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Grex Latine Loquentium

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Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby thesaurus » Thu May 01, 2008 5:28 pm

I was wondering if many people here frequented the all Latin mailing-list Grex?
http://www.alcuinus.net/GLL/

The reason I ask is that since I've started frequenting it some months ago I've been plagued with doubts. Undoubtably, it is unmatched in regards to the volume and quality of the Latin that it produces. Also, the creativity and compositional skills of the members are interesting to witness, as they tackle a wide variety of subjects, post stories of interest, and debate amongst themselves on contemporary and philosophical topics.

However, as it seems to me, the other outstanding feature of this group is its intense conservatism and what I would call a general streak of bigotry and peevishness. I hesitate to criticize others for their viewpoints, because I realize the Grex is composed of a wide range of writers from many countries. Yet on almost a daily basis the Grex is filled with rants against Islam and Muslims, in which articles are translated and flung forth demonstrating the supposed 'barbarity' of the religion and its practicioners, as well depicting it as a threat to Europe and all good people everywhere.

Besides this, there are numerous blanket condemnations made of 'modern thinking' in a variety of forms, usually abstracted as "relativism," and brought up alongside Islam. I would categorize the general tone of such discussions as strident, negative, and forboding.

Perhaps I'm exagerating, and my complaint may largely lay with certain writers, but the frequency and vehemency of these writings outweighs most of the other topics, and it seems to have some history there as well. The quality and civility of discussion on Textkit is infinitely preferable to that of the Grex. I only bother writing this now because I fear that a potentially great resource is being sullied. There are constant cries from the Grex for greater active participation of the 'legentes' or lurkers,' but I'm guessing many people such as myself are put off by the discussions. How are they possibly encouraging a new generation of Latinists? The sensible thing to do would be to argue my point in the Grex instead of brooding over it, but the entire endeavor just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
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Postby MiguelM » Thu May 01, 2008 5:37 pm

I felt this too, and it weighted on making me stop contributing (even though I wrote just a few messages). I still read the messages sometimes, but it ceased being comfortable.
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If you don't like GREX....try SCHOLA

Postby metrodorus » Thu May 01, 2008 6:31 pm

If you don't like the GREX, try SCHOLA.
It has advantages: it is more like facebook, it is web-based, not on some arcane list-serve, and it has a younger age profile. Each user gets their own cyberdiarium. It also had video uploading, a music player with selections of catullus etc, and photo libraries.

http://schola.ning.com

Schola is in Latin terms, very new, there are only a few regular contributors, but there are a number of quite good Latinists who are members already. Starting a conversation with someone is straightforward. The user base is much younger than that on the GREX, .....Schola could do with more active users......the site attracts a steady number of new users, and over time,at its current rate of steady growth, will become a major focus of Latinity online.
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Postby Didymus » Fri May 02, 2008 1:46 pm

I feel exactly the same way. I continue to receive the messages in digest form every day, and I avoid topics that will obviously be full of bile. Unfortunately this means that many days I read none of the messages. I think you have captured their tone perfectly, and while it may just be a few contributors, their contributions so much outweigh everything else that the whole enterprise seems very distasteful. I have never posted a message there.
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Postby Lucus Eques » Fri May 02, 2008 4:48 pm

I love your confidence, Metrodore! I hope I have the time for this in the summer. Remind me about it in a week (school over then).
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Avitus » Sun May 16, 2010 11:48 pm

Avitus Thesauro optimo suo S·P·D

I was searching online for my dear old Grex Latiné Loquentium, which seems once again to have moved from where it was when I last visited it, and Google turned up Thesaurus' intervention above. I found it so felicitous and to the point, that I couldn't resist replying, even if that meant registering for yet another virtual community, which I nowadays try to avoid as much as I can because there is simply no end to them and it is impossible to cope with so many passwords (please don't be surprised therefore, and forgive me, if I cannot frequent Textkit much more after this). I am basically a veteran of the Grex Latiné Loquentium and would like to contribute a few considerations, that's all. I do realise that this discussion was started about two years ago though.

First of all, the Grex Latiné Loquentium has indeed remained the best virtual forum, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in Latinity terms since its inception, and it is unlikely to be demoted from that position in the forseeable future. In that sense, it will always be best, in my modest opinion, to engage in the effort to improve it from within (in terms of civility of discussion, etc.) than to diffuse and thin out our efforts through the creation of more and more disparate alternatives, which, given current Latin demographics (very low), are unlikely to reach the critical mass to be successful in the aforementioned terms of either quantity or quality of Latinity. It is true that its greatest formal flaw is that it is buried on an arcane list-serve, but the answer to that would appear to lie for instance in persuading the community to transfer to another medium in whole or in making their discussions available to Internet surfers in some other way also in whole (which I'm sure would make them think twice about what they say as well), rather than just to create more and more alternative virtual forums without attempting to gain the endorsement of that one real, broad and well-established Latin community. It's just my opinion, of course. Take it for what it is.

That's in any case not the main reflection I wanted to contribute, although there is some overlap. What I would like to bring to the fore is the consideration, based on more than a decade of involvement in the Latin community, that Latin is not just a language. As all languages, and I also speak here from a personal experience and knowledge of more than a dozen, Latin is the vehicle of a specific culture. That culture is the product of its specific history, and history has consequences.

Most people think that Latin is a dead language, and see its preservation in the curriculum as a merely grammatical training ground that can be good for improving a gamut of intellectual skills. Good for them. If all they want is to develop increasing certainty that they won't make any linguistic mistakes next time they consider it advantageous to try to put into Latin that "the poet loves the roses", then neither the Grex Latiné Loquentium nor anything I'm going to say here affects them at all. Cheers.

On the other hand, out of those who may be prone to seeing a point in using the language for contemporary communication, many think that the role of Latin would be as some sort of merely instrumental language for an otherwise neutral and aseptic international communication. Well, one of the things I want to convey is that it is not going to work out quite that way. For good or bad, Latin is not Esperanto. Unlike Esperanto, Latin comes with a millenary culture under its belt. This, its greatest asset, has also consequences ... some of them dire.

If the perennial life of the Latin language has not received a lot of scholarly attention, the perennial life of the Latin culture it conveys, the life of Latinity, has done so even less. A very nice booklet that interestingly dares to address such issues is Joseph Farrell, Latin Language and Latin Culture, from ancient to modern times (Cambridge University Press 2001).

Latin suffered a great reverse with the ascent of vernacular nationalism. Latinity became fiercely persecuted and only survived in the most precarious of conditions. Latin remains an increasingly endangered language, and therefore Latinity an endangered culture, to this day. The situation sustained for the last couple of centuries has had two parallel consequences:

a) As a language, Latin has struggled to keep abreast of the modern world: all Latin speakers clearly see the problems Latin has with contemporary neology, and a lot of effort has been invested in the last few decades, and more will still be needed, to allow Latin to regain the expressivity it had before the persecution started.

b) As a culture, Latinity has also struggled to keep abreast of the modern world: unfortunately, many people seem to be blind to the dimensions and import of this issue, whilst the effort needed in this area to allow Latinity to catch up with modernity and postmodernity is even greater than that invested in neology!

Just as the Latin language struggles to absorbe the amount of progress in vocabulary that has taken place in most other languages over the last couple of centuries, Latinity as a culture also struggles to convey the amount of progress in ideas that has taken place in most other cultures over the last couple of centuries. This may take many by surprise, but it is an undeniable truth, and latter a direct consequence of the former. It is also the proof that Latinity is a culture of its own, with its distinct idiosincrasy, which is not the culture of any existing modern nation just transparently transposed into a different language. This is both beautiful and can be also disturbing.

Latinity as a culture is going to struggle and indeed put a fight to digest the cultural developments of the last couple of centuries. Kept at bay since the times of the French Revolution, it has not been given the chance to take account of Freud, Marx, Nietzsche, even Saussure, or Adorno, Baudrillard, Derrida, Heidegger or Lacan any more than many other contemporary cultures that have likewise been left aside, undevelopped and unaffected by generalised progress. Individuals in those cultures may have been exposed to various discrete aspects of modernity, seen a Hollywood film or even use mobile phones; but their culture as a whole has not yet been fundamentally transformed. Thus, you are unlikely to find in the Latin world supporters of modern-style dictatorships, but less unlikely to find people who happen to support ancient-régime absolute monarchy; you are unlikely to find in the Latin world a majority of people who sympathise with modern-style homosexuality, but less unlikely to find some who pursue Greco-Roman approaches to love between males. You won't have trouble to find those who endorse Tridentine Catholicism, believe in Alchemy or pray to Olympian gods either.

Modernity and postmodernity struggle to be expressed in the Latin language and so Latin culture has remained largely unaffected by them.

So, let no one be under the impression that they are going to be able to engage with Latin culture in the terms of their respective vernacular culture. A slightly more humble and patient approach is needed if they are in the slightest interested in being a part of this millenary culture. Now, as ever.

Yes, the people you will meet through the Grex Latiné Loquentium will be overwhelmingly conservative and bigoted, because the Latin language was not allowed to develop normally for the last couple of centuries as it had for a couple of millennia until then and it therefore attracts, befits and favours the expression of those above all who still embrace the Weltanschauung of the periods of history when it flourished, be that Roman times, Christian times or Humanistic times, rather than that of those who take account of the Enlightenment, Modernity and so-called Postmodernity as well.

It does not mean that those people are worthless, not more and in all likelihood not less than the millenary Latin culture they personify. As you indicate, they are indubitably intelligent and display sophisticated argumentation in a wide range of relevant and interesting subject matters. Engaging with them can only be enriching. In fact, it is sometimes refreshing to see that at least some people are able to think radically independently from the mainstream. Latinity has for centuries been passed on and is to this day passed on by remarkable people, believe me.

The way I see it, as long as a culture is alive, it can and will evolve and change, and I certainly hope that Latinity does so too; but it's up to us to change it and make it evolve. The only thing we need to be aware of is that it will evolve and change at its own pace, along its own lines, and certainly within its own community. That community, those lines and that pace are those of its specific history, and it couldn't be otherwise.

If you are interested in that language and its perennial culture, you should really participate rather than observe from the outside. You will need to remember not to take your vernacular Weltanschauung as a given, and make an effort to find support for your arguments ideally in your Cicero, in your Seneca, in your Aquinas, or in your Erasmus; but if you are serious, you will be respected, and you have much to gain and learn in the process.

If people like you don't speak up, the reactionary forces will never be reversed. If you do, more and more will join you. That's how all societies and cultures have evolved, and that's the only way Latinity will evolve too. It's not a small effort, but worth every bit of it.

I can only endorse your words: "How are they possibly encouraging a new generation of Latinists?" and "The sensible thing to do would be to argue my point in the Grex instead of brooding over it". Try to do it without bitterness, and you will win the day.

Latinity was there before us and will continue to be there after we are gone. Maybe we can contribute to leave a mark on it and change it for the better!

Curate ut valeatis omnes!
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby thesaurus » Mon May 17, 2010 4:27 pm

Salve Avite!

Thank you for your very in depth and well thought out reply to my post. I'm glad you took the trouble of finding it, even though it was two years ago. I've been reading the Grex digest on and off since my original post, and I hope my Latin has improved somewhat in the last two years, so I should definitely start contributing to the discussions. (Since I've since entered and graduated from graduate school since then, I'll have more time for this, too!)

I don't have time to respond to all of your comments now, but I think your emphasis on the culture as well as the language of Latinity is worth discussion. I intended to look at the book by Joseph Farrell you mentioned. I also agree that the best way to make a change is internally, by being, as Gandhi said, "the change you want to see in the world."
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: If you don't like GREX....try SCHOLA

Postby Smythe » Mon May 17, 2010 8:35 pm

metrodorus wrote:If you don't like the GREX, try SCHOLA.
It has advantages: it is more like facebook, it is web-based, not on some arcane list-serve, and it has a younger age profile. Each user gets their own cyberdiarium. It also had video uploading, a music player with selections of catullus etc, and photo libraries.

http://schola.ning.com


So, since another zombie thread has reared its head, let me ask: How is Schola doing? I would really rather argue against Avitus, but I am new come to the culture and there exists the possibility that he may be right.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby metrodorus » Mon May 17, 2010 11:36 pm

Schola http://schola.ning.com is doing fine - the GLL has unfortunately has only 1/2 the members it originally had during its heyday, now with under 300 members - possibly because of the continued use of an email list, which is alien to most younger internet users - and the frozen nature of its website, as the holder of the passwords has not passed them on, as I understand it, causing a technical problem.......Most of the active GLL members are also members of Schola, and some members of Schola have found their way to the GLL. Schola has a very diverse user base, with close to 1500 members, and steady growth, with a couple of new members every day. Many academics are members, and much of the academic Neo-Latinist community have signed up as members.... Much of the writing on Schola takes place privately between members - not all activity is visible on the site. Schola functions in a very different way to the GLL....so it is hard to compare the two groups........With Schola, there are also opportunities to log into the locutorium, and if you hang around for a bit, meet other people logging in to speak Latin viva voce. There is a very wide range of ability levels on Schola, from beginners, to the very advanced. Most people on Schola are simply interested in Latin, as a hobby, or are involved with Latin in their professional lives. Most have their focus on improving their language skills, so they can read Latin texts more fluently, and they view oral and written Latin as providing pathways to helping themselves get motivated to achieve that goal.
I run various Latin sites, including Schola and the Latinum YouTube channel - the main portal to these is http://latinum.org.uk
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby adrianus » Tue May 18, 2010 12:06 am

Salve Avite
Avitus wrote:Yes, the people you will meet through the Grex Latiné Loquentium will be overwhelmingly conservative and bigoted, because the Latin language was not allowed to develop normally for the last couple of centuries as it had for a couple of millennia until then and it therefore attracts, befits and favours the expression of those above all who still embrace the Weltanschauung of the periods of history when it flourished, be that Roman times, Christian times or Humanistic times, rather than that of those who take account of the Enlightenment, Modernity and so-called Postmodernity as well.

It does not mean that those people are worthless, not more and in all likelihood not less than the millenary Latin culture they personify. As you indicate, they are indubitably intelligent and display sophisticated argumentation in a wide range of relevant and interesting subject matters. Engaging with them can only be enriching.

I have no complaint about the Grex; I'm not immersed in it and can't judge. However, I would consider it rather naif to imagine one could embrace any former world view, uncontaminated by one's own contemporary situation. To use that then to explain conservatism and bigotry won't wash.

Gregem Latinè Loquentium non odi; eum aliquàm ignoro. Quod ullus inaffectatus per suo proprio positu in temporibus nostris aliena prisca de mundo teneat valdè dubito,—talem notionem frivolam habeo. Ideò istud argumentum conservativismum avasque sodalium gregis explicare non potest.

Avitus wrote:Latinity as a culture is going to struggle and indeed put a fight to digest the cultural developments of the last couple of centuries. Kept at bay since the times of the French Revolution, it has not been given the chance to take account of Freud, Marx, Nietzsche, even Saussure, or Adorno, Baudrillard, Derrida, Heidegger or Lacan any more than many other contemporary cultures that have likewise been left aside, undevelopped and unaffected by generalised progress.

But you can't blame the latin language for your hypostatization of culture, where people "personify" a culture visualized as an external entity! You are expressing yourself in English and still presenting strange, outdated views. Maybe your views on culture seem as strange to me as my latinity does to you.

Latinam autem linguam arguere pro cultûs civilis hypostasizatione a te contracta, per quam cultus sicut ens independens imaginatus est, non debes. Anglicè confers, tamen externa et antiqua judicia tua de cultu gregium humanorum. Forsit tam externa mihi tua judicia quàm tibi mea latinitas.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby ptolemyauletes » Tue May 18, 2010 11:11 am

One of the reasons I never pursued Graduate studies in Classics beyond the Master's level (besides my increasingly patent stupidity) was my perception of many Classicists and of the Classics in general. The Classics seems all too often to be a haven for people of quite a Conservative nature. Classicists often have a slavish devotion to their subject, and are far too wrapped up in the intellectual aspects of the worlds of Ancient Greece and Rome, and blind to the abject misery that was the lives of most people living under the Roman and Athenian Empires. Cicero was only free to write his works because thousands of other men, women and children were enslaved to the cruel Empire he fought so hard to maintain. And Cicero was one of the more humane of the bunch! Rome was the ultimate manifestation of Conservatism and the extreme Right Wing. Many Classicists tend to glorify Rome and Greece and massively overstate our debt to them. Victor Davis Hanson is probably the most obvious example of this. His book, 'The Other Greeks', a generally useful examination of farmers and farming in ancient Greece, is marred by its opening and conclusion, both of which make a case for our debt to Greek farming... As if Anglo Saxon or German farmers in the 5th-8th centuries were busy absorbing lessons and modelling their practices on those of Greek farmers. Modern Britain, for example, actually owes very little to the ancient world, and very much to its own Anglo-Saxon practices. Modern Europe probably owes much more, but again it is so often overstated. The idol worship often borders on the silly. This results in a form of worship and Eurocentrism that is completely incapable of looking elsewhere in the world and seeing similar intellectual, spiritual, institutional, and political practices taht have been evolved in very different conditions, and are just as valid and important as those that originated in the Ancient Greek and Roman world.
The very nature of Classics is elitist. In Britain, it is largely confined to the children of the wealthy, and even in America for example, where Classics is far more open and available to the broader public, at higher levels its very intellectual nature is elitist and exclusive. It seems to me no surprise, therefore, that the people who purse the Classics tend to be elitist and conservative, tend to be almost fanatically devoted to their subject, tend to view it as a manifestation of their own superiority, and tend to view the world through Roman and Greek tinted spectacles. Other modern cultures originated from inferior mother cultures, while the West originated from Greece and Rome. Case closed.

This is, of course, a huge generalisation, and based entirely on my own experience (wht other experience do I have to go on), but by and large my observations have been consistent enough to form this view of Classics.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby loqu » Tue May 18, 2010 11:33 am

I find your generalization really unlucky and inadequate. How can you say that Rome was extreme right wing?

Considering Roman and Greek culture valuable and admiring them, doesn't necessarily imply thinking of them as superior to other cultures. I speak for myself and am sure that a lot of people think that as well; I love Greek and Roman culture and I study them because of love and admiration for the roots of my culture, but I would never underestimate the value of other cultures. They're just not mine, but that doesn't mean that I despise them.

I don't think it's overstated that our culture (and I mean the Andalusian one, as part of the Mediterranean) has a huge Roman (and to a lesser extent Greek) heritage.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Scribo » Tue May 18, 2010 1:15 pm

ptolemyauletes wrote:some very good points.


