The King’s Speech
Nobody enjoys an evening’s entertainment as much as I do. However, even I would draw the line at the antics of certain members of the Wine Sarissa Club, which I saw last night.
It is one thing to drink wine out of a hollowed out sarissa, but really quite another to do it when racing round the camp in a chariot. Especially when there are people on foot nearby – such as me.
This unfortunate entry in the WSC’s ever expanding repertoire of ways to die young is, no doubt, a consequence of the emergence of the Wine Sarissa ultras. I understand that next week, they intend to host a pankration and wine competition (see the society notices below). I look forward to it because I know that whatever happens deaths will be limited to those in the circle. I do not look forward to being nearly run over by drunk wine-drinking men in chariots.
This is what it means to be Macedonian – being reckless without being stupid; mad but not crazy, and – if you really don’t mind – being fast without running your king over. Failure to adhere to this third element of our identity will cause me to teach you what it means to be dead. Sarissans, you are warned; Sarissan ultras – I look forward to seeing blood and gore.
Thank you for your consideration.
From the Archive
Codrus: the death wish king
the monarch who can’t help sacrificing himself for a good cause
Athens is not in shock tonight after learning that King Codrus injured himself after jumping in front of a out-of-control camel to save the life of a kitten. It is believed that Codrus, a life long cat lover, acted in the belief that if the moggie died and he survived, Athens would be ruined in accordance with the Delphic Oracle’s prophecy.
The Delphic Comment was reached and made a comment; unfortunately, we have not been able to decipher it yet.
On how to tell a story
III. What to do if you forget your narrative
So, there you are, in the middle of the circle; two hundred eyes fixed upon you, one hundred souls hanging upon your every word; you speak slowly, looking each person in the eye as you do so; your voice quietens and your body tenses; the denouement is coming… is coming… coming…
Uh… what was it again?
Forgetting what happens next is a humiliating experience for a poet. It can also be a lethal one if the audience gets irate.
What can he do to avoid shame and being dead? This is an important question as the consequences of forgetting can not only be embarrassing but – assuming the poet is not killed – expensive, as he is forced to give his audience its money back.
The old advice (reputedly given by Homer, but I doubt that) is ‘if you forget your narrative just have someone get stabbed in the dark’, the idea being that by the time you have sung that scene you will have remembered what was supposed to happen and will be able to weave the stabbing into the story proper.
But what if you don’t remember?
What if your mind goes completely blank?
I personally recommend simply making the rest of the story up as you go along with any unresolved threads being used as the basis of a sequel. “But, Ptolemaios,” you are saying, “What if I am singing The Iliad? My audience will know what happens next even if I don’t. I can’t make that story up!”
To which I reply – Pirate Poets. Your audience know Homer’s Iliad. They do not know that version of the fight for Helen which exists in, oh, let’s say some obscure village in Asia Minor. But you do. Or rather, if you brazen it out enough, you will convince your audience that you do, and that is just the same.
If your audience accepts your word that what you just made up is a legitimate story, you are fine; however, it may want to see proof of this variation. That’s when you go to the pirate poets; when you do, simply tell them the story you told your audience, and they will run up a fake manuscript showing your version of it!
Once they see the MS, your audience will be so impressed at your depth of knowledge that you will probably be able to charge higher prices to sing for them in the future!
- Pirate poets can be found in or near all disreputable establishments. For us, that means the Pella Wine Tent.
- If the pirate poet threatens to expose you to your audience, kill him.
- Don’t use shark poets as they charge exorbitant amounts of money per word and then give you an MS that was written for someone else.
The Good (Macedonian) Sex Guide
Your questions answered by Lady Aphrodite who invented a position called the ziggurat
Dear Lady Aphrodite who does it in the vanguard with the officer class,
My wife has recently become obsessed with Hephaistos, and has taken to fondling her poker instead of mine, if you see what I mean. I am worried that she will try to brand me in my sleep. What can I do?
Blaming Her Friendship with Thaïs of Athens
The good news is that if your wife does brand you, slave chic is very popular in certain regions of Upper Macedon! But maybe that is not your thing. Well, if your wife insists on being Hephaistos, why don’t you be Aphrodite who was serially unfaithful to her partner? The girls and I in my tent are currently offering a two-for-one deal. How about it?
Lady Aphrodite Who Never Misses An Opportunity
We are in possession of a splendid Persian couch with golden armrests that was handed into the society by an honest Macedonian this last week. Do you know to whom it might belong? Please contact Pillaging Amyntas if so.
The Wine Sarissa Club
Current Vacancies: 12
Tomorrow (the hemera heliou) funerals will be held for those brave and drunken men who died during our sarissa wine drinking race round the camp last night. Unfortunate deaths aside, a great time was had by all so this event will likely be repeated in the future.
- There is a rumour going round that we almost ran the king over. If this turns out to be true, and he hasn’t banned the club as a result, the next race may be held a little further away to avoid trouble and him.
NB: The hard core members of the Wine Sarissa Club are called the WS Ultras. This coming hemera selenes they will be holding a pankration and wine drinking competition through the night. The traditional format for this competition will be adhered to, i.e., one ten minute round of pankration followed by the downing of a krater of wine, followed by another ten minute round of pankration etc. Last man standing/alive wines. Sorry, wins.
Union of Macedonian Mothers
Cleopatra of the UMM will be debating with Alexander on the subject ‘Why Mothers Are Better Than Conquerors’ this coming hemera Areos in the AWT. In case you can’t make it, don’t worry about not knowing the outcome. We all know she will win. If you don’t, your lack of faith in the UMM will be remembered.
Wine & Punishment Soc
This coming hemera Hermu, Wine & Punishment will be discussing being buried alive. Not for the squeamish.
Engineering and the Chicken
Also on the hemera Hermu, Aristobulos will be giving a talk in his tent on his recent visit to Pasargadae with particular reference to Cyrus’ tomb, which, he is glad to report, was found in good shape. After his talk, he will be building a model of the tomb using snow and fish meat. After the talk, Aristobulos’ chicken will be eating the fish; guests are invited to stay and watch but asked not to distract her.
Friends of Rome
The FoR will be meeting in Amyntas Africanus’ tent this coming hemera Dios to continue their discussion of Roman Consuls. This week, they will be looking at the first two Suffect Consuls: Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus and Publius Valerius Publicola, who ruled Rome in the twenty-eighth year of King Amyntas I. Amyntas Africanus will open the meeting by asking ‘How did the rape of his daughter Lucretia affect Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus as consul?‘
- Please note that in accordance with Roman tradition, diluted wine will be served as this symposium
Friends of the Pella Wine Tent
Next hemera Aphrodites the inaugural meeting of the FPWT will meet in the Pella Wine Tent to discuss whatever comes to mind and get drunk. Anything else would be a discourtesy.
The Big Question
Who would you rather meet on a dark night – brigands or Olympias?
Editor: Eumenes of Cardia
Deputy Editor: Leonnatus Son of Anteas
“Moderation is the best thing.”
[Has this been checked with Alexander? – Eumenes]