Virtue gives what physical appearance denies.
(pron = daht WEER-toos kwod FOHR-mah NAY-gaht)
Comment: The implication seems to be that while physical appearance seems so
important, being attractive finally occurs more for the virtues that we
practice (interior attitudes and integrity) than how we look physically
(exterior beauty, clothing, etc).
Anyone who has lived for a while knows that in human relationships, integrity
(wholeness) is what makes relationships work. Integrity is what can be relied
upon much more so than how my friend, spouse, partners, lover, neighbor,
employer, etc looks.
It also seems to me that virtue (inner attitudes and integrity) must first be
practiced on ourselves before it yields anything of substance. For instance, I
can set about to practice compassion toward others. If I do not practice
compassion toward myself first, then the compassion that I think I am
practicing toward others is finally just another exterior practice for others
to see—in hopes that I might impress someone. If I practice compassion on
myself first, then I begin to appreciate what real compassion is. Then, when I
am compassionate toward another, it comes from a very different place. It is
genuine. My compassion has integrity. The other person feels the difference,
and knows that there has been a genuine interchange between us.
Physical appearance cannot have that kind of affect on others.
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
As Italy presses the Metropolitan Museum of Art to return allegedly looted antiquities, it has little direct evidence that some disputed ancient pots in the museum's collection were excavated in Italy, court records show.
The New York museum said it will return antiquities if presented with proof the objects were looted from Italian soil, making the strength of Italy's evidence crucial to winning repatriation.
The Met's director, Philippe de Montebello, will brief the museum's board of trustees on the case later this week or early next, after he returns from a European trip that included talks with Italian officials, museum spokesman Harold Holzer said. The trustees would need to approve any settlement with Italy.
``He and the board truly want this looming embarrassment and continuing hassle to go away,'' said Thomas Hoving, who as the Met's director from 1967 to 1977 helped buy the disputed objects. Even without proof, a compromise is likely, he said.
The lack of direct links between some pots and Italian excavations is a sticking point in Italy's talks with de Montebello, said Maurizio Fiorilli, a Culture Ministry lawyer. Italy is pressing the Met and other museums about looted antiquities as part of an effort to end collecting practices that encourage illegal excavation, he said.
The objects at the Met under discussion are seven Greek-style vases and a 15-piece set of Hellenistic silver that Italian officials say was looted at Morgantina in Sicily.
A compromise being considered by the Met and Italy would include the museum surrendering some items, Italy lending new ones back and the Met transferring ownership of other items to Italy while keeping them in New York as long-term loans, Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione said on Nov. 22.
For six of the seven pots, Italian evidence doesn't tie them to any clandestine digs or tomb robbers, according to a judge's conviction of Roman art dealer Giacomo Medici, who was charged with smuggling the pots. Italian negotiators are using evidence from his trial in their negotiations with the Met.
For the seventh vase, a 2,500-year-old pot painted by the artist Euphronios, an allegedly incriminating journal found in an American art dealer's Paris apartment makes no mention of the object ever being in Italy. Instead, it surfaces in Switzerland. However, other evidence in the case does place the pot in Italy.
For the silver, proof that it came from Italy includes an excavation site and conversations between police and clandestine diggers, said Malcolm Bell, an archaeologist at the University of Virginia who heads the official Morgantina digs.
``In the case of the silver, there is evidence,'' said Bell, who has pressed the Met to return the pieces.
Italian officials said it should be assumed that the disputed pots came from Italy, even without direct evidence, as scholarship shows such pots could only have originated there.
``The proof is scientific,'' rather than legal, said Giuseppe Proietti, 60, head of the Culture Ministry's department of research, innovation and organization.
The Italian evidence indicates the pots -- some unrestored and covered with dirt -- were unearthed in recent decades. Under Italian law, antiquities dug up in the country since 1939 are property of the state.
To argue whether there's proof one of these pots came from Italy misses the point, said Colin Renfrew, 68, a Cambridge University archaeology professor and member of the U.K. House of Lords.
``It doesn't matter which country it came from, the Met has no business financing looting,'' he said. ``It's a bureaucratic question which country it gives it back to.''
Medici, the accused smuggler, disagreed. He said that there's no proof of crime and that the Met should keep its pots.
``The Metropolitan Museum needs to hear the other side of the story,'' said Medici, 57, who in December 2004 was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy, and handling and illegal export of stolen antiquities, including the seven disputed pots.
He says he's innocent, and is free while appealing the verdict, which isn't considered final until he exhausts two levels of appeals.
Over a lunch of seafood salad, sliced steak and a pitcher of red wine at a Rome trattoria, Medici dissected the evidence for each vase, which is listed in a Rome judge's written sentence in the case.
The first object Medici tackled was an amphora with red figures on a black background, the evidence for which is photos seized in a 1995 raid of his Geneva warehouse.
One set of photos, taken by Medici on a trip to New York, showed the amphora behind a glass display case at the Met. Another set, of three Polaroids, showed the same jar, dirty and unrestored.
Medici said he photographed scores of objects in many museums, and doing so doesn't mean he smuggled them from Italy, as prosecutors charge.
As for the Polaroids of the dirty pot, Medici said he couldn't recall ever handing the amphora. He also said he didn't know whether he shot the photos or if someone else did and then sent them to him to get an appraisal of the pot.
``I don't have an elephant's memory,'' he said.
And, Medici added, nothing about the photos indicated the pot came from Italy. ``What does it prove?'' he asked.
The evidence for the other pots is similar.
Polaroids seized at Medici's warehouse show fragments of a psykter vase for cooling wine, painted with horsemen. The same vase is shown, restored, in photos Medici took at the Met.
Other before-and-after photos are listed for a kylix wine cup, an oinochoe pitcher, a 2,300-year-old dinos mixing bowl by the so- called Darius painter and a 2,500-year-old amphora by the so-called Painter of Berlin.
None of the evidence listed for those pots in Medici's conviction directly links them back to Italy.
For an unassuming academic who spends his time tucked away in the atticy offices of UVM’s classics department, talking with students and reading Plato in the original Greek, associate professor Mark Usher just pulled off something seriously cool. Stepping out of the comfortable confines of the scholarly journal, Usher has turned the foundation of philosophy into a joyous romp of a children’s picture book published this month by Farrar Straus Giroux.
“Long ago in ancient Greece, a boy named Socrates declared that all he knew was nothing. So he spent his whole life asking questions,” begins Wise Guy: The Life and Philosophy of Socrates. Excepting the void of information about Socrates’ early life, Usher has based the text entirely on ancient sources, taking what is known about the adult to imagine the child, “a curious boy, and cheeky too.”
Anyone unfamiliar with the philosopher’s freewheeling standards of dress and decorum may be quickly disabused by William Bramhall’s playful illustrations. “Socrates was his own best caricature,” Usher wrote in detailed, page-by-page notes to the artist. “The fully mature Socrates…is a robust, bearded man; he is not stately or dignified, but a carefree and exuberant creature, barefoot, chubby, boisterous, teasing…the boy Socrates is not a precocious academic, but a thoughtful, playful street urchin…innocently puzzling things through.”
It was just these qualities, in fact, that got Usher musing, in the midst of writing a scholarly paper on Socrates as a satyr character in Plato’s Symposium, about the philosopher’s appeal, potentially even to “the read-aloud crowd.”
“Socrates is a personification of the desire for truth and wisdom, never proclaiming to have it but always desiring it,” Usher says. “And that just struck me as very childlike, comical, loving.” But to many who knew him, Socrates was also deeply annoying, even embarrassing, to be around, not, Usher notes, unlike small kids with their endless uninhibited questions, the ones they seem to save for the grocery-store checkout.
“Socrates was that sort of person,” he explains. “He brought those things to light in public and really there were no holds barred in his question asking…In a way, he’s kind of a guy who never grew up, as many great thinkers and artists are. They’ve chosen not to join adult society in some way.”
So if children are attracted by a kindred spirit in Socrates, Usher reasons, they might just pick up on his ideas too. Mimicking the classical form of text with commentary, Usher has created two tiers of text on each double-page spread, with a short narrative for young children and early readers along with more complicated exposition and historical detail in a sidebar.
“What is goodness? What is courage? What is justice? What is love?” questions the young Socrates in the book’s early pages, as the vivid ink and watercolor illustration features pompously important people who “huffed and puffed, claiming to know the answers and pretending to be wise.” The scruffy little thinker sneers skeptically in the background as the sidebar explains: “Socrates once said that, based on his experience, the people with the best reputations tend to be the ones who know the least. The reason for this, he thought, was that people who are overly concerned about how they look or seem to others fail to see themselves for who and what they really are.”
Wise Guy aims to entertain and inform at every age level, even for adults. “I wanted people to feel smarter by reading the book,” Usher says. And just as he vividly recalls illustrations from D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, his own introduction to the classics at age five or six, he hopes these humorous, loving images of Socrates will be ones that carry kids throughout their lives.
Usher says that he wrote the book to capture the mystique of the man, not to drum in some high-minded idea that children must know more about Socrates. And yet it’s clear that he’d like to see Socrates become an antidote to the consumerist, entertainment culture that kids are bombarded with.
“(What I want them to take away) is that they should not be afraid to ask tough questions, to be interested in finding answers that convince them,” Usher says. “(I want them to) see that there are more important things in the world than iPods and television and t-shirts and brand names… there’s something about Socrates and Greek philosophy in general that privileges the soul and the mind and things that are beyond the everyday dross that we deal with… If a kid decides that it’s okay to be intellectual and they associate (that) with asking tough questions all the time and talking about ideas with other people, that’s a good thing.”
Christian Wildberg, classics professor and faculty member since 1996, was named the successor to history professor Elizabeth Lunbeck as master of Forbes College.
Wildberg will take the place of Lunbeck — who has accepted a position at Vanderbilt University — on July 1.
"I think the University is in a very interesting period of transition right now going from the two-year college system to four-year college system," Wildberg said. "This is a very important period for us. I think we have a plan ... but I don't think we have worked out all the wrinkles of the system."
Wildberg said he looked forward to helping prepare for these changes and planning a residential college "setup that is the best for students."
President Tilghman chose Wildberg, who was recommended by Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel and Dean of Undergraduate Students Kathleen Deignan.
"We, over the years, have conversations with faculty members that have the qualities that would make them good college masters," Malkiel said.
The most qualified candidates are "faculty members who are excellent undergraduate teachers," Malkiel said.
She added that engagement with the life of the University, demonstration of leadership, and interest and involvement in the residential colleges are also important characteristics considered in the selection process.
Wildberg, Malkiel said, stood out "in all of those ways."
Wildberg is in his fourth year as the director of graduate studies in the classics department and the co-chair of the Princeton University Committee for the Rhodes Scholarships.
While Wildberg said his work in each of these areas has been valuable for gaining insight into University matters, he named his service on other committees as particularly crucial to his preparation for the position of master.
"I think the two committees that have prepared me most [are] the Council of the Princeton University Community and ... the very hard working Committee on Examinations and Standing. Both of them gave me an insight into the needs and concerns of undergraduate students at Princeton."
As master of Forbes College, Wildberg will live at the master's lodge on Alexander Road.
"I'm very excited," Wildberg said. "It is very essential that the master lives in some sort of proximity to students ... if you want to set the tone [in the College]."
Malkiel said the decision to offer Wildberg the position was made earlier this fall.
"I had some time to think about it," Wildberg said Monday. "I had to think it through with my wife of course ... She's very excited about it. She looks forward to the entertaining and getting to know the students, as I do."
Nella grande tomba degli Equicoli, situata al centro della conca di Corvaro (Ri), e stata rinvenuta una sepoltura con lo scheletro integro di un cavallo. Si tratta di un rito funebre diffuso nel centro Italia, ma di origine orientale.
L’archeologa, Giovanna Alvino, della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Lazio e direttore dei lavori afferma che lo scavo del tumulo non finisce di stupire e scavo dopo scavo si troveranno ancora altre inedite ed interessanti sorprese archeologiche.Il monumentale tumulo appartenente al popolo guerriero degli Equicoli, al centro della conca di Corvaro (Ri), fu individuato nel 1984 a causa di scavatori clandestini.
Il monumentale tumulo appartenente al popolo guerriero degli Equicoli, al centro della conca di Corvaro (Ri), fu individuato nel 1984 a causa di scavatori clandestini. Da quella data si sono succedute diverse campagne di scavo sistematico e sono state rinvenute circa 300 tombe ricche di numerosi corredi (vasellame di vario genere, fibule, specchi, spade, punte di lance, anelli, pendenti, ecc.). Lo scavo di quest’anno ha già fatto rinvenire altre interessanti tombe ricche di materiale simili a quelle precedentemente scavate. In una di queste tombe si è avuta la sorpresa di trovare oltre al corpo del defunto anche lo scheletro integro del suo cavallo. La datazione di questa sepoltura dovrebbe essere collocata tra il IV e il II sec.a C. Il rito di seppellire anche l’animale preferito in vita è alquanto diffuso nel centro Italia ma ha origine orientale. Dice l’archeologa Giovanna Alvino: ”Dobbiamo completare lo scavo, ma solo dopo l’intervento dell’esperto che esaminerà i resti dell’animale per verificare se sotto la carcassa c’è un’altra tomba contenente resti umani”. Quindi in breve tempo si avranno notizie più precise e probabilmente altre interessanti sorprese archeologiche.
The great Roman statesman and general Julius Caesar had some pretty extreme ideas about motivation. Soon after landing on the shores of Britain, he marched his legions to the very edge of the Cliffs of Dover. Then he told them to gaze down into the waters below.
What they saw shocked them. Their own ships were set ablaze and were sinking on Caesar's orders. With no possibility of retreat, they soon did what they had to do. They conquered Britain.
Now, Caesar's methods might be a bit morally questionable, but they do illustrate an important truth.
It's amazing what we can do when we don't have a choice. According to a poll conducted by ESPN, the greatest World Series moment of all time was Kirk Gibson's home run in Game 1 of the 1998 series.
Although he was playing with injuries to both legs, the Los Angeles Dodgers put Gibson in as a pinch hitter when the game was on the line. He hit foul after foul, his legs hurting so badly it was difficult to get back on his feet.
Then, he did it. He hit a home run, just as the Dodgers coaching staff predicted.
How did they know? It was his bad legs. They knew he'd hit a homer because there was no way he could run to first.
Why are Catholic judges so often intellectually impressive and conservative in their approach to law? It has something to do with the nature of elite Catholic education. At Catholic schools, one has to study St. Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, Saint Anselm, Cicero, Virgil, and many other Christian, Roman, and Greek classical writers. The students must read the classics in Latin and Greek. Literary fluency in languages makes for more articulate and loquacious advocates in court, and better writers and critics of court decisions. A mastery of Latin enables the Catholic scholar to take readily to the study of law, which is heavily salted with Latin words. One who has studied Quintillian's rhetoric in Latin and has mastered the arts of debate, dialectics, and oratory — of which Quintillian was the master — is brilliantly prepared for law. He will often be able to reduce his debating opponents to tongue-tied confusion. Imagine Samuel Alito debating the inarticulate Harriet Miers, or John Roberts debating the waffling Sandra Day O'Connor.
Why are Catholic colleges less prone to the deleterious effects of multiculturalism? One cannot follow Aquinas' complex syllogisms if one's mind is cluttered with irrational, politically-correct group-think imperatives. After one learns to think brilliantly in a Catholic college, it is difficult to teach one to reason stupidly at law school. The fallacies of politically-correct thought are readily apparent to those who have studied Quintillian. A course in canon law at a Catholic university is great preparation for law school and is an antidote to the liberal indoctrination of law school professors. The perspective of canon law cuts the intellectually lightweight, social-engineering law professor down to size in the eyes of the student.
Albertus II princeps Monoeci
Die Saturni princeps Albertus II patriae suae Monoeco officialiter praefectus est.
Caerimonia culminata est missa sollemni in ecclesia cathedrali Monoecensi habita, cui circiter nongenti hospites invitati interfuerunt.
Iuxta Albertum sollemnitati aderant sorores principissae Carolina et Stephania. Benedictionem pontificalem novo principi dedit nuntius specialis papae Benedicti XVI.
Semper inops quicumque cupit.
(Claudius Claudianus, In Rufinium 1.200)
Whoever desires is always without abundance.
(pron = SEHM-per IN-ohps kwee-COOM-kweh KOO-pit)
Comment: At the Winter Solstice, the Romans celebrated the festival of Saturn
called “The Saturnalia”. It eventually honored three deities: Saturnus, as the
divine (masculine) power of the sky; Ops as the divine (feminine) power of the
fruitful earth; and Consus, the divine power of the harvest or grain-bin.
It’s another version of a universal myth: the divine masculine and the divine
feminine unite. The holy child is the abundant product of this union, and
represents the unity of masculine and feminine, the above with the below, the
air with the earth, fire with water, and so forth. There are dozens of
versions of this same story in cultures around the world. The Saturnalia was
celebrated from December 17-25. Surprised?
I take liberties with this line of Claudian, but I hear it like this: whoever
is caught in his/her head simply desiring things, and does not look down at the
ground that he/she stands on will be without the fruitful earth (in-ops).
Caught in the head. No recognition of the ground (abundance) we already walk
on. The grain-bin will be empty.
It’s so easy to get caught in the head. There is no better time of the year to
get in touch with the earth that we walk on than right now in the northern
hemisphere. Put on a coat. Take an umbrella. Go for a walk. Notice the
colors. Smell the change of the earth. Feel the wind. Watch the animals.
Listen to the trees emptying of leaves. It changes my perspective on things
every time I do it. Go with no agenda but to let your feet touch the earth.
In some strange and personal way, the divine family will meet you there.
Bush iter in Sinas suscepit
Praesidens George Bush in Sinas iter suscepit, ubi cum collega suo Hu Jintao et principe ministro Wem Jiabao de variis rebus magni ponderis consultabat.
Bush, postquam moderatores utriusque civitatis in sessionem communem convenerunt, praesidentem Sinarum publice hortatus est, ut populo Sinarum maiores libertates politicae, sociales et religiosae concederentur.
Hu autem recusavit, quominus postulationem Taivaniae sui iuris faciendae approbaret, sed promisit renovationem in Sinis monetalem continuatum iri.
The ancient Greeks brought us many things, and although the toga might be the first thing that comes to some college students’ minds, Greek civilization was a forerunner of democracy, philosophy and medicine.
The East Tennessee Society of the Archaeological Institute of America will bring James C. Wright to campus tonight to present a lecture on “A Mycenaean Settlement and Its Cemeteries in the Nemea Valley, Greece.”
Wright is a professor at Bryn Mawr College and has been leading excavations in the Nemea Valley, Merle Langdon, research professor with the classics department, said.
Wright said he will discuss how methodology that allows new study of the tombs in the valley was developed and how the excavations help us to understand the inhabitants.
Wright will also talk about his role in helping to recover a stolen treasure of gold from some of the tombs to the West.
“It was on sale in New York City, and we reported it ... the Greek government sued, and the dealer eventually returned it,” Wright said.
The Nemea Valley was important, Wright said, because it held the sanctuary of Zeus, one of four great sanctuaries of Greece. According to Greek mythology, “it was the valley where Hercules slew the Nemean lion,” Wright said.
The excavations focus on the Mycenaean civilization of the Shaft Grave era, from roughly 1600 to 1400 B.C., Langdon said. According to David W. Tandy, head of the classics department, Wright has developed innovative analytical techniques in the study of burial patterns found there in the late Bronze Age.
Shaft graves in the area were filled with gold and silver objects, and Wright’s work will help reveal how that wealth was accumulated, Langdon said.
Study of the Mycenaeans helps to show aspects of Greek mythology and legend.
“They were the civilization of the Trojan War, King Minos, the labyrinth and the minotaur,” Tandy said.
The shaft graves were first discovered by Heinrich Schliemann, who also discovered ancient Troy. Schliemann believed that the graves were those of the heroes from the Trojan War because of all the gold in the tombs. Wright said, however, that the evidence he has found does not suggest that.
The University of Tennessee is digging in the area of Nemea and Mitrou in east Lokris, where UT is currently excavating under the leadership of Dr. Aleydis Van de Moortel, assistant professor of classics.
THERE are no immediate plans to salvage ancient shipwrecks possibly lying on the bottom of the Episkopi Bay on the island’s southern coast, Director of Antiquities Pavlos Flourentzos said this week.
Asked by The Cyprus Weekly to comment on a continuing underwater survey in the area, which revealed potential shipwreck sites, he said that unless something was important and at least older than the famous 4th century Kyrenia wreck, the Department would leave it alone for the time being.
He explained that excavating and bringing up a submerged ancient wreck involved considerable expenses and efforts, especially as it would then have to be restored and preserved.
"If they are Roman or more recent they would just have to wait," Flourentzos said.
The only definite sightings so far concern the scattered debris of a 5th or 6th century merchantman in the small inlet of Avdimou Bay. But the use of more sophisticated equipment this year showed anomalies on the seabed of Episkopi Bay probably hiding shipwrecks underneath.
According to a recent Department of Antiquities release, the survey continued for the third season during July and August in the underwater area of Episkopi Bay and the Akrotiri Peninsula with a small international team of archaeologists and students. The project, which forms a contribution of the University of Cincinatti excavations at Episkopi-Bamboula, is logistically and financially supported by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, the Cyprus Society for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Limassol), and RPM Nautical Foundation (Florida, USA).
This year’s survey covered three main areas, one of them Dreamer’s Bay on Southern Akrotiri. At the site of a submerged anchorage littered with pottery, "several substantial new and revealing assemblages were added to the catalogue," the release said. The archaeologists also began a preliminary mapping of a long ashlar-built mole reported some years ago.
During the investigations in the inlet of Avdimou Bay two additional stone anchors were documented, along with three partial millstones that may have supplemented the ship’s primary cargo of wine carried in amphorae from the Gaza region of Palestine.
The survey in the wider sea area of Episkopi involved high resolution remote sensing, thanks to a grant of equipment and technical expertise by the RPM Nautical Foundation.
The anomalies on the seabed that could be potential shipwreck targets were detected by multi-beam sonar operations from the 37-metre research vessel Hercules.
Investigations during 2006 will focus on visual exploration of these targets through diving and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) work to determine which may be the remains of shipwrecks, the release said.
What do close advisors to Stephen Harper and George W. Bush have in common? They adhere to the disturbing teachings of Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish émigré who spawned the neoconservative movement.
Strauss, who died in 1973, believed in the inherent inequality of humanity. Most people, he famously taught, are too stupid to make informed decisions about their political affairs. Elite philosophers must decide on affairs of state for us.
In Washington, Straussians exert powerful influence from within the inner circle of the White House. In Canada, they roost, for now, in the so-called Calgary School, guiding Harper in framing his election strategies. What preoccupies Straussians in both places is the question of "regime change."
The 'noble lie'
Strauss believed that allowing citizens to govern themselves will lead, inevitably, to terror and tyranny, as the Weimar Republic succumbed to the Nazis in the 1930s. A ruling elite of political philosophers must make those decisions because it is the only group smart enough. It must resort to deception -- Strauss's "noble lie" -- to protect citizens from themselves. The elite must hide the truth from the public by writing in code. "Using metaphors and cryptic language," philosophers communicated one message for the elite, and another message for "the unsophisticated general population," philosopher Jeet Heer recently wrote in the Globe and Mail. "For Strauss, the art of concealment and secrecy was among the greatest legacies of antiquity."
There's one big difference between American and Canadian Straussians. The Americans assumed positions of power and influence in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. The Canadians have not had much opportunity to show (or is that hide?) their stuff. That may change with a Harper victory.
Paul Wolfowitz's teacher, Allan Bloom, and another Straussian, Walter Berns, taught at the University of Toronto during the 1970s. They left their teaching posts at Cornell University because they couldn't stomach the student radicalism of the '60s. At Toronto, they influenced an entire generation of political scientists, who fanned out to universities across the country.
Two of their students, Ted Morton and Rainer Knopff, went to the University of Calgary where they specialize in attacking the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They claim the charter is the result of a conspiracy foisted on the Canadian people by "special interests." These nasty people are feminists, gays and lesbians, the poor, prisoners and refugee-rights groups who are advancing their own interests through the courts at the expense of the general public, these Straussians allege.
The problem with their analysis is that the special interest which makes more use of the courts to advance its interests than all these other groups combined -- business -- receives not a mention. Deception by omission is a common Straussian technique. The weak are targeted while the real culprits disappear.
Harper studied under the neocons at the University of Calgary and worked with them to craft policies for the fledgling Reform Party in the late 1980s. Together with Preston Manning, they created an oxymoron, a populist party backed by business.
Ted Morton has turned his attention to provincial politics. He's an elected MLA and a candidate to succeed Premier Ralph Klein. But he did influence the direction of right-wing politics at the federal level as the Canadian Alliance director of research under Stockwell Day.
When Harper threw his hat in the ring for the leadership of the Alliance, Tom Flanagan, the Calgary School's informal leader, became his closest adviser. Harper and Flanagan, whose scholarship focuses on attacking aboriginal rights, entered a four-year writing partnership and together studied the works of government-hater Friedrich Hayek. Flanagan ran the 2004 Conservative election campaign and is pulling the strings as the country readies for the election.
The Calgary School has successfully hidden its program beneath the complaint of western alienation. "If we've done anything, we've provided legitimacy for what was the Western view of the country," Calgary Schooler Barry Cooper told journalist Marci McDonald in her important Walrus article. "We've given intelligibility and coherence to a way of looking at it that's outside the St. Lawrence Valley mentality." This is sheer Straussian deception. On the surface, it's easy to understand Cooper's complaint and the Calgary School's mission. But the message says something very different to those in the know. For 'St. Lawrence Valley mentality,' they read 'the Ottawa-based modern liberal state,' with all the negative baggage it carries for Straussians. And for 'Western view,' they read 'the right-wing attack on democracy.' We've provided legitimacy for the radical-right attack on the Canadian democratic state, Cooper is really saying.
A network is already in place to assist Harper in foisting his radical agenda on the Canadian people.
In 2003, he delivered an important address to a group called Civitas. This secretive organization, which has no web site and leaves little paper or electronic trail, is a network of Canadian neoconservative and libertarian academics, politicians, journalists and think tank propagandists.
Harper's adviser Tom Flanagan is an active member. Conservative MP Jason Kenney is a member, as are Brian Lee Crowley, head of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Michel Kelly-Gagnon of the Montreal Economic Institute, the second and third most important right-wing think tanks after the Fraser Institute.
Civitas is top-heavy with journalists to promote the cause. Lorne Gunter of the National Post is president. Members include Janet Jackson (Calgary Sun) and Danielle Smith (Calgary Herald). Journalists Colby Cosh, William Watson and Andrew Coyne (all National Post) have made presentations to Civitas.
The Globe and Mail's Marcus Gee is not mentioned in relation to Civitas but might as well be a member, if his recent column titled "George Bush is not a liar," is any evidence. In it, Gee repeats the lies the Bush neocons are furiously disseminating to persuade the people that Bush is not a liar.
Tombe di antichi principi vissuti circa 2600 anni fa e chiamate per questo tombe degli “Antichi principi di Matelica” sono le ccezionali scoperte archeologiche, avvenute negli ultimi due anni nel territorio matelicese.
Sono emersi splendidi oggetti della tomba di Passo Gabella, tra cui un grande coperchio in lamina di bronzo con figure di cavalli a sbalzo e a rilievo, una coppa di bronzo con coperchio decorata da gemme d’argento e d’ambra, un uovo di struzzo usato come contenitore finemente decorato ad incisione con una scena dove compaiono figure umane ed animali e un grandioso vaso con coperchio posto su un alto sostegno (holmos) a cui sono applicate decine di vasetti di piccole dimensioni e figure plastiche di animali fantastici.
Ancient wooden anchors preserved by natural salt for more than 2,000 years have been discovered on the receding shores of the Dead Sea, Israel TV reported.
Archaeologist David Mevorach told the TV station on Monday that one anchor dated back 2,500 years - the oldest ever found. Another anchor was 2,000 years old, he said. They were built from acacia wood for Roman ships, he said.
The Dead Sea, with no outlet, has a high concentration of salt. "The salt and the lack of oxygen in the water preserved them in a special way, including the ropes that were tied to the boat," he said.
Also, the small sea has been receding in recent years, as the evaporation rate exceeds the replenishment of water from the Jordan River, diverted for irrigation.
Cito fit, quod di volunt. (alt. ceterum quemadmodum di volunt)
(Petronius, Satyricon 76)
Quickly it becomes what the gods wish. (For the rest, it is just as the gods
(pron = KEE-toh fit kwohd dee WOH-loont)
Comment: This portion of a line comes from the longest story in Petronius’
Satyricon, known as Trimalchio’s dinner. Trimalchio, the rich former slave who
lavishes wild parties on his friends on a regular basis, is in the midst of a
long speech about how he became the chief slave in the household and came into
his fortune. He also includes in this lengthy speech that he is not one to
Trimalchio’s atrium is painted with his life story which indicates that he rose
from the ranks of mere slave to wealthy businessman with the help of the gods.
It would seem to be the American dream: man works hard, gods bless, financial
In fact, the Satyricon is one story after another that contrasts over and over
again unexpected events and those who try to take control of them.
Trimalchio’s dinner is one scene after another of unexpected events that
Trimalchio himself has staged, and while he likes to paint that whatever the
gods wants happens, in fact, he has created his own little world where he is in
charge of the chaos. The overwhelming sense of reading the Satyricon from
beginning to end is just the opposite: the world is a chaotic place, and one
does not know what to expect next.
I cannot be that cynical, but I have come to see that life is full of unexpected
events. Rather than leave me either in despair or clutching at a divine reason
for everything, what works in my life is to stop in the midst of the event and
acknowledge: this is not what I planned, but this is what is unfolding. The
path of my life is turning. I choose to walk in it, this way, right now. And
what was at first unexpected chaos, becomes over time unexpected something
else. Perhaps wisdom. Perhaps joy. Perhaps a hard lesson. I end up better
for having paid attention to it when it arrived.
A bit of what prisoners suffered in ancient times can be seen as of yesterday at the archaeological dig in the old city of Tiberias. Excavations of the basilica compound in the eastern part of the old city recently unearthed two small chambers believed to have served as holding cells for prisoners awaiting trial.
If today's custody conditions at police stations elicit complaints from detainees and defense lawyers, well, prisoners didn't have it all that good 1,800 years ago either.
The cells are located below the level of the main administrative building, the basilica. That fact bolsters the theory that they served as holding cells, where crowded prisoners waited to be called for trial. Each cell measures 1.8 by 2.7 meters, and is 2.07 meters high. Its walls are extremely thick, with the outer wall (1.1 meters thick) containing two narrow openings onto the city square. The slits presumably provided ventilation, and one also served as a food portal.
"Food was delivered by family members," says Prof. Yizhar Hirschfeld of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who is directing the dig. "The regime denied any responsibility for the prisoner's fate."
Hirschfeld explains that jails did not exist in antiquity because of the costly maintenance, so the accused were punished by death, or, in the best cast scenario, disfigurement. The death penalty was an inexpensive solution, providing entertainment for the masses and example as a deterrent. The lucky ones were sentenced to labor in silver and copper mines.
Narrow benches run along the length of the cells uncovered. One can only imagine what the prisoners experienced as they waited in the blazing heat of the Tiberias' summer. Some might have languished there for months, waiting for the governor to arrive, in the event of a complicated trial.
The prisoner pit was uncovered by three volunteers from the American and British embassies and Kibbutz Degania Bet.
According to Hirschfeld, the importance of the discovery is that it is in keeping with the theory that the structure currently being uncovered at the site served as a basilica.
Shortly after the three volunteers finished cleaning the eastern cell and began clearing dirt from the western cell, another volunteers found a coin beneath the floor plaster. Hirschfeld thinks the coin had belonged to one of the plasterers. One dig participant hypothesized it might have belonged instead to a white-collar criminal awaiting trial.
Gasiductus ex Russia in Italiam
Praesidens Russiae Vladimir Putin, princeps minister Italiae Silvio Berlusconi et praesidens Turciae Recep Erdogan nuper in Turcia inter se convenerunt, ut de communibus inceptis futuris colloquerentur.
Eodem tempore ductum gasalem ex Russia per Pontum Euxinum in Turciam euntem sollemniter inauguraverunt.
Agitur de consilio energico, quod eo spectat, ut gasiductus ex Turcia aliquando usque ad Italiam continuetur.
Genum dyslexiae inventum
Grex investigatorius Finno-Sueticus in chromosomo tertio novum genum ad dyslexiam pertinens invenit.
Si hoc genum nomine ROBO1 aliqua ex causa aequo debilius fungitur, fieri non potest, quin dyslexia sequatur.
Qui erat eventus investigationis medicae, quam rerum periti Universitatis Helsinkiensis et Instituti Carolini Stockholmiensis opera consociata fecerunt.
Quite mysteriously we go from chatting about thermal baths to receiving official letters in Latin from the head of the Catholic Church. What we discover is that some of the recipients including a few heads of state, don’t really approve of the use of this ancient language...
DAVID Hill has had his fair share of tough jobs, from boss of the ABC to chairman of Soccer Australia and trying to get the trains to run on time as chief executive of the old NSW State Rail Authority. His latest venture? He's been installed as president of a 15-nation organisation trying to convince the British Government to surrender the Elgin Marbles, now in the British Museum, to their rightful Greek owners, who plan to put them on display in the refurbished Acropolis Museum in Athens. Strewth would never suggest Hill has lost his marbles, just that he seems to have a penchant for Sisyphean tasks. Sisyphus was the legendary Greek king who was sentenced to endlessly roll a huge boulder to the top of a mountain in Hades, only to have it roll down again.
Briarcrest Christian High School faculty member Steve Tackett of Cordova recently received the Distinguished Classics Teacher Award from the Tennessee Classical Association at the Tennessee Foreign Language Conference in Franklin.
Each year the members of the Tennessee Classical Association, which is comprised of classics teachers in Tennessee at both the high school and college levels, have an opportunity to nominate a teacher for the Distinguished Latin Teacher Award. Qualities that are necessary for consideration are involvement in organizations, such as the Junior Classical League, and attendance at conventions; student achievement in competitions and on examinations, such as the National Latin Exam and A.P Latin exams and students who continue their work in the classics in college. Letters of nomination and/or support are submitted to a committee which then determines the recipient of the award.
Tackett stated, "I had no knowledge that I had been nominated, so the result was a very pleasant surprise."
Dr. Chris Craig, Classics professor at UT-Knoxville, who presented the award, said, "Steve Tackett was genuinely delighted, in his unassuming humble way, to receive the TCA teaching award."
Athens' ancient Parthenon is not under threat from water seeping into rock beneath it, despite successive days of torrential rainfall this week, an official said Friday.
"There is absolutely no danger," said Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis.
No water was escaping through a temporary floor installed inside the Parthenon for restoration work, he said.
Architect Manolis Korres, a key figure in the massive restoration project at the 2,500-year-old monument that sits atop the Acropolis, had warned Wednesday that rainwater was gradually draining into rock underneath the Parthenon and could eventually weaken the monument's foundations.
Athens and other parts of Greece have been battered by storms and heavy rainfall this week, which caused flooding, limited power cuts, disrupted transport services and caused the death of one woman in southern Greece.
Also Friday, Tatoulis toured the site of a new Acropolis Museum with campaigners from 12 countries seeking the return of sculptures removed from the Acropolis 200 years ago and housed at the British Museum in London.
The 215,000-square foot glass and concrete museum, designed by U.S.-based architect Bernard Tschumi and Greece's Michael Photiades, is due to be completed by the end of 2006.
It will replace a small museum on the Acropolis and is designed to house the British Museum collection — also known as the Elgin Marbles.
"This new museum will weaken the arguments presented ... by the British Museum," Tatoulis said. "We will make every effort to achieve our goal. It's not a national issue, the sculptures are part of world heritage."
At a small exhibition area next to the museum site, copies of the Elgin Marbles are being displayed, in dimmed light, behind directly lit genuine sculptures.
The campaigners — from Britain, New Zealand, the United States, Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Serbia-Montenegro, Spain, Cyprus, Russia and German — were received Friday by President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Costas Caramanlis.
They announced plans to coordinate their activities as a single body to be called the International Organization for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.
"The problem is the obstinacy of the British Museum ... there are many ways this could be negotiated if we were dealing with someone who would negotiate," British campaigner Anthony Snodgrass said.
"We are no longer confronting the British Museum but surrounding them," Snodgrass said. "We've enlisted many of their former allies, who now support us."
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday received presidents and members of 12 committees in foreign countries that are campaigning for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
The representatives of the various groups announced plans to create a single worldwide organisation for the return of the priceless statues, also known as the Elgin Marbles, that are held at the British Museum in London. The statues on display in the British Museum actually formed part of the sculpted frieze of the Parthenon - which was a structural rather than decorative element of the building - that were removed by Lord Elgin in the 19th century and transported to England when Greece was still under Ottoman rule.
After the meeting, Papoulias thanked them for their "valiant efforts" and stressed that the Parthenon Marbles were "the victims of plunder, in a period of history when the strong had the power of life and death over the weak".
The world now served other values and there was a moral obligation to return the treasures of Greek civilisation to their home, he added.
The head of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles Anthony Snodgrass noted that there are currently 15 organisations throughout the world that are striving for the Marbles' return.
The visiting delegation was accompanied by Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis, who later took them on a tour of the Acropolis.
Earlier on Friday, Tatoulis was also present at a meeting between the delegation and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, where he thanked them for their efforts and stressed the great interest of the Greek side in their return.
Greek archaeologists worry that the foundations of the Acropolis monument are threatened by rainwater that has seeped into the soil of the ancient citadel, the Greek press said on Thursday..
Of most concern is the fifth-century BC Parthenon temple, whose roof was destroyed during a seventeenth-century siege of the Acropolis by Venetian forces.
"For centuries, rainwater could not penetrate the foundations," Manolis Korres, an architect with extensive experience of the Acropolis restoration effort told a recent gathering of Greece's state archaeological council.
"But in the wake of the roof's collapse, water has been seeping into the floor supports and wearing down the rocks ... the surface is retreating," Korres said, according to a report in Eleftherotypia daily.
The threat of further damage has led experts to contemplate covering the Parthenon with a modern roof, Ta Nea daily said.
"We are closely following the problem," Acropolis site supervisor Alkistis Horemi said. "Special machinery is used to monitor the walls surrounding the monument site at all times."
Test drilling carried out on four occasions has discovered cavities under and around the Parthenon, said Korres. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that an ancient drainage system built into the site no longer functions.
The Acropolis, a World Heritage site, has been undergoing restoration for over 20 years. The majority of these works are expected to be completed by late 2006
A CITY'S history books may have to be rewritten after a major archaeological find.
Experts believe they have unearthed a Roman road in the heart of Chichester and now have hopes of discovering a 1st-century fort.
They have hailed the find an 'archaeological jackpot' for the city.
The road was found during an excavation before work on a major new housing and shopping development began at the former Shippams factory site off East Street.
Developer Kier ordered the work and employed Gifford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd to take charge of the studies.
Their teams found a road – running parallel to East Street – complete with camber and a ditch alongside it.
Experts believe buildings that would have run alongside this road were likely to have been a combination of homes, shops and workshops.
Smaller Roman finds, including coins and a pair of tweezers, have also been turned up already.
But archaeologists believe they will unearth even more gems – including the possibility of a Roman fort – when excavation work begins for a new underground car park on the site.
Arbor natalicia omnium maxima
In oppido Ylivieska Finniae septentrionalis arbor natalicia omnium maxima apparata est.
Vice arboris autem fungitur malus telephonicus amplius centum metra altus, qui quadringentis lampadibus illuminatur.
In cacumine splendet stella natalicia, cuius partes senorum metrorum sunt. Colores arboris, qui textibus telephonicis missis commutari possunt, inter rubrum, caeruleum et violaceum variant.
But why the focus on American museums? The simplest answer would appear to lie in when and how they acquired their collections.
For instance, the British Museum, the Louvre and the Pergamon in Berlin built their collections in the 19th and early 20th centuries when European explorers and archaeologists played a central role in rediscovering ancient civilizations. The results of the first excavations were often shipped directly to Northern European capitals. Only later were finds shared with host countries.
"Our works were acquired in a legal way according to the practice at the time," Henri Loyrette, the Louvre's director, said, noting that there are currently no claims on any of the museum's pieces. "Today, the situation is quite different. The finds evidently now stay in the countries. The issue today relates to the acquisition of new pieces."
This is where American museums come in. Many have relied on donations or purchases of collections assembled by private individuals who have acquired antiquities at auctions or from dealers. Further, while European museums today have modest acquisition budgets, some American museums, notably the Getty but also the Met, can still afford to buy valuable antiquities.
"European museums got lots of stuff 100 years ago so they can take the moral high ground," said Neil Brodie, research director of the Illicit Antiquities Research Center in Cambridge, England. "But if you establish a new museum like the Getty, you have to stock it."
In this, he said, American tax incentives play a key part. "If a private collector gives to a museum, he can claim back taxes," Mr. Brodie said. "So they work together. The museum has an interest in the private collector and even advises what to buy. So you can't separate private collectors and museums because of the tax situation."
Certainly, among the works mentioned in the case against Ms. True, there are 12 objects from among over 300 masterworks of Greek, Roman and Etruscan art collected by Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman and bought by the Getty in 1996. Similarly, some antiquities of concern to the Italian authorities belong to the Levy-White collection, which has other pieces on loan to the Met. Shelby White, the widow of Leon Levy, is a Met trustee.
Thanks to Ripon College's Clark Collection students have the opportunity to see and connect with Ancient Mesopotamian and Greek civilizations without traveling to a museum.
The collection is an assortment of ancient art collected by Professor of Latin and Roman Archeology Edward W. Clark in the early 1900s. It was recently relocated from Rodman to Lane Library.
"It will enable students to have better access to the collection along with other relevant materials," says Diane Mockridge, professor of history.
The collection was moved to floor 2A of the library before fall break. Books pertaining to topics such as ancient Greek and Roman civilizations are located nearby.
While making room for more art pieces in Rodman was a key component of the move, according to Mockridge, so too was its proximity to related resources.
"For research purposes, it being down at Rodman wasn't as accessible to students," says junior Sandy Patrowsky.
The Clark Collection originated in 1905 with Clark, a professor at Ripon for 19 years. He began purchasing the artifacts for the college during a sabbatical in Italy.
Though most commonly referred to as the Clark Collection, there has been recent desire to move away from that name. "We now prefer to call [it] the Ripon College Classical Antiquities Collection, which is its original name," says Eddie Lowry, professor of Greek and Latin.
"Clark Collection is simpler, but recent, and somewhat misleading in that Professor Clark purchased it for, rather than gave it to, the college," says Lowry.
The collection contains a vast array of objects portraying many lands and ways of life.
"It is a collection of ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan artifacts. We have about 40 vases, 50 Roman lamps and 200 Roman coins," says Mockridge.
The collection also has a website dedicated to its history that catalogues many of the artifacts the collection contains.
Over the years the collection has become a teaching tool for classes in multiple departments, including history and anthropology, to give students a hands-on approach to the cultures and history they are studying.
"I use the collection whenever I teach my History 214, Greek and Roman Society, course. Students collaborate on projects involving various items from the collection," says Mockridge.
Patrowsky, who took Greek and Roman Society as a first year, enjoyed using the collection.
"I think that working with actual artifacts is a good opportunity for students because it's one thing to be told to do a research project on a conical urn, but it's a whole different thing to be told 'this is a conical urn, learn something from it,'" says Patrowsky.
It's something Patrowsky feels students should try to take advantage of.
"Not every school in the world can say that they have a collection with pieces [this] old," she says. "So I think for a school the size of Ripon, it gives us a little prestige."
Una storia vecchia di milleseicento anni, ma legata al contesto moderno nel quale oggi riappare. Una scoperta archeologica che ha il fascino della Roma antica, resa possibile dai lavori per adeguare un seminterrato a ospitare il bunker in acciaio e cemento di un acceleratore lineare per radioterapia. Età classica e modernità si intrecciano e si confondono nel ritorno alla luce della dimora dei Valeri. O meglio dei dieci metri di corridoio decorato a mosaico, cinto da pareti riccamente affrescate e affacciato su un giardino, un viridarium, che provano l’esistenza della villa dell’aristocratica famiglia romana. Una gens le cui origini risalivano all’epoca repubblicana e la cui fama non calò con l’arrivo del cristianesimo potendo vantare una santa, Melania la Giovane, nella propria stirpe.
Ieri mattina il soprintendente archeologico di Roma Angelo Bottini, il direttore dell’ospedale San Giovanni Addolorata, Luigi D’Elia, l’architetto Paolo Portoghesi e l’archeologa responsabile degli scavi, Mariarosaria Barbera, hanno illustrato in una conferenza l’importanza storica e artistica del ritrovamento. Che ha visto un insolito «entusiasmo condiviso» di Soprintendenza e azienda ospedaliera, con quest’ultima che, «conscia» di sorgere su una delle aree a più alta densità archeologica della Capitale, ha accettato di buon grado un compromesso sui tempi dei lavori di ristrutturazione dell’«Addolorata», l’edificio di inizio Novecento che presto sarà il nuovo dipartimento di Onco-ematologia del San Giovanni-Addolorata. Anzi, D’Elia si è spinto persino ad augurarsi che nel prosieguo dei lavori di ristrutturazione del complesso, affidati a Portoghesi, «vengano alla luce altri ritrovamenti».
Quello presentato ieri, intanto, è di tutto rispetto. La splendida e immensa dimora dei Valeri era celebre almeno quanto la gens che l’abitava: probabilmente costruita in epoca repubblicana, rimase in piedi fino al V secolo dopo cristo. Nel 404 i suoi ultimi proprietari, Valerio Piniano e la moglie, Santa Melania, la misero in vendita. Ma a causa del valore eccessivo della lussuosa casa, la coppia non trovò acquirenti. Piniano e Melania, vittime di una bolla immobiliare come quella temuta oggi da chi ha investito nel mattone, sei anni più tardi svendettero per pochi solidi aurei quello che restava della Domus Valeriorum, finita nel frattempo in macerie dopo il sacco di Alarico. Restò traccia del glorioso passato della villa nel nome dell’ospizio che sorse sul luogo, lo Xenodochium Valerii, «antenato» dell’attuale ospedale. Nel 1554 il sito fu identificato, e nei primi scavi si ebbe certezza dell’appartenenza delle rovine alla dimora della Gens Valeria grazie al ritrovamento di incisioni in bronzo dedicate a Valerio Proculo e a una lanterna a forma di nave, ora agli Uffizi, con l’epigrafe «Dominus legem dat Valerio Severo», dono di battesimo per il padre di Piniano. Si pensava che il saccheggio dei Goti e poi gli scavi «di rapina» - per dirla con Angelo Bottini - del ’500 avessero cancellato per sempre la Domus Valerii. A fine ’800 lo storico Mariano Armellini era rassegnato: «Non può deplorarsi abbastanza - scriveva - la perdita di un monumento così insigne, la cui storia collegasi ai fasti più splendidi di Roma». Invece quei fasti torneranno a rivivere, quando gli affreschi e il mosaico del corridoio verranno ricomposti ed esposti al pubblico in uno spazio ad hoc all’interno dell’ospedale.
Victory at the ancient Greek Olympic Games, especially in the four-horse chariot races, was a big deal.
The first recorded event in Athenian history was an attempted coup by an Olympic victor named Cylon. Its bloody suppression by the Alcmeonid clan tainted Athenian politics for the next 200 years. At the end of that period, the Athenian general Alcibiades gained notoriety for winning multiple victories in the chariot races, for his intellectual attainments — he was a student of Socrates — for his strategic brilliance and for his ostentatious personal life.
Herodotus tells us that Demaratus was the only Spartan king to win the chariot event in the first 350 years of Olympic competition. Deposed and in exile, Demaratus advised the Persian King Xerxes during his major military campaign against the Greeks, known as the Second Persian War.
My point is not that high-level sports success makes one a political adventurer, an intellectual roué or a traitor to one's country. Very few public figures in Greek history are unblemished, and each of these cases is much more complex politically, socially, ethically and morally than my brief summary suggests. But sports were important to the character development and public careers of individual Greeks.
I have been critical of the sports programs at the University of Texas at Austin. So I recently took the time to find out what impact participation in NCAA sports is having on individual athletes. Here are two case studies.
"CORPUS CHRISTI" is, as most know, old Latin for "Body of Christ". We have
received a list of new Latin phrases, "ex quo" (from which):
a.. "Domino vobiscum!" (The Pizza guy is here.)
b.. "Revelare Pecunia!" (Show me the money!)
c.. "Motorolus interruptus." (Hold on, I'm going into a tunnel.)
d.. "Sic semper tyrannus." (Your dinosaur is alway ill.)
e.. "Bodicus mutilatus, unemploymi ad infinitum" (Better take the nose
ring out before the job interview)
f.. "Nucleo predicus dispella conducticus" (Remove foil before
g.. "Veni, vidi, velcro" (I came, I saw, I stuck around.)
h.. "Et tu, pluribus unum?" (Did the government just stab me in the
i.. I also received a sweat shirt for Christmas scripted with this
announcement on its front: "SI HOC LEGERE SCIS NIMIUM ERUDTIONIS HABES" (If
you can read this, you have too much education)
Medicine being a forward-looking, progressive enterprise, it pays little heed to the traditional remedies of the past, which being "unscientific'' are of historical interest only. The "alternative'' brigade tend to take the contrary view, claiming it is precisely because the Chinese, for example, have been practising acupuncture for thousands of years that we can have confidence in its efficacy.
It is of interest then with the current fascination with all things Roman that their medical practices could substantiate either view. Most Roman remedies - certainly those recorded by Pliny - are so bizarre it is difficult to believe anyone could have taken them seriously at the time. Typical of his advice is to women after childbirth: that they should rub their breasts with a mixture of sow's blood, goose grease and spider's web to prevent them becoming engorged, apply a poultice of partridge egg ash and wax to keep them firm, while "an earthworm drunk with honey will stimulate the flow of milk''.
But the recent reissue of the most popular medical treatise of the ancient world, the Materia Medica by the learned physician Pedanius Dioscorides, reveals a profound knowledge of many highly specific natural remedies long forgotten and only recently rediscovered in the West. These include the natural antidepressant St John's Wort, which he commends "for it expels choleric excrements'', and the very valuable aloe vera for the treatment of wounds sustained in battle.
And the Romans had, of course, olive oil to strengthen the nails, soften the skin and ease aching muscles and tired feet. Perhaps, speculates a classical scholar writing in The Lancet, its regular application after bathing might explain why athlete's foot seems to have been unknown in the ancient world, despite the enthusiasm for public baths that would certainly have spread the fungus around. Being a lifelong sufferer himself, he tested his theory by applying a couple of drops between the toes every day. The athlete's foot vanished, never to return. And that is very useful to know.
In a pinch, Colgate students stay up all night reading the classics. But until last week, they’d never staged a 24-hour nonstop reading of Homer’s Iliad.
Shannon Young, a first-year from Tempe, Ariz., organized the event, the reading portion of which took 17 hours and 36 minutes. They spent the rest of the time “hanging out” between readings, munching delicacies from the Greek-themed buffet, and laughing with faculty members of the classics department, who told Greek and Latin jokes.
“The Iliad was meant to be read orally,” said Young. “We read portions, but never the whole thing start to finish, in a way that we can absorb the story. Then again, it’s pretty random to find people who want to read Homer for 24 hours straight.”
At Colgate, Young found 40 kindred spirits who were eager to read, and another 100 or so students and faculty members who dropped in at their leisure.
Some were drawn to the novelty and stayed for a short while; others brought dog-eared paperbacks and stayed for hours. The audience in the Ho Lecture Room was rapt if not forgiving, as some could be heard murmuring pronunciations they believed to be correct.
“Colgate is amazing this way,” said Young. “One day, I talked about the Iliathon with a few friends at breakfast. Two weeks later, the classics department was behind the event. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Young recruited readers through an announcement on the Colgate portal (an internal website), an ad in the Maroon-News student newspaper, posters, and word of mouth. The Austin Murray Classics Fund covered promotional expenses, the Greek buffet, and many gallons of coffee.
The event began at 4 p.m. Friday, with classics faculty members donning long black beards for their dynamic reading of Book I.
“They hammed it up in both ancient Greek and English,” said Kelly McGowan '07, who read Book II, also in both languages, with three other advanced Greek students. McGowan, who stayed for Books I-IV, VIII-XIII, and XVII-XXIV, was one of the most loyal listeners.
Matt Carter, postdoctoral fellow in the classics, witnessed almost every word. He was most excited about the variety of translations that were used, including the prose versions by Rich Lattimore and Robert Fagles, and the poetic translation by Alexander Pope.
“The fact that we switched back and forth from Greek to English, from poetry to prose, even from one prose translation to another, was a pleasant bit of variety, in counterpoint to the constant of The Iliad,” said Carter.
The energy ebbed and flowed, as one might expect at an event of such epic proportions, and there were a few surprises.
First-years Gregory Golden, Brian Haghighi, and Michael Chang wore togas to read Book XVII at 8 a.m. Saturday. They used the Pope translation’s rhyming couplets.
“For a while, Mike accompanied the readers with his guitar. Brian rapped parts of the book. Then Mike read while Brian and Greg juggled. Diehard classics fans weren’t impressed,” said Young, “but it was funny. A little bit ridiculous, but that made it interesting.”
Finally, it was Young’s turn to read Book XXIV. Sleep-deprived and emotionally invested in the story, she ended the event with a powerful reading.
Several members of the audience were brought to tears, and Carter said he was mesmerized. “I thought, this is the effect Homer would have had on an ancient Greek audience.”
Participants will likely remember the event for a long time. They received T-shirts that say “One face, 1,000 ships, 24 hours,” and Young vowed to reunite the group in the spring for a marathon reading of The Odyssey. She also dreams of similar events for Paradise Lost, Dante's Inferno and other classics.
6. Among the world's greatest cat haters were Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler.
8. In ancient Rome, feline feces were believed to have healing powers. Beliefs like this could have caused the fall of the Empire.
Tumultus Franciae rarescunt
Tumultus, qui in urbibus Franciae iam tres septimanas continuantur, rarescere coeperunt. Adhuc duo milia nongenta vehicula cremata sunt et centum fere aedificia damna ceperunt.
Duo milia octingenti homines deprehensi, sescenti in carcerem coniecti sunt. Maior pars horum, ut rettulit Nicolas Sarkozy, minister a rebus interioribus, custodibus publicis antea noti erant. Lex ante quinguaginta annos lata apud Francos in usum recepta est, ex qua moderatores regionales commeatus hominum nocturnos et coetus multitudinum vetare atque perquisitiones in domiciliis suspectorum suscipere possunt.
Parlamentum Franciae illam legem hac septimana in tres menses prorogavit. Hodie in Francia circiter quinque miliones musulmanorum habitant, ex quibus tantum dimidia pars civitatem habet. Sunt, qui dicant musulmanorum numerum esse octo milionum, id est plus quam decimam partem totius populi. Pauperrimi eorum in suburbiis habitant, in quibus iam antea tumultus violenti haud raro occurrerunt.
In a move that underscores commitment to the liberal arts, Illinois Wesleyan University has added a major in Greek and Roman Studies, traditionally known as classical studies.
Professor Nancy Sultan, who directs the University’s Greek and Roman Studies program, considers classical studies to be “the hub of the wheel of the humanities” and a critical foundation for a liberal arts education. She notes Greek and Roman Studies provide a well-rounded background for those who pursue further study or careers in law, medicine, education, public service, journalism, theology, and more.
Since Sultan began teaching Greek and Roman Studies at IWU in 1993, the program has been steadily developed so that no additional courses or faculty are now needed in order to offer the major. A minor was previously available, and students were able to make special arrangements for a major with assistance from faculty advisers in selecting coursework. Following approval by the University's Curriculum Council and faculty as a whole, the major is now available as an established plan of study.
“I’m thrilled,” Sultan said, noting that the best liberal arts institutions offer classical studies. “Classics is the oldest of the liberal arts disciplines and remains one of the most valuable. Students are not just learning about the past, they're learning about the here and now. Much of what is going on, including terrorism, was already described by Herodotus and Thucydides in the fifth century B.C. Classics is humanist study at its core: Why do empires rise and fall? Why do people murder and (seek) revenge? What is justice? Every idea that we have, from law and politics to the arts, has been profoundly influenced by Greece and Rome, and it is very important to understand the power of that influence.”
While the traditional canon of Greek and Roman Studies for a time fell out of favor as multicultural studies gained long-needed recognition, Sultan points out that classical studies today incorporates multicultural perspectives. This includes examination of the early non-Western cultures that influenced Greece and Rome, and how ideas about slavery, ethnicity and race came into Western culture from the Greeks and Romans. Today the discipline examines not only the positive legacy of Greece and Rome, but the negative as well.
Sultan also notes practical benefits to studying the Greek and Latin languages, from which 60 percent of all English words are derived, and which are the basis of 90 percent of the technical terminology in law and medicine. The study of Latin and Greek not only improves the students' English grammar and vocabulary, it also increases the ability to understand other “daughter” languages such as Spanish, Italian and French.
In addition to language studies, courses are offered in ancient art, archaeology, literature, history, religion, political science, and philosophy. Jason Moralee, assistant professor of history, and April DeConick, associate professor and chair of religion, contribute core courses in ancient history and religion, respectively.
Qui capit, capitur.
The one who seizes is seized.
The one who captures is captured.
The one who owns is owned.
The one who binds is bound.
(pron = kwee KAH-pit KAH-pih-toor)
Comments: What is that thing that I just must have (or eat)? Whatever it is, it
has me. This little anonymous proverb is at the root of what some spiritual
traditions call attachment. It also illustrates the power of opposites, for, I
may set out to obtain (seize) something, but the investment of my energy to do
so will leave me bound by the thing I set out to own.
This doesn’t necessarily have to turn into a moralistic judgment about anything.
It can simply be a powerful observation about anything that I desire to have,
to obtain, to own.
If I must have to new car, I will drive away with it from the car dealer. The
car payments, and maintenance activities and costs, though, will own me for
If I must have that puppy in the window, I will walk away from the pet store
with the furry little ball of joy, and the house-training, and daily feedings,
and house cleanings, and gnawed up furniture will become regular demands on my
time and life for the next 15 years.
If I must have a beautiful rose garden in my yard, I can, after a weekend’s work
and a trip to the garden center, install a beautiful garden. The fungicide,
weeding, pruning, bleeding, Japanese beetles and mildew watching will take far
more time than I will likely spend gazing at the beauty of the garden.
What do I want? Whatever it is, it gets me. This is just a fact. The things
that get me themselves become fodder for knowing myself better—or I can ignore
them, and continue to get more stuff—which gets me, too, until I am lost under
the pile of stuff!
In this process of getting and being gotten, moments of gratitude help—for what
we’ve got and for what’s gotten us.
The Iliathon. Who would have thought? As you can probably draw from the title, this is a 24-hour marathon reading of Homer's The Iliad; that's right, all 24 books. It will take place in the Ho Lecture Room and last from 4 p.m. today until 4 p.m. tomorrow.
The mastermind behind it all, first-year Shannon Young, freely admits to the quirkiness of this event. "Who goes to 24-hour readings of the Iliad?" she said. "But that's part of why I like the idea - nobody does this sort of thing."
How, you may wonder, did she come up with the idea?. It started at her high school, where students from the drama class put on the same event. Unfortunately, Young was not able to participate, but the concept behind the event continued to lurk in the corners of her mind ever since. Then one fateful day at Frank, the subject of the Iliad came up during a discussion with some classmates about the trials and tribulations of Western Traditions.
"We were just sort of talking about the book," Young said. "I was like, 'Hey, you know, they did this thing at my high school and it would be really cool if we did it.' And they actually liked the idea. That's sort of the neat thing about Colgate. You can find people who actually are interested in this kind of thing and are willing to do it."
To get the ball rolling she went to talk to Professor of English Deborah Knuth-Klenck, who was happy to point her in the direction of some more people who could help. Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics Robert Garland and Administrative Assistant for the Divison of the Humanities and Department of the Classics Beth MacKinnon soon became instrumental in the planning of this event.
The Iliathon is sponsored by the Classics Department, and the Austin-Murray Classics Fund is covering the costs of food and other expenditures related to this special occasion.
Many different people and groups have gotten involved and plan to participate in various creative ways. Each book is allotted an hour for the person or group signed up to read out loud. Reading the book out loud is a crucial part of the Iliathon. When students read these books for school, they often do not read them out loud, but epic stories like The Iliad were originally presented orally and were passed down from generation to generation as a spoken story, not as words written on a page. "It was meant to be told out loud," Young said, "and now we actually get to hear it out loud, from start to finish."
The first book is going to be read by classics faculty in the original ancient Greek. The second book is also going to be read in ancient Greek, but by advanced students of the language. Fortunately for those of us who don't have the luxury of understanding that particular language, English translations of all the books will be projected on a wall for the audience to read. Any and all creativity is accepted regarding this event. People are encouraged to come in costume to get into the spirit of The Iliad. There are even rumors floating around involving puppet shows and miming.
"I'm hoping to be surprised by it." Young said. "I've already had a lot of good surprises! I don't know exactly what all the people are planning on doing [with their books], and that's kind of exciting to me. People who come and watch don't know what to expect. I don't know what to expect from some people! It'll be an interesting experience."
Widespread participation both by the readers and the audience will be needed to make the Iliathon a success. If the event goes over well, Young would like to continue it with an Odyssion, a reading of The Odyssey? , and then perhaps branch out of the classics into other pieces of literature. "If this is successful I'd really like to make it into a series and keep having these marathon readings," Young said. "It's crazy! Nobody does this. That's what makes it fun." Who knows what's next. Moby Dick?
First-year Lisha Mays will be part of a group reading book 13 at 4 a.m. She spoke about what she was looking forward to at the event. "Well, the food is always good," she said. "And it'll be entertaining watching people try to pronounce really complicated Greek names. It sounds interesting, and it'll definitely be a nice break from writing papers!"
THE Brooklyn teacher who won more than any other woman in "Jeopardy" history lost last night in a squeaker.
In her sixth appearance on the game show, Maria Wenglinsky, a Latin teacher at Park Slope's St. Saviour High School, fell $600 short in Final Jeopardy.
Her winnings, more than $122,000, were a non-tournament show record
An archaeological dig on the Amalfi coast has revealed the first luxury villa to be built in the idyllic fishing village of Positano, a popular haunt of today's rich and famous.
Two storeys of a first century millionaire's abode have been found under a church which was hidden for 2,000 years by the same volcanic eruption that devastated Pompeii in 79AD.
During renovation work on the church's crypt last summer, roof beams were found poking up just a few inches down.
They revealed an enormous building that certainly would have belonged to an important person in Imperial Rome.
A subsequent initial dig by archaeologists unearthed, about 6ft below the ground, two storeys of remarkably brightly-coloured wall frescoes and marble mosaics of mythical characters. They had been perfectly preserved.
The villa, which looked directly out on to the Mediterranean, is believed to have several terraces although more digs will be needed to see exactly how far it stretches.
Franco Zeffirelli, the Italian film-maker, is the most famous latter-day Positano villa-owner.
Past residents include Rudolph Nureyev, the ballet dancer, and Napoleon's marshall and later king of Naples, Joachim Murat. The American writers John Steinbeck and Tennessee Williams were frequent visitors to Positano.
Greece will request the return of four allegedly stolen Greek antiquities from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Culture Ministry said Monday.
"Instructions have been given for the immediate launch of the legal process to reclaim the four ancient artifacts," a ministry announcement said.
Greek authorities say the Getty paid $5.2 million in 1993 for the pieces, which include a gold funerary wreath dating from the fourth century B.C.
Ministry officials were not immediately available to provide further details.
U.S. museums' policies of acquiring ancient artifacts have come under scrutiny, after Italian authorities accused the Getty's former curator of antiquities, Marion True, of receiving stolen antiquities from Italy. She is on trial in Rome on charges that she conspired with dealers to traffic in looted antiquities. She has maintained her innocence.
Italy is seeking the return of a sixth century B.C. vase from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Bush apud suos minus gratus
Res in Iraquia male gestae efficiunt, ut praesidens George W. Bush apud cives suos minus minusque gratia valeat.
Ex interrogatione, quam periodicum Newsweek faciendam curavit, apparet tantum triginta sex centesimas Americanorum actiones eius sustinere. Duodeseptuaginta centesimae facta praesidentis indignantur atque tantum dimidia pars civium eum virum probum et sincerum habent.
The journey to the site of Dr Andy Overman's excavations was every bit as picturesque as an archaeological pilgrimage should be.
We bounced up a rough earth track as far as the car would take us, and the occasional Israeli military jeep swept past in a cloud of dust on its way to police the front line with Syria.
The last couple of hundred metres were on foot and allowed us to soak up the spectacular scenery: the slopes of Mount Hermon rose ahead of us, the brown hills of Lebanon marched away to the north-west, and when we looked back towards the way we had come, the land fell away into the fertile plain of Galilee, chequer-boarded by its orchards and fields.
It was a fire in 1998 that gave Dr Overman his coup at Omrit; it cleared the scrub and he was able to identify the outline of a huge Roman-era temple.
He believes it was erected by King Herod to honour the Roman Emperor Augustus at the time when Augustus began to be viewed as a living god, and he has identified it as the site of Caesarea Philippi.
He is now engaged in an ambitious project to rebuild the temple; it will soon rise to its original 23 metres (75 feet) in height, once again dominating the surrounding landscape.
If Dr Overman is right about the location of his find, it could one day attract biblical scholars and Christian pilgrims in droves.
Caesarea Philippi is where Jesus asked his disciples that famous question: "Who do you think that I am?"
In the account of the incident in St Matthew's gospel, Peter replies: "You are the Messiah, the son of the living god," and it is one of the most important pieces of biblical evidence for Christian beliefs about Jesus's divine status.
And Dr Overman believes that the fact that the incident is reported to have happened near his temple to the God-Emperor Augustus is extremely significant. He sees it as a direct challenge to the idea the temple represented one "living god" throwing down the gauntlet to another.
Quem amat, amat; quem non amat, non amat.
(Petronius, Satyricon 37)
Whom she loves, she loves; whom she does not love, she does not love.
(pron = kwem AH-mat AH-mat kwem nohn AH-mat nohn AH-mat)
Comment: This line is from a work that was written during the reign of Nero by a
man who was in Nero’s court, and then who committed suicide when he fell into
Nero’s disfavor. Seneca, the Stoic philosopher, met the same end at about the
same time from the same emperor. Seneca wrote heavy, moral philosophy, and
difficult plays on moral themes. Petronius wrote the Satyricon, almost an
inversion if not a perversion of those same themes.
Suffice it to say that this line not only describes a character in the
Satyricon, but also represents something about the work itself. It gives a
clearer view of what real people thought and felt than most Latin literature of
This line describes a woman now married to a very wealthy freedman. She had
once been “the kind you would not accept even a piece of bread from”. She is
his everything now. But, she has a sharp tongue. She is a magpie among the
sparrows. Whomever she loves, she loves and says so. Whomever she does not
love, she does not love and says so.
No pretense. Where do we learn pretense? I don’t cherish offending others, but
neither do I enjoy spending time and energy with those with whom I am not
fitted, for whatever reason. Where do we learn pretense, and how old were we
when speaking honestly became wrong? For how long has our culture engendered
pretense and called it “good manners”?
I am a man with long hair and a beard. Once a few years ago, I was walking out
of the fitness center where I worked out regularly. A 3 year old girl and her
mom were walking out, too. The little girl said in a very loud 3 year old
voice: is that a man or a woman? I turned and smiled at her and said: I am a
man. Too late. Mom was shushing her, and hurrying her along. Little girl was
made wrong. Her question was made wrong. I was made wrong. My response was
silenced. Interchange short-changed. Lesson learned. And she won’t ever
really remember how she learned that it was not okay to ask honest questions.
But, she will have good manners.
| You scored as Maximus. After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus's assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him. |
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
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Femina Liberiae praeest
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, oeconomista in Universitate Harvardiensi erudita, in comitiis praesidentialibus Liberiae victoriam reportavit.
Illa est in Africa prima femina, quam populus sibi moderatricem creavit. Consilium Securitatis Nationum Unitarum praecepit, ut Charles Taylor, pristinus Liberiae moderator belli criminibus accusatus, comprehenderetur, si in patriam revertisset.
Vetustissimum ex animalibus hodie viventibus est testudo elephantopus nomine Harriet, quae hac septimana diem natalem centesimum septuagesimum quintum egit.
Pondus centum quinquaginta chiliogrammatum habet et vivit in horto zoologico Australiano. Charles Darwin, celeberrimus naturae investigator, illam anno millesimo octingentesimo tricesimo quinto ex insulis Galápagos secum tulisse dicitur.
This week our “Latin Lover” takes us on a whistle stop tour of a space in the heart of Rome the Romans once dedicated to the sacred, a place where Christians once built their Churches and more curiously linked to Julius Caesar...
Glass remains over 1,700 years old, possibly imported from ancient Rome, have been discovered in an ancient tomb located in east China's Anhui Province, local cultural relic department said on Sunday.
The tomb was found during the latest road project in Zhulong Village of Dangtu County in Anhui. Archaeologists believed the tomb was built in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420).
Covered with white mantlerock, the glass remains seem to have ancient Roman shapes and craftwork.
According to the local cultural relic department, the owner of the tomb was possibly from an eminent family of the Eastern Jin Dynasty.
Besides the "Roman glass," other rare articles including a gold bracelet, a silver ring, a bronze bowl and porcelain were also discovered in the tomb.
Currently, pieces of the "Roman glass" have been sent to the Anhui-based University of Science and Technology of China for further study and analysis, said the local cultural relic department.
As HBO’s “Rome” draws to a bloody, triumphant close (tonight at 9), some viewers can be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled across a particularly convincing re-creation of the ancient world courtesy of The History Channel.
But how accurate is “Rome”?
The 12-episode series roughly covers the years 53 to 44 B.C., from Pompey’s war against Julius Caesar to the assassination of Caesar. Octavian - the future Augustus Caesar, considered one of the greatest Roman rulers - was 18 when his uncle was murdered.
The two main characters, Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) and Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd), are fictional, representative of the sort of men who lived at the time.
Many of “Rome’s” citizens, however, do have real-life counterparts, in name only, at least.
The historian Suetonius wrote that Brutus’ mother, Servilia, was indeed the love of Caesar’s life.
Cleopatra did give birth to a son in 47 B.C. that Caesar accepted as his own - though Suetonius reported rumors that the child was not his.
“Rome” has great fun at Cleopatra’s expense, implying the child could have been fathered by even a lowly legionnaire. Given that DNA tests on TV have become as ubiquitous as eye exams thanks to the “CSI” franchise, “Rome” reminds us of a time when you could only take the mother at her word - and maybe not at all.
“Rome” takes its greatest liberty in the character of Atia, Octavian’s mother. As played by Polly Walker, she is a she-devil in opulent robes, masterminding her ex-son-in-law’s murder and the brutal mugging of a rival, and pushing her young son into sexual and military situations to secure his position as an heir to Julius. She’s Julie Cooper of the B.C. “O.C.”
The resemblance to the real Atia appears to be slight. Suetonius blames the son-in-law’s death on Caesar, who apparently was trying to arrange a marriage between his family and Pompey’s. The real Atia was seemingly a deeply religious woman who didn’t want her son involved in politics. But the producers made a choice that makes for juicy drama. This Atia is involved with Mark Antony (James Purefoy), who eventually married her daughter Octavia - no doubt we’ll see those hysterics next season. Who said ancient history was dull?
The attitude toward slaves - treated like objects, mere marks of social status - is dead-on but unusual in a contemporary presentation of sympathetic characters. As Vorenus’ situation improves, Niobe (Indira Varma) happily crowds their home with more slaves - even leasing two to simply stand by the front entrance.
As for Caesar’s personal habits, Suetonius notes he was all too happy to wear the laurels offered by the Senate. They masked his receding hairline.
Caesar, it seems, practiced the first combover.
An urgent rescue operation is being launched to save some of Rome's most important ancient ruins, including the palace where Julius Ceasar once lived, from the ravages of increasingly violent rainstorms that are undermining their foundations.
Archaeologists fear that buildings on the Palatine Hill, most more than 2,000 years old, are becoming dangerously unstable and pose an increasing risk to the 3.5 million tourists who visit the area each year.
Repairs could take up to 10 years, engineers have said, and are expected to cost between €100 and €200 million (£68 and £136 million) - a small price to pay, they say, to preserve some of Rome's historical treasures.
These include the towering Palace of Septimus Severus, the Domus Augustana, where the emperors lived, and traces of an iron-age village where legend has it the city's founders, Romulus and Remus, were once suckled by a wolf.
"We need to do the same as Greece did 30 years ago, with the Acropolis, whose problems were a lot less than ours," said Carlo Giavarini, a conservation engineer at La Sapienza University who is involved in the rescue plan.
"The first thing we have to do at the Palatine is understand how to divert the water that is undermining the walls. The ancient Romans knew how to do it, but not us."
A maze of 2,000-year-old irrigation tunnels runs beneath the hill as part of the complex original plumbing for which the Romans were famed. But they are largely unmapped and have become blocked or have broken in many places. One of the first challenges will be to find ways to dig out these aged drainage systems and link them to new ones serving the half-square-mile area.
Romans were shocked earlier this month when a 15ft section of a wall, one side of a passageway along which visitors walk to the Forum, collapsed. The wall was just 5ft high - lower than most of the structures in the area - and nobody was hurt, but its collapse heightened fears that more serious accidents involving higher buildings could occur.
Although the wall was just 500 years old and may have been put up by the Renaissance equivalent of cowboy builders, engineers discovered extensive damage to its foundations caused by water seepage. There are ominous signs of similar damage to other, older buildings. Angelo Bottini, the archaeological superintendent of the area, said the collapse was "a very loud alarm bell".
Other areas were at risking of falling down, he said, "and this time they could fall on to the crowds of visitors".
Rome has been hit by increasingly violent storms in recent years, thought to be caused by rising temperatures in the Mediterranean. Last week it suffered yet another - ripping trees from the ground and triggering flooding and landslides in the north of the city.
Prof Giampiero Maracchi, a leading climatologist, said: "In general it is raining less, but there has been a change in the intensity of the rainfall. In the past if it rained for a few hours the most you would get deposited would be up to 40 millimetres (1.5ins). Now it is often between 80 and 100 millimetres."
It is not just the risk to visitors behind the drive to restore the buildings, nor even the fact that the site contains some of Rome's most beautiful frescoes: the desire to save the heart of what was once the Roman empire goes to the heart of the Italian psyche.
"Don't tell me that we have to protect these sites only because they draw visitors and make money," said Rocco Buttiglione, the culture minister. "We have to do it because they are part of our soul."
In the first stage of the restoration drive, a team of Italy's foremost archaeological engineers has been set up to conduct a nine-month survey and search for underground weaknesses and fault lines.
"First we have to do the diagnosis, then we have to treat the patient," said Prof Giorgio Croci, the chief engineer on the project, who led the team which stabilised the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, following the 1997 earthquake.
"We have to go carefully as these remains need to be treated very delicately indeed - but at least the Palatine is finally being treated as a priority."
Prof Croci, who has travelled the globe advising governments on how to protect ancient monuments, added: "Italians are the best in the world at doing this kind of thing, so it is important that we should be also be seen putting our own house in order."
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud and honored to introduce you to Bernard Darwin, who for most of the first half of the past century was golf's foremost writer. To many of you, the name Darwin means Charles, the naturalist, the man who wrote The Origin of the Species. Charles Darwin was Bernard's grandfather. Bernard Darwin was born in 1876 in Down in Kent near London and died in 1961. In the matter of golf writing, we should all pay attention to what Herbert Warren Wind wrote and said. Herb went to Yale and from there to Cambridge University, and it was while he was in England that he met Darwin and read his golf reports in the times and elsewhere. I do not think it is too strong to say that Herb was besotted with Darwin. "There is little disagreement that the best golf writer of all time was an Englishman, Bernard Darwin," Herb said later. Darwin, Herb said, was the finest talent ever to write about sport. If Darwin himself had heard such an encomium, he would have blushed, and the mustache that at times looked as though it was struggling to survive on the gaunt slope of his upper lip might have quivered (laughter). He would have thought that such a description was over-egging the cake. Modesty could have been one of Darwin's forenames. He never inserted himself unnecessarily into his copy. He rarely used superlatives, and in complete contrast to today's practice, he never interviewed players. Darwin was so modest, in fact, that when he and Joyce Wethered won the mixed foursomes in 1933, he referred to himself in The Times as "the elderly gentleman whose name for the most escapes me" (laughter). Yet has there been a writer since whose prose compared with the seamless tapestries that Darwin wove in the times from 1907 to 1953 and in Countries Life from 1907 until 1961? He wrote an introduction to the Oxford Book of Quotations. He was an expert on Charles Dickens, and could and often would recite chunks from Dickens' novels. He wrote four volumes of autobiography, as well as slim volumes about British clubs, mens' clubs, that is, and the British public schools, which, being private, are, in fact, anything but public. Most of all, he wrote about golf, and if you have a golf library and you do not have any volumes of Darwin on your shelves, then let me tell you this: You do not have a library (laughter). There is a saying in Britain that "those who can, do, and those who can't, teach." You might add that those who can't teach, write (laughter). Far from being unable to do any of these three, Darwin could have done them all with graceful ease. I have often thought that in his wide-ranging talents, he was like Bobby Jones, and how sad and ironic it was that these two gifted men should end their lives crippled in such ways that the one could not play and the other could not write. Darwin could have taught, there's no doubt about that; he gained an honors degree in both law and classics at Cambridge, and his knowledge of the classics meant he was comfortable with Latin and Greek. He would have been influenced by poets such as Homer. Now, I stand to be corrected here, but I suspect that the nearest most of us have got to Homer is in watching "The Simpsons." Darwin had an acuity of mind that owed much of his forebears and his contemporaries. His was a very unusual family.
The oldest map of anywhere in the western world, dating from about 500 BC, has been unearthed in southern Italy. Known as the Soleto Map, the depiction of Apulia, the heel of Italy's "boot", is on a piece of black-glazed terracotta vase about the size of a postage stamp.
It was found in a dig led by the Belgian archaeologist Thierry van Compernolle, of Montpellier University, two years ago. But its existence was kept secret until more research was carried out.
"The map offers, to date, for the Mediterranean, and more generally for western civilisation, the oldest map of a real space," the university said recently.
Its engraved place names are indicated by points, just as on maps today, and are written in ancient Greek.
The sea on the western side, Taras (Taranto), today's Gulf of Taranto, is named in Greek. But the rest of the map is in Messapian, the ancient tongue of the local tribes, although the script is ancient Greek.
The seas on either side of the peninsula, the Ionian and the Adriatic, are depicted by parallel zig-zag strokes.
Many of the 13 towns marked on the map, such as Otranto, Soleto, Ugento and Leuca (now called Santa Maria di Leuca) still exist.
The map went on public display for the first time this week in the Archaeological National Museum of Taranto.
Apart from being the oldest geographical map from classical antiquity ever found, it is the first material proof that the ancient Greeks were drawing maps of real places before the Romans.
It was known from ancient Greek literature that the concept of a map existed and that some had been drawn but none had been found.
The ancient Chinese had a well-defined system of map-making, but modern cartography descends from techniques laid down by the ancient Greeks.
Most existing classical maps are Roman and date from the period after Christ's birth.
Experts have suggested that the discovery demands not only a reconsideration of the beginnings of ancient cartography, but also of regional history, in particular that of relations between the local population of the Messapian tribes with their neighbours, the Greeks.
The Soleto map also gives vital new clues to the cultural exchange between the newly arrived Greeks and the Messapi.
They lived in the area but probably came originally from Greece as their language is believed to be a dialect of Illyrian.
The Soleto map is a contemporary of the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who set up a philosophy school in Crotone, now Calabria, on the other side of the Gulf of Taranto.
His hypothesis that the Earth was round, developed after observing that the height of stars was different at different locations and noticing how ships appeared on the horizon, formed the basis of modern map making.
The senators wore purple togas, white togas and T-shirts emblazoned with school mottos.
"Cave Canem" or "Beware the dog" signaled the Portland Bulldogs of Portland High School.
Twisted ivy leaves and gold and green paper formed crowns, and a silver gladiator's helmet stood out on one head.
James Brophy, a senior at Winthrop High School, presided Friday night at the Fall Convention of the Maine Junior Classical League. Some 450 students studying Latin from 15 high schools across Maine sent 450 delegates Friday and more than 50 proctors and teachers and chaperones.
An assembly was orderly chaos as students cheered for those who made the All-Star teams in the Certamen.
Colored T-shirts helped on-lookers identify the schools. Bright pink adorned the Winthrop Ramblers.
"Veri Romani Vestem Roseam Gerunt," Brophy said, then translated: "Real men wear pink."
When Winthrop Latin teacher Meg Cook announced an opportunity for four more Latin II students and eight more Latin III and IV students to join teams in the competition, there was a surge to the front of the auditorium. She could hardly keep up with the demand.
But the purple togas of Hampden Academy seemed to outnumbered most of the other attendees.
Nokomis High School had a large group as well, including Hannah Elwell of Hartland.
After the assembly, the competition heated up in a second floor classroom where Winthrop squared off against Edward Little and Portland high schools in the first round of Certamen at the Latin III and IV levels.
A cardboard "Latin Man" kept sentry next to Kim Preble and Joe Stevens (a state officer for the Junior Classical League) on the Edward Little team.
Merilee Osier, Latin teacher at Sacopee Valley High School in Hiram, read the rules: "To answer, slap the table and raise your hand."
If you know Latin, mythology, or history, you can play along:
Name the King of Pontus who fought the Romans for more than 20 years.
No, not Gaius Marius. No, not Publius, but good try. Answer: Mithridates.
According to mythology, who was the first woman?
Everybody slapped the table for this one: Pandora.
Deik Bernhard of Germany, an exchange student at Winthrop, knew that "transferre" and transfero" was the Latin verb for "translate."
"I got 50 percent of the points," he said as he walked to the next round of the competition.
Meanwhile, by-standers could watch the brain-teasers in "Who Wants to Be a Legionnaire?" the hot contest in the performing arts center emceed by John White, a purple-haired Hampden graduate. Now at McGill University, he returned as a senior member of the Junior Classical League.
Participants translated "E pluribus unum" correctly as "From many, one."
On Thursday, a crowd took every available chair on the fourth floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., to hear the lecture "From Troy to Baghdad: Can modern officers learn from Homer's epics?" by Dr. Jonathan Shay, a psychiatrist in the Department of Veteran Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston.
Since 1987, many of Shay's patients have been veterans of the Vietnam War. His work with them has made him realize what soldiers go through in the "overwhelming hideousness of war," he said.
He said the experiences of the veterans reminded him of the story of Achilles, the hero in Homer's "The Iliad." Shay wrote his idea in a paper to help his colleagues better understand the veterans' situations. After reading the paper, Gregory Nagy, a Classics professor at Harvard, suggested Shay expand it into a larger piece of work. Nagy said such a comparison has never been seen before, Shay said.
"I figured this was my one shot at immortality," Shay said about being asked to write the book.
In the lecture, Shay discussed the lack of stability, ethical leadership and adequate training in the United States military.
He also drew parallels between the modern military and the heroes of Homeric literature, and described the lessons the literature taught current military leaders. For example, "The Iliad," he said, emphasized the "importance of the moral structure of an army."
The Classics Department sponsored Shay's Wednesday and Thursday lectures throughout the University. He led a discussion Wednesday night in Allen Hall, 1005 W. Gregory Dr., about whether war is a part of human nature. He also gave an interview on WILL AM 580 and was a guest professor in Angeliki Tzanetou's Homeric Greek class. After the lecture at the Levis Faculty Center, his final appearance was at Allen Hall where he showed the documentary "Achilles in Vietnam." The film, created by Charles Berkowitz, was based on Shay's book "Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character."
Kirk Freudenburg, chair of the Classics Department, said the psychiatrist is making classical writings of the 8th century B.C. writer Homer timely.
Back in the 1980s, Donald H. Sanders knew there was a better way to teach archaeology to kids than having them look at slides and drawings of ruins — it was just a matter of the technology catching up with the need.
"There had to be some way to get kids a little more interested in history and the past," said Sanders, "and to get them to understand what they are looking at. Looking at the plan or looking at a pile of rocks, neither one of them is translating into anything that they can understand."
Nearly two decades later, Sanders helms LearningSites, a educational technology company that specializes in reconstructing the lost sites of ancient history in all their glory, allowing students to look history right in the eye and spend time examining the peripheries and details of the site. Sanders also runs the Institute for Visualization of History, which applies virtual reality to a wider historical discipline than just archaeology.
"It's a unique way of understanding the past," said Sanders, "and a unique way of bringing together all kinds of technologies."
Key is in the research
The key Sanders' success is the meticulous research that goes into the construction of each virtual world. As Sanders points out, if the scholarship behind their product is not accurate, then they will lose customers, which include schools, museums, and governments.
Each virtual world begins with historical drawings and planned views of the building, as well as visuals from the actual excavations, in order to reproduce a structure from every possible angle. Often, LearningSites will go to other sources, museums and academics who study the site, to glean further information as the project leaps into the third dimension and requires more color, texture, and general detail.
The process of building the virtual site from the ground up is not so different from the process of creating a computer game, but there are notable departures of intent. While game designers are allowed a degree of creative license, LearningSites must adhere to scholarship. Games are built for speed, not accuracy, so their scenery tends to be at a lower resolution and often looks better as you speed past it than it does when you stop and stare. Equally, in an effort to keep the action going, computer games include boundaries on explorable landscape — with Sanders' products, exploration is the reason they exist.
Archeological discoveries made
"Ours has to be meticulous down to the last detail if you are actually going to go into the world and be able to study that. As if you were there," said Sanders. "All these buildings on a lot of the sites we work on are either gone, hard to get to, or expensive to get to, so if scholars want to be able to study them or you want to take school children on a virtual field trip, you have to bring it to them with as much complexity and accuracy as possible."
Careful attention to detail has sometimes resulted in the company making a few archeological discoveries of their own. While reconstructing the Battle Monument at Actium, commemorating the naval battle that pitted Caesar Augustus against Anthony and Cleopatra, certain details of the battle and the technology were applied to solve some mysteries in the physical remains on the site. Anthony's ships had ramming prows that, following their victory, the Romans broke off and attached to a stone wall as a warning to other attackers. It was Sanders and his team who realized this by taking the virtual prow and the virtual wall and working with them.
"The only thing that is left today is this wall with these peculiar little sockets in the wall," said Sanders. "What happens is if we take this particular ram and we bring it up to our virtual model and stick it in the wall, we find out it's a little too small. What we did was we could take this smaller ram and expand it in the program but keeping all the aspect ratios the same until it was the size and shape that fit into that socket."
Work on shipwrecks under way
Sanders also has begun working on shipwrecks. One in particular, which happened off the coast of Cyprus in 350 B.C., split apart when it hit the bottom and contained hundreds of rare artifacts, some that still need to be identified, their purpose a total mystery. Returning to the site is cumbersome and expensive and oceans currents impede further visits by continually covering the site up after archaeologists clear it.
"The idea, and one of the things we can use technology for," said Sanders, "is to be able to go back to what was found in the archaeological record, build a model, clam shell the ship back together again, raise it up, and try to find out how this material was originally stored."
One of the most important sites the company has worked on is the northwest palace of the Assyrian King Ashurnasopal (Nimrod), which is in Iraq. In fact, this is just one of many sites the company has taken on in Iraq, which has paid a price in archaeological richness as the war rages on.
"Hundreds of sites around the country were looted," said Sanders, "and since then, it's about a dozen sites a day are completely lost, looters get in there and destroy the place."
Iraq, which actually boasted one of the best antiquity services in the world under Saddam Hussein, is now facing an archaeological apocalypse.
"They were very conscientious, they were very thorough," said Sanders, "they were very accurate and they also kept a very good handle on what they had and there was no looting going on. As soon as the regime was down, the antiquity service fell apart, the looters immediately came in and began flooding the marketplace, selling all this stuff."
Part of the challenge has been to create a digital record of what each site contains and its condition. In the case of Iraq, LearningSites is collating information from museums and archaeologists, members of the government from both the United States and Iraq, and archaeological teams sponsored by the Smithsonian and National Geographic in order to create a cohesive virtual site that could never exist again in the real world. One of the major achievements of the project is the virtual reconstruction of wall reliefs that have been scattered throughout museums in the real world.
"If you went to all the scholarship, there are hundreds and hundreds of books written about this palace," said Sanders, "you'd have to spread them out and find out what this guy says about this, what that guy says about that and then go to this page, here we put them all together."
Sanders said the typical virtual reality project has moved away from functioning merely as a replica of a building or a site. The medium is evolving into a more informationally inclusive format, where real world information about the virtual one is at the user's fingertips. The company is working on an ambitious history of the Jewish people that includes an excavation simulation, interactive history features, user controlled border and settlement maps, and the ability to zoom into cities and watch their changes through time, among other educational features. This will be available for free online.
Sanders has found that some teachers are reluctant to embrace the technology, partly because the expertise of kids can cause a role reversal in the classroom but Sanders believes that what is gained is worth a shift in the balance of power — and the interaction can make a teacher's job more engaging, as well.
"It becomes a series of problem solving tasks," said Sanders, "in which the kids actually have to go through the world, learn about the world, extrapolate the information from it, and give it back to the teacher in a way that is much more engaging and traditional."
LearningSites' work can be viewed at www.learningsites.com and www.vizin.org.
Rutherford Aris, a distinguished chemical engineer who, as the result of a mix-up three decades ago, had a short-lived but supremely accomplished alter ego Aris Rutherford, with an official entry in Who's Who died on Nov. 2 in Edina, Minn. He was 76.
The cause was complications of Parkinson's disease, according to the University of Minnesota, where he was Regents professor emeritus of chemical engineering and classics.
Aris Rutherford, also on the faculty at Minnesota, was a professor of distillation practice, a highly evolved form of chemical engineering. Had he in fact existed, Rutherford, who was slightly younger than Aris, would have been 75.
Curiously, Aris was indeed accomplished enough for at least two people. Originally trained as a mathematician, he went on to become a chemical engineer, doing seminal work in both disciplines.
A skilled classicist, he was also a widely respected scholar of paleography, the study of ancient writing. An accomplished calligrapher, he wrote a book on the historical evolution of letterforms.
His scholarly publications appeared in an unorthodox array of journals, from Chemical Engineering Science and Mathematical Biosciences to New Literary History and The Thoreau Quarterly.
Aris, known as Gus, was born in Bournemouth, England, on Sept. 15, 1929, the son of Algernon Pollock Aris and the former Janet Elford. At 16, he completed a bachelor's degree in mathematics at the University of London; the university, reluctant to grant a degree to one so young, did not officially confer it until 1948, when he was 19.
In 1955, after a stint in industry, Aris joined the University of Minnesota as a researcher; three years later, without a doctorate, he was hired by the department of chemical engineering and materials science. His work, which involved the mathematical modeling of chemical reactions, contributed to the design of safer, more efficient chemical reactors.
Aris earned a Ph.D. by correspondence from the University of London in 1960; he received a doctor of science degree from the university in 1964.
Eminent in his field, Aris soon rated an entry a real one in Who's Who in America. But sometime in the early 1970s, Who's Who also requested a biography from Aris Rutherford.
Aris wrote back and explained the mistake. But the requests continued, each more officious than the last. What could the professor do but oblige?
And so, in the 38th edition of Who's Who in America (1974-75), Aris appears twice: in Volume 1 as himself, and in Volume 2 as Aris Rutherford, who leaps to life in 16 lines on Page 2,672.
In this farcical account, Aris MacPherson Rutherford was born in Strath Spey, Scotland, on April 10, 1930, the son of Archibald MacPherson Rutherford and the former Ephygeneia Aristeides. In 1948, when he was just 18, he earned a diploma from the Strath Spey and Glenlivet Institute of Distillation Engineering. Several advanced degrees followed.
In 1955, after a stint with the Argyll and Sutherland Regiment, Rutherford became the chief design engineer and tester for the Strath Spey Distillation Co. He came to the United States the next year.
From 1960 to 1964, when he joined the Minnesota faculty, Rutherford was a visiting professor of distillation practice at the Technological Institute of the Aegean, in Corinth.
He wrote three books, "Sampling Techniques" (1957), "Distillation Procedures" (1963) and "American Football: A Guide for Interested Scots" (1960).
Rutherford survived only a year. When the news media got wind of the hoax, Aris came clean, and Who's Who expunged his doppelganger from future editions.
Aris' own books, all very real, include "The Optimal Design of Chemical Reactors" (Academic Press, 1961); "Mathematical Modeling: A Chemical Engineer's Perspective" (Academic Press, 1999); and "Explicatio Formarum Litterarum The Unfolding of Letterforms: From the First Century to the Fifteenth" (St. Paul: Calligraphy Connection, 1990).
A former Guggenheim fellow, Aris authentically belonged to many learned societies, including the American Chemical Society, the Society for Mathematical Biology and the Society of Scribes and Illuminators.
The Indiana Classical Conference has named Marilyn Bisch, lecturer in Latin at Indiana State University, as its 2005 Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year.
The ICC is the official statewide organization for teachers, scholars and laypersons interested in the study of classical Greek and Roman languages and cultures. It was founded in 1963 to promote the appreciation, study and teaching of the classics in Indiana. The annual award recognizes outstanding service to university students and to the profession of classical scholarship.
In presenting the award, ICC president David S. Banta, assistant professor of classics at Hanover College, remarked that Bisch's "work in building up and maintaining the classics program at Indiana State University is highly laudable, and we in the Indiana Classical Conference are quite proud, even somewhat humbled, to be able to recognize this service through this award."
While the ICC award applauds Bisch's efforts in building the classical language program at ISU, she insists students are the real reason for the program's growth and strength.
"ISU students are smart and curious. They know there is real value in learning about ancient Greece and Rome," she said. "Classical languages profoundly influenced the English language. Classical cultures are the foundation of modern American, democratic society. To learn about a classical culture is to better understand our own. To learn a Classical language is to better understand how all languages, even computer languages, work. Those are benefits that translate into academic success, better grades and higher test scores in any major."
A report compiled in May shows that students who had completed at least one year of Latin at ISU between Spring 2003 and Spring 2005 had an average cumulative grade point average of 3.22 on a 4.0 scale. In addition, the report shows that 86 percent of those students had either graduated from the university or were continuing students at ISU.
Bisch became a member of the ISU classics faculty in 1998. During this time, enrollments in classical language courses have consistently increased, with enrollments in first-year Latin language courses alone more than quadrupling. She currently teaches all levels of Latin and ancient Greek language, courses in ancient literature and culture for the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics and the University Honors Program, and is academic advisor to classical language students. Bisch also serves as faculty advisor for the ISU Gamma Alpha chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national classical honorary society.
This student organization sponsors campus and community events, including Latin Fest and other outreach programs for area high school Latin students.
The ISU Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics offers classical language students minors in Latin, Latin teaching and classical studies. Students can also combine Latin with study in linguistics or a modern language for a major in cross linguistics.
Coesper erat: tunc lubriciles ultravia circum
Urgebant gyros gimbiculosque tophi;
Moestenui visae borogovides ire meatu;
Et profugi gemitus exgrabuere rathae.
O fuge Iabrochium, sanguis meus! Ille recurvis
Unguibus, estque avidis dentibus ille minax.
Ububae fuge cautus avis vim, gnate! Neque unquam
Faederpax contra te frumiosus eat!
Vorpali gladio juvenis succingitur: hostis
Manxumus ad medium quaeritur usque diem:
Jamque via fesso, sed plurima mente prementi,
Tumtumiae frondis suaserat umbra moram.
Consilia interdum stetit egnia mene revolvens;
At gravis in densa fronde susuffrus erat,
Spiculaque ex oculis jacientis flammea, tulseam
Per silvam venit burbur labrochii!
Vorpali, semel atque iterum collectus in ictum,
Persnicuit gladis persnacuitque puer:
Deinde galumphatus, spernens informe Cadaver,
Horrendum monstri rettulit ipse caput.
Victor Iabrochii, spoliis insignis opimis,
Rursus in amplexus, o radiose, meos!
O frabiose dies! CALLO clamateque CALLA!
Vix potuit lastus chorticulare pater.
Coesper erat: tune lubriciles ultravia circum
Urgebant gyros gimbiculosque tophi;
Moestenui visae borogovides ire meatu;
Et profugi gemitus exgrabuere rathae.
[Footnote 1: _Coesper_ from _Coena_ and _vesper_.]
[Footnote 2: _lubriciles_ from _lubricus_ and _graciles_. See the
Commentary in Humpty Dumpty's square, which will also explain
_ultravia_, and--if it requires explanation--_moestenui_.]
[Footnote 3: _Sanguis meus_: cf. Verg. Aen. 6. 836, "Projice tela
manu, sanguis meus!"]
[Footnote 4: _egnia_: "muffish" = segnis; ... "uffish" = egnis.
This is a conjectural analogy, but I can suggest no better solution.]
[Footnote 5: _susuffrus_ : "whiffling" :: _susurrus_ : "whistling."]
[Footnote 6: _spicula_: see the picture.]
[Footnote 7: _burbur_: apparently a labial variation of _murmur_,
stronger but more dissonant.]
Qualis dominus, talis et servus.
(Petronius, Satyricon 58)
Whatever kind of master (you see), that is the kind of slave (you have).
(pron = KWAH-lis DOH-mih-noos TAH-lis eht SER-woos)
Comment: This statement comes out of a culture hierarchically structured, and
one, obviously, where the institution of slavery was common and accepted.
Transfer the idea to any of our hierarchical structures and try it on for size:
Whatever kind of employer, that is the kind of employee.
Whatever kind of church leader, that is the kind of church member.
Whatever kind of parent, that is the kind of child.
Whatever kind of teacher, that is the kind of student.
Whatever kind of political leader, that is the kind of community.
There is some truth to this statement, especially in relationships where
hierarchy plays a significant role, because the person at the top has a great
deal of power to shape ad control the structure of things. As he/she controls,
the choices that those under him/her have become fewer, and their development is
constrained to the structures that the hierarch allows.
But the statement is also false. There is a uniqueness in each human being that
often enough rises above the constraints that are placed on him/her. It
manifests, and demonstrates itself. If caught in a hierarchical structure,
those persons are often seen as heroes or persons of great fortitude and
courage. Despite the constraints, they find their way.
A rare seal bearing a picture of Jesus on one side was discovered at an archeological dig in the old city of Tiberias on Thursday.
The other side of the seal, which dates from the sixth century, depicts a cross and bears the inscription "Christos."
The seal was discovered by two volunteers, employees of the American and British embassies.
Prof. Yizhar Hirschfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who is directing the dig, said the seal apparently belonged to a high-ranking church official, and indicated that the church in Tiberias "was stronger than we had thought."
Need something to do for 24 hours? Well, you’re in luck, because the Austin-Murray Classics Fund and the Western Traditions freshman seminar classes are presenting an all-day, all-night reading of all 24 books of Homer’s Iliad.
Various readers will participate in the “Iliathon,” which begins at 4 p.m. Friday and ends at the same time Saturday.
Europa Nostra, the pan-European heritage federation that is the representative platform for over 200 heritage NGOs active throughout Europe, has launched a final appeal to halt the operation of Yortanlı Dam, pending a comprehensive plan for the safeguarding of the ancient site of Allianoi, near Bergama.
Allianoi's rescue excavation, which started in 1994, will stop when flooded by the waters of Yortanlı Dam. According to customary procedure, the State Waterworks Authority (DSİ) would have released water and flooded the ancient city; however, the İzmir Board of Monuments overruled the decision by designating the area a cultural and historical heritage site of the first degree and asked the DSİ to postpone the flooding and find a way to protect the cultural heritage of Allianoi before operating the dam.
Throughout history Allianoi was known as the land of the health god, Asklepion. Allianoi was established during the Hellenistic age and reached its peak in the second century under the rule of Roman Emperor Hadrian. Up until the 11th century, it was regarded as one of the world's most important health centers.
Europa Nostra President Otto von der Gablentz addressed an open letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and urged the Turkish government to prevent the impending destruction of the Roman baths at Allianoi.
"This appeal has been launched on the basis of mounting opposition against the flooding of Allianoi, both locally and internationally," said Gablentz. "Allianoi was declared a first degree archaeological site and flooding the site would thus constitute an illegal act. The Board of Monuments has therefore called for the postponement of the flooding, pending a report by the Culture and Tourism Ministry on adequate measures for the conservation of Allianoi."
"Allianoi bears witness to an important period of European history and forms part of our common European heritage. We sincerely hope that the Turkish government will find a way to safeguard Allianoi, confirming its determination to fully integrate the important objective of the conservation and enhancement of our common European heritage in its policies and priorities," stressed von der Gablentz in the letter.
The European Union has also joined the international campaign to save Allianoi. European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn has sent a letter about the issue to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül. In addition, Nikolaos Sifunakis, chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education, has written to the Turkish ambassador to the EU and raised the matter at the October Plenary Session of the European Parliament.
In September, Europa Nostra, together with ICOMOS and the European Association of Archaeologists, sent a letter to Ali Babacan, the Turkish minister of state for EU relations, and to other members of the Turkish government on this matter but to date has not yet received a reply explaining the position of the Turkish government. At the same time Europa Nostra launched an on-line campaign (www.europanostra.org/save_allianoi.html) seeking wider citizen support for the Allianoi appeal. This campaign continues to gain momentum, with supporting signatures received from 25 countries.
Marion True, who resigned last month as the antiquities curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, amid accusations that she failed to disclose details about the purchase of a vacation home in Greece, received a loan for that home from a wealthy art patron whose collection the Getty had just bought, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times. Ms. True, who is on trial in Rome on charges of conspiring to import illegally excavated antiquities for the Getty's collection, received the $400,000 loan from Lawrence Fleischman in 1996, three days after the Getty paid $20 million to acquire part of a renowned collection of Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities owned by Mr. Fleischman and his wife, Barbara, the newspaper reported, citing loan documents and interviews. The couple gave the rest of the collection, valued at much more than $20 million, to the museum. The loan from Mr. Fleischman was used to repay money Ms. True had borrowed in 1995 in an original loan for the house, according to the article. When Ms. True stepped down in October, the Getty said only that she "failed to report certain aspects of her Greek house purchase transaction in violation of Getty policy." Ms. True's lawyer, Harry Stang, said yesterday that any implication that the loan from the collectors had any bearing on the sale and gift of their collection was false, adding that Ms. True's involvement in negotiations for the collection ended long before the loan offer was made. Ms. Fleischman, whose husband died in 1997 and who joined the Getty's board in 2000, said in an interview yesterday that she was aware of the loan but did not report it to the board because she did not believe it presented an ethical conflict. "Looking back is very easy," she said. "At the time, I was, well, call it naïve or inexperienced." She added, "I do stand corrected, but I don't stand condemned."
In Finnia speculatores plurimi
Acta diurna Helsinkiensia (Helsingin Sanomat) nuperrime rettulerunt plures esse in Finnia hodie speculatores quam umquam ante. Homines ad speculationem institutos et eruditos esse circiter quinquaginta, ex quibus triginta Russiae servirent.
Ita copiam speculatorum Russorum in eundem numerum revertisse, qui tempore belli frigidi fuisset. Circiter triginta esse homines, qui maxime res civiles specularentur, viginti, qui de rebus militaribus notitiam inquirerent. Plerosque ex eis esse legatos diplomaticos, alios personam gerere investigatoris, redactoris, negotiatoris vel studentis. Actiones eorum omnium maximam partem in regionem Helsinkiensem conferri.
Marian Catholic senior Katie Moore's academic success might be traced back to the civilization she is studying.
In addition to being a member of the National Honor Society, Moore also is part of the National Junior Classical League, the Latin version of the NHS. The state-qualifying swimmer is a fourth-year student in Latin. She might study pharmacy, and knowing Latin terms are helpful in the medical field.
Quite simply, Moore is enthralled with ancient Roman society.
"It's an amazing culture," Moore said. "They are the pioneers of everything we have."
Moore, who qualified for this weekend's IHSA state championships, is a Speedo All-American, an honor awarded to a varsity athlete who maintains at least a 3.78 GPA for two years.
The championships start Friday at Evanston and continue Saturday.
She qualified by winning the 100 butterfly in 1:00.95 Saturday at the Lincoln-Way East Sectional.
"It was the best feeling in the world to get first because this was my last chance," Moore said.
She also was part of the 400 freestyle relay team that finished third (3:41.94) and qualified. Other team members are Beth Nagel, Anna Moorman and Meghan VonSchaumburg. Nagel also qualified in the 100 freestyle (:54.02).
Moore and her classmates are translating Virgil's Aeneid, which is about the adventures of Aeneas, the legendary Trojan hero who survived the fall of Troy. The first six books of the work were modeled after Homer's Odyssey and the last six on the Iliad.
"Their ability, Virgil and Cicero, to narrate story with such great detail, is just something," Moore said. "Aeneid is the Roman version of the Iliad and that is also what we're doing is comparing the works."
Moore got her start swimming in Ridge Park on the Chicago's Southwest Side. She learned through lessons from the Chicago Park District.
"I really had a chance to work on the fundamentals and that's what I'll never forget," Moore said. "Without that experience, I wouldn't be where I am now."
The favorite horses of both Alexander the Great (Bucephalus) and Julius Caesar both had atavistic mutations - extra toes. Horses normally have only one toe per foot but are descended from horses with three or four toes on each limb.
The biggest medieval manuscript in the world, the Codex Gigas or Devil's Bible, should be exhibited again in Prague more than 350 years after it was carried off from the city as war booty by Swedish troops.
Created at the start of the 13th century, the parchment manuscript was considered at the time as the "the eighth wonder of the world," due to its impressive proportions (92 x 50.5 x 22 cm), its 624 pages and weight of 75kg.
"Some 160 donkeys paid for its creation with their skin," explained Miroslava Hejnova, who is in charge of the historic and musical collection of the national library.
The Stockholm royal library has exceptionally agreed to loan the giant manuscript for an exhibition planned for the start of 2007 in part of the Clementium, the former Jesuit college built from 1653 to 1726 in the heart of ancient Prague.
The masterpiece is the work of one monk alone, at the same time copier, illustrator and graphic designer, from the Podlazice monastery, in the centre of the current Czech Republic. The monastery was destroyed in the religious wars of the 15th century.
The manuscript includes the old and new testaments, as well as historic texts such as the "Chronica Boemorum," (Chronicle of the Czechs) written in Latin in the 12th century and the work of the historian Flavius Josephe (between 37-100 AD).
According to legend, the creator of the Codex Gigas was condemned to be walled up alive for a serious crime.
'A cute appearance '
The manuscript was, it is said, the fruit of one single night's work aimed at atoning for the crime and creating something that would glorify the monastery forever.
But to achieve such a feat, the monk had to get the devil's help. Once the masterpiece was complete, the monk slipped a portrait of his "helper" in the manuscript as recognition of the aid.
At the Stockholm royal library, visitors have the chance to see the 50cm high illustration of the devil.
"To tell the truth, he seems to have a cute appearance, of someone in a very good mood," smiled Heynova.
In Prague, the manuscript, only protected by a wood cover, will be on show alongside other documents from the Middle Ages.
"It is sometimes disappointing when displaying a manuscript. In fact, you cannot let everyone finger through it, you have to select just two pages," explained the director of the national library, Vlastimil Jezek, who hopes to attract at least 50 000 visitors for the exhibition.
Like many other priceless objects, the manuscript was taken as war booty at the end of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) by soldiers under the Swedish general Koenigsmark from the famous Prague collection of the Hapsburg emperor and arts patron, Rudolf II (1552-1612).
"They took the most valuable objects of the collection," said Hejnova. Soldiers also carried off the Codex Argenteus, written in silver and gold letters around 750 and today housed in Uppsala, central Sweden.
Nec temere nec timide
Neither rashly nor timidly
(pron = neck TEH-meh-reh neck TIH-mih-deh)
Comment: This appears as a part of several family mottoes. The word “temere”
can mean several things in addition to “rashly”: thoughtlessly, by chance,
without cause, at random.
The idea here is an implied imperative: don’ do anything in a thoughtless, rash
way, but on the other hand, when you begin to do something, don’t walk into it
full of self-doubt and second guessing yourself either. Wrapped up in these
four words is an admonition to self-reflecting and really, self-knowledge and
We’ve all done things rashly, and if you are like me, most often regretted it
later. I also spent much of my young adult life struggling with a timidity
(another word for fear) that was rooted in a lack of self-confidence. It is
simple and agonizing misery to enter into everything that one does worried and
afraid, and it always affects the outcome of the thing one is doing. I have
also come to appreciate how much fun spontaneity can be (rashness without the
attitude), and how helpful care for details can be (timidity without the
neuroses). And this is an ever changing rhythm that, on any day, can just
become attitude and neuroses again!
Somewhere, within ourselves, there is a rhythm, a dance, a melody, verse and art
that can only be expressed with the combination of highs and lows, of
spontaneity and specificity. Before we get there, though, we have to see who
we are, really, and accept that. I think, finally, that both rashness and
timidity can be two different responses to self-hatred.
Don't tell students at Catoctin High School that ancient Greek is a dead language.
The kids in Frederick Brainerd's ancient Greek class use it in their instant messaging.
And don't tell them Latin is dead, either.
"The pope speaks it, too, and he's not dead," said Luke Baseley, a junior at the high school. "So Latin is not dead."
Catoctin High might be the only public high school in Maryland to teach both languages. Although Latin is taught elsewhere in Frederick County and widely throughout the state - including some Anne Arundel high schools - ancient Greek is taught only at Catoctin, where 28 students are enrolled for Brainerd's class next semester.
Students at Catoctin said they study Latin and ancient Greek for a number of reasons, from an interest in history to a desire to boost their vocabulary skills for their SATs. But all agreed it was an important and wise choice.
Freshman Lindsay Puvel said she chose to take Latin because "it's the basis for every other language." She also plans to take ancient Greek after completing the required Latin classes.
"You feel smart taking Latin or Greek" because they aren't languages most people study, she said. "It's an elite group to be in."
Brainerd's students are more like students of 100 years ago than their peers today.
In 1905, more than half of American high-schoolers studied Latin, compared with 1.3 percent in 2000, according to the most recent American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages study.
Brainerd's students get more than just a grade in his class. They have fun using the Greek alphabet as secret code in writing instant messages and leaving notes on the chalkboard. There are academic benefits as well.
"Seventy to 80 percent of English words are derived from Greek and Latin," said Brainerd, who teaches both languages. "A lot of [my] students recognize the value of Latin and Greek roots in English."
Brainerd majored in Latin and ancient Greek at Maine's Bowdoin College, and he later earned a master's degree in education from Tufts University outside Boston. He has been a teacher in Frederick County for 16 years.
In a state where the most frequently taught languages are Spanish and French, recent estimates show that almost half of Maryland high school students are studying no foreign language, at a time when many educators regard it as increasingly important.
Brainerd said the study of foreign language, particularly Latin and ancient Greek, helps students in classes and on tests required for graduation.
"We can really get nitpicky about grammar," Brainerd said. "But it gives students a great advantage on high-stakes testing."
Ken Getzandanner, a senior, agreed: "I learned more about grammar in [Latin] class than in English class."
Students at Catoctin perform better than their peers statewide on the Maryland High School Assessments, which students starting with the class of 2009 must pass to graduate.
More than 67 percent of Catoctin students who took the sophomore English assessment exam last year passed, compared with about 58 percent of students statewide, according to figures released last week by the State Department of Education.
Brainerd wrote the ancient Greek curriculum in response to student interest. Catoctin has offered ancient Greek every other semester for eight years.
Montgomery County has the most foreign language offerings among public school systems in the state, but no ancient Greek. Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish and Spanish for Spanish-speakers are taught in Montgomery's high schools.
And Montgomery, along with Carroll, Anne Arundel, Frederick and Prince George's counties, teaches American Sign Language, although none offer it for foreign language credit, an option that would have to be approved by the State Board of Education.
The study of Latin and ancient Greek is striking amid the technology that permeates the students' lives.
Fifteen of the 24 Maryland school systems offer Latin at the high school level.
According to the Linguistic Society of America, Latin and ancient Greek are considered dead because they are no longer spoken as a first language in the forms found in ancient texts.
Ancient Greek slowly evolved into modern Greek in a process similar to the way Latin evolved into modern-day Italian, Spanish, French, Romanian and other languages, according to the society.
More than 7,900 students in Maryland studied Latin in the 2004-2005 school year, according to unofficial state estimates.
As of Oct. 14 in Montgomery County, 1,483 high school students were enrolled in Latin classes, said Judith Klimpl, foreign language supervisor for the school system. Frederick County, with a school system about one-fourth the size of Montgomery County's, has 1,189 students in its high school Latin program, according to Susan Helm Murphy, foreign language curriculum specialist for the system.
Brainerd's students said the main reason they study the classic languages is their teacher.
"I wouldn't have gone so far in Latin if Mr. Brainerd hadn't been the teacher," Getzandanner said.
Students do more than just read and write in his classics classes. They also learn about the ancient cultures through art projects and other hands-on activities. Next semester, Brainerd and his students plan to make a model of Mount Vesuvius, and with help from the Earth systems science research class, they will create a volcanic explosion and bury Pompeii.
The ancient Romans didn’t have the Internet, but they coined the phrase you need to remember when thinking about first-page search engine recognition—Buyer Beware!
Eva Brann, a tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, is one of 12 recipients of the 2005 National Humanities Medal. President George Bush presented the medal to Miss Brann and other distinguished scholars in a ceremony at the White House Thursday, November 10. It is the first time a St. John’s faculty member has received this prestigious national award.
The National Humanities Medal, first awarded in 1989 as the Charles Frankel Prize, honors individuals and organizations whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand America’s access to important humanities resources.
Miss Brann is the longest-serving tutor at St. John’s College, which is known for a curriculum centered on the study of the seminal works of Western civilization. She joined the college in 1957. A Jewish immigrant from Berlin, Miss Brann went to Brooklyn College and later earned her master’s in classics and a doctoral degree in archaeology at Yale University. At St. John’s, she was the first woman to be named dean, serving in this important position from 1990-97.
The St. John’s College community was pleased and proud to hear of Miss Brann’s award, said St. John’s President Christopher Nelson. “Eva has been a member of the faculty for nearly 50 years,” he said. “She has touched the lives of more students, alumni, and friends of the college than anyone ever has. She has long been our most effective and beloved ambassador. Eva is a gift to the spirit of liberal education.”
St. John’s Dean Michael Dink described Miss Brann as a “model tutor.” “She set a daunting standard for all subsequent deans in terms of intellectual leadership,” he said. “She has also been an articulate spokesperson for the value of the liberal arts. She is sensitive and attentive to the needs of the community.”
Alumni, Mr. Dink noted, “are devoted to her,” and when Miss Brann teaches community offerings, such as Summer Classics in the college’s Santa Fe program, her classes fill immediately. “She has both intellectual and philosophical depth, and yet she’s plainspoken. She can bring a philosophical problem to life with her insight.”
Miss Brann’s latest book is Open Secrets / Inward Prospects: Reflections on World and Soul (2004). She has produced many publications, including Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad (2002); The Music of The Republic: Essays on Socrates’ Conversations and Plato’s Writings (2004); The World of the Imagination (1992); What Then, Is Time? (1999); and The Ways of Naysaying: No, Not, Nothing, and Nonbeing (2001). Brann’s long history of academic posts and honors includes fellowships with NEH and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a seat on the Maryland Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1988-1996).
The other honorees include: Walter Berns, professor emeritus at Georgetown University and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; etiquette columnist Judith Martin, also known as Miss Manners; Col. Matthew Bogdanos, who led the investigation into the 2003 destruction of the Iraq Museum, an effort that has led to the recovery of 5,000 artifacts; historian John Lewis Gaddis; legal scholar Mary Ann Glendon; historian Alan Kors; art historians and appraisers Leigh and Leslie Keno; history and museum patrons Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman; and an editorial team working on George Washington's papers at the University of Virginia.
Quid Jacques Chirac dixerit
Jacques Chirac, praesidens Francogalliae, postquam diu exspectatum est, ut aliquid de tumultibus Francogalliam iam per duas septimanas vexantibus publice diceret, tandem die Dominico orationem de illo gravi discrimine habuit.
Affirmavit regimen Francogalliae summo studio id acturum esse, ut suburbiis ordo et securitas restituerentur.
Fieri non posse, quin ei, quorum opera tantae clades conflatae essent, a magistratibus deprehenderentur et punirentur.
Flagitavit autem etiam iustitiam et aequalitatem in tumultibus coercendis servandas esse.
Quo diutius autem violentiae in Francogallia durant, eo minus cives regimini suo confidere videntur.
Italian archaeologists have unveiled the latest major find to emerge from the Roman forum - an ivory statue of an emperor, probably Marcus Aurelius or Septimius Severus .
The bust is unique - there are no other examples of statues like this made in ivory .
Very few ancient Roman ivory objects have survived to the present day because ivory is a biodegradable material .
Those that have not withered away over the last 2,000 years are mostly tomb decorations and small plaques .
The archaeologists found the statue at the Forum's Templum Pacis (Temple of Peace), which they started excavating last December .
The emperor is depicted in 'Greek philosopher' pose, wearing a tunic with his right hand raised and his head slightly inclined .
This has led experts to believe it may be Marcus Aurelius (emperor 161-180 AD), author of a famous philosophical work, Meditations .
The other likely candidate is Septimius Severus (193-211 AD), a prudent but ruthless ruler who came from the North African city of Leptis Magna (in present day Libya) .
The bust is 25cm tall and blackened by fire damage .
This may have occurred during the 192 AD blaze that devastated the Templum Pacis .
Emperor Vespasian (69-79 AD) built the temple in 72 AD to house the spoils from the suppression of the First Jewish Revolt by his son Titus - later emperor 79-81 AD - along with Greek masterpieces collected by Nero (54-68 AD) .
After the 192 AD fire, described by Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, the temple was restored by Septimius Severus .
The excavation of the site has also uncovered a beautiful, multi-coloured marble floor and parts of the temple's enormous columns .
The ivory-statue coup comes shortly after another jackpot find - a huge marble head of Emperor Constantine (305-337 AD) discovered in July at Trajan's Forum .
The 60cm-high head, which was found in good condition, showed Constantine in stylised glory, at the time of his triumphant entry into Rome after beating rival Emperor Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312 AD) .
It was probably sculpted between 312 and 325 AD .
Sub nive quod tegitur, dum nix perit, omne videtur.
What is under the snow is covered. Then, the snow melts away, and reveals
(pron = soob NEE-weh kwod TEH-gih-toor doom nicks PEH-rit OHM-neh wih-DEH-toor)
Comment: From one angle, this proverb (which I have translated a little more
freely than usual) makes the well-known point about not judging the inside from
first glance on the outside. What is under the snow may be crocuses and
daffodils waiting to bloom, or cigarette butts thrown down with other litter.
The snow both hides a secret beauty and a messy human habit.
This proverb also suggests another dynamic in life—that there are layers to who
we are. As we live our lives, and with any intent enter a process of
self-understanding or self-realization, we will soon discover that there are
layers to us, and the more we peel away, the more we discover, the more there
is to peel away and discover!
My wife and I once owned a house that was about a hundred years old. Over the
twelve years that we lived there, we slowly, room by room, restored the house
to its original Arts and Crafts style. It meant in most rooms stripping away
decades of paint and paper that had been layered over original beautiful
wood-work. Previous owners had attempted to make the house more beautiful,
more livable by adding layers on. We found the real beauty of that house was
many layers deep, hiding away. It had been there all along.
Human life has a more natural process (than sandpaper and stripping chemicals)
for discovering what is underneath. The natural rhythms and relationships of
life will melt away the covering layers, if we allow, and show us ourselves.
We have to be willing to see—the flowers and the garbage.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the earliest form of golf is attributed to the Romans. Over 2,000 years ago, as Rome expanded its borders as far north as Britannia, invading armies carried with them a home-grown game called paganica, practised with a stick and a stitched leather ball stuffed with feathers. The idea of hitting a ball as far as possible towards a defined target seemed to catch on. Through the centuries, games similar to paganica developed in England, France, Italy, the Netherlands and China. Modern golf developed in Scotland where the feathery ball, identical to that used for paganica, was standard for several centuries. It was replaced only in the mid-19th century when the first rubber ball – the guttie – was introduced.
So, Congress, some of you want to build a 1,951-mile wall to close off America's southern border?
Interesting, but not original.
As the people who'd be footing the bill, we have one request: Consider any of these examples -- none of which stopped those who really wanted to cross into a country from doing so -- before you consider spending taxpayers' money on such folly.
100s: Roman Emperor Hadrian orders construction of a wall in northern England to mark the boundary of his empire -- and keep the barbarians to the north at bay.
Villaggio scomparso rivede la luce. Nei giorni scorsi la Guardia di Finanza di Isili ha individuato nelle campagne del paese un importante sito archeologico. Le ispezioni hanno permesso di individuare un villaggio di epoca romana risalente al I/II secolo dopo Cristo, non censito e non sottoposto a vincoli da parte della soprintendenza archeologica. Sono stati trovati 230 pezzi tra reperti e frammenti.
Di particolare interesse archeologico le 25 monete di bronzo appartenenti all'epoca romana, sia imperiale che repubblicana, ed una presumibilmente d'origine punica. Sempre di epoca romana le quattro statuine, in pietra basaltica pertinenti a macine. Sono stati ritrovati, inoltre, frammenti di vasellame, anfore e laterizi.
In una seconda operazione, svolta sempre ad Isili, le fiamme gialle hanno bloccato alcune attivita' agricole che stavano danneggiando un importante sito nuragico e romano sottoposto a vincolo archeologico. L'aratura del terreno aveva provocato la rimozione di muri romani e il crollo di elementi cuneiformi di un nuraghe. Nel corso dell'operazione sono stati recuperati 40 frammenti di epoca nuragica e romana. I proprietari dei due terreni sono stati denunciati per violazione delle norme che tutelano il patrimoni archeologico.
Status necessitatis Francogalliae
Die Martis praefectis Francogalliae regionalibus auctoritas data est interdictiones egrediendi in suis territoriis pronuntiare ad novos conflictus impediendos.
Illam legem extraordinariam perferendam curavit regimen civitatis in conventu necessitatis, cui praefuit praesidens Jacques Chirac.
Tum primum post bellum Algerianum abhinc quinquaginta fere annos gestum in Francogallia accidit, ut lex, quae cives domo sua proficisci vetat, in usum reciperetur.
Quidquid fit cum virtute, fit cum gloria.
(Publilius Syrus, Sententia 538)
Whatever is done with courage is also done with glory.
(pron = KWIDkwid fit koom weer-TOO-teh fit koom GLOH-ree-ah)
Comment: Whether we are speaking of ancient Rome or the modern world, “glory” is
a fairly public acclamation for heroes, or for people famous for what the public
wants to see more of.
This proverb is making another point: the stuff of glory is courage, really.
Courage comes first. Most courageous people don’t self-identify as courageous,
largely I think because while they were working out their actions that are later
deemed courageous, they were feeling scared. According to this proverb, even
though the public may never have acclaimed them, they also acted in
glory—deserving of public fame and acclamation.
I think now of children who walk into a new school and face hundreds or
thousands of strange new faces—because parents have moved them to a new city.
I think now of men and women and children who sit for the chemo treatment one
more time, knowing how sick it will make them for a while.
I think of the fear in the faces of some of my students when classroom work
turns entirely into Latin—no English allowed, and then I think of the many
immigrants who have moved to my community and who go out into the world every
day with ONLY English to work with.
Courage. Actions done in courage and feeling the fear. Silent awards of
personal glory. Look around today. Where is courage at work? Can you see the
German archaeologists have notified they would like to continue the archaeological practices in Troy after Manfred Korfmann's death, who conducted excavations in Troy for a long time.
Peter Jablonka, the archaeologist in charge of the excavations, has said in his statement in Tübingen, licenses for digging received from Turkish positions have been under the name of Korfmann, therefore, they have requested a new license. Jablonka has also expressed German expectations of the Turkish government to establish a museum in Troy because it was Korfmann's longtime dream.
Jablonka and his team informed about their request for a research grant from the University of Tübingen, and that they will make small scale diggings under Troy in the upcoming years.
Craig Brown's exquisite disembowelling of the 'publicist' Max Clifford in these pages the other week would have reminded the Greek comedian Aristophanes (c. 450-386 BC) of his attacks on a similar pest in the Athenian world - the sukophantês (lit. 'fig-revealer': origin quite obscure).
The problem started with the Athenian reformer Solon (c. 640-560 BC) who instituted a legal system without a state prosecution service. The result was that all cases had to be brought privately. This worked perfectly well when a litigant had been personally harmed, but it created problems when the state's interests were at stake, e.g. the flouting of a citizenship law. So Solon, arguing that 'the best run state was one in which those who were not personally wronged were as diligent in prosecuting wrong-doers as those who were', established the principle that for certain types of offence, 'anyone who wanted to' could bring a prosecution. If the case was won, the prosecutor would receive a fixed reward. Hence the sukophantês, the professional nosey- parker, who made a living for himself looking about for any offence, however trivial, out of which he could make a swift buck by a successful prosecution, blackmail of a potential victim, or payments from someone who wanted a man prosecuted.
Quid in Australia acciderit
Vigiles Australiae quindecim homines deprehenderunt incursionibus subitis in urbibus Sydneio et Melburno susceptis.
Hac actione, cui quingenti fere custodes publici armati interfuerunt, ictus terroristicus perniciosissimus praeventus est, ut magistratus civitatis nuntiaverunt.
Qui incarcerati sunt, sibi iam armamentarium eiusdem generis chemicalium fecerant, quae ad bombardationes Londinii mense Iulio effectas adhibita sunt.
Operatio peracta est paucis diebus post, quam lex in Australia ita mutata est, ut ei, qui in suspicionem impetus terroristici praeparati incidissent, facilius in ius vocarentur.
Un piccolo frammento di un vaso greco verniciato di nero con l’«incredibile» raffigurazione, graffita su uno dei lati, del “Capo Iapigio” cosi come lo definivano gli antichi, corrispondente all’attuale Salento meridionale. Per la Soprintendenza per i Beni archeologici della Puglia, si tratta di «una delle scoperte più importanti che siano avvenute in Italia meridionale», anzi: una «scoperta così imprevista e clamorosa da aver fatto dubitare sulla stessa autenticità del reperto». E dal 16 novembre il frammento sarà in mostra a Taranto.
Il rinvenimento è stato fatto il 21 agosto 2003 durante uno degli scavi compiuti a Soleto da Thierry Van Compernolle, che proprio nella città salentina ha condotto scavi dal 1991 al 2005, prima con una missione della Libera università di Bruxelles, poi con una dell’Università Paul-Valery Montpellier III. Nel frammento del vaso, a prima vista del tutto insignificante - rileva la Soprintendenza archeologica - oltre al graffito del “Capo Iapigio” c’è «l’indicazione in alfabeto greco dei nomi, per lo più in forme abbreviate, di 12 città messapiche accanto a quello della colonia greca di Taras: una rappresentazione cartografica che ormai si definisce comunemente a livello internazionale “Mappa di Soleto”». Le incisioni da oltre due anni - sottolinea la Soprintendenza - attirano in modo intenso «l’attenzione del mondo scientifico internazionale».
D’intesa con lo scopritore, la Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici della Puglia ha deciso quindi di divulgare «l’eccezionale scoperta» realizzando negli spazi rinnovati al piano terra del Museo nazionale di Taranto una specifica mostra dedicata alla “Mappa di Soleto”. Nella mostra - che sarà inaugurata il 16 novembre prossimo - il frammento ceramico iscritto (Ostrakon) rappresenta il punto di arrivo di un percorso che colloca Soleto nella geografia antica del Salento, e la scoperta della “Mappa” sullo sfondo dei rinvenimenti archeologici avvenuti nella città salentina nel corso degli ultimi 20 anni, illustrando inoltre il reperto nei suoi diversi aspetti, in particolare epigrafici e linguistici.
For nearly 2,500 years, Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry, has led his dancing followers round and round a 2-foot-tall vase.
Now the vase is on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which bought the piece in 1983 to celebrate its centennial.
But Italian authorities are claiming it as looted property that rightfully belongs to them.
The institute, which has not been accused of wrongdoing, is one of eight American museums that Italian authorities last week said possessed objects allegedly dug illegally from ancient graves and ruins.
The Italians support their claim on the Minneapolis piece with a photo of a pottery fragment that appears to match the vase.
"We've not received any notification from the Italians and have no proof that the object was looted," said William Griswold, the museum's director. "If we have reason to believe an object has been stolen, we would absolutely want to respond in an ethical and legally responsible fashion."
Looting of ancient archaeological sites has increased dramatically in the past 40 years, experts say, spurred on by war, changing national boundaries, cheap air fares, poverty and increased interest in prime artifacts. A British government study in 2000 concluded that between $4 billion and $6 billion a year changes hands in illicit trade in antiquities and cultural items.
An investigation in L.A.
Questions about the Minneapolis vase surfaced as part of a decadelong Italian investigation of art bought by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in the 1980s and early '90s. A former Getty curator, Marion True, goes on trial Wednesday in Rome on charges of conspiring to traffic in illicit antiquities.
Italian authorities claim that the Getty has 42 illegal objects. Last week that museum returned three pieces to Italy in hopes of settling the case and developing "a productive relationship with Italy."
Griswold was acting director of the Getty for a year before moving to Minneapolis last month. He said he had been briefed on the Getty's situation while working there but was not questioned by legal authorities about the antiquities, which were bought before he was hired.
The Minneapolis and Getty cases hinge in part on a cache of 10,000 Polaroids of looted objects that Italian police seized in a 1995 raid on a Swiss warehouse operated by Giacomo Medici, an antiquities dealer who last year was sentenced in Rome to 10 years in prison for trafficking in illegal art.
Medici, who is free while appealing his conviction, apparently bought antiquities from grave robbers, had them restored and then sold them to museums and private collectors through a network of respected art dealers. A Roman prosecutor claims to have a photo of Medici at the Getty beside an illicit vase the dealer sold the museum.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts bought its vase "in good faith" from Robin Symes, a prominent British antiquities dealer in the 1980s, said museum spokeswoman Anne-Marie Wagener.
Symes was one of the Getty's main sources of antiquities. His reputation was questioned by that museum's staff even while they were doing business with him, according to internal memos. In 1987 Symes was referred to as "a fence" by Harold Williams, then chief executive of the Getty Trust, which oversees the museum, according to written notes secured by the Los Angeles Times.
A 'grand object' with a past
Michael Conforti, director of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., was head curator at the Minneapolis museum in 1983. He recommended the purchase of the vase, which is technically a "volute-krater" used to hold a mixture of water and wine.
During a phone interview last week, Conforti could not recall from whom the museum bought the piece, which he described as a "rather grand object," but he said the museum wanted it "to support the teaching mission of the institution."
One figure on the vase -- a young woman holding a child satyr on her shoulders -- is apparently unique among surviving Greek vases, according to the museum's label. It is essentially the same image that appears in a photo seized by Italian police.
Museums now tend do much more thorough research before acquiring an object than they did in the past, Griswold said. "But even in the 1980s, if there was suspicion that an object was excavated, it would not have been acquired."
On Friday, Italian authorities seeking seven objects they believe rightfully belong to Italy requested meetings with officials at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They also claim that the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has more than 30 such items and that there are two each in New Jersey's Princeton University Art Museum and Virginia's Richmond Museum of Fine Art. In Ohio, art museums in Cleveland and Toledo are said to have one each.
Male agitur cum domino quem vilicus docet.
It goes badly with a master whom the manager of the estate teaches.
(pron = MAH-leh AH-gih-toor koom DOH-mih-noh kwem WEE-lih-koos DOH-ket)
Comment: I don’t buy this one. First things first: we have two technical terms
here that must be recognized: the dominus is the master of an estate who owns
slaves; the vilicus is the estate manager, a slave himself.
The implication of this proverb relies on the social constructs of ancient Rome:
what sort of master can you be who are always being given orders and
instructions by your slaves? Authority, power and respect always flows from
the top down; from masters to slaves, from men to women, from adults to
children, from the wealthy to the poor; from the rulers to the ruled; from
Romans to anyone else. You get the picture. Any other flow simply means that
something is wrong; things are not going well.
The exceptions to this social construction are so numerous as to be ridiculous.
On a day to day basis, though, it is clear to me that students may walk into my
classroom and have instruction to offer that is the best in that moment. How
very sad if I cannot see that, accept that, or somehow think that a poor
reflection on me.
It actually goes well for anyone whom life itself becomes instruction.
Underwater archaeologists are set to uncover unknown secrets of Elephanta island, buried in the Arabian Sea. Extensive explorations on the island—its shores and the beaches—have revealed a treasure indicating existence of a rich trade with the late Roman Empire during the 4th to 7th century AD.
The findings establish it as a significant port of the period—a fact hitherto unknown. And that people on the west coast liked imported goods and Roman wine. The small island, east of Mumbai, was, so far, best known for its cave temples and rock-cut images, specially of the monolithic elephant which once stood on its southern tip.
With the Underwater Archaeology Wing of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) finding late Roman amphorae, coins and sherds of pottery — including red polished ware, black slipped ware, red ware and some gray ware — on Elephanta, the stage is now set for a proper excavation around the island. The finding had come as a surprise, since so far, large number of amphorae were found only in Kanchipuram and Arikamedu.
Amphora is one of the principal vessel shapes in Greek pottery. They are handled pots used to transport a variety of things including olives, cereals, oil, wine, fish and even metal.
Head of ASI’s Underwater Archaeology Wing Dr Alok Tripathi had been quietly exploring the island since 1988, but it’s only in the last two years that extensive explorations were done. The richest site turned out to be the area around village Mora Bandar on the island.
‘‘The discovery of a large variety of amphorae and other antiquities on the island may solve some of the historical riddles,’’ said Tripathi. In addition to indicating continuity of trade with the western world during 5th-7th century AD, the findings may also answer why Chalukya King Pulakesin II of Badami had invaded this small island with a tiny population and limited natural resources in 634 AD.
‘‘We probably know why he did it. Elephanta appears to have been a prosperous island with a thriving trade,’’ said the underwater archaeologist. It is all the more significant since around the same period, the cave temple on the island, enshrining Mahesmurti, was excavated.
Since the explorations had yielded rich treasures, the next logical thing is to undertake detailed survey and excavation. Tripathi said that the area around Mora Bandar is strewn with a large number of potsherds. ‘‘Even the sand on the shore, at the north and the east of the village, is full of potsherds washed away and rolled by the waves,’’ he said.
‘‘We will start excavation in the ongoing field season of 2005-06. Since exploration results have been encouraging, we expect Elephanta to be a rich heritage site,’’ Tripathi added. This is the second site which the wing will excavate, after Mahabalipuram.
Novum programma a re viaria
Ministri Finniae securitatem viarum meliorem reddere conantur, cum opera trium ministeriorum consociata novum programma commeatui publico tuendo in quinquennium proxime futurum excogitaverunt.
Quod consilium Susanna Huovinen, recens ministra a re viaria Finniae, in conventu ministeriali Unionis Europaeae palam fecit.
In hoc incepto, cui peragendo novissima technica informatica magno usui erit, praecipue commoda et condiciones parvulorum et civium aetate provectorum respicientur.
Ecclesia vetus in Israele reperta
Archaeologi Israeliani prope urbem Haifam ruinas ecclesiae Christianae veteris invenerunt, quam ex quarto saeculo originem ducere creditur.
Archaeologa Jardena Alexandre censet illam effossionem in inventis maxime insignibus ad Christianitatem primaevam attinentibus in toto orbe numerari posse.
Parietinae ecclesiae repertae sunt, cum fundamenta ad carcerem quendam amplificandum muniri coepta essent.
Our “Latin Lover” fields for us the bickering correspondence between Saint Augustine and Saint Jerome, speaking to us of their Latin teacher Donatus who once wrote the “Ars Grammatica”, still valid today...
Archeologists in Crete have found an important trove of archeological treasures containing some of the earliest known examples of Greek writing.
The culture ministry said the finds were excavated at a long-abandoned site on a hill overlooking the port of Chania in Western Crete, which has been identified with the Minoan city of Kydonia.
Among the discoveries was an amphora containing an intact text written in linear B, the language of the court at Mycenae where the legendary Agamemnon ruled.
Also found were two terracotta tablets containing texts in Linear A, an even older alphabet -- used around 1,700 years before the common era -- which has not yet been deciphered.
The ministry said the archeologists found evidence of a violent fire believed to have destroyed a town on the site around 1450 BCE. Excavations uncovered traces of a road and two ceramic ovens from the Roman period.
In a statement, the ministry said the site would be turned into an open-air museum with European Union funds.
The researchers also found traces of a cemetery containing amphorae and funerary urns dating around the time the ancient Greeks set off to invade Sicily in the late fifth century BCE. The vessels contained the bones of infants, indicating perhaps a high rate of infant mortality at that time.
Archaeologist William Donato and a team of researchers have confirmed a complex of ancient harbor works in shallow water off Bimini, 50 miles from Miami. In May 2005, the team investigated a little-known line of underwater stones located a mile from a controversial site known as the “Bimini Road.” The new mile-long line of stones was found and videotaped from the air. Subsequent dives revealed several large stone circles on the bottom, formed from large blocks of limestone arranged into circular patterns. The circles were spaced at regular intervals. Stone anchors, identical to ancient Phoenician, Greek, and Roman anchors, were also found. “These finds took us by surprise,” stated Dr. Greg Little, who organized the expedition. “The circles may be similar to ancient Mediterranean harbor ‘mooring circles.’”
Near the new site is the Bimini Road, a misnamed J-shaped underwater formation of stone blocks. A careful search there yielded two stone anchors in the 1800-foot long stone formation. “One of these is identical to unusual ancient Greek anchors found at Thera,” Little related. Several other artifacts were found, “but the most important finds directly contradict skeptical claims.” The team found numerous multiple tiers of blocks including one set of three on top of each other. “The top block has a U-shaped channel cut all the way across its bottom,” Little said. “The most definitive evidence was found under the massive blocks. We found rectangular slabs of smooth, cut stone literally stacked under several blocks. These were used as leveling prop stones. This is proof that the so-called Bimini Road was a breakwater forming an ancient harbor.”
The team took 20 hours of underwater video and 1000 photos. “It’s taken us five months to process the information and organize the evidence,” Little stated. “While the finds are definitive, the real problem is that a few skeptics wrote articles asserting the main formation was simply natural limestone. A hoax was perpetrated at Bimini by the skeptics, but you have to examine a 1978 report to understand it. Academic archaeologists and geologists don’t read that report. They cite later summaries, which are based on falsified data. The hoax is a disgrace, but it’s been actively supported by key people.”
Little prepared a free 30-page pdf report on the expedition and the hoax and produced a 73-minute DVD documentary. The report, containing 70 photos, can be downloaded at: http://www.mysterious-america.net/biminihoax.html )
Other silent letters reflect attempts to stuff the mish-mash of English into the orderly compartments of Latin.
During the 1500s, for instance, scholars decided it would be a great idea to alter the spelling of English words to reflect their Latin origins. Because "dette" and "douten," for instance, were derived from the Latin words "debitum" and "dubitare," respectively, these self-styled reformers inserted a silent "b" to create "debt" and "doubt."
(The process misfired when they added a silent "s" to "iland." They assumed "iland" had come from the Latin "insula," when in fact it's of Old English origin. But we're still stuck with the "s.")
Other silent letters immigrated on tiptoes into English from foreign languages. Many of the silent "p" words, for instance, were adopted from Greek: "pneumonia," "psalm," "pterodactyl."
A Roman settlement in Gloucestershire has been included on the Schedule of Ancient Monuments in recognition of its national importance as a heritage asset.
The settlement in Wickwar has been known since the 1970s. However its full nature and importance was not known until recently, thanks to work funded by South Gloucestershire Council and English Heritage.
Councillor Pat Hockey, executive member for planning, transportation and the strategic environment, said: “I am very pleased that the national importance of this site has been recognised.
"With this site and the Roman villas at Hawkesbury, Badminton and Horton South Gloucestershire it is clear that South Gloucestershire was as successful in Roman times as it is today."
Scheduling the settlement, which is believed to date from around the 2nd to 4th century AD, refers to the legal system for protecting nationally important archaeological sites in England.
Once a site is Scheduled, consent must be obtained from the Secretary of State for any works that affect it. Scheduling is carefully restricted to the most important sites of each type of monument and to those for which this designation provides the most appropriate protection.
The Wickwar settlement has been identified through extensive geophysical survey and a number of small trail excavations.
The survey results show that the central area of the town comprises a considerable number of stone buildings fronting the road, likely to be of both domestic and commercial function. There is also evidence of a number of small enclosures and also of industrial activity.
Numerous contemporary small finds have been reported from this area including metal objects, pottery and dressed stone.
There is also the presence of a curved feature in the north eastern part of the site which may represent a corner of the defensive ditch of a Roman fort.
It is of the characteristic ‘playing card’ shape associated with such features and it is certainly common for a town to be founded on the site of an earlier fort.
Italian authorities, investigating a global antiquities smuggling ring, reportedly have tracked plundered treasure to the Princeton University Art Museum and seven other major American museums.
The Princeton connection to a smuggling probe that has rocked the staid upper echelons of American museums centers on one or two clay vases from ancient Greece that Princeton owns.
The two vases, more than 2,300 years old, are showcased in separate one-piece displays in a public exhibit room in the Princeton museum, one of the nation's largest university art museums.
The Princeton museum begrudgingly revealed this week that Italian authorities sought information late last year on the two vases acquired by the museum in 1989.
"In December 2004, Italian authorities investigating an alleged violation of the laws of Italy requested details about the acquisition in 1989 of two ancient Greek painted ceramic vases by the Princeton University Art Museum," according to a statement from the museum in response to inquiries from The Times.
"In January 2005, the art museum provided Italian authorities with the information requested.
"Since that time, the museum has received no further communication from authorities in Italy, although they are quoted in recent press accounts as stating that they possess evidence that the two vases left Italy illegally and should be returned."
Princeton officials are adamant the museum obtained the vases legitimately and reject the allegation that either piece is a fenced antiquity.
"The museum purchased these vases in good faith and has no knowledge of any wrongdoing associated with their acquisition," Princeton art museum Director Susan M. Taylor said in a statement late Thursday.
One of the objects is a 12-inch-tall psykter, a mushroom-shaped wine-cooling vessel from approximately 510 B.C. in the Attic region of Greece, according to the museum.
The other is a 22-inch-tall Apulian red-figure loutrophoros, a type of ceremonial vase described by Oxford University as a vessel that held water for the bridal bath in weddings or was placed in the graves of unmarried women.
Princeton's loutrophoros dates back to about 330 B.C., in Italy's southeast region of Apulia, according to the museum.
Both vases are clay-red and black decorated with paintings of figures and objects.
Princeton's denials of impropriety come amid media reports published in the past two weeks that allegedly tie Princeton and other leading cultural centers - including New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art - to the Italian smuggling investigation.
The psykter is one of "many, many items" at the Princeton museum that Rome prosecutor Paolo Ferri said originated with convicted Roman antiquities trafficker Giacomo Medici, Bloomberg News reported in an Oct. 31 article.
But the psykter was the only item now at Princeton that the Bloomberg article identified as having been included in Italian court documents as an allegedly looted piece.
"Our museum has conducted a thorough search of its records and found nothing that indicates the museum has received any pieces - directly or indirectly - from Giacomo Medici," university spokeswoman Cass Cliatt stated in an e-mail Wednesday.
Michael Padgett, the museum's curator of ancient art since 1992, said he couldn't disclose from whom the museum acquired the psykter and loutrophoros because it's possible the pieces will become a matter for litigation.
At first, Padgett was adamant Wednesday that Italian authorities hadn't even contacted Princeton and that the museum initiated a review of the two vases in its approximately 60,000-item collection based only on press reports.
"To my certain knowledge, we haven't been contacted by the Italians," said Padgett, to whom museum spokeswoman Ruta Smithson had referred The Times' initial inquiries. "We're waiting for more information."
Padgett at first said he didn't know how to reconcile the apparent contradiction between his comment and the museum's repeatedly stated position that it has "cooperated with the Italian authorities by providing the information they have requested."
Later Wednesday, Padgett said he had misspoken.
"They did request information and that was provided over a year ago," he said.
His earlier denial simply meant that Princeton since last year has not heard anything further from Italian authorities, other than through press reports, Padgett said.
Taylor, who has been the museum's director since 2000, said Princeton won't fight to keep the vases if they turn out to have been obtained illegally.
"If proof of illegality is presented to the museum, the vases will be returned, as we have returned other items in the past," Taylor said.
Her comment reiterated a point Padgett made Wednesday.
Smithson said the Princeton museum, without prompting from outsiders, routinely vets items in its collection to verify that their provenance - or documented ownership history - is legitimate.
From time to time, not necessarily through any fault of the museum, an object is discovered to have been passed on by looters before reaching Princeton, Padgett said.
"It's not an unusual occurrence (either at Princeton or other museums) that something turns out to have been accidentally acquired that belongs to someone else," Padgett said.
The Princeton museum's acquisition policy is designed to avoid the need for belated discoveries of pillaged art.
"The acquisition policy of the Princeton University Art Museum requires extensive due diligence in researching all objects before adding them to its collection," museum officials said in Thursday's statement.
Taylor said the Princeton museum has a long history of cooperating with Italy in matters of disputed provenance. The Italian investigation reportedly has tracked more than 100 items looted from Italy - mostly from legally protected archaeological sites - to eight major U.S. museums and to galleries, private collections and museums in Europe and Asia.
A Twin Cities museum may be housing a stolen artifact
Italian authorities found photos of stolen artifacts that they believe are now in museums across the United States.
One of those pieces, a 4th Century Greek vase, may be at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
The vase is valued around $100,000, but proving it was or wasn't stolen may be difficult.
Mark Stansbury O'Donnell, an Art History Professor at the University of St. Thomas said, "The looting of ancient art has been going on since antiquity. There's no clean way of telling this piece was not looted or anything."
In a statement Friday, The Institute of Arts said, if "it is established that the Italian government has a legitimate claim, we will respond in an appropriate and responsible fashion."
The Institute of Arts said Italian investigators haven't contacted the museum yet.
Authorities have called the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Calif. That museum is returning some artwork.
Omnia habet qui nihil concupiscit.
(Maximus Valerius, Facta et Ddicta Memorabilia 4.4.1)
He has everything who desires nothing.
(pron = OHM-nee-ah HAH-bet kwee NEE-hill kohn-koo-PEES-kit)
Comment: This might be a corollary to the proverb earlier this week which said
that greed grows with one’s amount of money. Both have in common the human
attachment to things or money, and the degree of our attachment measures out
the degree that we lose or cannot enjoy or cannot appreciate those very things
that we have.
It occurred to me the other day while driving home to my house in this north
Georgia neighborhood that the trees around me were as gorgeous in their fall
colors as I could ever remember seeing. Right now the shades of red and
yellow, orange and green and brown are so deep and vivid that they take my
breath away. Some are so alive with colors that they don’t look real! And I
wondered: do Georgians around here appreciate this? Do we get so caught up in
our desires and compulsions that we miss this free show of beauty? I suspect
On any given day I can and often do get caught up in what I don’t have or what I
do want. More than just a few minutes of that is time really lost from
appreciating what and who is in front of me.
Not a bad theme as we approach a holiday in this country that is called
Thanksgiving—one where I also suspect very many of us exercise many human
reactions that do not include gratitude.
Israelem esse delendum
In conventu studentium Teherani habito Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, praesidens Iraniae, Israelem maculam appellavit, quae ex charta geographica delenda esset.
Praeterea omnes moderatores islamicos, qui relationes cum Israele restituere conarentur et exsistentiam eius agnoscerent, vehementer vituperavit, quod orbis islamici deditionem et interitum confiterentur.
Sententia praesidentis Ahmadinejad a membris Unionis Europaeae et a Consilio Securitatis Nationum Unitarum damnata est.
Ahmadinejad autem verba sua non recantavit sed affirmavit se nomine nationis Iranianorum locutum esse.
Nihilo minus addidit Iraniam libro fundamentali Nationum Unitarum obligari neque vim contra Israelem adhibituram esse.
A 2,300-year-old Greek pot and two other antiquities that the Italian government says were stolen arrived in Rome yesterday after being surrendered by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Italian Ministry of Culture said.
The Getty museum handed over the pot, a bronze Etruscan candelabrum, and a 2,500-year-old Greek tombstone from Sicily days before its former antiquities curator, Marion True, 57, is scheduled to go on trial in Rome on charges of conspiracy and receiving 35 looted items, including the candelabrum.
The museum, which isn't charged with any crime, didn't admit to any wrongdoing.
''These are objects of great historic, artistic and scientific value that the Getty Museum, knowing their illicit provenance, has decided to spontaneously restore to Italy," the Ministry of Culture said in a statement yesterday.
Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione announced last month that the Getty would be returning the items, which include the pot, or krater, used for mixing wine at drinking parties, decorated by the painter Asteas around 340 B.C.
The Getty said in a statement that it was returning the krater ''in the interest of settling the litigation and demonstrating the Getty's interest in a productive relationship with Italy," according to the Los Angeles Times. It's returning the other two objects based on its evaluation of evidence presented by Italy, the statement said.
True goes on trial Wednesday along with US dealer Robert Hecht, 86, who lives in Paris and New York.
Hecht is also charged with illicit export in helping supply the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Princeton University Art Museum in New Jersey, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Getty, and others, according to his indictment.
The MFA, which says it has not been contacted by Italian officials in connection with the case, released a statement last week. In it, they said they would contact Italian officials about the pieces in question.
''We've reached out to the Italian authorities," MFA spokeswoman Dawn Griffin said yesterday. ''The ball's in their court."
Hecht has denied the charges, and the Getty, speaking for True, who declined comment, has said it expects her to be exonerated. No museum has been charged with any crime.
It was a bad day in the year 406 B.C.
Euripides, an elderly playwright, was wandering around the palace, skulking in his gloom. For decades he had dedicated himself to the theater and written and directed more than 90 plays, performed before thousands of people. Yet for all his pains, he had won prizes for only three of his dramas, a minuscule number compared to his rivals Sophocles and Aeschylus.
More than once, he had been held up to public ridicule by the tart-tongued comedian Aristophanes. In sadness and anger, Euripides left his home in Athens and accepted an offer to live in distant Macedon, where he would write his last plays in self-imposed exile.
Euripides might have been more successful if he had not made a point of pointing out the flaws of the pagan gods who presided over Athens' destiny.
Like his personal friend Socrates, Euripides thought the stories of the old gods depicted the immortals as powerful beings with the morals of spoiled children.
Raised in democratic Athens, Euripides felt no qualms about walking freely around the royal palace of the Macedonian kings. Unfortunately, he did not realize that in a monarchy, certain parts of the palace are off limits to visitors, and he meandered into the king's apartments and into a pack of the king's guard dogs. The hungry dogs were not informed that the guest was possibly the greatest Greek dramatic writer of all time, and that was the end of Euripides.
Euripides' greatest play was perhaps the Bacchae, which he wrote in his last hours. This was the story of the introduction of the cult of the god Dionysios to Greece. The story went that the god Dionysios has been conceived by a union between Zeus, king of the gods, and the beautiful Semele, daughter of Cadmus, King of Thebes. When her sister, Agave, challenged Semele, saying that her lover could not be a god, she planted a seed of doubt in the heart of the princess.
Pining for proof of her lover's divine nature, she demanded and got an oath by the river Styx, the river of the dead whose name no god could violate, that he would show himself in divine glory. After many protests, Zeus reluctantly manifested himself to his doubting lover, but alas, the power of his majesty incinerated the mortal girl, doubts and all.
But at Semele's doom, Zeus discovered that she was pregnant with his child, the god Dionysios, and an immortal god, even unborn, he could not be destroyed. Stitching the young god into his thigh, Zeus brought his unborn child to birth, and eventually he was received into the pantheon of the gods as the patron of wine and ecstasy. For causing his mother to doubt her divine partner, the gods condemned Agave to perpetual madness, and she wandered the hills in a religious trance.
Euripides goes on to describe the unfolding of the drama. The throne of Cadmus was passed to Cadmus' grandson, Pentheus, his heir by the doubting Agave. Pentheus ruled Thebes with a rigid hand, until his kingdom was visited by the god Dionysios. Upon the god's arrival in the land, hundreds of maidens rushed
to the fields and forests to dance and sing in honor of the newly arrived god. But Pentheus, full of rage at a rival to his earthly glory, declared the new god to be an impostor and forbade his worship.
The god Dionysios came to earth in mortal form to visit the fuming Pentheus, who condemned the god and ordered his arrest. Dionysios was taken into bondage, but the prison which held him was shaken by an earthquake and he escaped. Arrested again, Pentheus confronted the god, who replied that the earthly king did not know what he was doing.
In a final and terrible confrontation with the veiled god, Dionysios offered the prudish king the opportunity to see the young maidens dancing in their skimpy clothes upon the mountains. Seduced by voyeurism, Pentheus agreed to the viewing, which leads to his doom.
When the prurient king dared to gaze on the dancing maidens in their wild abandon, they turned on him like crazed animals, and he was torn limb from limb, his own mother Agave ripping off his head with her bare hands in a moment of demented triumph. But this bloodbath hardly seemed like a moral judgment of an immortal god who was presumably endowed with heavenly wisdom.
In the last scene, the arrogant wine god reveals to the survivors the horror of what they have done, and explains to them how divine justice has been accomplished, for those who denied the power of the god have been destroyed by their own impious acts. The aged Cadmus and bloody Agave pointed out that this was a very harsh sentence for a few religious doubts, but the god ignores them. Neither Pentheus nor Dionysios comes out of the story looking well. Nonetheless, Euripides' image of a veiled god in human form, condemned before a earthly magistrate, vindicated by a manifestation of divine power, was a literary theme which would be taken up by later religions.
It is a tragic irony, worthy of Greek tragedy, that King Pentheus in the play, and Euripides in real life, both came to the same nasty end, mauled to bloody bits by wild things.
The irony was not lost on Euripides' son, who after the funeral rites, took his father's last play back to Athens and had it performed at the annual festival of the god Dionysios in 406. There it won both critical acclaim and first prize in the annual contest. One can imagine the ghost of the cantankerous Euripides smiling at the performance, as the selfish god was shown in his arrogance at the very dramatic festival given in his honor.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is a music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncountered:
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end they remain.
The discovery of an unpillaged, Hellenistic-era chamber tomb on October 29 in Spilia Eordias, in the municipality of Aghia Paraskevi, near a monumental Macedonian masonry tomb, has cast doubts on prevailing views about the isolation of Upper and Lower Macedonia.
Clay and metal
The newly found tomb, measuring 2.7 x 3.30 meters, contained the intact remains of four cremation burials, dating from the second quarter of the second century BC to the last quarter of the first century AD.
The majority of the grave ornaments were clay vases and clay idols, including two cherubs and female figures.
The metalwork found in the tombs are considered to be exceptional examples from local workshops.
Georgia Karamitsrou-Mentesidi, the director of the excavation, told Kathimerini that the finds were highly significant, as few untouched tombs of this type have been found in Upper Macedonia.
Both the tomb carved out of the rock as well as the adjacent two-chambered Macedonian tomb, with its monumental Doric facade and pediment, bear witness to a thriving ancient settlement.
The two tomb monuments are believed to have been located in the cemetery of an important city, as the finds apparently belonged to prominent families in an organized society.
Clayton Fant, professor of classical studies at the University of Akron, will be at Hodges Library Thursday night to discuss the marble trade of the Roman Empire and its connection to street-side bars in Pompeii.
Fant will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Room 253 on “Sleazy Bars, Fancy Countertops: Reused Marble for Status Therapy at Pompeii.” The lecture is part of the East Tennessee Society’s annual lectures on archaeology.
“Our lectures cover archaeology worldwide. This year, topics range from Ancient Greece, Rome and Cyprus, to the Southeast United States and Nepal. We even will have a talk on Lawrence of Arabia, in conjunction with a conference held on Lawrence at Chattanooga in April 2006,” Aleydis Van de Moortel, assistant professor of classics, said.
Thursday night’s lecture will feature Fant as a specialist on Roman marble trade and Roman social and economic history. Moortel said Fant is currently directing the University of Akron Pompeii Sleazy Bars Project.
Fant said he has studied the Roman marble trade for 20 years, working in quarries owned and operated by past Roman emperors in Turkey. He was led to Pompeii by the intrigue of seeing the other end of the shipment cycle, he said.
“It’s clear that a lot of this marble leaked out of Rome to private owners,” Fant said. “There is an awful lot of context available in Pompeii that can be dated back to 1976 (due to several natural disasters).”
Fant said the marble bars he has been studying are actually pieces of the old Pompeii that was devastated by a volcanic eruption, organized and sorted by somebody who sold the marble slabs.
The term “sleazy” comes from the bar’s bad reputation at night as a spot for gamblers and as temporary brothels. Fights were expected, and bars not held accountable, he said.
“It was the equivalent of a McDonald’s drive-thru,” Fant said.
Archeologists said Wednesday they have unearthed burial mounds dating back to the third millennium B.C. which they believe contain remains and trinkets from ancient Aryan nomads.
Historian Hakob Simonian said Wednesday that the four mounds were among 30 discovered about 35 miles west of the Armenian capital Yerevan, containing beads made of agate, carnelian and as well as the remains of what appears to be a man, aged 50-55.
Also found were remains of domesticated horses and glazed pottery appearing to show chariots, Simonian said.
The Aryans, who later became known as Persians, were largely grassland nomads who settled in what is today
Iran and eventually in parts of India.
He's traveled "In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great" and gone on a voyage to trace the paths of "The Conquistadors," but for his latest history-travel adventure, British filmmaker Michael Wood goes "In Search of Myths & Heroes."
His latest PBS special airs in four one-hour segments - two from 9-11 p.m. EST Nov. 16 and two at the same times on Nov. 23 - that explore the legends of "The Queen of Sheba" and "Arthur: The Once and Future King" this week and "Shangri-La" and "Jason and the Golden Fleece" next week.
"It doesn't matter whether there is history behind the story," Wood acknowledged at a PBS press conference in July. "What matters is the power of a story that has been told over thousands of years."
Wood thinks the time is right to explore some of these tales that have been passed down through the ages.
"Everybody is really interested in this idea of myths and mysteries," he said. "You can see the success of books like 'The Da Vinci Code.' People are fascinated by the mystery: Was it real? Did it really happen?" Wood generated a list of 10 myths worth exploring and came up with four, balanced by their cultural and geographic diversity. One is Indian, one is Celtic-British, one is Greek and one is from the Bible. He had to throw out one idea due to current events.
"I was very keen to do the Epic of Gilgamesh in Iraq, had things in Iraq turned out differently," he said.
Wood begins with "The Queen of Sheba," explaining the importance of the tale in the cultures of Ethiopia and Israel, and how they remain a part of those country's cultures today.
"What we always try to do is seek those living connections in the culture that make that link with the past," Wood said.
That's easily done in the "Jason and the Golden Fleece" hour.
"It's the story of a hero's quest, the young man who goes on the mission impossible," he said, noting traces of it can be found in modern movies, including "Star Wars." "The young man's quest is one of the fundamental myths in all the stories of the world. 'Shangri-La' is a paradise myth. ...
Behind it lies the idea that somewhere on the Earth is a place that escapes all the destructions of time and history and war."
Wood and his crew traveled to 19 countries for the series, and he said his sense of adventure and discovery never wanes.
"We often go to places that you would never dream of getting to in your life," he said. "I always remember that letter from when we did 'Legacy' for PBS years ago where a woman wrote to us from Lubbock, Texas, saying, 'I've just watched this film, and you showed us things that we never even dreamed existed.' And I still get that kick, actually, when you go to these places.
It's always, it seems to me, a great privilege to spend any time in a foreign culture."
Qui capit uxorem, litem capit atque dolorem.
He who takes a wife takes on trouble and pain.
(pron = kwee KAH-pit ook-SOH-rem LEE-tem KAH-pit AHT-kwuh doh-LOH-rem)
Comment: Well, it’s true—insofar as it goes. And, she who takes a husband gets
the same load of trouble and pain. I suspect that times were difficult enough
in the middle ages that it seemed sort of pointless to finish that taking a
wife or husband also meant taking on some significantly positive life-changers,
I exchanged emails with a younger male friend once. He was very bitter over a
recent break up with his girlfriend. His language was very strong and in most
contexts was approaching misogynistic. All of the pain in his life could be
blamed on the carelessness of girls and how they left their boyfriends with
gaping wounds, thinking only of themselves.
They had been together for a long time. I asked him to consider whether his
life was not somehow very different (in positive ways) because of this
relationship with this young woman. Rather than answer the question, he
accused me of never having suffered because of a relationship. What I said to
him then is really how I see this proverb. I said:
“Why do you conclude that I do not know anything about what you speak of? Can
you imagine that at 45 and 23 years of marriage and parenting (not to mention
that I had other relationships before that) that I have never experienced
I value very much experience with people, watching, listening, feeling,
reflecting. I do not find that they leave me intolerant, but more tolerant.
Being in relationships simply breaks your heart. It's supposed to. But broken
hearts are not all bad.”
Granted, broken hearts hurt like hell, and they do drive some people to ultimate
despair, but living, working, breathing relationships of all kinds, and perhaps
especially marriage relationships, do break your heart. Out of the midst of a
broken heart—the brokenness of things not working out as you had expected,
hoped, dreamed, etc comes the possibility of seeing more clearly, and really,
loving more honestly. Out of a broken heart, I have the possibility of loving
who I really am, and who the other person really is—not just a projection of my
Quod verum, tutum.
What is true is safe.
(Pron = kwohd WAY-room TOO-toom)
Comment: Finally, what is true is safe because it leaves us with what is. It
leaves us with our own true selves, for instance. But long before “finally”
look at how much energy we put into denying the truth.
How often do we put off going to the doctor because we deny that anything is
really wrong? A dear relative of mine died of a cancer that could have been
likely cured if only he had gone to the doctor two years (yes two whole years)
How often do we put various spins on religious beliefs in order to maintain the
tradition long after they no longer hold any veracity? How long, for instance,
did Galileo live under the condemnation of the Church for speaking the truth
about the Earth revolving around the Sun instead of the other way around? How
long did Protestants and Catholics live under mutual condemnation until they
recognized that they were saying many of the same things only differently?
(about 500 years on both counts)
Just how difficult is it to look in a mirror and really see our true selves—and
acknowledge acceptance of who we are, right now? Or, if we are being honest,
to look in the mirror and acknowledge that right now, we do not accept our
selves? Can we then acknowledge that we are on a path of self-destruction?
The fact is, what is true, in any given moment, may be the most frightening
thing we can hear or say. Once acknowledged though, it becomes a very safe
place to live.
Tumultus in suburbiis Parisiorum
In suburbiis Parisiorum adulescentes et custodes publici continuis noctibus inter se conflixerunt.
Tumultuosi vehicula et receptacula purgamentorum concremaverunt et lapides lagoenasque incendiarias contra vigiles coniecerunt.
Tumultus in regione Clichy-sous-Bois orti sunt, postquam duo iuvenes originis Africanae, qui a custodibus fugientes in transformatorio se abscondiderant, ictu electrico mortui sunt.
'It's Baghdad here." So say the rampaging Muslims of Paris, according to Newsweek. Those words are a reminder that the West and Islam are engaged in a worldwide struggle, along many different flashpoints - a clash of civilizations.
That's right: a clash of civilizations. From the Euro-jihad in Paris, to the anti-American violence in Iraq, to the intifada in the Palestinian territories, to the recent threat of the president of Iran to "wipe Israel from the map," to the string of terror-bombings in India and Indonesia, the common thread is a basic hostility between the Judeo-Christian West and the Islamic East.
