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Roman Empire


  • Originally published 07/05/2013

    Alarm sounded over state of Italy's historic monuments

    ROME (AFP).- Alarm bells are ringing once more over the upkeep of Italy's historic monuments, from the Roman city of Pompeii to the Colosseum, with budget cuts hampering repairs and UNESCO issuing a stern rebuke."Over the last five years, the culture budget has been reduced by two thirds," Culture Minister Massimo Bray complained in an interview on Monday published in Italian newspapers.Italy is now lagging well behind its European counterparts: the country allocates just 1.1 percent of its budget to culture, compared to 7.4 percent in Ireland, 3.3 percent in Spain and 2.5 percent in France.The lack of funds is having a disastrous affect on the country's archaeological treasures, with many sites closed due to fears of rock collapses and others sporadically shut by protests and strikes....

  • Originally published 05/29/2013

    Child abuse evident in Roman Egypt

    A 2- to 3-year-old child from a Romano-Christian-period cemetery in Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, shows evidence of physical child abuse, archaeologists have found. The child, who lived around 2,000 years ago, represents the earliest documented case of child abuse in the archaeological record, and the first case ever found in Egypt, researchers say.The Dakhleh Oasis is one of seven oases in Egypt's Western Desert. The site has seen continuous human occupation since the Neolithic period, making it the focus of several archaeological investigations, said lead researcher Sandra Wheeler, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Central Florida. Moreover, the cemeteries in the oasis allow scientists to take a unique look at the beginnings of Christianity in Egypt....

  • Originally published 05/14/2013

    Candida Moss debunks the ‘myth’ of Christian persecution

    Growing up Catholic in England, Candida Moss felt secure in life, yet was told in church that Christians have been persecuted since the dawn of Christianity. Now, as an adult and a theologian, she wants to set the record straight.Too many modern Christians invoke, to lamentable effect, an ancient history of persecution that didn’t exist, Moss argues in her newly published book, “The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented A Story of Martyrdom.”Although anti-Christian prejudice was fairly widespread in the church’s first 300 years, she writes, “the prosecution of Christians was rare, and the persecution of Christians was limited to no more than a handful of years.”...

  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    Plague helped end Roman Empire

    Plague may have helped finish off the Roman Empire, researchers now reveal.Plague is a fatal disease so infamous that it has become synonymous with any dangerous, widespread contagion. It was linked to one of the first known examples of biological warfare, when Mongols catapulted plague victims into cities.The bacterium that causes plague, Yersinia pestis, has been linked with at least two of the most devastating pandemics in recorded history. One, the Great Plague, which lasted from the 14th to 17th centuries, included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death, which may have killed nearly two-thirds of Europe in the mid-1300s. Another, the Modern Plague, struck around the world in the 19th and 20th centuries, beginning in China in the mid-1800s and spreading to Africa, the Americas, Australia, Europe and other parts of Asia. [In Photos: 14th-Century 'Black Death' Graveyard]....

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Christians have persecution complex, Candida Moss says

    A historian claims that many stories about the persecution of early Christians were invented or exaggerated to further the religion. Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame maintains Christianity is so laden with such tales that it has given rise to a myth of persecution among modern believers. A Catholic, Moss expects her claims to be the source of irritation to the faithful - but that they're missing the point.Moss, from South Bend, Indiana, claims only a handful of martyrdom stories ever actually occurred and there was no widespread Roman persecution. The stories were largely invented to inspire loyalty among the masses.Moss says that modern Christians to drop the victim complex inherited from them. "Christians were never the victims of sustained, targeted persecution. The idea of the persecuted church is almost entirely the invention of the 4th century and later," she adds....

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Cirencester Roman cockerel 'best find' in 40 years

    A restored Roman cockerel figurine is the best result from a Cirencester dig in decades, archaeologists have said.The enamelled object, which dates back as far as AD100, was unearthed during a dig in 2011 at a Roman burial site in the town.It has now returned from conservation work and finders Cotswold Archaeology said it "looks absolutely fantastic".The 12.5cm bronze figure was discovered inside a child's grave and is thought to have been a message to the gods....

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    Didcot dig: A glimpse of 9,000 years of village life

    When archaeologists began digging the fields in 2010 they knew it was a site of historical interest, but even they were surprised by the wealth of ancient finds their trowels unveiled. Back in 1995, a hoard of 400 Roman coins was discovered west of Didcot in Oxfordshire, indicating the land had been lived on for centuries. As plans progressed for 3,300 new homes, schools and shops on the 180-hectare site, archaeologists were called in to investigate.

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Family footwear find shows new side to Roman military

    (Phys.org)—By looking at someone's shoes, you can tell a lot about the person wearing them. That old adage certainly rings true when looking at children's shoes from ancient Rome. Just ask Elizabeth Greene, a Classics professor, who, at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America this month, presented research showing children of Roman military families wore footwear that reflected their social status."For a really long time, until the 1990s, really, no one thought about or studied families in the Roman army because soldiers weren't legally allowed to marry," Greene said."It was a bastion of masculinity – this masculine, male-dominated environment and no one placed women and children there. But when you look at the material and historical record, there's a lot of evidence of women and children there. One piece of evidence is these children's shoes, and we have shoes from the very beginning," she said....

  • Originally published 06/06/2014

    Why the U.S. is Stuck With a Subpar Economy

    Making sense of economic fluctuations can be a daunting task. The economy comprises a gigantic set of interrelated assets, inputs, processes, transactions, and outputs, and its dimensions can be and have been measured in countless ways.

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