Monday, April 09, 2007

Military Encyclopedias

Ah, the joys of paid work!

I am expanding my knowledge of Rome, from the Punic Wars up through its ignomious sack by the Vandals, by writing for a textbook-style encyclopedia of war. Not my favorite topic by a long shot, but I'm learning tons o' stuff. . . not the least of which is that encyclopedia articles, online and in print, are only as good as the hacks and graduate students that wrote them. And we ain't all geniuses.

Who'd'a thunk you couldn't trust an encyclopedia? Sadly, it's sometimes true. I have read some poorly-researched articles that were just plain wrong.

Right now I'm reading about the mysterious Goths. They really were mysterious in the sense that no one is really sure where they came from and how all the tribes were related. My source, published this year, is called Rome's Gothic Wars and the author was in diapers when I graduated High School. Boy, that's depressing.

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