Techy Romans

Gizmodo notices the ancient world:

via Gizmodo

Since Gizmodo ties this image to Facebook, I guess the Greeks must have been addicted to MySpace:

via iecclesia
via 'education in ancient greece'

… and of course, the Greeks were already dealing with the problems of students texting in class:

via 'education in ancient Greece'

Bizarre Allianoi Update

Hot on the heels of the most recent calling-attention-to-the-impending-flooding-of-Allianoi, come this bizarre cliam from Turkey’s environment minister via Hurriyet:

Controversy over plans to bury an ancient city in western Turkey with sand ahead of a new dam project was overshadowed Wednesday by revelations from Turkey’s environment minister that the site did not, in fact, exist.

“There is no such place as Allianoi. It is just a hot spring that was recently restored called ‘Paşa Ilıcası,’” said Minister Veysel Eroğlu in response to a reporter’s question about the controversial plans to bury the ancient city, which is located near Bergama in the Aegean province of İzmir.

Eroğlu’s belief in the site’s non-existence, however, has been challenged by archaeologists and the Culture and Tourism Ministry, which describes Allianoi on its website as an ancient site that was noted for its health center.

“Veysel Eroğlu is not an archaeologist. What he said is really ridiculous,” Assistant Professor Ahmet Yaraş, head of the excavations, said Wednesday.

“Allianoi is the most protected hot spring in the world. Some 11,000 coins, around 400 metal artifacts, 400 bone artifacts, 800 ceramic artifacts and around 400 glass artifacts have been found during excavations,” said Yaraş, adding that only 20 percent of the city had been successfully excavated so far.

“We have found a sculpture of Asklepios, who was known as the god of health. Alliaoni has 400 surgical instruments, the highest number ever found, proving that the place was a hospital at the time,” he said.

Allianoi is just a fictional name, the minister said, adding that it had been restored by a former governor and constituted no more than an ordinary hot spring little different from other hot springs that can be observed throughout the country.

A total of $7 million has been spent on restoring the site since excavations began, Eroğlu said, adding that the work was conducted under the supervision of the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

“The ministry is aware of the importance of the historical artifacts and we made all the precautions in order to protect them,” said the environment minister.

Despite care from the Environment Ministry to preserve artifacts from the site – including moving sculptures from the hot spring area to the Bergama Museum and by filling the site with sand before the area is submerged by a reservoir – numerous groups have been lodging complaints about the authorities’ work, Eroğlu said.

“Despite winning 16 courts against the operations, the ancient city of Allianoi will be covered with sand before the waters of the Yortanlı Dam flood the region,” said Yaraş, adding that it was meaningless to debate what material will be used to cover the site since it will disappear forever once the area is flooded.

“Turkey has lost its reputation with the latest development,” said Yaraş.

Meanwhile, Professor Murat Güvenç, head of the History Foundation, also objected to the Eroğlu’s remarks, saying the ministry was preparing to bury the location without evaluating alternative options.

The minister probably read the first couple of paragraphs of the Wikipedia article, the second of which says:

One particularity of Allianoi is its being a very recent historical discovery. It was mentioned only once in the 2nd century by the orator and medicinal writer Aelius Aristides in his “Hieroi Logoi” (Sacred Tales) (III.1), one of the key sources for the knowledge on the science of healing as it was understood at that time. No other writer of antiquity nor any epigraphic finding known had referred to Allianoi.

… and decided to ignore the archaeological evidence that he’d have to scroll to the next screen to see …

d.m. Gordon Williams

Gordon Willis Williams, Thacher Professor of Latin Literature Emeritus, has died aged 84. Born in Dublin in 1926, Professor Williams was educated at Trinity College Dublin and at the University of Oxford. Before coming to Yale, he enjoyed a distinguished career as Fellow and Tutor at Balliol College, Oxford and as Professor of Humanity at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. In 1973 he was invited to deliver the Sather Lectures at Berkeley. He joined the Yale faculty in 1974.

Williams’s publications were numerous and influential. A groundbreaking series of articles in the late 1950’s dealing with aspects of Roman social history and the position of women was followed in 1968 by the appearance of the massive and classic work Tradition and Originality in Roman Poetry, a book of fundamental importance to which Classicists forty years later are still responding. In quick succession came an edition of the third book of Horace’s Odes in 1969 and then a briefer version of Tradition and Originality in 1973. There followed more major and provocative works of scholarship, Change and Decline: Roman Literature in the Early Empire (1978), Figures of Thought in Roman Poetry (1980), and Technique and Ideas in the Aeneid (1983).

For many years Gordon maintained a very high profile in the profession, frequently travelling all over the world to give lectures or teach specialized seminars. A great teacher of undergraduates, he directed many dissertations in his quarter century at Yale: his students and students of his students teach in Departments of Classics and of Comparative Literature from coast to coast. He was a great asset to Yale and to the Department of Classics. He will be much missed.

via: Gordon Willis Williams | Yale