Definitely a Coffee Break item

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,

Neo-Latin iu Cambridge

Dear David,

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?

Best wishes.

—–Original Message—–
From: A.W. Taylor [] 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

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

Origins of Pompeii-style artefacts examined

This seems a welcome bit of research.

From Space Fellowship

Roman artefacts which are nearly two thousand years old with similarities to ancient remains found at Pompeii in Italy will be examined at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s ISIS neutron source in Oxfordshire this weekend. (21-22 February 2009). Researchers hope to learn more about our heritage by discovering whether the items were imported from southern Italy, or manufactured using similar techniques in Britain.

The bronze artefacts, which include a wine-mixing vessel, jugs and ceremonial pan-shaped objects, were discovered in Kent in two high status Roman pit-burials that are among the best examples ever seen in Britain. Previous excavation in an area close to the A2 where the items were found – by construction group Skanska Civil Engineering during a Highways Agency road improvement scheme – had predicted archaeological discoveries, but they were bigger than expected, with settlements ranging from the Bronze Age to the late medieval period.

Archaeological scientists will compare the 1st Century AD artefacts from Kent with those from Pompeii in Italy. The neutron beams at the world-leading ISIS facility allow for detailed crystal structure analysis of intact delicate objects without cutting out a sample of the material.

Dana Goodburn-Brown, a conservator and ancient metals specialist commissioned by Oxford Archaeology, is analysing the artefacts along with archaeological scientist Dr. Evelyne Godfrey at ISIS to see how they were made. It is hoped the experiments will answer many questions about how the items were made to give more insight into their origin: for example, the metals used in manufacturing, how they were cast and finished, and how metal pieces were joined together.

‘‘Our experiments will hopefully aid us in characterising different Roman metalworking practices and perhaps recognising the distinction between imported south Italian goods and high standard copies produced by skilled local craftsman. These artefacts represent a time of great change in Britain – they appear shortly after the Romans arrived in this country, and may represent locals taking on cultural practices of these ‘newcomers,” Dana Goodburn-Brown said.

Dr Andrew Taylor, ISIS Director said: “For these rare and highly-valued objects, analysis with neutrons can give fantastic insight. Neutrons are a very powerful way to look at matter at the molecular level and they give unique results that you can’t easily get with any other technique. The measurements are extremely delicate and non-destructive, so the objects are unharmed by the analysis and can be returned to the museums unscathed.

The neutron beams we have at ISIS are a very versatile research tool and we’re always keen to help researchers answer a broad range of questions. Here we realised that we could take the same analysis methods we developed to look at parts of aircraft and power plants and use them to help archaeologists understand how ancient objects were traded and manufactured.”

Becoming a Friend of Iris

Many of us have been following the good things Lorna Robinson has been doing in bringing Latin to London schools and beyond through the Iris Project.

Now you can become a Friend of the project for £50 a year.

See the page.

Dorothy Sayers again

I am glad to see that LatinTeach has given a link to the Dorothy Sayers lecture accessible from the tab above. LatinTeach also gives a link to Sayers’ ‘Lost Tools of Learning’.

One of the reasons for the study of the Classics is to gain an alternative world-view, from which we can look at our own century and type of civilisation.

Most of us, most of the time, walk around with 21st century western blinkers. Probably we need more prophets, such as the Old Testament prophets who saw society from a different perspective and said so, loud and clear.

But another way is to look with empathy on the way other centuries saw things. Technology has changed vast swathes of life; but it may have overlaid and hidden many valuable truths of human nature and relationships. A study today says that social network sites are changing young people’s brains. Put at its simplest, compare what happens when children relate on the net with how they are when they are out in a field playing with a ball. Doesn’t the first way lack something?

Anyway, these random thoughts come from the Sayers link, which I recommend for a fresh view.

Fishbourne family days report

Children spent part of their half-term break learning about life in Roman times.
They took part in Family Fun Days at Fishbourne Roman Palace, near Chichester.

The youngsters have been taking part in various activities such as tasting Roman food and making clay lamps.

Some children were also given a guided tour of the mosaics in the palace.

Christine Medlock, director of the site, said: ‘It gives them an idea of what life was like back then. It helps them learn about the different cultures.

‘It’s extremely important. Also, it’s in the National Curriculum to learn about the Romans, so it helps a lot of children with their homework. They can come here and learn things and take pictures.

‘It was popular with everyone. We had a lot of visitors. We were really pleased.’

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