Under D&D rules, a dagger does 1d4 base damage. The average human has a Strength score of 10, adding no bonuses. Several of them, due to the military background of many, likely had strength or dexterity scores of 11-14. But only two or three, and quite a few would be frail with old age, sinking to 8-9 strength. All in all, we can only add a total of +1 damage per round from Brutus.

An estimate of sixty men were involved in Caesar’s actual murder. Not the wider conspiracy, but the stabbing.

Julius Caesar was a general, which is generally depicted as a 10th level fighter. Considering his above baseline constitution and dex, weakened by his probable history of malaria, epilepsy, and/or strokes (-1 dex modifier), and lack of armor at the time of the event, he would likely have something along the lines of AC 9 and 60 HP. The senators would likely hit him roughly 55% the time.

So the Roman senate had a damage-per-round of 66, more than enough to kill Caesar in one round even without factoring in surprise round advantage.

Pantheon is derived from the Ancient Greek “Pantheion” (Πάνθειον) meaning “of, relating to, or common to all the gods”
Cassius Dio, a Roman senator who wrote in Greek, speculated that the name comes either from the statues of so many gods placed around this building, or from the resemblance of the dome to the heavens.

“average roman senator eats 3 cabbages a year” factoid actualy just statistical error. average roman senator eats 0 cabbages per year. cato the elder, who lives on a sabine farm & eats over 10,000 each day, is an outlier adn should not have been counted

Requested by @keeganwj

Bewear the Ides of March!

Julius Caesar was stabbed by the Roman Senators, not hugged. Yet, if the ancient senators were actually Bewears, hugging Caesar would have been equally effective as a method of assassination. According to the Pokédex, Bewear has a habit of hugging its trainers…to death. So today, let’s figure out how this might happen.

The human spine, also known as the vertebral column, is a vital part of our skeleton and nervous system. It is made up of 33 different bones called vertebrae, separated from each other with intervertebral discs. The first seven (colored in red) are called cervical vertebrae and are located in your neck. The middle twelve bones in your back (in blue) are called the thoracic vertebrae. The lower back (in yellow) consists of the lumbar vertebrae. The last 9 vertebrae (5 in green / 4 in pink) are fused together and form the sacrum and the coccyx, or your tailbone.

It’s not easy to break a spine; the discs between each vertebrae are made of squishy cartilage that is specifically designed to absorb shock and prevent your back from breaking. The segmented nature of the vertebrae allows the back to bend in several directions, also to avoid breaking by being flexible. Not to mention the walls of muscle that surround it. 

For death to occur, the individual vertebrae need to shift dramatically so they damage the nerve that runs through the middle of them. Typically, spinal-injury deaths are related to the phrenic nerve, which connects your brain to your lungs and allows breathing to happen. Several arteries also run through the vertebral column, and if they are pinched or crushed it can result in a stroke.

Of course, how much force needed to break a spine depends on whose spine you are crushing: children have more delicate spines than adults, and so on. However, it also depends on where on the spine you are crushing. The neck (cervical spine), for example, requires a force of 3,000 Newtons (roughly 700 pounds) to fracture. But Bewear doesn’t strangle its victims, it hugs them – so Bewear is attacking the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Various studies find the absolute limit for lumbar vertebrae to be about 1600 Newtons (360 pounds) of force.

This is surprisingly reasonable. Boxers and professional martial artists’ punches have been documented over 4,000 Newtons (900 pounds), and kicks can exceed 9,000 Newtons (2,000 pounds). Squeezing is a little different, since it is pure muscle work instead of a forward thrust, and human grip strength at its strongest is about 150 pounds. So you might not be able to crush a spine with your bare hands, but can Bewear crush a spine with its bear hands?

Probably. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but most animals are stronger than humans in terms of muscle exertion. Some chimpanzees have been shown to be eight times stronger than humans. This is mostly because of the way we use our muscles: humans have developed a lot of control. We can finely tune our muscles, precisely control our finger movements, only using certain muscle fibers at one time. This saves us energy in many ways: you don’t have to use your entire bicep to lift up a pencil, like you might when you’re lifting weights. Other animals don’t have this control: It’s all or nothing for them. Physically, the way their muscles activate prevents them from having the fine control that we have. In other words, Bewear is incapable of giving a small hug. It can only give big, spine crushing squeezes.

Bewear’s hugs must deliver a force of 1600 Newtons (360 pounds) in order to break a trainer’s vertebral column.


The short lived revival of Rome under Theodoric,

In previous posts I have written about how Odoacer overthrew the last Western Roman Emperor and how Theodoric overthrew Odoacer and declared himself King of Italy. 

There is often a myth in the history of Western Europe that the barbarians tore down Roman civilization, ushering in the so called Dark Ages. There is debate as to how dark the Dark Ages were in Western Europe. Of course the barbarians didn’t conquer Rome by being nice, but modern historians generally find that the barbarians weren’t as barbaric or destructive as previously thought. Nothing demonstrates this more than the reign of Theodoric the Great, the Ostrogothic king who founded the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy after the fall of Rome. 

Under Theodoric, Italy saw a short live revival of Roman culture. Instead of trying to impose Gothic law on his Roman subjects, Theodoric adopted Roman law for the kingdom, using the still intact Imperial government to govern Italy in his name. Goth’s themselves were under the jurisdiction of traditional Gothic law separate from the Italians, however they were a very small minority within Italy. Trying to force foreign law on an overwhelming majority probably wouldn’t have ended well, plus it didn’t make sense to build a new governing system from the ground up when the old Imperial system was still intact. One little known fact was that under Theodoric, the Roman Senate would continue to operate, even functioning as late as 603 AD.  Throughout late Roman history, much of Rome’s decline was due to corruption and incompetence. Theodoric reformed Roman government by rooting out and eliminating corruption, removing corrupt bureaucrats from their posts and punishing crimes against the state which patricians had long been able to get away with under the emperors. 

Theodoric also sought to repair the empire, commissioning a number of government sponsored projects to repair the crumbling infrastructure of Italy including it’s aqueducts, roads, public baths, city walls, palaces, and administrative buildings. Projects were also undertaken to repair the ancient monuments and architecture of Rome built by the emperors hundreds of years ago. In addition Theodoric would commission a number of new building projects, one of the most famous is the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, which is today recognized as one of the greatest examples of late Roman/early Medieval art and architecture.

Theodoric also worked to enhance education and learning by commissioning a number of scholarly projects to translate Latin and Greek texts into Gothic and other languages. Perhaps the most important of Theodoric’s achievements was that of peace. Through a combination of diplomacy and military success Theodoric was able to bring peace to Italy, a peace which the Roman’s hadn’t experienced for over a century.

The result of Theodoric’s governance was a renaissance of Roman culture. Trade routes were restored and commerce returned to Italy. Wealth was returning to Rome and government coffers began to fill as the Italian economy made a booming comeback. Whereas before Romans fled the cities to the countryside, now Romans were moving from the countryside and repopulating the cities, leading to a renewal of urban culture. Even the most iconic of Roman traditions had been renewed, the games and spectacles of the Colosseum. Rome was coming back under Theodoric. Perhaps the Western Roman Empire would continue under a new Gothic-Italic state. It wouldn’t even have been unprecedented for Theodoric or one of his heirs to adopt Imperial titles and form a new Imperial Dynasty, but of course, this never happened. So where did it all go wrong?

While Theodoric’s administration brought prosperity back to Rome, the only thing that maintained stability within that administration was the charismatic rule of Theodoric himself. As Theodoric aged and his health and mental faculties deteriorated, so did did the quality of his governance. In 526 AD Theodoric died after having ruled for over three decades. He was the last ruler of a united Italy until the mid 19th century, and essentially he was the last Western Roman Emperor in all but name and title. It was at this point that another Roman tradition was revived;  conflict over who the ascend to the throne. Immediately the Goths would begin to feud over who would be the next king. 

Ironically it would not be the Goths who destroyed Rome, but the Romans themselves, more specifically the Eastern Romans, AKA the Byzantine Empire. In 535 the Byzantines invaded Italy as part of Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian’s campaigns to recover the lost provinces in the west. He came close, conquering much of Italy, North Africa, and Spain.

The war between the Byzantines and Goths would last from 535 to 554, and would lead to the destruction of much of what Theodoric had built. Italian cities changed hands often, enduring looting and vandalism in the process. Once again people fled the cities to the countryside in order to escape the war, depopulating the cities. The city of Rome itself had a population of around 100,000 during the reign of Theodoric, but less than 30,000 by the end of the war. Italian infrastructure was once more destroyed, resulting in a breakdown of trade and commerce. Much of the Italian population died of resulting famines and disease. 

While the Byzantines were successful in conquering Italy and much of former western provinces, Justinian’s military campaigns drained the Imperial coffers and left the Eastern Roman Empire flat out broke. This combined with a series of plagues weakened the empire to the point that they were vulnerable to invaders such as the Slavs, Lombards, Persians, Turks, and Arabs. In Italy the new Byzantine government lacked the money and resources to repair the damage done from the Gothic War or maintain the province’s infrastructure. Thus Italy once again fell into a state of disrepair and economic stagnation. The Dark Ages had truly become dark for the Romans. 





Augustus (63 BC – 14 AD)

Alexandria finally fell to the Roman Republic and Octavian’s forces on this day in 30 BC. Mark Antony and Cleopatra were defeated.

Within a few years, Octavian was named Augustus by the Roman Senate and given unprecedented powers. He transformed the Republic into the Roman Empire, ruling it as the first Roman Emperor.

See these two casts of a tall statue of Augustus, one painted and the other unpainted, on display in the Cast Gallery on the Ground Floor.

Steve/Tony Fic Recs: Hogwarts AU + Magical Realism

This one’s for the anon who asked for Hogwarts AU fics, I’m glad you’re enjoying the lists! I also included a few magical realism fics, if that’s your thing :)

Remember to leave kudos and comments for your hardworking authors!

If I could conjure worth a damn (I wouldn’t have friends like these) by lyra_wing: The Avengers are at Hogwarts. Tony’s building non-regulation broomsticks, Steve’s dealing with a mysterious Time Turner accident, Loki’s sneering at the Muggles, Thor’s wielding a Beater’s bat, Darcy’s commentating at Quidditch matches, Fury’s teaching DADA, everyone loves a drink at the Three Broomsticks, and Bruce has a secret.

drunk on you (and also other things) by theappleppielifestyle (@theappleppielifestyle): Steve accidentally gets dosed with love potion. He then stands shirtless outside of the entrance to the Ravenclaw common room and yells for Tony to come and talk to him, and that’s not even the worst part.

making up memories by theappleppielifestyle (@theappleppielifestyle​): 

Steve offers to help Tony produce a Patronus.

grow some (yule) balls by theappleppielifestyle (@theappleppielifestyle​): 

“Can I just say, from the entire student body of Hogwarts and several of the professors: one of you needs to do something before both of you miss your chance. High school doesn’t last forever, Tony. You won’t always have Charms class as an excuse to hold his hand to show him the proper wandwork.” 

(Or, the Avengers go to the Yule Ball and there is some kissing.)

hogwarts!au with amorentia and confessions by (@theappleppielifestyle): Sometimes Steve wishes the wizarding world would wisen up and start using technology already. He doesn’t bring it up much in the group, because then Tony gets into one of his fervent rant and starts screaming at innocent first years, but privately, Steve has always thought that wizards should give muggle inventions a second thought.

what amorentia smells like to steve and tony by (@theappleppielifestyle​)

Aparecium by runningondreams (@imaginaryelle): Tony cares too much. He’s clutching at his coat like it can shield him from some unknown horror. It’s mortifying, and silly, and he fervently wishes for a time-turner so he could just go back an hour, maybe two, and avoid the incredibly painful awkwardness that this conversation is likely to turn into.

Leviosa by runningondreams (@imaginaryelle​): Tony Stark and Steve Rogers attempt to found a School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the American Colonies. The rest of the staff just tries to stay out of the way of the flirting and arguments.

Every Little Thing He Does Is by a_sparrows_fall (@asparrowsfall):  Steve Rogers, an auror recently resurrected from a grim fate, is having trouble adjusting to life in twenty-first century New York. When did everything become so… unmagical?

He finds an unlikely companion in Tony Cerrera, a scientist working at Rhodes Industries.Steve’s feelings for Tony are blossoming into something deeper than friendship, but there’s more to Tony than meets the eye.

A modern-day Wizarding World fusion story based in Earth 57289.

Journey To Remember by XtaticPearl (@xtaticpearl): Hogwarts is magical, both literally and otherwise, and is home to those who find family in friends. It is also a place of mysteries and legends though, something a bunch of students will learn about them when they begin their Hogwarts journey - nineteen years after a war that many think was truly won. (WIP)

The Unspecificity of Fears (As Shown By Boggarts) by TheCityLightShow (@thecitylightshow): Tony hated boggarts with a passion. They were a nuisance and had no regard for people’s personal thoughts. At least when the mirror delved into his head, it only showed him the findings.

Steve Rogers and the Pureblood Heir by Lenalena: Prompt: "Hogwarts AU; Tony and Steve are in rival houses and have always butted heads. Then one Christmas they find themselves at Hogwarts together during the Holidays while the rest of their friends go home.”

take to the skies by callingthequits: "Uh,“ Steve said, and laughed nervously. "I, um, have to tell you something actually. It’s pretty important.”

“If you dragged me here to complain about your paints getting mixed up,” Tony said, raising an eyebrow, “I’m going to assure you that it happens all the time, nothing to worry about, and Steve, do you have any sense of personal space?”

Because the few seconds that it took for Tony to say that, were the few seconds that took for Steve to get in his face.

What If You’re What I Need by YohKoBennington: Steve and Tony don’t get alone, or so it seems. But after getting in trouble and having to spend some time together, things change for the best.

Magical Realism 

The Scars of Your Love by blue_jack: On the day Peggy moved out, Steve stood naked in front of the mirror and looked at all the ragged lines running over his body. He felt like someone had taken a knife to him, slicing every inch open, and he didn’t understand how there wasn’t any blood. He traced one particularly thick scar on his stomach, gritting his teeth against the pain, the memory of the first time he’d brought Peggy over to meet his family and all the teasing that had accompanied it burning through his mind. 

He couldn’t imagine her marks ever disappearing, and in that moment, he didn’t want them to, didn’t want to ever expose himself to that much hurt again. Once in a lifetime was enough.

An’ Harm Ye None by LinneaKou“…do as ye will.”

Toni Stark, small-town witch, has served as the head of the Cravenswood town coven for a decade all the while assisting the police in occult-related crime. Between her and Detective Steve Rogers, nothing that happens in Cravenwood is too big to handle - not even the reappearance of her estranged brother… that is, until someone starts ritually murdering townspeople.

As the death toll climbs and a conservative religious group begins to cast blame upon the town witches, something monstrous begins to stir up Craven’s Woods. Faced with an unknown Craft and drawing the suspicions of the citizens she swore to protect, Toni must put an end to the killings before whatever is haunting the woods comes out into the light.

Fear lives in a small town. (series)

PIÈce de Résistance by shetlandowl (@shetlandowl): On an afternoon when Tony is being particularly stubborn about finishing his work and avoiding healthy habits like sleep, nutrition, and sleep, Rhodey does Pepper a solid and takes him to this little bakery in Manhattan that most people don’t know about. 

It’s not a place you wander into unless you need to, and it isn’t a place you find without help or purpose. But once you’ve found it, it’s a wonder how you ever managed without it.

Per ardua ad astra by Missy_dee811 (@viudanegraaa): Antonius is the first-born son of a Roman senator. His father ruled with an iron fist.

For Antonius, the best day of his life is the day he meets Stephanos, a slave born in Roman-occupied Britain, who would, one day, become the best gladiator of his age. (Ults Roman AU)

Moss by antigrav_vector: Technomancers are considered mages, though they aren’t, truly. True mages have weak, usually offensive, powers. Tony’s only ever had technomagery at his fingertips, until after the misadventures that gave him Iron Man.

Seventy years ago, a big fight went down in northern Europe between Steve and Red Skull, getting more intense with each encounter. It caused a series of barren circles in the landscape: scars left upon the very ground by the conflict between the two highly skilled mages. Both of the combatants have become the stuff of legend, since neither body was ever found. And, frankly, with the force of the last explosion, there was no reasonable way they could have survived.

And that’s where things get interesting; now, seventy years later, Tony develops the Iron Man armour and confronts his enemies with it. But strange things happen when he goes looking for some solitude in a remote region of the north sea, afterward, hovering high above the ice and waves. He starts hearing a voice whisper and seeing flickers of movement that resolve into thin air. And they get more frequent as he nears the source: a man frozen solid in a block of ice…

(EDITED to include @sabrecmc‘s additional rec, thank you!)

If anyone wants a themed rec list, hit me up in my inbox! Previous rec lists are here

terpsikeraunos  asked:

top five roman history anecdotes

OKAY I’m gonna try and do the ones I dont talk about as much on Here, but still within my late Republic realm (no promises though)

5. Anything to do with Clodius’s brother Appius Claudius Pulcher is absolutely insane. Some highlights include:
- he was so uniquely arrogant Cicero and Caelius make mention of it, it’s hypothesized that Lucullus in the third mithridatic war sent Appius Claudius Pulcher specifically to deal w/ the Armenian king Tigranes knowing his idiosyncratic arrogance would set Tigranes off, render the diplomatic mission a fail, and provide an excuse for war, etc. And this is all coming from high-ranking Roman Senators, some of the most arrogant people to ever have existed
- he was a member of the Augural college and he took his position very seriously, writing extensive treatises about the need for traditional augury practices (directed against his colleague lol)
- he was involved in a huge electioneering scandal in the late 50s while Clodius was gearing up to campaign for praetor (he was tried, got acquitted)
- he was governor of Silicia the year before Cicero and extorted the hell out of the province- Cicero spent a lot of time cleaning up his mess
- he was Patrician censor and during his tenure removed the future historian Sallust from office for a ‘moral error’ lmao.
- Everything abt Appius Claudius Pulcher suggests a supremely proud man with a devotion to Roman tradition and his… own version of traditional ‘morality’ but he was also a member of the Elusinian mystery cult. LMAO

4. Catiline’s Conspirac(ies) have so many wild anecdotes. 
First, Sallust says that right after Cicero was elected as consul in Catiline’s place, Catiline “set snares” which means, I guess, him sending 2 of his henchmen to go to Cicero’s house and stab him when he answered the door. Someone told Cicero about this plot, however, and he foiled it- by just locking the door. 
this was the second time Catiline had tried this: his ‘first conspiracy’ a year or so ago, again according to Sallust at least, was literally just to kill the consuls who had been elected and seize the fasces. Which is especially, breathtakingly shortsighted considering he hadn’t been allowed to run for consul because he had been tried for extortion that year, so like, he wasn’t going to become consul just because he killed the other ones… Lucius….. that’s not how it works…. 

3. A short but good one: according to Cicero (in a letter to Atticus), while Clodius was, in 60-59, unsuccessfully trying to become a plebeian through strange archaic means other than adoption, Clodia Metelli’s husband (Metellus Celer) was consul and Clodia expected Metellus to fully support and help Clodius achieve this. Metellus Celer was pretty conservative though, and he didn’t approve / didn’t help Clodius, apparently this led to regular shouting matches between the couple (which Cicero, living next to them in his expensive new house, would have absolutely been able to hear lmfao)

2. Another one about Clodius because he’s ridiculous: when he had become a plebeian through adoption (with Caesar’s help / while Caesar was consul) but before he was tribune, Clodius helped establish Caesar’s Gallic command, did some other pro-first triumvirate things, and he expected a reward. He didn’t get a big enough reward, apparently, and decided to declare himself an enemy of Caesar, vowing to rescind Caesar’s legislation once he became tribune.
Legislation including, remember, the one that made him a plebeian and thus able to be tribune…… Amazing. (He got over it)

1. Combining 2 Cicero and Clodius Anecdotes because god their contentious relationship is something else lol.  Clodius succeeded in convicting Procilius in 54- based, according to Cicero, on his oratorical excellence! He’s talented!
When Cicero returned from exile / his house had been rebuilt, Clodius felt defeated. Clodius was a member of the college which supervised the haruspices at this time and as one would expected he used this position to claim that all these bad prodigies were the gods saying they were angry w/ his shrine to liberty being torn down (the gang exploits a miracle) . Cicero responded w/ the de haruspicum where he argued that, actually, the gods were upset about all of Clodius’s bad behavior in his entire life. Amazing. 

Gracchi Bothers: the reformers

Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus were a pair of tribunes of the plebs from the 2nd Century BC, who sought to introduce land reform and other populist legislation in ancient Rome. They were both members of the Populares, a group of politicians who appealed to the average citizens and that opposed the conservative Optimates in the Roman Senate. They have been deemed the founding fathers of both socialism and populism.

Tiberius Gracchus, born in 168 BC, was the older of the Gracchi brothers. He is best known for his attempts to legislate agrarian reform and for his untimely death at the hands of the Senators. Under Tiberius’ proposal, no one citizen would be able to possess more than 500 iugera of public land (ager publicus) that was acquired during wars. Any excess land would be confiscated to the state and redistributed to the poor and homeless in small plots of about 30 iugera per family.

The Senate was resistant to agrarian reform because its members owned most of the land and it was the basis of their wealth. Therefore, Tiberius was very unpopular with the Senatorial elite. His main opponent was Marcus Octavius, another tribune who vetoed Tiberius’ bills from entering the Assembly and whom Tiberius had previously gotten removed from office.

When King Attalus III of Pergamum died, he left his entire fortune to the people of Rome. Pergamum was one of the richest cities in the ancient world, and Tiberius wanted to use the wealth from Pergamum to find his agrarian law. This was a direct attack on Senatorial power and the Senate’s opposition to Tiberius began to increase.

With his term coming to an end, Tiberius sought re-election as tribune for the following year. This was unprecedented and his opponents claimed that it was illegal and Tiberius was trying to become a tyrant. On election, violence broke out in the Senate between Tiberius’ followers and his opponents. Tiberius was beaten to death with wooden chairs and nearly 300 of his supporters suffered the same fate. These deaths marked a turning point in Roman history and a long-lasting association between violence and the office of the tribune.

Tiberius was succeeded by his younger brother, Gaius Gracchus, who was also a social reformer. He was quaestor in 126 BC and tribune of the plebs in 123 BC. He is generally considered to be a more complex and confrontational figure than Tiberius, and he had a much clearer legislative agenda that extended beyond simple agrarian reform. Some of his laws appear to have been directed toward the people responsible for his brother’s death.

He renewed Tiberius’ land law and founded new colonies in Italy and Carthage. He introduced a law that no conscription of Romans under age 17 would be allowed and that the state would pay for basic military equipment. Previously, the soldier had to pay for his own equipment, which was especially difficult for the lowest census class. Like his brother, he also funded state-subsidized grain. Another law passed by Gaius imposed the death penalty on any judge who accepted a bribe to convict another Roman guilty.

Gaius’ opponents tried to win away his support and he lost popular appeal by 121 BC. After a riot broke out on the Capitoline Hill and one of Gaius’ opponents was killed, the ‘ultimate decree of the Senate’ (Senatus consultum ultimum) was passed for the first time. This law gave the Senate the power to declare anyone an enemy of the state and execute him without trial by a jury. A mob was then raised to assassinate Gaius. Knowing that his own death was imminent, Gaius committed suicide on the Aventine Hill in 121 BC. All of his reforms were undermined except for his grain laws. Three thousand of his supporters were subsequently arrested and put to death in the proscriptions that followed.

The tribunates of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus began a turbulent period in Rome’s domestic politics, and their careers and untimely deaths emphasize both the strengths and the weaknesses of the tribunate. In the following decades, the tendency toward violence became even more clear as numerous tribunes saw their time in office come to an end with their deaths.

