Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs

http://planet.atlantides.org/maia

Tom Elliott (tom.elliott@nyu.edu)

This feed aggregator is part of the Planet Atlantides constellation. Its current content is available in multiple webfeed formats, including Atom, RSS/RDF and RSS 1.0. The subscription list is also available in OPML and as a FOAF Roll. All content is assumed to be the intellectual property of the originators unless they indicate otherwise.

April 24, 2015

Ancient Art

Xalapa Museum, Veracruz, La Venta, Olmec. Photo taken by Octavio...



Xalapa Museum, Veracruz, La Venta, Olmec. Photo taken by Octavio Medellin in 1959.

Courtesy of SMU Central University Libraries, via Flickr.

Laura Gibbs (Bestiaria Latina Blog)

Latin Proverbs and Fables Round-Up: April 24

Here is a round-up of today's proverbs and fables - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. You can keep up with the latest posts by using the RSS feed, or you might prefer to subscribe by email.

HODIE (Roman Calendar): ante diem octavum Kalendas Maias.

MYTHS and LEGENDS: The art image for today's legend shows The Judgment of Paris; you can also see the legends for the current week listed together here.


TODAY'S MOTTOES and PROVERBS:

TINY MOTTOES: Today's tiny motto is: Cavendo (English: By being careful).

3-WORD PROVERBS: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Longae regum manus (English: Long are the hands of kings).

AUDIO PROVERBS: Today's audio Latin proverb is Morborum medicus omnium mors ultimus (English: The last doctor of every disease is death). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

PUBLILIUS SYRUS: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is: Stultum est queri de adversis, ubi culpa est tua (English: It's stupid to complain about difficulties when the fault is yours).

ERASMUS' ANIMALS: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Bestia bestiam novit (English: One beast knows another; from Adagia 4.7.57).

BREVISSIMA: The distich poster for today is Amicus ut Non Alius, Inimicus ut Non Idem. Click here for a full-sized view.


And here are today's proverbial LOLcats:



Numquam satis discitur.
There is never enough learning.

Omnia Fortunae committo.
I entrust all things to Luck.

TODAY'S FABLES:

MILLE FABULAE: The fable from the Mille Fabulae et Una widget is Apes, Fur, et Mellarius, a story about the bees' mistaken judgment.

FABULAE FACILES: The fable from the Fabulae Faciles widget is Struthiocamelus Perfidus, a story about a duplicitous ostrich (this fable has a vocabulary list).

Struthiocamelus Perfidus

Latin Fables Read by Justin Slocum Bailey. Here is today's audio fable: Leo et Tauri Duo, with links to the audio and to the blog post.

Leo et Tauri - Osius

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Maps of the Ottoman Empire

Maps of the Ottoman Empire
http://www.dlir.org/images/stories/dlir/AlbColorLogoBorder1.jpg
The W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR) in Jerusalem in cooperation with the Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL) at the University of Chicago scanned and geo-referenced a series of topographical maps of Eastern Turkey and the lands of the broader Ottoman Empire with a grant from the US Department of Education TICFIA program. The bulk of the collection contains topographical maps compiled at the British Intelligence Division War Office in 1915 derived from map and survey data collected during multiple expeditions 1839-1906. The collection contains high resolution copies of the original maps held by AIAR, and geo-referenced versions can be requested by contacting dlir@caorc.org.

Carte du Liban d'apres les reconaissances de la brigade topographique du Corps Expeditionnaire de Syrie en 1860-61

Description: Map of Lebanon from an expedition of Syria 1860-1861.
Publisher: Paris : France. Depot de la Guerre
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Karte des Ostjordanlandes : Blatt A1/2

Description: Map of the lands of Jordan (centered on modern day northern Israel). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: Leipzig : Deutschen Verein zur Erforschung Palaestinas
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 29 - Meskene

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Syria showing the Euprates River). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906. [Incomplete map with cut section].
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 25 - Mardin

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 32 - Mosul

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Iraq in Mosul area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 44 - Deir ez Zor

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day Syria in the Deir ez Zur area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 23 - Urfa

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 27 - Urmia Julamerk

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 33 - Rowanduz

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Iraq in Rawaduz area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 30 - Ras-Ul-Ain

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day Syria). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 31 - Sinjar

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day Syria). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 28 - Alexandretta

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Syria in Iskenderun area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 13 - Bayazid

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 43 - Ana

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (modern day Iraq and Syria along the Euphrates River). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 45 - Mendali

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (modern day Iraq and Iran). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 22 – Marash

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 29 - Meskene

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Syria showing the Euprates River). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 35 - Kirkuk

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day Iraq in Kirkuk area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Alep

Description: Map of Southern Turkey.
Publisher: Bureau Topographique de A.F.L.
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

Maps of the Ottoman Empire

Maps of the Ottoman Empire
The W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR) in Jerusalem in cooperation with the Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL) at the University of Chicago scanned and geo-referenced a series of topographical maps of Eastern Turkey and the lands of the broader Ottoman Empire with a grant from the US Department of Education TICFIA program. The bulk of the collection contains topographical maps compiled at the British Intelligence Division War Office in 1915 derived from map and survey data collected during multiple expeditions 1839-1906. The collection contains high resolution copies of the original maps held by AIAR, and geo-referenced versions can be requested by contacting dlir@caorc.org.

Carte du Liban d'apres les reconaissances de la brigade topographique du Corps Expeditionnaire de Syrie en 1860-61

Description: Map of Lebanon from an expedition of Syria 1860-1861.
Publisher: Paris : France. Depot de la Guerre
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Karte des Ostjordanlandes : Blatt A1/2

Description: Map of the lands of Jordan (centered on modern day northern Israel). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: Leipzig : Deutschen Verein zur Erforschung Palaestinas
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 29 - Meskene

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Syria showing the Euprates River). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906. [Incomplete map with cut section].
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 25 - Mardin

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 32 - Mosul

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Iraq in Mosul area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 44 - Deir ez Zor

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day Syria in the Deir ez Zur area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 23 - Urfa

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 27 - Urmia Julamerk

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 33 - Rowanduz

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Iraq in Rawaduz area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 30 - Ras-Ul-Ain

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day Syria). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)
 

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 31 - Sinjar

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day Syria). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 28 - Alexandretta

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Syria in Iskenderun area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 13 - Bayazid

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 43 - Ana

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (modern day Iraq and Syria along the Euphrates River). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 45 - Mendali

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (modern day Iraq and Iran). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 22 – Marash

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey. Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 29 - Meskene

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day northern Syria showing the Euprates River). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Eastern Turkey in Asia : Sheet 35 - Kirkuk

Description: Map of Eastern Turkey (centered on modern day Iraq in Kirkuk area). Compiled at the Intelligence Division War Office by Major F.R. Maunsell, R.A. derived from multiple expeditions 1839-1906.
Publisher: London : British War Office
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Alep

Description: Map of Southern Turkey.
Publisher: Bureau Topographique de A.F.L.
Contributor: W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)
 

 

American Board Periodical Collection

American Board Periodical Collection
The American Board periodical collection was incorporated into the ARIT Istanbul (ARIT-I) Library in January 2011, when ARIT received the library of the Western Turkey Mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), one of the chief Protestant missionary agencies in the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The core of this collection includes a number of rare serials issued locally by the Board and its affiliates, as well as other American organizations.
In 2012-3, ARIT digitized and uploaded to its digital library two of the most important English-language journals published in Turkey at the beginning of the twentieth century: The Levant Trade Review, issued by the American Chamber of Commerce for Turkey and the Levant from 1911 to 1931, and The Orient, produced by the ABCFM’s Istanbul office between 1910 and 1923. The project continued in 2013-4 with the addition of the American Board’s long-running news bulletin Dear Friends (1924-1990s) to the online collection. Financial support for this undertaking—to make these crucial historical sources available internationally on the worldwide web—has been provided by a grant from the United States Department of State.
The links below provide access to major periodicals housed in the ARIT Istanbul Library’s American Board collection. Other serials in the Board holdings, especially single-issue items, are included in the American Board Pamphlet Collection.
  1. “The Messenger for Children”
  2. Bulletin of the Near East Society
  3. Samokov News
  4. The Orient
  5. The Levant Trade Review
  6. Dear Friends
  7. Alma Mater

Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

From my diary

Oops.  I was just preparing the Italian text for the next chapter of Eutychius when I noticed that it was chapter 14; while my posts for the last five chunks were supposedly “chapter 12″.  They should, of course, have been headed “chapter 13″.  I have gone back and fixed the headings.

The mistake was easy, because the Italian translation does not contain running headings, so that, once in error, I had no reason to examine the chapter heading again.

I remember looking at British Library Additional manuscript 12150, which is a Syriac codex written in 411 AD.  This has running headings throughout, in the hand of the scribe.  It is a pity that the Franciscans of Cairo, who printed Eutychius, were unable to do the same.

I shall press on with Eutychius, although I feel rather ashamed of translating an Italian translation into English, and doing so badly since I don’t know Italian and rely on Google translate plus a smattering of knowledge acquired along the way.  But the result still makes Eutychius more available than it would be otherwise.  With luck someone qualified to do so will take the Arabic text and make a proper translation, and make it accessible online.

The next chunk of Eutychius looks rather theological to me.  It is concerned with something of the utmost importance to Eutychius and his fellow-Melkites, a minority in Egypt – the council of Chalcedon, at which the monophysites were condemned.  I hope that I can make sense of the text, even though I only have a sketchy idea of the theology.  If not, I hope that you will forgive me.

Today I heard from a correspondent, asking me about the online translations of John Chrysostom’s Against the Jews; or Discourses against Judaizing Christians, as the Catholic University of America Press somewhat presumptuously calls them in the Fathers of the Church vol. 68 translation by Harkins.  Of course I directed him to that volume.  I believe that a critical edition of the text is in progress, in Germany – the discoverer of most of sermon 2, Wendy Pradels, is involved – and when this is complete then a fresh translation will be called for.  Considering the importance of the text, one can only hope that efforts will be made to make that new translation available online.  There really is no purpose in publishing such things offline any more.

It’s been a while since I myself have commissioned any translations of ancient texts.  At the moment I am at home, waiting for another contract.  It would be unwise to agree any fresh outgoings until the money tap is turned on again.  Wish me luck!  Once someone agrees to employ me, then I will simultaneously have less time and more money.

It looks as if the general election in the UK is interfering with the UK contract market, just as it did in 2010.  I suppose, logically, that few corporations would commence an expensive project now, when they could wait a month and know what kind of regulatory environment they will face.  So they do not recruit, or sign contracts with small businesses.  So the delay is something of a test of patience.

In the meantime, I can do a few projects myself!

The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 13 (part 3)

Let’s carry on reading the “Annals” of Eutychius of Alexandria.  The translation that I am making from Italian is very rough, no doubt: but since nobody capable of doing so has ever made a translation of this work into English, it does at least give us some idea of what the work contains.

8. In the eighth year of the reign of Theodosius the Great, the young men who had fled away from the king Decius by hiding in the cave, in the city of Ephesus, reappeared (13).  In fact the shepherds, as time passed, had ended up removing, one after another, the bricks with which the entrance of the cave had been blocked, so much as to leave an opening like a door.  The youths believed that they had slept for only one night and said to their companion who was to buy them food: “Go, buy us something to eat and try to learn something of the king Decius”.  When he was at the entrance of the cave and saw that the building that had been there was demolished, he almost could not believe his eyes, but kept walking until he came to the gate of the city of Ephesus on top of which he saw erected a large cross, and, doubting himself, he said: “I am just dreaming”, and began to rub his eyes and look to the right and left to find something known to him, but he saw nothing and was disconcerted.  Then he said to himself: “Maybe I’ve gone the wrong way, or maybe this is not the city of Ephesus.”  He went into the city, took a dirham he had with him and handed it to the baker to get bread.  Seeing the man, so strangely dressed, panicked and terrified, with a coin on which was engraved the image of King Decius, the baker was confused and thought that he was dealing with someone who had found a (buried) treasure.  So he said: “Where did you get this money?”  But the young man did not answer.  The baker then called other people, who came forward and spoke with him, but he did not give any response.  Then they took him to the patrician, the governor of the city, named Antipater.  The patrician questioned him but the young man did not answer.  He threatened him, but he still did not open his mouth.  Then there went to him Mark, the bishop of the city, who spoke to him, but he did not answer.  Then he tried to frighten him by saying: “Talk to us, and tell us where you got this money, otherwise we will kill you.”  But the young man continued to stay silent for fear of the king Decius, because he thought that he was still alive.  Then they tortured him, and, forced by the great pain, he said to them: “Where is the king Decius?” They answered: “The king Decius is long dead! Many other kings reigned after him and the official religion is now Christianity and our king is Theodosius the Great.”  Having been thus reassured, the young man told them what had happened.  Those that were with him went to the cave, they saw his companions and found the copper box with inside it the lead sheet on which Thaddeus, patrician of the king Decius, had written their story and their misadventures with the king Decius.  Great was their wonder and they wrote to King Theodosius, informing him of the matter.  The king immediately set out, arrived in the city of Ephesus, saw them and talked with them.  But three days later, returning to the cave, he found them dead.  He then decided to leave them where they were and to give them burial in that cave, and he constructed a church in their name, and they began to celebrate a festival in their honour, every year, on the same day.  King Theodosius then returned to Constantinople.

From the time the youths had fled away from the king Decius into the cave and had slept, until the time when they were dead and reappeared, as we read in the history of their martyrdom, there had passed three hundred and seventy-two years.  In the thirteenth year of the reign of Theodosius the Great Sirnīqun was made patriarch of Rome (14).  He held the office for twelve years and died.  In the seventeenth year of his reign died Niqtāriyūs (15), the patriarch of Constantinople, after having held the office for sixteen years.  After him John Chrysostom was made patriarch of Constantinople (16).  He held the office for five years and six months, was sent into exile and died there.  In the sixth year of his reign Flavian was made patriarch of Antioch (17).  He held the office for six years and died.  In the twelfth year of his reign Porphyry was made patriarch of Antioch (18).  He held the office for ten years and died.  In the eighth year of his reign John was made patriarch of Jerusalem (19).  He held the office for sixteen years and died.  At the time of King Theodosius lived Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus.  King Theodosius had built the church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem in which was the tomb of Martmaryam (20).  It was destroyed afterwards by the Persians, when they invaded Jerusalem, along with the other churches in the city, and still lies in ruins today.

9. In the tenth year of the reign of King Theodosius died Sabur, king of the Persians, son of Sabur.  After him reigned Bahram (21), son of Sabur, king of the Persians, for eleven years.  The reign of Theodosius was a reign of tranquility and peace.  On the death of King Theodosius reigned his sons Arcadius and Honorius.  Arcadius (22) reigned over Rum in Constantinople for thirteen years, and his brother Honorius (23) over the city of Rome for eleven years.  This was in the seventh year of the reign of Bahram, son of Sabur, king of the Persians.  The king Arcadio sent for his preceptor Arsenius to kill him, because of his smoldering resentment against him.  But Arsenius heard of it and fled to Alexandria, embracing the monastic life in the monastery which is located in Wadi Habib, near Tarnūt, named al-Asqīt (24).  When later Arcadius had a son that he named Theodosius, he asked after his tutor Arsenius because he was concerned with the education of his son, and he was told that he had become a monk in the monastery of Scete.  The king then sent for him and assured him that he would never and in no way make an attempt on his life.  But Arsenius refused.  He was indeed so sweet and good to the messenger that the latter left him in peace and departed.  Fearing, however, that the king might try to take by force, Arsenius went to Upper Egypt and found a home on Mount al-Buqattam (25), at a village called Tura (26).  He stayed there for three years and he died.  Then the king Arcadius sent another messenger with the task of taking Arsenius by force, but when he came to the monastery of Scetis he was told that Arsenius was already dead on Mount al-Buqattam (27) The messenger returned from king and told him what he had heard.  The king then sent for a monk named Tarāsiyūs, and giving him a large sum of money said: “Go and build at the tomb of Arsenius a monastery that bears his name.”  Tarāsiyūs went to Egypt and erected over the grave of Arsenio a monastery on Mount al-Buqattam (28), which is still called “Dayr al-Qusayr” (29).

The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 13 (part 4)

Here’s the next chunk of the Annals of Eutychius, covering the period of Chrysostom.  The story of Chrysostom and his violent disagreement with Theophilus of Alexandria must always have been difficult for the Copts, who revered both. 

10. There lived in Egypt a bishop who had died leaving three children, who then all three became monks who were going to live in the monastery of Scete.  Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, took one and made him bishop of a certain city of Egypt, then appointed the other two as deacons and kept them with him as disciples.  In fact, they remained in the service of Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, but just three years afterwards, the two young men manifested a desire to return to Scete.  Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, was opposed to their request, but the two young men went away without his permission.  Then [the patriarch] forbade them to approach the Eucharist for the period of three years, and the two went to John Chrysostom asking him to write to Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, a letter requesting him to allow them to receive the Eucharist.  John Chrysostom sent them, accompanied with a letter from him, to Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, asking him to welcome them, but the patriarch was adamant.  The two then went back to John Chrysostom, and he allowed them to communicate.  Thus it was that the disagreements arose between Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, and John Chrysostom.

11. At the time of Arcadius, king of Rum, there lived a very wealthy man, named Thāwkatistus.  Because of some envy, with false witnesses, he was accused before the king, saying that he had renounced the Christian faith and insulted the king.  So the king sent him into exile and confiscated his goods.  The wife [of Thāwkatistus] owned a vineyard.  Happening to pass before the vineyard, and finding it so beautiful that she wanted it, Queen Eudoxia asked: “Whose is this vineyard?”  They told her that it belonged to the wife of the man whom the king had sent into exile.  The queen then said: “I wish it were mine and I could make my walks in it!”  Some ministers told her: “It is the custom that everything belongs to a king that is under his feet.”  On hearing these words the queen took possession of the vineyard.  The woman then had recourse to John Chrysostom, and John sent word to the queen to return the vineyard to the legitimate owner.  And because the queen refused to do so, he went personally to talk to her, but the queen did not deign to make any response.  He then appealed to the fear of God and said: “Take care that there doesn’t happen to you what happened to Yezabel, wife of Akhāb, king of Israel.”  The queen did not agree and ordered John to be driven from the building.  John went away saddened and gave orders to his deacons to close the door on the queen if she presented herself to enter the church.  They did as ordered and the queen retired in anger.

12. Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, was in Constantinople, to attend to some of his business with the King.  The queen summoned him and said to him: “John has turned against the truth and has meddled in affairs that do not concern him, and set himself as my accuser.  How can I remove him from the office he is occupying?”  “If things are as you say,” replied Epiphanius, “I will urge him to repent. If he repents, then it will be better for him, otherwise I will destroy him”. But the queen insisted: “If he is not destroyed, then I will open the temples of the idols and I’ll make people worship them.”  Then the queen commissioned some bishops and deacons to go to the king to testify before him against John, telling him that he was a transgressor of the law and that the population would not support him and hated him.  And since those bishops envied John, because of his great learning, they lent themselves to the queen’s game, and did just as she had taught them to do.  The king Arcadius then ordered that John be removed from office.  Then John Chrysostom wrote to Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, saying: “You, Epiphanius, you have helped to send me into exile and you have supported the conspiracy against me, saying things about me unbecoming to the position you occupy.  But know that you will not reach your city before you die.” Epiphanius answered him saying: “O John, I said only good things of you, and I have made every effort just to defend you, and with all diligence I tried to avert your doom, but all was in vain.  He who is present sees what the absent does not see.  But as you accuse me of things that I do not know and I did not say, know that you will not reach the place to which you have been exiled before you die.”  Epiphanius then set off for Cyprus, and he died on the ship when there was just half a day to go before arrival.  John Chrysostom, in his turn, died before reaching the place to which he had been confined.  At Constantinople there was then a terrible earthquake, violent thunder and lightning, lightning and rain.  The king said: “All this is because we have banished John Chrysostom”.  Therefore he gave orders to bring back the body to Constantinople and to bury it.  This was in the sixth year of the reign of Arcadius.  John was called Chrysostom, or “golden mouth”, because a woman who was mourning the dead exclaimed in the lamentations: “O John, O golden mouth”.  So he was called “golden mouth”.  After him another John was made patriarch of Constantinople (30).  He held the office for two years and died.  After him Eusebius was made patriarch of Constantinople.  He held the office for a year and died.  After him Iğnādiyūs was made patriarch of Constantinople.  He held the office for three years and died.  After him Atticus was made patriarch of Constantinople (31).  He held the seat for fifteen years and died.  This was in the twelfth year of the reign of Arcadius.  In the eighth year of his reign Anastasius was made patriarch of Rome (32).  He held the office for three years and died.  In the eleventh year of his reign Abrakītiyus was made patriarch of Rome (33).  He held the office for fifteen years and died.  In the eighth year of his reign Prailius was made patriarch of Jerusalem (34).  He held the office for twelve years and died.  In the fifth year of his reign Paulinus was made patriarch of Antioch (35).  He held the office for four years and died.  In the ninth year of his reign Aghrū was made patriarch of Antioch (36).  He held the see for five years and died.

The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 13 (part 5 and end)

Eutychius continues telling us about the reign of Arcadius, in the 5th century, from his perspective of 5 centuries later, followed by the story of the Nestorian dispute.

13. In the fourth year of his reign, i.e. the reign of Arcadius, king of Rum, there reigned over the Persians Yazdağard (37), son of Bahram, called “the sinner”, for twenty years.  Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, built a large church in Alexandria in the name of Arcadius, king of Rum (38).  Arcadius, king of Rum, died after reigning for thirteen years.  After him his son Theodosius, called Theodosius the Less (39), reigned over Rum for forty years.  This happened in the eleventh year of the reign of Yazdağard, son of Bahram, king of the Persians.  In the ninth year of the reign of Theodosius, Yazdağard, son of Bahram, invaded the empire and between the two there was a violent battle with many casualties on both sides, so that both withdrew.  In the thirteenth year of the reign of Theodosius Zosimus was made patriarch of Rome (40).  He held the office for only one year and died.  After him Yūnūmātiyūs was made patriarch of Rome (41).  He held the office for three years and died.  After him Celestine was made patriarch of Rome (42).  He held the office for ten years and died.

14. In his fifth year in office there was the third council, against Nestorius, in Ephesus (43).  In the first year of his reign, i.e. the reign of Theodosius the Less, Cyril of Alexandria (44) was made Patriarch.  He held the see for thirty years and died.  In his twenty-first year in office there was the third council, against Nestorius.  In the first year of the reign of Theodosius the Less Alexander was made patriarch of Antioch (45).  He held the office for four years and died.  After him Baradūtus was made patriarch of Antioch (46).  He held the office for six years and died.  After him John was made patriarch of Antioch (47).  He held the office for seventeen years died.  In his eleventh year in office there was the third council, against Nestorius.  In the seventh year of the reign of Theodosius the Less, Flavius was made patriarch of Jerusalem (48).  He held the office for thirty-eight years and died.  In his fourteenth year in office there was the third council, against Nestorius, and in his thirty-seventh year in office took place the fourth council, against Dioscorus, in the city of Chalcedon (49).

15. In the fourteenth year of the reign of Theodosius the Less, Sisinnius was made patriarch of Constantinople (50).  He held the office for three years and died.  After him Nestorius was made patriarch of Constantinople (51).  He held the office for four years and two months, and then was excommunicated and deposed.  Nestorius claimed that the Virgin Mary is not the true mother of God because this means that there would be two sons: the one, the God who is born of the Father, and the other, the man who was born of Mary.  He argued then that this man, who claimed to be the Christ, was joined with the Son in virtue of love, and he was called God and Son of God, not in the proper sense, but as a gift and associate of the two names, as well as a title of honor, like one of the prophets.  Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, came to know what Nestorius was saying, and wrote him a letter, in which he highlighted the scandal of his doctrine and the perversity of his conduct, urging him to return to the truth.  Many were the letters that he wrote, but Nestorius did not desist from his doctrine.  Then Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, wrote to John, Patriarch of Antioch, asking him to write to Nestorius, and show the monstrosity and absurdity of his doctrine, and why they were appealing to him to return to the truth.  John, Patriarch of Antioch, then wrote to Nestorius telling him that if he did not return to the truth, they would meet and they would have him excommunicated.  Many were the letters that he wrote, but Nestorius did not recede from his doctrine.  Instead he persisted in his error and his depraved belief blinded him.  Then John, Patriarch of Antioch, wrote to Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, informing him that Nestorius remained firm in his depraved belief.  Cyril wrote then to Celestine (52), patriarch of Rome, to Juvenal (53), Patriarch of Jerusalem, and to John, Patriarch of Antioch, asking them to come together in the city of Ephesus to examine the doctrine of Nestorius and to try to get him to recant.  Otherwise he would be abandoned to his fate, excommunicated and deposed.

16. Two hundred bishops gathered in the city of Ephesus (54).  There presided at that council Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, Celestine, patriarch of Rome and Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem.  John had promised them that he would be present, but since he was late in coming, Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, did not wait further.  He gathered the bishops who sent word to Nestorius, who was in Ephesus, that he should also be present.  But Nestorius refused to join them.  They sent for him three times and since he lingered, and finally decided not to show up, they examined his doctrine, and, judging it worthy of excommunication, voted him anathema and consigned him to exile.  They established thus that the Virgin is [true] Mother of God and that Christ is true God and [true] man, with two natures and one in regard to the person: quite different from love.  Nestorius was saying in fact that the unity is only a combination of the two persons and it was therefore necessary to assert that the true unity means that there can be only one person with two natures.  They had already excommunicated Nestorius when John, Patriarch of Antioch, arrived.  Seeing that they had already excommunicated Nestorius even before he was present, he was annoyed and said: “You have been unjust with him and have undeservedly excommunicated Nestorius.”  He sided then with Nestorius, gathered the bishops who were with him, and excommunicated Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria and Simon, bishop of Ephesus.  Faced with the hostile behavior of John, the companions of Cyril dissociated themselves from the others and left Ephesus.  The companions of Cyril and the Orientals formed thus two sides, and there were great struggles among them.  But King Theodosius intervened promptly and re-established peace between them.  The Orientals then drew up a paper in which they claimed that the holy virgin Mary gave birth [really] to our God and our Lord Jesus Christ, who is of the same nature with his Father, and of the same nature with men as to his humanity.  They also recognized the two natures, one hypostasis and one person, and excommunicated Nestorius.  They sent as bearer of the paper Paul, Metropolitan of Homs, to Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, who read and approved it, responding: “My faith is in line with that expressed by you and contained in your paper.”  In this way agreement was re-established between Cyril and the Orientals.  Some have said that when Cyril received the letter of the Orientals he did not find that it entirely conformed to the dictates of true faith in that he, personally, did not intend to assert “two natures and one hypostasis.”  But they are certainly wrong because all the writings of Cyril speak, in fact, in favor of this claim.  Cyril wrote a copy of the paper of the Orientals to Hilary, bishop of the city of Corinth, to Acacius, bishop of Malatiyah (55) and many other bishops in order to let them know that the Orientals had returned to the true faith, and that they did not at all share the doctrine of Nestorius, but that of the second council of the hundred and fifty bishops who had gathered in Constantinople to excommunicate Macedonius.  From that second council to this third council of two hundred bishops, who had gathered at Ephesus and had excommunicated Nestorius, there had passed fifty years.  This happened in the twenty-first year of the reign of Theodosius the Less, king of Rum.

American Philological Association

Tirones Webinar, May 4, 2015, 6:00 PM, Eastern Time

The National Committee for Latin and Greek (NCLG) presents a webinar as part of its Tirones Project, which is intended to support new (and not-so-new) Latin teachers.  It will offer end of the year reflections from two master teachers on the general topic of Evaluating this year, planning for the next: Things I wish I’d known in my first years of teaching.

Keely K. Lake grew up in South Dakota and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of S.D.  She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, and since 2002 has taught at the Wayland Academy in Wisconsin, where she teaches Latin, Greek, and the ancient world, while coaching volleyball and track. She is College Board Liaison to the A.P. Latin Committee, Secretary of the Vergilian Society, and a member of the Board of the Joint National Committee on Languages (JNCL).

Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

Sock Puppet Steve on the PAS


Over on John Winter's blog Sock Puppet Steve, apparently answering a criticism by an unnamed "foreign correspondent" of the "Bring the English Disease here Please" video  makes laboured and verbose excuses for the PAS:
i must point out something that the foreign correspondent always forgets – more finds are offered for recording by detectorists than the PAS can ever hope to actually record hence the changes to the management of the Scheme in recent years with limits to recording added to reduce the burden on the FLO’s. It is of course easy to level a charge that many finds are not reported to the PAS simply because it is a fact that many finders are turned away and so having no other mechanism with which to report finds cannot report them. 
So, basically throwing million of pounds at the problem, year after year, England (GDP somewhere around $ 2680 billion dollarshas not come up with a solution to the metal detecting problem, it is still erosive, and detectorists show no signs of slowing their private collecting down to levels the PAS can cope with. What hope then for the Republic of Ireland (GDP 227 billion dollars - one tenth of that of the UK) to run a Scheme equally or more effective if they liberalised artefact hunting?

The rest of Sock Puppet Steve's arguments are the same self-serving crap the metal detectorists trot out time after time, most of it finds no justification when you look into it:
- I would say it is Sock Puppet Steve (who has not even watched the video) who is guilty of not placing the mantras of metal detecting "in their broader context" of the preservation of the archaeological record,
- he pretends that metal detectorists do not search for "productive sites" at all but all find "random casual losses". That is not true. I suggest Sock Puppet takes a look at what artefact hunters do in the wider, global, context,
- the agrichemical and plough damage argument, but although detectorists have been trotting this out since the days of Denison and Dobinson (1995), is it not notable that not a single study has actually confirmed this model? All the "evidence" is anecdotal, and coming from the supporters of metal detecting. But we've been ploughing and fertilising fields for decades, yet the artefacts are still there, and many of them in online databases of all types (PAS, UKDF, eBay and on the forums) are still in pretty good nick - not at all what the alarmist models evoked to justify a hoiking-free-for-all would predict.
- and the scale of development, this begs the question about the real scale of actually usable information obtained by hobby metal detecting on sites subsequently developed whether or not they were subject to development control. Since this argument is being increasingly trotted out, time for the metal detectorists to back this up with a survey and statistics. I suspect that the actual amount of useful information from hoiking on these sites prior to development is not all that great (in how many cases have development control archaeological provisions been based solely on metal detecting data compared to the number when not?), but if they and their supporters want to use that argument, let the tekkies do the footwork and prove that suspicion wrong. See here for one telling case study, admittedly from the US.
 Come on Sock Puppet, put your money where your mouth is. Let's put what you said in its wider context, in the context of that "mainstream archaeology and portable antiquity issues in the UK" you accuse the "certain foreign correspondent" of missing.
 
Vignette: Sock Puppet.
 

Campaign For Metal Detecting Change in Irish Republic


A wholly tendentious film has just been released by a group called "Green Light For Change" that want to see Irish heritage protection legislation changed to see artefact hunting and collecting made legal. It seems to be led by Liam Nolan. Tellingly, the film concentrates on "The PAS in England" (scil. Norfolk) and involves a number of talking archaeological heads saying what a jolly good thing artefact hunting is and how super we have a PAS partnership with them. All well and good, but:
1) Why is the PAS in Bloomsbury not interviewed saying what a good thing pilfering archaeological sites for metallic collectables is? Would Roger Bland not go on camera to say that?

2) The PAS was not set up so UK laws could allow metal detecting, it is the symptom of bad laws which allow pilfering of sites for collectables - something the laws of all those "other countries without a PAS" attempt to protect sites from. These laws are broken by greedy collectors, just as England and Wales have their illegal artefact hunters - who do not generally contribute to the PAS (and if they do, report false information about where finds came from).

3) Tim Pestell should be aware that the PAS was NOT set up just to record artefact hunters' finds, but finds made by the public in general. I think we have a clue as to the identity of one of the archaeologists meantioned earlier.The narrator too gets confused calling the PAS a "government funded scheme that records metal detectorists' finds".

4) No mention is made in the film of the costs of the Scheme, including hidden ones (still less the cost of the fallout from the Treasure Act).

5) In Norfolk, the changes in our knowledge from metal detecting began well before the PAS. Work on Viking finds by Sue Margeson are a case in point.

6) Liam Nolan says he is "standing in a field that has a lot of Roman history"  - translated into plain English that means he's on an archaeological site and he's about to hoik out some artefacts using the crude methods of artefact hunters and collectors (he'll not find many ten thousand year old metal objects).

7) He says he's going to "responsibly extract them from the ground" presumably using the methods displayed by the PAS FLO at neighbouring Lenborough. Frankly, more responsible treatment of an archaeological site than hacking archaeological evidence out of context to be randomly scattered among the ephemeral personal collections of the "detecting buddies" would be leaving it there to be properly studied within that context. That's what is called conservation (it's like not shooting all the rhinos).

8) Nolan says artefacts are in the museum "as a result of the metal detectorists waiving their financial reward (sic) for finding the items out in the field". There is typical tekkie total rejection here of the issue of to whom all of those objects actually belong. The landowners have waived any payment - the finders are incidental.

9) Note that not a single of the hundreds of items shown displayed loose in the trays is shown with anything that looks like a label saying where they came from. They are treated as trophies and not evidence. How many of them are, in fact, in the PAS database, how many are in museums, and how many simply disappeared into scattered private collections. Take the ansate brooches for example, I did a post on them, but it seems the lessons are slow to be learnt. Metal detecting is primarily about the creation of private collections - a fact the film skips over.

10) It is not true that all the important metal detected finds from East Anglia are in the museums. The Icklingham, Bronzes for example are in a foreign private collection. Despite the claims of an excellent partnership with "responsible detectorists", Norfolk was also a place where illegally-excavated finds from Ireland ended up ('900 looted artefacts recovered in Norfolk' Monday, 20 May 2013, see also 'Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Criminal gangs Trafficking Stolen Antiques Between Ireland and Britain' Sunday, 14 July 2013).

11) The latter case illustrates all too well that many metal detectorists are not hunting for history, but things to sell. The Campaign to Bring the English Disease to Ireland forum  says members do not sell artefacts, but they can correct me if I am wrong, but was not one of ther members actually involved in the above-mentioned case?

12) The film equates "learning more about our past" with hoiking decontextualised stuff and putting some of it on the PAS database and some in museums. The PAS was originally set up to convince finders that this was not the case, and context is important for research. From this follows that the most effective way to learn new things about the past is not blind and selective hoiking but methodological investigations of archaeological sites, and you cannot do that if they've previously been ripped apart willy-nilly in the search for collectable and saleable artefacts.
 The Portable Antiquities Scheme was not set up to legitimise metal detecting, it was set up to attempt to mitigate its negative effects by introducing best practice. That has not been achieved as Mr Nolan's targeting of a Roman site to get collectable goodies out for his collection demonstrates. That is not 'best practice' by any measure. Also the degree to which detectorists are failing to report their finds is downplayed (and Norfolk is the exception rather than the rule). The PAS instead of sitting back and letting all their hard work to be used to argue for extending to other countries the destructive activities it was set up to combat  should speak out and protest. Have they the courage to do their colleagues in other countries that favour? 

I look forward to the response of the Irish archaeological community to this film - 'Red Light to Looting' which will compare the effects of the English disease on the sites which are mined for collectables - huge numbers of which are never reported to the PAS - to that of sites mined for collectables in Syria, Iraq or Egypt, Guatemala and the Four Corners area.

Here is the metal detectorist's campaign website. Note they want a phone app to tell them where archaeological sites are "to avoid breaking the law" and what is to prevent them being used by those who want to break the law?

Turkish Archaeological News

10 new Turkish sites on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

The rock-tombs of the Pontic Kings in Amasya

On the 13th of April this year nine cultural and one natural heritage sites from Turkey were inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. This way the total number of Turkish sites awaiting the inclusion onto the permanent list increased to 62. Currently, there are only 13 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List in Turkey, but Turkish authorities hope that this number will increase in the near future.

The recently inscribed sites are:

Archaeology Magazine

waugh

London industrial diseasesLONDON, ENGLAND—Culture 24 reports that Jelena Bekvalac of the Museum of London’s Centre for Human Bioarchaeology will examine skeletons in the museum’s collection to study the impact of industrialization on the human body. “The most tangible evidence we have for the long-term consequences of the industrialization process upon us is, quite simply, written in our bones. Using the very latest digital technology, we will examine the skeletal remains of over 1,000 adult men and women from industrial-era London in addition to a further 500 skeletons from the medieval metropolis,” Bekvalac said. The research, funded by a City of London Archaeological Trust grant from a bequest made by the late Rosemary Green, could provide clues to the conditions of obesity and cancer, often thought of as “man-made,” modern conditions. The project will also produce an extensive interactive digital resource that will be published online. For more on the study of remains from this period, see "Haunt of the Resurrection Men." 

waugh

Viking age antlersAARHUS, DENMARK—Antlers from Norwegian reindeer have been unearthed in Ribe, the oldest commercial center in Denmark. The antlers have been dated to A.D. 725, some 70 years before the Viking raid on the Lindisfarne monastery in northern England. “The Viking Age becomes a phenomenon in Western Europe because the Vikings learned to use maritime mobility to their advantage. They learned to master sailing to such an extent that they get to the coast of England where the locals don’t expect anything. They come quickly, plunder the unprepared victims, and leave again—a sort of hit and run,” Søren Sindbæk of Aarhus University told Science Nordic. The Norwegian reindeer antlers suggest that Norway’s earliest so-called Vikings developed their maritime skills through trade. “Now we can prove that shipping between Norway and the market town of Ribe was established prior to the Viking era, and trade networks helped to create the incentives and the knowledge of the sea, which made the Viking raids possible. It is the first time that we can clearly link two very important phenomena, the lock and key if you like, of the Viking Age,” he said. For more, see "The First Vikings."

Penn Museum Blog

Mackosi’kwe’s Baskets: Marking Relationships

by Margaret Bruchac
with Object Analysis by Elizabeth Peng (see below)

On August 1, 1938, before leaving the Maniwaki reserve in Quebec, Canada, anthropologist Frank G. Speck paid a visit to his old friends, Michel Buckshot and his wife Mackosi’kwe (also spelled Meshkosikwe, meaning “Beaver Meadow Woman”). Mackosi’kwe was skilled in scapulimancy, a technique for divining future prospects in hunting and travel by scorching the shoulder blades of Indigenous deer, caribou, beaver, and other animals in a fire, and then reading the cracks and marks.[1] In Speck’s case, perhaps because she was doing a reading for a non-Native person, she used a sheep scapula to predict a safe journey home.

The River Desert Algonquin Band at the Maniwaki Reserve was a small group of a few hundred First Nations people; most were of Algonkian ancestry, some had mixed Mohawk or French heritage.[2] In 1854, under the leadership of life chief Pakinawtik (also spelled Paganowatik, meaning “Lightning Hit Tree”), they had left the Mohawk community of Kanehsatake (Oka, Lake of Two Mountains, near Montreal) to settle permanently in their former summer hunting grounds at the confluence of the Gatineau, Eagle, and Desert Rivers. There, they practiced subsistence farming, hunting, and fishing, in addition to wage work and craftwork, calling themselves Tega’zi bi win in iwag (“farm river people”).[3]

Fig. 4. Mackosi’kwe (Mrs. Michel Buckshot,. Photo taken by Frank Speck. Mss. Ms. Coll. 126, Image 1-2-b. American Philsophical Society Digital Collections.

Fig. 4. Mackosi’kwe (Mrs. Michel Buckshot,. Photo taken by Frank Speck. Mss. Ms. Coll. 126, Image 1-2-b. American Philosophical Society Digital Collections.

Mackosi’kwe, born around 1862, was an artisan with diverse skills. She did trapping, tanning, and Indian doctoring (herbal medicine), and also made “curiosities” like puzzle pouches and decorated baskets for sale to tourists. She was also a keeper of oral traditions; in 1943, while Speck and his colleague Horace Beck were collecting data on Algonquin medicinal knowledge and folklore, she shared tales of the cannibal spirit Windigo and the trickster Wisekedjak.[4]

During a 1929 visit, Speck’s student, Frederick Johnson, commissioned Mackosi’kwe to carve a collection of potato die stamps (called padaki-wàpigon, “potato-flower”).[5] In order to show print proofs of the stamps, she also provided two peeled, trimmed, and stamped ash splints harvested from the inside annular rings of black ash (Fraxinus nigra).  Ironically, although provided to document the technique of basket-stamping, these objects are now trapped in a form that renders them unusable. If destined for a basket, dyes would have been freshly mixed and stamps freshly cut before use. Prepared ash splints would have been soaked and woven into basket form before stamping. But these potato stamps have been saturated with alcohol, and these pre-stamped splints have now hardened into a permanent coil.

A selection of trimmed and etched birchbark containers from River Desert collected by Frank Speck. Photograph is plate 30 from “Art Processes in Birchbark of the River Desert Algonquin, a Circumboreal Trait,” Smithsonian Institution Bureau of Ethnography Anthropological Papers 128, no. 17 (1941): 1-60.

A selection of trimmed and etched birchbark containers from River Desert collected by Frank Speck. Plate 30 from “Art Processes in Birchbark of the River Desert Algonquin, a Circumboreal Trait,” Smithsonian Institution Bureau of Ethnography Anthropological Papers 128, no. 17 (1941): 1-60.

The items in the River Desert collection have been described as “common” and “utilitarian,” but they are much more. The objects created by Mackosi’kwe and other Algonquin artisans express Indigenous technology, ecological adaptability, and local aesthetics, woven into every piece of raw material, every stitch, every mark. The birch trees that provided sweet sap for food and medicine also provided bark for containers and canoe coverings. Folded bark baskets were covered with a myriad of elaborately etched and trimmed designs. The ash trees that provided wood for canoe frames provided an abundance of splints for baskets. The potatoes were reshaped from a utilitarian food source into a tool that could transform plain baskets into marketable tourist objects. The dyes were made from local plants; among Algonquin artisans, the making of these dyes and mordants were closely kept secrets.[6] The marks made by stamping, etching, and trimming are more than just decoration; they constitute a richly expressive language that Frank Speck identified as a symbolic ecology, evoking local plant medicines, fauna, and rock-art pictographs, with meanings that escape those who only see flowers and leaves.[7]

Collectively, these objects also represent what was once a productive relationship between the River Desert Band and researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, woven together by partners who collaborated on the collection of data and materials over the course of several decades. The travel went in both directions. Speck and his students made multiple trips to Maniwaki, and, in 1942, Mackosi’kwe’s adopted grandson, Jean Paul Bras Coupe, spent the winter in Pennsylvania with Speck. Income from the sales of tourist objects and ethnographic collections kept the Buckshot family from starving in the midst of the Great Depression, at a time when their lands were under increasing pressures from sports hunters and fishermen, and the boundaries of their homelands were being constricted by Canadian authorities.

Perhaps to highlight the artistry of Algonquin people, Speck saw to it that ethnographic materials from River Desert were dispersed into multiple museums, including the National Museum of Canada, the Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of Denmark, and the Denver Art Museum. Yet, when the traveling and collecting stopped, each of these objects were frozen in time, locked in museum cabinets, far from their places of origin. Now, these objects offer opportunities to reconnect with the people who created them and the stories embedded in them. This research calls for a return to Maniwaki, now identified as the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg (“people of the garden river”), a place where people still speak about those anthropologists from Philadelphia who came to visit and walked away nearly a century ago.

•   •   •   •••   •   •   •••   •   •   •••   •   •   • 

Potato Stamps and Ash Splints, A Narrative of Process and Exchange

Object Analysis for Anthropology of Museums
by Elizabeth Peng

During the 1920s-1940s, Frank Speck made at least six field trips to the River Desert Band of Algonquins, alone and in company with research assistants and students like Frederick Johnson. Johnson was especially intent on collecting examples of traditional crafts. In 1929, he commissioned Mrs. Michel Buckshot to create a set of potato die stamps and ash splints, since she was the only person practicing this type of craft in the River Desert Band. The dies and splints were sold to the Penn Museum, where they are now curated as objects 29-10-79A and 29-10-79B in the collections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, as part of the Frederick Johnson collection.

Figure 2. Elizabeth Peng in the Penn Museum Study Lab, with jar of potato stamps and ash splints from River Desert. Photo by Margaret Bruchac.

Figure 2. Elizabeth Peng in the Penn Museum Collections Study Room, with a jar of potato stamps and ash splints from River Desert. Photo by Margaret Bruchac.

The stamps, preserved in alcohol inside a glass jar, consist of potatoes onto which various shapes have been carved, such as leaves and other organic shapes. Even today there are remnants of colored pigment on some of the stamp surfaces. Because the organic material would shrivel if exposed to the air for extended periods of time, they would have been made immediately preceding use. Johnson also collected illustrative stamped ash splints, which serve as print proofs of the dies used.

A variety of colors and shapes can be found on the stamped pictures. On one splint, red (now faded to pink), black (now faded to brown), and blue dyes were used to stamp shapes in the form of flowers, leaves, beavers, shells, hands, feet, and a mask-like face. On another, there are also birds and a round shape with spokes, much like a wheel. These ash splints are meant to be woven into basket form using what Speck described as “the simple under-and-over twill as they do the bark wares.” He concluded through comparative studies of baskets in the region that this type of splint work does not extend farther north than the uppermost boundaries of the Algonquin nations, although it is widespread elsewhere in Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and Algonkian territories.[8]

Figure 3: Coiled ash splints from River Desert, Quebec. Photo courtesy of the Penn Museum.

Figure 3: Coiled ash splints from River Desert, Quebec. Photo courtesy of the Penn Museum. Museum Object Number: 29-10-79B

The Johnson collection from River Desert includes 90 objects, representing: hunting equipment (woven nets, bows, arrows, birchbark moose call, etc.); craft tools (bone awls, needles, knives, etc.); and personal gear (snowshoes, war clubs, wooden spoons, pouches, containers, etc.). In her summary of this collection, Marilyn Norcini notes that the River Desert collection is exceptional for the: “fibrous and tactile nature to these vernacular objects from the northern words. What they may lack in color and elaborate design, they make up for in a feeling of everyday life expressed through the common, utilitarian objects.”[9] Yet they also express the relationships embodied in the material exchanges between the River Desert Band, Speck and Johnson, and the Penn Museum.

Footnotes:

[1] Speck, Frank G. 1939. “More Algonkian Scapulimancy from the North, and the Hunting Territory Question.” Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 4(1): 21-28.

[2] The cultural term Algonkian denotes a common cultural grouping for northeastern Native peoples including Anishinabe, Wabanaki, and Wampanoag, among others. Culturally and linguistically, they are distinct from Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) peoples. The historic term Algonquin is used here to distinguish a particular grouping of Algonkian Indian First Nations bands located in the eastern Ontario and western Quebec provinces, sometimes collectively called the Algonquin Nation.

[3] Speck, Frank G. 1927. “River Desert Indians of Quebec.” Indian Notes IV(3):240-252. Also see Speck 1929. “Boundaries and Hunting Groups of the River Desert Algonquin.” Indian Notes VI(2):97-120. Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation.

[4] Beck, Horace 1947. “Algonquin Folklore from Maniwaki.” The Journal of American Folklore 60(237):259-264.

[5] McGregor, Ernest 1987. Algonquin Lexicon (Algonquin-English). Maniwaki, Quebec: River Desert Education Authority.

[6] Clément, Daniel and Noeline Martin 1996. “Algonquin Legends and Customs from an Unpublished Manuscript by Juliette Gaultier de la Vérendrye,” pp. 123-154 in Daniel Clément, The Algonquins. Hull Quebec: The Canadian Museum of Civilization.

[7] Speck, Frank G. 1941. “Art Processes in Birchbark of the River Desert Algonquin, a Circumboreal Trait,” Smithsonian Institution Bureau of Ethnography Anthropological Papers 128(17):1-60.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Norcini, Marilyn 2008. “Frederick Johnson’s ‘River Desert Algonquin’ Materials at the University of Pennsylvania Museum: A Collection History,” Museum Anthropology 31(2):122-147.

Archaeology Magazine

waugh

mammoth genome sequencedONTARIO, CANADA—The nearly complete genome of two Siberian woolly mammoths has been sequenced by an international team of researchers. One of the mammoths lived in northeastern Siberia some 45,000 years ago. The other is thought to have been from one of the last mammoth populations, which lived on Russia’s Wrangel Island, and is only 4,300 years old. “With a complete genome and this kind of data, we can now begin to understand what made a mammoth a mammoth—when compared to an elephant—and some of the underlying causes of their extinction which is an exceptionally difficult and complex puzzle to solve,” Hendrik Poinar of McMaster University said in a press release. It has long been thought that human hunters contributed to the demise of the woolly mammoth, but the study suggests that multiple factors were at play over their long evolutionary history. The analysis showed that the animal populations suffered and recovered from a severe decline some 250,000 to 300,000 years ago. The final severe decline occurred in the last days of the Ice Age. “We found that the genome from one of the world’s last mammoths displayed low genetic variation and a signature consistent with inbreeding, likely due to the small number of mammoths that managed to survive on Wrangel Island during the last 5,000 years of the species’ existence,” said Love Dalén of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. To read about the discovery of a largely intact mammoth, see "Lyuba the Baby Mammoth."

waugh

India African elephantCHHATTISGARH, INDIA—A figurine resembling an African elephant has been unearthed at the Tarighat site in central India. “The elephant has large ears and spine bones visible on its back, identical to elephants found in Africa. Elephants of that physique can’t be found in Asia,” JR Bhagat, director of the excavation for the state archaeology department, told The Times of India. The 2,500-year-old site is known as an international trading center where Scythian and Greek coins have been found. Earlier excavations have also uncovered figurines of a giraffe-like animal. Ashok Tiwari, a former curator at the Museum of Man, Bhopal, thinks that the figurine could have been sculpted by a trader who had traveled to Africa. Archaeologist CL Raikwar added that similar pieces of “country art” are the result of artists’ imaginations. “Chhattisgarh might have had an affluent and glorious past but I am yet to find clearer links of Tarighat to the international market,” Bhagat concluded. For more about the archaeology of the region, see "Letter From Bangladesh."

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Hunt for ancient royal tomb in Mexico takes mercurial twist

TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico, April 24 (Reuters) - A Mexican archaeologist hunting for a royal tomb in a...

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Journal: PaleoAnthropology

[First posted in AWOL 30 January 2010. Updated 24 April 2015]

PaleoAnthropology
http://www.paleoanthro.org/static/paleoanthro_images/journalbanner.gif
PaleoAnthropology is published jointly by the Society and the University of Pennsylvania Museum. The journal is accessible free of charge to everyone, including non-members of the Paleoanthropology Society.
In addition to the publication of articles, book reviews, and the abstracts of the annual meetings of the Society, the journal accepts commentaries on articles, summaries of current work in the various fields of paleoanthropology. Articles are fully peer-reviewed and may contain large data files, numerous illustrations and links to visualizations; manuscripts based on dissertation work, up to entire dissertations, may be submitted as appropriate. As always, the journal depends on the contributions of scholars within the field, and the editors would like to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to think of our journal as an outlet for the presentation of your research.


James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Thanks, Bing

Laughter in Translation

This isn’t something I found online. I actually made the above myself. I saw Facebook offering to translate laughter, and just had to click to see what it offered as the translation.

What’s the deeper significance? Laughter is untranslatable? Laughter needs no translation? Bing is useless? All of the above?

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Opening up an archive of images to the world

Oxford University researchers are launching a new app that asks people to help identify old pictures...

Aid workers should read through archaeologists' notebooks on building houses

Aid workers who provide shelter following natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes,...

Farrago

A curiously formed compound verb in LSJ

LSJ has an entry for ὀλῐγο-τῑμάω: 'quote less than the true price, IG5(1).1421.14 (Cyparissia)'. There are no alterations in the Supp. or the Rev.Supp.

The inscription is dated 4th/3rd c. BCE. The line in question runs 'εἰ δέ τίς κα ὀ̣λιγοτιμάσηι̣, |' (note the West-Greek word-order of τίς before the modal particle: Buck, The Greek Dialects, sect. 179). The aorist subjunctive in question could be that of *ὀλιγοτιμάζω.

We may compare ἀτιμάζω, which is legitimately formed (cf. M.L. West on Hesiod, Works and Days 355), with ἀτιμάω, which is another curiousity (cf. too ἀτίω).

-ατιμάζω is attested with (Kretschmer, p. 603): ἀντ(ι)-, ἀπ(ο)-, ἐξ-, and συν-.
-τιμάω with (Kretschmer, p. 549): ἀνα-, ἀντι-, ἀπο-, δια-, ἐκ-, ἐκπρο-, ἐν-, ἐναπο-, ἐπι-, προσαπο-, προσεπι-, προ-, προσ-, συν-, συνεπι-, ὑπερ-, and ὑπο-;
-ατιμάω with (ibid.): ἀπ(ο)- and ἐξ-.

ὀλιγο- is the only adjectival stem that provides a first member.

βαρυτιμέω is only attested in the lexicographic tradition in the forms βαρυτιμῶ βαρυτιμῶν.
 


Inherited and secondary long alpha

The following neatly illustrate the difference between the inherited long vowel and the result of consonant simplification.

πεδὰ πάνσας σπουδς καὶ φιλοτιμίας Teos 7.7-8 (200 BCE) [cf. μετὰπάνσας σπουδς καὶ φιλοτιμίας Teos 51.5-6 (200 BCE)].

μετὰ παίσας εὐκοσμίας and μετὰ παίσας εὐνοίας IG XII Suppl. 139.75 and 97.

μετὰ πά̄σης σπουδς καὶ φιλοτιμίς IG II³ 1170.15-16 (208/7 ΒCE).

'Aeolic' sometimes also shows <αι> for original <ᾱ>, but this must be hypercorrect. See Hooker (1977: 31-34) for a discussion of forms such as Βορίαις (Alc. 38.13), ἐπέραισε (Alc. 38a.8), ἐπτόαισε (Sapph. 22.14).

'Aeolic' αἰμι- for ἡμι- (-θεος, -ονος is an unrelated phenomenon, but has epigraphic corroboration (gen.pl. of the adj. in lines 9 and 11). See Buck, section 17 and no. 25.

American Philological Association

Advanced Seminar in the Humanities 2015–2016

From November 23 to December 4, 2015 Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, in cooperation with Venice International University, will offer an advanced seminar on “Literature and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece, Rome and the Near East”.  The program is conceived as a two year commitment over two successive years (2015 and 2016). The first session (November 23 – December 4, 2015) will consist of lectures by scholars with a seminar approach on the origins and development of literary genres and literacy in Ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East. Some of the lectures will run simultaneously and will be devoted respectively to the interpretation of specific classical and near eastern texts, with more focus on textual analysis. Two or three evening lectures by special guests are also under consideration.  The lectures will alternate with a series of site visits, for example, to the Marciana Library, the Library of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, and the Basilica of San Marco.

Farrago

ἅρπυιαι

LSJ s.v. ends with '(A quasi-participial form.)', wording which otherwise only occurs s.v. ἄγυια.

Ἅρεπυίων was once read by Bergk at Thgn.715 in line with a vase from Aegina and the Etymologicum Magnum. Cf. the proposed restoration for Od.1.241, and 20.66 & 77 ἀνηρέψαντο for ἀνηρείψαντο (< ΑΝΕΡΕΦΣΑΝΤΟ). Pi.Pae.6.136 [νᾱ]ρέψατο along with some mss. of Hes.Th.900 and AR.1.214 provides crucial evidence.

The vase can be seen below (from A. Furtwangler Arch.Zeit. 40 (1882) 197-208 and Tafel 9).



LSJ does not have Arch.Zeit. in its abbreviations for the titles of periodicals. It is
Archäologische Zeitung, which was later renamed to Jahrbuch des Kaiserlich Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts (1886-1917) and Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts (1918-).

Katy Meyers (Bones Don't Lie)

Classic Story, A City Corpse Meets a Country Corpse

I’ve been indulging in a little HGTV this week as a way to recover from post-conference exhaustion. I know that shows like House Hunters aren’t real- they already have bought […]

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Demonized Water

demonized water

It sounds like the opposite of holy water. But it is presumably just a typo. Can you figure out what the student meant to write?

Via Reddit.

Per Lineam Valli

26. Does any of the Hadrian’s Wall Turf Wall survive?

For most of its length, the Turf Wall was levelled and the replacement narrow gauge stone curtain wall built directly on top of it, retaining the same ditch. However, between Milecastles 49 and 51 the new Stone Wall was built further north, and that means that the Turf Wall and its ditch survive as earthworks here, immediately north of the Vallum. This section was first excavated in 1895 and periodically re-examined.

There is one additional area where the Stone Wall deviates from the course of the Turf Wall and that is where Turret 54A collapsed into the Turf Wall ditch and its replacement was built just behind it; here the stone curtain wall was realigned to join the newer turret.

Further reading: Breeze 2006; Symonds and Mason 2009

Farrago

Reading silently as a mark of cultural refinement

From The Economist:

"Nicolas Mariot’s “Tous Unis dans la Tranchée?” analyses accounts by 42 “intellectuals”—writers, lawyers, teachers, even a violinist—who went to the front. Just 2% of French people passed the baccalauréat, the school-leaving exam, at that time; many of the poilus, literally the hairy or unshaven ones, spoke only rudimentary French.

Shared experience softened the horror. Guillaume Apollinaire writes warmly from the trenches of the “courageous workers”, and his “great joy” at sharing their pinard (red wine) and wit. Yet there was contempt for those who arrived in the trenches from the fields. One reports scornfully of “these mediocre people who surround us”; another of their irritating inability to read letters silently."

H.C. Youtie wrote (my re-paragraphing):
There are other perplexities equally frustrating. The scribes do not divide their texts into words and sentences, | nor do they generally make any attempt to conform to the orthodox spellings of the schools.

For the ancients, the continuous text and phonetic spellings were justified by their habit of reading aloud. When this was done by a skilled reader, the eye followed the ink marks, the voice converted them into sounds, and the mind interpreted the sounds as readily as it would ordinary speech.

The problems raised for a modern editor by customs so different from our own were thus much mitigated for an ancient reader, if not altogether eliminated.

For us the problems remain urgent because our habit is to read silently, and when we do read aloud, we use a pronunciation suitable to classical Attic and Ionic but quite divorced from the evolving itacistic emphasis of their post-classical offshot, the vulgar koine of Hellenistic and later times."
The Textual Criticism of Documentary Papyri (BICS Supplement No. 6). 1958: 4-5.

Silent reading in antiquity is a matter of extensive debate, of course.

Stephen Chrisomalis (Glossographia)

Where I’ve been (and will continue to be)

image

For those of you wondering where I’ve been, here’s the stack of grading I just received on Tuesday. It took me the better part of an hour just to get it sorted out the way I like it. Staples removed, paper clips removed, binder clips added, collated with all of the previous comments I’ve made on earlier drafts. I also have the students write up a list of edits that made just as bullet points. 29 papers, ranging in length from 21 to 77 pages. So classes are done, but this stack is probably a good 30 hours of work and these are papers I’ve already read once before. Coffee mug included for scale ( coffee included for sanity). I’ll be back in May.


Filed under: Academia, Anthropology

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Deciphering the demise of Neanderthals

Researchers from the University of Bologna, Italy, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary...

EAGLE News: Europeana Network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy

EAGLE 2016 International Conference: CfP and Registration open

EAGLE 2016 International Conference on Digital and Traditional Epigraphy in Context is the second in a series of international conferences planned by EAGLE BPN. The event will feature presentations and hands-on workshops regarding themes of the EAGLE project, led by the project’s Working Groups.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Submissions are invited for papers, panel and posters (with or without demonstrations) featuring high quality and previously unpublished research on the topics described in the call for participation, which is open until September 8th, 2015.

REGISTRATION

Participation in the conference is free of charge but place are limited. Please register here before January 24, 2016.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Conference Web-Page: www.eagle-network.eu/about/events/eagle2016/

The event will be held in English.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact:

Follow EAGLE on Facebook and Twitter!

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

LOST Rewatch: Everybody Loves Hugo

Hugo eats chickenThe story of Hugo Reyes in the afterlife is the starting point of the episode. His incredible success and philanthropy. Dr. Chang describes his life at an event connected with the dedication of a paleontology wing which he paid for. The title contrasts with the earlier episode title, “Everybody Hates Hugo.” At a restaurant where he is supposed to have a blind date, Libby comes up to him. She has wandered off from a group from the Santa Rosa Mental Hospital. She knows him. Later, Desmond finds Hugo in the Mr. Cluck restaurant and talks to him about it. Hugo then goes and makes a generous donation to the mental hospital in exchange for a chance to talk to Libby. She tells him that a few days ago she saw him on a TV commercial and it was like being hit over the head, and all these memories of a plane crash and an island came back to her. He does not remember, but he asks her out on a date. They go for a picnic on the beach. She kisses him and he remembers. Desmond watches from his car, then drives off.

In the present on the island, Hugo places a flower on Libby’s grave. He suggests that she come talk to him the way others have who died. He hears whispers and then Michael appears to him. He says that people listen to him now, and people are going to get killed if they try to blow up the plane. A little later, Ilana accidentally blows herself up with dynamite. Ben comments that the island was done with her, and that he wonders what will happen when it is done with them. Hugo detonates the Black Rock, saying he was protecting them. Talking to Miles, Hugo says that dead people are more reliable than alive people. Richard, Ben, and Miles go to find more explosives. Hugo persuades Jack, Sun, and Frank to go talk to Locke, claiming that Jacob spoke to him. But later he admits that he lied to get people to listen to him. Richard knows that Jacob didn’t tell him what to do, because he knows that Jacob simply doesn’t tell people what to do on principle. Hugo hears whispers and realizes what they are. He goes to talk to Michael. Others like him who can’t move on are stuck on the island, and that is what the whispers are.

Smokey is waiting because he believes that the only way they can get off the island is with the candidates together, the same way they returned to the island. Sayid returns and has Desmond tied up. Smokey takes Desmond to see something. On their way, they see Smokey as a young boy. They go to the well. Smokey says it is so old that the people who dug it had to do so by hand. He said the people were not looking for water, but for answers – the place made compass needles spin. He says that Charles Widmore is not interested in answers, he is only interested in power. Smokey asks Desmond why he isn’t afraid. Desmond asks him what the point is in being afraid. Smokey throws him down the well. When he gets back, Hugo and his group reach Smokey’s camp.

The episode ends in the afterlife with Desmond driving straight into John Locke’s wheelchair.

There is an important religious theme explored in this episode. On the one hand, we have the notion of a god who doesn’t tell people what to do, wanting them to figure it out for themselves. On the other hand, we find people appealing to what that god said, not always for evil purposes, but still claiming an authority that they have not been granted.

6x12-Everybody-loves-Hugo-lost-11482991-1280-720

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Elephant figurine unearthed from ancient Tarighat shows Chhattisgarh’s link to South Africa

RAIPUR: In its latest excavation, unearthing terracotta figurine of an elephant at 2500-year-old...

Another ship in the "Bay of Gdańsk Virtual Shipwreck Park"

3D model of the wreck of the first half of the nineteenth century cargo ship “Portowiec”...

Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

Young Autists Next Door

My house is near an LSS housing unit. Lagen om stöd och service till vissa funktionshindrade, “The Law of Support and Service for Certain Disabled People”, mainly caters to the needs of people with autism and the like. In 6½ years on Boat Hill, the young people living there have never caused us any trouble at all.

But I still cringe a little when I recall my phone conversation with the man who runs the municipality’s LSS housing units. I called him because I was curious about who the young folks living next door are, what diagnoses they have etc. I made it very clear that I was not afraid of them, I was not hostile to them and I had experienced no trouble with them whatsoever. I just wanted to learn about them, and I didn’t feel it appropriate to ask the kids themselves. “Oi, woss wrong with you then?”

This guy immediately went on the defensive and clearly assumed that I was trouble. He explained what the law does, but refused to say anything specific about what sort of disorders will get you an LSS apartment in my municipality. He retreated into surly monosyllables.

But our conversation ended well after I told him I like prog rock and recognised his name. He’s the bass player of one of Stockholm’s longest-active 70s prog bands.

Current Epigraphy

History and Greek Epigraphy in Turin

April 28th, 2015, Biblioteca Arturo Graf, via Po 17, Turin

Historical Studies, University of Turin

Il lato oscuro della democrazia ateniese

Progetto di ricerca: Dono, controdono e corruzionecomunità, istituzioni e gruppi sociali di fronte alle culture della reciprocità Seminari 2015

10,00 – 11,00 Daniela Marchiandi (Ricercatore, Università di Torino)

Tracce di malaffare nelle pieghe dell’amministrazione demotica dell’Attica classica

11,00 – 12,00 Claudia Zanaga (Dottoranda, Università di Torino)

L’istituzione arbitrale ateniese: varie sfumature di (il)legalità

Incontri di Epigrafia greca

14,30 – 15,30 Maria Letizia Lazzarini (già Professore Ordinario, Università La Sapienza di Roma)

La consultazione oracolare a Dodona da parte di individui occidentali

15,30 – 16,30 Roberta Fabiani (Università di Perugia)

Una nuova pietra da Iasos: phylai, phylarchoi e il culto di Zeus Patroos

16,30 – 17,30 Daniela Summa (Ricercatrice, Inscriptiones Graecae -Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlino e docente presso la Humboldt Universität)

La diaspora delle iscrizioni di Cipro

American School of Classical Studies in Athens: News

Symposium on Ottoman Athens Concluded

Λήξη των εργασιών του συμποσίου για την Οθωμανική Αθήνα

Andrew West (Babelstone)

Tangut Manuscript Miscellanea 1: Or.12380/226

When @idp_uk tweeted yesterday that digitised images of Tangut manuscript fragments Or.12380/187 through Or.12380/290, collected by Aurel Stein from the Tangut fortress city of Khara-Khoto during the summer of 1914, were now available on the International Dunhuang Project site, I dropped what I was doing to have a look. Quickly scanning through the newly uploaded images, two or three items

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

ANZAC Day

Today (in Australia and New Zealand, and tomorrow in the US and Europe) is the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) landing at Gallipoli in 1915 with the goal of capturing Constantinople from the Ottoman Empire. The Gallipoli campaign proved to be as bloody as any in the Great War with forces from Australia and New Zealand losing over 10,000 men. More than that, however, the troops from Australia and New Zealand brought to their respective homelands a sense of national pride as the “Knights of Gallipoli” won widespread admiration. British journalist Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett famously remarked:

“There has been no finer feat in this war than this sudden landing in the dark and storming the heights, and, above all, holding on while the reinforcements were landing. These raw colonial troops, in these desperate hours, proved worthy to fight side by side with the heroes of Mons, the Aisne, Ypres and Neuve Chapelle.”

Reports like this reached Australia and New Zealand by the end of April (here’s a editorial printed in the Sydney Morning Herald from April 30, 1915) and from 1916, April 25th was commemorated in Australia and New Zealand as ANZAC day.

ANZAC Day at Manly 1922ANZAC Day 1922, Manly, Queensland (via The Wikipedias)

Here’s a page about it from the Australian War Memorial and here’s a guide provided by the government of New Zealand.

The Gallipoli Campaign was significant for Turkey as well with Mustafa Kemal led the resistance to the allied landing. Kemal emerged from the War as Atatürk, the leader of the new Turkish nation. Recognizing the significance of the Gallipoli campaign for Turkish, Australians, and New Zealanders alike, he commemorated the soldiers who died there in a speech in 1934: 

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

My Australian wife and I usually listen to one of various versions of Eric Bogle’s insanely depressing “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” which must rank among the most powerful anti-war songs of the Vietnam Era. I prefer the Pogues version:

“The young people ask what are they marching for, and I ask myself the same question”


James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Honest Political Ad

Click here to view the embedded video.

This ad for Gil Fulbright for Senate is very funny and poignant. I’ve been having my students write about how to achieve utopian aims for the final papers in my First Year Seminar course. One student mentioned making politicians more honest, and I immediately thought that that was unrealistic. But the truth is, we could have consequences for dishonesty. What if there were a rule that a politician who is shown to have misrepresented things becomes ineligible for reelection?

We can change things. The question is whether we want to badly enough to pursue the courses of action necessary to achieve it.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Les papyrus de Genève 1-4 Online

 [First posted in AWOL 21 October 2013, updated 24 April 2015 (volume 4 now added)]

Digitized and served from the bibliothèque numérique RERO DOC
Bibliothèque de Genève

Les papyrus de Genève. Volume 1. : Textes documentaires.

Schubert, Paul Henri ; Jornot, Isabelle ; Wick, Claudia

2e éd.. Genève : Bibliothèque publique et universitaire, 2002

ISBN: 2882200218

Bibliothèque de Genève

Les papyrus de Genève. Volume 2. : Textes littéraires et documentaires.

Wehrli, Claude

Genève : Bibliothèque publique et universitaire, 1986

ISBN: 2882200005




Other Papyrological scholarship online at this repository:


Bibliothèque de Genève

Fragments de la Genizah du Caire à la Bibliothèque de Genève

Roth-Lochner, Barbara

In: The Cairo Geniza collection in Geneva : catalogue and studies, 2010, p. -



Bibliothèque de Genève

Les papyrus de la Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Genève

Schubert, Paul

In: Voyages en Égypte de l'Antiquité au début du 20e s., 2003, p. 244-258

Bibliothèque de Genève

Un voyage en Égypte (1896-1897), Extrait des souvenirs d’Albert Nicole

Roth-Lochner, Barbara

In: Voyages en Égypte de l'Antiquité au début du 20e s., 2003, p. 244-258



























Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Art Glass in realtà aumentata per la visita di Piazza dei Miracoli a Pisa

A partire dal 24 Aprile, grazie ad un nuovo progetto promosso dal Comune di Pisa, è possibile visitare Piazza dei Miracoli in modalità immersiva, con un mix di video- storytelling e animazioni tridimensionali attraverso videoguide indossabili di ultima generazione, in 3D - gli ArtGlass - per scoprire una nuova dimensione dell’arte.

Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents

Richard Grasby - Master Letter Carver

Following the sad news of Richard Grasby's death, CSAD would like to share a short video taken in 2011 of Richard demonstrating the art of letter cutting. A commentator on the original video referred to Richard as a 'Master Letter Carver', and spoke of the wonderful art he demonstrated, calling it 'the science of remembering'. This is how we remember Richard, sharing his knowledge and love of letter cutting with charm and wit.

To play the video click here.

Richard Grasby.jpg




Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

DABIR

ARASH ZEINI: A preview of the first issue of DABIR. A new open-access peer-reviewed journal of brief notes and reviews pertaining to pre-modern Iran.

Wright on evil spirits

BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:
The Origin of Evil Spirits in Early Jewish Literature

The pseudepigraphal book of 1 Enoch, in particular the Book of Watchers, chapters 1–36, played a key role in the developing demonology in Early Judaism and eventually the NT. 1 Enoch is described as a Midrash of Genesis 6.1-4 in which the Sons of God have sexual relations with the daughters of humanity and giant offspring are born to them. As a result of the union, the author of 1 Enoch presents an origin of evil spirits which will be taken up with the ensuing literature of the 2TP[Second Temple period] and result in a full-blown demonology by the 1st c. C.E.

See Also: The Origin of Evil Spirits (Fortress Press; Revised edition, 2015).

By Archie T. Wright
Regent University
April, 2015

Antiquity Now

Happy Arbor Day! Trees Glorious Trees

Trees have always been awe-inspiring, even to our earliest ancestors. Trees can hold a poetic beauty as they sway in the breeze, musical tones fluttering from their leaves, colors riotously changing with the season. They are hallmarks of our holidays. … Continue reading

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Dig episode 8

KIMBERLY WINSTON: Sifting through religious debris in ‘Dig,’ what’s fact and what’s fiction? The site of Qumran made an appearance in this episode. But if there were ever Essenes living there, I don't think there are any now - gun-toting or otherwise.

Background here and links.

Conference on Digital Approaches to Hebrew Manuscripts

H-JUDAIC: Conf: On the Same Page: Digital Approaches to Hebrew Manuscripts.
We are delighted to announce the programme for On the Same Page: Digital Approaches to Hebrew Manuscripts at King's College London. This two-day conference will explore the potential for the computer-assisted study of Hebrew manuscripts; discuss the intersection of Jewish Studies and Digital Humanities; and share methodologies. Amongst the topics covered will be Hebrew palaeography and codicology, the encoding and transcription of Hebrew texts, the practical and theoretical consequences of the use of digital surrogates and the visualisation of manuscript evidence and data. For the full programme and our Call for Posters, please see below.
It begins on 18 May and is free, so register before they run out of spaces. They are also still accepting proposals for posters until 30 April.

Hebrew

ELI KAVON: Lost in translation: Why Hebrew matters (Jerusalem Post Blog). The writer starts with Philo, the Septuagint, and the Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria, then explains why he thinks things have changed and translations no longer suffice.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2015.04.43: Imperien und Reiche in der Weltgeschichte: epochenübergreifende und globalhistorische Vergleiche (2 vols.)

Review of Michael Gehler, Robert Rollinger, Imperien und Reiche in der Weltgeschichte: epochenübergreifende und globalhistorische Vergleiche (2 vols.). Wiesbaden: 2014. Pp. ix, 1762. €198.00. ISBN 9783447065672.

2015.04.42: Anfore greco-italiche neapolitane (IV-III secolo a.C). Fecit te, 6

Review of Lydia Pugliese, Anfore greco-italiche neapolitane (IV-III secolo a.C). Fecit te, 6. Roma: 2014. Pp. 243. €38.00 (pb). ISBN 9788866870685.

2015.04.41: Bibliographia classica orae septentrionalis Ponti Euxini. Vol. 1: Epigraphica, numismatica, onomastica et prosopograhica. Pontica et Mediterranea, 2

Review of Victor Cojocaru, Bibliographia classica orae septentrionalis Ponti Euxini. Vol. 1: Epigraphica, numismatica, onomastica et prosopograhica. Pontica et Mediterranea, 2. Cluj-Napoca: 2014. Pp. 560, 1 CD ROM. 150 lei. ISBN 9786065434752.

Société Internationale des Amis de Cicéron (Tulliana News)

SIAC Newsletter 81 (9/2015)

I. ACTIVITES DES MEMBRES / ATTIVITÀ DEI MEMBRI / MEMBERS’ ACTIVITIES

Les noms des membres de la SIAC sont en gras. – I nomi dei membri della SIAC sono in grassetto. – Names of SIAC members are written with bold characters.

1 – PUBLICATIONS / PUBBLICAZIONI / PUBLICATIONS

García-Hernández, Benjamín, Cusculium (Plin. XVI 32), coscus (Chiron 237) y coccolubis (Colum. III 2.19), sustrato mediterráneo y formas latinas, “Emerita”, 82, 2, 2014, 273-289. LINK

Rocca, Silvana (a cura di), Latina Didaxis XXIX. La traduzione come competenza disciplinare: il ruolo del latino. Atti del Convegno, 10-11 aprile 2014, Milano, Ledizioni, 2014. Rosanna Marino, La traduzione come competenza per un ‘sapere utile’. Il latino e il diritto: tradurre Cicerone tra concussione e leggi “ad personam”. LINK

2 – A VENIR & INFORMATIONS / PROSSIME INIZIATIVE & INFORMAZIONI / FORTHCOMING & INFORMATION

– Tavola rotonda Il Liceo classico: opportunità e prospettive, Varese, 28 aprile 2015. Interventi di C. Merletti, A. Balbo, C. Boracchi, M. Graglia, A. Scotto Di Luzio, S. Consolo. LINK

– Seminario di Filologia e Letteratura Classica a Bologna (FLCB), Bologna, 5 maggio 2015. Marcos Martinho (Saõ Paulo), Temi dell’epistolografia oraziana. LINK

– Giornate di studio Il Latino a Bisanzio / Latin in Byzantium ca. 400-800 AD, Roma, 6-7 maggio 2015. Alessandro Garcea (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), La lingua latina a Bisanzio: per uno status quaestionis. LINK

– XXXV Certamen Ciceronianum Arpinas, VII Simposio Ciceroniano Cicerone nella cultura antica, Arpino, 8 maggio 2015. Paolo De Paolis (Università di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale), Introduzione; Maria Luisa Delvigo (Università di Udine), Questioni di affari. Modalità epistolari in Cicerone e Seneca; Fabio Gasti (Università di Pavia), Aspetti della presenza di Cicerone in età tardoantica; Caterina Mordeglia (Università di Trento), I Sinonimi di Cicerone. Storia di una falsa attribuzione. LINK

A Workshop on Cleanthes, Vienna, 29 May 2015. Jula Wildberger (American University of Paris), Cleanthes’ Poetry and Poetics. LINK

II. CICERONIANA

1 – PUBLICATIONS / PUBBLICAZIONI / PUBLICATIONS

– Grillo, Luca (ed.), Cicero, De Provinciis Consularibus, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015. LINK

– Hanchey, Daniel P., Conflicting Models of Exchange in Cicero’s Brutus, “Latomus”, 74, 1, 2015, 112-129. LIEN

– Keeline, Tom, rev. of Lynn S. Fotheringham, Persuasive Language in Cicero’s ‘Pro Milone': A Close Reading and Commentary, London, Institute for Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 2013, “Bryn Mawr Classical Review”, 2015.02.21. LINK

– Klinger-Dollé Laure, compte rendu de A.-H. Hermand-Schebat, Pétrarque épistolier et Cicéron. Étude d’une filiation, “Anabases”, 20, 2014. LINK

– Lapini, Walter, Cicerone, Tusculane, V, 94 e il fr. 62 Us. di Epicuro, “Eirene”, 50, 2014, 114-129. LINK.

2 – A VENIR & INFORMATIONS / PROSSIME INIZIATIVE & INFORMAZIONI / FORTHCOMING & INFORMATION

– KYKNOS. Swansea and Lampeter Centre for Research on the Narrative Literatures of the Ancient World, Research Seminar, 24 April 2015, Swansea University. Lynne Fotheringham (University of Nottingham), The Lives of Cicero: aspects of 19th-century biography. LINK

– International conference Afterlife of Cicero, London, 7-8 May 2015. Catherine Keen (University College London), A Florentine Tullio: Dual authorship and the politics of translation in Brunetto Latini’s Rettorica; Laura Refe (University of Venice), The Afterlife of Cicero on Petrarch: the Petrarchan Marginalia to the ms. 552-2 of the Médiathèque du Grand Troyes; Carole Mabboux (Savoie University), Cicero as a Communal Civic Model (Italian Cities of the 13th and 14th Centuries; Virginia Cox (New York University), Cicero at Court: Martino Filetico’s Iocundissimae Disputationes; Luke Houghton (University of Reading), Visibile parlare? Picturing Cicero in the Italian Renaissance; Nina Dubin (CASVA, Washington), Cicero, Moitte, Janinet: The Catiline Conspiracy and the ‘Papered Century’; Martin McLaughlin (University of Oxford), “Renascens ad superos Cicero”: Ciceronianism and anti-Ciceronianism in the Italian Renaissance; David Marsh (Rutgers University), Cicero’s Caesarian Orations in Early Modern Europe; Matthew Fox (University of Glasgow), “Dignissima sunt ista, quae ab omnibus Ciceronis obtrectatoribus legantur”: Cicero controversy in the late 18th Century; Katherine East (Royal Holloway London), How to Read Ciceronian Scepticism: Strategic Scholarship in the Religious Discourse of Early Enlightenment England; Andrew Laird (University of Warwick), Orator, sage and patriot: Cicero in colonial Spanish America and Brazil; Lynn Fotheringham (University of Nottingham), The Lives of Cicero: Aspects of 19th-century Biography. LINK

– International Conference Classical Association of Canada/Société canadienne des Études classiques 2015, Toronto, 20-21 May 2015. Melanie Racette-Campbell, Cicero’s Post Exile. Recovery of Masculinity. LINK

– International conference Singles and the Single Life in the Roman and Later Roman Worlds, Rome, May 28-30, 2015. Harri Kiiskinen, Living “Single” by Catullus and Cicero. LINK

Miriam Griffin Colloquium, 30th May 2015, Oxford. Malcolm Schofield (Cambridge), Cicero on acquiring political clout.

[Last updated on April 24, 2015.]


Filed under: Newsletter

Blogging Pompeii

A comparison from the Jashemski Archive with pompeiiinpictures

I.13.11 Lararium in 2004, 1968 and 1959


This might be our last post for a while. We leave Australia in a few days time and arrive back in the UK on the 6th May. Our computers and reference books will be on ship and in store until we find a house in the UK, somewhere in East Anglia is the plan.
We will still answer pompeiiinpictures emails using our laptop but it may be slower depending on hotel WiFi, and whether we can get access wherever we are at the time.
When we are sorted we hope to see some of you in Pompeii soon.

In the meantime enjoy these three very different looking photos of I.13.11.

Jackie and Bob


I.13.11 Pompeii. December 2004. Lararium niche on west side of garden.
Photo Jackie and Bob Dunn www.pompeiiinpictures.com
I.13.11 Pompeii. 1968. Lararium niche on west side of the garden area.
In the background right, is the lararium niche on the west wall of the atrium of I.13.12.
Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski. J68f1997 *
I.13.11 Pompeii. 1959. Lararium and niche on west wall.
This photo was taken just a few years after excavation.
Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski. J59f0514 *

* Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

Click on the pictures to view in higher resolution.

See the more of the house on pompeiiinpictures at I.13.11 on pompeiiinpictures.com


Paul Barford (Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues)

US Dealer, No Debate


Debate in a number of forums
US coin dealer Dave Welsh is adamant (April 19, 2015):
I don't consider blog posts as being contributions to "the heritage debate." There is no such debate, except perhaps in Mr. Barford's mind, where many other uniquities reside
Mr Welsh apparently regards the heritage as something which is not discussed, and merely there for the US dealer to dictate to the rest of the world what he and he alone is going to do with it. This is quite a common attitude amongst US collectors and dealers ( DOS-2015-0010) who seem unrepentant neo-colonialists to a man.

Nevertheless, the heritage belongs to us all, and whatever wannabe-imperialist American shopkeepers and coin fondlers think, policies on heritage in many countries is a matter for wide public consultation and debate. There is in many civilised countries a lively and informed debate on what the heritage "is" and on many aspects of preservation, and indeed on the commerce in cultural property. Perhaps Temecula, California lags behind the rest of the world in that regard. That does not mean that the debate is not going on in other places, including blogs such as PACHI, Looting matters, Heritage Journal, Conflict AntiquitiesSaving Antiquities for EveryoneThe Punching Bag, Ancient Heritage, Chasing Aphrodite, Cultural Heritage LawyerIt Surfaced Down Under!, Museum Security NetworkTrafficking Culture, Anonymous Swiss CollectorARCAblog, Institute of Art and Law Blog, Plundered Art, etc.

The general public and lawmakers can see the points being made on the side of preservation and can see the poor response from the commercial side. It is all in the public domain and all a matter of public record. I think the tide of wider public opinion is turning against the current no-accountability (no-questions asked) means of trading in dugup antiquities.


PAS REALLY Doing a Bad Job Bringing Archaeology to the Public?


How can the UK public
meaningfully engage in
heritage protection when
they are kept under-
informed?
Metal detectorist "Janner 53" ( April 17, 2015 at 12:08 am ) admits here too: (in full sky-is-falling' mode:
Myself and I expect thousands of other detectorists never knew this so called ‘Valletta Convention’ existed
The 1992 'European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Revised)' - being a revision of the 1969 London 'European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage'. Britain's refusal in the 1990s to adopt legislation enacting Art. 3 was the reason for the setting up of the PAS and UK detectorists have "never heard of it". That does not say much for their "interest in history", or anything else. Like a load of kids, they need everything on a plate.

While on the topic, which of Articles 1-2 and 4-12 do these people with their "passionate interest in the past" disagree with in addition to that threatening-looking Article 3? What is the problem with Article 3 if what metal detectorists are doing is being presented by them as a form of "protection of the archaeological heritage"? Could it be that detectorists doubt their own myth? If the PAS was issuing the authorisations and dealing with processing the information that results, in what way do metal detectorists feel that it is problematic? It would be the detectorists' own "partner organization" deciding who is a person "qualified" or not, why would that create problems for responsible detectorists already working effectively with the Scheme for many years?

Maybe the PAS could do something about educating their 'partners' so they do not continue to compromise them by their public shows of ignorance about fundamental issues. 


Dealer: "We Takes the Stuff we Wants"


It is always worth glancing at Heritage Actions HJ "Snippets". Short, snappy, to the point, not requiring much reading and always making a good point in the heritage debate. The latest talks of the neo-colonialist attitudes of a certain area of the antiquities trade:

Wow! US coin dealer reveals scary attitude!
An American coin dealer has just said something remarkable… “this observer sees great merit in recasting US heritage enforcement policy to refuse import restriction requests from states that do not make a very serious effort to enforce heritage protection laws within their borders.”  Anyone who isn’t one of his customers will have little difficulty in seeing that he’s saying …. if things aren’t protected in a country let me and my colleagues buy that unprotected stuff without having to establish if it’s stolen”. Charming! And bear in mind, Britain is one of those countries that do not make a very serious effort to enforce heritage protection laws (how can it be otherwise when portable antiquities policies are only voluntary and most detectorists don’t co-operate?) so what he’s saying is that he “sees great merit” in him importing British detecting finds on a no-questions-asked basis!  Well there’s a surprise! Not.
UPDATE 21st April 2015
Wow again! The same coin dealer has just announced to the world that he stands alongside the scuddy yob we first heard say, exactly ten years ago at a near-Avebury rally: “It’s legal innit!” Here’s his version: “Illegal – in this blog – means “in violation of the laws of the United States.” So if you think it’s probably just been stolen abroad but it can’t actually be proved to be so in the States, it’s definitely fine to trade in. Moral pigmyism innit?

Repatriation of ‘Operation Mummy’s Curse’ (sic) Artefacts


“Operation Mummy’s Curse” is said by the press release to be "an ongoing five-year investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) targeting an international criminal network that illegally smuggled and imported more than 7,000 cultural items from around the world" (note the "ongoing" - I wonder if it really is). Anyway, some of the illicit artefacts seized from dealers and collectors are going back:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) repatriated dozens of illegally smuggled ancient artifacts to the government of Egypt, including a Greco-Roman style Egyptian sarcophagus, at a ceremony Wednesday at the National Geographic Society in Washington. [...] “Preserving mankind’s cultural heritage is an increasingly difficult challenge in today’s society. To think that some of these treasured artifacts were recovered from garages, exposed to the elements, is unimaginable,” said ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña. “It is an honor for ICE to investigate these kinds of cases and to assist other countries in preserving their heritage.”
But US dealers and collectors, the people who contribute to the difficulties of preserving the heritage by their business methods, don't see it like that. Going back were a sarcophagus ("recovered from a garage in Brooklyn, New York" on Sept. 8, 2009), some smuggled goods seized in Sept 2010 at  Detroit Metropolitan Airport (a funerary boat model and figurines etc). Coins were also involved, in December 2010 a shipment of 638 ancient coins was stopped, "65 of which are being repatriated to Egypt today". Other antiquities returned include two Middle Kingdom wooden boat models and a series of finely carved limestone reliefs from an Egyptian temple.
“[...] The ongoing investigation has identified a criminal network of smugglers, importers, money launderers, restorers and purchasers who used illegal methods to avoid detection as these items entered the United States. Items and funds were traced back to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Iraq and other nations.[...] To date, Operation Mummy’s Curse has secured four indictments, two convictions, 19 search warrants and 16 seizures totaling approximately $3 million. The agency is also seeking an international fugitive involved in the case.
Now, those 638 coins that were destined for sale, do you reckon they'd have gone on the dealers' website with the description "just arrived from the source countries", or would they have been put up for sale without any information whatsoever about where they come from, or would they be marketed as "from a New York collection" ("New York collection put together in the 1960s and 1970s")? Which do you reckon is the most likely judging from the way coins are marketed today? In other words, shipments like this (the seized ones being, we may SAFEly assume are just the tip of the ICEberg) call into question the collective honesty of the dugup coin industry. Both the dealers indicted in Operation Mummy Curse are sill trading. Where does the material in their stock come from today, and why could they not exploit these sources before they were caught?

Source:
ICE press release "ICE returns ancient artifacts to Egypt at National Geographic Society" 22nd April 2015.

Vignette: Zombie antiquities dealer

April 23, 2015

Ancient Art

“Apollon plays his lure stepping high and featly and radiance...







Apollon plays his lure stepping high and featly and radiance shines around him, the gleaming of his feet and close-woven vest.”

-Section from Homeric Hymn 3 to Pythian Apollo (trans. Evelyn-White).

Statuette of Apollo, Greek, from Canosa, South Italy. Ca. 300 BC.

Apollo, the Greek god of music, stands holding his kithara, a stringed harplike instrument. This terracotta statuette portrays the god wearing a cloak that drapes down his back from his left shoulder, and then wraps around his hips leaving his torso bare. Apollo’s long hair reaches down his back with a single lock falling forward over each shoulder, and he wears a radiate crown. He rests his left foot on a small stool in order to provide support for his kithara when he begins to play
The Greek colony at Canosa in South Italy was a major production center of terracotta vases and statuettes in the Hellenistic period. Greek religious beliefs created a huge demand for the terracotta figurines that were either left as gifts to the gods in sanctuaries or buried with the dead as funerary offerings. Many Canosan figurines were not meant to be free-standing but were originally attached as decorations on ornate vases. (Getty)

Courtesy of & located at The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California. Via their online collections96.AD.266.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

How To E-Mail Your (Not You’re) Professor

This tutorial comes to you courtesy of PhD Comics. If you are not sure why it is funny, don't ask…it's in the syllabus.

 

Mary Beard (A Don's Life)

Samuel and James's School in South Sudan

-2

Some people have been asking about how Samuel Buol has been getting on back in South Sudan (long standing blog readers will remember from previous posts how our friend Samuel came to the UK to do a Masters in English teaching, and some of our adventures together).

There have been all kinds of upheavals and tragedies, as anyone who has been following some of the terrible events in South Sudan over the last 18 months might expect. But the good news is that Samuel and friend James Makuei Abol (pictured above) have opened a community centre and school for teaching English in Juba, got a grant for some text books and started classes.

Since independence in 2011, the official language of South Sudan has been English, but most people were brought up in an Arabic school system. So English language teaching is really vital -- and so also is teaching English to women, who have often been left out.

Anyway, you can read about what Samuel and James have done already and what their plans are on the school website (which the daughter has been helping set up). There's more to come and more checking. But you get the picture (and there are plenty of pictures!) and there are the usual buttons for contacting and donating etc.

It is a wonderful thing to start... and, at the risk of a little preach, it's in part a spin off of the UK's openness to foreign students from all over the world. It was, in other words, in part because Samuel came here to the University of Westminster, got his English qualification, then used that qualification to get this really positive initiative off the ground.

Of course, it's also something to do with Samuel's own talents and energies, which I am glad we've been able to support.

 

Anthropology.net

Were Protoaurignacian’s Modern Humans or Neandertals?

3D models of the two teeth. (Daniele Panetta, CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology)

3D models of the two teeth. (Daniele Panetta, CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology)

Many cultures existed in Europe about 40-45,000 years ago. About 42,000 years ago, in southern Europe, the Protoaurignacian developed and the culture that followed marked a turning point in modern humanity. They made the earliest instruments, the earliest art, and possibly the first representation of a human figure. It has been hard to conclusively prove that the Protoaurignacians actually were human since Neandertals were just ending their occupation of Europe during this time frame. In fact, only three remains have ever been recovered from known Protoaurignacian sites: a fragment of fetal bone from France and two teeth, found in different parts of northern Italy in 1976 and 1992.

A new study published in Science implied that the founders of this culture were actually humans. Benazzi and his team examined the enamel and the mtDNA of two tooth samples. Neandertal’s have thin, evenly worn down enamel layers. The Protoaurignacian tooth was closer to human measurements. When comparing the mtDNA of the tooth to 54 humans, 10 ancient humans and 10 Neandertals as well as another extinct human and chimpanzee, the tooth was more modern human than not… Leading us to infer Protoaurignacian culture can be traced back to modern humans — not, at least exclusively, highly skilled Neanderthals.


Filed under: Blog, Physical Anthropology Tagged: mtDNA, neandertal, paleoanthropology, Physical Anthropology, Protoaurignacian, tooth

Calenda: Histoire romaine

Formes du portrait

Le portrait offre, dans l’Antiquité, un large spectre d’application, que ce soit naturellement, dans les arts figurés, y compris la numismatique, ou dans la littérature, voire la physiognomonie. De fait, en tant que représentation d’une personne, le portrait littéraire donne, dans la successivité du discours narratif, ce qui se présente simultanément à la vue mais peut indiquer également des aspects non visibles de la personne, comme ses caractéristiques psychologiques, voire privilégier celles-ci. L’étude des éléments descriptifs spécifiques à la peinture d’un personnage devrait conduire à une définition formelle du portrait et de sa typologie ; elle permettra également, une fois contextualisée, des croisements avec les différents genres littéraires, cet objet d’étude étant véritablement holistique puisque quasiment tous les genres antiques peuvent être convoqués dans cette recherche.

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 45 (Saint George)

Today is the commemoration of Saint George across many Christian traditions, so it occurred to me that it would be suitable to offer a brief look at the text of his martyrdom in Sin. geo. 62, specifically the beginning, the end, and the scribes mini-colophon. These two short passages will not only grant us an opportunity to study some grammar and vocabulary, as usual, but also, since images of the manuscript are easily accessible at E-corpus (along with other manuscripts, Georgian and otherwise, from Saint Catharine’s, but not the new finds), an opportunity to study Georgian scripts and handwriting, mostly nusxuri, but also some asomtavruli. For a detailed treatment of this tenth century manuscript, where the Saint George martyrdom is found on ff. 29rb-38vb, see Gérard Garitte’s Catalogue des manuscrits géorgiens littéraires du Mont Sinaï, CSCO 165, Subs. 9 (Louvain, 1956), pp. 197-209. Images of the manuscript are available here, images 30-40; I include one image of the last few lines below, but I encourage you to have a look at the other parts, too.

This Georgian version is close, but not identical, to BHG 672, published by Krumbacher, Der heilige Georg in der griechischen Überlieferung, pp. 41ff. (This volume is available at Hathi Trust here, where it is readable, but one must have a partner login to download the book. I have not yet found the volume openly downloadable anywhere else.) For convenient comparison, here are the two Greek passages from Krumbacher that correspond to those given below in Georgian:

p. 41 (introductory parag. is not in Georgian) : ἐγένετο τοίνυν κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τὸν καιρὸν τῆς σατανικῆς εἰδωλολατρείας ἐπικρατούσης κατὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων βασιλεῦσαι Διοκλητιανὸν τῆς Ῥωμαίων ἀρχῆς λοιμόν τινα καὶ θῆρα ἄγριον γενόμενον κατὰ τῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ ποίμνης ἡττώμενον σφόδρα τῇ πλάνῃ τῶν ματαίων εἰδώλων.

p. 51: ἐγὼ δὲ Πασικράτης ὁ δοῦλος τοῦ ἁγίου Γεωργίου ἀκολουθήσας τῷ ἐμῷ δεσπότῃ ἐπὶ πᾶσιν τὰ ὑπομνήματα βεβαίως συνέταξα· καὶ μακάριος ὁ πιστεύσας Χριστῷ τῷ ἀληθινῷ θεῷ ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρι, ᾧ ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.

In what follows, I give a line-by-line transcription of these passages from the manuscript in whatever script they appear there, followed by a transliteration into mxedruli, some vocabulary and notes, and finally an ET. Abbreviations are resolved and indicated by parentheses. (For the asomtavruli and nusxuri to be visible on your machine, you must have a font that includes them.)

[29rb, eight lines from bottom]

ႠႮႰႨႪႱႠ ႩႢ ႼႠႫႤႡႠჂ

Ⴜ(ႫႨ)ႣႨႱႠ ႢႤႭႰႢႨႱႠ:

Ⴞ(ⴍⴊⴍ) ⴐ(ⴀ)ⴏ(ⴀⴋ)ⴑ ⴈⴂⴈ ⴃⴀⴄ<ⴎ>ⴗⴐⴀ ⴉⴄⴐⴎ

ⴇⴋⴐⴀⴞⴍⴣⴐⴄⴁⴀⴑⴀ ⴄⴘⴋⴀⴉ

ⴈⴑⴀⴑⴀ ⴗ(ⴍⴅⴄ)ⴊⴈ ⴑⴍⴔⴄⴊⴈ ⴈⴗⴍ

ⴁⴄⴐⴛⴄⴌⴇⴀ ⴆ(ⴄⴃ)ⴀ ⴋⴄⴔⴡ ⴐ(ⴍⴋ)ⴊ(ⴈ)

ⴑⴀ ⴑⴀⴞⴄⴊⴈ ⴄⴐⴕⴍⴓⴀ ⴃⴈⴍⴉ

ⴊⴈⴒⴈⴀⴌⴄ ⴋⴤⴄⴚⴈ ⴋⴛⴣⴌ

[29va]

ⴅⴀⴐⴄ ⴂ(ⴀ)ⴌⴋⴐⴗⴍⴣⴌⴄⴊⴈ ⴑⴀ

ⴋⴜⴗⴑⴍⴇⴀ ⴕ(ⴐⴈⴑⴒ)ⴄⴑⴇⴀ

აპრილსა კგ წამებაჲ წ(მი)დისა გეორგისა

ხ(ოლო) რ(ა)ჟ(ამ)ს იგი დაე<პ>ყრა კერპთმსახურებასა ეშმაკისასა ყ(ოვე)ლი სოფელი იყო ბერძენთა ზ(ედ)ა მეფჱ რ(ომ)ლ(ი)სა სახელი ერქუა დიოკლიტიანე მჴეცი მძჳნვარე განმრყუნელი სამწყსოთა ქ(რისტ)ესთა

  • და-ე-პყრ-ა aor pass 3sg დაპყრობა to take, possess, grab, grip (for the CV -ე- and passives, see Deeters § 160)
  • კერპთმსახურებაჲ idol worship (კერპი idol [here with the pl-marking -თ] + მსახურებაჲ service > worship [cf. λατρεία])
  • ბერძენი Greek, Roman
  • მჴეცი wild beast
  • მძჳნვარი raging, angry, furious
  • განმრყუნელი corrupting, perverting
  • სამწყსოჲ flock

April 23: The Martyrdom of Saint George

Now when the whole word was gripped with diabolical (lit. of the devil) idolatry, there was a king over the Romans whose name was Diocletian, a raging beast corrupting the flocks of Christ.

