The hidden courtyard of one of England’s best preserved castles – Flickering Lamps

It may not be the first place that springs to mind when one thinks of England’s great castles, but in the North Yorkshire town of Skipton, a fine medieval castle dominates the skyline.  Skipton Castle, the earliest parts of which date from the Norman period, is one of the best-preserved…

Source: The hidden courtyard of one of England’s best-preserved castles – Flickering Lamps


Originally posted on London My London.

IN LONDON OLD AND NEW published in 1878 Walter Thornbury described the Roman Bath as one the “few real and genuine remains which date from the era of the Roman occupation of England”. Charles Dickens is believed to have taken a cold dip in one of the two fashionable baths and, if he didn’t, he certainly sent David Copperfield there for “many a cold plunge”.

William Newton observed, in his “London in the Olden Time”, that it is “without doubt a veritable Roman structure, as an inspection of its old walls will prove”. Thurlow Weed, in the 1840s reported that it was used now as it has been for centuries, for bathing, and, though situated in Strand Lane, not six rods from the Strand, “I do not believe its existence is known to one thousand of the…

via London My London | One-stop base to start exploring the most exciting city in the world.

Ancient Roman city discovered under the silt of the Nile Delta

Originally posted on Luxor Times in July 2014.

Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty, Minister of Antiquities and Heritage, announced the discovery of the remains of a Roman ancient city about 25 kilometres to the south of Rosetta in Behira governorate.

The city discovered under massive layers of silt during archaeological survey done by the international team formed between the ministry and Italian universities of Siena and Padova. Prof. Cristina Mondin, director of the archaeological mission, along with Giorgia Marchiori and Dr Mohamed Kenawi.

Ancient Roman City discovered Metalis by Luxor Times 1

The importance of this discovery that it would help to find out more details on the daily life of this era as well as the architecture of such cities. According to Dr. El Damaty, the discovered city is an excellent example of the Hellenistic Roman cities in Nile Delta. The site is an addition to the architectural elements in Kom El Ahmar and Kom El Wasit sites beside the huge Roman bath which was discovered before in the same site. The Minister explained “During the magnetic survey at the site, many structures were discovered around…

via Ancient Roman city discovered under the silt of the Nile Delta.

5 plants the Romans gave us | Heritage Calling

Originally posted on Heritage Calling. 

Greater celandine growing against a garden wall. Photograph by John Vallender

Greater celandine growing against a garden wall. Photograph by John Vallender

Chelsea Flower Show is in full swing, and we’ve been gripped by gardening fever. The British love to get out in the garden but did you know some of our most familiar garden plants and weeds were introduced around two thousand years ago when Britain became part of the Roman Empire?

The arrival of the Romans saw an explosion in the types of plant foods eaten. Whilst some of these foods, like olives, would never have been grown in this country, others such as cherries and plums, were cultivated in gardens and orchards and remain with us today. Other plants hitched a ride in imported grain or other goods and established themselves as weeds in our fields and hedgerows. Some of these plants were deliberately introduced and escaped from cultivation while others were introduced by…

via 5 plants the Romans gave us | Heritage Calling.

Holding Hands for 1,500 years


The skeletal remains of a Roman-era couple reveal the pair has been holding hands for 1,500 years.

Italian archaeologists say the man and woman were buried at the same time between the 5th and 6th century A.D. in central-northern Italy. Wearing a bronze ring, the woman is positioned so she appears to be gazing at her male partner.

“We believe that they were originally buried with their faces staring into each other. The position of the man’s vertebrae suggests that his head rolled after death,” Donato Labate, the director of the excavation at the archaeological superintendency of Emilia-Romagna…

Read more: Discovery News

New Statesman | Mary Beard: humour in ancient Rome was a matter of life and death

Originally posted on New Statesman | Mary Beard: humour in ancient Rome was a matter of life and death.

Frankie Howerd in Up Pompeii! (1969-1970)

Frankie Howerd in Up Pompeii! (1969-1970)

One evening at a palace dinner party, in about 40AD, a couple of nervous aristocrats asked the emperor Caligula why he was laughing so heartily. “Just at the thought that I’d only have to click my fingers and I could have both your heads off!” It was, actually, a favourite gag of the emperor (he had been known to come out with it when fondling the lovely white neck of his mistress). But it didn’t go down well.

Laughter and joking were just as high-stakes for ancient Roman emperors as they are for modern royalty and politicians. It has always been bad for your public image to laugh in the wrong way or to crack jokes about the wrong targets. The Duke of Edinburgh got into trouble with his (to say the least) ill-judged “slitty-eyed” quip, just as Tony Abbott recently lost votes after being caught smirking about the grandmother who said she made ends meet by working on a telephone sex line. For the Romans, blindness – not to mention threats of murder – was a definite no-go area for joking, though they treated baldness as fair game for a laugh (Julius Caesar was often ribbed by his rivals for trying to conceal his bald patch by brushing his hair forward, or wearing a strategically placed laurel wreath). Politicians must always manage their chuckles, chortles, grins and banter with care.

In Rome that entailed, for a start, being a sport when it came to taking a joke, especially from the plebs. The first emperor, Augustus, even managed to stomach jokes about that touchiest of Roman topics, his own paternity. Told that some young man from the provinces was in Rome who was his spitting image, the emperor had him tracked down. “Tell me,” Augustus asked, “did your mother ever come to Rome?” (Few members of the Roman elite would have batted an eyelid at the idea of some grand paterfamilias impregnating a passing provincial woman.) “No,” retorted the guy, “but my father did, often.”…

via New Statesman | Mary Beard: humour in ancient Rome was a matter of life and death.