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The Question of Quintilius Varus

Some neuropsychologists use nonstandard procedures, that is to say they administer parts of various test batteries in order to perform a forensic assessment of an individual’s neuropsychological functioning. I believe that under Daubert, this may not be admissible because the nonstandard procedures are not falsifiable and they have not been peer-reviewed. This flexible battery approach, therefore, has not been subjected to adequate scientific testing. Whereas clinically the use of parts of tests are widely accepted by the psychological community (thus fulfilling the Frye criteria) it may not fulfill Daubert). Even if the examiner is qualified to administer these tests, I believe Daubert opens the door to challenge the admission of this neuropsychological evidence in a medical-legal setting. There is a distinction between methodology and qualifications. Said another way, Daubert requires that in order for an expert’s opinion to be admissible, the entire reasoning process must be valid. A link must exist between the test results and the conclusions drawn.

There exist many peer-reviewed neuropsychological test batteries which assess various parameters of cognitive functioning. Those include but are not limited to the Halstead-Reitan Battery, the Luria-Nebraska Test Battery, the WAIS-III Battery, the Wechsler Memory Scale III, the Wisconsin Card Sort, Trails A and B and about a thousand others.

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(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;

Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, Testimony by Expert Witnesses, states that

"First, any test of efficiency must assume an equilibrium model that defines normal security returns. If efficiency is rejected, this could be because the market is truly inefficient or because an incorrect equilibrium model has been assumed. This joint hypothesis problem means that market efficiency as such can never be rejected."
Campbell, Lo and MacKinlay (1997), page 24

"The notion of market efficiency is not a well-posed and empirically refutable hypothesis. To make it operational, one must specify additional structure, e.g., investors’ preferences, information structure, etc. But then a test of market efficiency becomes a test of several auxiliary hypotheses as well, and a rejection of such a joint hypothesis tells us little about which aspect of the joint hypothesis is inconsistent with the data."
Lo (2000) in Cootner (1964), page x

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"Josephus tells us that Quintilius Varus had taken over the governorship when Antipater the heir to King Herod had returned from Rome to Jerusalem and that he succeeded 'Saturninus as governor of Syria' ( XVII.89). But coins have been found which show that Varus was legate of Syria in the 25th, 26th, and 27th years of the Actian Era (6 to 4 B.C.). This is where historians trip up and conclude that they have proof that Herod must have died in 4 B.C. because Varus is shown to have been active in 4 B.C. But the answer is dangling right before their eyes and they can not see it. An inscription known as the speaks of a governor of Syria during the time of Augustus who had been governor twice. Many have tried to identify this inscription with Quirinius in order to show that he held office before his 6 A.D. tenure. But professor Syme has shown that Quirinius is impossible ('The Titulus Tiburtinus' in , Munich:1972). L.R. Taylor suggests that Titius is the subject of this inscription, but Syme has shown that Titius would have been much too old to receive the 'ornamento trimphalia' given only after 12 B.C. Yet the inscription was found only a stones throw from Varus' villa in Tibur. The reason some scholars object to Varus is that the inscription refers to Augustus as divine which was bestowed on him at his death in A.D. 14. whereas Varus died in A.D. 9. But because Varus was defeated in Germany, he was never commemorated while Augustus lived. Yet, when Tiberius came to power who was Varus' brother-in-law, Tiberius went to the battlefield to bring back the fallen Varus' remains and his memory was restored as a defender of the Empire. Therefore, this objection is weak in the extreme."

(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and

"Incidentally, it is often claimed that Dionysius Exiguus made a four-year error in calculating the date of birth of Christ by forgetting to allow for the four years that Augustus ruled under his original name Octavian. Although this claim has been sanctioned by time, IT APPEARS TO BE A MYTH AND FINDS NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER AMONG HISTORIANS. Dionysius was a prominent scholar who lived in Rome in the 6th Century and who had access to accurate records, including many now lost to us. The reigns of the emperors were well-known, and he was certainly aware of Augustus' change of name. Dionysius carefully selected the date of December 25, 1 BC, for the birth of Christ, and counted the commencement of the Christian era with January 1, 1 AD, six days later, to agree with the start of the Roman year, and was probably much closer to the truth than we have given him credit for."

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I have already mentioned that many accuse Dionysius Exiguus of being wrong by 4 years in his time of the birth of the Messiah. This, however, is a myth and finds no support whatsoever among competent historians. The astronomer and chronologist John Pratt has come to the same conclusion: No satisfactory answer, it appears, has been proposed to this long standing puzzle.


According to the theory -- erroneously accepted as fact -- not only Dionysius was "wrong" but also Luke, regardless of his care in recording information that would help to establish a historical perspective, since at the time of baptism, according to them, the Messiah was about 36 years old, not 30 as Luke said, and was about 40 when he died. In my opinion, not only is it true that THIS IDEA CANNOT PASS THE TEST OF THE EVIDENCE AVAILABLE, but maintaining it shows the same "manipulation of truth" of which tradition is accused, except that it goes in the opposite direction, echoing the cynical times in which we live.


Sometimes, for example, the argument is made that Josephus records Quintilius Varus as governor of Syria when Herod died, and Varus is shown as such in coins from 4 B.C. The problem with this evidence, as Pratt explains from Martin, is that coins also show Varus governing Syria in 6 and 5 B.C., while Josephus recorded Saturninus as governor during the two following years. Martin mentions an inscription found near the Varus village describing a man who was governor of Syria twice, probably referring to Varus, since his second term would correspond to 1 B.C. and there is no record of any other person as ruler that year.

(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;

Nevertheless, the proponents of the theory that Herod died in 4 B.C. keep repeating over and over again that "Dionysius was wrong" -- even though nobody has ever explained why convincingly! It is an assumption based on a false premise, because Herod did not die in 4 B.C. but in the year 1 B.C. The assertion regarding the year 4 B.C. is refutable on many grounds, and Ernest Martin in 1978 carefully showed its virtual impossibility, of which I have mentioned only the main arguments in this summary.

Efficient Markets Hypothesis: Joint Hypothesis

One of the reasons for this state of affairs is the fact that the EMH, by itself, is not a well-defined and empirically refutable hypothesis. To make it operational, one must specify additional structure, e.g. investors' preferences, information structure. But then a test of the EMH becomes a test of several auxiliary hypotheses as well, and a rejection of such a joint hypothesis tells us little about which aspect of the joint hypothesis is inconsistent with the data. Are stock prices too volatile because markets are inefficient, or is it due to risk aversion, or dividend smoothing? All three inferences are consistent with the data. Moreover, new statistical tests designed to distinguish among them will no doubt require auxiliary hypotheses of their own which, in turn, may be questioned."
Lo in Lo (1997), page

Shadows of the Mind - Wikipedia

Darwin's ideas have linked the evolution theory to organisms, heritable information, reproduction and . This has separated evolution in biology from evolution in physics. Assuming that the quintessense of evolution is the repetition of diversification and selection, the operator theory suggests that evolution is applicable to particles and organisms alike. The result is a single, unified evolution theory.

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