The signs as normal and real words:

Aries: Sousasexual, deriving sexual pleasure from acts involving famed marching band composer John Phillip Sousa.

Taurus: Iponderous, a deep and wistful desire for effective copyright law.

Gemini: Terrorium, the room in a Roman senators house built specifically for cowering in existential fear.

Cancer: Brimshaw, the act of carving and polishing hats, commonly with nautical scenes.

Leo: Dogunism, a sociopolitical system in which a state is formed of dogs.

Virgo: indefication, the act of soiling ones trousers as a result of not knowing which option to chose.

Libra: Granulage, a scientific measurement of how uncomfortable getting sand under ones bathing suit is.

Scorpio: Eckling, the act of guffawing whilst inside of an echoy space such as a cave or well.

Saggatarius: Pottincing, a short lived European martial art involving shortswords and ladles.

Capricorn: Santoff, a situation where one has too many chips for their dip or vice versa.

Aquarius: Rhemmurell, a substance that is a combination of two disgusting things but is quite tasty if one actually tried it.

Pisces: Pratchettophone, a word that sounds like the sort of thing author Terry Pratchett would use.

“Thanks to you, I think we’re going to run a nice long time.”

In the early 1850s, few pedestrians strolling past the house on H Street in Washington, near the White House, realized that the ancient widow seated by the window, knitting and arranging flowers, was the last surviving link to the glory days of the early republic. Fifty years earlier, on a rocky, secluded ledge overlooking the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey, Aaron Burr, the vice president of the United States, had fired a mortal shot at her husband, Alexander Hamilton, in a misbegotten effort to remove the man Burr regarded as the main impediment to the advancement of his career. Hamilton was then forty-nine years old. Was it a benign or a cruel destiny that had compelled the widow to outlive her husband by half a century, struggling to raise seven children and surviving almost until the eve of the Civil War?

[choking up]

Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton—purblind and deaf but gallant to the end—was a stoic woman who never yielded to self-pity. With her gentle manner, Dutch tenacity, and quiet humor, she clung to the deeply rooted religious beliefs that had abetted her reconciliation to the extraordinary misfortunes she had endured. Even in her early nineties, she still dropped to her knees for family prayers. Wrapped in shawls and garbed in the black bombazine dresses that were de rigueur for widows, she wore a starched white ruff and frilly white cap that bespoke a simpler era in American life.

In the front parlor of the house she now shared with her daughter, Eliza Hamilton had crammed the faded memorabilia of her now distant marriage. When visitors called, the tiny, erect, white-haired lady would grab her cane, rise gamely from a black sofa embroidered with a floral pattern of her own design, and escort them to a Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington. She motioned with pride to a silver wine cooler, tucked discreetly beneath the center table, that had been given to the Hamiltons by Washington himself.

The tour’s highlight stood enshrined in the corner: a marble bust of her dead hero, carved by an Italian sculptor, Giuseppe Ceracchi, during Hamilton’s heyday as the first treasury secretary. Portrayed in the classical style of a noble Roman senator, a toga draped across one shoulder, Hamilton exuded a brisk energy and a massive intelligence in his wide brow, his face illumined by the half smile that often played about his features. This was how Eliza wished to recall him: ardent, hopeful, and eternally young. “That bust I can never forget,” one young visitor remembered, “for the old lady always paused before it in her tour of the rooms and, leaning on her cane, gazed and gazed, as if she could never be satisfied.” [pauses for laughter]

For the select few, Eliza unearthed documents written by Hamilton that qualified as her sacred scripture: an early hymn he had composed or a letter he had drafted during his impoverished boyhood on St. Croix. She frequently grew melancholy and longed for a reunion with “her Hamilton,” as she invariably referred to him. [choking up] “One night, I remember, she seemed sad and absent-minded and could not go to the parlor where there were visitors, but sat near the fire and played backgammon for a while,” said one caller. “When the game was done, she leaned back in her chair a long time with closed eyes, as if lost to all around her. There was a long silence, broken by the murmured words, [choking up] ‘I am so tired. It is so long. I want to see Hamilton.’”

I hope you all get to see Hamilton.