Saturday, March 5, 2011

Send more socks

I lost my day planner last week, and I've been lost without it.

So lost, in fact, that I completely forgot to post my blog yesterday when it was scheduled to run. For two days, I had the nagging feeling that I'd forgotten something...and this morning I remembered what it was.
Remains of a sewer drain at Vindolana

Sigh. Does anyone else do this?

I'm not feeling particularly stressed out at the moment, but my life is cluttered with a lot of little chores and menial worries that clearly affect my brain function.

All this, oddly enough, makes me think of the letters of Vindolanda. So rather than post what was going to, I'm just going to continue with the theme of menial stressors.

My area of study was 11th and 12th century English history, but you need to learn a lot about the entire era to master a handful of decades. As a result, I studied Roman Britain extensively, and a few years ago I was able to visit the ruins and museum of Vindolanda.

Vindolanda was a Roman fort and settlement near Hadrian's Wall. Excavations have turned up a treasure trove of daily life: shoes of all shapes and sizes, utensils, and most importantly, hundreds of small wooden tablets on which letters were written. The letters include everything from a birthday invitation to a child's writing lesson to a soldier's letter home asking for more socks.

The best, though, and an example of what must of been a really big headache to the fort's commander is the one that suggests he had to submit expense reports to Rome. (Imagine having to explain your coffee and chocolate budget to Caligula--now that's a stressor!)

So what about your time period? What type of small stressors ruined their memories?

Building's foundation and floor at Vindolanda


Maggi Andersen said...

Fascinating, Keena. How advanced Roman society was always amazes me. We don't know why they disappeared from Britain, do we?

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Maggie.

The Legions were withdrawn to protect other areas of the empire in the 4th and 5th centuries. After that, the Britons were left to protect themselves. They invited a group of Angle mercenaries into the country to protect them. Once the Germanic tribe saw England and liked it, more came over, eventually gained control of the country.