Archive for December, 2012

A Trip to the Art Museum

Several months ago I went to an art museum.  It was for a project – I had to write a lengthy art history essay on one of the pieces of art there.  I hated every excruciating second of that essay, too: I’m very sure that I never want to take another art history class again.

Anyway, I took lots of pictures.  And as usual, I am just posting this now.


So, I hope you all enjoy these fine works of art.  These are all Greek and Roman (and are my favorites from that particular exhibit), but I took a lot more: the Greek and Roman exhibit was the smallest in the museum.  Oy.  Maybe I’ll post some of those later, because those are cool, too.

Also, please excuse the horrible yellow color of the photos – the lighting in the museum sucked.


Doryphoros (Spear-Bearer) by Polykleitos, 120-50 BCE


Statue of an Old Woman, 60-70 AD, Roman


Syrian Mosaic, late 4th/mid 5th century AD




Ptolemaic Ruler in the Guise of Heracles, Graeco-Egyptian, 2nd century BC


Lar Familiaris, from Pompeii, 1st century


Dionysos on a Donkey, Roman, 2nd century AD


Caduceus, Roman, 2nd century
(with myself in the reflection lol)


Corinthian Helmet, 540 BC


Athenian Grave Stele of Philomelos and Plathane, 5th century BC


Funerary Mask of a Young Woman, Egyptian, Roman Period


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Alright, so.  I’ve kind of given up on the Pagan Blog Project for the rest of the year.  It’s nearing the end of the alphabet (today’s was a Y post), and I can not think of anything to write for the final few.  I’m also so far behind (I’ve still got tons of letters to write) that I think it’s best to stop for now.



The PBP is scheduled to start again, for a second time, in January.  And with it, I’ll restart the PBP for this blog.  I’ll finally have the chance to start at the beginning as the project itself is beginning, and HOPEFULLY go all the way through.

There won’t be any repeat posts, either – everything will be on a different topic than this year’s PBP.  And I’ll probably end up writing some posts ahead of time, so I’ve got them on hand for each Friday.

In the meantime, the previous posts will still be up here for your enjoyment, and I’ll be posting non-PBP stuff as well.

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Virtus Wednesdays: Auctoritas


Two posts in one day?!  I AM ON A ROLL.

Whoa. And I’m actually getting started on the Roman Virtues thing that I promised. Almost two months ago. Yeah.

So, first thing’s first.  This short post is dealing with a little thing called auctoritas.

I’m sure you can think of an English cognate.  Strain your brain for a second, and you’ll come up with one: authority.  The English authority takes its meaning from the Latin auctoritas.

Oxford Dictionaries Online gives these definitions for authority:

The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience,” or, “the power to influence others, especially because of one’s commanding manner or one’s recognized knowledge about something“.

The Latin auctoritas is related to the office of the auctor, a political position in which some high-ranking official would recommend a legislative measure to be taken.  If this measure was approved by the Senate before being voted on by the people, then it became known as a senatus auctoritas.

Cicero, the great orator and statesman, gave this helpful phrase: “Cum potestas in populo auctoritas in senatu sit.”  Which basically means “While power resides in the people, authority rests in the senate.”

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a political thing, either, though for the most part I would say it is.  It refers (thank you, Wikipedia) to the “general level of prestige a person had in Roman society and, as a consequence, his clout, influence, and ability to rally support around his will.”

I think that we can see examples of people with auctoritas in modern-day society as well.  Just take the American presidential elections for a recent example.

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Rome Reborn Project


Could it be…?  Is it…?


Why yes.  Yes, it is.

Schoolwork has taken its toll on my fragile mind.  I have the Senior Slump, otherwise known as Senioritis – that deadly disease that affects college seniors and causes them to slack off and generally not care about their school work.  Which is bad.  Obviously.

I’m graduating at the end of May next year – assuming that we all survive December 21st, the END OF THE WORLD.  Just kidding.  No, it’s more like, assuming I can get my arse in gear and turn in all my work/pass all my classes.

And I need to haul ass and work on my senior paper.  It’s going to be a 25 page monstrosity discussing the influence of the Etruscans on early Roman culture.  That, and taking classes in which I will be translating St Augustine’s “City of God” and Sophocles’ “Antigone” and “Oedipus the King”, and taking a class on Greek and Hellenistic Religions.


This post about school does tie into paganism, though, I swear.

Well, sort of.

…Er, not really.  But it is about ancient Rome!

So yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to take a 3-D immersive, digitalized tour inside several reconstructed areas from ancient Greece.  We got to wear these weird glasses, and I kind of felt like Geordie la Forge.  Er.  One of the sites was the Pnyx, the hill on which the Athenian ekklesia (Assembly) met.  The other was the theater and adjacent Thersileon of Megalopolis, which was originally a Greek structure but was, of course, added onto by the Romans.

The guy who gave my class and I the tour is involved with a project called “Rome Reborn”.

This is a collaboration of tons of architects, scientists, and classicists and is an attempt to digitalize in 3-D the city of Rome, from the year 320 AD.  They use archaeological evidence and literary sources to do so, and have done a wonderful job so far.

Here is the website for the project, and below is a cool video – check it out!

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