Urbi et orbi: the city ruling an Empire (I)

This Latin sentence, which means “for the city (Rome) and for the world”, is applied today in a literal sense exclusively to the blessings that the bishop of Rome, that is, the Pope, imparts to all the faithful Catholics of the World by granting them plenary indulgence and remission of sins. In a broader sense it is used to refer to any type of message addressed in a general way to all the inhabitants of the earth.

Male/Female (Qui…Quae…)

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.

The citizens of Capua were consulted

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”.

Some Roman public service contractors were fraudsters

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.

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

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.

Crowned with laurel

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?

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

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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