d.m. Pierre Hadot

Professeur émérite au Collège de France, historien et spécialiste de la philosophie antique, Pierre Hadot est mort dans la nuit du 24 au 25 avril. Il était âgé de 88 ans.

Pierre Hadot, philosophe et historien mondialement reconnu pour ses nombreux travaux sur les écoles de pensées antiques, notamment le stoïcisme et le néoplatonisme, vient de mourir, à l’âge de 88 ans. Il contribua à bouleverser le paysage de cette discipline, qui ne constitue pas tant pour lui, une façon de discourir, qu’une façon d’être. Il établira ses réflexions et conclusions dans une œuvre dense, aussi riche dans le fond que sobre dans l’écriture: Exercices spirituels et philosophie antique (Collection des études augustiniennes, 1981, réédité en 2002 par Albin Michel), N’oublie pas de vivre : Goethe et la tradition des exercices spirituels (Albin Michel, 2008)… Sans oublier deux ouvrages majeurs sur la question : Qu’est-ce que la philosophie antique ? (Gallimard, Folio, 1995), La philosophie comme manière de vivre (Albin Michel, 2002). Pierre Hadot se sera efforcé, toute sa carrière durant, de mettre en lumière la façon dont certains textes antiques, de Platon à Marc-Aurèle, en passant par Sénèque et Aristote, représentent autant d’exercices spirituels dans le cadre d’un examen de conduite. Mais il ne délaissait pas pour autant les philosophes modernes, et fut notamment, à partir des années 1950, l’un des premiers commentateurs et traducteurs de l’œuvre de Wittgenstein. Il travailla notamment en collaboration avec son épouse, la philosophe Ilsetraut Hadot.

Né en 1922 à Reims, c’est par la spiritualité que Pierre Hadot aborde la pensée philosophique puisqu’il est ordonné prêtre après avoir suivi des études de théologie. Il quitte le sacerdoce en 1950, se consacre alors à des études de lettres et commence sa carrière en tant que bibliothécaire. Il se fait connaître du public, en 1963, par un essai limpide sur le néoplatonisme: Plotin ou la simplicité du regard (Gallimard). Il est nommé Directeur d’Études à l’École pratique des Hautes Études de 1964 à 1985, avant d’être élu, à 60 ans, à la chaire d’histoire au Collège de France (émérite depuis 1991) sur l’initiative de Michel Foucault, dont les derniers ouvrages furent influencés par les travaux du chercheur.

Pierre Hadot avait été vu pour la dernière fois en public le 12 avril lors d’une rencontre organisée par la bibliothèque de l’École normale supérieure, autour d’un ouvrage collectif dédié à son œuvre, et paru le 18 mars aux éditions Rue d’Ulm : Pierre Hadot, l’enseignement des antiques, l’enseignement des modernes. À l’occasion de sa disparition, le ministre de la culture, Frédéric Mitterrand a salué son «étonnante érudition», «son incessant retour à ces grands penseurs de l’Antiquité dont il savait si bien montrer les ressources pour notre modernité».

via Disparition du philosophe et historien Pierre Hadot- Le Magazine-Litteraire.

See also Michael Chase’s reminiscences at the HUP site:

d.m. Traianos Gagos

Traianos Gagos, colleague, friend, and archivist for the University Library’s papyrus collection, passed away suddenly last week at the age of 49.

“Traianos Gagos was an extraordinary scholar who helped to develop extraordinary resources both at Michigan and around the world. He was also a warm and enthusiastic friend and colleague, and we will miss him greatly,“ said University Librarian Paul Courant.

When Traianos arrived at the University of Michigan in 1988, the library already held the largest collection of papyri in the Western Hemisphere, but his vision, diligence, and dedication made it readily available to the world.

Back in 1995, when the World Wide Web was just a brave new world, Traianos was already part of the team that created the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS), a massive online database combining descriptions and images of papyrus fragments from multiple institutions. He worked tirelessly on the methodologies and politics of this program from the start, engaging in tasks that ranged from identifying details of metadata to collect for each papyrus to creating standards for technologies, to bringing new institutions on board. From 1996 to 2008 the project was supported by an almost-unheard-of series of five back-to-back multi-institutional National Endowment for the Humanities grants, on all of which Traianos served as principal investigator or project manager.

The impact of the APIS project has been revolutionary. With nearly eight thousand records for Michigan papyri now in the APIS database, the collection is heavily used by scholars and students all over the world. The Michigan papyrus collection is on the map as a leader and innovator, a place to look to as a model in the management of both electronic and original collections of ancient documents.

Traianos also put great effort into making this collection accessible to the non-specialist. The incorporation of translations and names into the APIS database was intended to facilitate access by scholars in related fields or laypeople who lacked the language skills to read the originals. He participated in numerous television and other media interviews for general audiences and conducted countless tours of the collection for groups ranging from senior citizens to school children. With Kathryn Beam in the Special Collections Library he contributed to the library’s highly popular annual exhibition “From Papyrus to King James,” whose CD-ROM version won the Michigan Press Book Award in 1999.

Traianos’s work as archivist for the papyrus collection in the library was just one portion of a rich professional output. He held a joint appointment as Professor of Papyrology and Greek in the Department of Classical Studies, where he taught not only the study of ancient texts but also founded and taught in the Modern Greek language program. He published widely and held many leadership positions among papyrologists nationally and internationally. Ludwig Koenen, professor emeritus of papyrology, has written a remembrance for the Classical Studies Web page.

His many friends at the University Library will miss his dry humor, ready laugh, and outlook of bemused tolerance for an imperfect world.

The Department of Classical Studies, the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, and the University Library will host a memorial for Traianos on Monday, May 3, at 4 p.m. in the Michigan Union ballroom.

Cards and letters of condolence may be sent to Gina Soter, c/o Department of Classical Studies, 2160 Angell Hall, 435 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003; they will be collected and passed on to his family. In lieu of flowers, the Traianos Gagos Fund for Papyrology has been established for the purpose of assisting and promoting study and research in Papyrology by students at all levels.

If you wish to make a gift to this fund, the following link will direct you to the College of Literature, Science and the Arts giving site where you can be assured your gift will be added to this endowment: http://lsa.umich.edu/alumni/giveonline. Click on “give student support,” then check the box “my gift is in honor/memory of someone.” Add Traianos Gagos there.

via University Library Remembers Traianos Gagos, 1960–2010 | MLibrary.

d.m. David Furley

David Furley was one of the 20th century’s outstanding scholars of Greco-Roman philosophy. The quantity of Furley’s published output is perhaps modest by today’s standards. But virtually every item is a gem, and many have become classics.

He was educated at Nottingham High School and at Jesus College Cambridge, where he became an Honorary Fellow. In 1947, after war service in Burma and a return to Cambridge to complete his degree, he took up an assistant lectureship in the Departments of Greek and Latin at University College London. Following promotions up to the level of reader, he moved in 1966 to a professorship at Princeton University. He remained there until his retirement in 1992, which was marked with a conference in his honour at the Institute of Classical Studies, London, and not long after by his return to residence in England, at Charlbury in Oxfordshire.

The most recurrent motif of his work was the systematic contrast between two radically opposed philosophical and scientific worldviews, atomism and Aristotelianism, his analyses typically shedding equal light on both traditions. The leading exhibit is undoubtedly his brilliant 1967 book Two Studies in the Greek Atomists. Here he took two central themes of Epicurean atomism and reconstructed the origins of each, above all by minute study of the relevant texts in relation to their Aristotelian background. A model of lucid and judicious scholarship, this monograph did much, perhaps more than any other single book, to bring Epicureanism into the philosophical mainstream.

Another way in which Furley’s work proved seminal lay in his genius for writing a short but incisive article which provoked an entire micro-industry of debate. His classic “Self-movers”, a mere 15 pages in the original 1978 publication, became the focus of a subsequent conference at Pittsburgh, which in turn led to a multi-authored volume (Self-motion from Aristotle to Newton, ed. M.L. Gill and J. Lennox, 1994).

Another such case is “The rainfall example in Physics II.8″ (1986), which argued with amazing concision – it weighed in at just six printed pages – that, contrary to the current orthodoxy, Aristotle in fact believed that rainfall is purposive, and not merely the mechanical outcome of meteorological processes. Again, a debate accumulated around the article, with far-reaching implications for Aristotle’s natural philosophy.

A third case is “Lucretius and the Stoics” (1966). Lucretius was one of Furley’s heroes (the Epicurean Latin poet’s eloquent repudiation of the fear of death was read at his funeral). The article, running this time to an impressive 20 pages, presented a major challenge to the orthodoxy that Lucretius’s polemics are typically directed against Stoic rivals. Resistance to this article’s findings has been widespread in Lucretian circles, but it still has its defenders, and the debate remains evenly balanced.

Furley’s services to scholarship were wide-ranging. For example he co-authored with J. S. Wilkie a fine annotated edition, Galen on Respiration and the Arteries (1984); translated the pseudo-Aristotelian On the World for the Loeb Classical Library (1955), as well as parts of Philoponus’s commentary on Aristotle’s Physics (1991); was editor of the journal Phronesis from 1968 to 1972; and also edited, among other collective publications, the second volume of the Routledge History of Philosophy (1997). His final long-term project was a major two-volume work, The Greek Cosmologists. The first volume appeared in 1987, but the eagerly awaited sequel never followed. Meanwhile most of his articles were collected in his 1989 book Cosmic Problems. These succinct masterpieces may well prove to be his most enduring intellectual legacy.

He was widely regarded within the ancient philosophy community as one of the subject’s most brilliant practitioners. He received Princeton University’s Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities in 1984, and was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 1990. From 1969 to 1982 he directed Princeton University’s Program in Classical Philosophy.

In collaboration at first with Gregory Vlastos and Terry Penner, and later with Michael Frede, John Cooper and Alexander Nehamas, he helped build Princeton’s reputation as a world-leading centre for the study of ancient philosophy. While still in the UK he had co-founded the Southern Association for Ancient Philosophy, and in September 2005 he was one of a tiny handful of survivors from the inaugural meeting present in Oxford to help celebrate its 50th birthday.

Furley’s second wife, Phyllis, predeceased him by nine months. They were much-loved figures at Princeton, in and beyond the classics community. The play-readings that they held in their house at Ringoes over a period of 27 years became legendary. He particularly cherished his graduate students, many of whom went on to distinguished careers of their own. He found relaxation in bridge, furniture-making and bird-watching.

He is survived by his first wife Diana and their two sons, John and Bill (the latter himself a classical scholar), by four grandchildren, and by three generations of step-offspring from his second marriage.

Professor David Furley: Celebrated scholar of Greco-Roman philosophy | The Independent (David Sedley).

Stephen G. Miller on Nemea

He arrived in Greece in the ’70s as a young archaeologist aspiring to bring to light the kingdom of legendary Ulysses or, at least, the palaces of King Phillip of Macedon. Destiny, however, and the University of California at Berkeley, led Dr. Stephen G. Miller to Nemea in the Peloponnese, southern Greece, where he unearthed the ancient stadium of the Nemean Panhellenic Games.

In an interview with ANA-MPA’s “Greek Diaspora” magazine, Miller said the excavation was carried out very cautiously, and frequently with bare hands.

“The first time I visited Greece I felt a sense of national identity,” he said, adding: “I felt that I’ve always belonged here and will belong here forever.”

Dr. Miler recently spent nine months at the site, despite the fact that he is no longer the director of the excavations. Moreover, he has played a decisive role in the revival of the Nemean Games in their ancient form. Participating athletes are obligated to wear attire similar to those worn by their fellow athletes during antiquity.

“I believe that this re-enactment and revival of the ancient Nemean Games makes us all feel a part of this magnificent Greek history,” he says.

Referring to propaganda attempts following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia to cast doubt on the Hellenic nature of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, he said the ancient Greeks of the 7th century BC considered the Macedons as fellow Hellenes, adding that “their Greek identity is obvious given that the inscriptions of the ancient Macedons were written in Greek”.

Furthermore, based on the archaeological findings, the Macedonians participated in the Games of Nemea as one of the Greek tribes and this is an indisputable fact.

Turning to another subject, he said the New Acropolis Museum is exceptional, and stressed that the British Museum no longer has any excuse to keep in London the Parthenon Marbles, “the epitome of ancient perfection, the cornerstone of Western civilisation, of beauty and symmetry.”

“If my hand was missing, wouldn’t I ask for it back? The answer is self-evident,” he continued.

He stated that isolated sculptures such as the Aphrodite of Milos (Venus di Milo) or the Nike of Samothrace would continue to be on display at the Louvre, or other such artifacts in museums throughout the world, in order to showcase the perfection of the ancient Greek spirit.

“But the Parthenon Marbles must be returned to their home, to be housed in the New Acropolis Museum, to complete their historic whole,” he added.

via Stephen G. Miller: From Berkeley to Ancient Nemea | ANA.

Boudicca at Calleva Atrebatum?

Calleva seems to be an awfully interesting dig … last time we heard about it, it was about the ‘puppy skin’ trade. Now we hear of Boudicca’s possible involvement there:

Professor Michael Fulford said that 13 years of excavations at Calleva had revealed evidence of the first gridded Iron Age town in Britain.
The site also bears the scars of possible early Roman military occupation, and evidence of later, widespread burning and destruction.
This suggests the site could have been destroyed at the hands of Boudicca.
Queen Boudicca waged war against the Romans in Britain from 60 AD after the Romans decided to rule the Iceni directly and confiscated the property of the leading tribesmen.
Boudicca’s warriors successfully defeated the Roman Ninth Legion and destroyed the capital of Roman Britain, then at Colchester. They went on to destroy London and Verulamium (St Albans).
Thousands were killed. Finally, Boudicca was defeated by a Roman army led by Paulinus. Many Britons were killed and Boudicca is thought to have poisoned herself to avoid capture.
The site of the battle, and of Boudicca’s death, are unknown.

Professor Fulford said that in excavations at Silchester they had found evidence of a major military occupation at Calleva (now called Silchester) in 40 AD, then destruction between 60 and 80 AD, including wells that were filled in at this time and burned buildings.
“The settlement is completely wiped out somewhere between 60 AD and 80 AD, and it starts again in 70 AD,” he said.
Although Calleva is not mentioned in historical sources concerning Boudicca, it is known that she waged war at St Albans and London, just 50 mile away.
“Winchester became an important military location for the Romans and so was Silchester,” said Professor Fulford, urging more people interested in Roman history to learn about the site.
“There’s more to see at Silchester than there is at Winchester.”
The University of Reading’s Department of Archaeology has been excavating and researching a central area of Calleva Atrebatum (Silchester) since 1997.

via BBC – Excavations near Reading show evidence of Boudicca.

FWIW, one of the proposed sites (which has been in the news) for Boudicca’s final battle is Rugby

More previous coverage:

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem iii kalendas maias

Portrait of Flora Rembrandt van Rijn, 1635

Image via Wikipedia

ante diem iii kalendas maias

  • ludi Florales … a.k.a. Floralia (day 3) — a festival originally ordered in response to an interpretation of the Sybilline books in 238 B.C., it fell into desuetude only to be revived in 173 B.C.; it was a general festival of drinking and other merriment in honour of Flora, who presided over (of course) flowers and their blossoms
  • ca 65 A.D. — martyrdom of Torpes of Pisa
  • 259 A.D. — martyrdom of Agapius at Citra (along with quite a few others)

Tom Sienkewicz and CAMWS

Monmouth College
Image via Wikipedia

Tom Sienkewicz, Capron Professor of Classics at Monmouth College, was named secretary-treasurer elect of The Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS) during its 106th annual meeting, held recently in Oklahoma City.

“We are planning on a two-year transition period, with phasing out of the office at St. Olaf College and phasing in of the new office in Monmouth, which will take place during the 2011-12 academic year,” said Anne Groton, current secretary-treasurer of the CAMWS.

Sienkiewicz’s five-year term as secretary-treasurer will officially run from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2017. The secretary-treasurer is the chief executive and financial officer of CAMWS and is empowered to act on behalf of the association.

“I find my involvement in professional classical organizations to be especially rewarding,” said Sienkewicz. “Serving CAMWS is a way I can promote the study of classics over a wide geographic area and, at the same time, make Monmouth College and its excellent classics program well-known to high school, college and university teachers around the country.”

CAMWS, which covers 31 states and three Canadian provinces, was founded at the University of Chicago in 1905 and incorporated on July 13, 1948. Its 1,500 members include college and university professors, K-12 teachers and graduate students who specialize in classics. More information on the organization is available at http://www.camws.org.

via MC’s Sienkewicz to hold CAMWS office through 2017 |Daily Review Atlas.

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem iv kalendas maias

Augustus Pontifex Maximus #3
Image by ortygia via Flickr

ante diem iv kalendas maias

  • ludi Florales … a.k.a. Floralia (day 2) — a festival originally ordered in response to an interpretation of the Sybilline books in 238 B.C., it fell into desuetude only to be revived in 173 B.C.; it was a general festival of drinking and other merriment in honour of Flora, who presided over (of course) flowers and their blossoms
  • 12 B.C. — consecration of the signum et ara Vestae on the Palatine; it was a shrine built by Augustus as pontifex maximus to house the palladium (maybe) which Aeneas brought from Troy
  • 32 A.D. — birth of the future emperor-for-a-little-while Otho
  • 1st century — martyrdom of Aphrodisius and companions in what would become Languedoc
  • 304 A.D. — martyrdom of Pollio in Pannonia

Citanda: “The Internet Will Fail”

There’s an article at Asylum going around all about assorted ‘bad predictions’ … one has a bit o’ classcon:

“Using Twitter for literate communication is about as likely as firing up a CB radio and hearing some guy recite ‘The Iliad.'” — Bruce Sterling, a science-fiction writer and journalist, told The New York Times.

via “The Internet Will Fail” — Bold Predictions That Completely Bombed – Asylum.com.

Well we know there’s literate communication on Twitter … the Iliad Trucker Hats might suggest we just might hear that CB recital at some point …

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem v kalendas maias

Edward Gibbon, by Henry Walton (died 1813). Se...

Image via Wikipedia

ante diem v kalendas maias

  • ludi Florales … a.k.a. Floralia (day 1) — a festival originally ordered in response to an interpretation of the Sybilline books in 238 B.C., it fell into desuetude only to be revived in 173 B.C.; it was a general festival of drinking and other merriment in honour of Flora, who presided over (of course) flowers and their blossoms (Chloris is also mentioned … I’m still trying to figure that one out).
  • 4977 B.C. — birth of the universe, according to the calculations of Johannes Kepler
  • 1737 — Birth of Edward Gibbon (he wrote some sort of book apparently)

Finds from Strumica in Eastern Macedonia

No relevant photos, alas:

A unique lamp from the fourth century with the image of Alexander the Great and gold jewellery from the second century BC were discovered by archaeologists in the Tsarevi Kuli area over the town of Strumica in eastern Macedonia.

The new finds discovered at the necropolis of the southern wall of the site confirm the theory that during Antiquity, Strumica was a well-developed trade centre, archaeologist Zoran Ruyak told the national newspaper Vecer today.

The jewellery finds suggest that Strumica , which during the second century BC was called Astraîon, had a well-developed trade center, a rich population and was in communication with the workshops in Thessaloniki and neighbouring towns, especially those of Isar Marvintsi and Vardarki Rid which are also being excavated this year, the archaeologist added.

The fact that the continued development of Strumica was not interrupted is confirmed by the findings dating to the fourth century and the unique light with the likely image of Alexander the Great.

The find is one of the most interesting ones and, as far as archaeologists know so far, it is unique, the arcaheologist told the publication.

There are currently around 100 people working on the Tsarevi Kuli excavations, Vecer noted. The research on the site started about a month and a half ago, and are financed by the government as part of the country’s main archaeological projects.

via Balkan Travellers – Archaeologists Unearth New Finds near Strumica in Eastern Macedonia.

Bust in Sparta

Vague details, as often:

Two local men were arrested on antiquities smuggling charges on Monday in the southern Peloponnese town of Sparta, after authorities discovered a cache of particular valuable objects in the pair’s possession, including a bronze Kouros-like statuette.    Four ancient coins and precious stone weighing in at more than 500 grams were also confiscated.    Additionally, handguns, ammunition and precision scales were uncovered during a search of the men’s residences.

via Antiquities smuggling arrests in Sparta | ANA.

CONF: Liverpool SACE Seminars

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

University of Liverpool

SACE Seminar Series

The School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology is pleased to announce
its research seminar programme for the summer term 2009/10. Seminars take
place at 5 – 6.30 pm in either the Bosanquet Seminar Room, 12 Abercromby
Square (BSR), the Shore Lecture Theatre, 14 Abercromby Square (SLT), or
M202, The Hartley Building. These are buildings 146, 147, and 253 on the
campus map: www.liv.ac.uk/maps.

