Archive for the ‘These Romans Are Crazy’ Category

From Brick To Marble

The BBC World website has just reported that Turkmenistan has been spending billions of dollars remodelling the capital into a “white city” by covering all the major buildings with marble. I immediately thought of Caesar Augustus, who did exactly the same thing with the poky, shabby, brick-built Rome of his day. The cities that were […]

Posted on August 5, 2009 at 09:14 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, These Romans Are Crazy

Statues Of Jerks

In Monty Python’s Life of Brian, we see a Roman statue being lugged into Jerusalem past a collection of crucified corpses. The sheer cheesiness of the prop, which looks as if it is made of Styrofoam, seems to be saying, “Future ages will bow down before this and call it Art, but look, it’s just […]

Posted on August 9, 2009 at 11:38 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, These Romans Are Crazy

Are Empires A Good Thing?

There is a bit more to the Fall of the Roman Empire than Gibbon’s “victory of barbarism and religion”. Of economic approaches there are several, and the one that may hold the greatest relevance to ourselves is this: the process that in another period we call feudalisation was well under way in Late Antiquity. The […]

Posted on August 14, 2009 at 09:50 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, These Romans Are Crazy

Invasion Of The Barbarian Construction Workers

Those who in their schooldays acquired a notion of the Roman Empire being brought down by barbarian military power alone might do well to ponder the demographic collapse of Europe and consequent infill by migration. Others, who are so well aware of this that they are hysterically denouncing a construct called “Eurabia,” might do equally […]

Posted on September 5, 2009 at 08:33 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, These Romans Are Crazy

American Ruins In Thailand

We are so accustomed to speaking of “Roman” ruins in the Near East, in Northumberland and in North Africa that we never stop to think what we might mean by this. Were the buildings constructed by Romans? Perhaps, but not necessarily. Were they inhabited by Romans? Perhaps, but not necessarily. It is just as likely, […]

Posted on September 7, 2009 at 12:30 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, These Romans Are Crazy

The End Of Antiquity

Popular perception places the end of the Ancient World around the fifth century C.E., inspired by subliminal awareness of Alaric, the Vandals, Arthur and so forth. Those with an interest in Byzantium know that, from the perspective of the new capital, these events were merely disorders in not terribly important Western provinces. Such people may […]

Posted on September 10, 2009 at 09:07 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, These Romans Are Crazy

From Gibbon To Galadriel

Apart from Gibbon, who has made the case against Byzantium? Perhaps we should pay more attention to the welcome often extended to foreign invaders by the provincials, apparently in the hope of avoiding heavy taxation and imposed religious orthodoxy. Moreover, both our traditional popular history and our sword-and-sorcery novels combine a fascination with the adornment […]

Posted on September 23, 2009 at 09:06 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, These Romans Are Crazy