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All Things Roman (History)
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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It's still not nailed down. Lemmee put what we 'know'

1. Nobody builds straight roads (it's a topographical nonsense)
2. Straight is quickest in the absence of topography (and given untrammelled choice)
3. Everybody utilises roads that are already there (why wouldn't they?)
4. Everybody uses straight directions in the absence of a) roads and b) literacy (it's a Megalithic imperative)
5. Nobody follows a straight route even if the direction being followed is a straight line (it's a topographical nonsense)
6. It's horses for courses i.e. what a pedlar, a pack train, a drover, an army, wheeled transport require are all different
7. But not necessarily mutually exclusive
8. Roads are capital intensive to build, cheap to maintain, but must be regularly maintained
9. Roads are more useful for people travelling through than for people living in the place where the road is.
10. Therefore they must be selected, built and maintained by a supra-local body, or by the users.

Get to it!
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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I think it boils down to academia wants to identify and categorise on the basis of a defining common feature, so Roman roads become Roman on the grounds of straightness. This as you say ignores the function of the road.

If this was a straightish road then this would imply to me it was a military road. One of the great mysteries is why the Normans, who were great builders of castles using stone, didn't build military roads, the ortho explanation is that they had a lot of cavalry....so trudged off cross country, or through forests, only to get ambushed.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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This is an exceptionally good summation (though still too long for me to read in its entirety) of our general thesis that most of Roman history was made up during the Renaissance


Three points: one major, two minor
1. The Palestinians have adopted the term "shoah" to describe their own plight. Somewhat tactless but, I suppose, forgivable in the circumstances.
2. I am referred to as "the amateur historian and linguist M. J. Harper" which is accurate but unfortunate
3. I get two meaty quotations and a citation in the footnotes.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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To think I have most of this figured out nearly twenty years ago. I simply lacked the education to evidence my hypothesis.

I was particularly struck by this line:
One obvious objection to the idea that the relationship between Rome and Constantinople has been inverted is that the Byzantines called themselves Romans (Romaioi), and believed they were living in Romania.
Again. Almost two decades back I reasoned that the Armenians of Turkey were, in fact, A-Romanians---that is, Romanians cut-off from the Roman remnant to the west.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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I console myself with the knowledge that virtually no scholar yet suspects just how recently "history" was forged.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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You're the leader of the pack, Ish.

They told me he was bad, but I knew he was sad
That's why I fell for the leader of the pack
One day, my dad said, "find someone new"
I had to tell my Ishmael, "we're through"

He stood there and asked me why,
He sort of smiled, then kissed me goodbye
The tears were beginning to show
As he drove away on that rainy night
I begged him to go slow, whether he heard
I'll never know.

Look out, look out, look out
I felt so helpless, what could I do?
Remembering all the things we'd been through
I'll never forget him now he's gone to Tanzania.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Ishmael wrote:
To think I have most of this figured out nearly twenty years ago. I simply lacked the education to evidence my hypothesis.

I was particularly struck by this line:
One obvious objection to the idea that the relationship between Rome and Constantinople has been inverted is that the Byzantines called themselves Romans (Romaioi), and believed they were living in Romania.
Again. Almost two decades back I reasoned that the Armenians of Turkey were, in fact, A-Romanians---that is, Romanians cut-off from the Roman remnant to the west.


You might as well be flipping a coin, asking what came first head or tails?
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