‘The beginnings of all things are small.’
Marcus Tullius Cicero, 45 BC
When Archimedes was executed in Syracuse at the end of a lengthy siege, he could not have anticipated the breadth of his legacy, or the use of his name as one of the few adjectives for genius. He lived for his work, and during the Second Punic War, his work involved defending Syracuse from Roman attack. A device that he invented to prevent ships landing troops, his ‘claw’, became one of the great symbols of journalism, and to this day the Columbia Journalism school still keeps a twenty-seven metre wooden replica above the entrance to their building.
Archimedes, of course, suffered one of history’s great accidental deaths – reportedly being killed by a Roman soldier ordered to fetch him, unharmed. The general in command of the siege, Marcellus, was enraged by the soldier’s slovenly behaviour, and, before throwing the intransigent Legionnaire off a cliff, delivered one of the great military aphorisms of all time –
‘Those who do not kill scientists of the Western Canon, will, by my hand, be granted one case, or cask, if so desired’
Marcus Claudius Marcellus
The words of the General live on, and so do the deeds of Archimedes, in the annals of Roman history. But somewhere in the middle, where secrets slip off the sheer walls of memory, lies a frail man, a bruised man; of small ego and armed to the hilt, forgotten by history – despite committing one of its great deeds.
Surely, the man who took the life of a polymath deserves to be remembered. Not just for the notoriety of his action, but for the moral purpose of highlighting and shaming the vandals of history; those who cost the world a part of its genius and stability.
It is in the spirit of such inquiry that we have established this publication. Only by forcing apart the maniac convulsions of entropy are we able to arrive at a picture of the truth. If we agree that there is no such thing, then surely the nature of the world – its cogs and its gears – are only visible when we stray outside of what is acceptable, accepted?
Much like the brute who killed Archimedes, Australian society revolves on a pivot of stilted masculinity and unquestionable assumptions. Somewhere in the middle, in that forgotten place, live women, minorities, the dispossessed, notaries and good city planning. When we clamber past the sins of the father, we find the path to a better world, and possibly a better country.
Using the finest, most advanced journalistic rigor ever devised for use in an Australian publication, we intend that a new truth should emerge, and the name Schwenge Benge become feared by all those who have hitherto escaped the scalding glare of the fourth estate.
I BUILT A HOUSE IN A FIELD OF BURNT GRASS
A house in the middle of nowhere, and the dark pain at the heart of a nation.
CAN YOU EVER REALLY KNOW A PLACE?
What does it mean to travel, what does it mean to know a place? Is it even possible?
THE THIN, STRAIT LINE
The military disaster which shaped a nation. But why should it continue to do so?