GROWING ALONG THE EDGES
I first came across Roman history in the winter of 1960/61, if I recall correctly after the passing of nearly fifty years. I was then in grade 11. The subject continued to cross my path in 1963/64 in the first year of a B.A. program in a history course, half of which was devoted to ancient history from 14 A.D. to 476 A.D. It was not until twenty-five years later, in 1989, that I came to focus on Rome again, this time as a lecturer at a technical college in Australia, but this time not on the Empire but on the Republic from 133 B.C. to 14 A.D. I taught this course three times to students hoping to get into university in Western Australia.
During the three decades 1964 to 1994 I had reason to read about Roman history in the context of social science courses I taught to other groups of students already at what in Australia were then called colleges of advanced education, now universities. I also read about ancient Rome as part of my more general and personal, leisure and pleasure reading in authors like: Arnold Toynbee, Edward Gibbon and Robert Nisbet among a host of others. In the years 1999 to 2005, I retired from FT, PT and volunteer teaching and during this time I began to organize the notes I had accumulated on this subject.
Now in 2008 I take a broad and non-specialist interest in this part of history, ancient Roman history, among other aspects of history and among others subjects in the social sciences and humanities. As I am about to enter the middle years(65-75) of late adulthood(60-80) and old age(80++), if I last that long, ancient Roman history has come to occupy a solid place in my study, in my small library here in George Town Tasmania, Australia’s oldest town. –Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 10 December 2008.
I saw a doco on TV1
two nights ago and,
going to the internet,
I printed out the text
of the program. I had
been taken back for an
hour: visually and partly
imaginatively to Rome,
to Timgad, a Roman town,
a colony in North Africa,
founded by Trajan circa
100 A.D.—a name I first
heard in that winter of ‘63/4
when my emotions were all
in flux as they are still in flux
but stabilized thanks to one of
those new anti-psychotic meds
which help me keep a lid on
imaginative & intellectual life
and so I live to see another day
with a measure of tranquillity
that I never had back then with
that Professor of history whom
I recall talking and writing on the
blackboard with what then seemed
like the speed of proverbial light.
Only Ken Pizer was ever able to get
all the words down in lecture notes.
I wonder what happened to Ken in
those five decades while we went
our separate ways through the wilds
of modern history with the decline
and fall of new empires and the rise
of new religions—one of which like
that one of old was growing along
the edges of society and might indeed
come in time to contain the soul of a
global society for a 1000 years-perhaps.
1 "Lost Worlds: The Roman Empire-Timgad, North Africa," Episode 2 of 3, SBS TV
, 7 December 2008, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
10 December 2008