Tag Archives: Pompeii

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

Posted in Epigraphy, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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Poetic Dreams of Flight

The crash of Germanwings flight 9525 has been on my mind quite a lot recently. Previously, on occasion of a similar incident (namely that of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370), I have published blog posts about the horrors that relatives of … Continue reading

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Spread the Wealth

Have I ever told you the one about politicians and fiscal responsibility? The joke that is so old it was first recorded in a Pompeian wall inscription? It goes like this (CIL IV 3702 cf. p. 1383 = ILS 6405): … Continue reading

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Europa, Europe, and the Compelling Imagery of the Latin Inscriptions

Memory is treacherous. Yet, I seem to remember rather vividly a time when our politicians talked about a project they called our ‘common European home’ (Mikhail Gorbachev) or envisioned a ‘Europe, Whole and Free’ (George H. W. Bush). I liked … Continue reading

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