Latest update: 10/1/2004; 5:34:19 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ This Day in Ancient History

ante diem iv kalendas octobres

  • 48 B.C. -- Pompeius Magnus, in the wake of his defeat at Pharsalus, is murdered as he steps ashore in Egypt
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 5:49:06 AM

~ St. Bernard Ancestry

Well of course it's going to be the Romans' pooches ... from a piece in the Independent:

The ancestors of today's St Bernards have been high in the Alps for about as long as the people. Their ancestors are probably the large, short-haired mastiffs that appear in Assyrian reliefs dating back 2,500 years. Then when the ancient Romans built the road they brought their huge dogs with them. "The Romans used these great mastiffs in battle," said Mr Morsiani, "as fighting dogs. They took them to Britain when they invaded, and the Old English Mastiff is their descendant. Then when they were on their way back to Italy after conquering Gaul, they left some of the dogs behind in the Alps. They were used by the farmers high up in the mountains, and breeding and keeping the dogs became a matter of status with the local aristocracy. There is a mastiff in the coat of arms of one of the local noble families." [the whole thing]

Earlier in the article we get this interesting little tidbit:

At the Great St Bernard Hospice, 2,500ft up the Alps on the way to Mt Blanc, there is both the highest church and the highest ancient Roman temple - or rather its ruins - in Europe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 5:26:59 AM

~ Torso of Venus Found!

From the Australian:

CONSTRUCTION workers in the western German city of Cologne have discovered a priceless Roman-era Venus statue, the director of the city's Roman-Germanic Museum said today.

The 1600-year-old find, unearthed at a depth of five metres during digging for a canal shaft, was "extremely rare for the entire Roman period in Germany", said Professor Hansgerd Hellenkemper.

The figure, which is missing its head and legs, features a nude torso of carrara marble.

"Because there were neither thermal baths nor temples in this region, we assume that the Venus belonged to a wealthy estate," Prof. Hellenkemper said.

He said the statue was likely produced in what is today Italy, packed in straw and shipped to Cologne, then part of the Roman empire, during the 1st century AD.

"The delicate breasts indicate this period. Later they tended to have a more robust form," he said.

Prof. Hellenkemper guessed the Venus graced the home of a wealthy landowner until the destruction of Cologne by the Franks in 355.

When the Romans recaptured the city the following year, the statue was probably used in constructing the foundation of a road.

Prof. Hellenkemper said there was little chance of finding the missing limbs now. [more]

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 5:18:04 AM

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

8.00 p.m. |HINT| Hadrian's Wall
Why did the ancient Romans build a stone wall across England from sea to sea? This look at Emperor Hadrian's Wall suggests that it had to do with military necessity and the ego of Hadrian himself. 

HINT = History International

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 4:53:12 AM

1. n. an abnormal state or condition resulting from the forced migration from a lengthy Classical education into a profoundly unClassical world; 2. n. a blog about Ancient Greece and Rome compiled by one so afflicted (v. "rogueclassicist"); 3. n. a Classics blog.

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