Tuesday, June 18, 2013

“Burial Customs, Death on the Roman Empire’s
 Eastern Frontier.”
Matthew Brunwasser, Archaeology magazine, (Sept. -Oct. 2012), Pages 24-27.
Tomb Of the Scipios in use from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD

This is an article having to do with burial practices through 3 centuries in a small village where Romans soldiers were granted land upon leaving the legions 0n the first century AD. This area was around a small village in northern Macedonia by the name of Scupi (gives its name to Skopje the present capitol of the Republic of Macedonia). It seems that the influx of Roman veterans was a good thing for the village because within a few years the village had expanded to the extent that in AD 85 the town received the honor of being named a Roman colony; “Colonia Flavia Scupinorum.” Eventually this colony became the center of administration, religous, cultural, and economic center of the entire area .

The area has been under excavation since 1966, and there has been a great concentration on grave sites, some 4,000 of them which have yielded some 10,000 artifacts. Many items have been recovered having to do with daily living such as pottery vases, lamps, cremation jars, perfume jars, earrings, and figurines. There were both kinds of burials found here, inhumation, as well as cremation that was found in the necropolis that was opened.

The older Roman graves were virtually all cremations but graves found in third and fourth centuries AD had skeletons in them. Lence Jovanova is the archaeologist in charge of the necropolis excavations, is a member of the City Museum of Skopje. She is looking forward to excavating the remaining 5,000 to 10,000 Roman graves remaining in the southeast necropolis and then to she additionally hopes to create an archaeological park on this site, as soon as the recovery of the city walls and buildings is completed.

There is also a Large Mass Grave mystery which has been uncovered along the edge of one of the necropolis’. Approximately one hundred-eighty adult bodies had been thrown into a shallow grave, many with the heads removed, and with hands bound behind their backs. Neither Jovanova nor Phil Freeman, an archaeologist with the University of Liverpool, see this as a battle site, but rather as a massacre. This site can probably be credited to the period of instability of the empire and the uprising of various groups and clans that sought to bring their favorite members to the fore in political or economic periods of crisis.

Pictured in the article are the necropolis just outside the town of Scupi, a ceramic -face pot, a first or second century oil lamp, inhumation and cremation burials found in the necropolis, ceramic jars for cremation burials, and the extensive mystery burial area with remains exposed.

Respectfully Submitted;

Marcus Audens

Monday, June 3, 2013

Resurrecting Pompeii | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine

Resurrecting Pompeii | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine

An Introduction to Marcus Minucius Audens Co-Editor of the Eagle


Marcus Audens is a Senator and Consular of Nova Roma. He has also been known as Marcus Minucius-Tiberius Audens.

Early Life

He was born in the deep desert (Blythe, Calif.) in 1936. He
lived with his parents in a willow shack with a canvas roof on the Colorado River that his father and uncles had built. This was the period of the great depression, and his family counted themselves fortunate to have a place to sleep and sufficient food to eat.

His father was a heavy-duty diesel mechanic at the Los Angeles Aqueduct and had
charge of several single stroke, two cycle diesel driven pumps. His father's
background, however, made frequent moves a fact of life.

In the second year of his life, Marcus moved between multiple states as his father moved from one job to the next. At the end of these moves, his parents bought their first home in Gresham, Oregon.

During the World War II years his father went to Alaska on two contracts to build airstrips and docking facilities. Marcus remained in Oregon for most of the war, until his family moved from Gresham to Lake Coeur de Lane, Idaho and then to Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. He completed the third grade before moving to Troy, Ohio, where he remained through the 6th grade.

