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Roman Art, Music, Literature

The art, music, and literature of ancient Rome had a profound impact on the development of Western culture. This collection of articles examines the various art forms produced by the Romans, from sculpture and painting to music and literature. Gain insight into the cultural significance of these art forms and how they reflected the beliefs and values of Roman society.

‘Pompeii pizza’ fresco shows a flatbread with items on top. Source: Parco Archeologico Pompeii

Archaeologists Excavating In Pompeii Find Ancestral Pizza Revealed in Fresco

Earlier this year, a team of archaeologists delved into some delicious secrets hidden within the volcanic tomb that is Pompeii. Guess what? They have uncovered a fresco showcasing what looks like an...
Montage of Roman Empire imagery including statue representative of Livy.	Source: Freesurf/Adobe Stock

Has Livy’s History of Rome Skewed Our View of the Early Empire?

Titus Livius, or just Livy for short, was one of the most famous historians in all of history. One of the three great Roman historians, his masterpiece, Ab Urbe Condita, made him a legend in his own...
Marcus Tullius Cicero: Family Man, Friend and Father

Marcus Tullius Cicero: Family Man, Friend and Father

In modern times, Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 BC) is remembered as the greatest Roman orator. A prolific thinker, his writings include books on rhetoric, orations, philosophical and political...
Various photos of the statue of a man holding a large phallus. Source: Noonans

For Sale In Britain: A Small Ancient Man With A Colossal Penis

While metal detecting in a field, a British couple thought they found an ancient cart wheel piece, but it turned out to be a small human figure with a large bronze, hinged penis. Noonans auction...
Ribchester Helmet, discovered in the summer of 1796 by the son of Joseph Walton who was playing behind his father’s house in Ribchester, Lancashire, England

The Sinister Roman Cavalry Helmet of the Ribchester Hoard

The Ribchester Helmet is a cavalry helmet dating to the Roman period in Britain. As indicated by its name, the helmet was found in Ribchester, Lancashire, in the northwest of England. The Ribchester...
Source: Anadolu Agency

Take Heed Of The Jovial Roman Skeleton

We’re back in Turkey for the second time this week. Having told the story of the excavation of the oldest church in the world, now we are covering the ancient Roman “Jovial skeleton”. Earlier this...
A Shining Example of Roman Craftsmanship: Unveiling the Superb Berthouville Treasure

A Shining Example of Roman Craftsmanship: Unveiling the Superb Berthouville Treasure

A remarkable silver treasure discovered in France in 1830 is one of the most impressive collections of extremely well-preserved Roman artifacts. Even though almost two centuries have passed since it...
Aeneas fleeing from Troy

History Versus Legend: In Search of Aeneas, the Trojan Refugee

Roman mythology designates Aeneas as the founder of the great nation of Rome and ancestor to its peoples. In fact, his story begins long before Rome came into existence. While the Romans lay claim to...
Roman mythology from Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Diana and Actaeon by Giuseppe Cesari

Roman Mythology of the Ages of Man, Metamorphoses and the Founding of Rome

The Romans possessed a rich mythology that exerted (and continues to exert) a significant influence on Western culture. Many Roman myths, specifically those concerning the gods, have their equivalent...
The ancient marble mosaic, which has now been returned to the Italian government in New York.

2,000-Year-Old Mosaic from Caligula's ‘Orgy Ship’ Goes from Coffee Table to Returned Relic

A valuable piece of mosaic flooring from one of Caligula’s ‘orgy ships’, so-called for the lavish sex parties he hosted on the boats, somehow found its way from the bottom of Lake Nemi to the Upper...
Sex and love were major themes in classic erotic art, as they remain today. (Public Domain/Deriv)

The Erotic Art of Ancient Greece and Rome

Craig Barker / The Conversation Rarely does L.P. Hartley’s dictum that “the past is a foreign country” hold more firmly than in the area of sexuality in classical art. Classic erotic art, erotic...
The Pillar of Eliseg is just one monument that bears witness to the Romanitas of early medieval Wales. Source: Public domain

Romanitas in Early Medieval Wales: The Evidence of Latin Standing Stones

There are very few texts that survive from early medieval Wales, an era spanning the moment when the Romans left Wales until the Normans arrived. This is one of the reasons that historians have...
Baths of Caracalla Source: Fabio Caricchia / Soprintendenza Speciale di Roma

2,000-Year-Old Frescoes Discovered Under the Baths of Caracalla

2,000-year-old frescoes dating back to the time of Emperor Hadrian will be on public display at the site of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. The frescoes, which belong to different time periods and...
The Only Library Ever Recovered from Antiquity: The 1800 Scrolls of Herculaneum

The Only Library Ever Recovered from Antiquity: The 1800 Scrolls of Herculaneum

The Villa of the Papyri is the name given to a private house that was uncovered in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum. This city, along with nearby Pompeii, is perhaps best remembered for its...