62, 63 out of 410 days: Cleaning Up

At the blackjack tables! No. Not really. Not even the house. Just Chapter 6. I ended doing a major restructuring which felt satisfying and then I decided it was about time that I created neat and tidy corresponding apparatus: 1) numbered block quotations and groups of block quotations for corresponding literary sources with proper references to such in the text, 2) an actual bibliography used if a proper format, rather than a jumbled list of things I’d like to include, 3) (a) a number list of figures with (b) a list of cross references to figures in other chapters so I have something to check later to make sure in the final drafts those other chapters actually contain what they’re supposed to.

It is easier to revise a bad draft than agonize over a first draft.

That’s there as a reminder that I’m enjoying the revision process and that I shouldn’t worry about imperfections in first drafts. Something is more than nothing. I tell that to my students all the time.

I’m struggling a bit with the lack of footnotes. I think I could have them. Another book by the press in a different series but with a similar target audience used them. It was recommended by the editors as ‘inspiration’. One of my peer reviewers thought they might be better than parenthetical notation. All that said, they could get out of hand. They could start to clog the page and trigger OCD-like compulsions for completeness. Parenthetical notation feels like it will keep me in-line, writing for a-scholarly-but-still-introductory audience. For now.

I cheated yesterday. It was totally a work day and I didn’t give you a coin. Do I feel guilty? A little. Do you feel lied to and like our strong foundation of trust is broken? Are you disappointed in me? I promise I will make it up to you.

I woke up in the middle of the night linking about this coin. Perhaps that was my conscience eating at me. The jug and lituus and wreath reverse kept throbbing behind my eyelids. The IMPER pulsed. They want to make sure I don’t forget about them apparently. On the other hand, on waking I was treated to a little refrain of a Turkish conversation that featured in my audio lesson yesterday? “Amerikalı mısın? Evet, Amerikalıyım.” Over and over. I apparently I’ve got that bit down. Now, if I could just get better about saying and understanding the verb to KNOW, I’d feel like progress was being made.

Okay. On with it properly now.

Sulla’s Numismatic Peers

Reverse Image

Sulla struck a significant series of coins in gold and silver during his return from the East after brokering a peace deal with Mithridates at the Dardenelles and marching on Rome. On that coinage, he identifies himself by the title “Imperator”, the acclamation given to a commanding general after his first major successful battle by his own troops (i.e. Roman citizens under arms).

Reverse Image

He wasn’t the first to use this title on a coin to mark out his authority.  That honor goes to the murderous, mutinous Fimbria (he even sacked Troy!):

object image

What’s noticeable is how Sulla doesn’t get to monopolize this honor amongst even his followers:

Reverse Image

This specimen was probably minted in Massalia as C. Valerius Flaccus, proconsul in Gaul, sets out againt Sertorius c. 82 BC.  Notice how like Fimbria (HIS BROTHER’S MURDERER!) – sorry for shouting I got excited – he combines the title with the iconography of the legionary standard.  His Wikipedia page is remarkably thorough and well written, although again I didn’t check the accuracy.

Reverse Image

This type was issued by Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius.  On the other type in this series he includes his initials so we we’re sure, but keeping the ‘I’ for Imperator at the end:

Reverse Image

Metellus’ career and pedigree certainly rivaled that of other men of his generation.  What does all this tell us?  Mostly that Sulla may have set norms but that his peers did not assume they could not match him.

Update:  Also see now my post of 27 September 2013.