User talk:Aldrasto11

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Request for Informal Mediation[edit]

Hello, my name is Ronk01, and I have taken up your Mediation Cabal request. I would like a more detailed description of the issue (if possible) please post on my talk page. Ronk01 (talk) 23:01, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Your recent edits[edit]

Information.svg Hello. In case you didn't know, when you add content to talk pages and Wikipedia pages that have open discussion, you should sign your posts by typing four tildes ( ~~~~ ) at the end of your comment. You may also click on the signature button Button sig.png located above the edit window. This will automatically insert a signature with your username or IP address and the time you posted the comment. This information is useful because other editors will be able to tell who said what, and when. Thank you. --SineBot (talk) 04:36, 15 May 2010 (UTC)



Hello, Aldrasto11, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! strdst_grl (call me Stardust) 11:43, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Talk-page entry duplicated[edit]

Hello - Your most recent edit at the Glossary talk-page appears in duplicate, possibly even triplicate, along with another entry. I thought you'd want to know about it. Could you either fix it, or else grant someone else permission to do so? Thanks Haploidavey (talk) 17:36, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Elen has sorted it out. Haploidavey (talk) 20:38, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

di indigetes[edit]

Your opinion is sought at Talk:Di indigetes. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:55, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

interesting object[edit]

From Gabii, 1st century

Aldrasto, do you know anything about this fascinating object? Click on the photo to read the text provided with the image. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:55, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

What do you think it would've been used for? Cynwolfe (talk) 15:12, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Verba Concepta[edit]

It's no trouble. I know how frustrating it can be to lose a version somewhere in an article history. I didn't paste the entry as a collapsed version on the talk-page; it seemed reasonably short, so I left it as it was, where it was - I don't know its later editing history. So, here's what seems to me the most recent version written by yourself alone. It's dated 11:17, 3 April 2010: I've added a refs-list code to your talk-page, so the Peruzzi ref should show as usual. If you need a later version, let me know - but I strongly recommend that you become familiar with article history navigation and retrieval!

And thank you for your messages on other topics - I'm not ignoring them; I have a lot of non-wiki matters to attend at the moment. This (I'm told) is known as "real life". Of course, I don't believe that for a minute. Haploidavey (talk) 11:19, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Verba concepta[edit]

By the expression verba concepta in Roman religious practice were designated the words taken from a written source, namely a sacred book as the libri pontificum or pontificales, libri augurum or augurales, libelli Arvalium and other. The Roman religious ritual use required that the formulae to be pronounced, as an essential part of a rite in themselves, should recited with the utmost precision in order for the rite to be valid. This was the case for instance in the dedication of a templum, in the taking of auspices by magistrates and in any formally sanctioned act of cult in general.[1] According to Peruzzi to pray solemnly in Latin is concepire verba, i.e. to recite words from a written source. As in Lucrece De rerum natura VI 628: "umorem magno conceptum ex aequore" 'humidity comes from the broad waters'. As a rule during a ceremony two people assisted the officiant in the practice of praeire verba (or verbis, carmen, carminbus, precationem). Praeire or praefari alicui (de scripto) to go, say before (for) somebody (from the books) was the a task discharged by a sacerdos or a scriba mandated to read the text that shall be repeated loudly with no difformity, that which another assistant has the duty to control. Pliny Nat. Hist. XXVIII 11: "Videmus certis precationibus obsecrasse summos magistratus et, ne quod verborum praetereatur aut praeposterum dicatur, de scripto praeire aliquem rursusque alium custodem dari qui adtendat 'We see that in established prayers the highest magistrates make a supplication and inorder not to have some words omitted or pronounced in the reverse order, there is one who reads first from the document and another none again who oversees as a guardian'.

  1. ^ E. Peruzzi Aspetti culturali del Lazio primitivo Firenze, 1978, p. 172

Old information removed from glossary article - you want it?[edit]

Hi Aldrasto. Talk:Glossary of ancient Roman religion is getting kind of large. There's a lot of old content of yours on there (I think mostly the primary sources) that Cynewolf cut out of the article. Do you want me to copy it over into your userspace, or would you be happy to see it archived as part of the article talkpage. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 17:17, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Aletrium and di indigetes[edit]

Yes, it's in Richard Gordon, "Roman Inscriptions 1995–2000," Journal of Roman Studies 93 (2003), pp. 266. I'll quote in full, more or less. The names are found on a "fragmentary lex sacra from Aletrium (Alatri, north of Frosinone)". The lex "prescribes minor offerings to the di Indicites [sic] Fucinus, Summanus, Fiscellus, Tempestates, Jupiter (with an epithet?)... Of these, Fucinus at any rate is a local lake-god; Summanus is the deity of lightning-strikes by night; Fiscellus is otherwise unknown. The occurrence of di indigites is interesting, since they are rarely otherwise attested, outside Rome and Lavinium. In Augustan literary contexts, the di indigites are appealed to in lists of 'archaic' divinities of a place (Verg., Georg. 498f., Ovid, Met. 15.861-7), in close association with di patrii."

That's it, really. On p. 267: "such laws [which] were presumably attached to a rural shrine in the vicinity, tacitly allude to the ordering function of the grand laws at Rome; yet unlike them, they leave dates and festivals entirely to the imagination."

Hope that's useful. It's certainly interesting. (PS: please note that I use Gordon's orthography throughout). Regards, Haploidavey (talk) 11:04, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

My pleasure - fascinating! The following might help your investigation. In note 348, Gordon gives source as "G.L. Gregori and L.Galli, Donaria: Le offerte agli dei (1995), ii; idem, Suppl. It. n.s.i6 (1998), 45-6, no. i = AE 1998: 295. Date [of the inscription] is uncertain, possibly late Republican/early Principate. It is doubtful whether the law is, as the editors suggest, to be associated with transhumance in this area." Which is also interesting, hm? Haploidavey (talk) 13:11, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for those details and insights; very stimulating. It so helps to move from the abstract into physical context. Of course all this must have been self-evident to a local (and it's no shame to overlook the obvious!). They'd deal with these issues on a daily basis, I guess; a network of local and regional identities. And of course everything has to be somewhere, and every place must belong to some entity or other. A spiritual-topographical map, of some sort: in British English, a title-deed. Anyway, that's how I'd explain it to myself. And I guess it has to be chthonic for the most part; doesn't it? Transhumance certainly sounds right to me; the place is quite mountainous, and what were they if not pastoralists? Not sure what's to be done with it, but thank you for filling a gap in my brain. Which is still mostly gaps. Haploidavey (talk) 13:13, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
You've expressed that difficult material very clearly and I hope you add it to the article in similar fashion; if I understood it, so would any reader, more or less. It really doesn't matter that Gordon doubts the element of transhumance; Gregori and Galli propose it. Both are valid scholarly interpretations, both can be used. My feeling here is that words can and should be used to draw pictures for readers. Illuminated narratives make sense, and the most readable scholarship tells stories. So do the best articles - I really hope you go for that, 'cos that's what you just did on my talk-page, and it works. Haploidavey (talk) 15:40, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
One way to deal with this would be to quote Gordon verbatim, on Gregori and Galli; unfortunately, we can't do more than that - we can't extrapolate. But G & G might be quoted elsewhere on the topic. I'll take a look in Jstor. Haploidavey (talk) 22:43, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
The relevant text is a few pages in from this, in L'Annee Epigraphique. Frustrating, because I've full access to most journals in the database: but not this one, for some reason. Haploidavey (talk) 20:33, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the help. I think our view is supported by the formula of the devotio which contrasts novensiles with indigetes. And while it looks the indigetes are local deities or local hypostases of other great gods it is on the other hand certain the novensiles are the highest heavenly council. Varro says somewhere that 9 is most powerful number and always associated with Heaven. This BTW is true in many cultures, e.g. in Asia and elsewhere. So the formula thereby is saying Heaven and Earth, the most removed, farrest and the nighest, next. But this is just speculation i.e. OR...Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:15, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Di indigetes again[edit]

Hey, Aldrasto, I know we have trouble communicating sometimes, so please understand that (as always) my comment following is not about the quality of the content you contribute, but only its WIki-mechanics. I wonder whether you plan to spend some time formatting the bounty of material you recently contributed to Di indigetes. You may wish to review Wikipedia:Manual of Style and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (layout). Thanks for your always interesting contributions. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:23, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

More on the same. Thank you for keeping me up to date on your findings. I think it's time to collate the material and represent the scholarship in clear, readable and summary order. This will, I promise you, be an even greater challenge than the excellent work you've done in tracing, sourcing and citing the scholarship.
A few suggestions. Article content is informed by its scholarship, but the reiteration of scholarly argument in the main body of text does not necessarily clarify the subject matter. This is complex material, and can easily swamp the reader. You need to clarify. With this in mind, I suggest you re-arrange the material thematically; the chronology and identity of the di indigetes themselves is so damned obscure, I don't think it'd get you far. But the historiography itself is interesting because scholarly disputes on di ingites reflect the religious and political background of their own times; it's definitely worth a section, as far as I can see. Haploidavey (talk) 11:41, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestions. I think for the moment I cannot make any change, I am afraid: who knows the identity and chronolgy of the indigetes? Any new find can bring changes to our knowledge. Latte thought Iuppiter Indiges may not have been original as Pater Indiges or Sol Indiges, but the last inscription has proved he might be wrong. Every scholar I was able to read has his personal view and these are complementary, i.e. not necessarily in contradiction here. Of course Grenier and Wagenvoort are under the influence of religious dynamism or animism which is outdated but this does not mean they are completely wrong as again the last inscription described by R. Gordon proves. Latte and Anttilla too take very much this perspective.

My present line of thought is that, given the common Mediterranean primitive and esoteric background, it is possible to connect many Roman concepts with such a background: see the Great Gods of Samothrace (and Tebe and also Eleusis: the ear of corn cut in silence), the cults of the valley of the Circus (Ops Consus Salus Semonia Seia Segetia Tutilina: why were they so sacred that Tutilina 's name could not be pronounced? Cf. Pl. NH XVIII 8) and the Regia. Only touched by Dumezil and perhaps dealt more with by Fowler. Perhaps the Indigetes were not without connexion with this theme/topic since they included the Penates. And the Penates publici were also to be found in the Penus Vestae with its secret objects: the Palladium, the caducei etc. Aldrasto11 (talk) 05:15, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Your recent edits[edit]

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October 2010[edit]

Information.svg Thank you for your contributions to Wikipedia. Before saving your changes to an article, please provide an edit summary, which you forgot to do before saving your recent edit to Salii. Doing so helps everyone to understand the intention of your edit (and prevents legitimate edits from being mistaken for vandalism). It is also helpful to users reading the edit history of the page. Thank you. I dream of horses If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. @ 06:24, 2 October 2010 (UTC)


This is to inform you of an SPI involving accounts you may be operating. Please review Wikipedia:Sock puppetry for background on what this is. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:54, 17 October 2010 (UTC)


Aldrasto, you will find that I have created userpages for all your accounts (or at least all the accounts listed at the SPI). I have no idea why you were unable to do so - clicking on the link in your signature and typing in the box before saving should not be beyond anyone. You are welcome to remove the sockpuppet/sockmaster templates, PROVIDED you replace them with a notice that says something like "This is a legitimate alternate account of ..........." If you do this with all four accounts, the SPI can probably be closed. Other than that, I recommend you try to avoid editing while logged out. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 20:14, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Aldrasto, you can use one of your working accounts (say this one) to edit all four userpages. On the two accounts you no longer have access to put "This is a retired account of Aldrasto11" For the two live ones put "this is a legitimate alternate account of Aldrasto11" on the other one; and "Zanzan32 is a legitimate alternate account of Aldrasto11" on this one.
Make sure you register an email address in your preferences, then when you forget your password again, you can request a new one by email. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 12:18, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Sancus image[edit]

Try clicking the image, which will take you to its wiki-source, and a very long excerpt of text, offering provenance for statue and plinth as a unit - I'm not sure how reliable that is. The original source is (apparently) Rodolfo Amedeo Lanciani, Pagan and Christian Rome, (trans 1893); downloadable at Project Guttenberg. For some reason, the project doesn't seem to like my browser and I'm unable to access Guttenberg's illustrated version of the original. You might have more luck Haploidavey (talk) 12:13, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Care for quality and compliance with policy are probably the best defenses... even then, sometimes not. Remember the note at the bottom of every page: "If you do not want your writing to be edited, used, and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here..." etc. A clearly written, relevant addition to a well-structured article is fairly likely to survive for some time; really, that's the best I can offer. Haploidavey (talk) 12:52, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
In case you're wondering, I'm unlikely to be editing that article. I already have too many half-started or half-finished articles on my plate. Haploidavey (talk) 17:00, 28 October 2010 (UTC)


Peace dove2.gif

I made a change for which I wanted to seek your approval. Wikipedia has had two separate articles on the Argei called Argei (chapels) (and since saying that 'chapel' was not a modern usage for 'shrine' pertaining to ancient religion, I have seen myself proved wrong many times) and Argei (dolls). I don't see any reason to divide the subject in this way, so since Argei (chapels) was a very small stub, I turned it into a redirect to Argei (dolls). That article, however, isn't adequate, and I don't think it should be called "Argei (dolls)". Calling these objects "dolls" is surely misleading. If you have any thoughts on what the article could be renamed, or how it should be developed, I encourage you to respond at Talk: Argei (dolls). Cynwolfe (talk) 15:22, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Capitoline Triad[edit]

I wonder whether you might be interested in looking at Capitoline Triad. See my note on the talk page about what seems missing to me. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:53, 22 November 2010 (UTC)


Thanks. I became somewhat aware of the three Trebiae when I was researching Novensiles, and reported that three different locations had been advanced as possible. Speaking of the Novensiles, I would suggest that you're still weighing down your info with too much citation within the body copy; that is, there's so much naming of scholars that it gets in the way of the reader trying to make sense of the complex subject per se (an encyclopedia article shouldn't read like a bibliographical essay). So please let me know if I've messed up the new info for Novensiles in moving some of this citation-type material to footnotes, and providing more introductory context. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:58, 27 November 2010 (UTC)


I've completed the rearranging of content we discussed: the article is now titled Argei. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:37, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Oh, it's awaiting a merge of the edit history from Argei (dolls), so you might wait for an admin to perform this task and remove the tag at the top before adding any content. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:45, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
This seems all to have worked. I don't see your name in the edit history of Dii Consentes. I've not wanted to dip into that until I could focus on it properly, but some of what the article says doesn't seem consonant with other material we've been dealing with. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:22, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


Thanks for the note on Maia and the Bona Dea; Haploidavey has been working to improve the Bona Dea article. Meanwhile, I happened upon the article Summanus and noticed that the sources are insufficient. I've done some copyediting, but nothing to do with content per se. You may want to take a look. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the info. Two quick notes: My understanding of the "nocturnal sun" or "chthonic sun" is that it represents the return course of the sun in its cycle after it "sinks" in the west, which was associated with death and the underworld (in the Celtic tradition, this also explains why the sea, the great expanse of the west to them, was a liminal repository of souls — see also the odd story in Florus 1.33 and Strabo 3.3 about Iunius Brutus Callaicus in Hispania among the Celtiberians, not currently in his WP article), with the other side of the world taken as the underworld. Being offered black victims would mark Summanus as chthonic. I would guess that scholarly conjectures about the Etruscan origin of Summanus are based on Pliny's insubstantial remark. There are a couple of points in your contributions that could use some additional citation (mainly the summanalia, for which neither an ancient nor modern source was given — sounds like something that would be in the Fasti, though). Cynwolfe (talk) 14:16, 9 December 2010 (UTC)


Thanks for your note, and particularly the notes on Lympha. I was aware of these passage in Varro, but had a great deal of trouble trying to put together an article with the online secondary sources available to me. I had thought to go to the library this weekend, but allowed myself to be daunted by the snow we have here. (I also haven't included Festus, except perhaps in passing in a footnote, because again I lacked secondary sources. I have no published translation, and there's something not quite right about the one I have.) I also realized this morning that I had forgotten to go back and explain the etymological conflation better and with citations.

There were things that seemed interesting and fairly obvious to me that I couldn't find anyone discussing — as you note, in WP terms it would seem like "original" research. Horace and the elegiac poets play a great deal with lympha, using it as if a mere synonym for "water" or "spring" while endowing "her" with anthropomorphic characteristics. In Horace, water denoted as lympha is always dancing, leaping, smiling, and such, in a manner that seems quite complementary to Vitruvius's dictates for the architectural style of her aedes — and while again this seems obvious to me, I have no secondary source to make the connection.

Another interesting thing I found had to do with inscriptions: many many inscriptions that are read as "for the nymphs" in actuality are reconstructed with a missing first letter, if you see what I'm getting at. Unless a scholar has inspected the physical inscription to see the grounds for reading N instead of L, some of these could be to the Lymphae. In one of the literary works, there is a textual crux — or perhaps only an imaginary crux — where the reading of lympha or nympha is uncertain. I didn't examine this extensively, but glancing at the critical apparatus in some of the editions available online, it seemed to me that the mss. actually had lymphae, but the editors were influenced by whatever assumptions they brought to the task, and "emended" to nymphae. In light of the Tabula Agnonensis (for which I'm starting to draft an article), there must be a scholar who's done more with the Italic tradition of these water goddesses. If you find anything on the Lymphae you think would be useful, it would be a most welcome addition to the article or its talk page. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:07, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm not seeing a reference to the lymphae or nymphae in Cicero De har. resp. The reference in the speech Pro Milone specifically says aedes Nympharum in the edition used for The Latin Library online, so I'd like to see a Teubner or OCT with an apparatus to see whether anyone has entertained a reading of Lympharum. I've been trying to exercise great care in not assuming that everything to do with nymphae applies to lymphae. I can get only snippet views of the Dumézil cited: does he argue that this aedes Nympharum was in fact an Italic cult of the Lymphae? Could you give an exact quote from D. at Talk:Lympha to clarify this? I did see mention of the Volcanalia elsewhere, but the scholarship I think used "nymphs" with no reference to lymphae at all. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:56, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Maia and the Bona Dea[edit]

Thanks for the mail. I also read your very intriguing suggestions on Cynwolfe's talk-page, regarding Maia. I'm getting a copy of Brouwer's Bona Dea compendium, which promises much by way of evidence. Hopefully, it'll deliver, and I'll be able to post any relevant goodies here. Haploidavey (talk) 17:23, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Faliscan language[edit]

I know you cannot fix every problem but this article is really full of gross, ludicrous mistakes. As I wrote I read part of the book by Bakkum which is very serious and complete. It makes me laugh to read here that Faliscan dates to the III cent.! The oldest inscriptions date to the VII cent. and are so important because they are so ancient. A great number of glottologists have written on the subject: Pisani, Prosdocimi, Vetter and many other (150 years of scholarship as Bakkum titles).

I left a note on the talk page. Another reader had already noted that the article is self-contradictory: it says Faliscan used the Latin alphabet but had its own alphabet. In fact early and middle Faliscan used the Etruscan alphabet.Aldrasto11 (talk) 09:11, 10 December 2010 (UTC)


Have you ever looked at the article Janus? It's a disaster. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:09, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I see. I overlooked your presence there — had just looked over the article quickly, and not read the talk page. I wouldn't have time to help you with this for a while, but if you decide to approach it, I would recommend being fairly bold with deleting outright craziness (explaining on the talk page on the basis of secondary sources), and then highly cautious with what you add, since the article seems to lack clear and basic material at an introductory level. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:49, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Novensiles citation[edit]

I'm copying your last message here so the thread won't be fragmented:

Pisani's citation is not easy to find. It is cited in Bakkum The Latin Dialect of the Ager Faliscus as Pisani 1943:259 but the bibl. is not in the preview. Another work by Vetter on the same topic is given as 1953:352-3. I looked at the WP It. but it is not one of the few works cited. Pisani was a very prolificous author. There is a complete bibliography of his works but not online. From reading the titles on sale by bookshops I suppose it should be Testi latini arcaici e volgari published by Rosenberg & Sellier Torino, but it is just a hypothesis as the date of publication is not given by bookdealers. It cannot be that one, it was published in 1975, but it might well be an article of a periodical later published as a book. The only books I found published by Pisani in 1943 are a grammar of Sanscrit Milano and a manual of comparative Latin and Greek grammar Roma. Aldrasto11 (talk) 10:48, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Sometimes when one scholar summarizes the argument of another scholar, and the one summarizing doesn't give a complete citation, I might give a note along the lines of "Magie (1958), p. 689, as cited by Helen Brown, etc.," with a full citation of Brown.

Also, I noticed the other day that you said you weren't able to produce a character with a diaeresis. Forgive me if I'm telling you something you already know and have tried without success, but you may find this useful. When you're in edit mode, there should be a link called Special Characters at the top of the box in which you type. If you click on this, a menu of characters with diacritical marks should appear, with a scroll bar to the right. Just click on the form of the letter you want, and it appears in your text. To the left of the menu of individual letters you'll see a list of links that will switch you, for instance, to the Greek alphabet.(I find entering characters one at a time is tedious, so I rarely use it, since I can get nearly all the characters I want more easily with keyboard commands. But it occurred to me that this should solve your problem; apologies if you've already found it not to work for you. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:43, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Founding of Rome[edit]

I noticed this observation from you on Haploidavey's talk page:

The argument that original Latin aristocracy was German or Celt because of their fair or red hair (in many cases) is obviously unacceptable as scientifically groundless being an instance of circular argumentation. Of course it is also racist. The article refers to a work by a Francis Owen, is he a serious scholar?

This is a bizarre claim and would almost certainly be excludable under WP:FRINGE. I don't actually see it in the article (based on a quick search and not a thorough read). Perhaps you rightly removed it? I would offer you a friendly caution, however, not to throw around the word "racist", which is one of the surest ways to piss off your opponent and get yourself charged with violating WP:CIV. (If you wish not to leave this message here once you've read it, please feel free to go to the edit history of this page and undo my edit. My advice should be taken in the spirit of friendship and doesn't need to remain on display.) Cynwolfe (talk) 14:52, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Aha. Firstly, that's sound advice from Cyn. Secondly, yes, not good. Various similar enormities were foist on R&R until mercilessly excised. I guess it would make sense to edit these in tandem. Btw, the worthy Bill Thayer has an intelligent segment on the eclipse business: a veritable molehill and deeply flawed in its reasoning (I mean the proposition, not Bill's disposal of it); certainly not worth that mound of discussion and its own heading. Good-faith but hellish digressive and wide of the mark. Perhaps it's time for blue pencils all 'round, and a fresh start. But I'm not sure when; why not go ahead? Haploidavey (talk) 17:35, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I forgot Owen. I think he might be an editor of sorts. Not an author: leastways, he seems to have no original works cited on google scholar. And I'm sure we'll all be happy to know that some good soul has already removed the offending crackpot section on racial origins. Haploidavey (talk) 17:41, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Sancus, Tanaquil's girdle and Salus Semonia[edit]

It's very frustrating to lose sources. A few suggestions, then. When you find a source online, copy and paste the url into your main user page - you can also create a dedicated user-page for the purpose. Or (most simply) you can use your browser tool-bar to bookmark pages once found. Or you can build a google-based library - your google or browser bar should give instructions on how to do this. Anyway, I've almost entirely run out of steam and sources for the odds and ends I've been working on. So I'll do my best to find the sources you're after; I'll post them here, if found. Haploidavey (talk) 12:40, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Glad you traced the Wissowa and whatnot. As to the absence of scholarship on the girdle or belt - I'm glad I didn't promise too much, as there's very little out there. Nothing and no-one seems to addresses the materia medica in the girdle of tantalising, fascinating Tanaquil: apart from the following, speculative in part but written by the very respectable Robert E A Palmer and therefore quotable. He refers to the Etruscan deity Tec Sans as source or equivalent - I forget which - of Sancus. Then there's Tanaquil: her statue itself is a source for bronze scrapings placed in the boyhood bulla. All this (including Tec Sans) is on pp.18 -20. Evidently, the scrapings are materia medica, when taken from the image of such an exceptional mulier potens (and an Etrusco-Roman augur and kingmaker to boot). And d'you think this is what Pliny's actually referring to? See what you make of it. Haploidavey (talk) 23:56, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I just read the whole essay. Yes, utterly fascinating, and it's refired my enthusiasm. I love his self-confident handling. Haploidavey (talk) 15:16, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, good luck with this topic. Could you be on the lookout in your Italian sources (especially; but any sources welcome) for an explanation of who Glauca is in the theogony of Euhemerus-Ennius-Lactantius? She is the twin sister of Pluto, born to Saturn and Ops, and she dies parva. One scholar conjectures that she is the Glauca mentioned by Cicero in De natura deorum as the mother of "the third Diana", but I am coming up quite emptyhanded. There are many figures named Glauca, and yet I can find nothing else on Pluto's twin. Cynwolfe (talk) 05:03, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I've yet to add a section to Pluto (mythology) that explains the importation, and so far my sources are insufficient for the task. Currently there is only a short mention. (This will eventually take me back to my interest in the Campus Martius.) I also have a reference I haven't added yet that may shed light on why Martianus identified Pluto with Summanus (I can't seem to lay hands on this at the moment). Another missing piece in the Pluto article is better clarification of the role of Magna Graecia in the chain of events that results Pluto being thought of misleadingly as a "Roman" god. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:59, 8 January 2011 (UTC)


When you leave me a message on my talk page, would you prefer that I answer there, in order to keep the discussion together, or here? I usually answer here, but just now responded on my own page. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:55, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


Thank you so much for your work in this. I've placed a couple of questions on the article talk-page. Haploidavey (talk) 13:51, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Notes and queries[edit]

Hi! Thayer's material on the eclipse and its significance (purported but moot) can be found via his footnotes at Plutarch's Romulus, 12 (end of para), footnote b, and in some detail as footnote to the fragments of Dio's Book 1: another footnote b. See also Thayer's intratext links for outside scholarly comment. Something seems amiss with Thayer's internal site connections, which is why I've given two links.

On Duenos and sources. Hm: I have to say, I do think your speculation quite reasonable. However, it's OK putting two sources together, as it were: if they're saying essentially the same thing, or drawing essentially similar conclusions. If you put them together in such a way that infers a conclusion originally drawn by neither one, that's OR or SYN, und verboten. But why not try it out; at worse, it'd be an interesting exercise and if it's clearly SYN or OR, you can simply delete. I'd be happy to give you feedback.

On other stuff. I must apologise for being so slow in response to your other queries and suggestions. I'm actually quite burned out and was never very good, I think, at multi-tasking. So the last year or so of editing has been quite intense - an editing marathon - and I'm probably just taking a natural breather. Please don't let that put you off! Haploidavey (talk) 16:39, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Roman gods[edit]

Nice job improving the Neptune article. I hope you'll do the same to Jupiter, Juno, Mercury and others. LittleJerry (talk) 01:08, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

On second thought, I think you should improve Poseidon next. Just a suggestion. LittleJerry (talk) 02:25, 31 January 2011 (UTC)


I can only give you my personal opinion on J.A. MacCullough's work. I've been thinking he should probably have his own little article on WP. I find him very interesting and perceptive, as I do Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville, but I do tend to treat that generation of scholars as individual thinkers rather than the last word. They're still part of the J.G. Frazer era, and thus make intuitive leaps that current methodology wouldn't permit. My creative side finds that stimulating, but the encyclopedic side recognizes that their views need to be treated historically. And I definitely don't use them as sources on Celtic etymology. (I might make reference to their presumed etymology if it was part of their argument, but then add what the currently accepted etymology is.)

As a side note, I think Geryon is a key figure in understanding relations among Greek, Celtic, and Roman mythology, because of the reference in Strabo to Geryon in Cadiz, a place where many traditions, including "Phoenician," came together, and where you have that collocation of Hercules/Melqart, the statue of Alexander, and the Tartessian mystique. A stimulating article on Mediterranean cosmology — that is, it brings together Semitic and European mythologies — is John Pairman Brown, "Cosmological Myth and the Tuna of Gibraltar," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 99 (1968) 37–62. I also recommend the head-swimming article by Frederick Ahl, "Amber, Avallon, and Apollo's Singing Swan," American Journal of Philology 103.4 (1982) 373–411. Both of these rely on the insight of the author, making them tricky to use as sources, but interesting for those who are thinking through the subject matter and not just accumulating facts.

In your note to me, you mentioned an article and its citations. To which article were you referring? Cynwolfe (talk) 16:11, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree with your assessment, in terms of my personal interests — I find him very insightful. It's just one of those things where I have to distinguish between what I find thought-provoking and instinctively experience as "right," and what's acceptable in terms of WP citations, if you see what I mean. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:34, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Duenos inscription links puzzle[edit]

Hm. The Gordon dates are baffling to me; I admit it, I'm entirely lost. I must have misread something; or else there's a been misprint, somewhere. Anyhow, I embedded a link to the same pdf used at the French article, early yesterday. In our article, it's third up from the bottom of "references and further reading". Please check again. If it comes up as a dead-link for you, that might be a problem arising from your geolocation. This happens from time to time - though in my experience, only with links to googlebook previews. Haploidavey (talk) 13:59, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Oh the shame, the shame. All the stuff about the "several Gordons" is based on my own complete brain-malfunction. It was Conway, 1889. Dare I ever show my face here again?! Haploidavey (talk) 14:10, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Juno problem[edit]

Nice job in expanding the article but we already have a section on epithets under the new one you created. Can you merge them? LittleJerry (talk) 20:48, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Juno links[edit]

Yes, I'll take a look at the links. Just logging off tonight, but I expect to get to it on Saturday. Cynwolfe (talk) 05:35, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Someone fixed some of these before I had a chance to. V. Basanoff has no article. You can leave that as a redlink in hope that someone creates one. You need to choose which Furius Camillus you mean; do you know how to pipe a link? It would look like this: [[Marcus Furius Camillus|Furius Camillus]]. Only "Furius Camillus" will show up as the bluelink. The actual article title appears before the | mark; what you want your text to say appears after. Apologies if I'm telling you something you already know. Best regards, Cynwolfe (talk) 16:51, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Tigillum Sororium in Juno article[edit]

Hiya. I saw the Tigillum Sororium red-link, and tried to track down possible article links. I'm now rather baffled, because we've a new article, Sororium Tigillum, which links to the Horatii. As you know, I'm no Latinist. Can you shed any light or insight on the relationship, if there is one, between this Sororium Tigillum and the October 1st Tigillum Sororium festival you mention in the Juno article? The latter's not included in our list of Roman festivals; it probably should be. You might also be interested in a comment on Livy's dating of Veii's siege and conquest, at the Veii talk-page. I'm not sure what to make of it, but it seems possibly relevant to the dating of Juno's evocation. Please consider this message as FYI, and "just in case". Haploidavey (talk) 17:01, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your note. It seems a very curious and mysterious business. I enjoy a good mystery and will watch out for any scholarship on the matter. Haploidavey (talk) 16:15, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

"Myth" vs theology and cult[edit]

Oh, rantworthy indeed. I try not to let it "get my goat", but for some reason, now lost in the mists, "it was decided" long ago that all these things belonged under the aegis of "myth" and "mythology" (regardless of whether they even had a mythology) and were implicitly not "real religion". A most unfortunate convention; there's the odd exception, of course. Unless or until there's consensus across the board for a massive programme of re-directs, I think the best one can do interim is to restore headers when appropriate.

Maybe this arises from the secondary and tertiary scholarship - such as the 1911 Encyclopedia - on which so many articles were originally based. The ancient scholarship and history is mined and refined for modern rationalist themes, starting with the constitutional and legal histories of the Republic and Empire and the magnates thereof; to which everything else is subordinate at best, or marginal, or irrelevant, or sheer dross. Puh. Haploidavey (talk) 13:30, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

ST to TS[edit]

If that's so, the most common form should prevail. Perhaps retain ST as a redirect? I don't know how to do these things; so you might put your case on that article's talk-page. Haploidavey (talk) 12:40, 24 February 2011 (UTC)


Hi, Aldrasto, got your note. I'm taking a break from WP, though I check in once in a while, but I look forward to reading your contributions to Juno (mythology) when I'm able to do so thoughtfully. Didn't want you to think I was ignoring you. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:26, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Lupercalia and Luperci[edit]

I see what you mean about the google preview; it's not much use with pp 30 - 87 missing. At least, that's what my google preview shows. For some reason, the article's refs link omits only pp 80 - 82. Go figure. Wiseman's arguments are subtle, coherent and challenging; and one can't afford to forget why he's making them. I don't want to misrepresent him in a generalised summary, so it would probably be best to take any Lupercalia queries to the article talk-page. We can deal with them one at at time; I should also say I'm editing on-and-off these days. Haploidavey (talk) 14:02, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Modest Barnstar.png The Modest Barnstar
Thanks for your recent contributions! (talk) 16:50, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

On sourcing[edit]

Thanks for your note; you've brought up some difficult issues. I'll address them as best I can.

We can't appeal the use of an author, source or theory in one Wikipedia article as grounds for their use in another. On use of sources, we're back to the same deal I pointed out some posts above this. Some articles in wikipedia are watched by very few editors, and accumulate material willy-nilly. In some cases, the material would've been better not added. Ganesh?? I'm not at all sure what that's about; and even if this mooted connection was justified, how would it help a reader understand Janus? At first sight, this seems like original reasearch, plus a dose of coatracking: note the tagging of that section.

Many articles in this general topic area were originally based on the 1911 EB and have been gradually expanded since, using whatever "later, modern" scholarship has been made more-or-less freely available online. Much of that's not so modern, and is now outdated, revised or superceded. I guess our limited access to modern, relevant scholarship is but one of Wikipedia's major limitations. Many once-current theories have been nudged from centre-stage into the wings and back-lots. When we shift them back into current prominence, we give them undue weight. Likewise, great authors are capable of wonderfully inventive, um, nonsense (thus sometimes their greatness). I'm not saying this is the case here: but as wikipedia editors, we should be guided by the evaluations and consensus that emerge from the scholarly community, rather than what seems plausible, convincing or true.

Frazer's life, times and work are well worth historiographic study, but his bolder theories and constructs are acknowledged as highly speculative. I know of no reputable modern scholarship that touts them - at least, not uncritically. The same probably applies to some of Dumezil's theories but I don't know which; that's why I'm happy to use him as source for particular topics only via the filter of current scholarship. Regardless of how interesting or persuasive a theory might be, or how mainstream it was once thought to be, I suggest we give it only the prominence it's due within a context of modern scholarly consensus. I sincerely hope this helps. Haploidavey (talk) 15:09, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Janus images[edit]

Janus and Bellona (1773–1780) by Wilhelm Beyer, at Schönbrunn Palace

Are there particular images you're interested in adding? Were you wanting the same ones used for Giano (divinità) ?

I notice the Italian article uses one of the beardless bifrons coins. It was my understanding that these are better identified as the Dioscuri, especially since they have horse iconography on the reverse. I wonder, however, whether the existence of the two types — bearded mature Janus, and the youthful bifrons — influences what seems to be a Renaissance (and after) sculptural tradition that depicts Janus with one young and one older head; these sculptures are interesting (here's one), but would require some explanation of how the image of Janus is used later. (I regret that I haven't had time to read your contributions to either Janus or Juno yet, but will when I can do so thoughtfully.)

Perhaps you could look through the following categories, copy the file name of those you think are worth including, and leave me a list (no links or other formatting would be necessary, just a bare list of file names would be fine). I'd be happy to add them for you. If you know of images used on WP that you don't find in these categories, point those out as well. If you just want images added to the article and don't want to pick them yourself, that's OK too. When I read the article I can look for some.

I'll work on this today, then. Let me know if I've misunderstood you, or if you prefer other versions of whichever arch I pull out. I know the coin you mean. Cynwolfe (talk) 11:28, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
What other coin? I thought you wanted the one from Canusium, the bronze as with the ship's prow on the reverse. (I moved the Austrian commemorative coin toward the end because I didn't think it should appear in the article before the ancient material.) Cynwolfe (talk) 12:52, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
This one is fine but there is another coin (older) in the article of WKit. Thank you a lot and sorry for the trouble.Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:42, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
No trouble. Glad to help. Will fix it. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)


The article on Maia (mythology) currently states that "sow-shaped wafers" might be offered to her as a substitute for animal sacrifice. Is this a modern Neopagan invention, or is there such a practice documented by an ancient source? Does this sound familiar to you at all? The information has been tagged as in need of a citation for a while, and the question was raised just now at Talk:Maia (mythology). Cynwolfe (talk) 00:07, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I was thinking Macrobius, but I only see an actual sow there. If something comes up by chance in your reading, your input is welcome. Cynwolfe (talk) 11:37, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


Isn't this image of the Liver of Piacenza flipped? Compare these diagrams (click on the page number and scroll up). The Etruscan should read from right to left, shouldn't it? Cynwolfe (talk) 13:03, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. Hope you enjoyed your break. I'm not primarily working on topics in religion at the moment, but will try to remind myself to do something about this. My guess is that the uploader didn't know Etruscan reads from right to left, and thought he was "correcting" the image by flipping it. Best, Cynwolfe (talk) 13:12, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Gordon, and welcome...[edit]

Hello again! Just picked up your message - no trouble at all, and will respond here as soon as "real life" (is there such a thing?) permits. Hope things have been OK with you. Haploidavey (talk) 13:02, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Righto. The following seems to work; open this page for editing and have a go. Note that the colon (:) is essential, as it returns the text line to column left.

I've not done it myself because I can't figure out which line is whose at the Lapis Niger article! Haploidavey (talk) 16:10, 23 July 2011 (UTC)


Only yesterday I learned of the existence of an article called Sacra (ancient Rome). I didn't have time to look at it (and still don't), but thought I would point it out to you. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:29, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for taking a look. I'm not sure it contains anything that isn't in Religion in ancient Rome. In your opinion, would anything be lost if it were in effect deleted? I say "in effect" because we would change it to a redirect, that is, a link that would lead to Religion in ancient Rome. Not sure. Haploidavey pointed out that it lacks references.
About Jupiter, I've been working on another topic that I'm completely weary of at this point, but want to be done with. I would like to get back to going through the List of Roman deities one by one, looking for unreferenced articles and so on, and will be glad to look at Jupiter at that time. Someone did something odd to Juno (mythology) this morning, but I think I fixed it. Not sure what they were trying to do. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:18, 15 September 2011 (UTC)


Hello Aldrasto11, I think not all readers will understand this reference: XV 692th. A little bit more text would be helpful.--Diwas (talk) 13:45, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

It is reference 191, located in 3rd paragraph of section 14 Myths

''Macrobius<ref>''Saturnalia'' I 7, 19ff.</ref> relates Janus was supposed to have shared a kingdom with [[Camese]] in [[Latium]], on a place then named Camesene. He states that [[Hyginus]] recorded the tale on the authority of a Protarchus of [[Tralles]]. In Macrobius Camese is a male: after Camese's death Janus reigned alone. However Greek authors make of Camese Janus's sister and spouse: [[Atheneus]]<ref>XV 692th.</ref>

--Diwas (talk) 22:30, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanx, now I see the work and the “692” is the original page number. But what should be “th”? --Diwas (talk) 14:27, 23 September 2011 (UTC) I see no “th” at or --Diwas (talk) 11:17, 24 September 2011 (UTC)


Your caption here

In general, there's no copyright issue for a two-dimensional work of this age if the image is a straightforward representation of the original. Sculptures can be a problem, because the photo of the sculpture could be under copyright. I dislike the Ingres too, for reasons I've never stopped to think about. Is this the painting you're looking for? It's filed at Commons under "allegorical" rather than "mythological," but has the English title The Tempest, so I'm assuming. While I recognize it, I don't know much about it. Please let me know if I can be of further help. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:16, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Aldrasto, I noticed your message at Cyn's talk. I'm not very active for the time being, but felt a strange compulsion to offer my pennysworth of personal opinion on the Ingres; nothing but a languorous swooning flesh-fest, so there. The Giorgione's a far better painting - yes, that's yet another offering of personal opinion, of course - and it seems an appropriate expression of Jupiter's tempestuous character. But I'm not sure how we can make a case for its inclusion. As far as I can tell, the connection between this particular tempest (or painting) and Jupiter would have to be overtly stated by Giorgione himself, or by a scholarly commentator. I hope I'm wrong here, because I like it, and I respect your (Aldrasto's) reasons for suggesting it. Haploidavey (talk) 15:16, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Davey's message caught the main reason of my question, i.e. I asked whether WP rules allowed its use here not so much for copyright issues but for the fact that Giorgione's painting does not expressly depict Jupiter. Mine is a personal interpretation, of course based on the interpretations of art critics, who see in the painting the depiction of the relationship between nature and mankind. Sky is the father, Earth the mother, they relate to each other-interact through water (thunderstorm, rain, waterspring) this generates man. Similarly man is borne and lives on by the existence of the two sexes and produces a culture, here the suit of the guy and the city on the back . Through his understanding-intellect he knows the Principle. What a better description of the idea of Jupiter? Here is also the explanation of the identity and passage from the heavenly (pure still light) to the atmospheric idea of the sky god, for its part of working which is most easily recognisable as bearer of life. I was unable to read his work but A.B. Cook wrote a book on the IE sky god with a section on Italy. I think it is impossible to find a source connecting Giorgione's painting with Jupiter, though he is depicting exactly the concept and the working of the sky god. Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:54, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. Here's a link to Cook's book on Zeus in limited preview, but it may not be available in your part of the world. There may also be sources that explicitly connect this painting to Jupiter's mythology within the classical tradition; I got these results searching "Giorgione + tempest + Jupiter," and while some of these will be coincidence and irrelevant, a few look promising. This book, available to me only in a snippet, seems to connect the painting specifically to the lightning of Jupiter, but it's hard to say from the tiny bit of text that shows. Oh wait; when you substitute "Jove" for "Jupiter," you get a source: Salvatore Settis, Giorgione's Tempest: Interpreting the Hidden Subject (University of Chicago Press, 1990), p. 62, says explicitly: "The lightning is Jove." This is only one of the many interpretations of the painting, but it's sufficient as a footnote for a caption that makes a limited claim along the lines of "One interpretation of the lightning in Giorgione's Tempest is that it represents the presence of Jupiter." Since this was originally published in Italian, you may be able to obtain that version more easily for your own purposes. Settis himself makes a different argument, but summarizes the scholars who view this as Jove's lightning. Note from my link on the title that there is an article on this painting. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:48, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Also Painting in Renaissance Venice by Peter Humfrey, p.118f. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:53, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

I answered yesterday on Cynwolf 's talk page. If there are no other objections just proceed with the substitution of the Ingres.Aldrasto11 (talk) 09:19, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

You don't need to upload anything, since the image is already available for Wikipedia use. Let me see if I can help you do it yourself (do you know the adage about teaching a man to fish?). Just open this section of your talk page for editing, and copy the line of text pertaining to the file that appears under the header. Make sure to get both sets of double brackets. Open the Jupiter page, or the section in which you want the image to appear, and simply paste that line of text where you want it. (At the top of a section, or between paragraphs.) Replace "Your caption here" with the caption you want. Adding a footnote to a caption is just like adding a footnote anywhere; but make sure the </ref> tag appears before the last double bracket. Give it a try, and if it doesn't work I'll help you. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:17, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Arsius and the Iguvine tablets[edit]

So sorry to have overlooked your query until now - I just scrolled up my talk-page (which has been quite busy lately) and noticed it there. The whole Arsius issue seems remarkably difficult, even abstruse, and possibly impenetrable. I haven't encountered any scholarship that seems useful in the matter. But you might, as you suggested, post to the G&R project. Haploidavey (talk) 10:46, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

The infernal box[edit]

I'm stumped. I thought it might be your server issue - but no, mine shows the exact same. This looks like a matter for the help desk. You already know my opinion on this tick-box voting business, but just to show the utter ridiculousness of it all, do take a look at the "opinion poll results" for Mother Goddess, then take a glance at the article. Groan. Haploidavey (talk) 11:11, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Aha! Another place to ask would seem to be Wikipedia:Article feedback tool, which has a not very satisfactory FAQ section. According to the latter page, these boxes are still in "experimental" stage. Whatever that means. As a measure of quality, the project seems utterly meaningless. Actually, it makes me quite cross. Btw, when pages are open for editing, there's no mark-up to show even the presence of the box, let alone edit its contents. The whole thing seems to be robotic, random and erratic and I daresay Jupiter's box is just one of its many, many problems. I hope the whole thing's abandoned. Haploidavey (talk) 11:55, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I posted a longer comment on this at Davey's talk page, but I think the ratings box purges its contents periodically, so that the ratings reflect the current state of the article, not an earlier version. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:39, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Jupiter talk[edit]

Before proceeding, I must advise you that I find your last remark at Talk:Jupiter (mythology) to be deeply uncivil. I've attempted to engage with you and to explain how I acted on the comments of multiple editors in editing the article. I've asked you to provide missing citations for content you contributed, to point to specific passages where you think errors or bias have been introduced so this can be corrected, and to state clearly what information has been lost in the revision. WIkipedia is a collaborative project. This requires discussion. I've repeatedly affirmed the quality of your sources and the potential value of your contributions. I'm trying to help you present your material in a manner that is consonant with WP guidelines, and have spent a great deal of time doing so. I've pointed you to the relevant policies and guidelines, and to models of good presentation both on WP and in reputable, specialist print encyclopedias. In my last comment, I even suggested that if your theological work is too detailed for WP, you might consider self-publishing it for the benefit of those who would seek a more in-depth treatment (a potential source of profit for you). It is grossly inappropriate for you to say that I "had better keep quiet." That implies an "or else" consequence. If you think I've directed offensive behavior toward you personally that merits a block, the best place to report it is probably ANI. But a threatening tone surely doesn't serve your purposes. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:59, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Your input welcome[edit]

As someone who has a high degree of knowledge about ancient Roman religion, you are invited to participate in the discussion at Talk:Roman Empire#Infobox. The particular issue is whether the infobox at the top of Roman Empire should designate "paganism" as the Religion of Rome. I don't have a good solution to this problem. There are also issues you could address pertaining to whether Romans living in Rome spoke Latin after the Punic Wars, and the survival of Italic languages after the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Absent audio recordings, I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to "prove" ordinary people were still speaking Latin under Vespasian, except that people usually write graffiti in the language they use in conversation, and as far as I know, Latin graffiti, as well as informational inscriptions for everyday matters, outnumber those in other languages in Rome and Pompeii. I'm quite sure you're better informed about Italic languages than I am, but I was under the impression that evidence for these dries up before the later Imperial era.

There also seems to be some doubt as to whether Rome was ever the capital of the Empire, or Latin ever used as the official language of Imperial Rome. Just so you know what sort of sources might be relevant. Please understand that I'm presenting questions brought up on the talk page, for which I have been unable to offer answers that satisfy other participants. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:53, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for the invitation, but on the issue of the religion(s) of the Roman Empire I feel uncompetent. It is a too big subject and would involve too much time. Moreover I focus my field of research on Roman religion, particularly on its origins and originality, the subject of later developments strays from my field, but as a source of understanding for the other topic.

As far as the question of Rome being the capital: yes: the senate, the magistrates (civil and military), the laws, all was in or came from Rome.

As for the languages: Latin was in common use after the second half of the II century BC in Italy. BTW this is the reason why scholars studying Italic languages have so much trouble in finding sources! The last Iguvine Tablets were written in the augustan times ad the language seems to have no longer been spoken (i.e. was a dead language revivied for religious purposes). But some speakers of Oscan must have survived til the I century (see Pompeii, Herculaneum), perhaps later in some areas, and of Etruscan til the III century in remote areas, according to Santo Mazzarino, while it is attested it was spoken at the time of M. Aurelius in villages near Mantua (Another question is whether Etruscans continued to study and use their language for religious purposes even later).Aldrasto11 (talk) 02:43, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

I checked the talk page and these people look too nutty to discuss with. How can anybody doubt that Rome was the capital and Latin the language of officialdom? Simply this is just obvious and nobody has ever dreamt of questioning it.Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:10, 13 August 2012 (UTC)


Just a friendly reminder that you forgot to footnote this edit. (I know there's a lot of pre-existing stuff in the article that isn't footnoted, but this is just to work toward overall improvement.) Cynwolfe (talk) 18:19, 19 August 2012 (UTC)


Diagram from Commons

Could you spare the time to take a careful look at this diagram to see whether it's correct? I just found it by accident at Commons, and don't have time to check it. Cynwolfe (talk) 03:06, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

This is a big topic. To put it briefly, this is the most simple and commonly acceptable exemplification.Aldrasto11 (talk) 07:35, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

So in order to help the general reader visualize better, in your opinion the diagram would 'do no harm'? I'm always wary of maps and diagrams on Wikipedia, because it's often unclear where they come from. Thanks, Cynwolfe (talk) 13:24, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

I am not sure of this. If it is used one should clarify/specify that nothing is certain on the issue. BTW the author does not look to be a scholar.Aldrasto11 (talk) 12:36, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Commons descriptions are often unhelpful. Not sure what "own work" means here: if the person had given a scholarly source on which the drawing was based, it would solve the problem, because the source could simply be cited. If the person just read a bunch of stuff and surmised this schema, then it's just original research. I'll think about your comments before putting it in (or not putting it in), since I'm involved in a rather onerous editing project at the moment. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:20, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Religion in Rome[edit]

I'm very busy working on a major article, but I just found something appalling and wondered whether you could spare some time to fix it: Religion in Rome#Classical period. You should probably be seated and not holding a cup of hot coffee when you read it, if you react as I did. For instance, it says Mithraism was the official religion of Rome for two centuries. I consider this emergency editing, and I wouldn't worry too much about footnotes, considering the section has none as it is and makes outrageous claims. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:32, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Early greetings for the new year[edit]

Giulio Romano - Victory, Janus, Chronos, and Gaea - WGA09625.jpg Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
May 2013 bring you rewarding experiences and an abundance of everything you most treasure.
Cynwolfe (talk) 17:01, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Victory, Janus, Chronos, and Gaea (1532–34) by Giulio Romano

I do value the knowledge you bring to Wikipedia, despite our differences. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:01, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Capitoline Triad[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Capitoline Triad on whether the article should be split. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:59, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Virae Querquetulanae[edit]

Five oak(?) trees above the three figures

Thank you very much. I am interested. I remember coming across Vires linked in an inscription with the Lymphae, and I've been wanting to know more about divine "powers" named as Vir-something. I did a quick search, and Robert E.A. Palmer agrees with an identification (going back also to Arthur Bernard Cook) that the five trees on this coin of P. Accoleius Lariscolus represent the Querquetulanae. Cook explains how this would relate to Diana Nemorensis, with whom the coin type is commonly associated.

I'll add some links and look for other articles that might link to it so we can get rid of the orphan tag. Do you think we ought to change "Roman mythology" to something else? Usually, if a deity has no "myths" (no narrative, no iconographical tradition), I would change to "ancient Roman religion", if the deity received veneration in any form. This, however, seems more a matter of sacred topography. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:06, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

I started to check Richardson[1] on the location, but got delayed yesterday with something else. I don't have access to Coarelli, who I suspect would have something. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:16, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I found him confusing on this point, and it seemed to me he actually contradicted himself once. I did add what he said to the article, and perhaps eventually we can sort it out. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:42, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I mapped out what seem to be the areas of discussion with this topic, without any pretense of doing a good and thorough job. That's pretty much all I have to contribute, so please don't hesitate to flesh it out further. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:30, 12 February 2013 (UTC)


Thanks for your note on the indigitamenta. I postponed working on that article when I realized that some of our high-traffic articles on Roman culture were in such bad shape. So I've been trying to prioritize differently. When I was looking at an overview article recently (places of worship—a potentially great topic that's currently a random mess), I ended up at Jesa, which I found highly interesting in regard to Roman ancestral cultus. I think you'd find it interesting too. Cynwolfe (talk) 14:12, 26 February 2013 (UTC)


Is it safe to say that this is the sacred fire pictured within the Temple of Vesta? Cynwolfe (talk) 16:30, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. Let me know if by chance you see it discussed somewhere. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:47, 15 March 2013 (UTC)


I'm trying to archive my talk page because I'd like a fresh, quiet restart to it, so I'm moving the Jupiter discussion here, and copying over the comments in that thread. I hope that's OK. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:05, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Dear Cynwolf, as I supposed the article cannot pass in the present state. I am aware we have different views on what info should be included in it, so I cannot nor am I willing to contribute to an article which has been substantially altered by yourself. I would turn to reverting to my previous version...But I can and am willing to discuss how to address the issue raised by the reviewer.Aldrasto11 (talk) 00:19, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

I think if you look at the attributes on the checklist, you'll see a couple of familiar points. Citations of primary sources without sufficient secondary sources to support them will be read as OR, whether or not it really is. There are also incomplete citations. These points came up in the copyediting process when I tried to explain the requirements for Wikipedia citations. (To fail the article on spelling and grammar because of the inconsistency of British/American spelling of a single word in a single section seems to me excessive.) As I recall, two people from the guild of copyeditors worked on the article after I did, so my optimism was based on assuming that the copyediting issues had been addressed more thoroughly than they apparently were. You could ask the reviewer to look at your last version before I restructured it (this seems to be it), if you think the problems noted weren't in the article before it was edited by others. Cynwolfe (talk) 02:29, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
"To fail the article on spelling and grammar because of the inconsistency of British/American spelling of a single word in a single section seems to me excessive" I agree but technically its an MOS issue. I would have just fixed it myself if I was the reviewer, but then I would not have taken the review myself because of the huge amount of references needing to be checked and I try to check them all.
When I get a chance I'll try to help out a bit on that.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:54, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your attention and reply. I agree the problems raised by the reviewer are for the main part not directly related to your restructuring of the article, nonetheless I feel it would be inappropriate for me to deal with something I did not write in the first place and I find strange to me. But I am ready to discuss how to address these problems as I said above.

As for your suggestion of asking the reviewer to assess my earlier version(s) of the article I do not think this would be acceptable under WK rules nor seems appropriate to me under these circumstances.Aldrasto11 (talk) 05:31, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

(Stalker comment)It would not be inappropriate. It would be appropriate. That's what a collaboration is.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:38, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I didn't meant that the reviewer should necessarily assess that one instead; I meant more that he might observe generally whether the kinds of problems that concerned him were better, worse, or of the same kind in the earlier version. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:05, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Improving the Janus page[edit]

Thanks for gettng in touch. Some advice for improving the page to meet Wikipedia GA standards can be seen over at Talk:Janus/GA1. If I may, you could look at the article devoted to the Etymology of Wicca (written by myself) for how a standard Wiki page should look. Best of luck, Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:29, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Hello there Aldrasto; thank you for your message. I don't have the time right now to go into any detail regarding how the Janus page can be improved, but I suggest that you look at Wikipedia policies on writing style, alongside other recently-awarded FA status articles, in order to get a good idea on how the page can be improved. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:49, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm about to look at the intro but saw that you're editing. Don't want to conflict and cause you to lose your edits. Could you leave me a note when you're ready for me to look? I have a couple of links to add. One is a "see also" that I think you'll find interesting. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:59, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

Review process[edit]

I sincerely hope that you can find the benefit in the feedback you're getting on your contributions. On a personal level, I hope that you'll see I haven't been picking on you all these years. On the contrary, I've been trying to support your contributions, which I find fascinating and valuable. There are at least half a dozen editors now who have made similar points about how to avoid the appearance of OR, and the necessity of citations being specific and frequent enough that other editors can check them or reorganize the material. That's just the way Wikipedia works. Anyone can edit, but everyone must follow the same procedures for contributing. If you don't provide sufficient citations, anyone, and especially someone who doesn't know the subject matter, is entitled to come along and delete your work. The citation format is of lesser importance; the most basic formatting of citations is fine, as long as each footnote provides sufficient information for another editor to track the statement.

Again, this is all procedural, and not a reflection on the potential quality of content or sources. As always, I wish you the best, Cynwolfe (talk) 16:59, 24 March 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)


Thanks for alerting me Aldrasto. Reading through the introduction, I'm not sure that it sufficiently summarises the rest of the article, so I think you need to work on that. Moving on to the first section, the use of language really isn't clear to people who aren't familiar with literature on the subject of ancient Roman religion; it is written in a style reminiscent of nineteenth-century Classical scholarship, which certainly isn't the style that Wikipedia wants to project. For instance, "proposed by the Ancient..." – what is "the Ancient", and why is it capitalised? "from which word Ianus would derive by the subtraction of the aspiration" – how many readers are going to be able to understand that ? "In Capdeville' s view" – who on Earth is Capdeville and why does his opinion matter ? This goes on throughout the entire article.

It's not about dumbing down what you say, but it is about ensuring crystal clear clarity, and I suggest that maybe you send this to peer review for a thorough copy edit. I don't want to be negative, as I appreciate the work that has gone into this article, but this is still a clear fail at GA I'm afraid. Midnightblueowl (talk) 01:10, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia has policies regarding our use of language; if the article does not follow them then it will not reach GA or FA; it's as simple as that. You have to explain who that scholar is. You have to ensure that the use of language is as clear and accessible as possible without losing the meaning. Your references have to be done a certain way. This is Wikipedia, and that's the way that things are done here. I really don't want to come across as super-critical, because I really do admire the fact that you have put such effort in here, but I'm giving you advice to help, not to hinder. If you don't do things the Wikipedia way then, well, why bother editing here in the first place ? Best, Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:02, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Check out Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, an article which I expanded using references to specialist and academic literature and brought up to GA status; soon I hope to put it up as an FA nomination too. Look at the use of language, and the use of referencing, and hopefully it will give you ideas as to what I am talking about. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:06, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I must thoroughly apologise if I gave you the mistaken impression that I was being rude; that was not my intention. I went out of my way to help you with this article, by giving you various bits of advice, based upon my lengthy experience here at Wikipedia, and during which time I have pulled multiple articles up to GA standard. As I explicitly stated, I do appreciate the work that you do at Wikipedia, but my point stands that you cannot ignore Wikipedia rules regarding prose ("if a reader has difficulty in understanding the language of/in the instances you have made, then: 1. he probably will never read this article, 2. nor can what I have to say attract his interest in any way.") then you cannot expect to see this page brought up to GA status. Once again, my apologies if I have in any way offended you. Best, Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:08, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Apologies for butting in here, but I feel that Midnightblueowl really has been courteous and helpful above and beyond. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:24, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

It's true that there can be endless and rather tiresome debates as to the use of language on all Wikipedia pages. Over at Talk: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, myself and two other editors (all three of us fluent in English) debated for days and days as to what text we should include in the introduction to that article. But those sorts of (relatively minor) prose problems are not those that exist at Janus; the prose problems here are more severe. Wikipedia is designed as an encylopedia for people who aren't already experts in a subject. It has to be geared to a general audience. The sorts of people who might read the Janus page are not just going to be experts in Roman religion (indeed, experts probably wouldn't need to consult the page anyway), but they might be secondary school kids doing a school report, a NeoPagan interested in learning more about past gods, or an expert in Norse mythology who isse beginning to research comparable religious beliefs. We have to convey the necessary information to them in a way that is easily accessible. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:34, 19 April 2013 (UTC)


I am not sure about the extent to which I can relate to prehistoric languages. I am a water engineer and as such I have worked not only in Romania but for eight years in India and Bangladesh. I have however limited knowledge about the origins of the names of the rivers, even if for some I do know the latin or old greek equivalent. As far as the rivers in Romania are concerned, some have Magyar names and some have Turkish names (thought I am not sure if they are of Turkish or of Cuman origin). I have found the identical names of rivers in Central Asia (i.e. Kyrghyzstan) - for instance Kara Su (which means Black Water).

Taking these limitations into account, I am willing to help your research in whatever way I can. Let us keep in contact and please ask the questions which you think I might be able to answer. As far as the Alb in the name of Romanian rivers, it basically comes from the latin Albus = white (with the meaning of White river). In some cases, other population of the areas have simply translated the name to Feher (in hungarian), Ak (in Turkish) or Belyi (with several variations) in Slavic languages. This should however not be generalized or applied to all cases. I am not sure that this helps in the relationship with prehistoric languages.

If you prefer, you can also contact me by email at

Afil (talk) 20:03, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Just as a small comment regarding the city of Alba Iulia, where Alba has the sense of white. In Roman times it was called Apulum. But later the white appears in all versions of the city: Gyulafehérvár (in Hungarian feher meaning white) Karlsburg or Weißenburg (in German, Weiss meaning white) and Erdel Belgradı (in Turkish, Bel comming from the slavic Belyi = white and Grad = City). This does not in any way contradict the other explanations you provided, where in Roman times Alba was used for naming cities. Alba Iulia is simply a newer name, which did not exist during the Roman occupation of Dacia. Afil (talk) 01:48, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your message. Unfortunately my knowledge in the field of hydronymy are far from yours and I can only confine my role to providing basic information about the present names of rivers. But I find all this fascinating. Regards Afil (talk) 00:49, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

July 2013[edit]

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  • Uria Garganica, the location of which though is not known with certainty), Casone, [[Lucera]], ''Merinum'' ([[Vieste]]), Monte Saraceno (near [[Mattinata]]), [[Siponto]],

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What is your problem?[edit]

Look, I'm really sick of your incivility toward me any time I express my opinion. I didn't say anything against you here, and this is what I get. Do you understand that most editors get an indefinite block for operating sock puppets? When you were shown to have operated socks (and believe me, I may've been the one to present the evidence, but I wasn't the only one who had noticed), I specifically asked that you NOT be blocked, because I felt that you had interesting things to contribute. I asked only that you observe the guidelines like everybody else. Those guidelines include no personal attacks. Maybe if you edited outside this one narrow topic area and participated in the community at large, you would realize that I'm not such a monster. I'm really quite sorry that I defended you. If I'd known you were going to attack me continually, I would've just stood back and let you be blocked, which is standard procedure when a user operates multiple socks. Really, I've tried multiple times to extend respect to you, but I've had enough. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:29, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Hydrogen from water[edit]

Talk:Hydrogen_vehicle#Hydrogen_from_water was answered.Mion (talk) 23:17, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Ara and Vara[edit]

Dear Sir. Unfortunately I am not able to provide the information you are requesting. I am a water engineers and have not been concerned with the ethymology of the names of the rivers or other geographic entities. The names containing Ara and Vara may have an indo-european origin, but I haven't the slightest idea how. The only thing I can say, which may be helpful or not is that some of the geographic names with Ara and Vara are of Hungarian origin (but not all). The Hungarians were related to the Huns and the Mongols - that does not seem to be related to sanskrit. But that is about all I can say. Regards Afil (talk) 21:45, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Reply to your question about early myths on my Talk page[edit]

Hi! I have just posted the following answer to your query on my Talk page:

Hi Aldrasto11. Thank you very much for your interesting note. It is indeed amazing how far the wolf origin myths spread very early across Eurasia. For example, the Roman myth about Romulus and Remus certainly finds echoes in the early Chinese accounts of the wolf suckling the founder of the Wusun leader - in spite of the fact that these cultures were separated by many thousand kilometers and several hundred years. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to track down the origins of these myths and how they spread and, as you correctly note, little is known about how to separate proto-Turkic and Iranic traditions.
Although I have read most of the Chinese accounts of the Wusun myths - I really don't know very much more about them. I am certainly no expert on early proto-Turkic and Iranic languages and cultures. So, I have taken the liberty of forwarding your notes to a friend of mine who is an expert on early Trukic cultures and has also translated some interesting articles from Russian into English. I will let you know what he says if and when he replies.
In the meantime, if you would be kind enough to send me your email address I would like to send you an article about the wolf legend and the Wusun.
Thanks for raising this interesting subject.
All best wishes for your research - please let me know if you turn up anything of interest.
Yours sincerely, John Hill (talk) 02:26, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

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Reply to Query on my Talk Page[edit]

I am sorry, Aldastro- but I can't remember an A. Toth. Also, my talk page which is supposed to be archived automatically, apparently does not have worked the past couple of times - so I can't check it. Apologies and best wishes, John Hill (talk) 06:55, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

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