Breviaria 02/08/09

We had sleep problems last week, so we’ve acquired quite a few items under this category:

I’d better mention this article (which most of rogueclassicism’s readers have probably already seen) on the ubiquity of alcohol in assorted Greek literature:

Nice feature on Stephen Miller:

Art Spisak is now an associate provost at MSU:

What’s on Dan Garrison’s desk:

A feature on Valerio Manfredi:

I suppose it’s better than nothing:

Obvious opportunity for ClassCon:

An update on that circumnavigation-of-Africa-in-a-Phoenician ship story:

A Celtic hoard found in the Netherlands might be of interest:

Interesting piece on Linnaeus and all that:

Touristy Thing on Pamphylia:

An interesting looking exhibition/lecture series:

Review of Pompeii and the Roman Villa:

Some folks in Sussex aren’t too happy with a proposed Roman museum site:

More on that “Centurion” film in the works:

Too early to pass judgement on this one:

Latest on the Uderzo family dispute:

Last, and certainly least, is this week’s bit of ClassCon from the Spoof:

Outside of that stuff, we should note that thehe Podcasting and the Classics session from the APA is now available on ITunes (and downloaded to my IPod) …

Roman Wall in Izmir

A cinema fire in Izmir has revealed remains of a Roman-era wall. Dixit Akın Ersoy, who led the excavations:

“(The excavation) of the agora is the best heritage to leave behind for future generations. With the support of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, the environment of the Izmir agora, one of the biggest and oldest agoras in the world, has been opened up and can now be seen by people from the Çankaya neighborhood. We have not started work on the wreckage of the cinema building yet but we believe this ancient site is two times bigger than the local agora site.”

3D Cleo Musical on Hold

According to Variety, post alia:

Soderbergh has always wanted to make a sports film and sparked to the opportunity to reteam with Pitt. Soderbergh is looking to make the picture his next directing assignment.

He had been expected to next direct “Cleo,” a musical about the fatal romance between Egyptian queen Cleopatra and Roman general Marc Antony. Soderbergh had lined up his “Traffic” star Catherine Zeta-Jones to play the title character and had Hugh Jackman in his sights for Antony. Though he set his financing, Soderbergh decided to push back the film until next year after Jackman dropped out because of scheduling problems.

… the libations appear to be working …

Marcus Aurelius the Intellectual Barometer?

Has anyone noticed of late that reading/quoting Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations seems to have become the barometer of whether you are a serious intellectual these days? Look at these examples just in the past week … from the DC Examiner in regards to Arthur Brooks (president of the American Enterprise Institute):

So it is that he begins his day with this routine: For an hour beginning at 5:30 a.m., he exercises — cardio and weights. (The rigor of the regimen is obvious from his linelike figure.) As the early morning continues, Brooks, a Roman Catholic, reads the Bible and, lately, has devoted some of his morning reading period to the second century A.D. “Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.” He also does math problems.

Then, Sir Terry Wogan was mentioning in a Times interview:

I’m very interested in religion and if you went into my loo you’d find the writings of St Thomas Aquinas and Marcus Aurelius.

Then there’s Alexander Lebedev, the new owner of the Evening Standard, who was also mentioned in the Times:

One of his many historical heroes is the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. “I would like to think that I am following his example, rather than other emperors who were more profligate.”

He was a bit more explicit in the Independent:

He conceded that his financial resources had been drained by the economic downturn. “I will survive? Every economic crisis is cyclical – one day you borrow cheaply, one day you have to pay it all back. Like Deribaska’s 27 billion or Usmanov with 12. So I didn’t amass any losses, any debts, and I live through it. So, for me, my personal consumption is very limited. I’m taught to be more Marcus Aurelius than Caracalla if you know your Roman history.”

Wonder Woman Movie

The incipit of a review at io9 which might be of interest:

Wonder Woman traces a fairly familiar version of the character’s origin story. When fighter pilot Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion) crash lands on the Amazon island of Thermyscira, he represents the first man any of the Amazons have seen in over two millennia. Queen Hippolyta (Virginia Madsen) organizes a contest to determine who will escort Steve back to man’s world, and her daughter Diana (Keri Russell) emerges victorious. Eager to learn more about the world outside Thermyscira and to foster a new dialogue between the genders, Diana quickly finds nothing but disillusionment upon her arrival in New York City. Meanwhile, Ares (Alfred Molina), the god of war, has escaped from his Amazonian prison with plans for revenge against his captors and endless war for all humanity.

Minus the addition of Ares, it’s a well-known, well-worn take on the character’s origins, but it’s a story that lacks the iconic sweeps of Batman or Superman’s beginnings. The Wonder Woman story is full of a lot of potentially tricky elements, such as the heavy reliance on Greek mythology and the presence of some complicated gender politics. Wonder Woman’s triumph lies its in willingness to embrace these same elements that have likely stymied so many previous adaptation attempts; Gail Simone and Michael Jelenic’s screenplay places the Greek gods front and center, and Diana is true to her status and beliefs as a warrior princess.