Latest update: 4/1/2005; 5:32:53 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem vi idus martias

  • Festival of Mars continues (day 10)
  • 241 B.C. -- Romans are victorious against the Carthaginians in the naval battle of Aegusa, bringing the First Punic War to an end
  • 49 B.C. -- Caesar crosses the Rubicon (by one reckoning)
  • 15 A.D. -- Tiberius becomes pontifex maximus
  • ca. 172 A.D. -- martyrdom of Alexander in Phrygia
  • ca. 258 A.D. -- martyrdom of Codratus of Corinth and companions

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:43:52 AM::
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~ Classical Word of the Day

Today's 'selection':

lachrymose @ (that's how you spell it?)

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:35:37 AM::
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~ Meeting at Bononia?

Shades of one of the Triumvirates (okay, there are only two folks involved, but you get what I mean) ... from News24:

Perhaps selling 1.1 million copies of his new album in four days has softened the heart of 50 Cent. Or maybe he has so many feuds going, he can afford to let one go.

On Wednesday, 50 Cent and The Game publicly squashed a bitter feud that had erupted into gunfire last week after 50 kicked Game out of his G-Unit clique for disloyalty.

The two platinum-selling gangsta rappers didn't exactly kiss and make up. When they emerged before a media throng at Harlem's famed Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture, both looked as if they'd been shoved into apologies by a stern mother.

But they did shake hands, albeit at the end of the press conference, after speaking about contrition and the need for peace.

50 noted that on Wednesday was the anniversary of the unsolved murder of Biggie Smalls in 1997, the culmination of a rap war between Biggie and Tupac Shakur that pitted East Coast against West.

"We're here today to show that people can rise above the most difficult circumstances and together we can put negativity behind us," said 50, a native New Yorker.

"A lot of people don't want to see it happen, but we're responding to the two most important groups, our family and our fans." [more]


::Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:33:08 AM::
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~ Nuntii Latini

Greges extremistarum esse delendos (4.3.2005)

Ariel Sharon, minister primarius Israelis, flagitavit, ut Mahmoud Abbas, praesidens Palaestinensium, greges extremistarum delendos curaret; antequam id fecisset, processum pacis continuari non posse. Causa est bomba in urbe Tel Aviv nuper explosa, qua quattuor homines vitam amiserunt. Ordo Jihad nuntiavit explosionem funestam a se patratam esse.

Tuomo Pekkanen
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:28:53 AM::
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Good to see National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week is getting some press coverage ... from the Herald-Dispatch:

There’s a shortage of Latin teachers at Marshall University, and Charles Lloyd is trying to do something about it.

Lloyd, a Latin professor, is using this week, which is National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week, to encourage his students to be teachers.

Lois Merritt, retired Huntington High School Latin teacher and part-time Latin teacher at Covenant School, visited Lloyd’s class Wednesday.

Merritt, who taught at Huntington High for 25 years, brought along her Covenant students to entertain the college class.

"This is really an attempt to increase the number of students who could be Latin teachers," Lloyd said. "There is really a shortage all over the country."

Currently, Merritt teaches Latin to third- and fourth-graders at Covenant.

"I never thought kids this young could be taught Latin," Merritt said. "It is truly amazing how much they can learn so quickly."

To help her students learn the language, Merritt created Latin chants and songs. She also uses the Latin verb endings and first and second conjugation to create crosswords puzzles. She also rewards her students with candy and toys as a way to help them learn.

"People wouldn’t believe how much better the kids’ vocabulary is after they are in this class," Merritt said. "It can even improve their SAT score."

Brooks Gillispie, a third-grader in Merritt’s class, said he enjoys the class because it challenges him.

"I like something that makes me think," Gillispie said. "Plus, the teacher is really fun."

The young students performed their chants all afternoon for Lloyd’s class. Through bursts of laughter, even the university students learned from the elementary students.

"This is so exciting and interesting to see how someone can teach children this young," said Leisa Muto, a junior at Marshall. "This is incredible."

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:25:47 AM::
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~ Latin Motto

Maybe it's my lack of caffeine (when does Lent end? I know ... I know) but I can't make heads or tails of this Latin motto which is attached to a new newspaper in Scotland. The gloss from the Scotsman doesn't help:

The launch editor is Alex MacLeod, a veteran of 22 years at the Sunday Mail, who proclaimed his new paper’s views in a page-one column. Readers were promised "a truly Scottish newspaper, written, edited, printed and owned in Scotland. That makes it unique." The paper has a grand Latin motto, Aut Dictum Aut Solvam, which is a reference to Alexander the Great and the Gordian knot: it means "What I can’t untie, I’ll cut". Politicians and their red tape have been duly warned.

... the phrase does look familiar

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:19:17 AM::
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~ Classics Threatened in France

A link at ARLT leads us to this post from Paul Ferguson about the threat to Classics courses at the 'high school' level ... there's a petition which can be signed:

The secondary school teaching of Classics (and, more particularly, Greek) is under threat in, of all places, France.

See here for a list of recent job losses, including some at prestigious grammar schools:

A petition has been got up and it seems to be doing the trick:

To sign the petition (anyone can sign):

To see the list of signatories:

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:06:20 AM::
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~ Trojan Horse

From the Mooresville/Decatur Times:

Art and vocational classes usually come to mind when you think of a class where you would design and build a replica of a horse, not an English class. But, in Leslie Gillie’s senior English class at Monrovia High School, that’s exactly what students did for a class project.

Starting last semester, students in the class began studying Greek and Roman literature, Virgil’s “The Aeneid” and the Homeric epic “The Iliad.” Because of changes in what Gillie teaches at the high school, Gillie had had many of these students before in previous classes and wanted to find a new and exciting project to engage the students. She then came up with the idea of making replicas of the Trojan horse from Homer’s “The Iliad.”

The students were given only two specifications regarding the replica.

“The horses must fit through a standard school doorway and must be as authentic as possible according to evidence found during student research,” said Gillie.

The class decided to split up into teams, seven boys versus four girls.

Then the students were required to research the Trojan horse in the library and came up with a preliminary sketch.

“We had no idea what we were doing when we started,” said Carly Gore.

Students worked on the project outside of class with only scraps of wood, a circular saw and a drill. The girls’ team started with the stomach of the horse and worked from there.

“It was fun trying to make everything work,” said Alicia Noel.

The students learned more about the topic than they would have just from the textbooks.

“By working on it outside of class, it helped us talk about the topic,” said Savanah Light.

Students turned in the finished project on Feb. 25. Because of the size of the replicas, many students at the school thought it was a senior prank. The elementary students were amazed by the size of the horses.

Once the students had set up their project in the school lobby, they allowed students and school staff to vote on the two horses. The boys’ team eventually won the competition. [more]

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 5:00:43 AM::
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~ Roman Site Threatened

From the Turkish Daily News:

The Pan-European Federation for Heritage, Europa Nostra, asked for Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül's help in saving the ancient city of Allianoi from being flooded by Yortanlý Dam, which is to begin operation in November.

  Europa Nostra Executive President Otto von der Gablentz and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, the European Council and UNESCO wrote a letter to Gül and asked for help in rescuing Allianoi and its Roman baths. Gablentz said Gül should fight to save these ruins and that they should remain for future generations to see. The letter, dated March 1, 2005, also said it was unusual to see Roman thermal springs of such splendor outside areas of Roman habitation and that this Roman bath was historically important.

  The flooding to be caused by the dam would constitute a great loss to Turkey's historical legacy and also deprive the country of tourism. If no solution is found, Allianoi will be submerged and lost forever under the waters of Yortanlý Dam.

  Situated near Bergama at the Paþa Thermal Spa, Allianoi was founded during the Hellenic period and was transformed by Roman Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-138). Dr. Ahmet Yaraþ and his staff discovered the ancient city Allainoi during construction of the state waterworks dam in 1995. [more]

Here's a relevant webpage on Allianoi ...

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 4:58:02 AM::
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~ Orpheus Row Continues

Wow ... this Orpheus thing seems to be a much bigger deal than I thought. An editorial from the Sofia News Agency:

Over the last years Bulgaria has put a lot of efforts into promoting its rich history and impressive cultural and archaeological heritage. This campaigning has a sentimental aspect to the nation, but most of all comes for an economic reason. More and more Bulgarians make a living on tourism, and many experts believe the hospitality industry is actually the country's only chance for economic revival.

Are state institutions determined to realize such advertisement, or all this is just West-inspired bombastic statements without actual understanding? Now that Bulgaria has set up a special Tourism and Culture Ministry, it is about time to see wishful thinking put into action.

The first crucial test is already a fact.

Last week, Greek tour operators usurped one of the most popular and fascinating mythical figures of the Thracians - that of deified royal descendant Orpheus. He is looked upon as one of the chief poets and musicians of antiquity, whose lyre mastery could charm the wild beasts and even draw trees and rocks from their places and stop rivers from flowing.

It is no wonder that the beautiful legend of Orpheus has inspired many artpieces worldwide, including Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo, the operetta Orpheus in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach, the Tennessee Williams play Orpheus Descending, Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, a modernized version in Nick Cave's song The Lyre of Orpheus, as well as numerous film retellings.

