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Fight Club Sandwich
Apr 29, 2006

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Charlemagne practically made an industry of setting himself up as the legitimate successor of Rome and the new Roman Emperor, so I would not trust this lineage in the slightest.

Can you expand on this? Was he accepting cashmoney to adopt people or something

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Jan 24, 2006

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I think they even saw the Greeks as inferiors, despite all the culture, religion and learning they took from them.
The archetypal "Roman of the Romans" might revere Alexander the Great, think quite highly of Spartan military prowess and make a game attempt to appreciate Athenian arts, be formally trained in a school of Greek oratory, speak perfect Greek, pray to copies of Greek gods and yet hold actual living Greeks themselves in nearly complete contempt. Debauched, unruly, insolent and pathetically weak were all common Roman views of their Greek contemporaries. How did the Romans walk around their own streets, surrounded by Greek citizens, slaves and freedmen, and reconcile this view for centuries? After all, many if not most of the "brainy" people walking around Roman cities were Greeks: doctors, teachers, scribes, etc. Most likely because Romans just didn't assign a huge amount of value to intellectualism. The core of the agrarian bucolic stalwart never really leaves them. Strength, endurance and courage were the ideals of the Republic, fancy book learnin' was nice for babbies but you got more done with swords and shovels. The average Roman didn't have a problem outsourcing intellectualism to the Greeks wholesale because that poo poo was for pussies, basically.

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There are attempts to trace the royal families of Europe back to a senatorial family that popped up around the 300s. This is called descent from antiquity (hot wet pussy song) and has thus far proven to be elusive.

In particular, if you go back far enough enough in Charlemagne's line, you run into a certain bishop Arnulf of Metz (you eventually have to switch to the maternal line to get here). From records, Arnulf was a son of a Arnoald, who himself was a son of Ansbertus - a Roman senator in the 500s. This part is disputable though, and many think this lineage was invented to promote the prestige of Charlemagne. From here, some sources allege that Ansbertus was the son of Ferreolus, who was the son of Tonantius Ferreolus, who was the son of another Tonantius Ferreolus, who was the son of jessica simpson nude gallery another Tonantius Ferreolus, who was the grandson of a certain Flavius Afranius Syagrius. This guy was a patrician (like you were looking for, as the Syagrii were fairly prominent in Gaul) and the urban prefect of Rome. The line sort of ends there, right around 369 AD. Of course, I guess this doesn't go back to the patricians you're thinking of (the Julians, etc.), but it's about the best the West can do with a direct lineage. Like the OP said, many of the families just sort of disappeared from the written record after a while, probably intermarrying with others without record and continuing their progress to today. Many of us in the West probably are direct descendants of at least one prominent Roman family if you start skipping between paternal and maternal lines and go back far enough. Sadly, it's impossible to know for sure.

Edit: Sorry OP, but the Roman Empire really fell in 1806. Or 1917. Translatio imperii motherfuckers .

Ah, this is mainly what I was thinking of. It's still absolutely fascinating, though.

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

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How did Romans see themselves?

I remember taking a classics course where the professor mentioned how many of the great roman writers and orators spoke of Rome being eternal. The pinnacle of civilization, an everlasting glory.

Did the Romans believe themselves to be the ultimate civilizing force in the world? Did they take great pride in their culture, art, religion and history?

I'll do a more thorough post when I have time but I do want to say one thing first. The Romans did indeed see themselves as the best, however they were not closed minded at all. One of the great strengths of Rome was their inclusiveness at all levels of society, and one of those was in ideas. Romans knew that other people had good ideas too, and if the Romans encountered something that was better, they would adopt it and then improve it for their own use. One of the more famous of these is the Roman legionary sword, the gladius. They didn't invent it, they encountered Celts in Iberia who used it, were impressed, and adopted it for their own. It was the perfect weapon for the legions and the tactics it allowed were a big part of why the Romans were virtually invincible in any set piece battle where they could use the legions to their full might. Roman chain mail armor was another, they adapted the technology from the Gauls. The Romans had no fleet until they took Carthage's designs, then they invented the means to adapt naval warfare to Rome's advantages (the corvus, a big bridge that would slam down and attach itself to the other ship, thus turning the naval battle into a land battle).

More later, but Roman inventiveness is not given its fair due in most history and Roman openness is incredibly important to understanding the empire.

Also, Egypt (and Greece in some ways) was a special exception within the Roman world view that I'll go into detail on.

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Mithra6
Jan 24, 2006

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This isn't Roman specific, but Latin in general. I've been working on some Renaissance period translations, and there's a decent amount of animal and botanical names, which can sometimes be really difficult to translate. The Latin dictionaries I have come up short in this area.

For example there was one section about cures (sort of like Pliny's Natural History), and it says "if ravens are poisoned by "toxico gallica"..." What the gently caress is that???? French poison? Chicken poison? Doesn't make sense!

Any good resources for weird animal and botanical names from the Roman period to the Renaissance?

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thetruth
Jan 5, 2010


How did political campaigns work in Rome, pre-emperor?

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Charlemagne practically made an industry of setting himself up as the legitimate successor of Rome and the new Roman Emperor, so I would not trust this lineage in the slightest.

Oh I don't either, and perhaps I should have voiced my doubt more strongly. Hell, the Habsburgs had a family tree that claimed direct descent from Augustus. That's loving bold.

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Aug 10, 2009

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I have a question on the Century Assembly that's always bothered me. What exactly what its composition? I know its soldiers, but what soldiers? In the early days I don't see a problem with soldiers voting since Rome was small, but you start getting post Punic wars and most soldiers are out on the frontiers.

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Feb 18, 2009



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How did political campaigns work in Rome, pre-emperor?

Massive bribery and reliance on patronage. You could also murder your opponent or bring a mob to the Campus Martius.

Wiki goes into great detail. candice michelle sex tape

It was actually pretty complicated.

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GamerL
Oct 23, 2008


Have you read Neil Faulkner's book on the fall of Roman Britain? General hypothesis is that Rome was a predator state doomed to fail once it ran out of new, rich, ripe targets to take, plunder, and incorporate into the empire. I.e., once Rome got into the harsh and poor lands of Wales, Scotland, and came up against the Seleucid empire in the east, the classic Rome ceased to be, leading to a hundred years of generational rebellions, and ultimately collapse. I'd recommend the book if for no other reason than it made me think differently about Rome than most classic "rome was the height of western civilization" histories/books will give you.

Also, how much do you know about subroman Britain (i.e. 400-700 C.E.?).

Thanks

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Dec 29, 2006
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Speaking about the continuation of Rome, here's an interesting little-known fact. Several countries currently use a currency that is a direct descendant of the Roman denarius: the dinar.

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Modus Operandi
Oct 5, 2010


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Have you read Neil Faulkner's book on the fall of Roman Britain? General hypothesis is that Rome was a predator state doomed to fail once it ran out of new, rich, ripe targets to take, plunder, and incorporate into the empire. I.e., once Rome got into the harsh and poor lands of Wales, Scotland, and came up against the Seleucid empire in the east, the classic Rome ceased to be, leading to a hundred years of generational rebellions, and ultimately collapse. I'd recommend the book if for no other reason than it made me think differently about Rome than most classic "rome was the height of western civilization" histories/books will give you.

It's easy for us to look at Rome with a full historical timeline and draw conclusions like this. However, if you look at Rome it directly parallels other empires like the historical Chinese dynasties. Like Rome one ethnic group became powerful (italians in Rome, Han in China) and united to form its first cohesive state that spanned a large expanse of land. Then this new state consolidated its power absorbing other kingdoms and foreign ethnicities expanding to the point that the cultural identity became pervasive and a universal concept. Even when the dynasties in China's case or emperors in Rome changed the character of the state the culture was still pervasive. Over time various "foreigners" adopted the state's culture and were absorbed into the larger civilization's identity. Eventually bureaucracy, religion, and outside forces stressed the institution to the point where it finally cracked. That's when the state ended but you could say Han culture is still alive and well and so is Roman culture.

Sorry that point became a little convoluted but my point is that Rome wasn't unique amongst long lasting empires (or civilizations) in its behavior.

So, if you think about it all empires/civilizations became "predators" at one point or another. Was ancient Egypt, the Assyrians, Greece at its height, or Babylonians any different?

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It's easy for us to look at Rome with a full historical timeline and draw conclusions like this.

There's definitely alot of this. I blame it on those animated wikipedia maps that show an empire swallowing all its neighbors in 2 second intervals. The concept of Roman manifest destiny was more after the fact commentary than driving concept. Consider how Rome ends up in Constantinople in the first place. Traders in Italy are complaining that they're getting raided by Illyrian pirates. Illyria is the state between Italy and Greece/Macedonia. So Rome says to the King of Macedon (then in charge of Greece and nominally Illyria), "clean up your rump state". He doesn't, or can't. So they invade because that's bullshit. King of Macedon then says "whoa, think I'll ally with Carthage during the Punic Wars and betray the Romans". Romans destroy Carthage and then send the legions to take out Macedonia because who would want that guy around as a neighbor? Seriously, Phillip was just a huge dick.

Macedon turns out to be a paper tiger, suddenly Rome owns all of Greece and Macedon and is sitting in Byzantion wondering what to do next. Guess we'll go home and oh snap, the King of Pergamon just died and left all his lands in Asia Minor to the Roman State. Welcome to Asia, Rome. Then Mithradates shows up and goes apeshit, and the next thing you know you've got boots on the ground in motherfuckin' Armenia just to get some peace and quiet. It took a couple of centuries, but that's how it went down. And it all started because some Italian merchant got rightfully annoyed at some dumbass Adriatic pirate.

No individual planned it all. What seemed like good ideas at the time, admittedly supplemented by plunder-happy governors and legions in the border states, built the Empire state by state, and tribe by tribe. Rome wasn't a predator state (w/e that is) as much as it was a happy little porcupine whose own predators kept throwing themselves on top of it.

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Jul 19, 2006
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There are attempts to trace the royal families of Europe back to a senatorial family that popped up around the 300s. This is called descent from antiquity (poison ivy 3 sex) and has thus far proven to be elusive.

In particular, if you go back far enough enough in Charlemagne's line, you run into a certain bishop Arnulf of Metz (you eventually have to switch to the maternal line to get here). From records, Arnulf was a son of a Arnoald, who himself was a son of Ansbertus - a Roman senator in the 500s. This part is disputable though, and many think this lineage was invented to promote the prestige of Charlemagne. From here, some sources allege that Ansbertus was the son of Ferreolus, who was the son of Tonantius Ferreolus, who was the son of another Tonantius Ferreolus, who was the son of mya harrison nude pics another Tonantius Ferreolus, who was the grandson of a certain Flavius Afranius Syagrius. This guy was a patrician (like you were looking for, as the Syagrii were fairly prominent in Gaul) and the urban prefect of Rome. The line sort of ends there, right around 369 AD. Of course, I guess this doesn't go back to the patricians you're thinking of (the Julians, etc.), but it's about the best the West can do with a direct lineage. Like the OP said, many of the families just sort of disappeared from the written record after a while, probably intermarrying with others without record and continuing their progress to today. Many of us in the West probably are direct descendants of at least one prominent Roman family if you start skipping between paternal and maternal lines and go back far enough. Sadly, it's impossible to know for sure.

Edit: Sorry OP, but the Roman Empire really fell in 1806. Or 1917. Translatio imperii motherfuckers .

More then likely there is not a single traceable member of any Roman Imperial family anywhere, let alone a patrician family.

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More then likely there is not a single traceable member of any Roman Imperial family anywhere, let alone a patrician family.

Traceable sure, though DFA is a hobby among genealogists. But direct decendents certainly exist.

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Oct 23, 2008


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It's easy for us to look at Rome with a full historical timeline and draw conclusions like this. However, if you look at Rome it directly parallels other empires like the historical Chinese dynasties. Like Rome one ethnic group became powerful (italians in Rome, Han in China) and united to form its first cohesive state that spanned a large expanse of land. Then this new state consolidated its power absorbing other kingdoms and foreign ethnicities expanding to the point that the cultural identity became pervasive and a universal concept. Even when the dynasties in China's case or emperors in Rome changed the character of the state the culture was still pervasive. Over time various "foreigners" adopted the state's culture and were absorbed into the larger civilization's identity. Eventually bureaucracy, religion, and outside forces stressed the institution to the point where it finally cracked. That's when the state ended but you could say Han culture is still alive and well and so is Roman culture.

Sorry that point became a little convoluted but my point is that Rome wasn't unique amongst long lasting empires (or civilizations) in its behavior.

So, if you think about it all empires/civilizations became "predators" at one point or another. Was ancient Egypt, the Assyrians, Greece at its height, or Babylonians any different?

Fair points. I of course murdered a lot of the intricacies of his book/theory. I should probably mention that part of this sort of 'unbalanced predatory state' view he had was the Legions.

The Legions were professional soldiers, and whoever controlled them, for the most part, controlled the Empire. This is contrasted against other socities where most warriors were also farmers, crafstmen, etc. (i.e. they were only seasonal fighters, not around the clock dedicated soldiers).

By having this professional, expensive, heavily armored force though, the Roman state required new targets to plunder and subjugate: extracting resources, taxes, slaves, etc. to send back to mother rome, in order to continue functioning. The political families schemed and warred, and sought triumphs to conquer far of lands, because triumphs equaled resources and money. Some astounding numbers are thrown out in terms of just how much Emperors would pay the legions/soldiers.

Once rome ran out of new territories to take that would be worth the cost, legions shifted from heavily armored, large unit conquering machines, to smaller unit/divisioned frontier rapid response forces.

As to it being a 'grand design' or plan, Faulker doesn't make that argument. Rather, he sees it as the natural result of wealthy families seizing upon military conquests in order to drive political ascension.

In any event, it's not my intention to defend or champion his theory. I was more just saying it's an interesting theory, almost a Marxist-historical view of the empire, that is worth reading.

Still hoping to hear if anyone has insights on subroman Britain or recommend reading, etc. If you need more specifics, look at these posts I did for my little RP world [not trying to plug it] and let me know your thoughts/reactions on the accuracy of my general descriptions in there: demi moore nude ass

I can post them here (they're long though) if that's the preferred way.

Thanks

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euphronius
Feb 18, 2009



If the (western) Roman Empire had fully integrated the Germanic Tribes like they integrated the Gauls or the Iberians or the Illyrians then who knows what would have happened.

If Ricimer had been crowned Emporer by the Roman Senate history might have turned out completely different.

Although the advent of feudalism in Italy was very destabilizing.


edit

Changed Greeks to Iberians. Duh.

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If the (western) Roman Empire had fully integrated the Germanic Tribes like they integrated the Gauls or the Greeks or the Illyrians then who knows what would have happened.

Was there some decision not to? Or could they not do it because the rough terrain, lack of rich targets prevented it from being worth it/possible to romanize them? I.e. build and defend roman towns, establish regional governments, etc.

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euphronius
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Was there some decision not to? Or could they not do it because the rough terrain, lack of rich targets prevented it from being worth it/possible to romanize them? I.e. build and defend roman towns, establish regional governments, etc.


Anti Germanic nationalism by the Italian nobility. Probably. They were romanized. Ricimer (and Flavius Stilicho before him) we as roman as anyone.

There were lots of Illyrian emperors as a counter example.

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How did political campaigns work in Rome, pre-emperor?

Client-Patron relationship.

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No individual planned it all. What seemed like good ideas at the time, admittedly supplemented by plunder-happy governors and legions in the border states, built the Empire state by state, and tribe by tribe. Rome wasn't a predator state (w/e that is) as much as it was a happy little porcupine whose own predators kept throwing themselves on top of it.
This isnt't really true.

Firstly, you described the expansion of the Republic, not the Empire. Secondly, you conveniently stopped at the death of Mithridates when only a few years afterwards ambitious dickheads like Caesar and Crassus started fighting expansionist wars just to further their political careers. Sure, Rome wasn't a "predator state" (it's a really dumb concept) but it also was no timid little "pocupine".

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Modus Operandi
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No individual planned it all. What seemed like good ideas at the time, admittedly supplemented by plunder-happy governors and legions in the border states, built the Empire state by state, and tribe by tribe. Rome wasn't a predator state (w/e that is) as much as it was a happy little porcupine whose own predators kept throwing themselves on top of it.
A single man in Rome didn't plan it all but there was definitely a practical logic to conquering the territory they did. It may have been during periods where circumstances warranted immediate attention but it was probably on the "to do" list anyways. I guess another thing is that Rome knew when to stop too. Hadrian was wise in stopping at Dacia territorially but he should have mopped up the Germanic tribes when he had the chance. Transportation time was probably a huge concern in maintaining the Empire's bureaucractic control. During ancient times logistics simply wasn't advanced enough to maintain such a large empire especially if it was through rough terrain far inland from a coast. That's why much of Rome's territory surrounds the Med. sea. and the pieces that they do have inland already had infrastructure built up by previous ruling kingdoms. The territory they did take was a logical extension of trading routes. It was also important to conquer the eastern coastal regions to protect Rome's bread basket Alexandria and important gateway cities like Antioch.

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By having this professional, expensive, heavily armored force though, the Roman state required new targets to plunder and subjugate: extracting resources, taxes, slaves, etc. to send back to mother rome, in order to continue functioning. The political families schemed and warred, and sought triumphs to conquer far of lands, because triumphs equaled resources and money. Some astounding numbers are thrown out in terms of just how much Emperors would pay the legions/soldiers.
He has an interesting point with the legions but the reason why costs spiraled out of control was the fault of Roman Emperors and the way the power structure was centralized. I believe it started around the time of Domitian that military wages were escalating and paid out as basically bribes so that Emperors could sleep well at night and at least guarantee control over the scheming Senate as well. This practice spiraled out of control when Commodus and various incompetent Emperors threw gobs of money at the army instead of cultivating a sustainable hierarchy and division of authority to guarantee some semblance of loyalty. So the army became its own beast and the Praetorian guard were actually a constant threat to Rome's own internal stability.

I'll say that conquest didn't always result in gaining resources and money either. I'm not even sure if material gain was the motivation the majority of the time. It seemed Emperors and generals wanted to wet their appetite for legacy. They wanted an arch, an honorific, or some sort of title to add to their family's credentials. In some cases they were actually willing to risk the state's interests to do so. There was little reason for Crassus' to go on his Mission Impossible expedition in Parthia but he was a super rich egotistical jerk off who wanted a title. A lot of other powerful men in Rome were like this too.

quote:

As to it being a 'grand design' or plan, Faulker doesn't make that argument. Rather, he sees it as the natural result of wealthy families seizing upon military conquests in order to drive political ascension.
Roman ambition was a real thing but these same families were also willing to rat gently caress the state and anyone else as long as it raised the status of their family. With a few ideological exceptions (Cato, perhaps) the elites were usually self interested venal people. I wouldn't call them a driving force..more like a chaotic force that was kept in check most of the time by competing political/military forces.

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

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This isn't Roman specific, but Latin in general.

I do not speak Latin at all sadly, I switched to Roman history late in my college career and there was no time.

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How did political campaigns work in Rome, pre-emperor?

In addition to the beatings and clients, there were political ads painted on the walls everywhere, we have some surviving ones in Pompeii. Vote for Quintus because Gaius is a fuckwit. It's remarkably similar to modern political campaigns.

There was also no problem at all with bribery, and buying votes was something of an art form. People loved election time because of all the free poo poo they'd get.

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Have you read Neil Faulkner's book on the fall of Roman Britain?

No, but there is something to be said for the premise. Conquest was incredibly profitable for Rome and once they stopped expanding, they started having more and more financial difficulties. Also, from Hadrian on most of the battles Rome is involved with take place on Roman soil, destroying Roman poo poo, rather than destroying other people's poo poo. That's a drain on the society too. And eventually any semblance of loyalty to the state is gone and legions are loyal purely to their generals, which was the most profound and destructive unintended consequence of Marius' reform of the army.

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Also, how much do you know about subroman Britain (i.e. 400-700 C.E.?).

Basically dick, it's a big gap in my knowledge that I need to fill.

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Was there some decision not to? Or could they not do it because the rough terrain, lack of rich targets prevented it from being worth it/possible to romanize them? I.e. build and defend roman towns, establish regional governments, etc.

Germans were incorporated into the empire to an extent but never really accepted. Mostly there wasn't time--Gauls had to deal with the same poo poo for ages until the time before Roman Gaul was a distant memory. But as for provinces, it just wasn't worth it financially. Rome did make excursions into Germania and even founded some towns, but they were all abandoned since there simply wasn't a good motivation for conquering it. The Rhein/Danube made a decently defensible frontier and without any compelling reason to cross it, the Romans mostly stayed on their side.

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Jul 1, 2008



How likely was it for the Republic to have been reestablished after the death of Augustus? I understand there was republican sentiment, but was the memory of the civil wars still too bitter?

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In addition to the beatings and clients, there were political ads painted on the walls everywhere, we have some surviving ones in Pompeii. Vote for Quintus because Gaius is a fuckwit. It's remarkably similar to modern political campaigns.
Speaking of Pompeii what was the Roman obsession of painting and adorning everything with dicks everywhere in that town? People speculated that it was a sign of good luck or brothel markers but they are in the oddest places.

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?


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Speaking of Pompeii what was the Roman obsession of painting and adorning everything with dicks everywhere in that town? People speculated that it was a sign of good luck or brothel markers but they are in the oddest places.

Erect dicks were a magical protection against evil. Romans were superstitious as gently caress, I want to get into that occult question after I read a bit. But one of the main places you find the dicks are at crossroads, because Romans viewed everything as having a spirit, including roads, so a crossroad was a magically dangerous place where two spirits encountered one another. The dick would protect you from it.

There is also plenty of bathroom graffiti that is identical to what you find today, so some dicks on walls are just dicks on walls. People haven't changed.

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Apr 1, 2010



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How likely was it for the Republic to have been reestablished after the death of Augustus? I understand there was republican sentiment, but was the memory of the civil wars still too bitter?

Not very. Anyone who could actually remember the Republic before the Civil Wars (let alone afterwards) in AD14 would have been either very old or dead. There were various senators over the next few decades who are known to have wanted to restore the Republic, but obviously nothing ever came of it. They tended to be brushed to the side whenever succession issues came up. Once you give people a taste of institutionalised total power, what are the chances people will want to change the system?

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Modus Operandi
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Erect dicks were a magical protection against evil. Romans were superstitious as gently caress, I want to get into that occult question after I read a bit. But one of the main places you find the dicks are at crossroads, because Romans viewed everything as having a spirit, including roads, simpson cartoon porn pics so a crossroad was a magically dangerous place where two spirits encountered one another. The dick would protect you from it.
Makes sense. Dicks are also used in Buddhist culture a lot as talismans for prosperity and virility. The crossroads thing is very Feng Shui. I wonder if different cultures adopted this superstition against crossroads because it was a place of uncertainty and banditry. I suppose a lot of people may have mysteriously disappeared at junctures back in ancient times.

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Octy
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Makes sense. Dicks are also used in Buddhist culture a lot as talismans for prosperity and virility. The crossroads thing is very Feng Shui. I wonder if different cultures adopted this superstition against crossroads because it was a place of uncertainty and banditry. I suppose a lot of people may have mysteriously disappeared at junctures back in ancient times.

Yes, but it still doesn't explain why modern teenage boys like to draw dicks over everything.

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Grand Fromage
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Not very. Anyone who could actually remember the Republic before the Civil Wars (let alone afterwards) in AD14 would have been either very old or dead. There were various senators over the next few decades who are known to have wanted to restore the Republic, but obviously nothing ever came of it. They tended to be brushed to the side whenever succession issues came up. Once you give people a taste of institutionalised total power, what are the chances people will want to change the system?

Yep. Augustus was a brilliant man and neutralized any serious desire to revive the Republic. Another generation after him and I'm not aware of anyone who wanted the Republic back. The new system was in place and everyone was busy exploiting it. Most of the population don't appear to have given a poo poo as long as their taxes weren't too high and they had food to eat.

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Yes, but it still doesn't explain why modern teenage boys like to draw dicks over everything.
Well there are key differences there..modern day dick art tends to have ejaculate spraying out of it. While classical Roman penises were more tastefully rendered.

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BrainDance
May 8, 2007

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Thanks for making this thread, last thread led to a marathon of Rome, I think this ones gonna make me get back into Spartacus (not accurate but gently caress it.)

I remember someone in the last thread saying Rome was at about an 18th century level of technology before it declined, but they didnt elaborate on how. This is a really vague question, but could you tell me about Roman technology compared to the middle ages?

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Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

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I remember someone in the last thread saying Rome was at about an 18th century level of technology before it declined, but they didnt elaborate on how. This is a really vague question, but could you tell me about Roman technology compared to the middle ages?

Medical technology, specifically, was unsurpassed until the 1800s. I would say the discovery of antiseptics was the first major medical breakthrough that surpassed Rome's medical knowledge, though the Romans were vaguely aware of the concept too. There's talk in Roman sources of using boiling wine to prevent infection. They didn't understand how but they knew heat/alcohol could be helpful.

The Middle Ages gets a bad rap technologically, there was constant advancement throughout the period. It is a really vague and wide question to cover. Romans had invented primitive factories that used water power, and they engaged in mass production. Rome also had access to the steam engine from the first century AD but it was only used as a toy, and then the technology disappeared. Technologically, though, the industrial revolution could have started in the 100s.

Agriculture and weaponry were essentially the same. The crossbow is the first major military innovation made after Rome. The basic concept existed in Rome in large siege weapons, scorpions and ballistae, but the idea of a man-portable weapon using similar principles never came up. Roman flamethrowers were a big deal that never got replicated until the modern age. The Medieval Roman fleet was invincible for a good chunk of time because of those, flamethrowers are a bit of a doomsday weapon in the era of wooden ships.

Roman engineering and construction technology were unsurpassed until at least the age of the Gothic cathedral. I would say overall that Roman technology was not significantly improved upon until the 1400s, and in some specific fields until the 1800s. Some areas Rome was surpassed rather easily, others it took forever to do better--this is just broadly speaking. The Middle Ages did have a lot more technological and scientific advancement than is popularly believed though, don't knock 'em.

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Arthur Crackpot
Sep 4, 2011

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When Marius was pitching and implementing his military reforms, how did the different classes of Roman society view his ideas?

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GamerL
Oct 23, 2008


Grand Fromage, I think you should read Neil Faulkner's Fall of Roman Britain. It's about $20 and would help fill in that area of roman history for you nicely. It starts with a hefty recap of the roman empire in britain, and goes through how the big events elsewhere effected things in Rome, and then goes through the multiple britain based rebellions/rebellion emperors etc.

I just got back from visiting Caerleon (Newport) and Cardiff and there's some great sites to see. They aren't as impressive as Rome, but unlike Rome none of the sites are walled off or guarded, so you can walk completely through the foundations of old roman walls, barracks, amphitheaters, etc.


Also, as to tech, there's so much Rome had/did that you don't even hear about usually. Extensive coal mining and burning, water boilers, rudimentary steam engines, surgery and anesthesia (C-Section comes from Caesarian, the son of Caesar by cleopatra, who was purportedly delivered via that surgery), etc etc.

Having seen the pantheon, coliseum, and then the ruins in Caerleon last week, you're right that it was really their building tech that was truly amazing. Way out on the rear end-end britain frontier, they were making walls, ampitheatres, and other structures, some of which are still standing today. Those that are standing are mostly gone because people over the millenia plundered the ruins for bricks/stone to use in building new areas (i.e. recycling).

Presumably a lot of this knowhow survived in the Byzantine empire, and I've also heard about how advanced the Persian and Chinese empires were in their own ways after the western empire's fall. Still, no doubt impressive what they did.

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Foyes36
Oct 23, 2005

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Medical technology, specifically, was unsurpassed until the 1800s. I would say the discovery of antiseptics was the first major medical breakthrough that surpassed Rome's medical knowledge, though the Romans were vaguely aware of the concept too. There's talk in Roman sources of using boiling wine to prevent infection. They didn't understand how but they knew heat/alcohol could be helpful.

I would agree in terms of efficacy, but the Renaissance lead to huge advancements in knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Rejection of the humor theory (begun by Paracelsus), rejection of Galenic anatomy (thanks Vesalius), breakthroughs in figuring out circulation and oxygenation (Harvey), and conceiving the body as a purely mechanical structure (Boerhaave, etc.) all represent enormous advances over the Romans. Plus by this time we do have a few actual drugs that can treat certain diseases and symptoms (things like willow tree bark for inflammatory diseases, digitalis from foxglove, cinchona for malaria, etc). Clinical trials were pioneered by the British with their scurvy experiments in the 1700s, and Jenner (among others) began vaccinating against small pox years before 1800 (something that would have REALLY helped out the Romans ~160 CE!).

Galen was still worshiped until the 1800s, and plenty of doctors still advocated bleeding for many illnesses (e.g. Benjamin Rush). Your average 17th or 18th century doctor knew far more than your average Roman doc or even Galen. Too bad it didn't help many people (knowing better what an anatomical structure is doesn't do much for you when you still can't operate safely or know what causes a pathology, or don't have access to real pharmaceuticals that can help), but it did lay most of the groundwork for the breakthroughs of the 1800. Sadly much of that involved rejecting Galen completely.

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Twat McTwatterson
May 31, 2011


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Erect dicks were a magical protection against evil. Romans were superstitious as gently caress, I want to get into that occult question after I read a bit. But one of the main places you find the dicks are at crossroads, because Romans viewed everything as having a spirit, including roads, so a crossroad was a magically dangerous place where two spirits encountered one another.

Spirits of the crossroads are the Lares, I think.

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Grand Fromage, I think you should read Neil Faulkner's Fall of Roman Britain. anime tentacle sex videos It's about $20 and would help fill in that area of roman history for you nicely.

Or you can just go to a library.

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Jan 28, 2012
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Basically dick, it's a big gap in my knowledge that I need to fill.

To be honest, I think there are big gaps in the understanding of post-Roman Britain by historians generally. One of the big features of that period is the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England, for instance, yet I get the impression that it's still very much open to debate whether this actually involved large numbers of people from northern Germany and Denmark migrating to settle or whether it was just a case of a change in the ruling elite.

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Jan 24, 2006

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The crossbow is the first major military innovation made after Rome. The basic concept existed in Rome in large siege weapons, scorpions and ballistae, but the idea of a man-portable weapon using similar principles never came up.
Interestingly enough, it did! The Greeks had an early version called the gastrophetes (sp?), and the Latin name manuballista at least indicates that the Romans had something similar. Many were stone throwers but some may have been bolt launchers. As to why there weren't more of them, I can only chalk it up to that wierd Italian prejudice against shooting other people with anything. They'd go to such great lengths to hire mercenaries that could handle slings and bows, but they were ambivalent about using them themselves. I'd call it a taboo except it apparently wasn't. I guess it's just one of those strange wrinkles in social psychology that we can't quite unravel after a thousand years of living in societies that have emphasized ranged warfare.

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