Tues. 8th February: Conferences and Hadrian’s Wall

Apologies for being off the air for so long. I’ve had my head down, doing my best to get stuck into Spartacus. I’ve had patches of success and failure, but am at last getting up some steam.

Last weekend, I attended the Roman Army Talk (RAT) conference in York. It was organised by John Conyard and Amy Wallace of Comitatus, the late Roman reenactment group. With two mornings of lectures from reenactors and academics, and two evenings of socialising/beerdrinking, it was an excellent chance to put faces to people from the forum on RomanArmyTalk.com. Thanks to John and Amy for all their hard work, the great speakers for the fascinating lectures, and all my fellow RATers for making the effort to come.

Mike Bishop was one of the academics who gave a talk at the conference. His topic was Hadrian’s Wall, which I’ve always held a soft spot for. As a labour of love, Mike has created a website which uses Google maps to trace the entire course of the wall, all its turrets, forts, ditches and so on. Check out the map and the associated photos at Per Lineam Valli. It’s amazing!

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  1. raynergill
    Posted 10 February 2011 at 17:12 | Permalink

    Didn’t realise you were in my neck of the woods Ben. Next time you’re in York do let me know, it’d be good to meet up for a pint!

  2. benkane
    Posted 11 February 2011 at 10:45 | Permalink

    Hi Rayner – sorry, I never even thought to give you a shout. It would indeed be good to catch up sometime, and to hear how your novel’s coming along. How is it coming along?

  3. raynergill
    Posted 11 February 2011 at 22:29 | Permalink

    Well, I can reveal that I’ve passed the 100,000 word mark, which is a nice feeling! How many of those are any good is yet to be seen, however, but it’s getting there. Lots of work still to do until I’m happy with it I reckon. Not sure what’s happening with the York Roman festival yet this year but if it’s on and you’re attending I’ll be sure to head down and catch you there. Hope all is going well with Spartacus!

  4. benkane
    Posted 12 February 2011 at 11:38 | Permalink

    Well done. Reaching 100k is a great feeling. Like you say, it probably needs some work, but that’s a great achievement all the same. Might be at York this year, I’m not sure. Would be good to catch up if I am. Spartacus is coming along, thanks! More slowly than I’d thought it might, but that’s cool. I want this to be my best one yet.

  5. Posted 14 February 2011 at 22:49 | Permalink

    There is a great new blog about the Hadrian’s Wall, too, by Paul Darnell who has worked as guide on the Wall. Got lots of photos as well.

  6. benkane
    Posted 15 February 2011 at 14:30 | Permalink

    @Gabriele: thanks for that link. It is an interesting site, and another good resource.

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