Flamma fumo est proxima.

A flame is nearest to smoke.
(Plautus, Curculio 53)

(pron = FLAHM-mah FOO-moh ehst PROHK-sih-mah)

Comment: This line from Plautus, of course, is almost identical to the English
saying "where there's smoke, there's fire".

It's really very common sense, and it insists that we pay attention to our
senses. Some of us need this advice more than others. If there is fire (or
anything that fire implies or symbolizes) where do you suppose it is coming
from--an area with a lot of smoke or an area with a lot of water?

The answer is so obvious as to appear ridiculous. How many times, though, have
we rather blindly ignored what was in front of us, only later to wonder how we
could have missed the obvious?

When I cling to what I want to see, hear or believe, it is almost impossible for
me to connect even the simplest of experiences, like the fire and the smoke.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
pridie kalendas martias

Amburbium -- a 'moveable feast' which may or may not have actually been held on this day, but does seem to have happened near the end of February. A sacrificial procession was led around the boundaries of the city as a rite of purification.

116 A.D. -- supplicatio pro salute Traiani (day 3)

1631 -- birth of Henry Stubbe (Greek and Latin scholar and author of a work which is rather timely today, it seems).
totipotent @ Worthless Word for the Day

adit @ Wordsmith

panoptic @ Merriam-Webster
Let's see what's happening in the Classical blogosphere today:

Laudator has an interesting collection of items collected under the rubric Enemies of Ancient Languages ...

Atriades has a post suggesting the UK Government is considering scrapping Classics coursework ...

Hobbyblog has a "shabby" Gallienus sporting an image of Zeus cvm thunderbolt ...

Roman History Books has a bunch of tomes dealing with Varus and the Teutoburg Forest thing ...

Over at About.com, they're having fun with one of those online quizzes ... Which Ancient Leader Are You? (I came up as Darius, by the way)

A quote at Sympotica Graecolatina which I don't quite understand (vocabulary, not grammar) ...
A somewhat strange one in that online versions of this story keep disappearing (thanks to PTR for sending one version along) ... the latest place an image of Jesus has shown up is in a piece of sheet metal in Manchester (Conn.); pretty vague image to judge from the tiny photo (I see three faces, actually) .... Of course, it's already up on eBay (with better photos)
From RBL:

Lee I. Levine, Jerusalem: Portrait of the City in the Second Temple Period (538 B.C.E.-70 C. E.)


The Seven
Some interesting comments, inter alia, from the Met's Philippe de Montebello in a New York Times interview:

While the archaeological perspective has gained strength in recent years, Mr. de Montebello said he believed that the importance of ancient objects' exact historical context had been overstated.

"It is regrettable that archaeological sites, which since the beginning of time have been plundered, continue to be plundered and that in many instances important information is lost," he said.

But he added, "It continues to be my view — and not my view alone — that the information that is lost is a fraction of the information that an object can provide."

"Ninety-eight percent of everything we know about antiquity we know from objects that were not out of digs," Mr. de Montebello said, and he cited the Euphronios krater — painted by one of the most important Greek vase painters of antiquity — as an example.

"How much more would you learn from knowing which particular hole in — supposedly Cerveteri — it came out of?" he asked. "Everything is on the vase."

Mr. de Montebello took issue with archaeologists like Malcolm Bell of the University of Virginia, who directs excavations at Morgantina, the ancient city in Sicily from which many experts believe the Met's Hellenistic silver was looted from a third-century B.C. house. For years, Mr. Bell has led the charge to have the silver returned.

But Mr. de Montebello insisted that Mr. Bell's certainty about the silver's origin, which is not shared by all archaeologists, was damaging in itself.

"I will concede that it is wrong — and clearly wrong — to remove objects from a site clandestinely without proper documentation," he said. Yet he added, "To perpetuate forever that these things come from Morgantina, that is also a sin."

When a reporter mentioned that Mr. Bell had shown him the hole in Morgantina where Italian officials said the silver was found, Mr. de Montebello bristled.

"There are lots of holes in Sicily — please," he said, betraying an impish smile. "And lots of people smoke. And I believe in Santa Claus, too."

In a telephone interview on Monday, Mr. Bell denied that he had ever claimed absolute certainty about the origin of the silver. "The issue is, when objects are removed from their original context illegally and clandestinely, it is very difficult to prove they are from a particular place," he said. "If you can produce a convincing case for their source with the evidence you have, then that's what you are obliged to do."
10.00 p.m. |HINT| The Seven Wonders
Egypt, land of the pyramids, mighty monuments constructed in the early days of history. Monuments that endure to this day attracting visitors across the world. Many visitors come to Egypt to see one pyramid in particular, the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the most celebrated man-made constructions of all time. Of the seven, only the Great Pyramid of Cheops survives, but history and archaeology are able to tell us the stories of all seven, including the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Pharos of Alexandria. And for the first time in some 3,000 years, viewers see the Seven Wonders restored to their original glory. Features expert commentary.
Suus rex reginae placet.

Her own king is pleasing to the queen
(Plautus, Stychus 133)

(pron = soos reks reh-GHEE-nai PLAH-ket)

Comment: This line comes in the middle of a conversation between a father and a
daughter about whether the daughters (there are two of them) will take new
husbands that their father has arranged for them since their husbands have been
gone for three years.

This particular daughter argues that she wishes to remain loyal to her missing
husband. This queen is pleased by her own king. She goes on to say that in
poverty (now) she still experiences what she once experienced in riches, and
she has a few more words to say to her father--that while he was working on a
match with regard to money, she has made a match to the man himself.

In Plautus' plays, fathers are often being outwitted or outdone somehow by their
"lesser" counterparts: sons, daughters, and slaves. Ironically, by showing a
Roman daughter besting her father in a marriage plan, Plautus is showcasing,
humorously, virtues that were valued by the Romans: loyalty, duty, and honor.
In this scene, the father, convinced that his daughters' will not take new
husbands, says that he will go and tell his friends. The daughter has a
parting shot: it will be received best it you will tell it to honorable men.

More often than not, when young people are allowed space to find their way,
express their hearts, identify their own paths in life, they do a beautiful
job! And often, while taking the way that seems unacceptable, they do a
brilliant job of demonstrating the very values their parents were trying to
force on them. The parents' real job is allowing space for this to happen.
Very difficult work!

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem iv kalendas martias

Equirria -- the first of two days of horse racing (the second was on March 14) dedicated to Mars; the reasons are obscure, but probably have something to do with preparing horses for the upcoming campaigning season

116 A.D. -- supplicatio pro salute Traiani (day 2)

1874 -- birth of F.M. Cornford (author of Before and After Socrates, among several other works)
aegis @ Guru.net

posit @ Dictionary.com

volitant @ Wordsmith

septentrional @ Merriam-Webster
Museum culturale Tallinnae

Tallinnae, in urbe principe Estoniae, museum culturale in terris Baltiae et Scandinaviae omnium maximum in usum receptum est.

Quod lautissimum aedificium ad similitudinem navis constructum designavit architectus Finnus Pekka Vapaavuori.

In hospitibus ad caerimoniam inauguralem invitatis erant praesidens Estoniae Arnold Rüütel et praesidens Finniae Tarja Halonen.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris ... latest headline: Cruorem in Nigeria religionis causa effundi

If you're looking for news with a Greek bent, Akropolis World News offers these headlines: Violence outbreak in Iraq diminishes - 100 Modigliani paintings exposed in Rome
There's a definite news lull today, so we'll go straight to the Carnival:

Bread and Circuses presents an old joke with a link to a Times story on the Latin humour stylings of Alex Horne (I think we've mentioned him before) ...

Memorabilia Antonina has a review of UCL's performance of Medea and another review of KCL's Ecclesiazusae ...

MG over at Laudator has a translation of a bit of Anacreon by Thoreau ...

Peter Jones as another Ancient and Modern column up at the Friends of Classics site ...

We need to catch up on the quotes (and some other items) at Sympotica Graecolatina (including a link to an interesting 'walking tour' of Rome in 1 A.D.) ...

Res Publica et Cetera points us to a useful page on how Latin evolved into Spanish ...

Over on the Classics list, JM-Y alerted folks to an online version of Edward Thompson, Handbook of Greek and Latin paleography

8.00 p.m. |HINT| The True Story of Troy
It's the site of history's most legendary war and the Western world's oldest adventure story. According to myth, it began with a rigged beauty contest and ended with a giant wooden horse unleashing utter destruction. Now, archaeologists, literary detectives, and military analysts are uncovering evidence suggesting the war was really waged. From archaeological trenches at ancient Troy and the citadel fortress of King Agamemnon, from Homer to Hollywood, we search for the true story of Troy.

9.00 p.m. |HISTU| Cleopatra: The Last Pharaoh
She ruled over men, bedding the likes of Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony, and led one of the world's greatest civilizations. Her name has been immortalized in myth and legend. So, how did Cleopatra become the last of the pharaohs? In the shadow of the pyramids, Josh Bernstein joins Zahi Hawass on a hunt for mummies from the time of Cleopatra. He'll come face to face with Cleopatra's killer, the Egyptian cobra, and sail down the Nile River searching for clues to her true history. In Alexandria, Josh will descend into the cisterns below the modern city to look for evidence of Cleopatra's reign. Finally he'll dive into the harbor of Alexandria, where a beautiful palace lies--possibly the last vestige of Cleopatra's legendary wealth--the only testament to a woman who was perhaps the wisest and most cunning of all of Egypt's pharaohs.

10.00 p.m. |HISTU| Pharaoh's Lost Treasure
In 290 BC, the Egyptian Pharaohs construct one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the tallest lighthouse ever built: the Lighthouse of Alexandria. In the 14th century, an earthquake toppled her and the tower's remains fell into Alexandria harbor where they were forgotten for centuries. Now, researchers believe they have found the stones from the lighthouse. But others say these can't be her stones because they believe the lighthouse stood in a very different location. Join our deep-water detectives, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, as they dive in Alexandria for the archaeological ruins that hold the key to solving this ancient mystery.
Campus Mawrtius has an interesting little tidbit on the manuscript tradition of Horace ...

Hobbyblog features a rather worn AE 29 of Gallienus, sporting a couple of guys carrying a tray (I've seen a couple of these before ... I always call them busboy coins) ...

The latest Classicist featured at Roman Scholars is Susan Alcock ...

Despite claims to the contrary, MK's classroom is awfully tidy ...

Roman History Books chats about the Second Sophistic ...

Interesting post at ARLT on continental Portuguese and Latin ...

Father Foster's latest: Getting our popular “Latin Lover” to team up five Roman emperors with five winter sports may seem a trifle bold. But he proved to be a good sport and even added Julius Caesar as the umpire. Be sure to find out who got to do the figure skating! Gotta listen to this one ...
From BMCR:

A.J. Kleywegt (ed.), Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica, Book 1: A Commentary.

Marguerite Yon, Kition dans les textes. Testimonia littéraires et épigraphiques et Corpus des inscriptions. Publications de la Mission Archéologique Française de Kition-Bamboula, V.

Gary R. Grund, Humanist Comedies. The I Tatti Renaissance Library.

Perez Zagorin, Thucydides: An Introduction for the Common Reader.

Susan O. Shapiro, O tempora! O mores! Cicero's Catilinarian Orations. A student edition with historical essays.

José Guillermo Montes Cala, Manuel Sánchez Ortiz de Landaluce, Rafael Jesús Gallé Cejudo, Tomás Silva Sánchez, Studia Hellenistica Gaditana I: Teócrito, Arato, Argonáuticas órficas.

Jean-Marie Salamito, Les virtuoses et la multitude. Aspects sociaux de la controverse entre Augustin et les pélagiens.

Marianne Pade (ed.), On Renaissance Commentaries. Noctes Neolatinae. Neo-Latin Texts and Studies, Band 4.

Barbara Goward, Aeschylus: Agamemnon.

Lucy Grig, Making Martyrs in Late Antiquity.

Giancarlo Abbamonte, Ferruccio Conti Bizzarro, Luigi Spina, L'ultima parola. L'analisi dei testi: teorie e pratiche nell'antichità greca e latina.

From the Spectator:

Dorothy King, The Elgin Marbles


The Seven


Romans in Britain (Oswyn Murray)

La Calisto
From an op-ed piece at Pittsburgh Live, inter alia:

All of which adds up. Hillary Clinton lacks political charisma and fails to understand how her husband Bill effectively established her as a political force. And without effort. Bill Clinton has developed a circle of friends, including former President George H.W. Bush and Jim Baker with their Republican friends, his daughter Chelsea's chums and his security detail, charming each one.

This leaves Hillary embittered and us wondering why she can't change her temperament. She's like the wife of a Roman emperor wearing a power suit while droning on about children, villages and motherhood.

Hillary Clinton shares many of the hallmarks of the Empress Messalina, wife of the despotic Caligula, who once ruled the Roman Empire.

... er, riiiiiiight ...
From an arts column in the Vancouver Sun:

ELENA KORKA, the Athenian archeologist, lectured at Simon Fraser University's Harbourside campus this week on The Reunification of The Parthenon Marbles -- a World Cultural Issue.

Now in the British Museum, the sculptures were spirited from Greece 200 years ago by Britain's Lord Elgin.

Korka's lecture was sponsored by Greek consul George Aravositas and Metropolitan Fine Printers principal George Kallas. But the person Korka sought out was Alert Bay resident Andrea Sanborn.

That's because the U'mista Cultural Centre executive director actually liberated an artifact from the British Museum's collection. It was a Kwakwaka'wakw mask officials confiscated following a then-illegal 1921 potlatch.

Sanborn began campaigning in 1997, when she arrived at the London-based museum, opened an Adidas bag and said: "I've come for the mask." Her opinion after conferring with Korka: "I think they will get their marbles."
Fans of Herodotus might be interested in this bit from the People's Daily:

New archaeological discoveries show that the worship of the phoenix by ancient Chinese can be dated back as early as 7,400 years ago in central China.

A large amount of pottery, decorated with the patterns of beasts, the sun and birds have been excavated at the Gaomiao relics site in Hongjiang, Huaihua City of central China's Hunan Province, according to a report by the Guangming Daily.

"The patterns of birds should be the phoenix worshipped by ancient Chinese," said He Gang, a researcher with the Hunan Institute of Archaeology.

The worship of the phoenix, an imaginary totem like the dragon, originated in ancient people's praying for sunshine, rain and harvest, said He.

The phoenix patterns at the Gaomiao ruins were some 400 years older than the phoenix patterns on ivory objects, unearthed from the 7,000-year-old Hemudu Neolithic site in east China's Zhejiang Province.

Archaeologists said they have found a sacrificial altar, the earliest sacrificial site in China, at the Gaomiao site, covering an area of 1,000 square meters.

The bones of dozens of animals including deer, pigs, cattle, bears, elephants and rhinoceros have been excavated from the 39 sacrificial pits at the site.

"The discovery of the altar and phoenix patterns are of great importance to research into the origin of religion and ancient civilization," said He.
From AFP (via Yahoo):

Its austere white is on every postcard, but the Athens Parthenon was originally daubed with red, blue and green, the Greek archaeologist supervising conservation work on the 2,400-year-old temple said.

"A recent cleaning operation by laser revealed traces of haematite (red), Egyptian blue and malachite-azurite (green-blue) on the sculptures of the western frieze," senior archaeologist Evi Papakonstantinou-Zioti told AFP.

While archaeologists had found traces of the first two colours elsewhere on the temple years ago, the malachite-azurite colouring was only revealed in the latest restoration process, Papakonstantinou-Zioti said.

Given the testimony of ancient writers, it is not unlikely that the Parthenon's trademark columns were also coloured, she added.

Archaeologists have been trying since 1987 to remedy damage wrought on the Parthenon's marble structure by centuries of weather exposure and decades of smog pollution.

Principal restoration work on the entire Acropolis citadel, which stands in the centre of the modern Greek capital, is scheduled to be completed by 2009.

Dedicated to the ancient Greek goddess Athena, patron of the ancient city of Athens, the Parthenon was badly damaged during a Venetian siege of occupying Ottoman Turkish forces in 1687.

Much of the temple's eastern frieze was removed in the early 19th century by agents of Lord Elgin, then British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

Elgin subsequently sold the sculptures to the British Museum in London, where they are still on display, despite persistent efforts by the Greek government to secure their return for the past 20 years.
Here's a strange little tidbit that turned up in today's scan ... Sven Goran Eriksson is (I think) the coach of England's national football (a.k.a. soccer) team ... his girlfriend is one Nancy dell-Olio, about whom the (somewhat catty) Observer drops this, inter alia:

'No, it has been so intense. So many things have happened!' she says, not quite wistfully. She considers her whole life a privilege. 'My life is like reading three or four books a day. I always learn so much...'

I'm not sure which particular books she has in mind. She keeps by her bed the Italian translation of The Iliad at all times. I wonder, given her partner's adventures with sirens of one sort or another, and her steadfast support, if she might be better off with The Odyssey.

Outside of Alexander, do we know of anyone else 'famous' who did this sort of thing?
The hype is beginning to pick up for the Gospel of Judas, so maybe we'll present this Carnivalesque style ... a piece on SperoNews presents some translations of fragments (they also have a link to the Tertullian Project's page on the GoJ (Paleojudaica also notes this)) ... there's also a bit from ANSA:

The forthcoming publication of the 'Gospel of Judas' has sparked fears among some Catholic theologians that it could give people wrong ideas about the man who is famous for betraying Jesus Christ .

The second century text, which was believed lost for over a thousand years, reportedly argues that Judas Iscariot was an essential part of God's design and, as such, almost a hero. Without his betrayal, Jesus would not have been crucified and so, the argument goes, God's plan to save mankind from its sins would not have been fulfilled .

This unorthodox account of Christ's life was written by an ancient Gnostic sect called the Cainites, which made a habit of giving a positive value to all the negative figures in Christian scriptures .

The Gospel of Judas, written in Coptic, is one of several accounts of Christ's life which are termed 'apocryphal', meaning they are seen as questionable in some way and so not recognised as part of the Bible .

But, according to several Church experts, this distinction could be lost on many people when the document is published at Easter. "The danger is clearly there, because some people will try to hide the truth and give undue importance to a document written in the 2nd century by people in open opposition to the early Christian Church," said a Rome-based theologian who is an expert on ancient texts .

Although very little is known of the details in the pro-Judas story, news of its coming publication has already led the media to talk about a "rehabilitation" of the hitherto despised disciple. A Vatican official cited in the British press as leading a drive to give Judas a better image was forced to deny last month that this was the case .

Giovanni D'Ercole, an Italian theologian who often appears in the media, stressed that the Gospel of Judas should always be seen in its historical context, otherwise its message could "feed a New Age drift". "We have to avoid creating confusion in the minds of believers with readings and evaluations not formed on the basis of a careful study. The risk is that the truth of the New Testament will be distorted," he said in an interview. After being last heard of in AD180, a manuscript containing the text of the 'gospel' appeared about 30 years ago on the Egyptian antiquities market. It was recently acquired by the Swiss-based Maecenas Foundation for Ancient Art and U.S.-based National Geographic magazine, who are behind the imminent publication. The document might appear to pose a serious challenge to traditional Church thinking on Judas. But in fact it will have no theological impact whatsoever, according to Giovanni Maria Vian, professor of patristic philology at Rome's Sapienza university .

"Reflections on the role and meaning of Judas have been going on for centuries. This has no bearing on Catholic theology because the document reflects the doctrinal requirements of certain Gnostic groups," he told ANSA .

He admitted however that the text does raise interesting questions about the role of Judas in the Christ story. Some of these were discussed recently by Italy's top Catholic writer, Vittorio Messori. Interviewed by the Turin daily La Stampa, he noted that a key difference between the Gospel of Judas and the Bible accounts concerns the question of forgiveness .

In the apocryphal account Judas is forgiven, Messori recalled: "He weeps, Jesus forgives him and in order to purify him he sends Judas into the desert to do spiritual exercises." In the New Testament, in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is quoted as saying: "Woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born." After the betrayal, they never meet again and, overcome with remorse, Judas commits suicide. Christ atones for the sins of humanity but never specifically forgives Judas .

Messori said the lack of forgiveness in the Bible account appeared strange in a man who preached forgiveness. He also noted that Jesus's choice of Judas as a disciple in the first place seemed to show a marked lack of perspicacity .

But, as someone who wanted to believe the Gospels were true, he said he was glad of Judas's presence. "If the gospels had been invented, the figure of Judas just wouldn't be there because he's so embarrassing," he said .

There's semi-similar coverage in the Washington Post ...
[this was Friday's ... didn't get a chance to post it until today]

Sol omnibus lucet.
(Petronius, Satyricon 100)

The sun shines on everyone.

(pron = sohl OHM-nih-boos LOO-ket).

Comment: This short little line comes from the "first Latin novel", Petronius'
work known as "The Satyricon". It only exists in pieces. The entire thing
does not survive. It almost did not survive the middle ages as church
"scholars" found it's strong sexual themes something they could not publicly
condone. But, copies did survive, and eventually resurfaced during the

This short little line comes in the most famous section of the extant text, a
section known as Trimalchio's dinner. Trimalchio is a rich, gaudy,
ostentatious freedman who delights in throwing lavish dinner parties, inviting
the rich and powerful and the not so rich and powerful, having them mingle at
his tables, and then stunning them throughout the evening with outrageous
events that no one expects at a proper dinner party.

This short little line expresses a moment of what seems (scholars debate
this)like a very serious philosophical moment. It is an expression of the
equality of all human beings--slaves and free alike. The sun shines on all
human beings. Trimalchio's household is swimming with slaves. He was himself,
as was his wife, a slave. Most of his friends are former slaves. They know
slavery inside and out. They know, despite all of the rules of social
discourse in Rome, what is proper and what is not, that the sun shines on
everyone without discrimination.

This short little line is not really the expression of Trimalchio, who is, after
all, a fictitious character. It is the expression, though, of Petronius who
very likely was a chief in the court of Nero. He had been the one to procure
for the Emperor all of the niceties that he enjoyed. In the end of his life,
however, he wrote this work which seems to call all social lines into question,
or rather, demonstrate how those lines in classical society were collapsing.

Whatever differences we might like to enjoy in ourselves and over against others
today (and we all do in some overt ways and in some fairly secret ways), the sun
still shines on us and on those we are certain are inferior to us. This short
little line might be a bit of light for us today. Who are those on whom we
cannot give our approval? Let us call them to mind, and notice how, despite
our best forms of bigotry, the sun shines on them, too.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
4.00 p.m. |DISCU| The Roman Colosseum
Completed in 80 A.D., the Coliseum was inaugurated with 100 days of games showcasing gladiatorial contests, wild beast hunts, public executions and variety shows. Smash the myths and relive the spectacle of ancient Rome.

6.00 p.m. |HINT| The Forgotten Civilizations of Anatolia
Throughout the course of history, many great civilizations have flourished in the area we now identify as Turkey, which forms a natural bridge between Europe and Asia. Join us on a virtual tour of Gordiyon (also known as Gordium), the domain of King Midas, Hattusa, the famous Hittite capital with its spectacular royal citadel, and the later cities ruled by the Greeks during the days of the Byzantine Empire. Using state-of-the-art computer technology and the latest in archaeological exploration, we walk viewers through ancient sites along with the citizens of the time.

6.30 p.m. |HINT| Ancient Itinerary in Ionia
In the 2nd century BC, artistic and cultural activities reached their heights in the cities of Ionia, a densely populated area on the coast of modern-day Turkey, as well as on a cluster of Greek islands in the eastern Mediterranean. Priene, Miletus, Delos, Kos, and Rhodes, home of the famous Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, are just some of the destinations on our virtual tour through time. Enhanced 3D graphics help illustrate the senate chamber of Priene, the medical sanctuary of Kos, and the Colossus of Rhodes, and insights from archaeological experts help bring this time to vivid life.

9.00 p.m. |SCI| Nero's Golden House
Step back into the Roman empire with a virtual tour of Emperor Nero's golden house. Examination of the ruins underneath the Roman Coliseum offer insight into the power, propaganda and trade networks of a notoriously evil ruler.

10.00 p.m. |SCI| Who Killed Julius Caesar?
Historians, writers and film-makers have puzzled over the assassination of Julius Caesar for centuries. Using the latest technology and modern profiling techniques, experts reveal the truth behind history's most famous crime.

11.00 p.m. |HINT| The Roman Conquests
Although Caesar invaded it in 54 BC, Britain wasn't conquered until 43 AD when Claudius established Roman garrisons at Lincoln, York, and Chester. Viewers go inside this savage period of British history and enter the battlefield from an unique perspective--of those who fought and died there. And a bloody period it proved to be for the Romans had not reckoned on the ferocious campaign mounted against the all-powerful Legions under the leadership of the legendary Queen Boudicca.
ante diem vi kalendas martias

Regifugium -- a festival which didn't really happen on "February 24" but actually six days before the kalends of March, which was usually during a period of intercalation. Roman writers suggested this festival was a celebration of the expulsion of the Tarquins, although modern scholars have their doubts. Whatever the case, on this day the Rex Sacrorum would offer some sort of sacrifice in the Comitium and then run away as fast as he could ...

259 A.D. -- martyrdom of Montanus and several companions at Carthage

303 A.D. -- edict of Galerius officially promoting the persecution of Christians (?)

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Sergius in Cappadocia

1463 -- birth of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (usually described as a "Neoplatonist")

1999 -- death of David Daube (author of Civil Disobedience in Antiquity, among numerous other works)
syndicate @ Guru.net (I wish they'd explain the etymology a bit more fully)

munificent @ Dictionary.com

nefandus @ Worthless Word for the Day

obsequy @ Wordsmith
De metallis in Finnia fodiendis

Pretia metallorum in mercatu mundano his temporibus valde aucta sunt. Quo factum est, ut multae societates internationales mineralibus fodiendis, postquam ius metallorum sibi acquisiverunt, etiam in Finnia quaerere inciperent, essetne operae pretium e venis nostris metalla eruere.

Decretum de aurifodina in paroechia Kittilä aperienda iam in exspectatione est, sed etiam alia incepta maiora huius generis in regionibus remotis Lapponiae et Caianiae incohata sunt.

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

For more news in Latin, Ephemeris boasts some new material: De meschita diruta atque ultione Shiitarum

In a bit of a rush this a.m. ... ski trip for the Grade Sevens:

Philip Harland (of Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean fame) is the latest scholar to get the Roman Scholars treatment (although curiously his blog isn't mentioned!)

It's Bane's Demesne's first blogiversary (congrats!) and yesterday there were promises of something today in the way of a Callimachus epigram ...

'New' online book at Project Gutenberg: Charlotte Mary Yonge, Young Folks' History of Rome

About.com has a feature on the Thirty Tyrants ... N.S. Gill also points us to an online Medieval Latin tutorial at the UK's National Archives ...

Hobbyblog has another antoninianus of Gallienus, this time sporting an image of Fortuna Redux ...

Roman History Books is also pondering some Roman coins ...
Interesting item from the Armidale Express:

Nikos Vournazos, who migrated to Australia after serving in the Greek National Resistance during the Second World War, is passionate about education in and about Greece.

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New England at the age of 78, he is now the donor of a UNE Travelling Scholarship in Classics and Ancient History.

He has also established a number of prizes for high school students in his native Peloponnese, and has provided funds for building projects at the village school that he attended as a child.

His graduation from UNE in October, 2002, was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.

In Greece, after the war, he completed high school by correspondence at the age of 27 and, in 1951, gained entry to Pantion University.

He was unable, because of financial hardship, to take up university studies at that time, and was drafted into the Greek Army the following year.

It was not until half a century later, in the far-away country of Australia (where he migrated in 1955), that his dream of a university degree was realised.

Greg Horsley, UNE's Professor of Classics and Ancient History, said that Mr Vournazos, after achieving his own educational goals through UNE, now wanted to help other students along the same path.

"Niko had been a supporter of Classics at UNE in various ways," Prof Horsley said.

"When he asked me about the options for continuing that support, and I suggested a travelling scholarship, he thought the idea was just right."

The Nikos Vournazos Travelling Scholarship provides the airfare for a postgraduate student to travel to Greece for fieldwork and research.

Its inaugural recipient in 2005 was Graeme Bourke, who is conducting research for a PhD thesis on the ancient Greek city-state of Elis in the western Peloponnese.

Mr Bourke spent nine weeks in Greece, visiting Elis and other historic sites, conducting research in the libraries of the British and American Schools in Athens, and staying in an apartment owned by Mr Vournazos near the Peloponnesian town of Akrata.

"The scholarship enabled me to access otherwise unavailable resources and to experience the topography first-hand," Mr Bourke said.

"Nick (who travels regularly to Greece from his home in Melbourne) took me around to some of the places I needed to see.

"He was also proud to show me the places where he had fought with the National Resistance during the Second World War."

Mr Bourke is to return to Greece in October this year with the help of a second Nikos Vournazos Travelling Scholarship.

In 2005 Nikos Vournazos published his autobiography, Dancing Solo: A Life in Two Lands.

The book fulfils another long-held ambition - to record his experiences in living through a tumultuous period of world history.

It begins with his birth in a small village overlooking the Corinthian Gulf, chronicles his wartime experiences, gives details of his leading involvement in the Greek community of Melbourne and Victoria, and ends with his graduation from UNE after some years of part-time external study.

The final sentences of Dancing Solo encapsulate both his life story and his philosophy: 'Life is generous. It provides all things, good and bad. Happy are those who know how to best utilise this bounty.'

Mr Vournazos is enrolled at UNE again this year for further external study through the University's School of Classics, History and Religion.
From the Sofia News Agency:

The Thracian complex of Perperikon has suffered damages worth of EUR 9,000 caused by the February 21 quake to the south of Bulgaria.

Experts from the Culture Ministry led by Minister Stefan Danailov have personally checked the situation at the ancient religious complex, whose ruins have been unearthed for over ten years now.

The earthquake with a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richter scale, which shook the town of Kurdzhali and the area on Tuesday, caused a break-off of a rock being part of the dolomite wreath. Besides, experts found a considerable bursting along the south wall circumventing Perperikon.

Restoration and strengthening works to preserve the unique archeological complex from further earthquakes would cost, according to preliminary estimates, BGN 92,000 (EUR 46,000).

Yet, Culture Minister Danailov said he could not say at present where from the necessary funding would be provided.
Folks have been informing us via the forum and private mail (thanks to all!) that there is a photo of that Lancaster Tombstone (with inscription!) at the RomanArmy.com image base ... [I wonder where the news report on this find got the 'Lucius']
Good news from Bloomberg:

The German government will foot the bill for a 351 million-euro ($420 million) restoration of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, home to ancient relics including the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.

Situated on Museum Island at the center of Berlin, the Pergamon was completed in 1930 and suffered damage in World War II. It drew 877,000 visitors in 2004, making it the second- busiest museum in the German capital after the Neue Nationalgalerie art museum near Potsdamer Platz.

A government committee chose a plan by architect Oswald Mathias Ungers for the museum's facelift, which will begin in 2011. Ungers designed the German Architectural Museum in Frankfurt and the German ambassador's residence in Washington.

``Now the more detailed planning for the restoration and completion of the Pergamon can begin,'' Culture Minister Bernd Neumann said in a statement. ``The building work will take place in stages so that during the construction different parts of the museum can remain accessible to the public.''

The government is providing a total of about 1 billion euros in financing for the restoration of the five museums on the island in the River Spree and aims to finish the work by 2015. The second of the five to be completed, the Bode Museum, is set to reopen in the middle of this year with a permanent exhibition of works from antiquity to the 18th century.

The first museum to be restored, the Alte Nationalgalerie, was finished in 2001. It houses 19th-century German art and hosts exhibitions including last year's Goya show, which drew more than 200,000 visitors. The next on the renovation list is the partially ruined Neues Museum, set for completion in 2008.

The Pergamon houses Greek and Roman architecture, art and sculptures as well as oriental treasures from the palaces and temples of the Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian regions.

... so how long will it be before demands are made for repatriation of the Altar or the Gate?
Bloomberg has an excellent 'story so far' and analysis of all the issues involved in the various museums' actions in what we have dubbed collectively 'the Museum Case' (i.e. the Met's recent decision, the Getty/True thing, Italian/Greece cooperation on antiquities recovery, etc.) ... here's the incipit, but it is worth reading the whole thing:

On Nov. 22, Philippe de Montebello, the director of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, walked up a cobblestone street in Rome and into a palazzo connected to the chambers where Galileo faced the Inquisition 372 years earlier.

Inside the Italian Culture Ministry's headquarters, curators, police and the minister of culture himself showed evidence to the chief of the Western Hemisphere's biggest art museum that the Met harbored looted antiquities -- both in its collection and loaned by wealthy donors, some of whom run the museum as trustees.

Three months later, de Montebello agreed to return 21 of the Met's gems to Italy, among them a 2,500-year-old vase painted by the Greek artist Euphronios.

While Italy secured a victory in this instance, the Met remains enmeshed in a broader tangle of donors, trustees and curators, some of whom have dealt in illicit antiquities, according to Italian and U.S. court decisions.

... the rest.
JS sent this one in (thanks!) ... I did see it and pondered including it, but forgot for some reason; in any event:

8.30 p.m. |HINT| Arteries of the Empire
Adam Hart-Davis rediscovers the innovations and inventions the Romans brought to Britain. The Romans are known for their dead-straight roads that still criss-cross the countryside. Using ancient surveying tools, Adam discovers how they constructed their roads with such precision over such long distances. The Romans came to Britain to exploit the natural resources, including Welsh gold. Adam discovers the evidence that reveals their dramatic mining techniques. He tests out a giant water wheel, made to a Roman design, which prevented flooding in the mines.

9.00 p.m. |DTC| Ancestors of Ancient Rome - The Etruscans
Extraordinary finds in Northern Italy reveal the startling story of Europe's original hedonists and first superpower. The fun loving Etruscans invented two spectator sports, gladiatorial combat and chariot racing.
Solitudo placet Musis, urbs est inimica poetis.

Solitude pleases the Muses, and the city is an enemy to poets.

(pron = soh-lih-TOO-doh PLAH-ket MOO-sees oorbs in-nee-MEE-kah poh-AY-tees)

Comment: This is a theme I recognize immediately from my readings in a certain
Roman poet--Horace. Horace writes one poem itself contrasting the life of the
city to the life of the country, and he even takes a shot at a character who
has the means to live in the city and the country (a primary dwelling and a
secondary for the tax folks!), but who, even when he can afford leisure,
prefers to stay in the city and do business.

Not so, the poet. The poet requires a space apart. The poet requires quiet.
The poet requires being left alone. The poet requires contact with nature. It
is only in the silence, the space, and in the company of wood and stream and
country air that the poet begins to hear the Muses as they inspire him or her
to create a work. And this work comes from another universe that lives within
the poet.

The poet is in some sense every single one of us. There is a part of us, in
rhythm with the rest of our lives, that thrives only when it has space, when it
has quiet, when it is left alone and honored, when it can hear birds, see trees,
touch the ground and feel the air moving.

Whether we create poetry or not, we do bring forth creative works in our lives,
and those creative works come from a universe within. When we produce them,
they make contact with others who need those connections, who might only in
those moments make contact with meaning through our creative works. In a
sense, then, we owe some poetic solitude to ourselves and to others.

Strange. We are so interrelated, so interdependent, but the life of our
interrelated lives depends on our finding time alone, to breathe, and to
connect with the Something-More. It is a rhythm that ancient poets always

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem vii kalendas martias

Traditional end of the Roman year (followed by a period of intercalation)

Terminalia -- a festival in honour of Terminus, the divinity who presided over boundaries. In Rome itself, Terminus had a shrine within the Temple of Jupiter beneath an opening in the roof because, it is said, when they were building the Temple of Jupiter, Terminus refused to move. What happened in the city is unclear, but the rustic version of the festival involved the following: at boundary stones, farmer families would gather and build a turf altar; a fire would be built and one of the younger members of the family would throw grain in the fire three times. Others offered other things like honeycombs and wine, then a sheep or pig would be sacrificed and a feast would follow.

155 A.D. -- martyrdom of Polycarp at Smyrna

303 A.D. -- "Great Persecution" of Diocletian begins in Nicomedia

303 A.D. -- martyrdom of Serenus the Gardener at Sirmium
subjugate @ Guru.net (haven't heard that word in ages!)

alacrity @ Dictionary.com

epistolary @ Merriam-Webster (not very well explained)

The Classics Technology Center's My Word! feature looks at groups of goddesses ...

... and don't forget to check out Done With Mirrors' Carnival of the Etymologies ....
Quid Condoleezza Rice dixerit

Condoleezza Rice, ministra negotiorum exterorum Civitatum Americae Unitarum, ait se sollicitam esse de progressu democratiae Russiae: e multis decretis ibidem factis secutum esse, ut renovationes de recto cursu decederent.

Actiones ordinum civilium severitate censoria ibidem custodiri, et civitates finitimas iam timere, ne fieri posset, ut energia a Russis sibi suppeditata omnino prohiberentur.

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

On the Greek side, Akropolis World News: Iranian government says they have 1,000 suicides ready - General Mladic about to be captured
Today's trip down the midway ...

Hobbyblog has a nice Republican denarius ...

Blogographos reminds folks to send summer course info in for posting ...

Over at Laudator , MG provides an emendation for a bit in Plautus' Stichus ...

About.com's N.S. Gill has a handy list of Roman Provinces ...

Congrats to PH, who will be moving from Concordia to York University ...

Another blog which folks might be interested in: Roman History Books, from the host of the longstanding Yahoo group of the same name.
From BMCR:

Paolo Esposito (ed.), Gli scolii a Lucano ed altra scoliastica Latina.

Jonas Eiring, John Lund, Transport Amphorae and Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. Acts of the International Colloquium at the Danish Institute at Athens, September 26-29, 2002. Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens, 5.

From the TLS:

... a review by Oswyn Murray of The Romans in Britain



The Seven ... another (Village Voice)
Remember those gladiatorial remains which were found near Ephesus a while back? We're starting to get some followup info ... from AFP via Yahoo:

Hollywood's take on gladiatorial combat as a bloodbath in which no holds were barred is an insult to history, say scientists, who believe the fighters of ancient Rome played by a clear set of rules.

Austrian experts carried out a painstaking forensic analysis of 67 gladiators whose remains were found in a cemetery at Ephesus in Turkey, the Roman empire's hub of power in west Asia.

They used modern techniques of microscopic analysis and computed tomography -- the "CAT" scan which provides a cross-sectional image of body tissues and bones -- to try to determine cause of death, New Scientist reports.

They found that the gladiators had a remarkable lack of multiple injuries and mutilation, which suggests the fighters were restricted to only one type of weapon per one-on-one bout and were barred from savaging their wounded opponent.

Even though most gladiators wore helmets, 10 of the 67 had died from a squarish hammer-like injury to the side of the head -- a blow that appears to have been inflicted by a back-stage executioner.

Ridley Scott's film "Gladiator" depicts the arena as the place for savage violence and mutilation in which the defeated gladiator was slain after being condemned to death by a baying crowd.

But Roman artwork and literature suggest that gladiators were well-matched in their capabilities and followed sets of rules enforced by two referees, New Scientist says.

And the latest evidence suggests that mortally wounded gladiators were still alive when taken from the arena before being put out of their agony by a massive blow to the skull.

The report is carried in next Saturday's issue of the British science weekly.

The research, led by Karl Grossschmidt of the Medical University of Vienna and Fabian Kanz of the Austrian Archaeological Institute, is to be published in a specialist journal, Forensic Science International.

The gladiators' cemetery, uncovered in 1993, is thought to date from the second century AD, when Roman power was at its zenith. The site was identified thanks to tomb reliefs of gladiators, denoting the fighters' special status in Roman culture.

There's also a Reuters version of the story ...
From Morecambe Today:

As reported in last week's Visitor, property developer Chris Tudor Whelan has been finding out how much the stone is worth, saying he wants to cover the cost to him of its excavation.
He has said he'd like it to stay in the city but couldn't give any guarantee. He has consulted Sotheby's whose New York office, which deals with many such sales, says it could fetch up to $100,000.
Now the leader of the city council has stepped into the controversy.
Coun Ian Barker has written to the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell, asking her to refuse an export licence if there's any suggestion it's sold abroad.
Coun Barker said that, as far as the city council was concerned, planning permission was granted with archaeological conditions attached. There was an obligation in the development agreement not to dispose of any important archaeological finds.
Coun Barker said: "No one could have anticipated finding a stone of such significance, but it was known that this could be an important archaeological site.
"Planning permission was only granted on condition that a proper archaeological investigation was carried out. The costs of this should have been built into the development, so it's more than a little opportunistic to seek to recover them just because something really important has been found.
"This stone is an important relic of Lancaster's Roman past. In my view it should stay in Lancaster and the public should be able to see it. It shouldn't be sold into a private collection or sent abroad.
"I will certainly be asking officers of the city and the county councils to do all they can to enforce the obligations attached to the planning consent.
"I've asked Tessa Jowell to refuse an export licence if this is sold abroad, so that we have a chance to keep the gravestone in Lancaster."
The stone is about 2,000 years old and depicts a Roman horseman holding the head of a slain victim.

A photo accompanies the article, but it isn't very useful ... has anyone come across a photo of this stone?
A little tidbit from Catholic World News:

Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the study of the Latin language during his public audience on February 22.

At the conclusion of his prepared remarks, the Pope followed his usual pattern by greeting different groups that were in attendance at the Wednesday audience. Switching into Latin-- a language which, he noted, is not generally used in these sessions-- the Pontiff welcomed the faculty of the Classics department in Rome's Salesian University.

"My predecessors rightly encouraged the study of that great language," the Pope said, noting that mastery of Latin helps students to attain "a better understanding of the sound doctrine" found in classical sources. He said that the study of Latin should be encouraged for "as many people as possible."
7.00 p.m. |HINT| The Greeks
Story of the brave Greek warriors who adorned themselves in gold, fought under Alexander the Great, and became a virtually unstoppable ancient war machine. Host Richard Karn.

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| James, Brother of Jesus

9.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Finding Atlantis
Mors omnibus instat.
(Common grave inscription)

Death follows everyone.

(pron = mohrs OHM-nih-boos IN-staht)

Comment: Death stands against everyone who thinks of death as an enemy or a
threat, that is. And, in our culture, that's pretty much everyone. I wish we
could reflect on this without getting into religion, but that does seem to be
the problem. In the west, religions have taught us through our parents and
others as we were growing up that death was the enemy, something to be feared.
In various religions, death is held at worst as a threat of eternal punishment,
and at best as a control over our behaviors. It's sort of the cosmic version
of "be good and I'll give you some candy", and "if you are bad, I'm going to
hurt you."

The reality is that we simply don't know about death except that it happens to
everthying. (Emphasis is on "know". We believe many things about death, but
belief is what we do in the face of what we don't know about. When one knows,
one does not have to believe). It happens to everything, and it happens every

Every idea comes, has a life, changes, and dies. That is, every idea that we
have comes, stays around for a while (a few minutes, an hour, several days,
years, etc) and having lived out its usefulness, vanishes. The flowers in my
garden are the same. They sprout, bloom, display their beauty, dry up, drop
off the plant, and are gone--at least as flowers. They actually leave their
material in the soil and nourish the plants that come after them. In fact,
they become nutrients for the flowers that come after them. In fact, they
become part of the flowers that come after them. In that sense, death is more
like coming and going and coming again. It's a wave in a growth cycle that
keeps happening. I am not proposing a belief here, but simply observing what
happens with death in my garden.

Today, I will have 50 minutes with 5 groups of students. The life of our time
together will have a beginning, a time together, and an end. The end will come
before I am ready for it to, in some classes (and may not come quickly enough in
others!) but that is only true if I have an agenda that I must control to the
last movement. Otherwise, today, my classes will arise; I will enjoy them; and
they will depart. And the 150 of us who intermingle in those arisings together
will have left something of ourselves in each other. Our time together will
give birth to other arisings and departures.

This Latin verb "instat" can make for two very different translations: death
follows everyone. Or, death threatens everyone. WE can choose to see death in
everything that we do, a natural part of a natural world. Or, we can see it as
an enemy which tinges every day with unspoken threats. I think we have to
decide which one allows us to live our best life.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem viii kalendas martias

Parentalia probably comes to and end with the festival of Caristia, which was a sort of 'kiss and make up' festival. The idea was that people had made peace with their dead, so now it was right to bring to an end any quarrels they were having with living members of their family. There was usually a big family reunion type banquet and worship was given to the Lares.

4 A.D. -- death of hoped-for-successor-to-Augustus Gaius Caesar (either February 21 or 22) in Limyra

c. 1st century A.D. -- martyrdom of Aristion, place disputed

1756 -- birth of Gilbert Wakefield (Classicist)
salutary @ Dictionary.com

gyrovague @ Wordsmith

pestilence @ Merriam-Webster
Usus vehiculorum publicorum auctus

Incrementum pretii materiae combustibilis effecit, ut in dies plures Europaei suo proprio autocineto uti desinerent et ad vehicula publica adhibenda transirent.

Praesertim consumptores Europae occidentalis, ut Francogalli, Germani et Helvetii, consuetudines suas ad rem autocineticam pertinentes propter pretium benzini auctum valde mutaverunt. In Finnia autem hic effectus minor esse videtur.

Reijo Pitkäranta
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)
There's another bit of Epictetus over at the Audiostoa ...

Hobbyblog has an AE30 of Gallienus (a bit worn) ....

Laudator presents us with an interesting 'latinate' passage from Rabelais ...

Sauvage Noble's AM has an interesting idea for bloggers to help promote National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week (I'll try to participate, by the way) ....

Sympotica graecolatina presents another (somewhat strange?) convivial quotation ...

The APA is surveying members about the date of the Annual Meeting ...

Via ABZU comes notice of an online book: G.H. Bianchi, The Mythology Of Greece And Rome, With Special Reference to its Use in Art. (1875) ... actually, it appears ABZU has added a pile of online books from this source, Carnegie Mellon's Universal Library ... we'll get some more in in future ClassiCarnivals ...
From ANSA:

The muses of classical antiquity are appearing at the Colosseum in a new show spotlighting the workings of artistic creation .

The exhibition, artfully lit among the arches of the ancient arena, features 40 pieces including statues, Attic vases and frescoes from Pompeii. The star of show is the so-called Thinking Muse, Polyhymnia, the guiding spirit of sacred poetry .

The muse - found at a dig in central Rome in 1920 - is portrayed with her hand to her chin as she meditates on the mysteries of the artistic process .

Many of the statues show giants of ancient writing or philosophy inspired by the muses: Homer, Socrates, Epicurus and Cicero .

The muses were believed to inspire creativity in every field of knowledge, from music to poetry, from philosophy to art. In Greek mythology they are imagined as the beautiful daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory .

The other muses are Calliope (epic poetry), Euterpe (music), Erato (love poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore (dancing), Clio (history), Thalia (comedy) and Urania (astronomy) .

The exhibition includes a marble sarcophagus, found at Civita Castellana north of Rome, on which they are all depicted in bas-relief .

Curator Angelo Bottini said the show aimed to illustrate how the muses "were used as artistic inspiration throughout antiquity, giving rise to a canon of excellence that came down to the present day via the Renaissance." The exhibition's programme quotes the Roman historian Tacitus as saying: "All I desire for myself is that the sweet Muses, as Virgil calls them, take me to those sacred places and their founts, far from mundane anxieties, woes and the need to do things unwillingly every day." "Musa pensosa. L'immagine dell'intellettuale nell'antichita'" (The Thinking Muse. The Intellectual in Antiquity) runs until August 20. Organisers hope to top an exhibition at the same venue last year, on ancient mystery rites, which drew 1.5 people .

... I assume there's a typo in that last line.
I'm still trying to figure out this 'Wanted In Rome' site ... here's the latest bit from that source that attracted the attention of one of my spiders:

At the height of the Roman empire, the nucleus of Rome and its palaces was wreathed with a garland of outlying suburban villas splendidly appointed, in gardens full of fruit trees, rare flowers and swimming pools. Not since Egyptian times had a ruling class dwelt in such sumptuous and luxurious surroundings. But the repetitive onslaughts by barbarian hordes, the razing and despoiling of mediaeval Rome, its merciless recycling by nouveau-riche popes, the new spirit of the Renaissance, Mussolini’s wilful planning and, last but not least, “modern progress” have reduced Rome to a giant collage. Never has a city been made of so many historical layers used over and over again for the most disparate architectural forms. Nor do we have any idea how much of the hallowed rubble we still tread today when engaged in our ordinary daily rounds. But from time to time something sparkles up to the surface and forlorn fragments may speak to us of long-ago lives and their splendour.
So it happened that when a huge space was about to be blasted into the Janiculum hill for a parking garage meant for the pilgrim buses for the millennium Jubilee of 2000, the bulldozers rammed into the halls of an imperial villa. It was the centre of a complex of gardens which was built for Agrippina the elder (14BC-33AD), niece of Augustus and mother of Caligula. After the fall of the empire it was used as a storage space for centuries, then it was partially gutted and in the end buried and forgotten. The discovery stirred up a wasp’s nest of controversy: Rome was in dire need of space, but historical heritage was supposedly untouchable.
In the end the scholars and archaeologists achieved only a pyrrhic victory over the modern barbarians, the planners and politicians. The major part of the fragments were carefully carted away to be catalogued, stored and studied, but the parking space for temporary pilgrims was grimly built.
The fragments from the villa are now on display for the first time in Palazzo Altemps, in the museum of antiquity, in what was once a theatre. There are gracefully detailed capitals of columns in marble and alabaster and other fine decorations, even a small, touchingly awkward statue of Venus. But two decorative panels of the garden rooms are astounding. Light, spacious, with a beautifully cursive touch, they depict well-heads, architectural scaffolds – little impish masks and song birds flitting through them – whorled branches of leaves, flowers and ropes swinging lightly overhead. Yellows and burnt-umber reds stand out blithely on pale white surfaces – all as fresh as if painted yesterday. Here a swift, playful hand has left enchanting traces. Only a sophisticated high-class craftsman or artist could have performed these quick, easy marks. The old saying has it that most Roman discoveries were mere copies of Greek masterpieces. However, this charming show confirms today’s theory that Rome’s artists, perhaps taught by Greeks in a few instances, were in fact the real perpetrators. It makes you hunger for new discoveries from the unimaginable wealth of fragments still quite literally underfoot.
5.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Greece: Journeys to the Gods

7.00 p.m. |HINT| The Romans
Host Richard Karn looks at the Roman legionnaires, who conquered and dominated most of the known world for 500 years, and left behind a legacy of language, culture, architecture, and government.

11.00 p.m. |HINT| The Forgotten Civilizations of Anatolia
Throughout the course of history, many great civilizations have flourished in the area we now identify as Turkey, which forms a natural bridge between Europe and Asia. Join us on a virtual tour of Gordiyon (also known as Gordium), the domain of King Midas, Hattusa, the famous Hittite capital with its spectacular royal citadel, and the later cities ruled by the Greeks during the days of the Byzantine Empire. Using state-of-the-art computer technology and the latest in archaeological exploration, we walk viewers through ancient sites along with the citizens of the time.

11.30 p.m. |HINT| Ancient Itinerary in Ionia
In the 2nd century BC, artistic and cultural activities reached their heights in the cities of Ionia, a densely populated area on the coast of modern-day Turkey, as well as on a cluster of Greek islands in the eastern Mediterranean. Priene, Miletus, Delos, Kos, and Rhodes, home of the famous Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, are just some of the destinations on our virtual tour through time. Enhanced 3D graphics help illustrate the senate chamber of Priene, the medical sanctuary of Kos, and the Colossus of Rhodes, and insights from archaeological experts help bring this time to vivid life.
Necessitati qui se accommodat sapit.

The individual who accommodates himself to necessity is wise.

(pron = neh-kes-sih-TAH-tee kwee say ahk-KOHM-moh-daht SAH-pit)

Comment: What is really necessary? I guess that is the difficult point for me
in this proverb. The heart of the proverb is knowing how to let go of the
course that I've been on when "necessity" demands something else. It feels so
much safer to have a plan and stick to it as I go through the day or my life.
Unfortunately, my plan does not always take into consideration, well, other
people in my life!

So, necessity, for me, means becoming aware of how my living is affecting
others, and how their living is affecting me. It's really not two separate
kinds of living. It's really one life, one living, and "necessity" keeps
calling me around to that reality. Each call is an invitation to drop my
agenda and embrace the new set of circumstances that are emerging in front of

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist teacher whose work I find very helpful, constantly
reminds me that holding on to a view (or plan, or agenda) is the way that
creates suffering, for me and for those around me. Letting go of views, of
plans and agendas for what is emerging is the way of enjoying life, of peace.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem ix kalendas martias

Parentalia possibly comes to an end with the festival of Feralia, during which sheep were sacrificed to the dead; the rites mentioned by Ovid (Fasti 2.565 ff) in connection with the Feralia probably have nothing to do specifically with the festival.

4 A.D. -- death of hoped-for-successor-to-Augustus Gaius Caesar (either February 21 or 22) in Limyra
strident @ Guru.net

hederated @ Worthless Word for the Day

potatory @ Wordsmith

prone @ OED

impervious @ Merriam Webster
Novum inventum in Valle regum

Archaeologi Americani in Aegypto sepulcrum abhinc tria milia annorum constructum reppererunt, quod ab aetate pharaonum originem trahere existimatur.

Inventum factum est in Valle regum oppido Luxor vicina, ubi anno millesimo nongentesimo vicesimo secundo (1922) sepulcrum pharaonis Tutankhamon in lucem venit.

In cella subterranea erant quinque sarcophagi, quorum partes superiores imaginibus pictis ornabantur.

Eodem loco positae erant complures ollae ex alabastrite factae et sigillo pharaonum obsignatae.

Reijo Pitkäranta
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)
Strolling down the midway, we find:

Campus Mawrtius' Eric has come across a great six-syllable word in Juvencus ...

I'm not sure whether I've mentioned all the online books/essays at the Center for Hellenic Studies ... here's a page to browse through ....

Hobbyblog features an antoninianus of Gallienus ... Mars marches on ...

Sympotica Graecolatina continues to dig up the convivial quotes ....

The Winter 2006 issue of the CSA Newsletter is out ...

Latin teacher Mark Keith has joined the blogosphere with his pro linguae latinae magistris ....
From RBL:

Vassilis Lambrinoudakis And Jean Balty, eds.,Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum (ThesCRA): Volume 1: Processions, Sacrifices, Libations, Fumigations, Dedications (includes CD-ROM),

Doron Mendels, Memory in Jewish, Pagan and Christian Societies of the Graeco-Roman World: Fragmented Memory–Comprehensive Memory–Collective Memory

Robert Morstein-Marx, Mass Oratory and Political Power in the Late Roman Republic,

From Minerva/PhDiva:

Kate Fitz Gibbon (ed.), Who Owns the Past?: Cultural Policy, Cultural Property, and the Law
From ANSA:

A Roman villa dating back to the III Century AD has been found near Catania in Sicily .

Digs began a few months ago after archaeologists found red potsherds scattered at the site, a stone's throw from a famous castle built by Admiral Horatio Nelson .

Italian police kept the discovery secret until Monday in order to keep tomb raiders away .

The dig has now been secured and opened to journalists .

They were taken on a tour on Monday and shown the remains of Roman walls, a grinding stone and an altar .

The villa, which is thought to cover about 2,500 square metres, may be the same one discovered by a famous Italian archaeologist, Paolo Orsi, at the beginning of the last century .

Orsi found traces of a mosaic floor but no excavation followed his preliminary dig and the site is believed to have been covered up again by subsequent earth movements and vegetation .

From the Olympian:

Dale Riepe has more books than he needs at home, so he’s been slowly shedding tomes during the past six months.
The Olympian - Click Here

Every week, the 87-year-old retired philosophy professor takes a few to the Olympia library, some because they’re too heavy for him to enjoy, others because he just doesn’t plan to read them again.

The Friends of the Library group takes them off his hands and puts them on its sale shelf to raise money for the library.

But the group was surprised last week when Riepe produced a 300-year-old Latin volume librarians say won’t go on the $1 table: it’s likely worth as much as $1,000.

Group members will meet with rare book dealers to find its true value, and then auction it off and spend the proceeds on library programs.

Riepe, long a benefactor of the arts — he’s been active with a half-dozen galleries and museums, the Washington State Historical Society and The Evergreen State College library — suddenly is something of a library celebrity.

‘De Rerum Natura”

The book, an edition of the poem “De Rerum Natura” (On the Nature of Things) by the Roman author Lucretius, has generated a buzz.

“We were all very excited when we got it here last week,” said librarian Cheryl Heywood, cradling the gold-embossed, calf-skin-bound volume, published in 1712. “It’s fun to touch history.”

Although the library won’t stock the book — “We don’t keep rare books,” Heywood said. “I don’t think this would stay on the shelf” — libraries consider it a valuable donation, a gem among the 60 to 80 boxes of books they get donated every week.

“When I saw this one last week, time stood still,” Heywood said.

At the Olympia home where Riepe lives with his wife, Charleine, it’s hard to turn a corner without bumping into a historical volume.

The walls of almost every room are lined with bookshelves.

Squeezing through a hallway with more room devoted to book storage than pathway, Riepe pointed out a few that jumped out to him: “The Essays of Montaigne,” “The Life of Delacroix,” a well-worn Sanskrit-English Dictionary.

“Here’s a history of Herodotus, if you want to read it,”
Riepe offered.

Riepe taught philosophy at the State University of New York Buffalo campus for most of his academic career; his wife of 58 years taught Greek and Latin at high schools and at the university. They also spent years abroad, mostly in Asian countries, because Riepe focused his studies on Eastern religions.

The bibliophiles estimate they have between 8,000 and 9,000 works in their library.

“We’ve never counted,” said Charleine Riepe. “When we moved from Buffalo, we had 500 boxes — just of books.”

Lately, Dale has been winnowing the volumes.

“Wherever he is in the house, he decides, ‘Oh, this ought to go,’ ” Charleine said. “I think he’ll just see something and say, ‘This is better at the library than with me.’ ”

Riepe enjoys donating to the library because he wants to share his collection with new readers, he said, and he likes to free up room on his shelves.

“You get more space for new books,” he said.

He didn’t think much of giving up the centuries-old Lucretius volume.

Of the half-dozen languages he reads, Latin is not among them. The book was his wife’s.
There are always interesting exhibitions associated with the Olympics ... here's a report on one (from La Stampa):

Twenty-first century man, with his fitness programmes, beauty farms, health foods and plastic surgery, is apparently obsessed with his own body. And yet perfectly sculpted pecs are nothing new: our ideals of male beauty come to us from ancient Greece. Unlike the female body, which tends to adapt to the given historical period or civilization, the male aesthetic remains unchanged: introduced by the Greeks and consolidated by the Romans, it has survived intact to the present day.

Now, the Museo di Antichità, Via XX Settembre 88, is staging an exhibition 'Eroi e atleti' (Heroes and Athletes) inspired by the Olympic Games. Or at least in part. The ancient Greeks and Romans had no conception of winter sports and, preferring to practicising practice their physical activities in the open air, tended to wear as little as possible. The exhibition therefore concentrates on the naked body and sculpture, its ideal expressive medium. With an evident lack of more modern inhibitions.

The exhibition - with fifty magnificent works - offers a fascinating selection of sculpture and decorated vases, illustrating the aesthetic and moral significance of beauty in ancient times. Exceptional among them is the statue of Auriga, with its legendary sexual ambiguity, from the museum of Mozia, a small island off the coast of Trapani in Sicily. The statue, dating from 470-450 BC, has lost arms and feet but presents a muscular body in a sensual and provocative pose, further emphasised by a transparent robe which, transcending its marble reality, clings to the legs of the youth.

On view for the first time in Turin are the 'Kouroi Milani' from the Archeological Museum of Florence and the 'Kouros' from the Archeological Museum of Reggio Calabria: extraordinarily refined pieces produced in Italy in the fifth century BC.

Rounding out the exhibtion are some contemporary works: 'Specchi' (Mirrors) by Michelangelo Pistoletto, an Arte Povera painter and sculptor he was a ski coach for many years and perhaps was chosen for that reason.

... can't tell from their (heavily flash-based) website whether there's a catalog available ...
... nothing of interest.
Saepe subit poenas, ori qui non dat habenas.

Often the individual who does not give reins to his mouth undergoes punishment.

(pron = SAI-pay SOO-bit POY-nahs OH-ree kwee nohn daht hah-BAY-nahs)

Comment: The more realistic version in my experiences is that first I don't
watch what I am saying. Then, because of that I give offense to someone.
Finally, because of the offense, something negative comes back to me. It's one
of the simplest examples of "karma" that I know. What I give out of my mouth
comes back to affect me.

The image of reins is an interesting one here. The implication is that our
speaking becomes like a runaway horse (or horses!). From what has speech
broken free? We might at first think that such runaway speech has broken free
from good thinking, but honestly, when my mouth has gotten me in trouble, my
thinking has been involved. What has not been engaged is my own inner sense of
why I would need or want to think and say the things I am saying in the first
place. In other words, looking backwards, my own offensive speech has been a
result of acting out loud some inner need or wound that I have not owned, that
I have not acknowledged. And so, the mind/mouth disconnected from the rest of
the inner life goes running through the streets of other peoples' lives making
a mess.

Think before you speak is a good maxim. Better might be: be still, and be in
your own life before your tongue goes running through the lives of others.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem x kalendas martias

Parentalia (Day 8) -- a festival for honouring/appeasing the dead

116 A.D. -- Trajan is given the title "Parthicus" by the senate for his victories against the Parthians
itinerant @ Guru.net

catachthonian @ Worthless Word for the Day

sextet @ Wordsmith

rictus @ Merriam-Webster

Also seen: taurocoprism @ William Blathers (potentially offensive)
From YLE:

Opus, c.t. Legenda Sancti Henrici

Liber, qui inscribitur 'Legenda Sancti Henrici', est optimum opus historicum anno praeterito in Finnia scriptum, ut iudicat Societas amicorum historiae Finnica.

Auctor huius voluminis sumptu Societatis litterarum Finnicarum editi est docens Tuomas Heikkilä, qui imprimis eo laudatur, quod studium textuum ecclesiasticorum internationale cum investigatione mediae aetatis Finniae feliciter coniunxerit.

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

More Latin news at Ephemeris ... latest headline: Carcerem in Guantanamo destruendum esse

Akropolis World News in Classical Greek latest: Malicious worm aims to bite Apple - Greenland ice swells ocean rise
Over at Thoughts on Antiquity, CW has some questions about paleography in Medieval manuscripts (specifically, the Magna Carta) ...

About.com's N.S. Gill offers a top five list of the worst Roman emperors ...

Bread and Circuses weighs in on the AD v CE debate ...

The History News Network has an article by Robert Frakes, Why the Romans Are Important in the Debate About Gay Marriage ...

Philosophy Now has an installment of Dear Socrates on his influence on post-Socratic types ...

We note the existence of a game called 7 Wonders of the Ancient World ... not really much ancient about it except its theme, but one could kill some time with it every now and then ...

In case you've never read the paper on the use of the Helen as a unit of beauty ...
From BMCR:

Robert Bagg (trans.), The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Kolonos, and Antigone, Introductions and Notes by Robert Bagg and Mary Bagg.

William Cavanagh, Christopher Mee, Peter James, The Laconia Rural Sites Project. BSA Supplementary Volume 36.

Irad Malkin (ed.), Mediterranean Paradigms and Classical Antiquity.

J. M. Cook, R. V. Nichols, Old Smyrna Excavations: The Temples of Athena. With an Appendix by D. M. Pyle. Annual of the British School at Athens, Supplementary Volume No. 30.

Karl Gerhard Hempel, Die Nekropole von Tarent im 2. und 1. Jahrhundert v. Chr. Studien zur materiellen Kultur. With an Italian translation of the main text.

Johan Henrik Schreiner, Two Battles and Two Bills: Marathon and the Athenian Fleet. The Norwegian Institute at Athens. Monographs, vol. 3.

From the Seattle Times:

Greece: Secrets of the Past (IMAX movie)
It's articles like this one -- from Venezuela's Daily Journal -- that makes me wish I had a Latin equivalent for WTF?:

Warning: This article deals with Julius Caesar. Any similarity with national situations is the sole responsibility of whomsoever establishes the relationship. It contains expressions of a sexual type “Oooh” and violence type “Ah.”

It has always been said that Caesar was murdered by Brutus. It is curious, Brutus was the son of Servilia, the great leader’s most famous lover. They say that although he was not his son, Caesar loved him as such. This gives us a historical first lesson: One cannot go through life surrounded by brutes and servants.
The return of Caesar to Rome had generated big expectations in the Populace that expected from its leader the allotment of lands and revolutionary politics. This, in practice, didn’t happen. The Senate went on to progressively grant Caesar more and more powers. In the year 44, he was named dictator for life.
With it, he was able to concentrate much power in his hands, which bothered his enemies and bothered his own partisans who, their demands not being satisfied, even dared to claim him/her openly saying him/her: “Caesar, amiucus populule cum tigus est, Ave ave, Caesar domus non habemus, Sic, sic, sic goverum est” and things of that nature.
As a military man, the future dictator had disobeyed the orders of the Senate and had crossed the Rubicón river with his troops, that is to say, he overstepped his bounds. That is where he said his famous words: Jalea jacta est. Surprisingly the Senate, instead of censoring him for such an action, ended up naming him “dictator for life.” History surprises you. Surprises give you history; oh dear.
They say that when Caesar went to the Senate, the day of his murder, someone called Artemidoro tried giving him a letter which warned him of many things, and that the soldier didn’t read it because he had quit the custom of reading messages from the people. Second historical lesson: Always stop and listen to your people. Kavafis, the great Greek poet, writes a beautiful poem about that moment:
“My soul, avoid pomp and glory.
And if you cannot stop your ambitions, at least follow them with caution, warily.
And the higher you go the more perceptive and careful you must be.
And when you finally arrive at your pinnacle, Caesar – when you assume the role of someone very famous – then be even more careful when you go down the street.
A remarkable man of being able to with your retinue; and if a certain Artemidoro comes to you from among the crowds, bringing a letter, and saying hastily: “Read this at once. There are important things in here that concern you”, make sure to stop; make sure to postpone all conversation or business; make sure to get rid of all those that greet you and revere (you can see to that later); you can even keep the Senate waiting and find out immediately how important the message is that Artemidoro has for you.”

... so many errors, so little time.
Nice press coverage of the AWMC from the Herald Sun:

While they may study places and people that are thousands of years old, scholars at UNC are at the forefront of modernizing antiquity.

Researchers long have had to dip into hefty and static atlases to study the stomping grounds of Alexander the Great or the Roman emperors, but they soon will be able to do so on a comprehensive, open-source database on the Internet -- thanks to UNC's Ancient World Mapping Center.

The group started the project this month with the help of a $390,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Mapping center leaders hope the online project will serve as a template for other humanities scholars to incorporate technology into their research.

"You think it's all so old, boring and crusty," Richard Talbert, principal investigator of the project, said of the classics. "But it's not."

Talbert, a history and classics professor at UNC, spent 12 years editing the last large atlas of classical lands. The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, which was published in 2000, was the first work of its kind since the 1870s.

The book's 100 maps illustrate the classical world -- from the British Isles to the Indian subcontinent and into North Africa -- from 1000 B.C. to 640 A.D.

Praised by scholars, the volume does have limitations. The printed maps don't allow for easy inclusion of new discoveries. And at about three feet long and costing around $350, the book is not always accessible for readers.

"The more I got into it, I realized that this was likely only a beginning," Talbert said of his work on the Barrington Atlas.

Soon after that volume was published, the Ancient World Mapping Center was born at UNC and, with it, the idea to digitalize the maps.

The center also works on online and printed maps for beginning students, and audible maps for the visually impaired. The newest project is called Pleiades, after the daughters of Atlas in ancient mythology.

Pleiades' director, Tom Elliott, has a background in both the old and the new. He earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from Duke and a doctoral degree in ancient history from UNC.

Pleiades, which will bring the information from the Barrington Atlas online, will minimize some of the disadvantages of the printed text, Elliott said. For one, scholars can easily alter the maps to include new discoveries.

The online database also will emphasize collaboration. Somewhat like the Web site Wikipedia, anyone -- from university professors to casual students of antiquity -- can suggest updates to the maps. Pleiades will have a team of editors review the suggestions for accuracy.

The site also will connect with databases at other universities. Site visitors looking for a place on a map also may be able to find an overview of excavations that occurred there or listings of where it is mentioned in literature.

Elliott said he hoped the endeavor would lead other humanist scholars to incorporate technology into their research. The link is more intuitive in the sciences, and researchers in the humanities often have little training in the ways that technology can enhance their research, he said.

... and just in case you've never visited their website ...
The Pioneer Press appears to be building the hype for the Gospel of Judas translation:

The first translation of an ancient, self-proclaimed "Gospel of Judas" will be published in late April, bringing to light what some scholars believe are the writings of an early Christian sect suppressed for supporting Jesus Christ's infamous betrayer.

If authentic, the manuscript could add to the understanding of Gnosticism, an unorthodox Christian theology denounced by the early church. The Roman Catholic Church is aware of the manuscript, which a Vatican historian calls "religious fantasy."

According to scholars who have seen photographs of the brittle manuscript, it argues that Judas Iscariot was carrying out God's will when he handed Christ over to his executioners. The manuscript could bring momentum to a broader academic movement that argues Judas has gotten a bum rap among both historians and theologians, as well as in popular culture.

The manuscript's owner says he has cut a deal with the National Geographic Society to release the English translation with a multimedia splash after Easter.

Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, president of the Vatican's Committee for Historical Science, called it "a product of religious fantasy."

He said the manuscript would not have any impact on church teaching.

"We welcome the (manuscript) like we welcome the critical study of any text of ancient literature," Brandmuller said.

He said despite some reports to the contrary, the drive to improve Judas' reputation does not have the Vatican's support.

Brushed onto 31 pages of papyrus in Coptic, an Egyptian script, the manuscript has become tattered after spending centuries buried beneath the sands of middle Egypt and decades on the gray market.

According to Mario Roberty, a Swiss lawyer who currently owns the manuscript, the document, known as a "codex," has undergone restoration and translation by a team of researchers headed by the Swiss Coptic scholar Rodolphe Kasser.

"They've put each page under glass. It's incredibly brittle and in bad shape," Roberty said in a phone interview from Geneva.

Results of the research, Roberty said, will be released after Easter, when Christians around the world traditionally mark the official version of Christ's death as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Roberty would not discuss the contents of the codex and a National Geographic spokeswoman in Washington, Mary Jeanne Jacobsen, would not comment. But scholars independently following the project have begun to anticipate its findings.

Working from photographs of the codex, Charles Hedrick, a retired professor of Coptic studies at Missouri State University, has translated six pages of the manuscript into English, including the codex's title, "The Gospel of Judas."

Some of the manuscript's passages echo descriptions in the New Testament of Christ's arrest, recalling how Roman authorities aimed to "seize (Christ) in the act of prayer" and how Judas "took some money and he delivered (Christ) over to them," Hedrick said, quoting from his translation.

Though Judas cooperates in Christ's arrest, he said, the codex doesn't depict him as a villain.

"Judas is not a bad guy in this text," Hedrick said in an interview. "He is the good guy and he is serving God."

Hedrick and other scholars say the codex was produced in the fourth or fifth century and reflects the theological traditions of a second-century sect of Gnostics, a community that believed true spirituality derived from a self-knowledge, or "gnosis." Figures depicted as sinful in the Old Testament, such as Cain and Esau, were typically extolled under Gnostic theology.

As early as the year 178, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a heresy watchdog of the early church, targeted the community for declaring, "Judas the traitor … alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal."

"They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas," Ireneaeus wrote in "Against Heresies." Scholars say it's possible Ireneaes was reading an earlier version of the transcript, but that point is speculation.

William Lassen, author of "Judas: Betrayer or Friend of Jesus?" considers the forthcoming manuscript an asset to ongoing scholarly efforts to rehabilitate Judas' historical image.

Many scholars believe Judas — whose name literally means "Jewish man" — was a victim of anti-Jewish slander that pervaded early Christianity.

"It's important to look at this Gospel of Judas very carefully, because this is evidence that in the late second century, in the time of Ireneaeus, there was a group who held up the banner for Judas," Lassen said.
... nothing of interest.
Wow ... my inbox is now officially empty of backlog (except for Latin course stuff) ... time for a jaunt down the midway ...

Father Foster's latest (this might be a repeat) -- In 1970 the Pope's own translator won a Latin competition in the Vatican by describing the Apollo moon landing. Listen as he bashfully shares with us some of his personal secrets as a linguist. Including the difficulties encountered in describing jet rocket engines!

Debra Hamel alerts us to some ClassCon in the New York Times Sunday Crossword ...

Speaking of Crosswords, Mary Harrsch has put up a new ancient-themed crossword at Roman Times ...

Laudator tells us what Emerson thought of Plutarch ...

About.com's N.S. Gill has a feature on Slave Revolts ...

Alun points out that a 'Pompeii vase recording' story that circulating (that I seem to have missed) is less-than-convincing ....

Explorator 8.42-43 has been posted ...

I've done a pile of updates to jobs, calls for papers, the calendar, etc. at Classics Central as well ...

Just posted the weekly version of our Ancient World on Television listings ...
From EDP24:

For centuries, he has remained in the shadow of his famous wife, the warrior Queen of East Anglia's Iceni tribe.

But while Boudica outshines him in history, new research shows that Prasutagus was not quite the down-trodden husband previously suggested.

For it was he, and not his wife, who graced the coinage of the period.

Until now, Prasutagus has only existed in historical conjecture and myth as King of the Iceni, the tribe occupying East Anglia, which was ruled with Boudica under Roman authority.

However, new studies on a batch of silver coins found at Joist Fen in Suffolk more than 40 years ago have provided the first archaeological evidence that he existed, and was a man of some importance.

The coins, which would have been buried in the first century AD, bear the words SVB Ri Prasto and Esico Fecit and show a Romanised head on one face with a horse on the other.

It is believed the wording was a mixture of Celtic and Latin - to be translated as “under King Prasto, Esico made me”, with Esico the local metal worker who made the coin.

This conclusion fits in with earlier work by the 19th century antiquarian Sir John Evans who, with great foresight, had suggested that if any coins were discovered of Prasutagus - whom he described as “a mere creature of the Romans” - they would probably look Romanised.

Following Sir John's writings, similar coins from the neighbouring Corieltauvi tribe, bearing very similar writing, were discovered in south west Norfolk that cast doubt on the suggestion that the figure on the original hoard was Prasutagus.

However, extensive new research by Iceni expert Amanda Chadburn, featured in the latest edition of British Archaeology magazine, affirms the original theory of historians - that the portrait on the Suffolk coins found in 1960 is that of Boudica's husband.

John Davies, chief curator at the Norwich Castle Museum, said: “This research is reclaiming this coinage as archaeological evidence to link with the known historical figure who was the husband of Boudica. To find archaeological knowledge of a known historical figure is so very rare. It helps to confirm a part of the very exciting and compelling Boudica story.

“The Iceni didn't write, so we have nothing before that has had a name on it; so to get something which ties in with both an individual and that time is almost unique and very exciting.”

He said that he had always believed that the Joist Fen coins were evidence of Prasutagus.

“Of course spellings change as language develops over time but it is so close that is has to be Prasutagus.”

The findings brought colour and life to the legendary story, which saw Queen Boudica lead the revolt against the Romans after Prasutagus died.

“The study of Boudica is very, very dear to the people of this area and this gives real flesh on the bones. It tells us something very interesting about him as a person because on the coin he is depicted as a Romanised individual who has embraced Roman dress and culture. Although the Iceni lived in simple terms, he is shown as far more than an agricultural man.

“It shows the wider influence that the Romans had at that time in this region, when previously it was felt that this area was a bit of a backwater, away from the influence. This was in fact quite a Romanised area and these coins are very important evidence for that. It shows the royal family of the Iceni was very Roman.”

One of the coins is in the Boudica gallery of the Castle Museum in Norwich.
Another one I forgot to get in Explorator ... from the Mercury:

Experts believe they have discovered the remains of the largest-ever Roman building found in Leicester.

The dwelling, thought to be a second century town house is 230ft long - equivalent to 15 terraced houses.

Archeologists believe it could have been a hotel for Roman officials visiting the city.

Alternatively, it could have been a large home for a wealthy family.

The discovery was made in Vine Street, in the city centre - yards from the former St Margaret's Baths site, where archaeologists recently found the skeletons of 1,300 people in a medieval cemetery.

Evidence of Roman existence in the area was first reported in May last year, when experts thought they had found the remains of a wealthy family's townhouse.

But the excavation has proved much larger than originally thought.

Richard Buckley, director of University of Leicester Archaeology Services, said his team had not expected such a large discovery.

He said: "The surprising thing is that we didn't expect any Roman activity here in this side of the city. We certainly did not expect this sort of density of population.

"Until this development, this part of Leicester is blank on Roman history and this shows there was industrial, residential and commercial activity over this part of town.

"The good thing is that it remains in good enough condition for a good analysis."

The town house is at the junction of two streets with rooms arranged around a central courtyard, served by several corridors with some containing fragments of mosaic pavements.

One of the rooms is equipped with a hypocaust, an ancient central heating system, thought to be part of a small bath suite with a plunge bath.

Another large Roman building, 98ft long, from the third century was also discovered. The unusually thick walls, around 1.2 metres , suggests it could be a public building used for storage.

Mr Buckley said: "We also found two lead seals marked with the initials of the sixth and 20th legion in both areas.

"No doubt this will help us to understand the era and period a bit more and this is a significant find for the city.

"The site is still being examined and we believe it will still be a few months before we have finished our dig."

The area of the discovery is to form a new multi-storey car park for the £350 million Shires development.

Chris Wardle, a city archaeologist, said: "We knew Leicester was a Roman city but the findings suggests that part of town was intensely occupied.."
FrontPage Magazine reproduces the text of talk given by Victor Davis Hanson on What Ancient History Tells Us About Iraq ...
From the WSJ:

In the months leading up to the Olympic Games around 444 B.C., Ikkos of Tarentum, a legendary pentathlon champion, began routine preparations for competition. He hit the gymnasium to practice javelin throwing and long jumps. He coated himself in olive oil to make his rippled body gleam.

But there was one thing that made Ikkos' training regimen, which Plato described in a dialogue around 347 B.C., particularly noteworthy: He gave up sex. Ikkos, who went on to win the Olympic pentathlon, believed that abstinence before competition was essential for preserving athletic vigor.

Twenty-five centuries later, Ikkos' theory still is widely held by athletes. In preparation for Torino, Chad Hedrick, an American speed skater competing in five events, said he planned to avoid sex for at least two weeks before the Olympics in an effort to conserve strength and adrenaline.

Some say the theory that sex before competition is risky is simply an urban legend propagated by coaches who are eager to make sure rowdy young athletes get enough sleep.

However, others support the theory. The abstinence tradition is particularly strong in such sports as boxing and football, where the theory holds that sexual frustration leads to increased aggression.
Forgot to get this one in Explorator this a.m. ... from Kathimerini:

Two ancient fortified settlements were discovered in Nea Karvali, Kavala, northern Greece, during a cleanup by the 18th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities on the outskirts of the municipality.

The first find was the outer side of the ancient wall, with a tower that protects the gate at the southernmost point. It looks as if two fortified towers protected the northern gate, which appears to have been the main entrance of the settlement.

According to the ephorate’s director, Zissis Bonias, the finds back up the supposition that “the Via Egnatia, the great military and commercial artery that connected the western provinces of the Roman Empire with Rome in the second century BC, must have passed by the hill close to the point where the new Egnatia has been built.” Evidenced by sharp-ended amphorae from Thassos and copper coins bearing the image of Macedonian King Cassander (301-297 BC), the original wall dates from the second half of the fourth century BC.

“It seems that during the battles among the successors to Alexander the Great, Cassander fortified this hill in order to secure control of the ancient road,” Bonias said.

Archaeologist Maria Nikolaidou was in charge of the dig that uncovered a fortified seaside settlement in another part of Karvali, dating from the late sixth century to the mid-fourth century BC.
From the Grand Forks Herald:

There's an interesting juxtaposition of ancient history and modern technology going on in Deb Canton's sixth-grade classroom at South Middle School, where students are telling mythology stories using clay figures, cameras and computers.

So, where 3,000 years ago the poet Homer wandered from city to city to tell the story of the Trojan War, today Canton's students are making clay animation movies (sometimes called Claymation) to do the same thing.

Of course, Homer never had to worry about the clay arms and legs and heads of his figures falling off between shots. Students Briana Bridgeford, Chad Loeffler and Joshua Saunders said they struggled to keep their clay figure of Hera, queen of the gods, intact as they posed her to bend over and pick up an apple.

"It was really hard because Hera's back kept breaking in half," Loeffler said.

The sixth-graders venture into Greek mythology began in the library, Canton said, where they read stories like the one about the Greek prince Theseus, who braved the labyrinth to kill the half-man, half-bull minotaur, and about the fabled musician Orpheus and his trip to the underworld to rescue his beloved wife, Eurydice.

Carla DeHaaven, South's curriculum technology partner, had received two grants $180.60 from North Dakota Arts Council and $405 for Grand Forks Foundation for Education to purchase clay and a camera and other equipment to make the movies.

From there, the class was split into groups of three to four students. Each chose a story to tell. They wrote a script, made a story board, designed clay figures, built sets of cardboard boxes and then starting taking the still photos they needed to make their movies.

"We've kind of run the gamut from ancient history to modern technology," Canton said Thursday as the students kept rearranging their clay figures and shooting photos with small digital cameras perched on six-inch tripods. "They like it."

The next step will be the computer work of using the still photos to make animated iMovies and adding dialogue and voices.

In addition to the stories of the Trojan war, Theseus and Orpheus, students were making movies about Phaethon and the horses of the sun and the tragic nymph Callisto and her son Arcas.

Through their work, the students are learning about history, mythology, art, technology and storytelling, and about collaborating and problem solving, their teachers said. And they're learning about how the lives of the ancient Greeks, their politics and stories, remain relevant today.

"Greek history has a huge impact on our lives now, in architecture and our system of government," sixth-grader Connor Joseph said.
From the New York Times' Arts Briefly column:

The illustration of a larger-than-life limestone-and-marble statue on the Web site of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is captioned, "Who is this colossal goddess?" The question asked in a Rome courtroom yesterday was, "Where does she come from?" The fifth-century-B.C. statue, believed to be of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, may be the most important ancient artifact at the core of the trial of Marion True, the Getty's former curator of antiquities, who is accused of acquiring objects illegally excavated from Italian soil. The Getty bought the statue in 1988 for a reported $18 million from the London-based dealer Robin Symes. Salvatore Morando, an investigator testifying at yesterday's hearing, asserted that it came from an illegal excavation at Morgantina in central Sicily. Mr. Morando said tests on the statue and on fragments found at Morgantina indicated that "they came from the same archaeological site." Italian officials have asked for more tests, but Maurizio Fiorilli, a lawyer for the state, charged in court that the Getty Museum was uncooperative. Lawyers for Mrs. True countered that many experts, including Malcolm Bell, a director of the excavations at the Sicilian site, say that no proof of the statue's origins is known. Italian officials have contended since 1988 that it was illegally taken from Sicily.
JS alerted us (thanks!) to some Olympic-oriented doorworthiness:

Here's the incipit of a piece from Discovery.com ... possibly some chain-yanking going on here:

The familiar double-lobed heart symbol seen on Valentine's Day cards and candy was inspired by the shape of human female buttocks as seen from the rear, according to a professor of psychology who studied the origin, history and symbolism of the Feb.14 holiday.

Galdino Pranzarone of Roanoke College in Salem, Va., told Discovery News that he analyzed "essential literary and speculative evidence from mythology and secondary sources," which led to his theory. He believes one rather obvious bit of evidence is that the heart symbol does not directly duplicate the heart human organ.

"The twin lobes of the stylized version correspond roughly to the paired auricles and ventricles (chambers) of the anatomical heart," Pranzarone said, but added that the organ "is never bright red in color" and its "shape does not have the invagination at the top nor the sharp point at the base."

Pranzarone indicated that the ancient Greeks and Romans could have originated the link between human female anatomy and the heart shape. The Greeks, he said, associated beauty with the curves of the human female behind.

"The Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, was beautiful all over, but was unique in that her buttocks were especially beautiful," he explained. "Her shapely rounded hemispheres were so appreciated by the Greeks that they built a special temple Aphrodite Kallipygos, which literally meant, 'Goddess with the Beautiful Buttocks.' This was probably the only religious building in the world that was dedicated to buttock worship."

He admitted that it was possible that the heart symbol represented both male and female glutes (the group that includes the three large muscles of each buttock that control thigh movement), but he said, "I think the Valentine's heart more closely fits the rounded female anatomy rather than the angular, compact and slimmer male butt."

Valentine's Day-type heart symbols first became popular in 15th century Europe as a suit designation on playing cards. It is possible that the Renaissance fondness for classical literature and history brought forth the Greek interest in the female buttocks shape, which Pranzarone indicated also mirrors the basic outline of female breasts.

... so why does it come to a point?
From BMCR:

Andrea Carandini, Emanuele Greco, Workshop di archeologia classica. Paesaggi, costruzioni, reperti.

Stephan F. Schröder, Katalog der antiken Skulpturen des Museo del Prado in Madrid. Vol. 2: Idealplastik.

Laura Nicotra, Archeologia al femminile. Il cammino delle donne nella disciplina archeologica attraverso le figure di otto archeologhe classiche vissute dalla metà dell'Ottocento ad oggi. Studia archaeologica, 129.

Alain M. Gowing, Empire and Memory. The Representation of the Roman Republic in Imperial Culture.

Zeba A. Crook, Reconceptualising Conversion: Patronage, Loyalty, and Conversion in the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche 130.

Yaron Z. Eliav, God's Mountain. The Temple Mount in Time, Place, and Memory.

Denise Kimber Buell, Why This New Race: Ethnic Reasoning in Early Christianity.

Ilaria Ramelli (ed.), I Setti sapienti: vite e opinioni nell'edizione di Bruno Snell.

Genevieve Liveley, Ovid: Love Songs.

Sutton on O'Donnell on Gaspard Fossati, Aya Sofia Constantinople CD-Rom.

Pat Thane (ed.), A History of Old Age.

From Scholia:

Catherine Steel, Reading Cicero: Genre and Performance in Late Republican Rome

From the Independent:

Boris Johnson, The Dream of Rome

From the Guardian:

Dorothy King, The Elgin Marbles


Romans in Britain
... another

Iphigenia at Aulis


The Seven
... another

Bacchae of Baghdad

Wow ... an incredibly slow news day ... only Carnival items today and there's not many of them either!

Glaudkopidos (and the Latinteach list) alert us to a free font based on graffiti from Pompeii ..

Sauvage Noble reminisces and translates a bit of Hamlet into Greek ...

Sympotica has a quote for the weekend ...

Not sure how I came across this one, but there's a recent book out called the Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought ... the Cambridge site for this one has a sample chapter which is an 'historical context' thing by Paul Cartledge ...

... and just in case you get lost in the underworld ....
Invidus omnis abest, si prosperitas tibi non est.

Every envious person is gone, if you have no success.

(pron = IN-wee-doos OHM-nis AHB-ehst see proh-SPEH-ree-tahs TIH-bee nohn ehst).

Comment: The implication is that the envious person is drawn to successful
people like flies to honey. Maybe so. The word "prosperitas" interests me as
it is constructed of "pro" (on behalf of, in the presence of, in the service
of, on the side of, in lieu of) and the root of the word for "hope" (sperare).
This is perhaps overly simplistic, but the Latin word for propserity or success
is made up of parts that imply that success/prosperity is that which is in
service to hope.

Hope is one of those really nice sounding words. Who could be against hope,
right? It's like being opposed to puppies and kittens. But, puppies and
kittens all sweet and cuddly also make huge messes and require a great deal of
energy when we bring them into our homes.

So does hope. Hope, I am sorry to say, requires more energy than it's worth.
Hopinng requires us to put all of our current energy into what may or may not
happen. It keeps us locked on the future, and in my experiences, when my
energy is locked in the future, it leaves me little to live with right now.

The things we call success (accolades, money, promotions, money, attenion,
money) are all wonderful to have, but they are transitory, and they have a
nervy way of making us worry about--the future. Will I keep these things for
long? Will my success last? In other words, success requires a great deal of
care-taking, too.

Hoplessness is not the alternative. The alternative is being in the present
moment. Being here, now. Enjoying one's breath, the ground one walks on, the
person in front of one, the cup of coffee in one's hand. And strangely, being
in the present moment is a great antidote for envy.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem xiii kalendas martias

Parentalia (Day 5) -- the period for appeasing the dead continued

Quirinalia -- festival honouring the namesake of the Quirinal hill, the Sabine divinity Quirinus, who was later identified with Romulus. Little else is known about the festival.

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Donatus and 80+ others near Venice

1776 -- Edward Gibbon publishes the first volume of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
prehensile @ Wordsmith

mulierosity @ Worthless Word for the Day

imbue @ Dictionary.com

Although I think there should be a more recent installment (there appears to be an url problem), the latest My Word! feature at the Classics Technology Center is a list of childbirth gods ...
From YLE:

De Olympiis hibernis Taurinorum

Iam una septimana est, cum Augustae Taurinorum, in urbe Italiae septentrionalis, Olympia hiberna celebrantur.

Par est autem, ut ad hoc argumentum in emissione proxima redeamus, cum plurima certamina ad finem adducta erunt.

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

... more news in Latin atEphemeris ... latest headline: De suffragiis Haiti habitis, in insula Americana

... catching up on Akropolis World News in Classical Greek, we note three installments: Snowstorm paralyzes NY - UK lawmakers vote for smoking ban; Depeche Mode succeeds in Barcelona - Narcos war in Acapulco; New animal and plant species found in New Guinea - Abu Hamza condemned

Time to get back on the old calliope:

First, be sure to catch up on all the coins posted to Hobbyblog of late ...

Another one with a pile of posts of interest to catch up on ... Campus Mawrtius

... similiter,
Laudator Temporis Acti and Classics in Contemporary Culture

The jokes have continued to be posted (awk!) at Curculio's
Ioci Antiqui page ...

Piles of convivial quotes to catch up on at Sympotica too ...

Over at Memorabilia Antonina, there's a very nice pic of a painting of Clytemnestra post-event by John Collier ....

Iconoclasm's TM is sojourning at the DAI in Rome and has a couple of nice pix therefrom ...

Remember that Athenian-plague-is-typhoid story? As Alun points out, the identification isn't as set-in-stone as the media coverage made it appear ....

The Philo of Alexandria blog points us to an online article (pdf): Ilias N. Arnaoutoglou, "Roman Law and Collegia in Asia Minor," Revue Internationale des droits de l’Antiquité XLIX (2002)

The latest scholar to get the Roman Scholar treatment is UCD's Philip de Souza ...

Trying to track similar things down, I came across the Trojan War Art Museum ....

Thoughts on Antiquity recently had pt. 3 on the search for the historical Jesus (although I didn't see parts 1 and 2) ... useful discussion interblogiana

Tropaion ponders Gregory Nagy's concept of a hero ...

You should still be able to access Father Foster's bit from last weekend ... all about Bernadette of Lourdes (or Lapurdum) ....

This one appeared in various fora in my absence ... an animated retelling of the Odyssey in fifteen seconds ....

... another one that caught my eye: the I, Claudius drinking game ...

Thanks to Glaukopidos for picking up the slack in my absence ...
Suzan Mazur at Scoop has a feature (more of an interview, really) on another one of the principals in the Museum Case ... this time, it's prosecutor Maurizio Fiorilli ...
A couple of brief items from the Italian Press ... first from Caserta News comes news of a funding crisis at Pompeii:

Dichiarazione-stampa di Paolo Persico, responsabile Enti Locali DSCampania:
“Uno degli ultimi atti del Governo Berlusconi è stato la sottrazione di 30 milioni di euro alla Sovrintendenza Archeologica di Pompei. Si tratta di un colpo durissimo ai futuri lavori per la tutela del patrimonio archeologico dei siti vesuviani. Si mina la prospettiva di sviluppo di un area che punta sulla risorsa culturale per lo sviluppo. Come al solito, i Parlamentari del centro destra, eletti nei territori vesuviani, hanno brillato per la loro assenza e l’incapacità di tutelare le città.
I Democratici di Sinistra attiveranno tutte le iniziative possibili per difendere il patrimonio Archeologico dell’area vesuviana. Denunceremo all’opinione pubblica questo atto gravissimo, sosterremo le iniziative attivate dalla Regione Campania presso il governo, svilupperemo la più ampia mobilitazione. Le città vesuviane hanno bisogno di un grande programma di investimenti per la cultura, l’ambiente, la sicurezza. Il contrario di ciò che ha fatto il Governo nazionale in questa legislatura”.
Venerdì 24 Febbraio una delegazione dei Democratici di Sinistra con la presenza di Luisa Bossa, Presidente della Commissione Cultura del Consiglio regionale si recherà presso la prima Sovrintendenza Archeologica di Pompei per incontrare i lavoratori e la Direzione.

... from AGE comes news of an antiquities bust on Bari (the first item mentioned seems VERY interesting ... no photos, alas):

Una statuina antropomorfa della Madre Terra risalente al VII secolo avanti Cristo, una ampolla dauna del IV secolo avanti Cristo, un Giove sdraiato, dello stesso periodo, una testa femminile in marmo del I secolo avanti Cristo e, ancora, anfore sottomarine, brocchette, monete e medagliette. Sono alcuni dei 230 reperti recuperati dai carabinieri del nucleo tutela patrimonio culturale di Bari nell'ambito di nove operazioni che si sono svolte tra ottobre e gennaio scorsi nei territori di Barletta, Casamassima, San Giovanni Rotondo, Molfetta, Cerignola, Canosa di Puglia e Arpi, tra le province di Bari e Foggia. Ne hanno dato notizia oggi i carabinieri nel corso di un incontro con i giornalisti. Complessivamente sono state denunciate 22 persone - tra cui un antiquario e 15 tombaroli - alcune delle quali per ricettazione e detenzione abusiva di reperti archeologici. Sono state recuperate anche quattro pistole databili tra la fine del Settecento e l'inizio dell'Ottocento, una pistola 7,35 Beretta, attrezzi utili all'individuazione di siti e allo scavo come metal detector, pale, 'spilloni' e taniche d'acqua che i tombaroli (alcuni dei quali sono stati bloccati in flagranza di reato) utilizzano per ammorbidire il terreno.
A series of comics that have appeared in my box lately:

KL has also pointed out (thanks!) that Pigborn has started a series of comics with a Classics theme ... it appears to be a Monday-Wednesday-Friday comic ... start here and work through the relevant bits of the calendar
From AFP (via Yahoo):

Greek archaeologists excavating an ancient Macedonian city in the foothills of Mount Olympus have uncovered a 2,600-metre defensive wall whose design was "inspired by the glories of Alexander the Great," the site supervisor said Thursday.

Built into the wall were dozens of fragments from statues honouring ancient Greek gods, including Zeus, Hephaestus and possibly Dionysus, archaeologist Dimitrios Pantermalis told a conference in the northern port city of Salonika, according to the Athens News Agency.

Early work on the fortification is believed to have begun under Cassander, the fourth-century BC king of Macedon who succeeded Alexander the Great. Cassander is believed to have ordered the murders of Alexander's mother, wife and infant son, Pantermalis said.

The wall's design suggests that it was "inspired by the glory of Alexander the Great in the East," as the young king sought to emulate grandiose structures encountered during his campaigns, Pantermalis told the conference.

Bronze coins from the period of Theodosius, the 4th-century AD Byzantine Emperor who abolished the ancient
Olympic Games, were also found hidden inside the wall.

The discovery was made in the archaeological site of Dion, an ancient fortified city and key religious sanctuary of the Macedonian civilisation, which ruled much of Greece until Roman times.

Prior excavations at Dion have already revealed two theatres, a stadium, and shrines to a variety of gods, including Egyptian deities Sarapis, Isis and Anubis, whose influence in the Greek world grew in the wake of Alexander's conquest of Egypt.
I'm somewhat confused by these apparently conflicting reports ... first, from the Guardian:

The 2,000-year-old remains in the area of Rome's Palatine Hill, where emperors once built lavish residences, are becoming unstable and pose a risk to the 4 million tourists who visit each year.

Years of poor preservation have left many buildings in the open-air forum in a state of erosion, with heavy rains allowed to undermine foundations. There are crumbling galleries, cracked walls and unstable blocks of stone.

"We have a sick patient with many diseases," said Angelo Bottini, the head of Rome's archaeological office. "We need to find out which ones are the most serious and intervene."

The alarm was raised in November when a 15-metre stretch of wall, which experts had considered solid, fell. Italy's culture ministry ordered a survey of all the ruins, but Mr Bottini said that, for the longer term, a proper preservation scheme was needed.

The estimate for a full restoration is €130m (£90m) over 10 years. The Palatine gains an annual revenue from ticket sales of about €25m. Italy has earmarked €60m over the next 15 years for all of the country's ancient sites.

... but we read in ANSA:

Two Roman emperors' houses on the Palatine Hill are safe for the foreseeable future, Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione said on Thursday .

Presenting a five-month study of the Palatine's state of repair, the minister said it would take "four to five" years to make the residences of the emperors Augustus and Tiberius secure .

He said there was no risk of the sites being closed like another of Rome's biggest tourist draws, Nero's Domus Aurea (Golden House), which shut its doors for two years because of security fears in December .

On the contrary, a number of new Palatine sites are set to open, the minister said without identifying them .

Work is already under way to ward off the risk of collapse at the two imperial houses, Buttiglione said .

"Prevention is better than cure," he said. The most immediately important work will cost about 15 milion euros while a ten-year plan to make the whole of the hill safe has a bill of 130 million euros .

Buttiglione said current budget allocations would not pay for this, suggesting that some of the sites on the Hill - which bears the ruins of Imperial Rome's most important dwellings - should be subject to an extra entrance fee .

However, he added, less well-off visitors should be exempted from any extra fees .

"I want to give the ticket system a comprehensive review," Buttiglione said .

The Palatine draws more visitors than any other ancient site in Italy, over four million a year (of whom three million pay entrance fees) .

Visits have risen by 12 percent over the last four years .
An excerpt from a Berkeley press release:

Two University of California, Berkeley, students and one UC Berkeley alumna are among 40 new recipients from the United States of Gates Cambridge Scholarships. In October, the trio will join fellow Gates Scholars from all over the world in pursuing graduate degrees at Cambridge University in England.

Johanna Hanink, Calvert Jones and Amparo Flores were awarded the 2006 scholarships based on their exceptional academic achievement, leadership capacity and desire to use their knowledge to improve the lives of others, according to Ed Strauss, director of communications for Cambridge in America, which is based in New York. "UC Berkeley can be proud of what these three scholars have accomplished because the competition for Gates Scholarships has become quite formidable," Strauss said.

Now in its sixth year, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program has brought more than 500 students from 72 countries to Cambridge for graduate studies in a wide range of subjects: the arts, science, humanities, social science, technology and medicine. Scholarships cover the full cost of study at the university, including living expenses, transportation and a discretionary fee for study-related activities. The program is administered by the Gates Cambridge Trust which was established in 2000 with a $210 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle to enable outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at Cambridge.

A year at Cambridge will provide Johanna Hanink, a Ph.D. student in the UC Berkeley Classics Department, the opportunity to focus her work."I won't be taking as many classes, so I can spend most of my time doing research and writing," she said, referring to the Cambridge system that holds class time to a minimum while emphasizing self-directed research and one-on-one tutorials. Hanink will use her time at Cambridge to research how classical Greek tragedy from the 5th century B.C. influenced Hellenistic poetry two centuries later. A native of Ashford, Conn., she plans to return to UC Berkeley for her Ph.D. after receiving a master of philosophy degree at Cambridge.
Non mihi sapit qui sermone sed qui factis sapit.
(Robert Burton, 1577-1640, English writer/author of The Anatomy of Melancholy)

To me, one is not wise by his/her speech, but one is wise by his/her actions.

(pron = nohn MEE-hee SAH-pit kwee sehr-MOH-nay sehd kwee FAHK-tees SAH-pit).

Comment: It's probably some sort of hypocrisy to write about this particular
proverb--more words, trying to be wise, about a wisdom that is best demonstated
by how we act today.

So, let's cut to the chase: what would your own wisdom LOOK like today?

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
The latest issue of Archaeology has a piece on evidence of ancient surgery ... there's an abstract online ....
From the Daily Herald:

The University's new Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World rang in the new year with a new director: Professor of Classics Susan Alcock, who says she wants to build the interdisciplinary institute into "as big of an octopus as I can."

Most recently a professor at the University of Michigan, Alcock responded to the University's advertisement an-nouncing the position and was interviewed on campus last February. In addition to a formal interview, Alcock gave a public lecture, spoke with students and met with many people, including a search committee, before being hired last year.

"We conducted a very competitive search," said Katharina Galor, visiting assistant professor of old world archaeology and art. "She's really a star in the profession," Galor said, adding that, "She's ambitious, ef-fective, energetic, young, and also a very accomplished scholar."

Alcock, who spent September doing fieldwork in Armenia, said one of her goals is to inform Brown students that there is much more to archeology than digging. Alcock's work is sometimes called "landscape archaeology."

"I don't dig. I do regional survey. It's a form of investigation of tracing the earth's surface and finding human remains," she said.

The institute was able to hire Alcock thanks to a gift from Professor Emerita of Old World Archaeology and Art Martha Joukowsky '58 P'87 and Chancellor Emeritus Artemis Joukowsky '55 P'87 intended to help transform the former Center for Old World Archaeology and Art into the new institute. Currently located at 70 Waterman St., the institute is expected to move into Rhode Island Hall in the next two or three years, Alcock said.

"In Rhode Island Hall there are many vital units to the University and the transfer has to be made without disrupting those units," she said. The inside of the building is going to be completely renovated and, because of its convenient location, is "intended to be gregarious."

The institute will bring together faculty that are currently scattered throughout various departments, including anthropology, art history, Egyptology and classics, ac-cording to Galor.

"The institute is great because it's going to be one of these large umbrellas on campus where a lot of us that deal with the distant past, particularly the archaeology of the distant past, can get together and discuss what we have in common," said Stephen Houston, professor of anthropology. "The institute is, we hope, our future club house," he added.

Alcock said she wants to broaden the off-campus network connected with the institute as well, and intends to use the University to make connections up and down the East Coast.

Plans for the institute include seminar series and conferences. Currently, applications are being accepted for two visiting professors next year and there is the possibility of additional hires. The institute will also enrich the graduate student curriculum while still boosting undergraduate archaeology, Alcock said. The number of graduate applications has increased this year - according to Galor, the department has received 52 applications for its doctoral program this year.

Students are looking forward to the new institute.

"We're all really excited about the changes. We have a new, nicer space, access to lectures and an addition to (the) full-time faculty," said Cecelia Feldman GS. Feldman said students have the opportunity to contribute to the transformation of the institute as well, whether it is by helping clear space or giving input about speakers who will visit the department.

"Susan Alcock is amazing. Everyone that I've talked to that's met her is just overwhelmed with how kind and outgoing she is," said Juliana McKittrick '07, a student in AN 250: "The Archaeology of Empires," which is taught by Alcock. "Just from talking to her, we all have confidence that she can make the institute incredibly strong and has that leadership potential."

Many opportunities are being offered to undergraduates in the department as well. According to McKittrick, many professors are opening up their digs to students, including Galor, who is planning to bring about 10 or 15 students to her ongoing excavation site at Apollonia Arsuf in Israel this summer. The institute is also co-sponsoring a major conference on the archaeology of Jerusalem that Galor has been organizing for this year. "This is the first conference where Palestinian and Israeli archaeologists will come to-gether to talk about the city's archaeology and the culture of the city," Galor said.

The institute is also looking into organizing a student dig at the First Baptist Church on North Main Street, possibly to be led by Houston, which could be part of a course about the archaeology of College Hill, according to Alcock.

Galor said Alcock has already begun to make positive changes and that the "conditions and settings" of the institute are ideal to create a department that could compete with the top archaeology programs in the United States.

Being very new to campus, Alcock said she is open to all comments, questions or "bizarre e-mails."

"This term, a lot of it is just meeting as many people as possible and getting the word out that the institute is coming," she said.
Brief item from the Daily Post:

A RARE solid silver Roman snake bracelet dating from the 1st or 2nd centuries has been unearthed in a ploughed farmer's field, near Warrington.

Archaeologist James Balme didn't even need his metal detector - it was gleaming in the soil. He now believes he has unearthed one of his most important finds which looks set to be declared treasure trove and is currently awaiting a formal valuation at the British Museum.

... no photo, alas.
Zenit has an interview with Catholic University's Monsignor Sokolowski about the Pope's encyclical ... it includes this interesting tidbit (among some others):

Q: Where does love fit into the philosophical discipline of natural theology, or any other area of philosophy where the question of God is addressed?

Monsignor Sokolowski: Love has been a theme in philosophy from the beginning; think of the role it has in Plato's dialogues. When Aristotle speaks about human happiness, he discusses various ways in which we desire and wish for things. Even the theoretic life is a good for us that we can love. Lucretius begins "De Rerum Natura" with a hymn to "alma Venus," who pervades and governs everything. Philosophy gets to ultimates and the good is among them, so our response to the good -- love -- is among the ultimates as well.
I've always wondered about folks like UK Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell ... from 24 Dash:

Higher education minister sparked a row tonight after suggesting university students were dropping classics and philosophy for courses which will be more useful to their careers.

The minister said the trend - which also hit history and fine art - was "no bad thing".

Philosophers, historians, academics and opposition politicians condemned Mr Rammell's remarks as "short-sighted", "out of date" and "economically illiterate".

Applications to study traditional history courses were down 7.8%, while students applying to take degree courses in subjects such as art history or history of religion were down 10.1%.

Philosophy was down 3.9% and fine art degree applications fell 11.4% from last year, according to figures from the admissions service Ucas.

Mr Rammell told the Press Association a first reading of the figures showed students were picking the subjects they think will help them get jobs.

"What you might describe as subjects which students see as being really non-vocational, like fine art, philosophy, classical studies, have seen big reductions.

"That's why I say an initial reading of figures suggests to me that there is some evidence that students are choosing subjects they think are more vocationally beneficial.

"If that's what they are doing I don't see that as necessarily being a bad thing," he said.

Asked if there was any merit in students taking courses in history and philosophy, Mr Rammell said: "Of course there is and if people want to do that I am not going to stop them.

"But if students are making a calculation about which degree is going to get them the best job and the best opportunity in life, I see that as being no bad thing."

But Sean Lang, a teacher and honorary secretary of the Historical Association, said the minister's remarks were "very short-sighted".

"It shows a very limited understanding of the very wide application of academic subjects.

"People are always saying we need to get over the academic-vocational divide.

"What he is doing is entrenching it rather than bridging it."

Timothy Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford University, said: "Philosophy teaches you how to detect bad arguments, so it's no surprise when politicians aren't keen for it to be studied.

"Employers value the capacity for clear critical analysis gained from studying philosophy."

Boris Johnson, shadow higher education minister, said Mr Rammell's remarks risked sending the message that studying classics or philosophy was not a valuable preparation for work.

"That's economically illiterate," he told PA. "I just don't think it's true. A degree in classics or philosophy can be as valuable as anything else.

"Of course students should be encouraged to pick subjects that are going to be vocationally useful and there are signs that they are doing this.

"But I really don't think that they should be discouraged in any way from studying subjects such as philosophy and classics.

"A lot of people will be nervous that the Labour Government is going down the drab utilitarianism route of Charles Clarke."

Three years ago, Mr Clarke, then Education Secretary, caused an outcry after criticising subjects which were not "useful".

Mr Clarke was reported to have said he would not mind a few medieval historians in universities for "ornamental" purposes but the Government should not have to fund them. He later denied making the comments.

Professor Douglas Cairns, honorary secretary of the Classical Association, also criticised Mr Rammell's remarks.

"I think the minister is just out of date," said Professor Cairns, who is head of history and classics at Edinburgh University.

"Like every other arts subject, we provide the full range of transferable skills that have been expected of us for the last 10 to 15 years.

"A degree in any humanities subject is an excellent training for the world of work," he said.

"That's why we get very well qualified students who go on to get very good jobs."

Jonathan Wolff, philosophy professor at University College London and honorary secretary of the British Philosophical Association, agreed.

"It is a bad mistake to think that subjects like philosophy, history and classics do not prepare students for the workplace," Prof Wolff said.

"In the modern world, detailed factual information goes out of date so quickly that employees need the skills to conduct research, and the flexibility of mind and imagination to see problems and possible solutions from many points of views.

"This is what philosophy and similar subjects provide so well."
Brief, but interesting item from the Macedonian Press Agency:

The number of Australian university students studying ancient Greek History recorded an impressive rise because of Hollywood.

The newspaper The Australian Financial Review dealt with the phenomenon with an article signed by Luke Slattery who mentions that registration to the ancient Greek History course in the University of Sydney recorded a notable increase as the number of students signing up to attend reached 320 this year compared to 230 in 2004.

He writes that the gods are smiling again but this turnabout can be traced back to the popular culture of the film industry and movies like Troy, Alexander the Great and Gladiator. He added that students in the last classes of high school who selected the ancient History class reached 10,300 surpassing the number of students studying contemporary History.

Mr. Slattery also refers to statements made by 33-year-old classicist Alastair Blanshard who is the writer of a book on Hercules. Mr. Blanshard said characteristically that the way we tell stories, what we choose to say and what we keep silent reveals a lot about ourselves. Stories are the way we cling to life, he added.

LS's article is online, but you have to pay for it ...
The Chicago Tribune has a piece on that 'new wonders of the world' list and in passing mentions the statue of Zeus at Olympia in this context:

Caligula tried to appropriate The Statue of Zeus, and broke it. A Roman successor closed its temple, which later suffered earthquakes, landslides and fire.

Did Caligula break it? The (probably apocryphal) tale in Suetonius (57.1) doesn't really suggest such, nor does the tale in Dio (59.28) ...

As a postscript/sidenote (ouch), the Daily Telegraph (Australia) notes that the Spanish Prime Minister was compared to Caligula because of plans to legalize gay marriage ...
Not strictly Classical, but clearly with a frisson of subject matter that we regularly deal with here ... from the Daily Pennsylvanian:

Archaeology professor Brian Rose wants to make sure ancient artifacts stay in their rightful homes -- even if those homes are in war zones.

Rose, who has worked on excavation sites around the world, is trying to ensure that military personnel on duty treat valuable artifacts with respect.

He was struck by the problem after hearing of famous museums and archeological sites in Iraq and Afghanistan being looted by locals in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban.

Priceless works of art, Rose said, were showing up around the world, many of them being sold on the auction Web site eBay.com.

"A lot of the pieces [on eBay] may be from the Baghdad Archaeological Museum, but if no inventory number is written on them, you can't prove it," he said. "And if you can't prove it, then [selling them] is legal."

He realized, he said, that he should go straight to the troops themselves.

His solution was a lecture series that showed Marines exactly how to properly treat archaeological artifacts.

"Anytime you have the breakdown of authority in a country you have looting, especially of archaeological sites," Rose said. "Antiquities always rise in value ... even more during a depression or recession."

Rose worked with the United States Central Command, which is responsible for military forces in both countries, to set up the program at military bases across the country

The program started last spring at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

"It seemed to me that since our troops are now the guardians of the civilizations of the ancient Near East ... they nevertheless have become the guardians" of the artifacts located there as well, he said.

And Rose isn't alone in believing that protecting artifacts is important and valuable.

"We think that through education this will help the troops do their job better" and have a better relationship with the local people, said Fred Hiebert, an archaeologist for the National Geographic Society and a former Penn professor who does research similar to Rose's.

"I consider it to be one of the most important things that the archaeological community can do," he added.

In addition to leaving a string of looted museums, the selling of stolen antiquities can help fund terrorist organizations, Rose added.

"It's very much a part of terrorism. People sell these antiquities, and they use it to fund terrorist goals of their own," he said. "Marines have found stolen antiquities together with whole caches of weapons and bombs."

In his lectures, Rose said, he emphasizes that stealing priceless works of art detracts from a nation's cultural history.

"Sites are being destroyed, which means that history, in a sense, is being murdered," he said. I would "speak to the troops about the cultural heritage of the Middle East ... so that they could be more aware of the issues of looting and the importance of maintaining the context of these objects."

Rose said he also highlights the importance in world history of the region containing Iraq, which was the site of many of the world's earliest civilizations.

The region also saw the first writing, books, schools and calendars, Rose said.

"I try to emphasize what has been stolen, the value of those objects that have been stolen and the way that these objects relate to ancient religion," he said.

School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rebecca Bushnell said that this work has great importance for society as well as for Penn.

"We've learned in modern political experiences ... that you can't ignore the past," she said. Rose's work is "representative of work of the School of Arts and Sciences faculty, where we take the work of the past and make it relevant today."

Of course, Brian Rose is known for his excavation work at Troy ...
We're still in catchup mode ... we'll get through the backlog of news items today and then resume 'normal' broadcasting tomorrow. Here's a nice bit from the Capital Journal:

About 70 sixth-graders at Morse Middle School held part of ancient Rome during their social studies classes on Tuesday when a guest speaker brought to their classroom old coins struck during the reign of the caesars.

Dawson Lewis of Pierre visited Mark Halling’s classroom to talk about the money used during the beginnings of Western civilization and how coins played a part of politics and culture in the Roman Empire. Lewis gave his presentation to each of Halling’s three ancient history classes, using Roman coins from his personal collection as teaching aids.

He told the students that the currency of the Roman Empire wasn’t only important economically, the coins were also important politically to the caesars. The Roman emperors had their images placed on the coins used to pay their soldiers as a means to reassure the Roman legions and the rest of the population that they had a strong leader.

“Coins were ways of transmitting messages,” Lewis said.

Lewis, a software designer, had the students in the social studies classes divide into groups of threes. Then an assistant, William Lewis — his son who is also enrolled in Halling’s class — distributed sets of three Roman coins from the 4th century to each of the small groups.

According to Lewis, the origins of European money were centered with the ancient Greeks, who conducted trade throughout the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. The city-state of Lydia first struck coins at about 600 BC, using gold and silver the Greeks found in local streams.

Although Rome was basically a small village at 600 BC, the Romans expanded their influence throughout what is now known as Italy and Sicily by about 250 BC. The Romans kept expanding their power into neighboring lands until they had built an empire. The first Roman emperor appeared in 44 BC with the rise of Julius Caesar to power.

By that time, Roman soldiers occupied many lands that now include Spain, France, Greece, Egypt and the Middle East. Lewis said the caesars had to pay the legions in those conquered lands with coins so the Roman soldiers would remain content and loyal to the empire.

Lewis added that newly-struck coins could also inform soldiers in far-off lands about their new caesar when one came into power and also carry messages. As an example, Lewis referred to one coin the students were given that featured the image of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus.

Probus ruled the empire from 276 to 282 AD, and Rome reconquered unstable parts of the empire, including Germany and Asia Minor. Probus had his image placed on Roman coins that showed him wearing armor and having a spear. Lewis said that image was a warning to Probus’ enemies and a message to bolster the confidence of the imperial legions.

Lewis also described Roman coins that offered clemency to rebellious soldiers and announced the move of the imperial capital from Rome to Constantinople.

At the end of each social studies class, Lewis had the students strike their own coins using pieces of lead, steel dies and a large mallet. He described the method as similar to the methods used by workers living 1,700 years ago to make coins for the Roman caesars.

Lewis also distributed Roman coins to about 40 of the sixth-grade students who scored well on a quiz located at his personal Web site, www.mycoinpage.com. The quiz offered questions about Probus, other Roman leaders and Roman currency.

While Roman coins are part of ancient history, they aren’t necessarily rare, since workers would make a quarter of a billion of them annually to pay the imperial army. However, Lewis told the Pierre students that he thought of the coins as “pieces of time.”
Frenos imponit linguae conscientia.
(Publilius Syrus, Sententia 665)

Conscience places reigns on the tongue.

(pron = FRAY-nohs ihm-POH-nit LIN-gwai cohn-skee-EHN-tee-ah)

Comment: If only concsience worked that well! I think that I have a fairly
well developed conscience. In fact, I think there's evidence in my life of an
over-active conscience which is its own problem. As for my tongue, there have
been times in my life when it has simply been the bronco that would not be
tamed, running rampant over the countryside, doing what it would.

I have noticed other wild horses out and about as well.

The word "conscience" comes directly from the Latin word above, which has
component parts: knowledge and together. Conscience, it would seem then, is a
kind of knowing together.

Here's a leap, but it seems to make sense. When my conscience is a common
understanding that I hold with others, especially when that understanding is
that another life is connected to mine (even the lives of those I strongly
dislike) the wild bronco of a tongue seems to calm himself and become more

It's always what I learn after a wild run of the tongue. My life is connected
to those that my tongue has damaged. When the wagging of my tongue hurts
another, it eventually hurts me.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
A brief item from the Sofia News Agency:

Hundreds of Roman finds were discovered at the home of a 40-year-old Bulgarian, media said. The man from Gulyantsi, a town in the north, had collected about 100 rings, four coins and tens of ceramic lamps, pots and accessories. All items were in a good condition, supposedly ready to be sold outside the country, reports say. Experts suggested that the pieces had been unearthed over a long period of time. They probably came from the ancient town Utos, as well as from necropolises.
Jesus has appeared in a pancake in Ohio ... (why are all bearded guys automatically assumed to be Jesus? Why not, say, Sebastian Cabot? ... in light of recent press coverage, it's not surprising that someone is suggesting the image is actually Mohammed) ... oh yeah, Mary also has appeared in a potato chip in Florida ... here's a version with a photo (looks like an alien to me) ...
I've been putting aside drama things for inclusion in a later ClassiCarnival, but this blurb from the Times-Dispatch just jarred the old synapses too much ... it's an announcement for a performance of the Bacchae:

Euripides' classic comedy centers on the clash between the possessed worshippers of Dionysus and the priggish Pentheus, king of Thebes.

Nya harn nya harn nya harn ... ye gods ... immediately after that one comes this excerpt from the Concord Monitor:

Meier, who ran the Performance Ensemble Group at Rundlett Middle School for eight years before moving to the high school in the fall, told the students that thinking of them and their production has helped her cope with her illness. She quoted the tragedian Euripides, who said, "Know thyself and dress accordingly."

... did Euripides ever say anything remotely resembling that???
We're talking the 'wider' Museum Case (of course ... not just the Getty, but all the museums who are now facing legal repatriation cases) ... from the LA Times:

WHILE THEIR OLYMPIC athletes go for the gold in Turin, Italian authorities hope to land some highly coveted silver and terra cotta in the United States. The bounty — five pieces of stoneware and 15 pieces of silver, each at least 2,300 years old — is being held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

But the Met concedes that the Hellenistic treasures were dug up by tomb raiders in Italy in the 1970s and '80s and spirited out of the country, violating a 1939 Italian law asserting ownership over all antiquities there. The Met is expected to finalize a deal soon that would give Italy title to the works in exchange for the museum being loaned pieces of comparable value.

This concession wasn't entirely voluntary. The Met's hand was forced by Italian prosecutors, who found damning evidence when they raided a Roman antiquities dealer. That dealer, it turns out, is a key figure in the prosecution of former Getty Museum antiquities curator Marion True, who was ushered out the door last year in an unrelated dispute.

Still, there's something notable and welcome in the positions taken by the two sides. After insisting for years that it would not return items based on anything less than "irrefutable proof," the Met settled for a "preponderance" of evidence showing the items had been looted. That's the standard a U.S. jury would use if the Met were sued.

Meanwhile, Italian authorities say they'll offer the same deal to other museums that have suspect artifacts: Turn over the works in exchange for valuable long-term loaners. They had already committed to making antiquities available to museums as part of a pact with U.S. officials, who pledged to crack down on the importation of Italian artifacts.

If done right, a loan program would fulfill one of the main goals for museums that get into the murky business of collecting antiquities: letting the public see great works from lost cultures. And by supplying groups of objects from an entire neighborhood or community, rather than just 15 silver items found under the floorboards of some excavated house in Sicily, a loan program could do a much better job of reanimating the lives that produced them.

Closer to home, the Getty has in recent years done more than other major institutions to dry up the market for looted antiquities, and many in the field credit True for demanding more proof of legitimacy. The Getty returned three artifacts last year, and it is talking with Italian authorities about at least 42 more pieces in its collection. The Met, on the other hand, was known within the art world for taking a hard line against allegations that items in its collection had illegal origins. That's why the Met's move is expected to ripple through the art world, potentially triggering a long-overdue wave of reform.

Sui cuique mores fingunt fortunam.
(Cornelius Nepos, Atticus 11.19)

One's way of living (customs, traditions) establishes for each one his/her

(pron = SOO-ee KWEE-kweh MOH-rays FIN-goont for-TOO-nam)

Comment: This saying strikes me as having kinship to another: "you've made your
bed--now lie in it!" The idea is that you have the life that you have created
for yourself.

It's an interesting idea, and for some people may eventually be true. But it
also ignores that very, very few of us, if any at all, actually start out in a
bed of our own making. Most often, our customs, traditions, our way of living
is as much someone else's doing as it is ours. Usually it is moreso someone
else's: mom's, dad's, grandparents', church's, community's, etc. We most
often start out life sitting in a bed that has been built and made by all of
these other influences in our lives. WE may be in a bed that is generations
old, and it may be just as long since the sheets were changed!

So, if we want to have a life and fortune of our own making, I think we have to
get out of that bed, give it back to those who originally built it (and do so
with gratitude--even if it's a really awful bed), and then build our own.
Changing the sheets will not do. Turning the matress over will not do, either.
It will finally be someone else's bed, someone else's life, and finally,
somoene else's fortune.

Perhaps one of the best gifts parents can give to their children is this: to
acknowledge that we have had them in a bed of our making, and then take the bed
away as we invite them to build their own.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
From Rocky Mountain News:

In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon portrays the pagan emperor Maxentius as a licentious youth and "a tyrant as contemptible as he was odious."

Historians have long assumed that the reviled Roman emperor lived part-time at an 80-acre suburban villa complex until he was killed by his rival Constantine at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in A.D. 312.

But a University of Colorado-led archaeology team has uncovered evidence that the villa's main hall was never occupied.

Instead, it appears to have been abandoned before completion, said CU archaeologist Diane Conlin, co-director of the Maxentius project, a five-year excavation that began last summer.

"Maxentius builds a lot in Rome during his extremely short reign," Conlin said. "And the pattern - up to our project - is that Constantine either finishes the buildings and takes them over, or he demolishes them and builds something new.

"But this (villa) stands outside that pattern of behavior," she said. "Instead of being finished or demolished, it was abandoned."

Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius ruled Rome from A.D. 306 to 312, a time when the empire was in "a holding pattern at the end of its period of greatness," said CU historian Noel Lenski. Maxentius, son of the emperor Maximian, was in his 20s when he took power.

At the villa complex about two miles south of Rome's center and just outside the city's defensive walls, Maxentius built a chariot course with grandstand seating for 30,000 and monuments to his only son, Romulus. The boy was 9 when he drowned in the Tiber River, the same fate Maxentius met at the Milvian Bridge.

The day after that battle, Maxentius' armor-clad body was fished from the Tiber mud by Constantine's troops. His head was lopped off and displayed as "an emblem of victory and conquest," Conlin said.

Constantine reportedly had a vision of God the night before the battle and converted to Christianity on the spot.

But Maxentius was a pagan. Archaeologists wonder if his villa project on the Via Appia - the first and most well-known ancient Roman road - was an attempt to strengthen ties with Christians, Conlin said.

"One major question that we hope to answer is why Maxentius built this grand villa complex outside the defensive walls of the city when he had full control of pre-existing imperial palaces located in the heart of the capital," she said.

Limited investigations of the villa site were conducted in 1825 and again in the 1960s. Italian archaeologists exposed exterior walls but didn't dig into the interior of the large main hall, or basilica, Conlin said.

CU archaeologists and their colleagues sank two trenches in the main hall during a five-week field season last summer. Two more trenches will be opened in the basilica this summer. Twenty students from CU and Kalamazoo College in Michigan joined in the 2005 work.

After digging through modern garbage deposits and cemented chunks of architectural debris, the team reached the ancient basilica and found "a bare skeleton of brick and concrete," Conlin said.

A finished basilica from the period would feature stone mosaics on the floor and decorative marble slabs on the walls. The researchers found 800 pounds of marble fragments, but no piece was bigger than 12 inches by 6 inches. Instead of mosaic floors, they found only a brick subfloor.

"It seems like no one ever lived there," Lenski said. "It was 85 to 90 percent completed. It was the finishing touches that were left off."

The marble fragments suggest that bigger slabs had been installed but were later hauled away.

"Our preliminary hypothesis is that the building was not finished and was subsequently stripped of all valuable decoration - mainly marble," Conlin said.

The Maxentius project is a collaborative research and teaching program of the University of Colorado, Kalamazoo College and Italy's Comune di Roma.

Conlin and the other project leaders, Anne Haeckl of Kalamazoo College and Gianni Ponti of Rome, began exploring the research potential of the villa site in 2001. After two years of fundraising and negotiations with Italian archaeological ministries, the team conducted a preliminary survey in 2003.

A grant from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation at Harvard University helped fund the 2005 excavation season.

So was Maxentius really as bad a guy as Gibbon and others have portrayed him?

"I don't think he was irredeemably bad," said Lenski, editor of the book The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine.

"But he was a loser," Lenski said. "And when I say that, I don't mean it in the modern sense. I mean he lost to Constantine, so all the information we have about Maxentius comes from sources who were allied with Constantine.

"Nothing survives that is positive or favorable toward him. It's all uniformly negative. . . . In some ways, this villa project is an attempt to add a new voice that might help us see him in a more positive light," Lenski said.
From Reuters:

Greek archaeologists said on Sunday they had discovered the largest underground tomb in Greek antiquity in the ancient city of Pella in northern Greece, birthplace of Alexander the Great.

The eight-chamber tomb rich in painted sculpture dates to the Hellenistic period between the 3rd and 2nd century BC and offers scholars a rare glimpse into the life of nobles around the time of Alexander's death.

"This is the largest, sculptured, multi-chambered tomb found in Greece, and is significant in that it is a new architectural style -- there are many chambers and a long entrance arcade," the chief archaeologist at Pella, Maria Akamati, told Reuters.

Akamati said that the tomb, accessible through a 16-meter long entrance, was uncovered in an agricultural plot bordering the ancient cemetery of the capital city of the Macedonian kingdom.

Until now, the largest chambered funeral tomb found in Greece contained up to three chambers.

Intact, inscribed tombstones, with the names of the owners still visible, and a vast array of rich artifacts including jewelry, copper coins and earthen vases, led archaeologists to the conclusion that the tomb belonged to a noble family.

"This was a very rich family. This is rare as the cemetery is full of plebeians (commoners)," said Akamati. "We actually learned the names of the owners from the tombstones."

Akamati said at least seven to eight family members had been buried in the chambers, but the tomb had most likely been plundered over generations as luxury personal artifacts were missing.

But the painted plaster of the chambers, with red, blue and white dyes, was still evident on the walls, said Akamati.

The ancient city of Pella was part of the Macedonian kingdom, ruled by Phillip of Macedon, and later by his son Alexander the Great, where he was born in 356 BC and spent his childhood years before setting off to conquer the known world.

The tomb dates to the period after Alexander's death, Akamatis said, which was marked by mass power struggles and intrigues by the royal family and Alexander's generals battling for control of his empire.
From UPI comes this piece which adds some details to that Forum burial story from a few weeks ago (I assume they're talking about the one we already know about):

Archeologists have reportedly found the ashes of an ancient chief or priest who lived three centuries before the legendary founding of Rome.

The remains, dating to about 1,000 B.C., were discovered last month in a funerary urn at the bottom of a deep pit, along with several bowls and jars -- all encased in a hut-like box near the center of modern Rome, National Geographic News reported.

A team of archaeologists, led by Alessandro Delfino of Rome's Department of Cultural Heritage, discovered the tomb while excavating the floor of Caesar's Forum, the remains of a square built by Julius Caesar around 46 B.C.

"We knew there should be very ancient tombs (at the site)," Delfino told NGN. "We had previously found two graves in the same site. They were small, less than a meter (about 40 inches) deep."

The newly found pit is six feet deep and four feet wide.

Officials said the prehistoric tribes probably placed the ashes of the low-ranking dead in surface buildings and buried only ashes of the notables.
With Italy's success in regards to the Met, Greece wants in ... from Kathimerini:

Greek police are joining forces with their counterparts in Italy and other countries to find thousands of ancient artifacts smuggled out of the country and sold for extortionate sums, officers in charge of Greece’s illegal antiquities trade unit told Kathimerini yesterday.

Police said the operation would focus on tracing the museums or collectors who have come into possession of the stolen artifacts, noting that an overwhelming 90 percent of antiquities discovered in Greece end up abroad.

Italy secured the repatriation of some of its own lost artifacts from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles late last year while Greece is still seeking the return of four of its own pieces from the Getty.

According to Public Order Ministry figures, last year there was a rise in illegal sales of artifacts with 75 cases recorded as compared to 60 in 2004.
From the Times:

EXCITEMENT over a Roman gravestone discovered in the centre of Lancaster has been dampened by the news that, although the artefact is barely out of the ground, Britain is likely to lose it to an overseas buyer.

Archaeologists said yesterday that the gravestone, which depicts with great clarity a mounted trooper holding a sword and the head of a man he has just killed, was a unique find.

The stone has yet to be dried, conserved and studied, but its owner — the developer on whose land it has been found — has already sought valuation advice from Sotheby’s.

Christopher Tudor-Whelan, director of Tudor-Whelan Property Holdings, which specialises in commercial investment properties, hopes to sell it in New York. He confirmed yesterday that he has been told that he can expect to sell it for “up to $100,000” (£57,500).

The gravestone, which commemorates a cavalry officer of the late 1st century or early 2nd century AD, was unearthed when archaeologists excavated land in the city centre before construction work began on a block of flats. Experts are overwhelmed by the artefact’s quality, although it is in three pieces and yet to be reassembled.

The stone, which originally would have measured 2.5m (8ft) in height, features a solar face, reminiscent of the famous Medusa head from Roman Bath, above the trooper’s head. The beheaded victim kneels on the ground, holding his sword.

Although beheading war victims was accepted Roman practice, it is thought that no such depiction of a man on horseback has been found before.

Importantly, the stone also bears an inscription that provides clues to the man to whom it was dedicated — a citizen of a Celtic tribe in northern Europe, the Treveri, which is known to have occupied an area where Belgium, Germany and France meet. The tribe was said to have provided Julius Caesar with his best cavalry.

The inscription refers to a man called Lucius Nisus Vodvilleius, or Insus, son of Vodullus. The precise name is unclear as it is abbreviated.

He served in the Ala Augusta, the Augustun cavalry stationed in Lancaster in the late 1st century. Although he had not been granted Roman citizenship, he had clearly achieved considerable status in the Roman Army.

The discovery will be published by British Archaeology tomorrow. Mike Pitts, the editor of the magazine, described the stone as “immensely exciting and seriously important”. He said: “Much of Roman sculpture is very fragmentary and, even if it is in good condition, it is not of a particularly high quality aesthetically. This is more or less complete, with a carving whose quality is superb.”

The stone is drying out now at the Lancashire County Museums Service in Preston. Mr Pitts believes that its rightful home is one of the Lancaster museums. “I can see people queueing down the block to see it,” he said.

Stephen Bull, curator of archaeology at the Museum of Lancashire, described the carving as “one of the sharpest and clearest I’ve ever seen”.

The developer confirmed to The Times that he was “in discussion” over selling it through Sotheby’s. Asked how he had felt when it was unearthed, he said: “The archaeological guys were more excited than me. I thought, ‘Oh my God, this will hold up the development’. At the end, the proof of the pudding is how much it is worth.”

An export licence will almost certainly be required for such an important piece, as it meets all the criteria governing the export of cultural objects.
I've got piles of email to wade through, so I think it best to just post as many things as might expire first ... 'regular service' will resume in a day or two ...
Due to a death in the family, rogueclassicism (and explorator, and awotv) will be on hiatus until Lupercalia ... (if not later)
ante diem vi idus februarias

1909 -- birth of David Daube
posthumous @ Guru.net

milieu @ Dictionary.com (a bit of a stretch, maybe)

fissile @ Merriam-Webster
Quid Halonen et Niinistö dixerint

Tarja Halonen, cum cognovisset se praesidentem Finniae iterum electam esse, civibus promisit se inter alterum muneris sui spatium fortius et audacius quam ante de valoribus humanis locuturam esse.

Sauli Niinistö autem, dum praesidenti Halonen gratulatur, ait democratiam Finnicam alteram illorum comitiorum victricem esse.

Idem censuit fieri non posse, quin quaestiones ad politicam exteriorem et securitatem nationalem pertinentes etiam post electiones praesidentiales in magnis publici colloquii argumentis remanerent.

Reijo Pitkäranta
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)
The ClassiCarnies are at their posts:

Memorabilia Antonina ponders the reputation of Robert Graves ...

... while over at Campus Mawrtius, Eric is pondering the anonymous de Jona ...

There's a tetrad of new posts over at Classics in Contemporary Culture on various topics ...

Another joke -- or rather, two versions of the same joke (which also happens to be joke #100) -- has been added to the Ioci Antiqui file for February at Curculio ...

At Hobbyblog, we see an interesting Republican issue of some scion of the gens Scribonia, featuring a puteal ...

Also on the numismatic front, Bread and Circuses looks at a coin of Julian the Apostate ...

Sympotica's quote for the day comes from Martial ...

We note a couple of new (to us) blogs in the Classical Blogsphere ... Classics and Culture ... and the Spanish Los suenos de Hermes ...

We also note that two years ago today we were blogging about Roman ships in Brazil ...
From Scholia:

Catherine Steel, Reading Cicero: Genre and Performance in Late Republican Rome

From RBL:

Eve-Marie Becker, ed., Die antike Historiographie und die Anfange der christlichen Geschichtesschreibung
From ANSA:

Hadrian's Villa promises to give up more secrets after a monumental staircase and giant sphinx were found last week, archaeologists said on Tuesday .

"This is one of the least-known spots in the area and could well produce more finds," said the head of the new dig, Zaccaria Mari .

Archaeologists are hoping the huge marble staircase could be lined with sphinxes as was the custom in Ancient Egypt .

They said the ornamental motifs might be buried further down and thus in better condition than the sphinx unearthed last Friday, which had lost its head .

Hadrian's Villa, a few miles north of Rome at Tivoli, was the largest and richest Imperial Roman villa ever built .

Started soon after Hadrian's investiture in 117 AD, it took ten years to build and the emperor himself showed his architectural skills in paying homage to the most beautiful buildings in his Empire .

Talking about the prospect of more finds, Lazio archaeological superintendent Anna Maria Moretti admitted that the immediately surrounding area had been comprehensively pillaged by 16th-century popes and cardinals. "But you never know what might still be down there". "Already, this latest discovery has enabled us to show the site had a different and nobler use" .

The stairway and sphinx were found in an area dotted with seven buildings and collectively called - mistakenly as it now turns out - the Palestra (Gymnasium). Experts now think it was probably the original entrance to the sprawling complex .

Moretti said visitors would be allowed in to have a peek at the dig in "about a year," getting their first glimpse of the staircase, sphinx, and anything else that turns up in the meantime .

A statue of an athlete and a huge theatrical mask, both in marble, have also been found at the site .

The finds are the most exciting things to come out of the villa in years. "The coloured marble on the columns is simply superb while the sphinx is an amazing work," Mari said when they came out of the ground .

He said the 8.5m wide staircase and the statuary were probably made around the end of the villa's construction, towards 130 AD, but the 2.5m-long sphinx might be even older .

"We think it came from one of the imperial workshops but there's a chance it might have been brought back from Egypt," he said .

Protected by a beautiful park, Hadrian's Villa is one of the most evocative classical sites in Italy and draws thousands of visitors a year .

One of the best-preserved parts is a recreation of the famous statue-lined pool shrine at Canopus in Egypt - one of many memorials to the emperor's boy-lover Antinoos .

The architectural gems were linked by pathways and passages - including a subterranean one inspired by a classical description of the Underworld - to form a sort of small city, used by Hadrian as a summer court .

The vast site - at least the size of Pompeii - was looted by barbarians and plundered by later stone-hunters but has still disgorged hundreds of artistic treasures since the first excavations in the 16th century .

The almost 300 art works discovered there are scattered around the museums of Europe .
From the Daily Princetonian:

Dan-el Padilla Peralta '06, a classics scholar from New York City, is the recipient of this year's Sachs scholarship, which will allow him to study for two years at Oxford.

"I still haven't quite gotten over the thrill — just the opportunity to study at Oxford," Peralta said in an interview Sunday. "But more important than the full funding for two years at Oxford are the valuable interactions that I have had with other members of the Sachs community and ... the camaraderie between past recipients."

The scholarship, which is conferred each year to a senior who has demonstrated an interest in public service, is named after Daniel Sachs '60, a Rhodes Scholar and former varsity football player who died of cancer at 28.

It is one of the most prestigious awards given to University undergraduates.

Peralta's professors described him as an exceptional scholar and passionate student.

"Dan-el stands out as the single most remarkable student it has been my privilege to teach and get to know in my eight years on the faculty," Joshua Katz, assistant professor of classics, said in an email. "He is both a first-rate classicist and a force in the Woodrow Wilson School, from which he is earning a certificate."

Denis Feeney, chair of the classics department, had nothing but praise for Peralta.

"He is really the ideal student. I can't think of a weakness," Feeney said. "This may sound like hyperbole but it's all true. He's just a joy to work with."

Peralta's interest in classics developed in 6th grade when he began studying Latin. He also took Ancient Greek in 9th grade at Collegiate School, a private school in Manhattan, which he attended from 7th grade through high school.

Though he began his Princeton career thinking he would major in molecular biology, Peralta said that changed after he took Latin 210. In a gesture Peralta described as "incredibly nice," classics professor Andrew Feldherr encouraged him to consider the field for his major.

From that point onward, "majoring in classics was just inevitable," he said.

Peralta is writing his thesis on funerary epitaphs inscribed on marble stones that date back to around 100 AD.

"He just has an incredible appetite for everything," Feeney said.

In addition to fulfilling requirements for his major, Peralta has taken 38 classes, averaging five and half classes per semester, and is getting a certificate in the Wilson School.

"What I do in the Woodrow Wilson School is very education oriented," Peralta said.

His interest in educational politics began while attending Collegiate.

"That opportunity was due to the intervention of a program called Prep for Prep," Peralta said. The goal of the program "is to take talented minority students out of the public systems and put them into the private systems."

Peralta believes his experience with Prep for Prep, a program which the Admission Office is now collaborating with, has shaped his summer activities and academic interests.

"I have since [high school] felt a very strong desire to pay them back somehow," he said.

Peralta has spent five summers working as a mentor for students in the program and has also worked as the head of the summer advisory system.
From Arutz Sheva:

Three weeks ago, Israeli police found a mosaic floor in an Arab car. The Antiquities Authority has confirmed that the floor belongs to a previously undiscovered synagogue in the Ramallah area.

Researchers from the Israeli Antiquities Authority believe that the mosaic formed part of an ancient synagogue floor because it contained depictions of Jewish symbols, such as the base of a menorah (a seven branched candelabrum), a lulav (palm branch), and dates.

Another, no less interesting feature of the mosaic, are the words “Shalom (peace) on Israel” which are inscribed on it. At first, researchers thought the thieves had stolen the mosaic floor of an ancient Jericho synagogue, known as the “Shalom on Israel” synagogue, because it has the same inscription.

But after some checking, the researchers learned that the floor of the Jericho synagogue, located in an area subject to the jurisdiction of the PA, was intact and in place. The inevitable conclusion was that the newly discovered mosaic was from an as yet undiscovered ancient synagogue.

Researchers surmise that the synagogue is located somewhere in the Ramallah area, because the two suspects in the car where the mosaic was found, are from Shuafat, a north Jerusalem neighborhood bordering Ramallah.

The precise location of the synagogue can only be guessed at, because areas such as Ramallah, which are controlled by Palestinian Authority security forces, are off-limits to Jews. Jews who attempt to visit or do research in those areas are at risk of being kidnapped or killed.

Ironically, the “Shalom on Israel” synagogue in Jericho is also off-limits to Jews, despite a specific provision of the Oslo accords that guarantees Jewish access to the site.

During the First and Second Temple periods, the Ramallah area was located in the heart of the Jewish commonwealth, so the possibility of an undiscovered synagogue in the area came as no surprise to antiquities researchers.

Like many archeological discoveries, this one was revealed entirely by accident, when border police stopped and searched a suspicious vehicle. When they saw the mosaic, police knew they were on to something unusual, and immediately called in a special unit, whose job is to investigate the theft of antiquities. That unit turned the mosaic over to the Antiquities Authority.

Despite the security obstacles, the Antiquities Authority said it will attempt to use undercover means to discover the exact location of the synagogue.
From Kathimerini:

Two Greeks have been charged with illegally excavating and trying to sell 23 Roman-era marble objects, weighing in excess of a ton, police in northern Greece said yesterday.

The men, aged 41 and 26, allegedly admitted to finding the carved marble slabs — some of which are believed to portray the ancient Greek hero Hercules — on a construction site in Komotini and intending to sell them for 140,000 euros. It is thought to be the first time ancient objects have been found in Komotini.

Police said they watched the pair for two months before arresting them and unearthing the artifacts, which had allegedly been buried in a yard belonging to the unnamed 41-year-old.

According to archaeological authorities in the region, the Roman finds could help establish a much earlier date for the foundation of Komotini, until now believed to have been established under the Byzantine Empire, some five centuries after Roman times. Expert valuation of the artifacts — believed to have formed a part of a funerary monument — and an examination of the site where they were found are expected to yield more precise conclusions.

... a photo of the statuary accompanies the original article.
10.30 p.m. |HINT| Meet the Ancestors: Princess of the City
In March 1999, archaeologists digging at Spitalfields in London uncovered an elaborate Roman sarcophagus with a beautifully-decorated lead coffin inside and in the soil at the end of the coffin, a set of jet objects and a very elaborate glass vessel, possibly hair decorations and a perfume jar, all clues to the identity of the person inside. Archaeologist and host Julian Richards follows up this amazing discovery--a fascinating story of wealth, privilege, and the best funeral money could buy. Spend the night in London during Roman domination as we find out as much as possible about the wealthy, highborn foreigner from her perfectly preserved skeleton and the grave goods and remnants of clothing found with her. The contents of the grave include gold thread and fragments of textile, which later analysis proves to be a garment of damask silk originally from China, elaborately woven with gold in Syria. We conclude with a reconstruction of the woman's burial in Roman London.

11.00 p.m. |HINT| Glorious Rome: Capital of an Empire
Art, aesthetics, literature, theater, law, city planning: These are just a few of the debts owed by Western civilization to Rome, the glorious capital of the greatest and most powerful empire that the world has ever known. Take a tour of this vast metropolis as it was during its peak, and see it through the eyes of the Roman citizens of the time. State-of-the-art technology, coupled with enhanced 3-D graphics, allows viewers to explore the architectural treasures as only the Romans could.

11.30 p.m. |HINT| The Civilization of the Heroes
A visit to the heart of the first great civilizations between the Euphrates and the Aegean Sea takes us to the pre-Hellenic cities of Mycenae, Tiryns, and the legendary Babylonian city of Troy, where archaeological findings have confirmed existence of the world or heroes that Homer depicted in his epic poems. We even visit the site of the classic battle between Hector and Achilles. We take viewers on a virtual reality tour using extensive CGI recreations of great structures and ancient ruins coupled with scenic location footage. Features commentary from archaeological experts.
Cuivis dolori remedium est patientia.
(Publilius Syrus, Sententia 96)

The remedy for any pain or suffering is patience.

(pron = KWEE-wis doh-LOH-ree reh-MEH-dee-oom ehst pah-tee-EHN-tee-ah)

Comment: I can give a hesitant "yes" and "no" to these sentiments. Certainly
in Publilius Syrus' day, patience may have been one of the few "remedies" that
could be counted on for many pains in life. Medical advancement was NOT one of
Rome's contributions to the world. And, certainly, patience allows one to
observe and take in all that is happening in one's life, one's body, one's

However, that observing and taking in requires an attention that "patience" does
not necessarily include. If I am in serious physical or emotional pain, I may
have no attention to give; the pain may be so distracting. And we know from
modern advancements in medicine that waiting can be deadly. Cancer doesn't get
better by waiting. Strep throat doesn't get better through patience.

What is perhaps better wisdom is: in the midst of pain, observe deeply, and then
act based on what you observe. Patience, openness, deep listening, deep seeing,
and responding to the mirrors in front of us. In this, patience is a help, for
often, we act and react in order to avoid what we really see, what we really

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem vii idus februarias

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Adaucus in Phrygia

1845 -- the small glass 'amphora' known as the Portland Vase, while on loan to the British Museum, was smashed by a guy on a drinking binge (it was subsequently restored) [photo]
interim @ Guru.net

tendentious @ Dictionary.com

aibohphobia @ Worthless Word for the Day
Hamas et Unio Europaea

Ministri negotiorum exterorum Unionis Europaeae ordinem Hamas hortati sunt, ut vi desisteret et arma deponeret.

Iam in eo est, ut ille motus, recens victor electionum Palaestinensium, in regimen asciscatur.

Hamas, qui acerrime id agit, ut Israel omnino aboleatur, post annum bis millesimum circiter sexaginta impetus suicidiales in Israelianos fecit.

Constat Unionem Europaeam regionibus Palaestinensibus anno praeterito quingentis milionibus euronum opitulatam esse.

Reijo Pitkäranta
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)
From the Telegraph:

A German hip hop band which raps in Latin is reforming after a sudden rise in interest in its songs.

The band, Ista, was formed by a group of bored Classics pupils at a school in Wilhelmshaven a decade ago.

Uninspired by their school Latin, Lars Janssen and his friends decided to spice up class by putting a song into Latin.

Their teacher, Edgar Barwig, himself not much older than the 17-year-olds in his charge, approved of their new-found enthusiasm and encouraged them to form a band.

The original seven members, which included Mr Barwig, who checked that the grammar was right, are now living scattered across Germany, having since grown up and become architects, teachers, a nurse and parents.

"Over the years we have sold around 2,500 CDs," said Mr Janssen. "Between 10 and 20 are bought per month, from our internet site.

"But recently that has doubled and the media interest has been enormous. People have found us over the internet and we have sold CDs to people in the US and all across Europe."

A debate has been raging in German educational circles about whether Latin should be taught in school any more - and Ista is suddenly all the rage again.

To mark their return, the band will soon release a new song - Caesaris Blues, about being bored in Latin class.

A decade ago, when they formed, they quickly found local fame by playing at schools and recording their own compositions as well as covers of other songs.

"Latin is a good language to rap in actually. It has a good rhythm and can be to the point," said Mr Janssen.

... the original story has a sidebar with an example of their work.
Quite a variety this a.m. ...

At About.com, N.S. Gill has a gallery of photos of Olympia (you might have to 'skip ad')...

AM at Sauvage Noble ponders a poem by Marcius Vates ...

The other AM (at Bread and Circuses) has a piece on barbarian assimilation in the later Roman Empire ...

Eric over at Campus Mawrtius has come across another reference to cetus .... (there must be a word for this phenomenon of words of interest suddenly popping up in clusters of one's reading/hearing)

Speaking of 'odd coincidences', Curculio's Ioci Antiqui offering today comes from Martial and matches up well with an off-colour joke which was in my mailbox this a.m. ...

If the fruits of Syria didn't help yesterday, Sympotica gives us some cures for constipation ...

A couple items at Hobbyblog ... an antoninianus of Valerius ... and a somewhat grotty provincial issue of Gallienus

A while back we mentioned that David Wharton was getting out of blogging (although he has blogged since then) ... it's a testament to the 'power' (that's the wrong word) of blogs that his departure was the subject of an article in the local newspaper ...

Mnemosyne 59.1 has put its TOC for issue 59.1 up at Ingenta ...
From BMCR:

Richard Hingley, Globalizing Roman Culture: Unity, Diversity and Empire.

Lisa Piazzi, Lucrezio e i Presocratici. Un commento a De rerum natura 1, 635-920. Testi e Commenti 1.

Gaspard Fossati, Aya Sofia Constantinople. CD-Rom.

Diana Wood Conroy, The Fabric of the Ancient Theatre: Excavation Journals from Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Jill Frank, A Democracy of Distinction: Aristotle and the Work of Politics.

David J. Ladouceur, The Latin Psalter. Introduction, selected text and commentary.

Claire L. Lyons, John K. Papadopoulos, Lindsey S. Stewart, Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Antiquity & Photography. Early Views of Ancient Mediterranean Sites.
This might be a repeat ... from the Huntsville Times:

When Adina Stone greets her students in their Latin I class at Bob Jones High School, her salve (greetings) is heard across the state - or at least in Sheffield and Mobile.

Stone, a Latin teacher in Sheffield, is teaching Latin simultaneously in two other towns through a new program called Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide. The ACCESS program uses videoconference and Internet technology to connect classrooms hundreds of miles apart.

For Bob Jones, ACCESS is the only way for students to take Latin. Even though more than 60 students expressed interest in the class, finding someone certified to teach the ancient language these days is difficult, said Mary Long, the director for instruction for Madison City Schools.

Gov. Bob Riley visited Bob Jones recently to see the program in action. He designated $10 million in the state budget to start 24 pilot sites in high schools across the state. Bob Jones received $100,000 of that to set up its system to receive the Latin class from Sheffield and to send an advanced placement chemistry class to Southside High School in Etowah County and a physics class to Cleburne County High School in Heflin.

Stone also teaches the Latin class to students at Alma Bryant High School near Mobile.

At Bob Jones, the ACCESS program links to a Toyota Distance Learning Lab that's been in operation since the 2002-03 school year. That project links Huntsville, Madison County and Madison city students with classes taught in one school broadcast to a school in another system. The Schools Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports all three public school systems in the county, helped get that program under way here.

To get the ACCESS program started at Bob Jones, Stone visited the school and met the 14 students taking Latin I. Another seven come to school either before or after regular school hours to work on their own, doing lessons on a computer and e-mailing Stone regularly with questions and for tests.

During his visit, Riley sat in the distance learning lab at Bob Jones and chatted with Stone and her students in Sheffield and the students in Mobile.

"This is the kind of technology we're going to depend on to give kids the opportunity to take what they want to take," he said. "Once all the students and teachers get used to it, it's not as strange as it might seem."

Bob Jones senior Kaitlin Manning is sold so far on the ACCESS way of taking classes. She wants to go to pharmacy school and wanted to take Latin to get ready for all the drug names she'll have to learn.

She's adjusted to not having her Latin teacher standing in front of her because she can raise her hand and Stone will still see her. She can also hop on the Web using the laptop she has in the lab to do research.

"We're able to expand the curriculum," beyond the Latin I textbooks on their desks, Kaitlin said.

Prisca Cleveland, a Bob Jones junior, is also committed to the ACCESS program because it allows her to take Latin at the only time she could fit it in. She arrives at Bob Jones at 6:30 a.m. to work through modules on a computer and listen to audio lessons on pronunciation.

Another three students come in the afternoon, and a Bob Jones teacher is in the room as the students work on their own, sending e-mails to Stone.

Riley said the participating schools are just the test sites for a program he wants to expand statewide.

"If you want to see what the future is going to be like," he said, "you saw it today."
Over at Military.com there's an article on preparing to be a Navy Seal which begins thusly:

More than 2,500 years ago, Athenian General Thucydides said, "We must remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school."

As I've said countless times, had Thucydides lived in the 21st Century, he almost certainly would have agreed that one of the world's "severest schools" is the six-months of absolute hell endured by young Navy SEAL candidates hoping to win -- after an equally tough post-training period with "the Teams" -- the coveted "trident" badge: symbol of the SEALs.

That 'severest school' thing is puzzling to me ... as might be expected, it also appears on a Marine Corps site ... as might not be expected, it also appears on a Cold Fusion training site ...one site gives a ref as 1.1.85, but that doesn't seem to match up with anything that can be interpreted in this way. But eureka! It turns out to be 1.84.1 ... a speech put in the mouth of Archidamus! Morris' commentary at Perseus is helpful here in getting the sense of this form of anankaios ...
Brief item from Typically Spanish:

A group of archaeologists have found two ovens dating from the second century B.C in Villajoyosa.

The ovens were used to bake ceramic items and the find is considered to be the most important industrial find from the time in the area.

The largest of the two measures some 6.6 metres by 4 metres.

The news was given by deputy mayor Dolores Such.

The ovens were found on a site, close to the train line and the new theatre auditorium, known as La Jovada.

... actually, in all my years of doing Explorator, I've often wondered why there seems to be such a paucity of Roman archaeological news in the Spanish press ... or so it seems (my spiders rarely pick up anything).
Last week we read about the Met's decision to return the Euphronios krater ... here's some of the reaction (from the LA Times):

Roberto Di Giancamillo was browsing through his newspaper at breakfast last week when he came across an item that left him stunned: After 34 years encased in controversy and glass in America, this town's most infamous export, the Euphronios krater, was coming home.

The local artisan and shopkeeper said he "became emotional" Friday at the news that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York had agreed to give back the 2,500-year-old wine-mixing bowl because of evidence it had been looted from Etruscan tombs that lie under the rolling hills around this town 30 miles northwest of Rome.

"He could not even talk," said Elisabetta Rossi, who ended up reading the article aloud to her tongue-tied boyfriend.

The Met's announcement Thursday came as the museum and Italian officials worked to finalize an agreement that many predict could be the model for how the J. Paul Getty Museum and other institutions can return purportedly looted Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities.

In exchange for long-term loans of similar artworks from Italy, the Met has agreed to transfer the title for the krater, famous for its scene of Hermes directing Sleep and Death, and 19 other suspect items to the Italian government.

The Met's move came after The Times reported that Italian authorities had new evidence that the krater, painted by the Greek master Euphronios, had been dug up illicitly and smuggled from here. The information surfaced as part of the criminal trial in Rome of two dealers and the Getty's former antiquities curator, Marion True.

But as word spread here about the krater's homecoming, the reaction among most Cerveterians was a bit more complicated, befitting the town's dubious distinction as the source of looted antiquities.

People expressed civic pride, happiness, even some vindication that the krater would one day be repatriated to Italy. Yet the feelings came with the acknowledgment that the krater's return throws an uncomfortable light on Cerveteri's waning dependence on the illicit trade.

The hills of Cerveteri cover thousands of tombs laid out by the Etruscans — a civilization that dominated central Italy before the rise of Rome — like orderly subterranean cities. The entrances to some of these necropolises beckon from behind trees and in the folds of the earth.

For decades, tombaroli have supplemented their day jobs by plundering the tombs in nighttime raids with shovels, picks and homemade steel rods. They have sold off jewelry, vases and urns, sometimes even dumping out charred bones and ashes left from ancient funeral rites.

Among the tomb-raiders was 64-year-old Giuseppe Masala. The news of the Euphronios krater got him talking about the night 40 years ago when he was initiated into the trade. His buddies asked him to stand watch as they poked the ground, feeling for walls or chambers.

"At a certain age, when you heard someone had found a vase, you wanted to go and see what it was like," he said.

Masala went out on his own. Soon he was selling to middlemen or carting his wares to weekend markets in Rome and Tuscany where he hawked them from a stand.

He came under pressure as well, especially after the Met's purchase of the Euphronios in 1972 created international headlines. As one of Cerveteri's better known "abusive archeologists," he was identified by the Italian paramilitary police as one of the men who found the krater in a nearby complex of tombs.

Masala said Carabinieri officers met him in a local bar and pressured him to confess. He refused, saying he wasn't involved. Discussing the krater last week made him visibly nervous that the police might be making inquiries again. Police pressure convinced him three years ago, he said, to put away his excavating tools.

These days, Masala makes a living crafting and painting replicas of ancient art.

But even if it meant working for the government, Masala said he'd love to go back to his old job. "I still have a few tombs that we identified," he said, smiling. "It's no longer a matter of money anymore. It's a matter of passion."

Mayor Antonio Brazzini said he hopes the krater's repatriation "closes the door" on a profession that has declined but refuses to go away. The ranks of the tombaroli have thinned from an estimated 60 working at any given time, but there still remain a number that can't resist the pull of the nearby tombs.

"It's in the air you breathe in town," said Brazzini, a doctor at the public clinic whose roster of patients includes one of the town's best-known diggers.

Di Giancamillo, the merchant, added that the world had the tombaroli to thank for some of its best antiquities.

"I don't think there will be any more Euphronios kraters that come out," he said. "Now you see [the tombaroli], they're all old. But there have been some very good workers, some very good archeologists."

Meanwhile, Di Giancamillo says the krater's journey back to Italy is nothing but good news for him. A lifelong Euphronios kraterphile, he's traveled every couple of years to New York to view the piece.

And Di Giancamillo figures that business will pick up at his shop, where he sells replicas of antiquities. His showpiece is an imitation of the Euphronios, which costs about $7,700.

The name of his shop: Metropolitan Museum.
10.00 p.m. |HINT|Lost Treasures of the Ancient World--The Celts
In the First Millennium BC, the tribes known as the Celts were the dominant force on the continent of Europe. In fringe regions like Ireland, the Celtic people continued to flourish long into the Christian Age. These were warriors with a unique way of life, as this fascinating episode reveals. Dark religious rituals and a love of bloody fighting were a vital part of their life, and classical writers condemned what they saw as a barbarian lifestyle. But we now know that Celtic culture was rich and sophisticated. Buried Celtic treasures have revealed their achievement in crafts such as jewelry, while the great legends of Irish literature confirm that epic storytelling was also part of the life of this still-mysterious ancient people.
Nudum latro transmittit; etiam in obsessa via pauperi pax est.
(Seneca, Epistulae Morales, 14.9)

The thief passes by the naked man (one who has nothing); even on a busy street
(think NY, LA, ATL rush hour) there is peace for the poor man.

(pron = NOO-doom LAH-troh trahns-MIT-tit eh-tee-ahm ihn ohb-SES-sah WEE-ah
POW-peh-ree pahks ehst)

Comment: We might say otherwise--if you MUST have something, then it already
has you. So goes the "thief", he or she who is compelled to have, to possess,
to obtain, at whatever cost. The compulsion to have something blinds the thief
to everything else, even the naked and destitute on the street.

And the naked and destitute (we might say--he or she who has nothing else to
lose) are at peace, even on the busiest of highways. There is nothing to cling
to. Peace is all that is left.

