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Everything posted by guy

  1. I know this is a video from almost three years ago (2018), but this is the first time I've seen it: Summary: We can never been certain of the exact function of this gloves, but it is amazing that these pieces of ancient leather have been preserved. guy also known as gaius
  2. Although I have been to Italy and Holland numerous times, I've never been to Britain. (I think the language difference might be a little too difficult for me to handle. LOL) I guess from the Vindolanda website that the outdoor garden and archaeological site are open, but the indoor museum will be closed till at least next spring due to COVID-19 restrictions. https://www.vindolanda.com/Listing/Category/bookyourvisit I would like to visit Vindolanda someday ... maybe the next time I'm in Europe on my way to Italy. guy also known as gaius
  3. This is a nice video review of Roman Britain. This 90 minute video is exceptional at about 60 min when it reviews the slow collapse of the Empire beginning with Caracalla (211 AD).
  4. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55029538 Summary: I'm not sure that we can know the relationship of the pair or even be certain of their social statuses. It is, nevertheless, another interesting find at Pompeii. guy also known as gaius
  5. As it appears we are close to a vaccine, it's think about nice potential vacation sites: https://www.thecollector.com/roman-coliseums/ Although there might not be ten intact coliseums outside of Rome to visit, I am interested in visiting some of these sites, especially the coliseum in Pula, Croatia. if I were to visit Croatia, I would certainly want to visit Diocletian's Palace is Split, Croatia, about 320 miles ( 520 Km) away. guy also known as gaius
  6. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/national-museum-of-natural-history/2020/11/24/our-thanksgiving-menu-has-lost-few-crops/ Summary: It's interesting to see how diet has changed with the disappearance of certain crops. I wonder if we have yet to discover "lost" ancient crops. guy also known as gaius
  7. In Medieval England, one of the few ways for a woman to get a divorce was to prove her husband's impotence. https://narratively.com/the-distinguished-medieval-penis-investigators/ Summary: Times have changed, for sure. I guess there were no quickie Las Vegas divorces or "little blue pills" back then. Well, things could be worse: You could always die from the Bubonic Plague. guy also known as gaius (Thanks to Lapham's Quarterly for bringing this article to my attention) Additional information: https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/till-death-us-part-divorce-medieval-england/
  8. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8953225/Lavish-home-indulgent-Emperor-Caligula-discovered-Rome.html A water pipe with the name of Claudius, which means that not only Caligula but also his successor was linked with the building Fragments of pottery taken from the site, which are set to be included in a new museum that's being built Summary: This is an older story with a recent press release. The new museum could be a wonderful source for Caligula and early Roman empire history. One never knows what they can still find during routine digging in Rome. guy also known as gaius
  9. Interesting article https://www.livescience.com/scents-old-europe-history.html I could only imagine the wide range of smells in ancient Rome. The pungent odor from factories producing the fermented fish sauce garum would be bracing, for example. (Fortunately, the end product was much milder in smell, even enticing.) The pungent odor of garlic, onions, and fish would fill the air. The odor of dead animals and excrement in the streets would have been sickly. Needless to say, body and oral hygiene would have been poor. Fortunately, masking odors of flowers and spices would waft through the air. Burning incense from temples would give a pleasant break to the stench in the air. Incense would also be used to cover the pervasive reek of public cremations, as well as the smell of death from animals or prisoners in the amphitheater. guy also known as gaius
  10. The past stunk. Scientists want you to be able to smell it As part of a project called Odeuropa, researchers from six countries are bringing historical European smells, including the Battle of Waterloo, to modern noses. "Smells shape our experience of the world." https://www.cnet.com/news/the-past-stunk-scientists-want-to-resurrect-its-smells-including-war/
  11. On a recently decoded inscription found on a restored stele in Bulgaria, Emperor Septimius Severus thanks the residents for a "donation" of 700,000 denarii. This most probably represents a bribe to regain Septimius's favor after choosing a losing Emperor (Pertinax) in a struggle to gain control of the empire: http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2020/11/12/roman-emperor-lied-thanked-city-for-bribe-reveals-newly-decoded-inscription-from-ancient-nicopolis-ad-istrum-in-bulgaria/ The newly read stone inscription of a letter by Roman Emperors Septimius Severus and Caracalla to the residents of the city of Nicopolis ad Istrum in today’s Northern Bulgaria reveals bribery, political corruption and lies in the Roman Empire. Summary: A city had to hedge its bets during any violent regime change (which would become increasingly common during the third century AD). Choosing the wrong emperor to support, however, could have disastrous results. This Bulgarian city had to quickly make amends for their wrong choice by a generous "donation." guy also known as gaius
  12. That's a good point. Septimius Severus's two rivals for the throne were Clodius Albinus and Pescennius Niger. After the murder of Pertinax, the regional legions each supported their own candidates for emperor: Clodius Albinus was proclaimed emperor by the legions of Britain and Hispania. Pescennius Niger was proclaimed emperor by the legions of Syria. Septimius Severus was proclaimed emperor by the troops of Illyricum and Pannonia, both of which are the closest to Bulgaria. It is more likely, therefore, this Bulgarian city would have naturally supported Septimius Severus or, at least, have remained neutral. Thank you for your comments.
  13. is it time to reassess Nero and his legacy? https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/nero-great-fire-rome-romans-b1719706.html Summary: Much of the history of ancient Rome we accept comes to us through sources that were trying to curry favor with the senatorial elite. It would be appropriate to reassess accepted historical narratives with this distorted perspective in mind. guy also known as gaius
  14. Here is an interesting review of Edward Champlin's "Nero." According to this review (I believe written by Professor Mary Beard), Champlin reassess Nero's legacy and possibly rehabilitates his reputation. https://erenow.net/ancient/confronting-the-classics-traditions-adventures-and-innovations/16.php Another revisionist history of Nero is John Drinkwater's "Nero: Emperor and Court." The book was described as an attempt to show Nero as a reluctant and insecure ruler who preferred to show his real or imagined skills in art and sport. Then, of course, Nero's supposed treatment of the Christians has to be explained by Drinkwater: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/new-nicer-nero-history-roman-emperor-180975776/ These are two more interesting books to add to the historical revisionism of Nero.
  15. These 100 coffins displayed in November 2020 come after some of another group of 59 coffins were opened in August 2020. Summary: It is good to see that despite COVID-19, every effort is being made to discover and preserve antiquities. Hopefully, images of mummies and other antiquities sold in the market place by unscrupulous vendors will become a thing of the past Egyptian mummy seller, 1875. https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/egyptian-mummy-seller-1865/ guy also known as gaius (Images by Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Rueters from the earlier Saqquara find. Source: National Review)
  16. An interesting article about the unusual source (sea snails) for purple dye in the ancient world. (Note that this site of purple production predated the founding of the city of Tyre, for which this dye is named, by around a thousand years.): https://www.livescience.com/amp/gold-jewels-found-on-island-purple.html The purple dye (later known as Tyrian purple) was extracted from sea snails and was both very rare and expensive. It became associated with the wealthy and ruling elites in the ancient world. The dye was colour-fast (non-fading) and possibly became more intense as the purple-dyed clothe was exposed to weather and over time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_purple The imperial toga picta worn by the emperor was dyed a solid purple. The foul-smelling and disgusting source of purple: guy also known as gaius (I want to thank Lapham's Quarterly for bringing this article to my attention.)
  17. Good article: https://www.archaeology.org/issues/403-2011/letter-from/9133-israel-purple-dye (Courtesy Michael Eisenberg) A Roman-era pool along the shallow, rocky shore of Tel Shikmona may have been used to trap snails in order to use them as raw materials for dye. (Courtesy Clara Amit, part of the collection of the Israel Antiquities Authority) This 2,000-year-old piece of wool dyed with murex-based blue was found in a cave on the western shore of the Dead Sea. It is one of the few surviving ancient textiles colored with the valuable hue. Summary: Purple dye was an example of ancient "conspicuous consumption." Similar to the modern tech device or luxury car, there are things that fill the human need to flaunt one's economic success or prestige.
  18. ‘SAD’ STORY OF ROMAN VETERAN WHO SERVED 44 YEARS IN MILITARY REVEALED BY TOMBSTONE FROM ALMUS IN BULGARIA’S DANUBE TOWN LOM http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2020/11/07/sad-story-of-roman-veteran-who-served-44-years-in-military-revealed-by-tombstone-from-almus-in-bulgarias-danube-town-lom/ Summary: I'm not sure why this is considered a "sad" story. The veteran, named Amarantus, survived 44 years of service, achieving prestigious rank of imaginifer. Although he possibly never married, having either a family or heirs, he did have a devoted slave who honored him with a tombstone of high-quality marble dating back to the second half of the first century AD. Not a tragic life, indeed. guy also known as gaius
  19. guy

    Quo Vadis - where are you marching?

    A nice review of the 1951 version of Quo Vadis. http://blogs.dickinson.edu/classicalstudies/2018/05/17/faith-and-spectacle-examining-quo-vadis-1951/
  20. guy

    Quo Vadis - where are you marching?

    I am not sure which version of the film you are referring to since there are several versions. The 1951 version with Peter Ustinov as Nero and Leo Genn as Petronius (my favorite character in the movie) is the most famous one. At least these two characters were based on some reality. This film also included two totally fictional main characters: the Roman general Marcus Vinicius (played by Robert Taylor) who embodied the Roman ideal of dedication and duty to the Roman state, as well as Lygia (played by Deborah Kerr) who exemplified Christian virtue and faith. Also recommended is the more adult version, a Polish / HBO film from 2001. I think one has to better define the charges against Christians. Nero may have blamed the Christians for starting the fire that burned Rome in 64 AD, but the Roman state would have considered Christians (and other religious sects) as traitors: According to Roman laws, Christians were: Guilty of high treason (majestatis rei) For their worship Christians gathered in secret and at night, making unlawful assembly, and participation in such collegium illicitum or coetus nocturni was equated with a riot. For their refusal to honor images of the emperor by libations and incense Dissenters from the state gods (άθεοι, sacrilegi) Followers of magic prohibited by law (magi, malefici) Confessors of a religion unauthorized by the law (religio nova, peregrina et illicita), according to the Twelve Tables). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damnatio_ad_bestias Interestingly, there is no good historical evidence of the Christians ever being executed in the Colosseum in Rome. But what is a good movie without an execution or two in the Colosseum? guy also known as gaius
  21. There was a very timely article in the Wall Street Journal (March 21, 2020) by Ben Zimmer dealing with the concept of a "Black Swan" event. Zimmer explains that this term "a black swan" is being used to describe the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, with the resulting financial market meltdown. He explains: "A 'black swan,' for market prognosticators, is a rare, unpredictable event with serious and avoidable effects." A Black Swan, therefore, is an event which is extremely rare and unexpected but has great unanticipated consequences. Zimmer reminds us that the term was first mentioned around 100 AD by the Roman poet Juvenal in his "Satires" 6.165. So, as Juvenal searched for the woman with his desired attributes, he laments that such a woman was "rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno (a rare bird in the lands, and very like a black swan)." https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Juvenal_and_Persius/The_Satires_of_Juvenal/Satire_6 https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/buzzword/entries/black-swan.html Ben Zimmer does a great job explaining how the term "a black swan" later became part of everyday speech. Juvenal was the initial source of this term. guy also known as gaius
  22. Addendum: One of my favorite quotes from Juvenal deals with the miseries of old age and its associated infirmities including lack of libido: 76: Legacy hunters married wealthy old widows so as to inherit their estates. They would not normally have scruples about old people. http://pages.pomona.edu/~cmc24747/sources/juvenal/juv_10.htm
  23. Professor Wasson does a nice job writing about Juvenal and his writings known for its satire. He also mentions his misogyny (as reflected by the above post asserting that a woman with his desirable traits was as "rare upon the earth as a black swan"): https://www.ancient.eu/Juvenal/
  24. Interesting and fun story. http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/cat-geoglyph-nazca-lines-08970.html Cats have been a source of fascination of ancient cultures, including the Egyptians: https://www.ancient.eu/article/466/cats-in-the-ancient-world/ Summary: Assuming this isn't a hoax played by a bunch of bored kids, this really is fascinating. guy also known as gaius