Archive for 'Roman culture'

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.

YouTube Preview Image

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:

YouTube Preview Image

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:

YouTube Preview Image

So, let me get this straight…

Jon Snow vs. Julius Caesar

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

PICTURE

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-

Brutus).

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

Brutus.

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.

Conclusion:

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.

Discovery of the Month: Nero’s Revolving Dining Room

Posted on 27. May, 2015 by in Roman culture

Salvete Omnes!

Today we will be starting a new monthly post (like the text spotlight posts) in which we relive and explore the discovery of a Roman artifact, place, or item. Today, we will be focusing on the fabled rotating dining room of Nero!

YouTube Preview Image

The legendary dining hall has been discovered in Rome’s Palatine Hill. The dining hall was discovered whilst archaeologist were excavating the Golden House (Domus Aurea) which was built for Nero (54 to 68AD).

Bust of Nero at the Musei Capitolini, Rome

Bust of Nero at the Musei Capitolini, Rome

Suetonius

Gaius Suetonius Tranqullus

According to the Roman historian, Suetonius, the dining hall is said to have had a revolving wooden floor in order to allow guests to gaze upon all facets of the room including the painted ceiling with stars. Furthermore, it was described as have panels from which flower petals and different types of perfumes would shower upon the tables.

Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, the recently departed head of the British School at Rome, an archeological institute, said: “People have been trying to find the rotating dining room for a long time. We don’t have much idea about it except for what Suetonius tells us. It could have had a revolving floor, or possibly a revolving ceiling. “If they really have discovered it, that would be exciting.”

YouTube Preview Image

 

Roman Inventions & Technology

Posted on 20. May, 2015 by in Roman culture

Roman technology is the engineering practice which supported Roman civilization and made the expansion of Roman commerce and Roman military possible for almost three quarters of a millennium (753 BC–476 AD).

Reproduced Roman-style wax tablet, from which the codex evolved. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Reproduced Roman-style wax tablet, from which the codex evolved. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

1. Book/Codex- First mentioned by Martial in the 1st Century AD. A codex (Latin caudex for “trunk of a tree” or block of wood, book; plural codices) is a book constructed of a number of sheets of paper,vellum, papyrus, or similar materials, with hand-written content. The Romans developed the form from wooden writing tablets.

 

 

 

 

The Great Cameo of France, five layers sardonyx, Rome, ca 23 A.D., the largest of Antiquity. Courtesy of Wikicommons.

The Great Cameo of France, five layers sardonyx, Rome, ca 23 A.D., the largest of Antiquity. Courtesy of Wikicommons.

Cameos- a method of carving an object such as an engraved gem, item of jewellery or vessel made in this manner. It nearly always features a raised (positive) relief image; contrast with intaglio, which has a negative image.

Aeolipile. Courtesy of Wikicommons.

Aeolipile. Courtesy of Wikicommons.

Steam Engine – The earliest known rudimentary steam engine and reaction steam turbine, the aeolipile, is described by a Greek mathematician and engineer named Hero of Alexandria.Steam ejected tangentially from nozzles caused a pivoted ball to rotate. Its thermal efficiency was low.

YouTube Preview Image

Glassblowing is a glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble (or parison), with the aid of a blowpipe (or blow tube). The invention of glassblowing coincided with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, which enhanced the spread and dominance of this new technology.[4][21] Glassblowing was greatly supported by the Roman government (although Roman citizens could not be “in trade”, in particular under the reign of Augustus), and glass was being blown in many areas of the Roman world.

Roman Surgery Tools. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Roman Surgery Tools. Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Surgery Tools-  A variety of surgical procedures were carried out using many different instruments including forceps, scalpels and catheters. These tools were discovered in Pompeii. You can learn more about these instruments (here).

 

*Information and Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, and Britannica Encyclopedia.