Tom Holland Profile picture
New history of Christianity - ‘Dominion’ - out now! Dinosaur lover. Stonehenge Tunnel hater. A 'leading English cricketer' - The Times. Multiplex nec incuriosa.
Pradipto Moitra(#NonVeg #Bhakt ,Gobhi ji Ka Nahin) Profile picture Kerry Hennigan Profile picture Lizanne Whitlow Profile picture Proud Indian Profile picture Alastair Romanes Profile picture 7 added to My Authors
4 Oct
How does one actually apply to be chairman of the BBC?

Asking for a friend...
I mean, I watch TV. I could do with the money. I’m sure I’d be great!
Already starting to put my team together. What @jonawils doesn’t know about the career of John Nettles isn’t worth knowing.
Read 6 tweets
3 Oct
We arrive in Devizes to visit @WiltshireMuseum - which very much does what it says on the tin.

The museum was opened in 1874, & is run by the Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Society, which was founded 21 years previously (making it almost as old as @sussex_society!)
The county archaeological societies are one of the glories of England - but COVID is having a devastating impact on them. The best way to help the society of my native county is to visit @WiltshireMuseum: an absolute treasure trove of finds & wonders from across Wiltshire.
Horatio: a sad but evocative memorial of Devizes’ past. Once thought to have been shot in the Cape in 1800, but probably a circus lion, he was used as a display in a shop window, paraded annually during the 30s in the Devizes carnival, & used to raise money to fund 2 Spitfires.
Read 31 tweets
1 Oct
"There is (at the very least) a real risk of significant harm to one of the most important heritage assets within this nation."

Soberly, forensically, devastatingly, archaeologists at the heart of recent finds in the Stonehenge landscape make their case: ……
"The Consortium’s case throughout the examination has been that the heritage impact of the proposal is so harmful such that the DCO ought to be refused. The new discovery adds further weight to this argument." #StonehengeTunnel
"The discovery undermines much of the work carried out by Historic England & upon which they invite the Secretary of State to conclude that the scheme will in fact be beneficial in heritage terms. The new discovery demonstrates that HE’s techniques are inadequate."

Cool, lethal
Read 4 tweets
29 Sep
The conjunction of #Michaelmas with the grim news that a million people have died of #Covid cannot help but stir memories of a previous experience of pandemic.
In the spring of 590, when Gregory I was elected pope, plague was raging in Rome. When he emerged from his consecration, he saw arrows raining down from the sky, as tho' fired from an invisible bow. For 3 days he prayed - & then the arrows stopped falling.
In time, the story came to be told that St Michael had been seen standing on the Mausoleum of Hadrian, holding up a blazing sword - & that then, accepting the prayers of Gregory & the Romans as they went in procession, he had sheathed the sword, & at once the plague had stopped.
Read 5 tweets
28 Sep
"If Ovid can seem at times to us in the 21st century a compellingly modern and contemporary voice, so did he in the 16th, 12th, and back in the 1st" - @llewelyn_morgan

This is going to be great...
"Quintilian, it is fair to say, had no sense of humour" - @llewelyn_morgan #Ovid
"There can be only true originality in the presence of established rules" - @llewelyn_morgan.

Good for Roman poetry, good for much else as well... #Ovid
Read 6 tweets
27 Sep
It’s so cold that I wouldn’t be surprised if we find a mammoth stopping play today.
Anyway, it’s the last match of our season - and therefore my last chance to raise money for @PassageCharity.

Huge thanks to all who have sponsored me. We’ve already raised well over £5000. This afternoon I will be doing my best to add to that total.

(So far I’ve scored 21 runs)
There are other ways of spending a Sunday, of course...
Read 4 tweets
26 Sep
An intensive weekend of #EliteSport beckons - & with it the chance to help @PassageCharity by sponsoring me for every run I score!!!
Anyone worried that sponsoring me may leave them open to financial ruin should be reassured that today’s match is at Warborough, where in five innings I have so far scored precisely zero runs. Image
Deft glovework from @AdamRutherford, who is now sponsoring me to get a duck...
Read 9 tweets
26 Sep
To London Zoo!
My weekend begins... Image
One of my favourite things to see at @zsllondonzoo: apes at play. Image
Read 12 tweets
20 Sep
Today’s match is on the very spot where Nausicaa and her maidens were surprised while playing cricket by the ship-wrecked & temporarily homeless Odysseus.

All the more fitting, then, if I can score some runs, & thereby raise money for the homeless.…
At the historic Spianada Square ground in the heart of Corfu, three of Nausicaa’s descendants stand on the wicket as @AuthorsCC prepare to bat. Image
Read 12 tweets
19 Sep
Skimpier than a Geordie night out in December Image
Achilles gives his name to the palace built by the Empress Elisabeth of Austria (aka ‘Sisi’) in Corfu. She named it ‘Achilleion’ in memory of her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, who had likewise died young. Image
Sisi - a precocious wearer of trousers - seems to have been very sassy... Image
Read 6 tweets
18 Sep
To the Archaeological Museum of Corfu! Image
Lower mandible of a hippopotamus (c. 100,000 years old).

