Caligula ís naming a horse to the Senate,Ē Kasparov wrote in the column.

Kasparov, who is also a chairman of Russiaís Free Choice 2008 Committee, blasted the West for focusing on upholding an economic relation with Russia and ignoring what he called mounting human rights violations.  [more]

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:43:46 AM::

~ Reel ClassCon

The 2004 T.S. Eliot Prize went to George Szirtes' Reel, reviewed in the Guardian and having this little tidbit which might get you to crack it open next time you're at your local bookstore:

If the cinematic century and its attendant iconography informs Reel, the book also has a classical dimension. As well as its formal organisation of sequence and eclogue, we encounter a mnemon, who would "forget his head if it wasn't screwed on", Sisyphus checking into a hotel, and Ariadne observed by the Eumenides. "Elpenor" is a tender lament for one of those archetypal sweet souls ("There were days he didn't shave / When his embrace was abrasive yet gentle") who wouldn't hurt a fly but come a cropper. You have to search hard for Elpenor down the back streets of the Odyssey, having as he does something of a walk on/fall off part in Circe's palace; though the hung-over young warrior who missed his footing on a ladder was once spoken of in familiar terms by Ovid, Plutarch and Martial, he is largely forgotten now.

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:40:07 AM::

~ What to do With a Classics Retirement?

An Explorator reader sent this one in (thanks JMS!) ... So ... how is former TLG doyen Ted Brunner spending his retirement? The Orange County Register has the scoop:

Riffling through an accordion file of police reports, photographs and returned registered letters in a windowless interview room at the Laguna Beach Police Department, Theodore Brunner gives the impression he's been tracking down hit-and-run drivers all his life.

He has the military bearing and the penetrating gaze. He even has the wry cop humor down pat, like when he refers to what he did before he became a reserve police officer as "my sordid past."

It's certainly an odd past for a cop.

Brunner, 70, is a retired classics professor and founder of the classics department at UC Irvine. He headed the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, or TLG, a digital library of ancient Greek literature. The project has brought universal recognition to the UCI classics department and revolutionized the way classics scholars around the world conduct research.

His switch from the classroom to the street - from discussing the relevance of a canon dominated by Dead White Men to learning how to use a firearm in order to avoid becoming one - caught some of his university colleagues off guard.

"I think my first reaction was to laugh," says Maria Pantelia, a UCI classicist and Brunner's successor as director of the TLG.

"And then I said, 'Of course. Ted can do anything.' He's such a physical, energetic, lively person."

Most classics scholars spend their retirement years writing books or conducting research they were too busy to pursue while they were teaching. A lot of them like nothing more than to sit around and read.

"We are a book culture. We just read books; that's all we do," Pantelia says.

"But as director of the TLG, Ted was unique, too. He has always done things that no one else dared to do."

Brunner was a promising scholar of Roman poetry out of Stanford University a few years ago, when he was hired to start a classics department at the newest campus of the University of California system in 1966.

It was a challenging time on college campuses: The anti- war movement, feminists, student power groups and minority activists were beginning to coalesce and question institutions. And it was a good time to be a young professor at a new university.

"It was an era of experimentation," he says. "You could try things. If you had an idea, you could take it to the dean and the chancellor and you were given a chance to do it."

A few years into his new job, a graduate student came to him with one such idea. Marianne McDonald, now a professor at UC San Diego, proposed the creation of a computerized databank that would draw together virtually all ancient Greek texts. The daughter of the founder of Zenith Corp., she also provided a $1 million gift to get the databank off the ground.

"Computers were terrible things in those days. We had to create a technology from scratch," Brunner says.

He turned to a friend from Stanford, David W. Packard, for help. A classicist and the son of the Hewlett-Packard Co. co-founder, Packard and his team designed the hardware and software used to store and display Greek texts.

The work progressed in an orderly fashion. By 1989, the thesaurus spanned texts from the age of Homer, 750 BC, to AD 600. In 2003, asecond phase encompassing Greek writings from AD 600 to the fall of Constantinople in the 15th century was completed.

Today, it contains about 95 million words covering 1.3 million unique Greek words representing the works of 3,800 authors.

As it works now, scholars researching a given subject can access the database on the Internet and, within moments, gain access to information that it might have taken a lifetime to research before the TLG.

"Now people can get the basic information quickly and then they can devote their time to the analysis of information. The ratio used to be reversed. Which also enhances the quality of the research," Brunner says.

Over time, he raised about $9.5 million for the TLG - a fortune for research in the humanities - from such sources as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

His contribution to the field shouldn't be underestimated, Pantelia says.

"No one was interested in technology in the humanities at that time. People would say, 'What is this?' He believed in this, and he managed to bring it to fruition," she says.

After his retirement in 1998, he turned his attention elsewhere. His wife, Luci Berkowitz, also a retired UCI classics professor, got involved in the Citizens on Patrol program with the Laguna Beach Police Department; he enrolled in the Sheriff's Reserve Academy in fall 2001, and now spends about 35 hours a week on hit-and-run cases in Laguna Beach. He claims a 99 percent success rate.

Capt. Danell Adams says the department is lucky that the classics professors took an interest in police work.

"When we get even a $2,000 fender bender, Ted is on a mission," says Adams, the detective division commander.

"When the big one hits, when we get a felony hit and run, Ted has developed the resources that he can help out with large portions of the major investigation."

Brunner says hesees a connection between his old life and his new.

"As a police officer, I am sworn to an ethical conduct and behavior the origins of which lie in antiquity. It's ethics, morals, wisdom," he says.

"Can I say that a given section of the California Vehicle Code goes back to ancient Greece? No. But basic concepts that underlie our laws go back to ancient Greece."

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:35:17 AM::

~ Review from Scholia

E. Gunderson, Declamation, Paternity, and Roman Identity: Authority and the Rhetorical Self

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:29:46 AM::

~ Reviews from BMCR

Thomas J. Figueira (ed.), Spartan Society.

Federica Borrelli, Maria Cristina Targia, The Etruscans. Art, Architecture and History.

Richard Rutherford, Classical Literature: A Concise History.

D.N. Maronitis, Homeric Megathemes: War - Homilia - Homecoming. Originally published as Homêrika megathemata: polemos - homilia - nostos (Athens 1999). Translated by David Connolly.

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:28:58 AM::

~ Dating Medusa

Today's 'Bound and Gagged' comic strip is doorworthy ...

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:24:36 AM::

~ TALK: The Jew and the Other in Antiquity

What: "The Jew and 'the Other' in Antiquity: Alienation or Integration?"

When: Tuesday, February 8, 2005, 7:00 PM

Who: Erich Gruen, University of California, Berkeley

Where: Kane Hall, Room 110, University of Washington Campus

About the lecture:
The lecture will address the standard perception of ancient Jews as anti-social and xenophobic, sticking to their own kind, keeping gentiles at arm's length, and endeavoring to maintain their own traditions unsullied by contact with others. It attempts, however, to draw out a contrasting strain in Jewish thinking and practice that places Jews in a very different light - - and one that should have some resonance for contemporary circumstances in the Middle East.

About the speaker:
Erich S. Gruen is Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been on the Berkeley faculty for thirty eight years, and received a Distinguished Teaching Award in 1987. He helped to found the Graduate Program in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology and served for seventeen years as its chair. He has overseen the PhD dissertations of more than 65 students in AHMA, History, Classics, and the Graduate Theological Union. He has also been a visiting professor at Princeton, Cornell, the Hebrew University, University of Minnesota, and University of Colorado.

Gruen has twice held Guggenheim fellowships and twice been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and served as President of the American Philological Society in 1992. In 1999 he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Arts and Letters. Gruen has written extensively in the areas of Roman and Greek political, diplomatic, and intellectual history. His more recent books have explored the cultural interconnections between the classical world and that of the Jews. Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition was published in 1998, and Diaspora: Jews Amidst Greeks and Romans appeared in 2002. He is currently engaged in ongoing research on cultural appropriation and collective identity among peoples and ethnic groups in antiquity.

Graduate School, Department of Classics, Department of History, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Jewish Studies Program, Northwest Chapter - American Research Center in Egypt,

For more information see:

... seen on the ANE list

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:23:07 AM::

~ CANE Summer Institute

CANE Summer Institute 2005

            The Classical Association of New England Summer Institute (CSI) will hold its 23rd annual program at Dartmouth College from July 11-16, 2005. Our theme for 2005 will be Golden Ages. Lectures and courses will investigate and challenge the concept of a golden age and of antiquity as a golden age of the West.
The program will be of interest both to teachers in all humanities disciplines and to members of the general public who are interested in the ancient world. Faculty and participants share a dormitory and cafeteria, making informal time together as valuable as class time. Teachers will meet colleagues refreshing their skills (and their spirits) with adult-level reading and discussion of ancient texts and artifacts. In its 23rd year, CSI is known for its comfortable and collegial atmosphere, its excellent faculty, and its openness to all those with an interest in the classics.

 The lecture program includes:

 The Matthew I Wiencke Memorial Lecture (reception following)

"Ariadne, I love you": European Opera's Torch for Athenian Tragedy

Roger Travis, University of Connecticut

Past Perfect; Future Conditional. The Concept of a Golden Age
Richard Ned Lebow, Dartmouth College

Haghia Sophia: Realizing the Perfection of Wisdom
Roger Ulrich, Dartmouth College

The Romans Invent "The Glory that was Greece"
Miranda Marvin, Wellesley College

The Midas Touch: Freedmen and the Golden Age of Augustus
Barbara Kellum, Smith College

Reading and Believing Greek Beauty in Renaissance and Early Modern Empires
Miranda Marvin, Wellesley College

What Men or Gods are These? Nineteenth Century Visions of Antiquity
Margaret Williamson, Dartmouth College

Golden Legends, Greek Revivals
Richard Ned Lebow, Dartmouth College

The Golden Age of Psychology: Classics and Our Understanding of the Mind
Mark Adair, Clinical psychoanalyst and independent scholar


Courses offered include:

Ovid and the Augustan Golden Age
Elaine Fantham, Princeton University, Emerita                      

Starting with Ovid's description of the original Golden Age in Metamorphoses 1, the course will discuss connections with Catullus 64, Georgics 1, and Aratus. It will consider also Ovid's representation of the Augustan city and its social activities in Ars Amatoria 1 and 3, Tristia 2, and selected other exile poems.

The Golden Age of Augustan Rome

Barbara Kellum, Smith College

The first emperor boasted that he had found Rome ėbuilt of brick and left it clothed in marble.ô The ghost of Mussolini still haunts the interpretation of the Augustan golden age and the emperorôs transformation of the capital city. However, by examining the monuments of Augustan Rome in relation to their appropriations in municipalities throughout Roman Italy, especially at Pompeii, the social alchemy of the golden age comes into focus as does the nature of artfulness in the Augustan era.

World Enough and Time: The Biblical Apocalyptic Tradition
Peter Machinist, Harvard Divinity School      

From the book of Daniel to Waco and beyond, the theme of Apocalypse and the attractions and dangers it poses remains with us to expose the corruption and oppression of the present situation and purvey promises of a world-wide transformation that will usher in a new and better future; indeed, a new and ideal world. While apocalyptic is not exclusive to any one human group it has particularly strong ties to the scriptural traditions of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament and the contemporary and later literature associated with these texts. In the present course, we shall explore aspects of this Biblical apocalyptic universe by focusing on several of its major literary products: the book of Daniel, selections from the Qumran (Dead Sea Scroll) community, the book of Revelation, and if time permits, a piece of Biblicizing apocalyptic of recent vintage.

Opera and Tragedy: The Nostalgia of European Music-Drama
Roger Travis, University of Connecticut         

On the day of his mental breakdown, Friedrich Nietzsche sent Cosima Wagner a postcard that said only "Ariadne, I love you." Monteverdi, Gluck, and Wagner are only the most obvious examples of great composers of opera whose faith and interest in their operatic projects stemmed from a belief that they were bringing back to life the greatest artistic form of all, the tragedy that flourished in Athens in the 5th C. BCE. In this course, we will discuss their understandings of what tragedy was, and trace the effect in their works. At the same time, we will try to discover what elements of tragedy escaped the composers of opera, and what this can tell us about the practice of tragedy in classical Athens.

Hippocrates and Asklepios: Scientific Medicine and Healing Art in a Golden Age.

Arnold Katz, M.D. University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Dartmouth Medical School

This course will examine disease and treatment as described in works attributed to Hippocrates and testimonials from Temples of Asklepios and other healing Gods. Differences between medical "science" and "art" in the Golden Age of Greece will be compared briefly with differences between scientific medicine and the healing art in today's Golden Age of Medicine.

Restoration Greek: Review, Relearn, Rejoice in Reading Ancient Greek

Edward Bradley, Dartmouth College [Greek Reading Course]

This is a course for those who would like to polish up their "rusty" Greek. We will review the grammar of Ancient Greek through the close reading of short passages from Thucydides, Euripides, Hesiod and Plato, focusing particularly on the splendid (but trying?) intricacies of the Greek verb. Content of the passages will be relevant to the larger theme of the Institute. Anyone who has studied Ancient Greek at any level in the past and would like to get "up close and personal" with Greek again is welcome to participate.

The Golden Age of Athens
Blaise Nagy, Holy Cross College                       

"And we will be admired by present and future generations" (Thuc. II. 41.4)

With these words, Pericles proclaims the greatness of Athens, a city unlike any other in his estimation. Most of us today would share in this estimation and see in Periclean Athens a kind of a Golden Age. But Athens, along with its institutions, had its critics in antiquity, some harsher than others, and it is this admixture of ancient sentiments towards the Athens of the Periclean Age that we will examine in this course

Cosmology and Architecture
Roger Ulrich, Dartmouth College

This course will explore how scientific and philosophical ideas about the organization of the universe influenced architects and their buildings in Greece, Italy, and the world of Early Christianity.

Islam and the Western Mind: Greek to Arabic to Latin

Frank Peters, New York University

Between 750 and 1000 AD, Muslim intellectuals engineered one of the most spectacular technology transfers in human history. Under caliphal patronage the greater part of Greek scientific and philosophical learning was translated from Greek into Arabic. Two centuries later this broad stream of Arab-Islamic learning returned to the West. Europe rediscovered its own Greek past in Arab garb and began re-translating texts into their own scientific vernacular, Latin. They discovered Islam as well. The course will look at these two moments and will inspect what was (and was not) translated, how and why.

Revisioning Cassandra and Medea
Phyllis Katz, Dartmouth College

German novelist Christa Wolf takes the myths of two women and rewrites them in the context of the modern world. This course looks at the ancient tellings of the stories of Cassandra and Medea and at Christa Wolfôs retellings. Wolf transforms and vindicates her heroines: Cassandraôs prophecies are not madness, but the truth that no one wants to hear; Medea has murdered neither her brother or her children. Wolfôs Cassandra sees the futility of external war, Wolfôs Medea the corrosive and destructive nature of internal political power. The novelistôs re-visioning of these myths suggests that women can save mankind; as such Wolfôs myths are utopian, imagining a Golden Age without external war or internal struggles for political power.

Aristophanes & Michael Moore: The "Golden" Boys of Art & Social Criticism

Lon Winston and Valerie Haugen, Thunder River Theatre Company

Aristophanes and Michael Moore share the comedian's courage to risk an impudent attack on the popular opinion. Aristophanes' Knights was the Fahrenheit 9/11 of ancient Greece. This course will compare Knights and Lysistrata with Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine. We will consider whether these golden boys achieved the results they wanted. Through theatrical ritual and mask, the students will create their own "Fahrenheit.Ě

Those Whom We Love to Hate: Literary Portraits of The Enemy in Roman Literature [Latin Reading Course]
J. Douglas Marshall, St. Paul's School, Emeritus

Enemies of Rome - Jugurtha, Catiline, Vercingetorix, Cleopatra, and Calgacus -- are described Sallust, Cicero, Caesar, Horace, and Tacitus. We will analyze the language used to describe these hostes. We will also consider the degree to which these literary inventions are intended to furnish a commentary on Rome. Are Rome's hostes barbarians who lack the civilizing graces that furnish greatness or are they noble savages devoid of the corrupting vices that haunted their conquerors?


