Monday, March 01, 2010

Back to school

Well, we survived the storm of this weekend and today the school holidays have come to an end and Christopher and Claire and Olivier and Christine are back to their classes.

Here are Sarah, Rebecca, and Claire spending a last evening in the kitchen together yesterday as Claire prepared today's bread.

I have a picture I want to show you. I couldn't believe my eyes at first — I thought it was a good joke but it's on the level.

The other day Becky was showing me her Greek notebook into which she has pasted a few pictures to brighten things up. When she opened the book I told her I have to take a picture of that one.

Somewhere she'd found this detail taken from an ancient Grecian urn that shows someone sitting down and writing. Take a good look and tell me what it looks like — those Greeks were more advanced than we often give them credit for! :-)

An inscription on Becky's Greek site (where she found the picture) under a picture of this urn says,

"An ancient Greek with a tablet to write. A boy stands before a writing teacher who holds the stylus poised to write in his tablet (or to check the student's exercise). Other inscriptions on the vase are in the Attic alphabet: HIPODAMAS KALOS."

"Tablets of ivory or metal were in common use among the Greeks and Romans. When made of wood — sometimes of citron, but usually of beech or fir — their inner sides were coated with wax, on which the letters were traced with a pointed pen or stiletto (stylus), one end of which was used for erasure. It was with his stylus that Caesar stabbed Casca in the arm when attacked by his murderers. Wax tablets of this kind continued in partial use in Europe during the middle ages; the oldest extant specimen, now in the museum at Florence, belongs to the year 1301."

Can you believe it? Learn something new every day!


  1. I thought it was a joke too at first, especially after showing to several people who also thought it was.
    But then I found a photo of the whole urn, with the explanation Daddy has typed in for you underneath it.
    How funny ! :-)


  2. Sure looks like a laptop to me!