~ Classical Precedents
An interesting excerpt from a speech delivered during the Security Seminar for Judges at the Philippine Judicial Academy:
According to 18th century Lawrence Sterne – "MEN TIRE THEMSELVES in pursuit of REST."
I am reminded of this ironic line because sometimes it is easy for us to fall into the trap called "insecurity of security" or what some describe as the phenomenon of man being dead at 30 and buried at 60.
I trust you will agree with me that one’s safety resides in the mind. According to Roman Historian LIVY: "We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them."
That is not to say that one’s safety is solely selfdetermined. For example, even in car driving, safety depends, to a large extent, upon the skill and care of other drivers.
Therefore, our role is not so much as guaranteeing our prescriptions for your safety but merely to attempt to broaden Your Honor’s zones of awareness in the area of self-preservation.
But that is putting the cart before the horse!
While we were assessing the burden of your calling, and trying to simplify its complexity, we identified two dominant and almost underlying philosophies or schools of thought:
ONE – Written by an Anonymous Latin Wit but also attributed to Lucius Calpurnius Caesoninus; and I am certain every judge knows this by heart;
"FIAT JUSTITIA RUAT COELUM" Let justice be done though heaven should fall.
TWO – Another Latin Phase – Oderint Dum Metuant personal motto of Emperor Caligula. Translated "Let them hate so long as they fear." The problem is – sometimes people reach the upper limits of their fear." Their mental and emotional pendulum swings to that criminal mood of unmitigated irrationality and misplaced motive of revenge. Then we all become witnesses to the physical violence inflicted upon our judges and see the concomitant but unnecessary aggravation and misery befalling on their loved ones.
I don’t want to pre-empt what our resource persons will say later. But from my own perspective, borne out of experiences from my 37 years of military and police service plus my 4 years as NBI Director; most successful assassinations, I would say 80 percent, were perpetrated in or near the places of residence, where you will unavoidably come and go, to and from work. Overlapping and with probably the same percentage were the victims of habit or pattern, and the remaining 15 to 20 percent will fall under the category of targets of opportunity, or when you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Almost everyone is no match to a persistent killer, John F. Kennedy, with all the resources of America, proved this himself, Anwar Sadatalso; the same with our Ninoy Aquino and the then late Sadat of Egypt also incumbent President of Georgia, a former Soviet Republic, who died of bombing in a grandstand. The list is indeed is very long. Then Your Honors will probably ask: What then shall we do?
To start with: Minimize the risk and maximize the odds, always in your favor. The succeeding lecturers and speakers will certainly be of great help.
On my own, may I add that we can draw a continuum from the admonition of Lucius Calpurnius Caesoninus and the motto of Emperor Caligula; Lucius from one end and Catigula on the other end. From anywhere in that continuum we can choose or select the standard that we would want to adopt, the standard that will probably satisfy the ends of justice and will fairly get us out of harm’s way. Only you, dear and honored judges, will be the absolute arbiter of that.
::Sunday, February 20, 2005 10:21:17 AM::
~ Father Foster
The official description of Father Foster's latest squib:
What an encyclical Pius XI wrote in 1929 has in common with Pius XII ticking off a preacher and John XXIII holding spiritual exercises in a tower. Our "Latin Lover", Carmelite Father Reginald Foster helps tell the story with his unquenchable thirst for the universal language of the Catholic Church...
::Sunday, February 20, 2005 10:15:27 AM::
~ Latin Insults
A brief item from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Age, catamite -- fac mihi hunc diem felicissimum!
If you want to really, really, really irritate somebody, insult him in Latin. Then sneer at him for not having had a classical education, and tell him patronizingly that that item means "Go ahead, punk -- make my day!"
Gird your loins with X-Treme Latin, by Henry Beard, a k a Henricus Barbatus (Gotham, $10 paper). This hilarious compendium for language lovers even offers a snarky line to lay on an overfriendly waiter: Nomen mihi est Dominus -- hodie vobiscum cenabo ("My name is Sir -- I'll be your customer tonight.")
There's Latin with an attitude for every occasion, including hardball talk shows, trash talk in the Colosseum, graffiti, road rage, warning labels, mob banter and Trekkie talk: Resistere irritum est ("Resistance is futile.").
[not sure 'catamite' is the equivalent of 'punk', but stet ...]
::Sunday, February 20, 2005 10:14:25 AM::
~ Diplomatic Ambiguity
This item -- the final paragraph from an article in Forward about the 'crowning' of President Abbas -- was originally sent to Explorator (thanks MK!), but seems more appropriate here:
Diplomatic ambiguity is hardly a modern invention. Indeed, the first recorded reference to it in history comes from the ancient Greeks. In Aristotle's long essay "On the Constitution of Athens," a discussion of the code of law given that city by its ruler, Solon, in the early sixth century B.C.E., the Greek philosopher writes that Solon's laws "were not drawn up in simple and explicit terms" and adds: "Some persons in fact believe that Solon deliberately made the laws indefinite, in order that the final decision might be in the hands of the people." "Pretend to agree now and fight later" is what diplomatic ambiguity has always been about.
::Sunday, February 20, 2005 10:12:12 AM::
~ New Blogs
A couple of new blogs have hit the Classicoblogosphere ... one (that I think I might have mentioned before) is entitled Quid Facio Demens, and is the blog of a first year graduate student styled 'Persephone' ... the other is still in its incipient stages, but the Scriptorium Digitalis looks like it will be one to keep one's eye on ...
::Sunday, February 20, 2005 10:04:23 AM::
~ Valentine's Day Redux
Check this out ... an excerpt from the New York Times:
Before he was either a saint or a holiday, Valentine was a Christian priest martyred in the third century. Some legends said he was executed for defying an edict against conducting marriages for Roman soldiers, whom the emperor believed would fight better without family ties. In one account, Valentine fell in love with his jailor's daughter and wrote her a poignant goodbye letter signed "from your Valentine."
But when the church declared Feb. 14 St. Valentine's feast day in 498 A.D., it was not trying to celebrate romance. Rather, the Church wanted to replace the existing holiday, a festival honoring Juno, the Roman goddess of love and marriage. Church fathers probably hoped as well that a Valentine holiday would undercut the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which began each Feb. 15. According to Roman custom, on Feb. 14 - the night before Lupercalia - boys would draw names from a jar to find which girls would be their sexual partner for the rest of the year.
The above was written by a *history professor* (Stephanie Coontz)! I would really like it if Dr. Coontz would write to me and tell me the source for the "Roman custom" ... I'd also like a reference for "a festival honoring Juno" on February 14.
FWIW, according to the Oxford Book of Days, another tale associated with Valentine's Day, namely Claudius II's marriage thing, was actually created in 1998 by the Irish Tourist Board, who were trying to promote Dubline as an international capital of Romantic love (p. 77).
::Sunday, February 20, 2005 9:57:43 AM::
~ AWOTV: On TV Today
6.00 p.m. |HINT|Atlantis: The Lost Civilization
Why has the legend of a continent under the sea captivated the imaginations of generations of people that have searched for Atlantis? Did Atlantis really exist, and if so, where? Plato discussed the legend in two of his dialogues, Timaeus and Critias, the only known written accounts from ancient sources that refer specifically to Atlantis. Atlantis has been linked to Bimini, the Canary Islands, Santorini, and Troy, among other places. What kind of people were the Atlanteans? According to scholars of Atlantis, they developed a technologically advanced civilization that has yet to be surpassed. Did Atlantis sink to the bottom of the ocean in a day and a night? What catastrophic events may have led to its demise? Or is the tale pure fiction invented by a Plato to illustrate a philosophic argument?
HINT = History International
::Sunday, February 20, 2005 9:45:25 AM::