Piles of stuff, of course:

The ARLT blog has solved its bandwidth problems (it appears), and a plethora of posts awaits at the main page ...

Bread and Circuses has an interesting woodcut depiction of Arminius' battle ... there's also a link to Heliodorus' Aethiopica ...

PhDiva DK is looking at the temple of Triptolemos at Eleusis ...

A couple of items at Laudator ... something on Omen (movieish) ... more on Physician Heal Thyself ...

About.com's N.S. Gill is pondering the portrayal of Helen in the Iliad ...

Bestiaria is classifying proverbia de sapientia ...

More Google Earth news from the Stoa ... now we're getting placemarks for the Catalog of Ships ... (someone has to do the Antonine Itineraries) ...

Campus Mawrtius is pondering the literacy level of St. Augustine's congregation ...

Hobblyblog has a Republican issue of Censorinus/Marsyas ...

All the ClassiCarnies are ablog with the notice that Mary Beard has started up a blog at the Times (actually, it's been around for a month or so and none of us appear to have noticed until now) ...

That has to be it for today, alas ... work is calling ...
With June 6 coming, I suspect we'll see a few more items like this one from the University of Buffalo:

The number 666 -- the "number of the beast," according to the Book of Revelation -- conjures devilish images for many, so forecasts of evil, even doom, are rampant regarding dates or places where the number occurs, including next Tuesday, June 6, or 6-6-06.

Fears of 666, long believed to be the dreaded mark of Satan, are based on a "widespread misinterpretation" of the chapter in Revelation -- appropriately, chapter 13 -- in which the number is discussed, according to a University at Buffalo expert on the origins, nature and meaning of cults, superstitions and cultural identities.

Phillips Stevens, Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, explains that "like most superstitions, the avoidance of the numbers 13 and 666 are examples of magical thinking.

"People everywhere believe that things associated with other things, through actual contact or just some similarity, have causal relationships, even over space and time," Stevens says. "Things associated with good events or great people can bring good fortune; things associated with failure, disastrous events or evil people carry some of that negativity with them."

And, like many superstitions, the one regarding 666 is based on incorrect data: the "beast" referred to in the chapter is not Satan, but, in fact, several other entities.

"Revelation is a complex and confusing book, and is rarely read closely by lay people. Biblical scholars have pointed out that there are several 'beasts,' in Chapter 13 and elsewhere, and they all refer variously to Rome, Roman emperors and Roman cults of god- and emperor-worship," Stevens says.

"Revelation" author, John of Patmos, traditionally believed to be St. John the Apostle, was writing to other persecuted Christians in code, according to Stevens, so "many of the strange elements in 'Revelation' signify events, people or institutions familiar to first-century Christians.

"The mark of the beast, 666, signifies those in thrall to the emperor and thus opposed to Christianity, and is most probably the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew letters for Nero," Stevens says.

The First and Second Letters of John use the term "Antichrist" to denote lapsed Christians. Over subsequent centuries, the legend developed that the "end times" would be foreshadowed by the arrival of the Antichrist, an evil figure commissioned by Satan to prepare the world for his coming.

"Many perceived enemies of Christianity have been labeled the Antichrist, and Nero was one of the first," Stevens says, adding that there is an ever-growing, ever-changing list of persons considered the Antichrist that features "a long string of mostly historical figures -- Saladin was on the list, as was Hitler, and Saddam Hussein. The list varies according to who compiles it. Early Reformation-era Protestants had some popes on their list."

Chapter 13 in Revelation declares that the Antichrist was empowered by Satan, who is described as a dragon.

"So, although 'the beast' is not Satan, in Christian tradition 'the mark of the beast' was authorized by Satan," Stevens says. "And so, like that other Christian superstition, Friday the 13th -- from the Last Supper, where there were 13 people at the table, and the Crucifixion occurred the next day, a Friday -- 666 has become a strong taboo, avoided because of its negative association."

Generations have shunned the number to the point that it is erased or changed if and when it appears, Stevens notes. Authorities have re-numbered various U.S. highways previously numbered 666, and the town of Bel Air, Calif., changed the 666 street number of the house that President Ronald Reagan purchased upon leaving Washington, D.C.

Beyond mere superstition, many others believe conspiracy theories that have cropped up regarding the number 666, Stevens adds.

"They believe the sinister number 666 is encoded in our nation's banking system, in our medical and governmental records, and in our very identity, in personal documents and in UPC bar codes -- this latter is evidence of the fulfillment of Revelation prophecy," he says.

No surprise, then, that someone has found a way to make money off all these fears: coming soon is a remake of the 1976 horror film, "The Omen," the story of a modern-day birth of an Antichrist figure in the form of an evil boy named Damien (the original starred Gregory Peck and Lee Remick). Producers have scheduled the movie's release date for -- when else? -- next Tuesday, June 6, 2006.

Perhaps tickets should be sold for $6.66?

Or perhaps we should really be more interested in tomorrow's date (6.1.6) according to previously-mentioned items of this sort .... and the followup ... and another ... and another ...
Yesterday we had a brief item on the discovery of a 3000 b.p. skeleton in one of the imperial fora ... the English coverage has begun to flood in ... here's the BBC version (more in this weekend's Explorator, of course):

Italian archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum have found a well-preserved skeleton of a woman who lived 3,000 years ago.

The astonishing fact about this discovery is that it dates back to at least 300 years before the traditional date of the founding of Rome, 753 BC.

It has long been known that Bronze Age people were living on the site where the ancient Romans founded their city.

But few traces of their society have ever been brought to light.

Anna De Santis, who took part in the dig, said the woman whose bones have been found was aged about 30 when she died.

She was evidently of high birth, for she was wearing an amber necklace with a gold pendant, a bronze hair-fastener and a bronze ring on one of her fingers.

The archaeologists also found four bronze clasps, two of which may have been used to hold her shroud in place.

It was the custom for most prehistoric ancestors of the ancient Romans to cremate their dead and place their ashes in funerary urns.

Experts in Roman pre-history are interested that the new burial site, not far from the forum where Caesar's body was burned after his assassination 1,000 years later, marks a transition in social habits, from cremation - the customary form of burial at that period of pre-history - to burial in the ground.

[note in passing: I don't think I've ever seen 'real' writing beyond Grade 7 which used the construction "for she was"]
From Kathimerini:

Greek and foreign experts have used cutting-edge technology to decode the Greek text of the world’s oldest literary papyrus more than four decades after its discovery, it was revealed yesterday.

The Derveni Papyrus — which has been in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki since its charred fragments were found among the remains of a funeral pyre in 1962 — is described as a “philosophical treatise based on a poem in the Orphic tradition and dating to the second half of the 5th century BC.”

”It is particularly important to us as it is the oldest (papyrus) bearing Greek text,” Apostolos Pierris, director of the Patras Institute of Philosophical Research, told Kathimerini.

Experts from the institute, Oxford University and Brigham Young University, who decoded the papyrus and aim to reassemble it, are to hold a press conference in Thessaloniki today.

The papyrus is believed to be an invaluable document for the study of ancient Greek religion, philosophy and literary criticism.
8.00 p.m. |HINT| Travels through Greece
By the 2nd century AD, Greece had long been steeped in myth, tradition, and a rich history that made it a major tourist destination even then. In this episode, we travel with a Roman senator as he journeys to artistic and cultural treasures of Greece, including Corinth's welcoming agora (the center of civic activity), the acoustically perfect Theater at Epidaurus, and the famous sporting competitions and chariot races of Olympia, as well as its majestic Temple of Zeus. Experience the cutting edge of archaeological exploration as we explore these celebrated ancient sites and see them as only the original inhabitants could.

8.30 p.m. |HINT| The Fabulous Centers of Hellenism
Between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC, many cities in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) reached unprecedented artistic levels. They were the new centers of Hellenism--the fruit of the junction of Greek and Eastern civilizations. In this episode, we visit the cities of Ephesus and Pergamum. State-of-the art technology coupled with enhanced 3D graphics allows us to view the cities as only the original inhabitants could as we take a virtual tour of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Leptis Magna, and the Altar of Zeus complex at Pergamum, which the citizens considered a symbol of the cultural supremacy of Hellenistic people over the rest of the world. Features high-end location photography and insights from some of the world's leading archaeological experts.
ante diem iii kalendas junias

339 A.D. -- death of Eusebius
redux @ Wordsmith

equable @ Dictionary.com
Really slow news day, and the ClassiCarnies appear to be relaxing too ...

Curculio marks Memorial Day with various versions, Latin and Greek, of Simonides' epitaph for the Spartans at Thermopylae ...

Bestiaria Latina has some more proverbial comparisons ...

At About.com, N.S. Gill is writing about Roman burials ...

Laudator tells us about old men via Aristotle ...

Blogcritics has a review of the DVD version of I, Claudius ...

There's another column by Cicero at HNN ...

Hobbyblog has a nice Salonina/Tyche ...

There are a bunch of updated 'Ancient and Modern' columns at the Friends of Classics site ...

Another Aeneid translation has hit the ewaves ... E. Fairfax Taylor's rhyming couplets ... (it gets tedious rather quickly) ...

... and if anyone cares, I've noticed a pile of 'suspicious' addresses subscribing to the Classics Central forum in the past couple of weeks ... can't help but feel that something is afoot ...
A brief item from ANSA's Italian version:

Una tomba risalente al X secolo a.C. e' stata scoperta questo pomeriggio durante scavi archeologici in corso nell'area del Foro di Cesare, nei Fori Imperiali.

Nella tomba sono custoditi i resti ben conservati dello scheletro di una donna, dell'apparente eta' di 30 anni.

''Il nuovo ritrovamento e' l'ulteriore conferma - ha commentato l'assessore capitolino alla cultura, Gianni Borgna- che questa zona era abitata ancor prima della nascita di Roma, che gia' nel X secolo a.C. qui c'erano abitazioni, capanne, vita. Ora proseguiremo il lavoro di documentazione''. Gli scavi sono condotti dalla sovrintendenza comunale in collaborazione con la soprintendenza archeologica di Roma.

When all these Caesares were erecting their fora etc., they must have been digging up skeletons ... I wonder whether it was considered a good omen or bad, or simply an inconvenience ....
3.00 p.m. |DISCC| Cleopatra's Lost City
Alexandria one of the greatest cities of the ancient world was named after one of history's greatest warriors Alexander the Great; archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur tells the story of this beautiful ancient city and its most famous inhabitant.

8.00 p.m. |HINT| 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.
ante diem iv kalendas junias

Ambarvalia (?)

1905 -- birth of E. Togo Salmon (Samnium and the Samnites)
federalism @ Guru.net

manque @ Wordsmith
In certamine finali cantionum Eurovisionis, quod vespere Sabbati Athenis factum est, Finnia palmam reportavit.

Lordi, grex Finnicus graviori musicae metallicae deditus, in suffragio duodequadraginta nationum ducenta nonaginta duo puncta obtinuit, qui numerus longe maximus est in historia semisaeculari huius certaminis.

Lordi, qui ex quinque musicis personas monstruosas gerentes constat, operibus pyrotechnicis adhibitis cantionem "Hard Rock Hallelujah" cecinit, qua animos audientium sibi conciliavit.

Grex Finnicus et adiutores eius laudabantur, quod praeiudiciis liberi et a ceteris differentes ipsa musica, non saltationibus feminarum seminudarum, victoriam tulissent.

Finni, qui hucusque certamen Eurovisionis quadragies participaverunt, octies maxima cum humiliatione ultimi iudicati sunt.

Semel quidem sextum locum obtinuerunt. Eo dulcius nunc sapit victoria inopinata, quam per televisionem plus centum miliones Europaeorum videbant et audiebant.

Ex hac victoria sequitur, ut certamen cantionum anno proximo in Finnia instituatur.

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

For more news in Latin, here's the latest headline from Ephemeris: Pontificem Auschwitz campos captivitatis visitare

On the Greek side, Akropolis World News: 4,600 dead in Indonesia earthquake - The longest living thing in the world
As the Carnies (and other sources) disappear for vacations ...

About.com's N.S. Gill is writing about worship in the pre-Nicaea Church ...

Another outburst of posts from PhDiva's DK but only one is really Classical: on rites associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries ...

This week's Military History Podcast is about Attila the Hun ...

Hobbyblog has a Gallienus/Iovi Victor ...

Bread and Circuses has a feature on contraception in the Roman World ...

Laudator has some translations of Horace ...

Over at the Roma Antiqua Live Journal page, they're discussing the decline of Rome ...

There's another column by 'Cicero' over at HNN ...

MK alerts us (thanks) that there's another installment of Philosophy for Kossacks over at Daily Kos ...
This is a somewhat strange one from the AP (via Yahoo):

Two pieces from the treasure of King Croesus that were returned to Turkey from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York after a long legal battle have been stolen and replaced with fakes, the culture and tourism minister said Sunday.

Croesus' golden broach in the shape of a sea horse and a coin were switched with replicas at the Usak Museum in western Turkey, said the minister Atilla Koc, confirming a newspaper report on Sunday. "Unfortunately the incident is true," Koc said.

Croesus, the 6th century B.C. king of the Lydians, was the richest man of his time in what is now western Turkey. Ever since, his name has been synonymous with great wealth.

The broach was one of 363 artifacts from the so-called "Lydian Hoard" that was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum in the 1960s. Some 30 years later, the museum acknowledged that it knew the pieces were stolen when it purchased them, and returned them to Turkey.

... now I'm not sure whether this editorial in the Opinion Journal from back in December (when the Museum Case was just in its infancy) was previously available online to non-subscribers, but it has a rather portentous paragraph:

Yet it's hard to gloat over the current public humiliation of American museums. Could there be a worse time for the U.S. to be depicted as an imperial bullyboy looting the patrimony of poorer lands? In the current climate, that so many American institutions have done so much to preserve the world's heritage will be instantly eclipsed. But above all, the polarization between museums and aggrieved nations serves neither side's interests. The latter often don't have the resources to conserve or display returned treasures, let alone protect them in the ground. (The Lydian Hoard sits neglected and half-unpacked in a small museum in rural Turkey.) For their part, American museums will spend the next decades terrified about losing every object in their antiquities vitrines.

The issue just became rather more complicated ... I'm sure there will be a 'conspiracy theory' popping up on this soon.

An excerpt from an Arutz Sheva touristy sort of thing on the tomb of Shimon (and related activities):

The Talmud relates the famous story of the meeting between Alexander the Great, the world-conquering Macedonian Emperor, and Shimon HaTzaddik. At the behest of Jew-haters, Alexander marched on Jerusalem, with intent to destroy it. Shimon the High Priest donned the White Priestly Garments that he wore on Yom Kippur when he would enter the Holy of Holies, and went out to meet Alexander. To the surprise of his entourage, when the Emperor saw Shimon HaTzaddik, he dismounted and prostrated himself before Shimon. Alexander's generals asked him why he was bowing to this Jew, to which he replied that every night before a battle, he would see in a dream the figure of that Jewish High Priest, who would advise him on tactics to use the following day - a service that never failed him.

Shimon HaTzaddik took Alexander the Great on a tour of the Temple. Alexander was very impressed and requested that a marble image of himself be placed in the Temple courtyard. Shimon explained that it was forbidden for the Jews to have images, and certainly not in the Temple, but he suggested an alternative way giving homage to the Emperor: that all male babies born that year would receive the name "Alexander." The Emperor accepted, and that is how "Alexander" became a Jewish name.
From BMCR:

Charlotte Roberts, Keith Manchester, The Archaeology of Disease.

Patrick Counillon, Pseudo-Skylax: le Périple du Pont-Euxin. Texte, traduction, commentaire philologique et historique. Scripta Antiqua, 8.

R. G. M. Nisbet, Niall Rudd, A Commentary on Horace: Odes Book III.

Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, Encountering the Sacred. The Debate on Christian Pilgrimage in Late Antiquity.

Christopher A. Faraone, Laura K. McClure, Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World.

Johanna Akujärvi, Researcher, Traveller, Narrator: Studies in Pausanias' Periegesis. Studia Graeca et Latina Lundensia 12.

Manfred Hoffmann, Alcimus Ecdicius Avitus. De spiritalis historiae gestis. Buch 3. Einleitung, Übersetzung, Kommentar. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde, 217.

James I. Porter, Classical Pasts: The Classical Traditions of Greece and Rome.

William Stenhouse, Reading Inscriptions and Writing Ancient History: Historical Scholarship in the Late Renaissance. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies Supplement 86.

Amy Richlin, Rome and the Mysterious Orient: Three Plays by Plautus, translated with introductions and notes.

Jesper Carlsen, The Rise and Fall of a Roman Noble Family. The Domitii Ahenobarbi 196 BC-AD 68.

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, The Further Academic Papers of Sir Hugh Lloyd-Jones.

Norbert Geske, Nikias und das Volk von Athen im Archidamischen Krieg. Historia Einzelschriften, 186.
... nothing of interest.
Busy weekend for the ClassiCarnies:

PhDiva's DK has been busy ... there's a post on Byzantine female saints ... one on Classical books online ... something on a Pompeii silver hoard ...

About.com's N.S. Gill has a followup post on the AD/CE thing ...

Bestiaria Latina has some Latin proverbs involving comparisons ... there's also something from Caspar Barth ...

Thoughts on Antiquity gathers some links to recent finds at Rome ... folks might also be interested in a post on the Historical Jesus Conclave ...

More sins of the tongue over at Laudator ...

RS over at the Stoa continues to add to the Aegean placemarks at Google Earth ...

Changes are afoot over at Archaeoastronomy ... (by the way, I just noticed that Alun is the majority shareowner of rc over at blogshares)

... meanwhile, Alun has posted at blogographos on some papers about the ancient world online in an unlikely venue [by the way, I'm sure there are plenty of rc readers out there who have toyed with the idea of starting a blog but think they've only got one or two posts in them; why not take advantage of dh's setup at blogagraphos and post there to see how it goes?]

The latest edition of our Explorator newsletter has been posted at Classics Central ...
From BMCR:

Sabah Ferdi, Corpus des mosaïques de Cherchel. Études d'antiquités Africaines.

Harald Mielsch, Griechische Tiergeschichten in der antiken Kunst. Kulturgeschichte der antiken Welt, Band 111.

Arnold A. Lelis, William A. Percy, Beert C. Verstraete, The Age of Marriage in Ancient Rome.

James H. S. McGregor, Rome from the Ground Up.

Michael Share, Philoponus, Against Proclus' On the Eternity of the World 6-8.

From the TLS:

F. MacIntosh et al (eds.), Agamemnon in Performance

... in the same issue, Edith Hall on modern versions of the Cyclops tale ... Mary Beard reviews something non-Classical


Herakles via Phaedra (NY)


Savage Altars (based on ancient Roman texts like Tacitus!)
From the Telegraph:

Malcolm Willcock, who has died aged 80, was the first Professor of Classics at the University of Lancaster, emeritus professor of Latin at University College, London, and one of the finest Homeric scholars of his generation.

Fit, eternally youthful in looks ("like a fighter pilot" was one student's description) and a keen gardener, Willcock had a passion for games; he played bridge to tournament standard, and would take on anyone at anything from squash (which he played till well into his sixties) and billiards to backgammon and Mah Jong.

His children were brought up on whist, cribbage, piquet and racing demon (the last always a great favourite at large, raucous family gatherings). When (after much debate) the classics department at Lancaster bought a calculator to help work out examination scores and averages, Willcock had little difficulty competing with that too.

But when it came to scholarship and administration, it would be difficult to find a fairer or less competitive-minded person. "I like Roger [a fellow scholar] a great deal," he said with a smile on one occasion, "though his views on Homer appal me." There was no hint of that odium scholasticum that can so disfigure the scholarly community.

He gave himself unstintingly to the wider classical cause, teaching at summer schools and serving on the committees of bodies such as the Joint Association of Classical Teachers and the Virgil Society.

With students, Willcock had the gift of presenting complex problems of language and interpretation with luminous clarity, but without simple-mindedness. He sometimes (charmingly) found the ways of the world rather bewildering - he could easily be embarrassed when teaching Aristophanes, for example - but this merely added to the affection and respect in which he was held.

These gifts carried over into his scholarship. Willcock had no time for the lazy, slapdash or inaccurate - as an undergraduate at Cambridge in the early 1950s he had been highly critical of the standards of some of the lecturing - and his own work on Homer, Pindar, Plautus and Cicero was characterised by clear, balanced, incisive judgment.

A man of great modesty (it was typical of him that his entry in Who's Who was 15 years out of date), he was always diffident when asked for help: "Do you really think I could be useful here? I'll be happy to try." Having him on board with any project was to guarantee that nothing would be missed.

Willcock was a patient and meticulous administrator. One colleague remembers receiving seven separate letters from him on seven different issues on one day - none of central importance, but all requiring decisions to be made.

His views on administrative matters were formed only after intensive consideration, and only equally considered responses would change his stance. But he never held grudges and was quick to apologise if he got things wrong.

Malcolm Maurice Willcock was born on October 1 1925 and educated at Fettes and Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was a research fellow in 1951-52. He did National Service with the RAF in Ground Control Approach (1944-47).

From 1952 to 1965 he was a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College (and senior tutor from 1962 to 1965). Here, in 1964, he gave a foretaste of what was to come with a brilliant paper in which he showed how Homer's characters inventively tweaked standard myths into serving as persuasive paradigms of the way heroes should behave.

In 1965 Willcock took up the first chair of Classics at the new University of Lancaster. He brought a wide range of scholarly talents into the department and developed visionary courses in translation designed to serve the whole university, without compromising standards in the languages.

These courses were to become models for the future development of the subject. At Lancaster he published (rather surprisingly) an edition of Plautus's raunchy comedy Casina (1976); a brilliant companion to Homer's Iliad based on Richmond Lattimore's translation (1976); and began his superb commentary on the Iliad - books I-XII (1978) and books XIII-XXIV (1984).

This was a typical Willcock production: designed in part to help students, it has become compulsory reading for any Homeric scholar.

As a strong supporter of the collegiate system, though not on the pattern of Cambridge colleges, which he felt had too much power, he was Principal of Bowland College from 1966, and a Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 1975 to 1979.

In 1980 Willcock took up the chair of Latin at University College, London. Since his reputation was mainly as a Homerist, this met with some resistance from the administration, but it was made clear that the appointment of such a distinguished scholar and fine teacher equally at home in both languages was a tremendous coup.

Here he published further important work on Homer and an edition of Plautus's Pseudolus (1987), and served as Vice-Provost (1988-91).

In 1979 the publishers Aris and Phillips launched a series of brilliant commentaries on Aristophanes in a brand new format, designed for serious students with or without the languages - text with translation on the facing page, and the commentary on the translation.

When it became clear that this was a successful format, Willcock was called in to advise on expanding the range. He was the ideal man for the job, and from then on acted as series consultant, reading and commenting on everything, maintaining the highest standards of scholarly rigour and clarity, and continuing the work when the series was taken over by Oxbow in 2002/3. It was typically quiet, unsung labour of the highest importance.

Willcock retired in 1991, but the publications continued to flow; an edition of Cicero's letters and of Pindar's victory odes both made their mark in 1995, and in 2005 he co-authored Battle and Battle Description in Homer, a translation of the work of a little-known 19th-century German scholar, Franz Albracht, whose superb analysis of the fighting in the Iliad Willcock had been instrumental in bringing to the attention of English scholars. A quadruple heart by-pass in 2002 - surprising in one so fit - did little to slow him down.

Self-effacing and always shunning the limelight himself, but keenly and generously interested in others' doings, Willcock was a man whose high principles and secure judgment made him a much-admired figure. His sudden death from a stroke on May 2 came as a great shock to his friends and colleagues.

Malcolm Willcock married Sheena Gourlay in 1957, and leaves four daughters.
6.00 p.m. |HINT| Greek Cities in Italy.
Nearly 2,800 years ago, a group of Greek settlers landed on the coast of Italy, an event that marked the start of the process that created Magna Graecia--(Latin for Greater Greece)--Greek colonization of Southern Italy and Sicily. Explore the computer-recreated streets of the original Greek colonies as we walk through Cumae, Pasteum, Puteoli, and Neapolis, reconstructed using the most advanced computer graphics.

7.00 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.
This looks potentially like a good thing ... from Novinite:

Bulgaria and Greece will pool efforts together to bring the ancient Thracian sanctuary of Perperikon to new life.

A project envisioning the modification of the fortress, situated in the heart of the Rhodopes, into a centre of cultural tourism in South Eastern Europe was approved within the cross-border cooperation program INTERREG-III between the two countries.

Another seven Bulgarian projects were given the green light for EU financing after consideration in the Joint Bulgarian-Greek Steering Committee.

The total cost of projects as proposed by the Bulgarian side stands at EUR 25.5 M. They include also infrastructure reconstruction, road rehabilitation, environment initiatives, and human resources enhancement.

There is also a project for monitoring and forecasting of floods within the basins of cross-border Maritsa river.

If finally approved, EU Phare will allot EUR 20 M for realising the projects, and the rest of EUR 5 M will be national co-financing.

From the Yorkshire Post:

A UNIQUE Roman oil lamp and a bronze arm purse found in a farmer's field have been declared treasure trove.
The purse – one of only three found in Britain – was unearthed with
the decorated oil lamp and four silver coins by Huddersfield garden centre manager Andrew Harper, who had permission to use his metal detector on a farm near Tadcaster – the Roman settlement of Calcaria.
Simon Holmes, of the national Portable Antiquities Scheme based at the Yorkshire Museum in York, told a Selby inquest yesterday that the Roman dinari coins dated the finds as no later than 180AD.
He said the British Museum had nothing remotely like the lamp, which was probably made in Italy in the first century AD, and he added: "I would say it is unique."
The arm purse, worn on the wrist or upper arm, was a military object.
"In modern terms, it's a squaddie's bum bag," Mr Holmes said.
He believed the items may have been buried in the grave of their owner, a Roman centurion.
North Yorkshire Coroner Geoff Fell described them as "cracking items" and declared them treasure, which means they will be valued by Department for Culture Media and Sport experts, who will make a cash offer to Mr Harper.
The incipit of a piece from the Guardian:

Historian Bettany Hughes will attempt to rescue Helen of Troy from "28 centuries of male fantasy" when the Guardian Hay festival begins in earnest today.

Hughes has written the first scholarly book about the mythical Helen, whose abduction by Paris caused the 10-year Trojan war. She will tell the festival that historians from Plutarch onwards have ignored Helen as a serious figure, preferring to reduce her to an object of sexual obsession. "She walks through history for 28 centuries holding up a mirror to the way men think of women."

Though Homer's account of Helen in the Iliad and the Odyssey is largely positive, said Hughes, by the 5th century BC she was already seen to embody dangerous female sexuality.

The dramatist Euripides called her a "bitch whore". A medieval writer called Joseph of Exeter wrote a condemnatory, but virtually pornographic epic about her in 1184, in which she "robs Paris of his semen". In Shakespeare's Lucrece she is a "strumpet", in Marlowe she "sucks forth my soul".

The Pre-Raphaelites made her an airhead, and in the 2004 film Troy she is "simpering, vacuous, empty and wishy-washy", according to Hughes. "Even Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad [from which the author reads tonight at Hay] makes her a brainless bitch, though at least she's got a character." According to Hughes, Homer's account points to a real historical background of powerful noblewomen in the Mycenean period, 500 years before he composed his poems at the start of the 7th century BC and passed on through oral tradition.

For example, in the Odyssey, Helen mixes a drug for the Greek veterans to make them forget painful memories of war. In the past 18 months, archeologists have found an "extraordinary percentage of opiates", according to Hughes, in vast dishes found on bronze age sites in Greece. That and other evidence suggest Helen's drug preparation in Homer could be a "500-year-old memory of a real Queen of Sparta".

She added: "I haven't found Helen of Troy, but this is the first time that anyone has realised that she exists beyond a multilayered fantasy object ... She relates to late-bronze age aristocratic women, who were in charge of much of palace society in the eastern Mediterranean and mainland Greece." In addition, Helen became important as a semi-divine figure. "From 600BC to AD 400 she was worshipped ardently as a quasi goddess," according to Hughes.

Adolescent girls venerated her in order to capture Helen's sexual power, singing homoerotic hymns describing each other's golden hair and delicate ankles. "This aspect of Helen has been completely ignored. People have wanted to keep her as a pretty-pretty, chocolate-box girl, instead of a fear-inspiring, venerated cult figure."

The Guardian Hay festival, dubbed "the Woodstock of the mind" by Bill Clinton, takes place in a town where books outnumber people 1,000 to one. This year, it occupies its biggest ever site, at 20 acres, compared with 13 acres in 2005. According to festival director Peter Florence, box office takings are up 25% on last year, with tickets for sold-out events doing a brisk black-market trade on eBay.
Interesting that we're now getting press coverage of non-Jesus/Mary images ... first is an alien in the xray of a duck ... meanwhile, that purloined bun with the image of Mother Theresa is still missing ... just thought you'd like to know.
From the Financial Times:

During the autumn of AD130, a flotilla carrying the Roman emperor Hadrian and his entourage was making stately progress along the Nile. In the course of a grand tour that had so far encompassed Greece, Turkey, Syria, Arabia and the province then known as Judaea, the imperial retinue had reached just over halfway between Cairo and Aswan. The emperor himself had every reason to feel satisfied. Rome’s eastern territories showed all the signs of beneficent rule; while far away to the north, the limits of civilisation were now marked by a stark wall - a monument that would bear his name down the ages.

What happened in Egypt was perhaps little more than a banal boating accident. But for Hadrian it was a personal tragedy that registered throughout the Classical world - and still has resonance today. Among the imperial courtiers there was a young man called Antinous. Originating from the Asian province of Bithynia, Antinous had entered service as a pageboy when he was only 12 years old. To say that he was “like a son” to Hadrian is to put a charitable slant on their rapport. It was customary for a Roman emperor to assume the airs, if not the divine status, of the Olympian god Jupiter. Antinous, it seems, played Ganymede to Hadrian’s Jupiter: said to be the emperor’s “favourite boy”, very likely his “cup-bearer” or catamite - and apparently cherished as such in full public view.

Antinous lost his life in the river. That is really as much as anyone knows. No eye-witness accounts are available, and the few surviving testimonies regarding the incident are brief and prejudiced. Soon after Hadrian’s own death, in AD138, rumours circulated that Antinous had not drowned accidentally in the Nile. One story told of the emperor’s curiosity about Egyptian mystery cults, his fascination with the magical phoenix-bird of Heliopolis, and the possibility that Antinous volunteered to die as a means of gaining immortality for his master. Another hostile theory insinuates that Hadrian used Antinous for some kind of human sacrifice, perhaps in grotesque mythical mimicry of the Egyptian god Osiris. The more prosaic explanation is that Antinous simply slipped overboard - and was gobbled by crocodiles before anyone could save him.

Whatever the cause of death, its effect upon Hadrian was dramatic. “He wept like a woman,” it is reported scornfully in the annals of ancient Rome. But Hadrian did more than weep. He promptly ordered that a city be founded by the place where his precious boy was lost, to be called “the city of Antinous” (Antinopolis), a site that survives today. And if that were not enough, Hadrian pronounced that a new god be recognised throughout the empire. Antinous, henceforth, would be consecrated as a cult figure.

So it was that Hadrian shared his boyfriend, posthumously, with the world at large. The effect of “canonising” Antinous was to export the boy’s image as a numinous presence to all Roman citizens. Full lips, slightly pouting; a fetching cascade of curls around his soft yet squared-off face; somewhat pigeon-breasted, but winningly athletic, his backside making an S-curve that begs to be stroked... one could rhapsodise further, but it is more telling to stress the sheer quantity of production. From colossal heads and full-scale statues to miniature likenesses on coins and oil-lamps, the features of Antinous were replicated far and wide, in places as diverse as Libya and Georgia on the Black Sea. And now the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds has become temporary shrine to a selection of Antinous images from various collections around Europe. Curated by Caroline Vout, whose doctoral dissertation was devoted to this subject, it is an exhibition that celebrates the apotheosis of an ancient celebrity: Antinous, who remains famous because he was famous - and good-looking.

What went on inside the mind of Antinous we shall never know. We have only his image, and that is a posthumous mask. He was commemorated as one doomed to a premature end. The first impression from the material gathered in a new exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds is of a moody and melancholic individual, every bit as vacuous as those unsmiling types routinely seen in advertisements for Italian designer underpants.

The image of Antinous was itself used not long ago in a campaign for Fendi perfume. But how is it that the enchantment of Antinous has survived over two millennia?

To the romantic historian - notably Marguerite Yourcenar, whose Memoirs of Hadrian (1951) was an exercise in reading Hadrian’s mind - the power of Antinous stems from a tale of tragic romance: the pederastic relationship that had to be cut as Antinous grew into manhood; a married emperor who ultimately preferred his own sex. A more cynical analysis, however, argues that the numerous images of Antinous were generated for the sake of a religious revival. Hadrian knew about the Christians, whom he regarded as harmless idiots; he waged war against the Jews, who challenged his authority. His priority was to affirm the rites and values of the Classical pantheon. So he presented Antinous as the new Dionysos, a second Apollo, the great god Pan reborn. Statues of Antinous duly appeared in these and other divine disguises, heavily dependent upon the Classical Greek religious logic that the gods were similar in form to outstandingly beautiful mortals.

There must be some truth in this explanation, because the invective subsequently directed at poor Antinous by the Church fathers was singularly hostile. Origen and others railed against him as the plaything of a sodomite, and urged the destruction of his statues and shrines. But Christian condemnation did not eradicate Antinous. His images may have been knocked down and buried - but many were made of solid marble, and they would surface again. In the 16th century, one was excavated, and was proudly put on display in the Vatican. Typically, it was Raphael who adopted Antinous as an artist’s model; soon enough Antinous was redeemed, and transformed from a debauched pagan sinner into a clean-living, ideal male nude. For the German art-historian J.J. Winckelmann, two centuries later, the twin identities of Antinous as embodiment of Classical poise and object of homoerotic desire were hardly separable. By the time Oscar Wilde composed his moralising tale The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), it could be said that the face of Antinous had illuminated an entire epoch of art.

So Antinous survives as an icon within the western visual tradition. But there may be more to it than that. The Antinous phenomenon seems to confirm what scientists have proposed: that beauty in both men and women is an absolute, a quality that prevails down the ages. The facial matrix and the physique of Antinous correspond to certain well-established expectations of what constitutes human beauty: a symmetry of features, and a calibrated sequence of proportions, that combine to satisfy our collective recognition of what is handsome in a man or pretty in a woman. It has even been claimed as a cross-cultural phenomenon. According to research, the inhabitants of a village in rural China, totally secluded from the western world, will (if asked) judge that David Beckham (for example) is a good-looking man. Computer analysis then shows that it is a millimetric arrangement of parts that gives us the whole we conventionally salute as beautiful.

Unlike Hadrian, who aspired to be a philosopher-king, we may not proceed to equate beauty with goodness, still less consider it a route to deification. But to gaze upon the image of Antinous is irresistibly to acknowledge that Hadrian was a judge of exquisite, and universal, good taste.
From the Corriere della Sera comes this very brief item:

Recuperati 95 reperti archeologici dal commissariato di polizia di Manfredonia, in provincia di Foggia. Tre le persone denunciate, due fratelli e una donna, accusati di trafugamento e vendita dei reperti, che risalgono al IV- VI secolo avanti Cristo. Tra i reperti di piu' alto valore, alcuni crateri a campana figurata, specchi circolari, punte di lance da guerra e caccia, cinturoni sipontini.
6.00 p.m. |HINT| Lost Treasures Of The Ancient World: Greece
It is a sad fact that many Grecian achievements were destroyed by those who subsequently conquered the land; however, those that survive are a testimony to Greek skill and ideals. We take viewers on an incredible journey to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Acropolis and the Parthenon--now and as they once were--and the majesty of the remains at Delphi, including the inspiring Temple of Zeus. Featuring new location footage, stylish period reconstructions, and groundbreaking 3D graphics and animation sequences, as well as interpretation and analysis by the world's leading authorities, including Dr. John Bennet of the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford and Dr. Chris Pelling of University College, Oxford.

6.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ancient Discoveries: Ships
Lurking beneath Lake Nemi's blue waters lay the titans of Roman naval engineering--the Nemi Ships. Titanic luxury liners of the ancient world, they held inventions lost for thousands of years. But why were they built? Were they Caligula's notorious floating pleasure palaces--rife with excess and debauchery? Flagships of a giant sea force? It took Mussolini's obsession with all things Roman to finally prise the two wrecks from the depths of Lake Nemi near Rome. Using an ancient Roman waterway, he drained the lake and rescued the ships, an accomplishment captured on film that we access to illustrate this astounding story. Sophisticated ancient technology discovered in the boats transformed the understanding of Roman engineering overnight. Yet by 1944, the adventure had turned sour and the retreating German army torched the boats. We reveal the mysteries of the Nemi Ships and the ancient technology that made them possible.

7.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ancient Discoveries: Machines II
How did the ancients harness power? Did Archimedes use solar power to defeat the Romans? Was he the first to concentrate the power of the sun? Early historical accounts of the battle of Syracuse in 212 BC claim that Archimedes used polished shields to focus light onto the sails of the invading Roman ships and set them ablaze. We investigate this and other intriguing and incredible objects. An earthenware jar about the size of a man's fist sits in the National Museum of Iraq. Its existence could require history books throughout the world to be rewritten. The jar appears to be an electric battery pre-dating Christ. Did the ancient world master electricity nearly two millennia before the modern world? A recent discovery of a flour mill in Barbegal in southern France contained 16 waterwheels that operated the mill. Is this one of the first examples of Roman industrial-revolution technology--1,800 years before our own?

8.00 p.m. |HINT| Thermopylae
Using cutting-edge computer gaming technology, we recreate conflicts that shaped the ancient world and witness great battles like never before. Hosted on location by Matthew Settle (Band of Brothers), we return to Thermopylae in 480 BC, where 300 Spartans occupied a mountain pass and held off the colossal army sent by the Persians to avenge their defeat at Marathon. The Greeks held the pass for over a week in one of history's greatest displays of military heroism--and died to the last man rather than surrender.

8.30 p.m. |HINT| Battle of Chalôns
Nomadic horsemen led by Attila the Hun race across Europe, cross the Rhine, and ravage Gaul. Former enemies--the Romans, Gauls, and Vandals--band together against "the Scourge of God" under the leadership of the noble Aetius, often called "the last of the Romans." At the Marne River near the city of Chalôns, Attila's forces take possession of a strategic hill. The Huns are expert archers and the battle is fierce. Travel back to 451 AD, and join Attila and his 100,000 men and Aetius and his 160,000 men as they decide the fate of the Western Roman Empire.
ante diem vii kalendas junias

17 A.D. -- Germanicus celebrates a triumph for his victories in Germany

106 A.D. -- martyrdom of Zachary in Gaul

107 A.D. -- Trajan arrives in Rome and celebrates a triumph for his victories over the Dacians

303 A.D. -- martyrdom of Felicissimus, Heraclius, and others at what is now Todi (Umbria)
fluctuate @ Guru.net

variegated @ Dictionary.com

phthartic @ Worthless Word for the Day

expiate @ Merriam-Webster
De aestate Latina

Propter ferias nuntii Latini mensibus aestivis non redigentur. Emissio proxima erit Kalendis Septembribus, ex quo die incipiet annus nuntiorum septimus decimus.

Aestate autem fient varia seminaria et conventus latinistarum, in quibus excellit XI Conventus internationalis, quem Academia Latinitati Fovendae Alcannizium et Ampostam, in duas urbes Hispaniae convocavit.

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


For more news in Latin, here's the latest headline from Ephemeris: Australienses Timorem petunt

On the Greek side, Akropolis World News: Russia wants more babies - Tareq Aziz turns up again
In a bit of a rush this a.m. as the antihistamines caused me to sleep in (non-drowsy? yeah, right) ...

N.S. Gill at About.com tells us about conjunctions ... there's also a bit on eclipses in antiquity ...

DK at PhDiva has tracked down some more of those 'pig coins' of Augustus ...

Bestiaria Latina follows up on Laudator's Pelican post of t'other day with some Latin pelican texts ...

blographos is also following the Boudicca/McDonald's thing ... even better, though, they have an artist's depiction from the Sun of what Boudicca looked like (right click ...) ...

Hobbyblog has a Gallienus sporting a Herakles-on-apple-delivery ...

Academic Purgatory (which appears to be a new blog) has an interesting bit of commentary on Diana and Endymion by that swing guy ...
The BBC seems to have a more 'reasoned' piece than the Telegraph on the Boudicca/McDonald's thing:

The burial ground of Queen Boudicca could be next to a burger restaurant in Birmingham, it has been claimed.

An excavation is to take place at the site in Kings Norton after evidence it has Roman remains buried there.

It would be a "world-shattering" find, said Councillor Peter Douglas Osborn. But experts warned there is no evidence the site is linked to Boudicca.

"We are hoping that there will be an archaeological exercise next to the McDonalds site in Kings Norton in order to uncover the possible last battle of Queen Boudicca and Seutonius Paulinus," said Mr Douglas Osborn, a member of Birmingham City Council.

Of a possible find he told BBC Radio Five Live: "It could be England-shattering if not world-shattering."

Boudicca, also known as Boadicea, became Queen of East Anglia's Iceni tribe when her husband Prasutagus died. She united other Ancient British tribes to fight Roman occupiers.

Her army sacked Colchester and St Albans before facing the Romans, whose main army were marching from north Wales. It is thought the battle may have taken place in the Midlands.

Sceptical experts

But the claim that she was buried in Kings Norton is disputed by Mike Hodder, planning archaeologist at Birmingham City Council.

He said: "There is no doubt that this is an important archaeological site, with remains which are probably Roman in date, but there is no evidence whatsoever of any link with Boadicea."

Dr Simon Esmonde Cleary, an archaeology expert from Birmingham University, was also sceptical about the Boudicca claims.

He said: "The short answer is we don't know where the battle took place, anybody's guess is as good as anyone else's.

"The last time we had Boudicca was in what is now Hertfordshire. We know the Roman Army was coming down from Wales."

He said the battle could have taken place anywhere in between.

"It would be fascinating if it were true but, as yet, I haven't seen any evidence it is," he said.
From Broadway World comes this little excerpt about an upcoming production:

Agnes of God playwright John Pielmeier's The Classics Professor will receive a fully staged developmental production at CAP21's The Shop (18 W. 18th St.) from June 1st through 17th.

"Into Professor Alexander's class 'Comedy in Greek Tragedy' steps Daemon, a beautiful young man who turns the good professor's life upside-down. Alexander, who is translating and directing a college production of The Bacchae, suddenly finds that his own life mirrors Euripides' play about losing one's sanity in the throws of passion. This is a comedy about love, lust, madness, death, incest, infidelity and bubblegum," state press notes on the show, which will feature Pielmeier in the title role. Clayton Phillips will direct The Classics Professor.
7.00 p.m. |DTC| Lost Temple to the Gods
In 20 BC, the lost city of Heracleion was famous for its beaches, palatial villas, sexually charged rites and miracle cures. Its crowning jewel, the Temple of Hercules, lay at the gateway to Egypt's Nile River ruled by Egypt's last pharaoh, Cleopatra.

8.00 p.m. |DTC| In Search of Eden
Trace the origins of man back to a Garden of Eden that still exists today. Through startling new evidence, rediscover truths behind the Bible story of Genesis and unlock the mysterious mythology of man's beginnings.

8.00 p.m. |HINT| Catacombs of Rome
Tunneled into the bowels of ancient Rome is a dank labyrinth of beautifully decorated burial chambers and vaults where religious outcasts--pagans, Jews, and Christians--secretly preserved forbidden rituals for fear of persecution. Delve beneath Rome's heights to uncover the secrets of her catacombs and eternal residents.

9.00 p.m. |DTC| In Search of the Holy Grail
What is the Holy Grail? A team of experts explores four intriguing items to explore: a glass bowl from England; an ancient cup from Wales; a small stone; a papal chalice in Spain; and an intricately engraved silver chalice from ancient Antioch.

10.00 p.m. |DTC| The Quest for the True Cross
Scholarly detective work and historical adventure draw conclusions about the remains of Christ's actual cross. Based on the New York Times best-seller, this comprehensive study could overturn centuries of academic assumptions about the crucifixion.
ante diem viii kalendas junias

rites in honour of Fortuna Publica Populi Romani Quiritium Primigenia on the Quirinal hill

585 B.C. -- Thales possibly predicted the eclipse on this day

302 A.D. -- martyrdom of Julius of Durostorum and companions
junta @ Dictionary.com

georgic @ Merriam-Webster

noctilucent @ Worthless Word for the Day

... and it being Thursday, a visit to Done With Mirrors' Carnival of the Etymologies is apropos ...
Quid Condoleezza Rice dixerit

Moderatores Civitatum Americae Unitarum cum Libya legationum commercia in pristinum restituere decreverunt.

Condoleezza Rice, ministra negotiorum exterorum: "Mox", inquit, "sedem legati Tripoli aperiemus. Huc accedit, quod Libya ab indice civitatum terrorismo faventium amovetur neque ea iam in earum nationum numero refertur, quae recusant, quominus in bello contra terrorismum gerendo Americanis cooperentur."

Reijo Pitkäranta
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)
As May rapidly slips away ...

About.com's N.S. Gill tells us about Andromeda ...

Laudator tells us about Pious Pelicans (coincidentally, the act described also features prominently on the family crest of your rogueclassicist; there's also a great Latin play on words as a motto) ... there's also a post on ineffectual prayers ...

Commemorating the day, Bestiaria Latina offers some proverbs from the venerable Bede (just-popped-in-the-head-note: shouldn't 'venerable' mean 'lovable'?) ...

Bread and Circuses offers us a modern portrayal of Varus' debacle from Peter Janssen ...

Hobbyblog has a pile of stuff today (and yesterday, which I missed due to technical difficulties), so we'll point to the main page ...

PhDiva's DK is looking at some of the Oxyrhychus Papyri ... there's also a piece on a really weird Augustan coin (was it really purposely made like that?) ...

Iconoclasm has a feature on a mutilated Aphrodite in Istanbul ... (on a semi-related note, my ear worm song for the past couple of weeks has been the Velvet Underground's 'Venus in Furs' ... one of those songs from my youth that was reawakened by Definitely Not the Opera)

William Blathers is looking for some Hellenists to help with the Hymn to Demeter ...

Abzu points us to a couple of useful online books ... first is Robert Funk's Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek ... second is the big (it appears) Liddell and Scott dictionary (although I don't think you can search it in Greek)

Ancient Coin Collecting highlights what is the major flaw of the UNESCO convention on illicit antiquities ...

Congrats to ARLT, which has exceeded its bandwidth ...
A press release from Middlebury:

Middlebury College Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture Pieter Broucke was awarded three major humanities fellowships for his research project titled “Reconstructing the Pantheon of Agrippa: Architecture, Sculpture, and Meaning.” Broucke’s research investigates the architecture of the Pantheon of Agrippa in Rome based on evidence gathered from a wide variety of sources. It also addresses the fundamental challenge of assembling conclusive information about a building that was constructed long ago, burnt twice, and had its ruins removed to make a place for its larger and still-standing successor, the Hadrianic Pantheon.

His interest in the Pantheon of Agrippa began in a 1990 graduate seminar at Yale, for which he explored the political dimensions of Agrippa’s building program in Rome. More recently, his renewed interest grew from teaching a course on Roman architecture at Middlebury College, and was triggered in part by a 1982 article by William Loerke that appeared in “Modulus,” an architectural review published by University of Virginia. The piece discussed the work at the Pantheon by the French 18th-century architect Georges Chédanne and the drawings it contained raised questions about the generally accepted reconstruction of Agrippa’s Pantheon. The article led Broucke to re-examine the publication of the late 19th-century excavations in and around the Pantheon and travel to Tivoli and various sites and in and around Rome.

Trained as a professional architect in his native Belgium, Broucke went on to receive a master’s degree in archaeology from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in art history from Yale University. He has studied ancient buildings in Greece and Italy using both archaeological fieldwork and excavation notes of 19th-century explorers, and he has been involved with exhibitions on neoclassical art and architecture, archaeological work in Greece, and the British architect Charles Robert Cockerell.

“A six-month NEH Fellowship awarded in 2001 allowed for the completion of the bulk of the research for my book,” explained Broucke. “I presented several chapters as papers at the Archaeological Institute of America meetings between 1998 and 2003, and at a meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians in 2002. These in turn led to several lecture invitations here in the United States and abroad that allowed me to present more synthetic ideas about the building and to discuss my specific findings with specialists in the field.”

Broucke anticipates that the results of his research will help contribute to a better understanding of Roman architecture and sculpture — and the Pantheon of Agrippa in particular — as instruments of political propaganda. “Certainly I hope to engage the scholarly community of architectural historians,” said Broucke. “But I also hope to appeal to the general public as well. The process of collecting evidence from a variety of sources and combining them into a largely complete reconstruction of such a well known and important building is fascinating to anyone interested Roman art and architecture.”

Broucke accepted two of the fellowships, from the American Philosophical Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities, but declined a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. He will begin his leave in Spring 2007 and will spend the academic year 2007-2008 in Rome.
From the Telegraph:

Archaeologists believe they may have found the final battle site for the warrior queen Boadicea - on the site of a McDonald's restaurant.

Having spent her life in fierce resistance to one empire - the Romans - her last stand is thought to have been overshadowed by another one, this time corporate.

Having found ancient artefacts where new houses and flats are due to be built, experts have now asked the local authority to allow a full excavation of the area.

Little is known about Boadicea's last fight, or the way in which she died, but it is widely believed to have taken place in the West Midlands. The site unearthed by experts, in Kings Norton, Birmingham, lies close to the line of a Roman road, and fits many of the few facts available.

The Queen of the Iceni tribe, the ancient native Britons, had a final showdown with Governor General Suetonius Paulinus in 61 AD. Her 200,000 soldiers were annihilated by just 10,000 legionaries, ending the British rebellion.

One of the most popular theories is that afterwards Boadicea killed herself by drinking from a poisoned chalice.

According to the Roman historian Tacitus, prior to battle Paulinus deliberately protected his legions by choosing a hilly area virtually surrounded by trees with a single opening.

Experts from Birmingham city council believe the Parsons Hill site matches this description with its landscape and mature woodland, and artefacts found in the dig indicate that Roman soldiers may have been there. The area of land next to the McDonald's is also near the Metchley Roman fort.

Cllr Peter Douglas Osborn, a conservationist, said: "I find it very exciting to think we may unearth something so intriguing right here in Birmingham. It would be bizarre if it is discovered Boadicea's last stand was next door to a McDonald's, but the site does fit the only descriptions we know of.

"It is on the route to Metchley, the Roman fort discovered in Birmingham and, if only because of this, it represents a real possibility.

"It is even more encouraging when you consider the evidence and well-preserved remains unearthed from trial trenches. The location itself matches previous historical descriptions of the battle site in that it is a hilly area surrounded by trees. It would be priceless if we found that this historic battle was fought outside a McDonald's fast food joint. I also hope the dig may unearth some evidence of what name the Romans gave Birmingham."

Dr Mike Hodder, Birmingham city council's senior archaeologist, added: "There's no doubt it's an important archaeological site. Whether it has anything to do with Boadicea is nearly impossible to prove, but there are certainly Roman remains found there."

A spokesman for McDonald's said: "Obviously if a site next to one of our restaurants is found to be where Boudica fought her last battle then we would be quite excited. However, we'll have to wait and see what the archaeologists find."

Boadicea was married to King Prasutagus, who ruled over the Iceni - the tribe occupying East Anglia - but under Roman authority. Despite the king, in a flawed attempt to curry favour with the Romans, making Emperor Nero a co-heir to his estates, Nero provoked Boadicea by forcing her people to endure conscription and pay heavy taxes.

The final outrage came when Prasutagus died in AD60 and the Romans annexed her dominions, flogging her in public and murdering and raping her family.

Boadicea vowed to take on Nero and his legions and other tribes from all over south-east Britain joined her. After the Roman towns of London, St Albans and Colchester were burned to the ground, troops were called down from Lincoln as Boadicea's warriors headed north and the armies clashed in the Midlands.

Good stuff in a sidebar too:

• The name Boadicea is derived from the name given to her in classical sources, Boudica.

• The warrior queen was described as being "very tall, the glance of her eye most fierce; her voice harsh. A great mass of the reddest hair fell down to her hips. Her appearance was terrifying".

• Her death remains the subject of discussion. She is said to have either committed suicide by drinking poison (according to Tacitus), or to have fallen mortally ill (the version in Cassius Dio).

• She has been the subject of two feature films, made in 1928 and 2003. A Mel Gibson film charting her life, called Warrior, is currently in production.

• Despite her fame at the time, Boadicea was largely forgotten until the 15th century, when the works of the historians Tacitus and Cassius Dio were rediscovered. Since then she has been lauded as a warrior and female icon.

• Sightings of the ghost of Boadicea, riding on her chariot, have often been reported in Lincolnshire.
The incipit of a chatty column in the Herald Democrat:

We haven’t determined the age range yet and heaven knows we’ve conducted a far less than scientific study of the phenomenon, but it seems one’s knowledge of Roman numerals declines the younger one is.

However, even the youngest employees here recognize that the funny number at the end of movies has something to do with when it was released. I guess with all the TAKS, TAAS, TEAMS standardized testing going on over the past 20 years, Roman numerals are disappearing from curricula like cursive handwriting and civics.

Those of us who have studied Roman numerals debated recently about what was the largest possible Roman numeral. Being 21st century Americans, we entered this debate armed only with our opinions. The concensus: Something like 8,888. The thinking was that Roman numeral count I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX. The sequence continues in a like manner with V being 5, X being 10; L being 50; C being 100; D being 500 and M being 1,000.

If the sequence continued that far, 8,888 would be MDCCCCDCCCLXXXVIII, we thought. Actually, we didn’t think so much as we just mentally shot from the hip and guessed.

Then we looked to the Internet for some guidance. As with most everything we’ve tried to figure out, some help was available via the World Wide Web. Alas, the Roman Numeral Converter on IVTech.com reaches only 4,000. Being better versed in the Web than in either math or Roman thought, we checked the FAQ (frequently asked questions) and learned that, although the converter goes to 4,000, those smart Romans provided for huge numbers.

“The standard Roman numerals max out at 4,999, Beyond 4,999, a horizontal bar is placed over the numeral, which multiplies it by 1,000. So 5,000 is written, well, gee whiz, there’s no character on this computer that can write 5,000 or one million. But we’ll take IVTech’s word for it: Romans counted big.

Well, yeah ... remember this bit from the Res Gestae (which also shows how a Roman handled writing large numbers):

Senatum ter legi, et in consulatu sexto censum populi conlega M. Agrippa egi. Lustrum post annum alterum et quadragensimum feci, quo lustro civium Romanorum censa sunt capita quadragiens centum millia et sexaginta tria millia. Tum iterum consulari cum imperio lustrum solus feci C. Censonno et C. Asinio cos., quo lustro censa sunt civium Romanorum capita quadragiens centum millia et ducenta triginta tria millia. Et tertium consulari cum imperio lustrum conlega Tib. Caesare filio meo feci Sex. Pompeio et Sex. Appuleio cos., quo lustro censa sunt civium Romanorum capitum quadragiens centum millia et nongenta triginta et septem millia. Legibus novis me auctore latis multa exempla maiorum exolescentia iam ex nostro saeculo reduxi et ipse multarum rerum exempla imitanda posteris tradidi.

(Latin Library text)
From a Washington Post piece on witty comebacks in the political area comes this (very likely apocryphal) tale:

The perfect put-down has, frankly, little to do with the facts at hand -- just as Reagan could form an effective rebuttal out of his opponent's relative youth, so a young fellow named Alcibiades could demolish an opponent for his age. In a book called "Viva la Repartee," author Mardy Grothe recounts how sometime in the 5th century B.C., Alcibiades debated his uncle, the Greek leader Pericles.

"When I was your age, Alcibiades, I talked just the way you are now talking," Pericles said.

Alcibiades' reply: "If only I had known you, Pericles, when you were at your best."

A quick google has this in a handful of collections of anecdotes ... if it exists, my guess would be in Plutarch's Moralia somewhere.
6.00 p.m. |HINT| Pompeii: Buried Alive
Exploration of the archaeological site of the city that was encrusted by incendiary ash when deadly Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Archaeological director Baldasarre Conticello takes viewers on a tour of Pompeii's ruins, and visits Herculaneum, which was destroyed by Vesuvius at the same time.
ante diem ix kalendas junias

Quando Rex Comitavit Fas -- the rex sacrorum had to perform some sort of ceremony before the day's legal business could be conducted (possibly connected to the idea of Regifugium)

15 B.C. -- birth of the emperor-to-be-who-never-was Germanicus (brother of the emperor Claudius)

299 A.D. -- martyrdom of Donatian and Rogatian
Let's see what the ClassiCarnies are up to today:

Bestiaria Latina brings the dragon tales to an end with a list of all of them (in case you missed one) ...

Bread and Circuses points to a website which, inter alia, tells you how to build your own legionary uniform ...

About.com's N.S. Gill looks at ancient attititudes toward the Carthaginians ...

Over at Under Odysseus, the crew is preparing for some games in honour of Achilles ...

At Campus Mawrtius, Eric shares some ClassCon from Henry James ...

Iconoclasm has a brief item on Sagalassos ...

ARLT presents an interview with Dr. Lorna Robinson, who is behind Iris, a Classics magazine aimed at the early teen set (it appears; I always mess up 'forms') [here's the incipient Iris homepage]

'New' online book: The Onomasticon of Eusebius Pamphili, Compared With the Version of Jerome, and Annotated, by Eusebius of Caesarea, ed. by Carl Umhau Wolf and Noel Wolf, contrib. by Saint Jerome

... arrgh ... I'm having great difficulties connecting to sites this a.m.; not sure if my router's going or if it's something 'out there' ... I'll have to continue this particular ClassiCarnival tomorrow.
From St. Olaf comes this news (as a side note, not being in academe I always am interested to see that the names on common textbooks belong to 'real' live people):

The St. Olaf College Department of Classics recently held its 6th annual competition for the Loomis Endowed Academic Award in Latin and its 5th annual competition for the Groton Endowed Academic Award in Greek. The winners were announced at the spring picnic of St. Olaf's chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national Classics honor society.

In the Loomis Latin contest, for the third year in a row, first prize ($300) went to Jennifer Starkey '07. Earlier this year Starkey won first prize in the national advanced Latin translation contest sponsored by Eta Sigma Phi.

Second prize ($200) went to Elizabeth Beerman '07, who last year won third prize in the Loomis competition and second prize in the national intermediate Koine Greek translation contest sponsored by Eta Sigma Phi.

Kirstine Wynn '06, who will enter the graduate program in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., next year, was awarded third prize ($100).

Starkey also won first prize ($300) in the Groton Greek contest. Second prize ($200) went to Alaina Burkard '08, who won Honorable Mention in Eta Sigma Phi's intermediate Latin translation contest last year. Beerman won third prize ($100).

The five students who entered the Loomis Latin contest were asked to translate at sight a passage from Apuleius' 2nd-century satirical Latin novel, The Golden Ass. The seven students who participated in the Groton Greek contest were asked to translate at sight a passage from Plato's Phaedo. Both exams had a one-hour time limit.

"From the point of view of the college and the Classics Department, we're very proud of these students," says Professor of Classics James May, provost and dean of the college.

The Loomis Award was established by Kenneth and Kathleen Loomis and their son, Stephen Loomis '97, who majored in Latin and Mathematics and participated in several translation contests while at St. Olaf. May says that after Loomis graduated he was "anxious to recognize the efforts of the department and repay it in a way that would be meaningful." He and his parents set up the award to assist students working with Latin translation.

The endowed award in ancient Greek was established by Professor of Classics Anne Groton, chair of St. Olaf's Department of Classics. "I thought there should be an equal chance for students who work with Greek to win prizes," says Groton, who established the award using royalties from a Greek textbook she wrote.

"I like to give away royalties, and starting an endowment seemed a good use of them," says Groton. "Students really enjoy the contests," she adds. "It's not often that they can earn $600 in two hours like Jennifer [Starkey] did."

The St. Olaf Department of Classics also awarded two newly established Groomis Grants this year, funded from the earnings of the Groton and Loomis endowments. Six students submitted proposals for Classics-related projects to be undertaken this summer.

The two winners, each of whom will receive $500, are Michael Gulden '08 and Emily Holm '08. Gulden will enroll in the University of Utah's Archaeological Field School next fall, and Holm will participate in the Intensive Latin Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley.

Groton said the idea for the merged grant occurred when the department noticed that the Loomis and Groton endowments were generating more money than originally anticipated. "We agreed that it would be great to support students in pursuing interests in classics or related fields," she says.

Three senior Classics majors at St. Olaf have received Awards for Outstanding Accomplishment in Classical Studies from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS): Keeley Esterhay '06, Kendra Olson '06 and Wynn. Each winner receives a complimentary, one-year membership in CAMWS and a free subscription to The Classical Journal.

After returning from a semester of graduate work in Medieval Studies at Central European University in Budapest next fall, Keeley plans to pursue a master's degree in Latin at the University of Georgia. Olson has accepted a position teaching Latin, dance and history at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault, Minn.

Both May and Groton note the exemplary nature of St. Olaf's Classics Department and its students. "In addition to having an enrollment of more than 50 majors, which is unusually high for a college of St. Olaf's size, our students are often going on to graduate studies and pursuing careers in the field of teaching every year," May says.

In national competitions, such as Eta Sigma Phi's Maurine Dallas Watkins Contest that Starkey placed first in earlier this year, St. Olaf College has the best record of any school in the country, with at least one winner every year since 1980.

"We're happy to be able to do this," Groton says of the awards and grants. "It's a way to recognize the accomplishments of the students who work so hard on subjects in the classics."
Ye gods ... is today 'international bad writing day'? In addition to examples below (and several others which I have passed over) comes this muddled bit of turgidity from the Canada Free Press (which isn't a print newspaper, I don't think). Inter alia is some ClassCon of sorts:

And topping off this offer of more than just desserts, we find these despoiling mendicants must be given wages higher than our own citizens and that they cannot be fired for anything less than ‘just cause’ while we, the taxpayers burdened with the mortgage on these haughty contracts, can still be terminated for any trifling thing.

But they dare not call this sell-out ‘amnesty.’

Oh, these sleek fat senators rival anything the halls of Rome have ever offered. For never had Cassius, Croesus nor Antony ever dared proffer emoluments to non-citizens greater than those offered to their countrymen.

But the US Senate has far eclipsed the worst of Rome in decadence. Only Nero, Caligula, and maybe Tiberius might be welcomed as brothers by the outrageously profligate brotherhood of Reid, McCain and Specter, who are eagerly, greedily spilling our life’s blood on the ground to be lapped up by the heated trespassers.

We realllllllllllly need a Latin equivalent for WTF? ... [Croesus for Crassus?]
The Strategy Page is calling (probably with tongue in cheek) for the creation of the Astonishing News Network ... inter alia there's this:

Like doctors swearing to the Hippocratic Oath, ANN producers and reporters would take the Oath of Thucydides, named after the great Greek historian. OK -- there is no Oath of Thucydides per se, but Thucydides said he wasn't writing for an immediate audience. Hence ANN's Thucydidean commitment: "context, context, context -- then more context."

... and, of course, they can put speeches in the mouths of anyone as they see fit ...
I hope we get more details on this ... from Adnkronos:

Per la prima volta un'iscrizione funebre degli Etruschi rivela un rituale magico al posto del nome del defunto. E' stato svelato, infatti, a Chiusi (Siena), il significato di misteriosa incisione etrusca ritrovata in una tomba della necropoli di Poggio Renzo, scoperta dieci anni fa e recentemente restaurata. L'annuncio della decifrazione e' stato dato alla vigilia della prima apertura al pubblico della Tomba dell'Iscrizione, prevista per sabato 27 maggio. Il sepolcro deve il suo nome e la sua importanza all'iscrizione che e' incisa sulla parete sinistra di una delle tre camere.
This seems to be an a.m. for lack of clarity (see the next article for another example) ... DW sent along this link (thanks, I think!) to one of the pages at the Gaziantep Museums site (they've got a bunch of stuff from Zeugma). Kind of looks like the stuff we get from Grade Sevens who have discovered Google's translation services. An excerpt:

This exhibition hard has got two floors downstairs, Poseidon and Euphrates houses with peristyl (court with columns) dining room, inner court impliviumu with their mosaics, frescos and its original architecture are being exhibited which were unearted at Zeugma 2000 year saving diggings. İn this salon the statue of Mars, got of war is being exhibited. In addition mosaics, found at saving diggins, are attached on the walls. Near each mosaic there are illustrated information wall panels. Upstairs, mosaics and grove statue are being exhibited. From the balconny of this floor, the Poseidon Mosaic in reestablished Poseidon house and the Perseus Mosaics in the dining room can be seen below. Besides the short informati on CD's about Gaziantep and Zeugma can be watched by projector from the seats in this salon.

By the entrance of the museum the mosaic which has got a picture of Teonoe in pink clothes greets the visitors as it is saying welcome. In front of it a mosaic is laid in which love (Eros) and spirit (Psykhe) were drawn next to each other. On the left side of Teonoe there is the goddess of plenty and abundonce Gaia , on the right side there is the mosaic of eternal love's Heros Partenope and Metiox. On the right of this front salon in which there are the stels of Commagene King Antiokhos and Apollon's shaking , there is the model of Poseidon and Euphrates Villas which were brought to the light. By the help of this model it is possible to have information about Zeugma house's court, shallow ponds,fountains and mosaics.

... later on you can read about the 'chronological exhibition saloons'.
From Kathimerini:

Police on the Cycladic island of Paros said yesterday that they had arrested a 56-year-old woman for allegedly possessing a number of illegal antiquities, including nine sections of ancient columns.

Officers from the Attica police antiquities department had been on the island to chase up leads from the discovery of a huge stash of illegal artifacts on the nearby island of Schinoussa.

Policemen searched the house of an archaeologist who had allegedly worked in the past with Marion True, the former director of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Illegal artifacts were confiscated from True’s villa on Paros last month. But officers did not find anything suspicious at the unnamed archeologist’s house.

During their investigation, however, they found a total of 11 illegal antiquities in the possession of the unnamed 56-year-old woman after searching her home and the hotel owned by her husband. The find is not thought to be connected with the Schinoussa case.

Man ... that's a poorly-written article. Is the 56-year-old woman the archaeologist?
8.00 p.m. |HINT| Greek Cities in Italy
Nearly 2,800 years ago, a group of Greek settlers landed on the coast of Italy, an event that marked the start of the process that created Magna Graecia--(Latin for Greater Greece)--Greek colonization of Southern Italy and Sicily. Explore the computer-recreated streets of the original Greek colonies as we walk through Cumae, Pasteum, Puteoli, and Neapolis, reconstructed using the most advanced computer graphics.
ante diem x kalendas junias

Tubilustrium -- a purification of the battle trumpets which, like the one which occurred in March, was designed to prepare the troops for war (perhaps ... this tubilustrium is somehow connected with the following)

Festival of Vulcan

ca. 303 A.D. -- martyrs of Cappadocia

1617 -- birth of Elias Ashmole
proviso @ Guru.net

protean @ Dictionary.com

umbrageous @ Worthless Word for the Day

hortative @ Merriam-Webster
Tumultus in Brasilia violenti

In Brasilia amplius quinquaginta cives, imprimis custodes publici, vitam amiserunt tumultibus post hominum memoriam omnium violentissimis ibidem ortis.

In urbe Paulopoli, ubi plus viginti miliones hominum habitant, greges criminales gravissime armati impetus cruentos praesertim in vigiles urbanos fecerunt.

In causa putatur esse, quod captivi ad maximum criminalium ordinem pertinentes ex pristinis vinculis in carcerem tutiorem et remotiorem transferri coepti sunt.

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

For more news in Latin, here's the latest headline from Ephemeris: Mons Niger independens

On the Greek side, Akropolis World News: Montenegro chooses independence - 80 Taliban dead in US attack
As May rapidly slips away ...

Bestiaria Latina has Matthew fighting dragons today ...

PhDiva DK is pondering the timing of the Eleusinian Mysteries ...

BibliOdyssey has a pile of Piranesi images and links to drool over ...

N.S. Gill is talking about Ovid's Metmorphoses ...

Laudator has an interesting followup to the post on the god Fart ... there's also a brief item on praise ...

Campus Mawrtius offers us an 'exam question' on the development of philology ...

The Stoa adds to the collection of ancient placemarks in Google Earth with some sites associated with the Minoans ...

Hobbyblog has a Valerian with a city goddess image ...

Bread and Circuses updates us on that impending Romulus Augustulus flick ... there's also some commentary on Dan Brown as Arius ...

The APA has put its April newsletter up (pdf) ...

If you want to catch up on some of the better posts over the past few weeks, there's a new Ancient/Medieval Carnivalesque post up at Siris ...

By the way, t'other day I mentioned Abzu's pointing to an index of Classical dissertations completed or in progress and noted it seemed rather out of date ... PN on the Classics list pointed out there is a more recent (2003) version available ...
From the BBC:

The mysterious "London stone" is going to be rescued from a building due to be demolished. Does it mean that London is going to be saved from an ancient legend?

You couldn't get much less of a romantic setting for an historic monument. It's in a kerbside cage, stuck on the wall of a sports shop in Cannon Street due for demolition.

The only clouds of mystery billowing around it are the car exhaust fumes from the traffic crawling through the City of London.

But this is the neglected setting of the London Stone - an ancient and mysterious object mentioned by Shakespeare, William Blake and Dickens, which has been seen as one of the capital's greatest relics since at least the Middle Ages and probably much earlier.

Now there are plans for the limestone block to be put into the Museum of London for safekeeping, while the building to which it's gloomily attached is pulled down and the site is redeveloped.

Protecting the stone might not be such a bad idea - since there is a legend that, like the ravens at the Tower of London, the fortune of the city is tied to the survival of the stone.

"So long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish," says the proverb.

Moved to museum

This relates to the myth that the stone was part of an altar built by Brutus the Trojan, the legendary founder of London. This might be unlikely, but then again no one really knows its origin.

Hedley Swain, archaeologist at the Museum of London, says it is clearly an ancient block - but despite the many legends, there is no way of confirming its date or purpose.

A more pressing concern is how to rescue the stone from its current position, in a building that is set to be pulled down.

"The trouble is that at the moment it's not really looked after by anyone," he says. And although there is no fixed timetable, he is expecting the stone to be brought to the Museum of London for display while the new building is constructed.

"People go to look for it, thinking it's going to be a grand object, and then they walk up and down Cannon Street and can't find it."

"We get letters from people saying that it's appalling that it's being kept in this way."

But he says there is no way of confirming rival theories that it was a Roman distance marker or part of a prehistoric standing stone or any of the many more exotic myths.

The area between Cannon Street and the River Thames was a site of important Roman buildings - and he says that the stone could have been from these buildings.

But it could also have been much older and part of some other pre-Roman edifice.

Guarding the stone

It's not entirely the case that no one is looking after the stone, because it does have a current custodian: Chris Cheek, the manager of the Sportec sports shop to which the stone is attached.

And even though he isn't a household name, Londoners might not realise that he has already saved their city from the destruction promised if the stone is lost.

"When we were setting up the shop, there were cowboy builders here, and one of them was just about to take a chisel to the stone. I told him 'Whoah. Stop right there.'"

And Mr Cheek has become attached to this strange situation, where one of the city's most ancient objects is parked in his shop, surrounded by football shirts, cricket bats and trainers.

In fact, while people try to see it from outside, the only decent view of the stone is from the cricket section in his shop.

Does he believe in the legend that London's future well-being depends on this stone?

"Yes. I do really. I'm not into hocus pocus, but there is something about this stone. For some reason it's been kept, there's something special about it."

Sacred stones

This could be because of its associations with druids, he suggests, or maybe just the sheer weight of history - from the Roman legionnaires through to the Blitz.

He also says it reveals something about people's characters.

"There are people who have travelled all the way from Australia to see this stone. And there are other people who are so hectic, so busy with their appointments, that they walk past it every day of week and never even see it."

"And there are people who come in for a pair of socks and then suddenly see it. 'Is that the London stone? I've heard of that'."

Mr Cheek also enjoys the idea that, until it's shifted to a museum, he is the latest in a long line of people to be in charge of something so mysterious and ancient.

The idea of sacred stones is a very ancient tradition - monarchs are still crowned on the Stone of Scone, the so-called "stone of destiny", in Westminster Abbey.

And the London stone has been the source of speculation right through the capital's history.

Magic powers

Queen Elizabeth I's adviser and occultist, John Dee, was obsessed by the stone, believing that it had magic powers.

Shakespeare depicted the 15th Century peasants' rebellion leader, Jack Cade, striking the London stone as a symbolic sign of taking control of the city.

And Mr Cheek can point out the grooves in the top of the stone, furrowed, he believes, by repeated sword blows.

Christopher Wren saw the foundations of the stone being excavated - and believed it to be part of a bigger Roman structure.

William Blake used the story that the stone had been part of a druid altar - reflecting another belief that it was from a pre-Roman religious stone circle on the site now occupied by St Paul's Cathedral.

The persistent story that the stone was the symbolic centre point from which every distance in Roman Britain was measured was already in circulation in the 16th Century.

Stone survivor

But maybe the London stone's most remarkable achievement is to have survived at all - through wars, plagues, fires and even 1960s planning, right in the middle of the financial district of the capital.

It's probably still in a setting not too far from where it stood when the Romans were building London.

In 18th Century prints it was kept in an elegant stone casing - and there are photographs of Victorian police men guarding the stone, when it was set into the wall of a church at waist height.

This church, St Swithin, was damaged during a bombing raid during World War II - and the stone was then attached to a new building on the site.

This current building is set to be pulled down - and the Corporation of London is ensuring that the replacement will be put the chunk of limestone on display in a way that is more prominent.

Archaeologist Hedley Swain says the stone also serves as a reminder that "under the superficial veneer of being a modern business capital, London has so many deep layers of accumulated history".

Mr Cheek says that the real appeal is its mystery. "If it doesn't have a beginning, then perhaps it doesn't have an end either."

Assorted photos accompany the original article ... nothing really special about it, that I can see. Other than the magical properties, of course.
A small town named Hercules is resisting the construction of a Walmart. As might be suspected, the headline writers are having fun with it and they might suggest some additions to the 'labours' cycle... from the San Jose Mercury:

Big box battle shaping up as Hercules v. Goliath

From Commerical Appeal:

It's Hercules vs. the titan of retail

From Scripps Howard:

Hercules (Calif.) may unchain eminent-domain wrath at Wal-Mart

... stay tuned.
The incipit of a long article in Greek News:

The Mediterranean's first wine was made in Cyprus 5,500 years ago, predating winemaking in Greece by 1,500 years; perfume was manufactured and exported 4,000 years ago, but the antiquities of the 12,000 years of history, so extensive that this ancient island should be regarded as "one huge monument" * have been savaged: since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, sixteen thousand icons, mosaics and frescoes, and 60,000 ancient artifacts have been brutally torn from their contexts, smuggled, hoarded by dealers, consigned for sale to auction houses, and sold to museums and private collectors.

Tragically, the looters not only diminished the value of the artefacts while attempting to remove them, and by removing them from their historical and geographical context, but also destroyed the sites they plundered, said Michael Jansen in her lecture War and Cultural Heritage, presented on May 18 at the Onassis Foundation, presented in collaboration with the International Press Organization.

Cultural property, she said, is a non-renewal resource; archaeologists and historians learn a great deal about our development and history as long as sites are left undisturbed. “Artefacts have voices which tell our story if they are left onsite; in the homes of the wealthy and in museums, they are dumb objects sitting on shelves and languishing in glass cases. Once they tell our story, they can be sent into the world and put on display.”

Mrs. Jansen has followed the issue of the fate of cultural heritage in times of war for thirty years and reported on this issue and the illegal trade of antiquities for Archaeology magazine for the last twenty years. “Unless scholars are able to continue to search out our past and build on the grand narrative of human development and civilization, humankind as a whole is impoverished; the fabric of our historical narrative becomes filled with holes,” said Mrs. Jansen, “We are diminished. Loss in one country or part of the world is a loss for global civilization. Although tomb robbing is said to be the second oldest profession, looting is a crime against civilization, a crime against humanity.”

Mrs. Jansen was introduced by Dr. Mark Rose, executive editor of Archaology magazine, who spoke about the plundering of archaeological sites and museums, and destruction of cultural and religious monuments in countries devastated by war, also mentioning a listing change regarding the return of antiquities to their originating countries.

Mrs. Jansen discussed her 2005 book, War and Cultural Heritage: Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish Invasion, which tells the story of ethnic cleansing, the expulsion of the Greek Cypriot majority, and pillage, the theft of the island's rich cultural heritage, that began as soon as Turkish soldiers stormed ashore on July 20th, 1974. with the specifics of the brutal destruction and illicit marketing of the island’s historical, cultural, architectural and religious heritage.

“Looting generally accompanies warfare and unrest in countries with rich heritages, she said, “but the case of Cyprus is particularly dramatic because it is confined to a small, well defined geographical area, said Jansen, a resident of Nicosia, Cyprus, since 1976 Mrs. Jansen, who describes the south as “a land of plenty”, and the north as a “wasteland.” said that while little excavation and study of antiquities is being done in the north, archaeologists working in the south are making fresh discoveries all the time. “In the Turkish occupied north, both Christian and ancient sites have been mercilessly plundered and scholarly investigation has been disrupted. Meanwhile in the government-controlled south, sites have been largely preserved and scholars have been at work uncovering the distant past, Scholarship in the north remains frozen while it moves forward in the south.”

Mrs. Jansen discussed the three phase of the invasion of the island. First,158,000 Greek Cypriots fled, while archaeological sites, museums, churches, monasteries, castles, libraries and private collections were robbed and vandalized, sometimes at random by rampaging soldiers and sometimes by professional art and antiquities thieves belonging to a well-organized network on the island.

During the second phase, 2,000 of the remaining 4,000 Greek Cypriots were forced to leave as Turkish Cypriot smugglers systematically targeted specific treasures, which, said mrs. Jansen, were shipped them to “the leading wholesaler of Cypriot loot, Aydin Dikmen in Munich. Dikmen, who began his career in Turkey hawking illegal finds and forging artefacts became a ship-breaker and major player in hot art mafias.”

The third phase is ongoing: 500 Greek Cypriots have clung to their homes in the Karpass Peninsula and looting has continued from unexplored sites while the cultural heritage of the north is also being depleted by illegal excavations, dissolution by neglect and destruction by developers.

A film “Cyprus : The perishing heritage” (production of Cyprus Press and Information Office) shown before the lecture. A comprehensive survey conducted by Greek and Turkish Cypriot architects and engineer revealed that while a majority of mosques in the south are in fair to good repair, most churches and monasteries in the north -- some considered to be major world heritage sites because of their irreplaceable mosaics -- were looted of icons, brutally stripped of wall paintings and mosaics by Romanian technicians trained by the mainland Turkish smuggler and dealer Aydin Dikmen. Churches and monasteries were also desecrated, being used as toilets and to house animals.

There are three levels of operatives engaged in the illegal art trade, said Mrs. Jansen, tomb robbers who harvest the crop, receivers or middle men, and customers. Tomb robbers and customers are many, but middle men - wholesalers and primary dealers - are few and are closely connected. The authorities and police forces and customers know who looters, dealers and buyers are but rarely take action against them. Sentences are light for those who are caught and tried. But the police in some countries are becoming more active.

Trade in stolen art and antiquities is said to be $5-6 billion a year, with Istanbul, Munich, Zurich and London, being the hubs, and artefacts flowing along routes used by drugs and arms smugglers who often buy looted art to launder their profits from their other enterprises. As well, terrorist groups in Iraq are selling antiquities to finance their operations.

The climate of opinion is changing, however, since the late eighties, around the time the Indianapolis court decided to send the Kanakaria mosaics home to Cyprus when the presiding judge took the view that the dealer had no right to stolen property even though he claimed the buyer had bought them mosaics in "good faith."

... the rest.
From Reuters comes another tantalizing in its brevity:

The Egyptian authorities have given the go ahead for the underwater exploration of what appears to be a Roman city submerged in the Mediterranean, Egypt's top archaeologist said on Monday.

Zahi Hawass said in a statement that an excavation team had found the ruins of the Roman city 35 km (20 miles) east of the Suez Canal on Egypt's north coast.

Archaeologists had found buildings, bathrooms, ruins of a Roman fortress, ancient coins, bronze vases and pieces of pottery that all date back to the Roman era, the statement said. Egypt's Roman era lasted from 30 BC to 337 AD.

The excavation team also found four bridges that belonged to a submerged castle, part of which had been discovered on the Mediterranean coastline in 1910.

The statement said evidence indicated that part of the site was on the coast and part of it submerged in the sea. The area marked Egypt's eastern border during the Roman era.
8.00 p.m. |HINT| Lost Treasures Of The Ancient World: Greece
It is a sad fact that many Grecian achievements were destroyed by those who subsequently conquered the land; however, those that survive are a testimony to Greek skill and ideals. We take viewers on an incredible journey to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Acropolis and the Parthenon--now and as they once were--and the majesty of the remains at Delphi, including the inspiring Temple of Zeus. Featuring new location footage, stylish period reconstructions, and groundbreaking 3D graphics and animation sequences, as well as interpretation and analysis by the world's leading authorities, including Dr. John Bennet of the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford and Dr. Chris Pelling of University College, Oxford.
ante diem xi kalendas junias

415 B.C. -- The "mutilation of the herms" occurs, which would briefly delay the launching of the Sicilian Expedition (by one reckoning)

337 A.D. -- death of Constantine I
erg @ Wordsmith

logorrheic @ Worthless Word for the Day

incontrovertible @ Dictionary.com (no ... it's not a synonym for 'sedan')
Grex Barcinonensis victor

Die Mercurii vesperi (17.5.) in stadio Parisiensi 'Stade de France' appellato certamen pedifollicum positum est ad decernendum, utrum grex Barcinonensis an manus Britannorum nomine Arsenal in foedere campionum ceteris excelleret.

Ab hoc ludo superiores discesserunt Barcinonenses folle bis in rete adversariorum ingesto.

Victoriam altero demum tempore sibi extorserunt, nam Arsenal spatio certaminis priore melior erat.

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

For more news in Latin, here's the latest headline from Ephemeris: Colloquia regiminis Hispanici cum ETA (fortasse) coeptura esse.

On the Greek side, Akropolis World News offers: Berlin exposes submerged treasures of Egypt - Iranian parliament compels non-muslims to wear identification signs
A handful of items today ...

The Stoa has collected a number of Google Earth 'placemarks' of ancient sites ...

Laudator is pondering praise ...

Hobbyblog has a nice Gallienus with an image of Victoria ...

Roman History Books is looking at the Arch of Constantine ... (and I think I missed mentioning this post on ancient plagues) ...

MK alerts us (thanks) that one of the ODNB lives of the week this week is Constantius Chlorus (link goes to the main page since the 'life of the day' changes daily)

PhDiva DK has been to Oxford's online exhibition of Oxyrhynchus Papyri ... she also notes that that 'mass burial' story in the Telegraph (see below) isn't the only one we know about ...

Bestiaria presents us with the story of the peacock and Juno ...

Father Foster's latest: Our “Latin Lover” translated Pope Benedict’s first encyclical letter “God is love” into the Church’s official language. A tough task he claims because of that terrible jargon currently in use in modern languages. The Romans he moans never spoke that way! Find out in “Deus Caritas Est”...
From BMCR:

Christoper Nappa, Reading after Actium: Vergil's Georgics, Octavian, and Rome.

Robin Mitchell-Boyask, Euripides: Hecuba.

E.K. Petropoulos, Hellenic Colonization in Euxeinos Pontos. Penetration, Early Establishment and the Problem of the "Emporion" Revisited.

Richard Kannicht, Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta. Volume 5. Euripides (in two parts).

From the Independent (won't last long online):

Adrian Goldsworthy, Caesar.

Also seen:

Andrew Chugg, Alexander's Lovers (press release)
We first mentioned this new 'catacomb' found in Rome a week or so ago ... the Telegraph provides some more details:

Archaeologists exploring one of Rome's oldest catacombs are baffled by neat piles of more than 1,000 skeletons dressed in elegant togas.

The macabre find emerged as teams of historians slowly picked their way through the complex network of underground burial chambers, which stretch for miles under the city.

They say the tomb, which has been dated to the first century AD, is the first known example of a "mass burial".

The archaeologists are unable to explain why so many apparently upper-class Romans - who would normally have been cremated - were buried in the same spot, apparently at the same time.

Forensic tests are being carried out to try to establish whether the Romans suffered violent deaths, or were victims of an undocumented epidemic or natural disaster.

There are dozens of catacombs beneath the ancient city, some dating back 2,000 years and many used as burial places by early Christians. Others were used as secret places of worship to avoid persecution.

The Vatican's Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology is overseeing the dig. Its chief inspector of catacombs, Raffaella Giuliani, said: "This is the earliest example of such a mass burial. Usually two or three bodies at the most were put into holes dug out of the rock in the catacombs, but in these case we have several rooms filled with skeletons.

"They are placed one on top of the other and not in a disorderly fashion. They have been carefully buried, with dignity, but the puzzle is why so many at a time?"

The skeletons were dressed in fine robes, many containing gold thread, and wrapped in sheets covered with lime, as was common in early Christian burials.

The discovery was made at the Catacomb of SS Peter and Marcellinus on the ancient Via Labicana in south-east Rome.

Miss Giuliani said there was no obvious sign that violence was the cause. "We are trying to establish whether the skeletons were buried there following some form of epidemic or natural disaster.

It is possible they could have been persecuted and killed by the Romans and then buried there by fellow Christians - we just don't know."

The Vatican will officially present the discovery next month, along with officials from the University of Bordeaux who had been involved in the excavations.

Did the plague under Marcus Aurelius reach Rome?
10.00 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.

10.30 p.m. |HINT| Search for Troy
When Heinrich Schliemann finds the site of ancient Troy, the mythical past becomes scientific fact. Schliemann, a German grocer's son, made a fortune in California's gold fields before becoming an archaeologist. He dug for three years in modern Turkey, determined to prove that Hissarlik was the site of the Troy of Homer's ancient epic The Iliad. In 1873, he discovered a glorious horde of treasure and opened the world's eyes to the wonders of the ancient past. The mythical world of the heroes of The Iliad had suddenly become reality. Travel back in time to the Trojan War, as we reconstruct the great city's glory with exclusive in situ dramatizations, the latest historical research, and recent location photography.
Piles o' stuff to peruse today:

About.com's N.S. Gill picks up on a Bread and Circuses post about the A.D./C.E. 'controversy' (does anyone really care any more? honest -- not snarky -- question) ... there's also a quiz about Hannibal ... a review of Hannibal Crosses the Alps ... a collection of links about Mary Magdalene ...

blogographos points to an online poll on favourite Greek divinities ... [as I was doing that one, a Google ad thingie pointed to this Minotaur stuffed toy] ... meanwhile, still at blogographos, Alun has come up with the most politically-influential Greeks ...

The dragon battles continue at Bestiaria ... this time it's the archangel Michael part one and part two ...

Laudator an interesting piece on the God Fart ... there's also an interesting howler that he came across in a book about C.S. Lewis ... and a followup on Sins of the Tongue ...

Novum Testamentum comments on Martin Luther King on eros, philia, and agape ...

Ginny Lindzey in the Latin Zone is signing yearbooks and reflecting on why we teach ...

PhDiva DK points to an NPR interview about looting of Italian archaeological sites ...

ABZU points us to an index page thing of Classical Dissertations in Progress (which seems to have been a one-shot thing in 2000) ... there's also an online Encyclopedia of the Hellenic World ...

Another column by 'Cicero' at Huntington News ...

MK sent this one along (thanks) ... Daily Kos is in the midst of an interesting series on antecedents to Athenian humanism ...

The BBC has a production of Venus in Copper (i.e. a Falco novel) ... available as Listen Again ...

I've seen this one mentioned repeatedly and keep forgetting to mention it ... it's a newish blog called 'Under Odysseus' in which a crewman of Odysseus is blogging what's happening ...

Explorator 9.4 has been posted ...
From BMCR:

Hartmut Leppin, Einführung in die Alte Geschichte.

John E. Curtis, Nigel Tallis, Forgotten Empire. The World of Ancient Persia.

Markus Sehlmeyer, Uwe Walter, Unberührt von jedem Umbruch? Der Althistoriker Ernst Hohl zwischen Kaiserreich und früher DDR.

Richard Jasnow, Karl-Th. Zauzich, The Ancient Egyptian Book of Thoth: A Demotic Discourse on Knowledge and Pendant to the Classical Hermetica. Volume 1: Text. Volume 2: Plates.

From Scholia:

Alan C. Bowen and Robert B. Todd, Cleomedes' Lectures on Astronomy: A Translation of The Heavens. Hellenistic Culture and Society, 42

From RBL:

J. Albert Harrill, Slaves in the New Testament: Literary, Social, and Moral Dimensions

another review of the same ...


Iphigenia in Aulis (LA)

Persians (Turkey)

Deianeira (Stanford)
A Yahoo Press Release which might be of interest:

"When Stanley Lombardo performs Homer, we feel what Bob Dylan calls the 'inner substance' of great folk songs, their 'pulse and vibration and rumbling force.' We grasp the power words had before books, movies, and iPods®. Homer taught the ancient Greeks about life, death, love, and war. Now in Lombardo's words and voice, Homer teaches us, too," says Tom Palaima, Raymond F. Dickson Centennial Professor of Classics at UT Texas at Austin.

Continuing the great oral tradition of ancient Greece, contemporary versions of ancient epics are now available in audiobook format. Parmenides Audio(TM) today releases the first set of Homer's unabridged ILIAD and ODYSSEY. These will be followed in the fall by The ESSENTIAL HOMER and The ESSENTAL ILIAD which contain key chapters and passages. Both the unabridged and the Essential versions are translated and narrated by Stanley Lombardo, University of Kansas Classics Professor, with synopses read by Academy Award®-winning actress Susan Sarandon.

In ancient Greece, history and culture were preserved through storytelling. Despite the invention of the alphabet, the tradition of oral histories and performances continued for hundreds of years. Central to those festivals of history and culture were the epics of Homer performed by "song- stitchers," the equivalent of today's "must-watch" television.

Greeks heard stories of war, betrayal, and injustice and learned life lessons through the songs of Homer. Lombardo continues this great oral tradition with a modern sensibility. His celebrated translations of the Iliad and Odyssey (Hackett Publishing Company; 1997 and 2000), which he has performed to packed auditoriums and critical acclaim for years, are written in contemporary English, making the classic tales of the Trojan War and Odysseus accessible to readers of all ages. "I knew that I wanted to maintain the song- like nature of the Iliad and Odyssey," Lombardo says. "I wanted to be able to perform it like ancient storytellers did at the Greek festivals."

"When he finishes a performance, people flock to the back of the room looking for CDs," reports Eliza Tutellier, Vice President of Operations for Parmenides Publishing. "We immediately realized there was a large market for the audiobook format."

Lombardo, a native of New Orleans, earned a B.A. from Loyola University, an M.A. from Tulane University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas (1976). In 1976 he joined the faculty at the University of Kansas, where he served as department chair for fifteen years and now teaches Greek and Latin at all levels, as well as general courses on Greek literature and culture.

Parmenides Publishing, founded in 2000, is a Las Vegas-based publisher of philosophy and classics. It is committed to making philosophy and classics accessible to a wider audience, as well as to serving the academic community. The company is named after the ancient philosopher Parmenides of Elea, a philosophical pioneer, who is often regarded as the father of logic.
6.00 p.m. |HINT| A Place to Call Eturia
Go on a journey to the ancient cities Volterra, Populonia, and Cervetari, and see why Etruscan civilization was famous for its extravagant wealth, fine ceramics, handicrafts, and bustling trade, and how it was all lost in battles with the Greek colonies in southern Italy. Experience the cutting edge of archaeological exploration as we take viewers on a virtual tour of these ancient sites.

6.30 p.m. |HINT| Roman Imprint on the West
In the 2nd century AD, all roads lead to Rome, and we'll follow some which connect Rome to the rich provinces of the West, including Iberia (Spain) and Gaul (France) as a Celtic gladiator takes us on a virtual tour through the streets of Nimes, Orange, Tarragona, Italica, Meridia, and more.

10.00 p.m. |DISCU| Spear of Jesus
In the Hofsburg Museum in Vienna, Austria, lies a metal spearhead said to have been used to pierce the side of Christ during his crucifixion. For the first time, scientific testing will establish if this ancient relic really is the Spear of Christ.
From the Register-Mail:

A poster reading "Latin didn't fall with Rome" hung in a room at the top of the stairs on Monmouth-Roseville High School's third floor.

A map of Rome hung on the wall underneath.

Five students sat in plastic chairs behind wooden desks looking over white papers that had been marked in red over black ink.

Brian Tibbets, a lean 32-year-old in black pants and a white- and red-striped shirt, leaned against his desk at the front of the room, going over answers from a quiz with the juniors in his Latin III class.

Tibbets took over the Latin program at Monmouth three years ago after it was saved by a petition from parents and students who supported the program. Now, 76 of the school's 550 students are enrolled in the program.

Saving Latin

In 1999, there were only six freshman enrolled in the Latin program at Monmouth High School. The school board was ready to close the program, but several parents and students did not want to see it go.

"We begged for one more year," said Christine Ayers, a mother three, all of whom have taken Latin in Monmouth.

Ayers and a group of other parents created a plan to educate other students about the benefits of Latin. They presented the plan to the school board members, who agreed to give them time to make the program a success. But, if participation in the program did not increase to more than 10 new students the following year, Latin would no longer be taught in Monmouth.

To spread the word about Latin, Ayers and the parents created the Classics Bee, a spelling bee-formatted competition for fifth- through eighth-graders.

"We wanted to show the younger students that Latin isn't very far away from us," Ayers said.

The bee served its purpose, and now 40 new students will join the program.

Ayers also credits the program's success to Tibbets, who joined the Monmouth High School staff in 2003.

"He's really an incredible teacher," Ayers said. "He brings a new energy to the program."

Under Tibbets' direction, the program has seen a turnaround. Before the program was saved, there were only 35 students enrolled in Latin. The program has more than doubled in size in three years and now 76 of the 550 students at the high school - or 14 percent of the student body - are enrolled in the Latin program. Galesburg High School has only 45 students enrolled in its Latin program.

Monmouth-Roseville has no language requirement, but most students are encouraged to take a foreign language in high school to meet college entrance requirements. Monmouth-Roseville offers two foreign languages: Spanish and Latin.

The benefits of Latin

Another poster hanging on the gray walls in Tibbets' classroom shows an open dictionary with 52.5 percent of the words on the pages highlighted in blue. This demonstrates the percentage of English words that come from Latin roots.

Ayers believes in the benefits of Latin for students.

"The drive is to have a better handle on the English language," Ayers said. "It also helps with thinking on your feet. You have to analyze a Latin sentence, you don't just read it."

To help make Latin understandable for his students, Tibbets uses modern-day examples.

"I try to equate specific aspects of Roman history with things that my students can understand today," he said.

For example, in Tibbets' classroom he explained the legend of Nero's Domus Aurea (Golden House), a lavish compound that the Roman Emperor built himself with taxpayer money after the Great Fire of Rome. Tibbets equated the palace with the over-the-top celebrity homes on the MTV show "Cribs." The students laughed at the example, but they understood the comparison.

The Latin class also takes the modern comparisons to the younger students when they hold the Classics Bee, using examples from the Harry Potter series to make Latin more accessible for a younger audience.

Rising in popularity

Parents and teachers are not the only ones who realize the benefits of Latin. Monmouth-Roseville senior Caroline Prince wants to pursue a career in medicine and says Latin has been helpful to her vocabulary.

Senior Matt McGuire agrees, citing Latin's usefulness in his human anatomy class.

"You learn more than just the language," he said. "Learning about myths and Roman history is the most interesting part."

Other students said their interest in Latin was really a disinterest in taking Spanish. Senior Chelsie Young said Latin has helped her with English and science classes and on standardized tests.

"The school is more Spanish oriented," senior Jenna Thompson said. "But Latin has become more popular since we've been here."

In the four years since these seniors began taking Latin, the program has jumped from 12 students enrolled in Latin I to 40 who will take the class next fall. The seniors attributed the increase in popularity to the Classics Bee and a rising awareness about the benefits among students.

Latin is popular in larger high schools across the country, but Monmouth-Roseville and Galesburg are the only schools in the area that offer programs.

"I think there is a place in the curriculum for Latin in any high school," Tibbets said. "It can open high school students to a different view of their world. There is such a connection between our culture and what we learn in Latin class."
8.00 p.m. |HINT| Gaugamela
Return to the scene of one Alexander the Great's most decisive battles, where he wrested control of the Persian Empire from Darius III. Using cutting-edge computer gaming technology, we recreate the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. Host Matthew Settle (Band of Brothers) travels to an area north of Babylon, handpicked by Darius for his cavalry-led army. But Alexander created a typically brilliant plan of attack, marked by speed and superior discipline, to win one of the finest victories of his illustrious career.
Contra malum mortis non est medicamentum in hortis.

There is no medical remedy in the garden for the problem of death.

(Pron = KOHN-trah MAH-loom MOHR-tis ehst meh-dih-kah-MEN-toom in HOR-tees)

Comment: Such a heavy topic for the last proverb of the year! But, true to my
method, it is the next one in the book. It is a provocative question that I
hear rising from this one. Who said that death was a problem--better, and
truer to the Latin here, who said that death was evil? I understand why it is
painful when someone we love dies. We have become attached to them in very
powerful ways, and if the death is sudden and unexpected, or untimely like the
death of anyone who is not very old, we are left with an emotional wound from
the loss of one we love.

That is not the question I am raising. Let's assume a long life. Ultimately,
we each will come to an ending of this life. Is that in itself an evil? I
think that largely we are taught from a young age that it is. We are taught to
fear dying and to grumble and complain about appoaching that reality. I looked
at my hands last night for some reason. I noticed that my 46 year old hands
look more like my father's than my son's, but I remember that just recently (so
it seems) they looked more like my son's.

My hands (and everything else they are attached to) are getting older. I am
approaching the end of life. But, all of us are, and we have been since the
moment of our conception.

What if coming to an end of life were natural? Wouldn't that explain why there
is no remedy in the garden? (For medieval folks, the herb garden was the
apothacary, and they did have and use many effective herbs for healing
themselves). Perhaps there is no remedy in the garden for death simply because
it is not an evil to begin with. There is no remedy needed if there is no

I have studied with a Trappist monk who offered that it is their practice to use
lying down for naps and for sleep as a "practice for dying". That is, it is a
reminder that one day we will lie down for the last time. If we practice, the
point seemed to be, we stop seeing it as an evil.

I have studied with a Buddhist teacher who suggests that every occassion of
letting go is a practice for the last time we will let go. It might be letting
go of the orange peel that I just removed from the orange for my breakfast. It
might be letting go of my family as I kiss them goodbye this morning. It might
be letting go of the next breath I exhale. The point is, practicing letting go
makes it more possible for the final letting go to be natural, and not an evil.
This same Buddhist teacher has observed often that the beautiful rose in my
garden today will be brown and dead next week, ready for the compost pile. And
what is the beautiful rose today but not the product of everything that is in
the compost pile from last year! The letting go and dying gives rise to new
beauty. Death and birth are connected, and they are both natural.

Despite the metaphysics and doctrine that I was nurtured on as a child, I have
come to this conclusion that there is nothing evil about a natural end to life
anymore than there is something evil about the birth of a human being. In
fact, they are both parts of the same reality.

On that note, I want to wish you all a very pleasant and restful summer! And my
deep gratitude for allow me this conversation with you this year.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day on the web.
ante diem xiv kalendas junias

c. 160 A.D. -- martyrdom of Pudentiana

175 A.D. -- Commodus departs for Germany

307 A.D. -- martyrdom of Cyriaca and companions at Nicomedia

1795 -- death of James Boswell, author of Life of Dr. Johnson,
spurious @ Dictionary.com

logorrhea @ Worthless Word for the Day

margaritaceous @ Wordsmith

... and amidst a plethora of posts yesterday, I appear to have missed Done With Mirrors' Carnival of the Etymologies ...

De sationibus vernis

Tempestas calida mense Maio ineunte in Finnia humum et arva ita fovit at arefecit, ut agricolae sationes vernas suo tempore aut etiam solito maturius facere possent.

Pluviae, quae septimana vergente in variis Finniae partibus ceciderunt, agris sationalibus eo maiori utilitati erant, quod gramina hoc vere admodum lente campis redierunt propter tardam regelationem terrae.

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

For more news in Latin, here's the latest headline from Ephemeris: Caedes Armenorum condemnanda
Heading into the long weekend (for us Canucks):

PhDiva tells us of some recent finds at Hadrian's Villa ...

Bestiaria marks the day with a poem of Alcuin ...

Roman History Books has a post on Roman baths ...

Laudator has some noggin fodder on 'foolish talk' in the New Testament and preyond ... (I just coined that word, which popped into my head for some reason ... it means 'beyond', but 'before') ...

PH has posted some interesting stuff at Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean: Associations of Immigrants: Thracians and the goddess Bendis near Athens ... he also points to the website which emerged in the wake of the Travel and Religion in Antiquity seminar (with papers online and the like)

Academic Presentations looks at an article by Matthew Roller in AJP on Horizontal Women ... not coincidentally, Roller is also the next scholar to get the Roman Scholar treatment ...

GL is pondering the teaching of vocabulary in the Latin Zone ...

More from Eric in Brescia at Campus Mawrtius ...

About.com's N.S. Gill tells us some of the basic differences between Latin and English ...
From the BBC:

Thousands of Roman coins will go on permanent display in Bristol after the city's museum was awarded £22,500 of lottery money.

The hoard of 11,460 coins - the third largest found in the UK - was unearthed in 2004 by a gardener in Thornbury.

Since the discovery, Bristol Museum has been seeking cash to put the copper and silver alloy coins on display.

Grants totalling more than £40,000 have now been raised to keep the coins, which date back to AD 270, in Bristol.

"We are delighted that the coin hoard is able to remain in Bristol and are able to give the public access to one of the most exciting finds in this area," said Kate Brindley, director of Bristol's museums, galleries and archives.
Classics is hitting the entertainment world strangely this week ... in addition to the next item (which still has my mind boggling), there's this one from Reuters:

Zeus will jump on the stage singing "Volare" followed by other Olympian gods performing Eurovision hits when Athens hosts the annual song fest this weekend.

The dress rehearsal for the semi-final of the 51st Eurovision contest, a show known for its flashy pop performances, left most Greek media stunned over what they said was the tasteless use of ancient Greek culture.

"The opening ceremony was kitsch, to say the least. Greeks were left speechless and foreigners laughed," the major daily Ethnos wrote.

Still weary of the cheap, antiquity-inspired fiestas staged by the 1967-1974 military junta, Greeks were relieved and proud the Athens 2004 Olympic ceremonies had impressed world audiences and avoided gaudiness.

The contest that launched the careers of Abba and Celine Dion is no stranger to kitsch but glimpses of the ceremony -- where bouncy dancers in glittering costumes acted out ancient Greek gods -- managed to shock even the initiated.

"What a joke! I never thought I'd see Zeus singing 'Volare'. We have tonnes of antiquities, why don't we send them all to Eurovision," wrote TV critic Depi Golema in the Eleftheros Typos daily.

Goddess of love Aphrodite sings "Diva", Poseidon, god of the sea, performs "L' amour est bleu", while sprightly Spartan warriors wave their shields and spears to the music.

"What was the creator's intention?" asked the liberal daily Elefherotypia. "Kitsch for kitsch's sake."

The choreographer, Fokas Evangelinos, said he wanted to inject a dose of Greek culture and humour to the event.

"We wanted to show something different," he told Ethnos.

More than 100 million people are expected to tune in to the event, where singers from about 40 countries will be judged by telephone voting from viewers.
OMFG ... and it ain't April 1 ... from Playbill:

Ridley Scott's Oscar-winning 2000 film "Gladiator," which featured enough slaughter to fill the Tiber River with blood, is being converted into a stage musical, London's Daily Telegraph reported.

The show is begin prepared for a West End berth. William Nicholson, the Shadowlands and The Retreat From Moscow playwright who co-penned the screenplay, is working on a storyline for the musical.

"It's a terrific story which, with the right songs, will be a great show," an associate of the producer Brian Eastman told the Telegraph. The show will feature much of Hans Zimmer's original film score. According to the New York Post's Liz Smith, Brian Stokes Mitchell is being sought for the role of Maximus Decimus Meridius, played by Russell Crowe is the movie.

The film tells of Roman general Maximus, who is promised the stewardship of Rome by dying Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Upon hearing the news, however, Marcus' spoiled and decadent son Commodus orders his rival killed. Maximus escapes, but his family is murdered. The soldier is then sold into slavery and trained to be a gladiator. Excelling at his new and bloody trade, Maximus makes it all the way back to the ultimate gladiatorial forum, the Coliseum in Rome. There, he begins to plot his revenge.

So why did my brain immediately bring up the image of that Monty Python sketch wherein the Batley Townswomen's Guild re-enact the battle of Pearl Harbor?
I haven't heard about this one ... it does have ClassCon; from Ha'aretz:

A British professor has refused a request to write an article for an academic journal funded by Israeli universities.

Professor Richard Seaford, from the University of Exeter in England, refused to write the article, saying he was taking part in the academic boycott of Israel.

"Alas, I am unable to accept your kind invitation, for reasons that you may not like. I have, along with many other British academics, signed the academic boycott of Israel, in the face of the brutal and illegal expansionism and the slow-motion ethnic cleansing being practiced by your government," Seaford wrote to Dr. Daniella Dueck. Dueck, a lecturer at Bar Ilan University and a member of the Scripta Classica Israelica editorial board had requested that Seaford write a book review for the journal.

Scripta Classica Israelica is published by the Israeli Society for the Promotion of Classical Studies and is distributed to subscribers in Israel and abroad.

Seaford, the head of the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Exeter University, told Haaretz that the academic boycott "is just a small contribution to the long-term raising of international consciousness which represents the only hope for an eventual just peace in the Middle East. In this respect, there is a parallel with the academic boycott of Apartheid South Africa."

When asked why boycotts specifically target academics, Seaford said, "Though many charges of racism have been directed against Israeli universities, we do not want academics of all people to be boycotted: We would be delighted if there were other boycotts."

On May 27-29, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will debate a proposal in favor of an academic boycott against Israel.

The International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom (IAB), established at Bar Ilan University to take action against academic boycotts, published a statement Thursday in which it "warns that a silent boycott between British and Israeli academics is already taking place," and called on an anti-boycott network of some 500 academics around the world to oppose it.

In March, the London Jewish Chronicle reported that U.K. magazine Dance Europe refused to publish an article on Sally Ann Freeland, an Israeli choreographer, and her dance company. The magazine conditioned the publication of the article on an explicit declaration by Freeland against the occupation, which she refused to make.

The academic boycott began in the United States and Europe during the first intifada, and intensified in 2002 after Operation Defensive Shield, during which Israel Defense Forces troops occupied West Bank cities.

The boycott movement began in response to a request by Palestinian organizations, such as The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, an umbrella organization for dozens of Palestinian NGOs.

An attempt is made almost annually in the U.K. to formally instate an academic boycott on Israel, through official decisions by lecturers' unions.

The proposal slated to be discussed later this month by NATFHE differs from previous ones. According to the proposal, the current boycott will deal not only with the occupation, but also with discrimination against different populations in Israel, mainly in the field of education.

The proposal encourages academics to "consider the appropriateness of a boycott of those that do not publicly dissociate themselves" from discriminatory and unequal policies.

According to the IBA, "Such boycotts have no place in the academic community. Scholarship and research, and their expression in the open and free exchange of ideas, are among the foundations of civilization, and without them there can be no true advancement of human knowledge."
4.00 p.m. |SCI| Ghost Ships of Pisa
Near Pisa, Italy, archeologists find the remains of 15 Roman ships more than 2,000 years old, making it the largest single discovery in the history of nautical archeology. The discovery helped solve a mystery about the disappearance of a major Roman port.

8.00 p.m. |HISTU| Behind The Da Vinci Code
Before Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code, there was Holy Blood, Holy Grail, written by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, that is known for its revelation of the possibility of a sacred bloodline continued by Jesus and Mary Magdalene. It was their research on which Brown based much of his novel. Now, 30-some years since they wrote their last follow-ups, Henry Lincoln continues to investigate the source of the story. In this special, the man who launched the whole story breaks his silence, allowing viewers to unlock his secrets and addressing critics who say the whole thing is a hoax. We also explore the connection to the Knights Templar.

10.00 p.m. |DTC| Chariots of War
The city state of Assyria regained its lost empire. With a formidable army of chariots they rapidly dominated the Near East. Experts attempt to recreate the chariots of the Assyrian military machine, following the changes in design over 300 years.
Metus enim mortis musica depellitur.
(Censorinus, Liber De die natali 12)

For the fear of death is dispelled by music.

(Pron = MAY-toos eh-nim MOR-tis MOO-sih-kah deh-PEL-lih-toor).

Comment: This line is from an extended piece in which Censorinus is arguing that
music and the human being belong together. More specificially, he lists the
positive effects that music has on human beings. This particular line is from
a longer one indicating that music is an aid to soldiers in the line of combat
who face the fear of their own deaths.

Of similar and supporting intent, Censorinus says that despite what Epicurus
claims, the minds of human beings themselves recognize their own divine nature
by listening to music. And, doctors report that when the body and mind move
together with music, there is harmony--there is a restoration of health. From
this, he concludes, humanity is no stranger to music from our births.

If I were a music therapist--one who works with sick, injured and dying people
through music (and there is a growing body of literature that supports some
really amazing results through music therapy)--I would want the words of
Censorinus to be in my professional library.

These are phrenetic if not frantic days in schools in many places. I have two
days left of teaching and then exams to give. Exam preparation, review, end of
year reports, etc are all piling in on most of us who teach. All of that to
say, perhaps playing some nice music for ourselves and our students would be an
aid in getting through these "last days" of school.

On that note, I will remind you that this daily proverb goes out each day of my
school year. I typically have not sent it out during exam weeks. Therefore,
tomorrow's daily Latin proverb will be the last for this school year. At the
beginning of next school year, I will use this list to invite you to be on the
list again,and you will have, as always, the option of remaining or dropping
from the list.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day on the web.

ante diem xv kalendas junias

c. 250 A.D. -- martyrdom of Venantius

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Theodotus

1692 -- death of Elias Ashmole (founder of the museum that bears his name)
caste @ Guru.net

palimpsest @ Dictionary.com

gravedinosus @ Worthless Word for the Day

succedaneum @ Wordsmith (and on my Starbucks cup t'other day too)

disparate @ Merriam-Webster (I used to use this word all the time ... haven't lately)
Lex Unionis Europaeae fundamentalis

Parlamentum Estoniae tractatum de lege Unionis Europaeae fundamentali consensu omnium factionum maiorum ratum fecit.

Constat hoc documentum iam a quindecim civitatibus sociis confirmatum esse.

Francogalli et Hollandienses autem suffragio populi anno praeterito instituto recusaverunt, quominus illam legem acciperent.

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

For more news in Latin, here's the latest headline from Ephemeris: Ayaan Hirsi Ali Bataviam relinquere debet ...
DK at PhDiva alerts us to a couple of podcasts on matters gladiatorial ...

Laudator is pondering the root of all evil ...

Pro Magistris presents a happy little poem of Martial, with translation ...

I think I missed Hobbyblog yesterday ... a nice Republican issue from a member of the Caecilii Metelli ... today there's a somewhat ugly Gallienus ...

The dragon tales return to Bestiaria Latina with Saint Sylvester's contest with one ...

Ancient Games tells us about Rome Rising ...

As the school year draws to a close, GL is reflecting in the Latin Zone ...

Abzu points us to an online exhibition at the Kelsey Museum: Building a New Rome: the Imperial Colony of Pisidian Antioch...
David Potter (yep ... the UMichigan Classicist) comments at ChicagoSports on the upcoming battle between the Cubs and White Sox (this is baseball, for those of you wondering):

NEWS OF THE WEEK: The Cubs and White Sox will meet this weekend at the Sox's U.S. Cellular Field.

WHAT THE PROFESSOR SAYS: Let's imagine some Romans are suddenly transported through time and dropped into the midst of next week's crosstown series.

They'd love it, and just as Cubs and Sox fans will flock to the weekend games in their team colors, the Romans probably would have made sure they came in their blue or green clothing.

Roman chariot racing was all about crosstown rivalry. It basically broke down between two teams, the Blues and the Greens. There actually were four teams, but the Whites and Reds always were allied with the Blues and Greens respectively.

The result: Roman cities divided between the main factions, and the ensuing "chariot hooliganism" made the current European form of soccer idiocy look tame. On good days, fights broke out all the time in the stands and spilled into the streets, where the murder of rival fans was common.

On bad days, if you were the emperor, the fans of both factions would suddenly stop cursing one another and started cursing you. When that happened, it was time to make a run for the palace, call out the guard and fire a few unpopular advisers.

Despite the chaos, emperors had to put up with the factions because they knew intense rivalries made the fans happy, and happy thuggish fans were better than unhappy thuggish fans.

When it scheduled riot-free rivalries between teams like the Cubs and the Sox, MLB finally did the Romans one better.

... I'll take this opportunity to mention the 'what might have been' Battle of Alberta in the NHL playoffs ... there you would have seen a nice battle between the Whites and Reds. Congrats to Edmonton, by the way ... once again an Alberta team carries the hopes of Canada ...
From 24dash:

A 'spectacular' small brooch has been uncovered at a Roman fort that may reveal secrets about the men that built Hadrian's Wall.

The discovery of the legionary soldier's expensive and prestigious cloak brooch has excited archaeologists in Northumberland.

Experts have discovered that the brooch belonged to soldier Quintus Sollonius who would have been stationed at the forefront of the Roman empire 2,000 years ago.

Historians are continuing to examine the artefact and believe it could reveal more secrets behind the men who helped build Hadrian's Wall.

It was found at the Vindolanda Roman settlement, near Bardon Mill in Northumberland.

Quintus Sollonius painstakingly cut a set of small incised dots to make up his name. Next to the name was the inscription CUPI.

It is believed that those four letters refer to Cupius, the centurion in command of the soldiers sent by the Second Legion Augusta to help build the wall in AD122.

The brooch, which is just under 2in in diameter, incorporates the figure of Mars, the Roman god of war, wearing body armour and sandals, standing alongside two wide shields.

These shields could mean Quintus Sollonius was a veteran of campaigns against the Dacians in what is now Romania conducted by the emperor Hadrian's predecessor Trajan.

Three chains dangling below each hold an ivy or maple leaf.

The name Sollonius indicates Quintus came from Gaul, or modern France.

The centurion Cupius - an unusual name - is known from a Second Legion Augusta inscription at Caerleon in Wales.

Quintus Sollonius and Cupius were part of a detachment of legionary soldiers sent to Northumberland to assist in the early stages of the building of the 74-mile long wall.

Vindolanda director of excavations Robin Birley said: "It is a fantastic find because nothing like this has ever been seen before.

"It is further proof that there were legionnaires in Northumberland at the time of the building of Hadrian's Wall."

Mr Birley said the brooch was a very impressive object and showed that Quintus Sollonius was a very senior soldier - probably a non-commissioned officer with at least 20 years' experience.

"It is a very expensive object and he would have been very annoyed to have lost the brooch, which fastened the cloak at the shoulder," Mr Birley said.

"But it is quite big and flashy and difficult to lose, so one suspects that perhaps it was stolen."

Lindsay Allason-Jones, an expert in Roman history at Newcastle University, questioned whether the artefact was a brooch.

"I have not seen anything like this before," she said.

"I am not even sure it is a brooch and it may some sort of decoration for a horse.

"There does not appear to be a catch plate but this may have fallen off, which may explain how it was lost in the first place.

"However, I have never seen anything like this in the region before and because it has someone's name on, it is a very important find."
Interesting auction fallout ... from Bloomberg:

At Christie's International, an ancient bronze head went on the block last month, catalogued as a 5th-century Greek Apollo. Buyers in London voted with their wallets against the description.

Christie's, whose auctions exceeded $3 billion in 2005, valued the so-called Stanford Place Apollo at as much as 1.2 million pounds ($2.1 million). An unidentified woman in the room paid a hammer price of 650,000 pounds, or 13 percent below the low estimate of 750,000 pounds.

``If it really was a classical head, it might have sold for $3 million,'' said Ali Aboutaam of Phoenix Ancient Art SA of New York and Geneva, a view shared by other dealers and collectors at the April 26 sale. ``The price shows it's a Roman version of a Greek head, probably 1st century B.C. It's classicizing, not classical.''

The sale showed how buyers may resist auction experts' dating or valuing. Among other objects catalogued as 5th-century Greek, a goddess's head went below estimate and a male torso failed to sell. A statue described as 3rd to 2nd millennium B.C. also didn't sell, even though it was well known after being loaned to New York's Metropolitan Museum.

``The Romans were mirroring and copying Greek originals, and sometimes there's a desire by experts -- and dealers -- to make things Greek,'' said Michael Padgett, Princeton University Art Museum's curator of ancient art.

Stanford Place

The bronze head was the top-priced item in a 71-lot sale entitled, ``The Stanford Place Collection of Antiquities,'' formerly housed in Oxfordshire, England. Christie's won't name the seller, though dealers and scholars said the pieces belonged to Claude Hankes-Drielsma, adviser to Iraq, critic of the Oil for Food program, British Museum patron and longtime collector.

The auction totaled 2.2 million pounds, including Christie's commission. The presale estimate was 2 million pounds to 3 million pounds.

The Stanford Place estate -- four reception rooms, 12 bedrooms, cellars, stables, ponds and woodland -- is also for sale, according to an advertisement in Christie's catalog. The asking price is 5 million pounds, agent Savills said.

Catherine Pillonel, an assistant at his Stanford Place office, asked Bloomberg to e-mail questions to Hankes-Drielsma, then, after receiving them, said that he was traveling and might not be reachable for three months.

Treasure Disputes

In the world of art and antiquities, millions of dollars are at stake for museums and private buyers, depending on the date or ownership of an object. Disputes are increasingly common, and sometimes escalate.

Christie's, the world's largest auctioneer, lost a 2004 court fight with billionaire Kenneth Thomson's daughter about the age of porphyry urns she'd bought, then won on appeal last year. In April, Christie's withdrew from auction five beams from a Cordoba mosque after the Spanish government and a Cordoba church claimed ownership in a sign that more countries are reclaiming treasures as museums agree to ship objects back to Italy and Greece.

This week, J. Paul Getty Museum Director Michael Brand said he'd recommend the return of some Greek antiquities following talks with officials in Athens.

Sarah Hornsby, Christie's specialist for the Stanford Place sale, said she was confident the Apollo (7 7/8 inches high, or 20 centimeters, with curled, cabled hair and hollow eyes), goddess and other objects were correctly catalogued. ``We used comprehensive research and our own expertise as well as drawing on the knowledge of established scholars and academics from around the world,'' she said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg's questions.

Soft Face

Reviewing the catalog, Princeton's Padgett said on the telephone from New Jersey and by e-mail, ``I am comfortable with the late 5th-century date assigned to the goddess. The style is right, and there's a softness to the face and the modeling of the hair. I am less certain about the bronze Apollo, but I think a 5th-century date is defensible. There are a lot of cynics in auction rooms.''

Greek and Roman sculptures can be hard to date and value. Wealthy Romans decorated their houses with Greek statues, so Roman artists made a lot of good copies of Greek sculptures as well as original works in the Greek style.

``Style alone can be an imprecise rule of thumb,'' said Padgett. ``Technical analysis of the materials may help but it is frequently inconclusive, especially in the case of marbles used by both Greeks and Romans.''

Apollo in Cleveland

Phoenix, among the largest antiquities dealers, sold a life-sized bronze Apollo to the Cleveland Museum in 2004. The museum said it was probably by the Greek sculptor Praxiteles. Some scholars said it might be Roman, and shouldn't have been bought -- for an estimated $5 million -- because of gaps in its ownership history, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer at the time.

``We sold it as Greek or Roman,'' Aboutaam said.

London-based Christie's, owned by French billionaire Francois Pinault, sold $23 million of antiquities in 2005, at four auctions in New York and London.

Key Lots

Here are the key Stanford Place lots, with Christie's comments in quotation marks.

Lot 29. The catalog likened the Stanford Place Apollo to a Greek head in London's British Museum. Dealers said it resembled a Roman portrait of a real person rather than a god. Greek faces are more idealized, they said. Fifth century B.C. heads of that size are mostly in museums and rarely come to the market, they said. British Museum curator Dyfri Williams declined to comment.

``The Stanford Place Apollo was exhibited in Basel with a label dating the piece to 460 B.C.,'' Hornsby wrote. ``This date was also used in the catalogue guide. We considered the opinion of the museum as well as drawing on our own knowledge in cataloguing this date. (It is very unusual for a museum to publish an item which is on loan).''

Lot 46. Catalogued as a Greek marble head of a goddess, last quarter of 5th century B.C. The hammer price was 15,000 pounds, 50 percent below the 30,000 pound top estimate and 25 percent below the low valuation. It may be Greek, though overpriced because it was damaged, said a London dealer who declined to be named. Other dealers said the buyer valued it as a Roman copy. One said a Greek head sold in New York for about $80,000 around 1990.

`Extreme Wear'

``This lot was subject to extreme wear, with virtual obliteration to the face,'' Hornsby said. ``The poor condition of the piece was the reason behind the estimate and price. Over the last 15 years, the antiquities market has seen condition hold an ever increasing influence over the value of Greek, Hellenistic and Roman sculptures.''

Lot 27. Catalogued as a Greek marble male torso, perhaps an athlete, mid-5th century B.C. The estimate was 100,000 pounds to 200,000 pounds. It didn't sell. Again, some dealers said it may be Roman, worth 50,000 pounds. Greek torsos of this size (28 inches of modeled muscles) would fetch much more than Christie's top estimate, they said.

``Once again, the condition of this sculpture was poor, as reflected in the estimate,'' Hornsby said.

Lot 62. Described as a copper-alloy heroic figure from the late 3rd to 2nd millennium. It was valued at 200,000 pounds to 300,000 pounds and didn't sell. There were few or no bids, and one dealer said it may date from later than catalogued.

``We are very confident with the cataloguing of this lot -- we concurred with the view of scholars at the Metropolitan Museum that the date of this piece was as catalogued,'' Hornsby wrote.
A couple of things folks might want to check out, in the interests of 'equal time', in regards to things mentioned at rc. In the 'quite a while ago' department, there's a report at the Biblical Archaeology site that the patina on the James Ossuary is 'older' than previously thought ... in the 'more recently' department, we have an AP story about an Egyptian geologist (!) suggesting the Bosnian 'pyramid' must be man made ... the AFP coverage causes one to wonder once again though; here's a quote:

Aly Abd Alla Barakat, of the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority, believes large stone blocks found near Sarajevo were man-made and polished in the same way as the pyramids of Giza, said the Bosnian Pyramid Foundation's Mario Gerussi.

So did the geologist actually say it? Or are the pyramid folks misquoting folks again?
... nothing of interest.
ante diem xvi kalendas junias

303 A.D. -- martyrdom of Heradius

1510 -- death of Botticelli (Birth of Venus, among other Classical subjects)

1902 -- discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism
Arrant @ Dictionary.com (interesting etymology)

omnigenous @ Worthless Word for the Day

terpsichorean @ Wordsmith

cerebrate @ Merriam-Webster (great word)
Comitia localia Britanniae

Comitiis municipialibus in Britannia habitis factio conservativa tantam victoriam reportavit, ut laboristis ducentas quinquaginta fere sedes decurionum adimeret.

Quae cum ita essent, Tony Blair, princeps minister, compositionem regiminis sui aliquantum mutare decrevit.

Charles Clarke, minister a rebus domesticis, se magistratu abdicare coactus est, et Jack Straw, minister negotiorum exterorum, a munere amotus ad officium praesidis camerae inferioris curandum transiit.

Reijo Pitkäranta
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)
In a bit of a rush this a.m. ... slept in:

PhDiva DK has a piece on how ancient types rode a horse (although I think more 'knee action' is necessary) ... [question that just popped into my head: is there any mention of a woman riding a horse in ancient times?]

Alan has a nice followup post to his previous one on that Bosnian 'pyramid' ...

Bestiaria Latina tells us the tale of the Asinus et Lupus ...

The Stoa has a pile of links to translations (including a new one with a CC license) of Euripides ...

Roman History Books enlightens us about Shapur I ...

About.com's N.S. Gill tells us about the Roman Forum ...

Abzu points us to some interesting online papers at Brown ... an article on The Tomba delle Leonesse and the Tomba dei Giocolieri ... another on the Muculufa Master ... one on the Master of Olympia ... the Hand of Daedalus ... Dating of the Coinage of Alexander the Great ...

At Campus Mawrtius, Eric posts some more photos from his trip to Brescia ...

Bread and Circuses provides a cautionary tale about complaining about potentially fraudulent antiquities on eBay ...

Also worthy of note ... Mary Harrsch of Roman Scholars (et alia) fame posted this Roman Forum webcam to the Imperial Rome list yesterday ... very nice (and nicer, it seems to me, than the Capitolium one).
From WTNH:

Two thousand Connecticut high school and middle school students who are studying Latin spent the day at Holiday Hill in Prospect for "Latin Day." They're living like Romans -- dressed in togas and speaking the language.

While they're seizing the day, they're also learning a little bit about Roman life with student projects. Geoff Eckert and his class spent the last four months making "Romanopoly" the Latin version of the board game Monopoly.

"We transferred all the paper money into coin, all the cards are written in Latin; it helps you learn the money system," says Eckert, a Rockville High School junior.

Students also put their knowledge to the test with an academic contest.

"Our hard work is finally being rewarded. Students can see where they rank," says New Canaan teacher Erika Shupe.

The day's not all about learning and testing their Latin knowledge. There's also plenty of time for fun and games despite the pouring rain

"It's cold and wet, obviously, but it's fun. I love jumping in the puddles," says Kathryn Paprocki, Branford High sophomore.

Teachers say Latin is a dead language, but it's coming back and more and more students are interested in learning it.

"We have students say everything in Latin -- the Pledge of Allegiance, ask to go to the bathroom in Latin, all of those lovely little things," says Shupe.

There's also some video coverage of the event available ...
From ANSA:

The Tuscans' proud claim to be the descendants of the ancient Etruscans has taken a knock .

A DNA comparison of Etruscan skeletons and a sample of living Tuscans has thrown up only "tenuous genetic similarities", said lead researcher Guido Barbujani of Ferrara University .

"If the Tuscans were the direct descendants of the Etruscans the DNA should be the same," said Barbujani, a genetecist who coordinated the study with Stanford University in the United States .

The study, which appears in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that most modern Tuscans are descended from a non-Etruscan people .

However, it leaves a ray of hope for the Tuscans, who often boast about the heritage that makes them different from other Italians .

"It could be that the skeletons from which we extracted the DNA belonged to an elite group that did not spread demographically," Barbujani said .

The Etruscans are believed to have formed the first advanced civilisation in Italy, based in an area called Etruria, corresponding mainly to present-day Tuscany and northern Lazio .

At the height of their power at around 500 BC - when Rome itself was subjugated - they spread to the foothills of the Alps and southward close to Naples .

Modern knowledge of their civilisation is based largely on archaeological finds, as much of their language has yet to be deciphered .

For many people the Etruscans have a romantic, mysterious aura and there is a raft of web sites devoted to them .

They are a particular favourite among New Age fans .
There's an AP piece which suggests the Getty's director is recommending the Getty return some antiquities (from PE.com):

The Getty Museum's director has agreed to recommend the return of some of the four ancient artifacts wanted by Greece that are currently housed in the Los Angeles museum.

Getty Museum director Michael Brand and Greek Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said Tuesday in a joint statement after meeting in Athens that Brand would make the recommendation to the Getty's Board of Trustees.

The statement did not specify which of the artifacts a gold wreath, a 6th Century B.C. marble statue of a young woman, a votive relief and a funerary slab would be mentioned, and no further details were given.

Greece claims the objects are among thousands of antiquities believed to have been illegally exported as part of a booming trade in the country's priceless archaeological heritage.

"In establishing the framework of a good relationship between the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the J Paul Getty Museum, it was agreed that the representatives will recommend to the Board of Trustees of the Museum the return of some of the claimed antiquities in the near future," Brand said, reading from the statement.

"Talks are ongoing and representatives will be appointed to seek resolution of the matter within the next two or three months," Brand said.

"Once the requirements of the Ministry of Culture are met, a fruitful cooperation, which could include long-term loans, can start," the statement added.

Brand did not elaborate on the nature of any possible long-term loans.

Asked if he had been pressured into making this decision, he replied: "No."

The BBC coverage adds some details, inter alia:

No details of which of the items may find their way back to Greece have been revealed.

Museum director Michael Brand met with Greek officials in Athens, where he agreed to suggest to his board of trustees that items be returned.

He said handing back the artefacts could lead to a "fruitful co-operation" between the countries which could include long-term loans of museum pieces.

Now here's what I don't understand: all this going-after-museums stuff is supposed to have an effect on looting and make the world safe for provenance, yadda yadda yadda. Can someone explain to me how that works? Near as I can tell, all that's happening here is that museums are going to be taken out of the group of potential customers, so purloined stuff is just going to end up in the hands of private collectors where we'll NEVER see it. And with the shrinking market, those collectors will be operating in a lower price regime, which will take even more antiquities 'out of circulation'.
While the Marion True (et al) case is getting fairly frequent headlines, many of us have probably forgotten that there's a trial going on in Jerusalem connected (sort of) to the James Ossuary. The Boston Globe gives us an update:

Testimony in a Jerusalem District courtroom is giving a rare glimpse into the shadowy world of biblical antiquities.

Three of Israel's most respected experts in ancient archeological treasures are on trial, charged with 18 counts of fraud, receiving money through deception, damaging antiquities, and violations of Israeli antiquities laws.

The defendants -- collector Oded Golan, dealer and writer Robert Deutsch, and former Israel Museum conservator turned dealer Rafi Brown -- are accused of faking a range of artifacts, including the burial box of Jesus's brother, a wine decanter used in Solomon's Temple and ancient seal impressions and inscriptions, some of which were sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Since the trial began in September 2005, witnesses have described furtive encounters with Arab graverobbers, international smuggling, and transactions involving hundreds of thousands of dollars based on a handshake.

Lawyers involved in the case expect court proceedings to continue for at least another year.

Oded Golan, the first accused, shot to worldwide attention in November 2002 as the man behind a sensational discovery that rocked the world of biblical antiquities: a first-century stone ossuary, or burial box, with an ancient Hebrew inscription identifying it as the last resting place of ''James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."

The ossuary was exhibited in Toronto and hailed by scholars as the first physical link ever discovered to the family of Jesus. But when the 2-foot long limestone box returned to Israel in March 2003, it was seized by the Israel Antiquities Authority and submitted to a committee of experts to determine its authenticity.

Meanwhile, the Antiquities Authority was already investigating Golan in connection with another item, the Joash stone. This was a black stone tablet with an ancient Hebrew inscription that appeared to record the renovation of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem by King Joash in the ninth century BC. If genuine, it would be the first physical evidence of the temple ever recovered.

The committee of experts was asked to rule on both items and in June 2003 announced that both were modern fakes. Golan was arrested on suspicion of violating Israel's antiquities laws and repeatedly interrogated while police raided his apartment and two other properties in Tel Aviv. There they seized a range of tools and materials that they said could be used to fake ancient artifacts.

In December 2004, the Israeli police indicted Golan, Deutsch and Brown. Charges against two others were later dropped.

Shuka Dorfman, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, described the charges against Golan and his alleged colleagues as ''the tip of the iceberg."

''These forgeries have worldwide repercussions," Dorfman said. ''They were an attempt to change the history of the Jewish and Christian people."

Commander Shaul Naim, head of the two-year police investigation, said: ''This was fraud of a sophistication and expertise which was previously unknown. They took authentic items and added inscriptions to make them worth millions."

Naim said forgers managed to fake inscriptions, decorations, and even the patina -- the thin sediment created over centuries by moisture collecting on the item underground or in a cave. ''We believe that there are many more items in museums and collections around the world which are yet to be identified," he said.

The opening days of the trial were devoted to four days of testimony from multimillionaire collector Shlomo Moussaieff of London, a key prosecution witness. He described extraordinary scenes where dealers, experts, and even Israeli diplomats came to his home, produced rare antiquities from their pockets and negotiated sales worth many thousands of dollars.

Prosecutors said Moussaieff was swindled out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for fake items by all three defendants.

Moussaieff's purchasing power is legendary. He once paid $1.5 million for a single clay impression of a royal seal used by one of the early kings of Israel. No one has questioned the authenticity of that item, but a collection of 28 seal impressions he bought for $200,000 is now said by the Israeli police to be mostly fakes, fabricated by Golan and Deutsch.

Moussaieff, 82, told the court he bought the temple decanter from Deutsch for $150,000. Police said it was an authentic item but the inscription was faked with the help of Golan, who received half the money. Moussaieff also described buying several inscribed pieces of pottery from Golan and Deutsch for $200,000, and similar pottery from a dealer acting for Rafi Brown for $180,000. Police said those items were also fakes.

Moussaieff told the court he stood by the authenticity of every item in his collection but said if he had been fooled, he only had himself to blame.

''I'm not stupid, I don't throw money away just because someone has come to sell me something," Moussaieff said in an interview during a break in the trial. ''I'm suspicious of everything and everybody, particularly when there are large amounts of money involved. I still believe these items are genuine. I think the James ossuary is genuine."

Moussaieff said he had spent millions of dollars on his collection of antiquities intending to prove the truth of the Bible.

Both Golan and Deutsch reject all the charges against them and accuse the Israeli authorities of a witch hunt, insisting that all the items are genuine.

''There is not one grain of truth in the fantastic allegations relating to me," Golan, who has been under house arrest at his parents' home for more than a year, said in an interview.

Deutsch also denies ever faking antiquities. ''The authorities have ruined my reputation and I have lost my university teaching position because of the baseless charges," he said during a break in the proceedings.

The court will have a hard time deciding between the experts who are due to give evidence. The findings of the committee appointed by the Antiquities Authority have been questioned by geologists, epigraphers and archeologists.

In his defense, Golan is planning to call Dr. Wolfgang Krumbein, a world expert in ancient stone from Carl von Ossietzky University in Germany. Krumbein carried out extensive tests on the items in Jerusalem and said in a written report that he found ''no indisputable evidence confirming the claim that any or all of the items had been produced in the last several decades."
8.00 p.m. |HINT| A Place to Call Eturia
Go on a journey to the ancient cities Volterra, Populonia, and Cervetari, and see why Etruscan civilization was famous for its extravagant wealth, fine ceramics, handicrafts, and bustling trade, and how it was all lost in battles with the Greek colonies in southern Italy. Experience the cutting edge of archaeological exploration as we take viewers on a virtual tour of these ancient sites.

8.30 p.m. |HINT| Roman Imprint on the West
In the 2nd century AD, all roads lead to Rome, and we'll follow some which connect Rome to the rich provinces of the West, including Iberia (Spain) and Gaul (France) as a Celtic gladiator takes us on a virtual tour through the streets of Nimes, Orange, Tarragona, Italica, Meridia, and more.

9.00 p.m. |DCIVC| True Gladiator

10.00 p.m. |HINT| The Lost City of Roman Britain
Ignored by Saxon and medieval settlers, the remains of the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum were bypassed by history. Today, all that remains is a wall enclosing empty fields and a ghostly silence. In 1889, the Victorians undertook excavations, setting out to recover the complete plan of a Roman town--although after 20 years they wrote it off. A century later, archaeologist Mike Fulford discovered that Calleva was a thriving industrial city and capital of the Roman county of Atrebates. We'll see how it changed throughout Roman occupation. The Victorians believed that the town came to a natural end with the fall of the Roman Empire and the demise of town life. But, in a further twist, Mike Fulford unearthed evidence that not only was the town still thriving at the end of the Roman period, but life here continued throughout the 5th, 6th, and perhaps even the 7th centuries AD.
Amor nummi crescit quantum ipsa pecunia crescit.
(Juvenal, Satires 14.139)

The love of a coin grows as money itself grows.

(pron = AH-mohr NOOM-mee KRES-kit KWAHN-toom peh-KOO-nee-ah KRES-kit)

Comment: This section of the Satires is, in general, on greed. And so this
proverb offers a fairly straightforward lesson. The more money we have access
to, the more our attachment to it grows. The Latin word for "love" is used
here, but this is the word that also describes passion, desire, and the kind of
stricken attachment that happens when Cupid shoots his arrow. This is not love
as respect. This is love as passionate attachment. Shortly later Juvenal
indicates that one who does not have access to such fluid amounts of money
chooses other kinds of things.

Poverty is not an experience that we should wish for anyone, nor need it be made
out into a virtue. However, learning how to alter our choices, learning that
there are alternate choices is a good skill, a good practice that one often
learns when the money has run out.

Yesterday's news reported that the average CEO of large corporations in Atlanta
bring home $100,000,00.00 every two weeks. That's nearly a half a million
dollars a month. I found myself wondering, after the news report, what one
does with that much money every two weeks. The news commentator said that
among these CEO's that kind of money was considered "normal". It made me think
about how much my wife and I make. It feels "normal", too, and yet it is
significantly more than we made 20 years ago, and it is significantly more than
beginning teachers make. Our income would strike new teachers as a lot of
money. What we have access to shapes our world, our views, our choices.

It's easy to point a finger at someone else and say--that's greed. It is much
less easy to discern when I have crossed that line.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day on the web.

ante diem xvi kalendas junias

218 A.D. -- Elagabalus recognized as emperor at Emesa
pulchritude @ Wordsmith

noctuary @ Worthless Word for the Day
Gratia Unionis Europaeae

Numerus eorum, qui societate Unionis Europaeae parum contenti sunt, in praesenti minor est quam umquam post annum millesimum nongentesimum nonagesimum quintum.

Patet enim e demoscopia recens divulgata tertium quemque Unionis civem censere illam societatem rem malam esse.

Inter omnium alienissimos socios numerantur Lettonienses, Austriaci, Britanni et Finni.

Benevolentissimi autem eidem communioni sunt Luxemburgenses, Hollandienses et Irlandienses.

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

For more news in Latin, here's the latest headline from Ephemeris: Relationes USA cum Libya renovandae
Not much in the news department today, but the ClassiCarnies have picked up the slack somewhat:

DK at PhDiva has a post about Carrey's drawings of the Parthenon sculptures ...

Bestiaria Latina has been busy (and I missed a couple yesterday) ... first, there's a story called de Basilisco et speculo ... there's also a post on Judas as Oedipus (I) ... and Judas as Oedipus (II) ...

About.com's N.S. Gill wades in on the 'four greatest Greeks' challenge (cf. Blogographos) ... elsewhere, she's pondering and presenting info about the Greek month of Thargelion ... there's also a post about the Cyclops ...

Hobbyblog has a coin of Valerian with a somewhat strange bit of furniture (?) on it (the permalink is acting strangely for me this a.m.) ...

I've just become aware of Steve Muhlberger's (Nipissing U) blog ... not sure why I haven't been monitoring it ...

The European Journal of Archaeology seeks a reviewer for Periklean Athens and its Legacy ...

Nugae Ciceronianae points us to a funny little audio clip called 'Mister Oedipus' (potentially offensive; there are also a pile of incredibly groan-worthy puns)...

Mnemosyne 59.2 is now online (for those with payfer access; tocs for the rest of us plebses)
From CHN:

Iran-French joint archeology team at Bolaghi Gorge succeeded in discovering and identifying the remains of a gigantic palace, believed to be from the Achaemenid era (648 BC–330 BC), during their second season of excavations in the area.

“Before the start of this season of excavations, our geophysical tests in area number 33 of Bolaghi Gorge had revealed to us the possible existence of a huge building near the Sivand Dam. Clay artifacts found in this area showed that this building used to be the residential palace of the Achaemenid kings. With the start of the new excavation season, we resumed our excavations in area number 33 with this attitude,” said Mohammad Taghi Ataee, head of the Iran-French joint archeology team at Bolaghi Gorge.

“After we started our excavations in the historic hill where this monument is located, we realized that it consisted of one historic layer only. Since no other layers were constructed on top of this layer, archeologists were hoping to unearth the entire palace intact. However, after they made their trenches they got to a number of wells which had been dug by illegal smugglers and also traces of bulldozers which had caused serious damage to this ancient Achaemenid palace,” said Ataee.

Plundering of archeological sites by the smugglers has become a common issue in archeology. However, according to Ataee, archeologists believe that illegal diggers cannot be held responsible for destroying of this palace by bulldozers, and it was a deliberate act by an unknown person or group of people who intended to devastate this place for a reason that is not clear for archeologists.

“The archeology team kept removing the debris caused by the bulldozers until they got to the base of a pillar similar to those used in the construction of the palace of Persepolis in Fars province, although smaller in size. The base of this pillar which looks like an inverted bell is built by the same stones used in the construction of Persepolis. The stone is so carefully varnished that one may clearly see the reflection of oneself in it,” added Ataee.

The height of this discovered base is 35 centimeters and it has a diameter of 50 centimeters. There are signs on this base which were meant to level it off, a method commonly practiced during the Achaemenid era.

“Based on the evidence, this palace must have belonged to either Darius the Great, the Achaemenid King who ruled between 521 and 486 BC and built the famous Palace of Persepolis, or the kings who preceded him. However, it is more likely that the palace belonged to Darius,” said Ataee.

In addition to this pillar base, the royal seat of this palace, built using soil and condensed sand, several pieces of clay bricks, and three clay walls constructed in a row were discovered by the archeologists. The top of the walls has been destroyed by bulldozers; however, archeologists are hoping to find the construction plan of this palace by studying these walls more carefully.

Regarding the size of these clay bricks, Ataee said, “These clay bricks are in different size, some are 35 by 33 cm, some 17 by 33, and some others are 33 by 33 centimeters. They were probably used to cover the floor.”

Bolaghi Gorge is an endangered historical site in Fars province, near the ancient site of Pasargade, threatened by the Sivand Dam built in its vicinity. Although the dam is not flooded yet, it is clear that with its inauguration Iran will say farewell to one of its most valuable cultural heritage sites.

Although Ataee announced that inauguration of the Sivand Dam will not directly affect this Achaemenid Palace since it is located in an area which is relatively far from the Sivand Dam, the humidity caused by the dam will certainly destroy this palace in a long run.

The Iran-French archeology team will continue its excavations in Bolaghi Gorge until June 5 to save this ancient site as much as possible before the inauguration of the dam, the date of which has not been announced yet.
From NWI Times:

It was worth the high price of gas for 27 members of the Latin Club from Crown Point High School to travel to Indiana University this spring for competition at the Indiana Junior Classical League State Convention.

Crown Point advanced all three of its certamen teams to the final round - the only school to do so, and while the lower (second year) and upper (third and fourth year) teams finished second in the state, the novice (first year) team returned home as state champions.

"As a delegation, we worked hard to show our spirit, placing second in the delegate spirit competition, and to elect our candidates for office," said Latin teacher Jeremy Walker.

The campaigning paid off, as Crown Point will boast three state officers for the coming school year, Parliamentarian James Freeman, State Editor Kate Kukla and State Webmaster Chris Miller.

As a club, Crown Point won the Helen Wampler Spirit Competition based on all club activities for the year. "We placed second with our scrapbook and third in publicity," Walker said.

Individual events included Academic Tests, Graphic Arts and Creative Arts, and Crown Point earned 19 firsts in academics, 11 in graphic arts and seven in creative arts.

"All of our individual, team, delegation and club activities put us into the first place spot overall, earning us the championship trophy again this year. We ended up with 2,302 points, a full 1,000 points ahead of second place."

The next challenge for the Crown Point Latin students is the National Junior Classical League Convention in August, also hosted this year at Indiana University. For more information on this event, visit www.njcl.org.

... nothing of interest.
Dedit oscula nato
non iterum repetenda suo pennisque levatus
ante volat, comitique timet, velut ales, ab alto
(Ovid, Metamporphoses 8:211-213)

With wings raised before flying, Daedalus gave his own son kisses knowing that
they would never be repeated again, and he was afraid for him who was also his
fellow traveller, in the same way as a bird is on high . . .

(pron = DAY-dit OHS-koo-lah NAH-to nohn IH-teh-room reh-peh-TEN-dah SOO-oh
pen-NEES-kweh leh-WAH-toos AHN-tay WOH-laht koh-mih-TIH-kweh TIH-met WAY-loot
AH-lays ahb AHL-toh)

Comment: Every time I read this passage from the story of Daedalus and Icarus
in Ovid's Metamorphoses, I am filled with emotion. I came across it again
yesterday while preparing final exams for my students. The tears that came to
me interrupted my work, and so I had to stop and wonder again at the power of
ancient story, anciety poetry, ancient images that strike so close and deeply
in my heart, and perhaps even more amazing, in a language not my own. This
morning I have a whole new vigor for why studying this language is important to
me. The Latin words are so few and so powerfully loaded with meaning. I will
try and point out a few things that touch me so.

The interweaving of these two lives. For the few verses preceeding this one,
desperate father has worked to gain a way of escape for his son and himself
from the prison that king Minos has placed them in. They are imprisoned by an
angry king whom the father had worked for, and they are imprisoned in the
labyinth--the fathers's own work. The son, at times portrayed as just a child,
plays under his father's feet, innocently unaware of the "pericla", the dangers
he touches when he runs his fingers over the feathers of the wings.

The death and transformation. As this line demonstrates, the utter agony of the
father at having to let his child go--into the air, over the sea and land, under
the sun, into the four elements of life knowing full well that it means probable
death, but knowing that not to do so means certain death. There are
transformations here that only begin to make sense after being a parent. The
death is real and gut wrenching, and there are witnesses on land below who
watch it all take place. The parental warnings of "take the middle way between
sun and earth" have been given. And the child, unskilled in the middle way,
eventually falls to his death--but not before the reader must witness, the
agonizing cries of the father searching for his child--Icarus, where are you,
Icarus, Icarus. He finds the strewn feathers. And he finally finds his sons

This scene, before morphing into another, shows us a father now laying his son
to rest in the earth. This man of the air (intelligence and cunning skill),
with a bird that flies up and mocks him. This bird was earlier his newphew
whom he killed out of envy for his own intelligence, and the gods had turned
him into the bird. Earth. Solid, grounding earth receives the boy who went
too close to the sun and fell into the sea. The fire of the sun was too much.
Intelligence of the air was not enough. The emotion of the sea overwhelms the
man, and he and his son come back to earth. They will never been the same

And a father is left with his own lessons of transformation.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day on the web.
idus maias

Festival of Jupiter

rites in honour of Mercury

rites in honour of Maia

251 -- martyrdom of Isidore of Chios

392 A.D. -- death of the emperor Valentinian II
sedulous @ Merriam-Webster

proceleusmatic @ Wordsmith (wow!)

multifarious @ Dictionary.com
Pretium auri valde accensum

Aurum in mercatu mundano hodie multo carius constat quam ante. Die Martis (9.5.) enim id in foro argentario urbis Washington tanti aestimabatur, ut pro singulis unciis auri plus septingena dollaria solverentur.

Una e causis, cur pretium auri hoc anno iam triginta centesimis creverit, existimatur esse discordia de vi nucleari Iraniae orta.

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

For more news in Latin, here's the latest headline from Ephemeris: De bello civili Somalorum

On the Greek side, there's Akropolis World News: Volcano Merapi about to erupt - Greek technicians rebuild the ship Argo
Here we go:

At Memorabilia Antonina, AK reviews a Hannibal flick that was on UK telly last night ...

Atriades was also watching, and offers a couple of links about Hannibal ...

Over at Campus Mawrtius, Dennis is pondering a reader-requested Latin translation ... is nothing sacred? ...

Sauvage Noble wades in on the translation issue as well ...

Curculio is posting on gluttony in the classroom ...

Hobbyblog has an ancient counterfeit of a Salonina ...

At Aoidoi, there's some commentary on a couple of pieces by Mesomedes (whom, I confess, I've never heard of before) ...

Pro Magistris has been hanging out at the Amy High Latin Foundation fundraiser ...

PhDiva DK is pondering Greek philosophers and Athenian religion ...

A post at the Ancient World of Greece and Rome points us to a major howler at Amazon in the Latin title of a recent papal encyclical (I suspect Levi-Strauss would approve, though) ...

... and while not strictly Classical, folks might find the following online book interesting (especially the intro): An Account of the Romansh Language, by Joseph Planta
From the IHT:

1931: Yale Ends Era of Classics

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut: Departing from its practice during the 230 years of its existence, Yale University announced today that hereafter the study of the classics is not required for the degree of bachelor of arts, and that the degree of bachelor of philosophy will be discontinued. The decision is a victory for the faculty and the student body which in 1922 first recommended dispensing with the compulsory study of the classics. The university's trustees and members of the Yale Corporation, however, declined to accept this recommendation. Dropping the classics as degree requirements does not mean that the classics will not be taught at Yale in the future. They will be replaced by modern languages. Yale News, a campus publication, predicts that "when no longer tied to academic apron strings Greek and Hebrew fell. Similarly we venture to surmise that the rigors of the competitive and practical age will exact their toll upon Latin." Freshmen celebrated by holding a parade which ended with a huge bonfire into which they tossed Latin and Greek grammars.
There's a piece in the New York Times expressing some skepticism (finally) about that Bosnian pyramid. It's worth reading on its own, but in my semi-caffeinated state, my mind latched onto this sentence:

Asim Islamovic, 67, climbs the steep and slippery hill daily to dig with his toothless wife and middle-aged daughter.

Now is that an ablative of means or accompaniment? Other than that, though, here's the important bit (for our purposes):

But not everyone is elated. "This isn't a pyramid, it's a bad circus," said Zilka Kujundzic-Vejzagic, a specialist in prehistoric archaeology at the National Museum in Sarajevo. She is one of 21 experts who published an open letter in Bosnian newspapers in April denouncing Mr. Osmanagic's project as bad science and manipulative sociology.

She scoffs at his suggestion that the pyramid is "probably older than the last ice age," saying no humans were even building simple huts then. There is no evidence, she said, that there was ever a civilization in the region organized enough to build such a massive monument. "If there had been a people who could make something like that, we would have found artifacts around it," she said.

Archaeologists in Bosnia have found little more than flint tools from the end of the last ice age and only simple Neolithic settlements that appeared thousands of years after that. The country's most substantial ancient monument is a modest stone city in southern Bosnia built during the third century B.C. by the Illyrians. The Egyptians are believed to have built their pyramids around 3,000 B.C., but even the biggest of them is dwarfed by Mr. Osmanagic's hill, which is 700 feet high.

Ms. Kujundzic-Vejzagic and her peers say that the symmetrical hill that Mr. Osmanagic has seized on was formed when an ancient lake bed buckled from tectonic movement of the earth's crust millions of years ago. As Africa pushed into Europe, geologists say, the flat lake bed broke into shards that were lifted up like pieces of ice at the colliding edge of an ice floe, creating flat-sided hills.
Some excerpts from a piece in the New York Times which gives a very good idea of how complicated all the issues of the Museum Case are:


At the Rome meeting, Italian officials presented the Getty with evidence to support their claims, and in recent weeks they have begun to show impatience that the Getty has not yet made a formal response. Meanwhile, in a heralded pact, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York agreed in February to relinquish title to 21 objects that Italy asserts were looted. In exchange the Met is promised special long-term loans. While stressing that the Getty's staff and lawyers are nearing the end of their review of Italy's claims and that he is moving forward with Greece, Mr. Brand offered no timetable for a reply to either country. "These are very complex issues," he said. "When you look at our list of 52 objects from Italy, there are a whole range of situations."

One of the disputed objects, he said, is a stone torso of a young woman, a kore, that has been claimed by both Greece and Italy. (The Getty's own catalog identifies the statue as probably coming from the Greek island Paros.)

Another is a portrait head that some scholars think is a fake. And even in cases in which the evidence appears to be clear, he said, there are complicating factors.

Much of the evidence consists of photographs of looted objects seized from the archive of Giacomo Medici — a dealer who was convicted in 2004 of antiquities trafficking in Italy — that match objects at the Getty. Documents show that Mr. Medici was in contact with Ms. True, the former curator, and passed on a number of illicit works to the Getty.

But in the case of an Etruscan terra-cotta antefix, or roof ornament, installed on the ground floor of the Getty Villa, Mr. Brand said that a photograph seized from Mr. Medici was only a partial match. The photograph shows the bottom half of the antefix that is now in the museum, yet is paired with a different top half that was never acquired by the Getty. The Getty's top half does not appear in any of the photographs.

"So what do you do?" Mr. Brand asked. "Break it apart again and send them half?"


For a museum that has only just opened as a stand-alone antiquities center, the quality and quantity of objects demanded back by Greece and Italy could seem deeply threatening. On a recent visit a reporter was able to identify in almost every gallery objects that appear on the Italian and Greek lists, ranging from a small stone statue of Tyche, the goddess of fortune, to a pair of remarkable red-figure Attic vases with scenes of athletes, to a painting-size fragment of a Pompeian fresco.

Among the works sought by Italy is a marble ceremonial basin, or lekanis, depicting in color — and surviving examples of painted stone are a rarity — a scene from the Iliad. Ms. Wight described it as "the only piece of its kind."

The Greek and Italian claims have lent ammunition to archaeologists who say that the Getty's collecting practices are an incentive to looters and have erased the archaeological context of countless artifacts.

Mr. Brand counters that by bringing a bit of ancient Rome and Greece to Southern California, the Getty has performed a great service to the public and to scholars.

"I think if you look at Marion and at the Getty Museum, I don't think you could ever accuse us of not using objects to good ends," he said.

FWIW, something which is increasingly bothering me about the 'mantra' of 'encouraging looters' and 'lost context' is that none of the players who chant it, be they Italian officials, Greek officials, the AIA, or whoever, can offer any assurance that 'another system' (whatever that may be ... we are never told of what the alternative is going to be) will 'solve' the problem. Increasingly it seems this whole thing is about getting stuff back rather than preventing more stuff from appearing in private collections.
6.00 p.m. |HINT| The Hidden City of Petra
Story of the Nabataeans, a desert people who carved the city of Petra out of the Jordanian mountains some 2,000 years ago. Their culture flourished, then disappeared. We visit the site of the amazing sculpted city, which included temples and colonnaded market streets.

8.00 p.m. |HINT| The Kings: From Babylon to Baghdad
The history of the hotspot now known as Iraq was written in blood. Ancient kings leading the world's first armies fought for total control of the fertile lands of Mesopotamia. Their cities and empires, the earliest on earth, rose and fell through warfare, invasion, and conquest. In the modern age, Iraq provided a stage for European imperialism and more recently, a focal point in U.S. foreign policy. Our 2-hour look at this historical ground zero recounts its story through its leaders, from Sargon the Great to Saddam Hussein, and brings its history to life with compelling dramatic recreations, captivating location photography, and archaeological artifacts. Notable historians, scholars, experts, and policy makers draw connections and relevance between ancient and modern Iraq through its government, culture, and religion.
Almost forgot to mention this one from ANSA:

An ancient king's war chariot found in a tomb near Rome has helped rewrite the history of the Romans and their Sabine rivals .

"This chariot is an exceptional find," said archaeologist Paola Santoro .

"It shows that the city of Ereteum remained independent long after the Sixth Century BC." "In other Sabine cities like Custumerium, conquered by the Romans, the custom of putting regal objects in king's tombs had died out by that time" .

"We can say that Eretum kept its independence until the Fourth Century BC." Santoro said her team had recovered all the metal parts of the bronze-and-iron decorated chariot and had used echo-soundings to trace the imprints of the long-decayed wooden parts .

"This will enable us to reconstruct the whole chariot," she said .

The chariot, which accompanied the king on his last journey, was placed at the entrance to the tomb, the largest chamber tomb ever found in Italy .

Santoro's team have also found an Etruscan-style terracotta throne - "a metre high, worthy of the king's stature" - and four large bronze cauldrons with bull-hoof supports .

Less than a dozen of this type of cauldron had been discovered before, Santoro said .

The tomb was found in the main room in the three-room complex, next to a wall recess where a wooden coffin containing the king's ashes would have been placed .

The horses that had drawn the chariot would have been sacrificed at the entrance to this room, Santoro said .

Before the discovery of the Sixth-Century BC tomb, two years ago the Eretum dig uncovered a rare religious symbol used by Sabine high priests .

Some scholars think the holy object, called a lituo, was also used by kings of the Sabine tribe, one of Rome's earliest rivals and one which provided the city with its second king, Numa Pompilio .

Only two other examples of the lituo had been found - although it is seen quite often on funerary vases .

The sacred rod, a sort of curved stick, was believed to be a tool which helped priests trace out an area of the sky for watching birds whose passage would determine important decisions such as where to found a city .

Archaeological evidence of the Sabines has until now been extremely scarce and much of the stories about them have been considered legends - such as the famous Rape of the Sabines, in which Rome's first king Romulus sent an expedition to carry off Sabine women to provide wives for his desperately woman-short settlement on the Tiber .

The discovery of the object, some Italian experts believe, provided evidence of how Sabine religious usages shaped the formation of Roman institutions .

It is plausible to suppose that for some time the kings of Rome, many of them from another semi-mysterious tribe called the Etruscans, used the same religious rites as the Sabines and were in fact priest-kings, archaeologists think .
Well, it appears the ClassiCarnies have been very busy this weekend:

Roman History Books continues looking at Gibbon with some links about the Goths ... there's also something about barbarians in general ... and a couple of novels about Heliogabalus ...

Over at Campus Mawrtius, Dennis has a followup to Eric's earlier Hercules and Lichas (in Shakespeare) post ...

Not really Classical, but worth mentioning since we've been dealing with pet epitaphs of late ... Laudator has a 'modern' dog epitaph (well, at least pre-postmodern) ... on a more Classical bent, MG wades in on the Hercules and Lichas thing too ...

Gregory Aldrete at UW Green Bay is the latest to get the Roman Scholars treatment ...

Bread and Circuses is pondering the Warren Cup ...

About.com's N.S. Gill adds some ancilliary material to the myriad reports on the Alexandria exhibit in Berlin ... there's also a bit on that 'racy' exhibit at the British Museum ...

Bestiaria Latina commemorates May 12 with the story of Domitilla, Nereus, and Achilleus ...

Ancient Games tells us of the impending release of CivCity: Rome ...

Academic Presentations on the Roman Empire is pondering a book about Lucius Artorius Castus ...

Alun jumps over to Blogographos to consider who the four greatest Greeks were ...
A somewhat strange little item from the Scotsman:

AMONG many inventions and discoveries attributed to the Greeks are democracy, architecture, geometry, astrology and coinage. These ancient overachievers obviously worked hard, but they also played hard. A favourite way to spend an evening - among men, anyway, for women were barred from attending - was the symposium, immortalised by Plato in his dialogue of the same name. A symposium was a gathering of friends for the purpose of conversation, poetry, games and music. A relaxed atmosphere was fostered by the presence of servant boys who would ply attendees with copious quantities of wine. So central was the role of wine that, much like the Japanese tea ceremony, a number of specialised ceramic wares were developed. These included wine coolers, jugs, drinking vessels and, most important of all, the krater: a large receptacle in which the wine was mixed with water. Its basic form was variable, sometimes resembling a large bowl, sometimes a squat jug. One of the most ubiquitous shapes resembles an inverted bell on a stand. The common feature shared by all of these variations is the presence of twin handles. Surviving examples - often more than 2,500 years old - tend to feature painted slip decoration with classical motifs such as Greek key and scroll bands coupled with representations of myths. Depictions of Dionysus are especially common as he presided over the symposium in his capacity as god of wine, drunkenness and sex. The very best examples of these ancient proto-punch bowls are snapped up by museums but there is a thriving fraternity of private collectors. Prices start at around £500 but larger examples, with fine figural decoration, can fetch £5,000.
From the Republic:

Many Valley students today learn Spanish in school, but some are opting for the classical language their parents studied: Latin.

It's considered a dead language, but it's still alive in about 20 Valley schools, where students say it helps them improve their grammar, score higher on the SATs and even learn Spanish and other languages.

Studying the language isn't all drudgery, either.

Students in Valley schools threw pool noodles like javelins, created Roman-style artwork and recited poems at the Arizona Junior Classical League's state Latin competition last month at Phoenix Country Day School.

Grace Ballor, 16, of Mesa went to the games with her Tempe Preparatory Academy classmates.

"It was a good experience. They had a lot of Roman culture there that we were able to get exposed to," said Ballor, who has taken Latin and now studies Greek. She said learning Latin has helped her greatly.

"It's helped me not only with English and grammar but also with being able to learn other languages readily," she said. "The culture is very interesting. The Roman Empire influenced much of our world today."

Studying Latin helps students interpret unfamiliar words to boost their scores on the verbal sections of the SAT and Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards test, said Ron Bergez, headmaster for Tempe Preparatory Academy. AIMS is a requirement for students to graduate high school in Arizona.

Students are required to take Latin in Grades 7 and 8 at Tempe Preparatory Academy.

"It's such a structured kind of language to study, it builds up a logical way of thinking in general," Bergez said. "You understand roots of words, prefixes and suffixes.

"There's a lot of vitality in Latin. It's absolutely fundamental to studying the Romance languages," including Spanish, Italian and French, he said.

Latin lives on in Valley schools
About 20 schools in the Valley, including ones in Scottsdale, Tempe, Ahwatukee and Phoenix, offer Latin classes. Teachers and students say that although it's not spoken in modern society, Latin helps improve grammar, boost SAT scores and make it easier to learn Spanish. It's also a fun diversion, they say.

Here are some ways teachers and students keep Latin alive:

Tempe Preparatory Academy: The seventh- through 12th-grade charter school, which emphasizes liberal arts, requires seventh- and eighth-graders to take Latin. High school students can choose to take it in Grades 9 and 10 and then study Greek in Grades 11 and 12 there.

• About 60 eighth-graders made food inspired by ancient Roman recipes during an in-school feast at the school on May 1, Latin teacher and Academic Dean Kerstin Byorni said.

• Tempe Preparatory students in seventh-, eighth- and high school grades participated in the Arizona Junior Classical League's state Latin competition last month at Phoenix Country Day School. They took home awards, including ones for answering quiz bowl-style questions about Latin grammar, history and mythology, Byorni said.

She said students often show how studying Latin has helped them on the SAT and AIMS test.

"I have students every year who will come running up to me and say, 'There was this word I had never seen before and I really looked at it and I noticed it had a Latin root that I recognized,' " Byorni said. "We go over (Latin) grammar very, very thoroughly. That really cements their English grammar skills and vocabulary as well."

Tempe Preparatory Academy junior Sarah Rubenstein, 17, said taking Latin "helped my vocabulary exponentially." She and a friend put together a clothing line with Latin phrases on them for fun.

Tempe Preparatory junior Grace Ditsworth, 17, said she really enjoyed taking Latin at the school.

"If I planned to go into law or medicine, it would definitely help me with memorizing the terms," she said.

Saguaro High School, Scottsdale: About 75 students are enrolled in the four Latin classes, electives at the school, said Charles Bailey, Latin teacher there.

"It does develop a certain systematic way to approach your studies," Bailey said. "It helps in vocabulary building on SATs, reading and stuff of that nature."

Bailey said a Saguaro graduate who now attends University of Arizona told him that studying Latin has alleviated some of the fears he had about learning a foreign language, Chinese, when he moves to China next year.

Desert Vista High School, Ahwatukee: This year the school has 80 students in its Latin classes, which are not required, a jump from only 33 who took it last school year, said Sarah Palumbo, Latin teacher there. She said she expects 160 Latin students next school year.

A 16-member student team took a first-place award at the state Latin competition last month. Two Desert Vista freshmen - Charley Rowland and David Gilmore - will compete at a national Latin convention in late July to early August in Indiana, Palumbo said.

About 50 students at the school earned awards in the National Latin Exam in March, she said.

Desert Vista sophomore Kathryn Zurmehly, 16, got a perfect score on the test.

"I took Spanish for a few years," she said. "I like Latin much better. I like the way it sounds and the way the structure works."

Phoenix Country Day School: The private school infuses Latin into its eighth- and ninth-grade English classes and offers it as an elective for Grades 9 through 12, said Robin Anderson, Latin teacher and modern- and classical- language department chairwoman.

About 70 high school students take Latin at the Phoenix school, she said.

"It's very popular," Anderson said. "When you read the stories from the classical period, to them it's so different from what they think of now. It almost all seems to be fiction."

Students at the school read Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey and The Aeneid by Virgil, Anderson said.
From the Daily News Journal:

Latin may be a dead language to some, but ancient Roman words survive thanks to teachers like Cedar Hall School's Margaret "Ann" Smith.

"It's not dead," Smith said after teaching a Latin class at the small private school on farm on the far south side of Rutherford County. "It lived through the dark ages. It lives in English because more than half our words come from Latin."

She tells her students they have a better chance to win scholarships if they study how Latin applies to today's language. English, for example, has 185 words with roots that derive from the Latin word "facere," which means do or make, Smith said.

"It will impress colleges," Smith said.

A retired public school educator who's worked part-time at Cedar Hall for a decade, Smith learned recently that The American Classical League selected her as its 2006 recipient for National Latin Teacher of the Year Award.

Smith said she was surprised by this recognition because she did not submit any application for consideration. Cedar Hall Headmaster Gilbert Gordon plans to present the teacher with a framed copy of the award during this year's graduation ceremony May 26.

Former students wrote recommendations for Smith to win this award.

"There is no doubt in my mind that my teacher loves what she does and does exactly what she loves: teaching Latin," wrote Hannah Vick.

"Though the mechanics of Latin may not stay with me for many more years, the lessons learned in Miss Smith's classroom, mainly dedication and endurance, will affect all aspects of my life for many years to come," wrote Elizabeth Gassler.

Smith grew up in Rutherford County and attended Rockvale School before she transferred to Murfreesboro Central High School when it was located on Maple Street. After the high school burned, she spent much of her junior year at McFadden School and then finished her last year in 1945, when classes were held in the basement of a building at State Teachers College, which today is called MTSU.

While at Central, Smith took three years of Latin from the late Frances Hobgood, a teacher who was married to the late Baxter Hobgood, a former superintendent of Murfreesboro City Schools.

"She was my mentor," said Smith, who went on to minor in Latin and major in Spanish at Vanderbilt University.

She taught both languages, as well as English through the years. She focused on Latin at Hillsboro High School in Nashville for 21 years and taught the subject at La Vergne High for the final four years in public education.

In addition to teaching language, Smith also takes pride in spending a summer in Rome in 1963 as a Fulbright Scholarship winner at the American Academy. She studied art, architecture and history during that stint and saw President John F. Kennedy when he visited Italy.

Smith encourages her students at Cedar Hall to save money, so they can travel as she did years before.

The Cedar Hall teacher is also adamant that Latin can help her students score well on SAT and ACT tests that focus on vocabulary.

"It expands your knowledge," Smith said. "You can figure out the meaning of root of the words. If you take Latin, you raise our I.Q."

Students interested in careers in law and medicine in particular will benefit because many terms used in both professions are Latin or derived from Latin, Smith said.

Students will also see better results in math if they study Latin because both subjects involve using logic to understand them, Smith added.

While English meaning is conveyed often through where a word is placed in a sentence, Latin meaning is derived from the spelling of the word, she said.

Students who study Latin will have an easier time learning five current Romance languages derived from it: Romanian, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Smith's two favorite Latin words are magnanimous, which means great spirit, and pusillanimous, which means very little courage.

"Latin reinforces English grammar," Smith said. "It expands your knowledge. You can figure out the meanings of words."
6.00 p.m. |HINT| Secrets of the Island of Minos
Around 1500 BC, the great Minoan civilization thrived on the islands of Minos (modern-day Crete) and Thera (modern-day Santorini, for St. Irene, protectress of the island) in the eastern Mediterranean. An ancient architect conducts a virtual guided tour of the legendary sites at Akrotiri, Phaistos, Ayía Triáda, and Knossos, which culminates in a visit to the palace of King Minos, famous for its legendary labyrinth.

6.30 p.m. |HINT| Retracing the Tracks of Hannibal
In the 3rd century BC, the Punic Wars fought between Carthage and Rome left the ancient world in turmoil. Following the path of the fearless Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca, who lead his advancing army across the Alps--with elephants!--to sack Italy, we visit the majestic ruins from the period of the Roman Republic, and gaze upon the amazing temple of Capitoline Jupiter as it looked when it was completed--thanks to amazing virtual reconstruction.

7.00 p.m. |HINT| 31 BC--The Battle of Actium
If Antony and Cleopatra had won the Battle of Actium, there would have been no Roman Empire. Yet Octavius Caesar's victory in 31 BC led to an absolute dictatorship that sparked one of the greatest imperial and cultural expansions the world has ever known. Each turning point in history is backed by a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. Join us for a trip through time as we recreate the Battle of Actium, featuring exclusive dramatizations and the latest historical research.

7.30 p.m. |HINT| Weapons of the Barbarians
Barbarians came from many lands and used many weapons to fight a common enemy. Their nemesis: the Roman Empire. Now, Peter Woodward and the Conquest Team examine the tactics and tools used by barbarians in their never-ending battles against the forces of Rome.
6.00 p.m. |HINT| Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: Ancient Rome
Rome was the center of one of the most remarkable and influential of all ancient civilizations; where the Forum played host to great affairs of state, while the people flocked to the Colosseum to see gladiators fight to the death in mortal combat. This episode provides a colorful, entertaining, and informative guide to the treasures left us by these extraordinary people. Computer-animated sequences and 3D graphics, vivid and authentic filmed recreations, period imagery, new location footage of Rome today, and concise comment and analysis all combine to provide viewers with a recreated Rome in all its glory.

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.
ante diem iv idus maias

19 B.C. (?) -- dedication of the Temple of Mars Ultor on the Capitoline

2 B.C. -- opening of the Forum of Augustus (maybe; I'm still checking my sources on this one)

113 A.D. -- opening of the restored Temple of Venus Genetrix

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Dionysius and Pancras at Rome
pleonasm @ Guru.net

virtu @ Dictionary.com

avolate @ Worthless Word for the Day

balsamic @ Wordsmith

peccadillo @ Merriam-Webster
Libri omnium perniciosissimi

Commentarii periodici Americani nomine 'Human Events' quindecim politicis et viris doctis delectis mandaverunt, ut iudicarent, quinam liber his duobus saeculis exaratus generi humano maxime nocuisset.

Scriptum longe perniciosissimum ab illo collegio electum est 'Praeconium communisticum', quod Carolus Marx et Fredericus Engels anno millesimo octingentesimo duodequinquagesimo (1848) edendum curaverunt.

Secundas tulit 'Pugna mea', opus ab Adolfo Hitler compositum. Tertio autem indicis loco positus est 'Liber ruber', quem Mao Zedong abhinc quadraginta annos conscripsit.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris : Intraturae, sed quando?
Is it just me or did this week just zoom by? Here's what the ClassiCarnies have been up to lately (wow ... I just had a bizarre image pop into my skull of all these e-colleagues in mullets (inspired by kouroi, of course) and sleeveless shirts, showing off their (Latin and Greek) tattoos ... cigarettes dangling from their mouths ... multiple piercings ... "now you're on the trolley"):

I missed Hobbyblog yesterday, which had a Valerian with Fides Militum ... today there's a coin from a 'quasi-autonomous' city in Phrygia ...

Bread and Circuses offers us an image of a postcard from 1909 commemorating Arminius' victory (right click ...) ... more Arminian Memorabilia links too ... there's also some news (in German) of some recent archaeological finds in Waldgirmes...

DK at PhDiva talks about assorted monuments in Athens ...

Bestiaria Latina is pondering the Latin suffix -osus ...

Mediterranean Archaeology has gathered a couple of links to some ancient jokes ...

We mentioned Sauvage Noble's pet epitaph post t'other day, now N.S. Gill at About.com makes some comments in regards to the link I made therefrom to Catullus' passer ... see also Laudator, who presents some similar epitaphic thingies and also notes that one of SN's pieces is actually based on Catullus (see also here)

From the Classics list yesterday came an interesting link in Slate on the ancient origins of heckling ...

Here's something to add to our ongoing examination of the idea of the Caesarian section. The incipit of a piece in the Georgia Straight:

On the afternoon of May 6, in a darkened lecture hall, 75 midwives, obstetrical nurses, doctors, and students studied a PowerPoint slide showing an almost 500-year-old woodcut. The image from 1510, an illustration for the much older book Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, shows an early cesarean section. The mother is dead. She lies naked and sliced open as a midwife lifts the baby from her gaping womb. Standing behind the body is a surgeon, his foot-long scalpel held aloft, at the top of the image.

“It’s always been about the sword,” quipped cesarean specialist Eugene Declercq, a guest professor from the Boston University School for Public Health. “Today we have extraordinary levels of interventions [into deliveries], but the mothers aren’t complaining. It’s as though someone told women, ‘If the baby is healthy, don’t complain.’”

... led me to track down the image, which purportedly depicts the birth of Julius Caesar. (I think it's the same one; the page it resides on at the National Library of Medicine says it's from 1506). This pushes back the mention in the OED (which we mentioned the first time we yakked about this), which suggests it is first mentioned in 1540 or thereabouts ...

I should probably mention that I have been repeatedly spelling this word as Caesarian, as opposed to Caesarean (or Cesarean), for no particular reason, other than I'm not sure why the 'e' is to be preferred to the 'i', other than, perhaps, to distinguish the operation from 'party members' of Caesar.
The aftermath from that raid on a villa in Schinoussa ... from Kathimerini:

The Greek police squad monitoring the trafficking of antiquities stopped the sale of several artifacts in London believed to have been illegally acquired from Greece, sources told Kathimerini yesterday.

Greek police were in England last week for discussions with British officers, auction house officials and collectors about a huge cache of illegal antiquities discovered in a villa on the Aegean island of Schinoussa last month.

But the officers also feared the high-profile Schinoussa case would compel antiquities traders to quickly sell illegally obtained artifacts before the police cracked down on them.

Officers had been tipped off about a stash of artifacts in the store of an antiquities trader in London, sources said.

Police are checking whether the items in London were originally from Greece and, if so, whether they were taken out of the country illegally.

With the cooperation of the British authorities, Greek police officers intervened so the artifacts will not be sold during the course of the investigation.

A team of Greek archaeologists is expected to visit London soon to examine the artifacts.

If their provenance is discovered to be Greek, the government will begin procedures for their return, sources said.

After their contacts in London, the police officers on the squad monitoring antiquities smuggling said they are expecting new developments in the near future.

Sources said the feeling in the department is that the Schinoussa find may be a small part of a much broader case which could eventually prove to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the antiquities trafficking field.

The police officers have briefed Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras about their discoveries in London and the related investigation.

Meanwhile, Greek authorities are also maintaining contact with police in Italy to exchange information about possible antiquities smuggling.
From the Yorkshire Post:

ROMAN treasures are among the latest finds unearthed by archaeologists in York.
A gold ring and a carved jet pendant were found together as staff from York Archaeological Trust investigated a city centre site before it was redeveloped.
Both are thought to date from the fourth century and archaeologists were delighted to find two such pieces in the same place.
The gold ring is set with an oval stone, probably a carnelian, and is decorated with beaded wires, with decorative pellets in the bezel in which the stone is set.
"Carnelians were favoured by the Romans because of their blood-red colour," said the trust's finds researcher Nicola Rogers.
"This ring is thought to be late Roman, probably from the fourth century."
The jet pendant is an animal, possibly a bear, about one inch tall and standing on a small platform.
"He is almost identical to a find made in 1845 in Bootham where a group of Roman graves were uncovered," said Ms Rogers.
"Like the ring, the bear probably dates to the fourth century.
"To find one beautiful object on a site is a treat for archaeologists; to find two is exceptional."
Roman craftsmen are known to have worked jet, much of it from Whitby, although they also imported it from Spain.
Excavations at the site, on Dixon Lane, off Piccadilly, were carried out during the winter and have been completed.
Archaeologists also uncovered medieval remains on the site from the cemetery of St Stephen's Church, on Fishergate, and are examining the skeletons to find out more about lifestyles of York residents nearly 1,000 years ago, as well as the diseases and injuries which afflicted them.
More than 100 burials were found on the site, with remains of males and females of all ages, dating from the late 11th to the 14th century, when the church was probably demolished and the site abandoned.
All traces of the church building are thought to have been wiped out by Victorian redevelopment.
It being Mothers Day, it is time for the annual mention of Rhea and Cybele in your local newspaper ... the incipit of a piece in the Paris Star:

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and children of all ages will be expressing their sentiments for mom through cards and gifts.

“What many don’t realize is the concept of celebrating mothers actually goes as far back as the ancient Greeks,” says Denise Darragh spokesperson for Hallmark Canada.

Mother’s Day was once devoted to honouring goddesses that represented motherhood. For the Greeks it was Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. The Romans paid homage to Cybele, a mother goddess.

... I guess it's time again for my annual quip that we should thank Hallmark for introducing cards instead of that usual way of honouring someone like Cybele ...
We've mentioned the 'Parthenon Code' before (and here)... here's the latest press release (I suspect many of you professorial types will be asked about this, so forewarned is forearmed yadda yadda yadda).

Solving Light Books announced today the release of a 600-slide PowerPoint presentation, an expansion of the book, "The Parthenon Code: Mankind's History in Marble" (ISBN: 0970543832) by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. The PowerPoint restores the east pediment of the Parthenon in color by computer, explains its meaning and, displaying more than 500 ancient images, shows that the characters and events portrayed in Greek art match those described in the early chapters of Genesis. Only the viewpoint is different. The Greeks believed that the serpent enlightened, rather than deluded, the first couple in paradise.

Greek artists did not portray "myths" as is commonly believed, but rather a visual narrative of their history meant to be easily grasped by their many illiterate countrymen. The gods looked exactly like people because they were the Greeks' (and our) ancestors. Socrates himself referred to the gods as his "lords and ancestors."

The Greeks called the first couple Zeus and Hera, a brother/sister - husband/wife pair whom their poets and playwrights traced to an ancient garden of ease, always depicted with a serpent-entwined apple tree. Like Adam and Eve, they had two antagonistic sons, Hephaistos corresponding to Kain (Cain), and Ares corresponding to Seth. Surviving images of those figures, the Greek Noah, and many others provide us with a new and independent record of mankind's origins, a discovery of Rosetta Stone proportions.

"Once you see that Greek artists celebrated the resurgence of the way of Kain after the Flood, the meaning of their art becomes obvious," says Johnson. "The ancient painted and sculpted record clearly shows that the Greeks pushed Noah and his God out of the picture, worshipped their ancestors as gods, and exalted mankind as the measure of all things," he added.

The Greeks summarized their boast to posterity on the east pediment of the Parthenon, explaining who they were and where they came from. The PowerPoint offers the first comprehensible and coherent color restoration of it. The pediment's profound, familiar theme resonates today even as it did 2400 years ago.

The PowerPoint features seven vase depictions of the Greek version of Eden, thirty-one of Noah's Flood and its aftermath, and thirteen of Nereus, the Greek Noah.

PowerPoint Trailer, Sample Sections, Restored Pediment, Noah, Eden Images: http://www.theparthenoncode.com
Published by H-German@h-net.msu.edu (November, 2005)

Malcolm Todd. _The Early Germans_. 2nd ed. Malden: Blackwell, 2004. xvi
+ 266 pp. Illustrations, bibliography, index. $32.95 (paper), ISBN

Reviewed for H-German by Christopher LeCluyse,
Southwestern University.

Tracing a Germanic Knotwork

In this edition of _The Early Germans_, Malcolm Todd revises and expands his
original 1992 publication. As the author explains, advances in the study of
ancient Germanic peoples and increased access to archaeological finds in the
former Eastern Bloc warrant the relatively quick turnaround between the two
editions. Todd first offers a comprehensive overview of ancient Germanic
social organization, artifacts, burial practices, trade, and religion. The
second part of the book then treats the various Germanic subgroups in
greater detail. Combining documentary and archaeological findings, Todd
compares evidence on (or rather, in) the ground with accounts derived mainly
from Roman sources. Throughout this informative work he cautions against
making hasty or overly broad generalizations regarding the early Germans and
models a careful balance of history and archaeology.

Early in the book Todd cautions against ascribing some kind of overarching
ethnic identity to the people we now group together as Germanic. As he
explains, the Germanic peoples "had no collective consciousness of
themselves as a separate people, nation, or group of tribes" and would more
likely identify themselves as coming from a particular subgroup,
"'Langobard', 'Vandal', 'Frisian' or 'Goth', not 'Germanus'" (pp. 8, 9). In
Todd's presentation, even these subgroups do not represent hard and fast
ethnic or tribal affiliations. Choosing his labels carefully, Todd calls the
Franks a "confederacy" of different peoples, the Saxons a "grouping," and
the Goths "a very heterogeneous gathering" (pp. 56, 139). By making these
prudent distinctions, Todd treats ethnicity and culture functionally and
opposes the tendency of German nationalists to credit these early peoples
with a prescient and inclusive sense of common identity.

As an archaeologist, Todd is similarly cautious about too closely
associating cultures manifest in the archaeological record with particular
ethnic groups. Particularly when discussing possible Germanic settlement in
what is now eastern Europe, he foregrounds the hybrid nature of groups such
as the Bastarnae and the Zarubintsy culture, which he argues represent
polyethnic complexes that included Slavs, Sarmatians, and other peoples (pp.

Even for groups with a more certain Germanic make-up, Todd fully presents
the extent of Celtic and Roman cultural influence. The author demonstrates
the extensive distribution of Roman trade goods to the farthest reaches of
northern and eastern Europe and the significant adoption of Roman political,
military, and social practices, especially among Germanic peoples living in
and near the Roman frontier. As Todd explains, the advance of Rome presented
a significant challenge to the Germanic tribal system and provided new means
of social advancement for Germanic leaders. From the late third century,
Germanic warriors helped Rome realize its imperial ambitions by joining its
increasingly barbarian army, and Rome helped such men realize their
Personal ambitions by promoting them to the highest levels of leadership. By
focusing on Roman influences, Todd makes the best use of the historical
record, which is after all written largely from a Roman perspective.

In keeping with his principled assertion that the archaeological record does
not speak for itself, Todd usually starts each discussion of a particular
aspect of Germanic culture or of a particular Germanic group with a review
of the historical record. He then surveys archaeological evidence to
demonstrate to what extent it corroborates documentary evidence. Problems
arise only when this pattern is reversed. For example, Todd begins his
fourth chapter, "The Living and the Dead," with a description of _Terpen_,
burial mounds found in Friesland and northern Germany. Because he does not
identify what ethnic group these mounds represent, it is not clear that the
mounds were built by Germanic people until three pages into the chapter.
This disorienting move does a disservice to the novices most likely to
benefit from the book. The reader unfamiliar with Germanic archaeology,
instructed by Todd's cautious example to equate a particular find with a
specific ethnic group only in the presence of compelling evidence, is likely
to feel a bit burned as a result.

The book's illustrations are by and large appropriate and effective. Most
useful are illustrations of artifacts and schematics of particular finds;
further illustrations of this nature--such as of the anthropomorphic figures
found at Braak, Possendorf, and Oberdorla--would help present Germanic
culture in more concrete terms. What illustrations there are could also be
presented more with the reader in mind, both through the use of
cross-references and the consistent inclusion of map keys (absent from
figure 5).

The only other drawback to this otherwise excellent book results perhaps
from what Todd calls the "mongrel text" of his manuscript for the expanded
edition. In several places it is clear that new material has been added
without consulting the existing text. In some chapters the same information
is repeated twice with the same degree of detail, as if the first mention
had not occurred. Such is the case with the introduction of Tacitus's
_Germania_ and Pliny the Elder's now lost _German Wars_ (pp. 4-6), Ulfila's
Gothic translation of the Bible (pp. 11 and 13), and the human remains found
at Tollund and Dätgen (pp. 110-113). More careful editing would have
eliminated these distracting double-takes.

As a whole, however, _The Early Germans_ sheds light on the origins both of
better-known Germanic peoples such as the Franks and Saxons and more obscure
groups like the Gepids. Placed in the cultural, historical, and
archaeological context established in the first half of the book, Todd's
profiles of particular Germanic peoples present an introduction to "Germanic
Europe" that is as detailed as it is comprehensive.

7.00 p.m. |DTC| Mystery of the Persian Mummy
Encased in a gilded wooden coffin inside a stone sarcophagus, a Persian princess mummy over 2,600 years old was found. Follow the discoveries that turned this archaeological treasure into a murder hunt.
Musica est mentis medicina maestae.

Music is the medicine for a sad mind.

(pron = MOO-si-kah ehst MEHN-tis meh-dih-KEE-nah MAI-stai)

Comment: Most of us have seen this and felt this--a piece of music that changes
our mental disposition usually by sweeping us with an emotion that is pleasant
and encouraging. Years ago I first encountered the work of Herbert Benson who
took basic principles of meditation from various tradition and taught people
how to use them in a non-religious way. In short, it focused on bring the
mind's attention to a rhythmic pattern and connecting that with a repeated word
or phrase that represented a kind of neutral quality for the individual. Benson
found that if a person could bring a repeated word and his/her attention to a
rhythmic pattern (like the sound of one's feet while jogging, or the beating of
one's heart, or knitting needles clicking while one knitted, or even to the
inflow and outflow of one's breath) that the body-mind wold drop into deep
relaxation within two minutes.

If practiced daily, Benson said, we would create a pattern of "remembered
wellness" in our bodies. Remembered wellness. It's a deep memory that brings
us to a place of joy, peace and relaxation. It might be the smell of browines
because your mom made them every Friday. It might be the sound a stream
because your grandfather took you fishing each month. It could be anything.

It could be music, which strikes me employs: our attention, particular words, a
rhythmic pattern and it constitutes for us over time, remembered wellness.

One last observation: this particular proverb employs alliteration--look at all
the "m" sounds in it. And, consider the feelinng that "m" brinngs when strung
together like that--almost creates the feeling of soothing medicine.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem v idus maias

Lemuria (day 2) -- a private and publice appeasement of the dead; the Roman paterfamilias would rise at midnight to conduct a ritual involving beans and bronze

rites in honour of Mania -- a Roman divinity who was considered the goddess of the dead; she was also the mother of the Lares

14 A.D. -- Augustus' last official census comes to an end

330 -- Constantine renames Byzantium and makes it his capital

1988 -- death of E.T. Salmon (Samnium and the Samnites)
derogate @ Dictionary.com

pulicous @ Worthless Word for the Day

It being Thursday, be sure to drop by Done With Mirrors and check out the Carnival of the Etymologies (presented as a very interesting quiz)...
Carolus XVI Gustavus sexagenarius

Pridie Kalendas Maias Carolus XVI Gustavus, rex Suetorum, diem natalem sexagesimum Stockholmiae celebravit.

Aderant, ut illi gratularentur, familiae regiae Norvegiae et Daniae, rex Hispaniae Juan Carlos, praesidens Finniae Tarja Halonen aliique moderatores civitatum.

Carolus XVI Gustavus avo suo Gustavo VI Adolpho anno millesimo nongentesimo septuagesimo tertio successit.

Cum lex Suetiae fundamentalis anno sequenti renovaretur, rex omnem quam habuerat potestatem politicam et administrativam amisit, sed nihilo minus apud cives magna gratia valet.

Coniugem duxit Silviam Sommerlath, ex qua duas filias, Victoriam et Magdalenam, et unum filium, Carolum Philippum habet.

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

On the Greek side, we have Akropolis World News: Last survivor of Titanic dies - Chirac breaks silence on scandal.

Let's see what's happening today:

About.com's N.S. Gill answers a question about Latin pronunciation ... there's also a post about Athanasius

The Stoa offers another SketchUp for Google Earth ... the Pantheon

Bestiaria Latina tells us the tale of Saint Simon and the Magicians ...

Over at PhDiva, DK tells us the tale of an Indian at Eleusis ...

Tropaion gets in the the Carnival act with a compilation of posts/links about ancient religion ...

Los suenos de Hermes provides (in Spanish) an interesting post revealing why a Latin inscription about Marcus Aurelius is likely a recent copy ...

ABZU points us to an interesting article which was presented at that Mycenean conference just prior to the APA a few months ago: Melchert, H. Craig, "Mycenaean and Hittite Diplomatic Correspondence: Fact and Fiction"
From BMCR:

Daniel Russell, Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life.

Jeffrey Barnouw, Propositional Perception: Phantasia, Predication and Sign in Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics.

Laurel Fulkerson, The Ovidian Heroine as Author: Reading, Writing, and Community in the Heroides.

Clemens Homoth-Kuhs, Phylakes und Phylakon-Steuer im griechisch-römischen Ägypten. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des antiken Sicherheitswesens. Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete; Beiheft 17.


Iphigenia at Aulis (San Jose)

Electra (Gustavus Adolphus College)
From the BBC:

Archaeologists have unearthed a large Roman cemetery in a Gloucestershire gravel quarry.

More than 100 people are believed to have been buried at the site, near Fairford, which dates back 1,600 years.

It is thought the dead were interred according to their age, as children's bodies have been found in one area with adults in another section.

Experts said the find is unusual because no big settlements are known to have existed nearby in the Roman era.

Dr Alex Smith, Oxford Archaeology's project manager said: "Large Roman cemeteries like this are usually only found around towns or substantial settlements, but no such site has been found here yet.

"We believe a small Roman farm lies immediately to the west, and it may be that the cemetery acted as a communal burial ground for the local rural population."

He added: "We hope that further work will reveal more of how people lived and died in this region, around 1,600 years ago."
From the Times:

THE lost world of Cleopatra’s palaces has been dug out of the muddy Mediterranean sea bed by a man dubbed the Underwater Indiana Jones.

The results of Franck Goddio’s excavations, comprising 500 priceless finds that shed light on 1,500 years of ancient history, will be put on public view today for the first time.

President Mubarak of Egypt will open the exhibition in Berlin, and it will later transfer to Paris and London and eventually to a specially prepared site in Egypt.

“It was an astonishing feeling to find and handle beautiful objects that have been touched by Cleopatra,” said M Goddio, a 58-year-old Frenchman who abandoned a career as a financial consultant to pursue his passion for maritime archaeology.

For the past 12 years he has been excavating the sunken harbour of Alexandria, the legendary lost city of Heracleion and the religious centre of Canopus.

Floods, earthquakes and erosion swallowed up these once-vibrant communities. Although some of the recovered fragments have been shown, they have never been put together in a single comprehensive collection.

The Goddio team discovered 5.4m (18ft) red granite statues of an Egyptian king, queen and the fertility god Hapi, as well as thousands of smaller statues of gods and rulers, masks of pharaohs, gold and stone jewellery, and an intact black slab pronouncing import duties on Greek products.

One of the most significant discoveries was the fragment of a shrine, the Naos of the Decades, which made it possible for M Goddio to reconstruct the first astrological calendar in the world.

Among the treasures is a sphinx bearing the face of Ptolemy XII, the father of Cleopatra, a reminder that parts of the royal quarter with its temples, palaces and gardens were in Alexandria’s eastern harbour, where Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Cleopatra stayed.

Working from 19th-century maps and the results of an early excavation by Prince Omar Tousson, M Goddio set about testing theories about the geography of the sunken harbour area.

What emerged was a picture of a remarkably well-designed metropolis divided by grand canals.

“We showed the designs to port engineers who told us that they couldn’t have done a better job,” he said. “It was not only an act of brilliant engineering it was also beautiful to look at.”

The port was developed by Ptolemy II, in 300BC.

Using magnetic resonance machines and sonars, M Goddio fished out the relics. Each fragment had to be freed from the effects of the seawater in an onboard laboratory.

The statues were descaled, chemically and electronically tested, and then restored.

M Goddio was initially regarded with suspicion by university archaeologists because he trained as a mathematician and came late to the profession.

But his passionate, slightly buccaneering manner has helped to attract sponsorship in a way that no academic archaeological team could have hoped to collect.

His high-tech explorations cost about €1 million (£680,000) a month, and tens of thousands of diving hours have been dedicated to excavating a few hundred metres of the ancient sites. The total area is thought to be about a square kilometre. He does not welcome comparisons with the maverick Indiana Jones. “I am not an adventurer,” he said yesterday. “My role is to avoid adventure since it is expensive, it wastes time and does not lead to a job well done.”

The exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, a converted Kaiser-era palace near the former Berlin Wall, will be open until September 4.
9.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Lost City Of Pompeii - Secrets Of The Dead
Description not available ...
Pro libertate patriae.

For the freedom of country.

(pron = proh lih-behr-TAH-tay pah-tree-ai)

Comment: What would one be willing to do for the freedom of one's country?
Quick references show that Cicero used it in a letter to Brutus ([XVII] Scr. m.
Maio, ut videtur, a. 711 (43); that a US Marines squadron uses it; that a
Finnish war memorial quotes it of those who died in WWII; and it is used on a
website dedicated to Sir William Wallace (b. 1270), famous Scottish nationalist

All imply that they interpret this motto as "I am willing to fight, kill and die
for the sake of the liberty of my country."

My own study and work over the years has brought me to hear some other voices
around this theme. They are often self-described members of "the peace
movement". They are also very brave, daring souls, and often endure a great
deal of abuse from those who do not understand them or take the time to.

They would ask of this proverb: what do you mean by freedom? Free from what?
Free for what? And what of the wars that have been fought in the name of
freedom for our country but which, in fact, had little if anything to do with
freedom in this country and often enough resulted in less freedom for others?
My friends in the peace movement would say that they do what they do for the
freedom of this country and other countries as well.

What strikes me about this motto is that it seems to be used often as a
patriotic rallying cry with little regard for what it seems to be saying.

Apart from war, what does freedom mean to you? Free from what/whom? Free for
what/whom? What processes in your own life have actually produced some

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem vi idus maias

214 (?) A.D. -- birth of the future emperor Claudius II Gothicus

232 A.D. -- martyrdom of Felix and Palmatius

238 A.D. -- murder of Maximinus Thrax (by one reckoning)

250 A.D. -- martyrdom of Epimachus at Alexandria

251 A.D. -- martyrdom of Alphius, Philadelphus, Cyrinus, and Benedicta at Leontini (?)
eolian @ Merriam-Webster

procellous @ Wordsmith (for reasons I have never figured out, I always associate this word (or rather, its Latin forebear) with big noses)

turgid @ Dictionary.com
Berlusconi munus deposuit

Silvio Berlusconi, qui in comitiis Italiae parlamentariis mense Aprili factis cladem acceperat, diu recusavit, quominus eventum suffragiorum probaret et se victum confiteretur.

Tandem die Martis a praesidente Italiae Carlo Azeglio Ciampi dimissionem petivit et accepit.

Novus minister primarius erit Romano Prodi, praeses coalitionis factionum mediae et sinistrae.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris : Anthropophagum Francofurtensem usque ad mortem in carcere mansurum
Today's stroll down the midway ...

Sauvage Noble has some funerary inscriptions for pets (when you read these, it suddenly becomes obvious that Lesbia's sparrow may, in fact, have been a sparrow)...

Bread and Circuses has a post (pun intended) on Roman Philately (no, really ... it is) ...

Roman History Books looks at Gibbon's attitude toward history ...

Over at Bestiaria Latina, today it's Martha who has to contend with a dragon ...

About.com's N.S. Gill gathers together a pile of features about famous ancient mothers ...

Hobbyblog has a coin featuring Fausta (wife of Constantine) on both sides ... nice Mothers Day image ...

Laudator has a little bit of the Greek Anthology about Gyges ...

Memorabilia Antonina reviews some recent television programs about the ancient world ...

Paleojudaica points us to an article in the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism: Craig Evans, "Messianic Hopes and Messianic Figures in Late Antiquity" (I can't get the pdf to open; maybe it will work for you)

At the Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics page: Jacob L. Mackey, "Saving the Appearances: The Phenomenology of Epiphany in Atomist Theology" (it's about Epicurean theology)

Apollo Magazine has a great interviewish thing with John Boardman (you might have to register, but it's free ... and is the interviewer of JB related to the interlocutor of Father Foster?) ...

A very brief item from Basilicatanet reveals something which most of us have suspected:

La collina di Visocica, che nasconderebbe la prima piramide europea, e' opera della natura e non dell'uomo. L o sostiene un team di otto geologi dell'universita' di Tuzla, che dopo i sondaggi effettuati sui lati della collina orientati verso i quattro punti cardinali, hanno concluso che e' costituita da sedimenti stratiformi di vario spessore, mentre la sua forma regolare e' il risultato di processi endodinamici ed isodinamici nel dopo miocene.

We'll see how much coverage this sort of thing gets ... there's a pattern (of sorts) of stories from this part of the world just 'disappearing' when they don't pan out (what happened, e.g., to that Thracian alphabet claim?).
From icSurrey:

BONE, tile and pottery finds including some unusual imported wares are among the Roman finds unearthed in the Ewell archeological dig.

Investigating the secrets of lost Roman shrines at Hatch Furlong on the Ewell ByPass, schoolchildren were among visitors taken on a conducted tour of the site last week.

Also on site was David Brooks, of Bourne Hall museum, an authority on local archaeology and author of The Romans in Ewell.

He said: "We've also found a flint structure which we believe to be an oven. This would have been where food was cooked for people before they took part in ceremonies and where items where cooked then given as offerings to the gods."

Flint walls have been excavated and two more shafts discovered.

A virtually complete burial pot, for containing cremated remains, was another find.

Originally funerals took the form of cremation.

A funeral pyre was built in a field and when it had burnt down the bones of the deceased were picked out by relatives and gathered in a box or jar.

This was then buried with some token pleasure for the dead person beside it, a wine jar being an example found on a dig at Bourne Hall.

A well-off family at an earlier dig in Kiln Lane placed the ashes of one dead relative in an elegant glass bowl fitted inside a pottery jar, and another was interred in an amphora with its top chipped off.

The things buried with the dead were often broken, sometimes to stop grave robbery and sometimes as an emblem of death. Possibly wine was included as a symbol of energy and life.

The Hatch Furlong area will now be back-filled and a survey map recorded for other digs already planned for the future.
From ANSA:

A marble head of the Emperor Augustus has been found at a large and well-appointed Roman villa just discovered outside the capital .

The head, practically a bas-relief, shows the emperor in profile in his middle years .

It will shortly be taken to the newly refurbished Roman Antiquities Museum at Palazzo Massimo near Termini Station to be shown to the public .

Also travelling from the dig site - north of Rome, not far from Hadrian's great villa - will be some 100 gold and silver coins .

The head was found at the bottom of a well at the villa, a large (2,500 square-metre) property built between the second century BC and the first century AD .

"We don't know who the villa belonged to," said dig leader Stefano Musco .

"This is an area dotted with villas, because of its proximity to the administrative and cultural hub that was Hadrian's court" .

The villa also boasts "particularly fine" mosaic floors with characteristic geometrical designs, Musco said .

Other finds were thermal baths, a warehouse and two entrance halls or atria. Augustus (63 BC-14 AD), the adopted son of Jiulus Caesar, was Rome's first emperor
8.00 p.m. |HINT| Secrets of the Island of Minos
Around 1500 BC, the great Minoan civilization thrived on the islands of Minos (modern-day Crete) and Thera (modern-day Santorini, for St. Irene, protectress of the island) in the eastern Mediterranean. An ancient architect conducts a virtual guided tour of the legendary sites at Akrotiri, Phaistos, Ayía Triáda, and Knossos, which culminates in a visit to the palace of King Minos, famous for its legendary labyrinth.

8.30 p.m. |HINT| Retracing the Tracks of Hannibal
In the 3rd century BC, the Punic Wars fought between Carthage and Rome left the ancient world in turmoil. Following the path of the fearless Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca, who lead his advancing army across the Alps--with elephants!--to sack Italy, we visit the majestic ruins from the period of the Roman Republic, and gaze upon the amazing temple of Capitoline Jupiter as it looked when it was completed--thanks to amazing virtual reconstruction.
Ira initius insaniae.
(Ennius, Fragment 438, adapted and quoted by Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes

Anger is the beginning of insanity.

(pron = EE-rah in-IH-tee-oom in-SAH-nee-ai)

Comment: Indeed, Cicero asks: is there anything more like insanity than anger?
He then gives several examples from Greek and Roman mythology and history of
terrible, devastating things that were done by otherwise great or heroic men
while angered. There is even the implication that at times anger might be a
useful insanity (if you need something really horrible done--then of course we
must discuss "need").

There are plenty of occassions where anger is the human emotion that arises and
that is appropriate to the situation. Even while anger arising in me might be
exactly the emotion called forth and appropriate to what is happening, it is a
fire in me that can very quickly overwhelm me and turn me into the next cause
for someone else to become angry.

I guess for me, anger is best viewed as a human fire. It can be a very useful
fire. The civil rights movement was such a fire that produced some really
needed purgation and clarity in our culture. Our own civil war was also a
product of human anger (as well as other things). Domestic violence has its
own fires burning. Abuse of any kind is often an unconscious fire that burns
away at its victims.

Anger is something to watch, learn from, and learn to use well. Otherwise, it
becomes a great conflagration.

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

Lemuria (day 1) -- a Roman festival involving assorted rituals to keep the ghosts of one's ancestors happy
otiose @ Dictionary.com

vespillo @ Worthless Word for the Day
Ratko Mladic latitare pergit

Ratko Mladic, generalis Serbus de criminibus belli accusatus, latitare pergit, etsi terminus ante quem deprehendendus erat, mense Aprili in Maium vergente praeteriit.

Unio Europaea praedixerat consultationes de Serbia-Nigrimontio in Unionem asciscendo interruptum iri, nisi Mladic ante diem constitutam captus esset. Creditur Mladic auxilio militum et magistratuum localium latitare.

Inter multa et magna crimina ab illo commissa praecipua est caedes Srebrenicensis.

Mense Iulio anno millesimo nongentesimo nonagesimo quinto ille copias suas in urbem Srebrenicam duxit, in quam multa milia profugorum asylum petentium confluxerant.

Constat iussu illius septem milia virorum et puerorum musulmanorum ibi paucis diebus crudelissime esse interfectos.

Neque tutatores pacis Nederlandienses, qui tum aderant, caedem impedire potuerunt. Quae cum ita sint, Unio Europaea facere non potuit, quin consultationes cum Serbia-Nigrimontio interrumperet.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris : Novus moderator CIA

On the Greeks side, there's Akropolis World News (I don't think I mentioned this installment yet): British helicopter shot down in iraq -"Stalin's World" theme park a hit
Strolling, strolling, strolling ...

AM at Bread and Circuses tells us about Varus the Buffoon ...

About.com's N.S. Gill has a feature on the Great Mother ...

Mediterranean Archaeology points us to a Linear B joke ...

Bestiaria Latina continues the stor of George and the Dragon ...

Roman History Books tells us about panegyric ...

DK over at phDiva is talking about Athenian Democracy ...

Over at Laudator, there's a post called Fraenkel on Asyndetic Privative Adjectives ...

Hobbyblog has a Valerian with Hermes and his purse and other accoutrements ...
From Scholia:

Werner Schubert, Die Antike in der Neueren Musik: Dialog der Epochen, Künste, Sprachen and Gattungen. Quellen und Studien zur Musikgeschichte von der Antike bis in die Gegenwart Nr. 42


Wasps (UCSC)

Iphigenia at Aulis (San Jose)

Hecuba (Chicago)

Phedre (Stanford)

Frogs (UMBC)
From AP via Yahoo:

A Greek fisherman has handed over to authorities a large section of an ancient bronze statue brought up in his nets in the Aegean Sea, officials said on Monday.

The male torso was located last week near the eastern Aegean island of Kalymnos, the Culture Ministry said in an announcement.

The one-meter (3-foot) high find belonged to a statue of a horseback soldier, and would have been part of the cargo of an ancient ship that sank in the area. It was taken to Athens to be cleaned and dated.

Together with the torso, the fisherman brought up two small bronze pieces believed to belong to the statue, and a wine-jar from the ancient city of Knidos — in what is now Turkey — dating from the first century B.C, the ministry said.

The seas around Kalymnos are rich in ancient wrecks and have yielded several impressive finds in recent years, including a large female statue now exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The fisherman who netted it in 1995 earned a euro440,000 (US$558,000) reward from the Culture Ministry.

Other scattered pieces of bronze statues found in the area include a head, legs and arms, but it is unclear whether these could match the horseman's torso.

A photo of the torso accompanies the original article (a somewhat difficult-to-envision profile shot) ...
8.00 p.m. |HINT| Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: Ancient Rome
Rome was the center of one of the most remarkable and influential of all ancient civilizations; where the Forum played host to great affairs of state, while the people flocked to the Colosseum to see gladiators fight to the death in mortal combat. This episode provides a colorful, entertaining, and informative guide to the treasures left us by these extraordinary people. Computer-animated sequences and 3D graphics, vivid and authentic filmed recreations, period imagery, new location footage of Rome today, and concise comment and analysis all combine to provide viewers with a recreated Rome in all its glory.
Virtutis amore.

Calamitas occassio virtutis est.
(Seneca, De Providentia, 4.6)

Two short sayings today:

"With love of virtue". "Disaster is an occasion for virtue."

(pron = weer-TOO-tis ah-MOH-ray;
Kah-LAH-mih-tas ok-KAHS-see-oh weer-TOO-tis ehst)

Comment: What does virtue mean? What is an example of a virtue to you, in your
life, within your moral, philosophical, spiritual or religious system?

The first of these two little sayings is a motto which implies that one lives a
good life by cultivating and practicing a love of that virtue. It does not
specifically name what the virtue is.

For a Stoic like Seneca, disaster might become an occasion for virtue because it
gave an opportunity to press on living out one's fate despite the hard
circumstances, or, as the word in Latin can also mean, it became an occasion
for bravery, fortitude, strength, and courage.

Over time, the Romans in fact named many virtues. While there is a wide variety
among them, and whole books have been written about them and what they meant in
different ages of the Roman times, most of them do fall within a particular way
of thinking. Most Roman virtues were practiced from "the top down". That is to
say, for the ancient Roman, virtue was largely about who had power over whom and
how that powerful person (usually male and wealthy) used this power over others.
Some virtues simply could not be practiced by those with little power. For
instance, the word "comitas" (politeness, kindness) was most often used of
powerful people and their actions toward those under them. It was not a virtue
that the "low man on the totem pole" could practice toward those above him.
This was a virtue that "flowed down hill" so to speak. In other words, it
presumed power.

Modern human beings will think of virtues in a variety of ways, so there is no
need to impose a Roman definition on ourselves, but we might use these as an
occassion for reflection: what is a virtue to me? How do I practice it? What
occasions give rise to that practice in my life?

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

1737 -- birth of Edward Gibbon (Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire)
febrile @ Merriam-Webster

aphotic @ Wordsmith

inadequation@ Worthless Word for the Day

aspersion @ Dictionary.com
Bolivia gasum et petroleum publicat

Evo Morales, praesidens Boliviae, nuntiavit se copias gasi et petrolei publicare, quae in patria essent.

Societates peregrinae petroleariae et gasariae, quae in Bolivia operarentur, productionem civitati Bolivianorum traderent aut abirent.

Spatium sex mensium dari, quo illis cum nationalibus societatibus de novis pactis consulendum esset.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris :
De foro sociali Europaeo Athenis habito
Today's gleanings:

About.com's N.S. Gill tells us about Penelope ...

Bread and Circuses alerts us to the existence of a 1922 silent film about the Teutoberg Forest thing ...

Eric at Campus Mawrtius is wondering about a reference to Hercules in the Merchant of Venice ...

Bestiaria Latina offers us another dragon story, this time involving George ...

Hobbyblog offers a Gallienus sporting an image of Pegasus ...

phDiva DK tells us what not to do in a Greek temple ...

The Stoa has a couple more Google Sketchup things ... the Pharos Lighthouse and Roman Curia ...

Progressive U offers an interpretation/explanation of Plato's Cave ...

Ancient Narrative Supplementum 6 is now available ...

Cretica Antica VI is also available ... toc and abstracts online ...

And last but not least, JS alerts us (thanks) to the following possibly-doorworthy Get Fuzzy cartoon:

From BMCR:

Fariba Zarinebaf, John Bennet, Jack L. Davis, A Historical and Economic Geography of Ottoman Greece: The Southwestern Morea in the 18th century. Hesperia Supplement 34.

Stefan Knoch, Sklavenfürsorge im Römischen Reich.

François-Régis Chaumartin, Sénèque, De la clémence.

Catherine M. Schlegel, Satire and the Threat of Speech: Horace's Satires Book I. Wisconsin Studies in Classics.

J.F. Cherry, D. Margomenou, L.E. Talalay, Prehistorians Round the Pond: Reflections on Aegean Prehistory as a Discipline. Papers presented at a Workshop held in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, March 14-16, 2003. Kelsey Museum Publication 2.

Guy G. Stroumsa, La Fin du sacrifice. Les mutations religieuses de l'Antiquité tardive. Collection Collège de France.

Jens-Arne Dickmann, Pompeji. Archäologie und Geschichte.

Ian Mueller, Simplicius, On Aristotle's On the Heavens 2.1-9. The Ancient Commentators on Aristotle.

Gregor Maurach, Kleine Geschichte der antiken Komödie.

Tomas Hägg, Bo Utas, The Virgin and her Lover: Fragments of an Ancient Greek Novel and a Persian Epic Poem. Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures, Supplements to the Journal of Arabic Literature, vol. XXX.

J. Christopher Warner, The Augustinian Epic, Petrarch to Milton.
Nice feature in the Norman Transcript:

University of Oklahoma Classics Professor Rufus Fears already won several teaching awards.

As he will tell classes, history tends to repeat itself. Fears, the OU G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty, will be recognized later this month as the 2006 Medal of Excellence Award Winner for college and university teaching in Oklahoma.

Fears said this award, while one of many he has received in his career, is different for him.

"I'm very honored," Fears said. "Coming from the whole state, it makes it very special."

Writing four books and winning 25 teaching excellence awards, including three "Professor of the Year" awards and one "Most Inspiring Professor" award from OU, some may think teaching would become routine for Fears, who has also taught at Indiana University and Boston University before coming to OU in 1990. However, he said every class, from retired students to college students, is a new learning experience for him and his students.

"Every class will ask a question that will make me think in a new light," Fears said. "I equally enjoy teaching college students and retired people. We have really great students here. Ours are the most fun to teach, the most open to ideas."

Fears said what sticks out most in his mind from his career is taking faculty and students to historical sites across the world, from Gettysburg to Roman provinces. He said this involves reenacting the scenes of history.

"It's unique, because you study history where it was made," Fears said. "You walk in the places that Caesar walked. You see where those brave men at Gettysburg fought for freedom on both sides. If you love history, you will want to travel."

But that does not mean his classes are not engaging. It is common for classes to laugh at points in his lectures and applaud following the final class of the semester. Both happened at the final class Thursday in one of his classes, "Freedom in Rome."

One of his current students, sociology and psychology senior Joseph Lupp, said he did not take Fears' classes for graduation, but for enjoyment.

"I love Dr. Fears," Lupp said. "I love his enthusiasm and his incredible knowledge of the subject."

"(The class) is really interesting," said Meg Sadler, political science junior. "He really gets into the story and makes it come alive for the students."

One of the ways he brings his lectures to life is through pointing stick, which doubles as a prop during classes.

"It's just about the same length of a Greek or a Roman spear," Fears explains. "It's a walking stick from a Boy Scout campout."

While Fears grew up and attending college in Atlanta before earning his Ph.D. from Harvard, he said he loves the openness of Oklahoma and plans to teach here the rest of his life.

"What makes successful teaching is love of the subject," Fears said. "I want to teach until I die. I think I was called to teach."
Suzan Mazur has another lengthy piece in Scoop on the thickening plot in the 'Museum Case' ... here's the incipit:

It is not totally surprising that New York antiquities dealer Ed Merrin appears to be caught in the dragnet of Italian prosecutors who are conducting a criminal trial in Rome, having already charged dealer Bob Hecht and former Getty Museum curator Marion True with conspiracy to traffic in ancient art. Merrin testified before US Congress in the 1970s in opposition to H.R. 5643, a bill designed to implement the UNESCO convention protecting cultural property. He has said "prohibition never worked and never will work".

He has also made the claim that there was only one other person dealing at his level of quality -- Robin Symes. And Symes has been on the Italians' dealer hit list since 1999 -- following the accidental death of Symes' partner Christos Michaelides, who fell down the stairs at the rented Italian villa of collectors Shelby White and Leon Levy [Michel van Rijn -- Symes Special].

Symes has been a supplier of ancient treasures to diamond & political influence peddler Maurice Tempelsman (beau of the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis) and fianancier Michael Steinhardt, for example.

The announcement last week that the Italians may seek a Merrin indictment -- alleging Merrin Galllery has been a "conduit" for antiquities smuggled out of Italy and sold to US museums -- sent me back into my Merrin files and an interview I did with Ed Merrin for The Economist magazine: "Museums and Galleries: Unholy Alliance?" in the Spring of 1990 to see where Merrin possibly first lost his footing.

Peter Watson in his new book, The Medici Conspiracy, cites Merrin Gallery writing a letter to European dealer Gianfranco Becchina, who Italian prosecutors have also initiated proceedings against as one of the antiquities smuggling kingpins. Watson reports Becchina was asked in the letter not to write his name on the back of photos of antiquities he sent to Merrin Gallery.

But it seems Ed Merrin first gained notoriety in the summer of 1989 when he outbid Robin Symes for a Cycladic marble head at Sotheby's. Symes was shopping for the Getty Museum at the time (although Merrin said he didn't know that). The idea that a dealer could outbid a museum caused a stir.

Merrin had a $10 million Wall Street investor at the time -- Asher Edelman, the man thought to have been the inspiration for Michael Douglas' character in the film Wall Street. Edelman's own art collection was valued at $100 million.


The whole thing includes some photos of items sold through the gallery, including some rather nice Roman statuary of the 'warts and all' variety (which were underpriced?).

Meanwhile, check out the conclusion of a piece in today's Guardian:

Greek officials say police are poised to raid houses thought to contain plundered antiquities in the UK and across Europe. "There must be a lot of frightened people in Athens and elsewhere because they know we're homing in," one insider said. "There are rich families, members of Athenian high society, who have been involved in this for decades."

Could be an exciting week ...
9.00 p.m. |NG| The Gospel of Judas
Discovered by chance in the 1970s, a document that lay hidden for nearly 1,700 years emerges today as the only known surviving copy of "The Gospel of Judas." The Gospel of Judas traces the incredible story of what has happened to the document since it was found, the recent authentication process, and key insight gleaned from its translation and interpretation. The research will reveal fascinating details contained within the document as well as key sections translated from its ancient Coptic script.

10.30 p.m. |HINT| 31 BC--The Battle of Actium
If Antony and Cleopatra had won the Battle of Actium, there would have been no Roman Empire. Yet Octavius Caesar's victory in 31 BC led to an absolute dictatorship that sparked one of the greatest imperial and cultural expansions the world has ever known. Each turning point in history is backed by a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. Join us for a trip through time as we recreate the Battle of Actium, featuring exclusive dramatizations and the latest historical research.

11.30 p.m. |HINT| Weapons of the Barbarians
Barbarians came from many lands and used many weapons to fight a common enemy. Their nemesis: the Roman Empire. Now, Peter Woodward and the Conquest Team examine the tactics and tools used by barbarians in their never-ending battles against the forces of Rome.
Hippopotami et ursi marini in periculo

In indice specierum periclitantium sunt hodie sedecim milia plantarum et animalium.

His duobus annis numerus quingentis triginta auctus est. In indicem nuper accepti sunt hippopotamus et ursus marinus.

Hippopotami propter venationem paene disparuerunt, ursi marini propter mutationem caeli periclitantur, qua fit, ut glacies polaris paulatim dissolvatur.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris : De pace et bello in Sudania

And on the Greek side, there's Akropolis World News: 113 die in air crash in the Black Sea - The cannibal of Roteburg, under trialj

And I don't know if this is something I missed or what, but it appears that the Radio Bremen version of Nuntii Latini now has a podcast (which may or may not be working) ...
Our ClassiCarnies have been busy this weekend:

Bestiaria continues with the dragon stories ... Jason and ... Margaret and ...

At the LiveJournal Classics site, someone has translated the US National Anthem into (somewhat Homeric) Greek ...

Curculio gives us a fragment of wisdom from Euripides ...

Jane Biers gets the Roman Scholars treatment ...

Homo Edax is chowing down on Cicero, Tacitus and American Despotism ...

phDiva points to some podcasts from NPR on Roman Religion ...

Roman History books compiles some links about one of my fave painters (and suppliers of desktop images) ... Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Laudator presents Seneca's thoughts on travel ... there's also a nice quote on trifles from that Johnson guy ...

Father Foster: The Romans were in the habit of offering their guests live fireflies or “cicinella’s” in little boxes as gifts. Although quite what this has to do with wolves and sit-in’s on the Aventine is a totally different story...
From the Guardian:

It has taken almost 2,000 years, but those who worship the 12 gods of ancient Greece have finally triumphed. An Athens court has ordered that the adulation of Zeus, Hera, Hermes, Athena and co is to be unbanned, paving the way for a comeback of pagans on Mount Olympus.

The followers, who say they "defend the genuine traditions, religion and ethos" of the ancients by adhering to a pre-Christian polytheistic culture, are poised to take their battle to the temples of Greece.

"What we want, now, is for the government to fully recognise our religion," Vasillis Tsantilas told the Guardian. "We will petition the Greek parliament, and the EU if that fails, for access to worship in places like the Acropolis, for permission to have our own cemeteries and, where necessary, to re-bury the [ancient] bones of the dead.

About 98% of Greeks are Orthodox Christian, and all other religions except Judaism and Islam had been banned.

Yet the pagans say as many as 2,000 Greeks have signed up to their movement. Mr Tsantilas, 42, a computer scientist who came to paganism after toying with Buddhism, Taoism and Islam, said worshippers perceived the ancient gods as the "personification of the divine".

But Greece's powerful Orthodox Church takes a less charitable view, accusing the worshippers of idolatry and "poisonous New Age practices".

Father Eustathios Kollas, who presides over the community of Greek priests, said: "They are a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return to the monstrous dark delusions of the past."
From BMCR:

Magdalene Stoevesandt, Feinde - Gegner - Opfer. Zur Darstellung der Troianer in den Kampfszenen der Ilias. Schweizerische Beiträge zur Altertumswissenschaft, Band 30.

Giancarlo Giardina, Properzio. Elegie. Edizione critica e traduzione.

From Scholia:

Jeffrey Rusten and I. C. Cunningham (edd. and trr.), Theophrastus, Herodas, and Sophron: Characters, Mimes, Mime fragments. Loeb Classical Library 225

From RBL:

Patricia Cox Miller, ed., Women in Early Christianity: Translations from Greek Texts,

From the Free Lance-Star:

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Heroes: Saviors, Traitors, and Supermen: A History of Hero Worship

From the Guardian:

Greg Woolf, The Murder of Caesar and Political Assassination

From FT:

Frederic Raphael, Some Talk of Alexander: A Journey Through Space and Time in the Greek World


Hecuba (Chicago)

... another
From the BBC:

The idea of linking the two sides of Istanbul underwater was first dreamt of by Sultan Abdul Mecit 150 years ago.

Now that Ottoman dream is finally being realised.

But the modern version of that vision has hit a historical stumbling block.

Istanbul archaeologists have uncovered a 4th-Century port at the site where engineers plan to build a 21st-Century railway hub. The Marmaray project cannot even begin work in the area until excavations are complete.

Out in the middle of the Straits, marine engineers are now working day and night to compensate in advance for any delays. Boring beneath the waves, they are preparing the ground for the deepest tunnel of its kind.

"We are strengthening the soil by injecting concrete into the seabed so we can place the tubes easily and take measures to counter earthquakes in the area," an engineer explains, shouting above the din of an enormous drill working non-stop behind him.

Parts of the Marmaray tunnel will eventually run just 6km (3.7 miles) from the active North Anatolian fault line.

"This is the best way to link the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. There is no space for a third bridge," he argues.

The Istanbul authorities hope the Marmaray project will ease congestion in a sprawling and increasingly overcrowded city. The rail link should carry well over a million passengers a day, significantly reducing boat traffic on the Bosphorus and car congestion on land.

But the railway was supposed to be running by 2010. Now its managers are not so sure.

Yenikapi on the European side of the city was selected to house a state-of-the-art train station. But when shanty homes were cleared from the site, archaeologists uncovered treasures beneath of a kind never before discovered here.

Just a few metres below ground, they found an ancient port of Constantinople - named in historical records as the Eleutherios harbour, one of the busiest of Byzantium.

"We've found 43m of the pier so far," chief archaeologist Metin Gokcay explains, pointing to a line of wooden stakes emerging from a green pool of water. He says the Marmaray site has yielded the most exciting finds of his long career.

"We believe there used to be a platform on those sticks - down there is where the horses were unloaded."

"We've also found lots of things that tell us about the daily life of the city in the 4th Century," Mr Gokcay enthuses, standing close to a tunnel he suspects was an ancient escape route.

"We found leather sandals, for example, with strings through the toes and around a thousand candle-holders and hairbrushes. I've done many digs in Istanbul, but there are many things here I've never seen before."

As well as the stone remains of the harbour itself, Mr Gokcay and his team have uncovered perfectly preserved ancient anchors and lengths of rope. Dozens of men are still scrubbing the mud of centuries from hundreds of crates of artefacts, for assessment.

But perhaps the site's most treasured find is stored beneath a large protective tent.

Inside, dozens of jets spray water to preserve a wooden boat that is more 1,000 years old. Its base, about 10m long, was discovered intact beneath what was once the sea.

The dig has uncovered eight boats in total - another first for Istanbul - and archaeologists believe there are more to come.

It's a dream discovery for them, but a nightmare for the Marmaray management.

"It's true I lose sleep over this. I worry we won't make it on time," admits Marmaray Project Manager Haluk Ozmen. He says the dig is only delaying work at the Yenikapi site for now, but warns it will soon affect the entire project.

"The dig is the only thing that can delay the Marmaray project. That's why we're working 24 hours a day to meet our deadline. Everything is in the hands of the archaeologists now."

Engrossed in their task, those archaeologists refuse to be rushed by commercial concerns. Their work was scheduled to finish four months ago, but they now reject all talk of deadlines.

"The Marmaray team cannot spread their cement or tunnel any deeper here until we finish," states a determined Mr Gokcay. "They have to wait for us. And I will continue my work here until the last artefact made by human hands is found. It's impossible to accept anything else."

In addition to the Eleutherios harbour, the dig teams have exposed a long section of the city wall from the days of Constantine I - the first time the wall has ever been uncovered.

At a site as rich as this, there's no telling what else could turn up.

The original article has some useful maps ...
From the Burlington Free Press:

When he was a kid in Denver, Jacques Bailly elucubrated.

This activity helped him win the national spelling bee in 1980. To capture the crown at age 14, Bailly correctly spelled the word elucubrate. (Look it up and beware: You might have to spell it without an e to find it in the dictionary.)

Bailly, 40, is an associate professor of classics at the University of Vermont. He means it when he says classics is the most useful major a student can have.

"Classicists out-perform every other major in medical school or law school," Bailly said. Through the study of Greek and Latin, classicists immerse themselves in language, of course, but also literature, history, culture, economics, philosophy and art.

At least once, a budding classicist out-performed scores of competitors at the annual Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee. The competition, founded in 1925, will begin this year May 31. Bailly, called the pronouncer, will be the person who tells the children what word they're required to spell.

If you're not one of the 275 kids who will be competing at this year's bee, you can catch Bailly's act in the recently released movie, "Akeelah and the Bee."

"It's very Hollywood," said Bailly, who saw it last weekend. In the movie, he plays himself: At the national competition, he gives the actor-spellers the word that he or she has to spell. Bailly was also a consultant, advising the filmmakers about various aspects of the competition. Laurence Fishburne, who stars in the movie and is one of its producers, grilled Bailly about spelling bees as he prepared for his role as an erstwhile college professor who coaches a young speller.

Bailly has a calm and clear voice. He's a precise speaker with a welcoming tone. He can read pronunciation symbols and derivation codes the way other people read letters or numbers: with immediate recognition and comprehension. He knows what information is useful to a speller and what's misleading or irrelevant. It is mostly confusing, for instance, to use "dropped-r" pronunciations, though the official bee dictionary indicates this pronunciation option. There's no point in saying "Ha-vad Ya-d" if a child is called upon to spell "Harvard Yard" (which he wouldn't be).

He needs to be accurate and wants to be generous. "I would love to tell the kids how to spell the word," he said. "I want them all to spell right."

"Spelling is weird," said Bailly, who does not associate it with intelligence. "It's a visual memory thing. For some people, it's tactile memory. It's not analysis, and it's not critical thinking."

In Bailly's spelling heyday, the study method involved memorizing lists of words. He and his mother, who helped him study, found in his last year of competition -- the season that ended with the national title -- a preferable method. This involves looking for and recognizing spelling patterns and understanding connections between words. It means learning about etymology, derivation, parts of speech, and finding smaller words, language patterns and roots, in larger words.

There's a scene in the movie where the character played by Fishburne teaches the girl this way of thinking about words. He uses the word soliterraneous to make his point, asking her to concentrate on its first three letters and to use her understanding of that root to think about and learn the unfamiliar word.

"I almost kissed (director) Doug Atchinson for putting that in there," Bailly said. "That is the best way to study for a spelling bee: Taking apart words and seeing their roots and their history and their connection to other words."

At some point, inevitably, a competitive speller is going to be given a word he doesn't know. If he's done nothing but memorize words, the competitor is going to be in trouble. If he has strategies to employ, looking for patterns and roots, he's got an advantage and a shot at spelling the word correctly.

"It'll be a puzzle, and you can make an educated guess," Bailly said. "It doesn't mean you'll get it right, but it's so much more important than memorizing words. ... In some ways, I'm on a mission with the bee. To try to get people to see spelling as part of a whole." One that takes in meanings, origins and connections to other words.

Bailly said he is a "much worse" speller than he was 25 years ago. This is because he isn't elucubrating with a dictionary every night. It also has to do with brain function, he said.

"In the movie, Larabee (Fishburne) says: 'Your brain is sponge,'" Bailly recalled. "He's absolutely right. Those kids are sponges. We need to feed them."

He laments the fact that the movie's star speller, Akeelah, is called a "brainiac" and teased for excelling in an academic pursuit, noting that jocks are not derided for athletic excellence. And he believes it's unfortunate that U.S. educators sometimes frown on competition.

"Competition is very, very good," Bailly said. "It helps people achieve excellence."

Bailly's interest in words took off in fifth grade, when a teacher introduced him to etymology. His interest grew in high school, fired by a 6-foot-tall nun who taught him Latin. "It was very inspirational," he said.

At Brown, he majored in classics, opting not to double major in physics because the physics classes were early in the morning. He recognizes this as a dubious and "irresponsible" reason for ditching physics, but such is college life. He stuck with his classics courses, and in his junior year, starting to think about careers, Bailly looked around campus and decided professors had a pretty nice life. So he applied for a Fulbright to a university in Switzerland, where he studied philology. (Look it up; kid-spellers studying the right way ought to be able to figure out at least one meaning.) He came back to the states and graduate school at Cornell, where he earned his Ph.D. in ancient philosophy.

"I am more astonished that I can read Plato and understand him across 2,500 years," Bailly said, "than I am skeptical that I can understand him."

Bailly, whose father's family is French, speaks English, French and German. He reads Greek and Latin, languages he teaches at UVM.

During three days of filming last spring in Los Angeles, Bailly used his moviemaking down time to work on his spelling bee duties: studying lists of words, noting linguistic symbols, considering parts of speech and derivations.

Though there was "talent coming out of the woodwork" for the role of pronouncer, Bailly senses the moviemakers saw in him somebody who understands well what spelling bees are. "It's kind of arcane," he said, "what they kids are looking for when they ask questions about the words."

To check Bailly's screen presence, the producers only had to view the real-life competition on ESPN. Bailly will preside over the national bee again in a few weeks. It's an event he finds inspirational, where selection is based on meritocracy and where he delights in watching kids of diverse ethnicity, culture, race and economic background excel.

"We have a national phobia of intellectual elitism," Bailly said. "I am sick of it. We have to encourage intellectual elitism."
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| 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.

7.30 p.m. |HISTU| Roman Weapons
Peter Woodward raises a Roman legion and trains them on the weapons that won an empire. To prepare for battle, soldiers march for hours, drill with heavy wooden swords, learn to use a dagger (pugio), throw a javelin (pilum) with pinpoint accuracy, and are introduced to the Gladius Hispaniensis--the short sword that shaped the ancient world. Woodward reveals how the Romans used superior training and weaponry to become the greatest ancient military force and model for every professional army since.

10.0 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.
ante diem iii nonas maias

ca 300 A.D. -- martyrdom of Jovinian
acoustics @ Guru.net

execrable @ Dictionary.com

topos @ Worthless Word for the Day

olfactory @ Merriam-Webster
Rerum in Nepalia condicio

Populus Nepalianus acerrimis reclamationibus factis iam per tres septimanas a rege suo Gyanendra flagitat, ut Nepaliae systema complurium factionum restitueretur.

His tumultibus saltem duodecim cives mortui et multa milia hominum vulnerati sunt. Die Martis, postquam rex tandem se parlamentum a se dimissum denuo convocaturum esse promisit, reclamitantes in vias urbis Catmandi congregati victoria democratiae recuperatae exsultabant vexilla diversarum partium agitantes et cantus triumphales cantantes.

Reijo Pitkäranta
Nuntii Latini, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
(used with permission)
A very loooooooong week draws to a close ...

About.com's N.S. Gill tells us about Olympias ...

ARLT is pondering Roman horseshoes ...

Bestiaria Latina follows up the Philip and the Dragon story with one about Daniel and the Dragon ...

Eric over at Campus Mawrtius continues his tour of Brescia ...

Bread and Circuses alerts us to the fact that the bimillenium of the Teutoberg thing is just a few years away and preparations have begun ...

Hobbyblog has another Valerian, this time sporting some unindentified hero on the reverse (looks like Hercules to me)

phDiva DK gives some interesting links about ancient graffiti ... there's also an interesting post on the Late Antique restoration of the Parthenon ...

Abzu points us to one I've got to check out later .. the Luminous Lint site has a theme Early Landscape Photography of the Classical World ....
From the Ottawa Citizen:

On the heels of all the hoopla about the Gospel of Judas, a Harvard scholar has quietly released one of the first modern studies of a 1,500-year-old document revealing the first comprehensive narrative of Christian theology, cosmology and salvation.

Apocryphon Johannis, ostensibly written by the Apostle John, gives us a glimpse into how early Christians struggled with theories about sin and redemption, the nature of God, and what would happen at the end of the world, says Karen L. King, author of The Secret Revelation of John, published by Harvard University Press.

More important, the apocryphon shows us how mankind has struggled for millenniums over the meaning of religious truth and scripture, and how changeable our answers have been, says Ms. King, professor of ecclesiastical history at Harvard's Divinity School.

For years, scholars knew of the earliest Christian writers only because later Christian polemicists denounced them as heretics.

Researchers had no means of assessing the writings for themselves as they had no originals.

A German scholar first found the Johannis papyrus in a Cairo antiquities market in 1896, but it was not translated into English until 1995. Meanwhile, three other copies of the manuscript were found in 1945 at Nag Hammadi in Egypt, where a peasant came across a trove of ancient writings later called the gnostic gospels.

It was a turning point in early Christian scholarship.

Although the apocryphon is attributed to John, modern scholars doubt he really wrote it. But then, none of the gospels in the Bible were likely written by the saints they are attributed to, including the recently discovered Gospel of Judas.

Ms. King says the apocryphon is a "richer, fuller text," than the Judas document. "It is the first piece of literature we have that puts together an entirely comprehensive Christian world view."

The apocryphon was most likely written in second-century Alexandria, Egypt, and used among students and religious followers in one of the many nascent groups calling themselves Christian.

They probably attributed it to John to place it in a context of his writings and authority rather than trying to claim him as the original author.

Modern Christians would recognize some of its tenets immediately, as it describes a perfect and transcendent God who loves us deeply and will save us from evil.

But the storyline is strange indeed. The 60-page narrative opens with John leaving the temple downhearted after a Pharisee taunts him that his god has abandoned him. John goes to a mountainous area to think things over when Christ appears to him and explains all.

John hears that a number of divine beings have emanated from the Father, including Pronoia-Barbelo, the mother. From her came Christ, the self-generated saviour, and from him came four divine lights, and from them, eternal aeons.

One of the aeons was Sophia, who wished to produce a likeness of herself, but did not ask the Father's permission. As a result, she produced an evil lion-faced serpent with eyes of fire. This creature is the creator god of Genesis, and is arrogant and ignorant.

The story continues in a tug of war between good and evil on earth, but Christ reveals that all who renounce sin will be saved.

The second-century Christian polemicist Irenaeus denounced the document as heresy, but for Ms. King, the Biblical accuracy of the document is not the point. She said in an online discussion at the Chronicle of Higher Education website yesterday: "It is about understanding the dynamics by which early Christian discourses of orthodoxy and heresy have shaped the master narrative of Christian origins and, by implication, contemporary Western discourses of religious identity.

"If we were to make a list of the issues most hotly debated by the early Christians, we would see that they are very much still the issues being debated today: the reality of the resurrection, the meaning of Jesus' death, the interpretation of his teachings, the roles of women and slaves, sexuality and the body, suffering and evil, relation to Judaism, unjust political power, and so forth. Christians have been grappling with these issues for centuries."

She said in an interview later: "Just the fact that there are these alternative voices allows people to understand the formation of Christianity as a process."

"We're already reading (the Bible) through interpretive lenses of Christian theology for the last 2,000 years."

It spurs people to ask their own questions. We may not accept the apocryphon's loutish god in Genesis, but we might wonder why the God of our Bible did not want us to know the difference between good and evil and whether the apple was a metaphor for a larger sin. Could He really have been that upset over a piece of fruit?

Ms. King said, "I think there is a desire to know the truth. People feel that they've been lied to, or at least they haven't got the story right. I was raised believing Magdalene was a prostitute. There is not a shred of evidence for that. It makes people wonder what else is true or not true."

She said that, in the early days of Christianity, "there was a lot of diversity but it was not a problem until somebody decided they were going to be in charge. Unity meant uniformity."

Today, there are still widespread claims that religious truth is fixed and unchanging, but she said: "History poses very serious challenges to those claiming that kind of authority. If people examine the new texts for themselves, they will see that Christianity has been as much about seeking as finding."
Brief excerpt from an item in the Post-Gazette:

Emmy-Award winning producer Pierre Sauvage will present the story of Varian Fry, the subject of his latest PBS documentary, at South Hills Interfaith Ministries' 27th annual Holocaust Observance on Sunday.


Mr. Fry, 32, a Harvard-educated classicist and editor from New York City, helped save thousands of refugees who were caught in the Vichy French zone escape from Nazi terror during World War II. Yet this man, known as "the American Schindler," died in obscurity, without recognition, having been reprimanded by the U.S. government for his actions

Outside of the awkward statement of age, I have never heard of Mr. Fry's efforts before. The few websites I've checked out (and here) don't really mention the Classical connection except in passing. Perhaps working through the articles here will bear fruit.
The incipit from a piece in the Star (yes, there's ClassCon in it):

Star Wars fans rejoice!

After decades of imploring pleas, Lucasfilm has decided to release the original versions of the classic Star Wars trilogy – Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back! and The Return of the Jedi.

The latest DVDs are versions that premiered in 1977, 1980 and 1983. Over the years, creator George Lucas revised and expanded those films, provoking dismay among fans of the early movies.

The new two-disk limited editions will be released on Sept 12 through Dec 31. Each set will include commentary by Lucas and by crew and cast members.

Star Wars devotees have been clamoring for years for the originals, which should push sales beyond the 2004 DVD box set. Lucasfilm’s John Singh said that set was the “best selling DVD set of all time.”

Amy Kalinowski, a Nacogdoches, Tex., contractor with SBC Yellow Pages, is anxiously awaiting the new release. “Oh, absolutely. I will be waiting on the doorstep to get it _ whichever doorstep whether it’ll be in stores, or online. Wherever I have to go to be the first one to get it that’s where I’ll go.”

Anne Collins Smith, a professor of classical studies at the Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, owns several versions of the movies -- VHS tape, laserdisc – but “greatly prefers the original versions.”

“I particularly dislike the whitewashing of Han Solo's interaction with Greedo, which makes his character more bland and less edgy,” she said.

Smith and others have persistently complained about one moment in the revised “Star Wars” where a gun battle between Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, and Greedo, an alien creature, is changed markedly. In the original, Han fires first. In one revision, Greedo attacks and Han defends himself. In another, they fire simultaneously.
7.00 p.m. |DTC| Antony & Cleopatra: Battle at Actium
The Roman navy, led by Octavian, defeated the formidable fleet of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, sealing their fate and creating the Roman Empire. Some say the victory was merely the creation of Octavian's propaganda.

6.00 p.m. |HISTU| Cities of the Underworld
Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic and exotic cities in the world. Once the capital city of three of the world's most powerful empires--The Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman--its strategic location made it the perfect spot for empires to rise, fall...and rise again. Today Istanbul's residents are walking on top of remnants of these fallen civilizations...literally. Taxis drive over parts of Constantine's Lost Great Palace; children play on cobblestone streets concealing a massive Byzantine dungeon; a high school sits on a 3rd century wall leading to the bowels of a 100,000 seat ancient Roman Hippodrome; and basement's of old Ottoman homes lead to subterranean tunnels and secret cisterns. Join host Eric Geller as he leaves the buzz of the city streets behind and follows the pull of the past. Teamed with leading archeologists and experts, Eric peels back the layers of the past--to reveal a hidden history that hasn't seen the light of day for ages.

6.00 p.m. |HINT|Hidden Cities of the Etruscans
A look at the fascinating people who ruled Italy centuries before the Romans. Explores the contradictions in the character of the Etruscans, who embraced both art and slavery, technology and sensuality.
Regis amictia non est possessio pura.

The king's friendship is not a pure thing.

(pron = RAY-gis ah-mih-KEE-tee-ah nohn ehst pohs-SEHS-see-oh POO-rah)

Comment: Any friendship built on an unequal playing field is going to be
painful. A medieval king had absolute power, for the most part. Any
"friendship" would have been with one who stood as an unequal in the
relationship. Imagine what kind of friendship one could have with someone who
had the power to kill you with impunity.

Imagine a friendship with someone who: can berate you and not care; hit you and
get away with it; fire you; take your money and never repay it; take you and
your gifts for granted; who always demands but never gives.

These are not friendships. These are abusive relationships of some kind or
another. They are built on power held unequally. Honor and respect and
integrity are not involved. They are relationships that, however amicable they
seem on the surface, involve a king and a surf.

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

11 B.C. -- dedication of the Theatre of Marcellus

ca. 304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Florian in what would become Austria

ca. 304 A.D. -- martydom of Pelagia at Tarsus

1406 -- death of Coluccio Salutati (humanist and proto-Classicist)
erudite @ Guru.net

pulverulent @ Worthless Word for the Day

It being Thursday, we alert you to Done With Mirrors' Carnival of the Etymologies and the Classics Technology Center's My Word! feature ...
As allergy season descends on me with a vengeance:

About.com's N.S. Gill tells us about St. Helena ...'

Homo Edax compares a famous mosaic to another (in)famous image ...

Bestiaria Latina tells us the tale of Philip and the Dragon ...

Campus Mawrtius has a feature from Eric, who's visiting museums in Brescia ...

Laudator presents us with assorted little tidbits to augment previous posts ...

Elginism comments on (and quotes from) a lengthy piece in the WSJ last week by John Boardman on the Elgin Marbles ...

Hobbyblog has a Valerian with an image of Apollo (the permalink isn't working correctly, so this takes you to the main page) ...
From the Daily Princetonian comes an anecdote about Frederic Morgan, who founded the Hudson Review:

With time, the archives will come to reflect the legend of Morgan.

"I remember once asking him what translation of the Iliad he thought was best," Hedges said of Morgan.

"After a long pause, he responded, 'The Greek.'"
The plot just gets thicker and thicker as my box fills up with various versions of this one ... this one's from the Contra Costa Times:

Greece's culture minister said Wednesday that he will meet with J. Paul Getty Museum director Michael Brand in Athens to press Greece's claim for the return of four ancient artifacts from the Los Angeles museum.

Greece claims the artifacts are among thousands believed to have been illegally exported as part of a booming trade in the country's priceless archaeological heritage.

Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said he was "extremely interested in the matter of the return of the Greek antiquities."

The Getty confirmed the May 16 meeting, and said in a statement, "We believe these discussions should take place between Dr. Brand and Greek officials and we will have no further comment at this time."

Also Wednesday, a second raid was launched on a villa owned by former Getty antiquities curator Marion True, police said.

True is standing trial in Italy for allegedly trafficking stolen antiquities. True has denied any wrongdoing.

Two marble coffins, eight marble roof tiles that would likely have come from an ancient temple and a stone mortar were among items found Wednesday during the raid on the Aegean island of Paros, police said. An earlier raid on the same villa at the end of March found several artifacts.

An April 12 raid of a shipping magnate's villa on the nearby Aegean Sea islet of Schoinoussa yielded about 280 unregistered ancient artifacts.

Greek authorities are investigating whether the artifacts are linked to the dispute between Greece and the Getty. Voulgarakis has said there is no evidence yet to back media reports of a link, and the Getty has said it has no connection with the seizures.
... nothing of interest.
In nomine Domini incipit omne malum.

Every evil begins in the name of the Lord.

(pron = in NOH-mih-neh DOH-mih-nee in-KIH-pit OHM-neh MAH-loom)

Comment: For religious people, this proverb will seem provocative,but most can
acknowledge the truth it embodies.

It boils down to this: it is easier to hurt others if I am identified
completely with something or someone that is totally separated from reality.
Evil that is done in the name of "the Lord" is always the product of those who
see a divinity out there beyond the clouds, totally separate from and in
judgment against life on earth. It is a case of philosophical dualism. The
language itself is the remnant of an ancient evil--slavery.

"Dominus" is the word translated "lord", and yet, its actual meaning in Latin is
"master". It was the title of one who owned slaves. THe word was transferred
to the Christian god, and the metaphor of being a "slave of Christ" worked out
early on. The image of a god who is master and an adherent who is slave to
that god is the complete picture of separation. The master can do whatever he
wants to the slave, the chattel that he owns. And, those who are completely
identified with that master can likewise do whatever they want to others "in
his name".

We can cite infamous examples: the Inquisition, the terrorist attacks of 9/11,
the madness of Hitler, the Ku Klux Klan, the Taliban. But on the news last
night we find the most recent story: a Christian church is suing to preserve
its "right" to show up at the funerals of dead soldiers and demonstrate "god's
punishment on American for the sin of homosexuality." These Americans show up
with their signs and hurl their "go to hell" invectives "in the name of the

To broaden this beyond religion, we might ask ourselves where those place are
that we cite a "higher authority" in order to impose our will on others. That,
too, is the seed of an evil done "in the name of the Master".

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

ante diem vi nonas maias

ludi Florae (possible day 7) -- a festival originally ordered in response to an interpretation of the Sybilline books in 238 B.C., it fell into desuetude only to be revived in 173 B.C.; it was a general festival of drinking and other merriment in honour of Flora, who presided over (of course) flowers and their blossoms

c. 62 A.D. -- martyrdom of James the Lesser in Jerusalem

c. 80 A.D. -- martyrdom of Philip the Apostle in Heirapolis, Phrygia

115 or 116 A.D. -- martyrdom of Pope Alexander I in Rome

c. 286 -- martyrdom of Maura at Thebias (Thebais?)

326 -- traditional date for Helena finding the 'True Cross' in Jerusalem ...
temerity @ Dictionary.com
Quid Osama bin Laden dixerit

Die Dominico (23.4.) in canali satelliticio Quatariensi taenia sonigera divulgata est, in qua vox audiebatur musulmanos monens, ut ad longum bellum sacrum contra occidentales in Sudania gerendum se praepararent.

Rerum periti non dubitant, quin orator ille fuerit Osama bin Laden, caput retis terroristici internationalis nomine al-Qaida. Idem vir in phonotaenia locutus ait moderatores nationum occidentalium sanctionibus regimini Palaestinensium Hamas impositis iam monstravisse, quantam expeditionem cruce signatam contra islamismum suscepissent.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris : Macau - Mecca nova aleatorum
Today's jaunt:

About.com's N.S. Gill highlights an article in the LA Times on Caesarean sections ... I saw this yesterday and wondered whether the author had visited rc's post on the subject ... there's also a post on Ancient Mothers which might be useful for folks wondering how to incoporate Mothers Day into their teaching ...

Bread and Circuses' AM offers us a preview/excerpt from his forthcoming book Rome's Greatest Defeat ...

Bestiaria Latina offers us a Latin story about a snake and a toad (I hope Latin teachers are checking out this site ... good potential supplementary materials) ...

Hobbyblog has a Salonina with a somewhat odd (to me) image of Kore on the reverse ... there's also a very interesting/confusing Republican issue from the year of the Catilinarian Conspiracy (not mentioned on the coin, of course)

A couple of items at phDiva ... the first is some commentary on a Tiepolo painting of Marius and Jugurtha ... there's also a post on Kykeon
From the Daily Targum comes good news ... I wonder if similar situations exist at other universities:

According to professors of classics at the University, the Classics Department has been experiencing a resurgence of interest in recent years.

Last Monday, 22 students were initiated into Zeta Epsilon, the University's chapter of Eta Sigma Phi - a national classics honors society. In April 2005, 26 students were initiated. And while the numbers may seem small to some, they are actually larger than in previous years.

The department's Undergraduate Director Leah Kronenberg said she sees the increasing number of initiates as a sign of healthy interest in classics among the University's undergraduates.

"The number of majors has tripled in the last five years and our 'general interest courses' [humanities courses designed for those who don't know ancient Greek or Latin] are always bursting at the seams," Kronenberg said.

This trend is a turnaround from the department's situation during the late 1980s. Acting Chair Lowell Edmunds said when he first started teaching classics at the University during the 1988-1989 academic year, the department was rebuilding itself after a near-collapse.

The department is growing slowly and some courses have increased in popularity. Kronenberg said the department's current largest course is Greek and Roman Mythology, which tends to draw approximately 250 to 300 students.

Sarolta Takacs, an associate professor, said students in larger courses often seem engaged by the subject matter and ready to learn.

"I think that movies like 'Troy,' and 'Gladiator' incited interest, curiosity," Takacs said. "Also, there is an understanding that Greece and Rome played an important role in our cultural formation."

Classics majors agree ancient cultures are still relevant in today's society. Students said ancient Greece and Rome's links to aspects of the contemporary world - including language, architecture, government and medicine - are among the classics' appealing qualities.

University College senior Deborah Grau said she finds it important to study ancient languages.

"Although many people may not realize it, a great number of the words that we speak each day have stems coming from both Latin and Greek," Grau said.

Enrollments in ancient Greek tend to remain low, as many students don't seem to realize it does not require an excessive amount of effort to grasp, Edmunds said. But Latin seems to attract more students.

"Rutgers is probably one of the most successful state Universities in Latin enrollments. We put on five sections of first-year Latin each fall," Edmunds said.
From the Argus:

If your e-mail inbox was preserved for 1,000 years, what would the archive of letters, political commentary and other daily memorabilia tell future scholars about the world we live in today?

The flipside to that question - how we learn about a past civilization from its remains - is how two middle and high school Latin teachers at Heritage Christian School expose their students to the extinct language and culture of the Roman Empire whose roots weave through modern society.

Starting in the eighth grade, students at the private, sixth to 12th grade school are required to take Latin until they graduate. Because the school's Christian-based curriculum focuses on rigorous study of grammar, logic and rhetoric, administrators say Latin is necessary to understand texts written during approximately 1,000 years when the Roman Empire - and Christianity - spread through Europe, the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia.

Most of those texts are used as classroom materials and include stories, letters, poems and public records that range from the political to the social.

"They're like e-mails from the past," said veteran Latin teacher Donann Warren, who started teaching at the school last fall. "The really important thing is it enables us to get into the mind of another culture."

Nine schools in Oregon offer Latin, said Judy Mathison, who has been teaching the language at Heritage for four years. Although it's more common for even public schools on the East Coast to offer Latin, Mathison said the interest is growing in Oregon.

Because the Romance languages spoken in Western Europe and much of English are based on Latin, Mathison said high school-level students at Heritage score high in language on the SATs.

"They're linguistically gifted," she said.

Each year Latin students across the country take the National Latin Exam, a 40-minute test held in March that awards the highest-scoring takers. Twenty-six students this year from Heritage placed in the top four categories, beating the school's old record of one gold-medal winner and two silver medal winners.

First place winners are: Grace Hahn-Steichen, Tyler Sonsteng, Orlando Diaz, Quinn Baron, Ryan Scott, Craig Bingham, Annika Dixon and Kady Hossner.

Second place winners are: Andrea Sunada, Lilia Sahnow, Tessa Matteson, Alex Hossner, Karissa Thomas, Zachariah Slawik, Seth VanDerEems, Pamela Glass, Jasmine Wilson and Andrew Ritchie.

Third place winners are: Joshua Stiling, Jordan Ott, Ashley Woolery, Emmett Ackerlund and Brent Hartig. Honorable mention names are: Nikole Sartin, Ambyr Stewart, Raquel Lemire and Derek Anderson.

Students also attend the annual Latin forum at Reed College in November, where Latin-speakers around the state attend workshops and other activities.
From the Sofia Echo:

Bulgarian archaeologists discovered near the town of Rousse a stone with an engraved Latin inscription, once part of a defence wall.

The stone is in the region of Stulpishte near the Danube River, Darik Radio reported. The defence wall is part of the Trimamium castle, renovated by archaeologists. The urgent repair operations started a month ago. They were necessary because of the frequent raids of treasure-hunters.

The inscription comprises of six lines. It informs of the erection of a major temple or public building. The name of the legate in Lower Misia and the 'Severiana' cohort are also mentioned.

Severiana is the honorary name of the Roman emperor Sever Alexandre (222- 235 AD). The inscription proves for the first time the cohort took part in operations near the Trimamium castle. Now the stone is preserved in the regional museum of history.
From ANSA:

A huge Roman villa has been unveiled just outside Florence - the first ever in the popular tourist area and one of the biggest Roman farms ever discovered .

"Villas like these were fully fledged factories for the production of wine, olive oil, meat, corn and other products," said archaeologist Fausto Berti, who led the dig at Montelupo Fiorentino .

"We've found big animal pens, warehouses and even a workshop for making ceramic vases. The owners were self-sufficient" .

Berti reckons the villa and farm - which covers 2,000 square metres - must have had its own teams of craftsmen and a small army of slaves .

"In this particular villa, I'd say there must have been at least 70 slaves" .

The 500-metre-square villa is well-preserved and shows the high architectural standards patricians liked for their country homes, reminding them of their luxury town houses: large and elegant rooms, spacious gardens and a long (52m) portico .

It also has fully equipped baths with all the areas Romans used to produce various levels of heat, warm water and steam - and then turn down the temperature .

A tiepidarium (heated-water pool), calidarium (hot room) and frigidarium (cooling-off area) like Morlupo's are found in most villas. The biggest attraction will probably be the well-preserved laconicom, or sauna .

Laconicom? Good name for a short story convention (they meant laconicum).
Very interesting item from the CNS:

Archaeologists repairing a Roman catacomb have discovered an unusual network of underground burial chambers containing the elegantly dressed corpses of more than 1,000 people, a Rome official said.

The rooms appear to date back to the second century and are thought to be a place of early Christian burial. Because of the large number of bodies deposited over a relatively short period, experts believe a natural disaster or epidemic may have occurred at the time.

The corpses, dressed in fine clothes embroidered with gold thread, were carefully wrapped in sheets and covered in lime. Balsamic fragrances were also applied, according to Raffaella Giuliani, chief inspector of the Roman catacombs, who spoke with Vatican Radio May 1.

The discovery will be officially presented in June by the Pontifical Roman Academy of Archaeology, which excavated the site in collaboration with Rome's Ecole Francaise and the University of Bordeaux in France.

Giuliani said the burial chambers were found accidentally in 2003, when experts were repairing a cave-in located in the Catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus, one of Rome's lesser-known catacombs that is closed to the public.

The archaeologists discovered a large room behind one of the painted walls of the catacombs, then a series of similar rooms.

"These were not galleries or cubicles, but big rooms completely full of skeletons. We had to work very carefully to excavate them without destroying them," Giuliani said.

"We were amazed at the high number of individual corpses found in these rooms," she said. The rooms appear to predate the catacombs, which were built in the third century.

Giuliani said the experts believe they were Christian burial places, in part because Christians of that time dedicated great care to burial. Early Christians buried rich and poor with great dignity, in expectation of the resurrection of the dead -- a fact that helps explain the presence in Rome of more than 50 miles of underground catacombs.
8.00 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.

8.30 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. |HINT| Another Atlantis?
Settled 2,500 years ago, the Nan Madol site is a living memorial to the prehistoric Micronesians that once inhabited Pohnpei. 100-feet high basalt structures rise from the deep waters to form artificial islands serving as ritual, trade, and hierarchical centers. Deep below the surface, ancient lore proposes that underwater tunnels connect this complex and are filled with untold riches and ancient artifacts. With only canoes and crude tools, how did the Micronesians build this imposing fortress? Where did they quarry these raw materials? Do the tunnels exist as an answer to the secrets of this complex network of civilization and tradition? And can we find them? Join veteran divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler as they investigate this underwater mystery.
Magna vis conscientiae.
(M. Tulllius Cicero, Pro Milone 23.61; Tusculanae Disputationes 2.17.40)

The force of conscience is great.

(pron = MAHG-nah wis kohn-skee-EN-tee-ai)

Comment: The word for "conscience" is a compound of the words "knowledge" and
the preposition "with". So, from simply putting the words together we might
reflect on conscience as a knowledge that we share together with others.

The question is, who are these others? Karl Jung aknowledged a collective
knowing, a kind of universal pool of knowing that all sentient beings
participated in. He saw some of our dream life, especially those dreams that
include universal symbols like fire and water as coming out of the collective
unconscious. Our stories and artwork include these symbols from the collective.
In that sense, we know together with all of humanity, past and present.
Through the collective knowing, especially as we reflect on it and allow it to
speak to us and become part of our inner guidance, we may become inspired,
connected and wise.

Sigmund Freud taught that the conscience, or the superego, was a mental
formation that represented the mores of our parents. Parental rules were early
on implanted into the child's psyche and became the "voice" that issued
prohibitions around certain behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. This superego
is formed from the things that parents are afraid of as well as the things they
hope for. In other words, the "voice of conscience" in this regard is what mom
and dad hoped and feared for their children. It is a voice that does not
belong to the individual at all. It is a projection of parental anxiety on the
child, and the anxiety does not necessarily go away just because the child grows

Cicero is right in saying that the force of conscience is great. Some poeple
seem to be inspired by an inner direction. Others seem to be held back and
crippled by an inner voice (or voices) that never allow them to "go out and
play" in their lives.

I guess the real question is where our inner direction is coming from and to
whom it really belongs.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
ante diem vi nonas maias

ludi Florae (day 6)
compendium @ Guru.net

daedal @ Dictionary.com

hesitude @ Worthless Word for the Day

vendetta @ Merriam-Webster
Memoria cladis Tshernobyliensis

Die Mercurii viginti anni acti erant e calamitate in ergasterio nucleari
Tshernobyliensi facta.

Die enim vicesimo sexto mensis Aprilis anno millesimo nongentesimo octogesimo sexto (26.4.1986) accidit, ut quartum reactorium illius electrificinae in Ucraina sitae exploderetur. Post hanc cladem sordes nucleares ventis et imbribus imprimis in Belorussiam ferebantur, sed etiam regiones Finniae et aliae Europae spetentrionalis partes pollutionibus periculosis affectae sunt.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris : De Boliviae vapore naturali et petroleo in rei publicae manus redituris
The Stoa updates its Google Earth suggestion (see yesterday's Carnival, below) by noting the Acropolis has already been given the treatment ...

Hobbyblog yesterday had a nice Gallienus sporting a centaur (can't recall if I've ever seen a centaur on a Roman coin before) ...

Mediterranean Archaeology links to an interesting tv-program-website-thingie about Bronze Age makeup ...

Bestiaria Latina presents an episode from the life of James the Just ...

Bread and Circuses gives us an ancient view of 'ancient Paris' ...

Archaeoastronomy has found another inconsistency in the Bosnian Pyramid claim ...

Fans of Carnivals will be interested to know that there's a new History Carnival up at ClioWeb, with quite a few representations made by ClassiCarnies (including my rant about Michael Baigent) ...

In passing, I note that Michael Pahl and myself might find we have 'doctrinal' disputes with Tyler Williams in the near future ...
From the Independent:

Ronald Arthur Crossland, Hittite scholar: born Nottingham 31 August 1920; Henry Fellow, Berkeley College, Yale University 1946-47; Instructor in Classics 1947-48; Senior Student, Treasury Committee for Studentships in Foreign Languages and Cultures 1948-51; Honorary Lecturer in Ancient History, Birmingham University 1950-51; Lecturer in Ancient History, King's College, Durham University (Newcastle upon Tyne) 1951-58; Harris Fellow, King's College, Cambridge 1952-56; Professor of Greek, Sheffield University 1958-82 (Emeritus), Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1973-75; died Cambridge 29 January 2006.

Ronald Crossland, Professor of Greek at Sheffield University from 1958 to 1982, was an international authority on Hittite philology and linguistics, and played an important role in encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to studies on the prehistory of Greece and its eastern Mediterranean neighbours.

The son of a Nottingham headmaster, Ronald Crossland attended Nottingham High School before going up to King's College, Cambridge, in 1939 as a Major Scholar in Classics, taking a Double First in 1946. That achievement was the more notable because in 1941 he interrupted his studies to join the Army, attaining the rank of lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. Until 1945, he saw active service during which he sustained severe wounds in the landings at Anzio that affected him permanently and led to his official classification as "disabled".

Courageous and determined, making light of his difficulties, he gained a coveted Henry Fellowship at Yale University, taking an MA and becoming an Instructor there in 1947. After experiencing Yale in its classical heyday, he continued on a high note with a Treasury Senior Studentship, awarded for research in Hittite philology and linguistics.

Thereafter his career took off, with a confirmed appointment in 1951 as Lecturer in Ancient History at King's College, Newcastle (then part of Durham University), before he assumed the chair in Greek at Sheffield, aged only 38. He was the Harris Fellow at King's College, Cambridge, for four years in the 1950s and also held visiting appointments at universities in Birmingham, Texas, Michigan and Auckland, and at the Academy of Sciences in the German Democratic Republic.

Approaching maturity at a particularly exciting time for a classical linguist, with the decipherment of the Linear B script and (unfulfilled) hopes for the decipherment of Linear A, he made his mark at the Mycenaean Studies seminars in London, which were regularly attended by leading international scholars. There he was noticed by the great Hellenist T.B.L. Webster of University College London (and, later, Stanford). Webster - apprehensive that with the unexpected death of Jonathan Tate the chair in Greek at Sheffield might lapse - went north to argue that it should be filled, and moreover that an exceptionally gifted young scholar, shortlisted elsewhere, was just the right person for the appointment.

There was, however, a slight hiccup on the way. On the eve of his interview, Crossland's progress was interrupted by the long arm of the law as he scaled a drainpipe to retrieve his bags from the upper floor of the locked Department of Classics in Newcastle, before catching the train to Sheffield. Unfazed, and without sleep, he arrived just in time to sail through his interview.

Breaking the traditional boundaries, he embraced a circle that went beyond classicists to Egyptologists, archaeologists, Near Eastern specialists, Slavic scholars, linguistic experts, sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists. Unconventionally starting his working day when others were homeward-bound, he surrounded himself with diverse groups of scholars, ranging from neophyte undergraduates to world-renowned authorities. Often, too, at around two or three o'clock in the morning, a hush would fall on the animated gathering, seated on the floor and refreshed with copious supplies of claret, as students listened attentively to the discourse of luminaries.

Irked by any obstacles to research and scholarship, Crossland strove energetically to remove them. In a Europe acquiescing in the Brezhnev doctrine, and before the Helskinki Accords were concluded, he threw a lifeline for many scholars beyond the Iron Curtain - even in Albania. His gestures were readily reciprocated. He was assisted by the generous hospitality of Sheffield's city fathers, ever ready in those days to reach out to their confrères beyond the divide of Europe.

Crossland concluded that in the wake of the decipherment of Linear B, and of other significant linguistic and archaeological discoveries in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, the time had come to ensure a broad interdisciplinary approach in investigating the prehistory and the proto-history of the area. Widening the range of scholars involved to the whole of Europe, and ensuring that leading American scholars could engage with them, Crossland drew together all the threads in a series of well-attended international colloquia in Sheffield during the 1970s.

He was supported by the three Sheffield departments of Greek, Latin and Ancient History, as well as the nascent Department of Archaeology and Prehistory. Particularly memorable was the 1970 colloquium "Bronze Age Migrations in the Aegean: archaeological and linguistic problems in Greek prehistory", the proceedings of which Crossland edited jointly with Ann Birchall.

Crossland's leading position in Hittite philology and linguistics meant that something of the mantle of O.R. Gurney fell on his shoulders. Professor Sir Denys Page, in History and the Homeric Iliad (1959), wrote that for the early chapters ideally "a profound knowledge of the Hittite language would be a pre-requisite . . . I have turned to Professor Crossland to find exactly the help I needed." For the definitive and revised Cambridge Ancient History, Crossland wrote two important sections: "Immigrants from the North" in 1967 and "Linguistic Problems of the Balkan Area" in 1982. He contributed a chapter on "Early Greek Migrations" to Michael Grant's Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean (1988), and was the author of numerous other articles, reviews and a popular book, Teaching Classical Studies (1976). He also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Sheffield.

Convivial, loyal to colleagues, students, friends and institutions, Crossland freely offered hospitality and his birthday parties each year in the Derbyshire Peak District attracted well- wishers from far and wide. His last appearance in Sheffield was in July 2005 at the university's centenary celebrations, when he was in exuberant form.
From the Dartmouth:

Professor Edward Bradley of the classics department, who also founded the Rome Foreign Study Program, will retire at the end of this term after 43 years of teaching at the College.

"The founding of the Roman FSP, and my close association with it for so many years, has been tantamount to kind of a revolution in my life," Bradley said. "It's given me an opportunity to expand my interest and my teaching into areas for which I had no former professional training."

Bradley, who originally came to Dartmouth as a Greek professor, also helped establish the Classical Association of New England Summer Institute in 1983. This program brings high school classics teachers from across the country to Dartmouth for seminars and conversation with classics professors, giving them the opportunity to escape the restrictions of high school teaching and immerse themselves for a week in a scholarly, intellectual setting.

"Studying Latin or Greek literature, studying ancient art or architecture, or early Christian art or architecture, all of these things are of course as relevant as reading Shakespeare or Dickens or Hemingway ... They're at the heart of a liberal arts education," Bradley said.

Bradley has earned praise from both colleagues and pupils for his ability to make ancient texts relevant and interesting to students.

"One thing professor Bradley always does is to treat texts as friends that you can go back to and continue to learn from," Rob Hale '07 said.

"My first class [with Bradley] was Virgil's Aeneid, which is one of his favorite texts. I still have a copy on my bookshelf and I still consider it a friend."

Last winter, Bradley taught a course focusing on Virgil's Aeneid. The course's enrollment reached over double the average enrollment for an upper level Latin class.

"A lot of people who hadn't taken Latin in forever just fought to be in that class, which I think really says something about him. And it wasn't Virgil, it was Bradley," said Amanda Dobbins '06, who has taken three classes with Bradley.

Some of Bradley's closest friends and former students will travel from afar -- one will even fly in from Italy -- to hold a dinner in his honor on June 2.

"I've never really witnessed such an outpouring of affection and love that's been expressed by former students," classics professor Roger Ulrich said.

After retiring, Bradley hopes to research early Christian art and architecture and continue to teach part-time, possibly through the Rassias Foundation. He and his wife are also renovating a house they own in France.

Dartmouth had a powerful impact on his life, Bradley said.

"In the end, as I look back on my career, I'm immensely grateful to Dartmouth for having given me all these opportunities and for having conveyed to me all these riches," Bradley said. "I'm a happy man."
Dunno if y'all have been following the aftermath of the Italian election or not, but the gist is that Berlusconi finally conceded and included among the strangeness that followed, was this bit (from Forbes):

However, this imbroglio wasn't half as entertaining as Berlusconi's gaucherie while welcoming a newly elected MP from his Forza Italia party, Mara Carfagna, a comely 30-year-old showgirl from his Mediaset empire. "I can assure you all that Mara is very clever as well as beautiful," he told a group of new MPs. "However, dear Mara, I am obliged to remind you of a rule in the Forza Italia group, the jus primae noctis," Berlusconi reportedly added--a Latin reference popularly used to describe the purported legal right of the lord of an estate in the Middle Ages to deflower its virgins. Cue uncomfortable grins all round.
7.00 p.m. |HISTU| Hadrian's Wall
74-miles long and 2,000 years old, Hadrian's Wall winds over the hills and valleys of Northern England, marking the northernmost extent of a long-dead empire. Built of stone and mortar by Roman soldiers, it is the most significant Roman ruin in England. Ordered built by the Emperor Hadrian around the time of his visit in 122 AD, it was more a permanent demarcation and less a defensive barrier. We'll visit this archaeological treasure, which teaches us much of what the Roman era was like for Britain.
Quid est somnus gelidae nisi mortis imago?
(Ovid, Amores 2.9.41)

What is sleep if not the image of chilly death?

(pron = kwid ehst SOHM-noos gheh-LEE-dai NEE-see MOR-tis ih-MAH-goh)

Comment: I heard a Zen teaching recently that suggested that we learn to enjoy
our out-breath. The suggestion follows on an observation that we usually enjoy
the feeling of breathing in. The teaching suggests that it is important to
learn to enjoy our out-breath, as one day it will be an out-breath that leads us
from this dimension into the next.

Hence, Ovid's observation that sleep is an image of death is another point in
this way of thinking about death. Every time we lie down to sleep (which most
of us enjoy doing) is a kind of practice toward that day when lying down one
last time will lead us from this dimension to the next dimension.

Is all of this too much for a Monday morning reflection? If that is the way it
feels, maybe we need to practice--the joy of letting a breath go; the joy of
letting an attachment go; the joy of letting a loved one go in order to lead
his/her life without our controls or maniplations. These are all practice.
transition from this dimension to the next is letting . . . go--allowing to go.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day is now available on the web.
kalendae maiae

1700 -- death of John Dryden (poet and translator of many of the versions of ancient poetry which about on the internet)
charisma @ Guru.net

luminary @ Dictionary.com

mordacious @ Worthless Word for the Day

adduce @ Merriam-Webster
Elisabeth II octoginta annorum

Die Veneris sive die vicesimo primo mensis Aprilis (21.4.) Elisabeth II, regina Britanniae, anniversarium suum octogesimum celebrabat.

Plus viginti milia hominum in viam stratam Windsorianam concurrebant monarchae suae gratulaturi. Regina, dum dimidiam fere horam una cum coniuge Philippo apud populum ambulat, a gratulatoribus praeter flores varia dona natalia accepit, in eis canem porcellanum et pileum signo Britanniae ornatum. Cenam autem sollemnem in horto botanico regali apparatam eodem die vesperi privatim una cum suis sumpsit.

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

For more news in Latin, be sure to check out Ephemeris : De Persidis discrimine

The Radio Bremen version of Nuntii Latini has also been updated, with news from the month of April ...

On the Greek side, we have (of course) Akropolis World News: Modern epic poem in Homeric Greek - Al Qaida trying to enter Israel
Quiet news day ... maybe the ClassiCarnies have more for us:

Dr. Weevil is revealing some 'relative etymologies' ...

Blogographos points us to the Books, Words, and Writing blog, which is reviewing the Minimus Latin program ...

About.com's N.S. Gill tells us about Maia ... she also wraps up Poetry Month with a poet's gallery (you might have to 'skip the ad') ...

Laudator provides an interesting origin for the phrase 'standing on one foot' ...

The Stoa has an interesting idea for a collaborative project involving archaeological sites and Google Earth ...

Roman History Books has some links about the secular games ...

This one's been making the rounds of various lists: the complete Gesta Romanorum is online at the Elementary Readers site ....

Since it is a slow news day, some Classics types might want to check out the Hypertext Bible Commentary which SansBlogue has been promoting for the past few weeks ... I'm somewhat surprised that no Classical 'wiki' commentaries have arisen in the past year or so ...
From the Guardian:

A dig into the rich past of a tiny isle in the Aegean archipelago could soon answer one of the riddles of prehistoric archaeology: why the remote outcrop produced so many of the flat-faced marble figurines that went on to inspire Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore.

Greek and British archaeologists hope their planned excavation will shed light on whether windswept Keros was a major sanctuary for the mysterious Cycladic civilisation 4,500 years ago. The tantalising suggestion that the uninhabited isle may have housed the gateway to the underworld has also not been ruled out.

"We really hope to find the answers to questions that have [provoked] a lot of study, a lot of debate," said Peggy Sotirakopoulou, a curator at Athens' Museum of Cycladic Art. "This is a unique site. Nowhere in the Cyclades have the remains of so many marble figurines been found; figurines that were intentionally broken in antiquity, in quite peculiar places, like the pelvis and chest."

Until its discovery by the modern art movement in the 20th century, Cycladic art was spurned by lovers of the classical period as the barbaric works of a primitive race. But their influence on artists such as Picasso triggered a demand for early bronze age sites - and widespread looting.

Keros, perhaps more than any other in the barren island chain, was targeted in the 1950s and 1960s by plunderers intent on finding the naked, elongated figures. The thousands of fragments of marble vases and figures that flooded the international antiquities market - and were so assiduously bought by museums and private collectors - were known as the "Keros Hoard".

The looting, and the trail of destruction it left behind in an area known as Kavos Daskaleio, made the task of unravelling the enigmatic civilisation much more difficult. By the second millennium BC the mariner-race was superseded by Crete and Mycenaean Greece; its elegant artworks and seafaring superiority soon forgotten.

Subsequent digs at Kavos Daskaleio, where a cave was also found, failed to reveal the secrets of the site or the purpose of the figurines, which could have depicted gods or may simply have been children's toys.

But archaeologists hope their dig, which begins next week and includes an area of virgin ground, will both illuminate the island's role and explain why it was so much more important than its bigger, less rugged neighbours. Some have mooted the idea that the finds not only filled graves but were removed with bones from cemeteries elsewhere and reburied in Keros in front of the cave's mouth.

"It's still unclear whether it was an exceptionally rich cemetery or ritual site," said British archaeologist Lord Colin Renfrew, who will be co-leading the team. "We hope to clarify the real nature of the site by finding a settlement. It is possible, but not yet certain, that [the breaking of the figurines] were ritual actions relating to ceremonies in honour of the dead."
11.30 p.m. |HINT| Roman Weapons
Peter Woodward raises a Roman legion and trains them on the weapons that won an empire. To prepare for battle, soldiers march for hours, drill with heavy wooden swords, learn to use a dagger (pugio), throw a javelin (pilum) with pinpoint accuracy, and are introduced to the Gladius Hispaniensis--the short sword that shaped the ancient world. Woodward reveals how the Romans used superior training and weaponry to become the greatest ancient military force and model for every professional army since.