Jest: Rules for Writing About Late Antiquity

From Adrian Murdoch’s Bread and Circuses blog comes this….

Some light relief for a Friday. Rules for writing about late antiquity. Feel free to send in any more:

• Anything that happened in Britain, happened in AD 410.

• Any Western coin hoard must contain half a dozen bronzes of Honorius and Arcadius.

• If you are confused about why something happened on a certain date it is either Easter or the anniversary of an emperor’s date of accession.

• Any bones discovered by archaeologists are that of a saint – probably one you’ve never heard of called Martin or Severus.

• Any natural disaster not otherwise attested caused untold damage – there is no such thing as an earthquake that shook things up a bit but everyone came out of it just peachy.

• Any silverware without provenance came from Pannonia.

• When desperate for a pithy quote – there is always Jerome.

• Any coin of an unknown emperor was a British or Gallic pretender who lasted for 20 minutes before his soldiers stabbed him in the back. Someone has already written a DPhil on him.

• The PLRE is always wrong.

• So is Seeck.

• When in doubt, Tim Barnes has written an article on it.

• Any Vita you need to look at has only been translated into a language you don’t read.

• Barbarians good, Romans bad.

• Say anything you want about him, no one has ever read Themistius… whatever they might claim.

• Whoever it is, Symmachus either wrote a letter to or about him.

• On the rare occasions he didn’t, Sidonius Apollinaris did.

• Any unexplained building works are fortifications… a reaction to political upheaval in the fourth/fifth century.

• If you can’t find a classical reference it is from Book II of the Aeneid.

• If you don’t recognise a Christian reference it is from the Book of Tobias.

• The Antonine Wall will get UNESCO status next year.

• When back in the real world, remember to stop counting inclusively.

• Any debate about a discrepancy in historical sources can be won by referring to the Enmannsche Kaisergeschichte.

Comments are closed.

Staypressed theme by Themocracy