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Posts posted by Ingsoc

  1. The Roman army being caught out of guard and suffer a defeat at a single battle was more common that you think, however they always manage to bounce back and crush the enemy.


    To me the true greatness of Arminius as a military commander was the fact he manage to hold off and defeat Germanicus army send to avenge the defeat of Varus, so in the end the Romans prefer to retreat rather then spend valuable resources needed in order to defeat Arminius.

  2. Sorry but I never bought this whole theory of a senatorial faction that struggle against the power of the princeps, Augustus had no problem ordering around in the supposedly senatorial provinces, even after the assassination of Caligula they didn't seriously debate about returning the republic, in fact some of the senators saw themselves worthy to be the next princpes.


    There were certainly senators which show a spirit of independence from time to time, but they know their limits and by no mean were part of any faction who strove to revive the senate as the ruling body in Rome, the truth is that the free senate was literally exterminate in the battle of Philippi at 42 BC and their succor understand the necessity of the princeps rule and, as Tacitus brilliantly put it, were satisfy with the symbols of liberty.

  3. I hardly say that Josephus account reflect well on Caligula actions, he almost started a war that would consume Judea (and most likely the provinces in the vicinity) and for what? just to satisfy his own ego and delusions of godhood.


    You also should check out "The embassy to Gaius" by Philo, especially the account of his audience with Caligula, which again doesn't reflect good on the character of the young emperor.


    As for your "senatorial history" argument, you quit right, like writers of most histories the Roman history was written by the rich and powerful. But what of it? there were others emperors that were disliked by the senatorial class but none of them was describe in the same way as Caligula, in the end the argument of senatorial bias reach a dead end and one must admit there was probably a grain of truth in all the stories about Caligula.

  4. If the case of Caius Lusius and Trebonius (Plutarchus, Marius, 14.3) is an example to the attitude of the Roman military toward homosexuality, it seem it saw it with disdain, though it could be argued that Marius problem was with the breach of discipline that Luisius actions cause and not the fact he liked men, it's also worth to note that all the judges initially wanted to convict Trebonius.


    I don't believe that same sex relationships considered as a sign of an effeminate person per se, Suetonius mention the homosexual relationships of almost all the emperors without negative comment on this matter (at least not that it made them "soft") the only place with negative view is the biography of Julius Caesar which recorded his political enemies attack him for his supposed relationship with Nicomedes (Divi Juli, 49) rather than being attack for being in the relationship itself Caesar was attacked for being the passive side (the "woman").

  5. It's obvious that this "discovery" is fueled by the need in justify modern political views. I suppose he chose Carthago because it was based in North Africa and perhaps he wants to draw parallel with the immigration influence coming to Italy (I understand that most of them came from North Africa).


    Anyway it's beyond laughable, the Carthagians couldn't influence the Romans into anything as they were murdered and their city turn into desolated ruins after the third Punic war. And as I recall Rome fell during the rule of the Catholic church who very much oppose homosexuality.

  6. One should not forget that the term itself originated in the Renaissance, a time that scholars had great admiration for the classical world and saw its collapse as a great catastrophe which destroy western civilization until the present Renaissance age arrive and restore it.


    So discarding the term in favor of the Middle Ages in not without reason, not saying that the end of the classical world wasn't a great disaster, it was, but not all was dark and bleak in the centuries between the collapse of the ancient world to the Renaissance.

  7. Like Kosmo wrote what you describe is an ambush and not a guerrilla war.



    The Romans typically sought to contain the enemy and force him to gather at a single location where they could deal with the issue in one final action, fighting on their terms rather than the enemies. Notice that they effectively utilise the same means as catching animals en masse.


    Guerrilla war is fighting by conducting small scale hit and run attacks on the enemy, and them retreating to your base, this tactics often aided by sympathizing local population.


    That certainly wasn't the tactic of Arminius at the battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

  8. It's a shame you can't view this show outside the UK.


    I assume she referred to the finds at Kuntillet Ajrud? those are more interesting than just the mention of Asherah as Yahweh consort. Its also called his Yahweh Shomron, after the Israeli capital which suggest that just like other deities in the region Yahweh also had a local incarnations, it's also possible that the image found there is a depiction of Yahweh.

