An Ancient Mystery Solved … Hierapolis, “The Gates to Hell” & Instant Death
Sep14

An Ancient Mystery Solved … Hierapolis, “The Gates to Hell” & Instant Death

One of the world’s most chilling ruins is the Ploutonion at Hierapolis, “the Gates to Hell”. Here crowds watched priests lead animal sacrifices down into a cave, where they died mysteriously as if dragged down to the underworld. No one knew how they did it, that is, until very recently.

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Guernsey Celts & Guernsey Romans – A Timeline
Sep07

Guernsey Celts & Guernsey Romans – A Timeline

Since the 1980s there has been a veritable explosion of Archaeological evidence to suggest that Guernsey was very much a part of the Roman World. In this article we look at the interface between the Celtic Worlds and the Roman World in Guernsey and the channel Islands.

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Did You Know … Between AD 208 and 211 the entire Roman Empire was governed from York
Jul24

Did You Know … Between AD 208 and 211 the entire Roman Empire was governed from York

A Rare Known Factoid …  “Between AD 208 and AD 211 the entire Roman Empire was governed from York.” Some Random Romano British Factoids For 3,000 years, chickens were farmed primarily for their eggs. Only when the Romans came to Britain did it dawn on them to eat the bird. Ruyton-XI-Towns, Shropshire, is the only place in Britain whose name contains Roman numerals. When the Romans first arrived in Britain, they found...

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Why Does a Thumbs-Up Gesture Mean “okay”?
Feb20

Why Does a Thumbs-Up Gesture Mean “okay”?

Why does a thumbs-up gesture mean “okay”? : Any Roman gladiator movie worth its salt always includes the obligatory Colosseum combat scene where the fate of a beaten warrior is given by the thumbs-down signal – or the thumbs-up if he wants him to live. But is this really the origin of this signal ?

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Constantinople – Where (Middle) East Meets West
Sep08

Constantinople – Where (Middle) East Meets West

On the 28 March 1930 after 1,599 years, ten months and seventeen days the great city of Constantinople officially became Istanbul. It was on this day that the Turkish Post Office formally changed the name by which it had been informally identified since some time in the 13th century. A Long History A Greek City There has been a town on the site of modern Istanbul since at least the 7th century BC, when it was settled by Greeks. They...

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The Language of Caesar : Latin Phrases Everyone Should Know
Jun09

The Language of Caesar : Latin Phrases Everyone Should Know

A motley combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Germanic dialects, the English language (more or less as we know it) coalesced between the 9th and 13th centuries. Despite this we use a lot of Latin phrases to this day. In this article we look at some of the more common Latin phrases that we should all know.

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Asterix – Guernsey’s Own Roman Wreck
Jun02

Asterix – Guernsey’s Own Roman Wreck

On Christmas Day 1982 local Diver Richard Keen spotted the remains of a large wreck sticking out from the mud directly between the pierheads of St Peter Port harbour. It turned out to be the largest, most complete, seagoing Roman ship surviving outside the Mediterranean.

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The founding of the Eternal City – Rome – Fact & Fiction
Apr21

The founding of the Eternal City – Rome – Fact & Fiction

On the 21st April 753 BC, according to Plutarch, the city of Rome was founded. In this article we look at the myths and legends surrounding the foundation of the ‘Eternal City’.

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Roman Jersey
Feb17

Roman Jersey

Unlike Guernsey the Roman presence in Jersey is not so clear cut. In this article we look at some of the new emerging evidence for Roman ‘occupation’ in Jersey or ‘Andium’ as it was probably know by the Romans.

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Crossing the Rubicon – Caesar and the Birth of an English Idiom
Jan10

Crossing the Rubicon – Caesar and the Birth of an English Idiom

On the 10th January 49 BC Julius Caesar led one of his legions across a small stream called the Rubicon, thus defying the Roman Senate and breaking the Lex Cornelia Majestatis that forbade a general from bringing an army out of the province to which he was assigned. Turning to his lieutenants just before he crossed, Caesar remarked bitterly, ‘Jacta alea est’ (The die is cast.)

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The Day St George lost his head … literally
Apr19

The Day St George lost his head … literally

On the 23rd April 303 AD in Nicomedia, (near today’s Istanbul), St George of dragon fame was beheaded on the orders of the Roman emperor Diocletian. As you’re no doubt aware he went on to become the patron saint of Englend, and quite a few other places as well as it happens. The story of his life and death is no less fascinating.

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The Diet of the Ancient Romans – More unusual than you’d think
Mar25

The Diet of the Ancient Romans – More unusual than you’d think

Archaeologists exploring sewers and cesspits at Herculaneum in 2013 made the startling discovery that, contrary to the long-held belief that ancient Romans survived on a basic diet of bread and olive oil, they in fact enjoyed a rich variety of fish, fruit and spicy dishes

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When Worlds Collide : The Romans and Jersey’s Celtic Treasure Hoards
Oct23

When Worlds Collide : The Romans and Jersey’s Celtic Treasure Hoards

Jersey is unique in many ways but there is one that is particularly curious. Of all the channel Islands it seems to have had the most treasure hoards of all. The latest, the Catillon II hoard, had over 70,000 coins in it plus 2 golden torqs. Even more curious is that 4 similar hoards were all buried at the same time – the mid 1st Century B.C. So what was going on?

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Caesar Decrees a new Calendar – and we’re still using it (mostly)
Feb03

Caesar Decrees a new Calendar – and we’re still using it (mostly)

The calendar we use today is little different to that decreed by Julius Casear over 2,050 years ago. In this article we look at the details surrounding this historic and seminal event.

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Ancient Celtic offshore Banking
Aug22

Ancient Celtic offshore Banking

It looks like Jersey may have been an offshore banking centre for far longer than anyone has suspected. In June 2012 two metal detectorists uncovered a hoard of a staggering 70,000 late Iron Age and Roman coins. Their incredible find has since turned out to be the largest hoard ever found in Jersey.

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