Faster! Higher! Stronger!

Thanks to all of you who entered to win a copy of William Wallace's new book, Michelangelo: the Artist, the Man, and His Times.  I always love a good giveaway, and I love having fun prizes, too.

Congratulations to Carolyn!

She's the winner of this giveaway.  She has a really nice collection of printable bookmarks on her blog, Corner of the Library -- handy for all you book worms!  You'll find her on Twitter, too: cmcarpenter28.

 I'd love to send you each a prize, but this will just have to do...
Image courtesy of the Walters Art Museum

This gold medal was found in Egypt -- part of a cache of similar medallions one of which was inscribed "Olympic Games of the year 274."  Now in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, this medal may have been a prize from the Olympic Games held during Emperor Caracalla's reign (198-217 AD).  That's Caracalla depicted on the medallion with his shield.

The Romans were as Olympics-crazy as we are today, and they adopted the Greek custom with a fervor.  Nike made an appearance even at those ancient games -- just not in swoosh form.  Look at Caracalla's shield.  That's Nike, the goddess of victory, on the shield depicted in the bobsled of the day, a chariot.
Reverse of the medal. Image courtesy of the Walters Art Museum.

Faster! Higher! Stronger!

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So does the Walters Art Museum! Follow @walters_museum and lots of other great museums on my Museum Twitter List.

Rome: How to Ring in the New Year Properly

Happy New Year! As I wrote last year, each year a group of our friends gather to celebrate the New Year. We all live in different states, so we rotate hosting duties. This year everyone is cozied up in our house. Last night we celebrated the end of 2009 with Prosecco and lasagne. Today we are watching HBO's "Rome" -- a fabulous TV drama about the days of Julius Caesar in Rome. "Rome" is fabulous TV!

The cast is incredible -- filled with BBC all-stars including Polly Walker as Atia, Kevin McKidd as Lucius, and Ciaran Hinds as Caesar. And the costumes and sets bring ancient Rome alive in all its golden glory.

So, we are cozied up in our jammies, with a pot of coffee on, and we're starting the year off right -- in "Rome!"

Happy New Year to you all!

Links: HBO: Rome (view on Google Sidewiki)