Numa: The only good executive The Roman Republic ever had.
The first King and Founder of Rome was Romulus; that’s in the collective subconscious. The second King was Numa. He is relatively unknown. He is known in The History of The Republic and to early Romans as virtuous, which is another word for enlightened.
Numa did everything Conservatives fear, and more. The gates of Janus, which are to be opened during wartime, and closed during peace; were closed for all 43 years of Numa’s reign, and open constantly throughout The Republic’s History. He was a true man of the people. And he achieved the tempering and milding of Roman military spirit by using and bridling Religion. He had a personal relationship to the planets or Gods, legend has it.
Romulus is treated by Livy as if he, and his brother Regulus, who Romulus later killed in a dispute, were good, noble men with fair hearts. Plutarch treats Romulus in a more negative light; Where Livy says Romulus disappeared in a storm while inspecting his troops, Plutarch considers he was killed by the Senate.
Rome had a king, to ensure a necessary conservatism; and a Senate, to insure wealthy players. Romulus was constantly expanding Rome’s borders through war and conflict, Romulus initiated energy to. Plutarch through his description of Numa, condemns that attitude; as Numa immediately disbands Romulus’s personal guard of 300, saying he refuses to Rule a people he can not trust.
Livy’s history of The Republic claims Numa became very popular with the people by making every other day a federal holiday. Plutarch fills us in that really, Numa had religious processions and ceremonies and observances, which passed through the streets, every other day; and required that thus in the presence of religious benediction not work or bustle be allowed on the streets and encouraged workers to relax, and think, take in life, be aware of the state’s religious observance. Religion was not restricted, but ultilitarianly, as must be, based in what works. Paganism focuses on natural phenonoma, and while some planets are favored by some society, their was no pointed or intentional exclusivity of what was worshipped, nor how, as that too, depended on what worked best. Innovation and religion were seen as similiar. Religion must be innovative to make a difference and help.
Romulus’s reign involved incorporating The Sabines, so there were two tribes of Rome, The Sabines and The Romans, as The Sabines did not consider entering the Roman government on inferior terms. There is some inference that the Romans were whiter, and The Sabines darker, and that was causing intolerable difference and tension.
So, mindful of such, The Roman leaders and Sabine Leaders, came about to the following resolution; while Senators tended the executive office of the state, which did include administering frequent sacrifices and other religious citations, on an hour by hour base, so the leader changed every hour, called an interregnum: The Sabines and The Romans would each pick ten of their own, the other side could choose from. Thus the chosen leader would be loyal to his tribe, and the other tribe that chose him. Plutarch says The Romans would rather choose a Sabine, then have a Sabine choose one of them.
When Numa was picked, he was already a virtuous man, studying and living quietly and moderately. Livy said he lived in a cave, but Plutarch says he eschewed his estate upon his wife’s death, but lived comfortably out in more desert conditions with his father and household. He initially refused the offer from a leader of the Sabines and Roman entreated him with. By Plutarch can see why one would not want to take the job, what peaceful happy man would want to rule a warlike state, so he made sure concessions and people wanted it; what he said went and it worked. He really only took the job, when they really said what he said, went. His mediation and authority and rationals, were so divergent from other Roman leaders through history, that he may be construed as a Christlike application to rule and statesmanship
A king is a more conservative form than a president. Eventually The Republic had one year executive terms. The king then, is not a dynamic form. It does not negotiate power over the years, thus stilling other political movements, not societal charms, but factions, less likely to arise, as when power is a question.
Numa was aware war besmirched Rome. War besmirches the modern world. Men in modern America and Europe, maybe accused of having a mind and consciousness capable of war, like a black shard in the corner of the mind’s eye.
This of course is not true. The people I know are not capable of killing people. Even going along in the collective pot of war is nothing their mind now would allow. However, this obvious observation has never been enough to quell the black stain of war upon the mind. Despite the human nature we so well know, history reminds us of war, and the media represents violence daily.
In so far as that stain in mind is observable, I try to show it the way people really are; as bodies, as being, as the kingdom of god, as still, immobile, and weak; they are far too weak for the strength we seen asserted in daily society, so reminiscient of what they are really allegedly accused of, war, a context that makes the hard reality of reality possible; by which I mean the pushing and pulling on with society and life; stifling or forgetting the natural urge to put our heads together.
Then, as the stain of war, begin to see the quantifiable weakness of the human being, and what the being is; somehow, that weakness, showing it, melts the quivering stain; as if acknowledging the kingdom of god, ends war; for the kingdom of god can not be stepped over by war, apparently. The weakness of the human being, the antidote to the muster of war.
And yet this weakness is not self-evident, or evident. As we hurly burly about, as if the acussation of war rules our psyche’s individuation, it is very hard to observe just how weak the human being is. The physical condition is obscured by the stain which presupposes our society thus conditioning our society to an ignorance of what really is. It is only when we remember to actively show the dark supposition, how people really are, drawing back their illusion, for reality the stain must observe and settle.
Yet in Roman times, there is an area outside the city, rural and so, that can observe the Roman City of History, and how it lies about the Kingdom of God, and not feel a part of those lies, being outside it, with own negotiation of higher power. There isn’t much room in the city for this conflict resolution. Today, as the fortress of history, be all over, this really must be tried, to achieve peace, and spiritual and self growth. One can not conjure the planets to mass control people so as to reveal what earth is really like. Numa though, had famous relationships with planets, and religious ceremonies to them, that enabled an effective ending of work, to the streets would be solemn, for these ceremonies worshiping aspects of the natural world Numa demonstrated ever other day.
( A foul suspicion presently attached to the patricians, and rumours were current among the people, as if that they, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus towards them, had plotted against his life, and made him away, so they might assume the authority and government)
Numa was a compromise choice, so good and benign that he rose above the factions of the people, and jealousies of the senators, and healed the romans who gave some of their land to the Sabines. Numa was Sabine. He was 40 when chosen.
He spend time focusing on worshiping immortal gods, planets, and their divine power, and nature as to what they are, how they sense, and how earth and what goes on here, they relate to.
Back the cultural matrix was centered on episodes and situation in people’s lives requiring council and judgement by those people thought were wise and trusted to judge and resolve conflict. With a two class system, there were more people to produce, thus rendering more time for all. To prevent some sort of utopia developing, the metaphysic spurred conflict and situation requiring resolution, through which hopefully people learn and are improved. The immortal gods were said to speak through people in intense debates or situations, thus putting us closer to the jobs as they effect the path of destiny.
The other form of religious observance was sacrafice of animals and even people. The terror and horror of that act reminded people of the evil universe earth is in, insofar as a universe contrary to earth’s interest may be deemed evil.
The fear also provide space and opportunity, by its pressure, for people to try to put their heads together to live better and wiser. The sacrifice intense enough and magnetizing enough, to afford people the chance to note the sacrifice and so act reasonably. By which I mean without sacrifice and the inducement of fear, there is less outstanding cause to act truly in a false world. Numa played the sacrifice game well, including endearing himself by sacrificing plants, or creating rules, like pruning grape vines, that while arbitrary and thereby inspiring, were also good.
In today’s world, we do have sacrifices, but they are not recognized as such. They take place in the media and news, as they are written and ascribe to the kingdom of god, behaviors resulting in death and punishment. In older times, criminal behavior was resolved, as I said, in more informal courts and judgements, closer to spiritual reality, more invested in reform, and without the anger and puissant inducing bureacracy and numbers of our judiciary and news.
But we do not take and see the nightly bad things in the news as a reminder of the arbitrary, nor a reminder of the evil universe earth is in, nor as an opportunity and need to step outside that world and at least make individual and small segments of society freer and better.
In other words, we have a nightly death count in this country, we read about in the news; and while it is arbitary if you understand the kingdom of god doesn’t do this, the very forces of media, the kingdom of heaven does such; maybe because no one claims to control it, it is not seen as a descendant of the sacrifice of earlier time, but it still can be seen as such, to inspire fear, and make each realize they must take what enlightened steps they can to lessen the controll of evil, and let truth and goodness into their experience.
Rome, history, can definitively be seen as having the point of creating a history, that focuse on the protagonists in power, and how they handle events of their day. Thus it is logical to ask whether the top down pyramid structure of society is a result of history’s creation or design, or rather actually a natural structure recurring on its own.
Numa was about rejecting the hotheadedness that causes war and dispute, for cooler reason. Plutarch did say he lived a severe life. “He banished all luxery and softness from his own home…an incorruptible judge and consellor…in private he devoted himself to rational contemplation of… divine power and nature. He claimed to have wedlock with the goddess Egeria.
For many years Numa visited Her at night by Her spring in the grove, and She taught him proper religious rituals and customs. With the knowledge of the sacred that She imparted to him, he established or reformed quite a few Roman religious practices, for instance—he built a temple to Janus, God of Beginnings, and set up the worship of Fides (Goddess of Faith) and Terminus (God of Boundaries); he instituted several priesthoods, like the pontifices, the high priests of Rome who oversaw public and private ritual, and the Vestal Virgins who tended the sacred flame at the heart of Rome; he established flamens (priests specific to a Deity) for Mars, Jupiter, and Quirinus (a.k.a. the deified Romulus);” These are important innovations towards, faith, respecting boundaries, and beginnings, which can be so difficult.
You have to understand back then there were scores of goddesses and gods, nymphs and such, inspired to effect society. This multifaceted effect on the mind and society seems quite a wonderful thing, that makes today’s christian judeo reliance on a few figures seem depleted compared to the plethora of influences in earlier times.