Ludi Appolinares: The Contest!

Everything related to the ludi circenses and its teams or workings, including games or contests in the Societas Via Romana. Bring on the fun!

Moderator: Aldus Marius

What review did you like the most?

Poll ended at Sun Jul 13, 2003 10:12 pm

Romulus Aurelius Orcus' review of "Gates of Fire"
1
12%
Gnaeus Dionysius Draco's review of "De imperatoribus Romanis"
4
50%
Tiberius Dionysius Draco's review of "Murena"
3
37%
 
Total votes : 8

Ludi Appolinares: The Contest!

Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Mon Jun 30, 2003 11:04 pm

Salvete amici

As you undoubtly know, Societas Via Romana is celebrating the Ludi Appolinaris from 6th till 13th of July. As part of this "grandiose :wink:" event, there will be a contest, starting from now on, in which all sodales can participate.

You are invited to send your own reviews of books, plays, films or whatever modern (i.e. post-medieval) work of art that has been produced about or relating to Antiquity. Not only can everyone choose what he/she will write about (a book, a play, a film or even ballet, who knows), but the required length of such an article would not be longer than half a page in Word, in TimesNewRoman 10 . The submissions would be kept under this topic supervised by the aediles. But before any essay is "published" on the forum, it should be sent to my adress "ali_baba_en_de_veertig_rovers@hotmail.com" first.

At the end of the ludi both a panel and the public will vote for a winner.
This panel would consist of Tarquinius (myself) and the rectores of ColHis and ColArt, namely Mus and Curio, respectively. We ourselves will be barred from participating, of course.

Contest closes on 10th of july.

Good luck,

Valete Bene
Last edited by Tarquinius Dionysius on Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Huh...?

Postby Aldus Marius on Wed Jul 02, 2003 12:08 am

Salvete, magistri...

Reviews only?

No original work (creative writing)?

No fine art?


** A certain Wolf skulks back into his corner, head and tail held low **
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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Wed Jul 02, 2003 5:12 pm

nope sorry, Reviews only! :wink:
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sun Jul 06, 2003 12:15 am

The Ludi Apollinares begin tomorrow! (well, officially today but it's only a little past midnight here).

Come on sodales, where are those reviews?

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:17 pm

Salvete

I shall participate as well by sending in a review of the book Gates of Fire about the battle of Thermopylae, by Steven Pressfield. I shall write it tomorrow.
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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Tue Jul 08, 2003 9:26 pm

Our first entry by Romulus Aurelius Orcus: :)

Review of

Gates of Fire (Steven Pressfield)

The first thing I noticed about this book was that it dealt with a historical event. It was a historical novel, situated in Ancient Greece during the Persian Wars. The second thing about it is that, apparently, it will be adapted for a movie.
The story goes as follows; Xeones is the only survivor of the battle of Thermopylae and is captured by the Persians where he is forced to tell them how the Spartans were able to hold off an entire army for so long. He begins by telling how he and his cousin fled their hometown, which was under attack by an Argive army. Along with an old, sick man they embark to Sparta where Xeo hopes to join the army and take his revenge upon the Argives. Xeo is being watched over by Apollo, who also saved him from dying during the battle of Thermopylae. At one point, their roads split and they must say goodbye. Xeo goes to Sparta where he meets Rooster, a half Spartan- Messenian Helot and Alexandros. Together they face the perils of the Spartan army training. They go to battle with the Spartan king Leonidas, who will take them to Thermopylae.

I must admit, that this book is historically correct. At least, as far as I can tell, it is correct. The descriptions of clothes, weapons, etc… are amazing. Pressfield describe it to a point where you can visualize it for yourself. He brings a beautiful, rich story, not a dull one. Also, he doesn’t portray the Spartan State as a fascist one. Their methods of training may look like fascist methods and harsh, but it were those kind of training that produced the kind of armies throughout their history, that made them notorious and famous.
The characters and setting are amazingly realistic. It gave the whole story a kind of vibe that made you thinks that you are there, living the live of the main character. The fact that the Persian Wars were the background of this story, made it even more realistic in my eyes. To me, this book is one of the better books I have read so far. Most books on history can be more quantity, but this book is pure quality like the Lord of the Rings, Starship Troopers to name a few. If the movie is as good as the book, we will get a superb movie. But my fear is that Hollywood will make it a historical love- war story like they did with Pearl Harbor. That is not the only fear I have. I fear that they will not make it historically correct as the author of the book did, to cut some expenses. But one of my biggest fears is that they make this movie in the style of Hercules and Xena. I truly recommend the book by Steven Pressfield, but if the movie comes out, I would watch it with many skepticism.
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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Wed Jul 09, 2003 7:54 pm

Second entry by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco :)

This is a review on the well-known site "De Imperatoribus Romanis", at the URL www.roman-emperors.org ; its goal is to collect all possible information that may be helpful to construct the ultimate online library on the Roman emperors.

Since it's a known site, this presumes that the info on it is accurate and accessible. It is. Not only does it have lots and lots of information on the Roman emperors, the East has also been included and as such there are also a number of biographies available on the Eastern emperors. Most of the biographies are written in a scholarly, entertaining style that may come across as a bit dry to some but is certainly not boring, and neither does it get lost in an ocean of silly details or anecdotes. DIR clearly avoided the clip of indulging too much in suetonian anecdotes and tries to use multiple sources all the time, which is of course a very good thing. The site also has rather rare info on the youths of emperors, and tries to discuss, if any information is extant, the actual policies they had and how they affected the empire and its inhabitants.

Next to the biographies of the emperors, they also have a section of family trees, maps, battlegrounds and various essays on other personalities from the empire. The only small flaw in their content may be, perhaps, that this information is not always presented as coherently and that the maps are often fuzzy. Also, links to e-texts in the sources section right below the essays on the emperors would have been good, but I'm not complaining. Content-wise it's one of the greatest and most scholarly sites out there.

The interface does the job. It's not a thing of beauty, but it's fairly functional and you can navigate easily. Chances are that if you are looking for a specific item, you'll find it pretty soon, but sometimes the general overview is missing and gets lost in the large, large amount of information that is available on the site. Also, some pages look plain ugly in terms of design (especially the version with frames), but at least they've not overdone themselves in flash menus or unnecessary animations. Still, a better graphical presence would have made this site neater. In terms of interactivity it's better than one would expect from such a vast empire of information. People are invited to submit their own articles which are to be judged by peers.

In concluding, I give the following marks:

CONTENT: 19/20
DESIGN: 5/10
INTERACTIVITY: 6/10

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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Wed Jul 09, 2003 11:06 pm

third entry by Tiberius Dionysius Draco :)

Review of Murena

Authors: Dufaux en Delaby
Publisher: Dargaud

Part I: Purple and Gold.
Part II: Sand and Blood.
Part III: A perfect Mother.
Part IV: For those about to die.

Murena is a comic book about the Roman Empire in the time when Nero seized power (around 54 B.C.). The emphasis is mostly on the intrigues between Nero and his mother Agrippina. This is very well executed and the comic book really feels “Roman”. The clothes, the locations and the people are fairly historically accurate although some of the events should not be taken to literally. But it is a rare gift for a comic book (or anything else) to at least try to be historically accurate and it succeeds quite well in doing so.
Lucius Murena is said to be a friend of Nero and is the son of Lollia Paulina who is murdered by Agrippina. She ordered this because Claudius (the emperor at that time) wanted to marry Lollia and this would mean that Agrippina’s son, Nero, wouldn’t become emperor. After the murder of his mother Murena want to take revenge.
The entire story of Nero, Murena and Agrippina is spread across four comic books and starts when Nero became emperor and ends with the murder of his own mother. These four make “the cycle of the Mother”. The next cycle will be called “the cycle of the wife”.

Many reviews of these comic books were very positive and some of them hailed Murena for being the best historical comic book around. Because these reviews were in Dutch or in French, I do not know if they are available in English or other languages.

Conclusion:

The comic book is well written and illustrated and even though there are some minor historical mistakes it doesn’t spoil the fun of reading. This certainly is a must for anybody who is interested in the Ancient Rome and how it looked like.

Visual: 19/20
Literary: 16/20
Historical Accurracy: 15/20

TOTAL: 50/60
Last edited by Tarquinius Dionysius on Fri Jul 11, 2003 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:14 pm

As of now, the contest is officially closed. All Sodales can vote on their favourite review :wink:

Winners will be announced in three days!
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Postby Tarquinius Dionysius on Sun Jul 13, 2003 6:20 pm

Here's the official announcement of the winners of our review-contest:

congratulations Gnaeus Dionysius Draco, your review was chosen by our Sodales!

As for the choice of the official jury: it ended up as a tie between the three competitors!

Thanks to all for participating/voting!
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