Podcast: Distant Pasts

Last week (just in time to coincide with both the “Greek in Italy” workshop and the triggering of Article 50) I was featured on a podcast series presented by my colleague Richard Flower. Distant Pasts: Adventures in an Alternative Antiquity looks at some of the more surprising, unusual and lesser known aspects of the ancient world, and also asks its participants to suggest one aspect of the ancient world that they would change if they could.

My episode deals is called “Language and Identity“, and deals with bilingualism and multilingualism in the ancient world. Richard and I had a great discussion about whether the Romans had a truly multilingual empire, what Latin (and Greek) meant to the Romans, and how people chose their “Roman” names when they became citizens for the first time. As to what I would change about the ancient world – you will have to listen and find out!

A Greek/Latin bilingual inscription from Rome, early 3rd century AD. “To the spirits of the dead; fish of the living [i.e. Jesus Christ]; Livinia Amias, well deserving, lived […]”

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