Boris Johnson ‘On Tour’

As long as we’re talking about our favourite mayor of London, we might as well mention this item from the travel pages of the Australian … Johnson is taking the writer on a bicycle tour of the city … an excerpt of the Classical bits:

[…] Boris has written a book on “the people that made the city that changed the world”, and his publishers thought it would be fun if he re-enacted it for me. The plan was to start at the Monument at 7am, but within three seconds of arriving, the plans change. Boris announces we should start at Bishopsgate with Boudicca. “Oh, we’ve gone the wrong way,” he says, two minutes later.

“Let’s just do a U-turn here — we’ve got to break the law a bit. Although, just for the record, I want to say I wasn’t actually breaking the law. That was a perfectly legal manoeuvre.”

Some time later we’re on Bishopsgate as sort of planned and, with renewed composure and a crumpled suit flapping in the chill morning breeze, Boris asks me to imagine the wooden houses of AD60 instead of the glass and steel of 21st-century London.

“Act I, Scene I. This is where Suetonius Paulinus met the poor inhabitants of the colony — well, actually, the town. Colchester was the colony; London was already up-and-coming. And here he is, poor old Suetonius Paulinus. He’s come all the way down the A5 from North Wales.”

“Boris!” shouts a man on a bicycle. “Morning!” shouts Boris to the biker. “The Iceni are coming with a big-breasted Boudicca. An absolutely brass-bosomed, bonkers Boudicca — an Essex girl. A wronged woman. Suetonius Paulinus meets the Londoners and they beg him. They say, ‘Suetonius, help, we’re going to get massacred.’ And he says, ‘Sorry, folks, there’s nothing I can do.’ “

“Morning, Boris!” Another biker. “Morning! Right, off to the next place.” […]

via: On your bike, Boris (Australian)

Even More Classical Beer

Tip ‘o the pileus to Max Nelson of UWindsor fame for pointing us to some more beer brands to have at our ultimate Classical conference. We’ll just mention in passing this Caesar Augustus (a lager/IPA hybrid … hmmmm) and Julius (which is no longer in production). I was almost disappointed in the Hadrian Border Brewery’s offering, until I made it to the bottom of the page … this is a nice selection:

… and a couple more which I figure are worth mentioning:

… it’s starting to look like we’ll have to hold this conference in the UK to get the best variety. So our American friends will be responsible for bringing the Pliny the Elder, we Canucks will bring the Clamato for the Caesars, and we’ll see what’s in season when we get to the UK …

Just to keep the catering list together:

Boris Johnson Orates Armand D’Angour’s Olympian Ode!!

Several tips ‘o the pileus accrue to Caroline Lawrence, who attended the unveiling of the official plaque — they’re big on plaques in the UK — commemorating Dr D’Angour’s Pindar-inspired Olympian Ode, at which event Boris Johnson reprised his performance thereof. It does not appear to be the sort of thing which could have been presented in a toga; not sure about Greek garb, but:

If you missed our previous coverage:

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem iii nonas sextilias

ante diem iii nonas sextilias
¶  supplicia canum — a ritual which was the ‘fallout’ from the story of the geese saving Rome from the Gauls; as punishment to the ‘watchdogs’ who didn’t bark, every year the Romans would crucify a dog
¶ 8 A.D. — victory of the future emperor Tiberius at Illyricum
¶ 178 A.D. — the emperor Marcus Aurelius and Commodus depart on their second campaign against the Germans