Hiatus Announcement

To all my wonderful followers,

You may have noticed that I’ve been quiet lately. This last month has been rough but these last few days, in particular, have really thrown me into the deep. 

Over the weekend my father-in-law passed away after a 6-month battle with illness. He was finally diagnosed three and a half weeks ago with myeloma amyloidosis, and although he began treatment straight away, his body could simply not take any more. He entered palliative care on Friday. We looked forward to spending as much time as possible over the next week or fortnight with him, but not even 15 hours later he passed peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning

with myself and my fiance at his side. 

Commencing officially on the 16th of this month, I’ve elected to take a 6-month leave of absence from my candidature so that I can be there to support my fiance’s family through this time. I will also be going on hiatus from regular posting on both this main blog and my personal blog, @sassy-cicero-says, for a period of at least one month. As many of you know, I run this blog alone, and I simply do not have the energy to keep up with the day to day posting at this time. My inbox and submission box will remain open and I will check them regularly in case any of you would like to submit posts and I will post when I am able – I love the Classics community dearly and want to keep up with all the wonderful people/finds/research.

Until next time,
Admin @sassy-cicero-says <3

Polish archeologists claim discovery of oldest…

Polish archeologists claim discovery of oldest church in Egypt – Egypt Independent:

A church dating back to the fourth century has been unearthed near Alexandria by polish archaeologists who claim that it might be the oldest church discovered in Egypt, The First News reported.

The discovery is based on research conducted by a team from the University of Warsaw’s Center of Mediterranean Archaeology since 2000, alongside intensive fieldwork.

The mission’s discoveries in Alexandria also include a burial chapel and the largest collection of ceramics excavated in Egypt yet, according to The First News.

The polish team had been excavating a Basilica, which they believed had operated from the fifth century well until the eighth century, when they uncovered the ancient church buried beneath it.

“At the end of the last research season, under the floor of the basilica, we encountered a wall’s remains, which turned out to be the outer walls of an even older church,” Krzysztof Babraj, who headed research work on the basilica told The First News.

Babraj explained that there are no other church remains have been found in the area so far, making this a significant discovery.

Thousands of fragments of the old church have been excavated underneath the discovered Basilica. The church had been devastated by an earthquake, leaving behind nothing but scattered glass, ceramic and limestone wall ruins, according to The First News.

Babraj said that they will resume their research, with the discovery of this church as just the beginning.

Greek pioneer of underwater archaeology dies a…

Greek pioneer of underwater archaeology dies at 95 | Kathimerini:


Greek archaeologist Georgios Papathanasopoulos, one of the founders of the Hellenic Institute of Maritime Archaeology and a pioneer in the field, has died, the Culture Ministry said in an announcement on Monday. He was 95.

A graduate of the Athens School of Philosophy and a resistance fighter in World War II, Papathanasopoulos worked closely with Carl Blegen on the American archaeologist’s seminal excavations of the Palace of Nestor in the southwestern Peloponnese, as well as on important digs at ancient Elis and Messinia.

He was responsible for spearheading systematic excavations of the Diros Caves, a Neolithic settlement, in 1969 and the restoration of Kalamata’s historic monuments after the southern Peloponnese town was struck by a devastating earthquake in 1986.

He served in almost every high-ranking post in Greece related to archaeology, including as director of the Acropolis Museum, and on the board of the Central Archaeological Council from 1975 to 1990.

On This Day | 29 May


Map of Julian’s unsuccessful 363 CE campaign (Giorgos Tzimas).

In 363 CE, Roman Emperor Julian defeated the Sassanid army at the Battle of Ctesiphon but was unable to take the city.

Italy Still Wants the Getty Bronze, and Perhap…

Italy Still Wants the Getty Bronze, and Perhaps More:

ROME — Even as the Italian government and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles continue their decades-long legal battle over ownership of a prized bronze statue, the Italian culture ministry this week asked the California museum to review its records for four other pieces in its collection. The artifacts were stolen or illegally exported from Italy, Italian officials said.

