If you're looking for something to listen to as we start 2023, have a look at the Radio 3 Free Thinking episode I recorded back in October, which is still available through the BBC website. There's also still plenty of time to catch the British Museum exhibition Hieroglyphs: Unlocking Ancient Egypt referred to in the... Continue Reading →
SALAVS – Learn Oscan online
A couple of days ago, Kristina Killgrove asked me a very intriguing question: where can you learn a bit of Oscan online? https://twitter.com/DrKillgrove/status/1105091790556811264 I had no answer to this, other than to say that Buck's Grammar of Oscan and Umbrian is old enough to exist in PDF form online. But as soon as I thought... Continue Reading →
Rhaetic on screen
I was amazed to hear recently that there is a film out where the dialogue is in Rhaetic. This is one of the more obscure languages of ancient Italy, and not one which usually gets a lot of attention. [NB - some links and videos in this post include images of human remains.] Iceman (2017) is a... Continue Reading →
There's been a lot of interesting discussion recently in the Classics Twitter-sphere about translation - and specifically about sexism in translation. Emily Wilson's translation of the Odyssey has been the catalyst for a lot of this discussion, and she has been outspoken about the deficiencies that she sees in previous translations, including sexism and the... Continue Reading →
Theorizing contacts in the Roman Empire
Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to travel to Edinburgh to take part in the conference 'Theorizing contacts in the Roman Empire'. As you can see from the description of the conference, it was exactly the kind of thing I love talking about! We live in a multicultural world, in which every community develops in... Continue Reading →
What did the Romans really speak?
I'm very excited to announce that I have a featured article in November's History Today, out on Thursday. The title of my feature is 'Latin Lesson', and it explores the languages of the Roman empire, from its earliest history to the development of the Romance languages. It looks particularly at the Romans' attitudes to other languages,... Continue Reading →
What links a drinking cup, Julius Caesar and ancient multilingualism?
Today I've been working on a piece on very short inscriptions - so short that we're not even sure what language they are in. There are some obvious reasons why very short, abbreviated inscriptions are sometimes used. On a coin or a tile stamp, space can be so limited that an abbreviation of the name... Continue Reading →
How I draw inscriptions
First of all - happy second birthday, blog! The blog is now regularly getting 2000 readers a month which - let's be honest - is a lot more people than have read my book in the same period, and that's why I love blogging. It's been great to publish my work in different ways and... Continue Reading →
Sacerdos – priest or priestess?
Sometimes lunchtime conversations in the department are the best way to think about something from a new perspective, because everyone brings such different experience to the same question. This week I had a great conversation with my colleagues Richard Flower and Katharine Earnshaw about the connotations of the Latin word sacerdos. We all started out with... Continue Reading →
Reblogged: Learning the alphabet
This morning the blogosphere has obligingly brought me the answer to a question I couldn't answer yesterday. Natalia Elvira Astoreca, of the CREWS project in Cambridge, has written a blog post on the different ways that people learn the alphabet in modern Europe. A colleague asked me a question about this at my talk yesterday, which I... Continue Reading →