Classical Effects

The incipit of a piece by Jonathan Tepperman in Newsweek:

In 1942, a little-known Michigan-born journalist living in Europe decided to write a cookbook of sorts. Her name was M.F.K. Fisher, and the result, How to Cook a Wolf, was less a collection of recipes than a guide to, and a fierce defense of, eating well when the world was at war, food was scarce and the proverbial wolf was “snuffling at the door.” Fisher was adamant that, whatever the circumstances, one must try to exist as richly as possible. As she later told an interviewer, “One has to live, you know. You can’t just die from grief or anything. You don’t die. You might as well eat well, have a good glass of wine, a good tomato.”

I’ve been thinking about Fisher a lot lately. While the wolf has not yet reached the threshold again, she’s been sighted in the neighborhood and can be heard baying up the empty canyons of Wall Street. Which makes advice like Fisher’s as important now as it was 60 years ago. For her point was not just that we should struggle to live well for the sake of the struggle. It was that, when conditions are rough, finding comfort—whether in a tomato or a lovingly prepared meal—is especially important, both to salve our wounds and to remind ourselves of our humanity.

It’s a lesson I first learned about a decade ago. The circumstances were far less astringent and romantic than occupied France, but the grub was almost as bad. I was a student living on a narrow budget in England, before Cool Brittania made the U.K. part of Europe again, bringing cappuccino and tapenade even to remote academia. Back then the dorms were cold, the plumbing erratic and the dining-hall food comically bad, either gray or beige and fat or starch. Albion was still the land of dishwater coffee, the chip butty (a french-fry sandwich) and bacon dinners. I’d come to study law and was overwhelmed by the course load and losing weight so rapidly I was eating two chocolate bars a day to keep my pants up. And then I fell in love, and everything changed.

She studied Latin poetry and was strong-willed, beautiful and brilliant—and a maniacal cook, who fed me candied ginger the first time we had tea (who knew there was such a thing?) and soon started serving me elaborate, exquisite meals. Then the rules shifted and I soon found myself drafted into twice-weekly shopping trips and nightly kitchen duty. At first, panicked at the library hours I was losing, I resented this drudgery deeply; not helping never seemed an option. But it wasn’t long before I realized, over a forkful of wild Scottish trout, a plate of orrechiette with rapini and sausage or a post-dinner glass of vin santo, that this extraordinary food and the time spent preparing it wasn’t undermining my work—it was enabling it. Left to my own devices and an institutional menu of mushy peas, I wouldn’t have lasted a full term. The classicist showed me how to slow down and live better. I succumbed to it and Oxford’s other eccentric charms—like inkwells in the libraries, the white-tie ensemble we wore for exams or the bicycles we rode everywhere (often while wearing white tie). I made room and time for the Good Life, and the Good Life saved me.

The classicist is long gone, despite my obedient kitchen servitude and the stock-pot I bought her for Valentine’s Day (which she took with her). But her lesson sticks with me. […]

Sound like a Classicist I know, but then again, what do I know …

Ex Deo: Romulus

Even if you’re not a fan of Death Metal, classicist types should find the imagery of the title track of Ex Deo’s latest Roman-themed project of interest:

Exclaim (to whom I tip my pileus) also includes a list of tracks on the album (do they call them albums any more?):

1. “Romulus”
2. “Storm the Gates of Alesia”
3. “Cry Havoc”
4. “In Her Dark Embrace”
5. “Invictus”
6. “The Final War (Battle of Actium)”
7. “Legio XIII”
8. “Blood, Courage and the God’s That Walk the Earth”
9. “Cruor Nostri Abbas”
10. “Surrender The Sun”
11. “The Pantheon (Jupiter’s Reign)”

Seasick Seneca

Not sure why this is in the Guardian‘s weather pages, actually … perhaps it’s a sidebar to something:

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, mentor to the boy emperor Nero, had let himself be persuaded to travel by sea. "The sea was quite calm when we set off. The sky was certainly heavily overcast, with the kind of dark clouds that generally break into a squall or downpour," he writes in Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics 1969).

