Tag Archives: Classics

Digital Roman Archaeology

The famous Serapium at Hadrian's Villa, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The famous Serapium at Hadrian’s Villa, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My friend and former Professor Bernie Frischer, Ph.D. has just formally launched his Digital Archaeology Project of Hadrian’s Villa. The Roman Emperor Hadrian built his luxury Villa at Tivoli during the 2nd century CE.

The Digital Hadrian’s Villa allows visitors to examine sections of site via plans, images, 360° panoramic views, as well as 3D walkthroughs. It also includes videos and interviews with prominent scholars. This is an amazing, and free, resource for scholars and laypersons interested in Roman history and archaeology!

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Tufts Releases the Perseus Catalogue

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 10.38.19 AMTufts, publisher of the Perseus Project, announces the launch of the Perseus Catalogue:

The Perseus Digital Library is pleased to announce the 1.0 Release of the Perseus Catalog.

The Perseus Catalog is an attempt to provide systematic catalog access to at least one online edition of every major Greek and Latin author (both surviving and fragmentary) from antiquity to 600 CE. Still a work in progress, the catalog currently includes 3,679 individual works (2,522 Greek and 1,247 Latin), with over 11,000 links to online versions of these works (6,419 in Google Books, 5,098 to the Internet Archive, 593 to the Hathi Trust). The Perseus interface now includes links to the Perseus Catalog from the main navigation bar, and also from within the majority of texts in the Greco-Roman collection.

The release allows broader access to Greek and Latin texts in the original language as well as in translation. This is an excellent resource and tool for educators and students in ancient history, Classics, Latin, and Greek.

Women in the Ancient Record

Originally posted on GraecoMuse:

George Eliot wrote that ‘the happiest women…have no history’; such a philosophy embodies that for women in the ancient world there is a great lack of communication from women themselves.  So to what extent is the historian thwarted by this lack of communication?

One of the biggest problems facing the historian of women in the ancient world is that there are very few sources that are written by women themselves; there is a general lack of communication.  So is it possible to trace their history even without their own sources? Gould describes women in the ancient world as a muted group, made inarticulate by the lack of a language in which to communicate their particular sense of society and its relationship to the totality of experience.  While other academics believe that the history of women can be interpreted through numerous sources contributed by males, such as tragedies and comedies, this…

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Ancient Pompeii’s Social Media

Pompeii shadowed by Mt. Vesuvius courtesy of Wikimedia

Pompeii shadowed by Mt. Vesuvius courtesy of Wikimedia

The Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed and buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. The preserved city allows archaeologists, historians, and Classicists to examine materials far better preserved than a ‘traditional’ archaeological ruin.

The graffiti on the walls of Pompeii are famous for the content and vulgarity. However, scholars now believe they served another purpose: communication. Perhaps working as an early, non-tech, “social media.” Property owners may have had control over the political messages written on their walls.

“The current view is that any candidate could have chosen any location and have their ad painted on the wall. After looking at the contexts, this would not seem very likely. The facades of the private houses and even the streetwalks in front of them were controlled and maintained by the owner of the house, and in that respect, the idea that the wall space could be appropriated by anyone who wanted to do it seems unlikely.” - Eeva-Maria Viitanen

To learn more about the political ads and their role at the city of Pompeii, see the article posted at Scientific American.

How Pompeii Perished – Scientific American

Me in the Forum of Pompeii with Vesuvius in the Background

Every school child knows the story of Pompeii, the ill-fated city at the base of Mount Vesuvius. Pliny the Younger, an eye witness to the eruption, recorded the terrifying event:

You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men; some were calling their parents, others their children or their wives, trying to recognize them by their voices. People bewailed their own fate or that of their relatives, and there were some who prayed for death in their terror of dying. Many besought the aid of the gods, but still more imagined there were no gods left, and that the universe was plunged into eternal darkness for evermore.

Today, Scientific America highlights the death of the city and how many historians and archaeologists get the geology wrong. Mary Beard, an expert in Roman History, states that the problem is that historians and archaeologists are “not a volcanologist[s].”

To read more about the violent end of the city, see the article: “How Pompeii Perished.”

A Don’s Life: A closer look at the Tyrant Slayers

This month, Mary Beard focused her blog (A Don’s Life) on the Tyrant slayers, Harmodius and Aristogeiton. The two Tyrannicides (τυραννοκτόνοι) gained popularity and fame in Ancient Athens for slaying the Peisistratan Tyrant Hipparchus. His brother Hippias would flee to Persia, attempting to drum up support to return to rule from the Achaemenid rulers of the Persian Dynasty. This event was the first in a series that would lead to the Persian invasion of Greece.

Mary Beard’s article investigates not only the ill-fated history of the two brothers (who would ultimately end up dead after their incomplete attempt to overthrown the standing regime) as well as the interesting, art-historical timeline of how the men are displayed. They have long been heralded (with much fancy and historical reinvention) as political heroes – democratic leaders, martyrs, and idealistic political savants. Their physical image has been manipulated over the centuries as much as their historical one. To read more about this tale, see the article by Mary Bard: “A Don’s Life: A closer look at the tyrant slayers“).