BSA Knossos Postgraduate Pottery Course

Pots from the Heraklion Museum. Quiz: name the period!
Pots in the Heraklion Museum. Quiz: name the period!

Last year our Res Gerendae correspondent reported on the British School at Athens’ Epigraphy Course; this year it was the turn of the BSA’s Pottery Course, based at their site in Knossos, to receive a visit from RG. After an introductory day in which the Curator, Matthew Haysom, introduced us to ‘Trends in Pottery Studies’ and also, even more importantly, showed us how to get to the supermarket, we started the course proper: essentially, the eleven of us had just under two weeks to cover almost four thousand years’ worth of pottery, from the Late Neolithic to the Late Roman period. Continue reading “BSA Knossos Postgraduate Pottery Course”

A Classicist in Dublin

Hibernia (and Albion), 1654. Not remotely classical or even relevant, except insofar as it’s about as accurate as Pliny’s description.

Dublin might not seem the obvious city for a Classical tour, since the Greeks and Romans never really made it as far as Ireland, and don’t seem to have known all that much about what they called Ἱέρνη/Hibernia. All Pliny the Elder (4.102-3) has to report about the island is its size (300 miles wide and 600 long, apparently; he’s only out by a couple hundred miles), though Strabo (4.201) has a bit more information: apparently the inhabitants of Ἱέρνη were savage incestuous cannibals. (Keen to avoid a libel suit, though, he’s quick to add that he doesn’t have any reliable sources for this, and anyway plenty of other peoples are said to practice cannibalism, at least during sieges). And, apart from a list of towns in Ptolemy’s Geography, that’s about it on Classical interaction with Ireland; Dublin itself was probably founded about 800 A.D. So why, I hear my readers ask, does a trip to Dublin merit inclusion on Res Gerendae?

Continue reading “A Classicist in Dublin”

A Classicist in Verona

Like a true Classicist, on a recent trip to Verona I spent most of my time attempting to avoid the city’s never-ending “Romeo e Giulietta” obsession (not an easy task) and instead visiting as many Roman sites as I could. Obviously the first port of call was the Arena, home of Verona’s famous summer opera festival, whose stage sets were actually under construction at the time.

It’s nice to see an ancient amphitheatre still being used for performances, even if Aïda and Carmen aren’t exactly what its builders had in mind. Continue reading “A Classicist in Verona”