Friday, September 05, 2008

Gibbon's View

Reader OBH is dismissive about my chosen hide-out. The founder of the English school of popular history, Edward Gibbon, appears to agree, from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter I at 29 (1776):
Dalmatia. . .was a long, but narrow tract, between the Save and the Adriatic. The best part of the sea-coast, which still retains its ancient appellation, is a province of the Venetian state, and the seat of the little republic of Ragusa. The inland parts have assumed the Sclavonian names of Croatia and Bosnia; the former obeys an Austrian governor, the latter a Turkish pasha; but the whole country is still infested by tribes of barbarians, whose savage independence irregularly marks the doubtful limit of the Christian and Mahometan power.


OBloodyHell said...

Fits my impression. Nice place to visit. A boring place to live.

The idea that one could learn to recognize EVERY face within a few days' walking distance, for example, says a lot. In human history, when every strange face may be an enemy, that's probably not a bad thing.

But in modern society, it's one more person you can exchange ideas with, compare vastly different experiences with, and, in general, either like or dislike and thus seek out or avoid...

The internet can make up for this, some, but not enough. Physical interaction is always a plus. We're humans, not electronic nyms.


Carl said...


I was going to mention the Internet before. I've been pleased at the performance of the broadband card I borrowed for the trip.

I used to think it logical that I would retire in Washington. High-speed Internet cured me of that. I'm not ready to retire anytime soon--and, I agree, a town as small, and as remote, as Hvar would become boring quickly--but I now think about living elsewhere some day. Someplace warmer than D.C. perhaps. I'd never have considered it before high-speed access.