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dianamt54

Greatest Roman Figure??

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I think Ceaser was like Paul Revere. He was one more guy who would normaly get only a side caption in Children History Books, but someone liked his legend and got famous for it. Most people I talk to think Romans were Greeks or get them mixed up, and that Ceaser was Rome's first and Greatest Emperor. It is not that he was the best, it is that popular culture loves him the the most. Anyone read Imperium? Firmly convinced me Cicero was the best. Favorite Quote: "If it is gratitude you want, get a dog."

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I think Ceaser was like Paul Revere. He was one more guy who would normaly get only a side caption in Children History Books, but someone liked his legend and got famous for it. Most people I talk to think Romans were Greeks or get them mixed up, and that Ceaser was Rome's first and Greatest Emperor. It is not that he was the best, it is that popular culture loves him the the most. Anyone read Imperium? Firmly convinced me Cicero was the best. Favorite Quote: "If it is gratitude you want, get a dog."

 

Hi SPQR, welcome to UNRV.

 

Don't forget SPQR that as good as "Imperium" was, it was only a novel, i.e. fiction loosely based on an historical event. You can't begin to answer a question as big and important as this using a novel as your source.

 

Cicero was a great orator and statesman and his work which has come down to us is invaluable in understanding the Romans of the late Republic but as far as greatest is concerned I'm not so sure.....

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I have also read what Plutarch and Suetonius had to say about him, and most of the events are a least very well reasearched, but I guess that even with well reasearched books, like "My Brother Sam is Dead", bias still plays a major part. By the way, that Quote was from the book, I doubt Cicero said it, I just like it from the book.

Edited by SPQR

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Why think of only military leaders? I would think that Iustinianus I (Justinian I) codification of Roman law was one that continue to influence the world for centuries (it's was still thought in law schools a few decades ago) and thus made a deep impact over the entire world more than any military commander could have done.

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Salve, Amici. Good point, Ingsoc.

 

If by "greatest" we mean the biggest and most transcendent impact on world History, we're undoubtedly talking about Caius Octavius Thurinus, aka Caius Iulius Caesar Octavianus, aka Divus Augustus.

 

Obviously, such an impact was not caused by a single man, but by a whole team, which chiefly encompassed Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Cilnius Maecenas, Quintus Salvidienus Rufus, Titus Statilius Taurus, Caius Sallustius Crispus, Tiberius (Claudius Nero) Caesar Augustus and (of course) Livia Drusilla Augusta, among others.

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Haven't read much of this thread :) but to the OP:

 

Scipio, as you may have guessed. He broke the back of arguably the greatest threat to the Roman Republic.

 

Honorable mention also goes to Augustus -- cunning bastard, not to mention he got the empire off to a good start! -- and Aurelian, who held the state together during a time of utter chaos, fending off both Gallic and Palmyran separatist factions, as well as dishing out heavy punishment to some Germanians who penetrated Italia.

Edited by Scipio.

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Aren't we forgetting the greatest of all -- Elagabalus??? :naughty:

 

Seriously, though, I haven't seen any votes yet for the Optimus Princeps himself, Trajan. He was certainly well-regarded as a soldier, statesman and patron of building. The empire reached its maximum territorial extent under him. A contender?

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Hi,

 

I have been studying the romans for the majoirty of my life, although i may only be 16 my inspiration for the romans (and atrebartans - for other reasons) only started when i was 8 i feel i have come away to be able to explain who is the greatest and i beleive to put a firm backbone to it. There are several figures who would fit into the catagory and i would argue That Hadrian was the greatest roman figure.

 

I havent seen him mentioned before in this thread and it makes me wonder why when he focused more on makeing the empire a more civilized place and he done this through a number of ways maybe on of the more obvious is his architecture.

 

Not only did he use this architecture to civilize the roman empire, he was the first emporer who seemed to be walling his empire, for example in Britain you have hadrians wall. (which played a big part in Mithra's religion i beleive) He did this for defence of his people and more importantly the roman empire.

 

He tryed to accept every religion and culture as they were in the different countrys of his empire, letting them still live there life as long as they live up to the roman laws, the only religion he refused to accept was the jews. saying no to returing there homeland to them.

 

Then he went a little insane when his young male companion died, but thats neither here nor there, there is no denying the brilliance of his work.

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In terms of transcendant historical impact, the answer is Divus Augustus. We all know why. But if we want to take a more interesting spin on the term 'greatest' and take it in a subjective personal (N.B. I mean the personal qualities of the particular Roman as expressed in the public sphere) fashion, then things become truly fun.

 

We could come up with a shortlist of a few candidates that have a reputation for this sort of thing, some dubiously and others deserved:

 

Publius Valerius Poplicola

Lucius Junius Brutus

Marcus Furius Camillus

Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosis Cunctator

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus

Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus

Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus

Germanicus Julius Caesar

 

This is just a shortlist of names, but even so, we can see that the last two or three may be highly debatable on whether their personal characteristics (at least in the Roman sense) qualify them as great or not. Certainly, Aemilianus and Paullus may seem particularly repugnant to moderns, but what can we say? Should Flaminius be considered in their place?

 

Though I am quite the Julian (well, Augustan) partisan, I feel the discussion may be far more interesting were we to jettison overall historical impact and leave both of the great Caesars by the wayside.

 

Also, if Marcus Aemilius Scaurus did truly act as he did in McCullough's books, then I'd love to add him on the list either, but I know next to nothing about him from the actual record. Alas.

 

I'm also amused to note that my entire shortlist consists of patricians. It perhaps resembles the little 'parade of heroes' statuary in the Forum of Augustus.

 

 

(1) M Junius Brutus, for founding the republic and defending it against his own sons,

 

L. Junius Brutus; M. Junius Brutus slew Divus Julius.

Edited by Julia C

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I greatly admire Marcus Tullius Cicero of the Republic.

He did not possess either great heritage, wealth or influence in his early days, but managed to secure a very impressive reputation in his skill in rhetoric even in his youth. He then, urged on by his friends, took up a case against a man who had opposed to Sulla and was then charged with the murder of his own father, but as Sulla had great authority in Rome already no one dared to go against him. Cicero won the case naturally, but quickly fled to Greece out of fear, claiming he needed time for his 'health.'

Upon Sulla's death he came back to Rome and gained support very fast, even gaining Consulship later.

Cicero, in my opinion, was not simply climbing the cursus honorum by his trials in court (which none the less was a very valuable bonus and must have 'encouraged' him ;)) but I feel he truely believed in his work, this view is also backed up by his strong philosphical beliefs. Indeed he followed many of the stoic beliefs for one, which I also very much admire and though, perhaps slightly in some instances extreme, seems a very wise philosophy and shows strenght of character - just look at Marcus Aurelius.

He even turned down an offer by Julius Caesar to join the political relationship existing between himself, Crassus and Pompey (the triumvirate) .. which in the case he had would become the quadvirate I suppose .. :D believing it would emasculate the Republic, which he supported very much.

So to conclude I see Cicero as not only a man of great success gained from his own skill and work ethic, but a man of great morals.

and for those who have read To Kill a Mockingbird, I think even Atticus Finch would agree ;);)

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He even turned down an offer by Julius Caesar to join the political relationship existing between himself, Crassus and Pompey (the triumvirate) .. which in the case he had would become the quadvirate I suppose .. :D believing it would emasculate the Republic, which he supported very much.

So to conclude I see Cicero as not only a man of great success gained from his own skill and work ethic, but a man of great morals.

 

I adore Cicero's eloquence but the whole "boni" thing was rather impractical. Besides he later turned to the "three headed monster" unwillingly spurrred by necessity of survival perhaps but it sure marrs him in my opinion.

 

I'd say that Augustus deserves it atlast for temporarily closing the doors of the temple of Janus. If Cincinnartus and Numa Pompilius realy existed I'd vote for them.

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Shakespeare probably did the most to popularize Caesar. The play is a tragedy after all, introducing Caesar to the masses once again and spinning the line that his death was a terrible loss, his flaws have been lovingly overlooked ever since....being required reading in many a high school english class probably contributed to this.

 

I like the idea of a "Greatest Roman Bastard" category, and I'm voting for Gaius Marius. A prize bastard in the end, and yet also an over achiever - All those consulships, all that military reform, saving the republic from thousands of Germanic invaders.....which brings us back to bastard, so many of those reforms and subsequent abuses paving the road to a busted republic and a military dictatorship.

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Salve, Amici.

Can we combine all the important men in Rome and make up a name for him?

As the soldiers, conquerors, politicians and despots have been myriad all along the known History, I would point to the thousands of mostly unknown Greek-born Roman slaves (and eventually freedmen), from Marcus Tullius Tiro to Epictetus, who were the main way for the Roman based worldwide Hellenisation, a unique Universal phenomenon that is arguably the main contribution from Ancient Rome.

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I like Marius and other republican leaders like Scipio and Mummius. But greatest Roman Figure has to be Caesar or Augustus they are the personifiactin of Rome and are the greatest FIGURES if not my favourite, best warrior, tactician etc.

 

vtc

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