pridie kalendas novembres

ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 6) -- games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla's defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.

286 -- martyrdom of Quentin
cibarious @ Wordsmith

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein

From Exduco:

Near Amarynthos (Euboea, Greece), a joint excavation by the Swiss School and the 11th Greek Ephorate brought to light the foundations of a large building, possibly belonging to the renowned sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia.

In September, a team of Swiss and Greek archaeologists led by Denis Knoepfler and Amalia Karapaschalidou discovered the massive foundation of an edifice that could belong to the most renowned -yet still unlocated- sanctuary on the island of Euboea, dedicated to Artemis Amarysia.

Deep trenches opened at the foot of the Paleoekklisies hill, near modern Amarynthos (10 kilometres east of Eretria), unearthed a foundation composed of two courses of large tuff blocks. Excavated on a length of 6 meters, the line of the wall extends in the neighbouring fields, making impossible at this stage to ascertain the exact shape and function of the building to which it belonged. Hundreds of crushed fragments of marble were also recovered; they once belonged to the elevation of the buidling, whose marble parts were later used for lime production. This is confirmed by the discovery of an old limekiln just a few meters from the foundation. The preliminary study of the stratigraphy and the pottery suggests that the first course of blocks was laid in the second half of the fourth century BC; the second course belongs to a later phase, dated to the second century BC.

The foundation cuts a large wall from the Late Geometric period (around 700 BC), excavated at a depth of 3 meters from the surface.

The coastal plain near Amarynthos where a team of Swiss archaeologists is searching for the sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia

It is the first time that such a monumental building is discovered in the area of Amarynthos. Although the 2007 exploration did not yield any significant finds related to cult activities, except for few female terracotta figurines, joint evidence attests for the location of the sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia in the vicinity. Several inscriptions that once stood in the sanctuary were discovered nearby in the past, as well as a lead weight inscribed with the name of the goddess. The hill of Paleoekklisies, occupied during the 2nd millennium BC by an important settlement, is identified with ancient Amarynthos, attested on the linear B tablets from Thebes as A-ma-ru-to-(de). Last, the distance between Eretria and the recent discovery corresponds to that indicated by the geographer Strabo, who wrote that the Artemision at Amarynthos was located at 60 stadia or ~11 kilometres from Eretria, provided that we accept an astute correction of the manuscripts proposed by D. Knoepfler.

Further excavation should hopefully clarify the function of the monumental edifice discovered in 2007 and yield new evidence related to the sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia. This research by the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece is endorsed by Swiss and Greek authorities with the support of the Swiss National Funds as well as private sponsors.
Various versions of this one kicking around (it first popped up a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think I mentioned it) ... from PhysOrg:

For the first time, researchers have identified DNA from inside ceramic containers in an ancient shipwreck on the seafloor, making it possible to determine what the ship's cargo was even though there was no visible trace of it.
The findings, by a team from MIT, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Lund University in Sweden, are being reported in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Archeological Science.

By scraping samples from inside two of the containers, called amphoras, the researchers were able to obtain DNA sequences that identified the contents of one as olive oil and oregano. The other probably contained wine, and the researchers are conducting further analyses to confirm this.

Brendan Foley, a lecturer in MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS) and a researcher at WHOI, and Maria Hansson, a biologist at WHOI and at Lund University in Sweden, found the DNA evidence in the remains of a 2,400-year-old shipwreck that lies 70 meters deep near the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea.

Foley, along with David Mindell, MIT's Frances and David Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing and director of STS, led an expedition in 2005 that explored the wreck and recovered the amphoras.

Many archeologists specialize in the study of amphoras, which were the cargo containers of the ancient world, used for shipping all kinds of liquid or semi-liquid goods. But the study of these containers can be frustrating, Foley said, because after centuries on the seafloor, the contents have usually been washed away and archeologists are "just left with empty bottles."

The new research points the way toward analyzing hundreds of containers, which could "tell us what was being traded, and something about the total agricultural production of a country," Foley said. Such analysis of ancient crops could even yield insights into the climate of that period.

The discovery of DNA from olive oil and oregano in one amphora came as a surprise, Foley says, because Chios was well-known in the ancient world as a major exporter of highly prized wines, and archeologists had assumed that amphoras from a ship in that area would have been carrying wine.

The other amphora from which Foley and Hansson were able to extract DNA may indeed have contained wine, although that is not yet certain. The short fragments of DNA they found may have come from pistachios or from resins used to coat the insides of amphoras that carried wine. Analysis continues, using present-day samples of plants from the island to pin down the identification.

Their method could be used to identify most plant products that were being shipped, Foley said, but probably not fish products. While these may also have sometimes been carried in amphoras, they would be too hard to identify because of contamination in the marine environment.

Foley and Hansson also studied amphoras from a different shipwreck, a few centuries younger, but found nothing. Foley thinks that's because the second site was much more severely disturbed by weather and currents. "It was badly degraded, smashed up, churned up," he said. It remains to be seen whether the technique also could be used on amphoras that have been stored in museums for many years, or will only work on those that have been freshly brought up from the ocean.

The method could provide new insights into life in ancient Greece and other seafaring civilizations, Foley said. "Imagine if you were asked to analyze the American economy just by looking at the empty shells of 40-foot shipping containers," he said. "You could say something, but not much."

Foley and Hansson have applied for a grant to go back and study a few dozen more amphoras next year, in order to further develop the technique.

Olive oil AND oregano in the same amphora? This sounds like salad dressing ...
ante diem tertium kalendas novembres

69 A.D. -- sack of Cremona

130 A.D. -- Hadrian's pal Antinous drowns in the Nile

c. 298 -- martyrdom of Marcellus the centurion
reticulate @ Merriam-Webster

jentacular @ Wordsmith

This week, the Classics Technology Center brings us some Earth terms ...
Antigone (Knoxville)

Lisa's Sex Strike (Wales)
Ante diem iv kalendas novembres

ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 4)-- games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla's defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.

1729 -- birth of James Boswell (biographer of Johnson)
ostentiferous @ Worthless Word for the Day

terminous @
From the Times:

Archaeology consists of putting together fragments of the past: a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle with only a tenth of the pieces and no picture. The solution to just such a puzzle in the Roman city of Calleva Atrebatum at Silchester has been proposed, based on scattered pieces of carved stone that may document a palace of Nero's time.

Numerous finds of architectural fragments, often made from Purbeck marble and other decorative stones, have been made at Silchester, near Basingstoke, ever since excavations began there nearly 150 years ago. The problem has been, Professor Michael Fulford explains in a new study, that “for the most part their provenance and precise context are not clear”.

What has become increasingly apparent, however, is that many of these fragments are of a surprisingly early date: not from the demolition of Calleva's public buildings of the third century and later, but from foundation levels underlying them, from structures already long vanished at the time of the city's greatest prosperity.

Corinthian capitals and columns found in earlier years were assumed to be associated with the basilica on one side of the forum, the civic centre of Calleva, but Professor Fulford notes that finds of similarly monumental masonry, made from Bath stone, predate early Roman timber buildings in his current Insula IX excavations. One wall of flint and chalk “clearly predates overlying timber buildings of late first or early second-century date”.

This is earlier than the forum basilica, and the 19th-century excavators of the Society of Antiquaries did not explain how so much material, thought to derive from the decoration and finishing of the basilica, came to be buried at such an early stage of its construction.

Professor Fulford now believes that it came from the disturbance of earlier remains when the basilica was built, and that a large early building lay near or under its west range. Three pieces of tile stamped with the name and titles of Nero suggest a substantial construction between AD64 and AD68.

Bringing together old and new evidence for early monumental stone buildings in central Silchester, Professor Fulford proposes an area roughly 240 by 100 metres (780 by 360 feet); at 2.64 hectares (6.6 acres) similar to the area occupied by the successive Roman palaces at Fishbourne near Chichester. The stonework is, he says, similar to that from Fishbourne, and he concludes that what stood in Calleva in the seventh decade of the first century AD was indeed a palace.

Timber structures of the same date stood near by, which “tends to reinforce the idea that the priority in high-status building at this time was to benefit an individual and his family, rather than the inhabitants of Calleva as a whole. The most likely explanation is accommodation appropriate to an individual of high rank, in this case, presumably, the client king.”

The king in question seems to have been Cogidubnus, known from an inscription at Chichester and from a passage in Tacitus's Agricola, who was a loyal ally of the Romans. There is as yet nothing to associate him explicitly with Silchester, Professor Fulford notes; but the town would seem to have been the ancient and focal point of the Atrebatic kingdom, and, with the possible exception of Canterbury, “the only major nucleated settlement south of the Thames at the time of the Roman invasion of AD43.”

What would have induced Nero to build Cogidubnus a splendid palace? After the rebellion of Boudicca in AD60, which left London and Colchester in smoking ruins, securing the continuing loyalty of this powerful client king might have been considered politically sensible, and a wise precaution to ensure stability in the South East. There is a notable lack of investment in the devastated cities immediately after the crushing of the revolt, and “it could be argued that the strategic priority for Nero was to demonstrate his gratitude to those who had given him support,” Professor Fulford argues.

The Fishbourne palace has long been associated with Cogidubnus, and his realm may well have reached south to the Channel and also west to Bath. Peace over this area would have been vital while military control was reimposed.

After Cogidubnus's death, his Silchester palace was replaced by the forum basilica, but at Fishbourne a more compact but more splendid palace arose: whether it remained in his descendants' hands, or became the seaside retreat of a Roman official, remains to be seen.

Minster goes 3D

High technology and medieval architecture have come together high in the roof of York Minster. A mason's “tracing floor”, on which designs for parts of the minster were inscribed at full scale, has been mapped using three-dimensional (3D) laser scanning.

“The floor is one of only two surviving medieval tracing floors,” said Michael Lobb of Birmingham Archaeology.

“Numerous full-size designs include tracery for windows in the Lady Chapel in York Minster and at St Michael-le-Belfry church.”

“It is an amazing and little-known treasure of York Minster, hidden away above the vault of the Chapter House passage and normally quite inaccessible,” said Dr Peter Addyman, former director of the York Archaeological Trust.

“It allows us to get sub-millimetre accuracy in the recording of lines: we hope to identify the earliest tracery designs, which may date to the construction of the nave in the late 13th century.”
From the Inquirer:

Testimony from ancient Greek writers will be used in the reforestation of Ancient Olympia after it was damaged by a swathe of wildfires in August, the Greek culture ministry said on Thursday.

The hills around this small town in the southern Peloponnese peninsula will be mainly replanted with thousands of bushes and olive trees in line with the writings of Pausanias, a 2nd century AD traveller and geographer.

The writings of Theofrastus, a 4th century BCE philosopher who wrote a treatise on botany, will also be employed, the ministry said in a statement.

Crews in Olympia, which gave birth to the ancient Olympics and hosts the biennial ceremony to light the Olympic torch for each Games, are working hard to prepare the city for the 2008 Beijing Olympics ceremony in March.

"We will soon be able to deliver a restored Ancient Olympia to the international community," Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said after an inspection of replanting and anti-flooding works on Thursday.

"Work is proceeding on schedule," he added.

The 12-day inferno in August burned trees behind the Olympia archaeological museum and grass on the slopes of the ancient stadium where thousands attend the lighting ceremony for the Games every two years.

Extensive damage was also caused to the Olympic Academy grove where the heart of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, is buried.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis last month pledged that the Beijing Games flame-lighting ceremony, scheduled for March 24, will go ahead "in a setting worthy of the history and symbolism of the site".
From the Scotsman:

IT HAD lain undiscovered and untouched for almost 2,000 years and could have been lost forever if not for the persistence of an amateur archaeologist and his camera phone.

Joiner Larney Cavanagh instinctively knew he had found something special when he and his 10-year-old son happened upon a Latin-inscribed artefact in a field near their East Lothian home.

What they did not realise was that they had discovered the first Roman tombstone in Scotland for 173 years.

But Cavanagh's attempts to alert archaeological experts to the find were treated with scepticism until he sent them pictures of the metre-long object from his mobile phone.

They then launched an investigation which concluded that the memorial was one of the most important discoveries of recent times, and provided a fascinating insight into the life of a Roman cavalryman.

Cavanagh, 34, spotted the red sandstone tombstone at the edge of a field at Carberry, near Inveresk, on a expedition inspired by his son Tyler's school project on the Roman Empire.

"I knew it was something significant," he said. "My heart started racing and I felt my jaw drop. I'm not sure who was the most excited, me or my son.

"We ran all the way to my brother's house and phoned a local archaeologist and the National Museum. They told me they were kind of busy and that they would maybe have a look at it the following week."

Cavanagh, of Whitecraig, near Musselburgh, then sent them a series of images from his camera phone.

"Suddenly the phone started ringing off the hook when they realised how important my find actually was," he said. "They made arrangements to come and see it the very next day.

"We were delighted to have it confirmed that it was a Roman tombstone and was hugely important. Tyler couldn't wait to tell his teacher about what we had found. We are both proud to have found something that is going to be put on display in a museum for hopefully hundreds of years to come.

"It's not bad for a bit of homework."

The tombstone is the first to be unearthed north of the Border since 1834. Dating from between 140AD and 180AD, it features the image of a Roman cavalryman charging down a native Caledonian.

The inscription shows it was dedicated to the memory of a man named Crescens, who was a mounted bodyguard for the imperial governor who ran the occupied parts of Scotland, England and Wales.

It reads: "To the shades of Crescens, cavalryman of the Ala Sebosiana, from the detachment of the governor's bodyguard (the Equites Singulaires), served 15 years, his heir (or heirs) had this erected".

Dr Fraser Hunter, principal curator of Roman archaeology with National Museums Scotland, said: "Tombstones like these are surprisingly rare in Scotland, given that there was a garrison of several thousand men here over a period of more than 50 years. Only 13 have ever been found. This is the first time we have found evidence of the governor's bodyguard in Scotland.

"It is also a fantastic potted history of this man's life and career and shows that he was a well respected and important man.

"The image is fairly typical in that it shows a so-called barbarian, displayed as being naked and hairy, being overcome by a noble Roman soldier.

"It is very much a work of propaganda. Stones like these were there to celebrate the achievements of individuals in the Roman army, but were also there to intimidate people and act as a warning.

"There is a lot of cleaning work still to be done on the stone but eventually it will be put on public display."

Hunter believes the presence of the stone near Inveresk suggests that Crescens died while accompanying the governor on a visit to the fort there.

Biddy Simpson, archaeologist with East Lothian Council, said: "This is an incredibly exciting and rare find and we are indebted to the finder for bringing it to our attention so swiftly. This type of find highlights the wealth of archaeological remains in East Lothian and emphasises how the county has played a pivotal role throughout pre-history and history."
What the Romans did for us

In 79AD the all-conquering forces of the Roman Empire swept into Scotland under the command of Julius Agricola. The invaders met with fierce resistance from the native Caledonii, but by 84AD they had established a series of forts and advanced to Aberdeenshire. There Agricola's troops defeated the Celtic tribes at the Battle of Mons Grapius.

In the early 120s, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, a wall was built across the north of England in a bid to contain the northern tribes.

A further Antonine Wall was erected between the Clyde and the Forth in 142 AD. Foundations of some of the 30 forts and Roman baths along the line of the wall can still be seen today.
6.00 p.m. |HISTU| Modern Marvels :The Colosseum.

10.00 p.m. |HINT|The True Story of Hannibal
One of history's greatest military leaders, at age nine Hannibal accompanied his father Hamilcar Barca on the Carthaginian expedition to conquer Spain. Before embarking, the boy vowed eternal hatred for Rome, his people's bitter rival. Twenty years later, in 218 BC, he left New Carthage (now Cartagena, Spain) to wage war on "The Eternal City" with an army of about 40,000, including cavalry and elephants. After crossing the Pyrénées and Rhône River, he traversed the Alps while beset by snowstorms, landslides, and hostile mountain tribes. This 2-hour special brings to life the story of the Carthaginian general who struck fear in all Roman hearts and wreaked havoc with his masterful military tactics, bringing the mighty Roman Republic to the brink of ruin. Archaeologists, historians, and military experts guide us through ancient Carthage and give insight into his military strategy up to defeat at Zama in 203 BC.

HISTU = History Channel (US)

HINT = History International
From Newsday:

The Princeton University Art Museum said Friday it will return some artifacts that Italy says were looted and smuggled out of the country.

It's part of Rome's efforts to keep pressure on museums worldwide to hand over treasures that ended up on the illegal antiquities market.

Authorities from the New Jersey museum and the Italian Culture Ministry will sign an agreement Monday resolving the ownership of 15 disputed artifacts in Princeton's collection, the museum said in a statement.

Under the agreement, Princeton will keep seven objects and transfer legal title to eight. Four of those eight will be returned to Italy, while another four will remain at the museum on loan for four years, the statement said.

In exchange, Italy will lend Princeton "a number of additional works of art of great significance and cultural importance," the statement said. Princeton students will also be given access to Italian excavation sites.

Among the objects covered by the deal is a "psykter" _ a Greek vase decorated with red figures that was used for cooling wine. Made in Athens around 500 B.C., a period of unequaled mastery for pottery in the ancient world, the vase was imported by the Etruscan culture in central Italy.

The psykter's title will be transferred to Italy, but it will be one of the four pieces that will remain on loan in Princeton for four years. The other returning objects include a VI century B.C. Etruscan statue depicting the head of a winged lion and other vases from Greece and southern Italy painted with mythological themes.

Museum director Susan Taylor said the institution was pleased with the deal.

"This agreement reflects and supports the research and educational mission of the university art museum, enabling us to retain a number of objects, repatriate others that belong to Italy, and have unprecedented access, on a long-term loan basis, to additional material," she said.

The agreement is similar to ones Italy has reached recently with the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Museum in New York to return artifacts Italy says were looted or stolen and then sold to top museums.

Earlier this week, a top Italian negotiator in the case told The Associated Press that Rome was close to a deal with Princeton and was also focusing efforts on top institutions in Denmark, the United States and Japan.

The Princeton agreement "is not strictly a deal to recover artifacts," said Maurizio Fiorilli, a state lawyer and lead negotiator for the Culture Ministry. "They will obtain much more than what they give us."

Fiorilli stressed that the Italians were not questioning the museum's good faith in buying the objects and said the deal was meant to encourage cultural cooperation.

The agreement follows the one signed by the Getty last month to return 40 artifacts and is the latest deal yielded by Rome's efforts against the illegal antiquities market, which include a high-profile trial in Rome.

Prosecutors contend the psykter, one of the most prized artifacts in the Princeton accord, was looted from the Etruscan site of Cerveteri, north of Rome, by tomb raiders and sold to Princeton by American art dealer Robert Hecht for $350,000 in 1989.

Hecht is on trial along with former Getty curator Marion True, accused of knowingly acquiring looted or stolen antiquities. Both Americans deny wrongdoing.

The trial grew out of an investigation into an Italian art dealer, Giacomo Medici, who has been sentenced to a 10-year prison term on art trafficking charges. Medici is appealing his conviction.

In a 1995 raid on Medici's offices in Switzerland, police found a trove of artifacts and photos of antiquities, many in pieces and covered in dirt _ a sign they were excavated well after a 1939 law that made all antiquities found in Italy state property.

Experts have spent recent years proving that many of the objects in Medici's photos came from Italy and tracing them to museums around the world.

Fiorilli said Italy's archaeological sleuths are now focusing on talks with other museums, including the New Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Miho Museum in Shiga, western Japan.

"It's not a question of who will we target next, we will check with everybody." Fiorilli said.

He said the Glyptotek had already responded to a request for information on objects which, according to documents from the Rome trial, the museum purchased from Hecht and Medici.

Flemming Friborg, curator of the Glyptotek, confirmed the Italians had been given information, saying that "we have a good dialogue with them and the ball now is in their camp."

Stressing the good faith of the museum in its acquisitions, Friborg said an exchange of objects had been discussed, though "very, very loosely."

Fiorilli said negotiations with the Cleveland and Miho museums are still in an early stage.

James Kopniske, spokesman for the Cleveland institution, said the museum had received a request for the return of a number of objects and has been conducting research on the artifacts.

Hiroaki Katayama, head of the Miho's cultural department, said the museum had not been contacted by the Italians and did not believe it had any looted artifacts in its collection.
Antigone (Baltimore)

Medea (Akron)

Oedipus at Palm Springs (Boston)
... info at Inside Higher Education
The Department of Classics at the University of Arizona seeks to hire a
tenure-track Assistant Professor beginning August 2008. We are looking for a
specialist in imperial age Latin literature with a particular interest in
prose. The candidate is expected to teach beginning through advanced Greek
and Latin and Classics courses in translation, as well as graduate courses.
He or she is also expected to successfully teach large enrollment courses in
mythology and the classical tradition. Candidate must also be willing to
engage energetically in mentoring students and in departmental service and
to be an active, collegial member of the department. The candidate must have
Ph.D. in hand at the time of application and show evidence of both teaching
experience and effectiveness and a developing, coherent research program.
Salary and benefits are competitive. Please send a cover letter, CV, one
syllabus and writing sample (25 pp.), and three letters of reference to
Chair, Philology Search Committee, Department of Classics, LSB 203, P.O. Box
210105, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0105. We will hold
interviews at the APA meeting in Chicago, January 2008. We will begin
reading dossiers November 1, 2007, and the position will be open until
filled. The University of Arizona is an equal opportunity employer; women
and minorities are strongly urged to apply. For more information about the
Department of Classics at the University of Arizona, please visit our
website at
The Department of Classics at THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA seeks to hire a
tenure track Assistant Professor to begin August 2008. The candidate must
have a Ph.D. in hand in Classical Archaeology or related field with a
preference for Bronze Age Archaeology.

The candidate must also show evidence of developing a
coherent plan for research and publication. Preference may be given to
candidates with a record of excellence in teaching large enrollment courses
such as Mediterranean archaeology and/or classical mythology as well as
upper-level/graduate archaeology courses. Additional qualifications can
include the ability to teach interdisciplinary courses in archaeological
scientific methodologies including GIS, mapping, surveying, etc. Candidate
must be willing to actively engage in mentoring students and in department
service and to be an active, collegial member of the department.

Salary and benefits are competitive. The position is open until filled, with
the review of applications beginning November 1, 2007. Please send a cover
letter, a CV, one syllabus, a writing sample (25pp.) and three letters of
reference to: Chair, Archaeology Search Committee, University of Arizona,
Department of Classics, PO Box 210105, Tucson, AZ 85721-0105.

Interviews will be conducted at the AIA/APA Annual Meeting in Chicago in
January, 2008. The University of Arizona is an affirmative action/equal
opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to the
achievement of diversity among its faculty, staff and students. Women and
minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information about the Classics Department at the University of
Arizona, please visit our website at

From BMCR:

Jochen Haas, Die Umweltkrise des 3. Jahrhunderts n.Chr. im Nordwesten des Imperium Romanum. Interdisziplina+re Studien zu einem Aspekt der allgemeinen Reichkrise im Bereich der beiden Germaniae sowie der Belgica und der Raetia. Geographica Historica, 22.

Oliver Taplin, Pots and Plays. Interactions between Tragedy and Greek Vase-Painting of the Fourth Century B.C.

Cynthia B. Patterson (ed.), Antigone's Answer: Essays on Death and Burial, Family and State in Classical Athens. Helios, Special Issue, 33 (2006).

Fritz Graf, Sarah Iles Johnston, Ritual Texts for the Afterlife. Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets.

From Scholia:

Fergus Millar, The Greek World, The Jews, and the East. Volume 3: The Greek World, the Jews, and the East. Studies in the History of Greece and Rome

Eduard Fraenkel (trr. Tomas Drevikovsky and Frances Muecke), Plautine Elements in Plautus (Plautinisches im Plautus)
ante diem vii kalendas novembres

ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 1) -- games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla's defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.

1656 B.C. -- Noah enters the ark (this must be Bishop Ussher again)

31 A.D. -- suicide of Apicata, wife of the disgraced Praetorian Praefect Sejanus

ca 250 A.D. -- martyrdom of Lucian and Marcian

1852 -- during a "violent storm" at Athens, one of the columns of the "Temple of Jupiter Olympus" was toppled (perhaps portrayed here?)
novercant @ Worthless Word for the Day

nosism @ Wordsmith

imbricate @ Merriam-Webster
From IOL:

Archaeologists in the western Austrian province Tyrol unearthed the remains of a large-scale Roman villa, complete with extensive floor mosaics that may have been also a source for a number of local legends.

The archaeologists from Innsbruck University stumbled upon references to the 1 800-year-old, long since forgotten building situated near the town Lienz in a manuscript penned in Latin, dating back to the mid-18th century. Tyrolean proto-archaeologist Anton Roschmann wrote that he found Roman remains in 1746, but his findings were lost, the Austrian Press Agency reported.

During a dig in October the remains of five rooms of a building dating back to Roman times wear unearthed on a 300-square-metre plot. The remains of the walls show colourful wall paintings, the archaeologists said, but the most astounding find were large-scale floor mosaics in three of the rooms.

The mosaics were unique in the region regarding their dimensions and state of preservation, the archaeologists said. Furthermore, the villa had been partly equipped with wall and floor heatings.

The heating vaults under the floors remained partly intact. The fact that they had not collapsed as usual added to the good condition of the mosaics.

In the 18th century, the low-ceilinged vaults were believed to be the home of dwarfs, leading to the creation of local legends about a "dwarf city" in the region.

The alpine region that today represents the Austrian province Tyrol was conquered by Rome in 15 BC While it profited from Roman trade, the region was never particularly attractive for Roman settlers.

Aguntum, near Lienz was the most well-known of the Roman towns in Tyrol.
From the Georgia Bulletin:

From dawn until dusk on Oct. 12, approximately 175 Marist School students, faculty, staff and administrators lent their voices in a public reading of Vergil’s epic poem the Aeneid to raise funds for the “Lost Boys” of Sudan.

The event raised $1,400, which will assist the young men from Sudan who are pursuing coursework at Georgia Perimeter College.

Since 2001 Marist Latin students have delivered and decorated Christmas trees with this group of young men known as the Lost Boys.

“We heard of the needs of the Atlanta Lost Boys through Marist campus ministry,” according to Dr. Anne Washington Saunders, Latin teacher and event organizer along with Thomas Marier, another Latin teacher at the school.

“Over the years we have come to understand what they need in order to make the transition to modern urban life,” Saunders explained in an e-mail. “Education is their main priority in the U.S. They wish in turn to start schools in Sudan. Rather than just collect money, we decided four years ago to do something educational for both Marist and the Lost Boys. Hence the Read-a-thon.”

The response has been satisfying.

“It’s amazing how willing everyone is to fill in, to make sure that there is an unbroken chain of readers,” Saunders noted. “There’s a rhythm to it. The upper-level students enjoy reading the opening and closing lines in the original Latin.”

One of those students was senior Patrick Miller, who began reading the poem’s opening lines in the original Latin at 5 a.m. Miller is the 2007-2008 president of the Georgia Junior Classical League. Formed in 1936, the National Junior Classical League is an organization that promotes the study of the language, literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome so as “to impart an understanding of the debt of our culture to that of Classical antiquity,” according to the organization’s Web site. The read-a-thon has won the Georgia Junior Classical League Service Award and the National JCL Most Creative Service Award.

Saunders explained the importance of studying the enduring legacy of both civilizations, saying, “trends come and go.”

“The classics don’t follow politics or fashion or the latest technological innovations. This is liberating. Students appreciate that their imaginations and curiosity have free play. The classics remain indispensable. If we lose touch with the traditions of the Greeks and Romans, we will find much of Western literature, religion, and language unintelligible. Latin in particular connects so many subjects like literature, Romance languages, law, history, architecture, science, etc. Latin is in our speech, even webspeak.”

To give momentum to this year’s fundraising effort, members of the Latin Honor Society engaged in a 5-mile Appian Way Walk in September to commemorate the famous trip from Rome to Brundisium taken by the poet Horace and his friends in 37 B.C.

Marist School, a private Catholic school owned by the Society of Mary and founded in 1901, is located at 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Atlanta.
... another vague item from

13 year- old boy found a Roman statue during excavation works for a house building near Kurdjali.

Archaeologists suppose the statue was part of decoration of aristocratic villa from the Roman age. The find is well- preserved bottom half of a female body and is produced of high- quality white marble from the Rodopi Mountain.

This is the first statue from Ancient Rome, exposed in the Kurdjali History Museum.

According to archaeologist prof. Ovcharov it is possible for this place to have been a rich villa with unique decoration, similar to villa Armira, found few years agonear Ivailovgrad.
... and alas, again Novinite is lacking in the sorts of details we'd like:

Bulgaria's special police unit combating organized crime busted Thursday a channel for smuggling antiques in five Bulgarian cities.

The seized antiques amount more than BGN 10 M.

Thirteen people were arrested in the police raid that took place from October 22 to 24, among them a well-known businessman from the city of Pazardzhik.

The police seized hundreds of kilos of antique coins, jewellery, agriculture tools, arrow gads and even parts of chariots.

The antiquities were exported to Western Europe and the USA.
From the Inquirer:

Testimony from ancient Greek writers will be used in the reforestation of Ancient Olympia after it was damaged by a swathe of wildfires in August, the Greek culture ministry said on Thursday.

The hills around this small town in the southern Peloponnese peninsula will be mainly replanted with thousands of bushes and olive trees in line with the writings of Pausanias, a 2nd century AD traveller and geographer.

The writings of Theofrastus, a 4th century BCE philosopher who wrote a treatise on botany, will also be employed, the ministry said in a statement.

Crews in Olympia, which gave birth to the ancient Olympics and hosts the biennial ceremony to light the Olympic torch for each Games, are working hard to prepare the city for the 2008 Beijing Olympics ceremony in March.

"We will soon be able to deliver a restored Ancient Olympia to the international community," Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said after an inspection of replanting and anti-flooding works on Thursday.

"Work is proceeding on schedule," he added.

The 12-day inferno in August burned trees behind the Olympia archaeological museum and grass on the slopes of the ancient stadium where thousands attend the lighting ceremony for the Games every two years.

Extensive damage was also caused to the Olympic Academy grove where the heart of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, is buried.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis last month pledged that the Beijing Games flame-lighting ceremony, scheduled for March 24, will go ahead "in a setting worthy of the history and symbolism of the site".
6.00 p.m. |HINT|Pompeii
August 24, 79 AD. A day like any other day in the thriving Roman resort town of Pompeii, sheltered in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius. Then, the volcano erupts and lava engulfs the city, preserving it in time. Historians walk us through the daily life of this ill-fated community.

HINT = History International
ante diem viii kalendas novembres

322 B.C. -- death of Demosthenes (by one reckoning)

237 A.D. -- martyrdom of Daria and Chrysanthus

250 A.D. -- martyrdom of Minias

286 A.D. -- martyrdom of twin saints Crispin and Crispian
stentorian @

necessarium @ Worthless Word for the Day
Carmina Burana (Raleigh)

Philoktetes (New York)

Oedipus (Modesto)

Oedipus at Palm Springs (Boston)

Another Antigone (Union College)

Elektra (Brown/Trinity)

Antigone (Glasgow)

Antigone (Baltimore)
Interesting item from Yahoo's Biz pages:

The Coca-Cola Company announced a US $2 million donation to the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) toward the restoration of its site in Ancient Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games and the ultimate symbol of Greek and international cultural and sports heritage. The site was severely damaged by the recent forest fires that scorched the grounds of the Peloponnesus in Greece over the summer.

Dominique Reiniche, president of The Coca-Cola Company’s European Union Group, met with Minoas Kyriakou, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, at the HOC offices in Athens to present the donation, confirming the Company’s commitment to supporting Olympic ideals by helping to restore the affected area.

The Coca-Cola Company is the longest-standing supporter of the Olympic Games, since 1928, and its $2 million donation will help restore the forest area around the Pierre de Coubertin monument, among other sites. This donation is in addition to fire relief efforts announced earlier by the Coca-Cola Foundation in conjunction with Coca-Cola Hellas and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC).

“The Coca-Cola Company was deeply concerned about the disaster that hit Greece and the site of Ancient Olympia,” Reiniche said. “After our immediate relief efforts, we decided to extend our efforts by helping to facilitate the rapid restoration and reforestation of the Olympic site.”

Kyriakou added, “The restoration of the Sacred Site of Ancient Olympia, allowing its unparalleled beauty to grow again, has been an important priority among all Greeks and of great concern among many worldwide. Today, we are in the pleasant position to congratulate The Coca-Cola Company for its important initiative, an action reiterating its commitment to the Olympic ideals and values.”
From Inside Bay Area:

YOU DON'T FIND too many NCAA Division I football players majoring in classics. But then Will Powers was never the easiest guy to categorize.

Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh looks at the classics major and sees a classic athlete.

"We want to get as much speed and athleticism on the field as we can," Harbaugh said before fall practice began. "That means we have to find a spot for Will Powers."

Powers has moved from linebacker to tight end and back to linebacker this season for Stanford.

"Will is one of the better size-speed guys we have," Harbaugh said. "I've always known with his attitude, his mental toughness and his smarts that getting him on the field was critical for our team. That's why we moved him to tight end. He was working into the lineup there, getting reps, and then when Fred Campbell hurt his neck, Will went back to middle linebacker. I've always known Will is an outstanding football player, that he just needs to be out there playing."

Powers was on the field at the end of Stanford's 21-20 upset win Saturday over Arizona. He made a big contribution with a fumble recovery that ended Arizona's last chance at a comeback.

"I was in the spot I was supposed to be and I fell on it," Powers said. "I didn't even think it was real because the whole crowd was so quiet. And then I realized, 'Wait a minute, I'm on the road. Being quiet's a great thing.' I was just incredibly happy to contribute to that win."

"He really played well this last game," Harbaugh said. "His tempo and timing in our blitz game and on his run fits were really good."

After not being on Stanford's two-deep depth chart at any position but long snapper earlier in the season, Powers isnow listed as a co-first team middle linebacker along with Nick Macaluso.

Does Powers like playing offense or defense better? "Wherever I'm needed," Powers said. "I want this team to be successful. For that to be a reality we all have to buy in."

The former Serra High standout is starting to find himself, both on the field and in the classroom, where he recently declared a classics major.

"I've never been happier with my academic situation," Powers said.

But a middle linebacker majoring in classics?

"The faculty is just inspiring," Powers said. "You can tell they take a lot of pride in their work. While you've been away they've been preparing the whole time for the next class session, so you kind of feel guilty if you're not prepared. It's been a pleasure going to class."

Powers has taken special pleasure in a course taught by professor Patrick Hunt.

"He's a cool guy and one of the forefront people on Hannibal, not Hannibal Lecter, but the Hannibal who crossed the Alps with elephants," Powers said. "He's one of many professors in the classics department who have been supportive of me, not only academically, but athletically as well."

Powers hasn't taken courses in Greek or Latin yet.

"My concentration is ancient history," he said. "While it doesn't require you to know Greek or Latin, you tend to pick it up."

Knowledge of the ancient Greeks and Romans wouldn't appear to be the most practical course of study.

"That's the question that always comes up," Powers said. "But you can write about it, teach it, do research. Also law school tends to like classics majors. It's a major I love that I won't regret having. It's never been a burden."

And Powers does have practical goals. All his hopes aren't centered around becoming a pro football player. Or a classical scholar.

"Stanford doesn't offer it as a major, but ultimately I'd like to do something in business," Powers said. "Venture capitalism, private equity, something like that."
From the BBC:

A new school is to be built in Monifieth on what was possibly the location of a Roman camp.

Angus Council has approved plans for a new Seaview Primary, which will be constructed in the grounds of the existing school.

However, work will not be able to start until archaeologists have carried out an examination of the site.

Local historians said Roman artefacts such as coins and glass had been found in the surrounding areas.

They added that there was a "slight possibility" that the school had once been used as a Roman camp.

Councillors granted planning permission for a new school on the condition that "no works shall take place within the development site until the developer has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological works".

This would involve digging trenches over about 5% of the site and recording any findings.

Archaeologists told the BBC Scotland news website that the Romans were known to have established a number of temporary camps in Tayside.

However, they added that there was no record of one in Monifieth, and the artefacts found there could have been acquired by local settlers.
ante diem ix kalendas novembres

31 A.D. -- execution of Strabo, son of the Praetorian Praefect L. Aelius Sejanus

51 A.D. -- birth of the future emperor T. Flavius Domitianus, better known as Domitian

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
lexiphanes @ Wordsmith

nihilarian @ Worthless Word for the Day

recidivism @
From the Times:

Archaeologists have resumed their search for a library of Greek and Latin masterpieces that is thought to lie under volcanic rock at the ancient Roman site of Herculaneum.

The scrolls, which have been called the holy grail of classical literature, are thought to have been lost when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79, burying the wealthy Roman city of Herculaneum and neighbouring Pompeii.

Previous digs have unearthed classical works at a building now known as the Villa of the Papyri, thought to have belonged to Julius Caesar’s father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, who was known to be a lover of poetry.

The villa was found by chance in the 18th century by engineers digging a well shaft. Tunnels bored into the rock brought to light stunning ancient sculptures — now in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples — and 1,800 carbonised papyrus scrolls. The writings were mainly works by the Epicurean Greek philosopher Philodemus, who was part of Piso’s entourage.

Ten years ago two floors of the villa were discovered, as well as the remains of nearby gardens, ornamental ponds, a bath-house and a collapsed seaside pavilion. The excavation was halted in 1998 as funds ran out and archaeologists protested at the use of mechanical diggers by a private builder to smash through the rock.

The site was opened to the public four years ago, but has now been closed again so that archaeologists using picks and trowels can dig out the frescoed corridor or cryptoportico on the lower ground floor. They are also conserving mosaics and frescoes already found on the top floor to protect them from damp and erosion.

“Work can resume because we are combining archaeology with responsible conservation, which was not the case in the 1990s,” said Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, the director of the British School at Rome and head of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, which is funded by the Packard Humanities Institute to the tune of $3 million (£1.5 million) a year.

Maria Paola Guidobaldi, the director of excavations at Herculaneum, said that the new Villa of the Papyri dig was backed by a further ¤ million (£2 million) from the EU and the Campania region, and would last a year and a half. “We will proceed cautiously — and if we find more papyri or statues, we will be delighted,” she said.

Some historians believe that the papyri, which may have included lost masterpieces by Aristotle, Euripides or Sophocles, were being packed to be taken to safety when the eruption occurred. The scrolls would have been scattered throughout the 30,000sq ft (2,800sq m) of the villa by the violent force of the 100mph (160kmh) “pyroclastic flow” of ash, gas and mud.

Professor Wallace-Hadrill said that next year work would also begin on excavating the basilica, the great hall housing Herculaneum’s legal and administrative centre. It lies beneath a rubbish-strewn wasteland that was covered until recently by dilapidated modern housing, some of it built illegally with the connivance of the Camorra — the Naples Mafia. The local authorities have bought and demolished some of the buildings.

In the past some scholars have insisted that the priority at Herculaneum should be conservation rather than excavation. But campaigners led by Robert Fowler, Professor of Greek at Bristol University, and the novelist Robert Harris have argued passionately that the search for the “lost library” must go on.

The villa captured the imagination of the American billionaire J. Paul Getty, whose museum at Malibu, California, the Getty Villa, is a replica. The carbonised scrolls recovered so far were deciphered by computer-enhanced multispectral imaging.
... interesting oped piece:

Prominent secular and atheist commentators have argued lately that religion "poisons" human life and causes endless violence and suffering. But the poison isn't religion; it's monotheism. The polytheistic Greeks didn't advocate killing those who worshiped different gods, and they did not pretend that their religion provided the right answers. Their religion made the ancient Greeks aware of their ignorance and weakness, letting them recognize multiple points of view.

There is much we still can learn from these ancient notions of divinity, even if we can agree that the practices of animal sacrifice, deification of leaders and divining the future through animal entrails and bird flights are well lost.

My Hindu students could always see something many scholars miss: The Greek gods weren't mere representations of forces in nature but independent beings with transcendent powers who controlled the world and everything in it. Some of the gods were strictly local, such as the deities of rivers and forests. Others were universal, such as Zeus, his siblings and his children.

Zeus did not communicate directly with humankind. But his children -- Athena, Apollo and Dionysus -- played active roles in human life. Athena was the closest to Zeus of all the gods; without her aid, none of the great heroes could accomplish anything extraordinary. Apollo could tell mortals what the future had in store for them. Dionysus could alter human perception to make people see what's not really there. He was worshiped in antiquity as the god of the theater and of wine. Today, he would be the god of psychology.

Zeus, the ruler of the gods, retained his power by using his intelligence along with superior force. Unlike his father (whom he deposed), he did not keep all the power for himself but granted rights and privileges to other gods. He was not an autocratic ruler but listened to, and was often persuaded by, the other gods.

Openness to discussion and inquiry is a distinguishing feature of Greek theology. It suggests that collective decisions often lead to a better outcome. Respect for a diversity of viewpoints informs the cooperative system of government the Athenians called democracy.

Unlike the monotheistic traditions, Greco-Roman polytheism was multicultural. The Greeks and Romans did not share the narrow view of the ancient Hebrews that a divinity could only be masculine. Like many other ancient peoples in the eastern Mediterranean, the Greeks recognized female divinities, and they attributed to goddesses almost all of the powers held by the male gods.

The world, as the Greek philosopher Thales wrote, is full of gods, and all deserve respect and honor. Such a generous understanding of the nature of divinity allowed the ancient Greeks and Romans to accept and respect other people's gods and to admire (rather than despise) other nations for their own notions of piety. If the Greeks were in close contact with a particular nation, they gave the foreign gods names of their own gods: the Egyptian goddess Isis was Demeter, Horus was Apollo, and so on. Thus they incorporated other people's gods into their pantheon.

What they did not approve of was atheism, by which they meant refusal to believe in the existence of any gods at all. One reason many Athenians resented Socrates was that he claimed a divinity spoke with him privately, but he could not name it. Similarly, when Christians denied the existence of any gods other than their own, the Romans suspected political or seditious motives and persecuted them as enemies of the state.

The existence of many different gods also offers a more plausible account than monotheism of the presence of evil and confusion in the world. A mortal may have had the support of one god but incur the enmity of another, who could attack when the patron god was away. The goddess Hera hated the hero Heracles and sent the goddess Madness to make him kill his wife and children. Heracles' father, Zeus, did nothing to stop her, although he did in the end make Heracles immortal.

But in the monotheistic traditions, in which God is omnipresent and always good, mortals must take the blame for whatever goes wrong, even though God permits evil to exist in the world he created. In the Old Testament, God takes away Job's family and his wealth but restores him to prosperity after Job acknowledges God's power.

The god of the Hebrews created the Earth for the benefit of humankind. But as the Greeks saw it, the gods made life hard for humans, didn't seek to improve the human condition and allowed people to suffer and die. As a palliative, the gods could offer only to see that great achievement was memorialized. There was no hope of redemption, no promise of a happy life or rewards after death. If things did go wrong, as they inevitably did, humans had to seek comfort not from the gods but from other humans.

The separation between humankind and the gods made it possible for humans to complain to the gods without the guilt or fear of reprisal the deity of the Old Testament inspired. Mortals were free to speculate about the character and intentions of the gods. By allowing mortals to ask hard questions, Greek theology encouraged them to learn, to seek all the possible causes of events. Philosophy -- that characteristically Greek invention -- had its roots in such theological inquiry. As did science.

Paradoxically, the main advantage of ancient Greek religion lies in this ability to recognize and accept human fallibility. Mortals cannot suppose that they have all the answers. The people most likely to know what to do are prophets directly inspired by a god. Yet prophets inevitably meet resistance, because people hear only what they wish to hear, whether or not it is true. Mortals are particularly prone to error at the moments when they think they know what they are doing. The gods are fully aware of this human weakness. If they choose to communicate with mortals, they tend to do so only indirectly, by signs and portents, which mortals often misinterpret.

Ancient Greek religion gives an account of the world that in many respects is more plausible than that offered by the monotheistic traditions. Greek theology openly discourages blind confidence based on unrealistic hopes that everything will work out in the end. Such healthy skepticism about human intelligence and achievements has never been needed more than it is today.
9.00 p.m. |HISTU| Secret of the Snake Goddess
This archaeological detective thriller takes viewers from the island of Crete in the Mediterranean to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Canadian archaeologist Alexander McGillivary discovered a 3500 a 3500 year old gold and ivory statuette of a male god. McGillivray’s investigation into the statuette challenges everything we thought to know about the mysterious Minoan civilization.
If McGillivary’s assumption is correct, then many of the Minoan artifacts in the world’s greatest museums could be forgeries from the early 20th century. History, science, archeology and McGillivray’s find of a lifetime are the keys to unlocking a world wide fraud and a lost civilization.

HISTU = History Channel (US)
ante diem x kalendas novembres

42 B.C. -- the forces of Marcus Antonius defeat those of Cassius and Brutus in the second Battle of Phillipi; Brutus subsequently commited suicide

12 A.D. -- the future emperor Tiberius celebrates a triumph for his victories in Pannonia and Dalmatia

524 or 525 -- martyrdom of Boethius
inimical @

caruncle @ Wordsmith

argentiferous @ Merriam-Webster
... in Scotland ... from the Scotsman:

IT IS seen as the preserve of independent, fee-paying schools, but Latin is thriving at one state secondary, where it has proved more popular than French.

Nationally, the number learning the ancient language is dropping, but Kirkcaldy High is bucking the trend.

A decade ago, only four pupils there were studying Latin and classics. This year, there are more than 100 taking exams in the classics department, which has two Latin teachers.

Jennifer Shearer, the head of classics, said the school had a distinguished history of teaching Latin.

Thomas Carlyle, the 19th-century historian and philosopher, once taught the language at the school, and its former Latin students include the architect Robert Adam and the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Mrs Shearer said: "The school has one of the biggest Latin uptakes in any state Scottish school. Pupils from Europe even come here to do their sixth year because of the Latin we offer.

"Latin is far from dead - its influence reaches way beyond the limits of the subject itself.

"It helps with English, because 70 per cent of English vocabulary comes from Latin, and it accelerates the learning of other modern languages.

"In total, there are more than 700 million people in the world today whose first language is directly descendent from Latin.

"If you were to plonk a Latin pupil in one of those countries, they would be able to cope with the language."

Modern languages are compulsory to Standard grade level at Kirkcaldy, while Latin is optional, meaning the numbers taking Standard grade French far outweigh those taking Latin.

However, when pupils have a free choice at Higher level, the number taking Latin dwarfs the handful doing Higher French.

There are 103 pupils studying Latin or classical studies at Kirkcaldy High, with 16 taking a Higher.

There are a similar number taking German, while only a few have chosen French or Spanish.

Mrs Shearer said: "It can be difficult for a pupil, early in their school career, to decide which subjects to take - will they be relevant to anything they may eventually want to pursue as a career path?

"If they study Latin, no matter what they eventually become, the things they learn in Latin can be applied to any other subject. Latin can never be a wrong choice."

According to the Scottish Qualifications Authority, the number of pupils taking Higher Latin has remained roughly stable over the past seven years. Some 234 pupils are due to take it this school year. But the overall number sitting Latin exams, including Standard grade and Intermediate courses, has dropped from 945 last year to 847.

Dr Peter Jones, a former professor of classics at Newcastle University and spokesman for the Joint Association of Classics Teachers, said: "The problem is teachers. Strathclyde is the only university in Scotland that trains Latin teachers and they only do it now and again, depending on need.

"In England, only London University and Cambridge train 30 Latin teachers a year between them. However, there are 150 advertisements for Latin teachers each year."

He also expressed concern that the Classical Greek Standard grade in Scotland is under threat. He said: "It is not a dead language - it is immortal. So much of our culture derives from the Greek and Roman worlds. The whole idea of empire, democracy and republicanism and Europe - all this derives from the ancient world."

The SQA confirmed the subject was under review as fewer than nine pupils had chosen the subject for the past three years. A spokesman said: "It clearly does have very small numbers, but decisions are made not just on the numbers but on other factors."
The Literary Encyclopedia is seeking a number of distinguished scholars
specialising in ancient Greek and Roman literatures to join Tom Habinek and
William Dominik as members of its editorial board. Editors are responsible
for commissioning articles from academic specialists and ensuring the
quality and scholarly accuracy of submissions to The Literary Encyclopedia.
They are renumerated with shares in an increasingly successful company.

Founded in 1998 The Literary Encyclopedia intends eventually to provide a
description of all literary and cultural texts of scholarly interest in the
English-speaking world, and to provide informed guidance to critical
reading, cultural topics and the historical context of cultural production.

The publication is collectively owned by its editors and authors (1600+ and
constantly increasing), most of whom are current or recently retired
university teachers. The Literary Encyclopedia has already published over
4100 articles and has 870 commissioned for publication in the next 12
months. It is supported financially by institutional subscriptions from
literature departments and by individual subscribers.

If you are interested in becoming involved in this rewarding and dynamic
enterprise, please contact the Editor, Dr Robert Clark, at
litencyc AT
Following up on a post on the Classics list from OC, this looks promising:

Director: Lesley Dean-Jones, University of Texas at Austin

To view all journals, click on the following link:

To subscribe to all of the journals (with one click) in HRN ClassicResearch Network:

To view all the papers in HRN Classic Research Network:

... not sure how will ultimately be free and how much is payfer (right now only a couple articles are in the latter category), but it's got potential ...
Call for Papers
13th Conference of the FIEC (Fédération Internationale des
Associations d’Etudes Classiques)

The 13th Conference of the FIEC will be held, at the invitation of the
Mommsen-Gesellschaft, from August 24th until August 29th, 2009 in
Berlin. The Conference will take place in the main building
(Hauptgebaeude) of the Humboldt-Universitaet (address: Unter den Linden
6, D-10099 Berlin-Mitte).

The international program committee has decided to organize panels on
the following topics:
1. Images, Texts, Reality
2. Language of the Body
3. Cultural Encounters and Fusions in the Roman Empire
4. Continuity and Change in Late Antiquity
5. The Powers of Persuasion
6. Turning Points in the Reception of Classical Antiquity
7. Classical Antiquity and Mass Culture
8. Comparative Histories: Greece, Rome, and Others
9. Trade in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
10. Epigraphical Documents: Reflection of Reality or Construction of
Historical Knowledge?
11. The Philosophical Significance of Cosmology and Theology
12. Social and Political Dimensions of Kinship: Family, Neighbourhood,
13. Urban Spaces
14. Literature of Knowledge
15. Greek and Roman Epic
16. Religion in Society
17. Recent Discoveries

The international program committee invites classicists from all
countries to participate in these panels with scholarly contributions
(20 minutes each).
Interested scholars are requested to send abstracts of their proposed
papers before March 31st, 2008 to the Conference's Secretary General
Prof. Dr. U. Schmitzer, Institut für Klassische Philologie, Humboldt-
Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, D-10099 Berlin, preferably
by email
ulrich.schmitzer AT
as an attached document in RTF format (possibly also as PDF).

The abstract should contain the following information:
a) Contributor's name and complete mailing address, including email
b) Preferred panel
c) Title of the paper
d) Outline of the content, max. 300 words

The international program committee will decide on the acceptance of
abstracts by May 31st, 2008.
Whether the organizational committee will be able to contribute
financially to accommodation expenses for those scholars whose papers
have been accepted will depend upon the amount of financial subvention
the Conference receives. Further information about this contribution
will be available only in early 2009.

For further details please see the Conference website
Registration and hotel reservations will be possible after
October 1st, 2008.

Aphrodite revealed: A goddess disclosed
University of Reading, Department of Classics
8-9 May, 2008
The Greek goddess of love is ambiguous, alluring, and influential. The Greeks offer at least two mythic traditions regarding her birth, and never agreed as to her origins, perhaps foreign. Aphrodite's representations served many purposes: religious, political, and secular. Her story became no clearer in later antiquity, and her post-antique depiction and its reception continue to beguile.

The image of Aphrodite has been at the centre of the Ure Museum of Archaeology since its recent redesign. She thus invites scholars to Reading to debate her persona and its representation.

We seek papers for a two-day interdisciplinary international colloquium on the subject of Aphrodite revealed. Discussion in all areas is welcome, but suggested topics may include:

* Aphrodite's representation and representation
* The genealogy of the goddess
* Her arrival in Greece
* The manipulation of her multiple guises
* Her reception during and since antiquity

Scholars, including postgraduate students, are asked to send 300-word abstracts, before 30 November 2007, to either:
Dr. Amy C. Smith Department of Classics
Wolfson College School of Humanities
Oxford University of Reading, Whiteknights
RG6 6AA a.c.smith AT

Miss Sadie Pickup
Wolfson College
sadie.pickup AT
Ancient Borderlands Research Focus Group

Upcoming Event

March 22-23, 2008
Graduate Conference in Ancient Borderlands

A forum in which participants from a variety of fields and areas of expertise can explore both physical and intellectual borderlands in the ancient world. The specific disciplines the Graduate Student Conference aims to involve include Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Asian Studies, Classics, History, Medieval Studies, Mesoamerican Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.

Call for Papers

Borderlands, loosely defined, are frontier zones lying along given boundaries, limits beyond which something -- a discipline, an ethnic group, a “nation” -- transforms into something else. The creation, maintenance, and even transgression of identity occurred in these borderlands, tangible and intangible. Whether they be in the form of the Roman frontier, ancient Chinese class distinctions, or Mesoamerican notions of religious transgression, the articulation of such boundaries is a vibrant activity that can be observed, not only within material culture, but also in the rhetorical strategies adopted by ancient authors, in political tactics pursued by those seeking power, or in the establishment of perimeters by believers looking to define their faith. The seminal works of Frederick Barth (such as his introduction to Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference) and other contemporary borderlands historians have already broken ground in these areas. The Ancient Borderlands Graduate Conference desires to build on the foundation already laid by applying borderland theories and concepts to the ancient world. Further, since the nature of borders themselves includes a variety of perspectives, the study of borderlands encourages-even requires-an interdisciplinary approach. The Ancient Borderlands Research Group at the University of California at Santa Barbara therefore invites graduate scholars of any interested discipline to submit abstracts of papers addressing the question of ancient borderlands while taking advantage of the relevant theoretical models. The conference will be held on March 22nd and 23d of 2008 at the beautiful campus of UCSB, home to the first Ancient Borderlands research group. Limited travel funds are potentially available for those who cannot procure department funding from their home institution. Abstracts are due by December 1, 2007, and should be sent to Olivier Dufault at olivierdufault AT Papers presented at the conference might be selected for a future publication of the Borderlands Research Group. For information on the conference, please feel free to email Olivier Dufault.

2.00 p.m. |DISCU| Midas Revealed
An archaeologist believes he has found the grave of King Midas in Turkey; dramatic reconstructions and computer graphics reveal fascinating insights into the Phrygian civilization, its great kings and the origins of the famous myth of the golden touch.

6.00 p.m. |HINT|Lost City of Atlantis
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote about the fabled missing continent. Even South American Indian legend told of a similar tale. Did a highly civilized and technologically advanced people disappear with their secrets at the bottom of the sea, or is Atlantis merely myth?

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE | Carthage
After its founding at the end of the seventh century B.C., Carthage soon grew into one of greatest civilizations of the Ancient World – a remarkable city-state that dominated the Mediterranean for nearly 600 years. Over that span of time, Carthaginian engineers harnessed their extensive resources and manpower to develop some of the ancient world’s most groundbreaking technology. Like the Egyptian masters before them, they built colossal structures able to withstand the ravages of time and man.

DISCU = Discovery Channel (US)

HINT = History International

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
ante diem xi kalendas novembres

4004 B.C. -- 9.00 a.m. ... according to Bishop Ussher, God created the universe

50 B.C. -- the 'Civil War' between Pompey and Caesar began (not sure where my source got this one)
denigrate @ Merriam-Webster

famulus @ Wordsmith

lapidable @ Worthless Word for the Day

The Classics Technology Centre shares some words for herbs ...
Carmina Burana (Raleigh)
Interesting item from ADNKronos claiming evidence from Sicily suggests the Phoenicians did practice the sacrifice of newborns, but not in large numbers and only in response to specific events:

Smentita l'usanza dei Fenici di praticare il sacrificio dei neonati. Nell'isola di Mozia, in Sicilia, i recenti scavi nel locale ''tofet'' (sepolcro) hanno fornito un contributo fondamentale per la comprensione del rito del sacrificio di bambini nella civilta' fenicia. I ritrovamenti hanno infatti dimostrato che la presenza di corpi di neonati nei ''tofet'' non e' legata all'usanza di bruciare i bambini morti alla nascita, ma a una deliberata offerta di esseri umani alla divinita', collegata a fasi di particolari crisi di carattere pubblico e privato. Le uccisioni erano comunque limitate a un paio all'anno.

Sono queste le conclusioni a cui sono arrivate alcune ricerche dell'Istituto di studi sulle civilta' italiche e del Mediterraneo antico (Iscima) del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, presentate a Roma al convegno ''Nuove luci sul Mediterraneo'', organizzato dal Cnr in occasione del decennale della morte del grande archeologo Sabatino Moscati, illustre specialista della civilta' fenicia e punica.

Altre novita' sui Fenici arrivano dalla Sardegna, dove l'Istituto di studi sulle civilta' italiche e del Mediterraneo ha avviato studi nel Sulcis e nell'Oristanese. Nel primo caso le indagini al ''tofet'' di Sant'Antioco hanno evidenziato strette relazioni con i Sardi, come dimostrato anche dalle ricerche avviate al Nuraghe Sirai e a Monte Sirai, dove la compresenza di elementi fenici e indigeni e' attestata anche per il VII e il VI secolo a.C. Nell'Oristanese, le evidenze degli scavi sui Monti Prama, alle spalle di Tharros, sono un importante indizio delle interazioni tra le comunita' sarde e il mondo fenicio, portatore di nuovi stimoli culturali, ma anche di forti spinte di rinnovamento sociale.
‘Space and Time in Ancient Theatre’

Alexandroupolis, May 15-18, 2008.

1st Circular – Call for Papers

and in collaboration with the module ‘Ancient Greek Theatre’ of the
academic program ‘Hellenic Civilization’ of the H.O.U.,
the cultural society ‘Ekataios’ organizes the IInd International Conference.
Its subject is space and time in Ancient Theatre,
(Tragedy, Comedy, Satyr-Play, Mime, Roman Drama).

The conference will focus on contemporary research on the theatrical aspect, the dramatic and the ‘scenic’ function, and on the dramaturgical use and exploration (as presented in the plays, but also according to social and political criteria) of the space and time that are given in myth and plot. Other themes will be the institution of the dramatic games and the development of ‘chronotope’ as a theatrical term.
Some of the themes that the conference will explore are: the performances and the theater-buildings outside Athens, the way past and present are used in the extant plays, the connection between the performances and the dominant ideology at the time of the staging, the portrayal of rural and urban life in the plays, the connection between the dramatic space/tope and time and -more generally- of the theatre and the political events and life, the possibility of a more accurate dating of the plays based on specific references, the theatre as a source for folklore and legal evidence and testimonies. In addition to these, other aspects will include the change made by the dramatists of the mythological or fantastical underground in connection to the religious, philosophical and social trends of their era. Themes of special interest will be the question of how space and time are understood by modern directors, and the metaphysical and metatheatrical interpretation of ‘chronotope’.

Further proposals for oral communications related to the subject of the conference, and not mentioned above can be included in the program of the conference and in the work-groups.

The aim of the IInd International Conference is to bring together scholars and researchers of all disciplines that are related to ancient theatre in order to establish a sort of a ‘data base’ and to facilitate a fertile discussion on each theme.
Another aim of the conference is to encourage, and to give an opportunity to PhD candidates, postgraduate and undergraduate students to attend, to contribute to the discussions, and to present a short paper.

The Proceedings will include a wide range of papers from different disciplines, and will be helpful as a work of reference, and as a way to promote research on ancient theatre.

We invite all those interested in attending the conference to submit the ‘Participation Form’, and those who would like to contribute an oral communication to submit (by e-mail or by post) an abstract (of 600 words) until the 7th of January 2008.
The Organizing Committee will provide accommodation to all speakers and meals for three days.

For further information and for the ‘Participation Form’ please see:
The dramatic story behind the building of the Colosseum in Ancient Rome. To achieve this, the Romans used ground-breaking technology that we still use today, whilst the money to pay for this grand project enslaved a people and brought a temple crashing down.

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
We've just posted:

Explorator 10.26

Ancient World on Television listings for the next week
So what does one do when one's kid has a broken ankle and can't go to football? Why, go to see a spoof of football movies of course -- The Comebacks. Totally a guy movie (and you have to have seen most of the movies parodied to get the jokes) but more interesting for our purposes was a preview for an upcoming parody of 300 called Meet the Spartans. Nothing on the official website yet, but I did track down the trailer:

Hat tip to Mata Kimasatayo for pointing us to some ClassCon in a blogpost at Sic Semper Tyrannis 2007 ... MK also found some more items of interest from Harper's Magazine: Aristotle on the Phoney Religiousity of Tyrants (not sure about the spelling) and Sappho's Supreme Sight on the Black Earth ...

Other items that landed in my mailbox:

Martin Conde has put up some photos relating to the House of the Vestals dig ...

Terrence Lockyer posted to the Classics List about the existence of a paper by Peter Brown called What's in a Name, all about working in the field of 'late antiquity' in the 1960s ...

Another interesting blogpost from the humorfeed/Check Please: The Angry 2000-Year Old Man: Juvenal's Satires
The department of Classics at Cornell University is seeking to appoint a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Latin prose literature from the Republic or Empire, to begin July 1st, 2008. The department is particularly interested in scholars whose work furthers our understanding of literary qualities of the texts they study (including those outside the usual teaching canon). The appointee will teach courses in Latin at all levels and participate in the research and graduate activities of the department. An interest in engaging with other departments (e.g. with Comparative Literature, English, History, or Philosophy) would be welcome. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Please send a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, and a representative writing sample to Professor Charles Brittain, Latin Search Committee, Department of Classics, Cornell University, 120 Goldwin Smith Hall, Ithaca NY 14853. Questions can be directed to Katrina Neff by email to kn59 AT or by telephone at +-1-607-255-7471. The deadline for receipt of applications is November 16th, 2007. Interviews will be conducted at the APA annual meeting in Chicago, January 4th-6th, 2008. Cornell is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator.
For folks who are wondering (or who will be wondering), Patrick Rourke informs us that there's some sort of glitch in the server that houses the Classics list and it likely won't be fixed until Monday at the earliest. Stay tuned ...
I think this one is a repeat ... Father Foster tells us about Pliny's account of the eruption of Vesuvius ...
From Fortean Times 146 (June 2001):

NEARLY A HUNDRED DIVERSE OBJECTS FALL OUT of Fort's skies, from aerolites to worms. Though less promiscuous, the ancient heavens also provided some peculiar precipitations.

As I wrote in FT 138:14, there was a rain of frogs, along with something Fort (Books, p81) never found: falls of tadpoles - in their second Book of Lists (Bantam, NY, 1980, p89), D Wallechinsky and the Wallaces (Irving/Amy/ Sylvia) say tadpoles hatched from mysterious black eggs that fell on Port au Prince on 5 May 1786.

Our frog-man, Athenaeus, also proclaims "I know it has rained fishes in many places. Phaenias says in book two of his Rulers of Eresus that in the Chersonese it rained fishes for three days, and Phylarchus in his fourth book says people in many places have seen this."

Livy (History, hk3 ch10 para6 - 461BC) records: "It rained lumps of meat Thousands of birds seized and devoured pieces in mid-air. What hit the ground lay there several days without putrescence."

Fort thrice (Books, pp651, 655, 665) correlates weird reports with times of national crisis or religious revivalism. Livy (bk21 ch62 para1) beat him to this point. "Many queer things were believed on small evidence, as is usual when men's minds are shaken by fear." Hence his narrative of the Hannibalic War (bks21-30) is studded with falling objects: stones (once, red-hot) are the commonest; blood, chalk, and milk each come down once. Many others, culled from his later (lost) hooks, are inventoried in Julius Obsequens' Book of Prodigies.

Plutarch (Life of Fabius Maximus, ch2 para4) adds writing tablets inscribed "Mars Now Brandishes His Weapons".

Nothing ever hits anybody. The ones in Pliny's register (Natural History, bk2 ch57) are likewise merciful: "frequent" falls of meat, milk and blood (114BC); iron (54BC); wool (49BC); baked bricks (also 49BC).

Cicero's list (On the Nature of the Gods, bk2 chs3-4; cf. his On Divination, bkl ch98, for earth and milk) of the commonest prodigies includes showers of blood and stones; Livy (bk43 ch13 paral - 169BC) records a concurrence of these at Rome and Reate. A phenomenon is sometimes explained. Falls of birds in 204 and 196BC were the result of violent air-pockets caused by the shouts of soldiers and Olympic spectators (Livy, bk29 ch25 para4; Plutarch, Life of Flamininus, ch10 para6). Pindar (Olympic Odes, no7 v34) waxes over a shower of golden flakes; cf. Fort (p132) for golden thread inside a stone, also Lists (above, p89) for 1971 golden rain on Sydney.

Manna from Heaven (Exodus, ch16 vvl4-6) is dubbed by Fort (p554) "one of the commonest of miracles." Acts of the Apostles (ch19 v35) mentions Ephesian worship of a statue of Diana that "fell from heaven". Plutarch (Face of the Moon, ch937 paraF) has a lion fall on the Peloponnesus. Diogenes Laertius (Philosophers' Lives, bk8 ch72) mentions at third remove a man plummeting from the Moon (cf. Fort, pp609-1 1, on creatures teleported from Mars or Moon), a perhaps suitably lunatic finale to this column.

"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" - Popular song

Barry Baldwin
(reprinted with permission of the Author; blame any typically graphic transcription errors on dm)

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
Brief item from Prima:

Sono 60 i reperti archeologici ritrovati e sequestrati dalla Guardia di Finanza in una villa ad Ostia in provincia di Roma. Reperti che al dettaglio avrebbero reso più di 500 mila euro. Il materiale è stato trovato all'interno di una villa-museo di un imprenditore, che è stato denunciato.I marmi pregiati recuperati provengono da cave esaurite da secoli, il che fa supporre che l'ampio giardino serviva come showroom per la vendita privata, ad acquirenti anche stranieri, delle meraviglie archeologiche di Roma.
... well, to tourists, anyway ... from ANSA:

Trajan's Markets reopened to the public Thursday after two and a half years of work shoring up the famed complex and stocking up its glittering new Museum of the Imperial Forums.

The venue, which houses a wealth of artefacts found in recent digs, is "a unique example" of a museum of ancient architecture set in ancient surroundings, said Rome Cultural Heritage Superintendent Eugenio La Rocca.

"We have saved a jewel," said Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni.

The museum boasts statues of Dacians conquered by Hadrian in 101-106 AD, a set of splendid pillars in human form, called caryatids, from the Forum of Augustus, and a series of medieval ceramics that turned up among the ruins.

Other highlights are marble recreations of two legendary lost sculptures originally situated in the Forum of Augustus, cast from copies in Cordova, Spain: Trojan hero and Roman forerunner Aeneas carrying his father Anchises and leading his little son Ascanius, and Rome's founder Romulus holding a trophy from a defeated king. "The museum holds symbolic pieces from every forum," said Trajan Forum archaeological chief Lucrezia Ungaro.

Stand-outs include a bronze foot from a Winged Victory in the Forum of Augustus; an armoured figure from Trajan's Forum and two pieces from Caesar's Forum; and a frieze with cupids and a cornice stone from the Temple of Venus decorated with dolphins and tridents.

Another attraction from the Forum of Augustus is a fragmented Greek-marble hand from a giant lost statue of the the first emperor, called the Colossus.

Audio-visual displays and computer reconstructions will help visitors grasp how the forums were built up by various emperors between 46 BC and 113 AD.

The markets, which date from 113 AD, are in fact no longer believed to be the world's first great shopping mall but a set of administrative buildings for Trajan, who ruled from 98 to 117 AD.

The revamped 'markets' will be part of a swathe of old and new museums and cultural sites centred on the Capitol Hill which Veltroni said would amount to "a new Louvre".

The new exhibition network, to be unveiled in 2010, will be called The Great Capitol.

Memory and Mourning: Death in Ancient Rome

Saturday November 10, 2007 at the Open University, 66, High Street, Harborne, BIRMINGHAM.

10.00 Tea and coffee.

10.30 Valerie Hope and Janet Huskinson (Open University):
Introducing Death in Ancient Rome.

10.45 David Noy (Lampeter):
'Goodbye Livia': Dying in the Roman Home.

11.30 Luke Houghton (Glasgow):
Death Ritual and Burial Practice in the Latin Love Elegists.

12.15 Emma-Jayne Graham (Cardiff):
Bits and Pieces: the Search for 'Secondary Treatment' in Roman Mortuary Practices.

1.00 Lunch.

2.00 Maureen Carroll (Sheffield):
'The mourning was very good.' Liberation and Liberality in Roman Funerary Commemoration.

2.45 Jean-Michel Hulls:
Poetic Monuments: Grief and Consolation in Statius Silvae 3.3.

3.30 Depart.

To register please contact by 02/11/07

Bronwen Sharp, The Departmental Coordinator, The Department of Classical Studies, Open University,Walton Hall,Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA. Tel: 01908 653247. E.mail: B.M.Sharp AT There is no conference fee.

The event will be held at the OU Regional Centre, 66 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9NB. Lunch will not be provided, but there are several cafes and sandwich shops nearby.

Date for your diary: the next in this informal series will be held at the Open University, Walton Hall Milton Keynes (Room GC062) on February 13 2008. Further details will be available in the New Year. Speakers to include:

Eleanor Brook (Cambridge), 'Vita mortuorum: death and commemoration in Cicero's speeches'

Virginia Campbell-Lewis (Reading), 'As the Romans do: a comparative study of the tomb of Veia Barchilla and the tomb of Cecilia Metella'

Heather Manning (Manchester) 'Epitaphs and egos: funerary monuments and social history in Republican Rome'

Darja Sterbenc Erker (Erfurt) ' A transgression is a norm: Women's role in Roman funeral ritual'

Mario Capasso, Hermae. Scholars and Scholarship in Papyrology.

Gerald Bechtle, Iamblichus, Aspekte seiner Philosophie und Wissenschaftskonzeption: Studien zum spaeteren Platonismus.

Luc Brisson, Jean-Francois Pradeau, Plotin Traites 38-41.

Marguerite Hirt Raj, Medecins et maladies de l'Egypte romaine. Etude socio-legale de la profession medicale et de ses praticiens du Ier au IVe siecle ap. J.-C. Studies in Ancient Medicine, 32.

From Ancient Narrative:

B.P. Reardon (ed.): Chariton. De Callirhoe narrationes amatoriae.

From the Guardian:

Charlotte Higgins, Latin Love Lessons: Put a Little Ovid in Your Life

We've slept in this a.m. and are leisurely getting into things ... just so folks know, I'm going to post a pile of stuff today and then at some point (after working out a connectivity problem Vista seems to have in it) I'll be migrating my blog over to my sexy new laptop ... it may or may not work and depending on frustration levels, there might be update delays tomorrow ...
ante diem xiv kalendas novembres

Armilustrium -- a festival in honour of Mars which officially (it seems) brought the campaigning season to an end. The Salii (the dancing priests of Mars) were likely heavily involved with their characteristic dance and with the storage of their figure eight shields. A lustratio (purification ritual) also took place on the Aventine, with the goal of removing the 'blood guilt' the army had taken on that year.

202 B.C. -- Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Zama

125 B.C. -- beginning of the 'era of Tyre'

1769 -- Vesuvius erupts
pasquinade @ Merriam-Webster (indirectly)

hierarch @ Wordsmith

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
... of tangential (perhaps) interest. First, in Sofia Times, there's an abridged version of a paper by Vassilis Lambropoulos, The Tragedy of Greek Politics: Nikos Kazantzakis’ play Capodistria. Second, Terrence Lockyer alerted the Classics list yesterday of the fact that BBC Magazine has a feature on Albert Uderzo and his Asterix comic character.
Seventh Keeling Colloquium: Particulars in Greek Philosophy

Wednesday 7th – Friday 9th November 2007


Wednesday 7th November

10.30am-1pm Robert Wardy (Cambridge)
Moral vision and legislating for the good in Aristotle Respondent: Peter Adamson (KCL)

3-6pm Carlo Natali (Venice)
Particular virtues in the NE of Aristotle
Respodent: Terry Irwin (Oxford)

Thursday 8th November

10am-1pm Antony Long (Berkeley)
Moral rules and psychological particularism in Aristotelian and Stoic ethics.
Prof Long's paper will be read in his absence. Informal discussion will follow

3-6pm Verity Harte (Yale)
What’s a particular, and what makes it so? Some thoughts, mainly about Aristotle.
Respondent: Peter Adamson (KCL)

Friday 9th November

10.30am-1pm Christopher Gill (Exeter)
Particulars, selves and individuals in Stoic philosophy
Respondent: Angie Hobbs (Warwick)

3-6pm Marwan Rashed (Paris)
Particulars in Alexander of Aphrodisias
Respondent: Peter Adamson (KCL)

All meetings will be in the Wilkins Old Refectory (opposite the Main Library entrance, in the centre of the cloisters).

There will be a reception after the paper on Wednesday afternoon in the Wilkins Terrace Restaurant, and a conference dinner on Wednesday evening(speakers and respondents as guests of the Colloquium; others are welcome to attend at their own expense).
9.00 p.m. |DISCC|Mysterious Death of Cleopatra

DISCC - Discovery Channel (Canada)
ante diem xv kalendas novembres

48 B.C. -- Octavian dons his toga virilis
17 A.D. -- restoration of the Temple of Janus at the Theatre of Marcellus (and associated rites thereafter)
31 A.D. -- Execution of the commander of the Praetorian Guard, Lucius Aelius Sejanus, after revelation of his activities against the emperor Tiberius.
33 A.D. -- Death of Vipsania Agrippina (Agrippina 'the elder'), wife of Germanicus and mother of the emperor Gaius (Caligula), among others.
84 A.D. -- martyrdom of Luke
abscond @

pervigilation @ Worthless Word for the Day
Theatre stuff is much-neglected by me in these webpages ... I just figured out yesterday that I can handle them best if I give them the same sort of treatment I give book reviews

Seneca's Oedipus (Cornell)

Iphigenia in Tauris (Opera ... Seattle)
Another review of the same production

Oresteia (One-man show (!) in Scotland)

Camus' Caligula (Washington)

Philoktetes (New York)
From a press release:

These days, Halloween is all about good scary fun, but people have been thrilling to spooky tales as far back as ancient Greece and Rome, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst classics professor Debbie Felton, who studies the folklore of the supernatural.

“Ghost stories have been popular for thousands of years, and there are many reasons why people enjoy them and enjoy being scared by them,” says Felton. “There’s certainly a cathartic effect to hearing a ghost story and being scared out of your wits without ever being in any real danger. But, more essentially, ghost stories ultimately reflect religious beliefs concerning the importance of a proper burial and the survival of the spirit after death. The dead have a need to rest in peace, while the living have a need to believe in an afterlife; who really wants to think about eternal non-existence? And the humor in a lot of ghost stories is a good way to deal with the disturbing reality of death.

“As one author wryly observed about the lasting appeal of ghost stories, the appearance of ghosts ‘has always elicited considerable interest on the part of humanity. Their substance of materialization, their bearing, dress, and demeanor are matters of definite concern to those who expect shortly to become ghosts themselves.’”

Felton also studies literary ghost stories from the Gothic novel through British writers such as M.R. James down through American authors like Stephen King. She has served as a consultant on ghost stories, folklore and mythology for the Fox Family Channel as well as for Sports Illustrated, and has given lectures on folklore of the supernatural all over the country. Recently she was a guest lecturer at Xavier University in Cincinnati, where she gave a talk on “The Case for Serial Killers in Antiquity.”

In 1999, Felton wrote “Haunted Greece and Rome: Ghost Stories from Classical Antiquity,” which related stories of ghosts and hauntings from ancient Greek and Roman times, many of which are similar to modern ghost stories.

“For example, the Roman author Pliny the Younger, in a letter to a friend of his that has survived the centuries, tells a wonderful little ghost story about a haunted house in Athens,” she says. “It’s a prototypical haunted house story: the horrific ghost of an old man scares everyone away, the house is deserted and falling into disrepair. Finally a brave man comes along who dares to spend the night in the house. He is not afraid of the ghost, and instead realizes the phantom wants to communicate. He follows the ghost to a spot where it disappears; he digs up the spot, finds bones, buries them with the proper rituals, and the ghost never appears again.”

According to Felton, another great spooky story from antiquity isn’t about a ghost but a werewolf, and it’s told by the Roman author Petronius in his work “Satyricon.” A man is going from Rome to a villa in the country to visit his mistress, and a soldier offers to accompany him. They stop to rest at the cemetery outside the city, and the soldier does something that terrifies his companion: he takes off his clothes, urinates in a circle around them, and turns into a wolf. The man runs as fast as he can to the villa, finds that a wolf has ravaged the flocks there, but that one of the servants managed to wound the wolf with a spear. Hearing this, the man heads back to Rome, where he finds the soldier being treated by a doctor for a spear wound. The man realizes the soldier is a shapeshifter. As with Pliny’s ghost story, this early werewolf story has many of the prototypical elements found in later such stories, including the presence of a full moon.

Felton, who is currently writing a book titled, “Things That Went Bump in the Night: Strange Stories from Ancient Greece and Rome,” has a deep appreciation for the scary stories of antiquity. “I think these Roman stories are great, and most people don’t realize that ghost and werewolf stories like these were being told 2,000 years ago.” The book will be published by the University of Texas Press. Felton has also recently written a chapter on “The Dead,” which appeared last January in Blackwell’s Companion to Greek Religion.
Interesting website which requires much more poking around on my part:
The Oath in Classical Greece
... here's part of the intro blub:

This is the homepage of the Oath in Archaic and Classical Greece Project, based in the Department of Classics, University of Nottingham, directed by Alan H. Sommerstein, and funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which has created a database of all references to oaths in Greek texts of all kinds from the earliest alphabetic inscriptions down to 322 BC, the year of the death of Aristotle and the end of the classical Athenian democracy, and is now engaged in the analysis and interpretation of this evidence, preparing a two-volume study of The Oath in Archaic and Classical Greece (click here for details of this and our other publications).
The Department of Classics in Princeton University announces a tenure-track
position for an Assistant Professor in Greek literature, to begin in Fall 2008.

Period and field of specialization are open. We are looking for a candidate
capable of contributing to our entire program, both in the languages, from
beginning courses through graduate seminars, and classes in translation,
both traditional topics and innovative new courses. It is expected that the
candidate will have the PhD in hand by September 1, 2008. Applications (no
electronic filing please) should be directed to Andrew Ford, Chair of Greek
Search Committee, Department of Classics, Princeton University, Princeton NJ
08544. Applicants should include a letter of application, a curriculum
vitae, a sample of scholarly writing (not more than 30 pp.) and should
arrange for at least three confidential letters of recommendation to be
sent. Applicants who wish to be sure of being considered for interviews at
the APA meeting in Chicago should have all materials arrive by December 7, 2007.

