Jean Alvares | 13 Feb 16:38 2016

Myth and the Movies Classes

I and my colleague Patricia Salzman have been working on Classical Myth and contemporary movies. Just out
of curiosity, how many of you out there teach such courses, either yourselves or in your departments?
While some may doubt the scholarly value of such courses, it seems a good enrollment enhancer.

Steven Willett | 13 Feb 10:43 2016

Correction plus Humanities Institute citation

Got a bit tied up in my syntax. The opening sentence should read: "Kevin Drum’s numbers, as listed by Dan,
do not paint an accurate picture of the reasons young people really do have to be unhappy.”

While I’m at it, let me cite a collection of links from OhioSU’s Humanities Institute on articles about
the present and future condition of the humanities, which cover a wide spectrum of views:

James H. Dee | 13 Feb 09:56 2016

More items posted

To all:

Over the last few days I've posted some rather heterogeneous items at
'academia' (this time, I hope, without trouble): a *Catalogus Scriptorum*
listing the major texts in Gk. (with, unlike the *TLG Canon*, Gk. titles) &
Lat. to ca. 200 CE; a conspectus of the non-capitalized lemmata in the *OCD*,
incorporating the changes in ed. 4; a triple-column list of the Gk. & Lat.
"synonyms" in Buck's massive dictionary of Indo-European languages; a
summary of the titles, editors, and page numbers for the great Dutch ed. of
Erasmus; a short list of the items in Ernout-Meillet labelled *non roman*;
a list of the Latin-based Romanian vocabulary as presented in Meyer-Lübke's
*REW* (where Romanian invariably takes precedence over Italian
derivatives); a gathering of the "expressive" marks in Beethoven's major
works from Op. 47 to Op. 135; and a page of Notes offering a bit more
explanation for most of the foregoing.

I'm grateful for Ralph's offer to help bring the Romanian material into a
21st-Century digital form, but I think he'll agree it's too slight a
collection to deserve further effort on anyone's part.  Comments (and
corrections) will be welcome -- I hope at least a few folks on the list
will find something worthwhile.

JDee, Austin

Steven Willett | 13 Feb 09:09 2016

Young people have a reason to be unhappy

Kevin Drum’s numbers, as listed by Dan, do not paint an accurate picture of the reasons young people
really do have a reason to be unhappy.

1. The 2015 graduating class has an average debt load of $35,051 according to Edvisors. It takes a very high
salary to liquidate that debt before the student reaches middle age or even the 50s and 60s. We now have an
increasing number of individuals who are still playing for student debt on the edge of starting Social Security.

2. There are some good jobs with high starting and mid-career salaries for graduates, but they are nearly
all in STEM with only a few exceptions. STEM is not where the majority of American students want to major.
One cause is mathematics. The US has the lowest scores in numeracy skill of all OECD countries based on a
2015 OECD report. The top two are Japan and South Korea.

See the following links for starting and mid-career pay scales:

3. There is very little future in the humanities and even less for those who want to teach at the
undergraduate or graduate level after gaining a PhD with a price tag that can easily run to $150,000+ in
debt. According to the AAUP adjuncts now constitute 76.4 percent of U.S. faculty across all
institutional types. The current financial drought from state and federal sources will continue into
the indefinite future as the country wastes its money on idiotic, unwinnable wars and the parasitic
growth of the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Surveillance State Complex. I would as a
consequence expect the percentage of adjuncts to increase not fall in coming years. Unionization
won’t help without a dramatic increase in state and federal financial support, and that’s not
coming, though an aggressive union might improve teaching conditions. Here is the AAUP report on the
adjunct crisis:
(Continue reading)

Lorenzo Smerillo | 13 Feb 09:09 2016

Mithras Cult

A useful and valuable resource for those interested in the tendrils of
religions in Rome.

Lorenzo Smerillo

DANIEL P. Tompkins | 11 Feb 19:09 2016

Dyson on native revolts

Writing this morning I mentioned the S. Dyson essay on native revolts, but
mis-remembered it.  I'd thought it had emphasized that revolts took place
not at the moments of most severe imperial oppression but when natives had
experienced some economic improvement and greater liberty.  That may be
implicit in some of the accounts provided, but Dyson's emphasis, I think,
 is on the chronological delay between imperial incursion and the revolt
itself, and on the motivation for the uprisings.  This is important enough
to merit a summary of one crucial section of the paper, which I attach for
individuals addressed BCC who receive attachments.  I've provided some
emphasis.  NB this is an imprecise  *précis, *without the required signs of
ellipsis or quotation marks: but it conveys the essay's main points.

One very impressive element of this paper is the skillful use of modern
anthropological material.  I have glanced over some more recent discussions
and have found no substantial criticism, though I may have missed it.  Busy



Native Revolts in the Roman Empire

Stephen L. Dyson

Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte,  20 (1971) pp. 239-274

First of all, the uprising takes place after initial pacification (or *what
appeared to the Romans as initial pacification*), but before the native
social structure had been changed or disrupted completely, when the Romans
(Continue reading)

DANIEL P. Tompkins | 11 Feb 16:14 2016

Kevin Drum asks, why are young people / "millennials" particularly unhappy?

BCC I'm sending this to some additional friends who like data, as well as
former colleagues who must wrestle with the problems of students today.

Drum does several good things in today's column
One is that he concludes with a quote from Isaac Newton: *hypotheses non
fingo*, "I don't make up theories!"  That alone is worth the price of
admission.  Another is this chart from the census
<>, which
confirms that people my age really are way out of touch with the real world:
[image: Inline image 1]

Third, he works through a pile of data that purport to explain millennials'
presidential preferences.  See his column for the charts.  I'm *not*
entering into the Hillary - Bernie evaluation contest here, but the
data-sorting merits circulation:

   1. Median income -- see the chart above -- for millennials is no
   drearier than for most others.
   2. Student debt on average is up: but is it up enough to cause mass
   discontent? (The answer may be yes: there's always a tipping point.)
   3. The Bernie - Hillary gap is not 85-15 as reported; 60-40 seems closer
   and Hillary has for some reason (remember, *non fingo...*) surged in the
   past month, according to a Reuters poll of millennials.
   4. Unemployment rate for millennials *is *worse than the overall
   civilian rate, but it has been for decades; and it has declined from 17% in
   2010 to about 9% today: we're back to pre-recession levels.
   5. It *is *true that employer health care coverage has declined and
   employees' share of that has risen (while employers' share has leveled off).
   6. College-educated millennials are suffering *less *income loss than
(Continue reading)

Eric Hutchinson | 11 Feb 14:50 2016

CFP: Autobiography in Late Antiquity (SCS 2017)

CFP: Narrating the Self: Autobiography in Late Antiquity

Sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity

Organizer: E.J. Hutchinson, Hillsdale College

In relation to late antiquity--and, indeed, in relation to antiquity in general--the term
"autobiography" is generically fluid: there was no genre devoted exclusively to ????????, just as there
was no genre devoted exclusively to ???? considered more broadly. And yet people still wrote about
themselves, they just did so in a variety of modes and genres. The pace of the production of reflexive works
of self-narration (or works that included such reflexivity) not only did not slow in late antiquity, it
quickened, and from this corpus emerged works that plumbed the depths of interiority (but for public
consumption) in ways that had not been seen previously. Augustine and Boethius are the most famous
examples of interior self-description that is simultaneously externalized, mannered, and offered for
public review (cf. recently, S. Squires, "Contra Academicos as Autobiography" [Scottish Journal of
Theology 64 (2011): 251-64] and P. Turner, Truthfulness, Realism, Historicity [Ashgate, 2012]). In
addition, one might consider poets such as Gregory of Nazianzus, Paulinus of Pella, Rutilius
Namatianus, Paulinus of Nola, or Ausonius; grave inscriptions; itineraria, in so far as they are
metaphorical for or serve the purposes of a description of self-transformation; the differences and
tensions between the self-display of an individual's various personae, for example in literary
prefaces, public offices, and private correspondence.

