PSA Cult Beauty GWP

I tend to love a much higher percentage of the items I buy from Cult Beauty than other companies, but I'm feeling too easy like Sunday morning ... and can't be bothered to affiliate link etc. So: the current offer is a goody bag with a spend of £90, which can be combined with offers on some of the brands; if you want to know which products I like click through on the "Cult Beauty" tag. Yes it is a large minimum spend, and I tend to add items to my "wish list" and wait for one of these regular offers to stock up on old favourites and try new products (ie the rest of the Kai range).

Photo of what's included below, or just go straight to CultBeauty.co.uk ...

Today In 317: Constantine II Became Caesar

If you enjoyed this video by Adrian Murdoch, check out his book on The Emperors of Rome; Kindle UK, Kindle US, etc

Today In 293: Constantine Chlorus Became Caesar

... and thus one of the Tetrarchs depicted in the porphyry group now at San Marco (for more see here). He later became Augustus, and died at York after which he was succeeded by his son Constantine.

If you enjoyed this video by Adrian Murdoch, check out his book on The Emperors of Rome; Kindle UK, Kindle US, etc


Clarification: Robert Rosenkranz vs Katherine Nelson

I am aware that Ms Nelson was tweeting claims "on my behalf" and since I am a grown woman I would rather speak for myself.

Getty: Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville

In case anyone is anywhere near Malibu, I highly recommend visiting this exhibition at the Getty Villa, which is on to August 17, 2015. I'll be blogging about the more interesting pieces, the core of which come from the Berthouville Treasure.

This treasure owned by the BNF, was extensively studied and conserved by the Getty, a more interesting way to acquire works - through loans than purchases on the art market. It was found in the 19th century, seemingly the hoard of an obscure Norman sanctuary, and escaped being melted for scrap luckily. The cups are some of the finest surviving examples of ancient silverware, and if this is the quality to be found in an obscure provincial sanctuary on the fringes of the Empire, one can only wonder at what kind of glories would have graced the great sanctuaries of Greece and Rome.

More soon, but if you're in the area do visit it as the BNF Cabinet will be closed for restoration for some time.

Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville, on view at the Getty Villa November 19, 2014, to August 17, 2015.


Mosul Museum Looting and Updates

I cannot embed the video but IT IS HERE also:

@News_Executive, who shared the images in the previous post is one of the more reliable sources of news on Twitter - he was very useful when I was stuck in Paris trying to work out what was going on, for example - and alas his Nineveh aka Mosul Museum photos appear to be authentic.

For those worried about Damascus Museum, my information is that it is still mostly crated up in a location that is nobody's business but safe enough.

Jobar Synagogue is still a mess, but the amazing anti-Assad and also anti-ISIS guys there have managed to save some more material. I understand that a Sefardi "museum" in American is rumoured to be offering bounties for Syrian Judaica, but don't worry that will get 'dealt with' through the correct channels.

So ISIS = fundamentalists destroying cultural property. Some fanatics paying to smuggle Jewish cultural property. And I guess I'll have to do an update on the Hobby Lobby Christian Fundamentalist crowd "saving" stuff by buying loot and dissolving Ptolemaic mummies next. 

For those interested in looting etc, @sauterne is running an amazing course in Italy on the subject which can be taken in full or audited. Email her (or me, I can 'forward') for more info.

Very Sad Photos

I'm a little snowed under with "stuff" - it also feels as if I'm on a bit of a world tour in the coming month - but this sad news is worth sharing:


Today In 364: Jovian Died

If you enjoyed this video by Adrian Murdoch, check out his book on The Emperors of Rome; Kindle UK, Kindle US, etc


And this is why ...

... you should follow Sophie Hay on Twitter!


Sad Truth, Meet Fiction ...

Antiquities forgery makes for not-so-divine comedy at Sundance festival - The Art Newspaper:

A self-anointed biblical archaeologist has dreams of acquiring works from the Holy Land to turn his mega-church into a spiritual destination, but the caper fails in the film parody “Don Verdean”, directed by Jared Hess, which premiered at the recently ended Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah.


Today In 137 (possibly): Didius Julianus Born

... or Today on the 30th January 133 ...

If you enjoyed this video by Adrian Murdoch, check out his book on The Emperors of Rome; Kindle UK, Kindle US, etc


The Blissful Joy of Bathing

Bathing. Aphrodite appreciated it as did Artemis. The Romans built public buildings to celebrate its pursuit and pleasure - and the countless laws and edicts regarding bathing show how seriously they took it (particularly the segregation of men and women!).

The Roman Bathhouse developed through the Byzantines into the Muslim Hammam ... something every Classicist should experience (although I recommend skipping the African Mikvah experience).

In Marrakech I highly recommend Les Bains de Marrakech who do a slightly adapted version visitors prefer - and ask for the Shiatsu Master who is not listed, but does a massage unlike any shiatsu I've ever had and is simply amazing. (I have not tried their new French outpost but their standards are high, and I stayed there when they were first experimenting with a riad).

Bathing does not have to be simply hygiene - do like the Romans did and make it a cultural experience with a good book or music ... even a movie playing on a laptop.  

 Hygieia was a goddess for good reasons!


Hotel Fellah, (a world away from) Marrakech

Need something for the week-end? May I recommend the Fellah

Feeling a bit blue and in need of R'n'R? Dr Dorothy* recommends the Fellah and feels more relaxed after 12 days here than 12 months of therapy ...

Want to chill / celebrate / enjoy a little culture? Yup, like champagne the Fellah fits all those needs too!

I've been coming to Marrakech forever, and yes it has become far too touristy for me, but I make an exception for the amazing Hotel Fellah which is only 20+ minutes' drive from the city, but towards the Atlas Mountains and feels like a world away. Countless places have claimed "X is the New Marrakech" but the Fellah is far better as, well ...
to me "Fellah is the Old Marrakech".

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis' Views

You want to know what they are? Well he's just released this free Kindle book explaining them (you don't need to have an actual Kindle device to read it; download the software to phone or computer and ... etc). Honestly was talking last night with someone about how Kindle can revolutionise the spread of knowledge, and this idea is bloody genius! Wish more politicians followed Yanis Varoufakis' lead in making their views available to all.

Europe after the Minotaur: Greece and the Future of the Global Economy by Yanis Varoufakis

On Amazon US Kindle too ...


Amphipolis ...

... look, I had literally refused to go on TV for well over five years as I don't want the "fame" and I only went on Greek TV as I was tired of people who had never been to the site at Amphipolis (Palagia, Chugg) talking crap; I wanted to defend the work of the amazing team who actually are working at Amphipolis.

I also should admit that whilst a book about Amphipolis would be lovely in the long term, I also had never planned to 'rush' to publish one before the archaeologists. I knew a book by me on the market would blow out others' attempts to get advances for a book, and that was my main plan. Also, if a book of mine one day is published and makes money, obviously I would split the profits with the guys there as they did the hard work.

I am happy to try to explain the archaeologists' finds, and try to theorise about them but ... I am currently taking a break as I was close to the CharlieHebdo office and the doctor told me I need to go for a rest. I have had absolutely no news or contact about the excavation finds from the team since the news broke in August - no-one is leaking to me as I gave the few (minor) people who tried hell. Theorise away, just be aware that we are just theorising and discussing possibilities!

Normally excavations are complicated, but the public and press only see the end results. Amphipolis may look a "mess" because unusually here people are seeing the excavation as it goes along. This is normal! As is changing theories as new evidence comes to light ... whoever this turns out to be, it is already the most important find of the century.

Michaelis Lefantzis has been there from the start, he was the one who went looking for bits of the Lion and thus in turn found even more amazing discoveries. Lefantzis is one of the most talented archaeologists (in Greece it's "architect" but in the UK & US we include that within "archaeologists") that I am aware of, not just in Greece but the world. He's the hero of Amphipolis, and the idiots claiming other crap are just that - idiots. Greece voted for change, so let's give Amphipolis a chance to change too.