Month: May 2007

  • The Golden Ass

    The Golden Ass is the only novel from classical antiquity to survive complete. It was written in the late second century by one Apuleius, and deals with the tragi-comic misadventures of a man who has been turned into a donkey as a result of a little too much interest in magic. It also includes the […]

  • Problems for Egalitarianism

    Today, I read an article in an ethics journal (called Ethics, simply enough) that defended egalitarianism. This is the view that it is, in general, a good thing to make a society more equal. It’s quite a popular view; it gets defended a lot. I, however, find it very unpleasant; its defenses almost always feel […]

  • Signs of Progress

    A couple of recent events that suggest my Japanese may be making progress. First, while we were on the Tohoku trip, a woman mistook me for a Japanese person. Admittedly, it was dark and I suspect her eyesight isn’t too good, but we did have a very brief conversation, and it was only a bit […]

  • The Later Roman Empire (AD 354-378)

    This book is the Penguin Classics translation of the Res Gestae by Ammianus Marcellinus, the most important primary source for the fourth century in the Roman Empire. As you may notice from the title, it only covers about a quarter of the century, and it spends a lot of time on Julian. Part of the […]

  • The Last Pagan

    As I mentioned when talking about The Later Roman Empire, historians of the fourth century spend an inordinate amount of time on the emperor Julian, because the sources for his life are unusually good. This book is a good example: it’s a biography of Julian. Of course, the other reason that Julian is interesting is […]

  • The Later Roman Empire

    Recently, I’ve been reading a bit about the later Roman Empire, essentially the fourth century (284 to 430). This is a period I didn’t know much about before, so I started with this book, which is a general introduction. As far as I can tell, it’s a pretty good general introduction, too. It starts with […]

  • Yudetamago’s Sex

    We went to the ob/gyn clinic again today. It was really, really busy; we had to wait for about two hours to see the doctor. (Japanese clinics generally don’t do appointments.) When we did see him, it was very briefly, as I suspect he was trying to get through everyone quickly. We did get some […]

  • New Book

    My latest book has now been announced. I contributed to Monster Manual V for Dungeons and Dragons. On the one had, this is just a handful of monsters in a big monster book; it’s not a book by me in any reasonable sense, just one I contributed to. On the other, I have now written […]

  • Ego Boost

    This post on the White Wolf forums has made me feel all warm, fuzzy and competent. So, obviously, I have to tell everyone about it. Look! Look! I have a fan who isn’t my mother! OK, more seriously, this is one of the things that makes writing worthwhile. The Guardian had an interview with Keira […]

  • Diary Entry

    A new diary entry is online, covering the rest of our holiday.