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March 11, 2016 at 2:58 am #765
Brutus Omnibus SPD
I would like to gather ideas about the future Mos Maiorum of the res publica.
In antiquity this custom was unwritten. I think that in the modern res publica we must have some sort of Mos Maiorum document. The reasons for this are two-fold. First we do not have a social custom developed over generations; therefore, the nature of this custom is not clearly defined. Second, without an established custom a rouge censor could "make up" custom to serve their own needs. We obviously can’t allow the Mos Maiorum to be something which is abused.
I think the Mos Maiorum could serve a very useful purpose. We should have some basic social expectations or codes of conduct. I don’t believe that this document should be ridged or expect virtuous behaviour from every citizen at every moment. We need to be practical and realistic. We cannot turn the res publica into some nanny republic. But gross breaches of conduct probably should be noted as a community.
So what should such codes of conduct look like?
I think our Declaration (http://www.romanrepublic.org/wip/declaration.html) includes aspects of such a code. The rules of the forum also includes possible elements of a code (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2). The virtues (http://romanrepublic.org/wip/virtues.html) also could contribute, but we can’t expect everyone to act divine. We are all flawed and will act without virtue at times.
What are your thoughts? Does what I describe seem reasonable? What would your modern Mos Maiorum look like?
P. Iunius BrutusMarch 11, 2016 at 3:10 am #3328
I think we could look, in a way, to the english legal system for inspiration. The Mos Maiorum could be simply a mixture of agreed decisions and precedents. If someone of the Republic acts in a certain way inside a certain topic, it could be said that that enters into the Mos Maiorum as precedent on things concerning that topic. We could make a written text that shows all documented examples of decisions over the years (an Archive), but in general it be agreed that if you could find a previous decision done outside these Archives then it would be just as well considered to be part of the Mos Maiorum. The Archive in this sense would be simply a reference tool and the Precedence would be the true Mos.
If a Censor abused of his power, those above him could take discipline measures against him. After they do so, their decision would become part of the Mos Maiorum and any further breach would be expected to follow the same pattern unless justified. In the same spirit, if a Censor acts contrary to the actions of previous Censores, he would have to justify that change in stance, because the way the previous Censores did things would be engraved in the Mos Maiorum. That way, we would still maintain the flexibility to deal with situations as they come, but would over time create an ever growing and consolidating work of Precedence to guide us in our actions. That would help protect the citizen’s rights, for precedence would be a barrier against arbritrary decisions, but would also give the flexibility the system will probably need.
You could even make it so one organ of the Republic could veto the decision of a theoreticly higher organ because of Mos Maiorum. An example would be for example the Concilium Plebis vetoing an edict on ground of it contradicting the Mos Maiorum. That would be fair since if it is in the Mos and wasn’t substituted by something else it is because it was proven to work and it would be reasonable for an organ to use it as a form of checks and balances to other organs in case a new generation tried to do things in a reckless or arbitrary manner. The Mos of the previous holders of their magestry would be there to prevent abuses.
Besides, I like it because it maintains the sense of "Mos", Custom. What do you think?March 11, 2016 at 1:28 pm #3352
This is a difficult and complex issue. The things mentioned Victor, this is only the tip of the iceberg. I myself agree that one way or another, we must adhere to the customs of the ancestors. I think that everyone in our Roman Republic agrees with this statement. However, most of all, each of us has a different opinion about what constitutes mos maiorum, and what practical expression mos maiorum have (as their manifested in everyday life).
In the ancient the elements of mos maiorum had not been regulated by law. Only some elements of mos maiorum had been provided by law. This was due to the fact that the mos maiorum is rather kind of behavioral ethics, rather than specific set of unwritten rules. For "behavioral ethics" the Roman virtues (Constantia, Disciplina, Dignitas, Fides, Gravitas, Pietas, Religio, Virtus) are the basic foundation, this is a clear system of coordinates. In other words, if your actions are consistent with those of the Roman virtues, that you act in accordance with the mos maiorum.
I do not mind a manual on mos maiorum. However, I am against the fact that it will be the source of law or its regulations would have a binding character. Such manual will be an important document for the coming of the Roman way.
Social and family relationships for two thousand years has undergone dramatic changes. So that our customs are different from the mos maiorum (not all, but the differences are significant).
Thus, following the Roman virtues you are acting according to the mos maiorum (there you have a a special manual or not).March 11, 2016 at 1:51 pm #3353
Victor Severo sal.
So you would have it that the Mos Maiorum be simply a code of ethics one would go to when dealing with things? That could work as well, being similar to how codes of ethics work in most organizations. I personally prefer it to also include the notion of Precedent, but I don’t find them necessarily mutually exclusive. After a while, through seeing how people acted and defined their actions in older decisions we can set ourselves standards of future actions. That could include also the morals of it. For example, this organization was founded by people who value civilized discussion of ideas and participation. In a way, that would end up being invokable as part of the Mos Maiorum, in the sense that those were the noticable premiss that the entire structure was based on. That could even help keep the organization in the right direction, being that changing course could be seen as a breach of the Mos Maiorum. It could be necessary, and in that case it would simply have to be convincingly justified.
Vale!March 11, 2016 at 3:03 pm #3354
I would also like to add that in ancient times presence of mos maiorum was due to the necessity. Thus, the custom was a direct regulator of family and social relations. But now, it is not a necessity. I mean that now our relationship is also governed by the laws, regulations and customs. In a sense, the laws, regulations and customs, too, has its origin in the values enshrined in the Roman virtues.
I would like to contribute to the popularization of mos maiorum by creating modern mos maiorum. However, these modern mos maiorum must be combined with Roman virtues and have only advisory in nature.March 11, 2016 at 3:14 pm #3355
Agreed, instead of making it obligatory, it could simply be Grounds for complaints and a Guide of action. In that sense a person could complain about certain action of a Censor for example on the grounds that it went against the Mos Maiorum (old or new). In that case, it would be advised that those responsible for punishing the Censor took that into heavy consideration when dealing with the situation, and those holding the magestries would also take these precedents and values into consideration when exercising their office. A real ‘manual’ of Mos Maiorum couldn’t really be made, I agree, but we could make a Mos Maiorum archive in which we place all previous decisions of the Republic and all discussions that revolved around those decisions. With that done, people would have an accessible place where they could look up the precedence of the past to help them guide their future actions. There could even be unofficial guidance texts made by private citizens to the Magistrates detailing certain behavioral patterns of those that had the office before them, as a way to readily give them a notion of the Mos Maiorum concerning their office and help guide them in their action. In the Mos Maiorum subforum could also be a post explaining the roman virtues and past ancient roman experiences compiled by our resident historians and philosophers. That way, we’d create a strong advisory tool for all, both those exercising offices and those punishing infringements.March 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm #3358
Yes, I agree. I like the way you think (=March 11, 2016 at 7:07 pm #3373
This is an excellent discussion. Does anyone else have any thoughts?
To summarize the discussion thus far, it is envisioned that the Mos Maiorum be non-legally binding and that it be grounded in the Roman virtues. It is acknowledged that customs in the modern era will need to be devised. How this is to be done is something to de discussed. Generally, a Mos Maiorum document in some form may help in this process? Importantly, it is also emphasized that a modern Mos Maiorum needs to be practical.
In December, Philo and I had an interesting, and very premature, discussion on this topic. Philo and myself in our enthusiasm drafted an early document. I will post the unfinished document here. Please note that this document was only an intellectual exercise. It is not an active proposal at the moment.quote :
What would your Mos Maiorum look like? Would it differ from this document? Is this document missing anything critical?
I’m looking forward to reading more of your ideas!
BrutusMarch 11, 2016 at 7:40 pm #3377
I think what you just wrote Brute could very well simply be a Nota of the Censores defining basic principles of the Mos Maiorum. If I would define what is Mos Maiorum, I’d write that it is 1) the precedent of all official decisions of the Republic; 2) The values by which the Republic was founded under (and here we can see as reference the Declaration); 3) the arguments used to approve official decisions of the Republic; 4) the adaptable precedence of official decisions of the ancient Roman State; 5) the traditional values of Ancient Rome; 6) The arguments used to approve the adaptable official decisions of the ancient Roman State.
This collective would be the Mos Maiorum. It would also follow a principle of supplantation, in which a precedence would be cancelled out by its contradicting future precedence (as in, if in one time we did X, but then decided to do Y because we saw that X didn’t work anymore, Y would supplant X as part of the Mos Maiorum).March 12, 2016 at 12:57 pm #3391
It’s more like the definitions of the corpus delicti than the mos maiorum. In my opinion, the wording of modern mos maiorum shall take the form of principles (or positive formulation). Thus, in my opinion, the modern mos maiorum should be of concept of positive ethics (in the general scientific sense of the term).
In addition, it seems to me that our concept of modern mos maiorum must be correlated with the general philosophy, particularly Platonism and Neo-Platonism. If we will adhere to this directionIn during the development of modern mos maiorum, we will eventually get a holistic teaching (including the ethical issues), based on historical authenticity, philosophy and having a scientific value.
What you’re proposing is good. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. I propose to reflect on the development of a holistic doctrine, not a short crib for it. If our restored Roman Republic to cope with this task, it will be a triumph of our Roman spirit and this will be the best expression of our commitment to the mos maiorum.March 12, 2016 at 1:01 pm #3392
Although I’d love a good source of philosophical knowledge in the forums, I must caution us that we are a diverse community and must be careful not to favour a philosophical stance over the other. For example, there are not only platonist among the romans, but also stoics and epicurians. We need to accomodate all possible philosophies. For that reason, I think it safer for the Principles reflected in the Mos Maiorum be general principles addhered to by all romans, not philosophicly inclined to any one.March 12, 2016 at 1:45 pm #3393
I did not say that Platonism and Neo-Platonism must exclude the use of other philosophies. Besides, I’m not talking about the implementation in mos maiorum of philosophical doctrines as such. I was referring to the use of the ethical side of philosophical doctrines, to the extent that would be consistent with historical accuracy of mos maiorum. The main criteria for this should be expediency.
For example: I say that all men are equal and there is a natural right. I would argue the consistency of these statements from the perspective of neo-Platonism, and you have proven to me viability of these statements from the standpoint of stoicism. But regardless of the way of proof, it does not change the value of these principles for our common cause. During the development of modern mos maiorum, I suggest not to hang on concepts within modern mos maiorum labels of any philosophical doctrine, philosophical knowledge has value regardless of a particular doctrine. In addition, I suggest not to push in the concept of modern mos maiorum as much philosophical doctrines as possible, it is counterproductive. I offer to take from the general philosophy of what we need in our work so as not to reinvent the wheel twice.March 12, 2016 at 1:52 pm #3394
In that case I agree with you fullheartedly, amice.March 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm #3395
So what principles or ideas would you list in such a document? What should be included as the start of such a document? I encourage you to attempt a draft of an outline. Such work would be very useful during future discussions and implementation of a working and living Mos Maiorum.
BrutusMarch 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm #3396
I personally wouldn’t make it one document. It shouldn’t really be a ‘legal entity’. What we can do is encourage citizens to write articles regarding roman virtues. The rest would be basically precedence in action. As in, if someone wanted to defend an action based on the Mos Maiorum, he wouldn’t really have to look up any legal document of the Republic, but could simply do a reference to an original roman text defining a roman virtue, or by the precedence of the ancients. We already do this in a way without giving it the name of Mos Maiorum when we worry about doing things ‘historically’. That in itself could simply be called ‘doing things according to the Mos Maiorum’. The same would follow regarding current decisions. For example, the idea of holding public debate in parallel to the comitia debates can already be considered part of the Mos Maiorum, because that’s how we are doing things now. The idea of making the debates public would also be now part of the Mos Maiorum, tempered by the already agreed upon discussion that there are certain things that must be kept private. That also would be part of the Mos Maiorum. All these things, virtues and patterns of action and decsion making could be effectively understood as our "Customes", our Mos.March 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm #3397
Basically, the Mos Maiorum would be followed as an "accord between gentlemen" so to speak, an agreement that in most cases the Republic will strive to be self consistent and virtuous. Similar to the accord we currently have between Cultores and Non-Cultores in sharing the same space without issuing an onfight for power. Also similar to the accord we have on acting differently from Nova-Romanesque like entities, valuing the freedom of speech, transparency and accountability. These kinds of things are simply the pact that binds us together and if broken there is no need of an official document to make its punishment, because the punishment would end up being the failure of this project, its degeneration into what it wished to avoid. The Mos would be the same, a collection of Customes that we follow because we know that it is the basis of our community, and that we can use as perfectly valid arguments in any vindication or accusation.March 13, 2016 at 6:58 am #3415
I agree with Victor. However, at the same time, I agree with Brutus in part the fact that our understanding of the modern mos maiorum must find their expression in writing. Expressed in writing, modern mos maiorum are to be presented in the form of manual, which would explain the essence of mos maiorum, would give historical background, information on the current situation, and clearly would indicate the basic principles of the mos maiorum and their relationship with the Roman virtues.
This is to ensure that the person who wants to understand the mos maiorum (including modern mos maiorum) would not be forced to collect the crumbs of interesting information, scattered in dozens of different works. Yes, this document must not have any legal value. However, this does not mean that mos maiorum should not be written expression as a manual. Not having any legal effect, such benefits must be a tremendous awareness and educational value.
The three of us are discussing this topic for three days. At the same time, each of us, quite educated and has extensive knowledge of Roman history (and the modern Roman restoration). But what about those people who have just embarked on the Roman way? Or those who are already being on the Roman way, and could not make up a holistic understanding of such complicated and complex issue as mos maiorum and their relation with the modern world. This once again confirms the need for such manual.March 13, 2016 at 7:10 am #3417
Anonymousquote Titus Flavius Severus:
Yes, I think this post summarizes things well.
We need a guide which states: This is the essence of the virtues and customs.
