Friday, February 29, 2008


Phoberou Gerontos Tou Daimwn

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Artemis Orthia in her aspect of Potnia Theron

The Goddess, Artemis, as the Mistress of the Wild Beasts.

Plato, Plutarch, and Pausanias described the cult of Artemis Orthia in Sparta as including the ritual flogging of young boys and epheboi, sometimes even to death, as a blood sacrifice. This was a test of fitness, strength, and endurance; an important part of the elite Spartiate education, without which no one had full rights as a citizen in Sparta. An echo of this practice survived in elite British Imperial education (until fairly recent times), where it was said to give one
"a good bottom".


The apotheosis of Amphiaraos is a mighty savory myth.

Was it truly his fate that he must turn Athene against her favorite, whom she mean to apotheosize, thereby becoming a chthonic deity or cult hero himself?

Or did some other daimon somehow intervene, suborning his wife so she would persuade him to enlist in the expedition against Thebes?

Holger, Guardian of the West

The Seven Against Thebes

"May I never share my home with the female race, neither in bad times nor good. When things go well for a woman, her boldness is unbearable, but when she is frightened, she is an even greater evil for her home and fellow citizens. Don't you see that your cries and panic have rattled the citizens into dispirited cowardice? Your behavior has greatly assisted the cause of our enemies outside, while we inside are being destroyed by our own people. This is the sort of trouble you will have if you dwell with women.
Now then, if anyone fails to obey my authority (whether man or woman or something in between), a sentence of death will be decreed for him, and by no means whatsoever will he escape destruction by stoning at the peoples' hands.
It is for the man to take care of business outside the house, let no woman meddle in those matters. Let them stay home and do no harm!" Eteocles in Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes Tragedoi
verses 188ff. (play circa 473 B.C)

The action described in the play took place in the Archaic Age of Greece, prior to 1200 B.C.; approximately a generation before the Trojan War described in Homer's Iliad.

Meleager, hero of the Caledoneyan Boar hunt held a position contrary to that of Eteocles' misogyny. Fate was not kind to him however as he was done in by his own mother as a result of his defense of the mighty huntress, Atalanta.

Monday, February 25, 2008

'France 24' TV

'France 24' TV podcasts are available via

Hip Hop Oedipus!

In the southernmost county of Southern California, a 'funky hiphop' Ancient Greek Tragedoi is onstage; loosely based on Sophokles' Oedipus Rex mixed into, not hydor, but Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes. I suppose, if the Big Head doesn't demolish that theater with his keraunus, it may be acceptable to the gods. ...But what of the Eumenides?

Read all about it at:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Badiou's Being and Event

Alain Badiou, Being and Event, tr. Oliver Feltham, Continuum, 2006. This book looks to be rather interesting.


Stirner: Truth is made, not discovered; truths are "human statutes and human creatures"

Feuerbach: "objectively, God is nothing other than the essence of feeling."

Badiou: "Dieu, c'est fini. Et la religion aussi, c'est fini." "Mathematics is ontology. Ever since the Greeks, mathematics has given us our know ledge of being as being."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Holger Danske, Guardian of Western Civ?

Holger Danske looks to me like a mighty hero of yore,

but is he, indeed, the Guardian of Western Civilization?

Holger waits in the catacombs under Hamlet's castle:

Robert Southey's hot links

"Not now!", cried Thalaba, "Leave me to enjoy my bouffage in peace."

Another unnatural adventure with Robert Southey:

"Hekate" --William Blake

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The 'serial comma'

What some people are making a ruckus about these days is the 'Oxford comma": also known as the 'Harvard Comma' and the 'serial comma'. Serial comma sounds downright dangerous, perhaps calling to mind infamous serial killers.

I've always stood by having a comma before the 'and' that is toward the end of a series, as I see a naked 'and' there as indicating a closer link between those items than exists among the others separated by commas.

Feeling myself in total agreement with the band Vampire Weekend in their "Oxford Comma" song, I reckon the 'comma ruckus' as just another demonstration of the inherent furor of entrenched, or perhaps, embedded ignotism.


