Latest update: 3/1/2005; 5:15:16 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem iii idus februarias

  • 41 A.D. -- birth of Britannicus, son of the Emperor Claudius and Messalina
  • 50 - 55 A.D.(?) -- birth of Domitia Longina (wife of the emperor Domitian)

::Friday, February 11, 2005 5:44:53 AM::

~ Classical Words of the Day

Today's selection:

celerity @

eclipsis @ Worthless Word for the Day

In addition, there are a couple of entries from the Classics Technology Center's "My Word" feature (which has finally been updated). There's a page of Roman professions (semi ironically, about half of them aren't professions Roman citizens would have, I think) ... and one of rural professions.

::Friday, February 11, 2005 5:38:58 AM::

~ Nuntii Latini

Dies genticus Samorum celebratus (11.2.2005)

Die Dominico sive postridie Nonas Februarias (6.2.) Sami in Finnia habitantes diem gentis suae proprium celebrabant.

Iam tredecim anni sunt, cum hic dies insignis in Finnia agitur.

Eo enim ipso die anno millesimo nongentesimo nonagesimo secundo factum est, ut primus Samorum conventus nordicus Trondheimi, in urbe Norvegiae, haberetur.

Ibi tum inter alia de relationibus inter Samos et maiorem populi partem intercedentibus deliberabatur.

In calendarium autem Finnicum dies Samorum genticus non prius quam anno proxime praeterito officialiter receptus est.

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

::Friday, February 11, 2005 5:32:01 AM::

~ Akropolis World News

Latest headlines from Akropolis World News (in Classical Greek):

North Korea says it has nuclear weapons - Pope leaves hospital for Vatican

::Friday, February 11, 2005 5:28:02 AM::

~ Nietzsche on Classics and Classicists

The gang over at Campus Mawrtius have been featuring a number of quotes from Nietzsche on Classics and Classicists of late ... the latest is:

Classical scholars are men who exploit the hollow feeling of inadequacy in modern man in order to earn their living.

... wow ... that could be a tagline for a blog "exploiting the hollow feeling of inadequacy in modern man" ...

::Friday, February 11, 2005 5:26:51 AM::

~ More School Classics

From the Baltimore Sun:

Bryce Manubay wore a toga and carried a tinfoil trident. Against a painted backdrop of Mount Olympus, the sixth-grader put his creative touch on the role the Greek god Poseidon might have played in the origin of hurricanes, thunderstorms and floods.

Because Poseidon didn't like it when people dumped trash into his ocean, Bryce said, "he put a curse on the sea, such that when he commanded it, the water would churn, the skies would darken and Zeus would go crazy with thunderbolts, summoning a storm."

Writing the myth was his favorite part of the Greek god and goddess festival at Dumbarton Middle School on Tuesday and yesterday, Bryce said.

"I've always liked being at the ocean" he said. "Poseidon is my favorite god."

Aphrodite, Zeus and Poseidon were among the gods and goddesses portrayed in sixth-grade language arts classes during the festival, which concluded a three-week unit on folklore and Greek mythology.

Each pupil wrote a narrative poem based on Greek mythology and created a short myth, based on a well-known or fictional god or goddess, that explained a natural phenomenon or aspect of human behavior, said teacher Briget Koch.

Each pupil was asked to dress as the main character of the myth or poem when their works were presented to the class.

"Some are brave enough to wear [their costumes] around the school all day," Koch said. "Others take it off right away."

Koch wore a patterned maroon sheet tied in the shape of a gown, tan sandals and a headpiece of leaves and flowers to represent Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

Another pupil's Poseidon myth explained the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.

Skylar Paltell, representing Poseidon's sister Serena, described how an angry Poseidon punished mortals by sending tsunamis to the coast. Serena appealed to Zeus to stop her brother from killing hundreds of people, the myth says, and Zeus banished Poseidon to the Bermuda Triangle, which is why that area of the sea remains well-known in ghost stories and sea tales.

"I've always been fascinated by the Bermuda Triangle, so I thought it would be interesting to write a story about it," Skylar said.

Skylar spent a day making her costume of light blue fabric and white straps.

"It's the first thing I've made that I could wear," she said.

On a table, traditional Greek food -- hummus and pita bread, tzatziki, baklava, nuts, fruit and punch -- surrounded a Greek bust at the center of the table.

After the presentations, pupils and parents dined in the classroom accented by light-blue balloons and white streamers.

::Friday, February 11, 2005 5:13:29 AM::

~ Togaman!

"Togaman" Wade Heaton recently paid a visit to the University of Arkansas ... from the Traveler:

The Roman toga was a symbol of citizenship, decency, importance, peace or prostitution, or it served as a trail-mix bag, "Togaman" Wade Heaton said Monday night.

As a child, movies of ancient times entranced Heaton, Daniel Levine, classical studies professor, said. However, Heaton was plagued by one question: "If these guys were so great, why did they wear those stupid clothes?"

