Romanitas Rising

Salvete, new amici; tell us a bit about yourselves! But this is no ordinary Intro forum; you will learn quite a bit about the rest of us too. >({|:-)

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Postby Marcus Tullius Ioannes on Sun May 11, 2008 3:44 pm

I have always been fascinated by Roman history. But what induced me to seek out and find SVR, and want to say "civis romanus sum" were two things, primarily.

First, an interest in stoicism. Long ago, as a student of philosophy, I studied utilitarianism, pragmatism, and analytic philosophy, but I found nothing in them which taught me anything about the art of living. Stoicism has, and the proponents of stoicism who speak to me most clearly are the Roman stoics, primarily Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Stoicism seems to have appealed to what may be called, generally speaking, the Roman character, and so the Roman character appealed to me.

Second, a revolt, as it were, against my generation's fascination with the East, and against the view that there is nothing of value to be learned from the history of the West, and Europe in particular (dead white people in even more particular).

I think Rome at its best allowed for, and actually promoted through the Pax Romana, for example, the expansion of philosophical thought, knowledge and tolerance of different peoples, religions and cultures, and the possibility of improvement at least for those residing within the Empire. Spaniards and africans, as well as others from outside Italy, were among the greatest of the emperors. And although Greek and Roman culture were paramount, the empire managed to assimilate, tolerate, and even take on certain of the characteristics of other cultures with which it came into contact.

The respect of Rome for law, justice, fairness, at least in the abstract, is for me probably the most attractive facet of the Roman Way. Like my cousin Valerius Claudius Iohanes, I have always had a certain sympathy for and admiration of Pontius Pilatus (a sneaky admiration in my case, the product of too many years in Catholic schools and as an altar boy). Put yourself in his place--confronted with what he likely felt was inexplicable religious fanaticism on all sides, charged to keep the peace, trying not to implicate Rome too deeply as a proponent of any particular faction, he acted quite cleverly, and most of all fairly, according to the cruel standards of the time.

So, the Western tradition for me is really not that bad at all, and in ancient Rome created a society and culture which measures well against any other in human history of which I am aware.
Philosophia est ars vitae
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I been sayin'...

Postby Aldus Marius on Sun May 11, 2008 7:07 pm

Salve, mi Tulli!

So true, all of it. As a cultural anthropologist by training, I especially identify with your observations about Roman multiculturalism--not something one would normally associate with world conquest. The assimilation of Roman ways by natives was nothing new; but it also worked in reverse. Rome took Her wisdom wherever She found it, even from Greeks and Gauls and hybrid Spaniards like Aldus Marius. And the possibility of upward mobility for the "conquered" was a first; thirty years in the Auxilia would net citizenship for a soldier, a place in the Legions for his sons, and maybe a place in the Curia for his grandsons. That I've seen, the admission of new elements into a society has not been done so well at any time since...witness the immigration debates (most of 'em messy) in so many nations today.

In short, I'll say here what I first wrote for my humble Page, the Roman Outpost: "... in all of history, with all of its flaws, this is as together as we ever got."

(And now I'd better find a tent for this revival!) <bg>

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Postby Gaius Iulius Tabernarius on Sun May 11, 2008 10:33 pm

Well I guess for me it was a long progression. I started out with a healthy appreciation for my heritage, both Italian and American. My parents always talk about Italy and Rome, and growing up in America I sort of found myself firmly planted in western thought.

Also I live in Massachusetts so in addition to lots of early American history, fomenting my love of republican government and patriotism. I was also exposed to the super liberal element, and you could say I got more and more disillusioned with the bohemian culture as a whole, neo paganism, socialism, utopianism, anarchy, Gothicism, and all of the other flavors of rebellion against the status quo. So I got increasingly more conservative, traditionalistic, and philosophical, not to mention cynical! Basically one day it clicked, hey, I am a walking talking roman!

So I spend the last couple of years drowning myself in the classics and studying classical philosophy morals and traditions, and basically created my own hybrid new roman philosophy. Which more or less follows the roman virtues and the stoic tenants of moderation and resilience, while applying the Epicurean concepts of enjoying life to a reasonable extent. I also tacked on some other ideas here and there cynicism, pyrronian skepticism, and some others.

Basically I like the roman ideal, being civilized, educated, disciplined, and working hard in the day and coming home to good food and a hot bath at night.

I love logic, and I hate it when people get overly emotional and start over reacting... I used to be like that, so I guess its like a former smoker getting annoyed when people light up.
"O Tempora! O Mores!!" Cicero
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Postby Decima Decia Melania on Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:55 pm

Salvete omnes!

I wish I knew of a single "a-ha" moment when I could say that I came to the Roman Realization.

Looking back, however, I can see that I must have been all along.

When I was a little girl and would play "dress up," you'd find me wrapped in a toga. I dressed my dolls in togas, too. I preferred to do math in Roman numerals. In history classes, I was most interested in all things Roman. Even at Christmas time, when they'd read the biblical nativity story, my mind wandered to thoughts of Rome at the first verse of Luke 2: "Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth."

Having never been formally introduced to Latin, I had to find out if "Romani ite domum" really was the correct translation after I'd watched "The Life of Brian." Thus began my Latin studies.

Along with this, I've had a passion for the law. Paired with the love of Latin, well, it was natural for me to have a career in the law.

All this, and I never knew until recently that there was a place to fully embrace our Romanitas.

... and that's how I came to be here and to declare that I am a Roman.

Dum vivam, laeta ero.
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Re: Romanitas Rising

Postby UrsusofUNRV on Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:59 am

I've enjoyed classical history and classical mythology since a little child. It was always a side concern, though, to whatever I was doing at the moment.

After college, however, the world looked a little different to me. I decided that in the quest to pursue meaning and identity, the classical world was not the end, but it was a good beginning.
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