Before I get to Scholia Reviews, edited by John Hilton, a quick update. If the blog has been slow lately, I have not been inactive. A post on the rained-off permiere of the Mörbische Seefestspiel (ORF broadcast the dress-rehearsal), and the Bregenzer Fesspiel, about to begin, was lost during a database restore. This is all brought on by technical problems caused by my constant efforts to tune the (already good) server which hosts this blog (posts by John_B here in case anyone is interested).
Thanks to John Hilton for your comment on Scholarship & Imagination: Should a Classics Curriculum include Visiting Greece and Rome? John is on the staff at University of Natal, Durban. We met when were were both writing commentaries on parts of Heliodorus Aethiopica for our PhD dissertations. A lot of John’s work has an African dimension (although it is unlikely Heliodorus ever visited Ethiopia). Incidentally, he has written about the history of the use of the name Anzania. Last time we spoke about his work, he was working on the influence of Roman law on slavery, on the development of Dutch law to deal with slavery in South Africa.
Another of John’s projects is Scholia Reviews, which has been producing admirable reviews on new Classics books since 1993 (and to which I have contributed, which reminds me, there are some books waiting to be reviewed….).
I have just read John Jacob’s review of David Butterfield and Christopher Stray (edd.), A. E. Housman: Classical Scholar. London: 2009 (Scholia Reviews, click the link for 2011 reviews). It is odd how much affection Housman commands: when depressed, if I want to feel more depressed I might read Housman’s verse, but if I want to be cheered up I have, from time to time, turned to vicious sarcasm contained in the Introduction to his edition of Lucan. BTW, afficionados say he liked it to be pronouced Hoos-man not House-man.
Anway, I just started reading John Hilton’s own review Susan A. Stephens and Phiroze Vasunia, Classics and Colonial Cultures. Oxford, 2010 (Scholia Reviews, click the link for 2010 reviews) and I am spellbound: if only the traditions of excellence in the major centres of scholarship, and the culturally diverse innovationism of outlying departments and students of Classics had more contact, all would benefit. There is some contact and some mutual respect, but nothing like enough. That is for another blog post: now to finish reading John’s review.