How can we improve the main Pothos site?

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marcus
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How can we improve the main Pothos site?

Post by marcus »

Dear Pothosians,

It looks as if we're in that post-Summer down period - can it really have been almost a week since a message was last posted here?

I was looking through the main site earlier this week, and I was trying to work out where there are obvious gaps in the information we have there. So here's a task for you all, not least to get you looking at the main site again:

It would be great to have a list of topics that:

(a) already exist on the site but which could do with some re-writing, or expansion.

(b) are not on the site but which you think would be good additions. For example, for ages I have been meaning to put together a glossary of military (and maybe other) terms connected to the Macedonians - e.g. what exactly do we mean if we say agema, or ile?

Things like this could be done singly or collaboratively, but it has been a long time since the site had any new additions or edits, so it's high time, really.

Cheers and all the best
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Fiona
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Re: How can we improve the main Pothos site?

Post by Fiona »

Hi Marcus
still here <waves>
It has gone very quiet, hasn't it? But I think your idea is a good one and I will get reading. I am sure there are lots of articles I've never read.
One instant thought is that the article on Hephaistion could do with expanding, and IMHO it could sound a lot more positive.
Well, OK, maybe just a bit more positive...
I would like to volunteer to do that, but if you'd rather it was done by someone slightly less biased then I will understand. :)
I think the idea of a glossary is great, that would be a really useful thing.
Another thing I have noticed is that the other forum, the off-topic one, is little-used. Maybe it would be a good idea to re-launch it with a different name, so that it might be used for discussion on any historical topic? Then we might feel free to discuss the latest archaeological finds, or interesting books we've read, even if they weren't about Alexander's time. I know we could do that already in that forum, but maybe if it had a different name, we would actually do so!
Will do some more thinking about this, hope it takes off.
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Re: How can we improve the main Pothos site?

Post by marcus »

Fiona wrote: One instant thought is that the article on Hephaistion could do with expanding, and IMHO it could sound a lot more positive.
Well, OK, maybe just a bit more positive...
I would like to volunteer to do that, but if you'd rather it was done by someone slightly less biased then I will understand. :)
Hi Fiona,

If you'd like to write a new piece on Hephaistion, you're more than welcome. As it is we possibly wouldn't get rid of whatever's there already, but would run the two concurrently - attributed to authors, perhaps with a little historiographical info to say whereabouts on the phil-Hephaistional spectrum it falls. That might be best, because it would also allow articles from people who take a different approach to Hephaistion, as well as any that attempt to be unbiased. All this can be done - and if people choose not to write contrasting articles, that's no-one else's fault!

So, write away, if you wish ... :D

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Post by Theseus »

HI Marcus,
I hope you remember me as I have been gone for quite a while. I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but have had problems with my ISP leaving and having to find another. Long story short I have msn now and am back up and running. I hope to continue to contribute to this great forum. I think Fiona's idea is great as Hephaistion is one of my favorite topics when it comes to Alexander's non military life. Yes we know Hephaistion was part of that life too, but the controversy around their
"possible " personal life together is so fascinating to discuss. I'm thrilled to be back here.
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Re: How can we improve the main Pothos site?

Post by Paralus »

marcus wrote: For example, for ages I have been meaning to put together a glossary of military (and maybe other) terms connected to the Macedonians - e.g. what exactly do we mean if we say agema, or ile?
An excellent idea Marcus. Some of the material on the battles and army etc might handle some up-dating as would the "characters". Some are pretty thin and patchy. For instance in the Eumenes:
But before the decisive battle against an army under the leadership of Antigonos and Seleukos, his army which consisted mostly of old aged Macedonians, the unbeaten Argyraspyds refused to fight against other Macedonians
With respect Eumenes' army was rather lacking in Macedonians and the argyraspids had handed the mother of a hiding to their juniors prior to revolting over the loss of their wives and treasure.

Perhaps the site could do with a fresh face? Well though I realise it is devoted to the fellow Alexander III, it would appeal to more were it ever slightly widened. Sub-forums, on the main forum index page, which might deal with Macedonian history, Philip II, the immediate successor period, archaeological news etc as well as "off topic" might just widen the appeal.
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Re: How can we improve the main Pothos site?

