Archive for 2010

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This Just In…Greek Civilization a fraud!!

Required reading from the Onion: Historians Admit to Inventing Greece WASHINGTON—A group of leading historians held a press conference Monday at the National Geographic Society to announce they had “entirely fabricated” ancient Greece, a culture long thought to be the intellectual basis of Western civilization. The group acknowledged that the idea of a sophisticated, flourishing […]

We are Rome! Or are we?

Speaking of conversations in print… In his column Third Party Rising, Thomas Friedman compares destructive factors in modern American politics with the conditions that led to the fall of the Roman Empire.  He envisions a third party presidential candidate proclaiming to the American people… “I am not going to tell you what you want to […]

An Evening with Derek Walcott

On Sept. 27th, classics majors and members of the Classics and English departments spent an evening conversing with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott.  Mr. Walcott is best known for his poem Omeros, a Caribbean epic loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey. He regaled his audience with tales of living by the sea and his days learning Latin […]

Socrates, Plato, and “Can you twitter your way to a good life?”

A flurry of recent articles and responses made me think about my Plato class with regard to the advantages and disadvantages of different modes of communication and the relationship of each to civic engagement. In his New Yorker article “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”, Malcolm Gladwell makes the argument that despite forecasts that […]

Coming soon to a desktop near you: Greek texts!

Breaking news!  In an interesting addendum to the Mary Beard post a little while back… The British Library said Monday that it was making more than a quarter of its 1,000 volume-strong collection of handwritten Greek texts available online free of charge, something curators there hope will be a boon to historians, biblical scholars and […]

Pictures. Worth a 1,000 Words? More like 400 euros.

In ‘How Much Does a Picture of the Parthenon Cost?‘, Mary Beard reflects on the prohibitively expensive fees charged by the Acropolis Museum to reproduce pictures of its interior for publication in an academic book. …I had a nice picture of the frieze as displayed in Athens, taken by the husband, which I wanted to […]

Derek Jacobi returns to a new version ‘I, Claudius’ (on radio and in the role of Augustus)

Major Classics in media (although not visual, unfortunately) event! Jacobi joins a new radio version of the legendary historical drama (based on Robert Graves’ novels *I, Claudius* and *Claudius, the God*) in which Roman  Emperor Claudius recounts the decades of imperial intrigue through which he has lived.  This time, though, Jacobi is not in the […]

Classics and Modern Art

HT Sean Cobb An interesting review of three art exhibitions in the New York Times: Movements Expanded and Refined.  Classics figures into the article tangentially, but here are the highlights: -information on the exhibit Chaos and Classicism, which… “…traces [the] interwar classical aesthetic as it worked its way from a poetic, mythic idea in the […]

What Would Plato Say?

Renowned Plato scholar Alexander Nehemas, writing for the New York Times philosophy blog ‘the Stone,’ wonders what Plato would have to say about the current debate over the impact of tv, movies, and video games on society. Plato’s Pop Culture Problem, and Ours. This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a case that […]

Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

It’s starting to look like it might. Here’s the latest update from the New York Times.  Not directly classics-related but super interesting, and it still has a bearing on how we should think about the ways in which language and thought subtly influence one another. Consider this example. Suppose I say to you in English […]