The Society for Late Antiquity invites abstracts (ca. 500 words) exploring any aspect of self-narration
in late antiquity for its panel at the 2017 SCS annual meeting in Toronto. Abstracts for papers requiring a
maximum of twenty minutes to deliver should be sent no later than February 15, 2016 by email attachment as
.doc or .rtf files to Eric Hutchinson
atehutchinson <at><mailto:ehutchinson <at>>. Please follow the SCS's
instructions for the format of individual abstracts: All submissions
will be judged anonymously by two referees. Prospective panelists must be members in good standing of the
(Continue reading)

HALİL İBRAHİM TURGUT | 11 Feb 14:45 2016

book referances for undergraduate

Dear Members,

This semester i will have these courses below. I wish  you can recommend me
some ebooks in English for learning. Also i want to read in English
Aristole's Poetics, which translation i should have, if you can suggest an
ebook. (preferably free ebooks)

-history of roman empire (only empire period)
-history of latin literature
-archaic greek poetry

Best Wishes

Undergraduate, Istanbul University

Steven Willett | 11 Feb 12:45 2016

Death by hemlock

In Aristophanes’ Frogs, Dionysus asks Heracles about the routes to Hades. Heracles mentions the bench
and rope first, but that’s rejected as too suffocating. The next shortcut is by pestle and mortar, and
Dionysus asks, “Do you mean hemlock?” Heracles answers “Exactly.” That too is rejected because
it freezes the shins. Now we all remember Socrates’ death in the Phaedo, which seems so easy as the
hemlock works its chilling way up the legs. In his commentary on the comedy, Sommerstein (p.167n126)
cites Nicander (Alex. 186-194), who “describes many other symptoms which would be extremely
agonizing to victim and onlookers alike, and modern toxicologists broadly agree withy him… .” As
Sommerststein notes, it’s easy to understand Plato’s motive for obscuring the drug’s true
effects, but “it is less easy to understand how a drug with such effects could have become and remained
the suicide’s poison par excellence … or how it could have come to be popularly believed … that the
most salient effect of hemlock was precisely that which Plato describes.”

Here are the medical effects of hemlock poisoning as commonly listed in the medical literature:

In cases of plant toxicity, history may be obscure and ingested plants may not be available for

History for poison hemlock may include the following:

Nausea and vomiting
Abdominal pain
Seizures (much more common with water hemlock)
Bradycardia (late)
Ascending paralysis (late)
Respiratory failure
History for water hemlock may include the following:

(Continue reading)

Lorenzo Smerillo | 11 Feb 08:49 2016

Roman burials and alien demographics

All Roads Lead to Rome: Exploring Human Migration to the Eternal City
through Biochemistry of Skeletons from Two Imperial-Era Cemeteries (1st-3rd
c AD)
Kristina Killgrove , Janet Montgomery

Killgrove K, Montgomery J (2016) All Roads Lead to Rome: Exploring Human
Migration to the Eternal City through Biochemistry of Skeletons from Two
Imperial-Era Cemeteries (1st-3rd c AD).
PLoS ONE 11(2): e0147585. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0147585


'Migration within the Roman Empire occurred at multiple scales and was
engaged in both voluntarily and involuntarily. Because of the lengthy
tradition of classical studies, bioarchaeological analyses must be fully
contextualized within the bounds of history, material culture, and
epigraphy. In order to assess migration to Rome within an updated
contextual framework, strontium isotope analysis was performed on 105
individuals from two cemeteries associated with Imperial Rome—Casal Bertone
and Castellaccio Europarco—and oxygen and carbon isotope analyses were
performed on a subset of 55 individuals. Statistical analysis and
comparisons with expected local ranges found several outliers who likely
immigrated to Rome from elsewhere. Demographics of the immigrants show men
and children migrated, and a comparison of carbon isotopes from teeth and
bone samples suggests the immigrants may have significantly changed their
diet. These data represent the first physical evidence of individual
migrants to Imperial Rome. This case study demonstrates the importance of
employing bioarchaeology to generate a deeper understanding of a complex
ancient urban center'.
(Continue reading)