Bryn Mawr Classical Review 03.04.20

Letters to the Editors

To the editors:

In Volume 3 no. 2 of the Bryn Mawr Classical Review on page 104 Professor William M. Calder writes, in his review of Karl Christ "Nothing is said of Momigliano's early allegiance to Italian fascism." If this allegation is based on evidence, it would be a courtesy to your readers if Professor Calder were encouraged to supply that evidence. Those friends of Momigliano whom I have consulted regard it as bunk, in which case it seems gratuitous and far from helpful. With many thanks for any success you may have in clarifying this matter.

David Ganz F.S.A.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ed. note: A copy of this letter was sent to Professor Calder in early May.

To the editors:

Being an addict of mystery stories, I was delighted to see James J. O'Donnell (BMCR 3.3.1992, p. 250) leaven the usual academic diet with his notice of Saylor's Roman Blood. It occurs to me that North American readers may not be aware of another entertaining effort in this field, namely A Roman Death by Joan O'Hagan, published by McMillan in England in 1988 -- I'm not aware of any American edition. This is another modern-styled bodice (or tunic)-ripping Whodunit effectively transplanted to the late Republic. Our old friend/enemy Cicero features to advantage, sometimes recast into a Rumpolian mold, but none the worse for that. People who combine enthusiasms for private eyes and Flavian Rome would like Lindsey Davis' series starring Marcus Didius Falco. So far, two have been published (by Crown, in America): Silver Pigs and Shadows in Bronze: a third one is on the way. This privatus dickus was dubbed 'Sam Spade in a ratty toga' by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but as a fan of Philippus Marlovius I shall change the comparative hero, and subjoin that Chandler was a good classic thanks to his Dulwich School education and always attributed his clarity of style (if not of plots! has anyone ever figured out The Big Sleep?) to his training in Greek and Latin. So far as I know, Rome dominates this particular genre. Do BMCR readers know of any equivalents set in ancient Greece? the skull-duggery of Periclean Athens cries out for the treatment, whilst someone with real flair might devise a Minoan P.I. walking down the mean streets of Knossos -- now there's a thought...

Barry Baldwin
University of Calgary