Spartacus: Blood and Sand Gossip

TV Squad is looking at some up-and-coming shows and the Spartacus series is one of them. Here’s some info on Lucy Lawless’ role:

During the Spartacus panel, Lawless was asked if she’s going to be naked during the first season, as the show involves a lot of sex scenes. “I’m afraid so,” she said. She plays Lucretia, a “proprietor of a camp for gladiators.” She takes up with a gladiator in the hope of having a baby. It’s tough for her to do those scenes because, while she tries to keep in fantastic shape, “when you get on set, you get the ‘freshman 15’,” she told the scrum afterwords.

Near the end of the scrum, I asked her if she thought a certain fanboy segment (coughXenacough) will be happy to see her nude. Her response included her experience seeing Caligula when she was a teenager. Say one thing for Lucy; she’s not the demure type.

In the “more than we need to know” department, apparently the show utilizes a prosthetic for when the various gladiators appear nude. Yes, that kind of prosthetic. “We had to create the ‘Kirk Douglas’, as it’s aptly named, so people had a prosthetic they could wear,” said EP Rob Tappert. Lawless said they hang it up in the prop truck “next to all the merkins.” Must be a fun set.

… there’s an audio clip at TV Squad (with Lawless) with a few more details … clearly this ain’t yo daddy’s Spartacus …

Antikythera Mechanism Older than Previously Thought?

Jo Marchant (Decoding the Heavens) writes, inter alia, in a post at New Scientist:

I gave a talk on the device at London’s Royal Institution last night. One new clue I mentioned to the origin of the mechanism comes from the Olympiad dial – there are six sets of games named on the dial, five of which have been deciphered so far. Four of them, including the Olympics, were major games known across the Greek world. But the fifth, Naa, was much smaller, and would only have been of local interest.

The Naa games were held in Dodona in northwestern Greece, so Alexander Jones of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York has suggested that the mechanism must have been made by or for someone from that area.

Intriguingly, this could mean the device is even older than thought. The inscriptions have been dated to around 100 BC, but according to Jones the device may have been made at latest in the early second century BC, because after that the Romans devastated or took over the Greek colonies in the region, so it’s unlikely that people would still have been using the Greek calendar there.

That festival should be called “Naia”, I think, in honour of Zeus Naios. Whatever the case, I’m not sure one can infer that with Aemilius Paulus’ destructive foray into the area around Dodona that a calendar would cease to be used, especially in a religious context — Dodona presumably would be using the calendar of Epirus, about which I don’t think we know very much.

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem iii kalendas sextilias

ante diem iii kalendas sextilias

  • ludi Victoriae Caesaris (day 11)
  • after 101 B.C. — dedication of the Temple to “The Fortune of  this Day”  (Fortuna Huiusce Diei) and subsequent rites thereafter; presumably this is one of the temples vowed prior to the Battle of Vercellae
  • 69 A.D. — destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (Av 9)