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If you could bring something back, what would it be?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:35 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco

If you could bring back a Roman habit, which one would it be? It can be something very simple (e.g. wearing togae) or something very complex (slavery 8))... I'm listening.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:53 pm
by Quintus Aurelius Orcus
Salve Draco

I would want to bring back the roman attitude towards life and religion. Their attitude is better than the ones we got today.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:57 pm
by Quintus Pomponius Atticus
Based on the things I'm reading right now, Cicero's ideal of the "vir bonus et orator perfectus" (the good man and accomplished orator) immediately comes to my mind, a lofty ideal, comprising the thought that culture is “a study of perfection” - as Matthew Arnold called it - and the meticulous attention to the way we express ourselves. There are few journalists, politicians, writers etc. today who have a distinct, consistent, brilliant style as e.g. Cicero and Tacitus had. The ideal of "perfecting" oneself morally on the other hand appears to be largely outmoded as well, except in the economic sphere, which constantly pushes us to achieve more efficiency, flexibility etc.


Q. Pomponius Atticus

If you could bring something back, what would it be?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:03 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete amici -

I would like to bring back the notion of genius - no, not the modern meaning of an exclusive attribute that marks someone as superior, but rather the notion of a person's inborn uniqueness. If odd or troubled kids grew up thinking, "Oh, I've been set a task by Nature, it's my project: to discover and realize my own value," there might be less need for all that Prozac in later years. A person's genius, his ingenium suum, would be a unity where some of us see only our inner discord.

Moderns can be over-dualized; we may fume and torture ourselves because we don't measure up to what we want, and may despair about the selves that we're stuck with. Having a kind of built-in numen that we can use to validate ourselves as a package seems to me a healthy, solid bit of mysticism.

Sorry to be so long-winded!

Valete omnes.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:48 am
by Q Valerius
The client and patron system is missed dearly.

"Discipline Improves Morale!"

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:01 pm
by Aldus Marius
Salvete, amici Romani!

I would like to see the revival of disciplina, in the wide, wide Roman sense, at all levels of what we speciously term "mass popular culture".

<-- serious rant deleted -->

In fide (but not always very moderate himself),

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:12 pm
by Helena Iulia

While the best of entertainment, these days, is very good, much of it is mind-numbingly boring. Pre-mass media, people either viewed live entertainment or had to supply their own diversions. While studying Catullus, I realized that poetry was a Roman version of performance art and that poets, writers, politicians and so on were valued dinner guests largely because of their ability to entertain and to have intelligent conversation (even, or especially) when insulting someone (at which the Romans were especially good!). Therefore, I wish to bring back the idea that those engaged in public discourse (politicians/entertainers/talking heads of whatever sort) must throw away the prepared speeches, fire the speech writers and hone their rhetorical skills. As a corollary, those of us who live in the subura, rather than on the Palatine, also must come up to the mark. We must be intelligent analysists of the news of the day so that when we hit the local taberna we have more to discuss than last night's episode of "who watches this nonsense?"

See you at the Taberna, I hear there will be a poetry slam tonight.

*pricks ears*

PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:03 pm
by Aldus Marius
What time??? >({|8-)

In amicitia,

-- Marius. (who firmly believes that the message should be longer than the .sig block.)

(And didn't make it this time...)

Client and Patron

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:31 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salve, Valerii Scerio;

I'm hoping you might expand on your desire to bring back the client and patron system.

I fear that I haven't a good understanding of what the patron and client system was (it is another one of the egregious holes in my self-given study of Rome). I have the impression that the "great men" of the Republic had clients - protegees and supporters and subordinates and beggers-of-boons who looked to them for support, prestige, money and guidance. But that vague picture is all I understand of it. Any further words from you - or any else in the forum - would be appreciated.


Q Valerius Scerio wrote:The client and patron system is missed dearly.

Re Patron and Client

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:13 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salve qui has litteras legas:

I've since read up on Patron & Client - interesting - not sure how I managed to get by without knowledge of its legal, social and institutional nature in the Republic (and beyond).

Also, having read now Magister Scerio's "Masterfully Coherent Plan", I conclude that it is the Mentor/Disciple relationship that he most values from the institution of Clientela.

Question answered.

Valete bene.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:29 am
by Q Valerius
Tu quoque salve, soci Valeri.

You are not entirely accurate on what I value, secunde Valeri. It's far beyond a master teaching his skill to his disciple. It's about representation, when the big dogs let the little pups be heard. If a client of mine, not in the Senate, and therefore not bearing a lot of weight, has this great idea, he comes to me, and I transform it into something for the Senate. I also have the capability - not to say that others don't, because in this age, don't we all? - to allow certain artistic talents to flourish and rise.

In the real life, I wish I had a patron to support me as I learn my trade, and thus bearing himself my dedication when the work is complete. Who has money to allow me to fully work with the creative processes if they like what I do and see talent in it? So much time is wasted on just trying to get by, that many don't have the leisure (there's a reason that school was called ludi, and a place of learning schola) to polish what I've done.

That was the most beneficial thing the Patron/Client relationship had to offer society.


PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:26 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete, amici Romani,

All of which is basically what a mentor does. I do not think noster Iohannes means "mentorship" in strictly the educational sense. Many corporations have people called "mentors" whose calling it is to guide promising newer employees through their careers. The mentor may provide instruction, yes...but he is also there to make opportunities available to his charges, or to alert them to such opportunities as already exist; to smooth over obstacles; and to bring a junior's excellence to the attention of the higher-ups.

I think this is the closest thing to Roman-style patronage we have in the developed world; I wish it were a lot more widespread; and I think a voluntary version of it could work well for the SVR.

In fide,

Patron and Client

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:24 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete et Valerii Scerio et Alde Marii Magistri -

I see your notion in fuller dimensions now - and appreciate the tutelage. From what you've both said, it seems a modern patron could provide: Spcecific resources not available to the client, working support and faith in the client, lore and know-how regarding the politics of the endeavor, business and influence connections, public and private promotion of the endeavor, representation of the client in legal matters, representation of the client in unofficial or private areas, assistance re work opportunities, re advancement opportunities, help with basic bed & board issues, etc. It's quite a list, but it all points toward freedom for the client to do his or her best.

I apologize if this has gone a bit off topic, verum gratias ago vobis.

Valete bene.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:27 am
by Gaius Iulius Tabernarius
The Epicurean concept that pleasure is good, as apposed to the judo-Christian notion that it is sinful.

I think that any rational person can strike a balance between enjoying life and devolving into hedonism.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:38 pm
by Marcus Tullius Ioannes
I would bring back the attitude of religious tolerance which seems to have existed in the Empire (except in Judea) before the advent of Christianity. The notion a particular god is the only god, and that all must believe in a particular god, in a particular way, appears to have been absent for the most part. That notion has caused, and still causes, great harm to humankind. It is strange, therefore, that monotheism has traditionally been regarded as the most sophisticated form of religious belief.

I understand that worship of the emperor and Rome itself was encouraged if not required, but this requirement seems to have been a requirement that certain forms or rituals be observed, and not a requirement that one internally believe certain things, as one must believe in Christ or Allah, for example. This of course brings up the question whether ritual is a necessary part of religious belief, and whether one can truly engage in the ritual without belief, but that would seem to be a topic for another forum.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:32 pm
by L. Livia Plauta
Salve Ciceroniani,
I agree with you 100%.
But one shouldn't forget that a lot of the history of the past centuries is about the attempt to bring back religious tolerance, and good progress has been made, at least in Europe.
It is true, though, that monotheism is still regarded as the most sophisticated form of religious belief, and that anyone trying to challenge this axiom is often subject to violent attacks.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:44 am
by Gaius Iulius Tabernarius
I concur ciceronianus and L. Livia Plauta, the acknowledgment of the validity of different faiths is not only more advanced than the status quo but absolutely vital to the future of humanity.

We are getting close in some areas but we are far from acceptance, at best we are close to ending overt hostility and that is a start.

Personally I think if god or gods do exist, that they care more about us living well than they do having us worship them. So really as long as people are rational and virtuous regardless of belief, they should be fine.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:36 pm
by Decima Decia Melania
Just my humble opinion, but I would love to see an emphasis on civic duty and participation in voting and legislature again. I take issue with people today who blow off involvement with excuses such as, "my vote doesn't count."

My philosophy: If ya' didn't vote, you don't have any right to complain.

'Scuze me for ranting! :oops:

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:20 am
by Marcus Lupinius Paulus
Salve Malania,

I used to believe that too, that if you did not vote, you have no right to complain. But not anymore.

If I went into a restaurant and was given a choice between a plate full of excrement and a plate full of vomit, I would have the right to trow both plates away and say I deserve better. In my view, both our US Presidential candidates fall into these categories, and so come November, I plan on staying home. Yes, I suppose I could go and vote for a no hope third party candidate like Alan Keyes or Bob Barr. But such an act would be no more than symbolic, and no one would see it or even care. So why waste the time?


The Rest of the Story?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:30 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete omnes!

Vae, mi Lupini, but don't neglect the down-ballot races. On the local, judicial, state and even Congressional levels one vote very definitely makes a difference; and in those offices there are some good and decent folk doing difficult work, mostly unappreciated by those who would toss all politicians into the same midden-heap.

Not running for anything, >({|;-)