No general exercising imperium could cross the Rubicon without the concession of the Senate. Sometimes the Senate would ‘humiliate a general by letting him wait there infinitely. Imperium was power vested by the Senate. Period.
Everyone knew: the eagle of Rome seen on top of the standards of Legions is based upon four letters: S P Q R
That was the might of the Roman Republic: the Senate was governing. And the Senate was under the rule of the law.
Everyone was under the rule of the law!
Everybody knew that: dura lex, sed lex
January, 49 BC:
In my eyes the Republic’s death sentence was signed when J.Caesar crossed the Rubicon, courtesy of Legio XIII Gemina. (The Thirteenth Legion was fanatically loyal to Julius).
Caesar, after hesitating for a few hours, waited no more for the rest of his army. One legion was enough. He made his decision and shouted out to his officers two Greek words: “Ανερρίφθω κύβος” (Let the die be cast). He was marching to Rome and there was no turning back.
The famous Thirteen Legion, LEGIO TERTIA DECIMA GEMINA, (waiting at that time in Ravenna) was the only one available to Julius. 5000 foot-soldiers, 300 cavalry-men. They were all battle-hardened veterans that went through thick and thin together with their general during the campaigns in Gaul. They were now more than ready to follow Caesar to Rome herself!
(The following excerpt is from an article written by Marc Magna and was published at bodybuilding.com on Apr 07, 2014)
The ancient Greeks taught us many things: democracy, philosophy, and perhaps most important to the bodybuilding community, the idea of aesthetic sensibility. To the ancient Greeks, symmetry was beauty—a rule evidenced by their architecture, art, and ideal physique.
This ideal male form—as imagined in sculptures, paintings, and drawings— was usually made with a wide chest, broad shoulders, and a thick back placed upon a slim waist. The legs were muscular, but not overly huge. Everything was balanced and proportionate.
According to the ancient Greeks, the ideal male physique should have these measurements: the arms should be 2.5 times the circumference of the wrist, the calves 1.9 times the ankle size, the thighs 1.75 times the knee, the shoulders 1.6 times the waist, and the neck 2.5 times the wrist. A man’s build should also be athletic and lean.
The Greeks believed in these proportions for three reasons:
to perform athletically and in battle, to live a long time with good health, and to be attractive in order to pass along genetics. I can’t argue with these goals. They seem to reflect what many gym-goers want for themselves: a body that looks, feels, and performs better.
Some Brits ask: “How can you own something that was made back in the 5th century BC?”
Some Greeks say: “Greek people want them back!”
Is it that hard to comprehend that they’re all missing the point? It is not the Greek State that owns them. It’s the Parthenon and the city of Athens that ‘want them back’. Both sides have to see this in a cultured, classy and sophisticated way.
The Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor has stated that it is the British Museum’s duty to “preserve the universality of the marbles, and to protect them from being appropriated as a nationalistic political symbol”
He is right! The British museum should speak directly with the director of the New Acropolis Museum; maybe the mayor of the city of Athens too.
“OH, WAIT… SO THIS MEANS THAT ALL MUSEUMS AROUND THE WORLD SHOULD BE EMPTIED!”
Most of the ‘Elgin marbles’ are pieces of a larger structure. The Parthenon! It’s that simple.
Claiming that all antiquities from all museums should be returned to Greece, Italy (plus a whole list of other countries) is, for anyone that uses common sense, laughable.
The vast majority of statues and other artefacts stand and are being displayed as units. They are not part of something else.
Greek statues were exported & sold outside their place of creation.
They’re way too many. What’s the number of exhibits that are going to be returned? A few? A lot? Why not all of them? Where do we stop?
But really: the main and most important reason is that they are ambassadors, tangible examples (and not abstract ideas) of the Graeco-Roman world & civilization. The one that shaped the Western World as we know it today.
The main problematic issue is this: both sides see a different frame of the dispute.
Many British officials claim that “legally the matter is on the side of the British Museum. So, the matter is of morality and function”.
I agree 100%! Morality and function. Reuniting the pieces of the Parthenon that are in London is a moral act; and this act serves a function too!
“AND WHO’S TO BLAME FOR ALL THE DAMAGE & DESTRUCTION?”
I know! let’s blame ‘Zee Germans’… There’s no point in going into the details of who and when did what damage on the Parthenon and its sculptured decoration. Unfortunately, the truth is that contemporary nations (modern Greeks, Venetians, British etc.) and not barbarians or the all-conquering Time, inflicted the most serious damage on the Acropolis.
Today things have changed considerably. I’m certain we can all agree that there are knowledgeable specialists both in Britain and in Greece that can take good care of pieces of art and ancient artefacts.
IN BRITAIN’S DEFENCE
There’s a sad fact: many Greeks that are actively involved in the campaign are clearly involved for reasons of private interest. It is a well-known fact that some people have and are being engaged in this controversy (pity that there is one) for irrelevant reasons. Money, fame, personal gains. From the level of legal advisors all the way up to ministers of tourism, they’re more interested (or only interested some of them) in promoting themselves than the cause itself. It is imperative that the directors of the two museums leave corrupt politicians and soldiers of fortune out of the ‘game’.
On the other hand we should keep in mind that Elgin’s act is causing controversy in Britain since the 19th century. Lord Byron himself wrote his poem “The Curse of Minerva” cursing lord Elgin for what he did. Today, many famous Britons (academics, actors etc.) have repeatedly stated that are in favour of the Reunification.
Paul Cartledge, Anthony Snodgrass, Sean Connery, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench just to name a few. Stephen Fry believes that now is the time for the reunification. What is more, using legal pressure is not the gentleman’s way. It’s not the civilized way to proceed. Call him romantic but he’s right!
“Britain, should say: yes for 200 years we kept them safe. Perfidious Albion was an untrustworthy country with colonial ambitions. Let’s not be like this anymore. Let’s be a classy country.”