Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


guy last won the day on November 12

guy had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

81 Excellent

1 Follower

About guy

  • Rank

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    SouthWest USA (345 miles from Las Vegas)
  • Interests
    Ancient Roman history, The Dutch Golden Age of Art (16th-17th century), Poker, blues guitar, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (My birthplace), Reggio Emilia, Italy (My ancestral home), Las Vegas, Nevada (My Mecca), One wife, two kids, one dog, two cats

Recent Profile Visitors

36,121 profile views
  1. I enjoyed reading this post from more than a decade ago. Sulla's skin disease has been discussed frequently in past. From Plutarch's "Parallel Lives, Sulla:" http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Sulla*.html Although suggested by many (and certainly consistent with some features of Sulla's presentation), secondary and tertiary syphilis are unlikely since the virulent form of syphilis causing this eruption was unknown in Europe at the time. http://www.casa-kvsa.org.za/1961/AC04-06-Carney.pdf Perhaps Sulla suffered from a not-too-rare condition in the elderly known as bullous pemphigoid. Without treatment, patients with bullous pemphigoid suffer from intact blisters and erosions that frequently become secondarily infected with bacteria. Whatever the primary cause of the skin eruption, maggots can lay eggs on these or any other open wounds (myiasis). (Image of dog suffering from myiasis.) guy also known as gaius
  2. guy

    Book: Long Live Latin

    Here is an interesting review of a new book: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/11/book-review-long-live-latin-pleasures-of-a-dead-language/ guy also known as gaius
  3. Once again, numismatic evidence has been used for understanding ancient history. In this case, the evidence has been used for attributing a road to Pontius Pilate: To uncover an ancient stepped street in Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists and engineers are building what resembles a subway tunnel under a Palestinian neighborhood. https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/10178842/lost-road-pontius-pilate-jerusalem-rome-jesus/ https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-monumental-street-in-jerusalem-was-built-by-pontius-pilate-archaeologists-say-1.8004004 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2019/10/road-built-biblical-villain-uncovered-jerusalem/ guy also known as gaius
  4. Thanks to the folks over at cointalk.com, I was introduced to this video. (Thank you Ancient Coin Hunter.) This is very helpful to us non-coin collectors to gain insight on how Roman coins were actually made. Interesting, I thought.
  5. Well written post. Without military strength, a frequently vulnerable and weak empire would have been quickly and thoroughly snuffed out of existence by its many enemies and regional rivals. Without a firm and formalized legal system, a developed ancient society would quickly collapse into anarchy. Without a tolerance for diverse cultures and a willingness to incorporate foreign ideas into mainstream Roman military and social culture (under the framework of Roman law and custom, of course), Rome would have neither expanded beyond its earliest borders nor have developed its cultural richness and influence. Rome's nearly unique success in the ancient world was a confluence of these and other factors. Brutality was just one of the many important reasons for Rome's unparalleled success and influence in the ancient world Interesting quote by Seneca. Being on team Petronius, I had to research the context of this quote by the rather unpleasant Seneca: https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/seneca-to-lucilius-on-avoiding-crowds/ I greatly enjoyed this very thought-provoking post. Thank you. guy also known as gaius
  6. Why knowing Roman history is key to preserving America’s future We should take a lesson from the Founders Interesting article: https://beta.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/09/17/why-knowing-roman-history-is-key-preserving-americas-future/ guy also known as gaius
  7. Here is an excellent article about ancient Palmyra by Paul Veyne. This article first came to my attention in Lapham's Quarterly (Winter 2017: Home). This is an outstanding publication that each quarter collects works by mostly famous articles on a single theme. https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/home/oasis-palmyra One can only grieve the destruction of the ancient Palmyrene antiquities and other historic treasures. guy also known as gaius
  8. My inner Scotsman and Italian approve of this message (Scottish group Simple Minds filmed in Verona, Italy):
  9. Reviewing my post from last year, I have now become increasingly convinced that Galen's plague was NOT smallpox as currently believed. There are two features from Galen's clinical description of the plague that still need to be explained: -Lack of blisters typical of smallpox with its near universal scarring and frequent blindness as sequelae. -The typical appearance of "black pustules" consistent with a hemorrhagic fever and not from smallpox. Picture of Ebola: I feel that Galen's plague was almost certainly a form of hemorrhagic fever (such as Ebola). It has been suggested that the hemorrhagic form of the bubonic plague could have also have been a culprit. The bubonic plague, referred to as the "Black death" in Europe (1347-1670), was either a more virulent form of bubonic plague (caused by Yersinia pestis) or actually a rarer, now extinct form of hemorrhagic fever: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15879045 It must be emphasized the reason for the various clinical manifestations of the bubonic plague has also been recently debated: https://www.livescience.com/15937-black-death-plague-debate.html guy also known as gaius
  10. There is a great article in July's BBC History Revealed by Philip Matyszak: "Happy Plants and Laughing Weeds: The hidden history of drug use in antiquity." As usual, Maty has written a well researched and entertaining article on the use and abuse of drugs in the ancient world. The article is chock-full of insights and captivating anecdotes about this little-discussed aspect of the ancient world. "Opium could be purchased as small tablets in specialized stalls in most Roman marketplaces. In the city of Rome itself, Galen recommends a retailer just off the Via Sacra near the Forum." "Galen describes how hemp was used in social gatherings as an aid to 'joy and laughter.'" "There were no traces of food remnants, as is usually the case in ancient kitchens; analysis of the containers found there leaves little doubt that this room was used solely for the preparation of psychotropic pharmaceuticals. In other words, the ancient world had large-scale drug factories 3,000 years ago." This was a great article that I enjoyed thoroughly. I do have two regrets, however. First, I wish I had access to this insightful article a few years back. I had given a lecture on the practice of medicine in the ancient world and this informative article would have been a great resource. Second, delightful articles like this force me to continue my subscription to BBC History Revealed magazine. (I have come to loathe the BBC.) Recommend highly! guy also known as gaius
  11. guy

    Friendly physical contact among Romans

    Yours is a very subtle cultural question that includes the proper way in Ancient Rome to greet strangers or friends, shake hands, make eye contact, etc. I don't have an answer to your question, but I have frequently thought about these often-ignored and subtle cultural aspects. Consider, for example, the difference between North American and Asian (or other cultures): http://www.martrain.org/the-handshake-and-eye-contact-cultural-conundrums/ Numismatist Doug Smith has noted that Ancient Roman coins typically show a light touch of of palms and hands with straight fingers for the possible hand greeting (as opposed to the usual tight hand clasp found in modern Western cultures). This lighter handshake might have been seen as a less aggressive and less confrontational gesture than the "hand crush." https://www.cointalk.com/threads/finally-clasped-hands.321379/ Even today, the handshake is not universal: http://mentalfloss.com/article/54063/what-proper-handshake-etiquette-around-world Of course, there is the frequent movie depiction of the ancient Roman greeting using the forearm grasp, supposedly to reassure that no one has a hidden weapon. I have not found an ancient Roman source for this type of greeting, so it might possibly be a Hollywood creation. https://alison-morton.com/2015/04/22/roman-forearm-handshake-true-gesture-or-hollywood-codswallop/ guy also known as gaius
  12. guy

    What Made Caligula Crazy?

    I guess the definition of "insane" is both imprecise and unspecific. Caligula certainly showed signs of psychopathology, however. Quick review of traits of psychopaths: https://www.learning-mind.com/hare-psychopathy-checklist/ Sure, we will never know exactly why Caligula acted the way he did. Childhood psychological trauma? Childhood disease? Traumatic brain injury? An unknown hereditary organic brain disease? A hereditary propensity for a personality disorder? Too much TV and social media? My guess is that his aberrant behavior was probably a result of many of these different factors. That said, as I get older, I've come to appreciate the delicate health of our brains. I have long suspected that the behavior of England's Henry VIII was more than the result of cold calculations. I accept the notion that Henry probably suffered an early brain trauma from jousting that changed the course of history. https://www.historyextra.com/period/tudor/henry-viii-brain-injury-caused-by-jousting-to-blame-for-erratic-behaviour-and-possible-impotence/ guy also known as gaius
  13. guy

    Daily life

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Inscriptionum_Latinarum Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum
  14. Interesting article and video: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/06/oldest-evidence-marijuana-use-discovered-2500-year-old-cemetery-peaks-western-china guy also known as gaius
  15. guy

    Gift for student

    I agree with the idea of giving a book that deals with science in Ancient Rome The problem with that idea, however, is the fact that most scientists (especially physicians) of Ancient Rome were of Greek descent and wrote in Greek (and not in Latin). One book that I own (but have not read, yet) is "The Genesis of Science: The Story of Greek Imagination." Although the book does deal with mostly scientists from ancient Greece, it does include information about Greeks living in the Ancient Roman Empire. Another possible book would be one about Eratosthenes who made a fairly accurate estimate about the size of the earth in 240 BCE. I have no book recommendation for that topic, however. Good luck, guy also known as gaius