Nuntii Latini Graecique

Time to revive this feature … first, Nuntii Latini

  • From YLE August 31:

De conventu republicanorum

Tampae, in urbe Floridae, conventus factionis republicanorum habitus est. Quo in consessu candidatus praesidentialis illarum partium officialiter nominatus est Mitt Romney, cuius competitores iam antea certamine inferiores discesserant. Demoscopiae monstrant eum apud populum iam tantundem fere gratia valere ac praesidentem hodiernum Barck Obama.

alia from August 31 (Neil Armstrong vita defunctus … Breivik vinculis condemnatus … Rerum in Columbia condicio … Zingari Parisiis eiciuntur … Novus campus petrolearius … Primae nives in Lapponia) …

  • From YLE September 7:

Ecclesiam catholicam duo saecula retro remansisse

Cardinalis Carolus Maria Martini, olim archiepiscopus Mediolanus, qui pridie Kalendas Septembres obiit, in colloquio ante tres septimanas facto et die Sabbati (1.9.) divulgato dixit ecclesiam catholicam duo saecula retro remansisse.

Ecclesiam hortatus est, ut errores confiteretur et mutationes, pontificibus et episcopis inclusis, susciperet. Culturam occidentalem esse inveteratam, ecclesias magnas et vacuas, ritus religiosos pomposos. Cardinalis Martini suasit etiam, ut ecclesia catholica erga homines divortium passos humanius ageret. Neque timebat res difficiles tractare, ut homosexualitatem et caelibatum sacerdotum atque remedia prophylactiva, quibus sida prohiberetur.

…. alia from September 7: Britannia marmora Parthenonis non reddit … Desmond Tutu: Bush et Blair ad iudices … Memoria proelii in Borodino facti …

… and Nuntii Graeci

Pompeii’s Last XXIV Hours

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned that Pliny the Elder happened to be tweeting the final hours of Pompeii — actually a very interesting project of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. In case you missed them, you can check them out at the project’s very nice page … each tweet has a link to a photo or quote or something and is definitely worth checking out:

Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews

  • 2012.09.18:  Irene J. F. de Jong, Space in Ancient Greek Literature. Studies in Ancient Greek Narrative, vol. 3. Mnemosyne supplements. Monographs on Greek and Latin language and literature, 339.
  • 2012.09.17:  Walter Ameling, Hannah M. Cotton, Werner Eck, Benjamin Isaac, Alla Kushnir-Stein, Corpus inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae. Volume II: Caesarea and the Middle Coast: 1121-2160.
  • 2012.09.16:  Laurent Pernot, La rhétorique des arts. Actes du colloque tenu au Collège de France sous la présidence de Marc Fumaroli, de l’Académie française.
  • 2012.09.15:  Martha A. Malamud, Prudentius. Origin of Sin: an English Translation of the Hamartigenia. Cornell studies in classical philology, 61.
  • 2012.09.14:  Mark Handley, Dying on Foreign Shores: Travel and Mobility in the Late-Antique West. JRA Supplementary Series 86.
  • 2012.09.13:  Christopher J. Fuhrmann, Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers, Administration, and Public Order.
  • 2012.09.12:  Federica Bessone, La Tebaide di Stazio: epica e potere. Materiali e discussioni per l’analisi dei testi classici, 24.
  • 2012.09.11:  Mary C. English, Georgia L. Irby, A Little Latin Reader
  • 2012.09.10:  Maria Tziatzi-Papagianni, Theodori Metropolitae Cyzici Epistulae: accedunt epistulae mutuae Constantini Porphyrogeniti. Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae, 48.
  • 2012.09.09:  Kelly L. Wrenhaven, Reconstructing the Slave: the Image of the Slave in Ancient Greece.
  • 2012.09.08:  Eirini-Sophia Kiapidou, Ἡ Σύνοψη Ἱστοριῶν τοῦ Ιωάννη Σκυλίτζη καὶ οἱ πηγές της (811-1057): Συμβολή στὴ βυζαντινὴ ἱστοριογραφία κατά τὸν ΙΑ΄ αἰώνα. Μελέτες Βυζαντινής Γραμματείας, 9.
  • 2012.09.07:  Christine Walde, Die Rezeption der antiken Literatur: kulturhistorisches Werklexikon. Der Neue Pauly – Supplemente, Bd 7.
  • 2012.09.06:  Riccardo Scarcia, Fabio Stok, Devotionis munus. La cultura e l’opera di Adamo di Brema. Testi e studi di cultura classica 47.

