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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

Habits

Articles referring to the people’s ways of life and behaviors in Greek and Roman societies.

Demetrius the Cynic and his relationship with Emperors Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, Titus and ...., Domitian? (Intellectuals against the power)

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One of the many intellectuals, who suffered the wrath of power, was Demetrius of Corinth (ca.7 / 10 AD -ca.90), Greek prestigious intellectual and cynic philosopher, who lived a long life of 80 years in Roman imperial era, full of disappointments. There are many ideas from him, cited by many authors, and he had a significant influence on many Roman authors, like Seneca.

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Nero inaugurates a great gym and Demetrius will ruin the opening ceremony. (Intellectuals against the power III)

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One of the greatest contributions of Roma to Western civilization was the urbanization of the territory that was conquered with its legions. Rome built cities (urbs) and implemented a modern system of citizen life (civitas).

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Intellectuals against the power (II)

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The powerful possessors of force and violence, have generally distrusted of thinkers, but they are forced to live with them. The issue of conflicting meet of the king and the sage is a worldwide topic.http://en.antiquitatem.com/diogenes-alexander-intellectual-power Plato envisioned a republic in which the rulers were philosophers, scholars, intellectuals, constituted in a caste with special education. Plato's attempt to make reality his theory in Sicily with Dionysus the Elder and then with his son was a complete failure. Probably the king can not become a philosopher, because he would ask for his own condition, his own status as king, or the philosopher cannot to be king, because in the exercise of power he would cease to be a philosopher. Consequently it seems they are condemned to coexist.

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All roads lead to Rome, (Omnes viae Romam ducunt)

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Not today, but two thousand years ago certainly all roads led to Rome, which was the capital of a vast empire. More than 380 major roads or highways with more than 80,000 kms., allowed its legions, its officials, its citizens to go out and go easily to the capital, Rome. It is curious to note how the direction of all the roads marked to Rome as final destination, like rays or spokes of a huge circle. They range from the Pillars of Hercules in Hispania or from the "Hadrian’s Wall" in Scotland to the Euphrates in Mesopotamia, from northern Germany to the North African desert.

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For a healthy and balanced diet

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Approximately 800 million people worldwide have insufficient food, that is, one in nine. A few million, mainly in Europe and North America, live in abundance and the richest of them enjoy a luxury food and waste which it is nothing but a big scandal. Here some cooks enjoy enormous fame and consideration, the restaurants are qualified and distinguished not only by the quality of their food but by the novelty of the offered dishes. Specialized guides qualified and distinguished them with the famous symbols: stars, forks, etc. Something similar happened in affluent Rome (http://en.antiquitatem.com/annona-apicius-panem-circenses-petronius) , in which there are thousands of hungry people with a few greedy and gourmand without limit. Of them the most famous is Marcus Gavius Apicius, who lived in the first century and was the author of a famous cookbook titled “De re coquinaria”, "Cookbook", about I will say something another time.

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Animals should not be treated badly

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Respect for animals and nature in general is a very modern concern. There are numerous ancient texts that involve explicit reflection on the need to respect the "environment", among other reasons because the ability to destroy or modify was much lower and this probably makes unnecessary that reflection.

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The Death of Socrates: his last day.

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One day in 399 B.C. at dusk after sunset, Socrates, the wisest and best of men, hurried the glass of hemlock (a well common plant in our geographical area) that will produce death, in the presence of his close friends who desolate attend the moral fortitude with which he faces the judgment. Socrates was 70 or 71 years old. An unjust sentence, following the infamous complaints of three opportunist, envious and resentful citizens with their teacher, made in a favorable overall environment for it, killed the teacher and gave him everlasting fame that in no way could suspect his contemporaries.

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Why Socrates was condemned to death?

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The question has often been raised. Plato in his "Apology" or "Defense of Socrates" and in some dialogues and Xenophon in his "Defence of Socrates," give us enough information about how the negative environment was generated to condemn the most wise and just man by the the apparently inconsistent reporting of three mediocre and envious fellow. And it is precisely this failure and injustice that keeps alive the interest in understanding the contradiction that the first democracy in history condemned unjustly the most wise and just man who courageously accept the death penalty. Now, as a general rule it can not be interpreted past with social values of the moment.

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The thunder is the fart of the clouds

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The comedy The Clouds, of Aristophanes, ridicules to the point the figure of Socrates, helping to create an atmosphere of hostility to the fully honest philosopher that would take him to the death sentence. Comedy does not hesitate to use themes and cartoons which excite popular hilarity such as the emphasis on eschatological and "anal" (referring to the anus or ass) themes, as the explanation of why farts and farting occur according to opinion of the "great Socrates”.

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The debts of the Greeks

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There are many European citizens who are appalled by the claim of the government and the Greek people that it applied them a release or reduction of the huge debt incurred in previous years themselves. There are also other citizens who analyzed the origin of that debt, which is largely considered abusive and they are more comprehensive. The current situation is not at all comparable with the old, but I will offer two series of texts, some referring to Solon, who faced the untenable situation legal situation of many Athenian citizens back in the sixth century BC with legal modifications, they are indebted to the slavery; and other texts that reveal the particular attitude of an individual, also knocked down by particular debt, which is reflected for example by Aristophanes in his comedy the Clouds.

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"Ubi bene, ibi patria". Where it is well with me, there is my country.

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They are numerous classic texts in which the patriotism of citizens is exalted, both in Greece, where they felt very superior to the rest of the world, which they call "barbaric" because they do not speak Greek but babble, as in Rome, where they also knew themselves as the dominators of the world.

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Men, women, androgynous

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At this time around the summer solstice, when the days are longer and the nights shorter, they proliferate celebrations and demonstrations of the "gay pride" in which homosexuals, gays, lesbians and transsexuals exhibit the rainbow flag and say the right to have a different sexuality to heterosexual, which until recently was the only canonized and defended by the laws and customs, while others were condemned and persecuted.

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