Adam Warren

Adam Warren

Senior Learning Designer in the Digital Learning team at the University of Southampton.
I develop interactive resources, support on-campus blended learning and help create and run FutureLearn courses.

Location Southampton

Activity

  • Dear Christopher, we made minimal changes to the course. In 2015, learners requested more detail of the battle itself, but this course is really intended to provide a broad outline - and there are plenty of books on the topic. The quality of the discussion has been as high this time as it was last; I'm really impressed by the level of knowledge that is shared...

  • Thanks Ann - we knew that a three week course could only provide you with a springboard for further reading about the detail of the battle, and our [Extended Reading] lists provide you with some expert recommendations. Your fellow learners have also provided a wealth of links to follow; I have to confess that I find these a huge distraction at work while I'm...

  • And perhaps it is also worth mentioning the few Thankful Villages, which lost no men in the Great War. It seems there were maybe only 32 out of 16,000 - or 0.2%
    http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Thankful-Villages/

  • Quite a few comments mention the WWI memorials in British (and I would guess French, Belgian, German etc.) villages with their lists of those who gave their lives. I always make a point when I encounter these to read a few of the names out loud. They are not forgotten. Thanks for your list from the 4th Regiment of Foot.

  • More on Waterloo teeth next week...

  • In 2015 one learner found a location in Mackay - there are quite a few locations in Australia and New Zealand due to ex-soldiers and their families settling there after the wars. The same is true of all the other far-flung corners of the British Empire - the soldiers stationed there always thought that Wellington and Waterloo were worth commemoration when...

  • 40 second-hand copies of What If? are available for 1p + postage from Amazon UK... https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/What-If-Military-Historians-Imagine-Might-Have/0330487248

  • You can add Yellow markers for places near you that reference Napoleon - or there might be church memorials to French soldiers who fell at Waterloo.

  • Don't worry about that - there are bound to be a few mistakes and jokes on the map. In 2015 we had quite a few mid-ocean locations!

  • No, there is no sign-in required for the map or the Padlet walls - if you can't double-click to add a Padlet post just click the pink + button in the lower right corner.

  • Hi Didier - welcome to the course. In a couple of steps time you'll be invited to add 'places of interest' to a world map - and you could add Austerlitz station using a yellow marker, for all the 'Napoleon' related places.

  • Jan Willem Pieneman: Battle of Waterloo https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/SK-A-1115
    "Crown Prince William of Orange served as Wellington's adjutant and commander of Dutch troops.  The so-called "Hero of Waterloo" lies wounded on a stretcher but smiles at the news.  The commander of the British army, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, is on...

  • In 2015 we had three map locations in Brisbane... not including the Waterloo Hotel! Try looking at the nearby coastline...

  • Hi Donald, we included these activities to provide an easy way for you all to share info and photos of the many thousands of places that memorialise Wellington and Waterloo. The last time we ran the course in 2015 the map was very impressive by week 3, when we look at the cultural impact of the events of 1815, with locations across the globe.
    What locations...

  • There are plenty of songs inspired by Waterloo - perhaps the most famous being "The Eighteenth of June" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPwt1BjFI8g - Difficult to add to the map, but could be added to the Padlets

  • Smoothbore muskets had very poor accuracy at ranges over 100m (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trgZmM9fNS0) and the video makes it clear that the heat haze and smoke of the battlefield would make aiming very difficult.

    [Extended Reading] The Accuracy of Black Powder Muskets by Brian Willegal http://www.willegal.net/iron_brigade/musket.pdf - examines all...

  • Hi Tim; I agree that this week is a gallop through a complex historical period, but I think Chris and Karen have done a great job of highlighting the key events that place Waterloo in context.

  • And 'no pressure on bones' puts their use of catacombs into a whole new light for me. I'd thought it was just a practical thing to do with so many bodies (and that may be part of the story) but it also enables them to be buried underground without any risk of crushing.
    By the way, if you are in Rome, do try to visit some of the catacombs... perhaps as part...

  • You have my sympathy Matthew; securing image rights has been one of our thorniest challenges for our FutureLearn courses.

  • Ah, so your music was specially composed... top marks to the team at Motion Blurr for their creative work on this; I really feel it has added a lot to the videos. And I agree that these videos are a good length, and that the received wisdom of "no more than 6 minutes" should be a guide, not an absolute rule.

  • I'm sure I'm not the only person reading this who finds that their ability to write has deteriorated now that we mostly use keyboards... and as speech-to-text becomes commonplace, our typing skill will also wither.

