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'To Get a Clear Picture in Your Mind'
Crackpot Mailbox: a Discussion on the Ancient Аrуаn Schism with Big Tony
© 2019 James LaFond
Ainshunt grease
Tony Cox
Mon, Sep 30, 10:29 AM (6 days ago)
to me
I'm learning about the hellenic stuff lately. It's a little tough to keep it all straight going only by text, the Phrygians, the Euboians, all these different places and people. Reading Latro in the Mist may help some, I still haven't finished it. How were you able to get a clear picture in your mind of the hellenic world(besides a superior intellect), at times it just seems to melt into an incomprehensible stew of dates and places and names I can't pronounce.
It seems like the Persians get a bad rap, so far I like Darius better than any of the Greeks I've read about. I read that it was always easy to find some Greeks willing to fight against other Greeks for a few coins, but it was impossible to find a Persian willing to fight against other Persians.
Wine Dark Sea is on my list of books to read. Writing short stories of people facing the same dilemmas, same vices, same human spirit set back in that time seems like a fun thing to do. I can just picture some fat man who works for a merchant ship, being drunk all the time and seducing all the ugly women of Asia minor....
Or perhaps a father who comes back from fighting in the army, who bounces his young son on his knee and tells him what fun it is to rape and pillage. Anyway, thank you for the history lesson, and I welcome any recommendations of suggested reading that may help me place all these silly Greek names and places into the realm of my understanding.
Your pal,
Some audio of Herodotus on the Scythians
Tony Cox
Mon, Sep 30, 9:35 AM (6 days ago)
And part 2
I'm starting to get a clearer picture already. Figuring out the Ionian and Dorian thing, and looking at the maps helps, and reading 3 different books at the same time actually helps too. The more I read, the more it all starts to coalesce.
Hey, check these folks. Claim to be the descendants of Spartans, all the conquering armies of the last 1500 years just stayed clear of these folks. The were a self governing region until the mid to late 18th century.
Thanks for the scholarly wisdom Mr. James.
Your friend,
In Latro in the mist, a poet, I believe it was Simonides, advises the brain-damaged/cursed hero to use mnemonic devices in dream to place statues in the temple of his mind to help salvage his identity, for he lost all short term memory upon waking and had only vague ideas of his identity—making him a metaphor for us, the modern social cipher. Also, the physician that treats his head injury gifted him a pencil of some sort and a scroll to record each day's events.
How have I wrapped my head around ancient Hellas?
About 300 books of reading.
Reading different types of literature on the same subject: prose and verse, fiction and nonfiction, myth and history, in other words, reading like a self-taught man from the Age of Enlightenment and not the educated drone of our Age of Endarkenment, that reads one book, at a time, stays with one form and limits his exploration to a narrow stylistic comfort zone. For instance, most serious students of history refuse to read Herodotus and will only read Thucydides, maiming their view of the soul of Hellas in favor of an autopsy of the charred bones of Athens.
Reading different forms at the same time, a history, a poem, a play, a myth, folklore...
Know that you have various Hellenic dialects: Attic [Athenian], Dorian [Spartan], Ionian [Herodotus] Aeolian [hillbillies], Koine [military/merchant pastiche] and get yourself a Lidell and Scott Greek-English lexicon. I used this to make my own glossary of martial terms and discovered that virtually every Greek name was a combination of two martial, civic or heroic terms: Alex-ander [Protecter of men], Poly-damas [many subduer], So-crates [Body taker], Arist-otle [Best purpose] and know that these names were awards, not birth labels.
Maps have helped, but what helps the most with imprinting a setting, real or fictional in your mind, which I learned from war gaming, was by making my own maps. You are a good illustrator. So try making a stylized map of Hellas on paper with scenes from myth and history drawn in among terrain features.
The Persians were as close to the Greeks as the Germans were to the English. The Persians envied the Greeks their heroism and athletics and Hellenes were always guesting among the Great king's court and those of his satraps. Alexander honored this by adopting the family of Darius II, including his mother! Both factions of these Аrуаn tribes stressed their differences in positive ways, seeing each other as preserving aspects of their shared ancestral heritage with different emphasis. This was largely shaped by geography.
I suggest the following reading:
Will Durant, the Life of Greece, [culture, philosophy]
Barry Cunlife, Pytheas the Greek [exploration, ancient bibliography]
Harold Lamb, Alexander, [novelized biography] you own this book in paper back I recall
Herodotus, Inquiries, [folklore, history] which you have
Sophocles, Antigone, [play] think I left a copy
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, [military history]
Xenophon, Anabasis [military memoir] this completes Thucydides account
Wolfe, Latro in the Mist [historic fantasy] which you have
Homer, the Odyssey [myth] you will like this more than the Iliad, based on your personal history
Read them in overlapping fashion, at least three at a time, perhaps Durant's book all along as you take turns reading the others.
Phrygians wore semi-pointy hats and lived near Troy [Troas or the Troad] and were semi-Ionian, with Aristotle serving a Phrygian monarch who came to a bad end as the teacher fled the kingdom...
The Euboians, lived on the lozenge-shaped island of Euboea, which meant Good-cattle-island, were famed swordsmen and hosted Aristotle when he fled from Athens after Alexander's death and was murdered there...
Ancient Boxing Ebooks
Time Travel Novel about Ancient Hellas
'Across the Rim of Death and Decades'
author's notebook
Shoop’s Last Boost
logic of force
the combat space
the year the world took the z-pill
beasts of aryas
your trojan whorse
by the wine dark sea
barbarism versus civilization
MRT     Oct 7, 2019

Fantastic article James
James     Oct 9, 2019

Oh thanks—I'll have to read it. Don't remember a thing i wrote this past weekend.
Furd Turguson     Oct 7, 2019

Thank you for the reading list. I've had to resort to podcasts as my reading time is limited. Below is a list of my favorites, in RSS link format to plug them into a podcast app

Abbreviated story of the Oddysey

History In The Making is an abbreviated discussion of the Peloponnesian War

Illiad abbreviated

Ancient warfare discussion potpourri (production is a little rough but decent info)

Ancient Greece Declassified covers varied topics with academic interviews

The History of Ancient Greece

Synopsis of western Cannon with historical context... and goofy songs!
James     Oct 9, 2019

Thank you for this extensive list of links!
Furd Turguson     Oct 7, 2019

I forgot to add, librivox is a great site for free audio books. Volunteers read books that have aged out of copyright so the voice quality can change from chapter to chapter within the same book. But ... free.

RSS links based on the posted reading list:



Xenephon Anabasis

James     Oct 9, 2019

I really like d the Anabasis—thanks for sending it.
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