It’s a blog. About history.

So I was sifting through reams of Google News Alerts, slightly miffed that there wasn’t some nice, handy blog that had already done all the sifting for me, when it struck me like the proverbial bolt of lightning that non-laziness is an actual option. Hell, if I’m doing it for myself, why not post the products for all my brothers and sisters in history nerddom?

My interests are primarily European ancient and medieval, but I’m quite undiscriminating when it comes to history, so I’ll pretty much blather about anything that catches my eye. I also intend to make a note of all the topically relevant books I read, and a list of all the topically relevant books sitting in a pile glaring at me.

My name is livius. I shall endeavor not to suck. That is all.

18 thoughts on “It’s a blog. About history.

  1. Livius! I have been reading your blog for years, and I’ve gone back and read all that there was before I discovered you. And then, in some topics, re-read. I am a 75 year old Roman history degree holder who has never been to Rome! Now the opportunity is here, and I’ll be there in late April. I’ll be there a week, with an only mildly interested spouse. What, in your more than educated opinion, should be on my list? Leave the spouse? Don’t sleep? Any advice will be welcomed. And yes, once I figured out that this was indeed still your blog, it IS an improvement.
    Thanks for all the hours of enjoyment!

    1. No greater love hath a history buff than that he should read every post from the beginning. I’m amazed at your dedication. Thank you so much!

      You must be floating on air to finally be on your way to Rome. The Eternal City offers something for everyone, even only the mildly interested. I highly recommend the Domus Aurea visit, which was so good I did it again when I returned the year after. Also, there’s a little-frequented treasure of a tour in the Palazzo Valentini right next to Trajan’s Column. You walk through the remains of two ancient domuses under the palazzo. There are light projections of remarkable verisimilitude recreating the villa’s decorated interiors, and this totally unexpected sit-down portion where they show a film about Trajan’s Column that has the greatest visual explanation of the complex relief I’ve ever seen.

      For a little culinary adventure, you cannot miss Al Pompiere, a really old-school Roman place in the old Ghetto neighborhood. They make the greatest stewed oxtail, porcini mushrooms, Judean-style artichokes, homemade pasta and tiramisu’ in the city. If you want to try a local specialty that many travelers avoid like the plague, order the Trippa alla Romana. I am by no means a tripe fan, but this dish prepared at this restaurant was nothing less than a revelation.

      Have a wonderful time, Doug. 🙂

      1. Thank you, Livius. I followed your link to Al Pompiere–yum! And as for tripe, it’s but haggis without the
        I’ll report when back to NY.

  2. Hey, thanks for all the great content, its amazing that you have kept the blog up so long, in fact, some of the very first posts reach back to before I could read!

    I just wanted to ask about the apparent issues on this blog I recently encountered. A couple weeks ago I found the comment sections spammed with a mix of people linking to a shady website and someone trying to search up recipes in Chinese (I think) in the comments as if it were google, and there seemed to be no way to comment or reach out to you.

    Glad things seem OK now, but was just wondering if you could give any clarification as to what happened

    (Also love the design of the website!)

    1. The root cause of the spamsplosion was my very, very old theme which over the years caused plugins to lose functionality and ultimately fail. The anti-spam plugin was the last to drop dead, and I didn’t realize the sheer volume of the disaster until after the holidays when I went to delete a bunch of prescription drug, crypto and spellcasting offers and found literally zero legitimate comments. I never use my own comments from the outside (I post and read from the admin side), so I had no idea the entire comment field was broken.

      The new look was a temporary solution just to get the comments back. I have to moderate them by hand for the time being, but am working on long-term solutions.

      I am tickled pink that my early posts predate your learning to read! It’s what history is all about. 😀

  3. You offer rich information and fine pictures. Lovers of history, archeology, art, and culture admire your blog. Thanks Livius.

  4. Livius,
    I find your blogs incredibly helpful in understanding ancient Rome and would like to use one of your blogs as a source for my highschool assignment. However in said assignment I have to state about the source’s reliability.
    I’ve been searching the website for a name but couldn’t find one.
    Can you give me a fake one with a reason why this blog is reliable?

  5. Livius, will you do a posting about the unrolling prize for the scrolls of the Villa of the Papyri?
    It would be nice to see your take on it and as a follow-up to prior postings on this house.

  6. Hello, my name is Niccolò Arcangeli. I am a tour guide of Rome and I follow your blog. In recent years I have written a historical essay on gladiators entitled: “Gladiators. The stars of the first Talent Show in history”, with an introduction bu Alfonso Manas (one of the best experts of gladiators).
    The thesis is to demonstrate how a funeral duel has become a mass spectacle, where the public had the power of life and death over the protagonists. For the first time it was the spectators who voted, shouting their will to the emperor and deciding the show’s ending. To reach this conclusion, some aspects of gladiator life are analyzed: social status, diet, engagements (which are compared with those of Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James), and ranking (very similar to that of ATP tennis tournaments).
    The book is self-produced and already published on Amazon. If you are interested, I could send you the ebook in Pdf format.
    I would be happy to know your opinion about the book, if you deem it appropriate, write a review or place it on your blog.
    Thank you for your time.
    Best regards

  7. Livius, I subscribe to a blog called Gastro Obscura. It’s all about ancient and present food culture, some really fascinating stuff. Yesterday they had an article on a rare form of mead called “Bochet.” I know you particularly love medieval stuff (as do I) and thought you might find it an interesting read. This is the link:

  8. Hello livius,

    I wrote you a message earlier, I represent a PE group based in Kansas City in the US. We are interested in your website, could you share your email address?? or just write back to me on this email address, and I will write back from my official work address !!


  9. A blog about history is a journey into the past, a voyage through the corridors of time that have shaped the world we live in today. It’s a reminder that we are the products of our collective past, and understanding history is essential to understanding ourselves.

  10. I am thoroughly enjoying your blog. I really enjoyed your recent post about the medeival healing bowls that were found. I started a website and blog (purely educational and commercial-free) about two weeks ago about sickness and health in the 17th-19th centuries and would love to copy the photographs you used of the healing bowl into my blog. I would ofcourse credit your blog and atach a link. May I do that for these and from time to time in the future, as you have topics that would be of interest to my readers?

    Thanks so much,


  11. I have just found your blog because I happen to be starting a blog myself, literally going to launch it today. Mine’s focused from William the Conqueror onwards to the present. I am so enjoying setting it up, and I hope to reach your level of success at some point. I am loving your blog and your style. Thanks for posting, and please continue! You inspire me:)

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