Another Pompeii Collapse, Alas

The incipit of an item from ANSA:

Archaeologists on Thursday were assessing the damage after one of the pillars in the garden of an ancient Roman home collapsed at Pompeii.

Police were also called to investigate the collapse of the pillar which was part of an external pergola at the house of Loreius Tiburtinus in the centre of the popular tourist site.

News of the collapse was announced by the Special Archaeology Superintendent of Naples and Pompeii and the site was immediately closed to the public.

The House of Loreius Tiburtinus is famous for its extensive gardens and outdoor ornamentation, in particular its Euripi, fountains that feature many frescoes and statuettes. The frescoes portray the myths of Narcissus on one side of the fountain and Pyramus and Thisbe on the other in a garden full of fruit trees and other plants. At the end of November, the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO and the Italian government agreed to join forces to restore rain-damaged Pompeii after several recent collapses.

UNESCO said it would work with Italy over the next nine months to rebuild villas and other parts of the famed Roman site that have collapsed over the last year.

Under the deal, UNESCO said it would provide expert advice to the Italian government on how to upgrade conservation. […]

A few more details from AGI:

Anther column holding up the external pergola of the has fallen in Pompeii’s Loreio Tiburtino domus. This most recent collapse at one of the world’s most well-know archaeological site was probably caused by heavy rain recently experienced in the Campania Region. Carabinieri were called to the site after the incident was reported. This domus, one of the best known in Pompeii, stands on the Via dell’Abbondanza and was once the home of the descendant of an noble Roman family. It is characterized by a grandiose entrance opening on to a courtyard overlooked by many rooms with frescoes. Those in the triclinium are signed by “Lucius pinxit.” The decoration of one of these rooms has been described as a perfect example of the so-called fourth Pompeiian style, with figures including one of Isis’ priests portrayed against a white background. It was a column of the domus’ pergola that fell. Police consider this a serious event and have cordoned off the entire area.
Experts will analyse the situation and report to the prosecutor in Torre Annunziata responsible for investigating a series of these disasters for which a number of people are being investigated .

More coverage:


A nice little flickr photoset … and another …. similiter (but not flickr), including some reconstructions

Also Seen: Martha Lane Fox Interview

MSN has an interview with Martha Lane Fox that doesn’t have much ClassCon in it other than this interesting bit:

If you could give an hour to anybody (alive of dead) who would you choose and why?

Haha, now that’s a great question because one of the things that lots of people have said to me is that they’ve pledged their hour but were sick of their aunt or uncle not being on the internet. But actually it wasn’t about the computer, they just sat down and had a right laugh with the person, were told stuff about them (maybe they didn’t know) and really had a good time.

It’s a completely ridiculous and slightly fantastical answer but I started a foundation when I left, it’s called Antigone (pronounced an-ti-ga-nee).

I studied Classics when I was at university – Antigone was a character from Greek Myths who stood up for what she believed in. Her brother was wrongly accused of something and she was ultimately executed because she stood up for him and wouldn’t go with the way of the city. So that’s a very long-winded way of saying I would love to give my hour to Antigone. On many levels it would blow her mind away, the 6th century BC was very forward thinking (they invented democracy).

A more realistic fantasy person would be… [thinks] I know Obama is always on his BlackBerry but I wonder how much he really uses it? I think maybe I’d choose him – I met him for two minutes, but I’d like to extend my two minutes to an hour please. I’d like to show him how the world is changing even beyond how he imagines it changing.

… hmmm … imagine what Antigone would be if she had access to social media …

Conference: Aspects of Rhetoric 15-17th Feb 2012, KCL

Seen on the Classicists list:

Brazil-UK conference on Aspects of Rhetoric
15-17 February 2012
King’s College London

organised by Martin Dinter in co-operation with the Centre of Hellenic Studies.

For centuries and across continents the languages of Greek and Latin have brought cultures, generations and individuals together. Our set of events in February 2011 is planned to celebrate that bridging function. We will be exchanging ideas with colleagues who study Latin and Greek in Brazil, exploring the powers and the deployment of language in rhetoric; there will be panels on Greek and Roman Rhetoric, Cicero, Latin Epic, Ancient Philosophy, Late Antiquity, Byzantium and Neo Latin.

The full program can be found here

With participants from University of Sao Paulo (USP), University of Campinas (UNICAMP), University of Parana (UFPR), Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), University of Trondheim, University of Montpellier, University of Cambridge, UCL, King’s, Nottingham, Oxford and Warwick.

The event is supported by the Institute of Classical Studies, the Centre of Hellenic Studies, KCL Brazil Institute, KCL Classics and KCL Philosophy as well as CUP.

Confirmed participants include:
Paula da Cunha Correa (USP)
Marcos Martinho dos Santos (USP)
Daniel Rossi Nunes Lopes (USP)
Sidney Calheiros de Lima (USP)
Paulo Martins (USP)
Roberto Bolzani (USP)
Marco Zingano (USP)
Flavio Ribeiro de Oliveira (UNICAMP)
Paulo Sérgio de Vasconcellos (UNICAMP)
Alessandro Rolim de Moura (UFPR)
Bianca Morganti (UNIFESP)
Staffan Wahlgren (Trondheim)
Marek Kretschmer (Trondheim)
Chris Whitton (Cambridge)
Helen van Norden (Cambridge)
Shaul Tor (Cambridge)
Chris Carey (UCL)
Peter Adamson (King’s)
Alessandra Bucossi (King’s)
Sophie Lunn- Rockliffe (King’s)
MM McCabe (King’s)
Victoria Moul (King’s)
Raphael Woolf (King’s)
Charles Guerin (Montpellier et Institute universitaire de France)
Helen Lovatt (Nottingham)
Andrew Laird (Warwick)

Attendance is free, however, please register in advance with Martin Dinter (martin.dinter AT as places for some events are limited.

CFP: the Legacy of the Roman Republican Senate

Seen on the Classicists list:

September 6th – 8th, 2012, University of Glasgow, UK: ‘The Legacy of the Roman Republican Senate’

Republican Rome has been a powerful and contested constitutional model in the western political tradition. But the Senate is a relatively neglected element in the model. This symposium, supported financially by the British Academy, will explore the roles that the Senate has played in the development of politics, political culture and constitutional theory since the end of the Roman Republic.

Papers on any aspect of the use, abuse and analysis of the Republican Senate from the Roman Empire onwards are welcome. Particular areas of interest may include the role of the Republican Senate in early modern and modern political theory; the emergence of distinctive thinking regarding two-chamber legislatures and the extent to which these reflected awareness of Roman precendents; reference to Roman ideals in the responses to both the American and the French Revolutions; the use in these Revolutions of visual symbolism derived from the Roman Senate; and the development of new vernacular vocabularies to re-evaluate and apply political concepts derived from the classical Latin of the Roman Senate.

Keynote speakers include Dean Hammer (Franklin and Marshall College), Thomas Munck (University of Glasgow), Carl Richard (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and Matthew Roller (Johns Hopkins University).

Abstracts (350 words max) for 30 minute papers should be sent to the organiser, Catherine Steel (catherine.steel AT by March 31st 2012.

Audio/Video ~ Mary Beard: Do the Classics Have a Future?

Mary Beard gave the Robert B. Silvers lecture at the New York Public Library a little bit ago and  it’s now available on the web. Here’s the NYPL’s intro to her talk:

Classicist Mary Beard asks Do the Classics Have a Future?  Beard is famous for her scholarly distinction and ability to energize academic and non-academic audiences alike. In addition to her column with the Times, she regularly appears on television. Her commentary is praised for its wit and inventiveness as much as for its intellectual sophistication.

It’s not embeddable by me, alas, but it is definitely worth listening and/or watching — plenty to get one thinking here. Check it out at (if you want to skip past the intros, go to the 15 minute mark or so):