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Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs -

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    Davide Dainese et Viola Gheller (éd.), Beyond Intolerance. The Milan Meeting in AD 313 and the Evolution of Imperial Policy, Turnhout, 2018.

    Éditeur : Brepols
    Collection : Studi e testi tardoantichi 14
    307 pages
    ISBN : 978-2-503-57449-3
    €100 (excl. TVA + shipping)

    313 AD is generally considered as a "turning point" in religious and political Western history. The meeting of Constantine and Licinius in Milan and the subsequent "edict" not only recognised to the Christians the right to assemble and practice their cults, but opened the way to the Christianisation of Roman imperial structures and, finally, to the declaration of Christianity as the only allowed religion in the Roman Empire.
    The papers summoned in this volume tackle this complex historical phase from a number of perspectives (from Church history and theology to political and juridical history), following a strongly multidisciplinary approach. The chronological schope, stretching from the decades preceding the meeting of 313 to the reign of Julian the Apostate, permits to highlight both the cultural, political and juridical premises of Constantine and Licinius' decisions and the way they affected a number of aspects of everyday life within the Empire's borders, until Julian's pagan "restoration" and beyond it.

    Lire la suite...

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    Mary Beard marked the 150th anniversary of the Society for Classical Studies of the United States with a public lecture at their annual meeting in San Diego on January 5th 2019.

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    Review of Kit Morrell, Pompey, Cato, and the Governance of the Roman Empire. Oxford: 2017. Pp. 309. £65.00. ISBN 9780198755142.

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    Review of Gesine Manuwald, Cicero, Agrarian Speeches: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary. Oxford; New York: 2018. Pp. iv, 480. $145.00. ISBN 9780198715405.

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    Review of Tonio Hölscher, Die Geschöpfe des Daidalos: Vom sozialen Leben der griechischen Bildwerke. Heidelberg: 2018. Pp. 215. €40,00 (pb). ISBN 9783946317166.

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    Review of John G. Fitch, Seneca: Oedipus. Agamemnon. Thyestes. Hercules on Oeta. Octavia. Loeb classical library, 78. Cambridge, MA: 2018. Pp. 663. $26.00. ISBN 9780674997189.

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    Review of Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Brill's Companion to the Reception of Aeschylus. Brill's Companions to Classical Reception 11. Leiden; Boston: 2017. Pp. xix, 634. $222.00. ISBN 9789004249325.

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    Review of Sebastian Gertz, Elias and David: 'Introductions to Philosophy' with Olympiodorus: 'Introduction to Logic'. Ancient Commentators on Aristotle. London: 2018. Pp. viii, 257. £85.00. ISBN 9781350051744.

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  • 01/10/19--01:48: Bladon murderer sentenced
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  • 01/10/19--02:16: Bohemian Rhapsody
  • I finally got to see the movie Bohemian Rhapsody this week, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, from even before the movie proper began, when the standard instrumentation on the 20th Century Fox fanfare was replaced with Queen style guitars playing the melody. The film teases where it will end – Live Aid – before rewinding […]

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    Liseckij F.N., O. A. Marinina et Zh. A., Burjak (2017) : Геоархеологические исследования исторических ландшафтов Крыма : монография / Geoarkheologicheskie issledovanija istoricheskikh landshaftov Kryma : monografija, Voronej [Etudes géoarchéologiques sur les paysages historiques de la Crimée: une monographie]. Cet ouvrage … Lire la suite

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    16th June – 29th June 2019

    Whether publishing new inscriptions, reinterpreting old ones, or critically analysing editions, this course provides training for historians, archaeologists and textual scholars alike in the discipline of reading and interpreting epigraphic evidence. Students will be guided through the process of producing editions of inscriptions, gaining practical first hand experience with the stones as well as instruction in editorial and bibliographic skills. Guest lectures on historical and thematic subjects will explore the ways in which epigraphic evidence can inform a wide range of Classical subjects. The course will be taught primarily by Prof. Graham Oliver (Brown) and Robert Pitt (BSA) and will utilise the most significant epigraphic collections around Athens, where students will be assigned a stone from which they will create a textual edition. The importance of seeing inscriptions within their archaeological and topographical contexts will be explored during site visits around Athens and Attica. Some prior knowledge of Greek is essential, although students with only elementary skills are advised that reading inscriptions is a very good way to advance in the language!

    The course fee of £780 includes accommodation in shared rooms at the BSA, where self-catering facilities are available, as well as 24 hour access to the superb library, entry to all sites and museums, and BSA membership. Free membership for the remainder of the session will be offered to students wishing to remain at the BSA after the course to continue their research. Travel to and from Greece is the sole responsibility of the course participant.

    The course is limited to 12 places, and open to students of any university pursuing Masters or Post-graduate degrees.

    Further information can be obtained from the BSA website ( Completed application forms and an academic reference letter should be emailed to the Assistant Director, Dr. Chryssanthi Papadopoulou, ( no later than January 31st 2019.

    The post Postgraduate Course in Greek Epigraphy (Athens, June 2019) appeared first on Current Epigraphy.

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     [First posted in AWOL 5 February 2013, updated 10 January 2019 (new URLs]

    Classica et Mediaevalia: Danish Journal of Philology and History
    ISSN 0106-5815
    ISSN 1604-9411 (Online)

    Page Header Logo
    Classica et Mediaevalia encourages scholarly contributions covering the fields of Greek and Latin languages and literature up to, and including the late middle ages as well as Graeco-Roman history and traditions as manifested in general history, history of law, history of philosophy and ecclesiastical history. General linguistics, archaeology and the history of art are not usually dealt with.
    Classica et Mediaevalia is a peer-reviewed annual online journal (January) which provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 67, 2019) 
    Full text back issues online at Museum Tusculanum Press
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 65) 
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 64)
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 63)
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 62)
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 61)
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 60)
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 60) 
     The following volumes have TOC and abstracts only
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 58) 
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 57) 
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 56) 
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 55) 
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 54) 
    Classica et Mediaevalia (vol. 53)

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    [Editor’s note: years ago we regularly featured transcriptions of Barry Baldwin’s Classical Corner items from Fortean Times, and we are happy to announce we will be resuming this (with the author’s permission). Just to get the ball rolling, here’s a recent piece from Barry Baldwin, reprinted with permission of the author himself, who years ago had to deal with yours truly as a student. Errors in transcription accrue to the latter]

    WILLIAM Shepard Walsh opined: ‘A joke might appear to be to be the last thing one would seek in a dictionary’1

    However, he did excavate one example of humour from an unexpected quarter: The Greek Lexicon of Liddell & Scott.2

    In cause is their entry for Sykophantes (our ‘Sycophant’). This term comported various meanings. The last one listed derives it from people who informed against those who exported figs stolen from the sacred trees of Athens. On this, Liddell (father of Lewis Carroll’s Alice) and Scott observed, ‘ But this explanation is probably a mere figment.’
    Shepard Walsh thundered: ‘ Even puns’ and very bad puns, have found their way into the most ponderous lexicons. But, to the credit of Liddell and Scott, this ghastly attempt at a joke appeared only in four editions, when, yielding to public opinion, the word “ figment” was changed to “invention.’

    In the current 1968 edition, the conclusion was further altered to read ‘ modern explanations are mere guesses.’

    One has to wonder how much actual ‘ public opinion’ was heard on the matter? Greek lexica are not usually the subject of mass concern.

    This offending paronomasia did not appear in the first edition of 1844. Could it be more than coincidence that the first recorded use of the phrase ‘ figments of the imagination’ appears to be in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre  (1847)? Or, given his relationships between Alice Liddell and her parents, might we see Lewis Carroll, a notorious punster, as a possible inspiration?

    As edition succeeded edition, this famous figment excited various individuals to publicize their thoughts on the matter via a flurry of communications in Notes and Queries.3

    One contributor, Dr. V. Paten-Payne, dubbed the pun ‘ unintentional’, referring to the fifth edition (1864). Alfred Ainger (a specialist in Latin Verse Composition) noted that ‘ it undoubtedly occurs’ in this same one. Three other correspondents cited its occurrence in editions 4-6. W. G. Boswell-Stone ‘ vaguely recalls’ an obituary of Scott in the Daily News  which remarked that there are two jokes in the Lexicon, not specifying the other, adding that the figment did not occur in the latest edition. This prompted one E. A. R. Ball to ask where the second one was. One response was to cite Dr. Greenhill, Dean of Christ Church, to the effect that he was unaware of any second one.