The Mythical artist has also become a key figure of Greek legend, although various sources mention that Orpheus was borrowed by the Greeks from their Thracian neighbours. With Greek tour operators now advertising their destination as "the land of mythical Orpheus," borrowing has turned into theft.

The move triggered otrage among Bulgarian scientists, but there is still no word from the Tourims and Culture officials. For a week already, eminent archeologists have been calling on the government to take a firm stand. Bulgaria is being robbed of a major cultural asset, and also of a trademark that could bring a lot of money, the scholars alarmed.

"Even if we want to put it mildly, the Greek move is nothing but a theft, and a theft that makes money," Associate Professor Krassimir Leshtakov told Bulgarian journalists on Wednesday. Leshtakov recalled on how the Troy blockbuster recently boosted fivefold land price where ancient Troy was, as the movie had sparkled a craze among US and German tourists.

Leshatkov and famed archeologists Professor Nikolay Ovcharov teamed up efforts for drawing the attention of state institutions to the issue. The two seemed worried about state policies, and called on the newly-founded Ministry for a counter-campaign.

In any case, a firm stand will be more than justified. Bulgaria is preparing to open a unique archeological finding that might turn out to be the gravesite of Orpheus. The temple is located in the eastern part of the Rhodope Mountains, and has been carved out of a large single rock piece, 4.5 meters in height. That structure differs from any other Thracian tomb uncovered in the mountain, and, together with the picturesque location, apparantly has the potential to become a tourism landmark.

...If only Orpheus had not been claimed Greek already.

Handling this matter will be an indication for the ability of the Tourism and Culture body to work efficiently. Giving up the battle could mean losing the war - and let us all hope that will not happen.

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 4:53:03 AM::
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~ A Greek Day

From the Pawling News Chronicle:

They were all there, the Greek gods, the tradesmen, shopkeepers, architects and philosophers.

Each student studies the particular aspects of an individual Greek's way of life, and then plays out the role at the agora. Each of them can tell the visitor the nature of that particular member of the ancient society.

Rachel Fracassi played a Greek named Larissa, and
sold her own pottery in a booth ringed with ivy vines and flowers. She was clad in the draped cloth of the relaxed and graceful fashion of the age.

"This is Greek pottery that I have made," Rachel said. "This is called an amphora, a pitcher with no handle. It is used to store oil, wines, water, and grains and wheat. This is another piece called a kilix. It is a shallow mug that you drink out of. It is usually glazed, because I bake it out in the sun, and usually if it is not glazed and you throw water on it, it will turn back into mushy clay. So, I glaze it so that it is waterproof.

"This is a prooches, which is a jug or a pitcher with a handle that is used to store water and wine. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to make one, and about the same time to dry it.

"These pieces are usually made from what is called earthenware. It is found at the bottom of the river, and it tends to stick together when you get it to the correct stickiness.

"Usually it dries to this maroon-ish color, and so I don't have to paint it very much. If I do want to paint it, I would grind up berries or leaves to make the colors. If a customer wants yellow, you can use a daffodil and grind it up. If you want purple, you can use a blueberry for a purplish blue color. You can mix it with oil to make the paint."

The fisherman in the next booth is Zeno, played by Zach Scholz, who says, "I mostly fish in the Aegean Sea. It is not very far. I will use big nets like these to trap fish. I will use poles, or also smaller hand nets like that to catch fish. I will fish from my boat, or from a rock by the shore.

"I am usually out there all day, seeing what I can get, and then the next day, I usually come here to the agora and see what I can get for my fish. I trade them and sell them to people.

"This is a bass, and I am pretty sure it is a leopard bass, because it has the spots like a leopard. I also catch smaller fish."

Christine Simoes is playing the role of Panthea, and says, "As a dyer, we dyed yarn and cloth. We used herbs that were available to make the colors. Some of the herbs they used were thyme and parsley. They used sunflowers to make yellow and black. They also boiled beets to make red, and they used berries to make red and other colors. They also boiled the rocks, and when they were done boiling, they turned into clay, but they also used the water that had turned brown for color. The yarn is made from sheep's wool, and they also had cloth that they dyed."

The organizer is sixth grade social studies teacher Cal Polikoff, who described the event by saying, "In sixth grade, a major part of the curriculum is ancient civilizations. One of the things we do every year at this point in our studies is the Greek Agora, which was the Greek marketplace, the center of town, the center of life, the center of all social events, and how news traveled.

"All the students signed up for a part. Many of them are artisans, your skilled crafts people. Some of them are gods and goddesses, some of them are philosophers and writers, some of the more famous people, like Socrates, Herodotus and Hippocrates. Some of them simply choose a Greek name, and they become artisans.

"We are in the middle of the marketplace, the agora, and ours takes place in ancient Athens. The year is 450 B.C., which is during what is called the Golden Age of Athens.

