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Herois e o molde da nacao

por jpt, em 18.01.11


A morte de Malangatana despertou um dialogo nacional sobre a questao do heroismo. Antiga e recorrente questao esta, a da classificacao e recenseamento dos herois nacionais. Questao obvia, ligada a construcao da identidade nacional por via dos simbolos, e entre estes tambem (e com normalidade) os homens entretanto partidos. Mas ainda que recorrente a questao do heroismo nacional nao deixa de surpreender, tamanho o seu vigor. Logo que conhecida a morte de Malangatana tanto nos midia como nas conversas populares se instalou o debate (assim denotando a importancia da questao) da heroicidade do pintor, do seu destino final - deveria ser conduzido para a cripta (o Panteao Nacional) ou nao? Foi ele um heroi (com toda a dimensao de semi-divindade ou supra-humanidade que isto implica) ou nao? O que e necessario para ser heroi? Questao generalizada, na vox populi. No seio destas conversas escutei ate da existencia de uma comissao (onde trabalha um antigo aluno) oficial de reconhecimento e recenseamento dos herois, que incide a nivel provincial. Insisto, por mais que muitos queiram ironizar sobre o assunto, vejo isto (tanto como portugues - cheio de santos contestaveis - como, e fundamentalmente, como antropologo) como uma actividade simbolizadora, identitaria, tao recorrente que inironizavel. Mas muito discutida e discutivel, exactamente pela sua caracteristica. Tambem por isso me lembrei, e a proposito de outra coisa, do velho Tacito, esse romano que escreveu no final do sec. I e inicio de II. A ler, por todos. Mas, neste caso, fundamentalmente por quem se imagina num futuro mui distante, post-mortem:


Famous writers have recorded Rome’s early glories and disasters. The Augustan Age, too, had its distinguished historians. But then the rising tide of flattery exercised a deterrent efect. The reigns of Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, and Nero were described during their lifetimes in ficticious terms, for fear of consequences; whereas the accounts written after their deaths were influenced by still raging animosities.”


[Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, Penguin Books, 1996 (1956). Tradução de Michael Grant (31)]

publicado às 09:30

Do tal olhar poscolonial

por jpt, em 18.01.11
Abaixo referi o tal olhar poscolonial, novas modalidades de pensar que desejam ultrapassar o eurocentrismo. Esse olhar que, em portugues tera nascido em 2010, ao que consta nos meios intelecto/mediaticos – uma conjugacao impossivel, eu sei, por maior que seja a bassela (bacela?) dada pelo leitor – de referencia (aka jornal Publico), por via da actividade iluminista da esquerda literata conimbricense. E nestas coisas como quem fala da vetusta Coimbra se alembra da solarenga Conimbriga … permito-me citar o teorico radical

(Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, Penguin, 1996 (1956). Traducao de Michael Grant)

He [Arminius] was unmistakably the liberator of Germany. Challenger of Rome – not in its infancy, like kings and commanders before him, but at the height of its power – he had fought undecided battles, and never lost a war. He had ruled for twelve of his thirty-seven years. To this day the tribes sing of him. Yet Greek historians ignore him, reserving their admiration for Greece. We Romans, too, underestimate him, since in our devotion to antiquity we neglect modern history.” (119)

publicado às 07:35

Ciência Política

por jpt, em 16.04.05

[dedicado ao Quase em Português]

He [Tiberius] also gave certain senators finantial assistance. ... it was curious that he dealt ...with the appeal of Marcus Hortensius Hortalus, a young nobleman who was obviously poor.

... the emperor lost no time in objecting "If every poor man is to come here...and start requesting money for his children, the applicants will never be satisfied and the nation's finances will collapse.

...if we empty it [o Erário] by favoritism, we shall need criminal methods to fill it. Hortalus, the divine August gave you money, but he did so spontaneously - and with no guarantee of a permanent supply. For permanent concessions would mean an end of all effort and all entreprise, because their iniciatives, fear and ambition, would be gone. Everyone would look irresponsably elsewhere for relief, without lifting a finger for himself - a dead weight on the community".

