Coming face to face with iconic art

Anybody who has ever studied Latin using the famous Wheelock textbooks will be familiar with the Virgil and Muse mosaic that’s featured on its cover. I have spent many hours using this book to learn my verb conjugations and noun declensions (which I have mostly forgotten). Imagine my surprise when I suddenly came face to…

Dark Spells in Aquincum

I’m a big fan of accessible history. What do I mean by that? Unfortunately for a lot of us, history is not taught well in schools and once we are grown up we get caught in the rush of our daily lives that we often only have time enough for random snippets of history presented…

Dougga, Tunisia

The Capitol in any Roman town was the main temple dedicated to the triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. It is assumed that the Capitol in Dougga (or Thugga as it is also called) was built in the late 2nd Century AD. This view is through a door frame from the House of Lacheb. We…

Peacock Mosaics

On my recent trip to Tunisia I had the chance to see some spectacular mosaics from the ancient Roman North African period. Some of these mosaics were nothing less than coloured stone carpets. The depiction of flora and fauna was a predominant theme in these mosaics and I was drawn to the the intricate detailing…

On the (ancient) Roman trail again

Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem delendam esse “I consider that Carthage must be destroyed”- Cato the elder, 2nd Century BC There have been so many tipping points in history when the world pointedly took one direction rather than another. Presumably with every action of every sentient being in the planet, the course of history changes a…

On Augustus

If you go into google and start typing “Augustus whe..” the search engine helpfully prompts with “Augustus where are my legions”. Indeed the online world of Roman memes is littered mainly with two major types of Augustan memes- one centered around Augustus’ claim of having found Rome a city of bricks and having left it…

Roman House Reconstructed

If you’ve ever been to Pompeii or Herculaneum or any of the other ancient Roman sites you would have come across ruins of individual houses. Some are big like the house of Faun in Pompeii, some are extremely small. Some are well preserved and some are not. But in most cases it is often difficult…

Pannonia Inferior- the Hadrian Connection

Quick quiz question On visiting an erstwhile frontier town from the ancient Roman empire, the emperor you are most likely to encounter or who beat you to that town nearly 1900 years ago is likely to be (a) Hadrian (b) Hadrian (c) Hadrian (d) All of the above Hadrian is (maybe after Augustus) one of…

Z for Zenobia of Palmyra

Zenobia, the Rebel Queen of Palmyra (from the 3rd Century CE) was truly the stuff that legends are made of. She was the wife of the King of Palmyra Odaenathus but after his death in 267 CE, she took over the reigns of the Palmyrene Empire, instead of retreating to a corner or acting as…

X for ………

Just as in scrabble, there are a few alphabets in the A to Z Challenge that come with little flags. You’re always apprehensive when you get the Q but actually Q can be your best friend and help you score tons of points if used wisely. Other alphabets such as Z and X though not…

W for War

I know a lot of us will find this strange- but we are possibly living through one of the most peaceful times that has ever been known in the history of humankind. True- today we have terrorism that hangs as a threat over world peace but in a majority of cases countries respect each others’…

U for Umm Qais, Gadara of the Ancient World

First of all, here’s a big round of applause to everyone who has made it to the final week of the A to Z Challenge. Just this week folks and then we’re done! I know I haven’t been regular commenting or visiting- just keeping up with the blog posting is keeping me busy. Getting to…