JOB: Papyrology @ UMich

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PAPYROLOGY. The Department of Classical Studies and the University Library of the University of Michigan expect to make an appointment in Papyrology at the level of Assistant or Associate Professor (50%) and Archivist of the Papyrus Collection (50%), starting in September 2011.

Teaching responsibilities in the Department will include both undergraduate and graduate courses in Greek (especially koinê) and Latin and courses in classical civilization, as well as instruction in papyrology. The responsibilities for the Archivist position include management of the Papyrus Collection and its library, including further digitization of its holdings, publication of texts from the collection, support for researchers using the collection, and public outreach and development.

The Ph.D. must be completed by August 2011, but preference will be given to candidates whose dissertations are complete at the time of application. Please send a dossier including a letter of application, at least three letters of recommendation, current C.V., evidence of teaching experience, a statement of current and future research plans, a statement of teaching philosophy and experience, and a writing sample to the Papyrology Search Committee, Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan, 2160 Angell Hall, 435 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003, or in a pdf format to lsa-classics-search AT , by November 19, 2010. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. The University of Michigan is supportive of the needs of dual career couples and is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

JOB: Hellenist @ Brown (TT)

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THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS at Brown University has been authorized to
search for an ancient Greek historian (open rank). The area of specialization is
open, as is the rank (tenure-track Assistant Professor to tenured Full Professor). The
successful candidate will teach Greek history, as well as Classical Greek language
and literature. Prerequisites for consideration include distinction in scholarship
and teaching in any aspect of Greek history. PhD must be in hand by June 30,

CANDIDATES should submit a letter of application and a curriculum vitae.
Untenured applicants should submit a single example of their writing, and
commission three letters of recommendation; tenured candidates should submit
the names and contact information of at least five references.

APPLICATIONS should be sent to:
Chair of the Ancient Greek History Search Committee
Department of Classics
Brown University
Box 1856
Providence, RI 02912, USA

Email submissions accepted. Send to with the subject heading
“Greek Historian Applicant”

REVIEW of applications will begin on November 1. The department will be conducting interviews of
candidates at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association in San Antonio, TX, in
early January 2011.

INQUIRIES may be directed to John_Cherry AT

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

CFP: Authorship, Authority, and Authenticity in Archaic and Classical Greek Song

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

The Network for the Study of Archaic and Classical Greek Song ( invites paper proposals for a conference to be held at Yale University, July 6–10, 2011 with the theme:

Authorship, Authority, and Authenticity in Archaic and Classical Greek Song

The conference will explore authorship-related aspects of all genres of archaic and classical song (choral and monodic melic; iambic and elegiac poetry). Questions to be addressed include (but are not limited to):
• How does a song’s re-performance and/or changes in the conditions of its reception affect its authorship?
• Is authorship assigned to a song or a corpus of songs a check on its distribution or a means of wider propagation?
• How does archaic Greek song culture compare with the wider issues regarding fakes, pseudepigrapha, and plagiarism in Greek and Roman literature?

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent by Dec. 1, 2010 as an e-mail attachment to Egbert Bakker (egbert.bakker AT, Department of Classics, Yale University. Senders will be notified early in Jan. 2011 whether their paper has been accepted.

CFP: Cinema and Antiquity (J.P. Postgate Colloquium)

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


The First J.P. Postgate Colloquium, University of Liverpool

12-14 July 2011

Keynote speakers:
Monica Cyrino, Pantelis Michelakis, Jon Solomon, Martin Winkler (tbc), Maria Wyke

The resurgence of cinema’s interest in antiquity that was triggered by the release of Gladiator in 2000 shows no signs of abating. In 2010 alone, five ancient world films are appearing on our screens (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Clash of the Titans; Agora; Centurion; Eagle of the Ninth; not to mention the TV series Spartacus: Blood and Sand). The public appetite for films that deal with ancient history and mythology apparently remains strong, and ‘classics and film’ courses have established themselves in universities worldwide, leading the way in the increasing prominence of reception studies within classics and ancient history. The time is ripe for reflection on these developments. This major international conference seeks to explore the directions that have been taken in a decade of moviemaking and scholarship, and to advance the field by concentrating on issues too often overlooked. We invite papers on all aspects of ancient world films released between 2000 and the present, but would particularly encourage engagement with any of the following areas:

Ø The filmmaking process, including film design, editing, cinematography, music.

Ø Marketing and publicity.

Ø Assessing audience receptions.

Ø Actors and stars.

Ø Television and the ancient world, including documentaries.

Ø Animation in film and television.

Ø Future directions in ‘classics and film’ scholarship.

We now invite proposals for 20 minute papers. Please send a 300 word abstract to the conference organisers, Joanna Paul (Joanna.Paul AT and Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (L.Llewellyn-Jones AT Abstracts must be received no later than 31 December 2010.

More details will appear on the conference website,, in due course.

CFP: Postcolonial Latin American Adaptations of Greek and Roman Drama

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

Postcolonial Latin American Adaptations of Greek and Roman Drama

143rd Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association

January 5-8, 2012, Philadelphia, PA

Organized by Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos (Saint Joseph’s University)

Research on the reception of classical drama has focused on Europe, Northern America, Africa, and
Australasia, but has ignored, for no justifiable reason, Latin America. Greek and Roman tragedies
regarded as canonical in the West migrated to this region since the early colonial years and have
been rewritten, especially in recent decades, to suit modern social and political concerns. For
example, Griselda Gambaro’s Furious Antigone (1986) and Jose Watanabe’s Antigone (1999), two of
the many Latin American adaptations of Sophocles’ play, appropriate a seminal story of protest
against state oppression to discuss the issue of the desaparecidos, the thousands of “missing”
civilians who were abducted, tortured, and murdered in secret by military and paramilitary forces
during the Dirty War in Argentina and Peru respectively. Similarly, in Medea in the Mirror (1960)
Jose Triana blends motifs from Euripides and Seneca to comment on the social and racial
inequalities in pre-Revolution Cuba, whereas Jorge Ali Triana revisits Sophocles in his film Oedipus
Mayor (1996) to document aspects of the Colombian Civil War waged between the army and
peasant guerillas.

The attention that Latin American adaptations of Greek and Roman drama have so far received
from Anglophone classicists (Nelli 2009, 2010; Nikoloutsos 2010, 2011; Torrance 2007) is
disproportionate to their number and geographical spread. Seeking to raise awareness about this
important area of research, this panel–the first of its kind to be organized at a national level–
solicits papers that examine case studies and approach the topic from a variety of theoretical and
interdisciplinary perspectives. Questions to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the

1. What is the artistic and sociohistorical context for these adaptations?
2. Are they direct derivates of the Greek or Roman original, or are there other texts or traditions
involved in this hybridization?
3. Are these rewritings dominated by or emancipated from the ancient prototype in terms of
narrative structure, character development, and ideology?
4. Does this blending of classical themes with postcolonial experiences leave room for indigenous,
mestizo, mulatto, or other mixed-race identities to be expressed?
5. What conclusions about the migration of ideological topoi and stylistic features across Latin
America can we draw from these adaptations?

Abstracts must be received in the APA office by February 1, 2011. Please send an anonymous
abstract as a PDF attachment to Be sure to mention the title of the
panel and provide complete contact information and any AV requests in the body of your email. In
preparing the abstract, please follow the APA’s formatting guidelines for individual abstracts. All
submissions will be reviewed anonymously. Inquiries can be addressed to
Konstantinos.Nikoloutsos AT

Classics Confidential

This item from the Classicists list looks right up rogueclassicism’s proverbial alley (whatever that means):

Dear all,

We would like to draw your attention to a new Classics resource that we have been developing in collaboration with many friends and colleagues over the past few months. Its name is Classics Confidential and it has the following website address:

As the name suggests, Classics Confidential offers an informal behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of Classics, relaying details of the latest Classics-based stories that have been hitting the news headlines and featuring interviews with a wide range of people involved in the subject, from Profs to PhD students, all talking personally, and passionately, about what gets them going in the research that they do.

Interviewees so far include:
– Phil Perkins and Paula James (The Open University)
– Michael Scott (Darwin College, Cambridge)
– Chris Pelling (Christ Church, Oxford)
– Shaun Tougher (University of Cardiff)
– Katherine Harloe and Susanne Turner (University of Reading)
– Nurith Yaari (University of Tel Aviv)
– with Irad Malkin and Tim Whitmarsh soon to make appearances…

While topics embrace:
– Etruscan DNA
– Melancholy and the infinite sadness
– Cypro-Minoan writing
– Ancient Eunuchs
– Democratic turns
– Ariadne’s parrot
– Sextus and his apple
– And so much more…

There is a facebook group to keep you updated on additions … we will, of course, mention any that are drawn to our attention here …

Fascism from Aesop?

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From a reviewish sort of thing in the New Straits Times of Michael Macrone’s Brush Up Your Classics: An Informative and Entertaining Guide to Understanding the Most Famous Words, Phrases, and Stories of Greek Classics. (inter alia)

Most of us are familiar with Aesop and his fables. He lived in sixth-century Greece. I am not surprised if phrases like “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”, “to blow hot and cold”, “the lion’s share” or “sour grapes” are attributed to him. But “fascist”? That’s news to us. Yes, it came from the story of a bundle of sticks. A father, fed up because his children were always at loggerheads, gave them a bundle of sticks to break. They couldn’t. The moral of the story is: united we stand. The Latin word for bundle is fascis plural fasces. Ironically, fascism became a political doctrine associated with, among others, Italy’s Benito Mussolini.

Okay … I’m semi-confused because while the ‘bundle of sticks’ story in Aesop is familiar enough with its “united we stand” moral, but I had never seen it connected etymologically to fascism before. A quick scan of google for Aesop and fascism brings up piles of examples, of course, but I’m having a great deal of trouble linking the Greek story etymologically to the portable execution kit borne by lictors for magistrates who had the power to give the ‘unbind the fasces’ order. Trotsky did mention a fable of Aesop in one of his pamphlets, but it wasn’t this one. Anyone know when the ‘thematic’ connection was made?

Whence Classical Zuckerberg II

The conclusion to Toby Young’s piece in the Telegraph makes an interesting point ‘Latin recruiters’ might want to make use of:

I’ve done some cursory research about Zuckerberg since seeing the film and, needless to say, he’s not the cold-blooded killer he’s portrayed as. Far from being a Howard Hughes character, he has a long-standing girlfriend who he’s been with since before he created Facebook. He may be rich, but he’s not selfish – he’s been happy to dilute his own share of Facebook to 24%, sharing the wealth with several of his old college roommates, and earlier this year he donated $100 million to the Newark public school system. My favourite fact about him is that he’s a Classicist, having studied the Classics at Ardsley High School and then immersed himself in Latin when he transferred to Philips Exeter Academy.

Next time some small-minded, utilitarian educationalist asks me why I want to make Latin compulsory at the West London Free School, and questions its “relevance” to the contemporary world, I’m going to point to Mark Zuckerberg. I have no doubt he would have created Facebook whether he’d met Saverin or not. But without a solid grounding in Latin, with its clear, logical structure that’s so similar to the language of computers, he probably wouldn’t have got to first base.

via After seeing The Social Network, I’m now a huge fan of Mark Zuckerberg – Telegraph Blogs.

… quibus rebus cognitis, it seems to add some auctoritas of sorts to something mentioned on the Classics list a few weeks ago:

Startups like ONEsite often cast a wide net when hiring–especially in Oklahoma City. “Because of our location, we didn’t necessarily have the largest pool of available technical talent to draw from, so we decided to hire our own people and train them to write computer code,” says founder Thad Martin, 28. “Some of our best developers have been classics majors and physicists with no previous programming experience. They were able to apply their knowledge of other ‘languages’ to think structurally and logically.”

Top Tips: 10 Companies Share What They Look For In Nontraditional Hires

Perhaps we should be pushing the ubergeek potential of Latin … if we aren’t already.

Whence Classical Zuckerberg?

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Alex Beam in the Boston Globe wonders about something I’ve been wondering about for a few weeks now:

Of course you have noticed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s uncontrollable tic — quoting from Virgil’s “Aeneid.’’ He did it twice during a long New Yorker interview and more recently in Wired magazine, where he popped — in Latin — what might be the epic’s most famous line: “A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this’’ (trans. Robert Fagles). Those are Aeneas’s consoling words to his battered, shipwrecked comrades. In the poem, various gods assure the Trojan hero that he will found “an empire without bound,’’ i.e. Rome, which is more or less what Zuckerberg has done. Facebook has more than 500 million active users and counting.

Inquiring minds want to know: Where did Zucko imbibe the foundational epic of the Roman empire? Not at Harvard, I am told. He majored in computer science and split after two years. Like many other high schools, Zuckerberg’s alma mater, Phillips Exeter Academy, teaches the “Aeneid’’ in fourth-year Latin, more or less preparing its students for the “Virgil AP,’’ which more than 4,000 students take each year.

Exeter and Facebook are closed-mouth on the subject of Zuckerberg’s classical training, but my investigation continues, sub rosa.

… so far, I’m thinking he might be a ‘closet Classicist’ although it seems very much that ‘two lines of the Aeneid thing’ has taken on a life of its own, perhaps without as much weight as we’d like it to have  … in the conclusion to a big article about Zuckerberg in the New Yorker last month we read:

In our last interview—this one over the phone—I asked Zuckerberg about “Ender’s Game,” the sci-fi book whose hero is a young computer wizard.

“Oh, it’s not a favorite book or anything like that,” Zuckerberg told me, sounding surprised. “I just added it because I liked it. I don’t think there’s any real significance to the fact that it’s listed there and other books aren’t. But there are definitely books—like the Aeneid—that I enjoyed reading a lot more.”

He first read the Aeneid while he was studying Latin in high school, and he recounted the story of Aeneas’s quest and his desire to build a city that, he said, quoting the text in English, “knows no boundaries in time and greatness.” Zuckerberg has always had a classical streak, his friends and family told me. (Sean Parker, a close friend of Zuckerberg, who served as Facebook’s president when the company was incorporated, said, “There’s a part of him that—it was present even when he was twenty, twenty-one—this kind of imperial tendency. He was really into Greek odysseys and all that stuff.”) At a product meeting a couple of years ago, Zuckerberg quoted some lines from the Aeneid.

On the phone, Zuckerberg tried to remember the Latin of particular verses. Later that night, he IM’d to tell me two phrases he remembered, giving me the Latin and then the English: “fortune favors the bold” and “a nation/empire without bound.”

Before I could point out how oddly applicable those lines might be to his current ambitions, he typed back:

again though
these are the most famous quotes in the aeneid
not anything particular that i found.

Damnatio ad Metallum

Abstract of a payfer thing in the Journal of Archaeological Science … seems to confirm somewhat the oft-mentioned claim that damnatio ad metallum was essentially a death sentence:

The Byzantine period (4th – 7th centuries A.D.) site of Khirbet Faynan (Phaeno) was a state-run mining camp described in ancient sources as a destination for Christian martyrs and others prosecuted by the administration who were condemned to the mines (damnatio ad metallum). However, other evidence suggests that Phaeno had a much broader role and population in antiquity than that described by ancient writers. Here, strontium and oxygen isotope data on the level of migration into Phaeno were compared with elemental data on lead and copper skeletal levels to illuminate the varied exposure of local vs. non-local individuals to contaminated environments (presumably from working in mining and smelting operations). Dental enamel 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O data from 31 individuals excavated from the Southern Cemetery identified one individual born in a region with different strontium isotope values in the bedrock yet similar oxygen isotope signatures as Faynan. Most of the primarily locally-derived Faynan residents displayed skeletal copper and lead levels exceeding those seen in comparative samples, confirming that growing up and residing in the polluted environment of Faynan led to notable bioaccumulation of heavy metals and its resulting health effects. In addition, ten individuals had extremely elevated lead and copper levels in their skeleton resulting from more intensive exposure to contaminated environments, possibly through smelting and mining activities. These data confirm the relatively localized nature of this imperial operation and that this predominantly locally-derived population had different activities that put them ask varied risk for contamination by heavy metals.

via Condemned to metallum? The origin and role of 4th – 6th century A.D. Phaeno mining camp residents using multiple chemical techniques | Journal of Archaeological Science.

Artemis (?) from Montereggi

This one’s a bit more interesting than the one which follows, and has quite a bit more detail. It details recent finds at the Etruscan site at Montereggi/Limite sull’Arno (not sure what the actual town is called), including this:

via Nove da Firenze

… which is a roof detail dating to the mid-sixth century B.C. or thereabouts, possibly depicting Artemis, and which was found ‘ritually deposited’ in some sort of tank/cistern. Remains of a temple dating to the 4th/3rd century B.C. were also found.

Here’s most of it:

Il primo tra questi consiste nel rinvenimento, all’interno di una grande cisterna, già nota da tempo per appartenere ad una casa etrusca di notevoli dimensioni (oltre 400 metri quadrati) di una lastra in terracotta con la testa di una donna velata, realizzata in altorilievo. L’immagine femminile ha i capelli raccolti sulla fronte, e mostra due orecchini ed una collana nell’impostazione classica di queste terracotte architettoniche, secondo un modello noto già nel V secolo a. C..
Il pezzo rinvenuto a Montereggi, per la presenza di volute in foglia d’acanto, può essere datato ad epoca posteriore, ed in particolare attorno alla metà del VI secolo a. C.

Si tratta di un elemento quadrangolare da fissare sull’architrave o sugli elementi rampanti del tetto di un tempio: la lieve rotazione del volto verso sinistra, chiarisce che era stata fabbricata per essere posta in posizione frontale, nella parte destra, rispetto a chi guardava, dell’architrave.
La lastra figurata è stata rinvenuta sul fondo della cisterna, a 7,5 metri di profondità, ove evidentemente era stata depositata con cura.
“La lastra architettonica giaceva sul fondo della cisterna: collocata sopra un letto di ciottoli bianchi, che avevano probabilmente la funzione di filtrare l’acqua captata dalla struttura ed era protetta da alcune pietre. Si tratta, quindi, di una deposizione rituale, grazie alla quale essa si è conservata pressoché integra. Alla figura, che potrebbe anche celare un riferimento ad Artemide – la dea dalla quale avrebbero preso il nome gli Artemini, gli etruschi di Artimino, nel cui territorio (chora) stava Montereggi -, doveva perciò avere la funzione di proteggere l’acqua della cisterna. Non ho al momento riscontri precisi su questo documento, se non la sua evidente derivazione da modelli più antichi, e la sensazione di una possibile connessione con i prodotti artistici della Magna Grecia che, in quel periodo, diffondevano l’incipiente gusto ellenistico. La rarità morfologica ed il suo eccezionale stato di conservazione fanno di questa lastra architettonica un ritrovamento di inestimabile valore per il territorio di limitese e per le collezioni del Museo Archeologico di Montelupo”, afferma Fausto Berti, direttore del Sistema Museale di Montelupo.

Ma la campagna di scavo condotta dal Museo Archeologico di Montelupo, in collaborazione con l’Università di Siena, sul sito dell’antico abitato etrusco di Montereggi non ha riservato solo questa gradita sorpresa. Nel corso degli scavi sono state rinvenute infatti anche tracce consistenti di un edificio templare, ben segnalate dalle basi di colonna e dalle murature che lo caratterizzano, oltre all’ampio spazio aperto sul quale si colloca, riconoscibile come la piazza (l’agorà) posta nel punto più elevato dell’abitato.

