The Louisiana Classicist

April 2, 2010

Lead coffin found in Gabii

Filed under: just for fun — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 9:32 am
Tags: ,

found via Henchman Publishing

An archaeological mystery in a half-ton lead coffin

“We’re very excited about this find,” Terrenato said. “Romans as a rule were not buried in coffins to begin with and when they did use coffins, they were mostly wooden. There are only a handful of other examples from Italy of lead coffins from this age—the second, third or fourth century A.D. We know of virtually no others in this region.”

This one is especially unusual because of its size.

“It’s a sheet of lead folded onto itself an inch thick,” he said. “A thousand pounds of metal is an enormous amount of wealth in this era. To waste so much of it in a burial is pretty unusual.”


March 31, 2010

Nero’s Golden Palace ceiling collapses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 8:53 am
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found via the Latinteach listserv

Nero’s Golden Palace ceiling collapses due to rain

A large section of the ceiling has collapsed at Roman Emperor Nero’s famous 2000-year-old Golden Palace due to heavy winter rain.

The top of the Domus, which overlooks the Forum to one side and the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum to another, is covered with parks, trees and roads whose weight and polluting effect are a constant threat.

March 29, 2010

Villa Vergiliana in jeopardy

Filed under: announcement — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 6:35 pm
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Forwarded by Emily Batinski (LSU)

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to ask all of you to send a letter to the Italian officials indicated below on behalf of the Villa Vergiliana, a place that is essential not only to the Vergilian Society but also to the Centro, as it is our base when we travel to the Bay of Naples twice a year on our field trips. All who have been there remember fondly the hospitality of Maria, Biagio, and Mina Sgariglia.

Letter templates are attached in both Italian and English. PLEASE ADJUST THEM AS NECESSARY. In the past, under similar circumstances, an outpouring of support from American scholars has been very successful. It’s time to take pen in hand again.

Thanks for your help at this busy time of year.



Michael Maas
Department of History, MS-42
Rice University, 6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
office phone: 713-348-2264; FAX: 713-348-5207


1) Ambassador Mr. Giulio Terzi
Embassy of Italy
3000 Whitehaven Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Fax: (202) 518-2151

2) Ambassador David Thorne
United States Embassy
Via Vittorio Veneto 119/A
00187 Rome ITALY
Fax: 011 39 06 4674 2244

3) Ministro dei Beni Culturali ed Ambientali
Sen. Sandro Bondi
Via del Collegio Romano 27
00186 Roma ITALY

4) Segretario Generale Arch. Roberto Cecchi
Ministero dei Beni Culturali ed Ambientali
Via del Collegio Romano 27
00186 Roma ITALY

5) Direttore Vincenzo Capobianco
Agenzia del Demanio – Direzione Area Operativa
Coordinamento Operation Beni Demaniali
Via Barberini, 38
00187 Roma ITALY

6) Direttore Generale per i Beni Architettonici, Storici, Artistici ed Etnoantropologici
Arch. Mario Lolli Ghetti
Via S. Michele, 22
00153 Roma Italy

PDF copy of the sample letters

March 11, 2010

Roman archaeology opportunity

Filed under: opportunities — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 10:51 am
Tags: ,

found via the Latinteach listserv

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to take part in an archaeological fieldschool focusing on the remains of a large, 2nd century CE, probably imperial Roman villa in Genzano di Roma, about 20 miles south of the center of Rome next to the ancient Via Appia, July 4-31. The 2010 season aims to explore the bath complex of this structure, which has been only briefly studied to date. No previous archaeological experience is required. Students will experience all aspects of archaeological fieldwork and will receive 6 semester hours of credit through the Department of Classics & General Humanities at Montclair State University. Cost is $3,000 plus airfare and tuition, which varies depending on in-state or out-of-state status.

People who are interested may contact the Project Director, Dr. Deborah Chatr Aryamontri,, or me,

Further information is available

December 23, 2009

2010 Educational Seminars: To Greece or Italy

Filed under: opportunities — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 9:12 am
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The 2010 Educational Seminars: To Greece or Italy


2010 Greece Classics Summer Seminar

Program Overview

The Greece Classics Summer Seminar or the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) Summer Sessions’ is a six-week intensive introduction to Greece from antiquity through the modern period. The program is open to U.S. high school or college teachers of Greek, Latin, Ancient Studies, or the Classics. The program emphasizes the topography and monuments of Greece in their historical context, the interpretation of literature and historical writings, and how ancient sources may be used to interpret archaeological discoveries.

2010 Italy Classics Summer Seminar

Program Overview

The Classical Summer School is designed to provide its participants with an understanding of the development of the ancient city of Rome and its immediate environs from the earliest settlements to the age of Constantine through a careful study of material remains and literary sources. The eight-week program is open to high school teachers of Latin, Greek or Classical Studies. The development of architecture, sculpture, painting, the ‘minor’ arts, and inscriptions of the republican and imperial city will be studied as they reflect the continuous expansion of Roman power and cultivation. Participants in the program will learn to read the material remains by becoming familiar with the techniques of interpreting ancient city planning, architecture, and the various forms of art. The second phase of the program is conducted by the Vergilian Society at Cumae and focuses on the social history of ancient Greeks, Romans, and others along the Bay of Naples.

All travel and program expenses are supported by U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Commissions in Athens and Rome and administered by American Councils for International Education, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the American Academy in Rome and the Vergilian Society at Cumae

For additional program information and an application for the 2010 Educational Seminars please visit: American Councils for International Education

posted to the latinteach listserv by Timothy Hair.

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