You're right, I agree heavily with you. I am currently an undergraduate Classicist and this is very similar to the views I espouse, some of my professors like it, some dislike it most vehemently. Either way the fact that I supplement my knowledge of the Classics with later Europe and earlier Mesopotamia often means people have a hard time countering. :lol:

I've got several articles semi prepared on this, though I don't know if I'll ever work through my bibliography. I think I will one day write a book.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Flavius_Julius » Tue May 18, 2010 1:50 pm

Im a libertarian and I love world history, Rome and Germania in particular. I love it with every fiber of my being, but was Rome extreme right-wing? Id say it was extreme left and right.
Those times were a step foraward in the evolution of civilization, and, in my opinion, we are almost at the end of that period. The world's governments today want to hold on as tight as possible to this period which the founders tried to evolve. The 20th century marked a setback. But change is in the air all around us. Times they are a changin and soon, we will take the next step in the evolution of civilization -- a step toward liberty and miniscule government.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Avitus » Tue May 18, 2010 2:13 pm

Avitus textkitariis optimis suís S·P·D

I will try to be brief, because I'm trying to avoid —as indicated— getting trapped in yet another virtual community as a result of my impromptu endorsement of Thesaurus' felicitous reflections.

First of all, then, a personal thankyou for his immediate reply. Do try to write to the Grex Latiné Loquentium. Even if just as a mere linguistic exercise, the endeavour to refute generalised nonsense will strengthen and refine your Latin præter opinionem in little time. If you also contribute to overturning the prevailing culture by the same token, what better outcome! On the other hand, exchanging greetings sine fine with people more akin ideologically but unable to move on from the trite salve, ut vales, quid agis is unlikely to gain you much.

Rather more per saturam to the rest, I was just trying to shed some light on the reasons for the prevalence of conservatism and bigotry in Latinity, not to justify it or condone it. I find it as unfortunate as most of you do; but it's my language and my culture, and I prefer to endeavour to improve it from within than to give it up for something less engaging.

Basically, all I'm saying is that the history of the Latin language and culture makes it far easier for those who want to rant about the decline of the old virtues and the glories of the lord than for those who would rather dwell on the insights of Noam Chomsky or discuss the literary talents of Salman Rushdie. I would tend to adscribe failure to acknowledge this obvious state of affairs to proportional lack of familiarity with the language and culture we are talking about, but I accept I might be completely wrong.

Further to that, I can really certify that my whole mind and thinking processes, without making me two different person, do nonetheless go along noticeably distinct lines in an English speaking context (my adoptive language over 18 years of life in the UK) and in a Spanish speaking one (my native tongue), and there is no doubt about that.

In any case, I'm happy if my intervention has fostered further discussion of the relation that exists between languages and cultures, and Latin and Latinity in particular.

To say something about the latest interventions, I foster an understanding of Latin and Latinity that is not restricted to Classics and Rome alone; but, going back to languages and cultures, I'll just point out that it has further been illustrated thereby that the connotations and perceptions of Classics as a field of study in the English speaking world and the Spanish speaking world (to name but two) are rather more different than many would have probably suspected.

I repeat, I'm happy this fascinating discussion is taking place in any case, and hope we can all manage to keep our minds open to ways of seeing things we might not have appreciated before.

Finally, if any of you would really like to improve their perennial Latin skills, there is no more efficient way known to man for that than the course written by Desessard in 1966 as a covered with loads of extra material at my very own «Schola Latina Universalis», which you will easily find through Google.

Now, please, do forgive me if I avoid intervening in this forum again, however pleasant it has been. Several books are awaiting me.

Vivat floreatque lingua Latina!

Curate ut valeatis omnes!
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Smythe » Tue May 18, 2010 3:33 pm

Avitus wrote:
Finally, if any of you would really like to improve their perennial Latin skills, there is no more efficient way known to man for that than the course written by Desessard in 1966 as a covered with loads of extra material at my very own «Schola Latina Universalis», which you will easily find through Google.



Howdy, again .... Is Schola Latina Universalis still a going concern? I checked it out, and the calendar for classes is about three years out of date (http://avitus.alcuinus.net/schola_latina/kalendarium.php).

This link: http://avitus.alcuinus.net/schola_latina/ratio.php indicates that perhaps a six month course started in September of 2009, but that would be done with by now and I don't see registration for any further classes.

Thanks,
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Avitus » Tue May 18, 2010 5:03 pm

Avitus Smythe optimo suo S·P·D

Thank you ever so much for your interest. Yes, the «Schola Latina Universalis» is actually going from strength to strenght. We were really afraid for a while that we would not be able to continue with our venture after the book and recordings which are essential for it became out of print at the end of 2007. Fortunately, prospective students seem to still be able to find second hand copies of both, either in the actual or in the virtual world, and for as long as there are students with the material wanting to take advantage of our guidance and tuition we will be offering it, always for free. This year (2009-2010), more than 30 students from all over the world will be completing our courses, which is a record so far. Completing students are guaranteed to achieve a very comfortable written and spoken fluency. I know because I've met many of them and witnessed with delight the impressive extent of our success.

Other than the material, we do have a current complication with the website. The calendar is meant as a mere sample, to give a general idea of how the courses go, so there is nothing unaccounted for with that. Basically, I stopped updating it because it was a technincal nightmare to do so. Another matter is the starting date of the course. That we would indeed like to update, of course, as much as we would some other sections; unfortunately we have lost access to the site! A very proactive Latinist from Catalonia provided us with that facility, and we hope that he will soon help us recover access; but, in the meantime, we cannot change anything. :-(

In any case, our actual teaching takes place through a different programme hosted somewhere else, and there it's business as usual. We just hope that people interested in the course will see that we customarily start with the standard academic year around August / September and will contact us requesting further information. If our access problem is not sorted throughout the summer, we will of course see to moving the website somewhere else. For the time being, we prefer to try and sort it out where it is.

I hope this explain things, and I look forward to seeing many of you there next academic year. All instructions in the site, other than dates, are valid.

Cura ut valeas optime!
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby cdm2003 » Tue May 18, 2010 8:37 pm

I subscribe to Grex and have for a few years. I've never posted to it, but try to read it from time to time as yet another exercise in the language...sort of like watching Telemundo if you're trying to learn Spanish. However, I don't think anyone here or elsewhere can make any valid political statements about those who learn/speak/write Latin, especially based on what passes for regular conversation on a mailing list. For those of you who haven't read it for a few years, try to stay aware that the number of regular, fluent contributors is very small. You can't judge the entire worldwide community of Latin lovers based on them alone.

Long live Grex, Textkit, Schola, Colloquia Latina, and all the other sources, professional and amateur, of "slavish" devotion to our common tongue! :D
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby thesaurus » Wed May 19, 2010 3:13 am

Very interesting to read all your opinions!

ptolemyauletes, I share many of your feelings in regard to my graduate experience in English literature. I decided that I need to pursue a career where I can help reduce (rather than ignore or treat as a literary artifact) human suffering.

Flavius Julius, I have a feeling that women, minorities, and the historically dispossessed of all kinds (at least in most of the developed world) wouldn't think that the 20th century was much of a setback...

Generally, I think it's important to examine critically the values and assumptions that motivate academic disciplines of all kinds, and dialog like this is a good way to get there.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Avitus » Wed May 19, 2010 9:59 am

Avitus textkitariis optimis suís S·P·D

In what I hope will be my last contribution to the discussion:

Guys (because another "cultural" issue that would be interesting to address is why the male prevalence in the living Latin world, but do check Farrell's book suggested above), I'm all with you!

Just one more note therefore:

> The number of regular, fluent contributors is very small. You can't judge the entire worldwide community of Latin lovers based on them alone

This is very true and a relevant observation regarding "the entire worldwide community of Latin lovers". Unfortunately, and in my experience, the original observations regarding active contributors to the Grex Latiné Loquentium remain nevertheless relevant in general for "the entire worldwide community of Latin speakers", i.e. those who ever manage to reach a level to communicate in Latin with ease, and who consequently proceed to become part of a real, rather than or at least as much as virtual, community that currently exists internationally and meets at various seminars and encounters throughout the world.

I repeat that I wish the situation was otherwise and that people with healthier attitudes to the modern world finally did learn to speak Latin with enough mastery to counter such backward tendencies, and I established my Schola Latina Universalis precisely for that; but, so far, the situation (of course always in general terms: there are always exceptions like myself :) ) is the one that is being pointed at in most messages above.

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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Smythe » Wed May 19, 2010 3:31 pm

Y'all is gettin' inta politickin'. That's almost always bad.

[deleted about thirty minutes of just-typed responses to folks on this thread]

I have nothing to say that probably wouldn't annoy or piss off people on both sides of this argument.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby ptolemyauletes » Thu May 20, 2010 8:30 am

Just a quick response to a few of those who responded to my comment. First of all, I did call my comments a generalisation.
Rome was a right Wing Government... the most extreme example of Right Wing government that ever existed, particularly under the Republic. The Roman Republic was controlled by a tiny majority of super-rich men who used every means necessary to repress and exploit the masses beneath them. The entire system of government was motivated by two primary factors: the acquisition of prestige and of wealth. At virtually no time in the history of the Roman Republic did the ruling classes ever contribute anything towards the betterment of its people. Even the introduction of Tribunes, ostensibly put in place to give the people a voice, was quickly co-opted into a political tool used by the Senatorial class for their own purposes. So-called 'popularis' politicians were just those seeking power by non-traditional means. The Roman Republic was the ultimate example of the Free Market as well. Tax collectors were free to pillage at will, provincial governors had a virtually unlimited ability to expolit their provinces, their only check being how many enemies they had back in Rome, and monetary policy in Rome was generally non-intrusive.
As for the idea that Right Wing government is inherently about small government, this is just a modern fallacy attached to the Right Wing to sop up the Libertarian elements. The Right Wing has always been about control of resources being dominated by a tiny few. This is ancient Rome.
As for my comments about classicists in general, I know there are exceptions, but I stand by my own observations. My own colleagues in my department have been very excited about the victory of David Cameron here in Britain. 'A return to order and stability.' That about says it all... order and stability are in my mind code words for Right Wing totalitarianism, only matched in its capacity for evil by extreme Left Wing totalitarianism.
My other favorite code word is 'demoralise.' It is a favorite code word of right wing classicists, who escribe any attempt in ancient Rome to alleviate the misery of its inhabitants as 'demoralising' to the poplulace. Cicero himself uses much the same word. A bill designed to hand out free grain would 'demoralise' the people. A bill designed to redistribute land and restore Roman farmers would demoralise the people. Caesar's bill designed to force Roman land owners to employ free men in favour of slave labour would have a 'demoralising' effect on the people. This is simply a code word for 'hey you oiks, keep your grubby mitts off of my money.'
Anyway, enough ranting.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby loqu » Thu May 20, 2010 10:10 am

You're aware that the world is not only Britain and not all classicists are right wing, aren't you?
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby ptolemyauletes » Thu May 20, 2010 1:31 pm

For the third time now, I have stated from the beginning that my statements are a generalistion, and based upon my own experiences. All my training in Classics was done in Canada. All my professional involvelment with Classics has been in the UK. I am sure there are many examples of Classicists who do not fit this pattern (myeslf being one).
My opinions of the Romans and Greeks remain unchanged. The ancient Romans would be very at home in most societies in Europe and Asia up to the 20th century, and in some cases, in societies that still exist today. It is not hard to find examples in history of a small group of people siezing the resources of a nation and creating a rigid class structure which enforces the status quo - the classic pyramid structure. The Romans were just the best at it.
As for our inheritance from the Greeks and Roman, we all know how extensive it is, but I maintain it is entirely blown out of proportion on many occasions by Classicists and others who are bedazzled by the Greeks and Romans, and blinded to the contributions of others, Europeans et al.. Among other comments I have heard in my day, a colleague (Classicist) of mine once reacted to a story describing how difficult it is to study the history of Indonesia by commenting 'that's because they don't have any history'. This has been a common attitude among Classicists in MY experience.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby ptolemyauletes » Thu May 20, 2010 1:33 pm

Smythe wrote:
Y'all is gettin' inta politickin'. That's almost always bad.

[deleted about thirty minutes of just-typed responses to folks on this thread]

I have nothing to say that probably wouldn't annoy or piss off people on both sides of this argument.


Too late Smythe, you've already both annoyed and pissed me off... ;)
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby cdm2003 » Thu May 20, 2010 6:28 pm

ptolemyauletes wrote:For the third time now, I have stated from the beginning that my statements are a generalistion, and based upon my own experiences.


Your statements are not merely generalizations and that's the problem. For the most part, they're outright fallacies. For one, you're casting all of Classical academics in a negative light because of your own experiences. That's not necessarily just a generalization, but an irresponsible projection of your feelings upon an entire world of people. You're also trying to discuss the politics of Rome using language and concepts which did not even become relevant until much later in Western Civilization. It's a simple matter of historical relativism.

(EDIT: I took out some of my original inflammatory language. I didn't intend for it to sound as hostile as it did.)
Last edited by cdm2003 on Fri May 21, 2010 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby adrianus » Thu May 20, 2010 8:17 pm

cdm2003 wrote:For one, you're casting all of Classical academics in a negative light because of your own experiences.

http://www.varsity.co.uk/comment/2176

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/17/boris-johnson-lobbies-tories-latin-curriculum
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby ptolemyauletes » Fri May 21, 2010 8:16 am

Again, I don't know how I can make this any more clear, my observations are based upon my own experiences. They are not fallacies, for I am making no claims that they are true beyond my own observations. I am not trying to make a claim that ALL Classicists are rabid right wingers along the lines of Bill O'Reilly or Strom Thurmond. What I was trying to do was to respond to the original poster's observation of a right wing bias in a certain classics related group. In MY OWN experience, classicists do have a tendency to be right wing in their views, and to idealise the ancient Romans and Greeks. I never said they all do that, and quite possibly beyond my limited experience of classicists most do not. Now, I have read a great deal of literature by classicists, and the writings of classicists in my mind do back up my observations.
As for the Romans and 'historical relativism', in my opinion 'historical relativism' is another code word, a cowardly one at that, designed to gloss over the worst offenses of past civilisations that we want to admire without fault. I am perfectly capable of discussing the politics and society of ancient Rome using a host of differing technical terms, but why not use more modern terms? Right wing is certainly a vague enough term that it can be used generally to apply to many different circumstances and time periods.

Adrianus: Thanks for the articles... they alter my observations and make me happy.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby ptolemyauletes » Fri May 21, 2010 10:36 am

A note on the Charlotte Higgins article posted by Adrianus.
Having read this a bit more carefully, I find I must object to this section.

What is so bewildering about this popular notion, however, is how little it reflects the daily practice of the classics by professional scholars. You can find right-wing classicists, of course, but it is miles easier to come across classicists whose work contributes to ideas on the left. You might think of the pioneering work of feminist classicists, which has been important since the birth of the women’s movement and beyond (it was Jane Harrison who quoted Terence in support of the suffragists). Meanwhile, research on Greek homosexuality continues to make an important contribution to ideas within the gay rights movement. Numberless ideas from the ancient world - from Sparta to Athens’ radical democracy - have been reeled in by the left. Gilbert Murray, perhaps the greatest British classicist and public intellectual, was Liberal, not Conservative in his politics. Today, thoughtful work abounds by scholars, such as Joy Connolly’s on Cicero, with its underlying critique of US society under the Republicans.


What utter and complete nonsense. This smacks of the 'historical relativism' of cdm2003 (sorry cdm, I just really don't like that phrase).

To imagine that we can look at Ancient Athenian democracy, or Spartan egalitarianism, or Cicero's political career and find modern, Leftist, progressive ideas, is to shut our eyes in a most puerile manner to the harsh and closed realities of those worlds.

Athenian 'radical' democracy, was radical in only a handful of ways: its assembly, in which all the citizens took part in the political process; its committees in which again allc itzens took part in the administration of the city; etc. What seems to me impossbile to overlook, however, even though apparently some find a way to do so, is how limited this citizenship actually was. Athens was a predatorial Empire, which allowed no vote to its minion states. It was a slave empire, which allowed no part of the political process to its numerous slaves. Women were also kept out of politics, and in many ways were as repressed as they are in many more infamous countries today. So much for Athenian 'Democracy.'

Sparta may be championed as an early example of the women's rights movemnet, but the real Sparta was a harsh, vicious society, in which weakness was weeded out and destroyed. Spartan society was only made possible by the ruthless and violent submission of the Messenians, whose slave labour enabled the military specialisation of the Spartans. there is nothing progressive about these violent and dull brutes.

Cicero himself was as conservative a man as I have ever come across. To be sure he was a pragmatic man who was not above making deals and believed wholeheartedly in compromise, unlike the stubborn and destructive Cato, so greatly admired in Conservative circles. But he was at heart a true conservative, determined to maintain the status quo in Roman Society, in love with the mythical Rome of the past, resistant to change, no fan of the people (whom he called the dregs of Rome), or of giving them any rights beyond those needed simply to keep them from rioting, a friend of slaveowners everywhere, a man more interested in collecting fine art and owning expensive properties than in any real sense of justice for the millions of people in his empire who toiled to make his life pleasant and painless. Yes, he was generally an honest man, who did possess a keen sense of injustice, but only so far as that injustice threatened the Rome that he fought so hard to maintain. That Rome was not an admirable society, and Cicero was no progressive Lefty. He would have fit right in with the American Republican establishment, except that they, much like the Optimates, would probably have shunned him, as an outsider and New Man.

The rest of the article waas great.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby adrianus » Fri May 21, 2010 1:20 pm

I gave the articles to help cdm2003 understand you're not crazy with regard to what you say about Britain, ptolemyauletes (lol). You'll notice that what Higgins says about the worth of the classics today, by the way, could be said about just about anything.

As for historical relativism, I would say that the history of ideas has to be approached differently from the history of practice and events,—not separate from it but considered in additional terms. (My original research was in the history and philosophy of science. ) I myself am very much an historical relativist but not so extreme that I don't listen to documented voices and be affected by their testimony. I just imagine appreciation to be always imperfect, as it is between individuals also. But we can and should strive to minimize the imperfection (my article of faith).

Commentationes, ptolemyauletes, dedi ut meliùs intellegat cdm2003 te non insanum esse quoàd de Britanniâ dicis (notionem inrideo, amice). Nota quidem, quod dicit Higgins classicis de studiis his diebus, de omne ferè studio dici potest.

De eo quod ad relativismum historicum pertinet, aliter quàm consuetudinum eventuumque historia, aggredienda est historia cogitationum, dico,—non separatim at modis additiciis. (Obiter, historiâ et philosophiâ scientiarum primitùs studui.) Meâ parte relativismum historicum inhaereo, non adeò autem voces in documentis non auscultem, nec eis non movear. Modò semper imperfectam habeo scientiam, sicut et semper item inter homines singulos. At nos oportet ut imperfectiones minuere conemini (haec mea regula fidei).
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby cdm2003 » Fri May 21, 2010 4:22 pm

When I speak of historical relativism, I'm stating that you cannot use the sort of political classifications of today to characterize people or systems of yesterday. To use words like "Leftist" and "Right-Wing" when talking of old Rome is to infer that they had the exact same political issues with the exact same social repercussions as we do today. Using the phrase "Right-Wing" today in regards a politician ascribes an amount of political and social baggage to that politician. It describes the politician's place in the entire "Right-Wing" movement, from inception to current status. It places said politician amongst the Left-Wing, the Centrists, the Right-Wing, and Left- and Right-Wing Extremists. These are groups of people who did not exist in the Roman Republic as they exist in today's Britain, America, or any other pseudo-Republican state.

It's very easy to slip. I know, for instance, that Cicero initially opposed Caesar's land reform bill. One could argue he had no concern or compassion for the common man. I could also say that since Caligula and Nero both happily maintained the bread dole for the Roman plebs that they obviously had much more concern for the lower classes than Cicero. Therefore, Nero is the Leftist and Cicero the Republic's Sarah Palin. There are just too many other concerns that these people were faced with to make such value judgments. Christ isn't quoted in the Bible preaching against the outrages of Slavery. Therefore, Christ was the 1st Century equivalent of Simon Legree.

I appreciate your statement that historical relevatism is simply a way to let History off the hook. However, I disagree. Rome could be a brutal entity. Its politics were far from generous towards the poor, the soldiery, slaves, and conquered nations. Quite often, they were downright cruel. You may think my not likening Rome as a modern institution may not emphasize it's harshness to a certain degree, but it also does less to excuse it. The issue of slavery, for instance, makes Rome an institution the likes of which we simply have no words. To what, today, can we compare Crassus' act of crucifying the rebellious slaves under Spartacus along the roads to Rome? What do you call a state that elevates a Nero and allows him to make torches in his Domus Aurea out of Christians? One would be hard pressed to find a modern example of that which would completely encompass to amount of cruelty involved.

I don't believe this stance relegates me to some artifact of modernism, though I understand why it would seem so. I also hope I better illustrated my point above than I did yesterday--I sounded way more contentious yesterday than I intended and hope you can pardon me.

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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby adrianus » Fri May 21, 2010 9:54 pm

cdm2003 wrote:When I speak of historical relativism, I'm stating that you cannot use the sort of political classifications of today to characterize people or systems of yesterday.

I agree, cdm2003. // Tecum concurro, cdm2003.

cdm2003 wrote:The issue of slavery, for instance, makes Rome an institution the likes of which we simply have no words. To what, today, can we compare Crassus' act of crucifying the rebellious slaves under Spartacus along the roads to Rome? What do you call a state that elevates a Nero and allows him to make torches in his Domus Aurea out of Christians? One would be hard pressed to find a modern example of that which would completely encompass to amount of cruelty involved.

Death transcends any relativist perspective. Personally I think the cruelty of the modern period is certainly comparable to that of any earlier and, through technology, is more efficiently and wide-rangingly destructive! State sanction of slavery (not talking about "wage slavery") isn't so long outdated (in historical terms) in some places and prisoners not untypically today (in wartime and peace-time) may be forced to work. Human rights are a modern invention but how many are denied them still throughout the world! And I suspect that there have been more wanton and obscene crimes against humanity licensed by states in the previous century than in any earlier one. Modern illegal wars in this young century aren't very nice in terms of the large number of fatalities and suffering that result. Any war, mind you, illegal or not, is dreadful. Ask victims today if their oppressor's leaders compare to Nero. It's not a good question. Paradoxically, it is perhaps an encouraging thing that you might not believe that.

Mors aspectum relativismi superat. Ego equidem aemulas eis aetatum praecedendum credo crudelitates saeculi ultimi quae, per progressus technologicos, modo latiore et magìs efficienter vitam perdunt. Non diù abhinc (in gradu historiae) quaedam nationes servitudinem tolerabant (non de salarariorum servitudine tracto) et adhùc faciunt coercitatione custodias per tempora belli et pacis laborare. Jura humana modernè inventa sunt at quot nunc per totum mundum ea careant! Porrò erant saeculo ultimo plura facina foeda et petulantia contra humanitatem licentiâ civitatum quàm ullo saeculo praecedenti, nisi fallor. Non dulcia quidem hôc saeculo novo bella moderna et illicita, ob numerum magnum mortuorum quorumque patiuntur qui conseqitur. Nec minùs atrox ullum bellum etiam licitum. Roga nunc hostias uter se duces opprimentium Neroni comparare possint. Non est quaestio bona. Admirabiliter quidem quod id non credas hortari ferè debet.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby ptolemyauletes » Sun May 23, 2010 10:02 am

Adrianus,
My god you go through a lot of effort composing everything you write into Latin! We all appreciate it. I agree with you. Even though I am a classics teacher, many of the arguments about the need for the classics in the classroom fall flat. The study of any language is equally useful, and the study of any ancient culture opens up a window on the past and the differences in human society over time, etc etc. I like the classics because it is a ready made package for doing these sorts of things. I also like it for its own merit. I also like it because my students love Cicero and Caesar et al. I also like it because it has been a part of education in the west for so long, and surely that inheritance should be preserved? I also like it because it is in fact so important to the study of European history and society. I also like it because it showcases such an extreme of human society - the cruelty and rapaciousness of the Romans can be used to cast a window on our own modern hypocrisies. And how cool to be able to read inscriptions all across the continent of Europe, ancient, medieval, and modern - it's like being part of an exclusive club! (the only such club I would ever join). But how draining it is to have to repeat these arguments over and over again - if you want to know why I teach it, find out a bit about it for yourself!

cdm,
I certainly appreciate your comment about the appropriateness of modern Terms and their applicability to other arenas. However, one could extend that comment into the modern arena. Britain, Japan, and America have very different systems, societies, and issues from each other, yet the terms Right and Left wing can be and are applied with equal vagueness to all three country's political goings on. The terms are suitably vague to allow them to be more widely applied. I stand by my assertion that Rome was a radical Right Wing society, a plutocracy where the Free Market ran wild. There was never even a hint of any Left Wing Ideas in ancient Rome.

To equate anything ever done by the political classes in ancient Rome with anything nearing concern for the common people is a mistake. Caesar's land reform bills were not done out of any concern for the people. The Campanian bill was entirely to benefit Caesar, by creating a base of support amongst the people, and by connecting Pompey himself (who had been trying to pass a land reform bill to provide land for his veteran soldiers for several years) more closely to Caesar. Pompey's own land reform bill a couple years earlier (failed to pass with Cicero speaking against it) again was little concerned with the lot of the people, nor was the Rullus bill of Cicero's consulship, which was likely backed by Crassus as a ploy to outmanoeuvre Pompey in the land reform game. None of these men cared a whit for the people, aside form the support to be gained from them. No Roman politician cared a whit for the people. Any attempts to alleviate their lot were only done to the extent that they would prevent rioting or an uprising. Caesar's later bills during his dictatorship may have benefited the people, but that was only done because of a combination of pragmatism and political calculation. This man was not a man of the people.
As for Jesus not condemning slavery in the Bible, this is a religious argument and I won't start that here. I have my own ideas about that, which might likely start a whole new discussion, one which I have already and elsewhere.

As for finding examples of cruelty in the modern world to equate ancient Rome, I suggest you look a little further afield than you have. The twentieth century is crueller than even Rome ever was. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot etc... acts of State cruelty abound in the modern world, and the people will assent to them just as they did in Ancient Rome, as long as they are conditioned enough to hate the victims, rather than their true oppressors. Think back to Caesar's campaigns in Gaul. think of his punishment of rebellious Gallic Tribes - cutting off their hands... does this not sound like the diamond mining in Sierra Leone?
The only thing that keeps cruelty today from being as public a spectacle as it was in ancient Rome, is that the people of the 'civilised' world have less of a stomach for it nowadays. Therefore states everywhere are obliged to use a little more discretion. Hitler was aware that his people did not want to see what was happening to the Jews, even if they all knew about it. Modern states maintain a tacit agreement with their people. 'As long as you keep secret the lengths you go to and the cruelties you commit in order to keep us driving our Humvees, burning oil and allowing us to buy criminally cheap goods at Wal-Mart, we won't hold you accountable for it, and we will never question you.' But cruelty akin to that of ancient Rome is everywhere in the world, as is slavery, on a scale the Romans never dreamed of. We have turned entire continents into slave labour pools, with vastly differing human rights for the classes.

As for how contentious you sounded or didn't sound, no need to apologise... as we all know communication on the internet never comes across quite as we intend it. We end up shouting at someone when we merely intend to debate. I am probably doing it now, and the apology is pretty much extended on an ongoing basis!
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby adrianus » Sun May 23, 2010 12:00 pm

ptolemyauletes wrote:But how draining it is to have to repeat these arguments over and over again - if you want to know why I teach it, find out a bit about it for yourself!

I hope you weren't repeating them for my sake. You didn't have to. If you were, you misunderstand. I was criticizing in small part the article, not the study of classics. I thought Higgin's article was quite thin as a defence, that's all. :lol: To be fair, 'though, that wasn't its goal.

Spero non pro me te argumenta repetisse. Id fecisse non te oportuit. Si quidem eâ ratione fecisti, me malè igitur intellegis. Parvam partem commentationis de Higgins non studium litterarum classicarum incusabam. Tantùm tenuiorem ut patrocinium eam habui. Ut justus autem sim, id non erat eius finis.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby ptolemyauletes » Sun May 23, 2010 3:22 pm

ptolemyauletes wrote:
But how draining it is to have to repeat these arguments over and over again - if you want to know why I teach it, find out a bit about it for yourself!
I hope you weren't repeating them for my sake. You didn't have to. If you were, you misunderstand. I was criticizing in small part the article, not the study of classics. I thought Higgin's article was quite thin as a defence, that's all. To be fair, 'though, that wasn't its goal.


Not at all, Adrianus. This was directed at all the students and teachers over the years who have challenged me... just a vent, really.
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ptolemyauletes
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Interaxus » Sun May 23, 2010 11:29 pm

I recently overcame my ingrained snobbishness and read ‘The First Man in Rome’ by ‘popular’ author Colleen McCullough. She paints a stark and detailed picture of Roman politics around the time of Marius and the the ‘young’ Sulla. Though it’s ‘fiction’, it’s obviously well-researched. Her account tallies exactly with what PtolemyAuletes has to say about Rome and its politicians. Worth a read. Anybody else read it?

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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby adrianus » Mon May 24, 2010 12:41 am

I didn't but I definitely will, now that you've exposed Ptolemyauletes' nom de plume. Or is the the other way round, where ptolemyauletes is the pseudonym and that person is not really Macedonian? :)

Non legi; nunc autem certò legabo, quippe cum pseudonymum Ptolemyauletis exposueris. Vel estne contrarium quod attinet ubi ptolemyauletes est pseudonymum et non verus Macedonicus ille homo?
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Nooj » Mon May 24, 2010 5:05 am

And I suspect that there have been more wanton and obscene crimes against humanity licensed by states in the previous century than in any earlier one. Modern illegal wars in this young century aren't very nice in terms of the large number of fatalities and suffering that result.
In my opinion, much of that can be attributed to technology and the fact that our population has grown extensively. Give guns and planes to the Romans, give nukes and tanks to the Crusaders and Muslims and I suspect that the death tolls would be in proportion to ours. Maybe even worse. There's a limit to how many people you can slaughter in a day with a sword. :X
Dolor poetas creat.
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Interaxus » Wed May 26, 2010 2:57 pm

Avitus mentioned 'copies in the virtual world' of the 1966 Assimil Latin course. I guess he meant:

http://rapidlibrary.com/index.php?q=a** ... filetype=0

WARNING: Just ignore the "Sponsored Links" box. I think that's a scam.

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Int
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Re: Grex Latine Loquentium

Postby Kynetus Valesius » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:45 pm

I think you should write about this on the grex itself. i strongly encourage you to do so

can you indicate if there are authors currently writing who display open racial animosity, animosity based on race or religion per se and nothing else? please bring an example.

in this country i have often heard spokespersons for "comprehensive immigration reform" make blanket denunciations of people not agreeing with them. they are often called "racist" or anti-immigrant or zenophobic. i think you might be making a similar mistake about members of the grex.

i myself am very prejudiced against that form of Islam as espoused by jijadis of various stripes. we call it the war against "terror" but isn't that another way of saying "the war against the jihadis" or even "war against islam of a certain kind."
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