promoting cultural heritage and conservation

Posts tagged “twitter

Rome around the world #romeawayfromrome


Lincoln Center, New York. Photo by @Introvertmind

You don’t have to cross the Atlantic,  meander your way through Europe nor head westward on the Orient Express to catch a glimpse of Rome.  The empire’s inheritance to the world can be seen in modern and contemporary architecture in almost every town and city across the globe. We are always on the look out for imperial garland detail on a window,  a forum in a shopping mall or a full-fledged coliseum/library/sports complex.  Thank you for helping us find some Rome away from Rome wherever you are.  Please keep it up– we are building a great gallery of “Roman” architecture which you can see on

And thank you, Instagram photographers @Introvertmind, @NYRoamer, @Parisinfourmonths, @saman_mt,  Twitter @bjrich09 and Vine @Moscerina for tagging your photos #romeawayfromrome (more…)

We dig Rome: AIRC on Youtube

We dig Rome and we like sharing it, so in 2009 we created an AIRC account on Youtube:  WeDigRome where we upload AIRC-produced filmettes about our programs (inluding our summer excavation and full-immersion Latin) and our documentary projects such as Fasti Online and upcoming Digging History.

Our latest videos are Unlisted 2013: Conversation for Conservation, our annual cultural heritage conference.  If you were not able to attend the conference, take a look in our recently uploaded videos where we feature each Unlisted2013 speaker.

How Latin and Twitter helped a Journalist

Pope Chirri

They are calling it “the tweet heard around the world”, a less than 140-character message by ANSA journalist Giovanna Chirri that announced to resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. “B16 si ‘e dimesso. Lascia pontificato dal 28 febbraio” [B16 is stepping down. Leaving on February 28.] The news itself is beyond spectacular.  As Papal history fans will note, Pope Benedict XVI will be the first pontiff to voluntarily resign since Gregory XII in 1415. Yes, nearly 600 year ago. And how this news was not just conveyed [Chirri's social media short-hand] but understood is just as spectacular.  Chirri, part of a papal audience on Monday, February 11, listened to the Pope’s Latin declaration,

Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commissum renuntiare ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 29, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse.” [For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.]

She confirmed with ANSA what she had heard, posted her tweet, and from there, the deluge.  Journalists quickly caught on, and began spreading the news, along with speculation as to why.  Chirri has quickly become a superstar both journalistically and linguistically.   Not only was she the very first to get the scoop on history-making news, she quickly followed up her tweet with another stating “the Pope’s Latin is very easy to understand”, an inadvertent shout-out to supporters of Latin language and its studies in academic institutions across the globe.  Optime, Iohanna!

Thanks to Chirri’s great use of Latin, a once “useless” language proves ever relevant in the real world and Latin’s lasting legacy continues to shine bright and clear.  It is opportune to note that there are many opportunities to study Latin around the world but very few to speak it and we are proud to support Latin and its uses in daily life and contemporary media by studying Latin in a contemporary and living environment.   Rome is the ideal city- as the city is literally covered in Latin inscriptions– and now with the world scrutinizing Vatican Ctiy for the coming months, it is a great opportunity to re-examine Latin’s role in contemporary society.

Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation [VIDEO and below photo, The Guardian, February 11, 2012]

Click here for Official transcript

Pope Benedict XVI

Habemus @Pontifex! Pipiatio Latina: What will you tweet the Pope #LTNL

Shortly after  Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi announced on twitter and in Latin the Pontifical Academy for Latin Studies,  the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI will begin tweeting on December 12 as @Pontifex, perhaps the best handle to appear on Twitter in years.  We are excited that @Pontifex will be flexing the papal fingers to comment in no less than eight languages: English, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Polish, Arabic and Spanish (each under language-specific Twitter accounts).


Since only a few tweets will be hand-picked and then responded to by @Pontifex,  our upcoming Latin tweet up will focus on Quid pipies Romano Pontifici?  So for the next few days think about what you would tweet the Pope and then join in to Pipiatio Latina #LTNL Tuesday, December 11 at 3 pm Pacific/ 6pm Eastern Standard.

