Civil Liberties vs. Human Rights

This letter was published by the short-lived Canadian periodical The Idler in September 1985. A bit of background for non-Canadian readers: the eleven men referred to are the Prime Minister and the Premiers of the ten provinces. Under the parliamentary system, the leaders of majority governments have essentially unfettered power. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was […]

Weasel Words

We all like to have a chuckle at the euphemisms invented by bureaucrats, public relations officers, and assorted hand-wringers—terms like animal companions for pets and challenged for handicapped. But what is more disturbing is the way euphemisms and perverted meanings creep into the popular language and choke off the truth about things—largely through the influence of journalists who are too pusillanimous to […]

Skookum Editions – Free History E-books

The following e-books, available for free download, have been carefully prepared from texts that are in the public domain worldwide (or, as noted, in Canada, where this site is hosted). With the exception of Rolfe’s Ammianus, they contain all the original footnotes, reciprocally linked. Any classical Greek cited is correctly rendered where the device font […]

Some Observations on Roman Chariot Racing © Peter Donnelly

Revised January 30, 2018 I welcome comments. Please mail peter at this domain. Contents Introduction The chariots The sparsores The riders Tools on the track Charioteers and the law The Reds and the Whites The capacity of the Circus Maximus Claques in the circus? Appendix: Sidonius’s account of a race Notes Introduction Despite the prominence of […]

The Sorcerer’s Cave and Its Sequel by Terence Peter Donnelly

[This article originally appeared in the Autumn 1980 issue of the late lamented Games & Puzzles magazine. I have edited it slightly.] “I want to show you a new game,” said my friend from a far-off city, as he pulled a rucksack from his shoulders. Out of the sack came stacks of computer print-outs, graph paper, oddly-shaped […]

What Happened at Adrianople?

Contents Introduction The Geographical Setting The Nature of Combat How Many Fought? Locating the Battleground The Raid The Next Three Days The Morning of August 9th The Negotiations The Battle What Determined the Outcome? The Text of Ammianus Conclusions Open Question Appendix: The Text of Orosius References Notes Introduction The battle fought near Adrianople in […]