After years of painstaking work by a team of classical scholars led by Professor Knut Pestle of the University of Kingston Bagpuize, the Reader's Doglist proudly presents....

Calling trendy classicists.....!!

It's all here folks!

AD SUMMA NITAMUR - read on and go for it!


Scurfus Gropius Hasdrubal, son of Rhombus of the Episcopi, shows us that a Roman legionary was not averse to a bit of silliness. He has attached a rack of Les Morris saucepan lids to a pole and draped a tablecloth around himself. His officers found this extremely funny, but couldn't resist taking the joke a little bit further by throwing him to the lions. The Roman sense of humour was certainly exotic - but there's no denying their capacity for simple fun.


No Friday afternoon Latin session woluld be complete without a declension race. However, when competitive classicists get going there's always the risk of violence, even buggery. The whole debacle of this event was captured on CCTV. Class 4RC(set 2) edges into the lead over 4PQ (bottom set) on the final leg of the 3rd declension "-is ending" masculine nouns sprint; but only by throwing in an unexpected, and doubtful 2nd declension adjective. Cries of foul are ignored, and all hell breaks loose - especially when one player uses a neatly placed ablative as an excuse to take his opponent from behind. The race was subsequently abandoned and all contestants were forced to stand on a desk until the end of the lesson.

SPQR (pronounced "spuck-queer")

It is not commonly known that the Roman army had its own subaqua marine division. Attached to the Legio XXIVCCIV (Nautilus Scurienses), these ancient naval squaddies woluld swim under having been fitted out ships, bore holes in them and make them sink.
Here we see part-time torpedo, Petrus Lambinius Moxor, demonstrating an early Roman version of the schnorkel.


"Put it out! You're in the uniform of the 83rd Scomba Cohort of the Praetorian Guard!!" Aeropus the Lycenaestian catches Scrofulus, the Brigantian auxiliary, having a sneaky fag at the imperial scouting for legionnaires jamboree, held this year, AUC DCXXXIVXXMMIIV, in Thebes. Rules are rules, and no smoking rules are strictly enforced. Scrofulus later faces the penalty with equanimity. "It's a fair cop guv" he says stoically as they nail him to a cross and leave him to slowly decompose.


Excavations at the site of the ancient fort of Porta Paestorum have confirmed that the Romans did indeed have Russian things. This well preserved specimen has got the archaeologists buzzing with excitement. Professor Glebe-Hamstroke of the University of Basingstoke, an expert on Roman Imperial trade, has analysed this particular Russian thing and believes its main purpose was to shred beetroot. However, it also had a secondary application as a siege engine. Glebe-Hamstroke said at a press conference today:
"It is now accepted that borshch was introduced to Rome by the merchant, Borus Petrovicius, and that a large number of beetroot shredders cum military machines were brought by him to Rome via the central European caravan routes. Such a piece of apparatus was considered chic, not only in Roman households but by the military as well."
He quoted a piece of text from a diary written by a centurion in 83AD.
itaque coquus hodie borscum fecit rem optimam - and so today the cook made some borschch, a thing most excellant.


Plembus Sulpicius Borax, having dug up an ample supply of beetroots from his allotment, makes ready to pass them on to the operators of the Russian thing. These in turn will use the Russian thing to hurl the root vegetables at a horde of itinerant Galli, who have strayed onto the courgette patch with malicious intent. Once this manoeuvre has been completed, they can all sit down peacefully to a nice bowl of borshch.


Oh dear - misere me - what a picture of depression!! Clustus, the slave, has found himself caught up in a whole page-full of unscanned Latin poetry. Even a few lines made up of brisk dactyls and some well honed spondees, can't compensate for the relentless and monotonous lines of uncomprehensible hexameters. "It's one thing having to lay the white napkins on the table of my master," he says bleakly, "but to be hemmed in on all sides by unparsed Latin sentences and appallingly routine scansion, is more than a slave can bear." He is seen here holding an egg slicer. Cheer up Clustus! Life's not all borshch and circuses.


This is a rare picture of the footwear that took Legson Caeirus the length of the Appian Way and back. These size 10 boots-cum-sandals could have been consigned to the scrap-heap, had not Crispus Pulpius Sulpi, the antiquarian, spotted them at a jumble sale in the forum of Pompeii. Recognising their unique character, he had them completely restored and rendered safe for further use. They can now be seen every year at the Rome to Brundisium vintage boot rally, marching along with the finest ancient footwear.


They might not have had Guy Fawkes, but the Romans certainly liked a few whizz-bangs when November 5th came round. This bonfire night has been nicely captured. Senator Pingus Rostrum and his mate Mingax of the XVI Legion are about to start the evening off by lighting a spectacular firework. To add a bit of fun to the occasion, they have halved a couple of ping pong balls and inserted them into their eye sockets. Who said the Romans lacked humour?

The party has really got going now. To light up the occasion, there is nothing like setting fire to a crucified slave. Light the touch paper and stand well back.

This remarkable image depicts a scene from the Siege of Sarfharrodunum, as described in Caesar's Garlic Wars. (Belli Aecis Book XVII). Having been fitted out aptly, the 83rd Legion launch an assault on this Gallic stronghold, the Gauls' own version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Horlix, a brave but futile Gaul, stands on the ramparts trying to fend off the attackers by staring them out. However, such was Caesar's determination to requisition the enemies' supply of indoor plants and garden furniture, the defender's lone stand was doomed to failure. Horlix was overpowered and captured. The Roman leader was, however, magnanimous in victory. With all due honours, he had Horlix flogged, shredded and placed in a compost bin. His well-rotted remains were then used later as a mulch on Caesar's own beetroot allotment. A noble end if ever there was one.


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