Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Damnatio Memoriae

It's hard to tell whether it's a case of I quit or You're fired, but Keith Burgess-Jackson (KBJ) has banished Max Goss (MG) from the Conservative Philosopher group blog. MG no longer appears on the roster of contributors, and all his posts have been removed.

Charges and counter-charges are flying back and forth. According to KJB, MG committed the following sins:KJB stinks in the nostrils of MG because:I'm not privy to all the facts, and I wouldn't presume to judge anyway. What interests me about this kerfuffle is the parallel with the ancient Roman penalty of damnatio memoriae (obliteration of memory).

In the Roman empire, treason against the state or against the emperor as the embodiment of the state was called maiestas (cf. French lèse-majesté). The penalty was often death, but to add insult to injury, an additional punishment of damnatio memoriae was sometimes imposed. Damnatio memoriae included:It seems that MG offended the majesty of KBJ, who imposed a sentence of damnatio memoriae by removing every trace of him from the Conservative Philosopher.

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