24 out of 410 Days: Proofing Problems

The worst thing that can happen when reviewing proofs is to find a mistake made not by the publishing house — those you can demand they fix — but instead by you, especially if that error is substantial and thus might change page layout or numbers.  Then again, one can’t very well leave historical inaccuracies and logical inconsistencies right there on the page.  Maybe it is a good thing for the publishing process to take a while, as it lets one read one’s own work as if it was the work of a stranger.  So my challenge today was to cut the offending statement and replace them with something accurate while using the exact correct number of characters including spaces.   I chopped 1,203 characters and replaced them with 1,198 characters.  Five characters under seemed a reasonable margin.  Hopefully my editor thinks so! 

The point I’d failed to articulate was how the testimony of Livy and Strabo relates to the change in coin types at Heraclea Lucania.  The type of above borrows its obverse from Thurium and its reverse from Tarentum, the two cities that jointly founded Heraclea.  Livy and Strabo tell us that Alexander the Molossian who originally came across the Adriatic to aid the Tarantines turned on them and seized Heraclea and tried to move a large festival with a general assembly of the Greeks living Italy from Heraclea to Thurian territory.  The coins show first the Heracleans letting go the Tarentine design:

And then letting go the Thurian obverse as well:

The general subject matter (Athena/Heracles) stays the same but the direct iconographic parallels are removed.  Anyway, the literary testimony seems rather important to explain why Heraclea might have been distancing itself from each of its mother-cities in turn. I’m glad I caught my lapse.  I just wish I’d caught it earlier.

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