Dressing for a toga party

The toga party is a staple of students’ first week at university. Our resident expert on ancient clothing, Dr Nikki Rollason, explains how to impress… So, after months of waiting you’ve finally arrived at the University of Nottingham to study at the Department of Classics. But how can you show this to the world? By …

The Ancient World is Awesome

Helen Lovatt explores Classical reception and childhood creativity in the Lego Movie. This post contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen the Lego movie, watch it immediately! The Lego Movie (2014) sets creativity in competition with conformity. You can watch the ‘Everything is Awesome’ sequence on Youtube, and it gives a good flavour of the central themes …

Rome’s Invisible City

4.5 million people tuned into BBC1 on June 1 for ‘Rome’s Invisible City’, a documentary presented by Alexander Armstrong and featuring Mark Bradley explaining the finer points of strigils and hot walnuts. Here Dr Bradley describes his experience of being involved with the programme. It was 6 a.m. on a warm September morning when Alexander …

May Fest 2015

Undergraduates Karina Field and Juliet O’Brien describe their experiences helping out at May Fest, the University’s annual community open day.   Karina: To prepare for our ‘Roman-style hairdressing service’, we learned several hairstyles from Janet Stephens’ YouTube tutorials. We then recreated parts of them for the children (and parents) that were willing. We offered two styles: two …

Singing the blues

Mark Bradley hunts for the ‘missing’ colours in the ancient world The ancient Greeks and Romans probably would have wondered what the fuss is about. They would have seen a dress that looked slightly different depending on the viewer’s angle. They might have thought it peculiar as fashion – more like a costume for comedy …

A Reign of Terror

As part of the Nottingham ‘Anniversaries through Coins’ project, Larissa Ransom describes how, on this day, 20th January 175AD, Commodus was enrolled into all sacred colleges as priest Commodus (Caesar Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus) was born on 31st August 161AD to Marcus Aurelius and his wife, Faustina the Younger. He was the sole surviving …

Res publica restituta?

As part of the Nottingham ‘Anniversaries through Coins’ project, Matthew Myers describes how on this day, the 16th January in 27 BC, Octavian became Augustus. Following the defeat of his former ally Marc Antony and the Egyptian queen Cleopatra at the battle of Actium in 31 BC, Octavian emerged as the victor of civil war …

Caesar Crosses the Rubicon!

As part of the Nottingham ‘Anniversaries through Coins’ project, Michael Welbourn  reports how, on this day the tenth of January, in 49 BC, Julius Caesar crossed the river Rubicon and precipitated the final crisis of the Roman republic. Tracing the roots of this momentous decision requires us to go back eleven years to 60 BC. …

Julian ‘the Apostate’ Comes to Power

As part of the Nottingham Anniversaries through Coins project, Robert Stone describes how on this day, 11th December, in 361, the last pagan emperor Julian II (also known as Julian the Apostate) entered Constantinople as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Following the death of Constantine I (337), the Empire was divided between his …

The Lex Titia…

As part of the Nottingham Anniversaries through Coins project, Mike Welbourn describes how, on this day, 26th November, in 43 BC, the lex Titia was passed at Rome. By this law a board of three men was given complete control over the Roman state. The lex Titia turned Rome into a de facto dictatorship, and …