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Marcus Caelius

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Everything posted by Marcus Caelius

  1. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    I like it.
  2. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    There's really not a word for it, except may "infidel." I'm trying to school myself to reply "Unbeliever," when asked, since it's probably closer to the truth than either "Atheist" or "Agnostic." I don't insist that there is no God, but neither have I seen any evidence, actual or intellectual, that one exist. I think the main problem is that we are being asked to define ourselves by what we are not, while all the Believers are describing what they are.
  3. Marcus Caelius

    Roman paintings found in London

    Would it be impertinent to ask how long that Italian restaurant has been in operation?
  4. Marcus Caelius

    "I, Claudius"

    Nevertheless, I'd be interested in your comments on the full article I linked to (or should that be "to which I linked"?). My tastes seem to be getting more "vanilla," the older I get. I've developed a certain fondness for Jane Austen, and won't go near Quentin Tarentino. And I'm a rather macho kind of guy.
  5. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

  6. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    Us, apparently. The only sense I can make of it is that he's storing Glory Points for after the Apocalypse, when all his syncophants are gathered at his feet. While I'm not hostile to religion (as opposed to The Church), a lot of the various doctrines and teachings do nothing to dispel the interpretation of God as a supernatural psychopath.
  7. Marcus Caelius

    "I, Claudius"

    I dunno. For an alternative estimation of all the stories about Caligula, take a look at this. It seems that at least some of the Caligula stories as we know them are drawn from stories about other emperors. Here's a quote: All six writers were hostile to Caligula for one reason or another, and they agree that he was not a very nice guy, to say the least. But there is a strong tendency for the stories to get progressively wilder the further removed the writer is from the emperor's times. The trend continues apace, with some of the wildest stories of all being invented for twentieth-century fictional works: the 1934 novel I, Claudius by Robert Graves or the 1976 miniseries based on it and on its sequel Claudius the God... As for the miniseries, I had seen bits and pieces of it years ago, then read the books, and finally bought the DVD set so I could watch it all, and in order. Quite frankly, it made me sick to my stomach, and we got rid of it. Sort of spoiled any urge I might have had to reread the books, too.
  8. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    Until you get it right.
  9. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    Heh heh. Boy, have I got the forum for you.
  10. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    That was, more or less, Einstein's version.
  11. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    I guess I'm a Sagan Atheist, as opposed to a Dawkins Atheist. I'm not antagonistic to religion or to believers, per se, and I'm willing to listen but, if you hope to convince me to commit the fate of my purported immortal soul to your way of thinking, you're going to have to offer me something more solid than circular appeals to authority ("We know it's so because the Bible says so, and we know the Bible is the Word of God because it says so, right here.")
  12. I wasn't aware of any problems; and, since no one has pulled me aside or kicked my backside, I'm relieved that I apparently wasn't the cause of the OP. However, from what I've seen here so far, this is inherently a civil place. My main hang-out is on a Skeptic's forum where it can be pretty wild and wooly, despite some comparatively heavy moderation. Most people there could eat the posts made here for breakfast, so I have to actively hold myself back, at times. That being the case, I apologise in advanceto anyone in the area if I should happen to forget where I am.
  13. Marcus Caelius

    Am I just slow?

    Quoting Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." His own explanation of this mantra, and I'm paraphrasing, here, is that the more important a question is, or the more emotionally involved we are with it, then we must be correspondingly more strict with our demands on the evidence. And, in keeping with my sig line, what is the least dramatic of all the possible explanations?
  14. Marcus Caelius

    Am I just slow?

    Don't worry about it. The only real concern I have is that, for someone with only a mild interest in the subject, you appear awfully attached to the idea of the map's accuracy.
  15. Marcus Caelius

    Am I just slow?

    You missed the answer, in my Point 1: Pereidolia, the human tendency to recognise familiar objects in random shapes. IE clouds shaped like bunny rabbits, the Man in the Moon, Satan's visage in a column of smoke pouring from the North Tower.
  16. Marcus Caelius

    The Twelve Caesars

    Context: Wasn't 69 AD the year Vespasian took the throne?
  17. Marcus Caelius

    Am I just slow?

    1st, this is not a fact, nor even a theory; this is a hypothesis based upon speculation which, in turn, is inspired by pereidolia (your word for the day). 2nd, if that really is Antarctica then, given nautical architecture and construction before Columbus, the original navigators will have had to have made several landfalls during the round trip to reprovision, repair and, possibly, to "recruit." They could not have done so without leaving artifacts (including tales told by the natives). Direct question: Are any out-of-context artifacts known to have been discovered between "here" and there? Is there any independent evidence whatsoever that would place this map in any context other than that assigned by conventional scholarship. And remember, you can't quote the map as evidence of its own authenticity. In legal terms, to do so would make it a self-serving document. In everyday terms, it would be the same thing as saying the Bible is the word of god because it says so.
  18. Marcus Caelius

    Am I just slow?

    A little context: Panama City was founded in 1519; Havana in 1510; Cortez conquered the Aztecs in 1518. Point being, the conquest of the New World was well underway in 1513, and even illiterate peasants throughout Europe could be expected to have heard something of it.
  19. Marcus Caelius

    Am I just slow?

    That's what I like to see, solid physical evidence! Well, I'm convinced.
  20. Marcus Caelius

    Pseudohistory

    Just how firmly has this been established? True, but there are many more motives possible than just relating a history, profit and entertainment spring to mind: the bard who told the best story, usually with the most colorful embellishments, made the best living. As for there being a kernel of truth at the bottom, why do you believe this is necessary? Isn't it at least equally possible that Arthur was merely the protagonist in a really good story? Maybe the times called for a folk hero; Superman first saw "life" while fighting the Nazis. So? The earliest Paul Bunyon and Pecos Bill stories are contemporary with their "lives." I agree, it was and is a really good story. If, however, you want to persuade me that there's more to it than that, I really must insist on more than speculation founded on legend. Speculation is fun, of course, but it's not scholarship.
  21. Marcus Caelius

    Pseudohistory

    I can buy that Geoffrey made a lot up. I can also buy that so did the others you mention. In fact, I've been told that Taliesin is about as historical as Arthur is. The question appears to be whether Aurthur was as real as Davy Crockett, or as Old Stormalong.
  22. Marcus Caelius

    Latitude Search of the Ancient World

    I dunno. Seems like it would have fairly limited utility. Wouldn't it be more practical to just get a map of the area of interest from National Geographic and trace the latitude you're interested in? Come to think of it, why would you want to look up ancient towns and cities by latitude? I mean, other than curiosity.
  23. Marcus Caelius

    Pseudohistory

    I'm not saying you're wrong (lord knows, I have no credentials in the area), but I have a habitual skepticism whenever someone sounds as definite as you do (as do you?), despite doubts and contrary opinions by established authorities. Last I knew, the "official" position refused to go further back than Geoffrey.
  24. Marcus Caelius

    Pseudohistory

    Er, what "chroniclers of the time"? Is there a source older than Geoffrey? ETA: OK, just read your OP in that thread. I admit I'm in over my head, but in moving so "confidently" beyond Geoffrey, you seem to be making some rather shakey leaps of faith. Just my impression.
  25. Marcus Caelius

    Pseudohistory

    Not inconceivable as a recreational hypothesis, but it bears no relation to a well-founded theory. The simple fact is, if you live near water you are occasionaly going to have a major flood; pretty much all cultures live near water, and most have flooded out and have flood survival stories of some sort. As I say, it's not so much a theory as a recreational hypothesis. If you are truly looking for the reason for widespread Flood legends, I believe my own version, above, is far closer to the truth than any Atlantis legend. Thing is, any disaster of the Atlantis sort is going to leave some sort of physical evidence. Not just man-made, as in the Thera explosion, and not just landforms, but in twisted and broken strata. A distaster of that magnitude is going to leave a footprint and, if humans witness it, it's going to leave a lot of stories. To date, there is no discernable geological evidence, and we have precisely one story of questionable authenticity. More to the point, I've often wondered if Plato wasn't making up the entire affair; not just Atlantis, but Solon's conversation with the priests. That was his style, wasn't it, to phrase everything in the form of a dialogue? I, personally, am neither compelled nor impelled. Yes, we must keep an open mind, but not so open our brains fall out. "Science" is not based upon speculation, but upon observation and interpretation of phenomena. As far as Atlantis goes, the phenomena include a single dubious story (perhaps a single dubious story within a single dubious story), the mythology that has grown around it, and nothing else. I suggest that any scientific theory based upon this should have more to do with sociology than history.
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