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About Metro99

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  • Birthday 06/30/1955

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    New York City
  • Interests
    (1) Ancient History: Roman (definitely #1), Greek, Persian, Mesopotamian.<br /><br />(2) Modern Chinese history: 1825-1976.<br /><br />(3) "Classic" films (say 1932-1959). Favorite actors: Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Cary Grant.<br /><br />(4) Eating -- and staying -- healthy.
  1. Metro99

    Caesar & Augustus

    I quite agree. If Pompey triumphed over Caesar (and that could have happened if Pompey had pursued his victory at Dyrrachium) I suspect he would have insisted upon a "Princeps" sort of title from a cowed and grateful Senate. (At this point I don't think "Mr. Magnus" would have been satisfied with a mere First Man in Rome appellation.) However, Pompey being from Picenum was viewed by many "true" Romans (the boni) as being Gallic and not a Roman-of-the-Romans. The thought of a Gallic Princeps would have been repellent to most Romans (think Brennus, circa 390 BC). I'd speculate you'd wind up with another civil war after the Pompey vs. Caesar dust-up. Love him or hate him, Caesar was a true Roman and from an extremely ancient Patrician family. That had to count for something to many of his countrymen.
  2. Metro99

    Diminishment of Roman Civilization?

    Okay, let me take an uneducated stab at this. I don't believe that History (capital "H") exists in any objective form. The recounting of the events of the past is terribly subjective and writers of history books have biases about the subject matter. That's why the most important section to any book (history or otherwise) is the Preface/Author's Note/Introduction where the author lets his or her hair down and oftentimes reveals their prejudices. Subjective history varies not only from person to person but also over time. The Founding Fathers of our republic placed great emphasis on the positive aspects of Roman history and you'd be hard pressed to find a FF who could not read/write/speak Latin. I would imagine Napoleon's France, the Prussians, and other expansionist regimes saw much that was positive in Rome of the Principate. I would also imagine that in the post WWII era, with the collapse of European and the Japanese empires, Rome fell out of fashion. And there is no denying the attraction of the intimacy of the Classical Hellenic city state (doomed to ultimate failure that they were). I have a female friend from Madras who insists that Tamil culture/civilization is the greatest in human history. I also have a very close buddy who's Jewish. He insists that the Jews are the source of all good things in Western civilization. I'm 100% Italian, so I'll give you three guesses who I love (and the first two guesses don't count). SPQR, baby!!!
  3. Metro99

    Caesar & Augustus

    I must respectfully but unequivocally disagree with your assessment of the viability of the Republic in the mid-1st century B.C. To my way of thinking the Republic came to an end when the first cudgel struck the head of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus in 133. In fact I would go so far as to say that the conclusion of the 2nd Punic War marked the beginning of the end of the Republic. If Caesar had fallen off his horse while crossing the Rubicon and cracked his skull open, the shell of the Republic might have had a few more years (even a decade or two), but I doubt if it would have survived till the birth of Christ. And if Marcus Porcius Cato comes on this thread to dispute my argument, I will throw down my shield, turn tail, and run for the hills!
  4. Hmmm, that middle archeologist in the red bandanna appears rather scantily attired. Why, oh why, did I pick accounting over archeology as my undergrad major!? /smacks head in disgust/
  5. Metro99

    Pope: Other denominations not true churches

    Correction: It imposes indoctrination, not education. Which is why I hope the next 549 days pass quickly. Marcus Caelius, What is the significance of "549 days"? You've piqued my curiosity. By way of reference, I was raised a very strict Catholic during the 1960s (partially pre-VC II). In fact, it wasn't called the Catholic Church, it was the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. Ten years of stern schooling (including Dominican nuns and Franciscan brothers), grim memorization of the sixth grade Baltimore Catechism, three-hour fasting before communion on Sundays, and terrifying confessions in darkened churches leave an indelible impression on a child. I didn't meet my first Protestant until I was about nine or ten. They had just moved into the house next door and I saw them through the bushes in my front yard. To this day I still remember thinking, "My god, they look just like Catholics!" I was astonished, Protestants didn't have horns! In fact, I became best buddies with their four children. Now that I can look back on these memories with middle-aged sensibilities I see that religion (at least the highly organized variety) is a double-edged sword with a capacity for both good and mischief. As for Pope Benedict XVI's curious announcement, I believe Il Papa should devote less time to waving the Vatican flag and more time to addressing and resolving the disgraceful sexual behavior of (some of) its clergy.
  6. Metro99

    What's the last book you read?

    Due to a dearth of unread Roman historical fiction, I'm currently rereading two books: (1) Adrian Goldsworthy's "The Punic Wars." That's my "breakfast/dinner" book, i.e., I'm reading it while having my early and evening meals. I'm partial to his writing style (loved his "Caesar, Life of a Colossus," but was indifferent to his "In the Name of Rome"). (2) Colleen McCullough's "Fortune's Favorites" (the 3rd of her mammoth 6-volume Masters of Rome series). This is my "subway/Sundays at dad's" book. This particular installment is inferior to the first two volumes, but I love her treatment of the major characters of this period of the Republic (even if she is way over the top with Caius Julius -- far too hagiographic for my tastes). I also love the fact that she includes many, many maps. The paperback versions of her books weigh in at 1,000 pages a pop, so it's a labor of love.
  7. There are some charts buried in Viggen's gallery entries showing the global distribution of members , (perhaps about 18 months ago), I was just thinking of asking if he had an update of that info -but , he is away for a while .I will pm him when he returns to see if he has an update. http://www.unrv.com/forum/index.php?automo...si&img=1033 If you explore round this link there are quite a few charts.Welcome to the Forum. BTW watch out for GO , he is round the corner from you, and is a Neapolitan-American tough guy.. Pertinax, Thanks for that link (I love 3-D pie charts. No, seriously, I do). Oh, by the way, I too am Neapolitan -- all four of my grandparents are from the same small town a few miles to the west of Naples. However, I am most definitely not a tough guy (though I was utterly ruthless to the Scipii and Brutii factions when I played the Julii in "Rome Total War").
  8. Brooklyn, New York. It would be interesting to get some demographic stats on Forum members, i.e., race, nationality, sex, marital status, educational level, age, political affiliation, religious background, etc. Here are mine: Race: White (Italian) Nationality: USA Sex: M Marital Status: M Education: post graduate Age: 52 Political Affiliation: Democrat (disgruntled) Religion: Roman Catholic
  9. Metro99

    King Herod's ancient tomb 'found'

    Ingsoc, Thanks loads for those excellent snaps! Fascinating material. I would imagine the life of an archeologist is one of months or years of tedious hard work followed by the ecstasy of hitting "pay dirt." I would also guess that you'd need a strong back and be able to sacrifice numerous creature comforts. All in all, I think I prefer my "soft" accounting position but I'll tip my hat to all those men and women who labor under the hot sun and breath in dust and dirt to uncover the past. Love your nym by the way. PAX.
  10. Metro99

    A scathing treatment of Hannibal

    One last thing. 'Bad mouthing Rome on this forum would be like wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Stars and Bars to a Martin Luther King Day march.' I'm British and don't understand this. Can somebody please explain?? "Stars and Bars" was the flag of the Confederacy (the South) during the American Civil War (1861-1865). After the South's defeat the Stars and Bars became a symbol of resistance to the dominance of the Northerners. It was also the symbol of the Klu Klux Klan. You see, that's an example of cultural imperialism: as a Yank I just assumed that everyone would understand that reference.
  11. Metro99

    King Herod's ancient tomb 'found'

    My fantasy: after many grueling months of excavation and recovery, archaeologists announce they've found the complete and unabridged works of Polybius. That might raise a few eyebrows.
  12. Metro99

    A scathing treatment of Hannibal

    By conventional standards, perhaps, but those standards have absolutely nothing to do with civilization. Are you seriously attempting to argue that Rome was uncivilized? With regards to its attitude to warfare, yes. Don't you think that the attitude of 'We'll beat you and make you do what we say' is uncivilised? What about free will? What about democracy? The Romans were the bullies of the ancient world. Bullying is not accepted as 'civilised' behaviour. Do you also think that what happened in the Roman 'Games' was civilised? I think before this can go anywhere, you'd need to define what you mean by 'civilised'. My dear Sonic, Bad mouthing Rome on this forum would be like wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Stars and Bars to a Martin Luther King Day march. As another commentator pointed out, when it came to brutality in the ancient world I think the Assyrians take the gold medal. Their monuments actually show enemy POWs being tortured and mutilated. I'd give the silver medal to the Akkadians (q.v., stele of Naram Sin ascending the mountain where he walks upon the dead bodies of his enemies). The Romans wouldn't even rate the bronze for cruelty.
  13. Metro99

    "Roma," New Saylor Novel

    I think you and I will get on, Metro99! I have read the Scott series and couldn't wait to get to the parts that deal with her half-brother who goes off to join the auxiliary cavalry. Hehe - and in the final novel - the history is well-known, so there's no spoiiler alert here - the final battle had me shouting for joy 'The Romans are winning! The Romans are winning!' And I'm English... I should be ashamed of myself - but I'm not! You are well met, Augusta. Oh dear, a Brit siding with the "Occupiers" against the heroic Boudica! At least I can console myself with my Italian heritage (however diluted after three generations of life in the American Republic). Strange is the attraction that some feel for Rome. Perhaps it's a case of acute Romitis. I recall through the vague mists of early childhood my parents dragging me to see "Ben Hur" in 1960. I'm sure that Billy Wilder expected his audiences to root for Judah Ben-Hur, but honestly I wanted Messala to win that chariot race in the worst way! I was wretched when Stephen Boyd got his comeuppance. Who can deny that Boyd looked magnificent in his tribune's uniform? The red plumage on his crested helmet, the molded breastplate, and of course the red cloak. And don't even get me started on the toga!