Princeton University is an EEO/AA employer. For information about applying
to Princeton and how to self-identify, please link to
Ancient History. The history department of the University of Dayton invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professorship, beginning fall 2008. Applicants should have ancient history – preferably ancient Mediterranean or ancient Near East -- as their primary research field. The successful applicant will be expected to teach a full range of undergraduate courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. The position also requires participation in the University’s Humanities Base program, which includes teaching of HST 103, The West and the World, which is required of all students at the University. The position requires a balanced and ongoing commitment to research and teaching, as well as participation in the department’s contribution to the University’s Catholic and Marianist mission. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in hand by time of appointment. Send letter of application, c.v., three recommendations, and copies of all graduate transcripts to arrive no later than December 3, 2007 to Prof. William Vance Trollinger, Dept. of History, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1540. (No e-mail submissions, please.) Review of all files will begin December 4. Semi-finalists will be interviewed at the AHA meeting in January 2008 in Washington. The University of Dayton, a comprehensive Catholic university founded by the Society of Mary (Marianists) in 1850, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. The University of Dayton is firmly committed to the principle of diversity.
The University of Miami is proud to be recognized as "Company of the
Year" by South Florida CEO magazine. It is our core commitment to growth
that has earned us this distinct honor, captured the attention of high
profile community leaders, and is attracting incredible talent from all
over the world.

The Department of Classics announces a tenure-track appointment at the
rank of Assistant Professor, to begin on August 15, 2008, in this, the
nation's youngest Classics Department. The appointed individual will
help in the building of the program by teaching Latin and Greek (at all
levels) and broad survey courses of the literature and culture of the
Greco-Roman world, and by participating in various departmental
activities. Teaching experience and a Ph.D. in Classics or related
discipline by the time of appointment are required.

A letter of application, curriculum vitae, and supporting materials,
including a writing sample, should be sent to: University of Miami
Classics Search Committee, Department of Classics, Ashe 521, Coral
Gables, FL 33124-4653. For inquiries, please call Ada Orlando at

Applicants should arrange for at least three confidential letters of
reference to be sent directly to the same address. The review of
applications will begin on 15 November 2007, and will continue until a
suitable candidate is identified or the search is closed. EO/AAE.
ante diem xvi kalendas novembres

c. 107 -- martyrdom of Ignatius of Antioch

c. 136 -- martyrdom of Heron
extant @
From the Guardian:

If only we'd listened to Byron, what a lot of trouble over the Elgin/Parthenon marbles would have been saved. "Dull is the eye that will not weep to see/Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed/By British hands ..." he wrote in Childe Harold. Two centuries on, the Parthenonites are still weeping, the Elginites still clinging on to the sculptures that Lord Elgin took from the Parthenon in the first decade of the 19th century.

The Parthenonites reckon the opening of the Acropolis Museum will clinch the argument. "There can no longer be any question about where or how the marbles should be displayed," says Eleni Cubitt, secretary of the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles. The new museum, she says, will allow the sculptures to be seen as they were intended - as a single work of art.

But the British Museum, which claims ownership of the parts of the frieze taken by Elgin, is unmoved. "The new museum doesn't change anything," says communications manager Hannah Boulton. "The purpose of the British Museum is to present an overview of world civilisations, and the Parthenon sculpture is an integral part of that. In Greece the sculptures tell a story about the growth of Athenian democracy. Here, we can see the sculptures in a worldwide context."

The BM no longer suggests the Greeks would be unable to safeguard the marbles. Nor does it deploy the old argument that if the marbles were sent back, the Egyptians would want their mummies, too. The argument now is over context - local v general. The Elginites say that, by splitting the sculptures, we can have both. The argument is subtle, but wrong-headed. Byron was right, and it's time to fill in the gaps the Greeks are so tellingly leaving in their new museum.

... maybe it's my early morning lack of coffee, but this strikes me as a bunch of words parading as an argument which just takes a lot of words (for a Grade Seven student) without actually backing up the opinion. Elsewhere, in the same publication:

The days when the Greeks played hardball with the British Museum over the Parthenon marbles ended long ago. Today, it is with an air of conciliation and collaboration that they approach Europe's longest running cultural row. In fact, for the contemporary Greek lobby, actions now speak much louder than words.

It was in this spirit that the new Acropolis Museum opened its doors to dignitaries on Sunday. Officially, the excuse was the inaugural transfer of antiquities from the rocky hill to the glass-walled behemoth that forms their new home. Unofficially, however, this rendezvous with history (no sculpture has formally left the site in 2,500 years) allowed the Greeks to show off a spectacular exhibition space that has been on the drawing board for more than 30 years.

Over midday cocktails, Athenian officials could finally debunk the myth that they have nowhere to display the Periclean masterpieces. With the Attic light filing through its great pane windows, and the resplendent sun-soaked Parthenon temple seemingly within reach, the fact suddenly became blindingly clear: this is the place where all the treasures that once adorned this iconic monument should be kept.

No other locale can claim so exquisitely to be their natural home. If there is one backdrop that can remind visitors of the essential connections between democracy and classical beauty - the very notions that inspired Pericles and Pheidias to cooperate over their creation - it is here. By comparison, the British Museum's Duveen Galleries, the setting for the 88 pediment statues, freize panels and metopes that Lord Elgin began to remove from the Parthenon in 1801, have never seemed as paltry or as small.

With the top-floor of the plethoric, three-storyed new building replicating the exact dimensions of the Parthenon, the sculptures can be presented in their correct positions and original configuration, just as they appeared on the temple. In places where the sequence of statuary is broken, the Greeks have decided to dramatize the loss by installing mesh-covered plaster copies of the originals in London.

Symbolically, the Greeks made sure that the first antiquity to be airlifted by crane from the Acropolis was a 2.5 tonne slab that had once been part of the Parthenon's 160m Ionic frieze depicting the Panathenaic procession in honour of Athena. Sixty per cent of the frieze, extravagant in execution as no other in classical art, is in the British Museum, which also has the only pediment statue with its head intact.

If only in the name of scholarship, it is clear that these pieces should be reunited. And the Greeks are willing to go to any length to collaborate with the British Museum (in negotiations that have become increasingly amicable they have, for example, proposed exchanging any number of other antiquities in return). By the time the new Acropolis Museum opens next autumn, it is their hope their actions (and, in this case, the stones) will speak louder than any legal argument over the ownership of the objects.

And the tide appears to be turning in their favour. Repeated polls have shown that the proportion of Britons supporting the return of the sculptures far exceeds the number of those who still believe they should be kept in Bloomsbury. When visitors to the new museum stand in front of the artworks, it will be a question that they, too, will have to ponder. As a result, one thing seems clear: the moral pressure on the British Museum is only going to increase.

... again, lots of words, an opinion expressed ("in the name of scholarship"), but nothing really said to back up the opinion.
9.00 p.m. |HISTU|DIGGING FOR THE TRUTH II | Cleopatra
She ruled over men, bedding the likes of Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony, and led one of the greatest civilizations of the world. Her name has been immortalized in myth and legend. So, how did Cleopatra become the last of the pharaohs? How did the mighty fall? In the shadow of the pyramids, Josh Bernstein joins Zahi Hawass on a hunt for mummies from the time of Cleopatra. He'll come face to face with Cleopatra's killer, the Egyptian cobra, and sail down the Nile River searching for clues to her true history. In Alexandria, Josh will descend into the cisterns below the modern city to look for evidence of Cleopatra's reign. Finally he'll dive into the Harbor of Alexandria, where a beautiful palace - possibly the last vestige of Cleopatra's legendary wealth - lies, the only testament to a woman who was perhaps the wisest and most cunning of all of Egypt's pharaohs.

HISTU = History Channel (US)
ante diem xvii kalendas novembres

1861 -- birth of J.B. Bury, author of History of the Later Roman Empire, among other 'standard' texts
fervid @ Merriam-Webster

adiaphanous @ Worthless Word for the Day

quotidian @
From Novinite:

The busy market place in the Bulgarian coastal town of Varna yielded another sarcophagus, the third to be found over the last two days by builders, working on a construction site nearby.

Decking the sarcophagus, archaeologists found bronze coins, perfume vials, a lamp and a jar.

The graveyard was unearthered for the first time at the end of last week in a region known as the Odessos necropolis. It was found to contain the skeletons of a 30-year-old woman and a man, who are believed to have been a poor family.

An ancient coin was found, which is believed to have been put under the tongue of the dead man. He was to give the coin to ferryman Charon to transport his souls across the river Styx into the underworld.
T'other day we were wondering about what UN Envoy Matthew Nimetz had said about Alexander the Great ... Joannis Georganas sent in this one from the Macedonian Press Agency (thanks!), inter alia:

Journalist: Ms. Bakoyannis, in an interview with a Skopje newspaper, Mr. Nimetz stated that Alexander the Great essentially slaughtered thousands of people and destroyed many cities, and that the empire he left behind was not at all positive.

Ms. Bakoyannis: The historical contribution of Alexander the Great has been recognised for thousands of years now, and history cannot be rewritten and is not rewritten. That’s my first comment. The second comment I have is that we are talking in terms of the future with regard to issues concerning our region, and not in terms of the past. I want to make that clear.

University of Manchester, 26-27 June 2008

Submission of abstracts on Suetonius is invited for a conference to be held at
the University of Manchester, 26-27 June 2008. Provisionally confirmed speakers

Rhiannon Ash (Oxford)
Erik Gunderson (Toronto)
John Henderson (Cambridge)
Donna Hurley (New York)
Tim Parkin (Manchester)
Jeff Tatum (Sydney)
Peter Wiseman (Exeter)
Ruth Morello (Manchester)
Roy Gibson (Manchester)

Papers may be on any aspect of the lost or surviving works of Suetonius, his
context or influence; but we are particularly seeking papers of a broadly
literary or cultural bent which seek to understand Suetonius and his text,
either directly or through his inheritors. The aim of the conference is to
galvanize and revitalize study of this fascinating early imperial author.

Abstracts should be no longer than one side of A4 and should be sent to either
of the conference organisers by 31 January 2008.

For further information, do not hesitate to contact us.

Roy Gibson (roy.gibson AT
Ruth Morello (ruth.morello AT

Classics & Ancient History, University of Manchester

Note on Conference Series: this is the fifth in an informal series of biennial
conferences organised by Latinists at the University of Manchester. The first
three have been published as Re-imagining Pliny the Younger (Arethusa 36.2,
2003); The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and
Remedia Amoris (OUP, 2006); and Ancient Letters: Classical and Late Antique
Epistolography (OUP, 2007). A fourth - Pliny the Elder: Themes and Contexts
- is in preparation for publication with Brill in late 2008. For further
information, see:

The next Celtic Conference in Classics, the fifth, will be at University College Cork, 9-12 July 2008 (Wednesday-Saturday). All are welcome.

The panels (provisionally) are to be:

` "Aristocracy" and Social Mobility in Antiquity'
Chairs: Nick Fisher (Cardiff) and Hans van Wees (London)

`New Approaches to Greek Comedy'
Chair: Keith Sidwell (Cork)

`Les femmes et la religion dans le monde gre/co-romain'
Pre/sidants: Pierre Brule/ (Rennes II), Ve/ronique Mehl (Lorient)

‘Authority and Authenticity in Ancient Narrative’ - a KYKNOS panel.
Chairs: John Morgan (Swansea), Mirjam Plantinga (Lampeter), Ian Repath (Swansea)

`Vision and Power: The Theory, Practice and Representation of Viewing in Ancient Greece'
Chairs: Sue Blundell (London), Douglas Cairns (Edinburgh), Nancy Rabinowitz (Hamilton College)

`Medieval Ireland and the Classical Past'
Chair: David Woods (Cork)

`Herodotos and Sparta' and `Thucydides and Sparta'
Chairs: Stephen Hodkinson (Nottingham), Ellen Millender (Reed), Anton Powell (UWICAH)
The Celtic Conference aims to develop collective projects in a setting which is hospitable intellectually and socially. The timetable is designed to encourage members to move between panels as they wish.

Further information from Anton Powell (Organiser):
ASPROM (Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics) www.


The Association offers grants up to a maximum value of £500 (its funds permitting) to support costs of travel and/or publication to do with the study of ancient mosaics. The deadline for this round of applications is December 31 2007, and candidates will be informed of the outcome by late March 2008. For terms and conditions and a downloadable booking form please see the ASPROM website:

The 57th Symposium on Roman Mosaics will be held in Kings College London, Strand Campus, Room 2c on Saturday, December 1 2007, 2pm- 5.30pm.


John Allan, Early Roman mosaic materials in southern Britain: a geological perspective

Shelly Hales, Reflections of Aphrodite: Venus mosaics in Roman North Africa

Ruth Leader-Newby, ‘Always read the label’ : inscribed Roman mosaics in the late Empire

Refreshments included. Cost £11; for details about booking, and about the lunch available beforehand (cost £17) please see the ASPROM website:
13th Conference of the FIEC (Fédération Internationale des Associations d’Etudes Classiques)

The 13th Conference of the FIEC will be held, at the invitation of the Mommsen-Gesellschaft, from August 24th until August 29th, 2009 in Berlin. The Conference will take place in the main building

(Hauptgebäude) of the Humboldt-Universität (address: Unter den Linden 6, D-10099 Berlin-Mitte).

The international program committee has decided to organize panels on the following topics:

1. Images, Texts, Reality

2. Language of the Body

3. Cultural Encounters and Fusions in the Roman Empire

4. Continuity and Change in Late Antiquity

5. The Powers of Persuasion

6. Turning Points in the Reception of Classical Antiquity

7. Classical Antiquity and Mass Culture

8. Comparative Histories: Greece, Rome, and Others

9. Trade in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt

10. Epigraphical Documents: Reflection of Reality or Construction of Historical Knowledge?

11. The Philosophical Significance of Cosmology and Theology

12. Social and Political Dimensions of Kinship: Family, Neighbourhood, City

13. Urban Spaces

14. Literature of Knowledge

15. Greek and Roman Epic

16. Religion in Society

17. Recent Discoveries (20-minute papers only)

18. Open Topics

The international program committee invites classicists from all countries to participate in these panels with scholarly contributions (20 or 30 minutes each). Interested scholars are requested to send abstracts of their proposed papers before March 31st, 2008 to the Conference's Secretary General Prof. Dr. U. Schmitzer, Institut für Klassische Philologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, D-10099 Berlin, preferably by email (ulrich.schmitzer AT as an attached document in RTF format (possibly also as PDF).

The abstract should contain the following information:

a) Contributor's name and complete mailing address, including email

b) Preferred panel

c) Title of the paper

d) Length of the paper: 20 minutes or 30 minutes

e) Outline of the content, max. 300 words

The international program committee will decide on the acceptance of abstracts by May 31st, 2008. Please take into consideration that 20-minute papers may have a better chance of being accepted.

Whether the organizational committee will be able to contribute financially to accommodation expenses for those scholars whose papers have been accepted will depend upon the amount of

financial subvention the Conference receives. Further information about this contribution will be available only beginning in early 2009. For further details please see the Conference website ( Registration and hotel reservations will likely be possible after October 1st, 2008.
The Classics Graduate Student Association of the University of Virginia announces its twelfth annual Graduate Student Colloquium, “Lingua sed torpet: Manifestations of Emotions in the Ancient World,” to be held in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, February 16, 2007.

David Konstan, John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor of Classics and the Humanistic Tradition and Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University will deliver the keynote address. Professor Konstan has published on a wide variety of Classical subjects ranging from Greek and Roman comedy to the psychology and philosophy of emotion in the ancient world, including Sexual Symmetry: Love in the Ancient Novel and Related Genres (1994), Friendship in the Classical World (1997), The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature (2006), and most recently, Terms for Eternity: Aiônios and aïdios in Classical and Christian Texts (2007).

This colloquium will explore emotions and their expression in the ancient world. In what ways are emotions expressed in ancient writers of all genres, in visual art, or in inscriptions? Do Greek communities express emotions in ways fundamentally different from Roman communities? What social and cultural values are revealed by such expressions? Conversely, how and why are expressions of emotion sometimes deliberately suppressed? How does the material record alter the views presented in literary texts? How does ancient medical theory? How does ancient art, whether painting, sculpture or even architecture, depict emotions, and how does it evoke them in the observer? How do status, gender, and ethnicity affect the expression of emotions? What is the role of emotion in Greek and Roman religious experiences? How do philosophers view emotions and their role in human life? What can ancient emotions and their expression tell us about modern views and practices?

We welcome submissions from classical studies and related fields, including art history, history, archaeology, philosophy, comparative literature, religious studies, women’s and gender studies, drama, politics, etc. Abstracts should be one page in length and submitted as attachments to Rachel Bruzzone at Your name should not appear on your abstract, so please make sure that the body of your e-mail includes your name, paper title, institution, email address, and mailing address. You may also send your abstract (with your personal information on a separate sheet) to:

Rachel Bruzzone

University of Virginia

Department of Classics

P.O. Box 400788
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Abstracts should be submitted by December 1, 2007. Please contact colloquium organizers Justin Carreker (carreker AT or Dessa Asp (moa3y AT with any questions. This announcement and updates may be found at the colloquium website:

idus octobres

festival of Jupiter -- all ides were sacred to Jupiter

Rite of the 'October Horse' -- one of the many rituals which makes the study of Roman religion so fascinating. On this day a race between two-horse chariots would be held in the Campus Martius, and the right hand horse of the victorious pair would be sacrificed by the flamen of Mars on an altar (in the Campus Martius, of course). After the sacrifice, people who lived in the Via Sacra neighbourhood would fight the people who lived in the Suburra for the right to the head. If the 'via sacranites' won, they'd display it on the Regia; if the Suburranites won, it would be displayed at the Turris Mamilia. Meanwhile, the cauda (tail - genitals) would be rushed to the Regia so the blood would drip on the sacred hearth; the Vestal Virgins also probably kept some of the blood for use at the Parilia on April 21.

ludi Capitolini -- a somewhat obscure day of games which was unique in its not being 'public' (in the sense of being put on by a magistrate) but rather the ballywick of a collegium of 'Capitolini'. Not much is known about what went on at these games save that an old man wearing the bulla of of a young boy was paraded about and mocked; there were possibly competitions in boxing and running as well.

55 B.C. -- death of Lucretius

70 B.C. -- birth of Publius Vergilius Maro, a.k.a. Vergil, a.k.a Virgil

1999 -- death of Don Fowler, fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and frequent contributor to the Classics list almost from its inception, among other things, of course
archon @ Merriam-Webster

exsufflate @ Worthless Word for the Day

This week, the Classics Technology Center offers us some words for trees ...

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
... but from a later period than we're accustomed to reading about. From Novinite:

Builders, working on a construction site near the market place of the Bulgarian coastal town of Varna, earthed a second century necropolis containing two sarcophagi.

The graveyard was discovered in a region known as the Odessos necropolis and contained the skeletons of a 30-year-old woman and a man, who are believed to have been a poor family.

An ancient coin was found, which is believed to have been put under the tongue of the dead man. He was to give the coin to ferryman Charon to transport his souls across the river Styx into the underworld.

A tantalizing brief item from Kathimerini:

The Foreign Ministry yesterday expressed its readiness to continue with UN-backed talks aimed at solving a dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) but stopped short of giving a UN mediator its clear support. «Matthew Nimetz is continuing to operate according to his mandate and of course Greece is participating in this effort in a constructive and active way,» ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said. Koumoutsakos was responding to a journalist's question about whether the government still trusts Nimetz in his role following some ambiguous comments and criticism of the historic significance of Alexander the Great.

... I can't seem to find what he said originally ...
The Department of Classical Studies at the University of Waterloo is a vibrant, innovative academic unit showcasing a new MA program in Ancient Mediterranean Cultures. This program will have a cross-disciplinary focus emphasizing the cultural interchange in the Mediterranean basin from the Bronze Age to the early Middle Ages. We are inviting applications for an incremental position, with a preferred starting date of July 2008. Area of expertise and rank of appointment are open; salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The successful applicant should have obtained the Ph.D. degree by the time of taking up the appointment, and demonstrate a commitment to excellence in both research and teaching, at the undergraduate as well as graduate levels. The successful candidate will be instrumental in supporting and guiding the new graduate program as it grows within the context of a University at the global forefront of academic research and teaching at all levels and in all faculties.

Applications should include a full curriculum vitae, a plan of research, and samples of publications. These materials and three confidential letters of reference are to be sent to: Dr. R. Faber, Chair, Department of Classical Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1. Phone: 519-888-4567 x 32817; E-mail: Consideration of applications will begin on January 2, 2008. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and Permanent Residents will be given priority. The University of Waterloo encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including women, members of visible minorities, native peoples, and persons with disabilities. This appointment is subject to the availability of funds.
6.00 p.m. |HINT| The Roman Emperors
When the power of Rome was concentrated into the hands of supreme rulers, the empire began to corrode as the emperors led lives of increasing depravity. We'll visit their mansions to get an inside look at the splendor--and squalor--in which they lived, and insight into their sometimes inexplicable acts

8.00 p.m. |HISTC| LOST WORLDS (2006) | Jesus' Jerusalem
A team of field investigators uncovers the clues that will recreate vanished or hidden worlds. They use the latest research, expert analysis and cutting edge graphic technology to take us back.
Tens of thousands of people travel every year to the city of Jerusalem, hoping to visit the places where Jesus walked, preached, suffered, was crucified and was buried. But in the two thousand years since his death, the city has been destroyed and rebuilt more than twenty times.

HINT = History International

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
We've just posted our newsletters:

Explorator 19.25

The Ancient World on Television (October 15-21)

... and some housekeeping items: Barry Baldwin's contributions should resume next week; we'll also be announcing a new format for the ClassiCarnival and assorted other changes which will be happening now that football season is winding down (actually, my son injured his ankle so this might only be a temporary window of opportunity).
As seen on the Classics list (thanks JS!):

I may have mentioned these before, but ... Mata Kimasitayo (thanks!) has sent in a number of items by Scott Horton in the September and October issues of Harpers:

Aeschylus on the Tyrant's Blindness

Heine's 'The Gods of Greece'

Heine and the Battle of the Gods

Seneca on the Crimes of War

... the first and the last have some very nice Classically-inspired paintings ...
Remember way back in the late 90s when the 'latest thing' on the web was the 'webring'. I thought most of these had gone the way of the dodo, but I am pleasantly surprised to see the Classical Culture Webring is still alive and kicking ... nice place to stroll some cold afternoon.
Catching up with our favourite Carmelite ... via Father Coulter's site:

Patron of Communications

Juno Moneta


... sadly, I haven't had a chance to listen to these yet ...
It's been pretty quiet for quite a while ancient-books-online-wise, so here's a couple items of interest, both via Project Gutenberg:

Theophile Gautier, King Candaules

Lucian, Trips to the Moon (trans. Thomas Francklin)
An excerpt from a documentary on Greek divinities ... I don't think we've mentioned this one yet:

From BMCR:

Fritz Graf, Sarah Iles Johnston, Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets.

Ronnie Ancona (ed.), A Concise Guide to Teaching Latin Literature.

Notes on D. Koelligan's review of T. Meissner's S-stem Nouns and Adjectives in Greek and Proto-Indo-European

Gilbert Dahan, Richard Goulet, Allegorie des poetes, allegorie des philosophes. Etudes sur la poetique et l'hermeneutique de l'allegorie de l'Antiquite a la Reforme.

R. Scott Smith, Stephen M. Trzaskoma, Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae. Two Handbooks of Greek Mythology.

Joachim Hengstl, Ulrich Sick, Recht gestern und heute: Festschrift zum 85. Geburtstag von Richard Haase. Philippika: Marburger altertumskundliche Abhandlungen, vol. 13.

Kenneth Haynes, English Literature and Ancient Languages.

James J. O'Hara, Inconsistency in Roman Epic: Studies in Catullus, Lucretius, Vergil, Ovid and Lucan. "Roman Literature and Its Contexts".

Renzi on Singpurwalla on Roslyn Weiss, The Socratic Paradox and Its Enemies.

Bernard Frischer, Jane Crawford, Monica De Simone, The Horace's Villa Project, 1997-2003. 2 vols.

Klaus Freitag, Peter Funke, Matthias Haake, Kult-Politik-Ethnos: Ueberregionale Heiligtuemer im Spannungsfeld von Kult und Politik. Historische Einzelschriften, 198.

Roberto Salinas Price, Homeric Whispers. Intimations of Orthodoxy in the Iliad and Odyssey.

James Morwood, Euripides: Suppliant Women, with Introduction, Translation and Commentary.

Aldo Brancacci, Pierre-Marie Morel, Democritus: Science, The Arts, and the Care of the Soul. Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Democritus (Paris, 18-20 September 2003). Philosophia Antiqua. A Series of Studies on Ancient Philosophy, vol. 102.

Piero Boitani, Winged Words: Flight in Poetry and History.

Mario Capasso, Hermae. Scholars and Scholarship in Papyrology.

6.00 p.m. |HINT|Rome: Engineering an Empire
For more than 500 years, Rome was the most powerful and advanced civilization the world had ever known, ruled by visionaries and tyrants whose accomplishments ranged from awe-inspiring to deplorable. One characteristic linked them all--ambition--and the thirst for power that all Roman emperors shared fueled an unprecedented mastery of engineering and labor. This documentary special chronicles the spectacular and sordid history of the Roman Empire from the rise of Julius Caesar in 55 BC to its eventual fall around 537 AD, detailing the remarkable engineering feats that set Rome apart from the rest of the ancient world. Featuring extensive state-of-the-art CGI animation, and exclusive never-before-seen footage shot on a diving expedition in the water channels underneath the Colosseum.

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

HINT = History International
ante diem iv idus octobres

19 B.C. -- Augustus returns from various eastern campaigns

166 A.D. -- co-emperor Lucius Verus celebrates a triumph for his victories over the Persians; future emperor Commodus is given the rank of Caesar

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
truckle @

stare decisis @ Wordsmith

retrospective @ Merriam-Webster
From Kathimerini:

A test run for an ambitious project to relocate thousands of treasured antiquities from the Acropolis to the new Acropolis Museum was completed successfully yesterday, officials said.

The exercise was in preparation for the real test on Sunday, when cranes will start moving the first of some 4,500 ancient artifacts into the museum designed by US-based architect Bernard Tschumi and due to open fully to the public late next year.

Yesterday’s operation lasted two-and-half hours and involved three 50-meter cranes slowly moving a 3-ton block of marble into the top floor of the museum.

“If we had put a cup of coffee on top of the crate, it would have stayed in place,” said Costas Zambas, the engineer supervising the move.

To ensure that no harm comes to the artifacts – insured for –400 million – they will be carefully padded and boxed and transferred extremely slowly, meaning the process will take several weeks. But officials were confident that the antiquities will all be in their new home by early next year.

“Within three months from today, the new museum will host the artifacts which will be moved for the first time in 2,500 years – at least the first time legally,” Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said, referring to the removal of pieces of the Parthenon by Britain’s Lord Elgin 200 years ago.

According to the director of the new museum, Dimitris Pantermalis, the absence of the Parthenon Marbles – in the British Museum since their removal by Elgin – “is the most eloquent way to present the problem.” “We want visitors to wonder where these artifacts are,” he said.

On Sunday morning, when the relocation project is set to begin, cranes are to move a 2,500-year-old marble block, weighing 2.3 tons, from the Parthenon frieze. Most of the artifacts date to the 6th and 5th centuries BC.

The entire move – described by Liapis yesterday as “an historic event of major national importance” – is expected to cost 1.6 million euros.
Diana Wright alerts us (thanks!) that the 'Classics issue' of the TLS is out ... this link seems to filter out the non-Classical stuff ...
5.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Mysterious Death Of Cleopatra
The daughter of an incestuous marriage, Cleopatra married and murdered her brothers, inheriting the throne of Egypt at age 17; her life was filled with the unexplained; experts re-examine the circumstances of Cleopatra's untimely death.

DCIVC = Discovery Civilizations (Canada)
ante diem v idus octobres

Meditrinalia -- a somewhat obscure festival in terms of origins which involved tasting old wine and new wine, apparently with the goal of being cured of diseases old and new.

ludi Augustales scaenici (day 7 -- from 11-19 A.D. and post 23 A.D.)

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Tharacus
venireman @ Wordsmith

dysthymic @ Worthless Word for the Day

palindrome @
From Kathimerini:

Authorities in Laconia, in the southern Peloponnese, yesterday expressed concern after state archaeologists ordered workers cleaning the bed of a local river to suspend their activities as the ruins of an ancient Roman home may be on the site. The Culture Ministry’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) said the area around the River Kelefina, where works were under way, is an archaeological site and should be protected, although no ruins or artifacts have been found.

But local authorities said the clearing work is necessary and needs to be conducted regularly to keep the river from breaking its banks, causing flooding. “Just two weeks ago, the river flooded after 15 minutes of rain,” Laconia Prefect Constantinos Fourkas said. When it rains, all the water flows from the streams of Mt Parnon ends up in Kelefina, he said, adding that the risk of regional flooding was high.
From a Press Release:

Beginning Friday evening, October 12, from 4-6 p.m., the Middlebury College Classics Department will sponsor a marathon reading of Homer’s “Odyssey” in English. The “Odyssey” is an epic Greek poem that recounts the travels of Odysseus as he makes his way home after the Trojan War. The reading, by both students and faculty, will continue through October 14, beginning at 10 a.m. each morning on Saturday and Sunday and continuing until 5 p.m. each evening.

This is the third annual marathon reading hosted by the classics department, highlighting a different text each year. Refreshments, including the Greek pastry baklava from Sama’s Café in the Middlebury Market, will be served. The reading will be held on the steps of the Middlebury College Library and is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Trish Dougherty, academic coordinator of the Middlebury College Classics Department, at pdougher AT or 802.443.5013.

Thought just popped into my head: why don't folks ever do marathon readings of Herodotus? It wasn't just the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid triad which were designed to be read aloud ...
Check out this opening line from a piece in Forbes:

France's Iliad has lost its epic quest to be the fourth 3G mobile operator in France after a lack of financing proved to be its Achilles' heel.
From AP via Yahoo:

Archaeologists excavating a site in northeastern Portugal discovered 4,500 ancient Roman coins tucked away inside a wall.

The bundle of 4,526 copper and bronze coins was hidden inside the wall of a 4th-century blacksmith's home, said Antonio Sa Coixao, who is leading the excavation in Coriscada.

The sack holding the coins appeared to have disintegrated, he said.

"It looks like someone was trying to hide them but they never went back to get them," Sa Coixao said Wednesday.

Archaeologists excavating the site — believed to be an ancient Roman village — came across the coins Friday. Sa Coixao said he planned to send the coins to the University of Lyon, in France, to be cleaned and catalogued.

In addition to the blacksmith's home, the excavation site, about 180 miles from Lisbon, includes a spa and a large house with heated rooms and colorful mosaics. The dig is expected to last several years.
From AP:

Archaeologists have discovered a Roman cemetery from about 300 A.D. in suburban Copenhagen with about 30 graves, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

"It is something special and rare in Denmark to have so many (ancient Roman) graves in one place," archaeologist Rune Iversen was quoted as saying by the Roskilde Dagblad newspaper.

The graveyard's exact location in Ishoej, southwest of downtown Copenhagen, was being kept secret until the archaeologists from the nearby Kroppedal Museum have completed their work, the newspaper wrote. No one at the museum could be immediately be reached for comment.

Archaeologists found necklaces and other personal belongings, as well as ceramics for containing food.

"It shows that we're dealing with the wealthy segment of that population," Iversen was quoted as saying. The objects were buried with the deceased "to show that one could afford it, show one's social status."

Excavations are due to be completed in early November, according to Roskilde Dagblad.

... definitely need to hear more about this one.
From the Age:

WHEN UNIVERSITIES are fighting for every dollar they can get, even the smallest donation is welcome. But the University of Melbourne's Centre for Classics and Archaeology never dreamed that one generous graduate would give it $1 million.

The donor, who has insisted on anonymity, believes more young people should experience the joy of studying classics, pro vice-chancellor Professor Warren Bebbington says.

Melbourne receives more than $20 million annually in donations and bequests, although about $9 million of this comes from existing trusts and wills. It also gets another $4 million in cultural gifts, such as books and artworks.

The university receives about 2500 donations a year, with the average gift $280. More than 80 per cent come from alumni, and most go to medicine, followed by music and the arts, especially creative arts.

"Many donors are very self-effacing and prefer anonymity," Professor Bebbington says. "Their pleasure is in giving." He describes the $1 million donation as "major", adding that "it will ensure classics remains central to what we do."

The centre's director, Associate Professor Chris Mackie, says it is "getting harder and harder to protect small language subjects" and the gift is a fantastic boost.

"Classics has had a profile in the history and mission of the university for more than 150 years," he says.

"We are also one of the few Australian universities that has continued to teach a full program of Latin and ancient Greek."

The centre, part of the arts faculty, offers a multi-disciplinary perspective on ancient Graeco-Roman, Aegean and Near Eastern civilisations. Topics covered include religious, political and social life in ancient societies, classical literature and mythology, philosophy, art and architecture.

About 1200 students, including postgraduates, enrol each year, says Professor Mackie. Some do just a couple of classics subjects, reading the texts in translation.

Others have a deep passion for it and major in either classics, which requires the study of Latin and/or ancient Greek, or ancient world studies, where these languages are not compulsory.

A small number of students have studied VCE Latin or ancient Greek, says Professor Mackie. The languages, which are not easy to learn, are intended more for reading than speaking.

"However, many students enjoy the analytical challenge and wrestling with difficult languages written by highly skilled people.

"They are also very interested in Greece and Rome and want to study these civilisations in more depth. If they can read the original texts (rather than translations), they get closer to the spirit of the material."

The centre also runs an community access program, where the public can study single subjects without assessment, and public lectures.

James O'Maley is writing on Homer's The Iliad for his honours thesis, including studying ancient Greek.

"As a kid, I loved reading the children's version of The Odyssey by Homer, although then it seemed like fairy-tale stuff," he recalls.

"Later we had Latin on our high-school syllabus. The more I got into it - for example, reading Virgil - the more fantastic I found the writing.

"And when I got to university and discovered I could study this full-time - I thought 'Why not?' I find it very enjoyable."

Apart from being "gateways to the texts", Mr O'Maley says Latin and Greek improve students' understanding of English grammar.

"Classics also provides a good knowledge of your own history and the Judeo-Christian civilisation. The Greeks taught about the way to live a good life 2500 years ago, and in terms of humanities-based thought, it's a very rich area. You can find things in The Iliad and The Odyssey that are relevant to modern life and modern political thought."

Professor Mackie, who was senior academic consultant on Winged Sandals, the ABC Online children's program about Greek myths, believes community interest in classics is growing. "More people than ever" are reading them in translation because they are so readily available, he says.

He also cites the popularity of films such as Ridley Scott's Gladiator and Wolfgang Petersen's Troy and television documentaries.

On a personal level, studying classics enriches people's lives, but there are also pragmatic benefits in studying classics, he says. "Many big companies in Britain and the US see classics graduates as well-rounded, erudite, articulate and good thinkers, and this is increasingly the case in Australia. I have graduates working in business, finance and the public service," he says.

"Many people want to give back because they had a wonderful time here (as students)," Professor Bebbington says. "Others are very interested in our new Melbourne Model and want to support that. Some have a special interest - for example, finding a cure for a disease - and give for research."

Medicine attracts the bulk of donations, but the next biggest faculty is music. Arts, particularly creative arts, are very popular.
9.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Mysterious Death Of Cleopatra
The daughter of an incestuous marriage, Cleopatra married and murdered her brothers, inheriting the throne of Egypt at age 17; her life was filled with the unexplained; experts re-examine the circumstances of Cleopatra's untimely death.

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization
ante diem vi idus octobres

rites in honour of Juno Moneta -- apparently commemorating a restoration of the temple vowed by M. Furius Camillus in 345 B.C.; the epithet 'moneta' possible recognized Juno's role in goading the sacred geese to wake everyone up during the Gallic sack of Rome

ludi Augustales scaenici (day 6 -- from 11-19 A.D. and post 23 A.D.)

19 A.D. -- Germanicus, the adopted son of the emperor Tiberius, dies under mysterious circumstances in Daphne near Antioch
per stirpes @ Wordsmith

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
Martin Conde has posted a pile of photos relating to those recent Numa-era finds in Rome ...
Request from the Department of Classics at the University of Illinois

The Classics Library at the University of Illinois, with an open-shelved reference collection of over 60,000 volumes, is one of the best in the world. Founded in 1908, and developed by W. A. Oldfather and A.S. Pease in the 1920's from the historic Vahlen and Dittenberger collections, it now houses magnificent holdings in Greek and Latin Language and Literature, Philology, Linguistics, Greco-Roman Religion, Archaeology, Palaeography, Numismatics, Epigraphy, Papyrology, Art History, Ancient History, Patristic and Jewish Theology, Medieval and Renaissance Latin, and Byzantine Greek. With a staff of two, including one full-time scholar-librarian with a PhD in Classics and a Senior Library Specialist with a Ph.D. in Linguistics, it is an indispensable research and teaching tool for faculty, students, and countless visitors from the U.S. and abroad.

In a recent "State of the Library" address, University Librarian Paula Kaufman, under direction from the Provost to reorganize how the library delivered its services, stated, "The best way to provide the level of service we've provided in the past is to move away from our monolithic department library model and toward new service models that recognize the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of academic inquiry." As one possible means of implementing this initiative, the library is considering consolidating the Classics Library with all of modern European literature (English and various European foreign language) to create a single even more monolithic supra-departmental library. The only stated intellectual justification for doing so is that it will create greater "interdisciplinarity," on the assumption, it seems, that Classical studies deals only with literary works, and oblivious to the fact that Classical studies-as attested by the nature of the holdings of the Classics Library-already is as interdisciplinary as a field of scholarly studies can ever get. More pragmatically, the reasons for wanting to consolidate the Classics Library involve reduction of "service points" for library users and space issues.

If this initiative is implemented, it will mark the end of the Classics Library as an effective instrument of scholarly studies. The on-shelf collection will be heavily reduced, thus destroying a unified and coherent collection that has taken nearly 100 years to put together. The social, intellectual, and pedagogical home that the Classics Library has fostered for many decades will be destroyed. The reputation of the Classics Library in particular and the University Library in general will be seriously damaged, and library usage will decline even further. In order to keep this from happening, we, the members of the Department of the Classics at the University of Illinois, hope that you will support our efforts on behalf of the Classics Library by signing the petition that you will find at the following URL:

If you would like to send a more detailed letter, please address it to:

Paul Kaufman
University Librarian and Dean of Libraries
230 Main Library
MC 522
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
Email: ptk AT

With a copy to

Professor Linda Katehi
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
217 Swanlund Administration Building
601 East John Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820
Email: provost AT

Thank you!

Another one making the rounds:

Announcing the release of version 3.1 of Diogenes, a free program for
reading the databases of Latin and Greek texts published on CD-Rom by
the Packard Humanities Institute and the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae.

The major new feature in this version is that, thanks to the
generosity of the Perseus project, morphological data and dictionaries
for Latin (Lewis-Short) and Greek (LSJ) and are built-in. This means
that you can:

* Click on a word in the texts and get a morphological analysis and
the corresponding dictionary entry instantly, even if you are not
connected to the Internet.

* Click to analyze words in the dictionary entries themselves, or
click on the citation information of a passage cited in the
dictionary to jump to the context of the passage in the Latin or
Greek database.

* Do morphologically intelligent searching, i.e. search for all of the
inflected forms of a given dictionary headword.

* Look up words in the dictionaries.

In addition, version 3 of Diogenes is newly based on the Firefox
browser and should be very easy to install, much more so than
previously. Easy-to-install packages are provided for Mac OS X,
Windows, and Linux. Installation just takes a couple of clicks.

Version 3.1 also includes a number of new features that had long been

* Unicode input (now the default).

* Saving user-defined subsets of the databases for repeated searching.

* Running marginal numeration when browsing through a text.

* Improved Unicode output.

* For network installations, individual user settings (via cookies).
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
School of Language Studies

1. Associate Lecturer In Classics (Greek)

Academic Level A

Salary Range: $48,502 - $64,832 pa plus 17% superannuation
Reference: CASS4377

The Faculty of Arts, in the College of Art and Social Sciences is looking
for an associate lecturer in classics who is excited about their research,
enthusiastic about their teaching, committed to collegiality, and keen to
make a contribution to the Faculty of Arts and the wider ANU community.

The Faculty invites applications from Classicists for a continuing
position as Associate Lecturer. The Faculty seeks candidates with
competence in Ancient Greek and Ancient Greek History/Culture. Candidates
will be expected to teach Greek History/Culture and Ancient Greek language
and literature at all undergraduate levels and to supervise postgraduate
students. Candidates
who are also able to teach Latin language and literature will be well

The successful applicant will have a record of research and undergraduate
teaching in Classics/Ancient History.

Selection Criteria: or from Elizabeth
Minchin T: 02 6125 5106, E: elizabeth.minchin AT

Enquiries: Elizabeth Minchin, T: 02 6125 5106, E:
elizabeth.minchin AT

Closing Date: Friday 19 October 2007

ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts
School of Language Studies

2. Associate Lecturer in Classics (Latin)
Academic Level A
Fixed term 3 years

Salary Range: $48,502 - $64,832 pa plus 17% superannuation

Reference: CASS4360

The Faculty of Arts, in the College of Arts and Social Sciences, invites
applications from Classicists for a three-year fixed-term position as
Associate Lecturer from candidates with competence in Latin and Ancient
Greek language and literature. Candidates will be expected to teach Latin
and Ancient Greek language and literature and in-translation courses in
Ancient History/Culture at all undergraduate levels and to supervise
postgraduate students.

The successful applicant will have a record of research and undergraduate
teaching in Classics.

Selection Criteria: or from Elizabeth
Minchin, T: 6125 5106, E: elizabeth.minchin AT

Enquiries: Elizabeth Minchin, T: 6125 5106, E: elizabeth.minchin AT

Closing Date: Friday 19 October 2007

Information for applicants:
Job Application Cover sheet:
8.00 p.m. |HISTU| Modern Marvels :The Colosseum

HISTU = History Channel (US)
ante diem vii idus octobres

rites in honour of Genius Publicus

rites in honour of Fausta Felicitas

rites in honour of Venus Victrix

ludi Augustales scaenici (day 5 -- from 11-19 A.D. and post 23 A.D.)

ludi Augustales scaenici (day 7 -- from 19-23 A.D.)

28 B.C. -- dedication of the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine (and associated rites thereafter)

c. 95 A.D. -- martyrdom of Dionysus the Aeropagite

259 A.D. -- martyrdom of Denis and Rusticus
terrestrial @ Merriam-Webster

physiognomy @
From the Times:

Italian archeologists have uncovered the ruins of a 2,700 year old sanctuary which they say provides the first physical evidence of Rome at the time of Numa Pompilius, Rome’s legendary second king, in the 8th century BC.

Numa Pompilius, a member of the Sabine tribe, was elected at the age of forty to succeed Romulus, the founder of Rome. He reigned from 715-673 BC, and is said by Plutarch to have been a reluctant monarch who ushered in a 40-year period of peace and stability. He was celebrated for his wisdom, personal austerity and piety.

Clementina Panella, the archeologist from Rome’s Sapienza University who is leading the dig, said Numa Pompilius was also known to have established religious practices and observance in the emergent city state, instituting the office of priest or pontifex and founding the cult of the Vestal Virgins. She said the temple or sanctuary her team had uncovered lay between the Palatine and Velian hills, close to the Colosseum, the Arch of Titus and Via Sacra, and had probably been dedicated to the Goddess of Fortune.

The dig began a year ago, with the help of 130 students and volunteers. The wall of the temple was found seven metres below the surface, together with a street and pavement and two wells, one round and one rectangular. Both wells were “full of thousands of votive offerings and cult objects”, including the bones of birds and animals and ceramic bowls and cups.

Dr Panella said there was no doubt that the objects dated from the period of Numa Pompilius. However there were no statues or figures because Numa forbade images of the gods in his temples, arguing that it was “impious to represent things Divine by what is perishable”.

Numa Pompilius is also credited with dividing Rome into administrative districts, and according to Plutarch organised the city’s first occupational guilds, “forming companies of musicians, goldsmiths, carpenters, dyers, shoemakers, skinners, braziers, and potters”.

Corriere della Sera said the unearthing of the temple proved there were still “remarkable discoveries” to be made in the Forum and Palatine Hill areas. Last year Andrea Carandini, Professor of Archeology at La Sapienza, announced that he had discovered the remains of a royal palace dating to the time of Romulus.

He said the palace, built around a courtyard, had a monumental entrance and ornate furniture and tiles, and was ten times the size of ordinary homes of the period.

Also last year Dr Panella, who has been excavating in the Forum for twenty years, discovered a sceptre which belonged to Emperor Maxentius, who ruled for six years until 312AD — towards the end of the Roman state.

Maxentius drowned in the Tiber during the battle on the Milvian bridge against his brother-in-law, Constantine, who attributed his victory over Maxentius to divine intervention and converted the Roman empire to Christianity.

Maxentius’s supporters are thought to have hidden the sceptre after the defeat. It was found wrapped in silk and linen in a wooden box together with battle standards and lance heads.
10.00 p.m. |HINT|Rome: Engineering an Empire
For more than 500 years, Rome was the most powerful and advanced civilization the world had ever known, ruled by visionaries and tyrants whose accomplishments ranged from awe-inspiring to deplorable. One characteristic linked them all--ambition--and the thirst for power that all Roman emperors shared fueled an unprecedented mastery of engineering and labor. This documentary special chronicles the spectacular and sordid history of the Roman Empire from the rise of Julius Caesar in 55 BC to its eventual fall around 537 AD, detailing the remarkable engineering feats that set Rome apart from the rest of the ancient world. Featuring extensive state-of-the-art CGI animation, and exclusive never-before-seen footage shot on a diving expedition in the water channels underneath the Colosseum.

HINT = History International
ante diem viii idus octobres

ludi Augustales scaenici (day 4 -- from 11-19 A.D. and post 23 A.D.)

ludi Augustales scaenici (day 6 -- from 19-23 A.D.)

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
maladroit @

concinnous @ Worthless Word for the Day

gravamen @ Wordsmith

jactitation @ Merriam-Webster

... and this week's wordlist at the Classical Technology Center focusses on 'cold' words ...
Items that have landed in my inbox recently:

Amicus noster Jan Theo Bakker has completed the Topographical Dictionary section of his ever-growing Ostia Antica site ...

There's a new version of Martine Cuypers' Hellenistic Bibliography site at Leiden (and it should be noted that urls have changed, so your bookmarks need to be updated) ...

Terrence Lockyer informs us that all 22 issues of the journal Oral Tradition are available online and freely downloadable; even better, they're searchable so you can glean the Classical wheat from the other, er, comparanda ...

Similarly free is American Journal of Archaeology 111.4, which is chock full of Classical Archaeology articles (don't the other genres of archaeology resent this?) ...

Also online, but not free, alas ($25.00 for an article???) ... Mnemosyme 60.3 (2007) ... at least the abstracts are free.

Papers start at 6pm and are held in Burgess Lecture Room, Department of Classics. All welcome. For more information please contact either Dr Mirjam Plantinga (m.plantinga AT or Dr Federico Santangelo (f.santangelo AT

Thursday 18 October
Dr Emma Stafford (Leeds University)
‘Herakles heros theos: how to worship a hero-god’

Thursday 25 October
Dr Ruth Parkes (Oxford University)
‘What’s in a name? The ambushers of Statius’ Thebaid’

Thursday 1 November
Dr Lynn Fotheringham (Nottingham University)
‘Ancient Commentary: Asconius and Cicero on Milo and Papirius’

Tuesday 6 November
Prof. Helen Lovatt (Nottingham University)
‘Monumentally epic: Medusa, heroism and the epic gaze?’

Thursday 15 November
Dr Sarah Hitch (Bristol University)
‘Horses and hair. The trouble with sacrifice in the Iliad.’

Thursday 22 November
Charlotte Greenacre (UCL)
‘Numbers from Nowhere. A Critical Analysis of Scheidel’s Human Mobility’

Thursday 29 November
Owen Hodkinson (University of Wales Lampeter)
‘Philostratus’ /Erotic Epistles/ and Latin elegy’

Thursday 17 January
Dr Peter Liddel (Manchester University)
‘The Decree-Cultures of Ancient Greece’

Thursday 24 January
Errietta Bissa (University of Wales Lampeter)
‘Man, Woman or Myth? Gender Trouble in Lucian’s Dialogues of the Courtesans.’

Thursday 31 January
Prof. Andrew Laird (Warwick University)
‘The Creation of Virgil’

Thursday 7 February
Dr Helen van Noorden (Cambridge University)
‘Apocalypse how?’

Thursday 21 February
Dr Victoria Moul (Oxford University)

Thursday 28 February
Dr Matthew Wright (Exeter University)
‘Aristophanes’ Frogs: agony and irony’

Thursday 6 March
Dr Myrto Hatzimichali (Cambridge University)
‘Strabo on cultural centres across the Mediterranean’

Thursday 17 April
Dr Carrie Roth-Murray (University of Wales Lampeter)
‘Ritual interaction in colonial contexts’

Thursday 24 April
Prof. Geoffrey Eatough (University of Wales Lampeter)
‘How to write the history of the New World: Peter Martyr’s De Orbe Novo’

Thursday 1 May
Dr David Fearn (Oxford University)

Thursday 8 May
Dr Katerina Oikonomopolou (St Andrews University)
‘Athenaeus’ Ethnography’

Thursday 22 May
Prof. John Rich (Nottingham University)
‘Lex Licinia, Lex Sempronia: B.G. Niebuhr and the limitation of landholding under the Roman Republic’

Thursday 29 May
Prof Tom O’Loughlin (University of Wales Lampeter)
‘Cassiodorus the Dialectician’

The Society for Late Antiquity solicits proposals for a panel to be held at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association on 8-11 January 2009 in Philadelphia, PA (USA). There are no funds available to subsidize travel, and panelists must be members of the APA in order to present.

The Third Sophistic: New Approaches to Rhetoric in Late Antiquity

Sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity. Organized by Paul Kimball, Bilkent University.

It is a well-known paradox of Greco-Roman culture that well after the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the state under Constantine the art of rhetoric successfully maintained its privileged place in the articulation of political, pedagogical, religious, philosophical, and literary power. Late antiquity witnessed a remarkable surge in rhetorical output in both Greek (Libanius, Himerius, Themistius, Julian, Procopius of Gaza, Choricius) and Latin (the Panegyrici Latini, Symmachus, Ausonius, Marius Victorinus). Moreover, under the new establishment the rapprochement between traditional "pagan" rhetoric and Judaeo-Christian modes of expression already evident in Christian apologetic writings of the second and third centuries gained momentum, culminating in the fourth and fifth-century "Golden Age" of Christian rhetoric as represented by the works of Eusebius of Caesarea, the Cappadocian Fathers, and John Chrysostom (in Greek), and Lactantius, Ambrose, and Augustine (in Latin). Before the end of the sixth century the corpus of Hermogenes would achieve canonical status, and in 426 CE Augustine's De Doctrina Christiana fused once and for all Cicero's rhetorical theory with the Christian project of evangelism and exegesis.

In light of the wealth of available source material and its parallels to the much more extensively studied Second Sophistic, European scholarship over the past two decades has increasingly come to identify this period as the "Third Sophistic." While this formulation stresses synchronic linkages at the expense of diachronic perspectives, it is nonetheless worthwhile to examine this phase in the cultural history of the late empire as a unity. The Society for Late Antiquity thus invites proposals for a panel featuring innovative approaches to the study of rhetoric in late antiquity. These might address such issues as the relationship of rhetoric to poetry, philosophy, and historiography; performance and self-presentation; reception and audience; rhetoric, law, and political authority; rhetoric and homiletics; ekphrasis and the rhetorical construction of space. These are only suggestions and proposals which investigate other lines of research are welcome.

Abstracts of papers (ca. 500 words) requiring a maximum of 20 minutes to deliver should be sent via email attachment no later than February 1, 2008 to Paul Kimball (pkimball AT ), or by surface mail (Dr. Paul Kimball, Program in Cultures, Civilizations & Ideas, Bilkent University, 06800 Bilkent, Ankara, TURKEY). Please follow the instructions for the format of individual abstracts in the APA Program Guide. All submissions will be judged anonymously by two referees.

“Profanum Vulgus: Representations of the Everyday in the Ancient World”

Graduate Student Conference
The Graduate Center of The City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, New York City
Ph.D. Program in Classics
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Odi profanum vulgus et arceo; favete linguis! (Hor. Ode 3.1). Literature almost by definition concerns itself with the extraordinary, and yet Greek and Roman texts from Homeric epic to Roman epigram have also explored the ordinary. In this conference, we seek to investigate representations of the everyday in the ancient Mediterranean world. Sometimes ancient “realism” is characterized by the elegant and refined treatment of everyday practices in ancient society; sometimes it is low, bawdy, or downright obscene. We wish to explore works that celebrate the private and public lives of everyday people as well as the intimate lives of gods, heroes, and aristocrats. We welcome papers dealing with periods from archaic Greece through the Roman Empire as represented in all media: poetry, prose, the visual arts and architecture, theatre, dance, etc. We also encourage papers dealing with "real life" or the exploration of menial and mundane social and cultural institutions from housekeeping and child-rearing to slave-dealing and prostitution.

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Jeffrey Henderson a William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of Greek Language and Literature at the Department of Classical Studies at Boston University, as well as the General Editor of the Loeb Classical Library. Jeffrey Henderson received his B.A. (1968) from Kenyon College and Ph.D. (1972) in Classical Studies from Harvard University. His research and teaching interests lie in Greek literature, especially drama, palaeography and textual criticism.

Graduate students interested in presenting a paper should submit an abstract of 300 words or less as an attachment to profanumvulgus AT by November 30, 2007. On your abstract, include your name, email, institution, city and state (country if not USA), and phone number. Notifications will be sent in January. Questions and concerns about the conference may be addressed to either Alissa Vaillancourt (availlancourt AT or Michael Broder (mbroder AT

The Department of Classics at the University of Notre Dame invites
applications for a tenure-track or tenured position in medieval Latin.
The appointment will begin in August 2008. The successful candidate
will participate in the teaching curricula and intellectual life of the
home department of Classics and of the Medieval Institute. We seek a
candidate with research interests in medieval and late antique Latin
broadly understood. A familiarity with ancient Greek is desirable.
Completion of the PhD is required.

Please address applications to Elizabeth Forbis Mazurek, Chair,
Department of Classics, 304 O'Shaughnessy Hall, Notre Dame, In 46556.
Applications should include a curriculum vitae, three letters of
reference, a writing sample, and evidence if available of teaching
experience. The closing date for applications is November 15, 2007.
Preliminary interviews will be held at the APA Annual Meeting in Chicago
(January 2008).

The University of Notre Dame is an international Catholic research
university and an equal opportunity educator and employer with strong
institutional and academic commitments to racial, cultural, and gender
diversity. Women, minorities and Catholics are encouraged to apply.
Information about the University is available at,
about the Department of Classics at, and about
the Medieval Institute at

I don't think I posted this item from the WSJ last week:

It's not that ancient Romans didn't know a thing or two about wild sex. They had their Bacchanalia, after all. But lacking video technology, they had no expression for "sex tape." And that is why writing about Paris Hilton in Latin can sometimes be so difficillimum.

The editors of Vicipaedia Latina, the Latin version of the popular Wikipedia Internet reference site, were thus forced to wing it. In their article about the hotel heiress, they described Ms. Hilton's famous X-rated Web video as pellicula in interrete vulgate de coitu Paridis.

Which means, more or less, "the widely disseminated Internet movie of Paris's sex."

Improvising like that is necessary when using the language of chariots and togas to account for the world of SUVs and navel piercings. Vicipaedia is a labor of love for a small group of Latin buffs and weekend philologists whose motto might well be "What would Julius do?"

Their goal is a Latin reference work that is hip and alive -- or at least as much as can be expected from a tongue long since given up for dead. They write in authentic classical Latin, too, not in the kitschy feastus maximus stuff you might see at Caesars Palace.

Bartholomaeus Simpson is a skateboarder experto. As a pre-teen, Britannia Spears apparuit in Canali Disneyi cum Christina Aguilera et Iustino Timberlake in Sodalitate Mici Muris.

For those who think Latin means Cicero's orations, caveat emptor. "We're using an ancient language, but we're writing on a computer, not papyrus," says Josh Rocchio, a graduate student and one of the most active editors. "There isn't anything that doesn't belong in Vicipaedia. You can write about Julius Caesar, or you can write about blue cheese."

That up-to-the-minute outlook, says Rafael Garcia, another editor, is a boon to beginning Latin students since "it's a little more down to earth reading about Britney Spears than it is reading about Caesar conquering Gaul."

Wikipedia is a reference work to which anyone can contribute. It comes in more than 200 languages; the English version, with more than two million articles, is by far the biggest.

Vicipaedia has 15,000 articles. Catullus, Horace and the Roman Senate all are there; so are musica rockica, Georgius Bush and cadavera animata, a k a zombies. You can read in Latin about hangman (homo suspensus), paper airplanes (aeroplanum chartaceum) and magic 8-balls (pila magica 8), as well as about famous Italians like Leonardo da Vinci and the Super Mario brothers.

"It's a slightly odd thing to do in this century," admits Andrew Dalby, another contributor. "When I first saw Vicipaedia, I thought, 'What's the point?' But then I started working on it, and I found it addictive."

Professional Latinists say they're generally impressed with Vicipaedia. While articles written by beginning Latin students often contain errata, "the articles that are good are in fact very good," said Robert Gurval, chairman of the UCLA classics department.

Latin is undergoing a resurgence. High-school-Latin enrollments are up, in part because students hope college admissions offices will be impressed to see such a hard subject on their transcripts. There are Latin translations of Dr. Seuss, Elvis Presley and Harry Potter. In Finland -- a Latinist hotbed, apparently -- there are weekly radio news broadcasts.

Mr. Rocchio, 24 years old, might well be a poster boy for this new, hip Latin. Mention "classics scholar," and most people conjure up a tweedy fellow sipping port next to a bust of Ovid. Mr. Rocchio wears regulation battered T-shirts and jeans. In his spare time, he is the drummer in a rock band.

He went to college intending to major in physics and math, but on a whim took a Latin class and fell in love. "I liked its structure and its simplicity, the way it can take very complex ideas and express them in a couple of words." He is now a graduate student in Latin and Greek at the University of Maryland.

He chanced upon Vicipaedia last year; at the time, it was full of musty articles about Roman military campaigns, et cetera. Other Latin buffs were happening onto the site at the same time, and as a group they decided to liven things up.

Mr. Rocchio's contributions go back and forth between the traditional and the contemporary. He has written on math and chess but is especially proud of his essay on the American drinking game (ludus potatorius Americanus) known as beer pong (pong cervisiale). He says scholarship is important, even though most readers don't use Vicipaedia as a reference, per se, but instead as language practice.

Most of the work among the editors is collegial, though now and then debates break out. One involved the proper neologism for "computer." Vicipaedia calls it a computatrum, despite the vehement opposition of editor Justin Mansfield, who says the word is just bad Latin.

"You can't use 'trum' at will to make new words," insists Mr. Mansfield, also a classics grad student. " 'Trum' actually fell out of use around the time of the Punic Wars. It's like 'th' in English. You can say 'warmth,' but you can't say 'coolth.' "

Mr. Mansfield lobbied for computatorium but was outvoted. He prevailed, though, with "particle accelerators," the atom smashers used by physicists, which, per his suggestion, are known on Vicipaedia as particularum acceleratorium.

Observes Mr. Rocchio, "We tend to argue about words ad infinitum."

Most Vicipaedia articles duplicate topics also covered on English Wikipedia, though occasionally, when an editor is interested in a particular subject, it will get exclusive Latin treatment. J.W. Love, an editor who is also an anthropology professor, has published Latin translations of Samoan poems.

So why bother? Vicipaedia's volunteers usually say they simply enjoy keeping up with the Latin they had in school. Mr. Garcia, for instance, teaches physics in Massachusetts at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and says he likes keeping in practice well enough to be able to read classics like Isaac Newton's "Principia" in the original.

Mr. Rocchio's coda: "Latin has a tradition of 2,700 years ... and we don't want that to end. Latin isn't dead, it just smells funny."
From the BBC:

After seven hot summers of digging, an Italian archaeological team believe they have discovered one of the most important sites of the ancient world.

Fanum Voltumnae, a shrine, marketplace and Etruscan political centre, was situated in the upper part of the Tiber river valley.

It lies at the foot of a huge outcrop of rock, upon which is perched the mediaeval city of Orvieto.

A walled sanctuary area, 5m-wide (16ft) Etruscan roads, an altar, and the foundations of many Roman buildings that have laid buried for two millennia have been discovered.

And as the dig closed for the 2007 season, with tarpaulins being pulled over ruins to protect them from the winter weather, Professor Simonetta Stopponi of Macerata University was upbeat about the site's significance.

"I am confident that for the first time we have positively identified one of the most important lost sites of the ancient world," she told the BBC.

Rivalling Rome?

Fanum was already famous in antiquity as a religious shrine and a meeting place where the 12 members of the Etruscan League, a confederation of central Italian cities, used to gather every spring to elect their leader.

In the autumn of 398BC an extraordinary policy meeting was held in Fanum.

A Roman army had been besieging the town of Veii, a wealthy member of the Etruscan League, which lay only 16km (10 miles) north of Rome.

The citizens of Veii, exhausted by years of warfare, appealed for help and asked the other members of the league to join them in declaring war on Rome.

The gods of the shrine of Fanum were duly consulted, but the vote went against collectively defending Veii.

Two years later the town fell to Rome.

Beginning of the end

It was the beginning of the end for the Etruscan League, all of whose cities eventually fell to Roman invaders.

We know all this ancient history through the Roman historian Livy, who wrote his famous account of the origins of Rome towards the end of the 1st Century BC.

Livy mentions Fanum, and stresses its importance no less than five times.

But he failed to mention where Fanum was situated, and after the fall of Rome, all memory of its exact location was lost.

The sacred zone is being systematically dug up by an enthusiastic team of young archaeologists wielding picks, shovels and trowels.

They come from America, Mexico and Spain as well as from Italy.

For 2,000 years, from the 5th Century BC until the 15th Century AD, large numbers of people used to gather at Fanum every spring.

In Etruscan times it was a place for the political leaders of central Italy to take stock of military and civil affairs, and to pray to their gods.

Later, under the Romans, according to researchers, Fanum continued as the site of an important annual spring fair.

Athletes took part in public games, and priests and politicians mingled with crowds of ordinary people who came to buy and sell livestock and agricultural products.

As recently as the 19th Century there was a cattle market held here. The area is still known locally as Campo della Fiera, or Fair Field.

Early foundations

A first Christian church was built on the site as early as the 4th Century. You can see part of its patterned stonework floor.

The foundations of a later 12th Century church dedicated to Saint Peter have also been laid bare.

Following the Black Death, the 14th Century plague, and perhaps because of it, the church was abandoned and left to ruins.

Funds for the dig have come in part from an Italian bank, the Monte Dei Paschi of Siena, in part from the EU, and in part from the local regional government.

Absolute certainty that this was the site of Fanum can only come with the discovery of written inscriptions dedicated to the Etruscan god Voltumna, the most important deity worshipped by the inhabitants of this part of Italy.

So far only votive objects such as small bronze statues, or pieces of painted terracotta roof tiles from the temples have been dug up, nothing written.

But Professor Stoppani says she is 99% sure that the site has yet to give up the last remains of ancient Fanum.

She plans to continue the dig next year.
From a press release:

A three-day TV marathon to help rescue seven threatened cultural treasures across Italy raised half a million euros (US$705,450) within a few hours of starting Friday, the Italian Culture Ministry said.
Through Sunday, state-run TV RAI's three channels will host cultural debates and broadcast short videos of celebrities _ including tenor Andrea
Bocelli, actress Claudia Cardinale and conductor Riccardo Muti _ asking for donations to save works of art and archaeological wonders in need of restoration. No official target has been set.
The threatened treasures include Emperor Augustus' house on Rome's Palatine Hill, an ancient necropolis in Sardinia and a summer residence near Cuneo, northern Italy, that belonged to Italy's Savoy royal family.
By midday Friday the «Maratonarte» had reached the half a million euros mark, the Culture Ministry said in a statement.
Italy usually budgets relatively little money to safeguard its vast cultural wealth of churches, museums and monuments. Pollution, negligence and vandalism add to the problem, and officials hope the TV marathon will help increase private initiatives to preserve the country's culture.
Very nice 'state of the question' piece in the Washington Post:

On Saturday, huge cranes will begin lifting ancient statues, carvings and architectural fragments off the Acropolis, down to a new museum built at the base of the most famous citadel in the world. For the vast majority of these stone remnants of the great age of Athens, it will be the first time they have ever left this rocky summit.

Even as the forces of history washed over this city for millennia, making and unmaking it according to the dictates of three major religions and at least a half-dozen empires, these stone gods and heroes, which once decorated its temples and public spaces, have remained close to their original home. That makes them the lucky ones.

The new museum, designed by architect Bernard Tschumi, has proved controversial from the start. The old Acropolis museum, a low and ugly space built next to the Parthenon, has long been deemed inadequate. Three earlier efforts to build a new museum, in 1976, 1979 and 1989, failed after becoming mired in legal, archaeological and political conflicts. The current museum, which required the expropriation of 25 buildings, has been in the works since 1997, and again legal difficulties delayed it -- so much so that the plan to open in time for the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics is now ancient history.

But Dimitrios Pandermalis, the president of the museum project, says the first visitors will be allowed in early next year, and the museum will have a grand opening sometime in early 2009. At which point, perhaps, arguments about the building will give way to the building's basic argument. Which is simple: Greece wants the marble sculptures that the English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin, chiseled off the Parthenon more than 200 years ago. From the ground up, the building is designed to emphasize the Greek claim that the "Elgin marbles" should be returned to Athens, to join together in one place as much of the surviving Parthenon statuary as can be assembled.

Architecture has been used to establish civic identity since at least the time of the Parthenon. But Tschumi's new museum is an attempt to use architecture to shift the terms of a debate about who should possess one of the world's most cherished collection of antiquities. Whether it is an Egyptian artifact looted from a grave during the swashbuckling days of early 20th-century archaeology, or antiquities from Peru sitting in an Ivy League museum, or a Native American object that still has sacred power within a living cultural tradition, there is increasing pressure on established museums to consider the return of art that, in many cases, has helped define them as institutions for decades.

Rarely can the problem be solved easily through legal remedies. Very often the pressure for repatriation is diplomatic, or part of a not-so-subtle public relations campaign. The longer an object sits in one place, however, the more likely it is to become part of a new, and perhaps equally meaningful cultural context.

For many people, a visit to the British Museum means a visit to the Elgin marbles -- and to remove them from London would be to sever one kind of emotional bond in favor of another. And in relatively new countries, such as the United States, the repatriation of art would mean the dissolution of powerful markers of Western and European-derived identity, even if those markers were secured with the fortunes of robber barons or by outright appropriation and even theft.

Tschumi's museum, an austere building, is designed to cut through the complexity of arguments about purloined art and make a direct emotional appeal. It is a large object wedged into a crowded old neighborhood. The entire museum is centered on a concrete core, the same length and width as the core of the Parthenon. On the lowest level of the museum, there are pillars over ruins. On the next two levels there are trapezoid-shaped shaped floors with gallery spaces built around the concrete core. But on the top, the concrete core emerges with a glass box around it, echoing the temple's shape on the hill above. From here, visitors will be able to look up to the Parthenon, with which the new, glass-walled Parthenon Gallery is exactly aligned.

In the Parthenon Gallery, the concrete box becomes a stand-in for the temple itself. Visitors will see the Parthenon frieze running around it, like a belt of marble, illuminated by light flowing through the glass walls. Fragments of the Parthenon's elaborate pediment sculptures, which once sat inside the triangular roof spaces at both ends of the temple, will be placed at the east and west ends of the new gallery, arrayed just as they were 2,500 years ago.

The Elgin marbles, which represent roughly 60 percent of the surviving sculpture that was originally on the Parthenon, will be represented by plaster casts made from the originals now in the British Museum. These casts will be covered by wire mesh veils, to partially obscure them. The idea, according to Pandermalis, is to allow visitors to see the marbles in their original narrative sequence.

"The concept was to restore the continuity of the narrative," says Tschumi, a Swiss-born architect, speaking by telephone from his New York office. And with the veils, which emphasize the absence of the marbles that are in London, the gallery raises a larger question: "Would the building, and the display, be convincing enough so that there would be -- how can I describe it? -- a desire to get those marbles back, on the part of the British?"

Not according to the British.

Jonathan Williams, a curator who oversees the British Museum's European department, praises the new Athens museum as "an extraordinary achievement." But he adds, "The position of the trustees essentially remains that the current distribution in Athens and London provides an important opportunity for different stories about this monument to be told."

This is a slight variation on the museum's formal argument about possession of the marbles, articulated on its Web site. There the emphasis is on the international importance of the sculptures, the number of visitors who see them in London (6 million a year, the museum estimates) and the excellent quality of British stewardship.

"The sculptures from the Parthenon have come to act as a focus for Western European culture and civilization, and have found a home in a museum that grew out of the eighteenth-century 'Enlightenment,' whereby culture is seen to transcend national boundaries," reads a museum statement.

It is a strange use of the word Enlightenment, and a rather galling association of imperial plundering with universal, transnational values. The marbles "transcend national boundaries" in part because Lord Elgin used the Royal Navy to spirit them out of Greece. And while Elgin's gusto for all things classical certainly marked him as a man of the Enlightenment, his removal of the marbles also involved dubious legal dealings and an arrogant disregard for the integrity of the building. It was baldly colonialist behavior by a man who figured Britain, as a great power, simply deserved to own the marbles no matter the cost or the consequences.

And yet, Lord Elgin may have been one of the most hapless imperialists of his time. When he set out in 1799 as the British representative to the Ottoman Empire (which controlled Greece at the time), he planned only to make plaster casts and drawings of the marbles in Athens. His stated goal was the elevation of British taste in art and architecture, not the expansion of England's collection.

Actually taking the marbles was an act of opportunism, justified by a very loose and liberal reading of a short phrase in the legal permission he secured to work on the Acropolis ("and when they wish to take away some pieces of stone with old inscriptions, and figures, that no opposition be made"). The phrase "some pieces" became, in the event, everything that he could get his hands on, and the most infamous act of artistic pillage in history.

At the time, France and England were engaged in a long series of wars that would end only with Napoleon's rustication to the remote island of St. Helena in 1815. Both countries were hungry for antiquities. Napoleon was stuffing the Louvre in Paris with the best world art that conquest could assemble. The French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire told his agents in Athens, "Take all you can. Do not neglect any opportunity to pillage anything that is pillageable."

Arguments in Elgin's defense have run like this: The marbles would have been stolen anyway; the British appropriation of them secured them against neglect and dispersal; and the Turks, at the time, showed little or no interest in saving these vital works. Even the art-loving Venetians had done serious damage to the legacy of the Greeks when they blasted the Parthenon into roughly the shape we know it today while firing on a Turkish ammunition dump in 1687. Elgin had sound reasons to believe he was acting in the best interests of the art.

But Elgin could never have anticipated the writings of Lord Byron, the romantic poet, who fell in love with Greece (and Greek boys) shortly after the marbles were stripped off.

"Dull is the eye that will not weep to see/Thy walls defaced," wrote Byron of the Parthenon in his first great poem, "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage." And he made no mistake about the culprit, Lord Elgin, whom he derided as a hardhearted Scotsman with a barren mind. The poem made Byron famous and confirmed Elgin as a scoundrel in much of the popular imagination.

And in many ways, it laid the groundwork for the modern preservation movement, and ultimately, Tschumi's new museum. When seen simply as functional objects, there's no reason not to update, change or tear down buildings depending on the needs of the moment. Byron was making an argument about preserving a building, as an object with historical and aesthetic integrity, for entirely emotional and sentimental reasons. His poem suggested that some buildings have poetic, even sacred, qualities that transcend time and function.

Which is essentially the argument that the Greeks, and Tschumi's building, are making today. Elena Korka, director of prehistoric and classical antiquities at the Greek Ministry of Culture, says that the Greek position on the marbles' repatriation has evolved over the years.

When the current campaign for restitution began in 1982, the Greek argument was based on grievance and nationalism. The Greeks deserved the marbles back because they were fundamental to Greek identity. But, implicitly at least with all their talk of being the source and origin of all things Western, the Greeks were also arguing that Greek culture had universal, international importance, so much so that one might assume that it should be internationally held.

And the modern Greek connection to the classical past was also, some argued, a fairly arbitrary use of history to forge national identity. Too many centuries of change and cultural intermingling and linguistic and religious evolution had severed the connection between scruffy shepherds of the Peloponnesus, when Byron visited, and the penetrating wisdom of Socrates.

Today, Korka says, the argument is about making the Parthenon whole, not about the Greeks. The Parthenon is "a symbol for Western civilization, a point of reference for the whole world," she says. Therefore, it is in the interests of the world to see its marbles reunited. The Greek culture ministry now publishes a little book that shows, for instance, the body of the goddess Iris on one page (from a frieze held in London), her head on another (a chunk of marble currently in Athens), and the two pieces reunited on a third.

"There is a very large part of the museum which has nothing to do with the marbles," insists Tschumi. Which is true. But the tone -- the fundamental atmosphere of the building -- is set by their absence. The museum emphasizes the need to transcend fracturedness through its proximity, its alignment, and its gallery with mourning veils draped over the casts of the hostage marbles in London. It is a severe building, and a very simple one (in its effect, if not in the architectural challenges it posed).
Nice article from Time Magazine:

Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli has swaggered into the genteel world of antiquities like a new sheriff in town. And for many of the world's top museums, which have long trotted out treasures with dubious origins, his message is simple: this cocktail party is over. Just ask the highbrow crowd at the J. Paul Getty museum, which was finally forced to sign a deal with Rutelli last week to return 40 artifacts that were illegally taken from Italian soil. "This is a fresh start for Getty," Rutelli told TIME. "They are aware that an era is over."

The always suave former Rome mayor made the rounds on Italian national television Thursday night with the first four pieces the Getty has already returned, including a prized 5th century B.C. vase attributed to the Greek painter Euphronios. In an interview this week with TIME, Rutelli said the deal with the Getty — which follows smaller-scale agreements with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts — marks a watershed in the international effort to force otherwise upstanding cultural institutions to turn over works with a nefarious past. "We're proud... of the ethical value of this 'cultural diplomacy,'" he said, clearly toning down his tough-guy negotiating posture of recent months, with victory at hand. "In Italy, thanks to this intransigence, illegal digging activity has fallen sharply, and the international accords are blocking much of the trafficking."

Beyond the art thieves linked to established organized crime networks, Rutelli also said there is evidence that terrorists were getting rich off the racket. "There are conversations in which [Sep. 11 suicide bomber] Mohammed Atta was talking about some of the financing of terrorism... coming from the illicit art trafficking market," he said. But Rutelli said there is also a "scientific" motivation for his unprecedented push to resolve these standoffs directly with the musuems. "The issue is also one of context. If you have a stolen masterpiece, you don't know its history. You don't know where it comes from, if it's from Sicly or Apulia, or Magna Grecia," he said. "They are doomed to be anonymous." With that in mind, Rutelli also plays good cop in the negotiations. "To the museum that returns stolen works, we loan for several years works that are equally important and valuable. Therefore, those spaces don't go empty," he said. Indeed, the most precious piece that the Getty has agreed to return — a 5th century B.C. statue of a goddess thought to be Aphrodite — will stay on display at the Los Angeles museum until 2010.

Two issues were not resolved by last week's agreement: the status of the disputed Victorious Youth bronze statue, and criminal proceedings in Italy against Marion True, former curator of the Getty, though a civil suit against True was dropped. The Getty's current Director Michael Brand, who came to the museum in 2005, after it emerged that many items in the collection of the Getty Villa were probably looted from Italian sites, said top museums must help set new tougher standards, though with limits in how far back a country can contest patrimony. He wants to see 1970 as a cutoff date. "Our previous policy was widely acclaimed as one of the strictest in the U.S. It wasn't as strict as the one we have now," he told TIME. "The basic goal is that museums should want to build their collections. But they should also collect responsibly."

For now, it is Rutelli who is doing the collecting. He says once all 40 pieces arrive from Los Angeles, there will be a kind of What-We-Got-Back-From the Getty exhibit. After that, permanent homes will be found, though Rutelli jokes that the statues don't get to choose their company. "After Boston returned her, we sent the statue of the wife of the emperor Hadrian back to Tivoli to be beside her husband, though we're not sure if he was so happy to have her back. He was a restless one." Rutelli, who is happily married, is clearly restless in other ways.
From the Cyprus Mail:

FIVE men were arrested in Limassol yesterday morning in relation to investigations into an international network of illicit antiquities traders. Two Limassol homes were raided by police, who discovered an illegal hoard of great archaeological value.
“The finds are products of tomb-raiding by a group involved in illegal international antiquities trade,” said Police Chief Andreas Iatropoulos.

The suspects, three Cypriots and two Greeks, were arrested for illegal possession and trade of antiquities. Large collections were discovered in a garage in Ypsonas and a second house on P. Anagnostopoulos street at Kato Polemidia. The raids were conducted by two officers of the Greek Police, the anti-terrorism wing of the Mobile Immediate Action Unit (MMAD) and officers of the Limassol Police Department.

Around 100 items were found at the Kato Polemidia house, ranging from the Paleolithic to the Byzantine period. Confiscated items include hundreds of gold coins, bronze coins, statues, gold, bronze and metal antique jewellery, bronze seals, sheets of gold and albums with pictures of archaeological finds.
Approximately 40 more items were confiscated from the Ypsonas garage. An officer of the Antiquities Department is currently assessing the value of the finds.
“The confiscated items are of great archaeological value: they are a treasure. Only part of this collection would have been sold for 280,000 euro,” said Iatropoulos. The sale would have occurred yesterday morning, but was prevented by the police raids and arrests.
Investigations on the case began months ago when a Greek police officer informed police in Cyprus that a group of Cypriots possessed a large collection of archaeological finds and were seeking international buyers.

Cyprus police worked in cooperation with their Greek counterparts, and a Greek officer, experienced in similar cases, managed to infiltrate the illegal trade network. Pretending to be interested in buying Cypriot antiquities, he came to the island with two dealers, who lead the undercover officer to their Cypriot counterparts.

The three Cypriots run a tractor company, which police suspect was a front enabling them to identify and steal items of archaeological value.
“This is not the first time they have done this. We suspect they have been previously involved in illicit antiquities trading,” Iatropoulos added.

The law stipulates that in cases where digging for construction purposes brings archaeological finds to the surface, there is an obligation to present these to the Antiquities Department.
From the Cambridge Evening News:

A VENERABLE Cambridge tradition returns to the Arts Theatre next week when the Cambridge Greek Play gets its triennial staging.

The tradition of performing an ancient Greek play in its original language began in 1882 and it has come around once every three years since then. This year's production - the 40th Cambridge Greek Play - is Euripides' classic Medea. The title character has betrayed her family to join Jason in Corinth. But several years later he abandons her to marry a princess and Medea faces exile. She asks for one day's grace so that she can enact her bloody revenge on her former lover, his new bride and her royal father.

The epic tragedy was written in 431BC and has become firmly imbedded in mythology down the ages. Passages from the play were recited by the Suffragettes who were inspired by the struggle of the central controversial figure. Rupert Brooke appeared in the Cambridge Greek Play in 1906 and Ralph Vaughan Williams composed the music for Aristophanes' Wasps in 1909. This year's title role is played by Marta Zlatic, a junior research fellow at Trinity College who previously played the title roles in 2001's Electra and 2004's Oedipus. She has been reunited with director Annie Castledine for the production.
From Today's Zaman:

Excavation work at the ancient city of Ephesus in İzmir began 138 years ago and may continue for centuries more, said director of digs at the site and head of the Austrian Archeology Institute Dr. Fritz Krinzinger.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency last week, Krinzinger said that he has leading excavations in the ancient city, whose construction dates back to 6000 B.C. and the Neolithic era, for the past 10 years. The professor noted that part of the excavation works launched in May would be finalized at the end of September and that his team has finished a total of 14 projects so far.

Krinzinger, whose term as the head of the excavation work ends this year, said Ephesus is very important and, during the course of his leadership, his team tried to unearth as many buildings as possible, evaluate the results of their excavations, examine those buildings revealed and published the data gathered. He stressed that it would be impossible to uncover the entire ancient city at once, underlining that only 10-15 percent of the site has been unearthed so far.

“The excavation work may last for centuries. This is not an easy job. We focus on spots where we are likely to find something important as we cannot carry out the entire excavation at once. It is necessary to examine and research those places that have already been unearthed as well as publish books about them at the same time. Many things should be taken into consideration at this point, such as which century the historical pieces belong to. We have compiled our decade-old work in a book with 12 writers, including photos of all the discoveries. The excavation goes on layer by layer; the pieces gathered from every layer are classified. This is actually really bothersome work, but it is impossible to carry on the project without engaging in such processes.”

Krinzinger added that he would not be leading the excavations in the city next year, but will still closely follow the course of the project. Noting that 1.5 million people visited Ephesus last year, he added that the large number of visitors increases the significance of the ancient city that is so important for world history.
A reviewish sort of thing of Charlotte Higgins' Latin Love Lessons: Put a Little Ovid in Your Life:

If you were lucky enough to read Latin at school the chances are you will remember a bit of Catullus: the best thing by far about the slog of amo, amas, amat is that you get to read, after just a year or two, what one Latin teacher described to me as "pretty hardcore literature". Often this arrives in the form of a Catullus poem: perhaps "Passer, deliciae meae puellae" ("Sparrow, my girl's darling"), a funny, erotic, tender piece about his lover's pet bird; or the wonderful, paradoxical, agonising two-liner "Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris? / nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior." ("I love and I hate. Why do I do this, perhaps you ask? I don't know, but I feel it happening to me, and I am in agony.")

The first time I read poems like these I understood the reason for learning such a remote and frankly difficult language, with its endless necessary rote-learning, its phalanxes of endings, its brain-bending complexities of grammar. I felt as though I had been given the key to a subversive, exotic, urbane world. Catullus invented love poetry: that is, he was the first classical poet to write about relationships. The Greeks had written wonderfully about desire - think of the emotionally acute, limpid, supple, verses of Sappho. But it was Catullus who mapped out the peaks and troughs of romance: the breathless preludes, the heart-in-mouth anticipation, the joy, the disappointments, the heartbreak, the gruelling clamber back to sanity. About a quarter of his corpus of just over 100 poems is about his relationship with one woman: Lesbia. Rereading these works, I came to realise how pin-sharp Catullus is in his articulation of the trials of love.

Catullus' most substantial work, however, is his poem 64 - a miniature epic, or epyllion, and by far the longest and most ambitious of his poems. For me it's one of the greatest works of literature ever produced.

Catullus 64 is full of tricks and false turns, paths that wind back on themselves, and red herrings. At its heart is the story of Ariadne, who helped Theseus kill the minotaur in the labyrinth of Knossos, and whom Theseus abandoned on the deserted shore of Naxos. It's fitting, then, that the structure of this poem is like a labyrinth, and not a neat, formal labyrinth full of comforting symbolism, but the sort that we can recall from our dreams, one that it would be extremely discomfiting to get stuck in.

When the poem opens, there's no clue as to what awaits us at the centre of the maze:

The noble pine trees bred on Pelion's top
Once swam, they say, through Neptune's sliding element
As far as the river Phasis and the realm
Of King Aeetes; that was when the pick
And pride of the young Argive chivalry
Burning to loot the Golden Fleece from Colchis,
Dared the salt depths in their impetuous ship,
Churning the blue to white with firwood blades.

Catullus' swimming pines are the Argo (the circumlocution hints towards the notion that it was supposedly the first ever ship; it's a knowingly naive description as if from someone who'd never seen one before). This, you think, is going to be a poem about Jason and the Argonauts. A reader in the first century BC might have noted the references to the chic Hellenistic poem "The Argonautica", by Apollonius Rhodius, and be expecting a retelling of the story of the capture of the Golden Fleece, Jason's encounter with Medea and so forth.

Except that a few lines later, something disrupts that comfortable expectation. Catullus starts to describe an episode that occurred en route.

When her beaked prow cut the surge
And the waves, oar-wounded, whitened, the sea-nymphs
Peered out of the gullies of the foam,
Amazed at the apparition. Never before
Or since have men's eyes seen the Nereids
Stand nipple-naked in the grey-green swell.
That was the moment, so the story goes,
When Peleus looked and loved, and Thetis happily
Stooped to an earthborn mate, and even Jove
Acknowledged in his heart that they should wed.

Peleus, mortal hero and Argonaut, meets Thetis, sea goddess: love at first sight. The poem, instead of continuing to Colchis and the Golden Fleece, unexpectedly cuts back to the home of Peleus, in Thessaly.

Now follows a gorgeous description of lavish wedding celebrations. Catullus draws us ever further into the house. Right at the centre is a hall with a bed and on the bed is a coverlet, embroidered with "figures / of antique times marvellously representing / Heroic enterprise". You might expect something rather martial from that description - what we actually "see", though, is an embroidery of Ariadne, abandoned on the shore of Naxos by Theseus, whom she was expecting to marry.

Here Ariadne
On the surf-booming shore of Naxos gazes
At Theseus and his shipmates making off
And, still incredulous of what she sees,
Feels love, a wild beast, tear at her ...

She is trapped in time, just at the moment when she realises the appalling situation she's in. One of my most treasured possessions is a small 18th-century drawing of this scene, or to be precise the scene seconds before: Ariadne is yawning and stretching on her al fresco bed on Naxos, and you can just see Theseus's ship halfway to the horizon.

But, unlike my drawing, Catullus's embroidery appears to have sound effects - "fluentisono" is the marvellously abstruse word translated here as "surf-booming". Soon the picture moves, too, and Ariadne speaks, cursing her faithless lover, a model for the curses Dido rains down on Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid. Ariadne is taking over the poem, breaking out of the embroidery and becoming - perhaps - what Catullus 64 is really all about. The poem flashes back to what happened on Crete: how Theseus turned up as one of the seven Athenian youths annually sacrificed to the Minotaur, how Ariadne fell in love with him, and decided to help him by giving him a sword and a ball of thread. Then the story flashes forward to Theseus's return to Athens. He told his father he'd hoist white sails if he was coming back alive, but he forgot (just like he forgot about Ariadne). His father, assuming he was dead, threw himself from the Acropolis and dashed himself against the rocks.

The technique of describing a work of visual art in a poem is known to classicists as "ecphrasis". The first example of this trope is the description of the shield of Achilles in The Iliad book 19; there are many others. Catullus, it seems to me, is playing around with the notion of what art can do: a masterpiece of embroidery can, perhaps, come alive in our imagination, break free of its threads, suck us right into its reality. But of course we're not really looking at an embroidery; we are reading text. At one point Catullus even leaps further into the maze: he describes Ariadne as like a statue. So we've a sculpture within an embroidery within a poem.

So far do we accompany Catullus as he digresses and manipulates time, that we forget he's describing an artwork within an artwork. So it's a shock when he writes "ac parte ex alia florens uolitabat Bacchus" - "another section of the coverlet / Showed virile Bacchus swaggering". Oh, you think - it is a textile after all, just a bedspread. It's a little like that other famous artwork-within-an-artwork involving Ariadne - Strauss's Ariadne Auf Naxos. In that story, the character of the Composer writes a grand opera about Ariadne, into which he is instructed to introduce figures from commedia dell'arte. The genre clash between the tragic Ariadne and the commedia dell'arte pranksters reminds us constantly of the artifice of the inner opera, and so of the work that frames it, but when the Ariadne character sings, you can't help but get caught up in the power of her emotion.

"Ac parte ex alia": this section of the embroidery shows what happens next - Ariadne is rescued by the god Bacchus, who has fallen in love with her from afar. It's another description that breaks free of its artistic confines: this is a very noisy embroidery. The entourage "tereti tenuis tinnitus aere ciebant", "stretched fingertips to tattoo the tambourine". It's a scene given vivid visual life by Titian, in his Bacchus and Ariadne, in the National Gallery.

We leave Ariadne to her happy ending, and turn back to the party chez Peleus. The Fates appear to sing a wedding song, foretelling a happy marriage for the couple, and the future of their son, Achilles. But it is actually rather horrific: the Hellespont will be dyed red and made warm by the slaughter Achilles wreaks in the Trojan war, they sing.

Finally, at the end of the song, there's a kind of epilogue. Suddenly all the preceding narrative is placed in a sort of Golden Age: "For then, before religion was despised, /The sky dwellers in person used to visit / The stainless homes of heroes and be seen / At mortal gatherings." It's as if the poem has whooshed us forwards through time. So far, we've been involved in the story as if it's taking place quite immediately; now we're abruptly reminded that it happened aeons ago, and we're invited to look back on what we've just read as if from a great distance. Moreover, it is the sins of man that have brought those glorious, antique days to an end - it is because of our greed and impatience, our adulteries and iniquities that the gods no longer visit men, "nec se contingi patiuntur lumine claro", "or care to endure / The touch of our too glaring light of day."

It's hard to know how to take this disturbing ending, with its indictment of modern mores. As for its puzzling tone: is it macabre and playful, or macabre and deeply serious? There's no telling if we have escaped the labyrinth, or are trapped there, eternally hesitating between forking paths.
Catching up:

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein

Non Sequitur
... comes a request about this relief of part of a religious ritual. Can anyone identify which museum it is in (possibly Rome) and/or give any further details or bibliography? My correspondent has already contacted the photographer, who can't remember whence it came.
From BMCR:

Monica Salvini (ed.), Le tombe villanoviane di Sesto Fiorentino. L'eta del Ferro nel territorio. Istituto Nazionale di Studi Etruschi ed italici. Biblioteca di Studi Etruschi 43.

David S. Potter (ed.), A Companion to the Roman Empire.

R. Gibson, S. Green, S. Sharrock, The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris.

Sofia Torallas Tovar, Klaas A. Worp, To the Origins of Greek Stenography (P. Monts. Roca I).

Robin Lorsch Wildfang, Rome's Vestal Virgins. A Study of Rome's Vestal Priestesses in the Late Republic and Early Empire.

Riccardo Chiaradonna (ed.), Studi sull'anima in Plotino. Elenchos 42.

From Scholia:

Paul Murgatroyd, Mythical Monsters in Classical Literature

From TLS:

Joan Breton Connelly, Portrait of a Priestess
Call for papers: APA January 8-11, 2009, Philadelphia
Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance
Modern Performances of Ancient Drama: Theory and Practice

For the past three years, the CAMP panels have focused on ideology and performance. This year we will address ourselves to the theory and practice of performance, as well as the ways in which it may shape our pedagogy. There are many ways as well as many reasons to produce an ancient play, and as many ways to study and to teach from the perspective of performance.

In the reviews of contemporary productions, a basic division seems to emerge between “faithfulness” to the past (often pejoratively called the museum approach) and “relevance” to the present. Edith Hall has argued that since 1968 the Greek tragedies, in particular, have been performed with a critical edge (Dionysus Since 69 [Oxford 2004] 1). The prophets of doom and gloom, the Allan Blooms and Lynne Cheneys of the U.S. culture wars seem to have been proven wrong if we look at performances of ancient drama. Their fears that postmodernism, multiculturalism, and feminism would be the death of classics have not been realized, and instead there has been a bumper crop of new productions, especially of Greek tragedy, at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries.

This seeming expansion of productions has been accompanied by increased scholarly attention to productions and reception, as can be seen in the development of the Oxford archive of Ancient Performance of Greek and Roman Drama, and the series of publications from that research group, e.g. Agamemnon in Performance 458 BC to AD 2004; Medea in Performance 1500-2000; Dionysus Since 69.

We invite practitioners and scholars to address pragmatic or theoretical issues in the performance of ancient drama. We welcome papers from directors or actors discussing a specific performance, or a style of performance. Questions to be considered might include: Was the mask used? The chorus? In what ways did the performance attempt to replicate ancient performance conditions or experiment with “making it new” and relevant? How did you arrive at your conception for the production?

We also welcome papers addressing the importance and value of teaching ancient drama with attention to the ways it was performed. Finally, papers might well investigate aspects of reception theory as it applies to ancient drama. In the end we envision a wide-ranging panel that reveals the many ways in which performance contributes to our understanding of ancient drama.

Abstracts should be submitted electronically to Nancy S. Rabinowitz (nrabinow AT by Feb. 1, 2008. The abstract should follow the APA guidelines (one page in 11 pt type; title in upper right-hand corner in 12 pt type) and be anonymous. Papers will normally be no longer than 20 minutes long. Please include requests for audio-visual equipment and allow for the screening of clips in your estimate of time needed. After papers are accepted by the readers, a complete panel will be submitted to the APA Program Committee for its approval.
The Department of Classics at the University of Washington invites
applications for a full-time, tenure-track position at the level of
Assistant Professor, beginning in the academic year 2008-09. Applicants
should have the Ph.D. degree by the effective date of the appointment
(9/16/08). Duties include teaching undergraduate and graduate students
and conducting independent research. The Department is seeking a
broadly trained archaeologist and material culturist, with
specializations on either the Greek or the Roman side, who is able to
teach an array of courses in the archaeology and material culture of the
Greek and Roman world as well as courses in at least one of the ancient
languages through the advanced undergraduate level. The successful
candidate will be ready to maintain our traditions of cooperation with
ancient-world colleagues in cognate departments. We welcome as well any
interest in contributing to foreign study initiatives, including (but
not restricted to) the Department¹s annual quarter-long program in the
Palazzo Pio, Rome, now in its 21st year.

Applications, including a curriculum vitae, statement of research and
teaching interests, and letters of recommendation (at least three),
should be sent to:

Professor Alain M. Gowing, Chair
Department of Classics
University of Washington
Box 353110
Seattle, WA 98195-3110

alain AT

Priority will be given to applications received before November 16, 2007.

The University of Washington is building a culturally diverse faculty
and strongly encourages applications from female and minority
candidates. The University is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action
employer. University of Washington faculty engage in teaching, research
and service.
The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at The
Pennsylvania State University seeks applicants for a tenure-track
appointment in Greek language and literature at the assistant professor
level, beginning August 2008. Applications are welcome from candidates with
active research interests in any area or period of ancient Greek poetry or
prose. Primary teaching responsibilities include Greek language and
literature at the undergraduate and graduate levels and large lecture
courses on Greek mythology and civilization.

The department embraces the entire Mediterranean world in antiquity within
its purview and therefore welcomes candidates who can contribute to dialogue
across the fields of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (the
department's web page can be found at:
Requirements include Ph.D. in hand by the time of the appointment, teaching
experience, and evidence of scholarly publication(s).

Please submit a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, a sample of
scholarly writing (no more than thirty pages), and three letters of
recommendation to:
Professor Stephen Wheeler, Chair
Hellenist Search Committee
Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Penn State
108 Weaver Bldg.
Box 100
University Park, PA 16802-5500

Applications received by November 26, 2007 are assured of consideration;
however, all dossiers will be accepted until the position is filled.
Preliminary interviews of selected candidates will be conducted at the 2008
Annual APA/AIA Meeting in Chicago, January 3-6, 2008.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the
diversity of its workforce.
Roman Art and Archaeology
Brock University, Department of Classics

The Department of Classics at Brock University invites applications for a probationary tenured position at the rank of Associate Professor to begin 1 July 2008. The Department seeks a person with an outstanding research profile in the visual and material culture of the Roman world. Applicants whose interests lie in northern Africa, Cyprus, or the Western Empire are especially encouraged to apply. The appointee should be actively involved in the direction of archaeological fieldwork and expect to participate in the Brock University Archaeological Practicum. Responsibilities will include teaching two courses per semester in Roman art and archaeology, senior and graduate level specialty seminars, supervising M.A. theses, and may include teaching classical civilization and Latin courses. Applicants should have a strong record of teaching and scholarly achievement.

Classics at Brock is currently a department of nine permanent faculty, and almost 100 majors, teaching on a 2:2 load a variety of courses towards pass and honours degrees in Classical Studies, Classical Languages, and Ancient Art and Archaeology. In addition to these major programs, we offer introductory courses in mythology and civilization to satisfy a general requirement and first year language courses to satisfy a language requirement (as well as Greek and Latin at all levels). The department offers an M.A. degree in Classics and is active in Brock’s new Medieval and Renaissance Studies program.

Review of applications will begin on 10 December 2007 and will continue until the position is filled. Candidates should include a letter of application accompanied by a curriculum vitae, evidence of successful teaching, and a sample of scholarly writing. Please arrange for three confidential letters of reference to be sent to: Dr Michael J. Carter, Chair, Department of Classics, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Ave., St Catharines, Ontario, CANADA. L2S 3A1. (905) 688-5550 x 3796 or x 3575; fax: (905) 984-4859; email: mjcarter AT

Members of the department will be available to meet with candidates at the 2008 Annual Meetings of the American Philological Association and the Archaeological Institute of America in Chicago.

Brock University is actively committed to diversity and the principles of Employment Equity and invites applications from all qualified candidates. Women, Aboriginal peoples, members of visible minorities, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply and to voluntarily self identify as a member of a designated group as part of their application. Candidates who wish to have their application considered as a member of one or more designated groups should fill out the Self-Identification Form available at and include the completed form with their application.

More information on the Department of Classics can be found at The position is subject to final budgetary approval.

The Department of Classics at UCLA invites applications for two positions, a tenure-track assistant professor and a distinguished senior colleague. Both positions are open to applicants with interests across the range of classical studies; applications would be especially welcome from scholars with special expertise in Hellenistic poetry, Greek literature of the Imperial period, and Greek and Roman historiography. The University of California, Los Angeles is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to excellence through diversity. The two positions are:

Position 1: The Joan Palevsky Chair in Classics. We are seeking a colleague with a distinguished record of teaching and scholarship for this newly endowed chair. Candidates should submit a letter of application and curriculum vitae along with the names and contact information of five references. Please send applications to David Blank, Chair of the Search Committee, Department of Classics, UCLA, 100 Dodd Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095. We will begin to review candidates December 3, 2007, but there is no deadline for applications. Informal inquiries may be sent to blank AT .

Position 2: Assistant Professor of Classics (tenure-track). Candidates should be prepared to teach a variety of courses at all levels of our active undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as to produce research of high quality and originality. Please send applications, including a curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, and a sample of work no more than 20 pages in length, to David Blank, Chair of the Search Committee, Department of Classics, 100 Dodd Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095. We will begin to review applications December 3, 2007, and we will meet with candidates at the APA Annual Meeting in Chicago (January 3-6, 2008). The successful applicant should have the Ph.D. in hand by July 1, 2008.
Reed College invites applications for a one-year visiting appointment in
Classics and Humanities beginning August 2008. We are seeking an
ancient historian with a strong background in Greek and Latin language
and literature, who will hold an appointment in the Department of
Classics. The successful candidate will have a strong commitment to
teaching excellence at the undergraduate level. The appointee will
teach Roman history and some combination of Greek and Latin courses,
will advise senior theses, and may teach in Reed¹s Freshman Humanities
course, whose primary focus is on Greco-Roman civilization. Candidates
should preferably have the Ph.D. in hand by the time of appointment, but
ABD candidates will be considered. The deadline for receipt of
applications is December 4, 2007. Please send a letter of application,
CV, and placement file including at last three letters of recommendation
to Classics Search Committee, Reed College c/o Jo Cannon, 3203 SE
Woodstock, Portland, OR 97202. Fax: (503) 777-7769. E-mail:
ellen.millender AT An Equal Opportunity Employer, Reed values
diversity and encourages applications from underrepresented groups.
American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA)
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowships

Deadline: December 1, 2007
... for the lack of an update yesterday and the late start today. Yesterday was a PA day for our school board and our school wasn't opening until late (one of my colleagues who missed the announcement set off the alarm, snicker), so I slept in. Evening football activities prevented further action last night. This a.m. I slept in again and now have finally waded through the pile of email that has built up.

On the plus side, I've finally ordered a new laptop ... folks often write me and ask how I have time to do my various online activities and they probably would be more concerned that I've been doing it on a four/five-year old laptop which has been shedding keys (most notably the 'y' and the 'ctrl') and which only connects to the internet at home (they won't let us connect personal laptops to the school network). The new laptop and my new Corsair Voyager GT (full of portable apps, including Thunderbird and Firefox) should keep me from falling behind.

Also on the plus side, it's Thanksgiving weekend up here in the Great Grey North and only one of the days (later today) involves football, so I should be able to get a whack of things off the agenda ...
ante diem iv nonas octobres

fast in honour of Ceres -- in 191 B.C., consultation of the Sybilline books ordered a fast to be held every five years in honour of the Roman goddess Ceres, who presided over grain and harvesting. By Augustus' day, the fast was an annual event which curiously coincides fairly closely with the Athenian Thesmophoria.

ludi Augustales scaenici (day 2 -- from 19-23 A.D.) -- a festival in honour of Augustus involving primarily mime and pantomime theatrical displays

1909 -- birth of James. B. Pritchard ("Biblical" archaeologist and author of The Ancient Near East, among other things)
lugubrious @ Wordsmith

astute @ Merriam-Webster

advertently @ Worthless Word for the Day

redoubtable @
From Novinite:

The team of archaeologists of the famous Bulgarian Professor Nikolay Ovhcarov has unearthed three unique artefacts from the different epochs of the ancient city Perperikon.

The three artefacts were unearthed during the four-month excavations of the team, Professor Ovcharov himself announced at a Wednesday press conference.

The first artefact is a bronze sword dated back to the 13-12 century BC. Such swords were used in the Trojan War, the professor explained.

The second one is the clay idol of a man made some 6,000 years ago. The figurine had been used during magical rituals, when witch-doctors wanted to cure somebody from plague or measles.

The third artefact is a silver distinction from the 4-5th century AC, consisting of two parts, representing Jesus Christ. It probably belonged to a Byzantine noble.

The excavations at Perperikon and at the Temple of Orpheus near the village of Tatul finished just a couple of days ago, Professor Ovcharov said.

The findings have helped the archaeologists and historians to fill in some holes in the history.

The city of Perperikon has been inhabited since around 5000 BC, while a nearby shrine dedicated to Orpheus, near the village of Tatul, dates back to 6000 BC and is older than the Pyramids of Giza.

It has fallen into disuse after the Ottomans swept through the area in the 14th century.
From Midlands Housing:

The partnership, which includes Accord, Ashram, Caldmore, Trident and Rooftop, is currently developing a site on the outskirts of picturesque Eckington. Image

During the archaeological inspection of the site the ancient burial site of a Roman centurion was uncovered.

This is a rare discovery in South Worcestershire as the soil has usually degraded the bone beyond recognition. However this find includes a near complete skull and the majority of the skeleton.

Birmingham University archaeology team have removed the bones for further analysis.

Toby Whiting, communications manager for Rooftop who is leading the development, dressed up as a centurion for the day to commemorate the find. He said: "We're delighted by the discovery. Matrix developments pride themselves on addressing the needs of future communities but this is a wonderful reminder that communities last a very long time indeed. It's great opportunity to learn more about Eckington's past and share that with the rest of the village."

The development will include 12 homes including flats, bungalows and family houses and will cost around £1.13 million.
From Arezzo Notizie:

Un antichissimo mosaico di origini romane con un singolare motivo del decoro è tornato alla luce nel centro storico di Arezzo. Il ritrovamento archeologico risale ad alcuni giorni fa ed è avvenuto casualmente grazie ai lavori di ristrutturazione del settecentesco Palazzo Lambardi che lo ha custodito intatto per circa 1.800 anni. Straordinarie sono le dimensioni del reperto risalente, secondo i primi rilievi, al II secolo d. C.: circa 180 infatti sono i metri quadrati di superficie che conservano un’opera archeologica pare senza nessun altro confronto, per bellezza.
Animali terrestri e acquatici, oche e delfini, sono raffigurati con ottima fattura e colori, sulla pavimentazione del magazzino dell’edificio.Torna alla luce un mosaico romano di eccezionale importanza archeologica
Secondo le prime interpretazioni, in considerazione delle estese dimensioni e del motivo del decoro, il mosaico potrebbe essere stato la pavimentazione di un’area termale o i “balnea” di una grande “domus” romana.
Per il momento proseguono i delicati scavi per riportare alla luce una traccia antichissima di storia.
Sembra che a fine Ottocento l’archeologo Gianfrancesco Gamurrini aveva ipotizzato, in un antico documento di cui erano state perse le tracce, la presenza del reperto; oggi il mosaico è finalmente tornato alla luce all’interno di un palazzo con una facciata monotona, sulla quale spicca una bellissima ringhiera in ferro battuto realizzata nel 1759 ma che mai avrebbe fatto immaginare di essere custode di un'opera di eccezionale bellezza archeologica.

Some photos accompany the original articles ...
Epigraphy North

Peter Liddel, ‘Before and After the Epigraphic Explosion: The Historiography of the Athenian Empire’

Tuesday, 9th October, 5.30 pm, A 112 Samuel Alexander Building (formerly Humanities Lime Grove), Oxford Road, Manchester

Graham Oliver, Commemoration and war: new Hellenistic material from central Greece

Tuesday 11th December, 5.30 pm Bosanquet Seminar Room, 12-14 Abercromby Square, The University of Liverpool, Liverpool.

All welcome. Further details, contact gjoliver AT
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, Michigan

The Department of Classics invites applications for a tenure-track
appointment at the assistant professor level, beginning in August, 2008.
We seek a broadly trained classicist with special interests and
expertise in ancient philosophy. Candidates should demonstrate a solid
commitment to undergraduate teaching, an active program of scholarship,
intellectual breadth and versatility, and the desire to contribute to a
vibrant and innovative program in Classics. The successful candidate
will be able to teach Greek and Latin at all undergraduate levels,
ancient philosophy, courses in translation, and to enhance a program in
the Classical Tradition. In addition to courses within the major,
teaching assignments will regularly include classes in the Honors
College and in the Department of Philosophy. The Department is
especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute,
through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and
excellence of the academic community. Ph.D. in hand by August, 2008.

With more than 23,000 students, Grand Valley State University is the
comprehensive regional university for Michigan’s second largest
metropolitan area, centered on the city of Grand Rapids. The Department
of Classics was established in 2000 as part of a larger initiative to
place undergraduate liberal education at the heart of the university’s
institutional mission. Offering a strong undergraduate major with
emphases in Greek and/or Latin, Latin Secondary Education, and the
Classical Tradition, the Department seeks to realize the values of a
traditional liberal arts college within the democratic and progressive
framework of a public university. As colleagues committed to a
face-to-face learning community of students and faculty, the Department
works closely with students to facilitate and encourage success in every
area of academic life. Through committed teaching, imaginative
curricular design, and with strong support from the university’s
administration, the Department has grown from three initial tenure track
faculty to this search for the seventh. We therefore may claim to be
not only one of the newest but also one of the fastest-growing Classics
programs in the world.

Interested candidates are asked to apply online a,
attaching a letter of application and a dossier, including a curriculum
vitae and a short sample of scholarly work. Three letters of
recommendation and an unofficial graduate transcript should be mailed to
Diane Rayor, Chair, Department of Classics, Grand Valley State
University, Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403. Review of applications will
begin November 16 and continue until the position is filled. Interviews
will be held January 4-5 at the APA-AIA Annual Meetings in Chicago. For
further information:, or (616) 331-3600.

Grand Valley State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative
Action Institution.

Reception, disciplinarity and academic careers

Classical Reception Studies Network workshop for research students

10am -5pm, 7th November 2007

Birkbeck, University of London (Room 152, Malet Street)

The study of classical receptions has come to occupy an assured place within many undergraduate
programmes in Classics and Classical Studies, while some institutions offer MAs in the reception
of antiquity and an increasing number of research students are working on projects in this area.
This workshop will offer a forum to explore the relationship of reception to Classics, but also to
other disciplines such as History, English Literature and Art History. Reception projects are by
their very nature inter-disciplinary but how does this affect the disciplinary identity of research
students in particular? The theoretical issues at stake here are important in themselves but they
also have a bearing on the more practical questions faced by research students in the reception of
antiquity who would like to pursue an academic career. How can I convince prospective colleagues
that what I do is a fundamental part of Classics? If Classics doesn’t seem the obvious home for
my long-term future, how should I best approach departments of e.g.English or History or Art
History? This workshop will offer the opportunity to share concerns and to learn from the
experiences of distinguished academics with an interest in reception working in a variety of
different institutional contexts.

No fee will be charged but space is limited. Those interested in attending should contact
Catharine Edwards to book a place (C.Edwards AT

Reception, disciplinarity and academic careers


10.15am coffee and registration

10.45 Prof.Catharine Edwards (School of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck): welcome and

11.15 am Prof.Edith Hall (Departments of Classics and Drama, Royal Holloway) ‘Never apologise,
always explain: what to say to traditional classicists'

12.05 Prof.Maria Wyke (Department of Greek and Latin, UCL)
‘From Roman love poetry to computer games - researching classical reception in popular culture’

12.55pm lunch

2pm Dr. Joanna Paul (Department of Archaeology, Classics & Egyptology, Liverpool)
‘When I grow up, I want to be a receptionist’: Graduate research, early career planning, and
identity crisis

2.50 tea

3.10 pm Dr. Isobel Hurst (Dept of English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths)
‘Thoughts on creating a career in reception studies’

4pm Round table discussion
The Dublin Classics Seminar meets on Tuesdays at 5.30 in room K217 of the Newman Building at University College Dublin's Belfield Campus. The programme for this term is:

9 October - Felix Budelmann (Open University)
'Bringing together nature and culture: on the uses and limits of cognitive science for the study of performance reception'

23 October - Lorna Hardwick (Open University)
'Translation and Creativity: Classical poetry and drama in the work of Michael Longley, Brian Friel and Colin Teevan'

6 November - Katie Fleming (Queen Mary, University of London)
'"It was all so unimaginably different": antiquity in Louis MacNeice's Autumn Journal'

27 November - Clare Guest (University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway)
'Chorus, garland, triumph and mosaic: themes and influence of Italian Renaissance Commentaries on classical poetry'

All interested parties are welcome. Seminars are followed by drinks, usually in the UCD Common room, and then a meal with the speaker at a nearby restaurant.

For further information contact Dr Alexander Thein, School of Classics, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland (tel. + 353 1 716 8662).

ante diem v nonas octobres

ludi Augustales scaenici (day 1 -- from 19-23 A.D.) -- a festival in honour of Augustus involving primarily mime and pantomime theatrical displays
moliminous @ Wordsmith

distrait @
Vivienna seems to have the most complete coverate of this one so far:

I Carabinieri della Compagnia di Piazza Armerina unitamente ai colleghi del Nucleo CC Tutela Patrimonio Culturale di Palermo hanno recuperato la “ Testa - Ritratto di Dama di età Flavia”, trafugata dai depositi della Soprintendenza di Enna e proveniente dal sottosuolo della famosa Villa dei Mosaici.

L’importante scultura fu rinvenuta nella stanza n. 50 a mezzo metro di profondità al di sotto del mosaico con la scena di vendemmia nel settore lacunoso, verosimilmente collocata in origine in un edificio più antico e preesistente alla Villa del Casale.

La notizia della scomparsa della scultura risale al 2006, quando una laureanda chiese di visionare l’opera custodita presso un deposito di Piazza Armerina, rendendo palese l’ammanco e dando inizio alle indagini che hanno visto impegnati i Carabinieri per oltre un anno.

Assieme alla testa muliebre risultò mancante anche un secondo ritratto virile, per il quale i militari dell’Arma proseguono le indagini per il recupero.

Al recupero dell’importante opera d’arte si è giunti al termine di indagini e perquisizioni condotte dai Carabinieri di Piazza Armerina, coordinati dal Capitano Michele cannizzaro, in vari centri della Sicilia nei confronti di personaggi sospettati di custodire o detenere opere d’arte di provenienza illecita.

Ad agevolare il recupero ha contribuito anche l’inserimento, presso la Banca Dati delle opere illecitamente sottratte, gestita dal citato Reparto speciale dei Carabinieri, del file attinente il furto con le fotografie delle statue, che ne ha, di fatto, diminuito grandemente il valore commerciale sul mercato clandestino, traformandola in merce “scottante”.

I Carabinieri hanno denunciato in stato di libertà una persona, G.S. di anni 50, trovato in possesso del reperto archeologico e stanno attivamente lavorando per il recupero della seconda statua mancante.
From ANSA:

Nine centuries of the Roman stage are spotlighted in a new show opening next month on the biggest stage of them all, the Colosseum.

The 'In Scaena' (On Stage) show, running from October 4 till the end of the year, follows Roman theatre from its beginnings in rustic knockabout to the gritty comedy of Plautus, the Greek-influenced classical age of Terence and Seneca and a later return to broad farce, burlesque and circus-like entertainments.

It covers 900 years of theatre history, spanning the period from the third century BC to the sixth-century imperial dog days when drag artistes and clowns provided diversion from the Barbarian menace.

The exhibition also illustrates how the Romans' technical brilliance built on Greek models to conceive ever-smarter stage machinery and ever more opulent theatres, spreading classical tragedy and mass entertainment to the corners of the known world.

Some 70 objects are on show including comic and tragic masks, bronze statuettes, mosaics and terracotta vases from museums around Italy as well as the Vatican Museums and Pompeii.

The painted works showing stage performances include a celebrated red-figure Attic bowl from Puglia in southern Italy, the Promos Vase.

Other works highlight the bawdy influence of the peoples who ruled most of Italy before the Romans, the Etruscans of present-day Tuscany and Lazio and the Greek city states of southern Italy's Magna Graecia.

Another star of the show is a detailed reproduction of a Roman theatre house from the Archaeological Museum in Naples.

There is also a famous marble statue of Dionysus, the sex-and-wine god who was elected the theatre's presiding deity.

Among the musical instruments on show are ancient flutes, cymbals and an ancient pipe organ unearthed in the 1930s at the site of the Roman town of Aquincum in Hungary.
Crave links to a Tshirt for ancient bloggers ... the Latin is suspect, alas (and reminds me more of an imperative than a first person singular; but maybe that's the point?) ... in any event, jm worked out the Latin a while back ...
Interesting press release:

-Just in time for the holidays comes a fun stocking stuffer that also boosts self-esteem. Bella Sara unveils the new Ancient Lights card set, the latest addition to its internationally acclaimed, horse-themed trading cards and online world for girls.

The new Ancient Lights card set features self-esteem-boosting messages paired with fantastic illustrations of horses inspired by Greek and Roman mythology. As with all Bella Sara cards, each horse in the Ancient Lights card set can be activated online at, a child-friendly website that features horse dress-up, jumping, and riding games, plus puzzles, coloring books, interactive storybooks and much more.

“Stuff a little empowerment in your daughter’s stocking this holiday season. Use mythology to capture her imagination and teach important life lessons in a fun way,” said Peter D. Adkison, CEO of Hidden City Games. “In a world with so many products that make physical appearance central to playtime, Bella Sara makes it fun for girls to develop their inner beauty.”

Adkison also published Pokemon trading cards and Magic: The Gathering trading cards, two of the most successful trading card franchises in the history of the category.

Inspired by her daughter’s love for horses, Danish social worker Gitte Odder Braendgaard developed Bella Sara to encourage young girls to accept and express their feelings and avoid investing too much of their identities in their physical appearance at an important developmental stage. Since their U.S. debut last year, Bella Sara trading cards and online world for girls have received numerous awards from child development and parenting authorities, including the “Seal of Approval” from the National Parenting Center, the “Seal of Excellence” from Creative Child magazine, the “2007 Excellent Product” and “2007 Outstanding Product” designations from iParenting Media and the “Best Products — Spring 2007” award from Dr. Toy.

Playing off of the life lessons inherent in mythology, the new Ancient Lights card set features fantastic horses inspired by Greek and Roman legends such as Nike, the Greek goddess of victory; Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom; Venus, the Roman goddess of love; and Juno, queen of the Roman goddesses. Each card features a different, fantasy-based illustration of a horse and an empowering affirmation that promotes healthy self-reflection through positive reinforcement.

* Nike: “Have the courage to trust yourself.”
* Athena: “Be yourself, be free, and allow others the same freedom.”
* Venus: “Spread your joy around for all to share.”
* Juno: “Use your life to create, be joyful, and celebrate!”

The new Bella Sara Ancient Lights card set consists of 72 cards total, including 45 regular horse cards, 17 extra-rare, “shiny” foil horse cards and 10 rare energy cards. The energy cards, representing relics of a bygone age such as Aphrodite’s Gown and Apollo’s Lyre, will be used to enhance the online experience. Each foil flow-wrapped Ancient Lights card pack costs $2.99 and contains seven random horse and/or energy cards that can be collected and traded or used to play Bella Sara card games.

“After the success of Bella Sara Northern Lights cards at our stores, we expect great things for the new Ancient Lights series this holiday season,” said Scott W. McCauley, vice president of marketing for Vintage Sportscards, Inc., category manager for Blockbuster, Kmart and Toys “R” Us. “Bella Sara cards are going to be a hot stocking stuffer for girls this year.”

Ancient Lights is the highly anticipated follow-up to the Bella Sara Northern Lights card set, which featured Norse and Celtic mythology and was released earlier this year. The new series will be available in mid-October in major retailers across North America, including Blockbuster, Kmart, Target, Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart, as well as in regional chains, bookstores, and toy, hobby and equestrian shops.

... more info follows ...
From Science Daily:

Move over, Archimedes. A researcher at Harvard University is finding that ancient Greek craftsmen were able to engineer sophisticated machines without necessarily understanding the mathematical theory behind their construction.

Recent analysis of technical treatises and literary sources dating back to the fifth century B.C. reveals that technology flourished among practitioners with limited theoretical knowledge.

"Craftsmen had their own kind of knowledge that didn't have to be based on theory," explains Mark Schiefsky, professor of the classics in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "They didn't all go to Plato's Academy to learn geometry, and yet they were able to construct precisely calibrated devices."

The balance, used to measure weight throughout the ancient world, best illustrates Schiefsky's findings on the distinction between theoretical and practitioner's knowledge. Working with a group led by Jürgen Renn, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Schiefsky has found that the steelyard--a balance with unequal arms--was in use as early as the fourth and fifth centuries B.C., before Archimedes and other thinkers of the Hellenistic era gave a mathematical demonstration of its theoretical foundations.

"People assume that Archimedes was the first to use the steelyard because they suppose you can't create one without knowing the law of the lever. In fact, you can--and people did. Craftsmen had their own set of rules for making the scale and calibrating the device," says Schiefsky.

Practical needs, as well as trial-and-error, led to the development of technologies such as the steelyard.

"If someone brings a 100-pound slab of meat to the agora, how do you weigh it?" Schiefsky asks. "It would be nice to have a 10-pound counterweight instead of a 100-pound counterweight, but to do so you need to change the balance point and ostensibly understand the principle of proportionality between weight and distance from the fulcrum. Yet, these craftsmen were able to use and calibrate these devices without understanding the law of the lever."

Craftsmen learned to improve these machines through productive use, over the course of their careers, Schiefsky says.

With the rise of mathematical knowledge in the Hellenistic era, theory came to exert a greater influence on the development of ancient technologies. The catapult, developed in the third century B.C., provides evidence of the ways in which engineering became systematized.

With the help of literary sources and data from archaeological excavations, "We can actually trace when the ancients started to use mathematical methods to construct the catapult," notes Schiefsky. "The machines were built and calibrated precisely."

Alexandrian kings developed and patronized an active research program to further refine the catapult. Through experimentation and the application of mathematical methods, such as those developed by Archimedes, craftsmen were able to construct highly powerful machines. Twisted animal sinews helped to increase the power of the launching arm, which could hurl stones weighing 50 pounds or more.

The catapult had a large impact on the politics of the ancient world.

"You could suddenly attack a city that had previously been impenetrable," Schiefsky explains. "These machines changed the course of history."

According to Schiefsky, the interplay between theoretical knowledge and practical know-how is crucial to the history of Western science.

"It's important to explore what the craftsmen did and didn't know," Schiefsky says, "so that we can better understand how their work fits into the arc of scientific development."

Schiefsky's research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

... hmmmmmm ... have to think about this one.
From the Brown Daily Herald:

When most people think of archaeology, they may picture Indiana Jones exploring exotic sites and excavating lost cities. But rather than digging on her hands and knees or crawling through craggy cliffs, Susan Alcock, professor of classics and director of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, uses advanced technology to study the geography of ancient landscapes for clues into the behavior and movements of ancient peoples.

People's lives, Alcock said, are imprinted in the landscape. To understand the lives of ancient people, it is necessary to look at all the places they touched, she said, and landscape archaeology offers a much broader picture of ancient life than excavation of a single area, such as a temple or a burial ground.

That's where technology comes in - Alcock said she uses satellite imaging, aerial photography and geographic information system technology to study landscapes. Alcock's work focuses on the Greek and Roman rural countryside, which she said had been largely ignored in favor of urban areas when she began her work. She said she employs the relatively new methodology of systematic pedestrian survey, or regional survey, which involves walking an area of land and examining the surface for agricultural features, remains of settlements and pottery.

Alcock said she is particularly interested in the collective memory of ancient peoples. Often, she explained, texts from the period aren't representative of the greater part of society - the poor, commoners and farmers - but of an elite fragment.

"Archaeology reveals alternative memories," Alcock said. The lesson: "Don't believe everything you read."

Alcock is currently one of four co-directors of an archaeological project in southern Armenia called the Vorotan Project. A diachronic study, it focuses on all periods from the Stone Age to the Soviet era and attempts to build an understanding of how and why the landscape has evolved through time, Alcock said.

For Alcock, the site is of particular interest because of its location between the ancient Roman and Parthian empires - the inhabitants of the region would have been caught between two formidable empires, she said.

But Alcock said she isn't expecting to find anything specific there. She said archaeologists learn not to hold too many hopes going into a dig.

There is so much "serendipity in archaeology" that you have "no idea what you're going to find," she said, and so little is known about the region that "everything changes the picture."
3.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Warrior Women: Boudica
After her husband's death and ruthless attacks on her and her
daughters, Queen Boudica took up the sword, summoned her Iceni
warriors and went on a rampage against the Romans; the Iceni were
eventually stopped by the more disciplined Roman legions.

9.00 p.m. |HINT| Something About Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene has been a Christian icon for almost 2,000 years, but
her role in Christianity is getting a dramatic reassessment. Was Mary
a prostitute, Jesus' wife, or was she something even more surprising?
Explore the new image of Mary coming into focus among scholars, a
picture drawn from the heretical gospels found buried in Egyptian
sand in the last century, and controversial new interpretations of
New Testament scripture. Is Mary Magdalene the co-founder of
Christianity and the Church, the mysterious so-called "beloved
disciple" in the Gospel of John? Is there evidence of a rivalry
between Mary Magdalene and St. Peter in the early Church? Discover a
woman who was a powerful source of inspiration among the earliest
Christians, and for growing numbers of women in the Church today, is
a beacon for the future.

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| DIGGING FOR THE TRUTH II | The DaVinci Code:
Josh Bernstein searches for solid evidence behind the controversial
theory laid out in Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code. Brown's theory
claims that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and that she conceived a
child. It also suggests that the bloodline continues--unbroken--to
this day. Josh shows what's true and what's clearly make-believe in
Dan Brown's bestseller. From musty libraries to ancient churches,
Josh's unique quest leads him to seek the DNA evidence that might
prove or disprove one of the most sensational claims in modern
history. Most remarkably, he'll try to find a genetic link between a
long-sheltered pocket of ancient Aramaic Assyrians in Turkey and a
man who claims to be of the bloodline of Jesus himself!

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)
HINT = History International
HISTC = History Television (Canada)
ante diem vi nonas octobres

322 B.C. -- death of Aristotle (according to one reckoning)

c. 303 A.D. -- martyrdom of Eleutherius and companions
morganatic @ Merriam-Webster

oligarchy @ Wordsmith

supervene @

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
10.00 p.m. |HINT|Engineering An Empire: Carthage
Carthage, a remarkable city-state that dominated the Mediterranean
for over 600 years, harnessed their extensive resources to develop
some of the ancient world's most groundbreaking technology. For
generations, Carthage defined power, strength and ingenuity, but by
the third century B.C., the empire's existence was threatened by
another emerging superpower, Rome. However, when the Romans
engineered their empire, they were only following the lead of the
Carthaginians. From the city's grand harbor to the rise of one of
history's greatest generals, Hannibal Barca, we will examine the
architecture and infrastructure that enabled the rise and fall of the
Carthaginian Empire.

HINT = History International
kalendas octobres

rites in honour of Fides on the Capitoline -- these involved a procession of the flamines in a "two horse hooded carriage" to the shrine. The flamines had to bind themselves up as far as their fingers as a symbolic gesture that fides (good faith) had to be kept.

rites associated with Juno Sororia at the tigillum -- although a number of false etymologies associated this ritual of passing under a beam (the tigillum) with the tale of Horatius murdering his sister, it is more likely originally some sort of 'coming of age' ritual for Roman girls

331 B.C. -- Battle of Gaugamela (one suggested date)

208 A.D. (?) -- birth of the future emperor Severus Alexander
deleterious @ Wordsmith

vinolency @ Worthless Word for the Day

bouleversement @

The Classical Technology Center's 'My Word' feature has been updated ... there's a list of back-to-school terms, school supplies, and 'three rs' terms ...
From the Richmond Register:

Estelle Bayer, who has taught Latin for 30 years at Madison Central High School, is the 2007 recipient of the Kentucky World Language Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

She will receive the honor Oct. 13 in Louisville.

“I was truly surprised,” Bayer said, “because I didn't think I was old enough to receive a lifetime award even though I am contemplating retirement.

Learning that her colleague of 16 years, Bari Clements, had nominated was most gratifying, Bayer said. “Bari is a wonderful person and teacher who cares about the teaching of Latin and her students as much as I do.”

News of Bayer’s award came as no surprise to Clements.

“Estelle is kind of an institution around here, and everyone knows that she works extremely hard,” Clements said. “Everyone is so pleased that she is to receive this award because we knows how deserving she is. I’m so please she received it before she retired.”

In announcing the award to Bayer, KWLA President Thomas Sauer said, “It would be impossible to list all of the impressive achievements and contributions you have made to the Latin community in your district, the state and on a national scene. Your dedication to teaching is evident not only by your work in the classroom, but your unparalleled involvement in professional development, teacher training and continuous promotion of the Latin language and culture.”

Clements said Bayer had been a role model for her. “As I began teaching, Estelle was the perfect mentor for me — setting high standards, modeling exemplary practices and advising me in the subtle nuances of education. She helped me to pick up the pieces whenever I floundered.”

Clements will introduce Bayer as she receives the award. “That will be an honor for me,” she said. “Estelle Bayer is the most deserving person I know. And everyone I have talked to shares that opinion.”

During her tenure at MCHS, Bayer has not kept Latin within the halls of one school. She initiated a Latin program at Mayfield Elementary School, tutoring a group of 15 fourth- and fifth-graders on a weekly basis.

Bayer is involved in several professional organizations in addition to KWLA. She is active in the Kentucky Classics Association, American Classical League, National Junior Classical League, Kentucky Junior Classical League, Classics Association of the Midwest and South, Vergilian Society and National Education Association/ Kentucky Education Association.

Her involvement has included more than membership. She has chaired many contests, conventions and associations during her career.

Bayer also is no stranger to awards. Her list of honors includes Richmond Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year, Ashland Oil Golden Apple Achiever Award, American Classical League Merita Award for sustained and distinguished service and she is looking forward to receiving the coveted silver bowl for attending 20 NJCL conventions.

In what may be her final year of teaching at MCHS, Bayer agreed to take over an English class. Teaching English was not new for Bayer, even if she had not taught the subject for a while. When she started at MCHS, her job included teaching both disciplines.

Many teachers planning to retire would balk at the idea of taking on a new class, Clements said. But, she added, everyone at Madison Central has come to expect this kind of giving and selflessness from Bayer.

“It was challenging to put a new set of lesson plans together over the summer,” Bayer said, “but I’ve really enjoyed teaching English again.”

Bayer retains her passion for teaching Latin, however. “I love sharing this beautiful language with my students.” She disagrees with those who call Latin a dead language. “The study of Latin helps students in the acquisition of all kinds of knowledge, not just the language itself.

Bayer said she got involved in organizations such as KWLA, KCA and the Junior Classical League to provide learning opportunities for her students outside of the classroom.

“These organizations helped me provide opportunities for my students to compete in academic, athletic, and graphic arts contests,” she said. “Our students have learned to run for leadership positions on local and state levels. They have gained confidence by working in teams to achieve goals, and they have had opportunities to visit universities and major cities across the United States.”
The Department of Classics at the University of Reading is pleased to announce the following seminars and conferences:


Thursday, 18 October, 4 pm, HUMSS 229
"Herodotus on empire"
Tom Harrison, University of Liverpool

Wednesday, 24 October, 4 pm, HUMSS 229
"It was all so unimaginably different": MacNeice's Autumn Journal and antiquity
Katie Fleming, Queen Mary, University of London

Wednesday, 31 October, 4 pm, HUMSS 229
"On Syracuse and democracy. Diodorus XIII.20-32"
Luca Asmonti, University of Reading

Wednesday, 7 November, 4 pm, HUMSS 229
"Meditative Masochist, Latin Lover: the Self-Presentations of an Emperor (Marcus Aurelius) in the 2nd Century CE"
Frieda Klotz, King's College London

Wednesday, 14 November, 4 pm, HUMSS 229
"What's Wrong with the Stoic Idea of Happiness?"
Christopher Gill, University of Exeter

Wednesday, 21 November, 4 pm, HUMSS 229
"Scipio the King"
Ellen O'Gorman, University of Bristol

Wednesday, 28 November, 4 pm, HUMSS 229
"Colonial Matters: exploring the material dimensions of colonial cultures past and present"
Peter Van Dommelen, University of Glasgow

Wednesday, 5 December, 4 pm, HUMSS 229
"Family dynamics in Iliad 6"
Barbara Graziosi, University of Durham


"Aphrodite Revealed"
8 and 9 May 2008
University of Reading
Deadline for abstracts: 30 November 2007. For more information, please write to Amy Smith at a.c.smith AT

"Perceptions of Polis-Religion: Inside/Outside"
A Symposium in Memory of Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood
4, 5, and 6 July 2008
University of Reading
For more information, please write to Ian Rutherford at i.c.rutherford AT

"Ancient Medicine"
The latest conference in a series alternating between Newcastle and Reading.
21 and 22 August 2008
University of Reading
For more information, please write to Helen King at h.king AT

"Thinking the Olympics: Modern Bodies, Classical Minds?"
18 and 19 September 2008
Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London
The conference is supported by Goldsmiths, University of London, and the University of Reading. Deadline for abstracts: 31 March 2008. For more information, please write to Barbara Goff at b.e.goff AT or Michael Simpson at m.simpson AT

30 June - 5 July 2008
University of Reading
This event is organised by the Centre for Hellenic Studies, and is intended for beginners and intermediate-level learners. For more information, please write to Timothy Duff at t.e.duff AT or see

For directions to the University of Reading, please see:

For further information, please contact Phiroze Vasunia at p.vasunia AT, or write to the organizers at:
Department of Classics
The University of Reading
Reading RG6 6AA

Telephone: 0118 378 8420
8.00 p.m. |HISTC| LOST WORLDS | Atlantis
A team of field investigators uncovers the clues that will recreate
vanished or hidden worlds. They use the latest research, expert
analysis and cutting edge graphic technology to take us back.
In the heart of the Mediterranean a peaceful island explodes with
devastating force - it will be the biggest volcanic eruption in three
and a half thousand years of recorded history. At a stroke, an entire
civilization is wiped from the face of the earth and lost. All that
remains are stories. Then, at the dawn of the twentieth century, the
remains of a spectacular palace are discovered on the island of
Crete, preserved beneath thousands of tons of volcanic ash. And out
of the physical clues lifted from the ash, a radical theory emerges.
These ruins could be the home of an ancient civilization: Atlantis.

9.00 p.m. |HISTU| Digging For The Truth :God's Gold, Part 1

10.00 p.m. |HISTU| Cities Of The Underworld :10 - Beneath Vesuvius

HISTC - History Television (Canada)

HISTU - History Channel (US)

dna - description not available