Weekend Reading: The Masked Classicist

The world is changing, and we must change with it. Or, to introduce the theme of this post, we must accessorise with it.

Now, I know that some people reading this have no intention of going to shops, libraries or museums any time soon; and if you ever do go out, you’re likely to wear serious medical-grade protection. But others now have to go out, and there are new rules here in the UK about wearing face-coverings in public indoor spaces.

And so I present to you…




The Classicist’s Guide to Masks


Yes, here you will find the best and geekiest ancient-world masks designed by Classics students and teachers. And if you stumble across others, do leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list.


Redbubble is the place to go for some really eye-catching stuff. It ships from the US, so if you’re in the UK orders can take a while to arrive (and occasionally you might be asked to cover shipping charges) – but in my view the designs are worth the wait. Here are some of my favourites, but there are lots more.


Flora Kirk has some fabulous designs for masks (I haven’t got any of them yet, but only because I can’t decide!) on Redbubble: take a look here.





Classicist Maria Haley also has some gorgeous masks available here – these are on my list too, particularly the blue monkeys!






The New Classicists shop is also worth a look – I think I’d look great as a bearded statue!






And adding (as suggested in the Comments!) a link to Amy Pistone’s lovely Hoplite Owl, profits from which go to support the wonderful Classics collective The Sportula, which does so much good for students who encounter financial barriers.








You can also buy classical-themed masks on Café Press. I haven’t tried this myself yet – so if you do, let me know how it goes.

Classicist Ginny Lindzey has some great Latin masks, including one of my favourite phrases, ‘Flocci non facio’.






If you’re handy with a sewing machine or needle, you can find some brilliant classical fabric on Spoonflower. It’s not particularly cheap, but some of it is amazing!






That should be enough to get you started. Masks, it seems, will be with us for some time to come – so we might as well do this with style!








This week’s links from around the Classical Interweb




Newly discovered ancient sites – BBC Travel

Temporary export ban on mosaic –BBC 

Amphorae in a seafood shop – The Guardian 



Comfort Classics this week

Comfort Classics: Jo Ball

Comfort Classics: Matt Simonton

Comfort Classics: Arlene Holmes-Henderson



Pictures from Classical Studies Memes for Hellenistic Teens



Comment and opinion

Tragedy, optimism and coronavirus – Ancient and Modern Rhetoric 

Titian and trying times – The Conversation

Iphis and Ianthe – Lugubelinus

What is palaeography? – The British Academy Blog 

Juno and the looters – The Historian’s Hut 

Modern translation tools – Roman Times 

Postclassicisms – The TLS 

Reading Martial – Bellaria

Cancel Culture and the ancient world – Classical Wisdom 







Podcasts, video and other media

The OU has been running a Virtual Festival this week. Here are some of the videos from the Classical Studies department, featuring some of my lovely Comfort Classics contributors: Jess Hughes, Jan Haywood, Chrissie Plastow and E-J Graham.









15 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: The Masked Classicist

  1. Ordered two of the dog themed ones from Flora Kirk – just waiting for them to arrive so hopefully I’ll have them in time for my visit to Vindolanda in a fortnight!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And if it rains whilst I’m there I will have my Roman Umbrella to shelter under! I’ve sooooo missed my visits to Vindolanda this year!


  2. I ordered 3 masks from Redbubble. While they’re beautiful, they’re constructed of two layers of loose jersey knit and I’m highly skeptical of their utility during the pandemic. So I decided to purchase some non-woven interfacing and a half-yard of tightly-woven muslin to hand-sew two-layer linings for each one..but the first online store I checked (JoAnn’s) has a 5 yard minimum, way too much for my needs.

    Looks like I might soon be sacrificing a pillowcase to Asclepius and Hygieia.

    In spite of that, I highly recommend the Hoplite Owl mask and other items from apistone’s RedBubble shop (https://www.redbubble.com/people/apistone/shop), the purchase of which benefits the Sportula (https://twitter.com/libertinopatren?lang=en) in providing micro-grants to support Classics and Classics- adjacent undergrad and grad students in the Americas.


    1. Thanks for this! Yes, I think the Redbubble ones are perhaps limited in their usefulness – but definitely snazzy! People have been saying that a fat quarter is about the right size for making a mask, so any store that sells by the fat quarter might be good.

      Thanks for the tip – I’ll add Amy’s owl to the main list!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the search tip, I will look for some pastel fat quarters! As with so many other subjects, searching with the right term makes a big difference. I’m reminded of the student who asked for help in finding information about augury of birdsong; they were searching “oscens”, and found much better results after I pointed out that it’s spelled “oscines”.


  3. Does the nunc est bibendum one come with a straw? It’ll be difficult otherwise! (One to wear to the pub😆!)


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