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Re: Off topic but curious (was: A bunch of oxymorons?)

From:Dan Jones <dan@...>
Date:Thursday, September 20, 2001, 13:52
Raymond Brown wrote:

> At 10:29 pm +0100 18/9/01, Dan Jones wrote: > >J Y S Czhang wrote: > > > >> In a message dated 17.09.2001 07:55:07 AM, dan@FEUCHARD.FSNET.CO.UK > >writes: > >> > >> >Pagan here too, principally Romano-Greek. There are more of us about
> >> >you think... > >> > > >> er, eh, excuse me, but I think ya mean Greco-Roman, right? > > > >That's what most people *would* say, quite right. My religion is more
> >on the ancient Roman one- hence my putting "Romano-" before Greek. > > So is there any Greek, really? If so, in what way?
That's pretty difficult to explain. For instance, I use the Platonic system of "chakras" for meditation purposes and much of my morality comes from Classical philosophers, from the early Stoics to Marcus Aurelius- much like many romans did anyway.
> >Strictly > >speaking I prefer "Religio Romana" anyway- Oi daown't 'old wiv orl that > >syncretism stuff, me. I prefer the comfortable domesticity of the Roman > >tradition- the Ancient Greek beliefs always seem so bleak. > > But the 'religio Romana' was syncretic; it inherited elements from its > Indo-European past, notably its chief diety Iuppiter (as the Romans
> it << *(d)iouis pater << PIE *djewis IIRC) - the same deity, as I'm sure > you know, turns up in Germanic as *Tiwas, giving Old Norse Tyr and Old > English Tiw whose name is still preserved in "Tue's day". But there
> unquestionably Etruscan elements in the religion; the Lares (not sure
> the Penates) are of Etruscan origin IIRC.
IIRC the Lares were just another form of numina. Whether the early belief in numina is derived from Etruscan or other pre-Italic sources (as I believe it is) or was inherited from PIE animism is not really fully known. On the syncretism front- one of the Dii Consentes (our four major deities), Ceres, was not a native goddess originally, her worship was instituted in 496 BCE by order of the Sybilline Oracle. Also Apollo was of Greek origin. Strangely, though only Apollo was worshipped graeco ritu.
> OK - I guess you mean you don't like the syncretism with the Greek > religion; I must admit I've always thought the two religions did not fit > well together. What about the syncretism with later 'mystery' religions > such as Mithraism & Isiacism?
Completely right. For example, Zeus is portrayed in Greek myths as something of a philanderer, whereas Iovis was *the* embodiment of the Roman virtues of gravitas, severitas and dignitas. The "new religions" as the later cults are called offered something which the public religio romana could not- personal spiritual development. The Mysteries were a fundamental part of Roman religious life, so my personal view is that they are valuable.
> Among the Greeks, the Homeric writings (Iliad & Odyssey) were regarded as > the canon of their religion, with the so-called 'Homeric Hymns' and the > works of Hesiod being, so to speak, deuterocanonical. I don't think the > Romans had anything quite in the same category. How do you regard these > works? What about Vergil's Aeneid?
They're good, instructional stories. Personally, that's all I see Virgil as. Personally I don't really like reading him- his style is far to unweildy (as I think I have mentioned before, I prefer Catullus, especially his poems to Iuventius). The 'Homeric Hyms' are nice, but I can only read them in translation- my Greek still hasn't got that far yet.
> I'm not asking any of these question with any hostile or anti-pagan
> I am genuinely curious (after all, I've known these religions to some > extent for some 50 years).
I'm curious to know your opinions on them, Ray. I've only relatively recently come to the religio, I was a much more eclectic pagan before that, and I'm interested to know the views of a scholar rather than a worshipper- they tend to be more well-balanced. Dan ---------------------------------- La plus belle fois qu'on m'a dit "je t'aime" c'était un mec qui me l'a dit... Francis Lalane ----------------------------------