Pipiatio Latina is led by Dr. Nancy Llewellyn, Associate Professor of Latin at Wyoming Catholic College.  To participate, submit tweets to Nancy @RomeontheRange and @AIRomanculture, or send us questions/comments in advance  to  Whether simply following or ready to engage in some chatter, look for hash tags: #LTNL and #LatinTweetUp and remember to add either or both of them to your tweets. We’ve also customized a TweetGrid so that you can follow the hashtags and our account at the same time.

Thanks for helping to promote Latin in the real and virtual worlds!

For a glimpse into Latin in action, please take a look at our Summer 2012 “Living Latin, Living History in Rome” program videos.

Happy Birthday, Augustus!


September 23, 63 BC . . .  and here’s how we celebrated . . .



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That’s a Wrap: Living Latin videos on YouTube


Salve! We wanted to share a peek into our Summer 2012’s “Living Latin, Living History in Rome” summer program led by Prof. Nancy Llewellyn of Wyoming Catholic College.  Nancy, an expert in spoken Latin practice and pedagogy, brought students in and out of Rome in an almost completely spoken Latin environment, and she was kind of enough to enjoy a bit of educational paparazzi.

The following links are for two videos produced by AIRC. T his summer, we followed Nancy and class — and had a great time, of course!  We hope  you do as well, and continue to spread the word[s] on living Latin.

  1. Overview of the program experience, showing the on-site readings, guest lectures, classroom exercises, and excursions that make this program unique and a must for any student who wants to understand Latin at the deepest level.
  2. Interview with Prof. Llewellyn in which she explains how she became involved with spoken Latin and why learning to speak the language is so important for anyone who works extensively with it.

Pipiatio Latina: Gladiatores et Scripta Parietalia #LTNL


We’re back and we are all about men waving swords and dirty walls. Pipiatio Latina wants to talk about gladiatores et scripta parietalia.

What would Rome be without its meandering gladiators (not to mention their creative centurion cousins) and thought-provoking graffiti?  In April, the Comune di Rome tried to answer at least part of the question with a city-sponsored clean up.  What followed was war.

Just like the gladiators, Pipiatio Latina wants a free-for-all dialogue on Rome’s gladiators and graffiti . . . in Latin, of course!

When: Wednesday, May 9 at 6 pm EST

Host:  American Institute for Roman Culture,  Dr. Nancy Llewellyn

Where:   Twitter – Search for hashtag #LTNL (primary) and #LatinTweetUp

How:   Check out our customized TweetGrid  to send tweets (You will need to bookmark LTNL tweet grid page and login with your twitter account when ready to tweet.) Follow the aforementioned hashtags and @AIRomanculture.  (You can also put your acount name in place of @AIRomanculture). Or load your Twitter page and search for #TweetLatin and #LatinTweetup for the 60 minutes of the event.

Participate:  Send us questions/comments in advance so we can feature them in the #LatinTweetup.  During the tweet up, get chatty and make sure to use hashtags #LatinTweetup or #tweetlatin within your Tweet so everyone can see your question, answer, contribution, etc.

Not on Twitter?: You can still use the TweetGrid  to follow the conversation.  Though you will not be able to contribute to the discussion, you can follow all commentary.

Contact:  @AIRomanculture, email:

Follow us on Twitter also at @SaveRome and join us on Facebook at and

Graffiti photo: Mr.Jennings

#DigRome Part 2: Field school tweet up


With our upcoming Summer Archaeological Field School (June 18 to July 29), we hosted an excavation/life in Rome tweet last Wednesday March 28th AIRC, so that past and present SAFS participants could talk about what goes on a dig, what to expect and what not to expect.   For those who were unable to meet up, we will be hosting a second #DigRome tweet-up on Wednesday, April 4, at 5pm EST/ 2pm PCT.   Here’s your opportunity to ask questions about our excavations and learn what’s its like to live in Rome for the summer

When:  Wednesday, April 4 at 5-6 PM EST (2-3 PM PST, 11-12 AM in Rome, 8-9 AM in Sydney)

Host:  American Institute for Roman Culture

Where:   Twitter: Search for hashtag #digrome

How:   Check out our customized TweetGrid to send tweets. (You will need to bookmark the  tweetgrid page and login with your Twitter account when ready to tweet.) Follow the #digrome hashtag,  guest host Julia Elsey on @AIRC_Guest and @AIRomanculture. Or load your Twitter page and search for #DigRome for the 60 minutes of the event.

Participate:  Send us questions/comments in advance so that we can feature them. During the tweetup, get chatty and make sure to use the hashtag #DigRome in your tweets so everyone can see your question, answer, contribution, etc.

Not on Twitter?: You can still use the TweetGrid to follow the conversation. Though you will not be able to contribute to the discussion, you can follow all commentary.

For more information, please contact:  @AIRomanculture, email:

Photo by mashable, and yes, everyone on the dig looks like that.

Life in the Trenches: Top tips when in Rome…


AIRC 2011 alum Dustin Thomas offers his tips on how to have the best time in and out of the trenches:

  1. Explore! How often is it that you get to roam (no pun intended!) outside of your home country, much less in the Eternal City of Rome itself? There was certainly a lot that I got to see, learn, taste, and smell just by walking up the street, and I can definitely say that even after six whole weeks of “exploring” I am by no means done.
  2. When you’re digging, roll up your sleeves! A farmer’s tan is no joke, and it certainly is not sexy when you might decide to spend a Saturday afternoon at the beach. That being said, use sunscreen!!! I have a dark complexion, but I got burnt at least two times because I missed a spot or two with the sunscreen.
  3. Don’t pass up the opportunity for a late night experiencing some Roman nightlife…BUT don’t complain too loudly when early the next morning you’re struggling to get to the bus heading to the dig site. Balance is key, and there is a lot to experience with your classmates, especially since you should take the opportunity to better acquaint yourselves with people you might not be trench mates with. We used the weekends or even just the afternoons after a long hot day to grab a gelato and a gin and tonic at the local bar-tabacchi or a sultry smoke at the hookah bar later in the evening.
  4. Get your fitness on! Some of you out there who will be heading to field school this summer are undoubtedly very conscientious of your fitness. Digging is a very physically demanding activity, but sometimes I felt like I wasn’t getting a balanced enough workout, and who can forget the days in finds lab? My solution, like many of my classmates, was either to go for a run or just do some daily calisthenics. They got me energized to embrace the rest of the afternoon and evening, when I would otherwise be exhausted and sleep the day away.

Photos from Big Old Goofy WorldCoach G LifeChangingFitness, EventsinRome, Erica Firpo

Pipiatio Latina: Summary #LTNL


The third international Latin tweetup sponsored by AIRC in Rome was another success! Mindful that tempus fugit (time flies), between 6 and 7 PM EST on March 21 ten tweeters from around the world traded dozens of observations and bon mots in Latin on the state of various monumenta periclitantia (endangered sites) with AIRC Executive Director Darius Arya, AIRC Associate Director of Archaeology Alberto Prieto, and the instructor of AIRC’s upcoming “Living Latin, Living History” summer course, ace pipiatrix (tweeter) Prof. Nancy Llewellyn. Thanks to everyone for making it a night to remember!
The evening’s top three tweets:

  1. On the proposed landfill near Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli: Ne in meo (principatis) horto posteriori! / Not in my (imperial villa’s) backyard! @INSCRIPTIONES
  2. On the poor condition of Pompeii: Quod non fecit Vulcanus Igneus, fecit Vulgus Italicus. / The Italians are finishing off the job that Vesuvius started. @NancyELlewellyn
  3. A useful piece of chatspeak for Latin-savvy tweeters that is bound to sweep the mainstream internet: Maxima voce cachinnans (MVC) / Laughing out loud (LOL) @NancyELlewellyn

Pipiatio Latina: Romana monumenta periclitantia #LTNL

We’re doing it again… Pipiatio Latina, Latin Tweetup, and this time we have a theme:  Romana monumenta periclitantia.  The threatened monuments in Rome (and elsewhere) have always been a favorite topic of discussion.  Earlier this week we began an agressive campaign to protect Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa) and on Friday March 23, we are hosting the 2nd Unlisted conference on archaeological cultural heritage preservation.

What better way to promote cultural heritage than talking about threatening monuments . . . in Latin!

When:  Wednesday, March 21 at 6 pm EST

Host:  American Institute for Roman CultureDr. Nancy Llewellyn

Where:   Twitter – Search for hashtag #LTNL (primary) and #LatinTweetUp

How:   Check out our customized TweetGrid  to send tweets (You will need to bookmark LTNL tweet grid page and login with your twitter account when ready to tweet.) Follow the aforementioned hashtags and @AIRomanculture.  (You can also put your acount name in place of @AIRomanculture). Or load your Twitter page and search for #TweetLatin and #LatinTweetup for the 60 minutes of the event.

Participate:  Send us questions/comments in advance so we can feature them in the #LatinTweetup.  During the tweet up, get chatty and make sure to use hashtags #LatinTweetup or #tweetlatin within your Tweet so everyone can see your question, answer, contribution, etc.

Not on Twitter?: You can still use the TweetGrid  to follow the conversation.  Though you will not be able to contribute to the discussion, you can follow all commentary.

Contact:  @AIRomanculture, email:

Follow us on Twitter also at @SaveRome and join us on Facebook at and

Archaeology, Academics and Social Media

AIRC social media shot

Last week, I woke up to find that AIRC’s twitter account @AIRomanculture has surpassed 500 followers.  In an era where celebutantes, actors, sports heroes and gun-toting-fathers rack in thousands a day, 500 followers (in a few months) is merely a blink of the eye.  It’s not really even a number.  But for us, its a big deal.  Why?  Aren’t  archaeologists, classicists, latinists and any book-toting academics stereotypically nose-deep in text all the time?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Take a glimpse at my archaeo-academic desktop on any  morning.

Facebook, twitter, wordpress blog, Dr. Arya’s instagram.  These are a few of my favorite things.

My mornings mean connecting and researching in a world that used to be a bit hard enter into, if you aren’t on campus or at a conference. Reaching 500 followers means we are doing our our job to promote cultural heritage–  in other words, getting the word out there, keeping up a continuous dialog and searching out/collaborating with/introducing new people.  My world of colleagues and better yet friends has exploded out of Rome and into your computer. I may not know what you look like, but I know what you like and I like what you’re talking about.

Social Media is an incredible and relentless asset for the AIRC.  We’ve connected with former students, professors and professionals to find out what they are doing and where they are going, we help in keeping issues current (protecting Greece’s cultural heritage) and we’ve connected with people interested in many of our interests from our academic projects in archaeology, communications and Latin (just take a look at “Latin Tweet Ups”, Pipiatio Latina: aka a lot of people “speaking” Latin on twitter)– to our personal interests such as sustainability in Rome, how Ancient Rome appears in pop culture, gastrotourism, sci-fi literature and art crimes.

So yes, we’ve jumped head first into a kind of contemporary archaeology where history is happening instantaneously.  To be honest, I can’t keep up with everything we are “supposed” to be doing or not doing.  @Airomanculture has committed the twitter faux pas of following more than our number of followers, but I am pretty sure that we are truly reading everyone we are following– and that their tweets are great.  And yes, we do enjoy retweeting information because there are a lot of great people out there on Twitter and Facebook (and I guess Pinterest now) who are sharing great information? Does that make us less personable? I don’t know and I hope not.    What I do know is that all of this is good for us, for any academic who may be shy (like me) or not have the time, money, resources, connections, patience to stumble across something new, useful and otherwise mind-blowing.   And here’s an update: thanks to Twitter, signatures to stop the proposed landfill next to Villa Adriana,aka Protect Hadrian’s Villa petition, will hopefully surpass 2000 as of March 12, 2012.  Sign if you haven’t!

What do you think?

Carpe Diem Alea Iacta Est


Q & A with Rachel Ash, co-host of our February 29 Latin Tweet Up #LTNL

1.  What made you want to learn to speak Latin?

I fell in love with Indiana Jones when I was pretty young–and I knew I wanted to grow up to be him.  I have always loved ancient cultures and the idea of unraveling a mystery about a people who lived thousands of years before now; when I was in college, I took Latin to fulfill a requirement for an ancient language in my major.  A semester later, Latin was my major.  I never looked back.

2.  Who is/was your favorite magister?

My favorite would have to be Laura Gibbs, who gave me permission to try to use Latin as a language and make mistakes as I did.  She let me explore Latin in a way that made it so much less intimidating than it could be sometimes in other classes and I learned much more quickly in that setting.  I am still in contact with her and she is as enthusiastic and inspiring as ever.

3.  What is your favorite Latin expression?

As cheesy as it is, I really value “carpe diem,” especially paired with “alea iacta est.”  I think that whatever life hands you, “the die is cast” and you have to move forward, so you might as well “seize the day” and make each day as great as you can.

4. What are the benefits to studying Latin in Rome?

Studying Latin in the birthplace of the language would be the most inspirational setting I could imagine.  How can you not want to live in Latin when you can see the touch of the Romans all around you?

5. What do you see as the future of colloquial Latin?

I think colloquial Latin is the future.  As we learn more about how the mind works, I think it can be no question that experiencing Latin as a language is the only way to truly gain any level of fluency, reading or otherwise.  I see the future opening with more avenues for speaking Latin — look at this wonderful thing we’ve found to do with Twitter.

6.  Many non-Latin scholars do not see the importance of Latin in the elementary school system. How would you respond?

Firstly, I will say that all elementary students should be given the gift of fluency in a second language, even if it is not Latin.  Latin, however, is a language that will awaken connections to all areas of a child’s life, both when he is young and when he is grown.  Literature, vocabulary, reading fluency, history, mythology, even math can become easier with a background in Latin due to its deep connection to the English language and its unique structure.  Starting your child’s life with Latin will make his educational career easier and his comprehension of his culture and others’ deeper.

Bonus Question:  If you could be any classical hero, who would you be and why?

Choosing a hero to be is tough.  I’m going to go outside the normal list of heroes and choose Antigone.  She meets a very dark end, but she is a really strong character in the Oedipus cycle–supportive of her father through his horrific fortune and a faithful sister who would not let the threat of death stop her from doing what she knew was right.  She is a great example to follow (though hopefully not into being buried alive).

~Rachel Ash has been a Latin teacher and an ardent supporter of spoken Latin for nine years.  Always looking for ways to support Latin and Latin teachers, Rachel began presenting at local and national conferences by the end of her second year of teaching and continues to do so; she also has served offices in local and national Classics organizations.  At current, Rachel is the Chair of the Excellence Through Classics Committee, a committee of the American Classical League dedicated to expanding and creating Classics programs at the elementary and middle school level.  Most recently Rachel presented at ACL‘s Annual Institute in Minnesota, where she and another teacher led a TPRS workshop; in March Rachel will be presenting at SCOLT’s regional conference over Asking a Story in Latin.  Rachel blogs at Pomegranate Beginnings, teaches North Gwinnett High School and  North Gwinnett Middle School.

Satagere Tamquam Mūs In Matellā

Nancy Llewellyn

Q & A with Nancy Llewellyn, host of our February 8 Latin Tweet Up

  1. What made you want to learn to speak Latin?

I started Latin when I was a senior in high school.  Going into my first Latin class, I had already had three years of German and two years of French with a wonderful teacher who taught by immersion.  The disjunct between the way we treated French in French class and the way we treated Latin in Latin class was really very noticeable.  I couldn’t understand why it had to be that way, since Latin and French are both, in the end, simply languages.  When I asked my Latin teacher about it, he smiled and told me “nobody speaks Latin.” (more…)

Pipiatio Latina: We’re hosting a #LatinTweetUp! #LTNL


On February 8th, we are hosting a Latin Tweet Up– i.e. a bunch of us Latin lovers getting together on Twitter to talk . . .  wait for it. . . in Latin!  The amazing Nancy Llewellyn will be our special guest tweeter.  And you can bet we are doubly excited because Nancy is also our guest professor for our Living Latin, Living History summer program

We don’t think there has ever been a Latin Tweet Up so think of this as an experiment (more…)


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