Amphitrite’s Brood: Sea-Monsters in the Classical World


[δείδω μή]

…τί μοι καὶ κῆτος ἐπισσεύῃ μέγα δαίμων

ἐξ ἁλός, οἷά τε πολλὰ τρέφει κλυτὸς Ἀμφιτρίτη:

[I’m afraid] that some god’s going to send a great sea-monster against me; glorious Amphitrite breeds them in numbers.

Odyssey 5.418-21


Scylla_and_CharybdisCulturally as well as geographically, the sea was central to the Classical world. These days we’re encouraged to think of the Mediterranean as something that united rather than divided the region, teeming with shipping and movement. All of this is true, but sea-faring was also deeply perilous,[1] especially in the autumn and winter. Shipwrecks and deaths at sea were common. It’s no surprise, then, that ancient Mediterranean waters were believed to be home to all manner of monstrous and deadly creatures.

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New discoveries at Binchester Roman Fort

You may already have seen the headlines about recent archaeological discoveries at Binchester Roman Fort, somewhat over-dramatically being referred to as the “Pompeii of the North” — e.g. this BBC news story. There’s a lot more information about the site and the dig on its website and its blog – for instance, the ring mentioned in the BBC story as being ‘one of the earliest pieces of evidence for Christianity in Britain’ is described in more detail here, and the whole blog is worth a scroll through for more details of the finds and some nice pictures.


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Ovid’s Metamorphoses: the Webcomic

Res Gerendae is proud to introduce a new and exciting project by our own resident pictor, Charles Northrop:

Ovid’s Metamorphoses: the webcomic! Here’s a taster…

Ovid Metamorphoses web comicCharlie aims to update every Monday. Check it out:

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Cambridge Classics Taster Day – 21 June

Latin - more fun than wrestling a goose!

Latin – more fun than wrestling a goose

Are you interested in studying Classics at university, but haven’t learned any Latin at school?

Come to the free Classics Taster Day in Cambridge on the 21st June!

For more information, and to register, see the Faculty website.

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Vikings: Life and Legend – Review

Vikings: Life and Legend

The British Museum’s first blockbuster exhibition in their new temporary exhibition gallery has been getting plenty of publicity, mostly about the arrival of the longest Viking longship ever discovered – or at least, the 20% of its wooden frame that survives, plus a reconstruction of the rest – from Denmark. A new gallery, a giant longship, and Vikings! How could a group of Classicists resist…?


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I’m Late to the Bandwagon Again: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Like many of my colleagues, my engagement with this century’s pop culture is rather erratic.  There are quite a few major crazes that have largely passed me by (wasn’t there something about a boy wizard a few years back?).

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London EpiDoc Workshop 2014

I spent the most of the last week at the Institute for Classical Studies attending a Digital Epigraphy Workshop in TEI-EpiDoc organised by the Department for Digital Humanities, King’s College London and hosted by Gabriel Bodard, Simona Stoyanova, and Charlotte Tupman.  My own interest in epigraphy as a linguist is from the data which I can extract from it to make historical and linguistic arguments, and so if I can find a way to process that data in a way that is more optimal than searching strings through the PHI Epigraphy database, or (dius fidius) manually scanning over volume after volume of print corpora, I would very much like to take advantage of that.  Hence my interest in the workshop, although going into it and with no prior experience of working with XML I wasn’t completely sure of what I was getting myself into.  In the end, however, it was entirely worth the time invested.

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