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Posts posted by Virgil61

  1. A good summation guy. I've learned Italian & Russian with a combination of formal training and immersion. There's just no substitute for immersion unfortunately no Romans around though I'll bet somewhere in Vatican City you might find some few conversations in Latin.


    Like I said before the issue of case is much more common in other Indo-European European languages as it was in Old English. Ironically I think it makes English grammar more difficult for those coming from other languages, or so I've been told by countless Russians. Living in St Petersburg, Russia I found they taught two kinds of English - American and British. I was told several times by people schooled in British English that they had difficulty understanding me.


    As a side note I've noticed that the better one has a grasp of English grammar going into Russian the easier their grammar is to pick up, on the other hand your English grammar will get better if it wasn't all that great before.

  2. Recently finished Herodotus "Histories" and went on to Thucydides "The Peloponnesian War". They're the first two Greek histories we have in complete form and as different from each other as night & day.

    Herodotus 'The Histories" reads in part like a travelogue, anthropological study of folk legends which operate as the background culminating in the history of the Persian-Greek war. Herodotus throws in fact and fallacy--I can't count the number of times he says "I don't necessarily believe this but they say...". He's an enjoyable read, he wants to entertain as well as teach.

    The Barnes & Noble, Oxford and Penguin translations are all pretty good. I have them and read several chapters on each [got a degree in history, it's what history geeks do]. The Oxford is the most 'modern' (done five or so years ago), and the others are old translations 'modernized' by a couple of scholars. The Landmark Herodotus is a must have if you're at all serious about it. The translation is modern & solid but got mildly criticized (I thought it was very clearly written) but the maps and notes just set the bar for anything else. The problem as I wrote in an earlier post is that it's huge; a frickin' brick.

    Thucydides is another story. He really doesn't care if you enjoy his work he's got a mission; to tell you how the war between the Greeks (post-Persian invasion conflict led by Sparta on one side & Athens on the other) was carried politically and militarily. He's a good guide, he was an Athenian general who screwed up his assignment, got exiled (which was common when you failed) & spent his exile working on The Peloponnesian Wars. He's often held up as an historical standard or the first history written in a 'facts only' dispassionate manner.


    Thucydides is a lot more difficult to translate, even Greeks just a century later commented on this. He's wording is pretty complex and intricate for lack of a better way of putting it. Mary Beard claims he is untranslatable in terms of accuracy.


    The Landmark Thucydides is pretty much the standard when it comes to maps and assistance in orienting yourself in his history. Trust me, a copy comes in handy no matter what other translation you use. The Barnes & Noble version is pretty good as well if not just for the footnotes at the bottom (thankfully). The editor is really good at adding to the narrative with small facts one normally wouldn't be aware of (and that Thucydides thinks you already know). Both use an updated translation by Crawley--each a slightly different.


    For easier going definitely grab the Oxford Classics translation. It's modern and easy to read. The old Penguin by Rex Warner is the same though from the 50s, still pretty readable (Warner was a novelist as well). If you really want to get real buy the Hackett Publishing Steven Lattimore edition--his father is Richard Lattimore who did famous Homer translations. Lattimore's is supposed to be the closest in style to Thucydides.

  3. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25572503


    Ive kept quiet on this for the last week, but compulsion is driving me to break my silence....


    A crew of global warming tourists and scientists, eager to see the southern ice sheets around antartica melting away, got frozen in place by a rapidly expanding SUMMER ice sheet forming around them.


    Three ice breakers have tried and failed to reach them.


    Yeah...... its pretty funny.


    Goodnews is, there are scientists on scene who were in position to record every minute of this. Bad news, they are likely explaining to the tourists how global warming made the summer ocean freeze over!


    Yeah the mouth-breathers on the FoxNews, Breitbart, Glenn Beck pander-to-idiots political circus pages are all over it. The Donald is on their side as well.


    In another time articles would read "Astronomers Trying To Prove Earth Is Round Get Stuck Climbing Up Mountain!" and the peasants laughing about how it only takes common sense to know the Earth is flat. 


    Meanwhile most scientists involved in the climatology field understand that local Antarctic weather on a 500 mile strip of coast wouldn't be a world-wide trend [long-term trends are quantifiable in showing different trends towards cooling]. Record heat waves in Argentina and Australia--thousands of square miles of territory more than the glacier area the ship is stuck in & two continents apart--are ignored.


    Most important of all is that the ship got trapped between ice chunks that had been part of an extremely large glacier that broke off a couple of years ago [after thousands of years of being connected to it]. But again, no one's gotten poor by underestimating the ignorance of large parts of the population]. Yeah, kind of an important piece to be left out.


    Big news, Antarctica has ice year round.

  4. Recently I have been listening to the Symphonic Death Metal band Ex Deo who write about Roman History and such. I like the band and their music and recently I decided to look up what some of the Latin lyrics from their song "Cruor Nostri Abbas", which led me to find that the Lyrics they tried to write in Latin came out horrible and according to a post I found on this site (http://heavylatin.blogspot.com/2009/10/ex-deo-cruor-nostri-abbas.html) it is extremely difficult to translate and read. If anyone would like to give it a shot here are the lyrics, I am curious to know what Ex Deo tried to say.


    CRUOR NOSTRI ABBAS (I believe this is supposed to say "The Blood of Our Fathers", but wouldn't that be "Cruor Nostri Patres"?)


    EGO spiritus meus contemno


    EGO dominor


    EGO addo lemma ut suum filiolus


    EGO ostendo haud misericordia


    EGO ostendo haud diligo


    Capio absentis suum posterus


    EGO dico ordo


    Telum crudus divum



    The first post after the initial one seems to have a decent enough if not perfect translation but a more fluent linguist could confirm that.


    Reading his post I've noticed something about English speakers who go to learn another Indo-European language. They complain about that language because of the declension & cases involved without realizing that most European languages from the Indo-European group have them and modern English is the odd man out [not old English though].

  5. Another recent british site, the daily mail:




    Those are some pretty impressive pictures of the icecaps GROWING.


    It also admits the global warming theory appears greatly flawed.


    I still have my cold weather training manual Virgil, Ill send it to you, we can snowshoe off to a laboratory where you can teach me science.


    The Daily Mail anti-AGW? Shocking. Nice find Einstein. What's next physics using a FoxNews article? Evolutionary theory by USA Today?


    It's not my job to pick up where your high school teachers failed. Being that you're almost pathologically threatened or made insecure by any sort of education I doubt you'd come along anyway. Let's meet at the reading room at Dumbarton Oaks, you know the one you were going to fly to in Washington state. Yeah, right.


    Arctic Sea Ice expansion. Seasonal weather events aren't long-term trends.

    There are different sorts of ice--thin, thick, seasonal, multi-year each having different causes:




    Why are there cold spells? Let some more scientists explain it to you. Careful they have advanced degrees & you know, might actually know more than you.





    There is abundant evidence of climate change driven by


    About 40% of human CO2 emissions are being absorbed, mostly by

    vegetation and the oceans. The rest remains in the atmosphere. As a

    consequence, atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in 15

    to 20 million years (Tripati 2009). A natural change of 100ppm normally

    takes 5,000 to 20.000 years. The recent increase of 100ppm has

    taken just 120 years.

    Additional confirmation that rising CO2 levels are due to human

    activity comes from examining the ratio of carbon isotopes (eg ?

    carbon atoms with differing numbers of neutrons) found in the

    atmosphere. Carbon 12 has 6 neutrons, carbon 13 has 7 neutrons.

    Plants have a lower C13/C12 ratio than in the atmosphere. If rising

    atmospheric CO2 comes from fossil fuels, the C13/C12 should be

    falling. Indeed this is what is occurring (Ghosh

    2003). The C13/C12 ratio correlates with the trend in

    global emissions.

  6. Well ... I had been under the impression that Europeans had never encountered corn aka maize .... until coming to the American contenent.


    Why am I reading in multiple books - some published in the 1960s and some up to recently - that mention the corn in the field and corn in other aspects near or in Roma ?


