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From XKCD.


Balisage in Montreal

I will be going to a new conference, Balisage, next year. Its located in Montréal, Canada and takes place August 12 – 15, 2008. The subject is Markup (in the technical and XML sense, mainly). Based on the track record of the people organising it I expect it to be good. Hope to see some of the EpiDoc electronic epigraphers there, for example, and hopefully some SVG people too.

The actual geographic location of folk on my flist is usually not something I pay close attention to; I wonder though who else is either going, or lives in the area?

Gaulish Acculturation

This book arrived over a week ago, but I haven't had chance to do much more than glance at it so far. Hoping to read some more this weekend. It was recommended on a mailing list I am on, and Ceffyl had expressed interest in it so I got a copy from Oxbow (Amazon is out of stock).

Watson, Alasdair (2007) Religious Acculturation and Assimilation in Belgic Gaul and Aquitania from the Roman Conquest until the End of the Second Century CE. Archaepress, British Archaeological Reports, BAR International Series, 1624. ISBN 1-4073-0036-9

(I would show a picture of the cover but its a boring sober, plain A4 solid red with black lettering.)

Initial impressions are promising. The book is fully referenced, adequately illustrated, and replete with ancient material (quoted in its original language). The first chapter, entitled "Presumptions and Presuppositions" immediately critiques the concept of "Romanisation" as being simplistic, one-way, colonials-improving-the natives and similarly demonstrates both flaws and lack of applicability of the Core-Periphery model which is really just a dressed-ip form of diffusionism. Acculturation implies, on the other hand, selective uptake and modification and also allows for a two-way street - Romans influence Gauls but also Gauls influence Romans. (Of course, Gauls had been influencing Romans since th 4th century BCE, the sack of Rome being an interesting way to say hello).

The maps at the start are scrappy and unreadable; I suggest getting better ones such as may be found in any atlas of Classical or European history. (Barrington Atlas, if you have access to one). The choice of Belgic Gaul and Aquitania is curious, its not yet clear why Celtic Gaul is excluded from the study. Furthermore, the boundaries used are not the Caesarian ones - in place at the start of the study period - but the later ones (Aquitania bounded by the Loire, not the Garonne; Belgic Baul extending southwards rather than being bounded by the Seine; Germainia Superior and Inferior already carved out) so a bunch of Celtic Gaul is in practice included anyway.

More when I have read more, this is just to note my first impression.

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I just posted some thoughts on 'filling the gaps' in the archaeological or historical record, which is something that a recon sometimes needs to do. Its in gaulish_recon and was originally a response to a question posed by eydimork.
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Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets

book coverI see that oxbow has Graf, Fritz and Sarah Illes Johnston (2007) Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets Routledge, ISBN 0-415-41551-9 on sale for £17.00 in paperback.

Edited to add: there is now a review at BMCR.

Third century Gaulish personal name

This is one of those things, you will either find this interesting, bordering on exciting, or will go "whatever" in which case, you will not click on the link. Oh and its a fairly long posting and involves multiple languages.

I'm not afraid of epigraphy, Gaulish is cool, history is fascinatingCollapse )

Another of those social scraping things
Based on the lj interests lists of those who share my more unusual interests, the interests suggestion meme thinks I might be interested in
1. celts score: 2
2. taranis score: 2
3. polytheism score: 2
4. wyrd score: 1
5. kristalle score: 1
6. katharsis score: 1
7. silvanus score: 1
8. nachtschatten score: 1
9. musica officinalis score: 1
10. gaulish score: 1
11. disillusion score: 1
12. tiamat score: 1
13. brittonic score: 1
14. glaswald score: 1
15. silva hercynia score: 1
16. rollenspiel score: 1
17. gae bolg score: 1
18. brythonic languages score: 1
19. nietzsche score: 1
20. burchard von worms score: 1

Type your username here to find out what interests it suggests for you.

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I'm both surprised and please that gaul is not listed as unusual, although gaulish (the language) is.

(no subject)
Well, I missed the deadline so yes I do suck.

Oh me miseram.

Make or break time
Well, this is it. This weekend I have to either finish the Epona paper I have been working on (each weekend for the last, er, 3 months) or write and tell the FERCAN workshop organizers that I officially suck and can't get them a paper in time for publication. And hate myself for ever. This probably means trimming sections, accepting that some things are not as well explained as i would like, and so on. In other words, the perfect is the enemy of the good sort of story. Again. Which may be no bad thing given that this sucker is already upwards of 35 pages, without illustrations. Oh and I'm going to leave off converting SVG graphics to EPS until Sunday, otherwise I will spend the whole time fiddling with that and not finish off the actual writing part. Motivational encouragement, taunts, etc gladly appreciated. Oh - FERCAN is FONTES EPIGRAPHICI RELIGIONVM CELTICARVM ANTIQVARVM. They had a workshop two years ago in London, which I attended; and another in Lisbon, last year, at which I spoke. This is the write-up of that talk. Yes, its way late.


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