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mercredi, 05 février 2020

The concept of Empire: Pagan Rome

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The concept of Empire: Pagan Rome

 
Ex: https://www.geopolitica.ru

In our common understanding the term empire usually denotes a powerful country, in which one ethnicity oppressively rules others. Examples of these can include colonial empires of Spain, France, or Great Britain. Another way the term empire gets used is to describe the most powerful countries in their region that have gained control of that region militarily: examples of such naming conventions include all Chinese ‘empires’ from Qin to Qing, or Mughals in India, or the Mongols. Both these definitions however are later and erroneous ways of using the term empire that came into existence since the European Age of Modernity. However, the primordial definition and traits of an empire go way beyond these simplistic definitions that have stuck to our shared imagination. However, by exploring and un-covering the deep-lying etymological and historical roots of the term Empire it will be possible to transcend the flawed conception imposed on us since the times of Modernity.

There are three main stages through which the term empire has evolved. First stage is the Pagan Roman one – ‘imperium’ – that has its origins during the Roman Kingdom and ends with Constantine the Great. The second is the Christian Roman definition of ‘imperium’ and ‘basilea’ that runs from Constantine the Great all the way to Constantine XI. Finally, the last stage is the Orthodox Russian ‘tsardom’ that runs from Ivan IV up until Nicholas II.

In this first instance I invite you to consider the inception of the term Empire in Ancient Rome, covering the periods from Rome’s foundation in 753 BC to 312 AD, which is the date of Constantine the Great’s victory at the Milvian Bridge.

The term Empire or ‘imperium’ comes from the Latin verb ‘imperō’ – to command or to rule, which itself derives from the Proto-Indo-European root of ‘per’ – to bring forward or to produce.

Given such origin, ‘imperium’ was a political power that enabled a person to command other people, to be the first to propose new legislation or give military commands. In addition, the root ‘per’ suggests primacy and a vertical social relationship between the imperator – the one holding the ‘imperium’ – and those to whom his commands are directed.

The main application of the word ‘imperium’ in Roman Kingdom (753-509 BC) and Roman Republic (509-27 BC) was as a military position of an army general that granted a magistrate legal power to command. Importantly, ‘imperium’ was a social concept that conferred the commanding powers to a person by a group of subordinates. As such, Roman kings had to be elected by a group of patricians who also bestowed them with the power of ‘imperium’. Thus, an ‘imperator’ or emperor was the first man in society, but his powers were hinged upon that very society’s favour, creating a sort of a social contract. An excellent visualisation of imperium being a social contract is seen by another institutional rule of Ancient Rome – the Pomerium. The Pomerium was a legal border of the city of Rome proper which in Roman Republic was prohibited from entry by anyone in possession of army command – generals, imperatores. Any imperator who entered the gates of Pomerium automatically forfeited his social contract, lost the Imperium, and stopped being an army general. As such, it is crucial to understand that throughout the Roman Kingdom and Republic imperium was a commanding power that was bestowed upon a person by the society, and nothing but that.

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Fast forward to Augustus, we come to the period of Roman history generally called the ‘Principate’ in which all emperors from Augustus to Carinus maintained the importance of social contract as their source of power. In truth, Roman Empire should really denote the Roman state ruled by a commander, whose legitimacy derives from the public approval. Indeed, even though the role of the senate and the consuls was greatly diminished, the inner working of the Roman society remained the same as it was during the Republic. This was exemplified by the growing importance of the military class to ensure and dictate the office of Emperor. In particular, the Praetorian Guard, evolved into the elite bodyguard army unit to the emperor himself, by enjoying close proximity to the ruler, were able to orchestrate military coups and even sell the title of emperor on one occasion to Didius Julianus. The epitome of the importance of the army has come during the Crisis of the Third Century, whence the Roman state had seen almost 30 emperors in 50 years. The pretender emperor was usually acclaimed by his legions in exchange for monetary gains and promotions. The choosing of ‘imperator’ as well as his social status therefore remained as they were under the Republic: the emperor was a person vested with commanding powers through a social contract by a group of inferiors. Furthermore, incompetence or unpopularity of an emperor has often led to new pretenders, coups and murders, thus further reinforcing the idea of social contract between the ‘imperator’ and his inferiors.

Crisis of the Third Century brought such a strain on the political and economic bases of Rome that a radical change was necessary. Emperor Diocletian recognised this and implemented an overhaul of the empire creating a ‘tetrarchy’ splitting the power into four, and starting the historical period known as the ‘Dominate’. This period is characterised by the distancing of the ‘imperium’ holder from his inferiors, giving himself larger autonomy to rule and boosting the prestige of the position. Diocletian further divided Roman lands into more numerous provinces under dioceses, making it harder for pretenders to rise and gain support of the military. The next reform was to share the ‘imperium’ between four titleholders: two senior emperors and two junior caesars. Even though Diocletian’s reforms worked in the short term to stabilise Rome, the long term effects were rather inadequate and only really deepened the social contract between emperor and subjects. That is, now the emperor was expected to behave even more as a benevolent master, bestowing more gifts and promoting officials; quite obviously, the failure to do so resulted in civil strife as happened during the time of Constantine the Great. Furthermore, the division of the imperial power into four under ‘tetrachy’ has led in the long-term to the permanent split of Rome into East and West in 395 AD. Given what we have described about the nature of legitimacy of power through ‘imperium’ this split presents itself as unavoidable. The power to command the ‘imperium’ makes the titleholder appear as the first amongst equals by the Roman society as a whole. As such, two men could not simultaneously hold primacy without clashing. Furthermore, with the increasing importance of the role of the emperor during Dominate, the prestige and benefits have become too great to share between two ambitious men.

At the same time, however, Diocletian has set in motion two major developments to the social contract of ‘imperium’. First is the centralisation of the governmental administration on the figure of the emperor, making the entire state dependent on having a strong and capable ruler like never before. This development will come to clear view after the battle of Adrianople later on in 378 AD, which saw the emperor Valens killed on the battlefield. The death of Valens has sent shocks across the entire Eastern Roman administration, and produced a new political system in which emperors almost never left the capital Constantinople in order to preserve the administration, the ‘imperium’, and their lives. This state of affairs continued all the way until emperor Heracleios in 610 AD, who became the first Roman emperor to personally command the army against a foreign enemy since Valens. The second major development that can be attributed to Diocletian is his formal separation of Roman state from the city of Rome. Ever since the Crisis of the Third Century started, the capital of Rome was in practice wherever the acting emperor had his legions, thus diminishing the importance of Rome as a capital. Since the city of Rome was poorly protected from attacks and sieges from pretenders, its possession stopped conferring the same legitimacy as it did under the Principate. As such, Diocletian elevated this practical state of affairs to become legislation by moving his court to Nicaea in Eastern Anatolia. The big significance of this move is the detachment of the legitimacy of ‘imperium’ from one specific place or city. There will be two more major centres of Roman state throughout the rest of Roman history, namely Constantinople and Moscow. However, neither of them will have the Pomerium mentioned earlier, thus legally depriving the capital from having juridical force to grant or take away the power or ‘imperium’.

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This point seems to be a fitting end to the first part of my exploration of the concept of Empire, which concentrated specifically on Pagan Roman period and the usage of the term during this time. The main takeaways would be to underline how the Latin word for Empire – ‘imperium’ implied a social contract by which a person gained rights to command and legislate. This social contract was premised upon appeasing the lower social strata that has put the ‘imperium’ holder in charge. This fact has often led to rebellions, civil strife, and ultimately the Crisis of the Third Century. In the next article I will attempt to explicate the way ‘imperium’ changed when Rome became a Christian state, and the way Divine Favour started to replace social contract.

jeudi, 16 janvier 2020

In Praise of Rome’s Citizen Soldiers

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In Praise of Rome’s Citizen Soldiers

They fought for home and family, which was preferable to professional mercenaries only in it for the emperor's spoils.

Killing for the Republic: Citizen Soldiers and the Roman Way of War, Steele Brand, Johns Hopkins University Press, 370 pages

Steele Brand is a historian who pays not even lip service to historical determinism. The Roman Republic collapsed, Brand says, because of deliberate choices made by “grasping, ambitious and amoral” leaders who took advantage of a debased “culture” that became more “perfectly suited to autocracy” than to freedom. Brand’s book should be read with care by Americans as our republic enters its twilight, as the ambitions of our political class replace the traditions of our ancestors.

Readers of many tastes will receive great enjoyment from Brand’s book. For those interested in general history, Brand provides a readable, engaging political history of the Roman Republic from the Roman kings to the rise of Augustus. He overlays a fascinating account of the development of Roman military strategy, tactics, weaponry, and chain of command, as well as providing detailed accounts of some of the most important battles of the Roman Republic, such as Sentinum, New Carthage, Pynda, Mutina, and Philippi. He also opens a window into the public spiritedness, or “civic virtue,” of the typical soldier of the Republic, who loved Rome, not out of greed or ambition, but because it protected his “little platoon,” his family and his farm. Fighting for the things these soldiers loved concretely made them particularly lethal.

killing.jpgThe book, moreover, is stocked with well-selected quotes from great writers and historians of the time, such as Livy, Plutarch, Polybius, and Cicero, who were contemporaries of, or even participants in, the greatest events of the Republic. I have read all these authors, though I must admit that Brand gave me new appreciation for their writings by placing them firmly in their historical context.

What’s really not to be missed in the book are the last 100 pages, which provide a riveting account of the vicious political jockeying and outright civil wars that came in the wake of the assassination of Julius Caesar. While the historical events of the 1st century B.C. are not analogous to America’s current political turmoil, i.e. Donald Trump is not Julius Caesar, there are recognizable character flaws common to both the men who were willing to overthrow the Roman constitutional order and our current hubristic political class.

The Roman and American situations run parallel in that republics fall apart when the ambitions of amoral actors create such partisan rancor that they create competing claims of “legitimacy.” When political opponents become existential outlaws or are seen as wholly illegitimate, the nation slouches toward civil war. Here in America, magnanimity in politics is replaced by viciousness. And in the 1st century B.C., questions of political legitimacy put the Roman army into play: “At a time when Roman soldiers were being given conflicting information about who was legitimate, any commander became fair game for desertion, betrayal, or assassination if he behaved incompetently or failed to look out for their interests.”

Refreshingly, Brand is a partisan for the Roman Republic. He believes that a mixed regime, with both popular and aristocratic elements, is far preferable to vesting all political power in an emperor. And he believes that a citizen-soldier army that fights for its farms and families is preferable to a professional, mercenary army that fights for the booty dispensed by that emperor. Julius Caesar, he says, “deserves his place in history alongside other great generals like Cyrus, Alexander, Attila, Genghis Khan, Cortés, and Napoleon, but like them, he was nothing short of a monster.”

Brand ominously points out that most of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, as well as Thomas Jefferson, were fans of the great Roman republican figures, such as Brutus and Cicero, while Americans today are more likely to be fans of Caesar, who is “admired as an exemplar of courage, decisiveness, skill, genius, and good fortune.” It is somewhat disconcerting that the American imagination now prefers the one to the other.

Finally, while Brand acknowledges that the Roman Republic sometimes pushed other people around, its constant warfare seems not to have been a general symptom of imperialism but a historical necessity. “During the time frame in which Rome rose to power,” he writes, “international state systems were declining or totally absent, and anarchy and lawlessness were at their peak. Law, justice, order and peace were impossible to maintain in a Hobbesian world where every state was as militaristic as the next.”

Unlike post-Cold War America, where a foreign invasion is unthinkable, the Roman Republic had been viciously sacked by the Gauls and nearly destroyed by Hannibal in the Second Punic War. For most of the Republic’s existence, “forever war” was a necessity, not a choice; in the contemporary American case, forever war is not a necessity, but a choice.

That said, when the virtue of many of the leading figures in Rome became debauched, the presence of a large military was undoubtedly a factor in the demise of the Republic. When the Republic displayed a crisis of legitimacy, the army turned on itself and “these citizen-soldiers were no longer killing for the Republic. They were killing it.”

There is a parallel danger in contemporary America. We now have a gigantic military-intelligence-industrial complex that seems to question the legitimacy of a duly-elected president and is willing to scheme unconstitutionally for his demise. A large-scale politicization of our huge national security establishment would be an ominous development indeed. When the ethos of that national security community has degenerated from the nonpartisan statesmanship of a George Marshall to the scheming partisanship of a John Brennan, it is apparent that the recovery of genuine statesmanship is the only thing that can save us from the Roman Republic’s fate.

William S. Smith is research fellow and managing director at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His latest book is Democracy and Imperialism, published by the University of Michigan Press.

jeudi, 16 mai 2019

L'universale significato spirituale della Romanità

 
Giandomenico Casalino
 
Ex: https://www.ereticamente.net
 
1)”Il Vero è l’Intero. L’Intero però, è solo l’essenza che si compie mediante il proprio sviluppo. Dell’Assoluto, infatti, bisogna dire che è essenzialmente un Risultato, che solo alla fine è ciò che è in Verità”. Hegel, Prefazione alla Fenomenologia dello Spirito.

2) Tale passo è la presentazione universale del concetto della Vita di ogni organismo dello Spirito, sia nel microcosmo come nel macrocosmo: l’uomo, l’universo, la Romanità… Pensare in guisa intensa i concetti profondissimi ivi presenti, conduce alla comprensione dell’Intero significato della Tradizione di Roma, proprio perché Realtà vivente.

louve.jpg3) Tale conoscenza non è sapere se non è innanzitutto uno stato dell’essere; lo stato dell’essere è vedere l’Invisibile, che è l’Indicibile, ma per colui che è Essere non è che l’Uno, l’Istante che è fuori dal tempo: colui che vive nella dimensione dello Spirito è nel tempo pur essendo, nella radice, fuori dal tempo, vedrà il Divenire che è Essere, come indica l’enigmatico sorriso dell’Apollo di Veio, Egli, sorridendo della nostra stupidità, accenna, svela e rivela la Verità: l’Assoluto, il Divino è semplicemente ciò che tu vedi e che sei! Tu però non lo sai!

4) Roma, nella sua essenza metafisica, nella sua potenza spirituale, nella sua eterna presenza come Simbolo dell’Ordine Cosmico, come Umbelicus Mundi, come Asse che non vacilla dell’Europa, è ciò che tu vedi se lo sei! È ciò che è se tu lo fai, lo vivi e lo crei, in ogni momento, in ogni Istante della tua vita, che sarà così il Rito filosofico interiore, come creazione costante del Kathekòn in quanto Limes nei confronti delle Tenebre e quindi  iniziazione all’Eterno.

5) È, quindi, necessario, oggettivamente necessario, come legge dello Spirito, acquisire il “mutamento di punto di vista”, di “stato mentale” in cui consiste, in buona sostanza, quello che Evola definisce lo stato dell’Essere interiore e, quindi, la sua manifestazione esterna che è la “Visione del mondo” che, se è necessario possedere in termini virtuali o potenziali, atteso che la stessa non si acquisisce sui libri né con altri strumenti se non la si possiede in potenza sin dalla nascita come “forma interna o carattere”, è vero anche che tutto ciò, secondo proprio il principio fondamentale della nostra Tradizione, che è il comando apollineo di Delfi: “conosci te stesso!”, deve essere però consapevolmente conosciuto e cioè esperimentato divenendo concretamente esso stesso!

CASALINO-3-1.jpgSi conosce solo ciò che si è e si è solo ciò che si conosce. Gli Dei non esistono a priori (per fede) ma esistono solo se si conoscono e si conoscono solo se si esperimentano, quindi esistono solo per colui il quale li esperimenta, cioè li vive e quindi li conosce; nel senso che, pur esistendo da sempre, per colui il quale non li conosce Essi non esistono. Tale è il significato della frase: “I Greci non credevano negli Dei; poiché li  vedevano!”

6) Se si vuole vivere l’esperienza spirituale dell’agire e della conseguenziale visione, tipica dell’Ascesi dell’Azione che qualifica la Romanità, della realizzazione, mediante il Rito giuridico-religioso, “del fenomenico per effetto della azione magica sul Numenico”, è necessario Sapere-Vedere  (non guardare…) che il Sé, la Mente, il Pensiero, che è l’Invisibile, è il Numenico e che solo agendo nell’Invisibile, cioè nel Pensiero e sul Pensiero, nella Mente e sulla Mente, nell’Animo e sull’Animo, cioè agendo sulla Causa, che è lo Spirito, creando la Forma in essa Causa, la stessa  Forma si riverbera, si riflette nello specchio che è il fenomenico e cioè il Mondo e così esso appare ed è conforme, identico al Numenico cioè al Pensiero che lo ha causato e ciò dimostra, tale processo dimostra che la paideia ed il mos majorum, sono la causa generatrice del Mondo, della Res Publica, dell’Ordine Giuridico-Religioso e quindi Politico: che è l’Idea realizzata nella storia di Juppiter Optimus Maximus. Tutto ciò è vero solo se è stato della Mente, che è stato dell’Essere, ed è vero solo se si è conseguenzialmente l’Uomo Nuovo,  Uomo che pensa, vede e quindi è l’Uomo aperto al Mondo, l’Uomo che non dice e non pensa mai in termini di “Io” ma sempre in termini del Noi, perché sente e sa di essere Noi; poiché la Romanità è Noi!

7) Essere Noi (ed è il secondo “momento dello Spirito”) significa entrare nel Mondo, superare e vincere la falsità dualistica dell’Io e del Mondo, del soggetto e dell’oggetto, della Trascendenza e della Immanenza  ed essere quindi realtà spirituale, esistenziale e concreta  e quindi Intero che è, secondo la nostra Tradizione classica Greco-Romana, l’Athanòr nella Filosofia Ermetica, l’Uno il Tutto nella Tradizione Platonica, la Res Publica Universale nella Romanità, l’Intero medesimo e cioè l’Assoluto nel significato che ha rivelato la Sapienza di Hegel. Tale è secondo la cultura tradizionale il vivere che coincide con l’essere che è il pensare, significando ciò Roma come l’Idea Vivente  e si ritorna al principio secondo cui il Pensiero è il Tutto essendo la Causa di Tutto, atteso il fatto che, se non vi è il mutamento di “stato”, il “Risveglio”, anche il Mondo continua ad essere caos ed oblio, oscurità e nebbia: solo nel “momento” in cui si “conosce se stessi”, il Mondo è salvo, il Mondo è Cosmos, Ordine, Unità; anzi il Sapere e l’Essere lo stato corrispondente, consente di acquisire la Conoscenza che quell’Ordine e quella Unità del Mondo ci sono da sempre, ab aeterno, solo che non lo si sapeva poiché non lo si era.

Giandomenico Casalino

dimanche, 18 novembre 2018

Le Mos Majorum : les vertus cardinales de l’homme romain

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Le Mos Majorum : les vertus cardinales de l’homme romain

Le Mos Majorum, signifiant « mœurs de anciens » ou « coutume des ancêtres », désigne dans la Rome antique, les 7 vertus cardinales de l’homme romain : la Fidès, la Pietas, la Majestas, la Virtus, la Gravitas, la Constantia et la Frugalitas.


Issues de l’ère républicaine (509 av J-C – 27 av J-C), considérée comme l’âge d’or de Rome, ces vertus ont pour fonction de modeler l’homme et de définir son attitude vis-à-vis de la cité et de ses pairs. Lorsque des pratiques ou des mœurs décadentes envahissent la vie de la cité, des voix s’élèvent pour rappeler le Mos Majorum, demandent à ce que l’on revienne à la Virtù et à la Gravitas : Cicéron et Caton l’ancien y font référence dans leurs écrits, ainsi que Virgile et Ovide. Et lors de tels rappels, une figure est particulièrement évoquée : celle de Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, l’homme politique patricien (-519-430 av J-C), modèle de droiture et d’humilité qui sauva Rome à deux reprises en endossant le rôle de dictateur.

Dans la société romaine, le profane et le divin ne sont pas séparés comme dans nos sociétés modernes ; l’homme romain vit dans un espace sacré au milieu des dieux, dont la présence est sans cesse rappelée par les temples et les statues qui occupent la cité; il honore aussi ses aïeux par un autel consacré dans sa demeure ou lors des Parentalia, en février et des Lemuria, en mai.
Cependant, la religion n’est pas seulement ce culte rendu aux dieux et aux ancêtres : elle permet aussi la sacralisation et même la déification d’un corpus d’attitudes et de coutumes appelé Mos Majorum. Ces attitudes idéales sont au nombre de 7 dont 4 d’entre elles sont particulièrement importantes, la Majestas, la Pietas, la Fides et surtout la Virtus.

La Majestas (sentiment d’être élu)

Les Romains se considèrent comme « élus », choisis par une destinée particulière ; Rome se sent invulnérable face à tous ses ennemis car ses habitants et ses soldats ont foi en ses traditions et en ses mœurs qui lui assurent une supériorité de fait sur les « barbares » : austérité, discipline, fidélité aux engagements, stricte honnêteté, dignité, constance font d’elle et de ses habitants le pôle dominant et sûr de lui de la civilisation face aux autres, au reste du monde qui ne reconnait pas encore « le légitime ascendant » de Rome. Si Rome est puissante, c’est par la force de ses légions mais également par la tenue des Romains. Polybe, l’historien grec, constate « qu’un Grec, s’engageât-il par serment en présence de dix témoins, trouvera toujours le moyen de se dégager, tandis que la parole d’un Romain, » fût-il prêteur ou consul », sera sa loi.

La pietas (piété)

Les Romains désignent sous le nom de Pietas, l‘attitude qui consiste à observer scrupuleusement non seulement les rites mais également les codes de conduite entre eux.
Les choses doivent être à leur place, bien ordonnées et on doit les y remettre à chaque fois qu’un accident a révélé quelques troubles. Le terme est en rapport étroit avec piare, qui désigne l’action d’effacer une souillure, un mauvais présage, un crime. Dans l’ordre intérieur, la pietas consistera, pour un fils, à obéir à son père, à le respecter, à le traiter en conformité avec la hiérarchie naturelle. Alors qu’un fils qui désobéit à son père ou même qui le frappe est un monstrum.
La pietas peut donc être également assimilée au patriotisme, au respect de l’ordre social et à la dévotion aux divinités tutélaires.

La Fidès (fidélité)

La Fidès est l’une des manifestations les plus anciennes de la pietas car elle est le respect des engagements. Mais si La Pietas régit l’attitude de l’homme romain envers la société, la Fidès permet de souder les êtres entre eux. Son importance est-elle que les Romains la divinisent comme figure présente sur le Capitole où elle a son temple à côté de celui de Jupiter Très bon et Très grand. Elle est là pour garantir la bonne foi et la bienveillance dans la vie sociale toute entière. Elle est la fidélité à la parole donnée, le lien de confiance inébranlable et l’assurance de la réciprocité entre deux citoyens. Elle garantit donc les rapports entre les êtres, aussi bien dans les contrats que dans les traités, et plus profondément encore dans l’accord implicite, défini par les différentes coutumes, qui lie les citoyens entre eux. « O Fides Quiritium ! » (Ô Bonne Foi des Citoyens) crient les personnages du théâtre comique lorsque s’abat sur eux quelque catastrophe. Cet appel au secours invoque la solidarité que se doivent tous les membres de la cité. Y manquer revient à compromettre tout l’édifice. Et l’on comprend alors pourquoi la fides constitue l’une des vertus cardinales de la morale romaine.

La virtus (vertu) 

Le Romain est non seulement supérieur au barbare par la qualité de ses institutions, la grandeur de ses dieux qu’il ne manque de servir ou le lien de solidarité qui l’unit aux autres citoyens mais également par ses qualités propres, son énergie et son courage qu’il met au service de la cité.
La virtu, la virilité, se manifeste d’abord par le courage physique. Un courage qui à Rome est au service de l’armée, pour la défense de la patrie car c’est dans la guerre que s’exprime en priorité la virilité romaine. La virtus, c’est d’abord le courage militaire mais un courage individuel qui se fond au sein de la légion, dans le respect de la discipline. La recherche de l’exploit individuel est qualifiée de façon négative, d’intemperantia, et il faut une autorisation hiérarchique pour commettre ce genre d’acte comme allumer un incendie dans un camps ennemi ou détruire une voie de passage.
Être un Romain, c’est donc être un citoyen viril, c’est « facere et pati fortia », « accomplir et subir avec un courage indomptable. » et la guerre est bien le moment de vérité où se révèle la virtus du citoyen, du mâle romain : Les Romains ne sont-ils pas des Martigenae, des fils de Mars ?
L’emploi du mot Vir désigne souvent le chef courageux et héroïque qui meurt au combat ; dans la locution latine, ce héros est même comparé au viril taureau : « Sic pugnant tauri, sic cecidere viri » (c’est ainsi que combattent les taureaux, c’est ainsi que sont tombés les héros »).
Mais si le Romain défend la cité par devoir patriotique, il le fait également pour montrer sa virtus et posséder ainsi une bonne réputation auprès de ses pairs et de ses descendants. Il se doit en effet de laisser un souvenir de ses actions pour être honoré après sa mort, pour rester « sur les lèvres des hommes ». C’est donc en combattant pour Rome et surtout en tuant et en obtenant la victoire pour Rome que l’on atteint la gloire, que la vie acquiert valeur exemplaire pour les générations suivantes qui perpétueront la puissance de Rome.

La gravitas (sens du devoir), la frugalitas (simplicité) et la constancia (l’humeur égale) complètent ses 4 valeurs : elles caractérisent l’exemplarité du simple citoyen mais aussi la figure du héros romain, du chef politique idéal que de nombreux politiciens ou écrivains romains comme Tite-Live louent au travers du personnage de Lucius Cincinnatus.

concinnatus.jpgLucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus incarne les valeurs d’impersonnalité active et de loyauté envers la cité. Son chemin est celui de l’homme qui n’agit que pour le bien commun, qui ne s’impose pas mais répond par l’affirmative (avec un peu d’hésitation d’ailleurs) à la demande de ceux qui voient en lui LE RECOURS face aux périls qui menacent.
Figure emblématique de tout un empire, Cincinnatus va pourtant entrer dans l’histoire assez tardivement. 
Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus est un patricien appauvri par la lourde amende payée après la condamnation de son fils, cultivant lui-même son champ, quand il est élu « consul suffect » en remplacement d’un autre consul tué pendant une révolte d’esclaves, fomentée par les Sabins. Cincinnatus reprend la ligne politique anti-plébéienne tenue par son fils exilé et s’oppose violemment aux tribuns de la plèbe réélus sans cesse. Il réinstaure la moralité en politique, dénonce l’oisiveté des consuls et neutralise pendant quelques temps l’outrance des plébéiens en trouvant un accord de gouvernement avec eux. Mais en – 458 av J-C, les tensions reprennent vite entre les deux factions et c’est à ce moment précis que deux peuples voisins, les Eques et les Sabins, rompent les accords de paix et envahissent le latium vetus. Les tribuns de la plèbe s’opposant à toute mobilisation, le peuple prend de lui-même les armes et, mené par le consul Caius Nautius Rutilus repousse les Sabins sur leur propre territoire puis le dévaste. Mais la situation face à l’avancée des Eques est intenable : les Consuls supplient alors Cincinnatus de prendre la dictature. Celui-ci accepte malgré la nécessité de cultiver ses terres pour nourrir sa famille ; il nomme un commandant de cavalerie et, en seize jours, libère un consul et ses troupes assiégés par les Eques, les écrase à la bataille du Mont Algide, célèbre un « triomphe », fait condamner les traitres à la solde de l’ennemi et… abdique.

C’est l’« auto-destitution » de Cincinnatus, celle de l’homme providentiel qui remet les pouvoirs confiés après l’accomplissement du devoir, qui deviendra pour la postérité, l’incarnation de la Virtu.

Vingt années s’écoulent quand les Consuls viennent à nouveau chercher Cincinnatus. Il s’agit, cette fois, de parer au danger de guerre civile que fait courir un riche plébéien, Spurius Maelius, manoeuvrant pour déstabiliser l’Urbs en corrompant une partie de la population et bon nombre de tribuns de la Plèbe. Cincinnatus accepte à nouveau la dictature et riposte de façon foudroyante. Il fait exécuter le ploutocrate, ordonne qu’on rase sa maison et que l’on confisque ses biens. Une fois encore, Cincinnatus se démet de ses fonctions de dictateur après la crise surmontée.

Depuis des dizaines de siècles, Rome nous offre non seulement l’héritage d’une langue, d’une culture, d’une histoire grandiose et jamais égalée, mais elle nous propose aussi un mode de comportements vertueux, le Mos Majorum, ce corpus de vertus qui lui permit de forger un type d’homme supérieur, conquérant et bâtisseur, doté d’une force de caractère et d’un courage dans l’action : le « summus operator ». Celui qui subjugue la femme, soumet l’étranger, vainc le barbare et dont, la fidélité à la parole donnée et à la patrie reste infaillible.

Julius Evola, le métaphysicien italien du vingtième siècle (1), rendra hommage à cette figure du romain, en écrivant : « Sur le plan de l’esprit, il existe quelque chose qui peut déjà servir de trace aux forces de résistance et de renouveau : c’est l’esprit légionnaire. C’est l’attitude de ceux qui surent choisir la voie la plus dure, de ceux qui surent combattre… de ceux qui surent « convalider » les paroles de la vieille saga : « Fidélité est plus forte que feu », et à travers lesquels s’affirma l’idée traditionnelle qui veut que ce soit le sens de l’honneur ou de la honte – et non de petites mesures tirées de petites morales – qui crée une différence substantielle, existentielle, entre les êtres, comme entre une race et une autre race. » (2)

(1) Julius Evola, « le dernier des romains » comme aimaient le nommer ses contempteurs.
(2) Orientations – Julius Evola

Pour aller plus loin :

L’Empire romain – Pierre Grimal
Histoire des guerres romaines – Yann Le Bohec
Bellum Iustum – Jean-François Chemain préfacé par Yann Le Bohec
Histoire romaine – Tite-Live

 

http://www.blogimperatif.fr/le-mos-maiorum-les-vertus-car...

mardi, 23 janvier 2018

Religious Piety in Sparta & Rome

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Religious Piety in Sparta & Rome

As (post-)Christian moderns, we are twice handicapped in trying to understand the religions of the ancient pagan states such as Sparta and Rome. Where we tend to think of religious belief as universalistic, other-worldly, monolatrous, and dogmatic, ancient paganism was particularistic, world-embracing, polytheistic (almost ecumenical), and non-dogmatic (but ritualistic). 

FdC-CA.jpgThe nineteenth-century French historian Fustel de Coulanges memorably showed, in his La Cité antique, the fundamental role which the religion had in shaping the laws, families, and very statehood of Greek and Roman societies. The ancient family and state were presided over by fathers also playing the role of priests. Participation in the religion defined who was a member of the community, whether familial or political, what were the inviolable sacred spaces were (the household, the city, the federal sanctuary), what were the duties of each, and who were the ancestors and gods one had to live up to. The religious-familial-political community – all the associated sentiments reinforcing one another in wondrous harmony – and its rules were constantly reinforced by regular and mandatory ritualistic activity featuring sacrifices, a set calendar, festivals, and so on. Coulanges says:

The comparison of the beliefs and laws [of the Greco-Romans] shows that the primitive religion created the Greek and Roman family, established marriage and paternal authority, fixed the categories of kinship, consecrated the right of property and the right of inheritance. This same religion, after having enlarged and extended the family, shaped a wider association, the city, and reigned in it as in the family.[1] [2]

He stresses furthermore: “There was not a single act of public life in which one did not have the gods intervene.”[2] [3] This cannot be overemphasized: all ancient Greco-Roman government buildings (including the treasury) were in fact temples. Assembly meetings and court cases were held under the auspices of the gods. Hence, selection of officials by lot was thought to be the gods’ choice and meetings could only be held on propitious religious days. Even on military campaigns, one finds the general acting as head priest, making regular sacrifices to the gods and looking for omens, and making decisions on that basis. Where Christianity has often been separated from the state (“Render unto Caesar . . .”), Coulanges is at pains to emphasize that in pagan Greece and Rome, religion was the state.

We are struck at how “scientific” the Greeks could be. Sophists, historians, and philosophers could explain phenomena in often surprisingly naturalistic and rational ways: that dreams are the return of what concerned us during the day, that the Nile Delta was formed by the river’s steady depositing, or that fossilized shells found in the mountains are proof that the seas used to be high. We find philosophers like Xenophanes criticizing the inherited tales about the gods in a surprisingly free spirit. Then there is Anaxagoras’ memorable claim that the sun was a “a hot stone larger than the Peloponnese”! The historian Thucydides is also remarkable for his lack of religious interpretation.

Yet, these “rationalists” seem to have been very much the exception in these societies, or at least, religious piety and superstition nonetheless dominated daily life. The ancient religion seems to us exceedingly superstitious in many ways. Look at what the most pious Xenophon has his idealized Cyrus say on his death-bed:

Zeus, god of my fathers, and you, O Sun, and all you gods, accept this sacrifice, my offering for many a noble enterprise, and suffer me to thank you for the grace you have shown me, telling me all my life, by victims and by signs from heaven, by birds and by the voices of men, what things I ought to do and what I ought to refrain from.[3] [4]

xenophon03.jpgWe are shocked to see, throughout Greco-Roman history, government and even military business being significantly affected by apparently trivial “omens” such as the weather, the entrails of animals, the flight of birds, dreams, sneezes, the inscrutable sayings of the oracles, to not speak of more significant events such as earthquakes and eclipses. All these were interpreted not as chance occurrences but as manifestations of divine will.

This was not merely a matter of form: one constantly sees ancient generals, say, delaying their action because of a religious festival or because the day’s sacrifice has not yielded an “auspicious” omen (e.g. the Spartans’ not coming to help the Athenians at Marathon, the Athenian Nicias’ passivity in Sicily). We also see religious controversies – such as the vandalization of the Athenian herms or the failure to to recover bodies at the Battle of Arginusae – leading to serious political crises.

On the subjective level, the Ancients experienced the world in a different way from us. Mystery and meaning were everywhere, and that is why they saw “omens” everywhere. On the sociological level, however, the religion clearly served a useful social purpose (otherwise, some tribe of atheists would have conquered their superstitious counterparts, something which never happened until the modern era).[4] [5]

Requiring all members of the community (family or city) to participate in given rituals and festivals no doubt fostered social unity. If men could agree on the interpretation of an omen, this could create social consensus when a decision had to be made, as the decision was considered to have been made by the gods. These decisions could indeed concern whether to undertake a particular military course of action or whether to launch a colonial expedition. We also witness occasional manipulation of omens for political ends. Wandering “seers” also seem to have used claims of divine insight for economic ends, and were sometimes dismissed as charlatans.

In any event, the piety of ancient societies, and in particular of the most successful states, is beyond doubt. Take Sparta for instance. The Spartans were famously pious and punctilious in respect of ritual. Herodotus says that for them “divine matters took precedence over human ones.”[5] [6] Xenophon, in his account of the Spartan state, unsurprisingly emphasizes Spartan martial prowess. However, it is after giving an account of the excellence of the Spartans’ rituals while on campaign that he says: “if you witnessed this you would think that militarily others are amateurs, whereas Spartans alone are real masters of the craft of war.”[6] [7] How telling that the warrior Xenophon reserves the term “craftsmen of war” for experts in religious ritual.

The social sense in this is no doubt in the powerful psychological impact of communal religious ritual in creating feelings of harmony, purpose, and steadfastness. On one occasion, Xenophon says that the Spartans were inspired with confidence, not only by the presence of many weapons in the city, but by the sight of their priest-king:

And here was another sight to warm the heart – the soldiers, with Agesilaus at the head of them, coming back from the gymnasia with their garlands and then dedicating them to Artemis. For where you find men honoring the gods, disciplining themselves for war and practicing obedience, you may be sure that there everything will be full of good hope.[7] [8]

We emphasize: the sight of and participation in a familiar ritual makes everything “full of good hope.”

PLU-VP.JPGPlutarch, in his Life of Lycurgus, attributes a similar role to religious ritual in promoting hope and courage (my emphasis):

Once their phalanx was marshaled together in sight of the enemy, the king sacrificed the customary she-goat, instructed everyone to put on garlands, and ordered the pipers to play Castor’s Air. At the same time he began the marching paean, so that it was a sight at once solemn and terrifying to see them marching in step to the pipes, creating no gap in the phalanx nor suffering any disturbance of spirit, but approaching the confrontation calmly and happily in time to the music. In all likelihood men in this frame of mind feel neither fear nor exceptional anger, but with hope and courage they steadily maintain their purpose, believing heaven to be with them.[8] [9]

Nor are such comments restricted to Sparta. We find similar observations on Rome, that other very great martial republic of the ancient world. Religious life was just as pervasive in Rome as in Greece. Livy says of Rome: “There was nowhere in this city that was not imbued with religion and which was not occupied by some divinity . . . The gods dwell there.”[9] [10] Indeed, one has to walk amidst the ruins of the Roman Forum to realize this: one is stunned to see such a concentration of religious-governmental buildings, the inevitable urban over-development produced by a vast empire.

The Greco-Roman historian Polybius, who like Xenophon was also an experienced politician and military officer, explicitly cites religious piety as a fundamental source of Roman power:

But the respect in which, in my opinion, the Roman constitution is most markedly superior is in its view of the gods. It seems to me that superstition, which we criticize in other people, is precisely what gives the Roman state its cohesion. In Rome, nothing plays a more elaborate or extensive role in people’s private lives and in the political sphere than superstition. Many of my readers might find this strange, but it seems to me that it has been done for the sake of the common people. In a state of enlightened citizens, there would presumably be no need for such a course. But since the common people everywhere are fickle – since they are driven by lawless impulses, blind anger, and violent passion – the only option is to use mysterious terrors and all this elaborate drama to restrain them.[10] [11]

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Again, it is striking that Polybius claims that religious piety was the aspect of Rome which was most superior to other states, promoting cohesion and morality among the people. It is also noteworthy that the emperor Marcus Aurelius, whose religious beliefs could be deemed deist or sometimes agnostic, took his role as Rome’s head priest very seriously: the father of the family and the state, by his pious example, shows the way for his flock.

Religion then played a fundamental role in the construction and cohesion of Greco-Roman societies. Religious practice, no doubt, reflects not only custom but deep-seated and in-born human psychological mechanisms, which seek to find meaning in the world and community with others. These mechanisms find their satisfaction through compelling existential narratives and pious rituals in common. The powerful effects are plain for all to see, both in the history of religions, and, for those who have not fully severed themselves from the ancestral ways, in individual experience.

Notes

[1] [12] Fustel de Coulanges, La Cité antique (Paris: Flammarion, 2009 [1864]), 36.

[2] [13] Ibid., 230.

[3] [14] Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus, trans. Henry Graham Dakyns (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1914), 8.7.3.

[4] [15] Actually, we should not think that atheistic liberals and communists, when they have engaged in some “crusade,” were not acting in a de facto religious spirit of fanaticism.

[5] [16] Herodotus, The Histories, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 5.63.

[6] [17] Xenophon, Spartan Constitution, 13, in Plutarch, On Sparta, trans. Richard Talbert (London: Penguin, 2005).

[7] [18] Xenophon, A History of My Times [Hellenica], trans. Rex Warner (London: Penguin, 1966), 3.4.18.

[8] [19] Plutarch, Life of Lycurgus, 22, in Plutarch, On Sparta.

[9] [20] Quoted in Coulanges, La Cité, p. 202.

[10] [21] Polybius, The Histories, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford World’s Classics, 2010), 6.56.

mercredi, 06 décembre 2017

‘Caesar was de volmaakte staatsman, niet Bismarck!’

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‘Caesar was de volmaakte staatsman, niet Bismarck!’

De beroemde historicus Theodor Mommsen beschouwde Caesar als de 'volmaakte staatsman'. Als liberaal bestreed hij rijkskanselier Otto von Bismarck.

Bijzonder mag het toch wel genoemd worden wanneer een historicus op 30 november, de tweehonderdste verjaardag  van zijn geboorte, een ‘Gedenktafel’, een herdenkingsplaat, krijgt in de twee steden, Berlijn en Leipzig, waar hij als professor voor respectievelijk Romeins Recht en Romeinse Oudheidkunde had gewerkt. Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903) speelde dan ook een grote rol als ‘politischer Professor’, politiek geëngageerde professor, in het Duitsland van de 19de eeuw. Hij was de eerste Duitser – en tot nog toe de enige historicus – die in 1902 de Nobelprijs voor Literatuur in de wacht sleepte, en dat voor een werk dat hij 50 jaar daarvoor had geschreven, een werk dat de nuchtere titel ‘Römische Geschichte’ draagt. In een meesterlijke taal schilderde Mommsen daarin de geschiedenis van Rome vanaf zijn ontstaan als boerendorp aan de Tiber tot aan zijn opkomst als wereldmacht onder Julius Caesar, de staatsman die ‘das Römertum gerettet und erneuert’, gered en hernieuwd had, en zo na tweeduizend jaar nog voortleeft ‘im Gedächtnis der Nationen’, in het collectieve geheugen van de naties, als ‘der erste und doch auch der einzige Imperator Cäsar’.

Revolutie

mommsen_postcard.jpgWas de geschiedenis van Rome een voorafspiegeling van die van het Duitsland waarin Theodor Mommsen leefde en stierf? Toen hij in 1817 in het Noord-Duitse Garding het levenslicht zag, vormde Duitsland nog een confederatie van 38 kleine en middelgrote staten. Maar toen hij in 1903 overleed, was Duitsland al een Keizerrijk en een geduchte Europese grootmacht met grootste ambities op het wereldtoneel. Als journalist, professor en later lid van het Pruisische parlement zou de jonge Mommsen ijveren voor een vrij en verenigd Duitsland. In 1849 had hij in Dresden zelfs de barricades van de (mislukte) revolutie beklommen, wat tot zijn ontslag als professor aan de universiteit van Leipzig leidde.

Wedergeboorte

Was Otto von Bismarck, de architect van de Duitse eenmaking in 1871, dan in zijn ogen een staatsman zoals Caesar voor wie het hoogste doel bestond in ‘die politische, militärische, geistige und sittliche Wiedergeburt der tief gesunkenen eigenen Nation’ (de politieke, militaire, geestelijke en morele wedergeboorte van de diep gezonken eigen natie)? Nee. Als volbloed liberaal vond Mommsen dat de Duitse eenmaking ten koste van de vrijheid was gegaan. Rijkskanselier Bismarck wilde met zijn protectionistische ‘Schutzzollpolitik’ de Duitse industrie en landbouw beschermen tegen de invoer van onder meer ijzer en goedkoper graan uit het buitenland. Dat kon Mommsen in zijn afschuw voor de staalbaronnen en de ‘Junker’, de kaste van adellijke grootgrondbezitters, niet pruimen. Bismarck wilde ook met een pakketje sociale wetten de sociaaldemocraten de wind uit de zeilen halen. De liberale Fortschrittspartei, waarvan Mommsen een van de oprichters was, deed dit alles af als ‘zwendel’ en ‘demagogische Volksbeglückung’ (een demagogisch paaien van het volk). Mommsen relativeerde ook de macht die Duitsland onder Bismarck had gewonnen, want bij de eerstvolgende ‘storm van de wereldgeschiedenis’ zou die weer verloren gaan – het klinkt haast profetisch – , terwijl de ‘Knechtung der deutschen Persönlichkeit, des deutschen Geistes’ iets noodlottigs was dat niet meer goedgemaakt kon worden.

Dominantie

Roemische_Geschichte-210x300.jpegZijn die harde woorden, die harde oordelen van Mommsen over Bismarck en het door hem verenigde Duitsland wel gerechtvaardigd? Het Duitse keizerrijk (1871-1918) was beter dan zijn reputatie. Wetenschappen en kunsten bloeiden, de ene na de andere universiteit werd opgericht, duizenden kranten- en tijdschriftentitels verschenen, iedere (weliswaar mannelijke) burger genoot stemrecht en waar in Groot-Brittannië 70% van de gronden in handen van de adel was, gold dat in Duitsland voor ‘slechts’ 30%. Had Bismarck niet ook met zijn ‘Sozialgesetze’ de kiemen gelegd voor de sociale zekerheid? En was de ‘Schutzzoll’ (de ‘beschermende tol’) niet revolutionair, zoals Paul Lensch (1873-1926), journalist en sociaaldemocratisch lid van de Reichstag, stelde in zijn boek ‘Drei Jahre Weltrevolution’ (Leipzig 1917)? Deze tol zou immers de opkomende Duitse industrie tegen de Britse concurrentie beschermd en uiteindelijk naar haar dominantie op de wereldmarkt geleid hebben.

Geest

Mommsen was het prototype van de ‘politischer Professor’. Duitsland heeft er zo heel wat gekend, maar de auteur van meer dan 1500 publicaties was misschien wel een van de scherpste. Het ‘Rasiermesser’, het scheermes, zo noemden zijn studenten hem omwille van zijn strijdlustig, maar ook opvliegend karakter. Als liberaal streed hij niet alleen voor een economisch systeem, waaruit de staat zich moest buiten houden, maar ook voor een samenleving waarin de vrijheid van alle burgers zou gewaarborgd zijn. Zo haalde hij hard uit naar zijn collega-historicus Heinrich von Treitschke die met zijn beruchte uitspraak ‘Die Juden sind unser Unglück’ de haat tegen de Duitse burgers van joodse origine aanzwengelde.

Mommsen was in 1890 een van de oprichters van de ‘Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus’, maar besefte al gauw dat de Jodenhaters niet overtuigd kon worden met ‘logische en morele argumenten’.  De geest van Theodor Mommsen leeft niet alleen in zijn werken, maar ook in zijn nakomelingen voort. Kleinzoon Wilhelm Mommsen was professor geschiedenis aan de universiteit van Marburg, en diens beide zonen, Hans (1930-2015) en Wolfgang (1930-2004), behoorden tot de beroemdste historici van de Bondsrepubliek Duitsland. Een van de dochters van Theodor Mommsen was gehuwd met de grote classicus Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf (1848-1931). Deze werd in de grotere openbaarheid bekend door een vete met de dichter-filosoof Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) die hij een in de ogen van filologen onwetenschappelijke want intuïtieve werkwijze aanwreef.

mardi, 21 novembre 2017

Populisme antique: les institutions romaines avant Jules César

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Populisme antique: les institutions romaines avant Jules César

Bernard Plouvier
Auteur, essayiste

Ex: https://metamag.fr

Ce que l’on sait, par la tradition, des institutions romaines est tiré pour l’essentiel des ouvrages de  Tite-Live et Denys d’Halicarnasse, qui furent deux contemporains d’Octave-Auguste. C’est assez dire que ces deux historiens ont travaillé sur des archives que l’on avait eu largement le loisir de caviarder et de remanier durant un demi-millénaire, chaque nouvelle version vantant une philosophie politique édifiée sur mesure pour conforter les prétentions du potentat ou les intérêts de la caste dominante à l’époque de sa rédaction.

Il est exact qu’au milieu du 5e siècle avant J.-C., la célèbre Loi des XII Tables a, en principe, ouvert l’accès à une justice égalitaire entre tous les citoyens romains. Qu’elle ait été appliquée est une autre affaire. Officiellement, la vie publique de la République romaine est fondée sur l’entente entre deux groupes sociaux : les patriciens, riches et titulaires des charges de magistrats, et les plébéiens, qui ont pour seul rôle public d’élire les candidats officiellement sélectionnés par les augures et les sénateurs. Longtemps ces deux groupes vivent en vase clos, les mariages mixtes étant formellement prohibés.

La civilisation romaine est mâle en ses valeurs, opposées à la mollesse féminine

Elle est de type féodal : un chef de famille patricienne a autant de clients plébéiens qu’il le veut bien. Ils lui doivent assistance physique en cas de danger ; en contrepartie, il les aide au plan pécuniaire et les défend le cas échéant devant les tribunaux. Entre patriciens, l’amicia est une entente fondée sur la réciprocité de services bien plus que sur des unions matrimoniales. L’hostilité entre groupes rivaux dégénère très vite en batailles de rues.

C’est une rude oligarchie qui atteint son bref apogée au 2e siècle, une fois écrasée Carthage, la concurrente de langue. C’est à cette époque que débute l’hellénomanie. De ce fait, l’on introduit dans la bonne société les réflexions philosophiques, on méprise davantage qu’auparavant les esclaves – d’où la révolte de – 73 à – 71, semble-t-il dirigée par le Thrace Spartacus – et plus que jamais l’aristocratie domine la vie publique.

Tout au plus, les sénateurs, les seuls qui puissent accéder aux magistratures élevées, distinguent-ils la partie la plus riche de la plèbe pour en faire la classe équestre, à qui est dévolue l’inspection des comptes et des actes des magistrats en fin d’exercice, ainsi que la cavalerie en cas de guerre. À compter du 3e siècle, les familles sénatoriales ruinées condescendent à des unions matrimoniales avec cette nouvelle caste équestre pour redorer leur blason.

Seuls les riches, ayant les moyens de se payer le coûteux armement (glaive et bouclier, pique, casque et armure, chevaux) sont des citoyens de grande importance, qui, versant leur sang pour la défense ou l’agrandissement de la Patrie, sont dispensés d’impôt, sauf cas exceptionnel. Comme en Grèce, les plus riches n’acquittent que l’impôt du sang. Cette tradition perdurera en France jusqu’au règne de Louis XIV. 60% des citoyens, les moins riches ou proletarii, s’associent pour armer quelques-unes des 175 centuries de fantassins et leurs voix ne comptent guère, comparées à celles des sénateurs et des chevaliers, sauf pour élire leurs propres magistrats, les tribuns de la plèbe… encore les choisissent-ils presque toujours dans les familles sénatoriales ou équestres.

Aux 3e et 2e siècles, la loi affermant entre guerriers victorieux les terres étrangères conquises (l’ager publicus) n’est en pratique plus appliquée : les sénateurs et les chevaliers les plus influents se les font attribuer. Le principe non écrit, mais tacitement reconnu par tous, est que seuls les propriétaires sont de bons soldats, car ils doivent défendre (ou accroître) leur patrimoine.

Tiberius-et-Caius-Gracchus-b86ce.jpg

Ce serait une erreur  que de prendre les Gracques, Tiberius et Caius, pour des populistes

Ces deux frères, issus d’une famille sénatoriale, commencent leur carrière dans le dernier tiers du 2e siècle, en protestant à juste titre contre les conditions de partage de l’ager publicus. Mais au lieu de le faire affermer aux seuls Anciens Combattants, ils veulent le distribuer aux pauvres citoyens de Rome, qui ne sont nullement des paysans, mais qui sont des électeurs, et Tiberius instaure, pour ce faire, une commission où ne figurent que ses parents et amis.

De la même façon, Caius fait vendre, aux frais de l’État, des céréales à prix bradés aux chômeurs et aux petits artisans de l’Urbs. Il cherche à fidéliser une clientèle plébéienne, parvenant à obtenir sa réélection plusieurs fois de suite au tribunat, grâce à une loi qui est une entorse grave au système institutionnel. Parallèlement, il fait octroyer aux chevaliers la perception des taxes perçues dans les provinces conquises. S’il est abattu, c’est pour avoir voulu unifier les castes équestre et sénatoriale un siècle trop tôt.

Ces très riches transfuges de la classe sénatoriale se sont comportés en démagogues, s’assurant une popularité facile en période de crise économique, sans recourir à la mesure efficace, mais peu prisée des paresseux : fournir du travail aux chômeurs plutôt que de les assister. Ils furent les prédécesseurs des modernes socialistes de salon, issus de la très riche bourgeoisie, généreux avec l’argent de l’État et promettant la lune sans effort.
Objectivement, ils ne reculèrent pas devant le risque de guerre civile pour imposer leur domination. Toutefois ils appartenaient à la gens Scipio et divers chroniqueurs leur étaient apparentés ou faisaient partie de la clientèle de leur très noble famille. Ils furent donc fort bien traités par l’historiographie conventionnelle, au point d’être encensés de tous bords depuis plus de deux millénaires… un observateur doué d’un rien de malice pourrait soutenir que cette réputation même les exclut du groupe des populistes qui, toujours et partout, furent réprouvés des auteurs bien-pensants et bien-narrants.

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Caius Julius Caesar, le premier grand populiste romain

Appartenant à la très aristocratique gens Julii, il est, par sa mère, le neveu d’un très grand chef de guerre, Caius Marius, le vainqueur des Cimbres du Jutland, des Teutons des rivages méridionaux de la Baltique, des Maures et des Noirs de Numidie (le Maghreb occidental). Marius fit œuvre de populiste : il ouvrit largement l’accès au corps des officiers aux plus valeureux des légionnaires d’origine obscure (des plébéiens pauvres) et ordonna une équitable distribution des terres conquises entre tous les soldats parvenus à leur « congé honorable ».

Il fut le créateur d’un symbole populiste destiné à défier les siècles. Durant la guerre qui l’opposa, à la fin du 2e siècle, aux sénateurs, dirigés par son ex-chef d’état-major Lucius Cornelius Sylla, il rassembla ses partisans par le logo de la botte de foin plantée sur un pilum. Leur guerre, durant laquelle ni l’un ni l’autre n’hésita devant le franchissement du modeste Rubicon ni ne recula devant le pillage des demeures romaines des adversaires, fut le prélude d’un siècle de guerres civiles qui ne se terminèrent que par la victoire, en – 30, d’Octave, héritier et neveu de César. Premier titulaire de l’imperium majus, en – 27, avec le titre de princeps senatus, soit en français moderne les pouvoirs d’un empereur, Octave-Auguste fut le premier chef permanent, civil, militaire, mais aussi religieux de Rome, titulaire de l’Auctoritas – la primauté morale et spirituelle – et de la Potestas – la toute-puissance temporelle….

Caius Julius Caesar,  né en – 100, ne fut jamais « empereur », mais sous l’Empire romain, l’héritier, associé au trône d’un Augustus (l’empereur), était appelé un Caesar… Kaiser et tsar furent des titres impériaux se référant à l’illustre Jules. Épargné par Sylla, César est d’abord l’ami du chevalier et grand général Pompée, tous deux s’associant au plus riche des Romains, Marcus Lucius Crassus. César parcourt à très vive allure le traditionnel cursus honorum : Flamine de Jupiter (prêtre) à 17 ans, tribun militaire à 27, Pontifex maximus (grand-prêtre) à 38 ans, il accède pour la première fois au consulat en – 59, puis devient le proconsul des Gaules (de – 58 à – 51), ce qui lui apporte gloire et fortune. De – 49 à – 46, il mène la lutte contre Pompée et divers sénateurs, d’Italie en Espagne, d’Afrique du Nord en Égypte, puis en Asie Mineure. Élu dictateur par les Comices (l’assemblée des citoyens de Rome) à compter de – 49, il meurt assassiné en mars – 44, six mois après avoir désigné Octave comme successeur.

Qu’il ait été victime d’épilepsie et bisexuel n’est d’aucun intérêt pour l’historien. Ce fut en revanche, un génie politique et militaire comme l’on en a rarement vu dans l’histoire. Plutarque ne s’y est pas trompé qui mit en parallèle les vies d’Alexandre le Grand et de César. Toutes les réformes de César ont pour finalité de lutter contre le parlementarisme (le Sénat) et sa corruption électoraliste (entre bien d’autres exemples possibles, il n’est pas exagéré d’affirmer que Marcus Tullius Cicero – Cicéron – fut un démagogue). Il peuple le Sénat, accru d’un tiers de ses membres, de Celtes et d’Ibères, mais aussi de plébéiens de talent, les espérant moins corruptibles que les aristocrates.

Parallèlement, il diminue d’un tiers le montant des fermages publics et celui des impôts, mais il fait désormais payer sénateurs et chevaliers. Il protège les provinciaux de l’avidité des gouverneurs (issus des deux castes riches de Rome), puis décide de remplacer les gouverneurs issus du sénat ou de la classe équestre par des fonctionnaires, révocables par le chef de l’Exécutif. Il lutte contre la prévarication et le trafic d’influence des magistrats… on comprend son impopularité chez les chroniqueurs issus de la caste sénatoriale et sa popularité extrême du côté de la plèbe, qui exige pour ses funérailles une innovation : l’incinération dans les limites de l’Urbs.

Il a indéniablement créé un culte de la personnalité, moins par goût de la gloriole que pour asseoir son autorité. S’il fut « divinisé » après sa mort, ce fut pour signifier que son esprit s’était rendu digne d’être admis en la présence des dieux, où qu’ils demeurent. C’est ce que les Juifs et les chrétiens, intoxiqués par leur fanatisme monothéiste, n’ont jamais compris… pourtant les « saints » ont la même prérogative que les sujets « divinisés » par les païens : contempler la gloire divine.

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Toute l’œuvre de César, poursuivie par son exceptionnel neveu, a pour but de créer un État centralisé, fort, de type monarchique, où la Justice soit réellement égalitaire. Octave-Auguste fait ensuite adopter par le Sénat une loi permettant à chaque libre ressortissant de l’Empire, citoyen romain ou non, d’être jugé selon les coutumes de sa Nation, avec un droit d’appel au princeps senatus. César tente de moderniser la civilisation romaine, acceptant ainsi une mise à jour du calendrier, qui sera réactualisée au XVIe siècle… mais en pays antipapistes, on restera longtemps fidèle au calendrier julien.

Les droits de douane, qui font rugir tant de riches chroniqueurs, ne sont que la contrepartie de la Pax romana régnant en Méditerranée et sur les routes, de la fin de la guerre civile jusqu’au IIIe siècle. Seuls les citoyens romains ont le privilège de posséder une habitation n’importe où dans l’Empire, tandis que les hommes libres qui ont droit de cité ne peuvent en posséder une ou plusieurs que dans les limites de cette cité et de son terroir… Saül-Paul ne fut jamais citoyen romain, mais citoyen de Tarse.

Tout changera avec le grotesque édit de Caracalla, en 212, étendant le droit de citoyenneté romaine à tous les hommes libres de l’Empire. La décision (de motivation fiscale) de ce berbère par son père et syrien par sa mère, fut l’une des causes majeures de la destruction de l’Empire, conjuguant ses effets désastreux avec l’affaissement moral de l’élite, le fanatisme religieux et la très niaise charité des chrétiens, en une époque où les ennemis, avides de richesses, étaient innombrables.

Avant cet édit désastreux, durant le long apogée de l’Empire, le princeps senatus devait, pour plaire aux aristocratiques chroniqueurs, se comporter en digne personnage, sage et respectueux des formes (sinon des lois), étant « le bon berger du troupeau impérial »… la phraséologie chrétienne n’a fait que reprendre une expression païenne qui date du règne d’Octave-Auguste, manifestement reprise par Jésus de Nazareth lors de son enseignement semi-public, sous le règne de Tibère.

Texte tiré pour l’essentiel de Bernard Plouvier : Le populisme ou la véritable démocratie, Les Bouquins de Synthèse Nationale, 2017

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jeudi, 25 mai 2017

Cicero’s “On Old Age” and Modernity’s Obsession with Newness

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Cicero’s “On Old Age” and Modernity’s Obsession with Newness

Ex: https://neociceroniantimes.wordpress.com 

I don’t believe that it will come as a surprise to most readers that Western Civilization is obsessed with the idea of being “modern,” and has been for quite a while. Concomitant with this concept is that of “newness.” If something is new, then this is equated with it being better. Conversely, things which are old are viewed as out-of-date or even useless.  This mentality has wormed its way into practically every facet of life in the West. Indeed many of our industries operate on the principle of planned obsolescence – purposefully engineering their products to be superseded buy newer models on a regular basis.

Coupled with this tendency is the one similar to it that fetishizes youth while disdaining old age. Our shallow societies equate youth with beauty, and give preference to those in our societies who have the least knowledge and wisdom. Youthful foolishness is honored over staid, grumpy old wisdom. Westerners spend billions of dollars every year on surgeries and pharmaceuticals, vainly trying to stave off the inevitable effects of both entropy and their degenerate lifestyles.  Nearly the entirety of our entertainment, advertising, and related establishments are focused on catering to the young – when is the last time you saw an older person hawking the latest electronic gadget or starring in the hottest new sitcom?

In his essay “On Old Age,” Cicero lauds the blessing of the aged, giving four reasons why men fear growing old and then refuting those reasons.

First, there is the reason that old age withdraws a man from the public life.  Because he is not as physically vigourous, an old man could not participate in the wars and other employments requiring bodily strength.  Yet, to this Cicero rejoins that there were many, many examples of old men still active in the public life who rendered great services to the state through their passion, oratory, and wisdom.  Though the sword arm may be enfeebled, the swords of the tongue and the mind need not be dulled in the least.

Second, old age saps the bodily strength of a man.  Yet, as Cicero through the elder Cato argues, though this is often the case, it is not always so.  Even when it is, old men bring forth other areas of strength in which they exercise power with others – dignity, influence, paternal authority, knowledge, erudition, wisdom.  These allow them to act in ways even greater than those who merely depend on physical strength.

Third, there is the reason that old age deprives a man of the enjoyment of sensual pleasures.  Yet, Cicero points out that the aged should be thankful for this, rather than regretting it.  Sensual pleasures generally corrupt a man, being the author of innumerable evils ranging from adulteries to treason.  If a man did not train himself through philosophy to eschew these pleasures anywise, then he ought to be glad that old age deprives him of them.  Yet, the old man may still enjoy the pleasures of intellectual attainments, of philosophy and literature and the cultivation of his property and family.  So while old age robs a man of the evil, it leaves him in possession of the capability to enjoy the good.

Fourth, old age brings one nearer to death than other men.  Yet, as the author notes, death comes to us all, and none will enjoy the possession of this life for very long in the grand scheme of things.  A great-souled man will not fear what he cannot escape anywise, but will instead strive to act in such a way as to bring the most good through his life at every stage of it, in the ways most appropriate to each of its seasons.

These four reasons are generally complementary, and while he examines them in detail, they may essentially be boiled down to the fact that old age allows a man full access to the wisdom of both study and experience. Leading the contemplative, examined life is indeed easiest for the hoary head.  At the same time, the exercise of his wisdom – in giving counsel, in providing the sum of his wisdom through the influence of oratory, of passing on his accumulated knowledge and the perspicacity that comes with long exercise of his foresight and judgment – allows him to lead the active life even while physically weakened.  In a sense, he is able to participate in both of Evola’s “two paths.”

Cicero’s observations are indeed in very good accord with what we may observe in Traditional societies. Unlike cultures ravaged by modernism, Traditional societies do not view their elders as burdens or as hindrances.  Instead, the elders are the repositories of their society’s collective shared wisdom.  Equally as important, they are the vehicles through which this wisdom is passed on to future generations. There are very good reasons why kings and generals were often attended by councils of elders.

This may be seen in Cicero’s own Roman Republic.  The word “senate” derives from the Latin root senex, meaning “old, aged” and by connotation describe old men who were full of wisdom.  The Senate as originally constituted was intended to be a source of council for the executive, a place where the collective wisdom of aristocrats who had spent their lives in service to the state could be drawn upon by the consuls tasked with leading the nation.

In Cicero’s day – as in our own – this reverence for age and wisdom was passing away.  Much of this was because Roman society was falling into the trap of idolising youth without requiring either manly vigour or sound wisdom from it.  One need only look at the relative leniency with which Clodius Pulcher, of bona dea and trial for incest fame, was dealt and his ability to secure the exile of Cicero later on.  Clodius was so popular with the plebs, in part, because his youthful beauty and sexual magnetism ingratiated him with an increasingly frivolous and trivially-minded populace.  However, another cause for the Republic’s decadence was that her old men were acting foolishly, pursuing individual ambition at the expense of the state and nation.  Much like the Baby Boomers in America, the people in Roman society who should have been passing on timeless wisdom were merely passing time pleasing themselves with flippancy.

The Scripture hints at the divide between the two types of elders when it says,

“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31)

The grey hairs are the corona of golden grandeur surrounding the head of the wise and majestic elder who follows the path of wisdom and righteousness.  Yet, what a cause for shame and disgrace is it for an elder to be found in frivolity, puerility, and waste!

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The inordinate amount of money which Westerners spend on try to hide the effects of age and extend their youth has already been mentioned above.  Unfortunately, Westerners also spend billions of dollars hiding our elders away in nursing homes and other facilities which are designed to replace traditional familial piety and enable the children to live lives just a little bit freer from their responsibilities.  Nursing homes are perhaps the perfect storm of ways in which our wrongheaded society deals with our elders.  In these facilities, our elders are shuffled off to die, treated like children, abused by the scum of our society – there is no pursuit of their knowledge and experience, no respect for their exalted status.  That this is the case, in light of the decades-long trends in our societies, should not be surprising, for reasons which are quite manifest.  Age demands things like responsibility, maturity, and faithfulness.  Our youth- and pleasure-centered societies today prefer to shift their burdens onto others while living for themselves for as long as they possibly can.

Even aside from its treatment of people, the West worships newness in other ways while unmooring itself from tradition, experience, wisdom, and what is old and tried.  We see this even in the very architecture of the buildings constructed in recent years.  For centuries, the West built beautiful buildings, finely proportioned and richly decorated, as befitting a civilisation full of confidence in itself.  This architecture built upon millennia of traditional forms and consciously sought to connect the present with the past.  Now, we build angular, disjointed monstrosities which no sane or reasonable person could ever call “beautiful.”

In our literature, the West has abandoned timeless forms in poetry and prose in favour of “free verse” and “stream of consciousness” and other modernistic forms.  In our music, we’ve replaced musical forms that invigourated the soul and spirit and which celebrated our history and cultural legacy with repetitive, pre-packaged garbage appealing only to the flesh.  In our education system, we have replaced the traditional curricula and classical learning with useless electives on one hand, and with such narrow specialisations in technical fields on the other that the students are functionally retarded in any area outside their specialty.

All of this combined – the casting off of the anchors of our cultural traditions with their nobility and cultivation – is why very few know, and even fewer really understand, our history.  “History” is the very opposite of today’s zeitgeist that worships at the altar of modernity and innovation.  History, by its very nature, turns the eye back to the past, demanding that the soul learn from those who have gone on before.  When the focus of your attention only goes back a few months, it’s hard to connect with music, poetry, architecture, or philosophy which is centuries old.  And when your primary concern is getting the latest iPhone so that millennials will think you’re “with it,” it’s hard to be sympathetic to your elders who are there, just waiting to pass on to you our combined civilisational wisdom, if only you’d have the sense to receive it.

Restoring a reverence for the elders of our society – and doing so in a timely enough fashion that the elders remaining will be ones with any traditional wisdom left to pass on – ought to be a long-term goal for Traditionalists and neoreactionaries.  The idolatry of youth must give way once again to the veneration of the elders.  This is a shift in polarity which will go completely against the grain of so-called modern society.  Yet, it is one which must take place – and which we must encourage at every step and in every way we can – if the good and noble elements of our civilisation are to be preserved for future generations.

jeudi, 09 mars 2017

GERMANICUS de Yann RIVIERE

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GERMANICUS de Yann RIVIERE 

par Hubert de Singly

Ex: http://www.culture-chronique.com 

Le dernier ouvrage de Joël Schmidt “La mort des César” raconte avec beaucoup de talent  la fin des soixante dix empereurs romains qui se succédèrent à la tête de l’Empire jusqu’à sa fin.  Mais il existe une catégorie de princes qui n’accédèrent jamais  à la magistrature suprême alors même qu’ils en avaient l’étoffe. Ce fut le cas de Germanicus qui mourut à 34 ans à Antioche manquant une consécration qui lui tendait les bras. Yann Rivière qui  connait parfaitement l’histoire politique et juridique de la Rome  Antique nous propose  une biographie serrée de plus de cinq cents pages  de celui qui fut le petit fils de Marc Antoine, l’époux d’Agrippine et le père de Galigula. 

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   D’emblée l’historien s’interroge.  L’Empire n’aurait-il pas été plus puissant  si Germanicus n’était pas mort  si jeune ?  Son entreprise de consolidation de la domination romaine en Orient n’aurait-elle pas été menée à son terme?  S’il avait vécu, le roi des Parthes qui a pleuré sa mort n’aurait-il pas pas vécu en bonne entente avec Rome au cours  des années suivantes plutôt que de s’engager dans une guerre qui vida les caisses de l’Empire pour le contrôle de l’Arménie. Toutes ces hypothèses restent évidemment au conditionnel mais elles en disent long sur cette personnalité hors du commun. En effet peu de ses contemporains auraient pu imaginer que le fils de Livie et de Marc Antoine occuperait une telle place dans l’Etat Romain et qu’il contribuerait autant à la défense de l’Empire. Rappelons  qu’il brilla avec ses légions en Illyrie  et qu’il effaça le désastre de Varus en Germanie en infligeant une cruelle défaite au chef légendaire Arminius.  La suite de son ascension  se poursuit en Orient  où il consolida la paix  et joua un rôle politique de premier plan.  Il mourut persuadé qu’on l’avait  empoisonné  ce qui est bien possible et ce qui ne déplut pas forcément à Tibère qui assistait l’ascension de Germanicus avec inquiétude.  Reste que dans toutes les régions où il passa son souvenir resta vif longtemps  après sa disparition.

  Ce “Germanicus”  de Yann Rivière se lit comme un roman. Nous traversons  l’Empire au côté de l’un des personnages les plus flamboyants que Rome enfanta.   L’ouvrage est à fois un formidable récit et  une minutieuse reconstitution  historique. L’une des meilleures biographies historiques de l’année. 

Hugues DE SINGLY

CULTURE-CHRONIQUE.COM encourage ses lecteurs à se rendre en librairie  afin de soutenir le réseau des librairies françaises. Vous pouvez aussi cliquer sur le logo "Lalibrairie.com", votre commande sera alors envoyée chez le libraire de votre choix. Enfin, hormis "Amazon", la plupart des librairies en ligne que nous vous proposons sont aussi des librairies de centre-ville que nous vous encourageons à découvrir. La santé du livre dépend de la santé des librairies. 


En savoir plus sur http://www.culture-chronique.com/chronique.htm?chroniqueid=1687#XddOW37BipCFt0BJ.99

jeudi, 30 juin 2016

Dominique Venner “Samurai D’Occidente” CasaPound Latina presenta il Breviario dei Ribelli

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Dominique Venner

“Samurai D’Occidente”

CasaPound Latina

presenta il Breviario dei Ribelli

CasaPound Latina ha organizzato per venerdì 8 luglio alle ore 19.00 una conferenza di presentazione del libro tradotto in italiano “Samurai d’Occidente – il breviario dei ribelli” di Dominique Venner.

Un’occasione per ricordarne l’estremo sacrificio sull’altare della Cattedrale di Notre Dame, un gesto da lui stesso spiegato come di forte ribellione “Insorgo contro la fatalità. Insorgo contro i veleni dell’anima  e contro gli invasivi desideri individuali”.

L’autore verrà presentato dai militanti di CasaPound attraverso le sue parole. Nella nota il movimento comunica: ‹‹La chiamata di Venner ai giovani europei per noi è chiara, riappropriarsi della Tradizione, l’identità e le fonti spirituali ancestrali.

Riacquisiamo il diritto di definirci europei a costo di pagarne il prezzo fino in fondo, senza esitazioni e senza delegare. In prima persona.››

Concludono da Viale XVIII Dicembre: ‹‹L’invito ai cittadini è per venerdì 8 luglio a CasaPound dalle ore 19.00 in poi, lasceremo un ampio spazio al dibattito con i nostri militanti e simpatizzanti.››

dimanche, 10 avril 2016

Alle origini dell'Urbe millenaria

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17:33 Publié dans Evénement | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : événement, italie, rome, rome antique, antiquité romaine | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

vendredi, 11 mars 2016

L'Italia, Roma e il sacro

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samedi, 05 mars 2016

Passione dell'Eurasia - Su Gumilev

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Venerdì 26 febbraio, presso gli uffici dell’Istituto di Alti Studi in Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliarie (IsAG), è stato presentato e discusso il nuovo libro di Dario Citati intitolato La passione dell’Eurasia. Storia e civiltà in Lev Gumilëv, recentemente pubblicato per i tipi dell’editore Mimesis.

Assieme all’Autore, che è Direttore del Programma “Eurasia” dell’IsAG, erano presenti a dibattere diversi ricercatori e collaboratori dell’Istituto, i quali hanno commentato il pensiero di Gumilëv e individuato l’utilità per lo studioso odierno di geopolitica.

Storico e antropologo sovietico, Lev Gumilëv (1912-1992) ha legato il proprio nome agli studi etnografici sui popoli nomadi della steppa e al concetto di “etnogenesi” come chiave interpretativa della storia delle civiltà. Gumilëv osservò il rapporto tra clima ed espansione della potenza nomadica in vari periodi storici, traendone la convinzione di una precisa correlazione dovuta al fragile equilibrio tra pastorizia, bioma della steppa e precipitazioni. Ciò malgrado, questa correlazione quasi meccanica non poteva spiegare, a giudizio di Gumilëv, la formazione delle etnie e i cicli di ascesa e declino delle civiltà. Fece allora ricorso alla nuova categoria di “passionarietà”, la capacità degli individui (ma per loro tramite anche di un intero popolo) di tendere verso la realizzazione di un fine superiore, financo superando il proprio istinto di autoconservazione. È la maggiore o minore presenza di questa passionarietà all’interno di una società a spingerla in alto verso l’acme o lungo il pendio del declino.

La figura di Gumilëv, seppur fonte di controversia, è oggi molto popolare in Russia e in altri paesi ex sovietici. I suoi libri sono ampiamente diffusi, le sue categorie frequenti nel discorso pubblico, gli è stata dedicata l’università della capitale kazaka Astanà, e anche il Presidente russo Vladimir Putin l’ha citato positivamente in più di un suo discorso ufficiale. Ciò stona con quanto subì in vita, ossia l’ostracismo accademico per la sua mancanza di ortodossia marxista-leninista, e la persecuzione e l’internamento nel gulag per la “macchia” ereditaria d’essere figlio di due poeti ripudiati dal regime comunista, ossia Nikolaj Gumilëv e Anna Achmatova.

La discussione ha evidenziato come, malgrado taluni limiti scientifici di Gumilëv imputabili anche alle difficilissime circostanze della vita e formazione, il suo pensiero sia di massimo interesse per chi voglia rifondare lo studio della geopolitica su basi scientifiche. La sua analisi del legame tra clima ed espansione nomadica nella steppa risulta, almeno nell’impianto, sostanzialmente confermata da studi recenti. «Gumilëv è un continuatore della tradizione vitalista, che permette di guardare il fenomeno etnico da un punto di vista innovativo e più ampio», ha osservato Matteo Marconi, Direttore del Programma “Teoria e storia della geopolitica”. Daniele Scalea, Direttore Generale, ha sostenuto che laddove Gumilëv è stato davvero anticipatore sia nell’aver applicato nozioni e metodi delle moderne scienze naturali per spiegare la storia umana, un approccio oggi alla base della fortunata corrente della big history.

Il libro di Dario Citati, La passione dell’Eurasia, sarò ora presentato alla Scuola di Lettere, Filosofia e Lingue dell’Università Roma Tre, alla presenza, oltre che dell’autore, di quattro eminenti studiosi di storia e slavistica come Fabio Bettanin, Cesare G. De Michelis, Lorenzo Pubblici e Adriano Roccucci (che ha anche prefato l’opera). L’appuntamento per tutti gli interessati è per lunedì 14 marzo, alle ore 17, presso l’Aula 18 (Piano Terra) del Dipartimento di Filosofia, Comunicazione e Spettacolo, in Via Ostiense 234/236 [clicca qui per la locandina].

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10:50 Publié dans Eurasisme, Evénement, Livre, Livre | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : lev gumilev, événement, rome, livre, russie, eurasisme | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

vendredi, 22 janvier 2016

Boudicca: Königin und Kriegerin

Boudicca: Königin und Kriegerin

Wir schreiben das Jahr 60 n. Chr. In einer weit entfernten Provinz des römischen Reiches, in Britannia, stieg aus einem Aufruhr eine Königin und Kriegerin namens Boudicca hervor. Das unbeholfene Geschick der römischen Besatzer erregte den Zorn der Briten. Der Tropfen, der das Fass schließlich zum überlaufen brachte, war die befohlene Vergewaltigung der Töchter Boudiccas durch römische Soldaten und die Auspeitschung der Kriegerin selbst. Boudiccas Antwort war die Erschaffung einer mächtigen Armee, die den Kampf mit Rom aufnehmen sollte.

jeudi, 21 janvier 2016

Carnuntum - Weltstadt im Land der "Barbaren"

Carnuntum - Weltstadt im Land der "Barbaren"

Der römische Offizier und Historiker Villeius Paterculus berichtete sechs nach Christus, dass ein unter dem Feldherrn Tiberius stehendes römisches Heer sein Winterlager im keltischen Königreich Noricum errichtete. Der genaue Ort der Niederlassung wird als "Carnuntum" bezeichnet. Das war die Geburtsstunde der legendären, römischen Großstadt im "Land der Barbaren", später auch als Klein-Rom an der Donau bezeichnet.

Mit 3-D-Animationen und Spielszenen wird das Leben und Treiben in der antiken Metropole wieder zum Leben erweckt.

Besonders ausführlich beschäftigt sich der Film mit den ganz alltäglichen Dingen des römischen Lebens vor 2.000 Jahren, die aus heutiger Sicht besonders interessant erscheinen. Wie hat die normale Zivilbevölkerung gelebt? Und wie der einfache Soldat? Was wurde gegessen und was wurde getrunken?

Antworten auf diese und viele Fragen mehr sind in den aufwendig inszenierten Spielszenen verpackt. Der Zuschauer erfährt, wie der so genannte "Puls", der Eintopf, in der römischen Armee zubereitet wurde, aber auch, was die so genannte High Society tafelte: Die Oberschicht Carnuntums genoss kulinarisch nahezu jeden Luxus. Sogar frische Austern, die man in salzwasserbefüllten Holzfässern von der Adria bis an die Donaumetropole transportierte, standen auf der Speisekarte. Doch nicht nur "was" gekocht wurde, sondern auch "wie" gekocht wurde, zeigt der Film in hyperrealistischen Bildern.

dimanche, 22 novembre 2015

Letteratura esoterica e Magia dell'Eros in Gustav Meyrink

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mardi, 27 octobre 2015

Arqueólogos alemanes encuentran el campamento de Varus en Germania

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Arqueólogos alemanes encuentran el campamento de Varus en Germania


Ex: http://www.abc.es
 
Los arqueólogos de la Universidad de Osnabrück que están realizando las excavaciones
 

Si los alemanes beben cerveza en lugar de vino, aliñan con mantequilla y no con aceite de oliva, o siguen hablando una lengua endiabladamente hostil a los herederos del latín es porque nunca fueron romanizados. Y se lo deben a Arminio, un líder germano que contuvo a las legiones e impidió la creación de una provincia romana en la margen derecha del Rin. La gesta de Arminio, sin embargo, se ha mantenido a lo largo de los siglos en la niebla del mito nacional germánico, puesto que el único testimonio arqueológico de su victoria era una piedra funeraria con el nombre del centurión Marcus Caelius y una inscripción que documenta que murió en la Batalla de Varus. Ahora, el reciente hallazgo arqueológico de un campamento romano en Baja Sajonia arroja una primera luz científica sobre la leyenda y ayuda a redibujar el mapa de la historia romana de Alemania.

Se trata de un campamento romano de tiempos de Cristo en lo que hoy es Wilkenburg, al sur de Hannover, en el que según los primeros indicios llegaron a concentrarse al menos durante unos cuantos días unos 20.000 soldados romanos fuertemente armados, lo que equivale a tres legiones y a una décima parte del total de las tropas del imperio. Es el primero de su tipo hallado en el norte de Alemania y concretamente estuvo ocupado, según las primeras mediciones, entre el año 12 a.C. y el 9 d.C.. Desde él parten además, en varias direcciones, rutas de 20 kilómetros en las que se encuentran otros pequeños campamentos auxiliares. Junto a restos de sandalias romanas, pinzas y fíbulas, en total vario cientos de objetos y restos, han sido halladas monedas de la época del emperador Augusto. Hay denarios romanos acuñados en Lyon y otras monedas de origen celta. Su pormenorizado estudio aportará precisión al descubrimiento, mientras el trabajo de campo ha cumplido ya sus primeros objetivos.

Fueron unas imágenes aéreas lo que llamó la atención de los arqueólogos estatales del Land de Baja Sajonia y comenzaron las excavaciones en un área de 500 por 600 metros. Harald Nagel, afanado en el repaso con detectores de metales de unas 30 hectáreas de terreno, se muestra prudente en su valoración del hallazgo. «Los estudios de las monedas están todavía en su fase preliminar y es pronto para sacar conclusiones», dice, pero reconoce que «el yacimiento demuestra que Hannover y sus alrededores fueron un punt de importancia histórica y estratégica muy superior a lo que se estimaba hasta ahora».

Al igual que las legiones de Varus, los trabajos arqueológicos han de vérselas con constantes y copiosas lluvias que convierten las trincheras de excavación en auténticos barrizales cada dos por tres. «Tácito ya describió sobre la batalla de Varus que llovían perros y gatos», recuerda el arqueólogo Hening Hassmann, que destaca el cruce de rutas norte-sur y este-oeste que fue elegido para instalar a las tropas romanas.

En efecto, en 1515, el humanista Ullrich von Hutten descubrió en el primer libro de los Anales de Tácito una referencia a «Arminius», de quien el historiador romano decía que había infligido una derrota a Roma cuando el imperio estaba en todo su esplendor. Tácito calificaba a Arminius como el verdadero liberador de Germania. Ullrich von Hutten tomó las lacónicas apreciaciones de Tácito sobre Arminius y publicó en 1529 un diálogo póstumo titulado «Arminius», que cultivaron los los protestantes para subrayar la independencia no ya ante la Roma imperial sino ante la iglesia romana.

Hay consenso entre los historiadores sobre que Arminio, un germano que había formado parte del ejército romano y en quien Varus confiaba, formó una alianza entre varias tribus bárbaras y le tendió una trampa a Varus para hacerse con el control de la región. Las legiones romanas sucumbieron a una emboscada que terminó en carnicería. El actual hallazgo, por su importancia y dimensiones, apunta por ahora solamente a dos posibles lecturas: o bien el mismo Tiberio subió más al norte de lo que se había pensado hasta ahora, o fue Varus el que llegó hasta Hannover para allí morir y poner fin a la expansión romana en Germania.

lundi, 14 septembre 2015

S.P.Q.R

S.P.Q.R

Inno Impero Romano

00:05 Publié dans Histoire | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : histoire, rome, rome antique, antiquité romaine | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

lundi, 04 mai 2015

Sopravvivere al collasso economico

20:40 Publié dans Evénement | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : pietro san giorgio, événement, italie, rome, casa pound | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

mardi, 23 décembre 2014

Así se combatía la corrupción pública en la antigua Roma

Gürtel, Operación Púnica, los ERE de Andalucía, la familia Pujol, Bárcenas o el caso Noos son el pan nuestro de cada día. Desayunamos, comemos y cenamos con ellos en las noticias. Como explica el escritor y ensayista italiano Carlo Alberto Brioschi, en el siglo XXI, la corrupción se ha convertido en una especie de bacilo de la peste que, sin embargo, padecemos desde hace siglos. Y así es, porque delitos tan actuales como el cohecho, el tráfico de influencias, el robo de las arcas del Estado, la extorsión, la adjudicación de obras públicas a amigos poderosos o la compra de votos colapsaron a muchos gobiernos de la antigua Roma, que tuvieron que establecer toda una serie de leyes para perseguirla.

Durante algún tiempo, las estructuras del Estado romano se resistieron a esta corrupción sin sufrir grandes contratiempos. Era parte de un sistema social y político basado en el clientelismo, el abuso de poder, las mordidas y el enriquecimiento personal. La codicia de los funcionarios públicos no tenía límite y estos delitos fueron creciendo a ritmo de las conquistas. Pero llegó un momento en que el gobierno se hizo impracticable y el derecho romano tuvo que introducir cambios.

corr9782262034009.jpgSin embargo, la convivencia entre buenos propósitos y acciones deshonestas por parte de los gobernantes fue siempre una de las características de Roma. Un ejemplo de esto fue Licinio Calvo Estolón, tribuno de la plebe en el 377 a.C., que introdujo una fuerte limitación a la acumulación de tierras por parte de un único propietario, además de una severa reglamentación para los deudores, pero luego fue acusado de haber violado sus propias leyes.

Las «quaestiones perpetuae»

Durante el periodo republicano (509 a.C. - 27 a.C.), el propio sistema electoral facilitaba, de hecho, la corrupción, que se agravó a partir de la expansión territorial y marítima producida después de la Segunda Guerra Púnica. Los gobernadores comenzaron a enriquecerse sin escrúpulos a través del cobro de impuestos excesivos y la apropiación de dinero de la administración pública. Como denunció en aquella época el historiador romano Salustio, «los poderosos comenzaron a transformar la libertad en licencia. Cada cual cogía lo que podía, saqueaba, robaba. El Estado era gobernado por el arbitrio de unos pocos».

La primera ley que se estableció fue la «Lex Calpurnia» (149 a.C.), como consecuencia del abuso del gobernador de la provincia de Lusitania, Servio Sulpicio Galba, al que se acusó de malversación de fondos y fue juzgado por un jurado procedente de la orden senatorial, algo que era toda una novedad. Sin embargo, esta primera ley no imponía ninguna pena pública, sino la devolución del dinero que había sustraído.

En el 123 a.C., se establecieron una serie de tribunales permanentes, llamados «quaestiones perpetuaes», cuyo cometido fue el de investigar todas estas malas prácticas y extorsiones de los gobernadores provinciales que habían sido denunciadas por los ciudadanos. Al principio no tuvieron el éxito deseado, pero fueron importantes porque con ellos se definió legalmente el «crimen repetundarum», que hizo alusión a los delitos de corrupción, cohecho o tráfico de influencias.

Este sistema se fue perfeccionando con la definición de nuevos delitos. El «crimen maiestatis», por ejemplo, definía los abusos de poder por parte de los senadores y magistrados. Era considerado el acto más grave contra la República y fue castigado, incluso, con la pena de muerte o el exilio voluntario. El «crimen peculatus» hacía referencia a la malversación y apropiación indebida de fondos públicos por parte de un funcionario, así como la alteración de moneda o documentos oficiales. O el «crimen ambitus», que describía la corrupción electoral, especialmente la compra de votos.

Leyes anti-corrupción

Todos estos y otros delitos trajeron consigo nuevas leyes, que querían dar respuesta a los diferentes cambios políticos, económicos y morales que se iban produciendo. La «Lex Acilia» –que apareció al mismo tiempo que los «quaestiones perpetuaes»–, subió la pena para los delitos de malversación de fondos y cohecho de la «Lex Calpurnia», estableciendo una multa del doble del valor del daño causado por el funcionario. Es una de las más conocidas, porque se ha conservado gran parte de su texto original.

ferrangarreta.com_lictorsarm.2g..jpgOtras leyes importantes fuero la «Lex Sempronia» (122 a.C.) o la «Lex Servilia de Repetundis» (111 a.C.), que establecieron penas más severas para los delitos de cohecho. La segunda, en concreto, fue la primera ley que introdujo la pérdida de los derechos políticos. Ambas fueron completadas con otras como la «Lex Livia Iudiciaria» (91 a.C.), que impuso una corte especial para los juicios contra los jueces corruptos que hubieran cometido extorsión, o la «Lex Cornelia», que aumentaba las condenas para los magistrados que aceptaran dinero en un juicio por cohecho. Esta última debe su nombre al dictador Lucio Cornelio Sila, que la estableció tres años antes de morir.

La corrupción, sin embargo, seguía imparable. En esta época, el gobernador de Sicilia, Verres, se convirtió de alguna manera en el arquetipo originario del «corruptócrata» incorregible. Se calcula que robó al erario público más de cuarenta millones de sestercios y depredó literalmente su provincia. Y no fue una excepción. El mismo Cicerón, que no le tenía especial simpatía y se esforzaba en presentarlo como un caso claro de avidez de poder, afirmó, por el contrario, que su conducta representaba la norma en buena parte del imperio romano.

Julio César, en las puertas del Tesoro

Cuando aún era cónsul, Julio César fue el que propuso la última y más severa ley republicana contra los delitos de corrupción, la «Lex Iulia», que incluía penas de multas desorbitadas y el destierro. Es curioso que fuera él, pues poco antes no había dudado en recurrir a cualquier medio para acceder al consulado. «Cuando el tribuno Metello trató de impedirle que tomase dinero de las reservas del Estado, citando algunas leyes que vetaban tocarlo, él respondió que el tiempo de las armas es distinto al de las leyes… y se encaminó hacia las puertas del Tesoro», contó de él el historiador Plutarco. Eso no le impidió establecer más de cien capítulos en su ley, la mayoría de ellos destinados a los magistrados e, incluso, jueces que se hubieran dejado sobornar para favorecer a un acusado en un delito de corrupción.

El contenido de todas estas leyes demuestra el grado de corrupción que se vivía en Roma. Con la llegada del Imperio en el 27 a.C., éste no solo no se redujo, sino que se incrementó. Los políticos siguieron sobornando a los funcionarios para conseguir puestos en la administración, mientras que a los ciudadanos se les asfixiaba cada vez con más impuestos y se veían obligados a pagar propinas a cambio de que se les agilizara algún trámite solicitado.

A partir de Augusto, el erario público fue perdiendo importancia e independencia, al ser sustituido por la caja privada del emperador. Esto facilitó, sin duda, la corrupción, a la que se intentó poner remedio. Durante la época del emperador Adriano (24-76 d.C.), por ejemplo, se amplió «crimen repetundarum» a todos los actos de malversación realizados por los funcionarios públicos y los sancionó incluso con penas de muerte. Y junto a este crimen, aparecieron otros como la «concussio» (concusión), una de las prácticas favoritas de los gobernadores provinciales, consistente en exigir a los ciudadanos una contribución no establecida por la ley o aumentar otra sí existente de manera desorbitada.

Pero la historia de Roma parece que ya había sido escrita por el escritor y político romano Petronio, cuando se preguntó, impotente, en el siglo I: «¿Qué pueden hacer las leyes, donde sólo el dinero reina?».

Fuente: ABC

vendredi, 19 décembre 2014

René Guénon, Roma, Convegno

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mercredi, 10 décembre 2014

Marco Valle: Confini & Conflitti

19:33 Publié dans Evénement, Livre, Livre | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : marco valle, événement, italie, rome | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

mardi, 25 novembre 2014

Adinolfi, Circulo Futurista, Roma

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14:24 Publié dans Evénement | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : gabriele adinolfi, rome, événement | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

samedi, 22 novembre 2014

Was Roman Citizenship Based on Laws for “All of Humanity”?

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Was Roman Citizenship Based on Laws for “All of Humanity”?

By Ricardo Duchesne 

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

450px-2.jpgThe claim that the Roman empire was a legally sanctioned multiracial state is another common trope used by cultural Marxists to create an image of the West as a civilization long working itself toward the creation of a universal race-mixed humanity. This is a lie to which patriots of Western Civ must not yield.

The majority of scholars agree that Rome’s greatest contribution to Western Civilization was the development of a formal-rational type of legal order characterized by the logical consistency of its laws, the precise classification of its different types of law, the precise definition of its terms, and by its method of arriving at the formulation of specific rules wherein questions were posed, various answers from jurists were collected, and consistent solutions were offered. It was a legal order committed to legal decisions based on fairness and equity for all citizens.

The early Romans, before the Republic was established in 509 BC, lived according to laws established through centuries of custom, much like every other culture in the world, each with their own traditions, each ruled by what Max Weber called “traditional law,” a type of authority legitimated by the sanctity of age-old practices. Traditional law tended to be inconsistent and irrational in its application. During Republican times, the Romans created, in 451 BC, their famous Twelve Tables, which established in written form (lex) their centuries-old customary laws (ius). The Twelve Tables [2] covered civil matters that applied to private citizens as well as public laws and religious laws that applied to social fields of activity and institutions. These Tables were customary but they also constituted an effort to create a  code of law, a document aiming to cover all the laws in a definite and consistent manner.

Roman Legal Rationalism

Weber associated “formal-rational authority” with the rise of the modern bureaucratic states in the sixteenth century, but legal historians now recognize that he understated the “formal-rational” elements of both medieval Canon Law and Roman Law. (Harold Berman and Charles Reid, “Max Weber as Legal Historian,” in The Cambridge Companion to Max Weber, ed. Stephen Turner, 2000). By the time we get to the writings of Q. Mucius Scaevola [3], who died in 82 BC, and his fellow jurists, we are dealing with attempts to systematically classify Roman civil law into four main divisions: the law of inheritance, the law of persons, the law of things, and the law of of obligations, with each of these subdivided into a variety of kinds of laws, with rational methods specified as to how to arrive at the formulation of particular rules. These techniques to create and apply Roman law in a rationally consistent and fair manner were refined and developed through the first centuries AD, culminating in what is known as Justinian’s Code, a compilation of all existing Roman law into one written body of work, commissioned by the emperor Justinian I, who ruled the Eastern side of the empire from 527 to 565 AD. Initially known as the Code of Justinian,  it consisted of i) the Digest, a collection of several centuries of legal commentary on Roman law, ii) the Code, an outline of the actual law of the empire, constitutions, pronouncements, and iii) the Institutes, a handbook of basic Roman law for students. A fourth part, the Novels, was created a few decades later to update the Code.

This legal work is now known Corpus of Civil Law, considered to be one of the most influential texts [4] in the making of Western civilization. More specifically, some see it as the foundation of the “Papal Revolution” of the years 1050-1150, which Harold Berman has identified as the most important transformation in the history of the West. The ecclesiastical scholars who made this legal revolution, by separating the Church’s corporate autonomy, its right to exercise legal authority within its own domain, and by analyzing and synthesizing all authoritative statements concerning the nature of law, the various sources of law, and the definitions and relationships between different kinds of laws, and encouraging whole new types of laws, created not only the modern legal system, but modern culture itself. This is the thesis of Berman’s book, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition [5] (1983).

There are flaws with Berman’s great book (simply stated, he underestimated much of what was accomplished before and after 1050-1150), but he is right to emphasize not just this Papal revolution but the common Western legal heritage of the peoples of Europe neglected by the nationalist historians of the nineteenth century, and, of course, by some New Right intellectuals who prefer “pagan” law.

Here I want to criticize recent works which argue that the Roman legal system broke decisively with any notion of ethnic identity by formulating a legal system “for all of humanity.” This is not easy; there is a universalizing logic inherent to Western civilization, which becomes all the more evident in the development of Roman law, which deliberated and encoded legal principles in reference to all human beings as possessors of reason in common and as inhabitants of a multiethnic Roman community. I don’t intent to fabricate arguments about the racial self-awareness of Romans and the particularistic language of Roman law. But I will nevertheless try to show that Roman legal ideas cannot be used to make the claim that they invented a legal system for a “multicultural and a multiethnic state” — teleologically pointing towards the creation of our current immigrant state in which racial identities are abolished and a raceless humanity is created. There is vast temporal and cultural space between Rome and our current state of affairs.

This argument will come in two parts, with a second part coming later, focusing on the Stoic idea of the “world citizen.” Now I will focus on Philippe Nemo’s argument on the “Invention of Universal Law in the Multiethnic Roman State,” presented in his book, What is the West? (2006). As I said in my last essay [6], Nemo is a French [7] liberal right political philosopher. In the chapter on Rome, he contradicts his earlier assertion that Greek citizenship was “regardless of ethnicity,” as he admits that Greek city-states were “ethnically homogeneous” (p. 17). But Nemo now thinks he has a tight case to persuade us that with their contribution to law “the Romans revolutionized our understanding of man and the human person” wherein all reference to ethnicity was disregarded. His first line of argument is that, as the Romans expanded beyond Italy and created a multiethnic empire, and foreign subjects came under their sovereignty,

it became necessary to use ordinary words and formulas without reference to the religions or institutions of specific ethnic groups so that they could be understood by everyone. This, in turn, encouraged the formulation of an increasingly abstract legal vocabulary. (p. 19)

I would express the implications of this expansion across multiple ethnic lands as follows: with non-citizens inhabiting the empire, to whom the current laws for citizens did not apply, jurists developed “laws of nations” or laws that applied to all people, foreigners and non-citizens as well as citizens. In connection to this they also began to reason about the common principles by which all peoples should live by, the laws that should be “natural” to all humans (rooted in “natural law”). But this form of reasoning about law was not merely a circumstantial reaction to the problem of ruling over many different categories of people; it was a form of reasoning implicit in the process of reasoning itself. The development of an increasingly abstract vocabulary resulted from the application of reason (as opposed to customary thinking) to the development of law; abstraction is inherent to the process of reasoning and results from the process of generating definitions, classifications, and concepts, recognizing common features in particular instances and individual cases, and generating different types of laws and different terms. As Aristotle writes in his Posterior Analytics, inductive reasoning “exhibits the universal as implicit in the clearly known particular” (Book I: Ch.1).

Essentially what the Romans did was to apply Greek philosophy, particularly the Aristotelian inductive logic of moving from experience to certainty or probability by coalescing together in one’s mind the common elements in the particular cases observed. Romans jurists were trained to be very practical about their legal reasoning, and rather than debating ultimate questions about justice, they went about deciding what was the best legal course of action in light of the stated facts, and, in this vein, they classified Roman law into different kinds of law in a systematic fashion, as was evident in the treatises of Q. Mucius Scaevola.

The point I am driving at is that just because the Romans were developing legal concepts that were increasingly abstract and without reference to customs by particular groups, it does not mean they were trying to create a  multiracial state with a common system of law, or a nation dedicated to racial equality. There is clearly a connection between rationalization and universalization which engenders an abstract language that bespeaks of a common humanity. That is why Western thinkers always write in terms of “man,” “humanity,” “mankind” even if they are really thinking of themselves, be they Greeks, Romans, or Germans. Westerners created a universal language in the course of becoming the only people in this planet — as I will argue in a future essay — self-conscious of the “human” capacity to employ its rational faculties in a self-legislating manner in terms of its own precepts, rising above the particularities of time, custom, and lineage and learning how to reason about the universal questions of “life” and the “cosmos.” Europeans are the true thinkers of this planet, the only ones who freed their minds from extra-rational burdens and requirements, addressing the big questions “objectively” from the standpoint of  the “view from nowhere,” that is nobody’s in particular. But we should realize that it is the view of European man only.

Romanitas

Now, it is also the case, as Nemo points out, that with the emergence of the Hellenistic world after Alexander the Great’s conquests (323-31 BC), Greek Stoics philosophized about a common humanity (in the context of the combination of Greeks, Persians, Syrians, Egyptians, and other groups within this world) with a common nature. It is also the case that Stoicism was very influential among Romans, who produced their own Stoics, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. Influenced by the Stoics, Roman jurists developed the idea of natural law, which, in the words of Cicero, means:

True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application. . . . And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law . . . (cited by Nemo, p. 21).

How can one disagree with Nemo that the Romans bequeathed to us the idea that we should envision a New World order in which all the peoples of the earth are ruled by universal laws regardless of ethnicity and other particularities? Add to this the fact that with the Edict of Caracalla issued in 212 AD, all free men in the Roman Empire were given Roman citizenship. Citizenship had long been reserved for the free inhabitants of Rome, and then extended to the free inhabitants of Italy, but this edict extended citizenship to multiple ethnic groups.

Still, it would be a great mistake to envision Roman citizenship as a conscious effort on the part of ethnic Romans to recognize the common humanity of all ethnic groups. Firstly, the extension of citizenship was part of the process of Romanization [8], of acculturation and integration of conquered peoples into the empire; it was intended as a political measure to ensure the loyalty of conquered peoples, and the acquisition of citizenship came in graduated levels with promises of further rights with increased assimilation; and, right till the end, not all Roman citizens had the same rights, with Romans and Italians generally enjoying a higher status. Secondly, it is worth noticing that this process of Romanization and expansion of citizenship was effective only in the Western (Indo-European) half of the Empire, where inhabitants were White; whereas in the East, in relation to the non-Italian residents of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Judea, and Syria, it had only superficial effects.

It has been argued, to the contrary, that Roman political culture itself fell prey to “orientalizing” motifs coming from the eastern side. Bill Warwick’s book, Rome in the East (2000), shows that Roman rule in the regions of Syria, Jordan, and northern Iraq was “a story of the East more than of the West,” and states flatly that these lands were responsible for the “orientalizing” of Rome (p. 443). Thus, it would be wrong to argue that, as a result of extending citizenship to non-Romans, “a single nation and uniform culture developed [10].”

Thirdly, keep in mind that, before Caracalla’s edict of 212 AD, the vast majority of those who held Roman citizenship were from Italy; in other words, Romans only agreed to grant citizenship to non-Italians close to the last period of their empire; and historians agree that the only reason Caracalla extended citizenship was to expand the Roman tax base. In fact, it took a full-scale civil war, or, as it is known by historians, a Social War [11] or Marsic War [Lat. socii = allies], 91–88 BC, for Romans to agree to share citizenship with their Italian allies who had long fought on their side helping them create the empire. It is no accident that the roots of the word “patriot” go back to Roman antiquity, the city of Rome, expressed in such terms as patria and patrius, which indicate city, fatherland, native, or familiar place, and worship of ancestors [12]. Roman ethnic identity was strongly tied to the city of Rome for centuries, and when it did extend beyond this city, it did so almost exclusively in relation to closely related ethnic groups in Italy [13] and southern Gaul.

Therefore, it would be anachronistic to project back to the Romans a program akin to our current immigration/diversity reality, implemented with the conscious purpose of undermining European pride and identity and creating a race-mixed population. The cultural Marxists in control of our universities are simply using deceptive arguments to make Europeans think that what is happening today is part of the natural course of Western Civ. This form of intellectual manipulation of students is now rampant in academia.

In a second part [14] of this essay, I will question some of the incredibly absurd lengths to which the  Stoic ideal of a cosmopolitan citizen has been willfully misinterpreted and misapplied by our “major” scholars as a “program of education” to be implemented across the West in order for white children to overcome their racism and sexism and accept mass immigration and matriarchy.

Reprinted from: http://www.eurocanadian.ca/2014/10/was-roman-citizenship-based-on-laws-for.html [15]

 

 


 

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

 

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/11/was-roman-citizenship-based-on-laws-for-all-of-humanity/

 

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/corpus-iuris-civilis.jpg

[2] Twelve Tables: http://thelatinlibrary.com/law/12tables.html

[3] Q. Mucius Scaevola: http://books.google.ca/books?id=Tk52EsGqNUgC&pg=PA312&lpg=PA312&dq=Q.+Mucius+Scaevola&source=bl&ots=CyPPloBw39&sig=KfckI1HVc6jriVX5C-O7IbPX6sE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NFVKVLmBHsSYyATfl4CQCA&ved=0CFUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Q.%20Mucius%20Scaevola&f=false

[4] most influential texts: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/law/legal-history/roman-law-european-history

[5] Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674517768/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0674517768&linkCode=as2&tag=countecurrenp-20&linkId=2MXE7J4XLZ34ULXY

[6] my last essay: http://www.eurocanadian.ca/2014/10/acclaiming-greek-invention-of-civic.html

[7] French: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/scs/summary/v004/4.1astell.html

[8] process of Romanization: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_citizenship

[9] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/RomanEmpire-e1416255262305.jpg

[10] a single nation and uniform culture developed: http://anthrojournal.com/issue/october-2011/article/romanization-the-materiality-of-an-immaterial-concept

[11] Social War: http://ocw.nd.edu/classics/history-of-ancient-rome/eduCommons/classics/history-of-ancient-rome/lectures-1/marius-vs.-sulla-romes-social-wars

[12] worship of ancestors: http://www.veryshortintroductions.com/view/10.1093/actrade/9780192853882.001.0001/actrade-9780192853882-chapter-3

[13] closely related ethnic groups in Italy: http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2008/2008-04-25.html

[14] second part: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/11/martha-nussbaum-premier-citizen-of-the-world/

[15] http://www.eurocanadian.ca/2014/10/was-roman-citizenship-based-on-laws-for.html: http://www.eurocanadian.ca/2014/10/was-roman-citizenship-based-on-laws-for.html

 

samedi, 15 novembre 2014

Il 27 novembre Forum Euro-Russo alla Camera

Le grandi infrastrutture eurasiatiche: il 27 novembre Forum Euro-Russo alla Camera

Le grandi infrastrutture eurasiatiche: il 27 novembre Forum Euro-Russo alla Camera

 

La situazione finanziaria degli ultimi anni ha mostrato la necessità di ripartire dall’economia reale per superare la crisi. In un contesto geopolitico globale in cui emergono nuovi poli e si accumulano tensioni internazionali, le infrastrutture continentali costituiscono un momento essenziale per la ripresa, in grado di influire sia sui processi di modernizzazione tecnologica sia sulla stabilità in politica estera. La Russia e l’Europa partecipano della continuità dello spazio continentale euro-asiatico, ricco di risorse naturali e di potenzialità di sviluppo: nonostante le difficoltà congiunturali dovute all’attuale regime di sanzioni, la costruzione di reti di collegamento e di corridoi di trasporto rappresenta un orizzonte di fondamentale importanza per entrambi gli attori coinvolti. Mai come nel caso delle infrastrutture continentali, lo sviluppo tecnologico, il rilancio dell’occupazione e gli investimenti pubblico-privato possono infatti rappresentare un volano di ripresa tanto per il commercio internazionale quanto per la costruzione di rapporti pacifici tra i Paesi dell’Unione Europea e la Federazione Russa.

 

Giovedì 27 novembre 2014 alle ore 9.00, presso la Sala delle Colonne di Palazzo Marini, Camera dei Deputati, in Via Poli 19 a Roma, si terrà il convegno Le grandi infrastrutture eurasiatiche: nuova industrializzazione e geopolitica della pace, organizzato da Istituto di Alti Studi in Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliarie (IsAG) e Associazione “Conoscere Eurasia” con la collaborazione di Accademia Diplomatica del Ministero degli Affari Esteri della Federazione Russa e “Russia Beyond the Headlines”.

 

Per la locandina col programma completo cliccare qui.