His parents bought a home in Portland, Oregon, and he completed the 7th grade in the new Creston High School before moving to Riverdale, North Dakota. His parents moved back to Portland during his freshman year of high school. He then registered in a polytechnic high school (Benson Poly) and graduated with honors and three job offers. Marcus credits his fathers interest and strength as the reason for his academic success.
The Navy
After graduation, Marcus was asked by his father to join the Navy in exchange for paying for his

college degree. Marcus agreed and joined the Navy as a submarine trainee. Within two years his father had passed away and his mother was back in Portland. Marcus decided to stay in the Navy. In his many years of service he rose to the permanent rank of Master Chief Torpedoman (TMCM (SS)) and held the temporary rank of Chief Warrant Officer (underwater ordnance) for seven of the twenty years. During these years of service, he married and had two children.
Post Navy Career 

Once he had retired from the Navy, Marcus immediately began his college degree at San Diego State
University. He had served as a naval instructor which prepared him well for his college career. He quickly gained a Bachelor's Degree in Social Science with Honors and a Master's Degree in History and Reading with Distinction. He holds teaching credentials in California for English, Social Science and Reading.

Upon completion of his college degrees, he went to work in San Diego for General Dynamics as a Quality Assurance Inspector. He then took a job offer with General Dynamics as a submarine improvement project officer for Ohio Class Submarines. in Groton, CT. He completed my career (20 years) with that company and retired for a second time.
Retirement and Nova Roma
Marcus has been retired now for about eleven years and has devoted himself to military reenactment (Rev War, Civil War and Roman Empire). He was honored to be the founder of the Gens Minucia (http://ciarin.com/Minucia/index.php) . This gens honors a man by that name who served in the XXth Legion in Britannia, first as a legionary and later as a miles immunes gromaciti (military surveyor). Marcus adopted this personage as his Nova Roma ancestor. His funeral altar is registered in the book of Roman names in Britannia.

Marcus has been a part of Nova Roma almost since its beginning and has been honored to become the second citizen to gain the Cursus Honorium. He has also served NR as an instructor and military history leader in the

Academia Thules.

His current interests are Roman military history, military history of the world, history of the seas, model building, philosophy, sketching, mapping and writing (fiction).
His Impressive Works
Aquila Nova Roma (http://www.novaroma.org/aquila/index.htm)

The Eagle (http://www.livinghistoryengineer.com/roman/eagle/index.htm)

Pilum (http://www.livinghistoryengineer.com/roman/RomanTimesQuarterly/RTQ_Feb06_Pilum.htm)

Roman Times Quarterly

To see Marcus Minucius Audens' works, visit his: Roman Studies Blog (http://romanstudies.blogspot.hu/) site.
Cursus Honorum
Consul Q. Maximo M. Minucio cos. ‡ MMDCCLIII a.u.c.
Praetor L. Equitio Dec. Iunio cos. ‡ MMDCCLII a.u.c.
Senator ab a.d. XIII Kal. Nov. ‡ L. Equitio Dec. Iunio cos. ‡ MMDCCLII a.u.c.
ad a.d. XVI Kal. Sep. ‡ M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXII a.u.c.
ab a.d. IX Kal. Feb. ‡ P. Memmio K. Buteone (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIII a.u.c.
Proconsul of Nova Britannia
C. Buteone Po. Minucia cos. ‡ MMDCCLIX a.u.c.
Fr. Apulo C. Laenate cos. ‡ MMDCCLVIII a.u.c.
Cn. Salice Cn. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLVII a.u.c.

M. Octavio L. Sulla (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLV a.u.c.
Fl. Vedio (II) M. Cassio (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLIV a.u.c.
L. Equitio Dec. Iunio cos. ‡ MMDCCLII a.u.c.
Other Posts

Editor Commentariorum

Fr. Apulo C. Laenate cos. ‡ MMDCCLVIII a.u.c.

Lictor Curiatus

ab a.d. III Kal. Sex. ‡ L. Equitio Dec. Iunio cos. ‡ MMDCCLII a.u.c.

ad a.d. XVI Kal. Sep. ‡ M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXII a.u.c.


C. Buteone Po. Minucia cos. ‡ MMDCCLIX a.u.c.

K. Fabio T. Labieno cos. ‡ MMDCCLVI a.u.c.

M. Octavio L. Sulla (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLV a.u.c.

L. Equitio Dec. Iunio cos. ‡ MMDCCLII a.u.c.

Chief of Sodalitas Militarium

Chief of Sodalitas Egressus.




