Friday, February 23, 2007


Hold still, duckies.
I have a burlap sack here full of pine cones and I know how to use them.
I'm tagging all of you.

See, it just ain't gonna be a perpetual bouillabaisse of syntax errors and the word 'fuck' around here, kids. I have another, darker side. A side that I fully intended to blog about as much as I do all the other stuff until I became seduced by the bright lights and applause.

I am a history nerd.
I like medieval and renaissance Italy.
I read classical literature.

And I have questions. Several of them. I damn well intend to get them answered.
And what I need from you, my darlings, my lurkers, my pseudonymous peeps, are answers.

Good answers.

And be forewarned:

The mere mention of the first item on my list made one womans' e-mail go down and blew another blogger completely off the www for a period of months.

Scared yet? Too bad.
Because I am leaving this shit up until I get TEN USEFUL ANSWERS.

  • I need the title of a good, scholarly discussion of the writings of St. Augustine of Hippo.
Specifically, I need the assistance of someone who has braved at least the Confessio and come out the other side alive, and who can hold my hand and pass me Kleenex. Only in book form.

  • I need a list of the complete works of Plutarch. (I know there's one of TCWP which exist on the www. I need to know the titles of everything Plutarch wrote. I don't care where it is, or if it's lost. And...
  • ...I need to know the date when each one of them was first published in Italy A.D and an idea of how widely they were distributed.
  • I need titles of good, scholarly, detailed works about agriculture as it was practised in Italy c.1452 - 1519. Preferably with lots of pictures and archaeological stuff.
  • " " about clubs, guilds and secret societies in Italy c.1452 - 1519. THE FIRST PERSON WHO MENTIONS 'THE DAVINCI CODE' WILL BE HUNTED DOWN LIKE AN ANIMAL AND FLENSED.
  • " " about homosexual culture in Italy, 1452 - 1519.

...and this is the short list.
Git crackin'.

UPDATE: the lovely and frequently transplanted ARABELLA comes in at number ONE! only nine more USEFUL ANSWERS to go before we're back to stories about public restrooms and how much I hate my cousin's wife!

BEAST slides into home with answer number TWO! (Appropriately enough.) Only EIGHT MORE TO GO before the 'shit, piss, cunt, fuck, cocksucker, motherfucker and TITS' resume!
I mean resume more.

VioletForTheMoment via her Companion Viola just came through with more Augustinian references than Carter has little liver pills! Companion Viola, you are a strong and brave viola with the cast iron constitution of a grizzly bear. I get to the part about the damn pear orchard and I throw the book against the wall every single time. ONLY SEVEN MORE!!!

PINK saves your whining asses with TWO SEPARATE ANSWERS bringing the total to FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The South HAS RISEN AGAIN AND THE SOUTH IS PINK!

so if the South is Pink and the East is Red...fuck it.


  1. Aaaag. The problem here is the word "Italy." I don't know anything about Italy, except the Italian lit that Chaucer translated. (Mostly Bocaccio and Petrarch.) If you had asked me ANY of these questions about England I could bung book titles at your head like a mechanical baseball pitcher.

    I will see what I can do about St. Augustine, tho.

  2. I was good with your post on Virgin Olive Oils and offering up some recommendations there...

    Could we go back to that for my shallow brain?

  3. Yeah, same here re: England. Curious to learn more about St. Augustine too, the original Sex Addict according to my anonymouse sources.

    I love history, but I guess I love the idea of it more than the actual reading. I like browsing in the library, picking up an Oxford book and snoring my way through the first chapter. Probably a bad strategy.

  4. Are you doing research for a book? Please tell me there's a Harley-riding sci-fi Renaissance monk romance in our future...

  5. *slack-jawed and drooling*

    should probably get my ass back to school.

  6. Will you settle for the titles of Incredible String Band records?

  7. Does having a table calendar of artistic Italian penises count for anything with you? If so, I can help.

  8. mj: ooh! where can I get one???

  9. All I can hear, is the sound of your questions whistling over my head.

  10. Da Vinci Code.

    What can I say I'm a rebel.

    And besides...

    I want you to hunt me down...maybe then we can have lunch.

  11. kristy12:06 AM

    So, define "need." What exactly do you mean you "need" this stuff.

    I could, of course, answer all these questions right off the top of my head, but I need assurance that you're using your powers for good rather than evil...

  12. contains lists of primary and secondary sources that might be of use reg. Augustine of Hippo.

  13. cb: i know. the uk, france, hell; you can find reams of crap in translation. italy? for some reason its all been beautifully translated into FRICKEN GERMAN. which i am sure is a lovely and expressive tongue, but it is one i CANT' FUCKING UNDERSTAND. unless it's dante or petrarch. other wise fuggeddaboudit.
    thank you, my darling.XOO
    g: now don't you start. everything i want was either a chronicle of ordinary people's activities or written for people who did NOT have what we think of as higher education. that's the dirty little secret of the classics...they're accessable!
    w2:that goes right to the heart of the reason i am so interested in finding something on the order of a 'Companion to the Writings of Augustine'. his attitudes and reasoning about that became the pus-filled core of catholicism....*blither, expound, rant, foam*
    danator: it's more like a study plan? i don't know what you'd call it. mostly i read about it, come up with a list of questions and ideas and then research those...wash rinse repeat. been doing it for almost 15 years.
    claire: why? i do this for recreation. i probably don't know what i'm talking about half the time but that puts me right up there with every teacher i've ever known, too.
    vicus: how about minnie ripperton? i have some old window glass i need to have broken down.
    mj: WHERE DID YOU GET SUCH A WONDROUS THING??????? my daughter has a book of boobs, but i've never seen the ween one! tell us at once!!!!!
    cb: SEE ABOVE! let us join our voices together! we want the weens! we want the weens!
    tick: oh crapola. history is the best, juiciest soap opera going. action, adventure, incest, people getting their guts spooled out of their abdomens onto a giant reel in public....
    awaiting: you, i forgive. once. you like mexican?
    i meant FOOD.
    kristy: define 'evil'.
    ara: THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Works by Plutarch

    Aemilius Paulus









    Caius Gracchus
    Caius Marius


    Cato the Younger




    The Comparison of Alcibiades with Coriolanus

    The Comparison of Crassus with Nicias

    The Comparison of Demetrius and Antony

    The Comparison of Demosthenes and Cicero

    The Comparison of Dion and Brutus

    The Comparison of Fabius with Pericles

    The Comparison of Lucullus with Cimon

    The Comparison of Lysander with Sylla

    The Comparison of Numa with Lycurgus

    The Comparison of Pelopidas with Marcellus

    The Comparison of Philopoemen with Flamininus

    The Comparison of Pompey with Agesilaus

    The Comparison of Poplicola with Solon

    The Comparison of Romulus with Theseus

    The Comparison of Sertorius with Eumenes

    The Comparison of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus with Agis and Cleomenes

    The Comparison of Timoleon with Aemilius Paulus














    Marcus Brutus

    Marcus Cato


    Numa Pompilius













    Tiberius Gracchus


    And I dont know when they were bloody written Harumph

  15. noshitsherlock2:06 PM

    *questions whistle straight over head, hitting wall behind me*
    Eeh, you could check Wikipedia...

  16. Title for the discussion of the writings of St.Augustine of Hippo:
    "The REAL writings of St.Augustine of Hippo - Letters and etchings to his Concubine. A discussion of lust, desire and blasphemy."

    You can have that one. Free.

  17. I was Caravaggio in a past life. I whipped off a coupla neat paintings when I wasn't stabbing people to death in drunken brawls.

    Er...have you tried Google.

  18. Who cares what the ghey eyeties do with hungry hippos?

    I posted some skin just for you.

  19. You can get those calendars in most Italian tourist spots. I brought one back from Pisa for Surly Girl. Although I think she appreciated its artistic merits, she wouldn't put it on her desk at work...

  20. I like history, just never remember the dates, names and places.

    Instead I've posted 6 pictures of hot men on my blog in your honour.

  21. Uh, yeah. What chaucer's bitch said, only for Spain. When you get to Spain, gimme a shout.

  22. Like all products of the Canadian Educational system we had all memorised the entire list of works mentioned by beast by the end of Grade 3,
    as well as the entire Bible (Latin Vulgate and King James), Koran, Vedas & the Upanishads,and Tolstoy's War and Peace (that was just for fun),

    Any one of us could probably answer any questions that you have in either Italian, French, German, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Russian or Farsi...
    butt infortueantlee hour Eanglische no so gud.
    Don't you have a Time Machine?

  23. For those of you pervs who want to know more about the artistic penis calendar, it was given to me by two of my fave poofs who live in Toronto and visited Italy.

    It's called "Piselli Artistici"

    Here are some pics (scroll down) from a 1999 calendar.

    The website on the back of my 2006 calendar is but I don’t see it posted on their site.

  24. All I want to say is ...

    YEEEESS!! Justice has prevailed ...

  25. This whole thing has made me decide I am dumb. Too dumb to ever be hired for another job. I hope you are happy, FN, when Mrs. Nator hunts you down and spools out your guts in public for destroying my confidence and insuring our poverty for the rest of our lives.

    I miss the funny posts. Can we have a funny post, now?

  26. I have been to Italy, does that count?

  27. beast: damn. i, wow. damn. Thank you!!!! you are my beastly bud!
    noshit: oh crapola. you survived robinson crusoe and went forth rejoicing, while i wanted to slam my head repeatedly with a toilet lid.
    eddie: and worth EVERY PENNY. *quickly dumps search log*
    garfer: oh my god, 'have i tried google'?! i'm not lickin toads here, hon. YES i have tried google (and found a lot, actually) i want someone ELSE to try google now.
    knudie: think you. i feel....observed.
    kellyC: isn't she funny? some people are like that i guess.
    tick: why are you guys posting me up all the porn lately? i mean, thanks...! *enlarges studly suidae*
    alala: well that's no help! although you run into snippets from 'el cid' in the damndest places.
    homoE: ever since you did that post about being a stripper all i can picture is you under the strobe lights, wearing tasseled pasties, whuppin' them around in circles with a smoke machine going.
    please help me someone.
    mj: america thanks you, mj! *refills search log quite rapidly*
    betty: oh HOLY CRAP.
    OH my.
    thank you whoever nominated me, and thank you judges at that site!
    danator: don't even start. and yeah, several are in the works. this is how I buy time. SHHHH DON'T TELL ANYONE
    ziggi: yes. what kind of a guy was cosimo the elder REALLY? and who fucked his sons face up like that? were you present at the Elevation of the Host when Giuliano Medici was knifed?
    well you didn't say WHEN.

  28. ..........I like kittens...

  29. that Cosimo? a bit of a banker and crap in bed.

  30. Thankfully, Mr Violet likes books about old dead folks more than he likes juvenile felines - he has provided me with a list of suggested reading from when he studied St Augustine as an undergrad. Hope it helps. I note that there appears to exist a journal of Augustinian Studies. Meowww...

    E Stump & N Kretzmann (eds) The Cambridge Companion to
    (Cambridge, 2001)

    P. D. Bathory, Political Theory as Public Confession: The social and political thought of
    St Augustine of Hippo
    (New Brunswick, 1981)

    R. Barrow, Introduction to St. Augustine, The City of God (London, 1950)

    P. R. L. Brown, ‘Saint Augustine’, in B. Smalley (ed.), Trends in Medieval Political
    (London, 1965)

    H. Deane, The Political and Social Ideas of St. Augustine (New York, 1963)

    J. N. Figgis, The Political Aspects of St Augustine’s ‘City of God’ (1921, repr. Gloucester,
    Mass., 1963)

    P. Garnsey, Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine (Cambridge, 1996), chs. 13-14

    G. Lavere, The Political Realism of Saint Augustine, Augustinian Studies 11 (1980), pp. 135-44

    Various journal articles by RA Markus Mr V couldn't find refs for at the mo.

    Found a few more esoteric journal articles and older stuff but I shan't take up any more space with them unless you really want 'em, or if there's specific thing you're interested in.

  31. P.S.: Congratulations, Paul!

  32. Anonymous8:04 PM

    there's a book entitled - Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence (Studies in the History of Sexuality

    that may help.

  33. I have nothing.


    I blame it on my backwoods education.

    Forgive me.

  34. Since you never stated the useful answers had to relate specifically to the questions , my next useful answer is thus.

    Grease the knees and ear lobes generously with Emu oil at least three times a day in addition continue anonymously spreading rumours about your loose morals.
    You should notice an increase in invitations to afternoon tea and cocktail parties within a week.

  35. thank you, V for the M! perhaps now FN will go back to being funny.

  36. Anonymous7:57 AM

    hey, fn, i found this too, msybe it'll help -

  37. Danator: thanks! *blush, trip*
    Pink!: fantastic! that couldn't possibly be more spot on, in fact! thank you!!!!
    awaiting: you grew up in Oregon too??
    beast: hey, I'm not laughing. it's worked for you.
    cb: lots of people think this is a joke. believe me.
    pink: ONCE AGAIN PINK NAILS THE BASTARD ON THE HEAD! holy crap! *sound of frenzied googling heard throughout the land*

  38. Anonymous3:29 PM



    did i mention i love history too?