Tag: Roman

  • Tabula: a strategic 2-player Roman board and dice game

    Picture yourself planning for a Year 8 class in the final period of the day. It’s the second last week of term and everyone has finished their exams and have mentally started their holidays already. The class includes several (loud, influential) students who are not continuing Latin next year. They’ve probably been watching videos all […]

  • List of Epigraphical Resource Abbreviations

    Collections of inscriptions are very useful but a little intimidating for budding Classicists to get their teeth into. These collections are almost always referred to by their acronym, which appear as a meaningless series of letters to the uninitiated. And since epigraphy is a somewhat arcane topic, it is surprisingly difficult to find the full […]

  • The Melitan Miniature Dog: The most popular lapdog in antiquity

    There is something so disarming, so human, about reading that the ancient Greeks and Romans kept dogs as pets – not just as hunting hounds, but also as tiny companions. The Melitan, while it is not the only kind of miniature dog mentioned in surviving texts (a “Gallic miniature dog” was named once in Martial’s […]

  • The Weasel in Antiquity: Pet or Pest?

    It’s a nice time for a light-hearted piece, and I’ve been dying to write this article for a while. It’s about pet weasels in antiquity. A surprising amount of respectable scholarship all the way from 1718 to 1997 has claimed that the Greeks and Romans kept tame weasels as household pets. At the very least, […]

  • Another Latin word for kill

    While I was translating some unseen Latin passages with my high school tutoring student, lo and behold, we came across another word for kill which I hadn’t yet collected! This word is: cōnficiō, cōnficere, cōnfēcī, cōnfectum (con [with] + facere [make]) to make, effect, complete, accomplish; to wear out, consume, destroy; thus, to put an […]

  • Ancient scrolls: where are the wooden handles?

    We all know what an ancient scroll should look like. Most of us haven’t actually seen a scroll from the first century AD, but we know what they look like in movies and stage productions. They should look something like a rolled up cylinder of paper with attractive wooden knobs poking out at either end. […]

  • Ancient Atheism

    Ancient Atheism

    We take atheism for granted today; the ancients took theism for granted. Of course, that’s a sweeping generalisation. But the first part holds true for most university students today, and it has often led students to assume that the greatest ancient philosophers, politicians and authors were atheists at heart too. That is, until they find […]