Last week a group of intrepid graduate students gathered their courage and dared to step outside the Cambridge Bubble. Our mission: to attend the Classical Association conference, hosted this year by the University of Reading, and involving around 400 Classics students, lecturers, and teachers from all over the UK and abroad.
A reminder that the British Museum’s Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition, which I’m pretty sure all of us are going to want to go see, just opened today:
As the self-appointed ResGerendae museum reviewer, I will certainly be visiting in the near future and sharing my thoughts, so watch this space!
To celebrate this glorious/inauspicious day (depending on your Roman political stance), some wonderful Victorian and early-20th-century advertisments for how to avoid ending up like Julius Caesar from the British Newspaper Archive:
If only Caesar had had some Scotch whisky with him, history would have been very different.
“Hobbits and archaeologists basically have the same meals…They’re equally hairy, too.”
(Before anyone starts accusing me of anti-archaeologist prejudice, it was an archaeologist who said this…)
I’ve been meaning to write a review of this book for ages, since it’s not only one of my favourite Classics-based books, but also definitely has a place in my (long) list of favourite books ever – as the many of you to whom I’ve recommended it already know!
‘The Lost Books of the Odyssey’ is the literary debut of Zachary Mason, a computer scientist from California who wrote it in his spare time after work (don’t you just hate some people?). It’s a collection of forty-four stories, most of which are loosely constructed around episodes, characters and themes from the Odyssey (there are also a few based on the Iliad, and on other Greek myths) – the premise being that these are remnants of the epic tradition as it was before the canonisation of the Homeric versions of these stories. (The preface claims it to be a translation of a papyrus found at Oxyrhynchus, which ties in quite nicely with all our discussions last term about creating authority through ‘translation’.)
Following on from my Linear B tablet cake, the mission to raise the profile of obscure Bronze Age scripts through the medium of baked goods continues — this time with Cypro-Minoan, which was used on Cyprus from the 16th century B.C.E. until at least the 11th century. It has also been found at Ras Shamra, Syria (ancient Ugarit), from where this tablet comes: