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  • A Mystery Animal in Ancient Africa July 3, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    A Mystery Animal in Ancient Africa

    Beachcombing has been fascinated by the Voyage of Hanno since he was in short classicist pants. For this text, written in Hellenistic Greek, purports to describe a Carthaginian expedition down the western coast of Africa in the early centuries B.C., at a time when good Mediterranean folk had as little to do with the sub-Saharan side of the continent […]

    World’s Last Latin Speakers in Africa? June 23, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
    World's Last Latin Speakers in Africa?

    Yes, yes, Beachcombing knows that those bores in the Vatican and some Finnish broadcasters still speak Latin. He’s even been into monastic libraries where they won’t give you a manuscript unless you babble something from Lewis and Short. But what Beachcombing wants to know – and he doesn’t think he’ll get an intelligent response for […]

    American Pilot Purloins World’s Last Roman Eagle? June 21, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    American Pilot Purloins World's Last Roman Eagle?

                          Ahhh… Beachcombing comes running back to the classics, diving into their sparkling clean waters – leaving his rather dirty mark on those tranquil, traced surfaces. Now Roman Eagles. Each legion had one carried by the aquilifer. The troops would defend their eagle to the […]

    Review: Curiosities of British Archaeology June 17, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Prehistoric
    Review: Curiosities of British Archaeology

                        Beachcombing has long looked for books that fit his stated mission: ‘the outlandish, the anomalous and the curious from the last five thousand years’. But he has almost invariably been disappointed by just how few books pass muster and also at the poverty or lunacy of those few […]

    Ancient Britons Killing Roman Elephants? June 15, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    Ancient Britons Killing Roman Elephants?

                      In 43 AD, the Romans finally – after decades of flip-flopping – decide to conquer Britain. The British-Celtic tribes in the island would, however, be confronted not only by a professional Roman army that was about 50,000 strong. The Romans decided to also bring some war elephants […]

    Celts in Ancient Sicily June 11, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    Celts in Ancient Sicily

    Beachcombing has luxuriated for too long in the modern world. Indeed the last time he visited antiquity was in the company of some Indian merchants a long week ago. So he rushes back today to the clean, glistening marble of the ancients. The following passage comes from G.T. Griffith’s The Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World (London […]

    American Indians in Roman Europe? June 6, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    American Indians in Roman Europe?

                    Beachcombing always enjoys attempts by Euro-Asia-Africa’s various ethnic factions to claim the discovery of the New World. Put even a gingerly query into a search engine and you will soon find that, over the years, the Basques, the Welsh, the Babylonians, the Israelis, the Bantu and just […]

    Circumnavigating Africa six centuries before Christ June 1, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    Circumnavigating Africa six centuries before Christ

            Beachcombing can barely take down M. Cary and E.H. Warmington’s The Ancient Explorers without a tremble of excitement running through his body, such treasures are to be found there. One of his favourite sections is their dissection of Herodotus 4, 42-43, a passage where the Greek historian describes, with requisite scepticism, a […]

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