A Couple of Popculch Items

I was planning on taking the ol’ blogging machine outside and blogging al fresco, but it appears we’re going to get a big dump of rain … oh well, all I was going to blog (for the next hour or so) were a couple of popculch type things. The first comes from the Bleacher Report, which tries to work some classical references into the impending departure of Lebron James from Cleveland, inter alia:

I’m not sure when or why, exactly, the culture of mocking and hate began to overtake the world of sports. Maybe it dates back to the days of the gladiators.

Imagine the complaints of a disgruntled Roman citizen as he filed out of the Colisseum on a warm summer afternoon: “That Euripides, he’s no gladiator! He lacks the killer instinct.”

Or the taunts of unimpressed onlookers at the first Olympiad: “Ulysses, what a joke. He clearly doesn’t have the genitals to be a winner.”

I don’t think that one quite works. The next one is a bit more bizarre, to my mind anyway. As I write this, the number one trending topic on Twitter is “Expecto Patronum“, which is, of course, a reference to Harry Potter. Devoid of context as just a pair of Latin words at the top of the Twitter trending list and with a mind running as far away as it can from kiddie lit at this time of year, however, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps this was another tattoo — along with tutela valui — which Ashley Dupre has inscribed on some covered (in public) part of her body … fwiw …

Christian Necropolis from Bitola?

Tumbe Kafe stadion
Image via Wikipedia

The headline suggests — once again — that archaeologists are a rather clumsy lot:

During the reconstruction works of the Tumbe Kafe stadium and recreational zone in Macedonia’s south-western town of Bitola, archaeologists have found necropolises, most likely dating to the third century.

“All construction activities have been halted in order to examine the artefacts. The skeletons might belong to Christians, but the possibility of their being pagan is not ruled out either. It is believed that necropolises originate from the third century, because the deceased had been buried underground since,” archaeologist Gordana Filipovska-Lazarovska told national media today.

The archaeologists working at the site believe that the area might yield other archaeological findings. Therefore, they intend to ask for assistance and support at the national level, in order to continue their research.

Before construction activities were halted, the reconstruction of the Tumbe Kafe stadium and recreational zone was financed by the local self-government and international donations.

Tumbe Kafe Stadium is a multi-use stadium, which is currently used mostly for football matches. It is is the home stadium of FK Pelister and has a seating capacity of 6,100 people.

via Archaeologists Stumble Upon Ancient Necropolises During Stadium Reconstruction | Balkan Travellers.

Death of Cleopatra Revisionism Followup

Death of Cleopatra
Image via Wikipedia

Folks who are still interested in Christoph Schaefer’s theories regarding the death of Cleopatra might want to watch the German science show Abenteuer Wissen for more details (not sure how long the video will be up; I can’t seem to embed it here). The takes-too-long-and-is-too-painful theory works if you take the accounts of our ancient sources’ claims that it was a “peaceful death” at face value. Of course, they weren’t eyewitnesses and as we’ve mentioned before, there are problems with the accounts of the ‘funerating’ of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra … it seems likely there are similar problems here. Nonetheless, perhaps a combination of ‘drugs’ plus snakebite-for-show satisfies everyone  …

Our previous coverage:

Some additional coverage outside of the Telegraph (which we mentioned in our first post):

Temple and Bridge from Near Apamea

This one from Sify/ANI is annoyingly lacking in details … I can’t find a name for al-Bahred in ancient times, but it seems to be the right distance away from Apamea to be a mansio at least …:

Archaeologists have unearthed an archaeological temple dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman eras.

They have also found a stone-made bridge dating back to the Roman era.

The findings were uncovered in the village of al-Bared River, 20 kms to the west north of Apamea, central Syrian Province of Hama, reports the Global Arab Network.

According to Director of Hama Antiquities Department, Jamal Ramadan, the temple was built in Hellenistic architectural style, of 210-centimeters long and 170-cenetimeters wide stones inscribed from their internal side.

The unearthed stone-made bridge dates back to the Roman Era, and is 10-meter long and 3-meter wide with three asymmetric arches.

Another version: