ag

(no subject)

This poll is closed.

When I am a rock star, do you think I will be able to balance the competing demands of my international superstardom and being a classical archaeology student?

Yes
9(81.8%)
No
2(18.2%)
  • Current Music
    Laibach - Francia
apollo and daphne

(no subject)

Brief update:
Going to Poros this weekend and climbing Mt. Olympus (yes, that one) next.

Saw New Model Army live last night. Was amazing + I can't believe I almost didn't go. Can't wait for their new album!



Down beneath the swoosh of the turbines, the long grass blows in ripples
There's a beautiful spiral of roads that leads the lost up here
I was watching the birds taking off to swoop down over the city
They find and take just what they need and turn, turn, turn

The movers move, the shakers shake, the winners write their history
But from high on the high hills it all looks like nothing
The movers move, the shakers shake, the winners write their history
But from high on the high hills it all looks like nothing

That afternoon on Hustlergate with all the TVs flickering
While behind the sky was moving liquid crimson gold
Brothers, sisters, pay no heed to the unfaithful messengers
For theirs is a prison world of lies, lies, lies

Where the movers move, the shakers shake, the winners rewrite history
But from high on the high hills it all looks like nothing
The movers move, the shakers shake, the winners write their history
But from high on the high hills it all looks like nothing

The keening wind it blows through me, it blows through me
My time it must be almost done, be almost done

All these things you fear so much depend on angles of vision
From down in the maze of walls you can't see what's coming
But from high on the high hills it all looks like nothing
But from high on the high hills it all looks like nothing, nothing
apollo and daphne

the boring entry

Well, I guess I am actually updating this thang, but only because I am bored. (Alternatives: go clubbing; read the last 100 p of the Traveler's History of Athens - blech.) Anyway... I guess it's Saturday night now - crazy.

On Thursday, the flight landed at around 1:05-ish, and leaving the airport was (of course) a breeze. There wasn't even anyone vaguely on duty at customs. (On the other hand, going through security in Frankfurt took like half an hour - the Germans are thorough. They went through your bags and took like 80% of people aside for a hand-held metal detector scan and stuff.) After waiting around for, like, an hour while slackers from some Oregon-y program failed to show up, we left for our apartments. (Mine is pretty crappy. It's small and the ceiling light/fan doesn't work. Of the two other rooms I've seen, both were far larger and nicer. Grumble!) Then I guess everyone pretty much just waited around and went shopping and stuff before we went out to dinner at 8, which was all right. You know how much I love big groups, but most of the people on our trip at least seem to be pretty fun.

Hmm... I guess yesterday we had our 'walking orientation' to Pangrati (the area we live in). It was spiffy, and at the end we went to a farmer's market, but it was super-crowded and I didn't buy anything even though the apples looked really good. Next week! We then got gyros at this place in Varnava square (just down the street from our apartments), and they were delicious. Then after some time passed and much boredom was had, a bunch of us went to get coffee and read Stoneman (blech. Sidenote: This book we have to read before our first class, Richard Stoneman's A Traveler's History of Athens, is so mediocre that I don't know what to say about it. It's not horribly offensively bad, but it's so amature-ish. The best description of it I've been able to come up with is that it's about the quality of book I would have produced in about tenth grade if someone had made me write a history of Athens. There are only a few out-and-out mistakes, but some things are extremely misleading; it's clearly cobbled together from his (admittedly quite extensive for a mass-market 'history' book aimed at tourists) reading list; it's poorly written in the sense that the tone of the writing varies wildly, presumably depending on what source he happened to be looking at when writing any given paragraph, but is also sometimes well-written in the sense that it is actually fairly exciting here and there; and so on. Basically I get the sense that he wanted to write an exciting history book in a quite old-school style and just doesn't have the knowledge or intelligence or skill to actually pull it off. In other words, for all I know it might be the best history of Athens specifically that's not a rushed overview or hideously long and dry (also, I do commend him for actually covering the history of Athens, and not just doing 250 pages on ancient Greece and then about 5 on the Byzantine period, 2 on the Ottoman period, and a few sentences about the Colonels.), but it's still crappy.)

Anyway...where was I? Oh yes. Varnava square, reading Stoneman. That was a good time - naturally we didn't actually get much reading done. Then we had dinner, okay, too many people, etc., and then afterwards a bunch of us went on a pretty long walk up to the acropolis and along the south side. I got to see the new acropolis museum, which apparently opens on June 21st (and you know they're trusty because they've put a date on it...). So maaaaybe I can actually manage to go when I'm leaving the country in July. I guess we'll see. I don't care that much to be honest. ANYWAY. We passed this hilarious club called "Club Lollipop," which apparently some people ended up actually going to later that night, and they described it as mostly older men with their hot young wives. Quality.

