Tag Archives: Pompeii

Craving facts: the new graffito from Pompeii

Yesterday news broke about the discovery of a graffito from Pompeii that was, in the usual sensationalist way, hailed as a text that would require us to rewrite our history books: View this post on Instagram Pompeii, Regio V. Casa … Continue reading

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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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‘You’re dead, you’re a joke,’ or: How should one respond to that image of a Pompeian who was struck by a massive piece of rock?

Contrary to what most people think, there is not only one certainty in life, namely that we all must die: there is a second one, and that is that, before we die, we must live with the certainty of death. … Continue reading

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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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No graffiti please!

Yesterday news broke about houses that were defaced with graffiti (or, strictly speaking, dipinti – after all, the text was painted onto, not scratched into, the surface) in Cambridge – in Latin: Locus in domos … loci populum is a … 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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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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‘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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And the Owl doesn’t care…

The internet is a strange place – full of the most wondrous things and inspiration. Over the last year, I have published a number of blog posts to do with (mostly poetic) memorials for dogs in the Roman world – … Continue reading

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The Lapidary Poetics of Roman Domestic Violence

A couple of weeks ago, I published a few thoughts on the rather touching inscribed poem for Margarita, the lap-dog from ancient Rome. One of the remarkable things that the poet expressed in this text – stressing it as noteworthy, … Continue reading

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