If you think Latin died 2000 years ago, get ready to learn. Neo-Latin, the form of latin between Medieval and Contemporary, was used up to the early 1700’s conversationally and in written works. One common use was in international treaties because, like English today, it was the only internationally learned language in Europe. It was quite a bit different from the classical Latin that we learn here at Willamette but if you were there you would still be able to understand, basically, what was going on, at least in writing. Some of the great Enlightenment and Renaissance intellectuals even wrote works in Latin so that they could reach a wider audience. For example Newton and Galileo each wrote books in Latin as well as their native languages. While Neo-Latin may have died out because of the French influence, Contemporary Latin, or Living-Latin, is still alive today. So if anyone tells you that Latin died out with the Romans, you can tell them otherwise!
Dickinson College has just launched a very helpful new resource for intermediate Latin students.
The Dickinson College Commentaries, a new series edited by Christopher Francese (Dickinson College) and available for free online, aims to make ancient Greek and Latin texts accessible to a wider audience. Each commentary is prepared by a scholarly expert and offers not just the usual notes on grammar and material culture, but also illustrations, animated maps, videos, and even audio clips that allow you not only to read, but to hear the Latin text. In addition, the site offers vocabulary lists of the most common Greek and Latin words, arranged alphabetically, by parts of speech, by frequency, and by semantic groups (http://dcc.dickinson.edu/resources).
Three commentaries have appeared so far: Selections from Caesar’s De bello Gallico, Ovid’s Amores I, and a late antique text, the Life of Saint Martin of Tours by Sulpicius Severus (ca. 363 – ca. 400 CE). More texts, including Greek texts, will hopefully follow soon.
Archaeologists from the University of Mainz have discovered the first Roman military camp from the time of Julius Caesar on German soil.
Situated in a corn field 30 km (20 miles) southeast of Trier, near the small town of Hermeskeil, this camp had a size of 26 hectares, enough to shelter 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers. Built in trapezoid form, it enclosed its own spring to provide the Romans with a secure source of water. No more than 5 km (3 miles) from the camp, there are remains of a settlement of the Celtic Treveri, which was protected by a Celtic fort, the so-called Hunnenring (Huns’ Ring) near Otzenhausen. This fortification, as has long been known, was abandoned in the first century BCE.
Part of the original Roman camp wall is still preserved in a piece of forest bordering the corn field. The rest has been plowed over so many times that it could not be discerned by untrained eyes. Inside the camp, excavators discovered pot sherds, late-republican coins, and a hand mill, which legionaries used to grind their daily ration of grain in order to prepare the staple of Roman diet, a kind of gruel named puls. The most important discovery, however, are 70 rusty, 1-inch long, umbrella-shaped hobnails from the Roman legionaries’ boots. As one of the excavators, Dr. Sabine Hornung from the University of Mainz, explains, the length and shape of these hobnails, which prevented the Romans from slipping on the muddy ground, allow experts to date them to the Caesarian period.
Below is a link to a brief video clip from Stern TV:
Oldest Roman camp in Germany
Archaeologist Michael Hoff (University of Nebraska), who gave a lecture at Willamette a few years ago, and his team have now uncovered about 50% of a gigantic Roman mosaic from the 4th century CE. The mosaic once formed a kind of stone carpet around a large, open-air pool in a Roman bath complex in Antiochia ad Cragum. Today a part of Turkey, this area on the margins of the Roman Empire, known as Rough Cilicia, has always been considered as only marginally Romanized. In fact, for centuries its rocky coast served as a perfect hideout for pirates. The discovery of this lavish mosaic may lead scholars to reconsider long-held ideas about the area’s remoteness and lack of civilization.
The Armenians of Istanbul: Church, Society, and Culture
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The 11th Century Decline of the Byzantine Empire Seen Through Contemporary Eyes
The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Greek and Roman Artworks Travel to Oregon!
Link to CASA events calendar
Welcome old and new! I hope that your summers were fantastic. This is the first blog post of the semester and it won’t be the last. Check us out for cool facts, conference info, and general interest in the study of Classics.
Check out the World Languages Studio in the new Learning Commons! The Language Learning Center has moved into it’s new studio on the first floor of Ford along with other parts of the Learning Commons such as the Writing Center and the Learning Center. The Great Hearth is a great place to study classical languages as well as meet tutors and get help with your essays. We also have a ton of great software and online resources on our website and in our computer lab that is available for you all.
Finally, the Classics Club has fallen into disrepair which is a truly sad event. There are a great many things that could be facilitated through the Club and we are looking for people to take up the Leadership Opportunities that are available. Contact Soren at email@example.com if you are interested in the club or have some ideas as to what the club might do.
Have a wonderful day!
“When in Rome……” Find out how the Romans did! Come to this FREE lecture by a renowned food historian and learn about ancient etiquette!
SALEM, Ore. —As part of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest and in partnership with Willamette University’s Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology, British classicist and noted food historian Andrew Dalby will present “Dining with Augustus: The Roman Princeps as Host and Guest,” on March 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the College of Law’s Paulus Lecture Hall.
(Note: Dalby’s lecture is free and open to the public. No registration required.)
Dalby’s free talk will focus on the Roman arts of entertainment as practiced by Augustus – host, patron and consummate politician.
The Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest meets on campus March 9-10, bringing together scholars of classical languages and civilizations. Non-members may join CAPN and register by March 1 for the annual meeting, which features 28 presentations by participants from 20 universities and a tour of ancient art collections at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.
For membership, registration and a preliminary program, visit historyforkids.org/CAPN/2012/2012registration.htm.
Andrew Dalby earned his doctorate at Birkbeck College, London, and has written 18 books, including “Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece,” “Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World,” “Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices,” “Flavours of Byzantium,” “Food in the Ancient World from A to Z,” “Rediscovering Homer,” “Cheese: A Global History.” Books will be available for sale at the meeting.
About the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest
The Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest is one of the oldest academic organizations in the Pacific Northwest. It was founded on June 6, 1911, at a meeting at the Portland Academy in Portland, Ore. With members mainly from the United States and Canada, the association holds an annual two-day meeting and publishes a bulletin twice yearly. Ann M. Nicgorski, Willamette University Professor of Art History and Archaeology, is the association’s current president.
… Has contributed to the latest volume of Mochlos. This is Mochlos IIC: Period IV. The Mycenaean Settlement and Cemetery: The Human Remains and Other Finds. A brief description of the book and a list of the rest of it’s contributors can be found here.
« (…) we ask UNESCO to invite European Governments to engage in the protection of Latin and Greek languages, as the highest expression of the cultural substance of Europe and to declare them “intangible patrimony of humanity” (…) »
This is an appeal to UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to protect the Ancient Latin and Greek languages. This petition argues that the preservation of Ancient Greek and Latin is essential to higher education world wide, and I think this is a great organization to throw our weight behind as a community.
Click here to get to the petition. All it takes to sign is a name and email address.