Not sure if this is the one mentioned by Francesca Tronchin on Twitter (if so, tip o’ the pileus!):
An ancient Etruscan home dating back more than 2,400 years has been discovered outside Grosseto in central Italy. Hailed as an exceptional find, the luxury home was uncovered at an archeological site at Vetulonia, 200 kilometres north of Rome.
Archeologists say it is rare to find an Etruscan home intact and believe the home was built between the 3rd and 1st century BC.
Using six Roman and Etruscan coins uncovered at the home, archeologists believe the house collapsed in 79 AD during wars unleashed by Roman general and dictator, Lucio Cornelio Silla.
Archeologists have discovered a large quantity of items which have revealed a great deal about life in the home and the construction techniques of the era.
“These are the best ruins that have ever been found in Italy,” said Simona Rafanelli, director of the Isidoro Falchi archeological museum in Vetulonia, told journalists.
“They represent something incredibly important from an archeological and historical point of view, because they finally give us an understanding of new techniques linked to Etruscan construction that we did not know until today.
“Here today we are rewriting history. It is a unique case in Italy because with what we have found we will be able to completely reconstruct the entire house.”
From the ruins they discovered a basement or cellar in which the family is believed to have stored foodstuffs.
A beautiful earthenware pot was found in the corner of the room and an olive press.
Pieces of vases and plates were also uncovered at the house, while the walls were made of sun-dried clay bricks.
The Oxford University Press blog seems to be running a series of podcasts about Cleopatra over the next few days (?). In this first installment, we have an interviewish thing with Duane Roller, who, of course, has recently written a biography of our favourite Alexandrian.
Sorry … I’m grumpy this a.m.. A piece in the Express about letter writers begins with these three brief paragraphs:
PLINY the Younger had a strong sense of description. The eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD looked like a pine tree, he told the historian Tacitus in a graphic letter, “for it shot up to a great height in the form of a very tall trunk which spread itself out at the top into a sort of branches”.
It was actually his uncle Pliny the Elder who had passed the description on to his nephew. But it was such an accurate pictorial account of the natural catastrophe that engulfed the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum that volcanologists still use the term “Plinian eruption” as a scientific category.
Pliny the Elder was unable to write about the eruption himself because he died trying to rescue friends from Pompeii. He had taken a ship across the Bay of Naples but collapsed and died on the beach. How do we know? Because his nephew also wrote vividly about that event in another letter to Tacitus..
How can someone write in one paragraph that Pliny the Elder passed a description on to his nephew and in the very next one talk about his death on the beach. Doesn’t anyone at the Express make the connection???
ante diem viii kalendas junias
- rites in honour of Fortuna Publica Populi Romani Quiritium Primigenia on the Quirinal hill
- 585 B.C. — Thales possibly predicted the eclipse on this day
- 302 A.D. — martyrdom of Julius of Durostorum and companions