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April 14, 2006

Procopius and Bunny's

I haven't done this in quite a while and it's more than likely that I'll remain inconsistent in my blog postings. Nevertheless, there's no time like the present to 'geter done'. Well, I'm actually procrastinating a bit: I'm about to do a wee translation of Procopius for the thesis and I'm, well, hesitating. This is afterall more important right?

It's actually a pretty interesting passage and the only battle-narrative in the Vandal Wars with any rapid acceleration in narrative pace; it also happens to be pretty vivid. Interestingly, this particular scene is also outside the body of the narrative for the Vandal Wars and is actually in the proem, or introduction I guess. This is not a battle that Procopius would have been privy to (it occurred during the reign of the emperor Leo in the 5C), and is actually the only naval battle encountered thus far. But, despite the questionable authenticity of the details of this battle, I think that it's pretty significant, particularly in relation to what follows in the course of the Vandal Wars. Procopius intervenes on a few occasions and seems to be forcing us to look towards the events that will transpire when Justinian, Belisarius – and Procopius – begin the invasion in 536. Hmmm. Anyway, there's still much to do.

Um, it's Easter and the school is closed. Many things close here (the UK) on holidays, and more than I'm used to. Sure, things do close on holidays in Ontario, but not quite as often, and even during the regular operating hours, they're open later. Just a comment (and pet peave I guess).

NHL playoffs are days away! What does this mean? This means that I'll be staying up til the wee hours of the morning listening to online broadcasts of the Senators as they embark on their quest for the Cup. If I didn't have the internet, I don't know HOW I'd cope with this televised hockey deprevation.

Hopefully I'm off to visit the old country soon: The Union of Canadian Socialist Republics. Unfortunately, the summer smog by then should be settling in over southern Ontario and I expect that after the warmest winter on record (in Ontario), that it will also be a scorcher during the summer. Ah, the British summer is looking quite appealling…


February 15, 2006

A Romantic Evening with Procopius

Ah Valentine's Day, and a Romantic night with my good buddy Procopius. Does anything beat that? Come on! Let's be reasonable here…hmm…maybe I'll leave that one alone.

I'm sitting here at this hour stuffed with food that I definitely shouldn't have eaten – now that smoking's banned the next logical step is for healthy places like Subway to remain open later in the evening – and thinking about going to bed. Unfortunately, I'm also hopped up on chocolate. Not a winning combination for valubale sleep and a healthy lifestyel. Anyway, this is about Procopius!

I'm on page 28 or 29 of this latest section and to paraphrase my subtle roommate, the verbal diarrhea just keeps on coming. Originally, that is, upon arrival and the commencement of my tenure here at Warwick, the plan was to do a study of battle in Procopius. This year (that is, since the term restarted in January) it was suggested that that would not be enough for a PhD thesis. Luckily, I had plan A2 stored away in the 'ol noggin, and a more general study of Procopius as a military historian really began to take shape. But, like I said, the crap just keeps on flying onto my laptop's screen and I don't know when it will end. I'm only doing books 1 and 2 of the Persian Wars at this point, and battles at that (sieges are on deck), but I'm not yet down with this preliminary analysis and yet I've barely scratched the surface of the secondary literature. God! There really is quite a bit of work to do while exploring the battle's alone. Plus, I think that there will be even more to do when I get to the Gothic Wars. Hmmm. A lot to think about.

This Procopius guy actually is pretty clever; and subtle. Sure, his writing is relatively clear and it's not at all hard to follow, but I'm starting to think that there's more going on beneath the surface then is at first evident. Kaldellis may certainly be on to something in his recent polemical monograph.

More to follow…pehaps.

Oh yeah. Go Canada Go! At least, for those athletes that have a good chance of winning a medal, aka, the hockey players. Men get 'er goin' tomorrow. Ooh…exciting!!!

P.S. Jackass the Movie is a horrible movie; but it's funny as hell.


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