Sunday, April 27, 2014

Perry Mason
God’s Son Incarnate

Raymond Burr has
Perry Mason

Between 1957 and 1966 there appeared on American TV screens the legal drama Perry Mason.1 The show was hugely popular and had a very long life in syndication. The series has not aged well however and it shows its age quite plainly. I mentioned Perry Mason in a previous posting2, in passing; here I will go through some of the aspects of the show.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Literate Babylonians

Cuneiform Tablet

One of the conceits of much scholarly literature concerning the ancient peoples of Iraq was that the overwhelming majority of the population was completely illiterate in the cuneiform writing system used. The idea is that the writing system was so complicated and difficult to learn that only a few scribes could possibly have been able to master the system.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Silly Series of Lists
Part 1
Last year Entertainment Weekly published a special issue called The 100 All-Time Greatest. The issue was composed of several lists, of “Best” movies, TV shows, music, plays and novels.1 Now to be blunt top 100 lists are basically usually little more than indication of personal taste. And this magazine of lists is little better than that.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Hannibal’s Mistake?


In Livy’s series of books about the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.E.) there is a scene in which after the battle of Cannae in which a commander of the Carthaginian cavalry Maharbal has a conversation with Hannibal, who was in command of the Carthaginian army in Italy.