Weekend Reading: At Least We Still Have Books

It’s been quite a week. In fact, at various points I have been tempted to resort to one of my more on-brand-for-2021 Christmas presents…

(Thanks, Steve!)

But its time has not yet come. Instead, I found some books to buy, to brighten up the week.

One is a book of local history, which I’m really excited about reading. It’s a history of the early excavations at Arbeia Roman Fort. As you may know (it’s possible that I’ve mentioned it several thousand times…!), I live very near Arbeia, and my family have been in the area for generations – so this is a personal interest. It’s also, I think, important to understand the history of sites post-discovery, especially sites which have been through different phases of excavation over more than a century; and this particular site has always been very much part of the local community.

More importantly, there are pictures. I like a book with pictures.

Another book I bought this week, which just arrived today, is a little old book of Ovid. I actually don’t have many pre-nineteenth-century editions of Ovid; they don’t seem to come up for sale very often. I’ve never been sure whether that says something about the popularity of Ovid with antiquarian book collectors today, or about Ovid’s lack of popularity around the seventeenth century. Whatever the case, this was a rare find for me, and I was really excited all week for it. Of course, I missed the delivery earlier in the week and had to wait two days to arrange re-delivery – but it’s 2021, so that’s to be expected. I count myself lucky that it arrived without being eaten by a plague of locusts…

I’ve been quite reliant on books this week, because it’s been so horrible outside. My Vindolanda Roman shield umbrella has been tested to its limits. Today, though, it was bitterly cold but sunshiney at Arbeia, so I’ll leave you with a frosty Fort picture from my walk this morning.

This week from around the Classical Internet


Statues found in Turkey – Greek City Times

Antiquities looted from graves – SmartNews

Stoic philosophy in lockdown – The Telegraph

Capitol terrorists and the ancient world – Pharos

Caligula’s gardens on view – SmartNews

A new Digital Library of Theban Myth – The Classics Library

Comfort Classics

Charlie Pemberton: the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassai

Megan Bowler: Virgil’s Georgics

Tine Rassalle: the Horvat Kur stone

Laura Aitken-Burt: the Athenian Acropolis

Comment and opinion

Roman gardens: Samuli Simelius – Classical Fix

Pompeii-inspired stew – Salon

The Green Man – Tales of Times Forgotten

Run your town like a Roman – The History Girls

Serial killers in the ancient world – Peopling the Past

Identifying an emperor by his beard – Daily Art Magazine

Virtual tour of the Mausoleum of Augustus – Smithsonian Magazine

Saving the Humanities – Sententiae Antiquae

Lovers by lamplight – Blogging Ancient Epigram

Hermes and Thoth – The Collector

Misconceptions about Rome – Mental Floss

Podcasts, video and other media

The First Decemvirate – The Partial Historians

Coming soon… – Edith Hall

3 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: At Least We Still Have Books

  1. OOOOO Envious of your new Ovid! However I’ve just treated myself to a new book this afternoon (in the name of research for my A330 EMA of course so it was essential!) a Loeb edition of Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica. My to read pile ready for doing my EMA is growing taller and I still a Stephen Fry and a Natalie Haynes to finish in between reading for my current TMA – think I better cancelling sleeping for the next couple of months! Love the photo of Arbeia photo wish I had a roman fort close enough to walk round instead of endless pavements!


  2. I was even thinking about acquiring a green coated loeb – all the ones I have are red as I lean more towards the Romans than the Greeks so actually acquiring a green coated loeb is a huge step for me. But I need to wait until next pay day for that one! And as I mentioned on twitter the other day this website is a bad influence on me when it comes to acquiring books! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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