Solstice Sun Aligned With Rome’s Hardknott Castle

According to Archaeology, a publication of the Archaeological Institute of America, the ruins of a Roman fort in England have been analyzed by Amelia Carolina Sparavigna of the Polytechnic University of Turin. One of the strongholds built by Emperor Hadrian to guard the Roman frontier, the fort sits near Hardknott Pass and offers a view of the Eskdale Valley. Cumbria-Roman-fortLive Science reports that Sparavigna used online software and satellite imagery to calculate the angles at which the solstice sun rises and sets at the fort. She found that during the summer solstice,….

read the story here

Ancient Rome podcast by Melbourne’s La Trobe University tops UK iTunes chart

itunesA podcast about ancient Rome produced by La Trobe University has topped the iTunes collections in England and hit number two in Australia.

The series called Emperors of Rome stayed at number one for a week and had more than 40,000 downloads.

ABC Melbourne carried the story :

Ancient Roman statues emerge from British ambassador’s garden in Rome

prentice_statues_3134114bA collection of 350 ancient Roman statues and marble friezes are rediscovered after three-year restoration of overgrown garden belonging to the British ambassador’s residence.

For decades they were hidden beneath a jungle of overgrown vegetation, coated in lichen and moss, but now hundreds of delicate Roman statues and other marble artefacts have emerged from a painstaking restoration of the garden of the British ambassador’s residence in Rome.

The Telegraph’s Nick Squires  has the story:

Now We Are Rome – Ancient Roman torture on film, and modern American torture in the news.

“The torturer controls all proceedings. Arbitrary fallacies distort. Hope is corrupted. Fear debilitates. And with all of the constraints these things force upon the proceedings, there is no place left for the truth.” –Cicero

tortureHollywood has a long history of using the Romans to comment, often simplistically, about America. Traditionally, one aspect that has been presented in film as incompatible with American ideals is torture. It was always the purview of the brute, barbarian, and tyrant– the activity of a cruel, pre-Christian era. When characters from antiquity resorted to torture, the film makers consistently made the point that coercive violence was historically irreconcilable with a modern, enlightened democracy.

Read the full article by Gary Devore

The Carmenta Online Latin School

The Carmenta Online Latin School (which is now 6 years old) is the world’s largest online Latin school, with live audio/video Skype classes and tutoring in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Classical Literature. Highly qualified,most of their teachers also work at top American universities and prep schools. Students of all ages and with a wide variety of educational backgrounds could benefit.
Check out these websites – For students interested in online Latin classes, – For students interested in online Ancient Greek classes, and – For students interested in online Latin tutoring.

The Carmenta Blog, to which all of these three sites are directly linked, contains original and reposted articles and videos on the classical languages as well as classical culture, history, and archaeology. For an interesting and entertaining collection of scholarship and reportage about classical languages, history, and culture, with all original material produced by top academics go here:

Latrines, sewers show varied ancient Roman diet

Having myself worked with archaeologists, I know just how excited they get whenever a latrine turns up. Excitement assured, then, with this headline.

— Archaeologists picking through latrines, sewers, cesspits and trash dumps at Pompeii and Herculaneum have found tantalizing clues to an apparently varied diet there before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed those Roman cities in 79 A.D.

Much of what residents didn’t digest or left on their plates went down into latrine holes, became remnants in cesspits built up over the centuries or was thrown away in local dumps. At a three-day conference ending Friday in Rome, archaeologists discussed their discoveries, including gnawed-on fish bones and goose eggshells that were possibly ancient delicacies for the elite……………..


a latrine entry shaft into a sewer with calcium phosphate build-up on the side.

get ready for the Saturnalia

English Heritage are putting on talks on the Festival of Saturnalia, to be held at Corbridge Roman Town on 20th December

Join English Heritage’s Curator of Roman Collections, Frances McIntosh, as she brings the story of the Roman festival, Saturnalia, to life.

Booking essential.



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