    Wouldn't it be barley and other grains of that type ?


    What the heck, eh?


    I believe in England corn was a general word for grain crops, there meaning mostly wheat, in the U.S. maize. As American English has spread in influence it's becoming more and more the word for maize only I think. Most of the old translations of Caesar's Gallic Wars for instance use 'corn' meaning wheat since most of those were written by writers living in England. At least that's how I understand it.

  7. I worked on K Street in D.C. for years, Dumbarton Oaks wouldn't make more than a single-A ball club in the world of DC snobs.


    Leo's work is supposed to be a heavily revised version of Maurice's Strategikon with an interesting number of changes and inclusions. George Dennis translated my copy [probably the upenn press copy of Strategikon everyone uses] in '84. I think he translated this revised Leo in 2010 [apparently he died that year].

  8. To anyone over the age of 35, the fact that global warming is occurring is blindingly obvious, and it  kicked in about a century ago, when coal burning in the industrial revolution began to make an impact.  A current local cold spell, or even a snowfall in Egypt, does not cancel out the upward trend in global temparatures over the past century which is a matter of record, and clearly visible to those who can be bothered to look at the meteorological records. Who can look at ice cap shrinkage and recession of glaciers all over the world, and still deny it is happening? News agencies may not have made much of a song and dance about it, but heatwaves in Europe in 2003, 2009 and 2013 each killed around 20'000 in Europe. The fact that each of these natural disasters affected mainly the old, and played out over  weeks rather than a single day, doesn't make them any less catastrophic than any Tsunami or hurricane. Just less sexy for news agencies - especially ones bankrolled by Exxon and Haliburton.


    I'll go further in that I think climate change deniers are becoming akin to the those whose who deny evolution. Like evolution it's almost developing into a litmus test of whether a person is anti-intellectual & anti-science to be blunt about it.


    To paraphrase JS Mill; 'I'd never say people who deny climate change are generally stupid, but almost every stupid person tends to deny climate change'.


    I agree that mass media isn't where one should get one's science from--in the US we have media like FoxNews that loudly trumpets the other side of the issue--but I think any thoughtful person who digs into the issue can't help but come out understanding there is a big deal going on in terms of the Earth's climate & human beings play a part in it.


    The scientific consensus on the subject is telling. A major paper by NOAA came out showing evidence of warming in the last 50 years - LINK.


    The evidence goes on and on to the point where counter-arguments are pretty much swamped by the data and reality. Yet people still argue against it like they do evolution. At some point one realizes that it's just what people want to believe. I think it sucks, I'm more than happy to have a planet where we can use the hell out of oil and other natural resources w/no damage. Economies would grow faster, regulations would diminish etc., but as John Adams once said; 'Facts are stubborn things'.

  9. The only other place I've been able to find one of these is at the university library in Univ of Washington & I really didn't want to spend $200-$400+ for a hard copy. It's looks like it's now available in Feb at under $40 in a revised edition.
    It's a Dumbarton Oaks study. Dumbarton Oaks is a research library dedicated to Byzantine studies located in D.C. near the embassy row/Naval observatory part of town [one of a thousand reasons I wish I lived in D.C. again]. It's put out quite a few studies on Byzantine military affairs [among other things] a lot in small batch academic printings which are ridiculously expensive.







  10. Beware of authors picking and choosing stories to support a sensational sellable picture. Banks were originally horrified at the politicians battering and bashing them to give mortgages to the insolvent. Obam himself rammed lawsuits with the usual claims of racism to force a no-income group to be given mortgages, with the result that it ruined their financial lives and they are now publicly regretful.

    Thanks for the warning but my background in economics is solid, besides graduate work in macro and micro, I've worked in the real world around economists & the international trade scene in D.C. for years. I'm quite well-read on the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.


    The whole 'bankers were forced or threatened' is pretty much BS as a cause of the subprime meltdown--a position backed up by the Fed inquiry committee, countless studies including by individual Fed banks. It's no mistake it's relegated to opinion pages more than economic studies of the crisis (there are a few, but not many).


    The truth is that government-backed CRA mortgages failed at a rate far less than the national average.


    The proof is in the pudding, Countrywide's horrendous mortgages weren't sold on political pressure. They sold them because once that was done they packed them in groups of mortgage backed securities & collateralized debt obligations then sold off ending up on Wall St as part of Lehman Brothers or bought up by foreign entities. They made money on the sale and were not liable for the mortagages [EDIT: I should've say were not harmed if the mortgages weren't paid], the next guy they sold the MBS' & CDOs to was--understanding this is key to understanding the crisis.

    Under both Clinton and Bush this bank bashing by the gov't and fannie/freddie just broke the back of responsible bankers. So they just gave up and let a cadre of kook bankers try to make the new irrationality pay it's way somehow. Now gov't punishes a bank (MS?) for the sins of the bank they altruistically took over at gov't request to prevent damage to customers or gov't bailout. They further grossly over-fine them hundreds of millions recently for a mistake overseas that had near zero financial impact.

    No. Lehman Brothers & Bear Stearns [and JP Morgan, and almost all the major players] had nothing to do with selling the original mortgages to homeowners. They took the mortgages packaged, repacked them when needed then resold them. Lehman leveraged themselves 16 to 1 to borrow to buy more. Sixteen to One (that needs repeating). They were insured for losses by whom? AIG.


    Morgan was responsible for reselling billions & billions of dollars of repacked mortgaged security packages that were toxic and were as responsible for representing them as AAA. AAA securities they sold and that failed. They weren't wet-behind-the-ears guys from Missoula playing the stocks they were at the top of the financial profession. If they weren't responsible no one was. They made tens of billions in profits from these sales & came out smelling like a rose by bailing out some bad stuff w/gov't backing [they would have been in danger of going under as well with the financial ****storm that would have followed].


    I can go deeper into the mechanics of what happened but would probably put everyone to sleep, if they aren't already.

    Where I live, food and supplies mostly depend on unionized unskilled with extortionate six figure incomes to not strike, such as a morse code officer (completely obsolete do-nothing job forced on company). There is a special national law that protects unions from charges of cross company monopolies (against consumers). Do you remember the abysmal quality of US cars in the days before imports broke their monopoly?

    Yes and I remember last month GM--owned in part by the Autoworkers union--came out ahead of Toyota for the first time in perceived quality--specifically GMC & Chevrolet.

    The recent bailout of GM (costing unrecoverable billions) was naked lawless populism. The bondholders were robbed... against hundreds of years of law saying they were the last to lose out! This is the traditional investment of widows and orphans, or at least pensions which suffer low returns for safety. But they were robbed because the unions were given the stock that is supposed to take the risk. I'm talking about the lawless way of the rescue, not whether there should have been breaks given to them (like the corp tax break they got).

    Not even close to what happened. GM Corporation folded in a federal bankruptcy & is now Motor Liquidation Company. Period. A separate entity was the beneficiary of the bailout funds. As part of the dissolution it sold it's name and factories to another entity which was backed by money from the Ontario gov't, the UAW's pension fund and US gov't backed funds. The 'new' company is 'GM Company' and has no legal relationship with the old GM.


    It wasn't populism by any measure it was sound economic policy. Letting GM and Chrysler go under would have driven steel, tire and other sub-contracting suppliers out of business. That possibility scared Ford so much that in spite of not accepting gov't money it's CEO went in front of Congress with GM and Chrysler's to ask for the bailout.


    I have to laugh at the 'hundreds of years of bankruptcy law' thing going around. I'm not sure what law you're speaking of. I graduated from law school and what I remember is creditors always come ahead of shareholders. Shareholders are almost always wiped out in bankruptcy and have the last claim to assets.


    The US Gov't lost $12 billion in bailout loans to GM. in 2011 alone the auto industry paid over $130 billion in state and federal taxes. The Austrians got their lunch handed to them on this and their theories certainly haven't risen in stature among economists in general though not on the far to fringe right.


    I'm warming up to the Japanese I-boat/sub commander story the most http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/77669087 . I think our view of the Pacific theater is weakened by less dialog with the enemy actors post war. That and a language problem leaves us with one dimensional view vs the Euro get togethers of US/Brit/German for post mortem analyses.


    This author has got a big ego and he's in the right places at the right times with the best equipment, but accomplishes almost nothing. Besides his direct accounts of key battles, and sharing what almost happened (how we unknowingly dodged bullets) he networked with other commanders and consulted postwar documentation (not translated yet?) to give his spin on the history. He has quite an anti-US and anti-prewar-FDR bias that is stimulating to unpack. Watch as he just misses opportunities to shell SFO and torpedo various carriers.


    I think the whole Zhukov/Stalin massacred their people via tactics is a bit of a relic of cold-war historians




    Bernake ignored the more conservatives because he's a student of Keynes, he wrote an influential paper on the Great Depression. Avoidance of populist backlash was maybe the very least of the reasons he acted in the manner he did, of course in doing what he did he incurred the wrath of the Austrian school & Tea Party types.


    My impressions of Russian waste of their own lives was based on anecdotes from early and late periods, such as Zhukov racing peers towards Berlin and spending double the lives if it saves him a day. If he was more careful of lives in the middle periods, that's fine. But if the attrition ratio is comparable to Hitler in retreat, that is no point in Zhukov's favor. Hitler had that crazy scheme of no-retreat fortresses, and liked to starve experienced units of supplies in favor of inexperienced ones to give the opportunity of Darwinian survival of the fittest (punish the experienced troops who may have wasted too much ammo). Also Goebbels arranged to have great numbers of retreating soldiers hung, EVEN when this demonstratedly included innocent and vital couriers.


    As for Bernanke, I rejoiced when he was appointed... even with no knowledge of what challenges he would face and with what policy bias he would apply. He not only studied the depression in depth (anyone can do that), but moved the state of understanding of it with rare insight. I don't rejoice for the elderly Berkeley professor-ess that will replace him with the same current policy - she seems stuck on that for the wrong reasons and may give us another repeat of the Carter admin inflation.


    I didn't mean Bernanke had anything to do with populism... he is mostly independant of that, but has to set policy on the basis of counteracting stupid populist elected gov't measures that have strangled growth in the name of employee entitlement or bank bashing etc. It's like being on a boat where the mob has a big rudder pointed in a self destructive direction. Bernanke has only a little steering oar to dip in and counteract it a bit. His policies may look backwards in the abstract, but in the context of what he is dealing with and his small leverage, his most every move has turned out amazing in hindsight.


    Re Zhukov/Stalin/Hitler, well it was war of course & not a tea party. The other extreme is the US & UK aversion to casualties. I'm convinced we never could have taken the brutal beating the Soviets did.


    We certainly don't agree on economic approaches. I'm not sure what 'populist' gov't measures you use but in the U.S. the least unionized, less-regulated & taxed states have the lowest per capita income & least educated populations. Or to put it bluntly, Red states are poorer and dumber than Blue states and Blue state taxes tend to subsidize Red states with the federal largess.


    Considering that the bottom 50% of the population owns less than 5% of the U.S. wealth the mob ain't been doing much a good job at controlling anything. They certainly couldn't prevent the bail-out to the banking sector which should have been far more punishing and come with a lot more requirements. JP Morgan and Jamie Diamond certainly came away big winners, not what a mob would push for I think.


    I've read several studies of the financial crisis--I'd recommend starting with the Fin Crisis Inquiry Committee report if you haven't--and bank behavior was atrocious. Their leveraging of derivatives & horrid risk-assessment was almost criminal, certainly reckless and showed the weakness of unregulated capitalism. To top it off many of the financial media tried to push the [now-discredited-by-most-economists] blame on Clinton's CRA. In hindsight a laughable attempt if it weren't so repulsive in its manipulation of ignorance.


    Some of the financial crisis books I've read are Sorkin's Too Big To Fail, Henry Paulson's On the Brink, Michael Lewis' The Big Short (very entertaining), A Colossul Failure of Common Sense (by a Lehman insider) and Crash of the Titans.

  12. (reply to above)


    "Herodotus"... All previous translations are claimed to be obsolete with the new release by Holland, according to http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9097452/the-histories-by-herodotus-review/


    "Zhukov"... The excessive attrition rate he inflicted on his own army mars his great record, and I hope he had some regrets about this even though virtually mandated by Stalin.


    "Bernake" [sic]... Bernanke was maybe the only real adult in the room among all leaders of this century so far, with economic lifesaving realism that benefited the globe. His detractors fail to recognize that more ideal reformist solutions were infeasible due to populist politics (Greek rather than Roman style democracy = two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner).


    From the Pacific theatre I have a Japanese principles of war,


    I've read the reviews of Holland. I'd be interested in reading it someday but I can't imagine it making any other translations obsolete. The Landmark & Oxford classics translations are less than a decade old. Holland himself said in one interview I remember that he slanted towards readability rather than exactness [although he's said in the article to be closer than the current Penguin classics edition]. But whatever translation they all read fairly similar to each other --Herodotus is apparently much, much easier to translate than Thucydies--Histories is probably the most interestingly written and I'd even say fun to read ancient history you'll come across. 


    I think the whole Zhukov/Stalin massacred their people via tactics is a bit of a relic of cold-war historians [edit: I should add this is the theme I 'grew up' with as well]. I think the current crop of military historians of the eastern front--Glanz & Overton to name two I've read--would be less inclined to say that. Whatever else you can say about Stalin--psychopath, murderer, etc.--he learned after the first few months to not shoot combat commanders who failed and he let his generals do the grunt-work on planning the attacks unlike Hitler who took command of Army, corps, division and even brigades away from his field commanders.


    Not to say they weren't brutal but they punched back as well. To use Wikipedia #s the Soviets lost 8.7-13.8 million soldiers while the Germans lost 4.3 - 5.5 million soldiers [the overwhelming majority of those on the eastern front]. When you figure overall population rates of 168m to 69m respectively both sides took a beating. If I remember correctly a large chunk of the Soviet deaths [2-3m] came in the first few months of the war while IIRC Ian Kershaw says that 1/2 of all German combat deaths came on the eastern front  in '44-45.


    Bernake ignored the more conservatives because he's a student of Keynes, he wrote an influential paper on the Great Depression. Avoidance of populist backlash was maybe the very least of the reasons he acted in the manner he did, of course in doing what he did he incurred the wrath of the Austrian school & Tea Party types.


    The Japanese manual looks somewhat like their version of an FM-3.0 and FM-90 manual.

  13. Finished reading Herodotus Histories again. This time I read through using three different translations alternating chapters--the Landmark, Oxford Classics and Penguin versions. I'd recommend any of them, the Landmark's maps and notes being outstanding but the book itself the size of a brick.

    Rereading Thucydides using the Landmark, Oxford and Barnes & Noble versions. All three are very good. Since T is a far more complex thinker & writer the translations matter a lot more I think. The Oxford is the most modern English while the Landmark & B&N use the same Crawley translation each 'updated' by their respective editors.

    In the last week I've bought hard copies of: Stalin's General- The Life of G Zhukov; Sertorius and the Struggle for Spain [by UNRV poster Maty]; Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942; Shock Doctrine--The Rise of Disaster Capitalism; In Fed We Trust; Bernake's War on the Great Panic & The Origins of the Peloponnesian War.

    I have no idea when I'm going to get to any of these...

  14. 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.

    Interesting take. I think you're right, if you look at 19th and early 20th century military historians they're a lot more liberal in the use of modern military terminology like squad, company, etc.


    As someone who's got more experience than most here in the military I have a different take; "squad" doesn't irritate me much. If I only had one stint after being an 11B (infantry) in the 82nd maybe it would but having experienced that a "squad" ended up being anything from a section of sergeants at a school, administrative clerks in a finance detachment, etc., it's strict definition as a tactical maneuver unit erodes away.

  15. Well, it depends on your point of view. Most linguists don't believe that Latin died out; we believe that Latin evolved. Even the daily language of the Empire wasn't Classical Latin; it was Vulgar Latin, which was a further evolution of Classical Latin, of sorts. The modern Romance languages are just an even further evolution of that change.

    Somewhere on the 'net is a comparison of the Lord's Prayer in Latin [church/Vulgate version?] with the Sardanian Italian dialect, the similarities were pretty dramatic I thought. Assuming the comparisons were in valid forms.

  16. I don't see how Latin is difficult at all [ OK, except for the memorization aspect which is just a boring marathon of rote exercises]. FYI, I grew up in Italy for the first few years of my life, took a couple of years of Latin in parochial high school & studied Russian in both the Army and in Russia.


    They're Indo-European languages so they (and English) have a similar skeletal structure in terms of grammar it seems to me although English lost much of it's declensions from Old English. I saw that the better one was at English grammar the better you caught on to Russian declensions or in return your knowledge of English grammar improved substantially.


    Docoflove1974 knows more about this then all of us put together I imagine. If she ever comes back around it'd be interesting to get more of her insight.

    • Like 1

  17. I like your idea Virgil about the military, and lean towards it..... just the reality is, Romans started dodging military service. It eventually became a system of foreigners brought in, settled as a group to fight as an army.


    That certainly became a fact later from the mid-3d century on but a lot of people would have welcomed it in 212--no need to be 'adopted' by a Roman veteran [as it is suspected was done often in the legions in Egypt circa the 1st/2nd century AD]. As you get into the late 3d century w/the meat grinder of civil wars 'crisis recruiting' [to use one historian's phrase] became common.


    At location 278 of 864 of the free kindle sample download, he brings up the Antonine Constitution..... where most Romans got citizenship.


    He repeats without hesitation what I have been told since elementry school... that it was more symbolic than real and didnt really matter, and just look away, and hey look, do you like shadow puppets..... this is a bird flapping its wings.....



    Why on earth should I accept such a regurgitation of opinion?



    You shouldn't because he didn't say the sweeping statment you seem to think he said, it goes:


    ,,,Nevertheless it is clear that by the end of the second century AD the incorporation and acculturation of indigenous elites had reached an advanced stage, and in the year 212 the so-called Constitutio Antoniana (Antonine Constitution, also known as the 'Caracallan Edic') granted Roman citizenship to virtually all free (i.e. non-slave) inhabitants of the empire. For many contemporaries the importance of this development must have been more symboloic than real, but it is significant historically in that it indicates that the Roman Empire was gradually evolving into something with at least the outward appearance of more than a mere 'Italocracy'--the imposition of Roman or Italian dominance on an alien provincial landscape [he cites footnote #7].


    There's nothing wrong with that statement. If you were living in a mud hut tilling an acre of soil or some like mean existence [the majority of people] it probably didn't matter to you. If you were some young guy or that guy's parents you'd be stoked because that meant you might get a shot at joining the higher paying legions instead of auxiliaries. From some of the source documents found in Campbell's book on the Roman Army joining the legions could be a really big deal.


    But FFS he's not doing a tome on Caracalla's edict, it's just a preface to a book on late antiquity, Rome & Islam.


    As #6 hinted at JSTOR by itself has 366 articles on "Antonine Edict". Start there. Some of JSTOR is available for online reading now I think.


    And Virgil...... Im guessing you and Gilius were debating the Vaticans medieval claims to owning the lands of western europe? That was indeed asserted by certain medieval popes, but also disproved by Bishops who smelled something rotten themselves. Its a claim literally no one has backed in hundreds of years. I think you two should separate for a while, meet other people, cause this strange relationship between the two of you isnt going anywhere positive. I didnt see you to debate it out, but I can guess it was silliness and a lot of slamming your head off the wall.


    No. I wasn't debating anything with him, he made this comment;


    "The Pope is now the head of the Roman Empire of today (the church and state of the European Union and Catholic Church)" here: LINK


    I assumed you mixed up my answer with Caldrail.


    I have no relationship with the guy, he posted a lot of crap on a history site & quite a few posters--as well as myself--called it BS.