Browsing Category : Romans

Goodbye To All That: Narbonne’s (now defunct) Lapidarium


Lapidarium, Lapidaire, Narbonne, France On this blog, I have all too frequently written about exhibitions after they have closed, but now I’ve outdone myself:  this post is on a museum that no longer exists.  Yes, it closed down, not long after I visited – the collection going to be rehoused in a new museum in 2020.  No matter how good…

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The Old Archbishops’ Palace Part One: Roman Narbonne


The Old Archbishops’ Palace, Narbonne, France The formidable Roman history of the French city of Narbonne was, until recently, covered in the Old Palace building by the cathedral.  It was a fitting home, but it is, sadly, no more.  Come 2020, the objects will be in their new home, the NarboVia museum.  This is not a bad thing, because while…

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We Are Sailing (Roman Style)


Lagoon Navigation: 2000 Years of Secrets Revealed by the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, La navigation lagunaire. 2000 ans de secrets révélés par le musée d’archéologie de Catalogne, Henri Prades Museum, Lattes, France An unexpectedly excellent exhibition on Roman ships at the museum of Lattes in the summer of 2018 was extremely educational.  Not only were there some fascinating survivors of…

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Those Gloating Romans: the Arch of Orange


Triumphal Arch of Orange, Arc de triomphe d’Orange, Orange, France If you walk out of the main heart of Orange, going north, you’ll get to what I thought was the most interesting place in the town.  It is the oldest surviving triple Roman Arch that still has some of its decoration visible.  Though maybe not as impressive or as dense with…

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The Stage Is Set: the Roman Theatre of Orange


Roman Theatre of Orange, Théâtre antique d’Orange, Orange, France As part of my summer trip to the South of France, after over twenty years of eager anticipation, I finally made it to the Roman Theatre in Orange.  And, crushingly, I was disappointed. The theatre is widely publicised as being one of the best preserved Roman theatres of Europe, but somehow it…

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A Matter of Life and Death: Lives of Gladiators


Gladiators: heroes of the Colosseum, Gladiateurs, héros du Colisée, at the Musée de la Romanité, Nîmes, France   In my usual not-very-efficient way, I’m writing about an exhibition which has now closed.  It was, however, a very neat and well thought out exhibition at the Musée de la Romanité about gladiators in the Roman world, possibly because it’s been on a world…

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Exploring Roman Nîmes (on a sizzlingly hot day)


Nîmes, France Nîmes is a very elegant, confident little French town – probably the classiest that I visited on my summer trip.  It has a great ‘French’ feeling, with higgledy-piggledy roads, each as charming as the last, and each pulling you in to be explored. The problem was that it was very hot when we visited, and I’m not very…

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In the Footsteps of Gladiators: Nîmes Amphitheatre


Arena of Nîmes, Arènes de Nîmes, Nîmes, France One of the finest surviving amphitheatres from the Roman world, the Arena, as it’s called locally, is an astonishing structure.  If you have been lucky enough to have seen the Colosseum in Rome, then you’ll see similarities: they are both grand, yet quite dinky, they are both insanely photogenic and they both help…

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