We mentioned the latest finds from Selinunte a week or so ago (see: Temple of Demeter at Selinunte?) but the Art Newspaper has some new coverage which includes some photos of the finds (Italian-US team discover evidence of Sicily’s oldest temple). I’m not sure how new these photos are since one of them does appear in the 2011 Selinunte newsletter from the IFA at NYU, but check this one out:
That little winged Nike thing is kind of interesting … can’t recall another depiction of a winged human with the wings coming out of the deltoids! Or was this common at one time?
In the wake of the evil deeds in Aurora, Colorado last week, I was trying to remember whether the Romans had an ancient equivalent of ‘gun control’ and I seem to recall some prof or another in my distant past suggesting that Rome did, in fact, disarm their subjects. I also recall reading from time to time on the web that the Romans did this sort of thing and I have also wondered if those folks have considered the logistics of it. Whatever the case, the source for this view is likelyRamsey MacMullen’s Roman Social Relations, where it is mentioned sort of in passing (p. 35, with a list of exempla in n. 26). Without coming down on one side or the other of the ‘gun control debate’, I do want to point out that MacMullen’s views need to be tempered with the extensive study by P. A . Brunt in Phoenix 29.3, 260-270, “Did Rome Disarm Her Subjects”, wherein Brunt examines MacMullen’s exempla and counters with several others. Here’s the opening paragraph:
In his Roman Social Relations 50 B.C.-A.D. 284 New Haven and London 1974) Professor Ramsay Macmullen presents a sombre picture of the condition of the lower orders in the Roman empire, which in general appears to me to represent the truth only too well. But among the many suggestions he throws out which provoke reflection, at least one may challenge dissent. In his sketch of Roman taxation he urges that the resistance movements it caused “reveal in rough outline a common pattern of desperation: first, initial conquest by the Romans; next, the rapid confiscation of all hidden weapons;” and then assessments and “recurrent spasms of protest against the weight of tribute harshly calculated and still more harshly exacted.” His belief that even in the early empire taxation was heavier than is commonly assumed seems to me justifiable, but that is not my subject here. Is it right that disarmament, indeed rapid disarmament, was normally the first act of the conquerors as a prelude to taxation? Macmullen founds this claim on (a) a few texts relating to the disarmament of particular peoples and (b) an interpretation of the law or laws de vi, which in his judgement show that disarmament was universal.’ By implication, it was also permanent. There is perhaps some risk that this view will gain credit, unless rebutted. A fuller survey of the evidence suggests to me that disarmament was far from normal and, where attempted, without lasting effect.
… and the conclusion:
When Roman conquest deprived a people of “liberty,” the loss affected not so much the masses as the old ruling class; we must, however, remember that most of Rome’s subjects had been previously under the control of some other king or hegemon, and that relatively few of the provincial civitates had any real sovereignty to lose. Whatever political loss they did sustain was compensated from the first by the blessings of peace and by Rome’s readiness to uphold their local dominance, and in course of time by an increasing share in the imperial government. The notables were in the best position to discern the difficulty or impossibility of successful revolt, and to enjoy the benefits of order, civilization, and actual participation in Roman power. Without the leadership they alone could give, resistance to Rome could not be effectively organized and had even less chance of success. The rise of provincials in the imperial service and the endless panegyrics they pronounced on Rome’s beneficence alike attest the growth of active consent to Roman rule among the subjects who mattered most, if that rule was to endure. It was by winning over the magnates and not by disarming the masses that the Roman government secured submission and internal peace. Disarmament was neither practicable nor necessary as a systematic rule of policy; it was a mere expedient of no more than temporary utility, to be employed against some peoples at the moment of surrender or when there was some particular reason for apprehending disturbances. The “common pattern” is quite different; the local ruling class is left to control the masses and share in their exploitation, and Rome adapts the warlike proclivities of her subjects by giving them arms to protect and maintain her own empire.
… definitely worth a read if you’re asked “What would the Romans do in this situation? Didn’t they …”
Another one which was lost back in March … from the Latinteach list came notice of these very useful youtube map animations/commentaries of various bits of Caesar’s Gallic Wars. They’re from Dickinson College, with the Latin being read by Christopher Francese … we need more of this sort of thing:
Back to February now … not sure if I even mentioned on Twitter this OpEd in the LA Times by James Romm on Pericles’ ‘statue stripping’ strategy back in the day of a different sort of crisis:
The passing mention of an old post on Trajan’s Column being colorized reminded me that I owed a tip o’ the pileus to Ellen Bauerle who sent in this Italian site which has a very nice treatment of Trajan’s column, scene by scene. Despite being an Italian site, rolling over the red dots for commentary reveals such are in French … I (and Ellen) don’t get that, but it’s interesting to follow the narrative as a sort of strip cartoon (hmmm … someone should make a graphic novel sort of treatment of Trajan’s column):
Another one from back in March that I missed … they’ve detected traces of red paint on the Medici Venus’ lips:
- The Medici Venus Once Had Red Lips (Discovery.com)
Of course, we have long commented on colorizing of ancient statuary:
- The Golden Menorah on the Arch of Titus
- Exhibition: True Colors – Rediscovering Pigments on Greco-Roman Marble Sculpture
- Elgin Marbles in Colour
- Colouring Trajan’s Column?
- Colored Sculptures Again
- Painted Roman Statue
… etc. … I’m sure there are more …
I’m wading through backlogs of email and things that I meant to post, but didn’t, and then they got lost because the stupid iPad gmail app didn’t mark them properly, yadda yadda yadda, so here’s one from last March (!) in Smithsonian Magazine:
I’ve been anxiously checking in on Youtube in the hopes of seeing a video of Boris’ performance of Armand D’Angour’s Olympian ode and while we still don’t have the full thing, Susannah Davis (on Twitter; naturally we direct a tip o’ the pileus to her) did point us to this glimpse from a Greek source:
cf: <a href=”http://rogueclassicism.com/page/2/”>London 2012 Olympic Ode!</a>
ante diem viii kalendas sextilias
¶ Furrinalia — a festival in honour of an obscure Roman deity named Furrina, who appears to have been associated with a grove and/or spring
¶ ludi Victoriae Caesaris (day 6)
¶ 44 A.D. — marytrdom of James the Greater
¶ 64 A.D. — the Great Fire of Rome (day 8)
Ancient World Open Bibliographies: Bibliographies: Chersonesus, Metapontum, Croton and their Regions.
The Homer Multitext: Verifying an inventory of scholia.
Laudator Temporis Acti: Charm for Making a Barren Tree Bear.
Blogosphere ~ From Bactria to Taxila: A database of resources on Hellenistic and Imperial Central Asian studies
AWOL – The Ancient World Online: From Bactria to Taxila: A database of resources on Hellenistic and Imperial Central Asian studies.
History With A Twist: Of Free Downloads, Awesome Teens and Summer Craziness.
Numismatics and Archaeology: Program: ‘Art in the Round’: New Approaches to Ancient Coin Iconography.
Classical Archaeology News: Classical receptions: putting clothes on the Barberini Faun and….
Looting Matters: The Berlin painter krater fragments in Malibu.
Blogging Pompeii: Help required with Fresco fragment.
Blogosphere ~ The Transformation of a Goddess: Depictions of Isis throughout the Ancient Mediterranean World
History of the Ancient World: The Transformation of a Goddess: Depictions of Isis throughout the Ancient Mediterranean World.
res gerendae: Eight Paintings of the Classical World.