Today we had a 'walking orientation to central Athens', which was handy because now I know how to get from Pangrati (in which I know how to get around) up to Monastiraki/Plaka (an area in which I know how to get around) in the most efficient manner. Spiffy! After this (otherwise useless) tour was over, Stacy, Tony, Paul and I formed a splinter cell, got gyros, and went to chill at the Kerameikos for a while (well, Tony ended up leaving before we went in). Ohh yeah. I'm glad it only cost one euro to get in, because it was less sweet without Richard to ramble about everything to his heart's content, but it was still coo' to see everything, and since the Kerameikos is probably my favorite site in Athens (okay, okay... obviously the Agora is way more important, but, hey, I'm allowed to have another favorite!) I didn't want to wait until a month and a half later when Alain takes us there for class. Also, Stacy's cell phone went off really loudly as we were near the exit of the museum (this is funnier if you know that her ringtone is the Indiana Jones theme). It was amusing. Anyway, then we meandered homewards (stopping for coffee) and Stacy and I stopped at some sort of cafe/bar for a drink, and the waitress either misunderstood us (entirely possible) or just sort of decided we should get some food, because our order ended up coming with this plate of delicious appetizers (saganaki, tomato, some sort of potato things, these delicious little sausages...), which was mystifying but ultimately excellent. After some more quality Stoneman time, some of us went to dinner at Movries, which was actually slightly confusing (don't laugh at me, Carrie!) since unlike every other taverna I've ever been to in Greece, one apparently orders as one enters and there are random sides you can get and stuff? It was strange. But it did end up being pretty tasty, so I am sure I will be back in the near future. Oh, I also went grocery shopping several times (it's extremely close, so every time I thought of something I might need, I just went there to get it) and apparently they don't sell any newspapers there - very strange! And, hmm... what else? I guess that's about it. I read a bunch of Stoneman and chilled with Stacy and Tony for a while. And now I am doing this. Exciting...
apollo and daphne

(no subject)

As most of you probably know, I am going to Greece. I just made a "travel blog" even though I doubt I will update it much: ektaxis.blogspot.com
(It seems like the thing to do.)

Also, three-day breaks are stupid. Unpacking is lame. And I still have to do my term paper for Heraclitus. Lame.
  • Current Music
    CAKE - Satan is my Motor
apollo and daphne

Oh. Snap.

Oh snap. I have a BA adviser and a BA topic (well...pending his approval). Take that, uncertainty! Now all I have to do is write it. And...do all the research. (These things, they are scheduled to begin in...oh, July.) Yay! Also I have summer plans and grant applications and everything! (Totally uncertain summer plans that depend on me actually getting accepted into things and getting money and stuff, but summer plans nevertheless!)



In archaic Greece, particularly the 6th century, the phenomenon of “tyranny” swept through Hellas; in poleis throughout the Greek world, individuals seized power, apparently sometimes simply capturing important points in the city (such as its acropolis) with a handful of troops. Probably more commonly, however, they relied on disaffected segments of the population to support them. The rise of tyrants seems to be connected with the solidification of the polis­-system, the growth of the economy and trade, and even the spread of coinage. They may often have been exceptional leaders (rather than despots, as the modern use of 'tyrant' connotes) even though in most places tyrannies only lasted for a few decades at most. There are, in short, many extremely interesting things about tyrants.
In my BA, however, I will examine only one of them. One of the most salient and common features of tyrannies was their love for public works. Polycrates, the mid-6th century tyrant of Samos, constructed the three most impressive feats of engineering in the Greek world, according to Herodotus: a giant mole in the harbor, the water-tunnel of Eupalinos (the most impressive facet of which is the 1-km tunnel dug through a mountain, from both ends – meeting in the middle with only a few meters' error), and perhaps most famously, the Heraion, one of the largest temples in the Greek world. Meanwhile, in Athens, the Peisistratids oversaw the city's first forays into monumental architecture, while in the 7th century, the Corinthian tyrant Cypselus built a treasury at Delphi.
With a focus on the archaeological material left by such public works projects and a view towards the larger historical panorama of the Archaic period, I hope to make some small progress towards answering questions such as: why was tyranny so common? why did tyrants so frequently engage in these large expenditures? how were they related to the way the tyrants and the polis­community wanted to be seen (and how did those differ)? how is the rise of monumental architecture connected to tyranny and what is the connection between both of those things and the economic developments of this time? These big questions are of course extremely expansive, but they are the sorts of questions that motivate the study of history. Under the supervision of Emanuel Mayer, I will examine, in my BA, some of the available evidence from the time of the tyrants and work from there to explore these issues.
  • Current Mood
    sleepy but feeling accomplished for no real reason....
apollo and daphne

(no subject)

I had one of the most inexplicable dreams I've ever had last night. It started with some sort of social event, at which Emanuel Mayer - an assistant professor who works on Roman art history/archaeology - talked to me for some reason or another. Then it suddenly shifted to us having a conversation on AIM. This is already weird enough, as not only have I not thought about Emanuel Mayer consciously for several months, but I've never actually spoken with him in my life. However, this conversation was extremely strange and we acted as if we were good friends for a while, and then he started hitting me up for information about something or other - apparently in my dream I had compiled a bibliography for or about a certain work (the abbreviation was OLE or something...) or something, and he was looking into it and was asking me for help because apparently he thought I was an expert on the subject, and I had to bluff my way through the conversation because I didn't actually (dream-)remember making this bibliography and my dream-self suspected that Richard had made it and told me to put my name on the final submission or something. Anyway. VERY STRANGE.
  • Current Music
    Starsailor - I Don't Know
apollo and daphne

(no subject)

WTF? So I was just sitting in my room at my computer. The door opens a crack; I think, "huh, that's odd, I guess it wasn't completely shut." Several seconds elapse. Then there is a clanging noise, and the sound of people talking and laughing. I turn around, thinking that it is Andrew and Falko or something. A cloud of very fine, yellow particules is billowing up from the base of my slightly-ajar door. At this point I am still mostly just confused and slightly amused, since I thought it was just dry ice or something. So, I let several seconds pass before doing anything - as I approach the door, it becomes clear that it is not, in fact, dry ice; plus the perpetrators are clearly moving away at speed. I follow, but halfheartedly, so I have no idea who was responsible, although there is also a substantial quantity of what is presumably the same substance on the second-floor landing in section one. I am now sitting in the hallway on my laptop with an irritated throat from inhaling whatever this substance is, wondering what the fuck just happened.
  • Current Mood
    confused, annoyed