* * *

[38va, seven lines from bottom]

Ⴃⴀ ⴋⴄ ⴁⴀⴑⴈⴀⴌⴉⴀⴐⴒⴍⴑ ⴋⴍⴌⴀ

ⴜ(ⴋⴈ)ⴃⴈⴑⴀ ⴂ(ⴈⴍⴐⴂ)ⴈⴑⴀ ⴘⴄⴍⴣⴃⴄⴂ ⴍ(ⴣⴔⴀⴊ)ⴀ

ⴙⴄⴋⴑⴀ. ⴃⴀ ⴀⴖⴅⴜⴄⴐⴄ ⴜⴀ

ⴋⴄⴁⴀⴢ ⴄⴑⴄ ⴋⴈⴑⴈ ⴝⴄⴘⴋⴀⴐⴈ

ⴒⴀⴃ ⴃⴀ ⴍⴣⴕⴚⴄⴅⴄⴊⴀⴃ. ⴃⴀ

ⴌⴄⴒⴀⴐ ⴀⴐⴑ ⴐ(ⴍⴋⴄ)ⴊⴑⴀ ⴠⴐⴜⴋⴄⴌⴄⴑ (letters ⴀⴐ of ⴀⴐⴑ wr. supralinearly)

ⴕ(ⴐⴈⴑⴒ)ⴄ ⴖ(ⴋⴄⴐ)ⴇⴈ ⴝⴄⴘⴋⴀⴐⴈⴒⴈ.

[38vb]

ⴃⴀ ⴋⴤⴑⴌⴄⴊⴈ ⴙ(ⴍⴣⴄ)ⴌⴈ ⴐ(ⴍⴋ)ⴊⴈⴑⴀ

ⴀⴐⴑ ⴃ(ⴈⴃⴄ)ⴁ(ⴀ)ⴢ ⴇⴀⴌⴀ ⴋⴀⴋⴈⴇ ⴃⴀ

ⴑⴍⴣⴊⴈⴇ ⴜ(ⴋⴈ)ⴃⴈⴇⴍⴣⴐⴇ.

ⴍ(ⴣ)ⴉ(ⴍⴣⴌⴍⴣⴇ)ⴈ ⴍ(ⴣ)ⴉ(ⴍⴣⴌⴈⴑⴀⴋⴃ)ⴄ ⴀ(ⴋⴡ)ⴌ

და მე ბასიანკარტოს მონაჲ წ(მი)დისა გ(იორგ)ისა შეუდეგ ო(ჳფალს)ა ჩემსა და აღვწერე წამებაჲ ესე მისი ჭეშმარიტად და უქცეველად და ნეტარ არს რ(ომე)ლსა ჰრწმენეს ქ(რისტ)ე ღ(მერ)თი ჭეშმარიტი. [38vb] და მჴსნელი ჩ(ოჳე)ნი რ(ომ)ლისა არს დ(იდე)ბ(ა)ჲ თანა მამით და სულით წ(მი)დითურთ. ო(ჳ)კ(ოჳნოჳთ)ი ო(ჳ)კ(ოჳნისამდ)ე ამ(ჱ)ნ

  • შე-უ-დეგ aor 1sg შედგომა to follow
  • აღ-ვ-წერ-ე aor 1sg აღწერა to write
  • უქცეველად without changing anything
  • ჰ-რწმენ-ეს aor conj 3sg O3 რწმენა to believe (indir. vb) (cf. Jn 7:38 Ad რომელსა ჰრწმენეს ჩემდამო ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμέ; Jn 20:29 Ad რამეთუ მიხილე და გრწმენა; ნეტარ, რომელთა არა უხილავ და ჰრწმენეს ὅτι ἑώρακάς με πεπίστευκας; μακάριοι οἱ μὴ ἰδόντες καὶ πιστεύσαντες)
  • მჴსნელი saving, rescuing > savior

And I Basiankartos [Gr. Pasikrátēs], the servant of Saint George, followed my master and I wrote down this his martyrdom truthfully and without changing anything, and blessed is he who will believe in Christ, the true God, and our savior, to whom the glory belongs, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

* * *

Sin. geo. 62, f. 38vb, lines 1-4

Sin. geo. 62, f. 38vb, lines 1-4

And finally, the scribe’s mini-colophon, written small, has one line in asomtavruli then one again in nusxuri:

ႫႭႫႨჄႱႤႬႤ Ⴜ(ႨႬႠႸ)Ⴄ Ⴖ(ႫႰႧ)ႨႱႠ

ⴜ(ⴋⴈⴃⴀ)ⴍ ⴂ(ⴈⴍⴐⴂ)ⴈ ⴃⴀ ⴋⴄ(ⴍ)ⴞ ⴂ(ⴍⴣⴄ)ⴗ(ⴀ)ⴅ ⴀ(ⴋⴡ)ⴌ

მომიჴსენე წინაშე ღმრთისა წმიდაო გიორგი და მეოხ გოჳეყავ ა(მჱ)ნ

  • მო-მ-ი-ჴსენ-ე impv 2sg O1 მოჴსენება to remember (cf. Lk 23:42 Ad მომიჴსენე მე, უფალო, რაჟამს მოხჳდოდი სუფევითა მით შენითა μνήσθητί μου ὅταν ἔλθῃς εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν σου [მოხჳდოდი (მო-ხ-უიდ-ოდ-ი) is pres conj 2sg მოსლვა])
  • მეოხი intercessor, helper
  • გოჳ-ე-ყავ aor imv 2sg O1pl ყოფა to be; to do (with the previous word, to intercede)

Remember me in God’s presence, Saint George, and intercede for us! Amen.


Shawn Graham (Electric Archaeology)

How to split a csv file

If you’re on a PC, the instructions we posted here: http://www.themacroscope.org/?page_id=418 work. It’s a macro, in visual basic, for excel. But after a long back and forth yesterday with @thomasgpadilla we worked out that it would break in various Mac versions of Excel. Why? I do not know. But there’s a pretty simple command line sequence on a Mac that’ll do the trick. We split it into big chunks, then split the big chunks into smaller chunks. So, grab a moderately large CSV (like John Adams’ diary, 1025 entries, 1 per row) and fire up your terminal thusly:

$ split -l 200 johnadams-diary.csv 200out
$ split -l 1 200outaa aa
$ split -l 1 200outab ab
$ split -l 1 200outac ac
$ split -l 1 200outad ad
$ split -l 1 200outae ae
$ split -l 1 200outaf af

and so we get a series of files,

aaaa

aaab

aaac….

aeaa

aeab

aeac…

until all 1025 rows are their own file. But they don’t have extensions. So:

find . -type f -exec mv '{}' '{}’.csv \;

will recursively go through the current folder, finding files, and appending .csv to them.

Ta da!

[edit] sometimes you should read the manual. The error message I was getting when I split the original file one line at a time was ‘file too big’. But of course, that’s because of the default names a-z by a-z, so only 676 combinations, which means that yes, 1025 lines *is* too big… but, if you tell split to use a three-letter prefix, you can split up to 17576 lines. The -a flag lets you make this change, like so:

split -a 3 -l 1 johnadams-diary.csv

which is what I should’ve done in the first place. D’oh! Ah well: you don’t have to know everything in digital history. Work it out in public, and somebody is sure to let you know how you could’ve done it better ;) Happily, I caught this fairly quickly after I made my first post – but how much more elegant if I’d gone for the best solution right away? Well, sometimes, the best solution, is the one that works when you need it to.


Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

Dante discussion Tuesday, April 28th at NYU

Prof. Roseanne Martorella indicates that this presentation at NYU's Casa Italiana will be available via streaming this coming Tuesday. Try this link to find it at the time below.

APRIL 28, 2015
6:30 PM 

Book Presentation: DANTE AND HETERODOXY

(Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014)
Edited and with an introduction by
Conclusion by Teodolinda Barolini
With:
Maria Luisa Ardizzone, New York University
Teodolinda Barolini, Columbia University
Marcia Colish, Yale University
Moderator: Paola Ureni, City University of New York
Dante and Heterodoxy: The Temptations of 13th Century Radical Thought, edited and with an introduction by Maria Luisa Ardizzone, collects several studies devoted to discussing Dante’s work in the light of the intellectual debate that developed in thirteenth century Europe after the entrance of new Aristotelian learning and the diffusion of Greek-Arabic thought, in particular the Latin translations of works by Ibn Rushd (Averroes).
In ENGLISH

Archaeology Magazine

waugh

baby teeth toolsLEIPZIG, GERMANY—Analysis of two baby teeth from northern Italy—one found at the Riparo Bombrini rock shelter, and other at the Grotta di Fumane—has shown that the innovative stone tools and ornaments of the Protoaurignacian culture were made by modern humans, and not Neanderthals. Stefano Benazzi of the University of Bologna measured the thickness of the enamel on the tooth from Riparo Bombrini and found it to be thick, as in modern humans. Neanderthals had relatively thin enamel. Radiocarbon dates of bone and charcoal from the site suggest that the child lived some 40,000 years ago. Mitochondrial DNA was extracted from the other tooth, which is also some 40,000 years old. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology found that the mitochondrial DNA belonged to a known modern human lineage. These sophisticated tools may have given modern humans a competitive edge over the Neanderthals. “The association of modern remains with the earliest Aurignacian-related archaeological context now provides physical evidence that the arrival of our species on the continent triggered the demise of Neanderthals, who disappeared a couple of millennia later,” paleoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute said in a press release. To read about a masterpiece of Paleolithic art, see "New Life for Lion Man."

American School of Classical Studies in Athens: News

New Appointments in Princeton Office

Please join us in welcoming new staff to the American School.

Archaeology Magazine

waugh

Erebus wreck diveNUNAVUT, CANADA—Bad weather has cut the latest expedition to HMS Erebus, the flagship of the lost Franklin Expedition to find the Northwest Passage, from ten days to five. Divers from Parks Canada and the Royal Canadian Navy descended through triangular-shaped holes in the ice to the wreck, which was abandoned by Franklin’s crew in 1848. So far the team has seen at least one sailor’s boot and a cannon lying next to the vessel. Flora Davidson, a Parks Canada conservator, watched the video feed from cameras on the divers’ masks and made plans for the cannon in case it can be lifted. “I was trying to see how it was sitting, identify all the features at the breech end," she told The Star"We’re still not quite sure if it’s a knob or if it’s got a handle where the rope would go into the threshold. And I’m checking the silt, if it were to be lifted, how it would be done. I’m concerned about the surface in that area, but the cannon seems to be upside down. If there are any markings, they’re going to be on the top side, which is inverted and it’ll be in the silt. So I expect it to be better conserved. I’m happy about that.” The Parks Canada team is also making plans with British officials for the event that they come across human remains at the wreck site. “If we see human remains, we take some photo documentation to help us down the line, but we stay away from that area until further notice after discussions with them,” explained Marc-Andre Bernier, chief of underwater archaeology at Parks Canada. To read about the initial discovery of the wreck, see "Canada Finds Erebus."

waugh

Connecticut CCC campMADISON, CONNECTICUT—From 1933 to 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided housing, food, and employment building roads, foot trails, and planting trees for 3.5 million young people during the Great Depression. The Madison Land Conservation Trust has spent the last year excavating Camp Hadley, one of 23 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Connecticut. The team of trust members, volunteers, and students from Daniel Hand High School (DHHS) has unearthed pottery, rusty cans, bottles, hardware, and foundations of a recreation hall/classroom, mess hall, cistern, infirmary, commissary, three probably barracks, the Chief Forester’s Cabin, an incinerator, and the latrine/washroom. “The student involvement has been inspiring and it is exciting to see young people out appreciating and improving a site that was originally built for young people not much older than they are,” Jason Englehardt, trust member and DHHS teacher told The Shoreline Times. To read about the archaeology of an American labor conflict that just predated the Depression, see "Mountaintop Rescue."

American Philological Association

Ph.D. Program in Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage in Lucca, Italy

Applications are now being accepted for PhD students in Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage (AMCH) for the 2015/16 PhD program at IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca (www.imtlucca.it).  Highly motivated candidates are invited to apply for one of the 35 fully-funded scholarships of the three-year doctoral program, which is articulated in curricula. The 3 curricula currently offered are field-specific, although in many instances they share a common scientific background.

The Archaeology News Network

Deciphering the demise of Neanderthals

Researchers from the University of Bologna, Italy, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analysed two deciduous teeth from the prehistoric sites of Grotta di Fumane and Riparo Bombrini in Northern Italy. The state-of-the-art methods adopted in this study, published in the journal Science, attribute the teeth to anatomically modern humans. Three-dimensional digital models of the lower deciduous...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Open Access Monograph Series: Topoi: Berlin Studies of the Ancient World / Berliner Studien der Alten Welt

[First posted in AWOL 22 July 2012. Updated 23 April 2015]


Topoi: Berlin Studies of the Ancient World / Berliner Studien der Alten Welt
http://www.topoi.org/wp-content/themes/topoi-new/images/logo.png
The series: Topoi. Berlin Studies of the Ancient World brings together contributions from all fields of classical studies, from pre- and early history and classical archeology to ancient philosophy, theory of science and theology. Monographs and volumes which present the research results of the Excellence Cluster Topoi form a major focus of the series. Additional topics are currently being planned.

Since 2014 the series «Topoi. Berlin studies of the ancient world» has been published in a new and innovative publication format. With the publisher Edition Topoi all titles are available as high quality printed books and additional in digital form. All those digital contents are open access — that means free immediate access, and unrestricted reuse.


Volumes already published

Vol. 1
Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum, Margarete van Ess and Joachim Marzahn (Eds.), Babylon. Wissenskultur in Orient und Okzident/ Science Culture Between Orient and Occident, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2011.
Vol. 2
Alessandra Gilibert, Syro-Hittite Monumental Art and the Archaeology of Performance, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2011.
Vol. 3
Frank Daubner (Ed.), Militärsiedlungen und Territorialherrschaft in der Antike, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2010.
Vol. 4
Therese Fuhrer (Ed.), Rom und Mailand in der Spätantike. Repräsentationen städtischer Räume in Literatur, Architektur und Kunst, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2011.
Vol. 5
Elke Kaiser, Joachim Burger and Wolfram Schier (Eds.), Population Dynamics in Prehistory and Early History. New Approaches by Using Stable Isotopes and Genetics, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2012.
Vol. 6
Felix Mundt (Ed.), Kommunikationsräume im kaiserzeitlichen Rom, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2012.
Vol. 7
Ernst Baltrusch, Morten Hegewisch, Michael Meyer, Uwe Puschner and Christian Wendt (Eds.), 2000 Jahre Varusschlacht. Geschichte-Archäologie-Legenden, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2012.
Vol. 8
Salvatore De Vincenzo, Tra Cartagine e Roma, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2012.
Vol. 9
Elke Kaiser and Wolfram Schier (Eds.), Mobilität und Wissenstransfer in diachroner und interdisziplinärer Perspektive, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2013.
Vol. 10
Svend Hansen, Daniel Neumann and Tilmann Vachta (Eds.), Hort und Raum. Aktuelle Forschungen zu bronzezeitlichen Deponierungen in Mitteleuropa, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2012.
Vol. 11
Ortwin Dally, Susanne Moraw and Hauke Ziemssen (Eds.), Bild – Raum – Handlung. Perspektiven der Archäologie, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2012.
Vol. 12
Dominik Bonatz (Ed.), The Archaeology of Political Spaces. The Upper Mesopotamian Piedmont in the Second Millennium BC, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.
Vol. 13
Eberhardt Knobloch and Cosima Möller (Eds.), In den Gefilden der römischen Feldmesser. Juristische, wissenschaftsgeschichtliche, historische und sprachliche Aspekte, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2013.
Vol. 14
Klaus Geus and Michael Rathmann (Eds.), Vermessung der Oikumene, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2013.
Vol. 15
Stefan Altekamp, Carmen Marcks-Jacobs and Peter Seiler (Eds.), Perspektiven der Spolienforschung 1, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2013.
Vol. 16
Svend Hansen and Michael Meyer (Eds.), Parallele Raumkonzepte, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2013.
Vol. 17
Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum, Nicole Brisch and Jesper Eidem (Eds.), Constituent, Confederate, and Conquered Space in Upper Mesopotamia. The Emergence of the Mittani State, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.
Vol. 18
Eleftheria Paliou, Undine Lieberwirth and Silvia Polla (Eds.), Spatial analysis and social spaces. Interdisciplinary approaches to the interpretation of prehistoric and historic built environments, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.
Vol. 19
Silvia Kutscher and Daniel A. Werning (Eds.), On Ancient Grammars of Space. Linguistic Research on the Expression of Spatial Relations and Motion in Ancient Languages, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.
Vol. 20
Cyril Brosch, Untersuchungen zur hethitischen Raumgrammatik, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.
Vol. 21
Jan Moje, Herrschaftsräume und Herrschaftswissen ägyptischer Lokalregenten. Soziokulturelle Interaktionen zur Machtkonsolidierung vom 8. bis zum 4. Jahrhundert v. Chr, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2013.
Vol. 22
Klaus Corcilius and Dominik Perler (Eds.), Partitioning the Soul. Debates from Plato to Leibniz, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.
Vol. 23
Silvia Polla and Philip Verhagen (Eds.), Computational Approaches to the Study of Movement in Archaeology. Theory, Practice and Interpretation of Factors and Effects of Long Term Landscape Formation and Transformation, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2014.
Vol. 25
Claudia Gerling, Prehistoric Mobility and Diet in the West Eurasian Steppes 3500 to 300 BC. An isotopic Approach, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2015 [inpress].
Vol. 29
Almut-Barbara Renger and Isabel Toral-Niehoff (Eds.), Genealogie und Migrationsmythen im antiken Mittelmeerraum und auf der arabischen Halbinsel, Berlin: Edition Topoi, 2014.



The Bern Digital Pantheon Project

 [First posted in AWOL 11 My 2011. Updated 23 April 2015 (linking now to the Internet Archive)]

The Ber(li)n Digital Pantheon Project
In October 2010 the Bern Digital Pantheon Project has moved to Berlin and is now part of the Excellence Cluster Topoi (www.topoi.org).
The Bern Digital Pantheon Project was originally instigated in 2005 by Gerd Graßhoff as a pilot project of the Karman Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in Bern, Switzerland, hence its name. In October 2010 the project has moved to Berlin and is now continued within the cluster of excellence "Topoi" (www.topoi.org) which is devoted to the study of the formation and transformation of space and knowledge in ancient civilizations.
The projects first objective was to undertake the long-overdue architectural survey of one of the most important buildings in the history of architecture. Accordingly, the interior and exterior of the Pantheon were measured in two campaigns in 2005 and 2007 using state-of-the-art laser scan technology.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Why Prooftexting Is Not Like Other Sins

Zack Hunt Prooftexting Quote

The quote is from Zack Hunt’s blog post, “Why Proof-Texting Is Not Like Other Sins.” It was hard to choose an excerpt to feature in the image. The whole thing is wonderful, powerful stuff, that deserves to be widely read. And so below it is quoted in its entirety, in the hope that it will lead more regular readers here to subscribe to or otherwise regularly read Hunt’s blog:

There’s a post you might have seen that has unfortunately been popping up in my Facebook newsfeed the past couple of days.

It’s entitled “Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins” and it’s the typical sort of fare you might expect from a site like Desiring God: bolstered by false equivalencies, society is portrayed as the boogyman out to destroy the faith, conservative evangelicals are cast as the real Christians who must speak up to save the day, and to do so, this heroic remnant of faithful believers are called upon to show their love by condemning people to hell for who they love.

All of this is done, of course, under the guise that the Bible is clear and here’s the verse to prove it!

This sort of proof-texting – ripping a Bible verse out of context to prove a point – is the traditional weapon of choice in fundamentalism because it allows the soldier who wields it to destroy his or her enemy with a signal verse while claiming the impenetrable high ground of clear Biblical authority.

Of course, this army of righteous crusaders who wage war against the “gay agenda” are infamously silent on a whole host of other issues the Bible is equally clear on when proof-texting is the name of the game. For example, when it comes to things like supporting slaverykilling disrespectful childrenforcing women to cover their heads in public, and drinking wine every day, these holy warriors are conspicuously silent on these clear biblical mandates.

Perhaps it’s because the Bible is rarely as clear as they want or need it to be?

Regardless, the real problem in articles like the one mentioned above is not just that the Bible is rarely as clear as some folks pretend it is. The bigger issue is the fact that the Bible can only be so seemingly clear when scripture is intentionally abused and distorted through proof-texting.

Proof-texting is an intentionally deceptive practice that offers out of context proof while ignoring the greater witness of scripture and any other evidence that might rufute the desired (and predetermined) theological conclusion. It’s the tool necessary to perpetuate the myth that the Bible is always perfectly clear about everything, when in fact that clarity often only exists when we proof-text our theology by ignoring the overarching themes of scripture in general and the message of Jesus in particular in order to condemn and exclude people we’ve deemed unworthy of salvation.

And therein lies the truly nefarious nature of proof-texting.

Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can crush your soul…and that’s exactly what proof-texting does.

It crushes the soul in the name of God by using context-less Bible verses to exclude people from the Church and condemn them to hell.

Proof-texting is not like other sins because it defiles scripture by turning what God meant for good into a weapon of mass destruction. By striping verses of all context and refusing to acknowledge the role of interpretation, proof-texting twists scripture in order to sanctify oppression and abuse, exclusion and marginalization. This can be seen clearly through its history as the sanctifying force behind slavery and genocide, the rejection of women’s suffrage and embrace of Jim Crow, exploitation of the natural world and the denial of LGBT equality.

Proof-texting exists almost exclusively as a means of excluding undesirable people from the community of faith, from Christian universities, and ultimately, from heaven itself.

Which is ultimately what makes it antithetical to the gospel.

In other words, proof-texting is not like other sins because its end goal – condemnation and exclusion – is fundamentally opposed to the ministry of Jesus who came not to condemn the world but to save it, all the while intentionally embracing those the rest of the world – particularly religious folks – wanted nothing to do with.

Now, the unfortunate propensity towards proof-texting of some doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t use scripture to support our position, but we must do so responsibly, incorporating things like context, history, science, experience, tradition, and reason to do the necessary and unavoidable work of biblical interpretation. Otherwise, our biblical interpretation and theological conclusions will lack integrity.

It’s true that biblical interpretation is hard work that rarely provides easy answer, but the alternative is nothing short of sinful.

Because when you lazily proof-text your theology, you’re not opening people’s eyes and saving them from hell. And you’re certainly not taking a stand for the truth.

You’re abusing God-breathed scripture and the people it was meant to serve.

Amen.

The Archaeology News Network

Graeco-Roman papyrus contains hangover remedy

What would you do if you were in ancient Egypt, say of the 2nd c. AD, and you woke up with a nasty hangover? According to a newly translated and published papyrus you would hang a necklace of leaves around your neck from a shrub called Alexandrian chamaedaphne, or Ruscus racemosus L. This would at least ease your headache – or that is what ancient Egyptians of the time believed. Egyptians of the 2nd c. AD believed Ruscus racemosus L....

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

ArcheoNet BE

Onze tips voor Erfgoeddag

Nu zondag, op 26 april, vindt de 15de editie van de Erfgoeddag plaats, met dit jaar als centraal thema ‘ERF!’. 450 erfgoedorganisaties in Vlaanderen en Brussel nemen deel, goed voor zowat 650 activiteiten waarbij roerend en/of immaterieel erfgoed centraal staat. Musea, archieven en heemkringen zetten hun deuren open om de bevolking met het culturele erfgoed te laten kennismaken. Te veel activiteiten om op te noemen, en daarom zetten we hier enkele aanraders op een rijtje…

Antwerpen

In Grobbendonk opent de tentoonstelling ‘Graven in Ouwen: een eeuw archeologie!’. Een tijdlijn van 1904 tot heden belicht de geschiedenis van het archeologisch onderzoek in Grobbendonk. Je ontdekt via foto’s, publicaties, vondsten en verhalen wie er gegraven heeft en bij wie er gegraven is. In Zondereigen kan je kennismaken met een collectie archeologische vondsten uit het dorp.

Limburg

Iet Gallo-Romeins Museum staat de Romeinse erfenis in Tongeren centraal. Onder leiding van een gids verken je Romeins Tongeren te voet, en kinderen ontdekken samen met professor Mark Depauw welk spoor de Romeinen nalieten. Op de mijnsite van Zolder opent het gerestaureerde ophaalmachinegebouw feestelijk zijn deuren.

Oost-Vlaanderen

Het Provinciaal Archeologisch Museum in Velzeke toont unieke collecties die door verzamelaars en amateur-archeologen aan het museum werden geschonken of in depot gegeven. In Ename staat de erfenis van Karel de Grote centraal, met onder meer een lezing en een kinderzoektocht. In Gent geeft een wandeling inzicht in het ontstaan en de ontwikkeling van middeleeuwse erven en het langzaam dichtgroeien van de stad. Het stedelijk museum van Aalst toont een overzicht van schenkingen, met onder meer een uitgebreide archeologische collectie, geschonken door Edmond De Deyn.

Vlaams-Brabant & Brussel

In het Pajottenland en de Zennevallei kan je op verschillende plaatsen bijzondere privécollecties bewonderen. Meer dan 50 erfgoedverzamelaars uit de hele regio komen eenmalig met hun unieke collectie naar buiten. Je ontdekt o.a. oude bromfietsen, miniatuurtreinen, een oude affichecollectie, werken van Felix De Boeck in privébezit, pillendoosjes, archeologische bodemvondsten, luciferdoosjes, oude platenspelers… In Molenbeek kom je, aan de hand van een tentoonstelling en een rondleiding, meer te weten over de herbestemming van industriële gebouwen.

West-Vlaanderen

Naast de Merovingische woning in Brugge wordt een erf aangelegd volgens de technieken uit de vroege middeleeuwen. Op Erfgoeddag wordt dit project voor het eerst voorgesteld en maak je kennis met de gewassen uit deze tijdsperiode. Op een tentoonstelling in Poperinge toont Archeo7 aan de hand van nieuwe vondsten hoe de vroegere inwoners geleefd hebben en wat we van hen geërfd hebben. Het museum Raversyde in Oostende toont in primeur de recent verworven collectie rond WO II van verzamelaar André Hast, en in Kortrijk kun je dan weer naar een expertenbeurs rond WO I. In het Regionaal Archeologisch Museum van de Scheldevallei maken nieuwe inwoners van Avelgem kennis met het (archeologisch) erfgoed in hun nieuwe gemeente, en in Koksijde achterhaal je samen met gemeentearcheoloog Alexander Lehouck de waarheid achter de sagen en legenden over de ‘Duivelsput’.

Meer info: deze lijst is uiteraard slechts een (subjectieve) selectie uit de honderden activiteiten tijdens de Erfgoeddag op 26 april. Veel meer activiteiten en alle praktische informatie vind je op www.erfgoeddag.be.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Cheat-Proof Final Exams?

Since it is the end of the semester, and exams are in the minds of many, it seems appropriate to return to a topic I put on hold. Rutgers University made the news when the New York Times published an article about software that was used in online courses to prevent cheating. Students are of course already trying to find ways to hack, bypass, and otherwise deceive the distance proctoring software, which is called Proctortrack.

The Wabash Center featured an article a few months ago which suggested what may be a better way: let them cheat.

I blogged about this some years ago myself, proposing a “new kind of final.” Recalling information, while not unimportant, is less important when information is available at one’s fingertips (literally). And so let’s give them access to anything they can find online, and test their ability (1) to find legitimate information, (2) to explain how they know the information in question is trustworthy, and (3) use that information in a way that reflects higher order learning.

What do readers think? Do we need to rethink the way we approach learning and examinations?

See also Roger Nam’s follow-up to his article mentioned previously. And see below an example from Nam’s article which illustrates that it is not just online learners one has to worry about cheating.

juice box cheating

 

Penn Museum Blog

Get to know Dr. Elin Danien: 2015 Volunteer of the Year

ed-1

Dr. Elin Danien is the Penn Museum’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year!

At this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon I was lucky enough to present the award for Volunteer of the Year to Dr. Elin Danien. It’s always hard to choose just one volunteer to specially highlight, but Elin has always been a standout. In her 40 years of working and volunteering at the Penn Museum she has unswervingly supported our mission to transform the way our visitors think about the human experience. And though she came to Philadelphia to become America’s next great actress, she’s created an amazing legacy as a scholar, educator, and philanthropist.

By Kevin Schott, Guide Program Manager


The Penn Museum is lucky to have a corps of dedicated volunteers that run guided tours, do mummy dusting, and a lot more. Dr. Elin Danien’s work at the Museum, as a volunteer and as a staff member, covers these jobs and quite a few more, including researcher and author.  In 1998, Dr. Danien completed her Ph.D. dissertation, focused on the Penn Museum’s collection of Chama pottery which formed the core of a 2009 exhibition, Painted MetaphorsPottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya. Dr. Danien’s publications include Maya Folktales from the Alta Verapaz and Guide to the Mesoamerican Gallery, which followed her renovation of that gallery in 2002.  Events coordinator for the Penn Museum from 1981 to 1989, Dr. Danien founded the Museum’s annual Maya Weekend (1983-2013), an in-depth weekend of exploration featuring Maya scholars, epigraphers, and educators. A Penn graduate who began her college education at the age of 46, Dr. Danien is founder of Bread Upon the Waters, a Penn scholarship assisting non-traditional undergraduates—women age 30 and older—to attain an undergraduate degree through part-time study.

Learn more about our Volunteer of the Year in the short interview below with Dr. Elin Danien!


1. What do you do as a volunteer?
Docent, lecturer, researcher, author.

2. What is the most rewarding thing about volunteering?
The constant discovery. Being in an environment that enriches me and allows me to share with the public the excitement of archaeology, the need to understand other cultures and other times, and the importance of the past to the present.

3. Tell us about the differences between working at the Museum and volunteering at the Museum.
In addition to what I said above, it’s the opportunity to help shape the programs that further the mission of the Museum, to create a public message in ways that feature the traditions of other cultures and the archaeological discoveries that change and enhance our view of the past.

ed-2

Dr. Danien holds a Maya polychrome chama piece from the Museum’s American collections.

4. What is your favorite thing about leading tours?
The look in a child’s eyes at the wonder of it all; when understanding of other people, other cultures, becomes apparent, and he or she realizes that difference is not a bad thing.

5. What do you like to do when you are not at the Museum?
Oh gosh—write, go to theater and concerts, hang out at other museums, read, walk, play with my puppy, and most importantly, the intellectual stimulation of exchanging ideas with other people.

6. What’s your favorite Penn Museum story? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your work.)
Well, in addition to the research I do for the biographies I’m writing (about an archaeologist and an archaeological artist, who both worked for the Museum), I think one of the best stories I know illustrates how much the staff and volunteers love the Museum: During the Great Depression, when the Museum’s funds were at a minimum and staff was skeletal, the Director could be seen sweeping the galleries after hours. That’s dedication!

ed-4

Kevin Schott and Williams Director, Jilian Siggers, present Dr. Elin Danien her Volunteer of the Year award at the annual Penn Museum Volunteer Luncheon.

 

The Archaeology News Network

EU sponsors restoration of Bulgaria's Perperikon

The project of the Kardzhali municipality ''Perperikon - past for the future'' received a funding approval Thursday. The ancient Thracian rock city of Perperikon in Southern Bulgaria [Credit: BGNES]Kardzhali mayor Hasan Azis signed a EU-grant contract valued at EUR 748 203, as announced by the municipality's Press Office. The grant is provided through the financial mechanism of the European Economic Area in the field of restoration,...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Brice C. Jones

Palaeographical Ductus in the Digital Age

Picture
I just listened to a highly stimulating lecture on YouTube by Dr. Alison Tara Walker (Seattle University) on the paleographical ductus in the digital age. In palaeography, or the study of ancient handwriting, the "ductus" refers to the graphic character of strokes produced by a stylus. These patterns help us decipher letter-forms and understand a scribe's overall style of handwriting. Walker's main question is: Where is the ductus in modern tablets and mobile devices? She highlights two competing views: one by Heidegger and the other by Nietzsche. Heidegger thought that the type-writer removes the ductus altogether. Nietzsche argued that the typewriter retained the ductus. In other words, the ductus is still alive in the typewriter. 

As someone who studies ancient handwriting, I found the questions in this lecture quite stimulating. It raised many questions such as the link between mind and hand, technology and the flow of an idea, finger as stylus, writing processes, the materiality of writing, and so on. Watch the lecture below!

Here is the abstract of Walker's lecture:

"Paleographers have long used the term _ductus_ to articulate the movement and sensory experience inherent in the process of writing and to describe the flow of letterforms from the hand to the page. But with the advent of the keyboard and touchscreen, how do the gestures of writing change? This talk explores the connection between gesture, the sound of writing, and how the _ductus_ of the writing instruments we use can help or hinder the writing process. First, the talk examines the change in _ductus_ between handwriting and the typewriter. From there, the focus turns to the digital age of writing by examining tablets, smart-phones, and new writing technologies in order to explore the unique _ductus_ of the digital era."

