A Reading List for the Fall of the American Republic

Not that anybody asked, but I want to share my current personal reading list – much of which is motivated by current events.  It obviously skews towards my personal interest in ancient history, particularly Roman history, but I hope that others might likewise find it useful.  I welcome any suggestions, recommendations, and feedback.  They are listed in the order in which I am planning to read them, though I am tackling a number of them concurrently and will undoubtedly change the order as I proceed.
Continue reading “A Reading List for the Fall of the American Republic”

The Army was the true populus romanus, “the Roman people”

We may have underestimated the ways in which a Roman popularis (s.) could motivate the passions of the people.  Populares (pl.) were individuals who, in the last years of the Roman republic (133-49 BCE), were able to successfully use the concerns of the Roman populace — that is to say, the population at Rome — to their political advantage.  In practice, they would circumvent the authority of the Roman Senate and magistrates by making proposals directly to the popular assembly, thereby forcing the Senate to either accept or be seen to oppose the populace.

Continue reading “The Army was the true populus romanus, “the Roman people””

Into the Void – Prologue

A long time ago, in a galaxy far,
far away…

STAR WARS
Episode I Redux
Into the Void

The golden age of the Republic has passed.  Striking from the fringes of civilized space, the mighty WARRIORS OF MANDALORE have begun a brutal campaign of conquest.  They aim to at last bring down their great ancient foe, the Galactic Republic.

The Galactic Senate remains frozen by corruption and acts slowly to respond.  In an effort to stem the tide, the President of the Republic deploys covert teams of commandos across the galaxy.

Accompanying these braves soldiers are the members of the ancient order of Jedi Knights, the sworn guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy….

Continue reading “Into the Void – Prologue”

My Star Wars Prequels Redux Project: An Introduction in Too Many Words

When I was in the fifth grade, I remember this friend of mine — Matt Johnson — was really, really into Star Wars.  I mean he was in to Star Wars.  It was my first encounter with fandom of any kind.  Sure, I was a big fan of Jurassic Park.  I had a fair number of action figures, dinosaurs, and vehicles from the Hasbro toy line (and I still have them…), but this guy…

Anyway, were it not for him, I would never have become a fan of Star Wars.  I mean, I’m sure I would have been mildly interested when the Special Editions released in theaters, but it probably would have been little else than a passing thing.  But because of Matt Johnson, I not only became a fan of Star Wars, I became a fan of Star Wars.  Like, I-own-nearly-every-single-novel-and-read-them-all kind of fan.  I remain a fan to this day. Continue reading “My Star Wars Prequels Redux Project: An Introduction in Too Many Words”

Soldiers in the city of Pompeii

I wrote this in response to a reader’s question on Academia.edu.  The reader had been reading an excerpt from my undergraduate thesis when she asked to know more about soldiers stationed in the city of Pompeii at the time of Mt Vesuvius’ (in)famous eruption of 79 CE.  The original text of my response has been edited and expanded to include additional commentary, as well as images. Continue reading “Soldiers in the city of Pompeii”