But now, in place of this gross slang term, courtesy of Oxford University Press' 'Wonderful Word of the Week' column, one can say, preferably in a frenchified tone, 'bouffage'.

bouffage [boo-fah-zhe]
"a filling meal. From an Old French word glossed in the OED with a quote from Cotgrave as 'any meat that (eaten greedily) fills the mouth, and makes the cheeks to swell; cheeke-puffing meat.' "

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"O Captain, My Captain!"

Why would do you suppose Walt Whitman would have expressed regrets about having written this poem?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Maori Haka

The Haka of the Maori of NewZealand seems to me a

multidimensional poetry similar to the Ancient Greek 'choroi'.

Lourens Alma-Tadema's "The Egyptian Widow"

...talkin'bout Love....

"Love! Oh Love! Oh careless Love!" --William ChristopherHandy

"Jesus was a real fighter. The best little scrapper, pound for pound, you ever saw. And why, gentlemen?
Love, gentlemen. Jesus had love in both fists. And what is love?
Love is the mornin' and the evenin' star that shines on the cradle of the babe....
Love is the inspiration of poets and philosophers. Love is the voice of music.
I'm talkin' about divine love, not carnal love."
-- ElmerGantry

"Love is the only bow on life's dark cloud. It is the Morning and the Evening Star. It shines upon the cradle of the babe, and sheds its radiance upon the quiet tomb. It is the mother of Art, inspirer of poet, patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart, builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody, for Music is the voice of Love. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of the wondrous flower--the heart--and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven and we are gods." Robert Ingersoll quoted in _Elmer Gantry_(1927) by Sinclair Lewis

Hellenistic talkin':

Hynerotomachia Poliphili - Love's Dream Conflict

Monday, February 18, 2008

Percy Shelley's Island

" ...
The blue Aegean girds this chosen home,
With ever-changing sound and light and foam,
Kissing the sifted sands and caverns hoar;
And all the winds wandering along the shore
Undulate with the undulating tide:
There are thick woods where sylvan forms abide
And many a fountain, rivulet, and pond
As clear as elemental diamond or
Serene morning air; and far beyond,
The mossy tracks made by the goats and deer
(Which the rough shepherd treads but once a year)
Pierce into glades, caverns, and bowers, and halls
Built round with ivy, which the waterfalls
Illumining with sound that never fails,
Accompany the noonday nightingales;
and all the place is peopled with sweet airs,
the light clear element which the isle wears
Is heavy with the scent of lemon-flowers,
Which floats like mist laden with unseen showers
And falls upon the eyelids like faint sleep;
And from the moss, violets and jonquils peep
And dart their arrowy odour through the brain
Till you might faint with that delicious pain;
And every motion, odour, beam, and tone,
With that deep music is in unison:
Which is a soul within the soul -- they seem
Like echoes of an antenatal dream.
It is an isle 'twixt Heaven, Air, Earth, and Sea,
Cradled and hung in clear tranquility,
Bright as that wandering Eden Lucifer,
Wash'd by the soft blue Oceans of young air,
It is a favour'd place...."
excerpt from Percy Shelley's "Epipsychidion"

This seems a most excellent thing to have on one's mind, think I.

Orpheus Theerios

Sunday, February 17, 2008

posting the nekkid reading of Xenophon's Anabasis 4.6.14-19 to the GreekStudyList

Lararium in Pompey

Lares et Penates atque Parentalia et D.M.

February seems to have been the season in Ancient Rome for commemorating the 'household gods' and also the shades of the departed ancestors. These memorials began during the Ides of February with the Parentalia for the ancestors. Followed by the Feralia and Carista. During this time all temples and government offices were closed and marriages forbidden.
Could 'Presidents' Day' be an echo of this in our time?

Jane Harrison is most enlightening in this dark area:

Dionysus [der Knabe Elis von Georg Trakl?]


There's nothing like a tasty wine or liqueur after dinner.

My choice for some time has been an inexpensive sweet amber 'fine' marsala. Perhaps this resulted from my fondness for zambaglione, an Italian custard made with marsala.

