Happy New Year!

Winged Victory Roman terracotta oil lamp, 2nd half of 1st century CE. On the discus a winged Victory holds a shield inscribed with a New Year’s wish for happiness. Around her are representations of things that were usually given as gifts to celebrate the New Year—money (in the form of three coins) and dried fruit (dates…

The Monster Compilation of Free Online Resources for Classical Studies – Update

Featured image: Muse reading a volumen (scroll), at the left an open chest. Attic red-figure lekythos, circs. 435-425 BCE. From Boeotia. Collection of the Louvre Museum, Paris. Photo by Jastrow (2006) via WIkimedia Commons (here)  25 July 2019 Update Classical studies is the interdisciplinary study of the ancient Mediterranean world, including archaeology, language, literature, culture, history,…

Ancient Roman Gems in the Treasure of St Denis

Aquamarine intaglio from the Screen of Charlemagne Collection of the  Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Photograph by Clio20, via Wikimedia Commons (X). Image license:  GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 This intaglio portrait of Julia Flavia has a curious history. It was carved by the Greek engraver Evodos, probably in the 1st Century C.E.; the gold setting may date…

Material evidence of religious violence

I’ve been talking to people recently about what the material evidence of a major change in society looks like. Today, I will briefly discuss the example of the material evidence of the change in religion that occurred in Late Antiquity, when Christianity became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire. This change was brought about…

January

January Fragment of a mosaic with the months of the year. First half third century CE. Discovered in the city of Thysdrus, Roman province of Byzacena, (modern El Djem, Tunisia).  Archaeological Museum of Sousse.  Photograph by Ad Meskens, 2012.

Vesuvius 79 CE: Look for the helpers

The Herculaneum Boat Photo: © Division La Repubblica, October 31, 2017. (X) Today, August 24, marks the beginning of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. Tons of pumice, ash, and mud from the volcano buried the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae, as well as hundreds of farms and villas in the surrounding countryside, over a period of 25…

Dies Natalis of Diana and Nemoralia

Today, August 13, is the dies natalis (anniversary) of the temple dedicated on the Aventine to the holy goddess Diana in the 6th century BCE. The date also marks the first day of the Nemoralia (Festival of Torches) held in her honor. The hunting or killing of any animal was forbidden on this day. Women and slaves were free of…

View Into the Temple of Vesta

Featured Image: View into the temple of Vesta, drawing by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1818.      © Photo: Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (X)  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License The annual festival of  Vestalia was celebrated in honor of the goddess Vesta in ancient Rome between the 7th and 15th of…

Philanthropia in ancient Rome

“How can anyone who, while worshiping Zeus the God of Companions, sees their neighbors in need and does not give them a penny – how can they think they are worshiping Zeus properly?” — Julian, Emperor of Rome, Letter to Arsacius, High-priest of Galati

The Sacred Pool of Juturna

The Sacred Pool of Juturna, Roman Forum. Photo from the 2015 exhibition Lacus Iuturnae – The sacred fountain of the Roman Forum at the Temple of Romulus in Rome, curated by Patrizia Fortini and the National Institute for Archaeology and Art History. (Image source: X) “For four hundred and forty-one years from the foundation of the City, the…

The Monster Compilation of Free Online Resources for Classical Studies

  Featured Image: Muse reading a volumen (scroll), at the left an open chest. Attic red-figure lekythos, circs. 435-425 BCE. From Boeotia. Collection of the Louvre Museum, Paris. Photo by Jastrow (2006) via WIkimedia Commons (here) 170+ links – Updated 20 March 2018 Classical studies is the interdisciplinary study of the ancient Mediterranean world, including archaeology, language,…