Nice While It Lasted

During the reign of the Emperor Julian a man named Numerius, who was governor of Narbonensis (what is today southern France), was accused of embezzlement by one Delphidius; because Numerius was a high official his trial was presided over by the Emperor himself.  Numerius’ defense consisted entirely of denying his guilt, but since Delphidius had

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Habitable Room

The Vestal Virgins were among the most important people in classical Roman society; they were charged with keeping the sacred fires burning, and accorded numerous privileges in return.  One of the greatest of these was that their persons were sacrosanct; in other words, no person could touch them without their permission, upon penalty of death. 

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Valentine’s Day

Most Christian holidays are based on older pagan ones, and Valentine’s Day is no exception; like Christmas, the modern celebration of love has much darker origins in a very ancient Greek festival which involved human sacrifice and cannibalism.  The original reason for the festival of Lykaia is unknown, but it was held in Arcadia sometime

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6000 Years of Christmas

Holidays are protean things; not only do the rituals by which we celebrate them change, but also their rationales and even their names.  Over the course of millennia a celebration may eventually change so much that it no longer appears to be anything like it was to start with, yet there are always similarities and

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Book Extract: Smut in the City

Within the Crumbling Walls By Lucy Felthouse Exiting the Colosseo Metro station, Libby shot a grin at her boyfriend, Ciaran. “I don’t think we’ll have any trouble finding it, do you?” “Hmm?” Ciaran frowned, then turned his gaze in the direction that Libby was pointing. He gave a sheepish smile. “No, I don’t think we will.

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