Saturday, May 30, 2009

Amusements: Wineries inspired by the ancients

I've just stumbled across Enkidu Wine (thanks to Classics in Contemporary Culture)

Enkidu produces wines primarily from the varieties grown in the Burgundy and Rhone Valley of France. Pinot Noir (a little bit of the dead, a little of the living); Syrah (barnyard, smoked meat and white pepper) and Petite Sirah (a warrior with a sword who first learned to dance) were our inaugural varietals.

Enkidu is an ensemble of people who are passionate about wine. For us the wines we produce are in response to the fruit in the vineyards, not dictated by a recipe preconceived in the office. Our wines are the result of diligent work in the vineyards by these dedicated viticulturists with whom we consult throughout the year to maximize the quality of the fruit.

Enkidu was told by the sacred slave: "Eat bread, oh, Enkidu! It is the fountain of life; drink the wine, it is the custom of the land." Then Enkidu ate the bread till he was full, drank the wine, seven goblets...”

But they have a way to go before they are a rival to Darioush
Darioush welcomes guests to its new visitor center and winery beginning August 16, 2004. The new architectural building comes after five years in the making, and combines materials, castings, and furnishings from distant lands and exotic locations. The 22,000 square foot winery, the first in America to combine architecture, design and Persian culture, provides a unique and exhilarating experience in California’s most renowned wine destination. Reminiscent of the great noble architecture that once existed, the imagery of the Darioush building evokes Persepolis, the illustrious capital of ancient Persia.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tenure Guidelines for Digital Scholarship

The College Art Association News is reporting that the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) are developing tenure guidelines for digital scholarship.

MLA’s Information Technology Committee is developing these guides through a wiki

Why Blog? / Does Blogging Matter?

A private conversation among a group of bloggers opened with the question "Does Blogging Matter?" Is is a waste of time?

A public conversation among a group of bloggers addresses similar questions. It began with Stephen Carlson's Academic Blogging: Publication or Service?, to which Mark Goodacre responded with Academic Blogging: Publication, Service or Teaching?, as did Opus Imperfectum with Publishing For Dummies: Blogging as Research/Teaching/Service? Jim West reframed the questions with Blogging: To What End?, and Mark Goodacre reacted to that with Why blog? Likewise Airton José da Silva with Um blog é uma ferramenta democrática. Missives from Marx reacted to Jim with Why Blog Anonymously? This morning Tim Bulkeley weighed in with Should blogging count for academics? Each of these has interesting threads of comments as well. No doubt there have been other contributions I have not yet seen.

Could this conversation have happened in another medium?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Nick Nicholas has an interesting piece on The Ibycus mainframe at opɯdʒɯlɯklɑ opoudjis his blog / τὸ τοῦ ὁπουτζοῦ ἱστολόγιον.
The Ibycus computer was what Thesaurus Linguae Graecae data crunching got done on throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It was the stuff of legend, an HP 1000 customised in David Packard Jr.'s garage, with spelling and format checkers and text editors in assembler, that crunched through tens of millions of words of Greek in its own temperature controlled room.

It's also the stuff of legend featuring in the "Lernaean Text" (or Hellenic Quest text), the long-running and indefatigable distorted urban legend doing the rounds of the Net for years, claiming that Ibycus (or Imycus) has determined that Greek has 90 million* distinct words. It also says that Bill Gates wants his programmers to program in Ancient Greek, John Sculley is still running Apple and publishing with CNN (?) the Hellenic Quest software to teach the world Greek, and Greek words have deep cabbalistic meanings and no arbitrariness of signs. That's why Nikos Sarantakos calls it Lernaean: however many times you cut off its head (including refutations by the TLG itself), it keeps coming back, because enough people want it to be true...

The Great North Museum: a Preview of the Roman Gallery

Here is a short glimpse of the Roman Gallery at the Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne, taken during a preview on Friday May 22, 2009. Note the model of Hadrian's Wall that runs down the spine of the gallery.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Great North Museum and the ancient world

The Great North Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne opened to the public on Saturday May 23. There are three areas that will be of particular interest:
  • The Egyptian Gallery
  • The Greek and Etruscan Gallery
  • The Roman Britain Gallery
The Roman Gallery contains a model of Hadrian's Wall as well as a virtual Mithraeum. There are also numerous finds from the Roman Wall in a series of new displays.

The university's (former) Greek Museum (later the Shefton Museum) is an integral part of the new displays. One theme consists of Greek arms and armour.

The Roman Wall gallery in The Great North Museum. © David Gill.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Testudo in Caerleon

I was in Caerleon today for a meeting (and presentation on recent excavations) and spotted this party forming a testudo in the amphitheatre outside the walls of the Roman legionary fortress.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stonehenge development

Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced in the House of Commons today that there would be major changes to access at Stonehenge:
A £25m plan to revitalise the world-renowned Stonehenge in Wiltshire, including diverting a nearby road, has been announced by the government.

Also included in the plan from the Stonehenge Programme Board are proposals for a new visitor centre at nearby Airman's Corner.

Further details from the BBC.

Image © David Gill, 2008

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Ancient World in Silent Cinema

An afternoon & evening of silent film screenings with piano accompaniment and related talks for silent films with settings in Biblical or Near Eastern Antiquity. As with the first screening of films set in ancient Greece & Rome which we held in January, almost all of the films to be screened in June are not available for purchase in video or DVD format, and are rarely shown in cinemas. They survive as viewing copies in film archives. The event is open to the public and admission is free. ALL ARE WELCOME.

Monday 22 June 2009,
at UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH

More info here: