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How little life has changed in over 1000 years!!!!

the independentthe independent MemberPosts: 52 Member
In the Havamal a collection of Norse poems, writings there is a very interesting comment and advice for its times. It appears it is right for all times. Since the Havamal was written over 1000 years ago and how much older statements in it really are is open to discussion.

A wayfarer should not walk unarmed, but have his weapons to hand: He knows not when he may need a spear or what menace meet on the road.

Replies

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,365 Senior Member
    I've often wondered how little life has changed over the years. Though not a thousand years ago, Mark Twain complained often and bitterly about insurance agents, utility companies, congress, school boards, and the like. The same stuff you hear around the watercooler today.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Things change as far as the "suits and trappings" as Shakespeare said, but the basic underlying structure? Not likely.

    Off the subject of self defense, for example, Julius Caesar was often criticized for being what in our day would be a "slacker". He was a well-off kid who came from a good family, on the rise politically, and as a young guy, 20-22, he hung out in the forum and other places where Roman aristocracy would gather. But he dressed like a slacker or hipster might today and all his buddies were the protest-type, "troublemakers".

    He wore long toga sleeves that came down over his wrists instead of the sleeve stopping at the forearm as it "should", the toga belt tied intentionally loosely so that the toga draped all sloppy at the waist, and the toga hem was also long, ending at the ankles instead of knees as was the "correct" fashion. So Caesar wore "hipster" or "slacker" fad style clothing and the local newsletters and bulletins pegged him as a potential troublemaker for his adherence to the, well, hippie dress code. This anti-Roman attire fad was based on traditional Greek style, which the Romans considered decadent.

    Caesar's hangout buddies also wore their hair long, in flowing locks in the Greek style instead of the neatly trimmed Roman cut we see in the old murals. Caesar however was unable to take advantage of this sort of "protest" because he was prematurely semi-bald (ala Patrick Stewart) and was self conscious of his thin hair all his life.

    Of course, as Caesar got a bit older and went off to war (as did all ambitious Roman aristocrats), he quickly abandoned the fads and went conventional, casting off the protest stuff (it was just entertainment for him, not serious) as fast as Prince Hal drops Falstaff when he becomes King Henry V (per Shakespeare again).

    So new ideas and new fads are often just retreads of things that have been rattling around for centuries.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    This one from 52BC is was a good one then, and is just as relevant now.


    "There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but in our hearts; a law which

    comes to us not by training or custom or reading; a law which has come to us

    not from theory but from practice; not by instruction but by natural intuition:

    I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by

    plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of

    protecting ourselves is morally right."
    Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC) Roman Orator and Statesman at the trial of

    T. Annius Milo in 52 BC
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    Actually, when it comes to human behavior very little changes over time, which is why Shakespeare's plays are just as fresh as ever. The things that make us who we are have been in place for a very long time. Technology has changed, big time, but why it is best to go out armed has not.
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    The great Cicero however, finally gave up fighting. Mark Anthony sent some henchmen, two of them, to slice off the great writer/thinker's head while he sat on the beach stroking his chin. He knew it was coming. He was about 62, if my memory serves and he had given up fighting. His head and hands were nailed over the entrance to the Senate Building in Rome as a warning to others who were too quick to speak and write. Rather like today don't you think?
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    Times change, people don't.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Thanks for the excellent Cicero quote, tenn.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    Times change, people don't.

    Perhaps neither times or people have changed much, only the ( commonly used / available ) tools We use for defending ourselves have changed somewhat.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    stepmac wrote: »
    The great Cicero however, finally gave up fighting. Mark Anthony sent some henchmen, two of them, to slice off the great writer/thinker's head while he sat on the beach stroking his chin. He knew it was coming. He was about 62, if my memory serves and he had given up fighting. His head and hands were nailed over the entrance to the Senate Building in Rome as a warning to others who were too quick to speak and write. Rather like today don't you think?

    Well, on one side of the issue, Cicero was among those who called for Caesar's demise and although he may have not been an actual conspirator in the beginning, was actively involved in the opposition afterward, along with Cassius, Brutus, etc. So in the brief civil war that followed, he was a deadly opponent to Antony and his execution would have been expected. He therefore wasn't the noble patriot statesman sitting quietly, expecting his murder, but in fact a fugitive from the majority of the Roman people who were opposed to Caesar's assassination in the first place, considering it a failed coup by Brutus and others.

    On the other side of the coin, Cicero was a longtime foe of Antony and the two hated one another personally. Cicero had also viciously attacked Antony's wife Octavia on many occasions, calling her vile names in the senate and writing handbills accusing her of numerous nasty acts, all of which were trumped up and were in fact barbs against hubby Antony. Octavia, by all honest accounts, was a good gal and deeply resented how Cicero had attacked her to get to hubby.

    When Cicero's head was brought to Antony, apparently he and his wife were at dinner. Legend has it (no proof either way) that the couple played with the head, wife Octavia sticking her hairpins into the tongue and boasting that his sharp tongue was now getting paid back. That Antony joked with the head, speaking to it and such. May be true, may not. I wouldn't put it past Antony, as he was a brute.

    Afterward, it was Cicero's head and only his right hand (the hand that wrote the diatribes against the pro-Caesar forces) that were nailed above the senate, but the lesson was not about speaking out too quickly, but about treason.

    Anyway, fascinating period of history, about which I love reading. Thanks.
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    Isn't Ciceros a good pizza joint in Jersey? White pies for everyone! :beer: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Fat Billy wrote: »
    Isn't Ciceros a good pizza joint in Jersey? White pies for everyone! :beer: Later,

    Great pizza and have fun there, just don't look over at the table where this big drunk stocky guy named Tony is sitting with his wife. Word is it he plays with his, er, food.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Anyway, fascinating period of history, about which I love reading. Thanks.

    You were alive during that era, why would you read about it ? :jester:
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Anyway, fascinating period of history, about which I love reading. Thanks.

    You were alive during that era, why would you read about it ? :jester:

    Silly! Because I can't remember it myself, need constant reminders. Now there was that time that ol' Marc Antony was giving a speech in the Senate, he was so drunk that he went over to the side, puked, and came back to finish the speech! Now that I'll never forget! **

    (** actually happened -- Antony was a real boozer)
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