Archive for the ‘ archeology ’ Category

Trieste – part 1

My Italian holidays for 2014. This time in Trieste. I never stayed here before, it is a little far from Rome and no miniature or musical event was here, so I think to visit one for all this city on the sea, embedded among Alps, Venice and Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The architectural style is a mix of imperial gravitas and Slavic gusto, with some Art Nouveau added, proposed with an almost Venetian taste. A lot of faces and bare-chested women on building façades.

This is the villa just outside Trieste built by Mexico emperor. He died executed by firing squad in Mexico only a short time after he arrived in the place.

Under the unused throne room. After him, the villa was inhabited by a Savoia prince that after died in a prisoner camp in Africa during the WWII. I don’t want to live here!

Trieste is a multi-ethnic ex-imperial city. This is one of the two orthodox churches, the Serb one. Before I never visit a church of this kind. It is different than ours. A great atmosphere, cants, candles, kissed icons.

This was the empire harbour but, after the WWI, Italy occupied the place. This is the dock where docked the first Italian vessel.

The main square on the sea with the light of sunset on the windows.

The same place, the night with artificial lights.

The canal inside the city.

The old double church on the hill built inside the Iovis temple using even other pieces of Roman buildings and monuments.

The ground part of the Roman basilica. At the bottom the double church.

The Roman theatre. Well, but where is the arena?!?

The Roman arc along the cardus.

Roman eagles that were on the top of the Iovis temple.

Roman dices and pawns. No, you can’t play with them, it is not allowed…

Pontiarii low relief. You can view the retiarius on the top of the bridge with a stone in the hand. A secutor is approaching towards the other fighter. Wonderful!

More on part 2…


Holiday at Museums: Roman museum

We have so many Roman relics that we don’t know what do with them. Some years ago, someone thought to take some Roman statues closed in a warehouse and show them inside an old electric station. The zone is populated by abandoned industrial building of the first half of the 20th century. So it is a special view, Roman statues among industrial archaeology.

The power of industry, machines upon men, electricity that moves the world. Now a relic from the past.

The contrast is evident and intriguing. It was a good idea. Even because these statues were closed inside boxes.

A mosaic with an hunt. In these days I studied animals that fought in arenas. I still have to design the rules engine for these situations but I’m working on it.

Minerva is my preferred goddess. I studiedat the university called “Minerva”. On the back of the computer monitor in my room I have my degree with Minerva on it.

A sensual sphinx.

Husband and wife from another time, blocked on stone with a natural pose. Who were these two? Fantasies reach the mind, a story is created by their aspect. He is a rich and proud man with a place in society. She is a beautiful woman, younger than the husband, a little squeamish, the lady of the house. Or what else? They are dust now, but they seem so real…

So hot around, it is summer. And we were a little tired. We had a great holiday inside our city. And there are more things to see. Another time…



This time only an holiday report, there aren’t miniatures here. But only a three days trip in Turin, a city in the north of Italy.

I begin with this cupola, the symbol of the city. When I went here some 15 years ago, it was only an empty building, after it was converted in a cinema museum. Under there is a photo of the elevator inside the cupola while it is going towards the roof terrace. It is realised all in clear glass, so you can have vertigo symptoms. And you pay 4 euro for this too.

Canyons made of bricks, in a raining night, with lights from the streets. After the trip to the roof.

My friend tied up with a 19th century 3D peep show experience in the cinema museum.

The Po river full of water. It is the biggest river in Italy. At the deep end of the photo you can see the Mole Antonelliana cupola.

Turin under the rain. The castle inside the city and the cupola again. It is like the Eiffel tower in Paris, in every photo you have to have the symbol of Turin.

The monumental door from Julia Augusta Taurinorum, a piece of the Roman ancient times.

Black stones from Egypt in the famous Egyptian museum of Turin. Pity, it is in refurbishment so I could have only a partial vision of the collections.

We had a fantastic experience in Pietro Micca museum because of a guided visit, thanks to a retired official. We lived the moments of the 1776 French siege of Turin, looking to weapons and models of the fortifications. After we walked for 300meters under the citadel walls inside underground galleries that are 31km long!

The main event in the city was the biggest fair in Italy about books. It is held inside an old car factory. Cars were the motor of Turin development, and decline, in the 20th century.

I prefer the smaller fair in Rome about small editors because you can find some unknown gems. However even dimensions are important, so this fair is a must see. I bought only two books (60 euro…), one on a Gothic manuscript and another one on sacral and ritual aspects of Bisanzio’s hippodrome.

Me together with a green cow-man… Well, it is a bull, like the totemic animal of Turin, city which name means “city of bulls” indeed.

The new underground made for the winter Olympic games of 2006. It is pretty small inside the wagons, like a tram. But stations are big.

The new train station of Porta Susa. It is still in the making. We arrived and left here.


Roman armours in museum

Post number 300! A morning in one of the museums of Rome. This one is a little underrated because we have so many archaeological remains that waste them. I visited it when I was a child. It is the Museo delle Mura (wall museum), built inside a city door of the late Roman walls. This is now called Porta San Sebastiano, and it is the door where start the Via Appia from Rome.

The opportunity to visit it was a temporary exhibition about Roman armours and helms. The materials are supplied by Archeos, an almost local reenactment and research group. So we haven’t real archaeological pieces but reproductions. It is good to see these things in a natural size shape to understand better what you can see only on books or monuments. My only remark is on some realisation are not so exact, as late Roman helm or other things for gladiators. But these are particulars. Enjoy the spectacle indeed.

Classical imperial helms and lorica segmentata.

Late Romans are a historical period not so represented in actual iconography. Trajan times are used as standard for all the Roman history. But what we generally know about Trajan is his column, while we have evidences about something different even for his epoch.

An armour for commanders. Vitreous materials could be used instead of gems for the helm. A way to save…

The kind of standard dress for foot soldiers. But this one is for a high rank soldier. Watch the crest and the richness of the vest.

On the left a secutor armour. I love this close helm. Near an arbelas, the weapon of the scissor.
On the right a middle Roman armour with a chest protector composed of rhomboidal plates.

The classical duel: on the left a myrmillo, on the right a thraex! In the middle, myself.

Some short graeves, a parmula, a sice supina and a falx.

A highly decorated myrmillo helm. Someone claim that this kind of helms were used only during the pompa magna, the presentation of gladiators to public before the fight. But if they are build to be used for a fight, then they were used for fights. None build a strong helm only for a parade. It is so simple. This is the helm of a champion.



Another benefit for my stay in Terni was a visit to Carsulae, an abandoned (pre-)Roman city near Terni. We have a lot of ancient remains here in Italy that we don’t mind them. So much history and so lack of interest in it. Even if I love archaeology I never considerate a visit to this site, but now I’m pleased to have did it.

This is a part of the old route of the Via Flaminia inside Carsulae. This road joins Rome with Ariminum (present Rimini), and therefore the two sides of Italy, sea to sea, through mountains. It was the way to have a road for the north, the other sea, and to control the territory even against Italic Celts. Now when I hear about Via Flaminia I only think about car traffic. In this photo you can view no congestion, luckily.

As remains you can view only some structures, mainly building foundations. I suppose that the walls were used centuries after to built other houses around: walls can fall after years without maintenance, and their bricks and rocks are available building material to all near communities. Probably you could find Carsulae inside the walls of later little towns that were born around.

The most evident buildings are the amphitheatre and the theatre, symbols of Roman civilization and necessary to a city to have a sporting identity and a cultural life. The last three photos taken from various angles are dedicated to them. You can see the stage and the bleachers with their structures, formed of walls made of white stones with narrow lines made of red bricks. The city is not entirely archaeologically investigated and large areas are still buried by the earth accumulated over the centuries, so in the future they could find more materials. The arena is partially excavated, its half is still filled with an earth mound and trees over it. It think they could find subterranean structures. An instructive and enjoyable visit under a spring sun.


Legionaries march – the video

Another view on the Roma’s dies natalis. This time it is a full video!

I own a great mobile, a Sumsung Wave, with a great camera. I took some photos and some videos. I thought that those images could be over my personal interest, so I showed them to you on this blog. Then I had these small videos but I didn’t know what to do with them. So I bought an app for my iPad, the Avid Studio one, and within an hour I created a video. It was intuitive and simple. In the future I will took more videos for my blog. Enjoy the legionaries march!


Pompa magna

Another set of photos from the Roma’s dies natalis. This time I show you a gladiator procession, the “pompa magna”. Some are spectacular others are not so philologically exact but the spirit is all.

In the afternoon some fights were played in the arena but I preferred to fight at home, playtesting the rules for retiarii vs antiretiarii. Ferrum et Gloria is a priority!


2765 Ab Urbe Condita

A lot of years ago (2765 to be exact), the 21th of April, a groove around some hills was traced to mark the territory of a new founded city. That city is my home.

In this date there is a celebration with a reenactors march around the Palatinus and the Capitolium to homage our ancestors. It isn’t a political moment but a festival for who is interested in ancient Roman times. And an occasion to make an holiday under our Sun and among our past glories (at present we don’t have actual beautiful things to admire, sorry). I suppose this is the largest event for this type of reenactment. This year we had guests from a lot of places, as Germany, Czeck Republic, Slovakia, France, Nederlands, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, United Kingdom, Georgia and obviously from every part of Italy. We are all sons of Roma.

I took some photos to show you the manifestation at its start on the site of Circus Maximus. I concentrate myself on legionaries but there were a lot of other people, this is only a fragment of the event. Enjoy.

To know more go to the programme.