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SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+381|2440
We have a thread about World War 2. Why not a thread about Roman history? Roman History is a more high brow part of history to follow because it wasn't as big on the History Channel and not everyone could ask their grand dad about it. As for me? I enjoy comparisons between the Late Roman Republic and the U.S.

So let's begin. Favorite Roman? Mine? Sulla.
uziq
Member
+326|2173
why sulla?

i, obviously, like juvenal (i.e. roman uzique) and virgil (of the eclogues/georgics, especially).

in terms of actual roman history, the whole julio-claudian saga is great. claudius, nero, caligula, tiberius, etc. not to mention the wonderful shit-stirring ladies.

Last edited by uziq (2020-05-29 14:07:54)

SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+381|2440

uziq wrote:

why sulla?

i, obviously, like juvenal (i.e. roman uzique) and virgil (of the eclogues/georgics, especially).

in terms of actual roman history, the whole julio-claudian saga is great. claudius, nero, caligula, tiberius, etc. not to mention the wonderful shit-stirring ladies.
I like Sulla because even though he was from the conservative party in Rome, he was serious about maintaining the Republic even if he broke it in some ways. He was in fact the first Roman general to march on Rome and did it twice. And he did lead some unparalleled political purges the second time around. But he voluntarily gave up the dictatorship and allowed the political process to return to normal when he instead could have kept control of it like Julius Caesar did. I see some parallels between Sulla and Trump though that of course is an insult to the former. Sulla was the first one to break a lot of political norms and in the future Pompey often argued that "If Sulla could do it, why can't I?" I foresee American politicians in the future especially younger ones making the same argument that "If Trump could do it, why can't I?" Also my inner hipster likes to test pop history nerds to see if they know who Sulla is. You can't tell me your favorite Roman is Caesar if you don't know the guy who signed his death warrant at one point is.

Did you read a lot of Virgil, Cicero, and the Catos? I didn't. I followed mostly the political/military history of it. The only people who should be making poetry is the Sapphos of the world. I did read Plutarch's Parallel Lives.
DesertFox-
The very model of a modern major general
+744|5405|United States of America
One of the first podcasts I subscribed to is a history of Rome that I still intend to listen to, having only gotten through a couple episodes before other things took precedence. I do enjoy reading about Rome and finding the longest sequence of sentences without the word "murder", though.
uziq
Member
+326|2173

SuperJail Warden wrote:

uziq wrote:

why sulla?

i, obviously, like juvenal (i.e. roman uzique) and virgil (of the eclogues/georgics, especially).

in terms of actual roman history, the whole julio-claudian saga is great. claudius, nero, caligula, tiberius, etc. not to mention the wonderful shit-stirring ladies.
I like Sulla because even though he was from the conservative party in Rome, he was serious about maintaining the Republic even if he broke it in some ways. He was in fact the first Roman general to march on Rome and did it twice. And he did lead some unparalleled political purges the second time around. But he voluntarily gave up the dictatorship and allowed the political process to return to normal when he instead could have kept control of it like Julius Caesar did. I see some parallels between Sulla and Trump though that of course is an insult to the former. Sulla was the first one to break a lot of political norms and in the future Pompey often argued that "If Sulla could do it, why can't I?" I foresee American politicians in the future especially younger ones making the same argument that "If Trump could do it, why can't I?" Also my inner hipster likes to test pop history nerds to see if they know who Sulla is. You can't tell me your favorite Roman is Caesar if you don't know the guy who signed his death warrant at one point is.

Did you read a lot of Virgil, Cicero, and the Catos? I didn't. I followed mostly the political/military history of it. The only people who should be making poetry is the Sapphos of the world. I did read Plutarch's Parallel Lives.
good answer.

you don't read any roman literature on lit degrees, normally. it might get covered in a classics or ancient history degree. even virgil and later italian-demotic writers like boccaccio are pretty niche choices. homer is covered as a 'start point' but the romans are sort of skipped over as belonging to antiquity and not as directly relevant to 'english' or whatever. definitely don't read any rhetoricians/orators or anything like that.
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+381|2440

uziq wrote:

SuperJail Warden wrote:

uziq wrote:

why sulla?

i, obviously, like juvenal (i.e. roman uzique) and virgil (of the eclogues/georgics, especially).

in terms of actual roman history, the whole julio-claudian saga is great. claudius, nero, caligula, tiberius, etc. not to mention the wonderful shit-stirring ladies.
I like Sulla because even though he was from the conservative party in Rome, he was serious about maintaining the Republic even if he broke it in some ways. He was in fact the first Roman general to march on Rome and did it twice. And he did lead some unparalleled political purges the second time around. But he voluntarily gave up the dictatorship and allowed the political process to return to normal when he instead could have kept control of it like Julius Caesar did. I see some parallels between Sulla and Trump though that of course is an insult to the former. Sulla was the first one to break a lot of political norms and in the future Pompey often argued that "If Sulla could do it, why can't I?" I foresee American politicians in the future especially younger ones making the same argument that "If Trump could do it, why can't I?" Also my inner hipster likes to test pop history nerds to see if they know who Sulla is. You can't tell me your favorite Roman is Caesar if you don't know the guy who signed his death warrant at one point is.

Did you read a lot of Virgil, Cicero, and the Catos? I didn't. I followed mostly the political/military history of it. The only people who should be making poetry is the Sapphos of the world. I did read Plutarch's Parallel Lives.
good answer.

you don't read any roman literature on lit degrees, normally. it might get covered in a classics or ancient history degree. even virgil and later italian-demotic writers like boccaccio are pretty niche choices. homer is covered as a 'start point' but the romans are sort of skipped over as belonging to antiquity and not as directly relevant to 'english' or whatever. definitely don't read any rhetoricians/orators or anything like that.
Thinking it over, it probably is weird that English speaking right wingers make so many allusions to Roman history when their political and cultural history has almost no links to Roman history.

I mean: The Anglo-Saxons wiped out what was left of Roman Britain and installed their own leadership, tradition, and culture. Centuries later some Vikings who became French installed their own. Under the reign of Henry VIII, England broke links with the Catholic Church in Rome, the organization with the most direct link to Roman tradition. From there Roman history is completely divorced from Anglo history until the founding fathers of the United States took some of the Roman ideas they got secondhand through the French and then only just a bit.

What is your favorite part of history anyway?
KEN-JENNINGS
I am all that is MOD!
+2,873|5352|949

mac do you listen to the Fall of Rome podcast? The host also does the Tides of History podcast. Both very solid. The Fall of Rome podcast is great because he analyzes the decline through reduced economy, trade, disintegrating institutions, etc. Very informative. Guy has a PhD in History and genuinely loves talking about it. I got introduced to it because the host is/was at one point an MMA journalist as well.
Larssen
Member
+35|608
The era of the five good emperors has my vote. Perhaps 'boring' to some, but after almost 200 years of non-stop drama, insanity and rampant violence their reign was a welcome respite. Imo they also contend to be the most intelligent & succesful rulers in the history of rome, with many wise  lessons on politics, society, economy and just living. Particularly antoninus pius and marcus aurelius. Also diocletian as honourable mention. The legendary reputations of Caesar and Augustus are of course also not undeserved, but their histories are well-known.

Other favourites of mine in roman history that are more gung-ho are the short life of Germanicus and of course the invasion of Hannibal. The latter has always fascinated me, how he pulled all the shit he did was nothing short of incredible.
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+381|2440

KEN-JENNINGS wrote:

mac do you listen to the Fall of Rome podcast? The host also does the Tides of History podcast. Both very solid. The Fall of Rome podcast is great because he analyzes the decline through reduced economy, trade, disintegrating institutions, etc. Very informative. Guy has a PhD in History and genuinely loves talking about it. I got introduced to it because the host is/was at one point an MMA journalist as well.
No I don't. I am not a big fan of that kind of learning and am pretty skeptical. Pod cast are performance art? I rather read.
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+381|2440

Larssen wrote:

The era of the five good emperors has my vote. Perhaps 'boring' to some, but after almost 200 years of non-stop drama, insanity and rampant violence their reign was a welcome respite. Imo they also contend to be the most intelligent & succesful rulers in the history of rome, with many wise  lessons on politics, society, economy and just living. Particularly antoninus pius and marcus aurelius. Also diocletian as honourable mention. The legendary reputations of Caesar and Augustus are of course also not undeserved, but their histories are well-known.

Other favourites of mine in roman history that are more gung-ho are the short life of Germanicus and of course the invasion of Hannibal. The latter has always fascinated me, how he pulled all the shit he did was nothing short of incredible.
I have a copy of marcus aurelius's meditations but never read it. It was assigned in college and I completely skipped it. Stoicism? Rationalism and suppressing emotion? I am probably misunderstanding the whole thing but it doesn't sound for me anyway.
uziq
Member
+326|2173
boethius is better. his stoicism is merged with church scholasticism. you’ll dig it. there’s something a little fake and put on about marcus aurelius in comparison. boethius is full of whining about being treated poorly by theodoric or whatever goth king was wringing the romans’ necks at the time. it’s more honest. a lot like montaigne, later on.

i don’t have a favourite period of history. i like certain types of history writing and historical analysis, but not a favourite period. that sort of thing always struck me as a question for those history undergrads who took the subject because they were LARPers or Total War fans. the costumes and re-enactment brigade. i’m not interested in history like that. it’s entirely right i did a literature degree.
Larssen
Member
+35|608
Eh, there's some periods of history thar draw my attention more than others. Save from a few specific periods the middle ages are a fucking slog for one because of how domineering christianity was in everything, from daily life to societal rule. The 'dark ages' weren't much fun either for similar reasons and a lack of sources.
uziq
Member
+326|2173
have you read any of the church fathers? medieval theology and logic are plenty interesting. you’ll need a grounding in aristotle though. more episteme then you can shake a dictionary at !!!
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+381|2440
Did you guys ever read about the Great Jewish revolt against the Romans? The Romans destroyed the Second Temple but maybe someday we will get our third temple.
uziq
Member
+326|2173
josephus is one of the great jewish historians of the period. he was a total roman shill, too. you should look him up. a definite role-model.
Larssen
Member
+35|608

uziq wrote:

have you read any of the church fathers? medieval theology and logic are plenty interesting. you’ll need a grounding in aristotle though. more episteme then you can shake a dictionary at !!!
Thomas aquinas mostly. I mustve read a few others but too long ago to remember anything else. Aquinas was cool.
uziq
Member
+326|2173
makes sense. i got really into augustine in grad school. he’s definitely
more for the lit crowd. i only really encountered aquinas in law/jurisprudence contexts.
Larssen
Member
+35|608
The youtuber Historia Civilis also makes pretty good videos which I can recommend. I think he just got done with the life of Julius Caesar, check out his channel.

SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+381|2440

Larssen wrote:

The youtuber Historia Civilis also makes pretty good videos which I can recommend. I think he just got done with the life of Julius Caesar, check out his channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-VjCLR5L-c
Oh my goodness I love that YouTube channel. Highly recommend

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