"The students had to do research, in order to put their costumes and booths together. They learned about the skills of the individual craftsmen. We will be traveling back in time."

Polikoff added, "The sixth grade students and I really appreciate the help and cooperation we receive from the other teachers and the staff at the school. They reorganize their schedules and the school space to make the Greek Agora possible, and we are all very grateful."

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 4:50:07 AM::
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~ Owen Ewald

The Falcon has a nice piece on Dr. Owen Ewald, C. May Marston Professor at Seattle Pacific University:

Doctor Owen Ewald reads Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, German, Italian, French and English. He can speak Latin, Greek and English fluently. And now he is filling the shoes of the late SPU Professor C. May Marston and SPU Emerita Professor Winifred Weter, carrying on the tradition of teaching the classics at SPU.

Recently named SPU's second C. May Marston Professor, Ewald says he is honored to carry on the tradition.

Ewald says that his position, which includes an annual lecture, is designed "to make sure that the study of classics doesn't die out."

And Ewald says he tries to bring his enthusiasm to the classroom to ensure that the ancient languages remain lively.

"I began Latin at age 12, and Greek at 16," he said. "I was a Latin tutor in college, reading Caesar, and I enjoyed tutoring as much as my classes."

Ewald was accepted into graduate school and paid his way through by teaching. Ewald says that this is still where his passions lie.

"I think it's important to stay connected and to stay aware of our cultural heritage," he said. "As speakers of English on one hand, and members of the cultural west on the other, it applies not only to a more specific scale of language but a more general scale of history and culture."

This is Ewald's 13th year teaching, and his fourth at SPU. Educated with a classics degree at Yale, he tutored and completed Graduate work at the University of Washington, earning his doctorate in 1999.

As Marston Professor, Ewald will be responsible for bringing the classics to SPU, and he could not be more excited.

"I just can't help myself," he said. "I'm very passionate."

Ewald is known for his animation in teaching, whether it be illustrating the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius or talking about Latin poetry.

"The way to get people enthusiastic about a subject is to be enthusiastic yourself," he said. If the professor is not excited, he says, "Why would anyone else care?"

Sophomore Pierce Wade says that he likes Ewald because he is always engaging.

"He is naturally an active guy, and he is energetic no matter what he's talking about," he said. "He's always excited about what he's presenting."

Wade, who is in Ewald's Elementary Latin as well as his Classical Civilization class, says that a number of students utilize Ewald's office hours just to hang out with him.

"He has an incredible breadth of knowledge, and makes relevant connections to current events," he said.

Wade cited instances when Ewald connected a Latin word from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" to the new album from Beck and pointed out a classical allusion from Greek literature in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

"He's very well informed, and you wouldn't think that of a professor of classics would be that connected to current events," Wade said.

Ewald says he loves SPU because he can connect with the students and get them involved and interested.

"I'm a huge fan of (C.S. Lewis') Narnia books, and I can make references and people will know what I'm talking about," he said. "Other places I've taught before, I'd have to explain who Moses was."

As Marston Professor, Ewald will hold the title until his tenure at SPU is up.

"I love my job, and I love teaching here," he said. "I can be most fully myself."

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 4:48:15 AM::
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~ Chariot Racing Redux

Check this out from Middle East Online:

Life will return again to the ancient city of Jerash through the monumental hippodrome which used to witness various activities during the first and second centuries AD.

Jordanian investor Fawwaz Zu'bi, who established a company to revive activities at this site, signed an agreement with the Tourism Ministry allowing him to use the site for ten years.

The company started to train a group from the city of Jerash with a view to hold daily Roman sports activities.

Trainer of the group said that performances inside the Hippodrome will start as of May 9.

These activities will include chariot races which was the most favoured sports for the Romans.

A stable of up to twenty horses with chariots, harnesses and colorful costumes with sound effects, commentary and lightening will give the visitor a thrilling glimpse of the spectacle as experienced by the citizen of Roman Gerasa nearly two thousand years ago.

These activities will be a live event that has so far only been the subject of epic films.

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 4:45:18 AM::
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~ AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |HINT| Maintaining the Truth
Part 2 investigates the letters of the New Testament, many of which warn the early Christian communities against heretics and their teachings. We examine the letters of the brothers of Jesus, James and Jude, and look at how the Jewish movement in Jerusalem, led by James, eventually clashed with Paul's preachings on Christ. And speaking of Paul, we look at Saul's conversion to Paul, and how his subsequent correspondences with the Mediterranean congregations helped Christianity grow from a seed movement in its homeland into a pullulating global movement.  

HINT = History International

::Thursday, March 10, 2005 4:43:36 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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