Saturday, 24 April 2010

Dirty Tricks in On Line History Reviews

Like a lot of others, I love Lord of the Rings.  The plot revolves around the incredible lure of the ring.  It is evil but almost irresistible.  Its offers temptation tailored to the particular individual's desires.  Amazingly Tolkien came up with this notion without the inspiration of the internet.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Elagabalus: Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 6 Part 3

With Caracalla dead, there was only one authority that could make an emperor, the army. Chance had it that most of the troops were gathered in Syria, so it was there and nowhere else that matters would be decided.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Caracalla: Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 6 Part 2

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the image of Caracalla and Geta 1907 by  Lawrence Alma-Tadema)

Mothers like their children to do well, and jobs don't come much better than being emperor of Rome. Both Julia Damna’s sons became emperor.  It would have been perfect if only they hadn’t been emperor at the same time.   Or if they hadn’t hated each other.

It is very hard to see what Severus was thinking when he gave them both full and independent power.  This wouldn’t have worked particularly well with two brothers been filled with fraternal love. With a pair of fighting cocks it was obviously going to end badly.  The only question was how badly and when.  The answer was very and soon.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Noam Chomsky: Hegemony or Survival

Right click on the link to download the Chomsky Hegemony or Survival podcast (Control Click on the Mac) or just click it to listen now.

Us humans pride ourselves on our intelligence. We certainly use our brains differently to all other animals, often in unusual and surprising ways. Does being clever make it likely that human beings as a species will survive for a long time? Far from it, Chomsky suggests.