Any good information on Roman/Greek military life ?

JOHN THURSTON is back and eager to discuss Western Martial Arts, especially relating to its history.

Moderator: JOHN THURSTON

PS

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:54 am

I once had to do a complete geneaology on the "Ainsworths of Cape Cod" to clear title on a big tract of Cape land.

Damages 'cause of the screwed up title' were minimized because of the resources of the New England Genealogical society in Boston. Newbury Street I think.

The title company got sued anyway. The basic cause of action: they didn't get one JT - the noted historical maniac involved in clearing the title fast enough.

The property is on Phinney's Lane in Barnstable.

When you use "An action to quiet title" to clear title to a multi million if not billion dollar subdivision---your "search for heirs" had better be pretty damn good and if I hadn't been able to absolutely convince the court that *Land Court* that there were no heirs around.

Well you can just ponder the damages.

Near as I can tell, James served in the Civil War. Lived in New York, New Orleans and the Cape and went fishing one day with his wife (allegedly 75 years ago, old old cape gossip not a shred of truth to it i have no doubt) and came home without her.

All this because he wrote a deed with another saying they were 'some' of the heirs of his Father James.

Well, they sure as heck were NOT the all and only heirs.

An old deed saying they were all the heirs would have sufficed as what is called 'an affidavit of kinship"-but it was juuuuust a little short.

And that's why title "defects" are sometimes not , figments of nutty lawyers' imaginations or like little defects in a paint job.

There could have been a thousand people entitled to a cut!!

But I will also check and see if I can get into the Genealogical society on line.

At the time, I felt like I lived there. (ie: at the society.

You can imagine the value of such resources in one place in the pre web age.

Then I get a client who's property had an equally bad defect. Title had been certified by a Judge-but it was about as badly messed up as I have seen,

Problem was, since the client's land was a jigsaw of 16 different little parcels, it would have required at least $40 worth of time.

The title was not 'exactly' the same with respect to each parcel, becuse they had been transfered about "Will He-Nil He" differently in the case of each parcel.

client had NO owner's title policy and simply refused to pay anything near what, in fairness, legal time would have cost for the claarance of 16 defective titles.

In fairness to the client, he was retired and did not have the money.

Moral: buy owner's title insurance.

In this case the Certifying Judge was not a title insurance agent and could not have issued a policy anyway. Banks did not require a lender's policy then and, in any case, do not not get title insurance 'benefits', so to speak (ie: the title insurance company pays for the 'clearance') as the little loan remainng was not in foreclosure.)

The client purchased the land over 21 years ago, so it was a do able clearance problem-but I don't think the client should have had to apy for it and neither did he.

Having said that, that didn't get his title cleared or his Land Registered.

What a miscarriage by 'the justice'.

J
Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"
JOHN THURSTON
 
Posts: 2449
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA

Postby f.Channell » Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:48 am

I actually have a deed from 1803 when my 5th great grandfather bought land in Northern Mass. Not having roads back then makes it quite hard to find. Still working on it. Also take into consideration it wasn't even the same town then.

Walked through the house of my 7th great grandmothers house last weekend built in 1700. The owners had just done a lot of research as they were filing for a National Historic Register. Imagine the expression on their face when I pulled up and knew more than they did. :lol:

So yes I have an appreciation for title insurance. I see Lawyers digging at that stuff all the time.

F.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3544
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

Re: Any good information on Roman/Greek military life ?

Postby Glenn » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:51 pm

Stryke wrote:Just wondering if you more knowledgable folks could recomend any titles/books that cover historical military life .

preferably less on over all tactics (a fascinating topic of course) and more on specific details of there day to day individual existance ?

what was it like to be an average soldier in the legions etc ?

Stryke,

In addition to the suggestions already made, I would suggest looking to first-person sources. Julius Caesar's Conquest of Gaul, Tacitus' Germania, and Xenophon's The Persian Expedition come to mind off the top of my head. It's been a long time since I have read these but I believe they provided some detail on the daily lives of soldiers at the time.

A very promising source for you is Alan Bowman's 1998 Life and Letters from the Roman Frontier. While I have not read it yet, I did catch a TV program about its topic:
Greetings, I ask that you send the things which I need for the use of my boys . . . which you well know I cannot properly get hold of here . . . A Roman solider on the frontier of England around AD 100

Over three hundred letters and documents were recently discovered at the fort of Vindolanda, in Northern England, written on wooden tablets which have survived nearly 2,000 years. Painstakingly deciphered by Alan Bowman, the materials contribute a wealth of evidence for daily life in the Roman Empire.

Military documents testify to the lifestyle of officers and soldiers stationed at Vindolanda, and portraits of domestic life are included in letters between the officers' wives and a letter from home promising a solider a package of socks. The engaging texts from thirty-four tablets provide insight into the similarities of daily existence in the Roman Empire and the present.


Here is the Table of Contents:
1 Introduction 9
2 The Writing-Tablets 13
3 Strategies of Occupation 20
4 The Roman Army 34
5 Officers and Men, and Women 51
6 Social and Economic Life on The Frontier 65
7 Letters and Literacy 82
App. I: Technical Terminology 100
App. II: The Texts 103
Glenn
User avatar
Glenn
 
Posts: 2169
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Postby Glenn » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:21 pm

Some other websites relating to the Vindolanda tablets, and the glimpse of Roman frontier life that they represent:

Wikipedia site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vindolanda_tablets
which includes some additional references, including the book:
Garrison Life at Vindolanda: A Band of Brothers by A. Birley (2002)

The official Oxford University site for the tablets, including images of the original tablets and translations:
http://vindolanda.csad.ox.ac.uk/

BBC site regarding Vindolanda; I believe this relates to the show I saw:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/ro ... a_01.shtml

I hope some of these help!
Glenn
User avatar
Glenn
 
Posts: 2169
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Postby f.Channell » Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:25 am

What an amazing find.

So many treasures out there still to be discovered.

F.
Sans Peur Ne Obliviscaris
www.hinghamkarate.com
User avatar
f.Channell
 
Posts: 3544
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Valhalla

Postby Stryke » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:40 am

Thanks guys , new the floodgates would open .

excellent stuff !!!

am going to enjoy my delving into the subject
Stryke
 

The Ten Thousand

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:26 pm

Oh Dear :( :

There is also an excellent novel on the march of the 10,000 out of Asia Minor named---"The Ten Thousand".

It is by Michael Curtis Ford and is fairly new (July 2000).

I am reminded of a letter quoted in HMD Parker's Book (I think-Hugh will know) from a Legionarius to his Mother and Father:

"Please, don't leave me like a dog to die in the Legions" and went on "please send money" (or words to that effect.

I will see if I can verify where the quote lies.

Yes Stryke, you have opend the flood gates.

Caesar's Conquest of Gaul was known to me as "Caesar's Commentaries" or "De Bellum Gallicum".

I read it in Latin. Perhaps it is not what is being referred to.

One of Colleen McCullosgh's books (which cover Marius, Sulla and Caesar) at the very least has a pretty fair description of many battles in Gaul.

I will run Curtis Ford's name to see what else he may have written and try to provide a list of McCullogh's largely unheralded novels on Rome.

Maybe a thread on The Legions can be sustained.

J
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"
JOHN THURSTON
 
Posts: 2449
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am
Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA

Re: The Ten Thousand

Postby Glenn » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:24 pm

JOHN THURSTON wrote:Caesar's Conquest of Gaul was known to me as "Caesar's Commentaries" or "De Bellum Gallicum".

I read it in Latin. Perhaps it is not what is being referred to.

I believe these are the same. Most of the ancient texts I have read were through the Penguin Classics series, they were inexpensive and readily available to a rural teenager 25 years ago. Conquest of Gaul was the name they used, although I have seen it on other versions as well.
http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/Book ... 39,00.html
Glenn
User avatar
Glenn
 
Posts: 2169
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Postby Hugh » Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:14 pm

I have a copy of Life and Letters From the Roman Frontier and found it to be pretty interesting if, at the end, rather disappointing. I had hoped for rather more translated letters than the book contains. What the author does is to use the letters to illustrate points that he is making about life at Vindolanda and at other Roman forntier posts in Northern Britain. The problem is that his choices are, by the nature of the effort, rather subjective and I would much rather have had the basic letters in translation. I understand that even translation lends a certain subjectivity to the proceedings but including all of the letters woud certainly eliminate much of it.
Trying to Walk in the Light, Hugh
1 John 1:5
Hugh
 
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 6:01 am
Location: Virginia

Postby Hugh » Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:27 pm

Also, Glenn, you should remember that Caesar's commentaries on his wars were written by or for Caesar as political propaganda and need to be read as such. Josephus needs to be read with the thought firmly in mind that he is constantly attempting to justify his having betrayed his own people to the Romans. And Flavius Vegetius was writing in the late 4th Century about the great old days of the Late Republic of Caius Iulius Caesar and of the Early Principate. There are a number of dubious items that get included in his efforts. Finallyu, even Polybius needs to be read with the thought in mind that, while he was indeed a hostage to the good behavior of the Greeks, he was also a client of Aemilius Paulus, the conqueror of Greece and then of the famous Scipio family when the son of Aemilius Paulus was adopted into that family as Scipio Aemilianus. Polybius, therefore, tends to lionize the Scipios, especially Scipio Africanus.
Trying to Walk in the Light, Hugh
1 John 1:5
Hugh
 
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 6:01 am
Location: Virginia

Postby Glenn » Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:53 pm

Hugh wrote:I have a copy of Life and Letters From the Roman Frontier and found it to be pretty interesting if, at the end, rather disappointing. I had hoped for rather more translated letters than the book contains. What the author does is to use the letters to illustrate points that he is making about life at Vindolanda and at other Roman forntier posts in Northern Britain. The problem is that his choices are, by the nature of the effort, rather subjective and I would much rather have had the basic letters in translation. I understand that even translation lends a certain subjectivity to the proceedings but including all of the letters woud certainly eliminate much of it.

Life and Letters was written as a synopsis for the general public. What you are seeking would be in his more academic publications, The Vindolanda Writing Tablets, currently in 3 volumes published from the mid-1990s through 2003.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/BookSe ... 2496&itm=2
The official site for the tablets linked earlier would also be good for this, albeit cumbersome to work through.
Glenn
User avatar
Glenn
 
Posts: 2169
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Postby Glenn » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:15 pm

Yes, Caesar's writings were very self-serving/self-promoting, but my understanding is that most Roman writing was as well and must be read with this in mind.
Glenn
User avatar
Glenn
 
Posts: 2169
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Postby Hugh » Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:33 pm

Glenn, what I was trying to do was to point out that one needs to read even what we may consider to be primary sources with a somewhat careful eye. As Ken Burns pointed out in his Civil War series, history is always seen through the eye of the beholder which serves as a filter and creates a bias, no matter how hard one tries. The best that one can do is what he did and that was to bring in other points of view.
Trying to Walk in the Light, Hugh
1 John 1:5
Hugh
 
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 6:01 am
Location: Virginia

Postby Glenn » Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:00 pm

We're on the same page there.
Glenn
User avatar
Glenn
 
Posts: 2169
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:01 am
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Postby Hugh » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:11 pm

Glenn wrote:
Hugh wrote:I have a copy of Life and Letters From the Roman Frontier and found it to be pretty interesting if, at the end, rather disappointing. I had hoped for rather more translated letters than the book contains. What the author does is to use the letters to illustrate points that he is making about life at Vindolanda and at other Roman forntier posts in Northern Britain. The problem is that his choices are, by the nature of the effort, rather subjective and I would much rather have had the basic letters in translation. I understand that even translation lends a certain subjectivity to the proceedings but including all of the letters woud certainly eliminate much of it.

Life and Letters was written as a synopsis for the general public. What you are seeking would be in his more academic publications, The Vindolanda Writing Tablets, currently in 3 volumes published from the mid-1990s through 2003.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/BookSe ... 2496&itm=2
The official site for the tablets linked earlier would also be good for this, albeit cumbersome to work through.


Hey, Glenn, I'm in sticker shock! That $135 price is just for the last of the three volumes! Yikes!! thet is rich even for my fanatic blood.
Trying to Walk in the Light, Hugh
1 John 1:5
Hugh
 
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 6:01 am
Location: Virginia

PreviousNext

Return to Western Martial Arts & History

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron