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caesar novus

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Everything posted by caesar novus

  1. I wonder if that is near where a TV documentary showed loads of (silver?) coins found a couple years ago, and declared it the best guess for battle location. Or will there be an eternal hopscotch as more distant coin finds are made. Regardless of the location, I recall several sources depicting Romans as kind of sabotaging themselves there with several poor decisions... same with some battles with Hannibal too. I forget the details, but they gave deja vu with various commercial air accident reports in the sense of there was not one, but a series of issues that went snafu. The point being a professional Roman general or commercial pilot is too competent to respond badly to one simple issue. Rather it is when several issues come up together that they lose focus or get tricked. It is often underlined that airline crashes due to pilot error turn out to have multiple causes if you look hard enough, and maybe that could be a theme for a class project on Roman battle defeats too.
  2. caesar novus

    Catullus bio bashed as speculative

    J. Romm in New Republic https://newrepublic.com/article/134975/erotic-bard-ancient-rome skeptical of speculative
  3. caesar novus

    What Song Are You Listening to Now?

    I just got a shock of recognition that this and some of my other posts assume that bad/sick taste equals amusing. Maybe not so to some, so first check if this crass Roman singer seems funny. In this movie he is ubermacho, but youtube also shows the original broadway version where he was softened to be quite effeminate. IF you can find amusement in that, below is what I originally posted. Maybe there is something wrong in finding musical hilarity in modern tragedy, but the singer is half Cherokee satirizing his redneck relatives lifestyle.
  4. caesar novus

    Exterior design and decoration

    Sheesh, I dunno. I have several video courses on roman architecture yet can't recall much external color other than accents on recreations. Maybe they didn't have good waterproof paint? Roman republic was mostly brick, which is it's own coloring. Their internal color could be so garish it almost makes me seasick and I would hope for plainer exterior. They got multicolored stone from Egypt (for interiors?) then were revolutionized by discovery of nearby white marble at Carrera which got a lot of use. A lot of stuff was in tufa which one source claimed was thought a poor man's marble with it's honey color. Pompeii has grafitti/announcements on some external walls, which means we should know what the background color is... I haven't finished my last video course on Pompeii which may say. P.S. the Pantheon exterior always looked like an ugly lump to me. Not sure if it lost some facing but a Yale Univ course claimed it wasn't meant to be seen from the outside... it was jammed within building complexes that led you to the interior thru almost a tunnel (meant to enhance the surprise).
  5. caesar novus

    France at war 1870

    I downloaded a free Amazon Kindle book which was a memoir of a Brit reporter stuck inside Paris under siege by Prussia. 1870 was an interesting period where the unified architectural redo beloved by the world today was being started, and then fired upon, for the oddest of reasons. Napoleon3 was trying to suppress urban revolutionists on one hand by making wide blvds that couldn't be barricaded against gov't military response, and on the other hand by baiting the Prussians into a war which could bolster French patriotic unity. Well, like another free Kindle memoir from the Confederate war department in US civil war, it was an interesting time covered by a rambling lousy memoirist. It worked better when I mixed in readings of a quality history book of FrancoPrussian war, which was one of the bloodiest yet most needless of the 1800's. Bismark also wanted to bait France into war in order to rally and unify Germany; southern parts of modern Germany had been losing interest in joining up with Prussia, just as Parisians were increasing hostile to their agrarianist national gov't. Well, I haven't read that far and am already forgetting stuff, but I have the nerve to make a few observations. Napoleon3 is thought to be the dunce because he was tricked into declaring war first over a ridiculous nicety about how a wedding was called off. Bismark got the appearance of not initiating war and was able to win it with better organization and cannons (although worse small arms). I do give points to Napoleon3 for trying sort of a "suicide by cop" approach of wandering a field under fire when things first looked hopeless (his companions were hit), then surrendering to stop bloodshed well before ammo ran low. Bismark wanted to shell Paris vs his superiors trying a standoff first. My most bold observation is that there seem tremendous echos of 1870 tactics in WW2. It almost seems like WW2 wasn't an attempt to redo the freakish case of WW1 more effectively, but to address or relive the more conventional issues of 1870 war. In the case of 1940 France, it was still hobbled by terrible communications and disunity which made it hard to benefit from some superior technology like tanks and fortresses. In the case of Germany, so many of the oddball concerns of Hitler which were in his generals memoirs seem to be avoiding pitfalls from the 1870 war. Hitler was obsessed by the exact performance of every small arm, maybe recalling the much superior 1870 French rifle and crude machine gun. Many 1870 units squandered ammo to a disastrous extent, and Hitler insisted certain wasteful units not be resupplied with ammo as a punishment that could mean wipe out. Speed of deployment problems of 1870 would be ruthlessly corrected, etc... I may not be explaining this well, but there seem echos galore.
  6. caesar novus

    France at war 1870

    P.S. Many sources quoted an American observer, the famous civil war general Sheridan and I found his writeup here http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Sedan.html . It's strange how he is treated like royalty and personally hosted by Bismarck and the Prussian king near the key battlefields, with an intimate view of Napoleon3 surrendering. I mean he even shared a bedroom with (english speaking) Bismarck, who taught him how to be a harder drinker. The night before Bismarck lost 20k killed by the French, he focused not on battle plans but whether Sheridan thot US opinion considered France as the bully. Other sources explain Sheridan had earlier acted against Napoleon3 by secretly donating his surplus civil war weaponry to the Mexican rebels trying to throw the French out, and "out" did Maximilian go. The US remained the only major power not threatening Prussia to stop carving up France. Sheridan reported to President Grant the US had nothing militarily to learn from that war, just that France had terrible leadership vs Prussia. But I think he was too far from the front after the initial surge of the French drove the VIP observers permanently to the rear. Sheridan isn't a gifted writer, but it's interesting to hear details like where do I go to the bathroom with dignity when all buildings are packed with wounded and it's literally knee deep with their dead outside. How can I requisition food when the troops are crazed with thirst and hunger while being forced to bury the dead. Sheridan should have been overrun at the first battle, but the loopy French general who was overwhelmingly winning called for a retreat.
  7. caesar novus

    UNRV Brexit poll

    I thought I would do a quick sanity check for this issue... how rectally retentive EU policy may be sabotaging the very pensions they try to save. I found this "Double hit scenario" confirmation writeup from "European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority" http://www.europeanpensions.net/ep/Double-hit-scenario-cannot-be-ruled-out-EIOPA-says.php%20.php I may have this a bit wrong, but it seems so true to national characters that continental Europe found the volatility in stock markets 8 years ago too unsettling for pension use and mandated a mostly bond approach. Where are you now, with "safe" bonds giving 0 or negative yields?! This can have dire impacts on everyone, now that to hire a meter maid a gov't or corp has to find a billion euro to put aside to fund that one pension. UK (and I think the Dutch) are far more stock-saavy and know how to surf the financial seas greatly to their benefit. I mean about a hundred times more activity in stock investment per capita than the other countries by both individuals and institutions. And it has real impact... when a corporation has EU mandated burden after burden imposed on it, they simply pass on the cost to consumers. The very folks that celebrate this have to pay for it as a REGRESSIVE kind of pseudo-tax... impacting the poor and middle incomers disproportionately in higher cost of living. EU is fine for small countries that desperately need a higher level of organization, but not for large countries with demonstrated excellence of organization which could only be dragged down by naive meddling from the others. Britain please free yourself, even if regions north of the Hadrian's wall have to be spun back to the EU. Revive the commonwealth and build it even bigger than the EU!
  8. caesar novus

    UNRV Brexit poll

    You can change this thread into a real poll where surprising numbers of lurkers will vote. Or at least start a new one with voting capability. I almost fell off my chair for the poll here "why do you like the Romans" because nobody had checked the one obvious and to me proper reason, but tons of votes on reasons I had considered peripheral. As a non-Brit, I pray that they do the right thing and LEAVE!!! Actually they would convert into a Norway (Iceland, Switz somewhat) style and join EEA and one other acronym I forget which gives virtually all the benefits with few of the dysfunctional drawbacks. I used to always get a weekly British news magazine, and remember how they explained Turkey should have striven to join EEA rather than EU with win-win results (probably Greece and some others too with hindsight). EU seems an elitist condescending organization which doesn't respond to democratic citizen feedback. They are particularly tone-deaf to some of the things that made Britain an inspiration to the world, eg in terms of liberty and finance. A few hundred years ago Britain was run on an efficient low tax rate system that made it wealthier than the continent, and still with plenty tax revenue due to thriving economy. It just burns me up to see e.g. the EU trying to impose taxes on trivial financial transactions. Not the money it would cost, but there would be an implosion of price discovery because nobody would want to sell and buy to incur taxes. This glue in the system is a reason why Japan has many zombie companies and a 25 year recession. Housing prices are inherently boom and bust because the natural friction of buying and selling hurts logical price discovery. Spreading this plague to for instance pensions would leave you unsure if you ever had them funded enough (EU has some other idiotic overreactions that make pension growth hard), I recently imported a couple small boats from Europe (amazing you can do that... in one case it was just a couple mouse clicks and a UPS man brought the thing on a trolley with a modest customs bill). They have stamped on them some mandatory EU limitations that are so draconian I would not be allowed to use them in 95% of the weather here.... pooh, I have had a long life on the water with no need for patronizing nannies or for that matter any kind of rescue. I'm not doing this the justice it deserves, but propose that if Brit does the right thing, I would advocate my country joining the Brit commonwealth which I gather has become rather toothless, but we could revive with free-er trade etc.
  9. caesar novus

    What Song Are You Listening to Now?

    If Norway's idea of album art can be overlooked:
  10. caesar novus

    Roman Names for foreign tribes

    I know nothing about those names, and would guess it's hard to know for groups who left no writings or cohesive remaining culture as discussed in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goths#Etymology . Don't let my ignorance deter your search. From here on I will just digress and vent some things from an anthropological perspective to nobody in particular. Not only does a group's name often differ from an inside vs outside perspective... it usually ought to. In fact what defines the group typically is (and should be) different from inside vs outside. Fer instance, a group may define it's boundaries by ideology and culture vs Roman's define it by a mobilized threatening subset with added misc allies. Names don't refer to universal "things" but to dynamic entities that arise with meaning specific to each naming culture. E.G. who are "asians" and where do you draw the line? Try to be excruciatingly correct and ask the "asians" what they call themselves and you will cause insult for your patronizing assumptions. Even if they had the same concept with a name you wanted to adopt, it can be something you not only can't pronounce, but cannot hear properly. Look at the word "ma" in asian languages with umpteen meanings based on the tone. Look at languages with clicks and so on... now we know that the human mind rewires itself with age to increasingly lose the ability to even hear distinctions that your language doesn't use... it's an efficiency step. The same way as you learn to see red hair as a sign of hot tempers... oops. Maybe the Romans at times had some diplomatic contact and would approximate what a group called itself. But I hope they often used names meaningful to them, like mountain raiders, for groups which Romans defined who was in or out. That sounds harsh by P.C. standards but is how language works if you have experience in artificial intell and machine learning of language. Language takes a wide perspective for granted and just makes explicit a shorthand for what is culturally unexpected. I like it when foreign airlines announce a flight to "chic-cog-oh" instead of "shic-cog-oh"; they shouldn't have to be a slave to the quirky exceptions of pronouncing Chicago. I hate the western impulse to pander to someone else's pronounciation... they probably wouldn't even call Cadiz cadeeth but try some odd guatamalan dialect. The western world is becoming increasingly corrupted by misguided attempts of compassion with money or words, but I guess a novel isn't the place to fight this :-)
  11. caesar novus

    Fractured musical history

    I do most errands the green and healthy way, with long walks along busy roads. I drown out traffic noise with noise cancel earphones, typically playing historical lectures. Still I miss parts, such as due to the arrogant ear-bleeding level of gov't sirens going to typically false med emergencies such as to request recreational pain pills. So I switched to histories of composers like http://www.robertgreenbergmusic.com/great-courses/ where there would be song samples and content that won't suffer much by occasional interruptions. By the way, I just read that since our police sometimes clear vagrant campers from 100% blocking sidewalks on my busy route, a top federal official has punitively blocked milliion$ of our fed tax money from reaching here. Idiot limousine lefty... he expects us to abandon foot travel for electric cars. Many of these vagrants are not poor but admit to being awash in benefits like fake disability. Some flew 5 to 10 airline hours to reach this place, famous on the internet for "blind compassion" where they can spend their benefits purely on intoxicants with no obligations. Anyway, I'll point out some lecture anecdotes that surprised me. My listening was fractured, so I sought confirmation in (fractured) Wikipedia which normally contradicted the lecturer. Start with Shostakovitch, the stark modernist of a century ago. I have visited his son and grandson in their home, so I hope I don't sound ungrateful for only liking one work which was sort of a redo of some Italian work. Right after WW1 there was disinterest in the harsh mechanical sound, so he sought out income from a quite delightful and accessible piece that I wish I remembered the name of. He redid many of his own works as well, just as they were falling out of copyright. Most of the lectures were about the drama of him trying to survive the wrath of Stalin. I liked Shost. quotes on Stalin being worse than Hitler for Russia, which still acknowledges the almost infinite horror of Hitler. Putin has whitewashed the textbooks about Stalin, and the west is content with Hitler rather than Stalin or Mao as symbolizing the essence of killer. The lecturer digressed into a conspiracy theory that Stalin was murdered because he was about to start a war with China and terrorize Russian Jews. Wiki seemed to carefully shoot that down in favor of the conventional natural(ish) death theory. The supposed assassin Beria seemed unlikely. He was a depraved counterpart to Hitler's Heydrich, both sort of secret intel police heads that enjoyed personally torturing and killing... especially young civilian girls picked up off the streets daily. It was not too long ago when construction at Beria's old mansion turned up many young female skeletons in his garden. Daughters of high officials up to Stalin were warned to not accept a ride from Beria. Reading histories of Stalin (a terrorist even when young), Beria, and Heydrich are somehow more depressing than Hitler who at least espoused some appeal toward ideals rather then being brazenly devoted to nothing but evil. Lastly Tchaikovsky and his music, maybe only matched by Vivaldi in terms of accessibility. I came to realize that practically his only work I grooved on was "Serenade for Strings" https://archive.org/details/SerenadeForStringsInCMajorOp.48 which the lecturer said was flagged by "serenade" to uniquely be a pleasant interlude. Other works seem dramatic to bombastic accompaniments to his high strung life. The lecturer called him a serial molester of slightly underage boys, including his servants. One committed suicide, which was followed by writing of his ultimate gushy heartbreak work (I think in Swan Lake) which I have seen middle aged women melt to. Wiki doesn't take that shrill approach, saying just that he enjoyed man-friends more than his bizarre marriage, and that he died in a cholera epidemic rather than suicide for being outed. I have heard endless hand wringing supporting the latter theory, that he was driven to suicide due to society's homophobia. The lecturer took a strange middle path, that Tchai .killed himself out of vanity to not be remembered as a gay composer. He was about to be reported as gay to the Czar in some minor investigation, but there were no punishments for that except raised eyebrows. The lecturer said Tchai. knew how to easily avoid cholera outbreaks, but was so jealous about his hard-won conventional legacy that he took a poison that mimicked that agonizing, drawn-out-for-days death!
  12. caesar novus

    Fractured musical history

    Oops, I took a look for that Italian style post WW1 work and found it was Stravinsky's Pulcinella ballet. It was Stravinsky whose other work was so austere, and Pulcinella just sounded least-bad to me. Many of these works are avail free on archive.org, and I edited in a link to Serenade for Strings. A ton of apologies for diss'ing Shostakovich style, which was actually too diverse to fall into a style. My mp3 player garbled up the order of the Shosta. lecture segments which left me confused. If Maxim or Dimitri Jr. happen to read this, keep in mind I at least made the effort to attend the former's concert in Hong Kong where he let the conductor baton fly out of his hand.
  13. caesar novus

    Question: Rabbit on Hispania Aureus?

    A search turned up Romans starting rabbit farming in Spain... also they were a symbol of fecundity and related things, with links to certain mythological figures. Maybe depends what woman is waving what over the bunny.
  14. good pictures; I wonder who is the figure with an upturned crescent moon on his head.
  15. Constantine and Maximian on silver and bronze http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/04/30/workers-unearth-large-trove-roman-coins-at-spanish-park.html
  16. I ran across some interesting tidbits about Palmyra... not sure if absolutely true. First, the liberation of Palmyra was assisted by a "Russian Rambo" who upon being engulfed by the enemy, called a fatal airstrike on his own position. http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/30/europe/body-of-russian-rambo-flown-home/index.html Also in November 2015 Minerva, it says the eagle on US dollar bill started out from a Roman eagle sketched in Palmyra. Such sketchings were made in mid 1700's and were widely published as an architecture source book. In Wiki under "great seal" you can see the scraggly Roman type eagle before it was converted into the present bald headed eagle. I wonder what those founders from the enlightenment age would say about current plans to change U.S. currency depictions from aspirational ideals to pity whoring.... portraits of blind albino eskimos in wheelchairs or something of the sort. Also they show various photos of Palmyra taken in mid 1800s. They infer Palmyra was ruined by Aurelian as much as by time. Around 270 he put down a rebellion by Queen Zenobia with wholesale massacres and destruction.
  17. caesar novus

    Bright embers remain amidst dying CATV?

    What is still worthwhile to watch on cable TV? I can't save $ by "cutting the cable", because they negotiated a discount to my neighborhood on the basis that everyone must pay for at least basic service. This when my favorite genre of history documentaries disappears from History channel, and reappears free on youtube. Well, some channels like Smithsonian or Arts & Entertainment have good detective-type documentaries about recent history, which BTW go by different titles in different parts of the world. "Air Disasters" covers intrinsically interesting causes of a particular airliner crash, but gosh you have to tolerate some slow pacing from this Ontario/Quebec subsidized production. You can see their points coming a mile away, maybe amid clumsy attempts to bluff you. It's not that Canadians are slow, but I think their media experts have brain-drained to the U.S. where they are quite prominent. They tend to wash out the color into a pale grey... is this dreariness for hiding cheesy low budget re-creation filmsets? But the ultimate findings turn out to be fascinating and surprisingly nuanced. I used to think it was knee jerk "blame the pilot" which they do at 70%, but not solely or lightly since the investigators tend to be pilots too. Smithsonian channel now follows this with another docuhour "Alaskan Aircrash Investigations", which is a bit more lively and colorful, but disturbing for a taxpayer. Alaska has a crash every other day in the summer, typically in a tiny 1950's era plane doing some kind of cowboy antics. Big budget investigations seem to be made as if they were airliners, with representatives of various federal departments, engine manufacturers, and airframe manufacturers who plod around swampy crash sites with a band of sheriffs to fight off bears or clingy family of victims. Helicopters bring remains back, which is sometimes rebuilt and tested over a thousand miles away... presumably to see if a device from 1952 can be improved so that the one other surviving example must do an upgrade. Well, it can be good, like an illegal heater upgrade done to a whole fleet of bush planes proves to be capable of knocking occupants unconscious from CO poisoning in minutes. They get friends of the pilot to give gushy background info thru the subterfuge of filming before official final report, which often condemns pilot negligence. Similar in spirit is A&E "The First 48" which has long covered real who-done-it murder investigations in a fast paced format. But now it is dragging with a lot of gushy emoting by the fam/friends of the victim, which may be responsible for cutting down from 2 to 1 case per episode hour. Another bad trend is the victims and perps seem to come from the same pool of dysfunctional, blatantly lawless, and self sabotaging in lifestyle. It's not a question of how to possibly dream up the rare potential killer, but how to eliminate the many obvious violent drug dealing 18 yr olds, each with multiple welfare baby mommas. This isn't even a fair depiction of murderers in general, but more the case for poorly policed areas like Chicago - recently famous for becoming a murder war zone after implementing "compassionate" minimal prison sentences. I remember older episodes with more interesting suspects, like a cagey old hermit who would only talk (indeed confess) to a rubenesque policewomen using just a hint of flirt dangled like a carrot. Little progress seems to ever be made without deceiving suspects or brandishing a potential death sentence, practices probably on the way out. A more satisfying series along the same lines is "Homicide Hunter" which covers a more diverse slice of cases in one city by one detective (Kenda). He wasn't the first choice for this somewhat low budget series, but his low-key skills in a non-war-zone city in Colorado forces the series to show the quirks of real stranger-than-fiction stuff that appears among apparently well-meaning people in benign everyday surroundings. It's repeating on Investigation Discovery channel which you may channel surf by due to typically cheesy overwrought re-creations of crime. What I would like to see more of is the genre of sitcoms that satirize modern life. A trying-to-be sane or nice person like Alan Harper colliding with cheerfully off kilter types like hedonist Charlie Sheen in "2.5 Men". One of the first of this type was "Married with Children"s dad trying to survive his cheerfully out of control wife and kids. Maybe these don't age well because with time the craziness of some characters becomes more culturally accepted and the striving to be respectable is less and less identified with. But maybe one more such series for dunces like me?
  18. caesar novus

    Pompeii finally managed effectively?

    Herculeum revival too? http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/19/roman-high-street-reopens-visitors
  19. caesar novus

    Pompeii finally managed effectively?

    Multiple sources claim the chronic mismanagement of Pompeii is decisively on the mend https://www.instagram.com/p/BDySvFexQ1V/ and I include their new 148 page pdf Pompeii Excavation guide with great maps, photos, and writeups http://pompeiisites.org/allegati/A%20Guide%20to%20the%20Pompeii%20Excavations(1).pdf It looks wonderful if you have a vertical format tablet or rotatable laptop. Now I must go into hiding, because: (maybe you have seen the practice around there of folks selling originally free maps and brochures)
  20. I wonder what is the secret of metallic ink. I had read this before, and can only gather that it will aid us reading faint text. But why was it so great for the Romans themselves? Maybe the soot ink smeared too much? Someone invented non-smeary newspaper ink about 20 years ago but could not sell it because it cost a tiny bit more. Another current problem is fading ink... if you look at some receipts a decade or so old, you may notice the printer ink is fading to nothingness, and will not serve their purpose for taxes or whatever.
  21. Spectator article http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/give-thanks-for-the-imperialist-tomb-raiders/ talks about the intentional destruction of archeology by local inhabitants not being new with Syria. Some of the controversial western "looting" of archeo treasures saved them from destructive processes ongoing at the time, comparable to the smashing up of Rome treasures for construction material in medieval times. Now a threat to museum holdings is the recent "spineless, guilt-ridden, perma–apologetic western culture" that pushes artifacts back to the countries of origin even if they haven't requested them. Those countries may not be physically or even spiritually equipped to be monopoly caretakers of things historically related to them. As seen in Syria, they may have a hostility to their ancient cultures. If feeling an urge for restitution, why don't museums donate items from their own local history to foreign museums instead? Spread the risk, and maximize the exposure of the unfamiliar to the public (= education).
  22. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/05/has-hannibals-route-across-the-alps-been-uncovered-scientists-us/
  23. caesar novus

    Japan celebrates 2000 years of Roman influence

    Dear apparently offended reader, who immediately yanked material that this thread was linking to along the lines of below pic: Do you not know about the tradition of April Fools Day joke? No offense was intended to Japan or your material. If you reinstall it, I promise to not link to it. There is a Kyoto tourism site that linked to much of your material, and now looks like a skeleton with dummy replacements. Here I link to a substitute video that doesn't support my joke so much, but shows Kyoto Aqueduct at it's best:
  24. I can't get the NYT to display, so found http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/160331-viking-discovery-north-america-canada-archaeology/ which also lists a documentary at the bottom. That Sarah archeo person was scheduled to lecture near my home a week ago, but cancelled.