This Day in Ancient History: ante diem iv kalendas novembres

ante diem iv kalendas novembres

  • ludi Victoriae Sullanae (day 4)– games held in honour of Victoria commemorating Sulla’s defeat of the Samnites in 82 B.C.
  • 1729 — birth of James Boswell (biographer of Johnson)

… and ten years ago, rogueclassicism wasn’t really saying much … there were some hallowe’en things and assorted movie items, but that’s about it …

Classical Words of the Day


CFP | ORGANS: Form, Function and Bodily Systems in Greco-Roman Medicine

Seen on various lists:

‘ORGANS: Form, Function and Bodily Systems in Greco-Roman Medicine’

Sponsored by the Society for Ancient Medicine and Pharmacy (SAM) SAM is an affiliated group of
the American Philological Association.

Accepted papers will be presented at a SAM panel at the APA at the 2015 meetings, which will be
held January 8-11, 2015 in New Orleans, LA. Panelists must be members of the APA at the time of

Largely hidden from sight, the organs of the body have always offered fascination as well as
frustration. We sense their function in the course of sustaining a biological life, but can for the
most part only infer the details of their processes. In antiquity this alienation of the self from the
material components of the human body and their interactions was especially acute, and so many
of the ancient medical texts are clearly groping for ways to understand the role of individual
organs in health and disease, both physiological and psychological. We invite papers for this
session on all aspects of the organs in Greco-Roman medicine, and particularly encourage
contributions with cultural and philosophical dimensions, as well as clinical, therapeutic and

Please send an abstract of 500-600 words of your proposed paper (20 mins.) by e-mail to Ralph
M. Rosen (rrosen
AT Deadline for submission of abstracts is March 1, 2014.

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vi kalendas novembres

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 (not sure the vision was the same day as the battle?)

… and a decade ago at rogueclassicism, in addition to some nice eye candy from an auction, we were reading about the discovery of Trajan’s bridge across the Danube (which, incidentally, was presented as a ‘new’ find (albeit with sonar) in that documentary a short time ago: Review: Rome’s Lost Empire) …

Classical Words of theDay


Lecture | Robert Giegengack on Vesuvius

A nice UPenn lecture on the ‘science’ side of Vesuvius and related volcanoes … here’s the blurb:

The Pompeii Lecture Series, presented in conjunction with the Franklin Institute’s new “A Day in Pompeii” exhibition, kicks off with this talk by Dr. Robert Giegengack, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Mount Vesuvius is the most active volcano in Europe and the Mediterranean; its explosive eruption in 79 CE produced a cloud of heated dust and gases that killed about 16,000 people in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the adjacent countryside. In this lecture, Dr. Giegengack discusses the history and science surrounding the eruptions of Vesuvius and other volcanoes in the Calabrian Arc.

Sveshtari Tomb 2013

The incipit of a brief item from Novinite:

Over the year, Bulgarian archaeologists have made important new discoveries about the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, announced archaeologist Prof. Diana Gergova.

Among the most amazing discoveries was the fact that a golden casket discovered last year was placed on a powerful living tree in one of the tombs.

In ancient pagan Europe, strong trees were symbols of life and growth, and links between the terrestrial realm and the realm of gods.

“This mound is really unique compared to the other mounds in the site. Within it, we found new data for animal sacrifices, too,” said Gergova, as quoted by the Focus Radio.

Gergova argued that the important findings in the area mandate the creation of a museum at the site to display some of the items and tell their story. [...]

I believe the casket that is mentioned is the one mentioned in last year’s coverage (which also notes a bit of a media fury):Thracian Gold

Latest from Zeugma

From Hurriyet … as often, lacking some detail:

Researchers working on the ancient city of Zeugma in the southeastern province of Gaziantep have discovered new Roman-era houses, the head of the excavations has said on the occasion of the end of this year’s digging season.

“We see an architectural layer between sixth century B.C. and the second century A.D. We have reached new data about the architecture of the late ancient period,” said Hüseyin Yaman.

Yaman said works started on July 2 this year with a team of 40 people from various universities. “This year we particularly focused on conservation and restoration works,” he added.

Yaman said that Zeugma was very important to Turkey for its rich mosaic findings and that archaeological excavations also contributed to tourism, as well as scientific research.

“Zeugma contributes to tourism thanks to the findings there. Mosaics found here are being displayed at the Zeugma Mosaic Museum [in the center of Gaziantep] and have drawn a significant number of tourists. Also, the mosaics and frescoes in the excavation area are very important for boosting tourism,” he said.

Excavations on the site began in 1987.

via: Digging season ends at Zeugma (Hurriyet)

CJ~Online Review | Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin, 2nd Edition

posted with permission:

Introduction to Latin. Second Edition.By Susan C. Shelmerdine. Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Company, 2013. Pp. xvi + 376. Paper, $34.95. ISBN 978-1-58510-390-4.

Reviewed by Betine Van Zyl Smit, University of Nottingham

The many users of Shelmerdine’s introductory Latin textbook will welcome this new edition. It retains the good qualities of the first and revised editions, and also introduces some improvements.

The second edition is again arranged in 32 chapters and can be covered in two 12-week semesters with a class meeting four times per week. In a short preface to the second edition Shelmerdine details the changes she has introduced. It is clear that she has responded to criticism of aspects of her first edition. She has integrated the changes in a sensible way. Thus the passive voice is introduced earlier, as are participles and the subjunctive. These changes will enable students to come to grips with more complex texts earlier and thus provide more reading practice in the last weeks of the course. Such practice is offered. The last three chapters omit translation-into-Latin exercises and concentrate on reading Latin. More reading practice comes in four "Reading Chapters" where some of the continuous passages have comprehension questions. These chapters recapitulate the work in the preceding chapters and contain exercises involving derivatives as well as Latin phrases and abbreviations still used in English.

Overall the approach remains as in the first edition: each chapter contains explanations of morphology and syntax as well as exercises. The exercises are still mostly translation from Latin or from English to Latin, but many of the sentences are taken from Latin authors (sources listed on pp. 302-6) and thus students are gradually familiarized with the style of ancient authors and spared the artificial constructions of many introductory Latin textbooks. The number of other exercises where students are to supply endings or to identify agreement, case usage or parts of speech has been increased. The new vocabulary introduced in each chapter is again at the end of the chapter, but is followed by an additional section on derivatives. This aspect of learning Latin was confined to the "Reading" or revision chapters of the earlier edition and will be of use to students in memorising meanings by linking them to English. Another welcome addition is the increased (from 38 to 48) number of "Readings." These passages of "real" Latin from Classical authors, (the sources are indicated on pp. 301-2) are initially adapted to suit the level of the student, but later presented with minimal editing. These passages are very valuable in preparing students for the transition to the next level of Latin where they will probably be reading complete works of unadapted Latin.

I have been teaching beginners’ Latin to university students for more than forty years and Shelmerdine’s new edition is the best work I have come across for introducing students within one academic year to basic Latin morphology and syntax and providing them with a reasonable amount of reading practice. At the back of the book there are several sections containing reference materials. These form summaries of what appears in the rest of the book: complete paradigms of the morphology, the vocabulary covered, first by chapter and then in two alphabetical lists, English to Latin and Latin to English and, last, an Index. This book on its own provides a solid foundation that equips students to move to the next level where they start reading complete books of Latin authors like Cicero or Virgil. However, this textbook now comes accompanied by a wealth of further materials that the teacher may choose to use or point students to using.

First, there are materials online, available at the online resource page. A certain amount of material, such as flashcard vocabulary exercises, is offered free of charge and, if more exercises are desired, they may be purchased. An Instructor’s Guide and a Student’s Course Guide ensure that everyone will know how to use the exercises. It is possible to link these exercises to Moodle so that the instructor is able to follow and measure students’ progress.

For those who prefer to work with the printed page, there are further resources: there is a Workbook by Ed DeHoratius (ISBN 978-1-58510-674-5) which is closely linked to Introduction to Latin. It follows the chapter pattern and, by offering different exercises and approaching the same material (new morphology and syntax plus new vocabulary) from other angles, should help students who struggle to absorb the work. There is an answer key at the back of the book so that students get feedback, as they do in a different way in the online exercises. A second book that should prove most exciting to students who are learning Latin to use as a tool in studying archaeology or history is By Roman Hands (ISBN 978-1-58510-402-4), a collection of Latin inscriptions and graffiti, collected and edited by Matthew Hartnett. This introduction to epigraphy is a most welcome extension of basic Latin reading material for beginners. It is attractively presented and provided with the necessary vocabulary and notes.

I recommend all of these books concerned with giving Latin learners access to authentic Latin texts. They make the teacher’s task lighter and should make it easier for students to master reading the ancient language.

©2013 by The Classical Association of the Middle West and South. All rights reserved.


This Day in Ancient History: ante diem viii kalendas novembres

ante diem viii kalendas novembres

… and ten years ago, inter alia,  rogueclassicism was dealing with purported Classical connections for Hallowe’en for the first time …

Classical Words of the Day