What caught my eye this week
Like everybody else in the UK over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the weather. It’s hot. You might not think that there’s much to say about high temperatures in the summer; but every news outlet in the country is churning out stories, charts and dire predictions.
Since I do like a bandwagon, here’s my contribution. Take a look at the Wikipedia page on ‘Dog days’ or dies caniculares, the hottest part of summer which ancient writers blamed on the dog star, Sirius (interestingly, the rise of Sirius was dated at around the 19th of July, which fits our own current heatwave quite nicely!). This takes you on a whistle-stop tour through Homer, Hesiod, Alcaeus, Aratus, Aristotle, Virgil, Seneca and Pliny. The Wikipedia verdict is that there’s no scientific evidence that Sirius brings fever, mad dogs and bad luck as well as heat, drought and sudden thunderstorms; but if you’d prefer to follow Pliny, I suggest carrying some chicken manure in your pocket to deal with any mad dogs that cross your path.
Of course, the hot weather has brought some unexpected benefits to archaeologists, in its effect on the British landscape:
- Map of historical sites in Wales – Wales Online
- Sites in Scotland – Scotsman
- Iron Age and Roman settlements revealed in Yorkshire – BBC
- Even reported in America – New York Post
From Classical Studies Support
No new material this week!
From the archives: Being an adaptable student – Classical Studies Support
New discoveries at a Roman vineyard – Archaeology News Network
A Hellenistic temple found in Turkey – Archaeology News Network
… and more on Turkey – A Don’s Life
Ancient stuff in Rome’s subway – National Public Radio
Comment and opinion
Guilt, race and heritage in Classics – Eidolon
The wanderings of Aristotle – Classical Wisdom Weekly
Plastic gloves and sentimentality – A Don’s Life
Ferris Beuller and Euripides’ Bacchae – Society for Classical Studies
Mount Hymettus and Plato’s Cave – Res Gerendae
An American review of Civilizations – Hyperallergic
Everybody loves a Greek mashup – Mountain View Voice
Constantine and Christianity – Classical Wisdom Weekly
On Romans, Greeks and hysteria in the news…
Podcasts and videos
‘Ask a classicist’ – That’s Ancient History
Baths in Pompeii – When in Rome
Q and A IV – Emperors of Rome
On Lysistrata – Let’s Talk about Myths, Baby!
Readings of Homer – Greek and Roman Verse
Roman cooking, with dramatic soundtrack – Classics 3000
What do ancient Greek and Chinese poetry have in common? – Institute for the Study of Western Civilization
For all those who love a Greek rap – DJ Jazzy J
And once when he passed a puppy which was being whipped they say he took pity on it and made this remark: ‘Stop, do not beat it; for it is the soul of a dear friend – I recognised it when I heard its voice’.
Diogenes Laertius on Pythagoras (Lives of the Philosophers)