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When marriage between gaysw as by rite

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:04 pm
by Quintus Aurelius Orcus
i found this article on the site of the Opinion/ The Irish Times and its quit interesting. It states that there was atime when gays even married under the watchful eyes of Christ.
RITE AND REASON: A Kiev art museum contains a curious icon from St Catherine's monastery on Mount Sinai. It shows two robed Christian saints. Between them is a traditional Roman pronubus (best man) overseeing what in a standard Roman icon would be the wedding of a husband and wife. In the icon, Christ is the pronubus. Only one thing is unusual. The "husband and wife" are in fact two men.

Is the icon suggesting that a homosexual "marriage" is one sanctified by Christ? The very idea initially seems shocking. The full answer comes from other sources about the two men featured, St Serge and St Bacchus, two Roman soldiers who became Christian martyrs.

While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early Church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly close. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that "we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life". More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St Serge is openly described as the "sweet companion and lover" of St Bacchus.

In other words, it confirms what

In other words, it confirms what the earlier icon implies, that they were a homosexual couple. Unusually their orientation and relationship was openly accepted by early Christian writers. Furthermore, in an image that to some modern Christian eyes might border on blasphemy, the icon has Christ himself as their pronubus, their best man overseeing their "marriage".

The very idea of a Christian homosexual marriage seems incredible. Yet after a 12-year search of Catholic and Orthodox church archives Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian homosexual "marriage" did exist as late as the 18th century.

Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has evolved both as a concept and as a ritual. Prof Boswell discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient church liturgical documents (and clearly separate from other types of non-marital blessings such as blessings of adopted children or land) were ceremonies called, among other titles, the "Office of Same Sex Union" (10th and 11th century Greek) or the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

These ceremonies had all the contemporary symbols of a marriage: a community gathered in church, a blessing of the couple before the altar, their right hands joined as at heterosexual marriages, the participation of a priest, the taking of the Eucharist, a wedding banquet aftet afterwards. All of which are shown in contemporary drawings of the same sex union of Byzantine Emperor Basil I (867-886) and his companion John. Such homosexual unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12th/early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (Geraldus Cambrensis) has recorded.

Boswell's book, The Marriage of Likeness: Same Sex Unions in Pre- Modern Europe, lists in detail some same sex union ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century "Order for Solemnisation of Same Sex Union" having invoked St Serge and St Bacchus, called on God to "vouchsafe unto these thy servants [N and N] grace to love one another and to abide unhated and not a cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God and all thy saints." The ceremony concludes: "And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded."

Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic "Office of Same Sex Union", uniting two men or two women, had the couple having their right hands laid on the Gospel while having a cross placed in their left hands. Having kissed the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

Boswell found records of same-sex unions in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St Petersburg, in Paris, Istanbul, and in Sinai, covering ering a period from the 8th to the 18th centuries. Nor is he the first to make such a discovery. The Dominican Jacques Goar (1601-1653) includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek prayer books.

While homosexuality was technically illegal from late Roman times, it was only from about the 14th century that anti-homosexual feelings swept western Europe. Yet same sex union ceremonies continued to take place.

At St John Lateran in Rome (traditionally the Pope's parish Church) in 1578 as many as 13 couples were "married" at Mass with the apparent co-operation of the local clergy, "taking Communion together, using the same nuptial Scripture, after which they slept and ate together", according to a contemporary report.

Another woman-to-woman union is recorded in Dalmatia in the 18th century. Many questionable historical claims about the church have been made by some recent writers in this newspaper.

Boswell's academic study however is so well researched and sourced as to pose fundamental questions for both modern church leaders and heterosexual Christians about their attitude towards homosexuality.

FOR the Church to ignore the evidence in its own archives would be a cowardly cop-out. That evidence shows convincingly that what the modern church claims has been its constant unchanging attitude towards homosexuality is in fact nothing of the sort.

It proves that for much of the last two millennia, illennia, in parish churches and cathedrals throughout Christendom from Ireland to Istanbul and in the heart of Rome itself, homosexual relationships were accepted as valid expressions of a God-given ability to love and commit to another person, a love that could be celebrated, honoured and blessed both in the name of, and through the Eucharist in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Jim Duffy is a writer and historian. The Marriage of Likeness: Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe by John Boswell is published by Harper Collins.
Valete optime

Pergamon's alter's restored frieze unveiled

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 8:15 pm
by Quintus Aurelius Orcus

By TANIA RALLI, Associated Press Writer

BERLIN - After a decade of painstaking cleaning, Berlin's Pergamon Museum has unveiled the restored marble frieze of the Pergamon Altar, the second century B.C. centerpiece of its collection.

The 371 foot-long frieze decorated the outside walls of the altar, which was built between 197 and 156 B.C. in the present-day Turkish town of Bergama. A German engineer discovered fragments of the frieze, which had been taken apart and incorporated into the walls of a fortress, in 1864.

It displays mythological scenes of gods fighting giants, snarling lions and coiling snakes, with the muscular bodies of Artemis, Zeus and Athena clad in delicately sculpted folds of fabric.

"The Pergamon Altar has never looked so beautiful," Gertrud Platz, the city museums' director of antiquities, said Wednesday. The restoration cost $2.8 million.

The Pergamon Museum was completed in 1930, with the frieze at its heart. By the time Berlin and its museums were reunified in 1990, "it was clear to us all that restoration of the Pergamon Altar was necessary," Platz said.

Still, the project was held up by funding problems in cash-strapped Berlin.

In 1993, San Francisco's Fine Arts Museum and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art offered initial funds to get the restoration under way.

The marble panels, which weigh approximately 2.5 tons and are 7 1/2 feet high, were carefully taken apart for cleaning; parts of the frieze were soaked in baths of water to loosen surface dirt.

Large pieces were hoisted with cranes, and each fragment was gently cleaned with toothbrushes, said Silvano Bertolin, who led the restoration effort. The panels were carefully reassembled on a new backdrop of pale gray limestone.

Engineer Carl Humann discovered the frieze in 1864 and began excavating the site in 1878. With the Turkish government's agreement, the frieze was shipped to Germany, where it was assembled over the course of 20 years.

The frieze was stored in a bunker during World War II, then transported to the Soviet Union, where it stayed until it was sent back to Germany in 1958. Turkey has not sought its return.


valete optime


Countries battle over artefacts

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 11:52 am
by Quintus Aurelius Orcus

Countries battle over artefacts
An Aboriginal group has prevented native Australian artefacts from returning to the UK museums from which they were loaned. BBC News Online looks at other disputed treasures and the growing calls to have them repatriated.

In 1810, a total of 56 sculpted friezes, depicting gods, men and monsters, were removed from the Parthenon in Athens by British ambassador Lord Elgin.
They were brought to Britain and housed in the British Museum where they have remained.

Repeated calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles to their homeland have fallen on deaf ears, with the British Museum adamant they should remain in a place where they can be seen by international visitors.

The British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles have long called for the Marbles to be returned to their homeland.

Eleni Cubitt, secretary of the Committee, told BBC News Online they wanted the Greek and UK governments to talk openly about the future of the Marbles.

"We want the UK and Greek governments to open a dialogue about the reunification of the Marbles then discuss together where is the best place to display them.

"We think they should be displayed in the new Acropolis Museum in Athens which should be completed next year."

The British Museum, who recently rejected a request by the Greek government for a long term loan of the Marbles, maintains it is the best place for them to be, reaching five million visitors every year.

Director of the museum, Neil MacGregor, said: "The British Museum is the best possible place for the Parthenon sculptures in its collections to be on display.

"The range of the British Museum's collections is truly worldwide.

"The collections provide a uniquely rich setting for the Parthenon sculptures as an important chapter in the story of human cultural achievement.

"Only here can the worldwide significance of the sculptures be fully grasped".

While the campaign to have the Elgin marbles returned to Greece continues to be the most high-profile, many other artefacts held by the British Museum are also disputed.

A request by the Egyptians to borrow the Rosetta Stone for an exhibition in Cairo was rebuffed by the museum last year.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government bought back about 30 Benin Bronzes from the British Museum during the 1970s, but the museum has refused to hand back the full collection of 700 bronzes, despite repeated calls by the Nigerian government.

But the British Museum is certainly not alone in holding artefacts which the country or origin want back.

Egypt have requested back a 3,000-year old bust of Queen Nefertiti from the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, while Ethiopia is demanding the return from Italy of one of its most famous monuments - an obelisk.

It was taken to Italy on the orders of dictator Benito Mussolini more than 60 years ago, but it is still to be repatriated despite Italian officials finally agreeing to its return two years ago.

Other countries which claim to have suffered losses include China, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Closer to home, the British Library has refused repeated requests to return the Lindisfarne Gospels to the North East of England where they were created in the 7th Century AD.

A 1970 Unesco convention calls for the return of antiquities and works of art to their countries of origin, but does not apply to artefacts or objects taken to other countries before 1970 - such as the Elgin Marbles.

Rochelle Roca-Hachem, of the cultural heritage division at Unesco, told BBC News Online it was an issue the wider public was becoming aware of.

Working together

"[Governments] are increasingly likely to be open to dialogue as the public becomes more aware of how important cultural property is.

"The museums on one hand raise the profile and respect of other cultures through visitors to the museum, but there are some artefacts that are obviously more valuable and symbolic than others.

"Museums are concerned that if they acquiesce to one request, everyone with a claim will do the same and they will lose their incentive to be the museum they are.
"As a result, many shy away from it completely in order to protect their entire collections."

But Ms Roca-Hachem said there were successful examples of countries working together to return artefacts.

"Greenland lost a lot of archaeological artefacts to Denmark, but once Greenland gained greater independence, the Danes helped Greenland establish their own museum over a number of years.

"Denmark sent a lot of artefacts back and, as a result, it has almost become a joint collection.

"It just goes to show that things can be achieved, you just have to be a little creative, and you don't necessarily have to give things back permanently."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/07/27 10:58:16 GMT




50 ancient tombs uncovered

PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 11:54 am
by Quintus Aurelius Orcus

50 ancient tombs uncovered
From correspondents in Athens
July 18, 2004

ARCHEOLOGISTS have discovered 50 tombs dating back to the late Minoan period, around 1400 BC, and containing a number of artifacts on the Greek island of Crete, ANA news agency reported today.

The tombs were part of the once powerful ancient city of Kydonia, which was destroyed at the time but later rebuilt.

The oldest among them contained bronze weapons, jewellery and vases and are similar to the tombs of fallen soldiers of the Mycenaean type from mainland Greece, said the head of the excavations, Maria Vlazaki.

The more recent family tombs are of a more traditional Kydonia type.

Earlier excavations in the area in northwest Crete near the town of Chania had already yielded some 100 burial sites.
valete optime


Maximinus Lives!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:13 am
by Aldus Marius
Avete amici...

I had something really cool happen on Thanksgiving of 1997:

I was at my friend Anne's house. She, her husband Chris, and both her parents are heavily involved with the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, the medieval/RenFaire hobbyists) hereabouts. Her parents were over as well, which gladdened my heart (and that of my Legionary persona, Lucius Marius Fimbria, even more) beCAUSE...her father's SCA persona is another Roman! I can tell you how happy we each were to lay eyes on a fellow-citizen, so to speak. Anyhow, I had to show Larry (Anne's father) my Roman coin collection. He oohed and aahed appropriately over them, saying he'd been meaning to acquire one himself for his persona--a Roman trader--to wear as a pendant.

Later that afternoon, the conversation turned to his own wares; he makes jewelry and "feast gear"-- reasonably period-looking items for SCAdians to eat out of or eat with, such as wooden bowls and two-tined forks. Now, I've got Lucius authentically-equipped down to his undershorts...but no feast gear. I asked Larry if he had any samples of his work handy; turned out he'd brought a whole van-full!

He brought some in to show me, and I selected a basic set: wooden tray, bowl and goblet; medievalish fork and spoon. Grand total for the whole ensemble: $14 US. I had only $11 on me; he said that I could just owe Anne the rest...

But didn't I have something he wanted, too? I certainly did!--and lost no time proposing to pay him at least partially in Roman bronze. He hesitated at first, neither of us being an authority on the current exchange-rate between the dollar and the denarius <g>; so I told him to just pick his favorite and I'd tell him what I'd paid for it--and what I should have (in retrospect, some of mine came to me a bit overpriced).

He liked a bronze follis of Maximinus II best (reigned 309-313); good size, nice portrait, inscription in bold relief (plenty legible), interesting reverse. It had only one flaw, that at some point in its past it had been punctured near the rim; but from Larry's point of view that wasn't a flaw, it was a convenience! I'd paid ten dollars for the coin, and had seen better ones for six. I proposed to let him have it for seven, or half the purchase price of my feast gear. Sold...!

--and the rest, as they say, was history; and that is how, for the first time in maybe 1500 years, a Roman coin was taken in exchange for trade-goods. I like to think that for that brief moment (and until he put it on a thong), the coin was back in circulation, doing what coins were meant to do. Not many Roman artifacts about which that can be said these days!

