Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Er. Urm. Bloggus interruptus. Bare with me.

Talking of being bare. Take a look at this fascinating pre-Hadrianic Bath House at Vindolanda. Built for one thousand Batavians (or Dutch) soldiers...double the size of another bath house which can be found outside the stone fort (one of ten [five timber and five stone] which were built there over 300 plus years).

What is Vindolanda? I hear you ask....

It is an amazing Roman fort site one mile South of Hadrian's Wall about midway between Newcastle and Carlisle. Check it out at Its sister site is about ten miles down the Wall - literally on Hadrian's Wall called the Roman Army Museum.

The reason for the blog hiatus is that I am being trained up as a volunteer guide at both sites. In less than a month's time I sit my written exam at Tullie House in Carlisle about all things relating to Hadrian and his superlative Roman Wall built between AD122 and say about AD128/AD130. They didn't stop doing things to it (modifications and forts and such like) until Hadrian's death in AD138. His successor, Antoninus Pius, decided to abandon it and push further North into Scotland so he built his own turf wall up there. The Scots or Caledonians bashed them too much so the Romans fell back again to Hadrian's Wall and stayed there until just into the fourth century.

There are just SO many things I want to tell you about but I am restraining myself until I have got these flippin' exams over and done with. I am being tested as a bona fide guide on the Vindolanda site in July. Let's hope the heavens don't open, coach loads of children and strimmers do not operate on that day. Fingers crossed and many offerings offered to the God of Guides....could it be Mercury? I'm sure there must be a better one but can't think of him/her/it right now.

So I will set up a household shrine, a lararium, and make a daily offering to the lares, otherwise known as household / guardian spirits. Here's one I made earlier:

Just kidding I will reveal all -where this altar is.. in due course - Valete (goodbye) just for now! (Then again if anyone can tell me where it is....? Special Hadriana points and award will be winging your way...)