CJ Online Review: Roisman and Worthington, A Companion to Ancient Macedonia

posted with permission:

A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. Edited by Joseph Roisman and Ian Worthington. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. Chichester and Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Pp. xxvi + 668; 16 pp. of plates. Hardcover, £120.00/$199.95. ISBN 978-1-4051-7936-2.

Reviewed by Lee L. Brice, Western Illinois University

That we have a Companion devoted to Ancient Macedonia is hardly surprising. Alexander the Great remains a cottage industry, but the field of Macedonian studies is currently thriving on its own. Joseph Roisman and Ian Worthington, the editors of this Companion, set out to demonstrate this vitality by including a wide range of topics all written for readers who are new to the field, whether as students or general readers. They have succeeded in assembling a large helping of the current state of the field and have drawn on an international array of authors. However, the omission of any discussion of archaeology is even more surprising than the failure to include a single chapter by a Greek or other Balkan scholar. As a result of these gaps, readers who want more comprehensive coverage of the field should supplement this volume with several other surveys and Companions.

Because of space constraints I will briefly summarize each chapter and discuss the merits of the whole. Edward Anson opens the volume with an introductory chapter that places the field as a whole and the Companion’s chapters in a context. P. J. Rhodes opens the section on evidence by covering the literary and epigraphic evidence, such as it is, for pre-Roman Macedonia. Karsten Dahmen provides a well-organized discussion of the numismatic evidence arranged by tribes, cities, kings, and province. He closes with a case study examination of Roman coinage in the province. Two chapters on evidence may highlight how few the sources are for the region, but to omit archaeology is inexplicable and leaves the volume deeply flawed.

Physical environment and ethnicity are the focus of the following part. Carol Thomas considers the physical environment and early population movements in a chapter that is clear, but needs a better map. Johannes Engels addresses the topic of ethnicity relating to Greeks and Macedonians. Sulochana Asirvatham continues the ethnicity theme, in part, by addressing Greek, Roman, Persian, and Egyptian perspectives on Macedonians. Engel’s observation, “ancient identities and concepts of ethnicity are historically and socially complex and fluid constructions,” (82) is worth remembering when reading the chapters focused on ethnicity.

The editors divided the historical narrative into convenient, useful chapters: early Temenid kings down to Alexander I (Slawomir Sprawski), Alexander I to Perdiccas III (Joseph Roisman), Philip II (Sabine Müller), Alexander III (Ian Worthington and Dawn Gilley), 323–221 BCE (W. Lindsay Adams), Macedonia and Rome to 146 (Arthur Eckstein), and provincial Macedonia to 3rd century CE (John Vanderspoel). The chapters are clear and provide good coverage. The only jarring aspect is that Carolyn Snively’s chapter on Late Antique Macedonia is separated from the rest of the history by more than ten chapters. Late Antiquity should be included. Segregating this chapter was an unfortunate choice.

Several of Macedonia’s ancient neighbors receive attention. Bill Greenwalt takes on Illyria and Epirus, Denver Graninger covers Thessaly, Zosia Archibald handles Thrace, and Marek Jan Olbrycht cleans up with Persia. Each of these chapters provides readers with a good introduction to the periphery in relation to the Macedonian center. Such a center–periphery view is useful (and necessary in the context of this Companion), but such an approach is entirely in contrast to the viewpoint of most of our literary sources.

Readers in search of chapters on institutions, society, and culture find them in the penultimate section. Topics included here are kingship and politics (Carol King), elite society (Noriko Sawada), women (Elizabeth Carney), religion (Paul Christesen and Sarah Murray), army (Nicholas Sekunda), economy (Paul Millett), art to 221 BCE (Craig Hardiman), and art to 337 CE (Rachel Kousser). These authors necessarily deal with elite Macedonians primarily and, given the space limits, must be selective in the evidence and historiography they include. As with so many of the other chapters, readers will find in these useful introductions to the material.

The final section of the Companion carries the title “After Rome” and includes only two chapters. As noted previously, Snively’s informative chapter on Late Antique Macedonia to 586 CE belongs with the rest of the historical narrative since to do otherwise conveys to the intended audience the impression that this history is somehow different or exceptional. The concluding chapter, by Loring Danforth, is an extended discussion of how ancient Macedonia is embroiled in modern Balkan politics. This chapter on a modern topic is out of place in a Companion otherwise focused on ancient Macedonia.

In addition to the chapters, there are twenty-eight color plates, four line drawings, ten maps, a bibliography, and index. Eleven of the plates are coins. These images are all well produced and they provide a taste of what is available for readers who dig into the topics. The maps are all together at the beginning of the volume, but the details and even the scales (when available) vary widely rendering them less effective as a group than they might have been.

Given the intended audience, the Companion is successful, as far as it goes. The volume was designed to introduce ancient Macedonia to students and other readers unfamiliar with the field. Except for the last chapter, the selected authors succeed in meeting that goal. They are clear and provide students with the information they need to explore aspects of the field. They also include numerous footnotes and bibliography so readers who wish to explore these topics in more depth can do so on their own. Teachers seeking material for writing introductory lectures will find some of it here, although those working on heavily debated topics, like Macedonian kingship, will need to supplement with works cited in footnotes and bibliography. Although it is expensive currently, the material will be available electronically and the paperback edition will be more affordable if it follows the trend of other Blackwell Companions.

There are some editorial choices that detract from the Companion’s overall success. Editors must naturally compromise in selecting authors and topics, but it is remarkable in a volume on ancient Macedonia that there are no Greek or other Balkan scholars from regional institutions represented among the authors. One expects that regional scholars have much to provide both in terms of content and point of view that would enrich the Companion. Archibald’s chapter has the distinction of being the only one to draw heavily on Greek-language work. This editorial choice in authors may be connected with the volume’s preoccupation with ethnicity. It is perhaps illuminating that a quarter of the introduction addresses ethnicity in one way or another while three of the internal chapters focus heavily on ethnicity. The emphasis placed on this topic gives the mistaken impression that it receives more attention from scholars than do other issues.

The focus on ethnicity is even more surprising when one finds the complete exclusion of an extended discussion of archaeology. Although Roisman and Worthington conclude (xiv), “we have covered as much as humanly can be within one set of covers and that the book,” such a over-statement seems intended to be tongue-in-cheek given the absence of archaeology. That omission is inexplicable given the importance of archaeological evidence. Some of the authors draw on prior archaeological work, but without an overarching examination it is difficult for the intended audience to appreciate the role of archaeology and archaeological evidence in our evolving understanding of the region. Every such volume involves many editorial choices, but in this case this omission resulted in numerous missed opportunities. This Companion is a useful volume, but should be supplemented with selected chapters from other sources such as the archaeological and regional perspectives in Brill’s Companion to Ancient Macedon.

