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Centurion-Macro last won the day on September 13 2015

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About Centurion-Macro

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  1. It's an interesting article, although in my view it's not as original as Professor Whitmarsh believes. I agree with him that skepticism did exist in the ancient world - yet this is something classicists have known for a long time. If I remember rightly, the Dominician priest and philosopher Andre-Jean Festugiere admitted this quite openly in his study of personal religion in ancient Greece (Personal Religion Among the Greeks, California, 1954). He noted that what many people think of as 'Greek religion' was actually state religion, and not everyone believed in state religion. After all, it was more about political unity and patriotism than religious belief. This was why Socrates was killed, and why doubt must have existed in the minds of some Greek people. Robert Parker (On Greek Religion, Cornell, 2011) has also noted that state religion was more political than religious, and that a number of Greeks did not really believe the rituals they were partaking in. Yet Festugiere and Parker also emphasise personal religion among the Greeks. While Festugiere's discussions on the Athenian dramatists are a little far fetched at times (he wants their beliefs to be as close to Christianity as possible) his talk about sailors and soldiers raising temples and shrines out of piety rather than compulsion, and the evidence showing religious belief among ordinary Greeks, is interesting. The mystery cults of Dionysus etc. also reveal a strong religious impulse among many Greeks. I hope the Professor will discuss these aspects of popular religion, rather than discussing only the philosophers, who, while interesting, only represented a minority. Still, seems like a worthy book. I'll try and read it.
  2. Centurion-Macro

    A new flag for New Zealand

    I would agree with most of what you said caldrail. I suspect the Commonwealth will collapse soon, and there are a myriad of names for the ideology that is driving it. Peter Hitchens calls it "the new liberal bigotry", Prof. Roger Scruton has called it "the culture of repudiation" and Prof. Niall Ferguson has gone so far as to dub it the ideology of "self-flagellation." Basically, it is an aggressive form of liberal leftism that has taken hold in Britain and New Zealand. It is indeed like the AWI, because it is being driven by a noisy minority to the horror of some New Zealanders and the indifference of others. Ultimately it is decisive, since New Zealand (unlike Australia) has a significant number of people who feel a residual loyalty to the 'Mother Country', the monarchy and even a certain nostalgia for the security of the old Empire. It will be interesting to see how the situation in both India and New Zealand pan out in the future. If Corbyn became Prime Minister, I wonder if he would pay India reparations?
  3. Centurion-Macro

    Roman invasion of Ireland

    I think it's also important to remember that the Romans never took over Caledonia, nor did they even have full control over what is today modern-day Cornwall. Britannia itself was very far away from the imperial centre, and was often a drain on the military resources of the Empire. The main reason Britannia itself was invaded was because the emperor Claudius needed a military victory to solidify his power back home and he chose britain because it loomed large in the Roman imagination as the place Julius Caesar invaded but never conquered. The main reason Julius Caesar himself invaded was because British tribes were subverting his recent conquests in Gaul. After Claudius, emperors still had to impress their subjects with military victories, but after this they were often looking to the East (Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian) and North (Trajan, Aurelius). To add Hibernia to the empire might have been a nice goal (and it is a good topic for speculation!) but I do not think they could have done it. Even fi they had wanted to do it, I do not think it would have been possible either. Although, I am interested to know what cultural influence the Roman Empire had on Hibernia, even without an invasion. Was it similar to pre-Claudian Britannia where the southern tribes traded with the Romans and learned Latin?
  4. Centurion-Macro

    A new flag for New Zealand

    Haha! As a New Zealander I have a few opinions on the topic. Basically the country is split into three main groups. The first are frustrated by the flag referendum and want no change, because they see the current flag as a traditional part of the country. The second group aggressively want to change the flag because they see the current flag as a symbol of the British Empire and of imperialism. The third group don't really care, and want the money to be spent on something else, and some suspect that it is all a plot by the Prime Minister to distract the country from his neoliberal reforms. I personally do not want to see a change. I admit that flags can (and often should) adapt if the people want them to. I think Edmund Burke's idea of the organic society is useful here. If the flag were being changed because New Zealanders as a whole wanted a new flag, and if they were getting a new flag for the betterment of the country, then that would be grand and I might agree with it. But from what I see, the group that want to change the flag are not doing it for patriotic reasons but because they either dislike or are embarrassed by the nation and want to cause it harm. In short, if a majority wanted a new flag, and if they were doing it for the country then I might be supportive. But right now it is more like a liberal/lefty coup, with one group of people trying to force a new flag on everyone else, ultimately leading to the detriment of the nation.
  5. Centurion-Macro

    Condition of slaves in Roman society

    I've recently been reading a pamplet by Joseph McCabe, who throws some interesting thoughts on the subject. His argument is that Romans did care more for their slaves than is often assumed, and that had the Roman Empire continued slavery would have been abolished. Eg. many Romans such as Juvenal, Dion Chrysostom (a Romanised Greek), Seneca, Pliny, the jurors Florenius & Ulpian, and Plutarch (admittedly another Greek) all condemned slavery and believed it to be a vile institution. Many laws were created to protect slaves: the Cornelian Law (82BC), Petronian Law (32BC), Hadrian's abolishing of old subterrian dungeons, Nero gave slaves the right of appeal if they felt themselves badly treated, Antonius Pius said a slave who sought refuge from a cruel or hard master should be resold, Caracalla forbade parents to sell children as slaves, Diocletian forbade creditors to fell debtors into slavery. I haven't verified whether McCade is correct yet, but certainly it offers an interesting viewpoint.
  6. Welcome! If you want history nerds you've certainly found us
  7. Centurion-Macro

    Coinage as Propaganda

    Coinage is much like a modern day TV advertisement. It is something seen by millions everyday, as a way of subtly communicating ideas. I consider coinage propoganda, as it would have reinforced the idea of Romanisation on the provinces. And the fact each Emperor loved to make coins of himself was a way of showing 'whos boss' in Rome.
  8. Welcome to the forum! Do you have any particular field of Roman history you like most?
  9. Centurion-Macro

    Commentaries on the Gallic wars

    Only thing I can suggest are the maps you can find on Google. They especially helped me for understanding the invasion of Britain, so I think they will help with the Gauls too.
  10. Centurion-Macro

    Roman Emperors poster-size timechart: free to download

    For an A1 sized piece of paper it's brilliant. Information is tight and compact, and the diagrams are pretty good. Nice work!
  11. So do we have exact numbers as to how many Neanderthals there were in Europe? And where they concentrated most in Europe? The article didn't make it clear.
  12. Interesting. Far as I'm concerned it's Ostara celebrations for me.
  13. Centurion-Macro

    Italy Unveils Plan to Preserve Pompeii

    I hope Pompeii survives, but I don't believe pouring money into the region will stimulate the economy and make everything better for the people.
  14. I love torcs! They're some of my favourite artifacts. I don't understand having a torc around the waist though...wouldn't it be really tight?
  15. Centurion-Macro

    Happy Birthday Viggen

    Happy birthday!