Everyone is welcome. For further details please contact Shirley Curtis
(shirley.curtis AT liv.ac.uk).

22nd April
Maureen Carroll (University of Sheffield)
Porticus triplex and the sacred grove in Roman temple architecture: an
archaeological case study from Pompeii
(BSR)

27th April
Will Roebroeks (Leiden University)
Ebb and flow of regional extinctions: the character of neanderthal
occupation of northern climes
(M202)

29th April
Mark Molesky (Seton Hall University)
Primitive antiquity and the European imagination, 1850-1940
(BSR)

4th May
Andrew Gardner (University College London)
Violence, order, and Roman military culture
(SLT)

6th May
John Curran (Queen’s University Belfast)
Roman Judaea: the Herodian prism
(BSR)

11th May
Krzysztof Nawotka (University of Wroclaw)
Who wrote the Alexander Romance?
(BSR)

20th May
Francois Leclere (British Museum)
Egyptians and Greeks at the Saite frontier-post of Daphnae (Tell Dafana): a
reassessment
(BSR)

JOB: Hellenist @ Brown University

Seen on various lists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS at Brown University has been authorized to announce a search for one-year visiting appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor, to begin July, 2010. This is a non tenure-track position. Full time teaching load is four courses per academic year. The successful candidate should be prepared to teach one or two courses in ancient Greek and Latin (elementary through beginning graduate level), one large lecture course, and one or more smaller discussion courses in translation, and to participate actively in other departmental activities, including advising. Ph.D. by time of appointment is required. Preference will be given to candidates with teaching experience. Salary will be dependent upon candidate’s experience and credentials.

CANDIDATES should send applications by email to:

Classics_Department AT Brown.edu

with the subject line indicating “VAP position” and have letters of reference sent either by email to the same address or by post to Chair, VAP Position, Department of Classics, Box 1856, Brown University, Providence, R.I., 02912-1856.

Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, graduate transcript, and at least three current letters of recommendation; applicants are also encouraged to submit evidence of teaching ability and expertise.

Those who applied in Fall 2009 to our open-rank position for a Hellenist who would like to reactivate their applications for this new position may do so by sending an email to that effect to the address above.

Screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications received in their entirety by May 15, 2010 are assured full consideration.

Brown University is committed to diversity in its faculty and encourages applications from qualified women and under-represented minority candidates

JOB: Generalist @ Rutgers (one year)

Seen on Classics (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY-NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ

The Department of Classics of Rutgers University-New Brunswick is
seeking to fill a one-year (possibly renewable for an additional year)
position for the 2010-2011 academic year, pending final budgetary
approval. The area of specialization is open, but we hope to complement
existing faculty strengths, and a focus on Latin Literature of the
Empire would be welcome. Applicants should have a record of outstanding
teaching and show strong scholarly potential. The teaching assignments
may include a range of undergraduate and graduate courses, including
Greek or Latin language and literature courses and Classical
Civilization courses. The teaching load will be three courses per
semester. Applicants should have Ph.D. in hand by December 2010.

Review of applications will begin on May 31, 2010. To apply for this
position, please have a cover letter, CV, writing sample, and three
letters of recommendation to arrive by June 15, 2010 c/o Professor Azzan
Yadin, Rutgers University Department of Classics, Ruth Adams Building
002, 131 George Street, New Brunswick NJ 08901. Rutgers University is
an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.

On the Popularity of Sword and Sandal Flicks

Some observations from an item in the Telegraph:

“Clash of the Titans and How to Train Your Dragon represent worlds that are far from our own and an escape from job insecurity, debates about health care and worrying about paying the bills,” he said. “What better way to do this than to take yourself off to a totally different place at the movies?”

But while the themes are escapist, the content is also familiar – Greeks, Romans and Vikings and assorted serpents and dragons.

“That makes for good comfort movies dealing with characters and stories with which they are familiar,” said Mr Contrino. “People want to get away from reality with these movies, but nor do they want to be too challenged.”

That such colourful adventure stories are also particularly well-suited to portrayal in 3D is also no coincidence as Hollywood tries to cash in on the game-changing success of James Cameron’s Avatar blockbuster.

There is an added resonance to Americans flocking to films set during the rise and fall of ancient empires as they contemplate their own long-dominant place in the world amid economic upheavals at home and protracted wars abroad.

via Hollywood turns to ancient warriors and legends to win audiences – Telegraph.

… in case you’re not aware, I’m regularly posting any interesting reviews of sword and sandal flicks on my Twitterfeed … there are links to them in one of the sidebars at the right (near the bottom of the column) …

Bonham’s Upcoming Auction

Bonham’s also has some interesting items in its upcoming antiquities auction … first thing which caught my eye was this portrait bust of Menander:

Bonham's photo

An interesting togatus … clearly not a garment I’d be comfortable wearing:

Bonham's photo

An anadyomene Aphrodite:

Bonham's photo

Not sure how this is identified as a female athlete (4th/3rd century Etruscan):

Bonham's Photo

A Roman Janus head flask (I’ve never seen one of these):

Bonham's photo

Christie’s Upcoming Auction

Some of the interesting items in Christie’s upcoming antiquities auction include this torso of Aphrodite (from a 19th century Swiss collection) (the inline links will take you to the ‘official page’):

Christie's photo

A very interesting ‘young satyr’ with a panther at his feet (acquired pre-1970):

Christies photo

A bone figure of Aphrodite (left) and a doll (right) (acquired in the 1960s):

Christie's photo

There are 80+ other items … an awful lot of ‘satyrs’

Citanda: American Journal of Philology 131.1 (Spring 2010)

  • Middle Comedy and the “Satyric” Style – Carl A. Shaw
  • Menander’s Theophoroumene between Greece and Rome – Sebastiana Nervegna
  • The Tyrant Lists: Tacitus’ Obituary of Petronius – Holly Haynes
  • Unseemly Professions and Recruitment in Late Antiquity: Piscatores and Vegetius Epitoma 1.7.1-2 – Michael B. Charles
  • Reconsidering the History of Latin and Sabellic Adpositional Morphosyntax – Benjamin W. Fortson IV

via Project MUSE – American Journal of Philology – Volume 131, Number 1 (Whole Number 521), Spring 2010.

Some ‘partial access’ available …

CFP: Commentary Writers’ Workshop

Seen on CJ Online (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

Call for Proposals: Classical Commentary Writers’ Workshop Georgetown University, October 14–16, 2010: Latin Texts

Proposals are solicited for participation in the sixth annual Classical Commentary Writers’ Workshop, to be held on October 14–16, 2010 at Georgetown University in Washington DC. The 2009 workshop will be devoted to Latin texts. The deadline for proposals is June 15, 2010.

The workshop will consist of five 3-hour sessions, each devoted to discussion of a single pre-circulated chunk of text and commentary. We work in an intensely practical, hands-on way, asking questions, making suggestions, working out problems, and the like. Our expectation is not that the group will examine the whole of anyone’s primary text, but that all participants will return in the end to their projects with fresh insights, ideas and questions, new bibliographic resources, and a sense of working within a supportive scholarly community.

Workshop sessions are open only to the conveners, S. Douglas Olson and Alex Sens; the five participants; and (by invitation) previous participants and occasional graduate student observers. Participants are expected to arrive late in the day on the 14th, and to stay for the entire proceedings, including a final dinner on Saturday night.

Projects should be well enough advanced to provide a substantial sample of text and commentary, but not so far along that the Workshop will be unlikely to affect the final shape. Proposals should consist of (1) a brief (maximum one-page) description of the project, its intended audience, and the expected publication venue; (2) a 10-page sample of text and commentary. Proposals should be submitted, preferably in PDF form, to the convenors at sdolson AT umn.edu and sensa AT georgetown.edu. Final Workshop samples will be due on Monday September 13, 2010, for pre-circulation to all participants.

Participants are asked to call first on their own research accounts and institutional resources to cover their transportation and housing costs. For those who lack such resources, the Workshop will provide up to $600 for travel and housing. All meals will be provided.

Support for the Workshop has been provided by the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, the Alexander Onassis Foundation, the Georgetown Provost’s Office, and the University of Minnesota’s Imagine Fund.