    It was, in fact, very likely to be their definition of Alochos: ‘ Bedmate, the a  being copulative.’

    Apropos of Scott, T. Selby Henrey wrote:
    ‘ Oxford men have been heard to say that, when Liddell and Scott’s Greek Lexicon was first published, it contained not a few touches of hidden humour, which were deleted in later editions – one explanation of this being that Scott smuggled them in and Liddell was too matter-of-fact to detect them.’4

    From this, might one surmise that Liddell never read his daughter’s apotheosis, Alice in Wonderland?

    Liddell died in 1898, ten years after Scott. This prompted no less than Thomas Hardy to knock off a droll poem, ‘ Liddell and Scott, On the Completion of their Lexicon.’ Nowhere in it does he allude to it as containing any jokes or puns.

    Henrey, who cited the figment, adduced other examples of lexical levity. One was from D. B. Munro’s Homeric Grammar, wherein the middle voice of louomai is elucidated thus: ‘ I wash myself. this is comparatively rare.’ Hervey glosses: ‘ It is current in Oxford that an undergrad first detected the humorous side of this sentence.’

    Despite the deleters, it is congenial to conclude by observing how the fig-ment has hung on. In Christine Longford’s novel, Making Conversation (1931), a friend of the heroine Martha, reading Classics at Oxford during The Great War, when told about Liddell and Scott’s ‘ only joke’, responds, ‘ What a perfect Oxford joke!’ The next sentence reads: ‘ The serious student looked hurt.’

    Other survivals, drawn at random, range from The Ohio Educational Monthly5 to H. R. Hall’s  A Season’s Work at Ur-‘Ubaid, Abu Sharain-Erdu-and Elsewhere.6
    So, we may leave Liddell and Scott in full fig.


    1 Handy -Book of Literary Curiosities (London, 1892), 236
    2 The full story of Liddell, Scott, and their Lexicon is best recounted by Christopher Stray, Classical Dictionaries: Past, Present and Future  (London, 2010), 94-118.
    3  7th Series, vii-viii, June-July, 1889.
    4. Good Stories from Oxford and Cambridge: The Saving Grace of Humour (London, 1919), 86-7.
    5 Vol. 21, 1873, 49.
    6 London, 2014, 139, comparing stories about local shadowy bandits to the lexicon’s figments.

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    This spring I want to draft at least two chapters for a book that I’m writing. Yesterday was my first writing day and it involved paste 132 words from one document into another. It was almost like writing.

    Here are the words that I pasted from my proposal:

    The introduction will do three things. First it will provide a basic definition of archaeology of the contemporary world in terms of both American and European practice. Next, it will unpack the concept of contemporaneity in recent archaeological thought (e.g. Harrison 2011; Lucas 2010) and the tension between archaeology’s use of time to defamiliarize our past and present as well as considering how an archaeology of the contemporary world explicitly requires us to co-locate with the objects and landscapes that we study. Finally, it will frame the remainder of the book by exploring how contemporaneity opens up new space for archaeology to articulate and ultimately humanize the pressing social, economic, technological and environmental challenges and opportunities in American society as well as introducing new epistemological perspectives on how archaeologists produce meaningful knowledge.


    The phrase “archaeology of the contemporary world” or, as some have framed it, the archaeology or archaeologies of “the contemporary past” strikes many as oxymoronic. After all, the study of archaeology is the study of the “archaios” or the ancient or, more literally, the origins or the beginnings. In contrast, the term “contemporary” means at the same time (con+tempus). Combining archaeology and contemporary, to say nothing of the word “past” would seem to offer a temporal mishmash.The study of the past, of ancient things, or even origins explicitly would seem to mark the object of archaeological inquiry as fundamentally different from the contemplation of the contemporary.  

