Meetings and Moderation in History
Table 1 Salvador Dali, The persistence of Memory “melting clocks”, 1931
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2. Roman senate
2.1. Organization of a Roman senate meeting
3. Congress of Vienna
3.1. Organization of Congress of Vienna
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First of all I would like to mention that there are so many meetings in history that the decision which to choose isn’t easy at all. In history by research you find a lot of religious and political meetings, for instance the Council of Constance or the Treaty of Versaille or the sport meetings like the ancient Olympic games. After a long while I have made my decision to write about two meetings in history whose results in my view affect our daily lifes. I want to demonstrate on the basis of my chosen sessions how these were organized and moderated. Besides I want to mention in the discussion, how these historical meetings influences our business meeting culture today.
2. Roman Senate
The Roman senate was a republic institution in ancient Rome. In the first place, the Senate was formed in the early days of the kingdom of the youth Roman Empire to advise the monarch. (cf. http://spqrlive.com/#/the-senate/4536881394) However, the senate not only increased his membership numbers during the century also the duties grew. One part of the members came from the patrician families and the other part from plebeian background. This elite group was called the nobility. In addition, the senators were unpaid for their duties for the Empire, this isn´t really shocking, that they “were mostly devoted to carving out a power base for themselves, their patrons or their close relations.” (http://spqrlive.com/#/the-senate/4536881394) For this paper I want to illustrate how a typical meeting in a Roman Senate was set up.
1. Organization of a Roman senate meeting
First of all the meeting were set up in the Curia Hostilia, “where they sat in a tiered semi-circle” (http://spqrlive.com/#/the-senate/4536881394). Because of a fire the meeting place of the senate was destroyed, Julius Caesar established a new one, where they were based on opposite sides to face each other. This new senate house was called Curia Julia, however, it happened more often because of the membership increase that they met in different temple to deliver their rhetorical speeches.
The arranging of the senate meetings is an interesting point to mention. One of the officials, who on the one hand could have imperial power or on the other hand was one of the tribunes of the people, could convoked the senate meetings in one of the locations that I mentioned before. Furthermore everybody of the senators had to show appearance because it was on a n obligatory basis. When one of the members of the senate house didn’t show up and gave an excuse for the missing, it was often punished with fines. In addition, the proceedings were moderated by the official who convened the senate members. On the agenda of the chairman was to make a report on the actually problems and he asked the senators for their opinion. Then the senators –not each one - hierarchical addressed an audience on the problem which could include the domains of “preparation of legislation, administration of finances, foreign affairs and the supervision of the state religion.” (http://spqrlive.com/#/the-senate/4536881394)
In the end of the debate the chairman put the outcome in a request and invited the senators to give their votes. The decision was written in a form and was given to the quaestores who safeguarded it. (cf., http://library.thinkquest.org/C006401/data/geschichte/senat.html) In addition to that eloquent and decisive meetings in ancient Rome I want to deal with an example of historical...
Bibliography: Alois Scheucher, Zeitbilder 5&6. Geschichte und Sozialkunde. Politische Bildung. Von den Anfängen der Geschichte der Menschen bis zum Ende des Ersten Weltkrieges, Wien 2006
ORACLE ThinkQuest, URL:
S.P.O.R live, URL: http://spqrlive.com/#/the-senate/4536881394 (1.2.2013)
Wikipedia, URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congress_of_Vienna (1.2.2013)
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Table 1 Bildarchiv Prometheus, New York Museum of Modern Art
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