Thursday, 26 March 2009

roaming with the romans

Went to a Roman Villa today, mostly fourth century remains, tho they lived there for 3 centuries before going home. The mosaic floors were very lively with figures cavorting around and geometric designs for the more formal rooms. this spring is reminiscent of the wells near here, tho this one has a longer history.
It still had a wall round it which made it seem cosy and accessible, the info showed us [in the usual mediocre sketch they provide] how it would have looked as a shrine to a water deity. There were the usual hypocausts , and these posher under floor heating pillars which suggested the family were pretty rich, and comfortable at one time.

An elderly visitor asked the guide if the invading Vandals had destroyed the areas of mosaic that were missing by lighting fires as they squatted in the abandoned buildings. No they eroded over the centuries you ignoramus

My hackles rose, usual vision of the world being destroyed by uncivilised yobs [teddy boys, hoodies whatever].

No you nervous nelly, the Saxons [not the Vandals] didn't live in the valleys at all, because by the time the Romans finally left their law and order had broken down [the vandals were sacking Rome not cold wet here]and the Saxons [including those Romans who had married in, and stayed behind] had to build defendable homesteads on high ground.

Is it inevitable that as one gets older one gets more fearful of the young. I've a strong core of paranoia but I hope it never settles on fear of change.

Perhaps feeling "got at" is inevitable staying here in Middle England, "Private" notices everywhere and even their gates look as if they would like to gnaw my bones, but this spring was fun.

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