WoVCon ]I[ Updates

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March 4th, 2013 at 7:45:20 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
We're set for May 25th at noon, at the Cheesecake Factory all the way in the back of the Forum Shops at Caesars. Gambling after lunch yet to be determined. All updates and reminders (and history lessons) will be posted here.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
March 5th, 2013 at 9:16:32 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
Daily bump.

I'm stuck for history lessons (don't cheer). I'm following the Byzantium podcast in real time, meaning I've no have to wait days for the next episode. I'm up to Justinian's reign. There's lots to say about it, but I need to get through it first.

So for now a recycled topology joke:

Q: Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip?
A: To get to the same side.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
March 6th, 2013 at 7:50:16 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
Daily bump.

Reviving an old 70s joke:

This just in. Hugo Chavez is still dead.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
March 7th, 2013 at 5:38:25 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
Bump time.

I'm done with part one of the first volume of Gibbon. 8 chapters all told.

He has an interesting approach. After the introduction, he goes into the history of Rome until the reign of Alexander Severus (yes, from that Severus family; he must have been adopted). Then he goes into some detail on the history of Persia under the Sassanid dinasty. Those Persians really had a strange religion. Next he goes into the hsitory of the German tribes (not of Germany, properly speaking).

And there I am for now. Given some traffic and the odd delivery assignment, I might just get through the first volume before April is out. If so, I'll give Rome a bit of a rest and listen to the history of Carthage, such as it was...
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
March 10th, 2013 at 11:02:19 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
Bump time.

I forget what chapter I'm on now. We're nearing the end of Aurelian's short reign. Mr. Gibbon has a really odd attitude about women, possibly more a function of the times (late XVIII Century) than anything else. The downside is that Zenobia comes off badly in the end, right after quoting Aurelian deeming her a formidable opponent. Zenobia was the queen of Palmyra. Palmyra is the most important nowhere city you've never heard of. At the time of the 3rd Century Crisis, it controlled much of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire.

The ruins left of Palmyra are supposed to be impresive. Unfortunately they reside within Syria.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
March 12th, 2013 at 8:52:25 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
Bump Time.

I'm up to the chapter about the reign of Diocletian and the Dominate period of the Empire. Here things get really interesting and busy. Also Christianity begins to exert an important influence on the Empire.

One notable fact about Diocletian is that he disdained the city of Rome for most of his reign. He visited it only once, and wound up on the wrong side of Roman passions. Instead Diocletian set up his capital in Necomedia.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
March 15th, 2013 at 6:59:07 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
Bump.

Gibbon is giving a whole chapter to Christianity, after barely even mentioning it in the previous half million words or so (I exaggerate). He raises some interesting philosophical points concerning religion in general, and Judaism and Christianity in particular.

More important he sets out some history of both religions, and of the pagan practices of the time. Some of what he says about Judaism is at odds with what I learned inschool, but not grossly so. Except one thing. Rather in passing, Gibbon implies there were no sacrifices at Jewish temples. I understood that, in fact, in the time when the Second Temple was still in existence, Jews did indeed perform animal sacrifices, much like civilized pagans did, at least for some specific holidays.

Most intriguing, Mr. Gibbon makes a rather elaborate point in which he all but concludes there was a need for some belief along the lines of Christianity. Namely some belief in an insured afterlife, which he claims was lacking in Greco-Roman civilization. Here I'm not so sure. Certainly the deification of the early emperors speaks to that. But I'd need to research the subject in depth before I could discuss it inteligently.
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
March 15th, 2013 at 7:01:47 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3589
For what it's worth, I'd nominate you for "best bumper in the history of the internet" =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 15th, 2013 at 7:39:40 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
Quote: Face
For what it's worth, I'd nominate you for "best bumper in the history of the internet" =)


Where else can you get a distorted view of Roman history? :P
Donald Trump is a fucking liar
March 20th, 2013 at 8:53:14 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 345
Posts: 12542
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