Milman Parry on BBC 4

Tip o’ the pileus to Ian Spoor for alerting me to this one which is coming up on BBC4:

Episode Six of a thirty-part series made in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive.

In 1933, a young classics scholar called Milman Parry made a journey through the hill villages of the Balkans to record poets and singers. He captured an oral tradition that has all but died out – peasant performers who recited epic tales over days without any form of prompt.

Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex explains how ancient tales were remembered and passed down, and travels to the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece to find out what the audience would have made of it all up in the ‘gods’.

Featuring archive extracts of traditional stories from the Balkans, Kyrgyzstan, West Africa, and India.

Audio for this one will be available “soon” … here’s the Noise: A Human History home page.

DIG: “Villa of the Antonines” Archaeological Field School in Genzano di Roma, Italy, June 30-July 27, 2013

seen on the Classics list:

2013 "Villa of the Antonines" Archaeological Field School in Genzano di Roma, Italy, June 30-July 27, 2013

Sponsored by the Center for Heritage and Archaeological Studies and the Department of Classics & General Humanities at Montclair State University, this field project, now entering its fourth season of work, will continue to explore the remains of a Roman imperial villa complex located close to the 18th mile of the ancient Via Appia in the Alban Hills. Ancient literary sources combined with the discovery of fine marble busts of the Antonine imperial family first led to the identification, early in the 18th century, of the site as the family villa of the Antonines located in ancient Lanuvium. The 2010-2012 excavations brought to light a curving structure that has been identified as an amphitheatre (perhaps that in which Commodus is reported to have fought wild animals, thereby earning the title "Roman Hercules") as well as much scattered evidence for luxurious interior decoration in the form of colored glass mosaics, imported marble floor covering (opus sectile), and marble wall covering. The 2013 campaign will concentrate on studying the amphitheatre and its surroundings in greater detail. Participants are rotated among all main aspects of archaeological fieldwork, including artifact processing, recording, and assisting with geophysical survey as well as excavating.

Total cost (minus airfare to Rome, but including six undergraduate credits in Classical archaeology): $5,000.
Housing in a 3-star hotel on the rim of scenic Lago di Nemi and overlooking the Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis (of J.G. Fraser "Golden Bough" fame), just outside the picturesque town of Genzano. Some scholarship moneys are available. Graduate students welcome; they should consult the co-directors for details.

For further information contact the project co-directors: Dr. Deborah Chatr Aryamontri (aryamontrid @ and Dr. Timothy Renner (rennert @
Website: click on "Villa of the Antonine

Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews

  • 2013.03.31:  Elizabeth Minchin, Orality, Literacy and Performance in the Ancient World. Orality and literacy in the ancient world, vol. 9; Mnemosyne Supplements. Monographs on Greek and Roman Language and Literature, 335.bmcr2
  • 2013.03.30:  John Mouratidis, On the Jump of the Ancient Pentathlon. Nikephoros-Beihefte, Bd 20.
  • 2013.03.29:  Lin Foxhall, Gabriele Neher, Gender and the City before Modernity. Gender and history special issue book series.
  • 2013.03.28:  Verena Vogel-Ehrensperger, Die übelste aller Frauen?: Klytaimestra in Texten von Homer bis Aischylos und Pindar. Schweizerische Beiträge zur Altertumswissenschaft, 38.
  • 2013.03.27:  Dimitris Paléothodoros, The Contexts of Painted Pottery in the Ancient Mediterranean World (seventh – fourth Centuries BCE). BAR International Series, S2364.
  • 2013.03.26:  Tatiana Korneeva, Alter et ipse: identità e duplicità nel sistema dei personaggi della Tebaide di Stazio. Testi e studi di cultura classica, 52.
  • 2013.03.25:  Phillip John Usher, Isabelle Fernbach, Virgilian Identities in the French Renaissance. Gallica, 27.
  • 2013.03.24:  Fabio Tutrone, Filosofi e animali in Roma antica: modelli di animalità e umanità in Lucrezio e Seneca. Pubblicazioni della Facoltà di lettere e filosofia dell’Università di Pavia, 126.
  • 2013.03.23:  Lee Fratantuono, Madness Triumphant: a Reading of Lucan’s Pharsalia.
  • 2013.03.22:  A. J. Woodman, From Poetry to History: Selected Papers.
  • 2013.03.21:  Stephen Ruzicka, Trouble in the West: Egypt and the Persian Empire, 525-332 BCE. Oxford studies in early empires.
  • 2013.03.20:  Nicole Belayche, Jean-Daniel Dubois, L’oiseau et le poisson: cohabitations religieuses dans les mondes grec et romain. Religions dans l’histoire. Paris: 2011. Pp. 410. €22.00 (pb). ISBN 9782840508007.
    Reviewed by Natacha Trippé.
  • 2013.03.19:  Rosa Rita Marchese, Cicerone: Bruto. Introduzione, Traduzione e commento. Classici, 15. R
  • 2013.03.18:  Marino Mengozzi, Monte Sorbo: le pieve singolare.
  • 2013.03.17:  Anna Heller, Anne-Valérie Pont, Patrie d’origine et patries électives: les citoyennetés multiples dans le monde grec d’époque romaine. Scripta antiqua, 40.
  • 2013.03.16:  Peter Turner, Truthfulness, Realism, Historicity: A Study in Late Antique Spiritual Literature.
  • 2013.03.15:  Vayos Liapis, A Commentary on the Rhesus Attributed to Euripides.
  • 2013.03.14:  Fabian Schulz, Die homerischen Räte und die spartanische Gerusie. Syssitia, Studien zur Geschichte und Kultur Spartas und zur Sparta-Rezeption, Bd 1​.
  • 2013.03.13:  Jonathan Bardill, Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age.
  • 2013.03.12:  Jonathan Conant, Staying Roman: Conquest and Identity in Africa and the Mediterranean, 439-700. Cambridge studies in medieval life and thought: fourth series, 82.
  • 2013.01.11:  Jamie Sewell, The Formation of Roman Urbanism, 338-200 B.C.: Between Contemporary Foreign Influence and Roman Tradition. JRA Supplementary series, 79.

Classical Words of the Day


This Day in Ancient History: ante diem xv kalendas apriles

ante diem xv kalendas apriles

  • Festival of Mars (Day 19)
  • Quinquatrus (Day 1) — a festival celebrating Minerva’s birthday (maybe)
  • rites in honour of Minerva (obviously connected to the above)
  • 11 B.C.E. — Herod dedicates his renovated Temple in Jerusalem
  • 303 A.D. — Martyrdom of Pancharius of Nicomedia
  • 363 A.D. — fire destroys the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine