pridie kalendas octobres

480 B.C. -- birth of Euripides (not sure of the source of this one)

286 A.D. -- martyrdom of Victor and Ursus

420 A.D. -- death of Jerome

1452 -- first Gutenberg Bible printed (?)
theriac @ Merriam-Webster

quidnunc @ Wordsmith
Not sure why the Times has this item about Boudicca ... (alas, I can't present it here because of the Times servers claim to be busy and became so right in the middle of my reading the article!)
Another one which really isn't news is sweeping through the Asian newspapers ... from ThaIndian:

Ancient Greek texts like The Iliad and The Odyssey are revealing new secrets about the ancient world, the most prominent being the discovery of a site that might be the city of Troy.

Thanks to evidence from a range of disciplines, experts are in the middle of a massive reappraisal of these foundational works of Western literature.

Recent advances in archeology and linguistics offer the strongest support yet that the Trojan War did take place, with evidence coming from the large excavation at the likely site of Troy, as well as new analysis of cuneiform tablets from the dominant empire of the region.

In 1870, German businessman and self-taught archeologist Heinrich Schliemann, landed on the western coast of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) with a copy of The Iliad in his hand.

On the plain before him, an unimpressive mound of grass and stone and bushes swelled 100 feet into the air. Tradition had long identified this mound, called Hisarlik, as a possible site of the historical Troy.

Schliemann soon reported to the world that he and his diggers had found the charred remains of Troy just where Homer said it would be.

The news was a worldwide sensation, and Schliemanns view that the Homeric epics were fairly accurate chronicles of Late Bronze Age history, dominated scholarship for more than 50 years.

But, in fact, Schliemann hadnt found Homers Troy.

Hisarlik was occupied from 3000 BC until 500 AD, and subsequent archeological excavations showed that the civilization Schliemann chipped from the mound actually ended more than 1,000 years before the Trojan War could realistically have been fought.

But the newest digging at Troy is tipping the consensus again, perhaps this time for good. Schliemann and Blegen, it now appears, had only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

The mound at Hisarlik thrusts up from the plain, but most of its ruins are concealed beneath the surface.

In a project that has now been underway for 20 years, the German archeologist Manfred Korfmann and hundreds of collaborators have discovered a large lower city that surrounded the citadel.

Using new tools, such as computer modeling and imaging technology that allows them to see into the earth before digging, Korfmann and his colleagues determined that this citys borders were 10 to 15 times larger than previously thought.

They also found that it supported a population of 5,000 to 10,000 - a big city for its time and place, with impressive defenses and an underground water system for surviving sieges.

Critically, the city bore signs of being pillaged and burned around 1200 BC, precisely the time when the Trojan War would have been fought.

I suspect all the versions of this ultimately derive from a very lengthy piece in the Boston Globe by Jonathan Gottschall (an English prof) whose article mentions, inter alia:

In his influential book, "Troy and Homer," German classicist Joachim Latacz argues that the identification of Hisarlik as the site of Homer's Troy is all but proven.

I don't think there is anyone who seriously doubts Hissarlik is the site of Troy (and haven't for a couple of generations). What Latacz's work is all about is the historicity of the Tojan War itself. That's still an open question ... (i.e. THE Trojan War as opposed to A Trojan War)
Again ... not sure why this is 'news' ... from

Remains of rotten fish entrails have helped establish the precise dating of Pompeii's destruction, according to Italian researchers who have analyzed the town's last batch of garum, a pungent, fish-based seasoning.

Frozen in time by the catastrophic eruption that covered Pompeii and nearby towns nearly 2,000 years ago with nine to 20 feet of hot ash and pumice, the desiccated remains were found at the bottom of seven jars.

The find revealed that the last Pompeian garum was made entirely with bogues (known as boops boops), a Mediterranean fish species that abounded in the area in the summer months of July and early August.

"Analysis of their contents basically confirmed that Mount Vesuvius most likely erupted on 24 August 79 A.D., as reported by the Roman historian Pliny the Younger in his account on the eruption," Annamaria Ciarallo, director of Pompeii's Applied Research Laboratory told Discovery News.

The vessels were unearthed several years ago in the house of Aulus Umbricius Scaurus, Pompeii's most famous garum producer.

So ... what you're suggesting is we now have an ancient dating technique which is accurate to the day? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight .... I suspect the real news was identifying the fish involved and they (the journalists?) didn't think that was newsy enough ...
Seminars at Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Michaelmas 2008

Dynamics of epyllion

15th Oct Bruno Currie, 'The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite: a traditional
22nd Oct Llewelyn Morgan, 'Versus minuti'
29th Oct Ben Acosta-Hughes, "Miniaturizing the huge: Hercules on a small
5th Nov Helen Lovatt, "Miniaturisation and literary rivalry in Flavian
12th Nov Ahuvia Kahane, "Poetic proportions, ethics, and politics"
19th Nov Elena Theodorakopoulos, 'Catullus 64: a little monument'
26th Nov Richard Hunter, 'The repertoire of Demodocus: hymns and epyllia?'
3rd Dec George Kazantzidis, 'Talking birds in Callimachus' Hecale'

Seminars at 5.00 pm on Wednesdays in the Seminar Room, Corpus Christi
Religion, Society and Participation
Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages IV
Tampere, Finland, August 20-22, 2009, International Conference
Organized by: Trivium Centre for Classical, Medieval and Renaissance
Studies, Department of History and Philosophy, University of Tampere
in collaboration with the Finnish Historical Society and the Classical
Association of Finland.

Abstract deadline: November 1st, 2008

The fourth international Passages conference focuses on religion in
its social context. Religion is seen as an active, ongoing process
involving society and community. We welcome papers which focus on
different religious acts and actors - communities, families or
individuals - and with sensitive approach to social differences:
gender, age and status. Important themes in the conference are the
differences and similarities between elite culture and popular
religion in Classical and Medieval society.

The conference aims at broad coverage not only chronologically but
also geographically and disciplinary (all branches of Classical and
Medieval Studies). We strongly encourage contributions from a
comparative and/or interdisciplinary perspective.

The conference will concentrate on:

Religious rituals in everyday life
Writing and reading religion vs. oral religious culture
Devotional groups and their functions in society
Official and nonofficial religious practices and practitioners
Gendered participation
Forms of devoted life: e.g. living as a devoted child/man/woman/couple
Sacrifice and self sacrifice
A one-page abstract (setting out thesis and conclusions and containing
name, academic affiliation, postal adress, e-mail) should be submitted
preferably by mail-attachment to the conference secretary,
passages AT, or to the address below. The deadline for abstracts
is November, 1st 2008, decisions on the acceptance of papers will be
made in December 2008. Presentation of conference papers preferably in
English, although papers in other major scientific languages are
accepted if provided with English summary or translation. Registration
fee for all those attending or participating: 60 ? (post-graduate
students: 30 ?). For further information, please contact
passages AT or visit (see there also for
information on previous Passages-conferences).
The Department of Classics, University of California, Santa Barbara,
invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant
Professor in Greek Literature, effective 2009-10. The Department is
particularly interested in candidates whose work would strengthen our
program in at least one of our major research clusters (ancient drama and
performance, ancient history, theory and cultural studies); comparatist
qualifications are also welcome. Ph.D. in Classics or a comparable degree
(including Comparative Literature/Classics) normally required by the time
of appointment. Promise of excellence in both teaching and research is
essential, as are the ability and willingness to teach large humanities
courses in mythology, Classical literature and civilization, as well as
graduate courses and seminars. The Department has an active graduate
program and awards both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees; for more about the
Department, see our website at The Department is
especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and
excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and
service. A cover letter, detailed curriculum vitae, short writing sample,
complete graduate transcript, and three letters of recommendation should be
sent to Robert Morstein-Marx, Chair, Department of Classics, University of
California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3120. The Department will begin
reviewing materials on November 3, 2008; to ensure full consideration, all
application materials should have arrived by that date. First-round
interviews will be conducted at the APA/AIA meeting in Philadelphia in
January, 2009. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
ante diem iii kalendas octobres

106 B.C. -- birth of Gnaeus Pompeius

61 B.C. -- Pompey celebrates his third triumph in recognition of his victories in the third Mithridatic War

48 B.C. -- Pompeius Magnus, in the wake of his defeat at Pharsalus, is murdered as he steps ashore in Egypt (another possible date)

290 A.D. -- martyrdom of Rhipsime, Gaiana, and companions
politicaster @ Wordsmith

exonerate @ Merriam-Webster

verbiage @
From Il Tempo:

Con questi lavori in parallelo, torneranno alla luce altre porzioni dell'antica struttura, che si trova nel centro storico alto.
Dovevano finire due anni fa le opere di demolizione di un immobile pericolante. Il suo abbattimento serviva a favorire i lavori di scavo del sottostante teatro. L'operazione era stata inopinatamente interrotta a seguito di un esposto, che aveva messo in risalto la scoperta di un arco antico durante le operazioni di demolizione. La Sovrintendenza aveva sospeso i lavori, che sono rimasti interrotti a lungo.
Adesso, dopo due anni, è stato possibile completare l'abbattimento (l'arco, smontato e numerato, avrà una sua adeguata collocazione).
Le ditte ArcheoRes e Valentina srl sono impegnata a portare a termine il 2° stralcio funzionale di 266,960 euro per conto del Comune. Per gennaio prossimo si dovrebbe riuscire a liberare tutto il portico. Intanto anche la Sovrintendenza di accinge a riaprire il suo cantiere per un'altra campagna di scavi.
Finora il teatro romano è riapparso nel suo antico splendore per circa un terzo della sua superficie. Occorre radere al suolo l'ultimo diaframma sul portico (si tratta di un'altra casa fatiscente risalente all'Ottocento), ma soprattutto occorre abbattere un'abitazione, che, in via Le Palme, gravita proprio sulla cavea. Allora solamente l'area, sgombra, potrà accogliere gli ultimi definitivi scavi.
Il teatro romano di Terracina è particolare, poiché è uno dei pochi rimasti tra quelli costruiti, nell'antico mondo romano, al centro delle città. La sua unicità deriva anche dal fatto che sorgeva vicino all'antica Regina viarum.
From Voices:

The 16-strong team, headed by Prof. Dr. François Bertemes from Hale University, unearthed building foundations, walls and various ceramic objects dating from the Bronze Age in the Tavşan Island across from the Forestry Camp

Stating the excavations would end on September 29, Prof Bertemes said: “We have opened seven more exploration pits on the island.

“The findings belong to the 6th century AD. Our researches reveal that Tavşan Island detached and dragged away from Greek mainland after the tsunami which happened in the Ancient Greek Period.

“There had been rumours along these lines before. Presently, we are comparing the findings from here and Greece. The resemblances support these rumours but we have not yet concluded our researches.”

Videoing by helicopter
Head of excavations, Andreas Furtuöngler, said they were videoing the excavation areas by a model helicopter they had brought from Germany.

Expressing they had good footage, Mr Furtuöngler said the videos would make great contribution to the excavations. Most recently, the sacred road from Apollon Temple to Miletus and Tavşan Island were videoed from bird’s eye view.

The sacred road, where the German archaeologists are excavating, was built in the 6th century BC. The road leading from Apollon Temple to Miletus was paved with white marble stones.

At the time, Apollon Temple was one of the leading oracles of the ancient world. Thousands from the city of Miletus, which is the hometown of philosophers such as Aristotle and Thales, who laid the basis of rational thought, would rush to the temple to find out about their futures.

On both sides of the sacred road, there were statues of priests and administrators. These statues, built by the priests of Miletus as gifts to the God Apollon would greet the visitors on the road to the temple and accompany them along the road with their dignified and mystic being.

Only 15 of these statues, which are estimated to be more than 50 originally, have survived to our day. Most of them were taken to the British Museum by the English researcher C.N. Newton in 1858.

Despite the demands of Turkish government, The British government did not return the statues.
From a Q&A column in the Times:

While watching a televised promenade concert I was irritated to hear the presenters constantly refer to Brahms’s (Brahmses) symphony. I would always style it Brahms’ (Brahms). Who is right?

It was formerly customary, when a word ended in “s”, to write its possessive with an apostrophe but no additional “s”, eg Achilles’ thews. In verse, and in poetic or reverential contexts, this custom is retained, and the number of syllables is the same as in the subjective case, eg Achilles’ has three syllables, not four. Jesus’ or of Jesus, not Jesuses. But elsewhere we now add the “s” and the syllable, St James’s not St James’ and Jones’s children. Personally, I would treat Brahms like Jesus or Socrates, Brahms’, sic. But either is possible. (Brahmses is naff.) But let us be tolerant of different tribes.
From ANSA:

Archaeologists in Sardinia said Thursday they have found the port of the Phoenician city of Tharros, held by some to be the ancient people's most important colony in the Mediterranean after Carthage.

Researchers from the University of Cagliari and Sassari found the submerged port in the Mistras Lagoon, several kilometres from the city ruins.

Excavations have long been going on at the site of the city itself, on a peninsula overlooking the Bay of Oristano in western Sardinia, but this is the first time its waterfront has been located despite almost two centuries of hunting.

As well as an impressive sandstone wall 100 metres in length and four metres in width, the archaeologists discovered a basin carved in the rock, similar to Carthage's man-made, protected inner harbour.

A rectilinear waterfront stretches for 225 metres with a 190-metre jetty and there is a 50-metre-long approach canal for ships, the researchers said.

The city of Tharros was founded in the eighth century BC. The Phoenicians were an ancient maritime trading people who formed a massive commercial empire across the Mediterranean from their bases along the coast of modern-day Lebanon, Syria and Israel.

The city was later populated by the Romans before being destroyed by Saracen raiders in the tenth century AD.

Among the Italian cities the Phoenicians founded is today's capital of Sardinia, Cagliari, and the Sicilian capital Palermo.

Other colonies included Cadiz and Malaga in Spain and Tangiers in Morocco.

I can't recall any 'event' of major importance happening at Tharros in the period of our purview ...
From the BBC:

The Romans gave us roads, plumbing, wine and irrigation and now it seems they may have also introduced Wales' unofficial icon - the garden leek.

The National Museum of Wales says the Romans probably planted domesticated varieties to flavour their stews.

The museum has recreated a Roman-design garden at the National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, near Newport.

The garden aims to show how troops posted to the edge of the empire created their own home-from-home.

"We've used archaeological remains and research to interpret a Roman garden," said Andrew Dixey, Estate Manager for National Museum Wales.

"The Romans invaded Britain in 43 AD and brought their garden designs with them.

"However due to the change in climate, the range in plants they could grow was more restricted than overseas. We've tried to recreate what a Roman garden could have looked like."

Mr Vixey said the Romans looked on their garden as an extension to the house - as a place to relax and to entertain.

He said where we might have a gazebo, they had the triclinium, an outside dining room with three couches around a low table, topped with a pergola.

Roman incomers were keen on putting plants in pots and using them as decorative devices in their own right, to go alongside the stone ornaments they brought with them.


But there was a practical side to Roman gardens as well, he added.

They would be sources for vegetables, fruit and herbs such as rosemary, thyme and mint, which were used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

And it was probably here that the leek was to take on its domestic, and eventually iconic, status, said Mr Vixey.

He added: "The wild leek is a pretty poor plant for eating. It's fair to say, even if the wild leek was a native plant, then the Romans brought more domesticated varieties.

"They had domesticated varieties that were much more beneficial from a nutritional and taste point of view."

'Gardening tips'

Museum chiefs say visitors to the garden - which opens this week - will recognise some of what they see, such as planted box hedges, bay trees and vines climbing the triclinium.

Bethan Lewis, who manages the National Roman Legion Museum, said: "The Roman garden enhances our interpretation of Roman Caerleon and is a special addition because it's museum staff and volunteers who've actually researched and created it.

"We currently attract about 70,000 people a year and look forward to welcoming new visitors wanting gardening tips from the Romans."
The plot thickens ... from ANSA:

The riddle of an alleged theft from Italy's famed Riace bronzes has resurfaced 35 years after they were lifted from the Calabrian seabed.

A photo of the 1972 find has reignited speculation that the two figures were stripped of a shield and possibly other objects - and even a companion who has never been seen. The photo was put on display recently by a Riace cultural association and spotted by Riace bronze sleuth Giuseppe Bragho', an amateur archaeologist who has long been arguing that the site was raided by art thieves.

Bragho' says the snap, taken just after the statues were brought ashore, is ''unequivocal evidence'' that a shield was torn from the left arm of the so-called 'younger' statue.

''The photo clearly shows an object protruding from the statue's left hand. It's easy to guess that it was the handle of the shield that has never been discovered,'' Bragho' said. Bragho' said the photo should ''lend fresh impetus'' to an inquiry opened last year on the basis of his claims. The local sleuth, who has written a book outlining his suspicions, says he has ''tracked down and photographed a series of documents that indicate an alarming scenario''.

He says a third statue - ''completely different from the other two'' - as well as two shields and a lance, were seen lying on the seabed by the finder, scuba diver Stefano Mariottini.

Bragho' points to a statement made by Mariottini the day after he discovered the statues on 16 August 1972.

In the statement, he refers to ''a group of statues''.

Bragho' also highlights another section of Mariottini's statement in which he reportedly said he saw ''three statues, probably made of of them lying on its side with a shield on its left arm''.

In addition, the expert has provided prosecutors with the name of a man who allegedly helped smuggle a shield and lance away from the scene of the discovery.


The bronzes were discovered by Mariottini, an amateur scuba diver from Rome, during a holiday on the Calabrian coast.

They turned out to be one of Italy's most important archaeological finds of the last 100 years.

The statues are of two virile men, presumably warriors or gods, who possibly held lances and shields at one time. At around two metres, they are larger than life.

The 'older' man, known as Riace B, wears a helmet, while the 'younger' Riace A has nothing covering his rippling hair.

Both are naked.

Although the statues are cast in bronze, they feature silver lashes and teeth, copper red lips and nipples, and eyes made of ivory, limestone and a glass and amber paste.

Italy is renowned for its archaeological treasures but the Riace bronzes have attracted particular attention.

This is partly because of their exceptionally realistic rendering and partly owing to the rarity of ancient bronze statues, which tended to be melted down and the metal reused.

Mariottini, who spotted the statues 300 metres off the coast and eight metres underwater, said the bronze was so realistic he initially thought he'd found the remains of a corpse.

When they first went on display in 1981, a million people came to see them and the pair were even featured on a commemorative postage stamp.

Today the statues pull some 130,000 visitors each year to the Reggio Calabria museum housing them.

How or when the statues sank to their watery resting place also remains a mystery, as divers uncovered no wreckage in the vicinity.

While remains could have drifted to the seabed some distance away it is more probable that the statues were tossed overboard, either to lighten the ship's load in a storm or to prevent them falling into the hands of pirates.

Italian cultural authorities recently sent a fresh scientific mission to the area after a US ship reported detecting traces of underwater metal near the spot the statues were discovered.

Since we did mention the claim that it might be a hoax, we should mention this item from the Times:

The archaeologist who discovered a silver cross exposed by scientists last week as a Roman “hoax” says he is convinced that the find is genuine.

Quentin Hutchinson has remained silent since he found the early Christian Chi-Rho amulet while excavating a 4th-century grave near the Somerset town of Shepton Mallet in 1990.

It was initially regarded as the earliest evidence of a Christian burial in Britain and was hailed as one of the archaeological finds of the century. But after tests by experts at Liverpool University, which concluded that the silver was of 19th-century origin, it has now emerged that doubts about its authenticity were voiced almost from the moment it was found.

Mr Hutchinson, 46, has never before spoken publicly about his discovery of the tiny cross on Sunday, July 15, 1990. But now he says that it has ruined his life and he wishes that he had never found it.

His integrity was called into question soon after the find, and the suspicion that he had planted the cross himself ended his professional career.

He denies playing any part in a hoax and maintains that it would have been impossible for anyone to plant the amulet without disturbing the soil. In the absence of such evidence, he is convinced that the cross could only have come to be underneath the right femur of the skeleton of a middle-aged man, possibly a priest, if it had been buried with its owner more than 1,600 years ago. He believes that the experts must reconsider because the find may yet prove to be of great importance.

In the summer of 1990, Mr Hutchinson, then 28, had been an archaeologist for four years and was a member of Birmingham University’s Field Archeology Unit. It had been asked to conduct a dig at the site of a proposed £6 million warehouse development. What they uncovered, beside the Fosse Way was evidence of a large Romano-British settlement, with roadside buildings, workshops, agricultural enclosures and industrial workings.

There were also three 4th-century cemeteries, one of which – where the graves lay east to west – was thought to be Christian. Mr Hutchinson was asked to complete the excavation of one grave, which had been left by a colleague with the upper half of the skeleton uncovered but the lower half still hidden beneath compacted soil.

“I began lowering the grave fill. You can always tell, from subtle differences in colour and texture, if there has been a disturbance. In this case, the soil was very clean, very compact. It did not look to have been disturbed in any way. The site director [Peter Leach] had already looked at it with me. There was absolutely nothing to suggest that it had been tampered with.”

When Mr Hutchinson reached the upper right leg bone, he noticed a fleck of black and a bead, embedded in the soil next to the bone. He gently removed a fist-sized clod of earth surrounding the object and lifted it out.He found himself holding a small silver cross, 45mm long, and 39mm wide. The bead had been the tip of one of its four points. Heart racing, he hurried to Mr Leach, who wiped the remaining soil from the small disc at its centre.

This revealed the Chi-Rho marking, an early Christian symbol formed by superimposing the first two letters, X and P, of the Greek word Christos, “the anointed one”. He said: “I thought, ‘Oh my God, what have I found?’ It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Peter Leach said that nothing like it had ever been found in Britain. It was incredibly exciting.”

Within days, word spread of the amazing find and Shepton Mallet seemed destined for fame as one of Britain’s earliest centres of Christian belief. Mr Hutchinson left Britain on a short holiday two months later. When he came back, his world fell apart.

“My director called me into his officeand told me that he had been asked by the British Museum to question my professional conduct because they were convinced that the amulet was a modern hoax.”

Mr Hutchinson was asked if he had planted it. He angrily denied the accusation. The find remained, officially, genuine until last week’s tests but passion for archaeology – and trust in Britain’s archaeological establishment – left its finder many years ago.

Shattered by the suspicions surrounding him, he resigned from the Birmingham team in 1991 and left the profession in 2000. He has subsequently worked as a teacher, in a post office and in a supermarket. He now wants a gathering of experts to thrash out the controversy.

“I’m not an expert on Roman silver, so in that sense I can’t say whether the amulet is genuine, but what I do know is that it came out of an untouched grave. My suspicion is that the real problem is that the amulet is unique.

“Because it doesn’t fit their understanding of the period, they are determined to believe that it cannot be genuine. The truth is I wish I’d never found it, because it ruined my life.”
Details of the programme of visiting speakers in the Leeds Classics department this semester are listed below. Most sessions take place at 3pm on a Wednesday, in room 101 of the Parkinson building at the University of Leeds. However, the programme also includes talks for the Leeds & District branch of the CA, which start at 5:30pm on varying days of the week - variations are noted on the list below.

All are very welcome to attend the sessions. Directions to the University and campus maps may be found here: If you have any queries, please direct them to myself (p.j.goodman AT or Prof. Malcolm Heath (m.f.heath AT

Programme for autumn 2008:

October 1st
Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway)
Lost Hollywood versions of Homer

October 15th
Mark Bradley (Nottingham)
The importance of colour on ancient marble sculpture

October 22nd
Rick Jones (Bradford)
Urbanisation and Inequality at Pompeii

October 29th
Katharine Earnshaw (Leeds)
ardens amor: Brothers in (each other's) Arms in Lucan's Ilerda Episode

November 3rd (CA Talk – starting at 5 for 5.30 pm)
Roderick Beaton (King’s College London)
Literature and the ‘Imagined Community’: the Making of Modern Greece

November 5th
Eleanor Dickey (Exeter)
Latin influence on Greek
Please note that this paper will start at 4pm, not the usual time of 3pm.

November 12th
Jacqueline Campbell (Manchester)
Pharaoh’s Pharmacy c. 1500 BC: a medical legacy?

November 19th
Andreas U. Schmidhauser (UEA)
Stoic Grammar

November 24th (CA Talk – starting at 5 for 5.30 pm)
Miriam Griffin (Oxford)
Nero from Zero to Hero

December 3rd
Sarah Francis (Leeds)
“It’s no use being cleverer than your doctor” - Ancient Greek Philosophers on the Medical Profession

December 10th
Clare Kelly Blazeby (Leeds)
Woman + wine = prostitute in classical Greece?
Edinburgh Classics Research Seminar 2008/2009

All seminars will take place on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and, unless otherwise stated, in the Faculty Room North on the ground floor of the David Hume Tower in George Square.

Semester 1

1 October:

Professor Gregory Hutchinson (Oxford): 'Politics and the Sublime in Pliny's Speech to Trajan'

8 October (Conference Room DHT)

Professor Eberhard Sauer (Edinburgh): ‘A Late Antique Frontier Defence System in Northern Iran’

15 October

Dr Caroline Vout (Cambridge): ‘Rome as City of Seven Hills’

22 October (Conference Room DHT)

Professor Bruce Gibson (Liverpool): ‘Silius Italicus: a Consular Historian?’

5 November

Dr Luke Houghton (Glasgow): ‘Virgil's fourth Eclogue – Historical Soundings’

12 November

Dr Marek Weçowski (Warsaw): ‘Purposes of Ostracism: for a New Light on Some Old Potsherds’

19 November

Professor Angelos Chaniotis (Oxford): ‘The Ithyphallic Hymn for Demetrios Poliorketes and Hellenistic Religious Mentality’

26 November

Professor Malcolm Heath (Leeds): ‘The Best Kind of Tragic Plot: Aristotle's Argument in Poetics 13-14’

3 December

Dr Gavin Kelly (Edinburgh): 'An Idiot's Guide to Roman History: New Thoughts on the Breviarium of Festus'

Semester 2

21 January

Professor Timothy Barnes (Toronto/Edinburgh): ‘Christians in the Severan Empire’

28 January

Professor Keith Rutter (Edinburgh): ‘Coins and Cultures in Western Sicily’

4 February

Professor Michael Reeve (Cambridge): ‘The Vita Plinii and other Pliniana’

11 February

Professor Geoffrey B. Greatrex (Ottawa): ‘Patriarchs and Politics in sixth-century Constantinople’

25 February

Professor Michael Fulford (Reading): ‘Going down! The Silchester Insula IX Town Life Project 1997–2009’

4 March

Dr Jane Lightfoot (Oxford): ‘Dionysius the Periegete’

11 March

Professor Giovan Battista D’Alessio (KCL): ‘A Greek Lyric Poet from Samos to Ghazni’

18 March

Professor Tim Cornell (Manchester): title tba

25 March

Professor Joseph Roisman (Colby College): ‘Alexander’s the Great Veterans’
The Literary Encyclopedia (Roman Literature): Expressions of Interest

Contributors are being sought for short contributions of 100 to 2500 words
to The Literary Encyclopedia in the area of Latin Literature. The Literary
Encyclopedia is an online resource at The Literary
Encyclopedia is a collaborative project that has the eventual aim of aim of
providing literary scholars and students in the English-speaking world with
a reliable and comprehensive reference work on all literary and cultural
history throughout time and throughout the world.

