What To Do With A Classics Degree … Daniel Levin

We can add the author of the recently-released The Last Ember to the list … from the Courier-Journal:

New York author Daniel Levin has garnered rave reviews for his debut suspense novel, “The Last Ember” — a fictional thriller set in Rome and the Middle East.

Jonathan Marcus, the book’s protagonist, and Dr. Emili Travia, an Italian U.N. preservationist, become the targets of murderous historical revisionists as they race from the labyrinth beneath the Roman Coliseum to the biblical-era tunnels of Jerusalem in search of Jerusalem’s most precious artifact, the Tabernacle Menorah.

Levin, who will meet the public and talk about “The Last Ember” (Riverhead Books, $25.95) at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Jewish Community Center, acknowledged a fascination with ancient espionage of the Roman world while a student at the University of Michigan where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Roman and Greek civilizations.

“Here’s a thriller set in Jerusalem where archaeology is politics and history is more fragile than you think. While the novel is fiction, the illegal archaeological excavations beneath the Temple Mount are not,” Levin said.


See also his biography at his home page. We’ll add this to our ever-growing collection of delicious tags to bios etc. of folks in the ‘real world’ with Classics-related degrees.

d.m. Elizabeth Lyding Will

Seen on various lists (from the Daily Hampshire Gazette):

Elizabeth Lyding Will, Emeritus Professor of Classics at the
University of Massachusetts and Amherst College, died peacefully on
Aug. 19, 2009, at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst. She was 85
years old.
Considered the world authority on the ancient Roman shipping
containers called amphoras, Professor Will had a long and
distinguished academic career and was working up to the end of her
life on several forthcoming volumes of scholarship. She received a
bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a
master’s and doctoral degree from Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
After completing her dissertation on “Homeric Enjambement” in 1949,
Professor Will spent a year as the Thomas Day Seymour Fellow at the
American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece. It was there
where she discovered the work that would consume her for the rest of
her life.
Basing her research on the precisely dated collection of Roman
amphoras at the Athenian Agora, Professor Will came to see the
shipping containers as essential sources of knowledge about the
economic and social history of the Roman World. Her studies were used
by many scholars to help date and interpret Roman shipwrecks, from
which amphoras remain the most numerous finds. In addition to the
Agora collection, she also studied a variety of amphora collections in
Greece, Egypt, Italy, England, France, Spain, Germany, Croatia,
Turkey, the Canary Islands, and India. Among her many publications
were two co-authored books, “L’Ilot de la Maison des Comediens,” and
“The Roman Port and Fishery of Cosa.” Professor Will also joined the
governing board of the Archaeological Association of America, as well
as the local branch of the Association in Western Massachusetts, for
which she was president for many years. She also played an active role
in other local organizations, including as president of the Pioneer
Valley Classical Association and as president and trustee of the
Amherst Academy.
Alongside her scholarly achievements, Professor Will was a much
beloved teacher to her students around the world, who revered her for
her intelligence, sense of humor, and elegance. Kind and gracious, she
encouraged and supported many students to pursue careers in teaching
and scholarship. She was a tireless advocate for women’s education and
for the professional advancement of women. At home, she enjoyed above
all being surrounded by family, friends, and her favorite dogs, Gossie
and Brigitte.
She is survived by her loving children, Alex and his wife Judy and
Barbara and her husband Michael; a grandson, William; a step-
granddaughter, Megan; and step-great-grandson, Owen.
A memorial service will be held in Amherst Oct. 11 at the Amherst
Women’s Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dakin
Animal Shelter, 163 Montague Road, Leverett, MA 01054.

Greek Fire Update – Marathon Safe

Sigh of relief after reading this item from Bloomberg:

A significant archaeological site in Greece escaped damage during weekend fires and is deemed safe, a Culture Ministry spokesman said.

The site at Ramnounta, which is believed to be one of Greece’s first municipalities from antiquity, isn’t threatened by the fires, the country’s worst since 2007, Ministry of Culture spokesman George Mouroutis said in a phone interview.

“There is no danger currently and it doesn’t seem there will be further danger,” Mouroutis said. There was water on the site and the brush had been cleared, which helped avoid damage, he added. Flames fanned by strong winds came as close as 1 kilometer from the site.

The two sites that the inferno neared are about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Athens, the country’s capital: the Marathon Archaeological Museum and the site of Ramnous in the prefecture of Ramnounta, the spokesman said.

The museum houses 2,500-year-old artifacts found in tombs from the Battle of Marathon as well as sections of the trophy erected after the Greeks defeated the Persians, according to information posted on the town’s Web site. Ramnounta is the site of the 6th century B.C. Temple of Nemesis.

Last Days of Pompeii

Something a little different this year … here’s the final clip of the 1960 Last Days of Pompeii (it’s the part where the volcano erupts etc. … very cheesy):

If you want to watch the whole thing … begin here (then click the links in the info boxes). Wired has a nice feature on the ‘techie’ side today as well …

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem ix kalendas septembres

ante diem ix kalendas septembres

  • rites in honour of Luna at the Graecostasis
  • mundus patet — the mundus was a ritual pit which had a sort of vaulted cover on it. Three times a year the Romans removed this cover (August 24, Oct. 5 and November 8th ) at which time the gates of the underworld were considered to be opened and the manes (spirits of the dead) were free to walk the streets of Rome.
  • 72 A.D. — martyrdom of Batholomew at Albanopolis
  • 79 A.D. — Vesuvius erupts, burying Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae
  • 410 A.D. — Alaric sacks Rome
  • 1971 — death of Carl Blegen (excavator of Pylos)
  • 1997 — death of Philip Vellacott