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Arty Monarchs November 21, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
Arty Monarchs

How many rulers can you think of who show a gift for the arts? By this we don’t mean a Charles I or a Cosimo de Medici who could talent spot. Rather Beach is looking for blood-line rulers who were actually good with the paint-brush or with chisel or (taking the broader sense of ‘the […]

Immortal Meals 9#: The Discovery of Nero’s Rotating Dining Room? May 17, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Immortal Meals 9#: The Discovery of Nero's Rotating Dining Room?

Beach’s reading today comes from Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars, Nero (31) There was nothing however in which [Nero] was more ruinously prodigal than in building. He made a palace extending all the way from the Palatine to the Esquiline, which at first he called the House of Passage, but when it was burned shortly […]

2012 and All That January 24, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary
2012 and All That

The Beachcombings’ last aupair but one wanted to go back to school and get a degree as a midwife (which in itself begs all kinds of questions) but was holding off till 2013: ‘I don’t want to waste my time if the world is about to end’ she usefully explained. Beach should add that she […]

From Vienna to the Baltic in Roman Times November 28, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient

  A couple of rarely examined sentences in Pliny’s Natural History (37,45) give the outline of a grand old Roman adventure in the times of the Emperor Nero (54 AD 68 AD). There are about 600 miles from Carnuntum [Roman camp close to Vienna] in Pannonia to the shores of Germany from which amber is […]

From the Mahogany Ship to Mons Badonicus: An Archaeological Fantasia October 17, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
From the Mahogany Ship to Mons Badonicus: An Archaeological Fantasia

Inspired by thoughts of Nag Hammadi, Howard Carter and Leslie Alcock at Cadbury Beachcombing spent an  evening wondering about archaeological fantasias, discoveries that he hopes will be made before he  himself becomes an archaeological subject and is put into the ground. Boudica’s grave. Boudica was, of course, the queen of the Iceni who gave Nero […]

Queen Victoria Drinks Blood from a Skull in Tibet March 2, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Modern
Queen Victoria Drinks Blood from a Skull in Tibet

Leaders who think that they are gods are par for the course: the ancient Egyptians, the Persians, the medieval Japanese, Idi Amin… The insidious eastern idea of divine rulers even leapfrogged the Levant and seeped into Greece and Rome in antiquity. Alexander encountered and enjoyed the privileges of divinity as he pushed his armies east, having his […]