Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Classical Greece and Rome

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Eclogue 4[edit]

I just wrote an article for Virgil's Eclogue 4. Feel free to look over it, make corrections, and ping me if you need any of the texts I cited if you want to verify/check what I wrote. Thanks!--Gen. Quon (Talk) 21:14, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Impressive article! Just a suggestion, perhaps consider including a small, select passage of the original text in a quotebox (similar to that used here) to give the reader a flavor?—Brigade Piron (talk) 21:19, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Ah! Good idea. I will try to work with that.--Gen. Quon (Talk) 21:55, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

King of Rome[edit]

Should these kings be called legendary kings? An editor changed the section heading to remove 'Legendary', but their articles all refer to them as legendary. Dougweller (talk) 20:57, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, I would say first that Roman Kingdom and King of Rome aren't properly distinguished as topics. Right now, each of the Roman kings has a substantial section in Roman Kingdom; that's redundant with King of Rome. I don't think it's important to use the word "legendary" in that section head for Roman Kingdom, but it's crucial to have introductory material in that section that explains the issues of historicity. This explanatory material is absent from the section. Then cut everything after the table (the sections on individual kings) or merge it into King of Rome. Roman Kingdom is a periodization article, complementing Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It should deal more thoroughly with the archaeology and modern views, and with how Romans described this period of their history and thought of it. I've often fudged by using "semi-legendary" for Numa and Servius Tullius, though. At the moment I don't know why. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:28, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Changed my bad section heading. I agree with all of this right now. Roman Kingdom should be similar in content to the articles on the Republic and the Empire, and we need to add some new material to King of Rome. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 21:09, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I should clarify that I'm not objecting to calling them "legendary" even in the header; just saying it may be cumbersome or unnecessary, if there's an explanation of the problematic relationship of myth, legend, and history in the Roman sources on this period. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:31, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Diana Veteranorum[edit]

I'd a appreciate some third opinions on edit dispute there. A somewhat new editor, User:Cresthaven (with wikipedia for a few months), is repeatedly adding material to the article which imho is inappropriate. He added a big quote which imho is inappropriate or at least "unusual" in that form. It is material (a detailed description of the ruins) that you would usually use as a source and incorporate it in the article in your own words, but he quotes the whole description verbatim in the middle of the article with parts being partially redundant to the rest of the article. Another problem is that he keeps adding questionable sources, instead of recent up-to-date scholarly literature (ideally in archeology/history/antiquity) he insist on using material from 19th century travel guide. I tried to engage him on the talk page and to explain the problems but it seems like I failed.

So in order to avoid an edit war and this turning into a personal issue, I'd appreciate some thord opinions/fresh perspective on the article's talk page.--Kmhkmh (talk) 15:34, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Sincerely I don't want any edit war with user KMHkmh. As I wrote, I understand him because he is a mathematician. But in archeology and ancient history we cannot maintain the same "math mentality"....As an Italian archeologist wrote, archeology is like a math equation where we don't have most data, but we have to make the equation (meaning we have to "surmise" it). So, when I am researching the ancient roman colonies in Maghreb or in Algeria, I cannot find information at all in most cases (mainly with small cities)...and I have to use old information (even a century or more old). If not, what I am going to write? Furthermore, the XIX books are very well written and contain archeological information that has been destroyed by the wars between French colonists and Algerian moslems in the last 2 centuries. No data are available since 1970 on many small roman localities! I invite KMHkmh to write with me the next article I plan to do on Oppidum Novum: he will see how difficult it is to find information on google, yahoo or on recent books.....Only on old French colonial books he will find something. And about the quotations: there are many similar on many Wikipedias (but for me this is secundary, and I personally don't care about) Sincerely, --Cresthaven (talk) 21:00, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I'll quote part of the debate, posted by KMHkmh:
Thanks for adding the exact info. However after taking a closer look now, I'm going to remove that again but for other reasons. Simply because it is not suited for quote. First of all the author of the quote is not Stillwell or any of the other editors of the Princeton Encylopedia but M. LEGLAY . More importantly the content as such is not particularly suited for a quote as it is simply description of the site. The information should simply integrated into the normal article, which already contains a part of the information anyhow.--Kmhkmh (talk) 06:20, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Also please do not add rather outdated literature under bibliography or references. The general idea is that books or journal articles listed there represents the most recent authoritative publication on the subject. By a rule of thumb that pretty much excludes any publications from the 19th century. Even quoting Mommsen here is imho rather borderline. He is a famous historian but his pupblications and his knowledge of Diana Veteranorum lack over a 100 years of new archeological findings and historical knowledge established in that period.--Kmhkmh (talk) 06:47, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I can agree fully with integrating the contents of the text into the article. That would be much more useful than a long quotation that duplicates the scope of the article. However, I'd like some clarification as to why the Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites doesn't qualify as a scholarly source. Is it that the encyclopedia's description is based on the observations of a 19th century traveler? Apparently it was relevant and accurate enough to merit inclusion in the encyclopedia when it was published in 1976. Since when are Wikipedia articles held to a higher standard than those in other encyclopedias? And who should be making that judgment?
Unless there's some specific, explainable reason to believe that the information is inaccurate (and not merely outdated due to changes in names and language since it was written), it has every reason to be included, irrespective of when M. Leglay visited and described the site. A historical description is just as relevant as a modern one. If conditions at a site from antiquity haven't changed, there's no reason to exclude it; if they have changed within the last century, then that fact also makes the previous description relevant.
I must take issue with the request that editors not add "rather outdated literature under bibliography or references." First, I disagree strongly with the definition of "rather outdated," which in your own words "pretty much [in]cludes any publications from the 19th century. Even quoting Mommsen here is imho rather borderline." I think that you'll find that 19th and even 18th century classical scholarship forms the basis for much of modern classical research as well. If you can find detailed recent descriptions of ancient history that don't quote or cite previous scholarship, that would be a wonder in itself.
In some respects there was much more detailed scholarship carried out in the 19th century than there is now. Without that scholarship there'd be no Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft, no Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, and no Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. The depth of treatment of various subjects in works such as these is unequalled by most contemporary sources. Sure, you'll find lots of books on Caesar, but if you want an in-depth biography on Publius Clodius Pulcher, you can go to the Oxford Classical Dictionary and find a 3-paragraph summary, or the DGRBM and get nearly 7 full columns detailing his life, political career, and relations with other important historical figures such as Cicero or Titus Annius Milo, all of it chock full of citations to the original material. And while then as now, opinions of Clodius might differ from one author to the next, the basic facts haven't changed since that article was written, nor would we expect them to.
I don't want to belabor the point. Merely to say that vast quantities of 18th and 19th century classical scholarship is relevant and reliable for use in Wikipedia. I'm not saying that perspectives on the significance of events hasn't changed, or that new discoveries haven't been made. But there needs to be a reason to limit or exclude relevant information other than that it was written in the 19th century. Excluding Mommsen for no other reason than age would be the epitome of hubris. P Aculeius (talk) 23:28, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
There is a misunderstanding here. There were 2 things in the edit conflict I disagreed with:
a) the quote as such in this form in the article (whereas the source of the quote is fine)
b) the use of outdated or non scholarly sources which refers to primarily to Verseker (non scholarly, outdated) and possibly Mommsen (outdated).
I don't disagree about the importance of the research in the 19th century and that it forms the base for the current research. I do however argue that those works from the 19th century in most cases have no place in the reference or bibliography section of a Wikipedia article, which are supposed to contain relatively recent, up-to-date authoritative literature on the subject. The Wikipedia article should be primarily based on such literature and not literature from the 19th century. The eminent figures from the 19th century belong into the historiography or history of reception sections but are not supposed to be the principle sources for the article. Of course do scholarly articles refer to many other older scholarly articles, however they also do reassess and correct them. Consequently a Wikipedia article should only be based on the most recent literature at the end of those "reference trees/threads". Imagine for instance somebody would base the Wikipedia article on the Shang dynasty in China primarily on 19th century sources (in particular since they might be easily available online). However the historicity was only established by 1930 roughly, when its ancient capital was discovered and archeologically researched. This is in particular important since many WP authors not exactly established scholars in the subjects they write about. The same holds even more for our readers. But only a well versed scholar in the subject can decide or recognize which information from fairly old sources is still correct (and would be save to use in WP) and which is not. So to assure the correctness and quality of our content, we usually need to insist on using recent authoritative scholarly sources rather than (possibly outdated) ones from the 19th century. There might be the occasional exception from that rule if expert editor (deemed trustworthy) knows exactly what he is doing, but it should be clear that this is the exception and not the rule.--Kmhkmh (talk) 00:16, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

I think KMHkmh is creating a mess about a problem that is totally without importance for our Wikipedia. Verseker or Leglay are reliable sources IMHO. Who cares if they are too old? We care about serious sources, nothing else. I totally agree with Aculeius. One suggestion: KMHkmh should add to the article what wrote Leon Renier on JSTOR, instead of complaining about (IMHO) irrelevant problems.BTW why to define Mommsen "borderline questionable as well"? IMHO what wrote Cresthaven about Diana Veteranorum is OK. It is true his comment that "archeological information...has been destroyed by the wars between French colonists and Algerian moslems in the last 2 centuries. No data are available since 1970 on many small roman localities". Indeed many ruins from Roman centuries have disappeared in the last decades, even because Algerian Arabs want to erase the past before their arrival in the Maghreb. Since 1963 the Algerians systematically "forget" the archeological research that was done during the "Algerie Francaise"! And all this means that we have to use authors of the last century, if we want to write an article about Diana Veteranorum or about another little roman colonia in Numidia (like Oppidum Novum). IMHO the article should remain as it is, or with the addition of Renier-JSTOR excerpts.--48Utilisateur (talk) 03:15, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Again there is no issue Leglay as a source nor is there any issue with the fact that on many smaller roman settlements in Algeria after 1970. However this does not mean that we simply can use any source before 1970 no matter how old not matter whether it is scholarly or not, we should always use the most recent and authoritative scholarly sources on a subject which are available (as in exists). If there is nothing new after 1970 or even 1900 then obviously we resort earlier ones (essentially the last published), but the if here is crucial. Given the literature that does exist in the case of Diana Veteranorum listing Verseker under bibliography (the section supposed to contain the most authoritative literature on the subject) is in my eyes actually a bit of bad joke. At best you can argue to use Verseker in footnote to source the term respublicae Dianensium temporarily to be replaced by a more appropriate source later on.--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:34, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
As I don't know anything about the historiography of Shang Dynasty China, I can only accept the premise that good scholarship on the subject didn't exist in the 19th century, at least as compared with recent sources. But that's certainly not the case with most subjects from classical antiquity. It's not necessary to be an expert in a field in order to quote or cite to scholarly research or secondary sources, even if they are a hundred years old. If more recent sources clearly show that the older reference materials are somehow inaccurate, then by all means those sources should be preferred. But in the absence of new and clearly differentiated sources, there's absolutely no reason to disregard or exclude scholarly works from the 19th century, or to treat them with suspicion.
To the extent that historians such as Mommsen analyzed data and formed hypotheses that might readily be outmoded as society's views change over time, of course those analyses are subject to review and re-interpretation. But to the extent that they report facts that are not clearly contradicted by any later or more knowledgeable source, those reports can and should be included as relevant and probative. Excluding them merely because their reports were written in the 19th century, and calling them "outdated" is simply absurd. Individual editors are not entitled to create their own policies for the inclusion or exclusion of relevant material based on nothing more than the age of the source.
While you may have meant to refer to Verseker's account, in the quoted comment above, you specifically took issue with the description of M. Leglay included in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, on the grounds that M. Leglay was not one of the editors of the encyclopedia. That was and is not a valid basis to remove his description. Evidently the editors of the encyclopedia thought the description was not only notable but useful enough to quote instead of merely paraphrasing it. While it might fit better into a larger article as a series of individual facts paraphrased in the appropriate paragraphs, nothing about the quotation makes it unreliable, nothing else included in the article suggests that it's outdated, and the fact that M. Leglay wasn't himself one of the editors of the encyclopedia quoting his account is totally irrelevant.
As for Mr. Verseker, here is the totality of what he says about the place: "[t]he ancient municipium Dianæ Veteranorum, or Respublica Dianensium, stood on the site of the present Zana, twenty-five miles to the north-east of Batna..." Here there is nothing he can possibly have said that would be rendered inappropriate by the passage of time. It is a simple factual description of the location of the place. There's nothing wrong with mentioning him as a source insofar as he states a relevant fact. Travel guides are not inherently unreliable when describing the location of one site relative to another, any more than a road map would be today. If the information would be better given as a note than as part of the bibliography, then by all means change it to a note. But don't simply rail against it because it's old or because it's not written as part of somebody's doctoral dissertation... P Aculeius (talk) 03:33, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Misreading what I said is not helping issue. I originally removed the quote for 2 reason:
1.) I consider such quotes as somewhat inappropriate for the reasons you outlined yourself above.
2.) I considered it unsourced at the time, as it had no footnote and the person it was attributed to didn't match the sources under references (at that point i was not aware that stillwell was supposed to the same source as Leglay.
I did not remove it because I consider Leglay or the Princeton enclypopedia as outdated or otherwise unsuited sources. As I repeatedly stated they are fine as sources and in fact got added to the article by myself years ago.
The issue of unsuited sources (being outdated or non scholary) has nothing to do with the quote but refers to to the use of Vereker as a source (and maybe Mommsen). Now concering this I'd like to ask you a a few questions.
What in Mommsen description do you consider as (eternal?) "reported facts"? How do you recognize what in Mommsen work is outdated or actually false and what is still correct other than by reading more recent authoritative literature on the subject?
To intentionally exaggerate this a bit to get the point across. If you can safely tell where Mommsen is correct or not because have read the recent literature on the subject, then you have at least no need to reference Mommsen (alone) but you can reference the recent literature (at least in addition to Mommsen). And I cannot fathom a good reason why you would discard the recent literature in favour of Mommsen in such a case. More importantly however if you use Mommsen without having read the more recent literature you are kind of flying blind, that is you have no clue whether the content you use is still accurate or not. Yes you can can make educated guess to parts where a chance in knowledge is highly unlikely and so he is presumably save to use. But why on earth should we base Wikipedia articles on such a guesswork? And no avoid a misunderstanding here, this has nothing to do with Mommsen status as a scholar or the quality of his work but it has to do with his work being based on knowledge base that lacks for instance over 100 years of new archeological knowledge. This was btw exactly the example with the Shang Dynasty, the issue here was that scholarly work on ancient China was particularly shoddy in the 19th century (at least I'm not aware of that), but that new archeological information can change our knowledge and perception completely. I picked this case as a rather drastic example. With regard to antiquity and the Romans there are similar cases, though albeit a less dramatic. You can look at the archeological digs in Kalkriese (1968) with regard to the clades variana, the Waldgirmes Forum (1993) or Battle at the Harzhorn (2000).--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:34, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but you're just going around and around in circles trying to prove something without any evidence. If you have something well-sourced and authoritative that contradicts or disproves the descriptions or assumptions made in older scholarly literature, then of course that evidence should form the chief basis of the article. But if you don't have anything like that, then you can and should accept the authority of the older literature without dismissing it as outdated. You describe the use of 19th century classical scholarship such as Mommsen as "guesswork" and "flying blind," yet the course of action that you want Wikipedians to adopt is to dismiss such sources without any reason other than age, irrespective of whether there's any more recent or contradictory evidence. Precisely how is that not "guesswork" and "flying blind?"
The quality of 19th century scholarship on ancient China is not at issue here. No matter what the state of that research, 19th century classical scholarship was of a very high calibre. The chief differences between the literature of that time and our own have to do with the interpretation of social relationships, not the brick-and-mortar facts of who went where and built what. The fact that something was written in the 19th century does not make it inaccurate, misleading, or irrelevant, and those are the criteria by which sources must be evaluated. If the only reason you have to suspect the appropriateness of a source is its age, and you haven't found anything of comparable authority and detail to contradict it, then there is no reason to discard it. P Aculeius (talk) 13:48, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't want to exclude old sources just because of their age, but i want WP articles to based on most recent authoritative sources (which imho is actually a nobrainer and really fail to see what's their even to argue about). Now if for some reason a source from the 19th century fills that description then of course that is the one to use. However that is clearly not the case for Mommsen. In other words I do not want to Wikipedian to use old sources when more recent sources exist, as such behaviour aside from making little in general, increases the likelihood of outdated or false information to creep into WP. and again you're "brick and mortar" simply ignoring 120 years of archeological research and I gave you already 4 well known examples where that attitude clearly fails.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:34, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

(Recruited from RS noticeboard.) Here's the question: Is this article based primarily on old sources? Of the nine sources listed in Diana Veteranorum, three are explicitly twenty-first-century, three give no year, and two are either 1800s or 1800s reprints (counting the 1976 encyclopedia).

Each source should be evaluated on its own merits. If new and old sources agree, then make two tags and cite both. Being old is not by itself indicative that a source is not reliable. The way I see it, there is exactly one case in which a newer source is clearly preferable to an older source: A later edition of the same book that either covers the same material. Even that doesn't make older versions unusable, just second-best.

Also—and I wrote this in my post on the RS board before reading this thread—some older sources have information not covered in newer sources, and that seems to be the case here.

I agree with P Aculeius about drawing a distinction between facts reported by old sources and analyses and conclusions drawn in old sources.

And Cresthaven? Best not to speculate on Kmhkmh's thought process unless Kmhkmh posts about it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 20:54, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

A quick reply here to clarify a few things. Right now we have two different disputes one with regard to the article and one with regard to the proper use of sources In Wikipedia in general (mainly betwen P Aculeius and me).
As far as the article is concerned it is of course not primarily based on older sources, as this is something I specifically avoided when writing it. However some of the later additions were based on older sources, that is Mommsen (seminal book/eminent scholar from the 19th century) and Vereker (19th century travel guide). The content they source is harmless enough so there is no real dispute over that. However the content most certainly can be sourced with more recent sources and definitely more scholarly ones than a travel guide. My main objection right now is having the Vereker listed in the bibliography section (a 19th century travel guide as principal literature on an archeological site? I mean please ...). As far Mommsen is concerned, personally I wouldn't use him as there should be much more recent literature on Roman provinces in Africa. Personal preferences aside it is probably ok to use him in footnote on uncontroversial content. However the current footnote cites Mommsen's book without page number and just gives a section title. I digitally searched that book for "zana", "dian", "diana" and "dianensium" and it came up empty ([1]). This seems to suggest that Mommsen has at least nothing writing specifically about Diana Veteranorum, but probably just a general line about veteran colonies in Northern Africa or the Maghreb.--Kmhkmh (talk) 21:53, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Let me see if I've got this: Issue #1: You just believe newer sources are better. Okay, valid opinion. If you have a newer source ready to go, make another tag and support the content with both the new and old sources. That's what I'd do.
Issue #2... In addition to other problems that you have with this content, you don't believe that the older source does support the article text because you've gone through the indicated section and you just don't see it. Well okay, that I can definitely get behind as a real problem. WP:V says that content that has been challenged (even for reasons that other people don't take seriously) be reinforced by a ref tag that "directly" supports it. @Cresthaven:, you're the one who added this, right? Tell us the page number and edition of the book you used. Then Kmhkmh or anyone else who wants to can check the next time they hit the archives. If you really want to go above and beyond, Crest, you can type out or copypaste the text that you believe supports the content here for everyone to see. The rules don't require you to do this. It's a request.
However, if it is not immediately possible for someone other than Crest to look at the book, leave the content in in the meantime. AGF requires that we take Crest at his or her word until we have a reason not to. Darkfrog24 (talk) 00:31, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
EDIT: Look. Cresthaven cites a page number, 225, in this edit summary. Does it help? If not, could you guys be looking at different editions? Crest, this wasn't a typo for 255 or anything, was it? Darkfrog24 (talk) 00:38, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
p. 225 is the page number for Vereker not Mommsen.--Kmhkmh (talk) 04:59, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm going to boldly remove the reference, but not for reasons of age. If this site has only been called "Respublica Dianensium" in one source from any time period, if the mention is unique, then there is no reason to have it in an article on clear WP:UNDUE grounds. The age has little to do with it. If a respected and well-cited source says something once, it could be arguably important to an article; if Charles Smyth Vereker says something once and we can't find anyone else in the world who agrees with his passing mention, then it's undue material. If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia regardless of whether it is true or not and regardless of whether you can prove it or not, except perhaps in some ancillary article. In his text, he doesn't even say anybody other than him has ever used the term, so the material in the article is a bad paraphrase as well.__ E L A Q U E A T E 13:37, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

I was suspicious about "Respublica Dianensium" too as wasn't aware of this spelling and its use (plus the fact that I regard Vereker as an inappropriate source). However after researching the term a bit I found it in appropriate scholarly publications as well, so I will re-add the information later with an appropriate source (among other it is found as "res publica Dianensium" in Horster, p.423 footnote at the bottom).--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:35, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
It is astonishing to see that KMHkmh keeps "fighting" against the opinion of 4 or 5 wikipedians and keeps not accepting the point of view of the clear majority. He is alone with his POV and now he even goes to another wiki site (Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard) to create more mess. IMHO this is the kind of stuff/problems that pushes wikipedians out of Wikipedia! No wonder if Cresthaven goes away from all these discussions, about a problem that is totally without importance for our Wikipedia (I would understand him!). Allow me to repeat for the last time that We care about serious sources, nothing else. Regards--48Utilisateur (talk) 13:46, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
It is not about majorities but doing the right thing and an old travel guide is anything but a "serious source" for an archeological site. You may not care that much for proper and accurate sourcing, I however do, in particular for articles that I've written myself and/or maintaining. A "mess" usually comes from low quality standards, which btw is pushing authors out as well. As far as "yet" another site is concerned, I raised the question at exactly 2 project pages which deal which such issues from slightly different perspectives, here because it falls in the domain of this and and at WP:IRS because it the central place for dealing with sourcing issues and assessing sources.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:35, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Going to a noticeboard is not a problem. The "Charles Smyth Vereker" source doesn't look like a particularly serious source, and that has nothing to with its age. I think people have been lead into a grand debate about whether older sources are valid (I agree they can be), but that has nothing to do with whether this source is anything other than a unique interpretation in a book that doesn't seem to be cited somewhere. Am I incorrect in characterising it that way? Is Charles Smyth Vereker considered authoritative in some way by modern-day scholars? We aren't supposed to repeat anything we find in a book ever, just because we found something in a book.__ E L A Q U E A T E 14:17, 25 August 2014 (UTC)


