Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday 4/29 CC 302

Lessons for the U.S.? Some general analogies and differences between pax Romana and pax Americana
(cf. http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,794163,00.html)

a. sole superpower; military dominance
b. how to create a sense of unity or shared values/experience; e pluribus unum

1. Rome: law, cult/ritual (civil religion vs. fundamentalism), creation of opportunities, mythologizing of role models; pluralism

2. America: democracy (but are others ready?), individual liberty, creation of opportunities, mythologizing of role models, pluralism

c. "soft" vs. "hard" power: inspiration, values, culture - the issue of Romanization and Americanization
(both are hybrids, hence have global appeal);
pluralism and toleration as basic to superpowers (Amy Chua, Day of Empire, 2007)
d. Obvious differences: technology, health and hygiene, educational system, representative democracy

Sage final perspective on decline and fall: "Instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it subsisted so long"
(Edward Gibbon).

General perspective on Rome/America

Few exact, simplistic lessons
revamping of first year program

Lessons for US, look at historical experience and context
Roman influence as model for constitution, architecture, movies
Iraq conversation, age of "pax americana"
Neither invade and dominate under aegis of superpower
military dominance in both
Work through alliances between 198 countries in UN
arrangements with 132 of the 198
How does one generate unity through diversity, liberty, and individualism
Being 'roman' a "moving target"
dynamic definition
no cultural imperialism, but some necessity for continuity
"e pluribus unum"
What pulled Romans together?
Even under justinian and reunification: Law code
Did not mandate everything
Paul appeals to emperor,
When people live, they feel stability through legal system

No representative democracy
sense of participation in rome: religion
For rome, it is less about salvation, more civil religion
not invented by government, but keeps people involved
sense of belonging, involvement
Focus on fall empire should focus on how empire lasted quite so long
Many opened opportunities for people
economic social, etc. (esp in first three centuries)
US is a nation of immigrants, outlet for energetic, creative individuals
Interesting perspective: Romans like to mythologize their founders, role models
same take in US, George Washington's cherry tree, etc.
In current atmosphere, Ronald Reagan
We long for role models
Pluralism - Both societies, open to other influences

How does one maintain this kind of leadership?
Not just hard power, (economic or military) "soft power"
Brainchild of Joseph Nye
Values, inspiration, and ideas are seat of power
promise of opportunity, (ellis island, etc.)
One cannot hold an empire with 300,000 troops and no culture
American cultural imperialism
culture not imposed on people
American culture exists as a hybrid, more a global culture, hence global appeal
Economic Terms: "Low cost of entry"

Social glue: Pluralism

Life-span extension through history

Educational system
We're Privileged to get a University education today
Commitment to education, especially in C19
Educated citizenry the vanguard of the state

Outlets for activity in the state and empire
difficult to be a stakeholder
Current system preferable to roman empire

General perspectives, more than talking points

Essay Topics:
Both Essays on Julian

What if he lived longer?
Assassinated after 3 years

(Could have done the same with JC)
not trying to sanctify the guy

How effective would he have been?
What about flaws vs. virtues?

The Apostate
Fanatical about making things miserable for christians

Compare to other emperors starting with trajan, hadrian, etc.

Second Essay:
More creative
Fact Based
Advisor to roman empire towards the end
Ananlysis and description of the various problems that need to be fixed
Solutions more than description to problems
Comparison (were thing better in C2?) Why are these things good
26 emperors, 50 years, then Diocletian and tetrarchy - Constantine
Pros and cons
How does one establish a sense of community within the empire?
Assess julian in this context

Plan of action:
Talking points
Given flexibility, maintain balance

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday 4/24 CC 302

Nations rise & fall
Roman empire a huge entity, even by nation standards
(entire mediterranean!)
near east, britain, danube, N. Africa
looking for any single cause is silly
rather than analyze complexities, attractive to be reductionist
long history in analyzing Roman empire

Physical causes

I. Specialist theories

a. too much lead and you're dead
Faunal analysis, looking at skeletons & DNA analysis
Sister city of pompeii, herculaneum
high lead content in 79AD

samples from third century ~200 years later
(near lead mine in spain)
Insufficient sampling, 120 people
news headlines

tradition to reduce to a simple answer
reductionist theories lacking in basic methodology

Water never stands, always running
open trough style encourages Mineral Accumulation between lead and water

Romans knew about the dangers of lead

b. too much hot bathwater and you're sterilized

Popular establishments, like shopping malls, baseball parks
great place to hang out with friends
hot water affecting male gametes
decline of population

Train Stations modeled on roman baths

II. Some grand historical theories
(4 most influential)

a. Oswald Spengler: The Decline of the West
(After WWI) Context: WWI a shock to people all over
Tzars falling, many casualties, heavy burden of reparations in Germany
Connects doom & gloom
Popular Book at the time
Nations have Growth cycles, irreversible downslide
When did the productive side of rome end?
Answered: With conquest of carthage
Money as a chief culprit, moral subtext again

b. Arnold Toynbee: challenge and response
Won't see a historian like him again, a generalist
Endemic situation of overspecialized history
Toynbee asks how this process proceeds
A nation grows to meet challenges, crises
Toynbee says that ascent of a civilization is determined by ability to meet challenges
When they are unable to come up with adequate responses
A very dynamic history

c. Edward Gibbon: immoderate greatness
"Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire" 18th Century
Heart of 18th Century England
Genteel, plenty of time
Thesis: to 1453
Main reason is "immoderate greatness"
Empire grew too big
"Colossus on clay feet"
Why do Trajan and Hadrian do very well?
Not intended to be a parable of modern times, too simplistic: Some land not worth holding

Proper administrative means and perspective, adequate management

d. Paul Kennedy: imperial overstretch
"Rise & Fall of the Great Powers"
Yale Prof. 1989
Thesis: Imperial over-stretch
Things are going well, accumulation of territory
commitments made in the process
when a crisis hits, it's difficult to go back

Roman empire was big, but not unmanageable

How do you foster a sense of identity, shared values, and assumptions across the empire?
Is this a challenge that is too big?

Counter over-stretch countered by cession of territory.

Where are the boundaries in Africa?

III. Gladiators in perspective (cf. Course Packet, pp. 199-203)

Response to film, concept of entertainment nation
celebrating games too much to get any work done
one-sided interpretation
decline/fall not due to excess of attending games
Attractive element of roman life, hence success of film
Action scenes: violence in the arena
Compare to nascar, people attend to see crashes
Rugby, football, etc.

The reason gladiator succeeded: titanic

A. origins and development of games; some operative terms:
pollice verso, missus, sine missione, ferrum recipere, habet!,
Starts as performances at funerals of Roman aristocrats
tied to death
do all fights end in death? no.
prohibitively expensive
Many of these people survive
not an immediate death mission
very popular
as time goes on, stated decides to regulate it
public domain, state supervision
commercial situation
trainers, contracts with sponsors, etc.
not every day, some fight no more often than 2-3 times in a year
something that doesn't get in the movies: referees
pollice verso: with the thumb turned
missus: mercy
sine missione: without mercy, fights to the death (not the majority of fights)
ferrum recipere: to receive iron
habet! (he has it)
Thanatos: Greek for death

Very diversified

B. equipment categories (e.g. Thracian, retiarius); balance of protective
gear and vulnerability
Some named after conquered roman nations
fulcrum/focus, things being concentrated in arena
some thracian, some Gaulian
Balance protective gear against offensive gear
There needs to be vulnerability, but not a cakewalk
requires considerable skill
trained professionals
Another category: Retiarius net and trident
1 v 1, teams, etc.
Executions of criminals done live before show in the arena
Mythological context, slaughter by Live animals (orphus)
Blood & Guts first, then more 'refined' fighting
Distribution, N. Africa, Italy, Gaul
Can retire, these guys belong to lowest level of roman empire
despite social status, wildly popular, known by name
Beast Hunts also popular, exotic creatures, again, scope of empire
Huge industry
Animals fighting animals

C. the psychology behind it (Etruscans; cruel fathers; lack of expansionist wars, etc.);
affirmation of Roman values: courage, death defiance, clemency;
does viewing violence lead to violent behavior?
Inundation of violence
Field day for christian critique of roman empire
Blame etruscans
Typical upbringing of a Roman child is harsh
violence inculcated into children
Core roman virtues expressed in arena
bravery, clemency
threshold much higher than today
dying commonplace in society
lack of medicine, etc.

D. Gladiator to the Max(imus): the essence of Roman civilization?

IV. The real deal: chariot racing - the Roman world’s premier attraction (see Course Packet, pp. 203-207)
reality check: real chariots vs. 900 pound chariots in movies
fan mania, incl., of course, Caligula; circus riots (Constantinople)

More entertainment in chariot races
250,000 people in circus maximus
teams, fan mania incredible
flimsy construction
very vulnerable
up to 8 horses in front of a charioteer
More controlled violence
Large Fan Base
Tie in to modern interests in sports.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday 4/22 CC 302

Building services dependent on private business
revenue and income linkage causes concerns over bankruptcy
more rigidity, freeze things, prevent mobility
Diocletian's edict of prices
Between 313
close to 200 laws restrictiong free flow of curiales
people frozen in positions and jobs
Not a very sophisticated system
mentality different from laissez faire
357 - Julian says
everywhere I travel as emperor
people beg not to serve on council
highest honor to burden
Didn't reverse economic problems
many people disappearing (like to monasteries)

"What kind of factory would you not like to run?"
"A shoe factory."
"I mean everyone needs shoes, there's nothing wrong with that?!?"

Gore Vidal
380 - Cults Outlawed
392 - Christianity becomes state religion
More classes in early christianity, religious dept.
Many hybridizations

II. Division of the empire in A.D. 395 (Arcadius, Honorius); the empire strikes back: Aetius vs. Attila the Hun in A.D. 451;
the formal end in the west: Romulus Augustulus deposed by Odoacer in A.D. 476;
end of the eastern Roman empire: 1453 (fall of Constantinople)

theodocius dies, empire formally divided into western and eastern empires
Western empire falls in 476
Eastern empire doesn't fall for another 1000 years
eastern empires had same issues
limiting legislation
basic difference, western empire attacked earlier more efficiently by goths
"The Roman Empire fell because the Germans invaded it."

Atila the hun invades with big army, Romans defeat them
"If there's a will, there's a way"
Romans can still manage a major crisis
formal end of empire in 476
Romulus Augustulus about 14 (younger than nero!)
dysfunctional management team
guy winds up on the throne
They fire a good roman general

No fundamental change overnight
different management team, the goths
does get more efficient a few years later
emperor theodoric in 493
Gradual change that would have existed anyway
not the same empire in 476 as it was in the first century

III. Transformation: Ravenna

Theoderic (A.D. 493-526); Justinian (A.D. 527-565); Baptisteries; Churches of San Vitale, San Apollinare,
San Apollinare in Classe

Milan - Seat of the empire for a while
(then constantinople)
ravenna seat of western empire
goths take over
Attraction of invaders: ravenna still functions
Still use it as a capital
Justinian tries one last time to reunite empire
for a while, reunited under the aegis of the emperor in the east
Western emperor as a viceroy
Broke up, then dark ages
worldwide regression, torture, religious wars, etc.

IV. Decline, fall, or change: some general perspectives

a. external vs. internal causes; Polybius (2nd cent. B.C.)
b. overkill: 210 reasons; Santayana (no, he's not this guy); broad perspectives vs. narrow analogies
c. diversity: multiple causes, regional factors, cause and effect (e.g. population decline)

East v. West
Artificial divide, often overemphasized
many crossovers and continuity

What happened in Rome (the city)?
The church becomes the
Church mimics organization of the imperial state in first three centuries
Many better organized as empire dissolves

Flow of ever-rising christianity
Rome is still a symbol, sacked in 410
late antiquity - middle ages 40,000
(estimates of rome at its height 1,000,000)
Not flourishing
Analogous to athens after its defeated by the spartans (peloponessian wars)
lives on as a cultural venue

Western roman empire
goths come in, still capitol
Architectural innovation likely independent of politicla changes
octagonal thing, preserved aisles of basilica, apses
Arius (Arian controversy) missionize goths that come back
2 types of christianity in ravenna
baptestaries (for othodox) and some for arians
columns, the city is known for a wealth of mosaics

Compare to ariopagus
more form to the material portrayed in the decorum

Basilica features
bell tower
procession, friezes made with mosaic
pictorial representations as substitute for literacy
Sheep, final judgement
Roman Magistrate - Pontius Pilate

Emperor represented as secular route independent of papacy
title of pontifex maximus taken as title of papacy

Arguments against various theories
Romans always believed they had problems and were falling back
Roman word for trouble is "new things" res novae

at least 210 reasons proposed

"Those that do not study history are doomed to repeat it"
Supposedly can use history for precise analogies
interesting parallel phenomena, but good as perspective, not a manual
look at Vietnam v Iraq
One needs to Look at more than secondary, tertiary phenomena (symptoms)
lack of good historical etiology

VIIth inning stretch: the greatest chariot race of them all -- Messala vs. Ben Hur

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday 4/17 CC 302

Prologue: Julian as college student (pp. 126ff.)

university life: Libanius; trivium (grammar, rhetoric, dialectic)
quadrivium (geometry/geography, arithmetic, astronomy, music)

476 a "meaningless date"
Image cautes (up) cautopates (down)
separate emperor latinius postumus
trained in roman army, capitalized on weakness of the empire at that time
set up shop by himself
2 successors

From novel: from 12-18, isolated from outside world, studious
inundated with religious propaganda
highlight scenes, episodes that characterize this
jesus a figure that projects compassion, forgiveness
Julian sees monks flagellating another for heresy
Compare to Nero: Destabilized by advisors in adolescence
ages of 12-18 a formative time
hanging out with brother
constant fear for his life
any visitors may be a death squad

Gallus executed after Macellum
Julian under the radar, no imperial ambitions
Very stimulated in Athens
exposure to philosophy

use as a springboard for cultural knowledge
C4AD: academia personality oriented
paid directly, can get a break by recruiting other students for a course
(large classes: more $)
professor a model for intense personal interchange system
"Trivial" material from trivium, grammar, rhetoric(speaking[also content: traditions, quotes, history, literature], important in oral society), dialectic (investigating truth of opinions through dialog, arguments, and reconciliation)
not general education, available to those who can afford it
social ladder
basic branches called 'trivial'
quadrivium - (geometry, arithmetic, astronomy[navigation], music[not just for culture, mathematical structure, pythagorean thm.])

After constantius has eliminated those who are heirs of constantine
Julian given military command
not educated in tactics, strategy
successful command
popular with troops, they rebel
they march against constantius II
constantius dies beforehand
Julian now in power
works to stem tide of influence of christianity
intolerance repaid with intolerance

administrator, general, etc.
success of parthenids

Julian calls christians to council, turn them against one another
squabbles reemerge
as pontifex maximus

Start expropriating property of established church
heads send embassy to julian
julian quotes scripture and argues for poverty

Symbiosis between classical tradition and christianity
for julian, this symbiosis does not exist
tries to undo organic connection between the two

Edict: Christians cannot teach greek/roman authors at university, etc.

Key passage on p361-2, 4
Edict: they are using literature to subvert it to christian ends

not everything authenticated
true to flavor of period, so valid source for essays

amusing sequel this
Paragraph. 1 p 364
cannot teach homer aeneid
try to get around edict by rewriting old testament as series of greek(style) tragedies and plays
recast, rewritten as though greek tragedies and plays
afterwards forbidden
christians intent on maintaining contact with greco-roman tradition
Personality and assessment
'pagan puritan' - expects high moral standard, very Ascetic


christians provide hospitals, shelters, orphanages - gets converts
parallel to Hamas' humanitarian efforts (propaganda)
Philanthropy - loving people
Julian learns from this and imitates in policies

Scene tries to resurrect pagan cult of apollo
priest a janitor, botched sacrifice
temple burns down
paganism being forgotten, lack of skilled personnel
Suovetaurilia - a hard tradition to resurrect
blood sacrifice don't take place every day
not all bulls cooperative, either!

good reading/scene
can recognize julian by beard
"Antioch makes 6th street look like a monastery"
writes satire about himself, beard hater

Gaze from alexander the great, ethereal
Julian commemorates conquest of territory
military insignia

controversy: one of his own soldiers (likely a galilean) assassinated him from behind

Return to outline:
Answer to christianity, what does Julian tie-in with
cult of apollo, big movement, philosophical
last big answer of greco-roman tradition to christianity
Plato's philosophy - everything visible a derivative of underlying reality
ideal form for all things, not visible to eyes
special training
philosophers shall be kings and kings shall be philosophers

Some mysticism to this movement
"Broad church of paganism"
Most intellectual:
plotinus 204-270
selective, highbrow

pulled to street level, accessible here
Porphyry's anti-christian treatises
text criticism of old testament, hebrew bible
these texts not genuine

Amalgamates with magic, seances, theurgy
god invocation, 'divine working'
(maximus & sosipatra)
Priscus a neo-platonist, close to julian, critical of maximus & sosipatra, who are also close to julian
Julian gullible, not just a rational intellectual
maximus executed for bad prophecy

First trip to Constantinople, imperial palace
moves to combat bureaucracy
heck of an administrator

Byzantine namesake
'Byzantine empire' in east when the west falls in 476
(divided in 395)
1000 years later, the eastern empire falls
(did the same things wrong & right)
invaded by more potent military (Ottoman Turks)
"Byzantine" now associated with bureaucracy

This trend began under claudius (a bright guy)
laid down basic organization
various divisions/departments
many people coming into palace, relegated time
epistles - correspondance
a libellis - meaning in latin: a small book (petition to emperor) disaster relief, etc.
a rationibus - finance office (think rationing)

Hadrian comes in and expands this to a real civil service
no ex-military guys, more accountants, people educated in such things
emphasis on qualified civilians
root of civil service contrast with military service

Under Septimius Severus, this turns around
(He had served in the military)
loaded up bureaucracy with ex-military
when in the army, one follows orders
civil service 'by the book'
dispensation/interpretation of laws
Heavy-handedness weighs on people

Bureaucracy grows.
Oscar Wilde: “Bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.”

cubicularius - think cubicle, works in front of emperor
emperor sheltered from citizenry
limits discourse, communication
much like a chief of staff
distrust between government and people
agentes in rebus - secret police
agents in flames
less about spying, more about 'presence'
unpleasant living atmosphere

Julian makes tentative steps to move against this trend
cut short by his assassination

Continuing with julian...
(Will fall together on thursday)

look carefully at events when he goes to Antioch
Antioch loves high life
christians opposed to puritan ascetic virtues, prefer carnality
julian's comedy of errors for resurrecting apollo
Church "Charnel Houses" (so called for Bodily remains)
Takes bones out of church, engages in ceremony
church catches fire
doesn't make for harmonious relationship
blames christians

Attempt at a forced economy not working well
puts meanest administrator in charge

overall: personality assessment
confrontational, waves red flag
has a grasp of military and economic issues
likened to Don Quixote, 'out of bounds'
related hardships to abandoning pagan gods
stood for something that needed to be said
required modification
Death: marches against empire
successful expedition, dies in battle, wounded from behind (mystery for the ages)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday 4/15 CC 302


IV. The Age of the Soldier Emperors (a.k.a. Barracks Period): A.D. 235-284

a. everybody's turn: 26 emperors
b. separatist movements: Gaul; Queen Zenobia of Palmyra
c. more rigid class structure: honestiores, humiliores

Messy period in C2AD
On Julian: Read it!
Heads up on how to get the most from reading
26 emperors in 50 years
strains things
not an immediate symbol of Roman empire falling
a 'big outfit'

Streamlining the empire: Diocletian divides empire into regions
large size
more than pockets of prosperity
various parts of empire effected by various ways regarding instability
economic implications: lack of complexity and integration prevents homogeneous situation
example: N. African prosperity
export of commodities
parallel to modern canada: not affected by sub-prime crisis, hedge funds by reliance on commodities, (oil, etc)
local/regional economies
can trade all over empire
roads, safety, communication
Olive oil produced in africa
exported regardless of ruler
initiatives to turn around the decline
regime looks at problems and issues and manages to fix it
reversed a serious downturn
not really the beginning of the empire
definitely an overstatement
No longer a hereditary monarch
not the best person as selected before
any commander can make a bid for power
some manage to hold on
encouraged a system of military autocracy
This disarray causes enemies to take advantage
Gaul (conquered by JC), big rebellion at this time
gauls separates
palmira, Queen zenobia stands against empire
beaten back in 270s by Aurelian

Foreign/domestic policy interdependence
Whole system more compulsory, rigid
not as much latitude as before
leaders depend on upper classes who can finance domestic military campaigns
what develops over that time is a more rigid class separation
upper class called "Honestiores" (not necessarily honest) better treatment in courts, economic activities, government access
expected ton contribute to maintenance of cities, (no medicare, welfare for sick, orphans, etc. [exception: alimentary program, which stays])
lower class "humiliores" (humility) much more exposed to death penalty, easily incarcerated, corporal punishment, not very sophisticated system
roman society more structured in 'bad' way
(response to situation of chaos and disarray)

V. Restabilization: Diocletian and the Dominate (A.D. 284-305); dominus, dominatrix

a. tetrarchy: 2 Augusti and 2 Caesars
b. streamlining of the empire; provinces and dioceses
c. economics by decree: the Edict on Maximum Prices (A.D. 301)

How do they turn this around?
Someone comes to throne
not a dynasty, a regime
headed by general: Diocletian
look at this logically, too easy to create disarray, disorganization
Diocletian sets up system
not just 1 emperor, but 4 working together: tetrarchy
2 Augusti
2 Caesars
response to reality of assassination attempts/ coups
organization is haphazard, b/c of conquests, etc
incorporation of territory unplanned, doesn't make sense
action/threats are on frontiers
Rome ceases to be the capitol of the empire
Gaul, Dalmatia, Nicomedia, Rome
"map says more than 1000 words"
streamlined map, smaller provinces with clear dividing lines
from 40 provinces to 101 districts
easily administered

Org list(geared towards dealing with real problems):
4 parts of empire
12 Dioceses (super-districts)
Administered by 'vicars' doesn't relate to religious organization
101 districts (not distributed evenly)

Economic situation:
the Edict on Maximum Prices (A.D. 301)
put a freeze on prices, no more increases
president ford's anti-inflation policy
a last desperate measure
maximum prices for goods and services
price of shoe shine, flour, etc
enforcement very simple: beheading

deliberate contrast to princeps, etc.
rulers calling selves domini, masters
Image: diocletian's self portrayal
tough guy
tetrarchs in one column

for those interested in finance: 3-4 years after edict, debased the currency (alloy rather than pure metals)
cannot enforce a maximum price system
as a whole, system is effective

How were first 4 chosen?
not democratically
by co-optation, existing emperors choose replacement

III. Back to one-man rule: Constantine (A.D. 312-337)
Power politics: vs. Maxentius (Battle of the Milvian Bridge in A.D. 312: in hoc signo vinces); Edict of Toleration in 313; Battle of Adrianople vs. Licinius in 323; Constantinople
The emperor and the Christians: the Arian controversy: Arius; Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325; homoousios vs. homoiousios

Segue to era of Julian
'the skinny': constantine starts off being one of 4 emperors
dislikes it, as expected and part of human nature
What happens: constantine gradually reduces opponents, becomes sole emperor
Julian is a descendant of constantine, part of family
father one of 4 emperors, constantine succeeds him
tied up with history of christian church
constantine's enemy: maxentius
constantine did not convert to christianity until he was on his deathbed
baptism, all sins all washed away
(he probably sinned a lot)
parallel to military attache to president in cold war: had priest stand by to baptize right before death
often confused: when battling maxentius, constantine had a dream
an angel comes and says that if you put a cross on the shields of your troops, you'll win
"In hoc signo vinces" puts cross on shields, constantine wins
constantine issues edict of toleration in 313: christians cannot be persecuted
constantine friendly in policies to christianity, but doesn't convert

Christians immediately start fighting one another
infinite array of subdivisions, technical term: Schism (split, schizophrenia)
not a huge component of populace yet
christians organized
some fights lead to destabilization of cities and regions
12 years afterwards, he has to step in (even though not christian)
as pontifex maximus, calls council of Nicaea (in 325)
all about one letter

father and son cannot be of the same essence
"homoousios" to be of the same essence (This is christian orthodox)
"Arius": Not of same essence, there existed a period without jesus
Etymology: "doesn't make an iota's difference"
Constantine enforces orthodoxy
Nicaean creed
What happens to the others: tell Arians to get lost and leave roman empire
mixed success
Go beyond boundaries of roman empire
proselytize goths, when they invade, they carry these ideas with them
invaders with a different type of christian religion
Arian controversy

IV. Julian (331-363 A.D.)
a.childhood and youth; Constantius II; Macellum; Gallus
b.the liberation: Athens U (pp. 126ff.); university life: Libanius; trivium (grammar, rhetoric, dialectic), quadrivium (geometry/geography, arithmetic, astronomy, music)
7th inning stretch: Julian's home page in MySpace.com

Julian not exposed to church of compassion, charity, loving, etc.
indelible impression
constantine achieves in secular terms what he wants, eliminates final opponent in battle Adrianople
moves seat of empire named Constantiniople (Byzantium)
moves whole of government there

Head of a superhuman statue, symbol of Constantine's ego
huge hand
Constantine would wear christian insignia
experiences god as a lord of war
image: angel appearing to constantine, leads to confusion of story
going to rome today: arch by colosseum
association with Trajan and Hadrian
Mussolini's colonial office after conquering ethiopia
annual conference on world hunger

Constantine builds largest basilica
huge remaining fragment
constantine associating with sun god
(like prima porta augustus)
gives self legitimacy
Trajan recut to be constantine

Constantine vs. Constantius vs. Constans
(high degree of constancy :-P )
all family members try to kill his children

relocation of empire takes place late 320's to early 330's
Byzantine: convoluted system of bureaucracy

Why relocate capitol ?
(Italian family)
likely egomania
strategic reasons

Biblical codification and compilation still taking place
Dan Brown: Constantine rules for 4 gospels

myspace page has a good historical outline

Julian and galileans don't really get along
Julian looks to stem tide of christianity
equal footing between cults and christianity
392 (about when book starts)
80 years later, paganism outlawed
Cults hybridize

The Apostate: a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.
Orderly sequence
Mother looking for real cross of Jesus
Constantius II - opponent of Julian
Julian and 1/2 brother Gallus

living in desolate/ sequestered area of Marcellum
no night life/ town
Julian 'educated' by christians - spewing hatred against one another
horses may signal impending doom, execution

Julian has idea: go under radar, studies philosophy
gets out of there, goes to university of Athens, different life
freedom, student live, blossoms out
explores spirituality, inducted into mithraism
becomes a participant in theurgy: invocation of divine action
constantius picks him to be commander in the west
Julian goes out, becomes very successful general in late 20's
troops love/adore him
proclaim him emperor, marches against Constantius II
Constantius II dies, Julian becomes emperor

likely one of the best historical novels ever
Well researched, can use as evidence
Scenes/descriptions of behavior vs. Christians, soldiers,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday 4/10 CC 302


Roman empire as amalgam
supermarket of creeds, religion, races, cultures
few restrictions save for punishment of rebellion
Size of roman army ~300,000 people throughout early empire
comparatively small, could not be a police state
soft power vs. hard power
culture, people, ideas that reinforce dominance, voluntary

I. Mithraism
A. historical development; Zarathustra, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman; dualism
B. the myth of Mithras; December 25; Sol
C. Rome and the soldiers; 7 grades of initiation
D. cult; sacramentum, taurobolium ;"baptism"
E. shrines; symbolism: Cautes, Cautopates
F. the revisionist view; VFW rather than religion
G. strengths and weaknesses

Dominant cults at that time: Mithras & Isis
Mystery cults: not giving of information
no first-hand accounts
initiation, etc.
‘echoes’ often hostile
christian sources, not objective
mithras a main competitor with christianity
Mithras portrayed as a parallel religion to christianity, but not really the case
Christian exclusivity a key feature
Reading of Julian:
Julian emperor in 361, rules for ~3 years
lecture 21

Interlocution by Libanius
The apostate: literally stepping away from the true faith
Julian trying to turn rome back to tradition
initiated into mysteries of mithras
Still few sources regarding details
we need to reconstruct from pictorial representations

Images: (What we know)
Progressing from East to West
Mithras mentioned for the first time in C15 BC, in indian sanskrit
takes on more functions
simply known as a deity of the oath
(unassociated with the sun)
the oath in latin (trans: “sacramento”)
Figure moves west, grows in Iran
hybridized into religion of Zoroastrianism
Focus on prophet of C6BCE zarathustra
Dualism: Struggle of good against evil
very little in between
5000 years of rule good, bad, representative
zoroaster a personal advocate to deity that makes a final judgement
emissary parallel to christianity
Ahriman - Evil deity of zoroastrianism
Ahura Mazda - Good deity of zoroastrianism
Reflection of divine light (soul) from ‘heavenly abode’
descends through the 7 planets, stays on earth
try and keep soul as clean and pure as possible
imperfections weigh soul down, ensure that there can be no return to the ‘heavenly abode’
reliance on inferences, images

Mithras a god born from the rock
not virgin, carnal birth
born on December 25 (!)
Modern tradition centers around winter solstice

Christmas not celebrated until about C4AD
Christianity took a festival already embedded in tradition
Roman Saturnalia festival - (Ancient boxing day)

First act to have a contest with the sun god
both become best friends
icon in Mithraic shrines
underground, 30-40 people
close band of brothers
a drawback of the cult, reserved specifically for males
however, not particularly “macho”
mithras recognizable for Phrygian cap (from asia minor)
cosmogony - explanation of beginning of the universe
mithras must kill a bull
blood comes down and fertilizes the earth
not a sophisticated religion, primitive
animals try and lap up the blood, prevent it from creating fertility and life
mithras engaged in struggle
Scheme found all over
one torch up, one down
cautes, cautopates companion figure
no mithraic bible
best guess: torch up meaning ascent to celestial abode
torch down, descent into underworld
excavated in 60’s and 70’s
found roman military camps
ostia - several mithraia
Cautes - up
cautopates - down
shrines found in soldier’s homesethos: struggle, effort, fighting bad-guys
initiation cult - 7 grades
lowest a raven
highest is the persian father
work up step by step
Parallel to military rank
small group, more easily controlled
much like VFW
outlet other than army for togetherness
Tauroborium - ritual with a bull, bull’s blood
much speculation
symbolic thing
greco-romans would misinterpret religion, much as they did christianity
Symbolism within shrines
firmament, shrine, going back to celestial abode

Revisionist view:
instead of looking at this as a big religion
what we have is a parallel organization to roman army
rituals, initiation, likely complementary to career in the roman empire
reinforces idea of a ‘band of brothers’
gives companionship, close association

Especially so in Ostia, private houses

Would appeal to a large segment of roman males, especially soldiers and emperors
Especially: Julian the Apostate
Relative level of sophistication and theology is lacking
too simple, does not compete with level of debate and theology of christianity
(father before son or vice versa?)
Image: Initiation grade: hat

II. A goddess for all seasons: Isis, the panthea

Osiris, Set; "Anubis" and the perils of Paulina; gentle companion to Cult of Roman emperor

Isis a “bridge ofer troubled waters”
Isis: everything to everybody
comes from Egypt
myth: husband is killed by his brother
Osiris killed by seth
Isis reassembles husband
salvation, resurrection, etc.
one of the most popular cults
open to everyone
good flexibility
soothing ceremonies
Very acceptance
doesn’t require anything, can be passive
Isis is panthea - goddess for everything
can turn to isis for any problem
caring, nurturing female
Absorbed into christianity as the Cult of Mary
hybridized with any roman deity, Juno, Minerva, Ceres
perfect cosmopolitan clientele of Roman empire
protectress of imperial house, SPQR (senatus populus que romanus)
Isis reflective of tendencies in empire
ever-expanding amount of functions
can go to her with all your needs
Kinder, gentler companion to cult of roman emperor

Sometimes, this cult is outlawed
Some priests helped a man seduce another’s wife
“Perils of Paulina” Wicked priests of Isis
Egypt to Greece to Southern Italy, Dalmatia, Germany, Britain, Spain
Shrines all over the map of rome (city) not relegated to one neighborhood
Better preserved in pompeii
in 63, there’s a big earthquake
all public buildings destroyed
prioritized reconstruction of amphitheater
then temple of Isis
Turned to private donors
freedman donates $, town council appoints his son in return
Panthea: Even after Tiberius kicks them out for Wicked priests of Isis...
2 buildings away from pantheon, huge temple of Isis
Columns, obelisks, many survive elsewhere
Isis integrated into greco-roman stylization
More Images:
Isis Symbols: rattle, Water jar
Isis hybridized with Venus
Artist’s vision of ancient rome
egyptian influence
baldness, sphinx
Huge number of finds, animal gods
Tremendous range in city

Interlude: Isis on youtube and MySpace

“New age sort of thing,” still present in popular culture

III. The Dynasty from Africa: the Severi (A.D. 193-235):

A. Septimius Severus (A.D. 193-211)
B.Caracalla and his Edict on Citizenship (A.D. 212)
C.Elagabalus, Julia Domna, Julia Maesa

Selective Emperors beforehand
Marcus Aurelias decides to break this tradition
Caracalla - killed in headlock
Civil War:North African Dynasty
for ~40 years oro so
Arch in Roman forum, building activity

military guy, active
dies in York, England in 211 during campaign
2 sons, caracalla kills the other
edict of caracalla: everyone in empire granted citizenship in 212AD
Not a big gesture of civil rights
“Money Talks” empire can now estate taxes on more roman citizens

Elagabalus - another caligula
from the east
not in touch with roman emperors
wanted to marry a vestal virgin brought in strange cults
basic gist: dynasty dies out
not a real downturn
downturn comes after this: 50 years with 26 emperors
ranging from 10 days to 4 years at a time
‘revolving door’
will continue lecture next Tuesday

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday 4/8 CC 302

From Lecture 18:

IV . Christian doctrines and Greco-Roman thought
A. monotheism; Xenophanes (6th cent. B.C.); Stoicism; the difference: a loving god
B. God the son

1. death, passion, resurrection: Asclepius, Adonis, Osiris and Isis
2. mediator: Dionysus, Mithras, Roman emperor

C. the Holy Spirit -- to hagion pneuma

Basic Tenets of Christianity: Would it jibe?
Monotheism is established
Not introduced as being new so as to minimize marginalization
(Good roman tradition)
Monotheism definitely a part of the spectrum, "supermarket of religion"
New: "Ours is the only religion that is truen & right"
Surge of persecution
Best illustrated in Paul
Xenophanes (link) reacts against Homer's depiction of deities as being Human
Not what deities should be like, defines concept of monotheism
cannot picture, paint, represent
Difference more sublime, moves whole world with breath
concept of deity superior to homeric depiction
Stoics (Marcus Aurelias) - Comes after Alexander
Alexander Dies - empire divided into 3-4 components
People look for Consolation
Religion a response to this chaos, esp. stoicism
rhyme & reason - a deity's plan
Biggest downturn accepted

Close to Christianity's Lord's Prayer
Intangible deity
Christianity picks this up
incorporates loving deity, compassion, forgiveness; personalizes
Personalizes it with this
Divine son dies, is resurrected

Resurrection Theme already available
Asclepius - Deity of Doctors
Zeus angry at Asclepius for resurrecting someone
Adonis killed by wild animal - Venus stricken, saddened
Osiris and Isis - Cosmopolitanism of Roman empire
Isis a companion to emperor and imperial cult
Husband killed by brother set, diced
Isis reconstructs husband
Christianity traditional, but aggressive

Mediator between Highest god
Mithras - popular w/ roman soldiers
"go to guy" stage between deity and mortals
priests act as Viceroy of god on earth

Holy Spirit - Direct translation from stoic philosophy
breath of deity "to hagion pneuma"

Objection to cult not based on tenets of faith

Course Packet Comments
Acts of the apostles
Paul comments that
the Jesus movement not just there for the jews
Jesus is messiah for everyone
Opens it up
Jews & Gentiles (people of any tribe)
Acts chronicles how he goes to various cities in the east
establishing christian communities

p155 Basic concepts of the deity
17 - 24
Big "bump" at resurrection of the body
Traditionally, body is fairly polluted
Best thing is to preserve body
Soma = sema
Hold idea that the body is a prison
Anything bodily is harmful
Must keep soul clean

19 Souvenir industry
paul talks about christianity, worries craftsmen
start riot, drive paul out of town
not shared universally across empire
persecutions a regional phenomenon except at end
realized that christianity wants to take over to the exclusion of others

p 158 7:1
Being married not good, neither procreation
marriage not a commandment, but a concession

Marriage for procreation, not recreation
~62 times allowed in marriage
Many contradictions in new testament

20 - 23
When all said & done, if your religion wants to be successful, you need a miracle worker just to be competitive with other religions
Sacred men can heal ailments, etc.
Jesus "out-miracles" everyone else
All miracle stories in new testament
Jesus represented with staff of the magician
Christ resurrecting lazarus

Pictorial tradition
glass bowl
Jesus on right, resurrection again
Peter w/ staff striking water from rock
Persian sitting with staff

from 9
Icthys (ΙΧΘΥΣ) miracle
sociology of early christianity
not just downtrodden, many aristocrats, etc
sarcophagus commissioned with illustrations from old & new testaments
Adam & eve
Jesus on Palm Sunday

Graffiti around palatine
person on cross with donkey's head

Circumcision not required for membership in church

Pastoral scene

Dome of catacomb
Image of good shepherd, from new testament
carrying sheep to safety, paragon of good-guy

Representation of jesus alternates
roman emperor on throne with beard
beard a symbol of philosopher
deification of jesus in churches
Basilicas erected, type of official christian building
especially after being made state religion

Last supper

End Quote: Don't even think about evil.
Whole range of ethics and morality in religion.

V. Some specific passages in the Course Packet:

1. Paul at Athens: the body's resurrection (Acts 17.32) - p. 155

2. Paul at Ephesus: economic resistance to Christianity (Acts 19) - pp. 155f.

3. Paul on marriage and sex (I Corinthians 7) - pp. 158f.; cf. popular pagan moralists on soma = sema

VI. At the everyday level: Jesus as the superior magician

Instructions for devotees of Agdistis, 2nd cent. A.D.

(Philadelphia in Lydia [Asia Minor])

"Let men and women, slave and free, when coming into this shrine swear by all the gods that they will not deliberately PLAN any evil guile, orbaneful poison against any man or woman; they will neither know nor use any harmful spells; that they will neither turn to nor recommend to others norhave a hand in any love-charms, abortives, contraceptives, or doing robbery or murder; that they will steal nothing but will be well-disposed to this house, and if any man does or PURPOSES any of these things they will not keep silence but will reveal and avenge. A man is not to have relations with the wife or another, whether a free man or a married slave, or with a boy, or with a virgin, or to COUNSEL this to another . . . Let not woman or man who do the aforementioned acts come into this shrine; for in it are enthroned mighty deities, and they observe such offenses, and will not tolerate those who transgress their commands . . . These commands are set up by the rule of Agdistis, the most holy guardian and mistress of this shrine. May she put good INTENTIONS in men and women, free and slave alike, that they abide by what is here inscribed; and may all men and women who are confident of their uprightness touch this writing, which gives the commandments of the god . . ."

Lecture 19: Rome as a multi-cultural world

First: Finish up Lect. 18, plus one more item:

I. Some general considerations on race and culture in Rome

1. a. Romans always a mixed people

b. slavery and intermarriage

c. social vs. cultural prejudice

d. political vs. cultural imperialism

e. the initiative for acculturation; municipia

f. laissez-faire vs. indifference

g. blacks and others seen as strangers (externi) rather than inferiors

The problem of historical relativism: the Christian ethics of submissiveness
Roman empire culturally permissive, but acts with an Iron fist
If Romans are being unjust, it's hard to protest
Centuries later, church acts to abolish slavery to change with the times
some issues are embedded in ancient context
Historical conditions have changed since foundations, christianity struggles to change, keep up

Review of things covered before:
Roman empire an admixture of cultures, religions, and tribes
strong parallel to modern day america
multi-composite with plenty of religious freedom
mixing and hybridization
Tolerance lends strength and staying power to the emire
Thesis in Recent book on this by Amy Chang (Yale)
Italy - Romulus (Plutarch)
Portrayed as "A bunch of happy mongrels"
Household slaves generally in service for 10 years, then freed, their children become citizens
Slavery from all parts of roman empire
due to intermarriage
Augustus tries to curtail this
Slaves, freedmen, etc: Prejudice not really racial
Romans look at social prejudice more so than region
Ipso facto : By that very fact, racism doesn't need to exist

in late republic: e pluribus unum
who is in charge of inculcating a sense of common roman binding
initiative from ground up
romanization in empire rooted in economic opportunities
people adopt roman culture willfully for social mobility
left up to municipalities, local upper classes
a 'moving target' even with architecture, styles vary and are hybridized
constantly fused with native traditions
leaves everyone with much space and self determination
Plenty of people seizing opportunity

"Laissez Faire" approach to culture
not much emphasis on learning about other cultures
"Who cares?" Indifference, not much investigation of other cultures
(with some exceptions)

With regard to skin color: not an issue whatsoever
not intimately bound with concept of slavery
"ethiopians" "externi" (from outside the empire)
not bound with inferences about religion, intelligence, etc.

II. The voice of the Roman Bubba: Juvenal, Satire 3 (Course Packet, pp. 179-187)
Screaming head off about people who aren't roman
Juvenal a writer, C2 AD
upset that Rome a cosmopolitan city that doesn't embrace traditional values
"I'm fed up w/ rome"

Diatribes about other people making rome unlivable
10^6 - 1.5*10^6
Man is bitter, poor, resentful, xenophobic
p 180
Honesty no longer a virtue
"89" line 5 cannot suffer a greek-struck rome
Sexual stereotypes - they hold nothing sacred
Junta of greek born secret agents

catalogue of ills of the city
182 - Inflation
183 - Living conditions
Fire risk, insurance fraud
Street life - colossal traffic, noisy, unsafe carriages
184 - overloaded carts, muggings
Garbage, "etc" dumped into the street from windows
185 - Balance of war/ peace shifted, he's getting out

overstated, but strong evidence that not everyone is happy
always blame somebody else