ArcheoNet BE

Provincie Limburg lanceert subsidiereglement voor klein historisch erfgoed

De provincie Limburg heeft sinds vandaag een subsidiereglement voor het onderhoud en de instandhouding van waardevol, niet-beschermd klein historisch erfgoed. De focus ligt voorlopig op erfgoed met een (verdwenen) publieke functie die mee het karakter van een stad of dorp heeft bepaald, in het bijzonder kapellen, kiosken, perrons en schandpalen, waterpompen, water- en bronputten.

Mits ze voldoen aan de voorwaarden, kunnen zowel publiekrechtelijke als private eigenaars en beheerders een aanvraag indienen om hun waardevol erfgoed beter te beschermen, in stand te houden en te ontsluiten.

Gedeputeerde Igor Philtjens is alvast blij met het nieuwe subsidiereglement: “Onroerend erfgoed is van onschatbare waarde voor onze Limburgse gemeenschap, zowel op religieus-historisch als op sociaal-cultureel vlak. Het niet-beschermd, klein historisch erfgoed vormt een wezenlijk onderdeel van de identiteit van de streek en verdient dan ook onze aandacht. Met dit reglement kunnen we eigenaars en beheerders beter ondersteunen bij de instandhouding van ons patrimonium.”

Meer info: je vindt het volledige subsidiereglement op www.limburg.be

Archaeological News on Tumblr

Ancient fishing leister found together with its spearing point

Prongs and a bone point from the Late Stone Age have been found together, proving to archaeologists...

The Archaeology News Network

Neanderthal mandible and humerus found in the Cova del Gegant in Sitges

An interdisciplinary scientific team, coordinated by researchers in the University of Barcelona (UB), has discovered a mandible and a humerus of a five-year old Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) in the Cova del Gegant, in Sitges (Barcelona). Fossil analysis, described on an article published in the Journal of Human Evolution, confirms that they are the first Neanderthal human remains found in Catalonia on a present excavation....

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Inclusive Cultural Heritage in Europe through 3D semantic model

Nel Febbraio scorso, il progetto “INCEPTION - Inclusive Cultural Heritage in Europe through 3D semantic model”, candidato per il Work Programme Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies (Call - Reflective Societies: Cultural Heritage and European Identities, Reflective-7-2014, Advanced 3D modelling for accessing and understanding European cultural assets), è stato ammesso al finanziamento dalla Commissione Europea, classificandosi primo tra 87 proposte.

Per Lineam Valli

25. Why was the Turf Wall built?

Some scholars have suggested that the reason for the use of a turf rampart may have been the difficulty in obtaining good building stone on the western side of the country or even the difficulty in obtaining limestone to make lime for mortar. Nevertheless, the stone curtain wall was later extended all the way to Bowness, using St Bees sandstone, probably after the final abandonment of the Antonine Wall in the mid-AD 160s, so perhaps the problem was that these materials could not be obtained and assembled quickly enough to complete the project in good time. The Emperor Hadrian himself commented to troops in North Africa that it normally took longer to construct a stone wall than an equivalent turf rampart.

Further reading: Breeze and Dobson 2000

Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

Noises off: Sound, sense and wildness in Philoctetes

The spare theatrical texture of Sophocles' Philoctetes is the sign of a playwright who has encountered complexity. It teases us into thinking we are "seeing" all there is to see. In contrast to earlier works -- such as Antigone and Women of Trachis -- this late work (produced in 409 BC, when Sophocles was nearing 90) has little of their dazzlingly dense poetry, laden with myth and mystery.

The lines seem more direct, less rifted with ore, yet immense dimensions of story trail behind them. Also, there's a crabbed, echoic, halting rhythm at times that strikes the ear -- places where it's as if the sentences themselves, like the pathetic figure at the center of the play, had a hard time making headway against some ill-defined but crushingly painful resistance. One reaches for analogies - one thinks (perhaps too easily) of Beethoven's last quartets, reaching for musical form beyond any music that had ever reached the human ear.

Some of this is apparent early on, at the first sign of Philoctetes. The Chorus says:

προυφάνη κτύπος
φωτὸς σύντροφος ὡς τειρομένου του
 που τῇδ᾽  τῇδε τόπων
205βάλλει βάλλει μ᾽ ἐτύμα 
φθογγά του στίβον κατ᾽ ἀνάγκαν 
ἕρποντοςοὐδέ με λάθει 
βαρεῖα τηλόθεν αὐδὰ τρυσάνωρδιάσημα γὰρ θρηνεῖ.


Chorus 
I heard a sudden thud, one that might naturally come from a man worn by pain. From there it came, I think—or there. [205] It strikes, strikes hard on my ear, the sure sound of someone creeping along his way as if tortured. I cannot miss that grievous cry of a man hard-pressed, even from afar—its tone is too clear.
The above translation is Jebb's. Here's Torrance:
A cry has arisen
as if from a man worn down by pain -
from there - or over there - it came.
Surely I hear the voice of someone
helplessly creeping along;
I cannot ignore
that grievously wearying voice from afar -
it comes too distinctly.
And here's Grene:
Hush! I hear a footfall
footfall of a man that walks painfully.
Is it here? Is it here?
I hear a voice, now I can hear it clearly,
voice of a man, crawling along the path,
hard put to it to move. It's far away,
but I can hear it; I can hear the sound well,
the voice of a man wounded; it is quite clear now.
The chorus speaks of what it hears, and what it hears is not at first clear. προυφάνη κτύπος is vague - κτύπος means a loud noise, a crash, as of thunder, or horses' hooves. προυφάνη also is decidedly open-ended, suggesting something manifesting towards one.

Each translator has dealt with this auditory fuzziness differently. One hears a human "cry," another, a "footfall." Jebb is closest to the sense of "noise" with "thud," but inserts the subjectivity of the choral speaker with "I heard," when it's more a sense of a loud noise manifesting itself.

This might seem trivial, but Sophocles was certainly capable of having his chorus say "I heard a voice!" if that's what he was after. The passage goes on to underscore the strange non-localized aspect of the noise - Grene gets it best by being entirely uncertain where it's coming from:

is it here? is it here?

The first sign of Philoctetes, then, is a loud, rude sound, indistinct in quality and location. As the chorus continues, we gather that in fact it is speaking about its own experience of sensing, then gathering more information, then translating that initially vague noise into the "heavy sound of a weary man" (βαρεῖα τηλόθεν αὐδὰ τρυσάνωρ), and then into, "a clear wail" (διάσημα γὰρ θρηνεῖ).

We don't find the word for "voice" until φθογγά (206) - and even then, it's voice as something that strikes, repetitively (βάλλει βάλλει ), more like the traces of a hobbled gait (στίβος). What is emphasized is the process of moving from a purely sensory experience (from a random direction) to a more vivid awareness of a sound now apparently "far off" to an even more specific sense of a wail coming through clearly. διάσημα carries the word for "mark" or "sign" (σῆμα διά (through)). A mere noise turns into a sign which then gets read, translated, and grasped as meaningful.

In a much shorter passage than I've managed in this comment, Sophocles dramatizes the act of translation. The chorus quite carefully moves through the stages of an interpretive act from initial sound to apparent signification to a sign it feels it can read, translate, understand. The translator who jumps in too soon with the presumption that one here is hearing a human voice betrays the way in which the speech makes the act of translation itself both its subject and the very thing it performs. Traduttore, tradittore indeed!

Why does this matter? Perhaps because this is but one of several moments in the Philoctetes when something manifests, but leaves substantial doubt about what it is, how it is to be understood and assimilated to consciousness. A few lines further on, Philoctetes will be overjoyed to hear the sound of Greek:

234:  φίλτατον φώνημα: he'll say, upon hearing Neoptolemus's voice.

O cherished sound! 

Less than the meaning of Neoptolemus's words, Philoctetes delights in their sound. Their cadence stands out against the background noise of barbarous, non-Greek, utterance, whether of man, beast, or pounding surf. It manifests by its phonetic texture alone something that is not uncivilized, or barbarous, or monstrous. And this matters. Marooned on Lemnos for nine years, Philoctetes has been surrounded by wildness. It is by no means clear how far from savagery - from a purely wild being - he now is.

Yet it's this figure, human or no, that Odysseus must "persuade" to return to service in the Greek army, to Troy, to a mission that means nothing to the order of wild things -- signals lost in the crash of the pounding surf.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

80s Rock Music for Worship

I had toyed with some reworked versions of 80s songs for use in church before – “Hosanna” to the tune of Rosanna by Toto, and “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” to the tune of Open Arms by Journey. My pastor left a comment on my wall on Facebook, suggesting that we do a whole service, perhaps calling the genre “Grace Rock.” Here are some other songs I suggested might be included. A few I am serious about – can you tell which ones those are? Others are here just to make you groan. Could you add to the list?

Blessed Assurance (to the tune of Crazy Train)
I Just Died On A Cross Tonight
God in Motion (St. Peter’s Fire)
Owner of a Godly Heart
I Wanna Know What Love Is (this one can be left as it is)
Walk Like a Christian (to the tune of Walk Like an Egyptian)
Gloria
Everybody Wants To Praise The Lord
Jesus (to the tune of “Venus” by Bananarama)
Livin’ on a Prayer
Here I Go Again (no need to change it?)
Kyrie (no change needed)
Girls Just Wanna Praise God
(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Worship!)
And, drawing on 80s music and the Islamic tradition:
99 Names of God (to the tune of 99 Red Balloons)
And of course, Pride, Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, and several others by U2, but we’ll keep those for the U2charist.

Can you suggest others? Also, the semester is almost over, and I am about due to make another parody song video, and so suggestions for those are welcome too!

Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

Odysseus's acting and direction in Philoctetes

The opening scene of Philoctetes appears to have two action planes, but really has three.

It begins with Odysseus setting the scene for Neoptolemus:
Odysseus
This is the headland of sea-washed Lemnos, land untrodden by men and desolate. It was here, child bred of the man who was the noblest of the Greeks, Neoptolemus son of Achilles, that I exposed [ἐξέθηκ᾽] long ago the native of Malis, Poeas' son, on the express command of the two chieftains to do so, because his foot was all running with a gnawing disease. Neither libation nor burnt sacrifice could be attempted by us in peace, but with his wild, ill-omened cries [10] he filled the whole camp continually with shrieking, moaning.
A moment later, Odysseus is predicting that Neoptolemus will see the cave where Philoctetes was abandoned more than nine years earlier.
Come, it is your task to serve as my ally in what remains, and to seek where in this region there is a cave with two mouths [δίστομος]. During cold weather it provides two seats facing the sun, while in summer a breeze wafts sleep through the tunneled chamber. [20] And a little below, on the left hand, perhaps, you will see water rising from a spring, if it has not failed. Go there silently, and signal to me whether he still dwells in this same place, or is to be found elsewhere, so that the rest of my plan may be explained by me, heard by you, [25] and sped by the joint effort of us both.
As Odysseus speaks, he halts, directing Neoptolemus to go forward. This is clear from how Neoptolemus begins to describe the cave, because he can see it, while Odysseus, who has it in his mind's eye, cannot:
Neoptolemus
King Odysseus, the completion of the task that you set me is not far off, for I believe I see a cave like that which you have described.
Odysseus
Above you, or below? I do not see it.
Neoptolemus
Here, high up—and of footfalls there is not a sound.
Odysseus
[30] See that he is not sheltered there asleep.
Neoptolemus
I see an empty dwelling, without occupants.
Odysseus
And is there no provision inside for human habitation?
Neoptolemus
There is—a bed of leaves, as if for some one who makes his lodging here.
The relevant points of attention now are three: Odysseus, Neoptolemus, and the cave. Two mouths -- one far, one "not far off" -- talking about a cave with two mouths, whose absent inhabitant will be the target of a ruse, a trick -- σόφισμα -- which Odysseus intends to use Neoptolemus to play.

It all depends on what comes out of one's mouth, Odysseus tells the young man:

55
You must cheat the mind of Philoctetes by means of a story told as you converse with him. 
A bit further on, in answer to Neoptolemus's asking why they can't just take Philoctetes by force, Odysseus says he used to have a "doing hand." But now, he adds,


I see that the tongue, not action, is what leads everything among men.

The three planes of action run through the play. Behind the scenes, Odysseus is pulling the strings. Neoptolemus is the shill, Philoctetes the target. Yet a fourth plane subsumes the others: the war at Troy. Odysseus will always maintain that the Atreidae direct him - he's merely carrying out their orders. What is going on here, on this little island, cut off from every civil society, is deeply connected to what is going on there. Far and near are frightfully close, here.

This interplay of planes makes it sometimes difficult to tell whether what one is seeing (or hearing) is action, or acted -- part of the biography of Philoctetes, or of the fiction woven to entrap him. Odysseus keeps telling Achilles' young son that he needs to become "clever," sophos (σοφός). With a master of chicanery like Odysseus (great-grandson of Hermes) one never has the clarifying comfort of knowing the real from the ruse. A real three-card monte of wagging tongues. As we watch Odysseus act and direct, we'll have to ask: What part of Neoptolemus's change of heart does Odysseus not anticipate? What part of Philoctetes' implacable hatred does the Ithacan lord not know precisely how to use to his own ends?

Ixion and theatrics in Philoctetes

The sole independent choral ode in the Philoctetes begins with a seemingly remote mythological allusion to Ixion:
Chorus
I have heard a rumor, but never seen with my eyes, how the man who once approached the bed of Zeus was bound upon a [680] swift wheel by the almighty son of Cronus. But of no other mortal do I know, either by hearsay or by sight, that has encountered a doom so repugnant as this of Philoctetes. For though he had wronged no one by force or thievery, [685] but conducted himself fairly towards the fair, he was left to perish so undeservedly. I truly marvel how—how in the world—as he listened in solitude to the breakers rushing around him, [690] he kept his hold upon a life so full of grief.

680
685
690


The allusion is richly suggestive. As Jebb points out, Ixion, king of the Lapiths is the archetypal ingrate. He'd refused to give his father-in-law bridal gifts, then invited the man to his home, where he tripped him into a fiery pit. The murder was so heinous that no one would purify him. Some say he went mad, until Zeus took pity and, by purifying him, brought him to his senses.

Ixion's senses then told him to try to rape Hera, and he actually believed he'd succeeded, bragging of the feat. In fact Zeus had created a double resembling Hera, named Nephele ("Cloud"). Nephele gave birth to Centaurus, a bestial savage who mated with horses and begat the race of Centaurs.

For his overachieving, Ixion received the signal honor of being bound to a fiery wheel that spins eternally (it is said to have paused only once, when Orpheus enchanted the Underworld with his song.) Ixion, in short, tops the list of the worst mortals ever, in large measure for betraying a benefactor.

There is far too much in this tale to discuss in this brief comment. Ixion comes to the mind of the chorus as the closest analog to the plight of Philoctetes. The poor marooned man's isolation and constant pain makes him, to their imagination, similar to Ixion. This is baffling, though because Philoctetes
 had wronged no one by force or thievery, [685] but conducted himself fairly towards the fair.
Philoctetes is at once like and totally unlike Ixion. In fact, we've just seen his total joy and gratitude upon being told that he will be going home aboard Neoptolemus's ship. No, if anyone here is betraying a trust, of course it's Neoptolemus at the behest of Odysseus. Philoctetes is being seduced by a beautiful lie, much as Ixion fell for the beguiling shape of Nephele.

Just as Dante put those who defrauded kinsmen and benefactors at the bottom of the Infernal pit, the Greeks saw this kind of fraud as beyond remediation. Essentially someone who has received grace or kindness, some good work and will, is perpetrating a calculated crime towards the benefactor - calculated because it requires the fabrication of a complex, coherent lie, coupled with bottomless ill-will.

The wit of the Ixion story lies in the cleverness (sophos) of how Zeus turned the tables, producing a mock-Hera, a similitude. He defrauds the fraudster (and, some say, enjoyed the embraces of Dia, Ixion's wife) and punishes him by making sure that everyone will see him coming from miles away.

So the tale of Ixion is of doubling down on a double-dealer, a tale of disguise and reverse theatrics in pursuit of the truth. The Philoctetes is also about role reversals, reaching layers where those playing roles might no longer be able to tell when role ends and reality begins.

Ixion is as much about how the gods win as it is about the turpitude of the mortal lout. Their power to play with appearances gives them a strategic edge in any game. Yet the containment of Ixion within his burning wheel doesn't provide closure. His deranged rape of a cloud produced a race of man-beasts that are forever ruining marriages, including that of Heracles.

Consider the long view, i.e. Zeus's: The bow of Heracles that Philoctetes carries has been pointing at Paris forever. It's cradled in the arms of the loneliest cripple on earth. And there is no way that arrow, cocked and loaded, is not going to kill its fated target. The wonder of the story is how; the how lies in wonder.

Compitum - événements (tous types)

« Que faire avec… un anthroponyme ? »

Titre: « Que faire avec… un anthroponyme ? »
Lieu: Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée / Lyon
Catégorie: Séminaires, conférences
Date: 04.05.2015
Heure: 13.00 h - 14.00 h
Description:

Information signalée par Marie-Karine Lhommé

 

« Que faire avec… un anthroponyme ? »

Sophie Minon, Professeur à Lyon 3 / IUF

 

Prochaine séance du séminaire AMASA, qui aura lieu :

Lundi 4 mai 2015
de 13h à 14h
à la MOM, salle Reinach

avec l'intervention de

Sophie Minon
Professeur à Lyon 3 / IUF

« Que faire avec… un anthroponyme ? »

Que faire avec un nom de personne... suivant que l'on est philosophe, juriste, archéologue, historien, sociologue, spécialiste de la religion, de la littérature ou linguiste ? Les noms propres historiques ou fictifs sont un champ d'étude à la fois transversal, universel et illimité. C'est avec les yeux du linguiste que nous examinerons ensemble les questions que posent ces éléments linguistiques spécifiques, à l'intérieur mais en marge du lexique. Les noms de personne grecs seront au centre de notre présentation, mais leur comparaison avec les noms de famille et prénoms de France (cf. Dauzat 1951) permettra de mettre en évidence les universaux qui président, plus généralement dans les langues, à la création et à la construction des anthroponymes. Des études de noms grecs (ou présumés tels !) feront voir les pièges que peut tendre à la recherche du sens la reconstruction étymologique et seront l'occasion de procurer un protocole de recherche qui puisse aider le cas échéant à s'improviser onomatologue sur des bases solides.


Pour plus d'informations (programme, affiches, compte-rendu des séances précédentes), rendez-vous sur la page d'AMASA - Que faire avec… ? sur le site web d'HiSoMA.



Source : Hisoma

The Archaeology News Network

The Viking Age began in Denmark

The story of the Vikings begins in the year 793 AD, after Norwegian Vikings landed in England on the first official Viking raid. To this day, these fierce raids are the most famous of Viking stories. Now, a new study suggests a more peaceful start to Viking seafaring -- and it all began in Denmark. Ribe in Denmark: Scandinavia's first town and central to the beginning  of the Viking Age [Credit: visitribe.dk]Three archaeologists...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Farrago

(Syllabic) Cypriot in LSJ... and the Gortyn Lawcode and Heraclean Tables

All occurrences (I hope) can be identified. For convenience, Inscr.Cypr.135 H(offmann) is Buck, no. 23 [partial, in full Schwyzer, no. 679, Colvin, no. 8]: The Idalion Bronze.

See also: every instance of Leg.Gort. and of Tab.Heracl. in LSJ.

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

LOST Rewatch: Ab Aeterno

The episode begins with Jacob’s visit to Ilana in the hospital. The continuation shows Jacob asking her to protect the six remaining candidates. She asks what she should do after bringing them to the temple, what she should do next, and he tells her to ask Ricardus. On the island, Richard says that he has no idea what they should do next. He says they are all dead and in hell. He says maybe it is time to stop listening to JCob and to start listening to someone else. Then he grabs a torch and leaves. Ben says RichRd doesn’t know anything, saying he has known him since he was 12. The fact that he does not age comes up, and that leads to the telling of his backstory.

We see Hurley talking Spanish. Jack thinks he is talking to Jacob, but Hurley says he is talking to someone else.

lost-ab-aeterno_240The story then moves to the Canary Islands in 1867. Richard returns to his wife Isabella who has a fever. She coughs up blood, and he runs to get a doctor. She gives him a mecklace with a cross on it, to give to the doctor. The doctor refuses to help, and in struggling with him, Richard accidentally kills him. He runs with medicine but his wife is dead. Men come and arrest him for killing the doctor. A priest comes to visit him in prison, and finds him reading an English Bible. He tells of their plan to go to the New World and start a family. He confesses the murder to the priest, but the priest says he cannot obsolve him for murder, even if it was accidental, and since he will hang tomorrow, he has no time to do penance. The devil waits for him in hell, he is told. But then a Mr. Whitfield is looking for someone who speaks English, and buys him for Captain Magnus Hanso. He is taken onto the ship The Black Rock, and in a storm they see the statue on the island. A huge wave brings them crashing into the statue. When they awake the next day, a fellow slave says that God has spared them. But one of the officers, aware of their limited fresh water and supplies, and that the slaves might try to kill them, starts killing the slaves. But before he can kill Richard, the smoke monster attacks. It finds him alive in chains and reads his mind. Richard prays, and when he opens his eyes it is gone. Days later, he sees Isabella. She says they are both dead and he is there to save him from the Devil. She asks if he has seen it. He says he thinks so. The smoke monster is heard outside. She seems to be taken by it. Later, in the form of Jacob’s brother, Smokey gives him water. He says he is a friend. He asks if he is in hell, and Smokey says yes, he is afraid he is. He says he is afraid that “he” has her. He says he wants to be free too. He makes Richard promise to do anything he asks before unlocking his handcuffs. He says “It’s good to see you out of those chains.” He says that he will need his strength to escape, and that there is only one way to escape from hell: he is going to have to kill the devil. He gives him a knife, saying that he needs to drive it through his heart. If he has a chance to speak, it will be too late – precisely the imstructions Dogen gave to Sayid. He says that he is the black smoke, and that the devil betrayed him and stole his humanity, Richard finds the remains of the statue, the Black Rock having smashed most of it to pieces. Jacob attacks him first. When Richard insists that he is dead and in hell, Jacob submerges him in the water. When Richard says he wants to live, Jacob says that is the first sensible thing he has said. Then they talk. Jacob says he is not the devil, and that he brought the ship to the island. Jacob holds a bottle of wine, saying that the wine is like hell or malevolence, and this island is the only thing keeping

He says that the man he met in the island believes that all people are corruptible. Jacob brings people there trying to prove him wrong. He says that he wants them to learn right and wrong without his help. He offers Richard the job of being his intermediary. Richard asks for his wife back, and then asks for forgiveness of his sins so that he will not go to hell. When Jacob cannot offer either, he asks not to die, and Jacob says that he can do that. He is then sent back to the man in black with a white rock. Smokey gives him his wife’s necklace and says that if he ever changes his mind, his offer still stands.

Back in the present, Richard says he has changed his mind. He digs up his wife’s necklace, which he had buried. But Hurley tells him that isabella his wife sent him, and that she wants to know why he buried her cross. She says it was not his fault she died. When he says he would do anything for them to be together, she says they are already together. Richard puts the cross around his neck, and thanks Hurley. She then gives him one more message: he must stop the man in black, or we all go to hell.

At the end of the episode, Jacob and the man in black talk. The latter wants to leave and Jacob says as long as he is alive he won’t allow that. Jacob’s brother says that is why he wants to kill him. He says if he kills him, someone else will just take his place, and he says that he will kill them too.

The first time I watched the episode. I do not think I realized just how much Jacob’s words to Richard sound like the view traditionally attributed to God: not wanting to tell people what to do, but wanting them to discover the right way for themselves. Take a look at the transcript of the episode to see it in more detail and more precisely. I also found myself wondering whether the light/energy beneath the island, of which people have a little inside themselves and always want more, is not supposed to represent malevolence rather than something else. It is that which becomes intensely infused into Jacob’s brother when he is thrown into the cave of light, in a backstory that we will soon learn about. And so perhaps it is the release of that concentration of malevolence that Jacob hopes to prevent.

Jacob and Richard Ab Aeterno

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Primo Workshop Beni Culturali e Tecnologie, Laboratori Open su Scienza Arte ed Innovazione

Il Distretto ad Alta Tecnologia dei Beni Culturali della Campania (DATABENC) organizza il Primo Workshop "Beni Culturali e Tecnologie" all'interno dell'iniziativa - LaboratoriOpen suScienzaArte ed Innovazione. L'evento si svolgerà dal 29 al 31 Maggio 2015 presso il Complesso Monumentale di San Domenico Maggiore, Sala del Capitolo, a Napoli.

Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents

Philae Obelisk : RTI of the Greek text

Several weeks after the main campaign of imaging of the Philae obelisk in the grounds of the Kingston Lacy Estate in Dorset, Charles Crowther and Ben Altshuller have returned to Dorset to complete the RTI imaging of the Greek inscription at the foot of the obelisk. It was not possible to complete this part of the obelisk along with the hieroglyphic inscription in November, as the original scaffolding had been constructed in a way that restricted access to the lower portion, where the Greek text is inscribed.
CSAD team carrying out RTI of the Greek text on the Obelisk at Kingston Lacy
Charles and Ben, and two assistants, returned last week to Kingston Lacy on a glorious sunny Spring day; ideal conditions for most visitors to these beautiful grounds, but for the RTI team such direct bright sunlight made the imaging quite problematical, and much time was spent rigging up shading tarpaulins so that a series of images under raking light at various angles could still be achieved. However it is hoped that the results will be as good as those of the upper parts of the obelisk, and that improved readings of the damaged and eroded parts of the Greek text will now become legible.


Tom Matrullo (Classics in Sarasota)

Encountering myth and naturalism in Philoctetes

This is long and in part goes back over lines already discussed, but from a different angle, trying to clarify something. Feel free to ignore.

In his fine essay on the Philoctetes in The Wound and the Bow, Edmund Wilson notes how isolating the three main characters on a lonely island helps Sophocles get away from the "barbarities, anomalies and absurdities" of the old myths.

"The people of the Philoctetes seem to us more familiar than they do in most of the other Greek tragedies," he writes. The thought echoes that of H.D.F. Kitto who found the language of the play more naturalistic, more consonant with the familiar notes of humans suffering rage, hope, pain and despair. (Greek Tragedy.)

The bleak Lemnian setting amplifies our attention to the words spoken, the nuances of the dialogue. Nonetheless it's not as if Sophocles chooses to do away with the old myths -- he's working with the givens of a highly specific story that features prophecies of old, not unlike the ancient tablet Heracles uses to foresee his future in Women of Trachis.

Wilson seems to find that Sophocles' late work exemplifies a movement toward greater realism accompanied by a downplaying of mythic matters -- as if the playwright were moving towards some sort of 20th century stylistic mode. But is that in fact the case? It might be best to begin by simply observing the co-presence of these two very distinct elements: a direct pathos of human emotion on one hand, and elements taken from high story: a fabulous war of heroes, a sacred bow, a fateful set of conditions that must be met in order for the Greeks to conquer Troy, on the other.

Sophocles succeeds in integrating the naturalistic style with these fraught props -- not an easy task. But he did choose to tell this story, and these ingredients, while mostly in the background, are essential to it.


Why this story? For one thing, it offers something very important to the playwright -- a dramatic discrepancy between agent and effect. As we saw in the Antigone, the plot pivots on a surprise triggered by an immense gap between the proximate cause of the central action and its ultimate effect. A handful of dust sprinkled by a young girl upon her brother's corpse leads inexorably to the obliteration of the house of Creon. Similarly Women of Trachis presents us with the strongest man who ever lived, portrayed in his feeblest moment. Yet in that moment he manages to be an agent of major change while orchestrating his own last rites.

The spectacle of frail human means coupled with fiery gumption and impact beyond the individual fascinated Sophocles. In Philoctetes' story he found yet again a tale that put the bow of Heracles - this mythic agency of historical change - in the arms of a sick, abandoned man who is likened to a stumbling child without a nurse. This joining at the hip of the very small and frail with something very big and powerful forms a pattern in the plays of Sophocles, and the pattern requires for its potency the material of "the old myths" just as much as it does the vocal texture and realism of human vulnerability.

The bow of Heracles never misses its intended target, and its arrows, dipped in Hydra bile, always kill. That is, there is nothing contingent or iffy about this bow - it executes with no element of chance - it is pure necessity. Yet the fact that Philoctetes has the bow appears purely a matter of chance, doesn't it? He happened to encounter the hero building his own funeral pyre. This chance encounter is described in the choral ode that begins with Axion's tale, where the chorus goes on to say,
I have heard a rumor, but never seen with my eyes, how the man who once approached the bed of Zeus was bound upon a [680] swift wheel by the almighty son of Cronus. But of no other mortal do I know, either by hearsay or by sight, that has encountered (συντυγχάνω) a doom so repugnant as this of Philoctetes.
Philoctetes happened to meet Heracles and his own repugnant doom at the same moment - the verb συντυγχάνω contains the word τῠ́χη, chance, fortune, personified as Τυχη, or Fortuna. Philoctetes does what Heracles asks - sets the pyre ablaze, and receives the bow that cannot miss its mark. The tension of the story, however, lies in how not just the arrows, but the bow itself went astray, thanks to the misfortune of Chryse's serpent's bite. That seemingly chance encounter puts the bow and repellent Philoctetes so far outside the theater of war, the calculus of any military strategy, as to be nearly obliterated.

The action of displacing or misplacing the bow is what creates the dramatic tension of the story. (Think of the story as a bowstring being pulled back.) When the Greeks are reminded that Philoctetes and his bow are necessary to victory, they go to recover him, fully aware that they have alienated him completely.

The choral ode actually recounts three meetings. The first is that of Philoctetes and Heracles. The second is the fortune of "coming to meet" Neoptolemus -
But now, after those troubles, he will attain happiness and heartiness in the end [720] because of his meeting (ὑπαντήσας) with this son of a noble race,
ὑπαντήσας connotes an intentional encounter - one "comes to meet" another person - the emphasis is on an intentional act, not a chance meeting.

The third encounter is that of Heracles' apparent apotheosis:
in that very land where, above Oeta's heights, the hero of the brazen shield approached [πλάθω approached, drew near] the gods, illuminated by his father's divine fire.
ἵν᾽  χάλκασπις ἀνὴρ θεοῖς πλάθει πατρὸς θείῳ πυρὶ παμφαήςΟἴτας ὑπὲρ ὄχθων.
This encounter, if that's the word, is not framed as complete; it takes place outside human space and time. Heracles "drew near" something that humans may not approach. The passage has been remarked on for the fact that Heracles is described as the man with the brazen shield - not the familiar iconography of the lion's skin, bow and club. Heracles seems a bit more like any soldier, any man, requiring a shield to be safe.

With παμφαής - all-radiant, all-brilliant - we onlookers encounter a dilemma. Are we witnessing through the chorus's words transcendental light, or the quite literal fire set by Philoctetes to consume the agonized flesh of Heracles? Is this the fated, necessary, divine illumination of mythic transcendence (not unlike Ixion's eternal wheel of fire), or the natural searing combustion of Oeta's trees? Hard to tell, since this light, all-brilliant, blinds the human eye.

The three encounters of the ode cover the range of possible ways meetings can occur: one appears random, yet sets up the tale we are watching; one seems intentional, and the third, bathed in light, really doesn't appear - if an encounter with the gods does take place, it occurs beyond our ability to see it for ourselves.

And here might lie a clue as to why we might not be correct in seeing Sophocles' "naturalism" as in some way a retreat, or turning away, from myth. Certainly the play's expressive pathos seems more in line with modernity. But instead of resulting from a diminution or demystification of mythic power, it stands in strong tension to it. The chorus begins:

I have heard a tale, but never saw with my very eyes,
A moment later it repeats the opposition:


But of no other mortal do I know, either by hearing or by sight, a doom . . .

Our eyes can take us to the furthest edge of nature. But all of that "realism" gathers force by being set against what we have heard -- the ancient tales of humanity's encounters with the gods. Whether random, intended, or inscrutable, the aural realm of myth with all its "barbarities, anomalies and absurdities" is what gives the sharply observed style of Sophocles' naturalism its curiously modern force and sense.

ἀκτὴ: Some edges in the Philoctetes



5


The opening lines of the Philoctetes. Here's Jebb's translation:
Odysseus
This is the headland of sea-washed Lemnos, land untrodden by men and desolate. It was here, child bred of the man who was the noblest of the Greeks, Neoptolemus son of Achilles, that I exposed long ago the native of Malis, Poeas' son, on the express command of the two chieftains to do so, because his foot was all running with a gnawing disease.

The first word of a work of Sophocles often is worth attending to. Here it's ἀκτὴ:

ἀκτή (A), ,
A. headland, foreland, promontory
2. generally, tract of land running out into the sea
II. generally, edge,

The word takes on meaning from the text it opens. This is not the time for a full exploration, but a few elements might be worth thinking about:

From the vantage point of a sailor or a drowning man, a headland or promontory is the prospect of salvation. 

From the perspective of a stranded Crusoe figure, the point where land runs out to the sea is the limit of one's motion -- the isolating (isola = island) wall or threshold of one's world.

The ἀκτή  can be the hoped-for, salvational terra firma, or a limiting wall of despair, depending on whether one is drowning at sea or attempting to escape a deserted (οὐδ᾽ οἰκουμένη) island. That is to say, the edge cuts both ways - it's liminal.

We are at the edge of the text. Odysseus is speaking, introducing Neoptolemus and us to the scene. He begins with ἀκτή and moves through a concise statement of how he, Odysseus, isolated Philoctetes here under the orders of the Atreidai, before he ends at Philoctetes' dripping (καταστάζοντα) foot. Another edge, suppurating flesh and liquid mixed - a shedding wound upon which the serpent-bitten man cannot stand, move, or rest.

In a play that is deeply about separation, about a vast interwoven story of two nations and the isolated individual who yet is necessary to the resolution of their conflict, the question of edges, borders, limits is basic. Consider the moments in the play in which edges appear to disappear. One example might be the central choral ode in which the singers, taking part in Odysseus's plot to trick Philoctetes, are moved by the subject of their song -- the wounded man's plight. Another might be the moment Philoctetes set fire to Heracles' funeral pyre -- where the hero's suffering body, consumed in fire, ceased to suffer and, the tales tell, began another journey

From its first word, the Philoctetes is grappling with edges -- encountering the nature of their limits, discovering that they can be suspended, crossed, transcended. Sophocles gives us much to attend to.

Odysseus's "winning words" in the Philoctetes

When Odysseus arrives on Lemnos, he ascertains first that Philoctetes is still alive, and second that he is and has been totally isolated. Having anticipated as much, the wily emissary is already working on the ruse to bring back the man he abandoned on that spot nine and a half years earlier.

He tells Neoptolemus:
τὴν Φιλοκτήτου σε δεῖ 55ψυχὴν ὅπως δόλοισιν ἐκκλέψεις λέγων 
You must deceive the soul of Philoctetes by speaking craftily.
He fully acknowledges that this goes against all that the noble son of Achilles believes is honorable, yet insists:
ἀλλ᾽ αὐτὸ τοῦτο δεῖ σοφισθῆναικλοπεὺς ὅπως γενήσει τῶν ἀνικήτων ὅπλων
No, the thing for which we must devise a ruse is just this: how to become a thief of his unconquerable weapons.
If Philoctetes has that formidable bow, force is not a viable option. But Odysseus has Neoptolemus, and a blank canvas. He saw immediately that Philoctetes is cut off from access to what is happening in the world, and thus is susceptible to virtually any representation. The world's greatest liar is tasked with persuading the world's most informationally deprived man, who happens to hate his guts. The talespinner's entire focus is on the "ruse" - σοφισθῆναι - a word that runs the gamut from "the teaching of wisdom" to "use fraud:"

σοφίζω ,
A.make wise, instructLXX Ps.18(19).8; “τινὰ εἰς σωτηρίαν” 2 Ep.Ti.3.15.
2. Pass., become or be clever or skilled in a thing, c. gen. rei, ναυτιλίης σεσοφισμένος skilled in seamanship, Hes.Op.649; “Μοίσαι σεσοφισμέναι” Ibyc.Oxy.1790.23; so ἐντοῖς ὀνόμασι ςX.Cyn. 13.6: abs., to become or be wise, freq. in LXX, Ec.7.24(23), al.; “βέλτερος ἀλκήεντος ἔφυ σεσοφισμένος ἀνήρ” Ps.-Phoc.130.
3. Med., teach oneself, learnἐσοφίσατο ὅτι . . he became aware that . ., LXX 1 Ki.3.8.
II. Med. σοφίζομαι , with aor. Med. and pf. Pass. (v. infr.), practise an art, Thgn.19IG12.678; play subtle tricks, deal subtly, E.IA744, D.18.227, etc.; οὐδὲν σοφιζόμεσθα τοῖσιδαίμοσι we use no subtleties in dealing with the gods, E.Ba.200; to be scientific, speculate, “περὶ τὸ ὄνομα Pl.R.509d, cf. Plt.299b, Muson. Fr.3p.12H., etc.; σοφιζόμενος φάναι to say rationalistically, Pl.Phdr.229c; καίπερ οὕτω τούτου σεσοφισμένου though he has dealt thus craftily, D.29.28; σοφίσασθαι πρός τι to use fraud for an end, Plb.6.58.12; 

As the first scene closes, the question is not whether Neoptolemus will have to tell Odysseus's lie. The question facing Odysseus is what specific form of "speaking craftily" will get the job done.

* * * * *
Merchant 
There was a seer of noble birth, [605] a son of Priam, called Helenus, whom that man, out on a solitary night raid—that deceitful Odysseus, whose repute is all shame and dishonor—captured. Leading him back in bonds, he displayed him publicly to the Achaeans as his glorious prey. [610] Helenus then prophesied for them whatever matter they asked, and, pertaining to Troy, he foretold that they would never sack its towers, unless by winning words [πείσαντες λόγῳthey should bring Philoctetes here from the island where he now dwells. And, as soon as he heard the seer prophecy this, Laertes' son immediately promised that he would bring the man and show him to the Achaeans. He thought it most likely that he would get him willingly, but, if unwilling, then by force, and he added that, were he to fail in this, whoever wished it might sever his head. [620] 

The merchant is speaking according to Odysseus's script. In point of fact, the merchant is almost certainly Odysseus in disguise. Not only would that make sense, given the character's masterful ability to play any role, but it would enable Odysseus to give out precisely the information he wishes to further his ruse. Onstage it would play wonderfully as he denigrates himself. And, it's entirely in keeping with the wit and craft and fun of polutropos Odysseus. Only, why does he disclose precisely this information?

Now Philoctetes might be spurred to have Neoptolemus take him from the isle, fearing the coming of Odysseus. But at a certain point he will know that he's been tricked and that the lord of Ithaka has him -- how willingly will he go? Is there not a good chance the plot will backfire? Why does Odysseus tell the man he's trying to persuade "by winning words" that he, Odysseus, stands to lose his head if his attempt to capture Philoctetes fails? What stronger motivation could Philoctetes have to ruin the plan?

* * * * * 

Gene Fletcher, a writer acquaintance, recently shared an essay in which he describes a man he knew more than a half century ago in North Florida:
[He] was a complex man. He lived by a code that I find difficult to understand much less explain. He was loyal to a fault to his friends. He was honest and you could depend on him regardless of the circumstances. His word was his bond. He understood the nature of people. He was the most adept man I ever met at making quick assessment of a person’s character. He knew how to arrange people and events in a fashion that caused the result that he wanted to occur. He was like a Master of Chess except he applied those skills to politics.
Two things are given with the figure of Odysseus: First, he is theatrical in the most persuasive way - he can successfully simulate anyone (or outis - no one) - it's a trait he shares with his great grandfather Hermes. Second, like this Florida gentleman, he could read people -- he knows what makes them tick, and how to get them to tick to his beat.

Keen insight into the tumblers of human nature was a key component of the craft of the master rhetorician -- a trait shared with Athena. Sophocles brings in the full range of Odysseus because he's deeply interested in the power of rhetoric, of "winning words."

Small digression

It gets more interesting. Much of the tradition deriving from Plato and Aristotle addresses the same inquiry -- the power of rhetoric as wielded by sophists to seem to speak truth. In fact they either do not know the truth (as Socrates usually ferrets out) or it's irrelevant -- they brashly use the power of tropes and syntactical dexterity to their advantage. Sophists win arguments regardless of the truth -- their power lies in "speaking craftily."

With Sophocles, it's different, I think. YES, all the beguiling charms of rhetoric are fully seen in all their misleading beauty, BUT the comfortable edge, the clear frame dividing mere crafty speech from truth is not so easy to locate. Just as we saw above with σοφίζω -- instruction that makes one wise and fraudulent pretense can make strange bedfellows within one and the same word, and do. Crafty speech indeed.

This can be seen in the Merchant's tale of Helenus' stipulation that Philoctetes must be brought back to the war, and reintegrated into the Greek cause not by force, but with πείσαντες λόγῳ -- linguistic power that persuades, or in Jebb's inspired translation, "winning words." What we call truth is what we are persuaded of. Many times in the tragedies a character will intend, "such and such is true," but what he/she actually says is, "I am persuaded of x."

* * * * * 

Later in the play Odysseus will describe himself as one whose natural desire, in everything, is to win:
νικᾶν γε μέντοι πανταχοῦ χρῄζων ἔφυν  (1052)
Victory, however, is my inborn desire in every field
There is no question of losing; it's a matter of discovering what craft will do the job. After telling Neoptolemus he must lie to Philoctetes, the first thing he coaches him to say is that he's the son of Achilles. The truth, if it will serve, is the best lie.

But we still have to ask: why does Odysseus introduce through the Merchant's mouth (which is his own, literally or no) the imminent arrival of himself? Why inject himself into the fiction, given how anathema he is to Philoctetes? What's the strategy, the rhetorical advantage, of disclosing that he is on his way?

A lesser liar would have kept that to himself. Is he not making his task ever so much harder? We'll take this up in another post.

Persuasive paradigms: Latour and Sophocles' Philoctetes

In some ways, a play like Sophocles' Philoctetes is more than a rendering of a single story evoked from the tapestry of Greek myth. In choosing this story of a duel between, on one hand, a noble Greek reduced almost to a beast through social indifference, and on the other, the cleverest favorite of Athena, polutropos Odysseus, Sophocles set in motion a paradigm of the Greek world. In that world, a theatrical piece could and did think through the forces that formed it, tested it, and threatened to break it apart.

If one wishes, one can find contemporary authors who have similar aspirations -- whether their art succeeds quite as well remains to be seen. One example might be Bruno Latour's recent Gaia Global Circus.


Circus is "a tragicomedy," writes Erik Bordeleau, that “attempts at plunging into the internal drama of science.” The particular agon of the work relates the question of the Earth (Gaia) and climate change -- a global theme indeed.

Latour, a French philosopher deeply concerned with science, is clear about the aim of his drama: “A good scientific experimentation is like a theatrical situation of dramatization,” he wrote. 

Latour has a point: It might very well be that what physicists like to call "thought experiments" are precisely what were taking place in amphitheaters 2,500 years ago.



The Greeks had numerous stories from their bottomless world of myth that spoke to similar giant themes: questions of world order, the place of man in that order, the precarious state of that "terrible wonder" described by the chorus of Antigone:

Many wonders, many terrors, 
But none more wonderful than the human race, 
Or more dangerous 
This creature travels on a winter gale 
Across the silver sea . . . 
(trans. Peter Meineck)

One way to think of a "classic" is as a work that attacks questions so fundamental that it never ceases to interest and concern us. 

There's much to interest us in Sophocles' drama set on Lemnos. The island is not an idle choice of scene -- it's where Hephaistos landed after he was tossed out of Olympus, some say, because his mother Hera found the limping god too ugly to bear. 

The play alludes to that tale in passing - it's the divine paradigm of ejection, or rejection, of an individual by society - ratcheted up by the fact that the "society" here is the mother who brought little Hephaistos into the world. For both men and gods in this world, part of being "social" is being mobile -- the capacity to run, march, dance, hunt, and all the tasks of war and athletics require health and agility. To lack these is to run the risk of alienation; of course there are degrees of outsiderness. For Hephaistos and for Philoctetes, whose smell offends the senses as his cries of pain unsettle the mind, estrangement on Lemnos proved extreme.

Sophocles provides a rich contrast in pitting Odysseus versus Philoctetes. The latter is given large amounts of dramatic and choral time to arouse compassion both in us and in Neoptolemus and his crew -- he is a study in impoverished selfhood and lack, a human being verging on dissolving into the wild. It is not by accident that a key subtext of this play is the tale of Polyphemus from Odyssey 9 -- Philoctetes's body, mind, and soul are disintegrating in this solitary place into something no longer human. Monstrous.

It's necessary to fully apprehend the radical nature of Philoctetes' physical and emotional state -- the pathos and his huge anger at the leaders of the Greeks that erupts late in the play -- in order to appreciate the challenge facing Odysseus. 

Odysseus is the essential man -- everything Philoctetes no longer is. Strong, cunning, sophisticated, connected, capable of taking on any manner or role (polutropos), and intellectually capable both of seeing the big picture and of thinking through every strategic piece of business needed to win. As he himself puts it:
What kind of man the occasion demands, that kind of man am I. [1050] And accordingly, where the judgment at hand is of just and good men, you could find no man more pious than me. Victory, however, is my inborn desire in every field,


What's striking is how confident Odysseus is. Sure, he's worried that if Philoctetes sees him -- the man who so totally abandoned him 10 years before -- he won't survive the ineluctable arrows. But when the Greeks first realized they couldn't win the war without Philoctetes, Odysseus embraced the task with complete confidence, saying they could remove his head if he didn't bring back the wounded man, even though the prophet Helenus specified that Philoctetes must be persuaded and not forced to return to the war.

The full measure of the gageure has to be taken into account -- only so can we see how high are the stakes in this Latourian "thought experiment" of Sophocles. And only so can we enter into the wily fun and strategic gamesmanship of Homer's greatest character. 

In a way, the play works because we give full measure to both antagonists, much as we must to Antigone and Creon. If we reductively "side with" one or the other, the full dimensions of what is at stake never appear, and our experience of the play suffers from our lack of imaginative scope. In many ways Philoctetes is quite similar to the Antigone -- the fiercely antithetical motives, the rift between the State and the individual; the stark contrast of apparent strength and woeful weakness -- and the absolute need to bring them into harmony. 

What's different of course is that the earlier play ended with a tragic lose/lose, where this play -- the next to last produced by the playwright -- ends with a resounding Odyssean "win."

A subsequent post will look at some details of how this plays out.

Bill Caraher (The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World)

Punk Archaeology Project Update

It’s been just over 200 days since The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota published their inaugural volume: Punk Archaeology

Since that time, the book has been cited twice. Once in Koji Mizoguchi, “A Future of Archaeology,” Antiquity 89 (2015), p. 20: “”Moreover, we should not be too bothered by the existence of ‘established’ media and the media hierarchy. High- quality e-books (e.g. Caraher et al. 2014)…”

And once by Sara Perry in her contribution to the Alison Wylie and Robert Chapman, Material Evidence: Learning from Archaeological Practice. (Routledge 2015): “Crafting Knowledge with (Digital) Visual Media in Archaeology”.

The book has been downloaded well over 1000 times (and likely about twice that) via my blog and viewed over 5000 times on Scribd. The blog post dedicated to the book has been viewed 3,800 times. The book is available for purchase on Amazon, but we’ve only sold around 50 copies

According to Shawn Graham and Ed Summers, the link for Punk Archaeology was the second most tweeted link from this past week’s Society for American Archaeology meeting, and this has accounted for about 5% of the book’s total downloads. 

In constrast, the second book from the press, Visions of Substance: 3D Imaging in Mediterranean Archaeology. (2015) has about 100 downloads over the past 100 days and 1200 views on Scrbd. The webpage has been viewed about 270 times. My hope is that this book becomes a bit more popular in the fall when it could be a useful, accessible, (and free) addition to a Mediterranean archaeology class. 

Overall, I’m pleased with the performance of the first two books from The Digital Press! If you haven’t checked either book out, please do!


The Archaeology News Network

Researchers map genomes of woolly mammoths, raising possibility of bringing them back

An international team of researchers has sequenced the nearly complete genome of two Siberian woolly mammoths -- revealing the most complete picture to date -- including new information about the species' evolutionary history and the conditions that led to its mass extinction at the end of the Ice Age. Eleftheria Palkopoulou is with a mammoth tusk in the ancient DNA lab  at the Swedish Museum of Natural History [Credit: Love...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Archaeological News on Tumblr

The Viking age began in Denmark

The story of the Vikings begins in the year 793 AD, after Norwegian Vikings landed in England on the...

Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

English translation of Cramer’s catena on Galatians published

John Litteral writes to tell me that a complete translation of Cramer’s catena-commentary on Galatians has been made by Bill Berg, and is available at a trivial price ($12)on Amazon here (US) and here (UK).

Some will be unaware of what a catena is.  The medieval church created its bible commentaries by stringing together chains of quotations from the fathers.  These chain-commentaries are known today as catenas (from the Latin for chain).  These often reference now lost works, and so are of value as a source for lost early Christian commentary on scripture.  They tend to be found in the margins of Greek bible manuscripts; but sometimes standalone.  The author of each excerpt is indicated by an abbreviation at the start.

It’s pretty hard to work with the catenas.  The text is often corrupt, the author marks even more often corrupt, and the editions are all old – sometimes very old – and difficult to access.  So … scholars have ducked the task of producing modern editions.

In the 19th century John Cramer published a set of catenas on all the books of the New Testament, in eight volumes.  Bill Berg has attacked the catena on Galatians.

The authors cited in this catena include John Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Severian of Gabala, among others.

So … if ancient biblical commentary is your thing, pick up a copy.  It should certainly encourage work on this subject!

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

AWOL mailing list problem

A change in the way mailing lists and some large email service providers interact this winter has created major problems for AWOL and many other mailing lists.  We are working to solve this problem.

In the meantime, if you have been experiencing problems with the list, there are some alternatives.
1) Add AWOL to your feed reader.
2) Read AWOL directly online.
2) Read AWOL on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AncientWorldOnline
4) Read AWOL on Twitter: @AWOL_tweets
5) Resubscribe to AWOL at a different email address.

With thanks for your patience as we troubleshoot the problem.


David Gill (Looting Matters)

The Houston bronze krater

The bronze krater (once) on loan to Houston is mentioned by Monica S. Dugot, Thomas R. Kline, Jennifer Anglim Kreder, and Lucille A. Roussin, "Legal and Ethical Problems in Art Restitution", in a paper given in New York on April 4, 2008.
... a bronze krater is currently on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston from the Shelby White –Leon Levy collection, and there are calls for the museum to release its provenience history. 
As far as I know the collecting history for this krater has not been released.

Interestingly the cases relating to cultural property in Minneapolis (2011) and Toledo (2012) and mentioned in the same paragraph have now both been resolved.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

ArcheoNet BE

Workshop montage stenen werktuigen

Op 2-3 juni vindt aan de Universiteit Luik een workshop plaats over de montage van stenen werktuigen. Een gedetailleerd programma is binnenkort te vinden op web.philo.ulg.ac.be. Onderzoekers die geïnteresseerd zijn om actief deel te nemen aan de workshop, kunnen tot 27 april een voorstel voor presentatie of poster richten aan Veerle Rots. Er worden verschillende buitenlandse sprekers verwacht, zoals Dr. M. Regert (CNRS, Université de Nice, France), Prof. L. Barham (University of Liverpool, UK) en Prof. R. Fullagar (University of Wollongong, Australie).

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Operation Mummy's Curse

Source: ICE.
There are times when you wonder if there is a lack of imagination when it comes to naming operations but 'Mummy's Curse' is probably one of them.

Put that aside, ICE has announced that it is has returned "dozens" of Egyptian antiquities to Egypt as part of an "ongoing five-year investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) targeting an international criminal network that illegally smuggled and imported more than 7,000 cultural items from around the world". The total value of the seizures so far is approximately $3 million.

This sarcophagus appears to be the one siezed in a garage in Brooklyn in 2009. It is reported (Kathleen Caulderwood, "US Returns $2.5M In Egyptian Antiquities As Experts Call For Tougher Punishment On Smugglers", International Business Times April 22, 2015):
The coffin had been emblazoned with the name Shesepamutayesher and the title “Lady of the House” sometime between 664 and 111 B.C. But when Special Agent Brenton Easter of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uncovered the artifact Sept. 8, 2009, after months of investigation, it had been slapped with a few false shipping labels.
So once again we are seeing that the "paper trail" of a significant object is being corrupted to allow the piece to enter the market.

Caulderwood reveals that the investigation is linked to Morris Khouli (and see my earlier discussion here).
Easter recovered the head and other objects from Khouli’s gallery, intercepted shipments in Newark, New Jersey, and eventually found the “Lady of the House” sarcophagus at Khouli’s home, in a crate all ready for shipment.
ICE issued a press release on these investigations back in 2011.

Caulderwood also makes the point that there is the potential for this investigation to be linked to material coming from Syria. And this is a point that I have made before with links to material allegedly from Palmyra.

The material is not just Egyptian in character. The press release states: "A related December 2010 shipment interception netted agents 638 ancient coins from different countries, 65 of which are being repatriated to Egypt today." Which countries? Who imported the coins? What did the paperwork say? And coins have already formed part of the discussion in the Khouli case.

This immediately raises the big question: who has acquired the 7000 plus objects mentioned in the release? Museums? Private collectors? Or are they still part of the stock in a range of dealers? And are some of these objects forming part of what some term "the licit market"?

And this stated case comes against a broad backdrop that appears to include an Egyptian coffin seized in Miami.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Archaeological News on Tumblr

First major exhibition in the UK to present a history of Indigenous Australia opens

LONDON.- The British Museum will open a major exhibition presenting a history of Indigenous...

AIA Fieldnotes

Scholarships - 2015/16 PhD program in Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage (AMCH)

Sponsoring Institution/Organization: 
IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca
Listing: 
non-AIA
Type: 
fellowship
Deadline(s): 
June 29, 2015

Applications are now being accepted for PhD students in Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage (AMCH) for the 2015/16 PhD program at IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca (www.imtlucca.it).  Highly motivated candidates are invited to apply for one of the 35 fully-funded scholarships of the three-year doctoral program, which is articulated in curricula. Read more »

Contact Name: 
PhD Office

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Interstellar PhD

Interstellar PhD

Not a good planet for humanity’s overall survival. But perhaps a good place for a university? Or better yet, what if you get to enroll in a university on this planet, but do your research on Earth or in space, so that you can earn a PhD in an hour or less, local relative time?

Jim Davila (Paleojudaica.com)

Rollston on the James Ossuary

CHRISTOPHER ROLLSTON: THE JAMES OSSUARY (YA‘AKOV OSSUARY): BULLET POINT SYNOPSIS ABOUT A PROBABLE MODERN FORGERY. Timely in light of this recent story regarding the James Ossuary and the Talpiot Tomb.

Samaritans in the news

SIDE BY SIDE: Samaritans Play it Cool with their Jewish Neighbors. The Samaritan enclave of Kiryat Luza stands as one of the last outposts to the ancient Jewish offshoot, just meters away from Har Bracha (Gedalyah Reback, Arutz Sheva)
Har Bracha is nestled on the southern end of Mt. Gerizim in Samaria, which is more of a mountain range than it is a single peak. The town takes its name from the mount of Biblical fame, where six tribes stood to recite blessings into the ampitheatrical valley between Gerizim and Mt. Ebal, which look down on the ancient city of Shechem.

The town is looking to build its next neighborhood facing Kiryat Luza to the north, including the subtle but scenic Samaritan temple on the mountain's northeastern tip.

The town is also interesting for the fact it is the voting headquarters of that Samaritan community, a sect which broke off from mainstream Judaism as it were in ancient times.

[...]
To be clear — and the opening of the article isn't very — Har Bracha is an Israeli settlement and Kiryat Luza is a Samaritan village.

Grounds for divorce in the Talmud

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage, They Go Together Like … If the point of marriage is not happiness but religion, what constitutes grounds for divorce? Plus: tips for grooming pubic hair.
In America today, we are used to the concept of “no-fault divorce,” whereby either spouse can end a marriage for any reason or none. But this practice only makes sense in a society that regards marriage as a voluntary union of equals for the purpose of companionship. If the purpose of marriage is happiness, then by definition a marriage that makes people unhappy should end. As we have seen over the last several months of Daf Yomi reading, however, the Talmud—like almost all legal systems in the world until very recently, and many still today—has a different idea of what marriage means. If a marriage is not a voluntary union but part financial transaction, part family alliance, and part sacred ritual, then what circumstances justify ending it?

[...]
Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

St. George's Day 2015

TODAY: Saint George’s Day: England’s patron saint celebrated across the country. David Cameron says St George’s day has been overlooked ‘for too long’ and the country should celebrate what it is to be English (Hayley Dixon, The Telegraph). Be that as it may, St. George lived in late-antique Palestine and (according to legend) slew a dragon, so we give him a mention every year at PaleoJudaica.

Background here and links.

Dig episode 7

KIMBERLY WINSTON: Secret orders and supposed traitors — TV’s ‘Dig’ and religious history.
(RNS) The pieces of the religious puzzle that make up the USA Network’s biblical conspiracy action series “Dig” are beginning to fall into place, and the picture they are revealing is one of history — highlighted by a colorful streak of fiction.

Here be spoilers! Read on only if you are up-to-date with the 10-part series, or want to ruin it for yourself and others.

[...]
She has some information on the Crusades and the Knights Templar, then moves on to Josephus:
Enter “Dig,” whose evil archaeologist, Ian Margove (Richard E. Grant), is after the “treasure” the Order of Moriah is supposed to have buried somewhere in Jerusalem.

Flavius Josephus

Archaeologist Margrove says that “according to Flavius Josephus,” the breastplate will pinpoint the location of the treasure.

[...]

Whatever the truth, the characters of “Dig” are right to turn to Josephus for information about early Jewish rituals and practices. His book “Antiquities of the Jews” describes first-century Jewish religious garments and ritual items, including a priest’s breastplate that is critical to the “Dig” plotline.

But using such a breastplate as a treasure map is fictional — not historical — at all.
Josephus certainly had a flexible system of ethics, but he did manage to survive and leave us accounts of the history of Second Temple Judaism which are unique and irreplaceable, if often mendacious and self-serving. His "luck" in surviving the mass suicide of his friends to escape Roman capture has been analyzed mathematically as The Josephus Problem. If you find the maths confusing, the point is that if you know where to place yourself at the beginning of the count, you can survive to the end. Also, Josephus had a tradition that the twelve stones of the High Priest's breastplace (breastpiece) and the two sardonyx stones that held it together gave light sometimes as oracular revelations (Ant. 3.214-18). There is perhaps some relation to the tradition of the twelve shining stones in The Treatise of the Vessels XII, which figure in the storyline of Dig.

Additional background on the series is here and links. A more detailed summary of episode 7 is here.

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

In Sicilia la nuova app per visitare la storica Casa Museo Palazzo Mirto

I visitatori della storica Casa Museo di Palermo da alcuni giorni possono fruire in maniera innovativa il Museo. La nuova App Palazzo Mirtoufficiale è gratuita ed è stata realizzata dalla società ETT.

Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents

Epigraphy Workshops : Trinity Term

All meetings at 1.00 in the First Floor Seminar room, Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles, except that on May 4 which will be in the lecture theatre (and will potentially last until 2.30).

Monday, April 27: Ed Harris, ‘The Dedication of Phialai by Metics and Citizens, Or Applying Ockham’s Razor to the Interpretation of Some Attic Inscriptions’.

Monday, May 4: Christian Marek [title not yet confirmed: on the new 124 line verse inscription from Mylasa of the 4th c. BC concerning ‘Pytheas’].

Monday, May 11: Peter Thonemann, ‘The Martyrdom of St Ariadne of Prymnessos’.

Monday, May 18: Dragana Mladenovich and Georgy Kantor, ‘Unpublished inscriptions from the Tiber waterfront’.

Monday, May 25: Anna Heller, ‘Greek honorific inscriptions from the Imperial period: a quantitative approach’.

Monday June 8, Jean-Sebastien Balzat, ‘Romans on Delos: an onomastic approach’.

Monday, June 15 : Akiko Moroo, ‘ “Barbaroi” in Attic inscriptions’.

All welcome!

Charles Crowther, Robert Parker, Jonathan Prag

Archeomatica: Tecnologie per i Beni Culturali

Tutela e conservazione del patrimonio archivistico e librario: una giornata di studi a Vercelli

Mercoledì 29 aprile, presso il Museo del Tesoro del Duomo di Vercelli, in piazza Alessandro D’Angennes, saranno presentate alcune delle nuove tecnologie che possono coadiuvare nel lavoro di tutela preventiva del patrimonio pergamenaceo e cartaceo con dimostrazioni dal vivo di strumentazioni e procedure per l’acquisizione di immagini digitalizzate, così da poter garantire una consultazione del materiale archivistico e bibliografico che non danneggi o deteriori il patrimonio, e con esempi di spolveratura dei documenti e dei volumi.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

2015.04.40: Politics and the Street in Democratic Athens

Review of Alex Gottesman, Politics and the Street in Democratic Athens. Cambridge; New York: 2014. Pp. xii, 247. $95.00. ISBN 9781107041684.

2015.04.39: Studi sull'Asia Minore e sulla regalità ellenistica: scelta di scritti. Studi ellenistici, supplementi, 2

Review of Biagio Virgilio, Studi sull'Asia Minore e sulla regalità ellenistica: scelta di scritti. Studi ellenistici, supplementi, 2. Pisa; Roma: 2014. Pp. xxxvi, 418. €225.00 (pb). ISBN 9788862276368.

2015.04.38: Sharing with the Gods: 'Aparchai' and 'Dekatai' in Ancient Greece. Oxford classical monographs

Review of Theodora Suk Fong Jim, Sharing with the Gods: 'Aparchai' and 'Dekatai' in Ancient Greece. Oxford classical monographs. Oxford; New York: 2014. Pp. xv, 373. $150.00. ISBN 9780198706823.

Martin Rundkvist (Aardvarchaeology)

Gun Stash Suddenly Unavailable

A colleague of mine has left contract archaeology to work for the police as a civil utredare, that is, someone with a university degree who works on crime cases despite not being a policeperson. He told me a pretty neat story about Gubbligan, the Old Man’s Gang.

The OMG were three professional bank robbers who never settled down. In the 00s they were in their 40s, 50s and 60s, and still they kept committing armed robberies across southern Sweden. The police were onto them and had begun to tap the gang’s cell phones. This way they learned that the OMG had an arms stash out in the woods, where they had buried some pretty heavy weaponry and explosives.

The police now had a little problem. They weren’t quite ready to arrest the gang, and if they dug up the stash they would alert their quarry. On the other hand, it wasn’t very comfortable to let the gang keep their guns and explosives just like that. Then someone had a pretty neat idea.

The next time the OMG popped by to check on their stash out in elk country, they found it buried under half a ton of sugar beets. Across the clearing, just under the eaves of the woods, was a freshly built hunting stand.

The Old Man’s Gang were apprehended in 2010 and are currently serving another one of their usual long jail sentences.

For more about the OMG, see Anders Svensson’s blog.

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 44 (David Garejeli and the dragon)

For this installment we have a simple text that is part of a larger fascinating narrative in the Life of David Garejeli (of Gareja). David Garejeli (დავით გარეჯელი) was one of the fabled Thirteen Syrian Fathers (Tarkhnišvili, Geschichte, pp. 410-412) who are credited with establishing monastic communities and ascetic practice in Georgia in the sixth century. (Cf. the similar story of Nine Syrian Fathers in Ethiopia in the late fifth or early sixth-century. For details see Antonella Brita’s article in Encyclopaedia Aethiopica 3: 1188-1191.) For a visual realization of the dragon (ვეშაპი) mentioned in these lines, see the image at the end of the post, although one wonders if this δράκων should really have legs. (See here for another Georgian sentence in this series with a ვეშაპი.)

ხოლო ქუემო კერძო პარეხისა მის, რომელსა შინა იყოფებოდეს წმიდანი იგი, იყო სხუაჲ პარეხი, რომელსა შინა იყოფებოდა ვეშაპი დიდი და საზარელი, რომელსა ესხნეს თუალნი სისხლის ფერნი და რქაჲ იყო შუბლსა და ფაჩარი ფრიად ქედსა მისსა.

OldGeoHag 1 231.25-28, available at TITUS (cf. Lang, Lives and Legends of the Georgian Saints [avail. here], p. 85)

  • ქუემო (to) underneath
  • კერძო to, toward
  • პარეხი cleft, break, fissure (also step); here used for a hole in a larger rocky area where David and his companions are dwelling
  • ი-ყოფ-ებ-ოდ-ეს impf pass 3pl ყოფა here, to take up residence, stay (cf. Rayfield et al. 773b)
  • სხუაჲ another, second
  • ი-ყოფ-ებ-ოდ-ა cf. იყოფებოდეს above, here 3sg
  • ვეშაპი δράκων (cf. Arm. վիշապ, etc.; see H. Ačaṙian, Arm. Etym. Dict., IV 341-342, and E. Benveniste, “L’origine du višap arménien,” Revue des Études Arméniennes 7 [1927]: 7-91)
  • საზარელი abominable, terrible, detestable, hideous
  • თუალი eye
  • სისხლი blood
  • ფერი color, kind
  • რქაჲ horn
  • შუბლი brow
  • ფაჩარი hair, mane (the generic word for hair is თმაჲ, e.g. Jn 11:2 Ad წარჰჴოცნა ფერჴნი თმითა მისითა “wiped his feet with her hair”; in mod. Georgian, ფაჩარი is specifically pubic hair [Rayfield et al., 1278b], but cf. ფაჩუნიერი hairy)
  • ქედი neck
18th-cent. miniature. Source.

18th-cent. (?) miniature. Source.


April 22, 2015

ἐν ἐφέσῳ: Thoughts and Meditations

Paper Uploaded to Academia.edu

It’s in desperate need of an update since it’s now five years, but I decided I should just go ahead and upload my full paper on Greek syntax databases. The power point is already available.

<a href="https://www.academia.edu/12073252/Greek_Syntax_Databases_Retrospect_and_Prospect"Greek Syntax Databases: Retrospect and Prospect.

In any case, enjoy!


Filed under: Grammar, Greek, Language, Linguistics, Syntax

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

Associazione di studi Tardoantichi Pubblicazioni on line

Associazione di studi Tardoantichi
http://www.studitardoantichi.org/einfo2/Ast-2.jpg
Il settore di studi abbracciante grosso modo il periodo che va dal II all'VIII secolo d.C., e che suole designarsi come quello di «tardoantico», ha assunto da tempo una fisionomia unitaria e una sua autonomia metodologica. L'antichità classica vi è colta nei momenti della sua crisi decisiva, ma tali momenti sono a loro volta creativi, portatori di nuovi fermenti, di nuovi significati: conflitti di cultura, al centro e alla periferia; conflitti di lingue; conflitti di religioni, di forme artisiche, di tradizioni giuridiche, ecc. fanno da sfondo agli scontri delle «nationes» e delle classi nel seno dell'Impero. Istituti e forme subiscono mutamenti radicali, alcuni scompaiono e altri risorgono a nuova vita, e sempre con una comune connotazione etica di base, che è di avanzamento senza tagli irreparabili, di graduale distacco dal passato, non di oblio del passato.
Avendo in mente tali pensieri e trovandosi d'accordo su alcune linee operative, un gruppo di studiosi ha fondato, nel 1975, l'Associazione di Studi Tardoantichi, la quale si propone di continuare anche fuori delle mura accademiche i discorsi sui temi culturali del tardoantico, di promuoverne nei modi più diversi la conoscenza, di costituire un punto di incontro, senza preconcetti e preclusioni. 
Traduzione integrale e interventi testuali di ANTONINO GRILLO
di Gianfranco Purpura

di Gianfranco Purpura

David Gill (Looting Matters)

Bronze krater (once) on loan to Houston

I have been rather taken aback by the amount of interest to my post on a bronze krater that was once (and perhaps still is) on loan to Houston. I had been looking forward to the publication of the piece by Conrad Stibbe in the volume for Leon Levy but I understand from colleagues in NYC that this will not be appearing.

Does this mean that there is a move to return the krater to FYROM?

I have commented elsewhere on the Koreschnica krater and its burial.

Parts of the tomb assemblage appear to be in a major North American university collection so there could be significant implications if this group is investigated.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Mary Harrsch (Roman Times)

Did the Julio-Claudians suffer from congenital heart defects?

A history resource article by Mary Harrsch © 2015


Nude statue of Julius Caesar. Photographed
at The Musée du Louvre in Paris, France
by Mary Harrsch  © 2008
A recently published article, "Has the diagnosis of a stroke been overlooked in the symptoms of Julius Caesar", by Francesco M. Galassi and Hutan Ashrafian of Imperial College London, has generated quite a bit of interest both in the media and among historians.  As Julius Caesar has always been one of my research interests, I contacted Dr. Ashrafian and requested a copy of the full article, after reading a synopsis in the mainstream media.

In the article, I learned that the medical community has, in the past, relied on only two episodes of Caesar falling, one at Cordoba and another at Thapsus, along with ancient sources refering to Caesar as having the "falling sickness", as the basis for acceptance of the diagnosis of epilepsy.  Drs. Galassi and Ashrafian point out that an analysis of the symptoms indicates that cerebrovascular insults and stroke should be considered, especially in view of other behavioral symptoms reported by the ancient sources.

"Caesar also suffered from other symptoms including depression and personality changes (exampled by emotional lability when listening to a moving oration by Cicero), which may also be consistent with cerebrovascular disease." - Francesco M. Galassi,  Hutan Ashrafian, Has the diagnosis of a stroke been overlooked in the symptoms of Julius Caesar?, Neurological Sciences, March 2015

The researchers go on to point out that Caesar's father and great grandfather had both died suddenly without apparent cause.

"This has been explained by some in terms of SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy); however, these events can be more readily associated with the cardiovascular complications of stroke episode or a lethal myocardial infarction. Even if Caesar participated in an active lifestyle and may have benefited from an environmental background of a Mediterranean diet, there is the added possibility of genetic predisposition towards cardiovascular disease." Francesco M. Galassi,  Hutan Ashrafian, Has the diagnosis of a stroke been overlooked in the symptoms of Julius Caesar?, Neurological Sciences, March 2015

I think the researchers make very important points but I thought it would be even more illuminating to examine a more extensive case history.  Since we don't have a lot of information about Caesar's symptoms in the ancient sources, I decided to examine the much more detailed information we have, thanks to Nicolaus of Damascus and Suetonius, about the health of Augustus, since he, too, was said to have the "falling sickness" and was a blood relative of Caesar.

Augustus as Pontifex Maximus (High Priest).
Photographed at the Palazzo Massimo venue
of the 
National Museum of Rome, Rome, Italy
by Mary Harrsch 
© 2009


Caesar had only two siblings, sisters, both named Julia.  Sadly, little is known about either Julia so we have no definitive health information about them.  Julia the Younger married Marcus Atius Balbus and had either three or two daughters (depending on which source you read).  Her second daughter named Atia married Gaius Octavius and bore him a son, Octavian (later called the emperor Augustus) and a daughter named Octavia the Younger.

We know from the ancient sources that Octavian, like Caesar, was thought to have the "falling sickness".  We also know that his sister, Octavia, was said to have "fainting episodes".

Although most women, including Octavia, were practically ignored by ancient historians, Aelius Donatus, in his Life of Virgil, recalls at least one of Octavia's "fainting episodes.

"...Virgil recited three whole books [of his Aeneid] for Augustus: the second, fourth, and sixth--this last out of his well-known affection for Octavia, who (being present at the recitation) is said to have fainted at the lines about her son, "… You shall be Marcellus" [Aen. 6.884]. Revived only with difficulty, she sent Virgil ten-thousand sesterces for each of the verses."

Marcellus was Octavia's son who had recently died suddenly at a very young age.  Although Octavia may have had a simple fainting episode due to her intense grief, the fact that she was "revived only with difficulty" points to a more serious underlying health issue.

So, we appear to have two siblings that both suffer periods of unconsciousness.

Augustus had only a single daughter, Julia.  Julia was first married  to her first cousin, Marcellus (Octavia's son by her first husband, Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor). Marcellus died two years later and the union produced no children - probably very fortunate since the couple had parents on both sides with possible seizure issues).

Then Julia was married to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and bore five children. One of them, Vipsania Agrippina would become the mother of the Emperor Gaius (Caligula) when she married Germanicus, Octavia's grandson. (those afflicted family lines cross again!)

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Photographed at
The Musée du Louvre in Paris, France by
Mary Harrsch © 2008
Octavia, Augustus' apparently afflicted sister, had two children with her second husband, Marc Antony - Antonia the Elder who became grandmother to the Emperor Nero, and Antonia the Younger who was mother to the Emperor Claudius, grandmother to the Emperor Gaius (Caligula) and the great-grandmother to the Emperor Nero.  The ancient sources refer to all of these Julio-Claudian emperors as having the "falling sickness".

Research has shown that heart defects like atrial septal defect, a hole between the two upper chambers of the heart, can be inherited by successive generations within a family group.  It has also been shown that such defects can be transmitted through multifactorial inheritance (just like epilepsy), not just simply through the Mendelian Law of Dominance, the expression of a dominant or combination of recessive genes.

"When the defect is determined by a single gene difference, the risk to the unborn can be predicted from the Mendelian laws and does not change with successive children, but in a multifactorial system, the risk to the unborn increases with the number of relatives affected." - James J. Nora, M.D., Dan G. McNamara, M.D., and F. Clarke Fraser, M.D., Ph.D., Hereditary Factors in Atrial Septal Defect, Circulation Vol. XXXV, March 1967.

The study referenced above focused on atrial septal defects because it is the most common congenital heart defect encountered in adults.  Untreated atrial septal defect in adults is characterized by shortness of breath with minimal exercise (because of lower than normal oxygen levels in the lungs), congestive heart failure, and/or cerebrovascular accident (stroke).

Atrial septal defect.  Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Stroke results in an individual with ASD when a blood clot forms in a vein, dislodges and enters the arterial system rather than traveling to the lungs as it would in an individual with a normal dividing wall (interatrial septum) between the two upper chambers of the heart. This can cause any phenomenon that is attributed to acute loss of blood to a portion of the body, including cerebrovascular accident (stroke), infarction of the spleen or intestines, or even a distal extremity (i.e., finger or toe).  This is known as a paradoxical embolus because the clot material paradoxically enters the arterial system instead of going to the lungs.

So, with a heart defect and associated cerebrovascular accidents in mind, let's see what Octavian's health history reveals.

Like Caesar, Octavian lost his father from unexplained sudden death at a relatively young age.  His father, like Caesar's father, also appeared to be physically robust just prior to sudden death.

Portrait head thought to be Gaius Octavius.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
"Macedonia fell to his [Gaius Octavius'] lot at the end of his praetorship; on his way to the province, executing a special commission from the senate, he wiped out a band of runaway slaves, refugees from the armies of Spartacus and Catiline, who held possession of the country about Thurii.  In governing his province he showed equal justice and courage; for besides routing the Bessi and the other Thracians in a great battle, his treatment of our allies was such, that Marcus Cicero, in letters which are still in existence, urges and admonishes his brother Quintus, who at the time was serving as proconsular governor4 of Asia with no great credit to himself, to imitate his neighbour Octavius in winning the favour of our allies."

While returning from Macedonia, before he could declare himself a candidate for the consulship, he died suddenly..." - Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 3:1

We already know that Octavian's grandmother's father (Julius Caesar's father) suffered sudden unexplained death as did her great great grandfather.  We have no health history for his mother or his grandmother but we do know from modern research that heart defects are expressed more often in females than males so there is a strong possibility that his mother and/or his grandmother inherited some form of defect from their fathers.

 The degree of debilitation in Octavian's case, if caused by an inherited cardiac-related condition, was compounded by his own father's probable predisposition to a heart disorder as well as an inherited condition from Caesar's father through Caesar's sister to Octavian's mother, Atia.

Then, when we examine the symptoms recorded by Augustus' biographers, particularly Nicolaus of Damascus and Suetonius, we find numerous suggestions of a cardiac-related condition resulting in pathology from apparent cerebrovascular accidents.

At the age of 14, Octavian donned the toga virilis and was immediately elected to the college of priests because of the death of Lucius Domitius.  But contemporary biographer Nicolaus of Damascus reports that Octavian's mother, Atia, watched over him closely and took care of him as if he was still a child.

Preparations for a Roman ritual sacrifice depicted on Trajan's Column in Rome.
Photographed by Mary Harrsch.  © 2009.
"He entered the Forum, aged about fourteen, to put off the toga praetextata and assume the toga virilis, this being a token of his becoming registered as a man. Then while all the citizens looked upon him, because of his comeliness and very evidently noble descent, he sacrificed to the gods and was registered in the sacred college in place of Lucius Domitius, who had died. The people indeed had very eagerly elected him to this position. Accordingly, he performed the sacrifice, adorned with the toga virilis and at the same time the honors of a very high priestly office."

"Nevertheless, though he was registered as of age according to law, his mother would not let him leave the house other than as he did before, when he was a child, and she made him keep to the same mode of life and sleep in the same apartment as before. For he was of age only by law, and in other respects was taken care of as a child." - Nicolas of Damascus, Life of Augustus, 4.

This could be an example of a smothering parent but we see that Octavian also seemed to avoid climbing steep stairs:

"He went to the temples on the regular days, but after dark on account of his youthful charm, seeing that he attracted many women by his comeliness and high lineage; though often tempted by them he seems never to have been enticed. Not only did the watchful care of his mother, who guarded him and forbade his wandering, protect him, but he too was prudent now that he was advancing in age. During the Latin festival when the consuls had to ascend the Alban Mount to perform the customary sacrifices, the priests meanwhile succeeding to the jurisdiction of the consuls, Octavius sat on the Tribunal in the center of the forum." -  Nicolaus of Damascus, Life of Augustus, 4.

When Caesar returned from Egypt and Syria and was planning his African campaign in Libya, Octavian wanted to go with him.

Triumphs of Caesar by Andrea Mantegna, Italian, circa 1485-1494
"Caesar had by this time completed the wars in Europe, had conquered Pompey in Macedonia, had taken Egypt, had returned from Syria and the Euxine Sea, and was intending to advance in to Libya in order to put down what was left of war over there; and Octavius wanted to take the field with him in order that he might gain experience in the practice of war. But when he found that his mother Atia was opposed he said nothing by way of argument but remained at home. It was plain that Caesar, out of solicitude for them, did not wish him to take the field yet, lest he might bring on illness to a weak body through changing his mode of life and thus permanently injure his health. For this cause he took no part in the expedition. " - Nicolaus of Damascus, Life of Augustus, 6.

When Caesar returned from Africa, he asked Octavian to accompany him to many social functions including temple sacrifices, theater performances and banquets as if Octavian was his own son.  But again, Octavian was striken with serious illness:

 "Caesar wished Octavius to have the experience of directing the exhibition of theatrical productions (for there were two theaters, the one Roman, over which he himself had charge, and the other Greek). This he turned over to the care of Octavius. The latter, wishing to exhibit interest and benevolence in the matter, even on the hottest and longest days, never left his post before the end of the play; with the result that he fell ill, for he was young and unaccustomed to toil. Being very ill, every one felt considerable apprehension regarding him, lest a constitution such as his might suffer some mishap, and Caesar most of all. Accordingly, every day he either called himself and encouraged him or else sent friends to do so, and he kept physicians in continuous attendance. On one occasion word was brought to him while he was dining that Octavius was in a state of collapse and dangerously ill. He sprang up and ran barefooted to the place where the patient was, and in great anxiety and with great emotion questioned the physicians, and he sat down by the bedside himself. When Octavius' full recovery was brought about, he showed much joy." - Nicolaus of Damascus, Life of Augustus, 9.

When Caesar planned to go to Spain to engage the sons of his former rival Pompey, he tells Octavian, who is still weak, to join him when he is well enough.

"While Octavius was convalescent, still weak physically though entirely out of danger, Caesar had to take the field on an expedition in which he had previously the intention of taking the boy. This however he could not now do on account of his attack of sickness. Accordingly, he left him behind in the care of a number of persons who were to take particular charge of his mode of life; and giving orders that if Octavius should grow strong enough, he was to follow him, he went off to the war. The eldest son of Pompeius Magnus [Gnaeus Pompeius] had got together a great force in a short time, contrary to the expectations of everyone, with the intention of avenging his father's death, and, if possible, of retrieving his father's defeat. Octavius, left behind in Rome, in the first place gave his attention to gaining as much physical strength as possible, and soon he was sufficiently robust." -  Nicolaus of Damascus, Life of Augustus, 10.

However, when Octavian returns to Rome, his health still seems to be problematic and he seems to avoid physical exertion.

"Octavius lived soberly and in moderation; his friends know of something else about him that was remarkable. For an entire year at the very age at which youths, particularly those with wealth, are most wanton, he abstained from sexual gratification out of regard for both his voice and his strength." -  Nicolaus of Damascus, Life of Augustus, 15.

Assassination of Julius Caesar by William Holmes Sullivan (1836-1908).
When Caesar is assassinated, Octavian takes up the challenge to avenge his adopted father and assume his rightful place as heir to both Caesar's fortunes and ambitions.  But his health is still fragile.

At the battle of Mutina when Octavian's forces beseiged Decimus Brutus, one of the conspirators in the assassination of Caesar, Marc Antony claims " he took to flight and was not seen again until the next day, when he returned without his cloak and his horse."  Although this incident could have been a loss of nerve, his following actions do not support a lack of courage.

A Roman aquilifer carrying an eagle standard.
Image courtesy of Jorl Avlis © 2014


"but in that which followed all agree that he played the part not only a leader, but of a soldier as well, and that, in the thick of the fight, when the eagle-bearer of his legion was sorely wounded, he shouldered the eagle and carried it for some time. " - Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 10:1

Although Suetonius also claims Augustus did not lack the gift of speaking offhand without preparation, he points out that after the battle of Mutina the young Octavian never again addressed the people or soldiers without reading from a written manuscript.

"Even his conversations with individuals and the more important of those with his own wife Livia, he always wrote out and read from a note-book, for fear of saying too much or too little if he spoke offhand."  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 84:1

Illness struck him down again at the battle of Philippi:

"Then, forming a league with Antony and Lepidus, he finished the war of Philippi also in two battles, although weakened by illness, being driven from his camp in the first battle and barely making his escape by fleeing to Antony's division." -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 13:1

Plutarch gives a more thorough description, indicating Octavian was so ill he had to be carried on a litter:

"And Octavius, as he himself tells us in his Commentaries, in consequence of a vision which visited one of his friends, Marcus Artorius, and ordered that Octavius should rise up from his bed and depart from the camp, barely succeeded in having himself carried forth, and was thought to have been slain.  For his litter, when empty, was pierced by the javelins and spears of his enemies."  Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Brutus, 41:7

During the subsequent Sicilian War with Pompey's son, Sextus, Suetonius records that Octavian appears to have suffered a catatonic episode:

"...he defeated Pompey between Mylae and Naulochus, though just before the battle he was suddenly held fast by so deep a sleep that his friends had to awaken him to give the signal.  And it was this, I think, that gave Antony opportunity for the taunt: 'He could not even look with steady eyes at the fleet when it was ready for battle, but lay in a stupor on his back, looking up at the sky, and did not rise or appear before the soldiers until the enemy's ships had been put to flight by Marcus Agrippa.' -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 16:1

Although this episode is first described as Octavian being in an unusually deep sleep, the symptoms in Antony's taunt are more illuminating, clearly describing the unresponsive Octavian on his back with his eyes open.  Catatonia has been observed in individuals suffering from focal neurologic lesions, including strokes.  There was no mention of any convulsive activity.  Furthermore, ministrokes can resolve without intervention.  If Octavian's condition was caused by a sudden vascular ischemic event that was not accompanied by edema or hemorrhage, it could resolve itself within minutes and he could become once more, apparently fully functional.

But, these repeated occurrences of neurological events would not be without behavioral consequences.  As time passes and Octavian assumes the ultimate position of power over the Roman Empire, Octavian, now called Augustus, appears fickle in his administration of justice - sometimes extremely lenient while at other times totally without compassion and stubbornly inflexible.  He also became subject to sudden outbursts of immoderate speech and outright brutality.

"While he was triumvir, Augustus incurred general detestation by many of his acts. For example, when he was addressing the soldiers and a throng of civilians had been admitted to the assembly, noticing that Pinarius, a Roman knight, was taking notes, he ordered that he be stabbed on the spot, thinking him an eavesdropper and a spy. Because Tedius Afer, consul elect, railed at some act of his in spiteful terms, he uttered such terrible threats that Afer committed suicide.  Again, when Quintus Gallius, a praetor, held some folded tablets under his robe as he was paying his respects, Augustus, suspecting that he had a sword concealed there, did not dare to make a search on the spot for fear it should turn out to be something else; but a little later he had Gallius hustled from the tribunal by some centurions and soldiers, tortured him as if he were a slave, and though he made no confession, ordered his execution, first tearing out the man's eyes with his own hand." -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 27:3

Loss of impulse control and the ability to interpret other people's behaviors have been documented in modern studies of individuals who have suffered frontal lobe brain injury.

Octavian, who initially opposed the proscriptions of his opponents (the seizing of their property that was often accompanied by their deaths) favored by his fellow triumvirs, Antony and Lepidus, enforced proscriptions with greater severity than either of his colleagues.

"For while they could oftentimes be moved by personal influence and entreaties, he alone was most insistent that no one should be spared, even adding to the list his guardian Gaius Toranius, who had also been the colleague of his father Octavius in the aedileship." -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 27:1

Inflexibility in decision making has also been observed in studies of individuals who have suffered lesions in their frontal lobes.

Later, Augustus also appears to have demonstrated a heightened xenophobic response.  He fiercely opposed the grant of citizenship to any foreign resident or former slave:

Roman slave medallion.  Photographed at
the National Museum of Rome in the
remains of the Terme di Diocleziano
(Baths of Diocletian), Rome, Italy by
Mary Harrsch.  © 2005
"Considering it also of great importance to keep the people pure and unsullied by any taint of foreign or servile blood, he was most wary of conferring Roman citizenship and set a limit to manumission. When Tiberius requested citizenship for a Grecian dependent of his, Augustus wrote in reply that he would not grant it unless the man appeared in person and convinced him that he had reasonable grounds for the request; and when Livia asked it for a Gaul from a tributary province, he refused, offering instead freedom from tribute, and declaring that he would more willingly suffer a loss to his privy purse than the prostitution of the honour of Roman citizenship.  Not content with making it difficult for slaves to acquire freedom, and still more so for them to attain full rights, by making careful provision as to the number, condition, and status of those who were manumitted, he added the proviso that no one who had ever been put in irons or tortured should acquire citizenship by any grade of freedom." - -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 40:3

When Rome suffered a grain shortage, Augustus ejected foreigners and slaves.

Once indeed in a time of great scarcity when it was difficult to find a remedy, he expelled from the city the slaves that were for sale, as well as the schools of gladiators, all foreigners with the exception of physicians and teachers, and a part of the household slaves; -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 42:3

Augustus also allowed superstition to rule much of his life.  Augustus would delay journeys, decisions or public addresses if it began to rain or he accidentally put the left shoe on first in the morning upon rising instead of the right, considering it a bad omen.

Increased paranoia has also been recorded in studies of brain injury.

Where as a young man, Octavian was sexually circumspect, as the years passed he became sexually wanton, so much so even Antony, no stranger to a promiscuous lifestyle, questioned the dramatic change in Octavian's behavior.
Portrait head thought to be Marc Antony from Egypt.
Photographed at the Brooklyn Museum in
Brooklyn, New York by Mary Harrsch  © 2014

"That he was given to adultery not even his friends deny, although it is true that they excuse it as committed not from passion but from policy, the more readily to get track of his adversaries' designs through the women of their households. Mark Antony charged him, besides his hasty marriage with Livia, with taking the wife of an ex-consul from her husband's dining-room before his very eyes into a bed-chamber, and bringing her back to the table with her hair in disorder and her ears glowing; that Scribonia was divorced because she expressed her resentment too freely at the excessive influence of a rival; that his friends acted as his panders, and stripped and inspected matrons and well-grown girls, as if Toranius the slave-dealer were putting them up for sale.  Antony also writes to Augustus himself in the following familiar terms, when he had not yet wholly broken with him privately or publicly: 'What has made such a change in you? Because I lie with the queen? She is my wife. Am I just beginning this, or was it nine years ago? What then of you — do you lie only with Drusilla? Good luck to you if when you read this letter you have not been with Tertulla or Terentilla or Rufilla or Salvia Titisenia, or all of them. Does it matter where or with whom you take your pleasure?'" -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 69:1

"Hypersexuality is a rare but well recognised sequela of brain injury . It has been defined as the subjective experience of loss of control over sexuality; and consists of increased need or intense pressure for sexual gratification." - PO Eghwrudjakpor,  AA Essien, Hypersexual Behavior Following Craniocerebral Trauma An Experience with Five Cases

In addition to behavioral aberrations, Augustus also developed physical impairments specific to one side of his body or the other.

"He was not very strong in his left hip, thigh, and leg, and even limped slightly at times; but he strengthened them by treatment with sand and reeds. He sometimes found the forefinger of his right hand so weak, when it was numb and shrunken with the cold, that he could hardly use it for writing even with the aid of a finger-stall of horn."  -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 80:1

Problems with weakness on his left side definitely point to a cerebrovascular event.  Even the disability of his right forefinger could be attributed to a paradoxical embolus.

Augustus continued to be ravaged by illness throughout his life even though, amazingly, he micromanaged Rome's burgeoning empire and presided over a period of great prosperity that has become known as the Pax Romana.

"It chanced that at the time of the games which he had vowed to give in the circus, he was taken ill and headed the sacred procession lying in a litter;"   -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 43:5

"He was sometimes absent for several hours, and now and then for whole days, making his excuses and appointing presiding officers to take his place. " -  Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 45:1

"In the course of his life he suffered from several severe and dangerous illnesses, especially after the subjugation of Cantabria [about age 44], when he was in such a desperate plight from abscesses of the liver, that he was forced to submit to an unprecedented and hazardous course of treatment. Since hot fomentations gave him no relief, he was led by the advice of his physician Antonius Musa to try cold ones." Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 81:1

Could the "abscesses of the liver" actually be an infarction of the spleen or intestines from a paradoxical embolism?

The severity of the illness Augustus suffered after the Cantabrian war is hinted at indirectly when Suetonius points out that Augustus wrote thirteen books of his autobiography describing the events of his life up to the Cantabrian war but no farther.  Did he simply get tired of writing or couldn't he remember key experiences or the order in which the experiences occurred after that event?

"...studies suggest that patients with lateral PFC [prefrontal cortex] damage, especially to the DLPFC [dorsolateral prefrontal cortex], are unable to organize learned information to facilitate their recall. It has been proposed that most of these deficits result from a failure of the PFC to inhibit unwanted information or to select among competing memories. As a result, recently activated memories can interfere with the ability to retrieve more distant memories (Shimamura et al., 1995 and Warrington and Weiskrantz, 1974)." - Sara M. Szczepanski, Robert T. Knight, Insights into Human Behavior from Lesions to the Prefrontal Cortex

"He experienced also some disorders which recurred every year at definite times; for he was commonly ailing just before his birthday [23 September]; and at the beginning of spring he was troubled with an enlargement of the diaphragm, and when the wind was in the south, with catarrh [excess mucus] Hence his constitution was so weakened that he could not readily endure either cold or heat." Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, The Life of Augustus, 81:2

Of course everyone's life is littered with illness to some degree.  But, I think Augustus clearly represents an individual with a recurring pattern of overall physical weakness indicative of a vascular deficit combined with symptoms of cerebrovascular accident.

In Summary:

We began our evaluation of Augustus' health with the consideration of a pedigree including multiple ancestors on his mother's side and his father who suffered sudden unexplained death.  We find a childhood plagued with prolonged illness that made him so physically weak that his activities had to be curtailed.  We have evidence he avoided stairs and sexual activity in early adulthood when his hormones would have been at their peak.

We read reports of unexplained disappearances and what appears to be a serious loss of short term memory, continued severe weakness that required him to be carried on a litter and even an episode of catatonia.

Then we learn about changes in his behavior that included loss of impulse control, loss of the ability to interpret other people's behavior accurately, changes in sexual behavior, heightened paranoia as expressed in increased xenophobia and superstition and inconsistent decision making.

We also know from the historical record that other descendants of Augustus' mother appeared to have suffered serious physical and/or neurological issues, including the emperors Gaius (Caligula), Nero and Claudius as well as Claudius' son, Britannicus.

In a 1958 study, A. Esser describes the routes a condition subject to multifactorial inheritance could take in the Julio-Claudians.  It was quoted in an article published in October 2004 by Epilepsy & Behavior.  Although he was discussing epilepsy, the same routes could be followed by congenital heart defects like atrial septal defect.

"Esser had provided interesting blood connections between the three members of the Julio-Claudian family with seizures: (1) Julius Caesar, (2) Caligula, and (3) Britannicus. Julius' sister Julia is the ancestor of both Caligula and Britannicus. There were three major blood streams to Caligula. The first is through Julius' sister, Julia, to Atia, Octavianus (Augustus), to (another) Julia, Agrippina Major, and finally to Caligula. The second is also through Octavianus but then to Drusus I and Germanicus to Caligula. The third is also through sister Julia and Atia, but then to Octavia minor, to Antonia Minor, to Germanicus, and finally to Caligula. The latter Antonia Minor also provides one of the paths to Britannicus through Claudius, his father. The second path to Britannicus is also through Octavia Minor, through Antonia Major to Domita Lepida, to Messalina, and finally to Britannicus. These complex paths would argue for a recessive mode of inheritance. In the latter paths both Octavianus and his sister Octavia Minor are grandchildren of Julius Caesar's sister. Octavianus had a problem with “deep sleep” and his sister, Octavia Minor, with “fainting attacks,” but nothing more is known about these symptoms to qualify them as definite epileptic phenomena. The “fainting attacks” of Octavia minor, however, are suspicious for possible seizure phenomena." - John R. Hughes, Dictator Perpetuus: Julius Caesar - Did he have seizures? If so, what was the etiology?, Epilepsy & Behavior, Vol 5, Issue 5, October 2004.

Although seizures may have occured, especially in view of increased brain damage with each stroke episode, I believe the ancient sources provide enough symptoms consistent with cardiac dysfunction and related cerebral accidents to support Drs. Galassi and Ashrafian in their proposal that cardiac dysfunction and stroke eventually produced the physical and psychological changes expressed in Julius Caesar (and Augustus).

References:

Galassi, F., & Ashrafian, H. (2015). Has the diagnosis of a stroke been overlooked in the symptoms of Julius Caesar? Neurological Sciences.

Cawthorne, T. (1958). Julius Cæsar and the Falling Sickness. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 51(1), 27-30.

Hughes, J. (2004). Dictator Perpetuus: Julius Caesar?Did He Have Seizures? If So, What Was The Etiology? Epilepsy & Behavior, 5(5), 756-764.

Nora, J., Mcnamara, D., & Fraser, F. (1967). Hereditary Factors in Atrial Septal Defect. Circulation, XXXV, 448-456. Retrieved April 20, 2015.

American Journal of Neuroradiology (Focal Neurologic Deficit)

Szczepanski, S., & Knight, R. (2014). Insights into Human Behavior from Lesions to the Prefrontal Cortex. Neuron, 83(5), 1002–1018.

Fowler, M., & McCabe, P. C. (2011). Traumatic brain injury and personality change. Bethesda: Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/867665184?accountid=14698

Eghwrudjakpor, P., & Essien, A. (2008). Hypersexual Behavior Following Craniocerebral Trauma An Experience with Five Cases. The Libyan Journal of Medicine, 3(4), 192–194. doi:10.4176/080908

Catalan J, Singh A. Hypersexuality revisited. Journal of Foresnsic Psychiatry and Psychology. 1995;6(2):255–258.

Suetonius, G. (n.d.). The Life of Augustus. The Lives of the Caesars.

Suetonius, G. (n.d.). The Life of Nero. The Lives of the Caesars.

Nicolas of Damascus. (n.d.). The Life of Augustus.

Donatus, A. (n.d.). Life of Virgil.

Plutarch, L. (n.d.). Brutus. Parallel Lives.

Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons)

Bones - Season 10, Episode 14 (Review)

The Putter in the Rough
Episode Summary
A dude tries to kill himself by jumping off a parking garage but stops when he sees a dead body on a grate below.  I guess the parking garage is somehow affiliated with the federal government, because why else would the FBI be called in for this?  Brennan goes to the scene to check out the body; a large part of the frontal bone is missing and the remains have been outside for about a week according to Hodgins.  Brennan mentions the "slanted squamosal of the remaining frontal bone" as indicating the person was male, which makes no sense at all, anatomically or forensically.  The sternal rib ends tell her he was in his mid-30s.  Blood smears on the railing show that someone threw the bleeding body over.

At the Jeffersonian, the team works on removing the bird guano, which is eating away at the bones.  Exposed ligaments at the wrist around the median nerve suggest carpal tunnel, while the exploded front of the skull is the exit wound from a high-powered weapon like a rifle.  Saroyan finds evidence in the liver that the victim took beta blockers, which oddly leads Booth to think this guy was a contract killer, as they use beta blockers to steady their hands in shooting.  The victim doesn't have a cell phone on him, but does have cigarettes, condoms, pencils, and a code book of some sort.

An ID is obtained from the victim's surgical screws. Troy Carter had an unusual fracture of the greater tuberosity of the left humerus whose state of healing suggests it was about a decade ago, and Angela somehow has access to all surgery logs at every area hospital, HIPAA be damned.  Troy's brother Jake, with whom he was in business until recently, reported him missing last week.  Jake reveals that Troy was a professional mini-golfer, hence the carpal tunnel and beta blockers.  He was getting ready for the Mini Master's at Sammy's Tropical Tiki course.  Booth and Brennan go check out Sammy's course and run into a lot of interesting characters including Sammy's wife Lori, the former hand model, father-and-daughter team Eric and Darla Sims, and former pro-golfer Winston Scruggs.  They're pretty much all giant jerks.  Brennan finds traces of blood in the tiki hut as well as small bone chips and brain matter.  She insists it's necessary to bring the entire tiki hut back to the Jeffersonian, because of course that won't disturb the teeny tiny bone fragments in the course of transfer and makes much more sense than bringing in a team of experts for a couple hours to recover what's there.

Back at the Jeffersonian, Wendell finds a small amount of what he assumes to be hemorrhagic staining on the zygomatic, assuming the guano somehow etched it into the bone(??).  Striations on the right clavicle and right 5th sternal rib are postmortem, but he's unsure what they are.  The bone chips are mostly from the shattered face, and the bullet fragments that are found appear to be from the same bullet and are oddly equidistant from each other.  Saroyan found a part of the victim's eyebrow in the hut, and it showed recent sutures that were not done by a doctor.  Remodelled fractures of the right 2nd-4th metacarpals and scaphoid may also have been from the same fight about 10 days prior to his death.  Additionally, Saroyan finds antibodies from Hep B and yellow fever in Troy's blood.  Angela tracks Troy's phone (which I thought they made a big point of saying wasn't found on his body?) and finds out that he was in a relationship with Darla Sims, whose father is a bit of a hot-head.  Eric Sims denies hurting Troy, and Aubrey talks to Darla, who admits to having seen a fight between Troy and someone else.  She gives a description to a sketch artist, and it perfectly matches Troy's brother Jake.  Jake admits to beating Troy up, but not for their failing business but rather his choice to have a relationship with an 18-year-old woman.  

Additional information about manner of death is gleaned from some bones that Hodgins and Wendell have to re-wash to get all the bird guano off.  Wendell notices bullet wounds in the right clavicle, one the right 5th sternal rib, and the right humerus.  Along with the head wound, it means Troy was hit four times, from four different angles.  Booth, though, mentions the possibility that Troy was hit with a multiple-impact bullet that split into three separate projectiles held together by kevlar strands.  The killer shot Troy in his upper right arm and then, after Troy tried to run, shot him in the back of the head.  The striations Wendell found on the clavicle and rib are from the killer's attempt to remove the distinctive bullet.  Aubrey checks records of gun and ammo purchases and finds that Sammy has this new kind of bullet.  He and Booth think Sammy might have killed Troy because Troy was planning to go to South Africa (hence the immunization antibodies in his blood), but Sammy insists Troy was his bestie and they were going to South Africa together.  Wendell gives the supposedly hemorrhagic stain to Hodgins and Saroyan, who find that it is actually red nail polish and that the supposed bone chip in the wound was part of a human nail whose DNA is matched to Lori's.  Booth and Brennan bring Lori in for questioning, and she admits to having killed Troy for taking away the attentions of her husband.

Comments
  • Forensics
    • Demographics:  I don't have any idea what Brennan was talking about with the "slanted squamosal."  The frontal bone is made up of a squamous portion (also called the vertical portion) and the horizontal portion (which makes up the top of the eye orbits), so I'm guessing she means a "slanted squama," but that also doesn't make sense in the context of sex assessment.  So I don't know what's up with that.  Age-at-death was estimated using the sternal rib ends, which is fine and dandy.  They didn't do ancestry/race estimation in this episode.
    • It was odd that no one mentioned how Troy got his decade-old humeral fracture.  It seems, though, that greater tuberosity fractures of the humerus are often seen in mountain biking and skiing accidents.  So hey, I learned something new.
    • I dunno how they're cleaning bones in the Jeffersonian, but I don't believe that red nail polish could have survived the defleshing/degreasing efforts.
    • Am I the only one who wishes they'd show the injuries?  I mean, the humeral injury, the remodelled fractures from the recent fight, etc.... what I'm saying is that there was a lot of telling and very little showing in this episode.
    • That FBI forensic artist is shockingly good.
  • Plot
    • Did I miss their recovery of Troy's cell phone?  Or did I just misunderstand some part of the episode and they had it all along?  (I'm too lazy to rewatch it...)
    • There was also no explanation given for how Lori (who is quite petite) could have hauled dead-Troy (who was not, since he is described as looking a lot like his brother) into a car, out of the car, and over a waist-high railing at a parking garage by herself.  And how she shot and killed and dragged and cleaned up Troy at the golf course she lived at with her husband, who was also at home at the time.
    • It's odd that Troy got Hep B and yellow fever vaccines, considering South Africa does not require either of these, nor does the CDC recommend them for most travelers.  Sub-Saharan Africa, maybe, but not Johannesburg.
    • The whole Max subplot was weird.  Like, why pick now to go dig up a dead guy and get Brennan's childhood ring (that the dead guy still had for some odd reason when he was buried in a cemetery?), other than to give Ryan O'Neal and his pop-pop Members Only jacket something to do?
    • And the whole Wendell clock subplot was odd as well.  I honestly thought for at least 3/4 of the episode that he was still dating Michelle, Saroyan's daughter.  But then he called her Andi, and I couldn't for the life of me (meaning: I googled for like 30 seconds) find out who she is or if we've seen her before or why we should even care.  Oh, wait!  Is she his nurse or something?  I swear that was a different actress.
  • Dialogue
    • The only thing I wrote down this week was "slanted squamosal WTF??!1?1?"


Ratings
Forensic Mystery - C+.  Eh.

Forensic Solution - D. I don't buy most of the forensic stuff they did this episode, from the demographics to the manner and cause of death.

Drama - D-.  Not sure which I cared about least, Wendell's broken clock or Max's stolen ring.  Snore.

David Gill (Looting Matters)

The modern movement of ancient coins and protective legislation

I have been reading an important new piece of research by Professor Nathan T. Elkins of Baylor University ("Ancient coins, find spots, and import restrictions: a critique of arguments made in the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild's 'test case'," Journal of Field Archaeology 40, 2 [2015] 236-43). He considers the way that the ACCG "has launched multiple legal challenges aimed at undermining import restrictions on ancient coins into the United States in bilateral agreements with foreign countries".  He includes an important table that lists coin hoards from Cyprus that contain Cypriot coins. This data is provided to challenge the "spin" provided by those who lobby for the coin dealing bodies.

Elkins makes an important point in his conclusion: "Legal challenges have been launched by lobbying groups with a commercial interest that present a highly skewed picture of the actual situation that is not based on evidence".

This academic research is likely to undermine attempts to waive restrictions on the modern movement of ancient coins.

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Roger Pearse (Thoughts on Antiquity, Patristics, putting things online, and more)

The Nazis at Jesi: some notes on the modern history of the codex Aesinas of Tacitus’ “Germania” &c.

The minor works of Tacitus include the Germania and the Agricola.  The history of the manuscripts is somewhat tangled.  Several manuscripts of the minor works reached the renaissance, but were then lost.  The only survivor today is the Codex Aesinas Latinus 8, possibly the same as that discovered at Hersfeld by Guarini.  It was discovered by Prof. Cesare Annibaldi in the private library of Count Aurelio Guglielmi Balleani of Jesi in the autumn of 1902.  It is today in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Rome, where it is now Cod. Vitt. Em. 1631.

But in between it had a lively history.  In 1995, in his book Landscape and Memory, British historian Simon Schama published an account of some curious events that took place in Jesi in 1944.  Few manuscript enthusiasts will have seen this, so I thought that I would give some excerpts.[1]  For the story is truly rather exciting!

AUTUMN 1943

A detachment of SS winds its way up the mountain road west of Ancona tracing a black line in the autumn gold: crows in the corn. Clouds of chalky dust rise from the road while the exhaust from the armored cars shakes the unharvested wheat. Ten miles down, on the Adriatic coast, Ancona waits in frantic terror for an Allied bombing raid. Already it chokes on the brown dust of disaster while the iron and stone wreckage of its port crumbles into the tepid turquoise sea. Italy spins in turmoil. The last days of July had seen the end of Mussolini’s dictatorship. Now, his Roman Empire is open to barbarian occupation, the Germans obeying Hitler’s orders not to relinquish an inch of the Apennine center and north; the Anglo-Saxon allies advancing slowly and bloodily from the south. Released from formal military obligations, the remnant of the Italian army disintegrates, spilling thousands into the countryside, where, as Fascist squadri and partisan bande, they fight like snarling dogs over the bones of the fallen dictatorship.

South of Iesi, the medieval hill-town where the most Italian of German emperors, Frederick II, had been born, the little column turns into a rutted carriage road and halts in front of a grandly Palladian nineteenth-century palazzo. Its pilastered columns speak authority but the visitors are famous for their contempt for such outworn pretensions. Fascist militiamen hammer melodramatically on the door while the German officers scrutinize the house, their boots crunching on the weedy gravel. It is open season in the Marche, when the hills crack with gunshot and uccellati, “little birds,” drop from the sky to be spitted between layers of roasting mushrooms. But these hunters have other quarry, not partisans, not even Jews. They have come for the birth certificate of the German race.

According to scholars who staffed the SS’s special research division of classics and antiquity, the Ahnenerbe (Race Ancestry), this had been supplied by the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus. His Germania; or, On the Origin and Situation of the Germans had been written around the year 98 …

Once printed, the Germania took on a life of its own and the Guarnieri manuscript slipped back into drowsy obscurity in the palazzo library in the hills back of Ancona. Revolution arrived in the 1790s and the male line of the Guarnieri disappeared. The chancellor’s legacy, however, lived on through a marriage alliance to the dynasty of the Marche family of the counts Balleani, who inherited the palazzi and the great library that went with them. …

At home, the Fascist government took a sudden, unhealthy interest in the Balleani “Tacito.” In 1902 the professore of classics at the local high school, Cesare Annibaldi, had “discovered” what was now called the Codex Aesinas lat. 8 (after the Latin name for Osimo, the third of the Balleani palazzi) and established it as the closest surviving link with the original. Before and after the First World War an entire cottage industry of German philologists, obsessed with the tribal origins of their new Reich, made it their business to comb through the manuscript folio by folio. For in the 1920s it came to be seen, in the decisive phrase of Eduard Norden, as their Urgeschichte, and some of his most avid readers hungered to have it return to its “natural homeland,” Among them were Alfred Rosenberg, the Party’s principal ideologue; Heinrich Himmler, who prided himself on his classical cultivation; and not least, Adolf Hitler.

In 1936 Mussolini visited Berlin, and the fuhrer took the opportunity, by way of expressing his enthusiasm for the historical relationship between Rome and Germany, to ask if the Codex Aesinas might not be brought back to the Reich. No philologist, the Duce obliged his host and, when told by his advisers that it belonged to a notorious anti-Fascist, the count Balleani, may have been still more delighted to dispossess him. On the other hand, Mussolini was also a great snob and the self-appointed guardian of the Roman imperial legacy (Tacitus included). So when a storm of protest greeted the suggestion that the Codex Aesinas leave Italy, Mussolini reneged on his offer. Doubtless this did not please Hitler. But nor did he care so very much about the manuscript that he would make special exertions to seize it from his ally. Heinrich Himmler, on the other hand, cared very much indeed. …

Through the war years the frustration of this act of philological repatriation was evidently not forgotten. Through the good offices of the German ambassador in Rome, Hans Georg von Mackensen, one of the most enthusiastic Latinists of the Ahnenerbe, Dr. Rudolph Till, had managed to secure access to the codex. A photographic facsimile was made in Berlin, and then, presumably in deference to the sensibilities of an ally, the codex went back to Italy. But once Mussolini had been overthrown, the Reich no longer had to bother with such courtesies. And in 1943 Till published his new “authoritative” edition, complete with a foreword by SS Reichsfuhrer Himmler (to the effect that the future would only be granted to those who understood the stock of their ancestry). The timing could not possibly have been accidental. Himmler’s foreword was, in effect, the warrant for the seizure of the codex.

Which is why the SS were parked on the grass in front of the palazzo Balleani at Fontedamo. They had come to make good on Mussolini’s reckless gesture— to repatriate the Germania to the Fatherland after a millennium of exile.

They were to be denied again. Once they had smashed in the door, the SS  stood in the empty, echoing vestibule of Fontedamo with no one to answer  their barked commands. With the help of the local Fascists, they then proceeded to take the house apart. The manuscript was not, of course, in the library; nor did there seem to be any alcoves, swinging doors, or secret closets that might be concealing the prize. And as room after room declared itself barren, what began as a systematic search turned into a violent festival of vindictive malice. Frescoes were scraped to the bare plaster, smeared with obscenities; paintings slashed; furniture ripped apart; mosaic floors smashed to shivers and ground into colored powder with the butt end of machine guns.

And while one Balleani house was being demolished from the inside out, another at Osimo, the hill-town to the southeast, was sheltering the family in its deep cellars. For Count Aurelio had been served well by his expansive brand of dynastic paternalism. Barroom gossip, doubdess falling from the slack tongue of a local Fascist, had tipped off the count’s driver in advance on the German excursion to Fontedamo. And even before he had let the family know, he had transported clothes and food to Osimo, enough to keep the count and his family hidden for weeks. And that house had been built, in the sixteenth-century fashion, to withstand assault: a fortress-like structure dominating one side of a piazza and opening onto the street from a single, inhospitable doorway. Still more helpfully, the Guarnieris had constructed deep below the house a labyrinth of cellars that ran below the square and connected with other noble palazzi. So where this subterranean Machiavellian architecture had once lodged wine and muskets and swordsmen, it now concealed Aurelio and Silvia and their two children, Lodovico and the little girl Francesca, who still remembers hearing violent, angry beating sounds far above of thwarted soldiers.

And all this time, the codex itself lay peacefully in the one place the SS failed to search, perhaps because it appeared to be the most obviously open and uninhabited. For there was, in fact, yet a third Balleani palazzo, in the very center of Iesi itself. The soldiers had looked, but they had found only empty rooms, an abandoned place. They had not looked hard enough. At the side of the square where the infant Frederick Hohenstaufen had been snatched from the bloody birth canal of his mother, in full public view, and shown to the citizenry in a demonstration of irrefutable imperial succession; behind the rococo facade of the palazzo with the Madonna and child lodged in a niche above the door; beneath the sala grande with its spectacularly coffered ceiling and portraits of the Guarnieris and the Balleanis hanging on the crimson walls; deep in a little kitchen cellar, inside a tin-lined trunk, was the manuscript that began in capitals of red and black DE ORIGINE ET SITU GERMANORUM.

I have omitted the footnotes, which may be found in the original.

Of course our first question is how Dr Schama knows all this about the SS visit to Iesi.  He tells us:[2]

The narrative that follows is based on the account generously provided in conversations with Giovanni Baldeschi-Balleani and his sister, Francesca. I am deeply grateful to the Baldeschi-Balleani family for their help in reconstructing this story, as well as with descriptions of the palazzi in and near Iesi….

Likewise the details of Hitler and Mussolini’s negotiation are derived from Luciano Canfora, La Germania di Tacito da Engels al nazismo (Naples,1979), 64-81.

Tommaso Giancarli drew my attention to a web page which says that photographs of the Jesi manuscript may be found at the end of it here.  Unfortunately the links are broken.  I have written to the site and asked for assistance.  The manuscript should certainly be online.

  1. [1] P.75-81.
  2. [2] P.583, note 2.

AMIR: Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources

New OA Encyclopedia: Dāʼirat al-maʻārif-i buzurg-i Islāmī

Published in Tihrān at the Markaz-i Dāʼirat al-Maʻārif-i buzurg-i Islām, this encyclopedia has recently been released electronically.

Site: http://www.cgie.org.ir/fa/publication/volumes/63 







Végh Zsuzsanna and Simon Zsolt (Agyagtábla, papirusz)

Postdoc pozíció: River ports of Egypt and the Near East

A River ports of Egypt and the Near East kutatócsoport meghirdetett egy postdoc-pozíciót. Részletes kiírás itt, a határidő igen szoros: ápr. 26-ig kell pályázni rá.

Charles Ellwood Jones (AWOL: The Ancient World Online)

DigilibLT: Biblioteca digitale di testi latini tardoantichi - Digital library of late-antique latin texts

[First posted in AWOL 3 January 2011, updated 22 April 2015]

DigilibLT: Biblioteca digitale di testi latini tardoantichi - Digital library of late-antique latin texts
http://digiliblt.lett.unipmn.it/img/logo_digiliblt.jpg



The Digital library of late-antique Latin texts – digilibLT – publishes prose texts written in Latin in the late antiquity (from the 2nd to the 7th century AD). The texts are annotated according to the XML-TEI standards, and are offered free of charge to the public for reading and research. The library also offers a complete canon of authors and works, including detailed information on the critical editions on which the digital texts are based, and listing, if the case, editorial changes which deviate from the critical editions chosen as reference. Search windows are designed to allow users to search either the entire collection of texts or a selection of them (by author, period, or type of text) or single authors and works. Texts can be downloaded freely, which allows individual scholars to work on their areas of interest with maximum flexibility. The library also provides short entries on late-antique authors and works, bibliographies, and canon entries. Finally, the library also includes some important works on late-antique Latin prose authors, offering the texts in PDF form or listing links to websites where these works can be found.
The icon marks Txt texts available for research and download.
The icon   marks TEI texts available for research and download.
The icon marks Pdf texts available for download.
The icon marks E-Pub texts available for download.

    saec. II
  1. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Epitoma de Tito Liuio - saec. II
  2. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Vergilius orator an poeta - saec. II
  3. saec. III
  4. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De die natali - 238
  5. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De figuris sententiarum et elocutionis (Aquila Romanus) - saec. III (secunda pars)
  6. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De hortis - saec. III
  7. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Epitoma historiarum Philippicarum Pompei Trogi - saec. III
  8. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Medicinae ex holeribus et pomis - saec. III
  9. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Augustoduni a. 297-8 - oratio pro instaurandis scholis - saec. III
  10. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Constantio Caesari (Treueris a. 297-8) - saec. III
  11. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Maximiano et Diocletiano (Treueris a. 289 p. Chr.) - saec. III
  12. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Treueris ? a. 291 p. Chr. - Genethliacus Maximiani Augusti - saec. III
  13. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Prologi in Pompeium Trogum - saec. III
  14. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Testimonia et fragmenta (Cornelius Labeo) - saec. III
  15. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Artis architectonicae priuatis usibus adbreuiatus liber - saec. III ex./IV in.
  16. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Collectanea rerum memorabilium - saec. III-IV
  17. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De condicionibus agrorum - III-IV saec.
  18. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyrici Latini - saec. III-IV
  19. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Periochae Liuii - saec. III-IV
  20. saec. IV
  21. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Asclepius - saec. IV
  22. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Breuiarium (Rufius Festus) - saec. IV
  1. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Liber de Caesaribus uel historiae abbreuiatae - fl. 360
  2. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Liber de praenominibus - saec. IV
  3. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Liber memorialis - saec. IV (dub.)
  4. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Orationes - inde a 369
  5. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Origo gentis Romanae - saec. IV
  6. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Constantino filio Constantii (Treueris a. 313 p. Chr.) - saec. IV
  7. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Constantino imperatori (Romae a. 321 p. Chr.) - saec. IV
  8. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Constantino imperatori (Treueris a. 310 p. Chr.) - saec. IV
  9. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Constantino imperatori (Treueris a. 312 p. Chr.) - Gratiarum actio - saec. IV
  10. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Iuliano imperatori (Constantinopoli a. 362 p. Chr.) - Gratiarum actio de consulatu suo - IV saec.
  11. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Maximiano et Constantino (Treueris ? a. 307 p. Chr.) - saec. IV
  12. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Panegyricus dictus Theodosio imperatori (Romae a. 389 p. Chr.) - saec. IV
  13. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Praefatio comm. in Verg. Eclogas - saec. IV med. (insignis habebatur 354)
  14. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Prodigiorum Liber - saec. IV
  15. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Relationes - 384-385
  16. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Rerum gestarum libri qui supersunt - n. post 333 m. post 395
  17. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Res gestae Alexandri Macedonis - Post 270 - ante 340
  18. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Testamentum porcelli - saec. IV
  19. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Vita Terentii - saec. IV med. (insignis habebatur 354)
  20. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Vita Vergilii (Donatus) - saec. IV med. (insignis habebatur 354)
  1. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Adnotationes super Lucanum - saec. IV-V (dub.)
  2. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Commenta Bernensia in Lucanum - saec. IV-V (dub.)
  3. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Commentarius in Vergilii Aeneidos libros - saec. IV-V
  4. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De fluminibus fontibus lacubus nemoribus paludibus montibus gentibus per litteras libellus - saec. IV-V
  5. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De medicamentis - saec. V
  6. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Disputatio de Somnio Scipionis - saec. IV-V
  7. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Epitoma (Nepotianus) - saec. IV-V (dub.)
  8. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Epitoma rei militaris - saec. IV-V
  9. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Epitome de Caesaribus - fere 400
  10. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Historia Augusta - saec. IV / V
  11. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Opusculum - saec. IV-V
  12. saec. V
  13. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Celeres passiones - saec. V
  14. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Curae boum - saec. V
  15. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De medicina - saec. V
  16. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De salutaribus praeceptis - saec. V
  17. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De speciali significatione diaeticarum passionum - saec. V
  18. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Gynaeciorum Sorani e graeco uersorum et retractatorum quae exstant - saec. V
  19. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format In Somnium Scipionis commentarii - saec. V
  20. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Praecepta artis rhetoricae - saec. V
  21. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Querolus - saec. V in.
  1. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Saturnalia - saec. V
  2. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Tardae passiones - saec. V
  3. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Vita Vergilii (Phocas) - saec. V in.
  4. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Collatio Alexandri et Dindimi - saec. V (dub.)
  5. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De excidio Troiae historia - saec. VI in.
  6. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Excerpta: appendix Apicii - saec. V / VI
  7. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Historia Apollonii regis Tyri recensio A - saec. V-VI
  8. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Historia Apollonii regis Tyri recensio B - saec. V-VI
  9. saec. VI
  10. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Analytica posteriora Aristotelis latine uersa - saec. VI
  11. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Analytica priora Aristotelis latine uersa - saec.VI
  12. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Analytica priora Aristotelis latine uersa (recensio Carnutensis, partes quaedam seorsum editae) - saec. VI
  13. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Anecdoton Holderi quod dicitur, scilicet excerpta ex Cassiodori libello de ordine generis Cassiodororum - saec. VI
  14. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Chronicon (Marcellinus Comes) - saec. VI
  15. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Commentum de agrorum qualitate - saec. VI
  16. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Commentum de controuersiis - saec. VI
  17. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De differentiis topicis - saec. VI
  18. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De diuisione - saec. VI
  19. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De origine actibusque Getarum - VI saec.
  20. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De sophisticis elenchis liber Aristotelis latine uersus - saec. VI
  21. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De summa temporum uel origine actibusque gentis Romanorum - saec. VI
  1. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De syllogismo categorico - saec. VI
  2. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Excerpta Valesiana pars posterior - saec. VI (post Theodorici mortem)
  3. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Introductio ad syllogismos categoricos - saec. VI
  4. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Origo Constantini imperatoris (= Excerpta Valesiana pars prior) - saec. VI
  5. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Peri hermeneias liber Aristotelis latine uersus - saec. VI
  6. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Philosophiae consolatio - 523-524
  7. Uncertain date
  8. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De bello civili inter Caesarem et Pompeium
  9. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De taxone recensio alfa
  10. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format De taxone recensio beta
  11. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Epistola Alexandri ad Aristotelem
  12. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Fragmentum Censorini
  13. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Mythographus Vaticanus I
  14. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Vita M. Annaei Lucani
  15. Work available in TXT format Work available in TEI format Work available in PDF format Work available in E-PUB format Ars ueterinaria

James F. McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix)

Mrs. Asherah Yahweh Tree Service

A Yahweh Tree Service

The picture above was taken by Ryan Bonfiglio and came to my attention via Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller on Facebook. But what does it mean? Does the “A” stand for Asherah, in which case this tree service is caring for trees in the name of Mrs. A. Yahweh who was often represented by a tree herself? Or is this a company that cuts down Asherah trees in Yahweh’s name? Or something out?

Archaeology Magazine

waugh

Lapita Pacific migration2SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Adrian Bell of the University of Utah and his colleagues developed a model of the colonization of remote islands in the Pacific Ocean by adapting an epidemiological model of how diseases spread among people and animals. “We model ocean migrants as ‘infecting’ uninhabited islands,” Bell explained in a press release. The team used the model to analyze some of the different theories of how the Lapita reached the 24 major island groups in the Pacific using dates obtained through archaeological research. Some of the variables include island size, distances from other islands, prevalent wind directions, and the inferred level of social hierarchy among the people living on the island. “So as the model moves forward in time, it will suggest some islands to be colonized first rather than others. How well it matches up with the data will distinguish which model comes out on top,” Bell said. The team found that the migrants “weren’t just drifting around,” but had a strategy for the best way to discover new places, traveling into the wind and moving to big islands that were more easily visible. “Here we have demonstrated how we can go beyond the construction of plausible narratives and ad hoc interpretations of archaeological information in order to develop explicit models of different colonization strategies and rigorously test them against the data,” reads the study, published in American Antiquity. To read about human colonization of Hawaii, see "Inside Kauai's Past."

waugh

dexterity thumb index finger

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT—An international team of of scientists led by robotics engineers Thomas Feix and Aaron Dollar of Yale University has created a kinematic model of the thumbs and index fingers of living primates and human ancestors based upon measurements of their digits’ segments. This method analyzes the interaction between the thumb and index finger, and suggests that human ancestors may have had precision-grip capabilities comparable to those of modern humans. According to the study, Australopithecus afarensis, which lived between 3.8 and three million years ago, may have had greater dexterity than what was required for cutting with a stone, and may have been able to use other tools not preserved in the archaeological record. “The model reveals that a long thumb or great joint mobility alone does not necessarily yield good precision manipulation,” Feix said in a press release. To read about the evolution of the throwing motion, see "No Changeups on the Savannah."

Ancient Peoples

When did it stop being AD and start becoming the years as we know them now? - Really random thought I just had. I figured you were the people to ask.

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking why we no longer attach “A.D.” to our modern years? Well, technically, we never did stop, it is indeed A.D. (C.E.) 2015; however, it’s just not customary anymore to use the “Anno Domini” (”In the year of our lord”) designation.

ArcheoNet BE

Heide, wol en linnen

Sinds kort is het rapport met de resultaten van het archeologisch onderzoek aan de Stompaertshoek in Mechelen online beschikbaar. De opgravingen vonden plaats in 2012 naar aanleiding van de bouw van een nieuwe parkeergarage onder het Mechelse politiekantoor. Wie meer wil weten over het onderzoek, kan morgen donderdag ook naar de lezing ‘650 jaar textielnijverheid aan de Stompaertshoek in Mechelen’.

Download het rapport (pdf)

Adam C. McCollum (hmmlorientalia)

Some Judeo-Persian manuscripts at the BnF

Previously I have highlighted some Georgian manuscripts that the Bibliothèque nationale de France has graciously made freely available online. Here is a list of Judeo-Persian manuscripts from the BnF that I have been able to find at Gallica. (If I happen to have missed one, please let me know.) They mostly come from the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries, some of them with colophons. While these manuscripts obviously fall outside of the delimiter “eastern Christian” that guides most of the posts appearing here, I know that at least some readers of the blog have, just as I do, broader interests than that delimiter allows. Most of the texts here are biblical; for details about published biblical texts in Persian (Judeo-Persian and otherwise), see my hitherto incomplete bibliography here.

These manuscripts often have a verse in Hebrew followed immediately by a Persian translation. For the Catalogues des manuscrits hébreux et samaritains de la Bibliothèque Impériale (Munk, Derenbourg, Franck, and Zotenberg) see at Gallica here and archive.org here. The few remarks I give below rely on this volume.

Un grand merci à la BnF de partager ces manuscrits!

70 Pentateuch http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9002771d (catalog)

BnF héb 70, f. 22v, end of Gen 14 in Heb and Judeo-Persian

BnF héb 70, f. 22v, end of Gen 14 in Heb and Judeo-Persian

71 Pentateuch http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b90027700 (catalog)

  • The Persian text of №s 70-71 is said to follow Targum Onqelos closely.

90 Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9064442x (catalog)

  • Probably the same scribe as №s 70-71.

97 Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel (to 10:3), with David Kimḥi’s commentary http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9064631t (catalog)

100 Jeremiah http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b90644470 (catalog)

  • Different from the version in № 97. Like some of the other JP translations, this one follows Onqelos more than the MT.

101 Minor Prophets, Lamentations http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b90644151 (catalog)

  • The margins have some of the Persian in Perso-Arabic script.

116 Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Ruth, Esther http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9064448d (catalog)

117 Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9064446k (catalog)

BnF héb 117, f. 1v, the beginning of Proverbs in Heb and Judeo-Persian

BnF héb 117, f. 1v, the beginning of Proverbs in Heb and Judeo-Persian

118 Job, Lamentations, Jeremiah http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b90644544 (catalog)

120 Job http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9064420b (catalog)

121 Job http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b90644188 (catalog)

127 Esther, benedictions, and a Purim song (Heb and Pers) http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9064444r (catalog)

129 Daniel http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b90645658 (catalog)

130 Tobit, Judith, Bel and the Dragon, Megillat Antiochos[1] http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9064465x (catalog)

BnF héb 130, f. 58r, colophon in Persian in Perso-Arabic and Hebrew script

BnF héb 130, f. 58r, colophon in Persian in Perso-Arabic and Hebrew script

The colophon (f. 58r) reads as follows:

نبشتة (!) شد این کتاب در موضع لار سال هزار و نوه صد ودوازده

נבשתה שוד אין כתאב דר מוצׄע לאר סאל הזאר ונוה צד ודואזדה

nevešte šod in ketāb dar mawẓiʿ-e Lār sāl-e hezār o noh sad o davāzdah

This book was written in the village of Lār in the year 1912 [AG, = 1600/1].

[1] The Aramaic text, for whatever it’s worth (Kaufman’s comments here), is available at the CAL site sub Late Jewish Literary Aramaic, text 81406.


Archaeology Magazine

waugh

First Nations clam gardensBRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA—Last year, Dana Lepofsky of Simon Fraser University and her team announced that ancient clam gardens in the Pacific Northwest, which range from Alaska to Washington State, produced quadruple the number of butter clams and twice the number of littleneck clams as unmodified clam beaches. Their new study has found that many clam gardens are more than 1,000 years old, and that they were managed in a variety of ways, including replanting of small clams and building rock terrace walls at the low tide line to create conditions that are ideal for clam growth. Beaches were also cleared of rubble that would limit clam habitat. The abundant and sustainable harvests of clams from the gardens would have supported the dense ancient First Nations settlements along the coastline. “We think that many Indigenous peoples worldwide had some kind of sophisticated marine management, but the Pacific Northwest is likely one of the few places in the world where this can be documented. This is because our foreshores are more intact than elsewhere and we can work closely with Indigenous knowledge holders,” Lepofsky said in a press release. To read about Lepofsky's research in-depth, see "The Edible Seascape."

waugh

Atapuerca Neolithic teethATAPUERCA, SPAIN—A human jaw recovered from El Mirador Cave has a rare supernumerary tooth that has been examined with Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) by a team of researchers from the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana I Evolució Social (IPHES), the Universitat Rovira I Virgili (URV), and the Faculty of Dentistry at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC). Human dentition is usually composed of three molars in each side of the upper and lower jaw. This jaw, which probably belonged to a 40-year-old man who lived between 4,760 and 4,200 years ago, had a fourth molar in the lower mandible. “In the case of archaeological populations there are very few studied and published examples of supernumerary teeth. Therefore, it is a novelty,” Marina Lozano, an IPHES researcher and a professor at URV, said in a press release. The Neolithic diet of starchy carbohydrates and a lack of dental hygiene increased the occurrence of dental caries among early farmers. These teeth show signs of severe dental wear, decay, abscesses, pulpitis, periodontal disease, tooth-picking marks in an upper molar, and arthritis of the temporomandibular joint. “This diagnosis confirms that oral health from the Neolithic became worse in agriculture and livestock populations,” she explained. To read about another instance of unusual ancient dentition, see "The Case of the Missing Incisors."

CHS Fellowships Research Bulletin

Abstract–Contextualizing Digital Data as Scholarship in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology

While digital data has assumed greater importance in archaeological research, it plays a minor role in scholarly communications. Most archaeologists do not yet see data sharing as a professional goal. Rather most archaeologists regard data mainly as a bureaucratic concern. Data need be “managed” (in the parlance of the NSF) and maybe archived to meet the requirements of external funding agencies. In this light, data have more to do with administrative compliance and little to do with the intellectual core of research. However, recent studies of data curation practices highlight the challenges of data reuse. These studies show how meaningful data sharing and reuse requires intellectual investment in data. To better realize the full potential of digital data, archaeology needs to see fundamental changes in research practices and professional roles, expectations, and inclinations. Open Context’s experiments with data sharing as a form of publishing explores ways to encourage such intellectual […] more