Experimental epigraphy: the Greenwich inscription revisited

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Life and PhD and general priorities have interrupted plans to go and properly record the Greenwich riverwall inscription – I’m now thinking that RTI might be the best way to go, although the wooden brace in front of part of … Continue reading

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An original Oresteia?

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A peculiarity in staging classical tragedies is that they are too frequently judged by how close the performance is to how it would have (supposedly) been in antiquity. The risk is that this critique consigns these works to connoisseurship, or … Continue reading

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Gathering Momentum

HARN Weblog

[Just as a by the way, I was going to call this post ‘snowballing’ but on checking the spelling I discovered that while I think of snowballing as meaning either throwing snow around or corporate speak for increasing speed and mass there’s a section of the interwebs that think of it very differently! Who knew? I’m still stunned!]

Anyway, moving swiftly on – I had an email from Claire this week. Remember her Wikipedia editathon? Following on from her involvement with the TrowelBlazers editathon to tackle the absence of entries about women archaeologists on Wikipedia, Claire highlighted on her blog how there was the same masculist problem for women classicists and she decided to hold her own editathon. The session was hugely productive with editing of the Wiki entries for Eugénie Sellers Strong, Anna Maria van Schurman, Gisela Richter, Betty Radice, Virginia Grace and

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‘Experimental epigraphy’ at Greenwich riverwall

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There’s an especially fun-sounding area of archaeology termed ‘experimental‘, which pretty much means actually trying things out to see if your ideas about how things might have worked might actually be right. I don’t get to play though, as my PhD … Continue reading

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Re-reading these childish things

Again and it seems I’m writing anything but my thesis. Although that’s not quite true – I’ve about double the amount of words I’m allowed for the upgrade hurdle that all PhD candidates must clear to get from MPhil to … Continue reading

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A jocular and political tale in which a blogger may be digressing out of her depth

As I continue to study for a doctorate, I’m uncomfortably aware of how little I know about most things outside my field. So much so that it feels almost wrong to stray away from my subject and write about three … Continue reading

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Edit-on dudes: #ClassicsWomen are into Wikipedia

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This week, after a lot of planning and persuading people to get involved, I ran a Wikipedia editathon to create and improve the pages of women who have been important to classics disciplines. (And I mean disciplines – philology, archaeology, … Continue reading

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Escaping the heat? Kenwood House’s dairy

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On Sunday, wanting to escape both research and the furnace-blast of London’s heat-wave, I walked through the woods at Kenwood House, recently of Hollywood fame as home to Dido Belle, daughter of a slave, Maria – and niece of the … Continue reading

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Of childbirth and curses – a trip to Norwich museum

A short while back I met up with my Granny to go to ‘Roman Empire: Power and People’, a much-publicised exhibition that is stopping off at Norwich Castle Museum as part of its UK tour. The exhibition was as showy … Continue reading

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‘Made in translation’ (or gloomily lamenting lost languages)

Went last night to the excellent ‘Sappho in the City’; came home to a pile of catch-up editing for Wikipedia.* In an odd coincidence, translation was at the heart of both these activities. (Even if Josephine Balmer’s translation of Sappho … Continue reading

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Absent or absenting? Archaeology, women and Wikipedia

Sometimes I think archaeology is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – one that’s missing half the bits and with no picture on the lid to tell you what it should look like.  As well as worrying about the bits … Continue reading

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Confessions of an archaeology volunteer

I confess: I am an archaeology volunteer and, after some of what I’ve encountered recently about volunteers in archaeology, ‘confess’ feels like the right verb. But should it? After all, according to the standards set out by the Institute for … Continue reading

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Trig Lane trip

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Another FROG trip today, less formal than Greenwich, just three of us catching the early low tide to see what the foreshore by Trig Lane riverstairs was up to. This stretch of the river is quite different to Greenwich – … Continue reading

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Verulamium visited

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Went today to see the lovely Roman ruins at St Albans, or Verulamium as it was known from C1 AD when the Romans were rampaging about making a nuisance of themselves/in cahoots with the locals (depending on which academics’ arguments/the … Continue reading

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What use is art?

At the moment it seems as though the arts* and humanities are being put on trial and found wanting. Unlike science, technology, engineering and mathematics, these are not disciplines that can cure cancer, explore distant galaxies or even invent faster … Continue reading

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Wall marks?

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Some real archaeology this weekend – joining fellow ‘frogs’ on the Thames Discovery Programme to survey the ancient timbers at Greenwich. Lots of washing mud off the medieval jetty – and scrubbing the weed from the riverwall…to uncover some curious … Continue reading

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Over the Lethe and far away

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St Mary-at-Lambeth church now hosts a garden museum which (as I visited today during lunch) I hadn’t time to look at. The grounds were pretty though, and felt like spring – and had some interesting graves in them. There was … Continue reading

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A desk less disorganised

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My desk had gotten rather here-be-dragons-ish, all snarly and study unfriendly, so I tried to tame the mess a bit. My ‘classics’ books also seemed to have gone forth and multiplied, so they got sub-divided and re-shelved more manageably. And … Continue reading

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Right TRAC?

Went to the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference this weekend (yes, for the wag who asked, there is an actual Roman Archaeology Conference too).  I’ve been to a fair few conferences in the role of hireling/organiser, setting them up, writing delegate … Continue reading

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All tech bright and beautiful.

Technology can be made exciting, cool and tempting. After all, if you’re to reach for that apple, you’ve first got to reach for your purse. And nobody wants to waste money buying the wrong thing. What about wasted time though, … Continue reading

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Invading, with elephants.

As part of the far too random reading I’ve been doing for my dissertation I stumbled on a fascinating detail of ancient history:  apparently* elephants took part in the siege of Colchester in AD43.  Somewhere outside the town, the Roman … Continue reading

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Phone a desk friend at the library

I was late to the library yesterday and was lucky to find my favourite desk still available. Now I love this desk, despite the implied nerdiness and even if it doesn’t, strictly, count as a desk, being as it is, … Continue reading

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One tomato two tomato three tomato four

Been struggling this past week to fit in both day job and dissertation and still have time for sleep and sanity. So I thought I’d give the Pomodoro technique a go. Like many shiny new things it was designed by … Continue reading

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In your own words, please…

Today I shall do as I am paid and write words for other people to claim that they said. Even though we allegedly take great care, marking words off carefully with speech marks to denote what, exactly, someone actually said, … Continue reading

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In praise of study cats

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There is something oddly insulting about the term ‘cat blog,’ which I understand to mean the kind of scribbling rant which could only be written by a woman, as raving and decrepit as the animals whose odor pervades her solitary … Continue reading

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Missa accomplished

Lunch over, our house-guest packed and off, finally I made a nice cup of tea and settled down, the afternoon blocked out for a good patch of study. Immediately the phone rang. Against the background din of a bus, my … Continue reading

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The world according to Gove

I’m not persuaded by the ‘one history of one little island’ that Michael Gove appears to be pushing. Not least in that anything so appealingly simple must appeal only to the simple-minded; technology is pulling the threads of the world … Continue reading

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A heartbreaking dot of staggering genius

I was trying to concentrate on an MA assignment I’ve to write on Greek tragedy and a quatrain started woodpeckering round my brain in that way, procrastination, deadline, or no, you just have to go google it. The lines were: … Continue reading

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How Dewey we categorise, there are so many ways

Books are my vice, I read and hoard and hope to read and maybe will one day have the time to read, the yards that stretch, lining up in wait on bookcases. Like my time, my shelves are not endless … Continue reading

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A thoroughly modern Lysistrata?

Went to see UCL student’s production of Lysistrata tonight. It was good – their opening night and it felt as though it still needed to gel a little (it’s a three-night run so hope that it does). No masks, some of the chorus spoken, some sung. Characterization was in large part great – and there was some fab comedy with swords doing duty for the phalluses that would have been…prominent…in the original. Not sure which text they were using however some of the rhythms felt ‘authentic’ enough, and there was some dance and singing. It came alive at those points.

The performance struck me as seeming very much of modern times, which is how we’re not supposed to understand it, from what I understand of the scholarship. I do wonder if it says something about our modern age that something written by men, for men, and of women, can still seem to have so much to say to us.

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Euphemistically speaking

There’s an interesting little book called Gobbledigook* which bemoans the corporate jargon that has invaded public language like a platoon of tanks and is encroaching on language at large. It argues that jargon itself is meaningless, and worse, grinds into … Continue reading

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In the beginning were the rules

I took down this blog for a while, in part due to the theft of my lap-top, in part due to wondering if saying what I think makes me mouthy as well as ignorant, so I ought to stick to what I know, ie, not very much.

No matter. I happened on a piece that I am evangelical about sharing. In fact, I’d like anyone who has to deal with writers to be locked in a room and made to read and agree with it, just so you understand what we’re trying to do. The piece is called A manifesto for the simple scribe: the 25 commandments for journalists. OK, the title says ‘my’ and I’ve changed it to ‘the’, so sub me.

Or, better yet, tell me what you think about it.

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A soothingly middlebrow silence

This post starts with two paragraphs of back story which if you are a thoroughly post-modern Millie, feel free to skip; it’s included for readers who wonder which planet I hail from. How we look at literature (or any other … Continue reading

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Round like a reader and a writer, like a writer that should read

That past fortnight I’ve been busy writing my novel and very remiss with this blog. In the time that work doesn’t gobble up, I am trying to squeeze in more reading as I think that it does improve my writing. I … Continue reading

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The how and the what of it

What is it about?  That’s the first question that pops into mind when I see a book cover, or a magazine article, or the blurb for a film.  What is it about?  And that ‘about’ pretty much determines how interested … Continue reading

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Of sense and imagery

Not much time for blogging as have been putting wordcount into my novel. Words by the sackload of them. Or something approaching that. In between times I was re-reading Wild Fang (Jack London)* who I think is underrated as a … Continue reading

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Words are all we have

I’ve loved words ever since I could speak them, love the way that they sound, how they roll around in your mouth and carry ideas, thoughts, emotions that can connect people even in their absence. If you ask me why … Continue reading

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Rhetorically speaking

I’ve been painting my flat which has rather taken me away from writing. I picked out muted kind of pistacchio green, a little paler than a good gelato, for the walls and think it looks fab. There’s a persian rug … Continue reading

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Of words and commas

Stumbled across a piece by Gertrude Stein on commas. It’s a blocky bit of text on screen but bear with it and hear its measure in your head as it is worth listening to in even the complex and unpunctuated … Continue reading

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Writing rubbish

This week hasn’t started well so I’m hoping it improves.  Like so very many others, I’m writing a novel, and like so very many others, I have the usual convinced I can do it/plagued by self doubt see saw.  Valuable writing time is grabbed in a cafe along with a junk lunch most days (the guaranteed table and swift service is the draw).  According to God himself (aka Stephen King, on writing at least), this should encourage the muse to show up.  She’s been a sulky bitch this week, standing me up whilst I sit there writing lines upon lines of drivel.  And deleting and rewriting. 

Still, with some of the rubbish out and off the page now, perhaps something better will appear.  Going to the Proms last night with Regular Phil*and listening to the little short of angelic violin playing of Hilary Hahn, I hope may help.

*A pseudonym.  Obviously.

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Corp speak

Read a great piece today in the Telegraph on how people talk at work.  It’s so so so true.  I’d use more ‘so’s and an exclamation mark but enough already, you get my enthusiasm.    Now, I work as a … Continue reading

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A little less information, a little more action please

On Saturday I went out getting some attention to fight a pub that wants to be open all hours opposite my flat.  Easy enough to do, went round and knocked on a few doors and persuaded some neighbours to write … Continue reading

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Mandate it ain’t.

A word that always bugs me is ‘mandatory’.  Not in its proper sense, but in the way that it’s used by every little oik behind a customer service keyboard and generally in a sentence including the phrase “company policy”.  This was … Continue reading

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