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Nik Taylor wrote:

> Tom Wier wrote:
> > to the extent that Gauls were
> > just dying to set up temples to their gods which just happend to be
> > exact correlates of the Roman deities, with Greco-Roman facades to
> > match.  It seems that we are often in such a rush to criticize this cultural
> > imperialism that we forget that often those whose ancestral cultures are
> > dying, or have died, accepted this quite willingly, because it meant at least
> > a higher paying job and and, ostensibly, an easier lifestyle for them and
> > their children.   (At least in the Roman case, eerily similar to similar occurences
> > in recent years, there was no official policy of Romanization on the part
> > of the government -- the government only cared that the provincials
> > paid their taxes and obeyed the laws.
>
> Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that Romanization was *entirely*
> voluntary.  There was often prejudice against those who wouldn't
> romanize, especially against the Christians.  That's the main reason
> that the Christians were persecuted.

Well, it is true that loyalty to the Roman gods (only to the extent of making
public profession of loyalty to *them*) was mandatory for all public servants,
but that was limited to a small part of the population.   And, anyways, for most
of the history of the empire, persecutions of religious minorities were rare events
(in fact, it was *more* common under the Christian emperors after Constantine
than before).   The point is, the Romans, unlike what's-his-name (Antiochus?)
Epiphanes in Palestine some centuries before, did *not* try to enforce any kind
of culture on the conquered lands in general:  like I said before, as in the modern
world it had to do with the socioeconomic benefits the conquered peoples would
gain by assimilating to the Roman overclass:  buy a villa, send your kids to Rome
to get educated, maybe someday even become a Senator.  That kind of stuff.

> The Jews also had sporadic
> persecution, but since most of them were concentrated in a single
> province (Judea), until the Jewish Revolt, there wasn't much problem.
> The governors of Judea generally looked the other way when the Jews
> refused to make sacrifices to the Emperor (which was a law,
> incidentally).

I wouldn't call the case of the Jews "persecution", per se.  The Romans made
a very special (perhaps unique) exception for them, because their sensitivities
made them especially prone to get into revolutionary moods.   The Jewish revolts
had to do with a lot of issues, not just religion.  (Besides, Palestine was just
brimming over with Messianic fervor of all kinds during the first and second
centuries)

Anyways, to get back to the point, because the destruction and/or death of cultures
is just as much a part of experiences in the real world as the creation of new
ones is, it seems to me only realistic to include that possibility in your plans
when you're thinking about what your conculture should be like.

===========================================
Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
AIM: Deuterotom ICQ: 4315704
<http://www.angelfire.com/tx/eclectorium/>
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."

"Things just ain't the way they used to was."
     - a man on the subway
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