Additional Events Include:

Optional Greek and Latin reading groups. The Latin group will be led by Elaine Fantham and be based on readings from her course on Ovid. The Greek group will be led by Blaise Nagy and based on his forthcoming Thucydides reader.

Special exhibit and discussion group at Dartmouthôs Hood Museum. Ellen Perry of the College of the Holy Cross will lead three lunch hour sessions at the Museum, discussing several objects from the Museumôs collections related to our theme, which will be gathered in a special study space for our use. Please note: due to space limitations and the Museumôs rules for the protection of the objects, only the first 45 registrants will be able to participate.

Banquet and opera presentation. The closing banquet will be followed by a presentation by Ann Suter, University of Rhode Island, and Geoffrey Gibbs, the librettist and composer respectively of Potnia, a new opera based on the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Professional singers will perform arias from the work.
All lectures are open to the public. Courses and other CSI events are open only to registered participants. Registered participants attend all lectures and two courses of their choice from the list of twelve given above. Course assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Except for the two designated Greek and Latin reading courses and the optional reading groups, all readings are in English. The registration fee for the six-day Institute is $410 for CANE members and $450 for non-members. The fee includes all events, room (double), lunches, and dinners, including banquet. The fee for attendees who choose not to stay at the college during the Institute is $260 (member commuters) or $310 (non-member commuters.) The commuter fee includes all events, lunches, and banquet.

For a registration form and further information on courses and faculty, go to or contact:

 Erin Perkins Bennett
Classics Department
Reed Hall 6086
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH  03755

... seen on various lists

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:20:40 AM::

~ CONF: Greek Religion and the Orient

The Department of Classics at the Florida State University announces the 2005 Langford Symposium:

Greek Religion and the Orient: From Ishtar to Aphrodite
Friday and Saturday February 25-26, 2005

Broad Auditorium, Pepper Center,  Florida State University

* Introduction:   Ian Rutherford , FSU
* Prof. Sandra Blakely, Emory  "Black Hephaistos?  Gender, magic and metallurgy between Greece and Africa"
* Prof. Ian Moyer, Pomona College "Craftsmen of the Sacred and their Golden Fetters: Models of Mobility in the Graeco-Egyptian Evidence"
* Prof. Billie-Jean Collins, Emory      "Pigs for the Gods. Sacrifice East and West"
* Prof. Fred Naiden, Tulane     "Greek and Hebrew Examples of Rejected Sacrifices"
* Prof. Jan Bremmer, Groningen    "Jason, Medea and the Ancient Mediterranean/Anatolia Cultural Koine"
* Carolina-Lopez Ruiz, Chicago  "Old gods for new spirits. The function of some oriental elements in the  Orphic cosmogonies"
* Prof. Jane Carter, Tulane   "Dining with the Dead in Greece and the Near East"
* Dr. John Franklin      "Lyre Gods East and West" 
* Prof. Margalit Finkelberg, Tel Aviv      "Ino-Leukothea between East and West"
* Prof. Mary Bachvarova, Willamette      "Divine Justice Across the Mediterranean: The Context of Orestes' Trial in Aeschylus"

The Symposium schedule is to be found at:
for more information, please contact Ian Rutherford  (

... seen on various lists

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:15:46 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

3.00 p.m. |DISCU| Pompeii: The Last Day
On August 24, 79, Mount Vesuvius showered the city of Pompeii with ash, smoke and rock. The city lay undisturbed under volcanic debris for more than 1,500 years. Follow a compelling account of the city's final 24 hours, based on the buried evidence.

DISCU = Discovery Channel (U.S.)

::Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:12:26 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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