Roman Mottos, Slogans, and similar things

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Roman Mottos, Slogans, and similar things

Postby Anonymous on Sat Sep 06, 2003 3:11 pm

Did the Romans have any mottos, slogans, battle cries, and similar things? For example, what does S.P.Q.R mean in Latin?
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Meaning of S.P.Q.R

Postby Tiberius Dionysius Draco on Sat Sep 06, 2003 3:50 pm

Salve Flave,

SPQR means Senatus Populusque Romanus (Senate and nation of Rome). Currently, I can't think of any battle cries that were used by the Roman army. But this sounds more like a question for Collegium Militarium.

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:33 am

Salvete

Em perhaps for a battle cry, in one sense, was when the chosen battle leader, Dux ad bellam according to Servius Honoratius, went to the temple of Mars and announced to Rome his imminent departure by crying out MARS VIGILA!


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Roman Mottos

Postby C.AeliusEricius on Thu Sep 25, 2003 3:52 am

Okay, admittedly some of these are probably more Victorian British passed off as ancinet, or at least taken from Roman texts and put forward as mottos, but that would still be "Roman Mottos", eh? I'm neither embracing nor eschewing the mottos here given...

ROMA CAPUT MUNDI

DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MUNDI

SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI

SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS

FIT VIA VI [my high school Latin teacher wrote that in my yearbook... Halford McLaren, first in Ancient Languages at Cambridge 19__]

ALEA IACTA EST

ROMANI ITE DOMUM [oops]

ERRARE HUMANUM EST

TEMPUS FUGIT

FORSAN ET HAEC OLIM MEMINISSE IUVABIT

HANNIBAL AD PORTUS

GRADUS AD PANASSUM

FESTINA LENTE

VAE VICTIS

CASTIGAT RIDENDO MORES

satis et sapis superque

... and there are bound to be more or 'em.

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Re: Roman Mottos

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:34 am

Salvete,

Actually I wonder in how far the Romans themselves knew these little mottos and proverbs. Like Ericius remarks, some of them are from later times, and others were definitely not famous in the time they were written down or spoken. It also raises the question if they really needed a national motto and if they perceived themselves as a nation. The abstractum "nation" was invented in the 17th-18th century. Before that a country was simply the area ruled by a monarch (perhaps with the exception of Switzerland).

Shameless plug: at the collegium Historicum, you can find an essay by me on this nationhood question.

However, back to the topic at hand...

C.AeliusEricius wrote:DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MUNDI


You mean "mori" instead of "mundi" (as in "it is sweet and honourable to die for one's country").

ALEA IACTA EST

C.AeliusEricius wrote:ROMANI ITE DOMUM [oops]


Hahaha, I didn't know that one. Better not to spread anti-Roman propaganda Erici ;) (for the not-so-latinate among us, this phrase means "Romans go home!").

C.AeliusEricius wrote:HANNIBAL AD PORTUS


Should be "ad portas" instead of "portus".

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Mottos

Postby C.AeliusEricius on Thu Sep 25, 2003 2:38 pm

Okay, this thing is still a bit arcane for me. I had hoped to have the text there so I could lace my replies into your replies, but I see nothing here.

Dulce et cetera, that was a typo. Should be Mori.
Typo on the Cartaginian, I was thinking nautical again.
The other one, I guess you didn't see M. Python's Life of Brian. You would Love the Latin lesson this comes from!

"a national motto"? Sorry, I did not read that in the original.
"Did the Romans have any mottos, slogans, battle cries, and similar things?"
Mottos as in pithy lines to apply here an there... that was how I took it. So far as the ancients plyaing with such, well, they did seem to throw around quotes, whether they cited them or not. Homer certainly got a lot of mileage. Another saying was
QUONDOQUE BONUS DORMITAT HOMERUS.

So, did the Romans use quotes?

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another one

Postby C.AeliusEricius on Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:27 pm

An oft used inscription found on a number of artifacts... I just found it

UTERE FELIX


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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:48 am

Salvete Erici et omnes

The Romans certainly quoted and paraphased a good deal. They had many adages, old saws, and the like. "Never carry firewood into a forest" Livy is filled with such things. Pliny - I posted his farmers' adages, those were quotes he took from earlier writers but speaks of them as adages. But mottoes? I am not sure what distinguishes a motto. Perhaps we should look at Roman coins.

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Postby Tiberius Dionysius Draco on Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:20 pm

Salvete,

would "Dulce et deorum pro patriam mori" count as a motto?

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Re. Dulce et...

Postby C.AeliusEricius on Wed Oct 15, 2003 2:30 am

I think it does.

[in fact I tried to list it, but my typing got in the way]

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Postby Curio Agelastus on Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:02 pm

Salvete,

"Dulce et decorum pro patria mori" could qualify as a Latin phrase, but I don't think it would as a Roman one, since it was far more popular during Victorian and WWI eras than in antiquity, to the best of my knowledge.

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Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Oct 18, 2003 6:40 pm

The "Dulce et decorum..." was often used ironically in WWI and afterwards, I believe first used this way by one of the War Poets. I think it's Sassoon but I could be wrong.

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War Cries?

Postby Aldus Marius on Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:43 pm

Pardon me, mates...[nudges the 'dulce' faction aside] [g]

...For some reason I'd got it in my head that the Legions were in the habit of hollering something about their patron Deities as they surged towards the enemy. Shouts along the lines of 'VENUS VICTRIX!!!' and the like. I don't know where I got this idea, and it may be entirely a fictional device...but it's something that at least could have happened, and maybe now that I'm thinking about it I'll find something classical that shows it did.

OTOH, there is definitely a passage in Tacitus regarding the Legions' adoption of a barbarian war-cry known as the barritus. To do one, you hoot and roar into the hollow of your shield at increasing volume and frequency. The effect is properly terrifying even from barbari--but when executed by a known-to-be-thoroughly-Civilized army likethe Romans, cognitive dissonance must have added handsomely to the effect!

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