Sunday, May 21, 2006

Carnivalesque XV

Welcome to Carnivalesque XV, an Ancient/Medieval Edition. People have sometimes commented that blogging carnivals really aren't very carnivalesque; they don't quite turn the blogging world upside down. But I think blogging carnivals capture beautifully another aspect of the carnivalesque: the striking juxtapositions. And this carnival is no exception, since we have bloggers of different interests milling about and rubbing elbows. In this edition, besides the usual run of posts, we also have a section devoted to the International Conference on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, and a panel on unprovenanced antiquities.

Special thanks to Natalie Bennett, by the way, who nominated several excellent posts that might otherwise have been overlooked.

Tony Keen of Memorabilia Antonina gets a Golden Star of Excellence for having the most nominations for this edition of Carnivalesque. Congratulations, Tony. Just a few of the posts that were nominated:
Rosemary Sutcliff
Fighting the Blurring of Terminology
Recent TV
Hannibal starring Alexander Siddig

Jim Davila at Paleojudaica uncovered a case in which a reporter misreported a Coptologist on the translation of the Gospel of Judas.

The arts are one way in which the past continues into the present. My London, Your London reviews a showing of Aeschylus'sThe Persians, while Renaissance Lit notes the coming performance of Orlando in Love, an adaptation of Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, in New York.

One of the more interesting and valuable things blogging has brought to the scene is retroblogging: the blogging of diaries, journals, and the like. In her retroblog for Miss Frances William Wynn, Diaries of a Lady of Quality, Natalie Bennett transcribes a passage that is particularly interesting for our purposes, in that it gives a glimpse of how someone in the 1830s might have tried to make sense of ancient history -- on this occasion, the Egyptian pyramids.

Varro at Homo Edax mulls on the question of what we can learn from Cicero and Tacitus on the nature of tyranny.

Jonathan Wilson at The Elfin Ethicist links to online resources for Marsiglio of Padua.

Dorothy King reflects on the question of how well the ancient Greek philosophers reflect their religion and their society at PhDiva.

Michael Pakaluk at Dissoi Blogoi has been steadily going through different issues and tangles in Aristotle's discussion of the first cause. There are a lot of posts in the series, but you might want to start with At Loss on God and Minds, Aquinas on the Intellectual Life of the Prime Mover, The First Kinetic Being, The Source of an Eternal Movement, Mysticism and Logic in Aristotle's Metaphysics, That It Might Imitate, and The First Cause Mysterious.

At Mumblings of a Platonist we have an interesting discussion of the opinable and sense perception in Plato's Timaeus.

Alun asks the question, "Who are the four greatest ancient Greeks?" at blogographos. I think my vote would be for Euclid, Aristotle, Euripedes, and Thucydides. But it's a hard one, since so many great minds are left out (Sophocles, Plato, etc.)

Discipula at Medieval Studies asks what people would consider the essential historiographical works for people interested in the Middle Ages.

Heo Cwaeth argues that medieval women writers belong in the canon.

Suzie Lipscomb at Maids Wives and Mistresses summarizes a seminar paper she recently gave called, 'Implementing Patriarchy: late sixteenth Reformed women & the French consistory'.

Natalie Bennett at Philobiblon has an obituary for researcher Suzanne Hull, who changed our views of women in the Renaissance.

Blog carnivals usually showcase posts; but sometimes the comments are worth reading, too, as when commenters reflect on the life of Jaroslav Pelikan at Pontifications and Titusonenine. Also worth reading is the post on Pelikan at Menachem Mendel.

Manan Ahmed reflects on humanism, history, and interacting with the Public in The Polyglot Manifest I and The Polyglot Manifesto II at Chapati Mystery.

In his classic of historical Jesus scholarship, John Meier made use of the literary and discursive device of an 'unpapal conclave' of scholars of diverse background who were forced to hammer out a consensus document on who and what Jesus was, and what he did and said. As an experiment, Loren Rosson of The Busybody organized just such a conclave, and presents the results in a four part series: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV. The last of these is a response to Mark Goodacre's criticism at the NT Gateway Weblog that Rosson's version of the experiment missed out on the most important aspect of Meier's vision: namely, the ideal of rigorous scholarship shared in common even by those with radically different presuppositions and backgrounds.

Derek at Haligweorc asks a question about an Old English characterization of Easter.

André-Yves Bourgès discusses the familial antecedents of Yves of Kermartin at Hagio-historiographie médiéval. Those who need help with the French may find Google's rough translation of the page useful.

At PECIA: le manuscrit médiéval, Jean-Luc Deuffic looks at manuscripts relating to Yvon du Fou. Those who need help with the French may find Google's rough translation of the page useful.

Cosmology Curiosity has a link-rich post on Hannibal and the Battle of Cannae.

Chris Laning at Paternosters discusses pilgrim paraphernalia, providing plenty of pictures.

At Archaeoblog Anthony discusses a paper on megafauna extinctions, discussing whether climate or humans killed off the mammoths in Megafauna Extinctions Update and Update on Megafauna Extinctions Update.

Miland at World History Blog reviews Nicholas Wade's Before Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors.

It just wouldn't be right to have this Ancient/Medieval edition of Carnivalesque without having a section devoted to the International Congress of Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, particularly when there were so many bloggers reporting back. Some of the more notable posts on K'zoo:

Digital Medievalist: Scéla: Weblog Roundtable at Kalamazoo
Unlocked Word Hoard: K'zoo Roundup
Owlfish: Thursday at Kalamazoo, Friday at Kalamazoo, Saturday at Kalamazoo, Sunday at Kalamazoo
Blogenspiel: Kalamazoo Retrospective, Part I, Part II, Part III
Ancrene Wiseass: Zoo Thursday, Zoo in Review
Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog: To Kalamazoo, Wyth Love
IT: Instructional Technology: Tools for Teaching
Point of Know Return: Kalamazoo...
The Cranky Professor: Kalamazoo 41, Kalamazoo Aftermath
Another boring academic has a blog?: More weblogs and the academy
Wormtalk and Slugspeak: Kalamazoo 2006
New Kid on the Hallway: Conference Notes

There has recently been some discussion of a Statement of Concern circulated by Harvard's Lawrence Stager, which opens as follows:

We are archaeologists and scholars who deal with archaeological materials from the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean basin. We wish to express our concern at a movement that has received much publicity lately that condemns the use of unprovenanced antiquities from consideration in the reconstruction of ancient history. On the contrary, a history of this region cannot be written without the evidence from unprovenanced antiquities.

You can read the rest at Paleojudaica. Some of the posts that have discussed this Statement of Concern:

Thoughts on Antiquity: Statement on Unprovenanced Antiquities
Higgaion: Stager's "Statement of Concern"
Abnormal Interests: On Unprovenanced Artifacts
Dr. Jim West: Joe Zias on the "Statement of Concern"

And that is this edition of Carnivalesque, the carnival of premodern history. The next edition, in June, will be an early modern edition, so begin looking for relevant posts. The next edition of the History Carnival, at Aqueduct, is also coming up quickly, so get your nominations in for it, as well. Also, if you are interested in hosting either a Carnivalesque or a History Carnival, please let the organizers know as soon as you are sure you can do it. There is always a need for hosts.