Post by marcus »

Paralus wrote:Some are pretty thin and patchy. For instance in the Eumenes:
But before the decisive battle against an army under the leadership of Antigonos and Seleukos, his army which consisted mostly of old aged Macedonians, the unbeaten Argyraspyds refused to fight against other Macedonians
With respect Eumenes' army was rather lacking in Macedonians and the argyraspids had handed the mother of a hiding to their juniors prior to revolting over the loss of their wives and treasure.
That sounds like you volunteering to write a new piece on Eumenes ... I'd really love to write some more character biogs - there are plenty more to do(!) but I cannot do it all on my own, so I'm relying on that stalwarts to chip in. What's more, it will mean that your name comes up on Google more often ... :?
paralus wrote:Perhaps the site could do with a fresh face? Well though I realise it is devoted to the fellow Alexander III, it would appeal to more were it ever slightly widened. Sub-forums, on the main forum index page, which might deal with Macedonian history, Philip II, the immediate successor period, archaeological news etc as well as "off topic" might just widen the appeal.
I know what you mean. I'm not sure whether that's something I can do - the forum is all hosted differently, and it's probably something for Thomas to deal with. But we should certainly consider it. Or we change the main forum to "Discuss 4th Century and early 3rd Century BC Macedonia" :D
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Re: How can we improve the main Pothos site?

Post by Paralus »

marcus wrote:That sounds like you volunteering to write a new piece on Eumenes ... I'd really love to write some more character biogs - there are plenty more to do(!) but I cannot do it all on my own, so I'm relying on that stalwarts to chip in. What's more, it will mean that your name comes up on Google more often ...
My name on Google is of little consequence...but a new Eumenes is a distinct possibilty. Possibly even Perdiccas, Antigonus and sundry others. I already have the basis for a reworking of the hypaspist corps/argyraspids...
marcus wrote:...the forum is all hosted differently, and it's probably something for Thomas to deal with. But we should certainly consider it. Or we change the main forum to "Discuss 4th Century and early 3rd Century BC Macedonia"
Thomas would absolutely need to be involved. I like the drift of that name change: it allows for sub-forums and the main forum to remain Alexander.
Paralus
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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More visuals?

Post by karen »

HI Marcus et al:

I have hundreds of pictures from my trip to Greece in June, most of them in some way Alexander-related (though of course since they were all taken in Greece they relate to his formative years and just one of his campaigns only). I wonder if I could provide illustrations to some of the articles? I shot a great variety -- landscapes, remains of buildings both far off and close-up, tombstones, artwork and all manner of artifacts including weapons, jewelry, tools, personal items, etc. etc. etc. I could get more from my friend & travel companion Melissa.

I also have numerous videos including a lot of walking shots, e.g. through what's left of the Dipylon Gate (through which Alexander must have entered to visit Athens), the race-track at Olympia, the Telesterion at Eleusis (where the Mysteries were conducted), and the city of Pella. If we can embed them on the site then I'll see if I can't upload a few sometime when I'm visiting someone with a faster internet connection than mine. What do you think?

Warmly,
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Post by athenas owl »

In a couple of weeks I would be happy to help in any way.

An odd suggestion, but regarding donating to Pothos. A lot of people do not use PayPal, I won't after a rather unpleasant experience. I do donate through Amazon, though. I understand it's a bit more complicated...but having an alternative to PayPal is a suggestion offered.
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Please could everyone help to improve the site?

Post by marcus »

athenas owl wrote:An odd suggestion, but regarding donating to Pothos. A lot of people do not use PayPal, I won't after a rather unpleasant experience. I do donate through Amazon, though. I understand it's a bit more complicated...but having an alternative to PayPal is a suggestion offered.
I have to say that that is beyond my remit, but it's something that Thomas might look into. Perhaps you could PM him?

As it stands, I have spent some time this evening looking at the book reviews section, and have started cleaning it up - when the site was transferred over there were some terrible formatting glitches, which I've begun to sort out.

However, having therefore spent a bit of time reading through some of the reviews, can I make a real plea for some more reviews from people - even if it's just to say whether you liked or didn't like a particular book, and why - it doesn't have to be a full-scale, academic review.

If everyone who actually visits Pothos spent a bit more time looking at the main site, and not just using the Forum, we really could improve it immeasurably!

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Adding to Pothos

Post by sikander »

Greetings All,

I like the suggestion of additional topics; the idea of illustrating various articles with photos and videos (?) would be excellent, especially if they *could* be connected to specific elements in each article..

Additional articles on various characters would also be a nice touch, just keep it respectful if people disagree.. <smile>

I also believe that we need to try to keep articles as well-researched as possible, cite sources and write from the aspect of recognizing we *are* known as a resource for research- in other words, try to avoid op-ed pieces without citations.

On the book reviews, I am not certain Nick would still be able to participate, but since I initially added much of the text, I'm willing to help clean some things up, Marcus- let me know if you need help, and how.

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Re: Adding to Pothos

Post by Paralus »

sikander wrote:I like the suggestion of additional topics; the idea of illustrating various articles with photos and videos (?) would be excellent, especially if they *could* be connected to specific elements in each article..
After I get through reviewing the ancient history section of the Library of Congress I might well do a Eumenes, Monophthalmus and Perdiccas. I have something I can redo on the hypaspists and possibly the Diadoch wars (if we move in that direction as suggested above).

I might email Johnny Schumate and see if he'd be interested in contributing some of his excellent artwork.
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Re: Adding to Pothos

Post by marcus »

sikander wrote:I like the suggestion of additional topics; the idea of illustrating various articles with photos and videos (?) would be excellent, especially if they *could* be connected to specific elements in each article..
That might take a bit longer, simply because I don't yet know how to embed pictures in the site. When I picked up editorial powers it was only in a textual context ... I'm sure Thomas will help where he can, but please don't expect too much from me! :(
sikander wrote:Additional articles on various characters would also be a nice touch, just keep it respectful if people disagree.. <smile>
Absolutely - and that is where I will use my editorial judgement. I won't squash any opinions, but I will ensure that they are put forward in an intellectual way!
sikander wrote:I also believe that we need to try to keep articles as well-researched as possible, cite sources and write from the aspect of recognizing we *are* known as a resource for research- in other words, try to avoid op-ed pieces without citations.
I couldn't agree more. When I wrote the first two or three of the Main Characters biogs I didn't provide references; however, once I was also writing them for the Wiki Classical Dictionary I got into the habit of providing references. I would encourage and urge any and all contributors to reference their work as fully as possible (although without going overboard - I don't think the site will benefit from 5,000 word essays on individual characters, as they are supposed to be brief biographies).

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Re: Adding to Pothos

Post by marcus »

Paralus wrote:After I get through reviewing the ancient history section of the Library of Congress I might well do a Eumenes, Monophthalmus and Perdiccas. I have something I can redo on the hypaspists and possibly the Diadoch wars (if we move in that direction as suggested above).
If you could do a better piece on the hypaspists I would be grateful - I had started writing the piece that's there, and uploaded it as work in progress ... but never progressed! So if you could finish it off, or provide a completely new section, that would be good.

Eumenes and Monophthamlus would be excellent. I was really rather pleased with my biog of Perdiccas, but feel free to submit a new one. I'd rather have a better Eumenes and an Antigonus biog first, though, as they are more urgently needed.

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Re: Adding to Pothos

Post by Paralus »

marcus wrote:Eumenes and Monophthamlus would be excellent. I was really rather pleased with my biog of Perdiccas, but feel free to submit a new one. I'd rather have a better Eumenes and an Antigonus biog first, though, as they are more urgently needed.
The Perdiccas is quite good. I only mentioned it as I was already doing something on him. I see him as a rather more calculating individual who saw an opportunity not dissimilar to that grasped by Philip in 359. His problem, it seems to me, was timing and a not always decisive nature. He overplayed the initial hand in Babylon and then dithered - disastrously - over which political marriage to make. His lustration of the army showed a realist's decisivenes that seemingly deserted him at other crucial junctures. His end resulted as much from a fatal misjudgement of the nature of the royal army as much as tactical errors. The Macedonians of Alexander's anabasis were no longer the national corps dedicated to central government that had set out all those years hence; they were much more akin to a professional mercenary army. To quote Auden: "I want my girl and I want my pay". That latter want near had Antipater murdered after Perdiccas was done over.

Eumenes and Monophthalmus would be fun. Now to find time....Caitlin's tenth birthday party tomorrow...a front lawn, in October 30 degree (c) sunshine, complete with jumping castle and frenetic ten year old girls. Fetch me a red...

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Parents tearing at their hair
Lawns of girls going quite insane
And no one seems to care

See poor Paralus suppressing malice because Antigonus awaits inside
And Eumenes might be breeze if he'd a red poised to imbibe

Another pleasant valley Sunday
Here in birthday party land
Girls are playing all about my lawn
And Marcus will have to understand...
Paralus
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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