Linguistics Baking Part III: Phoenician

We’ve been having a ‘Phoenician for Classicists’ seminar in the Faculty this term, for anyone mad *ahem* keen enough to spend their Friday lunchtimes attempting to read inscriptions in a language they don’t know, written in a script that doesn’t represent vowels and in which about half of the consonants look essentially identical to each other. Put like that, who wouldn’t come along and join us?

Anyway, it’s been great fun, if mind-blowing (I blame the very little work I’ve got done any Friday afternoon this term on having expended all my brain cells trying to understand Phoenician), and it seemed appropriate to celebrate the last of these seminars with cake. And so, I hereby present the Phoenician Epigraphy Cake:

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Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum – Review

The British Museum’s latest blockbuster exhibition has proved incredibly popular – tickets are already sold out until late June, and it’s been getting rave reviews. Going to visit seemed like a good way for a group of classicists to spend the Bank Holiday, so as promised, here are some thoughts arising from the exhibition itself and the lengthy discussions we had afterwards. I know other people who’ve already visited may have very different opinions – I look forward to continuing the discussion in the comments!

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Weird and Wonderful Classics: Warfare and Weapons

Apologies for getting slightly carried away with the alliteration in the title; it’s to make up for the fact that I wanted to call this ‘Classics and Explosions’ but couldn’t, because frankly there just weren’t much in the way of explosives in the ancient Mediterranean. As already discussed, the closest we really get is ‘Greek Fire’, the mysterious substance invented by the Byzantines: since it couldn’t be extinguished by water, it came in pretty handy in sea-battles. That definitely comes under the W&W heading, but sadly it’s a little bit late for ‘Classics’, and it didn’t really explode as such. However, it turns out on further investigation that there are easily enough other weird and wonderful weapons to make up for this lack.

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