True Roman Memes For True Romans

LanternEverywhere, in Who wants some FERMENTED FISH SAUCE?

Thai fish sauce is fermented fish sauce and it's delicious.

sigmaklimgrindset, in Fashion is truly cyclical

You can’t change my mind: Scipio vs Hannibal was peak Roman history, and everything sucks after that. It had everything: drama, revenge, a battle of wits and strategy, a build up of tension spanning years, man-on-man action, war elephants, Roman citizen pissing their pants in fear for three decades, and a swamp.

I don’t give a shit about Julius Ceaser or whatever the fuck Augustus and the 5 good emperors were up to. We have enough “historical” political dramas, Hollywood, give us HANNIBAL BARCA VS SCIPIO AFRICANUS (OG) IN IMAX.

PugJesus avatar

May I humbly suggest the manga Ad Astra to tide you over until Hollywood gains a sense of taste?


-sigh- Weeb Rome it is. Thanks for the rec!

HeartyBeast, in Who wants some FERMENTED FISH SAUCE?
HeartyBeast avatar

Worcester sauce has fermented anchovies, I believe. It’s yummy

fiat_lux, in Britain was not the... wealthiest of Roman conquests

Wojaks are a convenient meme template, but using them might not help the fascism/Roman link problem. Especially when they use physical differences / disability as a shorthand to represent bad decisions or low intelligence.

Deceptichum avatar

Ancient Rome has become a symbol of the alt-right/fashies.

They glorify imperialism and the trampling of indigenous peoples and the destruction of their cultures.

They kept trying it with Rhodesia, but it didn't take off because it's too obvious.

PugJesus avatar

We're giving up Rome too, now? I can't say I'm onboard with that. Symbolism has power, and letting fascists run off with all the symbolism they want to is nothing less than ceding power to those cretins.

Deceptichum avatar

Why do you want to "reclaim" Rome?

Frankly Rome sucks, it destroyed Europe's rich and unique cultures and allowed some middle eastern death cult to finish the job.

PugJesus avatar

Reclaim? That presumes Rome has been lost, which it has not.

As to why, I could go on and on about the value of Rome in the development of republicanism and the eventual Enlightenment era ideals which most modern Western ideologies to the left of Hitler run on, but I think it suffices in this case, to simply point out that you are in 'RoughRomanMemes' and the purpose of this place is to be enthusiastic about Rome.

PugJesus avatar

Wojaks are extremely widespread in meme communities, hardly a fascist link. As for representing bad decisions or low intelligence, I'm not sure how one is expected to visually depict bad decisions or low intelligence if "Head with a skull caved down to the jaw" and "Blemmyes" are being counted as depictions of disability.

I appreciate that you have an interest in preventing misunderstandings or links to fascism, considering the predilection for fascists to attempt to appropriate communities and symbols of Classical Antiquity, but I think the net is cast a bit wide on this particular criticism.


Unfortunately they were co-opted and popularised on 4chan's /pol/ from krautchan's /int/ board, which are pretty notoriously alt-right breeding grounds. They ruined Pepe the Frog the same way. Notice how the masculine 'chad' man and feminine woman characters also play into Aryan 'ideal' tropes. I definitely appreciate that most people who use them now are not familiar with that history, but it informs some of the design decisions and frequent comic topics.

As for depicting bad decisions or low intelligence, I'm not sure that do need a visual depiction at all, but perhaps one that doesn't associate them with physical differences is a start. I would have gone with clowns as the depiction for bad decisions, but that's just me.

I get that being headless is a huge exaggeration, but for people born with anencephaly, or people who experience traumatic brain injuries and a craniectomy, I doubt it helps with how they are widely perceived.


They can co-op anything. Why give them the power to take over anything by using it for hateful depictions? Yielding to them whatever they want doesn’t seem particularly useful either.

fiat_lux, (edited )

Because there comes a point where you're no longer reclaiming a symbol, but actually adopting the vocabulary and glossary of hate.

The Romans are based on the "I wish i was home" character. It's not 100% verified to be made by someone on 4chan, but I'm pretty sure it was.

The British Brainlets on the other hand, are definitely 4chan-created, and contain a vast array of symptoms associated with medical conditions / disability to communicate the concept of "bad decisions". And some of the original 4chan commentary mentions eugenics.

