It’s been another one of those crazy weeks – so if you’ve contacted me and I haven’t replied yet, I do apologise! I’ve been looking back over the long period of lockdown, and have come to the conclusion that I haven’t yet managed to have a single day, or even an evening, off yet. This has now become my highest goal in life. If I can manage to get through the huge (virtual) stack of assignments on my desk right now, I plan to take an entire day off. And on that day I will eat chocolate, watch frivolous TV and possibly even have a nap.
However, that day has not yet come. So, while I work, I’ve been finding things to amuse myself.
Let me introduce you (if you’ve somehow managed to miss it by doing things that are actually useful) to the Great Discovery of the Week, aka the Penguin Classics Cover Generator – simple but oh so addictive. Yes, now we can generate our own unlikely, ridiculous and downright impossible pseudo-Penguin book covers. Here are a couple of my own efforts:
…and some from Edinburgh University on Facebook…
The internet is truly a dangerous place, full of distractions for the unwary classicist.
This week (as you’ll know if you follow this website) I’ve been continuing with my Comfort Classics interviews – because honestly, they’re just so much fun to do! I got the chance to interview a couple of people whom I’ve met on Zoom but not in person: Armand D’Angour, who provided his own translation of a great poem, and Simon Pulleyn, whose appreciation of the Eclogues made me want to go back and reread, for the first time in a VERY long time, the non-Aeneid bits of Virgil! I heard from Valeria, one of my brilliant students, about her love of the Terme Boxer; and from one of my great MA group, Tom, about Epicurus and Ovid.
Do get in touch if you’d like to join in too!
I also got to interview the fabulously talented (he’s my brother-in-law, so I have to say nice things about him!) Professor Mirko Canevaro about comedy. Mirko tends to study the serious Greek stuff that I don’t really understand, so that was a nice change!
Comfort Classics has been attracting some attention of late. I will apparently be ‘featured’ in an OU newsletter next week; and there’s talk of recording a video too. So much potential for things to go horribly wrong there…! I’ll keep you updated on all the fun.
This week I was also officially announced as winner of the OU’s Recognition of Excellence in Teaching Award, in the ‘Excellence in promoting student engagement’ category, based mainly on the work I’ve done on this website over the last couple of years. No fancy award ceremony this year, sadly (shame – I had an outfit)! But there is a prize, which I might be able to use to develop the website a bit more… and there’ll be a video, which I sincerely hope that nobody ever sees!
Thanks, all of you, for making this website such a friendly and supportive corner of the internet! I don’t always get to reply to the comments in a timely fashion, but I do read them all – and I’m grateful for all your emails. And to the many new followers and readers who have drifted in this direction over recent weeks, a very warm welcome! At some point I’ll give you a proper tour of the website; but I need to tidy up first…!
This week from around the Classics Interweb
Boris and Persephone – Indy 100
Aerial surveys from home – The Guardian
Museum of the Bible scandal – The Atlantic
Review of ‘Antigone Rising’ – The Guardian
Live screening of Pompeii exhibition – The Evening Standard
Comment and opinion
Astronomical discoveries from ancient Greece – Live Science
Plato’s neighbours – Roman Times
LJ Trafford on ancient help with lockdown – The History Girls
Amphitheatres and Vespasian – Ancient Origins
Rome and the Danube – National Geographic
Classics in Hong Kong –KCL News
Mosaics in Britain – History Extra
The Fragility of Democracy – Classical Wisdom
Rome in the 1st century – British Museum Blog
Podcasts, video and other media
Stoicism and its hype – Classical Wisdom Speaks
Interview with Jody Cundy – Classics Confidential Shorts
Frame drum – Object Narrative – Open Material Religion
Herodotus’ Croesus – Herodotus Helpline
Roman Mysteries on Amazon Prime – Amazon
New Ovid movie – Ovid and the Art of Love
Rome museums: a virtual tour – Joy of Museums
Statue of Aphrodite – Exhibits in Minutes
Aventine, Aventine – The Partial Historians
Post-Podius – I, Podius
Make your own archaeological poo – Arbeia [welcome to my town, everybody!]