Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Through green forests and golden wheat fields we cycled, through the bright morning chill, hedgehog and deer scuttling out of our way as though on cue, while our path remained fringed by what must surely be the last of this year's poppies. It was a truly glorious morning, the sort that always makes us wonder why we don't do this more often.

It was Julian's fault we think. It was he after all who led us on a wild goose chase across thousands of kilometres of English countryside looking for what the map said was a Roman wall. When we got there it turned out to be a bunch of fair-sized stones piled on top of one another in a line. Just like all the other lines of stones separating one sheep from another across the country.

Then there was the Roman road we saw in Carcasson a few years ago, which could have been mistaken by a layman for a Roman wall which had fallen over.

Undeterred, or simply forgetful, we struck out this morning at a time when sensible people were still lying in bed, staring at the ceiling contemplating what they were going to have on their breakfast croissant, to find an entire town.

Nasium it was called, home to 15,000 people just a few thousand years ago, and the place where to this day Roman Legions march through the fields on the third Sunday of each month, apparently.

"The fields"; a penny dropped.

No one had actually said anything about "the streets", and while it had occurred that the entire town may not have made it through two millennia in one piece, perhaps deep down we were hoping to see more than the brand new roadside obelisk guarded by an aged and somewhat obese golden retriever.

Just how much more, we still don't know, but we took a photo of the word "NASIVM" engraved in the stone, and cycled off.   Another Roman site explored.


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