Classical Twilight?

From an announcement of an upcoming lecture in Philly somewhere:

Holly Blackford, an associate professor of English literature at Rutgers-Camden, is the evening’s guest speaker. Her lecture, “Persephone in the Twilight Zone of Divorce: Lost Child, Underworld Queen in Stephenie Meyer’s Adaptation of Emily Bronte,” will compare “Twilight” and its main character, Bella, to “Wuthering Heights” and Greek mythology’s teen queen of dark romance, Persephone.

hmmm … not sure going out and picking flowers only to be abducted/raped by a scary divinity from the underworld is ‘romantic’ …

via  ‘Twilight’ compares to classic literature, mythology.

Dating the Starosel Tomb

From Novinite:

One of Bulgaria’s top Ancient Thrace sites, the Starosel Tomb, has been dated to the 4th century BC after years of research.

With German help a team of archaeologists of the Bulgarian National History Museum led by Dr. Ivan Hristov has managed to estimate the timing of the construction of the largest underground temple on the Balkan Peninsula, the Starosel Tomb, located in the Hisarya Municipality, Plovdiv District.

In the summer of 2009, the archaeological team took samples from a stake in the middle of the tomb where gifts to the Greek goddess of the hearth Hestia were laid.

The radio carbon dating analysis carried out in Heidelberg, Germany, in the laboratory of Dr. Bernd Krommer, have shown that the stake was burned in the period after 358 BC, when the temple was constructed, and the earth was heaped on top of it to form a burial mound.

The analysis of the lab research and of the events which happened at that time have given archaeologist Ivan Hristov grounds to conclude that the temple in the village of Starosel, in the so called Chetinyova Mound, and the nearby Thracian ruler’s residence under Mount Kozi Gramadi were built during the reign of the Thracian King Amatokos II (359-351 BC), of the Thracian Odrysian state (5th-3rd century BC.

The family coat of arms of King Amatokos was a doubleheaded ax, or a labrys. Symbols of a labrys were discovered on several items around Starosel, including Thracian coins.

Before Dr. Hristov’s analysis, the researchers of Ancient Thrace believed that the Starosel tomb and underground temple complex were built by King Sitalces (445-424 BC), the third ruler of the Odrysian State.

The Thracian objects in the region of Starosel were also in operation during the reign of King Teres II (351-341 BC).

The archaeologists believe that the region was the power center of Ancient Thrace in the 4th century BC. It was destroyed during the rise of the Macedonian state of Philip II in 342-341 BC.

The Bulgarian archaeologists have reconstructed the so called “Holy Road” of the Thracians leading to their underground temples in Starosel, and are determined to continue revealing its secrets.

Archaeologist Ivan Hristov is preparing a book on the Chetinyova Mound in order to tell the story of the Temple of the Immortal Thracian Kings there.

Here’s an interesting little video about the tomb (I think it’s the same one):

via Bulgaria: Bulgarian Archaeologists Make Breakthrough in Ancient Thrace Tomb |

Tiberius ‘Pendant’ Coming to Auction

Interesting item coming to auction … from the Telegraph; some excerpts:

Dug up by former brick layer Pete Beasley in 1999, it was discovered yards from a hoard of other artefacts that are now at the British Museum.

The jewel dates from the first century, measures just 2.5 inches in length and depicts an emperor – probably Tiberius – wearing a laurel wreath.

It is inscribed with the letters Ti CAESAR above the head and has a precious red stone below. There is a loop at the top, suggesting it may have hung from a necklace.

Experts believe it was made in Alexandria in Egypt and brought to the UK with some of the first Roman settlers.

It was found 10 inches down in a field about 20 yards from the rest of the hoard that consisted of over 250 coins, a torque and a ring.

Telegraph photo

Mr Beasley, 68, from Portsmouth, Hants, found the treasures in Alton, Hampshire, after years of digging in the area.

“It is associated with the so-called Alton Hoard that consisted of 256 coins and various other finds,” he said. “I found it afterwards about 25 yards away. When I dug it up it was covered in some tarry stuff.


“The British Museum kept the rest of the hoard but gave this back as they couldn’t date it accurately because there is nothing to compare it with.

“I have taken it to experts here, in Europe and Egypt and they all think it is Egyptian and dates from the first century, like the rest of the hoard.


“It is inscribed with the letters TI CAESAR and includes a red cornelian stone.

“The titular form Ti Caesar appears frequently on the coins of Tiberius while the bust is particularly evocative of that depicted on the Alexandrian coins

“The facial features are “pharaonic” in style, especially the mouth so an Alexandrian origin is possible and perhaps it was a donative offering piece. It is unparalleled and we are delighted to have it at our sale.”

The jewel goes under the hammer on March 19 at TimeLine auctions in London.

Not quite sure what’s “pharaonic” about this; the fact that the British Museum declined it is also concerning, I would think. Other than ‘cameos’, has anyone ever seen a piece of Roman jewellery which depicted an emperor/general? Could this be a phalera? And if it is, might it not be Claudius depicted?

via Roman jewel depicting emperor expected to sell for £50,000 | Telegraph.

UPDATE (03/20/10): it fetched a nice price:

CFP: Queensland Greek History Conference

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):


Brisbane, 22-23 October 2010


The Inaugural Queensland Greek History Conference will be taking place at The University of Queensland on 22 and 23 October 2010. The two keynote speakers will be Professor Vincent Gabrielsen (The University of Copenhagen) and Professor Margaret Miller (The University of Sydney). The keynote-speaker session will take place on Friday afternoon and will be followed by a formal reception for invited diplomats and politicians, members of the University’s executive, VIPs from the Greek community, conference delegates and members of the general public. The following day will consist of 10 papers of 20 minutes. The conference will showcase the diversity of research which is being undertaken on Greek history, language and culture from ancient to modern times at universities in Queensland and northern New South Wales. In addition it will help consolidate ties between our institutions and researchers, on the one hand, and those outside of the university sector who have a stake in Greek history, culture and language on the other. The theme of the inaugural conference is cultural history and one of its financial sponsors is The University of Queensland Cultural History Project. There are still a handful of speaking spots for the 23rd. Offers of papers on Greek cultural history (broadly defined) should be sent directly to the conference’s convenor, Dr David Pritchard (The University of Queensland).

Dr David Pritchard

Cultural History Project

Centre for the History of European Discourses

Discipline of Classics and Ancient History

School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics

Faculty of Arts

University of Queensland


QLD 4072


Telephone: +61 7 3365 3338

Fax: +61 7 3365 1968

Email: d.pritchard AT