Lady Baba Teaches the Imperfect

Via Francesca Tronchin … this originally was presented at the LJCL meeting apparently:

… if I were starting Latin now, I’d probably buy into this … I’m a bit old school, though, and still can hear Dr Yardley’s Cleesesque bam, bas, bat, bamus, batis, bant whenever I’m messing with the imperfect …

Update (milliseconds later) … came across the ‘live’ performance:

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vi kalendas novembres

Constantine at the battle of the Milvian Bridg...

Image via Wikipedia

ante diem vi kalendas novembres

  • 97 A.D. – The emperor Nerva adopts the future emperor Trajan
  • 312 A.D – Battle of the Milvian Bridge; Constantine I has a vision and defeats Maxentius to become sole emperor

 

[n.b. oddly, in all my years of doing This Day in Ancient History in one form or another (at least 10), I have never had anything for October 28! I haven’t had a chance to double check these items for sources]


Agrigento Youth at the Getty

Getty Villa ( Los Angeles ). Sign.
Image via Wikipedia

From a Getty mailing that just landed in my box:

The Agrigento Youth, one of the masterpieces of the Museo Archeologico Regionale di Agrigento in southwestern Sicily, goes on view today at the Getty Villa in a gallery devoted to images of athletes and athletic competition (Gallery 211). On loan to the Getty Museum through April 19, 2011, the figure is a rare example of an early classical marble statue called a kouros, or idealized nude young man.

To the ancient Greeks, sculptures such as these represented the finest civic ideals an aristocrat could attain upon reaching manhood. They were made to serve as costly dedicatory objects which could function as dedications to gods, representations of gods, or to honor the memory of a fallen mortal as part of his funerary ritual.

One of the best preserved examples of the kouros type in Sicily, pieces of this sculpture were excavated from two cisterns close to cult precincts devoted to Demeter and Persephone on the slope of the ancient acropolis of Akragas (modern Agrigento) in the late 1800’s.

The figure was carved by an unknown artist around 480 B.C., just at the artistic turning point between the archaic and classical periods. The style has been termed by scholars the Severe Style due to the solemn facial features and erect stance favored at this time. Under life size at 1.02 meters (40 inches) in height, The Agrigento Youth is comparable to the highest quality contemporary Athenian kouroi, with whom it shares many traits, such as the sensitively rendered modeling of the anatomy, the erect stance with one leg forward, and the serene and straightforward gaze. Unlike the majority of those statues, this figure’s right arm is raised as if holding out an object. The stone from which it was carved is a white marble imported from Greece, which indicates that The Agrigento Youth was an expensive and noteworthy dedication.

The sculpture is also distinguished by certain features which call attention to its Sicilian origins. The structure of the head is long and the face is oval, with prominent cheekbones, heavy-lidded eyes and a prominent lower lip. Sharply patterned hair is a feature common to all kouroi, but in Sicily the treatment is even more pronounced, with delineated strands of finely carved locks forming into a cap and rolled into a thick coil of hair banded by a simple diadem. Residues of the red pigment indicating the hair’s original color are clearly visible.

Before its installation at the Villa, the Museum’s conservation team collaborated with conservators from the Museo Archeologico Regionale to construct a custom seismic isolation base and pedestal for The Agrigento Youth. When the sculpture returns to Sicily, it will be accompanied by its new pedestal and earthquake-resistant mount for display in its home museum.

This is the latest in a series of cooperative efforts between the Getty and the Sicilian Ministry of Culture and Sicilian Identity arising from a 2010 agreement that calls for a number of collaborative projects, including object conservation, seismic protection of collections, exhibitions, scholarly research, and conferences.

“We are delighted to showcase The Agrigento Youth at the Getty Villa, and are pleased to continue working with our colleagues in Sicily in this latest chapter of our ongoing partnership,” says David Bomford, acting director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “This loan, and its conservation component, meets the spirit of our agreement to work in partnership with our Sicilian colleagues to preserve and share Italy’s rich cultural heritage.”

The Agrigento Youth is the second major loan to arise from the 2010 agreement. The Gela Krater, a monumental red-figure volute-krater (wine mixing vessel) attributed to the Niobid Painter, was on view at the Villa since June before it was returned this month, also with a new, custom-designed seismic isolator base and pedestal.

