Saturday, May 26, 2012

New digital tool for ancient geography
This is a blog review of a digital project from Stanford called "Orbis." It is billed as "Google Maps for the Roman Empire." How long would it take Vespasian to march from Judaea to Rome? How long would it take Agricola to travel from Londinium to Mediolanum? How long would it take Domitian's messenger to do the trip in reverse, avoiding the highways, so as not to intercept Agricola?
Anyway, this sounds like a cool development.

Drill, Babylon, Drill
God help us all. How about an oil pipeline through the site of ancient Babylon? Here's another stunner: Babylon is NOT listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Why? Because the site was badly protected/managed under Sadam Hussein (true--he rebuilt parts of it, using bricks stamped S.H.) and the site continues to be badly protected/managed under the present government. Like when the US Army used it for their own purposes. I gotta go get a glass of wine after reading this one.

Lead Curse Tablets Translated
Two previously untranslated Roman curse tablets from the museum in Bologna both show a deity (Hecate?) with snakes for hair. One curses a veterinarian and one a senator. Both wish for very nasty things to happen to the target, and one shows the target person bound like a mummy. Very weird mix of Greek and Latin in the text, too.
Be sure to scroll down in the article to the link that says "See images of the curse tablets." There are 7 pictures.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Smithsonian article on Bernini
Hello. I am starting to collect articles that might concern the traveller to Rome. I hope some of my students will follow the blog.