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What did the Romans ever do for the Greeks?

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How many Roman generals could I name who have never been unfortunate in a single battle! You may run through page after page of the lists of magistrates, both consuls and Dictators, and not find one with whose valour and fortunes the Roman people have ever for a single day had cause to be dissatisfied. And these men are more worthy of admiration than Alexander or any other king[/b].

 

Livius appears to ignore the fact that "one individual", conquered a greater part of the known world "in a successful career of little more than ten years." And that the record of the same "one individual" inspired J. Ceasar.

 

Oh yes I suppose all the armies lost in the germanic wars before Marius brought no dissatisfation Rome. Or perhaps their names were struck off from the lists. :rolleyes:

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I've read more poetry than prose in the original Latin, so I'll use Virgil's answer:

 

excudent alii spirantia mollius aera

(credo equidem), uiuos ducent de marmore uultus,

orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus

describent radio et surgentia sidera dicent:

tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento

(hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,

parcere subiectis et debellare superbos

 

Good government, then, is the biggest and most important thing that the Romans provided the Greeks.

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Yes, the heroic couplets used by the so-called 'Augustan poets' of the 17th century destroy the poetry of the original and strain the ear, I think. I have yet to come across a translation of the

Edited by Julia C

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Is it really fair to call either of them Quislings, or to use blatantly nationalistic terms to describe supporters of a pan-ethnic state?

 

The comparison to Hitler only runs one way--one cannot use Hitler to speak of the Romans, after all. His actions are not at all relevant to those of the Romans, and the appropriation of Roman ideology has been seen with almost every single western nation since. Let's not play at Godwin here.

 

The only real way to judge the Roman conquests is to look at the evidence, objectively. As I said, the Greeks probably did not care to admit that Roman rule brought them any advantages. Deferring the matter to subjectivity is not sufficient; we are fully capable of judging for ourselves by looking at the state of Greek polities before and after Roman rule. It would seem that the general sweep of history's judgment would be inclined to agree with Virgil's poetic interpretation.

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That passage from Virgil's one of my favourites I had half a mind to quote it but was beaten to it. I personally find all the verse translations a big bore but W.F Jackson Knight's prose translation is quite readable. Dryden does ruin the effect but the worst I read was one published by wordsworth classics -

archaic english + Roman ideology = confusion

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I saw that post about Greek vs. Roman methods of water transportation, and I would like to know more of the specifics of how the Romans utilized pressure and lead pipes to move water. Does this mean that at some parts of an aqueduct water was actually going uphill? I thought one needed to use pumps or something to incease water pressure. I would be happy if whoever posted that could reply in more detail. Thanks.

 

Antiochus III

Salve, A.

I think you're talking about Klingan.

 

 

Sorry that I have missed this for a period of time. I have been very busy, I will try to make a longer post tomorrow :)

 

Klingan

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Asclepiades: Well, the Third Reich is pretty much the opposite of a pan-ethnic state, given its theories on power and organization...

 

I objected to the term because I don't really see either of them as collaborationists, and certainly not individuals in a position to enact meaningful stage on the level of statecraft.

 

With regards to Greek democracy being extinguished by the Romans--I would ask, what democracy? What can we say about the sad vestiges of their democratic institutions still remaining in the second century?

 

Minerva: I wouldn't mind a verse translation if it were done properly, as the problem for me is not how entertaining they are--but how faithful to the original they are. I dislike the notion of "modernizing" a work of literature; it's like doing a cheap movie remake, regardless of the production value.

 

The prose translation I like best is the David West version, but I will check out Knight's translation on your recommendation. I'll see if I can find an excerpt online, as my usual test is to check my favorite passages from Book I and Book VI and see how they're written.

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Since we're using dictionaries, here is the more authoritative Oxford English Dictionary:

 

pan-ethnic: "Of or relating to all ethnic groups; affecting or embracing people of all ethnic backgrounds. "

 

And here is the verb 'to collaborate': "2. spec. To co-operate traitorously with the enemy. "

 

The Third Reich was explicitly xenophobic, which I'm sure I needn't mention.

 

And Polybius did not engage with the Romans to subdue Greece, but was taken as a hostage and only came around to them after his social engagement to the Scipionic Circle. It's a rhetorical parlor-trick to call him a collaborationist, as it misrepresents what happens for the purpose of an emotive reaction. The same thing applies to the comparison to the Third Reich, which is wholly inappropriate and unnecessary--people were fully able to appreciate the implications of Roman imperialism before 1933.

 

As for the sources, I'll happily get those once I check the citations made in the secondary literature I looked at pertaining to the Macedonian wars. I do have Livy 41-45, but I'm not sure what he says in it.

Edited by Julia C

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