The Louisiana Classicist

October 1, 2017

“Complexity and Contradiction in Diocletian’s Palace” – a Lecture from LOYNO AIA (10/3/2017)

Filed under: announcement — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 8:23 am
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from the Loyola New Orleans AIA chapter“:

Complexity and Contradiction in Diocletian’s Palace

Date: Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Location: Whitney Bank Presentation Room, Thomas Hall

A Lecture by

Dr. Goran Nikšić

City of Split, Service for the Old City Core,

Obala kneza Branimira

The Charles Eliot Norton Memorial Lectureship of the AIA

free admission and free parking on campus (West Road Garage and the Horseshoe)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

The meaning of Diocletian’s Palace has been oversimplified in most of scientific research during the past two centuries. Although the original purpose of this building has recently been established as the imperial manufacture of textiles, the consequences of such new historical approach on the understanding of the architecture have not been contemplated. The well-known interpretation of the Palace as a classical monument is being substituted with an analysis based on Venturi’s terms, describing the complexity and contradiction of the building on both formal and functional levels. The general design is both schematic and intricate, utilitarian and symbolic. Architectural elements depart from their usual treatment – columns support themselves and are decorative rather than structural, spaces are at the same time open and enclosed. On the functional level there is a clash between the industrial and domestic use, between the profane and sacred, proletarian and imperial. However, these contradictions and ambiguities were not intentional; they are a result of the pragmatic procedure of the architect obliged to solve the seemingly incompatible requirements by the emperor. Following many centuries of constant change and adaptation to the demands of a living city, today the Palace is faced with a challenge of being reduced to a mere tourist attraction. Understanding of the real meaning of the place as a complex, ambiguous and contradictory building could help rectify such a one-dimensional view.


“History of Jews in Split” – a Lecture at LOYNO (10/2/2017)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 8:17 am
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from the AIA website:

History of Jews in Split

Sponsored by New Orleans Society and the Department of Classical Studies

AIA Society: New Orleans
Monday, October 2, 2017 – 8:00pm

Whitney Bank Presentation Room, Thomas Hall, Loyola University
6363 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

A Lecture by

Dr. Ana Lebl

Split, Croatia

Monday, October 2, 2017

Whitney Bank Presentation Room

Thomas Hall, Loyola University

free admission and free parking on campus (West Road Garage and the Horseshoe)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

Archaeological and historic sources provide evidence for the strong Jewish presence on the Eastern Adriatic coast since the antiquity. Jews had an important role in trade and other economic activities, particularly in Salona, the capital city of the Roman province of Dalmatia and the most important harbor and market place in that part of the Empire. Based on historical and archaeological research, we have recently proved the presence of a substantial Jewish community within Diocletian’s Palace in Split, situated only a few miles from Salona. Although the Jewish community of Split never surpassed 300 people, it has a rich history and has been very important for the economic and cultural life of the city. In the 16th century, when Sephardic Jews from the Ottoman Empire and from Venice settled in Split, a new synagogue was established in the northwest part of Diocletian’s Palace, in the midst of the Jewish quarter, which was later called the ghetto. In the second half of the sixteenth century Daniel Rodrigez, a Spanish Jew from Venice enlarged the port of Split and founded what became the largest lazaretto in the Mediterranean. He also established the Jewish cemetery on the Marjan hill overlooking the city. The eighteenth century saw the arrival of the Ashkenazi Jews, and modern developments they brought to the city. In the nineteenth century cement industry, a distillery, a book shop, a print house, and a bank were all introduced by several prominent Jewish families. Half of the community perished in the Holocaust, and during the recent war in Bosnia, Jewish refugees from Sarajevo found safe heaven in Split. Today a tiny, but vibrant community of around 100 members plans to open a Jewish museum and thus become more attractive, boost local Jewish identity, enhance the quality of the community life and make it sustainable.

October 27, 2013

ancient Greek music – with sound

Filed under: just for fun,link,Uncategorized — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 7:28 am
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  • A reconstruction by Dr. David Creese is available on BBC’s website, along with a nice article about Greek music and how we know what we know about it.
  • Archaeology Magazine provided a longer sample of Dr. Creese’s work at Soundcloud:
  • Stefan Hagel has recreated several fragments using computer-generated sounds. Here is his version of the Seikilos song. Also of interest is his page on Homeric Singing.
  • The German group Melpomen works with a musical archaeologist to create music on period instruments.
  • William Johnson at the University of Cincinnati has images of some of the fragments showing musical notation that has made these acoustic reconstructions possible. Unfortunately, his website, ca. 2010, uses a quicktime plugin for sounds, which most modern browsers avoid.

And a few more versions of Seikilos just to show the variety of interpretations…

March 21, 2013

Major to Speak at LAS Meeting

Filed under: announcement,meetings — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 4:02 pm
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Tragic Comic Masks

Tragic Comic Masks @ Hadrian’s Villa (mosaic)

Friend and member of LCA, Dr. Wilfred Major will be presenting some recent research to the Louisiana Archaeological Society on Wednesday 27 March. Here is the announcement:

The next meeting of the Baton Rouge chapter of the Louisiana Archaeological Society will be Wednesday March 27th @ 7:00 pm at the Bluebonnet Branch of the EBR Public Library. The speaker this month is Dr. Wilfred E. Major. The title of his presentation will be “Watching Masks at an Arena: New Discoveries in Ancient Greek Theater”

Abstract: Just in the last decade, research has made radical new discoveries about the way ancient Greek plays were performed. We now know that the very shape and configuration of the first Greek theater, the Theater of Dionysus at Athens, was different from the standard “Classical” Greek theater. Now scholars and performers are experimenting with this new space and using newly reconstructed masks. It all adds up to a revolutionary, very exciting spectacle for Classical Greek tragedy and comedy.

Bio: Wilfred E. Major is an Assistant Professor of Classics at LSU. He has published on the pedagogy of ancient Greek and on ancient Greek comedy. His forthcoming book studies the formal rhetoric and politics in the performance of Greek comedy in the fifth century B.C.

Light refreshments will be served. See you at the meeting!

January 12, 2013

Archaeology Magazine links (January 2013)

Filed under: link — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 8:33 am

for those of you who do not subscribe to Archaeology Magazine already, and who did not attend this year’s joint meeting of the AIA/APA, here are some links of interest to lovers of the ancient world


June 21, 2011

a new theory of Cleopatra’s burial site

Filed under: just for fun,link — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 12:20 pm
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National Geographic Magazine has a feature article in the July 2011 issue entitled “The Search for Cleopatra.” The investigation, specifically for her tomb, is hindered by “Earthquakes, tidal waves, rising seas, subsiding ground, civil conflicts, and the unsentimental recycling of building stones,” not to mention the fact that most of the ancient city of Alexandria is now under 20 feet of sea water.

Follow the link above to see how the the hunt moves away from the city center, but (spoiler alert) is ultimately still a story without an ending.

January 5, 2011

Newsweek Pompeii and Gulliver’s Latin

Filed under: just for fun,link — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 5:02 pm
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I opened my Newsweek this week and was surprised and dismayed to find an article on the destruction of Pompeii that is happening today! Apparently the site has been neglected for some time, and many fear that the buildings will not survive much longer. Book your tours now!

Also in the popular media this week: some Latin on banners in Gulliver’s Travels. According to Amy on the LatinTeach listserv:
The Good Guys’ motto is Condo Et Assero
The Bad Guys’ motto is Rapio Et Abfugio (sic)

November 11, 2010

multi-tool from the III Century AD

Filed under: just for fun — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 9:57 pm
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A Roman Swiss Army Knife

“eating implement, folding, with three-pronged fork, spatula, pick, spike and knife.” In the collections of the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge.

Too impressive not to share!

October 8, 2010

AIA New Orleans lectures 2010-11

Filed under: meetings — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 8:46 am
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A good variety of lectures on tap for this academic year (I do wish I had found these links in time for the opening lecture of the season):

2 November 2010 – “The Petrified City: Reading the Marble Plan of Rome” by Prof. Susann S. Lusnia

21 February 2011 – “Pausanius’ Visit to Corinth: Coins and Architecture” by Prof. Michel Amandry

12 April 2011 – “Dragons of the North: The World of Viking Longships” by Prof. John Hale

All lectures take place at 8pm on the campus of Loyola University, in Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall, 3rd floor.

August 25, 2010

two links for 25 Aug

Filed under: just for fun,link — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 8:41 am
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To those of you in school, welcome back!  For everyone, here are a few links that may inspire discussion as the fall semester gets going.

Ultraviolet light reveals how ancient Greek statues really looked – via io9
We’ve seen articles like this before, but it is always fun to look at the images.

London’s Telegraph has an article about the discovery of a palace on Ithaka.

And finally, let us not allow Tuesday’s anniversary to go unremarked: in 79AD, Mt. Vesuvius erupted, killing — among many others — Uncle Pliny

As always, if there is any news of interest to Louisiana Classicists, please send it to Blog Administrator Ann Ostrom (aostrom+LCA AT gmail DOT com).

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