‘The Elgin Marbles should not be returned’ – book argues

Who Owns Antiquity? comes out with guns blazing to demolish most
of the arguments in favour of restoring the spoils gathered over 300
years by archaeology, imperial adventure or entrepreneurial

See the review in The Daily Telegraph of Who Owns Antiquity?: Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage by James Cuno

From pottery to dancing girls – at Welwyn

From the Welwyn and Hatfield Times

VILLAGERS flooded into a popular historical site to watch re-enactments of authentic Roman life.

Almost 1,500 people took to the Roman Baths in Welwyn, as part of the village’s annual festival.

A mock battle was recreated along with demonstrations of authentic dance, crafts and the professions of the Romans.

day made a profit of over £2,000 which will go towards a huge
re-enactment in 2010 set to mark 1,600 years since the Romans left the

John Beckerson, manager of Welwyn Hatfield Museum Service, described the whole event as a “tremendous success”.

“There was so much going on from pottery to dancing girls,” he said.

“People seemed to really enjoy watching things and getting a look at what life was like back then.

“To have raised extra money will make the 2010 Roman day extra special.

The Capitoline Wolf is 13th century AD, apparently

From the BBC (Query: How do you carbon-date metal?)

A statue symbolising the mythical origins and power of Rome, long thought to have been made around 500BC, has been found to date from the 1200s.

The statue depicts a she-wolf suckling Remus and his twin brother Romulus – who is said to have founded Rome.

The statue of the wolf was carbon-dated last year, but the test results have only now been made public.

The figures of Romulus and Remus have already been shown to be 15th Century additions to the statue.

In a front page article in the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, Rome’s former top heritage official, Professor Adriano La Regina, said about 20 tests were carried out on the she-wolf at the University of Salerno.

He said the results of the tests gave a very precise indication that the statue was manufactured in the 13th Century.

Damaged paw

Academics have been arguing about the origins of the statue – known as the Lupa Capitolina – since the 18th Century.

Until recently it was widely acknowledged that the statue was an Etruscan work dating from the 5th Century BC.

The Roman statesman, Cicero, who lived in the 1st Century BC, describes a statue of a she-wolf that was damaged by a lightning strike – the Lupa Capitolina has a damaged paw.

However, in 2006, an Italian art historian and restorer, Anna Maria Carruba, argued that the statue had been cast in a single piece using a wax mould – a technique unknown in the ancient world.

She suggested the damage to the Lupa Capitolina’s paw was the result of a mistake in the moulding process.

The statue is among the most important works on display at the Capitoline museums in Rome.

The Lupa Capitolina is the emblem of the Serie A football club, Roma, and was the symbol used for the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Video tour of ‘Roman Art from the Louvre’

This video from NewsOK.tv takes some of the Roman artworks at present touring American museums and explains, quite simply, what they are about.

Roman Military Standards

PhDiva wrote yesterday about Republican Roman Military Standards, to celebrate the claimed finding of a standard at Caerleon.

Walking the Antonine Wall

Ian Belcher walked the Antonine Wall for The Times.

You might be forgiven for asking: does Britain have a second Roman wall? With the fanfare heralding the opening of the Hadrian Empire and Conflict exhibition at the British Museum later this month, you might not think so.

The whole article is quite entertaining, and there are useful links for those wanting to know more. It’s not reproduced here because The Times in the past has been rather strict about its copyright, but the above link will take you to the article plus picture.

New historical novelist’s first title published

From The Scotsman

Roman road to riches – Douglas Jackson interview

How did a historical novel land debut writer Douglas Jackson one of Scotland’s biggest book deals? DAVID ROBINSON finds out.
MOST AUTHORS CAN’T TELL YOU the precise moment they decided to write, but Douglas Jackson can. It was nine o’clock one November night five years ago, and he was driving north on the M9 to his Bridge of Allan home. He’d passed the woodchip factory in Cowie, and it was right there and then.

He was listening to a CD of Simon Schama’s A History of Britain, with Timothy West reading from the first volume, sweeping epically from 30,000BC to the death of Queen Elizabeth I. Just past Cowie, West had got to the Roman conquest of Britain in 43AD. It was one sentence that did it, a sentence with these words: “The emperor Claudius rode in triumph through Camulodunum on the back of an elephant.”

Although he didn’t know it then, Jackson’s life had already changed.

This week, he launches his debut novel, Caligula. It’s part of a two-book deal he signed for what was reported as “a good six-figure deal” – which, for a first-time novelist, is such a rare occurrence that in a country like Scotland it only happens about once a year.

Read the rest

JACT administrator is moving on

Anna Bayraktar sent this message which I received today:

As you may have already heard, I’m moving on from JACT soon, to run a film production office. Will be in the office here until 15th August, then for a smattering of days in from 8th September to see the new Administrator in, so it’s very likely the JACT office will be closed from 16th August until 7th September.

Anna has really made a great difference to people’s experience of contacting JACT, and many people, like me, will be very sorry that she is moving on. We wish her all the best in her future life and work.

A blog with Catullus translations

You might like to browse ‘Tales of a Wayward Classicist’.

Yesterday’s post was an encomium of the blogger’s teacher, who is evidently the sort all teachers would crave to be.

There are also translations of Catullus, designed for ‘Jo American’, which may spark ideas.

News from Latinum

Encouraging news from Evan Millner:

Latinum is doing very well. There have now been over 1, 850 ,000
(yes, one million, eight hundred and fifty thousand) audio files
downloaded. I have already had over 100,000 audio file downloads this
month alone.
I now have over 50, each chapter offering over 100 minutes of audio, sometimes much more.

I appear to have several thousand regular users of the various lessons,
and the number just keeps on growing. I have attached a map that shows
where users over the past couple of months are located. There are large
clusters of users in China and in Arab countries – places where there
are surely very few if any teachers of Latin.

In addition to Latinum, Johannes Doublier in New York has been
working hard with me on Schola. Schola is the only facebook type social
networking site all in Latin, in existence.
The entire site is in the process of being translated into Latin by John, who is a professional translator. The site is steadily growing, picking up a
handful of new members every week. Only Latin may be used on Schola.
Schola now has over 275 members, after only a few short months online.

Schola has many useful resources for Latin learning, notably a
photographic resource of over 3 000 labelled images for vocabulary
learning. Schola also has a new locutorium, or chatroom. This chatroom
allows for both audio and video, as well as just typing.