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13 February 2020Sicilian Splendours
12 March 2020Cities of Castille

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Sicilian Splendours Dr Paul C Roberts Thursday 13 February 2020

You can’t cross the Mediterranean without bumping into Sicily and this is what successive migrations have done, bringing their culture with them to produce a fascinating meld.

These talks focus upon the rich architectural and artistic heritage of Sicily, the largest and one of the wealthiest islands of the ancient Mediterranean. In the first talk we see the Carthaginians, and their atmospheric culture, still visible on the small island of Motya, and then the Greeks, with beautiful cities such as Agrigento, Syracuse and Segesta, preserving some of the Mediterranean’s most stunning ruins. We see temples, theatres and the rich culture of these western Greeks.

Our second talk on the history and archaeology of Sicily looks at Roman Sicily, peaceful and prosperous, reflected in the cities of Syracuse and Taormina, and in the sumptuous mosaic villa of Piazza Armerina. After the Romans, we see the Arabs and then Norman Sicily - an extraordinary artistic flourishing, culminating in the mosaics of the mighty Norman basilicas of Monreale.

Dr Roberts is itching to finish with a short section from his new lecture LAST SUPPER IN POMPEII arising from research for his forthcoming exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and about which he writes “This new lecture celebrates the Roman love affair with food and drink … from wheat fields and vineyards to markets and temples, and from household tables to toilets and finally the tomb" This is still under discussion.