Its the end of the world as we know it but one knows it but me. They are all complacently contented. Singing their lusty songs to the tune of the croaking trees. Gazing up at the blithering skies in innocent wonder. But who can blame them? The sun spits its fetid light and the birds shrill their sibilant songs while their blithering hearts are beating their thickening red blood through their green twisting veins to the beat of my thundering clock. If I could just only claw my way out of this padded cell, run across the roiling floor and save their simmering souls I would.
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  1. The contest that ensued between Rome and Carthage has always intrigued me. Here is one issue I found perplexing. Why didn’t Carthage stop Rome’s ascendency when it had the chance?

    Carthaginian Indifference?

    Rome didn't spring full-blown as a major Mediterranean power. Even after throwing off its Etruscan yoke it was vulnerable to attack by the Gauls. So it's ascension was a slow gradual one which also involved the conquest of neighboring cities and bringing them into alliances followed by the subjugation of the Greek colonies in southern Italy with the defeat of Pyros which finally brought the entire Italian Penninsula under its control.

    In short, at first sight Rome might appear to have been carelessly allowed to transformed itself into Carthage's worse nightmare right under the noses of the Carthaginians when they might have easily nipped it at the bud.

    What such a view ignores, however, is that Carthage’s control of the Mediterranean was being challenged by another power, the Greeks. So the efforts were being directed at an existing threat as opposed to a potential one. In fact, prior to its confrontation with Rome Carthage had fought three wars in Sicily against the Greeks. Then a fourth one when Pyrrhus invaded Sicily. So it had its hands too full of Greek challenges to pay attention to an emerging Rome. Only after the Greeks in Sicily appealed to Rome for help against Carthage and Rome intervened did the danger become clear.

    Carthaginian Lack of ingenuity?

    Yet another quirk that still stands out is the Carthaginian inability to find a way to counter the corvus, the ramp deployed from the Roman ships in order to make a battle art sea a land battle.

    One would expect that all the minds at Carthage would have concentrated on nullifying the corvus in order to give Carthage the advantage at sea once more. Strangely that effort never seems to have been made. Was it because the Corvus wasn’t really as effective as some historians claim? Some say it was totally abandoned because of its instability in rough seas and that the last battle the finally won it for Rome it was not a factor. Still I wonder why no effort to counter it was ever made? Strange!


    The Corvus

    The corvus was an unusual naval weapon used by the Romans during the First Punic War to help make up for the Carthaginian prowess at sea. The corvus was a boarding bridge, probably 36 feet long and 4 feet wide, with a parapet on each side. This was attached to a pole on it's own ship, and could be pulled up at an angle. Underneath the far end was a heavy spike. The idea was the ship with the corvus moved close to the enemy, and then released it. The spike would dig into the enemy vessel and pin it in place, while the Roman soldiers would charge onto the enemy ship. This allowed the Romans to take advantage of their superior infantry. The corvus was first used at the battle of Mylea, where it helped bring about the first major Roman naval victory of the war. Long considered implausible, modern reconstructions have proved that the corvus was indeed possible with the technology of the time.
  2. The greatest delusion?
    Posted Today at 03:17 PM by Radrook

    When studying history and making a comparison with present or recent historical events it becomes quite clear that although we have progressed technologically our emotional area has remained unchanged. Mankind still cannot resolve major disagreements without the threat of violence or its employment. The sad truth is that we haven't gone at each other with nuclear weapons in a full out war not because we are more civilized now, but because we fear mutual annihilation.

    However, that hasn't prevented us from killing each other with conventional weapons. So the only difference is that where once we employed bows and arrows to kill at a distance we now use rifles and cannons and ICBMs.

    True, we are far more technologically advanced, but the murderous savagery is still present and only hidden by a veneer of civility.

    Please consider that every single invention or discovery we make, our military pounces on it to determine its killing potential-whether it be pharmaceutical, or strictly limited to electronics. \

    How to cause explosions via gun powder? We immediately began cannonading each other and would up carpet fire bombing entire cities.

    How to make certain chemicals into gasses?
    We gassed one another during WWI

    Discovery of nuclear power?
    We nuked other humans during WWII.

    Advances in electronics?
    Already we are considering making machines that can replace soldiers and aviators so we can kill each other at a distance at greater safety to ourselves ad keep the process as clinically antiseptic as possible.

    Future colonies on other planets in our solar system? We are already finding ways in which to obliterate them if war breaks out.

    In short behind the sophistication that separates us from the lower beasts there still growls the snarling savage eager to be unleashed and straining at the shackles that hinder its bloodthirsty movements and murderous desires.

    The irony of this is that despite the historical evidence we still insist that we are closer to a benevolent God than we are to a maniacal demon.

    Perhaps that is the greatest delusion of all.
    Laurus likes this.
  3. Flash Fiction 1

    It's the end of the world as I know it yet no one believes it but me.
    Others here continue complacently contented murmuring memorized songs
    beneath frog-laden croaking trees, gazing at darkening skies through barred windows
    in stupefied wonder as the faltering sun gradually refuses light and birds begin to deny sibilant song.

    “As long as hearts pump thickening blood through green twisting veins there is

    hope!” the head nurse shouts.

    Who here knows anything about the thundering clock but me?
    If I could just only claw my way out of this padded cell and leap
    across the snake-roiling floor to save their innocent souls they’d be free..