The Death of Caesar, Vincenzo Camuccini, 1798 (public domain)
In ancient Rome, grabbing power was the default way to become emperor. Even in the Republic, achieving consulship required some serious bribery and corruption, subverting the process, whipping up the emotions of the people with simplistic slogans and the like. Power rarely passed cleanly or without […]
The BBC’s series that started last week with fabulous film and virtual reconstructions of tunnels and monuments under present day Naples (#invisiblecities #italy) reminded me of my mini-excursion underground in 2012. Roman remains are built into the arteries of underground Naples and I was fascinated to see how Roman walls and arches were criss-crossed with later […]
Reading – Funerary relief, Museum of Roman Civilisation, Rome (Author photo)
The recent release of the first four Roma Nova audiobooks prompted me to look into ancient Roman oral storytelling traditions. Here’s what I found…
Storytelling in Roman societies covered stories (fabulae) from the classics through philosophy, politics, religion and travel to sheer entertainment. […]
A boy holding a platter of fruits and a bucket of crab(?) in a kitchen with fish and squid, on the June panel from a mosaic depicting the months (3rd century) CC Commons – creator Sailko
Food is one of the most powerful ways of conveying information about characters. It shows readers not only status and […]
Modern Roma Nova?
In the Roma Nova story, over four hundred Romans loyal to the old gods trekked north out of Italy in AD 395 to a semi-mountainous area similar to modern Slovenia.
Led by Apulius and his friend Mitelus at the head of twelve senatorial families, they established a colony based initially on […]
Twenty-first century Roma Nova military train with state of the art weaponry; their firepower and weapon handling are undoubted. But they also train on a ‘volunteer’ basis with a modern carbon steel version of the traditional Pompeii gladius, a short sword in use from at least AD 79 and not uncommon in the 4th century AD.