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[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
This is how the Romans said 'everything will be okay.'

The story goes that once the Romans were being attacked by invading Gauls, who had come close enough to threaten Rome itself. To propitiate the gods they held a massive public sacrifice in the Forum; as part of the ritual there was a flute player and an old man who danced to the tune. Suddenly in rushes someone and says 'the Gauls are at the walls!' Immediately everyone rushes out to grab their weapons and defend the city - but when they get to the walls there are no Gauls. Everyone then proceeds to trudge back to the sacrifice. However, if you make an error in a Roman ritual or have to stop it for some reason, you have to begin again right from the start. Doesn't matter if you're right at the end - you have to go right back to the beginning or else the ritual won't work. Of course, everyone now is moaning because they have to sit there and listen to everything all over again and the whole ritual will have to be repeated (and it's a long one this time, because they really, really need to propitiate the gods). No one is happy about this because it could take hours. Suddenly, though, somone cries out 'the old man is dancing!' The flute player and the old guy had kept going all through the disturbance, which meant the ritual hadn't been interrupted and they could just pick up where they left off.

Hence the saying. This information has been brought to you courtesy of Jupiter Stator, the Jupiter who stops people running away in battles.

ETA: Next up will be an exciting list of all the various Venuses and what each one will do if you sacrifice to her. Including the Venus of prostitutes and the Venus you pray to when you are having issues with your husband. Each one is both Venus and a separate Venus at the same time, which is impressive.

Date: 2011-03-31 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sucrelefey.livejournal.com
Roman mythology is so corporate middle management. We just bought out this pantheon, department merger time and your job will be redefined.

Date: 2011-04-01 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
They're so efficient. Like the most dangerous accountants you've ever met.

Date: 2011-03-31 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lage-nom-ai.livejournal.com
I love this story!

Date: 2011-04-01 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Me too. It's somehow so typically Roman.

Date: 2011-03-31 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenlev.livejournal.com
Oh I adore this! :)

Date: 2011-04-01 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I imagine the old guy just dancing away wondering where everyone has gone...

Date: 2011-04-01 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenlev.livejournal.com
Heeee! Something like this: "Buh? hey guys, a little help here, I'm still dancing!"

Hmmmm....there should be an ancient history version of icanhascheezburger.

Date: 2011-03-31 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wistfulmemory.livejournal.com
That is an awesome story. I love learning things like this. I look forward to hearing about the different Venuses who are all one.

Date: 2011-04-01 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
The multiple Venuses are cool. And remarkably efficient. Whoever you are, there's a Venus for you!

Date: 2011-04-01 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wistfulmemory.livejournal.com
I must say that if I ever teach World History again, I am totally telling your stories and facts to my students.

Date: 2011-04-01 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
You HAVE to also tell them about the sacred chickens. They're absolutely my favourite thing in the world.

Date: 2011-04-01 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wistfulmemory.livejournal.com
I will. :) *hunts down sacred chicken story*

Date: 2011-04-01 01:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nutmeg3.livejournal.com
This is so cool! And I never knew there were multiple Venuses. Veni? Anyway, I look forward to hearing more.

Date: 2011-04-01 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
The plural would be Veneres. The more the better!

Date: 2011-04-01 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenavira.livejournal.com
Sometimes I love Romans. (Most of the time they kind of suck. But they had their good days.)

Date: 2011-04-01 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
They're often quite horrible, but always entertaining.

Date: 2011-04-01 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexandral.livejournal.com
this so cool!

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