Sunday, February 27, 2011
he Equirria (Festival of Mars - held on February 27, First Equirria and March 14, Second Equirria) were holy days with religious and military significance at either end of the new year celebrations for Mars. The Roman state placed great emphasis on celebrating the god of war - to support the army, and to boost public morale. Priests performed rites purifying of the army. Celebrants held horse races on the Campius Martius (field of Mars), and drove a scapegoat out of the city of Rome, expelling the old and bringing in the new.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
- Nunc mihi dicenda est regis fuga. Traxit ab illa sextus ab extremo nomina mense dies. Ultima Tarquinius Romanæ gentis habebat regna, vir iniustus, fortis ad arma tamen.
- (Now I must tell of the flight of the King, six days1 from the end of the month. The last of the Tarquins possessed the Roman nation, an unjust man, but nevertheless strong in war.)
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Upcoming lecture! 2/22/11 - HERODOTUS, ARISTOTLE, AND SOUNDING WEIGHTS: THE DEEP SEA AS A FRONTIER IN THE CLASSICAL WORLD
Dr. John Peter Oleson, Department of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Victoria
HERODOTUS, ARISTOTLE, AND SOUNDING WEIGHTS: THE DEEP SEA AS A FRONTIER IN THE CLASSICAL WORLD
The ancient Mediterranean cultures knew far more about the deep sea than is generally realized. Pharaohs, emperors, scientists, fishermen, ships’ captains and sponge divers were all personally concerned with the topography and environment of the sea floor. Comments by the scientist-philosophers Aristotle and Posidonius indicate that by the early Hellenistic period, many areas of the Mediterranean Sea had been accurately measured down to 2000 m. This was an impressive accomplishment given the materials and technology available at the time. Both the difficulty of the undertaking and the apparently comprehensive scope of the inquiry reveal a profound and, so far, underrated interest in the deep sea among Greek and Roman intellectuals. In a richly illustrated talk, Prof. Oleson presents the surprising results of his research concerning ocean science and navigation in the ancient Mediterranean.
· J.P. Oleson, “Ancient Sounding-weights: a contribution to the history of Mediterranean navigation,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 13 (2000) 293-310.
· J.P.Oleson, “Testing the Waters: The Role of Sounding-Weights in Ancient Mediterranean Navigation,” pp. 119-76 in R.L. Hohlfelder, ed., The Maritime World of Ancient Rome. Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, Suppl. 6. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2008.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
|February 12A day holy to Diana.|
One of the stories says that Artemis (or the Roman goddess Diana) took Hippolytus, son of Theseus, after he was brought to life again by Asclepios, and brought it to Italy, at her temple in Aricia, where he became her priest, under the name Virbius (he who lived twice).
And a curious fact: in the Romanian language, the Latin name of the Roman goddess Diana became the word “zana”, which means “fairy”. In folk tales, the fairies would usually wander through the woods, in large groups. In many tales, a young man sees the fairies bathing and steals some clothes. When they discover someone is watching, they get out of the water, get dressed and fly away. The fairy whose clothes were stolen can’t go away, so she hides behind a bush, promising to marry him if he gives her back her clothes (which have magical powers). The young man refuses and gives her other clothes, they marry and they live happily for a while, until, one day, she manages to find her fairy clothes. When she does, she can fly back to her sisters, leaving her son and her husband, who will be forever sad. Because, when someone was married to a fairy, the other women mean nothing to him any more. Not exactly Actaeon's story, but anyway, the man who saw the fairies naked is punished for this, with an eternal sadness.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Speaker: DEAN KARNAZES
1:00 PM ET/ 10:00 AM PT (90 minute lecture and Q&A)
Free registration: http://marathon2500-5.eventbrite.com
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The Fornacalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the goddess Fornax in order that the grain might be properly baked¹. The festival is said to have been instituted by Numa Pompilius². The time for its celebration was proclaimed every year by the curio maximus, who announced in tablets, which were placed in the forum, the different part which each curia had to take in the celebration of the festival. Those persons who did not know to what curia they belonged, performed the sacred rites on the Quirinalia, which fell on the last day of the Fornacalia. The Fornacalia continued to be celebrated in the time of Lactantius³.