It's a grisly find, but an unprecedented one, as well. Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed 16 severed hands, buried in four pits throughout the ancient city of Avaris. Interestingly, if you're looking for left hands, you're out of luck; every one of the newly discovered meathooks is a righty.
This year is a big Augustus anniversary; 2000 years since the death of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. Born Gaius Octavius, he was the great-nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar. After Caesar’s death in 44BC, when Octavian was nineteen, his rise to power saw him eventually acclaimed Emperor by the Senate with the title “Augustus” in 27BC. Behind the creation of the first Emperor was a manipulation of legend, religion, and geography to put any spin doctor to shame.
For example, Virgil’s “Aeneid”, an epic poem describing the tribulations of Aeneas, son of the goddess Venus and claimed by Octavian as his ancestor, was written for Augustus; it was for him that Titus Livy wrote his “History of Rome”, providing the back-story to the “Golden Age” of Augustus.
Which brings us to geography. Throughout the Roman Republic, the Palatine had been Rome’s Upper East Side, and aristocratic Octavian had been born on its slopes. As Republic became Empire, the hill ceased to be a reside