The Fort That Anchored The Wall

My thanks to Marine1 for writing this  guide to Segedunum Roman Fort and Baths at Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, . 

“Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum at Wallsend on the north bank of the River Tyne is an exciting, interactive museum.

Wallsend, as its names implies was the anchor fort at the eastern end of Hadrian’s wall.  It is the most extensively excavated site in the whole of the Roman Empire and has the only reconstructed Roman bath house in Britain.  The 100 feet high observation tower gives stunning views over both the fort and the surrounding area, including the River………….”

It saves me writing the report I have been meaning to write since August 2006 when I set off from Segedunum to walk the Wall in 6 days, accompanied by friends and supported, crucially by wife.

You can catch marine1’s report  here 

and, if you are the sort that cannot get enough of  someone else’s holiday snaps ( and very many of them) you can go here:


Of course, there is a debate about which way to do this walk. Prevailing opinion would have you walking with the prevailing wind at your back, West to East. Forget that. Walk away and leave as far behind as you can the noise of the metropolis, head West and finish in the glorious Solway Firth. Unforgettable.

Pompeiiana – the Newsletter

About Pompeiiana

The Pompeiiana Newsletter was created and edited by Bernard Barcio and ran from 1974 through 2003. Pompeiiana offered a place for Latin students to publish comics, stories, games, and articles, and was a beloved resource for Latin teachers. In 2008, Barcio granted Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers the rights for all of Pompeiiana. This blog will make all 229 issues freely available to Latin teachers, students, and others interested in Classics, one issue per day.

You can find out more and get your Newsletters  here

 When in Rome

Word histories and a favorite teacher

I am sure that “favourite teachers” can be cited for every possible subject on the curriculum. But it just seems to crop up again and again that the Latin teacher is able to enthuse and leave a lasting impression on so many former pupils. Maybe I’m biased and just blinkered and only see what I want to see.  Of course I am!

But here’s another testimonial for another Latin teacher – and thank goodness she is still alive …..


Monday, August 10, 2009

“In a world where we are constantly reminded of the passing of the giants of our childhoods, it was with enormous relief that I learned the rumor of the demise of my best elementary school teacher was false.

Sister Mary Reynold taught me in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at St. Anthony’s Catholic School. I was blessed with three full years of her teaching at a crucial time in life. Her praises and rebukes alike still live with me, and both have made me a better person. But if there’s any one thing she taught me, it’s the place of etymology in an understanding of our language.

She had a double major in mathematics and Latin, I learned many years later. The math never really took hold of me, but her deep know-ledge of Latin left a lasting imprint on my mind. ….”

read the whole article here

Roman attitudes to magic

“Magic, then, was always something secret and illegal; if, in practice, tolerated so long as no scandal occurred”.  So concludes Roger Pearse after a brief but  scholarly review on his blog. In my experience pupils are always fascinated by the subject and listen more readily, and have stronger views about it than many of the topics with which we try to engage them.

Did you know that 

“There were three sets of Roman legislation relating to magic.[1]  There was an edict in the Twelve Tables (ca. 451 BC); the laws of Sulla (81 BC); and the legislation of Constantine and other Christian emperors (after 312 AD).. . . .. . . .?

You can catch the whole article here

Lavinia – rescued from near oblivion

Another in the series of – “isn’t it time we looked at the story from someone else’s standpoint”. I haven’t read “Lavinia”  and probably won’t,  but any book which draws from someone who has the comment “If you haven’t read The Aeneid, you will want to after this”,  must be worthy of consideration.

Lavinia  B y Ursula le Guin

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

paperback; 288 pp.;

Virgil opens his epic of the foundation of Rome by invoking the muse to sing “of arms and the man.” The Aeneid gives scant attention to women, apart from Carthage’s queen Dido, wracked with love for the Trojan exile Aeneas, and the goddess Juno, forever scheming to thwart his plans to establish a new Troy in Latin lands. Notably neglected is the Latin princess he does battle for, foremother to the Roman rulers. Now, rescued from near-oblivion by Ursula le Guin, Lavinia gives her side of the story. Virgil got her all wrong, Lavinia tells us. It is she, as much as Aeneas, who determines the fate of her homeland. She is also a natural narrator, attuned to the old and alive to the new. Reviewing the book in The Daily Telegraph, John Garth writes: “Le Guin, a doyen of fantasy who has steeped herself in myth and history, is adept at the telling detail. Aeneas emerges a steely man of honour, troubled by his own battlefield excesses against his Latin rival Turnus … Celebrating literature’s power to outlive and outgrow its creators, this novel is neither a complaint against an old dead white male nor a slavish imitation of his work. If you haven’t read The Aeneid, you will want to after this. If you already know your Virgil, you may find Le Guin sending you back for a fresh look. Her achievement is to complement the original epic so distinctively, as if in a dialogue or dance with the poet who inspired her.”