Category Archives: Uncategorized

A postscript to Reverend Grainger of St Giles

How lovely to see my work used in this fascinating context!

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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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