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Tag Archives: Rome

A few thoughts about Late Hellenistic Egypt

A few weeks ago I was in a bar with a friend of mine, a diplomatic/US and the World historian. In the course of our conversation, we stumbled onto late-Hellenistic Egypt and Cleopatra, a topic I was to give a lecture on to my advisor’s class. I mentioned Egypt’s relative weakness and, in my opinion, […]

Assorted Links

A Critic’s Case for Critics Who Are Actually Critical-An op-ed in the New York Times that suggests that while nobody likes to be criticized, having these flaws is part of what it is to be human, and that real criticism is not petty putdowns, but thoughtful response. Ira Glass: By the BookAn interview in the […]

Democracy, republicanism and war

Are democracies inherently flawed when it comes to running a war? Does a strong executive (to use the modern terminology) make the running of a war more efficient, if not always more successful? Thucydides would say so, and indeed he lays the blame for Athenian defeat mostly at the hands on the demagogues, who were […]

Historical narrative, largely a created phenomenon

There is only so much complication that the human mind can comprehend; once complexity reaches a certain level, one that is different for each person, the ability to perceive the interplay amongst each component disappears. In books, movies and TV shows, this results in a limited number of main protagonists and antagonists. If the scope […]

Security vs Stability

In the post-Soviet world we live in, borders are largely static. The borders of the United States, for example, have been set since World War II; The borders of the United Kingdom have been consistent since then, Britain for longer. Since the second world war, the borders of all Western Europe have been stable. In […]

The Tapestry of History.

There is safety in simplicity. In limits. In boundaries. There is safety in precision and detail. There is mortal danger those traits too. Aside from Thucydides, upon whom I could dwell ad nauseum, the two historians for whom I have the most respect and desire to emulate are Livy and Edward Gibbon. Whatever their faults, […]

Classes

First, I have been remiss in posting just because I have had a lot going on in life, almost none of which pertains to my study of history, but I hope to rectify this by writing about various things I pick up, mostly from the books I am currently reading. Second, I have been designing […]