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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

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

Politics

Articles concerning the ancient theory and political thought, and concerning the organization
of social and civic life.

Male/Female (Qui…Quae…)

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It is a well-established question that women in general in the ancient world, in Greece and in Rome, hardly play any public, social and political role, remaining largely invisible, even in different stays within their own home; so we call "gynoecium", γυναικεῖον, the rooms of the house for the exclusive use of women; the "andron", Ἀνδρῶν, is the part of the house reserved for men.

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The citizens of Capua were consulted

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As it is well known, the Athenians invented back in the fifth century BC. the democracy or political system in which the citizens, the people, the "demos", chose their rulers. This grandiose fact, whose most advanced development only exists in a few present Western countries, does not allow us to ignore the great limitation of that original democracy: only the citizens, a minority among the inhabitants of Athens, had these rights; Nor women, nor slaves, nor foreigners could vote. Neither should we ignore the ease with which the people were "manipulated", impressed, to make damaging agreements even against democracy itself, when there emerge the "demagogues" who even impose "tyrants".

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Some Roman public service contractors were fraudsters

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In ancient Rome, and from Republican era, it is leased to private the exploitation of land and resources of the state, which were all conquered by the roman legions, and even strong companies of investors were established for it. This activity generated a space where it was easy to confuse the private with the public and produced some episodes of corruption which to some extent remind current events.

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At the gates of the Roman Empire / At the gates of Europe

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The History does not repeat itself but sometimes some events occur at different times and the have some similarity. See article http://en.antiquitatem.com/cervantes-world-book-day. In these present times they appear occasionally comparisons of the fall of the Roman Empire with the present time of tensions between East and West. More specifically similarities are seen between the events of the year 378 which end with the defeat of the Romans at Adrianople, present-day Edirne in Turkey at the current borders of Greece and Bulgaria and the death of Emperor Valens in battle and the wars in Iraq and Syria, which move millions of displaced fugitives from one place to another.

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Crowned with laurel

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Laurel leaves crown the best poets and the most seasoned soldiers. It is true that "weapons and the letters" quite frequently go together, but it is curious that the same decorative and symbolic element that rewards intelligence and art also serve as recognition of the value and military courage. The bay also has other values that should know, but why?

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Homo homini lupus (Man to man is an arrant wolf) / Homo homini deus (Man to man is a kind of God)

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Usually the phrase "homo homini lupus" is attributed to the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679), author among other works of Leviathan, essential work on the development of political philosophy in the modern age and of liberal thought.

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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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Dio Chrysostom recreates the meeting between Diogenes and Alexander and sets out his ideas about the divine origin of power.

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The most famous story of the first meeting of Diogenes with Alexander served later Dio Chrysostom to recreate the meeting, to satirize the power and the powerful and to present his ideas about the divine origin of power and legitimacy of its exercise.

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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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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 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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The man is a political animal (Zoon politikon, ζῷον πoλιτικόν)

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We must to be politically correct. But what does this “hackneyed” phrase meant on these days? There is no doubt it referrs to the obviously hypocritical attitude with which people, especially those who play a "political" function, should act to citizens, expressing just what your listeners want to hear or at least it which

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Do you think that I have acted my part on the stage of life well? Death and Testament of Augustus

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Caesar Augustus died on 19 August of the year 14 AD, at about four in the afternoon . It's been two thousand years since then. Caesar Augustus had a long reign and he had a peaceful death, smooth, unlike a number of his successors who suffered a violent death. had a peaceful death, smooth, unlike a number of his successors who suffered a violent death.

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Octavian Augustus in Hispania (in its two thousandth anniversary)

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Finally the hot summer has given way to sweeter autumn . The summer lasts June, the month of the goddess Juno, the homologous Roman of the Greek Hera, to September, the seventh month of the initial year of ten months. Between the initial month and the end of summer the months of July and August are threshed day to day. July first was called "Quinctilis", ie, the fifth month, and August "Sextilis", ie, the sixth month. The general or "imperator" Julius Caesar gave his name to the fifth and his nephew and first emperor Octavian Augustus gave the name to the sixth.

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