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guy last won the day on June 20

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    SouthWest USA (345 miles from Las Vegas)
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    Roman & Italian Renaisance History, The Dutch Golden Age of Art & History (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

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. guy

    Daily life

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Inscriptionum_Latinarum Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Battle of Blenheim (1704). The defeat of the French by the England / Scotland (Duke of Marlborough) and the Austrians (Prince Eugene of Savoy) changed the course of modern European history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blenheim This battle essentially ended France's delusions of European hegemony. The English victory solidified the young constitutional monarchy under Queen Anne.
  7. Another interesting video on the Roman-Romano-Egyptian-Indian trade route: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archives_de_Nicanor guy also known as gaius
  8. guy


    A somewhat silly, but also informative episode about food in ancient Rome from the series "Supersizers":
  9. guy


    Interesting. Did you use a substitute for garum, the ancient fermented fish sauce? I have read that a Vietnamese fish sauce is similar as well as the Italian Colatura di alici (anchovy sauce). (Neither sound too appetizing, however.) https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/aug/26/garum-sauce-colatura-di-alici-italy-fish guy also known as gaius
  10. guy

    Heirs of Augustus

    I have nothing to add on the subject other than to say that the BBC series "I, Claudius" cemented the Livia conspiracy into the minds of modern students since it was first released in 1976. (The novel was printed in 1934.) I recommend the television series highly if for no other reason than to give a framework for the complicated lines of succession. Perhaps Adrian Goldworthy's book "Augustus: First Emperor of Rome" would shed some light on this subject. I have the book at home but I'm looking for the time to read it. guy also known as gaius
  11. guy

    Daily life

  12. guy

    Daily life

    CIL 13.01983 (EDCS-10500938) D(is) M(anibus) et memoriae aetern(ae) Blandiniae Martiolae puellae innocentissimae quae vixit ann(os) XVIII m(enses) VIIII d(ies) V. Pompeius Catussa cives Sequanus tector coniugi incomparabili et sibi benignissim(a)e quae mecum vixit an(nos) V m(enses) VI d(ies) XVIII sine ul(l)a criminis sorde. Viv(u)s sibi et coniugi ponendum curavit et sub ascia dedicavit. Tu qui legis vade in Apol(l)inis lavari quod ego cum coniuge feci. Vellem si ad(h)uc possem β€œTo the spirits of the dead and the eternal memory of Blandinia Martiola, a most innocent girl who lived 18 years, 9 months, 5 days. Pompeius Catussa, a Sequani citizen and plasterer, (made this) for his incomparable and most kind wife, who lived with me 5 years, 6 months, 18 days without any transgressions. While alive, he saw to the building and dedicated this, while under construction, to himself and his wife. You who read this, go and bathe in the bath of Apollo, which I did with my wife. I wish I were still able to do it.” (From a funerary monument found in Lugdunum (Lyons), Gaul second century CE)
  13. Article on find: https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/military-culture/2019/02/28/1800-year-old-roman-penis-carvings-discovered-near-hadrians-wall-some-things-never-change/ Entire transcript of video: Some things never change. guy also known as gaiuis
  14. guy

    Gaius Marius and the Gracchi

    I cannot comment on this period of Roman history as my knowledge of these events is fuzzy at best. You certainly know a lot more on this subject than I. That said, all politics (especially in ancient cultures) were personal, based on patronage, blood relations, and extended family (through marriage and adoption). This helps explain the ever-shifting alliances in the late Roman Republic. For example, Caesar's aunt was married to Gaius Marius. Also, Caesar's marriage to the daughter of Marius' ally Cinna did not help to ingratiate himself with Sulla. Caesar's relationship with Marius would obviously impact negatively on Sulla's later view of Casear. The Gracchi brothers were near-contemporaries with Marius. Marius was 24 when Tiberius Gracchus died and 36 when Gaius Gracchus died. So, the question remains: Did Marius have any relationship with the Gracchi brothers, either personally or through patronage and family? Marius' admiration for Scipio Aemilianus complicates the politics even more. The Gracchi brothers were the grandchildren of Scipio Africanus. (Here, the history gets confusing for me.) Scipio Aemilianus was the adopted grandson of Scipio Africanus as well as the brother-in-law of the Gracchi brothers. Scipio Aemilanus' death is suspicious. Did he die of natural causes or was he murdered (as rumored) by his mother-in-law and wife for political reasons in order to defend the Gracchi brothers' reforms? Way too complicated for my simple mind. Just like modern times, all politics are personal. guy also known as gaius
  15. Welcome and please contribute. We always enjoy new posts. They don't have to be profound or insightful. Random musings are always appreciated. 😎