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So, I’m not exactly happy about the complete lack of any accurate online resources on the Roman pantheon.  There’s GodChecker, but that’s a load of horseshit.  There’s the Encyclopedia Mythica, and that’s…not exactly my favorite either.  There’s Wikipedia, but other people can edit it and it isn’t as comprehensive as it could be.

So I decided to take things into my own hands.

I created another WordPress account that will serve as a sort of Wiki for the Roman pantheon (and possibly even religious practices and so on), that will be separate from this blog  – more of a database.

You can find it here, or at romanpantheon.wordpress.com

It’ll likely be a slow project, as I have other things going on right now that take priority, but rest assured that it will be accurate and a comprehensive read.

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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.

ARGH.

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.

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

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

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

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DAT FACE.

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

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Lar Familiaris, from Pompeii, 1st century

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Dionysos on a Donkey, Roman, 2nd century AD

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

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Corinthian Helmet, 540 BC

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

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Funerary Mask of a Young Woman, Egyptian, Roman Period

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Rome Reborn Project

WHAT IS THIS.

Could it be…?  Is it…?

A NEW POST?

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.

Whoop-de-doo.

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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300: Battle of Artemisia

…Oh, you have got to be kidding me.  Please.  Someone tell me this isn’t real.

This is a…a…oh Castor, I can’t even bring myself to say it.  It’s… *gulps* It’s a prequel.  To 300.  *shudders*

WHY, BACCHUS, WHY.  WHY WOULD YOU LET THIS MONSTROSITY BE MADE.

And it’s coming to a theater near you (if you live in the US, anyway – don’t know about other countries’ dates) on August 2nd, 2013.

Here’s Wikipedia’s page on the film.  I can’t bring myself to type any more.

This is me, after I found out about this movie.
(actually, no, it’s Rose Tyler, but I feel like this)

 

:[

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Name Change to this Blog

As you can see, I changed the name of this blog – though I have kept the same URL.

The old title just seemed rather redundant and boring, so I decided to spice things up a bit.  Ha ha ha.  I think this is heaps better.

Sorry for the short, completely uninteresting post, and the lack of anything, really, recently – I feel bad making excuses, but I’ve been busy studying for the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), which is basically a 4 hour long test on things that I haven’t studied since high school.  Yikes.  It’s like Whose Line is it Anyway, where the points don’t matter…but it’s necessary to take (and get a decent score) to get into graduate school here in the US.

It’s dogs bollocks, plain and simple.  I’m going to hibernate like a bear when it’s all over.

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The Seaside Temple

I had an interesting meditation today.  Short, and cut short, but interesting.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a particularly visual person when it comes to meditations.  Usually it feels like I’m in some sort of void, and anything I visualize soon falls apart and I sink back into the dark.  That can honestly get frustrating at times, let me tell you.  Though this isn’t to say that I haven’t had any visualizations, just…not many.

Today was different.

I was listening to a song by Wardruna, a Norwegian group who focus on Norse spirituality and folk music.  I’ve had successful meditations with this particular song of theirs in the past, and got the inspiration to turn it on and just lay back and relax.

After several repeats of the song, the void sort of…dissipated, and I could clearly see.

A ways in front of me stood a Roman-style temple, complete with the altar set out front.  Although I couldn’t see it, I knew that the temple was close by the sea.  The landscape around it was barren, with very short, hard grass, and a thin gravel path led from where I was standing to the temple.

The atmosphere was…very dull, and very muted.  It was like there was rain in the forecast: the sky was grey and overcast, and the colors of the area were just as subdued.  The grass was more of a dull grey-ish green…kind of hard to describe.  But it was peaceful.

I started down the path, and as I got closer I saw someone standing at the altar.  It was a man, dressed in a pristine toga, and he was in capite velato – with his head covered.  He was walking around the altar, though I don’t know what he was doing – he was probably giving an offering or something.  He looked up and, smiling warmly, watched as I advanced.

I went closer still, and felt a feeling of warmth and comfort that increased with each step.  And then…

my phone went off.  😦  I know, very anti-climactic.

It startled me out of the meditation, so I didn’t have the chance to converse with the be-togaed man, and I didn’t find out whose temple it was.  I only hope that I’ll be able to successfully “go there” again soon, because I’m very curious, and it was very peaceful.  Though I get the feeling typing this that I won’t have much trouble.

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As a sort of follow-up to yesterday’s lararium post, I thought I’d take a picture of my own lararium so you all could see it.  As you can see, it’s nothing special – I’m no artist, but I put a lot of time into it, and it’s sort of an ongoing project.

My personal lararium.

There are a few statues in the foreground.  The first, on the left, is Mercurius: I study languages and travel a good distance every day to school and work, so in those regards He is sort of a patron.  To His left is a little owl statue, representing Minerva: another patron, in that She presides over learning and skills.  Behind the owl is a neat replica of an ancient Greek vase – I picked it up recently at the Festival of Nations, though I’m not entirely sure who is depicted on it.  To the left of the vase is a figurine of Iuno, patron of women.

I have a couple of little bowls set out, one for liquid offerings and the other for food.  I don’t usually offer trinkets, but when I do I set them on the white cloth of the lararium.

Finally, to the far left is an oil burner.  Now, it’s really unfortunate that I’m allergic to incense, which was the traditional offering, but I wanted to be able to give some sort of good-smelling offering.  I heard about oil burners, and I thought “Great!  I can multi-task with this!”  I light a candle (which represents Vesta, goddess of hearth and home) at the start of every offering, prayer, or vow, and it heats up the basin on top with the oil.  Et voila – instant sweet-smelling, non-allergy inducing scent!  The oil seems to go over well as an offering, too, which is great.

Now for the art at the back of the lararium.

I based the design off of the lararium of the thermopolium, of which I posted a picture in the main lararium post.  It’s probably my favorite lararium fresco.

Starting off at the left is, again, Mercurius.  He is holding the caduceus and a bag filled with money, symbolic of His office.  Next to Him is the Lar familiaris – I drew only one, which isn’t exactly traditional for the classical era but something that has personal meaning.  He is holding a cornucopia and a patera, the offering dish.  In the center, sacrificing at a tripod, is my iuno, which is basically the female equivalent of the genius.  Next to her is Vesta.  At the far end is Ianus, two-faced god of beginnings, endings, gateways, doors, and bridges.  Phew.  He holds a staff in His right hand, and a key in His left – traditional symbols.

At the bottom, kind of obscured, are two snakes, symbolizing fertility and creativity, and an altar.

Annnd…that’s pretty much it!  There are a couple parts that didn’t fit into the shot, such as photos of ancestors, but this pretty much is the gist of it.  If you have questions about any aspect, feel free to ask away.

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