Tag Archives: Rome


Coriolanus, written by William Shakespeare in 1608, is the tragic story of the Roman General Caius Marcius Coriolanus. The story is one of a brilliant general who, after his greatest victory, takes up a career in politics. When he stands for the consular elections, his temperament and hostility to the plebian class earn him the […]


Numa Pompilius: Agent of the gods

At its height the Roman Empire was vast. It reached from northern England to the Sahara desert; from the straits of Gibraltar to Mesopotamia. We have inherited a great deal from the Romans including language, religion, science, and the remains of their gargantuan architecture. However, modern interest in Roman history is focussed primarily on the […]

The Pigna and the Apollo Belvedere: Two Treasures of the Vatican

Publius Cincius Slavius, whose name appears on the base of the sculpture, built the Pine Cone statue that now resides in the Court of the Pine Cone (Cortile della Pigna) in the Vatican, in the 1st century AD. The piece was originally a fountain that resided in the Temple of Isis in Campo Martius next […]

The Reverse Marco Polo

In the West everyone knows the story of the Croat, Marco Polo, who traveled from Italy to the court of Kublai Khan in China in the 13th century. Whilst it has become a fairly common belief that Marco Polo, in fact, didn’t go to China, but instead took his stories of China from merchant sailors, […]

The Cults of Isis and the Virgin Mary

In Roman Catholicism the veneration of the Virgin Mary has become a central tenet of the faith. She is honoured as the Theotokos, the mother of God and the ultimate symbol of motherly devotion. However, this cult of the Virgin has its roots in a tradition far older than Christianity. The veneration of this motherly figure […]

Christianity’s Forgotten Rival

The history of Christianity, as we are often told, is a story of suppression, persecution and then finally acceptance by the ruling elite. Since the death of Jesus Christ, the story goes that this new offshoot of Judaism was proselytized and spread by the Apostles. Originally seen as a sect of Judaism by the Roman Empire, the […]

Treasures of the Temple of Solomon.

The Temple of Solomon is one of the most fantastical stories in the Bible. Solomon, the greatest and wisest king of Israel, is moved to build a temple to the one, true God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The Temple, as described in Ezekiel, was a colossal building fit to be the house of the […]