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Everything posted by guy

  1. “In a time and place that offered few career opportunities for women, the job of the priestess of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi (called the Pythia) stands out. Her position was at the centre of one of the most powerful religious institutions of the ancient Greece.” https://greekreporter.com/2021/07/28/pythia-delphi-oracle/ Excellent video about the Oracle of Delphi. I had never heard this anecdote before: ”67 ADEdit In 67 AD, Emperor Nero, who was just 30 years old and had killed his own mother in 59 AD, when visiting the Oracle was told: The incensed emperor had the Pythia burned alive.[23] Nero thought he would have a long reign and die at 73. Instead, his reign came to a short end after a revolt by Galba who was 73 years of age at the time.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oracular_statements_from_Delphi
  2. The mystery of the ancient Roman dodecahedron continues. Ancient measuring device, sewing tool, gambling piece …? “The first Roman dodecahedron to intrigue archaeologists was found almost 300 years ago, buried in a field in the English countryside along with some ancient coins. "A piece of mixed metal, or ancient brass, consisting of 12 equal sides," read the description of the egg-sized object when it was presented to the Society of Antiquaries in London in 1739. The 12 faces had "an equal number of perforations within them, all of unequal diameters, but opposite to one another … every faceing had a knobb or little ball fixed to it." The 1739 dodecahedron was far from the last discovery of its kind. More than 100 similar objects have since been found at dozens of sites across northern Europe dating to around the 1st to 5th centuries CE. Ranging in size from about a golf ball to a bit larger than a baseball, each one has 12 equally sized faces, and each face has a hole of varying diameter.“ https://www.grunge.com/471518/the-unsolved-mystery-of-the-ancient-roman-dodecahedron/ https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/514246/are-roman-dodecahedrons-worlds-most-mysterious-artifact
  3. An interesting find: “A 500-year-old wax sculpture attributed to Michelangelo might hold the famed artist's fingerprint, a new analysis finds.“ https://www.livescience.com/michelangelo-fingerprint-found-statue.html
  4. An interesting theory: “The ancient Greeks may have built sacred or treasured sites deliberately on land previously affected by earthquake activity, according to a new study by the University of Plymouth.” “Fault lines created by seismic activity in the Aegean region may have caused areas to be afforded special cultural status, and as such, led to them becoming sites of much celebrated temples and great cities.“ https://greekreporter.com/2021/07/25/did-ancient-greeks-deliberately-build-their-temples-in-earthquake-stricken-sites/ We have discussed before the use of natural phenomena to create a mystical environment: I’m
  5. An interesting article from last year: “Long-running improvement works on a section of the A1 have uncovered rare traces of how contact with the Roman Empire transformed a northern Iron Age settlement at a key routeway junction. Carly Hilts reports.” ”In the early 1st century AD it was home to a flourishing settlement whose indigenous inhabitants enjoyed access to luxurious goods imported from across the Roman Empire.“ https://archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/contact-conquest-and-cartimandua.htm
  6. “An archaeological mapping project has located a Roman road submerged in the Venice Lagoon, that suggests extensive settlements may have been present centuries before the founding of Venice in the fifth century.“ https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.heritagedaily.com/2021/07/archaeologists-discover-roman-road-in-the-venice-lagoon/139722
  7. The position of the paleobeach ridge in the Treporti Channel in Roman times (in yellow in transparency over the current satellite data) and the alignment of Roman stone remains and levee road (red dots and lines), buildings (green squares) and brick walls (white pentagons); the pink solid line indicates the position of the structures reconstructed by Madricardo et al. Image credit: Madricardo et al., doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-92939-w. http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/treporti-channel-road-09892.html
  8. I’m always skeptical about these stories, but it is interesting, nevertheless: ”In fact, the sweet little fruits were an essential part of the diet of Spartan athlete Charmis. Fascinatingly, records of Charmis’ diet provide us with the earliest details regarding what ancient athletes consumed in Greece. When they did eat meat, which was much more rarely than most contemporary Olympians do, ancient athletes ate different types of meat according to their own sport. According to ancient sources, boxers ate bull meat, wrestlers pork, and runners goat.“ https://greekreporter.com/2021/07/21/what-did-ancient-greek-athletes-eat-the-diet-of-the-olympians/
  9. guy

    Assertion of Power

    Despite the frequent turnover and turmoil in leadership, the Empire did survive. I think this relative stability can attributed to Intact institutions (extended family, a patronage system, religious organizations, etc) and a well-entrenched bureaucracy. In Italy there have been 36 (and counting) Prime Ministers since 1946. Despite these frequent changes of government, daily Italian life is barely affected by these transitions. Similar to Ancient Rome, people merely meet the challenges of life, supported by their local family, relationships, religious affiliations, etc. This might explain why distant communities would continue living a Roman lifestyle long after the Empire and the city of Rome “fell.”
  10. Better article on find: Here, a reconstruction of the Treporti channel road in Roman rimes. The Venice lagoon would have been to the left of the road and to the Adriatic Sea to the right. (Image credit: Antonio Calandriello and Giuseppe D'Acunto/Scientific Reports,) “The submerged remains of a Roman road have been found on the seafloor of the Venice lagoon, along with archaeological structures that are thought to be what's left of a dock and settlements.“ https://www.livescience.com/submerged-roman-road-venice-lagoon.html
  11. It’s good to see that things are “returning to normal.” “Exeter City Council’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum will host a cohort from Legio Secunda Augusta, one of Europe's pre-eminent Roman re-enactment groups on Saturday 24 July 2021.” https://news.exeter.gov.uk/army-of-roman-soldiers-and-civilians-will-descend-on-exeter-this-saturday/?amp=true&__twitter_impression=true
  12. Professor Worthington’s arguments against the tomb’s belonging to Olympias are persuasive: “ Ian Worthington, a professor of ancient history at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, expressed doubts that this is the tomb of Olympias. Ancient sources, Worthington noted, were clear that Cassander did not allow Olympias a proper burial; and since Cassander was afraid of rebellions, he would have barred such a tomb that could be used to rally Cassander's opponents. By the time Cassander died in 297 B.C., almost 20 years had passed since Olympias' death; Worthington said he doubts that someone would go to the trouble of building an elaborate tomb by that point. Additionally, Worthington notes that just because the tomb is large does not mean that whoever was buried in it was noble. In fact, he said, a large tomb could be had by anyone with enough wealth to build it. "You could be wealthy but not necessarily noble," said Worthington. Another problem is that Olympias was originally from Epirus, in northwestern Greece. If someone wanted to give her a proper burial, Worthington thinks that it's more likely they would have brought her home to Epirus rather than bury her close to where she was killed.“ https://www.livescience.com/alexander-the-great-mom-olympias-tomb.html
  13. I’m not sure whether they really found the tomb of Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great and wife of Phillip II (King of Macedonia). But it makes for a great story. “Following archeological excavations carried out at the Tomb of Korinos in northern Greece, Emeritus Professor Athanasios Bidas confirmed that the tomb of the wife of King Philip and mother of Alexander the Great, Olympias, has been found.“ https://greekcitytimes.com/2021/07/10/bidas-alexander-the-great-korinos/amp/
  14. King Tutankhamen’s mask is one of the great ancient artifacts. Could (at least part of the mask) been originally intended for someone else (a female such as Nefertiti)? "Recent research has homed in on one long-overlooked feature - and that is the decidedly pierced ears. It has been suggested that this mask was originally made for someone else. "Research suggests that Tutankhamen would not have worn earrings beyond childhood.” https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1463038/egypt-archaeology-news-tutankhamun-mask-howard-carter-valley-kings-queen-nefertiti-spt
  15. An interesting attempt to replicate meals of Ancient Rome. Patina Cotidiana, a tomato-less predecessor to lasagne, is one of the signature dishes at Hostaria Antica Roma (Credit: Paolo Magnanimi) “To recreate this [tomato-less] 2,000-year-old dish, Magnanimi started with a recipe from the 1st-Century AD Roman cookbook De Re Coquinaria, the only surviving recipe book from ancient Rome, which is attributed to Apicius, a wealthy gourmand once described by Pliny the Elder as "the most gluttonous gorger of all spendthrifts’.”To recreate this 2,000-year-old dish, Magnanimi started with a recipe from the 1st-Century AD Roman cookbook De Re Coquinaria, the only surviving recipe book from ancient Rome, which is attributed to Apicius, a wealthy gourmand once described by Pliny the Elder as ‘the most gluttonous gorger of all spendthrifts’.” https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20210719-what-did-the-ancient-romans-eat
  16. An interesting discovery in Rome: “Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi was on hand for the unveiling Friday of the pomerial stone, a huge slab of travertine that was used as a sacred, military and political perimeter marking the edge of the city proper with Rome's outer territory. In ancient Rome, the area of the pomerium was a consecrated piece of land along the city walls, where it was forbidden to farm, live or build and through which it was forbidden to enter with weapons.” Photographers take pictures during the presentation to the press of an archeological finding emerged during the excavations at a Mausoleum in Rome, Friday, July 16, 2021. The monumental pomerial stone is dating back to Roman Emperor Claudio and was used to mark the 'pomerium' the sacred boundaries of the 'Urbe', the city of Rome, during the Roman empire. Credit: AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis https://www.google.com/amp/s/phys.org/news/2021-07-rare-stone-outlining-ancient-rome.amp https://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/ny-rare-stone-city-limits-ancient-rome-unveiled-claudius-emperor-20210716-dloq3xs5gjc65aj4bp6ubtmowu-story.html?outputType=amp The distinction between imperium and pomerium:
  17. “The stone is dated to the age of Emperor Claudius in 49 AD, and as Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi explained the pomerial stone, a huge slab of travertine that was used as a sacred, military, and political perimeter marking the edge of the city proper with Rome's outer territory. In ancient Rome, the area of the pomerium was a consecrated piece of land along the city walls, where it was forbidden to farm, live or build and through which it was forbidden to enter with weapons.“ https://www.ancientpages.com/2021/07/18/rare-stone-discovered-outlining-ancient-romes-city-limits/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ancient_native_americans_encounter_with_the_star_people_ankou_breton_angel_of_death_ancient_secrets_of_the_ukrainian_stonehenge_that_is_older_than_the_giza_pyramids_of_egypt_and_much_more_july_16_20_2021&utm_term=2021-07-20
  18. guy

    Assertion of Power

    Interesting point. Military brutality can only maintain an extensive and diverse empire so long. It was the enculturation and assimilation by the “conquered” non-Romans and the adaption of outside “foreign” ideas by these “ruling” Romans that proved to be the cement that held the empire together. I don’t like venturing into modern politics, but the contrast of the USSR and the British Empire might be appropriate here. One empire frayed apart despite modern methods of surveillance and repression after less than a century. Another empire has persisted (albeit in a diminished role) after four centuries.
  19. guy

    Domina: New series

    I am looking forward to this series. Hopefully, it will be available on Netflix soon: “The story of Livia Drusilla, from her early life as a naive young girl in the wake of Julius Caesar's assassination, through her rise to become the emperor Augustus' wife, becoming Rome's most powerful and influential empress.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domina_(TV_series)
  20. presents the ancient artifact known as a "strigil," a historical tool u “Turkey's Izmir Archaeology Museumrecently launched a new, unique exhibition centered around the historical artifact known as a "strigil," which 2,300 years ago was a tool used for cleansing the body by scraping off dirt, perspiration and oil.“ https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/amp/strigilis-of-ancient-age-at-izmir-museum-166363 https://www.dailysabah.com/arts/ancient-hygiene-tools-of-gladiators-on-display-in-izmir/news/amp In this scene, Marc Antony enjoys the benefits of a strigil (possibly inappropriate for younger viewers):
  21. An interesting evidence of the Christian Visigoth presence in Spain: “The discovery was made during the summer season of excavations among the ruins of a previously excavated Roman villa, which was abandoned around the 5th century AD. During the Roman period, Los Villaricos was a large-scale agricultural site, focusing on the production and storage of olive oil. In later years, elements of the villa was repurposed for Christian worship, whilst the villa’s central patio area was used as a necropolis, referred to as the ‘ necropolis ad sanctos ’ “ https://www.heritagedaily.com/2021/07/sarcophagus-from-the-visigoth-period-discovered-in-roman-necropolis/139702?amp
  22. https://www.theolympian.com/entertainment/celebrities/article252832973.html
  23. Thanks for reading. My understanding of the article was that the stone, although not an integral part of the wall, was a marker at the wall outlining the pomerium.
  24. An interesting coin hoard. I may not agree with all the conclusions, however. ”In Roman times, there was likely a shallow crossing known as a ford at this narrow part of the river, and superstitious travelers probably offered up coins to guarantee safe passage across the waterway, like a wisher throwing a penny into a fountain, archaeologists wrote in a reportreleased June 6 by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.” Some of the ancient Roman coins found by the Aa river in the Netherlands, following their discovery and an initial cleaning. (Image credit: Wim and Nico van Schaijk) I might disagree with the conclusion that these coins were deposited over a long period of time. Coins in the Roman Empire circulated over many years, even centuries: “The coins were from a very broad time period: the oldest coins date from the Republic [up to 27 BC, Ed.] and the most recent from the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius [up to 180 AD]. This indicates that the coins must have been deposited by different people over a long period.'’ https://www.livescience.com/roman-coin-hoard-by-river.html https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/news/2021/06/roman-coins-as-offering-for-safe-crossing https://www.archaeology.org/news/9845-210713-netherlands-roman-coins
  25. The lead scroll with Ancient Greek writing, found in an amulet belonging to the ancient Greek man Demetrios, 160 AD warding off the plague. This interesting amulet was found on the banks of the Thames river. It has been dated to late 160s AD, during the Antonine plague. “A Greek inhabitant of the Roman city of Londinium in the late 160s, named Demetrios, lived through the Antonine plague — or at least part of the plague — which he tried to ward off by wearing a scroll with a Greek prayer in the form of rhyming hexameters.” “This written plea for protection from the “raging” plague, which he said caused “flesh-wasting, melting, infiltrating pain,” was addressed to the ancient Greek deities Iao, Sabbath and Abrasax. In the heart-rending text, the ancient Greek man begs the deities to ‘watch over Demetrios.’“ https://greekreporter.com/2021/07/14/greek-immigrant-in-roman-era-london-used-amulet-to-ward-off-plague/