Michael Jackson’s Cleopatra

Here’s something I didn’t know … this well-known (to Classicists, anyway) painting of Cleopatra’s death by D. Pauvert:

… is currently owned by the monogloved-one.  Somehow I always thought MJ would have some ‘connection’ to Cleo … whatever the case, he’s putting this one up for auction.

Chimera of Arezzo Coming to the Getty

I’m sure we’ll hear more of this as the date approaches, but there’s already a fair bit of coverage. Here’s the incipit of the LA Times’ coverage:

The J. Paul Getty Museum and the National Archaeological Museum of Florence, Italy, have entered into a long-term cultural collaboration that will bring one of the latter’s most important masterpieces and other significant works to Southern California, officials of both institutions announced today.

As the first element of the partnership, the Getty Villa in Malibu will present an exhibition centered on the Etruscan bronze, “The Chimaera of Arezzo,” from July 16 through Feb. 8. The Getty also plans an exhibition of ancient bronzes, including Greek, Roman and Etruscan works, and a show devoted solely to Etruscan art.

In an interview today, J. Paul Getty Museum director Michael Brand hailed the collaboration as the “silver lining” of the Getty’s involvement in a highly publicized controversy over looted antiquities that have been discovered in recent years in the collections of major museums worldwide.

Remember a while back when folks were questioning the antiquity of the Capitoline She-Wolf? I am still wondering whether the Chimera will be subjected to the same scrutiny …

Uma Medusa?

Tip o’ the pileus to Dorothy King for directing my caerulean brow towards this … there’s an interesting fantasy type movie in the works called Percy Jackson, with a definite Classical twist … here’s the brief coverage from the Telegraph:

As a teenager, Uma Thurman was cast as Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, in the film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and now, 20 years on, she has won the role of another figure from ancient mythology. It is, alas, Medusa.

The 38-year-old will play the snake-haired deity who turns mortals into stone alongside Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean, who take on the parts of Chiron, a centaur, and Zeus, the king of the gods, in a fantasy film called Percy Jackson which will be directed by Chris Columbus.

In a departure from any recognisable Greek myth, the plot sees Poseidon’s 12-year-old half-human son Lerman embark on a quest across modern-day America to save his mother, return Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt and prevent a deadly war between the gods. So long as Mr Brosnan doesn’t start singing again, it’s okay by me.

Personally, I always envisioned Thurman as Artemisish, but that’s beside the point … check out the Entertainment Weekly coverage (mentioned below) … could be a good thing for Classics in general.

Recreating Gladiatorial Weapons

A series called Deadliest Warrior is coming to Spike TV which, apparently, will include some recreations of gladiatorial weaponry and demonstrations of it in action. I’ll try to embed a video here of same (but it was having difficulties yesterday):

If it doesn’t show up for you, here’s a link to the series page … click on the “sneak peak” tab to get to the gladiatorial stuff (the items on the first page are more ‘the making of’ type things).

The End of the Printed Scholarly Tome?

Interesting item from Inside Higher Education … here’s the incipit:

The University of Michigan Press is announcing today that it will shift its scholarly publishing from being primarily a traditional print operation to one that is primarily digital.

Within two years, press officials expect well over 50 of the 60-plus monographs that the press publishes each year — currently in book form — to be released only in digital editions. Readers will still be able to use print-on-demand systems to produce versions that can be held in their hands, but the press will consider the digital monograph the norm. Many university presses are experimenting with digital publishing, but the Michigan announcement may be the most dramatic to date by a major university press.

The shift by Michigan comes at a time that university presses are struggling. With libraries’ budgets constrained, many presses have for years been struggling to sell significant numbers of monographs — which many junior professors need to publish to earn tenure — and those difficulties have only been exacerbated by the economic downturn. The University of Missouri Press and the State University of New York Press both have announced layoffs in recent months, while Utah State University Press is facing the possibility of a complete elimination of university support.

Michigan officials say that their move reflects a belief that it’s time to stop trying to make the old economics of scholarly publishing work. “I have been increasingly convinced that the business model based on printed monograph was not merely failing but broken,” said Phil Pochoda, director of the Michigan press. “Why try to fight your way through this? Why try to remain in territory you know is doomed? Scholarly presses will be primarily digital in a decade. Why not seize the opportunity to do it now?”

… I’m actually rather surprised that a pile of major journals haven’t done this already …

Triangular Temple from Cyprus

StonePages had this at the beginning of the month, but it doesn’t seem to have hit the ‘English press’ until recently. Italian archaeologists working on Cyprus have excavated a triangular-shaped (!) temple at Pyrgos-Mavroraki believed to date  to around 2,000 BC (which would make it the oldest temple on Cyprus; the jury’s still out on that one, apparently) . Maria Rosaria-Belgiorno  (Archaeological Mission of the Italian National Council for Research) told Cyprus Weekly:

“This is the first evidence of religion in Cyprus at the beginning of the second millennium BC.”

“The temple is the most ancient found in Cyprus and of a unique triangular shape. The finding sheds new light on the existence of religion on the island, since the oldest temple found in Cyprus before that was Kition and Enkomi, both dating to 1,000 BC …”

“We found no statues, although there is evidence that it is a monotheist temple. The most important thing is the altar and the blood channel running on two sides.”

“Among the finds we found stone horns which are more ancient than the consecration horns found in Kouklia, Enkomi, Kition, and Myrthou (Pighades) seven centuries later.”

Belgiorno has a website with assorted photos and diagrams worth looking at as well (the home page has some annoying music, so we’re linking directly to the page of interest).

Pompeii Tidbits

An item in Adnkronos about a theme parkish thing called Italia in Miniatura includes this little item at the end:

But there is still more to come and soon Italia in Miniatura will be expanding and the expansion of the theme park means double the surface area and the introduction of extraordinary interactive attractions, first among all the 1:1.33 scale reproduction of ancient Pompeii reproduced in its original aspect and where visitors can walk inside houses, on the streets and in the temples where staff will simulate daily life scenes. Then when the sun goes down there will be a reproduction of the Last Day in Pompeii, invaded by the river of magma and smoke of a Vesuvius which suddenly erupts again. The project also forecasts the realization of two new structures: a 17 meter tall Coliseum in 1:3 scale with respect to the original one in Rome and a Science Centre.

In other Pompeii news, ANSA reports on a conference going on, the gist of which is:

A series of debates over the two-day event will focus on the impact of Pompeii in a variety of fields.

The film talks will include one on the gap between reality and cinematic accounts of Pompeii, and one on representations of Pompeii in late 20th-century cinema.

Among the art topics are discussions on early landscape paintings of Pompeii, postcard precursors designed as mementoes for travellers, and Pompeii as an iconic representation in 19th and 20th-century art. Religion will be touched upon with discoveries of early Christian imagery in Pompeii and how Pompeii has figured in speeches by the current pope, Benedict XVI, and his predecessor John Paul II. A talk entitled ”The Revival of Pompeii” will look at renowned reconstructions of Pompeian buildings ordered by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, artist Pablo Picasso and industrialist and collector J. Paul Getty, all of whom fell in love with the destroyed city and sought to recreate part of it for themselves. There will also be discussions on how the city has appeared in European literature, its portrayal at the theatre and its role within the theories of Sigmund Freud.

Happy 2000th Vespasian

Rome is marking Vespasian’s 2000th birthday with a special exhibition and there’s a pile of news coverage too, of course … I like the conclusion to the Independent’s piece:

To mark Vespasian’s big day, Rome is breathing new life into the ancient city he did so much to change. Busts, bas-reliefs, weapons, coins and paintings are among the 110 archaeological treasures that will be exhibited from today until next January in the Colosseum, the Curia in the centre of the Forum and the Criptoportico, a building on the Palatine Hill that has never before been open to the public. There will also be a new guided route through the Forum, with explanatory panels shedding light on the buildings for which the emperor was responsible.

Filippo Coarelli, the curator of the extravaganza, commented: “The element of chance in Vespasian’s success cannot hide the profound manner in which that success resonates with the whole history of Rome: the mobility which was intrinsic to that society, which allowed it to access the energy of emerging classes.”

Despite these achievements, and despite the Colosseum, which was still under construction when Vespasian died in 79, it was his determination to tax Romans to the hilt for which they most remembered him, the image of the stingy, money-grubbing son of a tax-collector that stuck.

During his elaborate funeral, the procession was led by a popular clown called Favor who mimicked the dead emperor. “How much did this funeral cost?” he demanded of the organisers at one point, according to Suetonius. “A hundred thousand sestertii,” came the reply. To which the Emperor’s caricature retorted: “Give me a hundred and chuck my body in the Tiber!”

from the LA Times

from the LA Times

ANSA gives some more details about the exhibition itself:

The exhibition aims to explain some of the extraordinary architectural innovations introduced under Vespasian. There are also a host of recent archaeological finds, architectural artefacts and busts of the Flavian emperors. Although centred in the Colosseum itself, the exhibition will extend to two other locations. The first of these is the Curia building where the Senate met, which has been reopened to the public for this occasion. The second is the Cryptoporticus of Nero on the Palatine Hill.

En route, visitors are guided to a series of Flavian monuments, including the Arch of Titus, the Flavian Palace, the Temple of Vespasian and the Temple of Peace. The Flavian exhibition runs until January 10, 2010.

Breviaria Latina

Assorted Latin excerpts and tidbits …

The Seattle PI had a nice feature on the resurgence of Latin … including this incipit:

The old men in togas. The mindless verbal recitation. The archaic prose. No wonder Latin gets such a bad rap.

Latin and ancient Greek once were considered part of a basic education, but in the 1960s and ’70s Latin saw a sharp decline in participants; once a mainstay of academia, many students balked at Latin study once it was no longer required.

Now, what was old is new again. Spurred by academic pressures, students are returning to Latin studies, hoping to increase their standardized test scores and their chances of being accepted to top colleges.

Teachers like Brian Tibbets, the 2008 Farrand Baker Illinois Latin Teacher of the Year, say this ancient language has modern applicability.

He said he understands the notion that studying Latin is highbrow — “a stigma that’s carried over from when you were forced to take Latin and Greek as a part of a ‘classical’ education.”

In the past decade, studies have shown Latin to have practical academic benefits. High school students who study Latin attain higher verbal SAT scores than students who study more commonly taught languages such as Spanish, French and German, according to the National Committee for Latin and Greek.

In 2002, the mean verbal SAT score for Latin students was 666. French, German and Spanish students, meanwhile, achieved a mean score of 637, 622 and 581, respectively. This benefit, says Tibbets, can often entice students to pursue the language.

“I took the language because I thought it would help me in English, (and) I also knew it would increase my SAT scores,” said Ali VanCleef, a consul with the Illinois Junior Classic League.

When VanCleef signed up for Latin, she said, other students warned her that the classes would be challenging and perhaps too difficult for her. But now, she said, “I actually love the language.”

A youth choir is singing in Latin in Detroit:

The classical sounds of the Latin language are to echo inside a Detroit cathedral today as children from across the region gather for a special mass featuring area Catholic youth choirs. Advertisement It’s a sign of the growing interest in the Latin language among Catholics who are yearning for tradition. About 100 children from parishes in Michigan and London, Ontario, are to practice and then perform during the mass with Archbishop Allen Vigneron at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the seat of the Archdiocese of Detroit. After the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, greater emphasis was placed on using English in masses so singing in Latin increasingly fell out of favor, said local Catholics. “When I was young, we only sang in Latin,” recalled Cindy Stempin, music director at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Livonia. “Latin was the universal language of the church,” she added. “They are going back to their roots.”

Latin’s on the rise in upstate New York:


At the sound of the word, the 21 students in Todd Hutson’s eighth-grade class at Gowana Middle School leap to their feet. They turn and face the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance. In Latin.

The language may be dead, but its pulse still beats. From the titles we give our doctors to a lawyer seeking a writ of habeas corpus, Latin is everywhere.

And surgo, which means to stand up or rise, is the root word for surge, which describes what has happened to interest in the tongue in recent years. Statewide, the number of students studying it leaped from 12,140 in 2003-04 to 15,299 last year.

The largest local group of Latin learners is at Shenendehowa, where district officials say 420 are studying the tongue this year.

“It really helps with English,” said Marcelino Christie, 13, one of Hutson’s students. “Now I am using words I didn’t even know.”

Some of his family members are doctors, he said, and he has learned the names pediatrician, optometrist and others come from Latin.

“It’s really cool how many of our words come from Latin,” said his classmate, Megan Kluball, 14.

In Hutson’s class, students get their vocabulary words and use gestures to connect each word to its meaning. They pretend to bite an apple for cibus, meaning to eat, and fake flipping burgers for coquo, meaning to cook.

Although probably not strictly Latin, Taunton High’s Latin club marks the Ides in a fun way:

Blaring horns and beating drums echoed in the hallways of Taunton High School Friday, as a crowd of toga-clad students re-enacted Julius Caesar’s funeral procession with their annual Ides of March event.

“Caesar mortuus est” students yelled, as they carried the motionless body of junior Paul Lantieri, who portrayed the slain Roman leader, through the school on a stretcher.

The Ides of March commemorates the day when Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C.

Assuming the role of historian, junior Andrew Morehouse hushed the raucous crowd — which consisted of participants and onlookers — as he opened his scroll and read aloud an account of events that led to Caesar’s untimely death.

Dressed all in black, Danielle Waldron, Rachel Stetkis, and Alex Simpson made an appearance as ominous characters Lacheses, Atrophos, and Clotho — the three fates.

Christopher Scully, Latin Club advisor, said the Taunton High Latin Club has carried on the Ides of March tradition for close to five decades. Nearly 70 students were involved this year, Scully said, making it the largest procession the school has ever had.

Retired Taunton High Latin teacher Paul Ponte helped make the event extra special by donning a toga and joining the crowd as “Pontifex Maximus,” a high religious leader.

“I love it,” said Ponte, who has returned for the Ides of March procession every year since he retired.

According to Scully, the annual Ides of March presentation serves two purposes.

“It gives the school a chance to think a little bit about the ancient world,” said Scully, who gave teachers background material to share with their students prior to viewing the presentation.

“It’s also a chance to have a little fun too,” he added. “To mix things up, and add to the festive atmosphere of foreign languages week.”

Last, but not least, an item mentioned on the Latinteach list, but I may be bringing it up too late … NPR’s Car Talk program of March 14 included a little Latin quiz at the beginning; it doesn’t seem to be available from iTunes any more but is available from the Car Talk website (for a small fee, apparently).

Junior Classical League Coverage

I always find it interesting that newspapers even cover this at all … some excerpts from assorted reports …

From the Nevada coverage:

Not only is Latin not dead, it’s making a comeback, said Sherry Jankowski, Meadows Latin teacher and league state chairwoman. Some teachers believe that as the basis for western European languages and culture, the classics can help students understand their own language and history better, she said. Students who take Latin also often score higher on the verbal section of the SAT, she said. “There’s a lot of order and structure to the language and, therefore, it helps the kids see the order and structure behind their own languages, even though they would have never learned their first language in that way,” Jankowski said.

The coverage from Tampa seems a bit late:

Whoever said Latin was dead should have attended the Region 7 Latin Forum with 13 Brandon High School Junior Classical League members and their sponsor, Latin teacher Bill Seaman, Jan. 31 at Robinson High School.

Indiana coverage was a bit more timely:

Thirty-two members of the Crown Point High School Latin Club traveled to Indiana University the weekend of March 13 and 14 to compete at the Indiana Junior Classical League State Convention.

The team brought back an estimated 450 certificates for performances in individual competitions.

Classicists in the News

Assorted tidbits that have accumulated over the past while …

Timothy Howe is amongst a handful who were granted tenure at St. Olaf:

Peter Struck was talking about ‘Ancient Heroes and Superheroes’ in an appropriate venue:

Marie Bolchazy was making some reading suggestions:

Mary Boatwright was talking about grade inflation:

A review of Leslie Mitchell’s bio of Maurice Bowra:

Exhibition: Carvers and Collectors: The Lasting Allure …

Carvers and Collectors: The Lasting Allure of Ancient Gems
March 19-September 7, 2009

Getty Villa

Marcus Antonius by Gnaios

Marcus Antonius by Gnaios

The official webpage includes several nice photos (with descriptions) of assorted items from the exhibition and there’s a short little video demonstrating gem-carving techniques (I’ve always wondered about that). There are some audio commentaries which require you to have RealPlayer installed.


Getty Villa Showcases Intricately Carved Ancient Gems (Art Daily)

On TV: Druidic Human Sacrifice?

On the National Geographic Channel tonight  is a potentially interesting show about the Druids and evidence of human sacrifice by them in Roman times. They’ve got a video teaser of Caesar meeting the Druids… There’s also a lengthy text accompanying that (and another video) which starts with the evidence from Lindow Man and then goes on to:

Other grisly clues come from a cave in Alveston, England.

Skeletons belonging to as many as 150 people and dating back to about the time of the Roman conquest were discovered in 2000.

Druids may have killed the victims—who show evidence of skull-splitting blows—in a single event. It may have been the Roman invasion itself that escalated the Druids’ ritualized slaughter, researchers say.

Mark Horton, an archaeologist at the University of Bristol, thinks the pile of bodies suggests savage resistance to the Romans, either on the battlefield or through deadly ritual.

“Maybe the whole thing is a gigantic sacrifice … an appeasement to the gods in order that they will get ultimate victory against the Romans,” Horton said.

The Alveston cave bones hint at something even more sinister—cannibalism.

A human thighbone in the cave had been broken open in exactly the same method people use to get at the nutritious bone marrow of nonhuman animals.

But if the bone is proof of Celtic cannibalism, the practice was probably extremely rare, Horton said. It may be evidence of increasing hunger and desperation as Roman invaders closed in, he added.

“Least Bad Evidence”

Researchers have struggled in the past to link any archaeological evidence to the Druids, let alone signs of human sacrifice or cannibalism, said archaeologist Simon James of the University of Leicester, U.K.

“There has always been a suspicion that what the Romans were saying was atrocity propaganda. But some recent finds like Lindow Man suggest that there were dark and bloody goings-on,” said James, who was not involved in the new documentary.

The mistletoe pollen from Lindow Man is the “least bad archaeological evidence we’ve got that fits in with these stories about the Druids,” he added.

“Maybe mistletoe plants had been dusted on his food ritually, a bit like spraying holy water around, or dunked in his drink,” James said.

If Lindow Man and others were in fact sacrificed in a bid to stop the Romans, their lives were lost in vain.

Alveston Cave was on TV back in 2001 as part of the Time Team series. There was also a nice feature on it in British Archaeology from around the same time. Back then, the claims of evidence of cannibalism were controversial and I suspect they remain so today.

Persian Treasures in the Black Sea?

This is another one of those weird claims … according to a brief item in Standart:

The countless treasures of Persia seized by Alexander the Great, are buried at the bottom of the Black Sea at Kaliakra Cape, said oceanographer from the city of Varna Trayan Trayanov yesterday. Recently the Space Research Institute in Moscow confirmed his thesis.
Scientists believe that the treasure was buried in underwater catacombs and caves under Kaliakra Cape. Ancient Greek geographer and historian Strabo proposed the hypothesis for the first time. Many centuries later Bulgarian writer Tsoncho Rodev revived the legend. His short story, published in the 1960s, stirred the emotions of black archeologists in Bulgaria. A ferryboat captain even made a photo of Kaliakra and kept it for a long time in a safe in the Institute of Oceanography in the city of Varna.
However, to this very day the treasure has not been found.

While I do know that Kaliakra is the ancient Tirizis, I can’t find anything remotely resembling this claim in Strabo. Does it sound familiar to anyone else?

UPDATE: 03/29/09 ~> Jack Linthicum and I have been discussing this offblog. He has usefully provided a link for the relevant passage from Strabo and notes that most of the Bulgarian sources are identifying Lysimachus as “Lysimah”. Perhaps that’s being mistaken for a Persian name? I couldn’t find anything to help with the question in the limited preview version of Helen Lund, Lysimachus: A Study in Early Hellenistic Kingship.

CONF: Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, and Science

Conference Programme

6 July

11.00 Registration
11.45-12.45 Daryn Lehoux (Queen’s, Ontario), ‘Soul in a World without
Spirit: The Ethics of Sensation in an Inanimate Universe’
12.45-1.40 Lunch
1.40-2.40 Monte Johnson (California-San Diego), ‘Lucretius and the cause of
2.40-3.40 James Hankinson (Texas-Austin), title tbc
3.40-4.00 Tea
4.00-5.00 David Konstan (Brown), ‘Lucretius and the Epicurean Attitude
toward Grief’

7 July

9.30-10.30 Monica Gale (Trinity College, Dublin), ‘Lucretius and Hesiod’
10.30-11.00 Coffee
11.00-12.00 Duncan Kennedy (Bristol), ‘Lucretius, Virgil and the Instauratio
Magna: Knowledge as a Project of Universal Empire’
12.00-1.00 Katharine Earnshaw (Manchester), ‘Lucretius and Lucan’
1.00-2.30 Lunch
2.30-3.30 Brooke Holmes (Princeton), ‘Lucretius and the Poetics of Cosmic
3.30-4.00 Tea
4.00-5.00 Andrew Morrison (Manchester), ‘Nil igitur mors est ad nos?
Iphianassa, the Athenian plague, and Epicurean views of death’

Venue: S.1.7, Samuel Alexander Building, The University of Manchester,
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK (building 67 on the campus map):

The booking form is now available on the webpage for this conference:


CONF: Utopia and Dystopia in Roman Literature

*Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar 2009: “Utopia and Dystopia in Roman Literature”
University College London, 7–9 July 2009 (Archaeology Lecture Theatre)*

It is a great pleasure to announce that the annual Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar 2009 will be coming to London this year.
It will discuss the topic of “Utopia and Dystopia in Roman Literature” and will be held at University College London, 7–9 July 2009 (Archaeology Lecture Theatre).


Tuesday, 7 July

from 9.30 registration
10.00 Welcome
10.15-11.00 NIALL W. SLATER (Emory University)
“Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis as Dystopic Prelude to a Neronian Golden Age”
11.00-11.30 coffee
11.30-12.15 PAUL BURTON (Australian National University)
“Cicero’s Utopian Amicitia:
Some Epistemological Problems with the ‘Friendship of Virtue’”
12.15-13.00 KATHRYN TEMPEST (Roehampton University)
“Cicero and the Rhetoric of Utopia: The Pro Marcello”

13.00 lunch

14.30-15.15 C.W. MARSHALL (University of British Columbia)
“A Perfect World: a sociology of sex slavery in Roman Comedy”
15.15-16.00 EMMA GEE (University of St Andrews)
“A Smattering of Science”
16.00-16.30 tea
16.30-17.15 BARBARA WEINLICH (Texas Tech University)
“The Dimension(s) of Utopia in Moralistic Discourse:
Mythic Past and Contemporary Rome in Propertius 3.13″
17.15-18.00 RHIANNON EVANS (University of Melbourne)
“Noble savages? Utopian others in Roman ethnography”

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

9.30-10.15 DOROTA DUTSCH (University of California, Santa Barbara)
“The Dynamics of Utopia in Vergil’s Eclogues”
10.15-11.00 ROBIN BOND (University of Canterbury)
“Vergil, Horace and Juvenal: Utopia/Dystopia”
11.00-11.30 coffee
11.30-12.15 SJARLENE THOM (University of Stellenbosch)
“The lyric utopia: taking a stand for lyric in Horace Odes 3.7–12″
12.15-13.00 JOHN GARTHWAITE (University of Otago)
“Recantations and Rejections: Martial’s New Rome in Book 10″

13.00 lunch (followed by free afternoon)

Thursday, 9 July 2009

9.30-10.15 JESSICA DIETRICH (Australian National University)
“The Ideal of Virtuous Female Suicide in Flavian Literature
10.15-11.00 PETER DAVIS (University of Tasmania)
“Journey to a better world?: Argo’s Voyage in Seneca’s Medea and Valerius Flaccus”
11.00-11.30 coffee
11.30-12.15 JOHN PENWILL (La Trobe University)
“Roman Dystopia and the Battle of Cannae in Punica 8–10″
12.15-13.00 FRANCES LEE MILLS (La Trobe University)
“Between Dreams and Realities: The Interpretation of Omens in Silius Italicus’ Punica”

13.00 lunch

14.30-15.15 ROBERT SIMMS (University of Otago)
“Statius’ Thebaid and the Absence of Great Men”
15.15-16.00 JEAN-MICHEL HULLS (Downside School)
“No place like Rome? Modelling utopia and dystopia onto Statius’ Silvan city”
16.00-16.30 tea
16.30-17.15 JACQUELINE CLARKE (University of Adelaide)
“Utopias and Dystopias of the Body in Prudentius’ Hymn of Fasting (Cath. VII)”
17.15-18.00 STEPHEN HARRISON (Corpus Christi College Oxford)
“Utopian Palaces in Apuleius and La Fontaine”

18.00-19.00 drinks reception

All are welcome. Those who would like to attend should register by sending an email to the conference organizer Gesine Manuwald at g.manuwald AT ucl.ac.uk (deadline: 15 June 2009).
There will be a small fee for participants (other than speakers and chairs) to cover costs for tea, coffee and lunch, payable in cash on the day. Full fee: £20 Day rate: £7

For further information, please contact the conference organizer Gesine Manuwald at g.manuwald AT ucl.ac.uk.

CONF: Integration and Diversity in the Culture and Religions …

Integration and Diversity in the Culture and Religions of Late Antiquity
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, May 21-24, 2009

organized by
Michael Kulikowski, Knoxville, and Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner, Heidelberg

We are pleased to announce the first workshop of the International Network for the Study of Late Antiquity: “Centralization and Particularism in Late Antiquity,” which will take place at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, May 21-24, 2009. The conference is open to the public: prior registration is not necessary, and there is no conference fee. Guests who need assistance in booking a hotel room are encouraged to write directly to Michael Kulikowski: mkulikow@ AT utk.edu.

Graduate students who wish to participate in the conference and present their dissertation topics in the form of a poster will receive financial support for their travel expenses and for room and board. Interested students should send a CV and a one-page summary of their dissertation to Michael Kulikowski or Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner: sebastian.schmidt-hofner AT zaw.uni-heidelberg.de.

The principal goal of the Network is the creation of a forum for academic exchange between Anglo-American and German scholars in all areas of Late Antique studies. Further information on the Network and its goals can be found at www.LA-network.com. The Network is open to everyone; if you wish to join or contact us, please write to Michael Kulikowski or Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, 21 May

2:00-4:00 p.m. Registration and refreshments, Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

4:30 p.m.          Welcomes (Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Susan Martin; Michael Kulikowski)

4:40 p.m.          Introduction to the Network: History and Goals (Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner)

5:00 p.m.          “Master Narratives of Late Antiquity: Centralisation, Particularism and the Historiography of the Later Roman Empire” (Michael Kulikowski, Knoxville)

6.00 p.m. Coffee Break

6.30 p.m.         Plenary Lecture: “Lists and Catalogues: A Late Roman Art Form” (John Matthews, Yale)

8.00 p.m.         Reception, McClung Museum Rotunda

Friday, 22 May

Section A1:      Divergent Elites: Imperial, Senatorial, Regional and Local (Chair: Michael Kulikowski)

9:00 a.m.          Fabian Goldbeck, Basel: Current Concepts for the Study of Elites

9:45 a.m.          John Weisweiler, Cambridge (UK): All the Emperor’s Men – Senators and Emperors in Fourth-Century Rome

10.30 Coffee Break

10:50 a.m.        Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner, Heidelberg: Reintegrating the Local Elites: The Emergence of the Notables

11:30 a.m.        John Dillon, Heidelberg: The Inflation of Rank and Privilege in the Later Roman Empire, its Causes and Consequences

12:15 a.m.        Clifford Ando, Chicago: Domesticating Change in Post-Antonine Law.

13:00 p.m.        Lunch Buffet, Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies


Section A2:      Change and Heterogeneity in the Representation of Elites (Chair: Danuta Shanzer, Urbana-Champaign)

2:00 p.m.          Christian Witschel, Heidelberg: Changing Spaces and Media of Elite Representation in Late Antiquity

2:45 p.m.          Julia Hillner, Sheffield: Domestic Space between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

3:30 p.m.          Michelle Salzman, Riverside: Symmachus and the Mysterious Case of the Number Seven

4:15 p.m.          Coffee Break


Section A3:      Elite Identities: Barbarian and Roman (Chair: Christian Witschel, Heidelberg)

4:45 p.m.          Philipp von Rummel, DAI Rome: Barbarians as Roman Elite: the Problem of Perspective

5:30 p.m.          Roland Steinacher, Vienna: Military Elites, Romans or Barbarians?

6:15 p.m.          Sebastian Gairhos, Augsburg: Raetia as Case Study for Changes and New Elite Identities

8:00 p.m.          Reception, Calhoun’s By The River


Saturday, 23 May

Section A4:      Paideia: the End of Shared Graeco-Latin Culture? (Chair: Hans-Ulrich Wiemer, Gießen/Brown)

9:00 a.m.          Edward Watts, Bloomington: Oral Traditions and Ethical Teaching among the Last Platonists

9:45 p.m.          Susanna Elm, Berkeley: Translating Roman Greekness for the Greek Romans

10:30 a.m.        Coffee Break


Section B

Section B1: The Making of Orthodoxy (Chair: Hartmut Leppin, Frankfurt)

11:00 a.m.        Winrich Löhr, Heidelberg: Defining Orthodoxy in the 4th Century: Constantius II and ‘Homoian’ Christianity?

11:15 a.m.        Ralph Mathisen, Urbana-Champaign: Making Orthodoxies in the West: The Creed of Rimini and the Legitimation of Arianism

12:00 p.m.        Christina Shepardson, Knoxville: Locating Orthodoxy: Syrian Judaizers and Narratives of Imperial Christianity

12:45 p.m.        Lunch Buffet, Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies


Section B2:      Competing Authorites: Church and State, Bishops and Monks (Chair: Noel Lenski, Boulder)

2:00 p.m.          Kai Trampedach, Heidelberg: Forms of Interaction between Emperors, Bishops and Monks in Constantinople in the Fifth Century

2:45 p.m.          Steffen Diefenbach, Augsburg: Leadership, Charismatic Authority and Public Office: Bishops in Late Antique Gaul

3:30 p.m.          Rudolf Haensch, Munich: Ruling Holy Countries: an Easy Task? The Governors of the Three Palestines in Late Antiquity

4:15 p.m. Coffee Break


Section B3:      Christianization and the Integration of the Hinterland (Chair: Gunnar Brands, Halle)

4:45 p.m.          Judith Végh, Heidelberg: The Christianization of Spain: A Case apart?

5:30 p.m.          Roland Prien, Heidelberg: The Case of Early Christianity in the Northwestern Provinces: Archaeological Evidence versus Written Sources

6:15 p.m.          Richard E. Payne, Cambridge (UK): Hagiography and the Christianization of Local Elites in the Provinces of Late Antique Iran

Sunday, 24 May

9:00 a.m.          Summary, Overview, Questions Raised, Discussion (Christian Witschel)

10:30 a.m.        Prospect: LA Network Meeting 2010

12:00 a.m.        Conference Concludes

CONF: Pennsylvania Classical Association Institute

PCA Institute, Friday and Saturday, March 27-28, 2009.

Friday, March 27:
3:00-5:00 p.m. Reading the Latin Hexameter Workshop, Stephen Daitz
6:30-7:00              Welcoming reception
7:00-8:00              Buffet Dinner. Report from the Governor’s Institute for World Language Teacher, Mary Redline and Eleanor Brinker

Saturday, March 28:
8:00-10:00 a.m.  Mythology and Multiple Intelligence, Carrie Kennedy; Podcasting and the Latin Classroom, Chris Francese
10:30-12:00 Latin is a Dead Language — So Why Speak It? Some Historical and Practical Considerations, Terence Tunberg; Workshop on Active Latin in the Classroom: Strategies for Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Students,Terence Tunberg
12:30-1:30           Buffet Luncheon

Questions? Contact Mark Clauser at clauserm AT eastonteachers.org

Download registration forms and further information at http://alpha.dickinson.edu/prorg/pca/Meetings.htm

CONF: Classical Association of MA

CAM Spring Meeting
Saturday, April 4, 2009

CAM is pleased to offer its annual spring meeting, entitled “Nunc Te,
Bacche, Canam”, at Westport Rivers Vineyards in Westport, MA. The tentative
schedule is as follows:

9:30 ­ 10:00 Arrival and Continental Breakfast

10:00 Tour of the Vineyards led by Westport Rivers Staff

10:45 Wine Tasting (Not Falernian or Livia¹s favorite from Pucinum, but an
opportunity to taste what Massachusetts produces!)

11:15 Docens Cibum, Cenam, et Dapem: Food in the Latin Classroom

This open discussion will include topics of classroom lessons, projects,
sources, Latin Banquets and classroom logistics. Please bring with you
either a banquet-related lesson, recipe from the ancient world or hints and
ideas about how you present culinary topics in your classroom.

12:15 Lunch and Business Meeting: Katy Ganino Reddick, CAM President

Questions? Contact Katy Ganino Reddick at atyganino AT yahoo.com

Download the registration form and find more information at

Rebuilding the Mausoleum?

First we hear about the Artemesion … now it’s the Mausoleum the erstwhile wonder … the incipit from Hurriyet:

The mayor of Bodrum has announced that the city will build a model of King Mausolus’ Mausoleum, which is considered seven wonders of the ancient world.

Bodrum Mayor Mazlum Ağan, who has held his post for two terms, is running again this month as the People’s Republican Party, or CHP, candidate. Talking about his projects, Ağan said they will build a replica of King Mausolus’ Mausoleum, which is currently on display at the British Museum.

Stating they would erect the mausoleum near the 2,500-year-old Ancient Theatre, Ağan said: “The place of King Mausolus’ Mausoleum is being visited by thousands of tourists every year. However, they can only see remains of the mausoleum. For that reason, we will build a model mausoleum on a one-to-one scale of the original mausoleum.”

Exhibition: Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens

Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens
December 10, 2008 – May 9, 2009
Onassis Cultural Center
New York, New York

Official website here (just general information).


  • previous aggregation of links at our old rogueclassicism site (we’ve mentioned this exhibition before; the review below is new)

Business Saving Classics at UIC?

I thought we had mentioned the problems at  UIC before, but I can’t seem to find it. In any event, here’s a very interesting item from the Chicago Flame:

In an effort to heighten student interest in the university’s small but well-recognized Classics department, a recent alumnus has organized a team of 24 business students to launch a marketing campaign that promises to brand a new name for the studies.

Lorenzo Varela, coordinator of the project, responded immediately to the threat of elimination of the Classics department.

Beginning in the upcoming fall semester, Ancient Greek 101 will be suspended for an indefinite period of time. Meanwhile, Latin is not entirely suspended but will be “curtailed.”

With not enough enrollment in the two languages and with the university facing severe budget cuts, the decision on whether or not to keep or cut the programs is a difficult one to make.

Varela, who graduated from UIC last fall with a degree in Entrepreneurship, began to recruit students from the College of Business Administration with the offer of internship credit for their work.

“My personal belief,” Varela said, “is that this department applies to everybody – even the Business department. The skills they teach you, such as critical reasoning, interpreting and analyzing data, you know, you can use that for anything. It’s so versatile. If only the program would have been more marketed or crossed with other majors, it could survive.”

Along with representatives from the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the marketing team hopes to raise both interest and enrollment for Ancient Greek 101 and Latin courses, and to encourage more students to major in the Classics.

Current initiatives include redesigning the department website, posting flyers to advertise the courses, creating a logo, and soliciting sponsorships from businesses in the Greek community.

In addition, the Classics department will sponsor “The Apology of Socrates,” a one-man play by Yiannis Simonides, with the financial help of USG and the Greek community. The event will take place on March 30 in Lecture Center F3 at 4 p.m. While the play is intended to show Plato’s relevance to students in the present time, how much interest it can raise remains uncertain.

“The bottom line is money,” Jeff Melichar, a third-year English education and Classics double major said. “Unless there’s an endowment or contribution from someone, it’ll be hard to convince the higher-ups to keep the program at full strength. Fundraisers probably wouldn’t help much either, but if we can just get one really generous millionaire to throw some money our way, things would improve a great deal.”

Currently UIC is the only public university in Chicago to offer Ancient Greek and Latin. Alumni of the languages are reported to have greater success entering into Law and Medicine. They also report higher scores on standardized tests, such as the GRE and LSAT.

“If the Greek and Latin majors are suspended,” said Nanno Marinatos, Professor and Director of Studies of Classics, “the entire Classics Department will wither away. No serious scholar will ever want to come to UIC to teach high-school level mythology and literature classes.”

“Teaching Greek authors in the original is a way for faculty and students to maintain high-level performance at UIC which aspires to be a world-class university,” Marinatos continued. “We wish to maintain a serious profile in the international community to which we belong and by which we are highly esteemed.”

Greek Fisherman Nets a Bronze

AP Photo via the Plain Dealer

AP Photo via the Plain Dealer

Plenty of coverage of this one, but all the coverage is brief and apparently derived from an AP wire story. A fisherman working between Kos and Kalymnos hauled up his net and found it contained (as was later determined) a section of a bronze equestrian statue dating to the second century B.C.. The statue is currently undergoing conservation/restoration.

CONF: Teleology in the Ancient World

The Dispensation of Nature

Venue: The University of Exeter, 8-11 July, 2009
Organisers: Dr. Julius Rocca and Prof. Christopher Gill

An international conference which will discuss the ways teleological arguments were used in medicine and philosophy in antiquity, and how these arguments have continued to inform and influence current debate on evolution, creationism, and intelligent design. As well as examining philosophical contributions to the subject, especially Platonic and Aristotelian, a special aim of the conference is to show how ancient medical thinking on this topic relates to ancient philosophical ideas. Examining teleological methodologies in ancient medical thought from Hippocrates to Galen will offer a critical evaluation on the place of teleology within medical science, its cultural contexts, its account of human development, and teleological responses to competing explanatory theories of human structure and function.

Keynote speaker, Professor David Sedley, University of Cambridge: “Socrates’ place in the history of teleology.”

Other speakers: Elizabeth Craik, University of St. Andrews; John Dillon, Trinity College, Dublin; Rebecca Flemming, University of Cambridge; R. J. Hankinson, The University of Texas at Austin; M.R. Johnson, University of California, San Diego; Mariska Leunissen, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; Staffan Müller-Wille, University of Exeter: Jan Opsomer, University of Cologne; Mark Schiefsky, Harvard University; Samuel Scolnicov, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; R.W. Sharples, University College London; Harold Tarrant, University of Newcastle, Australia; Philip van der Eijk, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Accommodation in en-suite rooms in the University’s newest hall of residence overlooking the Exe valley and near the main conference venue: accommodation and all meals during conference: £240; conference fee £30 (£15 for students); daily rates also available.
Bookings, with accommodation: by April 5 2009
Without accommodation: by June 14 2009.
For booking form, contact Prof. C. J. Gill
Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter,
Amory Building, Rennes Drive,
Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK
C.J.Gill AT exeter.ac.uk

With financial support from the British Academy, the Classical Association, the Hellenic Society, the Leverhulme Trust, the Wellcome Trust, and the University of Exeter.