Way Cool Winged Centaur at Sotheby’s

So it’s recess and I decide to page through the ecatalog of Sotheby’s upcoming antiquities auction … the first thing I come across of interest is described as an Etruscan black figure amphora, attributed to the Micali painter (6th/5th century B.C.) … Here’s a detail:

Check out the official photo … not only is this centaur interesting for having wings, but for having the proper ‘male anatomy’ on its forequarters. I once did a paper on centaurs in ancient art and as far as I was aware, this ‘proper forequarters’ thing came to an end in Mycenean times (maybe Dark Ages). This is an incredible piece and, alas, seems destined for a private collection, so make your screengrabs while you can.

Socrates Going on Trial Again

I first read about this in Greek Reporter a few days ago, but it wasn’t sufficiently detailed for my liking … now ANSA comes through, however:

Have you ever dreamed of having a time machine to travel as you wish into the past and personally witness an historical event? Today, in some ways, this is possible. As a matter of fact the aficionados of great trials will be able to witness online and live the replica of one of the most famous trials in history, the one against the Greek philosopher Socrates which took place about 2500 years ago and ended with the death penalty for the defendant charged with hemlock poisoning. This time there will be new judges in the case and there is the possibility that the final verdict might even be different.

The initiative of repeating the trial, as Kathimerini newspaper reported, came from the Onassis foundation and will take place on May 25 in the prestigious headquarters of the foundation’s cultural centre in Athens. Famous European and American jurists were invited to re-examine the social and legal claims which were taken against Socrates, whereas the final decision will be up to the members of the public which will follow the trial in the courtroom and online.

Socrates had been accused of heresy towards the locals, wanting to introduce new gods and to corrupt the young. He was put on trial by 500 citizens of Athens as jurors and judges and the philosopher was found guilty with a majority of 280 votes and was condemned to death. Historical accounts have told us that Socrates remained tranquil and composed during the whole trial and also after hearing his sentence.

Today, many centuries after his death in 399 BC, the great philosopher is back in the dock. Presenting extensive discussions and talks from both parts, the event is aimed to re-examine the trial based on historical and contemporary accounts, trying to adapt the court case to the modern day standards of public ethics and current perception of justice.

This exchange of judicial arguments also proposes a new approach to Socrates as a Philosopher and to his contribution to the public life of ancient Athens.

A similar virtual trial against Socrates was organised by the Onassis Foundation last May at the Federal Court in New York and ended with his acquittal. Will this year’s verdict be different? Those in defence of Socrates this year will be the British lawyer Michael Beloff and his French colleague Patrick Simon, whereas the lawyers called to represent the Public Ministry and the interests of the city of Athens will be Ilias Anagnostopoulos, lawyer at the Supreme Court and professor at Athens University and the lawyer Anthony Papadimitriou who is also Chairman of the Onassis Foundation.

Taking part in the jury are Sir Richard Aikens and Sir Stephen Sedley, both members of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales; Sophie-Caroline De Margerie, judge of the French State Council; Pierre Delvolve and Francois Terre, both members of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences; Stephan Gass, vice-president of the Swiss Court of Appeal; Giuseppe Nay, former president of the Swiss Federal Court; Loretta Preska, Head judge of New York City’s south district; Anna Psarouda-Benaki, professor of criminal law and former president of the Greek Parliament; Vasilleios Rigas, vice-president of the Supreme Court of Athens and Peter Westermann, professor of law at Tubingen University.

The new Socrates virtual trial will be shown live on the website: www.sgt.gr/dikisocrati.

Interestingly, last year — almost to the day — they did a similar thing in New York: Socrates Retried Redux; I don’t think that one was generally available like this one seems to be. If the link up there doesn’t work for you, try this one (I think the above is the actual broadcast and isn’t live yet; the latter link is the Greek homepage for the event). Not sure if this is going to be an English thing or subtitled or what.

From the Italian Press: Major Bust in Italy

Not sure if this will get coverage in English or not … from Il Tempo:

Sono 70 gli indagati nell’inchiesta condotta dai Carabinieri del Nucleo tutela patrimonio culturale di Cosenza che ha consentito di recuperare 17mila reperti archeologici. Le investigazioni hanno preso spunto dall’individuazione di un personaggio della provincia di Crotone, abitualmente dedito alla illecita ricerca sul territorio calabrese e alla commercializzazione di beni di natura archeologica mediante l’aggiudicazione di aste ed inserzioni online. I successivi approfondimenti investigativi hanno consentito di ricostruire la consistenza dell’intero traffico illecito degli ultimi anni e di identificare gli operatori del mercato clandestino di riferimento. A questo punto, sono stati avviati mirati accertamenti finalizzati a stabilire la provenienza dei beni archeologici commercializzati e la loro lecita detenzione. Accertata la presunta illiceita’ dell’attivita’ posta in essere e’ stata eseguita una perquisizione, e successivo sequestro, ordinata dalla Procura della Repubblica di Crotone. L’indagine che e’ stata condotta in varie fasi e localita’ del territorio nazionale ha portato alla denuncia di 70 persone per reati che vanno dalla ricettazione alle violazioni al Testo Unico sui beni culturali. Sono stati sequestrati 16.344 reperti archeologici tra cui oltre 15mila monete in argento e bronzo di epoca magno greca, romana e bizantina; 10 metal detector; 1.200 reperti archeologici, consistenti in vasi ceramici, fibule, anelli, bottoni, pesi da telaio e monili in ceramica; 42 reperti di natura paleontologica. Completati gli esami di rito i reperti archeologici saranno, al piu’ presto, messi a disposizione delle competenti Soprintendenze Archeologiche per consentirne la fruibilita’ pubblica e gli opportuni approfondimenti scientifici.

The gist: of the 17 000 items recovered, 15 000 or so were silver or bronze coins; the remainder were ceramics, pins, loom weights, etc. from Magna Grecia, Roman, and Byzantine times. They appear to have been selling things online in various places …

Roman Jigsaw (Contest too!)

Here’s a nice little timekiller to prevent you from studying for or marking exams … it was mentioned on the Classicists list last week (and there’s a contest!):

Ancient Rome is back on the map. The success of TV shows like Mary Beard’s Meet the Romans has helped viewers rediscover the city and illuminated the streets of Rome in the public’s imagination. Cambridge Journals is proud to publish a number of leading Classics Journals which bring new research and findings to an ever widening audience. Since 2011 we have been privileged to publish the Papers of the British School at Rome (PBSR), a leading journal devoted to research about Italy and Rome from a wide range of disciplines. To help you piece together a more vivid picture of Roman civilisation, we invite you to complete our online jigsaw puzzle.

Those of you who subscribe to the Papers may will have seen the 2011 cover image which features a section of the city from 1570 printed from the hand coloured engraving by Pirro Ligorio. We have taken the full scale image and dismantled Ancient Rome for you to rebuild it- as an online jigsaw puzzle.

Rome wasn’t built in a day?
Give it a try and see how quickly you can rebuild Rome with the PBSR online jigsaw at http://bit.ly/JI671R (hosted by jigsawplanet.com).

As an incentive to complete the puzzle we invite you to send a screenshot of your completed puzzle with time to pbsrjigsaw AT gmail.com. The quickest time will be awarded with a £50 Cambridge University Press books voucher, and the top 5 places will be each awarded a copy of paperback The City in the Roman West, c.250 BC to c.AD 250. Competition closes on June 30th 2012.

Find out more at the Cambridge Journals Blog.

d.m. Crawford Greenewalt

From a Berkeley News Center release:

Crawford Hallock Greenewalt, Jr., emeritus professor of classical archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a leading participant for more than 50 years in the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis in Turkey, died on May 4 at the age of 74.

He passed away in Delaware, due to complications from a brain tumor just over a week after receiving the American Archaeological Institute’s esteemed Bandelier Award for Public Service to Archaeology for his personal and scholarly achievements in the field.

Greenewalt, or “Greenie” as he was known by friends and colleagues, was an expert on Lydian culture and published extensively on the site of Sardis, an ancient city that was the capital of the Lydian Empire and home of King Croesus, famous for his legendary wealth; and later, a capital city under Persian, Roman, and Byzantine rule. He also took part in Turkish excavations at Pitane, Old Smyrna, and Gordion.

While still a graduate student, Greenewalt excavated some of Sardis’s most important monuments, including the monumental Lydian walls on the acropolis of Sardis, and investigated the huge burial mound of Karnıyarık Tepe. He made his first real mark in Sardis in 1960 when he rediscovered the long buried Pyramid Tomb.

His ongoing archaeological work in the field and in the lab is said to have greatly expanded the understanding of Lydian culture, Lydian and Greek pottery, and the chronology of Lydia as well as of the entire Aegean and eastern Mediterranean world.

Greenewalt also supervised the reinstallation of the Sardis galleries in the nearby Archaeological Museum of Manisa, and carried out such gallery projects as a building reconstruction displaying Lydian architectural terra cottas.

Greenewalt was born on June 3, 1937, in Wilmington, Del. His interest in ancient civilization, said to have been sparked when he was just eight years old, never waned.

He was educated at Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Del., and then at Harvard College, where he was awarded a B.A. in 1959, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Ph.D. in 1966.

Greenewalt joined the Sardis Expedition, which is sponsored jointly by the Harvard University Art Museums and Cornell University, as its official photographer in 1959, shortly after graduating from Harvard.

He continued with the expedition every summer. He became its field director in 1976, supervising an international staff of archaeologists, art historians, architects, conservators, object illustrators, anthropologists and others as he kept the project’s focus on the Sardis of King Croesus and the Archaic period. At Sardis, he also trained generations of students in archaeological techniques.

Greenewalt stepped down in 2007, and Nicholas Cahill, a Berkeley alumnus and professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, took the helm. Cahill, one of Greenewalt’s students, recalled his former professor, mentor and friend fondly.

“In the classroom, he (was) a model of erudition, bringing both a broad range of learning and a deep understanding of the ancient world,” Cahill said.

“Never underestimating the complexities of ancient cultures, he persuaded us not to oversimplify things or be satisfied with superficially convincing incomplete explanations,” Cahill added. “For him, there (was) always another side to the story, and one which did not mix up, but filled out, the rich canvas of ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East.”

In 1966, Greenewalt joined the Classics Department at UC Berkeley, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in classical archaeology as well as Greek and Roman art, and seminars in subjects including “comparative destruction layers” from such ancient sites as Gordion and Pompeii.

He was a pillar of the campus’s Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology (AHMA), and was highly appreciated for his longtime curatorship of Mediterranean archaeology at the campus’s Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.

Greenewalt was honored in 1993 with the Henry Allen Moe Prize in Humanities by the American Philosophical Society in recognition of his commitment to the humanities as well as for his paper, “When a Mighty Empire Was Destroyed,” and for his role in reconstructing the history of the people of Lydia. He also was awarded honorific memberships in the German Archaeological Institute and the Austrian Archaeological Institute.

Upon his retirement from UC Berkeley in 2010, Greenewalt received the campus’s highest honor, the Berkeley Citation. Awarding the citation on behalf of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau was Andrew Stewart, chair of AHMA and a UC Berkeley professor of classical Archaeology. Stewart, a longtime Greenewalt colleague, noted his “stunning discoveries, his prizewinning publications, his legendary hospitality, his caring mentorship” and the deep respect he received from those who worked alongside him.

“’Greenie’ sets an example of collegiality, dedication, generosity, and integrity that most of us can only try to emulate,” Stewart said.

He is survived by his sister, Nancy G. Frederick, of Wilmington, Del. His brother, David Greenewalt, died in 2003.

A memorial service will held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, at Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington, Del.. There will be a campus memorial for Greenewalt in the fall.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Archaeological Exploration at Sardis, Harvard Art Museum, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

see also:

… and the AIA has put up a nice tribute page which includes the above video and some reminiscences from colleagues: