The day this ARLT blog had over 1000 page views

Just a little whoop of joy! Yesterday, 16th January, was the first day that ARLT blog had more than 1000 page views. There were 1014 to be exact, by 721 different people, or 'distinct hosts served', as the statistics page tells me. Just to think that I was delighted back in July, my first full month, to have had, during the whole month, 3012 page views, from 1856 visitors!

It would be encouraging to have even one comment from one of the 721 visitors, but there were none. Sigh!


if we're really good, she'll let us start learning some of the Greek alphabet!

Here's the first part of a piece in Lancaster Online – that's Lancaster PA, by the way. The article is followed by comments from an internet discussion, including this:

” It is a shame the local public schools don't see the value of Latin. It is the root of all the Romance languages plus many English as well as legal words come from it. The Greek and Roman myths , literature, and history are fascinating.
When I was in high school, we even had a Latin Club and put on plays in Latin and we had a Roman feast. My Dad dressed up as a slave to serve the food!

Did anyone else have Latin or Greek?”

Reviving dead languages

Local couple teaches Latin and ancient Greek to rapt audience of students

By Paula Holzman
Intelligencer Journal

Published: Jan 13, 2005 9:17 AM EST

LANCASTER COUNTY, PA – Ancient Greece and Rome are alive and well on Marietta Avenue.

About a dozen teens and preteens on Monday morning sat clustered around a table inside one of the street's large Victorian houses, engrossed in the story of Gaius Salvius Liberalis.

At that moment, the ancient Roman official was less than popular with the class.

As they translated the passage from Latin, the class booed Salvius' threat to kill a sick slave, and, later, his similar instructions regarding an unruly dog.

“This is typical Salvius,” teacher Laurie Brown acknowledged. Read the rest.

Thanks to David Meadows and Explorator for this link

Good news for school parties visiting Athens – the museum is reopening.

Greek archeology museum set to reopen
Last Updated Fri, 14 Jan 2005 15:16:52 EST
CBC Arts

ATHENS – The National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Greece's main venue for its collection of ancient antiquities, is set to fully reopen this spring. The museum was damaged in a 1999 earthquake.

Restoration work, which had allowed the museum to partially reopen during last summer's Olympics, has now been completed.

Altogether, nine rooms that hold more than 3,000 ancient artifacts have been restored and will be ready for public viewing in April, museum director Nikolaos Kaltsas said this week.

Read the rest of the article.

Thanks to David Meadows and Explorator for this link

Could this novel illuminate Livy book 30?

A review in the Christian Science Monitor describes an historical novel about Hannibal that might be of interest to those tackling Livy Book 30 this year.

Pride of Carthage by David Durham Doubleday gets praise for the vividness of its writing, with the warning that is is only a novel, not a work of history. It may, however, do something to balance the Roman picture of this great general. The reviewer writes:

Durham warns in his acknowledgments that “this book is a work of fiction and should only be read as a novel,” but the historical records that survive are hardly models of modern academic objectivity. The Romans never managed to kill Hannibal, but they did write the only surviving history of his life. There are no extant Carthaginian sources.

Thanks to David Meadows and Explorator for this link

Mary Renault is still well worth reading

Mary Renault was the first historical novelist I read whose stories were set in ancient Greece. They still in my view, take a lot of beating. I have recommended my sixth formers to read The Mask of Apollo to get an idea of Greek theatre as a living enterprise, and The Last of the Wine for a convincing account of the Peloponnesian War. I heard the author say in an interview that the epitaph she craved was: “She got it right.” It feels as if she did get fifth century Greece right.

For 'a good read' I would choose the Theseus books, The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea. They opened my eyes to a new way of understanding Greek myths, and I can happily re-read them. The Praise Singer I found less satisfying, although for anyone reading Pindar it provides interesting background about the (possible) way of life of a professional musician.

The Herald, a British on-line magazine, has a piece about Mary Renault's Alexander trilogy, prompted by the film. My own experience of reading these books is of enjoying the first two very much, and of abandoning the third, Funeral Games, unfinished. I think I lost interest once the towering presence of Alexander left the scene. I'd be interested to know if anyone else found the same.

Here is what The Herald has to say:

Book Of The Moment

Alexander trilogy (Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, Funeral Games) Mary Renault Arrow, £7.99 each

Oliver Stone's film, Alexander, which opened at cinemas in the UK yesterday, has not been damaged by the recent kerfuffle in the Greek newspapers about its “outing” of Alexander as a homosexual; the film industry is big enough to see “all publicity is good publicity” as a viable philosophy.

In any case, the film's homosexual quotient has been shaded into blandness, to avoid offending America's own conservative audiences. And, of course, the Hero as Homo notion is hardly new, having been explored quite specifically in a trilogy of novels by Mary Renault.

Fire from Heaven (1969), The Persian Boy (1972) and Funeral Games (1981) are high-flown, poetic imaginings of a period in history which had fascinated the author since her days at Oxford.

There, she studied Plato under the classicist Gilbert Murray, and lodged for a time with a relative of the keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Sir Arthur Evans, who had discovered the Minoan Palace of Knossos. Amidst the artifacts, vases and urns depicting beautiful young men in acrobatic poses, Renault gained a love of the culture which set her on the course for seven novels featuring ancient Greece, including the three Alexander novels.

Born Eileen Mary Challans in 1905, Renault adopted her pen name (inspired by a character in Venice Preserv'd, a seventeenth-century play by Thomas Otway) “to spare her family embarrassment”; her early novels were hospital romances with lesbian subplots, probably inspired by her own work in the Radcliffe Hospital, where she met her life-partner Julie Mullard. Renault's fourth (non lesbian) novel won her an award from MGM studios, which was enough to relocate to South Africa, where she found a more bohemian circle of friends among whom her sexuality was accepted.

Financial freedom allowed her to develop her interests, and she began to write about male characters, and specifically about the ideals of Platonic – but not sexless – love.

Stone's film has been widely slated, except for the battle scenes, which are said to be remarkable. Readers might concede from this passage from the first novel in the trilogy, Fire from Heaven, in which the young Alexander fights his first battle, that the mind's eye is a rival to CGI.

“The boy set his face into a warrior's, that he might be believed in and challenge death. In a perfect singleness, free from hatred, anger, or doubt, pure in dedication, exultant in victory over fear, he swooped towards the red-haired man.

“With this face of inhuman radiance; with this being, whatever it was, eerie, numinous, uttering its high hawklike cries, the man wanted no more to do. He swerved his horse; a burly Skopian was nearing, perhaps to single him out; someone else should deal with the matter. His eye had strayed too long.

“With a shrill 'Ahii-i!' the shining manchild was on him. He thrust with his spear; the creature swung past it; he saw deep sky-filled eyes, a mouth of ecstasy.

“A blow struck his breast, which at once was more than a blow, was ruin and darkness. As sight faded from his eyes, it seemed to him that the smiling lips had parted to drink his life.”

Thanks to David Meadows and Explorator for this link

A recent scholarly book on Hegemony to Empire is on line

Most online books are older, out of copyright texts. This one was published in 1996. I haven't read it, so can't comment on its value, but it's there, freely available.

Hegemony to Empire
The Development of the Roman Imperium in the East from 148 to 62 B.C.
Robert Morstein Kallet-Marx

Berkeley · Los Angeles · Oxford
© 1996 The Regents of the University of California

Here are the chapter headings:

  	 	1  Macedonia Provincia
  	 	2  The Status of Greece after the Achaean War
  	 	3  Mummius's Settlement of Greece
  	 	4  The Origins of Asia Provincia
  	 	5  Proconsular Administration in the East, 148-89
  	 	6  Roman Arbitration of Greek Disputes after 148
  	 	7  Treaties of Alliance
  	 	8  Rome and Athens from the Achaean War to Sulla
  	 	9  Rome and the East between Aristonicus and Mithridates: The Events
  	 	10  Sulla's Settlement of the East
  	 	11  From Sulla to Pompey

Thanks to David Meadows and Explorator for this link

It looks as if the message may get past Verizon now

This is taking me into a new realm. When I sent out the latest ARLT newsletter I got a number of automatic messages telling me that it hadn't reached certain teachers. I e-mailed several of the people, to see if an ordinary personal e-mail would get through, and one American teacher got her computer expert husband to investigate. This is what he found – I feel rather hurt at Verizon's lumping me – and the whole of Europe – in with spammers, particularly as a lot of the spam I receive seems to come from the US!

“US ISP Verizon is persisting with a controversial policy of blocking email sent from Europe. Since 22 December, mail servers at have been configured not to accept connections from Europe by default.

Verizon is blocking ranges of IP addresses belonging to British and European ISPs (the IP space from RIPE, APNIC, and more) in a misguided attempt to reduce spam. Domains are only unblocked following complaints, with Europeans
effectively treated as guilty till proven innocent.

Verizon's original line was that it “only blocks spam messages on an individual basis, and not based on geography” but a customer services rep told Wired that it was blacklisting email from Europe in response to spam coming from the region.

Paul Wood, chief information analyst at email security firm MessageLabs, said it took Verizon two days to whitelist the IP addresses of its European messaging servers from the time it first complained its international users were having problems sending email to customers of the US ISP.

El Reg still remains blocked at the time of writing. That means we've been unable to deliver Reg newsletters to readers who signed up to receive them via Verizon accounts. At the time of writing Verizon has not responded to our requests for comment.

Verizon media relations manager Ells Edwards told Wired News that he didn't know when the ISP would lift its blockade. “Normally these things abate in a matter of days,” Edwards said. Verizon three million DSL customers
waiting for emails from Europe were advised to use alternative forms of communication. “If it's really important you might want to make a phone call,” he said.”

So as unbelieveable as it sounds, we had no idea that this was happening. As we are now getting mail from you, evidently the embargo has been lifted. looking forward to future ARLT news letters.