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Thread: Book: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Book: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

    I have been interested in learning more about Pyrrhus campaigns in Italy and Siciliy so I bought a used copy of Pyrrhus, King of Epirus by Petros Garoufalias (English edition, 1979.) I was really looking forward to this book, but it is a mixed bag.

    I am still only about 75 pages into it, but I'm finding it a bit hard to read because of the style of the author. It reminds me very much of Livy's style...and that is not a good thing. It is not that the author is stilted or doesn't write well. Instead the problem is that the text is literally dripping with hero worship and floral prose without much pretense of objective evaluation of various interpretations that might ever cast any action (or trait) of Pyrrhus in a bad light. Individuals and cultures are cast in either a black or white state for the most part, rather than the shades of gray that are almost always a better representation of reality.

    On the other hand, the author cared enough about his subject to attach the most thorough set of notes and bibliography that I've ever seen accompanying such a work. Consider the structure of the book: 141 pages of text on the life of Pyrrhus, followed by several chapters with about 60 pages analyzing various aspects that would normally be appendices (a nice touch), and then an astonishing 255 pages of extremely detailed notes reviewing the sources, etc. for each portion of the text. So for the careful reader with a skeptical eye, it should still be a useful compilation.

    One reason I am posting this at this point (rather than after I've finished reading the main text) is that I just ran across a rather humorous anachronism that I wanted to pass on. This could be an improper translation from the Greek edition of the the book, but there is a description of how Lucius Aemilius' army invaded the lands of the Tarentines where it proceeded to "destroy their cornfields and farm produce." Now unless I've missed something crucial or been completely misled, corn is a New World crop, like potato and tomato. So I don't think that there would have been much corn to destroy in Tarentium 1800 years before Columbus.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Oaty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

    Well google is the tell all of the internet.

    http://staff.esuhsd.org/~balochie/st...newworldfoods/

    What I didnt know about was potatoes. I always thought they were European, due to how text and movies present them.

    I remember my mother acused me of taking potatoes out of the cabinet, when I was really bringing wild potatoes home.

    Anyways vanilla is another one I did'nt know about but that's a spice and not a food.
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    Default Re: Book: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

    Red Harvest

    I am only on my first cup of coffee so my memory may be hazy, but I think it's just a language usage issue; the agricultural version of using either Soccer or Football to describe the game with round black and white ball.

    USA: Corn = Maize.

    Europe (and elsewhere and archaic usage USA): Corn = cereal crop in general (Wheat, Barley, Maize, etc.). I have also seen it defined a bit more precisely, that in Europe corn tends to be understood as the main grain crop in a region.
    Last edited by conon394; 04-10-2005 at 16:06.
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    Resident Northern Irishman Member ShadesPanther's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

    Yeah conon394 is right. It is a word used for cereals as well as sweetcorn

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    The Orgs Prophet of RATM Member IrishMike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

    Hmmm.... Somebody tell Byzantine Prince about this. He could give a lot of info about Epirus.
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    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

    HEHE, I just found out! I think the problem with the corn thing is that in greek corn has a couple of names so it get's little hazy. I'de be interested in reading something like this, although I don't think I'll like the ending. You know brick to the head and mass slavery of all epirotes.

    The reason it's dripping of hero worship is probably the same reason as Alexander, he was a descendent of Achilles. All the kings of Epirus were fames for that. Ever since Neoptolemus(the son of Achilles) who was disguised as a girl called Pyrrha. That's where Pyrrhus get's his name. Of course this is probably really obscure and not that true but it's a nice thought to have if you are from the region .

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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book: Pyrrhus, King of Epirus

    Yes, it appears to be a modern day translation issue. In North America the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, I've only seen the english word corn used exclusively for the native american indian corn. However, looking more into the word I find that in old/middle english/old norse, etc. and even modern english the word was used to refer to grain crops in general. I am surprised that europeans still use it as a generic in english. It seems that "grainfield" would have been the appropriate word.
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