(EN) – Encyclopaedia Romana | James Grout

“These essays are personal and idiosyncratic. They therefore tend to meander, with links in the text elaborating on other related topics. The advantage is that one can read an essay at varying levels of detail; the disadvantage is that, in overlooking a linked term, one easily can miss an additional two or three (or more) essays nested deeper within the broader discussion. Too, as links within one essay lead to another and then another still, there is an increasing tendency to stray from the original subject. The most indulged degree of separation is an essay on aconite poisoning that ends with a discussion of C. cedonulli. There are essays on the pearls of Cleopatra and red mullets, lead poisoning and tulip mania, Nero as the Antichrist and the Amazon types of Ephesus, Caesar’s giraffe and conchylomania. But nothing on Roman politics or economics.

When a subject is discussed more than once—for example, the Arch of Claudius, which is mentioned both in Roman Britain and the Aqua Virgo—the reader should remember to click on the link at the top of the page to return to the main essay and on the back button for the previous page. There also are links at the bottom of some pages to other essays of similar interest. All this, no doubt, is rather clumsy when frames would have made for a more elegant interface.

The Encyclopaedia Romana first was posted on April 17, 1997 and, in one way or another, is revised almost daily. There is a discussion of the Roman province of Britannia which, in an excursus, extends to the Norman period, as well as essays on Greek architecture, courtesans, the end of paganism, some tentative essays on Byzantium, and fewer still on the Viking Age.

I am not a classicist but do read the primary sources in their most accurate translations and compare authoritative secondary sources before presuming to make any statement of my own. Students of the literature are commended to do the same. To be sure, not everything presented on the Internet is accurate, but some persistent statements are utterly wrong. For example, the life of Alexander the Great was not saved by his dog Peritas; the Marble Cone is not one …”

See on penelope.uchicago.edu

Leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s