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About Melvadius

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    Maxima Caesariensis
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    Archaeology, history in general, good food and reading when I have the time.

    In the past I have been involved in historical re-enactment including some combat but the risk of concussion and broken bones was never my main interest in doing so.

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  1. It's been a while but life has calmed down a bit now so hopefully I will be able to participate fully again once I sort out the changes to the sites platform
  2. The BBC are now carrying a copy of the video presentation as well. So far as what the scrolls contain if those which have already been forced open by the techniques developed in the 18th and 19th centuries are anything to go by then there is liable to be a significant number of Epicurean texts so mainly philosophical in nature but I believe that a few other scrolls have been identified so possibly some plays and other material will be found as well. Finds of smut may actually be fairly limited but there are several scholars who would dearly love for one of the 450 undamaged so totally unread scrolls to contain at least one of the lost nine books of lyric poetry written by Sappho.
  3. Of more moment you need to provide evidence of which language there is a supposed correlation. If it is in the original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek texts then there may be cause to consider there is a direct correlation between the two. If it is only in a particular set of English translations (but not all) then the only proof it provides is that the translators used the same alternative word order (in translation of ancient texts there are usually at least two or three possibilities) or more seriously the choices when considered against alternative meanings could show actual evidence of manipulation of the translations to make a more precise cross reference between both texts. Even if you ignore the abundant literary evidence for Christianity pre-dating the Flavians IF you are claiming this as scientific evidence you need to provide full information on precisely which texts you are comparing (i.e. date of publication, edition, translator and publisher) otherwise it really is no better than any other hare brained Von Daniken type theory which at base is using manufactured evidence.
  4. The press and those who have vested interests in denying it talk about 'Global warming' those who actually work in the field tend to talk more about 'climate change'. A rise in global average temperatures at a simplistic level is seen by those who don't actually consider all the ramifications as a good thing but what it actually means is that our traditional weather patterns are changing globally. It will not be a great advantage to have hotter winters if your growing season during the summer becomes unstable and the you get hit by more frequent sudden storms or heat waves, which kill your crops 3 times out of 4. Claimed hotter winters in the UK has only tended to mean more stormy weather without the benefit of an extended growing season since that is driven by the period of available sunlight NOT a degree or two increase in temperature. Has anyone noticed how there has been an upsurge in tornado activity in the US grain belt.....?
  5. If you really have to to make a 'modern' equivalent you would be better off considering a contubernium as organised in a similar way to a Napoleonic period navy mess as a group of eight men (not ten as stated earlier on) who would sleep and eat together and formed part of a larger unit (ie a contuberniuim formed part of a century). Obviously the comparison is incomplete since one would primarily operate on water and the other on land but I agree with Caldrail that trying to fit modern military units into Roman equivalents and vice versa is all too often illogical or is too period specific . I particularly remember one of the translations of the Gallic wars which was written just after the second world war and since he was an ex-military man the translator went too far and talks about regiments, captains, majors and colonels rather than the correct Roman terminology. Read fifty years after WW2 when military service is only something a small number of people have on their resume it had lost all relevance to both the modern and historic periods.
  6. 1000ibs? That is probably incorrect information based on mistaken original research in 1910 by de Noettes. Try searching for 'Roman Traction Systems' on the web Weller provides evidence that at least 1 to 1.5 metric ton wagon loads were possible.
  7. Melvadius

    The Strengths and Weaknesses of Historical Mathematics

    Although not as bad as the post I have just removed this post is now locked for the same reason as that one. Can we keep thing polite in future please folks md keep external links to material relevant to a sensible discussion of Roman related topics - not to vanity sites or interpretations of such
  8. I would remind people that this website is to be used to discuss Roman history not to post multiple links to a personal vanity website especially when the posts are made simply as an excuse to post another link to such sites and do not add anything to what had previously been discussed. I have just had to remove an extensive post since in effect due to the repeated superfluous inclusion of such links it had become spam.
  9. Melvadius

    Colorizing ancient portrait busts

    Some of the issue we have is the general impression, mainly from Pompeii and Herculaneum the only places where complete wall decorations survive, of deep vibrant but somewhat garish colours. It is only in the last few years that some scientific studies have been made on the pigments used in Roman paints with the realisation that those garish colour schemes may in be part down to the effects of the volcano with colour changes having occurred due to the intense heat of the eruption.
  10. There are now more details of at least some of the coins (55 or so) on the Portable Antiquities Site here: St Albans Hoard The interesting thing is that it looks like somebody conflated dates in the original reports so rather than referring to a coin dated 428 AD it may have been a mistranscribed reference to the fact that the Honorius coins in the Hoard were generally dated between 402 and 408 AD.
  11. Melvadius

    UNRV's brainchild is born

    Congratulations Maty, I'm only partially sorry that we weren't able to contribute more to the gestation of your new venture it was beginning to shape up as an interesting read. At least this way we get to read the finished product without being able to know 'precisely' what is going to happen next...
  12. Melvadius

    Peristyle Houses

    Doing a quick check the style seems to have spread with the initial advance of the Empire so there are examples is far apart of as Palestine and Gaul. Although not that many seem to have been excavated the indications are that it was slowly adapted to local conditions. One academic source on the web indicates that it only reached about half-way up Gaul and between the mid-1st century BC and AD the style changed to what became the more usual villa style(s) found in Britain and elsewhere. In my view possibly it was a reaction to suit the different climate found in northern climes when you tend to be more concerned about getting rid of water than collecting it for domestic use.
  13. Welcome to the site Optimus Princeps.
  14. Welcome Number Six. I take it this is not a typo for the Classic Number 6: 'I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. I resign.'
  15. Melvadius

    Draft Animals in Roman Army

    Humphrey, Oleson & Sherwood (2002) Greek and Roman Technology : A Sourcebook has a few references which may be of use since this provides translations of contemporary sources the 'vehicles' section (pg 428 - 433) and animal husbandry (p 129-131 especially).