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Pax Orbis Furius

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  1. Pax Orbis Furius

    Women In Byzantium

    Opps, Honorius, you are correct. Constantinople not Rome. I was staining wood just before I wrote that post, must have been breathing to many fumes... Pax
  2. Pax Orbis Furius

    Women In Byzantium

    Hail! An interesting bit of Belisarius trivia... By AD 555 Belisarius was far removed from his position as re-unifier of Rome. Blinded and destitute the beleaguered ex-General had become a beggar at the gates of Rome. As was common practice, these wretches were kicked and abused by passersby. Though Belisarius was no longer a great man in the eyes of Rome, he still had his pride and would often rage at these rude folk that he was once a man to envy, was once a man that they admired and should be treated far better than to be kicked. He would then advise all were still listening to not kick him just because he is a low beggar, they do not know how he came to be down and are unfair to so callous. This wisdom from a disgraced General, wronged and ruined by the manipulative Theodora, is the origin of common phrase, "Don't kick a man when he's down". Pax
  3. Pax Orbis Furius

    Telling Speaker

    You are quite welcome, Flavius, and I thank you for the interesting question. Not often I get to talk about Aius Locutius, cool. Pax
  4. Pax Orbis Furius

    Define Roman

    Part II What did it mean to be a Roman? A question that I find quite interesting, even though this topic seems to have died long ago, I still cannot help but think of this. I do not think that we can ever fully define Roman anymore then we can define ourselves fully. The process of becoming a person is just that a becoming, a matter of evolutionary behavioral change. However, it is possible to determine with fair accuracy what the ideal of Roman behavior was thought to be. Imperfect as all humans are, today as in antiquity, the ideal Roman did not exist, but today as in antiquity the rules of perfect behavior, the ideal, were well known. Vastly removed from Rome as we are in cultural evolution we cannot help but notice the differences, the similarities, however, can be just as startling. It is these similarities that interest me the most, as such, the list below contains many of keen interest, to me and, I hope, all of you. The following list of Latin sayings show, in some small measure, the opinions a few notable Romans thought a Roman should be: (I enjoy Latin phrases way too much, I hope I do not bore to many citizens with this post) Ubi concordia, ibi victoria - Where is the unity, there is the victory. (Publius Syrus) Dulce bellum inexpertis - War is sweet for those who haven't experienced it. (Pindaros) Satius est impunitum relinqui facinus nocentis, quam innocentem damnari - It is better that a crime is left unpunished than that an innocent man is punished. (Corpus Iuris Civilis) O curas hominum! O quantum est in rebus inane! - Ah, human cares! Ah, how much futility in the world! (Lucilius) Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country. (Horace) Unus multorum - One of many. (Horace) Si vis amari, ama - If you wish to be loved, love. (Seneca) Errare humanum est - To err is human. / It is human to err. (Seneca) Si vis pacem, para bellum - If you want peace, prepare for the war. (Vegetius) Dum spiramus tuebimur - While we breathe, we shall defend Spemque metumque inter dubiis - Hover between hope and fear. (Vergil) Cotidie damnatur qui semper timet - The man who is constantly in fear is every day condemned. (Syrus) Dum spiro, spero - While I breathe, I hope. (Cicero) Sol omnibus lucet - The sun shines upon us all. (Petronius) Exitus acta probat - The outcome proves the deeds. (the end justifies the means) (Ovid) Manus manum lavat - One hand washes the other. The favor for the favor. (Petronius) Ut sementem feceris, ita metes - As you sow, so shall you reap. (Cicero) Oderint dum metuant - Let them hate provided that they fear. (Seneca) Dimidium facti qui coepit habet - Half is done when the beginning is done. (Horace) Vae victis! - Woe to the conquered! (vanquished) (Livy) O tempora, O mores! - Oh, the times! Oh, the morals! (Cicero) Cura nihil aliud nisi ut valeas - Pay attention to nothing except that you do well. (Cicero) Multi famam, conscientiam pauci verentur - Many fear their reputation, few their conscience. (Pliny) Venienti occurrite morbo - Meet the misfortune as it comes. (Persius) Medice, cura te ipsum! - Physician, heal thyself! (Versio Vulgata) Omnia mea mecum porto - All that is mine, I carry with me. (My wisdom is my greatest wealth) (Cicero) Medici graviores morbos asperis remediis curant - Doctors cure the more serious diseases with harsh remedies. (Curtius Rufus) Culpam poena premit comes - Punishment closely follows crime as its companion. (Horace) Mors ultima linea rerum est - Death is everything's final limit. (Horace) Summum ius, summa iniuria - The extreme law is the greatest injustice. (Cicero) Crudelius est quam mori semper timere mortem - It is more cruel to always fear death than to die. (Seneca) Crux - Puzzle Periculum in mora - There is danger in delay. (Livy) Vestis virum reddit - The clothes make the man. (Quintilianus) Perpetuo vincit qui utitur clementia - He is forever victor who employs clemency. (Syrus) Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero - Seize the day, trust as little as possible in tomorrow. (Horace) Panem et circenses - Bread and circuses. Food and games to keep people happy. (Juvenalis) Male parta male dilabuntur - What has been wrongly gained is wrongly lost. (Ill-gotten gains seldom prosper.) (Cicero) Fallaces sunt rerum species - The appearances of things are deceptive. (Seneca) Vitam regit fortuna, non sapientia - Fortune, not wisdom, rules lives. (Cicero) Fas est et ab hoste doceri - It's proper to learn even from an enemy. (Ovid) Vitanda est improba siren desidia - One must avoid that wicked temptress, Laziness. (Horace) Hoc tempore obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit - In these days friends are won through flattery, the truth gives birth to hate. (Terence) Homines libenter quod volunt credunt - Men believe what they want to. (Terentius) Vitiis nemo sine nascitur - No-one is born without faults. (Horace) Malum consilium quod mutari non potest - It's a bad plan that can't be changed. (Publilius Syrus) Pacta sunt servanda - Agreements are to be kept. (Cicero) Salus populi suprema lex - The safety of the people is the supreme law. (Cicero) Malum quidem nullum esse sine aliquo bono - There is, to be sure, no evil without something good. (Pliny the Elder) Trahimur omnes laudis studio - We are all led on by our eagerness for praise. (Cicero) Medio tutissimus ibis - You will go safest in the middle. (Moderation in all things) (Ovid) Patria est communis omnium parens - Our native land is the common parent of us all. (Cicero) Mendacem memorem esse oportet - A liar needs a good memory. (Quintilianus) Tantum eruditi sunt liberi - Only the educated are free. (Epictetus) Mens agitat molem - The mind moves the matter. (Vergil) Imperium et libertas - Empire and liberty. (Cicero) Probitas laudatur et alget - Honesty is praised and left in the cold. (Juvenal) Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est - A sword is never a killer, it's a tool in the killer's hands. (Seneca) Mens regnum bona possidet - An honest heart is a kingdom in itself. (Seneca) Qui non est hodie cras minus aptus erit - He who is not prepared today will be less so tomorrow. (Ovid) Qui omnes insidias timet in nullas incidit - He who fears every ambush falls into none. (Pubilius Syrus) Omnium rerum principia parva sunt - Everything has a small beginning. (Cicero) Risu inepto res ineptior nulla est - There is nothing more foolish than a foolish laugh. (Catullus) Res severa est verum gaudium - True joy is a serious thing. (Seneca) Mens sana in corpore sano - A sound mind in a sound body. (Juvenalis) Pede poena claudo - Punishment comes limping. Retribution comes slowly, but surely. (Horace) Mus uni non fidit antro - A mouse does not rely on just one hole. (Plautus) Suum cuique pulchrum est - To each his own is beautiful. (Cicero) Pulvis et umbra sumus - We are dust and shadow. (Horace) Sit vis vobiscum - May the Force be with you. Pax
  5. Pax Orbis Furius

    If You Could Meet One Roman Emperor

    I would meet with Heron of Alexandria. Maybe give him a hint or two on what to do with that strange, steam powered, spinning ball contraption. He was sooooooo close, steam power thousands of years before Watt. Just a small nudge..... Pax
  6. Pax Orbis Furius

    Telling Speaker

    Hello Flavius, I suspect that this "god" was a one time only Deity, and not a deity at all but a personification. The Romans ignored the warning of this fellow causing the relatively easy victory and occupation of the Gauls, who did indeed arrive. This event was burned into the minds of the Romans, changed the culture and foreign policy of the Republic, was an event the Romans could not contend with easily and forever after sought prevention of recurrence. I am sure this cryer of doom shouted high and long before and after the occupation that HE knew the Gauls were on war footing and moving, HE gave warning as instructed by the mysterious voice, yet no one gave heed. After the fact, he must have seemed very attuned to the gods indeed, and in true bargaining Roman religious practice the Consuls and Priests decided to annoit a new alter to this seemingly helpful new god. However, this is not a god per se and should be viewed as more of a personification. Personifcations often achieved the status of demi-god, embodying an attribute that the Romans wished to honor. In this case, that of listening to fair warnings and acting accordingly to never allow the city of Rome to be occupied by foreign aggressors again. As seen on Roman coins, there are many personifications of virtues the Romans wished to receive boon from and or aspired to. For instance, Fortuna - Fortune, Jusititia-Justice, Abundantia-Abundance, Annona-Corn Harvest, Fides-Faith, Hilaritas-Mirth, and of course Pax-Peace are commonly seen. Before this instance, Aius Locutius did not exist as a personification, and only as a result of the bargaining nature of Roman religion was this alter raised. Raise an alter in exchange for warning. Unfortunate that the alter did not appease the slighted demi-god, Rome needed fair warning from Telling Speaker again, 866 years later. Having never assisted Rome again, and associated as it is with an event horrible, it is no surprise that Aius Locutius has but one footnote in Roman mythology, at least, only one that I am aware of. Pax
  7. Pax Orbis Furius

    Define Roman

    Hail! A Roman was a person defined by service to the state. To be Roman meant to be dedicated to service, to duty, to the people and to self second, only by so doing could a Roman find truth, meaning, become Roma itself. To be Roman meant belief. Belief in the ideal of Rome. Ideals set first in the Republic, yet held long into Empire. To be Roman meant to honor the past, honor traditions often in blind disregard to advancing change. To be Roman meant to be disciplined, in family first, to gain a discipline self second, molded thus, to serve Rome as a trained, disciplined citizen third. To be Roman meant to strive, to seek, to never find satisfaction except in accomplishments ever higher. To be Roman meant the knowledge of yearning. To be Roman meant the overwhelming need to control the nature of the world. To be Roman meant profound insecurity, hidden behind success and expansion, yet a driving force in the souls of the people. To be Roman meant pride. To be Roman meant imperfection and hypocrisy banded together with best effort and fine intent. To be Roman meant to set impossible goals far beyond the reach of reasonable expectation, and succeed. To be Roman meant to set impossible goals far beyond the reach of reasonable expectation, and fail, yet try again. To be Roman meant arrogance, and humility. To be Roman meant human frailty backed by firm teamwork and disciplined resolve. To be Roman meant a citizen not languishing in famine, not afraid of the tribe across the water, a citizen free to live in peace or at least to strive and know that peace can exist. A person surrounded by friends, yes allies and enemies, both envied and feared, loved and hated. To be Roman meant the survival of Rome above all other considerations. To be Roman meant they could imagine no other method of living, nor desire one if presented. SPQR, Pax Fortis fortuna adiuvat.
  8. Pax Orbis Furius

    Welcome and Introduce Yourself Here

    Hello, I am 13 years old and live with my parents. No, just kidding, I am 37 years old and have studied history, Roman in earnest, for, must be, 3 decades now. I live in Montana, USA but originally hail from Ohio. I made my way west after University, and eventually settled in Montana, via, Alaska where I trained sled dogs for 3 years. I am now, and have been for the last 11 years self-employed. My interests, other than history, are; Roman numismatics, hiking, mountain climbing, fossil/rock hunting, loud new rock music (pardon me , what did you say?) and, of course, writing. Glad to meet everyone, I look forward to many interesting discussions. Does anybody care to discuss the social and economic ramifications of the debasement of the antoninianus beginning in 250 AD which leads to the Diocletianic monetary reform of 284 AD? Hmmm, where should I start this topic? Anyway, again, glad to meet the citizens of UNRV. Pax
  9. Pax Orbis Furius

    The History Of Unrv

    Good Morning! I have never heard of the game, I guess I need to leave the mountains more often! I, for one, am very pleased to have found this site. I very much enjoy discussions on Roman history. The members of this group are very polite and knowledgeable, thanks! I enjoy writing very much, for years, pre-internet, very few people ever saw my writing, only third string editors right before they fired off a rejection letter. It is very nice to share what I have to say with people of like mind, and to have my words well received. ROMA VICTOR! Pax Video Games? Does Roma Victor come in an Atari version? I spend most of my free time either reading history or staring at my Roman coin collection. Great Forum even if I never heard of the game that inspired it, thanks Viggen!
  10. Pax Orbis Furius

    Claudius - Underestimated And Overlooked

    Thank you Primus. Freedom, ahhh. You are right that I am stretching the correlation between his age and MG. Considering that the prevailing wisdom as to his cause of death is poisoning, his disease, whatever it may have been, does not seem to have been a factor. I can further postulate, however, that due to the weariness his condition imposed, and weariness from years of humiliation, coupled with a reign he did not desire, he knew that a plot existed, and did nothing to prevent it. Perhaps, I can even label this behavior a proximate cause of his demise, a suicide by inaction. You are correct that 63-64 was old for the average human of Roman world, as I have seen life expectancy expressed at maximum of 45 years for Claudius era. Generally, ancient life expectancy was expressed as a curve: If you live to 10 you might see 25, live to 30 you might see 40, live to 50 you may see 60, etc. Claudius would have been at the high end of this spectrum, for the reasons you mentioned and the unusually long lives of his ancestors. I am reaching I know, but if you apply this same formula to Claudius, it if possible to say, that; If Claudius did not have MG he would have lived to 75, extreme old age. I am certainly stretching, but hey! I am a Free Roman Citizen now! Pax
  11. Pax Orbis Furius

    Worst General Or Politician In Roman History

    Yes, Sextus my friend, I am doing well in my quest for freedom, I am FREE! There is another leader that was awful, while not a general but a centurian, who surely deserves mention, old "Fetch me another" (cedo alteram). A centurion so nicknamed by his men, and so horrible and petty (in modern military terms, he was definitely chicken sh*t) that his soldiers murdered him. Fed up with with his habit of whacking his hastile (staff of office) over their backs and then calling out for a volunteer to continue the flogging, they lynched him. So unique is this occurrence, or perhaps due to his amusing nickname, Tacitus mentions Fetch me another! in The Annals. Pax
  12. Ave! Claudius was severely underestimated by all. This saved his life. During the many radical, violent purges after the death of Augustus, Claudius was overlooked as insignificant, an idiot, below even the lowest slave in intelligence. This is patently false, far from the true intellect of Claudius as could be. Claudius was not disabled mentally in the slightest. The Romans judged people on visible accomplishments, glory, victory, and the achievement of more and greater political achievements, public fame. This cycle of achievements was never ending, to Roman nobles it was always the next glorious act that was sought after, too never stop striving, never reach satisfaction. This psychology of externalized self-esteem caused every person to misjudge Claudius because they could not picture him as a soldier, statesman, senator, and orator. Locked in a culture dominated by exclusionary social warfare, no Roman could visualize him in any position open to a man of his social rank. This was a great shame to the Roman mind, for what else could a nobleman do? To actually work was a concept totally vile to the Roman nobility, this left Claudius with no options but private study, far from his rightful place in Imperial politics, lucky for him. His stammer and weakness of body allowed him to be one of the few Emperors wise enough to hold the office, he did not waste his days with endless social maneuvering but in study with his great tutors. While enduring the ridicule of those he most desired to please, Claudius cultivated his survival plan, that of feigned and exacerbated disability. Claudius realized that while his family hated him, they needed him, vile as their souls were they needed someone they perceived as less than, they needed a scapegoat, and Claudius must have seen this deminished role as his only hope of survival. The Romans had brutal and nearly incomprehensible families. I am sure you are aware of the practice of exposing deformed children to be rid of the disgrace. Shame and loathing were the Roman reactions to disability. It is almost miraculous that this fate did not befall our Claudius, truly Fortuna graces his life. Claudius was by far the most fortunate member the Imperial family, only he could live with relative freedom. All others of his family, Germanicus his loving brother the exception, choose to ridicule Claudius, bound as they were to harsh morality, they did not realize the gift of obscurity they had bestowed. This obscurity alone allowed Claudius to live through both the political purges of Tiberius and the wanton depravity and sadistic terrors of Caligula. After almost all his peers had been eliminated in power struggles, Claudius remained. His disability alone made him the choice of the legions. In fury and anguish the execution of mad Caligula was committed, Little Boot! loved by the soldiers must die, a devils choice the legions faced indeed. In desperate rivalry the legions looked to Claudius, a man safe for all factions to choose, for no one feared him. Claudius, while hiding behind the curtain could not have known how well his plan had succeeded, how great his relief and how great his terror must have been upon that day he was thrust upward to the purple. So came to power one of my favorite Emperors, the thoughtful, intelligent, kind, drastically under-estimated, Claudius. In pursuit of a diagnosis of Claudius
  13. Pax Orbis Furius

    Posting Ranks Explained

    Ursus, sounds better than the arena, but, never! This post makes 9! Freedom may be harsh, but freedom is far more fufilling and sweet than the bitter denial of slavery. No, thank you Ursus, I choose FREEDOM!!!!!! oh, and Peace Just one more to go....Pax
  14. Pax Orbis Furius

    Phalanx Vs. Legions

    Ave! Greece was either a client state or a province of Rome for centuries, of course Roman legions could and did defeat Greek armies. Think of Sulla defeating Mithradates, the Lion of Pontus. Many of the Lions soldiers were Greeks, who seized the moment, expressed their hatred of Roman merchants and nobles, and attempted a rebellion of opportunity. If Greek armies could have defeated Roman armies they would have, the phalanx as a tactical doctrine was out-dated by the time of Scipio Africanus, out-classed by the days of Caesar. By the days of Marcus Aurelius it was defeated by trained, flexible, professional, disciplined Roman armies again and again. Pax Hmmm, that makes 8 posts, 2 more to FREEDOM!
  15. Pax Orbis Furius

    Worst General Or Politician In Roman History

    Ave! Orestas and by extension his ineffectual, puppet Emperor son Romulus Augustus, in my opinion are the worst politicians and generals. A dubious distinction indeed, however, by temporal positioning (474-476 AD)they are clearly prime candiadates for the "Worst Failure Of All Time" award. To be the Roman Emperor to yield to Odacer, a vile German, to be the General to cede the Western Empire to these offensive barbarians, to be ruler at this time and fail to forestall the fall, must, to me, qualify for worst Roman leader ever. Pax