On the weekend of 24 and 25 April, Alhama de Murcia will be holding its first Roman Market since the Romans left some 1600 years ago. The Market will be held in the Plaza de la Constitución where stands the Town Hall. As the Market has “a touch of Asterix and Obelix”, there will be – apart from the Romans – Gauls, druids and slaves as well as a complete Roman market with stalls selling foods, trinkets and all that is necessary for the most refined Roman household.
The stalls open on the Saturday morning at 11 am. As Amata (the same association that was in charge of the medieval market, last year) is organising the whole event, visitors can be sure that all the merchandise is made by hand by the people at the stalls. Wonderful presents for the next dinner party or seminar, just the thing to bribe a senator or two or obtain the favours of a noble lady. Silver, glass, wood, ceramics, leather, fabrics – all beautifully crafted to suit the refined taste of any patrician.
And then there are stalls with food to suit the most jaded appetite. Perhaps no lark tongue paté or wolf nipple crackers, but noble cheeses, delicious sausages and dried fruit for those long journeys into the barbarian lands as well as beer, wine, pancakes and sizzling barbecued meat to restore the inner man or woman. Drink from beakers and eat with your fingers – the Romans had no table manners and nor do we, but we do provide paper napkins.
Sit down at one of the rude benches and enjoy the spectacle of Gaulish soldiers and musicians, a Roman priest making an offering at mid-day, beggars, thieves and a senator or two. You might even encounter Asterix and Obelix. A dancing bear on a chain (on loan from Circus Maximus) will be there to amaze the gawking crowd with his skills, but there is no need to go and complain to the RSPCA: it’s not a real bear! There will also be a man-powered merry-go-tound and some workshops for the children.
Director General of the UNIMPRESA Romania union of Italian employers Marco Rondina on Sunday discussed with Bucharest General Mayor Sorin Oprescu the possibility of asking Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno to loan some Roman frescoes to be mounted in the Lipscani – Bratianu Boulevard in the historic centre of Bucharest City.
The Italian investors would also like Bucharest City to twin with Rome. The Lupa Capitolina Capitoline Wolf statute would also be relocated from the Romana Square to the intersection of Lipscani Street and Bratianu Boulevard. Work on the new pedestal started on March 25 and it is expected to complete in two months’ time, according to Mayor Oprescu. The statue will be disassembled next week and recomposed at a specialist workshop.
The statue was given as a gift to the Bucharest people by the Rome Municipality in 1906 to mark the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Romanian King Carol I and 1,800 years since the Roman Conquest of Dacia, today’s Romania. The Capitoline Wolf was initially mounted at the Romanian Arenas in Park Carol I and relocated to the St. Gheorghe Square in 1908. In 1931, it was relocated to the Metropolitan Hill; in 1965 to the small park in the Dorobanti Square and in 1997 to the Romana Square.
ante diem xviii kalendas maias
- ludi Cereri continue (day 3) — games in honour of the grain goddess Ceres, instituted by/before 202 B.C.
- 69 A.D. — first battle at Bedriacum; the forces of emperor wannabe Vitellius eventually would defeat the forces of emperor wannabe Otho
- 73 A.D. — mass suicide at Masada (?)
- 195 A.D. — Julia Domna, wife of the emperor Septimius Severus, is given the title mater castrorum (“mother of the camp”)