In my opinion, it's harmful to people with disability go continue to use the visual language of hatred. Just like it was harmful to keep using minstrel show blackface.

There are an infinite number of images at our fingertips that don't have a history of use as right-wing propaganda. That's all. Why give them the power by yielding? Perhaps the question could be: Why give them the power by spreading their messages when there are so many other options?

thrawn, (edited )

Truth be told, I don’t think I’m on the internet enough to comment here. I don’t see the drawings as Aryan, but it occurs to me that I don’t know what Aryans actually look like. Alt-right content is pretty difficult to come across these days so I haven’t seen them used for hate either. Even after seeing the “I wish I was home” character I don’t see how it’s hateful, it just looks like typical self deprecating humor about one’s social aversions.

So to me, it felt like you were making the associations between the common drawings and the alt-right for them— I’ve never actually seen them co-ot either this or Pepe, and I hadn’t ever associated it with 4chan users. I don’t think most people do, but being out of touch with deep internet culture, perhaps I’m just wrong. It just feels like, without seeing the actual hate comics (easy to avoid, I filtered out T_D back in the day and don’t visit 4chan), the only claims the alt-right has to these is when others say it’s theirs. I still don’t think we should be bringing up the alt-right when they aren’t explicitly mentioned— my stance is they are best ignored in civil society and combatted only when their rhetoric actually appears— but I’m not versed enough to be able to disagree here. Knowing now that these drawings are meant to be alt-right only seems to increase the influence they have.

As for the “brainlets” I see what you mean. I had not associated the headlessness with real disabilities, but upon further inspection I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what it was meant to be.

Edit: it’s just, where is the line drawn? If they begin to use Iron Man or Hello Kitty, does that become theirs too? Even if the Roman characters are 4chan made, I would think it better to remove their influence on it and allow it to become another random meme drawing.

PugJesus, in Chad Caesar casually giving his kidnappers ransom advice
PugJesus avatar

In his youth, Caesar was captured by pirates on the Mediterranean sea. This was not uncommon at the time, as the piracy problem in the Mediterranean would not be solved for another decade. Caesar, however, showed his... unusual character throughout his captivity.

First, when he heard how much money they were demanding for him, he told them to ask for more. This is actually not as senseless as it seems - by having a higher ransom paid for his release, Caesar becomes more notable and valuable for the sacrifice made on his behalf (assuming, of course, that the ransom IS paid).

Second, during his captivity he actually befriended the pirates, joking with them, bossing them around as a Roman nobleman might boss around subordinates, demanding they be quiet as he tried to sleep, and composed speeches and poetry which he demanded they listen to (and called them uncultured when they failed to fully appreciate it). The pirates, rather than being upset at this behavior, found it amusing, which speaks, I think, to the odd charisma of Caesar's character, and the value of being bold.

Third, one of the 'jokes' he made with the pirates was that when it was all done and over with, he promised to have them all crucified - the usual punishment for piracy. They found this very amusing, as Caesar was, at the time, just a young man from a wealthy family, not a notable soldier or politician. The thing is, after his ransom was paid and he was released, Caesar raised a force, captured the pirates, and then promptly had them crucified. However, as they had indulged him during his captivity, he had their throats cut first (a very quick and merciful death compared to dying on a cross), so really the crucifixion was just a formality to fulfill his promise.

The story is a very strange mix of brilliance, charisma, and arrogance. It fits Caesar very well, I think.

PugJesus, in Pre-emptively: this is an anti-fascist community - no fascists allowed
PugJesus avatar

God, I hate it when I see a marble bust as a profile pic and I have to play "Classics enthusiast or fascist cretin?" The Roman fasces stand for republicanism and the power of the people, not for fascist debasement of once-noble symbols!


If only there was some Italian face representing fascism...

PugJesus avatar

I wish they used that cretin instead. Like the great (if fictional) Lt. Aldo Raine, I prefer to be able to identify fascists at a glance.

EatBorekYouWreck, in Virgin "It's literally cheaper to keep repairing it" vs. Chad "I don't care how 'overengineered' you say this is, the budget is coming from the Emperor himself"

One carries water that flow due to gravity, one carries pressurized water that flows up to 100 floor buildings. One carries a horse and a carriage, the other carries an 18 wheeler hauling tens of tons of merchandise for thousands of kilometers.

That’s really not a comparison

Xeelee avatar

Let's not let reality get in the way of a good circlejerk, shall we?

PugJesus avatar

There is definitely a difference in intensity of usage, but there's also a difference in design philosophy - with the advance of technology and budget organization, it literally is cheaper to build something to require maintenance every ten years than to overengineer it to the point where it lasts longer for a far greater lifetime expense. There's nothing wrong with that - it is, in fact, more effective. But we're memeing right now, and it is a bit funny.

AngrilyEatingMuffins avatar

Also makes it a billion times easier to pick up a road and move it

Ostrichgrif, in Thank you for your salad, Caesar, and thank you L. Cornelius Cinna, for inventing Cinnabons

One thing I always loved when taking Latin in school was how succinct the insults are. Are you an idiot simply boils down to stultus es, a common insult was fur meaning thief which in practice was used for many circumstances. My favorite was bustirape (pronounced Boos-te-ra-pay) which meant grave robber, but roughly translates to lowdown son of a bitch. Maybe it was because they had to chisel so much of their language into stone, but the Romans really were champions of brevity.

PugJesus avatar

They did love their abbreviations too.

HKPiax, in "Y-you were joking, right?" avatar

If we’re being honest here, if you kidnap someone and when they get released they say “Imma nail yo asses to the crosses”, you shouldn’t consider that joking. Especially if that someone is motherfucking Julius Caesar.

PugJesus avatar

Caesar was young and unknown at the time - imagine having the bad luck to kidnap a future legendary conqueror!

Console_Modder, in Lorica Squatmata avatar
PugJesus avatar

A commenter of true taste

PugJesus, in Time to take Caesar's word uncritically! Filthy Gauls!
PugJesus avatar

Explanation: This is quite literally the outline of the Gallic Wars as related by Caesar in his Commentarii. Of course, the reality is more nuanced - even just by a cursory reading of the details Caesar gives - but we're here to meme and dab on Gauls - and we're all out of memes!

FrankTheHealer, in It's a simple question

Can someone give me a TLDR on why each of these dates could be considered the fall of Rome?

PugJesus avatar

27 BCE (Fall of the Republic)

395 AD (Split of the Empire into East and West)

476 AD (Fall of the city of Rome and the Western Empire)

717 AD and 867 AD (Byzie stuff? Not sure)

1204 AD (Sack of Constantinople and the break of government continuity in the Byzantine Empire)

1453 AD (Siege of Constantinople and conquest of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Turks)

1806 AD (Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the Germanic state which claimed legitimacy by being crowned by the Pope)

1917 AD (Fall of the Romanov dynasty which claimed dynastic continuity with the Byzantine Empire and called Russia the 'Third Rome')


Perfect answer. Thank you 😊

PugJesus, in History is more queer than many realize (Caching Issue Repost)
PugJesus avatar

Explanation: Elagabalus was a Roman Emperor who, if the stories are to believed (some suspect they’re propaganda to blacken Elagabalus’s name - I suspect there are easier ways to slander an Emperor), probably was what we would recognize as trans or NB in the modern day. Unfortunately, Elagabalus was not particularly good rep, as they came into power at the age of 14 from the maneuvering of their mother and grandmother, and acted with all the responsibility one might expect of a 14-year old given near-absolute autocratic power through no skill of their own - but history IS queerer than you might think.

Also, mandatory note that modern historians (ie not from 50 years ago) are increasingly welcoming towards LGBT studies and interpretations of history.

PugJesus, in Servile Wars Moment (Caching Issue Repost)
PugJesus avatar

Explanation: During the Spartacus revolt, or Third Servile War, a bunch of gladiators led a massive rebellion of slaves in Italy. As Rome was not expecting to have to fight in Italy, it had no serious forces available to immediately combat the revolt, and it swelled to a massive size, defeating several hastily conscripted legions and militia. While the revolt would eventually be defeated, it was, for a time, a humiliation for the Roman Republic, which had previously crushed much more powerful foes!

PugJesus, in RPG Problems (Caching Issue Repost)
PugJesus avatar

Explanation: It’s fairly common in RPGs to have at least one boss enemy that you fight later join your team. This boss is almost always weaker when they join you than when they fought you.

The top image is of the Roman Empire at the height of its power. The bottom image is of the degraded successor, the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, just before its fall to the Ottoman Turks. Obviously, there is a bit of a power difference there.

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