pridie kalendas decembres

406 B.C. -- death of Euripides (by one reckoning)

147 A.D. -- birth of Annia Galeria Faustina, the daughter of the emperor-to-be Marcus Aurelius

1817 -- birth of Theodor Mommsen, Nobel prize winning ancient historian
Seems more folks are doubting the "Lupercal" identification ... an excerpt from Spiegel's coverage:

So the headlines of the famous lupine cave emerge as a glimmer of hope -- at least on the horizon to a golden past. But even this archaeological sensation could lead to another sobering setback. Most authorities of ancient Roman history have serious doubts about the brash declarations.

"A sacred cave doesn't look like this," protested the head of the German Archaeological Institute in Rome, Henner von Hesberg, who also works on the Palatine. He thinks the roughly seven-meter in diameter grotto is more likely a "private dining room" that was linked to the upper floors of Emperor Augustus' palace via a staircase.

Adriano La Regina, Rome's superintendent of archaeology from 1976 to 2004, also rejects the theory. He surmises that the symbolic spot must be located farther to the west.

No one has entered the painted cavern because the structure is unsafe. Even when a special drill was used to penetrate the ceiling of the vault, large pieces of decorations fell to the floor. Consequently, researchers are now proceeding cautiously, with lasers and remote-controlled cameras.

And the debate continues. Critics say that the highly intimate nature of the decorations casts particular doubt on the claims.

The roof of the chamber is encrusted with seashells, marble and pumice stones, with mosaics visible in a number of places. There are rectangular panels filled with diamond shapes and flowers. Such ornate decorations were typical of the private chambers of nobles at the end of the Roman Republic, around 50 BC.

By contrast, the holy Lupercale resembled a dark and gloomy rock shrine. Candles flickered there, and priests guarded the entrance. Ancient documents report that a large bronze she-wolf with bared teeth stood in the interior.

Every year on Feb. 15, a wild ceremony was held in the cave to honor a faun, a type of Roman deity. At the height of the orgy, the temple guardians would slaughter a billy goat, skin it, and hit the women standing there with the bloody pieces of fur. It was believed that this would make them pure and fertile.

This brutal ceremony does not match well with the refined decorations of the cavern. "You would expect a significantly different type of décor in a public religious space," says Hesberg, the German archaeologist. And there is no indication of sacral objects. The camera probes have been unable to spot any ritual vessels or an altar.

Project director Carandini dismisses such concerns. He is bringing the full weight of his reputation to bear in an effort to stifle all skepticism -- presumably also because he has managed to reel in considerable funding. The state has approved a new large-scale dig on Palatine Hill.

But doubts remain. The alleged lupine cave looks more like an upscale ancient snack bar. It is well known that many Roman Caesars, including Nero and Caligula, had small dining rooms that were built into the natural hollows in the rock under their multi-level palaces on the Palatine. During the summer, the imperial camarilla reclined in these cool caverns and were served delicacies such as fattened dormice and parrotfish on a bed of pureed dates.

Even the great Emperor Augustus, whose immense palace stood above the site, almost certainly had such an epicurean boudoir. Hesberg explains that "the floor space offers enough room for a triclinium," the Latin word for a room with three couches where semi-recumbent diners could enjoy their meal.

Could it be that the alleged cave of the founders of Rome is in reality where the great emperor feasted with a small circle of friends on roasted peacock tongues seasoned with fermented fish sauce?

This suspicion could soon be confirmed. The wall of the cave is emblazoned with a white eagle: the symbol of the Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus.
From a press release at Coming to Phoenix Art:

Phoenix Ancient Art, one of the world’s leading dealers in rare, high quality antiquities from Western civilizations, today announced that its exhibition, “IMAGO - Four Centuries of Roman Portraiture,” will open to the public on December 6 and is expected to run until January 16, 2008. Accompanying the show is a tailor-made, 16-piece, full-color Roman portraits catalogue which presents the works on display as part of the gallery’s ongoing series of scholarly exhibitions and fair publications.

“The exhibition is intended to provide collectors and museums with a personal glimpse into Rome, one of the world’s greatest civilizations, as seen through the eyes of those who witnessed it,” said Hicham Aboutaam, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art. "The sculptures, created in marble, bronze, gold, and chalcedony, range from the second half of the 1st century B.C. to the middle of the 4th century A.D. giving a visual timeline of the evolution of ancient Rome, from the time of Augustus to Constantine the Great.”

IMAGO will showcase sixteen portraits including a major, over life size marble head of Tiberius, emperor of Rome from 14-37 A.D. This portrait head, which was found in Algeria during the late 19th century, is sculpted from luminous white marble and is arguably the finest one known of Tiberius. He was known for his strong build and intelligence, which is highlighted by the nearly impenetrable gaze of his eyes in this extraordinary head.

Another highlight of the collection is a bust of a matron from the Flavian Period, between the late 1st and early 2nd century A.D.; once belonging to a 19th century collection in Vienna. Most impressive is the intricate carving of the woman’s hair, which forms a honeycomb-like network before ending in two chignons. Roman women were notorious for intricate hairstyles, and the wig-like appearance of the sculpture indicates the subject’s great wealth and level in Roman society.

“This great collection will not only be admired by our existing clientele, it will surely introduce and entice all other art collectors into fine classical art,” said Ali Aboutaam, co-owner of Phoenix Ancient Art.

In addition to IMAGO, Phoenix Ancient Art will display a collection of rarely-seen works and EXOTICS OF THE CLASSICAL WORLD, a 40-piece catalogue featuring representations of dancers, actors, Africans, grotesques, those with unusual physical maladies and house servants - all of whom were vital and often overlooked members of ancient society. The grotesque collection debuted at the Geneva gallery in January 2007.

... I don't know ... Phoenix Art has some very nice stuff but an awful lot seems to come from the "Swiss Art Market" in the 1990s ...
I've always wondered about the capes that superheroes wear and it never occurred to me that there was a connection to Hercules ... check it out this piece at the Comic Wire (this seems right, and even if it isn't, it's something I think we Classicists will happily claim) ...
Excerpts from a piece by Richard Handler (who works for a CBC Radio show called Ideas) ... I would have thought he'd be a bit less careless:

A parliament of dieties

I have heard it said that the Romans, or the Greeks before them, hardly believed in their gods: They were seen more as just mythic characters in the literature of the day.

But as the American classical scholar Mary Lefkowitz reminds us in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, the ancient Greeks believed that their gods were real and that they constantly intervened in human affairs.;

The Romans inherited their panoply of gods from the Greeks: Zeus, the head god, became Jupiter, and so on down the line.

["inherited" isn't the right word -- dm]

Zeus did not communicate directly with humans but his children — Athena, Apollo and Dionysus — did so continually. A mortal could have the support of one god while angering another. Belief and obedience were, at heart, political.

[first thought: Oracle at Siwah ... second thought ... Zeus impregnates a pile of women; is that communication? -- dm]

The ancient Greeks and Romans were always bargaining, praying and beseeching their gods for favours. Their world was a place where human beings were courtiers to a veritable parliament of deities.

[good ... spelled it right that time -- dm]

Smart operators like Odysseus (Ulysses to some) knew how to play the game. Others, like the suitors he slaughtered when he returned home from Troy, were not so cunning.

Divine limitations

The gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans weren't sweet and gentle. They were often bad tempered, lustful and petty.

But they had two characteristics that ordinary humans envied: They were powerful and they were immortal.

These gods fought among themselves just like we do. Living forever, it seems, gave them no monopoly on wisdom. Even Zeus was not all-powerful or completely wise. He lived within his divine limitations. He had his favourites and his dreadful temper.

Still, there are advantages to believing in a polytheistic universe, as Lefkowitz tells us.

For one, it eliminates the problem of theodicy: Why would a good god create evil?

The monotheistic religions of the world — such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam — have to explain to their followers why God created cyclones and blood thirsty murderers. (After four thousand years, there's hardly a good answer, except, perhaps, have faith and mind your own business.)

The Greeks didn't believe in sentimental, loving gods. (When their gods loved, mortals had to watch out for their daughters!)

As Lefkowitz tells us, the classical gods made life hard for humans. They weren't out to improve our condition. The only things they seemed to have a true interest in were valour and human achievement.

Understanding fallibility

The Greeks, and the Romans who followed them, understood human fallibility. They believed mortals could question their gods, who were as imperfect as they were. They believed that all beings — divine and human — were prone to error.

The second great advantage to polytheism is its openness. It gave the ancient world a modern, Canadian virtue — diversity.

The Greeks were the original multiculturalists. There was always room in the temple for a new god, as long as his or her highness didn't want to take over the place.
Here's a tantalizing one from Russia IC:

Russian archeologists have made a unique discovery – they have found several mummies of the Greco-Roman period, which have no analogues in modern Egyptology, report head of the Egyptology Research Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences.

Well-preserved mummies of this epoch are very rare.

Russian archeological mission performs diggings in several regions of Egypt – Memphis, Alexandria and in the south in Luxor suburbs. However, only one place appeared to be a real treasury for Russian scientists – Al Fayoum oasis, a poorly studied place, located 100 km away from the capital of the country.

Archeologists have found a tomb with three mummies in sarcophagi, two of them – mummy of a man with shining golden mask, and a 140 cm long carton papyrus box with a child, possibly a girl – are very interesting to study. Researchers will perform thorough studies of mummies with X-rays and find out their exact age.

Among other interesting findings there are: a child, who was buried with mummified animals, and an old woman with plaited hair.
... for the lack of an update yesterday ... flu, antihistamines, and 'insomnia rebound' (is that what it is?) conspired to make me sleep in!





Proposed Start Date: AUGUST 16, 2008

Appointment Conditions: 9 Months, Full Time; This three-year contract
is a non-tenure-track appointment, with the possibility of renewal.

Teach range of undergraduate courses in Classical Studies (courses in
English), and Latin and/or Greek. Coordinate first-year Latin program.
Typical full-time teaching assignment is six courses per year.

Required Qualifications Master's degree in Classical Studies or related
discipline. Successful experience teaching undergraduate students.

Preferred Qualifications Ph.D. in appropriate field; ability to teach
all levels of Latin and/or Greek. Experience coordinating elementary
language sequence; experience with online teaching. Research active.

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application Instructions To apply for this position, qualified
applicants should send the following materials: 1) letter of
application, 2) dossier including three letters of recommendation and
evidence of good teaching, 3) and curriculum vitae, to:

Professor Madeleine Henry
Classical Studies Lectureship Search
Classical Studies Program/World Languages and Cultures Department
3102 Pearson Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2205.

Please include email address for communication purposes.
Application deadline: Feb. 29, 2008. Incomplete applications will not
be considered.J
ante diem iv kalendas decembres

66 (or 67) A.D. -- the emperor Nero proclaims the "freedom of the Greeks"
incongruous @
From the International Herald Tribune:

A Greek court on Tuesday threw out criminal charges against a former curator of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles accused of illegally obtaining an ancient gold wreath.

A three-judge panel ruled that the statute of limitations for criminal charges against Marion True, 59, had expired. She was not in court.

True had denied illegally obtaining the 4th century B.C. funerary wreath that was allegedly unearthed at an illegal dig in northern Greece. It was purchased by the Getty museum in 1993, while she was antiquities curator there.

Under stringent Greek laws, it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or unearth ancient artifacts without a permit.

The wreath was returned to Greece in March, and it was handed to the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum in northern Greece last Friday.

True still faces charges of illegally possessing at least a dozen antiquities found during a police raid on her holiday home on the Aegean island of Paros in April last year. No trial date has been set in that case.

She also faces charges in Italy, where she is accused of knowingly acquiring dozens of ancient artifacts that authorities maintain were stolen or unearthed illegally and smuggled out of Italy. She also denies those charges.
ante diem v kalendas decembres

43 B.C. -- the lex Titia de triumvirato gave G. Julius Caesar Octavianus, Marcus Antonius, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus the title of triumviri rei publicae constituendae with near-dictatorial powers for a period of five years

8 B.C. -- death of the poet Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

ca 110 A.D. -- birth of Hadrian's paramour Antinoos
From the BBC:

The Tabula Peutingeriana is one of the Austrian National Library's greatest treasures.

The parchment scroll, made in the Middle Ages, is the only surviving copy of a road map from the late Roman Empire.

The document, which is almost seven metres long, shows the network of main Roman roads from Spain to India.

It is normally never shown to the public. The parchment is extremely fragile, and reacts badly to daylight.

But it has been on display for one day to celebrate its inclusion in Unesco's Memory of the World Register.

Practical guide

At first sight, it looks very unlike a modern map.

Both the landmass and the seas have been stretched and flattened. The Mediterranean has been reduced to a thin strip of water, more like a river than a sea.

Instead of being oriented from north to south, the map, which is only 34 centimetres wide, works from west to east.

But despite its unfamiliar appearance, the director of the Department of Manuscripts, Autographs and Closed Collections at the Austrian National Library, Andreas Fingernagel, says it is an intensely practical document, more like a plan of the London Underground than a map.

"The red lines are the main roads. Every so often there is a little hook along the red lines which represents a rest stop - and the distance between hooks was one day's travel."

"Every so often there is a pictogram of a building to show you that there was a hotel or a spa where you could stay," he said.

"It was meant for the civil servants of the late Roman Empire, for couriers and travellers," he added.

Some of the buildings have large courtyards - a sign of more luxurious accommodation.

Clue to ancient world

At the centre of the Tabula Peutingeriana is Rome. The city, represented by a crowned figure on a throne, has numerous roads leading to and from the metropolis. Some, such as the Via Appia and the Via Aurelia, still exist today.

The Tabula Peutingeriana scroll dates from the late 12th or the early 13th century and was made in Southern Germany or Austria.

But Mr Fingernagel says it is very different from other medieval maps and is clearly a copy of a much earlier document, dating back to the 5th century.

"In maps from the 12th or 13th century, Jerusalem, not Rome, was in the centre," he said.

"The interests of map makers in the Middle Ages were quite different. They don't show roads or rest stations, instead they show the holy places of Christianity."

And the map contains other details which indicate the original probably dates back to the 5th century, including the city of Aquileia, which was destroyed in 452 by the Huns.

The scroll was named after one of its earlier owners, the Renaissance German humanist Konrad Peutinger.

Later it was obtained by the Imperial Library in Vienna - now the Austrian National Library.

"It's unique," said Mr Fingernagel. "It's the only map of the ancient world - although it's a copy - that gives us an impression of how things used to be."

The Tabula Peutingeriana was included in the Unesco Memory of the World Register this year, and was on limited view in Vienna on 26 November 2007.

There's an okay pic of the map accompanying the original article ... if you want to see a facsmile version of the whole thing, the Bibliotheca Augustana still has a version up ...
The Department of Classics at Vassar College invites applications for a
three-year position for a Latinist at the rank of Visiting Assistant
Professor, beginning in August 2008. Vassar College is an equal
opportunity/affirmative action employer and is strongly and actively
committed to diversity within its community. Applications from
historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. The
successful candidate will primarily be responsible for Latin courses
from the elementary to advanced level. He or she will also be expected
to teach Classics courses in translation, which may include 'Myth' and
'Reading Antiquity' (an introduction to ancient literature), and
possibly Greek at the elementary or intermediate level. The ability to
participate in any of Vassar¹s multidisciplinary programs, such as
American Culture, Jewish Studies, and Women's Studies, or to teach a
freshman writing course based on a classical theme is also an advantage.

The candidate must have earned the Ph. D. before taking up the
appointment and provide evidence of successful teaching experience.

Please send a cover letter, CV, and three letters of recommendation
(sent under separate cover or in a placement file) to

Robert D. Brown, Chair
Department of Classics
Box 733
Vassar College
124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

We will begin reading dossiers on December 1, 2007, and the position will
remain open until filled.
ante diem vi kalendas decembres

311 -- Martyrdom of Peter of Alexandria
lares and penates @ Merriam-Webster

Very slow news day so far ... here's a nice feature from the Times (millenniums?):

WHEN his cargo ship capsized, perhaps struck by a catastrophic flood, the Roman sailor struggled in vain to free his foot from a rope. Almost two millenniums later, his skeleton was found with an arm outstretched towards the remains of a dog similar to a basset hound.

The discovery of the two skeletons, both dating from AD10 when the Roman empire was at its zenith, is among a host of finds, which include 30 ancient ships preserved by their burial in the watery clay silt of an ancient port near the Tuscan city of Pisa.

The vanished port has been likened to an underwater Pompeii – the city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in AD79 – and is now to be put forward for formal recognition from Unesco as a world heritage site.

Andrea Camilli, director of the archeological site at Pisa, within a few hundred yards of the Leaning Tower, is seeking funds to complete the excavation and to build a museum. The remains have been preserved by the anaerobic conditions, as was the Tudor warship Mary Rose, raised from the sea off Portsmouth 25 years ago.

Archeologists believe the Pisa wrecks were sunk over a period of almost a thousand years, from the 4th century BC to the 5th century AD. Some of the wrecks fell victim to catastrophic floods, likened by Camilli to tsunamis.

The Romans bore some responsibility for this naval graveyard as they had cut down surrounding woods of oaks and birches, thus destroying a natural barrier against periodic flooding of the Pisa plain. The port, similar to modern-day Venice, was a maze of canals at the junction of two rivers, the Arno and the Auser. Only the Arno still exists.

Historians describe the finds as offering a unique insight into the ships and sea trading of the ancient world. They are impressed by the variety of the ships – from 24ft to 90ft, and some still virtually intact – as well as by organic traces, such as those of wood and ropes, that have been preserved.

“We get a picture of daily life on the ships and of what they transported. Until now what was transported in amphorae was supposition, but the contents we have discovered reveal new trading patterns,” said Camilli.

Amphorae, or terracotta jars, were thought to have been used principally for transporting wines and wheat. But the Pisa site, where 13,000 amphorae have been found, shows they were used to transport fruit, including figs, and even fine sand, used by Romans to clean themselves after exercising.

One ship’s cargo was pork shoulder hams – with a preponderance of right shoulder bones. According to one theory, this was because most pigs rest on their left side, and the meat of the right side makes better quality prosciutto.

The jawbone of a wild boar suggests another boat carried live animals. The remains of a newborn baby were found in one amphora, which is believed to have been used as a small coffin for a burial.

“Each boat for each period is a snapshot for trading links in which Pisa was involved. Wrecks at sea are deep down and badly eroded, so these are incredible,” said Simon Keay, a maritime archeologist at Southampton University, who specialises in the Roman empire.

Some of the oldest ships are Greek and Phoenician, providing new clues about the trading links of the Etruscans, the preRoman inhabitants of the region. None of the vessels is a warship.

In the worst of the flooding, the ship Alkedo, powered by 12 oarsmen, and at least another four cargo ships, including the one in which the sailor and the dog were found, capsized in the year AD10. Then under the rule of Augustus, the empire was prosperous and at peace.

Analysis of the sailor’s remains shows he was about 40 and 5ft 6in tall. The skeleton was buried under a mass of cargo and debris, with a beam pinned against the neck.

Work at the site began in 1998 after the remains of a wooden ship were discovered as foundations were being dug for a new control centre for Italian state railways on the Rome-Genoa line. It has so far cost €13m (£9.3m).

Camilli said budget cuts imposed by the Italian government meant the site was short of funds. He said it was costing about £215,000 a year, but double that was needed to do the work properly. He had only enough funds for half of the proposed museum to open in late 2008.

The museum will be housed in Renaissance shipyards in Pisa, with at first only two or three restored ships on display.

Work at the site is expected to continue for at least another eight years as 20 of the 30 ships have yet to be uncovered. Some are more than 20ft underground, and they start to disintegrate once they are exposed to oxygen.

Three ships are hanging in a laboratory in Pisa and will have to be soaked in water and fungicidal solution for several years before they can go on display.

“Special status as recognised by Unesco would give us international recognition and publicity, and that is the first condition necessary for obtaining extra funds,” said Camilli.

Alex Hildred of the Mary Rose Trust said: “It’s a very important find. It is one of the largest and most important harbours in Roman and Etruscan times.”

For further information and pictures see
7.00 p.m. |HINT| Battlefield Detectives Siege of Masada
Masada is an extraordinary place and an epic story. A seemingly impregnable mountain fortress built by King Herod, it rises from the Judean desert of Israel close by the Dead Sea. It's said that there, 2,000 years ago, a band of Jewish freedom fighters defied the might of the Roman legions for three years. How did they hold out against such odds? How did the Romans conduct a siege in such a hostile environment? The Romans eventually battered their way into the fortress. But in a famous act of defiance, all the Jews chose death over slavery. Overnight 960 men, women, and children committed suicide rather than submit to their Roman conquerors. Or did they? Today, using the latest scientific tools and re-examining archaeological evidence, experts are piecing together a new story of the Masada siege, one that threatens to overturn a legend.

HINT = History International
Sorry for the paucity of posts this weekend ... I've been finishing up report cards in anticipation of the Grey Cup this afternoon ... in any event, a number of items of interest have accumulated in the rogueclassicist's mailbox this week ... as always, in no particular order:

Adrienne Mayor is going to be interviewed tonight on some internet radio thing called Shadows in the Dark (it apparently will be available for a while after tonight too) ...

William Annis has been busy, putting up a nice little workup of Theocritus 13 along with a transcription of the scholia for that poem ... he's also started a blog-format presentation of Pseudo-Callisthenes' Alexander Romance ...

The Bureau of Public Secrets has put up another essay by Kenneth Rexroth, "On Translating Roman Verse" ... coincidentally, Mata Kimasitayo points us to an essay by Rexroth in Counterpunch: Greeks and Buddhists in Afghanistan

Also this week, attention was brought of the existence of the Society for the Oral Reading of Greek and Latin Literature website ... in a related development, we note that Stephen Daitz has a web presence and is selling recordings (in DVD and MP3 format) of Greek Poetry ...

Mata Kimasitayo (thanks again!) comes through again with an item from Harper's: Diogenes on the Folly of Feasting ...

... and to close, I can't resist keeping my eye out for this book noted in the New York Post:

Gods Behaving Badly
by Marie Phillips (Little, Brown)

It seems like a great new reality TV show - a gang of Greek gods and goddesses sharing a tumbledown townhouse in modern-day London. But it's really Cambridge anthropology grad Phillips' debut novel. In her kooky world, Apollo is a TV psychic, Aphrodite is a phone-sex operator. And a pair of mortals, Alice and Neil, are caught in an escalating quarrel between the god-roomies.
From Tempo Stretto:

Un’importante scoperta archeologica nelle acque dello Stretto viene resa nota dalle pagine di Repubblica; un gruppo di studiosi ha, infatti, trovato i resti del tempio di S. Paolo.

Un luogo di culto, posto sul promontorio Artemisio, l'attuale spiaggia di Calamizzi, che rimase celebre fino all'avvento del Cristianesimo e che sprofondò in mare nel '500. Un luogo sacro, descritto ancora dalle fonti bizantine fino all'XI secolo.

I resti trovati sarebbero, secondo quanto pubblicato da Repubblica, riconducibili a strutture pertinenti al santuario di Artemide Fascelide in cui S. Paolo si recò per predicare.

“Ipotesi confermata - si legge - da un elemento architettonico pertinente alla trabeazione di edifici pubblici. Una trave in pietra con triglifi e metope decorate, di epoca greco-romana. Insomma: l'architrave di un tempio o di un edificio collegato a un santuario. E ora si attende la conferma dei lavori che saranno avviati dopo la denuncia alla sovrintendenza”.
I don't think we mentioned this one ... from PR Inside:

A former curator of Los Angeles' J. Paul Getty Museum will be tried in an antiquities smuggling case next week after a prosecutor postponed her trial for eight days, court officials said Tuesday.
Marion True has been charged with illegally obtaining a 4th century B.C. golden funerary wreath allegedly clandestinely unearthed
in northern Greece and purchased by the Getty museum in 1993 while she was antiquities curator. The wreath was returned to Greece in March.
A prosecutor agreed to the eight-day postponement of her trial after True's lawyer petitioned the court to throw out the smuggling charges, court officials said. A date for the trial that was originally due to be held in early October was set for Nov. 27.
True, who did not appear in court during Monday's hearing, has also been charged separately with illegally possessing at least a dozen antiquities found during a police raid on her holiday home on the Aegean island of Paros in April 2006. She has denied all charges.
Under stringent Greek laws to protect antiquities, it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or unearth ancient artifacts without a permit.

The former curator also faces charges in Italy, where she is accused of knowingly acquiring dozens of ancient artifacts that authorities maintain were stolen or unearthed illegally and smuggled out of Italy. She also denies those charges.
Dexter Hoyos passed along news of this one (thanks) ... here's what I tracked down in the Sydney Morning Herald:

ENTRY to Sydney's Conservatorium High School has been restricted to half the usual intake of year 7 students, all of whom will have to learn Chinese.

A group of parents is planning a crisis meeting next week to discuss concerns about limited subject choices and growing elitism, resulting in alleged belittling of students in the classroom.

Parents who contacted the Herald complained that their children were given no choice other than to study maths in year 11 next year.

Only 13 children have been selected for entry into year 7 next year, a considerable drop from previous intakes of 20 or more.

The NSW Department of Education's regional director for Sydney, Phil Lambert, confirmed Mandarin would replace Latin as the compulsory language for year 7 at the school.

In a letter to parents, Dr Lambert said next year's smaller intake was "commensurate with studying at the state's premier music school".

In a letter to parents, the principal, Robert Curry, said offering modern history would be a higher priority than offering ancient history because Beethoven and the key of E-flat "means nothing if you don't know about Napoleon Bonaparte and the ideals of the French Revolution".

However, the modern history syllabus for years 11 and 12 students covers 19th- and 20th-century events and does not generally include the Napoleonic wars and the 18th-century French Revolution.

While he recognised Latin was "a wonderful subject", Dr Curry said, the number of times a student of the school sang in Latin could be counted on one hand. It was also crucial for young musicians to learn the language of the country that would be a dominant player in the region. "It is my strongly held belief that the study of Mandarin should replace Latin in years 7 and 8 as the mandatory language."

Dr Lambert was forced to defend Dr Curry's credentials, which include masters' degrees in arts and music, a PhD in medieval studies and a graduate diploma in education, gained in another state.

Parents raised concerns that Dr Curry, who transferred to NSW from Western Australia early this year, was not yet officially registered to teach in NSW.

An Education Department spokeswoman said legislation allowed a full-time teacher to take three years to complete their professional accreditation.

Pieter Oomens, of the school's parents and citizens group, said the school was going through a period of change that would result in it being strengthened.

... yes, I'm sure there's a surfeit of digits for the number of times they'll be singing in Mandarin ...
From a piece in the Cincinnati Post:

The Bush administration has clung to the hope that Musharraf is guiding Pakistan along the broad path towards true democracy, and has seized on the idea that the next step on that path should be his resignation from active military life, thus returning Pakistan to civilian rule.

Many Americans may take this demand lightly, but in a city named "Cincinnati" we should be especially sensitive to the importance of this principle.

When the first settlers arrived in December 1788, Kentuckian John Filson named the city "Losantiville," a clumsy combination of Latin and French roughly translating "city across from the mouth of the Licking."

A year later when General Arthur St. Clair assumed control of the territory, he promptly renamed the city "Cincinnati."

The name ultimately references Lucius Quinctus Cincinnatus, a citizen of the ancient Roman Republic.

By 458 B.C.E., Cincinnatus had retired from public life to his farm across the Tiber River when a force of invading Aequians, a rival Italian tribe, trapped two Roman armies. Consuls sent by the Senate found Cincinnatus plowing his field and pleaded with him to accept dictatorial powers to marshal the Roman armies against the invaders.

Within 16 days Cincinnatus raised an army, vanquished the Aequians, returned to Rome for a triumphal march, and surrendered his powers as dictator, restoring civilian rule to the republic and retiring to private life on his farm. Nearly 20 years later Rome again turned to Cincinnatus to suppress a plebian uprising which aimed at destroying the republic and creating a monarchy.

Cincinnatus again accepted dictatorial powers, suppressed the mob, and again stepped down as dictator to return to private life. Cincinnatus, who is always depicted with one hand on the plow and the other holding the fasces, the Roman war ax, became the symbol of the sanctity of civilian rule in a republic.

On Jan. 2, 1790, St. Clair was not thinking primarily of Cincinnatus when he renamed the city, but of the Society of the Cincinnati created in the midst of an American crisis a decade earlier. After the Americans and French vanquished the British at Yorktown in 1781, General George Washington faced a crisis that in some ways was even more dangerous to the young republic than the external military threat. The officers corps of the Continental Army had not been paid for four years or reimbursed for the personal funds they had invested to equip their troops.

The Congress under the first American constitution, the Articles of Confederation, had little power to levy taxes and wanted to throw the responsibility onto the impoverished individual states. At that point, some officers began discussing a military coup to overthrow the ineffective and weak civilian led government.

As a student of the classical history and literature, General Washington understood that the experiment in republican government undertaken by the United States was historically daring and precarious.

Since the fall of the Roman Republic 18 centuries earlier, no geographically expansive republic had ever succeeded. Washington immediately issued orders against any coup and made a surprise appearance at a meeting of coup planners to rebuke them.

In the aftermath of this incident, General Henry Knox suggested the formation of a new organization for all officers, including Arthur St. Clair. The Society of the Cincinnati held up the example of Cincinnatus to stress the absolute necessity of civilian rule as essential to the preservation of the freedoms secured by the Revolution and the War for Independence.

... the whole thing is available here ...
We're now getting the 'reaction' to the story ... this one is starting to fill my box in various versions. From Reuters:

A leading Italian archaeologist said Friday that the grotto whose discovery was announced this week in Rome is not the sacred cave linked to the myth of the city's foundation by Romulus and Remus.

The Culture Ministry and experts who presented the find said they were "reasonably certain" the cavern is the Lupercale -- a sanctuary worshipped for centuries by Romans because, according to legend, a wolf nursed the twin brothers there.

But Adriano La Regina, Rome's superintendent of archaeology from 1976 to 2004, said ancient descriptions of the place suggest the Lupercale is elsewhere -- 50 to 70 meters northwest of the cave discovered near Emperor Augustus' palace. "I am positive this is not the Lupercale," La Regina told Reuters in an interview.

Instead, he believes the cave -- which ministry pictures show is decorated with well-preserved seashells and colored mosaics -- was a room in Nero's first palace on the Palatine Hill, which burnt down in 64 AD in the great fire of Rome.

The Culture Ministry had no immediate comment on the statements from La Regina, who pointed to a description of the Lupercale given by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus in his major work on early Roman history, "Roman Antiquities."

Dionysius said the Lupercale, which draws its name from the Latin word for wolf, was close to the Temple of Victory, also on the Palatine Hill, while the cave unveiled this week was found near the Temple of Apollo.

"If this were the Lupercale, Dionysius would have surely mentioned the Temple of Apollo, which was much bigger and more famous than the Temple of Victory," said La Regina.

He said the mosaics and other decorations found in the cave were typical of Nero's era and its structure similar to a grotto found in the emperor's new palace, the lavish Domus Aurea (House of Gold) he built after his first mansion went up in flames.

According to La Regina, the cave was a nymphaeum, or an artificial grotto used for dinners and receptions, which often had a fountain.

"This remains a great discovery because it is so well-preserved," he said.

The cave was found thanks to a camera probe 16 meters (52 feet) underground in a previously unexplored area during restoration work on the palace of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.

According to the myth, Romulus and Remus, twin sons of the god Mars, were abandoned in a cradle by the banks of the river Tiber where a wolf found them and fed them with her milk.

The brothers are said to have founded Rome at the site on April 21, 753 B.C. and ended up fighting over who should rule. Romulus killed Remus and became the first king of Rome.

I've been pondering this (re)discovery for a couple of days now and folks hopefully remember I mentioned the possibility of it being a nymphaeum the other day (i.e. not the cave itself) based primarily on the seashell decorations and how 'incongruous' such a setting would be for the rituals which emanated from there. I wondered where the idea that the Lupercal had been turned into a nymphaeum (which is what seems to be claimed in several places; it seems obvious that the archaeologists do recognize the decorations are more appropriate for a nymphaeum) came from and eventually checked the Res Gestae via Bill Thayer's site, where, of course, Augustus says that he built (among other things) the Lupercal. The note to the version (Loeb, 1924) at the site says:

Formerly a cave in the rock on the south-west of the Palatine, where the she-wolf was supposed to have suckled the twins. It was now converted into a nymphaeum.

I haven't been able to track down where this "converted to a nymphaeum" claim comes from, but I suspect it is from this marble base, which looks like it's from the first century or so (via VRoma):

Then again, we have another sculpture of Hadrianic/Trajanic date purporting to show the Lupercal (via Wikipedia):

So I'm still wondering where this claim that the Lupercal was converted into a nymphaeum comes from and I still am very skeptical that this reannounced discovery is, in fact, the Lupercal. All these announcements seem to be very orchestrated and are following a pattern which I alluded to on the Classics list the other day (announce a spectacular find which will generate much interest, then have it followed up by more scholarly reaction) -- whether this is to be attributed to 'gullible journalists' or is something carefully manipulated by the pr crew for Italian archaeology is up to you to decide.
From ANA:

A spectacular golden Macedonian wreath dated to the 4th century BC finally went on display at the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum on Friday after being returned to the country by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles last March.

The wreath was returned after lengthy efforts by the Greek state to prove that the stunning item was illegally excavated in the country and illicitly taken abroad for sale.

Speaking at the northern Greece port city's museum, Greek Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis reiterated that the return of all illegally excavated and exported ancient Greek artifacts is a priority for his ministry, regardless of whether the items are in the possession of foreign museums or private art collectors.

The exquisite artifact depicts a floral crown made of gold foil. It was probably made after the death of Alexander the Great and worn on ceremonial occasions.

Experts believe it was buried with the remains of its owner in modern-day northern Greece. Similar wreaths have been discovered in excavations throughout the central Macedonia province and in the tomb of Phillip II at the archaeological site of Vergina -- the burial site of ancient Macedonian kings -- which lies west of Thessaloniki.

From the Times:

Santa Claus has been abandoned by Cyprus this Christmas as the island resorts to Greek mythology and the tennis ace Marcos Baghdatis to win over Cypriots in its euro campaign.

A festive promotional blitz is being conducted to prepare islanders for the coming of the euro on January 1, with many yet to be convinced that the new currency will not have a negative impact on the economy.

Instead of Santa bearing gifts to children on his sleigh, the mythical figure of Europa appears on seasonal posters doing the job for him. According to legend, Europa was seduced by Zeus, who changed into a white bull to carry her away on his back. In gratitude for giving him three sons, the Greek god named a continent after her – Europe. “Our idea for this Christmas is to send the message that our relations with Europe go back to Greek mythology when Zeus stole a beautiful girl called Europa,” Aliki Stylianou-Koundourou, a Cypriot Finance Ministry official, said.

“We are not replacing Santa Claus, we’re just introducing a new European element to our euro Christmas campaign.” Baghdatis, the island’s first top 20 tennis star, has lent his support to the campaign as well.
Trojan Women (London)

Women of Troy (Purdue)

Metamorphoses (Phoenix)

Argonautika (Berkeley)
From BMCR:

Ann Steiner, Reading Greek Vases.

Clifford Ando, Joerg Ruepke, Religion and Law in Classical and Christian Rome.

M.A. Harder, R.F. Regtuit, G.C. Wakker, Beyond the Canon. Hellenistica Groningana 11.

Jan Felix Gaertner (ed.), Writing Exile: The Discourse of Displacement in Greco-Roman Antiquity and Beyond. Mnemosyne, Bibliotheca Classica Batava, Supplementum vol. 283.

Maurizio Bettini, Luigi Spina, Il mito delle Sirene. Immagini e racconti dalla Grecia a oggi.

From RBL:

Silvia Cappelletti, The Jewish Community of Rome: From the Second Century B.C. to the Third Century C.E

From the Guardian:

Virgil (translated by Frederick Ahl), Aeneid

Reviews of Peter Ackroyd, Fall of Troy:

New York Times (with link to first chapter)
Mercury News
Washington Post

From Pop Matters:

Nicholas Ostler, Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin

ante diem ix kalendas decembres

ca. 101 -- martyrdom (?) of Clement I
postprandial @
Check out today's Ripley's:

Actually, Virgil's Moretum has 'e pluribus ... unus' in the description of the, well, garlic cheese ball (why is it always called a 'salad'?) ...
Ahhh ... the cynic in me now observes why the Lupercal thing was brought up ... buried in the same announcement/press coverage (maybe) was an announcement that folks will now have to pay to enter the Forum ... here's a small item from AGI:

Una vera e propria rivoluzione nella zona archeologica centrale di Roma, il Foro, insomma, dove sara’ ripristinato il biglietto d’ingresso a pagamento, sara’ demolita la via Alessandrina, le varie costruzioni su via dei Fori Imperiali, dove a febbraio sara’ aperta la casa di Augusto e dove verra’ costruito, in quelli che sono attualmente gli uffici elettorali del comune, il museo di Archeologico di Roma, attraverso un joint-venture tra comune e Stato. E’ quanto ha annunciato il ministro dei Beni Culturali, Francesco Rutelli che ha presieduto oggi la commissione mista Stato-Comune che studia proprio come utilizzare al meglio il patrimonio archeologico della citta’. L’annuncio arriva all’indomani della scoperta sul Palatino del Lupercale, che ha portato l’Italia sulle prime pagine di tutti i giornali del mondo.
“E’ necessario rivoluzionare il senso della visita all’area archeologica centrale - spiega Rutelli al termine della riunione - e anche la sua percezione. Abbiamo un patrimonio unico al mondo ma lo offriamo in maniera del tutto inadeguata.Dobbiamo fare in modo che chi visita il Foro romano percepisca l’unicita’ del luogo unico al mondo”.
Tra le cose da fare immediatamente Rutelli cita il ripristino del biglietto a pagamento che varra’ per il Foro, il Colosseo e da febbraio anche per la casa di Augusto. C’e’ poi da riorganizzare la segnaletica, aumentare gli attraversamenti sotterranei, e soprattutto dare l’avvio ai lavori del Museo Archeologico romano dove il comune di Roma mettera’ a disposizione l’immobile e lo Stato vi destinera’ le sue collezioni.
“Tra Comune di Roma e Stato c’e’ pieno accordo - spiega Rutelli - le incomprensioni degli anni scorsi sono state superate e gia’ dalla prossima settimana avremo un progetto su cui ragionare”.

... well let's hope they put some labels on things ...
Just starting to get a trickle of reports on this one ... here's the BBC version:

A Roman skeleton dating back 2,000 years has been unearthed after it was spotted by a member of the public in a farmer's field in North Yorkshire.

Archaeologists have dug up a 6ft lead coffin containing the well-preserved remains of a Romano-British adult.

Experts described the find, near to Aldborough, as "rare and exciting".

Archaeologists will now use the skeleton to build up a picture of what life was like for the Romans 2,000 years ago.

Historical experts said that Aldborough was an important Roman settlement for the Brigantes - the largest tribe in Roman Britain.

Ian Panter, principal conservator with the York Archaeological Trust, said the coffin was found inside a stone chamber and the remains were of someone who lived between the second and fourth centuries.

Expensive coffin

He said: "We've not yet been able to sex or age the remains, but the skeleton is in pretty reasonable condition."

Mr Panter said they would be examining the teeth to determine information about the person's childhood diet and whether he or she was born locally.

But experts speculated that the coffin signified the person was of a "high status".

Keith Emerick, English Heritage's Inspector of Ancient Monuments, said: "The fact the burial involved an expensive lead coffin signifies the person was perhaps of high status.

"Funeral practices for such people varied at different times between cremation and interment."
From Huliq:

The Allianoi archaeological site could soon be under water if authorities carry out their plans to flood a newly constructed reservoir. Located in western Turkey, the site is a well-preserved example of an ancient Roman health spa.

In response to unlawful destruction of an historic Orthodox Christian Church by eight officials of a local Ministry of Forestry in Turkey, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent an official letter to Mevlut Kurban, the District Elder of Princess Islands, expressing his “strong disappointment and shock.” The Ecumenical Patriarch emphasized that Christ the Savior Monastery “had survived numerous fires and earthquakes throughout hundreds of years. In is uncivil to brutalize a sacred building that carries so much cultural history, and unjust to destroy it, especially when Istanbul has been picked to be the capital of civilized Europe in 2010.”

Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew, condemned the illegal actions of Turkey’s Forestry officials. “On behalf of all peoples of faith who value religious freedom, basic human rights and the dignity of every human being, we call upon the government of Turkey to stop immediately the destruction of this historic Monastery and to put an end to the incessant harassment of the humble caretaker and workers who live on the Monastery’s property.”

Dr. Limberakis emphasized that the Archons in America are strong advocates for Turkey’s admission into the European Union and asked that all friends of Turkey urge the government to “treat all Turkish citizens equally and fairly, regardless of their religious persuasion… Muslim, Jewish, or Christian.”

The Monastery, which is undergoing renovation due to a generous grant from Dr. Stephen and Dr. Anna Yallourakis of Kingsport, TN, was vandalized on Tuesday, November 13, 2007. Local government officials removed and threw away roof tile, broke all the windows and destroyed the window frames. The officials threatened the residents and demanded that they abandon their homes because the houses were being demolished. Dr. Yallourakis remarked, “We here in the U.S. enjoy all of our freedoms and believe all people should enjoy basic unalienable rights given to us by our Creator. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, founded by the Apostle Andrew, is the Sacred See for 250 million Orthodox Christians around the world. We pray for a positive resolution to this tragic event and anxiously await the repair of the damage which has destroyed our beloved Monastery.”

Call for papers:
This a reminder that the deadline for submitting titles and abstracts is 7th
Dec 2007

The School of Classics at the University of St Andrews will host a
conference from the 18th - 20th June 2008, which concerns the nature of the
principate during the early years of the first century.

provisionally confirmed speakers:
Andrew Burnett (British Museum), Ted Champlin (Princeton), Michael
Koortbojian (John Hopkins), Carlos Norena (Berkeley), Roger Rees (St
Andrews), Matt Roller (John Hopkins), Klaus Scherberich (Aachen), Rolf
Schneider(Munich), Robin Seager (Liverpool), Caroline Vout (Cambridge)

There have been important developments in research on individual emperors
and the historiography of the first century offering different approaches to
examination of the individual principates. However, there have been
relatively few attempts to draw out the continuities and disjunctions
between different members of the imperial family, both in their political
practice and (more importantly for this project) their representation. There
have of course been studies of individuals over the past century - from
biographies containing intimate portraits to more wide-ranging political
examinations, and detailed literary studies. Nevertheless, there have been
few opportunities to debate the range of issues in a post-Augustan world.

