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Roman Republic: Res publica Romana • View topic - Ludi Philippi - Symposia

Ludi Philippi - Symposia

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Re: Ludi Philippi - Symposia

Postby Publius Cornelius Scipio » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:56 am

Salve Cassia et Audens. I must respectfully disagree about the perceived inevitability of civil war from the POV of Brutus and his cohorts. Remember Caesar was a larger than life figure. A military and political genius unrivalled in his own time or in most eras of History. Brutus et all had every reason to believe no one man could fill his shoes. And no one man could. Antony tried and nearly died in the process. And he would have had Octavian not formed the Second Triumvirate with him and Lepidus. There was no way of for seeing how canny Octavian would prove to be at nineteen.

Thus it was not unwarranted for them to believe Caesar's death would be the end of it.
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Re: Ludi Philippi - Symposia

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:29 am

Salve Scipio,

I must disagree with your opinion ~ that they had no idea.

Cassius and Brutus knew that there would be troubles in the future. You can see that in many letters throughout Cicero's Ad Familiares.

Here is just one example of many: Ad Familiares, 11.3 - .

Also, they may have thought it was the end directly following Caesar's death. But Cassius knew there was trouble - he knew Antonius would be a dangerous person to leave alive - and he certainly proved to be right in the end. Thus, if Cassius was always cautious about Antonius, he knew there would be trouble ahead. Brutus did not think this - but this opinion ultimately led to their downfall. In the months after the Ides of March, it was certainly clear to them - and to all - this was not the end.

Like I said in my previous post, I put it in the shortest and simplest terms. It is true that Antonius was given the province he wanted after some time - so was Cassius. But this does not mean either of them took it legally at first. In fact, they absolutely did not. Let's be honest, Cassius was never the most humble man - so, he even says in one of his letters, it was expected that he do this. And he did. However, it was still unlawful at the time he did it (you can read Cicero's Philippics to see this).

No matter how right or wrong he was for taking his province or from whomever - he still did it without the Senate's approval in the beginning. Thus, he was no less innocent or guilty than Antonius in this one area. I cannot stress that enough - in this one area.

Back to the original question. According to morals, neither Cassius nor Antonius is right. However, we can also say both are on the defensive when they take up the civil war. Now, this makes the "more" moral side easier to defend since they are on the defensive. But if both are defending, how can both be right?
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Re: Ludi Philippi - Symposia

Postby Lucius Aurelius Curio » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:12 pm

Curio Cassiae Sal.

As far as the question of who is right or wrong in this scenario, you must break down into what is viewed as right or wrong? In my experience, right is viewed from a personal or societal standpoint. From a personal standpoint, they both viewed themselves as right in the end. After all, no one wishes to look inwards to see their own shortcomings, do they? From a societal standpoint, that is also tricky. Because of the fact that the assassins were granted amnesty by the Senate, one could argue they were right. After all, if they weren't right then why would they have been forgiven of it? On the flip side, the people of the Republic were very much crying out against the assassination of Julius Caesar. So from a public standpoint, they probably viewed Antoninus as the morally right one for going after the Liberatores.

In regards to whether they should have expected a civil war, I believe that they did. However, after their actions were forgiven by the Senate, this effectively lulled them into a false sense of security. They had no reason after that to think of such a civil war occurring, effectively putting the event behind them. However, I agree with Scipio in regards to the cunning of Octavian. No one probably seen that one coming, proving himself quite effective in the eyes of Rome itself.

But I am no expert on the topic, merely putting in my two cents. :)

Vale!

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Re: Ludi Philippi - Symposia

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:40 pm

Salve Curio!

I agree - Octavian was never expected to do this. But we can also say he didn't really participate in military actions (that was all his side-man, Agrippa). Octavian knew what he was doing!

This is the tricky thing that I have been wanting to discuss the entire time - who can be right? I agree - morals can be based on culture or an individual. But if they are based on an individual, we can all say that we are acting morally, even when we are not! So individual morality is less concrete than a community's views. Although different communities may have different views, the people making up that community basically share a moral view. We can say this, correct?

Just as you say, people were against the assassination of Caesar - but people were also in favor of it. Take the Greeks for example - they loved Brutus and Cassius - so much so that they built statues of them in the agora!

So, let us say, here people that were against his assassination are on the side of "murder is never justified." On the other side, are the "common good over relationships" or people who think "the duty to the well-being of the State is the first priority" and so on and so forth. Included in this was Cicero. He did not take part in the assassination but he was one of many who sided with the Liberatores. In his Duties, he constantly defends the State over any one person and that it should be retained at the highest position of a person's faithfulness and care. So, if the Liberatores truly believed that they were helping the State - doesn't that make them correct for this definition?

This example of the Ides of March is perfect for talking about morality. We have to very distinct sides fighting for what they believe is the correct path. At the same time, we have the morality of murder at play and whether or not it can eve be justified alongside the morality of protecting the state. Who was right - was Brutus and Cassius right? Was Julius Caesar right? Antonius?

According to each, their own actions were the right ones. So, can there be universal truth behind this when we have so many views about one thing?
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Re: Ludi Philippi - Symposia

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:38 pm

Congratulations!

It is the end of the Ludi Philippi! You made it!

The winners of this symposium are:
1. Marcus Audens
2. Publius Cornelius Scipio
3. Marcus Aquillius

Contact me for information regarding your prizes. First prize winners will receive a small gift from Roma and all second & third place winners will receive a denarii reward. And of course, a big thank you to all those that participated!

I hope all enjoyed the annual Ludi Philippi, and until next year - may the gods and ancestors smile upon you!

C Cassia Longina
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Re: Ludi Philippi - Symposia

Postby Appius Claudius Tuscus » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:29 pm

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Re: Ludi Philippi - Symposia

Postby Gaia Cassia Longina » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:32 pm

Salve, Tusce,

Very interesting input.
I tend to agree - presently, religion has a lot to do with morality. But this was not the case in ancient Rome, of course. However, this does not make it the Universal. The idea remains that the very idea of morality is, in fact, universal. Yet, the ideas vary so much that it is hard to nail down.

Reason and logic, then, as the Stoics would argue, can be utilized when figuring this out. By speaking, one can figure out what the right and wrong are. However, the fact still remains that the context that it is taken in varies, and therefore, so will the answer. The Good must also take precedent in this case. The Good is an ideal, but the definitions of good range so widely that one cannot be more "right" than another.

Morality does belong to communities and individuals. Just as I have tried to show: I believe what Cassius and Brutus did on the Ides of March was "right" - but in a very loose sense. Common good, in my opinion, will always be more important than any individual. Once again, it depends on the community and ways in which it is thought about. Individual good, like you said, is often self-serving, probably stemming from our innate reflex to protect ourselves. But then how did this innate reflex turn into something of a community and universal idea? Well, the universal idea is simply that reflex put into words and thought. Then, comes the variety that is seen in different communities, stemming from long-held traditions within that group. And finally, we can say that the idea is universal because all communities have this sense of what is "right" and what is "wrong" - the very basis of what morality means.

I look forward to more participation,
C Cassia Longina
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