John Henderson

John Henderson is a fellow of King’s and a reader in Latin literature at Cambridge.

‘Power’ is the buzz word for the late Nineties, and when it comes to power-mania imperial Rome has always been hard to beat. On the one hand, there is the rogues’ gallery: doddery Claudius dribbling still down Derek Jacobi’s chin; blubbery Nero fiddling while the slums burn; and those women – impossibly sinister Livia, unimaginably (but let’s try) sexcrazed Messalina. On the other, reams of text from the Roman Empire, in Latin or Greek, written over three or four centuries by pagan members of the senatorial élite, by their Christian successors, and by representatives of all sorts of other points of view.’‘

Inclined to Putrefaction: In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque, 20 February 2020

The plague meant that life was interrupted by barriers: the walls of the home, the waxed sheet between lay person and priest, the otherworldly beak worn by the plague doctor as he dosed patients with medicine.

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Ave, Jeeves! Rom(an) Com

Emily Wilson, 21 February 2008

When the Romans won wars, they brought home large numbers of enslaved foreign prisoners, to work the fields, mills and mines of the countryside, and to provide an enormous range of domestic...

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