Otherwise, it’s just my word against the other. If we all grew up with these customs, we would all be on the same page. We would know what is expected and valued as a community. But I don’t think we can assume that of others. I believe some document could set the tone. Then the mos maiorum could be interpreted and applied within this basic framework as Victor describes.
ValeteMarch 13, 2016 at 9:38 am #3420
In the context of our discussion, I would like you to read this article:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4SwW … 3hMV192MDQ
This article is written by my good friend Tiberia Salvia (now she is a citizen of the Roman Republic). Despite the fact that this article is written as a report for another Roman-themed project of the, it gives a clear understanding that the manual of which we speak is in demand. What teaches Sarmatian "Prospero" is in fact a kind of adaptation of the mos maiorum. Although, because of a number of reasons, this title (mos maiorum) we do not use. This adaptation is so practical that can be distributed among the people in general are not associated with the Roman theme.
However, the development of an instrument of modern customs requires us much more effort. (in particular, because unlike "Prospero", target audience of manual of the modern mos maiorum will be much more adult, more demanding and knowledgeable (((= )March 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm #3427
I agree fullheartedly wth Bonus Severus. My proposal is, as seems more in line with tradition, that the Censores be responsible in drafting a manual of Mos Maiorum, making it clear what the general mos maiorum are and that this is only a manual and not the complete list of mos maioroum. These Censores should ask for assistance in collecting bibliographical data from the citizenry and compile this text for at least a month before publishing. What do you guys think?March 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm #3431
My first thought after reading Tiberia Salvia’s article is that this mos maiorum project should be initially, and possibly continually, the work or on-going work of, for lack of terms, a "Prospero" sodalitas within RR. A think tank, if you will, rather than being relegated to a public office. This would, IMHO, allow for a distinction as a collective view of the community, rather than someone assuming it is a law or mandate, if it is managed by magistrates. This would keep it "within the people" to determine. There would be no prohibitions in using it in a public or private setting.
We should always think as much as we can about collegia and sodalitates, rather than public offices in these situations.
Less Government = Better CommunityMarch 13, 2016 at 3:25 pm #3432
Agreed. The people should organize themselves.March 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm #3471
Salve et salvete,
I think that if someone has the desire, we could discuss the project "Prospero" separately, especially since it is not the only project that is implemented within the Sarmatia. I mentioned the "Prospero" to show the demand for manual of modern mos maiorum. The provisions of such manual can adapt and implement (in one form or another) in the programs of various public and social programs (as one of many ways of practical application of modern mos maiorum). Simply put, I wanted to show that this manual will be a very concrete practical value.
Let’s summarize. Everyone agrees that this manual is to be created. I believe that everyone agrees that due to of historical tradition, the censors must be associated with the preparation of this manual.
I propose the following modus operandi. Start working on a manual. Work on a manual lead in part of a public debate with the participation of all interested (as this is now happening). As the responsible editors and supervisors attract the censors (or one of them). Assign the project name "3M" (modern mos maiorum). In order to organize and optimize the work, I propose to begin work with the discussion and approval of its plan. The plan may be of a table of contents, that is, the list of parts (or names of the parts) of manual (for example: 1) Introduction, 2) Historical background, 3) the link between original and modern mos maiorum, etc.). Conduct consistent discussion of each part, and then, the censors, as responsible editors, will made in writing each part based on the results of public discussion. (In the course of the discussion can represent different historical sources, modern scientific works, etc.).
P.S. Slightly off topic. I have long nurtured an idea, however, this topic and words of Victor prompted me to share with you the idea. What do you think about the fact that to establish the chronicle? I understand that now it looks a little weird, but it will not look like this in ten years. Now the Roman Republic at the beginning of its historic path, and this is the time when we should consider creating a chronicle. In particular, the Chronicle can capture the very examples where modern Romans actions express mos maiorum. The history of our restored Roman Republic should be collected in the one document that everyone could freely learn about the most important milestones in the development of our state. Remember how the great Romans of antiquity sought to piece together the history of the Roman state, it is thanks to them that we are familiar with a large part of Roman history. Similarly, we, their descendants, must now attend to a matter of preserving the history of our restored Republic.March 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm #3473
I agree to all that Severus said and offer myself to keep annals of the Republic. I was already going to do something like that anyway because I have an obsession in date-keeping, but if you wish I can do so officially lol
I’d do annotations on daily events and anually release the log resuming the year’s activities.March 14, 2016 at 3:45 pm #3479
Great ideas all around! I like the 3M project, I will comment more on that later.
The chronicle is also something we will need. I’ve been documenting the archived news here: http://romanrepublic.org/bibliotheca/wiki/news.html. Feel free to expand upon this page and integrate it into a chronicle. Feel free to create new pages in the wiki and then link them back to this main news page if needed.
Don’t forget to get credit at the market for your work!
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