Monday, October 28, 2013

Classical Traditions: Parallels of Societies

1. Decline of Morality
There isn't so many social aspects of the lack of modesty. Though, the lack of virtue is seen in Rome. Umrbicius states that he can't stay in Rome because he won't get between a marriage, and be a "paramour."  It seems that morality or lose of virtue in many aspects are plaguing the Roman Society. Individuals don't have any virtue, repect or kindness. They are just looking for power, referring to the next problem.

2. Lack of Respect/Kindness
  We see this in the Juvenal Satire as we read about how "nothing is sacred" to the Roman man's "lusts" (line 109). His family isn't important. He'll "debach a friend's grandmother." He'll not share his friend "but keeps him all to himself." These are all selfish situations that the Roman individuals expressed. They were more worried about their wealth and power than they were about friendships and family; things that run deeper than material items.

3. Welfare
  The poverty stricken Romans are treated like dirt during these Imperial times. The narrator states that they should have "marched out in a body long ago!" They are "ridiculed." This is not parallel to our society where our poverty stricken population is taken care of generally. We do not cast them out of the population. The United States has a very different system than the Roman Society's take on helping the poor.

4. Racism
I don't believe I read anything about Racism in the Roman Society. I believe this to be unique to our country and our day and age because the United States is very much a "melting pot" but also, it's easier for individuals to travel. It's not uncommon to see a variety of different races in different parts of the world. We enjoy learning about other cultures; however, sometimes our attitude gets in the way or allowing us to look past a small characteristic that only dictates one aspect of the person, their heritage.

5. Emphasis on Education
There wasn't anything about Education in this Satire. However, it is important in Roman Culture before to become knowledgeable. This way the person can be more powerful and have wealth. With these things they will have a good job aswell. However, this all depends on the environment you are born into. If you are born into poverty in Rome, you are most likely to stay that way. Where as in today's society, you are able in most cases to better your situation if you work at it and have the motivation.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Classical Traditions: Social Problems of Today

So the prompt of this blog was to write about what we believe to be the 5 biggest Social Problems facing the United States today. These are what I believe to be the biggest, not really in any order. I'm sure you will agree and disagree but this is my opinion, it's okay if it isn't yours.

1. Decline of Morality.
 In today's society, especially in the media, we see that is totally appropriate to dress like we are wearing NOTHING. Sure, it's nice to wear short-shorts and a tank top when it's 109 degrees in the summer, but who said it's okay to do it for the wrong reasons? I.e. Attention.Yes, you're probably thinking, that's just the Mormon in her. Yeah, I dress modestly but mostly because I don't enjoy when people stare at me because parts of me aren't covered and are bare. Also because I don't like constantly adjusting my clothing because it's falling down or riding up. Though the media shows those celebrities skantily clad in their "What's hot" section and BOOM, it's the new trend. Also highlighting that "so and so" are cheating or had an affair, and making it front page news, just draws attention to the lack of virtue so individuals have. That's not something to be highlighting. That's not good!

2. Lack of Respect/Kindness
  When times are tough, hardly the reaction now days is to lend a hand. It's a selfish, let me take care of myself. Yes, there are still individuals that are helpful, volunteering time and money to help those that can't help themselves or just need a hand to get back on their feet but they are few and far between. Also what happened to opening a door for someone? I'm not just saying a man opening a door for a woman but someone opening a door for an individual in a wheel chair, or a frazzled mom with her children in tow. That's a simple sign of respect or kindness. And when did it become okay to talk back to our elders? I wouldn't dare talk back to my Grandmother or tell her no. Sure, I've talked back to my parents but I still respect them. People have lost respect and a sense of kindness but gained selfish behavior to replace it.

3. Welfare
Yes, welfare is in place to help those that are having hard times and are seriously in a situation where they need aid. However, it is not in place for the lazy, complacent freeloader who believes that Government is there to enable their lack of job, self-respect and motivation. This Public Aid is being taken advantage of for the wrong reasons. The proverty rate is at 15% where as the unemployment is at 7%, there is something wrong here. I feel like there is a better way to help those that are truly in need.

4. Racism
Since when is it okay to judge by someone's skin. And I'm not just saying those of what we consider "color" to be, whtie is still a color (or lack there of). Just because someone is of a certain descent or background, does NOT and should NOT put them at a higher advantage over someone. I know plenty of people that are African American, Hispanic, Asian, and White that are plenty smart and successful. But I also know plenty of the same that are less priviledged than others. Race doesn't have anything to do with the person. It's a characteristic. Their environment and their attitude is what makes them who they are.

5. Emphasis on Education
Today, America's education systems are ranked as "average" at number #14 on an international scale. We use to pride ourselves at being the brightest, wealthiest and the most secure...but other nation's are beating us now. Kids are getting lost and falling behind as they age within a school system. Children are our future, if we are to have any hope, it's in them. Education is the fundamental way to success. There needs to be an improvement!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Classical Traditions: The Golden Age

So what constitutes a "Golden Age" you ask?
      Well in the case of my Classical Traditions class when talking about the Roman Empire...it means when the civilization reached it's high point, or it's zenith, where all was well; they were prosperous, stable, and relative harmony and peace. Zenith, meaning "above," relates to the fact that the civilization had reached a point of progression where, evaluating it's history, it was considered the most successful and well off in comparison to all of it's other landmark years.

So when was this Golden Age of Rome?
    It was when this man named Augustus Caesar, originally named Gaius Octavius, was Emperor of Rome. Adopted by Julius Caesar, he inherited the throne of Julius after he was murdered. Augustus took over the rule, and later became "First Citizen," and Rome thrived under his direction.

So what did Augustus do to make his reign considered the "Golden Age?"
    Augustus did a number of things that influenced the Golden Age concept. Between art, writing, and architecture, Rome at that time was very advanced.

    Augustus sought out to rebuild Rome under his rule and built many buildings such as the Curia Julia (the Senate House), the Basilica Julia (Law rooms, shops and social gathering area), and The Forum of Augustus. All these buildings solidified Augustus' power, and showed others that he was trying to help Rome. The buildings were grand and showed the power that Augustus had at the time.

   The art was different from original Roman art which showed the physical flaws of the individual but portrayed them as perfect, more with idealism. The statues of Augustus show him as been flawless, perfect and heroic. Even in his old age, he had sculptors depict him in his prime, youthful state. It also showed Augustus as being like Apollo, and even a Demi-God, even more influencing the idea that he was this power that brought prosperity to Rome.

 Many writer's also took the opportunity during this "Golden Age" to write about Augustus. However, Augustus took it upon himself to censor anything in that media that he did not agree with or like. It all had to reflect him in a positive light. He criticized authors for not positively interpreting Rome.

That's Rome, but what about America?
   Well in a way, we did have a "Golden Age." Depending on who you talk to, I'm sure that any number of eras in American history could count as a "Golden Age." Though, one stands out to me: The Industrial Revolution. America was thriving in the production of different machines and processed that influenced that progress of civilization in the states. The economic growth in the U.S. was astounding as we continued to benefit from the machines and the industries in place at the time. Since in Industrial Revolution, we have continued to improve processes; however, this was a zenith in America for it changed day to day life forever.

So that's my take on the Golden Age! (And the concept of Golden Ages). What do you think the Golden Age of America was? Just a thought to ponder (: