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Bryaxis Hecatee

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Everything posted by Bryaxis Hecatee

  1. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Analysis of Primary documents/sources.

    so here the exercise is about trying to understand what a text from the studied civilisation (or from a contemporaneous civilisation) says on said civilisation. So you first have to ask yourself questions like "is it truly something from the civilisation from which it is said it is" (for exemple the fake Constantine Donation which the papacy allege gave them Vatican and Rome, which is a proven fake from around 400 years later), then "how far in time is it from the described events" (for exemple using Livy for the roman royal period), and so determine if it's legit to use it for your study. Then you may go further and ask yourself "ok, this text is from 200 years later than the event, but could he be in fact using some more ancient source, and thus preserve a lost thruth" (think Livy writing on the punic war). Then ask yourself : "does the author, from what we know, try to manipulate the events in order to make himself or his opinion look better" (think Xenophon in the Anabasis"). When you've done all that (and, in fact, much more internal and external checking I won't go into detail here) you can begin to do the same kind of questioning for the content of the text itself. Ok, say that an author speak of Caesar landing in Britain with an elephant, is that right or is it, in fact, a mistake due to a confusion with Claudius bringing one when he came in the area ? So start her along this course, and indeed she can use encyclopedias and secondary/tertiary sources to check the answers to those basic questions.
  2. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Dalmatian cavalry

    I have not come across any, but also I have never come on a mention of such cavalry. Dalmatia was more a land of light infantery and, before becoming part of the Republic, a land of pirates going on the sea, something quite logical seeing the nature of the land. It was not really a good place to raise horses since it was both rather poor, undevelopped (or at least under developped), with mainly small coastal villages living from fishing.
  3. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Names of legionaries

    Italians forming the core of the units I would say about the time of Vespasian, but roman citizenship was enlarged during the period to cover more and more : think about Claudius edict on the Gauls... So one must not be surprised to see non italians come in ever greater numbers in the legions. Had it not been the case you could not have had the spanish emperors in the early second or the illyrian ones later, not even speaking of the syrian ones... as romanity progressed in the roman world, so did the ethnic makeup of the legions change. As for your second question, I have'nt see non-empire non-citizens taken in the legions proper, they were most often recruited to reinforce the auxiliaries units. What we could see, for exemple, was a true barbarian (say, what would now be a dutch from beyond the border of the empire) get roman citizenship and officer rank in a locally recruited unit, but this phenomenon tends to diminish after the rebellion of the Batavi at the end of the reign of Nero. Please do note that what I say is mostly based upon the situation in the western empire, I have never dug on the topic for the oriental forces... So for exemple I don't know much about the makeup of the syrian archers units or the egyptian camel born forces... but from what I remember they were auxiliaries. For the egyptian legions we must have quite a few informations availlable but I did never read a monography on the theme. Maybe Goldworthy's "complete roman history" or Dando-Collins "Legions of Rome" could give you info, as should probably Kepies's book, but I don't have the time to check them today.
  4. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Names of legionaries

    Well in the early imperial period the legionaries would have tria nomina as a proper roman should, and would be part of one of the tribe. It is auxiliaries that would have "local" names until they reached the time when they got a diploma (if at least they could grow old enough in the service...) and were thus formaly made citizens, and received thus the tria nomina based upon their original name. Of course all this changes with the 212 edict on citizenship, but that's another story...
  5. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Battlefield at Harzhorn Hill - interpretations

    This battlefield keeps getting more interessant by the day ! A german article (http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/roemer-schlacht-in-niedersachsen-angriff-von-mehreren-seiten-1.1461586) mentions that the roman force could have been of a size to compare with Teuteburg Vald (Varus' defeat) with up to 20 000 roman soldiers engaged in the fight... I have'nt found a translation yet, but I'm sure Viggen can provide us with one
  6. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

    A pleasure to have made this book sound interesting, because it truly was Just beware, as I said, for opinions on or against Philip are usually left outside of the scope of this book so that the author may focus more on hard facts, despite the fact that those opinions, by Demosthenes and others, are of importance because they also tell us things about the man and the way he thought.
  7. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Livia Augusta

    Adoption of adults is also well known, although the best exemples are from the imperial period and imperial family itself (early second century emperors are one of the best exemple). But the exemple of Claudius/Clodius is another exemple of this practice in the republican period (although made for other reasons). For going from patrician to plebeian a specific grant by the Pontifex Maximus could have been necessary, as shown once more by the Clodius exemple, but I don't remember if it was always necessary.
  8. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Livia Augusta

    Adoption was very, very common, in the nobles family in order to allow heirless families to keep going on, the name being more important than the rest (amongst other so that the cult of the ancestor could be kept going). It was also a kind of favor one could do to a political allie, thus strenghtening the links between two families. As for the specific origin of this Drusus, you'd have to look in TRS Broughton's magistrates of the roman republic or hope our member Nephele finds this thread for I don't have the relevant information here
  9. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Sicily and Italy south of Naples : 2 weeks for a discovery

    Thanks Maladict for those tips. I think that the part of the trip on the mainland may well be cut to minimum if public transports do not allow me to go fast enough in Sicily, and I could take the plane back home from one of the Sicilian airport despite the higher cost... I'll look for a driver like I had in Bulgaria, could be worth it too.
  10. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Sicily and Italy south of Naples : 2 weeks for a discovery

    Yes, that's the main reason for going there but they were in restauration and I hope they'll be back by the time I get there.
  11. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Sicily and Italy south of Naples : 2 weeks for a discovery

    Of course you will have many new pictures albums by the end of the trip ! (did you enjoy the Bulgarian ones ?). Paestum and Velia I did already visit during my 2009 Napoli tour, as I did for the Baia area (which offered me very nice memories). I take note of the other references, especially Tarento and Metaponto. I've been told Bari's airport could be a good point to fly back to Brussels, it would be perfect indeed if I go toward Tarento. As I begin to see things, I'd land at Trapani, go to Palermo, monreale, segesta, selinunte, agrigento, maybe piazza armerina, gela, siracusa, catania, taormina, messina, reggio di calabria. From then, either go to Crotone, metaponto, tarento, bari or go toward the Napoli area with one or two steps in the middle. I'll check what my guide books say about those cities and then, refine the list, and check public transportations in the area (since I still don't have any driving licence. Unless someone wants to come with me and drive ? )
  12. Bryaxis Hecatee

    The Field Campaigns of Alexander the Great

    I would not be so categorical, for it all depends on the outlook of the book. By the way a book on the city's foundation, the choices made, the strategy behind the foundations, could be a great source for understanding Alexander's strategies.
  13. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Info on Minerva/Athena

  14. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Info on Minerva/Athena

    It would take a comitee Maty, and seeing the review of the OCD4 just published on BMCR I'm not sure I'd like to see such an attempt for fear of the content being damaged...
  15. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Great Battles of the Hellenistic World

    UNRV review came long before the BMCR's review of this book, but we are in agreement as is shown in their recent article.
  16. Bryaxis Hecatee

    National Geographic article on Roman Walls

    Very nice documentary indeed, with nices pictures ! And it was refreshing to see something new with the sites in Kosovo. German research on the Limes has really done some great discoveries, now we just need good publication of larger scale studies instead of mainly publications of single sites.
  17. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Oh, what to do now, what to do?!

    Of course someone does remember quality advices !
  18. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Oh, what to do now, what to do?!

    Well, first you have of course what was said in the thread http://www.unrv.com/forum/topic/15844-guide-to-ancient-rome/ or in the thread http://www.unrv.com/forum/topic/7147-what-new-museumsexhibits-have-opened-in-rome/ As you stay 8 weeks, you could probably go for one or two week-ends in the Naples area (Pompei, Herculanum, evenutally also go to Paestum and Velia, very nice places both). Then you shall also have to get to the big places around Rome : Ostia Antica, of course, but also Tivoli, Hadrian's villa, and eventually Praeneste if you have the time. Other than that, try during one week-end to visit one of the etruscan necropolis, I think there is one or two to be visited in a 50km radius around Rome. Others idea you may find in our member Klingan's blog, especially from march 2009 until the end of his stay in Rome (http://ancientandold.blogspot.be/2009/03/day-one_4668.html ) Finally, the tips given in this thread : http://www.unrv.com/forum/topic/12117-web-resources-for-roman-site-travel/ can give you places where to find other places to visit.
  19. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Caligula Statue : How Accurate?

    The team in Munich has done a lot of research on the theme and, although I've never been to the Glyptothek yet, I think we can say it's about as close to the real thing as the current science allows us to go. It does match in style with other julio-claudian statues' reconstruction (think of the Augustus Prima Porta shown in, amongst other, the Vatican Museum and the Ashmolean of Oxford).
  20. Bryaxis Hecatee

    The new ORBIS roman travel "google maps like"

    I've just seen information on a new project which provides the same functionnalities as google map for planning travels, but for the roman period ! Article is availlable at this site and the site itself is already accessible. I've done some tests, it's quite impressive although they mainly go through the main cities, it would have been nice if they had been able to use more detailled maps (with more daily halts, etc.)
  21. Bryaxis Hecatee


    I would say that no such learning exist anymore, in the sense that you don't have one elite anymore. Sure, things like Opera still ring as cultivated and places to be seen enjoying a certain type of music, but that would be it. In all other things there are so many possibilities (contemporary art or old masters ? what kind of litterature, ancient or one of the modern genre ?, ...) that no single element seems to be able to encompass what being part of the establishment means.
  22. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Essay Questions

    Nope, but his younger brother
  23. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Essay Questions

    Well you could write a small biography of a less well known ancient roman, for example one of the not so famous consuls from the 1st century, for example : Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus You will have some research (there are at least two inscriptions, one in greek and one in latin, and also at least 10 citations in ancient greek litterature). Your essay would be between 5 and 10 pages long, give a short (1 page max) presentation of the time in which he lived, then you'd go through each known step of his carreer (a bit like Broughton's Magistrates, but more developped if you can) and provide more informations on events in which he is known to have participated. Of course you won't forget to give some details on his family, both parents, wife and children. Give yourself about three weeks to wrap this around, so that it stays limited. (this was the kind of exercice I got in my 1st year at the University, I just had a different senator who was from the second punic war)
  24. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Gallo Roman Museum wins European Museum of the Year Award

    I've been to Tongeren earlier this month, here are some pictures to give you some idea of how this very nice museum got it's award, and also pictures of the exhibition of the turkish city of Sagalassos
  25. Bryaxis Hecatee

    Bulgaria in two weeks : the pictures

    Hi everyone, As I mentionned as early as last february, I had planned a two week long trip to Bulgaria, the ancient land of the Thracians. I'm now just back from there, with a lot of pictures (and waiting for even more, taken by my guide and driver Alex, a professional photographer). The trip's blog is availlable online (but I still have two days to upload) The pictures are availlable on Picasa. The roman lovers amongst you will especially like the Sophia museums, the cities of Ulpia Oescus, Nicopolis ad Istrum, Abritus, Augusta/Diocletianopolis, Philipopolis, also here, ... But don't miss out the rest for there are wonderful places and museums, even if my pictures don't always make justice to them !