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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar PresbyterArius
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    says:

    It’s problematic that Frum doesn’t cite ANY sort of scholarship for his claims, beyond asserting, every so often, that Wickham made a certain claim. Given the explosion of recent scholarship on the fall of the Western Roman Empire, this makes his review hard to assess qualitatively. There’s no doubt that the picture of the fall of the western empire has changed dramatically over the last 30 years, but without knowing on what Frum bases his claims, it’s very hard to say that the book review possesses much in the way of real quality.Report

  2. Avatar PresbyterArius
    Ignored
    says:

    Incidentally, one might point out that, if any detail shows the shallowness of Frum’s knowledge of Roman culture, it is his ludicrous idea of a shift from togas to tunics. First, we know that the toga had become regarded as a burdensome and archaic form of dress as early as the time Augustus (hardly contemporary with the fall of the Western empire), second, no serious scholar imagines that the toga was “replaced” by the tunic. The two garments served different purposes, and co-existed perfectly well throughout the history of the western empire. If there is a fundamental sartorial shift, it is the “Germanization” of clothing – i.e. the wide-spread use of trousers and tunic in combination.Report

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