Dead Links – Introducing a new blog series

A six month hiatus from regular posting on this blog should be explained in all honesty.

I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to introduce you to my new project: a bi-weekly series called Dead Links.

Dead links, in the the world of the internets, are URL links that become broken, irrelevant, or otherwise unavailable over time (so says the Wikipedias). This is also called ‘link rot’, but I admittedly didn’t want to start what sounds like a study on trench foot, so Dead Links it is!

In the study of the Ancient World – or the study of any history at all – we are dependent on primary sources and other contemporary evidence to flesh out and lend credence to our work, as well as keep our occasionally wild interpretations grounded in some degree of reality. These are called extant sources (from the Latin extantem, the accusative singular participial form of extans, the third declension noun meaning “existing” or “standing out”), meaning that these sources are active and continuous.

However, as many historians know, there are a myriad of sources that we know did exists and would afford a wealth of new knowledge and perspectives if only they existed still.

This once-was-but-is-no-longer material is the focus of my new project. Every other week, I will post a summary introduction of the various materials I’m researching and update the bibliographies for each as my research goes further in depth than, say, a Wikipedia article. Ideally these will be part of a much larger cohesive project, but for now a post every fourteen days should keep me on the straight and narrow. Academic rigour, what?

My first four posts will be about the lost agricultural treatise of Mago of Carthage, the tantalizingly lost correspondence between Aristotle and right-hand-man to Alexander the Great, Hephaestion, the Sybilline Books, and the embalmed body of Alexander the Great himself. Watch for them, and enjoy!


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