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Staff News, January 2017

Italy's Invisible Cities


Don’t miss Michael Scott’s new BBC One series, Italy’s Invisible Cities, with Alexander Armstrong, as they travel through Venice, Florence, and Naples. Using an arsenal of cutting-edge technology, including ultra-high definition 3D scans, underwater LiDAR, photo-real CGI and drone cameras, Alexander and Michael discover Italy’s hidden past in new vivid detail.

The mission – Michael is taking Alexander on a tour to get under the skin of these three cities, to find out what makes them tick, and how the bits you can’t see are crucial to their success.

To do so, they will have to snorkel, scuba dive, don hard hats and protective overalls, conquer fears of heights and enclosed spaces, face scorpions, walk on buried skeletons, face torture chambers and brutal public bloodletting, navigate the perilous roads of the Amalfi coast, as well as conquer Naples on a scooter.

This three part series will be aired on BBC One in 2017, starting on 4 January at 9:00pm. Don’t forget that you can download the programmes from I-Player.

Naples: the city whose motto is Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) - not least because it exists on top of a massive series of volcanoes and every day could be its last.

Venice: the city whose very existence is testament to human ingenuity – and where it is imperative that the secret of its survival remains hidden from view.

Florence: the city of beauty and Renaissance grandeur is unmasked to reveal the seething turmoil and competition that pushed it to outdo its rivals and its richest citizens to outdo one another.

The University have also published a press release on this series.

New Publications

Kevin Butcher ‘Silbannacus: the Roman emperor that time forgot’ online at History Extra:

During the 1930s, British Museum curators came across a baffling discovery – a Roman coin depicting an enigmatic emperor whose identity was entirely unknown. Professor Kevin Butcher examines the mystery of the Roman emperor lost to history…

Alison Cooley ‘How the Great Fire revealed London’s Roman past’ online at History Extra

The Great Fire of 1666 obliterated an estimated four-fifths of the City of London, engulfing more than 13,000 houses and almost 90 parish churches. But, as historian Alison Cooley explains, the fire also unearthed a fascinating relic from London’s Roman past – the tombstone of a Roman soldier named Vivius Marcianus…

Clare Rowan ‘From bes to Bitcoin: alternative currencies in the ancient Roman world’ online at History Extra

Be it Bristol or Brixton, in recent years a number of cities in Britain have developed their own alternative, local currencies. Intended to support independent businesses, these currencies work alongside pounds sterling to encourage more money to be spent in the local economy. But, as historian Clare Rowan explains, the concept is anything but modern – in fact, alternative currencies date back as far as ancient Rome…