Latest update: 4/1/2005; 5:33:07 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ Eta Sigma Phi

From St. Olaf News:

A resurgence of enthusiasm for the classics in higher education will be palpable at St. Olaf College as it hosts the national convention of the classics honor society Eta Sigma Phi the weekend of April 15 to 17.

Leading the bid for the national convention was St. Olaf senior Stephanie Walker, national president of Eta Sigma Phi, along with fellow St. Olaf honor society students. Walker will coordinate the event.

Representatives of more than 100 colleges around the country will attend the national convention.

Events for the weekend include a Friday night reception and classics quiz bowl competition, Olympic Games in Skoglund Center, a talk by Provost and Dean of the College Jim May, who also is a professor of classics, on the ancient Greek Trireme (warship), a concert by the Early Music Singers conducted by Professor of Music Gerald Hoekstra and a costume contest at the Saturday night Roman banquet.

A free performance of Plautus' Curculio ("The Weevil"), an ancient Roman musical comedy, is open to the public. It will be performed in Room 233 of Christiansen Hall of Music at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16.

About Eta Sigma Phi
Eta Sigma Phi is the national honor society for students of Latin and/or ancient Greek. Students are eligible to be elected to membership if their college or university has an active, officially chartered chapter.

The purposes of the society, in the words of its constitution, are "to develop and promote interest in classical study among the students of colleges and universities; to promote closer fraternal relationship among students who are interested in classical study, including inter-campus relationship; to engage generally in an effort to stimulate interest in classical study, and in the history, art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome."

St. Olaf College is currently the national home for Eta Sigma Phi and has had a chapter since 1971. St. Olaf last hosted the national convention exactly 20 years ago. With some 50 student majors, the Classics Department at St. Olaf is larger than that of any other college or university in the country. Its students have won national prizes in Greek and Latin translation through the society every year since 1980.

St. Olaf professors Anne Groton and Jim May are nationally recognized among classicists, each having received the American Philological Association's Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Classics.

::Saturday, March 19, 2005 6:56:09 AM::
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~ Zoroastrianism and More

An AFP piece (via Yahoo) which will hopefully be followed up on:

The mysterious Margianan civilisation which flowered in the desert of what is now Turkmenistan some 4,000 years ago was the cradle of the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism, Greco-Russian archeologist Victor Sarigiannidis claimed here.

 He said the theory would provoke controversy amongst his fellow archeologists, but said his excavations around the site of Gonur Tepe have uncovered temples and evidence of sacrifices that would consistent with a Zoroastrian cult.

The religion was founded by Zarathustra, a Persian prophet who was one of the world's first monotheists, and is still practiced today in Iran (news - web sites) and India. A team of archeologists in the eastern Turkmenistan region have discovered the foundations of a huge palace, seven temples and a vast mausoleum.

Sarigiannidis believes the civilisation emerged with the arrival in the region of people seeking an escape from drought in Mesopotamia (now Syria).

"Ninety-five percent of the ruins of the mausoleum look similar to those of Mesopatamia," Sarigiannidis, a member of the Russian Science Academy said.

He also pointed out the similarity in the palace gate with the Minoan Palace of Knossos on the Greek Island Crete.

The latest finds from excavations in 2004 are on exhibit in the Turkmen capital and suggest a highly refined civilisation. They feature superb mosaics depicting griffins, wolves and lions, as well a marble statue of a ram and finely highlighted vases in gold and silver.

Sarigiannidis has called on the Greek government to continue to fund his excavations at the site and said the 17,000 euros per year grant he had been accorded until 2007 by the former socialist government had been cut by the current minister of culture.

::Saturday, March 19, 2005 6:54:27 AM::
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~ Roman Statuary and More!

Interesting item from the Daily Post:

EXPERTS say a remarkable marble ring of statues at Powis Castle dates back to Roman times.

A National Trust investigation has finally resolved a debate over how old the artworks at the castle are.

It was thought they were either sculpted in Roman times 2,000 years ago, or copied in the 18th century.

Experts now say the statues at the castle, where TV weather girl Siân Lloyd plans to tie the knot with MP Lembit Opik in October, are a combination of both.

A statue of Demeter, Greek goddess of agriculture and fertility set upon a funeral altar, is a genuine Roman sculpture dating back to the late 1st century AD.

But two others - a young boy holding a bird and a toga-clad man - were actually crafted from Roman fragments in the 18th century, reflecting fashions and tastes of the time.

Tell-tale signs such as long hair were added by sculptor Cavaceppi, who laboured tirelessly to satisfy the neoclassical obsession with all things Greek and Roman.

"We have long suspected their true origins," said Margaret Gray of Powis Castle, part of the National Trust's 'Spring Clean' mission to return statues to their former glory.

"However this investigation has allowed a closer look to reveal the definitive results for the first time."

Neo-classical sculpture was often aged to look Roman by applying acid to weather the surface and breaking up the statues before re-building them.

Andreas Kropp from the Institute of Archeology in Oxford, who worked on the Cliveden Conservation project, said the signs were there but needed deciphering by experts.

"The smiling expression of one boy was peculiar, because the overwhelming majority of Roman figures of children were used as funerary monuments," he said.

"In another, there is a very strange ensemble of ancient pieces - Eros has an ancient body, a modern neck and the head of a girl which has been subtely changed to look like the face of Eros.

"Its an exciting discovery." Visitors to the castle, which re-opens on March 21 alongside other national historic houses, are invited to spot the difference for themselves.

The detective trail involves looking for 18th century tell-tale signs such as whether the feet are parallel instead of spaced apart at an angle.

Neo-classical collectors also preferred the romantic or knowing smile, as opposed to the funereal grimace sported by Roman pieces.

The next stage of the ongoing conservation project will be to restore the collection to its former glory, when it first came into the hands of the Earl of Powis and Lord Robert Clive around 1750.

::Saturday, March 19, 2005 6:46:19 AM::
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~ AWOTV: On TV Today

Nothing of interest ...

::Saturday, March 19, 2005 6:44:01 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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