In a letter sent to the Getty on May 9, the Italian culture ministry raised questions about a 19th century painting of the Oracle of Delphi, an ancient Roman mosaic floor decorated with the head of Medusa, and two stone lions.

Officials said that the painting, by the Italian painter Camillo Miola, was stolen in the 1940s from an institute in the city of Aversa, that the mosaic was taken from the National Roman Museum in Rome and that the two lions were stolen from a public square in the town of Preturo, near L’Aquila.

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On This Day | 28 May


Bust of Thales (1825).

In 585 BCE the solar eclipse, as predicted by Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus, led to a truce between the warring Lydians and Medes.

New guided tour lets visitors walk in the shoe…

New guided tour lets visitors walk in the shoes of the Roman army:

It was a war of genocide waged against the ancient peoples of Scotland, which has largely been forgotten by history.

In the third century AD, the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus marched his legions north of Hadrian’s Wall and laid waste to the tribes of Caledonia, extending the Empire’s control all the way to the foothills of the Highlands.

And now people are being given the chance to follow in the footsteps of the imperial army as it made its way to the lands of Scotland, with a guided tour by the historian who recently researched the story behind the invasion.

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Experts say ancient head found in Rome is Dion…

Experts say ancient head found in Rome is Dionysus:

The white marble head unearthed during excavations at the Roman Forum on 24 May is believed to represent a male deity, most likely Dionysus, according to Rome archaeologists.

Initially it was thought that the head – with its feminine features and thick, wavy hairstyle – represented a female goddess.

However, thanks to a band around its head decorated with a “typically Dionysian flower, the corymb, and ivy”, it is now believed to be Dionysus, explained the director of Rome’s archaeological museums Claudio Parisi Presicce.

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Daisy Dunn put a sexed-up Catullus among the p…

Daisy Dunn put a sexed-up Catullus among the pigeons. Now it’s Pliny’s turn:

Daisy Dunn’s plan after we meet in a cafe near her regular haunt, the London Library, is to play a game of tennis. “My whole life people have always quoted Betjeman at me because I’m Dunn and there’s Joan Hunter Dunn,” she says. “So I thought I might as well pick up a racket.”

Certainly, Dunn, 30, has something of the Betjeman’s home counties heroine about her. A soft-spoken English rose, the classicist grew up in Wimbledon and now lives in Surrey. She’s absolutely not the type you’d suspect of causing a furore with her use of the f-word, but three years ago Dunn did just this.

Helen Morales holds the chair in Hellenic studies at the University of California. Reviewing Dunn’s book, Catullus’ Bedspread: The Life of Rome’s Most Erotic Poet, for the Times Literary Supplement, she criticised Dunn’s translation of Catullus’s invented word fututiones as “nine consecutive f****”.

“[Fututiones] conveys an exaggerated amount and needs translating in a way that captures the originality of the term, the excess implied and the humour in the poet’s urgency,” Morales sniffed.

For weeks afterwards, erudite TLS readers bombarded the letters page, some insisting that Dunn’s rendering was far preferable to previous attempts at conveying Catullus’s lasciviousness.

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How Ancient Woodworkers Sculpted Civilization

How Ancient Woodworkers Sculpted Civilization:

Humans have a remarkable relationship with trees. Trees not only provide the oxygen we need to breathe, but also wood in its rawest form. For millennia, woodworking by carpenters, turners, and joiners have transformed this basic material into objects that have made a huge contribution to the advancement of civilization.

Right up to the present moment wood is still being worked into buildings, furniture, and ornamentation. It’s more than likely you’re sitting on, working on, or sleeping on a wooden structure, despite the emergence of plastics, steel, and concrete alternatives.

Our amazing relationship with wood began with the Neanderthals and it’s never ceased. The origin of woodwork and its development throughout history is a fascinating subject. Woodworkers have enabled overseas travel, created communities, improved personal safety, and built everything we needed to live and flourish.

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