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Everything posted by sonic

  1. sonic

    Justinians Reconquest

    I agree with most of what you are saying. I don't think he relied on luck. I think the Vandal kingdom losing its way at that specific time and having Belisarius at hand was lucky.
  2. sonic

    Justinians Reconquest

    To some degree I disagree: I don't think Justinian had an overarching plan to reconquer the West. His reconquest of Africa from the Vandals was born out of chance, and it was this that was the spark for the further attempts at conquest. I do agree that luck was against him, but only after the defeat of the Vandals. That was the greatest slice of luck in his - or possibly any Roman emperor's reign.
  3. Hi all As some of you may already know, I have decided to hang up my quill after writing one more book. The main reason for this is that, for me and many like me, writing books is no longer worth the effort regarding financial rewards. On a personal level, writing is wonderful: the ability to discover new aspects of subjects during research and then share them with readers has always filled me with excitement. BUT .... I can earn more in a fortnight working two hours a day as a tutor than I receive in six months in royalties from all of my books. This is not due to my books not selling. It is due to the onset of the digital age. When amazon sells 2,000 digital copies of only one of my books and I receive 2.5 pence (for American readers, that's about 3.5c) per book, it is unsurprising that I can no longer justify sitting at home and writing. Each book take c.18 months of research and composition, and such small reward is more than slightly insulting. Of more importance, I need money to live, and it is simply no longer worthwhile. I often wonder how many other writers have entered the publishing world in hope and excitement and been discouraged and so stopped writing simply because financially it is no longer viable.
  4. sonic

    Missing posters

    I also tend to clear the cache on my PC regularly so if I'm not seen 'online' it's simply because I haven't signed in again. Doesn't mean I'm not here!
  5. sonic

    Missing posters

    I'm reading now and again. I just haven't seen anything I feel qualified to comment upon.
  6. sonic


    Over the last few months there have been a lot of new members signing in to UNRV. However few of them have posted. So a few basic questions for these individuals. What period of Roman history fascinates you the most? What aspect of that period (e.g. military, emperors, religion) are you most interested in? Are there any specific questions you have yet to find the answers to? Ian
  7. Good luck Peter! You'll need it!!!!
  8. sonic

    What was the most famous Roman legion?

    Caesar's Tenth Legion. It's found in his memoirs and is therefore far more famous than any other!
  9. It's going to feel odd without you running things! Hope the health issues improve and that when the kids are older and you get more time you'll have chance to increase your input to the site again! Good luck Peter. You've got one hell of an act to follow!
  10. sonic

    Gobble gobble

    felix Meleagris gallopavo manducans!
  11. sonic

    The sudden death of Alaric

    Agreed. It is usually impossible to even guess at the cause due to the fact that the sources rarely give enough detail, and where they do it is necessary to analyse the description, as sometimes the portrayal of the death has more to do with the writer's personal agenda rather than an attempt to give an accurate account.
  12. sonic

    Life and times of Flavius Arbogast

    Just read the Wikipedia page on Arbogastes. That is a very odd entry and I'm not convinced of its accuracy. I'm unsure as to Arbogastes being a 'native of Galatia', as apart from Socrates this is not mentioned. As to 'Resided within the Frankish domain as a native of Galatia Minor', this makes no sense at all to me. It just seems to be accepting Socrates' statement at face value and attempting to shoehorn information into a single sentence. The entry reads: [Talking about Eugenius] ‘For associating with himself Arbogastes, a native of Galatia Minor, who then had the command of a division of the army, a man harsh in manner and very bloodthirsty, he determined to usurp the sovereignty.’ (Socrates 5.25 Socrates in translation) I know of no reason for him being 'expelled' from anywhere for any misdemeanour. On the contrary, he is highly praised by Eunapius (frg. 53) and Zosimus (4.33.1-2, 53.1) for his military qualities and his contempt for money (PLRE2). In reality, Arbogast was a Frank who served under Gratian in the West, then Theodosius in the East, before being made Western magister militum by Theodosius after the defeat of Maximus in 388. He later supported Eugenius in the West against Theodosius. You might be interested to note that although a 'Frank', in Gaul he conducted expeditions against the Franks (e.g. Paulin. V Amb. 30).
  13. sonic

    The Fall of Rome - a must-listen podcast

    When I get chance (it's school holidays!) I'll give these a listen!
  14. Didn't Mussolini cause some damage?
  15. Well worth a watch - if only for the English commentator's accent! Seriously, researching what the Romans knew and used - like ball-bearings - leaves you with some idea of what was lost with the 'Dark Ages'.
  16. sonic


    I think for this thread the main sticking point would be the definition of 'evil'. Do you mean that they did things to hurt people on purpose with no 'valid' reason behind it? That they acted in a selfish way in order to get what they wanted, without taking the feelings of others into account? Or their 'atrocities'? Or are you talking about the individuals who ruled and ordered such things? Or some other reason? By defining the term 'evil' you could open the whole debate.
  17. sonic

    Who Killed Germanicus?

    I agree that his writing is easy to read. Sadly, there are mistakes. Try the following review and comments. https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R13GVHJEGTUDCI/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1849162301&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=266239&store=books#wasThisHelpful
  18. sonic

    Who Killed Germanicus?

    I have to admit that I am not the greatest fan of Dando-Collins. Many of the claims in his other books appear either far-fetched or simply wrong - especially in his 'Complete Roman Legions. I did a review of his book 'The Great Fire of Rome. http://www.unrv.com/book-review/the-great-fire-of-rome.php (the review has been transferred from the old site, hence the strange punctuation etc.) Although interesting in some ways, his main conclusions don't seem to hold water at all!
  19. sonic

    The Goths and the Huns

    I did a review of Kim's book for UNRV. http://www.unrv.com/book-review/huns.php The majority of the Greuthungi who had remained north of the Danube under Athanaric after the Hunnic war probably remained there when Athanaric sought sanctuary in Constantinople in 381. It is probably these warriors who were led by Valamer, Theodemer and Widimer as allies of the Huns at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in 451
  20. "Ferocious Atilla and his ferocious Huns are often blamed for the fall of the Roman Empire" Says it all, really. First there's the misspelling of 'Attila' plus a massive simplification. Then a more balanced article which notes that the Fall was a complex evolution of events where people interacted in an attempt to survive. A reason why I'm not a great fan of lazy journalists! Or should I say, 'Headline Writers'?
  21. sonic

    Itali - The Ancient "Italians"

    If I remember correctly, the trouble is that the period is very badly attested by conflicting reports and opinions. The ancient sources claim they came from the east, or the west, or were the first inhabitants, so the evidence is contradictory. At some point in the distant future I'm hoping to look into this on a 'professional' basis, but at the moment I'm stuck researching Attila the Hun!
  22. What adjustments are you thinking of?
  23. Did for this one, don't think I did for the last- but then, I'm getting old now ....
  24. @Viggen Nice addition. However I didn't get a notification that I was tagged .... Should that happen?
  25. sonic

    Julius Caesar: 15 Things You Didn’t Know

    So the assassins didn't realise that the people liked him? Odd that - the politicians misjudging the feelings of the people!!