Dr. David Pritchard, Senior Lecturer in Greek History in my department at the University of Queensland, talks to Dr Anastasia Bakogianni of Open University about his research dealing with the Athenian Democracy and its relationship with Athenian war-making, for Classics Confidential’s very worthwhile video series. Visit Classics Confidential – The Dark Side of Democracy, with David Pritchard
This has been all about the news in recent days. It’s pretty interesting: must have been an impressive hat when new! Alternative explanations, from the one given (Celtic cavalry serving in the Roman army) for the helmet include: it was a donative for tribal co-operation during the invasion or it was straight-up war booty (which might explain its possible ritual context of being buried with a huge coin hoard and pig bones). I did see one description of it that said it had a picture of a cavalry man trampling “a barbarian” but from the reconstruction drawing in the linked news article below this doesn’t seem apparent – the figure below the equestrian & winged victory seems separate to them, to my eye.
The decorated Roman cavalry helmet was discovered at a site in Leicestershire.
Experts said its date, close to the Roman invasion of 43 AD, meant it could be evidence of Celtic tribes serving with the Roman army.
The artefact, which was found in fragments, has been restored by a team at the British Museum.
WARNING: POLITICS AND RELIGION
There has been a lot of virtual ink spilt over the few days about Christopher Hitchens’ death. Much mourning of this supposed great warrior for atheist reason. However, much of that overlooks his articulation of a disgusting, triumphant, political ideology – namely, his obscene cheering for the Iraq war and his absolute support for the Bush/Cheney criminal gang, and the implications that his atheism has within the particularly repulsive world view that he held.
I thought Guy Rundle in Crikey put it best when he linked the atheist book (of “sociological interest” at best) to Hitchens’ support for the ultra-right-wing project of ever-escalating genocide against the bogey man of “Islamofascism”. Any level of body count was justified in Hitchens’ reasoning. The fact that the “post political” crowd cheered on his atheist ranting while completely ignoring the human and social implications of his actual political ideology shows up the paucity of depth in the approach of that particular project. At the mourning of him from that sector has deeply alienated me from their project. My atheism is simply not the central core of my political ideology. I’m not siding with fascism and fascists, especially lapsed Trotskites, just because some of them might be atheists! Like the hard Catholic Right of the ALP or the Protestant loonies of the conservative factions, Hitch shows that to make the issue of religion (for or against) a core part of one’s political articulation leads to the worst possible political ideologies.