Marathon Reading of Homer’s Odyssey ~ Live from Brussels!

June Samaras just posted this to the Classics list … happening tomorrow:

Elliniko Theatro

Brussels: 12 Hours for Greece


(16/05/2012 10am-12am CET)

An independent citizens’ initiative at the heart of Europe, to
express solidarity with the Greek people at this time of crisis.

In the context of the fundraising event ‘ 12 Hours for Greece
[<a href="; target="_blank">]‘, The Readers of
Homer [] and EllinikoTheatro
[], under the direction of Kathryn
Hohlwein and Yannis Simonides, are honoured to present a 9-hour
marathon reading of Homer’s Odyssey with the participation of
400 readers of all ages and backgrounds, including EU officials,
ambassadors, artists and journalists, in the languages of Europe

The objective of the event is twofold:

To send a powerful cultural message from the heart of the EU, for
the human values which Greece represents. The Odyssey reminds us
of the brave, intelligent and transcendental nature of humankind
in times of trouble, while the participatory reading promulgates
the collective effort required in order to support our shared
European cultural identity. To raise funds for the Greek NGO
‘ The Smile of the Child []’ which
provides educational, social and medical support to thousands of
children affected by the Greek crisis.

The reading will be enhanced with ancient melodies by Lyravlos
and followed by a concert with celebrated Greek artists Dionysis
Savvopoulos, Lavrentis Mahairitsas, Vassilis Kazoulis &
Alexandra Gravas. All day long, the Cultural Centre Halles de
Shaerbeek will host exhibitions, talks, film projections and
other events related to Greek culture and gastronomy.

Read the full press release

When: May 16th from 10 am till midnight

Where: Cultural Centre ‘Les Halles de Schaerbeek’, Rue Royale
Sainte-Marie 22, 1030 Shaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium

Share [] the news with
your friends!

Caligula the Dictator

BBC Magazine ponders the nature of dictators, and inter alia, chats with some Classicists:

[…] Roman Emperor Caligula was one of the earliest autocrats, known for his short temper and erratic behaviour.

“He ordered boats to be rounded up and put in a line across the Bay of Naples, so he could walk across them from one town to another,” says Dr Benet Salway, a senior lecturer in history at University College London (UCL).

He also loved race horses, and was said to have lavished his favourite horse with a house, a troop of slaves, and wine in golden goblets.

Caligula’s erratic behaviour, which also included ordering troops to gather sea shells during a campaign against Britain, led many to question his sanity.

However, Prof Peter Wiseman, a classicist from the University of Exeter, believes that Caligula “knew exactly what he was doing. He simply exploited to the full the possibilities for absolute power and self-indulgence”.

Similarly, Dr Salway believes Caligula’s young age – he was 24 when he assumed power – and lack of experience, may explain his actions.

“It’s easy to see how someone given absolute power, without any preparation, could let it go to his head… it’s a bit like if you made a teenager prime minister, without giving them any previous training.

He may have also been testing the limits of his power, he says. “Every time people pandered to his demands, it probably fuelled him, and made him believe that he was all powerful.”

But not everything that is said about the eccentricities of leaders should be believed. The story that Caligula made his horse a consul – one of the highest official positions in Rome – is thought to be a myth.

“No horse ever became a consul,” says Dr Salway. Historical sources do say that Caligula promised to do this, he adds.

“But it sounds like a joke, borne of frustration with members of the senate, who Caligula had a bad relationship with.” […]

Way back when rogueclassicism was still finding its voice, we dealt with the ‘process’ (sort of) of how the horse story became ‘horse fact’ in the context of Oliver Stone and Alexander ….

Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews

  • 2012.05.25:  Michael Davis, The Soul of the Greeks: an Inquiry.
  • 2012.05.24:  Hagith Sivan, Galla Placidia: the Last Roman Empress. Women in antiquity.
  • 2012.05.23:  Daniele F. Maras, Corollari: scritti di antichità etrusche e italiche in omaggio all’opera di Giovanni Colonna. Studia erudita, 14.
  • 2012.05.22:  Laura Ambrosini, Le gemme etrusche con iscrizioni. Mediterranea supplementi, 6.
  • 2012.05.21:  J.B. Kennedy, The Musical Structure of Plato’s Dialogues.
  • 2012.05.20:  Denver Graninger, Cult and Koinon in Hellenistic Thessaly. Brill studies in Greek and Roman Epigraphy.

This Day in Ancient History: idus maias

idus maias

Roman depiction of the Tiber as a river-god (T...
Roman depiction of the Tiber as a river-god (Tiberinus) with cornucopia at the Campidoglio, Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Festival of Jupiter

rites in honour of Mercury

rites in honour of Maia

the Argei are tossed into the Tiber from the Sublician Bridge ….

251 — martyrdom of Isidore of Chios

392 A.D. — death of the emperor Valentinian II