Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Arma virumque cano!

Ho hum. My brain is being taken over by DIDO and TURNUS, and I can't seem to focus on a paper topic for my Petronius class. This is not good. The one thing I'm absolutely certain I do NOT want to write about is sexuality. I've written enough about sexuality this semester.

Anyway, this was posted on Stoa a few days ago, but I didn't realise there were actual links to articles on the webpage (I use Firefox) until David Meadows at rogueclassicism pointed it out. Marilyn Skinner has done editorial work on a collection of essays on Feminism and Classics, which are now available online on Diotima. If you're using Firefox, the links don't show up until your cursor is over them. This is why I completely missed it the other day!

And lastly, David Meadows also tells us that today is the day of dear Euripides' death by one reckoning! Eheu!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mmm, dead philosophers.

Tuition for classes: ~$7,800
Coffee to keep you awake for early morning classes: $4

Realizing in the middle of a Philosophy (in translation) class that Aristotle is probably mostly in the indicative mood (and having it confirmed by your prof): Priceless.

Of course, Plato is my man, and I'm told he uses lots of optative. Boo. Guess I'll find out next sem. ::sigh::

Anyway, my friend alerted me to the fact that there IS a PC version of the Socratic screensaver. It can be found here.

Bewarned, however, that it's a rather noisy screensaver. I left my computer on while trying to take a short nap and couldn't for the life of me figure out what that strange clock noise was in my room. Suffice it to say, by the time I realised what it was, I'd given up on my nap. Oh well.

Also, if anyone is thinking of getting Verizon DSL, DON'T. It was out for me last Monday morning to Friday night. Then it was out again when I came home today and didn't come back until about an hour ago. This is doing nothing for my nerves with grad app deadlines looming...

Monday, November 28, 2005

A few links...

Mehercule, I don't know what's wrong with me today. Thought I was just tired from getting up early to work on things, but now I'm wondering if I'm coming down with something. Mostly, it's that point in the semester when everything converges at one point in time and space and the universe explodes (translation: I'm so swamped, I can't keep anything straight anymore!). I tend to do a decent job of keeping my scatter-brainedness under control, but not so much today.

ANYWAY, I really wanted to bring to your attention a few links.

From the Latinteach list, there is a link to a site with some of Father Foster's Latin lessons. Actually, I think I've seen this before, but that was before this blog.

On the Stoa Consortium, there was also a link about a Numismatics wikipedia posted a couple days ago.

Lastly, Homo Edax wanted me to post about his Creme Brulee, which as far as I can tell has little to do with Classics. But it looks so good that I couldn't really resist. I just wish I had time to make it!

Now you all understand what his Latin class is like. He keeps talking about food and making us hungry! ;-)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

This is only tangentially related, but...

Firstly and somewhat more related, a couple links from other blogs:

Debra Hamel points us to a Socratic screensaver for Macs. I'm jealous! Now I need a Mac. :-P

Also, David Meadows links to an audio interview with Josephine Balmer on Catullus.

The first link is kid-oriented; the second link is decidedly not.

Anyway, on to the point of the post! I figure many people interested in Classics are also interested in Arthuriana. I was googling my favourite Arthurian knight, Sir Bors, on a whim (ok ok, I was procrastinating a paper :-P), and I saw an article on him in one of my favourite mythological reference sites, Encyclopedia Mythica. It's usually reliable for a quick-ref if you're coming in completely clean and want a place to start or if something has jsut slipped your brain. However, this particular article is SO MISLEADING THAT MY HEAD WANTS TO EXPLODE, GRRR!

I was going to refute the article point-by-point, but I think I'll just copy and paste my earlier summary of his true deeds when that dreadful King Arthur movie came out. The MOMENT their version of Sir Bors appeared on screen, I yelped and buried my face. It was a truly horrific example of people who don't do any research at all and steal literary names. AUGH.

Contrary to the movie you are about to see—or the movie you have just seen (or maybe even the movie you’re not going to see at all if you’ve found this in a random place)—Sir Bors is not a lustful knight with eleven kids. And unlike his namesake in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which is an hilarious movie, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you don’t know what you’re missing), he is not murdered by a killer-bunny (in fact, he is one of a handful of knights who actually survives Sir Thomas Malory’s contribution to Arthuriana). He is not a boar or a boor or even a bore. He is Sir Bors, Knyghte of the Table Rounde.

Sir Bors, in fact, is best known—when he is known at all—as a chaste knight who only had sex once in his life (some would say this qualifies him as a “bore,” but his adventures speak otherwise) and who—along with Sir Galahad and Sir Perceval—was one of the successful grail knights (considering the number of knights King Arthur had, this is a pretty big deal). Furthermore, he was the only grail knight who managed to survive in order to return to King Arthur’s court (thus spreading the story).

The cousin (unfortunately) of Sir Lancelot, Sir Bors was born to King Bors of Gannes and Queen Evaine, both of whom died when he was still a child. He and his brother Lionel were eventually raised by the Lady of the Lake.

Once he grows to manhood, he joins King Arthur and his Knights of the Rounde Table. His one sexual act is linked to a tournament he wins at the court of King Brandegorre of Estrangorre. Refusing the prize, marriage to King Brandegorre’s daughter, Sir Bors is given by the governess a magic ring that causes him to fall for the girl and sleep with her. From this union Helain the White (spellings differ), another knight of the Rounde Table, is born. After this, he continues his chastity and never again has sex (which makes us wonder just how bad Brandegorre’s daughter was in bed).

Our brave knight, in a test of his spiritual resolve during the Grail Quest, also defeats Priadan the Black but does not kill him. He also chooses to rescue a maiden rather than his brother, Sir Lionel. This, naturally, later comes back to bite him in the ass. In his final test, a beautiful maiden (for they are all of them fair) threatens to kill herself and her twelve servants if he refuses to sleep with her. Smart knight that he is, he refuses, thus revealing the maiden as a fiend.

Sir Bors is a fair, loyal and intelligent man. While he does not approve of Guinevere’s and Lancelot’s wanton ways, he does help his cousin Lancelot rescue the Queen from the burning stake. Ultimately, however, he is forced to choose loyalty to blood over loyalty to his King once Lancelot defects from the court. Even still, he tries to sue for peace between Arthur and Lancelot. He is also a skillful knight, managing to defeat King Arthur in combat, but he does not kill him.

Most importantly, he is the cool, rational head amongst King Arthur’s knights. When Sir Lancelot leaps out a window in madness from the tug-of-war between Elaine and Guinevere, Sir Bors tells Guinevere, “Now, fye on youre wepynge! For ye wepe never but whan there is no boote” (Translation: Now, fie on your weeping! For you weep never but when there is no use,” Malory, pg 489) and sets out to find his cousin. In fact, he also later warns cousin Lancelot not to visit the Queen in Arthur’s absence, suspecting a trap laid by Mordred (which it is), but “Pansy Lancey” ignores his advice.

This is just a taste of the true literary character of Sir Bors. As you can plainly see, his character is vastly different from what we see in the movies (in the few incidents when we do see him). Sir Bors is not famous like Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, but his true story deserves to be told.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

HBO's Rome ep 12

My apologies for the lateness of this review--my internet has only come back tonight. I'm really pissed that it was down for so long, because I'm trying to start final papers and in the middle of actually applying to grad schools at the moment. So I lost a lot of much-needed time fussing with thwarted plans.

Also, I apparently missed the earlier revelations of Vorenus and Pullo as real characters. Guess that's what happens when one gets too busy. However, I should point out that Homo Edax figured this out by himself while actually ::gasp!:: reading Caesar in Latin for fun or some such. Because this is what Latin professors do! :-D I hope the fact that I've mentioned him in my last THREE posts satisfies him. He will never want me to mention him in this blog again!

So, on to the review!

-Apparently, there are plays about Pullo and Vorenus in the arena from last ep.
-Somebody taking a likeness of Pullo (who's in bed, recovering from his wounds) in order to make a mural of him.
-Vorenus and Niobe go off for some ritual on the land, while Vorenus worries that Caesar will exile him for saving Pullo. They're supposed to pretend to have sex (fertility ritual), but they start kissing for real. The priest rings his bell to tell them it's over, but they continue kissing.
-Pullo escapes to Rome for the GIRLS, but he's not healed yet, so he falls off his horse instead.
-He's brought back to Vorenus' house. They tie him up to keep him actually in bed. Pullo wants in on the action of their newfound fame.
-Ireni sneaks into Pullo's room to kill him at night. He wakes up and tries to talk to her. She pulls out a knife, and he tells her to go ahead and kill him. She can't seem to do it. Niobe walks in and discovers her and scolds her (Pullo tries to cover for her), reminding her that if she killed her ex-master, everyone would know it.
-Vorenus off to see Caesar!
-Niobe sends Ireni to feed Pullo. She spits in his food first, but he's in luuuuurve.
-Caesar planning on diverting the river. Cicero being snarky. Caesar wants to include Gauls and Celts in the senate.
-Vorenus enters. Caesar wonders what to do with him. Thinks he should punish him, but says the People have made him and Pullo heroes, and he doesn't want to make them angry. So he thinks he should reward him, lest he should seem weak. He makes Vorenus a Senator. EVERYONE astonished. Caesar: "Vorenus, you look like you've seen the Gorgon!" He wants Vorenus to stay close by him for the first few weeks. Everyone else protesting. Caesar wants to please the people. Cicero: "Build yet another temple... Kill someone! The people are easy to please!" haha (It's a good line. You have to see it).
-Caesar and Antony talk. Antony warns him he has to double his guard, etc. Caesar says, "Guards can keep my enemies away--they can do nothing about my friends." Antony assures him he has "no ill-intentions. Caesar: "I know, not that you're not perfectly capable of any manner of wickedness." Antony: "Thank you!" Caesar: "But if you were going to betray me, you would've done it long ago." Antony: "Don't think I wasn't tempted!"
-Caesar thinks Vorenus is ferocious and will keep people from trying nto harm him. Here's where I think they follow awfully similarly to the horror that was ABC's The Empire. But they do it SO much better!
-Vorenus and Niobe discuss finding their daughter a "rich, old man" to marry. She says she doesn't care about trivial jewels and dresses. Vorenus and Niobe explain that these things are important to show status and that a person is protected. She says she wants love. Niobe and Vorenus explain that love has to be worked for and that it would be strange to love from the start. They point to themselves as an example of a good arranged marriage.
-Calpurnia (I guess? He's sleeping with her anyway) has a bad omen dream. Caesar tells her not to worry. He also says there's much more to be done.
-Servilia prays for blessings for Brutus to kill Caesar.
-Pullo gets a boy to untie him. Goes seeking women, but they don't recognise him. He comes back with a woman, but when he sees Ireni, he sends her away.
-Vorenus and Caesar appear together with V in Senatorial dress. Old Senators complain about the new Senators. They feel better about Vorenus being a Roman (though a lowly pleb) than the Celts and Gauls, but they still don't like him. They discuss Caesar and Vorenus' image as father and son. Cicoero goes home to "stupify [himself] with wine."
-Caesar looks up at Brutus and waves at him.
-Old Senators worry that Caesar knows and plan their attack. They consider having slaves kill him at home in order to avoid Vorenus (who is apparently acting as bodyguard). They have to explain to Servilia who he is. They don't want to kill Vorenus, because he's popular. They want the People on their side and only want "the tyrant" dead. Brutus wants the murder to be done honorably "in daylight, on the senate floor, with our own hand--with my hand."
-Niobe worried and wakes Vorenus with her loud worrying. She thinks things are moving too fast.
-Servilia suddenly remembers where she's heard of Vorenus (from Octavia, who told her about Niobe's lover getting killed by Pullo and Octavian).
-Servilia invites Atia to her house the next day. Atia decides to bring Octavian with her.
-Pullo asks Ireni if the gods will forgive him if he prays. She says who knows. He invites her to come along when he goes to pray.
-Caesar and Vorenus and others on their way to the Senate House. Vorenus is told about Niobe by one of Servilia's women. He runs back to his home, leaving Caesar.
-Atia and Octavian are at Servilia's house. Servilia says she wants to be the first to tell them what's happened.
-Caesar walks into the Senate House. Somebody approaches Caesar about revoking his brother's exile. He puts his hand on Caesar, and they tussle a bit. He shouts, "What're you waiting for? Now! Now!" They are slow, but then they start stabbing. It's very bloody, very real, and very undramatised. Massive stabbing and blood, not prettied up at all.
-Scene of Vorenus running back home.
-Brutus still standing there, staring. Somebody puts a knife in his hand and tells him to do it. He slowly approaches Caesar, laying on the floor but still alove, and he hesitates. Caesar does NOT actually says, "Et tu, Brutus?" but his EYES say it more powerfully than any words can. Brutus stabs him, and Caesar eventually dies.
-Vorenus throwing furnature and shouting, "Where is he?!" Niobe: "Who?!" V: "Your son!" He wants her to tell him it's not true, but she says, "I thought you were dead." He's shocked, speechless. Backs up and picks up a knife, looking uncertain whom to stab--Niobe, her son, or himself? She backs up and says, "Lucius, the boy is blameless." Then she falls out the window over the banister backwards with Vorenus looking horrified.
-Back in the Senate house, somebody (can't see whom) picks up Brutus' hand and says, "Thus ever for tyrants!" Antony looks horrified. Brutus looks distraught. The Senators seem to wonder what they've done. Brutus screams.
-Servilia to Atia: "So you see, the tyrant is dead; the Republic is restored, and you... are alone. Would you like some honeywater?" Servilia tells her she won't harm her yet. Atia wonders why she'd harm her, because they've "always been great friends. Politics is for men!" Servilia tells her off and tells her how much she's going to haunt (and hunt) Atia. They finally leave, and Octavian glares at Servilia before walking away.
-Vorenus crying over Niobe and rocking her. Her son walks in and looks at him. He stares back.
-Pullo praying to the gods to forgive him (presumably). Ireni accompanies him--she's apparently forgiven him, anyway. They walk off holding hands.

Overall: FANTASTIC. Great, snarky lines as usual. Caesar's death was brilliant. I've always enjoyed the dramatized versions of Caesar's death, but I never realised how brilliantly it could be done with simple, horrific reality. Caesar's eyes spoke volumes. Niobe's death was done wonderfully as well, but I wish she weren't dead!! Servilia is wonderfully wicked (she totally beats Atia anyday!). I'm glad to see Pullo's softer side again and that Ireni has forgiven him, but I certainly don't want them to end up together. If there hadn't been another boy for her, and if Pullo hadn't killed him, I would've wanted them together, but she can't go back now! She would never really love him, only feel obligated to him. She seemed so much like a child in this ep that it would seem even more wrong, anyway. Anyway, this ep has just reaffirmed my love for this show. But I'm sorta glad that the season is over, because it's been a bit of a distraction from other things that need to get done!

NEXT season looks to be very interesting.

Oh, and I just saw the new Pride & Prejudice tonight. All I could think of when seeing Mr. Collins on screen was about the Mr. Collins in the miniseries version (the one with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy), who is Cicero in this show (David Bamber). There's a good reason Cicero cracks me up in this show. It's Mr. Collins in a TOGA!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

On Vorenus and Pullo

If you are still in doubt of the amazing research behind HBO's Rome, I have a super special little-known (as far as I can tell) fact for you. This one is courtesy of the ever-brilliant, Rome-obsessed Homo Edax (now he's going to regret telling me to post about him!).

In 5.44 of Caesar's De bello Gallico, we have this passage (stolen from Perseus):

XLIV. Erant* in ea legione fortissimi viri, centuriones, qui primis ordinibus* appropinquarent, Titus Pullo et Lucius Vorenus. [2] Hi perpetuas inter se controversias habebant*, quinam anteferretur, omnibusque annis de locis summis simultatibus contendebant. [3] Ex his Pullo, cum acerrime ad munitiones pugnaretur, "Quid dubitas," inquit, " Vorene? aut quem locum* tuae probandae virtutis exspectas ? [4] Hic dies de nostris controversiis iudicabit." Haec cum dixisset, procedit extra munitiones quaque pars hostium confertissma est visa irrumpit. [5] Ne Vorenus quidem tum sese vallo continet*, sed omnium veritus existimationem subsequitur. [6] Mediocri spatio relicto Pullo pilum in hostes immittit atque unum ex multitudine procurrentem traicit; quo percusso et exanimato hunc scutis protegunt, in hostem tela universi coniciunt neque dant regrediendi facultatem. [7] Transfigitur scutum Pulloni et verutum in balteo defigitur. [8] Avertit hic casus* vaginam et gladium educere conanti dextram moratur manum, impeditumque hostes circumsistunt. [9] Succurrit inimicus illi Vorenus et laboranti subvenit. [10] Ad hunc se confestim a Pullone omnis multitudo convertit: [11] illum veruto arbitrantur occisum. Gladio comminus rem gerit Vorenus atque uno interfecto reliquos paulum propellit; [12] dum cupidius instat, in locum deiectus* inferiorem concidit. Huic rursus circumvento fert subsidium Pullo, [13] atque ambo incolumes compluribus interfectis summa cum laude sese intra munitiones recipiunt. [14] Sic fortuna in contentione* et certamine utrumque versavit, ut alter alteri inimicus auxilio salutique esset, neque diiudicari posset, uter utri virtute anteferendus videretur.

For an English translation (that butchers their names, but you can figure it out), click here.

Homo Edax, we bow to your brilliance. He actually pointed this out to our class a couple weeks ago, but I got busy and forgot to post about it. Oops. Better late than never!

So yeah. I'm truly impressed that they actually bothered to pull real names for Vorenus and Pullo! Yay them.

Monday, November 21, 2005

In which Glaukopis rambles and then attaches a PSA at the end

Glaukopis likes to talk about herself in the third person occassionally (well, more than occassionally), so Glaukopis will be doing so today. Just be glad that Glaukopis has not taken to talking about herself in the second person in this blog--yet!

Glaukopis was very mad when she got out of the shower this morning and discovered that her INTERNET was DOWN. She felt as if she were abandoning her dear readers! Glaukopis does not know if her internet is back up at home now and is taking the liberty of updating from campus. Glaukopis also does not know when her internet will return but hopes that it will do so in the next day or so. Glaukopis spent the weekend filling out grad apps online, and she hopes to finish off the details over the short Thanksgiving break!

After her Latin class today, Glaukopis was told by Homo Edax to put up a permanent link to his blog. Glaukopis has now done so and hopes that her illustrious professor (well, the feles est extra saccum) will return the favour.

Lastly, Glaukopis was reminded by her bama, Chip, to post about a local (D.C.) program on Dec 3 on The Influence of Greek Drama on Classical Opera. The full e-mail as she received is thus:

The society for the preservation of the Greek heritage Invites you to participate in a seminar on:

The Influence of Greek Drama on Classical Opera:
A Seminar with music by Opera Lafayette
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005 at 6:30 p.m.

At the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC (just east of Dupont Circle)

The rediscovery of ancient Greek culture contributed in large measure to the creation of opera. The structural elements of Greek theatre—stage and audience, chorus, dance, song and declamation—all inspired a new way of uniting drama with music. The myths and tragedies of ancient Greece provided most of the pastoral and dramatic subjects for this new art form for over one hundred years. Over time, however, these subjects and themes were modified by composers and librettists to reflect the values of different eras.

The program will close with light refreshments.

A parking garage is located across the street from the Carnegie Endowment building for $5. The south exit of the Dupont Circle metro station is just one block away.

Business attire. Reservations Required. Please RSVP before Nov. 29, by calling the SPGH at 202.363.4337 or e-mailing us at

SPGH Members: $20 – Non-members: $25 – Students FREE

Mail checks to SPGH at 5125 MacArthur Blvd. NW, Suite 38, Washington, D.C. 20016. Visa and MasterCard accepted for payment prior to the program. Any cancellation must be made 48 hours prior to the program. Thank you.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Accuracy of HBO's Rome

Hrm, David Meadows alerts us to an article on the accuracy of HBO's Rome.

This author picks at all the plot elements that have been changed to hype up the entertainment value. This is true. Obviously, Rome's first point is entertainment, and it is NOT a documentary (whoever got that idea anyway?!). What I think is disappointing, though, is that:

1) this person implies that Suetonius is gospel (does anyone else find this funny??),
2) since Suetonius is gospel in this article, why not mention that Suetonius mentions that there really was gossip about Augustus (as a youth) and Caesar having a sexual relationship? They read their stuff; they didn't just make it up the way The Empire did,
3) what about all the cultural details they actually manage to get correct? Can you really ignore those? I can't remember the last time I've seen an historical piece with so much accuracy as to details other than the plotline. Why are we always so focused on the plotline that we can't appreciate these other things too?

Sure, liberties are taken with Rome, but unlike many other shows, they are done with full knowledge (clearly, they read their Suetonius as well as load of other less gossipy works) and in an artistic manner. There is an amazing amount of research done for this show, and it actually shows. They don't ignore what they learn (the King Arthur movie comes to mind :-P); they incorporate what they find and spice up the rest for entertainment value. If Atia reminds us of a character from the O.C., then that's because it's what entertains modern audiences. It's a TV show, not a documentary. And more importantly, it's a TV show that's actually successfully entertaining with the changes it's made. They're good at what they do, unlike Troy (sorry, buddy, but the Iliad is far more entertaining) and King Arthur (I'll take Malory over that any day).

I mean, it's nice that somebody's trying to correct the misconceptions out there, but I would've liked to have seen a little more credit given where credit is due. And I now see it as my duty to correct the misconception that this should be, in any way, accepted as a documentary. That seems to be a misconception common to both sides.

So, if you've walked away with anything from this rant, it should be this: HBO'S ROME IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY AND WAS NEVER INTENDED AS SUCH!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Epiphany of the day...

Some people find religion in this awe-inspiring manner; I found Classical studies.

This is one of the few things (possibly the only thing) I've actually known with 100% certainty in my life since it actually clicked in my brain that it was what I wanted to do. I've always had a wide variety of interests, and admittedly, I've had to let go of many of them in this pursuit. But you know what? I don't regret any of it. When I get a chance again in my life, I'll pick them up again.

But Classics? I love it from the bottom of my soul. I've always loved my interests rather passionately, but this surpasses all of that. It's made me do things and achieve things I'd never thought I could. Cheesy though it may sound, vivo per lei (which is actually a wonderful Andrea Bocelli song, but it's about la musica).

Of course, even passionate love of Classics is not a miracle cure, and I'm still procrastinating on things I should be doing. :-P Such is the life of a college student.

Edited to add: Oh yeah, and I've had my 5000th visitor (according to blogpatrol) today!! Exciting. I might've had it a while ago, though, because since I got sitemeter too, I've realised that blogpatrol misses a lot of hits.

All About Love (and other obscure classically related musicals)

I used to pride myself (sorta) in my knowledge of obscure musicals based on great literature (particularly 19th century lit), but I have been out-done! I was sitting in an ancient philosophy class today (one that I'm only half-taking, but that's another story altogether), and our professor told us about this musical, All About Love, based on Plato's Symposium.

I'm trying to decide if I'm still the musical theatre nut I used to be or if my Plato love is such that I would order the cast recording for this. It's a difficult decision. But then, I have the musical Paris (based on the Iliad), so I suppose I have some sort of obligation here. For the musical theatre geeks out there, the Paris recording includes Philip Quast as Patroclus. It is very cheesy, very '80s musical that at least has amusing entertainment value.

Of course, there's also Sondheim's The Frogs, but that's Sondheim and thus not entirely obscure. The Boys from Syracuse is also worth a listen, but again, not so obscure that a good musical theatre fan wouldn't know about it. Incidently, Davis Gaines is on both of those cast recordings. Malcom Gets and Rebecca Luker are both on The Boys from Syracuse too, and Nathan Lane and Brian Stokes Mitchell are both on The Frogs.

Oh! And how could I even POSSIBLY forget Marie Christine, which has both Audra McDonald and Anthony Crivello?? It's a modernised version of Medea and is absolutely fabulous.

But I don't think any of these are quite as obscure as All About Love. At least there are some bigger musical theatre names on these recordings... And I'm sure I'm missing something, but I hadn't really intended to turn this into a musical theatre post!

On a completely unrelated note, after my Roman Homosexuality presentation yesterday, we were discussing Dracula in my English class today. Now, Dracula is already a highly sexually charged novel, obviously, but thinking about it in light of Roman sexuality made it that much more... interesting. And there are more musicals based on Dracula than I even care to count. :-P

Thursday, November 17, 2005

HBO's ROme ep 11

-Pullo assassinates some guy.
-Vorenus and family prepping for his big magistrate duties. Vorenus complains that his wife is wearing too much medal and says he's "not the king of Persia."
-Vorenus receiving clients, an old soldier friend (Mascius) of his interrupts. MACAW is back in the background. His youngest daughter (a little girl) is eying some boy.
-V tells Mascius that Pullo is dead to him (after M compared them to Castor and Pollux).
-Mascius says the soldiers want land in Italy. TENSION.
-Prostitutes rob Pullo of his jewelry while he's sleeping.
-Pullo goes back to the creepy guy for more work. Creepy guy says Pullo wasn't discreet enough last time, but he finally gives in and gives Pullo some money. Pullo is about to buy a drink, but creepy guy tells him "Not here. This is a respectable place... for decent citizens."
-Vorenus goes to Caesar on the behalf of the soldiers. Antony tries to get Caesar to evict his enemies and give land to the soldiers. Caesar promises them land in Panonia and tells Vorenus to persuade Mascius with a "personal" offer, so he'll convince the soldiers. He also invites V and fam to a symposium. V is uncomfortable.
-V's daughter getting music lessons.
-Caesar declared dictator for life. 5th month named July in his honour.
-Graffiti of Brutus killing Caesar. Brutus wants it erased. The people apparently see his ancestor in him.
-Cassius shows him Caesar's "throne" in the senate house. Brutus says it's a chair. Cassius says, "The people will not accept a tyrant's death unless a Brutus holds the knife." Brutus insists the Republic is not in his hands.
-Pullo murders again. An old lady sees and walks after him shouting, "Murderer! Murderer!" (The pace of this lady reminds me of the line in the Aeneid about Barce: "Illa gradum studio celebrabat anili." When I read that line, I had to laugh--the zeal of an old woman? I can't see her going all that fast...)
-He threatens her with a knife, and she backs off a moment. Then he goes away and drops his knife and goes insane with her screaming "Murderer!" in his head and multiplying like a hydra's head...
-V and Mascius argue about the land with Mascius claiming that his honour is not for sale so cheap. Mascius: "Men with swords never starve." V: "But they still die. Captains first." Mascius finally agrees to bargain.
-Niobe trying on dresses for the symposium.
-Atia trying to convince Caesar that Brutus will betray him by Servilia's urging.
-Antony trying to get Octavia to get Atia to talk to him. Atia listens on. Octavia tells Antony that her disdain is an act and "she's entirely infatuated with you." Atia interjects that it's a lie. Antony tries to talk to her, but Atia shifts her attention to Niobe--"the beauty in the vulgar dress." Octavia tells her it's Vorenus' wife. Caesar introduces Atia to Niobe. Atia: "Who on Gaia's earth made this astonishing dress?" Niobe: "I did..." Atia: "You didn't!"
-Caesar is happy with V's negotiating skills. Octavius comes up and says, "Vorenus." Caears: "Magistrate Venus. He outranks you now." Octavius heard that Pullo is in the dungeons awaiting trial for murder. He wants to do something. Caesar says they must do nothing, since the murdered guy was someone who opposed him. Doesn't want people to suspect that he was somehow behind it.
-Niobe UNCOMFORTABLE. V and Niobe leave.
-Party over. Antony corners Atia. She slaps him. They kiss.
-Niobe sad about her dress.
-Pullo in dungeon with humming guy (who helped him with the murders).
-Octavius sent somebody to find Pullo a lawyer. This one guy says that he "could have Medea acquitted." (Pshaw! She SHOULD be acquitted! Jason is an ass! :-D) The moment he says it's for Pullo, the lawyers go away. Finally some guy accepts when he brings out the money.
-Lawyer tries to get Pullo to say who hired him or at least give a good excuse. Pullo has nothing.
-Trial. Vorenus sneaks in the crowd and runs into Mascius, who is already planning to free Pullo. V tells him to call it off, because it would be bad politically if the soldiers are above the law. Mascius says he can't call them off, because it would make him look bad. V says he could look far worse. Mascius: "Look at us, brother. How has it come to this?" V: "It is for the good of the Republic." Mascius calls them off.
-People throw stuff at Pullo's scared lawyer. He says they should feel pity. When asked, he does not think Pullo innocent. Pullo condemned to the arena.
-Caesar says he thinks of Brutus as a son and offers him Macedonia. Brutus refuses. Caesar: "I need someone I can trust." Brutus: "You need me out of Rome?" Caesar: "Not at all! I need your help." Brutus asks if Caesar has doubts. Caesar reminds him of the "betrayal." Brutus points out that had Caesar *asked* for his allegiance, he would have given it, but Caesar *demanded* it at sword-point. Caesar takes it back and says he trusts him completely. Brutus: "So much that you would send me to Macedonia?" Caesar tries to insist. Brutus gets upset. Caesar mentions the graffiti, and Brutus says, "Only tyrants need fear tyrant-killers. You are no tyrant! Haven't you told me so many times?" Caesar sends him away.
-Pullo in dungeon praying. Asks long life for Ireni and Vorenus. Also wants Ireni to know he's sorry. The Pullo we've been waiting to see all episode!!
-Pullo led into the arena. People booing. He picks up the sword and tosses it aside.
-Gladiators try to get him to fight. He won't. Just wants to die. They start insulting the 13th legion, and Pullo finally gets pissed. He beats them all up, and the crowd cheers. He shouts, "13th!" More gladiators come. Vorenus watching. Pullo slaughtering. Vorenus about to cry. Pullo still shouting, but he's exhausted on the ground. They send out another gladiator who looks more experienced. Pullo too tired to fight. The guy kicks him around. Pullo helpless. Vorenus comes in and shouts, "13th!" He fights the gladiator. V about to be defeated, but he chops off the gladiator's leg and kills him. Crowd cheers and chants, "Pullo!"
-Now we see Caesar's man paying the creepy guy--so Caesar IS behind the murder.
-Brutus: "Mother, I owe Caesar no more friendship. I must do my duty."

Overall: An especially painful episode, but in a good way. Friendships crumbling all over the place. Rather depressing. As always, very well-written. Still not thrilled with what they did to Pullo, but at least they did it well. The last scene with Brutus deciding to kill Caesar is especially telling to the Republic.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

In which Glaukopidos rambles about Roman sexuality...

Inevitably, interesting discussions arise when one discusses a book called Roman Homosexuality in a Petronius class (or anytime, really). My brain also hurts in about ten ways right now. It's certainly an interesting book, but I maintain that my brain needs to be washed out with soap now.

Also, I should add that that is probably the first class period we've had where we didn't go off on a food tangent. Hmm.

I also think I should not be blamed if everything in the Aeneid seems dirty to me in my Vergil class. But, you know, Vergil loved the boys too.

Maybe someday I'll post the nice verb sex chart so that you all may see how versatile the Latin language really is. I don't think children actually read this blog. If they do, they've already seen the Rome reviews anyway...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

E-mail at!

I have just acquired for myself a brand new e-mail address at the domain (tell me that isn't the COOLEST e-mail you've ever seen!). You can find my new address on my profile (not going to post it here, lest the spammers pick it up), AND you can get your very own e-mail here for $25 a year. Just click "E-mail Account" then "Continue" and then make sure you choose "" from the pull-down list. You can also get e-mail at, and for the Tolkien fans:,,, and

Yeah. I'm having a major geek moment, and I'm in LOVE with my new e-mail address. And I'm not being paid to advertise. But really,! Too much fun to pass up!

And it looks like I probably won't get to the Rome review until Thursday night. My apologies. Homework is dragging me by the ears and threatening to pin me up by the ankles and to leave me there to rot. :-P (Hrm, that was a purpose clause within an indirect statement... ::smacks self:: This isn't a language class!)

I need sleep.

Monday, November 14, 2005

...eo ipso loco aliquando pistrinum fuisse.


Anyway, this post is a new blog alert: Homo Edax, a blog excellentissimum maintained by a Classics professor, who shall remain nameless until such time as he chooses to put forth his name. It has everything from recipes that make you drool (careful, lest you short out the circuits in your keyboard), to movie recs, to website links--but mostly recipes.

Whether or not a Rome review will appear in this blog tonight is dependent entirely on how much homework Glaukopis manages to finish tonight and by what time it will have been finished.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Harry Who?

Apparently, there's a new book series out following in the Harry Potter model about a kid who finds out he's a demigod. It draws from Greek myths and has a character named Annabeth, who is the daughter of Athena. I'd like to see how they manage that one.

Anyway, the full article is here, but it'll require registering at the NY Times website (which is free). The series is called The Lightning Thief, and it's by Rick Riorden.

In other news, I just bought two more Loebs, the OCT for Tacitus, another book on Egyptian hieroglyphics, another book on Alexander, and another translation of the Georgics. ... WHY?! This is in addition to the Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad, James Davidson's Courtesans and Fishcakes (you have NO idea how hard it was for me to get this), and a book on Vikings (yay!)--all of which I bought yesterday. Employee sales, when working at a bookstore, just means that you give them all of your money back. Eheu.

Father Foster

Well, it's been a while since I've had a chance to listen to Father Foster, but I needed a break from Roman Homosexuality. It's certainly a very informative book, but my brain might need to be washed out when I'm done reading...

Anyway, I especially loved the November 5 interview, where he talks about Vergil. He gets a bit annoyed that Vergil is so popular (and is seen as God!), when "there are 10,000 other authors who are just as good!" He also says he likes Horace better, because he has a sense of humour. Aww. And then he goes on about digits and dactyls and pocket Dante. I forgot how much I love Father Foster! He's one of my favourite living people, right up there along with David McCullough (who is quoted somewhere as wishing he'd learned Latin).

I'll have to remember to listen to the one on Verne before the week ends. It's the one on the bottom, so the link will probably go away after the next program.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Latin Podcasting!

There is a post about a Latin Podcasting Experiment on the Stoa Consortium today. Looks interesting.

In other news, I've appointed today Work on Grad Apps Day, so hopefully something will get done. Usually, I'm too paralysed with the need to work on homework. But if I keep that up, I'll never get to applying to grad schools! So I suppose my homework will just have to suffer a bit. I'll probably get caught up Sunday anyway.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

HBO's Rome ep 10

-Brutus and Cicero discussing the situation in Rome at a funeral; Brutus tells Cicero, “My dear friend, we have no honour. If we had any honour, we would be with Cato and Scipio in the afterlife.”
-Cicero moves that Caesar be made imperator; Brutus seconds the motion—this is clearly (from their earlier discussion) a farce to them
-Atia goes to visit Servilia; Atia tells Servilia that Octavia is in Paestum
-In the next scene, Octavia is slitting her wrists. Octavius comes in and says he’s come to take her home. She doesn’t want to go. She’s apparently staying at the temple of the Magna Mater and had run away. Octavius tells her to consider the possibility that Atia did what she did out of love for her. Octavius tries to take her hand, and he sees that she’s slit her wrists.
-Vorenus making a speech to the people in his district. He’s told to go back to Gaul. He cites his defense of Rome, etc. He still gets protestations, but somebody is prompting him and seems to take care of the guy objecting.
-Caesar goes to see the King of all the Gauls in captivity. Somebody says, “Makes you think, doesn’t it?” Apparently, he’s going to execute the King.
-Pullo wants in on the Triumph, but they tell him it’s enlisted men only. Heated words.
-Antony: “It’s absurd, isn’t it—dressing up, playing at being a god.” Caesar: “Playing? I’m not playing. This is not a game.” A: “As you wish; it is not a game.”
-Brutus tries to talk to mommy, but she sends him away to go to Caesar’s “obscene display.”
-Octavia’s back at home. A slave is covering up her scars. Atia tries to talk to her. Doesn’t seem to get that she’s the problem, not the people to whom Octavia ran, but she does seem to genuinely have missed Octavia (at least as much as she can care about anyone else).
-Pompey’s son screaming at Brutus’ home for protection.
-Servilia eventually lets him in. Pompey’s son has a LOT of hatred against Caesar. Servilia tells him that he’s among friends.
-Octavius paints Caesar’s face red
-Triumph with Caesar dressed as Jupiter. King of Gauls is killed.
-Public dinner, 100 denarii given to every citizen, all rents paid by Caesar, etc.
-Brutus not happy with Pompey’s son in his house.
-Vorenus has issue with being set up as the only *real* man for his district. Caesar’s man argues that Caesar is a demigod, but Vorenus says only for a day.
-Vorenus and Pullo talk, but Vorenus isn’t listening at first. Pullo asks Vorenus for money to free his slave woman (Ireni?) so that he can marry her. He plans to go to the country.
-Cicero shows Brutus a pamphlet going around about honouring Cato, and Brutus asks who wrote it. It’s apparently said to be authored by Brutus. Apparently Servilia wrote it, with help from Cassius, in Brutus’ name.
-Brutus very upset. Servilia tells him to beg Caesar for mercy, since it’s served him in the past. Brutus points out that he could be killed. Servilia reminds him that his fathers would have chased out Caesar. Brutus tells her to forget it all.
-Pullo tells Ireni that she’s free and gives her a dress. She’s all happy.
-Vorenus’ slave comes to Pullo to thank him for freeing her. Apparently, they’re lovers and planned to legally marry when they’d saved enough to buy their freedom. They will take Pullo’s name, rather than Vorenus’, out of gratitude. Pullo, out of anger, beats the slave’s head on the wall until he’s dead. Ireni comes screaming. Vorenus comes close after. Pullo says he killed him, and Vorenus says, “I can see that but why?” Pullo says that he loves Ireni, and Vorenus snarks that that is not the way to show it and then gets angry that he’s killed his slave in his home and in front of his children. Pullo says he’ll pay him back, and Vorenus says he has no money but what he’s given him. Also calls him a “damned fool” and says he doesn’t “care about the money—it’s the disrespect”
-Pullo throws back that Vorenus is “kissing [Caesar’s] royal ass” even though he disagreed with him previously. Vorenus pissed. Sends him away. Pullo tries to tell Ireni that he’s sorry, but Niobe tells him to stay away from her.
-Brutus denies writing the pamphlet. Caesar believes him.
-The body of the King of the Gauls is taken from the dump and burnt properly by (presumably) other Gauls.
-The guy who tried to turn Vorenus into his henchman (I think it’s him anyway) tries to recruit Pullo, who is drunk.

Overall, I'm not really as thrilled with this episode. It was good, but I'm personally miffed at what they did to Pullo. He was one of my favourite characters, but it's hard to respect someone who murders on a snap like that. Maybe I'm being too hard on him. On the other hand, I think this is the first time I've started to feel a bit for Atia... Not much, though.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wall collapse and JEOPARDY!

Firstly, David Meadows alerts us to a wall collapse in the Roman Forum. Obviously, this is causing tourist problems, which is a real shame to those interested in visiting the site.

In much better news (and somewhat related to something David Meadows posted this morning), there will be a Classics major on JEOPARDY! tomorrow night, Nov 8. Apparently, they're doing their college tournament now. So tune in to see how much that Classics degree helps!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Some crude Latin...

A couple weeks ago in my myth class, we were reading various stories about Inanna. As Inanna is a sex goddess, we ended up in a rather interesting conversation about what sex goddesses do. My very astute prof points out that we have no word (that she knew of) for what a woman does during intercourse.

Fastforward to this morning when I'm flipping through Roman Homosexualities (by Craig A. Williams) for a book report for my Latin class. I get to chapter five and see a chart for various types of sex and insertive/receptive. Apparently, the Romans had a word for what a woman does during typical intercourse--crisare.

The things you learn in academic books...

Latin Scrabble and Copernicus' Skull

Someone on the Classics-L list just posted a link for Online Latin Scrabble. It's free for now, but it might not be later, so play while you can!

A couple days ago, a few articles on finding Copernicus' bones were posted. Each link-word is a new link.

That's rather exciting.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

HBO's Rome ep 9 (and an unrelated link on the bottom!)

-Cato et al defeated, elephant toppled and struggling to get up; Cato dejected, but agrees to go to Uttica
-Scipio: "Where there's life there's hope." Cato: "I'm afraid, if we've done anything, my friend, we've disproved that proverb." Cato tells him to make peace with Caesar then goes off and stabs himself with a knife. Scipio notices his bread still there and goes after him but is too late.
-Scene of Cato's body burning in a very QUIET funeral. Scipio sends everyone else away and has a young man slit his throat.
-Caesar and family watching some kind of Satyr play, which mocks the two death scenes we've just seen. Brutus looks very uncomfortable. Caesar doesn't look too thrilled but claps anyway.
-Vorenus and Pullo return. V sees his wife from behind, and his children run up to him. He says "No more soldiering for me." P watches V and Niobe go up, with that "I KNOW SOMETHING" (you'll recall, he does know something) expression, mixed with a bit of sadness, methinks.
-Apparently they now have four slaves.
-Pullo runs into the girl he rescued who, I guess, is technically his slave. She's learned Latin. He's brought her a bracelet.
-Octavius coming home. It's been two years! He asks the horse guy if he's still fucking Attia.
-Brutus tells Servilia they have to go to Caesar's dinner party. He tells her he's not proud of what he's done. He tells her he'll make her excuses to Attia, but she says she'll go. "Not to be there will be seen as weakness." Brutus: "He's just a man. The loss of his affection is not worth this endless raging sorrow." Servilia: "I feel neither rage or sorrow. My objection to Caesar is purely political."
-They arrive--Servilia smiles secretly as Octavia!
-Caesar asks Octavius what he would do to restore the Republic. He also appoints Octavius as a pontiff. Octavius objects--he wants to concentrate on poetry! Caesar: "Poetry can wait."
-Vorenus explaining the battle to his children. Pullo sees his slave-girl carrying water and takes it in for her. V makes the young boy cry by going "BOOM! Chaos!"
-V is bored. Niobe suggests taking up butchering. V reluctant, but Niobe says, "It'll give you something to do!"
-V and P go into butchering together.
-V tells some guys to stop beating up on another guy. P grabs a butcher knife just in case. The guys remind V that he's not a soldier anymore, but V tells them to get lost. The guys threaten V and P and walk away.
-Niobe is WORRIED. Apparently, the maffia has taken over. The guy he saved comes knocking and offers bread and thanks.
-Octavia and Servilia weaving together. Octavia: "I wish you didn't care for [Caesar] so much." Servilia: "I wish I didn't care for you so much." They kiss. Then start talking about Octavius and how pretty he is. They speculate about Octavius and Caesar as lovers. Octavia mentions the affliction, and Servilia tells her she must find out what it is. She is VERY straight-forward about her intention to destroy Caesar. This causes Octavia some grief, but Servilia asks, "Would you rather I lied to you?" Octavia: "I wish you would think of something other than the destruction of my uncle." Servilia: "I have never lied to you. He still has some terrible hold on me. I wish it were not so, but he will not let go. Will you ask your brother?" Octavia: "Would it make you happy?" Servilia: "Yes it would."
-Octavia has a cockatiel! Octavia says she's bored, and Octavius offers to read to her. He was reading pontiff-stuff, but he reads poetry to her. She says she's tired of it after a while. She tells him to tell her a secret--"something shocking, dangerous, that nobody knows." He claims he doesn't know anything like that. She brings up Caesar's affliction. He denies it and wonders why she wants to know. She says she doesn't care, but she wants to hear something, and she doubts he has any terrible secrets of his own worth telling. He says she's wrong. Her: "Oh please, like what?" Him: "I've tortured and killed a man." Him: "Liar!" He tells her about killing Niobe's lover. Her: "Bravo, I suppose." Him: "You asked for a terrible secret."
-Big bad guys calls for V. P gets a blade. Big bad guy explains the new "rules" to V, but V is being contemptuous. BBG tells V to find him in the Forum and kneel and kiss his feet, or he'll come and kill him. Also says V will see his wife and daughters raped. P advances with the blade, but V tells him to hold.
-Octavia tells Servilia that she couldn't get it from Octavius. Servilia tells her to try again--she has something he wants. Servilia: "He wants you." Octavia protests she has loyalty to her family--they love her. Servilia: "And I love you." Octavia: "You call this love?! I can't!" Octavia starts going home. Servilia: Don't go... Your mother killed Glabius!"
-Shot of a REALLY CUTE Congo African Grey in the Forum! Also a Blue and Gold Macaw!
-BBG and his men storming in.
-Niobe sends the children to the country with her sister, but she stays with V. V tells her to leave too, but she will not.
-Incense and daggers? Niobe and V kiss while waiting for BBG.
-But... Caesar shows up instead! He doesn't know how to pronounce "Salve"!!
-BBG comes up and is stopped by Caesar's men. He stalks off.
-Caesar wants V to stand for magistrate of Lower Aventine on his slate. V declines, saying their politics are diff. Caesar says he will not rest until Rome is as it was in the Golden Age, but he cannot succeed alone. Says he'll give up dictator power. Evidently, V capitulates. They appear together--people are VERY happy. P looks worried.
-Octavia comes in on Octavius writing. Putzes around a bit then sends the slave away. Tells Octavius not to get another. Tells him to lie down with her. He looks CONFUSED. She tells him he used to come to her when he was little all the time. He says only when he was scared, and he isn't scared now. She tells him to pretend. He says he has no skill at it. She says she's embarrassed--thought he wanted her. "You're a man now. You can take what you want." They kiss. And, of course, she seems to be the one doing the taking... After they finish, she starts to ask him, but he's figured it out. She starts crying, "What have I done?" Him: "What have you done?" Her: "Promise... promise you won't tell mother." Somebody's watching them!
-Scene of Niobe dressing up V in a toga. I'm not entirely knowledgeable about exact toga-wearing, but that piece of cloth certainly looks big enough to be a proper toga... Niobe: "Look at you!" Pullo: "You look like laundry!" Pullo approaches V and reaches out to touch it, and Niobe says, "No, don't! You'll dirty it!"
-Atia chasing after Octavia. Octavius trying to calm her down. Atia about to strike him, but he stops her and tells her she will not strike him. She does anyway and calls him a pervert. Octavia grabs the whip and says, "Be quiet!" Atia glares, "You wouldn't dare!" She drops it. Atia: "How could you do this to me? My own child!" Octavia calls her on killing Glabius, but Atia continues to deny it--quite convincingly! Atia accuses Servilia of being the liar.
-Pullo drunk. Calls his slave loudly in the middle of the night. Tells her to sit and drink w/ him. Tells her about his mother, who was a slave. Doesn't know about his father. He's angry at his father and VOCAL about it. Other people tell him to be quiet, but he tells them to suck his cock. He tells the girl he wants her to be happy. Tells her to come closer and take off her dress. She does, but doesn't look too thrilled.
-Scene of statues being made. Some guy asks horse-guy why he's wearing a hat. Horse-guy says it's Yom Kippur. A bunch of Attia's men surround Servilia's litter, kill her men, pull her out, cut off her hair, and strip her. People yellling to help her, but no one does. She's praying. Horse-guy looks distraught at what he's done. They leave.

And it. Ends. There. AUUUGH!

As you can see from my reaction, I'm completely enraptured by this episode. The incest was gross, but the plot is captivating.

Something else I found really exciting (and completely unrelated) is that they've apparently discovered a poem by Charles Carroll of Carrollton (a signer of the Declaration of Independence) written in Latin. Sadly, there is no text there. I just find this makes my little geek heart swell, because it is a further display of the vital role of Classics in American history. Thanks to David Meadows for the link!