    This tension does not stop the archaeology of the contemporary world from existing as a significant field of study. In fact, archaeologists committed to the study of contemporary society have recognized the tensions between the concepts of contemporaneity and archaeology or the present and the past. Michael Schiffer and Richard Gould subtitled one of the earliest efforts to articulate an archaeology of  contemporary American society as “the archaeology of us” (1981) and situate the field amid a diverse range of perspectives from practices of historical archaeology to anthropology and methodological and pedagogical concerns in the discipline.  In that volume, William Rathje articulated “an archaeology of us” in a “manfesto on modern material-culture studies” which emphasized how an archaeology of the recent past could make four contributions to the field: “(1) teaching archaeological principles, (2) testing archaeological principles, (3) doing the archaeology of today, (4) relating our society to those of the past.” These wide ranging contribution do little to problematize the tension between archaeology and the contemporary, but they do establish the potential of an archaeology of the recent past. Rathje developed these ideas over the course of his famous “Garbage Project,” which marked the first sustained program of archaeological research into contemporary American culture. Initiated in 1973, the project documented the garbage from a number of neighborhoods in Tucson and by the mid-1980s had started to conduct systematic excavations of landfills. This work both allowed Rathje to make a wide range of conclusions regarding modern discard and household behavior and popularized archaeological approaches to assemblages of modern material that were adapted from in well-established principles, methods, and practice. For Rathje, the archaeological methods and principles could be separated from their focus on the past.  

    By the early 21st century, Buchli and Lucas make explicit that concept of contemporaneity offered significant opportunities and challenges to archaeology (2001, 8-9). On the one hand, they acknowledge that historical archaeologists can and do substitute the term “recent past” for the archaeology of the present, and, like for Rathje, the use of well-established archaeological methods offer a way to distance ourselves from our object of study. On the other hand, archaeologists of the contemporary world recognize the value of contemporaneity as a way to disrupt the distancing effects of archaeological methods and push the archaeologist to experience, viscerally in some cases and intellectually in others, the uncanny, decay, and the abject character of the material world. Contemporaneity, then, emphasizes the role of the archaeologist in making the familiar unfamiliar, “constituting the unconstituted,” or “making the undiscursive discursive” by making texts that represent and communicate the experience of materiality in the modern world.

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  • 01/10/19--11:01: The Antiquities Racket

  • "Money laundering is the method used by criminals to change money collected from predicate crimes like drug running, illegal gun sales, contraband cigarette distribution, counterfeit pharmaceuticals sales, and other illegal business ventures into cash that appears to have been earned honestly. Simply put, it's a way to clean dirty money. The crime undermines the integrity and stability of financial structures".
    "No invoices? Cool." Art, Artifacts, and Money Laundering', Cultural Heritage Lawyer Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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    Middlebury College Middlebury, Vermont has a collection of 'choice works of art that range in date from the fourth millennium B.C.E. to the third century C.E'. - a comprehensive set of Mesopotamian seals, an Assyrian alabaster palace relief, sunken-relief hieroglyphics from an Egyptian tomb, a late Egyptian mummy case, a marble Cycladic figurine, a fine Greek pottery collection, and Roman bronze and marble sculptures (look at the dates of accession here). Now they have 1000 loose ancient coins (Vast Collection of Ancient Coins Is Gifted to the Museum of Art', January 8, 2019):
    A coin collector from Lewiston, Maine, with no prior connection to Middlebury, has donated more than 1,000 ancient coins to the Middlebury College Museum of Art. Gary Guimond, who started collecting ancient coins in the 1950s, was looking for an educational institution where his gold, silver, bronze, and electrum coins would be preserved, appreciated, and studied as primary sources of history. 

    The college's concept of 'primary source of history' seems to be that these loose objects illustrate book-history, for if they have lost their provenance, they are just now loose old stamped metal discs. It's areal mishmash too:
    There are a good number of beautiful and interesting coins from ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the early and middle Byzantine eras, Parthia, and even the Gallic Empire,” said Professor Pieter Broucke, the associate curator of ancient art. The collection is particularly strong in coinage from the Roman Empire, he said, with pieces displaying Augustus, Tiberius, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Septimus Severus, and the empresses Faustina the Elder and Julia Domna. The collection includes a bronze Ptolemy II coin, a Republican silver coin, a number of Justinian coins, and a fourrée coin of Caracalla from the third century CE. The collection also contains several Byzantine cup-shaped bronze coins and some medieval French and Eastern European coins, as well as a cluster of lead tokens and pewter objects that served as currency in Renaissance England. (sic) [...] The Middlebury Museum is in the early stages of determining how the coins will be used,
    How many of them have any decent provenances and legitimising collecting histories?  How many can actually be documented as removed from teh archaeological record legally and not having been  smuggled out of the source countries?

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