Artifact Retrieval

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Should artifacts be returned to their home countries?

Yes, under all circumstances.
2
13%
Yes, if the home country has the capability to house them in a safe manner.
9
60%
No, let them stay where they are.
1
7%
I have a different opinion.
3
20%
 
Total votes : 15

Postby cheetah » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:32 pm

Remember, I'm used to dealing with people in their late teens and early twenties who just happen to also not have a clue as to where they stand and get very easily offended. :wink:

Just came across something very interesting as far as the history debate. Robert Graves' I, Claudius was something I had to read for Roman history over a year ago and write a paper on it comparing it to Tacitus and Suetonius. I began rereading it last night since when I read it for the class it was more of a brief skim looking for passages I could use than a thoughtful relaxed read. Chapter nine contains a debate between the historians Livy and Pollio, quite amusing. I think I'm Pollio "the undertaker of history" who simply lays out the facts, and you're Livy, who includes oratory and epic and poetry to make it more stylistic and "readable." I just got such a laugh out of it considering our little debate.

I recommend it to anyone, it's about the life of Claudius from his point of view, but the author tried to make it as historical as possible so it's a very interesting (if a bit complicated) read. I have to say I almost feel like I'm reeading back one of my own Latin translations with all the perfect passive participles, so-and-so having been this or that, and other language. It's not a bad read, just takes a little getting used to the style. The relationships are a bit confusing as "Claudius" himself points out, but Graves includes a handy dandy chart in the back, let's just say their family trees don't fork very much. Anyways, it's interesting. My mother keeps recommending Coleen McCoullough's books to me although I haven't gotten to them yet, anyone read anything by her and have an opinion?
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."-- William Shakespeare's Hamlet
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Postby cheetah » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:39 pm

And I forgot to respond to your post Shapley. I do agree that Livy shouldn't be ignored because he uses mythology, just understood that to him, history was differently understood than it is now. History is very difficult because so much personal perception comes into it. An historian is already subjective in picking their subject matter. Arthur Schlesinger Sr. (the father of the Kennedy advisor) said history had a "double-subjectivity" because it was interpreted by the people of the time as to what was important to record in the first place and of course by the historian in later times.

(If anyone wants to read more about Schlesinger, you can read my published paper on him, e-mail or post a request and I'll send you a link, I don't want to be too self-promoting :D )
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Postby Shapley » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:15 am

I read I Claudius and Claudius the Godmany years ago, after seeing the BBC miniseries. I enjoyed both, but I seem to recall scenes from the miniseries much more than I recall any passages from the books, probably that 'visual enhancement' thing. I may have to dust off my copies of the books and put them on the stack for a re-read.
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Postby cheetah » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:19 pm

And I realized just after posting that that geneological chart was in another book, Sick Caesars by Michael Grant. Oh well, still a good book.
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Postby Shapley » Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:22 pm

One last thought on religion/mythology and history - I do not think it is possible to seperate the two. When discussing the Romans, it significant that the primary architectural structure in any Roman city is a temple to one god or another. Not that they are unique in this, the same can be said of the Hindus, the Mayas, the Greeks, the Egyptians, The Chinese, the Christians... you get the picture. It really wasn't until the twentieth centure and the advent of the skyscraper that the Cathedral began to lose its dominance of the city skyline. It is very difficult to discuss history and not discuss the dominance of religion and mythology. It dominated much of the ideas that historial actions are based on, and continues to do so today.

I don't think historians writing today can possibly paint an accurate picture of what is happening in the Middle East from an entirely secular point of view. Can you report on the founding of Israel and not report that the land was promised to the Israelis by God himself? Can you report on the events of 9/11 and not mention that Allah had promised the hijackers a place in paradise for their role? Does it diminish or enhance the historical context if you describe such beliefs from a religion-neutral position, i.e., are the reports of these events by an atheist guaranteed to be more accurate than the reports by a Jew, an Arab, or a Christian? I certainly think not.

V/R
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Postby cheetah » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:09 pm

Definitely agree with you there. Religion is a part of history and a very importnat one given all the politics, wars, etc. it has motivated. It's when the religious view of history is accepted over any other versions that problems occur.
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Postby Shapley » Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:06 pm

cheetah wrote:Definitely agree with you there. Religion is a part of history and a very importnat one given all the politics, wars, etc. it has motivated. It's when the religious view of history is accepted over any other versions that problems occur.


I'll agree there, except that it is often useful to understand the mindset behind certain historic actions if we understand the philosophy or theology that justifies them. Fifty or a hundred years from now it may seem inconceivable to readers of history that men could fly planes into buildings or explode themselves on a bus full of civilians areas unless they understand the mindset of the people who commit these acts. Reading histories written by contemporaries who themselves cannot fathom the act will do little to enlighten the reader. It would contribute much to the understanding of the ideology to read a history written by someone who not only lived during the times but also lived the faith. For this reason, Livy will always hold his place as a historian alongside other, more secular historians.

V/R
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Postby barfle » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:29 am

Shapley wrote:Fifty or a hundred years from now it may seem inconceivable to readers of history that men could fly planes into buildings or explode themselves on a bus full of civilians

I still find it inconceivable. These are not the acts of civilized people.
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Postby cheetah » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:15 pm

It is always important to understand the theological reasons for something. I'm not saying don't read the <insert holy book here, I don't want to offend anyone>, I'm saying read it but don't turn the place into a theocracy like Iran where the historical points of <insert holy book here> are taken as absolute indispuatble truth just because thye are in <insert holy book>. Of course it is vital to understand someone's reasons and if they come from religion well then read the religious writings. I'm just saying that any historian worth anything can't use only one source, whether that source is the Koran, the Torah, the Bible, or his graduate professor's autobiography.

And Barfle, I have to agree. I don't mean to go on a tangent, but aren't the Judaeo-Christian faiths supposed to be founded on the concept of a LOVING god and not one who blows up innocent children on a bus going to school?
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Postby Shapley » Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:59 pm

I thought we were talking about religion and it's impact on the recording of history, not religion and the implentation of law. :?

I like the American system, with no Federal religion. I do believe that some have misinterpreted the 'freedom of religion' clause to mean 'freedom from religion', and those people are the ones guilty of violating, or advocating the violation of, the Constitutional requirement that "...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

This, technically, isn't a hijack, since the Constitution is an historical artifact. However, it does divert us from the original discussion....

We now return you to you're regularly scheduled topic....
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Postby cheetah » Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:44 pm

What I was talking about was when a historian takes the stories in a holy book as historical truths without confirming or researching said facts. But I do agree, I have kind of been wanting to get back to what I originally posted about.

Hey all you, "I have a different opinion" votes! I want to know your opinions!
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Postby barfle » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:16 am

cheetah wrote:And Barfle, I have to agree. I don't mean to go on a tangent, but aren't the Judaeo-Christian faiths supposed to be founded on the concept of a LOVING god and not one who blows up innocent children on a bus going to school?

The New Testament of the Christian bible (in its various implementations) contains many messages of forgiveness and loving. But take a look at the Old Testament, and you can easily discern a god that takes sides, feels that his creation is a failure, and takes serious retribution.

I personally think far too many believers gloss over those tales of mass killings because they desperately want their god to be a nice fellow.

Hijacks are inherent in message boards.
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Postby barfle » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:20 am

Shapley wrote:I do believe that some have misinterpreted the 'freedom of religion' clause to mean 'freedom from religion', and those people are the ones guilty of violating, or advocating the violation of, the Constitutional requirement that "...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."


I disagree. Freedom of religion MUST mean the right to not have any religion. I'm not sure where the non sequitur of "those people" comes from, but as long as someone in office doesn't attempt to enforce their religion through secular law, I can't see why I should care what god they worship. You have a pretty wide brush you're attempting to tar people you disagree with, Shap.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:38 am

Barfle,

I am speaking on a collective level, not a personal one. Freedom of Religion means that any individual citizen may practice any, or no, faith. However, [some people feel that] the Constitutional provision that says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." prohibits any expression of religion by anyone in public office. The Constitutional provision clearly puts a limit on Federal laws passed by Congress, and nothing else.

"Those people" refers to the groups who have cited the religious views of various office holders or potential appointees as a disqualifier. I cite opposition to Chief Justice Roberts based on his religious beliefs, the advocacy of various abortion groups against Catholic judges and office holders, and those who attempt to hold President Bush' religious beliefs against him. This is the type of 'religious test' the Constitution specifically forbids.

V/R
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Last edited by Shapley on Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby barfle » Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:12 pm

Shapley wrote:Barfle,

I am speaking on a collective level, not a personal one. Freedom of Religion means that any individual citizen may practice any, or no, faith. However, the Constitutional provision that says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." prohibits any expression of religion by anyone in public office. The Constitutional provision clearly puts a limit on Federal laws passed by Congress, and nothing else.

"Those people" refers to the groups who have cited the religious views of various office holders or potential appointees as a disqualifier. I cite opposition to Chief Justice Roberts based on his religious beliefs, the advocacy of various abortion groups against Catholic judges and office holders, and those who attempt to hold President Bush' religious beliefs against him. This is the type of 'religious test' the Constitution specifically forbids.

V/R
Shapley


Your first paragraph appears to have a word left out of at least one sentence, since the third and fourth ones appear contradictory.

It appears that you feel it's unconstitutional (or somehow wrong) for a voter or a group of voters to determine their preferences based on the religious belief of the candidates.

I remember the furor over Jack Kennedy's Catholic religion. It wasn't really part of either campaign, because Nixon didn't see that it was a valid issue (and wouldn't get him votes), but it was discussed in a lot of the circles I listened to. Of course, abortion wasn't an issue then, but there were plenty of "conservatives" who felt that a Catholic President would be tantamount to having the Pope in the White House.

I would forward the position that an Islamic Imam running for public office would have his religion called into question, particularly if he were to campaign on a platform of suicide bombs and other terrorist actions.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:00 pm

You're right. I was deleting some information form the third sentence and went too far. Poor proofreading on my part.

I don't care what criteria people use for casting their votes. I do care when a Senator or Congressman questions a candidate's faith when determining his qualifications for higher office. Arlen Spector asked Chief Justice Roberts what role his faith would have on decisions he makes on the bench. I view that as a religious test. Would he have been disqualified if he answered in the affirmative? I would hope that a man's faith would influence his decisions, otherwise he is not faithful to his faith. I also believe that advocacy groups that testify before Congress are restrained by such laws. Just as a court of law prohibits testimony that runs afoul of the law, the Congress has a responsibility to reject testimony that implies a religious test. If NARAL wants to testifiy against a judicial nominee because he has a record of opposition to abortion, that is fine. If they want to testify against that candidate because he is a Catholic, that is overstepping the bounds, and the testimony should be publicly gavelled down.

You or I can apply a religious test to our vote, we can even debate the issue, but we are not currently under oath of office to impose no religious test on a candidate's qualification. I am free to decide that all Druid's are unfit to hold office, and to vote accordingly. The Constitution exists to define the limits of the government, not of the citizens.

V/R
Shapley

RE:
I would forward the position that an Islamic Imam running for public office would have his religion called into question, particularly if he were to campaign on a platform of suicide bombs and other terrorist actions.


I believe the platform of suicide bombs and other terrorist actions could safely be discredited independent of the religious issue. To say that 'we should reject this candidate because he is an Islamic Imam' is wrong, but to say that 'we should reject this candidate because he advocates terrorism' is sound. But, as I've said, we as individual citizens can do and say what we please (at least as long as we don't run afoul of McCain-Feingold :mad: ), but the Congress cannot say 'this man cannot run for office because he is an Islamic Imam, nor can they use that as a basis for refusing to swear him in should he win.

V/R
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Postby barfle » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:02 am

One thing about politics is that the candidates are in the race to win, and since the rules of engagement are fairly nebulous, many things that appeal to man's baser instincts come to the forefront.

Clinton was one of the more conservative presidents we've had, if you take a look at the federal budget and deficit figures, but whether or not he was a philandering dawg (which I'm certain he was) has little if any connection with his ability to govern. The point is that the closest thing his administration came to being in a crisis was the Impeachment, which was little more than a political vendetta, similar to the popular flap over JFK's Catholicism. It wasn't really a campaign issue, but it was certainly talked about, especially in Catholic circles, which I was part of at the time.

I'm waiting for the ugly dog charges to start popping up in Virginia. I really don't know why nobody talks about property taxes.
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Postby cheetah » Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:27 pm

Barfle,

I'm well aware of the Old Testament, but the New Testament (if I've been paying attention) negates the need for all that slaughter. And as far as high-jacking my thread, you and anyone else are more than welcome to as long as nobody gets offended and makes a complaint against me. I'm not 100% familiar with rules and etiquette of boards in general and I really don't want to get into it about religion with anyone so I'm going to bow out of this for now. You and Shap have interesting conversations. I'll enjoy reading them.

:)
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Postby barfle » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:30 am

cheetah, the big problem with the NT is that it's only believed by a fraction of those who believe in the OT.

As far as rules of ettiquette on boards are concerned, they are pretty much mandated by the host of the board, in this case probably HRH, Nicole Marie. Threads get hijacked all the time, just like any conversation with several people involved in them. There's no reason to be concerned or to not try to steer it in whatever direction you feel you want it to go.

On the topic of artifact retrieval, again, I feel there's a need to establish ownership of the artifact. Does the fact that the artifact was discovered in Greece, for example, mean that the artifact belongs to the Greek government? How about the city in which it was discovered? How long could an artifact be in a museum in France before it is considered owned by the museum? Could it have been purchased. especially if it involves human remains? It's not a black-and-white situation, by any means.
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Postby dai bread » Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:54 pm

Most of the human remains that came from this country were purchased. There was a thriving trade in tattooed heads for a while, mostly obtained from defeated tribal enemies. The tattoos were enhanced, then the victim was killed & his head sold. An intricately-tattoed head commanded a good price from Europeans & Americans.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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