Citanda: The Astronomical Orientation of Ancient Greek Temples

We’re now able to work through items I had tagged to mention ages ago (in this case, over a year!), including this article from amicus noster Alun Salt on the orientation of Greek temples … here’s the abstract:

Despite its appearing to be a simple question to answer, there has been no consensus as to whether or not the alignments of ancient Greek temples reflect astronomical intentions. Here I present the results of a survey of archaic and classical Greek temples in Sicily and compare them with temples in Greece. Using a binomial test I show strong evidence that there is a preference for solar orientations. I then speculate that differences in alignment patterns between Sicily and Greece reflect differing pressures in the expression of ethnic identity.

JOB: Latin at UIUC (TT)

Seen on AegeaNet (please send any responses to the people/institution mentioned in the post, not to rogueclassicism!)

The Department of the Classics in the University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign invites applications for a tenured position at the rank of
Associate Professor or Professor in the area of Latin literature, beginning
16 August 2011. The successful candidate will be expected to engage in
teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels, to supervise graduate
research and to pursue an active program of scholarly publication.
Preference will be given to applicants whose interests are
interdisciplinary and who combine expertise in Classical Latin literature with an interest in
an area such as gender and women’s studies, literary theory or Mediaeval
studies. Applicants must have a PhD in Classics or in an immediately
relevant field and must present a record of publication and excellence in
teaching sufficient for appointment with indefinite tenure at the University
of Illinois. Salary is commensurate with experience. The University is
noted for its extensive library holdings in Classics and related fields and
for its museums, with excellent collections of ancient Mediterranean artifacts.

For full consideration, online application, including curriculum vitae and
names of three referees, must be completed by 15 October 2010 at
<> Short-listed candidates will be invited for
campus interviews before the end of the calendar year. Inquiries should
be addressed to David Sansone, Head, at <dsansone AT> or

The University of Illinois is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity
Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds,
experiences and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity
<> ).

JOB: Generalist at UMiss (TT)

Seen on AegeaNet (please send any responses to the people/institution mentioned in the post, not to rogueclassicism!):

The Department of Classics at the University of Mississippi invites classicists to apply for the tenure-track position of Assistant Professor, to begin in academic year 2011-2012 (starting date mid-August, 2011).

A completed Ph.D. is required by the time of the appointment.

In addition to offering a broad array of undergraduate courses in ancient Greek and Roman culture, applicants must be able to teach Latin at all levels, to support a growing Latin program.

Comparable expertise in ancient Greek is preferred.

Research interests may include, but are not limited to, Italian archaeology, Greek prose, and Greek history.

Review of applications will begin on November 15, 2010 and will continue until the position is filled or until an adequate pool of candidates is reached.

Applicants must complete an on-line application for this position:

Submit with your electronic application, as electronic attachments, a letter of interest and a curriculum vitae that includes your email address.

Hard copies of additional required documents — three (3) letters of recommendation, evidence of successful teaching (e.g. student evaluation documents), and graduate transcripts — should be sent separately or as a dossier to the Search Committee, Department of Classics, The University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848.

The University of Mississippi is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section504/ADA/ADEA Employer.

JOB: Greek and Latin Lit. @ UManitoba (TT)

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the people/institution mentioned in the post, not to rogueclassicism!):

The Department of Classics, Faculty of Arts, at the University of Manitoba invites applications for a full-time tenure-track position in Greek and Latin Language and Literature at the rank of Assistant Professor. The successful candidate shall have an active research program within the broad spectrum of Classical philology, demonstrated competence in both languages and a readiness to teach both Greek and Latin at all undergraduate levels and one or both at the M.A. level. The appointee must also teach lecture courses in ‘Classical Studies’ including survey courses on Greek and Roman civilization, Classical Mythology and Classical Literature in Translation. Duties will also include supervision of M.A. theses and service to the Department, Faculty and University. Candidates are requested to demonstrate success in both research and teaching and to present evidence of an agenda of scholarship and scholarly publication. The appointee shall have been awarded a Ph.D. by the effective date of the appointment, July 1, 2011.

The Department of Classics at the University of Manitoba currently has a vigorous staff complement of 5 permanent members with professorial rank. This complement is regularly augmented by part-time and/or temporary lecturers, instructors, post-doctoral fellows and teaching assistants. The Department offers undergraduate major and minor programs in Greek, Latin and Classical Studies and an M.A. in Classics. Further information on the Department is available at

Starting salary will reflect the qualifications and experience of the appointee.

The University of Manitoba encourages applications from qualified women and men, including members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, and persons with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Applications for this position must include a letter of application, a curriculum vitae and three confidential letters of reference sent directly by the referees. Candidates should also include samples of scholarly writing (no more than 50 pages—these will not be returned) and descriptions of research agendas, and evidence of effective teaching such as teaching evaluations, sample course outlines and a statement of teaching philosophy. Applications should be sent to:

Dr. Mark Joyal, Chair

Department of Classics Search Committee

University of Manitoba

220 Dysart Road, Room 364

Winnipeg, MB Canada R3T 2M8

(204) 474-9502 ; FAX (204) 474-7658 m_joyal AT

The deadline for receipt of applications is November 15, 2010. Applications, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the “The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act“ (Manitoba). Please note that curriculum vitas may be provided to participating members of the search process.

CONF:. Kongress für Griechische und Lateinische Epigraphik 2012

Seen on various lists (please send any responses to the people/institution mentioned in the post, not to rogueclassicism!):

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen,

der 14. Internationale Kongress für Griechische und Lateinische
Epigraphik wird auf Einladung der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften und der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Verbindung mit
dem Deutschen Archäologischen Institut vom 27. bis zum 31. August 2012
in Berlin stattfinden. Die Internetseite des Kongresses ist unter

zu erreichen. Über den jeweils neuesten Stand der Kongressvorbereitung
wird mit einem Newsletter informiert werden. Bitte melden Sie uns unter

dass Sie den Newsletter erhalten wollen; auf diese Weise erhalten wir
auch ihre neueste E-Mail Adresse. Die Anmeldung für den Newsletter ist
noch keine Anmeldung zum Kongress.

Wir wären Ihnen sehr dankbar, wenn Sie diese E-Mail an alle
Interessenten und Institutionen weiterleiten würden, besonders an
jüngere Kollegen und solche, die über keinen eigenen E-Mail-Anschluß
verfügen. Falls diese uns entsprechend schreiben, werden wir ihnen die
Informationen auf normalem postalischem Weg zusenden.

Wir bitten um Entschuldigung, falls Sie diese E-Mail mehrfach erhalten

When Classicists Head Spy Agencies …

From Charlotte Higgins, inter alia:

Asked about connections between his education and his current role, he replied: “MI5 needs people with good intellectual skills, the ability to spot connections, the ability to absorb and assess a variety of material. Natural ground for a classicist.” He added: “There has been something of a classical tradition in the intelligence world. The retired officer who first interviewed me for a job in MI5 was a classicist.” Evans also revealed he once even received a note from his boss written “in perfect ancient Greek”. I do believe the makers of Spooks are missing a trick here: I long to see Lucas and Harry communicate by way of perfectly formed Greek hendecasyllables.

Roman Glass Recycling

Abstract of a potentially-interesting article behind a payfer wall:

One hundred and twenty-eight colourless glass tablewares from settlement contexts throughout the British Isles, dating from the mid-3rd to 4th century AD, were analysed by ICP-AES spectrometry. Three distinct compositional groups were identified based upon the use of different decolourisers and primary raw materials, with possible sub-groups within these. These compositions have distinct, but overlapping chronological ranges, suggesting colourless glass production in at least three, possibly more, centres in the late Roman period. The compositional analysis highlights the high degree to which recycling of glass was taking place during this late period. The chronological distribution of some of these compositions is more restricted within the British assemblages than is observed in other published assemblages from Western Europe. This distinction may indicate different supply patterns of glass to the Western provinces.

A few more details can be had from an item over at Planet Earth Online … here’s a bit from the end:

‘The Romans clearly had an understanding of how to colour or decolourise glass to their liking,’ she adds.

But very little is known about exactly where the glass was made. Glass produced throughout the Roman world has a relatively uniform composition, suggesting it might have been made in a few small centres, and was shipped across the whole Empire before being reworked into different shapes in regional centres where necessary.

‘We know a lot more about Roman glass now than we did 15 or 20 years ago but there’s still a real vacuum in our understanding of the development of glass in the civilised world,’ says Foster.

In an attempt to understand how colourless glass was made and distributed during the mid-third to fourth centuries, Foster and co-author Dr Caroline Jackson from the University of Sheffield decided to analyse the chemical composition of 128 samples of glass from 19 sites across Britain. They sourced samples from intact vessels, bowls, jugs or plates held in museums around the country.

‘We used a technique that meant having to destroy the glass in question, so we had to make sure the information we were getting about each piece outweighed the fact that we’d be destroying a tiny piece of valuable archaeology,’ says Foster.

The researchers used a sophisticated spectroscopic technique called ICP-AES, which can detect the the major and minor element present in the glass, including metals the Romans used to decolour it.

Of the 128 samples, 46 had been decoloured using antimony, 13 with manganese and the remaining 69 contained both. Dating evidence suggests the Romans may have increasingly relied on manganese over antimony by the mid-fourth century.

But the 69 samples that contain both metals point to recycling well into the fourth century.

‘We think this means the Romans were increasingly relying on recycling to produce the vessels they wanted, possibly because less glass was coming into that part of the Empire by that time,’ Foster explains. The Roman Empire may have started to fragment by the end of the fourth century. There’s less evidence for investment in public buildings, statues and amenities. And trade seems to have slowed down.

But the researchers can say that their findings point to the Romans using three distinct sources of raw materials to make their glass. However, they’re still no clearer about where this glass was produced.

‘To get to the bottom of this, we need to analyse better dated colourless glass over a larger geographical range,’ says Foster.

The Advantage of a Classical Education?

The conclusion of an OpEd item in the Hindu:

Of course education should prepare people for employment. Of course it is distressing when young people find that the job market is dire. They might just be able to raise a smile at a wry remark made in the early 1950s by the late Sir Robert Wood, a classicist who was Principal of the University College (now University) of Southampton. “The advantage of a classical education”, he said, “is that it teaches you to do without the money it makes you unable to acquire”. Classicists have always been eminently employable (and are generally good at expressing themselves clearly without jargon), but he was making a real point about the purpose of education.

… fwiw, all money aside, I think the real advantage of a Classical education is that it gives your mind much more interesting things to think about than you likely will get in most jobs you end up having …