Monday, August 08, 2005

Everything but grad school. Oh well.

So I lied. The grad school post is on hold, because I'm supposed to be studying for a mid-term for tomorrow. However, there were a couple other items of interest that came up, and I'm bursting to post.

A wonderful friend of mine mentioned this lawsuit, in which Dan Brown is being sued for plagiarism in The Da Vinci Code. Here is my "favourite" part (actually, the part that my friend mentioned): Perdue alleged that Brown copied the basic premise of "Daughter of God," including notions that history is controlled by victors, not losers, and the importance of the Roman Emperor Constantine in requiring a transition from a female- to a male-dominated religion.

I'm trying to figure out how that even made it into print. How can that idea be plagiarised? How can Perdue even BEGIN to think that that idea was original to him?

I am NO friend of The Da Vinci Code (it's hard to be when you work in a bookstore, and too much of what I've seen of it seems shoddy at best), but I have to wonder what Perdue was thinking.

However, in this article, Brown acknowledges another book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail as a source for his book. Someone on the Classics-L list also mentions that the authors of HBHG are filing their own lawsuit against Brown as well.

Also on the Classics-L list is an article about the DVD "I Still Worship Zeus". What makes me wonder about these neopagans is if they realise the huge cultural difference between today and ancient Greece. In my mind, they cannot be truly practicing the same religion that ancient Greeks practiced. A brief look at their website (linked in the article) shows that they have libations, games, and oracles, but do they have animal sacrifices (admittedly, I only glanced quickly at the website, so it might say)? And, even if they do, can that mean the same to them as it did to the ancient Greeks who lived with so much less certainty? Do they understand the bargaining nature of this religion and the whims of their gods? The oracle seems a bit suspect as well. And on a more superficial note, do they do their games in the nude? :-P

Granted, a lot of this could be said about Christianity today versus Christianity in ancient and medieval times, but most people acknowledge that. There is also a continual evolution. Neopagans too often pick up old traditions thinking they're truly connecting to the past, all the while missing vital elements of culture. The ancient Greeks were a shame culture, not focused on personal spiritual relationships with their gods. Do these people follow that, or have they been influenced by modern notions of religion?

I really have no problem with them practicing their religion, but I do wonder how aware they are of these issues.

On a completely different note, another friend of mine linked to this article. I can't even begin to tell how much I wish that were me. He even has a major in English with a concentration in medieval languages in literature. I've been saying that if I had pursued my English degree instead, I'd go with medieval studies.

Lastly, for a little bit of fun, I give you The are you a good Roman test. It's chock full o' spelling errors and such, but it should amuse you.


Blogger David said...

I came up as a backbencher, but scored 99% in dignitas! Story of my life ... got the right stuff but no one cares.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

I think that's just the percentile of people who take the quiz. So you did better than 99% of people. Because I did better than 99% too and got Senator.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Wm Annis said...

I share your perplexity about the reconstructionist neo-pagans. Well, not perplexity, exactly. I've yet to be invited to a taurobolium.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Re: Wm Annis

So glad I'm not the only one "perplexed." ;-)

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Estelle Chauvelin said...

I'm a back bencher as well.

10:07 PM  

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