Boots & Sabers

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0715, 27 Aug 18

Classical Insults

I agree.

More than 2,000 years ago, the famous Roman politician Marcus Tullius Cicero once accused his enemy Clodius of incest with his brothers and sisters.

But far from being shocking to people living at the time, this type of insult was just a part of normal everyday life, according to one prominent historian.

Professor Dr Martin Jehne of the Technische Universität Dresden says modern insults are nothing compared to those flung around ancient Rome.

According to the historian’s findings, Romans could be even more cruel than the trolls of today and would often stoop to sexual slurs to insult their opponents.

Professor Jehne said withstanding and overcoming insults can ultimately have a politically stabilising effect in society, with those who exchanged vile taunts often working together in the near future.

Likewise, the common people were allowed to insult the elite – who could not retort – helping to curb their ‘omnipotence fantasies’, Professor Jehne claims.


0715, 27 August 2018


  1. Pat

    Much like the classical insult, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

  2. Le Roi du Nord


    I disagree.  The insult you quoted was the done by a weak and insecure person envious of the person he insulted.

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    So much to say on this topic, so little time.


  4. Merlin

    Following McCain’s life story has been both interesting and frustrating, but since we’re on the last page of the last chapter there’s no harm done in gracefully closing the book and simply putting it away. Time to move on.

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