Author Topic: &, However ...  (Read 7145 times)

Offline Justindo

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2008, 00:06:59 »
I'd like to see a Roman civilian set--with one of the buildings featured in the Roman cartoon that Playmobil made.

That's my dream too, Tim!

I too dream about a return to the civilian side of the medieval theme.  Sadly, I don't see this as ever happening.

I'd also like to see a Celtic village with round huts and a Celtic chariot.
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Offline Knightmo

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2008, 02:47:08 »
Fuedal Japan!

Offline Gustavo

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 03:39:46 »

On the subject of statues of their kings--by "kings" do you mean "emperors"?  Or are you referring to ancient practices that came before the expulsion of the Tarquin Etruscan kings?  (As you know, Romans were allergic to the term rex / king to the extent that Julius Caesar called himself "Dictator in Perpetual" and Augustus called himself "Princeps" (first citizen/leader) but not king.


I used kings as a translation for princeps, which is the Latin word for "emperor". I dislike the translation "emperor" because, besides principes, there were imperatores (generals) as well, and one thing is a princeps ("emperor", king of the Roman domain), and another is an imperator (general, military leader)

I wasn't making any mention at all to the old kings from before the republic ... That was a good remark, though! :yup:


Hi Gus

I'm a little surprised by your response.

From the research I have read, gods such as Saturn, Ceres, Minerva, Mars, and Pluto were bonafide Roman gods with qualities that were sometimes significantly different from the Greek gods they later became equated with.

Minerva, for instance, eventually became equated with Athena, but Minerva obviously did not start out as the patron goddess of Athens (I think she was yet another Latin agricultural deity).

My reading concurs with your statement that the Romans had a strong cult of the ancestors (concrete examples are the household lares).  But for you to completely erase the impact of such gods as Mars (who became eponymous for "martial" adjectives) may be a mis-reading.

I've read similar to what you are saying about the fate eventually of the "state gods" who evolved into symbols, much like our statue of liberty, than into gods people had personal relationships with.


I may have gone a little too far, Tim, you're right :-[ It just gives me a horrible feeling when someone says anything close to the idea that Romans copied Greeks >:( ... But indeed, there isn't only family gods :-[, but some comunity deities also, like Mars, who is important, no doubt ... He's involved in the important episode of the birth of the twins (Romulus & Remus) :) Jupiter was worshipped as well much before the Greeks arrive. Jupiter, whose name is composed by the root of "justice" (ius, iur-), and pater (patr-). These were gods of the Latin peoples all right. As well as Ceres. Only, they weren't Greek :no:, and the identification that occured later is very badly used by many :hmm:, and takes from the Romans some very characteristic personality and pride of being genuinely Roman. Some Romans faught hard to defend this view (that there was Rome before Greece, and the pride of being Roman!).

But you're right. I can't pass through some important gods of the Roman peoples ...

Very different were the Greeks, though : their gods were very attached to their concept of city (polis). In this sense I meant that, the importance of the Greek pantheon gods is relatively close to a Roman man than the importance of the gods of their ancestors ... In a way, the Romans were very different from the Greeks : there was one center of the world, Rome! The Greeks never had a main city, not even under Alexander. I believe this has relation to the fact that the conflict between the many communities' gods are so much more vivid and makes much more sense in the Greek culture. It expresses the rivalities and the allegiances between their many towns ... The relations, as well (being "cousin" cities, or brother "cities", allied because of the patron god ...). To Romans, such rivality seems not to make that much sense, and this is, in a way, the main reason that, when Romans write "as Greeks" (Aeneid), they're actually making the Illiad "part II": Juno against Minerva. But this is much more literature (& propaganda, as you remarked) than religion, properly. As religion, it had very little impact. It had great impact as propaganda for Augustus, and as a way of preparing his godly position as "high-king" (or "first-man" = princeps) of the Roman domain (Romanum imperium). But even after Augustus, the most important religious rites to the Romans were those of the families and some related to the old gods (Mars, Jupiter, Minerva, Vesta, Ceres ...).


