Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chariot Racers Paid as much as Today?

Since my life is all about sports, I decided to do my Blog assignment on sports in Ancient Rome. Many assume that the highest paid athletes ever come from this century, and that assumption is one hundred percent wrong. According to the estimate published in the historical magazine Lapham’s Quarterly, Roman charioteers were and still are the highest paid athletes of all time. There salaries belittle those of modern day superstars such as Alex Rodriguez, Maria Sharapova, and Usain Bolt. Classical studies done at the University of Pennsylvania show that Tiger Woods was not sports first billion dollar man. In fact, that title was already taken by a second century charioteer named Gaius Appuleius Diocles. This man would take on an income of 35,863,120 sesterces which are ancient Roman coins in prize money per race. Though being a charioteer is much more dangerous than playing a round of golf it was very similar to NASCAR and just as dangerous. According to a monumental inscription erected in 146 A.D. Diocles was born in Lusitania and started his very successful career in 122 A.D. when he was 18. All in all, those of us here at RHS who dream to be in the pros and make salaries that equate to those of Darrell Revis, and Albert Hanyesworth should rethink that and hope to make as much a Diocles the ancient Rome charioteer.

Drew A. Period 7

Friday, September 10, 2010

Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?

The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 within 11 caves close to the site of an ancient settlement, Qumran. It was originally assumed that the Essenes, a Jewish sect, living in Qumran, were the authors of the scrolls as ritual bathes were uncovered in Qumran, and many of the teachings in the scrolls are consistent with the social standards of Essene culture. However, excavation done at Qumran in recent years indicates that the pools, once thought to be ritual bathes, may actually have been used for the manufacturing of pottery. In addition to this, writing on new archeological evidence found in Jerusalem is written in the same code as that which the scrolls were written in. These discoveries gave rise to a new theory, that the scrolls were written not in Qumran, but Jerusalem and transported to their final location by priests, after the position of high priest was assumed by the king. Yet another theory is that the scrolls were brought to Qumran by groups of Jews escaping from Jerusalem after the Roman siege. Chemical analysis of the pottery, which housed the scrolls, shows that only half of it was actually made locally. Despite these new discoveries, however, some experts still agree with the original theory, arguing that the scrolls all share a common theme. Ultimately, no matter their origin, the scrolls offer important insight into Judaism during the first century.
Emily L. Period 1