Category Archives: Carmina Epigraphica

People of Changing Colour

In a vitriolic letter to Marcella about one Onasus, dated to A. D. 385, St. Jerome, one of the Christian fathers, makes a remarkable, commonly overlooked statement (Letters 42.2): non et lucus ideo dicatur, quod minime luceat, et Parcae ab … Continue reading

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Loneliness in Old Age

Poetry and song do wonderful and – in the truest meaning of the word: awesome – things. They allow us to create entire worlds using nothing but words. Alternative worlds in which we may explore and experience what we are … Continue reading

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Mini-Me

A couple of days ago, Verne Troyer died. At 81 cm (2 ft 8 in), Troyer was one of the shortest men in the world, his Wikipedia entry claims; he is likely to be remembered, most of all, for performance … Continue reading

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In memoriam Dr Hans Krummrey (1930-2018)

A few days ago, I received the sad news that Dr Hans Krummrey, one-time director of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum in Berlin, had passed away. It would be inappropriate for me to attempt a full obituary – there are others … Continue reading

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When Harmony Disintegrates

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, the saying goes. And it made me wonder: considering that Roman literature is full of stories about family relations, how much do we really know about family life in … Continue reading

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Creative Processes

In 2015, my colleague Dr Rachel Mairs and I organised an international workshop that we called ‘Materialising Poetry‘. I have very fond memories of the day, and the theme that we got to discuss with our colleagues and students has … Continue reading

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New Year’s Death

For at least thirty-nine people their desire to celebrate the new year ended fatally last night in Istanbul when a hitherto unidentified perpetrator marched into a nightclub and gunned down his victims. Another 69 or so have been injured. In … Continue reading

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Hope, Freedom, and Being Human: A Poetic Approach

The 2016 Being Human Festival – a festival of the Humanities, sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy – commences today. This year’s theme is ‘Hope and Fear’, and my university, the University of Reading, … Continue reading

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Lesser Known Ballads (and Other Art Work) of Reading Gaol

Built in 1844, HM Prison Reading (also known as Reading Gaol and famous through Oscar Wilde‘s poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol) was decommissioned in 2013. Since September 2016 the prison has opened its doors to the public for the … Continue reading

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Hello Stranger, or: Pompeian Greetings from Beyond the Grave!

The Roman town of Pompeii has provided us with many a remarkable piece of evidence for virtually all aspects of Roman life and civilisation. Yet there are a number of things which are conspicuously lacking (and not for all of … Continue reading

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