Srsly? Ceres v Demeter?

So there’s some sort of restoration of  an old flour mill outside Cambridge, part of which included restoration of a statue of Ceres which was commissioned for the building ages ago (but not ancient ages). Townsfolk are arguing over whether it’s Ceres or Demeter … Mary Beard was consulted at some point. Here’s a bit from the end:

[…] A sculpture said to represent Ceres, which was commissioned for the mill in 1962, has recently been returned to the site after being restored. Eventually,  it will be positioned in a new park.

But in a letter published in Tuesday’s News, one witness to the original installation claimed the statue was meant to depict Demeter, Ceres’ Ancient Greek equivalent.

David Plumb, of Milner Road, Comberton, was the site engineer until 2000 and said he remembered the original sculpture contract.

He said: “Ceres is Demeter’s Roman equivalent, but this statue is definitely not her.”

Hill Residential said Ceres was the correct name and the city council’s public art audit also identified this goddess.

Prof Mary Beard, the Cambridge University classicist, said the debate was a bit academic anyway.

“Their iconography is identical so calling the statue by either name is fine. I suppose the correct one is the one the artist gave it, but they are in fact interchangeable, like Venus and Aphrodite.”

Tony Woodman, sales director at Hill Residential, said: “Foster’s Mill is an iconic landmark at the gateway to Cambridge and Hill Residential is giving the building a new lease of life, preserving its remarkable architectural features.”

Must be nice to live in a time when the biggest thing to argue about is whether to say potayto or potahto ..


Odyssey Movie

This popped up in my ‘recommended’ column at Youtube … probably won’t stay up long but it was an okay version if you’ve never seen it … it was a minseries back in the late 90s (IMDB) … Armand Assante was the Ithacan … Greta Scacchi is Penelope … couldn’t quite get Bernadette Peters as Circe, though:

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vii kalendas sextilias

ante diem vii kalendas sextilias

¶  ludi Victoriae Caesaris (day 7)

¶ 64 A.D. — the Great Fire of Rome continues (day 9)

¶ 110 A.D. — martyrdom of Hyacinthus

¶ 1893 — birth of E.R. Dodds (The Greeks and the Irrational)

… and I posted this a few years ago and like it, so here’s some fun from Petronius, Satyricon 53:

Et plane interpellavit saltationis libidinem actuarius, qui tanquam Vrbis acta recitavit: “VII kalendas Sextiles: in praedio Cumano, quod est Trimalchionis, nati sunt pueri XXX, puellae XL; sublata in horreum ex area tritici milia modium quingenta; boves domiti quingenti. Eodem die: Mithridates servus in crucem actus est, quia Gai nostri genio male dixerat. Eodem die: in arcam relatum est, quod collocari non potuit, sestertium centies. Eodem die: incendium factum est in hortis Pompeianis, ortum ex aedibus Nastae vilici.