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caesar novus

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Everything posted by caesar novus

  1. caesar novus

    What was the daily routine in the roman world after sunset?

    I had downloaded 2 free kindle books (find them on amazon) that touch on this. One, called something like Private lives of the Romans has chapters on the typical roman day, and on the hours scheme. Another's title starts out with Ancient Rome (IIRC). I'm starting to forget which said which, and you had to cross reference stuff in different chapters (with a hotlink that your kindle app or hardware can follow). Basically they suggested they ate the big meal of the day just before sunset, then immediately konked off to sleep. There weren't night events to speak of... you had to socialize during, not after the meal. But then you arose extremely early... breakfast could start at 4am, and by then lawyers and authors may have been working since 3. I'm sure there are a thousand counter examples, but this is what these hundred year old books said. They said most work and public events (we are talking mid/upper class) was finished before noon lunch and then there was an hour siesta after. Afternoon for baths, theater, exercise, socializing, then supper. I fail to see the need for them to rest again after getting up in the wee hours and looking forward to siesta. Some famous Roman author I read wrote to warn husbands from visiting slave quarters at night. He pointed out you would set an example for your wife to do the same during your frequent absences, with obvious consequences about not knowing the paternity of her future children among other things.
  2. caesar novus

    Egypt Museum uncertainty

    An update on the chaotic fate of Egyptian antiquities also has some hopeful notes: http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-39-antiquities-fall-victim-political-chaos-073640237.html I'm glad to see they are trying to spread out the Cairo collection to an adjacent building as well as one across the Nile. Precious mementos of the past need dispersion to protect them from disasters, and also to make easier for educational exposure across the globe. Remember how the Cairo museum was damaged due to riots a few years ago. I assume the museums of the world have halted their overeager repatriation activities of sending their Egyptian artifacts back to Egypt. More than just for clearly stolen articles, many curators of the west tried to fly their progressive flags by emptying out their collections to the shaky stewardship of Egypt, Greece, and Italy. I remember the Egyptian archeology official often on documentaries tended to bully foreign museums... was he the one fired in 2011? The root cause of the recent chaos in Egypt isn't fairly covered in the west. As I understand it, it wasn't second thoughts about a fairly elected leader. Rather it was the hijacking of their constitution by a fringe element who had squeeked by an election. I recall being outraged by our president O. throwing his support to the Islamic extremist now overthrown... there was a centrist candidate at the time who actually quoted Thomas Jefferson, and originally had a lot of support, partly because he seemed a safe bet in keeping the $billions of US aid flowing.
  3. caesar novus

    Egypt Museum uncertainty

    I'm listening to Paul Theroux's "Dark Star" travels thru Egypt, etc. His (always) negative impressions echoed my own experience long ago. A big bank had only nonworking ink pens set out, and a teller very sneakily stole my own. Cold blooded gratuitous cruelty to coptic or gypsy trash pickers. Jewish American tourists stopping over on the way to Israel treating the sites with comtempt... we on group tours wasted half our time waiting for them to no-show, and eventually our guide abandoned all of us. Oh, there was the nice time a felucca captain overheard me expounding on sailing and gave me the helm. Then he "fires" me due to not realizing you have to point absurdly high into the wind since they don't have daggerboards or whatever to reduce slippage. Their economy is very unfair because they don't have the basic legal infrastructure for a free market system to function on. Unable to get land titles for their homes and biz for example, corruption, etc.
  4. caesar novus

    free Rome books for kindle?

    I saw an extremely cheap deal on amazon for their almost 10" non-color kindle so that I can read e-books even in bright daylight. I guess it is cheap due to no touch screen and clunky outdated firmware... perfect for the frugal! Also it runs on free(ish) 3g only, so can still run if no wifi. If I search on amazon for "Roman" kindle books and sort by low price, there is quite a number for free... any recommendations, since they aren't obviously winners? They do have a history->ancent->rome section with good looking mostly 99 cent books. I take it I can also load most any .pdf (or better yet .mobi?) such as from free archive.org and sometimes it will even convert it to spoken word.
  5. caesar novus

    free Rome books for kindle?

    I'm missing an easy fix? Aren't you supposed to be blocking my posts? Anyway I am wary about conventional lcd screens, because: IBM repairs quoted me $900 to replace a backlight on an old thinkpad. Then they agreed to do it free, but created other problems. A toshiba flickered out and I found an online fix instruction about microscopic resoldiering of a plug behind the screen. I extended the life by periodically opening up and just wiggling the plug until losing patience. My 2 17" apple pro laptops lost their screens and I use TV out instead. Well, one of them had a posted fix where apple kindly replaced some unreliable graphic chip out of warrantee. I described the other problem with the apple genius who kind of hinted it was a messy power supply problem to the screen. As for tablets, I moderate a forum for a tablet brand with particularly troublesome screens. Folks occasionally describe how they replaced them, but it doesn't sound pretty. The problem is inherent with their frugal design anyway. Oh, I just got notified of my Kindle DX shipment, but found my local library mainly supports Kindle Fires (which just went off their cybermonday sale prices).
  6. caesar novus

    free Rome books for kindle?

    . I need pretty big fonts and still may have to view pdfs by the half page if the DX sharpness doesn't make up for it. Amzn still haven't shipped or given me a DX delivery date after several days, yet they are now airmailing 3 gallons of something I hardly need at no extra cost! I love big screens... you should see pdf on my 13" laptop folded into tablet mode and rotated to portrait... luxury! But all my laptops have died due to screen failures, and I don't want to burn extra hours e-reading on them. Same for an 11.5 inch android tablet I ordered from China... pdf looks marginally good, but all my bargain tablets develop touch problems in midlife, so I don't want to kill big, more expensive ones early just staring at books. One solution is to convert pdf to epub or whatever (losing a bit in translation) then reading on a smaller device which is cheap enough to bear the earlier screen failure. I don't like it too small so I am paging every few seconds. But the DX has a large-ish screen at a cheap, expendable price. Not only is it extra sharp but can work in bright outside light, which I want. My wifi router security setup is maxed out with device count, but the DX can use free 3G. Ahh, the anticipation is always greater than the reality.
  7. caesar novus

    free Rome books for kindle?

    . Maybe this sale indicates they are clearing out stock for an improved DX, although today they have extended the huge price cuts to some fire models. I can't find any academia forum, unless you mean the Brazilian one. Oh goodie, I have lots of .epub and .pdf available. Strange how amazon isn't giving me any delivery date on the DX after a full day, yet they are working on 30 minute deliveries by drone:. .
  8. caesar novus

    free Rome books for kindle?

    Ok, sort of a note to myself. I recalled manybooks.net having more free books out of copyright, and indeed it seems to offer .mobi and .azw which apparently is kindle compatible (send to it via usb cable rather than 3g). There are probably other sources too (gutenberg.whatever), all of which I need to experiment on before investing real bucks into newfangled "books in the cloud".
  9. caesar novus

    New (and old) 3D depictions of Rome

    My main point is the newly released 3D project for Hadrian's Villa http://vwhl.clas.virginia.edu/villa/ where you can savor this really important Tivoli site in reality or recreated 3D. I hope it makes anyone skipped that sidetrip out of Rome feel BAD :) I took the difficult public bus route there even when I was sick, hacking up blood everywhere. Here is a video on the project which is great for the first 15 minutes, then you may as well bail out of the self congratulating wrapup. Well, I do admit the architecture is a bit Greek and spindly compared to classic Rome, such as in ROME REBORN http://romereborn.frischerconsulting.com/about-current.php . I lost track of that project so much discussed here, and wonder if this is a cut down version of it. Anyway here is the superset of such digital 3d Rome projects from Virginia http://vwhl.clas.virginia.edu/projects.html . It used to be Google earth had an ancient Rome 3d overlay too that you could fly around in, but I cannot find it.
  10. caesar novus

    Piazza Armerina, Sicily

    World Archeology magazine reports amusingly on the halted (out of money) but nice partial renovation of this enigmatic villa at http://www.world-archaeology.com/travel/richard-hodges-travels-to-villa-del-casale-at-piazza-armerina/#.UpfDcrB6fm4 Hmmm, is that a worthwhile mag to subscribe to just for the occasional Roman coverage like http://www.world-archaeology.com/travel/ostia/#.UpffpLB6fm4 ? .
  11. I'm trying to test the veracity of prof. Rufus Fears, a frequent and enjoyable lecturer on Roman history in the Teaching Company series http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/professors/professor_detail.aspx?pid=165 . He gave an implausible sounding method of how Nero had his rival Britannicus murdered (the natural son of Claudius.. how different and better the empire might have become under B.) that is at odds with what some googling brings up, such as from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britannicus . The conventional sources say B. was poisoned, although maybe actually died by an unrelated epileptic fit. He had survived poison before, but this time his food taster was subverted by serving too hot wine (safe), which was sent back for cooling water containing the poison. Some say Nero raped young B. beforehand to avoid the superstition against murder of virgins. Anyway I wonder if we know the type of poison and whether it would stand up to heat. But I wonder most where Fears got the theory that the poison came from a split apple. The knife contained poison on one side, so the safe side of the apple passed muster with the food taster. This sounds made up, because it seems hard to avoid slimeing both sides of the apple. Even if the two halves don't clap together immediately following the knife, some poison would be pushed back on the trailing edge of knife and slime the other side unless you angled it carefully. It would be an interesting experiment to put molasses on one side of a knife, and play food taster by trying the supposedly safe side.
  12. The Chronicle of Higher Education opined: http://chronicle.com/article/Against-Environmental-Panic/139733/ . http://chronicle.com/article/The-Gallic-Gadfly/139731/
  13. caesar novus

    How Britannicus really murdered?

    . Oh, too bad it looks like he died last fall. I guess I'm listening to his "Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life" and the order got scrambled so I don't know what book I was on among the jam packed digressions upon Rome and Greece. Additionally, maybe in the St Mark Gospel he riffed about how Christianity was so much shaped by the Greek/Roman culture... more than just St. Paul making it a bit more Rome friendly, but the whole trinity crises was because Aristotle taught there must be hierarchy rather than joint rule. Graven images had to be allowed due to the Roman and Greek heritage of art. Stuff I never heard before, so wondered if his appealing ideas are accepted or eccentric. What a relief to load his lectures on my mp3 player for long walks... I just endured 24 lectures on that kook Richard Wagner, and then bailed out of a series that demonized St. Paul. How can I learn about St. Paul from a lecturer that hates him him as practically a Franco type reactionary vs Christ as revolutionary Che Guevara role model...
  14. caesar novus

    What have the Romans ever done for us?

    . I saw a long sentence about that recently. I think in an external article, but possibly linked to from here (maybe even by me). Anyway it listed a number of things not invented by Rome, like togas, and who originated them, like Etruscans. Maybe roman numerals... weren't they originated elsewhere? Anyway, I wasn't terribly impressed by that theme, somewhat like how guns originate from China. Those early guns were highly ineffective except for making the best out of soldiers too clumsy to shoot arrows, and had to be reinvented in the west. Or take the example of the C-47 cargo airplane... it borrowed all it's innovations, but using them in combination and appropriate balance made it a revolutionary item in itself and perhaps the most long used aircraft.
  15. Victor Hanson gave another interesting book talk on his choice of 5 historical generals who snatched a visionary victory out of an apparently certain (to their demoralized countrymen) defeat. He explains why he didn't include Scipio the Hannibal buster, but rather chooses a lesser known "the last roman". He explains why these sharp elbowed high achievers always seem doomed to be unappreciated later: http://www.booktv.org/Watch/14554/The+Savior+Generals+How+Five+Great+Commanders+Saved+Wars+That+Were+Lost+From+Ancient+Greece+to+Iraq.aspx While you may want to skip the more contemporary generals he discusses, I would urge you to hear out his coverage of the US Civil War and Korean war. These wars were headed for disaster and lost support by the fickle public, only to be saved with lasting good consequences by generals mostly poorly thought of afterward (less thanks to Grant, Lincoln, or McArthur).
  16. caesar novus

    Roman feasting styles

    I went to a cool lecture by Dr. Nicholas Hudson on Roman feasting styles. By a clever statistical analysis of physical dishes in dining rooms of various dates, he comes up with 2 social (festive) dining styles, neither of which equates to the hollywood version or even the versions on their frescos. He says the popular conception depicted was the exception. In early Rome, they engaged in what I believe he called status dining. There were a mix of patron, clients, and folks of various ranks paying tribute to each other and firming up relationships with symbiotic deals. They used dishware very much like today where everyone had their own plateware (theirs a bit smaller than ours). This way you didn't have to share or compete with others with common plates. You all recline, with heads toward the center of a circle and feet outwards like spokes of a wheel. In late Rome, the upper class still did the above a bit (using silver rather than pottery dishes), but most folks got more egalitarian with shared bigger dishes. "Convivial dining" was more of a communal thing, possibly with a christian influence. This isn't as great as it might sound, since there was no longer much striving for excellence, but rather a leveled "chain of contamination". Seated people paired up to eat from main dishes, then different pairings shared smaller dishes. So A and B shared, C and D shared... but then B and C shared another dish, so you were in a chain of spit potentially linking all together. I asked him if Mary Beard was right in saying the snack shops labeled in Pompeii couldn't be so because their food serving pots were unglazed and thus unsanitary for repeated wet use. He agreed and said they may have been spice shops.
  17. caesar novus

    Veni, Vidi, Vici... new book by Peter Jones

    . His wikipedia link loses it's final ) when parsed in this forum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Jones_(classicist) From that, I highlight in bold his mission as I see it... addressing the relevance of Rome to today's everyman rather than his old works that address Rome to the scholars. . I have read his journalism for years, but that was before my interest in the Romans. I guess I can restart at http://www.spectator.co.uk/author/peter-jones/ for instance, although that said I hit my monthly quota after reading about Quaddafi as Caligula. That was a great magazine years ago when edited by today's mayor of London, but now perhaps not worth the subscription. I thought their review was poor and almost didn't post it, but thought the book itself might be good anyway.
  18. From Trieste you could also take a summer ferry or probably a train to quaint nearby Pula Croatia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pula#Sights . . I haven't been there, but this picture shows how the arena ring dominates the town which is probably not much touristed vs other parts of Croatia. You can take summer ferries back to Venice, which would be a shame to not visit. To avoid crowds, just avoid the crush along the mindlessly obvious spine route from train station to Piazza San Marco along the canal or Rialto bridge. Walk the more serene pathways that locals use like thru Campo Santa Margherita and Academia bridge. A bit further down the coast is Split with it's magnificent Diocletian's Palace. Not well appreciated by tourists because it is entwined with the regular fabric of city shops and apartments, but I arrived on a quiet dawn and it was stunning. You can also visit the basements in near original state to get the gist of original floorplan.
  19. caesar novus

    Fate of Italian Art WWII

    Well, this is a stretch from the topic, but hard to know where it belongs. Just hitting the news recently is a billion euro art stash find in Munich, although it was found somewhat earlier. Various news sources call it Nazi loot, but it may be a category buster... in a way it seems to have been looted from Nazi museums by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildebrand_Gurlitt who was hired by them to sell it ("degenerate art"). His son has been found in possession of the art, which his (part jewish) father had claimed was burned in the Dresden raid. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/05/243221372/nazi-art-trove-includes-previously-unknown-matisse-chagall-works
  20. caesar novus

    Fate of Italian Art WWII

    There will be a sunday booktalk broadcast on "rescue and protection of historic pieces of art in Italy during World War II": http://www.booktv.org/Program/14528/Saving+Italy+The+Race+to+Rescue+a+Nations+Treasures+From+the+Nazis.aspx . That link hopefully will include the video after the talk, or you can view live on TV or streaming. It mentions Roman art, but looks to be mostly on later art. This all brings to mind how some strange events prolonged the war in Italy and threatened more damage to cultural treasures. I may have this muddled, but I believe the general in charge (Clark) was widely considered incompetent. Normally at this stage these underperforming generals were replaced, but supposedly there was some sensitive issue like a marriage related to Eisenhower that made both British and Americans reluctant to criticize Clark to him. Furthermore the most fast acting general (Patton) had been removed from the Italian front due to publicity about him slapping a couple troops. I do hear we should expect a reassessment of Eisenhower due to some colleague supporters dying off.
  21. caesar novus

    Who can't be crucified?

    I thought Romans reserved crucifixion mostly for defiant non-citizens. Of course groups rather than individuals took responsibility, but if your group didn't resist the invading Romans or rebel against them... weren't you safe, unlike the assertion in http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/capitol/epa_regulator_who_wanted_to_crucify_KaCOfGtSDTi3uhmlVDvTaM
  22. caesar novus

    Steve Jobs RIP

    Here is a great author presentation video about ultra productive but rude personality types in history, where Steve Jobs is called a cookie cutter example http://c-spanvideo.org/program/Obsessi . They have OCPD (compulsive obsessive personality disorder) he says, which differs from OCD in how the latter belongs in a mental ward, but the former drive family and co-workers to a mental ward! "America
  23. . Hanson's book didn't claim Sherman was better than Grant, just that Sherman fit his maverick category best. BTW, A new book from US Naval War College prof. claims Vicksburg was a waste, and that the despised McClellan towered above Grant and Lee in terms of good strategy: http://c-spanvideo.org/program/Strategyandt He agrees that McClellan was horrible at operational and tactical levels, but if he was simply kicked upstairs rather than fired, his multipronged strategy might have taken transportation hub Chattanooga and ended the war 18 months earlier. Grant and Lee had poor strategic awareness; only Bragg and Lincoln came close to McClellan. The way the author characterizes these generals seems in line with a new brain theory that distinguishes top vs bottom brain thinkers (they reject the left/right brain theory) http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304410204579139423079198270 . I like their "adaptor" category, which doesn't use either top or bottom brain effectively (fun-to-be-with slacker!). Anyway McClellan would appear to be the stimulator type, whose top brain makes ingenious plans, but bottom brain is oblivious to see them thru. I guess Grant and Lee would be more perceiver bottom brain types who are said mainly good at reading the minds of their opponents, although not without some top brain (superb operational but not strategic thinkers).
  24. caesar novus

    Courses on Roman engineering?

    Oh, I guess these codes are only good for the courses in that particular catalog mailer. I will post one last code from what must be the 100th physical catalog they wastefully have mailed to me... AXVE which should give 80% off some courses, but maybe none of the above.
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