This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vii kalendas quinctilias

Trajan receives homage from a Dacian chieftan ...

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ante diem vii kalendas quinctilias

  • ludi Taurei quinquennales (day 1) — an obscure festival possibly in honour of the di inferi (read Bill Thayer’s note on the ‘quinquennales’ part)
  • 107 A.D. — the emperor Trajan arrives in Rome and celebrates his second triumph over the Dacians

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem viii kalendas quinctilis

ante diem viii kalendas quinctilis

  • under Servius — dedication of two temples to Fors Fortuna (and associated rites thereafter)
  • 1 B.C. — birth of John the Baptist (traditional date)
  • 79 A.D. — dies imperii of the emperor Titus
  • 109 A.D. — the Aqua Traiana are officially dedicated
  • 1741 — Birth of Alexander Adam (Classics educator)
  • 1989 — death of Russell Meiggs (author of Roman Ostia, among others)

Roman Fort in Cornwall?

Roman Roads in Britain around 150 AD/CE.
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From the Telegraph:

Pottery and other evidence suggesting the presence of an ironworks have been found at the undisclosed location near St Austell, Cornwall.

Experts say the discovery challenges the belief that Romans did not settle in the county and stopped in neighbouring Devon.

The site had previously been regarded as an Iron Age settlement but the recent discovery of pottery and glass was found to be of Roman origin.

John Smith, from Cornwall Historic Environment Service, said: ”This is a major discovery, no question about it.

”For Roman Britain it’s an important and quite crucial discovery because it tells us a lot about Roman occupation in Britain that was hitherto completely unexpected.

”In finding the pottery and glass, it’s saying the occupation goes to about 250AD, which turns the whole thing on its head.”

Archaeological Jonathan Clemes discovered various artefacts by studying the earth after it had been ploughed.
He said: ”You’ve got to know your pottery. If you come across a bit of pottery and you know what it is, it can tell you a great deal about the activity that went on in that area.”

Following the discovery of the artefacts a geophysical survey uncovered a fort and a marching camp.

Prior to the discovery it was believed that Roman forts had only been positioned close to the Devon border before the Roman’s left the region for south Wales.

It will now be considered whether to excavate the area or to leave it for a future excavation when techniques have advanced.

The map shows the ‘current view’ of Roman settlement (generally) in Britain; if the St Austell thing proves true, perhaps there will be more evidence further west as well …

via Romans ‘may have settled as far south-west as Cornwall’ | Telegraph.

More from Sofia/Serdica

On the heels of last week’s announcement of the opening of a major Roman site to the public, the Sofia News Agency tells us that archaeologists are on the trail (they hope) of Constantine’s palace there too:

A large ancient building located under the St. Nedelya Cathedral in downtown Sofia might turn out to be a palace of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, according to Bulgarian archaeologists.

The building might also turn out to be the ancient thermae, or public baths of the ancient Roman city of Serdica, today’s Sofia, according to architect Konstantin Peev, head of the EKSA company, which is helping the Sofia Municipality with the excavation and restoration of the archaeological heritage of the Bulgarian capital.

The excavations at the Sofia Largo and the so called Metro Station 2-8 next to the Tzum retail store were made necessary by the construction of the second line of the Sofia Metro.

According to Peev, the bouleuterion of the city of Serdica was located under the northwestern corner of today’s building of the Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan. The bouleuterion was a small amphitheater-like building which housed the council of the citizens in the Antiquity period. The Serdica bouleuterion had a diameter of about 20 meters.

Peev also said that the archeaological excavations in the spring of 2010 have so far revealed a number of Roman insula, i.e. homes closed off among four streets.

He pointed out that the archaeologists have revealed the main streets of the Roman city of Serdica – the main street, decumanus maximus, connecting the Eastern and Western Gates, was wide about 7-8 meters and paved with huge pave stones. The cardo, the secondary street, went in the north-south direction.

Architect Peev stated that the municipality and the Culture Ministry were currently considering various options for conserving and displaying the archeaological heritage of Sofia.

via Bulgarian Archaeologists Hope to Find Constantine’s Palace | Sofia News Agency.

Gladiators in York: Followup

Bronze medallion depicting the fight between a...
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Brief item from York Press:

A SKELETON – thought to be the remains of a Roman gladiator – has gone on display in York.

The skeleton is on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre from today.

It is one of 80 skeletons unearthed in the city by York Archaeological Trust over the last seven years.

The skeleton, which was the subject of a TV documentary last week, displays one of the most significant pieces of evidence supporting the lead archaeological theory that the skeletons are the remains of Roman gladiators – a large carnivore bite mark believed to have been inflicted by a lion, tiger or bear, probably in the arena.

John Walker, York Archaeological Trust chief executive, said: “The skeletons have been the subject of global interest over the last week. We want to give people the opportunity to see for themselves some of the evidence that our archaeologists have worked with to develop their theories on the skeletons’ origins.

via Roman gladiator remains go on display in York | York Press.

Of course, to be pedantic, if the guy was killed by a wild beast he probably technically wasn’t a gladiator; more likely someone involved in a venatio or  condemned ad bestias (which I personally think would be a more interesting angle) …

Previous coverage:

Gladiator Graveyard?
Gladiator Graveyard Followup

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem x kalendas quinctilis

Plan battle of Pydna-de
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ante diem x kalendas quinctilis

  • 217 B.C. — Ptolemy IV defeats Antiochus III at the battle of Raphia (by one reckoning)
  • 168 B.C. — Lucius Aemilius Paulus defeats Perseus at the Battle of Pydna, bringing the Third Macedonian War to an end
  • 109 A.D. — the Baths of Trajan open