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Sometimes I like Rome despite itself. This was one of those times; I know this is HBO and there is therefore some regulated amount of women's breasts/violent sex/whathaveyou I must see each week, but, seriously, I don't think the Romans actually chose the kitchen table in front of their friends as a place for sex. If they had, then surely there would be no need for rooms in their brothels? So much cheaper to just use the furniture.

Instead of an actual review I bring you some random information on the Late Republic and Roman warfare:

1. There were actually two battles of Philippi, several weeks apart.

2. After the first battle of Philippi Cassius commited suicide because he thought his side had lost. In actual fact, Brutus' soldiers had won a victory but Cassius didn't know about it because ancient battles were so chaotic and all he could see was dust.

3. After the second battle Brutus killed himself. Upon finding the body Antony covered it in purple because they had been friends. Octavian, on the other hand, ordered the head taken to Rome and thrown at the foot of Caesar's statue.

4. At the real battle of Philippi Octavian either hid out in some marshes because of fear or left his camp because of some prophetic dream. I know which one my money is on.

5. At the second battle there was very little throwing of javelins; apparently they went straight for hand to hand combat.

6. Pompey once wanted to ride in a triumphal chariot led by elephants into Rome. After a long time of training it was discovered that the elephants couldn't fit through the triumphal arch and he had to abandon that plan in mid-triumph.

7. Romans were the only ancient army to have a system to replace tired soldiers at the front with fresh men. How they managed this was a mystery, but it was very necessary because after about 15 minutes of this type of warfare you were exhausted and not good for much.

Date: 2007-03-12 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meret.livejournal.com
Thanks for the information! :)

What did you think of tonight's ep?

Date: 2007-03-12 03:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I thought it was deeply and profoundly dumb. There was the ocassional moment where I cared what happened, but most of the time I kept thinking 'the fall of Rome can't happen soon enough.'

Date: 2007-03-12 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vaznetti.livejournal.com
The story about Pompey and the elephants never stops being funny. You can just picture his expression, too.

Date: 2007-03-13 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
You spend a great deal of time wondering how a man who could direct and organize huge armies didn't think about this before the event. Did he imagine they would suddenly shrink?

Date: 2007-03-15 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jonquil.livejournal.com
Neocon historian Donald Kagan gives his take on the Melian Dialogue:

...a campaign against Melos provided the Athenians with the outlet they needed for their energy and frustration...

The Melians, alone of the Cycladic islanders, had refused to join the Delian League...

A further conflict was inevitable, for the Athenians could not long allow their will and authority to be flouted by a small Cycladic island.

http://www.tinyrevolution.dreamhosters.com/mt/archives/001359.html

Date: 2007-03-16 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
You know...I don't like Kagan's politics either, but I don't think he's at all as facile or dismissive as that review suggests. It's like Victor Hanson: I don't like his politics at all, but he can still be a quite remarkable historian (though not on the battle of Cannae..).

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