Marsala is exported from the Province of Trapani in Sicily, a locale with an ancient and colorful history.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The nekkid Theognis

"Love me not with words alone,

Hiding mind and spirits contrary,

If you love with a true mind: but

Love me with an honest soul, or

Openly distance yourself fro' me;

Confess this breach estranging us:

Whoever speaks with single tongue but

Hides a double mind's a poor mate, Kyrnus,

Better my good foe than a false friend to me."
--from "The nekkid Theognis"

situation awareness

An Ancient Greek verb, that challenged my attention recently, led me to thinking beyond my reading.
When one looks at the verb, apoblepein [present infinitive form] or apo-blepw [lexicon entry form], one sees the preposition 'apo', meaning 'away from', used as a preverb to 'blepw' which denotes 'to look at, regard'. Therefore, one might conclude that apoblepein indicates that the subject looks away from it's object. But that would be far from the meaning. The Ancient Greek thought conveyed here is that the subject is looking away from everything else but the object. Therefore, the subject's attention is totally toward the object, neglecting all else.

The Liddell and Scott Lexicon shows that a grammatical direct object was used with this verb only for "look upon with love, wonder, or admiration...." Otherwise a prepositional phrase was used that indicated the attention was to or toward the object. So, as I then thought, what happened to the 'situation awareness' for the subject. The Ancient Greeks didn't have cell phones nor motor vehicles nor highway traffic, but they must necessarily have been aware of the importance of situation awareness from their competitive athletics and military experience.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"The Fleet's In" --Paul Cadmus-oils- 1934


[male voice sings]
She is all they claim
With her eyes of night and
Lips as bright as flame.

When she dances by
Senoritas stare and
Caballeros sigh.

And I've seen toasts to Tangerine
Raised in every bar across the Argentine;

Yes, she has them all on the run
But her heart belongs to just one...
Her heart belongs to Tangerine....

[female voice sings]
She is all they say
With mascared eyes and chapeau by Dache.

With her lips of flame,
If the color keeps, Louis Philippe's to blame.

And I've seen
Clothes on Tangerine
Where the label says "From Macy's Mezzanine".

Yes, she has the boys in a whirl,
But she's only fooling ome girl;
She's only fooling Tangerine."

after Lyrics by Johnny Mercer;
_The Fleet's In_, a 1942 movie, introduced this hit song

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ginkgo Penjing

Seeing the Northern deLights

Northern deLights:

And then there's the Deathly Coach and Six:

The Wild Hunt of the Asgard Riders

aporian notes

Here are some notes I kept from previous encounters with the aporian logos:

When one is at loose ends, whelmed in confusion, up a creek without a
paddle, it is a window of opportunity for learning and/or change. The
ancient greeks termed that state aporia. According to Plato's *Meno*,
Socrates made good use of aporia:

Reading a review of a recent metaphilosophy work, I found this word, apories, at the very end.
I think of aporia as an ancient Greek word whose plural is aporiai. But there are those who claim it came into the English language from the French aporie, which would account for the plural apories. Howsomever, if that were the case, why would we use the Greek spelling of the singular in English? Methinks philosophers can make a quandary out of damn near anything. But then, is that not the 'specialite de maison' in their "house of language"?

"Etymology: French aporie, ultimately from Greek aporia difficulty, perplexity, from aporos impassable, from a- + poros passage -- more at FARE
1 : an expression of real or pretended doubt or uncertainty especially for rhetorical effect
2 : a logical impasse or contradiction; especially : a radical contradiction in the import of a text or theory that is seen in deconstruction as inevitable." So says Merriam Webster.


Way to go?

Is this the way to go? It might, one can conjecture, please those whose agenda is reducing
the total human population; whosoever they might be.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Va Savoir!

Va savoir! de la connaissance en general:

Chronology of U.S -Vietnam Relations

Indochinese Communist Party, opposed to French rule, organized by Ho Chi Minh and his followers.
An OSS (Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA) team parachutes into Ho Chi Minh's jungle camp in northern Vietnam and saves Ho Chi Minh who is ill with malaria and other tropical diseases.

USA - Vietnam Relations Chronology:

"As soon as the Communists took over South Vietnam, they sent many of the educated people to the jungle as prisoners. They ordered us to plow by human power and build cottages with mud and straw. They handcuffed and legcuffed all of us like animals and forced us to earn a living by hard labor." Thuy Nguyen

Tourists' Vietnam


Too bad that early Altertumswissenschaft paradigm didn't succeed in the American universities.

Now we have, as I recently saw and heard on a classics educational DVD, 'Classics professors' who pronounce the transliterated Greek 'chi' the same as the 'ch' in 'church'.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

5 elements & three gunas theories

Taken together, the 5 elements & 3 gunas theories seem to account for everything in the arising that we perceive as nature or reality if one accepts pansychism.

Ancient Greek Mythology & Religion

Tropaion and The History Channel present a 44 minute video on the Olympean Greek Gods and Goddesses and Heroes:

After viewing this excellent presentation, you might want to visit the Tropaion Library for further information.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Friedrich Nietzsche: "Legite lente."

"A book like this, a problem like this, is in no hurry; we both, I just as much as my book, are friends of lento. It is not for nothing that I have been a philologist, perhaps I am a philologist still, that is to say, A TEACHER OF SLOW READING:- in the end I also write slowly. Nowadays it is not only my habit, it is also to my taste - a malicious taste, perhaps? - no longer to write anything which does not reduce to despair every sort of man who is 'in a hurry'. For philology is that venerable art which demands of its votaries one thing above all: to go aside, to take time, to become still, to become slow - it is a goldsmith's art and connoisseurship of the WORD which has nothing but delicate, cautious work to do and achieves nothing if it does not achieve it lento. But precisely for this reason it is more necessary than ever today, by precisely this means does it entice and enchant us the most, in the midst of an age of 'work', that is to say, of hurry, of indecent and perspiring haste, which wants to 'get everything done' at once, including every old or new book:- this art does not so easily get anything done, it teaches to read WELL, that is to say, to read slowly, deeply, looking cautiously before and aft, with reservations, with doors left open, with delicate eyes and fingers...My patient friends, this book desires for itself only perfect readers and philologists: LEARN to read me well!" from Nietzsche's preface to _Daybeak_. (translation by Lancelot Fletcher)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hannah Arendt on Epictetus

Some comments on Epictetus by Hannah Arendt who had a real genius for making Ancient Greek Philosophy contemporary:
“. . . Epictetus, the Greek slave and the most acute mind, possibly, among the late Stoics. According to him, what must be learned to make life bearable is not really thinking, but ‘the correct use of imagination,’ the only thing we have entirely within our power. He still uses a deceptively familiar Greek vocabulary, but what he calls ‘the reasoning faculty’ (dynamis logike) has as little to do with the Greek 'logos' and 'nous' as what he appeals to as ‘will’ has to do with Aristoteliam 'proairesis'. He calls the faculty of thinking in itself ‘sterile’ (akarpa ; “Discourses”, bk. I, chap 17); for him the subject matter of philosophy is each man’s own life, and what philosophy teaches man is an ‘art of living (Discourses, bk I, chap 15),’ how to deal with life, in the same fashion that carpentry teaches an apprentice how to deal with wood. What counts is not ‘theory’ in the abstract but its use and application (chresis ton theorematon); to think and to understand are a mere preparation for action; to ‘admire the mere power of exposition’—the 'logos', the reasoned argument and train of thought itself—is likely to turn man ‘into a grammarian instead of a philosopher.’” (“The Manual”, 49) (p. 154).
“If thinking is normally the faculty of making present what is absent, the Epictetian faculty of ‘dealing with impressions aright’ consists in conjuring away and making absent what actually is present. All that existentially concerns you while living in the world of appearances is the ‘impressions’ by which you are affected. Whether what affects you exists or is mere illusion depends on your decision whether or not you will recognize it as real. . . . If one may count Epictetus among the philosophers, it is because he discovered that consciousness makes it possible for mental activities to recoil upon themselves.
If while perceiving an object outside myself I decide to concentrate on my perception, on the act of seeing instead of the seen object, it is as if I lost the original object because it loses its impact upon me. I have, so to speak, changed the subject—instead of the tree, I now deal merely with the perceived tree, that is, with what Epictetus calls an ‘impression’ [I assume this would be phantasia as in the Handbook, 1.5]. . . . The trick discovered by Stoic philosophy is to use the mind in such a way that reality cannot touch its owner even when he has not withdrawn from it; instead of withdrawing mentally from everything that is present and close at hand, he has drawn every appearance inside himself, and his ‘consciousness’ becomes a full substitute for the out side world presented as impression or image (Arendt, H., _The Life of the Mind_, p. 155-6)

the rat-born

We rat-born are thrifty and clever,

Scamper unrestraindly in the Rajas,

Find food for thought in the Tamas,

Gnaw implicatures in sedate Sattwas.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Eschatotatophile Life Forms