This line from Seneca leaves me wondering over my own interiors. What "must" I
have? Who are those that I don't see? What do I cling to? Are there moments
when I cling to nothing, let it all go, and experience peace? Someone who is a
wise "finger pointing" in my life suggested to me once that if I will observe
the rising and the falling of my breath, I would notice the space in between
the breaths. And there, for that moment, I would need nothing. I would be at

It's very little, very major step. Peace has to start somewhere.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem viii idus februarias

46 B.C. -- victory of Julius Caesar over pro-Pompey forces at Thapsus

300 A.D. -- martyrdom of Theophilus Scholasticus 'The Lawyer'

1811 -- birth of H.G. Liddell (co-author of the massive Greek Lexicon which is still standard and father of Alice in Wonderland)

2001 -- death of Emily Vermeule (author of Greece in the Bronze Age, among several other works)
excoriate @ Dictionary.com

velar @ Merriam-Webster
De re nucleari Iranianorum

Inter Unionem Europaeam, Civitates Americae Unitas, Sinas et Russiam convenit, ut programma nucleare Iraniae ad consilium securitatis Nationum Unitarum deferretur.

Iraniani autem tale propositum illegale esse censent. Terrae occidentales metuunt, ne Iraniani iam in armis atomicis fabricandis occupati sint.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris ... latest headline (which I suspect will change some time today): Demersam esse navem in Mari Rubro

And if you've more of a Greek bent, Akropolis World News offers these headlines: Muslims attack western embassies - Frozen WWII airman identified
Quiet day in the post-Seattle-was-robbed-yesterday world ... and, alas, there is scant solace strolling down the midway ....

Over at Curculio, MH has caught up with the Ioci Antiqui (including a couple of bits of invective from Hipponax, whom I'd never read before) for the beginning of February ...

Sympotica Graecolatina tells us of the fruits of Syria ...

BibliOdyssey presents some very interesting plates of some anthropomorphic columns from a sixteenth-century tome ... not Classical, of course, but a bit of eye candy ...

Amicus noster JM-Y actually sent this to me last week and I neglected to post it ... there is a bit of a debate going on whether the so-called Soleto Map is a forgery over at the Map Room (I'm not sure the case against authenticity is really good; perhaps I'll work that into a blog post of my own)...

Arethusa 39.1 is available at Project Muse ....
From BMCR:

Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, Third electronic edition.

François Jouan, Euripide. Tragédies, tome VIII, 2e partie: Rhésos.

From M&C:

William Broad, The Oracle
The Irish Examiner claims, inter alia:

Having a place to visit, a place to pine in memory of the dead is a primeval need. The Romans summed it up in the phrase "Quorum quod mortale erat, hic iacet" ("Whatever was mortal is here laid").

I'm not sure the phrase is "Roman" (I think it might even be post-medieval), but it's usually rendered Quod mortale fuit, hic iacet ... not sure how the quorum would fit in there and the perfect is clearly better ...
From the Sofia News Agency:

More than 10,000 golden, silver and bronze coins have been stolen from the safe vault of Veliko Tarnovo Museum.

The theft was reported February 2. Artifacts worth BGN 5 M have been stolen from the Veliko Tarnovo museum were stolen.

The museum management announced that the final lists with the missing artifacts will be ready on Monday.

Most of the exhibits stolen were from the numismatic fund. Some 75 tetra drachmas from Philip and Alexander the Great (Alexander of Macedon) that had a great value. Another 4000 silver Roman dinars and 385 golden and silver coins as well as jewelry from Arbanasi dated back to the 17th century. A string of silver coins has been stolen from the ethnographic fund.

Police official commented that the robbery was very well planned and that insiders might have helped the robbers.
8.00 p.m. |NGU| Atlantis
What do we really know about the lost city of Atlantis and what happened on the day it died? Legend tells us that the golden civilization became so corrupt and depraved that it was destroyed by the angry gods, but did the city ever exist at all?

10.00 p.m. |SCI| Seven Wonders of Ancient Rome
Recreate these spectacular, awe-inspiring monuments. The men who envisioned the Pantheon, the Aqueducts of Rome, the Via Appia, the Baths of Caracalla, Trajan's Markets, Circus Maximus and the Colosseum created the epitome of human achievement.

10.30 p.m. |HINT| 480 BC--The Battle of Salamis
In 480 BC, the Golden Age began when the Greeks expelled the invading Persians at Salamis Bay, sinking 200 Persian ships while losing only 40 of their own. But as sphinxlike Greek politics go, the naval commander Themistocles is not only not rewarded for his victory, but is removed as Athens' leader for accepting bribes and hubris--or in other words, for being too arrogant and tempting the Gods. Step back in time and live amongst the ancient Greeks as we recreate this momentous point in history. Featuring exclusive in situ dramatizations and the latest in historical research.
At Blogographos, there's a crossposted blogpost/essay on Iphigenia Among the Taureans

Hobbyblog has another Gallienus eagle for us ...

Father Foster this week talks about a Pope Pius II's picnic ...

Memorabilia Antonina comments on some books with Classical themes ...

Folks might find something of interest at the Biblical Studies Carnival hosted at Codex ...

Sympotica Graecolatina tells us about some spiced wines ...

Roman Army Talk has a (sometime questionable, ofttime funny) thread going on uncouth soldier inscriptions ...

Over at UNRV, they're chatting about why Latin died out ...

DW has posted a Greek version of Theocritus' Syrinx, along with a translation ...

On online thesis: Carolyn Conter, Chariot Usage in Dark Age Greek Warfare

From Abzu comes work of an online book which I don't think we've mentioned: Stephen Miller,
Nemea: A Guide to the Site and Museum ...

Abzu also alerts us to the online translation of Plutarch's Moralia (yep ... the whole thing) by Goodwin (with an intro by that Emerson guy) ... at the Online Library of Liberty

More 'locally', we've put up Explorator 8.41 at our Classics Central Forum ... the weekly version of our AWOTV listings are available as well ...
From the Washington Post:

To jump-start Black History Month, St. Anselm's Abbey School in Michigan Park hosted an exhibit last week on the trials and successes of black classical scholars from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.

The collection of photos and documents, titled "12 Black Classicists," was organized by Michele Valerie Ronnick, an associate professor in the Department of Classics, Greek, and Latin at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Despite the title, the collection recognizes 13 classicists: Edward Wilmot Blyden, Richard Theodore Greener, William Sanders Scarborough, James Monroe Gregory, Frazelia Campbell, Wiley Lane, William Henry Crogman, John Wesley Gilbert, Daniel Barclay Williams, Lewis Baxter Moore, Reuben Shannon Lovinggood, George Morton Lightfoot and Helen Maria Chesnutt.

The parents, faculty and at least one student at the school were impressed.

"It portrays that there were African Americans that understood classics," said Solomon Brown, an eighth-grader.

Jane Brinley, chair of classical and modern languages at St. Anselm's, said teaching students about scholars who studied the classics is an integral part of their education. St. Anselm's students are required to take Latin.

"A lot of kids think of classics as a 'white thing,' " Brinley said. "It's not. It's a human thing."

Brinley said that in the post-Civil War period, when some of the featured classicists began making strides in their field, many Americans did not think African Americans were capable of learning Greek and Latin. Learning these subjects after the war "was a political statement," Brinley said.

One significance of the photographs is that they show African Americans in a light not usually portrayed at the time, said W. Ralph Eubanks, director of publishing at the Library of Congress and father of a St. Anselm's student. The viewer gets a sense of wealth from the clothing and decor in the pictures. The pictures "show this contrast to the stereotypical image," Eubanks said.

Ronnick said Chesnutt was added to the exhibit after it began touring in 2003. She decided to keep the name, she explained, because it had already become known as "12 Black Classicists." The exhibit appeared at Georgetown University in October and will continue to travel across the country.
I don't think I mentioned this brief item from Kathimerini:

Greek archaeologists have unearthed the fortifications of a 2,350-year-old city on Crete marked by extensive signs of siege, Culture Ministry officials said yesterday. The archaeologists discovered the remains of a fortified tower, a city gate and a 3.5-kilometer (2.2-mile) wall surrounding the ancient city of Aptera, near the port of Hania and dating to 4 BC, the ministry said. Of particular importance to research were signs of battle from the post-Classical era, and the discovery of newborn infants buried near the tower.
From BMCR:

Werner Eck, Matthäus Heil, Senatores populi Romani. Realität und mediale Präsentation einer Führungsschicht. HABES, 40.

Nigel James Nicholson, Aristocracy and Athletics in Archaic and Classical Greece.

Gavrilov et al. on Ivantchik on Dickey on Gavrilov et al., Corpus Inscriptionum Regni Bosporani: Album Imaginum. Response by Alexander Gavrilov, Natalia Pavlichenko, Denis Keyer.

J.E. Lendon, Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity.

Klaus Döring, [Plato]. Theages. Übersetzung und Kommentar. Platon, Werke, Band V 1.

Deborah Levine Gera, Ancient Greek Ideas on Speech, Language and Civilization.

Fergus Millar, Rome, the Greek World, and the East. Vol. 2: Government, Society & Culture in the Roman Empire. Edited by Hannah M. Cotton & Guy M. Rogers.

Helena Dettmer, Marcia Lindgren, Workbook to Accompany the Second Edition of Donald M. Ayers's English Words from Latin and Greek Elements.

Josiah Ober, Athenian Legacies: Essays on the Politics of Going on Together.

F. Bessone, E. Malaspina, Politica e cultura in Roma antica. Atti dell'incontro di studio in ricordo di Italo Lana, Torino 16-17 ottobre 2003.

In the New York Times:

Benson Bobrick. The Fated Sky: Astrology in History (first chapter available)

Palm Beach Daily News:

John Prevas, Envy of the Gods: Alexander the Great's Ill-fated Journey Across Asia


Robert Bittlestone, with James Diggle and John Underhill, Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer's Ithaca


Coronation of Poppea

6.00 p.m. |HINT| Egypt According to Cleopatra
Walk the streets of Alexandria, during the time of the Ptolemies, alongside its citizens as their pharaoh, Cleopatra, serves as virtual tour guide of Egypt. From the exotic yet cosmopolitan capital, built by her ancestor Alexander the Great, to the Sanctuary of Dendera to the magical Isle of Philae, we explore her empire by land and sea. And, we follow Queen Cleopatra as she sets sail for Italy on a visit to Caesar and end our journey within the city walls of Rome, where an Egyptian temple is being erected for Cleopatra's deity protector, Isis.

6.30 p.m. |HINT| Pompeii: A City Rediscovered
On August 24, in the year 79 AD, the apocalyptic eruption of Vesuvius relegated the memory of the wealthy Roman city of Pompeii to the realms of legend and myth. Take a virtual tour of this vital and fantastic ancient city as we explore its mysteries. Now, new excavations, sound scientific evidence, and extraordinary computer graphics recreate the magnificent city and the cataclysmic eruption that silenced its inhabitants.

7.00 p.m. |DTC| Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story
In ancient Rome, Verus fights his way out of slavery to train as a gladiator. He is chosen to fight in the inaugural games at an extraordinary amphitheatre. The games of the Colosseum involved killing and torture and they lasted for hundreds of years.
A couple of pieces from Ripley's Believe it or Not ... one in the former category, one in the latter, I suspect:

Blogographos points us to a post at Reading Matters on the rules (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) for writing ancient historical fiction ...

Over at Laudator, MG presents us with some advice from Horace ...

Classics in Contemporary Culture provides an excerpt on how Latin can get you fired (can't remember if we mentioned this before) ... there is also a notice of a production of that other Metamorphoses ...

ARLT has some continuing coverage on the Tottenham Motto brouhaha ...

Hobbyblog presents us with another coin from Gallienus' zoo ...

More convivial quotes at Sympotica Graecolatina ...

In anticipation of its appearance on the Sci Fi Channel, About.com's N.S. Gill alerts us to her links about Jason and the Argonauts ...

The APA Outreach Committee is sponsoring a panel on HBO's Rome and is calling for papers ...

Sauvage Noble has been tagged with the Quinaria meme ...

There's a couple of new installments of Peter Jones' Ancient and Modern column from the Spectator at Friends of Classics ...
From the Scotsman comes this bizarre bit:

THEY are perhaps history's most celebrated fighters, noble warriors said to have no fear of dying in bloody hand-to-hand combat.

The gladiators of ancient Rome have inspired writers, artists, blockbuster filmmakers - and now the latest bizarre nightclub craze. Box Wars aim to recreate the sound and fury of the Roman amphitheatre in front of crowds of clubbers - but with one or two crucial differences.

While the emperors kitted out their gladiators in armour and armed them with swords, harpoons and lances, their modern counterparts will be armed with cardboard tubes and protected by old boxes.

Dozens of cardboard-clad warriors are set to battle it out at a Box Wars night at the Forest Cafe in Bristo Place on February 11.

Originating in Australia, the popularity of Box Wars has spread, largely via the internet, to Canada and the United States.

Edinburgh-based Australians have now introduced it to the Capital. They describe it as "pointless" and a game for "idiots with a ridiculous sense of humour".

Professional circus performer Kyle Greenwood, 20, of Newington, who recently moved to the city from Melbourne, said that he and friends had staged two battles which had proved so popular they had been forced to move to a bigger space.

He said: "You could compare it to gladiators. You can spend hours making the suits, they look completely idiotic and then they get broken. You know the end has come when no one has any cardboard left on."

In Box Wars everyone fights at once and battles usually last around 15 minutes. There are no winners, no losers and no prizes.

At the last Box Wars participants fought against a cardboard mock-up of Edinburgh Castle.

Mr Greenwood, who introduced Box Wars in Edinburgh with his friend, 19-year-old Demian Hobby, explained how it took off.

"Growing up in Melbourne some friends of ours started getting drunk and hitting each other with random recyclables.

"One day there was a huge party and people made cardboard suits of armour. After posting photos online, it caught on quickly and there are now groups in Sydney, Canada and the US."

Mr Greenwood said this time they were hoping to fight along to the live rhythms of punk band, Hoi Polloi.

"Box Wars is a punkish thing to do and they would really fit the bill."

The circus performer said at the last event they had played music from the Dead Kennedys and The Ramones on the PA.

"There are no rules. It's a real melee. People just go at each other to have fun," he said.

To get involved in Box Wars participants make their own suits of armour and weapons from cardboard they collect anywhere they can. Organisers recommend cardboard hunting in the alleyways behind Princes Street and near fabric workshops for good card.

Barney Waygood, administrator at the Bongo Club on Holyrood Road, said he thought Box Wars would go down a storm and would consider hosting it at the club.

He said: "Box Wars sounds amazing and fits in with New Wave music which is becoming popular again."
Nancy Rabinowitz was enlightening the lunchtime crowd at Hamilton College last week:

Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, the Margaret Bundy Scott Professor of Comparative Literature, presented her paper, “Liberating Medea: Political Theater,” in a Faculty Brown Bag talk on February 1. In her talk, Rabinowitz discussed the political implications of the Medea Project, a prison-education initiative that encourages female prisoners to use Euripides’ Medea to develop a sense of personal agency.

Rabinowitz commented on the value of classical tragedy to today’s culture, saying, “Working on Greek tragedy [with a political frame of mind], I’m constantly asking, ‘What’s in it for us?’” Classical plays, she said, are often used to help us think about problems in contemporary society. Typically, they are used to critique current politics and the problems of democracy. Rabinowitz introduced Rhodessa Jones’s Medea Project as one way in which Greek tragedy continues reveal its utility for contemporary society.

Euripides’ Medea, the Project’s namesake, is particularly pertinent to the lives of prison women, as Rabinowitz emphasized. Medea tells the story of a woman who, after being betrayed by her husband, jealously seeks revenge and kills her husband’s new lover. Then, to retaliate more fully against her husband by killing everything dear to him, she stabs each of her children as well. Based on this framework, Rhodessa Jones focused on how prison women are each essentially killing their children, whether through their own drug or alcohol use, or simply through being incarcerated. She asked her participants how they are different from Medea, and with their responses in mind, the women each wrote their own versions of the story.

The Medea Project suggests, for Rabinowitz, the liberating potential of the play in prisons. “Behind the project is the belief that education and literature can change lives,” she said. The Project results in a public production of a play staged by the female prisoners. Participating in theater, Rabinowitz said, allows the women to experience being part of a group. Moreover, the public production helps temporarily to blur the distinction between those who are inside and outside the prison world.

In a video clip that Rabinowitz showed of a rehearsal for a Project play, Rhodessa Jones, speaking to the prison women, says, “Find a character for yourself; who are you?” In effect, the Medea Project presents an opportunity for prison women to realize their own identities, recognize their own power, and further, to recognize the power of other women. Modern Medeas, those women in the prison system, must learn to find their own escape routes. Ultimately, the Project’s mission as Rabinowitz relayed it is to prevent women from returning to jail by helping them to realize their own agency.

The political power of these theatrical representations extends even farther, though, as Rabinowitz emphasized. She noted that “the most radical political potential [of the Project’s plays] is to involve women on the outside who have more power” than the women on the inside of the prison system.
From ANSA:

Hadrian's Villa has unveiled its latest secret, a monumental staircase complete with huge columns and a giant sphinx .

Archaeologists said the stairway, found in an area known as the Gymnasium, was probably the original entrance to the sprawling complex .

A statue of an athlete and a huge theatrical mask, both in marble, were also found at the site .

"These are extraordinary finds," said the archaeologist who made the discoveries, Zaccaria Mari .

"The coloured marble on the columns is simply superb while the sphinx is an amazing work." Mari said the 8.5m wide staircase and the statuary were probably made around the end of the villa's construction, towards 130 AD, but the 2.5m long sphinx might be even older .

"We think it came from one of the imperial workshops but there's a chance it might have been brought back from Egypt," he said .

What's more, Mari went on, the new dig may have more secrets in store .

"We've just started here. The digging gets under way again on Tuesday." Hadrian's Villa, a few miles north of Rome at Tivoli, was the largest and richest Imperial Roman villa ever built .

Starting from his investiture in 117 AD, it took ten years to build with Hadrian himself showing his architectural skills as he paid homage to the most beautiful buildings in his Empire .

One of the best-preserved parts is a recreation of the famous statue-lined pool shrine at Canopus in Egypt - one of many memorials to the emperor's boy-lover Antinoos .

The vast site - at least the size of Pompeii - was looted by barbarians and ransacked by later stone-hunters but has still disgorged hundreds of artistic treasures since the first excavations in the 16th century .

The almost 300 art works discovered there fill the museums of Europe .

Protected by a beautiful park, the villa is one of the most evocative classical sites in Italy and draws thousands of visitors a year .
Well, it took a while, but finally the Boston Globe is the first off the mark with sportscasters' annual rant about the Super Bowl and Roman numerlas (Go Seahawls!):

With the tension thicker than an offensive lineman's neck, the teams have gathered in their locker rooms. On the field, Tiny Tim is performing for the sellout crowd -- or at least someone who looks like Tiny Tim from the 1,375th row of the stadium. Back among the gladiators, it is time for last-minute details and emotional speeches. We take you there now.

''Gentlemen," said the coach, ''this is the day you have dreamed about since you played Pop Warner football. This is your chance for glory. You have worked too hard and too long to get here, so as we prepare for the ultimate competition, are there any questions about the game plan I have meticulously and tirelessly prepared?"

''Actually, I have one, Coach. I'm curious, why is it Super Bowl XL and not Super Bowl XXXX? Seems to me it should be clean and simple; an X is 10 and four X's would be 40. So, how come they tucked the L in there and just didn't toss down three more X's?"

Dumbfounded, the coach can only stare. Then, another hand is raised.

''You know, I wasn't going to bring this up, but since he asked the question, I'm baffled, too. On my watch, they use IIII to indicate the number four, but not IV, which is how they normally would represent four. Anyone know why?"

Silence -- but only for a moment.

''These goofy numbers have always driven me crazy, anyway," said another player, and by now the room was restless. Chatter was going on everywhere. ''Who invented Roman numerals, anyway?"

''The Greeks," said a voice.

''It wasn't the Greeks. I think the Vikings did," said a big guy who was busy putting on six rolls of tape.

''No wonder that team is so screwed up. Look at the number system they came up with."

''The Vikings didn't invent Roman numerals, helmet head. Julius Caesar did."

''The guy who invented that cool salad?"

''Didn't you learn anything in those four classes you went to in college? Some guy named Caesar Cardini invented the Caesar salad."

''Terrific, but it doesn't answer my question. Why is it XL and not XXXX?"

''L is 50 and the X in front of it means you take away 10. Get it? Fifty minus 10 is 40. If the X were behind the L, you would add it. So think about it, when the Super Bowl rolls around in 20 years and you're sitting at home, you'll see it as LX. Understand now?"

''But why wouldn't they just string together six X's? That would be 60, too, and it would get rid of the L."

''Hey, that's my shirt size. Six X's."

''What do you have against the L? It represents 50. And C is 100, D is 500, and M is 1,000."

''Imagine Super Bowl C? That sounds silly. X is macho. C sounds like such a sissy."

''Just wait until the 99th Super Bowl. Super Bowl IC? Everyone will think guys are in intensive care. Or they'll want to know who's in charge."

''You don't represent 99 by IC, encroachment breath. For 99, it would be XCIX. You can only put I before V's or X's."

''That's ludicrous."

''That's the way the Greeks wanted it."

''Will you stop it with the Greeks. They didn't invent the Roman numerals."

''Well, whoever invented them, I don't like them. I mean, if Super Bowl XL is 40 because you take 10 from 50, then why wasn't the 30th one Super Bowl XXL. You know, two X's taken from 50 equals 30?"

Finally, the coach had had it. He roared at his players. ''I've studied game film for 17 hours a day, coached you guys four hours a day, answered questions from a Nickelodeon reporter dressed up in a cape for two hours a day, and slept the other hour. We've gone over X's and O's all week and all you can think about is X's and L's and why they're in the order they are?"

There was silence. Then a lone voice from the back of the room said, ''We're sorry, Coach."

''Apology accepted. Now, before we go out there as a team of warriors, are there any questions?"

''Just one, Coach. I've never seen the Stones. Can I watch them at halftime?"

''The Stones? Playing at halftime? How cool is that?" said a teammate. ''I bet they were around when Roman numerals were invented."

''I don't know about that, but they did play at Julius Caesar's inauguration."

With that, the coach hung his head, tossed down the towel, and walked toward the field for Super Bowl XL. Or, if you prefer, Super Bowl XXXX.

I'd be willing to bet most football players could, actually, explain how Roman numerals work ... There's another rant, by the way, over at Sports Illustrated ... and another at the Pilot ...
6.00 p.m. |SCI| The Riddle of Pompeii
Explore life and society in Ancient Rome through recent archaeological excavations and cutting edge science. Discover what really happened during the eruption in AD 79 that destroyed the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

7.00 p.m. |HINT| The Colosseum
Nothing symbolizes the Roman Empire at its height or Rome in magnificent ruins more than the Colosseum. Built in 70 AD, it seated 80,000 people, boasted a retractable roof, underground staging devices, marble seating, and lavish decorations. It still serves as the prototype for the modern stadium. The complexity of its construction, the beauty of its architecture, and the functionality of its design made it the perfect place for massive crowds to congregate for the bloody spectacles it contained.

8.00 p.m. |HINT|Decisive Battles: Marathon
Marathon, Greece, September 490 BC. King Darius leads his Persian army in an attack on Greece. When the Persian fleet, carrying massive infantry and cavalry, arrived on Greek soil at Marathon Bay, the Greeks were outnumbered 4:1. But in an heroic effort, the Athenian hoplite warriors were victorious in a fight against both greater numbers and time. Yet while they fought on land, Persian ships were sailing round to sack the undefended city. Athens had to be warned--thus Phidippides' 26-mile run.
Cui deest pecunia, huic desunt omnia.

The one who lacks money, lacks everything.

(pron = Koo-ee DAY-ehst peh-KOO-nee-ah HOO-ik DAY-soont OHM-nee-ah)

Comment: Most of us have probably been raised with "money isn't everything".
Now, Anonymous would say "but if you don't have any, you lack everything".

It always strikes me when I hear the moralistic intonations of "money isn't
everything" that it is usually sung by those who have some money in the first

Money is a means to social, economic, political, religious and cultural
discourse in our society, and it has been in human societies for a long time.
If one has no money, it means that for whatever of many reasons (some of which
go to the heart of social justice), then one really is locked out of life as we
know it. However, money is a symbol. Money is not direct experience, and when
we forget that (both people with and without money can forget or be ignorant of
this) then life becomes a shallow experience. Life gets reduced to money as if
money were a direct experience.

Money is never a direct experience. Money is always a symbol of some other
experiences. When your paycheck arrives (perhaps it just did this past week)
look at it for a moment (or look at the electronic deposit in your bank account
online--no better image of the symbolism of money and how this is not direct
experience). As you look at that paycheck, can you see it as a symbol of a
month full of direct experiences? As you write checks, can you see those
checks as a means of discourse between the work you did and the grocer, the
utility, the political party or religious or charitable organization, the club
you belong to, the doctor, etc?

Money is a symbol. It is not direct experience, but it is a symbol of direct
experience, a means to discourse. Those who don't have it, in this sense, have

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem iii nonas februarias

316 a.d. -- martyrdom of St. Blaise

1995 -- death of John Pinsent (classicist and founder of Liverpool Classical Monthly)
ratify @ Guru.net

disparate @ Dictionary.com

ubiquit @ Worthless Word for the Day

cancrine @ Wordsmith

jubilate @ Merriam-Webster
Superficies marium altior facta

Superficies marium orbis terrarum decenniis proxime praeteritis celerius quam ante altiores factae sunt, ut investigatores Australiani animadverterunt.

In causa huius rei videtur esse status caeli mutatus, quo factum est, ut glaciaria paulatim liquescerent et aqua marina calidior facta amplificaretur.

Si auctus maris pari celeritate continuabitur, metuendum est, ne civitates insulares et litora demissiora solito vehementioribus inundationibus et maiore erosione afficiantur.

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

... and if you want a taste of news in Classical Greek, here's Akropolis World News' latest headline: Greek scientists say typhoid fever killed Pericles - Battle in Amona.
As I wander down the midway in search of coffee ... looks like many of the ClassiCarnies are on a break today

Beneath the Ruins has some notes on the 'Mildenhall Dish' ...

Elginism fires another squib in the Elgin/Parthenon Marbles debate by posting a review by Peter Jones of Dorothy King's book ...

Forgot to mention this one yesterday ... Bella Online has an okay/quick method for wrapping a toga ....

In the About.com forums, there is a handy (not sure if that's the right word ... I'm still looking for coffee) thread on Latin 'colloquialisms' ...
My box is filling up with this one ... here's the version from LiveScience (via Yahoo):

The remains of an ancient Greek cargo ship that sank more than 2,300 years ago have been uncovered with a deep-sea robot, archaeologists announced today.

The ship was carrying hundreds of ceramic jars of wine and olive oil and went down off Chios and the Oinoussai islands in the eastern Aegean Sea sometime around 350 B.C.

Archeologists speculate that a fire or rough weather may have sunk the ship. The wreckage was found submerged beneath 200 feet (60 meters) of water.

The researchers hope that the shipwreck will provide clues about the trade network that existed between the ancient Greek and their trading partners.

The wreck is "like a buried UPS truck," said David Mindell of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). "It provides a wealth of information that helps us figure out networks based on the contents of the truck."

The shipwreck was located using sonar scans performed by the Greek Ministry of Culture in 2004. In July of 2005, researchers returned to the site with the underwater robot, called SeaBed.

The robot scanned the shipwreck and scattered cargo and created a topographical sonar map of the region. It also took more than 7,500 images over of the site over the course of four dives. The researchers have assembled those images into a mosaic.

The study of the Chios shipwreck is part of a 10-year project that aims to examine ancient trade in the Mediterranean during the Bronze age (2500-1200 B.C.). In particular, the project will focus on the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures and their trading partners.

The investigating team also includes researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR).
From Bloomberg:

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art today offered to return 20 artifacts in its collection to Italy, which says the ancient art was looted.

The disputed items include a 2,500-year-old vase painted by the Greek artist Euphronios, a 15-piece set of Hellenistic silver and four ancient pots.

The Euphronios vase is ``one of the finest existing examples of an Attic krater,'' a vessel used to mix wine with water, the Met's Web site says, referring to the museum's vase from Athens. It depicts a Trojan War scene from the Iliad in which Zeus's dead son, Sarpedon, is carried off the battlefield.

Met representatives made the proposal to the Italian Culture Ministry in Rome, museum spokesman Harold Holzer said in an interview. If the proposal is accepted by the Italian government, the museum said in a statement that it would receive long-term loans of art from Italy of ``equivalent beauty and importance.''

``The proposal follows the receipt of evidentiary documents provided to the Museum by the Ministry, and positive discussions last week between Italian Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione and Philippe de Montebello, director of the Museum,'' the Met's e- mailed statement said.

Negotiations began with a Nov. 22 meeting in Rome between the Met director and Italian officials at which de Montebello said he would return items if shown proof they were looted from Italy.

Government's Response

The Italian government responded Jan. 12, sending the Met evidence to back its demand that the museum return all the objects, said Maurizio Fiorilli, a lawyer for the Culture Ministry. In addition to long-term loans of other artworks, the government offered to cooperate with the museum on archaeological digs in Italy, he said.

When asked whether the Met's board would need to ratify the proposed agreement if the Italians accept it, Met spokesman Holzer said: ``The trustees authorized the framework that was presented to the Italian government today.''

Holzer said there had been ``no discussion'' of a timetable for returning the artworks. ``That will undoubtedly be the next step'' if the Italians accept the museum's proposal, he said.

The talks with the Met are part of a broader push by Italian authorities to seize antiquities they say were illegally excavated or exported, including items at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Princeton University Art Museum in New Jersey, the Cleveland Museum of Art and others.

$1 Million Sale

The Getty's director, Michael Brand, met Jan. 27 with Italian officials in Rome to discuss allegedly looted antiquities in the Getty collection.

The Italian evidence for the Met's allegedly looted pots comes largely from the trial of Roman art dealer Giacomo Medici, who was convicted in December 2004 of smuggling objects that are now at the Met, Getty and other museums, Fiorilli said. Medici, 67, denies the charges and is free while appealing his conviction and 10-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors charge that Medici bought the Euphronios krater from tomb robbers who had excavated the pot in Cerveteri, near Rome. He then sold it to Robert Hecht, a U.S. dealer who sold the krater to the Met for $1 million in 1972, the charges say.

Hecht, 86, is on trial in Rome for smuggling dozens of antiquities, including the Euphronios krater and the 15-piece set of silver that prosecutors say was looted from Morgantina, in Sicily. Hecht denies the charges. The silver isn't part of Medici's case.

Proof that the silver came from Italy includes an excavation site found by investigators and conversations between police and clandestine diggers, said Malcolm Bell, an archaeologist at the University of Virginia who heads the official Morgantina digs.

Dealer's Memoir

Italy's evidence that the krater was looted includes Hecht's handwritten memoir, seized in a search of his Paris apartment. According to the memoir, Medici approached Hecht in Rome about the sale of the krater, and the two then traveled to Switzerland to see it in storage and complete the sale.

The tale from the memoir contradicts Hecht's official version of events, in which he said he bought the pot from a Lebanese man whose father acquired it earlier in the century. Hecht says his memoir is a work of fiction.

Hecht's co-defendant in the Rome trial is Marion True, 57, the former curator of antiquities at the Getty.

True and another former Getty curator, Jiri Frel, have said in depositions that a Met curator, Dietrich von Bothmer, gave them the exact location of the tomb site in Cerveteri from which the Euphronios krater was looted.

Von Bothmer, 87, the former head of the Met's Greek and Roman department, says he did no such thing and doesn't know where the pot came from.
8.30 p.m. |HINT| What the Romans Did for Us: Life of Luxury
From bras to bridges, taxis to table forks, concrete to condoms, the Romans brought inventions and innovations that changed the world forever. They were the first mass producers, the first capitalists, who during their reign left a fascinating and complex technological legacy that forms the basis of our technological world today. Adam Hart-Davis hosts this series that explores our legacy that we inherited from the Romans. In this episode, we see how, after hundreds of years of occupation, many generations of people in Britain had grown up surrounded by Roman culture, and after a long period of stability, that culture was showing visible signs of wealth, success, and good living.
Mendaci, neque cum vera dicit, creditur.
(M. Tullius Cicero, De Divinatio 2.71.146, adapted)

One does not trust a liar even when he speaks the truth.

(pron = mehn-DAH-kee NEH-kweh koom WAY-rah dee-kit KREH-dih-toor)

Comment: This is a pretty straight forward piece of wisdom which most people
come to see in one way or another. Sadly, we learn this dynamic only after
having been lied to by someone that we trusted. Thereafter, trust in this
person is difficult, even if we wish to begin trusting him/her again. Cicero's
comment points out another twist in the problem of trust between people. The
one who once betrayed is still capable of telling the truth. But, how does one
know and discern the difference?

I don't see any easy way of dealing with trust and betrayal. It does seem to
me, though, that if we practice our own integrity--that is--daily asking
ourselves in front of the mirror how true we are being in word and deed to who
we really are, that we develop a kind of radar. We sense our own lies. We
sense our own truth. Integrity means owning our own lies and truth, which
enables us to recognize both in others.

This is not science. This is the art of being human. It requires daily

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem iv nonas februarias

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Apronian the Executioner at Ancona

... it's Candlemas Day ... eat those pancakes! And for all you Latin teachers out there ... you can present this Latin 'distich' quoted by Thomas Browne in Robert Chambers Book of Days (the quoting of) which predates Punxsutawney Phil (and Wiarton Willy, and the plethora of other rodents):

Si sol splendescat Maria purificante,
Major erit glacies post festum quam fuit ante
parlous @ Dictionary.com (always wondered about that)

reluct @ Worthless Word for the Day

sartorial @ Wordsmith

cathexis @ Merriam-Webster (why did Homer Simpson's "Wow, those Germans have a word for everything" just pop into my head?)

... and it being Thursday, Done With Mirrors has another installment of Carnival of the Etymologies ... the Classical Technology Center's My Word! feature looks at peaceful Roman gods ...
Anniversarium Mozartianum

Hodie ducenti quinquaginta anni acti sunt ex eo die, quo Wolfgangus Amadeus Mozart, celeberrimus musicographus Austriacus, Salisburgi natus est.

Dies anniversarius in tota Austria sed praesertim in urbe eius natali et Vindobonae, ubi Mozart musicographus aulicus imperatoris nominatus est, concentibus et expositionibus celebratur.

Mozart, qui inter summa ingenia musicalia numeratur, in tanta paupertate decessit, ut in fossa communi sepeliretur. Radiophonia Finnica musicam Mozartianam per sedecim horas continuas hodie emittit.

Illa emissio pars est programmatis internationalis viginti quattuor horarum, quod eodem tempore ex aliis viginti quinque terris emittitur.

Tuomo Pekkanen
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)
Eric at Campus Mawrtius has an interesting tidbit on Hilary of Poitiers' poetry ...

About.com's N.S. Gill has a feature on Septimius Severus ...

The Center for Hellenic Studies has announced a couple of Summer programs of interest ...

Classics in Contemporary Culture ponders the portrayal of George Bush as Nero (among other things) ...

Hobbyblog today features another antoninianus of Gallienus ... featuring Pax

At Bread and Circuses, AM has some interesting observations on the rift between Rome and what was left of the Gallic provinces towards the end of the fifth century ...

Sympotica Graecolatina's quotation today has a libido-enhancing quality ...

Over at UNRV there's an incipient discussion of what archaeology can tell us about traditional Roman religion ... hope it takes off! ...

A conversation over at Roman Army Talk pointed me to this Trojan War: An Illustrated Companion, which some might find useful ...

... and just in closing, to get a taste of how acrimonious the Elgin/Parthenon Marbles debate is going to become, check out the reviews at Amazon of Dorothy King's book ... DK has put up a review of her own in response to what was clearly a 'programmatic' response (most of which seems to have been taken down this a.m.) ... not sure 'either side's' cause is helped by this sort of thing.
From BMCR:

Alan Dundes (ed.), Folklore: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies.

Marguerite Johnson, Terry Ryan, Sexuality in Greek and Roman Society and Literature. A Sourcebook.

Charlotte Schubert, Der hippokratische Eid. Medizin und Ethik von der Antike bis heute.

S. Edmunds, P. Jones, G. Nagy, Text & Textile: An Introduction to Wool-Working for Readers of Greek and Latin.

A. Boschi, A. Bozzato, I greci al cinema. Dal peplum 'd'autore' alla grafica computerizzata.

Sean Alexander Gurd, Iphigenias at Aulis: Textual Multiplicity, Radical Philology.
The incipit of a piece from the (Virginia Tech) Collegiate Times:

I struggled with what to write this week’s column about. I find the topic I inevitably chose comes from a “Sophical” argument held in my political theory course.

The Sophical argument refers to the type of argument Sophocles would take part in, one in which he limits himself from giving any opinion but rather attempts to confuse the people arguing against him until they begin to question what they formerly believed.

I've never seen the word 'sophical' connected to Sophocles before ... the above looks like someone is confusing 'sophical' with 'sophist', no?
Fluorescent animals have been in the science pages of late, and a piece in the Courant drops this little tidbit:

The first recorded use of fluorescent protein goes back to the first century, when Pliny the Elder rubbed a jellyfish on the bottom of his walking stick to illuminate a path.

And for once the reference doesn't seem to be apocryphal ... from the NH 32.141 (via Lacus Curtius):

Pulmone marino si confricetur lignum, ardere videtur adeo, ut baculum ita praeluceat. —
From EurekAlert come some excerpts of interest in regards to the discovery of a pair of binary asteroids in Jupiter's orbit:

A bound pair of icy comets similar to the dirty snowballs circling outside the orbit of Neptune has been found lurking in the shadow of Jupiter.

Astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, working with colleagues in France and at the Keck Telescope in Hawaii, have calculated the density of a known binary asteroid system that shares Jupiter's orbit, and concluded that Patroclus and its companion probably are composed mostly of water ice covered by a patina of dirt.

Because dirty snowballs are thought to have formed in the outer reaches of the solar system, from which they are occasionally dislodged and end up looping closer to the sun as comets, the team suggests that the asteroid probably formed far from the sun. It most likely was captured in one of Jupiter's Trojan points - two eddies where debris collects in Jupiter's orbit - during a period when the inner solar system was intensely bombarded by comets, around 650 million years after the formation of the solar system.


"We need to discover more binary Trojans and observe them to see if low density is a characteristic of all Trojans," he said.

Trojan asteroids are those caught in the so-called Lagrange points of Jupiter's orbit, located the same distance from Jupiter as Jupiter is from the sun - 5 astronomical units, or 465 million miles. These points, one leading and the other trailing Jupiter, are places were the gravitational attraction of the sun and Jupiter are balanced, allowing debris to collect like dust bunnies in the corner of a room. Hundreds of asteroids have been discovered in the leading (L4) and trailing (L5) points, each orbiting around that point as if in an eddy.

The asteroid 617 Patroclus, originally discovered at L5 and named in 1906, was found to have a companion in 2001, and so far is the only known Trojan binary. The discoverers were not able to estimate the orbit of the components because they had too few observations.


Because in Homer's Iliad, Patroclus was Achilles' companion and a hero of the Trojan War, Achilles would have been an appropriate name for one of the two asteroids, which are about the same size. However, another asteroid already has the name Achilles, so Marchis and his collaborators proposed naming the smallest member of the binary system Menoetius, after the father of Patroclus. The Committee on Small Body Names of the International Astronomical Union has tentatively accepted the name. The asteroid designated Menoetius is about 112 kilometers (70 miles) in diameter, while Patroclus is about 122 kilometers (76 miles) wide.
From the Herald-Democrat:

More than 560 area high school students will fill the halls of Van Alstyne High School Saturday for the Area Junior Classical League Convention.

Thirty schools from Fort Worth to Wichita Falls will attend the convention, in which they will compete for spots in the state competition March 31.

Competitions range from classical civilization to a toga costume contest. In order to advance to state, students must place in the top five in their competition and each winning Certamen, or quiz bowl, team will advance. Those who place at state will advance to the national competition.

Twelve students from Van Alstyne advanced to nationals in 2005, and 10 students placed in the top 10 of their competitions. Martin said that he hopes that the students are ready for the competition Saturday.

“They (students) have been really helpful at trying to put it together,” Martin said. “When you host the competition, you spend a lot of energy that you would have used getting them ready, on putting it together.”

Martin said the students, while doing their tests, will be available to assist with any questions from visiting schools. All they have to look for are flamingo pink t-shirts with two blue cows on them.

This year is the first that Van Alstyne has served as host to the competition at the school. In 2000, the district co-hosted with Denton Ryan High school.

The convention will begin at 8:25 a.m. with an opening assembly then students will go off to their respective testing rooms. Through out the day students can participate in the Certamen, play basketball or volleyball or eat in the Van Alstyne Cafeteria. At 3 p.m. the final Certamen competition will be held. Around 5 p.m. an awards assembly will be held to announce who and which teams advance to state.
My email box is filling up with this AP (via Yahoo) piece:

A well-preserved underground tomb belonging to a prominent Roman-era family has been unearthed on the island of Crete, archaeologists said Wednesday.

The large first or second century A.D. structure beside one of the main gates to the walled city of Aptera was looted during Christian times, archaeologist Vanna Niniou-Kindeli said.

It still yielded a wealth of finds, including 10-inch pottery statuettes of the ancient Greek love deity Eros, glass and pottery vases and lamps.

Built of large stone blocks, the grave is reached by a flight of steps. It has an antechamber and a main room measuring three by two yards that was the site of four burials.

"These must have been highly important citizens, probably among the city's wealthiest, who had contributed to the common good of the city," Niniou-Kindeli said. "In return, they were buried in a prominent position so that whoever entered the city saw the grave."

Archaeologists also discovered a small burial ground of newborns dating to the 4th century B.C., just outside the city walls.

Seven graves have been found, including a prematurely born infant's. Niniou-Kindeli said traces of ritual offerings were found beside the graves.

"This is an interesting find," she said. "We are not quite sure how to interpret it."

Aptera was founded around the seventh century B.C., and was destroyed by an earthquake in the seventh century A.D. It flourished during Hellenistic and Roman times.
7.00 p.m. |DCIVC| The Roman Empire in North Africa

8.00 p.m. |HISTU| Galen, Doctor to the Gladiators
In this fascinating series, we examine ancient inventions once believed to have been created in modern times, and test the wits of ancient inventors against some of the world's great modern inventors. Part 2 uncovers the revolutionary work of Galen, the great Roman doctor to the gladiators, who was performing brain surgery 2,000 years ahead of his time. We also explore the sophistication of Roman medicine and compare it to modern techniques.

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Warrior Women: Boudica
kalendae februariae

Rites in honour of Juno Sospita: Juno Sospita was originally worshipped in Lanuvium, where she seems to have had started out as a fertility goddess of some sort and evolved into a warrior protectrix of the city. When Lanuvium was granted Roman citizenship in 338 B.C., the cult was also given special status and place under the control of the pontifices, who would annually perform a sacrifice to her. There also seems to have been a ritual whereby blindfolded girls would enter her grove to feed barley cakes to the sacred snakes therein. If the cakes were accepted, the girls were proven to be virgins and the fertility for the upcoming year was guaranteed. Which of these rituals -- or perhaps both -- took place on this day isn't clear in my sources.

Rites in honour of Elernus: Elernus (or Helernus, or may Avernus) is another one of those very ancient Roman deities about which we know little, as can be seen by the variations in name. He appears to have been some type of underworld divinity (perhaps being honoured with the sacrifice of a black ox by the pontifices).

1793 - death of John Lempriere (Classical Dictionary)
Sero dat qui roganti dat.

It's not called generosity when a person gives only after being asked.

Literally: He gives late who gives to the one who asks.

(pron = SAY-roh daht kwee roh-GAHN-tee daht.)

Comment: John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had a different perspective on
generosity which, as I recall, he took, from Basil the Great: Earn as much as
you can; save as much as you can; give as much as you can.

Wesley's comment puts the emphasis back where it probably goes in the Latin
saying: on the one who gives. It is easy to become defensive towards "askers"
and spin into some unhealthy places and attitudes about giving and asking and
feeling compelled to do "good" when we really don't feel that way at all.

If generosity and gratitude are daily practices for us, then it is also easier
to say "no" when we need to. If I know that on a daily basis I am grateful for
what I have,and that I do give generously out of that gratitude, then when asked
to do or give something that seems not right (for any particular reason), then
saying no will also feel more natural. I can say no at any given moment
because on a daily basis, out of gratitude, I am generous.

Otherwise, being asked does catch me late. I am caught off guard. I feel put
upon. I feel guilty. Or worse: I feel indignant. The world around us is
going to show us ourselves whatever we practice each day. Some call it "the

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
manifesto @ Guru.net

malleable @ Dictionary.com

abulia @ Merriam-Webster (possibly the greatest word I have learned in ages)
Energia Europaeos sollicitat

Anno vergente, cum rixa de gaso inter Moscuam et Kioviam orta multas nationes Europaeas terruisset, ne de energia Russiae nimis dependerent, de novis electrificinis nuclearibus in Europa aedificandis cogitari coeptum est. José Manuel Barroso, praeses commissionis Europaeae, censuit nullam optionem energiae excludendam esse.

Franci, apud quos octoginta centesimae electricitatis vi nucleari producuntur, monuerunt electrificinas nucleares non tantum ex energia aliena independentiam augere sed etiam instrumenta esse, quibus contra mutationem climaticam pugnaretur.

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

Radio Bremen has also posted its monthly version of Nuntii Latini with a German focus ...
Another somewhat slow news day ...

At Campus Mawrtius, Eric has a post on the number of the beast in Virgil (!) ... MG over at Laudator adds some comments of his own on the matter...

The APA has put up the slate of candidates for next summer's elections ...

At Blogographos, DH points us to a (p)review of an interesting bit of science fiction called The Plot to Save Socrates ...

A plethora of posts from Classics in Contemporary Culture ... War Games ... a piece on early versions of the Bible ... something on Anne Carson's latest ... and a piece on a former Encyclopedia Britannica editor's reading of Plutarch ...

Hobbyblog has a very nice follis of Maximian, with an image of Roma sitting in her temple ...

Aoidoi has comments on a couple of fragments of Alcaeus ... (see also the related blog post at William Blathers)

Sympotica Graecolatina tells us of the health benefits of the alcoholic beverages of the north ...

Over at Roman Army Talk, there's a neat thread where reenactors are posting photos of themselves in full kit ... these guys must spend a fortune on this stuff ...

... and as a sidenote, hopefully we won't cause major damage to the fabric of time if we express our gratitude in our Carnival that one of our posts was mentioned in the History Carnival (hosted by the Elfin Ethicist) ... on a note related to that, I'm still wondering about what byblosantiques offers on eBay, by the way, especially the 'authentic' sculptures ... I also notice a number of items from Marcel Gibrat are being sold all over the interent (including at eBay) ... given that MG was a former art restorer at the Met and subsequently an antiquities dealer, it seems useful to put his name in a file somewhere, just to see if it comes up in other contexts (no, I'm not implying anything here)
An excerpt from an interview with Gore Vidal (in Scoop) in regards to the State of the Union:

I had a piece on the internet some of you may have seen a few days ago, and there's a story about Tiberius, who’s one of my favorite Roman emperors. He's had a very bad press, because the wrong people perhaps have written history. But when he became emperor, the Senate of Rome sent him congratulations with the comment, “Any law that you want us to pass, we shall do so automatically.” And he sent a message back. He said, “This is outrageous! Suppose I go mad. Suppose I don't know what I'm doing. Suppose I'm dead and somebody is pretending to be me. Never do that! Never accept something like preemptive war,” which luckily the Senate did not propose preemptive wars against places they didn't like. But Mr. Bush has done that.

... I'm trying to track down this 'piece on the internet' ... [i keep coming across different versions of this State of the Union thing]
From the UPenn Almanac:

Dr. A. John Graham, professor emeritus of Classical studies, one of the foremost authorities on colonization in the ancient Greek world, died December 26, 2005 at age 75, in Cambridge, England, where he had lived since his retirement from Penn in 1995.

Dr. Graham was born into an old Quaker family in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 1930, and was educated at Bootham, a famous Quaker school in Yorkshire. After service in the British Army during World War II, he entered King’s College Cambridge, from which he graduated with distinction in ancient history in 1952. He earned a Ph.D. at Cambridge, with time spent at the University of Munich, Germany, and at the British School at Athens, then taught for two years at Bedford College, London. In 1957, he accepted a teaching post at the University of Manchester, which he held for 20 years until coming to Penn as professor of Classical studies and becoming the Allen Memorial Professor of Greek in 1977.

Dr. Graham’s scholarly interests centered on Greek colonization, which was the subject of his prize-winning book, Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece (1964, reprinted 1983), and of numerous articles and reviews. He also published on Roman imperial history, and co-edited a volume in honor of his teacher Victor Ehrenberg, Polis und Imperium, in 1965. His special competence in archaeology and epigraphy led to studies in Greek domestic life in articles on “An Attic Country House” and a study of bee hives.

Dr. Graham’s former colleague Martin Ostwald recalls that at Penn, “his sharp historical acumen, his intellectual clarity, and his compassionate nature soon found resonance among his students and colleagues alike.” Dr. Graham was at various times, chair of the Department of Classical studies, of the Graduate Group in Classical Studies, and of the Graduate Group in Ancient History. With his strong interests in religious and cultural history, and in cultural contacts within the ancient Mediterranean, he played a leading role in fostering the broad reach and interdisciplinary emphasis of Penn’s innovative graduate program in ancient history. He advised dissertations on a wide range of topics and inspired a loyal and devoted following among his former students. Despite his refusal to surrender to the use of e-mail, few students and colleagues regarded that as an obstacle to staying in touch with him, even after he withdrew to his native England upon his retirement in 1995. In 2002, a number of his former students expressed their esteem through the publication of Oikistes: Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World Offered in Honor of A.J. Graham.

Dr. Graham is survived by his wife, Jenny; sons, William and Oliver; and three grandchildren. The Department of Classical Studies is planning a memorial service for Dr. Graham later in the spring.


Quot homines, tot sententia; suus cuique mos.
(Terence, Phormio 454)

There are as many opinions as there are people; a tradition for each one.

(pron = kwoht HOH-mih-nays toht sen-TEN-tee-ah soos KWEE-kweh mohs).

Comment: I guess there being as many opinions in the room as there are people is
an ancient human reality. We joke about it now, and Terence seems to be having
some fun with it, too. What would likely have not been funny to Romans, or at
least acceptable in a serious discussion, is the notion of every individual
having his/her own "mos", custom, tradition. Roman piety was built on at least
the notion of the "mos maiorum", the tradition of the elders. A pious Roman
would invoke the "mos maoiorum" in order to say--this is how we have always
done it.

Such traditions make people feel more secure. They also impose past experience
on the present and future and imply that change is unwelcome or even evil.

Change simply is the way things work. I would not suggest that traditions be
thrown out or ignored, but I find it helpful to consider them as another voice
in the room, one of the "sententiae" among the many.

If the way we lived is conceived of as a path, and we refuse to step on any
stepping stone except those that we have walked on before, we would spend our
lives either standing still or walking backward. Rather, I see life as a path
unfolding, and often I have to step on a stone that is hidden in the mist in
front of me. When my foot steps out and finlly connects with the next stepping
stone, it may well look and feel just like so many before it. That is how
tradition helps me. But, it may look at feel very different with any given
stone. And that is how life unfolds and changes.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
10.00 p.m. |NGU| Jesus: The Man
Who was Jesus and how did a boy from rural Galilee grow up to become one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders? Did he grow up in a traditional Jewish family? Did he have brothers and sisters? How did he dress? There are few details about his youth inthe Bible. But newly discovered archeological evidence will shed light on both the social influences that shaped Jesus' young life, and his encounter with John the Baptist, the man many scholars believe was the mentor of Jesus.

11.00 p.m. |HINT| Egypt According to Cleopatra
Walk the streets of Alexandria, during the time of the Ptolemies, alongside its citizens as their pharaoh, Cleopatra, serves as virtual tour guide of Egypt. From the exotic yet cosmopolitan capital, built by her ancestor Alexander the Great, to the Sanctuary of Dendera to the magical Isle of Philae, we explore her empire by land and sea. And, we follow Queen Cleopatra as she sets sail for Italy on a visit to Caesar and end our journey within the city walls of Rome, where an Egyptian temple is being erected for Cleopatra's deity protector, Isis.

11.30 p.m. |HINT| Pompeii: A City Rediscovered
On August 24, in the year 79 AD, the apocalyptic eruption of Vesuvius relegated the memory of the wealthy Roman city of Pompeii to the realms of legend and myth. Take a virtual tour of this vital and fantastic ancient city as we explore its mysteries. Now, new excavations, sound scientific evidence, and extraordinary computer graphics recreate the magnificent city and the cataclysmic eruption that silenced its inhabitants.