"I thought it would be perfectly feasible to make it across the few miles from your Parthenope to Puteoli. And so, with the object of getting the crossing over quicker, I headed straight for Nesis over the open water to cut out all the intervening curves of coastline. Now when I had got so far across that it made no odds whether I went on or turned back, first of all the smoothness which had tempted me to my undoing disappeared. There was no storm as yet, but a heavy swell was running by then and the waves were steadily getting rougher. I began asking the helmsman to put me ashore somewhere. He kept saying the coast was a rugged one without a haven anywhere and that there was nothing he feared quite so much in a storm as a lee shore. I was in far too bad a way, though, for any thought of possible danger to enter my head, as I was suffering the torments of that sluggish brand of seasickness that will not bring one relief, the kind that upsets the stomach without clearing it." The great Stoic settled his queasiness by diving overboard and swimming across the squally waters to the shore.

The letter is Epistulae Morales 6.53, for those of you scoring at home. It actually goes beyond what is quoted above and includes some snippets from the Aeneid

CFP: Journal of Hellenic Religion vol. 3

The Journal of Hellenic Religion’s (JfHR) will proceed shortly to produce the third volume of the Journal, which will be forthcoming in the mid 2010.
The JfHR is a peer-reviewed annual periodical. It has as a main theme the original interdisciplinary study of ancient Greek Religion and Theology (i.e. history, philosophy, politics-sociology and archaeology-anthropology).

The theme / subject of the forthcoming Volume 3 will focus on the ancient Greek beliefs of afterlife and death, their mourning, lamentation and funeral practices.

The articles should include full bibliography and endnotes.

The editorial panel may request editions and small alterations and a summary of the peer-reviewed process will be send after the author’s request. The authors hold their article’s copyright. The contributors will be requested to sign the ‘Licence To Publish’ based on the JISC and Surf Foundation guidelines.

Please view (URL: http://www.journalofhellenicreligion.markoulakispublications.org.uk/about/guide) the Contribution Guideline for more information of the word limitation.
Submission of any material must be on electronic form (doc, rtf), accompanied with the legal name and a current email and postal address of the author and emailed it to the Editor (see contact details below)

Thank you in advance of your contributions.

Nikolaos Markoulakis
Nottingham Trent University
Maudslay Building
Burton Street, NG1 4BU
Phone: +44 (0) 115 848 4354
fax: +44 (0) 115 848 4612
Email: n.markoulakis AT markoulakispublications.org.uk
Visit the website at http://www.journalofhellenicreligion.markoulakispublications.org.uk/

CONF: Digital Classicist seminar series

… seen on the Classicists list:

We have had to make a small change to the Digital Classicist/ICS Work-in-Progress seminar series.  The updated programme is copied here.

*Digital Classicist/ICS Work in Progress Seminar, Summer 2009*

Fridays at 16:30 in STB3/6 (Stewart House), Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU

(NB: July 17th seminar in British Library, 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DW)

*June 5:* Bart Van Beek (Leuven)
‘Onomastics and Name-extraction in Graeco-Egyptian Papyri’

*June 12:* Philip Murgatroyd (Birmingham)
‘Starting out on the Journey to Manzikert: Agent-based modelling and
Mediaeval warfare logistics’

*June 19:* Mark Hedges & Tobias Blanke (King’s College London)
‘Linking and Querying Ancient Texts: A multi-database case study with epigraphic corpora”

*June 26:* Marco Büchler & Annette Loos (Leipzig)
‘Textual Re-use of Ancient Greek Texts: A case study on Plato’s works’

*July 3:* Roger Boyle & Nia Ng (Leeds)
‘Extracting the Hidden: Paper Watermark Location and Identification’

*July 10:* Cristina Vertan (Hamburg)
‘Teuchos: An Online Knowledge-based Platform for Classical Philology’

*July 17:* Christine Pappelau (Berlin) **NB: in British Library**
‘Roman Spolia in 3D: High Resolution Leica 3D Laser-scanner meets
ancient building structures’

*July 24:* Elton Barker (Oxford)
‘Herodotos Encoded Space-Text-Imaging Archive’

*July 31:* Leif Isaksen (Southampton)
‘Linking Archaeological Data’

*August 7:* Alexandra Trachsel (Hamburg)
‘An Online Edition of the Fragments of Demetrios of Skepsis’

*ALL WELCOME*

We are inviting both students and established researchers involved in the application of the digital humanities to the study of the ancient world to come and introduce their work. The focus of this seminar series is the interdisciplinary and collaborative work that results at the interface of expertise in Classics or Archaeology and computer Science.

The seminars will be followed by wine and refreshments.

For more information please contact any of the following:
Gabriel.Bodard AT kcl.ac.uk
Stuart.Dunn AT kcl.ac.uk
Juan.Garce AT bl.uk
Simon.Mahony AT kcl.ac.uk
or see the seminar website at
http://www.digitalclassicist.org/wip/wip2009.html

JOB: Generalist @ UArizona (one year)

… seen on the Classics List:

The Department of Classics at the  University of Arizona in Tucson seeks a highly qualified candidate for a full-time, benefits-eligible, one-year position as Visiting Assistant Professor beginning August, 2009.  We are seeking a broadly trained classicist who will teach six courses,  including one each in elementary and intermediate Greek, one in the
classical tradition, and two other large enrollment courses depending upon the candidate’s areas of expertise.

To apply, please follow the link www.uacareertrack.com to the University’s Human Resources site and search for job #43091.

Inquiries may be directed to:
Pamela J. Goldsmith
Senior Business Manager
Department of Classics
LSB 203
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ  85721
520-626-1396
goldsmip AT email.arizona.edu

ED: EpiDoc Training Sessions

… from the Digitalclassicist list:

*EpiDoc Training Sessions 2009*
London 20-24 July
Rome 21-25 September

The EpiDoc community has been developing protocols for the publication
of inscriptions, papyri, and other documentary Classical texts in
TEI-compliant XML: for details see the community website at
http://epidoc.sf.net. (*Note:* the new Duke Databank of Documentary
Papyri at http://papyri.info is encoded in EpiDoc XML.)

Over the last few years there has been increasing demand for training by
scholars wishing to use EpiDoc. We are delighted to be able to announce
two training workshops, which will be offered in 2009. Both will be led
by Dr Gabriel Bodard. These sessions will benefit scholars working on
Greek or Latin documents with an interest in developing skills in the
markup, encoding, and exploitation of digital editions. Competence in
Greek and/or Latin, and knowledge of the Leiden Conventions will be
assumed; no particular computer skills are required.

*London session,* 20-24 July 2009. This will take place at the Centre
for Computing in the Humanities, King’s College London, 26-29 Drury
Lane. The cost of tuition will be £50 for students; £100 for employees
of universities or other non-profit institutions; £200 for employees of
commercial institutions. Those interested in enrolling should apply to
Dr Bodard, gabriel.bodard AT kcl.ac.uk by 20 June 2009.

We hope to be able to offer some follow-up internships after the
session, to enable participants to consolidate their experience under
supervision; please let us know if that would be of interest to you.

*Rome session,* 21-25 September 2009. This will take place at the
British School at Rome. Thanks to the generous support of the
International Association of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, the British
School and Terra Italia Onlus, tuition will be free.

Those interested in enrolling should apply to Dr Silvia Orlandi,
silvia.orlandi AT uniroma1.it by 30 June 2009.

*Practical matters*
Both courses will run from Monday to Friday starting at 10:00 am and
ending at 16:00 each day.

Participants should bring a wireless-enabled laptop. You should acquire
and install a copy of the Oxygen XML Editor
(http://www.oxygenxml.com/download_oxygenxml_editor.html) *and* either
an educational licence ($48) or a 30-day trial licence (free). Don’t
worry if you don’t know how to use it!