Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cannabis Indications in Ancient Xinjiang

Nigh unto three millenia ago, near Turpan, a stash of Mary Jane's favorite herb was allegedly placed in a burial, quite possibly of a shaman; no arrests have been made, reports the news media:§ionid=3510212

latest marihootchie update [id est, as of January, 2007]:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sigur Ros

Sigur Ros, who some of us first discovered with their uncannily mystic song 'Staralfur', are thriving still but seem to have come back to Earth, especially their homeland. The passing years years seem to have made them more youthful, but experienced.
Staralfur with a fan's video :

Sigur Ros - Live in Iceland, their homeland - Heima Finale, June 2006:

Hear their new album tracks here :

I've found Sigur Ros and similar music provides a perfect background soundscreen for reading Classics, etcetera, so I often listen to 'Sigur Ros Radio' (enter in 'Search') in the Slacker Personal Radio site:

Mercedes Club : another side of Icelandic Music

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rammstein, tATu, and Saint Seia

What a delightful combination! The Japanese Anime's heroic images adapted from ancient myths and the music of of the German band, Rammstein, sometimes in collaboration with the young maidens of the Moskau duo, tATu. Enjoy! Rammstein "Sacrifice" and t.A.T.u. -- Saint Seia - Zeus
Rammstein "Ein Kleine Mensch"--Saint Seia - Asgard my previous Rammstein post

'"Amerika" live' from Nimes, France :

"Moskau" by Rammstein and tATu with fan video:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Athena Temple, Assos on the Adramyttian Gulf

"... ascendentes autem navem hadrumetinam incipientem navigare circa Asiae loca sustulimus perseverante nobiscum Aristarcho Macedone Thessalonicense...."
Biblia Sacra Vulgatam, Act. 27, 2.

Assos was a port city with the only good harbor on the north shore of the Adramyttian Gulf, situated on a seven-hundred-foot volcanic hill, facing south to the island of Lesbos.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ruins of Alba Longa, painted in 1600 by Adam Elsheimer

Alba Longa was founded by AEneas' son, Ascanius, and housed the fire of Vesta, that Trojans had brought from Troy when they were displaced by the Trojan War of which Homer sang. Formerly head of a league of cities, it was destroyed by Rome in the time of the kings, under Tullus Hostilius (according to tradition), but the Temple of Vesta remained.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tenebras Aduersus Mouisse

Approaching the heart of the darkness which grows stronger day after
day, Thomas Hardy's "In Tenebris" seems to me at least to amplify the
heart of this world and time.

First published in 1901, this is a sequence of three dark meditations,
divided into six quatrains in poem #1, four in #2, Five in #3.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Eques

Thomas W. Africa, "The Opium Addiction of Marcus Aurelius", Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 22.1 (1961) pp. 97-102
Edward Witke, "Marcus Aurelius and Mandragora", Classical Philology, Vol. 60.1 (1965), pp. 23-24 )

Marcus Aurelius, Roman Philosopher, Emperor ... and Junkie?

"The problem is ... that too many ancient texts have been translated through the prism of modern morality."

"Classical antiquity is a construct of modern scholarship," says Ruck. "We've made them into something they weren't really. Scholarship has chipped away at it. Suddenly, after the feminist movement, people became aware that women had a strange role in [ancient] society. There are frescos showing people having opium parties. [Classicists] don't want to admit Greeks had this kind of experience."

Exemplar 20th Century construct of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Imperator & Augustus:

Thomas W. Africa, "The Opium Addiction of Marcus Aurelius", Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 22.1 (1961) pp. 97-102
Edward Witke, "Marcus Aurelius and Mandragora", Classical Philology, Vol. 60.1 (1965), pp. 23-24 )

Friday, November 07, 2008

Eutropius' 'Breviarum Historiae Romanae'

This M.A.T. thesis announcement contains some interesting material concerning the classic text : Eutropius''Breviarum Historiae Romanae':

B.B. is coordinator and collator of the 'JACT Reading Greek' Study Groups.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cicero Denouncing Cataline in the Roman Senate

Fresco by Cesare Maccari, 1882-1888

the former, the latter

This frequent pairing of demonstrative pronouns, especially when they are used substantively, seems to be a frequent source of confusion to the reader. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary tells us that 'the former' refers to the "first mentioned or in order of two things mentioned or understood..."; other English dictionaries agree with this sense of "first or first mentioned of two". If one were to keep this definition in mind when reading or hearing English, there ought not be any misprision.

In Latin, the HIC forms are used for "what is near the speaker (in time, place, or thought).... It is sometimes used for the speaker himself; sometimes for 'the latter' of two things mentioned in speech or writing; more rarely for 'the former,' when that, though more remote on the written page, is nearer the speaker in time, place, or thought. Often it refers to that which has just been mentioned. ILLE is used of what is remote (in time,etc.).... ISTE is used of what is between the two others in remoteness... It especially refers to one's opponent ... and frequently implies antagonism or contempt." --Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, Dover edition, 2006, pp.177,8.

As for Ancient Greek, these distinctions appear to be the same as for the Latin equivalents: HODE for HIC, HOUTOS for ISTE, EKEINOS for ILLE according to GREEK GRAMMAR by Herbert Weir Smyth, Rev. Messing, Harvard University Press, 1920, 1956, 1984, pp. 307-309, #1240-1261.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, a model Latinist in almost all respects, seems to have been especially inconsistent with how he used these demonstratives. Perhaps he used this as a rhetorical device to keep his listeners or readers somewhat uncertain and consequently giving his words closer attention?