Weekend Reading: The Stylish Classicist’s Christmas List

We’re having a mini-apocalypse here in the North of England. People are dropping like flies: I’ve never seen anything like it. Whole schools are closing to be deep-cleaned. Almost everyone I know has something unpleasantly infectious, ranging from mild colds to weird and vicious viruses, and so we’re all somewhere on the spectrum from ‘fed up’ to ‘completely wretched’.

I’m no exception; I’ve been tackling a huge pile of marking while trying to keep some horrible symptoms under control and looking after an ill and grumpy seven-year-old. So I don’t have a lot of links for you this week, because staring at a screen makes my head hurt more.

As always when things are this grim, I turn to the two bright spots in a gloomy world. Yes, that’s right: chocolate and shopping. And since I’m not sharing my chocolate with you (I don’t like anybody that much), I thought I’d let you in on some of my window shopping, which this week has had a ‘clothes and accessories’ theme. I will no doubt be coming up with other gift guides over the coming weeks, because Christmas is a time for finding random tat on the internet, and that is (without wanting to brag) one of my talents…




For the Classicist About Town this Christmas


1. A Julius Caesar tie? Featuring an anachronistic Hadrian’s Wall? Who wouldn’t want a one of these?





2. In Omnia Paratus T-shirt. Good for the well-prepared Latinist, and also for those of us who can’t quite seem to let go of the Gilmore Girls.




3. Catullus 16 dress, by the wonderful Flaroh. I REALLY want this dress. If you don’t know what it says, you’re on your own: I’m not translating it for you. It’s not that sort of website…!




4. Odyssey ear-rings. And you can get ear-rings made of the book of your choice too. Hold me back…





5. Roman knitted helmet. With detachable woolly beard. I could definitely carry that off…




6. Centurion pyjamas. Sadly just for little ones – and not even for really small grown-ups like me (I checked!).





7. Iron-on elbow patches. Why fight the stereotype? I’m thinking about attaching these to every item of clothing I own.





8. Latin bracelet. With the slogan ‘Either I will find a way or I will make one’, which I’d be happy to take for my own personal slogan if Hannibal hadn’t got there first. With elephants.




9. Gold laurel crown. For those days when you’ve received a good grade and want to tell the world, in an appropriately classical way.





10. Greek charioteer scarf. Classy and classicsy. What more could you want from a scarf?





Finally a fashion joke from @nmacsweeney on Twitter: What does Helen of Troy have in common with someone choosing a summer outfit? They don’t want Many-layers.





This week’s links from around the internet



Epics and women – The Guardian 

Troy exhibition in pictures – The Evening Standard 

Fascination with Troy – The Conversation

An ancient advanced heating system – Ancient Pages 

Solving a Roman mystery – The Express 

New Ancient Rome drama – The Hollywood Reporter



Comment and opinion

The legacy of Robert Graves – LA Review of Books

The horrors of Latin – Boston Review

The direction of Classics – Sententiae Antiquae

A Roman talking cow – The Historian’s Hut

Not knowing about the Druids – National Geographic 

Roman empresses – LSA Classics

The history of the Piraeus – Sententiae Antiquae 

Buying and selling papyri – Looting Matters 

Pirates and Phoenicians – Classical Wisdom Weekly

The writing on the wall – Ole Miss

The early Roman army – Realm of History 



Podcasts, video and other media

Podcast crossover – Itinera/The Endless Knot 

Sacred trees – Ancient Material Religion




13 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: The Stylish Classicist’s Christmas List

  1. You do know you can get away without translated on here, but if you go to a party…….

    I am sorely tempted to get you the hat (I know we don’t know each other) just for the pictures you’d have to post in thanks 🙂


    1. True – I’d have to invent a fake translation. If it was plausible and catchy enough, it might inspire lots of people at the party to get a Latin tattoo… 😉

      I’m pretty sure I’d look great with a fake woolly beard. And where I live, I don’t think anyone would raise an eyebrow. This morning I was walking home from the shops in the pouring rain, and saw a man dressed as Batman walking his dog. Nobody else on the street even glanced at him. I love my town.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahaha

        It’s an idea, maybe I will get that tattooed, although maybe not bearing in mind the context.

        Having said that I do already have ancient Greek on one arm and Latin on the other – so I’ve done my bit.


    1. On my left arm: ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
      On the right: Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris. Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit litora

      Apart from all the connections so far the left arm has managed to provide free drinks and a recipe book from ‘The Real Greek’ restaurant in Covent Garden and the right free admission to the Museum Nationale in Rome. It has also been photographed by admissions at the Ara Pacis and Pompeii.

      So a few good results there!


  2. Well, those are about as epic as tattoos can get…! I thought I was doing well with my Latin-painted boots – I’ve got a Horace pair for special occasions and Ovid for my everyday boots. No freebies so far though!


  3. I wonder if the earring people would do a pair with the cover my my A340 text book! Though I’ve just given myself a pre Christmas treat in the form of ‘Writing Ancient History’ by Luke Pitcher that was recommended to me by a certain tutor last Saturday morning! 🙂


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