Tuesday, 19 February 2013

She Who F**ks With The Past Controls a Fat Wallet In The Present

Okay, if you're a person getting into reading historical stuff I'm going to do you a favor and save you some time. Have a read of this article at the Huffington Post (famously nicknamed The 'Puffington Host' by Chris Hitchens on account of its tendency to host authors pushing books because they'll do that for free).

Any writer who sets themselves up as an ordinary woman/man in an earnest fight against dogmatic, pigheaded academia is, almost by definition, full of shit. See that schtick in any foreword- just put the book down. Trust me; put it down. It's Graham Hancock stuff, it's Was God An Astronaut? territory.

Despite this authors claims, I can assure you that last time I looked, classical academia would be more than happy to consider this author's theory Cleopatra was murdered- it would not 'upset a beloved applecart'. Believe it or not it would be calmly considered. No amount of Pat Brown pretending to be a feisty character from CSI should blind you to this.

Frankly, her main problem is she's either shite at research or disingenuous. The thrust of her argument is that an Egyptian Cobra couldn't be relied upon to produce enough poison (and she paints Plutarch as a stooge in some bizarre conspiracy, of course). Funny, that; respected classicist Peter Green also says this (as I recall) as do many others. Green argues that the poison was more likely in a vial of some sort and smuggled in, but that, in the century between Cleo dying and Plutarch recording it the cobra got added because, to Romans, this would be more like a thing an 'exotic' woman of the east would do. Not a peep from Mz Brown about that...

Pat Brown: you're a criminal profiler. If my body ever hits the pavement, there's no way I want you on the bleeding case.


  1. This reminds of one of those "Get any woman you want guaranteed" articles that promises to teach you how to brainwash women into not noticing you're a vile tosser they shouldn't go near, before throwing a few vague statements and anecdotes at you that lead up to a request for money in exchange for a book or webinar or whatever.

    1. Have you been looking at my other blog, sociopidgin?