This conference is an opportunity to explore the links between different
patterns of representation of the emperors in the sources across a wide
variety of different contexts - ranging from textual and visual images
sponsored by the emperors themselves through to the equally subjective
rendering left to us in literature. What is the relationship, if any,
between the distortions coming from opposite sides of an imperial portrait?
The conference is to allow key researchers in the field to promote new
approaches to the study of the Julio-Claudian emperors and to come together
to present papers on a range of issues around the representation or
self-representation of individual emperors from the accession of Tiberius to
the fall of Nero. While the conference is based around Julio-Claudian
representations in order to maintain focus, it is not committed to seeing
that category as a self-evident one. In fact the conference organisers
would welcome papers which explore and challenge the boundaries of
Julio-Claudian identity as a concept.

There are a number of themes that can be examined by historiographers, art
historians, archaeologists, prosopographers and numismatists. While these
are not necessarily all new questions, it is hoped that the speakers will
bring fresh ideas and new interpretations of the evidence. Scholars will
deliver papers which either take an overarching view of individual emperors
within the context of the Julio-Claudian imperial family or will focus on
particular elements of a specific principate using literary or material
evidence. Possible questions for discussion might include:

* How do ancient sources envisage, or characterise, the relation between
outwards representation and inner self-perception of a princeps?
* Are there traces of imperially-sponsored literary portraits of the
* How is myth exploited and represented by the four emperors and by
those who wrote about them?
* What differences do we see in the way the legions behaved toward
different emperors and in the way different emperors presented themselves in
military contexts? How is that reflected in imperial representation?
* Was the relationship of the emperor with the population of Rome a
dynastic or an individual affair?
* What, if anything, characterises the relationship between the princeps
and the east and how is this reported in the sources?

Please send a provisional title and a 300 word abstract in Word format to
Alisdair Gibson at aggg AT by the 7th December 2007. Papers
will be 30 minutes in duration. Abstracts sent by mail to the postal address
below should arrive by the deadline.

Additional information and details about the conference will be posted on
the School website


Dr Alisdair Gibson
School of Classics
University St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9AL, Scotland

Email: aggg AT

Stories of the Novel: A Workshop on Ancient and Modern Narrative Fiction

University of Bristol, Saturday 8 March 2008

Sponsored by the Classical Reception Studies Network and the Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition at the University of Bristol

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Dr Robert Carver, University of Durham

One of the most persistent 'stories of the novel' tells us that the genre appeared in the eighteenth century, and is inextricably bound up with the modes of thought and social formations of European modernity. Ian Watt's account of the 'Rise of the Novel', which suggests that the novel emerged in response to the needs of an expanding middle class, is still broadly accepted. Watt argues that the rise of the novel represents a decisive break with classical literature, one of many oppositions by which the genre is defined. It has also been famously been theorized by Bakhtin in opposition to the epic. The stories told about the novel have thus also been stories about the difference between 'the ancient' and 'the modern'.

This one-day workshop aims to rethink the modernity of the novel in all senses of that term. Through short presentations, round-table discussion, and keynote responses, we seek to open up new dialogues between ancient and modern and to create new ways of theorizing the relationship between historical context and narrative form. How do considerations of the ancient novel disturb the modernizing ambitions of arguments like Bakhtin's? Do analyses of the modern or contemporary novel shed any light on the study of the ancient novel? How can historical periodization inform or hinder the study of a genre or form?

We welcome proposals for fifteen-minute presentations in the form of 150-word abstracts to ika.willis AT or h.c..j.power AT, by 15 January 2008. Proposals from postgraduate students are welcome.

6.00 p.m. |HINT| History's Mysteries Ancient City: Found and Lost
Explore the history of one of the most opulent cities of the ancient world--Zeugma, located in what is now known as Turkey. Built during the heady days of the Roman Empire, Zeugma thrived for hundreds of years, then vanished when Rome fell. Its magnificent ruins and mosaics were recently discovered and unearthed, only to be lost again when a newly-built hydroelectric dam flooded the entire valley.

HINT = History International
ante diem x kalendas decembres

c. 70 A.D. -- martyrdom of Philemon and Apphia

c. 117 A.D. -- martyrdom of Cecilia
deipnosophist @

victual @ Merriam-Webster
Another find which might be getting bigger press if it weren't for that Lupercal thing ... from Science Daily:

Remains of an ancient synagogue from the Roman-Byzantine era have been revealed in excavations carried out in the Arbel National Park in the Galilee under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The excavations, in the Khirbet Wadi Hamam, were led by Dr. Uzi Leibner of the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology and Scholion -- Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies.

Dr. Leibner said that the synagogue's design is a good example of the eastern Roman architectural tradition. A unique feature of the synagogue is the design of its mosaic floor, he said.

The synagogue ruins are located at the foot of the Mt. Nitai cliffs overlooking the Sea of Galilee, amidst the remains of a large Jewish village from the Roman-Byzantine period. The first season of excavations there have revealed the northern part of the synagogue, with two rows of benches along the walls. The building is constructed of basalt and chalk stone and made use of elements from an earlier structure on the site.

Archaeologists differ among themselves as to which period the ancient Galilean synagogues belong. The generally accepted view is that they can be attributed to the later Roman period (second to fourth centuries C.E.), a time of cultural and political flowering of the Jews of the Galilee. Recently, some researchers have come to believe that these synagogues were built mainly during the Byzantine period (fifth and sixth centuries C.E.), a time in which Christianity rose to power and, it was thought, the Jews suffered from persecution. Dr. Leibner noted that this difference of scholarly opinion has great significance in perhaps redrawing the historical picture of Jews in those ancient times.

The excavators were surprised to find in the eastern aisle of the synagogue a mosaic decoration which to date has no parallels -- not in other synagogues, nor in art in Israel in general from the Roman-Byzantine period. The mosaic is made of tiny stones (four mm. in size) in a variety of colors. The scene depicted is that of a series of woodworkers who are holding various tools of their trade.

Near these workers is seen a monumental structure which they are apparently building. According to Dr. Leibner, since Biblical scenes are commonly found in synagogue art, it is possible that what we see in this case is the building of the Temple, or Noah's ark, or the tower of Babel. The mosaic floor has been removed from the excavation site and its now in the process of restoration.

The archaeologists at the site are also attempting, though their excavations, to gain a clearer picture of rural Jewish village life in Roman-era Galilee. In addition to excavating the synagogue, they also are involved in uncovering residential dwellings and other facilities at the site, such as a sophisticated olive oil press and solidly-built two-story homes.

"There are those who tend to believe that the rural Jewish villagers of that era lived in impoverished houses or in huts and that the magnificent synagogues existed in contrast to the homes that surrounded them," said Dr. Leibner. 'While it is true that the synagogues were built of a quality that exceeded the other structures of the village, the superior quality private dwellings here testify to the impressive economic level of the residents."

Participating in the excavations were students from the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology, Jewish youth groups from abroad and many other volunteers.

A photo of one of the mosaics (I can't find more, alas) accompanies the original article ...
From the Times:

Several years ago a producer approached me to make a feature film about Boudica (yes, Boudica, not Boadicea), the queen of the Iceni who gave the Roman invaders a bloody nose in AD60. And to play this feisty lady he had chosen a royal redhead – Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.

However, this dream casting turned out to be just game pie in the sky; the film was never made. But, like many dreams, it was a recurring one, even after the BBC beat me to it. I didn’t see the corporation’s big production from 2003, starring Alex Kingston, but I believe it had a cast of hundreds. My dream would need a different approach – I needed a cast of thousands, and I needed them for nothing. Time to get on the godphone, my bejewelled 1937 rotary desk model with its hotline to the Almighty. The very next day, I had a letter from Ciric with an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Related Links

No, I’d not heard of the Creative Industries Research and Innovation Centre of the Swansea Institute of Art, Design and Media either. But this high-tech organisation was offering me state-of-the-art film equipment, a large studio, a dedicated cast and film crew (of students), all expenses – and a fee. The film was to be of my choosing, the creative decisions all mine and (best of all) the final cut my own.

Holy cow. God had apparently taken my call (He usually puts me on hold) and followed it up by making one Himself to one of His secret emissaries on Earth – Steve Sullivan, video project manager and, by his own admission, a lifelong Russell fan. He sent along a DVD of his own short films. First up was A Heap of Trouble, in which nine naked men strode through suburban streets, singing lustily: “Nine naked men marching down the road could cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.” Here was a man after my own heart. As bold as the naked men in his movie, Sullivan travelled from Wales to convince me over lunch at my local that he was real. I in turn convinced him that a film called Boudica Bites Backwould give his animation students ample scope to provide Roman legions and warring Celts in profusion.

“How many do you need?” he asked.

“Thousands,” I gambled. “Tens of thousands,” he promised.

He sent another DVD to prove his point, the highlights of Ciric’s animation work. There were devils flying out of raging volcanoes. A giraffe emerging from a lavatory bowl. High-rise flats spouting fountains of coloured paint (as seen on TV). I sent him a CD of ten songs written and performed by my wife Elize, who would play our first warrior queen, Boudica. She was the wife of Prasutagus, a client-king for the Romans who passed away after 17 years of peace, leaving his estate to his two young daughters. Boudica assumed that she would continue to rule as queen of the Iceni but the Romans reneged on their agreement. They whipped Boudica and raped her daughters. Boudica turned freedom fighter and united the local tribes in a revolt, sacking three Roman towns, including Londinium. She lost the final battle in AD61 and disappeared into history, only to reappear as a bronze statue brandishing a spear and driving a warrior’s chariot straight at the Houses of Parliament.

I had five days to make a film dramatising her life in a song cycle of 25 minutes, relying on the talented drama and tech students from Ciric, a gifted professional director of photography, Mark Veysey, my editor Mike Bradsell, the wardrobe from the Welsh College of Music and Drama and make-up from the Bauhaus salon in Cardiff.

Elize and I showed up in Swansea for our week’s shoot with a story-board and costumes that had sparked a spontaneous riot of approval when viewed by Saturday shoppers at Ann Summers. We also arrived with a lorry-load of plastic swords, spears and shields, bought at the local joke shop for 99p per weapon.

These looked slightly tacky when, on our arrival, we were shown the real steel weaponry donated by local prop departments. But a good director thinks on his feet, so I opted to go with the real deal. Even more real were the Roman legionnaire reenactors with their polished armour, great banners and feathered helmets. Hitting my director’s stride, I commanded them to march in unison with a pukka left-right-left. Disaster – until the Roman centurion barked out: “Sinister, dexter, sinister.” Caesar himself would have been proud.

The battle blood was a toxic mixture of soapsuds and dye, which in one scene Boudica was to lick from her sword. (Don’t ask.) While all wrung hands in dismay, the enterprising assistant director, Rod Thomas, quickly popped down to the local convenience store and bought a jar of cherry jam. Boudica made a meal of it.

Miracles abounded. The Celts hoisted Boudica on their shoulders without dropping her. The high heels too spiky to run in were replaced with the head of wardrobe’s private pair of limited-edition designer biker boots. My own hair was coaxed into kiss curls for my cameo as Nero. The king and queen walked on water, literally, courtesy of CGI. “Filming can be fun,” is my maxim, and this time, so it was.

I was sorry when it was all over and it was time to store our unused plastic weaponry in our garage in Hampshire. As I entered the house, the godphone was ringing. I ran to answer it. “Thanks,” I said, sincerely, to the Void on the other end.

I haven't had time to check them out, but perhaps some of you enjoying the Thanksgiving festivities (Happy Thanksgiving!) might take a look at online versions of the film (? excerpts maybe?) which accompany the original article.
John McChesney-Young sent this one in (thanks!) ... Boing Boing showcases some interesting bicycle clips which every Classicist must consider necessary fashion accessories, I think ...
I was hit with a major avalanche of stories and links to various versions of the rerun 'Lupercal' find and the full list will (as expected) be in this weekend's Explorator. Folks might, however, be interested in this video report from the BBC (which I can't embed). The Roman Hideout has some more photos and links to videos in other languages. Here's yet another video:

Outside of that, Mary Beard focuses on the 'myth' side of things (which needs to be done, it seems, since every news report seems to be taking this as evidence that Romulus and Remus were fact), but more importantly, among the comments, one Ray Lewis makes a passing comment that the site might actually be a nymphaeum and the more I look at the decoration (especially the 'seashells' which are mentioned in a number of reports) the more I think he's right. Think of the 'hut of Romulus' ... think of the 'primitive' (for want of a better word before coffee) rituals which went on in the Lupercal ... these rituals would not 'work' in a fancy schmancy room decorated with seashells. And if associated with the twin lads' story, why the remains of an eagle as the central decoration and not the wolf?
ante diem xi kalendas decembres

53 B.C. - Death of Marcus Licinius Crassus in Mesopotamia shortly after his defeat at Carrhae
helluation @ Worthless Word for the Day

mulct @ Merriam-Webster
From ANSA:

An Italian judge on Monday turned down a prosecutor's request to seize a famed ancient Greek bronze statue Italy claims was illegally smuggled out of the country.

The 3rd-century BC statue, believed to be the handiwork of the famous Greek sculptor Lysippus, was the single greatest work not included in a recent agreement between Italy and the John Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

The figure of a man has been contested ever since it claimed pride of place in the Getty Collection, entitled the 'Getty Bronze'.

Italian prosecutors say it was smuggled out of Italy after being fished out of the Adriatic in 1964.

The US museum says there is no proof it was in Italian waters.

The Getty agreed to postpone a decision on the bronze until the completion of legal proceedings in this north Adriatic town.

Monday's decision is a blow to Italy's battle to claim the work.

Prosecutors and heritage bodies say they will appeal to the Court of Cassation, Italy's highest appeals court.

A first batch of long-contested antiquities arrived in Rome from the Getty on October 2.

A formal accord in which the American institute promised to hand over the art treasures, including a famous 5th-century BC statue of Aphrodite, was signed by the two sides in Rome on September 25.

The Aphrodite, another touchstone of the Getty collection, is scheduled to come back in 2010.

The other 39 antiquities are being flown to Italy in batches and should be in Rome by Christmas.

The works will be collected in a ''transitional site'' in Rome to begin with. When they are all are back, a special exhibition will be set up to show them off to the public.

The accord with the Californian museum resolved a long and bitter dispute over the antiquities, with Italy initially demanding the return of 49 and the Getty offering to hand back no more than 26.

Talks on the disputed artefacts hit a crisis point last year when the Italian government threatened to cut ties with the museum unless they were returned.

Under the deal, Italy and the Getty agreed to bolster their cultural relations through the loaning of important art works, joint exhibitions, research and conservation projects.

The deal with the Getty was the third between Italy and major US institutions.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts have also agreed to return key parts of their classical collections in return for loans of equivalent value.

Princeton University has since inked a similar deal for the return of eight Etruscan and Greek artefacts. Italy is now seeking similar accords with institutes in Cleveland, Denmark and Japan.

Meanwhile, in the first case of its kind, Rome is trying two Americans, former Getty curator Marion True and antiquities dealer Robert Hecht, for knowingly acquiring smuggled artefacts. Both deny wrongdoing.

The Getty's former curator, Mario True, is on trial in Rome on charges of knowingly acquiring plundered artefacts.

We actually heard this first back in January, but apparently it's news again ... the site of the Lupercal has apparently been found (perhaps they're more sure now?) ... from Reuters via Yahoo:

Italian archaeologists believe they have found the cave where, according to legend, a she-wolf nursed Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of Rome.

An underground cavity decorated with seashells, colored marble mosaics and pumice stones was discovered near the ruins of the palace of Emperor Augustus on the Palatine hill.

Experts say they are "reasonably certain" it is the long-lost place of worship sacred to ancient Romans and known as Lupercale, from the Latin word for wolf.

"This could reasonably be the place bearing witness to the myth of Rome, one of the most well-known in the world, the legendary cave where the she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus," Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli told a news conference on Tuesday.

The cave was found 16 meters (52 feet) underground in a previously unexplored area during restoration work on the palace of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.

Archaeologists investigating Renaissance descriptions of the sanctuary used a camera probe and the images suggest the vault, which has a white eagle at the centre, is well-preserved.

"You can imagine our amazement, we almost screamed," said Giorgio Croci, head of the archaeological team working on the restoration of the Palatine hill overlooking the Roman forum.

According to the myth, Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of the god Mars, were abandoned in a cradle by the banks of the river Tiber where a wolf found them and fed them with her milk.

The brothers are said to have founded Rome at the site on April 21, 753 B.C. and ended up fighting over who should be in charge. Romulus killed Remus and became the first king of Rome.


Archaeologists said the location of the cave reinforced their belief that it was the Lupercale.

"It is clear that Augustus... wanted his residence to be built in a place which was sacred for the city of Rome," said Croci. The emperor restored the sanctuary and probably connected it to his own palace, he said.

Finding out more about the cave without damaging it or the foundations of the surrounding ruins will not be easy.

More than two-thirds of the cavity, which is about 8 meters high and 7 meters wide, is filled with debris and earth after part of it collapsed, and it is not clear where the entrance is.

"We have to investigate with extreme caution... This is a precious thing which is certainly more than 2,000 years old," said Croci.

Andrea Carandini, an archaeologist specializing in ancient Rome, said he was stunned by the find and called it "one of the most significant discoveries ever made."

The pagan cult of the Lupercale, which involved men whipping women around the Palatine in a fertility rite, continued until the fifth century, when Pope Gelasius I banned it.

Long accused of neglecting its ancient treasures, the Italian government is spending 12 million euros ($17.7 million) to restore the Palatine ruins.

After being closed for decades due to the risk of collapse, Augustus's palace will reopen to the public in February 2008.

Comparing the coverage from January in National Geographic and International Herald Tribune, I see nothing new here ...
Windermere Preparatory School seeks a 7th and 8th grade Latin teacher, to start on January 2, 2008. It is a full-time position with five sections of Latin a day. Our 7 th and 8th graders use Ecce Romani and are required to take the Latin 1A and 1B series. The successful candidate will work with the high school Latin teacher to build a dynamic program in the Classics. Interested candidates should forward their CV, 3 letters of reference and a statement of teaching philosophy to Mr. William Ford, Assistant Headmaster, Windermere Preparatory School, 6189 Winter-Garden-Vineland Road, W indermere, FL 34786. Phone: 407-905-7737, Fax - 407-905-7710.
9.00 p.m. |HINT|The Real Pontius Pilate: The Man Who Killed Christ
Posterity can be a heavy burden. In the 19th year of Emperor Tiberius's reign, a local disturbance occurred in Judea--an obscure province of the Roman Empire. But for this incident, Pontius Pilate's name might shine through history in a positive light. Who was this biblical bogeyman? As we strip away the mythology, a vivid portrait emerges of a flesh-and-blood Roman faced with the unenviable task of maintaining order by exercising brutal pragmatics. Pilate's story remains without rival.

HINT = History International
ante diem xii kalendas decembres

Mercatus -- time to restock the cupboards after the Jupiterfest!

63 A.D. -- shipwreck of St. Paul (by one reckoning)

270 (?) -- birth of the future emperor Maximinus Daia

284 A.D. -- elevation of Diocletian to the rank of Caesar
extirpate @

tarassis @ Worthless Word for the Day
Interesting Q&A from the Courant:

Q.A Boston Globe crossword puzzle lists the answer to the clue "Marks of disgrace" as "stigmas." Yet my Webster's lists the proper plural of "stigma" as "stigmata." Who's right — the Globe or Webster? — Timothy Chambers, West Hartford

A. Your question intrigues me because I would have used "stigmas" without a second thought. But, spinning the merry-go-round of dictionaries in my office, I found that all of them list "stigmata" as the first plural form of "stigma," with "stigmas" listed as a second choice.

Does "stigmas" bear some kind of, well, "stigma"?

First, some history. The ancient Romans branded runaway slaves with a hot iron or needle, and the resulting mark on the skin was called a "stigma," a Greek word that meant a mark or point. During the Middle Ages, the Latin plural of "stigma" — "stigmata" — acquired a very specific meaning: the wounds on the hands, feet and sometimes side and brow of Jesus.

When "stigma" entered English during the late 1500s, it still bore its old Latin meaning of a brand mark on the skin and retained its Latin plural, "stigmata." During the early 1600s, people began using "stigma" and "stigmata" in the figurative sense to mean "a mark (or marks) of shame or discredit."

In the late 1600s, doctors borrowed "stigma" to mean "a morbid spot or dot on the skin," and a century later, biologists used it to describe a respiratory opening in insects and the part of a flower that receives pollen grains.

During the mid-1800s, the "point" sense of "stigma" gave us the words "astigmatism" and "astigmatic," literally "without a point." These terms referred to a defect in the eye, preventing light rays from focusing clearly at one point on the retina, causing blurred vision.

"Stigma" in all its senses retained its Latin plural "stigmata" until well into the 1800s. But as "stigma" gained popularity as a general term for a token of shame or discredit, people started Anglicizing its plural to "stigmas."

So both "stigmas" and "stigmata" are legitimate plural forms of "stigma." "Stigmas" is most often used when the figurative sense of disgrace is intended, while "stigmata" is most often used in its scientific senses and in reference to Jesus' wounds.

I suppose most dictionaries list "stigmata" as the first plural form of "stigma" because it's the traditional Latin form. But, in common parlance, "stigmas" is used much more often than "stigmata."
From the Tribune de Geneve:

Latin has become a specialty subject, if taught at all, in many parts of the world. But Charles Beer, Geneva’s Socialist education minister wants to make it an obligatory part of schooling again, Le Matin Bleu reports today. “Latin, which is the basis for French, should be accessible to all,” Beer said in outlining a proposal to introduce a program for students in junior high schools (cycles d’orientation).

The proposal, to be submitted to a referendum next year, would see a mandatory course in the language, beginning in seventh year, accompanied by an introductory course in Latin culture. “It will not be about teaching Latin in a classical way, but more to show the principles of the language, such as the etymology of words and the cases,” said Georges Schürch, director of the canton’s junior high schools. “The goal is also to help students in their understanding of German or French.”

If the proposal succeeds, Geneva would be the first in French-speaking Switzerland to reintroduce Latin as a mandatory subject. The canton of Vaud has not yet planned such a program. In 2001 the canton of Neuchâtel, introduced an obligatory course in the “language of culture of Antiquity” for seventh and eighth year students. But it is only for those planning to seek a “maturité,” the equivalent of a high school graduation diploma, necessary for those who want to continue on to university.
From the Times:

A BITTER row in Athens over a new museum at the foot of the Parthenon has put some of Greece’s best known personalities at loggerheads and threatened to overshadow the building’s grand opening next year.

At the centre of the storm is Vangelis Papathanassiou, the composer famous for his Oscar-winning score for Chariots of Fire, a film about British athletes training for the 1924 Olympics.

His house is one of two buildings targeted for demolition because they spoil the view of the Acropolis from the museum’s restaurant. Last week he accused the government of “architectural terrorism”.

“These buildings must be saved,” he said in a rare interview conducted by telephone through his lawyer. “What I say could be considered biased, but I assure you that even if my house wasn’t involved in this premeditated destruction I would hold the same views.”

The other building under threat is an art deco gem that boasts carved statues and mosaics on its facade and was designed by a purported friend of Pablo Picasso. Like Vangelis’s neoclassical structure next door, it has enjoyed protection as a national monument since 1978. It has featured in tour guides as one of the city’s most important architectural landmarks.

A recent decision to remove the buildings from the list of monuments so they can be demolished provoked cries of protest. It could be several months before an appeal comes to court but the campaign to save the buildings has already generated widespread support. Vigils have been staged and a petition has gathered thousands of signatures. The World Architectural Congress has protested to the Greek government.

Vangelis’s influential friends are also doing their bit. “This [demolition] would constitute a great loss for the historic continuity of Athens,” said Jack Lang, the former French culture minister, at the Athens opening of a film about El Greco, for which Vangelis wrote the score.

Last week giant cranes towered over the Acropolis, the “sacred hill” on which the Parthenon sits. They were lifting marble sculptures, some weighing 2.5 tons, out of the old 19th-century museum and lowering them down to the new one, a 226,000 sq ft glass structure on thick concrete columns.

Defenders of the project say it is too important to let anything get in the way: it is hoped that the museum will triple the number of visitors to the Acropolis to more than 3.5m a year, meaning a big boost in revenues. Many Greeks believe that it will one day house the disputed Elgin marbles which are on display in the British Museum.

London has often argued that Greece has nowhere to display properly the giant friezes that were removed from the Parthenon in the 19th century by Lord Elgin. It does now: a room has been set aside for them in the new museum.

Even before the first brick was laid, the £94m museum became a magnet for controversy. Designed by Bernard Tschumi, the Swiss-American architect, to “interact” with the 2,500-year-old Parthenon, it came under fire for its cost and its layout.

To make matters worse the inconvenient discovery of a warren of early Roman streets and homes under the building site halted construction. However, the discovery has now been incorporated into the museum, which will have glass floors so that visitors can see the excavated city below.

The dispute with Vangelis, a reclusive eccentric who in addition to his musical achievements has been gathering fame as a painter, threatens to overshadow the opening early next year. Having first backed the museum, Vangelis last week called it an “architectural tsunami” and a “monstrosity that arrogantly overshadows the whole area, thus offending the Parthenon itself, our history, the Athenians and Greeks in general”. He went on: “It is attempting to devour what is left of this historic area.”

Officials at the Greek culture ministry have complained that the two buildings targeted for demolition obstruct the view of an amphitheatre at the base of the Acropolis, preventing the designer’s goal of “optically combining” the museum with the ancient monument.

Vangelis denied this. He acknowledged, however, that the rear of his house – the part seen from the restaurant terrace – was not particularly attractive, but said this could be remedied by planting trees.

He noted that every entry in the competition for the museum design assumed that the buildings under threat would remain.
ante diem xiii kalendas decembres

Mercatus -- time to restock the pantry after the lengthy festival in honour of Jupiter

1665 -- death of Nicholas Poussin (painter of many Classical subjects)
analogivorous @ Worthless Word for the Day
Over at Boing Boing, there's a pic of an ancient Greek pottery potty ... I'd never seen one before!
8.00 p.m. |HINT| The Rise and Fall of the Spartans Code of Honor
Revered and feared in their own time, the ancient warriors from the Greek city-state Sparta invented the boot camp, frontal assault, state-sponsored education, and a lifestyle and aesthetic that still bears their name. Who were these soldiers willing to fight a losing battle in defense of honor and country? How did they become the greatest fighting force the world has ever known? What kind of society produced such men? We explore the cornerstones of life and death in ancient Sparta.

10.00 p.m. |HINT|The Rise and Fall of the Spartans Tides of War
In the 5th century BC, all of Greece united against Persia. But after the defeat of the invading Persian army, both Sparta and Athens became rivals, each expanding in strength and influence. While Athens ruled the sea, Sparta's celebrated army was unbeatable on land. When the two Greek giants met on a collision course, the resulting Peloponnesian War spanned 27 years, engulfed all of Greece, and changed the nature of democracy. We explore the devastating effects of the war and demise of Sparta.

HINT = History International
Assorted items of interest (in no particular order):

Mata Kimasitayo (thanks!) has another item from Harper's ... Sophocles' Memento Mori ... an opeddish sort of thing suggesting we should study Classical literature "for our own protection" ... Victor Davis Hanson received a National Humanities Medal ... the weekly version of our Ancient World on Television listings are up, as is Explorator 10.30 ...

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
Haven't found a version of this in English ... from Il Sole:

Sono monete antichissime di età bizantina, materiali di epoca etrusca e romana, bronzetti, oggetti in vetro, oltre a sarcofagi e a una stele funeraria in marmo bianco. È solo una parte del ricco bottino di circa 800 reperti archeologici illecitamente sottratti, svelato, a Roma, nella sede del comando dei carabinieri per la tutela del patrimonio culturale, dal tenente colonnello Raffaele Mancino, alla presenza, tra gli altri, del soprintendente per i beni archeologici di Roma Angelo Bottini. «Si tratta - spiega l'ufficiale dei carabinieri - di un'operazione di grande importanza storica, che ha avuto inizio 4 mesi fa e ha condotto alla denuncia di 5 persone, tutte implicate, a vario titolo, in ricerca clandestina, impossessamento illecito e ricettazione di beni archeologici».

I beni recuperati, il cui valore stimato si aggira intorno al milione di euro, venivano utilizzati dai denunciati come monili per abbellire le loro ville o, come nel caso dei sarcofagi sottratti alle catacombe romane di Sant'Ippolito e San Valentino, come fioriere. Parte del bottino, poi, stava per essere immesso nel giro del mercato clandestino, che, precisa Mancino, rappresenta, purtroppo, un giro d'affari molto fiorente sia nel Belpaese sia all'estero, portando nelle tasche dei malviventi milioni di euro.

Tra i reperti recuperati, quasi tutti in buono stato di conservazione, ci sono anche dei falsi, soprattutto tra le ceramiche. «Ora - sottolinea il soprintendente di Roma Bottini - è necessario un intenso lavoro per ricollocare al meglio e in condizioni di maggior sicurezza tutto il materiale ritrovato». Sei reperti, tutti marmorei, cinque scultorei e uno epigrafico, sono stati riconosciuti appartenenti alla Pontificia commissione di archeologia sacra, l'istituzione della Santa sede preposta alla cura delle catacombe cristiane presenti sul territorio nazionale.

Tra i gioielli archeologici ritrovati spiccano, per il loro valore storico-artistico, il sarcofago infantile con fanciullo orante a pannelli strigliati del IV secolo d. C. e la stele funeraria, in marmo bianco, raffigurante una donna ammalata del I secolo a C., rinvenuta nel 1998, presso la località Torricola, in Roma, durante i lavori di riqualificazione del parco archeologico dell'Appia antica in occasione del Giubileo del 2000.
Argonautika (Berkeley)
... another review of same

Trojan Women (UNevada)

Women of Troy (Purdue)

Hecuba (Rice)

Metamorphoses (ASU)


African Athena was Bernal's original title for Black Athena, his "infamous"
work that has confronted the modern academy with some of the most
challenging questions it has faced over the last twenty years. This
interdisciplinary conference seeks neither to demonize nor lionize Bernal's
book, but to open dialogue on the issues it has posed: can a myth of
Afrocentrism ever be a useful narrative in contemporary culture? How do
Africanizing and classicizing cultures interface and interpenetrate in the
arts and lives of Africans, Europeans, Caribbeans and Americans? Does Black
Athena offer new possibilities for comparison between African and Jewish
diasporas, cultures and struggles? How do we deal with the difficult
collusion of essentialist and poststructuralist discourses in "postcolonial"
thought? These issues are only a point of departure.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Professors Martin Bernal, Paul Gilroy, Shelley
Haley, Stephen Howe, Partha Mitter, Valentin Y. Mudimbe, Patrice Rankine and
Robert J.C. Young.s.

Send proposals of up to 500 words by March 31 2008 to Dr. Daniel Orrells,
Department of Classics, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.
Email: D.Orrells AT
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 Winnipeg


The Department of Classics at The University of Winnipeg invites applications for a 12-month sessional in Classics at the rank of Assistant Professor. The appointment is effective July 1, 2008 or August 1, 2008 and is subject to budgetary approval. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Duties will include teaching undergraduate courses in Classical Civilization and second and third-year Greek. Qualifications include a completed or nearly completed Ph.D. and a demonstrated potential for excellence in teaching, research and scholarship.

The University of Winnipeg is committed to employment equity, welcomes diversity in the workplace and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, members of visible minorities, aboriginal persons and persons with disabilities. In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, this advertisement is initially directed to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Interested applicants should send their curriculum vitae, along with three letters of reference to:

Dr. Jane Cahill
Chair, Department of Classics
University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
R3B 2E9
j.cahill AT

Fax: (204) 774-4134
Closing date for receipt of applications: January 31, 2008.
From BMCR:

Anna Trofimova (ed.), Greeks on the Black Sea: Ancient Art from the Hermitage.

Michael Gruenbart, Theatron. Rhetorische Kultur in Spa+tantike und Mittelalter / Rhetorical Culture in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Peter Brennan, Michael Turner, Nicholas L. Wright, Faces of Power: Imperial Portraiture on Roman Coins.

Jonas Grethlein, Das Geschichtsbild der Ilias. Eine Untersuchung aus phaenomenologischer und narratologischer Perspektive. Hypomnemata, 163.

Daniela Gionta, Per i Convivia Mediolanensia di Francesco Filelfo Messina: Centro Interdipartimentale di Studi Umanistici. Quaderni di Filologia medievale e umanistica, 11.

Aicha Ben Abed Ben Khader, Tunisian Mosaics : Treasures from Roman Africa. Translated from the French by Sharon Grevet.

ante diem xvi kalendas decembres

ludi Plebeii (day 13) -- the Jupiterfest is still going on

42 B.C. -- birth of the future emperor Tiberius
aggrandize @

macroscian @ Wordsmith
From Nirvana International:

A significant archaeological discovery has been made in Turkey's ancient city Laodiceia, near the coastal city of Denizli.

Following five years of excavations at the site, associate professor Celal Simsek has announced that his team have found a statue head of the ancient Greek god of the underworld, Hades.

Recent digs have also turned up a large number of marble sculptures - including ones of Aphrodite and Eros - as well as various historical artefacts such as terracotta cups, bottles and coins.

"We also found ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus' head," Mr Simsek told the Anatolia News Agency, which he said displayed the veneration ancient Greeks afforded pre-eminent figures in science, art and philosophy.

The excavations have so far been centred around an ancient street called Suriye which encompasses a late-Roman era villa, a central bath and a glass workshop.

Mr Simsek noted that since the research team began displaying its findings in the local museum visits to the city have increased a phenomenal 500 per cent.

Turkey has a rich history and a long-standing commitment to archaeological discoveries and restoration, with a church in the popular tourist destination of Antalya recently receiving a government grant to help preserve artefacts.

This article was brought to you by Nirvana International - Specialists in Property in Turkey.

... not sure if we had this one before ... it rings a bell, no?
From a MOI (Cyprus) press release (I think):

The Department of Antiquities announces the completion of this season´s excavations at the Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Palaipaphos, which was first investigated by the Cyprus Exploration Fund in 1888 and was excavated systematically by the Swiss-German Archaeological Expedition in 1973–79 and 1993–95. Only the extreme northeast corner of the building complex, covered by a 19th century village house, had remained inaccessible. Part of this structure was removed recently, and on the request of the Department of Antiquities the area was excavated in late September and early October.

The North Hall marks the northern confines of the Sanctuary. Like the South Stoa, it served as cultic banqueting hall - a type of building developed from the original Greek banqueting hall by substituting continuous platforms for the individual stone-built klinai. The worshippers rested during meals on a raised podium which enclosed a mosaic pavement, decorated with a geometric pattern. We were able to recover to a large extent the foundations of the eastern and northern outer walls as well as of the eastern and northern podium walls, and thus to complete the plan of the North Hall. It extended over the entire width of the Sanctuary site, covering a space of 62.5 by 12.5 m. At the same time, further 26 square metres of the mosaic pavement, in a fairly good condition, could be uncovered.

From the point of view of earlier work in the Sanctuary, these results were in a way predictable. Unexpected were discoveries made while excavating the podium walls. Here architectural fragments were reused in the foundations as building material, comprising, beside Doric limestone columns elements, of a very unusual votive monument resembling features of Nabataean architecture from Petra and other sites. The structures of the Roman sanctuary surviving today were erected during the late 1st or early 2nd century AD. These new finds point to the existence of earlier buildings on the site, dating from the late Hellenistic or early Roman period. At the same time they testify to influences of Near Eastern art which may present an interesting prospect for further research.
From the Press:

AN ARCHAEOLOGY student struck lucky when he began digging the garden of his new home - and discovered ancient Roman remains.

Chris Bevan had no idea that a historic find was lurking inches beneath his feet when he moved into the house at Holme-on-Spalding Moor.

Now he and his fellow University of York students are using their spare time to carry out a survey of the garden in High Street and a neighbouring field where the ancient pottery was unearthed.

"I bought the house in July and was just doing some gardening when I found a Roman pot and some Medieval green glaze pottery," says Chris, 24, who is a second year archaeology undergraduate.

"I immediately knew what it was and was obviously excited. There have been quite a few finds of this type in the Holme-on-Spalding Moor area, but I never expected to find something like this in my garden. It's a real coincidence when you consider the subject I'm studying.

"It looks like I made a good choice when I decided to move here!"

Chris and his fellow students have taken the unusual step in archaeology circles of inviting a metal-detecting club to help them sweep the garden and field.

"It's a way of doing things which is almost unheard of, because there has always been a level of mistrust between the archaeological and metal-detecting communities," he said.

"Unfortunately, archaeologists think metal-detecting is done by people purely after making a profit, while metal-detectorists often believe archaeology doesn't let people near important sites.

"We're hoping to break this down and show what can be achieved by a new generation of archaeologists taking opportunities such as using metal detectors rather than avoiding them. By doing this, we've already discovered fragments of Roman coins and other remains, and we hope there are even more still waiting to be found.

"We're having to fit in the work around our studies, but the university has been extremely supportive and has agreed to lend us equipment to help do it."

The archaeology group hope to complete their survey this weekend, and it will be followed by several months of painstaking analysis of the find.

Holme-on-Spalding Moor has a history of historic discoveries - in the 1980s, an Iron Age boat was excavated on the banks of the River Foulness at nearby Hasholme.
From the ME Times:

Syrian archaelogists have uncovered a 2nd century necropolis and statues in the central town of Palmyra, along with several skeletons, museum director Walid Assaad told AFP on Thursday.

According to inscriptions on a 75 centimetre (30 inch) by 60 centimetre (24 inch) sculptured panel found there, the cemetery belonged to a pagan family. The tablet showed two people of Palmyra.

"The first, named Mallay, is wearing a military uniform and has a sword in his belt which he is holding by the hilt. The second, called Yadeh Bel, is wearing traditional Palmyran clothes," Assaad quoted archaeologist mission leader Khalil Hariri as saying.

Besides the two figures portrayed on the tablet is a camel carrying a tent and being led by a child. The people would be "traders on the silk road," he said.

Palmyra, some 220 kilometres (135 miles) northeast of the Syrian capital, had a long history of being a stopping point of caravans travelling the silk road. This culminated in the third century when Queen Zenobia, who defied the Roman Empire, controlled all Syria, and invaded Egypt and Asia Minor before being defeated in 272 by the Emperor Aurelian.

Besides the necropolis and panel, the researchers found the bust of a Palmyran man, 60 cms high and 55 cms wide, and bearing the name: Zubeiba, son of Shamune."

A photo of the sculptured panel accompanies the original article ...
This was posted on the Perseus Project discussion list and I suspect will be of interest to a large part of rc's readership:

All of the source code for the Perseus Java Hopper and much of the content in Perseus is now available under an open source license. You can download the code, compile it, and run it on your own system. This requires more labor and a certain level of expertise for which we can only provide minimal support. However, since it will be running on your own machine, it can be much faster than our website, especially during peak usage times. You also have the option to install only certain collections or texts on your version, making it as specialized as you wish. Also, if you want to use a different system to make the content available, you can do so within the terms of the Creative Commons license. This is the first step in open sourcing the code as you can modify the code as much as you want, but at this time, we cannot integrate your changes back into our system. That is our ultimate goal, so keep a look out for that!

Links for downloads etc. here ...
ante diem xvii kalendas decembres

ludi Plebeii (day 12) -- the Jupiterfest goes on and on and on ...

305 A.D. -- martyrdom of Gurias

1907 -- birth of Nicholas G.L. Hammond (The Genius of Alexander the Great, among others)
hector @
Sent in by Keely (thanks!):

As you might be aware, for some reason the UK is pondering mottoes/catchphrases ... a semi-tongue-in-cheek piece in the Times ends with this suggested motto for Birmingham:

Philip Howard, the classicist of The Times, has helped me to translate it into Latin, and the five-word motto would be splendid, in fact, for Britain itself - except that it undermines the whole Brownite constitutional project.

Ne nostra in fundamenta subeamus: “Let us not climb up our own bottoms.”

FWIW and all that ...
From JPost:

The remains of an ancient terraced street dating back to the Roman Period have been uncovered in the Western Wall tunnels, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

The street, which likely led to the nearby Temple Mount, dates back nearly 2,000 years to when the city was called Aelia Capitolina, during the second to fourth centuries.

The site, which was uncovered in archeological excavations over the past year, is a side street connecting two major roads in the area, said Jon Seligman, the Antiquities Authority Jerusalem regional archeologist.

The ancient street is paved with large flagstones and is amazingly well-preserved. It is demarcated on both sides by walls built of ashlar stones.

The recent finding is the latest indication that even after they destroyed the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Romans continued to value the Temple Mount as one of the main urban focal points of activity in the city.

Various artifacts were discovered in the excavations, including pottery, glass vessels and dozens of coins that all date to the construction of the street and the period after it was abandoned.
Seen in passing in the Harvard Crimson:

Latin professor Kathleen M. Coleman gets around on a machine she calls the Verginius Volvo Invictus. (Named after the friend of a famous Roman senator, Pliny the Younger.)

We have extended the deadline for registration until *3rd December* for
the forthcoming December 17th & 18th 2007 conference ‘Imagining Slavery:
Celebrating Abolition’ to be jointly held at Royal Holloway University of
London and the British Library.

This conference commemorates the bicentenary of the 1807 Abolition of the
Slave Trade bill. It draws together an international team of researchers
from every continent in order to explore new methodologies and previously
untapped sources. It studies both the ways that ancient slavery was
represented in antiquity and the impact of those images on discourses
about slavery since the early days of the abolition movement in the
Georgian era.

Keynote Speakers include:
* W G Thalmann, Professor of Classics & Comparative Literature, USC.
* William Fitzgerald, Professor of Latin, King’s College, London.
* Brycchan Carey, Reader in English Literature, Kingston University London
* Patrice Rankin Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Program, Purdue
University, West Lafayette, IA.

Speakers & Official Respondents include:
Boris Nikolsky [Moscow], Richard Alston [Royal Holloway], Steve Hodkinson
[Nottingham], Edith Hall [Royal Holloway], John Hilton [KwaZulu-Natal],
Ahuvia Kahane [Royal Holloway], Emily Greenwood [St Andrews], Lydia
Langerwerf [Nottingham], Margaret Malamud [New Mexico], Leanne Hunnings
[Royal Holloway], Kelly Joss Wrenhaven [Victoria, Canada], Laura Proffitt
[Royal Holloway], Sandra Joshel [University of Washington], Sara Monoson
[Northwestern University], Deborah Kamen [University of Washington],
Justine McConnell [Royal Holloway]

Please visit for further information and email
Leanne Hunnings at l.j.hunnings AT as soon as possible for
registration details. Attendance can be for one or for both days, and
there is no registration fee, only fees for accommodation and food if
required, but all bookings must be taken in order to confirm numbers.
Meeting The Challenge:
bringing classical texts to life in the classroom

An international conference for teacher trainers and teachers of Latin, ancient Greek and classical civilisation

Conference organisers

Licia Landi (SSIS Veneto, University of Venice, Italy)

Bob Lister (University of Cambridge, UK)

Per Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)


Venice International University, Isola di San Servolo, Venice, Italy

Email: landi AT

Web site:

Conference outline

Following the success of the conference ‘European perspectives on the teaching and learning of Latin’, held in Cambridge in July 2005, the second Meeting The Challenge conference will examine approaches to teaching classical texts and the reception of classical literature. This will be an opportunity to meet with colleagues from many countries and share ideas on innovative ways to engage learners with classical texts and address questions such as:

1- What is the best way to develop students’ personal responses to classical literature?

2- How can we use fiction, drama and film to promote reflection on classical texts?

3- To what extent can new technologies and blended learning enhance the study of literature?

4- Are particular approaches needed when working with non-traditional learners?

Call for papers

We invite papers on all aspects of teaching classical literature, whether you are teaching the texts in the original language or in translation.

Priority will be given to presentations that focus directly on classroom practice, particularly those that include video or audio material showing students in action.

Papers should be of about 30 minutes duration since each session will last 45 minutes, with 15 minutes set aside for questions and discussion. Proposal forms can be obtained from the conference web site. Please note that all papers must be given in English.

The deadline for proposals is Saturday 15 December 2007 and you will be notified whether your proposal has been accepted by Saturday 2 February 2008.

Greek Job Description

The Department of Classics in Princeton University announces a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor in ancient Greek literature to begin in Fall 2008.

Less important than field of specialization or period is promise as a scholar and teacher. We are looking for someone 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 American Philological Association meeting in Chicago in Jan. 08 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

Department of Classics

The University of Cincinnati Classics Department is pleased to announce the Margo Tytus Summer Residency Program. Summer Residents, in the fields of philology, history and archaeology will come to Cincinnati for a minimum of one month and a maximum of three during the summer (June 15 - September 15). Apart from residence in Cincinnati during term, the only obligation of Summer Fellows is to pursue their own research. They will receive free university housing. They will also receive office space and enjoy the use of the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College Libraries.

The University of Cincinnati Burnam Classics Library ( is one of the world's premier collections in the field of Classical Studies. Comprising 225,000 volumes and other research materials, the library covers all aspects of the Classics: the languages and literatures, history, civilization, art, and archaeology. Of special value for scholars is both the richness of the collection and its accessibility -- almost any avenue of research in the classics can be pursued deeply and broadly under a single roof. The unusually comprehensive core collection, which is maintained by three professional classicist librarians, is augmented by several special collections such as 15,000 nineteenth century German Programmschriften, extensive holdings in Palaeography, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. At neighboring Hebrew Union College, the Klau Library (, with holdings in excess of 450,000 volumes and other research materials, is rich in Judaica and Near Eastern Studies.

Application Deadline: February 15. Applicants must have the Ph.D. in hand at the time of application.

A description of the Summer Residency Program is available online at There is an online application at Questions can be directed to secretary AT



The American School of Classical Studies at Athens invites applicants
with strengths in teaching and research and with proven experience in
Greece for an appointment as Rhys Carpenter Faculty Fellow in Classical
Studies. The appointment, which begins July 1, 2008, is for a one- or
two-year term and is not renewable. Candidates must have the Ph.D.
Preference will be given to those who are within seven years of having
received the Ph.D. at the time of appointment and who currently hold a
position at a North American university. The area of specialization is
open; however, the School does not wish to duplicate, but rather to
complement the expertise of its staff. Approximately one-half time
during the academic year (September through May) will be available for
research, and one half-time will be devoted to teaching and related
duties, such as leading field trips, advising and directing students in
individual research, and planning the academic program. The Faculty
Fellow will be expected to contribute generally to the intellectual life
of the School. The applicant should provide a description of the
research project which he or she intends to carry out at the School.
Salary commensurate with experience; benefits and housing or housing
allowance, at the discretion of the Executive Committee of the Managing

A letter of application, a curriculum vitae, project description (up to
three pages in length), and three letters of recommendation should be
sent to:

Professor Susan I. Rotroff
Chair, Committee on Personnel
American School of Classical Studies at Athens
6-8 Charlton Street
Princeton, NJ 08540-5232.
Tel: 609-683-0800 Fax: 609-924-0578
E-mail: ascsa AT Web site:

The appointment will be announced February 8, 2008, pending approval by
the ASCSA Managing Committee.

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate
on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion,
national or ethnic origin, or disability when considering admission to
any form of membership or application for employment.
... sorry gang ... in trying to wean myself off antihistamines, I had a big time allergy attack last night ... right now I'm a zombie running late .... (brains .... brains ... where's my brain) ...
idus novembres

rites in honour of Jupiter

epulum in honour of Jupiter

rites in honour of Feronia

rites in honour of Fortuna Primigenia

rites in honour of Pietas (?)

ludi Plebeii (day 10) -- the Jupiterfest goes on and on and on ...

36 B.C. -- ovatio of Octavian for "his" victories over Sextus Pompeius in Sicily; the real author of the victory, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, was granted the corona rostrata

354 -- birth of Augustine
perfervid @

patrician @ Wordsmith

transpicuous @ Merriam-Webster (great word!)

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein

Today we have a 'cusp of the 1st century' eastern Greek marble funerary relief with an image of banqueting. The official description gives the provenance as "acquired in Switzerland in 1972".

Ruins of a little late-Roman fortress, part of the defense system of the Romans in nowadays Northern Bulgaria, archaeologists have found by excavations in Svalenik village.

The fortress was raised in IV Century as a watch fortification, controlling the road in the River Valley of Malki Lom River.

For now archaeologist revealed the south wall and two inner rooms of the fortress.

The finds- coins and pottery- give a reason to claim the fortress had survived after the big Huns and Goths invasions in the V century, but as an already fortified settlement of agriculture population.

Some objects, especially ceramic pottery and arrow gads shows life here proceeded through the period of Second Bulgarian kingdom.

... I don't think the photo accompanying the original article is the actual fortress for some reason ...
Way back when I first started doing my Explorator newsletter, the discovery of a part of Aristotle's Lyceum was one of the early 'big stories' ... here's the 'ten years later' story from ANI (via Yahoo):

A wrestling school said to have been a part of Greek philosopher Aristotle's famous Lyceum, has fallen victim to the ravages of time and official apathy.

Unearthed in 1996, the wrestling school and other institutions in the Lyceum was a significant centre of study and research in diverse fields.

Opened in 335 BC, the school promoted the development of Western science and philosophy and was named for its sanctuary to Apollo Lykeios. Alongside these intellectual pursuits, physical exercise was also undertaken, as the excavation of a wrestling ring has illustrated.

Though the appearance of the site on Rigillis Street in Athens looks maintained overall because of some greenery, the condition of the wrestling school has been worsening since its discovery.

Archaeologists cite the temporary roof of the untended one hectare area as the main reason behind the degradation.

Because the nine meter roof is unable to hold the rainwater that flows from the Lycabettus Hill, the archaeological site continues to erode.

When Greek Culture MInister Michalis Liapis asked officials the reason for the indifference shown to the site, he got a mixed set of replies. While one official blamed the cost of maintenance as too high, another attributed it to the size of the roof. One official even went to the extent of blaming his predecessors for the apathy.

"This project must go ahead," said Liapis, commenting on the situation. "I do not want to see piecemeal work, but overall solutions," he added.

But there are other concerns about the ancient site as well.

Many people have expressed concern that the Public Real Estate Company, which owns the land, might hand it over to the City of Athens.

But Liapis has assured that the Lyceum would not be transferred as he regards it as one of the most important historical sites on the country.

His conviction in the importance of the site came when Effi Ligouri, the excavator of the Lyceum, explained that it was one of the oldest gymnasiums in Athens and that one of the first universities in the world was established there.

Apart from the government agreeing to spend a vast sum of 3 million Euros on roofing the site, it has also asked the officials concerned to take action and promised to try and have the project included in the Fourth Community Support Framework, a national reform program.
pridie idus novembres

ludi Plebeii (day 9) - the Jupiterfest continues
gesticulate @

refactory @ Worthless Word for the Day

mystagogue @ Wordsmith

A very empty mailbox this a.m. ... here's a nice Apulian red figure 'fish plate' attributed to the Binningen Painter. The official description page has it being acquired in Switzerland in 1977. The 'fish plate' is actually a genre of sorts -- Phoenix Art has another example of same with a much fuller description.
The usual little tidbits that accumulate over the week (or so) ... we'll begin with Father Foster on Roman beliefs about the afterlife ... MK sent in another piece from Harper's (thanks!): Boethius on the rewards of virtue ... he also sent in Sappho's Exhortation to Learning ... I don't think I've mentioned the recent updates to Martin Conde's photos relating to the Imperial Fora ... Eternally Cool has a lengthy interview with Debbie Felton on matters Hallowe'enish ... outside of that, issue 10.29 of our Explorator newsletter has been posted as has the weekly version of our Ancient World on Television listings (slim pickings in the latter) ...
From the RPO in honour of the day:

It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
"Strange, friend," I said, "Here is no cause to mourn."
"None," said the other, "Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something has been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now ...
From Fortean Times 149 (September 2001):

"History is a department of human delusion." - Fort (Books, p172) on mysterious ancient coffins and other strange relics.

In FT146:48 Nick Warren asks: "What became of the cross on which Christ was crucified?"

But: How did Helena know the cross she found in Jerusalem in 326 was the right one? Assuming it was she. No Christian writer credits the former barmaid with this stunning discovery until St Ambrose (On the Death of Theodosius, ch43) in 395. Fifth-century Byzantine church historians got their version from Bishop Gelasius of Palestinian Caesarea, dead this same year, probable inventor of the tradition. Constantine first popularised the Cross as a symbol; crediting his `Queen Mum' with its discovery was a suitable concoction.
In Gibbon's unimprovable words, Helena "united the credulity of age [in her 70s - BB] with the warm feelings of a recent conversion." Her exploit belongs more to Evelyn Waugh's fictional Helena than to history. According to Christian legend, Helena found three crosses, Christ's and those of the two `thieves' (probably anti-Roman Zealots), the True one being revealed by a miracle.

But, what about the 'Titulus', its walnut headboard with Pilate's trilingual INRI inscription? A supposed piece of this has long been on display in Santa Croce in the Roman suburb of Gerusalemme. In The Quest for the True Cross (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London, 2000), Matthew D'Ancona & Peter Theide, serious rather than sensationalist writers, are prepared to accept its authenticity. The Pope's agreement (Times, 10 Nov 2000) to dendrochronological and pollen tests will only (as with the Shroud of Turin) exacerbate debate.

Headboard and cross were of no interest to the Roman soldier-crucifiers. Maybe some Christian(s) filched them on or after Good Friday? What happened to used crosses? Thrown away? Superstitiously burned? Re-cycled for future executions? Ancient texts don't say, nor are these mundane but crucial questions tackled in Tubingen theologian Martin Hengel's Crucifixion in the Ancient World (SCM Press, London, 1977).

The Cross is now nowhere because it was soon everywhere. Helena supposedly bisected it, one piece staying in Jerusalem, the other sent to Constantinople. A text of 359 (Corpus of Latin Inscriptions, supplementary vol3, no.20600) locates a particle in Mauretania. Captured by the Persians in 614, the Jerusalem part was recovered by emperor Heraclius who sent it to Constantinople for safe-keeping. Around 1100, Crusader historian Raymond of Aguilers claimed it was still buried in Jerusalem; a 14th-century Russian pilgrim said it reposed in Constantinople.

Cyril of Jerusalem's (Gelasius' uncle) Letter to Constantius II says "the world is filled with the Cross' wood," implying dismemberment. Gibbon gibed: "The merit of the true cross was somewhat impaired by its frequent division." Procopius (Histories, bk2 chl 1, parasl420) and Evagrius (Church History, bk4 ch26) say a piece taken to Syrian Apamea miraculously saved that city from Persian assault. Another was secreted in Constantinople's Forum for similar apotropaic purposes. Pious pilgrims often nicked bits. High-ranking religious institutions and individuals were rewarded with splinters; lay persons wore them as good-luck charms.

No wonder Christian legend claimed the Cross's miraculous powers of vegetation regenerated the severed pieces which - mocked Calvin (Tracts, voll, p301) - "if collected, would form a good shipload, though the Gospel testifies a single individual could carry it."

See further A Frolow, La relique de la Vraie Croix (Archives de l'Orient, vo17, Paris, 1961).

Barry Baldwin
(reprinted with permission of the Author; blame any typically graphic transcription errors on dm)
... lots of these sorts of things today. From a larger (humourous) piece at MSNBC speculating on roles Angelina Jolie should consider since she's played Beowulf's wife ...

Medea: Although this legendary character from Roman and Greek literature differs slightly depending on which version you read, Medea was responsible for murdering her brother and scattering his body parts hither and yon to distract her father from chasing after her and husband Jason. Later, after Jason leaves her for another woman, Medea sends the new wife a cloak designed to burn up anyone who wears it. Oh, and then Medea murders her own children that were fathered by Jason.
Modern twist: Medea wins Jason’s ship, the Argo, from him in a divorce, and then travels the known world adopting orphaned children to add to her family. Then she sells exclusive photo rights to her latest child to the ancient Roman edition of OK! magazine for one million lire.

... all that's tongue-in-cheek, of course, but I think Jolie would make a great Medea (and Brad, of course, would be suitably self-absorbed to play Jason).
From Irpinia News:

I Carabinieri di Avellino e della Stazione di Serino hanno recuperato dei preziosissimi reperti archeologici all’interno di un piccolo laboratorio di restauro nel Serinese. I reperti di rarissima bellezza e pregevole fattura, da un primo accertamento, sembrerebbero provenire dall’antica Apulia (attuale Puglia) e risalire al IV secolo a.c.. Il recupero, frutto di accurate e delicate indagini, ha consentito di sequestrare dei crateri e dei vasi apuli risalenti all’epoca ellenica, finemente decorati con figure mitologiche greche. Gli oggetti, custoditi all’interno di un grosso borsone accuratamente nascosto dietro un grosso armadio, non sono sfuggiti ai militari che hanno setacciato palmo a palmo l’intera abitazione. Il possessore dei reperti, un restauratore con la passione dell’antico e con qualche precedente specifico, non ha saputo fornire spiegazioni in merito al possesso del materiale e pertanto è stato deferito all’Autorità Giudiziaria per ricettazione e detenzione illecita di materiale archeologico. All’interno del locale però sono state rinvenute anche delle altre fotografie ritraenti altri oggetti tutti ricollegabili alla stessa epoca Ellenica, aprendo grandi sospetti sulla presenza di un vero e proprio catalogo per ordinativi. Le indagini coordinate dal Procuratore della Repubblica di Avellino Dott. Mario Aristide Romano, per ora in pieno svolgimento, e svolte in stretta collaborazione con il Comando Tutela Patrimonio Culturale dei Carabinieri e la Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Avellino, non escludono la possibilità di nuovi ed importanti sviluppi.
... from the Guardian, of course:

Mary Beard vividly remembers a day in her first year at Newnham College, Cambridge, when one of her friends saw a marked essay lying on her desk. He picked it up and read the tutor's comment: "This is very good; I think it would get a first." "You," he spluttered, "get a first?" "Even in the mid-70s," Beard recalls, there were "lots of men who thought that women were destined only to get 2:1s." Besides, she was studying classics, a typically male discipline, and elitist too, run by "curmudgeonly old sods". "From that moment," she laughs, "I was bloody determined to show them."

And she has shown them: Beard is now a professor at Cambridge and the best-known classicist in Britain. Her new book, The Roman Triumph, is keenly awaited, and she has been asked to give the prestigious Sather lectures at Berkeley, California, next year. She is constantly called on by the BBC and the broadsheets to comment when popular culture ventures into the ancient world - Gladiator, Troy - and has become, she admits, "a bit of a media junkie".

She welcomes all the "hundreds of movies, and hundreds of novels and cartoon strips about the Romans". "What interests me," she says, "is the idea that classics is actually quite democratic. It isn't only the toff, upper-class subject it's often thought to be. Every generation enjoys rediscovering it." At the same time, she does her best to cut through the popular myths and cruder appropriations of the ancient world, patiently pointing out that Romans didn't wear togas very often, that the animals killed in the Colosseum were more likely to be sheep than lions (also no Christians were ever put to death there), and that the Athenian version of democracy celebrated by prime ministers and presidents had severe limitations, not least the exclusion of women.

Beard is known for saying what she thinks, and for her sense of fun; she is, according to her blog, "wickedly subversive". The other day, a documentary-maker, having sought out her advice, decided she was "one of the smartest women alive ... Convivially we end up in ... a bar downing bellinis and red-pepper margaritas". But her forthrightness has also got Beard into trouble. In particular, she is still condemned in some quarters for a statement she made in the London Review of Books a few days after 9/11. "Ever after, I've been that foolish/callous/dangerous don who thought that 'the United States had it coming.'"

When the 18-year-old Mary Beard was interviewed at Newnham, she was summed up on her application form as "an only-child of elderly parents". "How about that for a put down!" Her father was "an old-fashioned liberal architect with a practice in Shrewsbury ... a raffish public-schoolboy type and a complete wastrel, but very engaging". Her mother, a headmistress, would retire to bed on Sunday afternoons with the newspaper review pages and a handful of library request cards: "It was impossible," Beard says, "to think of a world without books."

She attended a single-sex direct-grant school, and found ways in Shrewsbury to be "safely transgressive" ("if I had been properly transgressive, I wouldn't be here now"), along the customary lines of "sex and drugs and rock music". At archaeological excavations during the summer, "digging up nasty bits of pottery was the price one paid for fun in the evening". Almost despite herself, Beard eventually realised that there was "something really exciting" about the discovery of antiquity.

At Newnham she was "a swot" who "wouldn't have dared speak to" the likes of Clive Anderson and Griff Rhys Jones, that generation's stars of the Cambridge Footlights. It was a benefit to attend a women-only college at that time, she believes, though her years at university were "the first time I realised there was sexism in the world ... I had lived a protected life". Her feminism has ever since been "hugely important in terms of intellectual, cultural and university politics. Unreasonable as it might seem for me to say this sitting here" - in her elegant rooms in the college Old Hall - "you can't work in Cambridge for as long as I have without being aware that, as a woman, the dice are loaded against you."

But she detects "cant in some bits of modern orthodox feminism" and happily describes her own views as "maverick". Certainly, her recounting in the press of two of her experiences as a student have proved controversial. First, she told how, when a backpacker on a night train in Italy, she was raped by a man who had helped her buy a ticket. "I can't claim to have been particularly traumatised by what happened," she wrote, and emphasised the divergent ways she had reconstructed the event in the intervening years. A vocal response to her revelation, however, was that Beard was merely "in denial".

In another article, in which she exposed the respected Latin scholar Eduard Fraenkel as a groper of his female students, she went on to express "a certain wilful nostalgia for that academic era before about 1980 when the erotic dimension of pedagogy, which had flourished since Plato, was firmly stamped out".

When her remarks were denounced by a number of fellow academics and by student bodies, she explained that, as an undergraduate, she was regularly invited by "a senior, immensely overweight, architectural historian in my faculty" (Hubert - "Huge" - Plummer) on Saturday afternoon drives in his Mini to look around the buildings and monuments of Northamptonshire, often followed by dinner. No advances were made, and she learned a "tremendous amount", but today, "this would be a sackable offence". "It's not always easy to know where to draw the line," Beard suggests, and she regrets the closing down of "an area of sociability between dons and undergraduates".

As a graduate student, Beard picked up on new intellectual trends within the profession, including a preference for the study of social structures over political narrative, and a postmodernist questioning of the nature of evidence - the extent to which ancient writers can be read as describing reliably what their world was like. "If there was one advantage in being a woman in classics then," she recalls, "it was the licence it gave me to be more intellectually modish, to explore the edges of the discipline ... We took up Mary Douglas and said 'yippee', though it wasn't long before we began to critique anthropological methods." Beard was offered a teaching post at King's College London in 1979, where she stayed for five years before returning to Cambridge as the only female lecturer in the faculty.

Her first book, the student-favourite Rome in the Late Republic, written with Michael Crawford, drew on such innovative approaches, but was also a "marvellous crib". Classics: A Very Short Introduction, written with John Henderson, has found an even larger audience, not least because it opens up "our relationship with the ancient world".

In 2000 she published a study of Jane Ellen Harrison, also a Newnham scholar, as well as a suffragette, a Bloomsburyite, and the ideal prototype of an ebullient, media-savvy classicist. Harrison rode the wave of popularity for Greek antiquity at the end of the 19th century, giving theatrical lectures to audiences of over 1,000 on such obscure subjects as Attic grave stelae.

Yet when, in the following year, Beard herself achieved an equivalent level of fame, the experience wasn't entirely welcome. Invited alongside other contributors by the LRB to give an immediate response to the 9/11 attacks and the coverage they had received, she wrote of "the feeling that, however tactfully you dress it up, the United States had it coming. That is, of course, what many people openly or privately think" (she had just seen "an edition of Question Time with an audience that was distinctly anti-American"). All hell broke loose, with Beard becoming the focus of fierce criticism, in Britain and especially America. The London Review removed her name and address from its list of subscribers "in case somebody did something nasty".

At first she ignored all the hate mail, but then changed her mind: "Isn't intellectual life about having an argument? So I started to write back, explaining that of course I wasn't saying those people deserved to die, but simply that there was a connection, or people perceived a connection, between American geopolitics and what had happened. I had many wonderful exchanges ... and developed many email friends ... it was really moving."

Does she regret writing it? "In some ways it did me good: no one had heard of me before. But I am aware that there are people I'd have liked to have more to do with intellectually who have been put off me. Was I wrong to say it at that moment? No. You can't always worry about offending people." She adds that in today's changed political climate it is now conventional to highlight the association between terrorism and America's foreign policy.

No direct comparisons are made between the ancient world and today's political situation in The Roman Triumph, an exploration of the lavish parades held in honour of conquering generals on their return to Rome. But at the heart of the book, Beard says, is the idea that "victory is never easy". Even after a war, it is sometimes difficult to decide who has won: the defeated can become the stars. "People who exploit others come to spend an enormous amount of energy wondering about and justifying that exploitation."

She has long been uncomfortable with the accepted view of Romans as "unreflective, single-minded brutes", poor relations of the sophisticated Greeks. "How we think about Rome is how they thought about it in the 19th century. As soon as it was decided that the Greeks were not in fact nasty wimps who had dangerous sexual practices and indulged in mob rule, but were rather elevated types who invented all our institutions and were agonistic and intellectually originary, the Romans were forced to fill the role of the thuggish anti-type." To prove finally the mistaken nature of this dichotomy, Beard decided to show that even a battle ceremony was endlessly questioned, reinvented and ridiculed: "It exposes all kinds of intellectual anxieties."

And the triumph has an obvious significance for a scholar interested in how later cultures have appropriated Rome: Renaissance princes were awarded triumphs, as was Napoleon, as was Mussolini. Beard points to the ubiquity of triumphal arches, and to the frequency with which the word "triumph" is used by all of us. She even sees a parallel in victorious football teams parading through a city on open-topped buses.

The subject of her Sather lectures will be "laughter in Rome", but before she writes them, she is due to finish a book about Pompeii, which will, in part, try to think about the experience of tourists wandering around the ancient town: "What do they look at? And how do they look at it?"

Pompeii has long been a site of mass tourism and, like Hollywood blockbusters, offers itself up to an interpretation combining scholarly expertise with a willingness to be populist. Beard has had an enthusiastic response to her blog, which ranges from discussions of America as the new Rome to a list of "10 things the makers of 300 got right". Rome and Greece are everywhere, she says. "It's a great time to be a classicist."

Interesting/expected that they don't mention her blog at the Times ... we have a link to a review of her Triumph tome below ...
(also) Seen in passing at USA Weekend, inter alia, from a piece speculating on what publicists of various historical personnages might have said:

Press release: January 41 B.C. From the publicist of Cleopatra Recently, several rumors have surfaced about our supreme leader of Egypt and a Roman triumvir named Mark Antony after the two were spotted together at the Senate's annual White Party. It should be stated for the record that Cleopatra and Mr. Antony are just good friends. They enjoy each other's platonic company, and they have several mutual interests, including travel, cooking and blood-thirsty gladiator sports. Mr. Antony remains happily married to his Roman wife, Fulvia, who supports his frequent business trips to Egypt.

Today, Mr. Antony is proud to announce that his business in Egypt will be expanding, as he has formed a joint partnership with Cleopatra to further study the relationship between their two great civilizations. This wonderful partnership will allow for Mr. Antony to stay in Cleopatra's royal suite for an extended period of time so that he may get a firsthand look at Egyptian society. No further details are available at this time. Thank you.

... but I can't help but wonder ... were' MA and Cleo ever in Rome together?
Mentioned in a larger piece on the Greek foreign ministrix's travels ... from ANA:

During her visit to London, Bakoyannis met with the British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles and thanked them for their tremendous and ongoing efforts over the past years, stressing that Athens' goal was to reunite the Marbles being held at the British Museum in London with those in Greece.

"They do not only belong to Greece but the world has a right to see them united at the new Acropolis Museum," she said.

... this seems to be a new tactic ... for the longest time, Greek officials were insisting that the Marbles 'belong to Greece' (not the world) ... the 'world' thing is what the BM has been insisting upon. Now we'll see how they bridge that argument to some "right" to see them in a Museum in Greece (after tearing down the Art Deco house, of course).

Antigone (Shreveport)

Antigone (UTenn, Knoxville)

Argonautika (Berkeley)
... another

Alceste (DVD)

Of related interest:



BP Lecture Theatre, The British Museum,
Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG

Prometheus was the rebel Titan who defied Zeus to steal the divine fire and
gave comforts and skills to the mortals on the earth. As the introducer of
fire and inventor of human technology, Prometheus has been seen as the
patron of human civilization, and his story has given a rich legacy to the
arts, crafts, myths and literature of Western culture. This lively and
enjoyable study day offers illustrated presentations by classicists, film
and stagecraft experts and museum curators. They take a close look at film
screenings, stage productions and artefacts to examine the reception of the
Prometheus myth and its dramatisation for stage and screen.

Members of the sponsoring bodies and any guests and non-members are welcome.
Tea and coffee are included in the cost of the day, but participants should
make their own arrangements for lunch.

Cost - £28; Friends of the British Museum & Hellenic Society members - £24;
students & concessions - £18


10-00 am Registration

10-30 am Introduction: Professor Oliver Taplin (University of Oxford)

10-40 am Dr Pantelis Michelakis (University of Bristol) "Prometheus in early

11-40 am Coffee

12-05 am Professor Edith Hall (Royal Holloway, University of London)
"Working-class heroes: Harrison’s Prometheus and the quest for a public poetry"

13-05 pm Lunch – please make your own arrangements

14-20 pm Professor Lorna Hardwick & Mrs Carol Gillespie (Open University)
"What kind of Prometheus do the moderns create?"

15-20 pm Tea

15-45 pm Dr Alexandra Villing (British Museum) "From Archaic Greece to Oskar
Kokoschka: Picturing Prometheus in the arts"

16-15 pm Mr Russell Shone (Hellenic Society) "Performing Prometheus Bound"

17-00 pm Close

To book, please contact The Box Office, The British Museum, Great Russell
Street, London WC1B 3DG - tel: 020 7323 8181.

or application forms can be downloaded from the Hellenic Society website @

Full Details of Sessions:

Prometheus in early cinema
Pantelis Michelakis (University of Bristol) will explore the reception of
Prometheus in early cinema: from the now lost film adaptation of the myth by
Louis Feuillade in 1908, to the film of Eva Palmer’s stage production of
Prometheus Bound in the Delphic Festival of 1928, Ted Shawn’s dance as a
bound Prometheus in 1929, and Ivan Kavaleridze’s Ukrainian adaptation of the
myth in 1935, which Stalin condemned for its lack of realism. The
presentation will be illustrated with slides and film-clips.

Working-class heroes: Harrison’s Prometheus and the quest for a public
poetry Edith Hall (Royal Holloway, University of London and Director of the
University of Oxford’s Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama)
will ask how Tony Harrison’s feature film looks at the tension between the
élite associations of the classics and the importance of the myth of
Prometheus to the twentieth-century dream of working-class liberation. The
context of the 1984 miners’ strike can illuminate Harrison’s project to find
a mythical language that promotes, rather than excludes, the proletariat’s
perspective. The presentation will be illustrated with film-clips.

What kind of Prometheus do the moderns create?
Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie (Project Director and Project Officer for
The Reception of the Texts and Images of Ancient Greece in Late
Twentieth-Century Drama and Poetry in English at the Open University) will
look at how modern writers from Ted Hughes to Tom Paulin draw on drama,
myth, images and the anthropology and politics of performance to create
their Prometheus. They will discuss differing implications for ideas about
civilisation and the hero, and make some suggestions about possible future

From Archaic Greece to Oskar Kokoschka: Picturing Prometheus in the arts
Alexandra Villing (British Museum) will explore the way the story of
Prometheus has inspired artists from the 6th century BC to the 21st century
AD, and how it reflects the changing concerns of people through the ages.
Looking in detail at artefacts in the British Museum as well as images from
across the world, she traces the development of images of Prometheus and how
they functioned as a catalyst for humanity to contemplate vital questions
such as the relationship between man and god, suffering as part of the human
condition, class struggle, and ambiguous attitudes towards technological

Performing Prometheus Bound
Russell Shone (Hellenic Society and Director of Chloë Productions) will
examine the staging of Prometheus Bound: from original 5th Century Athenian
stagecraft, to the famous renaissance of Greek play performances in Delphi
in the 1920s, and to modern stagings, including an analysis of the Chloë
performance at Riverside Studios, London in 1998. The presentation will be
illustrated with slides, extracts and a demonstration of masks/costumes.
From The Age:

Colleen McCullough, Antony and Cleopatra

From the Dispatch:

Peter Ackroyd, The Fall of Troy

From the L.A. Times

Peter Ackroyd, The Fall of Troy

From the Guardian:

James Davidson, The Greeks and Greek Love

From the Times of London:

Mary Beard, The Roman Triumph

From BMCR:

Florian Ebeling, The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus: Hermeticism from Ancient to Modern Times. Translated from the German by David Lorton.

S. A. Barney, W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, O. Berghof (trans.), The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville. With the collaboration of M. Hall.

Sabine MacCormack, On the Wings of Time. Rome, the Incas, Spain and Peru.

Carlos Megino Rodriguez, Orfeo y el orfismo en la poesia de Empe/docles: influencias y paralelismos. Coleccion de Estudios, 98.

Brisson on Baracat on Luc Brisson

Sophie Minon, Les Inscriptions Eleennes Dialectales (VI-II siecle avant J.-C.). Volume I: Textes. Volume II: Grammaire et Vocabulaire Institutionnel.

Clemente Marconi, Temple Decoration and Cultural Identity in the Archaic Greek World: The Metopes of Selinus.

Will Bowden, Adam Gutteridge, Carlos Machado, Social and Political Life in Late Antiquity. Late Antique Archaeology 3.1.

From RBL

Hans-Josef Klauck, Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Context and Exegesis

Derek Krueger, ed., Byzantine Christianity

Hershel Shanks, (ed), Where Christianity Was Born: A Collection from the Biblical Archaeology Society

... is up and running again. Here are the latest headlines:

Lost novel by Alexander Dumas found / Italian Blue Helmets take control in Lebanon / Bhutto released from house arrest

University of Windsor
Classics Undergraduate Conference

Call for Papers

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Humanities Research Group is pleased to sponsor its third annual Classics Undergraduate Conference to be held on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8, 2008. The conference will open on Friday with a talk by Dr. Martin Beckmann of the University of Western Ontario entitled: "Postcards from the Past? Roman Buildings on Coins".

Undergraduate majors in Classical Civilization or related fields are invited to submit abstracts (of 300 words maximum) for a 15 to 20 minute talk on any aspect of ancient Greece or Rome. Please include name and student number as well as a phone number or e-mail address with your submission, which is to be made to Dr. Max Nelson (who can be contacted by e-mail at mnelson AT The deadline for the submission of abstracts is January 31, 2008. Notification of acceptance will be given by February 15, 2008.
ante diem v idus novembres

ludi Plebeii (day 6) -- the Jupiterfest continues

2348 B.C. -- the Great Flood began (according to Polyhistor)

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Orestes in Cappadocia
polyglot @

terriculament@ Worthless Word for the Day

habile @ Wordsmith

MAY 9-10, 2008

This conference seeks to shed new light on the formation patterns and structural differences and similarities between family and household in ancient societies from the western Mediterranean to China. In an attempt to initiate conversations between ancient historians, archaeologists, and social anthropologists of all regions and periods of the ancient world, the conference welcomes papers from across disciplines. Comparative approaches and proposals that use new methods of analysis or interpretation of documentary evidence, are particularly welcome.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to:
* Cross-disciplinary definitions of households (beyond Hajnal’s and Laslett’s models of nuclear, extended and joint families)
* Physical configurations of houses/households
* Household formations: Ideals and Reality (e.g. the influence of demographic regimes, social class and economic forces)
* oeconomia: household as enterprise (labor recruitment, migration and the
gendered division of labor)
* Inter- and intragenerational conflict and support within the household (hierarchy, authority and rules of succession)

All papers are limited to a reading time of twenty minutes and will be followed by twenty minutes of discussion. By November 30, proposals (not to exceed the equivalent of one page, typewritten double-spaced) should be sent with contact information to either Anna Boozer, Sabine Huebner, or Jinyu Liu at:

ISAW - Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
15 East 84th Street
New York, NY 10028
Email: isaw.household.conference AT


Friday 25th January 2008

Council Chambers, University of Manchester, Manchester

Papers are invited for the above one day conference next January on any
linguistic topic relating to an 'ancient' language, broadly termed. Topics
might include - ancient scripts, phonology, morphology, syntax,
sociolinguistics, etymology etc. as well as theoretical and methodological
approaches to the study of languages which are no longer spoken. Papers on any
language or language family are welcome.

The aim of this day is to bring together primarily, but not exclusively,
postgraduate students working on ancient languages in an academic but informal
setting for an exchange of ideas and discussion of issues we all share. After
the papers there will be a wine reception and a meal to which all participants
are invited.

Papers should be 20 minutes in length, followed by 10 minutes of discussion.
Abstracts of a maximum of 300 words in PDF or Word format should be sent to by 5th December 2007. Those accepted will
be informed by email shortly after this date, and a full programme and
registration details will be published by 12th December on the
ancientpglinguistics list and the conference section of the website.

Manchester has excellent transport links to the rest of the UK and further
afield, and the University is only a 10 minute bus ride from the city's main
railway station, Manchester Piccadilly. The colloquium will take place in the
Victorian heart of the University, the Whitworth Building on Oxford Road, see for further information.
There is a wealth of accommodation available in Manchester of varying price
(and quality) if needed - further details on travel and accommodation can be
sent on request. Please note that unfortunately no funding is available for
travel and accommodation expenses. For any other questions please also email
amy.coker AT
The Department of Classics and Ancient History, and the Humanities Research
Centre, at the University of Warwick are co-organizing a one day conference
“Discourses of War in the Roman World from Julius Caesar to Heraclius”. It
will be held on Saturday, March 8th, 2008, at the University of Warwick in
Coventry (UK).

The study of war in the Roman world has long been of interest to scholars
both ancient and modern. And, although Roman studies – and more broadly
Classics – has been a relative latecomer to the “cultural turn” which
suffuses the humanities, this has changed and the cultural dimension of the
ancient world has garnered the attention of a number of scholars. For all
the attention devoted to war, and culture, in the Roman world, the two
facets have not coalesced as of yet, and they continue to be discussed
largely independently of each other. With the recent release of Ted
Lendon’s important book Soldiers and Ghosts (2005), which looked at the
role of culture in the changing practices of war in the Greek and Roman
worlds through an examination of the way that war was described and
practised, there are signs that this is starting to change. The aim of
this conference is to consider some of the issues raised by Ted Lendon’s
Soldiers and Ghosts, and in particular his discussion of the relationship
between the discourses of war and reality in the Roman world, with special
emphasis on the period from Caesar to Heraclius.

The speakers for the conference are:
Ted Lendon (University of Virginia), - ‘What Roman Soldiers
Thought About Each Other: Patterns of Solidarity in Roman Military
Harry Sidebottom (Oxford University) – ‘Battle in the Greek
Novels: the Ideological uses of fighting in popular fiction, or John
Buchan meets Heliodorus’
Hugh Elton (University of Trent, Canada) - ‘How to Write History’
(with apologies to Lucian and Lendon
Boris Rankov (Royal Holloway, London) – ‘Milites, masks and mock-
Simon James (University of Leicester) - ‘On Soldiering and War:
the verbal, the visual and the material in soldierly discourses’
Michael Whitby (University of Warwick) – tbc
Doug Lee (University of Nottingham) – ‘Heroic emulation and warfare
in late antiquity’
James Howard-Johnston (Oxford University) – ‘The Last Great War of
Antiquity: Contemporary Narratives’
Adrian Goldsworthy – tbc

For more information, the provisional programme, and a booking form, please
visit our website:

All enquiries should be directed to Conor Whately at
c.c.whately AT
8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Searching For Lost Worlds: Atlantis - Mystery Of The Minoans
A lost civilization uncovered at Knossos, Crete in the early 1900s displayed many similarities to Plato's descriptions of Atlantis; but in 1939, it was proposed that the island of Thera might be the lost city.

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)
ante diem vi idus novembres

mundus patet -- the mundus was a ritual pit which had a sort of vaulted cover on it. Three times a year the Romans removed this cover (August 24, Oct. 5 and November 8) at which time the gates of the underworld were considered to be opened and the manes (spirits of the dead) were free to walk the streets of Rome. [can anyone confirm for me that the Celtic Gwynn ap Nudd 'opened the gates to the underworld' on this day too?]

ludi Plebeii (day 5) -- the festival in honour of Jupiter continues

30 A.D. -- birth of the future emperor Nerva
ameliorate @

Antaean @ Worthless Word for the Day

perfervid @ Wordsmith

fungible @ Merriam-Webster
From the Telegraph:

Andrew Pindar rescues dismasted Artemis

Here's an interesting Roman Imperial marble statue of Athena enthroned. The official description page tells us it is a miniature version of the Minerva of the Capitoline Triad (so why is it billed as Athena?).

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
From Spalding Today:

Significant discoveries from the Roman era have been made during an archaeological dig in Spalding.
The 2005 excavations in Wygate Park, on land being developed by Allison Homes, turned up Roman artefacts including pottery, a leather shoe and materials used to extract salt from seawater.

The site also shows evidence of metal working.

Project manager Mike Wood, of Heckington-based firm Archaeological Planning Services, is giving a talk next week on the findings, which he says "puts Spalding on the map" as far as this period is concerned.

He added: "Most people thought it was under the water. This is the first site in the Fenland area to have been excavated on this scale to have a saltern and a settlement."

The site is believed to have spanned from the late Iron Age through to the late third/early fourth century AD – the early Roman period.

Mr Wood added: "What makes it interesting is it maps how people manipulated the environment and how they adapted to a changing Fenland environment.

"For periods it would be very wet and difficult to use and at other times it would be dry and
suitable for settlement.

"The main component was a salt making site from the late Iron Age. This was a very common practice in the Fenland as salt was a valuable commodity."

Mr Wood said the site shows there was a pastoral society with animals and husbandry, typical round house dwellings which carried on through the second and third centuries.

He added: "Towards the end of the settlement's life water levels started to rise again and the landscape became untenable when it was abandoned in the fourth century and it went underwater again until medieval times.

Items found at the site have been taken away for examination now the dig is finished and a journal detailing the findings is due to be published next year.
Antigone (UTenn)

Caligula (Washington Shakespeare Company)

Trojan Women 2.0 (OSU)


Hecuba and Dido: Love Gone Wrong

Antigone (Shreveport)
From ANSA:

The hunt is on for the 'travelling companions' of a 2,400-year-old bronze satyr fished out of the sea off Sicily eight years ago.

On Wednesday morning, in a patch of sea between Sicily and Tunisia, a research ship began scanning the seabed with sophisticated sonar equipment able to spot objects as small as an ancient amphora.

The Dancing Satyr, retrieved from the same patch of water in March 1998, is one of Italy's most important marine archaeological finds ever - second only to the famed Riace Bronzes.

Sicily's maritime culture officials are convinced that more objects of the same type have been lying on the sea floor ever since the ancient ship carrying the original satyr sank.

The search operation is being financed by Italian energy group ENI, which has long experience of scanning ocean floors in order to lay underwater cables and pipes.

"It's a dream come true," said Giorgio Macaddino, mayor of Mazara del Vallo, the west Sicilian town which has become famous thanks to the Dancing Satyr now in its museum.

Archaeologists and other experts aboard the search vessel will examine the signals and images produced by the sonar system. If anything interesting emerges a diving bell will be sent down to the sea bed for a closer look.

The 2-metre-high bronze figure found by fishermen from Mazara eight years ago is thought to have been part of a group including Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility, and other satyrs, fauns and mythological creatures.

The satyr's origin is still a riddle. Some think it is the work of the fabled ancient Greek sculptor Praxiteles but others believe it is a Roman copy.

Although it is missing both arms and one leg, its cocked head, tossed hair, torso and bounding leg are remarkably well-preserved.

Art restorers spent four years cleaning the sculpture and fitting it with a steel bracing to help it stand upright.

It was the star attraction in the Italian pavilion at Japan's World Expo trade and culture fair in 2005, attracting some 10,000 visitors a day.

Thousands also flocked to see it when it went on display in Rome in 2004 and museums such as the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan in New York have been clamouring to be lent the piece ever since.
... now has a website for updates about the 2008 meeting ...
University of Nottingham

Institute for the Study of Slavery (ISOS)



'Slaves, Cults and Religions'

8-10 September 2008

This conference will examine the cultic and religious activities of slaves and persons from other unfree statuses. Its span embraces any part of the world in any period from antiquity to the present day. Speakers already intending to participate include colleagues from Brazil and North America, as well as Europe and the UK.

ISOS was originally founded by the late Thomas Wiedemann (Professor of Latin at the University of Nottingham), as the International Centre for the History of Slavery (ICHOS). It maintains ICHOS' original aim of giving major attention to ancient slavery alongside slavery in more recent times. Papers on the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds are therefore particularly welcome. The keynote conference speakers include Professor John North (UCL).

Papers may cover cults and religions initiated by slaves themselves, or slave/unfree participation in private or public cults or organised religions controlled by the free population or master class.

Papers are equally welcome from historians of slavery and from historians of cults and religions with an interest in slave/unfree agency and participation.

Proposals, including a brief abstract (250 words), should be sent to the Co-Directors: Professor Stephen Hodkinson, Department of Classics (stephen.hodkinson AT and/or Professor Dick Geary, School of History (dick.geary AT

Master of Arts in Classics at the University of Arizona

The Classics Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson would like to introduce you to our Classics M.A. program, which has enjoyed remarkable growth since its inception in the 1980s and continues to expand. It is now regarded as one of the premier M.A. programs in the United States. To complement its well-established program in Classical Archaeology and Classical Philology, the University of Arizona has recently implemented M.A. degree tracks in Ancient History and Latin Pedagogy.

* Students may emphasize Classical Philology, Classical Archaeology, Ancient History, or Latin Pedagogy. For specific program requirements, please visit our website,, and click on “Graduate Program”.

* Qualified Graduate Teaching Assistants may teach their own sections in our Basic Latin and Summer Intensive Latin Programs. Qualified students may also serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants in the Modern Greek Program.

* M.A. students are encouraged to participate in summer fieldwork directed by departmental faculty in Italy, Greece, and Egypt.

* Our graduates have gone on to top ranked Ph.D. programs in both Classical Archaeology and Classical Philology. Graduates whose emphasis is Latin Pedagogy have taken appointments in secondary schools and community colleges throughout the country.

* A number of Graduate Fellowships, Teaching and Research Assistantships, as well as waivers of tuition and fees, are available.

The Department of Classics normally has about thirty graduate students in residence. These students enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Tucson and its surrounding mountain ranges, its benign desert climate ("it's a dry heat"), and a relatively low cost of living. Interested students are invited to visit the department, or to contact any of our faculty or student representatives.

Applications for fall 2008 are due February 15; the deadline for international students is January 15. For more information, please get in touch directly with Professor David Christenson, Director of Graduate Studies (christed AT / 520-621-5326). Haec Studia Floreant!

M.A. in Classics with Emphasis in Latin Pedagogy
(33 credit hours)

1. Proficiency in French, German, or Italian.
2. 3 units of Methodology.
3. Qualifying examination in Latin (translation) and in either Greek (translation) or Roman Archaeology.
4. 18 units of Latin author courses including 3 units of Latin Pedagogy.
5. Minimum of 3 seminar units.
6. 6 additional units in Classics/History, Greek, or Latin courses.
7. Comprehensive examinations in Latin Literature and in Greek Literature or Roman Archaeology or Ancient History.
8. 23 units in the College of Education and 12 units of student teaching (all undergraduate units).
9. 3 units of Action Research Project.

M.A. in Classics with Emphasis in Ancient History
(33 credit hours)

1. Proficiency in French, German, or Italian.
2. 3 units of Methodology.
3. Qualifying examination in Greek and Roman History.
4. Graduate level proficiency in one classical language, upper-level undergraduate proficiency in the other.
5. Minimum of 6 seminar units.
6. 21 units in Classics/History, Greek, or Latin courses.
7. Comprehensive examinations in Greek History, Roman History, and one in either Greek or Roman Archaeology OR in
Greek or Latin Literature
8. 3 units of thesis credit.

M.A. in Classics with Emphasis in Classical Archaeology
(33 credit hours)

1. Proficiency in French, German, or Italian.
2. 3 units of Methodology.
3. Qualifying examination in Greek and Roman Archaeology.
4. Graduate level proficiency in one classical language, upper-level undergraduate proficiency in the other.
5. 18-21 units of Greek and Roman Archaeology courses.
6. Minimum of 6 seminar units.
7. 9 units may be applied to a secondary (i.e. minor) area, including Greek and Latin languages.
8. Comprehensive examinations in Greek Archaeology, Roman Archaeology, and Ancient History.
9. 3 units of thesis credit.

M.A. in Classics with Emphasis in Classical Philology
(33 credit hours)

1. Proficiency in French, German, or Italian.
2. 3 units of Methodology.
3. Qualifying (translation) examination in Greek and Latin.
4. 12 units of Greek author courses and 12 units of Latin author courses.
5. 3 units of additional graduate-level work in Archaeology, Greek, or Latin.
6. Comprehensive examinations in Greek Literature, Latin Literature, and Ancient History.
7. 3 units of thesis credit.

For more detailed information see:

ante diem vii idus novembres

ludi Plebeii (day 4) -- the major festival in honour of Jupiter continues

63 B.C. -- Cicero accuses Lucius Sergius Catilina of various misdeeds (the so-called Second Catilinarian Conspiracy) ...

8 B.C. -- Death of Maecenas, patron of Vergil, Horace, and many other artists in Augustan Rome
fealty @

indehiscent @ Worthless Word for the Day

contumelious @ Wordsmith

mollify @
There seems to be some dispute brewing about the origins of Orpheus ... from Focus-Fen:

FOCUS: Professor Foll, in today’s edition of the Macedonian Utrinski Vesnik newspaper it is said that mythical Orpheus is a Macedonian, that he is associated with the best Macedonian myths and it is even supposed that he has created the alphabet. Do Macedonians have any grounds to make such statement?
Valeria Foll: No, they don’t. The Macedonians have no grounds to claim that. I must say that I wrote a book, which is about to be released soon, called “Orpheus, the Thracian”. I guess it will come out by the end of the month.

FOCUS: What is known about Orpheus that can give the Macedonians grounds to declare he is a Macedonian?
Valeria Foll: The Orphism, which we call Thracian, as it is a set of religious beliefs and practices that covers some vast territory during the second half of the second millennium before Christ. This set of religious beliefs and practices is spread in East Macedonia. Due to the different historic fate of the Hellenic Republic and Macedonia, this religious believe starts fading away. In the late era of the Hellenic Republic, with the establishment of the “polises” (English: cities) and after that, this set of religious beliefs and practices disappears, expect for in some high-mountain regions, where the population continues to profess it. However, in Thrace this faith is professed on two levels – on aristocratic and mass level, and thus it is called Thracian Orphism. The written sources show some definite connection between Orpheus and Thrace, as Orpheus is not a historical person, but a metaphor to the Thracian high priest kings. There is no person that has lived and died called Orpheus. Orpheus identifies the Thracian high priest kings.

FOCUS: In what does this statement find expression then?
Valeria Foll: The Macedonians are seeking their identity back in the remote past. The present Macedonian state has nothing in common with the Macedonia of the past. This is generally known. At present, I’d say that there is some terminological war going on. There are some terminological thefts made. Unfortunately, Bulgaria does not take care of its scientists, who are dedicated to this science. But yet I’ll tell you that the Institute for Thracian Studies makes everything it can. Previously, I told you about my book. In the beginning of next year, we will launch the Ancient Thrace academic encyclopedia on the web. We are fighting for funds for its English edition. The on-line encyclopedia is developed by the Bulgarian Academy of Science, on the part of the Institute for Thracian Studies, hoping that thus we will be able to popularize the cultural-historical heritage. I want to stress the fact that the Thracians lived not only on the territory of Bulgaria. The Thracian ethnos has covered some vast territory, starting from river valley of Dnieper - Dniester, to the South Carpathian Mountains, then down on the river valley of Vardar, the North Aegean Sea coast and the contiguous islands and the Northwestern Anatolia. I.e. the Thracians have occupied the territories of present Bulgaria, Romania, parts of Serbia and Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, and South Ukraine. Thrace’s heat is in Bulgaria. This is the historical chance given to us, as the Odrysian Kingdom was the most powerful kingdom of all the Thracian kingdoms, which have been numerous, and the heart of this kingdom occupied the territory of present Bulgaria. In fact, part of Thrace’s heart is located in Turkey too, in the European Turkey.

FOCUS: What do you think about the attempts to involve history in politics?
Valeria Foll: I consider and have always considered this as something really bad – that is what my husband has taught me. Science must not get involved with politics. The Institute for Thracian Studies, in its 35-year existence has never dared to render some political notion to the ancient history of Bulgaria. I am glad that we have always aimed and made success, especially abroad, exactly because of the high level of science, which lacks any political notion. Unfortunately, recently politics takes advantage of history, I do not speak about the Bulgarians, but about the Macedonians, because of their personal conflicts, and force us bind to their level. In addition, I want to mention that our colleagues, Macedonian scientists, make some serious researches and the scientists have not worked out such insinuations, like the article in question. These insinuations were not created by our colleagues. We are in good terms with our Macedonian colleagues, who do not write such ridiculous things. There is no such nonsense in their studies. On scientific level, we have no problems with our Macedonian colleagues. Unfortunately, it is for the political figures to cause such problems. My appeal to the political figures is to stop interfering in our work.
Brief item from Reuters Italia (can't find this one in English yet):

Reperti archeologici per il valore di un milione di dollari circa sono stati recuperati negli Stati Uniti, riferisce una nota del Comando tutela patrimonio culturale dei carabinieri.

Le opere sono state riconsegnate da un importante antiquario americano informato "della provenienza illecita dall'Italia e sulla scorta delle recenti restituzioni da parte delle maggiori istituzioni museali statunitensi".

Tra le opere, si legge nelle nota, spiccano un'"oinochoe pontica", ovvero un vaso a forma di brocca, attribuita al pittore di Tityos, del 530 a.C., e un'anfora attica a figure nere del gruppo di Leagros, del 510 a.C., con la raffigurazione del rapimento di Teti.

I'm not sure whether this piece from Bloomberg is referring to the same thing:

New York art dealer Jerome Eisenberg returned eight pieces of ancient art valued at about $510,000 to Italy, one of the first private gallery owners to turn over antiquities which the government says were illegally removed from the country.

``I gave back the works for ethics and good will,'' Eisenberg said in a telephone interview from the Basel Ancient Art Fair. His action, he said, may convince other dealers to return objects of questionable provenance.

Eisenberg, 77, is the founder and director of Royal-Athena Galleries in New York and a dealer in Etruscan and Roman art. He helped Italian authorities recover some items that already had been sold on to collectors, Italian officials said at a press conference in Rome today.

``The circle is tightening,'' said Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli. ``Not only are museums returning items after complex negotiations, but collectors and dealers are doing the same.''

Rutelli, 53, has been leading Italy's campaign to recover pilfered artworks. His biggest success came in August when the J. Paul Getty Trust agreed to hand over 40 antiquities, including a statue of Aphrodite that Italian officials said had been looted from Sicily. Italy also has recovered works from museums in Boston, Princeton and New York, Rutelli said.

The items from Eisenberg include three bronze Etruscan statues, four vases and a marble sculpture, said Giovanni Nistri, head of the cultural section of Italy's military police.

Spotted by Italians

Italian authorities became aware of the pieces after spotting some of them on display in Eisenberg's Royal-Athena Galleries.

Eisenberg said increasing awareness about looted items on the international market made his shopping more difficult. ``Our biggest problem is buying, not selling,'' he said.

Eisenberg has sold over 30,000 antiquities over the past 45 years to U.S. and European museums, including some 500 works of ancient art, according to a biography on the Web site of the Public Broadcasting Service program Antiques Roadshow, for which he is an appraiser.

Eisenberg said two of those works were last year shipped back to Italy when Boston's Museum of Fine Arts repatriated the items purchased from his New York gallery.

[(very quick) UPDATE] Il Messaggero suggests these are both the same event ...
Coming up to auction at Sotheby's is this piece ... a late Sixth Century Etruscan black figure stamnos attributed to the Micali Painter. The official description page (for which you have to register now ... is that new?) is very sparse on other details, other than to identify as provenance two previous Sotheby's auctions.

Precious little on the web about the Micali painter, even though Nigel Spivey 'wrote the book' on same a couple of decades ago ...
2.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Unsolved History: Trojan Horse
Greek poet Homer writes of an abducted princess, a 10-year siege of the city of Troy and a clever trick in the form of a wooden horse that brought the war to a swift and bloody end; but how much of the story is fact – and how much is romanticized fiction?

9.00 p.m. |HINT|The Trial of Jesus
Shockingly little is known, historically, about the trial and execution of Jesus. What actions resulted in his death? Who was responsible for his trial and sentencing? How did his ministry pass down through the ages? Why do most biblical scholars insist that the gospel account can't be true? Through literary detective work, historical art imagery, and commentary from respected biblical scholars, we bring First-Century Judea to life--a land of messianic messengers in a time of revolution.

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)
HINT = History International
Maecenas @ Merriam-Webster

aliterate @ Wordsmith
ante diem viii idus novembres

ludi Plebeii (day 3) -- the major festival in honour of Jupiter continues

63 B.C. -- Lucius Sergius Catilina and his co-conspirators meet, with nefarious plans for the morrow

15 (or 16) A.D. -- birth of Julia Agrippina ("the younger"), daughter of Germanicus, sister to the emperor Gaius (Caligula), mother of the emperor Nero, wife of the emperor Claudius ... a very powerful woman

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
Harry Mount in the

And is it true? Are the long-held dreams of a thousand bachelor teachers, their shoulders sprinkled with dandruff and chalk-dust, coming to life? Is the great Latin revival happening? After half a century of decline, when the teaching of Latin retreated to a few small brave frontier outposts -- American prep schools, British public schools and the Vatican -- is it back?

The answer is -- yes...a bit. The dead language is showing some small signs of recovery; mere glimmers, perhaps, but significant all the same. Chief of the Latin Revival Club is Pope Benedict XVI, who on September 14 made it easier for Catholics to attend the Tridentine Mass, celebrated almost entirely in Latin, and set out by Pope Pius V in 1570. With this masterstroke, the Pope has single-handedly ended a battle fought by modernists for 40 years to end the Latin Mass.

The old Latin rite is a splendid sight -- the priest celebrates High Mass with his back to the congregation, intoning the Latin liturgy amid puffs of incense, throwing in gobbets of Greek and Hebrew too. Prayers are said at the foot of the altar, matched to a complicated series of genuflections, bows and crossings of the chest.

Although Pope Benedict has quite rightly been celebrated as the driving force behind the Latin revival, his predecessor did his bit, too. Pope John Paul II was the first to remove major restrictions on the Latin Mass in the early 1980s. In 2001, he hurried the Vatican's return to Latin when he signed off the directive, Liturgiam Authenticam, demanding translations of the liturgy that are closer to Latin.

The Old Testament may have been written in Hebrew, the New in Greek, but it was in Latin that the medieval priest principally read and in Latin that he spoke in church.

It is in the translation from the Latin, too, that worshippers were used to hearing the liturgy. Confusingly, the Latin Church used a Greek liturgy for several hundred years before adopting Latin, but it was the Latin version that stuck until Vatican II.

In America, Australia, Scotland, England and Wales, bishops have now voted to accept these new Vatican-backed translations closer to the original Latin.

So, in America for example, the prayer before communion, which had gone "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you," now goes "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof." That's much closer to the original -- "Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum."

Likewise, in the Nicene Creed, "born of the Virgin Mary" will revert to "incarnate of the Virgin Mary" ("incarnatus...ex Maria Virgine"). And, in the exchange between priest and congregation: Priest: "The Lord be with you." Congregation: "And also with you." will become: Priest: "The Lord be with you." Congregation: "And with your spirit."

Again, this is much closer to the original Latin: Priest: "Dominus Vobiscum." Congregation: "Et cum spiritu tuo."

Still, under Pope John Paul II, it was up to individual bishops whether they allowed the Latin Mass in their diocese. Pope Benedict XVI has removed that prerogative from the bishops. As a result of his apostolic letter in July, called Summorum Pontificum ("Of the Leading Popes"), issued Motu Proprio ("by his own motion"), individual priests can themselves choose to say the Latin Mass. And, what's more, individual congregations can demand that their priest says the Mass.

Hundreds of American churches are expected to demand the Latin Mass. Even before Pope Benedict XVI announced his plans to ease the restrictions, you could find five churches in New York alone that celebrate the Tridentine Mass.

ALL GOOD NEWS, THEN, for Latin fans. But even before this wonderful news, Latin was already on the up in America. The country suffered a great classics slump in the late 20th century; now the subject's booming again.

In 1905, 56 percent of American high school students studied Latin. By 1977, a mere 6,000 pupils took the National Latin Exam. That went up to 134,873 last year.

Still, let's hope that the Latin revival won't just be confined to classrooms and chancels, that the language will be used for pleasure, as well as for instruction and ritual.

Of course this new generation of Latin students will know their English grammar better by learning their actives from their passives. And priests and congregations who understand the Tridentine Mass will tend to have better written English than those without Latin.

But let's hope those students, those priests, and their congregations will enjoy some Latin literature as well as Latin grammar and Latin masses. The real point of Latin and Latin teachers is not their gift for improving your English but for improving your Latin; and so allowing you to appreciate some of the finest prose and poetry ever written.

To say you need to understand Latin to understand English, as some people do say, is as crazy as suggesting that you need to understand Anglo-Saxon, German, and Norman French to understand English. All these languages went into the pot to form English but no one suggests learning them to improve your grammar.

English is not nearly as close a relative of Latin as, say, French, and even French is a descendant through many generations. Once the Romans left Britain to the Angles and the Saxons, our native language went through several incarnations.

The language the Angles and Saxons brought with them -- Anglo-Saxon -- imported large chunks of non-Latinate words, as well as some pretty garbled bits of Latin, often borrowed via French.

And then, when the Normans came, their new brand of French imported even more Latinate words. But it was much-mutilated and diluted Latin that poured into the mix that became modern English.

THE IDEA THAT THE PURE strain of original, ancient Latin, as spoken in the Tridentine Mass and taught to increasing numbers in American schools, forms the spine of modern English is ludicrous.

In fact, the main reason you will know English better as a result of reading Latin is that it is so different from Latin, not because of any similarities. It is in computing the changes from one language to another that you are forced to think about the structure of each of them. Latin is particularly useful for this computing exercise, thanks to the very quality that it is usually attacked for -- its deadness.

Because living languages are in a constant state of flux, there's a great deal of wriggle room when translating from one to another. Precisely because Latin is dead, there's none of that flexibility. You are much more likely to be definitely wrong in a translation from Latin to English than from, say, French to English, if you haven't understood exactly what a particular word means or how a grammatical rule works.

Still, it's pretty grim to think of Latin like this, as a sort of mental gymnastics, a grim, utilitarian exercise for strengthening the mind. Yes, if the new Latin students, and the priests and congregations celebrating the Tridentine Mass, really get to know their Latin, they'll incidentally improve their English.

But -- much more wonderful than that -- they will then know world literature from the third century BC, when writers got going in Rome, through to the Golden Age of Latin -- Lucretius, Catullus, Sallust, Cicero and Caesar. They will know the Augustan Age -- Ovid, Horace, Virgil and Livy -- down to the end of the Silver Age in 120 AD: Martial, Juvenal, Lucan, Seneca, Pliny and Tacitus.

It's a pretty inspiring reading list. If they happen to pick up some grammar along the way, well, all the better, but I hope they don't forget to look out of the window and take in the beauty spots too.
The rumour mill has started slowly creaking ... Latino Review reports that the studio types are pursing Robert Rodriguez (of Sin City/From Dusk Till Dawn/etc. fame) to direct the remake of Clash of the Titans ... stay tuned ...
From IOL:

Thousands of people have signed a petition opposing the planned demolition of an Art Deco building in central Athens near the site of the new Acropolis museum.

Officials at the new museum, slated to open at the end of 2008 at the foot of the Acropolis, say the Art Deco structure, along with another building owned by the Greek composer Vangelis, impede the view from the museum's restaurant.

Demolition plans were approved by the Archaeology High Council last July and endorsed a month later by the minister of culture.

But neighbourhood residents, supported by an international petition with more than 8,000 signatures, have filed an appeal. They are also waiting for a decision from the ministry of the environment and public works on the project.

"Several foreign intellectuals have expressed support to defend the buildings, as has the president of the Athens Academy, 75 Greek architects and thousands of people who pass from the spot," architect Nikos Rousseas, who owns an office inside one of the buildings in question, told AFP on Monday.

The residents have also received support from modern Greek architecture specialist Francois Loyer of France's National Centre for Scientific Research.

The demolitions would be a major "error", according to a letter Loyer sent to Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis.

The Art Deco building was constructed in 1930 by architect Vassilis Kouremenos, who trained at the Beaux-Arts academy in Paris.

A website has been set up for the petition at
nonas novembres

ludi Plebeii (day 2) -- the major festival in honour of Jupiter continues
manque @ Merriam-Webster

riant @ Wordsmith
We've mentioned the Casts Project before ... more news from Exduco:

Shelley Hales is a lecturer in Art and Visual Culture, in the Department of Classics and Ancient History. Dry stuff, you might imagine. On the contrary, Hales is currently researching the enormous impact Pompeii has had on popular culture since its rediscovery in 1748.

On 24 August 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted over the bay of Naples, wiping out several towns and killing tens of thousands of people. The disaster was witnessed by Pliny the Younger, who was staying across the bay at Misenum, and later wrote an account of the catastrophe in two letters to the Roman historian Tacitus. They make harrowing reading:

“You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognise them [in the darkness] by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying. Many besought the aid of the gods, but still more imagined there were no gods left, and that the universe was plunged into eternal darkness for ever more.” Thus began our fascination with Pompeii, although it wasn’t to be uncovered for another 1,700 years.

In 1748, Charles III, then king of Naples, sent military engineers to explore a site called Cività, rumoured to be an ancient city. Skeletons and moulds were found in the earliest excavations and the human stories of Pompeii began to filter throughout Europe almost immediately. The remains of a wealthy woman found in the gladiators’ barracks instantly created the scandal of an aristocratic lady conducting a secret affair with a common gladiator. A group of people who suffocated in the subterranean corridors of a villa included the remains of a wealthy young girl and a man with a large key and money bags – the greedy villa owner and his beautiful daughter, perhaps? All that was left of the girl was the imprint in the ash of her ample bosom.

You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants

On show in the museum, this bosom inspired several authors, including Théophile Gautier, the French novelist, who wrote Arria Marcella (1852) about the bosom’s owner. Falling in love with the imprint, the hero finds himself seduced by her ghost in Pompeii at night, only to have his passion thwarted by daybreak as she crumbles to dust in his hands. These erotic, romantic visions allowed the audience to enjoy the lure of the ruins whilst acknowledging one of the more enduring themes associated with Pompeii, that it was punishment by the gods for the Pompeians’ decadent lifestyle. The single most famous book was Bulwer Lytton’s Last Days of Pompeii. Vesuvius erupted on the eve of publication in 1834, providing the most timely publicity.

Pompeii’s ghosts seemed to come increasingly to life as excavations progressed. No more so than the moment in the 1860s when Giuseppe Fiorelli, superintendent of the excavations, first realised a method of ‘resurrecting’ the victims whose bodies had decayed in cocoons caused by hot ash setting around their bodies as they fell.

By injecting these empty cocoons with plaster of Paris, he produced spectacular casts of humans and animals as they died. Pompeii’s petrified victims have continued to provide a crucial emotional and political connection between the humanity of present and past. After the Second World War, Primo Levi, a concentration camp survivor, used a cast of a young Pompeian girl to represent the dead children of the Holocaust and Hiroshima. More recently, after 9/11, the New York Times likened the disaster zone of Ground Zero to Pompeii, whilst the American scientist Charles Pellegrino wrote a book comparing the down-blast that felled the World Trade Towers, with the pyroclastic surges that devastated Pompeii. After Hurricane Katrina’s trail of death and destruction, the headline ‘New Orleans, New Pompeii’, was soon all over the internet. The potential of these allusions that Americans have been creating for themselves has been recognised on several Islamic internet chat sites, where contributors have revived the theme of divine retribution to claim: “The story of the destruction of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum by Mount Vesuvius are one of the most excellent signs of Allah and his treatment of the disbelievers.” These analogies show how much the classical world still anchors people today.

'New Orleans, New Pompeii' was soon all over the internet

In order to further explore modern reactions to the remains of Pompeii, Hales devised the Casts Project, a national competition for school children, in which students were shown images of the body casts and asked: Does Pompeii matter today? Can we have any connection with the victims of Vesuvius? How should we treat their remains? Should we encourage sentimental connection or look on as objective, scientific observers? As an illustration of Pompeii’s enduring appeal, she was inundated with over 200 entries, including stories, poems, essays, models, paintings, casts, plays, songs and broadcasts. The winning entries will be displayed at a conference Hales is holding later this year.

Called Ruins and Reconstructions: Pompeii in the Popular Imagination, the conference brings together academics and policy-makers with artists who have made use of the theme of Pompeii, such as the novelists Robert Harris and Lindsey Davis, and the artist Victor Burgin.

Ironically, whilst the recent surge of popular interest in Pompeii has seen the city find a wider audience than ever before, the site itself has reached a critical state of decay, and the key players are seriously considering drastic action, including closing large parts of the site to the public and possibly even reburying it. Through the conference Hales is hoping to show the policy-makers of this World Heritage Site how Pompeii continues to be a major source of inspiration to western imaginations, and that it represents far more than just an expensive ruin.

... not sure why, but the website associated with the project is no longer available. Here's some more about the project, though ...


**ABSTRACT DEADLINE: December 1st, 2007**

A conference hosted by the Stanford Archaeology Center
Stanford, California

March 1-2, 2008

with sessions chaired by:
David Mattingly
Sandra Scham
Nicola Terrenato
Peter van Dommelen
Jane Webster

Roman archaeology, as a field which studies the material heritage of the
Roman empire, holds a particular place within the broader discipline of
archaeology by virtue of its enormous geographical and chronological focus,
rich archaeological and documentary evidence, and ideological locus as the
heritage of the West. Roman archaeology therefore has great potential for
making cutting-edge contributions to the broader field of archaeology, as
well as to interdisciplinary research with, for example, anthropology,
Italian studies, and history. The conference will challenge the present
state of Roman archaeology by interrogating the current models and paradigms
at the forefront of present research, so as to develop theoretical and
methodological approaches to ask focused questions of the evidence, advance
richly contextual answers, and develop ideas with broad relevance to the
archaeology of other periods and places. Thus our aim is to forge a new
identity for Roman archaeology as an innovative branch of archaeology with
strong interdisciplinary engagements. As a result, we also encourage
conference participants to take a critical look at the contemporary context
and broader implications of the material heritage of the Roman empire (such
as issues of heritage, the practices of Roman archaeology, and the
management of material heritage) in order to evaluate the performance of the
discipline in the contemporary world and engage with the situated ethical
requirements of archaeological practice.

The conference is divided into four sessions (full session abstracts below):

-Responsibilities and Ethics


-Economies of Heritage

-Diaspora and People on the Move

We strongly encourage participants to reflect on how these themes depend on
one another, being both constitutive of, and imbricated within, the
intersecting practices and objects of study of Roman Archaeology.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words must be sent by email to
CRAC2008 AT by SATURDAY DECEMBER 1st 2007. Please include your name,
affiliation, e-mail, postal address, and the session(s) in which you think
your paper would best belong. Papers will subsequently be revised after the
conference for publication.

The authors of the accepted abstracts will be notified by DECEMBER 12th
2007. Papers will be pre-circulated before the date of the conference to
encourage more productive discussions, so final papers of no more than 20
pages (double-spaced) in length must be submitted by WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY
15th 2008 for advance circulation. Each speaker will be given 15-20 minutes
for their presentation. Further details, updates, and the papers for
advance circulation will be posted on our conference website at .

For further questions or comments, please contact the conference organizers
at CRAC2008 AT
Corisande Fenwick
Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels
Darian Totten
6.00 p.m. |HINT|History's Mysteries: Ancient Drugs
Since mankind's beginnings, and in all civilizations, we have found ways to alter our everyday consciousness in search of a greater reality. To this end, we have indulged in many frightening and often toxic substances in many different rituals. We'll look for answers to why we take mind-altering trips off the well-trod path.

HINT = History International
... off to Buffalo, to watch football (you'd think I'd had enough) and take advantage of the strength of the Canadian dollar ...
Since there seems to be a regular discussion on various lists of the (de)merits of Wikipedia, folks in the Classics community (especially you professorial types) might be interested in this AP piece (via Yahoo):

Some academics cringe when students turn to Wikipedia as a reference for term papers.

University of Washington-Bothell professor Martha Groom has more of an "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" response to the online encyclopedia that anyone can write or edit.

Instead of asking students in her environmental history course to turn in one big paper at the end of the semester, she requires them either to write an original Wikipedia article or to do a major edit on an existing one.

The inspiration came to her as she prepared teaching materials for her class.

"I would find these things on Wikipedia," she said, and would think, "Gosh, this is awfully thin here. I wonder if my students could fill this in?"

Wikipedia has been vilified as a petri dish for misinformation, and the variable accuracy of its articles is a point Groom readily concedes. Since the advent of the Web, she said, the quality of sources students cite has deteriorated.

For her students, the Wikipedia experiment was "transformative," and students' writing online proved better than the average undergrad research paper.

Knowing their work was headed for the Web, not just one harried professor's eyes, helped students reach higher — as did the standards set by the volunteer "Wikipedians" who police entries for accuracy and neutral tone, Groom said.

The exercise also gave students a taste of working in the real world of peer-reviewed research.

Most of the articles were well received, but Groom said some students caught heat from Wikipedia editors for doing exactly what college students are trained to do: write an argumentative, critical essay.

"Some people were a little rude," she said of the anonymous Wikipedia editors. Ultimately, she had to teach the students the difference between good secondary research and the average college paper.

"You don't get to say that last little bit on, 'This is why this is the truth and the way,'" she said.

... and technically, it's a publication!
From MSNBC ... a bit out of our time period I suppose:

A stolen collection of about 100 artifacts dating back more than 7,000 years — including what appear to be very early human portraits — were displayed in Greece Tuesday, for the first time since being smuggled to Germany.

The Neolithic-era artifacts were stolen by armed burglars from a private collection in Larissa, central Greece, in 1985 and seized by German police in Munich a year later. The case had been virtually forgotten until a Munich court ruled in August that the loot should be returned to Greece.

"These works are exceptional examples of the Neolithic (culture)," Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said. "We are very happy to get them back, as we consider antiquities theft a global scourge."

The 94 stone and pottery works _ statuettes, tools and tiny vases _ mostly date between 6500 and 5300 B.C. and come from the central Thessaly region, where Greece's most important Neolithic settlements have been excavated.

Archaeologist Nikos Kaltsas, director of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, said the artifacts, which are up to 5 inches high, "date to the dawn of human awareness" and appear to include portraits of Neolithic women.

"The artwork appears primitive, but is very expressive," he said. "The statuettes of women ... with their complex hairdos, the differences in facial characteristics and expressions, indicate that these are portraits of real people."

The stolen pieces were smuggled to Munich, where the thieves tried to sell them to a local museum, Liapis said. Museum officials tipped off the police, who seized the works. Nobody was convicted in the theft, and Greek authorities only launched a serious legal bid for their return six months ago.

"The case had been put on the back burner," Liapis said. Liapis did not explain the delay, but his predecessor, George Voulgarakis — who launched the bid in April — blamed "state inefficiency."

Collector Constantinos Theodoropoulos, from whose house the works were stolen, has donated the artifacts to the state. They will be temporarily exhibited in Athens before being transferred to a museum in Larissa, where they will be displayed along with the rest of Theodoropoulos' collection — some 2,500 Neolithic artifacts.

Theodoropoulos said more than 60 stolen pieces were still missing.

"But these were not as good as the ones we got back," he said.
From Science Daily:

Separated in history by 100 years, the seafaring Minoans of Crete and the mercantile Canaanites of northern Egypt and the Levant (a large area of the Middle East) at the eastern end of the Mediterranean were never considered trading partners at the start of the Late Bronze Age. Until now.

Cultural links between the Aegean and Near Eastern civilizations will have to be reconsidered: A new Cornell University radiocarbon study of tree rings and seeds shows that the Santorini (or Thera) volcanic eruption, a central event in Aegean prehistory, occurred about 100 years earlier than previously thought.

The study team was led by Sturt Manning, a professor of classics and the incoming director of the Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Laboratory for Aegean and Near Eastern Dendrochronology at Cornell. The team's findings are the cover story in the latest issue of Science (April 28).

The findings, which place the Santorini eruption in the late 17th century B.C., not 100 years later as long believed, may lead to a critical rewriting of Late Bronze Age history of Mediterranean civilizations that flourished about 3,600 years ago, Manning said.

The Santorini volcano, one of the largest eruptions in history, buried towns but left archaeological evidence in the surrounding Aegean Sea region. As a major second millennium B.C. event, the Santorini eruption has been a logical point for scientists to align Aegean and Near Eastern chronology, although the exact date of the eruption was not known.

"Santorini is the Pompeii of the prehistoric Aegean, a time capsule and a marker horizon," said Manning. "If you could date it, then you could define a whole century of archaeological work and stitch together an absolute timeline."

In pursuit of this time stamp, Manning and colleagues analyzed 127 radiocarbon measurements from short-lived samples, including tree-ring fractions and harvested seeds that were collected in Santorini, Crete, Rhodes and Turkey. Those analyses, coupled with a complex statistical analysis, allowed Manning to assign precise calendar dates to the cultural phases in the Late Bronze Age.

"At the moment, the radiocarbon method is the only direct way of dating the eruption and the associated archaeology," said Manning, who puts Santorini's eruption in or just after the range 1660 to 1613 B.C. This date contradicts conventional estimates that linked Aegean styles in trade goods found in Egypt and the Near East to Egyptian inscriptions and records, which have long placed the event at around 1500 B.C.

To resolve the discrepancy, Manning suggests realigning the Aegean and Egyptian chronologies for the period 1700-1400 B.C. Parts of the existing archaeological chronology are strong and parts are weak, Manning noted, and the radiocarbon now calls for "a critical rethinking of hypotheses that have stood for nearly a century in the mid second millennium B.C."

Aegean and Near Eastern cultures, including the Minoan, Mycenaean and Anatolian civilizations, are fundamental building blocks for Greek and European early history. The new findings stretch Aegean chronology by 100 years, a move that could mean alliances and intercultural influences that were previously thought improbable.

The new results were bolstered by a dendrochronology and radiocarbon study, led by Danish geologist Walter Friedrich and published in the same issue of Science, which dated an olive branch severed during the Santorini eruption and arrived independently at a late 17th century B.C. dating.

This work, Manning added, continues Cornell's leading role in developing a secure chronology for the Aegean and Near East headed by Professor Peter Kuniholm, who founded the Aegean Dendrochronology Project 30 years ago. "I came to Cornell in 1976 with half a suitcase of wood. Now we have an entire storeroom with some 40,000 archived pieces that cover some 7,500 years," said Kuniholm.

I haven't poked around Cornell's Aegean Dendrochronology Project website for a while ... there's a pile of articles online in the Bibliography section; there used to be a regular newsletter too, but I can't seem to find that ...
Assorted items of disparate interest have been accumulating in my box ... in no particular order, we have a feature in Newsweek on the Pisa shipwrecks ... Ioannis Georgannis alerts us to the blog of the Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies ... David Gill has a very interesting series of posts on the recent returns by Princeton; there is an awful lot, it seems, that is being left unsaid ... another one from Harpers sent in by Mata Kimasatayo (thanks!): Cicero on the Duty to Stand Against Injustice ... Mnemosyne 60.4 (2007) is online (or at least the TOCs and abstracts are ... I can't imagine anyone paying $25.00 for an article) ... on another note, a recent email suggests Juan Coderch is planning to revive his Akropolis World News (in Ancient Greek) ... hopefully it will have an RSS feed ...
I don't think I posted this one yet ... 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."
“The Healing Power of Ancient Literature” is the title of a symposium to be held in Reno, Nevada, on June 19 and 20, 2008, under the auspices of The Parker Institute. The symposium’s premise is that literature, especially ancient literature, possesses a profound power to heal our souls, a power that is especially needed today when the rapidity of change and the force of world events combine to make peace of mind an ever more distant and seemingly unreachable goal. Featuring nationally-renowned scholars, the symposium will explore the wisdom literature of Egypt, the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the poetry of Homer, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, and the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes as sources of enlightenment and inspiration. For further information, contact Dr. Lois Parker (loisp AT; 2878 Barong Court, Reno, NV 89523).
From the Scotsman:

ITALIAN police have discovered a huge cache of archaeological artefacts that a pensioner had dug up to create his own private - and illegal - museum.

Police in the Venice region were stunned to find 12,000 items ranging from Bronze Age combs to jewellery, weapons and pottery from down the ages.

"We found this guy who was doing his own excavations, a kind of dilettante archaeologist," said Colonel Pier Luigi Pisano of the Venice finance police.

"What we found has incredible value because it covers the whole history of the region from the 18th century BC to the 18th century AD - 3,600 years of history contained in the pieces."

Italian law requires anyone who makes archaeological finds to declare them to the state, but police constantly investigate "tomb raiders" who defy the law.
From BMCR:

Alessandro Barchiesi, Gianpiero Rosati, Ovidio Metamorfosi. Volume II,Libri III-IV. Translation by Ludovica Koch.

Laurent Capdetrey, Jocelyne Nelis-Clement, La circulation del'information dans les etats antiques. Ausonius Editions, Etudes 14.

David Goodblatt, Elements of Ancient Jewish Nationalism.

Cecile Bost-Pouderon, Dion Chrysostome: Trois discours aux villes(Orr. 33-35). Tome 1: Prolegomenes, edition critique et traduction;Tome 2: Commentaires, bibliographie et index. Cardo: Etudes et Textespour l'Identite Culturelle de l'Antiquite Tardive, 4-5.

Yiannis Papadatos, Tholos Tomb Gamma, A Prepalatial Tholos Tomb at Phourni, Archanes. With a contribution by Sevi Triantaphyllou.

M.L. West, Indo-European Poetry and Myth.

Kathleen M. Coleman, M. Valerii Martialis: Liber Spectaculorum

F. K. Haarer, Anastasius I: Politics and Empire in the Late RomanWorld.

C. M. C. Green, Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia.

Simon Hornblower, Catherine Morgan, Pindar's Poetry, Patrons, andFestivals. From Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire.

Susan Ackerman, When Heroes Love. The Ambiguity of Eros in the Stories of Gilgamesh and David.

J.D. Reed, Virgil's gaze: nation and poetry in the 'Aeneid'.

Glenn W. Most (ed.), Hesiod: The Shield, Catalogue of Women, Other Fragments. Loeb Classical Library 503.

Inge Lyse Hansen, Richard Hodges, Roman Butrint. An Assessment.

David Ambuel, Image and Paradigm in Plato's Sophist.

John Scheid, Res gestae divi Augusti. Hauts faits du divin Auguste.

Enrico Ascalone, Mesopotamia: Assyrians, Sumerians, Babylonians.Translated by Rosanna M. Giammanco Frongia. Dictionaries of Civilizations.

Nicholas Baechle, Metrical Constraint and the Interpretation of Stylein the Tragic Trimeter.

From Aestimatio:

G. E. R. Lloyd, Principles and Practices in Ancient Greek and Chinese Science

Karlheinz Schaldach, Die antiken Sonnenuhren Griechenlands Festland und Peloponnes mit CD-ROM

In the Times:

Emily Wilson, The Death of Socrates

In the NY Sun:

Martin Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations

I'm not sure how long these texts (all pdf) have been up at the Textkit site, but I'm sure there will be some folks interested:

Beginner's Latin Book by Collar and Daniell
Latin For Beginners by Benjamin L. D'Ooge

First Greek Book by John Williams White
Greek Grammar by William W. Goodwin (4th edition)
AMPAH 2008
Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History
Saturday, 15th March 2008
10.30am - 18.00pm

Hosted by the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge

The Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History is a one-
day conference which provides UK graduate students with the
opportunity to present their work in a friendly environment, to
meet students and faculty members from other universities, and
to gain a sense of current research in ancient history.

A formal call for papers will be issued in December, with titles
and brief abstracts accepted between 6th January and 14th February.
Speakers will be notified in the week beginning 18th February, and
a detailed programme for the conference will be made available on
the conference website on 21st February.

Bookings should be made, between 6th January and 7th March, to When booking, please give your
name, university, degree for which enrolled or position, and title of
dissertation or field of interest. There is no booking fee.

Further details will be made available via the conference webpage:

Any enquiries should be made by e-mail to Ben Keim at
ampah2008 AT

The Cambridge AMPAH Organisers
we're finally migrating rc to our new dell ... hopefully this works

attempt #2

attemp #3

seems to work! woohoo!

... now we can get caught up ...

n.b.: if you notice something different about the way rogueclassicism seems to be acting, please drop me a line.