At long last, on YouTube, the trailer for the forthcoming film The Eagle, based on Rosemary Sutcliff's classic novel The Eagle of the Ninth. Now we just have to wait until February to see the film itself. Comments so far seem dominated by the (questionable) acting abilities of the star, Channing Tatum, who plays Marcus Aquila*. I'm more interested in how faithful the film is to the novel, although really bad acting by the star might just sink it.
*LatinGeek note: full marks to whoever is responsible for Aquila being pronounced correctly.
I've recently discovered History of the Ancient World, a splendid source of academic articles about the ancient world. There are frequent headsy-upsies on Twitter (@historyancient). The website appears to make freely available articles from a few years ago that were first published in learned journals not accessible to non-academics. Anyway, there's one from 2002 by Simon James about Roman military studies in Britain which I found riveting.
There's quite a lot at the beginning about the development of Roman military studies in Britain during the 20th century, including the rivalry between historians and archaeologists (fascinating in a not-very-edifying way), and how changing attitudes to the study of war and violence have influenced Roman military studies. But the most interesting part is later on, where we get to more recent developments and the question is asked: Was there such ever such an entity as The Roman Army? And the author makes a startling comparison between the Roman military and the Georgian Royal Navy (he could have been writing that just for me, as both fascinate me). Read on...
Writing the Legions: The Development and Future of Roman Military Studies in Britain by Simon James. Archaeological Journal, Vol. 159 (2002)