True Roman Memes For True Romans

PugJesus, in The WOKE Gracchi brothers want to give FREE LAND to the POORS! Obviously this must be stopped at any cost
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Explanation: Tiberius Gracchus was a reformer of the Late Republic. He served as the democratically elected People's Tribune and championed land reform to give public lands to the poor. However, as the rich rented those public lands at a fraction of the ordinary cost, the wealthy men in the Roman Senate were not fond of this plan. Subsequently, when it looked like Tiberius Gracchus might actually succeed, they killed him.

Ten years later, his brother, Gaius Gracchus, championed the same cause. He was illegally killed by the Senate as well.

For some reason, the Senate was then surprised that the poor who made up the vast majority of the army started looking to their generals instead of the 'legitimate' institutions of the Republic to fulfill their interests.

PugJesus, in Stages of an evocatus
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Explanation: The evocati ('those who are called') were those legionaries who, after serving 20 or more years in the Legions and getting their huge retirement bonus, made the absolutely insane decision to re-enlist. Obviously, the only ones who came back were the ones who were either offered massive re-enlistment incentives, or those who had become so accustomed to military life that it became second nature to them. On the upside, evocati were exempted from normal labor details (ie no ditch-digging or sentry duty!) and typically only served a few more years instead of a full 20+ year term. Oftentimes, the best or most respected soldiers were offered re-enlistment with the rank of centurion as incentive - giving them command over 80 other soldiers, and 16x the pay a regular soldier would receive. Obviously very tempting!

No, they were not cute anime girls, but it would have been cool if they were

HKPiax, avatar

The Italian word “evocato” translates to “summoned”. Like fucking demons! If this isn’t badass af I don’t know what is.

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Evocatio ('calling away') was also a Roman religious practice in which they would loudly implore the enemy's gods to come over to the Romans' side, promising to build them great temples and sacrifices in exchange for the enemy's gods taking their side. Very psychologically effective, on both sides, in a superstitious time!

PugJesus, in Who wants some FERMENTED FISH SAUCE?
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Explanation: Not just a military food! Roman garum was fish sauce left to ferment, and was a condiment they put on everything. Bread, meat, other fish, salad, porridge, wine, fruit, everything. It was considered such an essential foodstuff that, like bread and wine, it was provided to slaves. There were varieties that were cheap as could be, like wine, and like wine, there were varieties that would cost a year's wages for a common laborer just to get a single container of.

Since it wasn't, y'know, boiled or anything, just left to ferment, it was a great way to get fish parasites. In fact, it's widely suspected to be a contributor to the spread of Mediterranean fish parasites to the Atlantic during the Roman era. Y i k e s

It sounds gross af, tbqh. Even the Romans acknowledged that the breath of someone who had just eaten garum was revolting, though, with one Roman love poet (sarcastically?) complimenting a man for continuing to pursue a woman after she had eaten six helpings of garum. But it must have had something going for it to be so widely popular - de gustibus non disputandum est!

Console_Modder, avatar

There’s a youtube channel called Tasting History that recreates old recipes and talks about the history of the recipe too, and he made garum in an episode a couple years ago.

I’m sure there were different ways to prepare and make garum, but his turned out tasting like very salty water and didn’t have much of a fishy flavor at all.

Tasting History with Max Miller - Garum

FfaerieOxide, in ALL HAIL SPONSIAN
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You get paid to make this?

...just wondering if this post is Sponsiared

AngrilyEatingMuffins, in Hold the line! Hold!
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Fun fact Scipio beat Hannibal’s elephants by doing the opposite of this and opening up lines to funnel the big boys into, so they could spear them from the sides.

Lemmylefty, in Hold the line! Hold! avatar

I’m no military scholar, but I feel like certain battles might have gone differently if the elephants could just fucking explode when they died.

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Pinto-breed elephants

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ekZepp, in Bloody barbarians! avatar

Religios intolerant… 🙄 [looking at the hundreds of pagan Goods included in the Roman cults]

… Don’t think so.

Wasn’t the roman the one “FIXATED” with monotheism (at least not until THEY took over).

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Indeed. The practice of interpretatio Romana was incredibly - if sometimes also ridiculously - accepting of other pagan gods simply because it interpreted them all as essentially the same gods called by different names.

PugJesus, (edited ) in The Lost Legion myth is probably not significantly true, but it is fun, and that's what counts
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Explanation: there's a Chinese town called Zhelaizhai which was founded by prisoners of war in the late 1st century BCE. A theory popped up at some point that those prisoners of war could have been Roman prisoners who found their way east. While the evidence is circumstantial at best, and there are no solid findings that would support a large-scale Roman presence (even of prisoners far from home), the town has seized on the legend with some enthusiasm, which is cool af.

DNA testing shows that there isn't any exceptional admixture of European ancestry in the town, but as the Romans themselves did not place great deal of value on blood ancestry, as far as I'm concerned, the ancestral lares of the legionaries watch over the town of Zhelaizhai and the families therein o7 o7 o7 o7 o7

There's even a modern statue built in the town to commemorate the legend

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

Leaving the Mediterranean to serve in the British isles would have suuuuuuuucked.

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"Oh boy I can't wait to leave the balmy, mild climate of Italy to serve in a wet, freezing bog up north!" - no Roman legionary ever

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

Many Rome nerds fall into one of two categories: fascists who think rome was glorious and antifascists who think rome was a raging clusterfuck but entertainingly so.

I for one think Elagabalus was the sanest emperor

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Rome was glorious, but like all human societies and especially all pre-modern human societies, it was ALSO an entertaining clusterfuck

PugJesus, (edited ) in Antoninus Pius is unironically one of the best Roman Emperors. Slave rights and public infrastructure 🙏
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For those not in the know, Antoninus Pius is one of the "Five Good Emperors", a series of five Emperors in a row who were well-regarded by history. Antoninus Pius got his name ('Pius') because he was a good and loyal son to his (sometimes mercurial) adoptive father, the Emperor Hadrian. He proceeded to embark on no major military campaigns, and spent the next two decades of rule investing in public roads, bridges, aqueducts and other systems for publicly available water, and welfare measures for the poor, including for orphans (not an actual orphanage; the original pic is a little inaccurate but they've got the spirit). He reduced taxes on areas experiencing hardship, funded the arts, medicine, and philosophy, and still managed to have a massive budget surplus by the end of his reign.

He brought to the Empire extensive legal reform in all areas, increasing the rights of slaves against mistreatment or murder at their masters' hands and ensuring that when a man's status as a slave was in doubt, one was to err on the side of freedom, not slavery. He also significantly reduced the use of torture in the Empire (reduced, not eliminated, because ultimately, as with slavery, the past is still a really shitty place). He had a warm relationship with the Jews of the Empire after his predecessor, Hadrian, quite famously... did not... and put Christians under his personal protection as Emperor (a state of affairs which sadly would fade after a few Emperors).

Not only that, but his two adoptive sons who became Emperor after him both remembered him very fondly after his death as a man of good humor and great patience, who enjoyed fishing and watching comedic plays and boxing matches. Man was probably one of the most wholesome human beings to ever become the most powerful man in the world.

Kyrgizion, (edited )

Man was so loved by the people that several successors simply used his name for the immense amount of goodwill attached to it. Too bad one of them was Caracalla.

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A recurring theme with Emperors. Good Emperor comes along, everyone tries using his name after him for the rep, and then some twit ruins it.

Also the fact that Roman naming conventions had all the creativity of a particularly unimaginative brick.

FfaerieOxide, in N-no, p-please, they did it because they were just and wise...
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If there's a correlation, why was the gayest emperor murdered by the Praetorian Guard when she was 18?

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Praetorian sexism, they couldn't stand a girlboss winning

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Emanuel, in "Literally, kys. The Emperor demands it"

Where is this from?

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Centurii-chan, a very prolific Roman meme artist

FfaerieOxide, in Context: Roman soldiers had a set pay scale. Centurions were paid **16 times** that of a common legionary
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Centurion: "Why are you so salty?"

Legionary: "Why are you so salty?!"

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Auxiliary: "GODS I wish I was more salty"

PugJesus, in Punic War political compass
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Ah, for those wondering about the prettyboys comment, as it's a bit more obscure than the rest......

“Although they [the Celts] have good-looking women, they pay very little attention to them, but are really crazy about having sex with men. They are accustomed to sleeping on the ground on animal skins and roll around naked with male bed-mates on both sides... When they proposition someone, they consider it dishonourable if he doesn’t accept the offer!” - Diodorus Siculus


Hmm, this sounds like propaganda, tbh

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There's probably some measure of cultural chauvinism and exaggeration involved there, but the consistency of Greek and Roman accounts on the relative sexual flexibility afforded by Celtic cultures suggests that there's some measure of truth in it.

In any case, it makes for great meme material!


No, of course there’s some measure of truth there. I myself have read of such accounts. The point is that it is probably (very) exaggerated, but what do I know.

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