Blog

Puzzling and Bumbling on the Palatine Hill

June 30, 2018

The word “palace” is derived from the name Palatine—the hilltop where Roman rulers and aristocrats lived, high above the busyness of the Forum. The ruins of their grand homes and the chance to look out over the city just as they did make the climb worthwhile. As it turned out, Mr. Penfire and I ended…

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The Roman Forum – Then and Now

June 25, 2018

Years ago I bought a book called “Then and Now.” It features images and brief histories of twenty ancient sites—the ruins of great civilizations. Facing the title page for each is a full color photo of the ruin as it looks today: with an overlay showing what the site looked like in its heyday. Oh,…

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THE COLOSSEUM…AND THE CIRCUS

June 5, 2018

The Colosseum is the largest amphiteater ever built—a massive oval of brickwork, tufa (a type of limestone), travertine, and concrete. At its base it covers six full acres. One of the wonders of the ancient world, it was the site of spectacles (and horrific cruelty) that are almost beyond the imagination. Over the centuries, two thirds…

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