Time for 2015 to be welcomed to the way of the Toga

Rome welcomes in 2015. I wonder what the Ancient Romans would have thought of the definitely Germanic tree right next to the Coliseum.
Rome welcomes in 2015. I wonder what the Ancient Romans would have thought of the definitely Germanic tree right next to the Colosseum.

So the festive season has finally drawn its last rattling, jingling breath. Pies have been appreciated, turkey sandwiches munched. We all seem to unanimously look towards the bleak expanse of January with its hordes of deadlines and responsibilities and detoxing much like a downtrodden Cleopatra on the battle of Actium. Much like the afore-mentioned Queen of Egypt, I full intend to get out of dodge (hypothetically at least) with as much gold* on my (again hypothetical ship) as I can muster, lock myself away and spend some time pretending everything is going swimmingly.

*gold also being of the imaginary kind… unless you want to substitute ‘gold’ for, the infinitely more transportable, ‘wealth of knowledge

Of course life is never that simple and I fully intend to not meet the sticky, asp-ish end as my dear old Cleo. Nevertheless, I think most of us either hit January running with resolutions only to hit a wall faster than you can say Publius Aelius Hadrianus . So, to help ease yourself into this month as painlessly as possible, do think of dropping by this blog and detoxing your mind a little. Although not strictly necessary, I fully recommend reading with a good sandwich and a mug of tea on hand.

I have some big plans for this blog in the coming year, including keeping you updated on the wealth of ancient history books that I got given for Christmas (some interesting stuff judging by the covers!). Not least among these plans is one of those dastardly resolutions to be here dedicating much more time to it than I have thus far. So keep your eyes sharp and sandwich/tea accoutrements at the ready.

So to keep you going for the time being, here is some of the best Ancient Rome can offer as a belated cracker joke: As the Oscar Wilde of Ancient Rome, the indomitable Cicero often suffers from the fact that his witticisms don’t translate favourably from Latin. However, one of the better translations has Cicero, during a meeting of the senate to discuss Caesar’s proposal to give large amounts of land to his veteran soldiers. Lucius Gellius (an old senator) objected to the plans along the lines of “over my dead body” to which our favourite orator glibly quipped; “Well, let us wait then! Gellius isn’t asking for us to postpone the discussion for that long.”

I know. Hilarious.

Emma pinxit

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