Saturnalia - serious Roman festival or free for all?

Temple of Saturn, Rome

Saturnalia was THE most important Roman festival. Heavy on feasting, fun and gifts, it was originally celebrated in Ancient Rome for only a day around 17 December, but it was so popular it expanded into a week or even longer, despite Augustus’ efforts to reduce it to three days, and […]

Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Wind back 2000 years to Ancient Rome

Campus Martius Rome, AD 300 (reconstruction)

Shopping is a national obsession in many countries and December is the peak of the frenzy. In a way it’s a sign of the relative wealth of 21st century people, but in another it plays to the instincts of acquisition and somewhere in the lizard brain, survival. Everybody […]

How far is the road to Rome, or even Virunum?

Virunum today (Photo: Wikipedia)

Roman horseman (Author photo of Marcus Aurelius in the Capitoline)

Travelling in the ancient world was different, fundamentally different. Young (and not so young) men were by far the most mobile in the Ancient Rome over the whole period whether you count it to AD 476 (west) or 1453 (east) because they fought in […]