29 October 2008

Florus’ Epitome is now online at LacusCurtius: original Latin, and the English translation by E. S. Forster, Loeb edition, 1929. Those not familiar with the work will find a sort of timeline of Roman military history, the wars of 700 years, as the manuscript headings put it, easily read in two hours: a good orientation to Roman history.

Several Latin texts of the Epitome preceded me online — although the one most people refer to was very poorly proofread, with at least three skips of entire lines, and many, many grammatical errors or problems with verbs that change the meaning of sentences, often nonsensically (hey, at least there was a human being rather than a scanner behind all those mistakes) — and one English translation; but not a Latin translation with a facing English, one-stop shopping as it were.

Florus traditionally gets bad press for being inaccurate, rhetorical, and dull. I’d never read him, and had never read the critics either: to my fresh eye he comes out as having done a very good job of presenting 700 years of history in a nicely readable summary, I’d be very hard put to do as well; plus the man has a quirky, dry sense of humor which I think a lot of those critics missed altogether. In sum, not dull at all.

Two Battles of Caesar

27 May 2008

I am moving some pages through my website (more…), and today did two battle sites where Julius Caesar defeated the Belgians: at the river Sabis, the modern Selle in French Flanders, he overcame the Nervians, and at Huy (map to the right) he besieged the Atuatuci. (Related: Alesia, Rubico, Dyrrhachium, Pharsalus, Zela.)

I also moved Segovia (the famous aqueduct) and two unimportant pages: the Pyrenees, and the limes castle at Böbingen.

Military Dust

27 May 2008

LacusCurtius’ Bill Thayer has put online a brief article by Edward Echols titled “Military Dust“, originally published in the Classical Journal of 1952. And indeed, it deals with dust on the battlefield, and sort of sums up twenty instances of that substance playing a role on the battlefield. The photo to the right is a dustdevil I encountered on the road to Harran/Carrhae. Crassus must have seen something similar.