Wednesday, 24 May 2017

One Sea Battle To Avoid

 I delve into all kinds of odd nooks and crannies when following this obscure interest of ancient galleys. Sometimes I find myself hopping back out again quickly.

One such side-road is Aristotle's Sea Battle  Problem.

I ordered '  The sea battle and the master argument : Aristotle and Diodorus Cronus on the metaphysics of the future'  by Richard Gaskin, De Wuyter 1995 from the library, on the basis that there may be some interesting background material or naval related material included. Mistake.

The local library performed its usual wonders and I had the book 36 hours later  from a library in Jylland. 
I open the book and read. I could understand the preface and how it had taken the author 10 years to write it. I could not understand anything else. It was a serious thesis about abstract logical argument originating with Aristotl'es 'Sea Battle Argument'.
I once made the mistake of trying to read Wittgenstein. I was at a university he had studied at. Philosophy was cool. Why not ? Because......

  • Suppose that (i) p is true or p is false and (ii) not-p is true or not-p is false.
  • Then p is true or not-p is true.
  • Now suppose that in 1900 one person says that a sea-battle will take place on 1/1/2100, and another says that a sea-battle will not take place on 1/1/2100.
  • Then either what the first person says is true or what the second person says is true.
  • But, in that case, either it is necessary in 1900 that a sea-battle takes place on 1/1/2100, or it is necessary in 1900 that one does not take place.
  • But the date of the predictions is irrelevant, and it is irrelevant whether any prediction is actually made at all.
  • So it is necessary at all times that a sea-battle takes place on 1/1/2100, or that a sea-battle does not take place on 1/1/2100.
  • But this type of argument can ostensibly be generalized...
  • Ergo, everything that happens, happens of necessity.
I am still angry that Aristotle used  a sea battle for his example. The problem is also known as 'The Problem of Future Contingents' and is basically a way of adding chance or uncertainty to logic.
I think.

My brain hurts.

Thursday, 23 March 2017


The excellent programme series 'In Our Time' has a programme on Salamis this week.
The learned articipants are Paul Cartledge, Lindsay Allen and Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, as well as our Melvyn, of course.
Click to go to programme site - downloadable after 10 a.m. UK time 23/3/2017
If you look on previous programmes list you will also find many other interesting titles.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Rules Testing Again

Version n tested. Shorter and more deadly.
Themistocleian Athens versus Xerxean Persian.
Twenty ships seems to be a good size for a battle without needing a lot of space.

Athenian open Threes advance.

Persian/Phoenician Threes come up to the fight.

Units of 5 seem to be manageable and do not take up too much space. This tallies nicely with calculated practical length of a file as 5 before a ship cannot get up to form line from file in time to stop a breakthrough of oncoming enemy vessels.

Fighting  continues...

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

UMBUM Galleys sail again !

Great post of upcoming conference game from blog 'Oh my Ruritania'.

Using the Russian UMBUM card galleys.

Click picture to see !

Friday, 10 March 2017

Games going on out there

Some nice games with galleys going on in the blogosphere.

First, Francesco at ' Into the Maelstrom' HERE. Has some scaled-down Hotz ships! Great ot see someone using card ships.

He has a variety of types and a game report.

Then some lead slugging it out.
Nice game report at Sun of York's blog.
Using 'Song of Blades and Heroes' based rules.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Sneak Preview

A little peek at illustration for something in the pipeline.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tit for Tat

Rafaelle D'Amato has been kind enoug to write with some rebuttals to my criticisms of the last two Osprey ancient warship books. I am ignorant of many things, apparently, and am no Harvard scholar.

I will not flood the blog with the twelve pages or so of wordery in one go  but I'll put them up with any further comment over the next month or so and find some graphical stuff to illustrate them.

Meanwhile the new Roman Imperial Warship title should be out soon, so that will also be interesting to see. 

A nice galley picture to finish....

 Here we can see Caesar's ship - apparently a Four ? getting swamped,  as he and his men flee from the Alexandrian counter-attack on the Heptastadion in 48-7BC.

This is a nice illustration from the Dorling Kindersley book on Julius Caesar. The illustrator is also the author, Richard Platt (see HERE). He is a fantastic artist, producing highly detailed and complex panoramic scenes with hundreds of figures. He also does books with cross-sections of ships, buildings etc.

At the moment you can get his book (used) for 1 penny !!!  on Amazon UK -plus postage. Maybe not the last word in academic judgement on J.C. but interesting and lively to read anyway. The best thing is just spending time to scan the complex pictures - it would be great to do with a child or grandchild and spark their interest in  the ancient world. Or just keep it for yourself....