My new book is out.
I enjoyed my visit to Pompeii. I really did! But in the last twenty years I have never seen so many locked houses and inaccessible areas. However, Pompeii being such a gigantic site, I still saw some great things I’d never seen before…
What to do when mice are eating your crops? As Johannes Nollé explains in “Boars, bears, and bugs: farming in Asia Minor and the protection of men, animals, and crops” (In S. Mitchell and C. Katsari, eds. (2005) Patterns in the Economy of Roman Asia Minor: 59):
Since ancient farmers in Asia Minor did not have as effective a poison as strychnine, all they could do was seek refuge in praying to Apollo Smintheus, the tutelary god against mice. He was worshipped throughout the whole North-West of Asia Minor; and the centre of the cult was the Smintheion near the small town of Chryse in the Troad (now called Gülpinar), which later belonged to the territory of Alexandreia Troas.
The site is relatively small and is in desperate need of explanatory signs but it’s certainly worth a visit (even more so, I bet, if the museum were open but apparently that’s only the case in July & August).