Podcast: De Re Publica Romana et Re Publica Americana: Some Surprising Discoveries

This looks interesting:

Dr. Dwight Castro, Westminster professor of classics, presented “De Re Publica Romana et Re Publica Americana: Some Surprising Discoveries” at the Faires Faculty Forum on Oct. 10.

The Founders of the American Republic looked to the ancient Roman Republic as an inspiration, and sometimes as a model, when designing and “selling” the form of government embodied in the U.S. Constitution. In developing a document of Latin terminology for a recent presentation at “Septimana Californiana” (“California Week”), Castro discovered how the realities of modern American government necessitated an exploration of periods of Roman history, other than just the Republic, in order to describe the three branches of the U.S. government.

… links to the podcast in various forms at the original article …

Scary WTF Incipits

There have been a couple this week … check this thing out from the Telegraph:

Patrick White is one of the great novelists of the 20th century, on a par with his fellow Nobel laureates William Faulkner, Halldór Laxness and Thomas Mann; and yet, 100 years after his birth, his name seems temporarily and inexplicably lost in the immense desert spaces to which he introduced a new generation of readers, buried like one of those Roman legions of Herodotus, beneath the glare and flies and red Australian sand. […]

… and one with no Classical content, but which will keep you busy for hours as you try to parse it (and my head is still shaking after John McMahon sent it to me a couple days ago):

In an assessment of the nasal floor configurations of the available and sufficiently intact, if still incomplete, paleoanthropologists from Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Washington University and University of Missouri, found that archaic Homo maxillae from eastern Eurasia seem to have a prevalence of the bi-level pattern similar to that seen in the western Eurasian Neandertals, while early modern humans from eastern Eurasia mostly exhibit the level floor pattern predominant among early and recent modern human populations, indicating that bi-level nasal floors were common among Pleistocene archaic humans, and a high frequency of them is not distinctive of the Neandertals as thought before. Researchers reported online 21 September 2012 in the scientific journal of Anthropological Science. […]

… as I commented on Facebook, I hope to meet a sufficiently intact, if still incomplete paleoanthropologist some day …

Potential Roman Shipwreck Site from Portimao

The incipit of a piece from Portugal News:

Archaeologist Cristóvão Fonseca explained that the fieldwork, which is due to last two weeks, will comprise an initial phase of visual prospection and data recording with photographs and drawings, and the excavation of artefacts that may be found on the surface.
It is believed one of the locations identified for prospection may have been the site of a shipwreck during Roman times, due to the discovery of a large concentration of ceramic vases called amphora, some still intact.
Despite this, the theory may only be confirmed with excavations, which depending on the results obtained during the next two weeks could take place next year. […]

… it goes on to mention other finds from other periods …and includes a photo of things they’ve brought up, none of which really looks Roman.

Government v Archaeologists in Bulgaria ?

Given how often we hear of Bulgaria actively promoting archaeological finds, this story from Novinite seems somewhat strange (especially the stuff at the end):

A real archaeological treasure has popped out underneath the “Struma” highway construction works in western Bulgaria.

Archaeologists at the site have managed a last-minute rescue operation, pulling “under the nose” of waiting construction workers and machinery gold soldier breastplates, gold earrings and hairpins, and a number of silver and amber items, the Bulgarian Standard daily writes Friday.

The finds came from an unseen so far in size Thracian necropolis in the vicinity of the village of Dren, near the town of Radomir. They have been unearthed in the spring of 2012, after flooding in the area, but were kept secret in order to prevent their pillage from illegal treasure hunters.

Now, after the necropolis is buried underneath highway asphalt, the treasure will be on display for the first time Friday in the western city of Pernik on the occasion of its official day, according to Standard.

The unique necropolis dates from 7-8th century BC. It includes an area of 5 825 square meters, and is over 300-meter long. Bulgarian archaeologists are quoted saying it has no analogue worldwide and it belonged to local Thracian aristocrats since they were the only ones allowed to wear gold.

At the beginning of the year, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov treated local archaeologists in a surprisingly offensive fashion with respect to an archaeological site found during the construction of the southwestern highway “Struma”.

Borisov and his Cabinet have reiterated a number of times their discontent over the fact that the very recent discoveries of Thracian archaeological sites along the route of the Struma Highway might delay its construction. In December 2011, Borisov accused the archaeologists of “racketeering” the state.

Classical Words of the Day

Latinitweets:

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem xiv kalendas novembres

ante diem xiv kalendas novembres

  • Armilustrium — a festival in honour of Mars which officially (it seems) brought the campaigning season to an end. The Salii (the dancing priests of Mars) were likely heavily involved with their characteristic dance and with the storage of their figure eight shields. A lustratio (purification ritual) also took place on the Aventine, with the goal of removing the ‘blood guilt’ the army had taken on that year.
  • 202 B.C. — Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Zama
  • 125 B.C. — beginning of the ‘era of Tyre’
  • 1769 — Vesuvius erupts