Corfinium – Italia or Italica?

Over the Easter holidays, I’ve been reading Mary Beard’s SPQR, which I highly recommend. I was particularly pleased that so much of it focusses on early Rome and its relationship with Italy – it was at least a third of the way through before we even got to Sulla. Mary, as usual, brings out all…

Reblogged – What the digamma?

An excellently Classical post appeared on the Strong Language linguistics blog last week after someone found the phrase “what the digamma?” in a poem of 1881. I’ll let you read Ben Zimmer’s musings on whether this is a joke replacement of “what the dickens” or is meant as something closer to “WTF”. The comments give…

Rome, Tarquinia and Ceveteri

I’ve just got back from my RAC/TRAC 2016 trip, and I can’t leave it too long before posting some pictures. The conference was absolutely excellent, and it was a joy to catch up with some old and new friends over at La Sapienza. Highlights of the conference for me included Maureen Carroll’s paper on the votive…

RAC/TRAC 2016 Update

I’m off to RAC/TRAC 2016 (the Roman Archaeology Conference and Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference). There will be a bit of a break in my blogging, but lots of photos to share when I get back. My paper is in Greg Woolf’s panel on standardisation tomorrow morning. You can preview my slides by downloading them here. If you’re…

Vale soror anima mea – Roman women’s writing

Happy International Women’s Day everyone! In this part of term, we usually teach a supervision about ancient gender linguistics – specifically, we ask students whether there is evidence for women speaking Greek and Latin differently from men. This quickly becomes a frustrating question, because almost all of the evidence we have for women speaking was…

Plautus and plavtad

Here’s a nice post by Matteo Calabrese on the meaning behind the name of the Roman dramatist Plautus, with a reference back to the post I wrote on the Pietrabbondante tile in January. If you were wondering, his name is derived from a nickname meaning “flat-footed” – but as far as I know, we can…

I, Sicily

I’ve recently started on a very exciting new collaboration with the I.Sicily project, which is building a fully searchable, freely available online corpus of the inscriptions of Sicily. (In my head I keep turning this project into “I, Sicily” in the manner of “I, Claudius” – this sounds quite dramatic, so I’m sticking with it.) To…