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Gladiator fresco found in Regio V, near Pompeii. Credit: Pompeii Archaeological Park

Gory Fresco of Gladiator Fight Found in Sleazy Pompeii Tavern

Archaeologists in Pompeii have unearthed a well-preserved fresco in a gladiators’ tavern illustrating the end of a fight in gory detail. The fresco of two gladiators fighting was discovered beneath a...
An example of an inscription found in the Pompeii ruins.        Source: prosiaczeq /Adobe Stock

Decoded Inscription Reveals Pompeii was a City of Extremes

The ruined city of Pompeii that was devastated by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD continues to provide insights into Roman history and society. An inscription on the tomb of an unidentified...
Mysterious Monk Walking Alone During Sunset. Source: Igor Ovsyannykov / CC BY 2.0

Italy’s Ancient Benandanti: Harvest Rites and Ghostly Battles

In the Friuli region of Italy in 1580, during the peak of the Roman Inquisition’s foray into witchcraft, an inquisitorial examination of a local town crier produced the following eerie testimony: “…...
Wheel of Torture device. Insert, skeleton of young man wh9 was the victim of torture on the wheel.

Deformed Medieval Man Found Broken By the Wheel of Torture

Archaeologists in Milan have uncovered the shattered remains of a young man believed to have been broken on a wheel of torture. In medieval Italy different methods of torture were assigned depending...
The temple of the Capitolium

Ancient Capitolium Temple in Brescia Pleased the Roman Gods

Because Italy is so rich in archaeological and historical sites , visitors often do not have the time to visit as many as they wish. One site which should not be missed is the remarkable Capitolium...
Marcus Aurelius Distributing Bread to the People by Joseph-Marie Vien

The Philosopher-King of Ancient Rome: Marcus Aurelius' Imperium

Marcus Aurelius is famed for various accomplishments—his title as the last of the Five Good Emperors; his extensive study of and literary accomplishments in the field of Stoicism; and, last but not...
The skeletons buried in Italy have been holding hands for around 1500 years. Source: ArcheoModena

Hand-Holding Skeletons Were Both Men… And No, They Were Not Gay Lovers

Two skeletons intentionally buried hand-in-hand – the so-called ‘Lovers of Modena’ – were always assumed to be male and female. But a new study finds they were both men, raising questions as to their...
Civita di Bagnoregio an ancient, dying city atop a crumbling rock. Source: JethroT / Adobe Stock.

Civita di Bagnoregio - Italy’s Most Enchanting and Surreal Ancient Town Is Dying

Civita di Bagnoregio is a small town located in Viterbo , a province in the central Italian region of Lazio . The town is situated about 120 kilometers (75 miles) to the north of Rome . Due to its...
Emperor Caligula

The Madness of Caligula: Rome’s Cruelest Emperor?

Caligula was Rome’s most tyrannical emperor. His reign from 37-41 AD is filled with murder and debauchery, to levels even his infamous nephew Nero could not reach. The great-great grandson of Julius...
Hannibal crossing the Alps on elephants by Nicolas Poussin

Military Historian Discovers Hannibal’s Long-Lost Battlefield

The history of Hannibal Barca , one of the greatest military commanders of the ancient world, is one which has fascinated historians and generals throughout the last two millennia, and yet his final...
A portrait of Michelangelo flanked by his sculpture ‘Madonna of Bruges’ and a detail of the Redeemed from his painting of ‘The Last Judgement.’

Michelangelo: A Mixture of True Talent Meeting Great Luck and Perseverance

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, better known as Michelangelo, is one of the most famous figures of the Italian Renaissance period (between the 14th and 16th centuries AD). The Renaissance...
Painted burial chamber (from 2nd century B.C.) excavated in 2018

A Banquet Frozen in Time: Rare Painted Tomb Discovered in Italy

At the foot of the hill on which sits the ancient city of Cumae, in the region of Naples, Priscilla Munzi, CNRS researcher at the Jean Bérard Centre (CNRS-EFR), and Jean-Pierre Brun, professor at the...
Proclaiming Claudius Emperor

The Praetorian Guards: To Serve and Protect the Roman Emperors… Most of the Time

The Praetorian Guard is said to be one of the most prestigious military units in the ancient world, and is arguably one of the most well-known today. These elite soldiers are best known for serving...
Basilica of Saint Clement

The Mithraic Mysteries and the underground chamber of San Clemente

Prior to the adoption of Christianity as its official religion at the end of the 3 rd century AD, the Roman Empire’s religious policy was one of tolerance. Along with the official Roman religion,...
Ötzi Memorial, Austria (GFDL), Ötzi Arrow (Wierer et al), Ötzi Reconstruction (CC BY SA 3.0 )

The Final Days of Otzi: Stone Tools Reveal What the Iceman Endured

Stone tools found with a 5,300-year-old frozen mummy from Northern Italy reveal how alpine Copper Age communities lived, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ursula...
The hand missing its index finger from a monumental bronze statue of Constantine.

Giant Finger of Emperor Constantine Found At Last

Experts at the Louvre Museum in Paris have made a rather important but strange discovery. They have discovered that an apparent bronze toe, is in fact a finger, and it belongs to a famous statue of...

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