Roman Remedies for Hot Summers

Posted on 01. Jul, 2015 by in Roman culture

The Romans were no strangers to the summer heat.

In fact, the modern term: “the dog days of summer”” actually comes from the Latin ‘dies canincula’, the Roman term used to describe the stuffy, hot period of weather between July and mid-August.

The name comes from the fact that Sirius (the dog star) rises with the sun at this time of year, –and Romans thought it was responsible for the increase in temperature.


1. Frigidarium

The Frigidarium (1890) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

The Frigidarium (1890) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

The frigidarium was a large cold pool at the Roman baths where Romans went to cool down. For the Romans, a daily visit to the baths was an essential social event as much as it was an exercise in personal hygiene.

Modern alternative: Head to your nearest outdoor swimming pool. Toga optional.

2.Leave work early

Office Work.

Office Work.

The Ancient Romans did not do a nine-to-five day. In fact, the average Roman only had a six-hour workday, from sunrise until noon.

Modern alternative: Create an excuse to leave work early. Carpe diem!

3.Eat snow

Snow on the mountains of Southern California.

Snow on the mountains of Southern California.

While the rich patricians and Roman nobility would often have huge stores of imported snow at home to keep them cool, citizens had to visit the snow shop.

Modern alternative: Visit the ice-cream shop.

4.Turn on the air conditioning

Air conditioning units outside a building.

Air conditioning units outside a building.

The Romans were master architects and kept their homes cool during the summer months by employing a series of architectural tricks that provided ancient forms of air conditioning. For example, some rich residents pumped cold water through the walls of their homes to freshen their dwellings during the summer months.

Modern alternative: Turn on the air conditioning. Alternatively, if you don’t have air con, get someone to fan you with ostrich feathers.

5.Leave the city


Many wealthy Romans escaped the heat of the summer months by going to their country houses in the hills outside Rome. –Ancient Rome was a furnace in summer and the city’s wealthy patricians were fully aware of what is known today as the “urban heat island effect”.” They would retreat to coastal cities like Pompeii.

Modern alternative: Modern day plebs can book a weekend away in the countryside, while modern day patricians can just visit their country houses.


5 Latin Dinosaur Names

Posted on 24. Jun, 2015 by in Latin Language

In the spirit of the Jurassic World, I wanted to do a post on dinosaurs!

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The world of dinosaurs is vast and overwhelming! They are tons of dinosaurs and all of them have different names!

However, most of the names are in Greek, but there are a few in Latin.  Dinosaur comes from the Greek words δεινός (deinos, meaning “terrible,” “potent,” or “fearfully great”) and σαῦρος(sauros, meaning “lizard” or “reptile”).

T. Rex

T. Rex

1. Tyrannosaurus (/tɨˌrænəˈsɔrəs/ or /tˌrænəˈsɔrəs/ (“tyrant lizard”, from the Ancient Greek tyrannos (τύραννος), “tyrant”, and sauros(σαῦρος), “lizard”[1])) is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur. The species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning “king” in Latin), commonly abbreviated to T. rex, is one of the most well-represented of the large theropods.



2. Avimimus (/ˌvɨˈmməs/ ay-vi-my-məs), meaning “bird mimic” (Latin avis = bird + mimus = mimic), was a genus of bird-likemaniraptoran dinosaur that lived in the late Cretaceous in what is now Mongolia, around 70 million years ago.



3. Spinosaurus (meaning “spine lizard” from the Latin spino meaning thorn or backbone) is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in what now is North Africa, during the lower Albianto lower Cenomanian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 97 million years ago.



4. Velociraptor ( meaning “swift seizer” from the Latin velocitas meaning swift/speedy and raptor meaning robber or plunderer) is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 75 to 71 million years ago during the later part of the Cretaceous Period.



5. Saltopus (“hopping foot” Latin: Salto meaning leaping and pod/pos meaning foot) is a genus of very small bipedal dinosauriforms containing the single species S. elginensis from the late Triassic period of Scotland.

Game of Thrones Season Finale: A True Roman Ending

Posted on 18. Jun, 2015 by in Roman culture

Anyone that knows me and my blogger style know that I love looking at pop culture and seeing

how Ancient Rome or the Latin language resonates within it. So this week is no exception, I will

be looking at the Season Finale of Game of Thrones. Just like everyone else that watched it, I

was excited and pumped! So let’s do this…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~XXXXXXXXXXXXXSpoilers Below.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, here we go! Now while I want to talk and dish about all the fan theories concerning this

scene- let’s just focus on the scene and what it mimics from ancient history.

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Now if I was a meaner person I would have entitled this post: Et Tu Olly? But that may have made some people quite upset.


Here is the scene I want to focus on- and you guess it- Jon Snow’s “final” scene (no pun

intended). Here is a clip from HBO’s Game of Thrones:

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Now, I couldn’t have been the only one that noticed the UNCANNY resemblance to ANOTHER

famous stabbing murder-right? Julius Caesar? March 15th 44 B.C.E? In the theater of Pompey?

Here is a clip from HBO’s Rome:

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So, let me get this straight…

Jon Snow vs. Julius Caesar

1. Both men in power- Lord Commander vs. Dictator or Rex (King).


2. Both “Murdered” by stabbing (Jon Snow was stabbed by four knives before losing

consciousness & Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times.)

3. Stabbed by “friends” or “brothers.”

4. Both betrayed by one person they thought wouldn’t betray them (Jon Snow-Olly & Caesar-


Morte di Giulio Cesare ("Death of Julius Caesar"). By Vincenzo Camuccini, 1798

Morte di Giulio Cesare (“Death of Julius Caesar”). By Vincenzo Camuccini, 1798

*However, it should be noted that Olly was a show creation and not part of the books. What

other purpose does Olly serve in the series other than an empathetic reminder of the cruelty of

Wildlings AND to serve as a Brutus type figure.

5. Both considered “traitors.” Jon Snow betrayed his Night Watch and Brothers. He betrayed

their ultimate neutrality in the book. Caesar betrayed the senators by betraying the Republic.

Ironic Moments:

1. Jon Snow is ultimately betrayed by Bowen. “The final straw for Bowen (Old Pomegranate) is

when Jon reads aloud a letter sent by Ramsay Bolton and Jon states intention to march on House

Bolton at Winterfell, threatening the neutrality of the Night’s Watch. Bowen and fellow

conspirators stab Jon Snow several times” Bowen who is known as the Old Pomegranate, which

is considered a food of the Underworld and Pluto.

La Mort de César (ca. 1859–1867) by Jean-Léon Gérôme, depicting the aftermath of the attack with Caesar's body abandoned in the foreground as the senators exult

La Mort de César (ca. 1859–1867) by Jean-Léon Gérôme, depicting the aftermath of the attack with Caesar’s body abandoned in the foreground as the senators exult

2. Caesar’s last words is a topic of much discussion. However,Suetonius reports that it was

Greek “”καὶ σύ, τέκνον” meaning “You too, child?” I find this to be somewhat ironic, because

Brutus is not a child. Thus, this term child must be a term of endearment or Caesar’s thoughts on


2a. For Jon, he does not utter last words- but it is not hard to imagine that he thought something

similar with Olly delivering the final blow.


This, as always, was fun to write and explore. If you would like to see some other comparisons I have found between Ancient Rome and GoT (Game of Thrones) here.