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About Leguleius

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    Isca Dumnoniorum (Exeter)
  1. Leguleius

    Ancient Sources

    Procopius's "Wars" = http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/16764
  2. Leguleius

    Lost Library in the Kremlin?

    Previously unknown secret passages and rooms were uncovered as recently as 2005 (http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/15934_Kremlin.html) so who can say? It's certainly a tantalising prospect!
  3. Leguleius

    What Did The Romans Ever Do For Us?

    This thread has brought out a distinction which the original question didn't specifically address: whether the Romans deserve credit for 'merely' transmitting others' ideas, or whether it necessary for them to have made an original contribution themselves in order to be historically significant. My own view is that what makes the Romans significant is precisely the fact that they did act as a conduit for the spread of common ideas over a huge new area. The fact that they borrowed most of them from their neighbours is neither here nor there IMO. A further distinction that can be made is to consider the extent to which ideas outlasted Roman rule, in contrast to those which were only transient. These are the influences which helped shape modern 'western' civilization. (E.g. hypercausts and gladiators died out, but classical concepts like the rule of law and personal freedom lived on). Finally, there is, I think, also 'the idea of Rome' itself which our civilization has been imbued with and which has inspired historical phenomena as diverse as the medieval papacy, the renaissance and the British Empire. Interesting stuff. I'll have a think about how Romanisation affected daily life in Britain and try and post some more shortly - since that was the original thrust of the question and is a subject I've been intrigued by for some time. Bed now. [Just got back from Glastonbury and sleep patterns still a bit skewed.]
  4. Interesting article on Hadrianople here by Peter Heather: http://blog.oup.com/2007/07/rome/
  5. Leguleius

    Colosseum nibbled away

    About time too. They're just taking bread from the mouths of all those real Centurians... What? How is this hurting anyone?
  6. Leguleius

    English Archaeological Techniques?

    I can assure you English archaeology is at the cutting edge (pun unintended but gleefully accepted). If spades were being used no doubt this was because top soil, or other recent material, was being removed. As we've got rather more of a past than you Yanks, we're actually quite good at excavating it.
  7. Leguleius

    Ides of March unlucky before Caesar?

    Livy (XXXI.6) also mentions that the Ides of March was the day when consuls were historically sworn in, before that was moved to January. Another indication of the day actually being auspicious. Tom
  8. Leguleius

    Romano-British Forum, Basilica & Curia.

    Thanks for the link. Very interesting for this Isca Dumnoniorumite! Tom
  9. Leguleius

    Britain After The Romans

    The conclusion that Britain was less Romanised than other provinces seems pretty convincing. Not only did coinage disappear in the C.5th, but so did pottery - a rather more basic commodity. However, even in Frankia no coinage was minted until about 530. Before then Byzantine and Western Roman coins were possibly in circulation and there's a parallel for that in England: In 1997, a hoard of 22 gold solidi, 25 silver coins or fragments of silver coins, 2 heavy gold rings and 50 small pieces of silver bullion dating to AD 333- c.461-70 was found at Patching, near Worthing, Sussex. The coins included two imperial coins from Ravenna (reign of Valentinian III) dated c. AD440+ and Visigothic coins from the reigns of Majorian (c. 460-1) and Libius Severus (c. 461+). The hoard was buried, possibly in advance of Saxon incursions, around AD475. This is evidence to show that earlier views were not correct and that Roman coins were still reaching Britain well into the 5th century. (Also from www.postroman.info) So it is perhaps possible to overstate the 'differentness' of sub-Roman Britain. As for the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the east, these guys really were 'proper' barbarians, not like the Christianised, semi-Romanised Franks and Goths. They had had no direct contact with the Empire and so presumably had no conception of coinage. Therefore it's not surprising that they only start to produce coins from about 600, the date St Augustine arrived in Kent from Rome with the unenviable task of teaching the English how to behave like civilised chaps. Well that's my two sceata's worth, Tom
  10. Leguleius

    What Profession?

    To be a scribe or bureaucrat with enough importance to be in the Imperial presence, but not enough ever to be noticed would be my ideal. Think of the conversations you would hear and the insight you would have into the workings of the state! Of course, I'd be making notes and writing my History (for posthumous publication) in the evenings... Where abouts in Isca are you, Aurelianus? Send me a PM.
  11. Leguleius

    Our Lord

    Towards the end of the Western Empire slavery seems to have given way to a semi-feudal type of land service. From being the personal property of one man, rural slaves became tied to the land which was then apportioned by a great lord to his followers. Did the Christian Church have an official position on slavery which might have encouraged this shift? Was personal slavery seen as a 'pagan' institution? Or was feudalism more a concept imported by the Germanic newcomers? Thanks
  12. Leguleius

    Julian & Oribasius

    "Having spared no pains in relating the course of events up to the beginning of the present epoch I had thought it best to steer clear of more familiar matters, partly to escape the dangers which often attend on truth, and partly to avoid carping criticism of any work by those who feel injured by the omission of insignificant detail, such things, for example, as the emperor's table-talk or the reason for the public punishment of soldiers. Such folk also complain if in a wide-ranging geographical description some small strongholds are not mentioned, or if one does not give the names of all who attended the inauguration of the urban prefect, or passes over a number of similar details which are beneath the dignity of history. The task of history is to deal with prominent events, not to deal with trivial minutiae, which it is as hopeless to investigate as to count the small indivisible bodies we Greeks call atoms which fly through empty space."! Ammianus Marcellinus - Res Gestae, Book 26, 1
  13. Leguleius

    Julian & Oribasius

    OK - my review can be found here: Review of 'Julian: A Historical Novel'
  14. Leguleius

    Roman Greatness

    I'm not sure whoever set the question was being very kind! Not only is 'greatness' a very open-ended concept, but, as you have identified, to do the question justice some sort of comparative approach is needed. Have you got a word limit?! My personal inclination would be to concentrate on the salient features of the Roman Empire and it's lasting significance and only refer in passing to other empires. That's assuming it's a Roman History course you're taking rather than an Ancient Civilisation course
  15. Leguleius

    The End Of Roman Britain.

    Gildas was also of the 'they went earlier' persuasion: "13. At length also, new races of tyrants sprang up, in terrific numbers, and the island, still bearing its Roman name, but casting off her institutes and laws, sent forth among the Gauls that bitter scion of her own planting Maximus, with a great number of followers, and the ensigns of royalty, which he bore without decency and without lawful right, but in a tyrannical manner, and amid the disturbances of the seditious soldiery. ... "14. After this, Britain is left deprived of all her soldiery and armed bands, of her cruel governors, and of the flower of her youth, who went with Maximus, but never again returned; and utterly ignorant as she was of the art of war, groaned in amazement for many years under the cruelty of two foreign nations-the Scots from the north-west, and the Picts from the north." And with me too. But on the same basis, for Constantine III's rebellion to be successful, he must have had enough troops under his command in Britain in 407 to secure his position. Otherwise what could he offer Gaul? If he'd simply been in charge of the IX Mobile Bath Cohort, or similar, it would have been a hopeless springboard for a pretender. As for the survival of Roman life, the limited sources are, well, very limited. Archaeology tells us that coinage and mass-produced pottery ceased in the 430s and good old Gildas provides another book end in the 540s, when, he tells us: "26. ... And yet neither to this day are the cities of our country inhabited as before, but being forsaken and overthrown, still lie desolate; our foreign wars having ceased, but our civil troubles still remaining." But as for how long city life or a villa economy endured between these points, I must confess the more I read the less certain I get! And measuring intangible signs of 'Romaness' such as language, dress and thought seems almost completely impossible to me - it's like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle without the picture and with only 2 of the pieces! But I'm happy to be contradicted.