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A thread of very good, wonderful, truly Super Bowls.

Translucent agate bowl with ornamental grooves and coffee-and-cream marbling. Found near Qift in southern Egypt. 300 - 1,000 BC. 📷 Getty Museum https://t.co/W1HfQZIG2V


Technicolor dreambowl, found in a grave near Zadar on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. Made by melding and winding thin bars of glass, each adulterated with different minerals to get different colors. 1st century AD. 📷 Zadar Museum of Ancient Glass
https://t.co/H9VfNrXKQK


100,000-year-old abalone shells used to mix red ocher, marrow, charcoal, and water into a colorful paste. Possibly the oldest artist's palettes ever discovered. Blombos Cave, South Africa. 📷https://t.co/0fMeYlOsXG


Reed basket bowl with shell and feather ornaments. Possibly from the Southern Pomo or Lake Miwok cultures. Found in Santa Barbara, CA, circa 1770. 📷 British Museum https://t.co/F4Ix0mXAu6


Wooden bowl with concentric circles and rounded rim, most likely made of umbrella thorn acacia (Vachellia/Acacia tortilis). Qumran. 1st Century BCE. 📷 https://t.co/XZCw67Ho03
I just finished Eric Adler's The Battle of the Classics, and wanted to say something about Joel Christiansen's review linked below. I am not sure what motivates the review (I speculate a bit below), but it gives a very misleading impression of the book. 1/x


The meat of the criticism is that the history Adler gives is insufficiently critical. Adler describes a few figures who had a great influence on how the modern US university was formed. It's certainly critical: it focuses on the social Darwinism of these figures. 2/x

Other insinuations and suggestions in the review seem wildly off the mark, distorted, or inappropriate-- for example, that the book is clickbaity (it is scholarly) or conservative (hardly) or connected to the events at the Capitol (give me a break). 3/x

The core question: in what sense is classics inherently racist? Classics is old. On Adler's account, it begins in ancient Rome and is revived in the Renaissance. Slavery (Christiansen's primary concern) is also very old. Let's say classics is an education for slaveowners. 4/x

It's worth remembering that literacy itself is elite throughout most of this history. Literacy is, then, also the education of slaveowners. We can honor oral and musical traditions without denying that literacy is, generally, good. 5/x

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