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Thread: Classical Education

  1. #46
    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    That is why I don't judge them with a modern perspective.

    What ever we have accomplished would not have happened if they hadn't accomplished what they accomplished. The fact that they did not accomplish what we have accomplished means absolutely nothing.

    Unless you are worried today about complying with a standard that won't be here for another several thousand years.
    Well, what does a so-called monogamy mean, wherein one partner is being burdened & confined with all thinkable obligations and the other partner is as free as a dinky toy? But did all monogamous relations in those ancient times look like an earthly copy of the Greek/Roman standard-marriage: that of the ever freewheeling Zeus/Jupiter, the supreme god, with his ever discontented wife Hera/Juno, the goddess of matrimonium? No. Take St. Augustine for example: did this saintly Christian scholar know about Abraham & Sarah (wife) versus Abraham & Hagar (concubine)? Yes. Did he know, that the '*******' son of Hagar, Ishmael, was also acknowledged as his own son by Abraham? Yes. So why did St.Augustine refuse to acknowledge his only begotten '*******' son? I understand the totalitarian rule of the masculine will in the Greek/Roman society, resulting in an endless copying of strained relations à la Socrates & Xantippe. But St.Augustine knew better.
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  3. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxllxT View Post
    The Latin word for marriage is matrimonium. This sums up what one of the partners in the legal settlement has to perform: become mater (mother). The other side however was allowed to enjoy one or more concubines next to his official wife. Even the famous St. Augustine had a concubine, who happened to bear a child of him, but was nonetheless dumped when mother Monica had found a future wife (12 years old) with a lot of money & influence for her son. Roman law allowed women to become mater at the age of 14, so St Augustine had to wait two years! He was in deep trouble, because his concubine with son was sent away (without heritage rights). But mother Monica came up with the solution: she found a new concubine for her pampered son.

    One of the things I marvel at in Roman culture is the high level of engineering, especially in building aquaducts, triumphal gates etc. How did they do this, when they didn't have Arabic numerals at their disposal? Roman numerals must have been a real nightmare for making calculations.
    Derived from pandemonium? Wish I would have had that valuable information in advance.
    Last edited by hpowders; Sep-11-2017 at 21:27.

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    Senior Member Pat Fairlea's Avatar
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    This thread reminds me of the late Peter Cook, in his E.L. Wisty persona:
    "I could've been a judge, only I hadn't got the Latin...".

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  7. #49
    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Flavius Josephus was arrested as the Jewish general of Galilea and he became the personal slave of the Roman general Vespasian, who later on would become the emperor of Rome. This general had a habit that was probably shared by all other Roman generals as well: each night a maiden slave girl was brought to him. Vespasian had a peculiar sense of humour. He slept with a Jewish slave girl and all of a sudden he got the idea to let his still unmarried slave Flavius Josephus marry with this slave girl in the Jewish tradition. The big chuckling joke for him was, that no one would be able to say whether the child that would be born out of the wedding night was his or from Flavius... Later on Flavius Josephus got again into better conditions of living and he immediately took great pains on himself to get a divorce from this wife. The sanhedrin of Alexandria fined him to 40 whip lashes and Flavius (who got this first name from his master, Vespasian) agreed.
    Last edited by TxllxT; Sep-12-2017 at 11:41.
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  9. #50
    Senior Member Dr Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Fairlea View Post
    This thread reminds me of the late Peter Cook, in his E.L. Wisty persona:
    "I could've been a judge, only I hadn't got the Latin...".
    'In our way, Johnson strongly expressed his love of driving fast in a post-chaise. "If (said he) I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman;"' Boswell's Life of Johnson.

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  11. #51
    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Especially the Romans were unbelievably superstitious. Before making any bigger or smaller decision the gods had to be consulted. Roman generals were commanders of the legions who at the same were augurs, priests. In the sky they 'inaugurated' a templum, an imaginary rectangle and observed the flight of birds. When the birds flew into the rectangle, say, from the left, it was an ill omen; from the right, it meant that the gods looked favourably down at the planned action. But even when all the signs stood on green, still the priests looked at the fresh bloody livers of the sacrifices that were about to be burned in order to please the gods. Constantine also was no different from the other Roman generals. He looked up to the sky into the sun and according to the chronicles of Eusebius of Caesarea he all of a sudden saw a cross-sign with the Greek words "ἐν τούτῳ νίκα" or the Roman words "In hoc signo vinces" written on it. What is conspicuous is the rectangular shape of this vision: Constantine was an augur, trained to observe & interpret signs in the sky. After Maxentius was defeated Constantine dutifully brought the prescribed sacrifices to the gods.
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