Latest update: 4/1/2005; 5:40:32 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

pridie kalendas apriles

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 5:38:37 AM::
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~ Classical Words of the day

Today's selection:

magniloquent @

contiguous @ Merriam-Webster

oxymoron @ Wordsmith

peristalsis @ Worthless Word for the Day

batophobia @  (I don't quite understand this one)

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 5:32:36 AM::
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~ Nuntii Latini

Regimen Estoniae munus deposuit (25.3.2005)

Regimen Estoniae, quod e fautoribus factionis centralis et partium dextrarum constabat et cui Juhan Parts, princeps minister duodequadraginta annorum, biennium fere praefuit, munus deponere coactum est.

Quod factum est, cum minister iustitiae Ken-Marti Vaher suffragio de fide in parlamento inito repulsam tulisset.

Causa eius rei existimatur fuisse, quod Vaher nimis acriter id egisset, ut magistratus Estoniae in dies plures in crimen corruptionis vocarentur.

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

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 5:27:55 AM::
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~ @ the Auctions

Posting that Etruscan sistrum yesterday reminded me that, once upon a time, I had intended to have a regular feature on items of interest coming up for auction (since not all the the ancient world is housed in museums) -- I can't remember why I stopped posting, although it was probably connected with signing up to be alerted when certain auctions were coming and never being informed (or having such notices being trapped in a spam filter). In any event, I'll see if I can't resurrect the feature, and we'll return to Bonham's where we find another Etruscan (actually Etrusco-Corinthian) piece in the form of a vase in the form of a mother monkey and baby:

Details ...

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 5:25:31 AM::
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~ Reviews from BMCR

Christopher M. McDonough, Richard E. Prior, Mark Stansbury, Servius' Commentary on Book Four of Virgil's Aeneid.

Véronique Dasen (ed.), Naissance et petite enfance dans l'Antiquité. Actes du colloque de Fribourg, 28 novembre-1er décembre 2001. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 203.

Florian Hurka, Textkritische Studien zu Valerius Flaccus. Hermes Einzelschriften, 90.

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 5:19:16 AM::
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~ Gospel of Judas

From the (Australian) Daily Telegraph:

ABOUT 2000 years after the Gospel according to Judas sowed discord among early Christians, a Swiss foundation says it is translating for the first time the controversial text named after the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus Christ.

The 62-page papyrus manuscript of the text was uncovered in Egypt during the 1950s or 1960s, but its owners did not fully comprehend its significance until recently, according to the Maecenas Foundation in Basel.

The manuscript written in the ancient dialect of Egypt's Coptic Christian community will be translated into English, French and German in about a year, the foundation specialising in antique culture said today.

"We have just received the results of carbon dating: the text is older than we thought and dates back to a period between the beginning of the third and fourth centuries," foundation director Mario Jean Roberty said.

The existence of a Gospel of Judas, which was originally written in Greek, was outlined by a bishop, Saint Irenee, when he denounced the text as heretical during the second century.

"It's the only clear source that allows us to know that such a Gospel did exist," Mr Roberty explained.

The foundation declined to say what account Judas is said to give in his alleged gospel.

According to Christian tradition, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver by helping the Romans to find him before he was crucified.

"We do not want to reveal the exceptional side of what we have," Mr Roberty said.

The author of the text is unknown.

"No-one can clearly state that Judas wrote it himself," Mr Roberty said, while pointing out that the other gospels were probably not written by their supposed authors either.

The four recognised gospels of the New Testament describe the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and are said to record his teachings from the eyes of four of his disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Roman Catholic Church limited the recognised gospels to the four in 325 AD, under the guidance of the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine.

Thirty other texts - some of which have been uncovered - were sidelined because "they were difficult to reconcile with what Constantine wanted as a political doctrine", according to Mr Roberty.

The foundation's director said the Judas Iscariot text called into question some of the political principles of Christian doctrine.

The Maecenas Foundation, which aims to protect archaeological relics found in poor countries, hopes to organise exhibitions around the manuscript and to produce a documentary on the process of unravelling the text.

The full launch is due in Easter 2006.

Over at Hypotyposeis, SC expresses a pile of skepticism (for good reason, obviously) and has a pile of other appropriate links about this one (see especially the article at Michel van Rijn's site on the discovery of the manuscript). Just to add to the skepticism, according to one thing I found on the www, the Maecenas Foundation is 'chaired' by one Noryoshi Hiruchi (cf the article at van Rijn's site). Now I'm not sure about the transliteration of Japanese names, but NH is apparently an antiquities dealer who is somehow  associated with the Shumeikei religious sect in Japan and has been questioned about authenticity before. The sect has poured piles of money into antiquities and has built a museum. My gut says there's something strange going on here (not least because the Maecenas Foundation itself doesn't appear to have a website ... in 2005!!!).

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 5:03:47 AM::
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~ Finding Atlantis

Actually, we're not dealing with a claim in this one per se, but it's a review of a scholarly book about someone who made a claim. David King's Finding Atlantis is described thusly at the Book Standard:

Atlantis has been a puzzle since Plato wrote obliquely of it 2,500 years ago, and the notion of a highly evolved civilization that one day disappeared under the waves continues to exert its hold. King (European History/Univ. of Kentucky) uncovers one of the Lost Continent's most unlikely champions in this portrait of the Swedish scholar Olof Rudbeck, who grew up in a time and place that seems to have encouraged certain eccentricities. After all, Sweden's Queen Christina had recently "converted to Catholicism, renounced the Swedish throne, and moved to Rome, where she allegedly rode into town dressed as an Amazon warrior." Rudbeck, for his part, attracted attention by wading into a pile of cow in an Uppsala marketplace, where he discovered the lymphatic system and "correctly explained its functions in the body." Appointed rector of Uppsala University in 1661, Rudbeck fell afoul of inquisitors intent on proving him a Cartesian heretic, but Rudbeck had weirder ambitions; on the shakiest of linguistic grounds, and working with a body of legend, folklore, and sagas, he set out to prove that the nearby countryside was the land of the Hyperboreans, that his hometown was once the capital of a vanished civilization, and that it was "absolutely urgent to rekindle the wisdom of Atlantis." He brushed aside learned objections to his theories—yes, Atlantis was supposed to be an island, but Sweden was a peninsula, and that was close enough—and, indeed, brushed aside some of his official responsibilities while compiling a 2,500-page opus called the Atlantica and hunting funds to publish it. He finally secured them from Sweden's king, but to not much avail, for historians even then were insisting on stronger evidence than mere 0conjecture, and "Rudbeck’s name was becoming synonymous, at least in some circles, with wild theorizing." The result: the published volumes, too, all but disappeared.

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 4:52:26 AM::
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~ Caligula's Horse

The Caligula-and-his-horse trope comes up so often that I don't even bother with it anymore, for the most part, but today the newspapers have a Knessetarian (what do you call members of the Israeli parliament?) trying to work Caligula into some political appointment. In Ynetnews we read:

“There haven’t been appointments like these since Caligula appointed his horse to the Roman council,” said Yossi Sarid, head of the left-wing Yahad party. “This is just a whim, it’s payment for a vote.”

Then I guess someone who knew someone who knew someone who took Classics corrected him and in Ha'aretz he said:

Yahad MK Yossi Sarid said that "not since Caligula named his horse as consul in Rome have there been such strange appointments." He said that "Sharon apparently thinks that his disengagement plan not only cleans up a can of worms but also horses."

A can of horses?

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 4:41:43 AM::
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~ Greek Personal Names

This one appeared on the Classicists list yesterday ... the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names has an online component which allows you to search for various names and/or bibliography on said names. Nice supplement to the print version ...

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 4:32:23 AM::
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~ AWOTV: On TV Today

3.00 p.m. |DISCC| Malaria and the Fall of Rome
Was malaria behind the decline and fall of one of the most powerful empires the world has ever seen?

10.00 p.m. |HISTU|   Caligula: Reign of Madness
Caligula ruled the Roman Empire fewer than four years, and was only 28 when assassinated by officers of his guard in 41 AD. His reign was a legendary frenzy of lunacy, murder, and lust. Between executions, he staged spectacular orgies, made love to his sister, and declared himself a living god. Join us for a look at this devoted son, murderer, pervert, and loving father whose anguished life was far more bizarre than the myth that surrounds him.

DISCC = Discovery Channel (Canada)

HISTU = History Channel (U.S.)

::Thursday, March 31, 2005 4:28:41 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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