"Nature keeps coming up with surprises" -- perhaps why the Ancient
Greeks called it physis, meaning 'the arising'.

This is also why life will most likely be found on other planets;
whether religious fundamentalists will ever let the public know that is
'another story'.

(Eschatotatophiles is a lexicographically proper word I coined
from Greek to replace the media-coined illegitimate, 'extremophiles'.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Interfacing Heidegger's phenomenology and postmodern cognitive science

Pheu, what a titanic task! Pheu by the way is Ancient Greek for the American 'phew!', a frequent caption in early 20th Century comics and cartoons. I learned this thanks to _Thrasymachus_.

So then, here's a review of Michael Wheeler's biting this philosophical bullet:

And, for balance, a review of an analytic philosophy approach, which I suppose may be thought to resemble a dray horse wearing (Anglo-) blinders, to the Stoics:


Et in Arcadia Ego, Iovis Luporum

Recent archeological finds indicate the wolf cult with its human
sacrifice in Arcadia is much older than previously believed.

This mythos appears also to be the source of popular werewolf mythology.

Epictetus and Simplicius

Epictetus' stoic philosophy is indeed perennial. Living 55-135 A.D., his was the culmination of stoicism. Simplicius, 'last of the neoplatonists', known primarily for his commentaries on Aristotle, wrote an important (i.e., to philosophers) commentary on the _Enchiridion of Epictetus_ which was actually written by Epictetus' student, Arrian, based on Epictetus' class lecture notes.

Bryn Mawr Review of _Simplicius on Epictetus Handbook_, tr. Tad Brennan, Charles Brittain, 2002, Ithaca:Cornell Univ. Press and London: Duckworth.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Erben der Schopfung: "An den Knaben Elis"

This Gothik band renders a lovely Lichtung of Georg Trakl's

"An den Knaben Elis" on their album, _Twilight_. Drawn

first by the Trakl Lieder, I have come to enjoy all the album.

One may hear their recent work at:

More about Georg Trakl and links to his poems:

And even more in Links and Messages at

Holderlin and Trakl have a lot in common
with each other and with Rilke and even
the philosopher, Martin Heidegger.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Nisi aliquot innocentes...

Nisi aliquot innocentes nocentur,

Nausea innocentiae clam vexabitur

Vulpeculas pulcras. Amor autem

Fortuitus, et jugis et jucundus.


Flying bareass & other naturist delights


Flying bareass

Why ancient Greeks naked:

History of Naturist Movement

Naked Newscasters [C'est a la mode.]

Ancient Comedic Vases and such

The Aulos-playing Satyr Vase – Satyr Play

The Cheiron Vase – Old Comedy (vulgar costumes and grotesque figures again)

The Choregos Vase – Old Comedy

The Pronomos Vase – Satyr Play (less vulgar costumes, more serious masks etc.)

The Tarentine Vase – Satyr Play

Vase 96AB113 – Old Comedy

Vase 96AE112 – Old Comedy

The Wurzburg Orestes – Satyr Play

Damanhur Temples

This is a rather startling revelation of the 'they are among us'
genus. One may suppose this is a very positive and healthy movement
since it has not shown that suicidal morbidity that seems intrinsic to
such movements spawned in California, USA.
These Damanhur people are creating their own myths and culture, in
beauty. If our civilization does indeed perish, as it seems it soon very
well might, these temples may be our feted memorial.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Spring of the Rat is less than a week away!

The Kitchen God will soon be reporting on our households and Spring will begin February 7th this 4706th Year. Persephone will be coming topside and the trees and flowers blooming again in the Year of the Rat.

The return depicted about 2448 years ago:

About ratty laughter: