pridie kalendas februarias

1000 B.C. -- temple of Hercules at Tyre completed (according to one 'traditional' reckoning)

817 B.C. -- death of Anchises (according to the same reckoning)

36 B.C. -- birth of Antonia ("Minor"), daughter of Marcus Antonius and Octavia and future mother of hope-to-be-emperor Germanicus and emperor-to-be Claudius

c. 250 A.D. -- martyrdom of Metras/Metranus in Alexandria

c. 250 A.D. -- martyrdom of Saturninus, Thrysus, and Victor in Alexandria
irascible @

forensic @ Worthless Word for the Day
From the Herald:

A previously unkown Roman fort has been found at Calstock in Cornwall, one of only a handful of sites giving evidence of Roman presence in the county, and the first found close to a silver mine.

Archaeologists from the University of Exeter say the site may be evidence the Romans mined tin in the county.

The hill-top site where the first-century fort is in an area known to have been involved with medieval silver mining in the 13th and 14th centuries.

University archaeologists became interested in the site when they found references in medieval documents to the smelting of silver at the old castle and next to the church in Calstock.

A geophysical survey - similar to an underground X-ray - clearly showed the outline of a feature that is a very similar shape to another Roman fort recently found near Lostwithiel, also in Cornwall.

The team started digging and uncovered the unique and instantly recognisable shape of a Roman military ditch, confirming their find as a Roman fort.

The fort, which measures about 80 square metres, was probably used as soldiers' barracks, workshops and stables, and is very well preserved.

It stands just a couple of miles away from a silver mine and has the remains of furnaces - indicating smelting activity.

University of Exeter archaeologist Dr Stephen Rippon said it was an exciting find, which could yield important information in piecing together more about the Romans, who invaded Britain in 43 AD.

"When I first saw the results from the geophysical survey, suggesting the outline of a Roman fort, I could hardly believe my eyes," he said.

"As an archaeologist it is so rare to find something so significant, which was previously entirely unknown.

"It's a very exciting discovery."

"It's possibly a coincidence that the Roman fort and army were located so close to this mine but we do know elsewhere in Roman Britain that the Roman army were involved in mining minerals.

"Romans knew about Britain's rich mineral wealth and there's even evidence of tin being exported to Europe even before the Roman invasion."

However, it is not known whether the Romans mined silver in the country, but radiocarbon dating tests on the fortress are being carried out to allow the team to date the industrial workings at the fort to discover whether the Romans were smelting silver.

Results are expected within the next few months.

"If we find this to be the case it could possibly be the first example of Romans silver mining in Britain," Dr Rippon said.

"They would have dug up the ore, transported it back to camp and that's where they would have done the smelting."

It is thought that the precious metal would then have been transported back to Italy where it would have been minted into coins for use within the empire.

"The Roman army only stayed in the South West for a few decades after the Conquest before moving on to Wales," Dr Rippon said.

"This find could help us to understand whether they were merely keeping watch over the locals or were actually interested in exploiting commercial opportunities in the region.

"The discovery could therefore further our understanding of the rich history of mining in the county.

"It's only the third Roman fort in Cornwall.

"We know very little about what the Roman Army was doing down here.

"It could go some way to further explaining what attracted the Romans to Britain."

The team of excavators, led by University of Exeter research fellow Chris Smart, has also dug up pottery, believed to be from the first century AD.

The research project was funded by the Leverhulme Trust with additional support from the University of Exeter.

The two other known sites of Roman forts in Cornwall are also in the South East of the county.

One was discovered last year near Restormel Castle, Lostwithiel, and the other is at Nanstallon, near Bodmin.

Both sites are close to mineral deposits in areas which are associated with tin mining.

A slideshow accompanies the original article ...
in its 45th year
an Interdisciplinary Humanities Seminar
under the auspices of the
Department of Religious Studies
201 Logan Hall
with support from
the Penn Humanities Forum

TOPIC FOR 2007-2008: "Tracing the Patterns, (Un/Re-)Weaving the Threads"

co-chairs: Annette Yoshiko Reed and Robert Alan Kraft

secretary: Harry Tolley (University of Pennsylvania)

webmaster: Jay C. Treat (University of Pennsylvania)

For this, the 45th year of the PSCO, our aim is to take stock of current
scholarship in early Jewish and Christian traditions and their transmission
and diffusion across a broad range of geographical and cultural contexts in
Late Antiquity. To facilitate discussion between specialists in different
subfields, we have chosen to define our sessions by geographical area,
rather than by religious tradition, theme, or textual corpus. By following
the "threads" of various traditions through regional trajectories, we hope
to assess, not only our literary remains, but also archaeological evidence,
inscriptions, etc.

In our initial meeting, John Reeves, Bill Adler, and Max Grossman shared
thoughts on current directions and methodological concerns in the study of
early Judaism and early Christianity. Following up on this discussion, the
second meeting of the PSCO focused on the Syro-Palestinian area, with
guests Hayim Lapin and Lee Levine. The third session (in San Diego)
welcomed Malcolm Choat and AnnMarie Luijendijk (plus Peter
Artz-Graber, briefly) on Egypt.

The fourth PSCO meeting is scheduled for 7 February 2008, with the focus
on Asia Minor. Opening remarks and observations will be made by two of
our own long-time participants,

Professor Ross Kraemer (Brown University -- see

and Professor Vasiliki Limberis (Temple University -- see

Appended below is a long list of readings provided by the presenters that
represent a variety of approaches to the study Judaism and Christianity in
Cappadocia and Anatolia in the early centuries of the common era and reflect
their respective interests.

For a quick taste of how our presenters approach some of the relevant
issues, perhaps look first at their respective treatments as well as at the
titles (at least) of the listed readings:

R. S. Kraemer, review of Paul Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor
(Cambridge, 1991); IOUDAIOS Reviews

V. Limberis, "The Eyes infected by Evil: Basil of Caesarea's
Homily, On Envy," HTR 84.2 (1991); available online through JSTOR for those
of you who have access --

Suggested readings (several of which can be found online):

W. M. Ramsay and G. L. Bell, The Thousand and One Churches
(London: Hodder and Stoughton 1909).

G. Frank, "The Pilgrim's Gaze in the Age before Icons," in R.
S. Nelson, ed., Visuality Before and Beyond the Renaissance
(Cambridge 2000).

Stephen Mitchell, Anatolia, Land, Men, and Gods in Asia
Minor, v. 2, The Rise of the Church (Oxford, 1993).

R. Van Dam's excellent trilogy: Kingdom of Snow : Roman
Rule and Greek culture in Cappadocia (Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press 2002); Families and Friends
in late Roman Cappadocia (2003); Becoming Christian: the
Conversion of Roman Cappadocia (2003).

Derek Krueger, "Writing and the Liturgy of Memory in Gregory
of Nyssa's Life of Macrina," JECS 8.4 (2000).

S. Elm, Virgins of God: The making of Asceticism in Late
Antiquity (Oxford, 1994).

S. Metivier, La Cappadoce IVe-VI Siecle: Une histoire
provinciale de l"Empire romain d'Orient (Paris 2005).

P. Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor (Cambridge, 1991)

W. Ameling, ed., Inscriptiones Judaicae Orientis, vol. 2: Asia Minor
(Mohr-Siebeck 2004)

B. Lifshitz, Donateurs et Fondateurs dans les synagogues juives (Paris,
1967), nos. 12-37.

J. Reynolds and R. Tannenbaum, Jews and Godfearers at Aphrodisias
(Cambridge, 1987).

L. Robert, Nouvelles Inscriptions de Sardes (Paris, 1964).

J. H. Kroll, 'The Greek Inscriptions of the Sardis Synagogue,' HTR 94.1
(2001), 3-127.

F. M. Cross, 'The Hebrew Inscriptions from Sardis,' HTR 95 (2002), 3-19.

E. Miranda, 'La comunite giudaica di Hierapolis di Frigia,' EA 31 (1999),

T. Rajak and D. Noy, 'Archisynagogoi: Office, Title and Social Status in the
Greco-Jewish Synagogue,' JRS 83 (1993), 75 -93.

A. Chaniotis, 'The Jews of Aphrodisias: New Evidence and Old Problems,' SCI
21 (2002), 209-42.

F. Millar, 'Christian Emperors, Christian Church and the Jews of the
Diaspora in the Greek East, CE 379-450,' JJS 55 (2004), 1-24.

Gary Gilbert, "Jews in Imperial Administration and its Significance for
Dating the Jewish Donor Inscription from Aphrodisias," JSJ 35, no. 2 (April,
2004, 169-84);

Dietrich-Alex Koch, "The God-fearers between Facts and Fiction: Two
theosebeis-inscriptions from Aphrodisias and Their Bearing for the New
Testament," Studia Theologica - Nordic Journal of Theology, 60:1 (2006),

The remaining sessions of the PSCO are tentatively scheduled as follows:

45.5 late February or early March -- Western Roman Empire
45.6 mid to late March -- Persia and East of Syro-Palestine
45.7 mid to late April -- Byzantium and under Islam

**See the PSCO Web page for further details
ante diem iii kalendas februarias

405 B.C. -- death of Sophocles (by one reckoning)

58 B.C. -- "official" birthday of Livia, wife of Augustus

9 B.C. -- dedication of the Ara Pacis

133 A.D. -- birth of the future emperor Didius Julianus

228 A.D. -- martyrdom of Martina (?)

311 A.D. -- martyrdom of Savina of Milan
canorous @

sacerdotal @ Worthless Word for the Day

prudential @ Wordsmith
From a UC Riverside press release:

Michele Salzman, professor of history at UC Riverside, is one of five UC researchers honored by the American Philological Association for developing course materials for sixth- and seventh-grade social studies teachers about the world of late antiquity.

The 2007 APA Prize for Scholarly Outreach, presented at the international association’s annual meeting in Chicago in early January, recognizes the work of the University of California Multi-Campus Research Group in the History and Culture of Late Antiquity.

“This is an important affirmation of our efforts to share information and new insights into late antiquity with middle school teachers,” Salzman said. “The teachers have been really excited and appreciative of our efforts to explore the ancient world. And it is rewarding to receive this recognition from the American Philological Association since this is the only award they give for outreach.”

Other members of the group include Claudia Rapp of UCLA, Emily Albu of UC Davis, Harold Drake of UC Santa Barbara and Susanna Elm of UC Berkeley.

The team began working in 1999 to develop instructional materials for middle-school social studies teachers about the world of late antiquity, including the fall of the multicultural Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity and, to a lesser extent, Islam.

The group offered one-day workshops – including at UC Riverside and California State University San Bernardino – and provided teachers with course materials such as extensive maps, images, bibliography and directions for further study.

“The group's project was intellectually valuable for demonstrating with rigor, clarity, and imagination the enormous breadth of the world of the Roman Empire and its eventual division into East and West,” Helene P. Foley, chair of the prize committee, said in the citation announcing the winning project.

The project filled a gap in the middle-school curriculum and introduced an important and novel global perspective to the study of the ancient world, she said.

“These efforts were particularly welcome in California, since their beleaguered public school teachers are currently working with exceptionally low support for their efforts and many bureaucratic impediments,” Foley said. “… (T)he project should help to contribute to national literacy about geography.”

The American Philological Association was founded in 1869 and is the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures and civilizations.
Brief item from All Africa:

A Punic necropolis dating back to the 4th-5th century BC has been recently discovered at the museum of Sousse during extension and refurbishing works that started last May and are due to be completed by the end of the current year.

The works which are in being carried out in a museum characterized by a rich collection of mosaics will cost 2 million dinars.

A team of specialists from the National Heritage Institute (INP) is currently working on documents relative to this major historical discovery .

This discovery comes following last year's discovery of a roman burial vault located near the roman catacombs in the district of Bouhsina in Sousse .

The vault which is being restored by the INP, contains 2 tombs with the remains of some 13 members of the same family buried together along with sacred ceramic vessels.

Most of the Punic culture was destroyed as a result of the Punic wars between Rome and Carthage . This is why specialists are hoping that this discovery might shed a precious light on an important part of Tunisia 's history.
From the Hollister Freelance:

The Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus (AD 15 - AD 68), had several confusing names. Yet, in the short form, Nero, everyone remembers him as the emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned."

QED ...
ante diem iv kalendas februarias

164 B.C. -- death of Antiochus Epiphanes (according to one reckoning)

1 B.C. -- departure of Gaius Caesar to the east (?)

275 A.D. -- death of Aurelian (according to one reckoning, which doesn't seem right)
sylvan @

lucent @ Wordsmith

Lucullan @ Merriam-Webster
Forgotten Stars: Rediscovering Manilius’ Astronomica

University of Columbia, New York
24-25 October 2008

Co-organised by Katharina Volk (Columbia) and Steven Green (Leeds)
A major international conference on Manilius’ Astronomica, the first of its kind in the Anglophone world, will take place at Columbia University on 24-25 October 2008.

The Astronomica of Manilius is a five-book Stoic didactic poem on astrology which is usually believed to have been composed between c. A.D. 9-16, under Augustus and Tiberius. The poem offers great opportunity for diverse scholarly study, in terms of its genre and intertextuality, its philosophical, intellectual and socio-political background; and yet, but for a few notable exceptions, the poem has been largely ignored, especially by Anglophone scholars, whose silence would suggest compliance with the old-fashioned view that the Astronomica is too difficult to read and digest and/ or full of contradictions and astrological errors and omissions.

The planned conference aims to put this neglected poet firmly back on the scholarly map, and will bring together an international panel of Latinists, historians of science, and reception specialists to approach the author and his work from a variety of different angles.

Further details will appear in due course on the websites of the Classics Departments at the Universities of Columbia and Leeds. There will also be a further announcement to this e-list in due course.

Below is a list of confirmed speakers with provisional paper titles.

Josèphe-Henriette Abry (Lyon)
Cosmos and Imperium: the Excursus of the Astronomica

Elaine Fantham (Princeton/Toronto)

Monica Gale (Trinity College Dublin)
Digressions, Intertextuality and Ideology in Didactic Poetry: The Case of Manilius

Patrick Glauthier (Columbia)
Economic Metaphors in Manilius

Steven Green (Leeds)
The Poetics and Politics of Horoscopic Failure in Manilius’ Astronomica

Thomas Habinek (University of Southern California)

Stephan Heilen (University of Illinois)
The Bonicontrius Commentary on Manilius

John Henderson (Cambridge)

Wolfgang Hübner (Münster)
Tropes and Figures: Manilian Style reflecting Astrological Lore

Duncan Kennedy (Bristol)
Manilius’ Metaphors

Daryn Lehoux (Manchester)
Myth, Math, and Manilius

Wolfgang Mann (Columbia)
The Manuscript Tradition of Manilius

Caroline Stark (Yale)

James Uden (Columbia)

Katharina Volk (Columbia)
In Heaven as it is on Earth?: Manilian Self-contradictions

From the Art Newspaper (not sure how long this one will survive online):

Operation Ghelas, which has dismantled a major Italian antiquities smuggling operation stretching across Western Europe, will come to a climax in February when 70 defendants are brought before a judge for a preliminary hearing in Gela, southwest Sicily. The investigation, carried out by the Italian Cultural Patrimony Protection (TPC) squad, concluded last summer with an unprecedented 85 indictments and 52 arrests—the biggest bust ever of the tombaroli (“tomb raiders”).

Government officials, teachers and plumbers are among the suspects. Fifteen have already pleaded guilty to various charges, among them carabiniere Carmine Maschio, who admitted to driving loot across the Swiss-Italian border.

Alessandro Sutera Sardo, the public prosecutor, says that more than 2,000 antiquities were recovered, such as amphorae, statues, and coins from major archaeological sites in Sicily, including Morgantina, Syracuse, Selinunte, and Gela, as well as in Puglia and Lazio. He said the “four-celled” network of international collaborators distributed stolen antiquities through intermediaries in Switzerland, Germany, Spain, the UK, and the US, including Munich’s Gorny & Mosch auction house.

The hunt began three years ago after Sicilian police confiscated antiquities and metal detectors from several residents of Gela—notably 43-year-old Orazio Pellegrino, the ringleader of one of the four “cells”—and put them under surveillance. “When we wiretapped their phones, we intercepted frequent conversations to a number in Switzerland, so we realised that they might be selling antiquities to someone there,” Mr Sutera Sardo said.

This led to Francesco Davoli, an Italian taxi driver living in Zurich. With the cooperation of Swiss authorities, his house was searched. Ivo Hoppler, the Swiss prosecutor, told us: “Davoli left to go to work at around 4.30am. We arrived at 6am, and searched for two hours. We found coins packaged in plastic display envelopes.” The taxi driver quickly became the primary informant on the case, fingering several associates and eventually leading police to the Barcelona gallery of Bea Felix Cervera, a well-known dealer.

“We went in with the Spanish policemen and found a hidden door. When he opened it we could not believe our eyes: there were hundreds of precious objects, the majority clearly illegal,” Mr Sutera Sardo told us. The most precious object the Sicilian police recognised was an ancient Roman marble basin that had been stolen from a private house in Rome. The gallery owner is being prosecuted in Spain, and the government has formally invited Italy to take back much of the haul.

The insights gained in Operation Ghelas have furnished leads for other investigations, which have taken the Sicilian TPC squad to Rome in recent weeks.

... hmm ... why is this the first we've heard of Operation Ghelas?

UPDATE: See now David Gill's useful comments on this ...
6.00 p.m. |HINT|History's Mysteries: The Roman Emperors
When the power of Rome was concentrated into the hands of supreme rulers, the empire began to corrode as the emperors led lives of increasing depravity. We'll visit their mansions to get an inside look at the splendor--and squalor--in which they lived, and insight into their sometimes inexplicable acts.

8.00 p.m. |HISTC| LOST WORLDS (2006) | First Christians, The
A team of field investigators uncovers the clues that will recreate vanished or hidden worlds. They use the latest research, expert analysis and cutting edge graphic technology to take us back. The 1st century AD. In the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion barely a hundred of his followers survive. Persecuted by the authorities, they are a cult on the verge of extinction. Yet within a few decades the new religion of Christianity will have thousands of believers spread around the Mediterranean and across the Roman Empire. The man responsible is St Paul. Once a fanatical persecutor of Jesus’ followers, he undergoes a miraculous conversion, and gives his life to spreading the gospel.

HINT = History International

HISTC = History Television (Canada)

... I note that PBS will be showing Secrets of the Parthenon tonight on NOVA ... check local listings.
ante diem v kalendas februarias

98 A.D. -- dies imperii of Trajan

198 A.D. -- festival in celebration of Severus' victory over the Parthians; possibly concurrent: dies imperii of Caracalla
neophyte @

cingular @ Wordsmith
The conclusion of an opinion piece in the Financial Times:

However, there is something else about the memo that worries me more. Accenture’s website reveals that, unlike Martin Lukes, Mr Foster has a classics degree from Oxford. I had always thought the point of studying classics was that it trained your mind and your pen. What this memo shows is that two decades at Accenture have a more potent effect on befuddling the mind than three years of Aeschylus and Horace ever had on sharpening it.
6.00 p.m. |HINT| History's Mysteries: Lost City of Atlantis
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote about the fabled missing continent. Even South American Indian legend told of a similar tale. Did a highly civilized and technologically advanced people disappear with their secrets at the bottom of the sea, or is Atlantis merely myth?

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| ROME | an Owl In a Thornbush
Scouting for Caesar some 30 miles from Rome, Pullo, Vorenus and some Ubian soldiers meet minimal resistance from a green group of Pompey recruits. Alarmed at the speed with which Caesar’s army has advanced, and with a less-than-full complement of soldiers at his disposal, Pompey makes an unusual tactical decision: abandon Rome to Caesar, at least temporarily. The order forces patrician families to choose sides – while Servilia, Caesar’s longtime lover, decides to stay in Rome, her son, Marcus Junius Brutus, flees the city with others faithful to Pompey. After seeing her family’s fortunes fall and rise in the course of a few hours, Atia enlists her mercenary, Timon, to ensure her family’s security. As Vorenus marvels that Rome has been left undefended, Pullo sees his uncanny good fortune continue after his unit intercepts a cargo wagon on the city’s outskirts.

HINT = History International

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
Assorted items that have made it to my mailbox ... in no particular order:

An item I've been meaning to mention in these pages is the Lampeter Working Papers in Classics page ... it's admitted models are the Princeton/Stanford Working Papers ... hopefully more institutions/groups will jump on this bandwagon ...

If not, perhaps more academic types might make the jump to blogging with the Bloggers for Peer-Reviewed Research Reporting approach ... for an example of what might come from this, see Alun Salt's commentary on Peter Heslin's article in JRS on the Horologium Augusti ...

The Compitum website/blog(?) (in French) is covering research into the Roman world and Latin in French universities ...

Rita Auden, the accomplished-in-her-own-right niece of W.H. Auden died recently and her obit ends with this tidbit:

Rita Auden loved music (notably Mozart) and was fascinated by ancient history, especially Egyptology. Her New Year's resolution, made a few days before her death, was to study ancient Greek so that she could read Plato in the original.

(tip o' the pileus to Tim Parking for that one)

From Harper's this week, we find out from Juvenal Why we fight (tip o' the pileus to Mata Kimasatayo) ...

As always (but I don't always mention it), the weekly version of our Ancient World on Television listings have been posted, as has Explorator 10.40 ...
This is a call for papers, articles and artwork for next issue of An
academic and religious journal of Greek, Roman, and Persian Studies.

Mithras Reader: An academic and religious journal of Greek, Roman, and
Persian Studies is dedicated to all the religions of the classical
world. We invite submissions of academic papers from researchers and
spiritual articles from practitioners of religions of the classical
world. We also welcome classical world based art work both modern
interpretations and traditional forms.

Journal web site is:
Where discussions can also take place.

Occasional articles covering the non-religious aspects of the ancient
Greco-Roman or Persian world will be considered, for example dealing
with geopolitical, cultural or military history.

The journal is divided into three sections. Part 1 contains the
academic papers, part 2 Mithraic based art work, sculptures and
paintings, and Part 3 religious articles by modern practitioners,
rites, hymns and poetry. Authors should state which section they wish
their papers to be included in.

We cannot afford to pay for contributions however authors will receive
a copy of the issue in which their article appears. All articles
featured in the journal remain the copyright of their authors and

Materials are to be submitted in English and should not exceed 9000
words. Materials are to be submitted electronically e.g. word.doc.
References should be numbered in the text and appear as numbered
endnotes at end of article. The bibliography should also come at end
of the article. Authors are solely responsible for obtaining copyright
permission for any copyrighted image or text that they include in
their papers.

Book/Film/Music reviews are also welcomed.

Advertising space is also available.

If interested in submitting material, please have a look at the
previous issue at:
to familiarize yourself with the journal style.

The dead line for submission of material is Spring Equinox (21st March

For further info and copy of our submission guidelines please email us
at: nabarz AT

P. Nabarz
The Ontario Classical Association cordially invites you to our Spring Meeting in memory of

Honorary President,
Dr. Alexander G. (Sandy) McKay
On Saturday, April 5th, 2008 in the Council Chambers
Room 111, Gilmour Hall
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

The OCA gratefully acknowledges the generous assistance of the E. Togo Salmon Fund and the Classics Department of McMaster University.

“Vergil and Campania“Campania”

9:00-9:30 a.m. Registration

9:30-9:45 a.m. Welcome by OCA President, Mr. Stephen Low, Humberside Collegiate

9:45-10:45 a.m. Dr. Karl Galinsky, University of Texas at Austin ,“Vergil and Campania”

10:45-11:00 a.m. Break

11:00-12:00 p.m. Mr. Iain Scott, Opera-IS , Vergil and Opera”

12:00-12:45 p.m. OCA Annual General Meeting

1:00-2:30 p.m. Lunch

2:30-3:00 p.m. Dr. Michele George, McMaster University, “To Live and Die in Campania”

3:00-3:30 p.m. Dr. Jonathan Edmondson, York University, “The Delights of Baiae”

3:30-3:45 p.m. Break

3:45-4:30 p.m. Dr. Alison Keith, University of Toronto, “Ovid on Vergil’s Campania”

4:30 p.m. Adjournment

Title: Mr. Mrs. Ms. Dr. Name: ____________________________

Institution: ____________________________________

e-mail address: ____________________________________ Vegetarian Option? _____

Membership: OCA Other: _____________________________

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Name and Title of Guests: _____________________________ Vegetarian Option? _____

_____________________________ Vegetarian Option? _____

If arriving on Friday evening, please indicate if you would like to join others at a local restaurant

for an informal dinner. YES _____ NO_____

Regular: ________ X $50.00= _____________

TOTAL: __________

Student: ________ X $35.00= _____________

Please send all registration forms and cheques, payable to the Ontario Classical Association, by March 1st, 2008, to:

Dr. Jonathan Edmondson

Department of History

2178 Vari Hall

York University

4700 Keele Street

Toronto, Ontario

M3J 1P3

We invite all our guests requiring accommodations to make arrangements with Visitor’s Inn, 649 Main

Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, (905) 529-6979, or toll free at 1-800-387-4620 or

Please request the McMaster rate when reserving your accommodations.
From Scholia:

Victoria Emma Pagán, Rome and the Literature of Gardens

Barbara Goward, Aeschylus: Agamemnon

From Aestimatio

Carl A. Huffman, Archytas of Tarentum: Pythagorean, Philosopher and Mathematician King

Daniel W. Graham, Explaining the Cosmos: The Ionian Tradition of Scientific Philosophy

Ingvild Saelid Gilhus, Animals, Gods and Humans: Changing Attitudes to Animals in Greek, Roman, and Early Christian Times

From RBL:

John M. G. Barclay, trans., Flavius Josephus: Against Apion, Review of Biblical Literature

From CJ-Online:

Wilfried Stroh, Latein ist tot, es lebe Latein.


Sarah B. Pomeroy, The Murder of Regilla: A Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity.

Antonio Aloni, Da Pilo a Sigeo. Poemi cantori e scrivani al tempo dei Tiranni.

Lowell Edmunds, Oedipus. Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World.

Mogens Herman Hansen, Polis. An Introduction to the Ancient Greek City-State.

Stephane Benoist (ed.), Memoire et histoire: les procedures de condamnation dans l'antiquite romaine.

Edith Hall, The Theatrical Cast of Athens. Interactions between Ancient Greek Drama and Society.

Emanuele Lelli, Volpe e leone. Il proverbio nella poesia greca (Alceo, Cratino, Callimaco). Filologia e critica, 93.

Nancy Shumate, Nation, Empire, Decline: Studies in Rhetorical Continuity from the Romans to the Modern Era. Classical Interfaces, vol. 5.

G. Emmenegger, Der Text des koptischen Psalters aus Al-Mudil. Ein Beitrag zur Textgeschichte der Septuaginta und zur Textkritik koptischer Bibelhandschriften, mit der kritischen Neuausgabe des Papyrus 37 der British Library London (U) und des Papyrus 39 der Leipziger Universitaetsbibliothek (2013). Text und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 159.

Josef Wiesehoefer, Phillip Huyse, Eran und Aneran: Studien zu den Beziehungen zwischen dem Sasanidenreich und der Mittelmeerwelt. Oriens et Occidens 13.

Claudia Moatti, Wolfgang Kaiser, Gens de passage en Mediterranee de l'Antiquite a l'e/poque moderne. Procedures de controle et d'identification. L'Atelier Mediterraneen.

Foteini Kolovou, Die Briefe des Eustathios von Thessalonike: Einleitung, Regesten, Text, Indizes.

Eleonora Cavallini (ed.), Omero mediatico. Aspetti della ricezione omerica nella civilta\ contemporanea. Atti delle Giornate di Studio, Ravenna, 18-19 gennaio 2006. NEMO. Confrontarsi con l'antico, 7.

G.W. Bowersock (trans.), Lorenzo Valla, On the Donation of Constantine. The I Tatti Renaissance Library, 24.
"Coins and Identity"
The Friends of Numismatics invites submissions for papers for the 2009
American Philological Association/Archaeological Institute of America
annual meetings, January 8-11, 2009, in Philadelphia, PA, on the
topic of coins and identity.

What did a coin mean to the person arranging its creation? What did it mean
to a person using the coin? What did it mean to a person hoarding or
collecting the coin? Papers should focus on coins of the Greek and Roman
worlds, in order to place them within the contexts of coin types and
iconography, their use of congruence in types or metrology, or their place
in collections of ancient coins or hoards.

Please submit an abstract of a maximum of 250 words to
Karen Manning
Dept of Ancient and Byzantine Art and Numismatics
Harvard University Art Museums
32 Quincy St
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone 617-495-3393
Fax 617-495-5506

The abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by at least two reviewers.
Since the Friends of Numismatics sponsors a joint panel of the APA and AIA,
submitters must be members in good standing of only one of these


The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) invites applications and nominations
for the position of Head Librarian of the Carl W. Blegen Library. The American School of Classical
Studies at Athens (ASCSA) is one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions
dedicated to the advanced study of all aspects of Greek culture, from antiquity to the present
day. Founded in 1881, the ASCSA provides graduate students and scholars from some 180 affiliated
North American colleges and universities a base for research and study in Greece. The ASCSA
operates two major research libraries in Athens (The Blegen Library and the Gennadius Library),
supports archaeological research and excavations in the ancient agora of Athens, in Corinth, and
elsewhere in Greece, and disseminates information about its research through an active
publications program.

The ASCSA is a primary resource for American and international graduate students and scholars in
Hellenic studies, from antiquity to the present day. The Blegen Library is a non-circulating
library dedicated to the entire field of classical antiquity, with special emphasis on the
language, literature, art, history and archaeology of Greece, with 90,000 volumes, ca. 700 print
periodical subscriptions, and ca. 200 electronic subscriptions. The Gennadius Library, with
113,000 volumes and extensive archives, is devoted to post-classical Hellenic civilization.
Although both libraries serve primarily a constituency of North American students and scholars,
there is a large group of international library users, including many Greek scholars.

Key responsibilities of the Head Librarian of the Blegen Library are as follows:
-Provides leadership for the Blegen Library. Position reports to the Director of the School in
- Manages the transition from a distributed model of information management to an integrated
technical services unit serving both the Blegen and Gennadius Libraries;
-In collaboration with the Managing Committee, Trustees, and staff of the School monitors change,
thinks strategically, and sets future directions for the Library, blending an appreciation of
print materials and the traditions of the School with the electronic needs of a modern library;
-Provides leadership for creating and implementing an integrated collections development plan
including digital materials, working in collaboration with the Director of the Gennadius Library,
the Archivist, academic staff and committees of the School;

-Manages the library facility of approximately 1,735 sq. feet of stacks and office spaces and
2,800 m. of shelf space; manages the Library's operating budget of approximately $315,000 for
FY2008 (exclusive of salaries); and supervises a library staff of four full time employees, two
part time, and occasional volunteers;
-Oversees the collections of the library, including the acquisition, cataloging and indexing of
print and electronic materials and the maintenance and preservation of library resources in both
print and electronic formats;
-Provides guidance and instruction for students, faculty, and visiting scholars in the use of
print and electronic materials in ancient Mediterranean philological, literary, historical,
archaeological, and art historical research;
-Works with colleagues at related research libraries in Greece and abroad to develop and promote
collaborative efforts. Works especially closely with the library of the British School at Athens
in an electronic union catalogue and other shared initiatives;
-Advocates for the Library and assists in on-going fundraising efforts for Library, including the
occasional writing of grant proposals;
-Oversees the Library's web presence and takes a leadership role in the continuing development of
a centralized digital repository for ASCSA's electronic information resources.

Position requirements:
-ALA-accredited MLS or its equivalent;
-Strong, demonstrated managerial skills, with substantial experience in a library environment,
including significant managerial experience;
-As a minimum, BA in classics or classical archaeology or related field; MA or PhD preferred.
Expertise in one of the disciplines of the Blegen's collection (classics, prehistoric and/or
classical archaeology, ancient history, history of ancient art); knowledge of relevant languages;
-Demonstrated skills and experience in relevant information technology, including its use and
management, and possessing a comprehensive understanding of the technology-driven information
environment, including institutional repository development;
-Understanding of unique needs of a graduate research library and familiarity with current issues
in academic librarianship;
-Knowledge of best practices and current trends in managing academic libraries and serving library
-Excellent communication, computer, organizational, and interpersonal skills;
-Specific experience working with Ex Libris' ALEPH highly desirable.
Salary commensurate with experience. Generous benefits package. Successful candidate will be
expected to live and work in Athens, Greece.

Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Send a
letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference to Professor Susan
Rotroff, Chair, Committee on Personnel, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 6 - 8
Charlton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540-5232 or email application to ascsa AT Website: ASCSA is an EO/AA employer.
Suzanne Musin sent this one in (thanks!):

Dinosaur Comics
From PhysOrg:

Since 1974, archaeologists from Granada, directed by professors Trinidad Nájera Colino and Fernando Molina González, have been working on the site of the Motilla del Azuer, in the municipal area of Daimiel (province of Ciudad Real), in search of the necessary information to reconstruct the day by day in this thrilling and unknown historical period.

The sites, known as “motillas”, represent one of the most peculiar types of prehistoric settlements in the Iberian Peninsula. They occupied the region of La Mancha in the Bronze Age between 2200 and 1500 BC, and they are artificial mounds, 4 to 10 m high, a result of the destruction of a stone fortification of central plan with several concentric walled lines. Its distribution in the plain of La Mancha, with equidistanes of 4 to 5 kilometres, affects river meadows and low areas where the existence of pools was quite frequent until recent dates.

Although they were already known since the end of the 19th century, the “motillas” were erroneously considered to be burial mounds until the middle of the seventies, when the start of the research work on the Motilla del Azuer carried out by the University of Granada and sponsored by the Department of Culture of Castile La Mancha showed that it was a fortification, surrounded by a small settlement and a necropolis. It has been the first site of this kind to be excavated in a scientific and systematic way.

The mound of the fortification which has been recovered has a diameter of about 50 metres, and is composed of a tower, two walled enclosures and a large courtyard. The central core is composed of a tower of masonry of square plan, with 7 metres high east and west fronts and an interior accessible through ramps inlaid in narrow corridors, which confer a particular nature to the place.

The researchers of the UGR explain that settlement of the Azuer contains the oldest well found in the Iberian Peninsula. The inside of this type of walled enclosures protected basic resources such as water, collected from the phreatic stratum through the well, and was also used to store and process cereals on a large scale, to keep the livestock occasionally and to product pottery and other home-made products, whose remains have also been found.

The site of the Motilla del Azuer has been possible thanks to the close collaboration between the Council of Communities of Castile la Mancha and the Public Service of Employment of Castile La Mancha (SEPECAM), who have financed the works, and the University of Granada, thanks to the archaeologists of the GEPRAN, who have also had the support of the Town Council of Daimiel (Ciudad Real).
From Fox:

Marine archaeologists will begin work in June to uncover the sand-buried hull of a 2,300-year-old cargo ship thought to have been ferrying wine from the Aegean island of Chios before it sank off Cyprus' southern coast, researchers said Thursday.

The vessel, dating from the late Classical period (mid-fourth century B.C.) is one of only a few such ships to have been found so well-preserved, said University of Cyprus visiting marine archaeologist Stella Demesticha.

"The shipwreck looks very promising about shedding light on the nautical and economic history of the period in the east Mediterranean," Demesticha told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The wreck rests on the seabed at a depth of 144 feet some 1 1/2 miles off the island's southern coast.

Demesticha said the wreck was also unique because it lies at a depth that divers can easily reach, unlike similar discoveries found in deeper waters.

Unreleased underwater photographs that researchers took of the vessel on initial surveying dives in November show a jumble of dozens of amphorae — clay urns used in antiquity to carry liquids and solid foodstuffs — lying on the seabed in the shape of the ship.

Demesticha said researchers believe the ship's hull to be buried under tons of sand. The amphorae closely resemble others found to contain Chios wine, but may have been used to transport other goods in ancient sea trade.

The discovery could also provide more clues into Cyprus' role in maritime trade during the last phases of the Cypriot city-kingdoms, researchers said.

Cypriot research divers will start the next surveying phase in early June said Demesticha, followed by another in October. The project is being undertaken by the University of Cyprus' Archaeology Research Unit and is being funded by the Thetis Foundation, a private institution that protects underwater cultural heritage.

The ship appears to be a contemporary of the famed Kyrenia ship, a 50-foot merchant vessel that another Greek Cypriot diver accidentally discovered off the island's northern coast more than four decades ago.
ante diem xi kalendas februarias

Ludi Palatini (day 4)

Sementivae or Paganalia (day 1) -- Sementivae was a festival of sowing which was actually a moveable feast (although I'm not sure of the moveability criteria; I'm guessing that the first day falls between January 24 and 26). By Ovid's time it appears to have been coincident with Paganalia, which also obviously has some rural aspect to it. It appears to have been a two-day festival with an interval of seven days between (corrections on this welcome ... my sources seem muddled on this one)

41 A.D. -- murder of Gaius (Caligula); Claudius proclaimed emperor by the praetorian guard

76 A.D. -- birth of the future emperor Hadrian
nolens volens @

pinguidity @ Worthless Word for the Day

cabal @ Merriam-Webster
Brief item from the Times:

Two “extremely important” gold coins that shed light on a little-known rebel Roman emperor from the 3rd century AD have been unearthed by a farmer in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area. They relate to the Roman commander Carausius, who declared himself Emperor of Britain around 286 or 287 after the Emperor in Rome ordered his execution. He was overthrown in a coup d’état by his finance minister, Allectus, in 293.

The coins were handed in to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and moved to the British Museum. The scheme is facing a freeze in funding, despite recording more than 314,000 discoveries that have revealed many new archaeological sites. The farmer’s identity is not being revealed because archaeologists are to explore the site.

I'm not sure whether the photos accompanying the original article are of the actual coins found ...
From AP comes:

Archaeologists in northeast Syria have unearthed a 3rd century cemetery in the shape of a cross, the country's official news agency reported Wednesday.

Ten skeletons, along with pottery and coins, were found at the site in Hassaka, 441 miles northeast of the capital Damascus, SANA reported.

Some of the artifacts contained inscriptions in the ancient Aramaic language, it said.

Wednesday's find came a day after SANA reported that archaeologists had found a Roman-era cemetery in Latakia, northwest of Damascus. That cemetery was believed to date back about 1,000 years, SANA said.

Also according to the report, Wednesday's find is not the same as that of another cemetery, of the same era and on the same location, announced last November.

That Roman-era cemetery in this history-rich country were archaeological discoveries are common, was also in the shape of a cross. It was not immediately clear how far from each other the two cemeteries are.
From a UPenn Museum press release:

The Greek traveler, Pausanias, living in the second century, CE, would probably recognize the spectacular site of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion, and particularly the altar of Zeus. At 4,500 feet above sea level, atop the altar provides a breathtaking, panoramic vista of Arcadia.

“On the highest point of the mountain is a mound of earth, forming an altar of Zeus Lykaios, and from it most of the Peloponnesos can be seen,” wrote Pausanias, in his famous, well-respected multi-volume Description of Greece. “Before the altar on the east stand two pillars, on which there were of old gilded eagles. On this altar they sacrifice in secret to Lykaion Zeus. I was reluctant to pry into the details of the sacrifice; let them be as they are and were from the beginning.”

What would surprise Pausanias—as it is surprising archaeologists—is how early that “beginning” actually may be. New pottery evidence from excavations by the Greek-American, interdisciplinary team of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project indicates that the ash altar—a cone of earth located atop the southern peak of Mt Lykaion where dedications were made in antiquity— was in use as early as 5,000 years ago—at least 1,000 years before the early Greeks began to worship the god Zeus.

In addition, a rock crystal seal, bearing an image of a bull, of probable Late Minoan times (1500-1400 BCE) and also found on the altar, suggests an intriguing early connection between the Minoan isle of Crete and Arcadia, and bears witness to another chapter in what now appears to be an especially long history of activity atop the mountain.

David Gilman Romano, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and a co-director of the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project, speaks about the excavation, and recent discoveries, at a Penn Museum event Wednesday, January 30, 6:00 p.m.:

“Mt. Lykaion, Arcadia is known from ancient literature as one of the mythological birthplaces of Zeus, the other being on Crete,” noted Dr.Romano. “The fact that the ash altar to Zeus includes early material dating back to 3000 BCE suggests that the tradition of devotion to some divinity on that spot is very ancient. The altar is long standing and may in fact pre-date the introduction of Zeus in the Greek world. We don’t yet know how the altar was first used, and whether it was used in connection with natural phenomena such as wind, rain, light or earthquakes, possibly to worship some kind of divinity male or female or a personification representing forces of nature.” Below the altar in a mountain meadow is an ancient hippodrome, a stadium and buildings related to the ancient athletic festival that rivaled the neighboring sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia.

Although the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion, just 22 miles from the extensively-studied Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia, has been well known since antiquity, no excavations had taken place there in a century. The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project, begun in 2004 with the first seasons of excavation work in 2006 and 2007, is a collaborative project of the Greek Archaeological Service, 39th Ephoreia in Tripolis, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the University of Arizona.

David Gilman Romano of the University of Pennsylvania Museum co-directs the project with Michaelis Petropoulos of the Greek Archaeological Service in Tripolis, and Mary Voyatzis of the University of Arizona.

High in the Arcadian mountains, the sanctuary at Mt. Lykaion was well known in antiquity as one of the most famous Zeus shrines in ancient Greece, as well as a site of early athletics in honor of the Greek’s greatest god. The site, which features an ancient hippodrome, a stadium and buildings related to the ancient athletic festival that rivaled the neighboring sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia, is known to have served as an important Pan Arcadian as well as Pan Hellenic Sanctuary that attracted pilgrims, athletes and dignitaries from all over the Greek world from the Archaic period to the Hellenistic period, ca. 700-200 BCE.

Last summer, a small excavation trench in the altar yielded Early, Middle and Late Helladic, ca. 3000-1200 BCE pottery sherds, indicating activity in this region from as early as 3000 BCE. The new material creates a vastly different account of the history of the altar and the site.

The intriguing discovery of one rock crystal lens-shaped seal bearing the image of a bull with full frontal face, likely of Late Minoan I or Late Minoan II date (1500-1400 BC), has, as of yet, no related materials to accompany it—but it does show at least some early connection between the two cultural areas.

Early 20th century excavations of the Greek Archaeological Society at the altar suggested the earliest activity there to be about 700 BCE, and the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project excavation found much evidence for activity in later periods: pottery and objects from the Geometric, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods (900-200 BCE), including miniature vases, bronze tripods and rings, iron blades, an iron spit, and silver coins, were excavated from the trench.

Several ancient authors mention that human sacrifice was practiced at the altar of Zeus—Pausanias alludes to mysterious sacrificial practices in his Descriptions of Greece—but to date, no evidence has been found. A considerable amount of animal bones was recovered from the altar excavations, with analysis underway, but preliminary results indicate large and small animal bones of various kinds, and no human bones.

The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project boasts a Greek-American, interdisciplinary team of archaeologists, geologists, geophysicists, architects, topographical surveyors and students working throughout the site. The project will continue excavations at the altar, and other areas of the sanctuary, in 2008, with plans to continue work through 2010, and a long-range proposal under consideration to develop an archaeological park to unify and protect nearly 300 square kilometers of land in and around the site. The project maintains a public website:
From Newsday (I tried to get this one in yesterday, but couldn't connect):

Feats of sport and physical activity have inspired poets and writers from Walt Whitman to Norman Mailer. But rarely has a work of literature ignited or inspired a new sporting event.

Such was the case with Robert Browning's 1879 poem, "Pheidippides."

Browning was 67 years old when he alloyed myth and historical fact to create a 118-line-long poem about an obscure character of Greek antiquity named Pheidippides. The narrative that would help spark the emergence of the modern marathon movement is recounted in the new film "Spirit of the Marathon" as well as in Benjamin Cheever's recently published book on running, "Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete" (Rodale).

Browning borrowed from an account by the Greek historian Herodotus about a professional courier who, in 490 BC, had been dispatched from Athens to Sparta to ask for assistance against an imminent Persian invasion. The messenger, named Pheidippides or Philippides (depending on the source), covered the 130 miles between the two cities in one day, to relay his message that "the Athenians beseech you to hasten to their aid and not allow that state to be enslaved by Barbarians."

The Spartans, in the midst of a feast, took their time in responding to the messenger's request. Luckily for the Athenians, they didn't need the Spartans' help in beating the Persians on the plains of Marathon.

At the end of the battle, the later historian Plutarch wrote, two other messengers were dispatched with news of the victory. One of them, named Eucles, had been wounded in the battle. Yet, he managed to cover the approximately 25-mile distance from Marathon to Athens on foot, barged into the first house he came upon, proclaimed, "God save you, we are well," and dropped dead.

Browning combined the Herodotus story with accounts from both Plutarch and yet a third chronicler named Lucian, then threw in a side plot about the runner's run-in with the Greek god Pan on the way to Sparta. In Browning's version it is Pheidippides who takes the message after the battle and, upon reaching not a dwelling but the court of Athens, collapses after a more pulse-pounding exit line: "Rejoice, we conquer!"

The poem appeared as part of a popular collection of Browning's poems called "Dramatic Idylls." Twenty years later, inspired by the revived and dramatic legend of Pheidippides, organizers of the first modern Olympics in Athens included an event that was never part of the ancient Greek Games; a 40-kilometer (24.8-mile) run from the site of the battle to the city.

The run became known as the "Marathon."
Now this is interesting ... back when that Artemis and the Stag sculpture was coming to auction, Al Schlaf and I were chatting via email and I voiced my suspicions about the authenticity of the thing. Specifically, I suggested there was something not 'quite right' with it. I deleted his response (alas) but I also recall the Apollo Belvedere came up in the conversation. In any event, imagine my interest when I read the beginning of a lengthy piece in Spiegel:

The packed auction room at Sotheby's in New York was filled with feverish anticipation when, on June 7, 2007, assistants wearing white gloves rolled a delicate bronze statue about a meter (39 inches) tall into the room. According to the auction catalog, the bronze sculpture, titled "Artemis and the Stag," was a depiction of the Roman goddess of the hunt.

The sculpture was of a young girl with shining eyes, the folds of her knee-length robe draped suggestively over her body. A spokesman for the auction house raved about the sculpture, calling it "among the most beautiful works of art surviving from antiquity." The masterpiece promptly set off a vigorous bidding war.

A man from the sheikdom of Qatar offered the first bid, and an unknown man wearing a suit promptly countered with a higher bid. After that the bidding went up in $100,000 (€69,000) increments with each wave of a hand. When the duel stalled at $12 million, a new bidder seated at the rear of the room suddenly joined the fray.

The auctioneer's hammer finally came down with a bang at $25.5 million ($28.6 million, including the Sotheby's fee). The sculpture went to Giuseppe Eskenazi, a 68-year-old London art dealer, who promptly had the valuable piece flown to mainland Europe for his unidentified client.

It was the highest price every paid for a Roman sculpture. Even Sotheby's called the sale "absolutely astonishing."

But the new owner, rumored to be a Russian, could soon be disappointed. In a report SPIEGEL has obtained, Stefan Lehmann, an archeologist from the eastern German city of Halle, raises doubts about the piece. He is troubled by the "unexpressive face and seemingly perfect condition" of the sculpture. At first glance, writes Lehmann, the sculpture reminds him of a "classical work from the period around 1800."

Josef Floren, the German author of a handbook titled "The Greek Sculpture," is also skeptical. The "box-shaped base" on which the goddess is standing seems "modern." Floren is also perplexed by the clothing the young woman is wearing. "Something resembling a shawl or a veil is draped across her shoulders. No one in Rome walked around like that."

The rest of the article is a good read, of course. In any event, the face of this particular Artemis has always struck me as looking more 'Victorian' (for want of a better word) than Hellenistic and I think the same about the Belvedere Apollo (which is obviously pre-Victorian, but I don't think it's ancient). The 'hand gestures' of the Artemis also have always seemed odd to me. The Artemis was apparently found at an Italian construction site in the 1920s, we are told, and made its way to Buffalo in 1953 apparently through some very clear and above-the-board transactions.

Now something's just popped into my head and I need to write it down before I forget it. Does anyone else see the similarity between the hair and face of the Artemis and the Stag (the best photo I can find is this one) and the Apollo Sauroktonos lurking in the back rooms of the Cleveland Museum of Art? It might be just me, but the hand fragment also strikes me as 'in the same vein' (although not identical). An item in the Cleveland Plain Dealer gives the provenance (we are told) story:

The museum first learned about the Apollo in April 2003, when Bennett visited the Phoenix gallery in Geneva. Impressed, he called Reid, who asked that the Apollo be sent to Cleveland for what turned out to be a year of scrutiny.

Bennett said the gallery refused to tell him from whom it had bought the work. And while the gallery provided photographs of the sculpture undergoing a restoration recently, the dealers told the curator they didn't know who did the work.

Instead, the gallery referred Bennett to Walter, who said the work had been in the collection of his family since the early 1930s, on an estate in Lausitz, a region east of Dresden.

The communist government of East Germany confiscated the estate after World War II. Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, Walter filed a successful claim to repossess it. He said he found the Apollo lying in pieces on the floor of a manor house, in 1993 or 1994, according to Bennett.

In 1994, the lawyer showed the sculpture to Lucia Marinescu, a Romanian scholar. But her response apparently did nothing to convince Walter to keep the work.

Walter told Bennett and Reid that he sold the piece later in 1994 to a Dutch art dealer for 1,600 Deutschmarks, or $1,250 in 2004 dollars, thinking it was an 18th- or 19th-century garden ornament.

Walter also told the museum he couldn't remember the dealer's name, and that he has no receipt.

Marinescu lectured about the sculpture at an international conference on ancient bronzes, held in Bucharest in May 2003. That was a month after the sculpture was shipped from Geneva to Cleveland.

Bennett said Marinescu hasn't shared with the museum the photographs she took during her 1994 visit to Walter. Through an interpreter, Marinescu declined to be interviewed.

The museum believes that the Apollo changed hands several times while moving from Germany to the Netherlands and Switzerland. But there's no paper trail.

Of course, this Apollo is one which is being claimed by Greece and also by Italy. Interesting, though, that both surface, maybe, between the wars ... one thinks of Alceo Dossena, but I've never seen any of his fakes on the scale of these pieces. Continuing the idle speculation, I wonder how many ancient fakes have made it to the market via Nazi looting in WWII ...
ante diem x kalendas februarias

ludi palatini (day 3) -- the theatrefest continues
effusive @

preterlapsed @ Worthless Word for the Day
From the Union Tribune:

Thousands of trees will be planted at the fire-ravaged birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games to restore the area ahead of the Beijing 2008 flame-lighting ceremony in March, officials said Tuesday.

Work is expected to start next week at the 2,800-year-old site of Ancient Olympia, where lush forests were wiped out by August's wildfires that killed 66 people in southern Greece.

“There will be teams working day and night; we have to meet the deadline,” said Maria Mathioudi, general secretary of Greece's National Agricultural Research Foundation, which drew up the rescue plan.

The replanting has been delayed for more than two months, and Greece's Olympic Committee warned last week that unless work starts soon the country risks “international disrepute.”

The plans approved Tuesday by senior Culture Ministry officials aim to restore the area according to the descriptions of ancient writers. Workers will be planting cypresses, olive trees, pines, poplars and Judas trees up to 8 feet tall, as well as laurel and oleander bushes. Some 30,000 trees and bushes are to be in place by mid-March.

The ancient Games were held in Olympia between 776 B.C. and A.D. 394. Forests around the site were obliterated by Greece's worst wildfires on record, but firefighters kept the flames at bay just short of the ruined temples and stadium.

The replanting will cost $3.9 million, to be covered by a donation from the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, which is providing an additional $1.9 million for replanting around Ancient Olympia by 2010.

The flame-lighting ritual, scheduled for March 24, has been held at Ancient Olympia before every Olympics since the 1936 Berlin Games.

Kneeling in front of the ruined Temple of Hera, an actress in the white gown and sandals of an ancient high priestess lights the Olympic flame using a concave mirror to focus the sun's heat on a silver torch.

The flame is transported to the host city by a relay of runners, with the last using it to ignite a cauldron at the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony.

Beijing organizers plan to stage the longest torch relay in Olympic history – an 85,000-mile, 130-day route that will cross five continents.
From the obituary of Albert Bowker, former chancellor of Berkeley:

In 1996, he donned a toga to join former UC Berkeley Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien at a UC Berkeley archaeological site in Ancient Nemea, Greece, for a barefoot race with hundreds of people from around the world. The event recreated footraces once held there during the ancient Panhellenic Games.

Bowker adopted Nemea as one of his test-case, fundraising efforts, said Stephen Miller, the UC Berkeley emeritus professor of classics who led UC Berkeley's research at the Greek site for decades. Bowker's vision helped develop Nemea-related scholarly and popular publications, studies and dissertations by UC Berkeley students and faculty, and an archaeological park visited by 32,000 people in 2007 that features a museum, a temple of Zeus that is under reconstruction, and an ancient athletics stadium.

"Indeed, in 1996 that 'walking, talking unmade king-size bed,' as the undergraduates used to call him (Bowker), ran barefoot down the ancient stadium track at the first revival of the Nemean Games," said Miller. "It should surprise no one that the excavation house at Nemea bears, on its door, the little sign 'Bowker House.'"
Short Mommsen Colloquium

9-11 Oct. 2008 in Rostock

Tradition and innovation during the Flavian Empire: media strategies

The reign of the Flavian emperors is characterized by the desire to stabilize the organization of power after the tyranny of Nero and the struggle for succession. The new dynasty faces the task of proving its legitimacy by creating continuity with its Julio-Claudian predecessors, and especially with Augustus as the founder of the princi­pate. On the other hand, the Flavians aim to implement their own cultural and legisla­tive practices. This ambivalence between legitimisation through the past and inno­vative orientation towards the future can be traced in the strategies which the new regime develops in a wide range of media: in the arts, in literature, in its overall public self-presentation.

The conference will focus on this ambivalence between tradition and the claim for innovation. We especially welcome papers with an interdisciplinary approach, par­ticularly joint projects of colleagues from different Classical disciplines.

If you would like to contribute to the colloquium, please send us an abstract (ca. 500 words ) before 1st May 2008. The Mommsen-Gesellschaft can contribute to travel costs and your stay in Rostock. Guests and graduate students are welcome.

Date: 9-11 October 2008

Location: Rostock/Germany

Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 April 2008

Dr. Norbert Kramer, Rostock

Prof. Dr. Christiane Reitz, Rostock,

PD Dr. Lorenz Winkler-Horaček, Rostock and Berlin

Information and submission of papers via email:


A website will be shortly available via

ante diem xi kalendas januarias

ludi palatini (day 2/5) - the theatrefest continues
permeate @

sophister @ Worthless Word for the Day

adjuvant @ Merriam-Webster
From the Union-Tribune:

An ancient tannery in the archaeological complex of Pompeii, a city destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the first century, will be restored, officials said Monday.

The tannery – discovered in the 19th century and excavated in the 1950s – includes water pipes, 15 round tubs and the tannery manager's house, archaeological officials said. A drying area is also believed to have been part of the complex.

Restoration of the tannery, which is believed to be among the world's most ancient, is expected to start this year, the statement said.

No other information was immediately available.

Pompeii was destroyed in A.D. 79 by a cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius that killed thousands of people and buried the city in 20 feet of volcanic ash. The ash preserved Pompeii for 1,600 years and provided precious information about what life was like in the ancient world.
6.00 p.m. |HISTU| Alexander the Great and the Devastating Catapult.

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| 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.

10.00 p.m. |HINT| Engineering An Empire: The Byzantines
As much of the world descended into the Dark Ages after the fall of Rome, one civilization shone brilliantly: the Byzantine Empire. With ruthless might and supreme ingenuity, the Byzantines ruled over vast swaths of Europe and Asia for more than a thousand years. It was Byzantium that preserved the classical learning and science that would one day give rise to the Renaissance. The Byzantines constructed the ancient world's longest aqueduct, virtually invincible city walls, a massive stadium, and a colossal domed cathedral that defied the laws of nature. Watch with host Peter Weller as we learn how the engineering feats of this great empire would betray them as an ancient light was extinguished in the glare of modern warfare.

HISTU = History Channel (US)
DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)
HINT = History International
ante diem xii kalendas februarias

ludi palatini (day 1/4)

63 A.D. -- birth of Claudia (daughter of Nero and Poppaea)

1609 -- death of Joseph Justus Scaliger
devolve @ Merriam-Webster
From the Hindu:

The Italian Government has begun to show a welcome interest in the Roman Trail in South India and one of the consequences of this is likely to help in the development of an archaeological park in Arikamedu, 4 km south of Pondicherry and a part of t he Union Territory. As a prelude to this, a fascinating book titled Arikamedu – Its Place in the Ancient Rome-India Contacts, written by Madras archaeologist Dr. S. Suresh, has been brought out by the Embassy of Italy, New Delhi.

For some years now, Suresh has been leading small groups that have followed the Roman Trail in South India on tours organised by INTACH-Tamil Nadu. In his latest book, he spells out that trail in a little more detail, even if his focus is on Arikamedu. The trail stretches from ancient Musiris (generally considered to be Kodunganallur, north of Cochin, but that, Suresh emphasises, is just speculation; “those who claim to go to Musiris, actually go in search of Musiris!”, he feels) to Mylapore.

From Musiris the trail goes to Iyyal on the Trichur-Guruvayur Road where hoards of Roman coins were found in two caves, now called the St. Thomas Caves. Next comes the village of Vellalur, 15 km from Coimbatore, and Perur on the outskirts of the city. Roman coins and pottery have been found in both places and gold Roman jewellery - now in the Madras Museum – in the former. It’s then on to Kodumanal on the north bank of the Noyyal, a tributary of the Kaveri. An iron-processing industry and the manufacture of beads from semi-precious stones were major production activities here in Roman times, the iron ore coming from nearby Chenniamalai and the stones from several neighbouring villages. Excavations at Kodumanal have revealed iron swords and arrowheads, a terracotta head (my picture today), pottery, and Roman coins and gold and silver ornamentation.

Similar manufacture took place at Karur, the ancient capital of the Cheras on the banks of the Amaravathi, and similar finds have been made. The ancient Chola capital of Uraiyur, near Srirangam, is the next stop. Roman pottery and dyeing vats have been found here, the latter some confirmation of muslin that was much in demand in Rome being manufactured there. And so to the east coast, to the ancient port of Kaveripattinam (Poompuhar today, but Kaberis to the ancients from the West), once the chief port of the Cholas and a great entrepot. Roman pottery and coins have been discovered here and in a nearby place intriguingly called Vellaiyan-Iruppu (‘Abode of the white man’).

Heading north from Kaveripattinam you come to Arikamedu, once an important port and, in the 20th Century, site of the most extensive ‘digs’ in search of ancient Roman connections. The first searches were in the 1930s by the French, followed by a Madras Museum-led excavation at the request of the French in 1940. The French, as well as Wheeler, conducted ‘digs’ till 1950 before excavating Arikamedu was given up till an American-funded Indian scholar, Vimala Begley, worked at the site from 1989 to 1992. It’s been all quiet since then. The Archaeological Survey of India purchased the privately-owned site in 2003 and fenced it in 2006. Pottery, beads, coins and other evidence of Roman presence and trade have been unearthed here during every ‘dig’.

And so to the two ancient Pallava ports of Mamallapuram and Mylapore – where the Roman evidence in them long predates the Pallava. Once again, Roman coins and pottery have been the main finds. In fact, Roman coins have also been found in Saidapet and Mambalam!

The Romans followed the world’s oldest sea trade route from the 3rd Century B.C.E., till the 7th Century C.E., though their trading activities with India began to decline from the end of the 1st Century C.E. They came in search of textiles, gemstones, spices, ivory, sandalwood and the exotica of the East, not least its wealth of fauna. They brought with them coral, wine, silver and gold. The Yavanas, as they were known in South India, sailed from Pozzuoli near Capua in southern Italy to Alexandria, then down the Nile, across the desert to the Red Sea ports, particularly Berenike, and, thereafter, in Arab ships to India. It’s a wondrous story that deserves telling in detail by Suresh one day.
An excerpt from an item in the New York Times:

Volcanically, Antarctica is a fairly quiet place. But sometime around 325 B.C., the researchers said, a hidden and still active volcano erupted, puncturing several hundred yards of ice above it. Ash and shards from the volcano carried through the air and settled onto the surrounding landscape. That layer is now out of sight, hidden beneath the snows that fell over the subsequent 23 centuries.

Although out of sight, the layer showed up clearly in airborne radar surveys conducted over the region in 2004 and 2005 by American and British scientists. The reflected radio waves, over an elliptical area about 110 miles wide, were so strong that earlier radar surveys had mistakenly identified it as bedrock. Better radar techniques now can detect a second echo from the actual bedrock farther down.

The thickness of ice above the ash layer provided an estimate of the date of the eruption: 207 B.C., give or take 240 years. For a more precise date, Mr. Corr and Dr. Vaughan turned to previous observations from ice cores, which contained spikes in the concentration of acids, another byproduct of eruptions. Scientists knew that an eruption occurred around 325 B.C., plus or minus a few years, but did not know where the eruption occurred. “We’re fairly confident this is the same eruption,” Dr. Vaughan said.

Now, they know both time and place.

“It’s probably within Alexander the Great’s lifetime, but not more precise than that,” Dr. Vaughan said.

... I wonder if the effects of this were seen in the region of our purview ....
6.00 p.m. |HINT| 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.

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| ROME | How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic
Anointed People’s Tribune by Caesar, Mark Antony returns to Rome with Octavian’s liberators, Vorenus and Pullo. After being feted by a grateful Atia, Vorenus heads home to his family for the first time in eight years, while Pullo heads for the brothels. Shocked to see a husband she thought was dead, Vorenus’ wife, Niobe, presents him with a family he barely recognizes. After the Senate rebuffs Caesar’s “compromise” for a heroic return to Rome, Antony learns that Pompey has drafted an ultimatum stripping the general of his power. With tempers on both sides reaching a boiling point, unfinished business involving Pullo spawns a Forum melee that all but ensures an unhappy outcome in the Pompey-Caesar standoff – and sends Pullo and an injured Vorenus back into Caesar’s ranks.

HINT = History International
HISTC = History Television (Canada)
Assorted items that seem worthy of attention:

Thanks to William Caraher for mentioning our little blog in his lengthy look at archaeological blogging at Archaeology Magazine ...

Harper's Magazine on Caesar's Mistress (tip of the pileus to Mata Kimasatayo)

Classics profs (and Latin teachers) will be interested in the post at Thoughts on Antiquity (and related links) on the Decline of Classical Languages ...

Irene Hahn has conveniently gathered a number of recent posts over at the Toynbee Convector of interest (including the Disadvantages of a Classical Education) ...

You HAVE to watch Bella Dormiens, a Latin Class project up at eClassics which is actually in Latin and good too!

I've put up issue 10.39 of our Explorator Newsletter as well as the latest weekly version of our Ancient World on Television listings ...

Ages ago on the Classics list -- inspired by McMaster University's motto being in Greek -- I had asked the Classics list about other mottoes in ancient Greek; this week, Diana Wright (TotP) sent a link to a list/discussion of quite a few of them ...

The Guardian has some nice retellings of some Greek myths ... download them now while you can!

Something to look forward to at the ACL in June ...

I'm still figuring out how best to deal with ITunesU podcasts here ... for now it should suffice to mention that my drive-to-and-from-work listening this week will be:

Garret Fagan, Roman Arenas and Crowd Dynamics

... and I'm hoping to get to some episodes of:

Dr Frank A. James III, History of Christianity

... and possibly:

Patrick Hunt, How Did Hannibal Cross the Alps?

Greece's Olympic Committee said Thursday that work to replant fire-ravaged woods at the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games was far behind schedule, and urged "drastic improvement" before the flame-lighting ceremony for the Beijing Olympics.

The conservative government has pledged to replant the area around the site, following the descriptions of ancient writers, in time for the March 24 ceremony.

But the Hellenic Olympic Committee, or HOC, said work was badly delayed.

"If the current situation does not improve drastically in the immediate future, our country will be brought into international disrepute and one of the Olympic movement's top events will be dramatically discredited," an HOC statement said.

"We express our deepest concern at the progress of the work at the site, given the very tight time schedule."

Officials at the Culture Ministry, which is responsible for replanting at the World Heritage site, were not immediately available for comment.

Ancient Olympia, in the western Peloponnese, a lush beauty spot where the ancient Games were first held in 776 B.C, suffered extensive damage from the summer wildfires — the worst on record — that killed 66 people in southern Greece. Firefighters kept the flames at bay just short of the 2,500-year-old ruined temples and stadium, but the surrounding forests were obliterated.

Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said last year that the flame-lighting ceremony for the Beijing Olympics would be conducted "in the best way possible," while 3,200 bushes and trees would be planted on the Hill of Kronos that overlooks the site.

The carefully orchestrated ritual has been held at Ancient Olympia before every Olympics since the 1936 Berlin Games.

Kneeling in front of the ruined Temple of Hera, an actress in the white gown and sandals of an ancient high priestess lights the Olympic flame using a concave mirror to focus the sun's heat on a silver torch.

The flame is transported to the host city by a relay of runners, with the last using it to ignite a cauldron at the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony.

Beijing organizers plan to stage the longest torch relay in Olympic history — an 85,000-mile, 130-day route that will cross five continents.
Another one from PR-Inside:

Wild chariot races, scenes of column-busting combat, and even a doping scandal at the Olympic Games were all watched in Athens late Thursday.
«Asterix at the Olympics» premiered in the Greek capital _ the third installment of France's popular movie series based on the comic books by Rene Goscinny and Albert
The movie is due for general release Jan. 30, and director Frederic Forestier on Thursday said Uderzo had kept a close eye on the filmmaking.
«While it was being made, he read through the script and joined for as many different parts of the movie as he could,» Forestier said in Athens.
«He is really very happy with the film ... He thinks this adaptation (was) faithful to the spirit of the comic book _ both its images and characters.
Asterix, his obese chum Obelix, their dog Dogmatix and the friendly druid Getafix have starred in more than 30 comic book adventures over five decades as the plucky Gaul fights to keep his corner of France free from the ancient Romans.
In the movie, the Gallic duo takes on the Romans in the Olympic arena to help their love-sick friend Alafolix win the heart of the beautiful Greek Princess Irina, played by model Vanessa Hessler.
There are also brief appearances from basketball star Tony Parker, soccer great Zinedine Zidane and Formula One's Michael Schumacher.
Off the field, the two sides have to contend with corrupt judges and doping allegations surrounding the Gauls' famous magic potion.
Forestier said he hoped the comic's international appeal could draw non-French audience to his 158-minute comedy.
«In the United States, they have a huge range of movies, from blockbusters to small independent productions. But in Europe, it's limited ... we're very enclosed in our own (countries) and this limits us to certain styles of cinema,» he said.
«But because the Asterix comics are so well known, this allows us to make European films which are also in this (more general, international) category.
French actor Gerard Depardieu, who returns as Obelix, said he enjoyed his latest run at comedy.

«I've done comedy before, and this a movie taken from a comic book, so the actions are all exaggerated,» he said.
«I love the character of Obelix. He's a comedian without meaning to be. He doesn't necessarily want to make people laugh. He's fat, he's strong, he's a bit like me.

The stuff at the official website looks interesting (Click on 'Teaser') ...
From PR-Inside:

Italy's campaign to recover allegedly looted treasures from museums and collectors worldwide is helping reduce the illegal international traffic of archaeological artifacts stolen from the country, officials said Thursday.
Art thefts in 2007 were down by more than 10 percent compared to 2006, while illegal excavations decreased by four percent, said Gen.
Giovanni Nistri, who heads the art squad of the Carabinieri paramilitary police.
«The figures show how, at the moment, international trafficking ... is surely declining,» Nistri said at a presentation of his unit's yearly report. «In 2007, the trafficking of archaeological items was more domestic and involved objects of less important quality.
Italy is aggressively combatting the pillage of its archaeological and artistic treasures. Its efforts include seeking the return of hundreds of antiquities it claims were dug up clandestinely, smuggled out of the country and sold to top museums worldwide.
So far, Italy has secured the return of dozens of Roman, Greek and Etruscan artifacts from museums including California's J. Paul Getty Museum and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Nistri said that illegally excavated artifacts were generally channeled through Switzerland _ long considered a hub of illegal trafficking _ before reaching other destinations including the United States.
That conduit has been drying up since Italy and Switzerland signed a deal in 2006 under which customs officials must ensure that importers of antiquities have proof of the artifact's origin and of its lawful export from the neighboring country.

No major art theft was reported this year in Italy and thefts from museums also decreased, Nistri said.
«The fact that items are recovered is discouraging (the thefts),» Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli told reporters at the presentation.
The art squad report said that over 95,000 paintings, ancient books and other items were recovered this year _ an increase of 457 percent compared to last year_ while over 28,000 archaeological artifacts were recovered, 16 percent more than 2006.
Italy's art squad, founded in 1969, monitors some 6,000 archaeological sites. A 1939 law makes all antiquities found in the country state property.

Not sure I follow the logic in this one ... how do they know that legal excavations have declined by four per cent? Doesn't it really mean they (the art squad) found out about four percent fewer illegal excavations? And even with that, what does that mean? One fewer than last year?
From the NY Times:

This week Greece’s culture minister, Michalis Liapis, pruned the powers of the country’s new archaeology chief, Theodoros Dravillas, after the dismissal and suicide attempt of the politician who preceded him in that post.

Christos Zachopoulos, the former secretary general of the Greek Culture Ministry and chairman of the Central Archaeological Council, jumped off the balcony of his fourth-floor home here last month after allegations that he was being blackmailed by his former office assistant, with whom he had had an affair. Mr. Zachopoulos, 54, survived the fall. But what began as a sex scandal has evolved into a political one that is being closely watched across the country. Mr. Zachopoulos was appointed to his post in 2004 by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, a friend.

Mr. Zachopoulos’s former assistant has been detained while awaiting trial on charges of attempted blackmail, and Athens investigators have opened an inquiry into the former archaeology chief’s handling of ministry finances.

An Athens prosecutor is also examining at least 10 of an estimated 200 cases in which Mr. Zachopoulos, in his capacity as the head of the Central Archaeological Council, decreed that places could be removed from the list of protected archaeological sites.

The controversy seems to have eroded the moral authority of the Greek Culture Ministry, which has waged a high-profile campaign to reclaim ancient artifacts that it says were clandestinely looted from its soil and sold to museums abroad. Among the artifacts ceded recently are a priceless ancient gold wreath and a marble statue from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Among other decisions, investigators are examining a $90,000 grant sanctioned by Mr. Zachopoulos last month for a reforestation project at a group of archaeological sites in Salonika in northern Greece.

The Athens daily Eleftherotypia reported that the decision countered recommendations by a team of culture ministry experts who said the project could damage Byzantine monuments.

The scandal has set off a series of changes. For example, Mr. Liapis, the culture minister, said this week that Mr. Zachopoulos’s successor as the head of the archaeological council would not be allowed to vote twice to break a tie or to push through any other decision.

“We have to change some things so that there is greater transparency, so that public trust can be restored to this very important institution,” Mr. Liapis said at a news conference on Tuesday. “I’ve given orders to the new secretary general to strive for the biggest possible majority decisions in cases that come before the council.”

In July Mr. Zachopoulos used his second vote to allow two Art Deco buildings here — one of which was designed by a friend of Picasso’s and is viewed as an architectural landmark in Athens — to be removed from the protected list because it blocked the view from the restaurant of the new $178 million New Acropolis Museum. The issue had split the council 12-12.

But Mr. Liapis said the July vote was only “one of two cases in which Mr. Zachopoulos used his right to a second vote,” and that neither decision involved financial interests. Even so, opposition lawmakers now want to review several contracts approved by Mr. Zachopoulos.

Opposition lawmakers have also called upon Prime Minister Karamanlis to appear before a parliamentary committee. Their request has been dismissed by the government.


The Department of Classics at the University of Wales, Lampeter is pleased
to announce that an international conference on ‘Priests and State in the
Roman World’ will take place at Lampeter between 28 and 30 August 2008.

This is a list of the confirmed papers:
J. Rüpke (Erfurt), Different colleges – never mind?
J. North (London), Lex Domitia revisited
T. J. Cornell (Manchester), TBA
A. Raggi (Pisa), Religion and Provincial Laws
S. Mitchell (Exeter), What did imperial high priests actually do?
M. Humpries (Swansea), Towards a new pontifex maximus? Roman Church and
Roman State in Late Antiquity
A. Dalla Rosa (Pisa-Cologne), Auspicia of the emperor and the proconsuls
J. Rich (Nottingham), Roman Priests and Roman War
F. Santangelo (Lampeter), Pontiffs and pax deorum
A. Clark (Oxford), Magistri and ministri in Roman Italy
E. Isayev (Exeter), Just the right amount of priestly foreigners: Roman
citizenship for the Greek priestess of Ceres
J. Richardson (Lampeter), The Vestal Virgins and the Annales Maximi
F. Glinister (London), The Salian Virgins
J. Reynolds (Cambridge), Priests in Cyrenaica
N. Belayche (Paris), Priests at Pisidian Antioch
R. Häussler (Osnabruck), State and Religion in Gallia Narbonensis
B. Rossignol (Paris), Municipal and provincial priests from the Danubian
provinces (Pannonia, Dacia, Moesia superior)
B. Goffaux (Lille), Priests in Roman Spain
L. Capponi (Newcastle), Priests, Books and State in Hellenistic and Roman
A. Powell (UWICAH), Killing a priest of Apollo: Aeneid 10, 537-42

The conference will be dedicated to the memory of our colleague Keith
There will be no registration fee, and everybody is welcome to attend.

For any query or expression of interest, you are welcome to get in touch
with the conference organisers, Dr James Richardson
(j.richardson AT and Dr Federico Santangelo
(f.santangelo AT
From BMCR:

Zahra Newby, Ruth Leader-Newby, Art and Inscriptions in the Ancient World.

Gwenaelle Aubry, Dieu sans la puissance. Dunamis et energeia chez Aristote et chez Plotin.

Renato Raffaelli, Alba Tontini (edd.), Lecturae Plautinae Sarsinates X: "Menaechmi".

Kieran McGroarty, Plotinus on Eudaimonia: A Commentary on Ennead I.4.

William Fitzgerald, Martial: The World of the Epigram.

Mark W. Chavalas (ed.), Current Issues in the History of the Ancient Near East: Publications of the Association of Ancient Historians 8.

Adrian Kelly, A Referential Commentary and Lexicon to Homer, Iliad VIII.

Martin Wallraff (ed.), Julius Africanus und die christliche Weltchronistik. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, 157.

Jim Powell (trans.), The Poetry of Sappho.

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

7.00 p.m. |HISTC| ROME | the Stolen Eagles
52 B.C. Eager to return to Rome after eight long years of war, Gaius Julius Caesar ends his campaign with a resounding victory in Gaul – and news of a shattering personal loss at home. When his army’s gold standard is stolen, Caesar’s cousin and commander Mark Antony enlists two soldiers, Centurion Lucius Vorenus and Legionnaire Titus Pullo, to track it down. Despite their differences, the two make a formidable duo, and elevate themselves by retrieving more than just the missing standard. In Rome, Caesar’s old friend Pompey Magnus is counseled by Cato, Cicero, Scipio and other old-guard members of the Senate, who worry that Caesar’s popularity among the masses will rattle the patrician status quo, along with their wealth and power. Pompey too has experienced a personal loss, which Caesar’s niece, Atia, looks to assuage through an offering of her daughter, Octavia. Careful to play both sides of an escalating power struggle, Atia sends Caesar a grand token of her esteem, hand-delivered after a perilous journey by her precocious 11-year-old son, Octavian.

HINT = History International

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
... and he's a humanities guy ...

PhD Comics
Seminars on Memory and Mourning; Death in Ancient Rome

The second seminar will be held in the Arts Faculty Crowther Building Room 062, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes on Wednesday, February 13 2008.


Coffee from 10.30am

11.00 Carolyn Price (OU) ‘Robbed of life? Seneca on the injustice of premature death’

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

LUNCH 12.30 – 1.15 (not provided, but available in the University Refectory)

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

2.00 Clemence Schultze (Durham) ‘Putting death on the record: dying and commemoration in Dionysius of Halicarnassus’

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

3.30 Tea Departure

There is no fee, but please email Bronwen Sharp, Departmental Coordinator, Department of Classical Studies (B.M.Sharp AT by February 1 2008 if you intend to come. Lunch can be bought at the OU Refectory. Details of how to reach the OU at Walton Hall can be found at:

For further enquiries please contact either of us:

Valerie Hope (V.M.Hope) and Janet Huskinson (J.A.R.Huskinson AT

9-11 SEPTEMBER 2008

Libraries operate as the core foundation of research and study in the modern
Western world. Historically, they have enabled the preservation and
transmission of knowledge from antiquity to the Middle Ages, to the
contemporary era. Yet in the diachronic history of the library, we still lack
fundamental facts about its institutional role, organisation and mode of
operation in the ancient world. This is especially acute as both archaeological
research and the study of ancient literary texts have enabled significant
advancement to our knowledge and understanding of ancient written culture and
its various loci of production and dissemination.

The conference aims to re-open discussion of the role, function and users of
ancient libraries. We are keen to explore the shifting conditions under which
the library operated as a physical and institutional entity, but also as
intellectual and symbolic space over the long span of antiquity. In addition,
we wish to investigate a variety of scholarly practices and social and
intellectual networks that developed within the domain of the ancient library.
We thus hope to illuminate the relationship between the library and the broader
culture of reading, writing and intellectual exchange in antiquity.

Conference organisers:
Dr Jason König (
Dr Katerina Oikonomopoulou (
Professor Greg Woolf (

The conference is part of the activities of the Leverhulme-funded ‘Science and
Empire in the Roman World’ project
( It will bring
together literary scholars, historians and archaeologists of all periods of
Graeco-Roman antiquity specialising in the above fields. Confirmed speakers
include: Ewen Bowie, Annette Harder, George Houston, Christian Jacob, William
Johnson, Richard Neudecker.

We invite papers on the following broad themes:
• The library as both material and intellectual archive: its history,
significance and development
• Libraries and the reading culture of antiquity
• Patterns of source usage, cross-referencing and annotating in antiquity
• The institutional function of ancient libraries, and their role in ancient
intellectual life
• Libraries and patronage, or benefaction
• Libraries and acquisitiveness, material or intellectual
• The organisation and operation of ancient libraries
• The topography of the ancient library: libraries and civic space
• Public and private libraries in the ancient world

Scholars, including postgraduate students, are asked to send 300-word abstracts
to Katerina Oikonomopoulou (ao40 AT by the 30th of April 2008.
Please find below details of seminars taking place in the Ancient History Section of the Cardiff
School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University, during the coming semester. All are very
welcome to attend!

Cardiff School of History and Archaeology
Humanities Building
Colum Drive
CF10 3EU

Monday 4 February
Room 0.31
Prof. Greg Woolf (University of St Andrews)
Religious Creativity in the Roman Provinces
(Joint meeting of the Cardiff & District Classical Association and Society for the Promotion of
Roman Studies

Monday 18 February
Room 4.45
Dr Hugh Bowden (KCL)
Were the priests of the Roman cult of Magna Mater

Monday 3 March
Saskia Roselaar (Leiden University)
Economic growth and the privatization of public Republican Rome

Monday 17 March
Room 0.31
Dr Julia Hillner (Manchester University)
Aristocratic Patronage in Late Antique Rome
(Meeting of the Cardiff & District Classical Association)

Monday 28 April
Room 4.45
Harriet Batten Foster (University of Bristol)
‘Peindre Comme on Parlait a Sparte’: The French Enlightenment and the Antique

For more information, please contact Nick Fisher (Fishern AT or Ruth Westgate
(Westgater AT
Leeds Classics Department Research Seminar

Wednesdays at 3pm
Room 101, Parkinson Building
University of Leeds

Meetings of the Classical Association (Leeds & District branch) are also included below, marked ‘CA’. Please note that their days and times vary.

January 23rd (CA Talk – starting at 5 for 5.30 pm)
Stephen Todd (University of Manchester)
Putting the Hype into the New Hypereides

February 13th
Kai Brodersen (University of Mannheim, Germany)
Cetius Faventinus, or: A Manual for the Roman First Time Buyer

February 20th
Paola Ceccarelli (University of Durham)
(Title to be announced)

February 27th
James Robson (Open University)
Slipping one in: Aristophanes and his Dirty Words

March 5th (CA Talk – starting at 5 for 5.30 pm)
Karim Arafat (Kings College London)
Pausanias in Context

March 12th
CA Trial Run
Various Speakers

April 16th
Elizabeth Pender (University of Leeds)
Plato's Poetic Allusions in Timaeus and Phaedrus

April 30th
Jane Barton (Oriel College Oxford)
The Coherence of Ancient Methodism

May 7th
Niklas Holzberg (University of Munich, Germany)
A Sensitive, Even Weak and Feeble Disposition?
The Elegist C. Valgius Rufus

For more information, please contact Drs. Emma Stafford (e.j.stafford AT or Regine May (r.may AT
"Original research leading to peer-reviewed publication forms an essential part of academic life, and it often plays a major role in decisions about hiring and promotion. For the most part our profession has ways of assessing and thinking about research that leads to publication. Good teaching, though, also demands extensive learning and sometimes calls for innovative research in its own right. How can we think about and evaluate research of this kind? Does a scholar who spends a year or more developing an original course or rethinking a familiar classroom topic deserve the same esteem as one who spends that time producing a book or article?
This panel, sponsored by the APA Division of Education, will explore research done in support of teaching. Among the questions that prospective panelists may want to consider are
* Can we recognize research done in support of teaching when we see it? What does it look like?
* How do we assess research done in support of teaching? Can we tell excellent research from mediocre research in the absence of peer-reviewed publication?
* How do we make institutions and our profession aware of research done in support of teaching?
* How can we help each other become better scholars in support of our teaching?
* What relation exists between research done in support of teaching and research for publication?
Submit abstracts electronically to Prof. Martha Davis (madavis AT Friday, February 1, 2008. The abstract proper should follow the APA guidelines (see p. 6 of the program guide in the APA Newsletter,
t.pdf) and be anonymous. Papers will normally be no longer than 20 minutes in delivery. Please include requests for audio-visual equipment."
From ANSA:

Italy won't give up its claim to an ancient Greek bronze stature in the John Paul Getty Museum, Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli said on Thursday.

A legal campaign to reclaim the so-called 'Getty Bronze' will continue despite an Italian court ruling in November which severely dented Italy's case, Rutelli said.

The minister acknowledged that the court's rejection of a seizure petition was ''not positive'' but insisted that there was still scope to press Italy's demands.

''It will be a question of a few months. Then we'll see,'' Rutelli said.

In its November 20 ruling, a court in Fano on the Adriatic cleared the California museum of wrongdoing in the case of the statue, which is one of the jewels of its collection.

The 3rd-century BC statue, believed to be the handiwork of the famous Greek sculptor Lysippus, was fished out of the Adriatic off Fano in 1964.

Italy claims it was later smuggled out of the country and has demanded that the Getty hand it back.

Rejected the petition to confiscate the statue, the judge noted that the US museum had bought the work after a Rome court rejected smuggling charges because of lack of evidence.

Other trafficking charges have either lapsed under the statute of limitations or are no longer applicable because of the death of the fishermen and art dealers allegedly involved, the judge said.

It was impossible to prove that the museum knew the object had been smuggled out of Italy, the judge added.

The criminal case regarding the statue was therefore closed, the judge said.

But he offered a faint ray of hope for Italy's bid to reclaim the statue.

''The responsibility of the Getty Museum, which is not of a criminal nature, will have to be established in another forum, possibly via judicial arbitration involving the interested parties,'' he said.

Prosecutors and Italian heritage bodies have appealed against the sentence at Italy's highest court of appeal, the Cassation Court.

The figure has been contested ever since the Getty bought it for almost four million dollars in 1977 - almost 800 times the $5,600 the fishermen sold it to Italian dealers for in 1964.

Entitled The Getty Bronze (Statue of a Victorious Youth), the statue is one of the best-known works in the Los Angeles-based museum.

It was not included in a recent agreement on contested antiquities between Italy and the Getty.

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 now starring in on show at Rome's Quirinale Palace featuring 69 returned masterpieces.

The accord with the Californian museum resolved a long and bitter dispute over the antiquities.

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 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.

Pieces from all four museums appear in the Quirinale show.

Italy is now seeking similar accords with institutes in Cleveland, Denmark and Japan.

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

Tons of versions of this story ... this one's from ANSA:

Italy has reached a deal with US collector Shelby White to reclaim ten Greek and Etruscan objects robbed by tomb raiders, Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli told the New York Times Friday.

In negotiations that began 18 months ago, Italy had asked White for nine masterpieces, two of which were displayed until recently at the Metropolitan Museum.

In the end White upped her offer to a round ten including two remarkable drinking cups, one painted by the 5th-century BC Greek master Euphronios and the other by the Painter of Eucharides.

The latter is already in a packing case and will soon be winging its way to Italy along with eight other antiquities.

The smaller, even more precious Euphronios vessel will follow in 2010, Rutelli told the NYT in a long, front-page article.

He called the deal ''extraordinarily positive''.

Italian police say the pieces were sold to White by a British colleague of Rome-based dealer and trafficker Giacomo Medici.

The deal with White, one of the Met's greatest benefactors, caps a string of accords with major US galleries that has brought an array of looted art home. The vases, amphorae and statues, once signature pieces in the Met, the John Paul Getty Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Princeton University Museum of Art, are now starring in an acclaimed show of returned art at Rome's Quirinale Place.

The jewel in the exhibition's crown, the Met's famous Euphronios krater, has just joined them.

Other attractions include a marble statue of Roman empress Vibia Sabina, from Boston, and, from the Getty, a striking painted marble sculpture of griffons attacking a doe.

The exhibit is many Italians' first chance to see objects that have been disputed for decades.

The row over the Euphronios krater, for example, began soon after the Met paid $1 million for it in 1972.

Under the accords hammered out by Rutelli, Italy agreed to compensate the US museums by loaning out works of equivalent value and boosting cooperation on shows and digs.

Italy's art police spent years gathering evidence that the objects were looted from tombs and ruins, smuggled out of the country and trafficked by dealers.

All the US museums have said they were unaware of their illicit origins.

Some of the objects are part of an ongoing trial in Rome of former Getty curator Marion True and prominent American antiquities dealer Robert Hecht.

Both have denied charges of conspiring to traffic in looted art.

... see also David Gill's post on this ... Lee Rosenbaum's worth a look too ...
ante diem xvi kalendas februarias

Ludi Palatini (day 1)

86 B.C. -- death of Marius (or possibly on the 13th)

38 B.C. -- Octavian marries Livia

6 B.C. -- dedication of the ara Numinis Augusti in Rome

42 A.D. -- consecration of Livia as divine
scarify @ Merriam-Webster
From the Review Atlas:

Combining the history and speech of ancient Rome, Monmouth-Roseville High School Latin teacher Brian Tibbets uses a dead language to bring life back to the classroom.

While the Latin classes focus primarily around the language itself, Tibbets also focuses on culture, history and the mythology of Rome to help give students an understanding of the language. Tibbets, who has been teaching Latin at the high school for five years, also involves architecture, gladiator fights and a Roman forum project in his upper-level courses.

"I'm always finding new activities to do with students," Tibbets said. "At the end of every unit or at the end of every chapter I'm thinking about what worked and what didn't."

"I don't think any foreign language teacher would say they just do the language," Tibbets said.

His approach to teaching is what several of his students say ranks him as one of their favorite teachers.

"He's very energetic," said freshman Shanae Glasgow, who was given the Latin word for queen, "Regina" as her name in class. "He just doesn't give you a book or words to learn from."

By not building his classroom around lectures, Tibbets uses gladiator action figures and the game Slapboard - a game where students see who can give the definition of a word and slap the chalkboard with an eraser first - to help keep students interested.

"Sometimes he kicks our desk when we're sleeping to wake us up," said freshman Drake Stevens, or king of the monkey "Simius Rex."

But it is also his accessibility that his students appreciate. He makes himself available at all times, and allows them to get extra help whenever they need it. Making sure students understand the curriculum, whether it's on the first or third time, is what drives him. He said he is always looking for feedback from his students, and that he tries to stay sensitive to how they perceive his teaching.

"That, to me, never gets old," Tibbets said. "Because that moment of learning, whenever it happens, is what I'm looking for...and I'll do it until that moment happens.

"That 'ah-ha' moment, when students get that, that's why I do it." He said.

According to Tibbets and Principal Jeff Bryan, Monmouth-Roseville High is the smallest high school in Illinois, in terms of enrollment, that offers a Latin program.

With a major in classic languages, centering around Latin and Greek, Tibbets an interest in mythology and the root of words as a reason for the desire for the class.

"Latin is the basis for all languages," said Stevens. "It will help with the future, and I'd rather be doing this for my career."

Stevens said he hopes to work in the biology field after attending college.

Yet even with a small enrollment, Bryan said the school finds themselves screening possible candidates for the class as opposed to turning them away.

"We ask the junior high to make recommendations," Bryan said. "Then we'll make evaluations on their grades. Some students probably didn't get Latin because they didn't have the skills while a freshman in high school."

Bryan did say sophomores have been able to begin the program if they show the maturity needed for the upper-level course.

"On a practical level, Latin helps improve ACT scores and SAT scores," Tibbets said. "It helps students understand grammar, and their understanding of English always gets stronger because they're always picking up on nouns, verbs and parts of speech."
From AFP:

A marble bust of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius is back in Algerian hands, 12 years after it was stolen from a museum in the east of the country, the domestic APS news agency reported Wednesday.

The bust -- identified just before it was due to go on sale at Christie's auction house in New York -- was returned by US officials at a ceremony Tuesday at the Algerian embassy in Washington, it said.

Marcus Aurelius, the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors, ruled the Roman Empire from 161 until his death in battle in 180. He is also famous for his thoughts on stoicism, contained in his book "Meditations".

His bust was stolen from the Skikda museum in 1996, in circumstances that remain unclear, prompting the Algerian authorities to turn to Interpol for help in finding it.

It turned up in New York, where it was identified in June 2004 through the London-based Art Loss Register, prompting Christie's -- which had been about to sell it for a Paris art gallery -- to withdraw it from auction.

Prosecutors in New York ordered in December 2006 that the bust be returned to Algeria.

Gender and the Sacred in Cross-Cultural Perspective

One-Day conference, Roehampton University, Wednesday 19 March 2008 (room tbc)

I’m delighted to announce further details of this conference (originally advertised in the autumn as ‘The Sacred and the Feminine in Cross-Cultural Perspective’). It is the Inaugural event of ‘Literature and Culture of the Ancient World’, the new research cluster in Classical Civilisation at Roehampton:


* Dr Nick Allen (Oxford) – ‘The goddess Night in Orphism: a comparativist view’
* Dr Rosemary Barrow (Roehampton) – ‘The Aphrodite cult statue: aesthetics, erotics, religion?’


* Dr Elpida Christianaki (Canterbury College) – ‘Female religious avengers: The metamorphosis of Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera’
* Kyriaki Konstantinidou (Nottingham) – ‘“The vampire hunts its own kindred”: Aeschylean Erinyes and Greek vampirism’


* Dr Lynn Thomas (Roehampton) – ‘Myths of male parthenogensis’
* Dr Barbara Underwood – ‘James MacMillan’s Parthenogenesis’


* Amanda Potter (Open University) – ‘Goddesses just wanna have fun: classical deities reinvented for US TV in Xena Warrior Princess and Charmed’
* Gina Ramsay – ‘The Gallae of Cybele and the creation of identity in the ancient world: an overview’


* Toni Badnall (Nottingham) – ‘And they lived happily ever after? The sacred marriage in Aristophanes’
* Dr Susan Deacy (Roehampton) – ‘“Woman, see also Wife”: the Aarne-Thompson classification and classical myth’


* Dr Tina Beattie (Roehampton) – ‘Antigone, natural law and women’s rights’
* Melanie Landman (Roehampton) – ‘Constructing Black Madonna narratives: between Real and Imaginary’

Further details, including conference poster, available from s.deacy AT

Dr S.J. Deacy

Senior Lecturer in Greek History and Literature

Roehampton University
School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology

University of Liverpool
The programme for the Classics and Ancient History Research Seminar series in Semester 2 is as follows:

5 February
EPIGRAPHY NORTH: Prof. M. H. Crawford ‘Languages, geographies and economies of early Italy’

12 February
Mark Bradley (Nottingham) ‘Crime and Punishment on the Capitoline Hill’

19 February
Anne Rogerson (Cambridge) ‘Pandarus' death and Bitias' legacy: moving towards an end in Aeneid 9’

26 February
Niall Livingstone (Birmingham) ‘Herodotus on Multiculturalism?’

4 March
Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (Edinburgh) ‘An Empire of Pleasure? Masculinity, Reproduction and the Harem in Ancient Persia and the Near East’

11 March
Kelvin Everest (Liverpool) ‘Shelley’s Hellenism’

8 April
Mark Humphries (Swansea) ‘Pagans and Christians in Late Antique Ostia and Portus’

15 April
EPIGRAPHY NORTH: Prof. O. van Nijf Tbc

22 April
Katherine Harloe (Reading) ‘'Ingenium et doctrina.' Historicism and the imagination in Winckelmann and Wolf’

29 April
Amanda Wrigley (Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, Oxford) ‘Stages of Imagination: Classics Dramatized on BBC Radio from the 1920s’

Time: Tuesdays, 4.30 pm.
Venue: Bosanquet Seminar Room, 12 Abercromby Square.


For further information, please contact the seminar organiser, Dr Joanna Paul (Joanna.Paul AT or the Research Secretary, Ms Anastasia Barsukova (barsukov AT
... 1, 2, 3 ...
University of New Brunswick

2nd Annual Conference on Classical Studies and Archaeology

28-29 MARCH 2008


The Classics Society in conjunction with the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton will be hosting their second annual Classics Conference on 28-29 March 2008. The conference will be open to all MA students and senior undergraduates. A keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Christopher G. Brown from the University of Western Ontario.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Myth, Epic and Drama in the Ancient World”. However, all varieties of topics related to the Classical World will be accepted. Presentations should be about fifteen to twenty minutes in length and visual aids are encouraged.

The registration fee is $15, payable at the conference.

Abstracts should be around 300 words and should include a name, address, e-mail address, phone number and the university affiliation. The deadline for submissions is February 12th 2008, and all accepted MA and Undergraduate students will be notified by February 18th, 2008. Abstracts (preferably as a word document) should be sent to Chelsey Young t33k2 AT, as should any questions. All MA and Undergraduate students are welcome and encouraged to submit an abstract regardless of experience.
Chair, Department of History and Classics

The Department of History & Classics is one of the largest and most diverse in Canada. We have 49 faculty members in History, Classics and Religious Studies. The department is committed to excellence in teaching and research. It is a leader in areas such as East European History, Western Canadian History, History of Science and Medicine, Roman Archaeology and History, British History and Late Antique and Medieval History, and it continues to innovate and advance in many more areas. In addition, the department and many of its members contribute much to interdisciplinary programs such as Science, Technology and Society, Humanities Computing, Middle Eastern and African Studies and Religious Studies. Members of the department are closely linked to a number of research centers and institutes (e.g., Material Culture Institute, the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies), and scholarly organizations. The department operates the Hardy Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of Near Eastern and Classical Antiquities in Canada. See for further information.

The next chair will be an internationally recognized historian or classicist with a strong research program, superior teaching record and strong strategic-planning, organizational and management skills. The chair must appreciate and encourage the diversity of scholarship in the department and implement a supportive, collegial and open administrative style. The chair must be able to articulate a broad vision of History and Classics and have a clear operational sense of how all areas of the department can be promoted and their activities supported. Candidates with demonstrated administrative experience will be preferred. The successful candidate will have a scholarly record suitable for appointment at the rank of tenured full professor. Salary is negotiable and will be commensurate with experience.

The University of Alberta, one of Canada's largest and most accomplished research universities, is situated in Edmonton, a metropolitan area of over one million with a vibrant artistic community and excellent standard of living. Established in 1908 as a board-governed public institution, the University of Alberta has earned the reputation of being one of the best universities in Canada based on its strengths in teaching, research and service. The University of Alberta serves over 36,000 students in more than 200 undergraduate and 170 graduate programs ( The Faculty of Arts is the oldest and most diverse faculty on campus, and one of the largest research and teaching centres in western Canada (

This competition will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. The selection committee will begin consideration of candidates after January 15, 2008. To receive consideration, applications (including an up-to-date curriculum vitae, a summary of leadership experience, thoughts on academic leadership of the Department of History and Classics and the names of at least three referees), nominations or expressions of interest should be submitted in confidence to:

Dr Gurston Dacks
Acting Dean, Faculty of Arts
6-33 Humanities Centre
University of Alberta
T6G 2E5

Or email to: artsdean AT

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Alberta hires on the basis of merit. We are committed to the principle of equity in employment. We welcome diversity and encourage applications from all qualified women and men, including persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and Aboriginal persons.


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
ante diem xviii kalendas februarias

carmentalia (day 2) -- an annual festival in honour of the nymph Carmenta (a divinity associated with prophecy and childbirth; also the mother of Evander) celebrated primarily by women on the 11th and 15th of January

69 A.D. -- murder of Galba and his adopted son Piso; dies imperii of Otho
inculcate @

supererogatory @ Wordsmith

neoteric @ Merriam-Webster
Can't put my finger on it, but there's something odd about this one from Arutz Sheva:

Iran is planning on submerging the tomb of King Cyrus (Coresh), the Persian King known for authorizing the Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Holy Temple.

According to a report by Omedia, an Iranian organization is demanding that the International Criminal Court take action against those responsible.

The Iranian ayatollahs are planning on destroying the tomb as part of a general campaign to sever the Persian people from their non-Islamic heritage; Cyrus was thought to be a Zoroastrian and was one of the first rulers to enforce a policy of religious tolerance on his huge kingdom. Journalist Ran Porat quoted a young Iranian who said that the measures being taken by the Islamic Republic’s regime include the destruction of archaeological sites significant to this heritage.

“The government is in the final stages of constructing a dam in southern Iran that will submerge the archaeological sites of Pasargad and Persopolis – the ancient capital of the Persian Empire,” the report states. “The site, which is considered exceptional in terms of its archaeological wealth and historical importance, houses the tomb of the Persian King Cyrus.”

Cyrus, who lived from 576-530 BCE, liberated Babylonian Jewry from their exile in the famous Declaration of Cyrus (mentioned in the book of Ezra in both Hebrew and Aramaic).

A group of Iranian academics opposed to the regime’s policies founded a group called the Pasargad Heritage Foundation with hopes of getting the United Nations involved in protecting the historical site. Most recently, the foundation filed a petition with the International Criminal Court against the Iranian official in charge of maintaining the sites, charging him and his bureau with "crimes against humanity, due to the systematic state-sanctioned destruction of the culture of the ancient Iranian world and its historical heritage."

Though the city of Pasargad is a ruin, Cyrus’s Tomb has remained largely intact and it has been partially restored to counter its natural deterioration over the years.

Cyrus was praised in the Tanach (Isaiah 45:1-6), though he was also criticized for believing the false report of the Cuthites, who wanted to halt the building of the Second Temple. They accused the Jews of conspiring to rebel, so Cyrus in turn stopped the construction of the temple, which would not be completed until 516 BCE, during the reign of Darius the Great, the grandson of Queen Esther.

... and the response from CAIS:

Recent rumours over the alleged submergence of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great have been circulated on an international scale. The news has been confirmed as being bogus.

The pseudo-tellers of this story claimed that the Sivand Dam was blown-up, which was later confirmed as baseless. The tomb of Cyrus the Great situated behind the dam would never be under threat, since damage to the dam would cause a flooding away from the monument rather than towards it.

The perimeters of the future artificial lake behind the dam at its largest reach is 7 kilometres from Pasargadae site and 9 kilometres from Cyrus the Great’ Tomb located 45 meter above water level after inundation; -Persepolis is ten times farther than Pasargadae which is located 70 kilometres from the lake. Therefore, there are no threats to these two historical sites from submersion aspect of Dam’s inundation.

Nevertheless, the humidity changes, which artificially would be created by the dam, are going to be the key threat. No preliminary environmental research has been carried out to assess the affects of humidity upon the constructions at Pasargadae. Therefore, the extent of the future damages to the site remains unknown.

The catastrophe for Iranian heritage is that after the dam reservoir is filed, the Bolaghi Valley which contains well over 130 (according to some experts 147) ancient settlements from pre-Historic to Sasanian dynastic era will be submerged including a section of the Achaemenid Imperial’s Road (Rāh-e Šāhī) and the recently discovered Achaemenid palace denoted to Darius the Great.

Pasargadae and Persepolis historical sites have special places in Iranian hearts and minds, which are sacred as Kaba in Mecca for Muslims.

“The Tomb may not be the house of god [khāneh khodā, i.e. Ka'aba], but it is the house of our father and founder; we are today as a nation because of him [Cyrus the Great], and they [Islamic regime] should have respect that; I am a Muslim, but before that I am an Iranian and this place is dear to me, possibly more than Ka'aba – this is our Ka'aba - in fact this is our nation's most sacred place - they had no right to built a dam near his tomb”, was saying Mostafa a concerned and furious twenty-years-old Iranian visiting the monument.

"I like to see someone build a dam near al-Aqsa Mosque in Qods [Jerusalem], the regime would have sacrifice all Iranians to prevent that - they claim to be Iranian therefore they should care about us and our heritage, but instead the only thing that they care about is Palestinian and Arabs - this dam is an insult to our nation - if this dam resolves all the country's water problem, I prefer to die of thirst than see any danger comes to our Pasargadae", saying Masumeh another young-Iranian visiting Pasargadae.

Sivand dam project has been one of the most condemned projects in post-revolution Iran due to its' immense threat to Iranian cultural heritage. Most Iranians are furious about the construction of the dam and argue that there is no objective in the world worthy to justify the construction of a dam, so close to Pasargadae.
8.00 a.m. |DTC|Alexander the Great: Murder Unsolved
Unravel one of the strangest mysteries of ancient times, the suspicious death of history's most extraordinary leader, Alexander the Great. Experts attempt to decipher if his early death at age 32 was caused by disease, excessive drinking or even murder.

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

DTC = Discovery Times Channel
HINT = History International
UGA Summer Classics Institute for Teachers, Undergraduate Majors, and Graduate Students

Each year the Institute offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate Latin and Classics courses, including, in odd-numbered years, Intensive Beginning Greek and, in even-numbered years, Intensive Beginning Latin. The Institute curriculum is supplemented by workshops and guest lectures by visiting Master Teachers and other scholars. The program is designed especially for Latin teachers who wish to continue their education or earn a Master’s degree in Latin on a summers-only basis. The fifteen faculty members of the Department of Classics share in a tradition of cooperation with high school teachers and programs that culminates each summer in an exciting and challenging curriculum. Here are the offerings for the summer of 2008:

Courses to be offered in 2008:

LATN 2050 Intensive Latin I (12:45-3:30pm) Mr. Fields

LATN 4/6020 Roman Epic Poetry: Vergil (8:30-11:15am) Dr. Dix

CLAS 8020 Archaeology of Roman Daily Life (12:45-3:30pm) Dr. Norman


LATN 2060 Intensive Latin II (12:45-3:30pm) Dr. Corrigan

LATN 4/6010 The Catilinarian Conspiracy (8:30-11:15am) Dr. Nicholson


CLAS 1020 Classical Mythology* (1:00-2:15pm) Dr. Nicholson
* With special materials for teachers.

LATN 4/6770 Methods and Materials for Teaching Latin* Staff
* WEDNESDAYS ONLY - 3:45-5:50pm

CLAS 8000 Proseminar* Staff
* MONDAYS ONLY - 3:45-5:35pm

Housing: · On-campus housing rates are not available until March, but should be comparable to recent rates:
Sample recent rates for dormitory rooms (for singles) are: $1,179 (Through Session) $638 (1st Session) $561 (2nd Session)

Inexpensive off-campus housing is also typically available.

UGA meal plans are offered at low student rates.

Tuition: • Summer 2008 rates are:

In-State: $211 per credit hr. + $340 in fees
Out-of-State: $805 per credit hr. + $340 in fees

Latin teachers from outside of Georgia receive, upon application to the Department, a tuition waiver to reduce tuition to the in-state level.

Admissions: All participants in the Institute must also be admitted to the University of Georgia, either as Degree or Non-Degree students.

To apply to the Graduate School, go to;

for supporting materials required by the Classics Department, go to

Applications and supporting documents must be received no later than April 1 (March 1 for foreign students).

Former Institute students who did not attend last year’s Institute will need to complete a brief re-application form for re-admission to the Graduate School at

For Institute information, contact Sandra Phillips at gradinq AT or Professor Rick LaFleur, at rlafleur AT, or write to the Department of Classics, 224 Park Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-6203.

Scholarship Assistance:

Scholarships are available from the Department; teachers are also encouraged to apply for scholarships offered by organizations such as the American Classical League and the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.


The Department of Classics houses both the ALEXANDER ROOM, a quiet, comfortable reading room and reference library with approximately 3,200 volumes, and the TIMOTHY NOLAN GANTZ CLASSICS COMPUTING CENTER, a state-of-the-art facility for its students, and is adjacent to the three-million volume UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA MAIN LIBRARY.
Where the Wild Things Are:
Inhuman Territories in Classical Antiquity

We are accustomed to seeing the ancient world from its centres – Athens,
Rome, and other major cities to and from which ideas, goods, and people
circulated. But in many locations in Greek and Roman thought and
imagination, past and present, the 'civilised' human was the outsider.
These places were often inhabited by part-human or inhuman 'people', whose
appearance and behaviour ranged from the peculiar to the horrific.

These 'wild places' were often geographically remote, such as the Libyan
deserts, the snowy wastes of Scythia, and the gloom of Cimmeria. Monstrous
races were the subject of ethnological scrutiny, challenging anatomical
definitions of humanity. Other wild places were closer to hand, but
untamed: Arcadia; Thessaly; the depths of the sea; even local mountains,
forests and other silent places could be haunted by dangerous supernatural
beings such as fauns and satyrs.

The past, too, could be an inhuman wilderness. Both Roman and Greek
cultures ranged between creativity, rationalism and aporia when confronted
by traditions and legends that defied understanding, even their own, let
alone those of others. Some myths even connect the founding of human
societies with the rejection of semi-human beings, such as Hercules'
labours, the Argonauts' and Odysseus' fantastical encounters, and above
all, the victories of the gods over the Giants and Titans in the earliest
age of the cosmos.

Offers of papers are invited for the forthcoming conference 'Where the
Wild Things Are: Inhuman Territories in Classical Antiquity', to be held
at the University of Reading, Thurs. 4th to Friday 5th September 2008.
Accommodation and meals will be provided for all speakers.

This event will bring together researchers from a range of classical
disciplines to explore the same fundamental questions:

In what ways were part-human beings in the ancient imagination defined by
their habitat?
Did environment affect how 'savage' or 'cultured' they were, and should we
define this by their anatomies, their familial and social structures, or
their relationships with humans, animals, and the gods?
Finally, how did the exploration of wild places at the boundaries of human
civilisation reinforce or challenge those boundaries?

Yulia Ustinova (Ben Gurion University), our keynote speaker, will address
the subject of ''Wild Caves': Immortal Dwellers and Mortal Visitors'.

Papers should be 25-30 minutes in length. We welcome research in a wide
variety of fields, but the following topics would be especially warmly
the ethnographic element in Herodotus
later ethnographic writers, both Greek and Latin
ancient paradoxography
hybrid and monstrous beings, especially in ancient verse and philosophy.

Titles and abstracts (c. 200 words in length) should be sent to the
conference organisers, Dr. Emma Aston (E.M.M.Aston AT and Dr.
Dunstan Lowe (D.M.Lowe AT If regular mail is preferred, the
address is:

Department of Classics
University of Reading

The deadline for titles and abstracts is March 15th, 2008.
The American Society of Papyrologists invites proposals for papers for a panel on “Culture and Society in Greek, Roman, and Early Byzantine Egypt” for the 2009 APA in Philadelphia, January 8-11. Although the scope of papyrological studies is wide, submissions for this panel must meet at least one of the following criteria:

(a) they must make use of evidence for ancient cultures and literatures preserved in papyri, ostraca, or wooden tablets (in Greek, Latin, Coptic, Demotic, Arabic, or other appropriate languages);

(b) they must investigate aspects of the history, cultures, textual productions, or material culture of Egypt from the Hellenistic to the early Arab period.

Submissions from scholars at both junior and senior levels are welcome. Prospective speakers must be members in good standing of the APA.

Please send abstracts to Raffaella Cribiore, rc141 AT, by February 8, 2008. Abstracts should not exceed 600 words (one single-spaced page) and should not include the author’s name to ensure anonymous referral.

If sent by regular mail, abstracts should be postmarked by February 1, 2008 and addressed to: Raffaella Cribiore, 17 Sutton Place, New York, N.Y. 10022.

CFP “The Other Face of Scholarship: Research in Support of Teaching”
Panel sponsored by the American Philological Association Division of Education
Philadelphia, January 8-11, 2009

Organizers: Prof. Martha A. Davis (Temple University) and
Dr. Lee T. Pearcy (The Episcopal Academy)

Original research leading to peer-reviewed publication forms
an essential part of academic life, and it often plays a
major role in decisions about hiring and promotion. For the
most part our profession has ways of assessing and thinking
about research that leads to publication. Good teaching,
though, also demands extensive learning and sometimes calls
for innovative research in its own right. How can we think
about and evaluate research of this kind? Does a scholar who
spends a year or more developing an original course or
rethinking a familiar classroom topic deserve the same esteem
as one who spends that time producing a book or article?

This panel, sponsored by the APA Division of Education, will
explore research done in support of teaching. Among the
questions that prospective panelists may want to consider are

• Can we recognize research done in support of teaching
when we see it? What does it look like?
• How do we assess research done in support of
teaching? Can we tell excellent research from mediocre
research in the absence of peer-reviewed publication?
• How do we make institutions and our profession aware
of research done in support of teaching?
• How can we help each other become better scholars in
support of our teaching?
• What relation exists between research done in support
of teaching and research for publication?

Submit abstracts electronically to Prof. Martha Davis
(madavis AT Friday, February 1, 2008. The abstract
proper should follow the APA guidelines (see p. 6 of the
program guide in the APA Newsletter,
t.pdf) and be anonymous. Papers will normally be no longer
than 20 minutes in delivery. Please include requests for
audio-visual equipment.
From the Journal:

REMAINS of what was one of the biggest Roman bridges to be built in Britain have been reassembled on the banks of the River Tyne.

The 50ft long and 10ft high reconstruction is opposite Corbridge Roman site in Northumberland and near the spot where the ornate stone bridge spanned the river.

Excavations rescued stonework from the bridge which was threatened by river erosion.

The bridge carried Dere Street, the main South-North road, over the Tyne to the important Roman fort and supply base at Corbridge – and was built accordingly.

The excavations revealed that the bridge, built around 160AD, had between six and 10 arches and was probably highly decorated with columns, elaborate parapets, altars and statues of gods and the emperor and his family.

“It would have been a magnificent entry point to the Hadrian’s Wall area,” said Paul Bidwell, senior manager at Tyne and Wear Museums’ Archaeology.

“At the point of transition between the civil and military zone, the bridge, like many buildings in the military area, would have been a manifestation of the power of the emperor and would have made it obvious that this was the frontier area.

“Travellers coming up Dere Street, having passed through sparsely-populated areas, would have come down into the Tyne Valley and would have seen the military area spread out before them, and this huge bridge at Corbridge must have been an entrancing sight.”

Another stone bridge was built over the Tyne at Chesters fort at Chollerford, which Paul has excavated.

He said that no stone Roman bridges have been found in the south of England, with even the span over the Thames at London built in wood.

A ramp took the road up to the level of the Corbridge bridge, which was eight metres above the riverside.

Around the 5th Century, after the Roman occupation had ended, the ramp was undermined by river erosion and collapsed, which meant that the span went out of use.

Research also showed that the bridge was the source of the stones used in the construction of the crypt of the church built by St Wilfrid in Hexham in 674AD, which is now beneath Hexham Abbey.

It is thought that the collapse of the bridge in the Anglo-Saxon period led to the settlement shift from the Roman site at Corbridge to the site of the present village further downstream where the river could be forded.

Hundreds of tonnes of stone from the bridge remain on the river bed, but the blocks which were retrieved were rebuilt in an operation led by Tyne and Wears Museums technical manager Ken McQueen and his deputy, Fred Beavers.

The reassembled remains are on the south bank of the river, on land which is accessible at all times.

There is a large car park at the southern end of the present bridge over the Tyne at Corbridge.

A gate from the car park leads to the riverside and the new display is five minutes’ walk upstream.
From the Times Free Press:

When Kristin Vines considered which foreign language to study in high school, she made her choice through a process of elimination.

"I was afraid of French because of the spelling, the German teacher was very scary looking and Spanish was boring," she said. "So I took Latin."

Now Ms. Vines, 47, teaches the language to seventh- and eighth-graders at Baylor School, and said she still has a love for Latin after more than 25 years of teaching.

"Latin is a really good vehicle to learn vocabulary, grammar and a lot of cultural shadings and intonations, because it never changes," she said.

Thirty years ago many schools in Hamilton County taught Latin, but today only three schools offer the language: Signal Mountain Middle School, and Red Bank and Soddy-Daisy high schools. Some area private schools such as Baylor, Girls Preparatory School, McCallie School and Chattanooga Christian School also offer Latin courses.

Ava Warren, Hamilton County's director of curriculum and instruction, said the decline in Latin offerings throughout the district is tied to the difficulty of finding qualified instructors and lagging student interest.

"It's up to the principal (what language is taught), but a lot of times they give course offerings and if not enough people sign up for it, they offer different ones," Dr. Warren said.

Rick Hitchcock, a 1971 graduate of Red Bank High School, said he doesn't remember having a choice whether to take Latin, but said in hindsight he is glad he did.

"I'm a lawyer, so there are things we still do that have shorthand phrases that are Latin in nature," he said. "It's helpful to understand the meaning or root."

Becky Browder, a classmate of Mr. Hitchcock's at Red Bank, said she doesn't regret having taken Latin, but does wonder if it was the most practical choice.

"I do think that it has helped me because of knowing the root words, it's been beneficial," she said. "But in looking back, I'm thinking, 'Why did I spend so much time on a language that I don't speak?' "

The fact that Latin no longer is a spoken language is part of its appeal, Ms. Vines said.

"People talk about Latin being a dead language, and it is dead," she said. "But that means the rules don't change. I know that a verb will always mean the same thing; it will never change on me."

Mr. Hitchcock said he can understand why public schools here would focus on teaching Spanish with the area's fast-growing Hispanic population. Catering to that demand, however, has changed the focus of learning, he said.

"Education has shifted from a more liberal arts focus to a more utilitarian focus," he said. "Now we focus on learning only things that we can use, and in a lot of ways I think that's kind of unfortunate. There's a lot of value in a liberal arts education."
... in the Las Vegas Sun:

For police, translating gang lingo into parent-speak is like Classics PhD's coming up with a gripping new version of Euripides -- awesome.
nothing seems to be uploading ... okay, now it is ... 12 hours later. sorry for the interruption folks ...
primogeniture @

xylocephalous @ Worthless Word for the Day

invidious @ Merriam-Webster
From the Washington Post:

Wilhelmina F. Jashemski, 97, a retired University of Maryland professor of ancient history and a Pompeian archaeologist, died of renal failure Dec. 24 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

A longtime Silver Spring resident whose home was surrounded by hundreds of azaleas and other flowering plants and trees, she was a gardener and a scholar of ancient gardens. She knew more about the gardens of Pompeii than perhaps any person since the residents themselves were buried under 15 feet of Vesuvian ash nearly two millenniums ago.

Mrs. Jashemski, who helped establish the academic field of garden archaeology, first visited Pompeii in 1955, two centuries after the buried city was rediscovered. Although Roman law was her specialty, she was interested in Roman gardens, in part because she was a gardener herself. "The Romans loved gardens, and you do, too, so why not work on them?" suggested her husband, Stanley A. Jashemski.

It was a marvelous idea, she told The Washington Post in 1977, but she had one reservation: "It sounded entirely too much like fun to be a serious project."

Deciding nevertheless to write a book about Roman gardens, she assumed that the gardens of Pompeii would be one chapter. They became the work of a lifetime.

She discovered that gardens were an integral part of everyday life in the ancient town, where most of the dwellings were single-family rowhouses with a bit of green space to grow figs, olives, cherries and other fruits and vegetables. Some of the larger gardens, she came to understand, had commercial uses, including as vineyards and nurseries, while others were the settings for small restaurants. Gardens also were a favorite site for religious activities, from animal sacrifices to meditation.

Her discovery of the first intact remains of a good-size vineyard from the era revised perceptions of how the Romans planted and managed grapes, stored and used wine, and worked the land.

She was struck, she told The Post, not only by the tragedy of Pompeii's demise but also by life's continuity, by tools and techniques still in use today. "Life," she said, "is still much the same. Did you know I have never found a garden in Pompeii that did not have a dog?"

Henry Ferry, a retired Howard Divinity School church historian, knew Mrs. Jashemski for more than a half-century. "She was an extraordinarily giving person, a very caring and sympathetic person," he said. That generosity of spirit extended to the laborers who toiled alongside her during 16 summers of digging at Pompeii. She learned from them, and they in turn felt a personal interest in her excavations. Some became specialists in their own right.

One summer, pondering an unusual contour in the surface under some vines at Pompeii, she wondered what had caused the ground to be shaped in such a way.

"Why, it's fagiolini" -- string beans, a worker named Antonio told her. "It's the only crop that would have the earth done that way" on Aug. 24, A.D. 79, he said. He took her to see a modern vegetable garden where the beans were being grown the same way.

She spoke Italian fluently, got to know the local families and drew upon venerable folk wisdom for her groundbreaking book, "A Pompeian Herbal: Ancient and Modern Medicinal Plants" (1999). When the book came out, she personally delivered signed copies to each of the laborers.

"Pompeii is one of the two places in the world where I always know where I am," she told The Post. The other was her birthplace, York, Neb., where she was born Wilhelmina Mary Feemster on July 10, 1910.

She received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude in 1931 from York College, majoring in both Latin and mathematics. She taught in the public schools of Walthill, Neb., where most of her students were Native Americans from a reservation, and pursued graduate studies, initially in American history. An adviser suggested that she switch to ancient history because of her background in Latin and Greek studies.

She received her doctorate in ancient history from the University of Chicago in 1945 and taught at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Mo., from 1942 to 1945.

She moved to the Washington area in 1945 after her husband, a physicist, accepted a position at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. In 1946, she was appointed to U-Md.'s history faculty. Her first book, "The Origins and History of the Proconsular and Propraetorian Imperium to 27 B.C.," was published in 1950.

In summer 1955, while touring Europe with her husband to gather material for her classes, she visited Pompeii for a day. Thirty years earlier, she had read "The Last Days of Pompeii" and been captivated by the story of roisterous life in the city forever stilled when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. Her one-day visit proved much too short, so she returned for three weeks in 1957. She began her first excavation four years later.

Her summers of digging and research culminated in the publication of "The Gardens of Pompeii: Herculaneum and the Villas Destroyed by Vesuvius," Volume 1 (1979). Volume 2, with site plans, descriptions, illustrations and photographs, was published in 1993. Both works incorporated selections from the more than 30,000 photographs her husband had taken over the years.

"The book falls into that category of priceless works that represent the thought and the researches of a lifetime," The Post noted in a 1980 review of Volume 1.

With longtime colleague Frederick Meyer, director of the herbarium of the National Arboretum, Mrs. Jashemski co-edited "The Natural History of Pompeii" (2002), and at the time of her death she was editing a major study of the gardens of the Roman Empire by several international scholars. Among her other books is "Letters from Pompeii" (1963).

Mrs. Jashemski retired from U-Md. in 1980 but continued to write and lecture. She was an active member of Takoma Park Presbyterian Church for more than 50 years.

Her husband died in 1982.

Survivors include a brother and a sister.
9.00 p.m. |HISTC| ROME | the Stolen Eagles
52 B.C. Eager to return to Rome after eight long years of war, Gaius Julius Caesar ends his campaign with a resounding victory in Gaul – and news of a shattering personal loss at home. When his army’s gold standard is stolen, Caesar’s cousin and commander Mark Antony enlists two soldiers, Centurion Lucius Vorenus and Legionnaire Titus Pullo, to track it down. Despite their differences, the two make a formidable duo, and elevate themselves by retrieving more than just the missing standard. In Rome, Caesar’s old friend Pompey Magnus is counseled by Cato, Cicero, Scipio and other old-guard members of the Senate, who worry that Caesar’s popularity among the masses will rattle the patrician status quo, along with their wealth and power. Pompey too has experienced a personal loss, which Caesar’s niece, Atia, looks to assuage through an offering of her daughter, Octavia. Careful to play both sides of an escalating power struggle, Atia sends Caesar a grand token of her esteem, hand-delivered after a perilous journey by her precocious 11-year-old son, Octavian.

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
I just saw this on the BBC radio site and it seems worth mentioning 'independently' since it begins today ... a serialization (?) of Troy; should be available as a 'listen again' thing soon ...
Over the past month I've accumulated a pile of items that I've wanted to share but keep getting interrupted (and many are expiring) ... in no particular order:

First we'll catch up with Father Foster's podcasts:

Bede: No Spaghetti Latin
Leo the Great
Mens Sana

Speaking of podcasts, I'll piggy-back this with a question I posed at the Ancient World Bloggers Group ... has anyone come up with a reasonable way to monitor new podcasts which are put up at ITunes and/or (especially) ITunesU? Similarly, does anyone know how to link to a file at ITunes which would make it available to someone reading, say, rogueclassicism (I keep getting 'local' urls).

... that asked, we can point y'all to a new BBC radio series: The Essay: Greek and Latin Voices (which reminds me that there's some method of getting realplayer files on ipods now) ...


Digital Papyri at Houghton Library

New Online Books:

Martial, On the Public Shows of Domitian (translation transcribed by Roger Pearse)
The Alcestis of Euripides (Gilbert Murray's rhyming verse translation)

New Online Journals:

JLARC:Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture
Practitioners' Voices in Classical Reception Studies

The Scholarly Electronic Bibliography has been updated ...

The January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Archaeology is online ...

Amphora 6.2 is available too ...

Timaeus the Movie:

A comic that many a PhD student (and rogueclassicist) can identify with:

Piled Higher and Deeper

Assorted news items:

Robert Eisenman on the 'redemonization' of Judas ...

Now the US is being compared to the Etruscans ... no, wait ... it's still Rome ... (cf. the 'out' and 'in' column from the Washington Post ... comparisons to Rome are 'out'; comparisons to Atlantis are 'in' ... elsewhere in the same piece, AP Calculus is out and AP Latin is in ...)

An interview with the guy who interviewed Marion True for the New Yorker ...

The Justice League is related to the Greek gods?

Harry Mount on NPR

New Orleans 'classical' streetcar stops ...
A pile to catch up with ... so here goes:

From the Review of Biblical Literature:

David Noy, Alexander Panayotov, and Hanswulf Bloedhorn, eds., Inscriptiones Judaicae Orientis: Vol. 1: Eastern Europe

Catharine Edwards and Greg Woolf, eds., Rome the Cosmopolis, Review of Biblical Literature

From BMCR:

Michael Paschalis (ed.), Pastoral Palimpsests. Essays in the Reception of Theocritus and Virgil. Rethymnon Classical Studies, Volume 3.

Esther Eidinow, Oracles, Curses, and Risk Among the Ancient Greeks.

H. A. Shapiro (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece.

Nicole Me/thy, Les Lettres de Pline le Jeune. Un representation de l'homme.

Raban von Haehling (ed.), Griechische Mythologie und fruhes Christentum.

V. I. Anastasiadis, Eleusi/na: The/atro mias Antidrastike Outopis.

Eyjo/lfur Kjalar Emilsson, Plotinus on Intellect.

Lucia Floridi, Stratone di Sardi. Epigrammi. Testo critico, traduzione e commento. Hellenica, 24.

Andreas Markantonatos, Oedipus at Colonus. Sophocles, Athens, and the World.

Fabio Roscalla, Biaios didaskalos. Rappresentazioni della crisi di Atene della fine di V secolo.

Ronnie Ancona, Ellen Greene (edd.), Gendered Dynamics in Latin Love Poetry.

Ranajit Pal, Non-Jonesian Indology and Alexander.

Fritz-Gregor Herrmann, New Essays on Plato: Language and Thought in Fourth-Century Greek Philosophy.

James Robson, Humour, Obscenity and Aristophanes. Drama Neue Serie, 1.

Emma Bridges, Edith Hall, P. J. Rhodes, Cultural Responses to the Persian Wars: Antiquity to the Third Millennium.

George W. M. Harrison (ed.), Satyr Drama: Tragedy at Play.

C.A.E. Luschnig, An Introduction to Ancient Greek: A Literary Approach. Second edition, revised by C.A.E. Luschnig and Deborah Mitchell.

Gian Biagio Conte, The Poetry of Pathos: Studies in Virgilian Epic.

Wilfried Stroh, Latein ist tot, lang lebe Latein. Kleine Geschichte einer grossen Sprache.

Kresimir Matijevic, Marcus Antonius. Consul-Proconsul-Staatsfeind. Die Politik der Jahre 44 und 43 v. Chr. Osnabru+cker Forschungen zu Altertum und Antike-Rezeption 11.

A.S. Hollis, Fragments of Roman Poetry c. 60 BC-AD 20.

Simone Beta, Vino e poesia. Centoquinquanta epigrammi greci sul vino. Testo greco a fronte.

Kevin Andrews, Castles of the Morea. Gennadeion Monographs, 4. The original 1953 text with a foreword by Glenn R. Bugh.

Maria Niku, The Official Status of the Foreign Residents in Athens, 322-120 B.C. Papers and Monographs of the Finnish Institute at Athens

Catharine Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome.

Matteo Taufer, Jean Dorat editore e interprete di Eschilo, prefazione di M. Mund-Dopchie. Supplementi di Lexis XXX.

Mario Capasso (ed.), Studi di Egittologia e di Papirologia. Rivista internazionale. 2, 2005.

Petra Pakkanen, August Myhrberg and North-European Philhellenism: Building the Myth of a Hero. Papers and Monographs of the Finnish Institute at Athens, vol. 10.

A couple of items seen at Publisher's Weekly:

Terra Incognita: A Novel of the Roman Empire Ruth Downie Bloomsbury, $23.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-59691-232-8

A judicious use of humor and a memorable protagonist lift Downie’s sequel to her bestselling debut, Medicus (2007). Toward the beginning of Hadrian’s reign in A.D. 118, Gaius Petreius Ruso, a doctor originally from Gaul, has attached himself to a contingent of the Roman army, the 10th Batavians, en route to the northern edge of the Roman Empire in Britannia. When Felix, a soldier, is found beheaded, the prefect of the 10th Batavians, Decianus, assigns Ruso to investigate, despite a confession to the murder by Thessalus, “retiring medic to the Tenth Batavians Bedbugs.” Decianus is concerned that the attack presages further unrest from the locals, who ascribe the killing to their antlered god, Cernunnos. Reluctantly, Ruso probes Thessalus’s motives for admitting the crime and finds that many others also had an interest in seeing Felix dead. This well-researched novel places Downie alongside such established masters of the Roman historical as Steven Saylor and Rosemary Rowe. (Mar.)

Seven for a Secret Mary Reed and Eric Mayer. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-59058-489-7

In Reed and Mayer’s engrossing seventh mystery set in sixth-century Constantinople (after 2005’s Six for Gold), John, lord chamberlain to the emperor Justinian, has taken to sharing his thoughts with a young girl, whom he’s named Zoe, depicted in the mosaic on his study wall. One day John meets a woman on the street who identifies herself as Zoe and claims to be the model for the child in the mosaic. Who could have revealed his secret confessor? John wonders. When John finds this mysterious woman brutally beaten to death in a cistern, he begins a dangerous investigation that will take him into the lives of prostitutes, artisans, beggars and religious fanatics. Once again convincing historical detail and strong characterization help drive a riveting plot. Fans will be pleased to know that while the title is based on the last line of the verse on which the series is based, the authors plan to send John to Italy in an eighth volume. (Apr.)

A pair of reviews of

James Davidson, The Greeks and Greek Love: A Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality
Telegraph, Guardian

From the NY Sun:

Frederick Ahl, The Aeneid

From the Miami Herald:

Colleen McCullough. Antony and Cleopatra

From the Tribune:

Nicholas Ostler, Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin

From the Guardian:

Mary Beard, The Roman Triumph

Judith Hallett has hung out her shingle as a source for Valentine's info ... from a press release:

The ancient Romans knew a little something about celebrating love - but it was March, not February when they had their fun. "Love celebrations did not show up on the ancient Roman calendar until March 1, which was sacred to Juno, goddess of marriage. On that day husbands would pray for the health of their wives and give them presents, and wives would dress up," says Classics Professor Judith Hallett at the University of Maryland.

Poems were a favorite way to express that love - for instance, the poet Catullus (ca. 55 BCE) sent this missive to his married lover (translation by Dorothea Wender (1934-2003)):

Let's live, my Lesbia, and let's make love
And let us value all the gossip of
Prudent old men at pennies. When the sun
Sets he can rise again; when we have done
For good and all with our one little light
We sleep forever in one dawnless night.
Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
Another thousand, then a second hundred,
Then still another thousand, then a hundred,
Then, when our number's countless, then, my dear,
Scramble the abacus! So we won't fear
The evil eye of hate, for no one bad
Must know how many kisses we have had.

Hallett says there are many, many examples of romantic poems sent by one Roman lover to another.

But for a romantic looking to express his or her love in the 21st Century, Hallett suggests something a bit...different. A more modern love song - translated into Latin, for example, might just be the perfect way to woo a lady's heart. Take the classic "As Time Goes By" (by Herman Hupfeld. Copyright 1931 by Warner Brothers) made famous in the movie Casablanca.


You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss,
a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.

And when two lovers woo, they still say 'I love you,' On that you can rely.
No matter what the future brings, as time goes by.

Moonlight and love songs never out of date,
Hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate.
Woman needs man and man must have his mate,
That no one can deny.

It's still the same old story, a fight for love and glory, a case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers,
As time goes by.


Haec sunt memoranda, manent suspiria, basia longius.

Pertinet mos veterrimus, ut it tempus.
Et cum amant duo, iterant "Te amo",

Fies certissimus,
Pertinet mos veterrimus, ut it tempus.
Amores, luna, numquam senescent;

Fervida corda semper invident;
Femina virque sese coniungent,
Fies certissimus.

Eadem fabula, amor cum gloria, dulcis et decorus.
Amantes fovet hic mundus, ut it tempus.

Hallett's recent research has focused on ancient Roman "love talk." In a new essay published in Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Volume 9 (published at Maryland and edited by Professor Robert Gaines of the Communications Department), she focuses on the writing of Plautus' Phoenicium (Pseudolus 41-73). In that comedic work, Plautus - who was a 2nd century BCE (Before Christian Era) playwright - looks at the different ways in which two men of very different social classes assess the erotically-charged words of one specific woman.

"Plautus, in his characteristically funny way, illustrates that social class, that of the critic and that of the writer, plays a major role in how Roman women's writings, and in this case erotic Latin writings, were judged by men," says Hallett.
6.00 p.m. |HINT|Engineering An Empire: Carthage
Carthage, a remarkable city-state that dominated the Mediterranean for over 600 years, harnessed their extensive resources to develop some of the ancient world's most groundbreaking technology. For generations, Carthage defined power, strength and ingenuity, but by the third century B.C., the empire's existence was threatened by another emerging superpower, Rome. However, when the Romans engineered their empire, they were only following the lead of the Carthaginians. From the city's grand harbor to the rise of one of history's greatest generals, Hannibal Barca, we will examine the architecture and infrastructure that enabled the rise and fall of the Carthaginian Empire.

The final episode brings us to Caesar’s Rome. In the 2nd century AD, Rome is the undisputed centre of a huge empire. A pompous city of marble, here the super-rich elite’s shallow lifestyle contrasts sharply with the life of ordinary Romans, who eke out a barebones existence while paying obscene rents in buildings about to collapse.

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| ULTIMATE ENGINEERING | Colosseum
The dramatic story behind the building of the Colosseum in Ancient Rome. To achieve this, the Romans used ground-breaking technology that we still use today, whilst the money to pay for this grand project enslaved a people and brought a temple crashing down.

HINT = History International
HISTC = History Television (Canada)
ante diem iii idus januarias

Carmentalia begins (day 1) -- a two-day festival (with a three day break between the days) in honour of the deity Carmenta, who was possibly a goddess of both childbirth and prophecy.

49 B.C. -- Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon (by another reckoning)

?? B.C. -- dedication of the Temple of Juturna in the Campus Martius

29 B.C. -- Octavian closes the doors of the Temple of Janus, signifying the Roman world was at peace
imprimatur @

rudery @ Worthless Word for the Day

8.00 p.m. |HISTC| Timewatch: Mystery of the Headless Romans
The discovery of 30 decapitated Romans found in York has kicked-off an intense archaeological investigation. From the moment they were found archaeologists knew there was something strange about these skeletons. When they were buried their heads were removed and placed in some odd positions; between knees, on chests or down by their feet – why? There are a number of theories to explore.

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| Line of Fire Conquerors | Hannibals Great Triumph
The tactics used by Hannibal at the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC are still used by military historians to teach and illustrate the ‘ring of steel’, the double envelopment manouvre. A number of classical and military historians examine this battle in detail and place it in the context of imperial conflict between Rome and Carthage.

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
From Bloomberg:

As the Metropolitan Museum of Art prepares to relinquish a prized, 2,500-year-old bowl, Italy's Culture Ministry has agreed to lend the institution three ancient Greek vessels for four years.

Met spokeswoman Elyse Topalian acknowledged last night that the loan stemmed from an agreement the Met signed last year with Italy to resolve a longstanding dispute over looted antiquities.

In an e-mail, the museum said the three pieces include a jug in the shape of a young woman's head (6th-5th century B.C.), a cup signed by the potter Euxitheos and the painter Oltos depicting the assembly of gods on Mount Olympus (515-510 B.C.) and a vase from the 4th century B.C. showing Oedipus solving the riddle of the Sphinx.

The three pieces are scheduled to go on view in the Met's Greek and Roman galleries beginning Wednesday, Jan. 15. They join a Laconian drinking cup already on loan.

The objects, which the Met described as ``outstanding,'' will fill a void left by the return of the 2,500-year-old Euphronios krater, among other objects.

The last day the krater will be on view at the Met is Sunday, Jan. 13.

Last February, Italy and the Met resolved a three-decade dispute over looted antiquities. The museum agreed to return the krater -- a bowl painted by the Greek artist Euphronios for mixing wine and water -- along with 20 other antiquities.

In return, Italy agreed to lend objects of equal importance and beauty to the museum. The Met's director, Philippe de Montebello, and Italian Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione signed the agreement at a ceremony in the ministry's Rome headquarters. Earlier this week, de Montebello announced his retirement from the Met at the end of this year.

Renewable Deal

Among the terms of the renewable, 40-year agreement, Italy waived civil, administrative or criminal claims against the museum for its acquisition and holding of the artworks.

The Met bought the Euphronios krater for $1 million in 1972. At the time, the Italian government said the vase had been looted from an Etruscan tomb outside Rome.

The other items to be returned include a 15-piece set of Hellenistic silver, allegedly dug up at Morgantina in Sicily; an additional silver box; and four clay vases. The silver box was added to the agreement since Feb. 2, when the Met presented the Culture Ministry with a revised proposal to return disputed works.
From Female First:

Celebrity Style - Katie Holmes Grecian Toga

Ms Holmes received mixed reviews on the one-shoulder, champagne silk, sequined Lanvin dress that the lovely Katie Holmes wore to the Critics' Choice Awards.

The critics slated it as being unstylish, unflattering and one for the charity shop, and we are firmly on side with the critics with this one.

She looks like she's wearing a toga, albeit a very very expensive one, but a length of fabric made famous by Julius Caesar, and Christopher Biggins panto escapades.

Sorry, but out of the shower chic is not of our idea of appropriate party-wear, that is unless you're headed to the Gladiator fights at the Coliseum.

The Daily Mail has the best photos ... City Rag brought John Belushi into the conversation ...

FWIW, what she's wearing is obviously not a toga, but perhaps it could be construed as Grecian ... no, I don't think it can (not quite a chiton, not quite an himation) ...
From Prima:

Custodiva in casa 14 reperti archeologici risalenti all’epoca antecedente la nascita di Cristo e per questo è stato denunciato. Nella tarda mattinata di mercoledì, a seguito di una telefonata giunta sul 112 che segnalava la presenza di armi illegalmente detenute presso l'abitazione di un 60enne di Canosa di Puglia, i Carabinieri della locale Stazione procedevano ad effettuare una immediata perquisizione, durante la quale venivano effettivamente rinvenuti una carabina "Flobert" cal. 9 ed un fucile doppietta "Zoli" cal. 12. Le armi, benchè denunciate, erano però detenute illecitamente in quanto il proprietario, dopo essersi trasferito di casa, non aveva effettuato il previsto cambio del luogo di detenzione e pertanto venivano poste sotto sequestro. Durante il controllo venivano inoltre rinvenuti 14 reperti archeologici di vario tipo, risalenti al III/IV sec. a.C., consistenti in coppette, brocche, piatti e pesi, per un valore complessivo di oltre 10mila euro. I militari chiedevano così l'intervento dei colleghi del Nucleo Tutela Patrimonio Culturale di Bari che, giunti sul posto, procedevano per la materia di loro competenza. M.F., incensurato, dovrà quindi rispondere anche di ricettazione di reperti archeologici, oltre che omessa denuncia di armi regolarmente detenute.

... obviously there's still a market!
From the Andover Townsman:

Some say Latin is a dead language, but Andover resident Paul Properzio disagrees, and even plans to breathe new life into the bones of a departed Latin scholar, at a performance at the University of New Hampshire.

Properzio, a Boston Latin Academy classics teacher, will portray Alston Hurd Chase, a former Phillips Academy of Andover classics chairman and teacher as part of the 61st Annual Institute of the American Classical League from June 27 to 29. He will adopt the persona of Chase as part of “Representing Our Ancestors: A Roundtable Discussions and Workshop.”

“People say to be a good teacher, you have to be a good actor,” Properzio said. “Hopefully I will be as good as an actor.”

Properzio, who has taught Latin and Greek for 33 years, said his portrayal will include dressing from the time period Chase lived in (Chase was born in 1906) as well as speaking through the perspective of the former classicist, who died in 1994.

“I’m a pretty good actor myself, pretty much of a ham, and a lot of people thought I would be the perfect match for Chase,” said Properzio, who is also editor of The American Classical League Newsletter. “So when (organizer Judith Hallet) asked me to do it, I said sure. But it’s going to take a lot of work to do this.”

While acting may not be completely foreign to this former high school Thespian Society member, “I had no idea I would be doing this, no,” he said.

Properzio, the only high school teacher slotted to perform at the event, found many reasons to call his casting a “perfect match,” including the fact that he and Chase were born in New Hampshire, lived in Andover and worked as classics teachers.

Altogether, six or seven characters will be portrayed at the June performance, which will be followed by an audience question-and-answer session. The UNH audience, he said, will likely consist of up-and-coming classicists, those already established in the field, and college students.

“So we really have to know what we’re talking about,” Properzio said.

The idea to put on the performance started this past October, when Properzio attended an event to honor the centennial of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States in Washington D.C., he said.

After watching the portrayals of several well-known classicists, he spoke with event organizer Judith Hallet, a professor at the University of Maryland.

“I said, ‘It would be really nice to have the portrayals repeated,’” he said. “She said, ‘Well that’s a great idea. Let me contact all of the actors from the Washington meeting and see who can come.’

“Their books are still being used to teach the classics, so to see these personalities come to life as characters, it’s really an amazing thing,” he said.

It turned out only two classicists-turned-actors could attend, when “all of a sudden, a lot of people gave my name (to play Chase), since I’m fairly well-known in the field and since I live in Andover and since, she said, I have the skill set,” Properzio said with a laugh.

He said Hallet has since mailed him a copy of Chase’s book Time Remembered, that he must use with other works by the author to create a script to best represent his character.

“Loving this stuff to begin with is half the fun,” he said.

After studying Chase’s manuscripts, Properzio said he will find anecdotal information that will include familiar knowledge as well as obscure facts and character traits.

“If you’re teaching this stuff," he said, "it's not going to be difficult to make that little leap to really performing whoever that teacher is, because you’re doing what these people have already done.”
I've got a few of these to catch up on over the next few days:

The Miserable World of Prometheus
by Mark Weinstein
From ANSA:

The famous volcanic eruption in which Vesuvius buried Pompeii and Herculaneum was so powerful that some of the ash and lava ended up in Greece, according to researchers at Thessaloniki University.

Greek archaeologists claim to have found ash and lava spewed out by the volcano in 79 AD around Lake Mygdonia, which is near Thessaloniki and about 400 miles from Vesuvius.

Michail Fytikas, an expert from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, was quoted in the Greek media on Tuesday as saying the layer of volcanic ash and rock was three metres deep in places.

''The explosion was so violent that an enormous quantity of ash and debris was blasted to a height of 20,000-30,000 metres,'' he said. ''Transported by high-altitude winds, it spread in a south-south-east direction and, having passed the Apennines, flew over Albania and part of it then fell on Greece, in the Thessaloniki area''.

It was not immediately clear by what means Fytikas had established that the layer of ash and rock near Lake Mygdonia came from Vesuvius and that it dated back to 79AD.

Vesuvius has blown its stack about three dozen times since it buried Pompeii and Herculaneum, killing about 2,000 people. The last time was in 1944.

Lava too? Hmmm ... Michaeil Fytikas is a geologist/vulcanologist, not an archaeologist according to other versions ... I'm sure he didn't say "lava".

Department of Classics & Ancient History, University of Durham

Friday 18 January, 5.30pm [Ritson room]
Professor Giovan-Battista D'Alessio (King's College London)
The persuasion of songs

Wednesday 23 January, 5.30pm [Ritson room]
Professor Kai Brodersen (Mannheim University / St John's College, Oxford)
aspici cognoscique dignissimum: viewing Pomponius Mela's text, reading his images

Friday 25 January, 5.30pm [Ritson room] - a joint event with the Dept. of Theology
Professor Erich Gruen (University of California at Berkeley)
Tacitus and the Jews

Wednesday 30 January, 5.30pm [Ritson room]
Dr Margherita Facella (University of Pisa)
Jupiter Dolichenus at home: news from the archaeological excavations at Dülük Baba Tepesi

Wednesday 6 February, 5.30pm [Ritson room]
Professor Tony Birley (Vindolanda & Durham)
Religion at Vindolanda

Wednesday 13 February, 5.30pm [Seminar room] - Classical Association
Dr Peter Thonemann (Wadham College, Oxford)
Finding Toriaion: the rediscovery of an ancient city in central Anatolia

Wednesday 20 February, 5.30pm [Ritson room]
Dr Bernard Collette (Honorary Research Fellow at Durham)
Moral identity in Chrysippus. On self, parts and daimon

Wednesday 5 March, 5.30pm [Ritson room] - under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East
Professor Robert Rollinger (University of Innsbruck)
Near Eastern perspectives on the Greeks

Saturday 8 March, 11am - 4.30pm [Ritson room] - under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East
Workshop on 'Nabataean culture' [details to follow separately]

Wednesday 12 March, 5.30pm [Ritson room]
Dr Lucia Prauscello (Trinity Hall, Cambridge)
The cult of Demeter Chthonia (and its dithyrambic roots) at Hermione between the Archaic and Hellenistic period

For information, please contact Ted Kaizer at ted.kaizer AT
Call for Papers: APA 2009, Philadelphia

Outreach Committee

"Podcasting and the Classics"

Co-organizers Chris Ann Matteo and Ed DeHoratius

In the field of classical humanities, professors and K -12 teachers alike are witnessing the democratizing power of the "podcast" word: audio players and iPods are intimate hardware for both our students and the public we want to reach, and have proven a particularly powerful tool to restore oral and aural practice in our classrooms.

In the past few years, a number of highly successful podcasts -- audio media that are free to download -- have received attention from National Public Radio and other news sources. A few examples of these are WordNerds out of Reston, Virginia (, The Adventures of Indigo Jones, Classical Archaeologist!

( sponsored by the Teagle Foundation, and Twelve Byzantine Rulers from Stony Brook School teacher Lars Brownworth (

This panel will explore the various kinds of podcasts that are available and in development, and will explore uses of this new technology to enhance our pedagogy.

The kinds of questions the panelists might address could include:

●What are some of the ways we might use this in our classrooms, in both K-12 and college-level education?

●How and why did a given podcast originate?

●How does one actually get "podcasted" (what are the "bottom-line" practicalities: how much does it cost in terms of money, time, equipment)?

●Should we regard the podcast as an oral performance text?

●What does it mean to have a "timely" podcast in our subject matter (i.e., they are "live" and yet time can lapse, and I can elect when I want to listen)?

●What role do we see podcasts playing in our culture (educational, entertainment, and research)?

●What are the political or ideological dimensions of conveying the classics in this new medium?

●How does it affect what might be perceived as a "divide" separating the classics secondary school teacher and the professoriate?

●Can podcasts be used in our scholarship and, if so, how?

●What kinds of collaboration between academic and media interests have been productive in this area?

●What other uses can we imagine for them?

Submit abstracts electronically to Chris Ann Matteo camatteo AT by Friday, 1 February 2008. The abstract proper should follow the APA guidelines (one full page in 11 pt type; title in upper right-hand corner in 12 pt type) and be anonymous: it should contain a clear statement of purpose, a summary of the argumentation, some examples to be used in the argumentation, and, if appropriate, a brief explanation of the abstract’s relationship to previous literature on the topic. Papers will normally be no longer than 20 minutes long. Please include requests for audio-visual equipment and allow time for listening to excerpts in your estimate of time needed.
ante diem iv idus januarias

49 B.C. -- Caesar crosses the Rubicon (according to some sources)

69 A.D. -- emperor-for-a-little-while-and-not-much-longer Galba adopts Lucius Calpurnius Piso
remonstrate @

anathematize @ Merriam-Webster
8.00 p.m. |HISTC| BATTLEFIELD DETECTIVES | Siege of Alesia
In the late summer of 52 BC, Julius Caesar, Rome's most brilliant general was pitted against the great Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix. Fifty thousand Roman soldiers came face-to-face against a quarter of a million Gallic warriors: the Gauls.

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
From the Citizen Times:

Steve and Frosene Zeis, of Asheville, have given the North Carolina Museum of Art $1 million to establish an endowment to support the museum classical collection. In recognition of the gift, the museum will name the Classical Court, in the museum’s new gallery building and scheduled for completion in late 2009, in their honor.

The gift will support the museum’s curatorial activities, educational programs, and conservation of its Greek and Roman art, museum director Lawrence J. Wheeler said. It will also allow the museum to acquire new pieces.

The Steve and Frosene Zeis Classical Court will border the new gallery building’s north courtyard overlooking a linear pool of water and will hold many of the museum’s large marble sculptures, mosaic floor and Greek vases.

“Our gift is an opportunity to share our love of the museum with many,” Steve Zeis said. “Art is important to all people because of its ability to inspire and educate. The North Carolina Museum of Art is one of the great cultural institutions in the state.”

The Zeises’ involvement with the museum began in fall 2005 after they attended a fundraising event in Asheville sponsored by Mary Easley, the first lady of North Carolina, and the museum’s Friends of Greek Art, an affiliate membership group devoted to preserving and enhancing the museum's collection of classical art. The couple quickly became involved with the group, and their initial contribution helped purchase the first work of art - an ancient Greek krater vase.

“When we first visited the museum, we were so impressed,” Frosene Zeis said. “It is a jewel for all the people of the state, and I became passionate about sharing how wonderful the museum is.”

Steve Zeis, a 1962 graduate of the N.C. State University’s College of Textiles, grew up in Turkey and came to the United States from Istanbul in 1957 to attend the university. The couple moved to Asheville in 1965 when he was recruited by Northrop Carolina as it diversified into textile machinery.

In 1983, the couple established their own company - ZTM Sales and Service Inc. Steve Zeis handled the technical sales side, representing many prominent European manufacturers of textile and plastic machinery throughout much of North America. Frosene Zeis managed the business side.

The museum’s expansion initiative includes construction of a new 127,000-square-foot building to house the permanent collection, as well as renovations to the existing 1983 Edward Durrell Stone building. In December 2006 the museum officially broke ground on the new gallery building, designed by New York architectural firm, Thomas Phifer and Partners.

There are some interesting items in the collection (no provenances given on the website, alas)...
From RIA:

An international archeological expedition to Lake Issyk Kul, high in the Kyrgyz mountains, proves the existence of an advanced civilization 25 centuries ago, equal in development to the Hellenic civilizations of the northern coast of the Pontus Euxinus (Black Sea) and the Mediterranean coast of Egypt.

The expedition resulted in sensational finds, including the discovery of major settlements, presently buried underwater. The data and artefacts obtained, which are currently under study, apply the finishing touches to the many years of exploration in the lake, made by seven previous expeditions. The addition of a previously unknown culture to the treasury of history extends the idea of the patterns and regularities of human development.

Kyrgyz historians, led by Vladimir Ploskikh, vice president of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, worked side-by-side with Russian colleagues, lead by historian Svetlana Lukashova and myself. All the Russians involved were experienced skin-divers and members of the Russian Confederation of Underwater Sports. We were responsible for the work done under water. Scuba divers ventured into the lake many times to study its bottom.

Last year, we worked near the north coast at depths of 5-10 metres to discover formidable walls, some stretching for 500 meters-traces of a large city with an area of several square kilometers. In other words, it was a metropolis in its time. We also found Scythian burial mounds, eroded by waves over the centuries, and numerous well preserved artifacts-bronze battleaxes, arrowheads, self-sharpening daggers, objects discarded by smiths, casting molds, and a faceted gold bar, which was a monetary unit of the time.

Lake Issyk Kul has played a tremendous role since the inception of human history due to its geographic location at the crossing of Indo-Aryan and other nomadic routes. Archeologists found traces of many religions here-Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Somewhere in the vicinity was Chihu, the metropolitan city of a mighty state of Wusung nomads, which ancient Chinese chronicles mentioned on many occasions.

The Great Silk Road lay along the lake's coast until the 18th century. Even today, the descendants of caravan drivers recollect their ancestors' stories about travelling from Asia to Europe and back.

Tamerlane built a fortress on one of the lake islets to hold aristocratic captives and keep his treasures. The famous Asian expeditions of Russian explorers Dmitry Przhevalsky and Pyotr Semyonov-Tianshansky started from that spot.

The latter left us an enticing mystery. When he visited Venice in 1850, he looked at the Catalan Atlas of 1375 and came across a picture of a lakeside monastery with the caption: "The spot is named Isikol. Here is a monastery of Armenian brethren, which is rumored to possess the relics of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist."

Semyonov-Tianshansky embarked on a relentless but vain search for the shrine. To all appearances, the monastery was engulfed by water. Hydrologists have not to this day sufficiently studied the unique lake with regular shifts in its water level. Some changes are gradual, others sudden and disastrous since they are caused by earthquakes and torrents of water rush from lakes higher up in the mountains. Floods recede sooner or later, and people come back to the shores-only to become the victims of other floods 500-700 years later.

Throughout the years of their partnership, Russian and Kyrgyz archeologists discovered and examined more than ten major flooded urban and rural settlements of varying ages. Their ample finds generously add to present-day ideas of everyday life in times long ago.

Some artifacts are stunning. A 2,500 year-old ritual bronze cauldron was found on the bottom of the lake. The subtlety of its craftsmanship is amazing. Such excellent quality of joining details together can be presently obtained by metalwork in an inert gas. How did ancient people achieve their high-tech perfection? Also of superb workmanship are bronze mirrors, festive horse harnesses and many other objects. Articles identified as the world's oldest extant coins were also found underwater-gold wire rings used as small change and a large hexahedral goldpiece.

Side by side with the settlements are remnants of ritual complexes of times immemorial, dwellings and household outbuildings. Later expeditions will study them.

The information collected there allows us to conjecture that local people had a socio-economic system hitherto unknown to historians. As a blending of nomadic and settled life, it either gradually evolved into something different or-more likely-was destroyed by one of the many local floods. Legends confirm the latter assumption.

Nikolai Lukashov, a member of the Russian Confederation of Underwater Sports, took part in the the Issyk Kul expedition.
Among the usual boring stuff about Janus and January came this item for word mavens in the Christian Science Monitor:

Janus was the Roman two-faced god of doors, gates, beginnings, and endings. He gave his name to the first month of the year and to the guy with the fat bunch of keys on his hip: the janitor.

Logophiles – word lovers, but you knew that, didn't you? – have another association with Janus. "Janus words" are those that serve as their own antonyms. "Autoantonym," self-antonym, and "contronym" are other ways to express the same concept.

Some Janus words are just two historically different words that evolved until they both ended up in modern English written the same way. Cleave is Exhibit A for this subcategory of words. Cleave meaning to adhere or to stick (the biblical "a man ... shall cleave unto his wife") derives from the Old English clifian. Cleave meaning to split comes from the old English cleofan.

Eventually people stopped using cleave very often in either sense and opted for "stick" or "split" instead. Smart move.

Sanction is often mentioned on lists of Janus words. It is rooted in the idea of "being made sacred or inviolable." An athletic event may be "sanctioned" by some governing body.

But sanction can also mean the punishment that enforces a law, notionally "making it sacred or inviolable." Used as a verb meaning "to hit with a sanction" and applied to a person, it became a synonym for "punish."

Question isn't a Janus word in the strict sense, but it can cut both ways and cause confusion. As an editor, I sometimes see it used where plain old ask would do the job.

For instance: "He questioned whether they had enough gas for the trip." The inference here is that "they" have been assuming they had enough gas but "he" thinks maybe not. By contrast, "He asked whether they had enough gas" suggests it is an open question: "Do we have enough gas?" "Hmm, dunno. Let's look at the gauge."

Then there is the distinction between "no question of" and "no question but."

"There is no question of his being able to go" means, at a literal level, at least, that "he" won't be able to go.

Thus Reuters quoted Javier Solana, foreign policy chief of the European Union, last month on the EU's policy toward Iran: "For the moment the EU position has not been changed and there is no question of its changing."

We could drive a truck through that "for the moment," but let's not fret about that for now. The "no question but" construction, on the other hand, posits certainty in the other direction.

The Los Angeles Times quoted GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on the campaign trail in Iowa: " 'When it comes to deciding who's going to be the toughest who deals with criminals, there's no question but that my record suggests that giving out no pardons is a heck of a lot better than giving out 1,033 pardons,' Romney told reporters at a trucking-company warehouse in Fort Dodge."

ABC News rendered Romney's quote as "who's gonna be the toughest." That's probably what he said but ABC departed from the print convention of rendering quotes in standard English. It also added a comma: "no question, but that my record suggests..." No question but that somebody at ABC may not be quite up to speed on the idiom.

Of course, when a matter truly is settled, neither of these "no question" idioms gets used at all.

Literally seems to be the Janus word that really sets people off. In a Slate piece a couple of years ago, lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower called it "the word people love to hate." It qualifies as a contronym because it's used both at face value – "the restaurant is literally five minutes' walk from here" and as a metaphor: "He literally blew his top."

Some literalists about literally would argue that what's needed here is "He metaphorically blew his top." But having to say, "I'm using a figure of speech" is right up there with "I was trying to be funny."
From College News:

Last year, Associate Professor of Theatre Thomas Hines received a gratifying and fairly astonishing e-mail from an excited Argentine businessman who’d decided to restore an old mas, a traditional house in Provence. He wanted Hines to know that the Whitman College professor’s online archive of ancient theaters had inspired him to build a Roman theater in the backyard of the property.

The man had found Hines’ trove of information on Whitman’s Web site. Since 2001, Hines has visited 43 Greek and Roman theaters in three countries, taken tens of thousands of photographs and compiled The Ancient Theatre Archive: A Virtual Reality Tour of Ancient Greek and Roman Theatre Architecture.

Hines’ Web site receives more than a thousand hits a day from visitors across the globe. "There are people visiting the site to write papers or to travel," he said. "People pick from it what they want, and everyone is taking something different and doing something new."

One recent shopper was an official from the Direcção Geral das Artes, the ministry of arts in Portugal. He wanted to use several of Hines’ photographs, particularly the Hellenistic theater in Epidaurus, in a national campaign to promote the arts. Hines was happy to oblige. "I was struck by the idea that this could inspire some grade school kid in Portugal to do something with theater," he said.

Hines’ ongoing Web project grew out of his desire to provide his own students with a more complete picture of ancient theaters. The success of his initial study - the Roman theater in Ostia Antica, Italy - inspired him to pursue others. As the projects accrued, Hines’ international audience grew.

“When I conceived of the project, I used a model in my mind of an exhibit in a museum," he said. "An intuitive, self-guided tour. I used my skills as a teacher as well as my knowledge of theater."

Hines’ site features thorough surveys, including basic fact sheets, detailed studies, travel guides, directions, a glossary of Greek and Roman theater terminology, and Hines’ own hand-drawn maps and panoramic images. Viewers can take virtual tours of the theaters, zooming in to study them in as much detail as they wish.

Hines, whose set designs have complemented several Harper Joy Theatre productions at Whitman, has even included his own travel accounts in the virtual tour mix. "Today I followed in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, but unlike him, I managed to conquer the city of Termessos," reads one entry from June 2003. "I was luckier than Alex - I had a Fiat, a paved road, and the cranky Termessians were all dead."

The Web site, Hines allows, is no substitute for the real thing. "What’s lacking is the travel experience: meeting people, seeing the setting, the food, the way people treat you, the views, the smells. All of that is beyond anything a book or camera could capture."

Nonetheless, Hines’ site links viewers with some immediacy to a distant past. “Theater is an ephemeral art form," he said. "We have no way of attending an ancient Greek or Roman play, but we still have this one, very large, tangible artifact. This will let people know these places are out there, and that it’s OK to go."

In his travels, Hines typically visits two theaters a day, photographing and documenting their structure. He returns with thousands of images. "I concentrate on soaking up the region to best describe it and don’t the detailed research until later," he said.

Whitman has generously supported his efforts. Last year, the college gave Hines a $3,500 Aid to Faculty Scholarship and Instructional Development to fund more research and cataloguing. He has received two Abshire Awards and one Perry Grant for faculty-student collaborations from the college, as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Hines’ studies are valuable to scholars in many disciplines because the ancient theaters also served as sites for judicial forums and other civic activities. "The theater was a place of civic gathering, the heart of verbal communication as well as entertainment," he said.

His own hub of activity is a modest study in his home. Under the watchful eye of his cat, Hines gathers materials from his trips and compiles information for the archive. A large poster of Termessos looms above him.

“Imagine a lost city, high in the Colorado Mountains, with cool breezes, the smell of pine forests, and spectacular views of the valley below," Hines wrote of the place. "And if you search long enough, you will find the most spectacularly positioned and well preserved theater I have come across in all my travels."

Those travels are far from over. Hines will be on sabbatical again in 2008-09, during which time he plans to visit more ancient sites in Greece, France, Spain and Tunisia. With some 200 sites still in existence, his theater archive is a lifelong project.

Hines insists it’s all in a day’s work - and a scholar’s pleasure. "The work is just incredibly fun to do," he said.

Dr. Hines' website is rather impressive ...
I think I forgot to post this one ... from the BBC:

Two ancient sculptures of Greek goddesses dug up by looters in Sicily in 1978 are to be returned.

The statues were donated in 2002 to the University of Virginia which agreed to hand them back to Italy.

They were found outside the Sicilian city of Aidone, at the site of Morgantina, an ancient Greek settlement where they were displayed in a temple.

The sculptures are thought to represent Persephone and Demeter and date back to around 525BC.

Hands and feet

Known as "acroliths", they were originally life-size with bodies made of cloth and hands and feet made of stone.

Demeter was goddess of the grain harvest and her daughter, Persephone, was queen of the underworld.

Malcolm Bell III, art professor at the University of Virginia, has also directed excavations at the original site in Sicily.

"What is remarkable is that we know where the sculptures were found," he said.

"The repatriation of the sculptures is especially appropriate and important as they can be put back in their original historical, cultural and religious context."

Mysterious journey

What is not known is how the statues made their way from Sicily to Virginia.

It is thought that they made their way via the black market of looted antiquities to Switzerland before surfacing in London in 1980.

Reports say they were eventually handed to the University of Virginia's art museum by a New York philanthropist.

In February they will be handed to Italian police who will supervise their return to Sicily, and they will then be displayed at a museum at Aidone.
From the BBC:

The number of state secondary schools teaching Latin has doubled over the last seven years, statistics reveal.

The change shows government attempts to encourage the study of Latin have largely worked, says the Cambridge Schools Classics Project (CSCP).

But one education specialist fears the rise is limited to Key Stage 3 pupils aged 12-14 - not GCSE and A-level.

Without "top level" support Latin teaching could vanish in a generation, Cambridge's Bob Lister says.

Records show that about 200 non-selective state secondary schools in England were teaching Latin in 2000.

By 2007 this had risen to 471 non-selective schools, according to research carried out by the CSCP between January and May last year.

There is no breakdown of whether schools are offering the subject all the way through to GCSE and A-level, but figures from the combined examining boards suggest they are not.

In 1988, 16,023 students were entered for GCSE Latin (53% from state schools).

This fell to 13,408 in 1992 (38% from state schools) and 10,561 in 2000 (37% from state schools).

Numbers have remained at around 10,000 since then.

There is also a shortage of teachers - largely due to the falling number of postgraduate teacher training (PGCE) Latin courses around the country.

Just two centres run PGCE Latin courses - Cambridge University and King's College London.

Only 30 PGCE Latin places have been allocated this year, while 72 Latin teachers are due to retire every year for the next five years.

League table pressure

CSCP's director Will Griffiths said: "There is clearly a large amount of interest across the country for the study of Latin.

"A huge number of schools are offering it at Key Stage 3 and that's because the government created a software package for Key Stage 3 Latin in 2000.

"But GCSE Latin is hard. It's said that it is more difficult to get an E in Latin than to get a C in any other subject.

"This makes it a deterrent for students to choose Latin and for schools to teach it because they want to get good results for the league tables."

The CSCP team says GCSE Latin needs to be made easier to create a level playing field.

Bob Lister, lecturer in classics education at the University of Cambridge, said: "Unless someone at a senior level comes up with serious ways of supporting Latin I fear that within the next generation it will pretty much disappear."

'Target driven' system

The state sector had more of a problem recruiting and retaining staff than the private sector. And state schools would not consider offering Latin if there were only a handful of interested students, he said.

"More staff are leaving the profession than entering it.

"The number of people applying for jobs has diminished and head teachers' perceptions are that the quality in the field has diminished."

He added: "We don't want to be seen to be dumbing down the classics but for an average school student who doesn't start to learn Latin until they are 13, GCSE Latin is extremely hard work.

"When confronted with Latin or German they will choose German."

A Department for Children, Schools and Families spokeswoman said GCSE entries had remained steady since 2000.

"It is for individual schools and their governing bodies to decide whether to include the classics - including classical languages - in their respective curriculum."

She said schools with humanities as a specialism had the option to focus on the teaching and learning of classical studies - Latin, Classical Greek and classical civilisation - alongside a core option of history, geography or English.
I can't remember if we mentioned this one yet ... from the Scotsman:

A 2,000-YEAR-OLD Roman fort has been uncovered on the site of a new £60 million water treatment plant.
The remains of the camp were found during work on the Glencorse plant on the edge of the Pentland Hills Regional Park in Midlothian.

It is hoped the find will yield clues on how the Romans organised their occupation of the area in the first century AD.

The site is thought to be a Roman marching camp and is part of a network of bases, watchtowers and camps across lowland Scotland.

Historians had suspected there were Roman remains at Glencorse from studying aerial photographs, but this is the first evidence to be found.

No artefacts have been discovered but David Connolly, an archaeologist, described the find as an "important piece of the jigsaw".

He added: "Understanding the Romans in Scotland is a complex matter, as Scotland was not subjected to a single phase of occupation or conquest. Every new discovery leads to further understanding of Roman Scotland."

The Scottish Water project is to be completed by 2010.
From the Press:

A RARE 2,000-year-old Roman lamp has been bought by the Yorkshire Museum after it was discovered in North Yorkshire.

The copper lamp - depicting the face of a wild, violent and drunken nymph - in the shape of a female head was found by a metal detectorist near Tadcaster.

It was then bought by the York museum, being one of only a handful ever discovered in Britain and in brilliant condition.

The head is likely to be that of a Maenad, literally translated as raving ones.

In Greek and Roman mythology, Maenads were portrayed as frenzied, drunken and violent worshippers of Dionysus.

Dionysus was the god of mystery, wine and intoxication. Liz Andrews-Wilson, finds liaison officer for North and East Yorkshire, said: "This was an incredible find by metal detectorists.

"The lamp is in amazing condition and it is very rare to find one in Britain.

"It was common at the time for such lamps to show these maenad figures.

"They were used by Romans as an example of what not to become."

A not-very-good photo accompanies the original article ...
From the BBC:

The library of a classical scholar is being auctioned in Dorset to raise money for disabled children.

Duke's auctioneers in Dorchester said funds from Dr David Vessey's 8,000-book collection will help to start the charity Advocates for Children.

It will give advice, support and legal representation to children with physical and learning disabilities, aged between four and 16.

The collection include works dated as early as 1838.

Advocates for Children is the brainchild of Dr Vessey's widow and barrister Gloria Vessey, who has spent years volunteering her legal expertise to help children and their parents.

'Last wish'

She said she could not take on all the children who needed help and decided to create the charity.

The auction includes a first edition of The Good Apprentice by Iris Murdoch and a letter to Dr Vessey, estimated to fetch around £120.

A spokesman for the auctioneer said: "It was Dr Vessey's last wish that his beloved books that had given him so much joy all his life should be auctioned to raise money for the establishment of this charity."

He gained a PhD at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, went on to become a classical scholar and was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
From the Financial Times comes a somewhat different spin:

Italian archaeologists relish a good argument and they are being kept busy by some startling discoveries that could shed more light on the origins of Rome. These include the lost “lupercal”, the cave where, as legend tells it, the she-wolf suckled the city’s founders Romulus and Remus. Just outside the city, meanwhile, archaeologists are also pondering the significance of a new pattern of Etruscan tombs and its implications for the older civilisation’s erosion by encroaching Rome.

It was during recent routine restoration and consolidation work on the ruins of Emperor Augustus’s house on the slopes of Rome’s Palatine Hill that sounding devices suddenly detected a large void 16 metres below present ground level. A camera probe then revealed a curved roof of some kind of temple-grotto. So rich was the decoration, decorated with mosaics and shells arranged in ever-smaller concentric circles around a central panel with a large white eagle – the symbol of Rome – on a pale blue background, that it could only be a place of huge significance.

“We are reasonably certain that this is indeed the wolf’s cave,” Angelo Bottini, head of Rome’s archaeological department, announced to the public with pride. Certainly the site cannot be far distant, as the protagonists of all the ancient legends concerning the city’s birth – traditionally placed at 753BC – tend to converge at this very place. Aeneas, who flew from Troy to found Rome, was welcomed here and helped in his battle against the Latins by the mythical Arcadian hero Evandrus. Romulus and Remus, carried in their basket by the waters of the Tiber, again are said to have landed close to the south-west slopes of the Palatine.

No sooner had Bottini spoken, however, than his predecessor, Adriano La Regina, expressed serious doubts. “There is absolutely no certainty about this. The correct position of the ‘grotto’ is further to the west, in front of the temple of the Magna Mater and the temple of the Vittoria,” he said, citing contemporary writers such as Dionysus of Halicarnassus. “This takes us nearer to the Tiber, on the banks of which the twins must have landed.”

La Regina did admit, however, that “even for Rome, where archaeological discoveries are the order of the day, the remarkable architectural and artistic quality of this ‘grotto’ makes it a real find.” He also claims that this is a rediscovery, as the grotto under the Palatine was seen and documented during the Renaissance, in 1534, but then lost. He also feels that its decorations are similar enough in style to Emperor Nero’s Golden House to make the discovery possibly part of his previous dwelling.

Bottini seems amused by the controversy. “It is not our policy,” he says, “to hide new discoveries.”

Whatever the truth, it remains an astonishing find. Much remains to be done, as more than two-thirds of the cavity is filled with debris and earth. This is only part of a vast scheme of excavation on the Palatine, on which the government is spending €12m ($17.7m, £8.9m), concentrating on the relatively unexplored area to the west.

Meanwhile, new sections of Augustus’s house and of his wife Livia’s have been restored and will be open to the public from February. Broken pieces of fresco have been put back. Instead of using chemical solutions to protect these from exposure to light and air, which encourage the growth of micro-organisms, archaeologists are relying on new lighting systems and careful temperature control.

The Palatine is still a magical area. As Georgina Masson points out in her Companion Guide to Rome, it became during the Republic what estate agents today would call “a desirable residential quarter”, thanks to its favoured situation above the Tiber and exposure to sea breezes. When Gaius Octavius became Augustus, the first Roman Emperor, he saw no reason to move from the dignified house he already owned. He must also have felt, however, that it did him no harm to emphasise the link with the city’s original founder.

Just up the coast, also enjoying the sea air, lies the largest necropolis in the Mediterranean, some 1,000 tombs linked by sacred ways outside the Etruscan city of Cerveteri. The oldest pre-date even Romulus and Remus.

Volunteer archaeologists working on a group of five tombs first discovered in 1866 just outside the main necropolis have come across what they believe is a unique feature – an adjoining piazza that appears to have served as a religious gathering place. Five more tombs, dating from the 4th and 5th centuries BC, have been discovered around the piazza, which had as its focal point what is thought to have been a ritual urn.

Vittoria Carulli, who is leading the dig, calls the square, about half the size of a basketball court, a unique find that was almost certainly used for religious celebrations. Little is known of them, however, as the Etruscans left few written records.

A narrow “sacred way” leading out of the square still has to be excavated but leads under the asphalt of a 1960s road. “What most fascinates me,” says Carulli, “is to understand what happened to this culture, which lasted 1,000 years, in its final period. These were people who showed deep fear of death, who treated the dead with great respect and elaborate ceremonies. This was the opposite of what the Romans did: the Romans were first of all warriors and for them death had no meaning and life was expendable.”

Cerveteri’s revolt against Rome was crushed in the 3rd century BC. Roman influence became more pervasive. What Carulli describes as the Romans’ “lax” approach to the ritual of death was reflected in the uncovered bodies archaeologists found left outside the tombs, one lying across another, apparently in the open.

“This would have been unthinkable in previous times. I am curious to understand how this happened,” muses Carulli. And apologising for her initial “grumpiness” at having to break off her work to give a tour, she drives off with a smile up the 1960s asphalt.
Seen in Passing in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, inter alia:

Alan J. Heinrich, a general business and intellectual property litigator in Irell & Manella’s Los Angeles office, is the firm’s newest partner.

Heinrich, 39, is a former professor of the classics who switched to law because he wanted to focus on issues that were of “contemporary relevance,” he said yesterday.

“I really needed to do something related to the issues that I see when I read the newspaper,” he said, adding that he viewed intellectual property law as an “opportunity to work on fascinating contemporary technologies.”

Heinrich did say, however, that ancient Greek and Latin have contributed significantly to his legal practice.

“Ancient languages require close and careful reading, which is something I strive to apply in my approach to patent litigation,” he said. “It takes that extra degree of detail to help judges and juries understand what a case involving complex technology is really about.”
Several versions of this one filling my box ... this one's from PhysOrg:

All roads lead to Rome, even virtual ones. A museum on Tuesday unveiled a virtual reconstruction of one of the bustling arteries that led into ancient Rome, allowing visitors to wander through rebuilt monuments and interact with the city's political elite.
Using a concept similar to that of online virtual worlds, the project creates characters, or avatars, that roam the ancient Via Flaminia, exploring funerary monuments that lined the road, bridges and arches. They can also roam through the villa belonging to Livia, wife of Rome's first emperor, Augustus.

The avatars also can switch between the splendor of ancient Rome and a virtual tour of the monuments as they look today: fragile ruins on the outskirts of the Italian capital.

In this way, the project gives access to sites that are off the beaten track for tourists, difficult to visit or surrounded by the traffic of the modern-day Via Flaminia, which often overlaps the ancient Roman road, experts said.

"It's a voyage through the past and the present," said Maurizio Forte, who led a team of 20 archaeologists, architects and computer experts working on the project for Italy's National Research Council.

Over two years, the experts used laser scans, satellite imagery and ancient texts to reconstruct frescoed halls, vegetation and roads as they might have looked to a traveler in the first century A.D., Forte said.

The Via Flaminia was built in the third century B.C. to connect Rome to Ariminum, today's Rimini, on the Adriatic sea. Over time, the rich and powerful built villas and funerary monuments for themselves along this and other main arteries that formed the lifeline of the Roman Empire.

The Virtual Museum of the Ancient Via Flaminia reconstructed the initial part of the road, digitalizing 4.45 million acres of terrain. Major stops include Livia's palace, the Milvian Bridge on the Tiber River and a triumphal arch built by the Emperor Constantine.

The virtual reconstruction, which cost more than $1.1 million, is hosted in downtown Rome at the Museum of the Diocletian Baths.

In a darkened room of the museum, four visitors control their avatars using joysticks and computer screens, while an audience wearing 3D glasses follows their progress on a movie screen.

While exploring Livia's palace, the avatars receive explanations from characters - including the empress and the emperor - as well as a gardener who shares the secrets of the decorative plantings of ancient Rome.

For now, the characters only speak Italian but the museum hopes to have the program available in English, too.

In addition to its educational and entertainment value, scientists can access the reconstruction and the data to study the area and its monuments, experts said.

"Besides what you see on the movie screen, which is of interest to the public, we have reams of data, scans and maps that are of help to archaeologists and historians," said Augusto Palombini, an archaeologist who worked on the project.

Forte said the scientific data would be added over the next few months to the project's Web site, which already hosts a presentation of the reconstruction. A section of Livia's villa will also be uploaded in the coming weeks on the Internet-based virtual reality community called Second Life, he said.
From Ha'aretz:

Many departments in Israeli universities have shrunk in recent years, but few have sustained the kind of mortal blow taken by Bar-Ilan's Department of Classical Studies. In under five years, the number of faculty positions was cut by 40 percent.

Department head Prof. David Schaps, who specializes in Greek and Roman history, recalls another period when classical culture was neglected. "We call it the Dark Ages. It was only 1,000 years later that the value of that knowledge was recognized again, and not all of it could be reconstructed," he said. "The same thing could happen to us. There are areas that don't interest our generation, and we are allowing them to disappear. They might interest people in the future, and they won't forgive us."

Bar-Ilan, Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem all have small classics departments. Bar-Ilan's is now competing for the honor of being the university's smallest department. At the start of the decade, it had 4.5 faculty positions. Now there are 2.75 positions.

"When a university president has to chose between a Latin teacher and an immunologist in the medical school, Latin is perceived as a luxury," says Prof. Benjamin Isaac of TAU'S Department of Classics. "But without a funded position for a Latin teacher we can't teach Latin at the university," he said.

"At this rate," Schaps said, "it's doubtful the department will still exist in another few years. Business administration studies will continue, so will computer studies, because Microsoft will see to it. But classics are an example of a field that only universities can see to. If it doesn't exist in the universities, it won't exist at all."

For centuries following the Renaissance, the study of Greek and Roman rhetoric, grammar and thought formed the core of education in the West. But over the last century, the field has lost its luster. Even physicians no longer need to learn Latin.

Yet classical studies still attract many students at the best American and European universities. "In the U.S., it's a thriving field," said Prof. Margalit Finkelberg of Tel Aviv University's Classics Department. "There is no self-respecting university that doesn't have a classical studies department. It's one way to distinguish between the prestigious universities and the second-tier ones. In Europe and the U.S., people look to this area for their roots, for the cultural foundation of Western civilization."

In Israel, the situation is different. Each year a few dozen students at each university register to study Latin and Ancient Greek, but few take the advanced seminars. "Sometimes only two or three students sign up for courses on reading Sophocles or Plato in the original," admitted Prof. Deborah Ger of Hebrew University's Classics Department.

According to many researchers in the field, Israeli schools barely teach anything about ancient Greece and Rome, and students are not familiar with the ancient writers.
An interesting one from Kathimerini:

A family of farmers yesterday faced a Larissa prosecutor for allegedly using their bulldozer to dig antiquities out of an archaeological site in central Greece over the New Year holiday.

The couple and their son were arrested on Monday after archaeological authorities lodged a complaint with local police.

They are believed to have used their bulldozer to dig a 6-meter-deep trench at the site in Kranona, near Larissa, between December 31 and January 2.

After locating the bulldozer outside the family’s home, officers searched a nearby shed, unearthing dozens of antiquities.

The finds included 33 bronze coins dating to the Hellenistic era, two arrowheads, a bronze buckle and a lead die. Police also found a metal detector and a shotgun.

... kind of sounds like they were inspired by Schliemann, no? [I still remember being a TA for the intro Classical Civ course at Queen's, where the prof referred to Schliemann as digging "the mother of all trenches" ... it was amazing how many folks remembered that phrase come exam time]


Newcastle University

Wednesday, 2nd - Thursday, 3rd April 2008

The 2008 meeting of the Northern Association for Ancient Philosophy will be held at Newcastle University.

The programme will feature the following speakers:
Christof Rapp (Humboldt Universität Berlin):
Aristotle on hedonism
Pierre-Marie Morel (Université de Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne):
The Epicurean concept of telos

Ivan Christov (University of Plovdiv):
Aristoteles philogeometres

Theodore Scaltsas (Edinburgh University):
When knowledge is not a kind of belief - Plato Republic V

James Wilberding (Newcastle University):
Neoplatonist theories on spontaneous generation

In addition, there will be shorter presentations of work in progress by PhD students / postdocs:

Jenny Bryan (Leeds): The philosophical use of allusion in the Clitophon
Javier Echenique (St. Andrews): Aristotle on praise and blame
Hyeok Yu (Durham): Plato's Charmides

Abstracts of 300 words setting out the argument and listing the primary passages to be discussed in each presentation will be posted on the conference website nearer the time. Longer presentations will be 35-40 minutes, leaving 30-35 minutes for discussion; shorter presentations will be 15-20 minutes, leaving 15-20 minutes for discussion.


Wednesday 2 April

Venue: Newcastle University, Percy Building, ground floor, room G5

13.30-14.00 Arrival and registration

14.00-15.10 Scaltsas
15.10-16.20 Christov

16.20-16.45 Tea/Coffee

16.45-17.55 Rapp
17.55-18.30 Echenique

18.30-19.45 Reception in the University's Shefton Museum of Greek Art

20.00- Dinner in town

Thursday 3 April

Venue: Newcastle University, Percy Building, ground floor, room G5

9.00-10.10 Morel
10.10-10.45 Bryan

10.45-11.15 Coffee

11.15-12.25 Wilberding
12.25-13.00 Yu
13.00-13.15 Business meeting

13.15-14.30 Lunch in the University's Courtyard Restaurant
14.30 Departure

The conference is supported by the Mind Association, the Aristotelian Society, the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, the Classical Association, the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine and the School of Historical Studies at Newcastle University.

For details of booking and accommodation see the conference website at .
For further information please contact Philip van der Eijk at philip.van-der-eijk AT or James Wilberding at james.wilberding AT

The Northern Association for Ancient Philosophy aims to promote the understanding of all aspects of Classical philosophy and its infuence in later times. It is an open, informal association, and there is no membership fee. Anyone with a serious academic interest in the field is encouraged to take part in the Association's activities. Postgraduate students and colleagues from overseas are also very welcome.
The Association's annual conference provides a forum for interdisciplinary lectures and discussion among classicists and philosophers. Annual meetings have been held at Leeds, Durham, Newcastle, Liverpool and St. Andrews.C
The Classical Sublime
A conference hosted by the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge University

Friday 14th March, 14.00 - 18.30
Saturday 15th March, 9.30 - 17.15

Speakers include: Patrick Cheney (Penn State), Philip Hardie (Cambridge), Richard Hunter
(Cambridge), Charles Martindale (Bristol), James Porter (Michigan), Andrew Laird (Warwick),
Alessandro Schiesaro (La Sapienza, Rome), Philip Shaw (Leicester), Michael Silk (KCL)

What is the sublime? Influentially theorised by Burke and Kant in the 18th century, the concept
has recently attracted postmodern and Lacanian analysis from philosophers such as Derrida,
Lyotard and Zizek. An aesthetic once exploited by Coleridge, Turner and the Romantics, the
sublime today finds a home in the paintings of Barnett Newman and the films of David Lynch. The
sublime’s classical roots, however, have been largely neglected and this conference aims to
redress the balance, with discussion focusing on classical theorisations of the sublime (most
notably Ps.-Longinus’s seminal treatise Peri Hypsous), on representations of the sublime in
classical literature, and on the influence of these classical formulations on later understandings of
the sublime. By establishing a cultural frame for the sublime different to those usually adopted,
the conference aims to suggest new ways of understanding the concept. Conversely, consideration
of ancient texts in terms of the long tradition of literature on and of the sublime will hopefully
prompt fresh perspectives on these texts, their particular aesthetic modes, and these modes’
wider cultural implications. Questions and problems underlying these aims include:

- The locus of sublime experience. Burke associated the sublime with natural phenomena such as
mountains, sea-storms and chasms, but what were the ancient hallmarks of sublimity?
- The representation of the sublime. How did ancient literature handle the problem of the
- The relationship between the Classical and the Sublime. The two aesthetics have often been
opposed to each other, so what does it mean to talk about a ‘Classical Sublime’?
- Aesthetic continuity. Are there grounds for establishing parity between the sublime in ancient
and post-Classical art?
- The relationship between the aesthetic and the ideological. Does the aesthetic analysis of
Classical literature need rehabilitation? Can aesthetics be legitimately separated from ideology? Is
the sublime itself a valid category, or merely the marker of a bankrupt search for transcendence?

Registration for the conference is now open. For visitors from outside Cambridge there is a charge
of £15 per delegate, payable on arrival, to cover the cost of refreshments. Please address all
bookings and enquiries to Henry Day (hjmd2 AT, including in your email your name,
university and degree for which enrolled or position. The closing date for registration is 7th March.

Please note that the organisers are unfortunately unable to provide overnight accommodation for
external delegates.
The University of Nottingham, Department of Classics, is pleased to announce
the following:

PG Workshop on Classical Reception Studies
Sponsored by the Classical Reception Studies Network

Thursday, 7 February 2008: 10.00 – 16.30
PG suite Trent building, University of Nottingham


10.00 – 10.30 Arrival and welcome

10.30 – 11.45 History/ Material culture
‘The Persian war trophies; from symbols of victory to monuments
of memory’, Jessica Otto (University of Manchester)
‘The female nude: receptions ancient and modern’, Susanne Turner
(University of Cambridge)

11.45 – 13.00 Classics and Pop Culture
‘“Who lit the fleece-shaped beacon?” Monty Python and the
Lemnian Women’, Toni Badnall (University of Nottingham)
‘“Oh my gods!” Battlestar Galactica and Rethinking the Greek Gods’, Lynn
Kozak (University of Nottingham)

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.00 Music
‘“A Wandering Minstrel I”: ‘A practical workshop on studying music
as a reception of Classical antiquity’, Cressida Ryan (University of

15.00 – 16.30 Debate: Classical Reception vs. Classical Tradition: What
is it? Dr Mark Bradley and Dr Ian MacGregor-Morris (University of
Nottingham) – participation from the audience is encouraged!

This workshop is open to anyone interested in Classical Reception Studies.
All those wishing to attend the workshop should send their names to Kyriaki
Konstantinidou (abxkk1 AT and Lynn Kozak
(adxlk AT

Student bursaries are available for travel. Please apply to Betine van Zyl
Smit (betine.van.zyl.smit AT as soon as possible.
Director, American Research Center in Sofia
Pending funding, the American Research Center in Sofia ( seeks to appoint an experienced administrator and scholar of distinction as its Director (preferably with a Ph.D. from a North American institution). The Director reports to the Chair of the Center's Managing Committee and President of the Trustees in drawing up and carrying out the academic and fiscal policies of the Center. The Director is the chief administrator of the Center's operations in Bulgaria and oversees all its activities, including its academic program, summer session, and collaborative research programs. The Director takes the lead in designing the academic program and participates actively in the training of graduate students at the Center. All members of the staff in Bulgaria report to the Director. The Director ensures that the Center follows all Bulgarian laws and regulations. The Director works with the Director of the US Office in fund-raising, financial accounting, and communicating with the Managing Committee. The term is flexible, two to five years, although a term of at least three years is desirable. It begins on July 1, 2008, and is renewable. Salary and benefits are commensurate with rank and experience, with housing at the Research Center included. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2008. Candidates must demonstrate strong qualities of leadership and state clearly their views on the mission of the Research Center. They should send a curriculum vitae, a statement of their interest in the position and their views on the mission of the Research Center, and the names of three referees to Professor Kevin Clinton, Chair, Managing Committee, American Research Center in Sofia. Since ARCS is in the process of preparing to move to permanent quarters, submissions should be sent electronically (by e-mail attachments) to kmc1 AT

The American Research Center in Sofia (ARCS) is a consortium of over 60 institutions of higher learning registered in North America. It was established in 2004 as an organization dedicated to facilitating academic research in Bulgaria for North American scholars and collaboration between scholars from North America and countries in Southeast Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro). The Center facilitates research in Bulgaria by offering fellows and research teams logistical support. Visiting scholars and fellows take advantage of the network established by the Center for use of the resources of Bulgarian institutions, and the Center helps to obtain necessary permits and approvals for research projects. The Center also facilitates training in the languages of the region for American scholars and sponsors conferences, guest lectures, seminars and talks by visiting fellows, and other cultural events. For the academic year 2008/2009 ARCS will offer three academic programs with accompanying fellowships: a 9-month program for the period September-May; a fall term program for the period September-November; and a spring term program for the period February-April (for details see ).
8.00 p.m. |HISTC| Timewatch: Murder in Rome
Forget the Coliseum. Forget the Circus Maximus. The greatest public spectacle in Rome took place in the Forum, the political and spiritual heart of the Republic. It was here, in the shadow of the Temple of Jupiter, that the bloody and brutal passions of Rome’s leading citizens were laid out for the mob to see.

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| ULTIMATE ENGINEERING | Colosseum
The dramatic story behind the building of the Colosseum in Ancient Rome. To achieve this, the Romans used ground-breaking technology that we still use today, whilst the money to pay for this grand project enslaved a people and brought a temple crashing down.
... my sleeping patterns are clearly seriously messed up, so for the next while I'll probably be doing some updating in the evening until I get my act together ... hopefully it won't be too confusing
An interview in the Record Searchlight:

Nancy Erickson teaches Latin at University Preparatory School in Redding, where all students are required to take at least one year of the language. The following is an excerpt from a recent conversation.

Q. It's been awhile since Latin was taught in public schools. Why is it now making a comeback?

I think one of the reasons maybe the competitiveness of getting into college. And there is approximately a 100- to 200-point boost in SAT scores if people have a Latin background. So students who are very motivated or maybe have planned to be in a profession, such as law or medicine, are looking ahead down the line. Parents are more aware of this; they're looking down the line knowing this is a subject that can help them achieve their goals.

Q. We shouldn't call it a dead language?

This language is much more alive than (people) realize. Sixty percent of all the English words that we have are based upon Latin. There's no other language that can boast that. There's no other culture, no other language that has as profound an influence on worldwide culture as Latin and the ancient Romans.

Q. What is it you hope your student learn from taking Latin?

If you think about in everyday life where you encounter things that might have some connection: obviously, your vocabulary. The whole structure of the English language, the way sentences are constructed, it's all based upon how Latin is constructed. So the help and the insight that you get into the study of English, I don't even think it can be measured. People who take Latin seem to be better writers and it also seems to instill in them more of a desire to become readers.

Q. UPrep also has Russian and Chinese classes. Is there competition to get students to take Latin?

In a way, you could say, 'yes, there is.' But that is one of (UPrep's) basic requirements; everyone takes Latin 1. And then from there, you have this amazing choice as to what you would like to do for your foreign language. So when I have students who are interested in language, I have quite a few of them who are taking two (different foreign language classes) and actually I've got a couple of them who are taking three.

Q. Latin mottos and maxims are everywhere. If you had to come up with one for Redding, what would it be?

A couple of our seniors came to me and said they were developing a senior motto and they wanted to put it into Latin. I think it was "We made history; we will change the future." I think that's a wonderful motto. In Latin, it's "Historiam Fecimus; Futuram Mutabimus."
... this time in Bath. From the Chronicle:

A rare hoard of Roman coins has been found in Bath at the site of a new city centre hotel.

Around 150 coins have so far been unearthed in the run-up to work on the new Gainsborough Hotel and Thermal Spa.

But the Lower Borough Walls site is expected to yield more than 1,000 coins once the whole haul has been examined.

The find has been greeted with excitement by archaeologists because some of the coins are thought to date from the middle of the third century, one of the most poorly represented periods for coins in Britain.

The coins were discovered by Cotswold Archaeology while excavating the area around the site of the main pool of the new spa hotel, which is being created by Bath-based businessman Trevor Osborne.

Richard Sermon, head of archaeology for Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: "The coins give us a great insight into the Roman monetary system, and provide a glimpse of life in third century Bath, a time of political and economic crisis throughout the Roman Empire.

"The hoard reveals that the citizens of Aquae Sulis (the Roman name for Bath) were no different from people today - hiding their money under the mattress or floor boards."

Under the Treasure Act the find has been reported to the Avon coroner - who will decide on its ownership.

The copper and silver coins are described as being in mixed condition, with some stuck together as a result of corrosion.

But two of the best preserved coins have been provisionally identified as Antoniniani, used during the earlier and middle years of the third century AD.

One appears to be an issue of the emperor Phillip I, and was deposited against the inside face of a masonry wall in what is believed to be a small, oval pit, dug through the floor of a Roman building.

The coins would originally have been stored in leather or cloth bags.

Andrew Ryan, director of Bath Hotel and Spa Ltd, developers of the new hotel said: "We are delighted that such an important find has been made after extensive archaeological investigations on the site of the new Gainsborough Hotel. We hope that the discovery of the coins will further enhance knowledge of the history of Bath."
Over the break, the Classics list was chatting about muses in New Orleans, so it might be worthwhile to start collecting more examples of 'Classical Nyarlins', such as this incipit from an item in the Times Picayune:

Friday night, the Caliphs of Cairo found inspiration in ancient Rome for the tableau presented at the organization's annual bal masque, staged at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

It was on Feb. 15, in the year 44 B.C., that all of Rome turned out to celebrate the Feast of the Lupercalia and to honor their hero, Gaius Julius Caesar, the ball tableau recalled. The Lupercalia was the oldest of the Roman feasts, honoring the birth of Rome's founders, Romulus and Remus. As legend had it, these orphaned, infant sons of Aeneas were suckled by a wolf and raised in a cave at the foot of Palantine Hill. For hundreds of years, Romans paid tribute to them during the annual feast in celebration of the coming spring season.

According to the tableau tale, at three times during the festivities in 44 B.C., to the frenzied approval of the crowd, Marc Antony presented Caesar with a crown of golden leaf, but Caesar refused the glory. Fearing the loss of the Republic, a cabal of senators led by Cassius, Casca and Caesar's longtime friend, Marcus Junius Brutus, decided to dispatch Caesar just 30 days later, on the Ides of March. The assassins hoped to restore the Republic, but instead provoked a civil war and established a dynasty of Roman emperors.

From Buffalo News:

"Artemis and the Stag," the famous 2,000-year-old bronze sculpture sold in a controversial auction last year by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is now on view in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Albright-Knox director Louis Grachos confirmed that the sculpture is on loan to the museum from an unnamed private collector, though it is not part of its permanent collection.

"I'm absolutely pleased that the sculpture is on public view, and of course at the Metropolitan it'll be seen by tens of thousands of people on a monthly basis," Grachos said. "We're delighted that 'Artemis and the Stag' is on public view."

The sculpture, a late Hellenistic/early Roman bronze hailed as one of the most important statues ever sold at auction, went on view last week in the museum's new gallery for antiquities. It now stands among an impressive collection of Greek and Roman sculptures that ranks as one of the finest in the world.

The whereabouts of the sculpture had been unknown since it was sold last March at Sotheby's auction house in New York City to an anonymous European collector for $28.6 million. It set a record both for the most expensive sculpture and antiquity ever sold at auction, though both of those records have since been eclipsed. It also served as the biggest single sale in a series of auctions that bolstered the Albright-Knox's endowment for the acquisition of new art by $67.2 million.
An excerpt from an interview with one Ibn Warraq (in Frontpage Magazine) on the influence of Edward Said:

Edward Said, who died in September 2003, was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University , and the author of more than twenty books on cultural, literary, and political subjects, such as Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography, Covering Islam, Musical Elaborations, The World, the Text, and the Critic. Said also saw himself as a Palestinian, and defended the Palestinian cause with passion, and rage, writing influential books on the conflict such as The Question of Palestine, The Politics of Dispossession, and Peace and Its Discontents. Arguably his most influential-and in my view the most pernicious - work was Orientalism (1978), giving birth to entire new disciplines, such as Postcolonial Studies, and influencing several others such as Subaltern Studies. Universities round the world heaped honours on Said - he is said to have received at least seventeen honorary doctorates - and at the same time turned out hundreds of students whose doctoral theses were on or influenced by Orientalism. From the The Oxford Classical Dictionary to a book on Mozart's Operas, one can see Said's influence at work in all the humanities, almost negating centuries of Western scholarship of the highest order.

Take Classical Studies. The prestigious The Oxford Classical Dictionary [OCD] under the entry on the historian and mercenary leader Xenophon has a cross reference to an entry on "Orientalism", since he has left us an account of the life of the Persian Cyrus the Great. But the article in the OCD does not mention that Xenophon in fact came to feel at home with the Persians, and looked at non-Greeks in a discriminating but fair manner, distinguishing enlightened Persians from backward tribes. He never goes beyond justifiable rejection of what is uncultured. But for Said and his ilk any critical look at non-Europeans is considered "biased", "racist", and "Orientalist", making it impossible for responsible historians, sociologists and anthropologists to make cross-cultural assessments and judgements. The result is that we in the West now condone, and certainly do not condemn, barbaric behaviour committed by non-Europeans. Western feminists remain scandalously silent about the treatment of women in Islamic societies.

Said dismisses such classics of the Western canon as Aeschylus' The Persians as "orientalist" and the Western Classicists remain silent, and do not come to The Greek playwright's defence. Far from being "racist", Aeschylus' drama is a tragedy according full dignity and humanity to the Persians, praising their valour and ethics.

... sounds like there's some petitio principis going on ...


January 29: Guy Bradley (Cardiff): Latin colonisation in the mid Republic: a grand strategy?

February 5: Ed Bispham (Oxford): Colonists, kinship and pirates

February 26: Matthew Fitzjohn (Liverpool): Searching for Sikels and Greeks in the uplands of Sicily

March 11: Carrie Roth-Murray (Lampeter): Etruscan expansion or colonization into the Padana

April 22: Charlotte Greenacre (UCL): People and Places: Demography and Settlement

May 6: Edward Herring (NUI Galway): Does ethnicity matter in colonial relations? The case of South Italy

May 13: Tamar Hodos (Bristol): Greek Colonization from Sicilian Perspectives

May 20: Sarah McHugh (NUI Galway): Identity between truth and myth: The foundation stories of Magna Graecia

Tuesdays @ 17.15 in Room NG16, Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU, apart from April 22, which will take place in the Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H0PY. For further details, please contact Dr Kathryn Lomas, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY (email: K.Lomas AT
8.00 p.m. |HISTC| Timewatch: Gladiator Graveyard
For years gladiators have been legendary figures of the Ancient World, the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Spartacus,’ or ‘Gladiator.’ But our knowledge has been based largely on speculation – until now. We have secured exculsive access to the biggest archaeologial gladiator research project of all time. As it appraoches its conclusion, it will reveal the secrets of how gladiators lived, fought and died not from speculation, but forensic Science.

9.00 p.m. |HISTC| Beasts of the Roman Games
This program tells the story of how the Romans procured and transported thousands of wild animals from every corner of their Empire to feed the blood-thirsty sensationalism of "to the death" animal fights in Rome.

10.00 p.m. |HINT|Engineering An Empire: Carthage
Carthage, a remarkable city-state that dominated the Mediterranean for over 600 years, harnessed their extensive resources to develop some of the ancient world's most groundbreaking technology. For generations, Carthage defined power, strength and ingenuity, but by the third century B.C., the empire's existence was threatened by another emerging superpower, Rome. However, when the Romans engineered their empire, they were only following the lead of the Carthaginians. From the city's grand harbor to the rise of one of history's greatest generals, Hannibal Barca, we will examine the architecture and infrastructure that enabled the rise and fall of the Carthaginian Empire.

HISTC = History Television (Canada)

HINT = History International
From the Croydon Guardian:

Roman remains unearthed from the site of a former car park in Croydon have sparked speculation that other ancient artefacts could lay undiscovered close by.

Archaeologists say the Roman dumping ground' unearthed during an excavation of a former car park in Lower Coombe Street could be an indication of an occupied settlement nearby, which may be hidden under houses or businesses.

A two-month excavation at the site in Lower Coombe Street, carried out by Pre-Construct Archaeology (PCA) and overseen by English Heritage, uncovered finds dating from the second to fourth centuries AD and is believed by experts to be a rubbish site.

During the dig, a thick layer of pottery and rubble was unearthed containing a small number of precious artefacts including a Roman dress pin and a copper alloy lion's head.

Jo Taylor, senior archaeologist, said: "All the information it had to offer, about the occupation of the area and its use 2,000 years ago, has been recorded and preserved for future generations.

"Although this site was, by and large, a waste pit, it indicates that there was an occupied settlement close by, perhaps now hidden underneath the nearby housing or commercial units.

"We are lucky to have had the opportunity to fully excavate this area which, having been only used as a car park, has known relatively little sub-surface disturbance."

The site is owned by Wandle Housing and has been handed to Mansell Partnership Housing to be redeveloped as affordable housing.

As part of the planning conditions for this development, an excavation was undertaken by PCA which predicted that, based on the history of the site, there was a high probability of archaeological remains.

PCA project manager Tim Bradley said: "In terms of the locality, it is very significant. It provides the first real concrete evidence of Roman settlements in that area."
From the News and Observer:

Roman Catholics filled Sacred Heart Cathedral to overflowing Sunday afternoon to celebrate Mass in a language not heard in that church in nearly 40 years: Latin.

It was a historic moment for the Raleigh church, a chance to experience the Mass as it was celebrated in Catholic churches for centuries.

Worshippers arrived appropriately attired: men in suits, women wearing lace head coverings, and many clutching dusted off missals -- prayer books containing the Latin and English texts of the Mass.

They sat in the church in silence as tradition dictates, contemplating God before the priests arrived wafting incense through the sanctuary. There were some awkward moments as worshippers fumbled, not knowing when they were supposed to rise, sit and kneel. But that was to be expected. The rhythms of the ancient rite are no longer second nature to Catholics.

Last year, Pope Benedict XVI gave permission to broaden the use of the so-called Tridentine Mass. Since then, Catholic churches across the country have been gradually adding the service alongside the now common English- and Spanish-language Masses.

"It reminds us of our roots and our tradition and where we come from," said Bishop Michael Burbidge, who delivered the homily at Sunday's Mass. Burbidge said he has received 50 to 75 requests from Catholics asking for the Mass in Latin since he arrived in Raleigh about a year and a half ago.

From now on, the Latin Mass will be provided monthly at Sacred Heart and monthly or weekly at three other churches across the diocese, which spans 54 of North Carolina's eastern counties.

To prepare for the additional services, 15 of the diocese's 115 active priests will participate in a three-day seminar, beginning Tuesday, to train them in performing the Mass in Latin.

An olive branch

The addition of the Latin Mass is aimed at ending a liturgical dispute that has alienated traditional Catholics for decades.

By allowing the old rite, the church is, in effect, extending an olive branch to people who felt left out after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 conference that deliberated how the church should function in the modern world.

"I've been waiting for the Latin Mass for more than 30 years," said Barbara Padovano, 66, as she stepped into the tiny stone cathedral on Hillsborough Street.

Fans of the Latin Mass said they appreciate the sense of solemnity and pageantry in the old rite in which the priest faces the altar and chants the prayers and Scripture readings in Latin. Since 1970, when the new Mass was published in English, many traditions associated with old rite disappeared.

Called Tridentine after the 1570 Council of Trent in which it was standardized, the Latin Mass is elaborately choreographed. The ritual includes rules called "rubrics" that call for kneeling, bowing and making the sign of the cross. To many Catholics, that careful attention to detail connects them more intimately with the purpose of the Mass, which is receiving the Eucharist, or the bread and the wine transformed into the body and blood of Christ, according to the Catholic faith.

"It makes you realize there's solemnity going on at the altar," said Stan Wesner, 61, of Raleigh, who participated Sunday.

Unlike in the modern Mass, parishioners take communion by kneeling at the altar rail and receiving the wafer on their tongue.

But traditionalists aren't the only ones who like it. Catholics too young to remember the rite were well-represented at Sunday's Mass. They are people such as 28-year-old Erich Engel of Cary, who said the English Mass is lacking in spirituality, in large part because parishioners feel obliged to hang on every word the priest says -- an experience they say places the priest rather than God at the center of the service.

The Latin Mass is not entirely new to the diocese. In 1988, Pope John Paul II gave permission for the Latin Mass to be celebrated in its traditional form with the consent of the local bishop.

Since 2004, it has been celebrated monthly, and now weekly, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dunn. There, the Rev. Paul Parkerson was trained to celebrate the Mass in Latin after retired Bishop F. Joseph Gossman gave him permission to do it.

Last year, two churches -- one in Rocky Mount and another in Wrightsville Beach -- added a monthly Latin Mass. But there is no plan to incorporate the Latin Mass at each of the diocese churches or to substitute the Latin Mass for the regularly scheduled English- and Spanish-language Masses.

"We're already stretched thin and overworked," said the Rev. Patrick Keane, vicar to Hispanics, a large and growing group in the diocese. "In our diocese I would love to see more priests learn Spanish. I can't imagine a whole lot of us learning Latin."

Keane, like 14 other priests, signed up to learn the Latin Mass nonetheless, mostly as a way to educate himself about it.

For some priests, such as Parkerson, who celebrated the rite at Sacred Heart on Sunday, the tradition has renewed and transformed his faith.

"It is similar to discovering in your 20s and 30s who you really are," said Parkerson, 37. "You discover you're a descendant of a royal family, and there's a whole lot more to your identity than what you've been taught to believe about yourself."
I caught a few glimpses of the ad for this Denzell Washington flick over the holidays ... one review gives us a(nother) reason to check it out:

Henry is one of a score of Wiley students trying out for the debate squad coached by Melvin Tolson (Washington), an opinionated, demanding teacher. Tolson — think John Houseman in “The Paper Chase” — puts these hopefuls in the hot seat, peppering them with tough questions and references to Greek and Roman antiquity so he can gauge their ability to organize their thoughts under pressure.
An interesting tidbit from The Daily News about the author of Twas the Night Before Christmas:

Clement Moore, who was born in the 19th century and died during the Civil War, was a professor of classics at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. To give you some idea of Moore's interests and skills, he wrote "A Compendious Lexicon of the Hebrew Language."
Assorted versions of this one ... from the Canadian Press:

The church where the tradition of celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25 may have begun was built near a pagan shrine as part of an effort to spread Christianity, a leading Italian scholar says.

Italian archeologists last month unveiled an underground grotto that they believe ancient Romans revered as the place where a wolf nursed Rome's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus.

A few metres from the grotto, or "Lupercale," the Emperor Constantine built the Basilica of St. Anastasia, where some believe Christmas was first celebrated on Dec. 25.

Constantine ended the frequent waves of anti-Christian persecutions in the Roman empire by making Christianity a lawful religion in 313. He played a key role in unifying the beliefs and practices of the early followers of Jesus.

In 325, he convened the Council of Nicaea, which fixed the dates of important Christian festivals. It opted to mark Christmas, then celebrated at varying dates, on Dec. 25 to coincide with the Roman festival celebrating the birth of the sun god, Andrea Carandini, a professor of archeology at Rome's La Sapienza University, told reporters Friday.

The Basilica of St. Anastasia was built as soon as a year after the Nicaean Council. It probably was where Christmas was first marked on Dec. 25, part of broader efforts to link pagan practices to Christian celebrations in the early days of the new religion, Carandini said.

"The church was built to Christianize these pagan places of worship," he said. "It was normal to put a church near these places to try to 'save' them."

Rome's archeological superintendent Angelo Bottini, who did not take part in Carandini's research, said that hypothesis was "evocative and coherent" and "helps us understand the mechanisms of the passage from paganism to Christianity."

Bottini and Carandini both said future digs could bolster the link between the shrine and the church if structures belonging to the "Lupercale" are found directly below the basilica.

The Basilica St. Anastasia was the first church to rise not on the ancient city's outskirts, but on the Palatine Hill, the palatial centre of power and religion in imperial Rome, Carandini said. Though little known today, at the time of Constantine it was one of the most important basilicas for Christians in Rome, he said.

The "Lupercale" shrine - named after the "lupa," Latin for she-wolf - is 15 metres below ground. So far, archeologists have only been able to see it by inserting probes and cameras that have revealed a vaulted ceiling decorated with coloured marble and a white imperial eagle.

Though some experts have expressed doubts that the grotto is in fact the mythological nursery of Romulus and Remus, most archeologists believe the shrine fits the descriptions found in ancient texts, and plans are being drawn up to excavate the structure further.
From the Independent:

John Lloyd Ackrill, philosopher and classical scholar: born Reading, Berkshire 30 December 1921; Assistant Lecturer in Logic, Glasgow University 1948-49; University Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy, Oxford University 1951-52, Professor of the History of Philosophy 1966-89 (Emeritus); Fellow, Brasenose College, Oxford 1953-89 (Emeritus), Tutorial Fellow 1953-66; FBA 1981; married 1953 Margaret Kerr (one son, three daughters); died Oxford 30 November 2007.

John Ackrill was a leader in the philosophical and scholarly study of Plato and Aristotle. He played a decisive role in forming the dominant philosophical approach to ancient philosophy in the late 20th century.

Born in Reading in 1921, and educated at Reading School (which claims to be the 10th oldest school in England), Ackrill entered St John's College, Oxford, as a scholar in Classics in 1940. The following year he left for war service in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and General Staff, and reached the rank of captain. He returned to Oxford in 1945 to read Literae Humaniores (Classics, philosophy, and ancient history). On graduation, in 1948 Ackrill went directly to a teaching position, as assistant lecturer in Logic at Glasgow.

He was appointed university lecturer at Oxford in Ancient Philosophy in 1949, but before he took up the post he was given two years of study leave, which he spent in Switzerland and in Princeton (which he visited on three other occasions in the 1950s and 1960s). After two years as university lecturer, he became a tutorial fellow of Brasenose College in 1953. From 1959, the other Brasenose philosophy tutor was Michael Woods, a former pupil of Ackrill's, a collaborator in the study of ancient philosophy, and a close friend until his death in 1993.

In 1966, the university created a statutory chair in the History of Philosophy, and Ackrill was elected the first holder. He held it, while remaining a fellow of Brasenose, until his retirement in 1989. As professor he turned from teaching undergraduates to the supervision of graduate students, the provision of graduate classes, and the encouragement of research in ancient philosophy. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1981, and an Honorary Fellow of St John's in 1996.

In the late 1940s and 1950s, philosophy in Oxford was a lively, experimental, and highly social activity, under the influence – sometimes complementary and sometimes contrasting – of Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilbert Ryle and J.L. Austin. Ackrill's work combines the older tradition of Oxford philosophical scholarship (represented by Sir David Ross) with his interest in contemporary philosophy. His papers from the 1950s and 1960s use arguments from (inter alios) Peter Strawson, Frege and Ryle, to raise questions about Plato and Aristotle.

Ackrill's role as a college tutor influenced his aims as a teacher and writer. As a tutor, he was, as one distinguished former pupil recalls, "exact but good-humoured". He did not try to persuade a pupil of a particular doctrine, but tried to encourage critical thought through objections and replies. He carried the same Socratic approach into his supervision of graduate students. He would not try to communicate his own position to the student, but would criticise the student's view in ways that would clarify, improve and complicate the position being criticised.

The results of his efforts are evident in much of the best work on Greek philosophy in the past 40 years, both by his pupils and by those he influenced less directly. The character, though not the extent, of his influence may be gathered from the Festschrift produced by some of his former pupils, colleagues, and friends, published in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy in 1986 (edited by Michael Woods).

His Socratic and tutorial attitude appears in his published papers (collected in Essays on Plato and Aristotle, 1997). Often he announces that he aims to provoke discussion, or to raise a problem, not to expound a philosophical system. As he puts it, "it seems to me both enjoyable and rewarding to engage in philosophical argument with Aristotle"; this engagement includes criticism of Aristotle's (or Plato's) errors. His best papers are terse, elegant, bold and challenging. His early short paper "Plato and the copula" argues that Plato sees that central elements of his metaphysical position, and in particular of his Theory of Forms, need to be rethought. In "Aristotle's Definitions of Psuchê", Ackrill argues that Aristotle's familiar doctrines about form, matter and substance rest on conflicting assumptions, and that these conflicting assumptions threaten the coherence of his whole account of soul and body.

His best-known paper – often cited, often translated, and continually discussed since its appearance as a British Academy Lecture in 1974 – is "Aristotle on Eudaimonia", which not only sets out a problem, but also offers a persuasive answer to it He argues that Aristotle conceives the ultimate human good (eudaimonia, often rendered "happiness"), not as some goal that is wholly external to all the activities that we might regard as worthwhile for themselves, to which everything else is purely instrumental, but as a compound of states and activities that are valued for themselves. Ackrill formulates this view with unrivalled clarity, and defends it by close attention to particular passages and difficulties.

His collected papers do not include any of his book reviews or critical notices (which are listed in his Festschrift). These are essential reading for anyone who wants to grasp the range and depth of his interests and his knowledge. His learned, probing, and suggestive reviews and discussions show his expertise and scholarship in areas in which he published nothing more.

In addition to his papers, he published an admirably clear and lively introduction to Aristotle, Aristotle the Philosopher (1981), selections from Aristotle's Ethics with an introduction and brief notes (1973), and an annotated translation of Aristotle's Categories and De Intepretatione (1963). This last work demonstrates Ackrill's remarkable skill as a philosophical translator. Though his notes are said to be "offered only as an aid to beginners", they have provoked many pages of discussion by advanced students as well.

This volume appeared in the Clarendon Aristotle Series, of which Ackrill had become the general editor after the death of J.L. Austin in 1960. The volumes in this series, each of which includes lucid and helpful notes, have made Aristotle more accessible to students at all levels. The individual translators must take much of the credit; the prefaces to their volumes imply that much of the credit must also go to Ackrill, and latterly to his successor, Lindsay Judson.

Many Oxford undergraduates and graduates appreciated Ackrill's lectures and classes; and he supervised many graduate students in Greek philosophy who are now established members of the profession. These are not the only people who have reason to be grateful for his constructive criticism and guidance. Oxford attracts academic visitors from all over the world; and many scholars from outside Oxford, with no formal claim on his time or attention, will recall with gratitude Ackrill's encouragement and advice throughout their careers.

The austere clarity of his writing gives a sense of one side of his personality; but it does not convey the dry and pungent wit that enlivened his conversation, or the warmth and generosity of his friendship.
Numerous versions of this one kicking around ... here's the BBC's:

The statues were donated in 2002 to the University of Virginia which agreed to hand them back to Italy.

They were found outside the Sicilian city of Aidone, at the site of Morgantina, an ancient Greek settlement where they were displayed in a temple.

The sculptures are thought to represent Persephone and Demeter and date back to around 525BC.

Hands and feet

Known as "acroliths", they were originally life-size with bodies made of cloth and hands and feet made of stone.

Demeter was goddess of the grain harvest and her daughter, Persephone, was queen of the underworld.

Malcolm Bell III, art professor at the University of Virginia, has also directed excavations at the original site in Sicily.

"What is remarkable is that we know where the sculptures were found," he said.

"The repatriation of the sculptures is especially appropriate and important as they can be put back in their original historical, cultural and religious context."

Mysterious journey

What is not known is how the statues made their way from Sicily to Virginia.

It is thought that they made their way via the black market of looted antiquities to Switzerland before surfacing in London in 1980.

Reports say they were eventually handed to the University of Virginia's art museum by a New York philanthropist.

In February they will be handed to Italian police who will supervise their return to Sicily, and they will then be displayed at a museum at Aidone.
8.00 p.m. |HISTC| ROME: ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE | Episode: 001
Conquest. Lust. Murder. Revenge. And the power of unrivalled technology. These are the cornerstones in the foundation of the Roman Empire. For more than 500 years, Rome was the most powerful and advanced civilization the world had ever known, ruled by visionaries and tyrants whose accomplishments ranged from awe-inspiring to deplorable. One characteristic linked them all–ambition–and the thirst for power that all Roman emperors shared fueled an unprecedented mastery of engineering and labor.

HISTC = History Television (Canada)
... but I'm wiped out from catching up with various things ... rc should resume (in 'catch up mode') Monday a.m. ...