The Twins are now orphans – their mother has been stolen from Eden Park!

The She-Wolf (“Lupa”) was stolen from Eden Park on June 16, 2022, ironically, the same day I returned from a trip to Rome. It is a tragedy for all of us who value history and who understand and appreciate the importance of the Wolf to the founding of ancient Rome, to Roman history, and to Roman life and character, but also to many generations of Cincinnatians. The story of the Wolf, one of countless animals helping humans throughout the ages, is a sweet and engaging one. The statue was a gift of the city of Rome, then a sister city of Cincinnati, the city named after a Roman general. Yes, it was gifted while Mussolini was the ruler of Italy; however, the artist of the original statue of the Wolf, probably without the twins, was ancient Roman or, possibly, Etruscan or, according to some scholars, medieval, having no connection to Fascism. There are many literary accounts of the story in ancient Roman authors such as Livy, Dio Cassius, Ovid and others. Here is one of Ovid’s accounts:

“A she-wolf which had cast her whelps came, wondrous to tell, to the abandoned twins: who could believe that the brute would not harm the boys? Far from harming, she helped them; and they whom ruthless kinsfolk would have killed with their own hands were suckled by a wolf! She halted and fawned on the tender babes with her tail, and licked into shape their two bodies with her tongue. You might know they were scions of Mars: fearless, they sucked her dugs and were fed on a supply of milk that was never meant for them. The she-wolf (lupa) gave her name to the place, and the place gave their name to the Luperci. Great is the reward the nurse has got for the milk she gave” (Fasti 2.413-432).

I had suggested that the statue be moved to the John Miller Burnam Classics Library or to the lobby of the Blegen library building. Let us hope that the criminals who stole the sculpture develop a conscience and return it to the City of Cincinnati, and that the City finally decides to protect it by having it housed in the classics department or classics library of the University of Cincinnati or in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

The Burnam Classics Library’s Greek Map Collection has been digitized!

Finally, the John Miller Burnam Classics Library has been able to move into the 21st century thanks to its staff and East View, an information services company, which has digitized one of the Library’s rarest and most important collections of Greek, British, and U.S. military maps from World War I and II. East View specializes in hard-to-find foreign language materials such as maps, newspapers and ephemera. In addition to helping us digitize and preserve the Burnam collection of maps, many in poor physical condition, the company has provided a searchable database free-of-charge for the Classics Library and freely available to the UC community.

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“New” Discoveries for the Burnam Classics Library

The Classics Library recently became aware of a number of source materials which subsequently were discovered in boxes in the Archives and Rare Books Library. They had mistakenly not been transferred during the move of classics materials from ARB to the Burnam Library more than three years ago.  The boxes contain, for example, some 10 very rare Greek newspapers of the Greek resistance movement published during WWII and shortly thereafter, such as Οδηγός των αδελφοτήτων της Ε.Α. and Η Αλληλεγγύη from 1945, Ελεύθερη σκέψη (όργανο του Εθνικού Κομιτάτου Νέων) from 1942, Ελεύθερη Ελλάδα (όργανο της Κ.Ε. του Εθνικού Απελευθερωτικού Μετώπου) from 1943, and Φωνή της Αλλελλεγγύης (όργανο του Παρατήματος Μακεδονίας και Θράκης…) from January 1, 1946.

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The Classics Library Announces Policy Change

Today’s libraries recognize that current methods of organization are outdated. Upon consultation with other UC C&D libraries and classics libraries nationally, the UC Classics Library hereby wishes to announce the following policy change:

In acknowledgement of the times, and for reasons of aesthetics, logic, and common sense, the John Miller Burnam Classics Library has decided to classify and shelve our books by color rather than by call number. The Library of Congress Classification System is cumbersome, non-intuitive, and comprehensible only to catalogers.

Some patrons simply do not remember a book’s call number or its author and title; however, they do recall the color of the book.

When I am at a gas station I never give the make and model of my car to the attendant as I cannot remember those things and the numbers that supposedly are posted above the pumps are confusing. I simply say “$10 on the red car over there.” It works every time. It’s easy to remember and understand.

Thus, in an effort to alleviate obstacles and to enhance the experience of locating books and browsing in our Library, we have decided to enact this organizational change.

The catalog records will from now on read as in the following examples:

Navy Blue

Davis & Bennet, Pylos Regional, 1st ed. (2017).

Classics, S 5, 15th aisle, top shelf 


Tangerine Orange

Virgile, Énéide, bks. 1-4, Budé 1st ed. (1977).

Classics, S 6, 10th aisle, 3rd shelf

 

The Boolean keyword search in the Library Catalog for these examples will be:

In Euclid add <Limit>: Classics
Then type:

(“Navy Blue” AND “Davis”).

(“Tangerine Orange” AND “Virgile” AND “Budé”).

The call number sign posts in the stacks are being replaced with color-coated ones (see images below), which will need no examination or deciphering.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused during the period of transition to the new system, which we estimate to be between 5 and 10 years, and appreciate your cooperation.

Rebecka Lindau
Head, John Miller Burnam Classics Library

Ancient Medicine: Exhibition in the Classics Library forming part of a larger exhibition/event on Andreas Vesalius in Winkler

Before Vesalius there were many ancient Greek physicians whose works influenced both those of Vesalius and other post-classical physicians; for example, Galen of Pergamum (129–c. 216 CE) whose works Vesalius translated and was greatly influenced by; Rufus of Ephesus (late 1st/early 2nd centuries CE) who wrote treatises on dietetics, pathology, anatomy, and gynaecology; Soranus of Ephesus (1st/2nd c. CE) author of a four-volume treatise on gynaecology; Pedanius Dioscurides (c. 40–90 CE), physician, pharmacologist, and botanist born in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and author of De Materia Medica, a 5-volume encyclopedia on herbal medicine which was widely read and used in medical schools and hospitals for more than 1,500 years. His work is included in the exhibition in the form of a rare and extraordinary facsimile of the original Byzantine manuscript referred to as the “Vienna Dioscurides” and another facsimile of a medieval manuscript referred to as the “Naples Dioscurides,” also featured in the exhibition; Asclepiades of Bithynia or of Prusa (c. 129/124–40 BCE) whose treatments included diet, exercise, and bathing; Herophilus of Alexandria (325-255 BCE), often called the “Father of Anatomy” who influenced Galen and was much quoted by him; Hippocrates of Kos (c. 460–c. 370 BCE), the “Father of (Modern) Medicine” and the author of the Hippocratic Oath, still in use today; Alcmaeon of Croton (510–430 BCE) who has also been called the “Father of Anatomy” although he, unlike Herophilus, did not dissect humans to examine human anatomy; Pythagoras of Samos (c. 570–c. 495 BCE) was a polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, music theorist and is said to have made important contributions to medicine as well, especially to what we today would call holistic medicine. Before the Greek medical texts there were The Edwin Smith Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text and the oldest known surgical treatise on trauma from c. 1600 BCE, also featured in the exhibition, and the Babylonian medical text referred to as the Diagnostic Handbook, written by Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa in the late 2nd millennium BCE. Continue reading

“Griffin Warrior”: Movie Night in the Classics Library, October 29!

World of the Griffin Warrior - Archaeology Magazine

Classics at the University of Cincinnati has again created a world sensation as seen on PBS, BBC, The Discovery Channel, and many more TV channels and numerous newspapers and magazines around the world, now also on the Smithsonian Channel!

For details, see flyer:

MOVIE NIGHT, GRIFFIN WARRIOR!!!

“FOLLOW ARCHAEOLOGISTS [JACK DAVIS AND SHARI STOCKER, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI] AS THEY EXAMINE A TOMB THAT THEY HOPE WILL REVEAL THE MYSTERIOUS ORIGINS OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS.”
— The Smithsonian Cable Channel

“The Griffin Warrior Project has been excavating the area surrounding the Palace of Nestor since May of 2015

The project, which is sponsored by the University of Cincinnati and operates under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies, follows in the footsteps of Dr. Carl W. Blegen, the Cincinnati-based archaeologist who explored much of the Bay of Navarino region in the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, Blegen, along with his team and Greek counterpart, Dr. Konstantinos Kourouniotis, first discovered the Palace of Nestor, the most completely preserved Bronze Age palace on the Greek mainland. For fifteen seasons, Blegen, archaeologist Marion Rawson, and their team excavated the site, which proved to be a remarkably intact Mycenaean palace. Now, half a century after Blegen’s last season, a University of Cincinnati team has returned to the site to continue excavating.

The ongoing project’s most significant discovery has been the grave of the Griffin Warrior. The unlooted shaft grave contained dozens of intricate seal stones, hundreds of gold and bronze artifacts, and the remains of a prominent Mycenaean nobleman from around 1500 B.C. Its discovery was heralded in the press around the world as one of Greece’s most significant archaeological finds in decades.”
griffinwarrior.org

New PBS-BBC series 'Civilizations' spotlights Griffin Warrior sealstone artifact in season premiere, University of Cincinnati

The Classics Library is Haunted — We Have Proof!

It’s Halloween month, but this is real. The photo below of the Classics Library’s book stacks was taken by Mike Braunlin a few years ago. However, only after looking at the photo recently, did he discover that in addition to the books, he had captured a real “live” ghost. The upper torso of the ghost can be seen flush with one of the book cases in the back while one of its arms can be seen closer to the camera and its legs on the floor. The ghost is clearly browsing the stacks. The profile of its head, chin, nose, eyes is just below the row of lights and its left shoulder and left arm are raised towards the stacks. Light is illuminating its torso. It may be carrying a book bag. It wears dark trousers, its right leg is straight and its right foot lies flat on the floor. Its left leg is bent backwards and it touches the floor with the toes of its left foot. Its sex and age cannot be definitively determined although it is tempting to think that it is John Miller Burnam himself, forever laboring to complete his monumental Palæographia iberica.

It was not Mike’s only encounter. One early morning, still dark outside, he was in a stairway in the Library when he heard a raucous laughter engulfing him. Mike was alone in the Library and he could hear the laughter coming from all directions in the stairway. Scared out of his wits, he ran to the apartment of a grad student on McMillan telling her about his harrowing experience and asking if he could relax there for a while. That grad student was his future wife, Susan, so the ghosts may in fact have been responsible for bringing them together.  And ghosts who live among books must be benevolent, so instead of being fearful, the Classics Library’s staff have decided to embrace their resident bibliophile ghosts.

A real ghost?

A fake ghost?

The Classics Library aims to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all!
Mike insists that our new security gate is either a portal to Another Dimension or a gate whose ultraviolet rays might very well prevent Covid, at least in cats.

We are looking forward to a graduate student organized “A Very Blegen Halloween” with Desk Decorating and Costume Contests, and Party on October 29, followed by a library organized Movie Night!!!

Happy Halloween UC Classicists!

Happy Halloween Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

 

Classics Library: Student Assistant Positions Available — Apply Now!

The John Miller Burnam Classics Library is looking to hire energetic, hard-working, and responsible student assistants.

The UC Classics Library is the premier classics library in the country thanks to its world-class collections and it is a destination library for national and international students and scholars.

We are seeking highly motivated student workers for immediate openings. We offer employment of c. 10-15 hours a week. Unlike most jobs, we work around your class and exam schedules when planning the work schedule for each semester. Thanks to the variety of responsibilities and the excellence of the collections, working in the Classics Library can improve your research and library skills which are important for academic success as well as add to your CV and list of references.

In addition to being a valued member of an international and vibrant scholarly community and a distinguished library, you will be trained in varied and detail-oriented tasks ranging from staffing the circulation desk to shelving books, searching book lists against the library’s catalog, scanning documents, checking for broken web links, dusting shelves, and anything and everything a large and modern academic research library requires. We guarantee that you will not be bored, but because of our library’s important responsibilities and your limited work hours, you will be required to focus on the many tasks of the job rather than on personal social media or homework.

Because of the highly specialized nature of the Classics Library, we prioritize students with a background in Classical Studies and the Humanities in addition to students with western foreign language training besides in English, especially in German, French, Italian, Spanish in addition to in ancient Greek and Latin. Also, because of a limited budget, we prioritize students on a federal Work/Study grant although we do hire non-work/study students as well.

If this sounds like a good fit for you, please contact us to learn more and to set up an interview at your earliest convenience. Please submit your CV and application form to:

Shannan Stewart, library specialist, shannan.stewart@uc.edu and Rebecka Lindau, head, rebecka.lindau@uc.edu

The library is located on the 1st floor of the Blegen Library building.

 

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The Classics Library Commemorates the 200-Year Anniversary of Greek Independence

The universities of Cincinnati and Michigan and all partner institutions in the “Greek Digital Journal Archive” (GDJA) program commemorate the 200-year anniversary of an independent Greek state.

Had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, the John Miller Burnam Classics Library would have celebrated this important occasion with talks, book exhibitions, Greek music, and Greek foods inside the physical library. As it is, this blog post will serve as a “poor” substitute. However, you will get to hear a conversation recorded for this blog with Associate Professor Alexander Christoforidis, Division of Experienced-based Learning and Career Education at the School of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati and the Director of the Greek School at the Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Cincinnati, along with links to information about the War, to songs detailing the fight for independence, as well as a book exhibition of scanned Classics Library journal and book pages, and photos of Greece, Greeks, Greek-Americans, Philhellenes, Greek foods, and Greek music. Try to picture the day when we can celebrate with each other in person! Until then, Happy Bicentennial Greeks, Hellenists, and Philhellenes!

 

Watch Greek TV live of a special Independence Day Parade on March 25 in front of Syntagma Square in Athens and listen to the historic narrative!

 

 

The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution, was waged against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1829. The Revolution is celebrated by Greeks around the world on March 25 as Greek Independence Day. On that day this year, 2021, Greeks commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the official beginning of the Revolution leading to a new independent Greece after almost 400 years of Turkish rule. Continue reading