Tiako t1_j1v6uww wrote

Reply to comment by tevors in Death of Vercingetorix by oga_ogbeni

While this can sometimes be taken too far, yes, Roman imperialism and the maintenance of the Roman empire was always a combination of force, co-option, and diplomacy. In particular, one of the greatest tools in its toolbox was a fairly open handed approach to bestowing citizenship to allies and later participants in the administrative system.


Tiako t1_j1sxuwn wrote

This is often asserted but I think a simple glance at a timeline provides a real challenge to it. The Roman empire's expansion was more or less ended by about halfway through Augustus' reign (so roughly "year zero"), and while there were a few border expansions after that they tended to be fairly specific and "one off"--the conquest of Britain by Claudius and the conquest of Dacia about sixty years later by Trajan being the main examples. Exceptions aside, there is not a steady, constant expansion of Rome's borders by military conquest. And yet, these two hundred years are by most measures the period of the height of Rome's prosperity. Which becomes difficult to explain if Rome's prosperity depended on a constant stream of new conquests.

Ed: to clarify a bit I'm not saying the Roman empire functioned on hugs and teddy bears, it was certainly a creation of an extremely intense period of military conquest and was maintained by the threat of military force, but its actual functioning was not dependent on continuous border expansion.


Tiako t1_iz2rfnx wrote

>On a scale of one to six, the authors graded 100 plaques according to how many of six owl characteristics they exhibited, including two eyes, feathery tufts, patterned feathers, a flat facial disk, a beak, and wings. The authors found many similarities between 100 contemporary owl drawings made by kids between the ages of four and thirteen and these plaques. Owl drawings more closely resembled owls as children aged and became more skillful.

I mean maybe but I'm not sure about this methodology.

Given that the article does not say if they are found largely associated with child burials I can only assume they are not.


Tiako t1_ixmt8bs wrote

It is worth pointing out that damnatio memoriae is not actually an ancient phrase, or even really an ancient concept. There are cases of emperors having public monuments defaced but it wasn't really the official, organized, act of rewriting history that it is sometimes portrayed as in popular imagination. Think more pulling down Saddam Hussein's statues in Iraq or changing the street names in Germany after the second world war than something out of 1984.

In this case this is probably less any deliberate act of disrespect and more that our sources for the so-called Third Century Crisis are somewhat poor, and Dacia is a somewhat poorly understood region of the empire.


Tiako t1_iw42oh4 wrote

Indeed, the problem with singular finds is that they may have singular explanations, which is why archaeology tries to build up data sets rather than just looking at individual artefacts.

This could be a sign of pre-Columbian activity (the much theorized Basque fishermen?) it could just be a keep sake someone was holding onto in 1530.


Tiako t1_ivnk0u8 wrote

> I thought that it was history that Rome was just a small city in the periphery of the Etruscan city-state coalition

While it is a common cliche to say Rome was "just a small village" it is worth noting that is mostly Roman self mythologizing being accepted uncritically--By the late sixth/early fifth century Rome was already the great power in central Italy. As an illustrative proxy, the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus one of the largest in the entire Mediterranean, larger than any Etruscan temple.


Tiako t1_it11yu8 wrote

I am trying to think of how to put this, so if this isn't helpful I'll try another way.

Broadly speaking, a high status Roman name has three "neccesary" parts (tria nomina), but can also have honorifics attached to. In practical terms, think of Scipio Africanus, the man who defeated Hannibal. His full name would be (1)Publius (2)Cornelius (3)Scipio, and he was later granted the title (4)Africanus. "Publius" would be like a personal name ("praenomen"), the equivalent of "John" or "Robert". "Cornelius" indicates the broad family ("clan") he comes from: the "Cornelii" were a very important "clan" in Roman society. "Scipio" indicates which branch of "gens Cornelia" he comes from. "Africanus" was then added to his name after his victory in, well, Africa.

Even under the Republic this could get complicated (Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Aemilianus was born into the Aemilii but adopted by the son of Scipio Africanus, leading to a mouthful of a name). But when you get to the imperial period, when the emperor moght use their name to signal any number of things, it gets truly absurd.

So take Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Felix Augustus. There are two emperors that might remind us of: Antoninus Pius (Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Pius) and Marcus Aurelius (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus), and this was by design because his father, the aforementioned Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax Augustus (known to us as Septimius Severus) changed his name as a way to show that he was a continuation of the previous imperial dynasty and borrow a bit of prestige from that. He is mostly known to us as "Caracalla".

This might seem a bit confusing and my only response is, yeah, it is.


Tiako t1_iqu48mm wrote

I suppose as a pure adventure story it is compelling but that puts it at about the level of Felix Baumgartner jumping out of a space ship in terms of historical value. The peopling of the Pacific islands was a very settled question when Heyerdahl had his expeditions, and those expeditions provided not a whit of actual evidence to support his theory.

He was also more than a little racist towards Polynesians, the impetus of his theory was not far off "these savages couldn't have possible build these monuments".


Tiako t1_iqtxv44 wrote

Yeah, I am largely but not entirely ignorant of Egyptology's history and I was not aware of this dust up, I think it can be overestimated how far this is known outside of Egyptologists.

(Heyerdahl on the other hand was a complete charlatan, absolutely nothing of value gained from his work)