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What is your favourite peice of Propaganda?

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posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 12:35 PM
Mine is the altar of augustan peace. Augustus was the first roman emperor. Before his rule as emperor, he had to defeat Marc Antony in an enourmous civil war that was very devastating. Before that, he and Marc Antony had to fight the assasins of Julius Caesar in another wide spanning and destructive civil war. Before that, J. Caesar fought Pompey the Great in another civil war that wrecked the state. Before that, a dictator named Sulla took over the country and went through, as dictators so often do, a massive purge of his enemies, which was also wildly destructive. Before even that, Marius, an uncle of J.Caesar I beleive, also made himself dictator. During all of this various senators engaged in other violent state-wide behaviour.

So when Augustus came to power, people would've been reasonable to think 'more of the same'. The system that he commanded was very unstable. Augustus' reign is the begining of the pax Romana, a long period of peace and civil quietude. One of the ways he controlled the system and brought about this situation was with the Altar Of Peace, the Ara Pacis.

This was a monument put up in the city that the people would file past and look at, much like it is today in its museum. Religious ceremonies ( i beleive) would be performed too.

Here is a sketch with the outside partially removed.
external image
Here's another great shot

The altar is richly decorated with designs, and also a procession of people that wraps around part of it, showing traditional heros, some of the city potentates, and the family of augustus. The procession is divided in to a senatorial procession and a imperial family procession, and where thy meet is aneas, the founder of the state, immortalized as such in the epic poem Augustus commisions from Virgil.

Here are some details.

This is a detail of the vegetables profusely 'growing' all over the altar. I don't think it takes much to see that this is in itself a symbol of peaceable affairs and natural order. The whole altar is covered with acanthus flower and ivy vines, which are even today a symbol of respectability and authority, like the Ivy League Colleges.

This garland is a representation in stone of what is thought to be an actual sort of thing that would be set up during a holiday. It wouldn't be as macabre to the roman public as it is to us, its sort of like 'decking the halls with boughs of holly', and the cow is a farm animal and represents prosperity.

Here is the imperial family in procession. Notice inthe whole procession series that peopel are dressed traditionally and respectfully and piously in their clean and properly arranged togas. Also notice that some people have their heads covered, a sign of humility and piousness before god. This is augustus empahsizing that the family is goodly and godly and thoroughly roman and its natural that they are leading the state and that he is primus inter pares, not super-leader, but 'first amoung equals', a natural leader. This procession is also based on a procession from the Parthenon, and is thus doubly calling to the old virtues of classical civilization (versus, say, the disorderly oriental mystery cults that were popping up). The family procession is actually subdivided into a Younger and Older generation portions, thus also showing that augustus is a good old family man. It also emphasises, with the youths, that a big family is a good thing, which is was, for the state, which was having a shortage of manpower, for the army yes, but also just to exist within the state. He's encouraging the roman populace themselves to have abundance in children and promoting the family as a unit of stability for the public and state.
Here is augustus, surrounded by the sacrosanct (ie its immoral and illegal to touch them) Lictors, who carry the fasces, the symbol of the unity of the roman state.

Here is Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of the city itself, augustus has everyone lining up for him and he's pulling on every mythical and symbol string of the roman people

The dual procession ends with Aeneas, which is paradoxically the begining of the State, this might be another technique of alluding to divine unity of the Roman civilization.
We see aeneas, doing a very pious thing, sacrificing to the gods, who are literally larger than life.

external image
This is a prime portion of the altar. Its an allegory of peace and abundance. I see it marked as a releif of 'Tellus', which is actually another word for the earth (ground and planet).
The animals are barnyard animals familiar to the romans, a cow, sheep/lamb, geese. The plants are crop plants in a good variety. This represents a veritable horn of plenty. Ineed, the entire theme of the releif is abundance. The woman in the middle carries two twins. One might think that this is Roma holding perhaps romulus and remus, but rather its more likely that the woman isn't a goddess. Its an allegorical representation of Tellus, the earth, or Peace 'herself' The two figures to her side are divine, as evidenced by their partial nudity and beign supported by winds, with their clothes blowing in the air. To the lower left, there is a knocked over jar, a steady stream of water flowing out of it. This is, in the supersitutious times, thought to be whats at the source of rivers and streams. Everything in this panel screams out Peace! Prosperity! Goodness! Things are as they should!

Whats also really intersting is that this emphasises the Pastoralism over urbanism, even though its set up in one of the most urban cities in the world and viewed by urbanites. That is because the pastoral world is associated with, peace and virtue and contentment, whereas the urban world is associated with vice and dissatisfaction (for the classical era if not now).

