someone i met wrote this

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someone i met wrote this

Postby stale » Sun Mar 28, 2004 9:46 am

Having extensively studied the reasons for the collapse of the Roman Empire I have come to several conclusions. The United States of America is following down the same suicidal path as the Western half of that once great civilization. By 476 AD, the last Western Emperor had been deposed. What is totally ignored by our corrupt and worthless educational system is that the Eastern half survived for another thousand years. The West was destroyed by multiculturalism and illegal immigration, which destroyed both the resistance of its Armed Forces and the integrity of the civilization itself. The last Emperor to realize the danger, Majorian, nearly pulled off a miraculous rebirth, recruiting tens of thousands of patriotic Roman volunteers to build a huge fleet of ships to be used to attack and destroy the kingdom which the Vandals. (Yes, that was the name of the tribe- you could imagine what those people were like since their name has come down through history as an epithet) Unfortunately, spies and traitors permitted the Vandals to sneak into the harbor and burned the fleet before it could even set sail. Majorian announced that he would rebuild the fleet the following summer but unfortunately, he was assassinated by an alert barbarian general before this could be accomplished. His colleague in the East however, Leo the first, saw the danger. He destroyed the factions of barbarians that had infested the East Roman armies. His crushing of multiculturalism in society in general, permitted the survival of his civilization. After the following Emperor, Zeno, died, his wife, Ariadne who was also Leo's daughter, appointed a little-known, elderly palace official named Anastasius as Emperor. The new leader immediately engaged in a massive tax cutting, monetary and economic reform program. After all he was already in his 60s and he had to get things done quickly. However, he surprised everybody and lived for another 27 years. By the time he died, the economy was booming and over half one million pounds of pure gold were in the treasury. He was the Ronald Reagan of his era! Western civilization had been saved for now. 150 years later, the Emperor Constantine the fourth acquired a secret weapon from a brilliant Jewish scientist named Callinicus. (The man was a refugee from the Arab Conquest of Roman Syria) This weapon, which has come to be known as Greek Fire was a secret substance. It was shot through flamethrower like devices and was used to destroy the Islamic invasion which occurred shortly after Constantine acquired the throne (do not confuse him with the criminal, Constantine the first who boiled his own wife alive, after first murdering his first born son, and who was called "The Great" by the Catholic Church). Both the Islamic fleets and the Islamic armies were destroyed during the great siege of 674 AD. (Remember, the term "Islam" means to submit [ ie. drop your pants and bend over!]). These brave Romans refused to submit to the fanatical invaders. The Arabs returned once more in 717 AD and once again, the family of Callinicus aided the Empire, now led by Leo III, in repelling the invaders with their secret concoction. To this day nobody knows exactly what the substance was but without it, we all would have been living in Islamic slavery. The brave East Romans who defended Western civilization have been slandered with the ignominious title of "Byzantine Empire" by the Roman Catholic Church of Pedophiles, to whom they also refused to submit. Of course, our worthless educational system is more interested in teaching politically correct trash then such important lessons of Western civilization and how it survived until now. Today, we are facing our own crisis. Will we find an Anastasius, Constantine the fourth, or a Leo and an industrious scientist with the capitalist incentive, who will together save the United States of America from its current assault by the political left, which is aiding and abetting the invasion of ignorant, antidemocratic Third World vermin who are currently subverting this nation. China is a rapidly emerging economic and military power. That powerful of is not hobbled by awards of Third World invaders and welfare parasites and we are in a life-and-death struggle for primacy. You should remember that 600 years ago, China alone, produced more than half the world's gross economic output. Our tax system punishes the industrious producers and rewards the parasites. The Democratic Party extorts huge taxes from the most productive elements of society and uses these funds to buy votes from assorted armies of both home-grown leeches and Third World invaders. The Republican Party, as well is pandering to the invasion of illiterate antidemocratic Third World immigrants who come from lands with no history of democracy or Liberty. If you wish to see how people will behave when they come to America simply look at how they act in their homelands! Think of the behavior of immigrants from places such as Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, or the United Kingdom and compare it to neighborhoods infested with recent arrivals from Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mexico, or AIDS-infected sub-Saharan Africa. It is time for Americans to wake up or die. Our educational system has been turned into a giant Communist re-education camp. Stop cringing and wetting your pants every time some liberal calls you racist for resisting the onslaught against the values of our founding fathers and of Western civilization in general!

do you agree? can anyone confirm what he wrote?
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Postby Smooth » Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:59 pm

As written above:

Today, we are facing our own crises. Will we find an Anastasius, Constantine the fourth, or Leo and an industrious scientist witht he capitalist incentive, who will together save the United States of America from its current assault by the political left, which is aiding and abetting the invasion of ignorant, antidemocratic Third World vermin who are currently suberting this nation.



I have never heard so much white supremacist talk since I've seen the movie American History X. The point the writer is making is a valid one. But because I am one of those political left, antidemocratic Third World vermin I find it ultimatly ignorant.

This is the kind of rhetoric that comes from logical bigots. They justify why America should remain for white Americans and yet to hell with everybody else.

But not to knock the point completly, it does anger me as well. I'm not American. I was born in the Dominican Republic and got dragged to New York City when I was 3. And for someone who is technically an illegal immigrant ( my resident alien card expired when I was 12 ), I am very patriotic to both nations. A fact proven by my service in the Marines and charity benifits I organize for the poor in the Dominican Republic. But it saddens me when I see my fellow countrymen come to this country and immediatly start selling drugs.

The movie Shaft, majority filmed in the 9 block radius of my apartment, showed the normality of the young Dominican male in New York City. Coke dealers. Yes parasites. But you must UNDERSTAND the circumstances that lead these young men to that position.

If it wasn't for my parents being the way they were with me, that would have been my case. But it wasn't. I'm lucky. I was able to complete high school and have the neccessary credintials to sign four years of my life away to Uncle Sam. If it wasn't for this, I'll still be there with those "vermin".

Stale, I want to thank you for sharing this with me. It is really an eye opener to think that there are people out there that don't realize that the very people defending their freedom overseas have a good portion that came from other countries.

And concerning racism. Humanity should be passed this already. That essay isn't racist. I'm going to qoute Dennis Miller. He came by our base a few months ago to perform. Me, my girl and Obscure_Reality went to check him out. He said this, "If the 20 people that decided to highjack a plane and smack it accross the side of the World Trade Center all came from the same country, that isn't racism. Ladies and Gentlemen that is common sense! If I'm sitting next to a guy on a plane that looks like he has been behind the counter of one too many 7-11's, I'm getting the fuck off that plane!"

Sooner or later, as predicted in the ever so wise Star Trek series, society will grow up and stop all this nonsense. There will be a one world government, and then you could gas, burn, crucify, lynch, whatever all us brown folk and leave the planet nice and pure for the American people to run around and pollute.

This is nonsense.
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Postby Polemarchus » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:23 pm

Smooth, you're a good man. No matter what culture you and I came from, we're both brothers on this little rock spinning through space.

Hello Stale,
Do you agree? can anyone confirm what he wrote?

When he speaks of the Roman civilization as "great," is he merely refering to its size, or is he making a value judgement? As for its size, that was achieved through imperialism; it hacked its way across Europe, Britain and the Mid-East. Tactitus quoted the Caledonian chief, Gallgacus speaking of the so-called Pax Romana:

"Where they make a desert, they call it peace."

To see the "glory of Rome" and miss the misery and destruction it produced is analogous to looking at the pretty begonias planted by Frau Hoss (wife of the camp Commandant Hoss) adjacent to the the North-East wall at Auschwitz, but never looking over the wall to see the hell contained within. Rome prospered by way of conquest and enslavement. By the end of the Empire roughly one-fifth of the inhabitants of Rome itself were slaves.
Stop cringing and wetting your pants every time some liberal calls you racist for resisting the onslaught against the values of our founding fathers and of Western civilization in general!

It's ironic to hear that brown people are subverting American values inasmuch as Muslims are making the exact same charge against us. They claim that their decent society is being subverted by American trash culture. Bin Laden cites that as one of his reasons for what he has done. The French have long complained that American popular culture is undermining their Gallic culture. Have you heard the often repeated quip that "America exports high technology and low culture"?

As for your friend's repeated mention of "brave Romans," don't forget that the 9/11 hijacker's were similarly brave. Many of Hitler's SS were incredibly brave. Bravery alone is no virtue. In order to qualify as a virtue, it must, at a minimum, be allied with a sense of justice.

As for the non-American "vermin." I'd ask your friend to take of look at his own "family tree." My ancestoral chart contains every sort of vermin known to man. I suspect his does as well. There is no crime so vile that my ancestors did not commit it. America was founded and nurtured on such "vermin" from every corner of the world. For example, in one period of our history the British transported their criminals to Virginia and Georgia. America has long been the "destination of choice" for those people who couldn't make it, for one reason or another, in their native cultures.

I have a stong sense of my culture and who I am. If I should travel to Mexico and stand in the midst of millions of Mexicans, I'd be the same Vermont Yankee. Of course, someone unsure of who they are might be at risk, but if you begin with little there's little to lose. The Roman philosopher, Seneca, remarked that if a sailor doesn't know where he's going, then it doesn't matter from which direction the wind blows.

Michael
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Postby Smooth » Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:05 pm

Smooth, you're a good man. No matter what culture you and I came from, we're both brothers on this little rock spinning through space.


Yes, we are all siblings on this rock. And on me being a good man? Well isn't being good subjective? Because I think Satan has already emailed me my receipt for my flight to hell. Oh well.

I would like to say that I love the idea of the Roman Empire. The way that I see it. But sadly I'm not very versed in the many details of its history. When I think of the 'Great' Roman Empire, I think about it's size. And then I think of History of The World part 1 by Mel Brooks.

As for the non-American "vermin." I'd ask your friend to take of look at his own "family tree." My ancestoral chart contains every sort of vermin known to man. I suspect his does as well. There is no crime so vile that my ancestors did not commit it. America was founded and nurtured on such "vermin" from every corner of the world.


Sometimes I think that these White Supremacist (spell check please) groups need a rudimentary lesson in American History. I'm surprised the Native Americans aren't going around talking all this trash. They should be the ones pissed off at all us vermin.
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Postby stale » Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:54 am

thank you both very much for your input. although the essay seems to support white supremacy, i just wanted to let you know that he does have many non white friends (including me). i could never really counter his arguments, especially when he throws in so many 'facts' at once. another question he asked me that i would like answer: can you name one country where blacks are dominant in number and it isn't a "hell hole"?

i though of countries in africa, but i'm not quite sure. i know not all of africa is jungle and huts, but i'm not quite sure if it's only a small portion of the countries.
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Postby Matthew E. » Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:24 am

can you name one country where blacks are dominant in number and it isn't a "hell hole"?


That's a bit of a loaded question. For the past few decades, yes, the majority of "black" nations have been in turmoil. But hasn't every country had a period of turmoil? France is predominantly white, and I recall them having quite a tumultuous period in their history (the revolution). It would have been easy to make the statement that the French are nothing but lawless murderers during such a time. But now that we can view France during a different period in time, we realize that we cannot make such a blanketed statement.

Not all of black civilization has always been a "hell hole." The Bushmen of the Kalahari don't have a word for stealing in their tribe, because the concept does not exist to them. Does that sound like hell to you? Africa is in a transitional phase. They're still dealing with the effects of colonialism, which basically destabalized their entire way of life (which at the very least was as peaceful as current "predominantly white" civilization). If anything, the blacks are not responsible for the chaos, the whites are. But all of this talk about race is irrelevant. Skin color has nothing to do with whether or not one is peaceful or evil.
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Postby Smooth » Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:14 am

I've noticed that some people think that they win an argument/debate just by naming references and 'truths' that logically progress to their needs. Like the KKK using the Holy Bible to justify why all us Hispanics, Blacks, etc need to be lynched. I, for one, am not afraid to disagree at the light of too much logic. If in my gut your opinion just freaking feels wrong, than guess what. I'll tell you that you are wrong. I'll try to learn as much on the subject as possible.

But what can you research on this? Just a bunch of opinions that's what. But you need to look at the entire scope of it in my eyes. Like I said earlier, yes it saddens the fuck out of me that I could be embarrassed at the actions of my people. That there are actual Dominicans out there that would prefer saying their hispanic before they admit their nationality. And even though I feel that Nationalism is a bunch of crap made up to keep you loyal to a government, why deny what you are? Because the neighborhoods that your family resides in are filled with people that destroy the fabric of society?

I might be ignorant and not well-read. And my veiws could be considered juvinille and elementary. But what I do have is pure passion. And I'm not alone. For as many third world vermin come here to mess things up, there are more (and this I'm sure of) that do good towards society. And that goes for any country.

So you tell you friend to continue his good work. But before he decides to start lecturing or running for office, tell him to stop talking shit and come up with a good solution. It isn't good to just state the problem. We all know the problem. Tell him to go to the doctor and have the doctor just reaffirm that he has a problem. That's easy. Finding a solution is the bitch.
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Postby stale » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:44 am

ah, thank you very both for your replies. you have both made very good points.

matthew, i can't believe colonialism slipped out of my mind

smooth, i to am very passionate about what i feel, but to hear it from someone else and about feeling right and wrong, it just makes me more proud and confident about who i am (not sure if that made sense).

thank you both very much.
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Postby gavtmcc » Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:39 pm

I'm afraid your 'extensive research' has not yielded profoundly accurate results.


What is totally ignored by our corrupt and worthless educational system is that the Eastern half survived for another thousand year



No. The study of the eastern half of what had been the 'Roman' Empire is known as Byzantine studies. The term 'Roman' lost its meaning once Rome itself had been sacked.



The West was destroyed by multiculturalism and illegal immigration, which destroyed both the resistance of its Armed Forces and the integrity of the civilization itself.



If, by illegal immigration you mean invasion by superior ostrogothic forces into an empire which had become to large to defend its vast frontirs and which lacked the centralised cohesiveness necessary to do so, then yes, you are correct.

This, however, I fear, is not what you meant.

As I am sure you aware, the 'Roman' capital had long been an eastern city, Constantinople, by the time of the collpase of the Western empire. The power base of Rome remained, its (now) less important territories, like Rome, were subsumed by ostrogoths from northern europe and asia.




The brave East Romans who defended Western civilization have been slandered with the ignominious title of "Byzantine Empire" by the Roman Catholic Church of Pedophiles, to whom they also refused to submit.



You have lost sight of the facts here again, I'm afraid. The church survived in eastern cities like Constantinople and Alexandria, famous Christian religious centres throughouyt the Byzantine period.


MICHAEL:


To see the "glory of Rome" and miss the misery and destruction it produced is analogous to looking at the pretty begonias planted by Frau Hoss



No, Michael, the Roman Empire civilised europe in most areas it conquered. they provided methods of agriculture, law, science and ways of life taht had not existed in previously warring, tribal factions. the goal of the empire was to achieve unity, to move man away from his tribal, primitivist instincts.

the philosophy of the romans was not to enslave those it conquered, but to subjugate them, and eventulaly to make them romans themselves.
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Postby Smooth » Sun Jul 04, 2004 2:13 am

As I am sure you aware, the 'Roman' capital had long been an eastern city, Constantinople, by the time of the collpase of the Western empire. The power base of Rome remained, its (now) less important territories, like Rome, were subsumed by ostrogoths from northern europe and asia.


did not know that


the philosophy of the romans was not to enslave those it conquered, but to subjugate them, and eventulaly to make them romans themselves.


is this something you inferred or something you have proof of? Because, even though I haven't read much on Rome, I have yet to have seen anything to confirm this.
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Postby gavtmcc » Sun Jul 04, 2004 3:15 pm

This is something which can easily be gleaned from reading the most elementary guides to Roman conquest.

It is certainly not a matter forr debate whatsoever!
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Postby Smooth » Sun Jul 04, 2004 8:31 pm

It is certainly not a matter forr debate whatsoever!


Sure will do. But if I find anything on the contrary, I will be sure to come back to ask your opinion..... alright? 8)
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Postby gavtmcc » Mon Jul 05, 2004 1:48 pm

Of course.

It was not, of course, the case taht Romans did not take slaves from conquered provinces...they did. But as the empire expanded, there was less of a need for this process...slaves would breed in cpatrivity and produce the next generation of slaves, thus precluding a need for more captures.

A good book on this subject, which I myself have found helpful in my ancient history studies is by Moses Finley, one of the great ancient historians of the past 100 years, entitled 'Ancient slavery and modern ideology'.

If you prefer something contemporary, I believe a book is about to be published by a man who has been a lecturer of mine at university named Neville Morley, (or it may be that he will be contributing a chapter to it). I can find out the name if you like...

Be careful forming opinions on this subject...evidence is pften sparse and careful contemplation and research are required!! It's not a subject I've found easy to penetrate myself, by the way...
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Postby Polemarchus » Wed Jul 07, 2004 2:37 am

gavtmcc wrote:This is something which can easily be gleaned from reading the most elementary guides to Roman conquest.

It is certainly not a matter forr debate whatsoever!

Hi gavtmcc,

Your comment reminds me of Wittgenstein's quip about the man who doesn't believe what he reads in the newspaper, so he purchases a hundred more copies of the same newspaper in order to reassure himself that the story is indeed true. :)

Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was primarily responsible for disseminating all this praise for the "virtues" of the Roman Empire. Given that most everyone read Gibbons in high school, is it really any wonder the "elementary guides" picked up his view? However, that is not the universal view among classical scholars and historians today. Take, for example, Rome and the Enemy; Imperial Strategy in the Principate, by S. Maltern, 1999:

"...the glory of victory - is so prevalent in the literature, art, coins and epigraphy of the Principate as almost to defy coherent discussion. Over 300 triumphal arches survive or are known form coins or inscription...

...signs of weakness on Rome's part, such as a show of deference to a foreign people, or failure to avenge a defeat in war, or to punish a revolt with sufficient ferocity, are considered invitations to disaster.

For these reasons the Romans sometimes seem to react very aggressively to apparently minor breaches of treaty, to exaggerate the threat posed by rivals...while insisting that their concerns are for their own security; they place a high value on victory, conquest and the humiliation of the enemy...although the superiority of the Romans is ultimately a superiority of military strength, the most essential element in this system is the state of mind of the enemy: Rome's empire depends on its ability to assert and enforce an image of itself as awesome and terrifying....

...as a state, the Romans behave like Homeric heroes, Mafia gangsters, or individuals in any society based on violent competition for honor or respect."
pp. 168-172

And consider this passage from Human Rights in Ancient Rome, by Richard Bauman, 1999:

"Genocide occurs in two forms on the Roman scene. The external form encompasses acts of unbridled savagery, of virtual extermination, against large groups of non-Romans. In the internal form Romans systematically annihilate each other. External genocide is stigmatized by Seneca; 'We are a mad people, checking individual murders but doing nothing about war and the 'glorious' crime of slaughtering whole peoples under the authority of duly enacted laws.' "

The Roman Empire was built and maintained not primarily by diplomacy or trade, but by the might of its legions. The "glory of Rome" was made possible by a steady stream of returning war booty and heavy tribute from those nations it had vanquished and enslaved.

And speaking of slaves, Maltern considers Pliny the Younger only moderately wealthy even though he personally possessed over 1000 slaves. Bauman tells of L. Pedanius Secundus being murdered by a domestic slave. His entire household of slaves, some 400 men, women and children were tortured and executed as a matter of policy. The torture and crucifixion of slaves was so common that:

"An inscription has the funeral director at Puteoli obliged to torture slaves on request; he had to supply the crosses, yokes and floggers, and to see to the removal of the corpses." Bauman, ibid., p. 117

I can see their business sign in my mind's eye: Crucifixions R Us :o

Yes, of course Rome spread its culture, laws and technology to other peoples. That's a common fact of conquest. The nations that Rome conquered were very likely barbaric by your and my standards; they probably kept slaves themselves. But it's a mistake to think that Rome brought the rule of law to the lawless. The nations that Rome conquered already had their own leaders, laws and customs. The question that is open for debate is whether their newly gained viaduct technology was worth being plundered, massacred, subjugated, enslaved and heavily taxed.

Gavtmcc wrote:
No, Michael, the Roman Empire civilized europe in most areas it conquered. they provided methods of agriculture, law, science and ways of life taht had not existed in previously warring, tribal factions. the goal of the empire was to achieve unity, to move man away from his tribal, primitivist instincts.

Gavtmcc, if life under Roman rule was so wonderful then riddle me this: Why were the conquered nations forever revolting against Roman rule? In nearly every instance local rebellion was answered by a massive and cruel Roman reprisal. So why did they rise up? What was it about Roman rule that men so often would revolt despite the risk of slaughter and crucifixion?

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Postby Username » Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:05 am

The West was destroyed by multiculturalism and illegal immigration, which destroyed both the resistance of its Armed Forces and the integrity of the civilization itself.


Multiculturalism? Correct me if i'm wrong but I believe that Multiculturalism is what made Rome so powerful. Wherever the Romans went they usally left the traditions and religous beliefs alone in the lands they conquered, to advoid massive revolt (Riots did happen, but nowhere near the stage as a culture suppressed would). Rome alone had Temples to pretty much every religion they conquered, the Greeks were allowed to worship who they wanted and the holidays of the culture were respected. Even sometimes they would allow the rulers of the land prior to the invasion to mantain some control over the country to please the people.

Infact you might say that the lack of multiculturalism was one of the factors of Rome's downfall. With the acceptance of Christianity all other religions were considered blasphemy, thus repressed.
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Postby gavtmcc » Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:12 pm

Michael, thank you for your response.

Before I begin mine, I should tell you that there are several points you make which are very reasonable. I will highlight what I consider them to be.

But I'm afaraid I see several problems with what you say, and I will try to address these too.

Thankfully, this is a topic upon which I feel well qualified to comment (unlike many others on this forum!).



Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was primarily responsible for disseminating all this praise for the "virtues" of the Roman Empire.


It is true that Gibbon had a high view of the Roman cultural achievement. On this, I won't argue. But what Gibbon produced cannot be dismissed as unrepresentative or inaccurate. On some of his points, (for instance, he has a dim view of the effects of Christian religion and culture on the Roman Empire's strength in late antiquity), later historians have questioned his accuracy, but on most, he is a faithful guide.

Given that most everyone read Gibbons in high school, is it really any wonder the "elementary guides" picked up his view?


a) This may be true in U.S., but is certainly not true here.

b) By elementary, I did not mean simple (easy), but fundamental, ie. canonical. eg. Colin Wells, The Roman Empire.

c) Most importantly, Gibbon's work has been deemed worthy of scholarship by some of the most distinguished academics of this and past generations (most famously, the Cambridge historian, Bury, who edited his decline and fall at teh turn of the 19th century). It is certainly not the case, as you imply, that only smiple, unscholarly works have referred to Gibbon with any degree of favour.

In summary, Gibbon is certainly NOT an easy, 'high school level' text! He is a higely important scholar, and his impact in the academic field of ancient history has been very great!




However, that is not the universal view among classical scholars and historians today. Take, for example, Rome and the Enemy; Imperial Strategy in the Principate, by S. Maltern, 1999:


Having never heard of, nor encountered, this text during 5 years of scholarship on the periods of history about which we speak, I was a little worried by your reference to it. I attempted to find this elusive book on amazon, but to no avail. I then searched for S.Maltern's version on the database of teh copyright library at my university (Cambridge) and he does not appear there either!

Nevertheless, I will deal with the points he (and thus you) raises:

"...the glory of victory - is so prevalent in the literature, art, coins and epigraphy of the Principate as almost to defy coherent discussion. Over 300 triumphal arches survive or are known form coins or inscription...


a) the Principate is a period which covers a period only of 320 years approx. of Roman history...ie. from Augustus (after his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra) only until the end of C3 (ie. Diocletian).

b) The glory of victory is not a concept which sits easily with ANY of the poets of this (long period). Virgil famously intersperses his Aeneid with 'further voices' which undermine the grandiloquence and heroism of his text, which ostensibly glorifies the history and destiny of Rome.
Virgil is not alone. Later epic poets (esp. Lucan, but also Statius and Silius Italicus) through their poetry call into question the cultural, military and moral achievement of Rome in several, varying ways.

With this evidnce in mind, then, Mr. Maltern cannot be correct to claim that 'the glory of victory is so prevalent in the literature...of the Principate'. When an historian makes such a fundamental error of judgment (or as I see it, an ignorant generalisation) like this, it is difficult to take what he says about issues with anything but a pinch of salt.

I must admit, I am no expert on epigraphy, coinage or architecture, but his erroneous statement on literature prejudices me against taking his comments on these aspects entirely at face value (and thus I do not accept them outright). I don't, however, feel qualified to dismiss them outright, either, because I ma not well enough infromed on any of the respective subjects.


...signs of weakness on Rome's part, such as a show of deference to a foreign people, or failure to avenge a defeat in war, or to punish a revolt with sufficient ferocity, are considered invitations to disaster.


I don't take issue with this point.

For these reasons the Romans sometimes seem to react very aggressively to apparently minor breaches of treaty, to exaggerate the threat posed by rivals...while insisting that their concerns are for their own security; they place a high value on victory, conquest and the humiliation of the enemy...although the superiority of the Romans is ultimately a superiority of military strength, the most essential element in this system is the state of mind of the enemy: Rome's empire depends on its ability to assert and enforce an image of itself as awesome and terrifying....


Using lierary sources to support an argument against this (excessive) generalisation is easy: Virgil's presentation of the idealised Roman hero in teh Aeneid (Aeneas).

Aeneas' governing characteristic as a representative of his race( he is a civilising, conqueror, on the move, and is the commander of an army) is one of a 'pius' (pious) man. This contrasts strongly with the ideology which is described above (and indeed with previous conceptions of heroism and identity in teh ancient world), and especially (in a conscious parallel) with those of Achilles and the pther Trojan heroes (as described in the Iliad and Odyssey).

This point leads us to doubt the following too:

..as a state, the Romans behave like Homeric heroes, Mafia gangsters, or individuals in any society based on violent competition for honor or respect." pp. 168-172



'Honour'? 'Respect'? These are Homeric values, not Roman ones, and it is foolish to apply them to the case of the Romans. What interested Roman philosophers were values of justice and equality; and later, of morality and rectitude.

And consider this passage from Human Rights in Ancient Rome, by Richard Bauman, 1999:


As with the above work you have referenced, I have found no evidence of the existence of this work (through no fault of my own: i have searched in all the obvious places).

External genocide is stigmatized by Seneca; 'We are a mad people, checking individual murders but doing nothing about war and the 'glorious' crime of slaughtering whole peoples under the authority of duly enacted laws.' "


I would be glad to hear of the context (reference) of this Senecan remark. Rmember also that Seneca had his own motivations...he was an adviser to Nero at what was a particularly bloody and violent time in the course of imperial history, and couyld to some extent be making points like this in order to protect his own skin (ineffectively as it turned out, as Nero had him put to death!).

The Roman Empire was built and maintained not primarily by diplomacy or trade, but by the might of its legions. The "glory of Rome" was made possible by a steady stream of returning war booty and heavy tribute from those nations it had vanquished and enslaved.


Here is a classic example of historical misreporting.

The first sentence is faithful to the truth. No problems there. The second is highly dubious. A 'steady stream'? Contrary to what you might think, periods of peace, in the context of the history of the Roman world as a whole, were very, very long, in comparison to the short interruptions of violent conflict. Moreover, once conquered, it was taxes, NOT 'war booty and heavy tribute' of any other kind which subjugated nations contributed to the Roman cause. Indeed, as Finley (op.cit.) points out, slaves would arrive in short, sharp bursts, in the immediate aftermath of conquests.

Bauman tells of L. Pedanius Secundus being murdered by a domestic slave. His entire household of slaves, some 400 men, women and children were tortured and executed as a matter of policy.


I am well aware of this story. As it happens, there is more to it than meets the eye. This punishment was an exceptional case. It was issued on a point of law (which I think was subsequently changed) and was enacted by a magistrate with a heavy heart. It is not to be viewed as an example of ROman cruelty, but rather, as evidence of their staunch desire to affirm the laws and rules which governed them (even in the most regrettable circumstances). This particular circumstance certainly caused consternation to all concerned.

"An inscription has the funeral director at Puteoli obliged to torture slaves on request; he had to supply the crosses, yokes and floggers, and to see to the removal of the corpses." Bauman, ibid., p. 117


I am not aware of the context of this quote, Could you provide source details?

I can see their business sign in my mind's eye: Crucifixions R Us



In fact, crucifixions were rare, and it was a method of punishment only used in certain parts of the ROman empire (anyway).

But it's a mistake to think that Rome brought the rule of law to the lawless. The nations that Rome conquered already had their own leaders, laws and customs.


This is true. But look a little closer. Many conquered (+ subjugated peoples) were very thankful for the improvements the Romans made to their civilisations. Example of this are manifold in ROman Britain for instance. Another key difference Roman conquest made was to stop petty warring between neighbouring tribes: Roman presence united (previously at odds) tribes under the same (Roman) banner.

Gavtmcc, if life under Roman rule was so wonderful then riddle me this:


I never said life under ROman rule was 'so wonderful': that is your interpretation.

Why were the conquered nations forever revolting against Roman rule?


Thye weren't 'forever revolting'. MOst revolts originated from BEYOND borders ( not within them) in the east and to the north.

What was it about Roman rule that men so often would revolt despite the risk of slaughter and crucifixion?


Nothing. Because this did not happen anything like as much as you appear to assume.

Regards
Gavin
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Postby Polemarchus » Thu Jul 08, 2004 4:07 am

Hello Gavin,
I attempted to find this elusive book on amazon, but to no avail.

The book is written by Susan Mattern, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Georgia (Sorry, I missed crossing a "t" in her last name when reading from my notes). Here's the Amazon listing, and this is the University of California Press link.

You wrote:
'Honour'? 'Respect'? These are Homeric values, not Roman ones, and it is foolish to apply them to the case of the Romans.

It's interesting that you'd say "foolish," given that it's a thesis of Prof. Mattern's book. Here's a quote taken from a (favorable) review of Mattern's book. It appeared in the American Historical Review, Vol 106, #1, February 2001:

"The essential point that the book makes is that modern historians should remember that Rome and those with whom it dealt were honor-based societies in which the psychological dimensions of power relationships were fundamental. In an epilogue on the literary treatment of the Punic Wars, Mattern suggests that these same values also characterized republican Rome."

Decus or honor, was a thoughly Roman value.

Please take a look at this review by Jonathan Roth, especially where he writes:

"In some respects, Mattern's work is a sequel to William V. Harris's War and Imperialism in Republican Rome. Harris argued that Rome's rise came in large part due to the bellicosity that imbued its culture. Mattern's view is that, the Pax Romana notwithstanding, the Romans continued to put war, conquest, and glory at the center of their worldview well into the Imperial period."

You wrote:
Contrary to what you might think, periods of peace, in the context of the history of the Roman world as a whole, were very, very long, in comparison to the short interruptions of violent conflict.

Here's what Harris (Professor of History at Columbia University) says on the second page of the above mentioned War and Imperialism in Republican Rome; 327-70 B.C.

"The Roman state made war every year, except in the most abnormal circumstances. At the beginning of our period the Romans mobilized their army every spring and went to war with one or more of their neighboring states. There was an almost biological necessity about the event, as Nicolet has written...

During the first 86 years from 327 onwards there were...at most four or five years without war. It was probably in 242 that the doors of the temple Janus were closed for the first time after a very long interval, to be opened again almost at once because of the rebellion of the Falisci...However, while the seasonal character of Roman warfare declined in the third century, particularly after 218, war continued to be an utterly normal feature of Roman public life. It is unlikely that Rome was again at peace for a whole year in all the theatres until 157, in which year, Polybius says, the Senate decided to make war against the Dalmations, one of its reasons being that it did not want the people to be enervated by a lengthy peace."


Harris only covered the Republican period. The entire Roman period in question lasted roughly one thousand years. And in this long time-span there were indeed relatively peaceful periods - periods in which Pax Romana signified something more than merely a time to lick wounds (i.e. after tangling with the Carthegenians, etc.) and rearm. And yet it's nearly inconceivable to me that any political summary of the Roman Empire would stress Rome's peaceful nature. Harris begins his book with: "Since the Romans acquired their empire largely by fighting..."
...once conquered, it was taxes, NOT 'war booty and heavy tribute' of any other kind which subjugated nations contributed to the Roman cause.

Do you remember how the line "Render unto Caeasar what is Caesar's..." came about? It wasn't a taxpayer's revolt, the whole squabble was about the idolatry associated with paying tribute to the Roman emperor and his gods.
I am not aware of the context of this quote, Could you provide source details?

Sorry, but I don't have a copy of the book with me. The quotes came from my journal. I seem to remember Bauman saying that it was generally thought that a slave would only tell the truth under torture. You can find a review of Bauman's book by Roger Rees in The Classical Review, Vol 51, Issue 1, March 2002, p. 79-81.
Many conquered (+ subjugated peoples) were very thankful for the improvements the Romans made to their civilisations. Example of this are manifold in ROman Britain for instance.

That's not good enough, Gavin. You can find Austrians, Norwegians, Danes, Frenchmen, by the thousands in 1944 saying the very same thing about the Nazi invaders. A great many of those people who opposed the invasion and subjugation never survive long enough to give their opinion on the matter. You ought to know that its the victors and their collaborators who leave their memoirs and write the histories.

You disagree with me that rebellion was on ongoing problem for Rome. Strange then, that Rome bothered to garrison troops (at a huge expense) in its conquered provinces?

Sorry, but I'm nodding off here. I'd like to continue but I spent the day swimming at the lake and now I think I'd better to dive into my bed. It's been a pleasure debating this topic with you, Gavin. Given that I'm only an armchair historian I've enjoyed the chance to correspond with a specialist in the field.

Cheers,
Michael
"Deux excès. Exclure la raison, n'admettre que la raison" -- Pascal, Pensées
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Postby hermes the thrice great » Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:41 am

stale wrote:thank you both very much for your input. although the essay seems to support white supremacy, i just wanted to let you know that he does have many non white friends (including me). i could never really counter his arguments, especially when he throws in so many 'facts' at once. another question he asked me that i would like answer: can you name one country where blacks are dominant in number and it isn't a "hell hole"?

i though of countries in africa, but i'm not quite sure. i know not all of africa is jungle and huts, but i'm not quite sure if it's only a small portion of the countries.


He did not just use the "some of my best friends are black" argument did he?!
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Postby gavtmcc » Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:44 pm

Michael,

I will try to be brief in this response (!) since previous posts have run the risk of appearing excessively garrulous.

First though, I should point out to you that in your previous post, you only addressed some of the issues I raised earlier, and that for us to continue to be productive in this discussion, it is important for me to hear your feelings concerning them...

Now, forward...

About the Author
Susan P. Mattern is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Georgia.


Book Description
How did the Romans build and maintain one of the most powerful and stable empires in the history of the world? This illuminating book draws on the literature, especially the historiography, composed by the members of the elite who conducted Roman foreign affairs. From this evidence, Susan P. Mattern reevaluates the roots, motivations, and goals of Roman imperial foreign policy especially as that policy related to warfare. In a major reinterpretation of the sources, Rome and the Enemy shows that concepts of national honor, fierce competition for status, and revenge drove Roman foreign policy, and though different from the highly rationalizing strategies often attributed to the Romans, dictated patterns of response that remained consistent over centuries.
Mattern reconstructs the world view of the Roman decision-makers, the emperors, and the elite from which they drew their advisers. She discusses Roman conceptions of geography, strategy, economics, and the influence of traditional Roman values on the conduct of military campaigns. She shows that these leaders were more strongly influenced by a traditional, stereotyped perception of the enemy and a drive to avenge insults to their national honor than by concepts of defensible borders. In fact, the desire to enforce an image of Roman power was a major policy goal behind many of their most brutal and aggressive campaigns.

Rome and the Enemy provides a fascinating look into the Roman mind in addition to a compelling reexamination of Roman conceptions of warfare and national honor. The resulting picture creates a new understanding of Rome's long mastery of the Mediterranean world.



Source: Mattern review from Amazon.

You must forgive me but this is not a commonly read book in my country. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed reading articles (such as the one posted above) pertinent to the book in order to find some explanations for you.

My diagnosis is the following: Mattern, like many (if not most) military historians seems to run risks in her (admittedly apparently fairly well received) writing. Any 'radical reinterpretation', as her book appears to be, counteracts and sets itself up in opposition to many historians of the past. For this reason, there is sound cause to be skeptical from the outset.

In essence, I would warn you against according so readily with someone who is essentially a 'Military historian' on ethical, intellectual and especially literary aspects of history. She is not an expert in these areas.
Nevertheless, I must stress again that her book is most probably worth reading, although (i would say) only in conjunction with something a little less radical.