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Offline CountBogro

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 06:10:26 »
... In a way, the Romans were very different from the Greeks : there was one center of the world, Rome! The Greeks never had a main city, not even under Alexander. ...

I'm not sure I agree with you here, Gus.
A Athener was a citizen of Athens, as was a Spartan a citizen of Sparta, etc. Thinking of Greece as a form of a single nation is just as wrong as considering Europe as a single nation. As far as I know the term "Greeks" was invented much later. In that vision there isn't actually that much difference between a Roman and a Athener; to them their city was the centre of their world. In both cases a single city. The main difference is that the Romans wanted to conquer the whole world and the Atheners / Spartans, etc. didn't.

As to Alexander the Great; he never really consilidated his conquests but had them ruled by vasals. His centre of the world was just as easily described: it was him.
... and then dusk came and brought despair.

Offline Timotheos

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 12:02:24 »
I used kings as a translation for princeps, which is the Latin word for "emperor". I dislike the translation "emperor" because, besides principes, there were imperatores (generals) as well, and one thing is a princeps ("emperor", king of the Roman domain), and another is an imperator (general, military leader)

Hi Gus
But Augustus would have disliked the translation "king"!  My point was that the Roman rulers bent so far backwards to avoid calling themselves "kings" that it was humorous for you to call them kings!   :lol:  We would translate princeps as "prince" if faced with a direct translation. 

English trivia: "emperor" in popular English usage is like "Maha-raja", somebody grand and nearly all-powerful.
"King" on the other hand is somebody big, but he'd better not mess with the emperor.   

If the king of Luxembourg changed his title to "Emperor", we'd probably throw spitwads at him during UN meetings.

IAs to Alexander the Great; he never really consilidated his conquests but had them ruled by vasals. His centre of the world was just as easily described: it was him.

I just finished reading a biography of Alexander and you pretty much summed up his character!

The city of Athens resented the Macedonian thug enough that they conspired with his treasurer, after the treasurer's flight from Babylon with much of the treasury. 

-Tim
============================================

NOTE: if we seem to have hijacked this thread, OK, I'll throw in another wish--

I wish Playmobil would adopt, in addition to Greek myths, an overall "Legends" theme. 

Has anybody heard of Raiko (Minamoto no Yorimitsu)?  He was a samurai legend during the Heian-Era (before the shoguns usurped government) and adventured a few times against Japanese monsters.

His most famous story, the fight with the Earth Spider involved him and his four lieutenants (Tsuna, Kintoki, Suetake, and Sadamitsu).

Raiko was ill in bed.  His lieutenants were playing Go and drinking on guard.  The Earth Spider, jealous of Raiko, invades the mansion with a horde of goblins.  Raiko rouses in time to cut off one of the monster's arms and drive it away. 

These would make a great toy--Kintoki, for example, has red skin.  The giant spider would be in line with the giant crab etc PM made for the ghost pirates.

Offline Gustavo

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 13:03:04 »
I'm not sure I agree with you here, Gus.
A Athener was a citizen of Athens, as was a Spartan a citizen of Sparta, etc. Thinking of Greece as a form of a single nation is just as wrong as considering Europe as a single nation. As far as I know the term "Greeks" was invented much later. In that vision there isn't actually that much difference between a Roman and a Athener; to them their city was the centre of their world. In both cases a single city. The main difference is that the Romans wanted to conquer the whole world and the Atheners / Spartans, etc. didn't.

As to Alexander the Great; he never really consilidated his conquests but had them ruled by vasals. His centre of the world was just as easily described: it was him.


Although Romans called the Greeks Greeks, Bogro, (Graeci, Graeco-, which means a noisy bird -- refference to Greek slaves in Rome, who were most of them teachers, and spoke a lot (...)), Greeks came to know themselves as Helenoi, the peoples from Helas, the cities that spoke the same language, and had the same culture and that, under Alexander, were a great "unified" kingdom ... Alexander only didn't live long enough, or was wise to leave an heir, so, as he died, early, the big kingdom he had conquered, by then not only Greek speaking, split into four rival kings ...

You're talking about early Greece, about 500 bC. Alexander lived and ruled a couple of centuries after that.

Your remark is right. Only, it's worthed to the Greek cities until about 400 bC, Athens, Sparta, Ephesus, Corinth, Ithaca, among some others. Indeed, before the Helas, they were, each, their own center of the world, and weren't worried at all about conquering the rest of it :hmm: They were smart, until ...

After that, Alexander came ...


============================================

NOTE: if we seem to have hijacked this thread, OK, I'll throw in another wish--

I wish Playmobil would adopt, in addition to Greek myths, an overall "Legends" theme. 

Has anybody heard of Raiko (Minamoto no Yorimitsu)?  He was a samurai legend during the Heian-Era (before the shoguns usurped government) and adventured a few times against Japanese monsters.

His most famous story, the fight with the Earth Spider involved him and his four lieutenants (Tsuna, Kintoki, Suetake, and Sadamitsu).

Raiko was ill in bed.  His lieutenants were playing Go and drinking on guard.  The Earth Spider, jealous of Raiko, invades the mansion with a horde of goblins.  Raiko rouses in time to cut off one of the monster's arms and drive it away. 

These would make a great toy--Kintoki, for example, has red skin.  The giant spider would be in line with the giant crab etc PM made for the ghost pirates.

I'd like to write about this, but I'm leaving to work, so, I'll edit this, or write again later ... :(

Good day,
everyone! :)


Gus
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Offline Timotheos

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2008, 23:21:44 »
Greeks came to know themselves as Helenoi, the peoples from Helas, the cities that spoke the same language, and had the same culture and that, under Alexander, were a great "unified" kingdom ... Alexander only didn't live long enough, or was wise to leave an heir, so, as he died, early, the big kingdom he had conquered, by then not only Greek speaking, split into four rival kings ...

You're talking about early Greece, about 500 bC. Alexander lived and ruled a couple of centuries after that.

Your remark is right. Only, it's worthed to the Greek cities until about 400 bC, Athens, Sparta, Ephesus, Corinth, Ithaca, among some others. Indeed, before the Helas, they were, each, their own center of the world, and weren't worried at all about conquering the rest of it :hmm: They were smart, until ...

After that, Alexander came ...

Hey Gus,

You should consider cracking a good, thorough history book from your local library.  I get the impression you read more literature than history.  Alexander's empire was falling apart even before he died.  Mainland Greece was conspiring to revolt.  Alexander was promoting Persians ahead of Macedonians and infuriating his Macedonian officers and men.  Macedonians weren't Greeks but northerners considered rustic and rough.  Alexander, his father, and his grandfather had all strived to be taken seriously within Greek culture.  Alexander took this one step further by beating the tar out of any city that didn't recognize him, a matter he made clear after he razed Thebes to the ground.

Alexander conquered the Persian empire, and set about as much promoting Persian culture.  He had Persian sycophants, he pushed Persian wives on his officers and men, and his officers were frequently bickering about the Persians he was taking in as advisors.  By the time he retired back to Babylon, he was grooming an elite corps of Persian noble boys to replace his Macedonian officer corps.

As for Alexander's heir, he had an infant son he was grooming, but the child died young.  Alexander's death then came suddenly after a possible poisoning (he died a slow death of apparent alcohol abuse over the course of a month, wasting away).  But everybody everywhere was already conspiring his ruin.  He had petitioned Athens to acknowledge him as a god, and though Athens gave in, it was an event much mocked by cynical Greek commentators of the time.

As your saying, maybe later Greeks considered Alexander a figurehead that united him, but at the time, I doubt any inhabitants of the Greek mainland were celebrating their "empire".

-Tim

Offline Gustavo

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2008, 10:09:11 »

As your saying, maybe later Greeks considered Alexander a figurehead that united him, but at the time, I doubt any inhabitants of the Greek mainland were celebrating their "empire".


'Never said they were celebrating so, Tim, oh :no:
 ::)

& After he died, the "empire" split into four (rival) kings.

Gus
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Offline Knightmo

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2008, 14:51:15 »
..possible fuedal era japan people/critters.

-Kappa.

-an unbeatable samurai entity which I forget its name.

-Kabuki

-monks

-rice farmers

-gamblers (all tatooed and what not)

-The Seven Samurai (or band of warriors who just happen to number seven :P)

-Shogun

-real ninja

-sword maker

-ship builders (shipyard)

-fishermen

-Dragon (and perhaps Tiger, Turtle, and Phoenix)

-Shu(or Fu) dogs

-Brigands

-fish mongers

..uhhhh...what else?...


Offline Timotheos

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Re: &, However ...
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2008, 16:04:57 »
Hi Knightmo

1) Thanks for not proffering a Japan populated solely by ninjas and rikshas! 

..possible fuedal era japan people/critters.

-Kappa.

-an unbeatable samurai entity which I forget its name.

Kappa were a sort of goblin with a bird's head and wings.  These would make cool figures.

Quote
-Kabuki

Kabuki was Japanese theater for the business classes in Tokyo (Edo).  These actors would make excellent figures.  They are very colorful and flamboyant. 

Quote

-monks
Yamabushi (the warrior monks who inhabited the mountains around Kyoto and Nara) would make excellent figures.  They are customizeable now, but it takes a little work.

I think these guys are mostly pre-feudal, though.  They ran amok during the Heian era, and after the [Shogun] Nobunaga came into firm control, monasteries were forbidden to keep armories.

Quote

-rice farmers

-gamblers (all tatooed and what not)

By gamblers you mean the mafiosos (yakuza) who ran the gambling rings and prostitution houses.  These would make great figures.

Quote
-Dragon (and perhaps Tiger, Turtle, and Phoenix)
-Shu(or Fu) dogs

I think Fu dogs are entirely a Chinese image, but not certain.  These dogs weren't indigenous to Japan.  I think their presence in Japanese art was entirely copied from the Chinese.  I haven't seen a whole lot of representation.

But considering I own a Pekingese and a Japanese Chen dogs in real life, I'd love to see these.


Some things you left out:

1) The horse-headed and bull-headed demons of Japanese hell.
2) Heian-era samurai heros like Raiko and Kintaro the Golden Boy.
3) A playset of the Rashomon gate in Kyoto (famous as a place for leaving the dead after the gates fell into ruins during the feudal era).
4) The Gempei wars (pre-feudal, about which the Tale of Heike is centered)
5) Earless Hoichi, who performs storytelling every night for the ghosts of the defeated Taira clan and gets his ears torn off after a monk writes sutras all over his body.
6) Japanese ogres, Oni.
7) Fox spirits (beautiful women with fox tails, or fox-headed women, or normal-looking foxes)
8) Japanese ghosts (pale figures with disheveled hair)
9) Weapons:
9a)The Dotanuki two-handed battle sword
9b) military forks used by urban gendarmes to disarm swordsmen
9c) matchlock muskets for feudal ashigaru footmen
9d) elaborate masked helmets worn by samurai commanders
9e) the naginata, Japanese halberd
10) The Tsuchigumo, giant spider
11) The portable shrines of the Kyoto era that the warrior monks carted around and used as free passes to maraud through the city

But don't get your hopes up, Knightmo.

PM will probably give us Ninja city, with a few rikshas for transportation.  Think: ninja disguised as riksha puller.

Maybe if I keep my expectations low enough, I'll still be thrilled when the theme inevitably hits the stores...