In the course of my Master’s studies, I discovered a number of curious and unsettling details which are well known to specialists but not by the interested public. One of these is that we know very little about what happened for a year of the Peloponnesian War, and that we are not sure where to... Continue reading: One Of Our Years Is Missing
Michael Ignatieff, former head of the Liberal Party of Canada, has been musing about why he lost the election of 2011 (see eg. this excerpt from his book in the Toronto Star). One of his consolations is that succesful political thinkers often fail as practical politicians, because theory and practice are different arts and require different virtues. Canadian readers... Continue reading: Who writes the history books?
In the early Roman Empire, it was fashionable for wealthy soldiers to put up a stone with an inscription and their portrait at their tomb. Two such soldiers were Quintus and Lucius Sertorius, who erected their monuments at Cisolino (about 10 miles east of Verona) sometime in the late first century CE. The slab at... Continue reading: The Monuments of the Sertorii
Philip Sabin, Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World (London: Continuum Books, 2009) Bookfinder link Big battles are always a popular topic, but even the best-documented ancient battles are difficult to understand. The few ancient accounts which survive never answer every question which modern readers ask, and often disagree with each... Continue reading: Some thoughts on Sabin’s “Lost Battles”