This Day in Ancient History: ante diem xi kalendas novembres

ante diem xi kalendas novembres

  • 4004 B.C. — 9.00 a.m. … according to Bishop Ussher, God created the universe some time during the ‘preceding night’
  • 50 B.C. — the ‘Civil War’ between Pompey and Caesar began (not sure where my source got this one).

… and ten years ago at rogueclassicism, after gossiping about Angelina Jolie as mother of Alexander and Brad Pitt having aging problems, we mentioned the find of the ‘bath house of Jesus’, which, fortunately doesn’t seem to have had legs …

Classical Words of the Day


The rogueclassicist Skept-o-meter

While wading through my backlog the other day (which is huge) it occurred to me that I could start giving ‘points’ to articles cluttering my box making skeptical claims. To do so, of course, I would need some sort of metre stick of credulity, and came up with the following list of items which set of alarm bells in the rogueclassicist’s noggin:

  1. Claim is made by someone who is not a specialist (i.e. with a degree) in the discipline
  2. Claimant has an “Indiana Jones” type epithet, often self-imposed
  3. Topic of claim is one of the long-standing mysteries (e.g. Cleopatra’s tomb, Alexander’s tomb, anything related to Atlantis, the Ark of the Covenant, something biblical, etc.)
  4. Claim is initially made on a press release site and later picked up by mainstream media
  5. Claim has not appeared in a scholarly journal nor is ‘in press’
  6. The word “decode” is used at least once in the cliam claim
  7. The phrase “years of research” figures prominently
  8. Claimant justifies position with references to the Trojan War or Galileo
  9. Claimant suggests a “coverup” of some sort by academics
  10. Claim is made on a significant date (especially if related to early Christianity … Easter and Christmas are the big dates)
  11. Newspaper report doesn’t actually ask a specialist for a contrary opinion
  12. Mention of a documentary to come is made in the concluding paragraphs

Of course, many legitimate claims might fall into one or more of the above categories, but it’s the combination of (usually) 3 or so or more which set off the alarm bells. I’ll apply this scale to a really bizarre claim in the next day or so.

Classics Confidential: Nancy Rabinowitz on Greek Tragedy

A couple of interviews with Dr Rabinowitz … here’s the intro to the lengthy blurb for the first:

On the occasion of the Classical Reception Studies Network graduate workshop that they co-organised at the Institute of Classical Studies CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni talks to Nancy Rabinowitz, Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College. They discuss their shared interest in the theme of war and the portrayal of women in Greek tragedy, theme of their workshop. […]

… and the intro to the second:

In the second interview with Professor Nancy Rabinowitz CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni asks her about her work teaching Greek tragedy in American prisons. The starting point for her was the desire to diversify the appeal of Greek tragedy by engaging with modern revivals of Greek tragedy and by taking these ancient dramas beyond the classroom. […]