Blog written in Latin

It's called Vir Cum Pluteo Pleno and you can find it here:

The blogger hails from Illinois and his latest post is on the film of The Da Vinci Code. Among other comments he writes:

Sed plus ultra: In taeniola, nonnullae personae latine loquuntur! Vere! Vix credidi. Auresne mihi mentiebatnur? Minime. Quis videre latinam loquentem in taeniola nolit?

A Latin teacher answers the question "Who am I?"

In checking who links to this blog, I came across a rather charming blog by a Latin teacher here.

On following the link “de me” (yes, the links are in Latin), I found this, which other Latin teachers might enjoy. How would you describe yourself?

Short Answer: I teach Latin.


Long Answer: I teach Latin. I am an actor, a choir director, a cheerleader, and a counselor. I am a scholar and a babysitter. I live more in the past (like, around 509 B.C.) than the present, but the present is richer for it. I cajole adolescents to memorize esoteric lists of noun-endings and verb-conjugations, and I smile when I see the light go on as they experience the reason why they learn these lists. I recreate history. I dress up in a Roman matron's stola. I get teenagers not just to dress up in stolas and togas, but to recline among their friends *on* a tabletop the way the Romans would have reclined *at* table. I quote Catullus and Ovid and Seneca and make them relevant to Britney Spears and the President and the girl who just dumped you and the big test you forgot to study for. I give life to Olympians who all the kids know “never” existed. I make the root of Western Civilization come alive and set kids to speaking in its language: I teach Latin.

While I'm mentioning Latin teachers' blogs, there's one by Lindsey Davis' webmistress here.

Pre-Roman skeleton found in Rome

From the BBC

Rome skeleton find pre-dates city
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Italian archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum have found a well-preserved skeleton of a woman who lived 3,000 years ago.

The astonishing fact about this discovery is that it dates back to at least 300 years before the traditional date of the founding of Rome, 753 BC.

It has long been known that Bronze Age people were living on the site where the ancient Romans founded their city.

But few traces of their society have ever been brought to light.

Anna De Santis, who took part in the dig, said the woman whose bones have been found was aged about 30 when she died.

She was evidently of high birth, for she was wearing an amber necklace with a gold pendant, a bronze hair-fastener and a bronze ring on one of her fingers.

The archaeologists also found four bronze clasps, two of which may have been used to hold her shroud in place.

It was the custom for most prehistoric ancestors of the ancient Romans to cremate their dead and place their ashes in funerary urns.

Experts in Roman pre-history are interested that the new burial site, not far from the forum where Caesar's body was burned after his assassination 1,000 years later, marks a transition in social habits, from cremation – the customary form of burial at that period of pre-history – to burial in the ground.

Romans v. Barbarians on TV

The Observer television critic Andrew Anthony wrote yesterday (after a much longer piece about Big Brother) on the first episode of Terry Jones' Barbarians:

· When in Rome

Terry Jones is the Cracker of ancient history. Just as Robbie Coltrane could look at a killer's footprint and work out whether he was beaten by his stepfather, so can Jones pick up an archaeological remnant, like a piece of old timber, and describe the communications network of pre-Christian Europe.

His series on the Barbarians (BBC2) is intended to rescue the Celts, Goths et al from Roman propaganda. Apparently their civilisation was a utopia of enlightened democratic values, gender equality and fine art, which is why the Romans destroyed it. Jones really socks it to the Romans and, by analogy, in some heavy hints, the current foreign policy of the United States.

But here's the thing I don't understand. The Romans, we know, were led by a bunch of depraved, incest-practising emperors. And now we're told that the rest of Europe was far more culturally and technologically advanced. So how come, then, that the Roman empire lasted for half a millennium and its achievements decorate Europe from the Scottish borders to Istanbul?

I guess that's all ancient history.

Professor Malcolm Wilcock RIP

Malcolm Wilcock, whose edition of the Iliad I have used and valued, died on May 2nd. The Telegraph obituary is here.

Antinous: The Face of the Antique – exhibition in Leeds

Antinous: The Face of the Antique

The first exhibition dedicated to the mythical image of Antinous, the beautiful youth and lover of the Emperor Hadrian who drowned in the Nile before his 20th birthday. In his grief, the emperor commissioned busts and statues of the boy, spreading his cult throughout the Roman Empire. There are more sculptures attached to his name than almost any other figure in classical antiquity. Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (0113 246 7467), until Aug 27.

Apropos of Antinous, you might like to look at Mary Beard's blog. See my previous post.

New education secretary's hopes

Alan Johnson to the Fabian Society yesterday:

“We need to demonstrate that the public sector can outperform the private sector.”

The Government's commitment to raise levels of spending on state schools in line with the funding independent schools enjoy will help, he said.

Read the rest of the TES article.

I remember what the head of my (independent) school used to tell pupils, that they were privileged, not because their families had a lot of money, but because they had parents who cared enough about them and their education to support them in this way.

Money alone won't do it.