We are named after Hans Rott (whom else?), a Viennese composer and uncanny anticipator of Mahler who died insane aged twenty-five in 1884. He was taken to an asylum after causing trouble on a train which he believed Brahms was trying to dynamite.
Mommsen in the Scriptores Rerum Germanicorum is the textual arbiter in this Rott text.
Get it for the Kindle and enjoy reading something different: it is short and absorbing.
Rott will provide clean and accurate texts of ancient and modern works that are not easily available online. Or if they are, are not always clean, continuous and accurate or are not for the Kindle.
We will be the only new-style provider of out-of-copyright material for mobile devices that knows the difference between dumb and smart quotes – between straight inverted commas or quotation marks and those shaped like 6s and 9s. I mention this in passing.
Sad to report the death of Robert Markus, the medieval historian who did as much as anyone, along with his friend and occasional academic rival Peter Brown, to help define late antiquity:
Robert Markus, who has died of cancer at the age of 86, was among the finest historians of his generation. He helped establish the idea of Late Antiquity as a distinct and exceptionally creative period of European history, bridging the fall of the western Roman Empire and the early Middle Ages. He stressed the importance of Christianity's beliefs, but always had an eye to the material and social structures in which it was practised.
Bread & Circuses is now five years old. The challenge with any blog is to keep it fresh, and so Bread & Circuses is changing. Today sees the first episode of Emperors of Rome. The idea is to cover every Roman emperor from Augustus to Romulus Augustulus in under two minutes. A new episode will be published on a Monday morning. By the end of the year we should be in the middle of the third century.
I originally wanted to call the series "Who the hell was Nerva?" on the basis that while most of us have a fair idea of what big name emperors like Augustus, Hadrian and Constantine were up to, many - myself included - have only the haziest idea of the reign of emperors like Nerva.
Aside from filling in these imperial lacuna, part of the motivation behind the series is also to be unashamedly broad brush. There is a tendency in the history industry to focus on detail to the extent that the wider picture is sometimes ignored. On my desk at the moment is a 12 page, closely argued chronology of the first few weeks of the Emperor Galba's reign. And that does not begin to come close to being the most recherché article within reach. This is not in any way to denigrate the article, which is exemplary, more it is to make the point of what is the norm in classical scholarship.