Clothing in Late Antiquity was not the disposable commodity it is nowadays; it was valuable enough to be named in a will, used as surety for loans, or included in a dowry. Literary sources suggest that wealthy and high status individuals had many and beautiful clothes, however for the middle and lower classes clothing was an expensive necessity that was not to be wasted. This was true for the majority of the population, and ranged from enslaved and poverty stricken workers to the relatively prosperous members of the working middle class. While we might expect the former to have ragged and patched clothing, the evidence indicates that even members of the latter group might have needed used or recycled clothing as well as materials to embellish, mend and maintain their clothes.
A child’s wool tunic featuring skilful darning in matching wool (Whitworth Art Gallery T.8375). [Photo: Faith Morgan]
Faith Morgan’s examination of Late Antique garments shows that even high quality garments were …
I might as well admit it: I’m so out of touch with the world that I didn’t know Content Marketing meant giving away something worth paying for, in order to acquire new customers. I learnt that yesterday in a high-powered webinar held by Copyblogger and Rainmaker.
My brain was addled and my neck ached. I had been sitting too long in front of the computer. I couldn’t even motivate myself enough to procrastinate. And then I saw the sun was shining. Why not grab one of the tasty korvapuusteja my wife had just baked and head for the woods? Continue reading →
Who you are, where you’re from, your writing credits
I wrote this bit under palms in the Brazilian jungle, sipping a freshly-made caipirinha. All nine family members – including two charming grandchildren – were visiting our daughter-in-law’s relatives for Christmas.
Born in (old) Jersey GB, my father was Swiss, my mother of French Huguenot stock. I studied physics in London and met my Finnish wife in Geneva during a research project at CERN. After many moves, we have settled in a beautiful village near Zürich, Switzerland. I’m now facing the prospect of retirement. Continue reading →
Cerbonius was a colourful character — priest, refugee, hermit, bishop, bear-tamer, animal-lover, miracle-worker and sensational papal visitor — who was later canonised by the Roman Catholic Church. He is remembered for his intimate relationship with God, “a man with a venerable life, who gave evidence of great holiness”, as St. Gregory the Great wrote in his “Dialogues”. Continue reading →
Many aspects form a novel – plot, pace, voice, character arc, setting, backstory, etc. But a novel wouldn’t be anything without characters. And readers want to get to know the main players. Among other things, they want to discover what they look like. And that, in turn, means they want to see their faces.
I’m not good at faces. Legend has it that I didn’t recognise my mother, although we had arranged to meet outside a certain shop. Often it’s only when an acquaintance I haven’t seen for a while does something – raises their eyebrows, speaks or walks in a characteristic way – that I realise who they are; their personality shines through.
Q: How can I, who don’t notice faces, learn to describe my storybook characters’ appearance?
I’ve come to a point in my story where Silvanus engages in heart-searching exchanges with his wise old mentor, Cerbonius. They don’t do much. They talk. This, I realize, can quickly become boring for the reader, who is hoping for more excitement.