To Avitus

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To Avitus

Postby Curio Agelastus on Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:22 pm

Salve Avite,

I have decided to put this here, since the points I wish to make appear to apply to most of the other fora.

In general, being the stereotypical Brit that I am, I prefer to maintain civility and to avoid confrontation. However, in this case I believe there are things that should be said.

You have come here in an almost antagonistic manner, correcting the Latin of the various Collegia with little thought to anything that might have happened here before your arrival. We have had these discussions here before. If you believe that our decisions were wrong, then that's fair enough; we welcome constructive criticism. However, you have entirely failed to grasp that Latin has as many different incarnations as any other language; no doubt you are speaking of classical Latin rather than Church Latin. But I have little doubt that the language of Romulus was different from that of Cunctator, and that of Marius was different from that of Constantine. Equally the Latin of the Senate was different from that of a local official in Gaul or in Egypt.

However, you have come here and just assumed that everything you had to say would be immediately taken on board. More than that, you have insulted most of those who tried to discuss your ideas; you called my argumentation poor, Marius' superficial, and Cleopatra's infantile. If you must arrive at a place and immediately go about trying to reform the entire place, then you should at least do so with civility and with respect for the opinions of others.

We welcome the knowledge and scholarship of any individual. However, personally I prefer a person to be civil, respectful - nice, in fact - than to be knowledgable. I don't doubt that you are an authority on your subject. But you are not the only Latinist here. Did it not occur to you that, in some of the cases which have been discussed, there might be *no* definitive correct answer?

I hope you will conduct yourself with a little more decorum in the future.

Best wishes,
Marcus Scribonius Curio Agelastus.
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Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:33 pm

Avitus Romanis optimis suís S·P·D

With the exception of the following:

"However, you have entirely failed to grasp that Latin has as many different incarnations as any other language; no doubt you are speaking of classical Latin rather than Church Latin. But I have little doubt that the language of Romulus was different from that of Cunctator, and that of Marius was different from that of Constantine. Equally the Latin of the Senate was different from that of a local official in Gaul or in Egypt."

Which is partly wrong (I haven't failed to grasp the long history and variety of standards of the Latin language in the slightest, or of any other of the more than a dozen languages I speak, for that matter) and partly deserving very long commentary and qualification, I have to admit that my behaviour with respect to the name changes issue has been as good as disgraceful, and certainly shameful for myself, and I apologise to all offended.

In my discharge I can only say that I am very overworked. I had arrived to the SVR trying to promote Latin here, but with very little time before my long awaited holiday starting at the end of this week. I had indeed expected (obviously mistakenly) that my first few suggestions (constructive in spirit, although upon reflexion obviously not the best to put forward to start with), regarding such a secondary matter as the form of a few names, would be immediately taken on board (sorry, but that's what I had thought) and we would be able to move on to deal with the real business (beyond the names issue, only one person has so far replied to, or otherwise shown to take any notice of, my other messages). When I saw that oposition to those suggestions started to grow (on what I cannot deny I still believe is confused argumentation), and that the discussion, moreover, was moved to a forum where I could read opposing arguments but not defend my own positions, I did increasingly fall victim of stress and frustration and reacted in an obviously inappropriate manner.

I want to apologise to all, and promise to edit all the relevant messages of inappropriate wording if I can possibly find the time this week. I have to admit I have also always preferred nice to knowledgeable myself and believed I belonged with the former. It is now obvious to me I am quite worthless as either.

Curate ut valeatis!
Last edited by A. Gratius Avitus on Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:39 pm

Salve Avite,

I did not know that you were not yet registered when I began the thread in the Comitia. I hope that you will register upon returning from your holiday and will participate in all our discussions.

Vale,

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Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:41 pm

Avitus Tergesto optimo suo S·P·D

Primus Aurelius Tergestus wrote:I did not know that you were not yet registered when I began the thread in the Comitia.


No worries.

Primus Aurelius Tergestus wrote:I hope that you will register upon returning from your holiday


I will certainly do so. For the time being, I have now edited all my messages so far, to make sure they don't contain unacceptably rash and offensive wording, while making sure they still represent my honest opinions on the quality of the analysis some of my suggestions have been subjected to.

Cura ut valeas optime!
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Why.

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:49 pm

Salve, Aule Grati, et Salvete omnes...

Your suggestions have been extensively discussed in the Comitia, to which you have "Read" but no "Write" access. They were interpreted as proposals to the membership, so we started the conversation there. In fairness, I would have preferred it to have happened somewhere you could respond; but that your ideas landed in the Comitia only means that we are taking them seriously.

You distributed your posts rather evenly. It is difficult to put together a coherent response when one has to visit six different Collegia to do so. I think this "General" discussion area would have been a good focal point for you, at least until your actual SVR membership application (if one was in the works) could be completed and verified. A single post by yourself, here in the General forum, on the Collegium names, might have been the most practical thing to do ab initio.

Better yet, if you thought there were problems on this Board, a PM to the Admin would have been an even more appropriate action, and the most courteous.

Na, there is nothing you could call "politicking" in the SVR. Nobody plotted to shut you out. That you cannot respond in Comitia is only the unfortunate consequence of the access rules I have set for anyone who registers to this Board without actually becoming a Sodalis of the SVR. When I finish up here, I am going to nuke the accounts of the dozen or so Spammers who have also registered to the Forum Board in the last 15 hours. The No Member-->No Comitia Post policy is designed to keep them out of our legislative business. You are the first well-intentioned individual who has been bitten by this rule. There are a few hundred on my Ban list who have felt its sting as well. You were caught up in the sweep. That is all.

I will refrain from discussing in any detail the gross personal and professional insult you have inflicted upon me and upon many other longstanding members of this organization. Suffice it to say that there is some, and that the entire active membership is aware of it, and that it has likely not made you or your causes any friends. What friends you have are now under the hardship of having to explain you to the rest of us.

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Postby Q Valerius on Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:18 am

Mi Mari Care et sodales optimi,

I suppose I'll be the first to come to the defense of Aulus Gratius. Though his actions might have been carried out in a manner unfamiliar to us, and perhaps even offensive, but his intentions were the noblest.

It's not too terribly hard to see this as cofusion on both parts. On one hand, Aulus Gratius was not being malicious in his suggestions, and he might have seen the move to the Comitia, where he did not have access, as a method of silencing his counsel. On the other hand, here some have interpreted his actions as radical and not in our tradition. It was an honest mistake on both sides with no harm meant.

Nor do I think the insults are that - certainly one can differentiate between the arguments and the proposer. Calling Cleopatra's argument "infantile" is not the same as calling Cleopatra herself infantile, the latter unacceptable, the former...accurate? I would not condone any ad hominem attacks, but are the arguments used out of bounds as well?

As a citizen of the Roman Way Society, I extend my arms to welcome Aulus Gratius, and do so implore you to do the same, regardless of whether we agree or not.

in pace summa
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Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:10 am

Avitus Romanis optimis suís S·P·D

I was going to reply to the latest post by Aldus here, which comes across as rather unfair after I had publicly apologised earlier on on the most humble, even self-humiliating, terms; but I don't feel I need to do so any more, since Scerio has since presented my case in terms so wise, reasonable, ponderate, that I couldn't have put them myself any better.

I will just note that, although I agreed I used rash wording that could be found offensive, and duly apologised for it, Aldus's claim that I stooped to "gross personal and professional insult" is absolutely exaggerated and preposterous. As I said above, Scerio explains very clear why, among other things, this is so.

Curate ut valeatis!
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Postby Curio Agelastus on Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:30 pm

Salvete Scerio et Avite,

Scerio: I agree with some of your words, and disagree with others. I don't think the objection here was to the fact that Avitus' suggestions were "radical and not in our tradition". It was more the manner in which they were put forward.

Also, I see little reason to belittle another person's opinion, even if you consider them wrong. Obviously if I start discussing the important of Maxim guns to the Battle of Cannae then feel free to tell me that I'm speaking rubbish, but in history few arguments are so clear cut. For this reason, I think even calling Cleopatra's opinion or argument infantile was unfair when her opinion was perfectly valid.

That said, I have stated my objections, and Avitus has apologised, so I join Scerio in welcoming Avitus to the society. May your stay here be long and happy!

Bene valete,
Marcus Scribonius Curio Agelastus.
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Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:25 am

Avitus Romanis optimis suís S·P·D

Thank you for welcoming me, Agelaste. I hope things will soon run smoothly as I was honestly hoping they would be running from the beginning.

In the meantime, some sodales have written to me privately. Please notice that in the present state of confusion and anger on certain parts, I will not accept private discussion of these issues. Messages sent privately to me will be either deleted unread or copied and pasted onto this public board and discussed here.

Thanks for your attention.

Curate ut valeatis optime!
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Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:17 pm

Avitus Romanis optimis suís S·P·D

I have privately received the following message from Draco. Please see below for comments.

Tiberius Dionysius Draco wrote:Salve Avite,

This private message is regarding one of your posts in this thread.

A. Gratius Avitus wrote:In the meantime, some sodales have written to me privately. Please notice that in the present state of confusion and anger on certain parts, I will not accept private discussion of these issues. Messages sent privately to me will be either deleted unread or copied and pasted onto this public board and discussed here.


Copy and pasting private messages is against the Forum Rules and Posting Guidelines of the Societas Via Romana forum. The following quote is from the guidelines themselves (to read them, click here).

Ædiles wrote:§ Use common sense when posting. Be aware that you always have two options: responding through the forum or to a member personally. The content of your message should determine which of these you choose.


While it isn't expressly forbidden, it is common courtesy not to do so unless you have permission from the sender. I advise you to keep private messages what they are, private. I trust you will be able to solve this matter with whomever sent you the private message in a civil manner.

Should you decide to post the aforementioned private message anyway, you post will be edited or removed and you will receive a warning.

In case you have any more questions or remarks, feel free to PM me.

Vale bene,

Tiberius Dionysius Draco


First of all, it's good to know that it is not expressly forbidden to do what I said I would do with private messages sent to me, so it remains a question of common sense.

Now, Draco goes on to say something that doesn't seem to be in the guidelines either, but which is undoubtedly in perfect line with that common sense request in any case, which is that it is common courtesy not to do so unless one has permission from the sender. I can obviously see this and agree completely. Bringing to the public fore a message that the author has chosen to send privately and in confidence, and to do so against the authour's expectations would be absolutely unacceptable. That is precisely why, when one of the sodales (I used a generic plural, but it was only one in fact) sent privately to me a totally unwanted tirade, I did actually not transfer it to the public arena nor did I even publicise his name. I would have never done so, and can surely not do it anymore as I just deleted it half-read. I do have common sense.

But once I have warned that I have a right to protect my privacy from stalking and that as a result I have determined to transfer to the public fore any further messages sent to me privately, it follows that any person henceforth deciding to write to me privately, as Draco has done, for instance, or any other one, is accepting that set condition (as they could now just choose not to write to me at all or do it through a public channel). Common sense therefore, in these circumstances, makes it absolutely clear that sodales (certainly those who have been participating in these ridiculous discussions) who know what I have publicly announced I would do with messages sent to me privately, if they do go on to write to me privately, are in fact giving their consent to my publicising their messages. This is perfect logic and absolutely common sense.

The "aforementioned message" therefore, sent before my public warning, will never be disclosed (it can't now as it's deleted), but your own, my cherished Draco, and all others received after my public statement of intentions, are sent and received in the knowledge, and therefore acceptance, that they will be not considered private by me. In fact, to make things even more clear, where I said "messages sent privately to me will be either deleted unread or copied and pasted onto this public board and discussed here" I now say "messages sent privately to me by anyone having intervened in the collegia names discussion will be automatically copied and pasted onto this public board". All are warned, so writing to me privately implies acceptance of this condition. Please follow the guidelines and do use common sense when posting.

Of course, I have not so far, and will not either in any forseeable future, write to any sodalis in private.

Now, how much longer is all this nonsense going to go on for? Can we use our time in a better way? Good I'm going on holiday tomorrow in any case! Goodness! Whoever asked me to suggest a few improvements to your Latin!

Curate ut valeatis!
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:39 pm

Salve Avite,

To cut this entire discussion short: most of the Latin used on and around SVR as far as the organisation itself is concerned, comes from Florus (not a member anymore), Lupus and me (both of us are somewhat inactive). Former is a professor who teaches Latin in Poland and Lupus is close to graduating as a latinist. I haven't had Latin at college level, but I am also a linguist. But as you can see, we have made our share of mistakes and I agree that some things will probably not sound or come across as they should. When we started out, Florus was actually mainly teaching Chinese, and Lupus was in his bachelor years.

But, we do try to make an attempt at correctness. I guess name-changes will be taken into consideration, but you also have to face the fact that people are slow to change, and so are organisations. Back when I was a member of Nova Roma, it frustrated me beyond measure that people did not only want to remain ignorant, they also copied each other's mistakes. How many times I had to read about the dreadful 'Curatrix sermonem' while if anything it should at least have been 'Curatrix sermonis', I cannot say, but I've always found this lack of respect for Latin to be one of the main reasons why I thought little of NR's intellectual accomplishments. So, having good Latin was one of the main aims when we decided to found SVR in 2001 (yes, I'm one of the dinosaurs who founded this). I've read some of your suggestions and they sound ok to me. I think it's just that your big entrée and the manner in which you said it, offended our senior members.

I think by now every member here has demonstrated they are willing to learn. We learn, we teach, and the teacher who is not also a student, is probably a very bad teacher. So: I find your suggestions welcome, but please don't expect everything to be turned upside down in a matter of days. Sometimes it takes quite some time here for something to change. For example, Publius Dionysius Mus and I wanted to change the way names were formed in SVR, but vestiges of the old system are still visible on the site (at least, last time I checked), much to my dismay. But we've come a long way already down a rocky road, having lost the website almost two times, members falling out and coming in, etc. Maintaining an online community based on voluntary work isn't easy. You clearly see that there is a lot that could be done: then I suggest that you run for a position in SVR's administration come December, and help getting it done.

Cura ut valeas!
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'Nother Guideline

Postby Aldus Marius on Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:34 am

I suppose I could throw in one more clause from the Forum guidelines; this one's for administrators...

A. RULES FOR THE ADMINISTRATORS

§ Problems with list members should be handled off-board and kept private.


* shrugs *

I now recuse myself from this matter.

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Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:59 am

Avitus Romanis optimis suís S·P·D

On what I hope will be my last message before going away this evening for more than a month, I would like to apologise once more for an indeed most unfortunate entrée, thank Draco for his absolutely sensible latest message (except that I would prefer to remain an indepenent advisor, if anything, rather than being in administration, here just as I do elsewhere, plus I'd have little chance of being elected, in any case, given all this mess), and remind Aldus that my decision on messages sent privately to me remains firm (the rule quoted is for the attention of administrators and for the benefit of the members to be reprimanded, not the other way around, so if the member to be reprimanded renounces this right, as I do, to have it done with discretion, it's common sense to accept that), but I hope one day he will still be able to consider me a friend.

Curate ut valeatis!
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:39 pm

Have an enjoyable holiday, Avite. Where are you going?
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For once...

Postby Aldus Marius on Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:01 am

Salvete omnes...

Scripsit Avitus:


> Now, how much longer is all this nonsense going to go on for? Can we use our time in a better way?


For once I find myself agreeing with him. He's gone away for a month; I think the rest of us could use some cool-down time. Aulus Gratius should be able to return to new threads, not old feuds. Therefore I am locking this topic. (I'd delete the benighted thing, except that it stands as such a shining example of what we don't want in the SVR's discussion atmosphere.)

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