Tag: Rome

Live by the sword die by the sword

Julius Caesar got himself captured by pirates and held for ransom when he was twenty-five. Before you feel sorry for him, this was a fairly common practice at the time (75 BCE). His captors required a ransom of 20 talents of silver (about $600,000 in today’s value).

Dumb Phones have Killed Culture

Once, while at the Royal Spanish Academy in Rome, I tried to give lectures, but one woman constantly blinded me with a camera flash, which prevented me from concentrating on my notes. I said that while I was working, they should stop working, because of the division of labour. The woman turned off her camera but clearly felt pained.

Aqueduct of Segovia: The Mortar-Less Miracle

The aqueduct of Segovia is a classic example of Roman water transport architecture—simple in design, yet magnificent to behold, and surprisingly durable. The aqueduct was built in the 1st century AD to convey water from Frío River, 17 km away, to the city, and it has been carrying out this function in one form or another for the past 2,000 years. This is all the more impressive when you realize that this aqueduct was built without a single ounce of mortar.