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Puzzle Pieces

September 13, 2005

Imagine for a moment that history is a giant puzzle crafted out of dozens, hundreds, and thousands of individual pieces, each representing events, dates, and people.

Now imagine somebody carrying that puzzle, tripping on the doorstep, and dropping it on the floor, shattering it into its thousands of pieces, several of which slide off under the sofa, never to be seen again.

That is the best way I can think of to describe the history of Rome in the last half of 216 B.C.  It is a hopeless jumbled mess utterly lacking in chronology or even a logical progression of events.

And, of course, as I lay the groundwork for Chapters XIV and XV, it is up to me to make sense of this tumultuous, confusing span of months.  And "making sense" means more than just cramming everything into a timeline.  It means working out motives and figuring out why things happened.  Which, in the absence of even a vague chronology, can be quite frustrating.

It is times like this that I wish I had access to someone as well versed in this period of history as myself to bounce my ideas off of.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2005 5:24 pm

    They ran around in togas, created a numbering system for movie sequels (Part II, Episode III, etc..), made a salad dressing and creatd the setting for the classic Saturday Night Live skit involving a “Puke Trough”.

    What else can I help you with?

  2. September 13, 2005 6:38 pm

    In college a friend and I once devised an entire scenario whereby Caesar actually invaded Italy because Pompey had stolen his salad recipe and was selling it as a Pompey Salad.

    Yes, I am a dork.

  3. September 14, 2005 12:50 pm

    I was going to respond seriously about how it would be great to have someone like that, someone well-versed in your subject matter, but now I’m too busy laughing at the comments to be coherent.

    I like your puzzle metaphor.

  4. September 14, 2005 12:52 pm

    Were you a history major?

  5. September 14, 2005 2:44 pm

    Sure was. With a focus on ancient and medieval Europe.

  6. September 14, 2005 5:23 pm

    Where is Sykes when you need him…? No not that “one armed man” in that crappy Harrison Ford movie…..the Vandy one who I beleive kew stuff about Roman history.

  7. Jenny permalink
    September 16, 2005 9:27 am

    I really wish I was a history major – instead I have not one, but two boring business degrees. Blah.

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