Saturday, June 1, 2013

Roman -- Greek Ship Design

Respectfully Submitted; Marcus Audens

Roman as coin of the second half of the 3rd century BC, featuring the prow of a galley, most likely a quinquereme. Several similar issues are known, illustrating the importance of naval power during that period of Rome's history.

The Romans did not contribute much to ancient ship design, being satisfied with simply using the designs which had been handed down through the years from the Hellenistic Greeks and utilizing designs which the Greeks had last seen fit to use. Both the Roman warship and merchant ship construction seems to have resembled greatly those designs which were last embodied by the Greek shipbuilders centuries previously, and then only when the Roman world was forced by happenstance to utilize fleets to carry out their military plans. Since there have been more pictures of Roman ships which have survived the ages than Greek pictures, it is common to think of the Roman ship designs as having been a later set of ideas. This is currently believed to be a wrong view of shipping design in the ancient times. Two sources of Greek ship design come down to us. The first being a set of verses (passage) from the “Odyssey” by Homer (V, 228-261). The second is a vase-painter by the name of Exekias, who did an illustration on a cup which has been dated to the sixth century BC*. This boat was shown to be a vessel which could be either rowed or sailed. It was an illustration of a pirate vessel. The ship described in the “Odyssey” could be used as a sailing vessel only. Figure (1) is based on the picture featured on the cup with a few details added to it which come from some additional smaller period references.

The surprising thing about both of these references is the degree of technical information given in each one. In the story of the “Odyssey,” the hero was kept on an island by the nymph Calypso for some long period of time. When he is at long last permitted to leave the island, he is given both tools and a location of timber suitable for ship construction, rather than summoning a vessel by magic. It is shown that the hero (Odysseus) is not only a warrior and a seasoned explorer, but he is also a master of ship construction and design, in which, clearly, the author made the assumption that his readers would understand these ideas with little difficulty.

Exekias, in creating a scene of fantasy, did so in a very detailed manner . He was careful to draw the vessel in a careful design reflecting many of the ship!s design aspects and a detailed view of it!s resulting operation.

In later discussions we will move from oared vessels to sailing vessels but first we must address a major difference in all types of Roman and Greek vessels as compared to modern wooden ships. This difference, while not obvious in the pictures of these ships, is made quite obvious both in Homer!s account of the ship construction as well as from many archaeological findings in the recovery of ancient shipwrecks.

Quinquereme and Corvus (A Roman warship and an assault bridge, First Punic War)

*Arias-Kirmer-Shefton, “A History of Greek Vase Painting,” (Thames & Hudson, London, 1962), plate XVI. (See; http://ByzantiumNovumMilitarium.blogspot.com) Reference:--J.G. Landels, “Engineering In The Ancient World,” (Univ. of Calif. Press -- Berkley, Los Angles, & Oxford -- 1981) Pages 135-36; [ISBN 0-520-04127-5]

Respectfully Submitted; Marcus Audens © 2013 Microsoft Terms Privacy Developers English (United States) © 2013 Microsoft Terms Privacy Developers English (United States)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Recreating the Vesta Virgin Hairstyle By Janet Stephens

The Roman Pantheon:
The Triumph of Concrete

An overview of the book by

David Moore, P. E.


Photo ©1997 Leo C. Curran used by permission

 Revealed within the pages of this source book is a clear description of the development and usage of concrete by the Romans in constructing the Pantheon and other still-existent structures, built around the time of Christ. The book contains architectural details, sections, pictures, and other features. The concrete dome of the Pantheon spans some 143 feet without the aid of metal reinforcement like modern buildings. The building even has unusual cracks and yet it still stands. The great painter Michelangelo offered one explanation: it is "angelic, and not of human design." Certainly most if not all of our modern buildings would not meet the harsh weathering of 1800 years that the Pantheon has endured and survive. This book answers many of the fundamental questions regarding the longevity of this beautiful structure and shows how modern concrete construction is just now learning to apply some of the same technologies used by the Romans

History and People

There is much more to this monumental structure, built originally by the Romans as a temple, than first meets the eye. A shocking discovery is that the building is made of ancient concrete resting on unstable blue clay. On the surface, at least, this structure appears to violate all modern building codes and should have fallen down hundreds of years ago. What is this concrete and how was it molded into such a beautiful, massive structure?

Photo  ©1997 Leo C. Curran used by permission

This book focuses on the concrete Rome used in many of the structures that are still extant today. The Romans did not have Portland cement nor concrete mixers, so how did they make such long lasting concrete? The Pantheon required enlightened technology to erect a building some 143 feet high using only hand tools. Who were the Roman engineers? What were their design standards, their instruments, and their technical education which could make this feat possible?

Lime and Kilns

Lime is one of the first man-made products relying on chemical reaction - paralleling that of the manufacturing of ancient clay jars for food storage. The Romans produced lime by burning limestone pieces in a crude kiln. As a slurry, lime was applied to protect the earthen walls of ancient houses. When mixed with volcanic ash (pozzolan) and water, it becomes a mortar that the Romans used to build rock walls. The Romans later discovered how to mix this mortar with small stones, bricks, and other materials to produce concrete. Quality control of the limestone raw material, processing temperature and hydraulic reaction in the mortar are viewed through the eyes of the Roman. Romans mastered this chemical processing and manufacturing technology to such an extent that the Pantheon, which is fundamentally a large concrete structure, is still with us today.


Photo  ©1997 Leo C. Curran used by permission

Clay Products

Clay jars, bricks, and tiles came from the dawn of civilization. The Romans focused on the extensive use of these products to enhance their lifestyle by constructing magnificent brick and clay buildings. Strangely, one source of concrete mortar for building Rome came from a mixture of wet lime and crushed pottery. Vitruvius, a Roman architect, said this was so. This book verifies his claims by examining the chemistry and reactions involved in these materials. The ingenious Romans used brick to form archways over wall openings. It was strong and worked well. Brick also covered the exterior of buildings.

Identifying Roman Concrete

Scientists have long known about the components of Roman concrete: wet lime and volcanic ash covering a layer of small rocks. This is a simple composite concrete. But how did it become so hard and durable to last 1800 years in the Pantheon? Where was it found? How was it placed? What did the ancients write about the materials and processes? These challenging questions are answered in Roman literature and quoted in the book for the reader. Modern viewpoints are also included from archaeological studies to bring together this investigation.

Pozzolan-Lime Behavior

Perhaps the most difficult part of the research for this book was tying Roman concrete to its modern counterpart. The explanation includes an examination of the atomic structure, x-ray analysis, and scientific formulas. Surprisingly, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation devised a roller compacted concrete (RCC) that closely resembles the chemical and material content and manufacturing method used in Roman concrete 2000 years ago!

RCC is an excellent, durable concrete of interest to road building engineers and others in the engineering field.

Photo  ©1997 Leo C. Curran used by permission

Ancient Roman Technology

The Romans built many beautiful, massive structures, unusual for any period in history. Pictures and sketches of typical buildings are included showing a collective, brilliant intelligence in action in the ancient world. What was their technology? Who made up the labor force for this awesome construction feat? What were their tools and lifting devices as related to our modern types? Fortunately, we have obtained pictures. Some of these same tools served Christ Jesus in his days as a carpenter. Some of the topics examined in the book are: metallurgy to make iron hammers and weapons; material procurement, including shipping; scaffolding to reach high walls; concrete mortar for construction; construction of foundations, walls and domes; connecting devices such as wooden pins to make long bridges possible. By this technology, the famous Pantheon was built to last the ages.

Reprinted with permission from the September 2002 issue of
CONSTRUCTOR. In continuous publication since 1919, CONSTRUCTOR is the
national magazine of the Associated General Contractors of America. For more
information, visit AGC on the web at www.agc.org.

Photo’s  ©1997 Leo C. Curran used by permission from http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/Maecenas/pantheon/pan1_intro/ac780208.html