I now have a personal blog on http://streetinsomerset.blogspot.com/
Friends are welcome to visit it if they would like to share my thoughts on mortality.
Andrew Wilson, a professor of the archaeology of the Roman Empire at Oxford, is visting campus this week as the speaker for a four-part lecture series sponsored by the Department of Classics. The last two installments of the Balmuth Lecture Series will take place tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Cabot 206 and tomorrow at the same time in Braker 001. While on the Hill, Wilson took a moment to sit down with the Daily’s Carter Rogers.
Carter Rogers: First off, how did you become interested in archaeology, Roman archaeology and Roman economic archaeology?
Andrew Wilson: I’ve always been interested in the past. When I was a kid, my parents would take me around ancient monuments in Britain: churches, castles, roman sites, prehistoric sites, and family holidays tended often to be going to look at ancient things in France and Spain … I read classics at Oxford and had wanted to be a classical archaeologist, but somewhere along the line I lost sight of that. It was a very text-based course in Greek and Latin literature, and I flirted with the idea of doing Medieval Latin as a doctorate, but I thought that would end up being too lonely — a library-based existence. Somehow I lost sight of the archaeological aim, and I became a computer consultant for a couple of years. I worked for IBM between school and university. About a year into that I felt that that wasn’t really satisfying me. I didn’t want to spend the next 40 years doing that. I was spending all my free time reading up about the Roman world and all my holidays going out to Tunisia to look at Roman ruins, so I thought, “Let’s try to make a career out of this.” I gave up my job and applied back to Oxford to do a doctorate in archaeology. I was always interested in how things worked, so I did a doctorate on ancient water systems and aqueducts and so on in Roman North Africa and from there got generally interested in ancient technology and mills and in particular, the use of mechanical power and then got interested in what the effects of that technology were [such as the] economic impact. I’d also been interested in settlement patterns and in trade. All of this came together in some interest in the ancient economy.
CR: Yesterday [Monday], you were talking about the amount of state involvement in economics at the time … How great was the state involvement in economics then compared with now in your mind?
AW: I think less than a current nation-state would do, but for the ancient world, a remarkably high degree of involvement. It wasn’t a command economy like ancient Mesopotamia, for example; it wasn’t a completely dirigiste economy. But the state does intervene in a number of ways. It intervenes in markets as a large customer or by incentivizing certain activity. It provides, and quite intentionally so, a lot of capital infrastructure in the form of roads, harbor facilities, canals, which facilitate trade. Even if some of these also have a military use, and by implication the road system had primarily been constructed for troop movement, but long distance trade quickly follows in that wake. I think what we do see in the late Roman world, the late third century onwards, is a more dirigiste involvement by the state as economic conditions become harsher. And, trying to recover from the crisis of the late third century onwards, the state does take a much more dirigiste line, for example, compelling people whose fathers were in certain professions to follow in those professions. That suggests a labor shortage or skill shortage.
CR: Do you think this could parallel the current increase in state involvement in banking with the current economic crisis?
AW: That’s an interesting question. There’s not much evidence of direct state involvement in banking. There clearly are banks in the Roman world. I suppose the nearest thing is a crisis where the people bid to collect the taxes overbid and can’t collect, and they need to be bailed out by the state.
Michael Dinan TMCnet Editor
Speaking in Martin Scorcese’s 2005 documentary “No Direction Home” about his break-up with then-fellow folk singer Joan Baez in the 1960s, Bob Dylan says: “You can’t be wise and in love at the same time.”
On blogs and Web sites dedicated to the singer, the line has turned up – fans, as they have since he started writing songs, parsing the words to say how much it reveals Dylan’s vulnerability, regret, passion, humor, elusiveness . . .
As someone who took 11 years of Latin and returns to those ancient texts from time to time, I have a bias toward the language
There’s been a flurry of activity on the OCR Classics Community recently, about teaching Sparta, visiting Oplontis and much more, so I thought I’d give it another mention today. There are also stores of older teaching materials on their records. I’m not sure that they have them organised into topics as we have on the ArLT Teachers’ Section, but they are there to trawl through.
Go to the OCR site and sign up if you haven’t yet – and anyone who would like to let their contributions be on the ArLT site as well will be warmly welcomed.
In case it’s of any interest to readers of the blog, this is the link
of an interview I did for national radio in Australia on promoting
Dr Lorna Robinson
Director, The Iris Project
Caesars AC settles discrimination lawsuit
February 24, 2009
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Caesars Atlantic City avoids the wrath of the gods.
The casino hotel has settled a discrimination lawsuit over its hiring practices at the Toga Bar.
The lawsuit was filed by mostly male bartenders who claimed they were passed over in favor of young women who were to wear provocative togas at the Roman-themed bar.
A trial was scheduled for Monday to decide whether 19 men and one woman are entitled to punitive and compensatory damages.
Caesars admitted no wrongdoing as part of a confidential settlement.
The Toga Bar opened in 2004. Executives had hoped the “goddesses” would attract a younger clientele. The concept was soon abandoned and Caesars’ new owner, Harrah’s Entertainment, hires bartenders based on seniority.
Information from: The Press of Atlantic City, http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com
This looks very interesting to me, if only I could get to it. Do you think
it is worth while putting out on your blog?
From: A.W. Taylor [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
Of A.W. Taylor
Sent: 23 February 2009 18:26
To: Dr Andrew Taylor
Subject: CSNLS Seminar at 5.30pm on Thursday 26 Feb
CAMBRIDGE SOCIETY FOR NEO-LATIN STUDIES
Godwin Room, D staircase, Old Court, Clare College at 5.30pm.
Thursday 26 February: Catarina Fouto (St Peter’s College,
Oxford), ‘Iacobus Tevius (c.1514 -1569): “imitatio” and “mimesis” in the *Epodon sive Iambicorum libri tres* (Lisbon, 1565). Neo-latin Humanism and Counter-Reformation in Portugal’
Diogo de Teive was a typical scholar of his day: a traveller, who spent most of his formative years abroad, in Europe. He would return to Portugal with George Buchanan, Nicholas de Grouchy, Guillaume de Guérente and João da Costa, thanks to the initiative of King John III, but cultural freedom in Teive’s homeland would not last. Buchanan, João da Costa and Diogo de Teive were accused of Protestantism by the Inquisition, and sentenced to imprisonment. Nonetheless, Teive did not leave the country, and he remained close to the Portuguese royal family and to the court until his death, possibly in 1569.
This paper will focus on the hitherto unedited epithalamium written by Diogo de Teive, in 1565, on the occasion of the important marriage of D. Maria (daughter of D. Duarte, granddaughter of King D. Manuel) and Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma (nephew of Philip II of Spain). The poem was dedicated to Cardinal Henry, at the time Regent in Portugal. The study of this particular poem (a post-Tridentine Christian epithalamium that includes a vivid mythological narrative in its mid-section) is challenging.
A preliminary analysis of the text indicates that the author used Paulinus Nolanus’ epithalamium (carmen XX) as a model of structural imitatio, by presenting the aetiology of the Christian sacrament of marriage in the opening lines of the poem. The nature of the concept of imitatio adopted by Diogo de Teive will be discussed. The causes and implications of assuming that concept of imitatio will be brought to debate, while trying to evaluate in what way it reflects a particular historical and cultural ambiance in Portugal at the time. The concept of mimesis and the impact of the Council of Trent on the work of the Portuguese humanist will be analysed, bearing in mind the political and social changes in Portugal in the second half of the sixteenth century.
It should not be forgotten that Diogo de Teive was a humanist who lived side by side with the main agents of Counter-Reformation in Portugal. In that sense, Teive’s epithalamium witnesses that writers were not always prepared to abandon their humanistic background to adjust to the emergent cultural scene.
* * *
All are welcome, and wine will be served during the discussion.
For further details about CSNLS, please see
Sponsored by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages