Mostellaria college production

St. Olaf to present Latin play Mostellaria

By Margaret Wade '08
February 29, 2008

The Latin play that St. Olaf College will present this year has a plot full of elements many fun-loving young people can relate to: a house party, a frivolous use of money and a little fibbing to a parent.

The performance is part of a tradition in which once every two years, students in the classics department at St. Olaf College produce a Roman comedy written in Latin by Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254-184 B.C.). This year, they will stage Plautus' Mostellaria, which means “The Haunted House.”

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Essays on Euripides on BBC Radio 3 this week

Greek and Latin Voices

Mon-Thurs 3-6 March 2008 23:00-23:15 (Radio 3)

Series exploring the work of Euripides.

1/4. Prof Christopher Pelling examines the life and work of Euripides, whose surviving tragedies fascinate theatre audiences today as much as in 5th century BC Athens.

2/4. Distinguished neuroscientist Prof Susan Greenfield explores her lifelong passion for Euripides' play The Bacchae, which she says still offers fresh insights into the workings of the human mind.

3/4. Classics professor Simon Goldhill explores how the work of Euripides is open to so many and such different interpretations, and also considers why in recent years his plays are the most frequently staged of all the Greek tragedies.

4/4. Fiona Macintosh, Senior Research Fellow at the Archive for the Performance of Greek Drama at Oxford, explores the enduring popularity of Euripides through the centuries right up to the present day.

Susan Greenfield on Greek and Science

Thanks to Rogue Classicism for this link to a Telegraph article.


Bewitched by Bacchae

What have the frenzied wine-worshipping rituals of Greek mythology got to do with the intricacies of the human brain? A surprising amount, argues neuroscientist Susan Greenfield

It might not be immediately obvious why a neuroscientist should be interested in ancient Greek language, literature and history, but I believe the classics and the sciences are synergistic, and will increasingly be so as the 21st century unfolds.

My fascination with ancient civilisations began long before I set foot in a lab. Looking out from the grey and grainy Chiswick of 1960s London, the world of gods and goddesses provided an exotic contrast to contour maps, quadratic equations, dates of treaties, the life cycle of conkers and other classroom pre-occupations.

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This is linked with a Radio 3 broadcast this Tuesday, March 4th 11-11.15 p.m. by Susan Greenfield on Euripides.

This mum's account of taking her own children to Rome rings painful bells – not only did I have similar problems with my own children, but also with school trips:

MAKING children excited about history can be as tricky as getting them to finish a plateful of broccoli. The group of eight-year-olds I took to The 02 Dome to see the Tutankhamun exhibition were semi-delirious with boredom after 15 minutes of looking at golden artefacts.

Since museums were a big yawn, I thought the best way to get my daughter, Holly, 8, excited about her next big school project was a family trip to Rome to show her the sights – with, perhaps the odd detour for me to those other classic Italian landmarks, Prada, Gucci and Max Mara, and gelati pitstops to keep her five-year-old brother, Rory, sweet.

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Roman Villa on the Isle of Wight

An appeal by The Times apparently saved some mosaics on the Isle of Wight, and now Barry Cunliffe wants to excavate the villa.

An excavation is about to start at one of the most important Roman villas in Western Europe. Its spectacular mosaics were saved by readers of The Times five years ago after being placed on the World Monuments Fund’s list of the most endangered sites.

One of Britain’s leading archaeologists is to explore the 1.6hectare (4acre) site around Brading Roman Villa on the Isle of Wight. Barely 15 per cent of it has been excavated and the dig is expected to last five years.

Sir Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology at Oxford University, said that the north side appeared to suggest a large assembly hall with side aisles.

The finds could include mosaics, although it is unlikely that they would match the quality of those within the villa itself with their depictions of peacocks signifying eternal life, Orpheus charming the beasts of the forest and Tritons, or sea deities, carrying reclining nymphs on their backs.

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