On Feb 2, 1:12pm, Susan Mayer wrote:
> I have also wondered what will happen in a thousand years or so, long after
> "The Big One" hits Southern California, when archeologists find the remnants
> of the Getty Museum and all the original Roman and Greek artifacts, what
> strange and preposterous theories will abound as to how far Rome travelled.
Maybe; but consider that it is far more likely that future
- may discover in that site only a few of the nice classical
bric-a-brac (most of the good stuff will have been looted, destroyed,
or lost some other way)
- they will find heaps of odds & ends, including gum wrappers,
souvenirs, car keys, plastics, glass, & other things likely to survive
fires & centuries of burial
- they will probably find it in context (I don't remember what else
is in the area, but the remains of other local things will probably
- they are likely to have some historical notions of what went on in
the period. They may be incomplete, but will they be completely
befuddled? We still read "Bellum Gallicum" in school!
- they will probably have sophisticated nuclear, chemical, biological
means of dating artifacts & tracing material properties, probably well
beyond what we have today
I think they are a lot more likely to figure out it was a treasure
hoard of some kind, even if the concept of "museum" (interesting
word, that) is gone. They are more likely to underestimate the
importance & nature of the contents.
A Roman presence in early Ireland would help explain some
archaeological, historical, & linguistic anomalies:
1) Drumanagh (if it is a Roman site) is one of a number of peculiar
things that have surfaced in Ireland in the past century. These
are certainly evidence of a great deal of contact.
2) There is evidence that Irish were settled on the west coast
of Britain in the later days of the Roman rule there. How this
worked in Britain is pretty confusing, but the Romans settled
"barbarian" clients in border areas as a regular program in other
parts of the empire.
Patrick seems to be (re-)sent to Ireland to the believers said
to be already there. Who were they? Where did they come from?
Was Pelagius Irish, as is sometimes suggested?
2a) The relatively easy acceptance of Christianity at the beginning of
3) There is some evidence that Latin words entered Irish at
a period well before the period of "Old Irish", 600 AD or
so, because they were subjected to sound changes that had stopped
operating by this period. (It seems to me John Koch has written
4) The invention & spread of ogham at an early date, based on
an encoding of the Latin alphabet
The absence of documentary evidence from Rome doesn't mean a thing.
I don't think _any_ documentary evidence such as Roman government files
&c survived in the west; the climate & the political conditions in
Europe prevented it, & probably none will ever be found, unless there
are some interesting things stashed away in the Vatican library or
its like. I'm pretty sure you could read the entire
corpus of Roman history as written by themselves in a few
weekends, & the whole of their literature wouldn't take but a few
months. Unfortunately, very little survived from that period.
Military operations in Ireland would only have appeared in the
records & histories we have if they were particularly significant
& involved some character of interest to the writer (like, the
exploits of a member of his family, a future emperor, a plotter
against the regime, &c). In the vast territory of the Roman
state there were a lot of things going on whose stories are lost
to us. Have you ever noticed how much fudging & frobbing takes place
on maps of the Roman Empire? Where did they leave off in Africa?
Was Crimea part of the state? Where & how big was Dacia? &c.