Onward, Roman soldiers...
>({|;-) >({|:-) >({|:-) >({|:-)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:16 am
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
Salve Mari,

Great story!

Vale bene,

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:43 pm
by Aulus Dionysius Mencius
Truely a nice story, worthy of Romanitas indeed...

Carry on, mi Mari 8)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:19 pm
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco


Roman remains were preserved in clay

PRICELESS Roman artifacts were preserved in Carlisle for thousands of years because they were encased in one and a half metres of waterlogged clay.

The objects – clothes, leather chariot straps and coins – would normally rot.

John Zant, of Oxford Archaeology North, said scientists have used specialist techniques to prove the objects recovered were originally from a Roman Fort established in the winter of AD 73.

He said: “The sticky layers of natural clay at the site mean there has been an unusual degree of preservation.

“We have a preservation period spanning 100 years, and the number and quality of the objects is outstanding.

“We’ve had bits of metal coming out of the ground which were still shiny.

“Probably the most important and most unusual pieces have been the armour.”

Hundreds of coins and thousands of metalwork items, including armour, which has never been seen before, were recovered at the site of the old Roman fort Luguvalium near Carlisle Castle when it was excavated as part of the construction of the Millennium Bridge on Castle Way.

The discovery of articulated scale armour – used by Roman soldiers to protect their arms and elbows – is thought to be a world first. This kind of armour had previously only been seen in statues. Some armour is battle-damaged.

Mr Zant said it was almost certain most artefacts will eventually return to Carlisle. Some artefacts are currently on display at Carlisle Castle.




Roman Beauty Cream Found

PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:59 pm
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
A sealed Roman pot, unearthed at an archaeological dig in London, caused much speculation about its 2,000-year-old contents when it was opened in front of the media last summer.

Initial guesses about the function of the white cream inside ranged from toothpaste, to a pharmaceutical product, to something that was smeared on goats before they were killed. But chemists who have analysed the cream now conclude that it was probably a high-class cosmetic, with a function similar to that of modern foundations.

The six-centimetre-wide canister, currently on display in the Museum of London, was discovered in July 2003 by Pre-Construct Archaeology at the site of a Roman temple complex dedicated to the god Mars Camulus. It dates from approximately 150 AD.

"It's a bit of a one-off finding an organic material inside a closed container in such a high state of preservation," says Richard Evershed from Bristol University, UK, who led the research team. "It allows you not only to characterize the diverse chemical components, but also to quantify them."

The contents were so well preserved (you can still see finger marks in the cream) that the team was able to recreate the product from fresh ingredients.

Rub it in

The researchers report in this week's Nature that the two major components, each making up about 40% of the total, were starch and animal fat, which probably came from the carcass of a cow or goat1.

They think the starch was added to reduce the greasy feeling of fat on the skin. It is still used for the same purpose today in body lotions and hand creams.

The original cream is harder and more granular than the replica, but Evershed suspects that this is down to centuries of microbial action; the fat is likely to have changed most.

The remaining ingredient was synthetic tin oxide (or cassiterite). Although it is greyish in its natural state, it would have coloured the cream white. "If you mix the starch and fat together, you get quite a nice hand cream, but when you add the tin you get a translucent, white cream," says Evershed.

Francis Grew, curator at the Museum of London, agrees that the tin was probably added as a pigment. "Just as we like tanned skin, in the Roman world, white complexions were what everybody sought," he says.

The cream is reasonably sophisticated, with coverage comparable to that of modern cosmetics, Evershed told, while rubbing the replica cream into his hand. A scar on his knuckle disappeared under his new, paler complexion.

"It may be that we are looking at the equivalent of a Space NK product," says Grew. "The container is quite a classy piece of work as well: you're looking at quite a posh piece." ... 101-8.html

huge Etruscan city in Italy found

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:29 pm
by Quintus Aurelius Orcus

I thought this might be of interest to some of you here to the discovery of a Etruscan city in Italy.
Scientific treasure hunters

From The Economist print edition

Archaeologists may have found what was once the biggest city in Italy

REAL archaeology bears about as much resemblance to an Indiana Jones movie as real spying bears to James Bond. Excavation—at least if it is to be meaningfully different from grave robbing—is a matter of painstaking trowel work, not gung-ho gold-grabbing. But there is still a glimmer of the grave robber in many archaeologists, and the search for a juicy royal tomb can stimulate more than just rational, scientific instincts.
For the rest of the article go to this page:



PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:09 pm
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco


Roman site threatened by bunnies

One of Britain's richest businessmen is set to do battle with thousands of rabbits in a bid to protect Scotland's foremost Roman remains.

Billionaire Mohammed Al Tajir is locked in talks with Historic Scotland following damning reports on the deteriorating state of the 2000-year-old Ardoch Fort on his estate at Braco.

Archaeologist Dr David Woolliscroft has worked periodically at the Roman Fort and he has now warned that unless the rabbits which infest the site are brought under control, their continuing burrowing will see the Roman remains collapse and crumble.

The Roman expert claims rabbits have already devastated important archaeological relics all across Britain. Now time is running out at Ardoch Fort and the defensive line of the Gask Ridge with rabbits threatening defences that kept hoards of marauding Picts at bay.

"The situation is now very serious indeed," said Dr Woolliscroft.

"Ardoch Fort and the watchtowers and fortifications along the Gask ridge were built in the late first century and pre-date Hadrian's Wall by about 50 years. The frontier was the prototype for all Britain's Roman defensive walls and is an important and precious piece of our history and its importance has been recognised by Historic Scotland's drive to have it designated a World Heritage site.

"We must stabilise what is there and then work to give it the recognition it deserves," he added. "It would be a tragedy to let rabbits destroy thousands of years of history. If these furry creatures are left as custodians of Ardoch Fort it could eventually become virtually useless as an archaeological site."




King Tut stays put in tomb

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:38 pm
by Quintus Aurelius Orcus

King Tut stays put in tomb
23/11/2004 13:09 - (SA)

Cairo - The mummy of the ancient King Tutankhamum will not be removed from its tomb in the southern city of Luxor for examination and restoration due to local opposition, Egypt's chief archaeologist has told parliament.

Zahi Hawass, the head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, told the parliamentary committee of culture and tourism that he decided against the move "out of respect for the sentiments of the people of Luxor", Egypt's Middle East News Agency reported.

Hawass could not be immediately reached for comment.

the rest of the article can be found on this page:,,2-13-1443_1625227,00.html


Amazones found in Britain

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:00 pm
by Tiberius Dionysius Draco


Amazon warriors foughts for Britain's Roman army

The remains of two Amazon warriors serving with the Roman army in Britain have been discovered in a cemetery that has astonished archaeologists.

Women soldiers were previously unknown in the Roman army in Britain and the find at Brougham in Cumbria will force a reappraisal of their role in 3rd-century society.

The women are thought to have come from the Danube region of Eastern Europe, which was where the Ancient Greeks said the fearsome Amazon warriors could be found.

The women, believed to have died some time between AD220 and 300, were burnt on pyres upon which were placed their horses and military equipment. The remains were uncovered in the 1960s but full-scale analysis and identification has been possible only since 2000 with technological advances.

The soldiers are believed to have been part of the numerii, a Roman irregular unit, which would have been attached to a legion serving in Britain. Other finds show that their unit originated from the Danubian provinces of Noricum, Pannonia and Ilyria which now form parts of Austria, Hungary and the former Yugoslavia.

Hilary Cool, the director of Barbican Research Associates, which specialises in post- excavation archaeological analysis, said that the remains were the most intriguing aspects of a site that is changing our understanding of Roman burial rites.

“It seems highly probable that we have a unit raised in the Danubian lands and transferred to Britain,” she says in British Archaeology.

“Though the numerii are generally referred to as irregular units, they are not thought of as having women among their ranks. However, the unit came from the area where the Ancient Greeks placed the origin of women warriors called Amazons. Could the numerii be even more irregular than anyone has ever dreamt?”

The cemetery at Brougham served a fort and the civilian settlement of Brocavum in the 3rd century and analysis of the remains of more than 180 people showed that everybody’s ashes were buried there. Archaeologists have been able to determine the ages and gender of the dead and to build up a detailed picture of Roman funerals in Brougham.

One of the sets of women warrior’s remains were found with the burnt remnants of animals. Bone veneer, used to decorate boxes, was also found alongside evidence of a sword scabbard and red pottery. The possessions suggest that she was of high status and her age has been estimated at between 20 and 40 years old. The other woman, thought to be between 21 and 45, was buried with a silver bowl, a sword scabbard, bone veneer and ivory.




archeologist unearths biblical controversy

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:03 pm
by Quintus Aurelius Orcus

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - Page A3

Canadian archeologist Russell Adams's interest is in Bronze Age and Iron Age copper production. He never intended to walk into archeology's vicious debate over the historical accuracy of the Old Testament -- a conflict likened by one historian to a pack of feral canines at each other's throats.

Yet by coincidence, Prof. Adams of Hamilton's McMaster University says, he and an international team of colleagues fit into place a significant piece of the puzzle of human history in the Middle East -- unearthing information that points to the existence of the Bible's vilified Kingdom of Edom at precisely the time the Bible says it existed, and contradicting widespread academic belief that it did not come into being until 200 years later.

for more on this article, go to this page:


Re: *Newsflash*

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:54 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Salvete Amici!

Tiberius Dionysius Draco wrote:Roman Restaurant

Not really archeological news, but I think that trivia like this is also allowed in this thread.

Next month a restaurant will be opened in Antwerp where you can eat like the Romans: lying on a bed. I don't know if you can eat the Roman "delicasies" there, but I doubt it.

Similar restaurants have already been opened in Amsterdam, Londen, Rome and Miami and according to the managers, it is a huge succes. Maybe an idea for an SVR meeting? :)

Valete bene,

Tiberius Dionysius Draco

[source: Kits]

I recently came across the name of a Roman restaurant in Kaarst (near Düsseldorf, Germany) but haven't been there yet. So here's the link (only in German though): ... me_02.html

Anyhow, I would like to pick up the idea that we could maybe meet at such a place. Or at a Roman Renaissance Fair somewhere in Belgica or Germania. What do you think about this idea? Then we don't need a Conventus Novae Romae :wink:

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:24 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
Salve Cleopatra,

When the OP convened two years ago in Tongeren, Belgium (Atuatuca Tungrorum), there were so many SVR members present too, that it was also a covert SVR meeting 8). Then, the same year, we had an American consul who visited Belgium. But of course, we could travel too, for once. I think a weekend in the summer would be most suitable, since most of the Belgae are still college students. I'm all for venturing into Germania :).

Optime vale,

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:48 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Avete Amici,

On Feb. 8th, 2005 the small local newspaper which I read every morning on the subway train, had this tiny article:

Achaelogists discovered in the heart of London City a nearly intact Roman wooden coffin with a skeleton from the time of around 120 AD. In the coffin, which was unearthed during construction works, was a decanter as a gift.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 1:00 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Avete iterum,

From the same newspaper I have another article which might be of interest to you. It dates from Dec. 16, 2004:

The Case Cleopatra: Did Augustus poison her?The American criminologist Pat Brown states at the "Sunday Times" that Cleopatra had been murdered cold-heartedly by Octavianus, Caesar's adopted son! Motive: greed for power! Ms. Brown states that the comman theory that Cleopatra commited suicide thru a snake bite would match her personality, because she was a fighter. Also was suicide considered in Ancient Egypt as a sin.

Also it seems unlikely that a snake could kill three people, i.e. Cleoparta and her two maids, by biting in a short time. The Egyptian Cobra doesn't have enogh poison to do that. Also it takes the poison two hours to work. But according to Plutarch's report the sentries stormed the chambers shortly after they found the farewell letter.

Because of these absurdities Pat Brown believes that Plutarch's report can't be right. Octavianus killed Cleopatra out of gree for power and made it look like suicide. The maids had to die because they were witnesses.

Hoo Boy...

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:06 pm
by Aldus Marius
Salve amica,

Ya really gotta watch the ones with exclamation points.

Doesn't mean it couldn't be true...but I'll wait for some writer to tell me so in a bit more detail, and without shouting.

This writer's entire case is built on the inadequacy of the snake's bite to do what it did. He presents no evidence whatsoever to put Octavian positively at the scene. Lack of absence isn't presence, or something like that.

'Course, Queen Cleo could have been allergic to the venom. It wouldn't have taken so long then.

Then, too...each woman could have had her own snake.

Then three...the snake may not have been an Egyptian cobra. (There are other kinds of venomous snakes in that area, and one of them may have had the characteristics desired for assisting a multiple suicide.)

And wasn't one of the maids not-quite-dead-yet when the Romans found her?

Perspective. It helps to read beyond what one has immediately to hand.

In fide,

Marble Map of Rome

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:37 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Salvete Omnes,

I came across another small article dealing with Ancient Rome - seems like the papers etc. are full of them lately :wink:

This one's from the German news magazine "Der Spiegel" issue 5/2005 telling about a project of the Stanford University to put together the marble map of Rome of the 3rd century. It's really like a puzzle to put the slabs together and of course this work is not done yet. They even stated a link to the internet which I checked out and found interesting: