MUSKRAT RAMBLINGS, Thursday, September 9, 2010

Muskrat Ramblings
Federico García Lorica
posted by John

I really, really, REALLY love my readers, you know!

Tons of great mail this week about Wednesday’s cartoon, and it was all very fun to read.

I think this is my favorite letter, though:

Subject: Today’s strip


Right Kovalic, now you’re for it…

I’ve been reading the strips for the best part of a decade, and love the humor and the brilliant observation. Today’s “Picts or it didn’t happen” had me laughing out loud – I’ve been a field archaeologist for twenty years, a historical re-enactor for eighteen, and believe me, I *know* those guys (…I probably am one… :blush:)

However, one thing’s amiss. I work for Durham University and do a lot of fieldwork on, or around, the Wall. Both the characters today are wearing Lorica Segmentata. Now, if they’d been in Hamata (mail) or Squamata (scale), then that’d be okay – but Segmentata means that they’re Legionaries, not Auxiliaries, and therefore shouldn’t be on the Wall. They’re garrison troops, not front line…

Yes yes, I know, I should get out more – but the chance to out-pedant an uber-pedant? Too good to miss… ;D

Trix Randerson
Durham, England

My reply:


I am ashamed to say I know that, but chose to include them in Lorica Segmentata because:

(a) I wanted to draw it, and

(b) It more immediately conveys “Romans” to the average reader.

Please forgive my artistic license, and MANY thanks for your very kind comments.


I will probably take no end of grief from my historical wargaimg pals now, and my Trajanic Roman 15mm army may well fail some saving rolls on PURPOSE because of the faux-pas.

But, you know, I really, really REALLY wanted to draw Matt and Igor as “Asterix”-style legionaries in Lorica Segmentata.

And sometimes, that just trumps everything. Historical accuracy included.

Even if a letter from an expert at Durham University makes the history-geek in me go “squeeee” like a Japanese schoolgirl.


Yer bestest pal forever,

====== John


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