  • Hi Lorna, I was the learning designer for Portus, working with the academics to build the course. I'm really enjoying what Matthew and his team have created here, and I think we'll certainly be cross-recommending this course... like we did with the one on Hadrian's Wall. In particular, I love the 3D models - I had an interesting time earlier today wandering...

  • But remember that societies norms change over time, so in the future people will be appalled at the way we watched motorsports, with all the pollution and carbon emissions they create. And we may not have gladiators in amphitheatres, but a cursory glance at TV and film shows that we still enjoy watching violence and death.

  • The video certainly shows how many apartments could be squeezed into the many floors of the building. I wonder if the ones at the top (more air) or lower down (less stairs!) were the most valued? And of course lets not forget that they didn't need kitchens since Romans of this class ate in bars or on the street, and of course they didn't need bathrooms... just...

  • I'm reminded of the work of the artist James Turrell, and particularly his soon-to-be-completed monumental work at Roden Crater http://rodencrater.com/
    Oh my word, these courses can lead you off in some interesting directions...

  • Picking up on your comment about the "concrete vault seems weightless" it is worth noting both the aesthetic and technical value of the coffers - those stepped square(ish) features that reduce the weight while retaining strength. Take a good look at the photo and see how they guide the eye, emphasising the size and shape of the dome. Their steps cast shadows...

  • tonnage is easy: volume of column (height x pi x radius squared x density of that type of stone) plus or minus some detail, like the capitals. But as to number of labourers... I read a comment on an earlier step which gave the number of people required to build the Baths of Caracalla.. and I think it was 6000 for some years, with 10000 at peak construction...

  • My friend who lived in Rome told me that days when it snowed were very special, as the shaft of snowflakes from the oculus was a sight worth seeing... aha there is a YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh7VJaNgh-A

  • Oh, and I must say I really like the music in the videos - I think they add a great deal to the atmosphere conjoured.

  • I was keen to use informed recreations of ancient Roman music for the FutureLearn course on Portus, and listened to that from several groups:
    - Synaulia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV0oA3YUiw8)
    - Musica Romana (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbM0Uj84-8c)
    and the group we eventually licenced some music from,
    - Somnia Imperii...

  • For Romans, the key differentiator would have been the god(s) they represented and they would have been keenly aware of this as they passed them by in their travels around the city, especially the temples to their own favoured gods.

  • My experience is that groves and shrines are good places to experience the numinous if you are by yourself or with a small group of worshippers. The great temples we have seen are more like cathedrals; buildings that express the greatness of their god, that provide an appropriately impressive stage for their rituals and where large gatherings of people can...

  • Don't forget there would have been massive statues of Zeus, Juno and Minerva inside, and the doors would need to be large enough for them to use...

  • I'm afraid you need to make a significant and suitably magnificent sacrifice to the modern Triune of Intel, Nvidia and Ram before you are allowed to gaze upon these wonders ;-)

  • Interesting to wander around the streets that came with this model as well as viewing the (literally) awesome temple complex. The view from the bottom of the narrow staircase leading up from the direction of the Forum to the arch at the top was fantastic - it really made you feel like you were ascending to the home of the gods.
    And yes, a model of this...

  • Liz - I like your idea that Roman religion was 'continually evolving' - maybe this was because it was (collectively) not a 'religion of the book' and therefore fundamentalist viewpoints/beliefs were not possible... there was no 'one true word of God' to (mis)interpret.

  • Not only is Trajan's Forum the largest, but it it is also the most complex - the vast colonnaded piazza, the huge basilica, the towering column over his tomb (look! no-one else's forum has one of these!) flanked by libraries immortalising his deeds and overlooking his (His!) temple. Then there are the gigantic bronze statues of Trajan - who can look on such...

  • Yes, me too... there are a couple of gaps just by the entrance from the main forum.

  • I'm thinking that we are looking at a simplified version of Matthew's model on Kubity, and that the gaps and floating columns are glitches introduced by the simplification. But its still damn impressive!

  • Well, that was fun... if you are careful in Walk mode you can drop yourself on top of Trajan's column and carefully make your way around the ledge admiring the view - or look up at his imposing statue at the very top. Of course I got too close to the edge while admiring the temple...

  • From one perspective, the past was an astonishingly smelly place... not just human and animal waste but the smoke from fires and oil lamps, cooking smells, industrial processes... and of course bad breath and body odour. But that was just 'normal' in the same way that we usually don't notice the petrochemical stink from transport - and as Elaine points out...

  • For me, the accuracy of surveying necessary to maintain even gradients across many Roman miles is perhaps the most impressive achievement. And of course "messing up and starting again" were not a possibility...