Here's a detail on the godess with the twins, you can see that her lap is full of abundant fruit.
The twins also on their own represent fecundity and abundance; a family that has twins in these times is thought to be blessed with fortune.

And you could probably see the Ara Pacis again and again and find all sorts of stuff that you never saw before or notice the first few times, like this small snake in a natural setting

[edit on 14-12-2005 by Nygdan]

posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 12:39 PM
This is pretty hard to beat...

More of these here

posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 06:46 PM
There are so many good ones.
1. " This will hurt me more than it does you."
2. " God is Love."
3. " The American people want to know...".
4. " We are there to spread democracy around the world".
5. " My theory is...".
The top one must be the christian mantra about a loving god until you read all the descriptions of death and destruction and all the reasons to fear him/it when the faithful don't bow and scrape with enough obsequiousness.

posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 08:09 PM
Bush is evil/satan/antichrist etc..

posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 08:50 PM
The Bible and Cross?

Nice post Nygdan.

posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 08:55 PM
Here's a good one from World War II:

posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 08:56 PM
Beautiful Nygdan!

My favorite "Mission Accomplished!"

[edit on 14-12-2005 by whaaa]

posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 09:56 PM
Ok, here's my real pick for the best propaganda ever. It makes you think France can actually win wars:

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 07:49 PM
Anything with Backstreet Boys, Mark Twain, Douglas Adams, or Henry David Threou, Ralph Waldo Emerson, or anyone associated with the founding of the USA, who founded it as both a way to slove a political-economic-social problem and as a "repentance". Yes, the founding fathers weren't perfect, but at least they had some sort of moral imparative when compared to the "Elite" of the country today.

[edit on 12/17/05 by bsbfan1]

posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 08:01 PM
Also these:

and, and


and thistoo!

[edit on 12/17/05 by bsbfan1]

[edit on 12/17/05 by bsbfan1]

posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 08:22 PM
Duck and Cover.

No really, that desk will protect you from the nasty megatons, it will. . .

posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 08:29 PM

What is your favourite peice of Propaganda?

"Four legs good, two legs bad."

posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 08:41 PM
"The American infidels are being beaten back to where they came from, they are nowhere near baghdad"

posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 09:10 PM
Mine, is still the craziest, but true it's on alot of different fan sites, even fourm websites galleries. LOL, brian being carried by AJ, now that's not right. LOL

posted on Dec, 18 2005 @ 12:10 AM
My favorites are:

"Fox News: We Report, You Decide"

And not to mention the whole "if you don't fight American-style, you're a coward" garbage.

And here's one that might send a subliminal message to some. Shows what one of America's biggest cornerstones is:


[edit on 18-12-2005 by sweatmonicaIdo]

Mod Edit: Replaced very large image with a link.

[edit on 12/18/2005 by Gools]

posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 09:40 AM
Mine is in the film The Dukes of Hazzard where they show the word COKE almost everywhere, reason why i mention this is because of this, check it out It also appears in lots of other films to.

I also think the best one is in the film Gremlins where the evil gremlin gets put in the microwave and gets blown up, because it makes kids want to do it.

Another one was when a man got beheaded in Irag by about 4 men i think. Then after that i went to and a bunch of kids started to dress up like the 4 men who beheaded the man and it was awful to watch. The video still might be on there website, but good luck watching it if you ever do, the 4 kids thought they could have a little fun and copy from the original beheading video.

posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 10:02 AM
Gotta Love those Russian Propaganda Posters!

posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 10:23 AM
I also like, as a much simpler form, the term "Axis of Evil". I like it because it is such a good combination of what 'they' want the war on terror to be about/be perceived as (regardles of what any of us or myself acutally think about the WOT).

Its an obvious combination of the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis Powers from WWII, and the phrase Evil Empire, used by Regan in reference to the Soviets.

In doing so, its stating, 'this war is part of our destinty', and 'we'll win because we are good', and 'the enemy in this war is yet another incarnation of ultimate wickedness that is trying to take over the world' and 'this is a glorious cause that will change history and the world for the better'.

Very short phrase, more subtle than it appears at first (ie They're ebil, ebil ebil ebil!), with lots of connotations about yourself and the enemy.

posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 11:32 AM
There are really so many to choose from, but I think this one has shown to be most useful. Not to mention hilarious!

posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 03:21 PM
Hitler's quotes' Which includes:

A lie told often enough eventually becomes Truth``

and the Masses will believe a Lie`..

which rings true today!

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