Saturday, April 14, 2018

In which the angelic Shanners sparkles with 'Romanes eunt domus' silliness ...

The pond has discovered that there are lonely, brave trolls, who drop in on the reptiles' twitter account to tug the reptiles' leet Surry Hills hipster beards and then disappear into the night …

The pond hastens to reassure these trolls that the pond pays not a dime for any reptile content on its pages, and now survives by way of scraps of bread that fall from the reptile table …

It could have looked at the "Case of the disappearing burglar", but quaint stories of crime dressed up with an Agatha Christie hook are too silly for the pond when it goes looking for pure essence of looniness.

The magical, sparkling Shanners of Canberra is more to the pond's taste, and how pleasing that the reptiles should graciously consent to her appearing outside the paywall …and on a matter of extreme and dire national importance …

Of course the pond is in deep sympathy with Shanners. After all, the right to consign people to eternal hellfire and damnation is an important one, and in the past, certain religious practices have led to profound insights …

The trouble of course is that the lizard Oz is infested with outrageous secularists of the oscillating fan kind ...

Dammit, oscillating fan, as everyone knows, Shanners is skulking and feeling intimidated, and it's just so unfair that freedom of speech should lead to freedom of speech, or even worse, freedom of sponsorship...

And power to Shanners too, and please allow the pond to return to the main game … as Shanners explains how the likes of the Donald doesn't just talk the faith, he really truly lives the faith … and how Xians are doing it for freedom, justice and truth, certainly for complimentary women, but perhaps not so much for poofters, destined for hellfire as they most certainly are, because god is a vicious god, the She bitch from hell, and she suffers no waywardness … whatever they say about turning the other cheek and being lovey-dovey ...

Okay, can we just stop there for a moment. Let's skip over the talk of the 'taint' when actually all people might be saying - be they Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Xi-lovers, L. Ron devotees, cultists in Oregon, or just your average secularist or atheist - that there's more to life and mind than judgmental Xianity …

Let's get to the real sticking point.

The pond doesn't mind Xians stealing pagan festivals of the Ēostre or Ostara kind, or taking over the Roman Saturnalia ...

Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the god Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves.[1] A common custom was the election of a "King of the Saturnalia", who would give orders to people and preside over the merrymaking. The gifts exchanged were usually gag gifts or small figurines made of wax or pottery known as sigillaria. The poet Catullus called it "the best of days".[2] Saturnalia was the Roman equivalent to the earlier Greek holiday of Kronia, which was celebrated during the Attic month of Hekatombaion in late midsummer. It held theological importance for some Romans, who saw it as a restoration of the ancient Golden Age, when the world was ruled by Saturn. The Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry interpreted the freedom associated with Saturnalia as symbolizing the "freeing of souls into immortality". Saturnalia may have influenced some of the customs associated with later celebrations in western Europe occurring in midwinter, particularly traditions associated with Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and Epiphany. In particular, the historical western European Christmas custom of electing a "Lord of Misrule" may have its roots in Saturnalia celebrations.

Hey, a feast is a feast, and provided there's chocolates of a very dark kind, the pond can go with it …

But "in a legal system based on Judeo-Christian ethical principles …"??

Please, there has to be a limit to shameless filching and taking credit, please, give credit where credit is due … give the Romans a break, at least when they stole ideas from the Greeks, they had a sense of guilt …

Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the Corpus Juris Civilis (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I. Roman law forms the basic framework for civil law, the most widely used legal system today, and the terms are sometimes used synonymously. The historical importance of Roman law is reflected by the continued use of Latin legal terminology in many legal systems influenced by it, including common law. After the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire, the Roman law remained in effect in the Eastern Roman Empire. From the 7th century onward, the legal language in the East was Greek. Roman law also denoted the legal system applied in most of Western Europe until the end of the 18th century. In Germany, Roman law practice remained in place longer under the Holy Roman Empire (963–1806). Roman law thus served as a basis for legal practice throughout Western continental Europe, as well as in most former colonies of these European nations, including Latin America, and also in Ethiopia. English and Anglo-American common law were influenced also by Roman law, notably in their Latinate legal glossary (for example, stare decisis, culpa in contrahendo, pacta sunt servanda). Eastern Europe was also influenced by the jurisprudence of the Corpus Juris Civilis, especially in countries such as medieval Romania (Wallachia, Moldavia, and some other medieval provinces/historical regions) which created a new system, a mixture of Roman and local law. Also, Eastern European law was influenced by the "Farmer's Law" of the medieval Byzantine legal system. (Greg Hunt more here).

And that, ipso facto, pari passu pro rata, is why the pond frequently gets pissed off by the pig ignorant pig Latin ways of your average wayward Shanners-style Xian wanting to gloss over the Romans and give it all to the Jews and the Xians …

The pond blames it on the education system, and the forgetfulness induced by time and people suffering under the delusion that they have the right to consign people to eternal hellfire and no one else has the right to fire back with a cheerful, 'oh just get fucked, why don't you?'

Oh okay as any fule kno, the pond should have written 'Romani ite domum inquit Shanahan' ..


  1. "What you reap, so shall you sow" - Shanners is getting her reaps and sows confused. Just like everything else.

    1. Much as it pains me to think so, Merc, but the Shanners may just have a point there. Only with (a surplus in) what you reap will you have enough left over to sow again for the next season. So: as ye reap so ye will sow and then reap.

      But then again, she is very easily confused.

  2. Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the god Saturn, held on 17 December...

    Ah, but when did Saturnalia really start to bloom ? For long, I had the (mis)understanding that Saturnalia was extended from 1 day to several after Rome disastrously lost the battle of Cannae (216BCE) as a way of repairing public morale. And so it may be, but Wikipedia has a slightly different take:

    Saturnalia underwent a major reform in 217 BC, after the Battle of Lake Trasimene, when the Romans suffered one of their most crushing defeats by Carthage during the Second Punic War. Until that time, they had celebrated the holiday according to Roman custom (more Romano). It was after a consultation of the Sibylline books that they adopted "Greek rite", introducing sacrifices carried out in the Greek manner, the public banquet, and the continual shouts of io Saturnalia that became characteristic of the celebration.

    It was not unusual for the Romans to offer cult (cultus) to the deities of other nations in the hope of redirecting their favor (see evocatio), and the Second Punic War in particular created pressures on Roman society that led to a number of religious innovations and reforms.

    So it goes. And, as with M. Folau, the Romans were not remiss in their public declarations of religious belief: yo Saturn, indeed.

  3. Hi Dorothy,

    “Angela Shanahan was an original convener of the Thomas More Forum on faith and public life in Canberra.”

    As an admirer of Thomas More it’s passing strange that Shanners should be giving succour to the Anglicans.

    I thought More got the chop for denying that the King was the legitimate head of the Church of England and instead maintained Papal Supremacy.


    1. An interesting point: is the Church of England superior to, subordinate to, or equal to but different from, the Church of Rome ?

      Henry VIII always revered his title of Fidei defensor as bestowed by Pope Leo X in 1521. So Henry VIII, as we know, was never a protestant (with or without a capital 'p').

      So, was Henry justified in bumping off the papist Thomas More for being unable to grasp the difference between a Church and a Religion ?

    2. Hi GB,

      When you have a set of people who all believe they were ‘anointed by God’, don’t be surprised that there are issues about supremacy.

      Back around 500 AD the (Holy) Roman Empire is governed by the Emperor and the Patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem.

      By 1000 AD, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem have all fallen to Islam and the empire is neither ‘Holy, Roman or an Empire’.

      The Bishop of Rome believes he has supremacy as he is the spiritual descendent of the first Bishop of Rome, Peter. The Patriarch of Constantinople believes he has supremacy as he is the spiritual leader of Constantine’s capital.

      The Emperor is a Germanic warlord who whilst professing his belief in Christianity and believing he was chosen by God, wants to be able to pick his own Bishops and doesn’t want religious tithes flowing out of his lands to enrich Rome.

      The next 500 years of Medieval European history is a series of literal battles between Emperors, Kings, Princes and Popes (sometimes several Popes at the same time) about who is in control.

      Henry VIII is unusual in that not only did he cast off the yoke of Rome, that the Church of England he created remained independent. It’s probably nothing Henry ever planned (he just wanted a male heir and considering the constant warfare of the 100 Years War preceding the Tudors that wasn’t unsurprising).

      What allowed the Church of England to remain independent was of course the Protestant Reformation and probably geography. The UK is at the edge and surrounded by water.

      So More getting the chop was simply somebody getting in the way of a powerful man who wasn’t getting what he wanted and was quite happy to remove that impediment.

      Fortunately in these enlightened times nothing like that could occur.


    3. Well that neatly covers about a millenium or so of history, DW.

      And provides a useful life-rule: never stand between a ruthless, powerful man (especially if his name is Henry Tudor) and what he thinks he has a divine right to take - unless you're prepared to pay the ultimate price, anyway.

  4. Of course, Angela thinks the legal code of the pagan Anglo-Saxons had fuck-all to do with the development of British law especially of the precedent- and judicial-based common law, its most distinguishing feature.

    The first "Judeo-Christian" laws in England were solely concerned with the protection of church property, privileging it above royal property (penalties for theft from the church were 33% higher than from the crown).

    1. Yes, though establishing the Common Law - in conjunction with the 'itinerant magistracy' - is commonly credited to Henry II who was Norman rather than Anglo-Saxon. Though the Normans were originally Vikings, and a lot of Viking culture had 'invaded' Britain, I suppose. And the Angles, Saxons and Jutes were sort of Germanic-Scandinavian anyway.

      As I vaguely remember it, 'England' was a well organised, well ordered kingdom at the time of Guillaume's invasion and was considered a very desirable conquest.


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.