In Explorator 15.20-21

It was a double issue this week, due to sketchy internet last weekend … as always, most of these have already appeared in these pages but many haven’t. I do hope to give some of them fuller treatement and there are additional links if you want to explore some items a bit further:

Remains of an ancient ‘pub’ near Stracathro Fort:\

…  coverage with a different spin:

Interesting ‘cold case’ from Vindolanda (not sure if we’ve mentioned this
before or not):\

A Roman bath and other structures from an excavation near Cockermouth:\

Very interesting Etruscan ‘pyramids’ from Orvieto:\

A 6th century B.C. incense thing in the shape of a bull’s head from near

Apollonia’s ancient necropolis appears to have been found as well:\

They’ve excavated a stadium at Aydin:\

Some headless statuary from Aphrodisias:\

Roman bones found during renovations at the Ankara Opera House:\

Plans to dig at the Roman sites of Adana:\

Theater masks from Ilisu:\

Arguing over the site of the battle of Alesia:

Feature on the Roman Gask project:\

Nice feature on the use of GPR (etc.) to map the site of Interamna Lirenas:\

Feature on the dig at the Roman fort at Ayn Gharandal:\

Nice video feature on colorizing Roman statues:

The Pope wants to set up a Latin academy:\

Philip Freeman on attack ads in Pompeii:\

Can’t remember if we’ve mentioned this poem about Nero and Poppaea:\

Plans to dig more at the Roman forum at Plovdiv:\

A Great Lives BBC thing on Juvenal:

The Penn Museum has made an arrangement regarding some Troy jewellery
being exchanged for some objects associated with Midas:\

The Colosseum is apparently okay, despite the chunks falling off of it:\

…  but they’re going to put in a safety ‘buffer zone':\

  … and repairs will begin in December:\

Feature on plans to unroll/conserve a lead curse tablet:

Evidence of the Cimmerians:\

Latest on plans for hockey in the Pula amphitheatre:\

Folks were marking Caligula’s bimillennial birthday:

Hollywood is cooling to using Roman numerals:\

A followup feature on that tattooed siberian ‘princess':\

A Roman wedding of sorts is being held at Nicopolis ad Istrum:

OpEd on the future of ancient Greek:

In case you’re wondering how far Ryan Hall runs while listening to the

More on the Thermae Romae movie:\

Winter/Spring 2012 APA newsletter:\

… and the latest issue of Amphora:\

Review of A. Everitt, *Rise of Rome*:\

More on that Roman shipwreck in Antibes:\

Check out the complete issue here

CJ Online Review: Gillespie, English Translation and Classical Reception

posted with permission:

English Translation and Classical Reception: Towards a New Literary History. By Stuart Gillespie. Classical Receptions. Chichester and Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. Pp. x + 208. Hardcover, £70.00/$110.95. ISBN 978-1-4051-9901-8.

Reviewed by Angeline C. Chiu, University of Vermont

In October of 1816, after an evening spent reading the Iliad with a friend, John Keats wrote one of English literature’s most famous sonnets, On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer. Within it he describes the powerful emotional epiphany of experiencing that immortal Greek epic, but Keats also explicitly refers to Homer mediated through George Chapman’s monumental English translation of 1616: “Yet did I never breathe its pure serene / Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold” (ll. 7-8). Embedded in the heart of the sonnet is not only the acknowledgment of the existence of classical translation, but also the praise of its literary effect and influence. It is an influence that has been all too frequently been forgotten or ignored in the study of both Classics and English; the result is a grave lapse in scholarship that Stuart Gillespie is determined first to highlight and then to rectify in his new book.

I begin with a caveat: This book is not a literary history per se, and Gillespie specifically notes this. The title is Towards a New Literary History, and that is the core of the book: the passionate presentation of—in fact, defense of—translation as a vital part of English literary history. He then bolsters this with the robust advocacy of a new assessment of that history and of what effects it has had and still has on the study of Classics and English both separately and together. In an academic world that too often both overspecializes and overcompartmentalizes, Gillespie’s cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach is a breath of fresh air. When he asks, “How does English literature look after classical translation is accorded its due in the record?” (181), he is actually prefacing his grand argument that such translation is central to the English literary canon.

The book is not organized as a seamless comprehensive history, though Chapter 1, “Making the Classics Belong: A Historical Introduction,” gives useful general context and presents with broad historical brushstrokes the phenomenon of translation between Classics and English. The rest of the book follows as a collection of what might be best called case studies of items plucked from various points in English literary history and here organized chronologically from the English Renaissance to the twentieth century. The chapters’ case studies range far and wide from widely recognized literary achievements such as Chapter 5, “Transformative Translation: Dryden’s Horatian Ode,” to writings forgotten today as in the case of Chapter 9, “Receiving Wordsworth, Receiving Juvenal: Wordsworth’s Suppressed Eighth Satire.” Out of the chapters, Chapter 2, “Creative Translation,” and Chapter 7, “Classical Translation and the Formation of the English Literary Canon,” together form perhaps the clearest distillation of Gillespie’s overall argument of the vitality of classical translation in English. The examination of canon formation is particularly noteworthy as it reminds us how very many canonical English writers were also subtle, gifted translators and vice versa, including luminaries like Marlowe, Jonson, Dryden, Pope, Shelley, Browning, Pound, and Housman. On the other hand, the chapter that might break the most ground is Chapter 8, “Evidence for an Alternative History: Manuscript Translations of the Long Eighteenth Century,” with its intriguing presentation of classical translations undertaken by enthusiasts who never intended their work for publication and public consumption. This much broadens the discussion of the widespread appeal of classics and translation in the 1700s, as well as sheds a fascinating light on the many forms of literary circulation of the day.

Overall as a collection, the book can seem occasionally desultory and impressionistic. This is doubtless a function of the disparate foci of the individual case studies, but I occasionally found myself wondering about the historical and literary gaps that exist, for instance, between Chapter 4’s Shakespeare and Chapter 5’s Dryden. If the chapters were screenshots taken from a film, one wonders about the film as a whole, regardless of—and perhaps even because of—how interesting the individual screenshots are in themselves. This effect may, however, be part of the point of the book as a whole. It means to be provocative in the best sense of the word; beyond presenting information, it piques the interest and stirs the desire to learn more. Gillespie’s undeniable command of the material on display also hints intriguingly at what has not been included.

Taken together, the various case studies of the book express an energetic engagement with the rich inheritance of classical literature and its complex role in and through English translation. In this vein, the most enlightening aspect that Gillespie highlights may not be translation as a means to introduce classics to readers who do not command Greek and Latin or the conduit through which English writers explored classical literary forms and genres to make such things their own. Instead, it may be about translation’s invigorating effect that motivated English writers not only to incorporate and interpret the classics, but also to innovate and create works of their own that have added to the rich texture of Anglophone literature. One need only think, for instance, of Shakespeare, whose engagement with Plutarch, Plautus, and Ovid in and out of translation proved so fruitful. Gillespie is absolutely right when he insists that the disciplines of Classics and English have much to learn from each other and that it could (and should) be a most productive collaboration.

Overall, Gillespie challenges the conventional wisdom and status quo of studies in English literary history, and he makes his case with energy and flair. His ultimate achievement, though, is even more stimulating. If Gillespie’s true goal is to encourage his audience to pursue further studies of translation in the ancient and English literary canons, then he has succeeded. By the time they reach the end of the book, readers will not only be surprised and intrigued by the scope of the material presented but also spurred on by the sense of discovery, of a brave new world opening and waiting to be explored. Indeed, thanks to Gillespie’s efforts, we may even feel, as Keats did after reading Chapman’s Homer (ll. 11–14):

like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes

He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men

Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—

Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Careers for Classicists in Today’s World

You’ve probably seen this mentioned already, but it’s useful to keep getting the word out … the APA has updated its Careers for Classicists ‘brochure’, and it’s now available online:

… if you’re making a resume, you might want to alert prospective employers to this document as well in case they’re not aware of what skills a Classicist might bring to the table.