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  1. Old Comment
    deaf tuner's Avatar

    Broken mirror

    Ayham al-Ahmad Ahmad

    “Six months after the partial blockade of Yarmouk, the camp became airtight. Flour and bread were banned, everything was banned from coming into the camp. We used to say that they would have even stopped airflow had they found a way to do it. At that time, I started to feel the plight I inflicted upon my kids. Why did I stay? What would I do?”

    He tried to take his piano with him. But

    “there was a member of Islamic State at the checkpoint who stopped me and asked: ‘Don’t you know that the musical instruments are haram [forbidden]’?” Then they burnt my piano ... ”

    ___________________
    Syrian musicians among growing number of refugees in Europe
    El Pianista de Yarmouk
    Posted Yesterday at 11:58 AM by deaf tuner deaf tuner is offline
    Updated Today at 11:24 AM by deaf tuner
  2. Old Comment
    Lord Oda Nobunaga's Avatar

    The Early Career of Marcus Antonius

    Yes Antony was very maligned and slighted as I think even his ineptitude was grossly exaggerated.

    Antony was still very much a Roman but I think he was a Hellenophile. Like many affluent citizens he went to Greece to receive instruction in philosophy among other things. Again, this was is not unheard of as Julius Caesar did similarly and even visited Anatolia taking the time to serve in the Mithridatic Wars.

    However in the case of Antony he did seem to be a complete Hellenophile in many ways. He was also not an adept player of Roman politics which probably led him to take up a role as a sort of Hellenistic monarch when he set out to govern his portion of the empire and during his time in Alexandria. He did not cease to be Roman but his love for Greek culture sort of came to the fore in this environment.

    To the locals he was still Roman but he did not go out of his way to present himself as a foreigner and very much was in his element both for his ability to appeal to the people of the East and away from Roman plots. In Egypt it is hard to say what they actually thought of him but as a virtual king he would have been treated just the same as Cleopatra. There would have been statues and icons of him in that role as ruler.

    But to the Romans he did not cease to be a Roman. Except maybe in his alleged disregard for the Roman institutions and being "bewitched" by the wiles of an "Eastern" woman. Although the propaganda of the time would paint Antony as someone who indulged in luxury and excess and was becoming soft like an Easterner or a Greek due to his long stay in Alexandria and his relationship with Cleopatra.
    Posted March 20th, 2017 at 11:24 PM by Lord Oda Nobunaga Lord Oda Nobunaga is offline
    Updated March 20th, 2017 at 11:28 PM by Lord Oda Nobunaga
  3. Old Comment
    Dios's Avatar

    The Early Career of Marcus Antonius

    I got the wrong physician. Plutarch's description of Cleopatra's death names "Olympus" as her physician who published a document about it. Plutarch also has the fishing incident.

    I don't know how valid either of these interpretations are. I've seen discussions exactly as you describe "Hellenistic Monarch." I've also seen discussions that imply that Antony didn't stop being Roman, but rather "adopted" Hellenistic customs to be politically correct in Egypt.

    In Medieval times, Arabs published translations of Egyptian papyruses of the 1st century BCE. I have some references about Cleopatra, they're 180 degrees from the Roman attitude of her. I wonder what they say about Antony?

    Antony was a Roman icon before Cleopatra. In the same way Romans historians demonized Cleopatra, wouldn't it serve their purpose to make Antony "decadent" ... or, at least, abandon being an iconic Roman? Make him something less? What I'm saying is that Romans would see "Hellenistic" govt as something less than "Roman".

    ??
    Posted March 20th, 2017 at 04:19 PM by Dios Dios is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Lord Oda Nobunaga's Avatar

    The Early Career of Marcus Antonius

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dios View Comment
    I have a copy of "The Life and Times of Cleopatra Queen of Egypt" by Arthur E.P. Brome Weigall. He was an archeologist at Howard Carter time (roughly). He claims to reference a diary of Dioscorides Phacas, Cleopatra's personal physician. He documents personal episodes during the time Cleopatra and Antony were married.

    He talks about the pair knocking on doors in the middle of the night and running away. Antony loved fishing but was having a bad day: Cleopatra had a diver attach a salted herring to his line.

    There's quite a bit of this stuff that makes them just "people" that enjoyed each other. I'm fascinated to see what the original text says, as opposed to this second source.

    HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE DIARY OF DIOSCORIDES?

    BTW: The writing in this book is just awful. Perhaps it was the standard of the day, in 1920. Here's a sample: "People must needs wear thick clothing, and must study the barometer before taking their promenades." --- I think that's what I do with my dogs. I check the thermometer before taking them on their promenade.
    I've never heard of Dioscorides nor Arthur E.P. Brome Weigall. However I have heard of the fishing anecdote before. I have also heard other anecdotes for example Antony and Cleopatra liked to tell stories to their guests and at court they only spoke Greek. It does look as if Antony was in many ways an Eastern or more specifically Hellenistic/Greek monarch rather than a Roman politician.
    Posted March 20th, 2017 at 03:52 PM by Lord Oda Nobunaga Lord Oda Nobunaga is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Dios's Avatar

    Historical Fiction:good or bad?

    I don't think you can make a blanket statement about historical fiction. There are good books and bad books ... period.

    You absolutely can't beat "I, Claudius" by Robert Graves. In addition to being a fiction and poetry author, he translated Greek and Roman text (Suetonius for sure, maybe Tacitus).

    The notion of historical fiction is to hit markers in history, and fill in drama and personalities in between. Graves knows the period so well, there's not a lot that he adds. After I read Graves, I wanted to know what it was really like ... so I read Tacitus ... and I forget the other. Some of it is unbelievable, but corroborated by authors 2000 yrs old.

    I don't know if the Amazon series "Rome" was a book, but it's a good middle ground: hits historical points, dramatizes known personalities, picks out two guys that Caesar wrote about in one sentence, and built a whole world around them. It's rich in little accuracy details, like Romans saying little prayers every time they pass a shrine. There's a guy who reports the news of the day ... using the same hand motions and rhythm, again, documented from 2000 yrs ago.

    The "Spartacus" series is the absolute worst. They take names and times, and the rest of it is just "The 300".

    Pretty much, any book with "Cleopatra" on it is crap. The Romans hated her and described her universally as a whore. All the books are tawdry love stories. The Arab histories report her as something close to a genius: her father bankrupted the empire, a 15 yr old Cleo singlehandedly ruled an empire and rebuilt the treasury so that when Augustus hauled it back to Rome it depressed the world price of gold (took her around 16 yrs or so).

    Oh! I can't forget Clavelle!!! Start with "Shogun". It's not historically accurate of anything, but it's "culturally" accurate about feudal Japan. Uhhh ... sorry .. that might not be what you want.
    Posted March 14th, 2017 at 07:15 PM by Dios Dios is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Dios's Avatar

    The Early Career of Marcus Antonius

    I have a copy of "The Life and Times of Cleopatra Queen of Egypt" by Arthur E.P. Brome Weigall. He was an archeologist at Howard Carter time (roughly). He claims to reference a diary of Dioscorides Phacas, Cleopatra's personal physician. He documents personal episodes during the time Cleopatra and Antony were married.

    He talks about the pair knocking on doors in the middle of the night and running away. Antony loved fishing but was having a bad day: Cleopatra had a diver attach a salted herring to his line.

    There's quite a bit of this stuff that makes them just "people" that enjoyed each other. I'm fascinated to see what the original text says, as opposed to this second source.

    HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE DIARY OF DIOSCORIDES?

    BTW: The writing in this book is just awful. Perhaps it was the standard of the day, in 1920. Here's a sample: "People must needs wear thick clothing, and must study the barometer before taking their promenades." --- I think that's what I do with my dogs. I check the thermometer before taking them on their promenade.
    Posted March 14th, 2017 at 06:32 PM by Dios Dios is offline
  7. Old Comment
    deaf tuner's Avatar

    Black and White

    Florin Liviu Albei

    (to Offspring)


    Protests, protests …

    No protest is a real protest if it doesn't resonate. Today, resonating is no longer about sound, but about image.

    Cameramen, photographers, the resonating chambers of our, of your, of their protests.

    Florin Liviu Albei is one of those resonators.

    Don't ask me about him: I don't know anything. He's Romanian, he's young, he's a member of "Inquam Photos", Reuters used his photos … and that would be all I know.

    And it isn't that bad, knowing so little, I mean: his photos can speak for him.

    What impressed me are his portraits. It isn't very often to see protesters' portraits that avoid the spectacularly of the protest itself, the message, the violence, the colour, the tragedy, the symbol. It's even less often to see portraits of cops. Not cops doing their duty, but simply cops … just people, in uniform.



    Click the image to open in full size.







    Click the image to open in full size.








    Click the image to open in full size.








    Click the image to open in full size.










    ____________
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mebeingstupid/albums
    Posted February 16th, 2017 at 12:02 PM by deaf tuner deaf tuner is offline
    Updated March 4th, 2017 at 10:33 AM by deaf tuner
  8. Old Comment
    Posted February 14th, 2017 at 06:39 PM by Junius Junius is offline
  9. Old Comment

    Captain's Log Entry 2: Britain and France

    You could start by looking at:
    Brendam Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, 1714-1783

    It has a small section on the War of the Spanish Succession and then goes on to look at the War of the Austrian Succession, The Seven Years War and the American War of Independence. There is a good bibliography so it should help you locate other helpful books on the wars of the Spanish and Austrian Succession.
    Posted February 14th, 2017 at 11:20 AM by sirjohnclerk sirjohnclerk is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Junius's Avatar

    Captain's Log Entry 2: Britain and France

    First about the factual error, my bad and thanks a ton for the catch and the compliments.

    I'll probably address the earlier two conflicts in a lafter post, but I must admit my knowledge of them is slightly scantily (still doable though). Once again, thanks for the comment.
    Posted February 14th, 2017 at 07:45 AM by Junius Junius is offline
  11. Old Comment

    Captain's Log Entry 2: Britain and France

    I'm very impressed by your understanding of how the long-standing rivalry between England and France was transformed into a contest for global supremacy in the eighteenth century.

    I would have been interested to hear your opinion about the origins and development of this conflict, from the middle ages to the seventeenth century, but, as you explain in your blog, you are primarily concerned with the story in the eighteenth century.

    You are clearly very well informed about international politics at the time of the seven years war, but it might have been helpful, and would have strengthened your argument, to have mentioned the fighting between the two countries during the War of the Spanish Succession, 1702 -1713, and the War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-1748.

    I agree that the seven years war was the decisive encounter between Britain and France at this time, but the
    two earlier contests were an important part of the rivalry which was to culminate in the Seven Years War. They can also be seen as precursors of the later conflict, in that the fighting was no longer confined to Europe as it had been before.

    One small point of fact. You say that the Jacobites achieved a great victory at Derby in 1745, but there was no battle here. Derby was the nearest the Jacobites got to London after invading England. It was here that Bonnie Prince Charlie, aware that there were two Hanoverian armies nearby, decided that it would be better to retreat back to Scotland rather than continuing the advance south. This was a very unpopular decision because many of his followers wanted to make one last attempt to reach London.
    Posted February 14th, 2017 at 07:22 AM by sirjohnclerk sirjohnclerk is offline
  12. Old Comment
    leakbrewergator's Avatar

    Hideyoshi's Warriors of the Imjin War

    It was a good mix. Without having the numbers right in front of me, I would say the Mori had the largest contingent in both invasions, by a pretty substantial margin. After them, it was well dispersed.
    Posted February 14th, 2017 at 03:58 AM by leakbrewergator leakbrewergator is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Junius's Avatar

    Metternich, Tsar Alexander and the Polish Question

    Great post, given me a few ideas in terms of layout and presentation!
    Posted February 13th, 2017 at 09:50 AM by Junius Junius is offline
  14. Old Comment

    It's time for Ukraine to step up

    Annexing a neighboring country’s territory by force, Putin overturned in a
    single stroke assumptions on which post-Cold War European order has rested.

    evrokrym@gmail.com

    UkraiNATO Create Army half a Million with an Independent Financial System.

    Referendum in Ukraine: a Return Nuclear Status!


    UKRAINATO ARMY WITH AN INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL SYSTEM
    Posted February 10th, 2017 at 06:52 AM by EuroKrym EuroKrym is offline
  15. Old Comment

    Short hirtory of East and East-Southern Ukraine, Crimea or Why are they Russian?

    TAURIdA - FREEd POLITICAL EURO ZONE !
    CRIMEA POSSIBLE to still SALVAGE!

    EUROVISION IN #EUROCRIMEA !
    TROOPS BEING WITHDRAWN, EURO INTRODUCED!

    Better a small earthquake, than great war.
    Or? ...


    EUROKRYM | TAURIdA - FREEd POLITICAL ZONE
    Posted February 10th, 2017 at 06:51 AM by EuroKrym EuroKrym is offline
  16. Old Comment

    Law of the jungle? or a more united world?

    TAURIdA - FREEd POLITICAL EURO ZONE !
    CRIMEA POSSIBLE to still SALVAGE!

    EUROVISION IN #EUROCRIMEA !
    TROOPS BEING WITHDRAWN, EURO INTRODUCED!

    Better a small earthquake, than great war.
    Or? ...

    EUROKRYM | TAURIdA - FREEd POLITICAL ZONE
    Posted February 10th, 2017 at 06:50 AM by EuroKrym EuroKrym is offline
  17. Old Comment

    Time for the Russian federation to split up?

    TAURIdA - FREEd POLITICAL EURO ZONE !
    CRIMEA POSSIBLE to still SALVAGE!

    EUROVISION IN #EUROCRIMEA !
    TROOPS BEING WITHDRAWN, EURO INTRODUCED!

    Better a small earthquake, than great war.
    Or? ...

    EUROKRYM | TAURIdA - FREEd POLITICAL ZONE
    Posted February 10th, 2017 at 06:46 AM by EuroKrym EuroKrym is offline
  18. Old Comment
    Pessimist Crow's Avatar

    Hideyoshi's Warriors of the Imjin War

    Which of the clans sent the most men into Korea? Or is it just a mixed bag of nuts?
    Posted January 27th, 2017 at 08:18 AM by Pessimist Crow Pessimist Crow is offline
  19. Old Comment
    RomaVictrix's Avatar

    Wars of the Ottomans and Safavids

    Fantastic summary of the conflicts of these two empires! A refreshing reminder that Iran's Shia majority has been at odds with the predominantly Sunni Arab (and Turkish) world for centuries. Of course, if they were all Sunnis or Shia they'd find some other reason to fight each other, whether that be economic or some nationalistic grievance, but the religious schism and sectarian fault line certainly helped to encourage combatants on both sides.
    Posted January 21st, 2017 at 12:12 PM by RomaVictrix RomaVictrix is offline
  20. Old Comment
    Lord Oda Nobunaga's Avatar

    Primary Source: Ammianus Marcellinus on the Huns

    Thanks! I wonder if he was alive during Attila's invasions he would not have said "told you so". The way he describes the Huns they might as well be Nazi super soldiers though.
    Posted January 20th, 2017 at 04:54 PM by Lord Oda Nobunaga Lord Oda Nobunaga is offline
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