Why melancholyroman.com? It’s a bit of an odd title. I’m not particularly melancholy and I’m definitely not Roman.
The name actually comes from a statue. Should you find yourself in Greece and more specifically in central Greece, you may find the small village of Delphi. It’s a minor tourist hub. It’s also the location of the famous Delphi of Ancient Greece. I went there as a tourist in August 2008.
It’s an impressive site on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. There are ancient remains, though the site of the actual Delphic Oracle seems to have been lost to time. But significantly, there is a museum there of artefacts recovered from the site.
As museums go it’s not bad, but it’s by no means the most impressive one in Greece. I never got to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens but the Heraklion Archaeological Museum in Heraklion is pretty impressive and so are two of the museums in Olympia. But I digress.
As one does, I took pictures of some of the exhibits. Some were impressive, some were not, but one statue was striking. It was a stone head called the Melancholy Roman. You can see it above.
According to Wikipedia, it is believed to be of Titus Quinctius Flamininus, a Roman politician and general who lived from 229 to 174BC. Quite why his features have been captured so brilliantly well, or whether he always looked like that, is hard to say.
Skip forward a year or two and I was persuaded to join facebook. Like many people I don’t particularly like pictures of myself and so I searched for an avatar. The picture above was taken by me and I decided to use it.
I’ve used it as my facebook profile picture ever since. And having since searched and discovered that this is the name usually given to the statue, so too is this blog named.