Doctor of ancient history. Specialist in Middle Republic Rome, and Roman genocide. I research how the Romans destroyed, enslaved and annihilated other communities as their power grew. Into widening access to universities. This is my neglected blog of inchoate thoughts.
There's a fair bit of attention bring given right now to the lauded Metroid game series, which recently turned 30 years old.* But it's also the 25th birthday of its sequel, Metroid II: Return of Samus, this bad boy which I've been playing the last couple of days.
Luckily for me, the invention of the internet and popularisation of the web in the intervention decade and a half has been really helpful. I never could complete this as a kid, it can be tough at times, and the omega metroid creamed me last night, but the biggest problem was always missing those hidden paths to mandatory areas.
The cart has been bugging out every now and then, and took a bit of cleaning to get it playable, but maybe it's a bit impressive that here I am, still able to play the original physical game, twenty five years after it was made.
* Which Nintendo have celebrated by releasing a much derided, lacklustre tie-in and by taking down the much praised fan update that was Another Metroid 2 Remake.
See what I did there? Yes this is indeed a little post about the recent Doctor Who episode 'The Eaters of Light' (S36e10). It's not a review, I'll leave that to others.1 Nor is this supposed to be a crotchety list of complaints about the things they didn't get historically accurate, though it might be superficially similar. Instead, I just want to pick out a couple of things that I think interesting and representative of how the ancient Roman world is used in contemporary texts.2
Next month I'm presenting the first of this academic year's Exploring the Past free lecture series hosted by Cardiff University's Continuing and Professional Education in conjunction with the Historical Association. I'm very excited by the opportunity; they get a great mix of people in the audience: professionals, well-informed amateurs, and those who have never learnt about a subject but are always engaged.
I've pasted some details are pasted below, but the full listing can be seen on the CPE's portal.
This is a photo that I took of a sherd in the handling collection of the SHARE with Schools outreach project, Cardiff University, for which I was an Outreach Coordinator. It is a fragment of Samian ware (the most typical type of Roman pottery), found in South Wales. Sometimes putting the images into black and white helps to make them out, but now I wish I took a rubbing too or even made a 3D model through the magic that it is photogrammetry. Maybe I'll go back and do that sometime.
I think it shows Hercules, as it looks like the muscled, male figure is holding a club to me. Or an athlete maybe?But I'm not very good at this sort of interpretation. Any suggestions? What do you think?