  9. Like Kosmo wrote what you describe is an ambush and not a guerrilla war. A good example to a guerrilla war would be the Bar Kochba revolt in Judea (132-136)


    12 At Jerusalem he founded a city in place of the one which had been razed to the ground, naming it Aelia Capitolina, and on the site of the temple of the god he raised a new temple to Jupiter. This brought on a war of no slight importance nor of brief duration, 2 for the Jews deemed it intolerable that foreign races should be settled in their city and foreign religious rites planted there. So long, indeed, as Hadrian was close by in Egypt and again in Syria, they remained quiet, save in so far as they purposely made of poor quality such weapons as they were called upon to furnish, in order that the Romans might reject them and they themselves might thus have the use of them; but when he went farther away, they openly revolted. 3 To be sure, they did not dare try conclusions with the p449Romans in the open field, but they occupied the advantageous positions in the country and strengthened them with mines and walls, in order that they might have places of refuge whenever they should be hard pressed, and might meet together unobserved under ground; and they pierced these subterranean passages from above at intervals to let in air and light.


    13 At first the Romans took no account of them. Soon, however, all Judaea had been stirred up, and the Jews everywhere were showing signs of disturbance, were gathering together, and giving evidence of great hostility to the Romans, partly by secret and partly by overt acts; 2 many outside nations, too, were joining them through eagerness for gain, and the whole earth, one might almost say, was being stirred up over the matter. Then, indeed, Hadrian sent against them his best generals. First of these was Julius Severus, who was dispatched from Britain, where he was governor, against the Jews. 3 Severus did not venture to attack his opponents in the open at any one point, in view of their numbers and their desperation, but by intercepting small groups, thanks to the number of his soldiers and his under-officers, and by depriving them of food and shutting them up, he was able, rather slowly, to be sure, but with comparatively little danger, to crush, exhaust and exterminate them. Very few of them in fact survived. 14 Fifty of their most important outposts and nine hundred and eighty-five of their most famous villages were p451razed to the ground. Five hundred and eighty thousand men were slain in the various raids and battles, and the number of those that perished by famine, disease and fire was past finding out. 2 Thus nearly the whole of Judaea was made desolate, a result of which the people had had forewarning before the war. For the tomb of Solomon, which the Jews regard as an object of veneration, fell to pieces of itself and collapsed, and many wolves and hyenas rushed howling into their cities. 3 Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war. Therefore Hadrian in writing to the senate did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors, "If you and our children are in health, it is well; I and the legions are in health." (Cassius Dio, 69.12-13)


    Archaeological evidence show that the Romans suffer great loses at the start of the revolt and one legion, the XXII Deiotariana, was completely wiped out and the revels strike coins to celebrate their new found independence.


    The Romans respond by concentrating their army in Judea in great numbers and they virtually wiped out any places in Judea that could show sympathy to the rebels, in simply terms the Romans were force to enter an attrition war until the overcome their enemy.

  10. One must examine what benefits came to Rome due to Caesar career.


    Except short terms benefits (slaves and loot) the conquest of Gaul had little to offer to Rome, in contrast to the lands of the east (such as Egypt for example) there were little that the Romans could be interested there.


    Caesar did manage to reign supreme but he done it by starting a civil war, and what was his reason for it? that he refuse to play by the political rules. And latter when he became dictator he done everything he could to alienate the aristocracy, even when such moves had no real benefit (as such wearing the shoes of the Roman kings).


    In the end after his death the situation simply return to it original point, another years of pointless civil wars and instability.

  11. Rome's first emperor? Suetonius disagrees, and correctly gives that honour to Julius Caesar in that he was made dictator for life, thus an emperor by any other name. In any case, Augustus took the title princeps or 'First Citizen', because he definitely did not want to share Caesars fate by appearing to take on the mantle of monarchy. I agree it was largely spin, and that Augustus was an emperor by another name, but bear in mind the Imperator refers to military command, not political overlordship.


    By that logic you could include Sulla as well.


    The main reason for me to disagree with you (and Suetonius) is the fact that Caesar spend most of his rule fighting for control over the Roman state and the time between the victory in the civil war to his assassination was too short to have a real affect of the work of the Roman state. In the end, just like it was with Sulla, after his death the state return to square one and the old battles between the nobility return as well.

  12. I really don't get this article, how the fact that Augustus was a brilliant politician has anything to do with being the "father of western civilization"?


    Rome is not doubt the foundation on which the western civilization build upon, the question is in what extent was it the work of a single man (in this case Augustus) or the natural development of the Roman state.


    Even before his rule the Roman state started to assimilate the conquered people under it's domain, the elites were given Roman citizenship and education and at the end entire people receive the Roman rights and became full fledge Roman.

  13. I think any history book about Augustus would discuss (or at least offer references) the subject.


    I would suggest you pick a specific subject (such as the Ara Pacis or the Aeneis), study his function as a propaganda tool and then try to reach some general conclusions from it about Augustan propaganda.

  14. Much of the globe seems to want something from British museums, but where does it all end? Italians wanting claim to all of Roman Britain?


    There would never be 'empty shelves' as replicas can be made to stand in the original's stead, but it's an irksome practice- or trend- for the world to want something which belonged to their ancestors so long ago that it now has no relevance to their youth, who are more into mp3's and X-Factor!


    The current custom is that the artifacts belong to the country in which they where found, using your example the Italians have claims to stuff found in Italy and the British to stuff found in Britain.


    I'm sure that those people that want their cultural heritage back also finding the fact that foreigns came and remove it without permission (in other words: stole it) to be "irksome practice".


    I don't agree with you and the original poster, if they want their stuff back this certainly mean they will take good care of them.

  15. I know that around this time being discussed, c. AD 33, Rome didn't have official rulership in Judaea, but I was under the impression that the high level of interest in the country, not only with a cultural fascination (for better or worse), the strong ties between the Emperor and the Herodians, but with it also being a center of trade routes with the Middle East/ Asia Minor, that Rome had more of an official military presence there other than just picked-up local auxiliaries. It seems to me that Rome had its eye too closely to not have its foot in the door- unless they were still content to rely on puppet kings to keep Judaea? Was there a stationed garrison in Syria that I'm thinking of during this time?


    Before 70 AD the Roman governor of Judea was of the equites order and so he lack any authority to command Legionaries, in time of need the proconsul of Syria could come with his legions to restore order.

  16. Thanks, guys, but as I said, in retrospect, I wonder why the Romans didn't bother to record the slaying of such a notable Christian, and as 'pagans', celebrate it posthumously, remembering which Legion/auxilliaries they were?


    Like I wrote, at the time of his death Jesus was a minor figure of no special importance and the people which executed him surely saw this as "just another day in the office" and not the one of the most important events in history. It would be quit some time until the Roman took notice of the new religion that follow Jesus and by this time whoever was responsible to his death was long forgotten.

  17. At the time their were no legions stationed in Judea (the first legion, the X Fretensis, was stationed in the ruins of Jerusalem after the Great Revolt has ended in 74 AD), the Roman forces were Auxilia compose of the local non-Jewish inhabitants of the province.


    At the time Christ was a nobody, I doubt his death would justify a special record or reward.

  18. The point of creating the militray tribunship was to create a consul like position in order to appease the Plebs demands without actually being the a "true" consullship with all the prestige the position had. The Plebs simply weren't content to be second grade consuls.


    Potestas is simply a general term to denote legal authority of a magistrate, all magistrates held potestas of some sort, some of them, such as consuls, also held military authority known as imperium. The fact a magistrate held an imperium didn't contradict to the fact he held the potestas of his position.

  19. The senators were elected by the kings and later by the consuls, sometime between 316 BC - 312 BC the Lex Ovinia was enacted and gave the censors (elected every five years) the authority to appoint (and expell) senators this action were known as the Lectio Senatus, usually they elected curul magistrates to the senate and if there were a vacancy they elected other magistrates as senators.


    Initially the censors were free to freely choose new senators, in the end of the second century BC the Lex Atinia force they to appoint all those whom served as tribunes of the plebs between the time of each lectio, in 81 BC the dictator Sulla determine that all ten questors would become senators at the end of their year of office.


    In the imperial era the privilege to appoint senators transfered to the emperor.