About robert

The generic text for this “About” page advises it’s “so readers know where you are coming from.” Hah. If anyone claims to know that, he/she/it is either lying or deluded. Besides, the phrase is jargon; my tolerance policy for jargon equals zero, both here and in my professional life.

That would be as a professor (full) of classics and ancient history. The full title would be University Distinguished Professor of Classics and Ancient History emeritus. When I teach and I get to that zero tolerance policy. But this is not academic writing. The academic style can be, and usually is…lethean. I’ve had more than one faceoff with various editors about writing in the “popularizing style” or, if they’re feeling kindly, “lively”. Rather, it’s about what interests me in the cultural, and you can read that as traditional belles-lettres, or in the anthropological “just about anything” sense. Or both. Smart money says you won’t be disappointed. If you are, tell me. I aim to please, within reasonable limits.

I’m a “fully qualified professional” in my field with degrees through the doctoral level. But this is not a blog about classical studies. Because I range widely along the shores of knowledge; call it interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary, or consider the traditional poetic line about a rose. My last publication, a review of a book on Greek rationality included references to the Riemann series and the meteorology of storm surges. My method has served me well; last time I looked at my vita, two single-spaced pages of publications.

This is an online-aware blog, but not online-obsessed. I started on mainframes in grad school and have been online since there was no Internet but ARPANET. Last blast from the past, I’ve heard a hard drive crash; more sickening that you’d expect, shook the whole room. At the same time, if you think “print is dead” or regularly use TL;DR, you’re probably in the wrong place. I started counting the books in my library when an undergrad. When it reached one hundred, I switched to measuring them by storage feet consumed. When I reached one hundred feet, I quit counting. ‘Nuff said.

There are some very modest requirements and guideline to improve the experience here. For you, and also for me. See the “About this blog” page.

In conclusion. I’ve got a real  name, and no problem with using it. I value my privacy, but refuse to waste time obsessing over it. Still, website-scraping bots lurk everywhere, ditto those itching to add what they read here to their Big Data files on me. Damned if I’ll help them. I’ve actually seen one, and what it got totally wrong about me is mind-bending. scary and downright pathetic. So if you would discover who I really am, you probably can. If you’re into that kind of boredom. But I think you’re not. After all…

you’re here, aren’t you?


I’ve signed this with my real first (well, middle) name; I go by Spfestus because I’m also a regular guest blogger on a Classical Studies site.

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