Author Archives: ritaroberts
Sculptured portrait of a Roman lady, believed to be Julia Domna.
Anyone who seeks to discover Scotland’s early history through textual sources written more than a thousand years ago soon realises that ‘fake news’ isn’t a modern phenomenon. It has always served a useful purpose for its creators, as much in the first millennium AD as in our own era of digital communication and social media. Recognising false information for what it is, rather than taking it at face value, is likewise as much of a challenge when we’re reading an ancient chronicle as when we encounter an attention-grabbing headline on the internet. In some instances, even after having dismissed something written in the remote past as fake information – such as a legend masquerading as real history – we find it so fascinating that we want it to be true. This is what happened to me many years ago…
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Because Tuesday is the New Thursday….
Athenaeus, Deipnosophists Book 2 36a-d (=Adesp. com. fr. 101 and Eubulus fr. 93)
Mnêsitheos used to say, “the gods taught mortals
About wine because it is the greatest good
For those who use it correctly, and the opposite for those who don’t.
It gives sustenance to those who use it well,
Strength to their minds and their bodies.
It is also extremely useful for medicine,
Since it is mixed in with other drugs
And provides relief to those who have been wounded.
It also helps in daily gatherings it brings joy
To those who mix it and drink it wisely.
But to those who are excessive it brings outrage.
If you mix it evenly with water, it makes you crazy.
Unmixed, it paralyzes bodies.
“For this reason, Dionysus is called a doctor everywhere. The Pythia told some people to call Dionysus the “Healer”. Euboulos…
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Veganism and to a lesser extent, vegetarianism, collectively rebranded as “plant based” eating is growing at an exponential rate, especially among millennials. This unprecedented growth has attracted the attention of high profile celebs such as Bill Gates who has invested in one of the many plant based or “fake meat” successes, the Impossible Burger. The fast food staple seems to be reinventing itself as a healthy, sustainable alternative to its animal predecessor proclaiming its virtues as being better for the environment and better for our health. Far less water and animal feed are needed to produce these burgers and plants have the added benefit of absorbing carbon dioxide from the air compared to the gaseous emissions from Methane producing cows. All very laudable…so far.
A plant based alternative to the conventional burger is nothing new though, the 1980’s saw the rise of the veggie burger with Burger King jumping…
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I just discovered that it is International Cat Day – which is unusually relevant to my research at the moment! But why should someone who works on ancient writing be so interested in cats all of a sudden? Well, we need to travel back in time to the ancient Aegean to discover the reason.
Cretan Hieroglyphic seal made of carnelian, showing a cat figure. Image from HERE.
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4th August AD 119 – A letter from Hadrian conferring new rights to illegitimate children of soldiers is published in Alexandria (#Hadrian1900)
One thousand nine hundred years ago on this day, a copy of a letter written by Hadrian and addressed to Quintus Rammius Martialis, the prefect of Egypt (AD 117-19), was published in Alexandria. In his letter, Hadrian granted illegitimate children of soldiers conceived during their fathers’ military service the right to inherit.
Papyrus BGU 140 (Smallwood 333) Copy of a letter by Emperor Hadrian to Prefect Rammius.
Provenance: Alexandria (?)
Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin (Source)
Translation: (in Keenan, Law and Legal Practice (2014), 4.6.2b (S. 117f.), follows Joseph Mélèze-Modrzejewski’s edition)
Copy of a letter of the emperor, translated… which was publicly displayed in the third year of…
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