Today (21st April) is the traditional date given for the founding of Rome. According to Roman mythology, the founders were Romulus and Remus, twin brothers and supposed sons of the god Mars and the priestess Rhea Silvia. The twins were then abandoned by their parents as babies (because of a prophecy that they would overthrow their great-uncle… Continue reading Felix dies natalis, Roma!
With thousands of archaeological sites, Jerusalem is one of the most excavated cities on the planet and to walk its streets is to walk through thousand years of history. This ancient city has been fought over more than any other place. It has been conquered, destroyed and rebuilt many times and Hadrian played a significant… Continue reading Exploring Aelia Capitolina, Hadrian’s Jerusalem
About a year and a half after the discovery of the bronze statue of Hadrian (see previous post here) in 1977, six fragments of a monumental Latin inscription – the largest ever found in Israel – were discovered near the camp of the Sixth Legion in Tel Shalem. The inscription, inscribed in three lines, had belonged… Continue reading The inscription dedicated to Hadrian from the Tel Shalem arch
This week marks the bimillennial anniversary of the death of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. He died on 19th August AD 14 at the age of 75 after a 41-year reign, the longest in Roman history. Augustus left his mark on Rome and western civilisation like few others. He vastly expanded the Roman Empire, established… Continue reading A tribute to Augustus
Hadrian's Wall has long attracted hikers and history fans and is now the heart of an 84-mile-long (135 km) National Trail through some of Britain's most beautiful countryside. Hadrian's Wall stretches coast to coast across northern England, from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. Three years ago, I set out to explore… Continue reading Walking Hadrian’s Wall – images from milecastle 42 to milecastle 37
Lucius Ceionius Commodus, the future Lucius Verus, was born on December 15 in 130 AD. He was the son of Aelius Caesar, Hadrian's first choice as a successor, but Lucius' father died when he was only seven years old. Having lost his first choice as successor, Hadrian designated Antoninus Pius to be his successor and… Continue reading Felix dies natalis, Luci Vere!
Caligae were heavy hob-nailed military boots worn by the Roman legionary soldiers, auxiliaries and cavalrymen throughout the Roman Republic and Empire. This bronze caliga was part of an over life-size statue of a Roman cavalryman from the 1st or the 2nd century AD. It is exhibited at the Museo Civico Archeologico of Bologna. However this… Continue reading Artefact: Bronze caliga from an over life-size statue of a Roman cavalryman
I just got back from a one week holiday in Croatia. I had a fabulous time exploring wonderful places which will certainly be the subject of future posts. This photo was taken at the archaeological site of Burnum, a Roman Legionary camp located nearby the natural beauties of the Krka National park. The camp was… Continue reading Picture of the week: The arches of the Burnum principium in Dalmatia (Croatia)
On 9th August 117 AD (or it might have been the 7th or 8th), the Emperor Trajan died suddenly from a stroke at Selinus in Cilicia on his way from Syria to Rome. This event prompted the renaming of the city as Trajanopolis and the building of a cenotaph to Trajan. Trajan lived 63 years and… Continue reading The death of Trajan and accession of Hadrian
Ahead of tonight's programme about Caligula (BBC Two 21:00) presented by Mary Beard, here is a picture of a bronze fitting head of Medusa that decorated one of the Nemi Ships. The vessels were built on the orders of the emperor Caligula around 37-41 A.D. The bronze fittings are the most important set of objects… Continue reading Picture of the week: Head of Medusa, bronze fitting of the Nemi Ships built by Caligula at Lake Nemi