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News Briefs 02-03-2016

Magnificent Marble Machine music

Quote of the Day:

On Shakespeare’s grave: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forebeare, To digg the dust enclosed heare; Bleste be the man that spares thes stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.”

  1. None Dare Call It Conspiracy
    Every time a link is posted to some cracked site that tries to brand “conspiracy journalism” as some sort of social disease I am going to post the link below:
    “Conspiracy is a thread that runs throughout the tapestry of Roman history. From the earliest days of the Republic to the waning of the Empire, conspiracies and intrigues created shadow worlds that undermined the openness of Rome’s representational government. To expose these dark corners and restore a sense of order and safety, Roman historians frequently wrote about famous conspiracies and about how their secret plots were detected and the perpetrators punished. These accounts reassured readers that the conspiracy was a rare exception that would not happen again—if everyone remained vigilant.

    In this first book-length treatment of conspiracy in Roman history, Victoria Pagán examines the narrative strategies that five prominent historians used to disclose events that had been deliberately shrouded in secrecy and silence. She compares how Sallust, Livy, and Tacitus constructed their accounts of the betrayed Catilinarian, Bacchanalian, and Pisonian conspiracies. Her analysis reveals how a historical account of a secret event depends upon the transmittal of sensitive information from a private setting to the public sphere—and why women and slaves often proved to be ideal transmitters of secrets. Pagán then turns to Josephus’s and Appian’s accounts of the assassinations of Caligula and Julius Caesar to explore how the two historians maintained suspense throughout their narratives, despite readers’ prior knowledge of the outcomes.”

    1. Conspiracy Innoculation
      The Academics are still pussy-footing around with history. They really have no clue as to how the ancient world, and especially Rome, was run.

      I recently purchased Mary Beard’s new book SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. She makes all the right points (regarding how Rome functioned as an imperial/royal entity), but then comes to the completely wrong conclusion. She writes (p 257), “… the empire created emperors – not the other way around.”

      Here is my email to Dr. Beard in response:

      “… Middle Eastern royalty had maintained a presence in Rome from its very inception. The return of Rome to its roots as a dictatorship was not so much due to random events, but an act of royal determinism to make it a regional capital of the Empire. The royal family evidently took pride in their ability to ‘game’ any and every political-cultural milieu.

      “In the book I just posted [Heroes of the Hellenistic Age] I try to set up the dynastic situation on the eve of Caesar’s triumph. Pompey and Caesar were surprisingly not only half-brothers, but only four generations removed from Alexander the Great himself. The specific four royal princes that formed a direct line of descent between them and Alexander can be convincingly identified. Pompey as the oldest of the two had precedence, but his fall started around 60 BC and just after the births of Ptolemy XIII (Octavius) and Ptolemy XIV (Marcus Agrippa) in Egypt. If Pompey had been the true father of either prince, his star would not have begun to set.

      “Upon the coming of age of Cleopatra VII, he [Pompey] had a second chance to save his de facto status as Emperor of the World. But, it was again Caesar that “stole his thunder”. Pompey did not lose to Caesar in a political or tactical sense, but deferred to Caesar on the basis of established rules of royal succession. And upon eclipsing Pompey in royal standing, Caesar no more died in Rome than Alexander had in Babylon. He simply picked up the emulation of Alexander where Pompey was obliged to leave off!”

      The correct (albeit still surprising conclusion) is not that Rome conquered the royal family of the East, but that the royal family of the East conquered Rome. Why do you think that various kings of the Near East were bequeathing their kingdoms to Rome? They did so because Rome had been designated as a new capital for the royal family (and was therefore taking the place of other regional capitals in Ptolemaic Egypt and Seleucid Syria). However, when one realizes the actual dynamics of the royal franchise, the entire established framework of history collapses. Yet, until we understand the “open secrecy” of the ancient world, how can we deal with its legacy in the modern world?

  2. 520 million year old fossil
    I was enjoying reading about this discovery until it mentioned the present day ‘penis worm’… No, I do not know about this worm, and no, I do not want to Google it!

  3. Cthulhu
    I would rather any Lovecraftian beasty over Trump at this point. The Republican Party thought it was a joke for too long and now he is soaring in the polls for every state. A poll came out and said that 85% of Trump supporters agree with rounding up Muslims and putting them in camps. Even other Republican politicians think it’s a bad idea, but they forgot that the people who vote for them are usually very bigoted. Not all of them, but most. It’s sad.

    Shoggoth for Vice President

    1. We haven’t the slightest idea
      We haven’t the slightest idea what any of the candidates will actually do when in office, nor do they know what they will do. That’s how it went down with Obama, and that’s the suspense awaiting us now. Once you assume the office you are buffeted to and fro by truly “terrorizing” forces of big money and big, big trouble makers on the inside. You are a deer in the headlights, and that is entirely by design. “A state of emergency” is precisely what the Meddlers are wanting to maintain because it cripples and distracts governance and gives them free reign to do whatever in Hell they want to do.

      Pray tell, how does “rounding up Muslims and putting them in camps” differ from what we have been facilitating in the Middle East and now in Europe? We are already living under a regime that rounds up muslims and puts them in camps.

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