Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Johan and Andre : I came across a reference in a review of Vegetius's "De Res Militarii" stating that after the Roman soldier has been carefully selected , done his basic (+- 6 weeks : some things never change) and undergone a further period of about 5 months of probation , he was tattood and signed on as PF (probably a 5 or 10 year stint depending on the political circumstances. )

My question is : what was tattood and where ?

I have not come across this before . Any ideas?

Modern equivalents : Elite units like the US Marines , Nazi SS : both used tattoos on the upper arm . The US Marines uses a "Semper Fi" motiff on the outer arm (and only a fool will try to counterfeit this) , while the SS used the soldier's blood group hidden on the inner upper arm .

Back to the Romans:
The most likely seems some form of ID . A honourably discharged veteran was given a diploma : two leaves of inscribed metal-leaf , one for himself and the other for the records of the district where he was bound to (usually for a ground allotment) . He was allowed to keep his arms , but not the shield ( presumably because this was property of his legion .)

Anyone with an enlistment tattoo without his half of a diploma would be identified as a deserter or bandit and summarily executed . A very neat and economical control . He was never really out either : like a reservist , he was subject to re-activation . As a trained veteran , he had to get permission to go anywhere outside of his assigned district .

Immediately observable status emblems were worn by all Roman peoples :

The Roman Citizen iron ring : survives as Papal , Bishop , Monsignor ring . I wonder at what stage the original Citizen ring became so devalued that the Roman Catholic Church could ring their revaluation ? Are there any other remnants ? The troth ceremonies ? Originally , the exchange of rings signified oaths of fealty : still does for marriage and engagement .

The Freeman's ring : a freed slave or a born free person , but not a Roman Citizen .

Everybody else had the status of a slave ( which tells you a lot about the real nature of the Roman Empire) .

Criminals that escaped execution or being worked to death in the mines or latifundia were branded in the face , usually the forehead and cheeks.

New Scientist 5 June 2004 p12
Key words:"Gary Huffnagle" "University of Michigan" Facts:Rats' gut microbes are replaced by human skin yeast . Exposure to fungi causing asthma has exaggerated immune effect on lung linings.
Translated: early exposure to antibiotics without replacing biota leads to lung damage due to exaggerated immune response.Change in gut denizens cause problems with the lung immune system.

New Scientist 5 June 2004 p19
Key words:"Blocking HIV" , " "Lim Tao" , "University of Illinois" Six of 140 Lactobillus varieties of mouth bacteria bind to HIV.This prevents Mother to Child HIV infection.

Johan:remember :about 15 years ago I sent you an email about the interactions between the various surfaces interacting with the environment : ie skin,mouth,gut,lungs. The human body is but a inner tube,topologically speaking.

New Scientist 22 June 2004 p41
Key words:"Feeding the flames"
Argument and evidence: starting inflammation is an active process.The immune system is activated and messenger molecules are sent all over the the place to mobilise cells.BUT the deactivation is also an active process . Just removing the source of infection does not stop the inflammation process . Normally the body does this , but sometimes it misses and we get things like auto-immune diseases.

Put all three above together and see what you get.
Messing with gut flora leads to lung immune complications . Strangely , it does not seem to depend on age . You can get asthma at any age . This also gives an indication that it can be reversed:

How to ameliorate asthma:
1. Take an anti-biotic to kill flora in gut.(Lots of hard liquor on an empty stomach will do as well.) 2. Take probiotic.(Acidophilis, live yoghurt,etc) 3. Take large doses of MSM at the same time.(3x3 grams per day) 4. Take about 5 grams of vitC per day (just enough till diarrhia starts) 5. Do this for about 5 days. Then drop antibiotic. 6. Continue with probiotics,MSM and VitC for 3 weeks. 7. Reduce dosages to about a third for 3 months. 8. Test

Work out why it works.


Andre Willers

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