Jan. 8th, 2014

The History Channel has some surprisingly good shows, I'm discovering. I always think of them as the WWII channel (all WWII, all the time!), who then became the "nothing to do with American History" channel (Pickers, Pawn Stars, and Gator Wrestlers). So on Sunday morning I had a few minutes over breakfast, and was enthralled by the ending half hour of a documentary on Roman engineering marvels, discussing the Pantheon and the Baths of Caracalla. For one thing, I've stood in the Pantheon, and for some reason the fact that it was concrete instead of marble didn't really sink in. I think of concrete as being something we use as a more modern building device, and I've had to re-think that. I hadn't really plugged that the Roman Empire used concrete a lot (though according to Wikipedia, it did fall out of use until the mid-18th century, so I wasn't completely off).

Plus I didn't really think of the baths as the equivalent of a modern-day mall, with shops and restaurants and general entertainment as well as swimming, bathing and exercise. Huh! Live and learn, apparently. The show that followed it, on the Plague, lasted two hours and I taped it to make sure I got the whole thing. I thought I knew about the plague, its causes and symptoms and economic and social effects; but that show had all sorts of stuff about the start and the spread of the plague epidemiologically that I either hadn't run into or hadn't stored in memory. :) One of the scholars they were interviewing all the time argued that it wasn't 1/3 that died, it was closer to one out of every two people in the known world from the Mongol Empire through to England that got wiped out, over the course of 2-3 years. That's really hard to picture.

Go, History channel. Remember your roots. :)



August 2015

161718 19202122

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:24 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios