Ronald Syme

Sir Ronald Syme, was a New Zealand-born historian and classicist. Long associated with Oxford University, he is regarded as the 20th century's greatest historian of ancient Rome, his great work was The Roman Revolution, a masterly and controversial analysis of Roman political life in the period following the assassination of Julius Caesar. Syme was born to David and Florence Syme in Eltham, New Zealand, where he attended primary and secondary school, he moved to New Plymouth Boys' High School at the age of 15, was head of his class for both of his two years. He continued to the University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington, where he studied French language and literature while working on his degree in Classics, he was educated at Oriel College, Oxford between 1925 and 1927, gaining First Class honours in Literae Humaniores. In 1926, he won the Gaisford Prize for Greek Prose for translating a section of Thomas More's Utopia into Platonic prose, the following year won the Prize again for a translation of part of William Morris's Sigurd the Volsung into Homeric hexameters.

His first scholarly work was published by the Journal of Roman Studies in 1928. In 1929 he became a Fellow of Trinity College, where he became known for his studies of the Roman army and the frontiers of the Empire. During the Second World War, he worked as a press attaché in the British Embassies of Belgrade and Ankara taking a chair in classical philology at Istanbul University, his refusal to discuss the nature of his work during this period led some to speculate that he worked for the British intelligence services in Turkey, but proof for this hypothesis is lacking. Sir Ronald's work at Unesco is referred to in the autobiographical works of a collaborator, Jean d'Ormesson. After being elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1944, Syme was appointed Camden Professor of Ancient History at Brasenose College, Oxford in 1949, a position which he held until his retirement in 1970. Syme was appointed Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford from 1970 until the late 1980s, where an annual lecture was established in his memory.

Syme was knighted in 1959 and received the Order of Merit in 1976. He continued his prolific writing and editing until his death at the age of 86; the work for which he is chiefly remembered, The Roman Revolution, is considered a masterly and controversial analysis of Roman political life in the period following the assassination of Julius Caesar. Inspired by the rise of fascist regimes in Germany and Italy, following Tacitus in both literary style and pessimistic insight, the work challenged prevailing attitudes concerning the last years of the Roman Republic. Syme's main conclusion was that the structure of the Republic and its Senate were inadequate for the needs of Roman rule. "The Roman constitution", he wrote, "was a screen and a sham". In The Roman Revolution, Syme first used, with dazzling effect, the historical method of prosopography—tracing the linkages of kinship and shared interest among the various leading families of republican and imperial Rome. By stressing prosopographical analysis, Syme rejected the force of ideas in politics, dismissing most such invocations of constitutional and political principle as nothing more than "political catchwords."

In this bleak cynicism about political ideas and political life, The Roman Revolution resembled another controversial historical masterwork, The Structure of English Politics at the Accession of George III, published in 1930 by the specialist in eighteenth-century British political history, Sir Lewis B. Namier. Syme's next great work was his definitive two-volume biography of Tacitus, his favourite among the ancient historians; the work's forty-five chapters and ninety-five appendices make up the most complete study of Tacitus yet produced, backed by an exhaustive treatment of the historical and political background—the Empire's first century—of his life. Syme blended biographical investigation, historical narrative and interpretation, literary analysis to produce what may be the single most thorough study of a major historian published. In 1958, Oxford University Press published Colonial Élites. Rome and the Americas, which presents the three lectures that he offered at McMaster University in January 1958 as part of the Whidden Lectures.

Syme compares the three empires that have endured for the longest periods of time in Western History: Rome and Britain. Syme considers that the duration of an Empire is directly linked to the character of the men who are in charge of the imperial administration, in particular that of the colonies. In his own words, the "strength and vitality of an empire is due to the new aristocracy from the periphery." This book is out of print. Syme's biography of Sallust, based on his Sather Lectures at the University of California, is regarded as authoritative, his four books and numerous essays on the Historia Augusta established the fraudulent nature of that work. His History in Ovid places the great Roman poet Ovid in his social context. Syme's The Augustan Aristoc

The Chronicle of the Black Sword

The Chronicle of the Black Sword is the fourteenth studio album by the English space rock group Hawkwind, released in 1985. It spent two weeks on the UK albums chart peaking at #65; the album is based upon the adventures of Elric of Melniboné, a recurring character in the novels of science fiction author Michael Moorcock, a long-standing associate of the group, who contributes lyrics to one track on the album. After two years of constant line-up changes, guitarist Dave Brock settled on a line-up of himself, guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton, keyboardist Harvey Bainbridge, bassist Alan Davey, drummer Danny Thompson. Though the album is inspired by Elric, "Needle Gun" is a reference to Jerry Cornelius, another of Moorcock's fictional characters. In keeping with the album's title, the track's inclusion refers to the wider Multiverse created by Moorcock, in which the characters Elric of Melniboné and Jerry Cornelius are both incarnations of The Eternal Champion, the Needle Gun is the form in which the Black Sword manifests itself to Cornelius.

The lyrics for "Needle Gun" were ghostwritten by Roger Neville-Neil. The outer cover was designed by John Coulthart, the last work he would do for the group, the inner by Bob Walker; the album was intended to be titled after the name of the sword Stormbringer, but was changed due to it having been used by both Deep Purple and John Martyn and Beverley Martyn. Prior to the recording of the album, the group appeared on Channel 4's ECT on 26 April and recorded a session for BBC Radio 1 on 19 July, they headlined an anti-heroin festival at Crystal Palace on 24 August, with a guest appearance from Lemmy. The group undertook a 29 date UK tour in November and December to promote the album, with support from Dumpy's Rusty Nuts; the Hammersmith Odeon shows on 3 and 4 December were filmed and recorded, released as the video The Chronicle of the Black Sword and album Live Chronicles, featured a guest appearance from Moorcock. It has been issued on CD multiple times, each with differing bonus tracks; the latest issue in 2009 includes 1984's The Earth Ritual Preview EP.

"Song of the Swords" – 3:25 "Shade Gate" – 3:01 "The Sea King" – 3:23 "The Pulsing Cavern" – 2:33 "Elric the Enchanter" – 4:51 "Needle Gun" – 4:13 "Zarozinia" – 3:21 "The Demise" – 1:02 "Sleep of a Thousand Tears" – 4:09 "Chaos Army" – 0:53 "Horn of Destiny" – 6:21 "Arioch" – 3:26 "Assault and Battery" "Sleep of a Thousand Tears" "The War I Survived" 4:00 "Voice Inside Your Head" 4:57 "Arioch" "Night of the Hawks" "Green Finned Demon" "Dream Dancers" "Dragons and Fables" Dave Brock – guitar, vocals Huw Lloyd-Langton – guitar, vocals Harvey Bainbridge – keyboards, vocals Alan Davey – bass guitar, vocals Danny Thompson Jr. – drums Dave Charlespercussion Recorded at Rockfield Studios, August/September. Produced with Dave Charles. "The War I Survived" and "Voice Inside Your Head" recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, 22 April 1988 Outer sleeve by John Coulthart, inner sleeve by Bob Walker November 1985: Flicknife Records, SHARP033, UK vinyl, first 10000 with inner sleeve including typed lyrics 1986: Flicknife Records, SHARP033D, UK CD August 1992: Dojo, DOJOCD72, UK CD May 1994: Griffin Music, GCDHA 0142-2, USA CD 29 June 2009: Atomhenge Records, ATOMCD1012, UK CD Atomhenge Records


Tomcattin' is the fourth studio album of Southern rock band Blackfoot, released in 1980. The album features grandfather of Rickey Medlocke. While the album did not spawn any hit singles, it was enough to keep the band's devoted fan base loyal and strong, it remains a popular staple in Blackfoot's catalogue. All songs composed by Rickey Medlocke and Jakson Spires, except where indicated Side one"Warped" – 4:12 "On the Run" – 4:00 "Dream On" – 5:16 "Street Fighter" – 2:34 "Gimme, Gimme" – 4:06Side two"Every Man Should Know" – 3:43 "In the Night" – 3:52 "Reckless Abandoner" – 5:13 "Spendin' Cabbage" – 3:15 "Fox Chase" – 4:23 Rickey Medlocke – lead vocals, guitar Charlie Hargrett – guitar Greg T. Walkerbass guitar, vocals Jakson Spires – drums, vocals Shorty Medlockeharmonica on "Fox Chase" Pat McCaffrey – keyboards and saxes Henry Weck – percussion Donna Davis, Pamela Vincent, Melody McCully – backing vocals Peter Ruth – electric harmonica Al Nalli – producer Henry Weck – producer, engineer W.

D. Woods II, Andy De Ganhal – mixing assistants Greg Calbimastering at Sterling Sound, New York Blackfoot - Tomcattin' album review by Eduardo Rivadavia, credits & releases at Blackfoot - Tomcattin' album releases & credits at Blackfoot - Tomcattin' album to be listened as stream at