Sicily – Culture, Conquest and Battering Rams

Last week I enjoyed a nice afternoon off, checking out the British Museum's "Sicily: Culture and Conquest". I highly recommend it - the displays are fascinating, though somewhat crowded (as always). The exhibition focusses mainly on the Greek and Norman periods of Sicilian history, so go with that in mind if you're expecting lots of... Continue Reading →

Venetic seminar week 2

This week at the Faculty of Classics, we held the second Venetic seminar (summed up by one attendee as "Close Encounters of the Venetic Kind"). We tackled a few more of the shorter inscriptions as a warm up, including one of the dedicatory styluses from Este - you can see a selection of these in... Continue Reading →

Venetic seminar week 1

Yesterday we had the first of two introductory seminars on Venetic. The high point was, of course, the excellent cake by Anna Judson, shown here with Anna holding it up next to a picture of the inscription itself for comparison. As you can see, it was both tasty and highly accurate! Epigraphy-themed cakes have become... Continue Reading →

The CREWS project

Everyone interested in ancient languages and scripts should follow the CREWS project blog. CREWS (which stands for Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems) is a major new ERC-funded project hosted at the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, run by my excellent colleague Pippa Steele. To quote from her introduction to the project: The aim of... Continue Reading →

The demos of Roccagloriosa

Today's inscription is a fantastic example of linguists getting a huge amount of information about ancient societies out of very short texts. How short? Well, about two letters actually. Buxentum 2 (c. 300 BC) reads <ΔΗ>, or <DE> to transcribe it into the Roman alphabet. The two letters are joined by one of their lines, to make... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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