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The Sunland Lord

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Posts posted by The Sunland Lord

  1. 2 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

    I'm a classicist, so I'm all for this thread!

    You can't top Herodotus. Father of history and lies and so much more. His Histories are a wild ride that may seem structureless, but there's a lot going on beneath the surface. And some of those stories are just so amazing...

    Yeah Herodotus may be considered a many things but I like him. 'Histories' for the purpose of reading Xerxes ordering lashing of the Hellespont because there was storm makes it worth while already. 

    And his repetitive "This and that happened in a manner which I will now describe" is hilarious. 

  2. 7 hours ago, Wilbur said:

    Alcibiades is such an interesting character individually and in the history of Athens.  Like a lot of the historical characters mentioned above, you can read him as a hero or as a villain, and neither one is probably wrong.  With the several different historians or philosophers who wrote about his life, his story is one of the most well-rounded.

    His story is crazy. You wonder how many times a man can switch sides, stir up one against another, and still keep his head on his shoulders. But my impression is he didn't do this only because he enjoyed it or for personal gain. He did it also as a self-preservation from the Greek governments, especially his, the Athenian. Even if he wasn't who he was, they would try to backstab him.

    Him, Themistocles, Nicias, Timoleon, and some others understood how the system works, and refused to come back home to be tried and executed. Some of them decided to die in battle (Nicias), retire on Sicily (Timoleon), escape to the Persians (Themistocles), or live in a foreign land until you can, like Alcibiades himself. 

    I like the tale about him when he cut the tail of his dog, so that the Athenians would speak badly about him. He was so pleased because they would gossip about this smaller matter and wouldn't talk about his bigger schemes and scandals for a while.

    7 hours ago, Wilbur said:

    One aspect of classical literature and history that most fascinates me is my own perception of the Greek historians and the Roman historians.  For me, reading of the Greeks, from Ancient through Classical to the Alexandrian period, always seems a little like mythology.  On the other hand, reading the Roman historians (Sallust, Tacitus, Livy, etc.) feels a lot more like a contemporary account of news. 

    This might be due to the development of historians. With time, they became more and more systematic and got things in better order. Since Rome took over power later than the Greeks, it is understandable. The Greek writers during Roman era too were getting on the new wave. 

    7 hours ago, Wilbur said:

    Perhaps it is because the recently-concluded American Century took a form so similar to late Republic and then early Imperial Roman times, but the Roman histories have an immediacy and recognizability that the Greek ones do not.  I don't say that they are better than the Greek, or that I enjoy them more, but the Greek histories just seem to have a sheen of the exotic/foreign/distant that the Roman ones do not.

    The governments of Greece and Rome also have effect. Greek city-states were separate, had different systems in different times one from another, each of them had their own colonies in the world. 

    Rome was a better functioning machine. More unified, effective and developed, add the one single army instead of the many armies of Greece and there you go. 

    Imagine if the US is like Roman Republic, many different peoples/states under one standard, and Greek city states were not really united, but were just states with entirely different interests. It's easy to say that modern governments/nations are based closer to old Rome than they are to old Greece. 

  3. 15 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

    You could also try Xenophon who was a captain of cavalry, AFAIR. I think he also wrote a book about horses but the most famous ones are Anabasis (Retreat to the sea, from some military campaign in the middle east) and the Kyroupaidia, the (idealized) education of the Persian king. Admittedly, I never read him. Supposedly somewhat boring, it used to be among the standard texts when studying Greek at school because it is fairly easy straightforward prose (but my teacher preferred other stuff, e.g. Herodotus). The rough parallel in Latin is Caesar's Gallic War. There is also a Latin "clone" of Plutarch, Cornelius Nepos: Lives of illustrous men, but this is probably redundant after Plutarch.

    The most important next Greek historian would be Thucydides who is not as much fun as Herodotus but more "modern" (less hearsay and saucy stories, more political analysis). And among the Latin writers Livy and Tacitus

    Bought and started Gallic Wars. So far so good, but I need to finish numerous other stuff I started too.

  4. 24 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

    The ref was shit but I'd say that he was shit for both sides. 

    Inter paid the price for not making their superiority in the 1st half count more. In the 2nd half, Barca outclassed them. 

    Maybe some corner for Barca. But not sanctioning a clear penalty for Inter, heck, not even bother to check VAR, that says everything. 

    Inter dropped in quality in second half, but it doesn't mean that they should be punished for it by the ref. Barcelona were far worse in the first half. 

    I agree on one thing: you use all your chances on Camp Nou. This is what Alexis himself said. Inter didn't do it.

  5. 2 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:


    1. Like your notion about Socrates as a historical troll. :lol: Definitely imagining him as such while reading Republic.

    2. You put the Republic on 16th place, so I'm definitely not going by your recommendation of order. 

    3. Alcibiades. This sounds great. Gonna read it after I finish what I now read. I was stunned by Plutarch's chapter about Alcibiades in Lives. Need to look this up.

    4. Critias. Putting this on the list also.

    Overall, great work. This is very useful and a good read. Thank you, I will bookmark it.

    Started reading him after finishing Seneca's Letters From a Stoic and was in the mood. 

    Also, wanted to check out what the man who was making company to both the tyrants of Sicily, Dionysius the First and the Second, really thinks. Their relationship, as described by Plutarch, is hilarious and bizarre at the same time.

  6. 4 hours ago, Zorral said:

    Herodotus.  He wrote considerably in his histories about horses, their breeding, their training, their care, the differences among peoples in how they treat them.

    He wrote considerably about horses, I think mostly about the different people treating them differently. For example, the Scythians were the best horsemen at the time. Also, the Persians, the Parthians, the Medes, pretty much every Eastern peoples paid a lot of attention to horses. In fight, their cavalry was their main threat to the enemy along with the archers.

    Especially the Scythians, who were famous as horse archers during the time. 

    Also Herodotus does mention the four horse chariot race at the Olympics, but I think this would be considered especially cruel sport nowadays. 

    I have something less than 200 pages left, so I am going to pay more attention on this subject, since Herodotus wrote many things about pretty much everything you can think of in this book.

    4 hours ago, Zorral said:

    But again, like Plutarch, one cannot know how much of what he wrote about many subjects was true or how much was entertaining fiction.  And then there's always the political dimension -- which no chronicler, etc. of any place or people escapes.

    That's true. We cannot know for certain, but these people did their research, they travelled, talked to inhabitants, notable people, priests, etc. 

    Surprisingly, Plutarch, (and also Appian) allowes himself a freedom of speech one would not guess that existed during the early Roman Empire. He is not a fanboy of the people who transformed the Republic into an Empire, especially Antony and Augustus. He writes more favourably about Caesar though.

    He openly praises the noblemen who preferred freedom over tyranny, and doesn't seem he had any problems with the authorities about it at all. 

    4 hours ago, Zorral said:

    I had thought, despite his not being born there, he'd considered himself affiliated with Athens?  But then, again, I don't know much about this.


    He was. He lived there for a while, and admired their political system. Some say he almost gained Athenian citizenship, but wasn't granted one by few votes in the assembly or something. Was still respected in Athens, and Plutarch says he won an award for his work there.

    About his death, some say he died in Italy (Thurium, which was then part of Magna Graecia), Athens (during the outbreak of the plague), or Macedonia. No one can tell for certain though.

    He was born in Halicarnassus, which was in the Persian Empire during that time, after Persians conquered Asia Minor. Today it's Bodrum in Turkey.

  7. 2 minutes ago, Zorral said:

    I don't know enough about this, I think.  But I have always admired like any other horse person his intelligence about the breeding and training of horses. Emotionally one might think the descent of Athens to such terrible traduces of her proclaimed institutions and ethics must have truly hurt his soul.  When he left Athens for Persia he never came back -- is that right?

    I'm sorry, but I don't get who you are speaking of? Sounds like Themistocles, since he left Athens and found refuge in Persia and stayed. Ancient Athens was hell to many notable people from there. Rarely there's an Athenian's chapter described in Lives that didn't suffer from his fellow citizens.

    2 minutes ago, Zorral said:

    And Plutarch is entertaining reading certainly.

    Yeah, so much this. I was amazed how much knowledge today is own to Plutarch. Supernatural events aside, since then they truly believed in those things. But the fun part is, those are interesting to read too and often you can see the logic used by the author. 

  8. Man, we need a read. The next two books read, about which I am getting sceptical. Had to say this first.

    And for a re-read, sure, if you don't have anything better to read at the moment, you should do it. 

    I never re-read the whole series, but some of the chapters I like, I did. The good thing is that you don't have to read chapters you don't want to at the moment, and focus on something you wanna know more about. To me, Bran's chapters are amazing, so the last time I read ASOIAF were those. 

  9. If Roose and Walder wanted Robb dead, they could've taken the field along with the joined Lannister-Tyrell forces against the Starks. They would've outnumbered Robb what, six, seven soldiers to one? Still better than participate in such a barbaric and abominable act that they are cursed till the end of days, since nobody will ever have any trust in them. 

    And some here calling the RW a "battle" is ridiculous. Warfare doesn't count such "battles", although it was done in history where GRRM has picked the idea from. 

    Can someone tell me if he/she considers the Fall of Harrenhal in Clash of Kings a battle?

    Because Vargo Hoat and Roose hatched a stratagem against the Lannister garrison different from the Red Wedding, but I wouldn't say it was a battle either. It was a treachery, and a slaughter of an unprepared enemy who thinks he's your ally (Vargo) and thinks that you are a prisoner of war (Northern vassals). 

  10. 34 minutes ago, The Lord of the Crossing said:

    War kills children all the time.  And those Lannister boys.  Those boys are not exactly innocent.  They are part of the enemy's war effort against them.  Those boys are in-training to become enemy soldiers.  Cadets is what they were.  Killing them is hardly different from killing the knights they were serving.  Those boys are less innocent than the Lannister camp cooks.  At least the cooks are not directly in support of the fighting men.  The squires are in direct support of the fighting men.  Their service help those men kill the enemy.  They are not innocent.  Multiply the deaths of these two lads by 10K and you might reach the number of truly innocent children who died because Robb Stark chose to defy the king.  

    If they are not viewed as children, then they were prisoners of war. So it's murder either way. Lord Rickard was a murderer; no matter if those were kids or adults. If they were guilty of something, then they would've been put on trial, yet, they were not, they were prisoners and valuable ones. Potentially exchanging of prisoners can lead to peace, or at least a truce. 


  11. Rickard should have kept his sons at home, or some of them, instead of throwing them ALL on the field-if he cared that much in the first place. Like he didn't know that people in war die? He was involved in three wars that we know of at least.

  12. Robb was murdered in a dishonourable way, unguarded and unarmed, at a seemingly, and in normal circumstances, peaceful event.

    It's an abominable act by all means. The perpetrators, (among whom Tywin is already brutally punished via kinslaying in the privy), are about to suffer gruesome fates.

    The Gods and men will punish everyone involved.

  13. 8 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

    I wouldn't want to derail the thread and turn it into a discussion of 1st century BCE Roman politics, but I think that assessment is terribly unfair. The blame for the Republic's fall should be shared by many: Gracchus, his murderers, Marius, Sulla, Cato, Pompey,... A but if we had to choose a single person, it would be Caesar.

    He had blatantly ignored the Roman law by crossing the Rubicon with his army, he had most of the senators exiled, he had himself appointed as dictator for life (another name for a king), and he passed a law by which the magistrates, the consuls and the praetors were personally elected by him instead of voted. The Republic was already dead before Caesar's murder.

    Yes, it's hard when you extend the discussion into a bigger picture. That's because in the end, GRRM wrote an original story, not a complete parallel to whatever historic narrative. 

    While at it, yes, Caesar's actions as a whole, influenced Rome's transformation more than those of Brutus. 

    But, it's a paradox that Caesar's death didn't bring any good. Afterwards followed the most bloody civil war ever in the history of Rome. How many people died because of Brutus's noble intentions? What was his plan? Why didn't he really save the Republic? Was it worth it? 

    I agree on the rest, except for Cato: He saw exactly what the Triumvirate was doing and it would put the society in its hands, which it did. Cato was the truest Republican. Only sided at the end with Pompey because he thought was the lesser evil than Caesar; although Pompey showed exactly the same ambitions as Caesar did. But then was too late; the army was already more loyal to the General than to the State since Marian reforms. 

    Westeros is fractious because of similar reasons: there is a King of all kingdoms, but if a local lord decides to rebel, his vassals, at least the majority of them, follow him. 

    EDIT: Bowen Marsh is not as well-intentioned nor educated as Brutus; nor is Jon Snow as ambitious as Caesar. 

    Bowen is a petty man with a petty plan.



  14. Just remembered something connected to the comparison.

    Right before the assassination of Caesar, he pissed off the Senate, among other things, with him granting Roman citizenships to the Gauls. 

    Kind of resembles Jon Snow's effort to integrate the Wildlings into the realm and Bowen's, but also other people's aversion towards the wildlings and one of the reasons for murdering Jon. 

  15. 2 hours ago, Al Czervik said:

    One can find similarities if he looks hard enough.  My opinion.  Brutus was a friend of Julius.  Bowen was not a friend of Jon's.  Brutus personally betrayed Julius.  Bowen Marsh didn't betray Jon because he was only doing his job.  Bowen was acting in his professional capacity and did his sworn duty to protect the realm of man against an ailing lord commander.  

    Brutus also thought he was doing his job, which was saving the Republic, just like Bowen (stupidly) thinks he is saving the Realm.

    Brutus thought that Rome needed him to save her. But this was just paranoia. It was Brutus who destroyed the Republic.

    Brutus and Cassius got their asses handed to them by Antonius and Octavius on Philippi and now really the Republic was done for. It's just ironic how big a damage the messianic complex can do. If Caesar stayed in power, the Republic might have stood.

    Now Bowen thinks that he is some kind of Messiah who will save the Realm. While in fact the Realm can't be saved by an obscure character that is Bowen.

  16. 2 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

    That and maybe the aftermath. The allusions to Shakespear's Julius Caesar are too strong to ignore...

    Just as Wick Whittlestick barely grazed Jon's neck with the first dagger, Casca was the first to cut Ceaser with a glancing cut to the neck. Just as Caesar caught Casca by the arm, Jon caught Wick's wrist. Just as Wick retreated and put his arms up, Casca was frighted and shouted for help. (That Jon understood this to mean that Wick was denying involvement was very curious. I'm not sure what to make of that other than he might have been mistaken.) That Bowen Marsh wept and claimed to be doing it for the Watch clearly alluded to Brutus...

    "Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully; Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods, Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds:"

    And Brutus expected his fellow Romans to be glad, going so far as to persuade his fellow conspirators to ignore Marcus Antonius. Given the strong allusion to the assassination of Julius Caesar I'm assuming that Bowen will expect his brothers to be glad. I don't think he has a plan. And much like Brutus was forced to flee Rome in short order I think Bowen is in a very, very tight spot, because Tormund is set to play the role of Marcus Antonius. I would expect him to whip the wildings into a frenzy against Marsh and the other conspirators. 

    So can we expect an epic speech by Tormund like that of Antonius? "Friends, freefolk, countrymen, lend me ye ears".

    Btw I always thought that Robb had more in common with Caesar than Jon. 

  17. 7 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

    If a prison official said that aliens were invading you would question his sanity. But then you would send an agent to remove him. Then he would have evidence, eyewitnesses and your man would come back with the truth.



    Really? That does seem like a massive oversight. Since Stannis got one I assumed that Aemon sent a raven to every lord. So, surely Rob or Edmure should have got the memo. If your own kin is saying it then unless you believe he’s cracked then he has to be telling the truth.

    Jeor had a clear way of convincing at least the Northern lords if not the Riverlands and Vale. “Look! Ned Starks bastard saw zombies!” Then send Jon on a little propaganda mission telling everyone how the sky is falling. 

    Edmure is not really Jon's relative, but I get what you mean. 

    They received their memo, but it would be different if Jon himself spoke to Robb, for example, because Jeor, since Ned's fall from grace, didn't really know anyone in house Stark. 

    Literally one of the ways Tyrion could've found out is that Alliser was in King's Landing for that reason. But Tyrion is biased and takes everything personal, so just because he didn't like Thorne, was being a jerk to him and kept him waiting till the hand wasn't a proof. 

    One can see it from many different angles, but in the end it's plot convenience.