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.


Latin lovers revive the language

LATIN is showing distinct signs of life in Italy as students flock to Rome to learn it and a new Italian magazine publishes the world’s first Latin crossword.

Hebdomada Aenigmatum, or Weekly Puzzles, a free online Latin language publication launched this summer, now has 3000 subscribers, including about 100 in the UK.

Besides a crossword, it offers Sudoku and join-the-dots puzzles using Roman numerals as well as news reports featuring personalities such as Baracus Obama and Robertinus Williams.

For light relief, the magazine runs the cartoon Insuperabilis Snupius, also known as Snoopy, while recipes include tubus Siculus, or Sicilian cannoli, and assata bovilla, or roast beef.

“The success of the publication proves Latin is still very much alive,” said Luca Desiata, 42, an engineer with the Italian energy company ENEL, who invented Latin word games at school and now runs My Latin Lover, an organisation that promotes the use of the language.

“Readers are writing in to say that the magazine helps them go on practising the language they love,” he said.

Mr Desiata said he used a Latin dictionary updated with modern terms such as jet plane — aeronavis retroversus impulsus — to write his articles, including reports on the World Cup: Poculum mundanum pedifollicum.

The revival has been reflected in the translation of Harry Potter into Latin, but there is more concrete proof in Rome, home to an educational institute where all conversations must be carried out in Latin………..

read on


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