You might be tempted to think that the word ‘Abracadabra’, beloved of magicians and children’s party entertainers, is just a silly made up word – but you’d be wrong. It’s a very real and very ancient word with some sinister connotations.
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.
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’.
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.
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.)
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
Much of the Christian Bible was written in Greek so why don’t we read the Bible in Greek? How many languages has it been translated into? and Why does it matter? It turns out that the answer to the last question is very important indeed when you study the linguistic differences, subtle nuances and context in which writtings can appear within a passage of scripture.
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.
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.
How did the Romans do the calculations necessary for construction and other purposes using Roman numerals?
The Romans were skilled architects and engineers the likes of which the world had not seen before. They built huge elaborate and perfectly balanced structures that are not only still standing but still in use 2,000 years later. However their number system, whilst useful, was anything but straight forward. So how did the Romans manage to do the calculations necessary for construction using this rather unwieldy number system ?
Stop and think for a moment , we live in a world where our main number system is in base 10 so why do we have the rather odd base 60 for time and angles. Why not decimal time or decimal segments to represent angles in a circle ?
For Monty Python fans the question “What have the Romans ever done for us ?” will recall the irreverent comedy of the film ‘The Life of Brian’ . There is a serious question behind this frivolous skit. The Roman Empire and the culture it exported was the most advanced the world had ever seen. Indeed after the fall of the Roman Empire it never got back up to the same level, in Western Europe, until many centuries later.
“Beware the Ides of March!”, the augur Spurinna had warned a few days before the 15 March in 44 BC , but the great Julius Caesar had brushed him aside. Was he not, at 55, the most powerful man in the civilised world?
We’re accustomed to seeing movement in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, such as races, but is there any particular reason why clocks run ‘clockwise’?