I believe the only species of mammal endemic to a Mediterranean island not to have been wiped out by humans is a tiny mouse on Cyprus (Mus cypriacus). #Corfu Image
Medusa & her cats. Image
Read 7 tweets
17 Sep
“It has been a summer when the normal gap between the elite and the recreational player has narrowed to nothing” - ⁦@Athersmike

In a way that would have seemed completely implausible in April, it’s been a memorable summer of cricket.…
“The ECB has done a remarkable job for supporters of the game, negotiating the arrival of four separate countries, managing the risks appropriately and staging 18 international matches of varying length at two venues 230 miles apart — all without a hiccup.”
Massive, massive thanks due to West Indies, Pakistan & Australia as well. Bless them all!
Read 4 tweets
15 Sep
“It was not the case, as one so often reads, that the “lines” between public & private “spheres” in Athens were “blurred”. It was rather the case that there were no discrete “spheres” there to speak of at all” - Greg Anderson
So where does our conception of the individual come from, if it is not to be regarded as a given?

(You know what I think the answer to that question is...)
“The materialist, secularist, and individualist foundations of western modernity, the conditions of liberalism’s very possibility as thought and practice, were simply not there in antiquity.”

Indeed they were not.

So where did they come from? #Dominion
Read 4 tweets
14 Sep
The notion that the Church's prohibition against cousin-marriage was "accidental," a cynical scam to get rich, is grotesquely reductive. The reason for it lay in a sacral understanding of marriage fundamental to Christian theology from the time of Paul.
"The insistence of scripture that a man & a woman, whenever they took to the marital bed, were joined as Christ & his Church were joined, becoming one flesh, gave to both a rare dignity... It was consent, not coercion that constituted the only proper foundation of a marriage."
"The Church, by pledging itself to this conviction, and putting it into law, was treading on the toes of patriarchs everywhere." #Dominion
Read 6 tweets
13 Sep
Please do sponsor me! A sum of money per run I score! So far this season I have scored 3 runs at an average of 0.75, so I am unlikely to bankrupt you.

That said, I am going in at 5, & I have all day...
I make an imperious 7, including a sumptuous straight driven four, before being run out.
Read 5 tweets
13 Sep
A tale of 2 rivers: an illustration of the ecological mess this country is in. Just before lockdown, I walked the #Ver, one of the chalk streams that - with the exception of a few in northern France - are unique to southern England. It was dead.
Then on Friday I was taken by @Feargal_Sharkey to walk the #Itchen, one of the most famous stretches of fishing in the world, & which is still just about holding its own against water companies desperate to extract its water & fill it with sewage.
Compare and contrast the Itchen & the Ver at identical stages of their length. The waters of the Itchen still flow, still sustain life.
Read 7 tweets
11 Sep
To Hampshire, there to walk the line of the #Itchen from its source to Winchester, ancient seat of the West Saxon kings. The river threads through a landscape reach in history & legend: the scene of poltergeists, Civil War battles, ancestral curses & 18th century cricket teams.
The etymology of the #Itchen is uncertain, but may derive from the ancient name for the New Forest, Ytene. The river has witnessed repeated attempts to make it more navigable. The 1st took place in the 12th C, when the Bishop of Winchester built England's 1st canal reservoir.
The #Itchen is also, of course, one of England's - and therefore the world's - most celebrated rivers for fly-fishing, & we shall be finishing today's walk at the grave of Izaak Walton in Winchester Cathedral. ImageImage
Read 31 tweets
9 Sep
It can be argued that Cain, which drew on the recent discovery of "the bones of enormous & unknown animals" - one of which, in 1824 (the year of Byron's death), would formally be named 'Megalosaurus'' - is the first work of literature to feature dinosaurs.
Lucifer takes Cain into Hades, & shows him the ghosts of vanished worlds.

Cain: ’Tis like another world; a liquid sun –
And those inordinate creatures sporting o’er
Its shining surface?
Lucifer: Are its inhabitants,
The past Leviathans.
"What are these mighty phantoms which I see
Floating around me? – They wear not the form
Of the Intelligences I have seen
Round our regretted and unentered Eden."

Cain asks this question before either Megalosaurus or Iguanodon had been formally named...
Read 5 tweets
8 Sep
At Wormsley, @AuthorsCC need 12 off the last over to win. 2005 Ashes legend Matthew Hoggard - who I got out earlier In the match - to bowl it.
And that’s it! Victory by 4 wickets! For the second match in a row, @AuthorsCC win against a team of Lords Taverners STUFFED with Test & 1st class cricketers. 2020 turns out not to be so bad after all. Amazing result! Image
Honestly, it was a team effort. Everyone contributed.
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
At Wormsley, a Lords Taverners XI featuring a host of cricket legends - including 2005 Ashes hero Matthew Hoggard - are confined to 147/9 off their 20 overs.

A good display from the lads... Image
And me? One year after I bowled that great Test cricketer, Andrew Caddick, is it possible that I dismissed ANOTHER TEST LEGEND? IS IT???? IS IT???!!??!!!!???????
Read 8 tweets
6 Sep
Time for a crack at an insanely high Italian peak...
War elephants, Balearic slingers, the works...
Quite glad I’m not getting attacked by Gauls... Image
Read 10 tweets