“We are pleased to have these objects on view at the Getty Villa where they can serve as fine examples of Sicily’s cultural offerings, helping to create broader awareness for our collections and heritage,” explains Dr. Giuseppe Castellana, the director of the Parco Archeologico e Paesaggistico della Valle dei Templi. “It is also wonderful that both objects will return to us with new bases that make them more secure.”

In addition, the Getty recently partnered with the Centro Regionale per la Progettazione, il Restauro e per le Scienze Applicate ai Beni Culturali to organize a conference on the seismic mitigation of museum collections this month in Palermo. The conference included a workshop for museum technicians and conservators on seismic mount-making, and other topics related to caring for collections in earthquake-prone areas.

Still to come on loan are objects from the archaeological site of Morgantina in central Sicily. The Getty is also working with Sicilian colleagues on two upcoming Getty Villa exhibitions, one investigating Sicily during the Classical and Hellenistic periods, and another on Selinunte, an important Greek colonial settlement in northwest Sicily.

In addition to the Sicilian region, the Getty Museum has also established cultural partnerships with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples.

For now, there’s a good photo from the Cleveland Museum of Art where the item was sojourning for a while …

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This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vi kalendas novembres

ante diem vi kalendas novembres

  • ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 2) — games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla’s defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.
  • 43 B.C. — Marcus Junius Brutus commits suicide in the wake of the defeat at Philippi (by one reckoning)
  • 113 A.D. — the emperor Trajan departs from Rome for his war against the Parthians
  • 251 A.D. — the future emperor Valerian is elected by the senate to the recently-revived office of censor
  • 1469 — birth of Erasmus

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vii kalendas novembres

ante diem vii kalendas novembres

  • ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 1) — games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla’s defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.
  • 1656 B.C. — Noah enters the ark (this must be Bishop Ussher again)
  • 31 A.D. — suicide of Apicata, wife of the disgraced Praetorian Praefect Sejanus
  • ca 250 A.D. — martyrdom of Lucian and Marcian
  • 1852 — during a “violent storm” at Athens, one of the columns of the “Temple of Jupiter Olympus” was toppled (perhaps portrayed here?)

Also Seen: Defeat of Alesia

I think we get a bit of insight into Rupert Murdoch’s mindset when we read things like this:

Nicknamed after Julius Caesar’s victorious siege of Gallic forces in 52 B.C., Rupert Murdoch’s “Project Alesia” was supposed to be his attack against Google News, which he’s always seen as a content-thieving enterprise. [more]

FWIW, almost a year ago the Daily Inquisitr was commenting on the name of the project and warning about the Ides of March … meanwhile, back in September Vanity Fair proclaimed Mark Zuckerberg:

our new Caesar. He rules from the imperial capital of Palo Alto, California, the Rome of our nascent millennium.

Meanwhile the two guys in charge of Research in Motion have also been dubbed Caesars … clearly we need a new Suetonius. We’re clearly shaping up for another year of the four (or more) emperors …

Talking About Ancient Vampires

This sounds like it would have been very interesting to attend:

These days, when an event is billed as vampire related, one might expect the target audience to be mostly made up of adolescent girls.

Not so for the considerable crowd that turned out to the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s Rainey Auditorium on Thursday evening. The program, “Vampires, Demons and Mystical Creatures in the Ancient World,” was organized by Young Friends, a group of active volunteers that seeks to encourage Museum membership and participation among young professionals and students in the 21 through 45-year-old range — though Thursday’s crowd ranged from children to older adults.

The evening began with two speakers who presented on magic and monsters from ancient times. The first, associate professor of Classical Studies Peter Struck, spoke about the prevalence of magic in ancient Greece — and, indeed, throughout the ancient world.

“In Greece, everyone used magic, and believed it worked,” Struck said. The most prevalent method, he explained, was to “enlist the untimely dead” — young people who died early, violent deaths — to do one’s bidding by dropping spells into their graves.

Struck was followed by Jennifer Wegner, the associate curator of the Egyptian section and a regular of Young Friends programs, who spoke about the variety of ancient Egyptian deities and monsters.

“Animal life alone in Egypt is the stuff of nightmares,” Wegner said. But the deities that these creatures represented were “viewed as positive” in Egyptian culture.

Both speakers were very well received.

“I thought it was really interesting, both were really good speakers,” said Becky Kolacki, a student from Drexel who, though not a member of Young Friends, said that she would definitely consider going to future events.

“The Egyptology was really fascinating, and they did a great job picking speakers,” said Stephanie Met, who was there with her father, a Penn professor.

After their presentations, people were given the opportunity to tour the Museums’s “FANG! The Killing Tooth” exhibit on the biology of the canine and the history of vampire myth.

Young Friends hosts two to three major events a year, and members of the group receive discounts on Museum events.

“There’s all this great research going on and great speakers here,” said Emily Goldsleger, the assistant director of membership and annual giving at the Penn Museum and a coordinator of the Young Friends program. “We try and make it more lighthearted and accessible.”These days, when an event is billed as vampire related, one might expect the target audience to be mostly made up of adolescent girls.

Not so for the considerable crowd that turned out to the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s Rainey Auditorium on Thursday evening. The program, “Vampires, Demons and Mystical Creatures in the Ancient World,” was organized by Young Friends, a group of active volunteers that seeks to encourage Museum membership and participation among young professionals and students in the 21 through 45-year-old range — though Thursday’s crowd ranged from children to older adults.

The evening began with two speakers who presented on magic and monsters from ancient times. The first, associate professor of Classical Studies Peter Struck, spoke about the prevalence of magic in ancient Greece — and, indeed, throughout the ancient world.

“In Greece, everyone used magic, and believed it worked,” Struck said. The most prevalent method, he explained, was to “enlist the untimely dead” — young people who died early, violent deaths — to do one’s bidding by dropping spells into their graves.

Struck was followed by Jennifer Wegner, the associate curator of the Egyptian section and a regular of Young Friends programs, who spoke about the variety of ancient Egyptian deities and monsters.

“Animal life alone in Egypt is the stuff of nightmares,” Wegner said. But the deities that these creatures represented were “viewed as positive” in Egyptian culture.

Both speakers were very well received.

“I thought it was really interesting, both were really good speakers,” said Becky Kolacki, a student from Drexel who, though not a member of Young Friends, said that she would definitely consider going to future events.

“The Egyptology was really fascinating, and they did a great job picking speakers,” said Stephanie Met, who was there with her father, a Penn professor.

After their presentations, people were given the opportunity to tour the Museums’s “FANG! The Killing Tooth” exhibit on the biology of the canine and the history of vampire myth. [more]

Felton seems to hang out her shingle for such things every Hallowe’en, so we might read some more from her soon. As folks prepare to regale their kiddies with assorted ghost stories, they might want to check out an interesting interview with Debbie Felton on ‘Spooky Rome’ at eternallycool … N.S. Gill has also put together a few pages of relevant ghost stories from ancient Greece and Rome …. Horror Masters’ page of ancient ghost stories is also interesting (although it really would have been nice if there were footnotes!). Of course, you’ll want to check out some of the purported sightings of ghosts that we have mentioned in these pages, here and here (the latter has links to earlier stories).

Also Seen: Getting a Classical Education in Italy

The Wall Street Journal had an item of interest … an article comparing US and Italian education systems penned by an ‘urban professional’ from the US working in Rome. Here’s the excerpt that caught my eye:

The pedagogy is old-fashioned, with lots of memorization: the despised “rote learning” that American educators have been warning against since before my own distant youth (but which news reports say is making a comeback there). Italian teachers make little effort to cultivate their pupils’ self-esteem or celebrate their precious snowflake-like individuality. Meetings with parents are about what their child does wrong, while whatever he’s learned is passed over in silence.

That can be frustrating for anyone who thrives on what Thomas Mann called “Vitamin P.” Yet no one who has let an excited second-grader drag him through the Musée D’Orsay in search of Impressionist masterpieces, or heard a third-grader give forth on Australopithecus and the Big Bang, or a fourth-grader recite a poem by Sappho, can doubt that Italian teachers are doing something right. With many other countries’ systems having all but abandoned classical languages, the prospect of my son taking five years of Latin and Greek in his teens gives me hope that he will reach adulthood with a sharp mind attuned to the resonances of the past.

via European Life: Getting a Classical Education in Italy – WSJ.com.

… trying to picture a fourth-grader at my school reciting Sappho … can’t do it.