Looking for mention of the colonization of the town in Mommsen, I don't see it named anywhere in the chapter on the African Provinces, which is where it's cited to. There's considerable discussion of the organization of the region in different periods of Roman history, and a few mentions of garrisons and veterans, but I didn't see anything that clearly identified this town or implied that it was part of the colonization effort. The closest thing I found was one or two mentions of a series of garrisons along the mountains near Lambaesis and Cirta. In order to cite to Mommsen, it would be necessary to either A) identify exactly which passages imply that Diana Veteranorum was part of the settlement, or was settled at a particular period or by particular people; or B) explain that the region around Diana Veteranorum was settled in this time and manner, instead of stating that Mommsen describes the circumstances of the town's settlement. P Aculeius (talk) 14:10, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Regarding our dispute about sources E L A Q U E A T E posted a comment on [WP:IRS]] which we both probably can agree to and which imho resolves most of the dispute:
A source requires a modern-day and current reputation for accuracy, but the source itself can be from any time. If a source has a good contemporary reputation for accuracy it can probably still be used. As far as scholarly publications, a currently-well-respected article from twenty-years ago is usually more reliable a source than a paper that came out a year ago that no one subsequently cited. So "newest" doesn't necessarily indicate "reliability", although extremely old sources are much less likely to enjoy currency of respect. Sometimes they do, though.
In my postings above I used (rather) old age as very crude proxy (by likelihood) for modern-day and current reputation for accuracy. I have no objections whatsoever against a source from the 19th century (or of any age) which in recent, modern day reviews is still considered accurate. As far as Mommsen's roman history is concerned, after digging a bit around and taking a looktat it again, I tentatively agree that age as a proxy failed me here and still seem still to be considered accurate in more recent assessments/reviews.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:52, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
On the name, Respublica Dianensium, in addition to Vereker, I find an extensive description in Travels in the Footsteps of Bruce in Algeria and Tunis, by fr:Robert_Lambert_Playfair, who cites it to fr:Léon_Renier; the form also occurs in fr:Charles-Joseph Tissot's Exploration scientifique de la Tunisie; in an extensive discussion of names of the town in Recueil des Notices et Mémoires de la Province de Constantine, which states that this form occurs in a number of inscriptions. Several other sources appeared when I simply googled the name. It seems that much of the research on the town is in French-language sources, which isn't entirely surprising since there seems to have been a considerable effort to survey classical sites in North Africa during the French colonial period. But at any rate, if we have a source that explicitly identifies the name as one occurring in numerous inscriptions, then it's suitably attested for this article. P Aculeius (talk) 14:33, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
"res publica Dianensium" is also in Horster (already in the article's bibliography, see my posting above).--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:53, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
The 1870s sources are that inscriptions were found with those words. It is a jump from mentioning those inscriptions to clear scholarly agreement that it represented a formal name. "Res publica" has a generic as well as formal meaning. If Kmhkmh can include a clearer example of what scholars currently think about the issue, with citations to things more clearly reliable by Wikipedia standards, then I can't see that as anything but an improvement to the article. I don't find the Vereker source convincing by itself, either for the way the material was paraphrased in our article, or the idea that it represents an accepted scholarly idea among anyone living today. The threshold for reliability is more than "appeared in a book of unknown reputation". The threshold for due weight must also be met. If editors can do that, the material should be added, and the article will be stronger for having had unreliable sources challenged.__ E L A Q U E A T E 16:19, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

WOW...here we have continuous talk around the same thing....Elaquate, you seem a master of byzantine talk! KMKkmh you write kms and kms of the same thing in order to get what you want...OK. I give up with your POVs....Good luck

The consensus was that no source should be dismissed because of age. Asking whether the source supports the material in question is not "fighting consensus," 48U. I'd support re-insertion of the material if Crest or anyone can show that it is really there, but no one should suggest that Kmh has done anything wrong. Darkfrog24 (talk) 22:30, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Battle of Marathon really outdated![edit]

Please improve this article. --Epìdosis (talk) 10:05, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

I created Template:Cite Josephus to try harmonize the many refs to his works, and make use of that nice website, PACE, in addition to Perseus. In the future I hope to minimize the number of parameters, which presently are based on the urls of each site separately. trespassers william (talk) 14:52, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Editathon in London[edit]

Greetings. Wikimedia UK and the Institute of Classics would like to invite you to an editathon focussing on female classicists. The event will take place on the 23rd of September at the institute of classics in London, and also online. We would be delighted to have people from this wikiproject come and join us. Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 15:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)