Warwick Podcast: ‘Epic Poetry: from Homer to Virgil’

… seen on the Classicists list:

Dear all,

you can listen to the latest episode of Warwick’s ‘Classics in Discussion’ podcast. It is on ’Epic Poetry: from Homer to Virgil’.

See http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/classics/podcast

It is also available on iTunesU; see http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/warwick.ac.uk.2015041076

JOB: American Research Center in Sofia: Archaeology Administrator

from the Classics list:


The American Research Center in Sofia (www.einaudi.cornell.edu/arcs) seeks to appoint an archaeology administrator. The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. in archaeology from a North American university, experience in both American and Bulgarian excavations, and fluency in Bulgarian. The position involves handling the solicitation of joint American-Bulgarian archaeological projects; working with the projects’ proposers and our Advisory Committee on Archaeological Projects regarding joint excavations and preservation of sites; and facilitating communication between Bulgarian and North American academics in the field of archaeology. The appointee will also be involved in reporting on the progress of the various projects, including preservation of sites, and in other administrative work at ARCS.

The term is one year, expected to begin in August, 2009, and is renewable.  The salary is competitive. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Candidates should send a curriculum vitae, a cover letter, and the names of three referees to Professor Kevin Clinton, Chair, Managing Committee, American Research Center in Sofia. Submissions should be sent only electronically (by e-mail attachments) to kmc1 AT cornell.edu.

The American Research Center in Sofia (ARCS) is a consortium of over 75 institutions of higher learning registered in North America.  It was established in 2004 in order to facilitate academic research in Bulgaria for North American scholars and to promote collaboration between scholars from North America and countries in Southeast Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro). The Center facilitates research in Bulgaria by offering fellows and research teams logistical support. Visiting scholars and fellows can take advantage of the network established by the Center for use of the resources of Bulgarian institutions, and the Center helps to obtain necessary permits and approvals for research projects. The Center also facilitates training in the languages of the region for American scholars and sponsors conferences, guest lectures, seminars and talks by visiting fellows, and other cultural events. For the academic year 2009/2010 ARCS will offer three academic programs with accompanying fellowships: a 9-month program for the period September-May; a fall term program for the period September-November; and a spring term program for the period February-April (for details see www.einaudi.cornell.edu/arcs ).  With recent major grants from the Packard Humanities Institute ARCS has acquired its own building in Sofia, which includes extensive library space and housing for the director, visitors, and students.

This Day in Ancient History

ante diem vi kalendas junias

  • 302 A.D. — Martyrdom of Julius at Durostorum

ED: SALVI Rusticatio: 2009 Scholarship Application

seen on Latinteach:

SALVI is pleased to announce the availability of three need-based
scholarships, funded by the Amy High Foundation, for Rusticatio Omnibus
2009.  Applications for scholarships to Rusticatio Omnibus will be
accepted through June 10, 2009.  The SALVI Scholarship Committee chair
will notify applicants of the Committee’s decision via email on June 15.
Please note that scholarships cover only the Rusticatio Omnibus program
fees, and do not include support for travel expenses.

To compete for a scholarship, please do the following:

1.  Download an application for Rusticatio Omnibus from
www.latin.org/rusticatio.html.  Send the completed application to SALVI,
c/o Jacquelyn Myers, 1252 11th Street, #107, Santa Monica, CA, 90401.
(Disregard this step if you have already submitted your Rusticatio

2.  provide a personal statement of no more than 250 words in which you:
*  Briefly describe your present occupation (e.g., high school Latin
teacher, professor).
*  Explain why you believe attending Rusticatio Omnibus will help you in
developing your skills as a Latinist.
*  Explain how your attendance at Rusticatio Omnibus will enable you to
bring living Latin to a wider audience.
*  Explain why receiving this scholarship is necessary for you.  If you
are currently employed, please explain the likelihood of receiving
institutional support for program fees, travel, etc., or the
circumstances which might preclude such support.

Please send your personal statement by email to the Scholarship
Committee chair, Jacquelyn Myers, atiacoba AT latin.org

Liburnian ‘Sewn’ Ship Found

Interesting item from Javno:

In the Caska Bay on the Island of Pag, near Novalja, an ancient sewn ship over 2,000 years old was found. This is the result of research done by the city of Novalja and the Zadar University, in cooperation with the French institute for scientific research (CNRS-CCJ University in Marseille) and numerous other foreign associates.

Archaeologists have found a ancient sewn ship more than 2000 years old in Pag’s Caska Bay, reports ezadar.hr.

The research, which was organized by the City of Novalja in cooperation with the Zadar University in cooperation with the French national institute for scientific research, was led by professor Zdenko Brusic from the Zadar University.

“In Roman times, Novalja was known for its port accommodation and was located on the old sea route from Greece to northern Italy and central Europe. The ships would wait in Novalja for suitable winds and because of that a town developed there that had various suitable servces. Today there are numerous remains of Roman architecture under the whole region, like water supply lines, well equipped basilicas, graves” said Brusic for ezadar.hr.

At the bottom of the bay there is the sunken Roman town named “Kissa” (Cissa), whose remains are being researched, and the discovery of the sewn ancient ship was the result of the joint work of around 20 Croatian and French archaeologists, added the professor.

“That ship was literally sewn with the help of rope that was pulled through holes, and was used by the people of Liburnia” said Irena Radic Rossi from the Croatian restoration institute. She added that the exact age of the ship will be determined in the research, even though it is already known that it is over 2,000 years old.

Possibly apropos, Aulus Gellius (17.3.4) quotes Varro on the method of these Liburnian boats’ manufacture:

Text not available
Auli Gellii Noctes Atticae. Ed. stereotypa By Aulus Gellius

… although I’m not sure whether this refers to the construction of the boat or the tying up of the boat to a pier or whatever.

Nutty Professors

The National Post has a lengthy feature on the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences and the eccentricities of the participants (sort of) which includes this:

Not all professors are strange, but Brian Little admits that enough of his peers and colleagues are quirky, eccentric and flighty to hold up the profession as representative of the oddities of the human species.

He recalls one professor who posted a "keep off the grass" sign on his lawn, written in ancient Greek. To this day, no one from ancient Greece has laid their strapped sandals on his property, the professor insisted.

Sounds like something a Classicist would do … anyone care to venture a guess? I’m willing to bet there is more than one candidate …

CONF: Jews, Christians, Greeks, Romans

from the Classicists list:

A few places are still available for the symposium below.  For information on registration and for other details about the symposium, please visit the website at:

A symposium in honour of Professor Tessa Rajak
University of Reading
Thursday, 25 June 2009
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The symposium is to mark the long and distinguished career of our colleague, Professor Tessa Rajak, and her many years of research, teaching, and service to the global academic community.


PHILIP ALEXANDER, Professor of Post-Biblical Jewish Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Manchester.  “Did the Rabbinic movement lose the West? Reflections on the fate of Greek-speaking Judaism after 70 CE”.
E. GILLIAN CLARK, Professor of Ancient History and Head of Subject (Classics & Ancient History), University of Bristol.  “Augustine and the Septuagint”.
HANNAH M. COTTON, Shalom Horowitz Professor of Classics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  “The Conception of Jesus and the Documents from the Judaean Desert”.
MARTIN D. GOODMAN, Professor of Jewish Studies and Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford.  “Tolerance of Variety within Judaism in the Early Roman empire”.
ERICH S. GRUEN, Wood Professor of History Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley.  “Perseus as a Multi-Culturalist”.
FERGUS G. B. MILLAR, Camden Professor of Ancient History Emeritus, University of Oxford.  “Jews and Christians in Late Antique Mesopotamia”.
JOHN NORTH, Professor of History Emeritus, UCL, University of London.  “Pagan Orthopraxy”.
TESSA RAJAK, Professor of Ancient History Emeritus, University of Reading.  Moderator of final panel discussion.
For some time now, scholars have sought to undermine rigid distinctions between Jews, Christians, and other religious communities in Greco-Roman antiquity.  Researchers have progressed far in understanding the complex religious and cultural interactions that flourished in the Hellenistic and Roman periods and in exploring the social and cultural milieux inhabited by different religious groups.

In bringing together distinguished international experts in the field, this conference aims to evaluate and interrogate long-established positions and to move discussion to the next level.  We seek to build on the current understanding of religious interaction in the Roman Empire, and on the broader question of hybrid identities, and develop critical perspectives for future study.  The primary focus is Jewish-Christian interaction, but within the context of a broader framework that includes other religious communities.  What does religious multiculturalism mean in an ancient context?  What becomes of categories such as “Jew” and “Christian” (or “Diaspora Jew” and “Judaean Jew”, or “Pharisee”, “Sadducee”, and “Essene”) in a scenario where religious and cultural identities appear to be fluid?  How does the interpretation of sacred texts proceed in such a situation?  How exemplary is the case of the Empire’s Jewish communities?  What are the politics of religious contact and boundary-manipulation in the Roman Empire? What is the role of collective memory?  These are the questions we hope to address in our papers and discussions.

The symposium is sponsored by the Estate of Marilyn Dorothy Payne, the Jowett Copyright Trust, Oxford, and the School of Humanities and the Department of Classics at the University of Reading.

For further information, please contact Phiroze Vasunia at p.vasunia  AT reading.ac.uk or 0118 378 8410, or write to him at the Department of Classics, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AA, U.K.


Phaistos Disk Musings

Interesting item in the Examiner in regards to the Phaistos Disk and questions of its authenticity. Here’s a bit in medias res:

Since there’s only one disk, the scholar Jerome Eisenberg suggests it’s nothing but a fake. He published a long article spelling out why he thought this, concluding that the thing ought to be tested via thermoluminescence, to see how old it is. If it turns out to be only 100 years old, dating to the time of its own excavation, it’s definitely a fake. If it turns out to be about 3,200 years old, maybe it’s authentic, since it would go back to the Bronze Age. It seems pretty cut and dried.
But there happens to be a certain bronze wolf, a she-wolf to be precise, who was always proclaimed to be Etruscan by a certain museum in Italy, and this wolf was recently tested and found to be medieval and so not Etruscan at all. How embarrassing! After this fiasco, the Heraklion Museum, the one showing off the famous disk, isn’t taking any chances. They’re not letting anybody test their disk!
But it may not be a fake, just because of a few other facts wandering out there, seldom noted. There’s supposedly an axe (possibly from an island next door to Turkey unless I have that confused with Etruscan) that has two or three symbols on it that are reminiscent of some that are on this here disk, so maybe it’s not entirely unique and therefore authentic after all. This is the so-called axe of Arkhalokouri, which I have yet to see, so I can’t really vouch for its similarity to the disk. I’ve only heard about it.
More exciting is another disk that showed up in, of all places, the Caucasus. It’s known as the Disk of Vladikavkaz because it turned up in Vladikavkaz. Yes, I figured you would have figured that out! You’re very clever.  Unfortunately, this “new” disk is incomplete, but what there is of it resembles the Phaistos Disk quite closely in the signs on its surface. Well, that is, the newly found disk looks like an untalented amateur drew its signs, whereas the old Greek one has very neat and tidy and clever stamped signs. But the signs are recognizable anyhow. The disk of Vladikavkaz has the little pagoda-like building that some say is a beehive, the little jogging man, and the circle with dots that some call a warrior’s shield but that looks more like a chocolate chip cookie to me. It has the Mohawk that’s probably the head of a warrior with a feathered helmet. Plus, there’s the flying bird, although apparently without those little eggs falling under her. Maybe those were her feet and weren’t considered important in Ossetia, where this was found. There is a symbol that looks like the hide of some animal on the Phaistos Disk, a hide that I always figured was a bull’s hide for some reason that I no longer recall. On the Vladikavkaz fragment, it looks much less like a hide and more like a cartoon of a stuffed toy or a doll with an eensy-weensy head. But I suppose it’s meant to be the same symbol. Then there are those two bunny ears and the wiggly horn as well. I have no earthly idea what any of this really represents and I suspect that no one else actually does either. But it’s fun to speculate.

FWIW, I’m still not convinced about the dating of the Capioline She-Wolf; I’m also skeptical of most anything ‘controversial’ found in the USSR.

CONF: Lucretius – Poetry, Philosophy and Science

from the Classicists list:

A reminder that the last date for registration for this conference (which

takes place at the University of Manchester on 6 and 7 July) is *31st May*.
 Booking forms, and further details about the conference, can be downloaded

The final programme is pasted below.

Andrew Morrison & Alison Sharrock
Classics & Ancient History
University of Manchester

LUCRETIUS: Poetry, Philosophy, and Science

Monday 6 July

   * 11.00 Registration
   * 11.45-12.45 Daryn Lehoux (Queen’s, Kingston), ‘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 spontaneity’
   * 2.40-3.40 James Hankinson (Texas-Austin), ‘Lucretius and the Logic of
Multiple Explanation’
   * 3.40-4.00 Tea
   * 4.00-5.00 David Konstan (Brown), ‘Lucretius and the Epicurean Attitude
toward Grief’

 7.00 Dinner in local restaurant

Tuesday 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 Indifference’
   * 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’

 7.00 Dinner in local restaurant

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


CONF: Codicology and Palaeography in the Digital Age

… making the rounds of various lists:

Dear colleagues,

The Institute of Documentology and Scholarly Editing (IDE) and the chair
for Historical Auxiliary Sciences at LMU Munich organises an
international symposium on "Codicology and Palaeography in the Digital
Age" in Munich, 3/4 July 2009. Please find a brief description below and
more information including the preliminary programme here:


You are all very welcome to participate.

Kind regards,
Georg Vogeler, LMU Munich

International Conference

"Codicology and Palaeography in the Digital Age", Munich, 3-4 July 2009

The conference will focus on the challenges and consequences of using IT
and the internet for codicological and palaeographic research. The
authors of some selected articles of an anthology to be published this
summer by the Institute for Documentology and Scholarly Editing (IDE)
will present and discuss their excellent research results with scholars
and experts working on ancient books and manuscripts. The presentations
will be given on current issues in the following fields: manuscript
catalogues and descriptions, digitization of manuscripts, collaborative
systems of research on manuscripts, codicological databases, manuscript
catalogues, research based on digital resources, e-learning in
palaeography, palaeographic databases (characters, scripts, scribes),
(semi-) automatic recognition of scripts and scribes, digital tools for
transcriptions, visions and prototypes of other digital tools.
A panel discussion will be held with renowned exponents in the field of
codicology and palaeography and contributors of cutting edge research to
get an overview of the state of the art as well as to open up new
perspectives of codicological and palaeographic research in the "digital

The conference is open to the public.

Kabri 2009 Dig Blog

Eric Cline sends this along:

I thought that some or all of you might like to know the location of our Kabri 2009 Dig Blog; it will be available here:


Pictures of some of our bloggers are already up, as part of the first two posts; at least five of the bloggers will be current GW students.

We will be posting daily, hopefully with some short embedded videos as well, from June 21st to July 30th, but I anticipate that some preliminary "pre-dig" posts by some of the bloggers will be going up much sooner than that.

We will have approximately 65 team members during the 2009 season, coming from the US, Israel, England, Ireland, Finland, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Greece, and Australia, including 27 current students and alumni from GWU.

CONF: II international Congress on Ancient History

II International Congress on Ancient History / II Jornadas
Internacionales de Historia Antigua
Complete Program / Programa completo
27, 28 y 29 de mayo de 2009
Córdoba, Argentina

Miércoles 27 de Mayo.
Mañana 9-13.30 hs.
9:00 hs.
Aula B Decanato


10.30 hs.
Aula A Decanato
Apertura y presentación del libro “Estudios Interdisciplinarios de
Historia Antigua II”, Cecilia Ames.

11.00 hs.
Aula A Decanato
Conferencia “Gladiadores: honra, culpa y suicidio”, Alba Romano.

11.45 hs.
Aula A Decanato
Conferencia “I testi dei messaggeri di Umma: dall’amministrazione alla
storia”, Franco D’Agostino, “La Sapienza” Universtà di Roma.

13.00 hs. Brindis de Bienvenida.

Miércoles 27 de Mayo.
Tarde 15-20 hs.
15.00-17.00 hs.
Aula D Decanato.
Panel: “Contactos entre Oriente y Occidente”.

- “Greek and Roman impact in the Near East: the architectural and
artistic response”, Moshe Fischer, Universidad de Tel Aviv.

-  “Las Fuentes Clásicas en la creación de Tartessos”, Sebastián
Celestino Pérez, Instituto de Arqueología, Mérida.

17.00-20.00 hs.
Aula D Decanato
Conferencia “Especialización artesanal en la prehistoria tardía
levantina”, Ianir Milevski  y Omry Barzilai, Israel Antiquities

Mesa 1. Cercano Oriente: Política, Estado y Relaciones de Poder.
Coordinadora: Cristina Di Bennardis.

Barros, Anahí M. (Universidad Nacional de Rosario), “Algunas
aproximaciones en torno al espacio y las formas de apropiación del
espacio en la región mariota.”

Di Bennardis , Cristina (Universidad Nacional de Rosario),
“Reflexiones en torno al planteo de Mario Liverani sobre la dicotomía
estados urbanos-estados étnicos. Apuntes para un debate”.

Dos Santos, Silvana, “Poder y alteridad, orden y caos  en las
prácticas imperiales heteas durante los siglos XIV al XIII. a. C”.

Lazarte, Verónica (Universidad Nacional de Rosario), “A mi Señor di
esto…Reportes de Yaqqim-Addum al palacio de Mari”

Magneres, Magdalena (Universidad del Centro), “Nuevos enfoques y
viejos problemas: estratigrafía, cronología y  arquitectura para el
Israel omrita del siglo IX a. C.”

Rovira, Leticia (Universidad Nacional de Rosario-CONICET), “La
división del trabajo en Mari (Siglo XVII a. C.). Una mirada desde la
conceptualización marxista”.

17.00-20.00 hs.
Aula VIP Pabellón Francia.
Mesa 2. El mundo helenístico: Problemas históricos y literarios.
Coordinadora: Beatriz Ardesi de Tarantuviez.

Ardesi de Tarantuviez, Beatriz (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo):
“Olimpia, una madre con carácter”.

Turco, María Mercedes (Universidad de Buenos Aires): “La construcción
de la trama narrativa en las Historias de Polibio”.

Perriot, María Celina (Universidad Nacional de San Juan): “Ríete
conmigo: Luciano de Samósata y los ideales de la cultura griega en el
siglo II d.C.”.

Torres Daniel, Alejandro (Universidad de Buenos Aires-Universidad
Nacional del Sur-CONICET): “La teoría coral sobre el hexámetro
homérico y su aplicabilidad a los Himnos helenísticos y de la
Antigüedad tardía”.

Antúnez, Daniela, (Universidad Nacional de Rosario): “Las figuras de
Helena y los Dioscuros en el culto de la Alejandría Ptolemaica a
partir de un fragmento calimaqueo (fr. 227 Pf.)”

Buzón Rodolfo P., (Universidad de Buenos Aires – CONICET):
“᾽Ανόσιοι᾽Ιουδαιοι. La construcción de una identidad en el Egipto

Garbarino de Calvo, Rosa y Espejo de Romarión, Cristián, (Universidad
Nacional de San Juan): “Tradición, innovación, alteridad e identidad
en el Egipto de los primeros Ptolomeos”.

17.00-20.00 hs.
Aula Iber Verdugo Pabellón Francia.
Mesa 3. Grecia: Estado, formas de poder y relaciones sociales en la
Pólis Griega.
Coordinador: Guido Fernández Parmo.

Fernández Parmo, Guido (Universidad de Morón): “Unidad y jerarquía en
la pólis griega: una lectura de Pierre Clastres”.

Martínez, Myriam y Gutiérrez, Julio (Universidad Nacional de San
Juan): “La sociedad griega en los siglos VIII y V a.C.: rol e
importancia del extranjero en las obras de Homero y Lisias”.

Paiaro, Diego Gonzalo (Universidad Buenos Aires-CONICET): “La ciudad
democrática y el poder coercitivo de la pólis”.

Basile, Gastón Javier (Universidad de Buenos Aires): “La controversia
sobre las comunidades periecas: una aproximación semántica”.

Requena, Mariano J. (Universidad de Buenos Aires): “La situación
agraria ateniense del siglo IV a.C. y la «crisis» de la pólis”.

Schere, María Jimena (Universidad de Buenos Aires-CONICET): “La
presentación del campesino en la comedia Caballeros de Aristófanes”.

17.00-20.00 hs.
Aula “A” Pabellón Agustín Tosco.
Mesa 4. Roma: Estructura social, economía y sociedad.
Coordinadora: María Eugenia Pareti.

Córdoba, Noemí A. (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba): “Tierra, trabajo
y dinero en una economía de prestigio”

Fernandes Lino de Azevedo, Sarah y Faversani, Fábio (Universidade
Federal de Ouro Preto): “Interações sociais, personagens femininas e
construção da imagem imperial no principado de Nero”

Gallardo, Leandro y Amondaray, Santiago (Instituto Joaquín V.
González.): “Una aproximación a explicaciones alternativas entorno la
cuestión del surgimiento del Estado en la Roma Primitiva”

Pareti, María Eugenia (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo): “Patronus,
alumnus-alumna de la ciudad en el África romana”

Zaccaría, Laura (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo): “Emperador Juliano y
sus prácticas religiosas: el Ritual del Taurobolium” .

Buisel de Sequeiros, María Delia (Universidad Nacional de La Plata):
“Historia, Épica y Lírica en la oda II, 1 de Horacio. Excusatio y

Jueves 28 de Mayo
Mañana 9-13.30 hs.
9.00-11.30 hs.
Aula A Decanato
Panel: “La Antigüedad en torno al Mediterráneo”.

- “El Mediterráneo en la Antigüedad, un espacio bajo discusión”,
Nicolás Cruz, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

-“De la ciudad púnica a la ciudad romana en Hispania. Proceso de
aculturación y cambios urbanísticos”, Juan Blánquez Pérez, Universidad
Autónoma de Madrid.

-“La trilogía Roma-Europa-Mediterráneo: espacios interactuantes”,
Alejandro Bancalari Molina, Universidad de Concepción.

11.30-13.30 hs.
Aula A Decanato
Mesa 5. Roma: Política, estado y relaciones de poder.
Coordinador: Fábio Faversani

Almeida de Souza, Lucas (Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto): “As
relações de poder entre as casas Imperiais e as Senatoriais”.

Alves de Aguiar, Mariana (Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto): “O
General e o Imperador: Relações de poder na luta pela conquista da
Armênia durante o Principado de Nero”.

Klain Belchior, Ygor (Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto): “Patronato
e governo imperial sob Nero, nos Anais, de Tácito”.

Mancini Viera, William (Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto): “Sátira
do mau governante: o olhar de Sêneca sobre o Principado de Cláudio (41
– 54 d.C.)”.

Milia, María Leonor (Universidad Nacional del Litoral): “El mito de
origen de Roma en el relato de Plutarco de Queronea”.

Sagristani, Marta (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba): “Algunas voces
críticas de la política imperialista romana: el caso de Cayo Salustio

10.30- 13.30 hs.
Aula D Decanato
Mesa 6. Cercano Oriente: Prácticas Discursivas, representación y sociedad.
Coordinadora: Eleonora Ravenna

Alesso, Marta, (Universidad Nacional de la Pampa): “Texto y contexto
de la Didaché”.

Barreyra, Diego, (El Colegio de México): “El Trasfondo Sirio de las
Historias Patriarcales del Libro del Génesis. El Ciclo de Jacob y la
Reevaluación de su Historicidad”

Della Casa, Romina, (Universidad Católica Argentina): “El espacio de
frontera en los documentos hititas: una lectura de las Instrucciones a
los Comandantes de las Guardias Fronterizas de Arnuwanda I”.

Paura Bersán, Sebastián (UNPSJB): “La otredad en la construcción de
lugares de la memoria durante el Imperio Persa”.

Urbano, Luciana Laura (Universidad Nacional de Rosario): “Las
relaciones epistolares entre Mari e Ilân-Surâ. Léxico y discurso

Vigo, Matteo (Universtà degli Studi di Pavia): “El término hitita para
“isla” y la percepción del mar por los hititas”.

Monti, Luciano E. (Universidad de Buenos Aires), “El Background de las
tradiciones funerarios de Ugarit y Emar”.

11.00-13.30 hs.
Aula “A” Pabellón Agustín Tosco
Mesa 7. Antigüedad Tardía: Sociedad y Estado en el Imperio Romano Tardío.
Coordinadora: Viviana Boch

Gómez-Aso, Graciela, (Universidad Católica Argentina – Instituto
Joaquín V. González): “La aristocracia romano-pagana en los tiempos
tardo-antiguos: el caso de Aurelio Símmaco entre la intransigencia y
la tolerancia político-religiosa”

Boch, Viviana (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo): “Imagen y realidad de
las aristocracias tradicionales tardorromanas en el juego de los
intereses políticos”.

Gutiérrez Sánchez, Osvaldo, Marongiu, Federico y Callán, Jorge
(Universidad Nacional de Salta): “El Estado en ‘La Ciudad  de Dios’ de
San Agustín”

Santos, Diego (Universidad Nacional de La Plata): “La economía
política de la Galia tardoantigua”

Sarachu, Pablo (Universidad Nacional de La Plata): “El imaginario del
bárbaro en Salviano de Marsella”

Hubeñak, Florencio (Universidad Católica Argentina): “Eusebio de
Cesarea y la construcción del mito de Constantino”

Gómez Aranda, Julio César (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán): “Las
proyecciones de Plinio el Viejo en Isidoro de Sevilla. Estudio
comparativo entre las Etimologías de San Isidoro de Sevilla y la
Naturalis Historia de Cayo Plinio Segundo en referencia a la  medicina
romana antigua”.

11.00-13.30 hs.
Sala de Consejo, Ciffyh
Mesa 8. Grecia: El pensamiento griego. Entre el mito y la filosofía.
Coordinador: Ramón Enrique Cornavaca

Acerbi, Juan (Universidad de Buenos Aires): “Racionalización y caos en
la mitología griega”.

Colombani, María Cecilia (Universidad de Morón-Universidad Nacional de
Mar del Plata): “Zeus: la paz nunca es perpetua. Las bondades de Dike
en el marco de la relación entre mito y política”.

Cornavaca, Ramón Enrique (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba):
“Observaciones sobre los apelativos amistosos en la República de

Durbano, Jorge (Universidad Nacional de Villa María): “El mito
platónico. El mito analítico y sintético como forma de racionalizar la

Ardesi de Tarantuviez, Beatriz (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo):
“Reflexiones acerca de la actualidad del Político de Platón”.

Barrionuevo, Sergio Javier (Universidad Nacional de General
Sarmiento-Universidad de Buenos Aires): “La capacidad productiva del
noûs en Aristóteles (De Anima 3.5, 430a10-25)”.

10.30-13.30 hs.
Aula B Decanato
Mesa 9. Egipto: Organización social, económica y política.
Coordinador: Marcelo Campagno

Gayubas, Augusto (Universidad de Buenos Aires) “Consideraciones sobre
el papel de la guerra en el surgimiento de jefaturas en el valle del
Nilo predinástico”

Quintana, Carolina, “La estructuración política del Grupo A de la Baja Nubia”

Lasso, Rubén Francisco, “Estrategias Populares de Acción Politica en
el Egipto Faraonico”

Musacchio, Tracy (City University of New York): “His wife, whom he
loves: the role of women at First Intermediate Period Dendera”

Flammini, Roxana (Universidad Católica Argentina): “Consideraciones
sobre la conformación del sistema-mundo nilótico levantino en la
primera mitad del II milenio a.C.: heterarquías y jerarquías”.