Now....to take you up on a couple of issues...

Decus or honor, was a thoughly Roman value.


In what sense? I would contest this point and argue that the concept of 'decus' is clearly inherited from the Homeric value of 'Time'. In this sense, it is thoroughly Roman only insofar as the Romans had a word indicating its existence, not insofar as it was they who conceived of it.

Here's what Harris (Professor of History at Columbia University) says on the second page of the above mentioned War and Imperialism in Republican Rome; 327-70 B.C.


BUt again, you've chosen to quote an historian with a reputation for reevaluative thinking....this is not a man whose work accords with that of the majority of other scholars'. Herein lies a problem. The historians you appear to be choosing to cite are those (like a small group in the academic world in all major subjects) who make their living by creating ORiGINAL work. This is not a compiment. Where they are concerned, careful scholarship often comes second to a desire to come up with a new take, a new angle, a new perception. Unfortunately, this results in the overlooking of important information which does not sit comfortably with their analysis.

It wasn't a taxpayer's revolt, the whole squabble was about the idolatry associated with paying tribute to the Roman emperor and his gods.


You've made a mistake here. Jesus clearly intends is to understand him to be talking about Caesar's control over our material possessions (and hence taxes.....Jesus is defending himself from hanging around with tax collectors) and God's over ouyr hearts.

That's not good enough, Gavin. You can find Austrians, Norwegians, Danes, Frenchmen, by the thousands in 1944 saying the very same thing about the Nazi invaders. A great many of those people who opposed the invasion and subjugation never survive long enough to give their opinion on the matter. You ought to know that its the victors and their collaborators who leave their memoirs and write the histories.


Good point. BUt my intention above was not to enter into a substantive argument over this issue. It was to point out that conquest was not an entirely negative experience for those conquered.

You disagree with me that rebellion was on ongoing problem for Rome. Strange then, that Rome bothered to garrison troops (at a huge expense) in its conquered provinces?


Actually, it became less common for troops to be garrisoned in the provinces after 68ad, when Tacitus points out that for the first time, tehse troops could have a major impact on events at Rome. Emperors thus sought subsequently to concentrate their troops more closely around Rome (and thus avoid the potential threat of an invasion and coup from the provinces).

But I am generalising here and I am aware of it (as are you). In fact, the whole of our discussion has been fraught with generalisations I ma usually very hesitant to make. THis is my main regret in this argument. And it is also the reason why we are each able to contest the other's opinion.

Gavin
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Postby gavtmcc » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:02 pm

Fergus Millar (p.10) in 'The Roman Empire and its neighbours':

'The society and culture of all areas of the empire was formed by the importation, by conquest, emigration or assimilation of a dominant alien culture, and its imposition on, or fusion with, the pre-existing native culture'.

This quote is the essence of what I was trying to put across in this argument, Michael. I know I did it badly but I draw upon a historian of world renown to make it succinctly on my behalf.

I hope this quote demonstrates there is some common grouund between what we both argued above but that there are oversights on your part.
Dream, but don't make dreams your master.

My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That earth affords or grows by kind:
Though much I want that most would have,

My wealth is health and perfect ease,
My conscience clear my chief defence;
I neither seek by bribes to please,
Nor by deceit to breed offence:
Thus do I live; thus will I die;
Would all did so as well as I!

I think no class of men are less enslaved to the past than historians. It is the unhistorical who are usually without knowing it enslaved to a very recent past.
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Postby Zen Swashbuckler » Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:14 am

Concise refutation of the original lengthy acephalous ranting diatribe:

"A state that cannot attain its ultimate goal usually swells to an unnaturally large size. The world-wide empire of the Romans is nothing sublime compared to Athens. The strength that really should go into the flower here remains in the leaves and stem, which flourish."
-Nietzsche (trans. Kaufmann)

'Nuff said.
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Postby gavtmcc » Thu Nov 18, 2004 4:45 pm

Not good enough for me, I'm afraid, zen. Nietzsche, like all educated Germans of the 19th century transposed the 'qualities' of Athens onto themselves indiscriminately: this explains this sentiment. The Germans were very much enemies of the Roman Empire, you see, so they were uncomfortable about deferring any praise to its achievement. The Greeks, on the other hand, had no bone to pick with Germany.

To be blunt, there is no historical validity in the claims in your Nietzsche quote, at least none of any worth. The historical worth comes in the reflection of Nietzsche's own ethnic and national identity which was characteristic of his culture.

Nuff said.
Dream, but don't make dreams your master.

My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That earth affords or grows by kind:
Though much I want that most would have,

My wealth is health and perfect ease,
My conscience clear my chief defence;
I neither seek by bribes to please,
Nor by deceit to breed offence:
Thus do I live; thus will I die;
Would all did so as well as I!

I think no class of men are less enslaved to the past than historians. It is the unhistorical who are usually without knowing it enslaved to a very recent past.
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Postby Zen Swashbuckler » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:18 am

gavtmcc wrote:Not good enough for me, I'm afraid, zen. Nietzsche, like all educated Germans of the 19th century transposed the 'qualities' of Athens onto themselves indiscriminately: this explains this sentiment. The Germans were very much enemies of the Roman Empire, you see, so they were uncomfortable about deferring any praise to its achievement. The Greeks, on the other hand, had no bone to pick with Germany.


No argument with anything after the word "all." :)


To be blunt, there is no historical validity in the claims in your Nietzsche quote, at least none of any worth. The historical worth comes in the reflection of Nietzsche's own ethnic and national identity which was characteristic of his culture.


The man was incredibly critical of "Germans" and the "Reich" and the tone I take from reading him is that empire itself, whether Roman or German, is crass, loud, and stifling. I hope I'm not projecting my own views too much onto his writings, but I think there's support for the claim that politics for politics' sake or for empire's sake he found completely abhorrent.

Did I inadvertently set up a straw man from what you wrote? If you were merely stating that Nietzsche could not distance himself from "the Germans" enough to get rid of prejudices unreasonable to apply only to Rome and not Athens, there is probably a case for that; if you are disagreeing that the Roman political entity espoused political expansion at the expense of culture and civilization, I must take issue.

Athens, during the expansion of the Delian League, managed nevertheless to produce myriad works of art, literature, poetry, etc. I would argue that while Rome did have its share of such things, much was mere copying from Greek work, a lot was jingoistic crap, and much of the rest was satire aimed at various aspects of Rome - worthy (and quite amusing!) in its own context but not exactly long-lived. Certainly there was good Latin literature and poetry; as I understand things, however, Athens had proportionally much more.

I don't support empire in any fashion (cf. Thucydides). Perhaps what I was intending to say (and did not give any points of my own for it) is that any assumption of the "greatness" of Rome is predicated on the "greatness" of tyranny and conquest and not a hell of a lot else. Could Latin poetry have flourished without empire? I'd like to think so, but a lot of it would have been quite different. How about Athenian culture? I believe much more of it was independent of empire than was the case for Rome.

Am I showing the prejudices inherent in my several-generations-Americanized but still largely German blood? Or are they based in my tarantula politics? :D
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Postby Polemarchus » Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:05 am

Hi Gavtmcc,

You wrote;
I draw upon a historian of world renown to make it succinctly on my behalf.

Then please allow me to draw upon another world-renowned historian in order to support my claim. In his 1996 tome, Europe: A History, Professor Norman Davies (Supernumerary Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and Professor Emeritus of London University) remarked:

"Modern attitudes to Roman civilization range from the infinitely impressed to the thoughly disgusted. As always, there are the power-worshipers, especially among historians, who are predisposed to admire whatever is strong..." Ibid, p. 150

Davies own attitude is summarized here:

"...the long list of Roman vices cannot be forgotten. Critics have pointed to a specially repulsive brand of slavery, to cruelty beyond measure, and in time, to a degree of decadance that made hellinism look puritanical." Ibid, p. 150

Speaking some pages later on slavery, he writes:

"Slavery was omnipresent in Roman society, and in some estimations the key institution of the economy. It provided manpower for agriculture and industry, and underpinned the luxury of the cities. It involved the total physical, economic, and sexual exploitation of the slaves and their children. It was supported by the wars of the Republic, which brought in millions of captives....Julius Caesar sold 53,000 Gallic prisoners after one battle alone, at Atuatia (Namur)." Ibid, p. 166

It seems that Livey's,"Vae victis!" (Woe to the vanquished!) was no idle warning.

I came upon an interesting review of Millar's The Roman Empire and Its Neighbours (along with several others) by the the late, M.I. Finley, a name that I think you might recognize. Sir Finley writes:

"No administration in history has ever devoted itself so whole-heartedly to fleecing its subjects for the private benefit of its ruling class as Rome of the last age of the Republic." That sentence, from the final chapter of Professor Ernst Badian's exciting little book on Roman imperialism...will even today shock some Roman historians and some readers....Yet the statement is true beyond any possibility of argument." "A Profitable Empire", New York Review of Books, Jan 29, 1970

You wrote;
But I am generalising here and I am aware of it (as are you). In fact, the whole of our discussion has been fraught with generalisations I ma usually very hesitant to make.

I'm surprised to hear you say that, Gavin. History isn't merely about amassing great gobs of chronological facts; the point of the excercise is to make generalizations - to draw generalized conclusions about those individual facts. Surely, you've heard that famous quip by Paul Valery:

"L'Histoire est la science des choses qui ne se répètent pas."

If you're hesitant to make generalizations, what is the point, for example, of knowing the particulars about the Treaty of Westphalia? As Valery would say, there isn't going to be another Treaty of Westphalia - at least no sane historian is waiting for one. We read history in order to form a commentary of it, and that commentary necessarily amounts to generalization; otherwise, historians would be relegated to a mundane, minor task of simply amassing endless lists of individual dated facts.

I stand by my original statement - the one you first objected to:
To see the "glory of Rome" and miss the misery and destruction it produced is analogous to looking at the pretty begonias planted by Frau Hoss (wife of the camp Commandant Hoss)...but never looking over the wall to see the hell contained within."


Your objection to my characterization was (quoting you):
No, Michael, the Roman Empire civilised europe in most areas it conquered. they provided methods of agriculture, law, science and ways of life taht had not existed in previously warring, tribal factions. the goal of the empire was to achieve unity, to move man away from his tribal, primitivist instincts.

Let me ask you, Gavin; suppose a powerful foreign invader burst upon your homeland, sending your sisters and brother away to spend the remainder of their lives in chains. Would you cheerfully abide that turn-of-events as long as the invader brought along with them an improved method of, say, harvesting and storing oats? a more efficient way of tax-accounting?

The Spanish Conquistadors, for example, brought to Central and South America advanced metallurgy and shipbuilding techniques (to name only a few of their novel imports), but at the price of a wholesale slaughter (whose gruesome particulars I won't recite here). Do you think that the decimated indiginous population ought to have looked at the "big picture"? taken a utilitarian view? ought to have seen their ensalvement and massacre as a trifling when compared with the gain of those new technologies?

Doubless, small tribes do make war on other small tribes. But are you seriously trying to sell the notion that people become less bellicose once they join with a stronger (and in Rome's case, ferocious) military power?

No advance in acqueduct technology or improvement in chariot-wheel fabrication could possibly counterbalance the massacre of a single generation of men on a battlefield and the enslavement of their wives and children. Those ancients who so suffered was each of them a human being, with a life as dear and meaningful to them as my life is to me. Primitive or not, they loved their familes no less than I love mine.

Regards,
Michael
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Postby gavtmcc » Sun Nov 21, 2004 9:47 am

Apologies in advance...I will have to postpone my part in this discussion for about 3 weeks due to demanding work schedule. Wish me luck...I'm looking forward to giving this one a crack this xmas. And yes, Michael, of course I've heard of Finley! Come on.

Interestingly, Norman Davies was at a lecture at my college earlier this week (he is now a very old frail old man)...incidentally I dont see any evidence of Davies' own views in the passages yo uoquote, he merely seems to describe the views of unspecified 'critics'. Please clarify!

Ok back to work...
Dream, but don't make dreams your master.

My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That earth affords or grows by kind:
Though much I want that most would have,

My wealth is health and perfect ease,
My conscience clear my chief defence;
I neither seek by bribes to please,
Nor by deceit to breed offence:
Thus do I live; thus will I die;
Would all did so as well as I!

I think no class of men are less enslaved to the past than historians. It is the unhistorical who are usually without knowing it enslaved to a very recent past.
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