Triste: Steven Jackson

Seen on various lists (by John Hilton) … we await a more formal obituary:

The Classics discipline at UKZN (Howard College) regrets to announce the death of an eminent colleague. Dr. Steven Jackson (8/12/1946-26/5/2012) was lecturer and later senior lecturer at the University of Natal from 1989 to 2000. He obtained his M.A. at Queen’s University, Belfast, and his PhD at Trinity College, Dublin. He was widely respected as a researcher in the field of Hellenistic Poetry and published prolifically. His publications include: Creative Selectivity in Apollonius’ Argonautica (1993); Myrsilus of Methymna: Hellenistic Paradoxographer (1995), which is quoted in the Oxford Classical Dictionary, third edition, as the definitive study of this author’s work; Istrus the Callimachean (2000), and Mainly Apollonius: Collected Studies (2004). Steven had a wide range of interests outside Classical Scholarship. He was also interested in Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes, the P&O liners, and sport in all its forms.

The Germans Have Left the Building … er Troy

From Hurriyet:

A team of German archaeologists, conducting excavations for nearly 25 years in the ancient city of Troy in Turkey’s northwest, are set to turn over their positions to U.S. archaeologists, daily Hürriyet reported. The German team is leaving the excavations to the Americans because of financial problems, Professor Ernst Pernicka, the head of the excavation team, said.

German archaeologists were still interested in the excavations at Troy, but Turkey wanted the site’s excavations to eventually be carried out by Turkish archaeologists, Pernicka said. The most interesting archaeological find in Troy would be to uncover a cemetery, Pernicka said. “There must definitely be a big cemetery in a city with a population of thousands. But such a cemetery has yet to be discovered.”

According to Pernicka now is the time for the archaeologists to publicize the results of their many years of excavations through a six-volume book to be published in 2015. The book will shed light on the Iliad, an epic poem, often attributed to Homer, which details the Trojan War, as well as the city of Troy in both Greek and Roman periods, Pernicka said.

The scientific work will serve as a monument to the former chairman of the excavations, Professor Manfred Korfmann, who dies in 2005. The work will be devoid of sensational information, according to Pernicka, who claims it will be a very important kind of documentary text for Troy.

More Romans in India?

We’ll keep our eye on developments from this one … a big chunk out of an item in the Times of India:

The sixth season of the Pattanam excavations at North Paravur near Kodungalur have found 2,000 ancient pottery shreds, which according to the experts of Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR), are unique and new to the archaeological world.

According to KCHR, which leads the excavation process, the findings are different from the already known Mediterranean, West Asian, Harappan and Chinese pottery remains and an international expertise is required to shed more light on it. Remains of a human skeleton were also found in one of the sites, which will be sent for DNA examination.

KCHR head of Pattanam excavations P J Cherian, said new findings will be addressed at an international workshop which the council is planning in collaboration with the British Museum, London. “No expert associated with the project was able to identify the shreds, with anything found elsewhere in the world. It is a challenge for the archaeological community. KCHR is hoping that the latest findings would throw light on the unknown aspects of Indian Ocean maritime traditions, culture and civilization,” Cherian said.

KCHR is pinning hopes on national and international experts, who will participate in the five-day workshop planned in September this year, with the support of the British Academy of South Asian Studies. “The soil condition in Kerala is not good enough to preserve ancient relics and the skeletal remains we found were very fragile. But, DNA process is possible. and we will conducting it soon.

The skeleton might belong to a Roman or an Indian. someone of Indian origin. […]

Sadly, there aren’t any details yet why they would think this might be a Roman … it would be nice to know if this is a necropolis type thing too; they have found Roman potsherds in the area (e.g.: Muziris Update (?)) …

ED: Conventiculum Bostoniense

Seen on LatinTeach:


I would like to announce the 2012 installment of the full-immersion, residential experience, the CONVENTICULUM BOSTONIENSE. We’re particularly excited about our program this year. First of all, we have a number of distinguished faculty. Apart from the creators of the current version of the Conventiculum, Profs. Emily McDermott, specialist in Horace and Latin poetry generally, and Pliny scholar Jacqueline Carlon, joining us this year as a newly minted faculty member and re-joining us as a conventiculum instructor is Neo-Latinist and living Latin expert James Dobreff. He’s published on the Swedish botanist Daniel Rolander, and has 15 years of experience in active teaching methods. Returning to teach for us is another living Latin expert, David Morgan, who is currently working on a comprehensive neo-Latin lexicon. We are also honored to have Jeanne Neumann, professor at Davidson College and author of the College Companion to Ørberg’s Latina Lingua per se Illustrata, as one of our “adiutores”. “Adiutores” are fluent speakers of Latin who will reside on campus and increase the number and quality of the interactive experiences for students during the week that the CB is in session.

Here’s some more specific information. The Conventiculum Bostoniense is a full-immersion residential experience, specifically designed for teachers in schools and universities who want to gain some ability to communicate ex-tempore in correct Latin on a wide range of subjects. Participants will enhance and develop their own abilities to express themselves in Latin, both in speaking and writing, and at the same time will explore various ways to employ active Latin in the classroom to enhance the learning experience of their students. After the first evening’s arrival and orientation session, participants will speak Latin exclusively with one another and the faculty for seven days.

Two different graduate level courses are offered during the Conventiculum, one for first time attendees and one for re- turning participants as described below. Days are filled with instructional activities, including sessions focused on oral expression or prose composition, opportunities for social interaction (particularly at meals and in the dormitories), and excursions to the beach and local attractions, including museums and a winery.

For more information, and to apply, please visit