Roman ‘Fertility Eagle’ from Selkirk

The incipit of an item from the Selkirk Advertiser:

A Roman symbol of fertility found near Selkirk, shaped like an eagle emerging from a flower with a berry in its mouth, highlights the discoveries made in Scotland in this year’s Treasure Trove Report.

The talisman, excavated in 2010 by a local metal detectorist between Selkirk and Galashiels, is believed to have adorned a Roman wagon or chariot, and is the first relic of its kind to be found north of the border.

The report described the artifact as: “A copper alloy mount in the shape of an eagle head, the sacred bird of Juno, found near Selkirk. The eagle is depicted emerging from a flower with a berry held in the beak and was intended as a symbol of good luck or fertility. Mounts of this type were used on the supporting frames of Roman wagons and this is the first such mount from Scotland, with only a small number known from Britain.”

Selkirk historian Walter Elliot, to whom the finder took the object for identification, guessed its ancient origin by the “patination”: “I knew it was not a modern find because it was bronze-green with age. It looked very Roman, but I wasn’t sure.”

It took his friend, archeologist Dr Fraser Hunter of Glasgow University, who had seen an identical copper eagle in York, to identify the rare artifact as Roman. […]

… and here’s the small photo that’s included:

via the Selkirk Advertiser

Now unfortunately, as I write this, the Portable Antiquities Scheme seems to be doing maintenance or something and I can’t get an official description but check this thing out:

via the Portable Antiquities Scheme

… which is clearly an analog and is designated in the photo description as a cartfitting. Where this ‘fertility’ association comes from is beyond me.

Open Access Hesperia!

A Blogosphere version of this has probably scrolled off the page by now, so we’ll bring it up again … the opening ‘graph of the announcement should be sufficient:

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) continues its strong commitment to open scholarship by providing easy, free access to past issues of Hesperia. The quarterly joins nearly 1,200 other international open access journals in ancient studies as listed in The Ancient World Online. As of July 11th, over 1,500 Hesperia articles (1932 to 2009) are available as downloadable PDFs on the ASCSA’s website. Through a content-sharing agreement negotiated between the ASCSA and JSTOR, the online host of the journal, all articles beyond the three-year “moving wall” can be freely distributed on the School’s website for individual use. This initiative was unanimously endorsed by the Publications Committee of the School’s Managing Committee.

And, of course, you want to know where to access the mounds and mounds of scholarship which are suddenly available to all and sundry (and rogueish) … ecce:

Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews

  • 2012.07.16:  Nikolaos Papazarkadas, Sacred and Public Land in Ancient Athens. Oxford classical monographs.
  • 2012.07.15:  Peter Fibiger Bang, C. A. Bayly, Tributary Empires in Global History. Cambridge Imperial and Post-colonial Studies.
    Eric H. Cline, Mark W. Graham, Ancient Empires: from Mesopotamia to the Rise of Islam.
  • 2012.07.14:  Marguerite Johnson, Harold Tarrant, Alcibiades and the Socratic Lover-Educator.
  • 2012.07.13:  Amy C. Smith, Sadie Pickup, Brill’s Companion to Aphrodite.
  • 2012.07.12:  William H. F. Altman, Plato the Teacher: the Crisis of the Republic.
  • 2012.07.11:  Elaine Fantham, Roman Readings: Roman Response to Greek literature from Plautus to Statius and Quintilian. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde, 277.
  • 2012.07.10:  Trevor Bryce on Anthony Spalinger on Bryce.
    Response by Trevor Bryce.
  • 2012.07.09:  Sylvia Montiglio, From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in Ancient Thought.
  • 2012.07.08:  Frances Muecke, John Dunston, Domizio Calderini: Commentary on Silius Italicus. Travaux d’Humanisme et Renaissance 477.
  • 2012.07.07:  Alastair J. L. Blanshard, Kim Shahabudin, Classics on Screen: Ancient Greece and Rome on Film
  • 2012.07.06:  Andrzej S. Chankowski, L’Éphébie hellénistique: Étude d’une institution civique dans les cités grecques des îles de la Mer Égée et de l’Asie Mineure. Culture et cité, 4.
  • 2012.07.05:  Paul A. Trout, Deadly Powers: Animal Predators and the Mythic Imagination. 2012.07.04:  Michaël Martin, La magie dans l’Antiquité. Hors collection.
  • 2012.07.03:  Robert Knapp, Invisible Romans.
  • 2012.07.02:  Ian Mueller, Simplicius, On Aristotle On the Heavens 1. 3-4. Ancient Commentators on Aristotle.

Joe Paterno ~ The Aftermath

Most football-loving (of the Canadian/American variety) Classicists are probably well aware of the late Joe Paterno’s love of Vergil and the Aeneid. Back when the Penn State scandal broke out, I was monitoring assorted news coverage to see if anyone would be spinning it with a Vergil connection and there were a few. One which came out in January — by John Lessingham — struck me as a bit extreme at the time, but with the news yesterday and with multiple re-readings of it, I think Lessingham pretty much has nailed it. Definitely worth a read again if you haven’t already done so: