Showing posts from September, 2016

Ecco @Livybot! Tweeting bits from Livy daily.

Introducing Livy bot!

Livy bot is a twitter bot that tweets bits from the works of the ancient Roman historian, Titus Livius. Here's a juicy example:
Book 76: Cinna and Marius, with four armies, two of which were commanded by Sertorius and Carbo, gained strength and laid siege to the city. — Livy bot (@livybot) 3 September 2016
About Titus Livy and his work

Titus Livius, or Livy he's usually called in English. He wrote a grand history of Roman history from it's beginning, called the Ab Urbe Condita, or From Its Foundation. A couple millennia later and it's still in print, Penguin and Oxford Classics both do some nice translations under various titles.

Unfortunately, a large chunk of Livy's work, which would have taken up many scrolls and is traditionally split into 142 'books', was lost in the medieval period. Luckily for us though, summaries had already been made in antiquity of all these books, which are called the Periochae or the Epitomes. Most of these …

Who needs Another Metroid 2 Remake?

There's a fair bit of attention bring given right now to the lauded Metroid game series, which recently turned 30 years old.* But it's also the 25th birthday of its sequel, Metroid II: Return of Samus, this bad boy which I've been playing the last couple of days.

Luckily for me, the invention of the internet and popularisation of the web in the intervention decade and a half has been really helpful. I never could complete this as a kid, it can be tough at times, and the omega metroid creamed me last night, but the biggest problem was always missing those hidden paths to mandatory areas.
The cart has been bugging out every now and then, and took a bit of cleaning to get it playable, but maybe it's a bit impressive that here I am, still able to play the original physical game, twenty five years after it was made.

* Which Nintendo have celebrated by releasing a much derided, lacklustre tie-in and by taking down the much praised fan update that was Another Metroid 2…

Just where the f*** is the Colline Gate (Porta Collina), Rome anyway?

While chasing down some references, I came across this passage from Livy 41.9, where he is recounting some portents noted in 177 BCE:
While these were being reported, a wolf entered the City by the Colline Gate in broad daylight and was chased till it escaped through the Esquiline Gate, amidst great excitement on the part of its pursuers. While I've read this passage before, I decided for whatever reason to look a bit more into what symbolism would be implied by entering through the Colline Gate (a.k.a. Porta Collina) and exiting through the Esquiline Gate (Porta Esquilina). I didn't get very far on this though, because something didn't add up when I went to double check the locations.

I had a pretty good idea of where I thought they would be, but wanted to make sure and be a bit more precise (actually just as well because I had mixed up the Portas Collina and Viminal Gate (Porta Viminalis) ... oops, they are pretty close together in my defense, just either side of the mas…