Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More ancient beer! And other stuff . . .

The problem with HBO's Rome, for me, is that it almost ruins Cicero for me. Don't get me wrong--David Bamber is a wonderful actor. However, his Mr. Collins made such a great impression upon me that whenever I see him as Cicero, I think of Mr. Collins in Pride & Prejudice. This is wrong--and, frankly, a bit horrific.

But he has done some wonderful work as Cicero also, to the point that he's made quite an impression on me as Cicero also. So whenever I think about Cicero, I think about David Bamber as Cicero. Then I think about Mr. Collins. It hurts. Poor Cicero!

Anyway, the Classics-L list provided some great links today. There's a nice article on ancient beer and the history of beer. I still think wine is better, but I'd be interested in trying this ancient brew.

There's also a nice link on stolen gladiator reliefs being found. It has a great picture too!


Anonymous Corax270 said...

Except they made Cato much older than Cicero! And methinks Cicero is a wee bit thin.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Indeed! But David Bamber is still a good actor and pulls off his scenes remarkably well.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Choppa said...

Cicero and Mr Collins - great combo! Mr Collins would have done very well in Rome ;-) I find Cicero soooo off-putting that I have to try REALLY hard to dig into him. Compared to Demosthenes the man is squish. Now Virgil I can take, even though he's Roman Respectability personified, too, but give me Tacitus for prose and Lucretius for poetry any day. (And if it's "golden" prose I need, I prefer Caesar, come to that, cos the man had a much clearer view of the realities of power and public life in Rome.)

6:44 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

LOL! There is a certain amount of truth in that. Although, the little bit of Cicero I've had, I sort of appreciated the amount of thought that went into the sentences such as he wrote.

I do, however, find such style much more off-putting in English. Strange that I appreciate it more in foreign language!

Now Vergil, much as he vexes me, I just have to love for the way he manages to just make everything work in odd but brilliant ways. Just about everything he writes was well thought-out and precise.

3:59 PM  
Blogger gyom said...

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one bothered by the Collins/Cicero link.

The characters as they are portrayed have more in common than simply their actor. Had David Bamber wanted, he could have made Cicero more imposing, with more presence and authority, but he didn't.

I wonder whose decision that was, because I imagined the real Cicero as someone not to be bullied around like that. Had he a reputation for being so hesitant and weak ?

1:12 AM  
Blogger Choppa said...

The big difference between Mr C and Senator C was Cicero's huge talent. He was like a rap superstar - quick-witted, sharp-tongued and in love with bling (real estate in his case). His problem was his lack of heavy traditional Roman clout. No one could spin a period and kettle-drum its ending the way he could. No one could appeal to the common values, the official verities, the way he could. Or flay, joint and dissect the body of an opponent's argument like him. Or choose the right cases to hit the headlines...

The most characteristic episode I can think of off-hand is when Caesar visited him skulking in the country - and had a company of legionnaires with him. Tableau. Discussing literature and high counsel, possibly in Greek. Cicero had his villa and his words. Practically naked. Caesar had his words plus a nation, a loyal army, loyal thugs, and a bottomless line of credit. Heavy Roman clout.

And a dry sense of humour. I think he enjoyed watching Cicero squirm.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Choppa--better than I could have put it.

And watching Cicero squirm is pretty damn funny. :-D

7:45 AM  

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