Zingarelli, Andrea Paula (Universidad Nacional de La Plata): “Formas
de producción y circulación de bienes en Tebas durante el período

Crespo, Celeste María (UNPSJB): “¿Anarquía Libia? Jefes libios como
reyes de Egipto (siglos X-VIII a.C.)”

Jueves 28 de Mayo.
Tarde 15-20 hs.
15.00-17.00 hs.
Aula “A” Pabellón Agustín Tosco
Panel: “El fin del Imperio Romano. Continuidades, discontinuidades”.

- “La primera transición y la sociedad de base campesina”, Carlos
Astarita (Universidad Buenos Aires, Universidad Nacional de La Plata y

- “El fin del imperio romano y el reino vándalo”, Carlos García Mac
Gaw (Universidad de Buenos Aires – Universidad Nacional de La Plata).

- “Economía milagrosa y autoridad carismática en un tiempo de
controversias. Apuntes acerca de la Vida de Pedro el íbero”, Hugo
Francisco (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento-Universidad de
Buenos Aires).

17.00-20.00 hs.
Aula “A” Pabellón Agustín Tosco
Mesa 10. Antigüedad Tardía: Cristianismo, iglesia y sociedad en el mundo romano.
Coordinador: Jaime Moreno Garrido

Druille, Paola (Universidad Nacional De La Pampa): “La expulsión del
oîkos cristiano en Clemente de Alejandría”

Crochetti, Silvia (Universidad Nacional de La Pampa): “La palabra y la
Escritura: una aproximación en los Apotegmas de los Padres del
Desierto” (Quería el viernes 29, de todos modos dijo que le avisáramos
si era así)

Espinosa, María Eugenia (Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata): “Los
mártires y el imaginario social”

Ferrer, Elisa (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba): “El uso de las
preposiciones syn y en en las homilías sobre el eclesiastés de
Gregorio de Nisa”

Moreno Garrido Jaime (Universidad De Chile): “Notas Sobre El Evangelio De Judas”

Spléndido, Mariano (Universidad Nacional de La Plata – CONICET), “El
examen de conciencia de los libertos: El Pastor de Hermas y el debate
por la autoridad en la iglesia romana”.

Sánchez Vendramini, Darío (Centro de Estudios Históricos “Prof. Carlos
S. A. Segreti” – CONICET), “Movilidad Social en la Antigüedad Tardía.
La carrera de San Agustín”.

17.00-20.00 hs.
Descanso del 1º Piso de Hemeroteca Pabellón Agustín Tosco
Mesa 11. Roma: Prácticas discursivas y sociedad.
Coordinador: Guillermo De Santis

Moreno Leoni, Álvaro M.  (Universidad Nacional de
Córdoba-CONICET-CEA): “Los etolios en guerra: discurso y
representación en las Historias de Polibio”.

Ames, Cecilia y De Santis, Guillermo (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
– CONICET – CEA): “Poesía y construcción de la memoria histórica. Las
estrategias descriptivas de la historia de Roma en el libro VIII de la

Moreno, Agustín (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba–CONICET-CEA): “La
representación étnica del pueblo volsco en Ab Urbe Condita”.

Carmignani, Marcos (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba–CONICET-CEA):
“Petronio, Sat. 116.1-3: el prólogo del episodio de Crotona y el
diálogo intertextual entre épica y novela”.

La Fico Guzzo, María Luisa (Universidad Nacional del Sur): “El
encuadre textual del poema sobre la Guerra Civil en el Satiricón de
Petronio: su influencia en la interpretación del mismo”.

Montealegre, Deivit y Soldano, Flavio (Instituto Universitario
ISEDET): “El “exceso” una categoría  discursiva y hermenéutica del
primer cristianismo”.

Naselli Macera, Diego Gerardo (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba): “La
circulación de la literatura bajo el régimen Flavio”

17.00-20.00 hs.
Aula Iber Verdugo Pabellón Francia
Mesa 12. Grecia: Política y géneros discursivos en la democracia ateniense.
Coordinador: Julián Gallego

Olivera, Diego Alexander (Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos):
“Democracia e imperialismo en Heródoto de Halicarnaso”.

Gutiérrez Sánchez, Osvaldo Cristian; Chireno, Rafael Alejandro;
Marongiu, Federico Martín (Universidad Nacional de Salta): “Pericles y
la democracia ateniense en el siglo V a.C. a través del Discurso

Reinante, Diego Alejandro y Martínez, Edith Lilian (Universidad
Nacional de Mar del Plata): “Sofistas, participación política y
violencia en el sistema democrático ateniense”.

Gallego, Julián (Universidad de Buenos Aires-CONICET): “El drama de la
democracia ateniense. Política y teatro a finales del siglo V”.

Mercado, Jorge Ismael (Universidad Nacional de San Juan): “Algunas
problemáticas de la sociedad ateniense de los siglos V y IV a.C.
reflejadas en el discurso de los primeros oradores del canon ático”.

Arbasetti, Beatriz (Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos): “Alcestes o
la ética de la abnegación”. (pidió 27 o 28 de mayo preferentemente a
la tarde)

17.00-20.00 hs.
Aula VIP Pabellón Francia
Mesa 13. Egipto: Ideología y relaciones de poder.
Coordinadora: Andrea Zingarelli

Olivares, Julián (Instituto Superior de Profesorado Joaquín V.
González): “La ideología y las sociedades de jefatura: La lógica de
anteposición ideal”.

Gorbal, Carina Alejandra (Universidad Nacional del Sur): “La
legitimidad del poder del faraón a través de la iconografía

Rodriguez, Roberto R. (Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia
Austral-Unidad Académica San Julián): “Acerca de la Ritualidad y
Legitimidad del Poder en el Proceso de Constitución del Estado: El
Caso Egipcio”.

Rodríguez, Perla Silvana (Universidad Nacional de Salta): “Ritos e
Identidades en el Antiguo Egipto. Una aproximación”.

Rosell, Pablo Martín (Universidad Nacional de La Plata – CONICET): “El
rey como buen pastor. La reconstrucción de la imagen del faraón en el
Reino Medio”.

Castro, María Belén (Universidad Nacional de La Plata):
“Consideraciones sobre la imagen del extranjero en el antiguo cuento
egipcio de Los Dos Hermanos”

Laporta, Virginia (Universidad Católica Argentina): “Una lectura sobre
Hatshepsut y su póstuma damnatio memoriae”

17.00-20.00 hs.
Sala de Consejo. Ciffyh
Mesa 14. Oriente: Pensamiento y sociedad. Género, religión y mitología.
Coordinadora: María Rosa Oliver

Verderame, Lorenzo (“La Sapienza” Università di Roma- Università di
Palermo): “Origen, desarollo y difusión de la literatura mántica en

Álvarez, María Silvia, Ekkert, Gisela (Universidad Autónoma de Entre
Ríos): “La figura de la Diosa en el universo mítico del hinduismo”

Cifuentes, Martín Gregorio (Universidad Nacional Luján), “La tradición
sobre Gilgamesh y su relación con el sura 18 “La caverna” en el

Gómez, Stella Maris Viviana (Universidad Nacional del Sur) “El orden
cósmico en la mentalidad predinástica mesopotámica”

Oliver, María Rosa (Universidad Nacional de Rosario) “Relaciones
políticas/relaciones de género en el antiguo Reino de Mari a través de
su correspondencia femenina”

Ravenna, Eleonora (Universidad Nacional de Rosario – “La Sapienza”
Università di Roma) “Hombres y mujeres en el imaginario jurídico

Pérez Campos, Ana Bella (Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos) “El
génesis más antiguo”.

Viernes 29 de Mayo.
Mañana 9-13.30 hs.
9.00-11.30 hs.
Aula B Decanato
Panel: “Política y sociedad el mundo romano”

- “Datos sobre la formalidad en la diplomacia romana”, Raúl
Buono-Core Varas, Universidad Católica de Valparaíso.

-  “Movilidad social en el Alto Imperio Romano”, Marcela Cubillos,
Universidad de La Serena.

- “A Morte de Júlio César na Obra de Dion Cássio: Uma Releitura do
Século III d.C.”, Ana Teresa Marques Gonçalves, Universidade Federal
de Goiás.

11.30-13.30 hs.
Aula B Decanato
Mesa 15. Roma: Identidad, representaciones y procesos culturales.
Coordinadora: Marcela Pitencel

Abraham, Juan Pablo (Universidad Nacional de Villa María): “La
búsqueda del sentido lucreciano”.

Atencio, Ángel Alfredo (Universidad Nacional de San Juan): “Memoria e
Historia: el héroe “homérico” en el pensamiento de Dión de Prusa en el
Discurso II de la Realeza”

Carelli, Martín Andrés (Universidad Nacional de San Juan): “La
desnudez del galo y otros guerreros. Unas notas comparadas”

Falcone, Rita N. y Pitencel, Marcela  (Universidad Nacional de Mar del
Plata): “Identidad y sociabilidad de los libertos y de los eunucos en
la Antigua Roma”

Morel, Gabriela y Palacios, Violeta  (Universidad de Buenos Aires):
“Términos legales y procesos judiciales en la doble trama de Poenulus”

Otero Angelina (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba): “MarcoTulio Cicerón.
Estrategias discursivas en pro Archia poeta”.

11.30-13.30 hs.
Aula VIP Pabellón Francia
Mesa 16: Proyecciones del Mundo Antiguo.
Coordinadora: María Gabriela Huidobro

Cabobianco, Marcos (Universidad de Buenos Aires)  “El Antiguo Egipto y
los Magos del Renacimiento”.

Astrada, Estela María, D’Avila, Julián Matías, Disandro, María Isabel,
Ruiz De Los Llanos, Octavio y Varela, María Eugenia (Universidad
Nacional de Córdoba): “El encuentro misionero de José Pons, Julián de
Lizardi e Ignacio Chomé en regiones del Oriente boliviano”.

Defant de Bravo Amalia Josefina y Orce de Llobeta, Alicia (Universidad
Nacional de Tucumán) “Ley y organización del Estado en las
representaciones políticas de Cicerón y Alberdi”.

Demaría de Lissandrello, Fabiana (Universidad Nacional de Villa María)
“La recepción hesiódica de las Musas en algunas obras de Arturo

Elbia Haydée Difabio (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo) “Por qué me odian”
(Medea de Christa Wolf).

María Gabriela Huidobro (Universidad Andrés Bello, Pontificia
Universidad Católica de Chile) “Heroísmo clásico en las tierras de

Ferguson, Juan R. G. (Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata) “La
antigua Roma en el cine: una propuesta pedagógica para su análisis”.

Scavino, Lucas Matías (Universidad Buenos Aires/Universidad de Morón)
“Metáfrasis. Literatura Clásica y traducciones modernas”.

10.30-13.30 hs.
Aula D Decanato
Mesa 17. Egipto: Textos religiosos y literarios.
Coordinadora: Roxana Flammini

Campagno, Marcelo (Universidad de Buenos Aires – CONICET)  “Cuestiones
de parentesco en los Textos de la Pirámide de Pepi I”.

Méndez, Marina (Universidad de Buenos Aires – CONICET) “Percepciones
de la muerte en el Egipto Antiguo: la noción múltiple de persona y la
existencia en el más allá”.

Bonanno, Mariano (Universidad Nacional de Rosario) “Avances sobre la
dualización del espacio funerario en los Textos del Amduat”.

Salem, Leila (Universidad Nacional de La Plata) “Recuerdo y memoria
cultural. Una aproximación desde la literatura egipcia del Reino
Medio: Papiro Westcar”.

Cabobianco, Marcos (Universidad de Buenos Aires) “El Antiguo Egipto y
los rebeldes sin causa. Contra el Estado en el plano del mito”.

Coletta, Juan Francisco (Universidad Nacional del Sur) “Debates en
torno a la literatura del antiguo Egipto”.

Badala, Laura / Toscano, Roberto (Universidad Nacional de Rosario)
“La Otra Orilla: La representación escatológica en el jardín japonés
del período Heian y en los Textos mortuorios osirianos”.

11.30-13.30 hs.
Aula Iber Verdugo Pabellón Francia
Mesa 18. Grecia: Teatro, tragedia y comedia en la Atenas Clásica.
Coordinador: Emiliano J. Buis

D’Andrea, Patricia (Universidad de Buenos Aires): “Tu tierra, mis
dioses: territorialidad y religión en Los Persas de Esquilo”.

Silvina Andrea Bruno (Universidad de Morón): “Di, primero, tu tierra y
tu raza. La problematización del extranjero en la discursividad del
teatro clásico”.

Villagra Diez Pedro Luis (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba):
“Conmutación de la pena y hamartía en Antígona”.

Emiliano J. Buis (Universidad de Buenos Aires): “La ficcionalización
del derecho y la tékhne aristofánica: propuesta para una relectura del
final de Caballeros”.

Norma Inés Vidaurre (Universidad Nacional de San Juan): “El sacrificio
de la mujer en Grecia”.

Beatriz Carina Meynet (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba): “El mundo
vuelto al revés: joven, viejo y educación en Nubes de Aristófanes”.

José Sánchez Toranzo (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán): “Mujeres
desventuradas: las consecuencias de la guerra en Troyanas de

Viernes 29 de Mayo
Tarde 15-20 hs.
15.00 hs.
Aula “A” Pabellón Agustín Tosco.

Conferencia “Reflejos de la alimentación antigua a través de la
comedia griega”, María José García, Universidad del País Vasco.

16.00 hs.
Aula “A” Pabellón Agustín Tosco
Mesa 19. Foro de Investigadores
Coordinadora. Cecilia Ames

Faversani, Fábio (Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto – UFOP)
“Apresentação do LEIR – Laboratório de Estudos sobre o Império

Milevski, Ianir; Khalaily; Hamoudi y Getzov, Nimrod (Israel
Antiquities Authority), “El Proyecto Arqueologico de Yiftahel, un
Sitio Prehistorico Tardio en la Galilea”.

Assis de Rojo, Mirta Estela, Defant de Bravo, Amalia Josefina, Orce de
Llobeta, Alicia Martha (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán), “Escrituras
en diálogo. Representaciones de la cultura romana en la Antigüedad
Clásica y en Latinoamérica”.

Di Bennardis, Cristina, Silva Castillo, Jorge y Milevski Ianir
(Universidad Nacional de Rosario, El Colegio de México e Israel
Antiquities Authority), “Los Amorreos en Mari en el Siglo XVIII a.C:
Relaciones Complejas. Etnicidad, Poder Estatal y Poder Tribal. Ámbitos
Urbano, Aldeano y Pastoril”.

Manzi, Liliana M. (Universidad de Buenos Aires – CONICET), “Una tumba
y su entorno: vinculando el monumento morturio de Neferhotep -tt49-
con el valle de los nobles, Tebas occidental,  Egipto”.

Adarvez, Myriam, Garbarino de Calvo, Rosa Ana, Espejo de Romarión,
Cristian y Flores, Oscar (Universidad Nacional de San Juan),
“Contactos entre Oriente y Occidente en la Antigüedad: cosmogonías y
experiencias religiosas”.

Difabio, Elbia H. y Ardesi de Tarantuviez, Beatriz (Universidad
Nacional de Cuyo), “Experiencia pedagógica de promoción de la
competencia argumentativa a través de la cultura helena antigua en el
nivel  superior”.

Gallego, Julián, Campagno, Marcelo y García Mac Gaw, Carlos (CONICET,
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad de La Plata), “Prácticas
estatales y formas de organización del Estado en el Mediterráneo
Antiguo. El Cercano Oriente y el Mundo Greco-Romano en una perspectiva

Ames, Cecilia y Torres, Daniel (CONICET, Universidad Nacional de
Córdoba, Universidad de Buenos Aires y Universidad Nacional del Sur),
“La construcción de identidades étnicas en la Antigüedad Helenística y

This Day in Ancient History

ante diem vii kalendas junias

17 A.D. — Germanicus celebrates a triumph for his victories in Germany

106 A.D. — martyrdom of Zachary in Gaul

107 A.D. — Trajan arrives in Rome and celebrates a triumph for his victories over the Dacians

303 A.D. — martyrdom of Felicissimus, Heraclius, and others at what is now Todi (Umbria)

CONF: Inscriptions in Greek and Latin Literature

A reminder that the last date for registration for this conference (which takes place in Manchester on the 25th & 26th June) is *31st May*.  Booking forms, and further details about the conference, can be downloaded at: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/classics/eventsnews/inscriptions/  The final programme is pasted below.

Thursday 25th June

9.00-9.30: Registration & Welcome

9.30-10.50: Session 1
Prof. J. Day (Wabash College), ‘Epigraphic literacy in fifth-century
epinician and its audiences’

Dr D. Fearn (University of Warwick), ‘Kleos v Stone?  Lyric Poetry and
the Contexts of Memorialization’

10.50-11.10: Coffee

11.10-12.30: Session 2
Professor J. Lougovaya (Columbia University), ‘Inscriptions in Athenian

Dr A. Petrovic (Durham University), ‘Inscribed epigrams in orators,
epigrammatic schools, epigramatic collections’

12.30-2.00: Lunch

2.00-3.20: Session 3
Dr M. Haake (Westfälische-Wilhelms Universität, Münster), ‘Illustrating,
documenting, making-believe: The use of epigraphic evidence in
Hellenistic biography’

Professor D. Langslow (University of Manchester), ‘Archaic Latin
inscriptions in Greek and Roman authors’

3.20-3.40: Tea

3.40-5.00: Session 4
Prof. Y. Tzifopoulos (Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki),
‘Inscriptions as literature in Pausanias’ exegesis of Hellas’

Professor P. LeVen (Yale University), ‘The philosopher’s stone:
Aristotle’s ‘Hymn to virtue’ and funerary epigraphy’

Friday 26th June
9.00-9.40: Session 5
Dr M. Dinter, (King’s College, London), ‘Epitaphic Gestures in Latin
Epic Poetry’

9.40-10.00: Coffee

10.00-11.20: Session 6
Dr A. Morrison (University of Manchester), ‘Speaking from the tomb?: the
disappearing epitaph of Simonides in Callimachus’ Aetia fr. 64 Pf.’

Dr L. Houghton (University of Glasgow), ‘Epitome and Eternity: Some
Epitaphs and Votive Inscriptions in the Latin Love Elegists’

11.20-11.40: Coffee

11.40-1.00: Session 7
Prof. D. Nelis (University of Geneva) and Dr J. Nelis-Clément
(Université Bordeaux 3), ‘Augustus, the inscriptions and the poets’

Dr A. Hartmann (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt),
‘Inscriptions and other material relics of the past in Greco-Roman

1.00-2.20: Lunch

2.20-3.40: Session 8
Professor E. Kosmetatou (University of Illinois at Springfield),
‘Herodotus and Temple Inventories’

Dr M. Mari (University of Cassino ), ‘Ancient Knowledge of Delphic
History and Institutions: From Inscriptions to Literary Sources’

3.40-4.00: Tea

4.00-5.30: Session 9
Dr A. Zadorozhnyy (University of Liverpool), ‘Shuffling Surfaces:
Epigraphic Ideologies in Greco-Roman Narratives’

Closing Discussion.

This Day in Ancient History

ante diem viii kalendas junias

  • 585 B.C. — Thales possibly predicted the eclipse on this day
  • 535 B.C. — the foundations for the Second Temple at Jerusalem were begun

“Alexander” from Alexandria followup

Putting together Explorator I note that Al Alhram has a much better photo of the  statue we mentioned last week (as part of a montage of photos of recent finds in Egypt):

Photo from Al Ahram

Photo from Al Ahram

Sorry … that’s an athlete in the midst of his athleting; it’s a stretch to make that into an Alexander, no matter what the hair might suggest.

This Day in Ancient History

ante diem xii kalendas junias

  • Agonalia — the rex sacrificulus would offer a ram to various deities
  • 429 B.C. — birth of Plato (by one reckoning)
  • 70 A.D. — Roman forces break through Jerusalem’s middle wall
  • 293 A.D. (?) — elevation of Galerius to the rank of Caesar by Diocletian

The Wonders of Roman Concrete

Many folks have already mentioned this item at Discovery.com about the concrete used in Trajan’s Market … here’s the incipit:

Sandy ash produced by a volcano that erupted 456,000 years ago might have helped a huge ancient Roman complex survive intact for nearly 2,000 years despite three earthquakes, according to research presented last week in Rome.

X-ray analysis of a wall sample from the Trajan’s Market ruins in Rome showed that the mortars used by ancient Romans contained stratlingite, a mineral known to strengthen modern cements.

“It is the first time that stratlingite is recognized in ancient mortars,” Lucrezia Ungaro, the Trajan Forum archaeological chief, told Discovery News. “This is amazing, and shows the technical expertise of Roman builders.”

Including a semicircular set of halls arranged on three levels, the “Market” complex is traditionally attributed to Apollodorus of Damascus, a Syrian architect who worked primarily for the Emperor Trajan. A gifted and innovative designer, Apollodorus is credited with most of the Imperial buildings, including the Forum of Trajan and Trajan’s column.

Dating to 113 A.D., the enormous complex is no longer believed to be the world’s first shopping mall, but rather a sort of “multi-functional center” with administrative buildings for Trajan, who ruled from 98 to 117 A.D.

Amazingly, the huge complex survived three devastating earthquakes — in 443 A.D., 1349 and 1703.

“Although the presence of the high-quality stratlinglite cements does not ensure protection from concrete cracking and failure from earthquake ground shaking, it shows the very well bonded nature of the wall concrete,” Marie Jackson, of Northern Arizona University’s department of history, told Discovery News.

Jackson co-authored the research with Barry Scheetz, professor of materials, civil and nuclear engineering at Pennsylvania State University, and volcanologist Fabrizio Marra of Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.

For those of you collecting such things, in the past we’ve noted items on Roman ‘hydraulic’ concrete and how Roman concrete was ‘greener’ than that which is generally in use today. We should also mention romanconcrete.com, which has a pile of articles on the subject.

Consular Reconstruction in Ephesus

Today’s Zaman has an interesting item:

One of the biggest ancient cities of the Mediterranean, Efes (Ephesus), is now undergoing important restoration. The marble hall of the palace-like house in which the city’s Roman consul lived in A.D. 275 has begun to be restored, putting back together 350-square-meter walls that are now broken into 120,000 pieces.

The deputy supervisor of the ongoing excavations in Efes, Sabine Ladstatter, said this method was used in Italy once before, but with such a large-scale assembly will be the first in history. Excavations have been ongoing in this city for 138 years. The hillside houses where the richest people lived are seen as the most exciting sites for excavation and restoration.

Considered to be the most important of the hillside houses, the palatial house of Gaius Flavius Furius Aptus, the city consul, is drawing attention as a focus of excavation and restoration projects. Its magnificent 178-square-meter salon, whose walls were clothed with marble, is witnessing a major restoration. The plan is to begin with the restoration of the salon’s walls.

The walls had sunk deep into the soil over time due to numerous earthquakes. The pieces of the walls have been found through the extensive excavations, which have been going on for years. Presently the there are about 120,000 pieces that are going to be used for the restoration, funded by Borusan Holding. Ladstatter said they believe those pieces constitute 90 percent of the walls. She added that they are going to use laser screening to find the proper piece to put into the proper place in the wall. “What we are going to do here now is an effort to complete a puzzle composed of 120,000 pieces,” Ladstatter summarized. The restoration is expected to cost $300,000.

I’ve been trying to figure out whether this is the so-called ‘Hillside House’ which was opened to the public some five years ago (I think it is). It was identified as belonging to a Furius Aptus, but he was apparently identified as a priest of Dionysus (not that he couldn’t also be consul, of course).

“King’s Grave” from Izmir

Another tantalizingly vague one from Hurriyet:

A king’s grave was uncovered during construction in İzmir’s Kemalpaşa district. The area has been taken under protection and İzmir Museum Directorship officers have started an inspection of the grave and its contents.

The king’s grave was found in a 211-square-meter area owned by Behçet Aktaş in Kemalpaşa’s Atatürk neighborhood. It was discovered when a construction digger struck a rock that was part of the grave during excavation work for a newly-planned building.

The landlord of the building next to the excavated area, İlker Yıldız, said they saw an empty space inside the rock, which contained ancient pieces. “After we saw the pieces we understood that the area being dug contained historic pieces and we called the gendarmerie. They stood on guard for a day until the İzmir Museum Directorship’s officers and experts arrived,” Yıldız said. He also said they collected the unearthed pieces but that the grave was still there because part of the land containing the grave was under a building and if they were to dig more the building could collapse.

The area is now protected with wires and the uncovered pieces are being cleaned and will be studied to discover the king’s identity.

It would have been nice if there was at least a hint at the date, no?

Sardonic Smile Origins

Homer is usually cited as the origin of the phrase, ‘sardonic smile’, specifically, from Odyssey 20.302 (or thereabouts):

So saying, he hurled with strong hand the hoof of an ox, taking it up from the basket where it lay. But Odysseus avoided it with a quick turn of his head, and in his heart he smiled a right grim and bitter smile; and the ox’s hoof struck the well-built wall.

Now Sardianian scientists are claiming to have discovered the plant whence was derived a drug which induced such a smile:

Sardinian scientists believe they’ve traced the roots of the ‘death-defying’ sardonic grin to a plant commonly found on the Italian island.

Greek poet Homer first used the word, an adaptation of the ancient word for Sardininan, to describe a defiant smile or laugh in the face of death.

He was believed to have coined it because of the belief that the Punic people who settled Sardinia gave condemned men a potion that made them smile before dying.

The association with Sardinia has often been disputed, but Cagliari University botanists think they’ve settled the case – and the plant in question could have beneficial properties too.

The plant, tubular water-dropwart (oenanthe fistulosa), is common in Sardinia, where it is popularly known as ‘water celery’.

”Our discovery supports what many cultural anthropologists have said about death rituals among the ancient Sardinians,” said Cagliari University Botany Department chief Mauro Ballero.

”The Punics were convinced that death was the start of new life, to be greeted with a smile,” he said.

Ballero’s team, whose work appears in the latest edition of the US Journal of Natural Products, have established that a toxic substance in the dropwart plant does, in fact, cause facial muscles to contract and produce a grimace or rictus.

The discovery could have a brighter side, he said, leading to drugs that might help certain conditions where parts of the face are paralysed.

”The good news is that the molecule in this plant may be retooled by pharmaceutical companies to have the opposite effect,” he said.

… I’ve always wondered whether the smile one sees on depictions of the Medusa are considered such a grin …

Exaentus of Agrigentum

Every so often something shows up in a scan which you never, ever expect to see … in this case, the New York Times has a review of a book called Playbooks and Checkbooks: An Introduction to the Economics of Modern Sports which includes:

The ancient Greeks even pioneered a form of the ticker-tape parade when, in 412 B.C., the Olympic running champion Exaentus of Agrigentum was driven through the streets in a chariot followed by 300 prominent citizens. Clearly, the Greeks were able practitioners of the phenomenon we now know as hype.

Actually, it was even more impressive than that. From the Perseus translation of Diodorus Siculus (13.82):

And in the Olympiad previous to the one we are discussing, namely, the Ninety-second, when Exaenetus of Acragas won the “stadion,” he was conducted into the city in a chariot and in the procession there were, not to speak of the other things, three hundred chariots each drawn by two white horses, all the chariots belonging to citizens of Acragas.

The passage comes from a long section commenting on the wealth of Acragas (modern-day Agrigento) at the time (412 B.C.). The stadion, incidentally, was (give or take) the ancient equivalent of the 200 metres. Clearly, they’re still talking about the parade …