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Salvete omnes!
#1
Hi all Smile lol: ) I will be able to afford reenacting... or maybe if I get a nice stipend while still in school! 8)

Anyway, I really enjoy talking ancient history and archaeology, so I look forward to having some cool discussions on here.

Cheers--
"...atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."

????? ???? ?\' ?????...(J. Feicht)
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#2
Hi Josh!
Glad we could entice you to give up 'lurking'! Big Grin
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#3
Lurking may have been a tactical choice! :lol:

Welcome! What period are you most interested in? I see the Roman Statue in the background but can't make out who it is. Where was the picture taken?
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#4
Please don't make me choose! haha... I am really fascinated by all sorts of different facets and periods of the Classical world. When it comes to Rome though, I suppose if I had to pick a time period, it would be a tie between the late Republic and the early Principate. My primary research interest though is actually the interplay between Rome and the "indigenous peoples" of the rest of Europe. I really get a sort of nerd-rush ( Big Grin ) when I start reading and thinking about how most of our ancestors until fairly recently all lived a sort of "tribal existence", and find it interesting how much the experience in Europe in the Iron Age actually sort of mirrors what happened a millennium and a half later in the New World. In the two time periods I specified above, there was a ton of this sort of interplay between "civilization" and "the natives" going on; there was obviously contact going back centuries (trade since time immemorial, Gauls sacking Rome, etc), but after the 2nd Punic War, things really started rolling!

The funny thing is, I am actually sort of a pacifist at heart, and yet I am very interested in the Roman army. Part of it certainly has to do with the "barbarian" connection for sure (whether the enemies Rome faced, or the "friends" who served in her armies as auxilia). Also, perhaps there is for me, at least for war in its ancient idiom, an element of Pindar's famous line: "????? ???????? ???????;" I would never in a million years want to have to actually go after someone with a sword/spear, but pretending is different Smile Plus I am definitely interested in the ancient psychological aspect of it, too, not to mention the "material culture" angle of what the soldiers wore into battle, what it says about their societies, etc; as I said, I am interested in many different aspects of the ancient world!

Anyway, as for your other question... the emperor in my photo is Trajan. The picture was taken (by me... Smile D Only hard part will be applying to grad school from there, but it seems most things can be done online these days so I should be okay...

Anyway thanks for the warm welcome to the site, guys 8)
"...atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."

????? ???? ?\' ?????...(J. Feicht)
Reply
#5
Quote:Anyway, as for your other question... the emperor in my photo is Trajan. The picture was taken (by me... Smile ) in the Limesmuseum in Aalen, Germany
I knew that! I have a picture of my wife being a bit more naughty with that statue... :oops:
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#6
Haha! Big Trajan fan, is she? :lol:
"...atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."

????? ???? ?\' ?????...(J. Feicht)
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#7
The Statue of Athena is more my type :wink: ; but "questionable actions" would seem sacrilegious... sort of. Big Grin
Though I am also torn between her and Artemis! Artemis seems a little "prudish" though she might not appreciate it! :lol:
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#8
Statue-groping aside, both are really interesting goddesses once you delve into their respective mythologies a little bit. I've always thought Athena was particularly fascinating, being almost an intrinsically Greek (or perhaps, appropriately Athenian) combination of wisdom and martial prowess. She was a virgin warrior goddess, the goddess typically present at the Golden Age Greek hero's moment of glory, but she was also the patron of the arts, whose symbol was the wise owl! It seems likely that she (and Artemis too) were likely native "mother goddesses" whose roles changed after the turnover in Greek society (I pause at suggesting any classical notions of an "invasion" of Indo-Europeans, but something definitely changed), their mother goddess characteristics replaced with the banner of "noble chastity". So Athena especially was probably present from an early time, although it is interesting to me that the later Athenians needed to develop a whole new mythology around her when people started noticing that their city was allegedly founded by some shady guy from the mists of time called "Cecrops" (??????), and yet it was named "??????" (Ath-AY-nai). So perhaps she wasn't even the original local deity, even though the city is named after her (another hypothesis is that Athens wasn't actually named after her in the first place, but rather a folk-etymological connection was made at some point in the distant past between the two words ("??????" and "?????/???????/?????") because they looked so similar. Personally I don't buy this at all, but I guess I can't go back in time and "prove" it, either 8) )


Wooo! Talk about going off on a tangent. Anyway yeah Josh is my name, classics is my game. haha
"...atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."

????? ???? ?\' ?????...(J. Feicht)
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#9
Tangent it may be but it is a good one nonetheless! I had never heard of "Cecrops" before. Very interesting! I have looked into the respective mythologies and theories of each before and come away thoroughly "confuzzed". Without a definite answer on invasions and the like my brain keeps turning.
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#10
That's what makes it so interesting to me: the fact that we don't know most things for sure! The Cecrops figure is interesting, because originally he might have just been based off the distant memory of a man who lived long ago, whose exploits were eventually augmented through retelling just like all the heroes from the Ancient Greek world (Herakles, Atalanta, Jason, Achilleus, etc etc). The thing with Cecrops is, at some point they got the idea that he was like this snakey-shaped little guy, which is usually the kind of thing that heroes fight, not allow to found cities! Of course what we could also be seeing is the remnants of different threads of mythology from the oral period which survived into the age after the dawn of Greek literacy; there was no problem having 90,000 different stories about Poseidon throughout the Greek-speaking world when there was nobody who could write them all down and show how different they really were, but once people began to write, I think the differences became a little more glaring. Some cities were downright hostile towards certain gods, usually because of some element or another from the local mythology which caused the deity to strike at their local hero or something. This kind of thing was eventually molded into the various founding stories of the great cities of Ancient Greece. For instance in "the other" founding story of Athens, there is basically a contest between Athena and Poseidon over who would be the patron god of the city (it was named "Athens"... I wonder who was gonna win?!? :mrgreen: ). Poseidon hits a rock with his trident and water comes forth, but Athena gives the Athenians the olive tree with its multiple uses... and she won. Graves suggested that this was a remnant of the conflict between patriarchal and matriarchal religions; I could go either way on that idea, but it sounds to me just like a local rationale for why their city was named the way it was. But don't feel bad for the poor old god of the sea, there were lots of Poseidonia's Big Grin

But anyway these things are one of the aspects I find so interesting about classical mythology. They never had a written "doctrine" the way that Judeo-Christianity did, perhaps in large part because Greek religion was precisely so regional and diverse that aside from the names of the gods and their general set of attributes, there wasn't much in common between the different communities. Greek religion was as much a collection of stories as anything, and since they were so regionalized, attempting to peace together any sort of coherent chronological narrative is just foolhardy. But it makes it even more fascinating! Smile
"...atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."

????? ???? ?\' ?????...(J. Feicht)
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#11
Quote:Greek religion was as much a collection of stories as anything, and since they were so regionalized, attempting to peace together any sort of coherent chronological narrative is just foolhardy. But it makes it even more fascinating! Smile

I look at the "Bible" in the same manner. Genesis is supposed to have been copied off of the walls of Babylon and I have seen some really convincing documentaries regarding the "Great Flood" (also depicted in Babylonian art). Most religions follow the same lines for instance Shintoisim of the Japanese has some really interesting creation stories. The Egyptians as well have some rather descriptive creation stories too. :wink:
Craig Bellofatto

Going to college for Massage Therapy. So reading alot of Latin TerminologyWink

It is like a finger pointing to the moon. DON\'T concentrate on the finger or you miss all the heavenly glory before you!-Bruce Lee

Train easy; the fight is hard. Train hard; the fight is easy.- Thai Proverb
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#12
Oh don't get me wrong, there's a fair amount of that stuff in the Bible too. But the difference is, Greek popular religion never really got out of that "Old Testament" mindset, if you know what I mean. I don't mean to step on anyone's toes here, but even a lot of Biblical scholars will admit that the OT is the part of the Bible where most of the crazy/unbelievable stuff happens (consequently it is also apparently the only part of the Bible many modern Fundamentalist Christians even take a look at, but that's another topic :mrgreen: ). And that's what I mean when I make the comparison between the OT and Greek religion. Both spring from oral story telling traditions which were integral to the tribes which originally made the stories up, but once they began to be written down and read by other people who may not have had the same attachment to them, it could become silly. Romans seem to have really looked down their noses at the Jews for their crazy mythology (among other things), and vice-versa, and even European Christians in the Middle Ages (and even today) had to use some inventive reasoning to account for some of the more bizarre stories that became part of Christian canon via the Old Testament.

Greek popular religion was similar. One mistake that I think people make though is in assuming that at some point the Greeks and Romans "wisened up" and stopped believing in tales about heroes riding flying horses, gigantic dragon-monsters that breathed fire, a pantheon of gods living on Mt Olympos, etc etc. I mean, you can definitely get that impression from later philosophers, but mind you they were the only ones who wrote treatises down that we still have. In my opinion, the common folk would have believed all the crazy stuff just as readily as Medieval people did the lore about dragons, or modern Christians' clinging to Medieval interpretations of ancient Hebrew lore found in the OT (like say, the Noah story). And besides, the point wasn't that this stuff was still going on; the general belief tended to be that it all happened back in the "Golden Age" which was long past. It is much easier to believe zany stories your grandparents tell you about the distant past than would be if they were purporting to tell the same things as current events Big Grin
"...atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."

????? ???? ?\' ?????...(J. Feicht)
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