lesbiassparrow: (Sacred chickens)
I have just discovered the awesome fact that you could keep sacred chickens at home for personal consultation! Apparently Tiberius Gracchus (one of the Gracchi brothers who fought for land reform in Rome) had a coop of them. One morning he consulted their keeper who told him not to go the Campus Martius. Tiberius ignored this excellent advice (and stubbing his foot as he was leaving, plus the fact that three crows attacked him as he left home and tossed a tile at him) only to be killed by a Senatorial lynch mob. Alas, that the sacred chickens could not save him as he and his brother Gaius are both great heroes of mine.

And once in a while apparently the sacred chickens would make a break for it. Gaius Hostilius Mancinus was on his way to Spain as consul, when he decided to consult the chickens. Off they flew into a nearby wood never to be found again. Then when he was about to board a ship a voice cried out 'Stay, Mancinius.' And as if that weren't enough bad luck when he decided to board ship somewhere else a giant snake appeared and then disappeared. These all portended horrible disasters in Spain, which all came to pass. And would you doubt that they would once the sacred chickens got in on the act?

And in other information that will make you wonder how the Romans ever managed to create a mighty empire, the evil omen of a SQUEAKING MOUSE made Fabius Maximus give up his dictatorship and his lieutenant his Mastership of the Horse. I repeat, A MOUSE.

And just so we don't leave out the gods: the goddess Juno gave the Carthaginians victory during the Second Punic War in the battle of Cannae because the consul Varro had when an aedile placed a very handsome boy actor in the wagon of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and hadn't expiated the insult to her honour. During this same war we are told that an child was born with the head of an elephant (never a good sign, not least for the poor labouring mother), that a wolf in Gaul stole a sentry's sword from its sheath, and an ox owned by Gnaeus Domitius cried out "Beware, Rome!" A busy time for omens, indeed.

This information is brought to you by book 1 of Valerius Maximus' Memorable Deeds and Sayings
lesbiassparrow: (Sacred chickens)
I've been terribly busy, but decided I needed a break from marking and that I would inflict on you tales of disasters from Rome's courts. (Quite a few of these come from Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory but not all.

First, did you know that there's evidence that some people wore sort of war paint to trials? Pliny the Younger mentions one person who would paint a stripe on his face - one side for when he was pleading for the defence, another for when he was prosecuting. Pliny doesn't seem to find this all that remarkable which suggests that maybe it went on more often than we might imagine (I think he says it was old-fashioned though). (I like to imagine Cicero bedaubed in paint sometimes.)

Quintilian is full of the dangers of props. Romans sometimes used paintings of the scene of the crime to show the full horror of it. But, of course, your prop needed to be shown at the right time for the full effect. People went to court for entertainment and they were more than ready to fall about laughing if cues were missed (people also paid for appreciative or critical audiences as the audience could sway the jury - you'd have a pre-arranged signal like shaking your toga in a particular way and they'd respond with "Graviter! Cito! Nequiter! Euge! Beate! Hoc volui! Good going! Strong blow! Fast! Nasty! Well done! Lovely! That’s that I wanted!" and such things like that).

There was a case where someone defending a woman had the great idea that they would use a wax portrait of her dead husband which would be handed to him at the right moment in the peroratio (the closing point of the speech) so that everyone would look at the dead man and feel massive sympathy for the widow. Unfortunately the person given it did not know what a peroratio was so whenever the person giving the defence speech looked at them they kept trying to give it to him. And when he finally raised it, it was so incredibly hideous that everyone laughed who hadn’t been laughing before then.

The other thing you would do was bring in an entire family and have them dressed in mourning looking miserable as a way to get pity. This was even better if you could get children to cry - and then, you, the kindly orator would lean forward and ask them why they were crying and they would lisp "because Dad's dead' or something of that ilk. Unfortunately, children aren't always co-operative and had to be prompted to cry. One time a young orator asked a child why he was crying and he said "because my tutor is pinching me!" In another case an orator carried a young child around the courtroom to gain sympathy. The other orator simply shrugged and looked at his rather fat client and said "What can I do? I can't carry you around."

One big problem was the toga. If you weren't very good at wearing one you might do something terrible LIKE EXPOSE AN ARM. Here's Quintilian: "an arm is exposed and we catch a glimpse of the fold of his toga; another stretches out his arm to its full length, raises it to the roof, or swings it back and forth over his left shoulder, raining down blows to the rear so that it is dangerous to be standing beside him; another makes a leftwards sweep, waves his hand around at random and hits his neighbours, or else flaps both elbows against his two sides. And then there is the sluggish or timid hand, and the hand that moves as though it were slicing something." (It didn't help that there was little space in courtrooms and you might take out the rest of the bench - of course, that's better than Republican orators who didn't have courtrooms and had to plead in the open air, rain or shine.)

My favourite are the people who Quintilian remarks would march over to the jury making a great impression on their way there, but who couldn't work out how to make a dignified retreat back to their bench and would have to sidle off, ruining the effect.

(ETA: And random Roman cure of the day: kissing a mule will cure a cold. Pliny the Elder seems to have put this remedy into practice. But then he also liked to wear a bra on his head to cure headaches.)
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Watching all of these mini-series about Rome always makes me sad that they clearly have no idea how to wear togas. Though I can't be surprised seeing as the Romans themselves found that garment a bit of a bollocks. Augustus once went off on the senate because people tried to turn up in TUNICS. THE SHAME.

I think part of the problem was that the toga kept getting bigger and bigger, until you ended up wrapped in this ridiculously constricting wool garment that was just about the worst thing to wear in hot weather and have to do a little orating in. And if you got too enthusiastic the thing would start falling off right in mid-speech which was just really awkward. Some Romans used to bring a guy to court with them, so that when they were giving their big prosecution/defence speech they could stop and have him re-arrange it. This was, however, a no-no, akin to buying one of the fancy silk mix see through ones that clung a bit too tight to your legs and left little to the imagination. You had to keep that thing on no matter how impassioned you got until almost the end of the speech. And then you could do whatever you wanted - the damn thing could start slipping off, your hair could be a mess and it would be fine. The amazing thing is that people like Cicero - who were actually moving quite a lot as they talked - kept the thing on until that point. And without pins. ONLY A BARBARIAN WOULD USE GIANT VISIBLE PINS.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
This looks good. The corrupted Senate created gladiatorial shows to distract the people from how awesome Caesar was. I have been promised that somehow this brought down the Republic.

IT IS THE AGE OF THE GLADIATOR. And Octavian is french-kissing some girl. That seems more like him in his youth. BTW, did you know they had refs in gladiatorial shows? They did. It would have stopped the shenanigans in this one where someone attacked before the other was ready. And then somehow mysteriously waited for him to draw his swords. CAESAR IS UPSET ABOUT SUCH THINGS. AND PEOPLE GANGING UP ON GLADIATORS.

ETA: Gladiator who triumphed was not celebrated until he had twirled his swords in some awesome show of something or other. Then they cheered. (I think people often have the wrong idea aobut such shows. People wanted skill not just butchery - they got that at other parts of the games. Where they were just going for blood and guts were the executions of condemned prisoners (which were on in the afternoon break.) Famous gladiators were bloody expensive and you didn't just want them butchered.

ETA 1: Tyrannus the Gladiator has just come upon the (nearly) dead Caesar who has told him to look after Octavian. WHO WILL SAVE ROME. He must teach him how to fight! And rule!

ETA 2: Just so you know that the senate is EVIL they have hired someone named RAPAX. RAPAX. I am not sure that Caesar hiring a Tyrannus is any better, but apparently it is. Now the Senate is going off to kill Caesar's family. INCLUDING THE WIMMIN. NOT THE WIMMIN! I EXPECT TO SEE CICERO KICKING SMALL CHILDREN IN THE FACE SOON.

ETA 3: No! Cicero is the voice of reason for a second! Also although Tyrannus is a slave he a) lives in his own home and b) has a wife and kiddie (also slaves) whom he can send off to Cyprus. Pretty flexible master he has.

ETA 4: Voiceover announces that the trials of Octavian have begun. And he rides off to the music from Born Free. And now the EVIL SENATORS are meeting in...the Senate Crypt. And being evil and stuff. Really evil.

ETA 5: Booorn Freeee. Freee as the wind. And so forth. The senate BECAUSE IT IS EVIL is killing Caesarians. And burning down towns. DO YOU KNOW THEY ARE EVIL? We also get to see the total breakdown of law and order with people OVERTURNING CARTS. NOT CARTS, YOU SAY. YES. A ROMAN CAN'T EVEN PROTECT HIS CARTS.

ETA 6: They have tossed Caesar's sister into a cage. A CAGE. It's a total breakdown of all the values that make Rome great. They'll be breaking into the Temple of Vesta soon. AND OCTAVIAN HAS BEEN BETRAYED BY THE GIRL HE LOVES. AND IS ABOUT TO GET LUCKY. OR UNLUCKY, IF YOU COUNT HER SENDING FOR SOLDIERS TO KILL HIM.

ETA 7: OCTAVIAN IS WEARING TROUSERS! See how evil the Senate is? They forced him to wear trousers as he fled! No Roman should have to endure such things.

ETA 8. Sorry. BUT THIS GOOD STUFF. Cicero is a Caesarian. And smuggling his will into the temple of Vesta. And I think Cassius is about to do something else evil. BECAUSE HE'S AN EVIL SENATOR.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Well, not a Roman as they're all dead. Pointy spears and all. But, seeing as I got some bad news today about a dear friend, I am madly trying to distract myself. So ask me about an animal and I will tell you a Roman belief about it. Or an anecdote featuring it. It has to be an animal they knew about (that covers quite a few). Or a mythical animal. I can also do Greeks because I am multi-functional that way... (Hang on a second, that came out wrong.)
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Because the Cicero post will take a while to write and also involve me looking at his delicious invectives which are in my office, I give you...BIRDS.

The Romans loved auspices. They were like bird crack to them. They loved them as much as they loved ablative absolutes and that, my friends, is a lot of love.

Want to take auspices? This is the entry for you! Also with bonus sacred chickens. )

I apologise for clogging up your flist with horrific knowledge about the Romans - sometimes I just can't stop myself sharing these things. THE WORLD MUST KNOW.
lesbiassparrow: (THEY MOVE LIKE COUGARS)
(Quite a lot of this comes from Pliny the Elder's wonderfully whacky Natural History Book 28 which I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in ancient Rome and Greece. It's a wonderful glimpse into what people believed.)

Romans seem to have thought that hyenas were hermaphrodites/or could switch gender (Ovid thinks the females do so right after having sex - no idea where he thought the womb went.). That makes it magical, so its body will have all sorts of magical effects. It was also thought to be sexually voracious, which means that it is very useful in love magic, where by a process of sympathy you could get that appetite transferred to the object of your desire.

Pliny lists 79 remedies from the hyena (I think the max for other animals is 19 and that's for the crocodile). I present a selection:

1. A hyena's anus worn as an amulet will make you irresistible to the ladies - one look and they will follow you. (You call also rub a tick on her groin if that doesn't get her going.)

More 'facts' behind the cut )

(Also, random fact from Pliny the Elder: if you are pregnant never, ever step over a beaver. DISASTER WILL FOLLOW. I don't know why you would step over a beaver, but just in case, forewarned is forearmed! Also the left foot of a hyena hung above a bed will kill a woman in labour. But, don't despair! Eating wolf meat or having someone who has eaten wolf meat sitting beside you helps.)

Also (and this must be the worst birthday gift EVER): I dedicate this to the lovely [livejournal.com profile] thedorkygirl and [livejournal.com profile] shangri__la who both have birthdays coming up.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
(Other post coming soon, but mules weren't getting enough love.)

Pliny the Elder thought you could break mules by feedng them a lot of wine. I guess that's one way of doing it.

Also he has a hilarious recipe for a love charm that involves plucking three hairs from a female mule's tail. While she is, um, having sex. I suspect that one didn't do this more than once.

ETA: As hyenas and Cicero are currently even, the next post will be on hyenas. With possibly crocodile dung tossed in for good measure. No word on whether Cicero ever used it, but as it was used in rouge and Cicero doesn't strike me as a man to use rouge (though as there is a little evidence that some orators used to paint their faces for court, perhaps he did).
lesbiassparrow: (love is never wrong)
As April is Venus' month, this post is in her honour! (The Romans thought April came from aperio, which means 'to open.' You can see why that got associated with her.)

There were many Veneres (the plural of Venus) in Rome. It made things efficient: you went and offered up to the Venus you particularly needed when your hair was falling out, instead of wasting your time with one who was interested in sewers. The one thing the Romans were is efficient, after all! (This is not a complete list - there's a few I couldn't remember.)

Venus Cloacina. Venus of the Sewer. Her shrine stood at the mouth of the Cloaca Maxima, Rome's main sewer. She was especially revered by water carriers. And, presumably, people with bad drains. (Ironically, she probably started out as a goddess of purification and sexual intercourse. Or purification in sexual intercourse. I can't remember.)

Venus Eyrcina. This one was imported from Sicily and was probably neither Aphrodite nor Venus at the start. She had two temples; at one prostitutes sacrificed to her at the Vinalia, a wine festival. Her other temple was associated with right thinking. I suspect it was awkward if you turned up at the wrong one.

Venus Barbata. Venus the Bearded. This Venus had a cult statue where she was a man. I have no bloody idea what went on with this one.

Venus Calva. Venus the Bald. Dedicated after the women of Rome gave up their hair to be used in catapults during (I think) the Punic Wars. Or it may have been built after the women of Rome all lost their hair and vowed this temple if she'd bring it back.

Venus Libitina. Venus of Funerals. Very popular with undertakers. Her temple was on the Esquiline and you gave her a coin when you buried someone; it apparently was the way the Romans kept track of the population before they came up with the idea of the census.

Venus Victrix. Venus the Victor. Pompey the Great's favourite goddess; she had a temple in his giant theatre complex after he vowed one to her before a battle.

Venus Felix. Venus the Fertile/Lucky (the Romans thought that was one and the same thing). She shared her temple with the goddess Roma (who was not, however, Rome's tutelary goddess - they never told anyone who that was, so you could not bribe her to abandon them. It was probably Flora,* which I find hilarious.) This is the Venus who is the mother of the Roman people and the Julian gens.

Venus Genetrix. Venus the Mother. For Venus the mother of the Roman people. I don't know how she was different from Venus Felix, but she was.

Venus Obsequens. Venus the Graceful or the Bendy. I prefer the bendy title myself.

Venus Mefistis. Venus the Smelly. Actually, I don't know if she had a temple in Rome, but she had ones elsewhere and she's too good to leave out on a technicality.

Venus Verticordia. Venus the Heartchanger. Her temple was built from fines on adulterers and adultresses and was built after a Roman equestrian's daughter was struck by lightening. Her dress was pulled up when she was found (her dad got hit too), and it was such a terrible omen they decided adultery was to blame. She was supposed to keep people faithful (something she never managed herself). (Another story says that the temple was built after a bunch of Vestal Virgins decided that the Virgin bit was not exactly necessary for their priesthood.) There was also some festival of hers where prostitutes all went to the men's baths to bathe. I bet a good time was had by all. There was also (at some other festival) statue washing and bathing by worshippers under myrtle. Plus drinking of a poppy potion. I imagine stoned women washing her statue and then splashing about and whacking each other with mrytle.

Plain old regular Venus was also a garden goddess. On August 19th vegetable sellers had a festival in her honour. There was also a goddess Dea Viriplaca, the 'husband pleaser'. For all those times that the marriage wasn't working.


*Flora had a festival called the Floralia which was also celebrated by prostitutes and lewd performances of mime. Which seems to have been really stripping. Nothing the goddess of flowers likes like stripping!
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
This is how the Romans said 'everything will be okay.'

The story goes that once the Romans were being attacked by invading Gauls, who had come close enough to threaten Rome itself. To propitiate the gods they held a massive public sacrifice in the Forum; as part of the ritual there was a flute player and an old man who danced to the tune. Suddenly in rushes someone and says 'the Gauls are at the walls!' Immediately everyone rushes out to grab their weapons and defend the city - but when they get to the walls there are no Gauls. Everyone then proceeds to trudge back to the sacrifice. However, if you make an error in a Roman ritual or have to stop it for some reason, you have to begin again right from the start. Doesn't matter if you're right at the end - you have to go right back to the beginning or else the ritual won't work. Of course, everyone now is moaning because they have to sit there and listen to everything all over again and the whole ritual will have to be repeated (and it's a long one this time, because they really, really need to propitiate the gods). No one is happy about this because it could take hours. Suddenly, though, somone cries out 'the old man is dancing!' The flute player and the old guy had kept going all through the disturbance, which meant the ritual hadn't been interrupted and they could just pick up where they left off.

Hence the saying. This information has been brought to you courtesy of Jupiter Stator, the Jupiter who stops people running away in battles.

ETA: Next up will be an exciting list of all the various Venuses and what each one will do if you sacrifice to her. Including the Venus of prostitutes and the Venus you pray to when you are having issues with your husband. Each one is both Venus and a separate Venus at the same time, which is impressive.
lesbiassparrow: (THEY MOVE LIKE COUGARS)
I think these are my favourite part of Roman religion. These were specially bred chickens that accompanied commanders to war. Before heading into battle their keepers would feed them and observe how they ate. If they didn't eat, the gods were telling you battle would not go in your favour. Not unnaturally this could drive commanders up the wall. In fact, in the First Punic War one naval commander tossed the lot of them over the side of his ship with the words 'if they will not eat, let them drink.' He suffered a horrible defeat at the Battle of Drepana, losing nearly all his fleet. The moral of the story: never, ever mess with the sacred chickens.

As I have no sacred chickens icon, I give you Marc Singer making his CRAZY EYES.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
The Tudors:
1. In the 16th century no one cared about the virginity of well born maidens. In fact, they positively encouraged them to lose it as soon as possible. No one was ever annoyed at finding their bride had been devirginized by someone else. This includes the King of Portugal because he was so desperate for it.
2. Sex in the 16th century lasted about 30 seconds. Despite this women always had an orgasm because the men were that manly.
3. 90% of Henry VIII's life was spent having sex. The rest was spent jousting or showing off to random courtiers or visiting royalty. Despite this he was somehow a great king.

Rome:
1. If someone walked in on you having sex with someone on the kitchen table, you didn't stop what you were doing for this was considered perfectly normal behaviour in Ye Ancient Times.
2. Cleopatra didn't really believe in clothes unless they were clingy see through numbers. She also wore mops on her head and an IQ of about 80 due to all the drugs she had taken as a teenager. Don't do drugs, children!
3. The Republic was destroyed by wimmin and their lusts.
4. 90% of everyone's time, except Augustus, was spent having sex. Loud sex. This was clearly the secret of Augustus' success: he was the only person who was not perpetually exhausted from doing it all the time.
5. Slaves always loved their masters and mistresses and never had any resentment at all. In fact, the best way to make them like you is to be as horrible as possible to them as often as you can.

300
1. Fighting in nothing but leather underwear is the surest path to military success against overwhelming numbers
2. Eastern kings go nowhere without their harem of freaks and their killer rhinos. And will helpfully send elephants careening up narrow mountain paths where they can do very little harm.
3. Gollum: you always have to look out for that little bastard in every film.
4. Freedom is best served by a eugenics programme. And lots of shouting.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
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.
lesbiassparrow: (octavia)
Hmmm...I'm not quite sure how I feel about this episode. Mostly I think it means that I will be quite, quite happy when Antony gets his at Actium and sad that all Octavian suffers is the endless dying of his male heirs. I've more or less given up on the history front, so it doesn't really bother me any more, except when I think they've given up something from history which is better than they've come up with as fiction.

Cut for rambling about the latest Rome )
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Sometimes I find it hard to think that these episodes are not the work of a committee which doesn't actually see the other parts

The Latest Rome: cut for spoilers )
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
One thing which interests me about Rome (apart from the question of why everything in the titles is animated but not the penis) is how its focus dovetails with trends in scholarship on ancient Rome. I think it intrigues me that it is such a melange of both older and highly conservative takes on the fall of the Republic and more modern ones.

Cut for boring discussion of Roman history )
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
I was just wondering how they will do (or if they will do) some of the historical events of the last years of the Republic. Below the cut is a list of things I am currently wondering about. No actual Rome spoilers, but if you don't know Roman history I guess, er, I could spoil you for that. Don't read if you want to be astonished about things like who marries who. :)

List thing. With history spoilers )
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Rome: how I do love you. Except that you have made Cicero all squirrilly and that's rather sad.

For Rome spoilers. Though I always feel a little odd about this as they are spoilers about historical situations. )

And for a bit I have not been filled with glee, but I decided to focus on the positive and think about shiny happy things. Like the fact that I recently had a lovely lunch with someone I haven't seen for a while and she was a lot of fun and we bitched about my horrible colleagues and mad people in general. And on Saturday I went to hear Ray Wylie Hubbard twang his guitar in McCabe's and HE WAS AMAZING. It wasn't just the music - he told these hilarious stories about living in Poetry, TX and goats wandering in the yard and him thinking they were the devil and writing songs about it. This is not the sort of music I normally like and it was prefaced by a rather odd band who sang songs with horrid lyrics but he still made it all wonderful.

Also I just bought Season One of Veronica Mars on DVD. I have never seen it but everyone says it is great and so I look forward to it. Yay for things to watch!

Um. One last thing. I have recently gotten interested in Star Wars (the prequel) again. To the extent that I have actually rented 'The Phantom Menace' to see if it as bad as I recall. It can't honestly be, can it?
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
This took longer than I thought, so here's [livejournal.com profile] cryptile's and [livejournal.com profile] annous' for the moment.

5 Roman Matrons Who Totally Should Have Been Emperor )

5 Bollywood Moments That Make You Cry Like a Baby )

And for [livejournal.com profile] dangermousie: 5 Hottest Bollywood Moments )

ETA: Subtitle hell: I am watching an official copy of 'Heaven's Wedding Gown' which manages the feat of having subtitles for English that are a) completely different from what is being said in the English and b) be completely incomprehensible. I should have not expected much given that the back of the box has sentences like this 'Two people simlutaneously had a liking for a small wooden horse in an individual artistic shop quarrelling, finally under shop owner's tactitly consenting to.' Eh?

ETA 2: I am no longer watching 'Heaven's Wedding Gown' as it was incomprehensible and also rather cheap looking. I have transferred over 'Long Vacation' which also looks a bit cheap (filming on video tape is never a good idea) but has much better acting. Though there is also an unnerving bad English pop sound track in the first episode which is a bit off-putting.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
According to Nehaflix, Omkara, a Bollywood version of Othello, is already out on DVD. So, of course, I ordered it. But so I wouldn't feel absolutely suicidal after watching it I also bought Hum Tum at the same time (plus the soundtrack from KANK). It should be interesting seeing Saif Ali Khan go from being an evil plotter to being the lead in a romantic comedy.

KANK is playing today in Pasadena; I am wondering what are the chances of me staying awake long enough to make a second trip to see it, given that I woke up at 3 am for some strange reason and did not go back to sleep.

ETA: And HBO obviously wear pirate hats when they price their series; what the hell is the deal with the cost of Rome on DVD? I don't care what extras you are giving, that's an outrageous price for a series that short. They might as well be the BBC for the prices they slap on their stuff.

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