User talk:Cynwolfe

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Quid quod ista liberalium artium consectatio molestos, verbosos, intempestivos, sibi placentes facit et ideo non discentes necessaria quia supervacua didicerunt? Quattuor milia librorum Didymus grammaticus scripsit: misererer si tam multa supervacua legisset. In his libris de patria Homeri quaeritur, in his de Aeneae matre vera, in his libidinosior Anacreon an ebriosior vixerit, in his an Sappho publica fuerit, et alia quae erant dediscenda si scires. I nunc et longam esse vitam nega!



On the issue of Tellus, Tellumo, Tellurus: Dumézil has two notes I think important to recall. He remarks that Augustine's passage mentions a sacrifice to Tellus and to some male indigitations (Tellumo, Altor, Rusor) of hers (CD VII 23, 2). It is thence not legitimate to isolate Tellumo from the list in which he appears and make of him a male counterpart of Tellus as Augustine does. Tellurus in Martianus I 49 looks like an archaic genitive of Tellus (on this second point I cannot agree with certainty).Aldrasto11 (talk) 11:47, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

That is a highly interesting passage in Augustine, isn't it? I hadn't looked at it in its larger context before. Having done so, however, I find it hard to see what Dumézil is saying: Augustine does isolate Tellumo from the implied list containing Altor and Rusor, and says explicitly that Tellumo is the masculine counterpart of Tellus. (The argument incidentally reminds me of a current WP discussion on whether the trinity makes Christianity a polytheistic religion: one might've thought this settled some time ago, but if not, exactly what would 'polytheism' mean?) Augustine is pretending not to see the difference between Tellus as goddess of the earth and Proserpina as a chthonic goddess, as just before he had failed to see why there should be both a Tellus and an Orcus: Ita enim totum, quod ipsa erat, in duas istas partes deosque diuisum est, ut ipsa tertia quae sit aut ubi sit inuenire non possit; nisi quis dicat simul istos deos Orcum atque Proserpinam unam deam esse Tellurem et non esse iam tres, sed aut unam aut duos; et tamen tres dicuntur, tres habentur, tres coluntur aris suis, delubris suis, sacris, simulacris, sacerdotibus suis, et per haec etiam fallacibus prostitutam animam constuprantibus daemonibus suis. Adhuc respondeatur, quam partem terrae permeet pars mundani animi, ut deum faciat Tellumonem? Non, inquit, sed una eademque terra habet geminam uim, et masculinam, quod semina producat, et femininam, quod recipiat atque nutriat; inde a ui feminae dictam esse Tellurem, a masculi Tellumonem. Cur ergo pontifices, ut ipse indicat, additis quoque aliis duobus quattuor diis faciunt rem diuinam, Telluri, Tellumoni, Altori, Rusori? De Tellure et Tellumone iam dictum est. Altori quare? Quod ex terra, inquit, aluntur omnia quae nata sunt. Rusori quare? Quod rursus, inquit, cuncta eodem reuoluuntur. He's been going through a chain of fragmentation (if Tellus is the earth, what is Orcus? And if Proserpina is his consort, don't her functions compete with those of Tellus? And what about the masculine counterpart of Tellus, Tellumo? And if there is a Tellumo, why do you need to fragment divinity further with more specific gods such as Altor and Rusor?). A ui feminae dictam esse Tellurem, a masculi Tellumonem seems pretty clear to me. In 4.10 he wonders why the earth should be Terra, Tellus, and Tellumo; the agricultural "helper gods" are not in proximity. So the cited source Woodard seems to me to be reading the passage correctly, but it was interesting to look at it more closely. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:51, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
D. is saying that Tellumo is just one of the indigitations of Tellus such as Altor and Rusor and has been arbitrarily isolated by A. for polemic purposes. The passage seems to me correctly interpreted. It is A. wording that has been schemed on purpose to give the reader the impression there is a Tellumo outside the pontifical list of indigitations. At any rate it is clear that Tellumo is the force of the Earth as working in male creatures, and this is not an indipendent deity, just, quite correctly, an indigitation.Aldrasto11 (talk) 00:43, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

CE - Law school of Berut[edit]

By any means please do! I'm not very pleased with my own copywriting and I'm a bit short on time. I'm always available if u have any questions. Thanks buddy -Eli+ 16:42, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Hey there, i left my notes on the article's talk page. I also need a bit of help with rewriting the curriculum section; the method of teaching is discussed in this book, the passage reads

Of the method of instruction the Scholia Sinaitica and the Scholia to the Basilica 5 give some idea. A classical text was taken as the basis, and the lecturer added notes of his own, which consisted of references to parallel passages or imperial constitutions, the formulation of general principles, the statement and solution of difficulties. and illustrations from practice.' It was in fact a development of the ancient methods used in schools of rhetoric,' and differed widely from the system of classical times when, after the student had mastered the elements, his further education consisted chiefly in the discussion of cases.

Also found in this book, this is what it reads

Legal education in the law-schools was based largely on the study of the extant works of the classical jurists and collections of imperial constitutions. In the schools of the East legal instruction was given in Greek, although knowledge of Latin was necessary for the study of the classical texts. As to the method of instruction adopted, this was similar to that followed in the schools of rhetoric: the literary works of the classical period and imperial constitutions, as found in various compilations of law, were discussed and explained step by step and, when possible, compared to or contrasted with parallel texts. On this basis general legal principles were formulated and then applied to resolve specific problems of law emerging from actual cases. The teaching was done by professional law-teachers, not by practitioners, and the courses offered were fitted into a fixed curriculum. At the end of their studies, which lasted up to five years, students were awarded a certificate which entitled them to serve as advocates in the courts or to join the imperial civil service.

I'm afraid my editing does not convey the correct intent and meaning. Also do you think curriculum is acceptable as a header? Eli+ 21:19, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi, Elie plus. I'll try to be of more help tomorrow, as I did only hasty copyedits for a couple of sections. If I get distracted, and you need help with suggestions made at the DYK nom, please drop me a reminder. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:49, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Hey again, you can call me Elias or Elie. I have revised the section and I think it's much clearer now. I'm still not very happy with the header though. I relly appreciate your time and effort. Why are you so interested in Classical era stuff? -Eli+ 10:25, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
That is a really big question. I'd have to write my autobiography to answer it fully, so I'll just say that I studied classical studies (though before that I did graduate work in English) and have continued to love it even though the academic world felt constrained to me and I decided not to structure my life within it. I read Latin literature for pleasure. So I contribute here to maintain my knowledge of the subject matter, and because I believe in what I see as the goals of Wikipedia. I have an article I'm working on that I feel for various reasons that I should prioritize, but I will try to help with yours as soon as I can. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:37, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
It's OK :) the article is still expanding anyways, I will be adding to it once I get some time to read the new sources i obtained. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR GA :D -Eli+ 05:13, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Slavery in ancient Rome[edit]

The citation needed was for Roman slaves "technically not being allowed to own property" which struck me as a strange statement to make, and, if true, one that I could've used a citation to learn more about. It seems like it could mean so many different things... That courts would not enforce property rights on their behalf, etc. Clearly, slaves can own property in some sense, but you claim that in a "technical" sense they could not...what does that mean? Jhartzell42 (talk) 21:23, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

The Slavery in ancient Rome article is very hit-and miss, sadly. But that sentence had two citations: the "technically" was part of it. It meant that in the eyes of the law, slaves could not own property, because they were property themselves (so "technically" is used in a sense similar to "he got off on a technicality"). They had no legal rights; they lacked legal personhood, so they had no right to own property. In practice, however, a slave recognized by his master as capable and trustworthy was given leeway to conduct business, and might even travel independently. Not only did he need money to get around, he might be "incentivized" by being allowed to generate profit on the side for himself. He'd get a cut, or build a bonus for himself into the deal. This money was put into an account (peculium) for his use, but legally (technically) he couldn't own it. Rather like a parent who opens a bank account for a child, except that even a minor can have her name on the account jointly with the parent. It seems entirely possible to me that a master would be an ass and take your hard-earned money, since even as a supposedly "free" person I've never known an employer to think he's not overpaying you. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:44, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I feel it's clearer now...I definitely feel like I have a better understanding of what's going on reading it...especially with what citation goes with what.

Jhartzell42 (talk) 22:54, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

The master could probably take it even after you were freed; the relation between libertus and patronus was not equal. He would be an ass to do so; but we know several rich Romans who were regarded as asses by the Romans themselves. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:26, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
If I'd known you were coming, I'd have baked a cake to go with that fire and water. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:06, 2 April 2013 (UTC)


Thank you very much for the link to the article in the Oxford E. by H. F. Müller. Its reading confirmed me in the view that I wrote a very good article as he writes more or (better) less the same things. Of course I did not finish the article and I admit I normally do not edit on the literary traditions. You might do it if you wish though.

I also noticed this source can be used in order to prove the non originality of my editing on the origin of the god. Frankly speaking I am a bit disappointed that you did not suggest it to me during the discussion with the reviewer on the talk page...Aldrasto11 (talk) 00:33, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

If I have the energy I would like to add a section on the first secessio of the plebs and Valerius augur and dictator, who has no article!Aldrasto11 (talk) 10:27, 29 March 2013 (UTC)


When you have time have a look at Salus. I tried to fix formatting but failed. The additon was in poor state but the info and poem is interesting.Aldrasto11 (talk) 07:27, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

That article has bothered me for a long time, and I'm glad you added to it. (Actually, for a long time it didn't exist, except maybe as a redirect to Hygeia, and from what I know Salus seems as much or more akin to Soteria.) We have some articles on Wikipedia that split the Roman concept from the deity, and I'm not sure that's a good idea. An example is Virtus (deity) and Virtus (virtue). In literary contexts it can be hard to tell whether the deity or the abstraction is meant. Even when the concept is discussion in a purely philosophical context, as it might be in Cicero or Seneca, it still seems better to deal with the topic as a whole within Roman culture, in a single article.
The depiction of one of these divine qualities on a coin seems to me to be intended not only to represent the deity who was the recipient of cultus, but also to evoke or "advertise" the quality itself. Some of the earlier deities such as Salus or Bonus Eventus seem to have been deities, not mere abstractions; some of the ones who appear on Imperial coins may be more personifications (though many are attested in inscriptions as receiving altars or vota, or even shrines). I've found Anna Clark's book Divine Qualities to be somewhat useful, though ultimately disappointing.
I'll try to look at Salus soon. Some time ago, I began working on Felicitas, was surprised by the quantity of material, and reluctantly turned to higher-priority articles. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:19, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
I did some more editing and fixed citations.Aldrasto11 (talk) 11:39, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I have doubts about the orthography of the inscription, it should be checked with the original source. It is very interesting that a military writes these lines which prove Salus is primarily safety.Aldrasto11 (talk) 23:13, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, as in "thanks for saving my neck" or "thanks for getting me out of that mess"—that seems to be the sense in the slave banter in Plautus's Asinaria, for instance: nam ego tibi Salus sum! And the vota pro salute rei publicae: that isn't "health", but more general wellbeing and security. Salus would be the tutelary of the Department of Homeland Security (sorry for the American joke). Cynwolfe (talk) 23:35, 27 March 2013 (UTC)


I expanded the lead somewhat, do you think it is all right now to remove the tag? Thank you for the attention.Aldrasto11 (talk) 06:50, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

It is ok.Aldrasto11 (talk) 23:07, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I think that's fine and will remove the tag. Please feel free to yell at me if you hate my copyediting. One minor and unimportant change, for instance, was I changed "two-faced" to "having two faces", because "two-faced" has that other meaning of "duplicitous, double-dealing, deceitful". I added a sentence about the doors to his temple, because that's a fairly famous thing that some readers might have in mind when they look up this figure. Oh: when linking to the god Portunus, you'll need to pipe it as [[Portunes|Portunus]] if that's the spelling you prefer, as Portunus goes to the crab genus. Januarius goes to the bishop, and Ianuarius to the month. I have a hard time remembering that one. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:49, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, I think the job you did here is very good. I must learn how to write leads yet...Aldrasto11 (talk) 06:04, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
You had all the elements there. I just reordered them a bit, and made a couple of connections more explicit for those who come to the article without any previous knowledge of the subject. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:27, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
What are the links you wrote about?Aldrasto11 (talk) 23:24, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. Are you referring to my edit summary? Some common words such as "god" and "door" were linked (I'm guessing that was done before you edited the article); per WP:OVERLINKING, we don't link common words that don't illuminate the article. Instead of god, which leads to the Judaeo-Christian God, I piped the link to List of Roman deities, for example. Above I mentioned that I fixed the link to Portunus, which goes to the crab genus instead of the god. It's OK to use the spelling Portunus for the god if you think that is the correct one based on your sources, but when linking on first reference you have to create the link as above. Farther into the Janus article, I think you had linked Januarius, which goes to the bishop, so I piped it to Ianuarius for the month. I may've misunderstood your question, however, so please ask again if I have. Cynwolfe (talk) 01:28, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Pls. refer to my talk page: you wrote about some new interesting link...Aldrasto11 (talk) 08:31, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh, sorry for rambling. I was tired and foggy at the time and had forgotten about that. I just thought you'd be interested in Door god (recently added to the "See also" section to Janus) because you've been looking a bit at comparative religions. They come in pairs, which reminded me of the confusion in coin iconography between the Dioscuri and Janus—I see two-faced images on coins at Commons identified as Janus when they may be the Twins. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:15, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes thanks for this interesting link, it is a common feature in China and India. More like a Janitor... as Limentinus perhaps?Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:36, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
That seems like an apt comparison. I think we need an article on both actual Roman doors (architecturally speaking), and their cultural significance. Look for me to do that by the year 2020, though. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:40, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Fan letter[edit]

A few months ago, I idly was musing that I might write a WP article about Pascalis Romanus (on whom I did some work in grad school long ago), assuming that he was sufficiently obscure that one probably didn't yet exist. When I discovered that you had anticipated me, I was suitably impressed. It's gratifying to know that others are as devoted to supervacua as myself and old Brazen Guts in the caption at the top of this page. Keep up the good work. Deor (talk) 14:28, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

I hadn't revisited that in a long time. Most people associate antiquarianism with pedantry; to me it's more like poetry, this big crowded fantastical storeroom. In the dichotomy posed at the beginning of this article, I'm definitely in the "meaning" camp. I also recently learned that I'm an idler. I should have a synthesis contest for the thing at top: who can come up with six degrees of citations (or fewer) that would link the quote and the image? Cynwolfe (talk) 15:09, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

mmm hmmm[edit]

I'm just a helpful sort this morning! Probably because I can finally have all the windows open and the birds are a manic choir. But let's be honest: how much effort will actually follow my initial interest? We've all seen the sequel to my enthusiasm before. Regarding our queer old friend of many names, do you think that bit about the tongue and the ass was actually a homophobic slur? I've been trying to decide whether or not he would actually stoop to that (and whether he would remember the sexual orientation of an editor).  davidiad { t } 15:54, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

I've been mistaken for so many things I never presume about sexual identities. I've been taken for a straight man (because I'm interested in military history, or as I've been told I "write like a man"), a gay man (because I've contributed to history of sexuality articles that deal with homosexuality), and a lesbian (because I had a Xena Warrior Princess action figure on my desk). If I were any of these things, I would be forthright and proud, and while I don't go around shouting "I'm a happily married heterosexual woman with a gratifying number of ex-boyfriends," neither am I furtive about who I am in this arena. I actually like Many Names, but he so often goes on and on about the ease of fabricating online identities that it's hard to generate trust. If he feels like a posse of one, it's because he wanted to be. I've seen him fail to bite only one hand that was extended to him, and that hand belongs to an editor of exceptional grace. He dislikes it when someone suggests that maybe Wikipedia isn't the place to work out one's issues, so I don't feel at liberty even to express humane concern for him. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:29, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Sacrificial charcuterie
Recent memory tells me that any discussion of your sexuality begins and ends with a trip to the delicatessen. The funny thing is that I can remember my father (he's from "classic New Jersey", the part where the stereotypes survive in numbers large enough to be the norm) using that phrase on me when I was 16 and my reaction was almost identical to yours. I'm working on my own stuff right now and feel that I need to write amicitia papyrologorum (there are RS, believe it or not). It is absolutely unbelievable how supportive and prompt with efforts and responses they are compared to our strictly classicist colleagues. Just absolutely beautiful nerdish people. If you ever have a pressing concern, write your local papyrologist before you write your Congressperson.  davidiad { t } 19:15, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Surely you refer to my recent work on the Cybele article? Which brings to mind another thing I've been called by implication. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:29, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
My drafts and computer are now soaked in coffee. I'll be sending you the bill.  davidiad { t } 20:26, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
My apologies. It looks so alarming I think I should take it down. I found it when I was looking for a way to reply courteously or jokingly to that remark, and thought visuals might be best. While Haploidavey is gone, I've been plotting I can get this delightful instrument into the Cybele article that he's been working so hard to make sober. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:09, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
That would have been classic, but then that fella would have had a whole new slew of things to say about your motivations, I'm sure. Davey would probably approve of that instrument's presence on the page. Horseplay article is with the redactor. I'll send it your way when I'm off work so you can see how much more tortured my writing is in the real world.  davidiad { t } 16:55, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

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Thanks for your input at the talk page. I was wondering if you would be willing to submit some suggestions and/or a draft for rewriting the lead (and any section tweaks which might accompany that). I'll understand if you don't want to put yourself in the middle of what very easily can become a battlefield, but I'd rather build off someone else's input rather than my own in this case. I feel my reverts of statement "The Byzantine Empire (or Byzantium) was the continuation of the Roman Empire …" can give an impression of a conflict of interest.  —Sowlos  16:22, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

You are very courteous after that outburst of mine, which I'd been holding back for months. I would reduce the first paragraph to:

The Byzantine Empire had its capital in Constantinople, also known as Byzantium, from 330 to 1453. In its earliest history, it was the predominately Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire. After the Western Roman Empire fragmented and collapsed in the 5th century, the eastern half continued to thrive, existing for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe.

I would move the nitpicking over the name to the section "Nomenclature," which I would rename "Nomenclature and periodization". In the second paragraph, I would reduce the first two sentences to:

In the transitional period from the 4th to 6th centuries, several events mark the east-west division of the Roman Empire. In 286, the emperor Diocletian etc

(As a good Roman would, I object to using capitalized "Emperor" as a title before the personal name, as one does with a king, but am never willing to shed blood over it.) The third and fourth paragraphs are OK, but the intro may say too little about what makes the Byzantine Empire culturally distinctive. it has a very old-fashioned focus on names of rulers and dates. And of course I balk at "Roman polytheism", since it wasn't just the "religion of Numa" that was displaced (which at any rate should be called "Classical Roman religion" or some such, not "polytheism"), but rather it was the entire religious ecosystem, aka religious pluralism, that was displaced. But I wouldn't go into that with this other stuff in the air. Anyway, this is just off the top of my head. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:20, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, well, people are so used to Byzantine controversy on Wikipedia that some have decided to skip directly to the rants. ~___~
In the hopes of making something productive of the discussion, I've finally added my suggestions based on what you said. *crosses fingers*  —Sowlos  22:06, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Good luck! I think your revision reads well. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:33, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. People at least seem to be acting civil. Whether it goes anywhere only time will tell. However, I have a feeling that article receives too little attention to benefit from the input of editors not yet married to one opinion or another. The endless list of controversies around Hellenic culture and history really doesn't help with the head count.  —Sowlos  14:57, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
There seems to be a dogged misconception that "Byzantium" is a modern name, perhaps because pointing out the centuries it existed as a Greek city prior to Constantine's refounding and renaming would undermine the contention that this really is just the Roman Empire. There's an overwhelming passion for merely titular claims, and little interest in Byzantine culture and what makes it distinctive. Somehow it reminds me of the wackiness regarding the non-existent lance when Walter Horn recovered the regalia of Charlemagne. What seems strangest to me is that usually in such discussions one can detect some kind of nationalist impulse, but here there's nobody insisting on the continual Greekness of the area. I can't participate in the discussion civilly because it makes me want to exclaim "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing," this taking of sources out of context. I applaud your ability to remain diplomatic, and Future Perfect's insistence that we call this entity the name by which it is best known. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:46, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Nationalism is a good point to bring up. Whether any of them are participating at this moment or not, it's been my observation that much of this controversy is the result of opinionated individuals who are in some way tied to one of the two Roman Empire splinters — if you will. Claiming proper continuity with the Roman Empire is a prestigious thing (as you know). No one has to make any claims per se if the information leads readers to the desired conclusion on their own. That is why the leads of articles such as this grow so much; they're essentially multiple leads (each with their own POV derived key points) interlaced. Unfortunately, even less passionate parties have difficulty seeing how to simplify a description when it has been bloated for so long.
I understand your frustration and I know many others feel the same way. That is the irony. Most of the people who could help don't want to come near this and they probably out number the emotional few.  —Sowlos  16:24, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
If it goes nowhere, I'll suggest committing the the less controversial changes (everything but the first paragraph). Maybe even everything but the first line can pass, that was my most notable addition to your suggestion anyway.
Something is better than nothing.  —Sowlos  16:27, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Ancient Roman cuisine[edit]

Some of the information currently on the page is incorrect or misleading, as unsourced content on the ancient world often is. To choose an example, the page says ridiculous things "Pulses such as fava beans ... were only appreciated by peasants, smiths, legionaries and gladiators," which is flat wrong: "That wealthy Romans ate fava beans is ... strongly suggested" by recipes attributed to Apicius; "even in the most extravagant of cookbooks, beans had their place." The page states that "Fish was served only in earlier periods," which is ludicrous.

In any case, the the burden of evidence always lies with the editor who adds or restores material. Neutralitytalk 23:42, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

That's true. I'd forgotten how utterly deplorable it is. I believe it also says Roman women weren't allowed to drink wine or attend dinner parties. I'd like to delete the whole thing and start over, but have never had the patience to sort through what's worth keeping and what isn't. Hence when I was working on Roman Empire, I ended up having to write a whole separate article Food and dining in the Roman Empire, because I couldn't stomach trying to integrate that content into the existing cuisine article. Delete away. Turn it into a stub. Get rid of that disgusting spaghetti picture, which so dishonors Italian cuisine in general. We could replace it with the delightful sausage above. Perhaps then I'll be forced to do something about it, since Food and dining in the Roman Empire is probably an illegitimate content fork. Just don't link me to Apicius as if I've never heard him. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:27, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I'll work on the food articles later. (Later may be a few months or so....). Sorry if I seemed peevish before. Not my intent! Neutralitytalk 01:30, 10 April 2013 (UTC)


I left a note on the article talk page but I found that Bloch poses the problem as far as Poseidon is concerned. He does try to answer from a classicist's point of view, making some hypotheses:

1. Poseidon mates with Demeter under the form of a horse in the Argive myth, and they beget the unnamed daughter of those mysteries (story in Pausania).

2. Poseidon is the god of Earth and springs come from beneath the earth, this is also a metaphora or better a figure of the origin of life on earth.

3. Poseidon is the god worshipped in the main temple of the Isle of Atlantis in the myth narrated by Plato in the Timaeus and Critias; there was also a hippodrome nearby.

4. The island was swallowed up by an earthquake caused by Poseidon himself. This factor would connect the power over earth and that over waters. The Greek had a memory of the explosion of the Island of Santorini and of the seaquake it provoked as well as other consequences affecting climate.

Well this is Bloch's research and could be cited but I am afraid it deals only with Poseidon, not Neptune.Aldrasto11 (talk) 14:46, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

However, I think there's scholarship that links what you've said above to the "Equestrian Neptune" associated with the Consualia, and perhaps with the Dioscuri watering their horses at the Lacus Juturnae. If I see such things I'll let you know. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:05, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Auto-assessing articles[edit]

Hi Cynwolfe! As you know I am currently rating the unassessed articles in the Wikiproject Classical Greece & Rome. Following a number of additions from the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (see the bot log somewhere halfway down), I had the luminous idea of auto-assessing these "low importance" articles (as well as for example the "Legio ...", Milecastle, Classis, Cohors, "Battle of ..." and Lex articles). I think the TinucherianBot may be able to do this. The method could even be extended to articles in certain categories. What do you think about this? Bahnheckl (talk) 17:56, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

I do know, and good for you. I don't do bots, though I adore luminous ideas. I can see why that list of papyri would wear a person down. I'm told somewhere above on this page that papyrologists, as it may be, are the most humane people on the planet, or at least superior to members of Congress, which is on second thought setting a very low bar. (Where was I?) So you're thinking that any individual legion, and especially all those bloody papyri, will automatically be low importance. Quite so. Don't tell Davidiad, though!
Joking aside: I thought that bot auto-assesses on the basis of preexisting ratings by other projects. What if there is no other banner? And doesn't the bot auto-rate quality on that basis as well? I'm ignorant of bots, so feel free to enlighten me. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:33, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I actually think most of those P.Oxy. articles should be deleted! Not notable and just dreadfully thrown together.  davidiad { t } 03:32, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I would suggest a merge as a list article, but that already exists, does it not? I turned a bunch of very stubby, poorly sources articles on Augustine's throng of little gods into lists and such. They made more sense in context, since most are just names he makes fun of (makes up in some cases?). Cynwolfe (talk) 10:44, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I'll ask the bot himself! Bahnheckl (talk) 20:54, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Being a Talk page stalker here, but as someone who's manually assessed nearly one-thousand articles (approximately 1/3 of my edit count), I would like to drop my two cents. It's very tedious work. So much so, I took a break from it for the past few months. Automation is a magnificent thing!
That being said, I believe Cynwolfe is right. I believe assessment bots tag articles based on other pre-existing assessments. Unfortunately, many banners over or under rate their articles' respective contents. Is TinucherianBot able to tag articles as bot-assessed or produce a list of the articles it assesses? Bot assessment would definitely help, but their work should be checked or at least sampled. :)  —Sowlos  23:09, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
As another stalker, I think most manual assessments are based almost entirely on article length, and without making any distinction between large & small topics. There is also a big question as to how much assessment produces useful results, ie does anyone act on the assessments to improve articles. In most projects I fear they do not. But it may be different round here. Johnbod (talk) 23:53, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
When the Women's History project started (which I've sadly neglected the last several months, thanks to getting sucked into the Roman Empire), we discussed auto-assessment at some length. One of the goals of the project was to integrate women's history into overview articles; one example at that time was the scarcity of women in American Old West, except for a passing reference to (of course) prostitutes. Some of us objected to auto-assessment for quality ratings especially, since an article might be well done otherwise while lacking relevant coverage of women—and identifying these deficiencies was the point. Since the only purpose of project importance ratings is to prioritize work (a C-class top-importance article is an embarrassment), those ratings need to be project-specific too. I fear I've infected Bahnheckl with one of my own concerns for most-visited articles. Although I don't think Spartacus is a more important topic than, oh, dozens of others I could name under the G&R aegis, last time I looked it had surpassed even Julius Caesar in popularity. So I do think we have an obligation to make sure these high-traffic articles aren't disasters, and traffic is one factor in prioritizing. I've been trying to concentrate on existing articles with more than 30,000 monthly visitors, though I find it more relaxing to write on obscure topics. Cynwolfe (talk) 03:12, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
How 'bout we move this to the project talk page... Bahnheckl (talk) 07:37, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Re:"illegal religion"[edit]

Thanks for your message on my talk page about the reference to "illegal religion" in the Diocletianic Persecution article. I was not sure you would see a reply on my talk page so I am leaving this note here.I was probably too hasty in removing the "clarification needed" notice - it is so refreshing to me to see a well-written, NPOV, well-sourced article on the subject of Roman persecution of Christians on WP that I wanted the article to look "clean", as it were. But I definitely see what you mean. There are other problems with that sentence also I think "From its first appearance to its legalization under Constantine, Christianity was an illegal religion in the eyes of the Roman state." In fact, the earliest evidence we have would indicate that the Romans did not consider Christianity to be a religion at all, since the provincial governor Pliny the Younger and the senator Tacitus both use the word "superstition", not religion, to describe it. The recent book The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss discusses this and says "being designated as a superstitio meant that Christianity ... wasn't a true religion or philosophy; it was foreign and inherently anti-Roman." How about changing that sentence with the reference to "illegal religion" and replacing it with something like ""From its first appearance to its legalization under Constantine, officials of the Roman state were reluctant to concede that Christianity was a religion at all?" sourcing it to Pliny, Tacitus and Moss?

PS: I feel compelled to try to do a more or less complete re-write on the article Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. This will take me some time but I would appreciate it if you would put it on your watchlist if it is not already, just keep an eye on what I am doing over the next weeks and let me know if it looks OK to you or not. Thanks Smeat75 (talk) 00:13, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that is by far the best of the persecution articles. Balanced and thorough. The problem with changing the tagged sentence is that it has a precise citation, and is very closely paraphrased from Frend. I don't think it can be altered to say something else. But the sentence does seem at odds with the consensus statement in the intro that makes a more limited claim. In this case, there may be a subtle but important difference between illegitimate or bogus (in that sense see superstitio) and illegal ( "officially banned, outlawed") religion, since in the context of his chapter as a whole, Frend can't possibly mean that Christianity was officially outlawed from its beginnings up to Constantine. If that's what he meant to say, he contradicts himself at several points. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:47, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

WP Classical Greece and Rome in the Signpost[edit]

The WikiProject Report would like to focus on WikiProject Classical Greece and Rome for a Signpost article. This is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to your efforts and attract new members to the project. Would you be willing to participate in an interview? If so, here are the questions for the interview. Just add your response below each question and feel free to skip any questions that you don't feel comfortable answering. Multiple editors will have an opportunity to respond to the interview questions, so be sure to sign your answers. If you know anyone else who would like to participate in the interview, please share this with them. Have a great day. –Mabeenot (talk) 01:21, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

you're doing it wrong[edit]

Here, have a little drink and calm down

Regarding this:

The purpose of article message templates is not to vaguely communicate your desires to the originator of an article-- that is the function of talk pages. The purpose of article message templates is to communicate with the reader of the article. You've been here long enough that I really shouldn't need to explain this to you.

Please be more conservative in your use of article message templates in the future. 2602:100:4759:4D52:406E:C3F1:54C9:FE16 (talk) 11:54, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

How rude. I'm sure you've investigated to see whether I top-tag routinely, or whether this might not be an unusual circumstance? Or perhaps you don't know the difference between "did" and "doing"? In this case, the article began with a major factual inaccuracy that seemed to be one of its main points: that this site was discovered last month. In fact, it was discovered and a series of reports issued beginning in the 1960s. This was a big enough error to cast the general reliability of the article in doubt, since at least one other editor challenged the science. So indeed I thought it merited a caveat lector. Nor was this a "vague" drive-by tag: I explained in detail on the talk page what was wrong, and since it was a new article gave the creator the chance to address the problem first. Please be more conservative in your choice of ungulate to emulate. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:15, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Consus and Neptune[edit]

This is perhaps one of the tangled and challenging points of Roman religion. I agree with Dumézil on the etymology from verb condere to store (from put within, insert, thence also found) and not from coserere. This is close to hide too cf. abdere, (abs)condere. This derivation is certain, but I checked De Vaan on the etymology of consilium (as Consus is related to it, Consus consilio...Lares +covillo potentes in the inscription of the circus by Tertullian, which may be archaic too considering covillo and external factors) and it is very uncertain where consulere-solere, the head word, comes from, although very probably not from consideo. The ancient sources were very fond of the connection Consus-consilium, Festus included. This power of hidden councelling held by Consus seems to be related to the concept expressed by Dionysius and Plutarch that he is the holder of the Earth, an idea that makes of him a parallel to Poseidon. So while it is certain that condere and consulere are from two different roots it looks the character of Consus as hidden master of the Earth was at the basis of the identification. If you find anything relevant please let me know.Aldrasto11 (talk) 02:57, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Additional curiosity I hit upon by chance: the Latin WK article Neptunus carries a piece of info which is of high interest about Saturn (unfortunately unreferenced): Cronus was forced to vomit his children by Zeus using a potion made with satureia said to be a poisonous plant. Though in fact the herb we call satureia (santoreggia) is not toxic, it is a great and possibly decisive find about the etymology of Saturn Satre, as it BTW confirms the intuition of the great scholar from Catanzaro Giovanni Alessio.Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:09, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Selene riding sidesaddle?[edit]

Parthenon Selene Horse

Hi Cynwolfe. Can I impose on you for a bit of Latin help? I am trying to decipher Servius' note to the word bigis at Aeneid 5.721, proprie modo: nam “rorifera tenuaverat aera biga” abusive est.

This is by way of my trying to find what literary sources there might be for the claim that Selene "rides through the heavens on a horse (or steer or mule, or even a ram)" facing sideways with both legs on one flank of her mount.139 (with note 139, p. 608, saying: "The artistic record is more helpful on these matters than literary records, but see for instance Pi. Ol. 3.19–20, Ov. Fast. 4.374, Serv. Aen. 5.721".) I have the Pindar and Ovid, plus others, including Pausanias, 5.11.8, but I've found none that have her riding sideways or her steed being a steer or ram. Any light (moon or otherwise) you could shed on Servius' note would be appreciated. Thanks, Paul August 17:15, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Hey, Paul, won't be able to look at this in detail for several hours or maybe not till tomorrow, but none of it sounds familiar. As I recall, mounted goddesses are pretty rare among the Greeks and Romans; some images of Artemis on horseback, maybe, or these may be Amazons. This is one reason why the sidesaddle-riding Epona is so distinctive. Helle and Phrixus are carried on the "Golden Fleece" ram, but otherwise riding on a goat or deer or such sounds like the mythology of Northern Europe to me. Various animals could be harnessed to the biga, though. Just ramblings till I can look. Servius doesn't seem to be talking about riding sidesaddle, but explaining Vergil's reference to bigae (poetic plural). Puzzling.Cynwolfe (talk) 17:56, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Ok thanks, but don't spend a lot of time on this, as it's not worth much. Paul August 18:02, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Here we go (scroll back to p. 221). Cynwolfe (talk) 19:54, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
And actually, this may be the "carried away" motif, as with Europa and the bull, since Selene seems to have been "wooed by Pan in the form of a white ram". Cynwolfe (talk) 19:57, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. Paul August 21:25, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
My pleasure. I didn't check all the literary evidence, but it (as well as most art) seems to hold with the conventional chariot, and the evidence is visual for the rider. Thank you for the horse head too. I think. Unless it's from the Musée du Corleone. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:02, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
The British Museum I presume, but I thought it went well with the donkey vase? shown above. Paul August 23:14, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
They are both very handsome. I have a windowsill our horse friend would look great on. But I'd love to drink out of the jackass at my next party. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:19, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
The BM sell resin replicas at various sizes. Johnbod (talk) 02:17, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Then you should also have Trimalchio's asellus cum bisaccio to serve your olives in. Wareh (talk) 14:04, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
It'll go with Sow udder (Roman cuisine), which I swear I'm going to post one day. I'm staying away from these high-profile articles for a while, and remaining in the realm of the obscure. I was completely horrified to learn while searching the shop that the BM sells a replica of the Warren Cup, which I consider a cursed object. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:52, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:Byzantine Empire#"Continuation"[edit]

They both have beards and a name that starts with J, so that's all you need to know!!!!!!!!!

You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Byzantine Empire#"Continuation".
DIREKTOR (talk · contribs) has proposed a modification to intro sentence for Byzantine Empire (from: "The Byzantine Empire was the predominantly Greek-speaking continuation of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages." → "The Byzantine Empire was the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages"). As you participated in the revising the lead, you may be interested to weigh in.  —Sowlos  22:06, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Surely there's a more informative first sentence than the tendentious "the Byzantine Empire is the Roman Empire!" That's just a silly sentence, and "continuation of" isn't much better.Cynwolfe (talk) 23:08, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I agree. There is no need to strip the intro down like that. I'm sure many readers would then wonder why the two articles aren't merged.
And, great images! :D  —Sowlos  19:23, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Once again, I appreciate your ability to maintain a diplomatic composure. But don't say the "m" word: as you know, some would have it so. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:43, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
You flatter me. I feel as though I've only barely managed diplomatic composure. And, yes, that word shall most certainly not leave my finger tips (again).  —Sowlos  22:56, 17 April 2013 (UTC)


I have done some work on Neptune, Saturn , Jupiter and Angerona. If you are interested have a glance (and give me your feedback if you so wish).

On Jupiter I reinstated the section on J. Latiaris which I consider essential in the article.Aldrasto11 (talk) 05:39, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

I have started the work on Jupiter's notes in order to make them all based on the secondary sources. The sections you edited I would very appreciate if you would make them compliant yourself as I do not know from where you cite/quote. E.g. section on flamen dialis. Thank you very much.Aldrasto11 (talk) 00:08, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

I'd like to help, but may find it difficult to do so as soon as I'd like. I have a new article I'm trying to get off my plate, and family demands in the last month have taxed my concentration. I may in fact be taking a break soon to attend to an outside project. But I'll try to keep these articles in mind as I can, and I appreciate that you're trying to respond to reviewers' suggestions. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:46, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Never mind, fingers crossed for your new project! But you might enjoy Dumezil's versions of Angerona and Feronia...hehe...Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:00, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Just want to say thank you for your message on both mine and Aldrasto's talk pages. Reading through my messages to them, I can see that I might have been a little blunt in my use of language, but it was all done in the spirit of cooperation. Midnightblueowl (talk) 13:09, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't think you ever crossed a line. You haven't said anything Aldraso hasn't been told dozens of times already, and I hope he will forgive me for saying so. I learn interesting things from him all the time, but I've also spent two or three hours editing just a single paragraph or two, trying to understand what it said and how to verify it. In sum: the content is valuable, but often presented in a manner that requires editing to conform with policies and guidelines intended to make it useful to the reader of a general encyclopedia. It isn't dumbing down; it's communicating with the right audience, who are not scholars. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:23, 19 April 2013 (UTC)


I left many notes on our work topics here in the last few days and you either ignored them or answered evasively. I believed you were very busy editing or about other business but hit upon a chance within a few seconds since another editor left a message on my talk page you left an impertinent comment to support his behaviour. Never mind what the matter is between him and me I think you should make the effort to understand that it is none of your business, even if, quite wrongly, you think the opposite... I wonder whether you have ever been taught basic manners when young.

Moreover you should be able to appreciate that I am no native speaker of English and I work in good faith to the best of my ability: I would be happy to possess the ability to write in a more brilliant and clearer style, but my proficiency in English does not include the mastership on style and my teachers of English always told me style is the most difficult thing to muster for foreigners. Moreover we write on a very specialistic topic and what seems clear and terse to us Romance speakers may look difficult, odd and stilted to English speakers: I do hope you can get this.

On the other hand as I said many times, if somebody is willing to rewrite what I contribute in better English prose he is very welcome, provided he does not alter the meaning of what I wrote in any way...but I have not yet seen such a thing happen unfortunately. Hope you enjoyed at least Angerona...Aldrasto11 (talk) 15:36, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry, Aldrasto, I haven't meant to disregard you. It's just that your posts require a depth of attention that I'm finding a bit hard to achieve at present, for reasons that have nothing to do with editing Wikipedia as such.
I don't know how often or variously I can say that I value your contributions. I'm aware that English is not your first language, and I hope it won't sound condescending (a fault to which I'm unfortunately prone) if I say that your ability to write English has improved significantly since you first began editing. I say that with sincere admiration. But let's be honest: you don't take it well when editors try to work with you to express your content more clearly. Reviewers who have never interacted with you before have offered the same kind of criticisms that I have for years (Haploidavey too, and at one point Elen of the Roads). Even though it's a specialized topic, it needs to be presented in a way that's accessible to general readers. Really, you may think I'm an ignoramus, as you've often stated or implied, but I assure you that I know far more about Roman religion and culture than the average person, even if by your standards what I know is poor. If I don't know what you're trying to say, Wikipedia's target readership certainly will not.
I'm sure that it's true that when your copy is rewritten, there are times when you think it no longer says what you intended. On some occasions, I've been puzzled as to why you think that, since I see no loss of content (or sometimes content has been diverted to other articles, to keep the length of the main article in line or to stay on-topic). In some cases, the original statement was indeed misunderstood: I can think of a couple of reasons why that would occur, but if a sentence lacks specific citations, or if the sources used aren't available online, it can be hard to rewrite it accurately because a lack of clarity is what was wrong in the first place. I've advised you in the past to slow down and concentrate on crafting your prose with citations more carefully, so it won't need to be questioned and edited as much by others. In my experience as a professional writer and editor, Wikipedia has been the most painfully slow kind of writing, because it requires not only a high level of precision, but excruciating documentation beyond even academic writing, so as to avoid the impression that one might have an "original" thought. I know you're looking at other articles as examples, so I would recommend a recent promotion to GA under the G&R project aegis, Catalogue of Women. This is a densely informative article that beginners are unlikely to seek out, so it can afford to be a little more sophisticated than articles on major figures of mythology (which are likely to attract young teens).
I'm interested in your contributions and over the years have developed a positive affection for you, but nobody's paying me to do this and I don't want to argue about the necessity of serving readers first and foremost. I'm sorry I've disappointed you, but I've had a rather taxing month in my personal life (nothing bad or sad, just a lot of beyond-the-norm family duties), and sometimes I like to edit Wikipedia just for my pleasure. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:00, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. As you often lament, here above once again, that you cannot understand some passages in my contributions and spend perhaps one or two hours trying to make out the meaning of a sentence (perhaps with no good result which leads to later conflict), why not, instead of wasting so much time, dropping me a line like this: "in your article x, paragraph y, I find sentence (or period) z hard to understand. Please explain its meaning/ clarify it to me on my talk page". This way would avoid misunderstandings and conflicts when/if you rewrite the passage/paragraph. Simple enough I hope. Best wishes for your undertakings.Aldrasto11 (talk) 23:20, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
I've done this a million times, though mainly on the talk pages of articles. I stopped asking because it upset you so much, as Haploidavey could attest if he weren't away attending to vital matters. Cynwolfe (talk) 01:49, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
I am very sorry for Hoaploidavey, a real gentleman and a very good person from whom I received help and learnt something about our subject. On the issue I do not remember you ask me to explain to you the meaning of a passage, apart from the instaance of my use of the word exhaustive in reference to ager. But this is irrelevant. If you want to pose questions the way I have outlined here above be assured I will try to comply as far as I can.Aldrasto11 (talk) 21:39, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

DYK for College of Aesculapius and Hygia[edit]

The DYK project (nominate) 16:03, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for April 20[edit]

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Genealogy of the Valerii[edit]

How was Manius Valerius Maximus Volesi f. augur and dictator related to Publicola? and to Marcus Valerius consul? It looks they were all brothers, but I am not sure.Aldrasto11 (talk) 23:27, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

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IMHO you're obviously correct.  davidiad { t } 23:57, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Sauce the gander[edit]

Interesting discussion re that here on my talk. I got a bit annoyed, but there you go. Anyway, saucing the gander is in the works, though I disagree. That said, I realize there's a lot I don't understand around here. There's a link somewhere in that mess to the CfD for the gander cat, if you want to comment there too. I'm off to work ... have fun with this. Truthkeeper (talk) 12:42, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Well, anyone who argues we should have "women novelists" but not "male novelists" would certainly be showing his cards, if you follow my intention. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:46, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

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Ancient Rome[edit]

Fine by me. (Thanks for asking.) Cheers, Pdfpdf (talk) 12:24, 7 May 2013 (UTC)


Thanks for adding an excellent etymlogy. Morgan Leigh | Talk 01:29, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

You're welcome. I'm not keen on extensive, overly technical etymologies that look daunting to non-specialists at the start of articles, but thought this was an instance where a general etymology was helpful as background. Nice of you to stop by. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:02, 8 May 2013 (UTC)


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I don't remember reading any scholarship on non-classical poetry in the past ten years: do you know if "proem" is used by other disciplines?  davidiad { t } 16:42, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

If you mean "outside classical studies", proem can be used in English literature: Chaucer and Spenser come to mind. But I see that proem redirects to preface, where in fact proem is not mentioned. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:00, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Yeah, that's been a concern of mine for a while, but I've never a stub on Graeco-Latin proems because I didn't want to think about (or accommodate) anything later.  davidiad { t } 18:19, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Is "proem" ever used except with poetry? Oh wait, Rabelais. In the continuing quest to tell you what you should really be looking for instead of finding what you are looking for, a Google Books search refuses to distinguish between poem and proem, and my no doubt virally swollen brain isn't prepared to do anything that isn't easy. Proemium even redirects to preface. (And Google Books "helpfully" corrects it to premium.) Cynwolfe (talk) 18:33, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm sick meself. Hence my actually sitting around asking lazy questions today. I'll poke around and mull. Feel better. Thanks,  davidiad { t } 19:06, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Ears burning?[edit]

Bull-drawn biga of Luna on the Parabiago plate (ca. 2nd–5th centuries AD)

I would have thought that our author of Luna would have plunged her moon chariot bulls first right into the middle of this discussion. Paul August 19:01, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Hey, yes, I just checked in and saw that D. had been taking my name in vain again. Will drop by in a minute. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:06, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Is it obvious that I love playing with the new notification system for some reason?  davidiad { t } 22:01, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Uh ... oxen not bulls? I've been wondering how one might tell? Paul August 19:18, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I think last time Haploidavey was around, he was mulling over the non-distinction between bos and taurus in terms of sacrificial victims. They always say "oxen" for Luna's chariot or cart, and I have no perspective on this other than to note protuberances of some sort. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:26, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Discussion about novelist categories[edit]

Greetings! You are invited to take place in a conversation happening Category_talk:American_novelists#Stalemate here about how to move forward with discussion on subcategories of by-country novelist categories.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 16:04, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Egypt and interpretatio graeca[edit]

Hello. I saw your remarks about interpretatio graeca at the AfD for Comparison of Egyptian and Greek Mythology. I'm starting to work on a rewrite of the Isis article that will better describe her significance in Egypt and in the Greco-Roman world. I think I've collected enough classicist sources about the Greco-Roman worship of Isis to cover the subject decently, but I would be more comfortable if I had a better grasp of interpretatio graeca, considering how deeply it affected Isis' integration into Roman religion. Did the people doing the interpreting fully believe that a given foreign god was a Greek one in a different guise, or were they trying to make foreign gods understandable to Greek audiences by giving them familiar names? (I always assumed it was the former, but I think I saw some source recently that indicated it was more like the latter. I have a feeling that the answer will be "both are partly true".) Anyway, if you know of any sources on the subject, please let me know. And whenever I load the rewritten version of the article (probably in a few months), feel free to suggest improvements. A. Parrot (talk) 20:30, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

I'll have to go with "both are partly true". Isis is in desperate need, so the thought of someone devoting a concerted effort is wonderful. At one point I did some slapdash reorganizing of what was already there, and maybe added a couple of little things, because I kept needing to link to something about Isis in the Roman Imperial world. An interesting book (though I haven't used it for Isis) is Romanizing Oriental Gods, which amazingly has been made freely available. Because it's ambitious about taking a fresh approach, I'm pretty sure it's just plain wrong at points, but not in a way that's harmful if balanced with other sources, and who can resist what's free for the taking? Isis is probably one of the most challenging deities to write about because of the way her cult unfolds over time—how she was integrated into Roman Imperial cult and had holidays on the official calendar. (I did a hasty little article on her festival Pelusia, and Navigium Isidis could use some attention if you'd want to look at it while working on the main article.) Religion in the 2nd-century Empire is crazy, complicated stuff. For an article on a deity that poses some similar problems, see Cybele, which I think is ripe for developing into a GA. I'll certainly keep you in mind if I stumble on other things that might help for this much-needed undertaking. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:39, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the link; the book looks like it will be very useful. And yes, I expect the article to be a monster, but I've tackled monster articles before. We'll see how it goes. A. Parrot (talk) 05:15, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Comments on MOS:BOLDTITLE[edit]

As you have participated in another discussion at WT:LEAD, you may be interested in providing input at WT:LEAD#MOS:BOLDTITLE and its application to specific situations. – 2001:db8:: (rfc | diff) 02:50, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

DYK Wording[edit]

The hook rewording sounds good to me! Proudbolsahye (talk) 16:56, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Wolf after a wolf (kidding)[edit]

Hey, do you read Latin? I have need of looking at some passages by "Basil Valentine" to settle a point for an article.TCO (talk) 17:31, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

It's unlikely that I could make any sense of an alchemical text, and if it's a matter of interpretation rather than straightforward reading, whatever I might divine would be irrelevant. But let it not be said that I have no interest in esoteric questions, so just for curiosity's sake, I'd be willing to take a look. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:28, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

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A barnstar for you![edit]

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Whoa! Rosalia happened. With mention of spontaneous anemonescence and Bion. Yay!  davidiad { t } 23:59, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

It really has taken it out of me, and I very much thank you, D. The sources kept darting in different and not entirely compatible directions, so it was hard to organize. Had to work on it offline because it was just chaos. Some of the poetry is redemptively lovely, and the epitaph of Optatus is so tender and heartbreaking. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:32, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, congrats and kudos. I hope it's gratifying to know that your efforts have produced the most thorough and accessible treatment of your topic there is. I also hope that after chewing on it intermittently for a while and resting a couple weeks you'll be willing to do the Featured Article process.  davidiad { t } 03:56, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

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A shy, affectionate and somehow slightly embarrassed hi. In all the fabulistic doings of old there must be a fable that explains me to me, or me to you, but I've yet to find it. So I'll probably have to invent one that suits. Meanwhile I'm cooking and saucing an email. What has become of the lovely yellowy-orange announcement bar? It was warm and welcoming and cheery-looking, and I don't care that the colour sometimes belied the content. You seem wonderfully engaged, and busy, and productive. Are you up for a joint restructuring of Cybele, sometime? Haploidavey (talk) 10:23, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I saw you tiptoeing tentatively around the place again recently, and didn't want you to feel it hadn't been noticed! I rather miss that golden bar too.The red talk dot always looks alarming. I think Cybele's in pretty good shape, compared to most deity articles, but the last section indicates that the restructuring was incomplete. I'd like to see it brought to GA, and I think that would make it the first deity article under the G&R banner to become so. Did you see Rosalia (festival)? A bear, and yet another reminder of how complicated the whole Cybele-Attis thing is, with its tentacles extending to odd places. Also brought home to me that some scholars are pretty sloppy in using Imperial sources to interpret earlier practices (both Greek and Roman). Anyway, if I see you tilling the soil over there at Cybele, I'll see what I can contribute. I'd like to find a way to shrink the Attis section in the Rosalia article, but that would require a major rewrite of Attis that I absolutely do not have time for. I'm overjoyed, given external circumstances, if you can continue at least a little weed-pulling and seed-planting around here, because at this time Paul August is also dropping by only occasionally, and when Paul and you are both gone, I always feel that Greek mythology articles are vulnerable to unnoticed petty vandalism, since Davidiad has tens of thousands of articles on his watchlist. Other attentive editors watch them, but probably also have large watchlists and other priorities. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:55, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
[ stalkington bear ] Watching all the pages isn't too cumbersome: if I check every day, I generally have 150–300 entries to skim. And, yes, it is of course lovely to see Davey's shadow once again scurrying down angiportūs (pretentious plural).  davidiad { t } 19:29, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Bears all round, then; Attis and Herself are a bit of a nightmare; I'll broach them once I've summoned the nerve/idiocy but aiee, that's a lovely article. The shadow you see, stalkington, might be the pretentious, wormy shade of my personal anguiped (he's a diacritical snob, if ever was). Haploidavey (talk) 16:04, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Rosalia (festival)[edit]

Gatoclass 00:02, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

I Have to admit, I did not know that ... not until I read the article. In a creepy stalking matter that came up because I saw the crazy effort you've undertaken, if you're willing to download and install AutoWikiBrowser, I can explain how to do the mass importancing that you wish to accomplish without enlist a bot. davidiad { t } 02:49, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
If you mean the assessments, I wouldn't want to have to account for my ratings before the Lord on Judgement Day. You know what got me started? I realized how many Roman biographies don't even have the G&R project banner: sometimes figures as important as Cinna (the multiterm consul, not the poet). So I started going through just Category:Roman Republican consuls, and I'm guessing that at least half weren't under the project aegis—which means AfDs and moves and the like don't show up on that nifty project notification tool. I wasn't out of the Cornelii, and had bannered dozens, it seemed. Anyway, though some things may be unjustly rated as "low importance" because of my cursory skimming, they can always be changed on an individual basis. I will look over the AWB tomorrow. (I'm cleaning house for summer guests, so I'm diverting myself with mechanical mental tasks.) Cynwolfe (talk) 03:00, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Occasionally the menial, mechanical tasks are the best way to recalibrate one's own editing. AWB is helpful for things like this. I've found that having an hour or two of reasonable attentiveness can knock off a project like this with ease if well planned. If there was a Cinna other than the poet, I'll quit once I know who he was.  davidiad { t } 04:06, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Feeling a bit under the weather today, and have some outdoor work I have to do before I can rest, as well as one little trivial nest of nomenclature serpents that I uncovered yesterday and want to disentangle. I'm not a luddite, just a creature of habit; I edit Wikipedia for its soothing, repetitive effect and am slow to dislodge myself into doing something I haven't done before. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:47, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Go ahead[edit]

I imagine I created it from a redlink, go ahead. Thanks for the courtesy of asking. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:37, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Writers Barnstar Hires.png The Writer's Barnstar
Nice job expanding Rosalia and putting it on the Main Page. Your work in this area is indispensable. Keep it up! ComputerJA (talk) 06:21, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • By the way, you should consider nominating it for Good Article status. I think it would make it! If you do, let me know. ComputerJA (talk) 06:23, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. If I ever get around to redesigning my user page, I will display this proudly. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:22, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Can you help?[edit]

Making some sense of the mystery serial kill woman (which might have not existed) Vera Renczi? I warn you that there's quite a bit to read on the talk page, and it's not that orderly... (talk) 01:59, 12 June 2013 (UTC)


You've recently and quite rightly tagged the Messalina article as needing additional citations. I've just returned to the arts section which I was responsible for expanding and added a few more references. I'd be grateful, however, if you'd let me know where else it might benefit (perhaps with a [citation needed] tab). In writing articles I'm conscious of opinions expressed in discussions (I think I saw one recently in the debate whether the Miser article should be deleted) that if absolutely every unreferenced statement were deleted, there wouldn't be a WP! Steering a course between prolixity and succinctness makes for difficult navigation. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 15:00, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi, no, I felt a bit guilty later about excising so much, and meant to leave you a note explaining, but have been away from Wikipedia this weekend, due to Father's Day and Man of Steel festivities. I just felt some secondary sourcing was needed for the kind of tonal, interpretive phrasing that was presented around the primary sources. It isn't self-evident, for instance, that Messalina actually performed the supposed sex competition; is this perhaps defamation from hostile sources? Haven't looked at what you've continued to do since then. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:48, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Cynwolfe. You didn't cut anything from the Arts section that I worked on, but a day or two before you got there I had excised a lot more from the sections above. I guess I ought to work up the biographical bit, though it's not really my forte. The trouble with sources from the time is that they're all partisan and hostile, dealing as they do with someone under a damnatio. I think the Reputation section makes that clear, but I'll see what can be done to underline it. At least there are quotable authorities that say contemporary historians (let alone poets) are not to be trusted. Maybe we should leave a note on the discussion page clarifying the rationale, as you suggest.

I hope you had a good Fathers Day. Were you the target?

No, I'm the mater familias, but my day got a bit eclipsed this year because my teen daughter had a major school project due the day after. We all had a great day with the movie in the morning (turned out to be a great Father's Day movie), followed by a Nerf gun battle in the living room, and the usual steak-and-potatoes dinner plus my daughter's crème brulée. My husband won't be getting his cholesterol checked any time soon. Anyway, you seem to have a handle on the issues, so I'll be grateful if we have even a little from secondary sources explaining how the sexual accusations might've been used. I don't mean to squelch the primary sources or sample passages from them; I just would like to see some kind of explanatory secondary-source context that doesn't take them at face value. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:34, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

OK, I'll see what can be winkled out of the secondary sources. As a great uncle I have a little more time in the intervals I'm not in Taiwan on a severely underprotein monastic diet working an editorial six-day week. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 20:35, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

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Crisis redux[edit]

I have tried to address your concerns in the Crisis of the Roman Republic. I think you threw out the baby with the bathwater. I have started a discussion at Talk:Crisis_of_the_Roman_Republic#Crisis_of_the_Roman_Republic.23Slavery_-_morality_play_or_academic_dispute.3F to address your concerns. I am actually planning to visit Rome for the first time in my life this summer, which excites me. If you think it's still overdoing it or just plain wrong, please tell me so, but let me down softly. Bearian (talk) 17:34, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Mystes Vikipediae[edit]

Thank you for the nice wee red heart - my removal carried a stroppy intent (a six-hour drive from oop north to London does nothing for one's mood, except elevate its surliness). You dangly note cheered me, anyhow. But I can't get my head around all these newfanglements, so go on, do tell - how did you do that?? Haploidavey (talk) 21:04, 20 June 2013 (UTC) Oh, found it now. Damn clever stuff.

I don't know how long it's been there, as I'd never even noticed it until Davidiad used it. He was also the first one I saw using the template notifying other users that you've mentioned them in a discussion, as I just did. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:33, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The lil heart is delivered by clicking the thank link right after the undo link. A nice combination.  davidiad { t } 00:34, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
I see now that you already figured it out, Davey ... I apparently don't read past signatures.  davidiad { t } 12:12, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Ackcherly, I hadn't figured it out until way after your ding. My first attempts were dung, until I unchecked the box that has hitherto protected me from dangerous experiments. And only now do I feel clever. For unchecking a box. How sad. Haploidavey (talk) 12:19, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm 32 years old, white, male and upper middle class—is this why I this this is hilarious? Am I a brute?  davidiad { t } 06:16, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
You wisely bring this question to someone who was born a hillbilly. For some reason, the New York Times has decided to become hysterical this month about the demise of the humanities.[1][2][3] The inability to read (in the broadest sense) outside one's own frame of reference, to understand something in a context not your own, is certainly one of those lost "skills", which is of course not a skill at all, but a way of navigating through the world(s). It has nothing to do with "empathy" or being a better person morally. But since we like to keep people in a constant state of moral and intellectual adolescence in order to create a market for our basest desires, we can't hold two contradictory thoughts in our heads at once, or rather we can because we don't look at anything long enough to realize its unresolvable contradictions. In this case, I find myself briefly longing to have this edit transposed to a classroom remark so I could use it as a teaching moment: what happens when we respond to particular words as red flags? What are you really supposed to see when you visualize this aphorism? If every time you see the word "black" you think of race, aren't you the one trapped by racial preconceptions? Doesn't the color word here simply refer to the smoky patina of use? Is the sentiment perhaps that we're dumb not to recognize our common human failings? However, and it's a big however, once you push it that far, you've actually arrived at your starting point: that we've loaded "black" with moral freight. Here's one that gave me a chuckle. Never occurred to the user to ask whether this was an accurate reflection of Roman attitudes: the first impulse was to suppress language (I certainly wouldn't call it "thought") that didn't conform to correct attitudes now. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:09, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
As one of the new British precariat, too poor to qualify even as impoverished aristocracy, let alone middle-class; and having long since sold my children and being constitutionally unlikely to sire any more - being too, too patinated by age, oxides and decrepitude - er, where was I? - um, one is a brutish old fart, incorrigably amused. Haploidavey (talk) 22:30, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I suspect that Cyn's more bonafide Appalachian than myself, since I'm from the Kittatinny Mountains, but fun fact, Davey, that I've repeated blindly since I heard it in 1997, the Scottish Highlands are part of the same pre-ancient mountain range that Cyn's (I suppose) and mine belong to. So we're all cousins. Let's have a hill-folk party. I'll bring the potatos, brandywine and some piney of our ungeunts; you bring the patchouli and cheeses. Cyn, you're on ham and catgut banjer duty. Good, classy hillbilly stuff.  davidiad { t } 04:12, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I have my grandfather's certificate qualifying him as a foreman in a coal mine, so it doesn't get much more Appalachian than that. I've renounced my West Virginian roots for various political reasons (though I'm proud that Chuck Yeager used to babysit the mother of a friend of mine, and more dubiously that I'm related by an aunt's marriage to a Hatfield, and I fervently believe that the mine wars are a dangerously suppressed chapter of American labor history: I knew an older man who grew up in a company town where his father was paid in scrip and he had to play indoors and keep low when the mine owners posted snipers in the hills to shoot at striking miners). I had to flee the room when my beloveds decided that Duck Dynasty amused them. Real mountain people go sangin'. I do retain my love of a good ol' hound dog above any other animal, though I have this one rather than the hillbilly standard. Someday I will have a pack of hounds. An old moonshiner I knew once raised American Foxhounds; he didn't own a car, and once a month drove his buckboard down to town. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:56, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I knew it! Have you seen Harlan County, USA? It was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid and now it's on Netfilx, so I recently watched it again for the first time since Admiral Stockdale was a household name.  davidiad { t } 17:28, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Re: Outing[edit]

I didn't want to mention you previously due to privacy concerns, though it seems you found the ANI thread. The user seems to insinuate that you brought it on yourself, which in and of itself deserves a ban in my opinion. I want to ask you, and again out of respect or your privacy don't answer if you're uncomfortable: are there any existing diffs from that conflict which you could post without revealing personal info? Just diffs to demonstrate the combative behavior, I mean. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:36, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

I have visitors for the next three weeks, so I'm reluctant to impair my mood by delving into this. Here is the post that for me encapsulates his behavior: a gross incivility followed by pseudo-learned gobbledegook. I felt most personally insulted by being accused of a "propensity for embellishment and/or inaccuracy", which is essentially saying I'm a liar and a cheat. I'm also told I can't read (actually, he's misunderstanding the source): this followed soon after the redacted remarks, which belittled me for being a woman. When I found that the source of Mark Antony's DOB was an inscription that had only been discovered in (I think it was) the 1920s, the user then said that because 19th-century encyclopedias gave no DOB for Antony, the inscription didn't count as evidence, and all the scholars who used the Jan. 14 date just got it off the internet.[4] Or something. The whole discussion was just absurd. Cynwolfe (talk) 07:28, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
God, I'm sorry just looking at that stuff. Entertain your guests and forget about my talk page message for now. Um...thanks for now...I guess? MezzoMezzo (talk) 11:11, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
You see how in his first comment he started off by accusing me and the other participant of being fuzzy-minded (my condensation of what he said) hippies incapable of following an academic argument. That's why I snapped at him that if he didn't know that scholars use astrological references in ancient texts in collecting evidence for dates, he was showing his own ignorance: I did not, strictly speaking, call him ignorant in general, but ignorant of a particular thing. And that was probably the worst thing I said to him. The redacted comments contained the outing; I would've allowed the "you must be a woman" intended insult to stand, since I'm perfectly happy to be one of the women editing Wikipedia. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:09, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
... and blocked a week. In the meantime he'll sock, or he'll come back and be himself on another talk page and get indeffed.  davidiad { t } 18:28, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeffed due to some off-Wiki email exchange with admins. Do me a favor, gorge with some Godiva chocolate with your guests and tell them the idea was from some annoying guy on the Internet called MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:58, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm surprised it took this long. When an admin gives a user opportunities to amend egregious behavior, and the response is (more than once) "don't threaten me", there's a bigger problem than having a personality that doesn't lend itself to courtly decorum. We've banished editors who are more productive for less offensive behavior. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:37, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

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Harsh reception notes for your "Theft of Fire" wiki page, are you aware[edit]

Greetings from the Prometheus page.

From your creation of the theft of fire page a year ago, there is now a new wiki page for the film Prometheus from eight months ago which claims that your wording on the page is "Hideous" and "Awful". They claim that their new wording "to Gift fire" is better and disallow your theft of fire page. Their preferred wording "to Gift fire" is in the first sentence of their Theme section in the film Prometheus (2012 film).

If you can edit a wikilink into this first sentence of their Theme section next to their phrase "to gift fire" in parenthesis then this might allow general wiki users to decide for themselves.

It seemed you that might like to know about this situation as you were the creator of the page for theft of fire from last year. (talk) 17:33, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I moved that content out of Prometheus, where it was extraneous, and I am procedurally in error for not leaving a proper record for the article history, since I don't consider myself to have created that page in any but a mechanical sense. "To gift fire" is, however, not the way one will find it expressed in books that deal with this theme of mythology. I've seen the shenanigans at the movie's page, and wondered what was up, since that's way off-topic there. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:51, 27 June 2013 (UTC)


Just letting you know that I nominated an article of yours for DYK at Template:Did you know nominations/Languages of the Roman Empire. SL93 (talk) 04:19, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Call for reviewers[edit]

Hello, Law School of Beirut is now a FA candidate. The article has recently obtained GA rating; your comments and reviews are welcome to help improve it further. -Eli+ 05:19, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

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En passant... (pretentious? Moi?)[edit]

Just letting you know I got your note (and the mention of my moniker in discussion). Your care and curation are much appreciated. My head's just a bit too done in at the mo, and synapses too slow, for much more than this acknowledgement; but must say that at first glance some of those cats seem less than progressive. Will dimly ponder the issues and respond later-ish. Haploidavey (talk) 15:59, 22 July 2013 (UTC)


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Hmmm. I wonder if you can help with something...[edit]

Turn of the Century landscape.JPG

I am attempting to research a painting that appears to be a Dutch style landscape, possibly from a non notable member of a family that is listed as notable. The name on the painting seems to be Theo Wieringa. Do you know of a good reference that may not be as obvious as a Google search to see if there is any notability to the artist? I believe the painting is a Victorian era, turn of the century landscape.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:39, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

I often find that Google Book searches are fairly unproductive for minor artists. My impression is that (possibly because of image copyright issues?) art history books are less likely to be available even in preview. Johnbod is much more skilled than I at doing art history; if I use an image in an article and find that the artist is a redlink, I flounder about aimlessly till I scrape up enough bits for a gesture at an article. (My local university even has an exceedingly pleasant Fine Arts Library, but its hours have been so curtailed I can't seem ever to catch it open.) There are online databases I've found helpful, but it's been a while since I did artist articles on a regular basis, and last time I did, some of those seemed to exist no longer. So I'll take a look in a couple of places, but friendly stalkers may be of more help. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:56, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Four Wieringas, but no Theo, here. I would say anyone on this is automatically notable, but many not on are too. But minor painters have rather boring lives on the whole. Johnbod (talk) 22:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I found those listed on another site as well. Google books (as far as the Dutch style painting) didn't seem to help me either, but what I might need is to take a different route and perhaps I am only assuming a Dutch style from the name. Perhaps I need to broaden my search more.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:08, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Is there an image? I'm not sure there really was a "Dutch style" of landscape painting by 1900, though of course the landscapes themselves remain distinctive. Johnbod (talk) 01:12, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Plop it at the top of this section, A., if it's from Commons. Or give us a link, now that curiosity is roused.Cynwolfe (talk) 01:15, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
There is an image but I am unable to upload it. That's kinda the reason for the research LOL! (seriously) I can't upload it until I can verify its dating or its background and some info on it. I could email it to you if that option is available for you. Or I could upload it and see if it sticks long enough to view here. let me try that. And it isn't a very spectacular painting. But it does seem to have a similar style to landscapes identified as Dutch I believe. Give me a moment.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:18, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I see what you mean. And no one less scrupulous has posted it on those terrible sites that care naught about copyright? Cynwolfe (talk) 01:22, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Not that I can find, but I did find some very, very similar paintings in my research. I uploaded it as I am almost certain it is way past copyright.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:29, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
"Theo" seems pretty clear. But if this is the same Th. W, he's a 20th century artist. Cynwolfe (talk) 01:52, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
No, I found that artist as well and his work is very different.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:01, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I think we can call that Dutch. The big signature makes me think after say 1880, maybe well into the 20th century. Best ask User:Jane023 who is Dutch & probably has access to other sources. I'd by no means rule out the one above. Johnbod (talk) 10:16, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Just my tuppence worth here, cos it's interesting to me. Yes, I agree that the "Theo" above shouldn't be ruled out; his biography describes him as self-taught. In close-up, the downloads pic shows a distinctly untutored mix of brush techniques. The signature and impasto brushwork (over and next to colour-wash) seem very 20th century to me. Structurally, the boat is rather confused. Possibly a copy of a copy, rather than from life. You might also forward the pic to a reputable dealer, just to get an opinion. Haploidavey (talk) 10:41, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, you are full of surprises, m'friend. And that is a very interesting point about the signature; I'm now thinking artist signature or artist's signature would make an interesting article, from scratching the bottom of pots to proud emblazoning. Not for me to write, though. Hint, hint. Th. W. seems to have been the the teacher of this artist, who "dared to come out for that painting was a passion" in the early 1970s, though "artists were but a curious people". I love Google translate. There's also Th. W. the poet (he seems to turn up most often), and Th. W. the photographer of trucks and cars, who is my favorite so far. Somehow that reminds me of the guild in Rome that carved only citruswood and ivory. Specialization is nothing new! The poet was born in 1921, and was also a painter; the painter-sculptor was born in 1921, according to the Romulus and Remus page, and wrote poems often about his experiences with music. So I'm pretty sure they're the same man. Since we can't find any other artist Theo Wieringas, unfortunately, A., you may have to take down your image for copyright issues. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:14, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

There are a few reasons why I tend to rule out the artist above, the painting seems to be much older than he could have created if born in 1921. There is another painting from the same location that I was able to find a date on (and discovered that artist to be a somewhat notable California "Master" seascape artist by the name of Clair A. Weidenaar). This painting is dated 1952 and when compared to the other painting is very obviously much older than the 1950's. Considerable older. The canvas appears to be considerably thinner. My own speculation is that the artist that painted this may well have either been a related artist to a more notable family member, or it is simply a less than notable artist with no history. The 1880 dating was something I found interesting, because other pieces (not artwork) are indeed from that exact dating. The Seth Thomas Clock is dated on the back as such. I'll see what more I can come up with this weekend. I am being asked to pick up the painting and hold on to it while the research is being done. Other items I have been researching include a 1658 King James Bible that is the last printing approved by Oliver Cromwell. I am squeezing as much encyclopedic value out of all these artifacts.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:30, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, there's just no substitute at all for seeing and handling such objects; I still find that impasto and signature very modern, and it's amazing how rapidly canvas can age in less than ideal conditions; but of course those are my own shallow, subjective impressions based on nothing more than a photo, and they are quite possibly wrong-headed. Your photo was wonderfully clear, by the way. Haploidavey (talk) 01:49, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Your opinion was a great help actually. There are some other reasons why we think it is from the turn of the last century, it appears to have been handed down in a progressive line in the family, but I am not ruling anything out at the moment. I am unable to locate the painting that I was comparing this to a few weeks ago. If I find it I will post a link. The farm, the trees and even the canal and boat were all in the painting I found and had such a similar style I was blown away.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:10, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Do keep us posted! Combining art and a detective story: hm, I bet somebody's written a novel … Cynwolfe (talk) 21:18, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Greek deity categories[edit]

I removed those categories per WP:SUBCAT because they were redundant. I'll use Demeter as an example. The article Demeter is in Category:Demeter. Both the article and the category are in Category:Greek goddesses, Category:Twelve Olympians, and Category:Eleusinian Mysteries. The article and the category don't need to be in both -- it should be one or the other. --Auntof6 (talk) 22:54, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes, sorry. I got it when I looked at the main categories and saw that the individual major deities had their own subcats. Still, it seems odd to look at the bottom of the Apollo page, and see that he was a Roman god, but not that he was a Greek god. At Dionysus, it seems similarly odd to see that he was a Dacian god, and not a Thracian god. It will never occur to many or most readers who don't edit the encyclopedia to click on a category, so if they simply look at the bottom of the page, the categories they find will be somewhat misleading or confusing to them. But even though for that reason I don't entirely agree with the omission of those categories, I stopped restoring the categories, and thought I fixed what I'd done, though perhaps in a half-assed fashion, when I realized what dendritic impulse underlay the edits. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:39, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Languages of the Roman Empire[edit]

Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:47, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Languages of the Roman Empire[edit]

Just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading this - congratulations. It's an excellent article, and answers questions I never realised I'd wondered about until now! Andrew Gray (talk) 16:21, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

That is one of the best responses to an article ever. Thank you. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:26, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
So I guess my DYK nomination was a good idea. SL93 (talk) 22:41, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes. thank you, I hope you got the appropriate recognition notice too! Cynwolfe (talk) 22:45, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

dancing monkeys[edit]

Here's your last response, which I've moved here so we can both refer to it:

Let's not make this personal, but for reasons I can discuss on my talk page if you like, you are barking up the wrong tree. Any wrong I do to Japanese culture would be from inadvertent ignorance. And P Aculeius is just about the least bully I know on Wikipedia, so that too is uncalled for: nor does he reject including the figurine. You've actually cited the guideline that explains my objection: images should depict the concepts described in the text of the article (bold mine). The article says that the tale spread into Central Asia; it says nothing about Japan. Above, you explain very well the reception of the Fables in Japan: the article does not say anything about this. If it said something about the kind of illustrations you describe above, and also mentioned the related popularity of dancing monkey figurines, then I would have no objection whatever. Would it be possible to add some content that would explain the relevance of the image? That is my point, and I thought I had stated that pretty clearly above in asking for context in the caption. It would seem to be an omission in the article.
I could explain what I meant about image OR above, but perhaps I no longer need to? In this article as it stands, the image is puzzling, because there's nothing in the article about the Japanese reception of the tale. I'm extremely sorry that you read this as cultural chauvinism; I began by stating I wouldn't object to an illustration from Japanese art (I was including this figurine as "art" ), and I would think you would want the explanation you gave above to appear in the article. I hope you will look more closely at what P Aculeius and I are saying, and not confuse us with the IP. I completely agree with you about the two examples you dislike above.

You misread my reply. I didn't think you were prejudiced - and maybe the anonymous IP isn't either (although there was just the possibility, historical memory being what it is). But his truculence verges on bullying and I was appalled that you appeared to encourage it. It was largely at him that the response was directed. & of course I realised P.Aculeius was being supportive. What I disliked about the IP's and your approach was an apparent fundamentalism. Guidelines aren't rules. However, I do agree with the alternative approach you suggest but am hamstrung by not being able to read Japanese. Some of the nice nuns I work with in Taiwan have been learning the language, but I doubt whether they'd have the expertise or resources to help me. I shan't be able to ask until I return in November, anyway. I've already done a quick Google and an Advanced Book Search but have drawn a blank so far. I can't very well add the content you suggest until I can provide a valid reference or at least discuss that fable's reception in Japan. The Japanese like monkeys, there's a lot of lore connected with them, and it's that I shall have to wade through next.

Two other matters. I certainly disliked the Cicero illustration and found it as ugly as you did. Jonbod has replaced it with something good. However, I've reversed your change to The Cock and the Jewel. I didn't dislike the picture; I found it witty. And you moved the Hollar pic from where it was being discussed in the text.

Coming here has alerted me to your latest article. I'm going to read it just as soon as I've signed off here. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 22:26, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, we appear to have crossed in the mail, so to speak, because your tone here is quite different from how I've been experiencing it. I was not supporting the IP: I was supporting you. But the relevance of the image was not self-evident, and I found what you said about the Japanese reception of Aesop to be very worthwhile. I was suggesting it be included in the article. Here you explain why that isn't feasible at present. That's fine! I was only trying to help. I made the edit to The Cock and the Jewel because I thought you said it wouldn't have been your choice, and I thought I agreed. No problem.
Images can be a form of OR if they advance a conclusion or interpretation not supported by the text. They can also be simply confusing or puzzling to readers if their connection to the subject isn't evident to someone who doesn't know the topic. Illustrating an encyclopedia is different from illustrating a blog, where our choice of images could be intended to be creatively thought-provoking rather than illustrative. I don't know why you characterize this as "fundamentalist," which, as I said on your talk page, is a novel epithet for me. But really, I was not in any way trying to obstruct you. Since you were encountering some opposition, I was trying to find a way to facilitate your contributions. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:40, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, I guess I was misreading you...water under the bridge now. Sorry.

A pity you didn't mention the Syriac Aesop in your article on languages of the Roman Empire. It's potentially pivotal. I've lately been discussing that with a Canadian colleague in Taiwan. We've been trying to work out by which avenues the fables got into Parthian, Sogdian and Turkic/Uyghur. Sogdians were great traders, they could have been the intermediaries and got hold of either the Syriac or a Greek collection. Incidentally, was there a reason why your article didn't mention Armenian, Georgian and whatever language(s) might have been spoken in the Crimea? Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 23:28, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, I guess I was a bit unprepared for the attention the article attracted. It originated as a section in Roman Empire, which is forever being plastered with a nasty-looking complaint banner about its length. Why a comprehensive article about the Roman Empire wouldn't be one of the longest on Wikipedia is not a question I could answer, but my plan (as I can) is to spin off some of the longer sections into articles such as the one on the languages. I make no claim of comprehensiveness for the languages spinoff. I just tried to hit the major languages and regions. I believe Armenian is mentioned once in the Christian section. In general, I don't have a good feel for the Danubian provinces and the Balkans, so that was about the last thing I added, and almost forgot to. Meaning, I wasn't trying to write a GA or anything, and while I'll probably add a bit here and there as I encounter stuff to plug holes, I'll be turning to other topics. Incidentally, I was able to add at least a broad context for the Japanese piece to the article that brought you here, so I don't think there's a problem now. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:27, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
I should also note, since I worry about these things, that when I say a pulled a section from Roman Empire, it was a section I'd contributed all the content for. As Haploidavey and Davidiad know, I have some kind of visceral revulsion about taking credit for something I didn't do. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:04, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Actually, you could make that article as long as the one on the Roman Empire. But languages have a habit of transcending the regimes that lay claim to them. Walloon was a language of the Holy Roman Empire but one could hardly claim of literature in it that it was a product of that empire! It belongs to the people who created it, most of whom got on with their lives without bothering too much about anything but purely local relationships.

On the Japanese figurine I have to report that I went lateral and, instead of looking for fables about monkeys, I switched to looking at netsuke monkeys and got this: 'During the Edo and Meiji periods (1600-1912), many monkeys were caught, tamed, and taught to perform theatrical dancing roles imitating human actors. The monkey handler (Saru-mawashi) was also street exorcist who proceeded from house to house with a trained monkey perched on his shoulder, offering to exorcise evil spirits from each dwelling. The handler would beat a drum to provide rhythm for the monkey’s exorcism dance and the animal, costumed with an eboshi hat and a happi coat, usually held a gohei in one hand and a cluster of tiny bells in the other hand (Netsuke online research centre. That covers everything except that it's carrying a fan, not a gohei. Saru, the word for monkey, also means to divide, banish, and it's because of that verbal convergence that monkeys got connected with exorcism. Japanese love double meanings, their poetry makes great use of them.

...Yes, but it's bad news for the fable article! Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 13:49, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

But not for dancing monkey. I did see stuff related to that topic when I was looking for an Aesop connection. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:44, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Aerarium militare[edit]

Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 07:18, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

DYK-Good Article Request for Comment[edit]

August 2013[edit]

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Augusta (honorific)[edit]

I recently overhauled Augusta (honorific). I didn't add new entries, but I did divided the list into sections, added some more information to the tables following the example of other related lists, and fact-checked a lot of it. However, that kind of work burns the eyes. I would be very grateful if you and/or others knowledgeable classical history double check me for mistakes. I caught several, but burning eyes can miss much. ;)

Oh, I also proposed a move you may be interested in.  —Sowlos  20:25, 6 August 2013 (UTC)


Hi, I wanted to make amends for the DYK thing.

I'm afraid I've developed a low tolerance to any issues on there following quite a few issues.
The thing seems to be plagued by people ignoring the DYK guidelines and doing either a half-arsed job or unnecessarily picking holes and making major issues of minor things (things not required by the guidelines). The thing is supposed to be about sharing the newest content which people can build upon (the emphasis in the guidelines ensuring the hook is verified and referenced and any image freely licenced) but some seem to be searching for a finished complete article akin to GA/FA, which is not what its all about.
And there's been a few run ins with people that don't know what they're doing. Like the admin that deleted the whole page to cover up the fact she'd got it wrong. Or the non-English-speaker who failed a nomination because he didn't understand the difference between a priory and a parish church.
I'm not the expert in the articles I write. I try to rescue and expand one-line articles and stubs, and I quite enjoy learning during the process. I have been using DYK as a way to try and raise awareness of the articles, in the hope of someone that does know about the subjects, or who lives locally to them, will take over and continue expanding and improving.
Unfortunately the DYK thing can almost feel more trouble than its worth and I've developed somewhat of a low tolerance to any issues on there.

So, yeah. I wanted to apologise if you felt I was being harsh. -it wasn't personal.

And to make amends... As you said you enjoyed the last DYK, i'm guessing you're a history fan. I stumbled upon the (piss-poor) article for Barking Abbey last night. I did a bit of research and found it really interesting so have expanded the article (its still not finished- I've got a few more sources to read through) Its past the 5x expansion but the trouble is, there's no one standout interesting fact that could be used for DYK- it has a few relatively big claims to fame and quite a few interesting or unusual facts, so choosing just one is difficult.
So I thought maybe you'd enjoy it. And maybe you'd like to suggest a hook ready for when it is submitted for DYK?

All the best

--Rushton2010 (talk) 00:21, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

I understand, I think. I self-nominate articles sometimes because they yield striking hooks, but usually because I like to support the Greece & Rome project goal of encouraging access to topics within our scope. Unfortunately, if an editor has more than five DYKs, self-nom requires reviewing another DYK. In this instance, I was only seeking a minor clarification of the DYK hook within the article, and felt that it passed the DYK criteria as such. I opened the review in a bit of a rush, because for my own scheduling reasons I needed to get my DYK candidate off my plate. I dropped the incidental remark about it needing a few more links, like to canon (priest) (since that isn't the most familiar contemporary usage of the term), in the course of the DYK review, when normally I try to do that on the article talk page, to keep it straight that those kinds of suggestions aren't a bar to passing the DYK. I started to add the links myself, but sometimes editors get pissy about other people touching their new baby, so if I have suggestions or questions about a DYK nom, I generally give the self-nominating editor the chance to address them first. In other words, I get what you're saying about the interpersonal issues that can arise. I confess that it makes me uncomfortable to announce on the main page "hey, read this article" unless I've made a conscientious effort. I see the utility of the DYK review requirement, but if its purpose is to discourage self-noms, it works. The editing environment is combative enough when I stick with articles to which I feel I have the most to contribute, and it's most unpleasant to go looking for trouble. I've had a tough week, and if I don't follow up on your invitation, which I appreciate (no amends required!), it's only because I'm really tired and any editing I do will be purely recreational. Though Barking Abbey would make a great horror film title, so I'm tempted. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:50, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Bulla Felix[edit]

Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:03, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Temptations of St. Anthony gallery[edit]

Hi, Cynwolfe-- It looks like your gallery of images for the page on Temptation of Saint Anthony in visual arts got deleted a few months ago, which is a shame. I'd re-create one myself but have no time and thought I'd alert you to that in case you wanted to re-do your work. (All I managed to do was replace an irrelevant image of the closed wings of the Bosch altarpiece with the version by Grünewald.) Gotta run! Best, Moises de la vera (talk) 02:28, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

I faintly remember doing this: if it was my gallery, and if I didn't just corral image clutter into a gallery (which is likely: there was a time when I saw that need often), its purpose would've been to show how differently the scene is depicted by various art movements. Thanks for the note. Best, Cynwolfe (talk) 11:35, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Sure thing! To judge from your own talk page, you've got plenty on your platter. Once I'm done with the non-WP project I'm working on that's tangentially related to the Surrealists and the T. of S. A., perhaps I'll check the page again and attempt to remedy it if you or no one else has done so yet. (Nice bit o' WP-relevant Senecan wisdom at the top, by the way...or have I just confirmed its truth by taking the bait and looking it up?!) VALE. Moises de la vera (talk) 22:10, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

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Statue of Hercules of the Forum Boarium[edit]

Hello, thanks for the re-direction to the article Hercules of the Forum Boarium which I re-read, but it seems to me that the captions for the two different statues are OK. Did you mean I should change the image of the statue rather than the caption in the article Hercules in ancient Rome? (I think it would be better actually to show the Hercules of the Forum Boarium in that article as well.) Thanks for indications... Lparsp (talk) 10:10, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea. Changing the image to the one from the Forum Boarium, I mean. I evidently don't have this well-sorted in my head. Thanks, Cynwolfe (talk) 13:30, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Change done! Thanks for the feedback. Lparsp (talk) 07:47, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

You don't know me from Adam but...[edit]

I've seen you lurking about on the classical antiquity articles, when those sorta pass my notice in my little medievalist's world. (As an aside, our backgrounds are somewhat similar - I too was headed for academia when I decided to do something else and am also middle aged and female - which makes me feel a bit out of touch sometimes on wiki!). Normally I edit strictly on medieval or equine subjects, but early in my wiki-career I got caught into updating the Epikleros article by some whim of something. I brought it up to GA status a long time back, and recently returned to it as a break from yet another ecclesiastic. I've reached the end of what I can find in my research, and I think it's close to FA status, in my admitedly non-specialist way. Would you mind looking it over and seeing if I'm missing any glaring holes in the coverage? I know that the lead needs work, and the prose is probably not the best, but I can get help with those issues - I just need to know if I've overlooked some classicist subject that isn't apparant to this medievalist. (And it doesn't help that I never needed Greek and my Latin (which is beyond rusty) was all Medieval Latin, not Classical...) Ealdgyth - Talk 23:25, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

On the contrary, years ago I stole an idea from you, though I don't remember how I came upon it (maybe something to do with medieval horsemanship?). The pleasurable interest I'll take in reading the article is more likely to result in my recruiting you to look at wife selling (full of OR and synth), where I've thrown up hands and walked away, than in my finding fault with your scholarship, both because this isn't a Greek topic I know, and because you are too modest about your competence. The editors at the Greece & Rome project are really nice, well-informed, and diligent, so would it be too much if I dropped a note there seeking eyes? I can think of at least four who would be more useful as consulting Hellenists than I would be, though I can't promise a response (three of those aren't all that active at present). I recently complained that the G&R project needs to work toward more GAs and FAs, and I'm about to go place a Women's History project banner on the article too. There might be the possibility for an end section (a short paragraph or two) on whether or how Greek law and practice changed in the Roman Imperial era, which would offer a transition to the Byzantine/medieval period—not saying that for any reason other than my own curiosity, shaped by my uncharacteristically spending more time the last year on the Empire than the Republic. I'll certainly keep my eyes on the FA nom, and would expect it to go well. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:22, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to drop a note on the G&R page. I'm heading out for the usual run of weekend errands, but should be around tonight and some tomorrow. Thank you for the praise, but I do know my limitations on classical studies - I'm a dabbler, not a serious scholar there. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:36, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I could just drop names here: Wareh, Davidiad, Akhilleus (who's already been involved with the article), and Cplakidas come to mind as editors with a relevant body of knowledge. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:53, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
This is more up the alleys of Wareh and Akhilleus since my specialty is epic–heroic mythology and palaeography. I haven't really read the article, but it does look pretty darn strong. And from an oral exam perspective, I see three names that I would want cited. I'm dealing with a bit of a big life change right now, but if no other help is forthcoming I can assist in two weeks. Apologies for putting all WP activity off for so long.  davidiad { t }
Do take care of yourself, pussycat! You are under no obligations. If you can spare a moment at some point, though, there might be a couple of questions about Greek terminology. So Ealdgyth, I left a comment on the talk page, and just did some very minor copyediting, mostly links that were red, or could have more specific targets. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:53, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you both. I think I understand the terminology problems - will try to address them tomorrow or later in the week. And I will not touch wife selling - sorry. I've had peripheral looks at that article since I helped Eric Corbett with the Wife selling (English custom) - and saw the tortures he's endured with that whole subject. Wife sellling is a classic example of ... well... I really can't say, but it's something that drove me away from academia, in part. The trend towards that sort of cherry picking and arriving at your conclusion before you actually read the sources drove me nuts as a student and would probably have driven me to drink as a scholar. Much better to be outside academia. Before I got seduced away by the Normans, I intended to either study the "core time" of Rome (200BC to 200 AD) or Early Christianity ... so I have at least a passing familiarity with Roman Law (not to mention having to deal with it in its medieval incarnation - I've made a minor hobby of writing articles on medieval canon lawyers..) and I can tell that the coverage of the Roman period that used to be in the article is way off base. (I'm not sure how anyone could interpret the (way too common) phrasing "selling the wives and children into slavery" as a description of what happened after the capture of a city as part of the practice of some husband selling his wife, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish, as my grandma would have said.). Ealdgyth - Talk 00:10, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Exactly. I was about to sputter away on the subject, but that would be unpleasant, and I've learned never to sputter after 11 p.m. I'm putting it out of my head for now, until I can think of something useful to do. Back to epikleros, what's the story on the graphic at Commons? Cynwolfe (talk) 03:04, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Possible effort in September for attempt at page upgrade.[edit]

Thank you for your contributions to this page. As you may have noted the page is approximately 2000 on wiki list of most active pages but has not moved much from being at start class. Could you possibly glance at the page from the viewpoint to indicate the TOP five (5) things which are needed on this wikipage to get the page a promotion to a slightly higher page review status. This would help for me to try to set up a thirty day plan or a forty day plan to try to accomplish. Once again, thanks for your contributions to this page! (talk) 03:30, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Reference page: Titan Prometheus (talk) 03:32, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Prometheus is well worth improving, but probably already deserves higher than a start rating. My main suggestion for this as for any high-traffic mythology article is to keep the introduction extremely readable, accessible and yes, simple. Many readers will be students who are young teens. They may read only the intro. The deeper you go into the article, the more you can assume you're writing for committed readers who are willing to handle more. I'll take a look and leave notes on the talk page when I can. When I worked briefly with the article last year (because Ridley Scott's movie was driving so much traffic to it), I mainly worked with structure, images, and hitting the main points about Prometheus in the intro. Didn't really do any research, other than using BIll Hansen's OUP general introduction to Greek mythology to give the overview for the intro. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome[5] should suggest what major points to hit, and see The Classical Tradition[6] for later art and lit. Prometheus, like Icarus, is one of those mythological figures whose importance in the so-called "classical tradition" and classical mythology grows greater over time, so a properly balanced article will look at that tradition as thoroughly as the ancient Greek material. It can be hard to do that without devolving into mere lists, but Prometheus among the English Romantics would a good example of how to provide an aesthetic and intellectual context for the reception of a myth. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:44, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes, agreement on virtually all comments above, and the useful references. There is still about a week before September starts, and if you can add your notes in a top five list sometime between now and then (or given your preliminary notes above, a top ten list!) then my organization for this plan would have a useful list to mark progress. It would likely be important to note in this list how far the Shelley connection should be pursued. (talk) 01:50, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Haven't forgotten Prometheus. Just haven't been able to get my head there yet. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:00, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

September and Autumn have arrived. I can see you have been busy. Ready to commence with preliminary structural outlines in plan for attempt at page upgrade. After checking the FA list, the only mythological figure which is available as a strong example is the personality of Orion, which sets a useful standard. Summarizing from your earlier points it would be desirable to (a) give a simplified version of the Lead section very accessible even to the high school reader; (b) Follow all the established reference sources you have listed above scrupulously. By comparative development to the Orion page, the Introductory Section following Lead should establish the fact of the pre-Socratic sources for the Prometheus myth with indication of the precise time frame from which it originated; (c) Only then, continue to a Section on Hesiod as the myth's earliest essential author; (d) Then the next Section on Prometheus in the Athens of the larger Socratic Age; (e) then a Section on Prometheus by Aeschylus and the specific Socratic figures; (f) Followed by a Section on Prometheus in the post-Renaissance including significantly, Goethe, Prometheus Unbound, and Mary Shelley; (g) Prometheus in the Modern Era including the 20th and 21st Century. With mods as needed.

That would give an outline comparable in structure to the Orion page and its high standard. Lots to look forward to. There is of course the question of what to do with all the miscellaneous subsections which have collected and accumulated at the end of this wikipage. Previously you had usefully migrated much of them to the "Prometheus in Pop Culture" page and the "Theft of Fire" Page, and possibly you have some thoughts on whether they should migrate off the main Prometheus page (following the example as shown in the outline above derived from the Orion page) or if they should all be swept into a vast closing "Misc" section at the end. Your top five list, if still possible would be much appreciated, and could include any of the above mentioned items with mods as needed! (talk) 16:53, 1 September 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Message received on the etymology preference. My original response was to the FA Orion page Not getting into or using an Etymology section so that it gets straight into the main portion of its strong narrative of myth without interruption. By the same reasoning, an upgraded Prometheus page would have had the Lead go straight into the excellent Hesiod material without interruption. Your indicating your preference preserves the old version. Any chance that you could extend your comments and priorities with updates for any of the (a) through (g) items listed above during the coming days or coming week. Separately, I now have collected 47 illustrations, oils, sculptures for Prometheus which cannot be reasonably put into the fine arts sections currently located towards the bottom of the current Page outline. Should those three fine arts sections at the bottom be perhaps migrated to the separate "Prometheus in Popular Culture" Page? Again, the example of the FA Orion page does not keep a fine arts section for assorted pictures and works of arts illustrations related to Orion. (talk) 19:30, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

I usually don't like Etymology at top, actually. With most deities and mythological figures, it makes more sense to me to treat all divine naming together in a section: that is, a section that deals with the etymology of the name, plus (in the case of deities) list of epithets. However, in the case of Prometheus, what the ancients perceived as the etymology (whether or not this is correct in terms of scientific linguistics) is part of Plato's allegory, for instance. As I recall, there's a Sanskrit or Vedic comparison too. I'm usually not keen on emphasizing that, either, but if the information given is correct (I can't evaluate it), it also seems exceptionally worthwhile in the case of Prometheus. The reorganization at the bottom of the page seems a good step forward. IMHO, an article doesn't need an image gallery unless the art historical tradition is exceptionally strong and there's insufficient text to support all the images needed to reflect that. Even then, it's better to develop the text to describe the tradition. When I did some stuff for Cupid and Psyche, I gave a much more detailed summary of the plot from Apuleius in order to support a greater range of images, since that tale has spawned a lot of serial illustrations and such. That's an unusual if not unique case of a single ancient narrative generating a whole tradition, though. I've allowed myself to be distracted by other things, but it seems like good progress is being made at Prometheus. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:47, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Update comments for Cynwolfe: Only two weeks left for the page upgrade preparations and this is a short summary of active items; First, my agreement fully with your statement about the picture gallery situation and the IMHO opinion which you stated previously in the above Talk. If you could migrate them to the "Prometheus in popular culture" Page at your convenience this would be with consensus. Second, your comment from last month spoke of the importance of a Very readable Lead section, possibly even to the level of high school readability. This leaves the question of whether it should be adapted for level 11-12 grade, or, to level 9-10 grade. There is a difference between the two and possibly you could supplement what you stated in your comment last month as to your preference. Third, your Top five list is still in my thoughts, and if you could get them into a quick list format, then my efforts can be directed to get as many addressed as possible before the end of the month! (talk) 19:19, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

These are the three sections for the possible migration as discussed with User:Cynwolfe;

9.3 In painting

9.4 In landscape painting

9.5 In sculpture (talk) 19:24, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

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Lemme just throw this out to anybody who might be watching: isn't this the most barely-notable topic ever to be featured on the main page, or what? I have really got to get one of my articles on strange pagan sacrifices promoted. Cynwolfe (talk) 11:46, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Miss Meyers, Hygeberht, and Richard Barre have all been on the main page. Jersey Act is eligible but hasn't yet appeared. Roger Norreis is at FAC... if it ever gets any reviews... Ealdgyth - Talk 13:52, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I do not find any of those articles, ranging from delightful to astringently encyclopedic, to be unworthy of main-page notice, particularly the noble equine Miss Meyer, who to her credit never wrote a self-help book. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:29, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
But all that aside... do tell about these strange pagan sacrifices! I gotta tell you that medieval studies lacks severely in that sort of thing... Ealdgyth - Talk 15:01, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
A horse lover such as yourself will not like this one. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:27, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Brrr brrr...[edit]

! Haploidavey (talk) 19:56, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

OK, I should probably not sputter about this on Wikipedia, but I'm trying to finish up an article and having a meltdown and everyone I know in the outside world is otherwise engaged. I live in a place where we have communal grounds that are cared for by a supposed landscape crew that look like they walked off the set of Sons of Anarchy, and they've been busy uprooting and cutting stuff all day with 'way too much glee. I have resolutely averted eyes as they tore my ivy off the wall of the garage and dislodged the little seedlings I was hoping would grow up to fill the interminable seas of brown mulch and then, then, out of the corner of my eye I saw my 5-foot-tall redbud that I'd carefully nurtured for four years being dismembered. It had bloomed for the first time this year. Deliberately planted flowers encircled it, for heavens sake, so I'm totally unconvinced by their explanation (when I ran out shrieking) that they were clearing out unwanted saplings. I had lugged the little thing half a mile from the edge of the woods to plant and tend it. When I post the little article you'll see why this seemed horrifically connected. Well, and just a general sociological sense of horror at the kind of people who get their kicks blocking productivity, which is a theme of the day. This is probably symbolic of at least three talk-pages messages I've composed today and then repented of and didn't post. Venting. Consider it an allegory. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:23, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
That's dreadful. All the worse for its casual, jaw-hanging, mechanised stupidity. I feel for you. Back in the mid 50's, before our village had mains electricity, a bunch of surveyors turned up, and chalked white "X"'s on every tree destined for the chop - including the ancient, spectacular cherry tree that overhung the side garden - to make way for the poles, transformers and cables. Because that was the plan. Mum washed off all the marks. So they repeated the exercise, this time using white paint. She protested, in a rage of tears. They patronised her for a bit, then went ahead anyway; like they do. Haploidavey (talk) 21:26, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I love your Mum. That makes me feel better. Now I can get back to crucified dogs, happy day. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:37, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh no, not the dogs. Please, not the dogs. Haploidavey (talk) 21:49, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Then you understand my grim mood. The dogs must be done, or else there's a redlink in the not-yet-posted calendar for Sextilis. Nearly a month behind on that. Almost time to do September. I'm starting to think most everybody is wrong, and all the most gruesome stuff actually originates in the Imperial era, with a veneer of antiquarianism to justify it. Had this thought since somebody pointed out that all the suggestions toward "human sacrifice" in connection to Saturn is actually late Imperial. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:38, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh wait. Do you know of articles that mention the dogs? It's a bit problematic to research in the first place because the term supplicia canum, which Scullard evidently pulls from Pliny, isn't universally employed for the rite. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:05, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Sadly (or happily) not; just the usual shock-horror innit awful. Google's response to "supplicia canum" doesn't bode well; geese dogs Manlius fares little better. Funny you should say that about the cunning antiquarian Imperials; time and tradition justify all. Not two hours ago, I was wondering about the Arvals. So much hangs on so little. Haploidavey (talk) 23:43, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I've seen that wondered about for the Arvals too; in RS, but don't remember where. In that case, though, isn't there the archaic language of their carmen? I think I put that bust of the overly handsome Lucius Verus in their article, though I'm unclear how we know that's Arval garb. I have a terribly minimal and disjointed thing on the supplicia canum, when I know there has to be scholarship that does something with the Juventas-Summanus axis! Cynwolfe (talk) 00:24, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Ta da! It doesn't read as disjointed, just tantalisingly incomplete. I'm impressed, as ever, by the way you somehow manage to find these RS for such obscure and interesting topics, let alone write so many articles. I remember looking vainly everywhere I knew (should have looked everywhere else, eh?) for RS commentary on Plutarch's dog-skin-clad Lar. (Btw, per your refs, isn't William Oldfather a marvellous name. As in "You are Oldfather William," the young man said, har de har.) Haploidavey (talk) 09:17, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm gradually working around to some kind of article on "dog ritual and magic", nibbling around the edges first, as I did with October Horse (had to get all the stuff about the di nixi, Trigarium, Tarentum (Campus Martius) and so on straight first—numerous obscure articles no one will ever read, but that's how I started editing in the first place, to compel myself to get stuff straight: reminds me that I still have a juicy redlink at the Horse). I had forgotten the wearing of a dogskin by the Lar. The trouble with the scope of dog magic/medicine is the Near Eastern stuff, which tends in the whole magico-medical thing to enter first extremely early, sucking in the whole "origin of the Etruscans" question (magnet for crazy) and eventually the Hittites. Who dares go there? Then you have the Near Eastern stuff coming back in full force during the later Imperial period, with Hebraic, Egyptian, and Syrian magic. Anyway, I had little luck looking for the supplicia canum even at Persée. It pops up in odd places and isn't always called that, just described. I have a hard copy of Scullard's Festivals and Ceremonies, which on my side of the pond doesn't seem to be available online. Someone cited when I was working on Saturnalia made the point that when a ritual is bloody and grotesque, we assume it was archaic, even if it's recorded only in later Imperial sources, but that these rituals do after all belong to a general cultural context of gladiator shows and a new religion created on the basis of a crucifixion and attendant martyr mania. The taurobolium being the prime example. Here is just the cutest thing I've seen all day. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:53, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
That's just lovely! Round and round they go... bless them, it looks like fun. Not at all like those stiffies who do re-enactments. I'm so, so bored with stiffies. And Triumphs. I guess bloody triumphs are stiffie heaven. But at least there's invidia, and other interesting marginalia to work on. And at least they're not Hittite triumphs. Haploidavey (talk) 21:53, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

A cup of coffee for you![edit]

A small cup of coffee.JPG Your article on Lychnapsia is a brilliant original creation. Even though it is completely outside the scope of my editing interests, I am very pleased that you created it and are presenting it in such a polished form. Thank you. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:04, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! This will be my fourth today, and last as I near my 3 pm cutoff point. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:07, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
But wait: not original! Cynwolfe (talk) 18:07, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Re:Roman Empire#Political Legacy[edit]

You're right, sorry for the inconvenience.( (talk) 19:54, 29 August 2013 (UTC))

No problem. My concern was that if the section were licensed to take on the entirety of the Roman Empire's legacy, it would be a magnet for additions that either repeated the legacy information that's incorporated throughout the article, or just caused ballooning that made the length situation work. I appreciate the note. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:12, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
 :) ( (talk) 00:46, 30 August 2013 (UTC))


I noticed you recently created this article (thanks for providing another supporting article for the Isis rewrite) and that there seems to be some uncertainty in the sources about the "Marriage of the Nile" festival mentioned there. The paragraph on that subject puzzled me, too, because the Egyptian names mentioned there look pretty clearly Arabic, and surely a festival in Roman Egypt wouldn't have had an Arabic name! So I read Salem's study and did a little digging elsewhere.

When he mentions the "Marriage of the Nile", Salem is referring to a suggestion by Heinrich Karl Brugsch in Thesaurus Inscriptionum Ægyptiacarum. So Salem isn't contradicting himself; he's just rejecting Brugsch's claim that the "Marriage of the Nile" is connected with the Lychnapsia. Salem says the "Marriage of the Nile", with all the Arabic names, is "said to be a late adaptation of a Coptic ceremony associated with the Feast of the Cross on the I7th Thoth (Coptic)". That suggests it's a festival celebrated in modern Egypt, derived from an earlier Coptic festival. I think Brugsch may have been speaking based on personal experience of the modern festival, given all the years he spent in Egypt. A lot of modern Egyptian festivals have been claimed to derive from pre-Christian ones, though as this article in the UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology shows, the scholarly approach to claims like that is a lot more complex than it was in Brugsch's day. That article doesn't discuss the "Marriage of the Nile", but one of the sources it cites is a study by Philippe Derchain, "Les pleurs d'Isis et la crue du Nil". Considering that the study's title translates to "The tears of Isis and the rising of the Nile", it might address the supposed Lychnapsia–Marriage of the Nile connection.

Based on Religion in Roman Egypt, by David Frankfurter, I knew that there was a festival of Isis' birth celebrated in Roman Egypt, called the Amesysia. Frankfurter doesn't say a lot about it, so I couldn't tell what correlation it might have with the Lychnapsia (or the Marriage of the Nile). I looked for confirmation that the Amesysia in Egypt took place at the same time as the Lychnapsia in the rest of the empire, and I seemed to find it in this abstract. But then I found a relevant article on JSTOR, "P. Mich. Inv. 1355 Verso: ἀπὸ᾿Αμεϲυϲίωνμέχρι᾿Αμεϲυϲίων" by Herbert C. Youtie in the 1978 issue of Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. It doesn't say much about the Amesysia either, but it mentions a hypothesis proposed by Danielle Bonneau in "Les fêtes Amesysia" in the 1974 volume of Chronique d'Egypte that "the Amesysia was a feast of the birthday of Isis celebrated 'vers le 20 juil let' in close association with the heliacal rising of Sirius and the beginning of the inundation, of which the traditional date was July 19. It would therefore be a seasonal festival, not to be confused with the birthday of Isis assigned by the Roman-Alexandrian calendar to the 4th epagomenal day, i.e. August 27…" And none of that directly states that the Lychnapsia was a Greek/Roman adaptation of the Amesysia, although if they're both supposed to be Isis' birthday, I still think it's likely. Other relevant sources I've found reference to, but can't access, include: another study by Bonneau, "Les fêtes Amesysia et les jours épagomènes (d'après la documentation papyrologique et égyptologique)" in Annales du Service des Antiquités de Egypte from 1984/85; and Fêtes d'Égypte ptolemaïque et romaine d'après la documentation papyrologique grecque (1993) by Françoise Perpillou-Thomas.

So the upshot is, I still don't know how the Lychnapsia connects with any Egyptian festival, although I think if there is such a connection, the Amesysia is probably the Egyptian prototype. The "Marriage of the Nile" seems either a side issue or entirely irrelevant. And if you want to find out about either of those things, you probably need to read French. (I'm afraid I can't help there. Egyptology is a trilingual field, so I constantly curse my monolinguality. And if that isn't a word, I hereby declare it to be a word.) A. Parrot (talk) 03:20, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. That's all good stuff. You see exactly what I was confused about in the Marriage of the Nile: why did Salem go on about it, say it was nocturnal (implying illuminated) and then in a throwaway aside say it was not a lychnapsia? I started to leave it out altogether. I had a similar problem with an article from the 1930s when I was putting together Rosalia: it had continued to be the main English work cited in recent scholarship, but seemed to me to have a hole in it big enough to drive a truck through. (A German truck finally turned up to drive through it.)
Another source says that Christians who regarded Arians as heretics were keen on lamp-lighting to distinguish themselves from nocturnal Arian gatherings. To someone coming from a Greco-Roman context, that makes no sense (Haploidavey, feel free to chime in here): "torchlit ceremonies" and "nocturnal ceremonies" are usually taken to mean the same thing. Since most of us moderns can't escape nocturnal illumination, we probably don't realize that in antiquity you didn't go stumbling around at night in the dark without something to light your way. Conditions with enough moonlight are not only limited to once a lunar cycle, but depend on the luck of a near-cloudless night as well. (I say this as someone who hasn't been able to walk her dogs at night as usual this summer because a string of streetlights is out maybe half a football field from my usual path: I hadn't realized how much spillover I was getting.)
(chiming in with a passing remark or two): I can't make much sense of that either. Speaking as one with a little Romano-Greek background - though not vice-versa - references to "nocturnal gatherings" often mean mystes with trouble a-brewing. I'm thinking of the pre-reform Bacchanalia hoo-hah, Cicero's pontifications on the Bona Dea scandal and Ceres' torchlight festival. Of course, nocturnal is sometimes plain dark; and sometimes a torch is just a torch, and a lamp is just a lamp. But perhaps a torch, even in its most sophisticated form, has a crude, "primitive", guttering quality - and would have recalled - I'd have thought - the "primitive" cults of Bacchus-Dionysus. And maybe Ceres (and not Isis?). So I can't imagine why the Arian nocturnal gatherings would've used torches, rather than lamps; assuming, of course, that they did. Maybe they were just less bothered about such stuff. Maybe the orthodox needed to assert a distinction in the matter of cult furniture. At any rate, I can't see lamps and torches having quite the same associations. Lamps are more gentle, somehow. Just a thought. Haploidavey (talk) 14:53, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
But I digress.
In general, I see these things more from the reception side than the origin side, so I'm less troubled by where something comes from than with what form it takes when it gets there. I've been interested in how the Roman Imperial calendar is elaborated with these kinds of holidays, and this article came from my dislike of redlinks, which keep surprising me as I'm sketching in the series of individual articles on Roman months. I can read French at some level, but don't trust my comprehension on a technical subject like calendar calculations. My own conclusion (utterly OR) is that the lychnapsia isn't a festival of Isis per se, but is rather a type of observance influenced by Egyptian lamp festivals in the "ecumenical" environment of the Empire. The August 12 observance may well be celebrated for the birthday of Isis (and I do suspect something to do with the ever-present Sirius and the Nile motif), but it was a lychnapsia, not the Lychnapsia. That's why a lychnapsia can be so readily adapted to Christian practice. It struck me in that regard as like the rosatio, the practice of rose-adornment.
I had meant to drop you a note for input, but in my haste forgot to. (In order to motivate me to get some drafts off my desktop and into mainspace, I've set a goal of at least one DYK nom within the scope of the Greece & Rome project a month.) I hope your Isis project is going well. It looks as if I might be addressing one more Isis festival, the extended one at the end of October that's mentioned at lychnapsia.
Oh dear. My husband's just come in and told me Seamus Heaney's died. Must leave off abruptly and go read "Funeral Rites" from my treasured first edition of North with the typo in it, and compose myself. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:42, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Hm. Sorry about that upsetting news. I've done a lot of work on the Isis rewrite, but I'm feeling stuck at the moment. That's partly because some details about her Greco-Roman worship are still unclear to me. Unfortunately, the book you pointed out to me before, Romanizing Oriental Gods, says nothing about interpretatio graeca per se (although it has been very helpful on other subjects). I would still like to find a source that discusses the current scholarly viewpoints on interpretatio graeca and says something, even if it's not very much, about how it applied to Isis. Another difficulty is sorting out the festivals. I gather from your comments above that some of them are still not well understood even in academia, but that's not necessarily a problem as long as a source says they're not well understood. If the next festival you're working on is the Isia/Finding of Osiris, then I can probably contribute to the article a bit. I look forward to working with you some more, when you feel able. A. Parrot (talk) 21:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm fine, I've paid my respects now. Salzman, On Roman Time, p. 170, has a table of Isis festivals that were on the Roman calendar, with a few pages around that table on Egyptian festivals in Rome. I have a hard copy in hand, so I don't know whether that's available with the online preview. Commentaries on the "Isis book" of Apuleius's Metamorphoses, though a hodgepodge of notes, often have some good stuff.[7] Other scholarship on Ap's Isis book just depends on whether they're treating it as literature, or evidence for cult. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:06, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Yep, I have Griffiths' Apuleius, though I'm sure I should look through it in more depth than I have so far. Because he was an Egyptologist specializing in the Osiris myth as well as a classicist, I'm very familiar with Griffiths' work. If you want to see a real hodgepodge of footnotes, see—if you're not familiar with it already—his massive commentary on Plutarch's On Isis and Osiris. And his book The Origins of Osiris and His Cult is an exhaustive (exhausting) study of all the ideas put forward on the subject in the century or so before it was published. Thanks for suggesting Salzman's book, which I'll probably get soon. I have to try to get as much done as I can before mid-October, when most of my energies have to turn toward Finishing My Education. A. Parrot (talk) 23:45, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
No such thing as finishing an education! But best wishes on that. Cynwolfe (talk) 03:00, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. The way I define them, learning is never finished. Education is a set of bureaucratic hoops that society requires people to jump through, which may or may not involve actual learning. I hope the upcoming set of hoops will be my last. But I do expect to learn useful stuff in the process, so I look forward to it. Sort of. A. Parrot (talk) 05:04, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
And mighty expensive hoops at that. I still nurse the Philoctetean wound from when one of the graders of my Latin doctoral exam marked a phrase in my Propertius translation as wrong when that exact phrase from Propertius is offered in the Oxford Latin Dictionary as a example of the meaning I gave. After all these years, I haven't learned from that experience what I should've, but it sounds as if you have a proper handle on it. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:54, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Is it my age or my education ...[edit]

... that has allowed me to go so long without learning of this? The tone of the whole thing makes me question some of the conclusions, but, damn, this is some stuff.  davidiad { t } 23:52, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

I second that damn. Read it twice and still can't quite get my head around it. Did you encounter the term and then come to look it up, or did you end up at the article somehow? Cynwolfe (talk) 02:57, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
A man described as a leader of a "cargo cult" was recently murdered, and I made my way to the article after reading his. I'd heard in the term used metaphorically in discussions of modern economic policy, but I'd never looked it up because I got the gist. Lazy readers miss out. Prince Philip Movement is also eye-opening and a bit comedic, but that's probably because as an American with no royalist tendencies I've always found something amusing in Philip. But, really, with all the post-colonial and "network theory" (hate that term outside mathematics and computing) stuff we read, I can't believe I've never encountered this. What's the latest obsession since I haven't really been around? Are you bringing anything to FA?  davidiad { t } 14:23, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
I never even bring anything to GA except against my will. I don't do well with anything that requires me to love the fetters in which they would seek to bind me. I find Christian prosperity theology, banal and all-American though it is, bizarre enough: have these people not read the Book of Job or any of the New Testament? Are they aware of how "pagan" is their notion of "the Bible as a contract between God and humans" (do ut des)? Haploidavey should get a good gape at Prince Philip Movement, with Imperial cult in mind. So you are dropping by now and then? Cynwolfe (talk) 14:41, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Nice to see you around again, Davidiad. Shame on me; I hadn't made the connection with Imperial cult. The Prince Phillip cult's one of those things than pops up in Brit newspapers now and then. Personally, I find the man hilarious. But cargo cults, yes; and from way back. I'd always assumed they were of no more than parochial interest. I reckon that over here, persons of a "certain age", especially those whose families were involved with the, ahem, "Colonial Office", would tend to know about them. My primary school teacher was an excellent source; he'd been all over, during the war, with his eyes fully open. The schoolroom had shelves filled with little papier mache models of the places he'd been; and he knew an amazing amount about all of them. OK, some of it was completely skewiff, but it made a good story. He had a pith helmet, hung beside an African fly-swatter, beneath a very large map of the world. An old map - our only map - pre-war, with the Empire coloured pink - on which the sun never sets, all that Kipling stuff. He told us about cargo cults, about once a month. Then he'd spring a surprise "test" on us, in the middle of maths, history, whenever. He'd put his finger on the New Hebrides - as was - then put on the pith helmet and say "Now I'm John Frum! And can anybody tell me about John Frum?" And of course, by the time he asked, we could. He was far, far less racist about it than some. Haploidavey (talk) 15:31, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Isn't this man the most wonderful writer? And I've learned a new word: skewiff. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:44, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Yup, always lovely to read a Davey. I'm around a bit this weekend. Hoping to polish off another article on the Catalogue so I'll probably be editing a bit tomorrow and Monday. Almost have my new schedule worked out, so hopefully I'll be around more in the near future. Now I have to take the car half way across the state for a recall servicing.  davidiad { t } 16:51, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Lychnapsia[edit]

The DYK project (nominate) 08:02, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

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Article Feedback Tool update[edit]

Hey Cynwolfe. I'm contacting you because you're involved in the Article Feedback Tool in some way, either as a previous newsletter recipient or as an active user of the system. As you might have heard, a user recently anonymously disabled the feedback tool on 2,000 pages. We were unable to track or prevent this due to the lack of logging feature in AFT5. We're deeply sorry for this, as we know that quite a few users found the software very useful, and were using it on their articles.

We've now re-released the software, with the addition of a logging feature and restrictions on the ability to disable. Obviously, we're not going to automatically re-enable it on each article—we don't want to create a situation where it was enabled by users who have now moved on, and feedback would sit there unattended—but if you're interested in enabling it for your articles, it's pretty simple to do. Just go to the article you want to enable it on, click the "request feedback" link in the toolbox in the sidebar, and AFT5 will be enabled for that article.

Again, we're very sorry about this issue; hopefully it'll be smooth sailing after this :). If you have any questions, just drop them at the talkpage. Thanks! Okeyes (WMF) 21:48, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

A much welcome explanation. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:04, 1 September 2013 (UTC)


Hello, I left a reply on the Talk:Law school of Beirut; I agree that a formal move request would be of help to collect as many opinions as possible. have a nice day -Eli+ 04:45, 5 September 2013 (UTC)


Hi, could you please check my addition of a section at Korban olah#In Hellenistic Judaism. Thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:21, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes, will do, there's something there in the Greek I want to check. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:02, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

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List of Roman tribes[edit]

Hello. I think you may have missed the point of my earlier edit: voters in modern elections are registered to geographical constituencies. The wording you restored wrongly says that the modern equivalent of the voting tribe is party registration. Except perhaps for US primaries, that is not correct. The tribe was the constituency in Roman elections, the equivalent of the state or congressional district in US federal elections. The party registration comparison is bizarre. Roman voting tribes were certainly linked to places early on but that link was probably lost by the time of the Late Republic. --Lo2u (TC) 13:42, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Neither of these is probably the best way to express it. However, in the Western provinces, as citizens become enfranchised, there is a strong correlation between where you live and what tribe you're registered in. I just read the sentence as saying that a tribe, although a voting bloc, is not a political party. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:16, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the opening is conflating two unrelated things. The fact is, however, that in modern elections people are registered to vote in geographical regions, not political parties as the opening now incorrectly claims. To me the sentence seems to suggest that a voting tribe is the Roman equivalent of a political party, which is precisely the confusion you say you wish to avoid. It isn't: a party puts forward a candidate whereas a constituency chooses from a choice of candidates. Voting tribes serve the latter function and my geographical analogy is the correct one. I suggest the intro be reworked without either example. --Lo2u (TC) 16:00, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree completely that a better intro is needed. I don' t see it as saying anything about modern voter registration: it just distinguishes tribus from factiones, which are sometimes viewed (as by Lily Ross Taylor and T.P. Wiseman) as like political parties (others of course don't see them as political parties in any sense). The intro probably does need to make clear what a Latin voting tribe is not. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:16, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
There's another connection between tribe and place in the late Republic. If you prosecuted someone and got a conviction, you were allowed not only to take over his property, but his place in his voting tribe. (As I recall, this is how Cornelius Balbus of Gades got into one of the influential urban tribes, the same one as Pompey, instead of the one he was initially registered in as a new citizen from a Hispanian province.) This suggests that owning property in a particular place still had some correlation to tribal membership. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:21, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Image of the coin[edit]

FYI, commons:Commons:Deletion requests/File:Avgustus Aureus.jpg. --Eleassar my talk 22:41, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:13, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry. Could you also have a look at commons:Commons:Deletion requests/File:Claudius EXSC PP OBCIVES.jpg? This one is apparently non-free too. Thanks. --Eleassar my talk 08:27, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
No, really, I appreciate the heads-up on this kind of thing. Classical Numismatics Group has its own special license: as I understand it, they've given us a blanket permission to use their images. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:08, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh, wait, didn't look closely enough. You're saying it comes from Wildwinds, and may erroneously have the CNG license. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:09, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I posted some thoughts on this at the Commons deletion request. Haploidavey seems to have a handle on coins and might want to take a look. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:35, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I've replied - fwiw - at the Commons page. Haploidavey (talk) 19:09, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

DYK for Supplicia canum[edit]

 — Crisco 1492 (talk) 16:04, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

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DYK for September (Roman month)[edit]

The DYK project (nominate) 08:02, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

How you doin'?[edit]

You've been a busy bee around these parts. How are things?  davidiad { t } 03:02, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Politeness abounds wikiside  davidiad { t } 18:30, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

ergggghhhh. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:33, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Part of why I rarely edit articles anyone else would. By the way, how cultured am I? I saw Briançon on my watchlist and thought it was a convention for Life of Brian enthusiasts.  davidiad { t } 21:59, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
As well it should be. If it were up to me, we'd replace the friggin' aureus at the top of Roman Empire with a video clip of the "What did the Romans ever do for us?" bit. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:23, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
As for rarely edited articles, I recommend this group. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:53, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Oh, dear. I'm working on the Aktorione–Molione right now, so teratology has worn my tastes for knocking knees. I'm also taking this month to reread the club-footed Maugham, my mother's author. God, I love him and her. But reading him makes me wonder, when does a man outgrow Turgenev? Does that make him an adult? I'm 32.  davidiad { t } 02:21, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

What do you want[edit]

I am sorry I cannot read the two links now. I suppose they are concerned with the sockpuppet investigation. I do not feel I have to defend myself once again for something that did not have any malice, and especially here: the other account was using a former name with which I was known on a certain talk page in earlier exchanges.

Everybody likes to receive love and respect. Maybe me too I am a big Narcissus and do not see how I may offend others, but certainly I do not pop systematically up in your exchanges with other editors even if/when that exchange has nothing to do with me, nor do I contradict you in every venue and on every issue you write about, let alone going to the length of inviting a third party in order to counter your arguments, or add scornful comments after your exchanges with other people. So this last time I may have exceeded what the present issue may have required, but I suppose you may understand my reaction as the last straw. Particularly as you seem to always imply/assume/presume that what I do here is contrary to the rules and harmful. I am convinced of the same thing about many of your edits in places I visit (the list would be too long and tiring), but I use restraint and wisdom.

If one cannot understand that if one attacks (or, worse, harasses) one will have to endure reactions then this is hopeless.Aldrasto11 (talk) 05:05, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

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Hi, Cynwolfe. I'm just back from ten days plodding about the mountains behind Rethymnon in Crete. Passing the turning to Knossos on the way out was about as near as I got to antiquity. I've returned to a dispute on the talk page of the Accismus article about its application to one of Aesop's fables. Are you knowledgeable enough about rhetorical terms to make a comment? Or if not, do you know who might be? Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 20:47, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

There might be people who watch this page who could help. The editor I think of first when I hear "rhetorical terms" is, alas, no longer on Wikipedia. It will probably not surprise you if I say that a source is needed in order to offer any example of accismus; otherwise, it's synthesis if editors are saying "This is what accismus means, therefore Such-and-such is an example of accismus." I'll look around, though probably not tonight.
On a more delicious note, are you traveling around the world, Mzilikazi? Weren't you in some other fascinating place recently? Sounds marvelous! Cynwolfe (talk) 21:24, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
As in "Crete? Huh, wouldn't want to go anywhere near the place..." Haploidavey (talk) 22:52, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the thoughtful response. That's what I wanted to hear. Now what has Haploidavey got against Crete? I hope he's not confusing it with Cyprus, where I steadfastly refuse to go... Anyway, that's where I took a sunshine break away from UK weather. And Taiwan is where I've been going back and forth to work. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 00:45, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Oh dear me no, I've nothing whatsoever against Crete; quite the opposite. That was accismus-type badinage... these days, I never leave the UK. (Taiwan must be a very long haul, but what a place to work!) Haploidavey (talk) 10:01, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Ho ho, that was much cleverer than I realized at first. Mzilikazi, I'm not together enough at present to say anything at accismus (I've been taking a mental vacation by looking at pretty Japanese textiles at Commons), but after a little poking around, there seem to be better sources than dictionaries, per WP:NAD. The article probably needs to bring out that the device was a Renaissance favorite, since examples from Shakespeare often turn up. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:48, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

Hello there, I have a question regarding the Law school of Beirut article, being the main editor, can I start a page move request to something like the name you suggested or can I proceed with it without asking for consensus? If not, could you please initiate the page move request? thanks a lot -Elias Ziade 19:38, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

I will try to take a look at this tomorrow. In the middle of something at the moment. Best wishes, Cynwolfe (talk) 20:19, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
Looking back at this, I'm still not sure what the title should be. I think "Roman law" needs to be in it, because it wasn't a school of law in general, but specifically Roman law as a particular body of law. I'm also assuming that there have been and are other law schools in Beirut. And I don't even know for sure whether it should be Beirut or Berytus, so the title makes the time period clearer. I know I've said this before, but I'm pleased as punch to have this article. I just haven't been able to spare the time to give you more-informed suggestions. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:53, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Need some expert advice[edit]

Hi Cynwolfe, long time no speak :) Anyhow, I mentioned you at the Articles for Creation help desk. Could you take a look at this question there. The draft article is at Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Lucius Aurelius Marcianus. The reasons for rejection seem unfounded to me, but thought I'd ask an expert. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 09:06, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Good to hear from you. I very much shy from the word "expert", but as a devoted amateur will look. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:00, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Puzzling edit summary[edit]

I am bewildered by your edit summary here. Firstly, I can't imagine how you can ask "are you saying it's inconceivable for an apologia to be a response to an actual attack" in response to something which explicitly says "whether real or imagined", that is to say it explicitly includes the possibility that it is a real, actual, attack, as well as the possibility that it isn't. Secondly, something which is imagined does not have to be, as you call it, "nutty": it is perfectly possible to form a reasonable but mistaken impression that there has been an attack. (All this is quite apart from the fact that for some reason you seem to think that "perceived" implies a mistaken perception, and that it is impossible to perceive something which is actually there.) JamesBWatson (talk) 15:25, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

All I mean to do is to distinguish between what an impartial observer might agree to be an actual attack, and an attack that is only perceived as such by someone who responds to it as an attack when none was intended. Let me see whether I can be clearer. "Imagined" means existing only in the imagination: in other words, an imaginary attack does not exist, and the apologist who responds to a purely imaginary attack is either crazy or a liar. This is certainly possible as a real-world situation, or as a strategy, but is not part of the definition of an apologia, which presumes the existence of an attack as the basis of apologetic rhetoric. "Imaginary" implies that the apologist is inventing an attack that does not exist, as distinguished from perceiving actual words or actions as an attack when they may not have been intended as such, nor appear to constitute an attack to the impartial observer. The idea is that the apologia is a response to something presented as existing independent of the apologist, so if in describing the genre, we say that something is "imaginary", it means that a characteristic of the genre is that the premise (the attack) can be set up as an invention, as in the suasoria. I don't think that's the case in Christian apologetics. The attack is perceived by the apologist as an actual attack (whether or not an impartial observer would characterize the words or actions as an attack), and is not presented as a rhetorical invention or fiction by the apologist merely for the sake of argument (in which case there would be no independent speech or action that can be judged as actual or merely perceive). The early Christian apologia draws on the Classical tradition of the apologia. Arguing fictional cases was an important part of Classical rhetoric, but Christian apologetics do not seem premised on fictional or "imaginary" attacks: attacks against Christians and Christianity are presented as actual, even if some of these perceived "attacks" were only a matter of normal social or cultural expectations that Christians resented, resisted, or rejected. Besides, the cited source seems to avoid "imaginary," "imagined", or "fictional" as a way to characterize the attack, preferring language such as "constructed". "Perceived" and "constructed" emphasize arrangement and interpretation, whereas "imaginary" and "fictional" indicate that the scenario is invented or made-up. But it could be that I've looked at or recalled the secondary sources incorrectly, and that Christian apologetics were at times premised rhetorically on a fictive attack presented as such. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:41, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Feast of the Gods query[edit]

What the hell is going on?

(forthcoming) -Any idea if a specific episode is shown at right foreground here? Thanks, Johnbod (talk) 17:35, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

I honestly have no idea, but being an American, I will not be deterred by ignorance from bloviating.
But first, you may have viewed a version of this work that shows detail more clearly than I can see here: the mature gentleman who is being bathed (by three Graces?), does he have a beard, and/or is that soapy water around his throat? Is he wearing something like a turban? And is this a single unified scene, or a narrative? The central figure getting her hair done would typically be Venus, especially with Cupid looking in the mirror. But the woman in the couple on the left also looks as if she could be Venus, and the shape of the male's hip seems to echo that of the bather's rather closely.
An innocuous detail that puzzles me is the water jar under Venus's knee (if the central figure is Venus). Since a tipped-over jar with water flowing from it is the common attribute of a river god, and river gods are usually bearded, I'd think this was a river god if it made any sense to bathe one in a tub. If he were a youth rather than bearded, the dog would make me think of Adonis. Is the little white thing between Cupid and the dog just a comb? I can't see it very well.
Off the top of my head, I can think of only a few scenarios that might involve a mature man being bathed. If the women are Graces, the male might be a hero being divinely endowed with praeternatural beauty, particularly after rough adventures, like Aeneas (for the benefit of Dido) or Odysseus (by virtue of Athena, though). An old man would be a resurrection rite, like the pretense of Medea tricking the daughters of Pelias, but this man is of the solid, mature "Zeus" type, not a decrepit geezer. If the central figure is Venus, the only lovers or consorts I can think of who are usually depicted as mature and bearded (since she favors the youths) are Mars (but none of his attributes are suggested) or Anchises: even though at the time of their union, Anchises seems to have been young, his role in the Aeneas legend tends to promote a paternal depiction. Anchises might also explain the turban, if that's what I see, since I think (you would know better than I) the Trojans tend to be depicted as the European perception of "Turks" by this period. But I can't recall Anchises being bathed, and Mars would more likely need a good gore-removing bath before he was acceptable for the banquet of love. Still, the water spilling from the general area of his genitals suggests a river god. I've seen that someplace else more explicitly recently … oh, yes: Giulio Romano, Psyche's Second Task.
A quick search suggests a better possibility: that it isn't a specific scene, but generic as described here, which for all I know is how your sources are seeing it. Cranach's Fountain of Youth, and Sebald's Fountain of Youth and Bathhouse, and Floris's Feast of the Gods share the common elements of lots of fleshy people with a general air of license, banqueting, music, coupling, and most relevant, bathing. I'm familiar only with the more thoroughly clothed (and dry) feasts of the gods for the wedding of Cupid and Psyche or of Peleus and Thetis, or the Titian-Bellini picnic type. So will be interested in the article. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:16, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, he has a beard. He's not so much old as with craggy un-Hellenic features that make me think he's Vulcan. Perhaps the ladies think he's smelly from the forge or the kitchen (he tended to cook at these affairs). Or messy after his attempt at Minerva? He's clearly being forcibly held down; the fact the women can do so might also suggest Vulcan, though his legs look fine. Or does the way the nearest leg is held suggest it's weak? He should be a god (likewise at least the naked ladies, maybe not the one holding his shoulders), & there should be some classical story behind the incident, though the main scene is supposedly just "one of those Olympian crowd scenes so prized in the late sixteenth century" (Bull, 185). I think the "turban" is just his hair sticking up - scruffy Vulcan again. It does look like a comb or hair ornament. There's a lot of spilling fluid going on, certainly. It's interesting that none of the figures seem to be clearly identifiable by attributes etc - usually at least some are. This is the type of work it's supposed to be; the two weddings you mention are very often the nominal subject, but by this period they are normally Lunch at the Nudist Colony as here. The museum blog it came from offers no identification. Thanks anyway. Anyone else? Johnbod (talk) 12:17, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I found the lack of attributes interesting too. Vulcan is an amusing idea. Paul August? Haploidavey? That delinquent Davidiad? Cynwolfe (talk) 12:28, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I searched in vain for commentary on this painting - will keep an eye open. But Venus and Vulcan, why not? A dirty scruff-pot, a bit of a yoik, "fresh" from the smithy and a cuckold to boot. A forced bathing by Venus' ladies under the patronising gaze of Herself seems suitably demeaning. On a more personal note, those copious fluids worry me; there's bad plumbing upstairs from here, or else they're bathing a dirty old deity without due care. My ceiling has these horrible brown water stains. Haploidavey (talk) 13:07, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I hope you don't mind a stranger butting in, but I think I can offer two tentative identifications and one positive:
  1. The musician might be Apollo
  2. Dionysus should be at the feast, so let's say he's the one with his back to us with a platter that includes grapes
  3. The character in the foreground does sleep with Venus.
NebY (talk) 21:11, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! I thought I'd seen a King Charles with Herself before. I'll bet there's a tradition about that I don't know. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:18, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm copying this to Talk:Feast of the Gods (art), so please make any further comments there. Thanks for all the comments. The more I think about the painting, I see it as a genre brothel scene in fancy dress rather than a series attempt at a mythological subject, but the group round the basin are still puzzling & seem to need a specific referent. Johnbod (talk) 02:19, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Books and Bytes: The Wikipedia Library Newsletter[edit]

Books and Bytes

Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2013

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by The Interior (talk · contribs), Ocaasi (talk · contribs)

Greetings Wikipedia Library members! Welcome to the inaugural edition of Books and Bytes, TWL’s monthly newsletter. We're sending you the first edition of this opt-in newsletter, because you signed up, or applied for a free research account: HighBeam, Credo, Questia, JSTOR, or Cochrane. To receive future updates of Books and Bytes, please add your name to the subscriber's list. There's lots of news this month for the Wikipedia Library, including new accounts, upcoming events, and new ways to get involved...

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New subscription donations: Cochrane round 2; HighBeam round 8; Questia round 4... Can we partner with NY Times and Lexis-Nexis??

New ideas: OCLC innovations in the works; VisualEditor Reference Dialog Workshop; a photo contest idea emerges

News from the library world: Wikipedian joins the National Archives full time; the Getty Museum releases 4,500 images; CERN goes CC-BY

Announcing WikiProject Open: WikiProject Open kicked off in October, with several brainstorming and co-working sessions

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Read the full newsletter

Thanks for reading! All future newsletters will be opt-in only. Have an item for the next issue? Leave a note for the editor on the Suggestions page. --The Interior 21:22, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


I'm in need of an opinion and really can't think of anyone else to ask. What do you think of the article Bicorn (monster)? It seems to me a mess of unsourced dubious information and possible hoaxery (the images in particular; I can't find any institution that might correspond to the "Museum of Archeology, Dresden") that should probably be stubbified to something like this version from four years ago, but I'm not quite bold enough to do so without support. Then, of course, information could be added about Lydgate's Bycorne and Chychevache, which seems to be the locus classicus for the appearance of this beast in English literature, and whatever else might be reliably sourced. (Or it might be merged with Chichevache to produce something like the superior French WP article.) I was alerted to the article by its claim that the beast was envisioned as unicornlike, for which I can find no evidence. What's your take on all this? Deor (talk) 12:51, 10 November 2013 (UTC)


There seem to be some vandalism in section "Renaissance" of the article Neptune; perhaps you can check it out? --Finn Bjørklid (talk) 15:06, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

The Wikipedia Library Survey[edit]

As a subscriber to one of The Wikipedia Library's programs, we'd like to hear your thoughts about future donations and project activities in this brief survey. Thanks and cheers, Ocaasi t | c 15:36, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Happy Holidays...[edit]

Waltensburger Chur2.jpg Happy Holidays
Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season, from the horse and bishop person. May the year ahead be productive and troll-free. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:43, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Circe in the Arts[edit]

Hi there! For some reason, I didn't have this article on my watch list and so missed your generous assessment of it back in September. I've been in Taiwan since November and don't get away until mid-April. I've noticed that Niemti has moved the section on ancient art from the Circe article, which makes sense but it appears sub-standard. In fact it's a collection of four random facts, the most interesting of which isn't even referenced. Now the irony is that I'm acting as an art editor over here, but it's Buddhist art - my acquaintanceship with Greek artifacts is minimal. I wondered whether you have time to do a bit of research and perhaps expand the ancient (BCE) art section more thoroughly and knowledgeably. Once I'm back I need to add sections (for which I have notes) on painting, sculpture, drama and opera. I'd be grateful for anything you can do to improve the quality. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 00:35, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Lead section#WP:BOLDTITLE and election articles[edit]

I have started a discussion that may interest you at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Lead section#WP:BOLDTITLE and election articles. Anomalocaris (talk) 08:24, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Just to say hi[edit]

Dropping by to say hi, you have not been on WP for a while, you are missed! Hope all is well with you and we may see you back at some point. All best Smeat75 (talk) 22:02, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Are we going to have to send in the legions to find you! Been away from the Classical articles for far too long and did not notice you haven't been here, but Smeat dropped off a note at Wikipedia:WikiProject Editor Retention.