The editors of Latin Literature for The Literary Encyclopedia are:
William J. Dominik (WJD), University of Otago
E-mail: william.dominik AT
Paul Roche (PR), University of Sydney
E-mail: paul.roche AT

If you wish to write on one or more of the following authors and/or works,
e-mail the editor indicated and include a brief summary of your research
expertise and publications or a recent research curriculum vitae. The
relevant editor will contact you if he is able to assign you your preferred
author(s) and/or work(s); if this is not possible he may offer another
author or work. Instructions for preparing articles will be sent to all

Apuleius (PR)
Aulus Gellius (PR)
Ausonius (PR)
Cicero, Cato Maior (PR)
Cicero, De Finibus (WJD)
Cicero, De Imperio Cnaeus Pompei (PR)
Cicero, De Inventione (WJD)
Cicero, De Legibus (WJD)
Cicero, De Natura Deorum (WJD)
Cicero, De Officiis (WJD)
Cicero, De Oratore (WJD)
Cicero, De Republica (WJD)
Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticus (PR)
Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares (PR)
Cicero, In Catilinam (PR)
Cicero, In Verrem (PR)
Cicero, Orator (WJD)
Cicero, Pro Archia (PR)
Cicero, Pro Milone (PR)
Cicero, Pro Murena (PR)
Cicero, Pro Plancio (PR)
Cicero, Pro Publius Sulla (PR)
Cicero, Pro Roscio Amerino (PR)
Cicero, Pro Sestio (PR)
Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes (PR)
Eusebius (WJD)
Horace (PR)
Horace, Ars Poetica (WJD)
Horace, Epistles 1 (PR)
Horace, Epistles 2 (PR)
Livy (PR)
Lucan (PR)
Lucretius (PR)
Macrobius (WJD)
Manilius (PR)
Ovid, Amores (PR)
Ovid, Ars Amatoria (PR)
Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto (PR)
Ovid, Fasti (PR)
Ovid, Heroides (PR)
Ovid, Ibis (PR)
Ovid, Remedia Amoris (PR)
Ovid, Tristia (PR)
Plautus, Amphitruo (WJD)
Plautus, Aulularia (WJD)
Plautus, Casina (WJD)
Plautus, Menaechmi (WJD)
Plautus, Miles Gloriosus (WJD)
Plautus, Pseudolus (WJD)
Plautus, Stichus (WJD)
Plautus, Trinummus (WJD)
Pliny (the elder) (PR)
Pliny (the younger) (PR)
Pliny, Epistles (PR)
Pliny, Panegyricus (PR)
Quintilian (WJD)
Saint Augustine, Confessions (WJD)
Saint Augustine, De Civitate Dei (WJD)
Saint Augustine, On the Trinity (WJD)
Sallust (PR)
Seneca (the elder) (WJD)
Seneca, Agamemnon (WJD)
Seneca, Apocolocyntosis (WJD)
Seneca, De Beneficiis (WJD)
Seneca, De Clementia (WJD)
Seneca, Dialogi (WJD)
Seneca, Epistulae (WJD)
Seneca, Hercules (WJD)
Seneca, Hercules Oetaeus (WJD)
Seneca, Naturales Quaestiones (WJD)
Seneca, Oedipus (WJD)
Seneca, Phaedra (WJD)
Seneca, Thyestes (WJD)
Seneca, Troades (WJD)
Silius Italicus (PR)
Statius (PR)
Suetonius (PR)
Suetonius, Caesars (PR)
Suetonius, De Viris Illustribus (PR)
Sulpicia (PR)
Tacitus, Agricola (PR)
Tacitus, Annals (PR)
Tacitus, Germania (PR)
Tacitus, Histories (PR)
Terence, Adelphi (WJD)
Terence, Andria (WJD)
Terence, Eunuchus (WJD)
Terence, Heautonitimorunomenos (WJD)
Terence, Hecyra (WJD)
Terence, Phormio (WJD)
Tertullian (WJD)
Tibullus (PR)
Valerius Maximus (PR)
ante diem vi kalendas octobres

46 B.C. -- dedication of the Temple of Venus Genetrix (and associated rites thereafter)

303 A.D. -- martyrdom of Cosmas and Damian

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Cyprian

1687 -- a Venetian mortar ignites a store of Turkish gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon, causing much damage.

*** Reminder: today's the day KISS FM in Berlin will be doing some of its broadcasting in Latin ...
melee @ (hmmmm)

isthmus @ Wordsmith (the bane of many a school child with a lisp)

prodigy @ Merriam-Webster
Okay ... this one seems to be making the rounds of various lists and blogs and a slow news day allows me to track it down. The source appears to be a passing remark in a Washington Post article:

Reporters traveling with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on her recent trip to visit our new close friend in North Africa, the colorful and wacky Libyan dictator, Moammar Gaddafi, were handed lovely paper cocktail napkins with their in-flight libations. The napkins on the plane, also called Air Force Two when Vice President Cheney uses it, have a lovely rendition of the Great Seal of the United States -- one of Rice's duties, after all, is "keeper of the Great Seal."

But "e pluribus unam?" Out of many . . . unaminous? Or maybe it should be "unum" -- as in "Out of many, one."

... a political column in the Guardian adds a bit of detail:

Is Condoleezza Rice, who was often spoken of as a potential Republican presidential candidate, fully on board with the Sarah Palin phenomenon? She seems to be dropping hints that she might be still available, for now, or perhaps when the cavalcade rolls again in four years? On her recent trip to Libya on Air Force Two, the napkins that came with the drinks bore the great seal of the US; except that instead of E pluribus unum "From many, one", the legend read E pluribus unam. Most took this to be a misprint, but Latin scholars noted that unam is a feminine form. From many, one woman, is it? Which one?

The only genuine Latin scholar I can find online who has commented on it is Dennis over at Classical Values, who notes (correctly) the 'unam' is essentially meaningless when lacking a transitive verb (unum, in the Great Seal makes more sense when taken as nominative).
From the Southeast European Times:

After more than a decade of intense archaeological and restoration efforts, the ancient bronze statue of Apoxyomenos will ultimately stand where it first belonged, in a Losinj museum. Workers raised the statue from the seabed near the Losinj area in 1999. The priceless figure is one of the finest examples of ancient Greek sculpture.

Belgian tourist Rene Wouters discovered the magnificent 190cm sculpture of a young athlete under the sea. He was diving with friends and spotted it lying between rocks at a depth of 45m. Wouters decided to report his findings to the authorities.

The ministry of culture co-ordinated raising the statue to the surface, restoring it and eventually exhibiting it to the public. Experts from the ministry of culture and Zadar Archaeological Museum, special police officers and professional divers all participated in raising Apoxyomenos from the sea in April 1999.

A team of experts in Zagreb reported on its condition. According to the Croatian Conservation Institute (Hrvatski restauratorski zavod), "the front of the statue was [protected from the elements by] a thick layer of encrustation ... But the rear of the statue, which had lain in the sand, was much more seriously corroded."

Restorers took seven years to repair the statue, the head and body of which had come apart over the centuries. The torso itself had numerous cracks. Workmen installed an internal support system so the statue can stand upright.

There are eight less complete versions of this statue around the world, the most famous of them in Vienna, Florence, Castel Gandolfo and Fort Worth, Texas. Scholars date the Croatian Apoxyomenos to the 2nd century BC and believe it fell off or was jettisoned from a Roman ship. The statue is wrapping up a tour of Croatian museums before its permanent installation in the Losinj museum.

We first mentioned this back in 2003 (scroll down) referencing an item in the Art Newspaper which, alas, is no longer available ... the SET piece includes a rather dissatisfying photo ... the photo looks like this one and I'm not sure whether it's the 'newly restored' statue or not ... (so I'm not sure wh.ether this is news or not ... slow news day)


Seminars are held on Thursdays 4-6 in Amory 128, with the exception of week 3, when a special seminar on pseudo-Xenophon, ‘The Constitution of the Athenians (‘The Old Oligarch’) will be held on Wednesday October 22nd, to mark the publication of a new edition by John Marr and Peter Rhodes.

Seminars can be on any topic but one of the themes of the year is Galen and medical history.

Seminars marked CA are lectures delivered to the Classical Association and begin at 5 in Amory 417.

Term 1

Week 1, Oct 9 no seminar

Week 2, Oct 16 Richard Seaford (Exeter)

‘Aeschylus and Pythagoreanism’

Week 3, Oct 22 Old Oligarch seminar, WEDNESDAY Oct 22, 2-5, Amory 501

Week 4, Oct 30 CA: Barbara Borg (Exeter)

‘What’s in a Tomb? Roman Death Public and Private’

Week 5, Nov 6 Ivana Petrovic (Durham)

‘Callimachus’ Hymn to Apollo and Greek Metrical Sacred Regulations’

Week 6, Nov 13 CA: Robert Fowler (Bristol)

‘Herculaneum and the Villa of the Papyri: Recent News’

Week 7, Nov 20 Martin Lindner (Oldenburg)

‘Old New Myths: Classical Reception and Modern Nationalism’

Week 8, Nov 27 CA: Nick Fisher (Cardiff)

‘Festivals, the Charities and Social Cohesion in Greek City States’

Week 9, Dec 4 Masahiro Imai (Hirosaki)

‘The Hippocratic Tradition in Early Alexandrian Medicine’

Week 10, Dec 11 Dr Julius Rocca (Exeter)

‘Reading Galen: by Galen’


Week 11, Jan 15 Mark Jackson (Centre for Medical History, Exeter)

‘Classical Asthma: from Homer to Galen’

Week 12, Jan 22 Sarah Hitch (Bristol)

‘Food for the Greek Gods: A Mythological Paradox’
ante diem vii kalendas octobres

2nd century A.D. -- martyrdom of Herculanus

233 A.D. -- the emperor Severus Alexander celebrates a triumph for his victories over the Persians

1808 -- death of Richard Porson

1931 -- death of Ulrich von Wilamovitz-Moellendorff
edify @

col @ Wordsmith

consigliere @ Merriam-Webster (not specified as coming from Latin, but clearly related to consilium, no?)
From EurekAlert:

Life has been discovered in the barren depths of Rome's ancient tombs, proving catacombs are not just a resting place for the dead. The two new species of bacteria found growing on the walls of the Roman tombs may help protect our cultural heritage monuments, according to research published in the September issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

The Catacombs of Saint Callistus are part of a massive graveyard that covers 15 hectares, equivalent to more than 20 football pitches. The underground tombs were built at the end of the 2nd Century AD and were named after Pope Saint Callistus I. More than 30 popes and martyrs are buried in the catacombs.

"Bacteria can grow on the walls of these underground tombs and often cause damage," said Professor Dr Clara Urzì from the University of Messina in Italy. "We found two new species of bacteria on decayed surfaces in the catacombs and we think the bacteria, which belong to the Kribbella group, may have been involved in the destruction."

By studying bacteria that ruin monuments, the researchers hope to develop methods of protecting cultural heritage sites such as the catacombs in Rome. The two new bacterial species discovered in the tombs also have the potential to produce molecules that have useful properties, like enzymes and antibiotics.

"The special conditions in the catacombs have allowed unique species to evolve," said Professor Dr Urzì. "In fact, the two different Kribbella species we discovered were taken from two sites very close to each other; this shows that even small changes in the micro-environment can lead bacteria to evolve separately."

Kribbella species are found in many different locations all over the world, from a racecourse in South Africa to a medieval mine in Germany. The genus was only discovered in 1999 but since then several species have been found. The two species discovered in the Roman catacombs have been named Kribbella catacumbae and Kribbella sancticallisti.

"The worldwide existence of the genus Kribbella raises questions about the path of evolution," said Professor Dr Urzì. "If the bacteria are very old, does the wide geographical distribution prove the genus is stable? Or have similar bacteria evolved in parallel to one another in different places? The questions are made even more interesting by the discovery of these two different bacteria in the Roman tombs."
From ABC:

Authorities have seized dozens of stolen ancient artifacts after raiding the homes of two suspected antiquities smugglers in southern Macedonia.

Police confiscated about 70 archaeological items, including coins, terracotta figurines, pieces of silver and bronze jewelry and amphora dating from the Hellenistic and Roman periods in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C., police spokesman Ivo Kotevski said Wednesday.

They are believed to have been stolen from Isar, one of Macedonia's largest archaeological sites in the south.
"The Italians on the Land: Changing Perspectives Then and Now"Conference Program:

11th & 12th Oct 2008, Darwin College, University of Kent.

The study of Italy under the Republic is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity. New techniques & ideas are being brought to bear on old questions with interesting results. This conference looks at Italy & Rome from an Italian as well as from a Roman perspective.

Day One

Registration and Coffee 9:30 -10:30

10:30 Keynote Address: Kathryn Lomas, (UCL) Title TBC

11: 10 Jonathan Prag (Ox.) "Senators, Land Owning and the Lex Claudia"
11.50 Saskia Roselaar, (Leiden) "Competition for land and the privatization of the ager publicus."
12:30 -1:40 Lunch
1:40 Annaliza Marzano, (Ox.) "agros coemendo et colendo in gloriam": Villas and Farms in the agrarian economy of the Republic.
2.10 Dan Hoyer, "An Interdisciplinary Approach to Republican Agriculture in Central and Southern Italy."
2.50 Jamie Sewell "New markets for Cosa in the second century BC: the wine export business and its dramatic affect on the town's urban fabric."

3:30pm - 4 :30 Wine and Cheese Reception

Day Two

9:30 - 10:30 Registration
10:30 Arthur Keaveney, (Kent) "Crisis With Alternative - the Reformers of the Republic"
11:10 Lucca Fezzi, (Pisa) "Corn laws: an alternative to land distribution?"
11.50 William Rees "Ex Italia convenerunt: Italian participation in Roman politics in the late Republic"
12:30 Louise Earnshaw-Brown, (Kent) "Working together? Modern Demography, The Census & Polybius."
1:10 - 2:30 Lunch, Close & Thank You

For registration details please follow the link below:

Cheques should be made payable to the University of Kent.

ante diem viii kalendas octobres

15 A.D. -- birth of the future emperor Vitellius (?)
bilious @ Merriam-Webster

numismatics @
From the Australian:

SIMON Goldhill, the rock star of the classical revival, has the head of the Farnese Hercules -- though not, mercifully, his heft -- and an almost Periclean love of an audience.

Professor of Greek literature and culture at Cambridge, and the author of numerous scholarly and popular books on the classics, including Love, Sex and Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shaped our Lives, and Who Needs Greek?, Goldhill is a powerful communicator. His boosterism for the classics could even be described as evangelical, if that word didn't invite a certain mixing of cultural metaphors.

In Goldhill's view, Roman orator Cicero best explains the danger of ignoring the past.

"If you don't know where you come from you are destined to spend your life as a child, and by being a child, Cicero means being disempowered, ignorant, at sea," Goldhill says. "It is impossible to understand the development of Western thought, religion and culture without engaging with its obsession with ancient Greek and Roman culture."

The HES catches up with Goldhill as he prepares a talk on Sophoclean ironies for the University of Sydney's Nicholson Museum. That night he warns a spellbound crowd never to fall into the trap of imagining the ancients as children in relation to us; as less sophisticated in their appreciation of their texts and, in this case, Sophoclean subtleties.

Julia Kindt, a lecturer in the department of classics and ancient history, remarks afterwards: "Goldhill truly performs his lectures and is not afraid to challenge his audience with those questions that concern the very core of our engagement with the classical past."

Goldhill has no doubt there is a revival under way of interest in the classical world, but he's not entirely sure why.

"Greek tragedy has had a remarkable renaissance, which is hard to explain," he tells the HES. "There have been more productions in the past 50 years than the five centuries before. It's something to do with tragedy's ability to get past the censor: that is, to reach moral and emotional levels that plays apparently more relevant can't reach.

"Also they treat big themes of gender, power, violence, extremism -- themes that are really relevant -- and do so with more intelligence and greater poetry than many modern plays.

"Long may it last."

Classicists such as Goldhill have been cheered by the rising enrolments in ancient history at school and university -- "booming in England and Australia" -- and the public's apparently inexhaustible appetite for books, films and exhibitions on aspects of antiquity. An exhibition on the legacy of Hadrian, for example, is drawing big crowds at the British Museum, while Melbourne's Victoria Museum is preparing a show for 2009 on a day in the life of Pompeii.

The revival has also helped to stir the coals of classical studies at Monash University, the institution sponsoring Goldhill's visit.

Classics was axed from Monash in 1998. Four years later it was revived and placed under the leadership of Jane Griffiths, a self-confessed Goldhillian.

"He taught me as an undergraduate and has been immeasurably influential as a friend and mentor: the sort of man who has the ability to teach you how to think, not what to think," she says. "I've tried to pass on to our students some of the passion, original thinking and intellectual engagement that Simon passed on to me when I was his student. Classics generally owes him a great deal for his ability to engage an audience while forcing them to shake up their preconceptions."

On Saturday night Goldhill delivered the Trendall lecture at Monash, named after the internationally renowned Australasian classicist and expert on the redfigure pottery of Magna Graecia, Dale Trendall.

Classics and ancient history are fizzing at Sydney, in part because of their popularity at school. At Monash, interest in classical antiquity is rebounding from its nadir of 1998: the department now boast about 200 students and 40 majors.

Goldhill is only too well aware that the classical revival comes at the end of a long period of decline; classical languages, once the heart of the liberal arts curriculum, remain a minority interest. And while the bridge between the present and the antique past is being rebuilt, it is only suitable at present for light traffic.

"This is the first generation since the Renaissance where it is somehow thought acceptable for an intelligent and educated person to be ignorant of the ancient world," he says.

"I don't mean just picking up the occasional reference to mythology. I mean what is it like to think about democracy, sexuality and religion without appreciating where these ideas come from and have come about?

"So for me learning seriously about the ancient world is a must."

But Goldhill, a scholarly innovator with a conventional pedigree, envisages any permanent revival of classical literacy in a particularly exacting way.

For him the "royal road" to understanding Greek and Roman antiquity threads through the ancient languages themselves. "Greek and Latin may not regain their position in the curriculum, but to shut them down or make them unavailable to kids who do want them is a real pity and very short-sighted," he says. But he warns of the classical "name dropping, mythology and etymology mongering" that is, and always has been, more about acquiring some prestige from the glamorous past than any nuanced understanding of it.

Despite his injunction against name-dropping, Goldhill is prepared to contemplate an Epicurean version of the desert-island question: Who from the classical world would you invite to a dinner party, or symposium?

"Sappho to sing and play," he shoots back. "Hypatia (late antiquity's first woman of mathematics) to talk shop; Aristophanes to keep it light; Alcibiades (orator, general, and intimate of Socrates), to make sure everyone else hears about it; and Phryne (legendary Athenian courtesan) for Sappho to sing about. That would be more fun than Augustus, Caesar, Jesus, St Paul and Cicero."

From a University of Arizona press release:

New and interesting information is coming out of an archaeological dig at Mt. Lykaion in Greece – an interdisciplinary project University of Arizona students and faculty have worked on since 2004.

That project is not only informing researchers about the rituals and beliefs of those who lived in ancient Greece but also accentuating the significance of the mountaintop site in southwestern Arcadia, which contains an ash altar, a sanctuary, a stadium, bathhouses, a fountain house, stoa, a hippodrome and other structures.

“It’s a site that is tied to so much happening, from the Classical Age to the early Bronze Age,” said George H. Davis, a Regents’ Professor in geosciences, noting that not only did the athletic games occur at Mt. Lykaion, but it is potentially the legendary birthplace of Zeus, the Greek king of gods.

The project began in 2004 and, this year, the team has worked to excavate trenches in the ash altar, the upper and lower sanctuary, the bath, the stadium and other areas.

“We started finding interesting things and continued to explore things more because of their great antiquity,” said Mary Voyatzis, head of the UA’s classics department and one of the project’s co-directors.

The other co-directors are David Romano, a senior research scientists at the Unversity of Pennsylvania, and Michaelis Petropoulos of the Greek Archaeological Service.

The team has unearthed large amounts of Final Neolithic and Early Bronze Age ceramics that date back to at least 3000 B.C, and probably earlier – which is unusual for such a location.

“Some of the material we have found is significantly older than what what was uncovered in the santuary at Olympia,” she said, adding that the site of the original Olympic Games is about 20 miles away. The earliest evidence of religious activity at Olympia is 11th century B.C., Voyatzis added.

“So we’re wondering which way the influence was in fact going," she said.

At the moment, the research team is in the process of writing a number of research papers about their results and have one more summer to excavate, though the team will request an extension to continue their work through the summer of 2010, Voyatzis said.

Greek archaeologists investigated the site about 100 years ago, but the current project is far more extensive and is more scientifically based. Also, the project includes geological, geophysical, architectural and historical surveys, stratigraphical excavation and analyses of faunal and floral remains.

So important is the project and the recent findings that the University of Athens has deemed the project is the “most important archeological excavation now underway in Greece.”

Several UA students – studying classics, geosciences, anthropology and architecture – are working on the project. Also, Teresa Moreno, an associate conservator for the Arizona State Museum, has worked on the excavations.

“What we found this year was very exciting because we got down to bedrock in a small part of the altar and found a layer of what appears to be purely Mycenaean pottery – a style of pottery that ranges from the 15th century through the 12th century,” Voyatzis said.

Excavators of the altar have uncovered a great deal of material, including pottery evidence ranging in date from the 14th century through the 3rd century B.C. They also have found silver coins, a bronze hand figure holding a silver lightening bolt, Hellenic fineware and – a curious find – petrified lightning.

“It kind of glistens in the sun and is porous like slag,” Voyatzis said.

“When (George) Davis saw it, he said it was exciting that we found a decent-sized piece,” she added. “It makes you wonder what the ancients understood about this natural phenomenon and why Zeus was worshipped on mountaintops.”

Though the researchers are not yet clear whether the petrified lightning, or fulgurite, was brought to the mountain or if it was created there, its presence is quite compelling. The fulgurite is created when lightening strikes and melts loose sand or soil, forming a kind of glass.

"To us, this find represents a tangible piece of evidence for the presence of Zeus at this very spot,” Voyatzis said. “That’s what it felt like to us.”

Davis, also the former UA provost, said such geological finds will become increasingly more interesting with time.

He wonders if lightning struck during a ceremony, creating the fulgurite. You just knew Zeus or Poseidon was around,” Davis said.

“It is tremendously interesting to me as a geologist but when it becomes fully grasped by the archeologists I think it will have an influence on their thinking as to why Mt. Lykaion had such an influence on peoples’ lives. Then we’ll understand the power of that site.” Davis also has recently found active fault lines near the ash altar.

“There is no doubt in my mind that at some point in the 3,000-year period when this site was active, I bet people felt earthquakes,” he said, “but I think there were people who also witnessed displacement of the land surface."
From ANSA:

A precious fragment of the Parthenon frieze has returned to Athens after decades in Italy, escorted by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, in a move intended to usher in an era of closer cultural relations. Napolitano arrived in Athens on Tuesday, where he was greeted by his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias, ahead of a busy schedule that will see him inaugurating two important shows.

A major art exhibition on Titian is opening in the Museum of Cycladic Arts, while the much talked-about New Acropolis Museum next to the Parthenon is hosting an expanded version of an Italian show devoted to the recovery of plundered artefacts. The Parthenon fragment, carved by the Greek sculptor and architect Phidias, will be part of the second event, entitled Nostoi (Ancient Greek for ''homecoming'').

The exhibit, the first in the New Acropolis Museum since building work finished, has just wrapped up a hugely popular run in Rome and is expected to draw similar crowds in Athens. Although the focus of the exhibit is artworks and artefacts recovered by Rome from US museums, many of these date from a period in which southern Italy was colonized by Ancient Greece and are therefore also of relevance to Greek history. In addition to the 74 Italian pieces, Nostoi will also feature ten artefacts returned to Greece, among which the 33cm x 35cm frieze fragment. The scrap of marble was once part of the left side of the sculpted Parthenon frieze from the temple of Athena, which was stripped of much of its decoration during the 19th century.

While the majority of it was carted off to London by Lord Thomas Bruce Elgin who was serving as British Ambassador in Greece, this particular fragment ended up in a Palermo museum in the 1800s after being purchased from the widow of the British Consul for Sicily, Robert Fagan.

Depicting the foot and dress hem of Artemis, the fragment was part of a much larger scene portraying the Greek goddess of hunting and wisdom alongside Poseidon, Apollo and Aphrodite.


The fragment, which the Salinas Archaeological Museum in Palermo has loaned to Athens until the end of the year, has been at the centre of talks between Italian and Greek authorities for years. It was originally scheduled to return as a long-term loan in exchange for an Italian artefact in 2003 but the agreement fell by the wayside after squabbles over its safe transport.

A second deal in 2006 also failed to produce results.

Although the return of the fragment is currently temporary, authorities from both countries say it indicates a new openness and willingness to cooperate on cultural matters, and there have been suggestions the loan could become permanent. Welcoming the Italian president to his residence, Papoulias said Greece ''deeply appreciated'' the gesture, which was a first step in his country's efforts to recover all the Parthenon marbles. The two leaders will lunch together at the presidential palace on Wednesday, after opening Nostoi in the morning and ahead of the Titian show's inauguration in the afternoon.

Greece has been calling for the return of the Parthenon marbles since 1981 but with minimal success. The majority of pieces are in the UK although France, Germany and Italy also have a share.
From ANSA:

Rome is celebrating one of its most famous political and military leaders, Julius Caesar (100-44 BC).

A sweeping exhibition which opened in the Chiostro del Bramante on Tuesday commemorates the life, times and achievements of Ancient Rome's best known figure.

The first ever exhibit to focus solely on Caesar, it showcases 180 items of archaeological, artistic and cultural interest, from ancient times until the 20th century.

The historic aspects of Caesar's rule dominate the show, with extensive information on the political and cultural atmosphere of the time, his military campaigns, his literary works, his ascent to power and his brutal murder.

But the exhibit also looks at how the myth of Caesar has developed in the centuries since his death in 44 BC.

It considers the cult that sprang up in the immediate years after he died, as well as the legends about him that survived the Dark Ages and attracted fresh attention during the Renaissance.

By the 18th and 19th centuries, the figure of Caesar was enjoying a fresh wave of popularity and fans included Napoleon Bonaparte, who was fascinated by the achievements of his military forerunner.

The exhibit begins with artefacts from Caesar's time, including a magnificent silver goblet discovered by Napoleon III.

A sculpture of Venus Genetrix, on loan from the Louvre, recalls Caesar's claim to be descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, son of the goddess Venus-Aphrodite. There are several busts of Caesar - although only confirmed portraits of the dictator will be on display - including those from museums in Berlin and the Vatican.

Curator Giovanni Gentili has stressed that uncertain portraits, such as a bust recently discovered in Arles, will not be included.

Portraits of key figures in the cast of Caesar's life are also on show, with busts of Pompey on loan from Venice, Crassus from the Louvre, Mark Anthony and Cicero from Rome, and Cleopatra from museums in the Vatican, Turin and Berlin.

Other archaeological treasures include jewellery, manuscripts, mosaics and paintings from a variety of sources, including the villa in Herculaneum that once belonged to Caesar's father-in-law, Calpurnius Piso.

Among the quirkier items is a globe that, legend has it, once held Caesar's ashes. For centuries, the globe perched on top of the Egyptian obelisk in St Peter's Square, which has been standing since Roman times. Another unusual feature of the exhibit is a vast complex of models reconstructing the Rome of Caesar's times. The exhibition moves on to explore the development of the Caesar myth in later centuries, with paintings by masters such as Rubens, Guercino, Pietro da Cortona and Guido Reni. Massive canvases of Caesar by Giambattista Tiepolo, sold to the Russian tzar in 1800, have also returned to Italy for the first time in 200 years.

The final section looks at the depiction of Caesar in the world of cinema, from early silent black and white movies to the 1963 blockbuster Cleopatra, which was filmed at Rome's Cinecitta studios.

The exhibit opens in the Chiostro del Bramante runs until April 5, 2009.

... no photos at the website, alas ...

All seminars take place on Tuesdays, Room C6 Archaeology & Classics
Building, at 5.00pm. Tea at 4.30pm. All welcome!

30 September
Helen Asquith (Nottingham)
Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Hellenistic Kollektivgedichte

7 October
Margaret Malamud (New Mexico State University)
Translatio Imperii: America as the New Rome c.1900

14 October
Nottingham CA meeting
Paul Cartledge (Cambridge)
Aristophanes, democratic champion?

21 October
Richard Ned Lebow (Dartmouth College)
Fear, interest and honour: A theory of politics and international relations

11 November
Peter Stewart (Courtauld)
The materiality of Roman provincial sculpture

18 November
Chiara Thumiger (UCL)
Approaches to ancient madness

2 December
Neil McLynn (Oxford)
Augustine's Black Sheep: the case of Antoninus of Fussala
[joint seminar with the Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies]

9 December
Elena Isayev (Exeter)
Contested meanings of homeland and belonging in Ancient Italy (2-1c. BC)

Institute of Classical Studies
Ancient History Seminar
Autumn 2008

The Ancient City
Richard Alston and Henrik Mouritsen

All seminars held Thursdays 4.30-6.00 Rm 336 (North Block) Senate House

October 2 Laurens Tacoma The Labour Market in Rome

October 9 Neville Morley Roman Urbanisation

October 16 Graham Oliver Urban Economies: The Polis as Economic(ally
Controlled) Space

October 23 Fiona Haarer Cities in transition: continuity and change in
late antiquity

November 13 Henrik Mouritsen The Social Structure of the Roman City:
Searching for the Middle Class

November 20 David Mattingly Leptimus (Tunisia): Townscape Biography and
the Ancient Economy

November 27 Onno van Nijf Economics and empire: Roman traders in Greek

December 4 Richard Alston Theories of the Fall: The Tributary State and
the Seventh-Century City
All are welcome to the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, ancient history
Michaelmas term seminar series on the theme of 'resistance'.

All seminars will take place in room G.21, Faculty of Classics, Sidgwick
Avenue, Cambridge at 5.15pm.

For more information, contact the organisers Michael Scott (mcs45 AT
or Richard Flower (raf33 AT

13th October Tom Harrison, Liverpool
“Resistance or Collusion? History and Power in Herodotus’ Histories”

20th October Neville Morley, Bristol
“Class Struggle in the Roman World”

27th October Peter van Dommelen, Glasgow
“Subaltern Monuments: Folklore, Ritual Practices and Local Identities in the
Punic world”

3rd Nov – Discussion of M. Christ The Bad Citizen in Classical Athens CUP 2006

10th November Greg Woolf, St Andrews
“The Politics of Science in Ancient Rome”

17th November Peter Liddel, Manchester
“Responding to resistance in ancient Greece”

1st December Teresa Morgan, Oxford
“Trust and Mistrust: the problem of cultural capital in the Roman Empire”
ICS Series 2008-9
Galen and Philosophy
To be held Mondays, 4:30-6:30, room NB 336, North Block, Senate House, London (in Russell Square)
Please contact Peter Adamson (peter.adamson AT with any queries.

October 6: Vivian Nutton (UCL), ‘Galen’s philosophy: Manuscripts and Versions’
October 20: Bob Sharples (UCL), ‘Galen and the Peripatetics’
November 3: Ben Morison (Oxford), ‘Galen on the Correctness of Names’
November 17: Philip van der Eijk (Newcastle), ‘Galen on the Nature of Human Beings’
December 1: Riccardo Chiaradonna (Rome), ‘Galen’s “On Demonstration”’
January 19: Christopher Gill (Exeter), ‘Galen and the Philosophy of Psychology’
February 2: James Wilberding (Newcastle), ‘Galen and Pseudo-Galen on the Life of Plants’
February 16: Inna Kupreeva (Edinburgh), TBA
March 2: Rebecca Flemming (Cambridge), ‘Galen on Creation’
March 16: Katerina Ierodiakonou (Athens), ‘Galen on Perception’
ante diem ix kalendas octobres

rites in honour of Latona at the Theatre of Marcellus

Mercatus -- those cupboards must have been really empty!

484 B.C. -- Birth of Euripides (?)

480 B.C. -- Athenian naval forces under Themistocles defeat Xerxes' Persian force in the narrows of Salamis (one reckoning)

63 B.C. -- birth of Octavius, the future emperor Augustus

25 B.C. -- dedication of the Temple of Neptune (and associated rites thereafter)

23 B.C. -- restoration of the temple of Apollo in the Campus Martius (and associated rites thereafter)

117 A.D. -- martyrdom of Thecla
exuviate @ Worthless Word for the Day
From the Daily Orange:

Paul Cartledge thinks an ancient Greek city-state still has modern importance - especially when it comes to the film industry.

Cartledge, a Greek history professor at the University of Cambridge, will speak today about the depiction of Spartans in film "300." The free event will be held in Maxwell Auditorium at 4:30 p.m.

The event, called Spartans on the Silver Screen, will use as its starting point the popularity of the film "300," a 2007 adaptation of a comic book depicting the Battle of Thermopylae.

Cartledge will examine liberties taken with the historical accuracy of the film and look at the various portrayals of Spartans by Hollywood and how they might relate to current world events.

Craige Champion, Syracuse University's history department chair, said that "300" in particular came under fire when it was released because of its portrayal of the Persians as the eastern invaders who represent the opposite of everything for which the "moral and good Spartans" stand.

"The Spartans are thinly disguised Americans, in that sense," Champion said. "And the Persians are thinly disguised people from al-Qaida."

Cartledge has written approximately 20 books and 50 articles about ancient Greek history, according to the Cambridge Web site. He is also well respected in among scholars in his field, said professor Jeff Carnes, the event's organizer and Greek literature professor.

"He is probably the foremost expert on ancient Sparta," Carnes said.

The event is the first in the Moses Finley Memorial Lecture Series held this academic year. The series honors the memory of Sir Moses Finley, a '27 SU alumnus and historian. Additional events will be held as part of the series in the spring semester, but the speakers for these have not been chosen at this time, said Howard Mills, a classics professor at SU.

Carnes said the classics program at SU is a relatively small program with approximately 80 students and two professors, he and Mills.

He added that Cartledge was chosen in part to appeal to a wide range of people, since the classics program is not that large.

"We try to get people who are distinguished in their fields and will give presentations that are accessible to a non-specialist audience," Carnes said. "We have things that undergrads and interested amateurs will like."
ante diem x kalendas octobres

Mercatus -- the Romans continue the shopping spree

479 B.C. -- the Persian general Mardonius is killed in the Battle of Plataea (source? ... seems a little late)

36 B.C. -- the triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus agrees to retire after losing all his military support to Octavian

19 B.C. -- another (less likely) date for the death of Virgil

130 (129?) A.D.-- birth of Galen (still not sure of the ultimate source for this date)

259 A.D. -- martyrdom of Digna and Emerita at Rome

287 A.D. -- martyrdom of Maurice and companions

1999 -- death of Chester Starr
undulate @

archipelago @ Wordsmith
From the Guardian:

The classical scholar John Barron, who has died aged 74, distinguished himself in the field of early Greek history and literature, and went on to become an important figure in the development of higher education in Britain. In 1987, as a member of the (then) university grants committee, he produced the Barron report, which proposed the amalgamation of university classics departments into fewer, but stronger, units. Before that, he was instrumental in setting up the University of London Institute for Advanced Study (now the School of Advanced Study) to pull together their research institutes. In 1991 he became master of St Peter's College, Oxford, which he led with panache.

Although born in Morley, west Yorkshire, where his father was head of mathematics at the local grammar school, Barron came from a family rooted in Cornwall. Childhood holidays were spent by the seaside at St Just-in-Penwith. He was educated at Clifton college, Bristol, a school of which he later became president. In 1953 he went as an exhibitioner to Balliol College, Oxford, where he read classics. He was lastingly influenced by three of his tutors: Kenneth Dover, Gordon Williams and Russell Meiggs, all Hellenists of exceptional range and flair.

In 1961, he went on to write a DPhil thesis about the Aegean island of Samos in the 6th century BC, a time when the island, just off the coast of Turkey, was at the forefront of intellectual developments in the region. Pythagoras - as well as a host of other writers and thinkers - was born on Samos during this period. The local ruler Polycrates completed an amazing feat of engineering by building a 3,399ft (1,036m) tunnel to carry water from one side of the island to the other through Mount Kastro.

In 1966 Barron published The Silver Coins of Samos, a substantial work showing his mastery of various types of evidence - not just the coins themselves, but also fragments of papyrus, inscriptions on stones and references by later writers - and of their complicated relations. He could thus recreate the history of ancient Samos and its timeline. The book has retained its interest well beyond numismatics specialists. A perceptive art historian, Barron was also the author of Greek Sculpture (1965, revised 1981).

He showed no less flair in dealing with Greek literature, especially the early lyric poets such as Ibycus. Several articles that he wrote on the subject still have value today, and he collaborated with Patricia Easterling on authoritative chapters in the Cambridge History of Classical Literature (1985). He was, in short, a strong Hellenophile and was never happier than when leading groups of travellers and students round Greece and the Aegean islands, often as a lecturer for Swan Hellenic cruises.

Barron's academic career began in 1959, when he joined Bedford College London, as an assistant lecturer in Latin. In 1964 he moved to University College London as a lecturer in archaeology, becoming reader in 1967. For 20 years from 1971, he was professor of Greek at King's College London, having been elected to the chair at the age of only 37. He was also director of the Institute of Classical Studies of London University (1984-91), an important position at a time when the institute was establishing itself as a significant meeting point for classicists from all over the world. A tall and graceful figure, he made an eloquent public orator for the university.

Barron went on to prove a dynamic and successful master of St Peter's College, Oxford, a young and not very rich institution by Oxford standards. He raised the proportion of women undergraduates from below 30% to around 50%, and moved the college up from near the bottom of the Norrington table (which ranks colleges according to degree pass rates) to the middle. During his time, the college acquired part of the Oxford Castle site, an important and highly visible position in the city, and developed three new halls of residence. After he had served two five-year terms as master, St Peter's paid him the unusual compliment of extending his tenure by two more years.

From 1997 to 2000, Barron was an active chairman of the Oxford colleges' admissions committee, urging the need for the university to attract a wider range of applicants. After his retirement in 2003, he chaired a number of educational institutions, such as the Cassel Trust and the Lambeth Palace library committee.

Barron valued education for all as a preparation for a fulfilling life, not just as a narrow conduit for academic research. He believed in education, not just training - the importance of learning how to apply rational approaches to all of kinds of problems and issues in life. He valued classics as a general training of the mind, and saw the power of the transferable skills it bestowed.

In 1962 he married Caroline Hogarth, granddaughter of the archaeologist DG Hogarth. A leading historian of medieval London, she became professor of medieval history at Royal Holloway College in 2002. They were exceptionally well matched, and their hospitality was famous. They had two daughters, Catherine and Helen. All three survive him.

· John Penrose Barron, classical scholar and educational administrator, born April 27 1934; died August 16 2008

From ANSA:

The Miracle of San Gennaro was repeated on Wednesday when the blood of this city's patron saint liquefied at 9.30am.

The event was announced to the thousands packing the cathedral and square outside, who cheered and let off firecrackers.

A visibly moved Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the Archbishop of Naples, held up a phial containing the blood of the 3rd-century saint while a traditional white handkerchief was waved.

Cardinal Sepe said that, unusually, the blood was already in liquid form when it was taken out of the strongbox where it is stored.

But the liquefaction had taken place around the time it usually does, he said.

Aside from the faithful, leading local politicians attended the ceremony which was also broadcast live by a host of national and international TV networks.

Naples Mayor Rosa Russo Jervolino told reporters that Naples, which has hit headlines worldwide with a trash crisis that has just been solved, ''must not die but must continue to bloom again and again''.

She said she had felt ''a very strong emotion'' when the case containing the saint's blood was opened.

The miracle takes place on the anniversary of the martyrdom of San Gennaro (St.Januarius) in September 305 AD.

The dried blood of the saint is preserved in two glass phials and traditionally liquefies three times a year, the Church says thanks to the devotion and prayers of the faithful.

Aside from the anniversary of the saint's beheading, the miracle also takes place on December 16 to commemorate the 1631 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, believed to have been halted by the saint's intervention, and again on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May.

On this occasion, there is a procession through the city's streets to recall the many times the relics have been moved over the centuries.

The liquefaction process sometimes takes hours, even days, and on occasions fails to happen at all.


For the faithful and superstitious, the ritual's success is a good omen for the city while its failure is a sign of impending disaster.

In fact, disaster has struck on at least five occasions when the blood failed to liquefy, including in 1527 when tens of thousands of people died from the plague and in 1980 when 3,000 people were killed in an earthquake which devastated much of southern Italy.

The phials will remain on view in the cathedral for eight days before being returned to a vault in the chapel of the cathedral's treasury.

The first historical reference to the liquefaction of the martyr's blood is dated 1389.

Although now a headline-making saint, little is known about San Gennaro except that he was bishop of Benevento to the south of Naples and was martyred during the persecution of Christians spearheaded by the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

The bishop was beheaded for refusing to bow down to his 'pagan' persecutors.

According to legend, his body and head, still dripping blood, were gathered up by an old man and taken to a safe place while a local woman filled a phial with his spilt blood.

A group of Italian scientists has analysed the contents of the phials, establishing that they do contain blood, but have been unable to explain the phenomenon.

Some sceptics believe it is due to the shaking of the containers or the penetration of warmth from the holder's hands.
From the Famagusta Gazette:

The Department of Antiquities has announced the completion of the second excavation season by the University of Manchester team, under the directorship of Dr Lindy Crewe at Kissonerga-Skalia settlement.

According to an official announcement, “the second season of excavations at the Early–Middle Bronze Age settlement of Kissonerga-Skalia was carried out.

The village of Kissonerga near Paphos has previously yielded archaeological evidence dating from the very first Neolithic occupation of Cyprus and also an important Chalcolithic settlement but this is the first time that a research project has extended the prehistoric settlement of Kissonerga into the Bronze Age.

Evidence from the pottery and architectural styles from the first season had indicated that occupation around Kissonerga extended into the second millennium BC, before abandonment around 1700 BC”.

The test trenches of the first season in 2007 had revealed the presence of preserved houses and other structures of the Early-Middle Cypriot Bronze Age (from 2400–1700 BC) and during 2008 the aim was to further extend these trenches to expose more of the settlement.
From the International Herald Tribune:

Two men were arrested in the central Greek city of Trikala on suspicion of trying to sell antiquities for €2.22 million (US$3.16 million), police said Saturday.

The Antiquities Trafficking division of the Thessaloniki police said in a statement they believe the two are part of a larger network trafficking in antiquities.

The pieces the two men were trying to sell included a tombstone with a bas-relief, a sculpture of a woman, a marble lion, all from the Hellenistic period — fourth to first centuries B.C. — and part of a Roman-era marble sculpture. Police also found two metal detectors, an ancient copper coin and several pictures of antiquities.

Police said the search is on for more antiquities traffickers.
From the Facts:

Remains of Zeus stand up to Ike

... Ike, of course, being one of many Titans ... or was that Oke?
From a (tongue-in-cheek) column in the Buffalo News:

Now I look forward to cool evenings, good sleeping and new energy. This is the time of the year when it is finally possible to enter the attic without the benefit of a space suit. The word attic is derived from “Attica,” the name for the land of the ancient Greeks — a society that accumulated so much junk that museums had to be built all over the world to accommodate it. Thus, in the modern house the attic is the place to put things that don’t fit anywhere else.
The Daily Mail reports that Jennifer Lopez recently did a photoshoot on the Acropolis ... so in a shameless attempt to increase traffic, here's a photo of her being photographed in front of the Erectheion:

JLo as Karyatid?
A letter to the editor in the Times by one R.J. Briggs suggests (inter alia):

Several years ago I was told by the curator of a museum in Athens how to identify an Ancient Greek statue from a Roman one. Because of the mountainous topography of Greece the models used by Ancient Greek sculptors were inevitably thin-ankled, those from Rome thick-ankled; climbing up steep hills stretches the Achilles tendon. We then toured the museum identifying the origin of statues using ankles as our criteria.

I'd never heard of that before, so I poked around ... and came up empty. But I did find this interesting tidbit from a thing on the Statue of Liberty:

Experts claim that up to 70% of the population have what is unofficially called Egyptian foot. This is characterized by a great toe longer than the second toe. About 20% have a so-called Greek foot where the great toe is shorter than the second toe, and the remainder have a square foot with the great toe and second toe the same length. The anatomical, political and ethnic logic ends there for the classic artist. As Roman statues sometimes are copies of the Greek originals, the Roman statues often have Greek feet.

FWIW and all that ...
From Trading Markets:

City Council to address parking on Helen of Troy

... hmm ... sounds like some sort of Promethean punishment ...
Classical Association of Canada, Annual Meeting, May 12-14, 2009 in Vancouver, British Columbia (hosted by the University of British Columbia)


The theme for this year's Women's Network/Réseau des Femmes Panel at the CAC is "Generations of Women". This panel explores the construction and representation of women as mothers, daughters, sisters, and grandmothers, and intergenerational connections with the body, the family, and society more broadly, as well as the legacy of women scholars in the discipline of Classics. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: functional and dysfunctional familial relationships (including both public and private contexts); women and reproduction (within medical texts, religious rituals, and demography); women in foundation myths; feminist pedagogy; contributions of 19th and 20th century female classical scholars. This call for papers is meant to be suggestive rather than exclusive; we welcome papers that consider the theme from a variety of perspectives and sources of evidence (textual, visual, and material).

Send 300 word abstracts on the Proposal Form by January 16, 2009 to Dr. Leanne Bablitz via e-mail: (lbablitz AT or regular mail: Dr. Leanne Bablitz, Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies, University of British Columbia, BUCH C 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1. In addition, send a second copy of the abstract and the Proposal Form, meeting the same criteria, to Dr. Allison Glazebrook via email: (aglazebrook AT brocku.caaglazebrook AT or regular mail: Dept. of Classics, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1. Indicate on the submission form and in the e-mail subject line that the submission is to be considered for the "Generations of Women – WN/RF panel".

See for the proposal form, under “call for papers”.

For general inquiries, e-mail Fanny Dolansky (fdolansky AT, Allison Glazebrook (aglazebrook AT or Kathryn Mattison (Kathryn.mattison AT
The Department of Classical Studies at Wesleyan University invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track appointment in Greek literature at the rank of assistant professor to begin in July 2009. We seek a generalist with expertise in the literature and society of the Archaic or Classical period. Candidates should also be able to teach courses in Latin language and literature, as well as in classical civilization. The teaching load will be two courses per semester. The PhD must be in hand or very near completion by the time of appointment. Send a letter of application, C.V., three letters of recommendation and a brief writing sample (c. 20 pages) to Michael Roberts, Chair, Department of Classical Studies, 125 Downey House, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT 06459. Applications received by November 17, 2008, will be given full consideration. Wesleyan University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer and welcomes applications from women and members of historically under-represented minority groups. For further information please contact Professor Michael Roberts (860 685-2068; mroberts AT

All Thursday meetings begin at 5 pm in the Samuel Alexander Building (the old Arts Building), Room S. 1. 7.
CA meetings are on Wednesdays at 5.30 in Room A. 7 of the same building.
All are welcome at all meetings, also at drinks after the discussion and at the meal with the speaker later on.

Thurs. 2 October
Rhiannon Ash (Oxford)
The mutiny of the Usipi in Tacitus' Agricola

Thurs. 9 October
Costas Panayotakis (Glasgow)
Petronius and the Roman literary tradition

Thurs. 16 October
Lisa Hau (Bristol)
Nothing to celebrate? The lack or disparagement of victory celebrations in the Greek historians

CA Wed. 22 October, 5.30 pm, A. 7
Paul Holder (John Rylands University Library Manchester)
The newly discovered (and unusual) inscribed altar from Manchester

Thurs. 23 October
Luca Larpi (Manchester)
Mommsen the philologist: the case of Gildas Sapiens, De excidio Britanniae

Thurs. 30 October
Andy Fear (Manchester)
Numantia, a city for all seasons

CA Wed. 12 November, 5.30 pm, A. 7
John Prag (Manchester Museum)
Faces from Shaft Grave VI at Mycenae

Thurs. 13 November
Federico Santangelo (Lampeter)
Divinatio and prudentia between late Republic and early Principate

Thurs. 20 November
Giambattista D'Alessio (KCL)
Post-classical choral performances

Thurs. 27 November
Eleanor Dickey (Exeter)
How to say 'please' in Latin and Greek

CA Wed. 3 December, 5.30 pm, A. 7
Robin Osborne (Cambridge)
Bodily remains in an ancient Greek world full of anthropomorphic gods

Thurs. 4 December
Zosia Archibald (Liverpool)
Moving marble and the values of archaic Greek society

Thurs. 11 December
Ruth Morello (Manchester)
The letters of Pliny the Younger

Thurs. 18 December
Adrian Kelly (Oxford)
Aias in Athens: the two worlds of Athenian tragedy

David.Langslow AT for inquiries about the research seminar;
Tim.Parkin AT for inquiries about the CA meetings, including requests to dine with the speaker
... at the APA site, of course
Info at the APA site ... info from the AIA side is available from that website ...
ante diem xiii kalendas octobres

ludi Romani (day 15)

86 A.D. -- birth of the future emperor Antoninus Pius

208 A.D. -- birth of the future emperor Diadumenianus

304 A.D. -- martyrdom of Januarius (read about the ritual associated with him in the Catholic Encyclopedia)
Brief item from Reuters (via Yahoo):

A Berlin radio station will broadcast its morning show entirely in Latin on September 26 to mark the European day of languages, the station said Thursday.

Trailers, news and weather will be translated into Latin for the Kiss FM show, listened to by around 4.2 million people daily, to raise awareness of the tragedy of dead languages.

"We are particularly looking forward to a member of staff who has written a Latin rap song," station spokesman Michael Weiland said.

Brief item on the thing at the KISS FM website (which looks very North American ...) ... there's a short video of the hosts attempting to read copy in Latin there too ...
From the Guardian:

The former Archbishop of Canterbury used to hang a large copy of it around his neck and the Somerset town where it was unearthed named a theatre and a street in honour of its "treasure".

But it emerged yesterday that the silver amulet which the people of Shepton Mallet thought was a priceless early Christian artefact is a fake, possibly planted by a hoaxer who was trying to stop a warehouse being built on the site of a Roman cemetery.

The amulet was found 18 years ago and heralded as one of the most important Christian artefacts uncovered in the UK. But Liverpool University researchers have established that the silver was not of Roman origin and may have been produced in the 19th century or even later.

County council officials were trying to put a brave face on the findings but the disappointment, not to mention a little embarrassment, is palpable. Stephen Minnitt, the acting head of museums, said: "Experts are 99% certain that the amulet is not genuine and it is possible we may never be able to say with certainty how it came to be buried in Shepton Mallet."

He said the hoaxer was clearly something of an expert and may have been inspired by an object in the British Museum called the Sussex brooch, with which it shares some design features.

At the time of the cemetery dig, controversial plans were afoot to build a drinks warehouse on the site. Minnitt said the hoaxer may have hoped the discovery of a precious artefact could halt the development. It didn't work - the warehouse was built.

Jeanette Marsh, the deputy leader of Shepton Mallet town council, admitted: "It's like the magic has been removed from Shepton Mallet. It's a shame the myth of the amulet has now burst. It was part of the town's claim to fame but we're still proud of Shepton."

The amulet was unearthed in a small late-Roman cemetery in the grave of a man aged between 30 and 50 during excavations in 1990. Designed to be worn as a pendant, the front of the amulet was marked with the "ChiRho" - an early Christian symbol incorporating the first two letters of Christ's name in Greek.

It was considered important enough for George Carey, then the Bishop of Bath and Wells, to wear a copy which was double the size of the original. He continued to wear it when he became archbishop.

Doubts surfaced in the late 1990s after the British Museum carried out tests on the metal composition of the artefact, but it could not prove it was a fake. For the moment, the amulet is stored at the county museum in Taunton, which is closed for refurbishment. It will go back on display when the museum reopens in 2010.

From an SFSU Press Release:

During SF State's first archeological field school in Pompeii this summer students unearthed a preserved drain pipe and its contents from the first century -- evidence that will provide clues about the urban development of Pompeii.
A photograph of a student removing soil in an archeological dig as part of San Francisco State's archeological field school in Pompeii.

Led by Assistant Professor of Classics Michael Anderson, students spent seven weeks in Pompeii, the Italian city buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the first century, where they were exposed to cutting-edge technology and archeological search techniques.

"The season went very well and the students had a marvelous time" Anderson said. "We cleaned two areas down to the level of the 79 C.E. eruption and dug one test trench where we found a first century drain pipe and its contents. This will be useful for reconstructing the activities of the shop that was on that site."

The field school is run in collaboration with the Via Consolare Project, a research project, started by Anderson in 2005, that investigates the process and history of urbanization in Pompeii and its suburbs. The project is named for the street it examines and focuses on two sites along the Via Consolare: a city block near the heart of Pompeii and the area around Villa delle Colonne a Mosaico, a large villa just outside the city wall.

"Comparing these two locations allows us to look at the development of the whole city and to test the validity of preconceived notions of the difference between urban and suburban space in the ancient world," said Anderson, who has spent more than a decade carrying out excavations in Pompeii.
A photograph of the remains of the Villa delle Colonne a Mosaico, one of the sites under investigation in San Francisco State's archeological field school in Pompeii.

"We are looking at changes in Pompeii that are not yet understood. A lot of attention has been paid to the evidence preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius, but our research goes back hundreds of years before that and explains more about southern Italy before Roman rule," Anderson said. With a doctorate in classical archeology from the University of Cambridge, Anderson's expertise includes ancient daily life and the Roman house.

During the next academic year, faculty and students in the classics department will be processing huge volumes of material collected in Pompeii. Survey information and photographs need converting into 3-D models and the team is designing and populating a digital archive of material records, photos and sketches. In his research, Anderson has championed the use of open source technology including the use of video game software to produce 3-D models -- tools he hopes to eventually introduce as part of the field school.

The 2009 field school will include opportunities for participation by students from SF State and other universities and there are plans to provide class credit the College of Extended Learning. See the Web site for more details:
From the Cyprus Mail:

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered the remains of an unusual 1.2 metre high wall with once curved end and one straight end during continued excavations at Kissonerga-Skalia in Paphos.

They believe it might have been a perimeter wall to the ancient settlement. “We have now revealed that it [the wall] extends for over 10 metres and hope to trace the remaining length in future seasons,” said a statement from the Antiquities Department.

It said curved walls were rare for this period and the unusual width and rubble construction also indicated that it had a special function.

On the outside of the wall, the Bronze Age occupants of Kissonerga had levelled the surface to create an exterior area and on the interior face a circular mud plastered pit abutted the wall.

Within the structure, there was also an additional plastered pit filled with an ashy deposit, an area of compacted floor surface, spreads of pot sherds and ground stone tools.

“This represents the latest preserved occupation in this area of the settlement. No subdivisions have yet been revealed on its interior and the wall’s function remains uncertain. It is possible that it may prove to be a perimeter wall, which would again be atypical for sites of this period,” the statement added.

In another part of the settlement, archaeologists exposed a large freestanding furnace-like structure and some typical stone footings of Bronze Age houses. Other finds include copper fragments, textile production, attested by spindle whorls and a loom weight, and numbers of ground stone objects, including agricultural tools such as querns for grinding grain.

The site has also yielded evidence of faunal and marine exploitation such as cattle, deer, sheep, goats, pigs, crabs and shellfish, and also botanical remains of grapes and lentils.

“The architecture and organisation of the settlement of Kissonerga-Skalia therefore has some unusual features, but also shares traditions with other parts of the island,” said the statement.

What these similarities and differences mean in terms of how the Bronze Age people of the southwest interacted with other communities is a question that further excavation may answer, the Department said.

“We can now begin to build up a picture of life in Bronze Age Kissonerga, but there is much work remaining for future seasons to be able to completely understand the site,” it added.

Kissonerga has previously yielded archaeological evidence dating from the very first Neolithic age in Cyprus and also an important Chalcolithic settlement.

This is the first time, however, that a research project has placed the prehistoric settlement in the Bronze Age. The settlement was believed to have been abandoned around 1700BC. In 2007, preserved houses were found that dated to the Early Middle Bronze Age.

The latest excavations were carried out with archaeologists from the University of Manchester team.
ante diem xiv kalendas octobres

ludi Romani (day 14)

31 A.D. -- execution of Sejanus (still not sure about that one)

53 A.D. (?) -- birth of the future emperor Trajan

96 A.D. -- murder of the emperor Domitian; dies imperii of the emperor Nerva

1709 -- Birth of Samuel Johnson
tintinnabulation @

limpet @ Wordsmith

euphony @ Merriam-Webster
From Loughborough News:

A small Roman rural cemetery containing six skeletons has been discovered at an archaeological dig in Enderby.

The human burials were found during an excavation at the new park and ride site alongside Iron Age, Roman and medieval finds including pottery, a denarius - a type of Roman silver coin, and a number of brooches.

Analysis of the skeletons, found close to the line of the former Fosse Way Roman road, will now take place to identify the gender, age at death, health and life style of the individuals they represent.

As the area has been cultivated since medieval times, the skeletons are in relatively poor condition

Five of the burials were found in shallow graves next to a pair of ditches that may represent an earlier track or a long-lived land boundary - a sixth grave was discovered on the edge of one of the ditches. Evidence indicates the cemetery is likely to date from the second or third century AD, whilst the track or boundary forms part of an earlier field system.

The work, commissioned by the County Council and carried out by University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), forms part of the development of the new £9 million facility, due to open in autumn 2009.

The records and finds, including the skeletons, will now be analysed by ULAS. The results will help clarify and add to current interpretations of the site and the wider area and will be included in a display at the park and ride terminal building.

Ernie White, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: "This is a significant discovery. Individual burials are more usually encountered but rural cemeteries from the Roman period are not a common find.

"The findings are also intriguing as the presence of a cemetery also suggests the nearby location of an as yet unidentied Roman settlement site.

"If these remains had not been excavated as part of this scheme, it is likely that the on-going effects of farming would have led to the finds being lost."

Further Information

* More work is planned to take place during the park and ride construction to monitor development in the vicinity of the Fosse Way. However, due to the unexpected discovery of human remains this will be extended to ensure removal and recording of any other skeletons in the unlikely event that they are revealed during the ground works.
* The current phase of archaeological investigation started in late June and ended in early August.

From AdnKronos:

The facade of an ancient Roman building, the Temple of Hadrian, has been restored in the Italian capital, Rome, at a cost of more than one million euros.

The temple was built in 145 A.D. by Emperor Antoninus Pius in honour of the previous emperor Hadrian who was deified after his death.

The temple is located in the Piazza di Pietra in the historic centre of Rome near the celebrated Pantheon. It now houses the city's stock exchange and Chamber of Commerce.

Andrea Mondello, president of the chamber, told Adnkronos International that he was pleased with the results.

"We've worked very hard. This is a work of quality rather than quantity," Mondello said.

The temple stands in what was Campus Martius or the Field of Mars which at one time was used for military training and also witnessed triumphal processions that celebrated Roman victories.

One external wall of the temple - with its 11 Corinthian columns - survives and pieces of its original marble base can still be seen.

The facade was incorporated into a Medieval fortress and the later part of a 17th century papal palace.

The restoration took eighteen months and was financed by the Chamber of Commerce, which has been based there since 1874.

Rome's Mayor, Gianni Alemanno, said this piazza had been restored to its former splendour and thanked the chamber for its commitment.
ANI reports:

Soon, visitors to Alexandria, Egypt, may be able to see the remnants of Cleopatra's palace, with plans underway for the construction of the world's first underwater museum in the city.

According to a report in National Geographic News, a site for the museum has been proposed near the New Library of Alexandria, where the famed queen of Egypt is believed to have sheltered herself with her lover Marc Antony before taking her own life.

If built, the museum could display treasures and monuments of her palace, which once stood on an island in one of the largest human-made bays in the world but were submerged by earthquakes from the fourth century A.D. onward.

The bay is filled archaeological sunken treasures.

In the 1990s, archaeologist-divers found thousands of objects: 26 sphinxes, statues bearing gifts to the gods, blocks weighing up to 56 tons, and even Roman and Greek shipwrecks.

The proposed museum could include pieces believed to be from the Pharos of Alexandria lighthouse, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world.

Archaeologists have mapped more than 2,000 submerged objects in the area of the bay where they believe the lighthouse once stood.

The wealth of this area is quite impressive, said Naguib Amin, the site-management expert from Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. Sort of the whole ancient city of Alexandria is lying under the water, just meters away from the shore, he added.

The proposed museum would be both inland and underwater.

The dual nature is intended to create an experience like that of a traditional museum, while also allowing visitors to witness artifacts in their submerged states.

The larger, inland museum will have underwater fiberglass tunnels to structures where visitors can view antiquities still lying on the seabed.

But, the bay's murky waters could obscure the views of submerged monuments. The builders of the museum will either have to clean the water or replace it entirely with an artificial lagoon.

The proposed museum is planned to be underwater not only for aesthetic value but also because it follows the 2001 UNESCO convention for the preservation of underwater heritage.

The convention decided that submerged artifacts should ideally remain on the seabed out of respect for their historical context and, in some cases, because water actually preserves artifacts.

Once complete, Egyptian authorities hope, the museum will transform both Alexandria's tourism industry and the city's current landscape.

It will not simply be a museum as such. It is part of a whole vision to revitalize the whole city and its heritage, Amin said.

... of course, we've heard about these plans repeatedly over the past few years; I suspect it is in the same category as those plans years ago to build a dome around the Acropolis to protect it from pollution. That said, a find -- purportedly by Franck Goddio at this site -- looks like it's the next candidate for nutty-fake-artifact ... we're monitoring the story (which hasn't made it to the English press yet) ...
Cornell College, a private undergraduate liberal arts college, invites
applications for a tenure-track appointment in classical studies at the
assistant professor level to begin in the fall of 2009. We seek a
generalist, with some preference given to those with expertise in
ancient history, archaeology, or comparative literature, who will work
with other faculty to expand the classics curriculum and strengthen the
role of the department in the overall intellectual life of the College.
Teaching responsibilities include Greek and Latin language courses, a
course that explores the multicultural world of the ancient
Mediterranean, and topics courses in the area of the candidate's
specialization. The successful candidate will have opportunities to
participate in the College's Writing Program and/or First-Year
Experience Program. Candidates should have the Ph.D. or be near
completion of the degree. Cornell College has attracted national
attention for its distinctive academic calendar under which faculty
teach and students take one course at a time in month-long terms. The
College is committed to excellence in teaching and encourages
interdisciplinary interests among its faculty. Send paper copies of
letter, vitae, graduate transcripts, statement of teaching and research
interests, and three letters of reference to Ms. Ann Opatz, Assistant
Dean, Office of Academic Affairs, Cornell College, 600 First Street SW,
Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098. Formal consideration of applications
begins November 3, 2008; preliminary interviews to be conducted at APA
meetings in Philadelphia. Cornell College is an AA/EO employer.
ante diem xv kalendas octobres

ludi Romani (day 13)

14 A.D. -- the dead emperor Augustus is declared to be Divus Augustus

134 A.D./C.E. -- 'martyrdom' of Rabbi Akiva
vociferous @ (one of my father's most-used words)

chaogenous @ Worthless Word for the Day
From the conclusion of a general sort of piece on Cleopatra in a science column at ABC:

Napoleon Bonaparte looted many treasures from Egypt, including the mummy case of Cleopatra VII. Most of these treasures were returned to Egypt, but her mummy case was accidentally left behind.

In the 1940s, workers found her mummy case, and emptied it into the sewers. Sad to think that a dirty French river should be the final resting place for the Queen of the Nile.

Hmmm ... another story about Cleopatra's mummy case (compare this one); this one has 'urban legend' written all over it, I suspect. The only source I can find for it seems to be down at the moment ...
From Bloomberg:

The remains of two outsized earthenware pots, a ditch and evidence of a gate dating back more than 3,000 years are changing scholars' perceptions about the city of Troy at the time Homer's ``Iliad'' was set.

The discoveries this year show that Troy's lower town was much bigger in the late Bronze Age than previously thought, according to Ernst Pernicka, the University of Tubingen professor leading excavations on the site in northwestern Turkey.

His team has uncovered a trench 1.4 kilometers long, 4 meters wide and 2 meters deep. The full length of the trench, which probably encircled the city and served a defensive purpose, may be as much as 2.5 kilometers, Pernicka said in an interview in his office in Mannheim, Germany. Troy may have been as big as 40 hectares, with a population as high as 10,000, he estimates.

``Troy was not the center of the world, but it was a regional hub,'' Pernicka said. ``This year, we established that the trench continues around the town. We've found a southern gate, a southeastern gate, traces of a southwestern gate and I expect to find an eastern gate. So we have evidence of town planning.''

The discovery of the trench around the lower town vindicates Pernicka's predecessor, Manfred Korfmann, who faced accusations from a fellow German scholar that he was misleading the public in his interpretation of the ditch, which might have been for drainage. After Korfmann died in 2005, Pernicka took over his work and aims to publish the results of 20 years of digging and research.

``I think we have proven that the trench was not for drainage,'' Pernicka said.

Layers of Building

Excavating Troy is a challenge because the city was destroyed and rebuilt 10 times. Archaeologists have to sift through layers of Byzantine, Roman and Greek building to get to Troy VI and VIIa, the era in which the action in Homer's Trojan war epic is most likely to have been set, between 1500 and 1180 B.C.

Parts of two ceramic ``pithoi,'' or pitchers, were found in the trench near the edge of the town. The pots, which could be as much as 2 meters tall, were kept in or near homes, suggesting that houses in the lower town stretched to the trench, another indication that Troy's lower town was fully inhabited and the city was bigger than revealed in previous expeditions, Pernicka said.

``You can call them Bronze-Age refrigerators,'' he said. ``They were used for storing water, oil or maybe grain.''

Troy's wealth -- first discovered by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who excavated a hoard of gold from the site in the 19th century -- probably came from agriculture and horse breeding, Pernicka said. Hittite texts call the city Wilusa and describe it as a vassal state to the Hittite empire.

Trojan War?

Pernicka sees no reason to question that the site in the western Anatolia region of Turkey is the setting for the ``Iliad,'' as a small minority of scholars still do. Homer described the topography, identifying rivers and islands that are visible today. Yet though there is evidence of conflicts, no archaeologist can prove that the Trojan War took place, he said.

``The Iliad speaks of a 10-year war,'' Pernicka said. ``That could be a metaphor. It could be that events that took place over decades were squeezed together. In Troy VIIa, in the 13th century B.C., there must have been an increased threat because at least three gates in the citadel were closed. The surrounding region was also much less populated than in the previous era.''

What archaeology has shown is that Troy's golden era ended in 1180. Where preceding Trojans had used potters' wheels for about 1,000 years, ceramics found on the site show the technology was lost with the arrival of a new people, probably from the Balkans, who reverted to hand-made pots. The newcomers also built their houses in a completely different style.

Regional Decline

``Many other towns in the eastern Mediterranean declined at this time,'' Pernicka said. ``It could have been a kind of world war at the end of the Bronze Age.''

Funding for Pernicka's excavations runs out next year. One of the main projects for the future is a museum in Troy that will double as a research center. The Turkish government has promised funds for an architecture competition, and Pernicka hopes to find sponsors to help finance the museum.

Of the 500,000 visitors to Troy each year, about 80 percent are tourists, he said.

``They don't come just to see traces of walls,'' he said. ``In Troy, you have to imagine a lot, and you can only do that if you have read the `Iliad.' We can't expect, say, Chinese or Japanese tourists to have done that. It is important because it is the roots of Western culture, and that is something you can show much better in a museum.''

The findings of the latest Troy excavations form part of an exhibition at Mannheim's Reiss-Engelhorn-Museum, called ``Homer: The Myth of Troy in Poetry and Art,'' which runs through Jan. 18, 2009.
From the Times:

The hidden ruins of an ancient lagoon city that was the ancestor of Venice have been unearthed by scientists using satellite imaging. The outlines are clearly visible about three feet below the earth in what is now open countryside.

Venice was a powerful maritime power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It seemed, however, an unlikely spot to choose for a leading world power, stretching across 118 small islands in the marshy saltwater Venetian lagoon.

Historians agree that the explanation is that Venice was founded on the islands by refugees from Roman cities such as Ravenna, Padua and Aquileia as they fled from invasions, first by Attila the Hun in the 5th century and then, a century later, by the Lombards, as the final remnants of the Roman Empire crumbled.

However, Paolo Mozzi, a researcher at the University of Padua geography department, said high-definition satellite photographs had revealed the ruins of an extensive town much closer to present day Venice at Altino – known in Roman times as Altinum – a little more than seven miles north of the city, close to Marco Polo airport.

“The hypothesis is that as Altinum also succumbed to the Barbarian invasions, the inhabitants fled farther down to the lagoon to build Venice on the islands, using some of the stones from their city,” he said. At its height, he said, Altinum had been an important trading and seafaring centre on the Adriatic, before it was overrun by Attila in the mid-5th century.

The newly identified ruins include streets, palaces, temples, squares and theatres, as well as a large amphitheatre and canals, showing that Altinum was a wealthy and thriving city. By the 10th century, however, it had been abandoned. “The city in which Venice had its origins finally has a face,” said the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Mr Mozzi said that Altinum probably had about 20,000 inhabitants. A plan to excavate the ruins is being drawn up at the universities of Padua and Venice, in collaboration with the Veneto region superintendent of archaeology.

The folk memory of Altinum is preserved in the names of several Venetian islands which are derived from districts of the abandoned Roman town: Torcello (from Torricellum), Murano (Ammurianum) and Burano (Porta Boreana). In the 9th-century the ducal seat of Venice was moved to Rialto island, which is still the city centre, where the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica of St Mark were erected. In 828 the relics of St Mark were taken to Venice from Alexandria and placed in the new basilica. They were later venerated as a symbol of the new Venice as it developed into a mighty naval and commercial power in the Middle Ages.

... Altinum is where Lucius Verus met his demise ...
Those disease-ridden Romans brought more than HIV (hmmmm) ... from the BBC:

Archaeologists hope the discovery will reveal clues about how the deadly disease spread across Britain.

The man's remains - which date from the fourth century AD - were found on a construction site at York University.

The first known case of TB in Britain is from the Iron Age - but finding cases from Roman times is still rare, especially in the north.

Most finds have been confined to the southern half of England.

If the new case is confirmed as TB it could provide scientists with a valuable tool to trace the movement of the disease as it is relatively rare for specimens to be discovered in the UK that date from any earlier than the 12th century.

Archaeologist Cath Neal, from the University of York said: "This was a remarkable find and detailed study of this skeleton will provide us with important clues about the emergence of tuberculosis in late-Roman Britain, but also information about what life was like in York more than 1,500 years ago.

Unusual burial

"A burial such as this, close to living quarters, is unusual for this period when most burials were in formal cemeteries.

"It is possible that the man was buried here because the tuberculosis infection was so rare at the time, and people were reluctant to transport the body any distance."

The remains were discovered during archaeological investigations on the site of the university's £500m expansion at Heslington East.

He was interred in a shallow scoop in a flexed position, on his left side.

Tests showed he was between 26- and 35-years-old and suffered from iron deficiency anaemia during childhood.

The man was a shorter height than average for Roman males at 5ft 4in.

The skeleton was found close to the perimeter of the remains of a late-Roman masonry building discovered on the site, close to the route of an old Roman road between York and Barton-on-Humber.

Detailed analysis of the skeleton by Malin Holst, of York Osteoarchaeology Ltd, revealed that a likely cause of death was tuberculosis which affected the man's spine and pelvis.

She said that it is possible that he contracted the disease as a child from infected meat or milk from cattle, but equally the infection could have been inhaled into the lungs.

The disease then lay dormant until adulthood when the secondary phase of the disease took its toll.

Ms Holst said: "There were signs of muscular trauma and strong muscle attachments indicating that the individual undertook repeated physical activity while he was in good health.

"There was some intensive wear and chipping on his front teeth which may have been the result of repeated or habitual activity.

"There was evidence for infection of the bone in both lower limbs but this appeared to be healing at death."
From France 24:

The opening of a new, ultra-modern Acropolis museum located below the ancient Athens landmark has been pushed back until February or March next year, Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said Tuesday.

"We had said the museum would open its doors towards the end of the year, but the inauguration will be delayed by two months or so," said Liapis after a visit to the building.

A February or March opening was a more realistic goal, he added.

Liapis also said he was in talks with Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou, who oversaw the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, about organising the inauguration ceremony for the new museum.

The new three-level museum, at 25,000 square metres (270,000 square feet), includes a room on the top floor with an area reserved for the Elgin, or Parthenon Marbles.

They are currently located at the British Museum in London, but Greece is continuing its campaign to persuade Britain to return the priceless friezes.

The British Museum in London has always refused to repatriate the friezes, removed in 1806 by Lord Elgin, British ambassador to the occupying Ottoman Empire of the time.

At the end of September the museum which is already partly open is scheduled to show ancient masterpieces to mark Athens' determination to fight against what it has described as the pillaging of its antiquities.

The museum, designed by Franco-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, had originally been scheduled to open in time for the 2004 Olympics.

Those plans were derailed by a series of technical and bureaucratic problems that delayed the signing of the 129-million-euro building contract.

From one of the many newspapers dubbed the Inquirer ... oddly enough in a piece on contraception:

In the Roman times, wealthy families were known for their love of feasting, eating, drinking and merrymaking. In their houses, there was a thing called vomitorium. The practice was that when they were filled up, they would go to the vomitorium, tickle their throat to vomit what they had eaten or drunk. So they were hungry again and would eat again.

No ... no ... no ...
12-14 May 2009
University of British Columbia
(Vancouver, British Columbia)



The CAC’s 2009 Annual Meeting will take place on Tues. 12 – Thurs. 14 May at UBC as a joint event together with the Association of Ancient Historians’ Annual Meeting (Thurs. 14 – Sat. 16 May). Accommodation has been reserved in the university residence halls and conference centre for the nights of Monday through Saturday (11-16 May). Registration materials and related information will be published as they become available. All conference information will be posted on the conference website: (that will be accessible from the main CAC/SCEC website).


Scholarly contributions in all areas of Classical Studies are welcomed. Presentations must not exceed 20 minutes, to allow for discussion following each paper.

In addition to regular papers:

* The Women's Network/Réseau des Femmes invites abstracts for a panel on "Generations of Women" at the CAC. This panel explores the construction and representation of women as mothers, daughters, sisters and grandmothers and intergenerational connections with the body, the family and society more broadly, as well as the legacy of women scholars in the discipline of Classics. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: functional and dysfunctional familial relationships (including both public and private contexts); women and reproduction (within medical texts, religious rituals and demography); women in foundation myths; feminist pedagogy; contributions of 19th and 20th century female classical scholars. This call for papers is meant to be suggestive rather than exclusive; we welcome papers that consider the theme from a variety of perspectives and sources of evidence (textual, visual, and material). Please send 300- word abstracts on the Proposal Form by January 16, 2009 to Dr. Leanne Bablitz via e-mail: (lbablitz(at) or regular mail: Dr. Leanne Bablitz, Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies, University of British Columbia, BUCH C 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1. In addition, please send a second copy of the abstract and the Proposal Form, meeting the same criteria, to Dr. Allison Glazebrook via email: (aglazebrook(at) or regular mail: Dept. of Classics, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1. Be sure to indicate on the Proposal Form and in the e-mail subject line that the submission is to be considered for the "Generations of Women – WN/RF panel".
* Submissions are also invited for a special panel jointly run by the Classical Association of Canada and the American Philological Association's Outreach and Classical Tradition committees. In recognition of the borders between Canada and the United States, we solicit abstracts on the topic of "Borders: geographical, social, political, temporal or conceptual". Papers can address such topics as the establishment, maintenance and control of geo-political borders in the Ancient Mediterranean Basin, the blurring of social boundaries through ritual activity, the fractured social identities of border-dwellers, etc. These topics are suggestions, not prescriptions. Please send 300-word abstracts on the Proposal Form by January 16, 2009 to Dr. Leanne Bablitz via e-mail: (lbablitz(at) or regular mail: Dr. Leanne Bablitz, Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies, University of British Columbia, BUCH C 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1. In addition, please send a second copy of the abstract and the Proposal Form, meeting the same criteria, to Dr. Judith Fletcher via email (jfletcher(at) or regular mail: Dr. Judith Fletcher, Dept. of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3C5. Be sure to indicate on the Proposal Form and in the e-mail subject line that the submission is to be considered by the "Borders – joint APA panel".
* Scholars can propose specific panel sessions around a topic (e.g., research or teaching and professional issues). A panel must be limited to a maximum of four individual papers. Proposals for these should be submitted to the conference organizer by the deadline given below, and should include a session title, statement of purpose (maximum 200 words), names of participants, and the individual 300-word abstracts for all the papers in the proposed panel using the regular Proposal Forms.


Abstracts (maximum: 300 words) should be submitted, preferably by e-mail, on the Proposal Form (downloadable from the conference website). Deadline for receipt is 16 January 2009. Please send proposals and enquiries to: lbablitz(at) using the subject line "CAC abstract” OR snail-mail: Dr. Leanne Bablitz, CAC 2009, Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies, BUCH C 1866 Main Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z1, Canada.

All abstracts will be anonymously refereed within a single pool. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to consult with their supervisor or other appropriate faculty member before submitting an abstract.
Too Much is Never Enough: Luxury and Decadence in the Ancient World

February 6-7, 2009 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
A graduate student conference sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies, Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology, and Interdepartmental Program in Greek and Roman History.

Wealth is one thing; displaying wealth is another. In the ancient world luxury encompassed a range of objects and modes of behavior that could be construed as desirable, decadent, corrupting, or captivating depending on the social context. How were displays of luxury created and exhibited in the ancient world, and how do we as scholars interpret them today?

How do concepts of luxury vary in relation to geographic, temporal, and social factors?
How can we separate the concepts of wealth and luxury? Can money buy class?
How did changes such as increased trade, economic pressures, colonization, and religious conversion affect a culture’s perception of luxury?
How does social status inform conceptions of luxury? How might these compete with one another?
How does luxury become a political issue? A moral issue? A gendered issue?
What traces of this discourse on luxury can we detect in the archaeological record?
How can material culture help to define and explain concepts of luxury?

The keynote address, “Portable Meanings”, will be given by Ann Kuttner, University of Pennsylvania, History of Art, whose interest in luxury arts as domestic and public display has led to a wide array of publications ranging from Posidippus’ Lithika to the public displays of Hellenistic kingdoms and the landscape of Roman villas.

We welcome papers from a variety of perspectives: literary, historical, archaeological, art historical and particularly those which adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the discussion of luxury in the ancient world.

Please send an abstract of up to 300 words, with your name, contact information, and institutional affiliation on a separate cover sheet, by October 15, 2008 to Karen Acton, klacton AT
New Voices in Classical Reception Studies is a refereed electronic journal. Most of the 'new voices' are early career researchers such as recent post-docs and advanced graduate students or people who have changed research direction and are starting to publish their work in areas relevant to classical reception.

We now invite further submissions for the 2009 edition (deadline: 31st October 2008).

Details of how to submit an article for consideration are available on the New Voices website and the editor, Lorna Hardwick (l.p.hardwick AT, will be glad to answer any queries.

Contents of the current edition - Issue 3 (2008) - now available online:

The Riddle of the Oedipus: Practising Reception and Antebellum American Theatre
Robert Davis, City University of New York, Graduate Center
Monumental Texts in Ruins: Greek Tragedy in Greece and Michael Marmarinos's Postmodern Stagings
Eleftheria Ioannidou, St. Cross College, Oxford University
'Rewrite this ancient end!' Staging transition in post-apartheid South Africa
Astrid Van Weyenberg, University of Amsterdam
Classics as a Test of Character in Victorian Public School Stories
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, NSW
The Voice of Cassandra: Florence Nightingale's Cassandra (1852) and the Victorian Woman
Laura Monros-Gaspar, Universitat de València
The Renault Bagoas: The Treatment of Alexander the Great's Eunuch in Mary Renault's The Persian Boy
Shaun Tougher, Cardiff University
ante diem xvi kalendas octobres

ludi Romani (day 12)

253 A.D. -- martyrdom of Cornelius at Rome
dysnomy @ Worthless Word for the Day
Call for Papers

The meeting will include seven sessions for the presentation of
scholarly papers (each speaker will deliver their paper in 20 minutes):

1) *Law: * Liminality in ancient law: This session explores how the laws
of Greece, Rome and the Near East treated those whose behaviour broke
with what was acceptable for their legal status or whose circumstances
meant that they could not be treated according to existing laws. Topics
for examination could include gender, age, and citizenship. Papers can
examine, for example, how ancient law coped with trans-gendered
individuals, persons who claimed to be free but were claimed by others
as slaves, military deserters, women wishing to act as legally
independent, or non-citizens engaged in legal transactions with citizens.

2) *Near Eastern/Classical Interconnections*: This panel seeks papers
that explore connections/relationships between the lands of the Near
East (Egypt, Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Asia Minor) and the
Classical world. Such topics could include not only trade, migrations,
colonization, cultural influences and hybridization, but also
interconnections at the level of the individual, be it private (e.g.,
soldiers’ experiences in foreign lands, cross-cultural gender
relationships), or public (e.g., governors and the enforcement of
political policies or administration in distant provinces).

3) *Tensions and Conflict in the Private Sphere*: This session will
explore negative interactions (e.g., power struggles) among individuals
or groups at the level of the household or other non-public spheres of
human activity.

4) *Aspects of Personal Adornment*: This panel will focus on the ways in
which personal adornment (clothing, jewelry, branding, hairstyles,
accessories, military insignia, cosmetics) as is known through artistic
representations, literature, historical texts and archaeology,
emphasizes or advertises one’s social class, ethnicity, occupation, age,
gender, or religious affiliation.

5) *Contests and Competition*: Vancouver , 2010 – The Winter Olympics!
Competition can take a variety of forms, not only in the realm of
athletics, but also in politics, law, economy and warfare. Papers could
focus on sporting events, elections, funerary games, gladiatorial games,
or legal cases. Emphasis can be placed on the strategies by which
individuals, or groups of individuals, attain power, status, prestige
through competition.

6) *Religion*: This panel seeks papers that explore ritual acts, aspects
of worship, belief, household religion, and/or individual expressions of

7) *Open session*: This session is open to the submission of papers that
do not fit into any of the above categories.

Please send abstracts of *no more than 500 words* using the Proposal
Form (available on the webpage) preferably by email (as attachments or
text of message) using the subject heading “I love the AAH” to Leanne
Bablitz, at lbablitz(at), or mail (as hard copies) to:

Leanne Bablitz
Re: AAH abstracts
Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies
BUCH C 1866 Main Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 Canada

All abstracts must be received by *November 15th , 2008.
We would like to remind you that the deadline for abstracts for AMPAL (Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient Literature) is now 15 October 2008.

AMPAL will be hosted by the Open University in Milton Keynes, and will take place on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 January 2009.

AMPAL is a conference where graduate students present their research to other postgraduates. This allows attendees to take part in discussion, exchange ideas and meet other postgraduates in a friendly and supportive environment. We would welcome papers from postgraduate students in all stages of their research, as we are offering the opportunity for speakers to benefit from one to one feedback from more experienced presenters. In addition accepted speakers will be able to submit final versions of papers to be made available via the Open University website following the conference.

The theme for the conference is:

‘Sex and the (ancient) City: Love and Friendship in Greece and Rome’


We are accepting abstracts (maximum 250 words) on any aspect of the theme of ‘Sex and the (Ancient) City: Love and Friendship in Greece and Rome’.

Some suggestions are:

· Gendered roles

· Relationships

· Families, fraternities and friendship

· Importance of the city

· Metamorphoses and transformations

· Boys and girls initiation rites

These are suggestions only, and we welcome any other interpretations of the theme, and as in previous years expect to see a mix of papers covering ancient Greek and Roman literature, performance and reception.

Our keynote speaker will by Professor Lorna Hardwick.

Registration for this conference is free, although there will be a charge for accommodation. See the website for further details of the venue and accommodation:

Please send your abstract to ampal08 AT with Abstract as the email title and include your name, University, and title of paper, by 15 October 2008. Please also direct any queries about the conference to this address.

"Classics and Robert Graves: a relationship in literature, translation and

7th March, 16th September, 31st October, 21st November 2009

This series of interdisciplinary workshops in the School of Classics,
University of St Andrews will allow for the discussion and re-evaluation of
the work of Robert Graves in relation to the discipline of Classics. The
concept is to provide a platform for the exploration of subjects such as
adaptation of Graves’ novels for film, TV or stage (I Claudius was adapted
for all three media); his relationship with T.E. Lawrence (who translated
The Odyssey of Homer (1932) and corresponded with Graves’ on drafts of I,
Claudius and Claudius the God; his impact via Classics on twentieth century
poetry; his translations from Latin into English; his understanding of Greek
myth; the historical novel; the use of classical subjects in his poetry; the
reception of his novels (including adaptations by scriptwriters for stage
and screen) and the influence of his novels, translations and ideas on the
discipline itself and public consciousness. Even Graves’ books for children
should not be overlooked in this context. Other conferences and edited
papers have addressed wider issues around Graves’ poetry and literature but
this is an opportunity for the relationship between the discipline itself
and the body of his work to be revisited and reviewed within an
interdisciplinary framework.

There is no agenda to promote Graves’ work or to suggest that his work
related (however loosely) to Classics should be rehabilitated. These
workshops aim to enhance and extend our understanding of his works within
their original context and of their relevance for the way we understand the
ancient world as a discipline. How did Graves see the classical world? Can
Graves’ interpretation of antiquity and his translations be seen in a new
light or are they limited and synchronic? Is his literary success
detrimental to the discipline?

The perception is that Graves’ influence on the general public’s view of the
ancient world has been immense; therefore a secondary aim of the workshops
will be to address the advantages and disadvantages of using Graves’ work to
spark interest in the classical world, and their use within school and
university syllabi.

Papers are invited from across the disciplines of Classics, English
Literature and Film Studies to consider either the broader themes
specifically related to Classics, to examine an individual work (or a
combination of his works), or to offer alternative relationships. The first
workshop will examine the issues outlined above from a broad perspective and
this will be followed by three meetings to be staged in 2009 centring on the
themes of the “Greek Myths”; “Rome” and “Historiography and Literature”. The
output from these in-depth discussions will be a collection of essays that
will stimulate further debate and encourage further research.

List of Robert Graves’ main classical publications:
• I, Claudius, 1934
• Claudius the God and his Wife Messalina, 1934
• Count Belisarius, 1938
• The Golden Fleece 1944; (Hercules, My Shipmate 1945 )
• Apuleius The Golden Ass, 1950 translation
• Suetonius The Twelve Caesars, 1951 translation
• Homer's Daughter, 1955
• The Greek Myths, 1955
• Lucan Pharsalia, 1956 translation
• Anger of Achilles, 1960 (Penguin will publish Anger of Achilles:
The Iliad
• Greek Gods and Heroes, 1960; Myths of Ancient Greece, 1961
• The Siege and Fall of Troy, 1962
• The Comedies of Terence, edited the translation of Laurence Echard
( and
wrote the foreword) 1962
• Greek Myths and Legends, 1968.
• poetry includes themes on Sappho, Hercules, Oedipus

The workshops are to be in held St Andrews on the following dates:
Saturday 7th March 2009, Classics
Saturday 16th September 2009, Greek Myths
Saturday 31st October 2009, Historiography & Literature
Saturday 21st November 2009, Rome

Please send abstracts of 300-400 words by 1st December 2008 to the organiser
Alisdair Gibson, either by email aggg AT or by mail to The
School of Classics, University of St Andrews, Swallowgate, St Andrews,
Scotland, KY16 9AL
The Department of Classics at Gettysburg College invites applications for a tenure-track appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor, beginning Fall 2009. We seek an Ancient Historian with broad and integrative interests in areas such as cultural or social history, material culture, historiography, or the intersection of Greek and Roman cultures with other Mediterranean civilizations. The normal teaching assignment of five courses per year will also include Latin and Greek at beginning through advanced undergraduate levels. Candidates must be committed to undergraduate teaching and have a strong research program. The Ph.D. must be in hand at time of appointment.

Gettysburg College is a highly selective liberal arts college located within 90 minutes of the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area. Established in 1832, the College has a rich history and is situated on a 220-acre campus with an enrollment of 2,600 students. Gettysburg College celebrates diversity and welcomes applications from members of any group that has been historically underrepresented in the American academy. The College assures equal employment opportunity and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, and disability.

Please send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, a short sample of scholarship, and a brief statement of teaching philosophy to: Classics Search Committee, Campus Box 394, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Materials can be sent electronically to rbarth AT Applications are due 31 October. Interviews will be conducted at the AIA/APA annual meeting in Philadelphia. Address inquiries to Dr. GailAnn Rickert. Email: grickert AT

One-year Appointment in Classics
The Department of Classics at Gettysburg College invites applications for a one-year, full-time appointment at the rank of Visiting Assistant Professor, beginning in August 2009. We seek a Classicist to teach Roman and Greek civilization courses in translation and Latin and Greek at all undergraduate levels. Preference will be given to candidates who specialize in material culture, ancient technology, or religion. The successful candidate will teach six courses, of which one may be in the candidate’s area of specialty. Candidates must be committed to undergraduate teaching and have a strong research program. The Ph.D. must be in hand at time of appointment.

Gettysburg College is a highly selective liberal arts college located within 90 minutes of the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area. Established in 1832, the College has a rich history and is situated on a 220-acre campus with an enrollment of 2,600 students. Gettysburg College celebrates diversity and welcomes applications from members of any group that has been historically underrepresented in the American academy. The College assures equal employment opportunity and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, and disability.

Please send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, and a brief statement of teaching philosophy to: Classics Sabbatical Search Committee, Campus Box 394, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Materials can be sent electronically to rbarth AT Applications are due 10 November. Interviews will be conducted at the AIA/APA annual meeting in Philadelphia. Address inquiries to Dr. GailAnn Rickert. Email: grickert AT
The Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies invites applications for a tenure stream position at the rank of Assistant Professor, effective July 1, 2009, subject to budgetary approval. We are seeking a candidate with a research specialty in Roman archaeology and material culture. We are especially interested in candidates who are connected with an archaeological field school in the Mediterranean. The successful applicant will also be expected to teach undergraduate courses in Latin and Classical Civilization and to participate in the new MA program in Ancient Mediterranean Cultures (offered jointly by WLU and the University of Waterloo). Candidates should have completed the PhD, or be near completion. Applicants should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, a writing sample, a teaching dossier, and the names and contact information for three professional referees in hard copy to Professor Judith Fletcher, Chair, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, N2L 3C5 by November 15, 2008. Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to equity and values diversity. We welcome applications from qualified individuals of all genders and sexual orientations, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal persons, and persons of a visible minority. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Members of the designated groups must self-identify to be considered for employment equity. Candidates may self-identify, in confidence, to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Dr. David Docherty.
The Greek and Roman Studies program at the College of Humanities at Carleton University invites applications for a tenure track appointment in Greek and Roman Studies. The BA program in Greek and Roman Studies is housed in the College of the Humanities (

Subject to budgetary approval, this position is at the rank of Assistant Professor, and will commence July 1, 2009. Applicants should have a Ph.D. and record of demonstrated excellence in both teaching and research. The successful candidate will be expected to teach Greek and Latin at all levels, as well as courses in classical civilization. The candidate's area of specialization is open. Faculty members at Carleton are expected to participate in the life of the academic community, and to develop a program of research leading to significant peer-reviewed publications. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, the application of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. Carleton University is committed to equality of employment for women, aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and persons with disabilities. Persons from these groups are particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants should provide a letter of application including a CV, sample of recent research, evidence of excellence in teaching, and the names of three referees. Three letters of reference should be sent under separate cover to:

Prof. Farhang Rajaee, Director
College of Humanities
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6

Consideration of applications will begin October 30, 2008 and continue until the position is filled. For additional information on the program, the College, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, please consult the following websites:;
The Department of Classics at Brown University has been authorized to announce a search for a tenure-track Assistant Professor with a specialization in Latin literature and/or Roman history. The successful candidate will teach Latin language and literature as well as Classics courses in translation. We would also welcome participation in interdepartmental programs such as Ancient History and Ancient Studies.

Candidates should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, and a representative sample of their best scholarly work to: Chair of the Latinist Search Committee, Department of Classics, Box 1856, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.

Review of applications will begin on November 10; selected candidates will be interviewed at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association in Philadelphia, January 9-11, 2009. Inquiries may be directed to <> Brown University is committed to diversity in its faculty and encourages applications from qualified women and under-represented minority candidates.
The Department of Classics, Faculty of Arts, at the University of Manitoba invites applications for a full-time tenure-track position in Greek and Latin Language and Literature at the rank of Assistant Professor. The successful candidate shall have special scholarly interests and competence somewhere within the broad spectrum of Classical Philology, demonstrated competence in both languages and a readiness to teach both Greek and Latin at all undergraduate levels and one or both at the M.A. level. The appointee must also teach lecture courses in ‘Classical Studies’ including survey courses on Greek and Roman civilization, Classical Mythology and Classical Literature in Translation. Duties will also include supervision of M.A. theses and service to the Department, Faculty and University. Candidates are requested to demonstrate success in both research and teaching and to present evidence of an agenda of scholarship and scholarly publication. The appointee shall have been awarded a Ph.D. by the effective date of the appointment, July 1, 2009.

The Department of Classics at the University of Manitoba has a vigorous staff complement of 6 permanent members with professorial rank. This complement is regularly augmented by part-time and/or temporary lecturers, instructors, post-doctoral fellows and teaching assistants. The Department offers undergraduate major and minor programs in Greek, Latin and Classical Studies and an M.A. in Classics. Further information on the Department is available at

Starting salary will reflect the qualifications and experience of the appointee.
The University of Manitoba encourages applications from qualified women and men, including members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, and persons with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply although Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Applications for this position must include a letter of application, a curriculum vitae and three confidential letters of reference sent directly by the referees. Candidates may also include samples of scholarly writing and evidence of effective teaching, such as teaching evaluations and sample course outlines. Applications should be sent to:

Professor Rory B. Egan, Chair
Department of Classics Search Committee
364 University College
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3T 2M8

(204) 474-9502 ; FAX (204) 474-7658 regan At

The deadline for receipt of applications is December 1, 2008. Applications, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Manitoba).
The Department of Classics at Cornell University seeks to appoint a Townsend Assistant Professor for a two-year non-renewable term to begin July 1, 2009, in the field of Latin and/or Greek literature. The position is a post-doctoral research fellowship with a teaching responsibility of one course per semester. The appointee will have an office in the department and full access to Cornell's library resources while pursuing his or her research. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Please send a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, three letters of reference, and a short, representative writing sample to Professor Charles Brittain, Department of Classics, Cornell University, 120 Goldwin Smith Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. The postmark deadline for receipt of applications is November 14, 2008. Interviews will be conducted at the APA annual meeting in Philadelphia during January 8-11, 2009. Cornell is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator.
ante diem xvii kalendas octobres

ludi Romani (day 11)
suffuse @

culminate @ Merriam-Webster
From the Charlotte Observer:

The archaeological site of Knidos in Turkey was once a jewel of ancient Greek civilization.

A major port that exported wine as far as India and Britain, it was also the religious center of a confederacy of Greek cities and the site of a medical school that rivaled the legendary Hippocratic clinic.

Archaeologists believe most of the city's secrets lie hidden beneath the ground. But Turkey has suspended excavations - accusing the project leader of negligence that led to the collapse of a newly restored column.

Turkish professor Ramazan Ozgan is now fighting a legal battle at the country's highest administrative court to overturn the government's cancellation of his almost 20-year-old excavation permit.

The government also suspended excavations by the British Museum and Germany's Freiburg University, which had been digging under Ozgan's permit and leadership.

The dispute began when one of a series of columns that Ozgan's team had restored and raised collapsed during a storm in January 2007.

The government immediately suspended digging and began an investigation that eventually accused Ozgan of faulty restoration, failing to hand over artifacts to a local museum and keeping them at a depot at Knidos. It revoked his permit on April 28.

Two reports by independent experts say the column, which was broken in three when it collapsed, can be repaired, and disputed government allegations of negligence.

One of the reports said Ozgan's team could not have been aware of an internal crack in the base of the column because the fissure was covered in calcite. The administrative court ruling could take months.

"I can't describe my happiness when we raised those columns, it was like having a new baby," said Ozgan of the 2006 restoration of the stoa, or row of shops, to which the column belonged. "And I can't describe my grief when that column fell."

Both the British Museum and Freiburg University, which were not involved in the restoration of the column, expressed disappointment at the government decision but said they hoped to resume work at Knidos, at the southwestern corner of Turkey.

"We are of course disappointed with the decision to suspend the excavation but we hope for a way forward," said British Museum spokeswoman Hannah Boulton.

Excavations since the 19th century have unearthed important temples, statues and other artifacts.

Knidos' crowning glory was a statue of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, by Athenian sculptor Piraxitelles - which attracted admirers from across the Mediterranean basin.

But experts say less than 10 percent of the city has been excavated. Archaeologists hold out a slim hope that they will unearth the legendary sculpture of Aphrodite, whose creator was feted for his ability to turn marble into "living flesh."

Archaeologists are also searching for clues about life and trade in the ancient city. They hope to find evidence of a visit by Julius Caesar, and confirm a theory that it was then that the city's heavy Roman tax burden was lifted.

"It would be a great historical advantage to study the infrastructure of such an important city, to know more about the sanctuaries and the religion, the houses of the rich and of the poor, the administrative center of the city, the agora," said Wolfgang Ehrhardt of Freiburg University's Archaeology Institute.

Experts say famous figures from Knidos include Astronomer Eudoxus, believed to have invented the sun dial; Sostratos, architect of the light house at Alexandria, one of Seven Wonders of the ancient world; and Artemidoros, who warned Caesar of the conspiracy to murder him as he entered the Roman Senate.

The British Museum's project is aimed at finding out more about artifacts from Knidos that entered the museum in the 19th century, including a colossal marble lion from a tomb monument and marble statue of Demeter, the goddess of fertility.

The city was inhabited until late antiquity, when it was abandoned, probably as a result of repeated raids by pirates. Arabic inscriptions in some of the temples testify to attacks by Arab raiders who also sacked other coastal cities in Anatolia in the mid-7th century AD.

For last week's precursor ... some earlier, more happy, coverage is also kicking around
From the Cyprus Mail:

CONSTRUCTION workers in Larnaca yesterday uncovered three sarcophagi on site, two of which are said to be important finds dating from 500BC.

The find happened yesterday morning on Demetri Liopetri Street in Larnaca opposite the Metropolitan Church of Christ and all work was halted while the Antiquities Department was informed.

Department director Pavlos Flourentzos said: “The tomb has yielded three sarcophagi, two of which are very rare, if not unique.”

Flourentzos said one sarcophagus was shaped in the human form of a woman. “It has a very classical Greek influence and is made of marble,” he said.

“This is important because in Cyprus, as you know, there is no marble, so the material with which it is constructed was imported.”

He said where it had been imported from would be determined by further study of the tomb.

“The only similar sarcophagus found in Cyprus was found in Amathus. Therefore this is a very rare sarcophagus.”

Also, yesterday’s find had retained traces of coloured paint, which the Amathus sarcophagus had not.

“The second sarcophagus is also quite rare, and also made of marble,” Flourentzos said, adding that it was richly decorated.

“The third is a typical ancient sarcophagus of the type found in other tombs in Larnaca,” he said.

Excavations will continue at the site over the next few days. “We hope to find the other artefacts that may have been in the tomb,” he added.
From Today's Zaman:

An ancient fountain has been uncovered at the site of the ancient city of Kaunos, in the district of Köyceğiz in the Aegean province of Muğla.

The head of the archaeological work at the Kaunos site, Professor Cengiz Işık, explained that very significant, historically important findings are currently being made by his team.

Işık said recent digs focused on revealing and cleaning the “diazoma,” or walking corridors, that emerge from the vaulted entrance to the east side of the ancient theater in Kaunos have also uncovered new entrances that are linked to the walking corridors by stairways. Işik noted that the next step had been for his team to remove the pile of gravel and stones near the northern vaulted entrance of the theater and that, in doing so, they had discovered a fountain that had been “specially designed for the theater.”

The 25-person archeology team at Kaunos will continue their work there until Oct. 15, Professor Işık said, adding: “We are working to rescue Kaunos from simply being in ‘ruins,’ and to instead turn it into an ancient site ready to receive visitors. Our project includes actual digging, restoration, repairs and experimental archeological work, as well as archeological park projects. The digs going on at Kaunos are attracting the attention of both locals and foreigners. A lot of the visitors coming to Kaunos want more information about precisely what it is we are doing.”

Speaking about plans for the future of the site, Işık also stated that there is a project in the works to hold a small concert at the ancient Kaunos theater. “In this way we will both be able to thank the people who have supported our work, in addition to increasing the available information about Kaunos, turning it into a better-known ancient site.”
From Turkish Press:

Ruins of the Temple of Athena have been found in the popular resort town of Bodrum in western Turkey.

In an interview with the A.A, Profesor Adnan Diler, who leads the archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Pedasa, said, "we found the Temple of Athena, one of the most important works of arts in Anatolia, in Konacik hamlet in Bodrum. The findings we have unearthed so far showed that we finally found ruins of the temple belonged to the civilization of the Leleges around the 6th century B.C."

"We found walls of the temple and an inscription. Our excavations will continue to bring the temple into daylight," Diler added.

Athena, was the shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavour in Greek mythology.
From AFP:

Bulgarian archeologist Georgi Kitov, who became world famous with discoveries of treasure-filled Thracian tombs in Bulgaria, died Sunday at age 65, BTA state news agency reported.

Kitov's most famous discovery is a splendid Thracian sanctuary near the southern village of Starosel. The complex unearthed in 2000 dates back to the 5th century BC and is the largest of its kind in southeastern Europe.

Other key finds include a 0.6-kilogramme (1.3-pound) golden mask of a Thracian ruler and the jewellery-ladden tomb of Thracian king Seuthes III in the so-called Valley of the Thracian Kings, near the town of Shipka in central Bulgaria.

Ancient Thracians were skilled goldsmiths who inhabited lands across southwest Europe from the Carpathian mountains to the Caucasus region, and whose civilisation is still veiled in mystery.

Kitov's TEMP expedition also uncovered in 2001 a fresco-adorned Thracian tomb near the village of Alexandrovo in southern Bulgaria dating back to the 5th century BC.
pridiem idus septembres

ludi Romani (day 8)

490 B.C. -- battle of Marathon (another suggested date)
nugiperous @ Worthless Word for the Day

replete @ Merriam-Webster
From the Hollywood Reporter:

Relativity Media has picked up the rights to Robert Graves' classic Roman Empire-set novel "I, Claudius." Jim Sheridan will write the screenplay with longtime collaborator Nye Heron and direct as well.

Graves' 1934 novel recounts the internecine plots and counterplots surrounding Claudius, the fourth emperor of Rome who ruled from 41-54 A.D. The stuttering and handicapped Claudius, born into a murderous, imperial family, used his cunning mind and rivals' misjudgment to not only survive but eventually become one of Rome's greatest emperors.

Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh will produce alongside Sheridan. Relativity's production president Tucker Tooley will serve as an executive producer.

The novel was adapted into the 1937 film of the same name, directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Charles Laughton. But it is best known as the basis for the 1976 BBC miniseries, "I, Claudius," that starred Derek Jacobi as the stuttering Claudius, Sian Phillips as the scheming Livia and John Hurt as the dissolute Caligula.

The tale of Claudius has intrigued talent and execs for decades, and last year the rights to the book, repped by RWSH and AP Watt, were won in a heated bidding war by Scott Rudin, with Leonardo DiCaprio and writer William Monahan attached. That deal ultimately fell through.

CAA-repped Sheridan, known for dramas such as "In America" and "My Left Foot," worked with Relativity on his latest movie, the upcoming "Brothers" starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire and Natalie Portman.

Finally! I've been wondering forever why it only seemed to be U.S Museums (and the BM) who were being pressured to 'repatriate' ... from the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Hungary has offered to return a collection of antiquities on display in a leading Budapest museum that were illegally exported from Greece, the Hungarian foreign minister said Thursday.

Kinga Goncz said Greek and Hungarian experts would meet to study the 22 pieces and discuss which would be repatriated.

"We are ready to return these artifacts," she said.

The Hungarian offer comes as Athens has stepped up its campaign to reclaim looted antiquities from museums and private collections worldwide.

Goncz said the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest bought the pieces several years ago from a private owner.

"It turned out in the last few months that some of them are for sure from excavations, from Greece, and ... were illegally brought to Hungary," she said, without elaborating.

Goncz was speaking after talks in Athens with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said the Hungarian government's decision to launch talks on the artifacts return set "an example for the international community."

"The return of antiquities ... tops the culture ministry's agenda," Liapis said.

Last week, a broken marble sculpture and a bronze vase dating to the 4th century B.C. were repatriated from the U.S. following a deal between the Greek government and collector Shelby White. Greece was able to prove that the pieces were illegally exported from the country, but conceded that White, a New York philanthropist, bought them "in good faith" and would face no legal action.

Other recently returned works include sculptures and a gold wreath from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Later this month, Athens will host an exhibition of looted antiquities recently returned to Greece and Italy, which has also mounted an aggressive bid to reclaim stolen artifacts.

The works will be shown at the landmark new Acropolis Museum, where Greek officials hope one day to display the Elgin Marbles - a collection of 2,500 year old sculptures from the ancient Parthenon temple that are now in the British Museum.

The London museum has repeatedly refused to hand back the marble pieces, which were removed from the Parthenon 200 years ago by Scottish diplomat Lord Elgin.
From AP via Yahoo:

Archaeologists in Greece have unearthed more than 1,400 ancient graves and tombs during excavation work for a new metro in the northern city of Salonika, the culture ministry said on Thursday.

The graves and tombs spanned an 800-year period from the fourth century BC to Roman times in the fourth century AD.

The finds range from humble pits and altar tombs of stone to marble sarcophagi, the ministry said.

One in five burial sites were found to contain offerings including Roman-era gold coins from Persia, jewellery made of gold, silver and copper, clay vessels and glass perfume-holders.

Founded in the fourth century BC by King Cassander of Macedon, Salonika was a major metropolis through Hellenistic and Roman times and possesses a rich archaeological heritage, some still undiscovered.

As in the case the Athens Metro a decade ago, ongoing work on the Salonika underground has already brought other archaeological treasures to light.

In June, archaeologists found four gold wreaths and a pair of gold earrings in the grave of a woman who lived in the city over 2,000 years ago.

The metro also runs beneath the city's historic Jewish cemetery, which was one of the largest in Europe and is believed to hold more than 300,000 graves.

The 9.6-kilometre (six-mile) network is expected to be completed in 2012.
An amazing item from National Geographic's coverage of those recent finds at Pella:

... not sure I've ever seen that style of helmet from Macedonian sources before ...
Interesting exhibition review from the International Herald Tribune:

For the ancient Romans the word "otium" - the implications of which ranged from "a pause," through "ease" and "leisure" to "inactivity" and "sheer indolence" - was fraught with ambiguity. Its opposite, "negotium" (non-otium), denoted activity, involvement in public affairs and administration, and generally the doing of business, from which our word "negotiate" derives.

How the pursuit of "otium" became a way of life for the leisured Roman classes and gave birth to the classic Roman villa is the rewarding subject of "Otium: The Art of Living in the Roman House of the Imperial Age" in Ravenna, where the doors are thrown open to the Roman private house. The venue is the Complesso di San Nicolo, the great hall of whose former church is spacious enough to accommodate large sections of ancient mosaic, as well as detached frescoes, statuary, furnishings, fittings and other household objects, well over 100 of them in all. (The show continues until Oct. 5.)

The Romans were convinced that the previous rulers of much of the peninsula, the Etruscans, had been brought down by their increasing idleness and hedonistic self-indulgence. The old Roman virtues were puritanical, emphasizing simplicity, self-denial and hard work. During the Republican era, it was a prime duty of all free-born males of reasonable means to interest themselves in politics and administration, which involved spending a large part of their time in the capital and other urban centers.

The fall of the Republic and the institution of an imperial dictatorship by Augustus put the Roman ruling classes into a state of crisis. Deprived of their traditional role, what were they to do with their time? And where, given their almost constant presence in town was no longer required, were they to spend it? Otium had been thrust upon them. Moreover, the fruits of imperial expansion in the late Republic and early Empire had made them wealthier than ever.

One result was an explosion of private home building. And, as the exhibition demonstrates, the form this domestic architecture took was influenced both by exposure to Greek culture and the demands of a changing Roman society.

Greece had by then been absorbed into the Roman Empire and upper-class Romans were profoundly affected by this. "Captive Greece held captive her uncouth conqueror," as the poet Horace put it. With leisure hours to fill, cultivating one's sensibility and indulging in philosophical speculation, activities that traditionalists saw as all very well for the Greeks but not suitable for Romans, became respectable, even desirable pursuits. Indeed, the creation of an environment in which this new Greek-style otium could be practiced was a cornerstone of villa architecture.

The first section of the exhibition is appropriately lined with statues and reliefs of Greek philosophers and images of scholarly activity - more than likely in Greek, the study of the Greek language, literature and philosophy becoming a prime example of leisure time well spent and not frittered away in mere idleness.

Traditionally, urban Romans did not think much of the countryside. Like Karl Marx, they tended to write it off as the realm of "rustic imbecility." Aristocratic Romans owned vast estates worked by slave labor, which they might visit to inspect, but they would never have conceived of taking up residence there. Now the countryside was the perfect location, far from the distractions and hubbub of the town to spend leisure hours amid fresh air and tranquility cultivating the liberal arts. (Horace even made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion that it had become rather vulgar to live in town.) And, after long years of civil strife, the new security ushered in by the pax Augusta made it possible to live safely in rural areas.

The ideal house ("domus") became the country house, or villa. But sophisticated Romans continued to look down on their country cousins. Pliny the Younger, that arbiter of correct country style, with his seaside weekend villa near Rome and an even grander one "in Tuscany" (the site is now in Umbria), relates in a letter how the rustic complainings of his tenant farmers in Tuscany "hasten me back to my literary and more urbane studies."

From the same villa, in another letter, he also defines in a nutshell the later notion of the "picturesque," when he says the view from it "seems to be a painted scene of unusual beauty rather than a real landscape."

Painted landscapes on the walls of villas, notwithstanding the natural ones that surrounded them, became the sine qua non of the well-appointed villa, as did mosaic floors, both illustrated with characteristic examples in the exhibition. So, too, did heated baths and swimming pools, however small.

Colonnaded courtyards, or peristyles, were absolutely de rigueur. These features were inspired by Greek public and institutional architecture - such as the famous gymnasiums and academies as well as the temple - rather than Greek domestic buildings. Roman houses differed radically from Hellenistic ones in that there were no women's quarters, where female members of the household were secluded and kept from view - a positively "oriental" practice to the Roman mind. Hosts and guests of both sexes mixed freely and shared the same table.

Urban men and, there is evidence to suggest, especially women were reluctant to spend time in the country without the amenities and creature comforts of the town. Women clearly had a significant say in the choosing of décor, fixtures and fittings, such as the utensils, tableware and lamps on show here. Despite the Augustan rhetoric of returning to the virtues a bygone age, women won new freedoms on a number of fronts during this period. We know, too, from scores of houses in and around Pompeii that women also partook of the opportunities of otium to develop their musical, literary and intellectual talents.

A section given to "Games for All Ages" opens a window into the world of children and more lighthearted pastimes. Roman children seem to have had as much unrestricted use of every part of the house and gardens as the women of the household. Their adoring parents sometimes gave them expensive toys. The star turn here is Crepereia Tryphaena's beautiful ivory doll from the Capitoline Museum in Rome with articulated limbs and minutely carved coiffeur, the image of the Empress Faustina's fashionable hairdo. This Roman Barbie also had multiple accessories, including little combs, a key, jewelry and an exquisite box, possibly for her makeup. Simple amusements included various games involving throwing knucklebones and dice, to which Romans remained addicted, also for the purposes of divination and gambling, into adulthood.

The literary and archaeological evidence brought together here reminds us that the Roman villa, less spectacular than the mighty aqueducts, bridges and monumental buildings, was nonetheless one of the great achievements of Roman civilization. A combination of Greek thought and public architecture and Roman planning and engineering, the villa was as agreeable and practical a living space as any constructed in human history.

There's a website for the exhibition which has a pile of photos (click "Press" then "Immagini") ... here's one which we can add to the 'Elvis from Antiquity' collection:


IHT also has a nice little slideshow of its own ...
ante diem iii idus septembres

ludi Romani (day 7)
evanescent @

fedifraction @ Worthless Word for the Day

Roman Nose @ Wordsmith (a trait of the rogueclassicist's forebears ... usually rendered as 'roamin' all over their face')

arcanum @ Merriam-Webster
The incipit of a piece from Stuff:

Common thieves with an interest in the ancient works of Homer, Virgil and Juvenal are rare, so Freyberg High School staff were surprised to see classical studies books among the items stolen in a recent series of burglaries.

Associate Principal Peter Brooks said there had been four burglaries at the school in the past two weeks.

"It's very frustrating," Mr Brooks said.

"Goodness knows what they want those [classical studies books] for."

A television, video player and the classics books were stolen on August 30 or 31.
From the Plain Dealer:

Contrary to a recent public statement by the former Italian minister of culture, Francesco Rutelli, Italy still hasn't reached an agreement with the Cleveland Museum of Art over repatriation of allegedly looted antiquities in the museum's collection.

So says the Italian Ministry of Culture, in a statement released Tuesday. The statement quotes Sandro Bondi, who followed Rutelli as head of the ministry, as saying that "no agreement has yet been concluded between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Ministry of Culture."

Rutelli, Bondi's predecessor and now a member of the Italian Senate, told the Rome daily Il Messaggero last week that "the agreement with Cleveland has been concluded, I gave the documents to my successor, certainly now it needs to be carried out."

In response, the museum released a statement Friday saying that no agreement with Italy has been reached.

The museum also said that no timetable has been set, and that the talks with Italy continue with "a spirit of cooperation and confidentiality."

The culture ministry, meanwhile, said that it has committed itself to dialogue with the Cleveland museum in "a spirit of collaboration, with the confidentiality required in such circumstances." To read the statement, click here.

At issue is the fate of an unspecified number of antiquities that may have been illegally excavated and exported from Italy and purchased innocently by the museum. Italy has pressed such claims successfully against other American museums, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Rutelli made his claim about the deal with Cleveland during a telephone interview with Il Messaggero last week, after visiting the Getty. He made similar statements in May, when Bondi replaced him. At the time, the Cleveland museum and the lawyer for the culture ministry both said that Rutelli's statements were wrong.

Commenting on the latest kerfuffle, New York writer Lee Rosenbaum, aka CultureGrrl, chided the "Great Repatriator," as she calls Rutelli, in her blog.

The Il Messaggero article seems to be here (I can't find it at IM's site for some reason) ... for Lee Rosenbaum's comments, ecce ...
From GMA News:

New excavations at an ancient cemetery in northern Greece have yielded gold jewelry, copper and iron weapons and pottery.

Archaeologists digging in part of a vast burial ground near Pella, the ancient Macedonians' capital, have unearthed 43 new graves dating from 650-279 B.C., the Greek Culture Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

The dead included 20 warriors who had been buried in the Archaic period, between 580-480 B.C., with copper helmets and iron swords, daggers and spearheads. Ornaments of gold foil — specially made for funerals — covered their mouths, eyes and chests, the statement said.

A total of 915 graves have been excavated over the past eight years at the site of Arhontiko, about 530 kilometers (330 miles) northwest of Athens. Archaeologists estimate this represents just five percent of the cemetery.

"The settlement (to which the cemetery belonged) flourished in wealth and population mainly during the Archaic period," the ministry statement said. "The funerary use of (the gold ornaments) and the other grave goods points to a strong belief in life after death, and rebirth."

Artifacts from previous digs include gold masks, crowns and diadems, as well as quantities of local and imported pottery.

Arhontiko was first settled around 6000 B.C. and abandoned in the 14th century A.D.
From the BBC:

A team of archaeologists in Leicestershire has uncovered several ancient bodies at the site of a new park-and-ride development.

Excavations are continuing in Enderby after the discovery of what is thought to be a small Roman rural cemetery.

The skeletons were found close to the former Fosse Way Roman road.

Archaeologists have also found bodies from the Iron Age at the same site, a silver Roman coin as well as items from the medieval period.

'Intriguing' discovery

The work was commissioned by Leicestershire County Council and carried out by University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS).

Ernie White of Leicestershire County Council said: "This is a significant discovery. Individual burials are more usually encountered but rural cemeteries from the Roman period are not a common find.

"The findings are also intriguing as the presence of a cemetery also suggests the nearby location of an as yet unidentified Roman settlement site.

"If these remains had not been excavated as part of this scheme, it is likely that the on-going effects of farming would have led to the finds being lost."

The new £9m park-and-ride facility is due to open in autumn 2009.
From the Press Association:

Cleopatra is to be the focus of a new historical documentary for BBC One this winter, revealing dark and ruthless aspects of the "original femme fatale" and Queen of Egypt.

Known as one of greatest love affairs in history, the one-hour special says Cleopatra and Mark Antony's passion spilled into cold-blooded murder in their bid to hold on to power.

Cleopatra: Portrait Of A Killer is billed as a tale of rivalry, lust, incest, murder and power that destroyed an empire.

It brings to life scenes from the life and loves of Cleopatra - her marriage to Caesar, the murder of her brother Ptolemy and a boat where Mark Antony and Cleopatra draw up a "most wanted" list.

Richard Bradley, executive producer of Lion Television which made the programme, said: "We hope that this story will help the audience see Cleopatra as a real woman wrestling with power, rather than the semi-mythical figure of Liz Taylor and Carry On movies."

Using new and exclusive forensic evidence, the show is based on the discovery of a tomb containing human remains. Archaeologists are convinced that it is the skeleton of one of Cleopatra's victims, murdered by her Roman lover Mark Antony on her orders, the BBC said.

It said more details will be announced about the forensic evidence at a later date.

Mark Bell, BBC commissioning editor, specialist factual, said: "Cleopatra - arguably the most famous woman in history - has been the subject of endless fiction and much speculation.

"This film, based on riveting new archaeological evidence, gives a fresh perspective on the world's original femme fatale.

"It may be ancient history, but it still makes a sensational story today, and I'm delighted to be bringing it to BBC One."

... I wonder what this "riveting new archaeological evidence" might be ... Zahi Hawass hasn't been publicizing it and it's not like him to remain silent on this sort of thing ...
The Department of Classics and the Centre for Ancient Drama and Its Reception (CADRE) cordially invites participants to the following conference:

Arts Centre, University of Nottingham, Saturday December 6 2008


10.30 JENNIFER COATES (ROEHAMPTON) ‘Gender myths and gendered reality: a sociolinguistic overview’

11.15 TONI BADNALL (NOTTINGHAM) ‘Gendered speech in Lesbian love-lyric?’

12.00 EVERT VAN EMDE BOAS (OXFORD) ‘Gender-specific communication and speaker-line attribution in tragedy: two test cases’

12.45 LUNCH

2.00 JUDITH MOSSMAN (NOTTINGHAM) ‘A man’s a man for a’ that: male speech in Euripides, Trojan Women’

2.45 STEPHEN COLVIN (UCL) ‘The koiné: a common language (for men, that is)’

3.30 LUUK HUITINK (OXFORD) ‘Xenophon's gallery of women: speaking women in Xenophon's works’

4.15 TEA

4.30 ALISON SHARROCK (MANCHESTER) ‘Further voices in Ovid's Metamorphoses’

5.15 HELEN LOVATT (NOTTINGHAM) ‘The eloquence of Dido: speech and gender in Virgil's Aeneid’



All are welcome. Cost will be £30 (including coffee, lunch, and tea) plus £20 (£10 for postgraduate students) for dinner. If you wish to attend, please contact Judith Mossman, Department of Classics, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, preferably by email (judith.mossman AT
The Department of Classics at the Florida State University seeks to appoint a tenure-track Assistant Professor specializing in Roman studies, preferably in Republican-Augustan history, culture, or religion; the successful candidate will be asked to teach Roman history and Latin prose authors at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our faculty teach four courses per year, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in both traditional and technology-enhanced environments, and supervise PhD and MA students. Candidates must have completed their PhD by July 1, 2009; the position begins August 10, 2009. Starting salary is competitive. Dossiers (including at least three letters of recommendation) and a writing sample (a published article or at least one approved chapter of a dissertation) should be addressed to Search Committee, Department of Classics, 205 Dodd Hall, The Florida State University, Tallahassee FL 32306-1510. Reviews of dossiers begin November 17 and all materials should be received by December 1st, 2008. Members of the search committee will conduct interviews at the APA/AIA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

For more information about this position, please contact Professor Daniel J. Pullen, chairman of the department (dpullen AT

The Florida State University is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action employer, committed to diversity in hiring, and a Public Records Agency. Additional information about the department may be found at
ante diem iv idus septembres

ludi Romani (day 6)

1738 - Death of Thomas Sheridan (translator of Persius among others)
torrid @

perquisquilian @ Worthless Word for the Day
From Strill (hopefully we'll get something in English on this one):

Che l'antica Roma vive ancora nella nostra società non è solo una frase fatta: la Roma del Grande e Sacro Impero vive anche duemila anni dopo la sua massima potenza e non solo per gli atteggiamenti e la mentalità delle popolazioni Mediterranee che hanno un bagaglio culturale e sociale prettamente latina, ma anche in modo molto più concreto, palpabile, se vogliamo "fisico".
Sì, fisico: la nostra terra è ricchissima di reperti storici dell'epoca Greca tanto quanto di quella Romana, e giorno dopo giorno avvengono nuovi e sempre più importanti ritrovamenti. Proprio nel momento della "scoperta" ci si ricollega virtualmente a quelli che erano i modi di vivere di più di duemila anni fa, immergendosi nel mondo bellicoso e leggendario del passato.

Poche ore fa al largo di Acqualadroni, a Messina, è stata ritrovata un'antichissima nave di epoca Romana con un rostro di oltre due metri, probabilmente risalente al 37 a.C. quando si combattè proprio in quelle acque la feroce e famosa "Battaglia Navale di Messina" in cui Ottaviano fu sconfitto e costretto definitivament ad abbandonare l'idea di conquistare la Sicilia.

Acqualadroni è uno dei tanti villaggi del litorale siciliani all'interno del Comune di Messina, si trova nel basso Tirreno appena fuori dallo Stretto esattamente a metà strada tra Ganzirri e Villafranca. Le frazioni più vicine sono Spartà e Casa Bianca, tutti centri in cui l'attività principale è la pesca.

Acqualadroni si chiama così poichè si trova molto vicino al torrente dei corsari, dove appunto i turchi e i barbari tra sedicesimo e diciassettesimo secolo sbarcarono con l'intento di risalire i Peloritani e saccheggiare Messina.

La ricchezza del villaggio è quella delle bellissime spiagge situate esattamente di fronte alle Isole Eolie che sono ben visibili; d'estate è uno dei luoghi di villeggiatura preferiti dai messinesi e da turisti forestieri.

La scoperta delle scorse ore ha un grandissimo valore archeologico tanto che la Capitaneria di Porto e l'Assessorato alle Politiche del Mare del Comune di Messina hanno espresso ferrea volontà di intensificare le ricerche archeologiche in modo da portare alla scoperta altre eventuali importanti grandi ricchezze del passato che possano diventare risorse per il turismo e testimoniare in modo sempre più realistico la nobile storia di questo territorio.

Ed è proprio sul settore turistico che si concentrano le attività di molti enti, istituzioni e organizzazioni del Messinese.
Non è solo Reggio a voler puntare fortemente sul turismo, ma anche nell'altra sponda dello Stretto si sta muovendo qualcosa in tal verso.

Un gruppo di esperti e di operatori del settore turistico ha dato i natali all'Accademia del Turismo Mediterraneo, un Istituto di ricerca che ha la finalità di promuovere la cooperazione internazionale del Mezzogiorno d'Italia e della Sicilia con tutti gli altri Paesi che si affacciano al Mediterraneo.

Il collante di questo tipo di cooperazione sarà quello dell'interazione delle specificità turistiche, storiche, artistiche, politiche ed economiche delle popolazioni e delle civiltà che nel corso dei secoli si sono sviluppate nel bacino di quello che proprio i Romani chiamavano "Mare Nostrum".

Sergio Calderone, presidente della sede di Messina del CTS, è il coordinatore del progetto e ha già dichiarato di aver avviato i contatti con i dirigenti culturali delle ambasciate in Italia di Spagna, Francia, Tunisia, Malta ed Egitto per iniziare un percorso di incontri che possa concretizzare le idee dell'Accademia del Turismo.

L'intenzione è quella di coinvolgere università, centri di ricerca, istituti di formazione e associazioni operanti sul territorio in modo da realizzare pubblicazioni, iniziative editoriali e convegnistiche in modo da dare grande diffusione ai progetti dell'Accademia.

Il turismo nel Mediterraneo potrbbe quindi così diventare non solo una risorsa economica, ma anche uno strumento per il dialogo tra popoli: la sensazione è che sia proprio questa la direzione che le istituzioni preposte alla programmazione dello sviluppo nel territorio del mezzogiorno debbano perseguire con investimenti dediti ad intraprendere la strada di crescita più in sintonia con le vocazioni naturali del territorio.

The naval battle at Messina was one of the early engagements between Octavian and Sextus Pompeius ... Octavian would taste defeat a couple of times (at Messina and again a year later) until Agrippa turned Octavian's fortunes at Naulochus in September of 36 B.C.. ...
From World Bulletin:

Figures of a loggerhead sea turtle, "Caretta caretta", was for the first time seen on a mosaic in a historical bath belonging to Roman period that has been recently unearthed in Issus ancient city in Erzin town of the southern province of Hatay.

Nizamettin Duran, Culture & Tourism Director of the province, said on Tuesday that there were more than 22 animal and flower figures carved on the mosaic in the bath complex, adding that no Caretta caretta figure had been seen so far in excavations carried out in Hatay.

Duran said there were warm and hot water systems, sauna and pool in the bath complex where they had also found earthenware, coined money and sculpture.

No photo of the mosaic, alas, but there is a nice photo of the excavations including the hypocaust:

I'm not familiar with Erzin ... anyone know what its ancient name was?
From an EC press release type thingy (we did have something on this a month or so ago):

The writings of Ancient Greeks and Romans made us privy to the notion that funeral garments were used to wrap the bodies of the deceased in Ancient Greece, and water, wine and olive oil were used to wash and treat the corpses. But a question remains: were embalming practices used? According to Swiss and Greek researchers, the answer is yes. The discovery of a mummy dating to A.D. 300 indicates the practice of embalming in Greece under Roman rule. The team's finding was recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Led by Dr Frank Rühli from the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Zurich, the researchers said the mummy of the middle-aged woman was found in a lead coffin inside a marble sarcophagus. This sarcophagus was first found in 1962 during an archaeological dig in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. Experts say it dates from the Hellenistic and Byzantine Periods.

In this study, the team showed that a number of oils, spices and resins were used to embalm the body, whose remains are kept at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. Not only did this method help preserve the skeleton, but some soft tissues were also partially preserved, including hair and blood cells, and a hand muscle, as well as a gold-embroidered silk cloth that covered the body.

The multidisciplinary research team used both histological and physico-chemical methods, such as macroscopic and anthropological analyses, including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and electron microscopy tests, to determine what substances were used during the embalming. Myrrh, fats and resins were found. What the researchers could not determine was whether the lead coffin played a key role in the preservation of the remains.

The team said the study, carried out in collaboration with researchers from Demokritus University of Thrace in Greece, helps increase the understanding of how people used tissue-preserving, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidative substances in the mortuary practices of Roman Greece.

Institute of Anatomy research assistant Christina Papageorgopoulou, the person responsible for getting the study off the ground, said: 'Never before has such embalming been shown for this time period in Greece.' Previous data has suggested that only selected people were embalmed in Roman Greece, the research team added.

'This is, thanks to the mummy research at the University of Zurich, another significant increase in knowledge for society, as well as for historical research,' said Dr Rühli, Swiss Mummy Project coordinator. Swiss Mummy is using non-invasive testing methods that have no adverse impact on tissues in order to obtain information about life and death, and after-death alterations of historic mummies.

Studies such as this one have the potential to fuel partnerships between social and natural scientists, the researchers said. 'This transdisciplinary approach is particularly of interest in mummy science,' said Dr Rühli. 'It is a main focus of our own research unit.'
Projet Volterra II: "Law and the End of Empire"

Colloquium 2: Authorities and Subjects and Manuals and Jurisprudence
15-16 September 2008

Location: Room G.09/10, History Department, University College London, 26 Gordon Square*

Monday 15 September
10.45 Coffee and welcome
11.15 Introduction
11.30 Michael Crawford: Law and the cultivated between Romans and Franks.
13.00 lunch
14.00 Gero Dolezalek: Dissemination of glossed manuscripts of the Corpus iuris civilis in the twelfth century.
15.30 Tea
16.00 Simon Corcoran: Observations on some eighth- and ninth-century charters.
17.30 Dario Mantovani: Il Digesto nel medioevo fra realtà e idea: il Corpus gromaticorum; Lorenzo Valla".
18.00 Reception

Tuesday 16 September
10.15 coffee
10.45 Benet Salway: Between east and west: Vat. Reg. 886 revisited.
11.45 Santiago Castellanos: Ut colonis est consuetudo. Where were the 'coloni' in post-Roman Spain?
13.00 lunch
14.00 Wolfgang Kaiser: On the compilation of the Collectio Gaudenziana.
15.30 Tea
16.00 Magnus Ryan: The Carolingians and the Roman Law: A Balance
17:15 close

How to find us:
(see )

*Public entrance to the History department is via stairs at the rear of 25 Gordon Square, most conveniently approached from the Bloomsbury Theatre entrance to the site. Within the History Department, room G.09/10 is situated on the ground floor of 26 Gordon Square.

Transport: nearest underground stations are Euston Square (Circle, Metropolitan, and Hammersmith & City lines) and Euston (Northern and Victoria lines). Euston is also served by local and national rail services. Buses services east-west pass along Euston Road, north along Tottenham Court Road, south along Gower Street (see for details).

This event is free of charge and open to all but for the purposes of catering, please e-mail s.corcoran AT to let us know that you are intending to come.
AFRICAN ATHENA: BLACK ATHENA 20 YEARS ON: A CONFERENCE 6-8 NOVEMBER 2008 UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, UK. African Athena was Bernal's original title for Black Athena, his "infamous" work that has confronted the modern academy with some of the most challenging questions it has faced over the last twenty years. This interdisciplinary conference seeks neither to demonize nor lionize Bernal's book, but to open dialogue on the issues it has posed: can a myth of Afrocentrism ever be a useful narrative in contemporary culture? How do Africanizing and classicizing cultures interface and interpenetrate in the arts and lives of Africans, Europeans, Caribbeans and Americans? Does Black Athena offer new possibilities for comparison between African and Jewish diasporas, cultures and struggles? How do we deal with the difficult collusion of essentialist and poststructuralist discourses in "postcolonial" thought? In order to register your attendance, please visit the conference website at: Keynote Speakers: Martin Bernal, Paul Gilroy, Shelley Haley, Stephen Howe, Partha Mitter, Valentin Mudimbe, Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, Patrice Rankine and Robert J. C. Young. Please forward any inquiries to: Dr. Daniel Orrells, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK. D.Orrells AT
ante diem v idus septembres

ludi Romani (day 5)

490 B.C. -- battle of Marathon (by one reckoning)

3 A.D. -- Gaius Caesar, adoptive son/grandson of the emperor Augustus, is wounded at Artagira

9 A.D. -- Quintilius Varus loses three legions (and his life) in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (a.k.a. the clades Variana)

1st century -- martyrdom of Felix and Constantia

1850 -- birth of Jane Ellen Harrison (author of Themis)
mentimutation @ Worthless Word for the Day

circumlocution @ Merriam-Webster
From Il Resto Del Carlino:

L'Amministrazione di Montegibbio di Sassuolo ha reso noto il rinvenimento di nuovi resti di una villa nella località modenese. Gli scavi archeologici dell'area, affidati alla direzione dalla Soprintendenza regionale, sono stati resi possibili grazie ai finanziamenti dello stesso Comune di Montegibbio.

Sul sito sono emersi ambienti di età romana, nello specifico due corridoi e una stanza, con pavimento decorato in marmo e mosaici e reso impermeabile grazie all'utilizzo di un materiale speciale, detto 'opus signinum'.

All'interno della villa anche preziosi monili di età repubblicana, tra cui una tazza, quasi intera, in ceramica a vernice nera. Le indagini stratigrafiche hanno portato alla luce, infine, tracce di una fase abitativa precedente: un piatto con incisa una K e una fibula 'ad arpa' in bronzo, appartenenti alla metà del I secolo a.C, e alcune schegge in selce riconducibili addirittura all'epoca preistorica.

Opus signinum always reminds me of those 'aggregate' driveways that seem to be in style these days ...
From the Emory Wheel:

Presenting a new take on an ancient story, the Stipe Society unveiled the painting “Plato’s Cave” on Friday at the Creativity & Arts Soiree for Students.

The painting is the work of Emory Alum Kombo Chapfika (‘06C), and is the first of the student and alum artwork planned for the hallway of the north lobby on the main level of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.

While the event’s marquee event was the unveiling, the soiree also brought together creative students at Emory. Dance, theater and film activities were just beyond the painting downstairs. Upstairs, the most active station was the Creative Writing Program’s event. Professors and students shared their work with a consistently full room of observers. Outside, students collaborated to paint graffiti on a wall in the afternoon during the hours leading up to the unveiling. With surrealistic bodies and funky colors, the wall was an exhibit unto itself.

“Plato’s Cave” grabs your attention as soon as you enter the hallway with its bright colors and smooth lines. Chapfika was inspired by “The Myth of the Cave,” in which Plato explores the idea of mistaking what we see around us as absolute. Instead, we must use reasoning to see the whole picture. The story of the cave unfolds with each of the painting’s panels.

The first panel features a colorful head, each part of the face and hair swirling into the next, as though the mind within is starting to turn. The middle panel is more chaotic, with swirling, graceful lines. These lines connect to the last panel like the progression of a thought. The lines arrive at the last panel, to a multi-dimensioned Rubik’s cube-like figure. As in the allegory, the sun manifests itself gradually from panel to panel to a full, ruby red in the end. A pair of severed legs, a torso-less skeleton and a faceless child add an element of disconnection in each segment.

“I threw in a few sort-of abrasive, tongue-in-cheek things,” Chapfika said. “People think it’s a clue but it’s just a visual element.”

The new exhibit space in Schwartz opened last semester. It all started when Meg McDermott (‘08C), manager of the arts group STIPE Society invested their long-accumulated funds to commission a work of art. Leslie Taylor, executive director of the Center for Creativity & Arts, explained that because the CCA did not have a space to display the art, they talked to Schwartz and decided on blank canvas of the north lobby as the perfect location for Chapfika’s commissioned work of art.

As a crowd of about 20 gathered around “Plato’s Cave” for the unveiling, Taylor explained the plans for the hallway that eventually will include a brass plaque and Plexiglas for Chapfika’s painting. That and the recently installed track lighting will give the hallway more of a gallery feel, and counteract the effect of the vending machines and lockers across the hall.

Self-deprecatingly, Chapfika explained the process as well as his feelings about the result.

“I like it much more than I did when I last saw it a week ago,” Chapfika said. “It’s not van Gogh, but it’s good, and that’s good enough for me.”

With compliments coming at him left and right after the unveiling, Chapfika explained that while all of this felt good, the biggest emotion he felt was not pride or satisfaction.

“I’m more relieved than anything else,” Chapfika said. “Over four months, I can have a plan. It wasn’t strictly trying to stay on topic but enjoy to myself.”
College sophomore Emily Li said, “It’s very different from what I’m used to. It’s abstract, but it’s a good abstract.”

Dance professor Lori Teague said she was excited about the piece, as well as its location.

“I live in this building, and I want more contemporary art to be in this space — the most central hallway,” Teague said. “I do see all of the art departments in the painting. The legs are what I’m connecting to in it. It’s powerful. I’m just so glad it lives here.”
Passing ClassCon in this item from the Bangkok Post:

An archaeologist has discovered the remains of an ancient 19-metre-long ''reclining Buddha'' in the central Afghanistan town Bamiyan, a government official said yesterday. A team led by Afghan archaeologist Zameryalai Tarzi had been searching for a fabled reclining statue measuring 300 metres when they made the discovery, information and culture ministry adviser Mohammad Zia Afshar said.

''The team found a 19-metre-long reclining Buddha statue and 89 other relics. Among them were three coins from Greek, Bactrian and Islamic eras,'' he said.

A book written by a Chinese pilgrim who visited Afghanistan centuries ago suggested there existed a 300-metre-long Buddha in a sleeping posture in Bamiyan, once a Buddhism centre.

Archaeologists renewed their search for it after the collapse of the Taliban regime in late 2001, which bombed and destroyed two giant standing Buddha statues that were believed to be around 1,600 years old.

''The team excavated areas southeast of the 35-metre-tall destroyed Buddha and discovered the neck and right shoulder of a sleeping Buddha statue,'' said Mr Afshar. He did not say when the discovery was made.
A nice reminiscence of a teacher from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

The rigors of following the "academic" track at Tarentum High School in the 1960s always included two years in Miss Toepfer's Latin Class. Miss Toepfer loved her subject -- indeed, had studied in Rome -- and proved it by offering Latin Club in addition to the regular course work.

At the time, I thought: We're trying to be cool teenagers, and here we are voluntarily joining Latin Club. Are we nuts? Nonetheless, we signed up and were enriched in ways that are still in our memories today.

A particular joy of the club was learning to sing in Latin. To this day, "Ab Alles Montezuma" ("From the halls of Montezuma ...") runs through my head, and I can sing it to the end, though I've probably changed some words and syllables here and there without even realizing it.

Another song was "Gaudeamus Igitur Juvenes Dum Sumus." Again, I can sing it to the end -- with no memory of the lyrics' meaning. (I was compelled however, to refresh my memory: The song, popular in European graduation ceremonies and festivities, means "Let Us Rejoice Therefore, While We Are Young.")

One student in our class, Jack Woods (now deceased), struggled and struggled with Latin. His recitations were agonizing, for all of us, and some days he would blow up in frustration. In that era, students pretty much behaved themselves; even so, sharp words were occasionally exchanged between Jack and Miss Toepfer. When it came time to sign up for Latin II, Jack knew how things stood and declined to accept more torture.

Jack was an expert with the trumpet. We loved to hear him play. One spring afternoon we were sitting in Latin II class on the second floor, the windows of Tarentum High wide open. Miss Toepfer was standing at the front of the room, making some fine point of Latin clear to us.

Suddenly there was a sound from outside. The clear, perfect notes of "Gaudeamus Igitur" played on a trumpet came wafting into the classroom. Jack was standing on the sidewalk below, playing this song he had learned to sing in Latin Club for Miss Toepfer and for us.

I'll never forget her transfixed look, as though some truly magical thing was occurring, and it was happening for her. We listened with rapt attention to the end and then broke into wild applause.

We had tears of laughter in our eyes at the fun of it. But Miss Toepfer had tears of joy at the pleasure and honor of it.
ante diem vi idus septembres

ludi Romani (day 4)

ca 15 B.C. -- traditional date of the birth of Mary, mother of Jesus
cosmopolite @

mundicidious @ Worthless Word for the Day

usurp @ Merriam-Webster
There seem to be quite a few performances of this one available on YouTube/Google Video ... here's another one that was just posted which includes some nice visuals and 'closed captioning':

From the Warren Reporter (I think):

Students at Saints Philip and James School geared up for the new school year by studying the classic language of Latin. Instead of enjoying the last hot and hazy days of summer right before the official start of school, students entered the classroom to participate in a three-hour Latin class.

"As Catholic educators, it is our mission to help each child reach his or her greatest potential both spiritually and academically. Offering Latin introduces our children to the connectivity of the romance languages," said Principal Judy Francisco. "Hopefully this will inspire them to continue the study of foreign languages. Also, as they study the history of the Church, it will be exciting for them to recognize the Latin parts of the Mass."

With only one week left of summer vacation, students opted to attend the class to jump-start the learning process. During the class, students were introduced to Latin spelling, vocabulary, and explored the similarities between English and Latin.

They also practiced numbers and played math games, all while speaking Latin.
"Latin helps students to increase their English vocabulary and develop grammar skills necessary for conversation and creative writing skills. The language mechanics learned through Latin enable students to pick up foreign languages easily, as Latin is the basis for 5 foreign languages - French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish," said their teacher, Donna Butler, the Latin teacher at Gill St. Bernard's School in Gladstone, and former Latin and Spanish teacher at All Saints Regional School (now Saints Philip and James School). Butler returned to her roots to teach the introductory three-hour class.
Besides the traditional Latin grammar and vocabulary lessons, students were also treated to stories of the Roman Empire and ancient Roman civilization.
"The culture of the Romans is exciting and interesting. Much of the architecture in the United States, and even our form of government, derives directly from the Roman Empire", said Butler. "Latin has become increasingly popular due to the increased emphasis on grammar study in the U.S. I applaud Saints Philip and James School for their genuine interest in increasing the academic abilities of their students."
Saints Philip and James School is a Catholic private co-educational school for students grades pre-K through 8. For more information about the school, call (908) 859-1244.
From the Rugby Observer:

THE development of a massive new housing suburb on the Rugby Radio Station mast site could hold the key to solving a two millennium old mystery that changed the face of Britain forever.

It it believed the land - earmarked for 6,500 new homes - could be the location of queen Boudicca's last battle, where her Iceni tribe fell to their final defeat against the invading forces of the Roman empire.

Although the exact location of her death - circa AD 60 - has never been officially identified, there is a consensus among historians that it was somewhere along what is now the A5 in the West Midlands.

And descriptions of the battle's location make the mast site a good fit, according to Coun Leigh Hunt who is leading the calls to preserve its historical significance.

The land is not thought to have ever been subject to an archaeological dig, but one could finally happen as any planning agreement with developers would be likely to include a condition that at least a partial excavation is carried out before construction work starts.

While underground copper cabling is likely to have destroyed any remains underneath the masts, there are other areas which could be dug up to help shed new light on the Boudicca's ill-fated attempt to defeat Britain's Roman invaders.

"There are no plans to develop north of Clifton brook so there would be the opportunity for further research there," said Coun Hunt.

"Rugby could have a major national tourist attraction. We are talking about the death of the original Britons."

Coun Hunt is calling for developers to include a heritage centre on the site when it is eventually built on. It is hoped that any planning agreement between the council and landowners BT would include a condition to
provide such a centre to help preserve the land's significance both as a vital communications site and a potential ancient battleground.
And Call It Peace: New Perspectives on Ancient Wars

Graduate Student Conference

Ph.D. Program in Classics

The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

365 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Saturday, April 25, 2009

At Agricola 30, Tacitus has Calgacus, a Caledonian tribal leader, say of the
Romans "Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi
solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant." Modern experience often prompts new
ways of reading the ancient. For example, the Cold War lent added poignancy
to Calgacus' nearly Orwellian sentiments; in the 1970s, the Vietnam war
fueled a debate in Virgilian studies on the political meanings of the
Aeneid; and in recent years, Victor Hanson and Donald Kagan, among others,
have written about the contemporary implications of ancient warfare.

For this conference, we seek papers on war and its effects in the ancient
world. Papers may address military and imperial policy as well as actual
military conflict, and may consider civil war, national wars, the impact of
war on the home front, and war as a metaphor for other phenomena such as
love or self-mastery. Moreover, we seek papers that consider both material
and literary culture and that draw on sources from history, philosophy,
poetry (epic, lyric, dramatic, satiric), prose (history, oratory,
philosophy), art (painting, sculpture, coins, jewelry), architecture and
archaeology. Papers may focus on any part of the ancient Mediterranean world
in any period of antiquity.

Graduate students interested in presenting a paper should submit an abstract
of 300 words or less to callitpeace AT On your abstract include your
name, institution, city and state (country if not USA), email and phone
number. Email your abstract as a Word file by November 30, 2008.
Notifications will be sent in January. Cosponsored by The PhD Program in
Classics, the Classical and Ancient Near East Studies Group and the Doctoral
Students' Council. Other Cosponsors pending.

From the Crewe Guardian:

MORE than 40 people gathered in the field behind St Peter’s Church in Minshull Vernon to take part in a community archaeological dig.

They unearthed a cross-section of the surface of a Roman road running from Whitchurch to Middlewich.

It turned out to be in fine condition, probably because this particular stretch had not been ploughed in modern times.

And the surface was so well preserved that it seems to have been accumulating water in the soil above it.

The would-be archaeologists, under expert guidance, found the cobbled road surface about 25cms below the surface.

The stones had probably been brought from a nearby stream or river.

The life and times of the Romans were brought to life by a Roman soldier who made a dramatic appearance.

He was able to explain why the road had been built and how important it was not just for transporting salt and other materials but also for maintaining Roman rule and civilization.

A piece of red earthenware also found in the dig is thought to be Roman and finds from other parts of Cheshire were on display in the hall.

Details of the finds are being reported to Chester Archaeology.

Reverend Philip Goggin said: “We were delighted to receive the whole-hearted participation of so many young people and adults.

“We believe everyone went away with a refreshed sense of history and tradition, and a greater sense of community.

“Many thanks to all who contributed to the success of the day.”
From Turkish Daily News:

The 2,600-year-old Knidos Antique City near Datça has been recently occupying the headlines not for the new findings, but for the claims about the head of excavation team, Prof. Ramazan Özgan from Selçuk University.

The remains were discovered by James Caulfield from Britain in 1749 and first excavated in 1857 by another British archaeologists Sir Charles Newton. Sostratus, the famous architect of Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, one of the seven wonders of ancient world, was from Knidos. Mathematician and astronomer Eudoksus, the inventor of the first"sun clock� has also lived in Knidos. But Knidos, the important trade and harbour city, gained its real reputation with the Aphrodite cult and her sculpture, which is lost today. However, most of the precious remains were taken to the British Museum by Newton in 1857.

For many years, Knidos has been excavated by British and American archaeologists, who took most of the findings" monuments and even the marble coverage in the streets" away to their countries. As a result, the site exhibited a poor view although it was known as one of the most significant settlements in the ancient times. In 1988, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism decided to deliver the authorization of the excavations to a Turkish archaeologist, Prof. Ramazan Özgan of the Selçuk University. After 20 years of working in Knidos, recently Prof. Özgan has been facing a serious claim by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He has been accused of demolishing the remains beyond repair and not delivering the findings to the ministry.

The ministry has appointed inspectors to investigate the claims after the report of Dr. Neşe Kırdemir, director of Marmaris Museum. Dr. Kırdemir had reported to the upper level officials Prof. Özgan's irregular records of the findings, adding that he did not deliver any pieces to the Marmaris Museum in 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1999. After the reports of the inspectors, the file about it has been decided to take the findings to court. The file accuses Prof. Özgan for demolishing the monuments and not delivering the findings to the ministry. Rejecting all the claims, Prof. Özgan has anti-claims against Dr. Kırdemir. He said he has admitted 600 pieces from Knidos excavation and all those have been registered. He said he thought Dr. Neşe Kırdemir behaved unlawful by opening the lock of the excavation depot on her own to count the findings.

After cancelling the permission of Prof. Ramazan Özgan to excavate, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has authorized Dr. Neşe Kırdemir to carry on the works in the famous, but fortuneless site.
We've mentioned this project at Princeton in the past week or so ... here's a nice followuppish sort of thing from the Philly Inquirer:

A mighty volcanic eruption smothered the Mediterranean island of Thera in the 17th century B.C., preserving a storied trove of cultural and artistic relics from the late Bronze Age.

When it was excavated in modern times, however, much of the trove was like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Greek archaeologists have labored for decades to reconstruct striking frescoes from pieces that still boast their original creamy whites and deep reds.

Now, scientists from Princeton University have introduced them to tools that are expected to speed up the process considerably: a laser scanner to capture three-dimensional images of the precious fresco fragments, and a computer program that figures how they fit together.

Digital imaging has been used in a few other instances to decode the ancient past. What's different is that the Princeton system was designed with off-the-shelf technology for use by non-computer experts - the archaeologists, who had been doing the reassembly entirely by hand.

"I think this will greatly help our work," says Andreas Vlachopoulos, one of the Greek researchers. "We do not have the painter to ask what he or she has painted 3,500 years ago."

In collaboration with Vlachopoulos and colleague Christos Doumas, the Princeton team reported successful initial results last month at an international computer graphics conference in Los Angeles.

The software sifted through hundreds of random fragments from the island, commonly called Santorini. It correctly identified 10 out of 12 known matches and two additional "new" ones that had eluded the Greek researchers.

The computer also made short work of a fake fresco that the Greek scholars made - and broke - in order to test the system. The software correctly found more than two-thirds of the 253 possible matches.

That's not nearly perfect, but then neither are the archaeologists who perform the same task by eyeballing fragments spread out on a table.

Tim Weyrich, a project leader who recently left Princeton to teach at University College London, says the goal is merely to supplement the human expertise.

"This is such a delicate, complex task," Weyrich says. "We are dealing with the world's experts on this. We are not so overconfident that we think we can write a computer program that replaces them."

The effort began with a chance encounter in 2006. Princeton's dean of faculty, David Dobkin, was in Greece for a board meeting of the university's Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund, which supports Greek studies. While there, Dobkin got to visit Akrotiri, one of the archaeological sites on Santorini, and he met Doumas and Vlachopoulos.

Dobkin is also a computer science professor, so he asked the Greek scholars whether computers might be useful in their work.

A collaboration was born. Last year Vlachopoulos came to lecture at Princeton, and the computer scientists made several trips to Santorini, exchanging information and developing their high-tech method.

Dobkin and his fellow Princetonians had no particular expertise in archaeology, but the Pittsburgh native has been driven since childhood to collect and organize things - among them snow globes and U.S. pennies, which are piled high in his university office.

The challenge of piecing together ancient Greek fragments excited him.

"This seemed like an interesting real-world problem that would stretch our techniques," Dobkin says.

So far, it is unclear just how much the software method will accelerate things. In the paper presented at the conference, the authors estimate that the time to reconstruct a complete painted wall might be reduced from years to months.

But certain tasks cannot be rushed. As the fragile fragments are unearthed, for example, they must first be cleaned and stabilized.

And for fragments where the painted decoration can be clearly seen, the computer is sometimes no faster than the human eye, says Weyrich. The advantage comes with the countless pieces that have no distinguishing decorations, just a background of uniform color.

The laser scanner maps the contours of each piece, sampling thousands of data points. The software then compares the points on the edge of one fragment with those from other fragments to see which ones are a match. It can detect edges that seem to have eroded, and factor them in.

The team also has used a regular 2-D flatbed scanner to capture the decorated front of each piece, but for now those images are used only for documentation, not matching. Eventually, the matching software will make use of both scans.

The project is one of many ways that archaeologists have gone high-tech. At the University of Pennsylvania, for example, David Gilman Romano and others have integrated satellite data with other measurements to map the layout of the Roman city of Corinth.

"There are lots of new archaeological methods that are based on scientific procedures that are changing the way archaeology is done," Romano says. "And this is a good thing. This is creating new information."

The excavations at Santorini are invaluable, says Philip Betancourt, a Temple University professor of art history and archaeology who is not involved with the Princeton project. That's because few other sites from that era are so well preserved, having not been covered by volcanic ash.

The big eruption - believed to have occurred in 1630 B.C., though there is some disagreement - was preceded by several earthquakes. That apparently prompted the island's Minoan inhabitants to flee, as no bodies have been found. It had been a thriving settlement, with ties to nearby Crete and possibly Egypt.

The first evidence of the ancient community was uncovered on Santorini in 1860, when workers were quarrying blocks to build the Suez Canal. Scholars began formal excavations in 1967, uncovering multi-story buildings, pottery and the dazzling frescoes - what Betancourt calls one of the most important finds from the 20th century.

The paintings, which cover entire walls and even rooms in the mud-brick houses, depict landscapes, scenes of daily life and wildlife ranging from antelopes to monkeys.

So far, the Princeton computer scientists have done the bulk of the work with their new scanning technique. But they are headed back to the island in two weeks to drop off a laser scanner so the archaeologists can do it themselves.

"We really needed to have a system where somebody who knows nothing about computers . . . can use this and scan thousands of fragments," says lead author Benedict Brown, who recently left Princeton for a post-doctoral position in Belgium.

Though their stock-in-trade is technology, it turns out that even the computer scientists are able to use their eyes.

When the fake fresco was mailed to Princeton, one student who was not involved with the project happened to see the pieces spread out on a table, and decided to try assembling them by hand. He did pretty much the whole thing.

Vlachopoulos was in town then, and when he saw the results, he was surprised.

If the computer science doesn't work out, he told the novice puzzler, you can always get a job with us on Santorini.
Here's rogueclassicism's word-cloud from Wordle ... interesting
nonae septembres

ludi Romani (day 1)

146 B.C. -- dedication of the Temple of Jupiter Stator and associated rites thereafter

c. 180 -- martyrdom of Herculanus

1908 -- birth of Arnaldo Momigliano
bevy @ (maybe)

recision @ Wordsmith
Exhibiting Antiquity Conference
*18th/19th September 2008*
Birkbeck, University of London

What place does the exhibited object have in the reception of classical antiquity?
What is at stake in acquiring such objects, in displaying them, in viewing them,
in the museum and beyond? This two-day international conference (generously
supported by the British Academy) will bring together those working on classical
reception studies and English literature, as well as art historians, museologists,
curators, archaeologists and intellectual historians to discuss the part played by
the display of objects in the reception of the classical world from the eighteenth
century to the present.

Confirmed speakers include: Elizabeth Prettejohn, Kenneth Lapatin, Caroline
Vout, Stefano-Maria Evangelista, Debbie Challis, Michael Hatt, Katherine Harloe,
Alain Schnapp.

***Bookings must be received by Thursday 11th September**

For further details and to make a booking, please see the conference website:

Organisers: Catharine Edwards, Kate Nichols, Luisa Calè
This one's making the rounds of the lists:

VRoma now speaks classical Latin!

If you haven't been to VRoma lately, I encourage you to visit, because the site has been enriched with many new educational tools, such as threaded discussion boards and slide projectors, and now with a Latin interface. Thanks to a grant from the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, all of the system messages, menu items, buttons, etc. (the "voice" of the VRoma MOO) have been translated into classical Latin. More information about this exciting development can be found on the VRoma Home Page <>, including information and photos from the translation workshop and a glossary that explains the underlying principles of the translation (we used words that an educated Roman of the second century CE would have recognized, even if their modern applications would have been incomprehensible). Users have to ask for the Latin (by selecting Language in Preferences), so visitors who do not know Latin can still enjoy a virtual visit to Rome completely in Engl!
ish. Latin students should be able to understand VRoma's Latin voice with the help of the glossary, and it is possible to keep the "tool tips" (explanations that appear when the cursor hovers over a word or phrase) in English or to see them in Latin as well.

Of course all the cultural information in VRoma (site and object descriptions, extra web pages, etc.) is still in English. The Help section of the VRoma website contains illustrated guides that explain all the new features and how to use them. There is a new class of players, called "teachers," who have administrative powers, including the ability to create and manage accounts for their students, build classroom complexes, etc. Any real-world teacher with an existing VRoma account can be upgraded to "teacher" status in VRoma by writing to me at . Celebrate the new school year with a visit to (virtual) Rome, and see Latin playing an exhilarating new role!
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, Irvine, CA. Associate Professor,
beginning Fall quarter 2009. Department of Philosophy, School of
Humanities. AOS: Ancient Philosophy (Greek and Hellenistic). AOC:
Open. 5 courses/year/quarter system: undergraduate and graduate.
Dissertation supervision. Normal committee duties. Salary
competitive. Review of applications will begin on December 1 and will
continue until the position is filled. Send complete dossier to:
Professor Sven Bernecker, Chair, Search Committee, Department of
Philosophy, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-4555. The
University of California, Irvine, is an equal opportunity employer
committed to excellence through diversity and has an Advance Program for
faculty equity and diversity.
pridie nonas septembres

518 B.C. -- birth of Pindar (by one reckoning)

ca 117 -- martyrdom of Hermione

1989 -- death of Sir Ronald Syme (The Roman Revolution)
immolate @

katabatic @ Worthless Word for the Day

ressentiment @ Wordsmith

haptic @ Merriam-Webster (that's a new one to me!)
Sometimes my mind just boggles a bit too much ... look how ANI (via Daily India) packaged the "Cleveland" story which we mentioned yesterday; I include the headline:

Archaeologist uncovers Roman settlement in US

An archaeologist has uncovered the foundations for a Roman settlement on East Cleveland coast in the US.

According to a report in The Northern Echo, the archaeologist in question is Steve Sherlock, who was helped by volunteers from Teesside Archaeological Society, to find a 1,600 year-old site for creating jet jewellery.

Sherlock had earlier uncovered evidence of Anglo-Saxon royalty in a farmer's fields near Loftus last year.

"It's another completely exciting find, even though I didn't expect to find it. I came here to find a Saxon settlement and I'm discovering a very significant Roman site, too," he said.

"To find a significant Roman site at Street House that is contemporary with the Roman signal station at Huntcliff is fantastic. Here at Street House we have found a Roman jet working site that would have made jet jewellery," he added.

Aerial photographs first guided Sherlock's Iron Age research project to the location in 2004, showing evidence of an Iron Age enclosure, then last year, the site revealed 109 Anglo Saxon graves, dating back to the seventh century.

A hoard of brooches, pendants and beads was also uncovered in superb condition and a gold brooch - a bracteate - will go on show in a special display at Redcar's Kirkleatham Museum.

According to Coun Sheelagh Clarke, Redcar and Cleveland Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, "This is another magnificent find that shows what a rich and varied cultural heritage we have in east Cleveland."

An open day on Sunday, September 7, from 10.30am-4pm, including guided tours at the site will clearly show visitors the entrance to the building, a cobbled road leading to the entrance and the stone foundations.

... cool ... then we can go visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ...


The Iranian PressTV makes the same howler ...
I wonder what's lurking behind this item in Today's Zaman:

Excavations on some historical sites are not being carried out properly and the Culture and Tourism Ministry is not even sure if excavations are still continuing on others, the head of the ministry has said.

"If the excavation heads and professors who are not excited about the excavations any longer or are just carrying on their duties in a monotonous manner will let us, we will look for excavation heads who are more excited and enthusiastic to improve the conditions at the excavation sites both physically and scientifically," Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay told the Anatolia news agency.

Noting that he has visited many excavation sites, the minister said he respected excavation leaders who care for their excavations and the antiquities they find like children and who attempt to improve the situation of their sites.

Turkey a favored site

There are currently 134 excavation projects being carried out in Turkey -- 90 by local teams and 44 by foreign teams. More than 100 surface research projects are under way.

In the excavation projects carried out by Turkish teams, the majority of the excavation heads are professors from İstanbul University and Ankara University. Currently most excavation heads are from Ankara University.

Excavation projects in Turkey are also greatly preferred by foreign universities and institutions, with German excavators making up the majority of foreign teams in Turkey. In Aizanoi, Didyma, Troia, Alexandria Troas, Boğazköy, Doliche, Göbeklitepe, Milet, Oymaağaç, Pergamon, Pompeipolis, Priene and Sirkelihöyük excavations are being led by German archaeologists.

Cooperation with local authorities

A new regulation was recently implemented to grant local administrations more room to participate in excavations. So long as excavations are done under the supervision of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, excavation heads maintain their authority and the directives concerning proper site maintenance are applied, local administrations will be able to finance excavations in exchange for shares in future tourist revenues.

Some archeologists have been critical of the new regulation, saying it may lead to the abuse of Turkey's cultural heritage. But Günay defended the regulation, saying: "A municipality comes up and says they can allocate some money to contribute to the excavations. Why shouldn't we cooperate with them? Why shouldn't a local administration, which the state allows to control billions of dollars in resources, share the expense of excavations, restorations and museum construction and take a little from the ticket profits? What we want is to protect our cultural assets." He added that the ministry's capabilities are limited and that more sites can be excavated this way.
From New Scientist:

REMAINS of a long dead house mouse have been found in the wreck of a Bronze Age royal ship. That makes it the earliest rodent stowaway ever recorded, and proof of how house mice spread around the world.

Archaeologist Thomas Cucchi of the University of Durham, UK, identified a fragment of a mouse jaw in sediment from a ship that sank 3500 years ago off the coast of Turkey.

The cargo of ebony, ivory, silver and gold - including a gold scarab with the name of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti - indicates it was a royal vessel. Because the cargo carried artefacts from many cultures, its nationality and route is hotly debated, but the mouse's jaw may provide answers. Cucchi's analysis confirms it belonged to Mus musculus domesticus, the only species known to live in close quarters with humans (Journal of Archaeological Science, vol 35, p 2953). The shape of the molars suggests the mouse came from the northern Levantine coast, as they are similar to those of modern house mice in Syria, near Cyprus.

And, when generations of rodents live aboard ships, they evolve larger body shapes. Yet this mouse was roughly the same shape and size as other small, land-dwelling mice of the time, suggesting it boarded just before the ship set sail.

... which made me wonder: have they found any mouse remains from Pompeii? Or cats? Or animals-that-aren't-dogs?
This one's hitting the newswires in a big way ... from the Telegraph:

Researchers found that people who live in lands conquered by the Roman army have less protection against HIV than those in countries they never reached

They say a gene which helps make people less susceptible to HIV occurs in greater frequency in areas of Europe that the Roman Empire did not stretch to.

The gene lacks certain DNA elements, which means HIV cannot bind to it as easily and is less able to infect cells.

People with the mutation have some resistance to HIV infection and also take longer to develop AIDS, reports New Scientist.

A study of almost 19,000 DNA samples from across Europe showed the gene variant seemed to dwindle in regions conquered by the Romans.

Generally only people in Europe and western Asia carry the gene and it becomes much less frequent as you move south.

More than 15 per cent of people in some areas of northern Europe carry it compared with fewer than four per cent of Greeks.

It is not clear why this is so since the spread of HIV - which began in the early 1980s - is too recent to have influenced the distribution of the variant.

The difference in frequency of the key gene mutation reflects the changing boundary of the Roman Empire between 500 BC and AD 500.

But study leader Dr Eric Faure, of Provence University in France, does not believe the Romans spread the regular version of the gene into their colonies by breeding with indigenous people.

Dr Faure, whose findings are published in Infection, Genetics and Evolution, said: "Gene flow between the two was extremely low."

Instead he believes the Romans introduced a disease to which people carrying the gene variant were particularly susceptible. As the Romans moved north this disease killed off people with the variant gene that now protects against HIV.

... there are, alas, some rather sensational headlines attached to other versions ...
From the Register:

Researchers have harnessed the awesome power of grid computing to answer one of the great mysteries facing mankind: what exactly does an epigonion sound like?

At the risk of stating the obvious, an epigonion is a stringed instrument plucked by the ancient Greeks, and there aren't many around these days. To recreate the sound, a model of the instrument was built up from pictures and archaeological evidence, and this data was fed into ASTRA - Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application - which creates the sound.

Obviously modelling the sound requires a massive amount of computing power - about four hours of processing using both GILDA and EUMEDGRID grid computing infrastructures is needed to produce 30 seconds of music.

Dr La Rocca, co-ordinator of ASTRA, said in a statement: "Previously the amount of computing power needed to recreate ancient music was unobtainable, but the use of high capacity research networks provides us with the ability to turn our research into reality."

Hopefully ASTRA will be able to model other instruments, otherwise one can't help wondering if it might have been quicker to just knock up a real epigonion and have a strum, though that wouldn't have been nearly so much fun.

The resulting sound is depressingly similar to that played at the end of Four Winds Mah Jong, but an mp3 is available to those interested. It's probably safe to say the tune is beyond copyright by now.

... it kind of sounds like one of the tunes in the original Tetris ...
Plenty of versions of this one trickling out ... this one's from the Jerusalem Post:

The remains of the southern wall of Jerusalem that was built by the Hasmonean kings during the time of the Second Temple have been uncovered on Mount Zion, the Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

The 2,100-year-old wall, which was destroyed during the Great Revolt against the Romans that began in 66 CE, is located just outside the present-day walls of the Old City and abuts the Catholic cemetery built in the last century where Righteous Gentile Oskar Schindler is buried.

The sturdy wall, which is believed to have run 6 km. around Jerusalem, was previously exposed by an American archeologist at the end of the 19th century, the state run archeological body said.

The Israeli archeologist who started the ongoing excavation a year-and-a-half ago also uncovered the remains of a city wall from the Byzantine Period (324-640 CE) that was built on top of the Second Temple wall at a time when ancient Jerusalem reached its largest size after its southward expansion.

"In the Second Temple period the city, with the Temple at its center, was a focal point for Jewish pilgrimage from all over the ancient world, and in the Byzantine period it attracted Christian pilgrims who came in the footsteps of the story of the life and death of their messiah," said Yehiel Zelinger, the excavation's director.

He said the builders of the Byzantine wall were unaware of the existence of the earlier structure, yet they placed their wall precisely along the same route due to its advantageous location for the defense of the city.

The Second Temple Period wall, which was built without mortar, was "amazingly" well-preserved today to the height of three meters, more than 2,000 years after it was constructed, Zelinger said.

He voiced the hope that the First Temple wall would be uncovered next.

The excavation was initiated as part of a plan to build a promenade along the southern side of Mount Zion.

The promenade, which is expected to become a major tourist attraction when it is completed in the next few years, will run alongside parts of the newly exposed ancient wall.

The ancient walls were found by cross-referencing the detailed plans and maps of an excavation carried out in the 1890s by the Palestine Exploration Fund under the direction of archeologist Frederick Jones Bliss and his assistant Archibald Dickie with updated maps of the area.

"We knew that the walls were here somewhere but we didn't know exactly where," Zelinger said.

During the dig, the Israeli archeologists also found "souvenirs" left behind by the 19th century excavators: a laborer's shoes, the top of a gas light that was used to illuminate the tunnels, and fragments of Czech beer and wine bottles from 120 years ago.

The site, which will be open the public in the coming years, will be accessible to visitors for a sneak preview late on Thursday afternoon ahead of an archeological conference being held that evening at the nearby City of David.

The dig was carried out with the financial support of the City of David Foundation, which aims to settle Jews throughout east Jerusalem.

"This is one of the most beautiful and complete sections of construction in the Hasmonean building style to be found in Jerusalem," Zelinger said.
From IOL:
Two ancient artifacts illegally removed from Greece decades ago went on display in Athens on Wednesday after a US-based collector was persuaded to repatriate them, the Greek culture ministry said.

The upper part of a marble funerary stele and a bronze krater, or large cup, dated to the 5th and 4th century BCE, were returned by collector Shelby White in August under a deal in which Greece pledged not to legally pursue the matter, it said.

"The culture ministry recognises that the antiquities were acquired by Ms White in good faith, and for this demands will be raised against (her)," a ministry statement said.

But Greece reserves its legal rights over other potential claims regarding items in White's collection, it added.

White and her late husband, New York financier and philanthropist Leon Levy, accumulated one of the finest US collections of Roman and Greek antiquities.

The funerary stele depicting a youth and a warrior was found in the early 1960s in Porto Rafti, a coastal resort east of Athens.

Three decades later, a Greek archaeologist identified its missing upper fragment in the White-Levy collection from a New York Metropolitan Museum exhibit catalogue. The Greek state filed a claim for the item last year.

The two fragments will now be reunited at the local Museum of Vravrona for the first time in decades, the ministry said.

The bronze krater, a vessel in which the ancient Greeks mixed wine and water, was likely looted from a royal tomb in the northern region of Pieria, Greek archaeologists believe.

Both items will be temporarily displayed at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

A country rich in antiquities targeted by looters for nearly 200 years, Greece has lately stepped up efforts to reclaim items illegally exported abroad, many of which are in private collections or major museums.

"The pillage of antiquities has been particularly traumatic for small countries with rich history such as ours," Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said on Wednesday.

"Hence their repatriation is of great importance to the Greek people."
From the News and Star:

The discovery, near the famous Castlerigg Stone Circle, is thought to date back to the first century and has solved a mystery spanning hundreds of years.

Historians always predicted there was a Roman presence in the Keswick area and now the underground remains of an ancient structure the size of eight football pitches has been found.

The site, two miles east of the town, was almost certainly a base for soldiers campaigning north of the Border or resting on their return.

The remarkable chance breakthrough came as a team of volunteers working with the Bassenthwaite Reflections programme were searching for a second stone circle or 14th century castle at the prehistoric Castlerigg site.

Armed with magnetometers instruments which can detect buried walls the team stumbled on a giant enclosure which experts say is probably a missing link in a jigsaw plotting the Roman occupation of Cumbria.

Leading the search, archaeologist Mark Graham said he thought there was little doubt that the 200m by 200m find, with interesting curved corners, was a temporary camp, capable of holding large numbers of troops.

He explained: “It could have been an important part of the first push to ‘Romanise’ the area, perhaps as early as 70AD , a militarisation that extended across the county for 300 years. It possibly serviced campaigns into Scotland and acted as a base for soldiers heading north, or withdrawing.”

English Heritage has been informed and while there are no immediate plans to organise a formal dig, Mr Graham said it would be the only way to accurately date the structure. Further exploration could also reveal important artefacts.

“There is quite literally nothing to see above ground,” he said. “In fact, the land was ploughed until 30 years ago and is now used for hay and grazing. But standing on the site, it’s clear to see why it was chosen.

“In sight of Castlerigg Stone Circle, which was already 3,000 years old at the time of the Roman occupation, the elevated position was strategically well placed for defence. It also has lovely views over Bassenthwaite and to other Roman camps at Troutbeck.”

Mr Graham paid tribute to the unstinting work of volunteers. He said there was still a great deal of work to do in analysing the results and assessing the full implications of the discovery.

Mark Cockbain, of Rakefoot Farm, said his family owned and farmed the land and he was thrilled.

He said: “An aerial photograph by Stuart Holmes revealed a crop mark which I thought might have been the lost manor of Castlerigg. “That’s what the volunteers were looking for, or a possible second stone circle.

“What they’ve found is amazing,” he said.
Not specifically Classics, but this item from ANSA strikes me as an interesting concept:

The central Italian city of Modena will delve into the world of fantasy this month, as it celebrates the third edition of its world-famous Philosophy Festival.

Modena, along with the neighbouring towns of Carpi and Sassuolo, will explore how fantasy feeds the body as well as the mind, with a packed three-day programme of events.

Art, music, science and food will all play a role in the festival, which features over 200 free events between September 19 and 21.

Among the top names slated to attend are philosophers Emanuele Severino and Jean-Luc Nancy, author Vincenzo Cerami and jazz musicians Renato Sellani and Alessandro Lanzoni.

Elio Fiorucci, founder of the world-famous Fiorucci label, will discuss masculine elegance, on the theme of ''appearance and fiction in fashion''. The festival will host its usual array of talks by top thinkers, as well as a series of menus designed by one of Italy's best-known philosophers, Tullio Gregory, playing with concepts of reality and expectations. Transcripts of some of the most important talks will be available in the form of booklets sold at vending machines around the main site. Another development at this year's event is ''travelling with philosophy'', which will see philosophers engage in on-board discussions with train passengers travelling between Modena, Carpi and Sassuolo. The programme divides the events into five main areas: The nature and function of images; Territories of the imagination; Utopia and the Future; Second Life; and Appearance and Fiction.

A different aspect of the festival will be emphasized in each of the three towns involved, the event's director, Michelina Borsari explained. ''Modena will host initiatives linked to questions of image, with 15 shows here alone,'' she said.

''Sassuolo will cater to kids, with an exhibition of work by illustrator Serge Bloch and shows of soap bubbles and kites. Carpi will instead focus on activities linked to the theme of fiction''.

Launched in 2000, the Philosophy Festival has been more successful than anyone imagined possible.

The festival has also been a major cultural shot-in-the-arm for Modena, a city more famous abroad for its balsamic vinegar, tortellini and the nearby Ferrari headquarters.

''Because it's such an original idea, the philosophy festival has become a defining moment for our city,'' said Modena Mayor Giorgio Pighi. ''It's something that everyone feels involved with.''
ante diem iii nonas septembres

36 B.C. -- Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa's fleet defeats that of Sextus Pompeius at Naulochus
glower @ (actually not of Greek/Latin origin, but a word I have only ever seen used in connection with Zeus of the caerulean brow or Classics professors of the bushy one)

dissert @ Wordsmith

appellation @ Merriam-Webster
From the Augusta Chronicle (inter alia):

According to food historians, cheesecake probably originated in 776 B.C. when it was served to athletes at the Olympic games.

... an interweb source fills in the details (such as they are):

If you thought that cheesecake was a recent creation, then you're wrong. The origin of the cake is believed to have originated in ancient Greece. History has the first recorded mention of cheesecake, as being served to the athletes during the first Olympic Games held in 776 BC. The recipe consisted of crushed cheese, wheat flour and one egg. It's not quite the recipe of modern cakes today, but a cheesecake none the less.

... not much development, really, from the first time we noted this claim back in 2003 (scroll down); still haven't found a source for the claim.
From the Press and Journal:

ARCHAEOLOGISTS and volunteers at the Birnie dig site, near Elgin, have uncovered more evidence of the Romans’ presence in Moray.

The team, led by Fraser Hunter, curator at the National Museums of Scotland, is excavating two 2,000-year-old roundhouses.

During the last week, they have uncovered several items, including a small glass ball pin head, a dagger and the remains of a bronze horse harness.

Mr Hunter said the artifacts are further evidence of the high status of Birnie’s former Roman inhabitants, and show that it was one of the most powerful places in Moray during the Iron Age.

He said: “There have been some good items found this year.

“The glass ball pin head is particularly rare, and a very unusual thing to find here.

“This excavation is producing a wealth of information of how the site must have looked back then.

“It is also helping us understand why the Romans came here and why it was so important to them.”

The site came to prominence eight years ago when about 300 silver Roman coins were discovered there.

Archaeologists have since returned to the site every year to search for more treasures.

Mr Hunter’s team will continue to dig at the site for a further two years to finish the excavations.

He is also opening the site for public tours on Sunday, and said that some of the pieces found this year will be displayed at Elgin Museum.
No ... not that Cleveland. From the Northern Echo:

AN archaeologist has uncovered the foundations for a Roman settlement on the picturesque east Cleveland coast.

Steve Sherlock, whose painstaking work in a farmer's fields near Loftus uncovered evidence of Anglo-Saxon royalty last year, has returned to the site - and been able to go even further back in time in the latest dig.

Mr Sherlock, who has been helped by volunteers from Teesside Archaeological Society, was thrilled and surprised by the look-out station, discovered just inches below the surface.

And his painstaking work has resulted in him discovering a 1,600 year-old site for creating jet jewellery.

He said: "It's another completely exciting find - even though I didn't expect to find it. I came here to find a Saxon settlement and I'm discovering a very significant Roman site, too.

"To find a significant Roman site at Street House that is contemporary with the Roman signal station at Huntcliff is fantastic. Here at Street House we have found a Roman jet working site that would have made jet jewellery."

Aerial photographs first guided Mr Sherlock's Iron Age research project to the location in 2004, showing evidence of an Iron Age enclosure, then last year, the site revealed 109 Anglo Saxon graves, dating back to the seventh century.

A hoard of brooches, pendants and beads was also uncovered in superb condition and a gold brooch - a bracteate - will go on show in a special display at Redcar's Kirkleatham Museum this week.

Coun Sheelagh Clarke, Redcar and Cleveland Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism: "This is another magnificent find that shows what a rich and varied cultural heritage we have in east Cleveland."

An open day on Sunday, September 7, from 10.30am-4pm, including guided tours at the site will clearly show visitors the entrance to the building, a cobbled road leading to the entrance and the stone foundations.

The event will also feature a craft session for people to paint a clay replica of the brooch, then have it glazed while they tour the site on a visit, expected to last 20-30 minutes.
From the Times of London:

A rocky islet and a nearby hillside have yielded evidence of one of Greece’s oldest and most enigmatic ritual sites. Imported stones and fragmented marble statuettes show that Dhaskalio and Kavos were “a symbolic central place for the Early Bronze Age” in the Aegean, according to Professor Colin Renfrew.

Kavos is a stony, scrub-covered slope on the Cycladic island of Keros. Forty-five years ago Professor Renfrew, then a PhD student at Cambridge, found extensive looting there, with fragments of marble bowls and the famous Cycladic folded-arm figurines scattered across the surface.

The date of the Dhaskalio Kavos site, based on pottery fragments and since confirmed by radiocarbon, lies in the middle of the third millennium BC, probably around 2800-2300BC — roughly the same age as the Pyramids. Later developments in the Aegean, centred on Crete and the Greek mainland, include the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations represented by sites such as Knossos and perhaps reflected in the world of Homer’s Iliad.

Investigations by Professor Christos Doumas, of the Greek archaeological service, followed by a new project headed by Professor Renfrew and Dr Olga Philaniotou, have shown that the mainland site of Kavos was used for ritual deposition of hundreds of broken marble figurines, none complete and with hardly any joining fragments (The Times, August 21, 2006), as well as fragmentary marble bowls.

Although the island of Keros has long been noted for two complete marble figures in the National Museum in Athens, the raw materials for the marble artefacts at Kavos seem to have originated elsewhere in the Cyclades. The pottery includes fragments of vessels probably made on the islands of Syros and Amorgos, and some may have come from the Greek mainland, from the Argolid and Corinthia in the northeastern Peloponnese.

The artefacts were discovered in two “special deposits” about 150 metres apart on the hillside: the northern had been looted before 1963, but the southern remained undetected until the recent excavations. These were completed this summer. Although everything found in the two special deposits at Kavos was broken, and excavations show that breakages occurred elsewhere — so that what was brought in was already fragmentary — the “missing” pieces have not been encountered on sites elsewhere in the Cyclades.

The Kavos fragments “must have been deposited in the course of ceremonies which were clearly of pan-Cycladic significance. Dhaskalio Kavos can now be regarded as a symbolic central place, the first such regional centre to have been discovered from the Aegean Early Bronze Age,” Professor Renfrew reports. On the Dhaskalio islet, “it is striking that no marble figurines of the standard folded-arm form were found, despite their frequency in the special deposit.”

Buildings uncovered this summer were well constructed, using not local stone but schist and marble imported from the large island of Naxos. On Dhaskalio the remains of a structure about 16 metres (52 ft) long were found, which had been abandoned around 2000BC and which Professor Renfrew notes is “the largest building yet known from the Cycladic Early Bronze Age”. A hoard of three bronze or copper axes found within it has more than a kilogram of valuable metal, but a lack of clay sealings from merchandise suggest that it was not a trading centre.

Another summit building was small and circular, and contained almost 350 beach pebbles. “The context suggests ritual deposition, presumably in the context of religious observance,” said Professor Renfrew. “Clearly there were ritual practices special to the settlement on Dhaskalio.”
From Radio Ukraine (I think):

According to director of the centre of protection and research of the archeological monuments of the department of culture of the Poltava Regional State Administration Oleksandr Suprunenko, the woman was very influential.

The things found next to her prove this, namely a bronze mirror, a dagger and iron scissors as well as a unique silver brooch. Besides, an iron awl was stuck in the woman's head. Sarmatians is a general name of the people that dominated in the Ukrainian steppes after collapse of the Scythian state. According to Herodotus, the Sarmatians originated from Amazonians who married Scythian men.
From ANSA:

Turin's treasure-trove of ancient documents makes it ideally suited as a future world centre for parchment protection, an international conference was told here on Tuesday. The northern Italian city, which is hosting a three-day seminar, has set its sights on becoming the focal point for international developments in the highly specialized world of protecting and restoring parchment. Italy is currently home to more than 60% of the world's historical parchments and three of the country's most prestigious bodies working in this sector are located in Turin: the National University Library, the Historic Archive and the State Archive. These centres safeguard numerous historically significant documents and play a crucial role in protecting and restoring Italy's written heritage.

The Historic Archive is home to a deed founding the Abbey of Novalesa in 726 AD and a Scroll of the Dead dating to around 1125 AD, compiled by a monk from the Abbey of San Giusto near Turin, who travelled Europe collecting prayers to honour his dead abbot. The National University Library has been working for over a century to restore parchments damaged by a fire in 1904, which wiped out a third of the documents stored there. The institute restored 120,000 items between 1904 and 2000 but has stepped up its efforts in recent years, repairing 20,000 parchments and 80,000 paper documents in the last eight years alone. ''The study of parchment is extremely important, and encourages us to rediscover the value of precision,'' commented State Archive Director Marco Carassi, discussing Turin's bid. ''Parchment scribes carried out their work with a perfection that no longer exists in today's world, as shown by recent cases lost in the US owing to data transcription errors - such a thing would have been unthinkable in the past''. Over 140 experts attended the conference in Turin, including archivists, conservationists and restorers from across Europe, the US, Russia and Australia. According to the Latin writer Pliny, the manufacture of parchment, which is made from treated, stretched, scraped and dried animal skins, was perfected in the second century BC during a shortage of papyrus supplies from Egypt.

The Latin word for parchment, ''pergamenum'', took its name from the Ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey that perfected this technique, Pergamon, but people have been writing on dried animal skins since at least the 6th century BC.

Paper, already in use in Spain during the 11th century, largely replaced parchment by the 16th century, helped along by the development of the printing press, which required large quantities of affordable, easily produced materials to print on.
The University of South Carolina announces a joint position at the
rank of assistant professor in Comparative Literature and Classics.
In Comparative Literature, the successful applicant must be able to
teach in the undergraduate Great Books curriculum and a Graduate
course on ancient literary theory. In Classics, he or she must be
prepared to teach beginning language and more advanced courses in
Latin and Greek as well as classical culture courses. Research
specialty: open, except for Golden Age Latin poetry. Please send
letter of application, cv, and three letters of recommendation to
Recruitment Coordinator, Dept. of Languages, Literatures, and
Cultures, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.
Application deadline November 1. The University of South Carolina is
an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Minorities and
women are encouraged to apply. The University of South Carolina does
not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or
decisions for qualified persons on the basis of race, color, religion,
sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or veteran
ante diem iv nonas septembres

31 B.C. -- Octavian defeats Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra at Actium

490 B.C. -- Pheidippides runs to Sparta for help against Persians at Marathon (one traditional date)
comestible @

prorogue @ Wordsmith

precocious @ Merriam-Webster
Woohoo! We've just turned five! In terms of statistics, I don't really trust the Technorati thing down there (which is very irregular at keeping up with rc, despite daily pings) and the Sitemeter and Statcounter buttons seem to have a discrepancy on the order of the tens of thousands. Perhaps Google Analytics is a bit more accurate: in the past month we've had 12, 641 visits from 7,666 visitors. Those visitors came from 107 different countries and spent an average of 1:08 (one minute, eight seconds) on the site -- I used to have an email tagline "Rogueclassicism: it only takes a minute"; I guess that still applies! Interestingly, users of Internet Explorer seem to have taken the lead (49%) over Firefox (39%), which is a definitely different trend than in the past (albeit with a different 'analysis' tool). Also of interest is that only 5% of rogueclassicism readers still use dialup!

In any event, thanks for coming out! I hope rogueclassicism has proven useful to you in the past quinquennium and will continue to be so for years to come!

Oh ... and since it is rc's blogiversary, it must also be NT Gateway's! So let's send our congrats to Mark Goodacre as well!
From the Independent:

One of the prettiest and most historic corners of Rome will soon be sacrificed for a seven-storey underground car park unless Italy's minister of culture orders a dramatic, and costly, change of course.

For the car park’s supporters, it is the way to rid the Tridente, the corner of central Rome defined by the "trident" of streets shooting out from Piazza del Popolo, of the clutter of cars. But its enemies call it "a sacrilegious car park," "a cultural crime", and compare the excavation of the hill in central Rome to the destruction of the Great Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban.

Gianni Alemanno, the new centre-right mayor of Rome, argued against the car park during his election campaign, but work is already under way and if it were cancelled the penalty fees could amount to €40 million. The mayor chairs a meeting of experts on the issue today, but now Culture Minister Sandro Bondi has intervened, saying the hill is a question of national importance and the final word will be his.

It's called the Pincio and towards the end of the Roman Republic Lucullus, the philosopher-general who conquered northern Anatolia and brought cherries to Europe, built a magnificent villa nearby. The property was later grabbed by the libidinous Empress Valeria Messalina, wife of Claudius, who forced its then-owner to commit suicide. Later she herself was assassinated in the villa's gardens, which were transformed into a formal public garden by the 18th century neo-classical architect Valadier.

Pincio remains one of the most beautiful corners of Rome, home to the Villa Medici, where Galileo was imprisoned during his trials, and boasting great views across to St Peter's and beyond. But if plans backed by Mayor Alemanno's predecessor, Walter Veltroni, go ahead, Pincio will became a huge building site as diggers tear the guts out of the hill and replace them with a seven-floor underground car park with spaces for more than 700 vehicles.

The idea is that, after the dust settles, Pincio will look much as it does today. But that view was contested by Giorgio Muratore, a professor of architecture and one of a group of wise men appointed by the mayor of Rome to advise on the project. In an open letter he said, "This project is a monstrosity. That's all there is to it. There are no possible compromises."

One of the most grievous losses, he said, would be that of the panoramic piazza on the hill's flat top, "a large part of which would be redefined merely as the roof" of the car park, with "large ventilator wells, extensive grilles, access stairs and emergency exits". Tourists, instead of "enjoying one of the most enchanting panoramas on the planet," would "walk among air vents fixed on the roof of a gigantic car park".

Environmental groups bitterly oppose the project and Carlo Ripa di Meana, the 79-year-old head of Italia Nostra and former head of Italy's Green party, has threatened to go on hunger strike if it goes ahead.

Opponents were heartened by revelations this week that the hill contains a wealth of ancient Roman remains, "a secret Pompeii," which archaeologists have only begun to explore. Angelo Bottini, special superintendent for Rome's archaeological goods, says, "forty per cent of the area on which the car park is to be built is occupied by archaeological remains”.

Chicco Testa, an environmentalist who backs the car park, says: "We must not be provincial. Anyone who goes around Europe sees that in all the capitals you can find underground car parks in the most central locations: and the pavements are not invaded by cars, as they are here".

But Dr Allan Ceen, an American professor of the history of urban planning who is based in Rome, a campaigner against the car park, pointed out that another enormous undergound car park called the Galoppatoio, a mere 130 metres from the Pincio, is chronically under-used - so much so that part of it has been sold off and is now used as a health centre.

"The Galoppatoio car park is half full - while the streets of the centre are jammed with parked cars - because it costs money to park there," he said. And even if the Pincio car park were to be fully used, he went on, it would not solve the city's parking problem. "When you create a car park in the city centre for 700 cars, you draw 700 more cars into the centre."

But Dr Ceen is pessimistic. "I think it's a foregone conclusion that the car park will go ahead. The idea that this project will allow (the Tridente area) to become a pedestrian area is just an excuse. But the mayor, like his predecessor, will be swayed by the money aspect. They are destroying a very beautiful part of Rome."
FINAL PROGRAMME: Institute for the Study of Slavery conference
Slaves, Cults and Religions, 8-10 September 2008
Rutland Hall, University of Nottingham

Last-minute registration still possible. Registration form at

Monday 8th September
12-2.00pm Registration (Rutland Hall)
VENUE FOR ALL SESSIONS: The Library, Rutland Hall

Session 1
2.00pm Introduction (Dick Geary & Stephen Hodkinson)

2.15-4.00pm Rachel Zelnick-Abramovitz (Tel-Aviv)

Cults of Reversal and Slaves in Ancient Greece

Kirsten Bedigan (Glasgow)
Slaves and secrecy: Slave participation in the mystery cult of the Kabeiroi
Esther Eidinow (Newman)

‘What will happen to me if I leave?’: Ancient Greek Oracles, Slaves and Slave Owners

4.00-4.30pm Tea/Coffee
Session II
4.30-6.15pm Deborah Kamen (Washington)

Manumission, Social Rebirth, and Healing Gods in Ancient Greece

Annalisa Paradiso (Basilicata)

Drimachus, the Kindly Hero
Emily Fairey (CUNY)
Slaves of the Sun: Cult syncretism and ideological unity in Classical slave rebellions

6.15pm Bar open
7.00pm Dinner (bar open afterwards)

Tuesday 9th September
Session III
9.45-10.45am KEYNOTE PAPER
John North (UCL)

Ritual activity in the lives of Roman slaves: opportunities and restraints

10.45-11.15am Coffee/Tea
Session IV
11.15-12.25 Doug Lee (Nottingham)

Religion and the Social Status of Roman Slaves

Niall McKeown (Birmingham)

‘Witchcraft’, slavery and resistance among ancient Roman slaves

12.30pm Bar open

1.00pm Lunch

Session V

2.15-4.00pm Bassir Amiri (Franche-Comté)

The Apollon of Slaves and Freedmen

Karin Neutel (Groningen)

Slaves Included? Participation and Pollution in two Ancient Religious Groups

David Wyatt (Cardiff)

Sex, Sin and Slavery in Early Medieval England

4.00-4.30pm Tea/Coffee

Session VI

4.30-5.45pm Júnia Ferreira Furtado (UFMG)

The Journey Home: A Freed Mulatto Priest, Cipriano

Pires Sardinha and his Religious Mission to Dahomey

Manuel Barcia Paz (Leeds)

‘The Deepest of Silences?’ Disguised and Nonviolent

Forms of Slave Resistance on Cuban Plantations, 1790-1850

6.00pm Bar open

7.00pm Dinner

Wednesday 10th September
Session VII
Joseph Miller (Virginia)
In the Eyes of the Beholders or the Believers? Viewing ‘Religion’ and Enslavement
10.30-11.00am Coffee/Tea
11.00-12.45 Christabelle Peters (Nottingham)
The African Museum: Black Cultural History in the Public Sphere in Cuba
Douglas Cole Libby (UFMG)
Infant Slave Baptisms and Religious Practices in Brazil: The
Parish of São José das Mortes (Minas Gerais), 1750-1850
Dick Geary (Nottingham)
‘The Rights of Man’ or ‘African Call to Holy War’: Religion,
Ideology and Slave Resistance in Brazil, 1780-1850
12.45-1.00pm The Next Conference, 2010
1.00pm Lunch

NB: Registration is no longer possible. The conference is fully booked.

Poetry and Performance: A Conference in honour of Oliver Taplin

Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies
Friday 26th – Saturday 27th September, 2008

Friday 26th September

8.30-9.00am: Arrival and registration

TRAGEDY I – Chair: Bill Allan
9.00 Pat Easterling (Cambridge) 'Naming and not naming in Sophocles'
9.30 Adrian Kelly (Oxford) 'Aias in Athens'
10.00 Laura Swift (Oxford) 'Epinician and tragic worlds in Sophocles'
10.30-11.00 Questions and discussion

11.00-11.30 Coffee

TRAGEDY II – Chair: Adrian Kelly
11.30 Scott Scullion (Oxford) 'The Archaeology of the Fifth-Century Theatre
in Athens Revisited'
12.00 Ian Ruffell (Glasgow) 'Imperialism, Hegemony and "Universals": the
Ideology of Form in Athenian Tragedy'
12.30 Edith Hall (RHUL) 'The politics of poikilia: metre and society in
Athenian theatre'
1-1.30 Questions and discussion

1.30-2.30 Lunch

COMEDY I – Chair: Al Moreno
2.30 Athena Kavoulaki (Crete) 'Dionysiac festival and comic charis'
3.00 Martin Revermann (Toronto) 'Comic chorality'
3.30 Robin Osborne (Cambridge) 'The Comic Body'
4.00 Eric Csapo (Sydney) 'Iconographic Evidence for Phallic Performers at
the Athenian Dionysia in the time of the Introduction of Comedy to the
Festival Program'
4.30-5.00 Questions and discussion

6.15-7.15 Reception in Classics Centre

7.30pm CONFERENCE DINNER [at a local restaurant]

Saturday 27th September

RECEPTION: HOMER – Chair: Chris Carey
9.00 Richard Rutherford (Oxford) 'A Homerist reads the Ilias Latina'
9.30 Katherine Harloe (Reading) 'Homeric soundings since the eighteenth century'
10.00 Amanda Wrigley (Oxford) 'Homer on the Radio'
10.30-11 Questions and discussion

11-11.30 Coffee

COMEDY II – Chair: Pat Easterling
11.30 Michael Anderson (Trinity College, Connecticut) 'Lysistrata, Laughter,
and Comic Seriousness'
12.00 Gregory Hutchinson (Oxford) 'House politics and city politics in
12.30 Peter Brown (Oxford) 'Slaves, ex-slaves and Aristophanes' Frogs'
1-1.30 Questions and discussion

1.30-2.30 Lunch

RECEPTION: DRAMA – Chair: Lydia Prior
2.30 David Wiles (RHUL) 'Theatre and citizenship: the reception of classical
thinking in the French Enlightenment'
3.00 Fiona Macintosh (Oxford) 'Aeschylus and the Enlightenment'
3.30 Pantelis Michelakis (Bristol) 'Tragedy from the machine: technology,
media, performance'
4.00-4.30 Questions and discussion

4.30pm Tea and departure
ante diem kalendas septembres

rites in honour of Jupiter Liber

392 B.C. -- dedication of the Temple of Juno Regina on the Aventine (and associated rites thereafter)

22 B.C. -- dedication of the Temple of Jupiter Tonans (and associated rites thereafter)

69 A.D. -- traditional date for the sacking of Jerusalem

118 A.D. -- martyrdom of Terentian in Umbria

1987 -- death of Arnaldo Momigliano
nomenclature @ Merriam-Webster

From Deseret News:

Practitioners of the ancient Greek religion gathered among the ruined temples at the Acropolis Sunday, praying to Athena to stop the removal of sculptures and pieces of the temples to museums.

Participants claimed it was the first such gathering since the ancient religion was officially abolished late in the 4th century.

"We believe that the structural elements of a temple should not be moved and we worry about the consequences," said high priestess Doretta Peppa.

Peppa's Athens-based group — called Ellinais, an acronym in Greek for "Sacred Society of Greek Ancient Religionists" — is campaigning to revive the ancient religion. The group has defied Culture Ministry bans on holding prayers at several ancient temples.

On Sunday, about 200 people, by Peppa's estimate, prayed to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and patron of ancient Athens, to protect the 2,500-year-old site and spare the city from harm.

"Is it a coincidence that rain started falling when the ceremony started and ended at the same time as the ceremony? I think not," Peppa said.

Police made no effort to disrupt the 20-minute convocation.
From the Press Association:

The theory that the Greek island of Kefalonia is the site of the ancient city of Ithaca, birthplace of Homer's Odysseus, has been strengthened by research.

British scientists have found new geological evidence to suggest Paliki, the western peninsula of Kefalonia, was once separated from the mainland by a narrow channel.

Scientists believe that if Paliki was once a separate island it could be the site of Ithaca, which Homer describes in the Odyssey as the most westerly and low-lying Ionian island.

Researchers found no solid bedrock in the valley that divides Paliki from the rest of the island, until 90 metres below the surface.

They said this suggests the strait was once a marine channel that was filled in with falling earthquake debris over the past 3,000 years.

They also said this tallied with Strabo, the ancient Greek geographer's description of a valley or "channel" in Kefalonia "so low-lying that it was often submerged from sea to sea".

Professor James Diggle, of Cambridge University, who is leading the research said: "If we can demonstrate the historical existence of 'Strabo's Channel' it will be impossible to resist the conclusion that Paliki was Homer's Ithaca - for Paliki, as a separate island, is the only candidate that satisfies every one of Homer's geographical criteria.

"So we are on the way to demonstrating that Homer's geography was no less reliable than Strabo's, and that the landscape of Paliki was the true location of Homer's Odyssey."

Ithaca was said to be the home of Odysseus, whose 10-year journey back from the Trojan War is chronicled in Homer's epic poem the Odyssey.

It was assumed modern-day Ithaki on the eastern side of the Ionian islands was the geographical setting for Ithaca; but researchers say this is inconsistent with Homer's descriptions of a westerly low-lying island.

This is clearly in response to a Greek challenge to the Diggle/Underhill theory made back in March ...
The incipit of an item from the Independent:

Carlyle, the US-based private equity giant, is expected to complete the acquisition of De La Rue's cash systems business as early as today, and will reveal a new identity with a distinctly Ancient Greek flavour.

The new company, formerly known as De La Rue Cash Systems Division, is to be named Talaris when the takeover completes, after the groups agreed a deal worth £360m in June.

The Basingstoke-based group employs 2,300 and specialises in cash handling technology as well as consulting and project management. In its former incarnation it installed the world's first automated teller machine at Barclays Bank in London in 1967.

The new name comes from the winged sandals of Hermes, the ancient Greek messenger god who was also the god of commerce. Talaris boss Tracey Graham said: "Talaris will emulate his speed, efficiency and agility."

... and hopefully will not emulate Hermes' thieving proclivities!
Excerpts from a review of Julian Barnes, Nothing to be Frightened Of in the Washington Post:

Throughout Nothing to Be Frightened Of, Barnes unsparingly portrays his parents' final years (laconic father; bossy, vain mother), turns for guidance to Montaigne, Stendhal, Flaubert, Jules Renard, Stravinsky and Ravel, and e-mails his brother, Jonathan, for his views on personal extinction. An expert on the Pre-Socratics and Aristotle, the older Barnes displays an appropriately stoic unconcern. Once, when this expert on ancient Greek was believed to be dying, he breathed what seemed likely to be his last words: "Make sure that Ben gets my copy of Bekker's Aristotle." The philosopher's wife found this "insufficiently affectionate."


While some people on their deathbeds dutifully rage against the dying of the light, Barnes prefers those who simply remain true to themselves, who depart this life with, say, a gesture of quiet courtliness: "A few hours before dying in a Naples hospital," the Flaubert scholar Francis Steegmuller "said (presumably in Italian) to a male nurse who was cranking up his bed, 'You have beautiful hands.' " Barnes calls this "a last, admirable catching at a moment of pleasure in observing the world, even as you are leaving it." Similarly, the poet and classicist "A.E. Housman's last words were to the doctor giving him a final -- and perhaps knowingly sufficient -- morphine injection: 'Beautifully done.' "
Saw this on the Classicists list:

8/28/08: Contribute to the Greek and Latin Treebanks at Perseus!

We are currently looking for advanced students of Greek and Latin to
contribute syntactic analyses (via a web-based system) to our existing
Latin Treebank (described below) and our emerging Greek Treebank as
well (for which we have just received funding). We particularly
encourage students at various levels to design research projects
around this new tool. We are looking in particular for the following:

* Get paid to read Greek! We can have a limited number of research
assistantships for advanced students of the languages who can work for
the project from their home institutions. We particularly encourage
students who can use the analyses that they produce to support
research projects of their own.
* We also encourage classes of Greek and Latin to contribute as
well. Creating the syntactic analyses provides a new way to address
the traditional task of parsing Greek and Latin. Your class work can
then contribute to a foundational new resource for the study of Greek
and Latin - both courses as a whole and individual contributors are
acknowledged in the published data.
* Students and faculty interested in conducting their own original
research based on treebank data will have the option to submit their
work for editorial review to have it published as part of the emerging
Scaife Digital Library.

To contribute, please contact David Bamman (david.bamman AT or
Gregory Crane (gregory.crane AT
School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies
Victoria University
Wellington, New Zealand

We are seeking to appoint an Associate Professor/Professor of Classics to maintain the high
research and teaching profile of the Classics programme, which teaches Greek, Latin, and a range
of Classical Studies courses. The appointee should display a continuing interest in high level
research and substantial publications in one or more areas of Classics. They will be expected to
foster graduate research at Victoria University and advance Victoria’s links with other Classics
programmes in advanced research nationally and internationally.

Classics at Victoria University has about 1000 enrolments in Classical Studies, Greek and Latin,
from first year to PhD level. There are eight staff with research interests in mythology, drama,
history, film studies, social history, thanatology, and Greek, Roman and Etruscan art, as well as
in Greek and Roman literature.

Online applications should include: (1) a detailed letter of application; (2) a curriculum vitae;
(3) the names and email addresses of three referees. The closing date is 3 October 2008.

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the Classics programme website
( For further information about the programme in Classics,
please contact Prof. Art Pomeroy, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington,
New Zealand (Tel. +64 4 463 6781, Fax +64 4 463 5388, email Arthur.Pomeroy AT

Reference A314-08Z
Applications close 3 October 2008
Call for Papers: Deadline October 1, 2008!

Religion, Society and Participation

August, 20-22, 2009, University of Tampere, Finland
Organized by: Trivium Centre for Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Department of History and Philosophy, University of Tampere in collaboration with the Finnish Historical Society and the Classical Association of Finland
Abstract deadline: October 1, 2008

The fourth international Passages-conference focuses on religion in its social context. Religion is seen as an active, ongoing process involving society and community. We welcome papers which focus on different religious acts and actors - communities, families or individuals - and with sensitive approach to social differences: gender, age and status. Important themes in the conference are the differences and similarities between elite culture and popular religion in Classical and Medieval society.

The conference aims at broad coverage not only chronologically but also geographically and disciplinary (all branches of Classical and Medieval Studies). We strongly encourage contributions from a comparative and/or interdisciplinary perspective.

The conference will concentrate on:

? Religious rituals in everyday life
? Writing and reading religion vs. oral religious culture
? Devotional groups and their functions in society
? Official and nonofficial religious practices and practitioners
? Gendered participation
? Forms of devoted life: e.g. living as devoted child/man/woman/couple
? Sacrifice and self sacrifice

A one-page abstract (setting out thesis and conclusions and containing name, academic affiliation, postal adress, e-mail) should be submitted preferably by mail-attachment to the conference secretary, passages AT, or to the address below. The deadline for abstracts is October, 1. 2008, decisions on the acceptance of papers will be made in December 2008. Presentation of conference papers preferably in English, although papers in other major scientific languages are accepted if provided with English summary or translation. Registration fee for all those attending or participating: 60 ? (post-graduate students: 30 ?). For further information, please contact passages AT or visit (see there also for information on previous Passages-conferences).

On behalf of the Organizing Committee
Prof. Christian Krötzl & Assoc.Prof. Katariina Mustakallio
Department of History and Philosophy
FIN - 33014 University of Tampere, Finland