Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teucer and Tjekker

"The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one;" -- Joshua 12:23
"So saying Telamonian Aias departed, and with him went Teucer, his own brother, begotten of one father, and with them Pandion bare the curved bow of Teucer." -- Homer, Iliad, Book XII, 370
"And I once saw a fellow filled with folly, Who gloried scornfully in his neighbour's woes. So it came to pass that someone like myself, And of like mood, beholding him spoke thus. 'Man, act not wickedly towards the dead; Or, if thou dost, be sure that thou wilt rue it.' Thus did he monish that infatuate man. And lo! yonder I see him; and as I think, He is none else but thou. Do I speak riddles?" -- Teucer in Sophocles, Ajax
"Soon mighty and fell will the strife be begun. But speedily now, Teucer, I pray thee, Seek some fit place for his hollow grave, Which men's memories evermore shall praise, As he lies there mouldering at rest." -- Sophocles, Ajax
"Indeed, I myself remember well Teucer’s coming to Sidon, when exiled from his native land he sought a new kingdom by aid of Belus; my father Belus was then wasting rich Cyprus, and held it under his victorious sway. From that time on the fall of the Trojan city has been known to me; known, too, your name and the Pelasgian kings. Foe thou he was, he often lauded the Teucrians with highest praise and claimed that he was sprung from the Teucrians’ ancient stock." -- Queen Dido in Virgil, Aeneid,
"Then for the archery-test Oileus' son stood forth with Teucer, they which in the race erewhile contended. Far away from these Agamemnon, lord of spears, set up a helm crested with plumes, and spake: 'The master-shot is that which shears the hair-crest clean away.' Then straightway Aias shot his arrow first, and smote the helm-ridge: sharply rang the brass. Then Teucer second with most earnest heed shot: the swift shaft hath shorn the plume away. Loud shouted all the people as they gazed, and praised him without stint, for still his foot halted in pain, yet nowise marred his aim when with his hands he sped the flying shaft." -- Quintus Smyrnaeus, The Fall of Troy, Book IV
"Idomeneus was then a resident of Corinth; to which city Diomedes and Teucer also came when driven away from their homes. Teucer had been prohibited from landing on Salamis by Telamon, his father, because, no doubt, he had not prevented his brother Ajax’ ignominious death." -- Dictys Cretensis, Book VI
"When the Cretans heard of Helen’s arrival, many men and women from all over the island came together, desiring to see her for whose sake almost all of the world had gone to war. Menelaus told his adventures. He had learned that Teucer, who had been banished from home, had founded a city on Cyprus called Salamis. He also reported the many wonders of Egypt. The serpents there, he said, had killed his pilot, Canopus; for whom he had built a magnificent tomb." -- Dictys Cretensis, Book VI

Tomb of Marc Antony

Could any tomb have more plunder than that of Marcus Antonius?
"Again, you made a tour through Italy, with that same actress for your companion. Cruel and miserable was the way in which you led your soldiers into the towns; shameful was the pillage in every city, of gold and silver, and above all, of wine. And besides all this, while Cæsar knew nothing about it, as he was at Alexandria, Antonius, by the kindness of Cæsar’s friends, was appointed his master of the horse. Then he thought that he could live with Hippia by virtue of his office, and that he might give horses which were the property of the state to Sergius the buffoon. At that time he had selected for himself to live in, not the house which he now dishonors, but that of Marcus Piso. Why need I mention his decrees, his robberies, the possessions of inheritances which were given him, and those, too, which were seized by him? Want compelled him; he did not know where to turn. That great inheritance from Lucius Rubrius, and that other from Lucius Turselius, had not yet come to him. He had not yet succeeded as an unexpected heir to the place of Cnæus Pompeius, and of many others who were absent. He was forced to live like a robber, having nothing beyond what he could plunder from others." -- Cicero, Second Oration Against Antony
"Antony himself, however, after sending Cleopatra back to Egypt, proceeded through Arabia and Armenia to the place where his forces were assembled, together with those of the allied kings. These kings were very many in number, but the greatest of them all was Artavasdes, king of Armenia, who furnished six thousand horse and seven thousand foot. Here Antony reviewed his army. There were, of the Romans themselves, sixty thousand foot-soldiers, together with the cavalry classed as Roman, namely, ten thousand Iberians and Celts; of the other nations there were thirty thousand, counting alike horsemen and light-armed troops. And yet we are told that all this preparation and power, which terrified even the Indians beyond Bactria and made all Asia quiver, was made of no avail to Antony by reason of Cleopatra. For so eager was he to spend the winter with her that he began the war before the proper time, and managed everything confusedly. He was not master of his own faculties, but, as if he were under the influence of certain drugs or of magic rites, was ever looking eagerly towards her, and thinking more of his speedy return than of conquering the enemy." -- Plutarch, Life of Antony
"...but as for Antony, though many generals and kings asked for his body that they might give it burial, Caesar would not take it away from Cleopatra, and it was buried by her hands in sumptuous and royal fashion, such things being granted her for the purpose as she desired. ... But Caesar, although vexed at the death of the woman, admired her lofty spirit; and he gave orders that her body should be buried with that of Antony in splendid and regal fashion." -- Plutarch, Life of Antony, 1st century
Tharoor, I., The Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra?, Time Magazine, April 23rd 2009
Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced earlier this week that his team of archaeologists was readying for the final approach toward what could be the tomb of Cleopatra. The site is at Abusir, some 30 miles from the port city of Alexandria, among the ruins of an ancient temple to the Egyptian god Osiris. Nearly two dozen coins unearthed there bear Cleopatra's profile and inscription, and carvings in the temple enclosure show two lovers in an embrace. A ceramic fragment supposedly mirrors the cleft chin of the rebel general Mark Antony — leading Hawass to speculate that it is the Roman's own death mask. Archaeologists already dug up the mummies of ten nobles around the site, a sign, perhaps, that a more regal prize dwells within. Using ground-penetrating radar, they have spied out three further subterranean passageways which they believe could lead to the grave. "If this tomb is found," Hawass told TV reporters as they set about their dig this week, "it will be one of the most important discoveries of the 21st century."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Captured Libraries

"From Scepsis came the Socratic philosophers Erastus and Coriscus and Neleus the son of Coriscus, this last a man who was not only a pupil of Aristotle and Theophrastus, but also inherited the library of Theophrastus, which included that of Aristotle. At any rate, Aristotle bequeathed his own library to Theophrastus, to whom he also left his school; and he is the first man, so far as I know, to have collected books and to have taught the kings in Egypt how to arrange a library. Theophrastus bequeathed it to Neleus; and Neleus took it to Scepsis and bequeathed it to his heirs, ordinary people, who kept the books locked up and not even carefully stored. But when they heard how zealously the Attalic kings to whom the city was subject were searching for books to build up the library in Pergamum, they hid their books underground in a kind of trench. But much later, when the books had been damaged by moisture and moths, their descendants sold them to Apellicon of Teos for a large sum of money, both the books of Aristotle and those of Theophrastus. But Apellicon was a bibliophile rather than a philosopher; and therefore, seeking a restoration of the parts that had been eaten through, he made new copies of the text, filling up the gaps incorrectly, and published the books full of errors. The result was that the earlier school of Peripatetics who came after Theophrastus had no books at all, with the exception of only a few, mostly exoteric works, and were therefore able to philosophise about nothing in a practical way, but only to talk bombast about commonplace propositions, whereas the later school, from the time the books in question appeared, though better able to philosophise and Aristotelise, were forced to call most of their statements probabilities, because of the large number of errors. Rome also contributed much to this; for, immediately after the death of Apellicon, Sulla, who had captured Athens, carried off Apellicon's library to Rome, where Tyrannion the grammarian, who was fond of Aristotle, got it in his hands by paying court to the librarian, as did also certain booksellers who used bad copyists and would not collate the texts — a thing that also takes place in the case of the other books that are copied for selling, both here and at Alexandria. However, this is enough about these men." -- Strabo, Geography, Book XIII, I, 1st century B.C.
"He [Aemilius Paulus] only permitted his own sons, who were great lovers of learning, to take the king's [Perseus of Macedon's] books...." -- Plutarch, Life of Aemilius Paulus, 1st century
"Having set out from Ephesus with the whole navy, he [Sulla] came the third day to anchor in the Piraeus. Here he was initiated in the mysteries, and seized for his use the library of Apellicon the Teian, in which were most of the works of Theophrastus and Aristotle, then not in general circulation. When the whole was afterwards conveyed to Rome, there, it is said, the greater part of the collection passed through the hands of Tyrannion the grammarian, and that Andronicus the Rhodian, having through his means the command of numerous copies, made the treatises public, and drew up the catalogues that are now current. The elder Peripatetics appear themselves, indeed, to have been accomplished and learned men, but of the writings of Aristotle and Theophrastus they had no large or exact knowledge, because Theophrastus bequeathing his books to the heir of Neleus of Scepsis, they came into careless and illiterate hands." -- Plutarch, Life of Sulla, 1st century
"But what he did in the establishment of a library deserves warm praise. He got together many books, and they were well written, and his use of them was more honourable to him than his acquisition of them. His libraries were thrown open to all, and the cloisters surrounding them, and the study-rooms, were accessible without restriction to the Greeks, who constantly repaired thither as to an hostelry of the Muses, and spent the day with one another, in glad escape from their other occupations. Lucullus himself also often spent his leisure hours there with them, walking about in the cloisters with their scholars, and he would assist their statesmen in whatever they desired. And in general his house was a home and prytaneium for the Greeks who came to Rome. He was fond of all philosophy, and well-disposed and friendly towards every school, but from the first he cherished a particular and zealous love for the Academy, not the New Academy, so‑called, although that school at the time had a vigorous representative of the doctrines of Carneades in Philo, but the Old Academy, which at that time was headed by a persuasive man and powerful speaker in the person of Antiochus of Ascalon. This man Lucullus hastened to make his friend and companion, and arrayed him against the disciples of Philo, of whom Cicero also was one. Indeed, Cicero wrote a noble treatise on the doctrines of this sect, in which he has put the argument in support of 'apprehension' into the mouth of Lucullus, and carried the opposing argument himself. The book is entitled 'Lucullus.'" -- Plutarch, Life of Lucullus, 1st century
"Again, Calvisius, who was a companion of Caesar, brought forward against Antony the following charges also regarding his behaviour towards Cleopatra: he had bestowed upon her the libraries from Pergamum, in which there were two hundred thousand volumes;" -- Plutarch, Life of Antony, 1st century
McCracken, G., The Villa and Tomb of Lucullus at Tusculum, American Journal of Archaeology, Volume 46, Number 3, Pages 325-340, Jul-Sep 1942
Also see Ancient Libraries.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ficino On Timaeus

All Things Natural: Ficino On Plato's Timaeus
"Near the beginning of this dialogue [Timaeus] Plato relates an account of the war that was once faught between the Athenians and the men of Atlantis. It is clear that Crantor, the principal expounder of Plato at the time, takes the account to be devoid of any allegory. Some, on the other hand, take it as pure allegory, but they are refuted by Platonists of the highest standing, who declare that it is an historical account because Plato has uttered it. The tale that follows is indeed amazing, but totally true." -- Marsilio Ficino, polymath, On Plato's Timaeus, Chapter 4, 15th century
"Here I ask you once more to remember that nine thousand years are calculated by Eudoxus as a thousand months; and that Phaethon, offspring of the Sun, consumed the Earth with thunderbolts, which, according to some, means that a huge comet [Venus], solar by nature and eventually disintegrating, provoked unbearable periods of heat and perhaps the fires which Moses says were sent by divine intervention." -- Marsilio Ficino, polymath, On Plato's Timaeus, Chapter 5, 15th century

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hieroglyphs On Saite Obelisks Require Translation

I have been able to find Athanasius Kircher's translation which he made before the discovery of the Rosetta Stone but I have not been able to find any other translation: Translation of the Minervan obelisk.
As well as the obelisk of Psamtik II
Cooper, W.R., and Chabas, F.J., A Short History of the Egyptian Obelisks, 1877

Friday, January 10, 2014

Democritus Guesses Again 2

Democritus guesses again: "He [Democritus] said that the ordered worlds are boundless and differ in size, and that in some there is neither sun nor moon, but that in others, both are greater than with us, and yet with others more in number. And that the intervals between the ordered worlds are unequal, here more and there less, and that some increase, others flourish and others decay, and here they come into being and there they are eclipsed. But that they are destroyed by colliding with one another. And that some ordered worlds are bare of animals and plants and all water." -- Hippolytus, priest, 2nd century
Triple Star System May Challenge Einstein Theory A recently discovered triple-star system could help a team of international researchers test for a potential flaw in Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity, possibly shedding light on the true nature of gravity. Originally spotted by an American graduate student using a steerable radio telescope, the unique star system features two white dwarf stars and a super-dense pulsar, or neutron star. "This triple system gives us a natural cosmic laboratory far better than anything found before for learning exactly how such three-body systems work and potentially for detecting problems with General Relativity that physicists expect to see under extreme conditions," Scott Ransom, an astronomer with the U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, said in a statement. Related Links Covering an area smaller than the Earth's orbit around the sun, the star system's close orbit will allow researchers to observe a potential violation in Einstein's theory of General Relativity: the strong equivalence principle. What is 'strong equivalence'? The principle states that the effect of gravity on a body doesn't depend on the nature or internal structure of that body. Pulsars emit "lighthouse-like beams of radio waves" so by conducting high-precision timing of the pulses coming from the pulsar, the triple-star system could reveal clues to the true nature of gravity, University of British Columbia astronomer Ingrid Stairs told CTVNews.ca on Monday. "Finding a deviation from the strong equivalence principle would indicate a breakdown of General Relativity and would point us toward a new, revised theory of gravity." The results are published in Nature and will be presented at the 223rd American Astronomical Society meeting.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fossils of Xenophanes

"And Xenophanes opines that there was once a mixture of earth with the sea, and that in time it was freed from moisture, asserting in proof of this that shells are found in the centre of the land and on mountains, and that in the stone quarries of Syracuse were found the impress of a fish and of seals, and in Paros the cast of an anchor below the surface of the rock and in Malta layers of all sea-things. And he says that these came when all things were of old time buried in mud, and that the impress of them dried in the mud; but that all men were destroyed when the earth being cast into the sea became mud, and that it again began to bring forth and that this catastrophe happened to all the ordered worlds." -- Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 2nd century