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Eternal Rome: Subjective Consciousness and Immortality

Ross R. Maxwell
The Psychohistory Review, 1985, 14: 35-43.

Summary:

Historian Ross R. Maxwell examines the consequences of consciousness and the quest for immortality in Rome from the perspective of Jaynes's bicameral mind theory.

Excerpt:

Mythologists have used the story of the founding of Rome as a rich source from which to make comparisons between Indo-European cultures. They typically categorize the narrative as a series of folk tales and myths that have accreted around a legendary hero. A proposed model of the origin of subjective consciousness provides a method to extract more historical data from these tales and in the process illuminates the psychic or spiritual core of what it meant to be a Roman.

The model of the origin of consciousness addresses three issues: first, what subjective consciousness is and how it developed; second, what humans were like prior to its emergence; and third, what were the psychosocial consequences of subjective consciousness.