Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cleopatra and Patriotism

An interesting post by author Stephanie Dray about patriotism in the ancient world, particularly in the life of Cleopatra. To quote:
The English may perhaps be forgiven their belief that they invented patriotism because the term is said to have first been coined in the Elizabethan Era. However, patriotism as a personal feeling and political tool is something far older and embraced by no lesser personage than Cleopatra VII of Egypt.

The word patriotism itself finds its root from the Greek patriōtēs. Both the ancient Greeks and the Romans had a strong notion of attachment to their fellow citizens, to their cultural identities, and sometimes to their homelands. The Romans, in particular, made highly effective use of national honor to persuade their soldiers to shun personal battle glory in favor of collective might. On their rise to super power status in the ancient world the Roman Republic frequently called upon its citizenry not simply as clans and coalitions but by their collective identity as Romans.

1 comment:

Michael J. Russell said...

There's a whole, new marketing concept here: Cleopatriotism!™