I came down this morning at 7:15 am. The outside temperature on my wireless thermometer told me that it was -10.8°C outside. The max/min display told me that it had reached -12.5°C during the night.
Driving into work, rather gingerly, the thermometer on the car, while I was on the Ipswich bypass, read -10.5°C.
I’ve lived in this house for 13 years, and I have never seen readings lower than -5 or -6 until these last few days.
When I think of the ancient world, I find myself thinking of a world which bright and sunny. It never rains, or not much, in my imagination. All those Athenians and Spartans at Marathon, and all those Romans teaching the world the arts of peace, they all lived in near continuous sunshine, at least in my mind.
My imagination tells me that once the Romans invaded Britain, that they had to march in the rain. But I know why I think this — because in Carry on Cleo Sid James, playing Mark Anthony, does just that, and has to pour the rain out of his helmet. “What a country!” he exclaims. But even in that movie, the rest of the events take place in sunshine.
I’m not a great movie-viewer, yet my imagination has been influenced in these respects by Hollywood. In reality it got cold in the Roman world, just as it does today. Those legionaries at Hadrian’s wall cannot have enjoyed the climate. Even in Rome itself it snowed in the winter. In Palestine, a country we think of as endlessly warm, it can get very cold indeed at night, and probably always did.
Still, it’s pleasant on days like today to imagine an ancient world where the sun always shone!
UPDATE: I just went into the dashboard on this blog, and saw the following message:
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