This sort of argument was applauded by those who habitually applaud emperors, right or wrong. But the majority received it in silence or with suppressed mutters. Tiberius perceived this. After a pause, he announced that, though he had given the applicant his answer, he would ... bestow two hundred thousand sesterces on each of Hortalus's male children. There where grateful acknowledgements.

(meus negritos, claro está.)

[Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, Penguin Books, 1996, pp. 94.96]

publicado às 22:47

Tácito 5

por jpt, em 27.03.05

"Arminius was in power. He was leader of the war-party - in disturbed times uncivilized communities trust and prefer leaders who take risks."

[Tacitus, "War with the Germans", The Annals of Imperial Rome]

publicado às 21:04

Tácito 4

por jpt, em 20.03.05

"While these events were taking place at Rome, mutinity broke out in the regular army in Pannonia. There were no fresh motives for this, except that the change of emperors offered hopes of rioting with impunity and collecting the profits afforded by civil wars.


The night looked like ending in a disastrous criminal outbreak. But this was averted by a stroke of luck. Suddenly, in a clear sky, the light of the moon was seen to decline. The soldiers did not know why this was, and detected an omen to their own situation. The waning moon seemed to provide an analogy to their own efforts: sucess would only crown the measures they were adopting if the moon-goddess shone brightly again. To produce this result they made a clattering of brass instruments and blew blasts on every sort of trumpet. The light seemed stronger, and they were happy. Then it looked dimmer, and they were mounful. Finnaly clouds hid it from view altogether. Men's minds, once unbalanced, are ready to believe anything; and now they howled that heaven was sickened by their crimes, and endless hardships were in store for them ..."

[Tacitus, "Mutinity on the frontiers", The Annals of Imperial Rome]

publicado às 21:01

Tácito 3

por jpt, em 13.03.05

"The whole point of autocracy, Crispus observed, is that the accounts will not come right unless the ruler is their only auditor."

[Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, Penguin, 1996, 35]

publicado às 12:24

Tácito 2

por jpt, em 13.03.05

"I shall begin my work with the year in wich Servius Galba and Titus Vinius were consuls, the former for the second time. My choice of starting-point is determined by the fact that the preceding period of 820 years dating from the foundation of Rome has found many historians. So long as republican history was their theme, they wrote with equal eloquence of style and independence of outlook. But when the Battle of Actium had been fought and the interests of peace demanded the concentration of power in the hands of one man, this great line of classical historians came to an end. Truth, too, suffered in more ways than one.

To an understandable ignorance of policy, which now lay outside public control, was in due course added a passion for flattery, or else a hatred of autocrats. Thus neither school bottered about posterity, for the one was bitterly alienated and the other deeply commited...Adulation bears the ugly taint of subservience, but malice gives the false impression of being independent."

[Tacitus, The Histories, Penguin]

publicado às 12:22

Tácito 1

por jpt, em 13.03.05

"When Rome was first a city, its rulers were kings. Then Lucius Junius Brutus created the consulate and free Republican institutions in general. Dictatorships were assumed in emergencies. A Council of Ten did not last more than two years; and then there was a short-lived arrangement byh wich senior army officers - the commanders of contingents provided by the tribes -possessed consular authority. Subsequently Cinna and Sunna set up autocracies, but they too were brief. Soon Pompey and Crassus acquired predominant positions, but rapidly lost them to Caesar. Next, the military stenght wich Lepidus and Antony had built up was absorbed by Augustus. He found the whole state exhausted by internal dissensions, and established over it a personal régime known as Principate."

(Oito séculos de história verídica num parágrafo. Um monumento!)

"Famous writers have recorded Rome's early glories and disasters. The Augustan Age, too, had its distinguished historians. But then the rising tide of flattery exercised a deterrent efect. The reigns of Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, and Nero were described during their lifetimes in fictitious terms, for fear of the consequences; whereas the accounts written after their deaths were influenced by still raging animosities. So I have decided to say a little about Augustus, with special attention to his last period, and then go on to the reign of Tiberius and what followed. I shall write without indignation or partisanship: in my case the costumary incentives to these are lacking."

(E metade do método num outro parágrafo. Outro monumento!)

[Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, Penguin]

publicado às 12:19



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