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Urbs Aedificator

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About Urbs Aedificator

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  • Birthday 11/03/1957

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    Rome and things Roman
    But most importantly my 6 yr old daughter!
  1. Urbs Aedificator

    American Education

    I met a Canadian who asked me what state Maryland was in. It really is galling when foreigners don't know the geography of your country, isn't it... M.P. Cato, I'm truely suprised that that Canadian even knew about Maryland...what I encounter here, is the confusion(in their own minds) that America has two Washington's, and they are not even sure it's two states named Washington, or two Capitals...very disconcerting. Alex
  2. Urbs Aedificator

    American Education

    I would like to say the 'barbarization' of America and it's culture, but this might be misconstrued as too inflamitory or narrow minded on my part... I work at a local college for foreign exchange students here in Canada, and the difference between what I see there and what I see in my son's high school is shocking. I know this is a broad and sweeping statement, and certainly has exceptons, but I feel that the excessive opulence in our society has led to a great deal of complacency, and just plain laziness. Manifesting itself from applying oneself to your school studies to being more concerned about the 'bling' in your life. Doc, I understand your reaction to your students responses, but as a counterpoint, the majority of our exchange students are from Asia(mostly China), and their knowledge of Western history is abysmal(although I feel this is a function of their govt's bias in education against western influence). I have taken it upon myself to unofficially in my spare time teach them about western history starting from the Ancient Greeks(including a good dose of philosophy), up through the Roman Replublic, then Empire, to and including the Middle Ages. It's quite interesting to see their reaction and at times genuine enthuseasm for this 'new' subject. Then again I'm a true believer of reintroducing Rhetoric, Philosophy, and Classical studies as mandatory into school curriculum... Alex
  3. Urbs Aedificator

    What made the Romans stop?

    As far as I am concerned the book: The Grand Strategy Of The Roman Empire - From the first Century A.D. to the Third by Edward Luttwak holds the definative answer to the original posters queston. I cannot begin to do justice to his work so I will not attempt to paraphrase him. Buy the book, or possibly look up on the net references and material. Alex.
  4. Urbs Aedificator

    Inheritors Of The Western Roman Empire

    'I don't see the Pope having any proper authority to proclaim a new "Emperor of the Romans" when the Empire was still very much alive and still in control of parts of Italy. ' Good point Lex, but was that 'Empire' still Roman, or something else... Alex.
  5. Urbs Aedificator

    Inheritors Of The Western Roman Empire

    I'm beginning to wonder if it was not the Papacy in Rome that was the true inheritor of the Western Roman Empire. Especially considering how it maintained Roman administrative functions, promoted the 'Lingua Romana', and promulagated Western/Roman ideas through to the Mddle Ages. Ita? Non? Alex
  6. Urbs Aedificator

    Most Macrohistorical Battle

    My two denarii worth...IMO the siege of Constantinople in 717 A.D. The forces of Islam were surging. The left point of the Muslim cresent was to be stopped at Tours, the right point of the cresent was aimed at Constantinople. If the siege by the Muslim forces had been successful, theres a good chance we'd all be speaking Arabic now... Alex
  7. Urbs Aedificator


    Sandra Shaw, a sculptress in Toronto, accepts commissions for portrait busts that would strongly evoke the Greco-Roman attitude toward portraiture. Her website is http://www.sandrashaw.com. I've seen her work in person, attended her lectures, and discussed ancient art with her at some length. I think she would understand, appreciate, and admire your goals. Good luck. M.P. Cato, many, many thanks.
  8. I've been doing some reading and research lately on the Carolingian Empire, presently focusing on the Reign of Charlesmagne. From what I gather Charles The Great likely saw himself and his people as the inheritors of the Western Roman Empire. Any thoughts? Or any other candidates as inheritors? Cheers Alex
  9. Urbs Aedificator


    Vibius, thank you kindly. It's funny even in these modern times how we are still greatly influenced by Roman values. Love for my dad will always be there. I am seeking out someone to carve a bust...but here in Canada, it seems to be a lost art... but I'll find someone in good time I'm sure. Thank you all. Cheers Alex(Lar Aeternius Donax)
  10. Urbs Aedificator


    You know,it's funny you should mention the above...that's exactly how I'm feeling these days...and I feel that this is what I will ultimately do. My dad and I where both afficianados(if you will) with regards to Roman Stoacism. We both admired the practical stoacism of Epictetus(yes I know, a GREEK slave during the Principate) and his influence on the likes of Marcus Aurelius(Meditations),et al. It's funny, three books left to me from my dad were: M.Aurelius' Meditations, Seneca Letters From A Stoic, and Cicero's On The Good Life...all pretty good philosophical tomes on how to live a flourishing life...whether you are a modern or a Roman. Maty thank you.
  11. Urbs Aedificator

    What's the last book you read?

    Two books actually. Plutarch's 'Lives', I've always enjoyed his writing style. And Epictetus' Enchiridion/Discourses. For me, life changing.
  12. Urbs Aedificator

    Rhetoric In The Classical Sense.

    LOL Good one. Makes one wonder if that ever happened in ancient Greece or Rome, and how the teachers reacted. Cheers. Alex
  13. Urbs Aedificator

    Rhetoric In The Classical Sense.

    Well put Moonlapse. That's a political hot potatoe that I will reserve for another forum I belong to. But I catch your drift. Politics and Religion tend to divide people. I prefer to discuss things that unite them...that's why I like the UNRV forums. Cheers. Alex.
  14. Urbs Aedificator

    Rhetoric In The Classical Sense.

    Yes, you are right the school day is limited, and many folks feel that there are more important topics to learn. Of course when we talk of subjects such as statistics and economics MPC, are we not looking at things only from a perspective that we feel is essential. We all accept, I presume, that we cannot go back to Classical times, nor might many want to(having to give up the modern conveniences we have accrued). Yet, limiting our view to what is essential to modern life, or what society insinuates is essential to modern life, really does not give us a 'leg up' on living a better life. Which I think many feel is the point of this whole game. I ask though, what does Rhetoric give us in our search for a better life for ourselves , our loved ones, and I may postulate our society in general? Firstly, I am tempted to say that Rhetoric will take you as far in life as you let it GPM. Secondly Rhetoric, or public speaking(but not media relations et al)are indeed available, and at present as PP straightforwardly pointed out, only as a speciaity. Those who are interested soon realize that effective speaking confers to it's owner many benefits that can be applied to almost any academic subject taught today. Yes, a broad statement, but let us ask what is the seed of Rhetoric that makes it so effective in its proscribed environment and potentially also effective in any other subject it is applied to? Why it's the ability to orginize. Organize one's thoughts one's actions, one's life, if so inclined. Can you imagine if, made mandatory(unlike in Classical times) to every school child, what a force to contend with that said child might become?! Certainly, in the very least, it would beat having to listen to the dribble that passes for intelligent conversation, heck just plain conversation one hears in schools, work, on the subway, the kid who is serving you fries...'yo! wazzup? that's sooo sick!, boy it musta been filth kickin' it in the times those dudes wore togas... ...or I could be wrong. Not really trying to sell a point here, just trying to view things from a neglected perspective. Ave. Alex