HUM 110 GC Society What Has Been Collectively Defined by Society Discussion

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HUM 110

Grossmont College


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Cicero, On Duty. What responsibilities does the great Roman orator believe that people have towards their society? Is he encouraging altruism or self-interest -- or both? What are the results of successful diplomacy? What do you feel people owe society, if anything? Justify your position from personal and/or public experience -- in other words, things that have happened to you and/or to someone in the public eye (politicians, celebrities, historical personalities).

The second response is for (Module 8 - Roman literature) Please go over the slides and answer the questions in the prompt below in 100 words. (Please provide detailed answers)

Here is the prompt:

Comment specifically on Juvenal’s lengthy Satire X, On a Long Life. In this meditation on growing old, the poet makes several key observations, moving from darkly comic to frankly tragic. Note at least three such details and explain what you think the author means. You’re welcome to make connections to your own experience with aging too, drawing on personal examples as before.

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ROMAN LITERATURE: ENNIUS (239 BCE – 169 BCE) Father of Roman poetry but only Annals still exists: epic history of Rome using Greek metrical scheme. Marcus Tullus CICERO (106-43 BCE) Lawyer, celebrated orator (public speaker). Friendly rival and critic of Julius Caesar. His 900 letters, collected and published posthumously, reveal a vain, indecisive, yet witty & humane personality and capture the complexity of the age. Titus Gaius PETRONIUS: Satyrica (c. 50 CE). Vignettes of life in Imperial Rome. Adapted into film by the great Federico Fellini (1969). OVID (43BCE-17CE): Metamorphoses Classical myths retold through the lens of a shrewd, almost modern perception of the human psyche. Gaius Valerius Catullus, Roman lyric poet (84-54 BCE). Come down to us from manuscript (Carmen) unearthed in the early Middle Ages. Copied many times before and since, so veracity questionable. Brief stint in the Civil Service at Brythnia; father a friend of Julius Caesar (whom he mocked in his poetry). All we really know is derived from content of poetry, in which he rages, often with frank sexuality, about untrustworthy friends, lazy and lewd acquaintances, and his love for Lesbia (a pseudonym for his married mistress Clodia Metelli). Continues the personal erotic and intimate verse of Sappho and Archilochus (Greek lyric poets). Like Sappho, wrote epithalamia (wedding songs) that discuss a bride’s virginity and obligations to her new husband. Poems reflect his divided sentiments and affections. Witty, urbane, yet vulgar. Personal, confessional, confidential, like letters to their subjects. Fragmentary but substantial enough to strike a chord that we sound with our own experiences. Carmen 71: Revenge If a goat’s smell under the arms rightly prevents anyone, or if a slow gout deservedly cripples them, your rival, who keeps your lover busy, is discovered by you to be wonderfully sick with both. Now whenever he beds her, you’re revenged on the pair: she’s troubled by the smell, he’s ruined by the gout. ROMAN PLAYWRIGHTS adapted Greek satire into more straight-forward comedy. Constructed large-scale indoor wooden theaters with elaborate sets. Titus Maccius PLAUTUS (254-184 BCE). Comic musicals, farce. Social satire a la Aristophanes. Satirio, Addictus, Miles Gloriosus, Amphitryon. Menaechmi (The Menaechmus Twins) = Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, Rodgers & Hart’s Boys From Syracuse Pseudolus, Casina = Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum TERENCE (Publius Terentius Afer, 185-159 BCE). More serious, highbrow comedy; greater character depth. Less popular but favorite of aristocrats. Rediscovered in the 17th & 18th centuries Adria = Richard Steele, Conscious Lovers Phormio = Moliere, The Trickeries of Scapian Epigrams of Martial (1st century CE): To a Bad Doctor A doctor lately was a gladiator made: A change of title, not of trade. To a Jealous Husband Who persuaded you to cut off the nose of your wife's lover? Wretched husband, that was not the part which outraged you. Fool, what have you done? Your wife has lost nothing by the operation, Since that which pleased her in your friend Deiphobus is still safe. Satire: usually exaggerated social criticism, in which elements of the author's world are blown up and publicly ridiculed. Angry, mocking, obscene, cruel, but often funny (think best modern comics), can be a voice of social conscience. Originated in Rome as genre; device found earlier in Greek plays of Aristophanes. Two schools: milder, gentler Horatian satire (Horace, b. 65 BCE) and coarser, angrier Juvenalian Satire. Groundwork for Swift, Samuel Johnson, Byron, Wilde, Michael Moore et al. Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (Juvenal, 1st-2nd cent CE) 16 satires, last unfinished: 60-600 lines in length (100-128 CE) Critical of wealthy and powerful, sinners all. Other targets: Luxury and laxity, brutal regime, homosexuality, women as venal and grasping. Bitter, perhaps due to his early exile for insulting a court favorite of Emporer Domitian, In Satires, supplied us with epigrams: You should pray for a sound mind in a sound body. But who is to guard the guards themselves? The people that one bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now concerns itself no more, and longs eagerly for just two things - bread and circuses! Daily life in Rome, from an image by Giuseppe Sciuti (Sicilian , 19th century) From Satire X, on a long life: "Grant length of life, great Jove, and many years!" This is your only prayer in health and sickness. But with what unremitting and grievous ills is old age crowded! First of all, its face is hideous, loathsome, and altered from its former self; instead of skin a hideous hide and flaccid cheeks; and see! such wrinkles, as, where Tabraca extends her shady dells, the antiquated ape scratches on her wizened jowl! . . . Old men's faces are all alike - - limbs tottering and voice feeble, a smooth bald pate, and the second childhood of a drivelling nose; the poor wretch must mumble his bread with toothless gums; so loathsome to his wife, his children, and even to himself, that he would excite the disgust even of the legacy-hunter Cossus! His palate is grown dull; his relish for his food and wine no more the same; the joys of love are long ago forgotten; and in spite of all efforts to reinvigorate them, all manly energies are hopelessly extinct. Has this depraved and hoary lechery aught else to hope? . . . Now turn your eyes to the loss of another sense. . . . You must bawl out loud, before his ear can distinguish who it is his slave says has called, or what o'clock it is. Besides, the scanty blood that flows in his chill body is warmed by fever only. Diseases of every kind dance round him in full choir. . . . One is weak in the shoulder; another in the loins; another in the hip. Another has lost both eyes, and envies the one-eyed. Another's bloodless lips receive their food from others' fingers. . . . But worse than all debility of limb is that idiocy which recollects neither the names of his slaves, nor the face of the friend with whom he supped the evening before; not even those whom he begot and brought up! Even though the powers of intellect retain their vigour, yet he must lead forth the funerals of his children; must gaze upon the pyre of a beloved wife, and the urns filled with all that remains of his brother and sisters. This is the penalty imposed on the long-lived, that they must grow old with the death-blow in their house for ever galling fresh -- in oftrecurring sorrow -- in unremitting mourning, and a suit of black. Roman literature – The Aeneid: History: Vergil, First poet of the Empire, fortune-teller to Augustus. Commissioned by the emperor to write this epic poem that would give Romans a worthy mythological origin like the Greeks had. On his deathbed Vergil wanted it burnt, but Augustus said, “No way!” The plot: Aeneas turns down ex-in-law Andromache (Hector's widow) and flees the ruins of Troy, has wild adventures in the Mediterranean (like Odysseus), has doomed affair with the suicidal Queen of Carthage (Dido), undergoes catabasis to learn from the witch Sibyl that he must get back on task (sorry, Dido!), lands in Italy to beat the Latins (led by Turnus), and founds the new Troy – Rome. Aeneas is a moral hero, therefore, foreswearing his own pleasures and desires so that he may accomplish his mission and do his duty to his people. Vergil (Publius Vergilius Maro, 70-19 BCE). Eclogues (aka Bucolics). 10 short poems that celebrate joy & pain of pastoral life (shepherds). Georgics (29 BCE, 4 vols.) Celebrate country life, agriculture. Advice on farming techniques, presumably learned from his father. Aeneid (29 BCE). Commissioned by Augustus, Vergil’s client in his other job as clairvoyant. Aeneas, Prince of Troy; Anchises, Ascaneus, & Creusa (family) Venus (A’s mother), Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Mercury: Gods Dido, Queen of Carthage; Evander & Pallas, Tuscan king & son Latinus, king of the Latins; Lavinia, Turnus (would-be son-in-law) Borrows from Homer: Odyssey first half (wanderings), Iliad second half (invasion / siege of Italy). 12 books: Heroic epic (literary, secondary) of Rome’s founding. Connects old & new, past & present, rebirth after destruction; hence celebrates promise of Augustan Age. I: Aeneas & survivors shipwrecked in Tunisia, arrive in Carthage, ruled by Queen Dido. II: A. recounts the Fall of Troy. Greeks are portrayed poorly. Hector’s ghost advises him to flee; he loses his wife Creusa. III : A. recounts his wanderings, including his visit with Andromache, seeing Polyphemus, the fight with the Harpies, & Anchises’ death in Sicily. Laocoon & Sons (Laocoon Group) by Agesander, Athenodorus, & Polydorus of Rhodes (Greco-Roman, c. 50 CE). Found in Nero’s Golden House Gardens; now at the Vatican. Realistic details & posture, mythic content (Trojan war) Andromache Mourns Hector, Jacques-Louis David (1783). ABOVE: Aeneas Flees Troy (1st Cent. CE). Altar relief found on Byrsa hill, Carthage (Libya or Tunisia). LEFT: Aeneas, Anchises, & Ascanius, Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1618-19 CE). Marble, height: 7.5’ Aeneas and his Companions Fighting the Harpies, François Perrier (1646 CE) Aeneas at the Banquet of Dido (c. 1475 CE) Bruges, follower of Willem Vrelant (illuminator) Dido & Aeneas Shelter From the Storm. Vatican Vergil Manuscript (6th century CE) Book IV: Dido & Aeneas have illstarred love affair, consummated in cave during storm. Mercury reminds him of duty; A. leaves her to her grief & eventual suicide on A’s sword (ironically, a warrior’s death). RIGHT: Paul Rubens, The Death of Dido (1642) Dido: echoes of Cleopatra, exotic North African queen doomed by tragic romance (Julius Caesar & Marc Anthony). Augustus and most educated Romans would have grasped the parallel. V: Trojans journey to Italy. First driven by storm to Sicily, where Acestes, of Trojan descent, is king. Funeral games for Anchises. Juno sends Iris, who convinces women to burn ships, but Jove rains it out. Aeneas builds a new Troy, a city (retirement community) for women, old folks, & anyone weary of the journey; continues to Italy w/ faithful warriors. VI: Guided by the Sibyl, A. descends into hell for Anchises’ advice and prophecy. Proto-Inferno (Dante). Sees Cerberus, Dido on the Fields of Mourning, sinners in Tarturus. After Anch. shows him visions of a future Rome, A. transformed from Everyman to Superman, a man on a mission to establish a new homeland. Noble purpose now paramount. Cumaean Sibyl, Michelangelo (1510 CE) Sibyl: witch or sorceress, soothsayer or prophetess. VII: Aeneas scouts out Italy. Received by King Latinus, who favors him as a husband to Lavinia. Allecto, a Harpy (Fury), spoils the day by goading Queen Amata, who favors Turnus. He, angry at being rejected, breaks treaty w/ the Trojans, gathers other princes to his side. VIII: Battle for Italy, the fight against the Latins under Turnus. War begins; A. visits Tuscans (Evander & Pallas) to pleas for them to come in on Trojan side (echoes of Etruscans and Romans). Vulcan crafts armor at Venus’ request, w/ living scenes of gods and glory. IX: While A. is off rallying the Tuscans, Turnus (Achilles-like) attacks, Lays siege to the Trojan camp, and fires A’s ships. By night, Nisus & Euryalus go after A. for help, are captured and executed instead. X: Jupiter’s council; bars the gods from taking sides. Meanwhile, in battle Turnus kills Pallas, while A. kills the noble Lausus and his father, the atheistic Mezentius. Aeneas in his Ships (Low Ham mosaic; 4th century CE). Detail depicting Aeneas' ships departing (Taunton, England). XI: Truce for funeral rites. Pallas returned to Tuscany w/ honors and great sorrow. A. offers Latinus peace; he wants it after Diomedes refuses to help the Latins. L. considers offering land & Lavinia while Turnus rages and proposes single combat. Trojans march on city as council fails to agree on strategy. Turnus rallies Latins; Camilla (virgin princess of Volscians, echo of Amazons?) joins them in enters battle but is slain. XII: Turnus challenges Aeneas to single combat; A. wounded by the treacherous Ruilli but cured by Venus. He returns to lead his troops once more and pursues Turnus. Meanwhile, Jupiter convinces Juno that Trojans must win, compromises that they will mingle with Latins, form new race. Poem ends as A. kills T. in single combat to avenge Pallas. Jove’s Council (Vatican Vergil Manuscript (illuminated, 6th cent. CE) • • • • • • • Stylistic and plot parallels to Homer, but less about individual warrior heroes, more about duty and fealty to the gods, who are virtuous (Jupiter, at least). Similar Homeric devices, but nobler gods and heroes. Connects old & new, past & present, rebirth after destruction; hence celebrates promise of Augustan Age. Metaphor for Augustus’ rule and Age (probably). Elevates Augustus to Aeneas’ role (possibly). More than propaganda: heroic struggle with melancholy results (happiness in past, duty in future). Intended to celebrate / glamorize Rome’s history and place in world. Vergil died before completing it; ordered it destroyed but Augustus interceded. Held in highest esteem ever since as poem and moral model. St. Augustine read it as a prophecy of Christ’s birth; virtues of Aeneas protoChristian, w/ Aeneas altruistically practicing self-sacrifice by giving up personal desires (staying w/ Andromache & family, loving Dido) for the greater good of his people. A. flees from tragedy (Troy) at the expense of family (Priam, Creusa, et al); passes up opportunities for happiness in pursuit of ordained mission: to found Rome. Dido suffers, Latins suffer. Duty leads to tragedy.
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Question 1
Cicero believes that people should hold high moral standards and obey the rule of law for
the benefit of society. The orator suggests that morality should be prioritized to physical strength
when dispensing the duties of society. Cicero is encouraging people to be selfless and...

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