Tag Archives: Death

Love, death, and blissful ignorance: Pliny and the origins of photography

Pliny the Elder, ancient Rome’s great encyclopedist, did not, of course, describe the origins of modern photography – a technique and art that was greatly advanced in Reading, Berkshire, by William Henry Fox Talbot (as described in this wonderful book). … Continue reading

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Bokelmann’s shade

I am in North Frisia right now, spending a few days by the North Sea shore with my son. I fell in love with this primordial landscape when I was a child myself (rather longer ago than I care to … 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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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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‘Amatrice is no more,’ or: August 24th, again

Correctly or not, August 24th is the date which is commonly taken as the day on which, in A. D. 79, Mt. Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the city of Pompeii as well as many adjacent settlements. Yesterday – on August … Continue reading

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In memoriam Jo Cox MP

Today, the increasingly shrill rhetoric around Britain’s future position within or outside the European Union (‘Bremain’ vs. ‘Brexit’) appears to have claimed the life of Labour MP Jo Cox. We tend to think of speech as ‘mere words’. But speech … Continue reading

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Called to the Grave

It has been almost a year since I last visited Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirkyard. Back to  Edinburgh this week as external examiner, I found a little spare time to take a stroll to this marvellous space, and I came back with … Continue reading

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First Things First

Gaius Caelius Donatus of Oppidum Novum in the province of Mauretania Caesariensis (now Ain Defla, Algeria) was really looking forward to New Year’s Day. An auspicious day, the Romans marked New Year’s Day with religious ceremonies and sacrifice (as T. … Continue reading

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Let us remember that this has happened

After the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the fifth century A. D., most of the Iberian peninsula eventually became part of the Visigothic Kingdom. A successor state to the (Western) Roman Empire, the Visigoths had gained control over Rome’s … Continue reading

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End Violence against Women!

November 25th has been declared the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. My colleagues at the EAGLE Europeana project have decided to mark the occasion with a reference to the funerary inscription of Prima Florentia, who died … Continue reading

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