We are nearing the end of the Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions project and were looking for an audience we hadn’t yet worked with. We noticed that there is very little opportunity for adults with learning disabilities to explore Latin inscriptions. So…
What does it feel like to hold a Roman sling bullet? What can we learn about the Romans from a little lump of terracotta? How can cartoons bring ancient Rome to life? What was a Roman funeral really like?…
Last week we challenged our Twitter followers to read this inscription:
This is one of our sling bullets from the battle of Perusia. Last year we explored how Roman soldiers would write messages to the enemy on their sling bullets. Experts have found this inscription difficult to read, and a number of possible interpretations have been proposed over the years. Thanks to close examination by the project team, we have come up with a new reading that is more plausible and far ruder.
You can find out the answer from our latest podcast (warning: strong language in both Latin and English):
There were lots of great guesses. @JAugust7 rightly guessed that the message was a rude one, and makes the plausible suggestion that it was about Fulvia, one of the major figures in the siege of Perusia.
Something mean about Fulvia? https://t.co/a03tp7oS1o
— Julia August (@JAugust7) December 14, 2016
@llewelyn_morgan was the runaway winner, correctly reading the last word as OCTAVI, and then going to the Ashmolean in person to see the rest:
— Llewelyn Morgan (@llewelyn_morgan) December 15, 2016
— Llewelyn Morgan (@llewelyn_morgan) December 16, 2016
Special mention goes to @perlineamvalli:
A sort of 'whssshhhhtttt!' as it goes past your ear, unlike the 'weeeeeee!' of the Burnswark shot 😉 https://t.co/boLuue9Qw7
— Per Lineam Valli (@perlineamvalli) December 16, 2016
for making us laugh. You can find out about the whistling sling bullets from Burnswark here. They are a great example of how sling bullets could be a sophisticated psychological weapon, as well as doing physical harm.
You can see this bullet in our new displays in the Ashmolean’s Reading and Writing gallery.
We announce some changes in the project team and look forward to our next challenges. Dr Abigail Baker has joined the team as a Research Fellow. She will be running education and outreach activities and working on completing the web catalogue.…
In October 2015, the AshLI Project had great fun staging a Roman funeral in the Ashmolean Museum as part it’s DEADFriday event. You can see the video here. As our corpse, we chose Tiberius Claudius Abascantianus, a name familiar to…
Hear Prof. Alison Cooley and Dr Jane Masséglia in conversation about the Ashmolean Museum’s extraordinary collection of Gold Glass, and about the symbols, texts and community spirit of the early Christians under the Roman Empire. Wishing you all a…
On 30th October 2015, AshLI brought together Classicists from Oxford and Warwick Universities to stage a Roman funeral procession as part of the Ashmolean Museum’s DEADFriday event. A cast of twenty, in full costume, including lictors, musicians, mourners,…
Professor Alison Cooley and Dr Jane Masséglia, from the Ashmolean Latin Inscriptions Project, take a closer look at some of the brickstamps in the museum’s collection, including the snazzy personal logo of a man named Lupus: