Tag Archives: War and Peace

Fake News and Post-Truth Politics

There is a widespread, distinct feeling that Western politics has entered a phase of what tends to be called ‘post-truth politics‘. The term ‘post-truth politics’, often accompanied by references to fake news and disinformation campaigns, looks like a euphemism for … Continue reading

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Casting the Die, Sounding the Charge

It was on January 10th, 49 B. C., allegedly, that Gaius Julius Caesar decided to cross the Rubicon – literally – and thus both to start a bloody civil war and to create a metaphor, for millennia to come, that describes … Continue reading

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Let us remember that this has happened

After the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the fifth century A. D., most of the Iberian peninsula eventually became part of the Visigothic Kingdom. A successor state to the (Western) Roman Empire, the Visigoths had gained control over Rome’s … Continue reading

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War, Combat Trauma, and Poetry: Evidence for PTSD in the Latin Verse Inscriptions?

In my previous blog post, I introduced a text that provides an (albeit anecdotal) unusual view on the Roman army, its drill, its effectiveness, and the dehumanising, romanticising narratives that prevail around it. The further one delves into the world … Continue reading

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Lest We Forget

Until I moved to Britain, just over ten years ago, 11 November exclusively marked one thing for me: the beginning of the carnival season. In the United Kingdom, however, as well as in many other states, 11 November marks an … Continue reading

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What have the Syrians ever done for us…?

Things are difficult – and not particularly cheerful – at the moment. The so-called migrant crisis, the barbarism of ISIS troops in Syria and elsewhere, the humanitarian and fiscal crisis of Greece, Europe’s politicians’ utter inability to defend the human(e)ly … Continue reading

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Sousse: Whence the Offence, Whence the Hurt…?

Sousse, ancient Hadrumetum, gave light to a famous mosaic, now kept in the Musée national du Bardo, Tunis: The mosaic displays Rome’s most famous poet Vergil (centre), surrounded by two Muses, Clio (left) and Melpomene (right). In his lap, held … Continue reading

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Europa, Europe, and the Compelling Imagery of the Latin Inscriptions

Memory is treacherous. Yet, I seem to remember rather vividly a time when our politicians talked about a project they called our ‘common European home’ (Mikhail Gorbachev) or envisioned a ‘Europe, Whole and Free’ (George H. W. Bush). I liked … Continue reading

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Killing Jokes and Suicide Jests

There are two essential rules for anyone who wants to crack a joke: timing, timing, timing – and be mindful of your audience. Aelius Lamia, who had his first wife, Domitia Longina, pinched by Domitian, had to learn that lesson … Continue reading

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Ennius on War and (Dashed Hopes for) Peace

Quintus Ennius was one of ancient Rome’s greatest poets. He served as a soldier during the Second Punic War. In his epic poem Annales (‘Yearbooks’), which survives in fragments, Ennius, far from being a pacifist himself (even in the fragments … Continue reading

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