That was the argument made by Samuel Huntington, a Harvard professor, in his 1996 book "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order," in which he argued that different civilizations naturally find themselves in conflict. When the book appeared, many critics lambasted the author's cultural-historical pessimism. After all, didn't the experience of multicultural New York City in the '90s prove that everybody could get along, at least most of the time? Well, the last 10 years - most notably 9/11 in that same New York - have vindicated Huntington.
Indeed, this particular clash of civilizations has been going on for 14 centuries, since Islamic armies first swept over the Middle East, which at the time was mostly Christian. In fact, in 732 AD, a Muslim army nearly reached Paris before being defeated.
Other civilizational clashes go back to the beginning of recorded time. Herodotus, the ancient Greek chronicler known as "the father of history," wrote that Xerxes, king of the Persians, convened a warcouncil in which he told his nobles and generals about his plans to invade in 480 BC: "By this course, then we shall bring all mankind under our yoke, alike those who are guilty and those who are innocent of doing us wrong." In other words, the Greek historian painted an unflattering portrait of the Persian king. And some have criticized Herodotus as a mere propagandist for the Greeks.
But that's the point: Different cultures fight about everything, including their separate versions of historical truth.
Several prominent U.S. art museums, as well as galleries, private collections and museums in Europe and Asia, are suspected of possessing antiquities that were removed illegally from Italy, according to Italian court records.
J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles)...42 objects
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)...Seven objects, including the Euphronios Krater
Minneapolis Institute of Arts...One Greek vase
Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)...More than 30 objects
Princeton University Art Museum (New Jersey)...Two vases
Toledo Museum of Art...A Greek water jar (kalpis)
A Rome prosecutor asked a convicted antiquities smuggler to testify against the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums in exchange for reduced prison time, a sign those institutions are the ultimate targets of an Italian looting investigation, the convicted smuggler said.
``If you accuse the Metropolitan and Getty and the Berlin Museum, Boston, Cleveland, Copenhagen and Munich -- one piece each - - I can make this go away,'' prosecutor Paolo Ferri said two weeks ago, according to the smuggler, Giacomo Medici.
Medici, 67, a Roman antiquities dealer, was convicted and sentenced in December to 10 years in prison for receiving and exporting stolen antiquities, including some at the Metropolitan in New York and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
FP: In your new book, you draw some powerful and fascinating parallels between the Peloponnesian War and to our modern-day conflicts. Before we talk about that, can you first tell us a bit about the Peloponnesian War and its significance?
Hanson: It endures for roughly three reasons:
First: the war pitted two antithetical systems-cosmopolitan, democratic, Ionic and maritime Athens at its great age versus parochial, oligarchic, Dorian and landlocked Sparta-and thus became a sort of referendum on the contrasting two systems.
Second: the historian Thucydides who recorded the war was both a participant and contemporary witness and a brilliant philosopher who employed the war to illustrate his tragic view of human nature and how thin is the veneer of civilization when ripped off during plague, war, and civil discord; his descriptions of the plague, the stasis at Corycyra, the debate over Mytilene, and the Melian Dialogue then are riveting and almost literary in their power to evoke emotion.
Third: Athens lost and with its spiritual and psychological depression ended the city of Socrates, Pericles, Sophocles, Euripides, Pheidias and the dream of an enlightened democratic empire that employed its power and wealth in the service of high culture.
That has been troubling us supporters of democracies these past 2,400 years.
FP: How do you think this ancient conflict can serve as a metaphor to some of our modern conflicts, including the terror war today?
Hanson: Everything we have seen in the present global war-slaughtering schoolchildren in Beslan; murdering diplomats; taking hostages; lopping limbs; targeted assassinations; roadside killing; spreading democracy through arms-had identical counterparts in the Peloponnesian War. That is not surprising when Thucydides reminds us that the nature of man does not change, and thus war is eternal, its face merely evolving with new technology that masks, but does not alter its essence.
More importantly, Athens' tragedy reminds of us of our dilemma that often wealth, leisure, sophistication, and, yes, cynicism, are the wages of successful democracy and vibrant economies, breeding both a sort of smugness and an arrogance. And for all Thucydides' chronicle of Athenian lapses, in the last analysis, rightly or wrongly, he attributes much of Athens' defeat to infighting back at home, and a hypercritical populace, egged on by demagogues that time and again turned on their own.
So the war is also a timely reminder about the strengths-and lethal propensities-of democracies at war. And we should remember that when we hear some of the internecine hysteria voiced here at home-whether over a flushed Koran or George Bush's flight suit- when 160,000 Americans are risking their lives to ensure that 50 million can continue to vote.
In 430BC, during the Peloponnesian war against their great rival Sparta, the people of Athens were hit by a deadly disease that has defied diagnosis to this day.
The Greek historian Thucydides survived a bout of this unknown killer and left a vivid account of its symptoms, which make for frightening reading.
"People in good health were all of a sudden attacked by violent heats in the head, and redness and inflammation in the eyes, the inward parts, such as the throat or tongue, becoming bloody and emitting an unnatural and fetid breath," Thucydides starts by saying.
But that was just the beginning - sneezing and coughing were next, then diarrhoea, vomiting and violent spasms.
Next came livid skin, covered in pustules and ulcers, and a burning, unquenchable thirst.
Most died around the seventh or eight day, but if not the disease moved to the bowels, where violent ulceration and worsening diarrhoea, combined with exhaustion, was usually enough to prove fatal.
A handful did survive, but the disease left its mark - toes, fingers, genitals and sight were often lost.
For others the legacy was an entire loss of memory, so that, as Thucydides says, they "did not know either themselves or their friends".
The world's first recorded pandemic had arrived.
Thucydides says the disease began in Ethiopia, spreading through Egypt and Libya, then into the Greek world.
Over the next four years it killed almost a third of the Athenian population and its armed forces, along with the city's leader and mastermind of Athenian glory, Pericles.
It is unsurprising perhaps that the word pandemic is derived from Greek - "pan" meaning all, and "demos" meaning people.
By the 2nd Century AD, the mantle of European power had passed to Rome, largely thanks to the might of its army.
But this army almost proved the civilisation's downfall, when in AD165, troops returning from campaigns in the east of the empire brought back a disease which killed an estimated five million people.
Known as the Antonine Plague, after Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, one of two Roman emperors who died from the disease, it killed a quarter of those who caught it.
In AD166, the Greek physician and writer Galen travelled from Rome to his home in present-day Turkey and recorded some of the disease's symptoms.
In his treatise Methodus Medendi, he describes fever, diarrhoea, and inflammation of the pharynx, along with dry or pustular eruptions of the skin after nine days, symptoms which has led scholars to conclude the disease was most likely smallpox.
A second outbreak occurred between AD251 and 266, and at its height some 5,000 people were said to be dying in Rome every day.
Crescit avaritia quantum crescit tua gaza.
Your greed increases as much as your bank account does.
(pron = KRES-kit ah-wah-RIH-tih-ah KWAHN-toom KRES-kit TOO-ah GAHD-zah)
Comment: I found a comment made by Juvenal in his Satires (14.139) that is
Crescit amor nummi, quantum ipsa pecunia crevit. “The love of the coin grows as
much as money itself has grown.”
Certainly this is a dynamic that is easy and prevalent enough to observe. We
have various American sayings that indicate that the more money one has, the
more one wants. The wealthiest nation in the world also carries the largest
debt, both collectively and per capita.
Still, I find myself wondering about this dynamic. Deep in the American psyche
there is another set of sayings that have been long and carefully planted.
“The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10—the Bible). And
then the very old theological teaching of the Puritans and others influenced by
John Calvin, in short, that financial and monetary success is one of the signs
of being a member of “the elect”, those predestined for eternal life, and
consequently, those who do not enjoy financial success are missing this sign,
and may be among the damned.
Those are pretty good pre-conditions for developing a collective neuroses about
money, and getting more stuff.
To what degree have I been taught, subtly or not so subtly these “lessons”? To
what degree do I associate the worth of my life with how much stuff I have, how
big my paycheck is? If I were to let go of that, what would I be left with?
These are not questions of greed, really. They are questions of true value.
Ahtisaari conciliator nominatus
Martti Ahtisaari, pristinus praesidens Finniae, a Kofi Annan, secretario generali Nationum Unitarum, nominatus est, qui consultationibus de Kosovia praeesset.
Propositum est statum Kosoviae ex illa sententia definire, quam Consilium Securitatis Nationum Unitarum bello Kosoviensi confecto mense Iunio anni undebismillesimi comprobavit.
Kosovia, quae hodie a Nationibus Unitis administratur, plenam independentiam flagitat, quam Serbia vehementer repudiat. Itaque dubium non est, quin consultationes futurae sint difficillimae.
Ahtisaari, de conflictibus inter nationes componendis optime meritus, erit in Kosovia legatus specialis secretarii generalis, cui de processu colloquiorum referet.
French diving archeologists have discovered the foundation of the ancient lighthouse of Pharos in Alexandria, the seventh wonder of the world.
The director of the Alexandria national museum, Ibrahim Darwish, said Sunday that the lighthouse, which was destroyed by two earthquakes in the 11th and 14th centuries, had occupied an area of 800 sq m north of the city's eastern harbor.
The lighthouse consisted of three towers stacked one on top of the other largest to smallest and reached 120-137 meters (390-450 feet) in height. On top of the lighthouse, there was a bronze chalice holding smoldering coal. A complicated system of mirrors made it possible for travelers to see the smoldering coal from a distance of tens of kilometers (up to 60 miles).
The lighthouse was built by Greek architect Sostratus for King Ptolemy II (284-246 BC). It was erected on the eastern side of the island of Pharos at the entrance to the harbor of Alexandria. Earthquakes scattered the remains of the lighthouse all over the harbor, and only now have archeologists established its exact location.
In July, Governor Salam El Mahgoub called on Egyptian and international organizations to restore the lighthouse, a project that will cost $100 million.
One of the most prestigious documentary channels in the world, the History Channel, shot a documentary in Bodrum, telling the Iliad Epic of Homer, reported the Anatolia news agency.
The documentary crew worked for two days in Bodrum. One of the two Turkish producers of the segment in Turkey is Tufan Turanlı, the head of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, who has previous experience in documentary projects on nautical archaeology.
As a part of the documentary series Digging for the Truth, this documentary is directed by Brian Lecley and presented by Josh Bernstein of the History Channel. The scenes shot in Bodrum are to be broadcast the next season. Some other parts of the documentary are to be shot in Greece as well as a few more in Bodrum. The film crew will then move on to Çanakkale to shoot scenes in the ancient city of Troy before leaving Turkey.
Homer's 'Iliad' to be highlighted:
The documentary is the fifth documentary project that shot in Bodrum this year. The director and the crew of the movie were trying to create the original atmosphere of Bronze Age dating some 3,300 years back.
Producer Turanlı said that they asked for help from local horse-carriage masters Celal Eski and Mehmet Çiftlikçi to capture every single detail. Turanlı also said that American and Turkish filmmakers worked together for this project as well as on previous shoots in Bodrum.
"We're aiming to make Bodrum the Hollywood of documentary movies, Iliad is the fifth project this year. We also have previous documentary experiences with National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. We believe that Bodrum is an international documentary center. I'm planning to bring another documentary project to Bodrum, composing six episodes, telling the life of the Prophet Moses and the Old Testament. Our aim is to promote Turkey, said the producer.
Non bene olet qui bene semper olet.
Something smells fishy about a person who always smells of perfume.
(pron = nohn BEH-neh OH-let kwee BEH-neh SEHM-pehr OH-let)
Comment: I’ve taken some liberties with rendering this in English. Literally,
Martial is saying that he does not smell well who always smells well. Hence,
we generally become suspicious (smell a rat) around someone who always smells
The person who works in the yard and never breaks a sweat; the parent whose
child never does anything wrong; the face that never has a pimple; the adult
whose bank account is never over-drawn; the athlete who eats everything under
the sun and only gains muscle; these are only a few examples of those who
always smell of perfume. The picture is too good to be true. It always is.
Life never unfolds in picture perfect fashion.
And yet, I know I am not alone in having grown up under the deeply infused
notion that perfect was what I was supposed to be. It makes for a great deal
of misery, neurotic behaviors that become our “personality” and the generator
of a great deal of grief for ourselves and those we are in contact with.
So, the wisdom? Let yourself stink today, even if just a little bit. And when
the sour smell becomes obvious, just smile and say—yes, that’s me. I don’t
smell so well today. And then enjoy how you, your very own self, smell, just
the way that you are!
A stretch of wall at Rome's ancient Forum has collapsed, raising concerns that the site is no longer safe for tourists.
About 50 metres of the five-metre-high wall fell Friday morning onto a walkout that leads to the Arch of Titus and the Colosseum.
At the time, the Forum was closed and there were no tourists in the area.
It was once the centre of political, commercial and religious life in Rome.
But now it's in such a state of ruin that Italy's cultural authorities have stepped up debate over what needs to be done to safeguard what's left of both the Forum and Colosseum.
No one is allowed inside the Colosseum itself, aside from experts involved in assessing the damage. Tour groups are brought just to the fringe of the building.
The wall collapse at the Forum comes at a time Italy's parliament is debating cuts to the culture sector.
Italy's culture minister, Rocco Buttiglione, says the government will have to find funds to protect the area, which he says requires constant monitoring.
He says archeological sites in Italy need to be protected, not only because they draw visitors and generate income, but because they are "part of our soul."
Dozens of journalists were invited into the prison on Sunday to view two well-preserved tile mosaics, which include detailed inscriptions in Greek and which the authority said served as the floor of the church.
"It is for sure the earliest church in Israel that we know of," said Yotam Tepper, the archaeologist in charge of the dig, which began seven months ago.
The announcement was met with deep skepticism from some scholars of early Christianity.
The traditional view is that Christian churches did not begin to appear in the region until the fourth century A.D., the result of Emperor Constantine's edict in A.D. 313 that Christians could worship freely in the Roman Empire.
Before that, Christians were often persecuted. They worshiped clandestinely and were not able to build public houses of worship, these scholars say.
"For people who study this, it would be very hard to accept that there is a Christian church here that dates to the third century," said Joe Zias, an anthropologist and a former curator with the Antiquities Authority. Mr. Zias, who has not seen the site, added, "My gut feeling is that we are looking at a Roman building that may have been converted to a church at a later date."
Pottery shards from cooking pots and wine jugs resting on the mosaic have been dated to the late third century A.D., suggesting the mosaic - and presumably the church - was already in place at that time, he said. The style of the Greek lettering in the three inscriptions point to the same period, he said, and the structure does not follow the traditional building pattern for churches that emerged in the fourth century.
The floor is about 30 feet by 15 feet and has two mosaics, consisting of small black and white tiles in geometric patterns. Two fish, a symbol widely used in early Christianity, adorn one.
In the center of the floor is a base that may have supported a structure used in worship services, Mr. Tepper said. Nearby, one inscription reads, "The God-loving Aketous has offered this table to the God Jesus Christ, as a memorial," according to a preliminary translation by the Antiquities Authority.
Another inscription says a Roman military officer, Gaianus, "having sought honor, from his own money, has made the mosaic."
But Mr. Zias said it struck him as strange that a Roman military officer would take credit at a time when the Roman authorities prohibited practicing Christianity. "If I were a Roman soldier in the third century, I certainly wouldn't want my name on it," he said. "This would not have been a good career move. In fact, it sounds like the kiss of death."
If the Megiddo site does date to the third century, "then I would ask why it was not reported or discussed by early church historians," said Yiska Harani, a historian with expertise on Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land. "How did they overlook a successful place of early worship?"
Mr. Tepper said no decision had been made on the fate of the site. He said he hoped it could become a small museum, while acknowledging the problems of doing so inside a prison.
"We just don't know what will happen at this point," he said.
Ecclesia B. Virginis Dresdensis inaugurata
Ecclesia Beatae Virginis Dresdensis, vulgo Frauenkirche appellata, quae impetibus aeriis foederatorum occidentalium sexaginta annis ante in ruinas redacta erat, die Dominico (30.10.) in usum inaugurata est.
Ecclesia illa baroca ante decem annos reaedificari coepta est. Complures centeni opifices sine mercede operi interfuerunt.
Ex Germania et nationibus peregrinis circiter centum miliones euronum ad ecclesiam restituendam collecti sunt.
Magna pars pecuniae ab Americanis et Britannis accepta est. Frauenkirche, egregium monumentum artis barocae, altitudinis est paene centum metrorum.
Post opera septendecim fere annorum perfecta est anno millesimo septingentesimo quadragesimo tertio.
6. All teachers of Latin, ancient Greek and Classics in the public and separate boards and
in independent schools are eligible to bring students to the OSCC who study Latin,
ancient Greek or Classics or who have been Classics Club members of at least six
months good standing. A participating student must be at least 13 years of age by
the end of the calendar year of the Conference.
Londinium in Europa carissimum
Pretiis mercedum et servitiorum comparatis, in actis, quibus titulus est Financial Times, Londinium carissima urbs Europaea nominata est.
Ibi enim pretia plus quinque centesimis maiora esse quam in medio aliis in terris Unionis Europaeae. Intra regionem, ubi eurones in usu sunt, carissimos esse Parisios, ceteris vilius Matritum, extra illam regionem vilissimam Varsaviam.
Quite how one rambles on from speaking of the moment when Dante chose Virgil as his guide through the infernal regions to discovering that the geni in the bottle surfaces into a guardian angel may seem a bit mysterious! But it's merely another excuse to zoom in on all things Latin...
Scoff if you will at the ancient Romans who made patients with brain disorders swim with electric eels.
Midway through the Museum of Fine Arts Egyptian gallery, visitors hear the murmuring of another civilization. Beyond the mummies, 50-plus teenage students from local high schools mingle and move among Greek vases, many clutching paperback editions of Homer's ''Iliad" and ''Odyssey."
Some pace about, furling and unfurling photocopied pages with highlighted hexameters. Others gather in groups on the floor that will soon serve as stage for an ancient, gentle poetry slam. The more serious forgo the chitchat for a last-minute review of index cards scrawled with versified scenes that took place some 2,700 years ago.
They're contestants in the museum's second annual Student Rhetoric Competition, created to coincide with an exhibition on the original Olympics, and they court the embrace of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. If not a deity, they're at least seeking the favor of their teachers -- and a few extra-credit points for their after-school participation.
Judith King pushes back the bangs of her Cleopatra-like hairdo and welcomes the students whose duds range from tees to ties. (None wore a toga.) The museum's education outreach manager, King reminds the contestants that the judges will focus on the ''emotion, diction, and accuracy" of their recitations.
Then she begins the roll call of middle school students. High school students sigh in relief, knowing they're off the hook for an hour. The young teens leave their circle of friends to stand before three judges perched as if on Mount Olympus. Between display cases holding tangible expressions of the lines they speak, students summon courage -- and the Muse.
''I am Odysseus, son of Laertes, known to the world," bellows Celestine Warren, 13, a Milton Academy student from Cambridge who stands with ramrod posture and one raised fist, hoping to embody the epic hero's hubris.
The judges look impressed, briefly betraying their stoicism with smiles. The students don't play it cool. They meet Warren's closing lines -- after making it through names of islands such as Dulichion and Zacanthus -- with applause, turning the heads of others visiting the museum.
In an interview afterward, Warren explains her interest in classics.
''The myths connect with everything," says Warren, who made a last-minute switch from the Robert Fitzgerald translation favored by her teachers to the Robert Fagles translation chosen by the judges.
''They say things we still care about: the idea of leading a good life and dying a noble death."
Later, King calls on a bespectacled boy in an orange sweatshirt and khakis. He steps forward gingerly.
Then, with one Homeric syllable, Peter Egan, 13, bursts to life.
''So Odysseus prayed and Athena heard his prayer," he declaims with a force belying his slight frame.
The Boston Latin Academy eighth-grader from Readville vivifies the dramatic footrace between Ajax and Odysseus. His relish in describing Ajax's fall into a pile of dung brings down the house.
The Muses do not smile on every contestant.
Stage fright freezes a few mid-verse. Other clutch skirt hems, rock from sneaker to sneaker, or sigh dramatically before turning to the judges for a hint.
Paul Adamson regrets needing an assist during his performance of lines chronicling the athletic contests of the original Olympics. Dressed in a Michael Jordan game shirt and a pristine white Red Sox cap, the Boston Latin Academy sophomore from Roxbury promises to return next year with a flawless, more dramatic presentation.
A reluctant convert to the classics, Adamson, 14, says he overcame his aversion to ''the dead language spoken by doctors and lawyers" when he saw the sport in poetry.
''It's about performance and talent and style," he says. ''It's a challenge. I love a challenge. I might take Greek my senior year."
Deep into the second hour of the event, the dour words begin to lose their gravity.
A half-dozen randomly called high school students -- somehow -- have all prepared the same scene: Priam begging Achilles for the proper burial of his son.
The heartbreaking last line loses its pathos the fourth time around: ''I have endured what no one on earth has ever done before -- I put to my lips the hands of the man who killed my son."
At the end, Judith King applauds all the students, who applaud one another. King thanks the judges with bottles of extra-virgin olive oil and apologizes for not handing off an amphora, the nine-gallon vessel used by the ancient Greeks to carry wine and oil.
Charles ''Dan" Earley, a Boston College High School sophomore who sings and dances his poetry, wins the high school laurel for his channeling of the Blind Bard Demodocus.
Egan earns the middle school competition's leafy crown.
After all the others have left, Egan hangs back, leaning in for a closer look at a Greek statue.
Asked about his victory, he eyes the artifact while turning the wreath in his hands.
''The victory is more for my school than for me," he says.
''It's like the Greeks teach us: you should enjoy it, but you shouldn't gloat."
Maria Wenglinsky taught her French poodle to obey commands in one of her favorite languages, Latin.
She studied the classics at Columbia University, and wrote her 300-page doctoral dissertation on an ancient poet, calling it, she said, "The representation of the divine in Quintus of Smyrna or something like that, something very pedestrian." She has a map of Rome on her dining room wall, next to a bookshelf stocked with volumes like "History of the Byzantine State" and other titles that only a woman whose pet understands the meaning of "iace" (lie down) could enjoy.
But Mrs. Wenglinsky found that her smarts got her only so far in her sweep on the game show "Jeopardy!" She also had to rely on more unlikely sources: The students at St. Saviour High School in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Mrs. Wenglinsky, who teaches Latin and European history at St. Saviour, an all-girls Catholic school, said her students' knowledge of pop culture had helped her succeed in some of the more modern categories. She credited a recent graduate's obsession with the cult television series "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" for supplying her with one answer, stated in the form of a question, naturally.
The strategy paid off. Last week, Mrs. Wenglinsky, 36, made five appearances on "Jeopardy!", answering head-scratchers about one of the languages of Afghanistan (What is Pushtu?), the capital of Montezuma (What is Tenochtitlan?) and the reshaper of 17th century London (Who is Christopher Wren?).
In the meantime, she has earned about $122,000 since her first appearance on Monday and has become something of a celebrity among the school's 340 students, their parents, the administrators and the faculty. The shows were recorded over the summer in Los Angeles.
Students have huddled around the television with their families, gasping and clapping, a pleasant distraction for many who had the prospect of yesterday's SAT exam to look forward to all week. "Every single person in the school is rooting for her," said Sister Valeria Belanger, the principal.
Mrs. Wenglinsky does not consider herself a quiz show star. With close-cropped hair and black-frame glasses, she politely scoffs at the word that people keeping throwing around: genius.
"It's just a knack for being able to pull things out is all it is," she said. She said she did not know her I.Q., and described her recent victories as simply the result of a talent for being able to recall random bits of information. Some people might spend days or weeks cramming for an appearance on "Jeopardy!" She said she flipped through an old copy of The World Almanac on the plane to Los Angeles, a Christmas gift from her Aunt Alice.
As her friends, family and students followed her on television last week, they were naturally curious about how it all turned out. Not even the principal knows.
"If I say how it turns out, I'll lose my prize money," Mrs. Wenglinsky explained.
On Friday night, the program ended with a cliffhanger. Mrs. Wenglinsky won again, but will not appear again until the end of the month, when the regular show resumes after two weeks. She invited four fellow teachers to her home in Bay Ridge to watch the program, and even as they cheered, laughed with and teased Mrs. Wenglinsky, she gave no clues about what happened next.
She sat quietly on a chair, her 2-year-old son, Martin James, on her lap. Delia, her bilingual poodle, missed out on the festivities and was confined to a room upstairs because, it turns out, following commands in any language is not Delia's thing. Mrs. Wenglinsky said her six-figure winnings thus far - one teacher said it was about three or four times the annual salary at St. Saviour - are in a sense already spent. It will go to her mortgage, she said.
The quiz show champion says she was really just a regular, boring person. She is from Salt Lake City, and, other than occasional knitting and gardening, said most of her free time is spent on the playground with Martin James. Her husband, Harold, is an educational policy analyst.
As her television self posed questions-as-answers to the show's host, Alex Trebek, about precious metals, the real Mrs. Wenglinsky sat in her living room and posed one more question, this one a no-brainer.
"You want some more chips?" she asked her son.
THE director of Rome, the BBC’s swords and sandals epic, is accusing the corporation of sensationalising his work by over-playing the sex and violence and cutting out key political narrative.
Michael Apted, whose film credits include Gorillas in the Mist and The World Is Not Enough, said he was “pissed off” and “grumpy” about the BBC’s handling of the series, the first episode of which went out last week.
He said he had not been told the BBC was squeezing the first three episodes — the ones he directed — down to two. They were shown at full length in America by HBO, the BBC’s partner in the production.
The corporation maintained that the cut scenes were unnecessary because British audiences “already knew” the historical background of the struggle between Julius Caesar and Pompey and did not need as much information as Americans.
Apted was engaged to film the first three episodes of the £60m series, a joint project between the BBC and HBO, the American cable channel.
But, says Apted, a funny thing happened on the way to the studios. HBO has shown all three of his 50-minute episodes in full, but the BBC has cut and spliced them into two programmes and removed much of the back-stabbing between Caesar and Pompey.
Some reviewers have compared the finished product to Caligula, the notorious 1979 film produced by Bob Guccione, the Penthouse publisher, who spliced sex scenes into the story without telling his cast.
“The BBC has not only sold this series on sex and violence, but now, in the way it has edited and cut the first episodes, it has made sex scenes more important than the senate scenes,” said Apted.
“I’m really pissed off with the BBC for bringing down my first three episodes to two and, in doing so, taking out much of the vital politics.”
“It has also made it confusing for viewers to follow. The balance is all wrong now. They’ve cut out vital scenes between Caesar and Pompey. Scenes which show the dirty tricks each tried. The political context has been lost.”
Apted, who has also directed the iconic ITV documentary series Seven Up, only saw the BBC’s edited version of Rome very recently. He is currently in Britain shooting the movie Amazing Grace, which tells the story of William Wilberforce and his attempts to ban slavery.
“What also makes me very grumpy is that I was told that the cuts had been introduced by the BBC because they thought British viewers already knew the historical background. But all that’s happened as far as the viewer is concerned is that it has made Rome hard to follow.
“I’m also annoyed because it makes me look as if I’m at fault with my directing. It reflects poorly on me.”
Apted, who, though British born and bred is also president of the Directors Guild of America, believes the BBC over-sold the programme on sex and violence. “I watched a discussion about it on BBC Breakfast the other morning and they were cooing about the sex.”
Apted also claims that he was never told in advance that the BBC had cut his first three episodes into two 50-minute ones. Other directors filmed the rest of the series.
“I only found out by chance a couple of weeks ago when one of the actors told me.”
By then the BBC, which has the contractual rights to edit as it wishes, had made its mind up.
Apted’s dismay is shared by Robin Lane Fox, a professor of history at New College, Oxford, and author of The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian. “The BBC is a victim of the delusion that if you dumb down you will get a bigger audience,” said Lane Fox, who was the historical adviser to Oliver Stone’s film Alexander.
However, if that was the intention, it seems to have worked. The 6.6m viewers who watched the opening episode of Rome on BBC2 last Wednesday was the biggest audience for the channel for more than five years.
“Sadly, when compared with the brilliance of I, Claudius, Rome trivialises, particularly the relationship between Caesar and Pompey,” said Lane Fox. “The real story should be that of the battle among the senators. But BBC viewers have not been given this. The amounts of sex and violence in episode one are absurd. It’s a shame as the acting is very good.”
Rome has received mixed reviews. While some praised it as entertaining, A A Gill, the Sunday Times television critic, writes in today’s Culture that it was “a mess of confusing storylines. Almost every utterance had to move great marble slabs of plot. It looked like a case of too many producers re-writing editing and patching up, which might well be an appropriate metaphor for the end of the republic, but it made for confused television”.
The BBC says it cut the first three episodes to two as “British viewers did not need so much back-story”.
Erant in ea legione fortissimi viri, centuriones, qui primis ordinibus appropinquarent, Titus Pullo et Lucius Vorenus. Hi perpetuas inter se controversias habebant, quinam anteferretur, omnibusque annis de locis summis simultatibus contendebant. Ex his Pullo, cum acerrime ad munitiones pugnaretur, "Quid dubitas," inquit, " Vorene? aut quem locum tuae probandae virtutis exspectas ? hic dies de nostris controversiis iudicabit." Haec cum dixisset, procedit extra munitiones quaque pars hostium confertissima est visa irrumpit. Ne Vorenus quidem tum sese vallo continet, sed omnium veritus existimationem subsequitur. Mediocri spatio relicto Pullo pilum in hostes immittit atque unum ex multitudine procurrentem traicit; quo percusso et exanimato hunc scutis protegunt, in hostem tela universi coniciunt neque dant regrediendi facultatem. Transfigitur scutum Pulloni et verutum in balteo defigitur. Avertit hic casus vaginam et gladium educere conanti dextram moratur manum, impeditumque hostes circumsistunt. Succurrit inimicus illi Vorenus et laboranti subvenit. Ad hunc se confestim a Pullone omnis multitudo convertit: illum veruto arbitrantur occisum. Gladio comminus rem gerit Vorenus atque uno interfecto reliquos paulum propellit; dum cupidius instat, in locum deiectus inferiorem concidit. Huic rursus circumvento fert subsidium Pullo, atque ambo incolumes compluribus interfectis summa cum laude sese intra munitiones recipiunt. Sic fortuna in contentione et certamine utrumque versavit, ut alter alteri inimicus auxilio salutique esset, neque diiudicari posset, uter utri virtute anteferendus videretur.
... via the Latin Library
In that legion there were two very brave men, centurions, who were now approaching the first ranks, T. Pulfio, and L. Varenus. These used to have continual disputes between them which of them should be preferred, and every year used to contend for promotion with the utmost animosity. When the fight was going on most vigorously before the fortifications, Pulfio, one of them, says, "Why do you hesitate, Varenus? or what [better] opportunity of signalizing your valor do you seek? This very day shall decide our disputes." When he had uttered these words, he proceeds beyond the fortifications, and rushes on that part of the enemy which appeared the thickest. Nor does Varenus remain within the rampart, but respecting the high opinion of all, follows close after. Then, when an inconsiderable space intervened, Pulfio throws his javelin at the enemy, and pierces one of the multitude who was running up, and while the latter was wounded and slain, the enemy cover him with their shields, and all throw their weapons at the other and afford him no opportunity of retreating. The shield of Pulfio is pierced and a javelin is fastened in his belt. This circumstance turns aside his scabbard and obstructs his right hand when attempting to draw his sword: the enemy crowd around him when [thus] embarrassed. His rival runs up to him and succors him in this emergency. Immediately the whole host turn from Pulfio to him, supposing the other to be pierced through by the javelin. Varenus rushes on briskly with his sword and carries on the combat hand to hand, and having slain one man, for a short time drove back the rest: while he urges on too eagerly, slipping into a hollow, he fell. To him, in his turn, when surrounded, Pulfio brings relief; and both having slain a great number, retreat into the fortifications amid the highest applause. Fortune so dealt with both in this rivalry and conflict, that the one competitor was a succor and a safeguard to the other, nor could it be determined which of the two appeared worthy of being preferred to the other.
... via Perseus
An ancient church dating back to the third or fourth century has been discovered inside one of Israel's maximum security prisons, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Saturday.
Excavations inside Megiddo prison in northern Israel unearthed the remains of a structure which included a mosaic with inscriptions in Greek and murals of fish as well as an altar, the Authority said.
Sharon Shouab, Megiddo prison commander, told Israel's Channel Two television that the site had been discovered amid planned work to build a new security wing.
The jail houses prisoners including members of Palestinian militant groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas who are sworn to Israel's destruction.
Channel Two reported that the site had been discovered some months ago but was kept secret until now.
"This is a once in a lifetime find and the inscriptions are very rare," Antiquities Authority excavation supervisor, Jotham Tefer, told Channel Two.
'I am Markos Aurelios Asklepiades, also called Hermodoros, senior temple warden of the great god Sarapis, chief priest of the Universal Athletic Guild, Guild president for life, Director of the Imperial Baths; I am a citizen of Alexandria, Hermopolis and Puteoli; a member of the City Council of Naples, Elis and Athens; and also a citizen and member of the Council of many other cities. I was a periodos victor in the pankration. I was undefeated, I was never thrown from the wrestling ring, I never made an appeal. I won all of the contests I ever entered; I never had to challenge a decision, nor did anyone ever dare to challenge one of my victories; I never drew a contest or deserted a contest or refused a fight, nor did I ever miss any competition or win by imperial favour, nor were any of my victories in contests which had to be re-run; instead I was crowned in all of the contests I ever entered in the wrestling ring itself, having come through all of the preliminary tests of eligibility beforehand. I competed in Italy and in Greece and in Asia, winning all of the contests listed here: I won the pankration of the Olympics in Pisa in the 240th Olympiad [AD 181], the Pythia at Delphi, the Isthmia twice, the Nemean games twice (on the second occasion all my rivals pulled out), the 'Shield games' of Hera in Argos, the Capitolia in Rome twice, the Eusebia at Puteoli twice (on the second occasion all my rivals pulled out after the second lot-drawing), the Sebasta at Naples twice (on the second occasion all my rivals pulled out after the second lot-drawing), the Aktia in Nikopolis twice (on the second occasion all my rivals...). In all I competed for six years, but withdrew from competition at the age of 25, because of the dangers and jealousies I encountered. After I had been in retirement for some time I was forced to compete in the Olympic festival of my home city of Alexandria in the sixth Alexandrian Olympiad and I won the pankration there.'
So Wrote Markos Aurelios Asklepiades in an inscription on a statue of Markos Aurelios Asklepiades in Rome. It provides a vivid demonstration that sportsmen's capacity for self-promotion is as old as the seven hills of Rome. It also suggests that the makers of the heavily flogged Rome (BBC2, Wednesdays) might have missed a trick by focusing quite so heavily on the sex and entirely ignoring the athletics.
The inscription is doubly remarkable. First, it hints at the extent of athletic festivals at the time. 'There were probably between 300 or 400 in existence, some on a four-year basis, but many yearly,' says Dr Jason Konig, author of Athletics and Literature in the Roman Empire. 'It is clear that the athletics programme was enormous and very big business.'
Second, the range of citizenships Asklepiades was granted illustrates the breadth of interest. 'National identity is a fairly modern concept,' says Konig. 'The kind of identity that mattered then was city identity. And if a citizen won a Olympic medal he would be rewarded with enormous amounts of money and they would even knock down the city walls for the triumphal victory parade.'
Asklepiades was so fearsome at pankration - a mixture of wrestling and boxing, a bit like kick boxing - that there are tales of opponents who ran screaming from the ring the moment the undefeated heavyweight pankration champion of the ancient world removed his cloak. Even Richard Dunn waited for the bell to ring before capitulating against Ali.
Cities were forever trying to tempt star pankrationers away from each other. There was, in effect, a prototype transfer market and where there's a transfer market... 'I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there were agents,' says Konig. 'But there is no record of them existing. Maybe they just dropped out of the picture.' Will anyone remember Pini Zahavi in the fifth millennium?
It was certainly a lucrative business. 'At the Olympics they would receive a garland of leaves, as a symbol of the amateur ideal,' says Konig. 'But if you look closely it is clear they received enormous pensions from their cities.' Which is certainly a more dignified way of doing things than appearing in a series of lame adverts.
Not that many of the athletes were motivated by money, for most of them came from wealthy backgrounds. Asklepiades' father was a famous athlete and, like Frank Lampard senior sending Frank Lampard junior to public school, he used his wealth to enlist his son at the gymnasium, which was the main centre for higher education and the main source of athletes.
For him fame was the spur. Self-advertisement was very important in the ancient world. You had to do your own product placement. And frankly a statue is more likely to linger in the memory than an interview with Parky.
Not that Asklepiades didn't give anything back. On retirement, he preceded the path trod by Trevor Brooking and Sebastian Coe and burdened himself with the thankless task that is sports politics. He ended up as president of the Athletic Guild, which, says Konig, was almost like a union for athletes.
It was empire-wide and incredibly powerful and there are inscriptions recording imperial dispensations to the Athletic Guild, granting them exemption from tax. Not only were the pensions hugely generous, they were tax-free. Something Gordon Taylor or Gary Neville have yet to achieve.
Asklepiades' period of dominance coincided with a golden age for pankration during which the Emperor Elagabalus was so fond of the sport that he took one of the participants, Aurelius Zoticus, as a lover. The emperor, like Tracey Emin, preferred his men well-hung and Zoticus fitted the bill - comfortably or, perhaps, uncomfortably - until a rival gave him a drug that rendered him impotent.
To be fair to the makers of Rome it should be admitted that these events took place in 200AD. But, as their researchers must have known, Julius Caesar, a huge fan of the big gladiatorial spectacle, also took an interest in more cerebral activity. Suetonius records that the games Caesar held to celebrate his victory over Pompey included, alongside the wild-beast match-ups and full-scale re-enactments of land and naval battles, three days of athletics.
The process accelerated under Emperor Augustus when, says Konig: 'There was a huge resurgence of Greek culture, of which athletics was a major part. Knowing about Greek culture was quite prestigious. The Romans brought in the culture of many of the territories they conquered and Rome was a cultural melting pot.'
Asklepiades retired early, due to 'dangers and jealousies', only many years later to come back and snatch another Olympic gold. All these years on, he still has the statues to prove it. Which is more than can be said for another noted athlete, Theagenes. He was so successful that a fellow competitor used to sneak into the temple and mutter threats and imprecations against his rival's idol. One day the jealous man went too far and succeeded in toppling the marble edifice - and being crushed to death.
As was the custom, the offending statue of Theagenes was brought to court, failed to enter a plea, was found guilty of murder and punished by drowning - a trial that in more recent times might have provided a ratings smash for Court TV. And a myth that might have inspired Joe Bugner. Famously described as looking like a Greek statue, and having as many moves, could it have been Bugner's fight-plan to absorb all the taunts Ali could throw at him before reaching his tipping point and cleverly falling on the stunned champion to record a TKO?
Alexander the Great's army bought oil from inhabitants on the shores of the Caspian Sea during the Siege of Persia in 331 BC.
People have complained about puns since Julius Caesar decided March 15th was as good as any other day to go to the Senate.
She was a compulsive reader and learner and was compulsively funny about it. Required to read Virgil's The Aeneid in high school, she helped found the "The Girgil Club," formed "by the senior girls who ate lunch at the 6th period."
In a crossword puzzle assembled in high school, she includes such clues as "Where Greek aeroplanes go" (Answer: "Up") and "What the Spartan boys would have liked to sleep on" (Answer: "Featherbed"). In a send-up of the fairy tale about Rapunzel, the long-haired maiden is rescued by the good knight, but "Alack! his spur did cut her head!/Alack alas! it killed her dead."
Quam est felix vita quae sine odiis transit!
(Publilius Syrus, Sententia 547)
How happy is the life which crosses over without hatred!
(pron = kwahm ehst FAY-liks WEE-tah kwai SEE-neh OH-dees TRAHN-sit)
Comment: I am pretty sure that it is impossible to pass through life without
experiencing hatred, and I am not sure that it is desirable.
When I think of the times, situations and individuals for whom I have felt
hatred, I cannot think of a single instance in which the hatred did not arise
in me because of some wound. Most often, the wound was to my own ego.
Sometimes, the wounding was actually of someone else, but I was attached to
that someone else, somehow, and so the hatred arose out of their wounding, and
my sharing in the wounded. Still, my own sense of self was at stake. My
feelings were on the defense to protect me against the perceived threat.
It might be a good thing to be able to pass through an entire life and never
feel defensive about oneself, and therefore, never feel hatred. But those are
also all the times that I have opportunity to really look at who I am. Not all
the threats that I have perceived to my ego have been bad. Most, in fact, have
actually been healthy challenges, and the rising hatred in me became disturbing
enough to force me to look at that, and to let go into some new understanding,
some new experience of being in the world and in relationships. Even the
threats that seem to come from hostile individuals have functioned that way for
me. There is a reason to be defensive around hostile people, but I have found
that even in dealing with some really hostile person, there is a shift and a
change in me that can happen if I tend to how I am reacting to the hostility.
I am trying to say that hatred arising in us can be a finger pointing to some
important stuff if we are willing to pay attention to it. But, it is only a
finger pointing. Focusing on hatred, or insisting that it be deleted from our
experience would be a mistake. Ignoring a pointing finger would be, too.
Ordo Nationum Unitarum sexagenarius
Ordo Nationum Unitarum post secundum bellum mundanum conditus est, ut pacem inter nationes sustineret.
Liber fundamentalis ordinis die vicesimo quarto mensis Octobris anno millesimo nongentesimo quadragesimo quinto (24.10.1945) valere coepit.
Initio ille ordo ex nationibus belli victricibus constabat, nunc sexagenarius membra centum nonaginta habet.
A new Merchant Marine Ministry law on recreational diving has provoked protests, particularly by archaeological authorities. The new law, aimed at developing diving tourism, was passed by both major parties. Its provisions introduce radical changes to the rules governing diving in Greece, including virtually abolishing the ban on diving in areas of major archaeological interest.
According to the Merchant Marine Ministry, the new law will turn the country into an underwater paradise for amateurs and professional divers alike, bringing in more tourism revenue.
Officials involved in drafting the law have accused the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of idleness, as a result of which recreational divers have at their disposal just 120 “free” areas out of a total of 16,000. As they are all close to ports, they are not of great interest.
Sources in the ephorate, which belongs to the Culture Ministry, say the law is a scandal since it does not take into consideration an archaeology law that is enshrined in the constitution and therefore has greater force. They also note that soon Greece will no longer be of any interest to divers since its underwater treasures will be easy game for antiquities smugglers.
Professional divers have also expressed reservations, saying the bill is simply aimed at reaping revenue. They fear that their professional activities will be made more difficult since they will not only be answerable to the ministry but to accreditation officers of the Greek Standardization Organization (ELOT) and diving organizations.
The conflict moved to Parliament where the ruling party rapporteur, Panos Kammenos, launched a harsh attack against an employee of the ephorate (he referred to a senior woman official there as a “mermaid”). He also hinted of bribes, saying “millions of euros were paid to free areas around (the island of) Kalymnos.” Kammenos actually lodged a suit against the particular official, who was acquitted by an Athens court.
Builders working at the Old Bell Hotel in Malmesbury have turned up human bones which are believed to be Roman.
It was thought at first that the remains might be medieval and connected to the Abbey next door.
But archaeologists now say the skeletons could date back 2000 years due to the non-Christian burial style.
Simon Haggarty, Director of The Old Bell, said: "The hotel dates back to 1220 so it's not surprising that these bones are even earlier than that."
The seventh-grade students in Julie Frink's Bessemer Academy reading class had to incorporate a project into their reading of "Homer's Odysseus and the Tale of Troy," a children's version of "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey."
It didn't take much discussion to come up with the most obvious construction project: the Trojan Horse.
Big enough for three of Frink's smallest boys to hide inside, the horse will move soon to the school library and later this month it will be transported to the city's Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library and be on display for three weeks.
It took the class of 11 of Bessemer's top seventh-grade readers about a month to design and construct the horse, nicknamed "Candy" by the class.
Working during lunch period and after school, they fitted large cardboard boxes over a pair of portable bookshelves. The body of the horse lies across them with space in the head and rump, and a cabin on its back for the "Greeks" to hide.
The body and head portion are separate and can be lifted off. Frink said that the children were careful to keep the horse no wider than 33 inches so it will fit through the door in their classroom, located in Bessemer's new addition.
The head is made of crumpled newspaper pages held together with duct tape and then wrapped in papier-mache. Frink said that it looked a lot like a camel until one of the youngsters thought to wrap a piece of tape on the underside of the head and shape the distinctive jaw of a horse. Pueblo Color Center, she said, donated the brown paint that covered the entire project.
The class is well past the fall of Troy and this week students are reading about Odysseus' preparations to slay Penelope's suitors and reclaim his home.
"It's addicting," said Henry Castellanos of the story.
"Once you start reading, you don't want to stop," added Ryan Marquez.
Frink has put a series of photographs on the Web site she uses to tout her students' work.
Their next reading assignment will focus on the Middle Ages.
A smuggling ring put at least 110 Italian antiquities up for sale at Sotheby's Holdings Inc. and supplied 96 looted objects to 10 museums around the world, according to charges contained in Italian indictments and a judge's sentence of a convicted smuggler.
The global scale of the alleged ring's trade -- worth tens of millions of dollars and involving museums from Tokyo to Toledo, Ohio -- is outlined in a series of cases that Italian prosecutors are bringing, in part to keep looted archaeological artifacts from auction houses and museums, the papers obtained by Bloomberg News show.
``A critical point has been reached, where the laxness, and sometimes the complicity of some museums in the U.S., and elsewhere, has been exposed,'' said Colin Renfrew, 68, a Cambridge University archaeology professor and member of the U.K. House of Lords. ``The current trial is an important one.''
Sotheby's, the largest publicly traded auction house, helped the alleged ring launder looted artifacts, Judge Guglielmo Muntoni of the Rome Tribunal wrote in sentencing Roman dealer Giacomo Medici, 67, to 10 years in prison for receiving and exporting stolen antiquities.
``Selling and re-buying the same artifacts, Medici and his associates were able to trade in `clean' works of art, sellable to whomever they wanted at the prices they themselves set at auction,'' Muntoni said in his decision filed May 12, which catalogs 110 items Medici put up for sale from 1983 through 1994 at Sotheby's in London and New York.
Medici sold stolen antiquities at Sotheby's ``thanks to the absolute absence of controls on the part of the auction house and the complicity offered by its employees,'' Muntoni wrote.
Sotheby's isn't charged with any crime, and Medici, who says he's innocent, isn't serving his sentence while he appeals.
Sotheby's spokeswoman Helen Griffith in London said the company conducted a 10-month review of its antiquities business in 1997. ``It found no substantive deviation from the company's longstanding policy that employees may not violate or assist in the violation of the laws of any country,'' she said.
The review came after U.K. journalist Peter Watson's 1997 book ``Sotheby's: Inside Story'' and an accompanying television documentary used company documents and hidden-camera reporting to show how the auction house facilitated smuggling and sold antiquities known to have been stolen from tombs.
As a result of the review, Sotheby's stopped holding regular antiquities sales in London and appointed a worldwide compliance officer, Griffith said.
Watson's report and testimony were among the evidence used to convict Medici, and will also be presented at coming trials in Rome, the court documents say.
Prosecutors in Rome are building cases against at least 11 others besides Medici, including the former antiquities curator of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Marion True, and an assortment of art dealers and restorers, the documents show.
He said the 44-year-old Bakley was smart and charming, with an IQ "around 150," and compared her life of pornography and grifting with a Greek tragedy written by playwright Aeschylus, who declared that wisdom comes "through the awful grace of God."
Nil agit exemplum litem quod lite resolvit.
(Horace, Satires 2.3.103
A precedent produces nothing which resolves one conflict with another.
(pron = nihl AH-ghit ek-SEM-ploom LEE-tehm kwod LEE-tay reh-SOHL-wit)
Comment: Just before these lines in Horace’s satires, he give the example of one
Greek man, Aristippus, who ordered his overburdened slaves to unload gold in the
middle of Libya because they were moving too slowly. He concludes: who is more
insane than this? You cannot provide a precedent which resolves one problem
Just yesterday I watched an interview with a Thai woman who had just received a
new house from Habitat for Humanity after the tsunami destroyed her home and
family. She said of the last 6 months that she had learned what it took to
live—nothing. She said that he had lived for the last 6 months with nothing.
She received the new house with utter gratitude, but knowing that she could
live on nothing.
Yesterday, I also read a letter that a group of parents wrote in concern over
redistricting of their neighborhood schools. While I am sure that they want
the best schools for their children, the under riding concern that appeared
over and over again in this letter was the value of their homes and property
that would go down if the wrong school were zoned for their neighborhood.
The question this line raises for me is this: what drives the decisions I make?
If what drives a decision is itself a misplaced or even dishonest motive, I
will end up with double the trouble, won’t I? Horace’s sentiment is very close
to the old adage that many of us grew up with: two wrongs don’t make a right.
The Thai woman’s world was swept away by a tsunami. She is very clear about
what to be thankful for. The American parents are really concerned that their
children’s schools (and hence, their property values) are not adversely
affected by children in a neighboring community whose school is not as good.
They might choose to come to their school. Rather than rise up and work for
better schools in the region, they seek to protect their property values from
“those people”. They are dropping their gold in the middle of the desert to
make the caravan move faster. How smart is that in the long run?
A poem written by one of the U.S. Founding Fathers has been discovered in the archives of a Catholic high school in England. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of the signers of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, wrote the poem in Latin in 1754 when he was a student in his final year of high school in Saint-Omer, France. It was found in the archives of Stonyhurst College in Clitheroe, England, by Maurice Whitehead, a professor at the University of Wales, Swansea, who is doing research at the Jesuit-run high school. "This is a significant discovery," Jan Graffius, curator of the school's collections, announced Oct 28. "This previously unknown composition is bound to be of immense interest to American scholars." The poem was composed to be read to an unnamed visiting dignitary to the Jesuit high school in Saint-Omer, and it bears Carroll's signature. It is being translated by a group of seven 17- and 18-year-old Latin students at Stonyhurst and their classics teacher, Judith Parkinson.
Kaczynski praesidens Poloniae designatus
Altera suffragia comitiorum praesidentialium die Dominico (23.10.) in Polonia facta sunt. Superior fuit Lech Kaczynski, candidatus factionis conservativae nomine "Lex et Iustitia", qui quinquaginta quattuor centesimas votorum accepit.
Illius factio etiam in comitiis parlamentariis ante unum mensem habitis victoriam reportavit. Donald Tusk, competitor eius ex factione liberali, quadraginta sex centesimas ex votis obtinuit.
Ad urnas una et quinquaginta centesimae civium accesserunt. Kaczynski, praesidens Poloniae designatus, censet de eurone, apud Polonos anno bis millesimo decimo in usum accipiendo, suffragium populi faciendum esse.
His name was Papas the Son of Cillis. He lived nearly 2,000 years ago, and it’s likely he would be mighty surprised at what James Russell has learned about his life.
Mr. Russell knows that Papas was an Anatolian who enlisted as an auxiliary in the Roman legions, serving in outposts of the empire for 25 mostly peaceful years. The auxiliaries were second-class soldiers who were natives of distant provinces that the Romans had conquered; Roman citizens served as prestigious legionaries.
Toward the end of his enlistment, Papas’ regiment was sent to Judaea to help put down an uprising by the Jews. When he was honorably discharged, he was given Roman citizenship, as were all auxiliaries.
“The Romans would have recruited him as a young man,” Mr. Russell said. “They would have said, ‘You have put up a good show against us, and we can give you a career. We will feed you, and pay you, and, at the end of the day, we will give you citizenship.’ ”
Papas returned home to his province to live out his life with his four children, who also were granted Roman citizenship, which would have set them on the path of upward social and political mobility.
Mr. Russell, an archaeologist and professor emeritus in the department of classics at the University of British Columbia, speaks about Papas as if he were an old friend. And, indeed, it must seem that way. The scholar has spent perhaps a decade tracing the life of the ancient Anatolian from information inscribed in Latin on a fragment of a bronze tablet, which was found in the rugged hills of Southern Turkey. Mr. Russell was given the fragment by farmers who uncovered it not far from his main archaeological site, the coastal Romano-Byzantine city of Anemurium.
It is a fascinating tale, one that Mr. Russell will recount as the guest speaker of the Archaeological Institute of America — Worcester Society at 7 p.m., Thursday at the Worcester Art Museum. The scholar, a native of Scotland who immigrated to Canada, has served as president of the AIA, the AIA-Canada and the AIA-Vancouver society.
His topic couldn’t be more timely, what with the popularity of the HBO series “Rome,” which is set in the waning days of the Roman Republic, just before Papas walked the Earth.
The Higgins Armory Museum, naturally, has its own story of Roman times. Andy Volpe will bring to life his alter ego, a Roman legionary, at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 6 and Nov. 20 at the museum’s glass and steel building at 100 Barber Ave. in Worcester. Mr. Volpe’s 45-minute presentation covers the development of the Roman legions and the life of a soldier in AD 40 to 70. It includes a show-and-tell on the legionaries’ arms and armor.
But back to Mr. Russell and how he traced Papas’ life history.
The archaeologist worked backward from the substantial number of facts recorded on the tablet, including the date it was issued and the names of the emperor and the consuls for that year.
Also inscribed are Papas’ native province and the names of the commanding officers of his regiment, as well as the names of members of his family, including his children.
“You say, ‘What was happening in that part of the world when he was recruited and enrolled?’ Mr. Russell said. “Emperor Trajan was mounting a campaign in the East. We know from stone inscriptions where his regiment was. We can trace its movements from Syria to Egypt to Judaea.”
It seemed straightforward enough until Mr. Russell remarked that he had discovered the regiment had been in Egypt from hieroglyphics on two papyri. “Our kind of scholarship is sort of serendipitous,” he remarked.
Becoming an auxiliary in the Roman legions was a good job for a young man with wanderlust; the auxiliaries were shipped out to defend the empire’s frontiers. They quickly learned to speak — and even read and write — Latin. With those skills, an auxiliary could rise to the rank of sergeant. Papas gave at least two of his children Roman names, probably in honor of favorite centurions, who were battlefield officers in command of 80 men each. “I speculate he was sucking up,” Mr. Russell said, laughing.
Papas was close to retirement when his regiment shipped out to Judaea.
“War, of course, was the thing that spoiled it for these guys,” Mr. Russell said. “This guy would have been involved in a terrible campaign. Soldiers suffered in heat and ambushes. The countryside was devastated and the Romans were hated.”
Around AD 136 or 137, Papas was discharged and headed back home.
Which, Mr. Russell surmised, may be why he was given the bronze tablet that has provided the clues to the story of his life. Such a tablet served as a passport. It was, however, labor intensive and expensive to produce. Sixty-five percent of the auxiliaries remained in the provinces in which they were discharged and would not have needed a passport.
It seems Papas the Son of Cillis was an exception — even back then.
Quot capita, tot sententia.
There are as many opinion as there are heads!
(pron = kwoht KAH-pih-tah, toht sehn-TEN-tee-ah)
Comment: Interesting. This proverb and variations like it are often uttered as
implicit criticism against opposing opinions, particularly in religious or
political groups where some opinions vary from the leadership. The implication
is that those who stray or differ from the prevailing opinion are misguided,
“blown by every wind of doctrine”, trivial, easily misled, even stuck in the
But, I also note that the Latin “sententia” here translated “opinion” shares a
common root with other Latin words that mean: thought, sentiment, idea,
sensation, sentient, carefully, gradually, gently, feeling, self-awareness,
emotion, sentiment, attitude, understanding, judgment, viewpoint, meaning,
intent, plan of action, expression, sentence, motion, proposal, sense, maxim,
verdict, moral, to perceive with the senses, feel, hear, see, smell, realize,
observe, notice, experience, think, judge, vote, decide.
In other words, this group of “sense” words in Latin describe the entire human
package. So, is it so profound that for every “head” (i.e. individual) that
there is an entire package of human experience? Not at all—unless one wishes
to make that wrong—in which case, real damage is afoot.
With the news pages and airwaves filled lately with reports of a possible "pandemic" of bird flu, some people are turning to their dictionaries for clarity on the distinction between "pandemic" and "epidemic."
Some dictionaries seem to make the distinction as clear as mud.
"Pandemic" comes from Greek roots, "pan," meaning "all" or "total" (as a panoply is a complete suit of armor) and "demos," meaning "people." "Pandemic" means, most originally and literally "of all the people." It's become a bearer of bad tidings because it's now used almost exclusively as a short form of "pandemic disease" - meaning one that breaks out seemingly everywhere all at once, affecting "all the people."
The Spanish influenza of 1918 is an oft-cited example. It's thought to have been called this not because it originated in Spain but because Spain, as a neutral party during World War I, wasn't censoring its news media at the time and so was the first major country to report on the outbreak. The Spanish themselves, meanwhile, reportedly referred to the disease as "the French flu."
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "pandemic" first as "general, universal," and then gives a second sense: "Of vulgar or sensual love." It cites a line from the English poet Shelley: "That Pandemic lover who loves the body rather than the soul is worthless."
Meanwhile, back at the department of public health, "epidemic" is being used to describe an outbreak of disease among many people in a given place within a given time period. One way to think of it is that "epidemic" is local, and "pandemic" is global.
There's a third element of this discussion, "endemic," used as an adjective and much less often as a noun, to refer to diseases considered regularly present in a community but "generally under control," as my Webster's has it. The "en" prefix means "in" – an endemic disease is one "in the people." If "pandemic" and "epidemic" recur to acute episodes, where "everyone" seems to be getting sick, "endemic" refers to chronic conditions of public health. "Endemic" also has a more benign meaning, similar to "indigenous" or "native" – certain plants or animals may be said to be "endemic" to a given place.
Of these three, "epidemic" may be the one most commonly used, but it's the one I find hardest to get a grip on. It's because of that quirky "epi" prefix, common enough in words of Greek derivation, but not easily explained in English with a single term.
"Upon" is one rendering for "epi." It seems to suggest that which is on top of something else. An epidemic might thus seen as something "upon the people," that is, prevalent, or "visited upon" the people. "Epigraphy" ("writing upon [buildings]), for instance, is a fancy term for inscriptions collectively, or their study.
Another "epi" is the "epicycle." In the complexities of Ptolemaic astronomy, charts of the heavens showed cycles and epicycles, orbits within orbits, as stargazers invented ever more complex explanations for the movements of the planets, before it was understood that they revolve around the sun, not the earth.
And for a brief moment when I was in the fourth or fifth grade, it seemed the height of sophisticated humor for some kids in class to tease the less well read by taunting, "Your epidermis is showing" – the epidermis being the normally visible outer layer of the skin.
There's another "epi" much in the news in the case of earthquakes, which is "epicenter." An epicenter is not the exact place where an earthquake occurs, which is generally below the surface. Rather it's the area of the earth's surface directly above that place.
Some people, though, use "epicenter" as if it were an intensified form of "center": the "epicenter of the new media revolution," for instance, as one online guru has it.
So, too, "penultimate," the one before the last, is sometimes used to mean "beyond the ultimate," whatever that would mean. But the "pen" particle is from Latin meaning "almost," as in peninsula ("almost island"). Evidently what's being sought here, though, is a term for "the truly extraordinary."
The lessons here? Words have meanings. Fancy particles from Greek or Latin need to be handled with care. Otherwise verbal confusion may become pandemic.
This film tells the story of ancient Greece in an engaging manner through hand-drawn images taken from ceramic vessels. Animator Karen Aqua and composer Ken Field worked during January 2003 with ninety sixth-grade students to make this animated film and soundtrack about ancient Greek mythology, sports, and culture. The students researched the topics and created the artwork and animation as well as the musical performances and sound effects. The result is a whimsical and kid-friendly overview of the ancient Greeks.
"I am Nero, bloodthirsty emperor of Rome. ... Wait, something's not right."
I don't know what that could have been. The sixth-grader was standing on a kitchen chair wearing green shorts and soccer shoes with a yellow SpongeBob T-shirt smiling out of a toga created by his older sister from a bedsheet.
"Does this thing look right?" he asked, pointing at the laurel gracing his forehead. Actually, the laurel was a girl's plastic headband glued with holly leaves and painted gold.
And he was holding a violin, though the violin was still many centuries removed from the time of the Emperor Nero. So were soccer shoes, SpongeBob, the medium that carries SpongeBob, the electricity that powers the medium that carries SpongeBob and the computers that he is created on. Same goes for spray paint, the safe childbirth techniques that got this kid here and the very language that he is speaking. None of this, with the exception of the standard-issue boy himself, existed in Nero's time.
Which is precisely why his teacher decided -- this is his take on the matter -- to make "a complete fool of him" by making him the lead in his school's Walk Through Ancient Rome presentation. Rather than being proud of this plum part, he is troubled.
"I wanted to play the apostle Paul, but they gave that part to this kid named Paul," he told me.
Meanwhile, something remains not right and it isn't the unstrung red plastic violin borrowed from some neighborhood toy chest. And never mind that Nero is said to have sung, not played, while an "accidental" fire burned a hole in Rome big enough to accommodate his Golden Palace.
"Maybe it's the sheet?"
"Toga," he corrected. "I think it's Nero himself. Do you know what this guy did?"
Actually, I do but mainly because I once lived in Rome with not much to do beyond examining antiquities. That and what I've learned from his reading the part to me for days, a part that includes the words, "I am Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar," Which may be incorrect because I found the man also listed as Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus. Either way it appears that he began life in AD 37 (dying in AD 68 with not much in the way of tears shed for him) as Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. The name would later be changed by his stepdad, Claudius.
But that's not what bothers the boy.
"The guy's a maniac. He killed everybody he knew, then burned Rome while playing this thing." This thing is a fiddle that could never have been in the hands of the emperor, who apparently started out good before degenerating from a surfeit of power.
"Plus," the kid asked, "why would Nero say this about himself?" Here he recites lines ameliorated by SpongeBob's smiling face: " 'I am famous for being one of the bad, evil emperors of Rome.' How did he know that he was bad and evil and, if he knew it, why would he say that about himself?"
Look, any guy who tried to murder his dear mother with poison, and by making the ceiling over her bed "accidentally" cave in and by sending her to sea in a collapsible boat before having the pesky woman clubbed to a pulp probably saw "bad" and "evil" as good words.
Later he poisoned his first wife, kicked his second wife to death when she complained about him staying too long at the chariot races and turned a number of perfectly decent Christians into human garden torches for their "complicity" in the great fire, a move that got him named the very first Antichrist.
Then there was the rampant sex, casual brutality and how he made good citizens listen to his singing. This may have been the last straw that caused the Senate to condemn him, an order he circumvented by killing himself.
"I mean, how would you feel if you were Nero's dad?"
You know, I'd probably feel like we might have done a few more things together. You know, bear baiting, crucifying Gauls, eel eating, gladiator stabbing, the usual father-son activities.
"Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy."
With these famous words begins the Odyssey according to Robert Fagles, renowned translator of Homer's epics. Fagles, professor emeritus of comparative literature at Princeton University, gave a reading of some poignant passages from the Odyssey Saturday at Princeton's Taplin Auditorium.
Winner of the 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the 1997 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, Fagles' translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey are considered the standard, authoritative versions of these classics.
In the Iliad, Odysseus cleverly plans to hide Greek warriors in a wooden horse that they deliver as a "gift" to the Trojans and the Greeks successfully defeat Troy by the surprise attack. But going home after the war isn't so simple. Odysseus wanders for 10 years on the way back to Ithaca and runs into all sorts of adventures chronicled in the Odyssey.
Fagles started translating the Odyssey in 1976 when his mother died. He decided to write his own English version of the episode where Odysseus, who had left his mother alive in Ithaca 20 years before, finds her dead in the Underworld.
Odysseus longs to hold his mother and rushes toward her three times, but "three times she flustered through my fingers, sifting away like a shadow," Fagles read.
"This is just the way of mortals when we die," the mother tells Odysseus. "Sinews no longer bind the flesh and bones together - the fire in all its fury burns the body, down to ashes once life slips from the white bones, and the spirit rustling, flitters away . . . flown like a dream."
Like a musical performance, each translation of Homer's classics is different, he said. Two orchestras will give very different performances of the same symphony and two translators will give different impressions of the same piece of writing.
"Any translation, reading or performance of Homer is a form of interpretation, a form of vision," he said.
The most difficult parts of the Iliad and the Odyssey to translate are the moments such as the Iliad's River Battle that "blow you away," he said. These passages challenged him to "go over the top" with his writing and "subject language to pressure to the point where it almost bursts," he said.
When he began translating the Iliad, he started with a few scenes, including the River Battle, to see if he could command a suitable voice.
Though the Iliad and the Odyssey are nearly 3,000 years old, people still search for ties between the great poems of battle and current world events. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Fagles received several phone calls from major news sources asking about connections to Homer's epics.
"The Associated Press asked, `Is there a Rumsfeld in the Iliad?' I said, `No, but isn't one enough?' " he told the Princeton audience.
In mythology courses students often learn about the Greek gods as stiff, statuelike and awesome, he said. Homer makes these characters such as Zeus more real, and closer to us, he said.
Fagles' current translation project, Virgil's Aeneid, is a "violent poem, a sad poem," he said. The protagonist is abandoned by the gods and loses his wife for the price of an empire. Virgil tells us the hardship is worth it, but it's still a tough call, he said. He hopes to finish the translation during the winter.
One of the most gratifying parts about doing translations is the readers, he said.
"There are many people out there reading, hungry for reading," he said. "If you don't publish, you'll never have the rejuvenation of readers."
"Varicose veins have been around forever," says Dr. Patrick Clancy, a family practice doctor in Beach Haven. "There's a stone relief in the Acropolis in Greece showing a warrior with varicose veins."
The Acropolis tablet of the IVth century b.c. concerning Dr Amynos allows us to visualize an enlarged lower limb clearly showing a varicosity. From 460-377 b.c., Hippocrates noted that a loose tourniquet leads to haemorrhages but that when the tourniquet is tight gangrene ensues and finally that standing up can exaggerate leg ulcerations. Of course much progress has been made since Hippocrates. The school at Alexandria, with Herophilus and Erasistrates speak of vascular ligatures.
A for AQUEDUCT. "Greater than the Pyramids" was how the Roman writer, Frontinus, described the water system of ancient Rome, and it was all based on aqueducts that brought water into the city from as far as 100km away. None of Rome's extraordinary achievements would have been possible without them.
B for BELLONA. As well as Mars, the god of war, Romans also had a goddess of war. Bellona represented the bloodlust that came over Roman soldiers in battle and helped them to their great victories. Priests of Bellona gashed their arms open with special knives during sacrifices to her.
C for CZAR, which like "shah" and "kaiser" is a term meaning "absolute ruler", derived from the word "Caesar".
D for DOG. The punishment for patricide (killing your father) was to be tied up in a sack with a wild dog, a live monkey, a snake and a cockerel, and be thrown into the River Tiber.
E for ESQUILINE. Rome was famously built on seven hills. As well as the Esquiline, there were the Palatine, the Aventine, the Caelian, the Capitoline, the Quirinal and the Viminal. Handy to know for the final round of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
F for FASCES. The fasces were a bunch of bound wooden sticks carried by men called lictors who escorted important politicians in public. They symbolised the politician's authority. The word fascism is derived from them.
G for the GRACCHI BROTHERS. Two brothers, Gaius and Tiberius, who campaigned for the rights of ordinary Romans, upset the status quo, frightened the establishment and were assassinated for their pains. For good measure one of them was decapitated and had his skull filled with lead. Jack and Bobby Kennedy might have done well to study them more closely.
H for HUMAN SACRIFICE. This was practised by the Romans in times of acute stress, such as war. It involved the burial of slaves beneath the Forum.
I for INSULA, the Latin word for an island, but also for an apartment block, and the kind of accommodation in which the majority of Romans lived. Insulas ranged from the swankiest condominium on the Palatine Hill to the poorest, seven-storey tenements in the notorious Roman slum, the Subura.
J for JUPITER, the king of all the Roman gods - and someone to have on your side. His temple on the Capitoline Hill was the most important in Rome. So important that he was known by his initials alone, JOM, standing for Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Jupiter, Biggest and Best).
K for KALENDS. The Romans had three set days in every month: the Kalends, which fell on the first day of the month; the Nones, which normally fell on the seventh day; and the Ides, usually on the 15th. Other dates were counted backwards from these days. So, what we would call the 12th of the month the Romans would call "three days before the Ides".
L for LIQUAMEN. One of the most popular ingredients in Roman cooking was a fish sauce called liquamen, boiled down from the salted entrails of anchovies or small fish. Worcestershire Sauce is a direct descendant.
M for MILLION, which was the estimated population of Rome at the time of the birth of Christ. This made Rome the most populous city of the ancient world. No city in the West would again reach such a size for nearly 1,800 years.
N for NICOMEDES. It was a diplomatic mission to an Asian king called Nicomedes that was the making of an ambitious teenaged politician called Gaius Julius Caesar. Rumours that Caesar's "diplomatic outreach" had included offering Nicomedes his anal virginity were to dog him all his life.
O for OXYRHYNCHUS, an obscure town in Egypt, it was the site of one of the most significant finds in archaeological history. A rubbish tip at its edge contained thousands of fragments preserved by the dryness of the desert, including everything from private letters to contracts for rental slaves. They offer a unique insight into the everyday life of what was then a Roman province.
P for PLUTO... and his lady, Proserpina. Pluto, the god of the underworld, was viewed as a fierce and cruel god who ignored prayers and neglected sacrifices. He kidnapped Proserpina and took her into his realm as the queen of the dead. Quite a charmer.
Q for QUAESTOR. Any Roman male with money, family and ambition dreamed of political office. There was a strict ladder to climb before you could reach the ultimate of Consul, or head of state. The first rung was Quaestor - an administrative and financial post. In Rome nobody could be anybody important without being a Quaestor first.
R is for RAPE OF THE SABINES. At an early stage of their history the Romans realised they had a serious problem: there were many Roman men, but hardly any Roman women. They solved the problem by sending an armed gang to a neighbouring tribe called the Sabines and stealing all of theirs. The theft became known as "the Rape of the Sabines".
S is for SHIT-HOLE. The orator Cicero is celebrated for his fine phrases but could sometimes be rather blunt. In a letter to a friend he described Rome as "the shit-hole of Romulus". (Romulus was the legendary founder of the city).
T is for TEPIDARIUM. The most popular of all Roman leisure pastimes was visiting the baths. There were 170 in Rome at the time of the Emperor Augustus, and by the end of the Empire, more than 900. On the Goldilocks principle most baths had three main rooms: the calidarium, which was too hot; the frigidarium, too cold; and the tepidarium, just right.
U is for UNDERTAKER. Owing to their understanding of human anatomy through plying their trade, undertakers frequently moonlighted as torturers - and they were in constant demand. Evidence obtained from a slave in a court case, for example, was only admissible if the slave had been tortured first.
V is for VISIGOTHS, who, under the leadership of their commander, Alaric, sacked the city of Rome in 410AD, signalling the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
W is for WOLF, or more strictly, she-wolf. Remus and his brother, Romulus, the legendary founders of Rome, were suckled and saved by a she-wolf after being rescued from the Tiber. A famous bronze statue of the wolf is on display in the Capitoline Museum in Rome.
X is for XULSIGIAE, a group of Celtic gods linked to the worship of Mars, the Roman god of war. In terms of importance they rank between negligible and zero, but there aren't that many X's to choose from.
Y is for the letter Y, which did not feature in the original Latin alphabet. As time went on, the Roman's "imported" the letters Y, K and Z into their alphabet, for use in words which were borrowed from ancient Greek. This brought the number of letters in the Roman Latin alphabet to 23: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Y and Z. The letters J, U and W were added at a later stage, to write languages other than Latin.
Z for ZAMA The battle in North Africa (modern-day Tunisia) in which the Romans finally defeated their arch-rival, Hannibal. More than any event, the defeat of Hannibal and Carthage, the city from which he came, was what opened the door to Rome's eventual domination of the Mediterranean and then the known world.
Murderous pharaohs, bloody battles, flings with kings and an emperor who inducted his horse into the senate - it is no wonder HSC students are flocking to ancient history.
In 2001 it attracted 7382 HSC students; this year there were 10,336, more than modern history for the second year in a row.
Syl Bosworth, an ancient history teacher at Karabar High School, Queanbeyan, said blockbuster films such as Gladiator and Alexander the Great had probably helped lift the subject's profile.
"More than that, it deals with a whole range within a society: the people, the society itself, the changes that happen over a period; and the kids really do seem to love it," she said.
Students at Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview, who sat the HSC exam yesterday, said ancient history had an element of mystery.
"Modern history is very straightforward," Darius Navidzadeh said. "It's very well-documented. Ancient history is more open to interpretation. There's always different opinions. The things that happen are more spectacular."
When asked their favourite stories, the students listed the crazed antics of Rome's Emperor Caligula, the disappearance of Egypt's Queen Hatshepsut's mummy, the bloody conquests of Alexander the Great and a Persian commander called Boges.
"There's lots of blood and stuff," said one.
The course also offers a taste of early feminism with questions about the role of Roman matrons or women in Minoan religion. "More so than modern history, women are prominent," said another St Ignatius boy, Rob Linsley.
Ancient history's popularity was reflected on the website boredofstudies.org yesterday afternoon. "I must admit I'm gonna miss ancient, it was my favourite subject," one said.
"I didn't want to stop writing," said another.
Ms Bosworth said the paper, which covered subjects ranging from Julius Caesar to Jezebel, was fair, if unusually specific. Questions about Draco, the first to codify Athenian law, and Sparta were unexpected.
"It wasn't outside the scope of the syllabus," she said.
Operistitium in Islandia feminarum
Die Lunae plus viginti milia feminarum ex sedibus operis in vias urbis Reykjavik egressae sunt, ut contra differentias inter mercedes feminarum et virorum reclamitarent.
Feminae enim in Islandia in medio sexaginta quattuor centesimas ex illa mercede accipiunt, quae viris solvitur.
In Finnia mercedes feminarum circiter viginti centesimis minores sunt quam virorum. Primum operistitium pro paritate mercedum feminae Islandienses triginta annis ante fecerunt.
In politica quidem condiciones illarum his annis meliores factae sunt. Ex delegatis parlamentariis Islandiensibus tertia pars sunt feminae, cum anno millesimo nongentesimo septuagesimo quinto tantum quinque centesimae fuerint.
Non me deridet qui sua facta videt.
No one who sees his/her own deeds laughs at me.
(pron = nohn may day-REE-det kwee SOO-ah FAHK-tah WIH-deht)
Comment: As with other proverbs, this one yields more if we turn it inside out
and upside down a bit.
I don’t laugh at others because I see myself. I only laugh at others because,
otherwise, I would have to look at myself. I have seen myself. And when I see
what is really here, and accept it (big condition), the compassion that I learn
for myself transfers to others. Having accepted myself with all that I am, I
can only accept others.
Likewise, if I am making fun of others, it is only a public display of the
contempt I hold for myself.
I like to think that I have had good opportunity, as a parent and as a teacher,
to observe young people as they come into the world and grow up in front of me.
Even as I write this morning, I have received a phone call from a young man
(now in his mid to late 20’s) who first entered my life as a student when he
was 14. Though I can offer no concrete “proof” (and won’t argue with those who
think otherwise) I am convinced that children do not enter this life with
self-loathing and self-contempt as features of the essence of who they are.
No. That part of the package is something they “learn” to do from those around
them. The young people and later adults who are the quickest to deride others
are those who have drunk the deepest at that ancestral pool.
The only “cure” that I have learned is a daily appointment with the mirror. Can
I look, and accept myself? Whatever I do standing in that mirror is exactly
what I am going to do to others for the rest of the day.
Hundreds of "giant" crabs have invaded the ancient heart of Rome, threatening to interrupt the work of archaeologists excavating the city's subterranean treasures.
Zoologists discovered the colony of freshwater crabs when they examined water quality in a channel running under the Imperial Forum. After their initial surprise at the unlikely discovery of about 550 potamon fluviatile scuttling around the centre of the Italian capital, they also found that the crabs so enjoy their urban environment that they are growing larger than they would in their natural habitats in Sicily and Tuscany.
The size of the average fully grown male is 5cm, but the Roman crabs grow to a "giant" 7cm. Scientists attribute this to good quality water and a lack of natural predators in the water channel that runs under the Palatine Hill and surfaces in the Trajan Market.
Negotiations are now under way with Rome's archaeological authorities excavating the Forum site to find a way to preserve the colony without halting their work.
Bernanke moderator Argentariae Foederalis
Ben Bernanke, professor scientiae oeconomicae et proximus consiliarius oeconomicus praesidentis George W. Bush, novus moderator Argentariae Foederalis Americanorum (Federal Reserve) ab illo nominatus est.
Oportet autem senatus nominationem confirmet. Novus moderator a Kalendis Februariis Alano Greenspan succedet, qui duodeviginti annos Argentariae Foederali magna cum auctoritate praeest.
Photos seized from a Swiss warehouse paint a story of global skullduggery, Rome prosecutor Paolo Ferri says. The thousands of Polaroids depict how Greek pottery and Roman statues looted from 2,000-year-old tombs in Italy made their way to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
At the journey's end, convicted Roman antiquities trafficker Giacomo Medici and American dealer Robert Hecht posed in front of museum cases displaying looted relics, he says.
``This is evidence of an international conspiracy,'' says Ferri, who, 10 years after the warehouse raid, is using the photos to crack the alleged smuggling ring. ``Traffic in archaeology goes from Italy to Switzerland, and from there, it's sold to most art museums in America.''
The Getty's former antiquities chief, Marion True, is the first museum curator to be prosecuted with the Polaroid evidence.
True, 56, is scheduled to go on trial on Nov. 16 in Rome on charges of handling or receiving 35 stolen objects and for conspiracy for her alleged role in a smuggling business that Hecht and Medici ran. Medici, 67, was convicted on Dec. 13, 2004, of receiving and exporting stolen antiquities, and is appealing.
Hecht, 86, who was indicted on the same charges, denies wrongdoing. He is scheduled to go on trial with True.
True, who has a doctorate in fine arts from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, declined to comment for this story. ``The Getty continues to believe that Dr. True's trial should result in her exoneration,'' the museum said in a statement.
Princeton, Boston, Cleveland
The Getty case is just a slice of an illicit global trade in antiquities that stretches from the Egyptian desert to Chinese tombs to Peruvian monuments, and pulls in some of the most- respected names in art and academia.
At least 52 items the Getty has acquired or handled were looted or came from smugglers, according to charges against Hecht, Medici and True that were contained in Italian court documents obtained by Bloomberg News. Eight such pieces are in the Metropolitan, 22 are in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and one each are in the Princeton University Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art, the documents say.
Italian judges haven't charged the museums with any crime.
These objects represent a small part of the tainted antiquities in museums, Ferri says.
At Princeton, a psykter, a vase for cooling wine, that's listed in Hecht's indictment is one of some 50 items that originated with Medici, he says. ``They have many, many items whose provenance is Medici,'' Ferri says of the New Jersey museum.
The Princeton museum's spokeswoman, Ruta Smithson, says Ferri's contention is wrong.
``A search of museum records finds no indication that we have acquired anything at all from Mr. Medici, either directly or indirectly,'' she says. ``The Italian authorities have requested information about the psykter, and we have provided it.''
Illicit trade in antiquities and cultural items totals as much as $4 billion to $6 billion a year, the U.K. House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Committee found in July 2000 after gathering testimony on trafficking's worldwide scope.
Looted items can highlight a museum's collection. The Euphronios krater, a 12-gallon (45-liter) pot painted with a scene from the Trojan War, sits spotlighted in the center of one of the Metropolitan's new Greek galleries.
Thomas Hoving, the former Met director who paid $1 million for the krater in 1972, now says he believes tomb robbers stole it. It's among the allegedly looted items Italian prosecutors charged Hecht and Medici with handling.
Also from the Metropolitan's collection, Hecht is charged with handling and exporting a 15-piece set of Hellenistic silver that Italian authorities say was looted from Morgantina in Sicily.
Among the items in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts for which Hecht is charged is a 2,500-year-old vase depicting young athletes jumping, which is on view in the museum's Early Greek Gallery.
The artifact at Cleveland's museum for which he's charged is a lekythos, or oil jar, painted with black figures.
The Getty's Web site features a 2,300-year-old black vase from Apulia in southern Italy, painted in red figures that depict Perseus and Andromeda after he saved her from a sea monster. The vase is included in the charges against Hecht, Medici and True.
To get such pieces, True would tell Medici what she wanted to buy, Medici would sell the item to Hecht or other dealers and Hecht would sell the object to the Getty with paperwork that made it seem as if it had come from a known international source rather than from illicit excavations, Ferri charges.
Ferri says he has Polaroids of the vase, known as a pelike, that were taken during its restoration under Medici's supervision. He also has shots of Medici posing at the vase's display in the Getty.
The indictment of Hecht and True says all of the items for which they're charged are of illicit provenance: ``They come from theft, originating with clandestine digs and illegal purchases that for the most part damaged sites such as tombs.''
True spent two decades at the Getty building on the antiquities collection bequeathed by oil baron J. Paul Getty, who died in 1976. On Oct. 3, the museum said True retired after it determined that she'd violated Getty policy by failing to disclose details of a house she bought in Greece.
Francesca Coppi, one of True's lawyers in Italy, says True tried to ensure the legitimate origins of the Getty's acquisitions and has returned objects to Italy that were determined to have been stolen.
``Marion True acted in good faith,'' Coppi says.
`I've Never Smuggled'
While True is a high-profile defendant, the indictment portrays her as marginal in the alleged conspiracy. ``Hecht and Medici took on the role of promoters and organizers of the entire illicit traffic,'' the indictment says.
Medici declined interview requests through his lawyer in Rome, Susan Spafford. ``The activity of Mr. Medici was outside the country and respected Italian law,'' Spafford says. ``He bought these objects on the international market.''
Hecht denies wrongdoing. ``I've never smuggled an object out of Italy,'' says Hecht, who lives in Paris and New York. ``I've never bought from illicit diggers. If they want to prosecute me for a vase I sold to the Getty or the Museum of Fine Arts or the Metropolitan, I want to know who excavated it, where and who exported it.''
Today's clashes over antiquities and their origins are different from efforts by Egypt and Greece to win back artifacts such as the Rosetta Stone or Parthenon Marbles, which foreigners removed centuries ago. Theft from museums also differs from tomb robbing because most objects in museums have been documented.
Archaeological sites hold unique information that raiders erase forever, says Giuseppe Proietti, who heads the Italian Ministry of Culture's department of research, innovation and organization.
In October, Italian police seized 600 bronze statuettes, marble busts and pots from a home in Austria after tracing them from tomb robbers who had dug at sites near Rome that predate the Roman Empire. While police celebrated the biggest seizure of looted goods in a decade, archaeologists lamented the loss of knowledge about food residue or placement that would have added to the historical record had the items been properly excavated.
``It's like ripping a page from a book, a page of history in which our ancestors' story is told,'' says Proietti, 60, who has represented the ministry in talks with the Getty Museum over a civil portion of the Italian court case, in which the ministry is one of the offended parties.
Valuable National Resources
What constitutes illegal trade varies from country to country. Egypt, Italy and Turkey, whose cultural heritage is among their most valuable national resources, now say antiquities found on their soil belong to them. They prosecute traders and pressure foreign countries to enforce the laws.
The oldest and most widely adopted global standard is the 1970 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization convention on preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property.
It covers antiquities more than 100 years old. The U.S., Italy and 107 other countries that signed it pledge to respect a ban on importing material known as stolen.
The Metropolitan Museum won't comment on antiquities the Italian court documents link to looters, says Harold Holzer, a museum spokesman. He says the Met follows guidelines of the Association of Art Museum Directors, a New York-based organization made up of 175 museum heads.
No Blanket Prohibitions
Smithson, the Princeton museum's spokeswoman, says the museum complies with the AAMD's guidelines. The Cleveland Museum's spokesman, Robert Bruder, referred questions to Director of External Affairs Donna Brock, who didn't respond to requests for comment. Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, whose policy also is to follow the guidelines, hasn't been contacted by the Italian government about its collection, spokeswoman Kelly Gifford says.
The guidelines condemn any actions that damage archaeological sites and restrict buying objects stolen from official excavations, according to the association's Web site. At the same time, they list no blanket prohibitions on objects from the world's unofficial or unknown sites, such as as-yet- undiscovered tombs in the Egyptian desert where robbers turn up rich finds.
AAMD Executive Director Millicent Gaudieri says the guidelines cite ``official'' excavations to mirror terminology used by agencies such as Unesco.
Zahi Hawass is striving to protect undiscovered treasures. The secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities is building legal cases against museums and scholars who handle looted objects. After taking office in 2002, Hawass banned from Egypt any academic or institution that cooperates with antiquities dealers.
``The problem of Western museums is, they buy stolen artifacts,'' says Hawass, 58, sporting an Indiana Jones-style hat that shades his forehead. ``That is very bad.''
Hawass is battling looters at Saqqara, in the desert 12 miles (19 kilometers) south of Cairo. Best known for King Djoser's 4,800-year-old stepped pyramid, a precursor to the Giza pyramids, Saqqara was the necropolis for the ancient capital of Memphis.
Many of Saqqara's tombs are unexplored, making them prizes for archaeologists and looters alike.
Robbers smashed the carved walls of the tomb of Hetepka, a hairdresser to the royals. They extracted a false door, a stone slab carved with hieroglyphs that ancient Egyptians believed was a pathway to the afterlife. U.K. police recovered the door, and the tomb has largely been restored, Hawass says.
Reminders of looters' destruction abound in Saqqara. In the 4,340-year-old tomb of Ka-Gmni, a government official, a false door from a nearby burial area sits on its side amid a pile of carved tomb walls and fixtures.
Hawass says antiquities officials have placed them there for temporary storage in this sturdier sepulcher, which is under constant guard.
Egyptian conservators working for Hawass will return the pieces to the tombs or move them into new warehouses on the edge of the burial grounds, where the desert meets groves of date palms. The new facility, with electronic sensors, replaces a storage area that looters had raided twice by digging tunnels underneath. They stole ancient papyruses before fleeing undetected, Hawass says.
Looting is as old as tombs themselves. Ancient Egyptians sealed their mortuaries with heavy doors and long burial shafts or hid them in the hills to throw off robbers.
European museums and private collections stocked up on bounty in the 18th and 19th centuries before countries passed laws to protect their cultural heritage. Military campaigns and so-called grand tour trips taken by the wealthy added to Western collections.
American museums started from scratch. The Metropolitan collected relics directly from archaeological expeditions in Egypt in the early 20th century and then built its collection through purchases and donations.
Competition among U.S. museums to put together the best exhibits fueled the trade in artifacts, says Neil Brodie, coordinator of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.
``The demand was from the American museums,'' he says. ``In the 20th century, they all had to stock themselves.''
Hecht and Medici
The Getty, started with J. Paul Getty's Greek and Roman antiquities, began to build up the collection after his death. In 1982, most of Getty's art, housed in a Roman-style villa, passed to the trust that now runs the Los Angeles museum. The museum hired True that year and promoted her to curator of antiquities in 1986, when she got her doctorate.
Hecht and Medici appeared on the scene together in 1987, Medici's lawyer Spafford says. They visited the Getty to sell it 20 Attic plates with red figures on a black background. The pair also dropped in on the Metropolitan, she says.
``Hecht was acting as a middleman, as the most famous seller of antiquities in the world,'' Spafford says.
Hecht, who confirms the account, says he made out an invoice to the Getty for $2 million, payable to Giacomo Medici for the plates and stating that Medici was their owner.
The men left the plates at the museum, which held them for a year and a half while True tried unsuccessfully to persuade her bosses that it was worth spending $2 million on 20 items that would look the same as each other to the viewing public, Hecht says. The Getty returned the plates to Medici, he says.
Posed at Museums
During their visits to the Getty and the Metropolitan, the men posed in front of objects that Hecht had sold to the museums, Spafford says. Medici brought the photos back to Europe, where two decades later they would become evidence in his conviction.
In 1995, Italian police and prosecutors tracking tomb robbers got a break when they persuaded the Swiss government to use a cross-border warrant to raid warehouses in the Geneva Freeport -- a trade zone exempt from Swiss customs.
They targeted an address shared by three companies that Medici ran: Edition Service, Fiduciarie Tecafin and Xoilan Trade, according to the court documents.
The Sept. 13 raid turned up thousands of artifacts and photos. In one shot, a 2,300-year-old, dirt-encrusted marble footbath is posed next to the morning's paper in the trunk of a car. Prosecutor Ferri says the photos trace the items from excavation to repairs -- and some of them to displays at the Getty, Metropolitan and other museums.
The pictures also show Medici posing alongside museum cases containing the objects, Ferri says. ``It's to say, `I'm the father of this object,''' he says.
Prosecutors say securing photos of items in the Getty collection -- before they got to the collection -- was the link they needed to assemble their case.
Spafford counters that the photos aren't proof of illegal activity. ``He's a friend of restoration and very curious,'' she says of Medici.
The photos simply document objects sold by Hecht and visited on their U.S. trip, she says. Pictures of what Ferri says are illegal excavations are actually shots that Medici took of storm damage on his property after a heavy rain, Spafford says.
``It's only a hole in the ground,'' she says of the photos that prosecutors say depict illegal digging for antiquities.
The court papers obtained by Bloomberg News say six of seven Medici-related objects in the Metropolitan Museum match photos from Medici's warehouse. Two are Attic amphoras, storage jars with handles, painted with red figures.
Stamp of Approval
The Getty has 42 objects handled by Medici that match Polaroids found in the raid, according to the papers.
Universities can be more than consumers in the illicit antiquities market; academic institutions that write about, display or verify an item's provenance can increase the object's value by providing a stamp of approval, Brodie says.
In a Bloomberg survey of 1,773 auction lots handled by New York auction house Sotheby's Holdings Inc. from December 2000 through June 2005, items that had been exhibited, associated with a museum or authenticated sold for 98 percent more than the average estimate Sotheby's projected before the sale. Items that lacked such an imprimatur sold for 70 percent more.
Oxford University's archaeology lab went beyond authenticating artifacts for dealers and auction houses.
It worked for robbers and smugglers before the university, the oldest in the English-speaking world, stopped its commercial business of testing earthenware in 1997, says Doreen Stoneham, the scientist who did the testing.
`They Were Tombaroli'
In about 1970, Oxford's Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art began supplementing its budget by charging private clients to date pots and statues through thermoluminescence, or TL. The tests measure how much radiation objects have absorbed, yielding an approximate date of when the pottery was originally fired.
Stoneham built a customer list consisting mostly of art dealers, some of whom worked illegally, she says.
In the mid-1980s, two Italian clients flew Stoneham to Lugano, Switzerland, to test a fragmented Etruscan sarcophagus. They led her to the basement garage of a bungalow and told her they'd found part of a tomb in the south of Italy.
They wanted advice on which direction to dig to find more. She says she told them she couldn't help because she was a lab scientist, not an excavator.
``They were tombaroli,'' she recalls, using the Italian term for tomb robber. ``They didn't hide it.'' When others might enjoy weekends playing golf, these men spent Saturdays stalking the countryside for tombs, she says.
``They were doing a bit of digging illegally and dealing in antiquities,'' she says.
No Questions Asked
In another case, Stoneham flew to Rome, where clients on the outskirts of the city were restoring pre-Colombian artifacts. She says the objects were smuggled out of South America.
``It was OK at the time,'' Stoneham says of working for tomb robbers. ``You take your sample, and you don't get on your high horse.''
In 1990, Mike Tite, who had been keeper of the British Museum's research lab, became head of the Oxford lab and Stoneham's boss.
Soon after, a documentary called ``African King'' explored the illicit trade of artifacts from Mali in West Africa to private collectors in Europe. Tite was interviewed about his lab's no-questions-asked authenticating of undocumented, 900- year-old terra-cotta statuettes of human figures.
Archaeologists slammed the lab. Ricardo Elia of Boston University and Christopher Chippindale of Cambridge published editorials and letters in the independent journal Antiquity, which Chippindale edited.
Oxford's `Golden Goose'
In 1992, Tite, now 66, banned tests of West African objects for private individuals. Then, in 1997, he eliminated commercial TL testing of all artifacts for nonacademics.
``One thinks a little while before killing a golden goose,'' Tite, who retired in 2004, says of the seven years it took to shut the operation. ``It became inappropriate to find oneself as a university handling objects of dubious provenance with a high probability that they had been smuggled.''
Stoneham resigned, packed her things and started her own company, Oxford Authentication Ltd., in an office park in Wantage, a half hour from Oxford by car.
``Our job is spotting fakes,'' she says in offices that contain a one-room lab for processing pottery powder samples and three rooms for the company's four employees. ``I hope it helps prevent a lot of fraud.''
`I Just Take the Money'
Stoneham has built Oxford Authentication into the top authenticator for antiquities made of clay.
Of the 98 earthenware objects sold at Sotheby's March auction of fine Chinese ceramics and works of art, 12 were advertised as having dates verified by Oxford Authentication, the only authenticator listed.
Stoneham charges the same rates as the university did, 180 pounds ($318) for pottery and 250 pounds for porcelain. She tests almost 3,000 items a year, for annual sales of almost 600,000 pounds.
``Don't ask me about the legality of it,'' she says. ``That's not my problem. I just take the money and tell them if it's genuine or not.''
The new director of the Oxford lab, Mark Pollard, distances himself from Stoneham. ``We wouldn't touch anything that is illegally exported,'' he says.
Pollard says authentication can increase an object's value 10-fold. ``The nub of it is, Does that encourage illicit trade in antiquities?'' he says. ``I guess it probably does.''
The Met's `Pirate'
Hoving, 74, the Metropolitan's former director, says the sentiment surrounding museums' responsibilities toward antiquities is changing.
``I was delighted I was a pirate,'' says Hoving, who says he liked the adventure of building a great collection in the 1960s and 1970s with pieces like the Euphronios krater. ``We all began to realize it was over, getting to be too embarrassing.''
In 1972, when he bought the krater, Hoving said Hecht supplied documentation that showed the relic had come from a Lebanese man whose father had gotten it, in pieces, earlier in the century. Today, Hoving agrees the krater was looted from Cerveteri, near Rome, and the Lebanese documentation was switched from a less valuable vessel.
``We really were suckered,'' Hoving says of the deal with Hecht, whom he says admitted the switch to him when confronted years later.
``That is a lie, and I never switched any document on any krater,'' Hecht says. ``That's a figment of his imagination or a construction of his evil mind.''
Prosecutors in the U.S., spurred by evidence provided by the Egyptian and Italian governments, among others, are starting to pursue looting cases.
In February 2002, a jury in U.S. District Court in New York convicted New York art dealer Frederick Schultz for conspiracy to receive antiquities. Hawass says the case involved suppliers associated with the Saqqara looting.
Among the bounty was a stone head of King Amenhotep III, which looters sawed off a statue and smuggled out of Egypt by coating it with plastic and painting it in gaudy colors so it would look like a cheap souvenir, according to court documents.
``Every pharaoh, it seems, has a price on his head,'' U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff wrote in a Jan. 3, 2002, denial of a motion by Schultz to dismiss the case.
Schultz, 51, a former president of the National Association of Dealers in Ancient, Oriental and Primitive Art, sold the head to a private collector for $1.2 million, according to judges' rulings. In July 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Schultz's appeal seeking to overturn his conviction.
Schultz is serving the end of a 33-month prison sentence at a halfway house in the Bronx, New York, and is due for release in December, the Federal Bureau of Prisons says.
Messages left at the halfway house and his home and office weren't returned. His lawyer listed on court documents, Paul Shechtman of New York, said he no longer represents Schultz.
Schultz's prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York argued that the National Stolen Property Act, which criminalizes the receipt of stolen goods that have entered the U.S., binds the U.S. to respect Egypt's patrimony law.
Egypt's law, enacted in 1983, declared that all antiquities found in the nation after that date belonged to the government. Egypt and other countries are using the Schultz conviction to build criminal cases against dealers and collectors in the U.S.
Some collectors are willing to defy such laws.
Smuggling to Preserve
Antiquities are simply art that happens to be underground and should be dug up and spread worldwide to save them from threats such as Afghanistan's Taliban, says George Ortiz, 78, a Switzerland-based collector whose artifacts were displayed at the Metropolitan in 2003 and the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1994.
``I don't consider an object exported illicitly as stolen,'' says Ortiz, who says he knows Hecht and Medici from his dealings in the art market.
``It's the patrimony of humanity, and it's the only way to save it from iconoclasts,'' he says, referring to the Taliban and other groups that destroy sacred objects.
Hawass, noted for his television work as a consultant for National Geographic and in documentary films on the pyramids, is striving to make sure stolen Egyptian antiquities don't wind up in Western museums.
He has beefed up a previous practice of searching for looted items only at the Cairo airport by posting guards at seaports that he says have been used to smuggle items to Jordan. He's also adding more guards at tombs and temples.
Police on Camels
In the three years since Hawass took over, Egypt has recovered 2,000 objects from overseas, mostly from auction houses and dealers, says Ibrahim Abdel Megid Ramadan, 52, director of a new stolen artifacts department that Hawass established.
While these are victories for the Egyptians, they're largely limited to recovering pieces that were already known. The loss of unknown artifacts, stolen by illicit excavators, has to be prevented at the source, Hawass says.
In the desert of Saqqara, a dozen Egyptian men cheer one another on as they take turns running out of a Sixth Dynasty tomb with baskets of rubble balanced on their shoulders. They deliver the pieces to archaeologists, who rake through the rocks and pottery shards.
In a green tent, Kamil Kuraszkievicz, an Egyptologist from Warsaw University, says he has noticed an improvement in security.
Squat guardhouses, fashioned from the yellow stone of the desert, dot the surrounding ridges. Armed police on camelback patrol the high ground.
Raiders Armed With Shovels
``They increased the number of guards, who are much better,'' says Kuraszkievicz, 34, who has dug at Saqqara for nine years.
He suspects heightened security will preserve artifacts for study, rather than losing them to the market.
``The problem was that the Egyptologists didn't even get to know about these things,'' he says.
As Ferri prepares his case against True in Rome, there's little doubt that raiders armed with shovels are digging up ancient relics in the Egyptian desert and the hills of Italy, erasing history for a profit.
If the world's top dealers, collectors, universities and museums provide collaboration and a ready market, there will be little incentive for the latter-day tomb raiders to stop.