orichalcum: (Pompeii)
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So, lots of my sources seem very distant from modern times and issues. But occasionally, you get glimpses into Roman life that could be memos written in any business today.

Pliny the Younger was sent by the Emperor Trajan (one of the more competent Roman Emperors) to govern the province of Bithynia, which is in northeastern modern Turkey, thousands of miles away from Rome, in the late 1st century CE. I've described Pliny to people before as "the guy who decided he'd rather stay home and do his homework than try and rescue people from the eruption of Vesuvius." In this case, he had a habit of writing Trajan for advice about every decision that he was called on to make as governor (even though this would delay by months any decision getting made.) In this case, he had written Trajan a letter saying that he thought a local theater was being badly built, as well as some other buildings, and he wanted Trajan to send out an architect from Rome to examine the foundations.

Trajan to Pliny: Since you are on the spot, you are in the best position to resolve what should be done about the theater under construction in Nicaea. I shall be content to have some note of your decision. Wait until the theater is finished before pressing members of the community to follow through on projects meant to accompany it. Decide for yourself what to tell the citizens of Claudiopolis about their ill-located bath. It is not possible that you have no architects; there are men with experience and talent in every province. At least you shouldn't imagine that it saves time to have them sent from Rome, as we usually get them from Greece ourselves."

Or, in other words, OMG, Pliny, do I have to do everything around here?

Given the success of the Facebook Aeneid, I'm mildly tempted to start a Pliny or Cicero IM or Twitter, except I have no Time.

EDIT: Things I don't love about doing research - finding that the last major study on Roman Decadence (before the one I plan to write) was written in 1939 by a German author who claimed that the Romans declined and became sexually profligate due to "the mixing of races." I probably need to read this for my research, unfortunately. I will, um, be taking a different approach.

Also, in honor of the recent babies born to [livejournal.com profile] stone_and_star, [livejournal.com profile] jendaviswilson, and [livejournal.com profile] redhound, I offer: Jack Jack Attack, for those of you who have not seen it.
Mood:: 'sore' sore
There are 7 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
posted by [identity profile] nhradar.livejournal.com at 07:40pm on 24/04/2009
thanks for the baby update. :)

On the other note, one of my professors is a major scholar on 1st-century Galilee. He set out to write his dissertation on Jesus as a Galilean, and so dutifully did a crawl through the archives at Tübingen, where he found a book called "Jesus the Galilean," and immediately despaired that his work had been done. And then he noticed that it had been published in 1941 in Germany. It's thesis was apparently that Glaileans were aryan, and so Jesus could not have been a Jew. Crisis averted.
posted by [identity profile] orichalcum.livejournal.com at 07:49pm on 24/04/2009
Yeah, that is one advantage. It just makes my skin crawl to have to see the same sources I'm using marshaled to advance such horrific ideas.

You folks are next! (I think your due date is before ours?)
posted by [identity profile] nhradar.livejournal.com at 07:52pm on 24/04/2009
A) Its, in my comment above.
B) I think so. June 18 is the theoretical projection date. Which reminds me, I should go email my CPE supervisor and tell him I'm taking a week off....
posted by [identity profile] orichalcum.livejournal.com at 08:13pm on 24/04/2009
So, at that point, it could really go either way, as ours is theoretically the 22nd. I recommend, if possible, not scheduling the week off until baby is actually born, cuz CP wound up losing a fair amount of work time sitting around watching me have false labor.
posted by [identity profile] nhradar.livejournal.com at 08:36pm on 24/04/2009
Yeah, indeed it might be either of us. Professorial schedules FTW.

Luckily, I'm working in the hospital in which the kid will be born, so everyone will undoubtedly be getting updates. The nature of the work lends itself to flexibility, as there are about 8 people in my group, and I'll hopefully have accumulated enough merit with them that they feel good about covering my floors. :)
posted by [identity profile] orichalcum.livejournal.com at 09:48pm on 24/04/2009
Chaplain duties? That must be interesting - and tough - work.
posted by [identity profile] julianyap.livejournal.com at 12:31pm on 25/04/2009
Y'know that the Aeneid Facebook was all written at once and not an actual Facebook feed, right? My point being that you could write a 1 page Pliny Twitter feed in one sitting. Probably wouldn't take that long.


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