I am in the process of finishing the three lectures on Roman memorials and epitaphs that I am doing for Bard College in a couple of weeks. The first one is done and dusted, and focuses on the Tomb of the Scipios, its history both ancient and modern. After a few weeks of obsessive delving, I have found some rather extraordinary and unexpected things about the modern side of this, which I shall soon reveal (Bard must have it first – but I have to confess I am feeling full of nerdish pleasure about it).
The second one I am writing now, and it is really concentrating on the way that Roman epitaphs can take us into the cultural world of the non-elite in the Roman empire. And that includes the visual puns and jokes that a striking number of these memorial lines and images traded on. The lecture’s picking up, and drawing together, some topics I’ve been interested in for a long time.