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A video report and a good series of three slide shows looking at excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum from Rai News as well a discussion of some of the difficulties. You can see it here. Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
If you are in the US you can see "Hero of Herculaneum", a documentary I worked on last year, on Sunday at 2100 on the Smithsonian Channel. A preview can be seen here. Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
Depressing news from Herculaneum. The staff shortages are starting to bite. Visitors have given up seeing the Suburban Baths and even the boat museum, but the whole site was closed on Monday: The ancient site of Herculaneum near Pompeii in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
For the next week, a documentary I worked on last year - The Hero of Herculaneum - part of the Mummies Alive series is available to watch online. You can see it here. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
My father's translation of Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front is named as one of the best war and history books of all time in today's Telegraph. It is very good indeed. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
For those in the UK, a documentary I worked on last year - The Hero of Herculaneum - part of the Mummies Alive series is on, on Monday 8 June at 2100. Enjoy. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
The Antonine Wall is the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire. An exercise in military engineering nearly 2,000km from Rome, it was designed and built explicitly as an example of the might of Emperor Antoninus Pius. Though half the length... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
Novels about the Battle of Teutoburg Forest – the battle in AD9 where three Roman legions under Public Quinctilius Varus were wiped out by a coalition of Germanic tribes under the rebel Cheruscan leader Arminius – do not have an... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
Pliny is all well and good, but I confess that I have always found it difficult to visualise what it must have been like to watch Vesuvius erupt. There are, of course, the news reports of Vesuvius in 1944 (this... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
I have been meaning to mention this for days, but Mike Bishop is running a brilliant series on Hadrian's Wall - everything you ever wanted to know. It starts here with "When was Hadrian's Wall Built". It is a must... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
A musical curiosity - an orchestral work from 1972 by the German composer Hans Werner Henze. Thanks to DD for passing over. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
A great film by Falkirk Council about the discovery of the Bridgeness Slab on the Antonine Wall: Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
It is easy to become cynical about what appear to be numerous new plans for the Antonine Wall especially with the dreaded phrase "five year plan". There is an inevitability to the way that these projects fade away. But councils... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
The first Alderney Literary Festival takes place next week. For those who are able to come, I will be speaking about Herculaneum: "Bringing the Dead of Herculaneum to Life," on Saturday, 21 March at 1530. I will also be speaking... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
Interesting news from Historic Scotland about the launch, in April 2016, of an Antonine Wall app. It will use augmented reality to help visitors visit the site. The technology draws on the Bavarian museums service, which created an earlier similar... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
Roman relations with India are fascinating. I have blogged about it on and off over the years. There is news in a couple of Indian papers today about the discovery of several Roman coins in Vellalore in Coimbatore. There are... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
Just before Christmas I mentioned that I had spent a chunk of the last nine months working with the Scottish Qualifications Authority, best-known for coordinating school exams in Scotland, on its papers for classical studies. At the time I posted... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
Those with longer memories will recall late Roman, fifth century hoard found in Rhineland Palatinate that was instantly dubbed the legendary Nibelung treasure. It made the deadlines in February last year (previous posts here and here). I had been curious... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
A splendid review in the New Statesman of the computer game Total War: Attila: The game offers no sympathy to the plight of Rome, its fall is not seen as being tragic in any way. If you’re a very good... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
Via Vesuvio Live, a brilliant video produced by Melbourne Museum that shows how Vesuvius erupted and how it destroyed Pompeii in August AD79. Well-worth a look: Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
News has been rather quiet on the Battle of the Harzhorn front - the battle in AD238 between the Romans under Maximinus Thrax and the Germanic tribes, uncovered in 2008. My last post on the subject was a year ago.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
There has been a great deal of excitement about the news yesterday that a new technique might help scholars reads the carbonised scrolls from the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum. I thought it worthwhile pulling together the better articles. The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
The special exhibition this year at the Kalkriese Museum focuses on Germanicus, either the best emperor Rome never had or a preening self-important idiot. Either way, it was Germanicus who (eventually) defeated Arminius after the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Ein... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
An article in the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald about new plans to capitalise on the Antonine Wall. The views of businesses are currently being canvassed: Businesses are being urged to help build on the popularity of the Antonine Wall and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at Bread & Circuses
There was a good piece, a couple of days ago in the Times, about the Frome Hoard and the Emperor Carausius (AD286-293), also known as the Squatter Emperor. Inevitably behind the firewall, Jack Malvern's piece has (thankfully) been reprinted in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2015 at Bread & Circuses