Articles sur Ancient Rome

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In Ancient Greek texts, the king Lycaon is punished for misdeeds by being turned into a wolf. Wikimedia

The ancient origins of werewolves

The earliest surviving example of man-to-wolf transformation is found in The Epic of Gilgamesh, from around 2,100 BC. But the werewolf as we now know it first appeared in ancient Greece and Rome.
Coins from the Hoxne Treasure, Hoxne, England, late 4th – early 5th century CE. silver 1994,0401.299.1-20 © Trustees of the British Museum © Trustees of the British Museum, 2018. All rights reserved

Rome: City + Empire contains wonderful objects but elides the bloody cost of imperialism

A major exhibition of treasures from ancient Rome presents a distinctly old-fashioned tale of the empire's rise and expansion, which is out of step with contemporary scholarly thinking.
Kevin Jackson, Robyn Hendricks and Ty King Wall in the Australian Ballet’s production of Spartacus. Justin Ridler

Spartacus: the rise and rise of an unlikely hero

When Spartacus and 70 or so of his comrades revolted and escaped from their gladiatorial school near Capua in 73 BC, everyone imagined the matter would soon be dealt with. But his rebellion has continued to inspire political movements.
A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum. Wikimedia Commons

Friday essay: the erotic art of Ancient Greece and Rome

From phallus-shaped wind chimes to explicit erotica on lamps and cups, sex is everywhere in ancient Greek and Roman art. But our interpretations of these images say much about our own culture.
It is commonly thought that anyone in ancient Rome who killed his father, mother, or another relative was subjected to the ‘punishment of the sack’. But is this true? Creative Commons

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: cruel and unusual punishment

From being thrown off a cliff to being sewn into a sack with animals, ancient Rome is notorious for its cruel and unusual punishments. But we must be careful what we take as historical fact.
Brothels in Pompeii were decorated with murals depicting erotic and exotic scenes: but the reality was far more brutal and mundane. Thomas Shahan/Wikimedia Commons

The grim reality of the brothels of Pompeii

Though their activities were depicted alluringly in murals, the sex workers of Pompeii were slaves who lived hard lives.
The Peutinger Table. Reproduction by Conradi Millieri - Ulrich Harsch Bibliotheca Augustana. Wikimedia Commons

Mythbusting Ancient Rome – did all roads actually lead there?

Today the phrase 'all roads leads to Rome' means that there's more than one way to reach the same goal. But in Ancient Rome, all roads really did lead to the eternal city, which was at the centre of a vast road network.
An equestrian statue of a Julio-Claudian prince, originally identified as Caligula. ©Trustees of the British Museum: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.

Mythbusting Ancient Rome – Caligula’s Horse

The emperor Caligula lavished attention on his favourite horse Incitatus, holding parties for friends in the steed's grand stables. But did he make his horse a consul?

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