Tag Archives: Classic culture

Oldest Known Ancient Roman Fort Discovered!

Posted on 24. Mar, 2015 by in Roman culture

Oldest Known Ancient Roman Fort Discovered!

Plan of a typical Roman fort.

Plan of a typical Roman fort.

 

Place: Italy (First Roman military camp discovered in Italy. This is excluding Castra Albana and Castra Nova.)

Year: Built 178 B.C.E

Latin: Castra (or singular castrum) are buildings or plots of land reserved for or constructed for use as a military defense position. Castellum was  term for smaller forts. Praesidium means guard post or garrison.

Purpose: It was created (probably) during the Roman wars against the people known as the Histri, who controlled the nearby Istrian Peninsula.

Objective: It as to protect the neighboring city of Aquileia from incursion of the Istrian peoples.  The city of Aquileia had a port which was an important emporium for the trade of wine, olive oil and slaves. Aquileia would later become one of the capitals of the Roman Empire.

How was it discovered: LiDar ( this same technology which was used to discover ancient hidden settlements in Central America) uses lasers to scan the ground for features obscured over time.  Co-author of the study, Tuniz, stated “With LiDAR, we discovered in a few months more prehistoric archaeological structures than those discovered during one century of work with conventional archaeological methods.”

Features and Characteristics: With using the LiDar, the scientist were able to discern “the characteristic hobnails used to make the military shoes of Roman soldiers and fragments of Roman amphorae, widely used to store oil, wine and other food products.”

The full article may be read here!

The official study and report can be found here!

 

Ancient World Movies in 2015 & Beyond

Posted on 20. Jan, 2015 by in Roman culture

Hello Everyone,

It’s that time of the year again….MOVIES! Here is a list of ancient movies of Roman, Egyptian, Greek and Biblical backgrounds.

Title:#1 DRAGON BLADE

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Time Period: Han dynasty (206-220 CE) 

Plot: Action packed film filled with lost prisoners (Roman and Chinese) trying to navigate their way through China.

Popular Players: Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody, John Cusack and more!

Release Date: February 18, 2015 in China; No USA date release.

 

Title #2: THE LOST LEGION

Europe in 476, from Muir's Historical Atlas (1911). Courtest of Wikicommons.

Europe in 476, from Muir’s Historical Atlas (1911). Courtest of Wikicommons.

Time Period: Shortly after the Fall of the Roman Empire; 476 CE 

Plot: It promises “sex, corruption, betrayal and the final death throws [sic] of a once powerful empire. Where enemies become allies, allies become pawns and one man’s struggle to survive is the last chance for a new Rome.” According to IMDB, the plot is “following the fall of the Roman Empire, a Roman woman plots to make her son the new Emperor and to fulfill the former glory of the city.”

Popular Players: Tom McKay, Michelle Lukes, etc.

Release Date: January 20, 2015 with a spin-off TV series.

 

Title#3: SINBAD THE FIFTH VOYAGE

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Time Period: Mythical Story by c.1st Century CE.

Plot: According to IMBD, the plot is “When the Sultan’s first born is taken by an evil sorcerer, Sinbad is tasked with traveling to a desert of magic and creatures to save her.”

Popular Players: Narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart

Release Date: Streaming began in 2014; DVD February 3, 2015.

 

Title #4: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Bust. Courtesy WikiCommons.

Julius Caesar Bust. Courtesy WikiCommons.

Time Period: 44 BCE

Plot: A chilling film adaptation of Shakespeare’s shocking tale of ambition, betrayal, murder and… the supernatural.

Popular Players: Sean Bean as Caesar (retracted), Mackenize Crook, John Bradley, Tom-Weston Jones, etc.

Release Date: 2015

Title #5: THE ARK

Noah's Ark (1846), a painting by the American folk painter Edward Hicks. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Noah’s Ark (1846), a painting by the American folk painter Edward Hicks. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Time Period: 2700 BC (if approximately around Gilgamesh time period)

Plot: A retelling of the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark.

Popular Players: David Threlfall as Noah

Release Date: 2015

5. THE ARK

The Ark projected for broadcast on BBC in 2015. The weirdly charismatic David Threlfall will play Noah in this biblical retelling.

Title #6: THE REDEMPTION OF CAIN (previously titled: Legend of Cain)

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Time Period: Biblical Time Period (debatable dates)

Plot: “Redemption of Cain is a re-imagining of the Biblical brother tale of Cain and Abel – with “a vampiric twist.” 

Popular Players: Will Smith (Directing Debut)

Release Date: SUMMER 2015

 

Title #7: Gods of Egypt

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Time Period: Ancient Egypt

Plot: A common thief joins a mythical god on a quest through Egypt.

Popular Players: Nikolaj Coster-Walkdau, Gerald Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Rufus Sewell, etc.

Release Date: 2016

 

Title#8: THE MUMMY REBOOT

Theatrical release poster. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Theatrical release poster. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Time Period: UNDETERMINED

Plot: “We’re reaching into the deep roots of The Mummy, which at its beating heart is a horror movie and then an action movie, and putting it into a context that is real and emotional. It’s still a four quadrant film but as a lot of recent movies have proven, audiences are hungry for more than they used to be. You can still have a family movie, an action movie that’s more grounded than these used to be. Without saying too much, we’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from Michael Crichton’s books, and how he ground fantastical sales in modern-day science.”

Popular Players: Len Wiseman (director of Underworld Trilogy fame).

Release Date: 2016

 

Title #9: Jason and the Argonauts: Kingdom of Hades

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Time Period: Mythical Time Period of Archaic Greece

Plot:  It based on the graphic novel of the same name, which follows the fortunes of the Argonauts after the quest for the Golden Fleece—essentially a sequel to the 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts.See a preview of the graphic novel-here

Popular Players: TBD

Time Release: 2016

Title#10:BE-HUR REBOOT

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Time Period: 1st Century CE

Plot: It is based on the classic novel about a wealthy Jew who falls from grace, then finds another kind of grace thanks to Jesus, with slavery, sea battles and chariot races along the way.

Popular Players: Timur Bekmambetov (director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Roman Downey and Mark Burnett (The Bible miniseries).

Release Date: 2016

UPDATES

HANNIBAL

Vin Diesel long ago announced his intention to make his directorial debut and star as “Hannibal the Conqueror.” However, there has been a long silence on this project. In April 2014, Vin announced that the project was back in pre-production, and credited his friend and co-star the late Paul Walker for inspiring him to get the project back on track. “He would always say, ‘You need to do Hannibal. It will be your life’s work.’ Vin also indicated his intention to expand the project into a trilogy. “We must go further back in time, to grasp the magnitude and relevance of this underserved historic character. The first film in this trilogy will do just that, by introducing us to an even more obscured yet extremely pivotal character, Hannibal’s father.”

 

Disney Mythology vs. Greco-Roman Mythology: Part I

Posted on 19. Nov, 2014 by in Roman culture

Salvete Omnes,

With the many of you learning Latin and the Roman culture; I believe it is important to observe how antiquity permeates through modern media. So today I propose we observe the role of mythology, mythic characters and items within Disney films and series.

Walt Disney World. Courtesy of Flickr & Dawn Ashely.

Walt Disney World. Courtesy of Flickr & Dawn Ashely.

#1. Character or Item FEMALE CENTAURS OR KENTAURIDES

Film or Series: Fantasia; 1940 & The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe; 2005

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Commentary: Female Centaurs are not really discussed at length within modern or even ancient mythology. When recalling recent films with centaurs (Harry Potter, Step- Brothers, Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief), the centaurs are male.  However that small amount of mythology which is discussed by ancient sources does reflect the imagery that Disney produces in these films (i.e.- beauty consumed creatures, but nobly warlike when they need to be).

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Disney Mythology: Within Fantasia ( the video above) is from the chapter known as “The Pastoral Symphony” by Beethoven. The setting is a mythical world of centaurs, cupids, fauns and other figures from classical mythology. A gathering for a festival to honor Bacchus (Dionysus), the god of wine, is interrupted by Jupiter (Zeus), who creates a storm and throws lightning bolts at the attendees. The mythology of centaurs present in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is that of C.S Lewis’ mythology (here)and not necessarily of Disney.

Greco-Roman Mythology: Though female centaurs, called Kentaurides, are not mentioned in early Greek literature and art, they do appear occasionally in later antiquity. A Macedonian mosaic of the 4th century BC is one of the earliest examples of the Centauress in art.

Female centaurs flanking Venus (Mosaic from Roman Tunisia, 2nd century AD).Courtesy of WikiCommons & GiorcesBardo55 .

Female centaurs flanking Venus (Mosaic from Roman Tunisia, 2nd century AD).Courtesy of WikiCommons & GiorcesBardo55 .

Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”  also mentions a Kentaurides named Hylonome who committed suicide when her husband Cyllarus was killed in the war with the Lapiths:

“In the high woods there was none comelier of all the centaur-girls, and she alone by love and love’s sweet words and winning ways held Cyllarus, yes, and the care she took to look her best (so far as that may be with limbs like that). She combed her glossy hair, and twined her curls in turn with rosemary or violets or roses, and sometimes she wore a pure white lily. Twice a day she bathed her face in the clear brook that fell from Pagasae’s high forest, twice she plunged her body in its flow, nor would she wear on her left side and shoulder any skin but what became her from best-chosen beasts.

#2. Character or Item: KING TRITON or TRITON

Film or Series: The Little Mermaid; 1989

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King Triton added to Ariel's Undersea Adventure Building at Disneyland. Courtesy of Flickr and Loren Javier.

King Triton added to Ariel’s Undersea Adventure Building at Disneyland. Courtesy of Flickr and Loren Javier.

Commentary: King Triton often confused with Neptune (Poseidon) due to this Disney portrayal. Neptune is the king of the seas, but Triton is actually a son of  Neptune. Ariel does not exist in any mythology.

Disney Mythology: King Triton is king of the sea and has a triton. He is a widower with seven daughter including Ariel who is the protagonist of the featured film “The Little Mermaid.” The film is based upon the Hans Christen Anderson’s fairy tale which is simply called “The Little Mermaid” and the stories are almost identical except for a few details: she has no name (simply known as the Little Mermaid), her legs hurt with excoriating pain, her prince does fall in love with her (but marries someone else), heartbroken she is given the choice to kill the prince (a become a mermaid again) or not, and lastly she throws herself into the sea unable to kill the prince and becomes foam and then an air spirit.

The Triton Fountain, by Gianlorenzo Bernini, Rome.Courtesy of Wikicommons & Tritonbrunnen rom.

The Triton Fountain, by Gianlorenzo Bernini, Rome.Courtesy of Wikicommons & Tritonbrunnen rom.

Greco-Roman Mythology:  He is usually represented as a merman, having the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish, “sea-hued”, according to Ovid “his shoulders barnacled with sea-shells.  According to Hesiod, Triton dwelt with his parents in a golden palace in the depths of the sea. He is said to have had one daughter , Pallas, who was killed by Minerva (Athena), who was a foster daughter or ward to him, in an innocent friendly fight.

Pausanias describes Triton(s) (the children and class of mermen/mermaids) as the following:

On their heads they grow hair like that of marsh frogs not only in color, but also in the impossibility of separating one hair from another. The rest of their body is rough with fine scales just as is the shark. Under their ears they have gills and a man’s nose; but the mouth is broader and the teeth are those of a beast. Their eyes seem to me blue, and they have hands, fingers, and nails like the shells of the murex. Under the breast and belly is a tail like a dolphin’s instead of feet

#3. Characters or Item PANTHEON of GODS

Film or Series: Hercules; 1997

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Commentary: While the names of the Gods are from the Greek Mythology; Hercules is the Romanized version of Herakles. Furthermore, Mount Olympus would rarely house all the gods at one time for the birth of a god. There is no record of this ever taking place within mythology. Lastly, the entire film is based upon Hercules seeking to be a hero to regain his “godhood;” when in fact Hercules was never a god. He was also a demi-god and Hera was not his mother let alone loving towards him at all!

Courtesy of GraphJam.com

Courtesy of GraphJam.com

Disney Mythology: The birth day celebration of Hercules the god, who is the son of Juno (Hera) and Jupiter or Jove (Zeus). It features Neptune (Poseidon), Minerva (Athena), Jupiter (Zeus), Jove (Hera), Mars (Ares), Venus (Aphrodite), Vulcan (Hephaestus), Mercury (Hermes), Diana (Artemis), Bacchus (Dionysus), Sol (Helios), and more! The scene is filled with gods who are too obscure to see or who shouldn’t be considered a “god” (like Narcissus).

Fragment of a Hellenistic relief (1st century BC – 1st century AD) depicting the Twelve Olympians carrying their attributes in procession; from left to right, Hestia (scepter), Hermes (winged cap and staff), Aphrodite (veiled), Ares (helmet and spear), Demeter (scepter and wheat sheaf), Hephaestus (staff), Hera (scepter), Poseidon (trident), Athena (owl and helmet), Zeus (thunderbolt and staff), Artemis (bow and quiver), Apollo (lyre), from the Walters Art Museum. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Fragment of a Hellenistic relief (1st century BC – 1st century AD) depicting the Twelve Olympians carrying their attributes in procession; from left to right, Hestia (scepter), Hermes (winged cap and staff), Aphrodite (veiled), Ares (helmet and spear), Demeter (scepter and wheat sheaf), Hephaestus (staff), Hera (scepter), Poseidon (trident), Athena (owl and helmet), Zeus (thunderbolt and staff), Artemis (bow and quiver), Apollo (lyre), from the Walters Art Museum. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Greco-Roman Mythology: The gods would rarely been seen together, but the 12 Olympians would be seen as the hierchacial gods that would reign from Mount Olympus. The gods were known for fighting with another, taking sides in the affairs of mortals, and hardly being cordial or nice unless you were Jupiter or Jove (i.e. King of the Gods!). For more information on stories of the Greco-Roman Gods; check it out here.

#4. Characters or Items: MYTHOLOGICAL CROSSOVER

Films or Series: The Little Mermaid; 1989 & Hercules;1997

Courtesy of WDWMAGIC.COM & Allyinwonderland.

Courtesy of WDWMAGIC.COM & Allyinwonderland.

Commentary: This connection between Disney and Greco-Roman mythology was included merely for fun and humorous sake. Since Ariel is not a “real” or “true” mythological character- most of this means nothing.

Disney Mythology: The world of Disney (in films) does not remark of this correlation other than “memes” that fans have figured out and one conversation reported with two Disney actors:

Courtesy of Evergreenring.

Courtesy of Evergreenring.

Courtesy of Pinterest of Thalia Grace.

Courtesy of Pinterest of Thalia Grace.

Greco-Roman Mythology: According to Greek mythology, Ariel’s father, Triton, is the son of Poseidon, which would make the sea god Ariel’s grandfather. Poseidon’s brother Zeus is the father of Hercules, so Herc and Triton are first cousins. The child of your first cousin is your first cousin once removed, therefore Hercules and Ariel are first cousins once removed.

If this is still causing issues in the respect to “your mind is blown;” I have provided a helpful image of a family tree illustrating this (here). However, since Ariel does NOT exist then perhaps it is better said that King Triton and Hercules are related.

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I do hope you enjoyed this! I have more similarities next week! Some of them are super obvious and others are bit harder to discern! Have an awesome weekend!