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Old 05-17-2008, 11:54 AM   #91
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i need some speed or something
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:04 PM   #92
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Roman then?
I have a rather small interest in the Romans, actually. They are all too often considered the beginning of technology and innovation, when they stole basically everything from other people. It boggles the mind that there are people that still believe the Romans invented aqueducts, sewers, roads and coins. Even the Celts had roads and coins before the Romans. On the whole, the Romans were a very barbaric, strange people and their two thousand year old propaganda still lives on. If anything, they were the beginning of the Dark Ages, not the Enlightenment of ancient times as most think.

So no, I don't look at Roman porn.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:07 PM   #93
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I am finally admitting defeat and going to bed.

I'm gonna be representing Zombies for RSPCA tomorrow... er, later this morning.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:07 PM   #94
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I have a rather small interest in the Romans, actually. They are all too often considered the beginning of technology and innovation, when they stole basically everything from other people. It boggles the mind that there are people that still believe the Romans invented aqueducts, sewers, roads and coins. Even the Celts had roads and coins before the Romans. On the whole, the Romans were a very barbaric, strange people and their two thousand year old propaganda still lives on. If anything, they were the beginning of the Dark Ages, not the Enlightenment of ancient times as most think.

So no, I don't look at Roman porn.
This completely doesn't surprise me. It seems that just about everybody I've ever met who's fascinated by ancient Greece has a dislike of the Romans to some degree - often quite a passionate dislike.

Personally, the extent of my interest in the Romans extends to the Caesar III and IV computer games, and my fondness for using Roman numerals.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:09 PM   #95
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I am finally admitting defeat and going to bed.

I'm gonna be representing Zombies for RSPCA tomorrow... er, later this morning.
Good luck with that, Ali. G'night!
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:15 PM   #96
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This completely doesn't surprise me. It seems that just about everybody I've ever met who's fascinated by ancient Greece has a dislike of the Romans to some degree - often quite a passionate dislike.

Personally, the extent of my interest in the Romans extends to the Caesar III and IV computer games, and my fondness for using Roman numerals.
Yeah, that seems to be the general consensus. It's kind of a 'fanboy' (or girl) thing, though I'm in need of a better word there. If someone had such an open dislike for an entire peoples today as they do for certain ancient civilisations, they'd deserve to be in trouble. And it's quite silly obviously, because people differed from person to person, but it's the whole culture of the Romans that I find difficult to identify with and find especially interesting. And it's also that their history is covered up with so many lies that it just seems like too much a waste of time. That's why I prefer reading about the people they conquered and fought instead.

Sure, a lot is said about the Greeks as well, possibly more than the Romans. But they differed from city to city. They were almost like tribes, and I think it's really interesting reading about these people with different cultures below one greater one - they shared religion, language and ethnicity, but they were still unique. And wonderfully flawed - and unlike the Romans, they seemed to know it.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:30 PM   #97
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Yeah, that seems to be the general consensus. It's kind of a 'fanboy' (or girl) thing, though I'm in need of a better word there. If someone had such an open dislike for an entire peoples today as they do for certain ancient civilisations, they'd deserve to be in trouble. And it's quite silly obviously, because people differed from person to person, but it's the whole culture of the Romans that I find difficult to identify with and find especially interesting. And it's also that their history is covered up with so many lies that it just seems like too much a waste of time. That's why I prefer reading about the people they conquered and fought instead.

Sure, a lot is said about the Greeks as well, possibly more than the Romans. But they differed from city to city. They were almost like tribes, and I think it's really interesting reading about these people with different cultures below one greater one - they shared religion, language and ethnicity, but they were still unique. And wonderfully flawed - and unlike the Romans, they seemed to know it.
I have to wonder what some university ancient history faculties are like! Personally, I find the Romans fascinating not for who they were or anything like that, but for how they managed to wield such substantial political power in a manner never seen before or since. Cultural plagiarists as they were, they did seem to know exactly what to steal and make their own in order to strengthen themselves. Well, until they adopted Christianity. That proved to be a huge mistake ...

The diversity of Greek civilisation has always impressed me. I haven't looked into it much at all though, just heard tidbits here and there - one first year course I took, Turning Points in World History, had a lecture on the Greeks that basically introduced me to the socio-political diversity you describe. Modern history is much more my thing. I'll leave ancient history to the people who are talented enough to do it! It looks too bloody hard!
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:32 PM   #98
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If someone had such an open dislike for an entire peoples today as they do for certain ancient civilisations, they'd deserve to be in trouble.
Also, this made me laugh.

It's true though. And even I would be guilty of it, since I have a tendency to describe all of ancient Egypt as a bit of a cliched snooze. I must be the only person who doesn't give a shit if I don't see the Pyramids of Giza. I'd love to see the ones built in pre-Columbian America, though.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 05-17-2008, 12:44 PM   #99
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Originally posted by Axver


Also, this made me laugh.

It's true though. And even I would be guilty of it, since I have a tendency to describe all of ancient Egypt as a bit of a cliched snooze. I must be the only person who doesn't give a shit if I don't see the Pyramids of Giza. I'd love to see the ones built in pre-Columbian America, though.
Oh no, I completely agree with you. I find ancient Egypt very, very boring. Actually, it sucks that people concentrate more on them than civilisations before them like the Sumerians, but I don't feel like talking about that much at the moment. Pre-Columbian American history is far more fascinating to me. I want an excuse or chance to go visit my aunt in Chile, chiefly so I can go on tours looking at ruins and museums.

From a political point of view, the Romans are very interesting - but so are the Carthaginians, the Athenians, the Lakedaimonians/Spartans and a lot of other people. Carthaginian politics in particular is something I would like to read more about. It seems pretty complex and interesting.

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Modern history is much more my thing. I'll leave ancient history to the people who are talented enough to do it! It looks too bloody hard!
I feel this way about modern history, though - it's funny, isn't it?
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:01 PM   #100
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Oh no, I completely agree with you. I find ancient Egypt very, very boring. Actually, it sucks that people concentrate more on them than civilisations before them like the Sumerians, but I don't feel like talking about that much at the moment. Pre-Columbian American history is far more fascinating to me. I want an excuse or chance to go visit my aunt in Chile, chiefly so I can go on tours looking at ruins and museums.
I've always had a fascination with pre-Egyptian and pre-Columbian civilisations; I've just never explored them. The Maya in particular sound intriguing, and as for the civilisations that in turn preceded them, I know next-to-nothing and that just makes me more curious. But there's only so much time in the day, you know?

(Incidentally, although I think the Inca civilisation seems sort of cool, their considerable prominence makes me occasionally view them in an Egypt-like sense, though not as far as the "cliched snoozed" extent.)

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From a political point of view, the Romans are very interesting - but so are the Carthaginians, the Athenians, the Lakedaimonians/Spartans and a lot of other people. Carthaginian politics in particular is something I would like to read more about. It seems pretty complex and interesting.
Ah, Carthage. Thank you, Romans, for doing everything you could to obliterate it and make the job of historians harder. But I think the Romans politically did so much more than anybody else, in that they managed to not just have a huge fucking empire, but for a time made it thrive. And if their leadership hadn't been so delusional, going to stupid, self-important, insane emperors, they could have kept it thriving for much, much longer.

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I feel this way about modern history, though - it's funny, isn't it?
See, I think modern history is comparatively piss-easy! We have most of the records - or if they are missing/destroyed, it's recent enough that tracking down something of informative value isn't too hard. Hell, the early 20th century is still in living memory, and the late 19th century (my speciality) is for some people still a collection of stories their parents or grandparents told.

I do think some of it is my vision, in that I don't know how anybody can see well enough to get much information out of archaelogical digs, pottery, and the like. You know that Time Team show on ABC? I'm amazed watching that, when they go through the soil and somehow manage to pick out indicators that a road ran through there or a kiln once existed on that spot, or that some shards are actually pottery fragments.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 05-17-2008, 01:31 PM   #101
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Alright, I have a single paragraph plus conclusion to write for my essay - after I sleep. I'm happy with that, despite this place coming to life and killing some of my productivity this evening. I should have this done nicely before Monday. So with that, I'm off to get some sleep.

See you later.

PS I am seriously addicted to A Sort Of Homecoming right now ...
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 05-17-2008, 01:40 PM   #102
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I've always had a fascination with pre-Egyptian and pre-Columbian civilisations; I've just never explored them. The Maya in particular sound intriguing, and as for the civilisations that in turn preceded them, I know next-to-nothing and that just makes me more curious. But there's only so much time in the day, you know?
If you want a very basic and easy-to-find introduction to Mesopotamia, read the Epic of Gilgamesh if you haven't already. It's rather short, and does have it's share of repetition, but I found it to be a very engaging story. Also I love the reasoning of the Great Flood in it - rather than wanting to start afresh like Yhwh, the Sumerian gods bring the flood down only because they think people are too loud. We're like noisy neighbours or something. I love the reasonings of pagan mythologies so much more than Judaism and those originating from it. Though other than a few skim reads of small books on the subject, I'm not too familiar with Mesopotamian history. Something I've been meaning to do. The same thing regarding the Maya.


Quote:

(Incidentally, although I think the Inca civilisation seems sort of cool, their considerable prominence makes me occasionally view them in an Egypt-like sense, though not as far as the "cliched snoozed" extent.)
I think the Inca are definitely worth their hype more than the Egyptians. Though they came late into pre-Columbian history, there's a reason they're referred to as the Romans of America - they had one of the largest armies in the world at the time, managed to forge an empire fairly quickly (and through a number of different ways) and built some pretty amazing buildings. The fact that the capital city of Cuzco was in the shape of a jaguar is awesome, too - they didn't fuck around with making everything cool. And unlike many other natives in the area, they didn't give up resistance even after the empire fell. The Mapuche, south-east of them, had an even more gallant defence against the invaders. There's yet another culture worth reading about.


Quote:

Ah, Carthage. Thank you, Romans, for doing everything you could to obliterate it and make the job of historians harder. But I think the Romans politically did so much more than anybody else, in that they managed to not just have a huge fucking empire, but for a time made it thrive. And if their leadership hadn't been so delusional, going to stupid, self-important, insane emperors, they could have kept it thriving for much, much longer.
Rome's complete annihilation of Carthage is very painful, but one wonders that the roles could have been reversed if Hannibal actually got support from his homeland. Still, we still have information about them from a few ancients, as well as other artifacts, so it's actually kind of fun learning about them and seeing how historians fit the puzzle together.

I think it's difficult not to find the Roman Empire impressive. It obviously was. But there was never a case of smooth sailing. And actually, the fact that their leaders had a tendency to be so dysfunctional is one of my favourite things about the Romans! Figures like Caligula and Nero really still are larger than life. They were really lucky that there wasn't an Alexander in the east that wanted to pay them back, though.

Quote:

See, I think modern history is comparatively piss-easy! We have most of the records - or if they are missing/destroyed, it's recent enough that tracking down something of informative value isn't too hard. Hell, the early 20th century is still in living memory, and the late 19th century (my speciality) is for some people still a collection of stories their parents or grandparents told.
It's the incredible wealth of information I find too intimidating! With ancient history, there are certain expected texts to read, additional research from other sources, such as artwork and lesser known writings, and finding your own conclusions. Learning about modern history is kind of an information overload to me. Plus, I'm not too fantastic with dates. Don't get me wrong, I still find it interesting - all history is interesting to me. But I find it harder to do.

Quote:
I do think some of it is my vision, in that I don't know how anybody can see well enough to get much information out of archaelogical digs, pottery, and the like. You know that Time Team show on ABC? I'm amazed watching that, when they go through the soil and somehow manage to pick out indicators that a road ran through there or a kiln once existed on that spot, or that some shards are actually pottery fragments.
Well, it solely depends on what you find, of course. I'd love to go on some digs later in life (the main locations I want to go are now suburban areas in Greece, unfortunately). I haven't seen that show, and agree that it sounds incomprehensible, but I'd really love to see how people can come to conclusions like that. I guess you wouldn't find that out on a TV show, though.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:51 PM   #103
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Holy shit. You people did some serious posting from the middle of last night until now. Wow.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:51 PM   #104
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I'm game.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:54 PM   #105
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'sup guys?

Glad you liked this week's Office ep, Phils. Probably one of my favorites already.
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