Weekend Reading: Visiting Hadrian’s Tipi

As someone who grew up in South Shields, North-East England, in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall (not literally – there’s a river in the way!), I’m accustomed to the presence of Hadrian. Our local school, for instance, is Hadrian Primary School. To get there we walk up Roman Road, past Julian Avenue and Vespasian Avenue and Trajan Avenue and along Fort Street (where, unsurprisingly, the Roman Fort is located). The school parents’ group is called Friends of Hadrian, which always makes me chuckle.

So the Romans – and Hadrian in particular – are everywhere, and they coexist quite happily with the folk of Shields. But even I was slightly taken aback when I ran into  something called ‘Hadrian’s Tipi’ in the middle of Sunderland.


Hadrian's Tipi


This prompted so many questions that I couldn’t concentrate on the socks in Primark. What did unexpected shopping-centre tents have to do with Hadrian? And why were they dated AD 122? (The larger question of why anyone would want to put up tipis in Sunderland city centre remains unanswered.) I went looking on the internet, which had this to say:


“In 122AD one of the five ‘good’ Roman Emperors, Hadrian, built a wall in the North East. Hadrian was a canny bloke who liked to travel sampling the best that countries could offer. When on the road he and his pals lived in Tipi-like tents and within these Tipi walls he enjoyed a bustling environment complete with great people, exotic teas and coffees, world foods, the finest local ales, beers and much more.”


Don’t you just love it when somebody manages to link beer tents to Classics?





This week’s links from around the internet


Halloween News

This week has been Halloween week, in case you haven’t noticed. ‘Halloween with small children in the family is so much fun!’ I hear you say. Not so. No, every single member of my family disapproves of Halloween and refuses to entertain the possibility of fun.

Well, I like Halloween. As a small act of rebellion I hang a holographic lantern outside my front door, which acts as a magnet to every trick-or-treater within a two-mile radius…

Naturally the Halloween spirit (or spirits?!) has pervaded this week’s classical coverage. Here are some of my favourites, for your post-Halloween enjoyment.

This wins my vote for Classical Pumpkin of the Year: why have I never thought of making the Pumpkinification of Claudius?!


Trick or treat in Latin and Greek – Sententiae Antiquae 

Curse tablets and Halloween – Classical Fix 

On being an exorcist – CREWS Project 

Werewolf origins – The Conversation 

Laughing at Roman witches – The Conversation 

Roman vampire burial – The Boston Globe 

Julius Caesar and zombies – Forbes 


From Lego Classicists


This week’s non-spooky links


From Classical Studies Support

Visiting Rome – by Klara Hegedus



Let’s have a mythical giant in Wales – The Guardian 

Theft of artefacts – AMN

Roman baths in Syria – Heritage Daily 

Ancient precedent for the Brexit coin – The Guardian 

The HS2 Dig – The Guardian 

Finding a macellum – Hurriyet Daily News 

A view of shipwrecks – The Guardian 

A feminist Aphrodite – Hyperallergic 

Sequel to Gladiator – The Guardian 

Upcoming Classics events – The Classical Association 

Classics events for ‘Being Human’ – Institute of Classical Studies 


Comment and opinion

Goop and Classics – The Conversation 

African soldiers in Roman Scotland – The Scotsman 

On Mary Beard on TV History – The Guardian 

The dark heart of Stoicism – LA Review of Books 

Libation tubes for the dead – Atlas Obscura 

Authenticity in fantasy coins – Coins at Warwick 

Setting up a new Classics department – Heartlands High School 

Ancient necromancy – Bible History Daily 

Accuracy in Classics – Eidolon

Hippocrates, environmental determinism and racism – Society for Classical Studies 

The animals of Julius Caesar’s forest – Cosmos 

Menstruation in the ancient world – Clue 

Beliefs in Britain – Current Archaeology

The adventures of Alcibiades – Ancient World Magazine 

The fame of Hypatia – Classics For All 

Natalie Haynes on the ‘Odysseus’ ship – The Guardian 

The Yorkshire mouthpiece – Classical Fix

Not buying stolen antiquities – Salon

Golden tickets and the afterlife – The Iris 

Getting Greek myths wrong – Greek Reporter 

Hunting for St. Peter – Aleteia 

On Ovid’s Hermaphroditus – Sententiae Antiquae 

Talking polychromy – The Fourth Sophistic 

Barbara Hamby on Penelope – New York Times 

River gods – Eclectic Light

Modern coins in ancient Rome – Kiwi Hellenist 

Teaching after-school Latin – Cambridge Museums 

Drinking and exclusion –  Classics at the Intersections 

Translating The Hobbit into Latin – Transparent Language 


Podcasts, video and other media

Osteoarchaeology – Archaeo Duck

Apollo, leader of the Muses – The History of Ancient Greece 

Tombs of Pompeii – When in Rome 

Bread and circuses – Anthrochef 

Talking about dead bodies – Star Talk

Women in wartime – That’s Ancient History 

Hades and Persephone – Myths, Baby! 

Being Stoic – The Forum


Off our beat

Why is it that animated book covers make me happy? – Vimeo 


5 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Visiting Hadrian’s Tipi

    1. I know he got around a bit, but never took him for the backpacking type. Villa Adriana at Tivoli must’ve had a teepee or two which unfortunately didn’t survive the ravages of the archaeological record 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s