The OJCL Torch Fall 2015 | Page 4

Fall 2015 J.K. Rowling—Roman or British? By Brian Johnson, OJCL Parliamentarian, Shaker Heights Even to the average reader, it's not hard to tell that the Harry Potter series is influenced by the classics. But how deep does this influence go? Some of the spells in J.K. Rowling’s novel are just Latin words, like the summoning spell, “Accio,” which is just Latin for, “I summon,” or the spell to summon a patronus, “exspecto patronum,” is literally translated as, “I await a protector.” Spells like “crucio” (I torture) and “protego" (I cover, or protect) do exactly what you would expect them to do. The names of characters also contain traces to the classics. Albus Dumbledore takes his first name from the word meaning “white,” representing either his long beard or his role as an aid to the forces of good. Severus in Latin means "harsh," or "severe," which seems very fitting, considering how Rowling describes his demeanor. Finally, part-time professor, full-time werewolf, Remus Lupin’s name is clearly classical. His first name comes from “Remus”, the twin brother of Rome’s founder and first king, and his last name is derived from the Latin word “lupus,” meaning, “wolf.” Last, but not least, Harry Potter is filled with allusions to mythology. Minerva McGonagall’s name is shared with the Roman goddess of wisdom and battle, Minerva. Also, it’s hard to deny that Hagrid’s 3-headed guard dog, Fluffy, was inspired by Cerberus, the guardian of the Underworld. Furthermore, the protagonists were actually able to sneak past Fluffy by playing music and putting the 3-headed guard to sleep, similar to Orpheus on his journey to the Underworld. So whether it is through J.K. Rowling’s bestselling novels, or through almost any fictional work, the proof is undeniable that the classics have made a deep impact on the world, and are alive and well today. Restoring the Glory of Rome By Dustin Argo, OJCL Secretary, Summit Mussolini, the Fascist dictator during the Second World War recognized early on that he could use the history of the Roman Empire to help secure his power. Italy has a rich history of power and prestige through the Roman Empire as well as housing the center of Catholicism in Vatican City. Mussolini recognized both of these as potential political tools for increasing his own power. He wanted to show that Italy could be mighty again and have a glorious empire under him. Therefore, he incorporated many aspects of Rome into his regime and even claimed to be descended from Augustus Caesar. He named roads in the Roman fashion (e.g., Via dei Fori Imperiali), presented officers with Roman swords, adopted Roman military step, and ordered people to greet each other with a Roman salute. The symbol of his entire regime was the Roman Eagle and the Fasces, an axe surrounded w i t h w o o d e n s h a f t s showing Roman power. Using these tactics, Mussolini was able to rally significant support because of his promise to restore the past glory and power of the Italian people. This tactic proved very potent in rallying support and is one of the many instances of the Romans influencing history even in modern times. IV