Category Archives: Uncategorized

A postscript to Reverend Grainger of St Giles

Originally posted on The Whitley Pump:
In October, the Whitley Pump wrote about the impressive memorial to Rev John Cecil Grainger of St Giles, who died in 1857, and was buried in Reading Old Cemetery. His parishioners also erected a tablet…

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End-of-Year Magic

India, according to the Natural History of the Elder Pliny, was home to some of the world’s most amazing animals (Plin. nat. 8.76, transl. H. Rackham): He says that in India there are also oxen with solid hoofs and one … Continue reading

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Fake News and Post-Truth Politics

There is a widespread, distinct feeling that Western politics has entered a phase of what tends to be called ‘post-truth politics‘. The term ‘post-truth politics’, often accompanied by references to fake news and disinformation campaigns, looks like a euphemism for … Continue reading

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A little help?

Please forgive me a short moment of self-promotion, but … do you enjoy The Petrified Muse? If so, would you consider giving it your support for the Blog Awards UK 2017? I’d be ever so grateful! Voting remains open until … 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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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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Saxa Loquuntur: The Stones Are Talking

Originally posted on Alban Conversations:
On January 16th, Peter Kruschwitz, Professor of Classics at the University of Reading, visited us to lead a study day on the topic of the Latin inscriptions of St Albans Cathedral.  Here is his report:…

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Vergil and the Minions (and a Blatantly False Translation)

UNCOVERED: the earliest attestation of  ‘Minions’ as followers of the mighty seeking to follow a boss and to lay waste to the establishment in Vergil‘s Aeneid (10.182–4, translation from here [slightly altered]; summary overview of the context available here). ter … Continue reading

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Pompeiis Everywhere!

rrAn (admittedly spectacular) archaeological excavation in County Durham is the most recent addition to excavation sites that have been proclaimed ‘the Pompeii of . . .‘ As I begin to lose track of the many Pompeiis that there are out … Continue reading

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Pompeii 3D

Paul W. S. Anderson’s Pompeii film – marketed as Pompeii 3D – has been released in the UK after all (how did the dubbing from English into English take so long…?). In the aesthetic tradition of the peplum films, Pompeii … Continue reading

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