“La costruzione è da riferire al periodo ellenistico poiché le sue fondazioni hanno restituito ceramiche di IV e III secolo a.C. E’ proprio la profondità della fossa entro la quale è stato costruito il muro perimetrale destro di questa struttura a segnalarci la sua probabile appartenenza ad un edificio di culto: l’ampiezza della fondazione, sconosciuta alle case private, serve infatti a contenere la spinta del grande tetto templare, caratterizzato da uno spiovente di circa dieci metri. Un ritrovamento simile ha meravigliato anche noi, anche se da tempo siamo consapevoli che l’abitato di Montereggi rappresenta un importante centro etrusco che, dall’apice della collina omonima si estendeva fino alla pianura, dove ora è la strada provinciale. Nel corso di un saggio effettuato nel 2008 proprio nei pressi di quella via di comunicazione sono infatti venute alla luce sotto circa 5 metri dall’attuale piano di campagna importanti accumuli di ceramica databili tra VI e V secolo avanti Cristo, tra i quali spicca una grande oinochoe in figulina ed una Kilyx in bucchero, ora esposti al Museo Archeologico di Montelupo”.

“La concreta collaborazione tra i comuni di Capraia e Limite e Montelupo Fiorentino – prosegue Berti – unitamente all’azione di sostegno della Soprintendenza Archeologica per la Toscana, esercitata dal funzionario competente per territorio, dottoressa Lorella Alderighi e dell’Università degli Studi di Siena, ha permesso di ottenere questi importanti risultati, che si concretano anche nelle nuove dimensioni che adesso caratterizzano il Parco Archeologico di Montereggi, inserito recentemente anche in un percorso ben segnalato e dotato di pannelli esplicativi. Lo scavo è sempre un’opera collettiva: esso necessita dell’ausilio di persone in grado di dirigerlo e realizzarlo in tutti i suoi aspetti per cogliere gli obbiettivi scientifici che gli sono propri. Senza mettere in campo un’organizzazione museale ben radicata sul territorio è poi impossibile cogliere le molteplici opportunità culturali e sociali che offre l’indagine archeologica ad una comunità locale attraverso la valorizzazione delle testimonianze (strutturali e non) rinvenute.
In questo caso ho la fortuna di poter contare non soltanto su giovani archeologi bravi ed appassionati, ma anche su veri e propri maestri dello scavo stratigrafico, quali il prof. Pino Fenu, e sugli esponenti della cooperativa Ichnos Lorenzo Cecchini e Andrea Violetti; Francesco Cini ha da parte sua consolidato e svuotato la cisterna, consentendo così il ritrovamento della lastra architettonica. Tutte le nostre operazioni, inoltre, sono state supportate dal Gruppo Archeologico di Montelupo, grazie all’opera indefessa di Luciano Bellucci, che, come sempre, non ha perso neppure un giorno di scavo. Tutta questa squadra, ormai ben sperimentata, lavora adesso a pieno ritmo, ed è sempre più decisa a dimostrare definitivamente ciò che ormai appare più che probabile: l’esser stato cioè l’attuale Limite sull’Arno l’erede di un abitato etrusco di notevoli dimensioni, dal quale ha tratto la sua inconfondibile tradizione, il suo rapporto con il fiume e con i boschi del Montalbano, in una parola il più antico porto fluviale ed il maggior centro della cantieristica interna dell’antichità toscana”.

Remains of Roman Senigallia?

Not a lot of detail in this one … here’s the incipit:

Un importantissimo scavo archeologico è stato eseguito in queste settimane a Senigallia. Durante i lavori di ristrutturazione, eseguiti dalla Società Berta Costruzioni s.r.l. all’interno delle cantine di uno stabile sito in via Cavallotti, in un punto “strategico” della topografia urbana di Senigallia, sono infatti venute alla luce alcune strutture riferibili all’impianto urbano della colonia romana. [... more]

… the only thing that really seems  definitely ‘Roman’ in this report is a photo of what appears to be the neck of a Dressel type one amphora:

The comments to the piece are interesting … folks say there’s a whole ‘city’ beneath Senigallia

This Day in Ancient History: idus octobres

Lucretius, De rerum natura
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idus octobres

  • festival of Jupiter — all ides were sacred to Jupiter
  • Rite of the ‘October Horse’ — one of the many rituals which makes the study of Roman religion so fascinating. On this day a race between two-horse chariots would be held in the Campus Martius, and the right hand horse of the victorious pair would be sacrificed by the flamen of Mars on an altar (in the Campus Martius, of course). After the sacrifice, people who lived in the Via Sacra neighbourhood would fight the people who lived in the Suburra for the right to the head. If the ‘via sacranites’ won, they’d display it on the Regia; if the Suburranites won, it would be displayed at the Turris Mamilia. Meanwhile, the cauda (tail – genitals) would be rushed to the Regia so the blood would drip on the sacred hearth; the Vestal Virgins also probably kept some of the blood for use at the Parilia on April 21.
  • ludi Capitolini — a somewhat obscure day of games which was unique in its not being ‘public’ (in the sense of being put on by a magistrate) but rather the ballywick of a collegium of ‘Capitolini’. Not much is known about what went on at these games save that an old man wearing the bulla of of a young boy was paraded about and mocked; there were possibly competitions in boxing and running as well.
  • 55 B.C. — death of Lucretius
  • 70 B.C. — birth of Publius Vergilius Maro, a.k.a. Vergil, a.k.a Virgil
  • 1999 — death of Don Fowler, fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and frequent contributor to the Classics list almost from its inception, among other things, of course

Red Bull Chariot Races

Nice to see this sort of thing still going on:

Hundreds of college students around the San Diego area showed up at JT’s Pub and Grill on Saturday to represent their university pride. Home of the San Diego Red Bull Chariot Races, JT’s hosted teams of “Roman gladiators” from USD, San Diego State and UCSD. Students watched as the teams literally pulled each other to victory, competing for ultimate school supremacy.

There were two teams from USD, both suited up in togas. Pat Castagna, president of USD’s Mechanical Engineering Club and Captain of Team ASME in the race, personally recruited six members to represent USD. Many USD students were in attendance showing their support for the teams’ engineering and racing skills. Team ASME made it to the semi-finals by racing a scooter-themed chariot. In the end they were narrowly defeated.

“This event turned out to be epic,” Castagna said. “We almost made it to the finals but we lined up on the outside lane and just could not beat our opponent to the first turn, which made them hard to pass.” [More ...]

via SD universities race to the finish, Roman style – The Vista – News.

This Day in Ancient History: pridie idus octobres

Fragmentary remains of the Temple of Castor an...

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pridie idus octobres

  • rites in honour of the Penates Dei — the Penates Dei were originally the penates who watched over the storehouse of the king (when Rome had such, obviously); at some point, the Penates Dei came to be identified with Castor and Pollux, but they still had a temple under their own name on the Velian hill which was apparently restored by Augustus.
  • 223 A.D. — martyrdom of Calixtus

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem iii idus octobres

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ante diem iii idus octobres

  • Fontinalia — a festival in honour of the divinity Fons, who presided over springs and wells; such sources of water were festooned with garlands for the occasion
  • 54 A.D. — death of the emperor Claudius, purportedly succumbing to a plate of poisoned mushrooms dished up by his niece/wife Agrippina; dies imperii of Nero (son of Agrippina)
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Also seen: “Ancient Slut-Shaming”

A piece at Jezebel:

… which seems to take its start from a review of Roller’s Cleopatra: A Biography at the Christian Science Monitor:

… and its conclusion from a guest post by Vicky Alvear Shecter at Gary Corby’s blog:

Sophocles (et al) and Modern Medicine

One of the ‘missing  in action’ items in my mailbox (from July!) … from the Boston Globe:

Sounds of agony pour from the man at the front of the room, his face red and convulsed with pain.

“Death!’’ he shouts, imploring someone, anyone, to end his life, his shrieks filling the amphitheater. “Death! Why after all these years have you not appeared?’’

The wailing man is an actor. His part is that of a Greek hero-warrior begging to be euthanized as a burning poison eats away at his flesh. His lines were written more than 2,000 years ago by Sophocles, the Greek playwright. And his audience this evening consists mainly of doctors, more accustomed to saving lives than to ending them.

As medical technologies extend the lives of the sickest, medical schools across the country have struggled to find a way to help doctors better navigate new moral quandaries around death and dying. The recent performance of scenes from Greek plays at Harvard Medical School represents one of the more unusual and emotionally powerful approaches.

Called End of Life, the program uses ancient Greek tragedies to spark discussion among medical students and professionals about the ethics of treating patients facing painful, prolonged deaths.

Several professors, doctors, and students who have taken part in End of Life agree that the 90 minutes of raw, honest theater and emotional discussion add a dimension of reality to medical ethics education that textbooks cannot.

“An awful lot of what goes on in taking care of patients involves feelings, like trust and hope and compassion,’’ said Christine Mitchell, a nurse and director of the office of ethics at Children’s Hospital Boston. Mitchell attended both of the performances Harvard has hosted this year. “We usually focus on the head part and not the heart part. It’s not easy to combine the two.’’

If Bryan Doerries, the project’s founder, has his way, more medical schools will employ ancient Greek drama to strengthen their medical ethics programs. The two scenes used in the End of Life readings illustrate the ethical dilemmas and emotional baggage that complicate medical situations for the terminally ill, their families, and caregivers.

“This was dramatically different than what we had done before,’’ said Dr. Sadath Sayeed, who teaches Harvard Medical School’s ethics class and helped bring the program to the school. “It’s a lot about emotion, the feelings, the experience itself. It’s harder to get that in a classroom.’’

Still in its infancy, the End of Life project is not yet on any school’s list of ethics requirements. Doerries, a New York-based educator trained in the classics, will take it to the University of Virginia next fall, where students and faculty across disciplines will judge for themselves the relevance of Greek tragedy to modern medicine.

Of the 133 medical schools in the United States, most teach some form of medical ethics as part of their standard curriculum, a representative of the American Association of Medical Colleges said.

Classroom topics range from research ethics and genetic testing to informed consent and euthanasia, often discussed in light of case studies doctors can draw on in making their decisions.

But a study published in 2008 in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine found that doctors’ stance on end-of-life topics depended on other factors, such as religious affiliation, ethnicity, and experience in treating dying patients. Those with strong religious beliefs, for example, were about four times more likely to object to physician-assisted suicide than those without such beliefs.

In light of that, it becomes imperative that medical students receive training early that stresses the emotional aspects of medicine, Sayeed said.

One of the scenes in the End of Life readings is from “Women of Trachis,’’ in which Heracles, accidentally poisoned by his wife, implores his son to stop his searing pain by building a pyre, tying him to it, and lighting it on fire.

“It had this line, ‘I am asking you to be my doctor,’ and he is begging his son to kill him,’’ said Spencer McClelland, a third-year Harvard medical student who attended the End of Life session in March. “A lot of these things are really intangible when you’re a student. To have anything that humanizes them before you go through this face-to-face with a patient is invaluable.’’

Several medical schools have pioneered innovative teaching methods that take a more holistic view of medicine and ethics. Columbia University’s Program in Narrative Medicine, already a decade old, teaches doctors how to foster empathy with patients and interpret their stories of suffering as a means to promote healing.

Still, Doerries believes theater has an impact classes cannot achieve. “Theater has a power to destroy hierarchy,’’ he said. “Not forever, but for long enough for those in the audience who may be intimidated to speak.’’

Sitting in front of an audience of about 60 people, Rabbi Herman Blumberg, a chaplain at Boston’s Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, talked at last month’s End of Life performance about the complicated obligations that arise when illness sentences patients to a life of pain.

He described the emotional impact of watching the actor’s anguished scream as a tearing of the soul.

“I’m going back to it again and again and again,’’ he said. “The realization of just how painful pain is. I find myself listening more fully with my whole being.’’

via:  Screams from Greek stage aim for doctors’ hearts – The Boston Globe.

Illo Modo Volvo Redux

Front side Volvo truck.

Image via Wikipedia

Last month we mentioned how Dennis of Campus fame was involved in a dispute with Volvo over the ‘illo modo volvo’ (i.e. ‘That’s how I roll’) t-shirt he was marketing. In an interesting bit of synchronicity, Road and Track has a feature on how various car companies got their names. Here’s the excerpt of interest to us:

Some car company logos owe their existence to legalities and economies of scale. In 1909, having left the company bearing his name, August Horch established a second automobile company in Zwickau, Germany. But with his name already in use, Horch had a serious problem. He couldn’t legally name his new company after himself. However, when translated into Latin, “Horch”—which means “hark”—became the lawyer-friendly “Audi.” The four interlinked Audi rings came about in 1932, when four struggling automakers joined together under the corporate banner of Auto Union. These companies included Audi, DKW, Wanderer and, ironically, the original Horch.

Volvo also has Latin roots. Meaning “I roll,” the name was taken from a brand of ball bearings before it was applied to the Swedish automaker in 1924. The Volvo logo is the Roman symbol for iron—symbolizing a warrior’s shield and spear. The diagonal streak across the grille was originally only a mounting point for the badge, but is now “almost as much a brand ID as our iron symbol,” says Daniel Johnston, Product Communications Manager at Volvo Cars North America.

… not sure where they get the ‘Roman symbol for iron’ stuff; perhaps it’s a Roman symbol for Mars. I can’t find any connection of this symbol with “iron” except in conjunction, interestingly enough, with Volvo.

CONF: KYKNOS Research Seminars

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

Please see below for a research seminar programme for the current semester. All are welcome to attend; please contact Owen Hodkinson (o.hodkinson AT or Marta Garcia Morcillo (m.morcillo AT for directions or other information.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Lampeter campus)

School of Classics and KYKNOS research seminars, Semester 1

KYKNOS seminars (marked as such below) begin at 6pm; all others at 5.15pm. All seminars take place in the Roderic Bowen Reading Room on the Lampeter campus.

11/11 Dr Kyle Erickson / Trinity St David ‘The Origins of Seleucid Ruler Cult in Asia Minor’

25/11 Dr Ika Willis / Bristol ‘Vergil and Dante: Society of the Friends of the Text’

2/12 Stephen O’Connor / Columbia ‘Why did Classical Greek armies ravage their enemies’ territory?’

9/12 Drs Ivana & Andrej Petrovic / Durham ‘Greek metrical sacred regulations and issues of authority’

16/12 Dr Alexander Meeus / Trinity St David ‘Did Diodorus Siculus present himself as a compiler? The self-fashioning of a Hellenistic historian’

CONF: Greek History Lectures @ Oxford

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

Wednesday, November 3, 5.00 p.m., The Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles

Christophe Chandezon (University of Montpellier III), ) ‘Artemidorus’ dreambook : new readings for historians of the Graeco-
Roman world.’

Thursday, November 4, 2- 5.30 p.m., The Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles

Colloquium on Greek Rural History

2.00 p.m. Nicholas Purcell (St John’s College), ””Farming” in Antiquity: the agent and the activity’

2.50 p.m. Robin Osborne (University of Cambridge) ‘Classical landscapes and rural histories’

4.00 p.m. Christophe Chandezon (University of Montpellier III), ‘Figures in a Classical Landscape. Do individuals offer a new way to
understand Greek agrarian history?

Wednesday, November 17, 5.00 p.m., The Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles

Jeremy McInerney (University of Pennsylvania), ‘Herakleides Kritikos: Periegesis and the Origins of Middle Brow Aesthetics’

All interested persons very welcome!

CONF: Expurgation and The Classics

Coat of Arms for Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Image via Wikipedia

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

The Corpus Christi Centre for the Study of Greek and Roman Antiquity
Presents a Colloquium on Expurgation and The Classics
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Saturday 13th November 2010.

This one-day colloquium (c.10.00-6.15) looks at expurgation in classical scholarship and education and the strategies it has used to deal with obscene and other textual material in conflict with Christian and other post-classical values.

Speakers : Ewen Bowie, Valentine Cunningham, Stephen Harrison, Tim Leary, James Morwood, Dan Orrells, Ian Ruffell, Christopher Stray, Gail Trimble. Cost £10.00 to include coffee, lunch and tea (please pay cash on the day); graduate students of Corpus, no charge. If you would like to attend, please register with Prof. Stephen Harrison at Corpus (stephen.harrison AT

Classical Association of Canada Sight Translation Competition

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

Classical Association of Canada: Sight Translation Competitions in Greek and Latin
Société Canadienne des Études Classiques: Concours national de versions grecque et latine

National sight examinations in Greek and Latin for Canadian students at both the university and high school level will be held in January of 2011:

–January 13, 2011: National Latin Sight Translation Competition for High School Students
–January 20, 2011: Junior Latin Sight Translation Contest; Senior Latin Sight Translation Contest (Peter Lawson Smith Prize)
–January 27, 2011: Junior Greek Sight Translation Contest (Margaret H. Thompson Prize); Senior Greek Sight Translation Contest

Deadline for application submissions: 17 December 2010

Please note: Submissions should be presented by departments, not by individual students or faculty. Please submit only one application per institution.

For more information and the procedure for application, please visit:

or contact:

Dr. Alison Barclay
Assistant Professor of Classics
Dept. of Modern Languages and Classics
St. Mary’s University
Halifax, NS  B3H 3C3
Tel:  (902) 420-5816
Fax:  (902)  491-8694
E-mail: Alison.Barclay AT
– – -

Société Canadienne des Etudes Classiques: Concours national de versions grecque et latine

Le concours national de versions grecque et latine aura lieu en janvier 2011:

–13 janvier 2011 Concours de version latine improvisée pour les écoles secondaires
–20 janvier 2011 Concours national de version latine, niveau intermédiaire; Concours national de version latine, niveau supérieur (Peter Lawson Smith Prize)
–27 janvier 2011 Concours national de version grecque, niveau intermédiaire (Margaret H. Thompson Prize); Concours national de version grecque, niveau supérieur

Date limite d’inscription: 17 décembre 2010

Les demandes d’inscription au concours doivent être envoyées par les insitutions. Chaque institution est priée de présenter une seule fiche de demande.

Renseignements: pour plus d’information, veuillez suivre le lien ci-dessous:

ou soumettre votre demande à:

Dr. Alison Barclay
Assistant Professor of Classics
Dept. of Modern Languages and Classics
St. Mary’s University
Halifax, NS  B3H 3C3
Téléphone:  (902) 420-5816
Télécopieur:  (902) 491-8694
Courriel: Alison.Barclay AT

CONF: Durham Work-In-Progress Seminars (Michaelmas Term)

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



Durham University, Department of Classics & Ancient History, 38 North
Bailey, Durham DH1 3EU, Room no. 108 (first floor)

Week 2 (Wednesday 13 October 2010)
Professor Ingo Gildenhard (Durham University):
“Cicero’s De officiis. Roman Republican Ethics in a Platonizing Key”

Week 4 (Wednesday 27 October 2010)
Professor Edward Harris (Durham University):
“Were There Business Agents in Classical Greece? The Evidence of Some Lead

Week 5 (Wednesday 3 November 2010)
Professor J. David Thomas (Durham University):
“Some Unpublished Latin Writing Tablets from Vindolanda”

Week 6 (Wednesday 10 November 2010)
Professor George Boys-Stones (Durham University):
“Did Plato Believe in God?”

Week 7 (Wednesday 17 November 2010)
Professor Barbara Graziosi (Durham University):
“Divine Inspiration and Narrative Technique in the Iliad”

Week 8 (Wednesday 24 November 2010)
Dr Matthew Peacock (Durham University):
“The Valerii Laevini. A Dynasty of Republican ‘Greek Experts’?”

Week 9 (Wednesday 1 December 2010)
Professor Paola Ceccarelli (Durham University):
Title TBC

Week 10 (Wednesday 8 December 2010)
Dr Johannes Haubold (Durham University):
“The Role of Babylon in Ctesias’ Persica”

PD Dr. Thorsten Fögen: thorsten.foegen AT