After taking time and earning grant money to study the answers to such questions as, "Did they wear underwear?" Heaton travels the country, demonstrating classical Roman dress and explaining the symbolic and practical importance of the toga.

UA classical studies group Eta Sigma Phi brought Togaman to the UA to promote the understanding of the classics on campus and "get exposure for the field," said UA chapter president Evin Demirel.

Heaton, accompanied by a troupe of Eta Sigma Phi models, told nearly a hundred people, mostly students, that the toga "was no bed sheet."

In fact, it was very large and heavy and was worn to build and imply the character qualities that Romans valued: dignity, virtue, gravity and piety, he said.

Virtue in Latin is directly linked to manliness, so the toga was symbol of manhood. The toga was heavy, especially on the left side, where a soldier would carry a heavy shield. Togas were worn much like shields and their weight trained the men's bodies and minds for the weight of Roman armor, he said.

They "trained them for the virtues of citizenship, they were not fun to wear," he said.

The stripes worn on the fringes of the garment were symbolic of a wall, like the one around Rome, Heaton said. Rome's wall was sacred to its inhabitants, he said. According to legend, Romulus killed his brother Remus because he plowed over the line that marked the cities boundaries, Heaton said.

The same was true for the body, he said. Men and women wore purple linings on the edges of their clothes. These stripes separated their physical space symbolically and protected them from the evil eye, he said.

A toga was never worn to a party, Heaton said, because a toga meant gravity, and "no one wants to be weighty at a party," he said. "So at a party the Romans went Greek -- literally."

They dressed in light Greek cloaks, which were more bed sheet-sized, and not as heavy as a toga.

Because it was uncomfortable and didn't protect much from the elements, the toga had to be enforced by Roman law. However, in addition to its purpose as "combat training Roman style," the toga, which was three body lengths long and two wide, had a built-in pouch which allowed the citizen to carry his diploma -- a certificate of military service -- and foods, like trail mix.

"Yes," Heaton said, to the laughter of the audience, "the Romans invented trail mix."

Cleaning the wool togas was the most lucrative nonviolent business in Roman society, he said. Fuller shops collected urine and allowed it to ferment, which separated the urine into ammonia, used for cleaning the fabric, and uric acid, which was used to make the dyes stick.

"I'm sorry to say, but if you're wearing anything with dye, that's urea," he said. "It's still used."


::Friday, February 11, 2005 5:07:05 AM::

~ Classically Inspired?

So ... was Tony Blair thinking 'Classically' when he thought up his campaign slogan for the next election? From the Independent:

Of all the observations, over all of the years, I can't think of any that is more perceptive. As Tony Blair prepares to launch New Labour's election campaign at the party's spring conference this weekend in staunchly Old Labour Gateshead, the PM's disdain for "due process" will be encapsulated in his banal, oxymoron of a campaign slogan: "Britain Forward, not back".

"Due process" might have recommended that Tony had at least brought Labour's National Executive Committee in on the deliberations over the slogan - never mind the "unremittingly New Labour manifesto" that hangs like a Damocles sword. We met a fortnight ago and could have come up with something better - "Britain is better with Gordon" springs to mind, but no. I am still kicking myself. For at this meeting, in common with virtually all I have attended, Tony uttered his favourite banality, "We have to go forward, not back!" So perhaps Tony is not to blame, more an overzealous party staff anxious to please.

But an attention to history, or rather ancient history, might have stayed the hands of the colourless technocrats who thought it up. "Horatius" in Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome, has our hero standing at the gates of the city, defending a narrow bridge over the Tiber against the might of the Etruscan army. And so the cry went up; "Those behind cried 'forward', while those before cried 'back'."

::Friday, February 11, 2005 5:01:27 AM::

~ Frontinus Translation

A new translation of Sextus Julius Frontinus' On the Water-Management of the City of Rome by R.H. Rogers has hit the web ...

::Friday, February 11, 2005 4:57:40 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| The Seven Wonders of the World

9.00 p.m. |DTC| The Early Years
Explore the strange fables that surround Jesus' birth. Follow the childhood and early adult years of Jesus using a first century living museum newly opened in Nazareth. Find out why Jesus began his mission and why he chose to live his life the way he did.

10.00 p.m. |DTC| The Mission
Learn how Jesus carried out his ministry as a healer and exorcist and how his taste for parties with undesirable guests became an attack on religious authorities. Follow him to Jerusalem and see how dangerous it was for him during the Passover Festival.

11.00 p.m. |DTC|The Last Days
Look at the last days of Jesus' life: the Last Supper; the Mount of Olives where he prayed and sweat blood; and the trial where he is condemned for blasphemy. Explore what may have accounted for his resurrection and find out what he may have looked like.

DTC = Discovery Times Channel

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

::Friday, February 11, 2005 4:51:59 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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