The Roman legacy

by Manu Rodríguez (translated from Spanish)



Rome not only opened Europe’s doors to our Greek brothers, but also to the Syrians, and the Phoenicians, and Jews, and the Persians, and to the Egyptians…

It was a flood, a deluge of Eastern cults. Finally, nothing could be saved because we were not anchored onto anything solid. Uprooted, we went astray after a process of self-destruction that had even corroded our very roots, our very fundamentals (courtesy of our Cynic and Skeptic philosophers and Stoics). We navigated adrift, without a North; a wind without North. We laid at the mercy of anyone, of any clever devil. And that’s what happened to us: a clever devil caught us, and we were held captive in his cave for more than a thousand and five hundred years.

In no way did we need any morality or Eastern cult. The European natives (indigenae, born of the interior) had their own gods (indigetes, divinities of the interior), i.e., their own laws, norms, morals. We were doing well: they were the treasures of the families, the ancestral legacy. While these values were maintained nothing bad could happen to us.

It was the contempt for such symbolic significances what marked the beginning of our decline and ruin: the neglect of our being. We should have been stronger. Instead, notice our superficiality in detaching ourselves from the highest value; our folly, our decline, our stupidity, our decadence, our weakness. We disappointed our parents who are in heaven. We were perfidious, unfaithful, disloyal, infidels; unfair.

Anyone who abandons his people, his mother country, is an outcast, a bastard. Those who abandon their Fathers and their legacy, these are the true stateless. They have no country, no parents; they’re only infidels. But that was precisely our behavior. That’s what they did, by force or degree, all of our ancestors: the Romans, Greeks, Germans, Celts, Slavs… All of them disowned the Fathers during the fateful Christianization of Europe. I speak for our ancestors. Upon us falls such guilt, such error, such treachery.

We, the present generations of Europeans, have to repair such perfidy, such disloyalty. We must reclaim the thread with our ancestors, the legacy; give it life again.

Here’s what we missed, what we throw overboard, what was lost of our sight. I speak of the genius of Rome, from her being and her becoming, of a living branch of the Indo-European tree that has not perished. Of her success and failure we must all learn. They succeeded in both keeping their identity, which made them strong, and their ethical significances, moral and civic, so familiar.

The symbolic significances I mention below are taken from the Atlas of World History by Hermann Kinder and Werner Hilgemann, page 88. They are slogans that provide strength and firmness, and moral courage. They were the weapons that we could have used then, and failed to do; but we can use them now. There is still time. It is time to recover what makes us strong and asserts us. Let’s see if those significances remain valid. The following is a summary.

The preservation ( disciplina potestas) of the domestic or household order is made by the father (both parents we would say today without objection), by the authority (sapientia), the maturity of judgment (consilium) and integrity (probitas). The circumspection (diligentia), the rigor (severitas), and self-control (continentia, and temperantia) define the solemn character (gravitas) of their actions, acquired by the industriousness (industria) and tenacity (constantia). The offspring are educated in adult models (mos maiorum). Humility (modestia) and worship (reverentia) are the virtues that should govern the relationship of the younger generation with the older. Young people are also demanded obedience (obsequium), respect (verecundia) and purity (pudicitia, integritas morum).

As for the training of citizens this is what it says: Valor (virtus), independence of judgment and action (libertas), glory, devotion (pietas), fidelity or reliability (fides) and propriety in public life (dignitas) constitute the ideal virtues of a Roman citizen; something that he must put in the service of the community (res publica) in order to contribute to a greater power and greatness of his people (maiestas populi romani). The common good is the highest law (salus populi suprema lex).

cicero

I also recommend the reading of the treatise De officiis (On Duties) of Cicero.

Each of these Latin terms has a wider semantic field that expresses the translation (that I copied from the original). The auctoritas had a sense of moral standing, as when we say “so and so is an authority in a particular science or branch of knowledge.” The sapientia is both the wisdom, knowledge as intelligence, sanity. Pietas is the devotion we owe to the manes or Parents, the elder (mos maiorum) and to the res publica, the mother country. Sacrae patria deserere and deserere patriam were Roman expressions that designated desertion of the Fathers and the adoption of a foreign religion. Gloria is precisely fame, good reputation, be renown; reaching general and public honors after a cursus honorum full of merit, in the service of my people, for the greater glory of my people.

These values can be reclaimed today with dignity and without any demerit.

I remind my fellow citizens this past story because presently Europe (and the Magna Europe) runs a similar risk to that loss in the ancient world. This time it will be much worse because it is foreign people and foreign to our being what will dominate us. That was a purely ideological domination; this will also be a demographic domination. We will be clearly disadvantaged on earth and in heaven.

The decline was soon shown in Greece (since the Alexandrian period) and Rome (since the Carthaginian wars): corruption, despotism, injustice, immorality, treachery—in all areas of life. Polybius and Cicero warned in Rome, and Columella and Sallust, Tacitus, Persius and Juvenal. Everyone noticed it and pleaded: “Go back to the sources, Roman: return to the Fathers, purify and recover the aura, the prestige (auctoritas), the majesty.” All in vain. The echo of that failure still resonates today.

No, it was not the alien cults, nor the Jews or the Christians… It was us, our indifference and our nihilism, the cause of our destruction. There laid our weakness. We were not up to par. We failed to respond adequately to the Christian apologists, for example. There was no Demosthenes, no Cicero in the first Christian centuries. We watched them destroy our foundations. The philosophical schools provided arguments to the Christian propagandists (criticism of our gods, traditions and customs, our values). We weakened the security and confidence in ourselves, in our science, knowledge and powers. The future lords of Europe had little to add.

Doesn’t this story sound familiar to you, European? Behold our times. Haven’t we for more than two centuries been destroying ourselves? Which result we get from our current nihilism, our skepticism, our relativism, our political, moral and cultural indifference; our profound boredom? We repeat that history. We make the same mistakes. Again, we will be defeated.

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Chechar’s note:

“We failed to respond adequately to the Christian apologists, for example. There was no Demosthenes, no Cicero in the first Christian centuries…”

Actually, we did not fail. But the imperial Church’s hate speech laws of the time managed to silence its critics to the point that only scholars of early Christianity have heard about the names of those who debunked and refuted the apologists. Joseph Hoffmann said about the wisest Roman intellectual during the first centuries of our era:

Throughout its first three centuries, the growing Christian religion was subjected not only to official persecution but to the attacks of pagan intellectuals, who looked upon the new sect as a band of fanatics bent on worldwide domination, even as they professed to despise the things of this world.

Prominent among these pagan critics was Porphyry of Tyre (ca. 232–ca. 305 C.E.), scholar, philosopher, and student of religions. His book Against the Christians (Kata Christianon), condemned to be burned by the imperial Church in 448, survives only in fragments preserved by the cleric and teacher Macarius Magnes.

Porphyry’s Against the Christians: The Literary Remains, translated by Hoffmann (Prometheus Books, 1994), is a must read for post-Christian nationalists.

The Aryan problem

Dear César:

Not all Spaniards think like that. The causes of our decline in the past after the Christianization, and in the present, are due to ourselves. I refer to excerpts published in one of my posts last year:

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periander_vat2Already in pre-Socratic times we can see this disregard for a fundamental part of our culture: in the whimsical and superfluous theogonies and cosmogonies of Epicharmus and Pherecydes, which rivaled the traditions collected and transmitted by Homer and Hesiod and confused the people through pseudo-Orphic and Pythagorean preaching about individual souls and religious proposals of “personal” salvation: individualists and universalists. They divided the people and ended up influencing Plato and some philosophers (Xenophanes). Finally, in post-Socratic times, coinciding with the Alexandrian period—culturally chaotic, cosmopolitan—, philosophical ethics circulated from Cynics, Stoics and Epicureans, already fully individualistic and universalist (transnational, stateless doctrines for “all men”) and consistent with the cultural decay of the time. I think that this was a big mistake; this contempt by the Hellenic “intelligentsia” as Nietzsche said. The Greek people lost their right to their autochthonous gods. This “intelligentsia” should have taken care of the native and ancestral legacy.

This attitude just ended up weakening the strength and security that the people had in their own cultural traditions. These traditions, these “worlds” were part of the ancestral collective memory of our people that was devastated, made it like a desert, annihilated by our own philosophers and thinkers. They were in some way responsible for this great loss, for that debacle, for that alienation which resulted in the loss of our cultures when Christianization took over. They neglected their duty, not only the education of the people, but the care and defense of our traditions (our worlds) before the Other. Our people lost their cultural property, or watched it sullied, undervalued, or ridiculed by their own kind.

The thing did not improve in Roman times when the schools of Stoics and Epicureans dominated everywhere in the Empire, and the words of Cato or Cicero could not avoid the dissolution, this disintegration of the cultural symbolic (colectivas) of Greeks and Romans.

The entry of Jewish, Chaldean, Egyptian and Persian sects found a disoriented people; neglected, abandoned, without guidance and their traditions scorned by the “enlightened” classes. They preyed upon the preachers of these sects. It was not only Plato or Christianity. Centuries of neglect and scorn put our people in the hands of these preachers of foreign divinities.

We can do the same reasoning with the traditions of Germans, Celts, Slavs and others. They seemed to be infected by the general attitude that Greeks and Romans had regarding their own cultures, not valued at all. The values, it seems, were elsewhere: in the economic and the military power, or in religions of “personal” salvation coming from the outside, which denoted disintegration and a previous decomposition of these peoples.

Nothing forced the Goths, Lombards, Burgundians and Franks to be Christianized but their greed for power and willingness to take over the remains of the Empire without reflection or discussion of its “ideological” bases, fully Christianized by the 5th century (the century of the Germanic expansions). This was not the case of forced Christianization, centuries later, of the Saxons and Frisians (by Charlemagne), or the politics from the top (the monarchs) as done by the Norwegians (Olaf “The Holy”) and the Slavs (Vladimir, also “The Holy”). The Germans could have been the liberators of Europe, but they put their arms in the service of a foreign faith and an ecclesia (priestly community). This attitude says very clearly how they were indifferent to their own traditions.

It was a betrayal. Our history would have been different if they had remained faithful to the cultural legacy of their ancestors.

Breaking the sacred bonds wrought what it wrought. And from the ominous Christianization of our people we have been suffering this cultural and spiritual alienation that affects us so much; this drift, this going astray, this wandering…

The post-mortem world of the Indo-European cultures has to do with the collective memory of the people. It is a “space” that houses the gods, but also the Fathers, all the ancestors without distinction. This can be seen in the Hittite or Aryan-Vedic world (with Yama, Manu’s brother, and the first mortal); in the Celtic world (remember the original Halloween), or in the Roman world (the Manes). Keeping memory and even worship of the absent, the departed, was part of the education and morals of our ancestors, and was a sign of distinction and nobility against other peoples. The Patricians were those who had Fathers, who kept memory of the Fathers, in the sense already said. Let’s say that this memory was part of the “being” for our Indo-European ancestors.

Forgetfulness or loss of these “spaces” had (and has) bad consequences. Precisely the Christian or Muslim preachers noticed such loss or damaged being; this symbolic amputation among the peoples, and therefore preached (and still preach) their values. The loss or decline or forgetting of these spaces leaves people orphaned and incomplete. This was the picture that the Christian apostles (Jews) found in the area of the Roman Empire: stranded peoples abandoned to their lot; incomplete, empty. They found the right spot to spread their worlds. They found people without “being,” without memory, without identity and already acculturated—by their own kind. Christian acculturation, or later Muslim acculturation, allowed these people to complete their symbolic being—at least spuriously in the outside.

What I’m writing down has a counterpart, a repetition in our contemporary European and Western world. Both are similar circumstances that repeat the cultural deterioration and we see a return to the same religious-cultural “offers”—the everlasting impostors, the usurpers. Not only Christians and the “people of god” (the Hebrew god) lacking a homeland (but with Israel as sacred land), but the “umma”, the stateless Muslim “nation” (though based in Mecca). And also the politicians and the intellectuals: from democratic universalism to proletarian internationalism (Marx’s “workers or proletarians have no fatherland”) to sociologists such as the cosmopolitan Adorno or Marcuse, or Derrida who preaches the philosophy of the philosopher as cosmopolitan and stateless.

It’s the same song again, the same charm, the same lure, the same trap.

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You can find similar reasoning in my blogging of the last year (there are 68 pages) and the posts published this year. I would like you to read, at least, those entries.

The subject requires a great deal of debating with the participation of all Aryan nations: a process of self-gnosis that revisits at least our last two millennia, although in my opinion we should start with the cultural deterioration that has its beginning in the pre-Socratic times and reached its climax in imperial Rome (from Caesar on).

Well, César, I don’t take more of your time.

Regards,

Manu