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guy

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Everything posted by guy

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Interesting Italian Metal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ79eBexFJQ guy also known as gaius
  6. My inner Scotsman and Italian approve of this message (Scottish group Simple Minds filmed in Verona, Italy):
  7. Maybe a little too much hype and too high expectations, but interesting, nevertheless. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6615657/Burial-site-Cleopatra-Mark-Antony-uncovered-soon.html guy also known as gaius
  8. I always believed that the infection that destroyed the indigenous populations in the Western Hemisphere was smallpox. Similarly, I thought that smallpox was the most likely culprit for Galen's Antonine Plague and as well as probably the other plagues of Ancient Rome. This article makes me reconsider this notion. https://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2018/01/contagion-conquistadors-dna-points-germ-wiping-out-most-16th-c-mexico https://www.archaeology.org/issues/298-1805/trenches/6524-trenches-mexico-colonization-salmonella This bacterium, relatively uncommon today, causes an extremely virulent paratyphoid fever. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratyphoid_fever Excavated structure at the northern edge of the Grand Plaza at Teposcolula-Yucundaa. Architectural investigations of the Grand Plaza resulted in the unexpected discovery of a large epidemic cemetery associated with the 1545-1550 cocoliztli epidemic. The cemetery was found to contain numerous mass burials, attesting to the catastrophic nature of the epidemic. Photo: Christina Warinner/Teposcolula-Yucundaa Archaeological Project guy also known as gaius
  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
  16. 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.
  17. Pliny the Elder complained about the drain of specie (money in coin) to India: I've recently enjoyed reading the book by Raoul McLaughlin "The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean." I was impressed by the amount interaction between Romans and residents living in the India region. "These contacts brought Roman merchant ships into the Bay of Bengal and along trade routes that led to Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and ultimately the Han Empire of ancient China." Greek geographer Strabo (64 BCE - 24 AD) reports that after the Romans gained control of Egypt and her ports, the number of ships sailing from Egypt to India yearly increased from less than 20 to at least 120 vessels. I was surprised, for example, by the number of Roman coin hoards in India, as well as the size of the Kottayam hoard found in southern India: Professor Raoul McLaughlin states that there was a 25% tax (known as the tetarte) on imports. These imports included spices (especially pepper, cinnamon, ginger), ivory, incense, and gems (such as pearls and rubies) imported from India. These would enter the Empire through Alexandria. These same items would be taxed again when they left Alexandria for Rome and other Mediterranean cities. The tax revenues helped to fund the prosperity of Rome, including the Roman military and civilian programs. Professor McLaughlin states that this tax revenue from India and the East may have funded 25-30% of the entire Roman budget. I am not certain about the extent of funding these taxes provided, but I am convinced that the amount of trade between these two regions is far greater than I ever imagined. Below is an interesting India perspective on ancient Roman-India interactions and the numismatic evidence. Professor McLaughlin's book may be controversial, but it is certainly thought-provoking. I am looking forward to reading McLauglin's book "The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes: The Ancient World Economy and the Empires of Parthia, Central Asia and Han China." It is always good to have our previous notions about ancient Roman challenged. guy also known as gaius
  18. Another interesting video on the Roman-Romano-Egyptian-Indian trade route: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archives_de_Nicanor guy also known as gaius
  19. guy

    Copadia

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

    Copadia

    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
  21. 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
  22. 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 “To 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.”
  23. guy

    Daily life

  24. 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 “To 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)
  25. 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
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