Author Topic: The Barbarism of Ancient Rome  (Read 110 times)

Offline Shiranu

The Barbarism of Ancient Rome
« on: November 16, 2021, 07:13:49 PM »



Between their slew of creative and horrifying ways of executing people, their internal strife and violence within the government body, and their imperialistic society that loved a good ol' genocide... I never could understand how people think it's a good thing that, to a large degree, our society is based on that of the Romans and Greeks or that they were one of the "greatest" empires to ever exist; it would be like in a thousand years thinking the Nazis, Soviets or the *cough* American Empire *cough* were were one of the greatest empires simply because of their military successes.


(To be fair, if they were just looking at military successes they would probably think we were a failure of empire given how shit we tend to be at war... think we project alot on the French in the regard)
Terrorism is when you do what we do but wear a different uniform than us.

Offline Hydra009

Re: The Barbarism of Ancient Rome
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2021, 10:42:41 PM »
Between their slew of creative and horrifying ways of executing people, their internal strife and violence within the government body, and their imperialistic society that loved a good ol' genocide...
The Celts would certainly agree with that last part.  A cultural extermination, to boot.

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I never could understand how people think it's a good thing that, to a large degree, our society is based on that of the Romans and Greeks or that they were one of the "greatest" empires to ever exist;
I like to think that "greatest" is just a synonym for largest, though of course the Mongols and British had larger empires.  Maybe time is a factor?

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it would be like in a thousand years thinking the Nazis, Soviets or the *cough* American Empire *cough* were were one of the greatest empires simply because of their military successes.
Well, military success is the main yardstick in how empires are compared.

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(To be fair, if they were just looking at military successes they would probably think we were a failure of empire given how shit we tend to be at war... think we project alot on the French in the regard)
I saw a pretty funny video about what a roman would think if plopped into the modern world.  They would without a doubt be hugely disappointed by Italy, lol.  Though I suppose they could take heart that the Eternal City still lives and still has a Pope, which they would be familiar with if they lived in the late Empire.  Though they would be appalled by poor Italian grammar, and wonder why Latin is so strongly associated with magic and demon summoning.

You could try to explain the European Union, but they'd likely fall asleep before you could explain much.  NATO would be intriguing to them, kind of a throwback to the Latin League.  They might be most impressed with the American Empire - like Rome, it had humble beginnings, an antipathy towards kings, a close call with a formidable enemy, but managed to expand to much of the continent.  They would certainly be pleased by our marble columns and terms like "Senate" and "Republic".  Though you might have to explain to them that the current leader is not on the money, which would be a strange thing to them.  They would certainly not like the actual warfare, which is so often fought at super long ranges or by sneak attacks (very cowardly), often with very limited results.  They would definitely not like the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and think the US is exceedingly weak militarily.  But then if you told them about all the US's military hardware, which is pretty extensive, they would wonder why we don't just flatten our enemies with our best weapons.  So definitely keep them away from any red buttons lol.

They would certainly deeply dislike modern family arrangements, where patriarchs are not obeyed and servants are not really a thing anymore.  Suffice it to say they would not be a fan of any alphabet stuff.  Also, the lack of farming or even basic masonry skills among the general population would be quite shocking and very disturbing.  Like a whole world of children, who lack discipline, basic skills, and are basically illiterate (of Latin). 

In summary, they would be astounded by our reach but pity our grasp.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 10:48:01 PM by Hydra009 »

Re: The Barbarism of Ancient Rome
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2021, 11:30:45 PM »
I recently finished Stephen Pinker's book, "Better Angels of our Nature". I'd recommend it as an explanation of what is reported in the OP about what is wrong with Rome. Pinker's book is a real tome, but he makes a good case for us (humanity) being better than we used to be, back then. Despite the amount of violence we see now, it is far reduced from what used to be the case.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: The Barbarism of Ancient Rome
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2021, 11:06:56 AM »
Christianity is the short,  main stream answer I guess. (Obviously, not for you.) What Arabs are to Islam is Romans to Christianity.

Short answer, I've always agreed with the idea that it is actually architecture, and literally the architectural component, 'arch'. There is a reason why it's architecture, after all. :p Anyway, seriously, it is the arch...the road, the bridge, the army, the water. It's all about arch. And we still have no idea who invented it. :/

"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Re: The Barbarism of Ancient Rome
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2021, 11:24:50 AM »
There is the cultural relativistic argument whether other cultures, present or past, can be held to the moral standards of one's current culture. If you lived in ancient Rome would you recognize there is anything wrong with torturous executions? I would like to think so but I'm probably wrong. I suspect people in the future will look back on our current society and think about factory farming the way we think about slavery. I ate bacon this morning knowing the horrible conditions that led to my breakfast, so perhaps as a Roman I would be watching gruesome executions recognizing human beings should not be treated that way.

Offline Hydra009

Re: The Barbarism of Ancient Rome
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2021, 11:33:45 AM »
If you lived in ancient Rome would you recognize there is anything wrong with torturous executions?
The modern US has certainly had quite a few executions that would qualify as torturous, as well as enhanced inter--- nope can't spin it, abject torture, that's what it was/is.  And I've certainly disagreed with that, though I've been outspoken quite a bit.  I'd imagine that ancient peoples were no less observant or conscientious.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: The Barbarism of Ancient Rome
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2021, 11:59:17 AM »
People in Ancient Rome and people in the US do know it is not their hands to stop that. They see and understand the same thing in very different terms, but they all do.
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Re: The Barbarism of Ancient Rome
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2021, 12:28:34 PM »
In the US we have executed many mentally disabled people up until the 1980s... some on questionable confessions. Some who did not understand they were being killed and had IQs in the 60's.