User talk:Urg writer
- 1 Welcome
- 2 Servius Tullius
- 3 Livy
- 4 Livy again
- 5 Thanks!
- 6 July 2013
- 7 Disambiguation link notification for July 5
- 8 Valerius Volesus nominated for Deletion
- 9 Disambiguation link notification for November 7
- 10 Ways to improve Quintus Fabius Vibulanus (consul 485 and 482 BC)
- 11 Talkback
- 12 List of quaestors
- 13 Roman aristocracy
- 14 ArbCom elections are now open!
- 15 ArbCom elections are now open!
- 16 ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open!
- 17 The death of the tribune Genucius
- 18 Speedy deletion nomination of Gaius Servilius Structus Ahala (consul 478 BC)
Hey, Urg writer, I noticed that you've been making serious and useful contributions to Servius Tullius. I was thinking of deleting the big scary "multiple issues" tag, particularly if you're going to keep chipping away at it. I don't see that many cleanup issues, and while articles can almost always use additional sources, this one is not really bare of sources. Answer here or on the article talk page. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:42, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Hey mate. Thanks for the credit. All I have been doing is using Livy to fill-out and/or correct articles such as Servius Tullius. Unfortunately, there is still alot of rubbish in the Servius article - more so than the other Roman kings' articles. I haven't tried to go through it comprehensively to fix it up. For example, the 3rd and 4th paras of "parentage and birth" are pretty silly, as is "later life and death". I would prefer a more historically-sourced and logically-flowing article. Do you think we should have a go at fixing it? Or just leave it with the tag for now? And, by the way, your user-page shows that your own wiki contributions are impressive!! --Urg writer (talk) 20:36, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
- Thanks, just now seeing this, forgot to flag your page to watch. My feeling is that the myths pertaining to Servius Tullius are as important as whatever historical fact can be gleaned; this is always a very tricky thing to handle. I'll put my suggestion for this on the talk page there. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:15, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your note. I actually woke up this morning thinking about this, precisely because I thought I sounded unappreciative, and was just sitting down to post another comment saying that I had missed the obvious, which I will now say here: I think it's splendid that you're doing this. I've been thinking lately that I wanted to take some time from WP to read or re-read some ancient authors as a whole. And (this is actually what I want to say) there's nothing at all wrong with looking for missing topics by reading Livy. My point is more that in order to anticipate any questions that might be raised about OR, notability, and so on, you should have some modern secondary scholarship on hand, to alert both you and readers to any questions raised by Livy or his omissions. Please don't be discouraged by the response. For one thing, there are a surprising number of people who try to contribute to WP who can't even write a sentence, and you write well and clearly. This is not a skill I would want us to lose. Cynwolfe (talk) 12:45, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Urg, I just saw your note at Cynwolfe's talk-page. I'm truly sorry that the responses at G&R - mine included, of course - made you feel your work was unwelcome and unappreciated. That really wasn't the intention. Talk-page exchanges can sometimes be brusque, impatient, sarcastic; or they can seem so. Believe it or not, this one was ultra-civilised compared to some; but it's still unpleasant when you're at the receiving end. So it goes, though maybe it shouldn't. For the rest, I'll ditto Cynwolfe's remarks above. Haploidavey (talk) 14:48, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
- Ditto. I'll gladly admit I was willing to give a general read on principles but too lazy to jump into the details of the editing and provide something that might have been more specifically encouraging. I applaud and encourage your desire to improve the articles and hope all of those comments can be simply digested into more background about how to use your admirable energies to create the kind of content that will be backed by consensus approval and endure as valuable encyclopedia content. Wareh (talk) 15:11, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Cheers guys/girls. Feeling suitably loved again *glow*. By the way, I had a look for the first time at the talk page on Servius Tullius which briefly raises a couple of points related to this. Thanks for each of your comments there. Please don't hesitate to "step on my toes" (as mentioned on that page) if there are good reasons for doing it.--Urg writer (talk) 19:23, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
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- league against Rome, at the instigation of [[Octavius Mamilius]] of [[Tusculum]]. Because of this (and also because of a [[Sabines#Bloodless_war, 501_BC|dispute with the Sabines]], [[Titus Lartius]]
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Valerius Volesus nominated for Deletion
Valerius Volesus has been nominated for deletion, based on the notability of its subject. The person in question is known only from passages mentioning that he was the father of three other persons; no other information is known about him. This information is fully presented in the articles about his children and the article on the gens Valeria. There is no likelihood of additional material coming to light about him in the foreseeable future. Because relationships do not confer notability, and no other information is known about him, he does not merit an article on Wikipedia.
I add, merely for reference, that his name was Volesus Valerius, not Valerius Volesus. Volesus did not become a cognomen of the Valeria gens until the generation of his children, who assumed it in his honor. The passages in Livy that mention him clearly indicate that Volesus was his praenomen, and this is how he is described in both the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology and Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft. P Aculeius (talk) 12:46, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
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Ways to improve Quintus Fabius Vibulanus (consul 485 and 482 BC)
Hi, I'm Annas86. Urg writer, thanks for creating Quintus Fabius Vibulanus (consul 485 and 482 BC)!
I've just tagged the page, using our page curation tools, as having some issues to fix. Hi there, the article that you created Quintus_Fabius_Vibulanus_(consul_485_and_482_BC) have only references to the other wikipedia article, I think you should add other reliable (non wikipedia) sources for verification. Cheers.
The tags can be removed by you or another editor once the issues they mention are addressed. If you have questions, you can leave a comment on my talk page. Or, for more editing help, talk to the volunteers at the Teahouse. @NnAs (talk) 03:55, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
List of quaestors
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The death of the tribune Genucius
I think it's worth providing a fuller explanation of why I've reverted your edits changing references to Genucius' "murder" to his "death". I think that from both the text and the context, it's clear that the implication is that he was murdered; Livy does everything but say, "an assassin went to his house and murdered him". Dionysius is cited for the person, his death, and its effect on events, not because his thorough denial of murder is particularly credible. I can't figure out what Zonaras has to say about it, perhaps due to the difficulty of finding a good English translation and locating the relevant passage given the citation I have, so let's leave that for the time being. I also think that murder is what the secondary sources have inferred from the ancient historians.
Livy's account is much clearer, so I'll quote from the Aubrey de Sélincourt translation:
As soon as their term was over, they were arrested by the tribune Gnaeus Genucius . . . . These two men, summoned, as they were, to appear in court, walked the streets of of Rome wearing mourning and addressing themselves not only to the commons but to the younger members of the nobility. . . . members of the Senate at once began to hold secret meetings to discuss what steps should be taken. In all their discussions one thing was never in doubt, namely that Manlius and Furius must somehow, by fair means or foul, be saved from the necessity of appearing in the courts. The more savage the measures suggested, the more they were applauded, and when, finally, a proposal was put forward to attain their end by criminal violence, an agent was found to do the deed.
On the day of the trial excited crowds gathered in the Forum, awaiting the arrival of the tribune. He did not come. At first people were merely puzzled, but soon, when there was still no sign of him and the delay began to look suspicious, they supposed he had been scared off by the nobles and proceeded to complain of his cowardly desertion of the popular cause. Finally some men who had been to the tribune's house brought the news that he had been found dead in his room. The news was soon all over the Forum, and the crowd melted away like an army on the death of its commander. The other tribunes were more alarmed than anybody else, as the death of their colleague proved only too clearly the inefficacy of the law which was supposed to guarantee the sanctity of their persons. The senatorial party was delighted — more so, perhaps, than was seemly. Not one of them felt any regret for the crime; indeed, even those who had not been implicated wished to assume their share of responsibility, and it was openly said that the power of the tribunes being a bad thing must be put down by bad means.Under the shadow of this discreditable victory the edict was issued for raising troops; the tribunes were much too alarmed by recent events to venture a veto, and the consuls put the matter through [emphasis supplied].
I can't see any other way to interpret Livy's account than as one of murder. A number of phrases make no sense except in the context of the deliberate assassination of Genucius. The conspirators described in the first paragraph discuss ways to prevent the trial; agree that criminal means are acceptable if necessary; they discuss resorting to violence, which seems to be the popular choice; they agree to perpetrate a violent crime and engage someone to perform it; Genucius is then found dead on the morning of the trial; the other tribunes believe that they are next; the conspirators are proud of their deed; even those not involved wish to associate themselves with those who were; they applaud the use of violence; the senatorial party has earned a "discreditable victory", and the tribunes are afraid to oppose them.
It's difficult to know what to make of Dionysius' account, except that he seems to be straining for credibility:
But they had no need to use any violent means, as the danger was dispelled in a sudden and unexpected manner. For when only one day remained till the trial, Genucius was found dead on his bed without the least sign of stabbing, strangling, poisoning, or any of the other means of killing as the result of a plot. As soon as this unhappy occurrence was known and the body had been brought into the Forum, the event was looked upon as a kind of providential obstacle to the trial, which was straightway dismissed. For none of the other tribunes dared to revive the sedition, but they even looked upon Genucius as having been guilty of great madness.
It's a bit unusual to note all the various methods by which somebody wasn't murdered, isn't it? It's hard to tell if Dionysius believes his own words here, although his tone is clearly sympathetic to the senatorial party which benefited from the happy circumstance of Genucius' very non-murdery death. Niebuhr didn't buy it; in the forward to his second volume of the History of Rome, he plainly refers to "den Mord des Genucius" (the murder of Genucius) as one of the incidents in the struggle between the patricians and the plebeians. Mommsen concurs: ". . . the murder of the tribune, Gnaeus Genucius, who had dared to impeach two men of consular rank in 473 B.C., had a more lasting result, giving rise two years later to the Publilian law."
Here's how the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology describes Genucius:
2. Cn. Genucius, was tribune of the plebs in B. C. 473, and used the most vehement exertions to carry into effect the agrarian law, for the evasion of which he brought a charge against L. Furius and C. Manlius, the consuls of the preceding year. The patricians were greatly alarmed, and assassinated Genucius in his bed on the night before the accusation was to be brought before the people.
So, we have one primary source and several secondary sources, sources of the first water, which describe Genucius' death as murder, notwithstanding Dionysius' frantic denial of it. Are there respectable secondary sources that have been persuaded by Dionysius, and assert that Genucius' death was merely a happy coincidence? P Aculeius (talk) 05:47, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
- I wrote the article, and in the original text I cited Dionysius of Halicarnassus and said Genucius died "by chance" on the day of trial. This was not to make it seem like it wasn't murder, only that it was lucky for Medullinus that the tribune died on the day of trial. I can see why my wording might make it seem like he just died for no particular reason (like how Forrest would explain Kennedy's assassination - "for no apparent reason, somebody shot that nice man"). Apologies for the confusion and for intruding. Psychotic Spartan 123 12:54, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
- Thanks, Spartan, but I don't think this arose because of your original wording, since I revised and expanded the article a while back. I think this is a case where we were each following the source we had at hand, mistakenly assuming that other accounts would probably agree with it, and in this case Livy and Dionysius present the facts in two completely different lights. However, as far as I can tell, all of the modern sources follow Livy and call it a murder, utterly disregarding Dionysius' rather curious denial of that interpretation. Since last night, I found the same interpretation in Havell, and in Venning's A Chronology of the Roman Empire. Scullard and Cornell don't seem to mention the death of Genucius. So far no source I've seen offers a different interpretation. P Aculeius (talk) 19:18, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
- I accept your point that there is a conflict between the sources. I don't accept the modern sources who simply ignore Dionysius - I have found others who refer to both. I haven't found any other ancient sources on point. To address the issue head on, I have amended the article to refer to the account of both Livy and Dionysius. See what you think.Urg writer (talk) 21:47, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
- It's not a "conflict", no cited source, no identified source, casts doubt on the murder, and there's no logical reason for doing so. Dionysius' statement on the matter is simply not credible or logical. You can't simply reject modern sources because you disagree with them, especially without presenting any dissenting sources. If there's credible scholarship that says that Genucius just happened to drop dead without any foul play, please identify it, provide some sort of quotation or citation that says so. Because right now the authority for following Livy's account is pretty strong. P Aculeius (talk) 22:10, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
- Edit: maybe I found what you were talking about. Forsythe seems to prefer Dionysius' view, and ridicules Livy's account (which he misstates; see below). Not all that unexpected, since apparently Forsythe is generally highly critical of Livy; but while he prefers Dionysius, he also seems to be saying that the whole episode probably never occurred in the first place. So I'm not convinced that he's a good source for this topic. If he is, I think it would make more sense to footnote it, since Forsythe is basically a historical revisionist and regards practically all early Roman history as fiction. It doesn't seem appropriate to add, "but Forsythe says this didn't happen" or something similar at the end of every paragraph describing events from Livy or Dionysius. The passage in question is:
The second major event in the early history of the plebeian tribunate recorded in the later annalistic tradition came twenty years after the first secession of the plebs, and involved the creation of a tribal assembly for electing plebeian officials. Livy, however, in his characteristic manner, has not bothered to explain fully the alleged constitutional issues. He so concentrated on individual personalities in order to achieve maximum dramatic effect that his account is confusing and logically incoherent, whereas Dionysius's ponderous verbosity and fondness for detail more accurately reproduce the narrative of the late annalist and help to explicate Livy's heavily edited version. The sequence of events can be briefly summarized as follows. A plebeian tribune of 473 B.C. named Cn. Genucius attempts to prosecute Furius and Manlius, the consuls of the previous year, but on the day appointed for the trial the tribune is found dead in his house. Dionysius suggests that Genucius's death was providential, but Livy portrays the tribunes as suspecting the patricians of murder and as being alarmed for their own safety despite their sacrosanctity. . . .
Like the first secession, serious questions of historicity also surround the ancient tradition concerning these events of 473–471 B.C. The circumstantial details and the names of the tribunes Genucius, Publilius, and Laetorius are not above suspicion. The only item with the appearance of solid authenticity is the creation of the tribal assembly. Genucius's mysterious death on the eve of his prosecution of the former consuls is obviously patterned after the sudden death of Scipio Aemilianus in 129 B.C., the night before he was scheduled to address the people on the controversial issue of granting citizenship to the Italian allies[internal citations omitted; the rest of this paragraph suggests that the details of Publilius and Laetorius are also fictional and modeled after events of the late Republic, that the Publilian laws belong to a later period, and that Genucius is probably a duplicate of a much later tribune].
- Forsythe is pretty much skeptical of every person and event from this period of Roman history, and I think it's safe to say that his opinion represents a small minority in classical scholarship. Which is not to suggest that it has no place in Wikipedia, but there's a serious risk of giving undue weight to his opinion, and changing the basic account of an article because Forsythe doubts that the persons involved existed or did any of the things attributed to them seems like undue weight. P Aculeius (talk) 03:01, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
- I agree with you that Forsythe can be safely ignored, to the extent he dismisses most of the early historians of Rome. Everyone accepts that none of them were providing first-hand or contemporaneous accounts. But it is equally clear they were collating and summarising the historical accounts available to them when they wrote, which are much more extensive than what is available today. There is nothing in the Genucius episode which suggests there was some bias in the versions by either of Livy or Dionysius, that means we should dismiss either or both.
What is useful about Forsythe's account is that he makes the effort to report both versions of Genucius' death.
I can't accept that, simply because Mommsen and Niebuhr state that Genucius was murdered, the version given by Dionysius should be rejected. Were Mommsen and Niebuhr aware of Dionysius' account? If so, did they have some reason to reject it? We cannot know, because they do not make the effort to deal with the conflict. Their comments are for that reason unhelpful in resolving the difference. Niebuhr at least gives as a reason for believing Livy that Livy's prejudices were in favour of the senate not against it.
As I mentioned, I haven't been able to locate any other ancient sources dealing with Genucius' death.
I have looked for other modern sources dealing with both Livy's and Dionysius' accounts of the death. Apart from Forsythe, I have found a reference in D. S. Levene "Religion in Livy", 1993, p160. Google books cuts off the following page which may also be relevant. At p160 Levene simply refers to the conflict between the two accounts, without seeking to resolve it.
I think that is the correct approach, to refer to both accounts of the death, and leave it at that.
I'm not normally a disbeliever in Livy, although in this case one might think that the bare facts reported by Dionysius might be more reliable than Livy's report of a secret meeting of the senate. Yet I don't think that is a basis for ignoring Livy's account. As Niebuhr puts it, Livy must have found the annals consistent on this point for him to report it as fact.Urg writer (talk) 21:41, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Speedy deletion nomination of Gaius Servilius Structus Ahala (consul 478 BC)
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