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I, Claudius;The Rise of Vir; The parallels

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  • #16
    It's great to be among so many history buffs For those looking for a good source on Claudius, check The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, one of the sources from which Robert Graves drew for I, Claudius.

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    • #17
      I don't know where did you get you info, but I checked a dictionary just in case. "Vir" means hero or man of courage, just I've said (on the record romanian is a latin based language). Sometimes it was used as an adjective, when it did have the sense of a common man like in "vis nulla virum" (no human power) or "viri boni" (noble men).

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      • #18
        Originally posted by grumbler
        Towelmaster,

        Nice work. I would only suggest that Emmperor Turhan is Augustus, who in his old age is manipulated by the forces scheming to determine his heir. Remember that Turhan's son is killed, leaving no clear heir? Well, guess what? Augustus' son-in-law and clear heir, Agrippa, died in 12 BC leaving Augustus to be manipulated in his old age by people scheming to determine his heir.
        Thanks. Indeed, the chronological order is not correct and there were other roman emperors in between. But Cartagia, Vir. Turhan and Londo can easily be recognized.

        You know, now I come to think about it; I have the dvds of I, Claudius downstairs. Borrowed them from lil' sis'. :-) Another nice weekend coming up!
        "En wat als tijd de helft van echtheid was, was alles dan dubbelsnel verbaal?"

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        • #19
          Originally posted by jal
          "Sic Transit Vir"...... Thus passes the man.
          Or, better, perhaps, "So passes the good man."
          I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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          • #20
            I don't know where did you get you info, but I checked a dictionary just in case. "Vir" means hero or man of courage, just I've said
            Oh, well that settles it then. You found a book that supports your definition.

            Which dictionary, by the way?

            BTW, French, Spanish, and Italian are also based on Latin just like Romanian (or Romany), all are "Romance" (Roman) languages- but they aren't the same as Latin, so that doesn't mean all that much. English isn't Latin-based, it is a Germanic tongue, but it has a fair amount of latinate volcabulary, which entered the language mostly via Norman French after the Conquest.

            'Vir' is used to specifically denote a man in the sense of a "manly man" and not a mere male.
            Yes, that was what I was driving at...

            Similarly Latin has both "homo" for "person", often meaning "man" generally (as in Pilate's "Ecce homo", "Behold the man", addressed to the crowd at Jerusalem) and "vir" - specifically indicating maleness
            ...but apparently not clearly enough. The "similarly" refers back to the distinction between "anthropos" and "andros" in Greek I discussed in the previous paragraph, which addressed the "he-man" sense of both terms more explicitly.

            Here's the definition offered by the on-line Latin Dictionary maintained by University of Notre Dame:

            vir viri m. [a man , male person]; esp. [a grown man; a husband; a man of character or courage, 'he-man']; milit. [a soldier, esp. an infantryman; a single man, individual].
            The primary Latin word for hero is, oddly enough, heoros, meaning "demigod" or "hero". Some sources do give "hero" as a secondary (or tertiary) meaning of the word "vir", although "husband" and "man of courage" are more common, but none of the English/Latin references I've consulted give "hero" as a primary meaning for "vir" Your mileage may vary.

            Of course, we're arguing about a language that had differrent words for an erect and a flaccid penis, so it wold seem odd if it only had one word for "man" or "hero".

            Regards,

            Joe
            Joseph DeMartino
            Sigh Corps
            Pat Tallman Division

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
              Oh, well that settles it then. You found a book that supports your definition.

              Which dictionary, by the way?

              BTW, French, Spanish, and Italian are also based on Latin just like Romanian (or Romany), all are "Romance" (Roman) languages- but they aren't the same as Latin, so that doesn't mean all that much. English isn't Latin-based, it is a Germanic tongue, but it has a fair amount of latinate volcabulary, which entered the language mostly via Norman French after the Conquest.
              I have an advice for you. Forget the crap about "Romany". I don't know where you heard it, but gypsies have nothing to do with romanians (except maybe that they make 6% of the population). Our language is latin-based, our grammar is the closest to latin of all romance languages. Gypsy langauge (or Romany, how they called it) is related with indian language.
              Yes, that fact that all the romance languages come from latin don't matter much these days, but in all these countries latin is learned in schools and highschools.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                Yes, that was what I was driving at...

                ...but apparently not clearly enough. The "similarly" refers back to the distinction between "anthropos" and "andros" in Greek I discussed in the previous paragraph, which addressed the "he-man" sense of both terms more explicitly.
                Yeah, I see that I did not make myself clear enough, either. The notion that "vir" is translatable as "everyman" is where you err, I think. "Vir" is generally used rather than "homo" where the attributes of the man are admirable or exceptional, not where they are ordinary and unexceptional.

                So, while I agree that "hero" is probably overstating the meaning of "vir" it is probably a lot closer than "everyman."

                Now, as to whether JMS understood this distinction when he decided that "Vir" was a better charactor name than "Homo" (or whether he decided this for other reasons) is not clear, but I think the fact that "Sic transit vir" can be translated as "that is what happens to a virtuous man" is probably an indication that he did. "That is what happens to every man" does not fit the episode nearly as well because it is precisely Vir's virtues that get him into trouble and everyman would have sailed through the episode happily.
                I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Redrake
                  I have an advice for you. Forget the crap about "Romany".
                  Yeah, there weren't a lot of Gypsies left anywhere after old Adolph got through with them. So how about cutting them a little slack, eh?

                  Originally posted by Redrake
                  Yes, that fact that all the romance languages come from latin don't matter much these days, but in all these countries latin is learned in schools and highschools.
                  And oddly enough Latin is fequently taught in schools even in the English-speaking world. (Until quite recently most good American public high schools taught it, and nearly all the private ones.) You can no longer assume that any educated Englishman knows Latin as you once could*, but probably more know at least of a bit of it than not.

                  Now, as to whether JMS understood this distinction when he decided that "Vir" was a better charactor name than "Homo" (or whether he decided this for other reasons) is not clear...


                  Once again, I don't seem to have been clear. I never said that "Vir" meant "Everyman". Never. Not once. Not even a little bit. I said the word meant "Man" and that by ready extension this could be understood as indicating Vir's status as an "Everyman" character. I made the comment because JMS himself noted Vir's everyman status when discussing the title "Sic Transit Vir" and its multiple layers of meaning. So I think JMS knew what he was doing. And so did I.

                  Joe

                  * As did the English solider who, forced to send a message via a telegraph wire he knew as tapped by the enemy, managed to let his superiors know that he had driven the enemy from Sind by transmitting the single word peccavi - "I have sinned."
                  Joseph DeMartino
                  Confirmed User
                  Last edited by Joseph DeMartino; 04-01-2005, 03:17 PM.
                  Joseph DeMartino
                  Sigh Corps
                  Pat Tallman Division

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                    Once again, I don't seem to have been clear. I never said that "Vir" meant "Everyman". Never. Not once. Not even a little bit. I said the word meant "Man" and that by ready extension this could be understood as indicating Vir's status as an "Everyman" character. I made the comment because JMS himself noted Vir's everyman status when discussing the title "Sic Transit Vir" and its multiple layers of meaning. So I think JMS knew what he was doing. And so did I.
                    I thought the deal was that if you are going to cite JMS on this site for a specific interpretation, you gave a quote from JMS. Your assertion that JMS discussed Vir's "everyman" charactor when discussing the title and its multiple levels of meaning is all well and good, except that I cannot find anything by JMS that actually says what you insist he was saying. No cites for "everyman" that mentions Vir at all (only Zack). No combinations of "every," "man" and "Vir" that support your contention at all. A thorough reading of the episode notes on The lurker's Guide? Nada. Nothing, in fact, that contradicts my more suble reading of the title (that Vir was no longer "the everyman," but "the virtuous man"). Maybe that didn't penetrate the fog that seems to have grown up around this topic. Perhaps if you let JMS speak more for himself, and spoke less in his name, we would not have these little misunderstandings. Feel free, though, to correct my misunderstandings with direct quotes from JMS on the episode as opposed to interpretations or mere assertions.

                    As did the English solider who, forced to send a message via a telegraph wire he knew as tapped by the enemy, managed to let his superiors know that he had driven the enemy from Sind by transmitting the single word peccavi - "I have sinned."
                    Ouch! One of the most famous episodes in British colonial history has been reduced, in the transmission amongst those not caring about original sources, to this fable?

                    The actual story is that General Charles Napier (not some anonymous soldier) was sent to command the troops of the Bombay Presidency, under orders from Queen Victoria to regard the native leaders in India as sovereign, and believing himself that any attack on Sind was merely in the service of the contemptable (to him) East india Company. Despite his admiration for Sind and his (and his Queen's) belief that the Raj was already larger than was good for Britain, he felt compelled by circumstances in the summer of 1842 to settle affairs in Sind by force and annex Sind to the Raj. It was the British magazine "Punch" and not Sir Charles himself, who attributed the notation ""Peccavi"--"I have sinned" to the conquest.

                    As in the case of "JMS himself" it is useful to one's credibility to at least get the outlines of the story correct.

                    In sum, only one who does not understand what "vir' means in latin would assume that it could, "by ready extension," be translated as "everyman." Whether JMS himself did or did not understand that (the latter, if your private understanding of his mindset at the time is accurate), a "vir" is an exceptional man, which leads to a truer understanding of what it was that caused Vir so much trouble in the episode bearing his name.
                    I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                      And Gaius Julius Caesar the Dictator, the greatest general the Republic produced, was never a military man at all.
                      I'll take Belisarius over Caesar.
                      "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

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                      • #26
                        ^^^^^^^^^^
                        Don't forget Narses. He really had some balls on him.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by NotKosh
                          I'll take Belisarius over Caesar.
                          But he DID say "Roman Republic" so Belisarius does not qualify. Maybe pre-Cleopatra Marc Antony was as good, among the choices we could make. Also, though, an illustrationn of Joe's point about the "military man" not starting from the lowest ranks, but rather using military fame to advance a civil career.

                          Q: What is the main difference between George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jane Fonda?

                          A: Jane Fonda DID go to Vietnam!
                          I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by grumbler
                            Q: What is the main difference between George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jane Fonda?

                            A: Jane Fonda DID go to Vietnam!
                            And was on the winning side.

                            Should we appoint her to the selection board for generals?
                            Andrew Swallow

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                            • #29
                              There isn't a statute of limitations on Treason, is there?
                              "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by NotKosh
                                There isn't a statute of limitations on Treason, is there?
                                I'm sorry. I thought one of the wonderful things about this country was that it was not considered treasonous to voice your conscience and act upon it. Silly me. I wonder what will happen to all those of us who have voiced opposition to Ascroft and the Patriot Act?

                                Will they still be calling us traitors in 30 years?
                                "Ivanova is God!"

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