Home from another fantastic Roman Festival in York, and huge thanks to everyone who made it possible - organisers, re-enactors, performers, fellow-scribes and of course to the many visitors, without whom we'd all have been very lonely. In previous years I've put up plenty of photos of men on the march, and they do look … Continue reading Eboracum 2019
Just back from the fantastic Dolaucothi Gold Mines in mid-Wales - the only Roman gold mines known in Britannia. This tunnel looks fine in the floodlights, but the original miners would never have seen it like that - they'd have had to manage with little oil lamps. Things hadn't improved much by Victorian times, when … Continue reading Gold rush, AD75-style
...from Downie Towers, and many thanks to everyone who's spent time with Ruso and Tilla this year. None of it would be possible without you! Here's one of the ways the modern residents of Aquae Sulis are celebrating the season: Best wishes for 2019!
It’s hard to believe that we used to expect to capture a whole holiday with one roll of film that might hold 36 shots. I've had several trips away this summer and now even my computer is groaning at the prospect of downloading all the photos. (Who knew there were SO MANY Greek statues?) So … Continue reading Back in the Trenches Again
I've always thought of Parracombe as a peaceful and picturesque little Exmoor village, but when William of Falaise (relation of the more famous William the Conqueror) moved in sometime after 1066, he decided he needed a massive wooden castle to keep the natives in order. The site is now called Holwell Castle and there's a … Continue reading Queen of the Castle
To begin at the beginning...
Not long now till Ruso and Tilla's latest adventure goes public! It's the story of their fateful trip to the busy shrine at Aquae Sulis (Bath) and you can find out more here... ...or listen to Simon Vance reading an excerpt from the book at Tantor Media. On the left is Bloomsbury's beautiful US edition. … Continue reading MEMENTO MORI is almost here!
i've just been enjoying a few days in Jersey, an island which turns out to have hung onto some fine traditions of the past: 1. Stashing cash: The biggest hoard of Celtic coins in the world was found in Jersey in 2012 - and that's the ninth hoard from the Late Iron Age that's come … Continue reading Jersey – plus ça change…
Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire was full of Romans last week. There were soldiers and civilians, and families ranging from toddlers to grandparents. They were wandering in and out of the houses, feeding the sheep, eating, playing, laughing, working, shopping and having their hair done. Some of them were even having their photos taken … Continue reading Toga Tuesday!
Just back from travelling in the Scottish borders to find that Jean, Sam and Alice have kindly sent me a link to this story of Roman silver being discovered in Scotland. It's interesting that the experts think the silver is a bribe rather than a stash of plunder. The historian Cassius Dio tells us that … Continue reading Of Scotland and the price of peace