Sunday 29Dec2013

It’s the doldrums for many things between Christmas and New Year, as it is in the Classics world. As we all recover from Christmas meals and turkey sandwiches, here is the round-up of news from last week, for the last time in 2013.

Sunday 29Dec2013

Matthew Nicholls on the traditions of Christmas time in Rome (the content of the articles are pretty similar):

  • “Whips, cloaks and parchment: the festive presents of ancient Rome” with Matthew Nicholls. The Guardian 
  • “Roman ‘Christmases’ were similar to ours” Phys: 
  • “From Kindles to your Nan’s ugly sweater – Roman ‘Christmases’ were similar to ours” 

There are more Christmas-related article via this link, in which we wished you a Merry Christmas:

New discoveries on how the Ara Pacis and the Obelisk of Montecitorio comlement each other in alignment:

An interactive method of teaching Latin by a priest:

  • “Neb. priest, students engage in Latin through conversation” Catholic News Agency: 

Jospehine Balmer on the subtlety of translation and on how to present translated, fragmented text:

  • “Translation and subjectivity: the classical model” Oxford University Press blog 

Dr. Ted Zorrow overseas an increase of uptake in Latin in his school with active and imaginative methods of teaching:

East Oxford Community Classics Centre is now offering A-level Latin to comprehensive students in Oxfordshire. Well done Dr. Robinson!:

  • “Pupils at comprehensive to study for an A-Level in Latin” Oxford Times 

“Ancient Greek Gold Bracelet Sold in New York” Greek Reporter: 

“Roman artefacts discovered at Rainham housing site” Romford Recorder 

“Roman Villa remains unearthed at Taylor Wimpey’s Emerson’s Green site” Easier property: 

“Ancient Vineyards Found in Basque Country” Archaeology 

“Hallan estructuras originales del circo romano de Tarraco” (“Discovered: Original structures of Tarraco’s Roman circus”, article in Spanish) National Geographic España: 

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

Review: “Atlantis: Touched by the Gods, Part Two” by Juliette Harrisson. The review of the final episode of season one. Pop Classics blog:

Quiz!: “Terry Deary’s Dangerous Days in the Roman Empire Quiz” The Daily Telegraph 

“Discovering a Roman city near Vienna” on Carnutium. Buenos Aires Herald: 

“Ancient Greece and Mental Disorders” Greek Reporter: 

“5 Reasons Why Plato and Aristotle Still Matter Today” Publishers Weekly 

“PLV Inscriptions (Birdoswald)” Per Lineam Valli blog: 

“Travel to Sicily: Italy with a touch of Greece and Africa” Washington Times 

“Decline and fall of Rome’s cinematic empire: The end for Italy’s famed Cinecitta studios?” The Independent 

“Robin Osborne on the state of Open Access: Where are we, what still needs to be done?” with @RickyPo. 

“I NEED A (working-class tragic) HERO” Edith Hall is holding out for a hero for her essay. The Edithorial:


Sunday 22Dec2013

Let us wish you a Merry Christmas in this addition of “Sunday”. Chester is getting into the mood of Christmas and the Riace statues are back home for the festivities. A rather bumper edition of the round-up this week.

Sunday 22Dec2013

The Riace bronzes are home after a restoration turned into protracted exile from their site of display. The statues are unique for being surviving bronze statues and they were recovered from the sea:

  • “Italy’s ‘abandoned’ Riace Bronzes back on show in Calabria” BBC News: 
  • “World-famous Riace bronzes return to public eye” Gazzetta del Sud in English:
  • “Riace Bronzes back home in Reggio Calabria Museum” ANSAMed:
  • “I Bronzi de Riace tornano a Reggio Calabria, Bray: ‘Grandissima emozione'” La Repubblica TV:
  • “I bronzi di Riace tornano «a casa»” Great photos. Corriere della Sera

“Virtual archaeologist turns clock back to uncover secrets of ancient Rome” A new explanation for the alignment of the Ara Pacis and the Obselisk of Montecitorio. HeritageDaily: 

Chester parades for Christmas:

  • “Traditional Roman Saturnalia parade through the Chester streets” Chester Chronicle 
  • “Romans return to Chester for feast of Saturnalia” Chester First 

“Rare Roman brooch found in Shaldon” <Torquay Herald Express> 

Carlilse cinema’s hidden remains:

  • “Roman remains may lie beneath Carlisle’s former Lonsdale Cinema” BBC News: 
  • “Roman remains may lie beneath Carlisle’s Lonsdale cinema” Times & Star 

“Fifth-century church in Roman Forum to reopen to public” Wanted in Rome: 

“Turkish authorities seize gold statue of Hermes” Archaeological News Network: 

“This Roman epic is a Lego blockbuster” More lego buildings coming our way! This time, the Colosseum. Western Advocate 

“Show honors monsters that inspired Hollywood” Exhibition in Rome. The Daily Star Lebanon: 

“China’s Terracotta Army was inspired by ancient GREEK art, claims expert” The Daily Mail is becoming like the Ripleys… Daily Mail: 

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

Review: “Atlantis: Hunger Pangs” Pop Classics: 

“How did the Romans celebrate ‘Christmas’?” Io Saturnalia! History Extra: 

“In and around Bristol Roman Empire exhibition” The exhibition is really good and we would recommend a visit. Venue 

“Should ‘Troy’ Have Been A Musical? Finding Melodies In The Classics” With Armand D’Angour. NPR: 

“Teaching “The Odyssey” at San Quentin” Understanding The Odyssey in a jail. Salon: 

“Two Reviews – Ancient Greek History and Ancient Greek Religion MOOCs” MOOC News and Review: 

Book Review: “In defence of Herodotus” The Spectator 

Book Review: “The Gods of Olympus: A History, by Barbara Graziosi” Times Higher Education 

Book Review: “The Latin guide to winning friends and influencing people” Haaretz 

“Gladiator School: Where You Can Fight Like an Ancient Roman” Slate: 

“Tragedy and politics, new and old” by Laura Swift. APA: 

“Felix dies natalis Lucius Verus!” FOLLOWING HADRIAN blog: 

Further Reading

“Canadian Classical Bulletin” Issue 20.04. 

New edition of Journal EuGeStA, Journal on gender studies in Antiquity. 


Sunday 15Dec2013

A short summary this weekend as we were too busy last week to post… sorry!

Sunday 15Dec2013

Some news from Pompeii… As ever, a few steps forward and a few steps back:

“Pompeii and Herculaneum – more collapses and new hopes” Blogging Pompeii: 

“Policeman to run Pompeii and stop mafia profiting” The Scotsman 

“Roman road found under Utrecht” 

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

“Interview with Michael Scott” A detailed interview in which you can learn about the career and opinion of Michael Scott. YouTube (Jason Chua): 

“Flying visit to Formia” Mary Beard blogs about her short break and an out-of-way museum in Italy that yields some surprises. A Don’s Life: 

“How Aeneas invented Pizza” Wonders & Marvels blog: 

“Rehash of the Titans: Sequels to the Titanomachy on the American screen (part 1)” APA: 



Sunday 08Dec2013

Heritage is at stake, not only in Italy but in this country too. If last week my mind was filled with how to spread Classics to the communties, this week my newsfeed was filled with items about funding required to acquire a unique hoard of Roman coins by Bath’s Roman baths, funding required to preserve the Hadrian’s Wall brick by brick, the gain from a modern goldmine being greater than that of a disused Roman mine atop it… and so on. In the world where money in the currency, do we try to convince the authorities that cultural value is worth greater in the long term? Or do we seek to outbid them? Should the strategy be the same on our fair isle as in the land that bear the Roman name? I don’t know, but you tell us! Here are last week’s news.

Sunday 01Dec2013

“Golddiggers thwarted by Ancient Rome: Romania shelves… exploitation of a heritage mining site…” An ancient Roman gold mine with significance archaeological potential is threatened by the fact that there is even more gold underneath it. The development of this project must surely be one to watch. The Independent:

“Controversy over the use of Roman ingots to investigate dark matter and neutrinos” HeritageDaily:

“Italy’s biggest ancient Greek temple about to be submerged” It seems nature is slowly picking at the coastal protection for this large temple site. ANSA English:

A bizzarre reimagining of frescoes:

  • “Italian art exhibition modernizes Roman frescoes with naked models” New York Daily News:
  • “Ancient Roman frescoes get a modern artistic makeover” Daily Mail:

“Rufus Wainwright to compose opera about Roman emperor Hadrian” An exciting project that should come to fruition in 2018. The Guardian:

“The Coens’ Next May Be A Sword-And-Sandal Epic Set In Ancient Rome” It looks more like a rumour at the moment but who knows. Bleeding Cool:

“Colosseum restoration begins in Rome after 3-year delay” CBS News:

“Maze of ancient tunnels mapped to keep Rome from falling again” NBC News

“Vatican and Bodleian libraries launch online archive of ancient religious texts” The Guardian:

“6,500 pilgrims descend on Carlisle to see Roman helmet” On the Crosby Garrett; hopefully it could be displayed for the long term after its visit to the British Museum. in-cumbria:

On the Beau Street hoard, a truly remarkable collection of Roman coins:

  • “Roman Baths needs £10,000 to reach target to buy rare coin hoard” BBC News:
  • “Video: Beau Street hoard gets a speed clean before going on show in Bath” Bath Chronicle:

“Roman Baths will help UK welcome Chinese visitors” Bath Chronicle:

A Jupiter scupture has been donated to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Cambridge:

“Hadrian’s Wall facing funding crisis” “The Hadrian’s Wall Trust has said two years of “severe cuts” have put the long-term survival of the world heritage site in doubt.” BBC News:

Event: “Roman Medicine Day!” 4:15pm, 16Jan, EOxfordCCC. The Iris Project:

Classics for all invites applications for funding, closing date 21 February 2014.

“Report – Classics in Communities opening conference” Our report from the excellent conference. Classics Collective:

“Plebs wins British Comedy Award for best new comedy programme” Radio Times:

“Dying Gaul on view at The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Beginning Dec 12!” Roman Times:

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

“9 Incredible Feats of Roman Architecture” Venere Travel Blog

“Full Pompeii Trailer Erupts” The film, inspired by Titanic, is almsot here! <Empire>

Review: “Atlantis: The Price of Hope” by Juliette Harrisson. Pop Classics blog:

“Kagan credits ancient Greeks for liberal education” Yale Daily News:

“Lost writings of Latin literature” OUPblog:

“Gods and mythological creatures in The Iliad in Ancient art” OUPblog:

“The Power of Rhetoric, with Mike Edwards” Classics Confidential:

“Out Loud: The Roots of Our Tragedies” An excellenrt interview with Daniel Mendelsohn, in which he explores his (an no dount some of us Classicists’) way of seeing the world through Classical reference. The New Yorker:

“Rome accused of fiddling as Pompeii crumbles” A re-run of old news I think. Reuters:

“Extra Early Post Because I am Annoyed” On traditional, rote-learning pedagogy, by Edith Hall. The Edithorial:

“My failure at Stoic Week” by Liz Gloyn. Classically Inclined:

“Enoch Powell and the chatty barber” by Mary Beard. A Don’s Life:

“El útil latín” Carl Vossen y la defensa de nuestros orígenes lingüísticos. (“Useful Latin” Carl Vossen and the defence of the origin of our language.) Explores the linguistic links between European languages. Article in Spanish. La Nueva España:

“10 Latin Phrases People Pretend to Understand” A good article for students! <Mental Floss>

Attend: “Julius Caesar” from 20Jun2014. £ Shakespeare’s Globe:

Attend: “Coriolanus” by Shakespeare, Hiddleston, Hjort Sørensen and Gatiss. 06Dec-08Feb, Donmar Warehouse. £

Photos: “The Acropolis of Athens” <National Geographic España>:

Sol Day

Sol Day 01Dec2013 – Onward, Classicists Soldiers

Classicists love Classics, but we Classicists are also increasingly getting ourselves mobilise to spread the love of Classics. It’s not easy always to have the chance to love Classics and we Classicists frequently speak to other Classicists, so in our bubble we may not always be aware that some people have no idea what Classics is. In this weekend’s inaugural conference of the project Classics in Communities we can see a group of keen, enthusiastic Classicists keen to address this.

The conference was attended by over 100 delegates and saw a very packed schedule – so packed that it was impossible to fit tea provision in until 4pm! In the day delegates were treated to reports of inspiring projects and brilliant individual efforts devoted to spreading the word of Classics. We hope to bring a fuller report anon.

