Category Archives: Prose

Mini-Me

A couple of days ago, Verne Troyer died. At 81 cm (2 ft 8 in), Troyer was one of the shortest men in the world, his Wikipedia entry claims; he is likely to be remembered, most of all, for performance … Continue reading

Posted in Carmina Epigraphica, Poetry, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An arrogant boss, an overwhelmed manager, a botched valuation, and the exploitation of workers

In the so-called Zenon archive, a cache of some 2,000 papyri from Philadelphia (Fayyum), covering a time-span from 263 to 229 B. C., there is a complex deposit that starts with a letter from one Panakestor to Zenon, the Egyptian … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Advice, Conciliation, Arbitration

It is difficult to find solutions in conflicts in which emotions run high, and it requires insight on either side of such conflicts that presumably not all demands can be met. At the same time, it requires a desire to … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Abusive working relationships

Many strikes do not leave any substantial traces in the historical record. In other cases, the historical record proves extremely hard to read. The following instance is one such example – to show just how sketchy the evidence can be … Continue reading

Posted in Epigraphy, Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Debased and changed beyond recognition

Bankers, money-lenders, and money-changers do not carry a particularly high reputation in present-day discourse when it comes to virtues such as ‘honesty’ and ‘trust’ – which is strange, to a degree, as the entire sector fundamentally relies on belief in … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

If they win on this point, what then will they not try…?

In 195 B. C., Rome’s women had had enough. It had been for almost exactly twenty years that, due to a decision taken in 215 B. C., at the height of the Second Punic War, their right to possess, and … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Creative disruption and relentless retribution

Strikes are annoying to everyone: employers, customers, and – last, but certainly not least – their employees. Annoyance quickly leads to anger, and anger quickly leads to advocacy for acts of retribution for a perceived injustice – retribution that in … Continue reading

Posted in Epigraphy, Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling out core values

The Historia Augusta, probably dating to the fourth century A. D., is a most peculiar assemblage of imperial biographies, much of which may be pure fiction. In the context of the Life of the Deified Aurelian, an emperor of the … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Worth a fart(h)ing?

There are many things one may say about Petronius‘ famous Neronian-era novel Satyricon; that it shows much sympathy for Rome’s lower and lowest social classes, however, or for those who managed to escape their social predicament and reached a certain … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The solidarity of the precariously employed

A papyrus from the Hermopolite nome in Egypt, dated to A. D. 117, written by a lady called Eudaimonis to her daughter Aline addresses a wide range of family matters, including some current worries over the family business (P. Brem. … Continue reading

Posted in Labour disputes, Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment