live in ancient Greece …or… live in ancient Rome

Ancient Greece and ancient Rome are two of the greatest civilizations in history.
If I somehow had an opportunity to alter time and space, which would I choose to live in?

I apologize* in advance for any discrepancy in historical information or any factual mumbo jumbo that is askew in this post.

Ancient Greece was a fountain spewing out philosophy, art, science, and mythology. Nearly every proceeding empire finds roots in ancient Greeks. Today their influence even extends into democracy, architecture, mathematics, and education. Hollywood has made them known through films such as 300, Clash of the Titans, Immortals, and even Hercules.
Their legacy is comparable to few.

The ancient Roman Empire is considered the greatest empire of history, and was the longest lasting. They constantly expanded their territory and embraced diversity and culture. Rome is one of, if not, the greatest influences on western society today. Modern law, politics, war, and religion all attribute something to ancient Rome.

Despite all this wondrous information there is only one thing that concerns me about either one of these civilizations. War.

I am no barbarian. I am a man and, as with every man, there is a suppressed inner warrior crying out  to be set free. War and warriorship maintained elevated priority in these civilizations. They were expanding in hostile environments and survival of the fittest was the supreme law of these sophisticated land.

Living in ancient Rome, fulfillment of my desire to be a warrior would be found in the Roman military as a centurion or in the colosseum  a gladiator. Life as a centurion would not be so bad. Rome, obviously, had the most powerful military force. Victory would always be in my hand and bragging rights would be a given. However, being a centurion would be cookie cutter. There were countless men in the Roman military and they were all the same.

If I were to be a warrior in Rome then I would strangely desire to fight for my life in the gladiatorial games.
Yes, I know, that means I would live as a slave and risk my life for entertainment. My fate would basically be sealed to end in a bloody death. But I’ve always admired the underdog who rises to victory in the end and that is something I could achieve as a gladiator.

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In ancient Greece, the ideal warrior life would be found in Sparta. The Spartans were some of the greatest warriors that have ever marched on God’s green Earth. Greek culture idealized the human physique and the men of Sparta conformed to this image. They were trained in the art of war like no other military in their time. They were not just a military of men, they were a military of warriors. I would taste victory and know that I was not just a cookie cut-out but a true warrior.

 

Ancient Greece would be a much more ideal place to live if I wanted to be a warrior. But if I lived in either society there is no guarantee that I would live a life of a warrior and I must admit, ancient Rome is much more advanced and living in the greatest empire in history would be an adventure. There is one deal breaker though; I am a Christian and the Romans fed Christians to lions in the gladiatorial games. No thank you.

I would rather live in Ancient Greece, which would you rather?

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*I don’t really apologize. Obviously, my purpose is humor not historical validity. My sources are the movies 300 and Gladiator.

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have swag …or… have class

Time for a lesson, men.

Ever have a friend that kills a joke from overuse. Well, culture has executed the term “swag.”
According to the online Oxford Dictionary, swagger refers to “a very confident and arrogant or self-important gait or manner.”
Over time, the connotation of the “swagger” has shifted from negative to positive. A person with swagger, “swag” for short, was seen to carry themselves with confidence and have a cool aurora to them.

The MTV culture of my generation has laid hold of the word swag and ran rampantly. Swag has been used, abused, and misconstrued.
From hip-hop to t-shirts, swag has made an appearance and adopted a persona of pretty-boy-psuedo-thug.

Exhibit A                                      

Please, direct your attention to Exhibit A. The male in this image could be characterized (according to current culture) as having swag. He is rocking a ball cap for a sports team that he is likely unaware of but chose to wear because the letters complimented his outfit. His attire is very expensive and stylish (i.e. leather vest with faux fur collar, watch (assumedly a Nixon)).  The culmination of his wardrobe, along with his perfect smile and lip piercing would qualify this individual for the label of “pretty boy.” Also, notice the tattoos. The tattoos are an appeal to the “thug-life” image. These paradoxical labels are two dominant characteristics of a male individual who posses “swag.”

Exhibit B                                   .

Please, direct your attention to Exhibit B. The male in this image is a thug. Give attention to the excessive gang related tattoos. You may notice that this is a mug shot. This is because the “thug-life” typically consists of a prison cell and 3 crappy meals a day.

The contrast is distinct.
What can we conclude?
The boys in our culture expend tremendous effort to implicitly persuade others that they  are indeed the embodiment of all that is swag. In reality, true swag has been distorted and is now a gimmick designed to impress one’s peers with the notion that an individual is characterized by fashion, “thug” livin’, and a confident personality.

In the other hand, we have “class.” Similar to “swag,” class is associated with an individual’s appearance and behavior.
Specifically, a man with class is said to display an impressive excellence in style and personality.
A man with class does carry himself with confidence but all notions of arrogance are absent because a man with class is a gentlemen. You know, one who exercises charm rather than game.
A man with class may posses a swagger in its strictest sense but all childish tendencies have been outgrown. He still knows how to have a good time, but he does so in maturity not immaturity.
A man with class is sincere and respectable; songs about stealing, hustling, and pimping are not on his playlist.
A man with class is educated and understands the value of exercising the mind along side the body.
A man with class treats a woman as a lady and does not seek a hook-up, but, rather an opportunity to escort her on a date.
In short, class, not swag, is what men should posses.

So boys quit toying around with your fantasies of swag and become a man; pick up a book and learn some class.

Without doubt, I am confident that you can predict my choice. Forget the swag, I would much rather choose class.

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