"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia
was written by Pliny the Elder
between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian
, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum
, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Dec 16, 2013 -
World War I in Color
is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Oct 31, 2013 -
A few handwritten pages with poems and photographs from
The road is wider than long
During July and August 1938, as Europe prepared for war, Roland Penrose
and Lee Miller
) drove from Greece through the Balkans.
This was his record of the journey and declaration of love for her.
LEAVE YOUR TONGUE STUCK TO THE BARK
This will avoid all danger
of not meeting next year.
(Previous Lee Miller
posted by adamvasco
on May 21, 2013 -
America & Nation Building:
John Clint Williamson, a career federal prosecutor, now serving as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, gives a TEDx talk on how to rebuild failed states, from the Balkans to Iraq. Sounds similar to Thomas P.M. Barnett
's call for a U.S.-run International "SysAdmin
Williamson's speech at Seton Hall: SLYT
posted by joetrip
on Apr 25, 2010 -
Then, in November 2007, exactly three years after the disappearance of Simjanoska, another woman from Kičevo went missing. Fifty-six-year-old Lubica Ličoska was, like Simjanoska, a custodian, and she also lived in the same section of town. When the similarities were noted, locals suddenly remembered Gorica Pavelska. She was seventy-three, a retired custodian who went missing in May 2003. No one had thought much of it at the time. She might have suffered a stroke in some remote place, they had speculated, or gone to work in Skopje. No trace of her was ever found and the whole business had been forgotten. But now it appeared that little Kičevo was home to a serial killer, and Vlado Taneski’s editors smelled a big story.
- The Mask of Sanity: On the Trail of a Serial Killer in Macedonia
by Dimiter Kenarov. An account of the Kičevo Monster and the killer's surprising identity. [Warning: Descriptions of the murders include graphic details]
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 5, 2009 -
The fojbas are basins near Trieste and the Adriatic Sea, which served as mass graves during the massacres that followed World War 2. Those accused of collaborating with the fascists, or of opposing the communists, or who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, were killed and then deposed there.
In 2000, the Slovenian magazine Mladina, known for its irreverence, put a Tetris-style game called Fojba 2000
(flash req'd) on its site. In the game, you drop the bodies of either partizani (partisans) or domobranci (fascist Slovenes) into a pit, while jolly oompah music plays in the background. (More Inside) (Shamelessly ripped verbatim from The Glory of Carniola)
posted by Ufez Jones
on Mar 23, 2004 -
Here's a news story which has received precisely no attention over the last few days. We should all be joyful that international justice, still in its infancy, helped along by this man
amongst others, has led Milosevic to trial.
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Apr 3, 2003 -
BBC's Newsnight reports on a massive security oversight that makes unencrypted NATO video surveillance available on the Internet
"Nato surveillance flights in the Balkans are beaming their pictures over an insecure satellite link - and anyone can tune in and watch their operations live," reports Mark Urban of BBC2's late-night news analysis show.
Near-realtime footage of NATO surveillance operations in the Balkans is routinely gathered by spy planes and returned to base as an encrypted signal and then forwarded to intelligence facilities in the US. However, when they are beamed back to Europe for analysis at NATO headquarters, no encryption is used. It is possible to tune into and watch these live video feeds (complete with map references and information about the type of aircraft in use) and so, in theory, an unfriendly agency could use the pictures to see what troops are up to and who they are watching. How long before this loophole is acknowledged and closed? Or should all surveillance data be made ever more available to whoever wants it?
posted by hmgovt
on Jun 12, 2002 -
West steps up threats against Yugoslavia
-- "The Democratic Opposition of Serbia has signed up to the platform of the G17, a think-tank of market economists again funded by National Endowment for Democracy [an adjunct to the CIA]. This economic blueprint calls for the adoption of the German mark as the main currency for all of FRY, following in the footsteps of the Montenegrin republic last year. Other proposals include reduction of public spending, ending subsidies on food and other forms of social protection. The continuation of US and European economic sanctions on the FRY is being cynically exploited to bludgeon the population into accepting these terms as the condition for ending their economic isolation...." [more...]
posted by johnb
on Sep 25, 2000 -