Category Archives: Ancient Rome

What have the Romans ever done for us!?

Quite a lot it turns out.
It is remarkable how a civilization 2000 years ago on the other side of the world could have influenced not just our science, art, engineering, architecture and culture but also our ways of thinking. Be prepared to learn something new and unexpected about ancient Rome, contemporary society and human nature.

Ancient Rome: The Empire that Shaped the World exhibition has opened at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville.

Artisans of Florence Director Thomas Rizzo said the exhibition really resonates in regional communities where practical innovation, teamwork and community is key to success. “It’s a testament to the Roman Empire’s lasting impact on our modern world and way of life, and the practical can-do attitude of the Romans,” Mr Rizzo said.

On until 14 November 2021. Entry is free with museum admission. The exhibition will run alongside Antiquities Revealed, a Queensland Museum travelling exhibition that showcases the Queensland State Collection of real artefacts from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt.

Read more about the exhibition’s themes on the Artisans of Florence International website.


2000 year old bread

With so many of us having experienced lockdown due to the Coronavirus this year, it is no surprise that home-baked bread has become a global trend. 

In 2013 the British Museum asked renowned chef, Giorgio Locatelli, to recreate a loaf of bread based on an archaeological discovery from Herculaneum in 1930. The carbonised loaf found, scored into eight sections, looks very similar to a modern round loaf, and the ingredients are still used in breadmaking today.

You can watch the video and make the recipe yourself to get a taste of Ancient Rome. Buon appetito!

The loaf pictured is from tavolamediterranea.com. There is a whole section of the website dedicated to Edible Archaeology!

Rethinking the climate’s impact on Ancient Rome

What does the massive eruption of a volcano in Alaska 2000 years ago have to do with the rise of the Roman Empire? Quite a lot according to scientific research published this week.

Researchers used historical accounts and analyses of ice cores and the geochemistry of tephra, which are natural preservers of the Earth’s history, as evidence that the eruption of Alaska’s Okmok volcano in 43 BCE caused global climatic changes.

These changes sparked the period’s political and social unrest on the other side of the world and ultimately changed the course of history.

Among the best known and important political events in the history of western civilization is the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. This triggered a 17-year power struggle that ultimately ended the Roman Republic and led to the rise of the Roman Empire. At this time the Egyptian Ptolemaic Kingdom also fell.

Written sources describe unusual climate, crop failures and disruption to the seasonal flooding of the Nile in Egypt, famine, disease, and social unrest in the Mediterranean in the two years following the eruption.


Joe Manning, a professor of classics at Yale University and a scholar of ancient Egyptian history says the new research “allows us to rethink ancient history especially with regard to the environment and climate.

Okmok volcano’s impressive crater was created when it erupted in 43 BCE. Credit: Christina Neal/Wikimedia Commons