If you come back, we can work on Greek love again and see if it can be raised to GA. But we're gonna need you for that. You are a major contributor to the article. Yes....blatant bait to get you back. I have no pride. ;-)--Mark Miller (talk) 00:06, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Stopping by to say "hello"[edit]

Hi, Cynwolfe. Been a while since I was actively editing, but as usual I try to keep an eye on the articles I've worked on. Recently had some time off, and decided to continue my work on gentes, updating and revising from time to time, and finishing the letter "F". In the process I got sidetracked on a few other articles (Tribune of the Plebs, Tribune, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, Magister equitum, Roman tribe); wrote or revised quite a lot and expected to hear from you. Only just realized you haven't done any editing in several months... I hope you're alright, and will be back in the swing of things soon. Could certainly use your advice, after spending an insane amount of time on a few articles this week. Meanwhile, let me know how you're doing if you get the chance! P Aculeius (talk) 04:24, 5 June 2014 (UTC)


Francesco Hayez 028.jpg

Thanks to all who have stopped by this page over the last few months, and apologies to those who were looking for help. There are many Wikipedians I miss very much. It now seems rude to have left without a word of explanation and without checking for messages, though at the time I wanted merely to avoid drama.

Because of the mention of editor retention above, I should say something about my reasons for leaving. Really, though, one day I just got up and said to myself "I don't want to do that anymore" or more precisely "I shouldn't do that anymore". As a matter of personal growth, I needed to make a clean break. The MOS straitjacket had started to feel like a drag. Some issues that are of concern in editor retention were in play, mainly the dysfunction of dispute resolution. It's just too exhausting. I could revisit some of the war stories, but what's the point?

I benefited enormously from participating in Wikipedia, and think of so many of my fellow editors as friends. Though I'm not burning any bridges, I can't seem to bring myself to open a page and edit it. I'm very happy to see others carrying on their good work. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:54, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

This is sad to read. But I completely understand the feeling! I'll miss you and don't want to have to count on fingers and feet now how many really good well-educated women editors we've lost. Anyway, you and Nishidani still get the prize for making absolutely the best joke ever on my page. Classicists! Take care. Victoria (tk) 20:35, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Crikey! Has it been that long? Thanks for explaining anyway, and of course I'm very sorry to see you go. As Victoria says, the attrition of content-writers is alarming. All the best, Johnbod (talk) 20:56, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm glad you're OK Cynwolfe and do understand why you "disappeared" but hope that one day you will wake up and feel like editing again! All bestSmeat75 (talk) 22:58, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, the last few days I've attempted to check on a couple of things, and realized why I left. Either I have to be all in, and expend enormous amounts of effort on talk page explanations, or I have to just let it go. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:55, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm on a campaign (or sorts) to keep people such as you (and myself) from leaving. My advice: ignore all talkpage conversations. Since I started doing that a few months ago my wiki life became much happier. In my view talkpage conversations aren't conversations but simply a bludgeoning tool and participants feel they have to win. So I threw out talkpage conversations. Those few I've had to react to, I've tried to shut down quite quickly. Or I just disengage. Anyway, hope you're enjoying your summer! Victoria (tk) 21:06, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Welcome back, Cynwolfe. I saw you back at the Sexuality in ancient Rome article on June 23rd, and I was happy to see that you appear okay and are back to helping out with sexuality material regarding ancient times in addition to other ancient history aspects. You likely received a ping via WP:Echo regarding this matter from March/May 2014. If you are ever up to weighing in on that, it'd be much appreciated by me. Thanks. And take care. Flyer22 (talk) 16:08, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
One more thing: I think that the vast majority of very experienced Wikipedia editors understand how frustrating Wikipedia can be and often think about letting it go. I certainly do. I only stick around for the reasons stated at the top of my talk page. But I keep getting closer and closer to simply leaving it all behind. As others have made clear, not having you at Wikipedia is a terrible loss to the site. Even so, doing what you need to do for your own well-being is understandably foremost. Thanks for all of your help with the site. Flyer22 (talk) 16:23, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Dispute resolution and editor retention are areas of interest to me Cynwolfe and I believe a lot of the problems we face on Wikipedia is not trying to actually deal with "conflict resolution". We have a billion venues for disputes...that are content related, but next to nothing to deal with behavior, conduct and personal abuse that do not rise immediate admin attention. The system is perceived by most editors as being rigged to benefit one side or another. The truth is, we just don't deal with the other side of almost everything every issue and that is how editors are acting, not just what they are editing.

Wikipedia was set up to separate the two issues, but Wikipedia does not treat each issue with the same weight. What we need is noticeboard for conduct and behavior discussions that do not need immediate administrative action and where the community can discuss, case by case, interaction issues, conduct and abusive behavior that is unprofessional and can lead people to walk away and abandon huge amounts or work and collaborations they worked on for years. Something that would be similar to DRN in spirit but perhaps set up more like a regular notice board. I still like the idea of a conflict resolution noticeboard where the community can gain consensus on issues relating to such problems while trying to reduce the amount of actual conduct issues by explaining policy, procedure etc, early enough that new editors can resolve the conflict before it becomes more disruptive. And if editors do not heed advice, can begin a topic ban or intervention discussion at ANI or AN or begin an RFC/U.

Hope you come back when and if it is something you feel you can ever enjoy again.(Formerly Amadscientist)--Mark Miller (talk) 23:39, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Sexuality in antiquity[edit]

Was here looking at some items on my bibliography page, and saw the discussion above. All the nice things said are deeply appreciated.

I glanced at the link, and that discussion doesn't seem to be ongoing. It seems as if the concept of paiderasteia was sufficiently distinguished from what we now think of as pedophilia (on the talk page, at least; I think I wrote the Roman section, but didn't look back at the article—exactly contrary to Victoria's advice above). I find this topic extremely difficult to deal with. Boy-love advocates like to cite ancient models as evidence that prohibitions against pedophilia are mere social constructs; that may be, but they're our social constructs, and pedophilia is a crime in the here and now because minors can't give legal consent, period. I notice, however, that those who war against boy-love advocates don't show the slightest interest in the age at which patrician Roman girls might be betrothed (as early as 12, depending presumably on menstruation as a sign of sexual maturity). The fact is that the Greeks and Romans found it natural for pubescents to be sexual and thus unsurprising that adults would find them sexually attractive. Of course, being a civilized human being depends a great deal on not behaving "naturally".

I'm sympathetic when gay men are concerned that depictions of same-sex relations in antiquity may fuel a homophobic perception that homoeroticism is inherently tantamount to pedophilia; it's understandable to want to downplay the Greco-Roman realities of age differences when that world seems at the same time to have been more hospitable to same-sex relations. But it doesn't seem common for male same-sex partners to be equal in age. "Gay marriage" is mentioned in the Roman Imperial period and at times may have involved men who were more or less equals (not sure we know), but not afaik in the examples of emperors marrying much younger males. And here is where we encounter the puer delicatus, about whom I can scarcely bear to think, as something that can be considered pedophilia.

It's hard for me to see the Greco-Roman world as a gay paradise, since Roman male-male sex seems an awful lot like prison sex, where the guy getting penetrated is "feminized" but the penetrator not only doesn't lose but perhaps enhances his masculinity by bending the other male to his desires. But it's good to remember that while scholars get stuck on certain career-advancing interpretations, surely it's impossible that personal, individualized feelings didn't vary and matter in Greece and Rome (as some do note). Cynwolfe (talk) 22:59, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

I suppose, even in ancient times, there were different types of relationships in different areas, with differing reasons. I think for most men (as a gender in general), they see ancient Rome as "paradise" mostly because there seemed less limits. Sexual relationships were not always a forced relationship and were never really associated with particular stigma except by more conservative factions who saw it as "Greek" behavior and therefore foreign.
I know my main concern as a gay man, has always been to make sure the separation and distinctions were properly made when comparisons or contemporary illustrations are being made that certain acts of the Greeks and Roman do reflect on us today and some do not. The Latin terms have some direct bearing on LGBT today, but not all. Understanding is difficult and knowing when to be sensitive can be tough.--Mark Miller (talk) 23:55, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know your thoughts on this matter, Cynwolfe. I'll note there, at the History of homosexuality talk page, that you have commented here on the topic and might comment on it here in the future. I mentioned there that pederasty is not the same thing as pedophilia (at least regarding the medical definition of pedophilia and the fact that pederasty is focused on male-male relationships); for example, it seems that pederasty usually didn't involve prepubecents, something Legitimus, who helps me edit/watch over the Pedophilia article, has mentioned; in fact, Legitimus stated in the Examples from History discussion that took place at the Child sexual abuse article: "And the Greek 'boys' referred to in classical literature were around 16-20, not little children, as can be see[n] clearly in paintings where the 'boy' is the exact same height [a]s his 'man' lover, and the 'boy' simply lacks a beard." But reliable sources also state or indicate younger than 16 or 15, which is why some of them state "pubescent" and you stated above: "The fact is that the Greeks and Romans found it natural for pubescents to be sexual and thus unsurprising that adults would find them sexually attractive." Age 16 is often post-pubescent, at least these days. The puer delicatus aspect you mentioned is closer to pedophilia, however, since it was more likely to involve a prepubescent than pederasty was; I appreciate you pointing that term out. And, yes, I understand how it's difficult to see "the Greco-Roman world as a gay paradise"; the sexual relationships during that time appear to have been more about power than anything else, whether with a male or a female.
I also appreciate your take on this topic, Mark Miller. Flyer22 (talk) 07:09, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
If I could clarify my point about pubescence or "coming of age": today we make distinctions between puberty and sexual maturity that I don't think they did in antiquity. We acknowledge that with puberty a person transitions to an adult body that is physiologically prepared for sex, but we don't think that automatically confers the psychological maturity that makes sex appropriate. Even more complexly, if two minors today have a sexual relationship (say, two 15-year-olds), we might find that imprudent or unwise, but natural and understandable. But most people I know find sex between a 15-year-old and a 35-year-old to be repugnant and unnatural, as well as criminal. In antiquity, it seems simpler: once a person went through puberty, he or she was considered mature enough to have sex, and it wasn't much of an issue if the sexual partner was ten years older or more. They don't seem to have found it inappropriate for a 30-year-old man to marry a 15-year-old girl, so why would they think it wrong for him to have sex with a 15-year-old boy? As long as he was the sort of boy it was OK to have sex with (depending on whether you were in Plato's Greece or Catullus's Rome). Whether the relations were heterosexual or homosexual (in our terms), people who had entered puberty were considered old enough to have sex. It's just that girls from respectable families weren't free to have sex outside marriage. So whatever Greek paiderasteia was really about, the propriety of having sexual relations with a 15-year-old male should be compared to the customary age of marriage for females. I think it's important not to treat age difference as if it were particular to same-sex relations; age difference was common in ancient sexual relations generally—or at least far more common than it is today among couples in most Western cultures. Cynwolfe (talk) 08:30, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Well said. I think a lot of people are familiar with the "puberty means you are sexually mature" or "puberty means you are an adult" line of thinking (as also reflected in shows such as Game of Thrones) that took place not just in the Ancient Greek or Ancient Rome world, but in historical times far past that, especially regarding females (the whole "You're a woman now" line of thinking once a girl hits menarche). It's still a line of thinking employed in some parts of the world, as seen with age of consent and age of majority topics. Flyer22 (talk) 09:27, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
You guys are some of the most thoughtful and scholarly that I have encountered here... (Mark, you and I have had discourse in past.) I am putting out a general call to folks to have a look at the very poorly referenced Human Sexuality article. I was asked a while back, there, to followup an IP editor's concern over poor referencing, and (while his/her irascibility was an issue) I found in favour of his conclusion that the citations were in a dismal state. No real details here, the talk and the article tags say all necessary. (Citations repeatedly ref. books without page numbers, college textbooks used preeminently over scholarly sources, dead and URL-only sources abounding, etc.) Any time spent there on any subset of the issues might be of help to move that article in the direction of general quality. Cheers. Le Prof (talk) 20:55, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Invite to have a look at article[edit]

See recent comment at Pluto, as time permits. Le Prof (talk) 20:46, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Eclogue 4[edit]

Thanks for the comments and constructive criticism on the Eclogue 4 page (I'll be the first to admit the article is far from "done"). Do you have any good recommendations for sources to beef up the article in regards to the symbolism inherent, as well as the poem's reception? I'd love to make the article as decent as I can, and I realize that my interests can cloud some aspects of article-making.--Gen. Quon (Talk) 22:06, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for taking those comments well. Latin sources in this period show some interest in Judaism, but their idiosyncrasies make me wary of what "influence" means. As is Roman habit, they tend to assimilate whatever they learn of Judaism to Greco-Roman theology. That said, it should be made clear that Vergil's cultural context offers greater illumination for the reader who wants to understand the poem itself, whatever the interest of interpretatio christiana that became a later obsession. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Historicity of Jesus[edit]

So, tell me, Cynwolfe -- What part of my behavior has been "problematic"? How have I "obstructed" the article? I suspect that you've misinterpreted my motives. Fearofreprisal (talk) 19:32, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject Women writers Invitation[edit]


Hello Cynwolfe! We are looking for editors to join WikiProject Women writers, an outreach effort which aims at improving articles about women writers on Wikipedia. We thought you might be interested, and hope that you will join us. Thank you!

--Rosiestep (talk) 15:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, I am interested. I'm quite busy at present with an outside project, but this would actually dovetail nicely with it. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:37, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Some falafel for you![edit]

Falafel award.png Had a read of Languages of the Roman Empire. Interesting, readable and educational -- thanks for your contributions to Wiki! Tom (LT) (talk) 21:29, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Why, thank you very much. I'm extremely busy with an outside project, but I make a few edits from time to time, and have some articles I'd still like to contribute, so I'll enjoy the falafel as encouragement. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:07, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Joining Roman cuisines[edit]

I'm giving you a heads up about merging the content of Ancient Roman cuisine and food and dining in the Roman Empire under the former article title. While the article you created is better, they actually cover the same topic, which isn't an ideal situation.

The standard format for all food culture articles is "XXX cuisine" and is intended to cover both foodstuffs and foodways. This has been the practice for several years now and there are both FAs and GAs that reflect this.

I've set up a working space at user:Peter Isotalo/Rome if you're interested in joining the tinkering.

Peter Isotalo 19:51, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Reply from this.
Glad to hear you don't mind the merger. From my experience of food history literature, "cuisine" includes just about all issues that have to do with eating or drinking. I don't see that your contributions are overly focused on dining, though. At least not in a way that would require forking to, say, dining in Ancient Rome.
As for historical change, I will keep your comments mind and try to be careful not to confuse the two. I'm suspecting that when it comes to dining, the Republican and Imperial periods were fairly similar.
I'll drop you a note when I do the merger in actual article space.
Peter Isotalo 23:40, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Hi, Peter Isotalo. If you're suspecting that the early Republic and high Empire would have the same dining customs, then you're missing the point of what I said about historical perspective. Both customs and the menu were affected by the expansion of trade during the so-called Pax Romana, and the simplicity of dining in the early and middle Republic was part of greater egalitarianism then. The conspicuous consumption that Petronius skewers in the Trimalchio's dinner episode of the Satyricon was not to be found in the household of Cato the Elder—or even of the wealthy Marcus Crassus, according to Plutarch. The grain dole itself evolves from grain that one had to have ground and baked (late Republic) to state bread factories (by the time of Aurelian, as I recall). The article on food in the Empire was spun off from the main Roman Empire article, so its purpose was to show how food reflected the specific culture that arose from the network of trade, and also how Roman society compensated for the loss of Republican political power through displays of wealth and status, including food. Amenities like taverns and restaurants were recognitions that people might travel or be transient, and that working people in the city might be specialized in their daily labors and lack facilities or time to cook at home. These are social changes and don't reflect daily life in the Republic, or certainly not before the Second Punic War. That's why when I spun off the section from Roman Empire, I found it too daunting and time-consuming a task to create a single article. It would've required weeks of research to get the material together to cover the expanded time scheme: a thousand years of food history. The article on the Empire isn't that great in the first place, since it's basically a dressed-up section from another article. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:04, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how Ancient Roman cuisine will get worse from moving higher quality content there. If the info on the late Republic and the Imperial period is better, then so be it. It doesn't have to be perfect, but content forking should always be avoided. The main topic is still the cuisine of the Roman civilization.
Peter Isotalo 22:24, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Heads up; could use some support[edit]

Hi, Cynwolfe. I foresee a very bad time ahead with an article I've poured my heart and soul into, Roman naming conventions, which DeCausa seems to have decided to revert because he thinks the material I wrote is all 19th Century mumbo jumbo. I spent about 10 days on this article back in June, only to have the article reverted en masse today. I undid the reversion, only to be re-reverted. Obviously this is going to get ugly if nobody else has a look. I didn't finish the end of the article back in June because there was some stuff at the end I didn't feel comfortable about replacing or removing without further consideration, and then I got busy with other matters IRL. But I think I wrote a very clear and comprehensive article, with lots of explanations, examples, notes, and some nice illustrations.

So I'm more than a little miffed to have one guy just delete it all because of all the amazing, world-changing scholarship about onomastics that's proven how ignorant everybody up to 1970 was... frankly I don't see exactly what the revelations I'm supposedly missing are about. But in any case, the way this has gone down is maddening. No discussion, just wholesale deletion. And I would be grateful for an opinion. P Aculeius (talk) 05:10, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Merry Christmas![edit]

Happy Holidays[edit]

074 Frontal d'altar de Mosoll, els Reis d'Orient.jpg Happy Holidays
Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season, from the horse and bishop person. May the year ahead be productive and troll-free. - Ealdgyth - Talk 15:00, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Happy New Year[edit]

Happy New Year to all my Wikipedia friends. I haven't been around much for over a year now (doing other things), but I think of many of you often and fondly and treasure my Wikipedia experiences. And I much appreciate the season's greetings above from two of my favorite women in the community! Cynwolfe (talk) 01:13, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Who Murdered Chaucer?[edit]

Ambox warning yellow.svg

The article Who Murdered Chaucer? has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

After nine years, this subject offers no credential of notability. The author is not a reputable Chaucerian analyst. The article remains as little more than an advertisement for the book, while providing no encyclopedic information about it. Since the title is listed in an article on the author, there seems little point in keeping the present article.

While all constructive contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{proposed deletion/dated}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{proposed deletion/dated}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. In particular, the speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Bjenks (talk) 04:59, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Deity vs. mythology[edit]

The RfC where I mentioned you kind of descended into chaos and then petered out. It hasn't officially closed yet, though, so if you want to comment, the bottom of Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Religion#Extension_to_RfC is probably the best place. To sum up what happened: GregKaye started an RfC trying to move all, or nearly all, articles with the disambiguator (mythology) to something else. I, along with several other editors, initially agreed with him, and he started moving articles en masse. Then people who hadn't seen the initial RfC pointed out articles, like those concerning Titans, where (deity) or (god)/(goddess) weren't really the right word. (They also complained that the RfC wasn't set up properly, but I don't know what the right way to set it up would have been.) Now I can't tell what decision, if any, will come out of the RfC. I hope it will at least establish that (mythology) is not the best disambiguating term for every ancient religion article, and that each article can be evaluated individually. That way, requests to move Jupiter or Set to a better title might actually succeed.

By the way, I am still working on Isis, though the way the work keeps expanding, I don't even bother predicting when I might finish anymore. I'd appreciate any comments you have once I do upload the rewritten version, so I'll leave a message here when it happens. I hope you'll keep an eye out, at least for another couple of years. A. Parrot (talk) 22:10, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Roman aristocracy[edit]

Hello, I finally got around to redirecting the Roman aristocracy page. Watch this space.--Urg writer (talk) 22:34, 14 April 2015 (UTC)