A gold coin commemorating the assassination of Julius Caesar

Beware the Ides of March. (But Why?)

Everybody remembers that the Ides of March was the day Julius Caesar was assassinated. But what does it mean, and why that day?

Holiday Supply Chain Issues of Ancient Rome

Hey, at least we’re not trying to track down frankincense and myrrh.
Cicero denouncing Catiline, by John Leech, from: The Comic History of Rome by Gilbert Abbott A Beckett, circa 1850

In Rome, Mourning Clothes as Political Resistance

In Ancient Rome, swapping one’s regular toga for the dirty, drab robes associated with mourning could request mercy, or communicate resistance.
Illustration: Reconstruction drawing of public Latrine at Forum Hadriani, Germania Inferior, Netherlands

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/carolemage/9548853868

The Early History of Human Excreta

When humans stopped being nomadic, we could no longer walk away from our waste. We’ve been battling it ever since.
A view of the outlet of the Cloaca Maxima by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, ca. 1776

Venus of the Sewers

The Roman sewer, the Cloaca Maxima, was presided over by a goddess whose shrine stood near the Forum.
A disappearing Roman emperor with a lictor (left) and nobleman (right)

Latin Literature’s Problem with Invisibility

Ancient Romans saw the rituals of professional sorcerers as foreign and suspicious. But how else were you supposed to become invisible?
Ancient Roman slave-collar

Slave Collars in Ancient Rome

The objects purported to speak for the wearer: "Hold me! I have run away."
Galen by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller

Library Fires Have Always Been Tragedies. Just Ask Galen.

When Rome burned in 192 CE, the city's vibrant community of scholars was devastated. The physician Galen described the scale of the loss.
The Jewel Casket by John William Godward

Recipe for an Ancient Roman Glow Up

Start by saying yes to antioxidant-rich barley pap, and avoid wine tainted with newts.
Roman ivory doll from the mid-2nd century AD

Girls and Dolls in the Roman Empire

Analyzing the dolls of elite girls shows that playthings reinforced gendered expectations but also allowed for imaginative play.