The Classics in Communities project is itself a manifestation of the efforts of at least three individuals.

Outreach has been very much a buzzword in university-level academia and across the land we see varying levels of community and school engagements. The Classics outreach effort at the University of Oxford, ably and keenly led by Mai Musié, have tried to bring Classics to a greater audience and that should be saluted.

The Iris Project is a group that supports the outreach effort of various university Classics department. The project is based in Oxford and it recently opened and began running East Oxford Community Classics Centre, taking over a room at Cheney School in East Oxford. The Centre, and the project as a whole, exposes Classics to students who may never have enjoyed experiences in learning about the languages or stories of antiquity. The energies and vision of Dr Lorna Robinson is most laudable.

Evelien Bracke is the initiator of the Latin in the Park project in Swansea. In a pleasant setting students are able to acquire and practise Latin under the guidance of instructors. It is difficult to imagine a project such as this being realised without the organisation and oversight of Evelien.

There are many more who shared their projects: Steve Hunt, Bob Lister, Francesca Richards, Elisabeta Caçao. Some have focused on the primary level of education (which is the theme of this conference) whilst other have really brought Classics out into the community.

How do we do more? Not only to young children but to those beyond the age of compulsory education too. We need to keep Classics in the spotlight and ignite people’s interest in the Classical world from young, or allow people to develop their interest in Classics in their adulthood. The truth is, we all do our little bit and perhaps, if we each have a bit more time, we would do a bit more. We should thank the organisers for organising the conference and, when we do get a chance to have a cup of tea or coffee, we should ask not only what Classics can do for us, but ask also what we can do for Classics.



Sunday 01Dec2013

Planning lessons on the Odyssey, amongst other things, have prevented a summary last week and tweeting mid-week; yet the Odyssey is so good that I still love it despite the work. Charlotte Higginsarticle merely increase my passion for Homer’s great work.

Sunday 01Dec2013

The inaugural Classics in Communities conference was a huge success. Read Emily Pillinger’s tweets from the Corpus Christi venue here, all on a Storify page: 

One session of the conference was on the North Norfolk Classics provision. Last weekend ITV had this piece: “How Latin is making something of a comeback in Norfolk schools” Anglia – ITV News: 

“Amo, amas, an app” On the iRevival of Latin in schools. Sunday Times (paywall) 

Sophie Hay, a British archaeologist based in Pompeii, spoke frankly about the state of the site. ‘Italy has no money for its heritage’ The Local: 

Nevile Gwynne and his grammar-centric pedagogy is explored in the article “Skype brings Latin to the small screen” Telegraph 

“A Pillar of Society: Trajan’s Column Celebrated by V&A” BLOUIN ARTINFO: 

“‘Rolo wrapper’ turns out to be Roman coin worth £30,000” Salisbury Journal: 

“Ancient Greeks help out with restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods” The use of an Archimedes screw. South Wales Evening Post: 

Stoic Week 2013 has just finished. Here is a selection of articles realted to Stoicism:

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

An excellent, excellent article, not only on The Odyssey, but also on Post-Traumatic Stress Diorder. “The Odyssey: a soldier’s road home” by Charlotte Higgins. The Guardian 

“A Point of View: The Trojan horse” Will Self considers the Trojan Horse as a parable of modern politics and life. BBC News: 

“Caveat Emptor: Lovers of Latin Try to Sell a Dead Tongue” A concerted group of Latinist is trying to get Latin recognised as the pan-European language, but their efforts are met with much resistance in Brussles and beyond. Wall Street Journal: 

“Why Rufus Wainwright is turning a Roman emperor into a COC opera” The Canadian singer is turning to Hadrian in his latest opus. Globe and Mail 

“The Uses and Benefits of Multilingualism” blogged by Peter Kruschwitz. Reading Latin – Latin Reading: 

“Classics & Poverty in the Furthest North” by Edith Hall. The Edithorial: 

“‘Atlantis’: BBC series combines Greek myths and bromance” On the filimg of Atlantis. The Times and Democrat 

Review: “Atlantis episode 9 review: Pandora’s Box” Den of Geek: 

Review: “Pop Classics: Atlantis: Pandora’s Box” by Juliette Harrisson. Pop Classics blog: