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Topic: What's Going on in Antiquity? (Read 5873 times)

  • Belfrager
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What's Going on in Antiquity?
News from the ancient worlds.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #25
I'm guessing that's some kind of jab at a rather unkind interpretation of Marx and Engels. In their historical context their point of not just focusing on a few events and great men presumably had merit. Or is there something roughly post-1950 you have in mind?

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #26
When I went to school (university), I was taught the difference between method and methodology. The method is the particular method you use. Methodology is knowing about different applicable methods and being able to explain why the particular method you picked is appropriate for the current purpose.

In study of history, math has its limited place, so has genealogy. But they do not do away with the study of archeological findings and historical texts. Studying economic/power relations has its place too. With different methods you get to know different things about history.

Maybe you are not exactly afflicted with ideological blinders this time, but more like too little schooling, Oakdale.


  • Last Edit: 2021-04-21, 15:00:19 by ersi

  • jax
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #27
I'm guessing that's some kind of jab at a rather unkind interpretation of Marx and Engels. In their historical context their point of not just focusing on a few events and great men presumably had merit. Or is there something roughly post-1950 you have in mind?

I initially thought that was a jab at the teaching of history, but then it looked like the mechanics of history, or rather the mechanics of change. Maybe the teaching of the mechanics of history?

Not only history, but also societal morals seem pretty driven by economics. The less disadvantageous choice has the tendency to be picked as the moral choice (Kant be damned). The history of historical narratives overlaps with the history of self-justification.


  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #28
a rather unkind interpretation of Marx and Engels
There's a kind jab that's appropriate?! :) (I give you a smiley face, to mitigate your angry superiority - of is it just a Howie-head shake?; I know you're smart and well-educated. But those whom I've talked to who lived through the worst of what those two proposed... Let's just say that I, for one, believe evil still exists in the world. Shall we leave it at that, for now? But I won't forget: "some kind of jab"... Eventually, I'll go for at least a TKO!)

....started to listen to the forum (on YouTube); had even settled into a comfy rocking chair, when I heard the "moderator(?)" use the word "cosmology" in a peculiarly pretentious way: I've hit pause...


Not only history, but also societal morals seem pretty driven by economics.
A myopic view that profits one little...
The history of historical narratives overlaps with the history of self-justification.
I've reminded you many times, Man is not The Rational Animal, he is the Rational-izing Animal. But knowing that and taking it into account should preclude your vapors, ma'dear.:)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

  • jax
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #29
There is a feedback cycle between moral and moralising. But morals shift over time, albeit exceedingly slowly. However those shifts are more fundamental than economics, politics, technology or ideology. Those shifts don't happen through random drift, and the gradient is in the economically beneficial direction.

Not (necessarily) in the profit-raising sense, mind you. Example: We seem to be slowly shifting away from (usually religion imposed) restrictions on eating, like kosher, halal, and you don't eat meat of Fridays, do you? At the same time there is a global shift towards veganism.

There are different theories why e.g. holding kosher became a thing in the first place, but all these (those for Buddhist monks and some other aside) assume you will eat meat, just not with the wrong type of legs or on the wrong day. Veganism is more fundamentalist than either of these religions, but it is a thing because it can be a thing.

They are vegans because they can. Throughout our history we haven't been vegans because we couldn't. Animal products have been a necessary supplement to our diet. Now we are affluent enough that we can forego it, and technology gives us alternatives. Thus we can ask ourselves: Is it right to kill animals for food? I find it likely that 22nd century people will look at our eating habits with revulsion.

  • Belfrager
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #30
Thus we can ask ourselves: Is it right to kill animals for food?
Yes, it is right. Right and natural.
I find it likely that 22nd century people will look at our eating habits with revulsion.
Yes, they'll be eating only pills called Soma(1).
A matter of attitude.

  • jax
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #31
We're all meat eater, and I assume none of us will survive into the next century. Whenever we see an animal we undress it with our eyes and imagine how they would look in the oven under a blanket of vegetables. Given that the majority of the world's population can't afford to stuff themselves with meat and seafood, or animal by-products, it will be a slow process. But future generations will grow up with respect for animals and not eat them without their consent.

Food is going to get better and tastier, that's the overall trend. But it does not have to be made from animal carcasses, and then that carnivorous connection will be broken.

There are precedents. For ten thousand(s) of years dog was man's best friend. Not merely as guards and companions, but as packed lunches when the going got tough. We ate dogs before we brewed beer or tamed horses, but we don't do that anymore, and many are revolted by the very thought. Like it is with Fido, it will be with Bessie.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #32
Like it is with Fido, it will be with Bessie.
I sure hope you meant "Bossie"...:) (Ain't that right, Betsy?:)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

  • jax
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #33
I could go with that. We really should have a cow thread. It interacts with all other threads on this forum, including this one.

Bos taurus may be the dominant and most successful mammal species, as measured in biomass. There are probably more of them than of us, or any other mammal (Sus scrofa is on a distant third, all other mammals a distant fourth).



  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #34
I assume none of us will survive into the next century.
A reasonable assumption, but not impossible.

  • jax
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #35
A reasonable assumption, but not impossible.

Well, yes, if we posit 120 years as high score, and that anyone here were active at the original Opera forums that finally shut down in 2014, and minimum forum age was 15 years, in theory somebody here could be alive until 2119. In practice I think we are all doomed to perish in the 21st century.

And the last person from the 19th century is recently departed. As a species we have kind of passed that centurial watershed between the 19th and 22nd century.

.Even if somebody here would hang on until next century, (s)he will not be the last animal product eater. I would expect there to be non-vegans still in 2101, but few if any by 2199. Spare a thought for the last meat eater in a vegan world. One thought is enough.

  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #36
There are precedents. For ten thousand(s) of years dog was man's best friend. Not merely as guards and companions, but as packed lunches when the going got tough. We ate dogs before we brewed beer or tamed horses, but we don't do that anymore, and many are revolted by the very thought. Like it is with Fido, it will be with Bessie.
During the Famine of '44 if you wanted to keep your pet you kept it inside.

Well, yes, if we posit 120 years as high score
A 114 would suffice for me.

Life after 95 or so doesn't seem very appealing though, but we'll see in due time.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #37
[Read too much Science Fiction as a kid: Still thinks the perspective gained during one's first 200 years is needed, to contemplate the prospects of real longevity...:)]
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #38
There's also a story of a man who accidentally became immortal hundreds of thousands (or was it millions) of years ago, who's forcibly kept alive by future humans.

Of course life the way I am now seems perfectly appealing for at least a few centuries, but I'm not counting on us having "solved" aging by then. Perhaps if my eyes were to go bad I'd still be able to see with artificial eyes in the second half of the century, a bit like how my one uncle in his late 80s has fake hips.

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #39
Alberto Angela says that it's fake news that Nero burned down Rome. I can't get to the full article so I can't tell if Alberto Angela is himself fake news. Anyway, he has authored a trilogy on Roman history, the books are not free and his articles are behind paywall, so he must be totally legit.
  • Last Edit: 2021-07-19, 20:53:43 by ersi

  • jax
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #40
Nobody seriously believed that, or that he fiddled. Not in our lifetimes anyway. Like I said before, it is fascinating how much more we know of our past now than we did in our past. Biology and (pre)history are the fields that have changed the most in our life.

Prehistory is kind of crazy, brain research too. Whatever you thought you knew five years ago you have to relearn. IT by comparison is pretty staid. 40 years ago, if you wanted to learn ancient programming, you'd go for Cobol on mainframes. Not to the same extent as before, but they are still hiring. That language is going to live longer than any human.

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #41
Nobody seriously believed that, or that he fiddled. Not in our lifetimes anyway.
What you get from traditional history is that people close to Nero's time believed he had burned down Rome and fiddled. Nero must have given off corresponding vibes or something. And there are no contradicting reports.

Alberto Angela's opinion was reported in our media as archaeologists arrived at the conclusion that Nero did not burn down Rome. How can you get such a conclusion from archaeology?

  • Belfrager
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #42
History is an area open to imagination.
I remember reading somewhere I can't precise that Nero didn't burn Rome but in fact he immediately returned from his villa near by to coordinate the efforts fighting the fire.

Is it true is it false? I don't know, one can't rely in historians, archaeologists and the sort.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #43
Alberto Angela's opinion was reported in our media as archaeologists arrived at the conclusion that Nero did not burn down Rome. How can you get such a conclusion from archaeology?
I would presume the actual argument is that it wasn't rebuilt in any particular organized manner? (Or perhaps that it didn't burn as much as claimed.) Which is to say, something a tad more sensible than who or what started the fire. ;)

Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #44
He couldn't have literally fiddled while Rome burned unless he was a genius that made a violin almost 1,100 years before it was officially invented, but it's historically possible that he played the cithara. Other reports indicate that he actually sang while the city burned. If the hypothesized singing was a song of lament, this isn't so bad. Others say he coordinated relief efforts after the fire.

So it seems his actions are lost to time. Perhaps that was inevitable, given that he was known as an emperor infamous for his cruelty whose history was written by his many enemies.

"What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #45
Alberto Angela's opinion was reported in our media as archaeologists arrived at the conclusion that Nero did not burn down Rome. How can you get such a conclusion from archaeology?
I would presume the actual argument is that it wasn't rebuilt in any particular organized manner? (Or perhaps that it didn't burn as much as claimed.) Which is to say, something a tad more sensible than who or what started the fire. ;)
I saw a show about ancient Rome that Roman cities were well planned, with wide, straight boulevards and other signs of good urban planning. That is except for one city - Rome itself.

  • Last Edit: 2021-07-20, 14:41:56 by midnight raccoon
"What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #46
I was on a show about ancient Rome that Roman cities were well planned, with wide, straight boulevards and other signs of good urban planning.
Stroads sound like bad urban planning to me. :P

  • ersi
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #47
I would presume the actual argument is that it wasn't rebuilt in any particular organized manner? (Or perhaps that it didn't burn as much as claimed.) Which is to say, something a tad more sensible than who or what started the fire. ;)
As far as I am able to glean from the available text, the argument seems to be that Rome suffered devastating fires at least every eight years or so, for various reasons, therefore let's treat also that particular fire as nothing special.

I was on a show about ancient Rome that Roman cities were well planned, with wide, straight boulevards and other signs of good urban planning. That is except for one city - Rome itself.
The wide straight boulevards were meant to allow an army to enter conveniently. As for Rome, it was not lawful to enter it with an army. There was some law that said something like "Thou shalt not cross Rubicon." Of course the law was broken occasionally, as any other law.

Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #48
The wide straight boulevards were meant to allow an army to enter conveniently.
Oh, I get it. To make it easier to squash rebellion, of course.


"What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

  • Frenzie
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Re: What's Going on in Antiquity?
Reply #49
Oh, I get it. To make it easier to squash rebellion, of course.
The Parisian boulevards are also for quelling street protests if I'm not mistaken. No easy way to barricade a neighborhood like back in 1789.