[The following was written and published before the publication of Martin Winkler's book]
Roman Salute: Cinema, History, Ideology is a book that hasn't even been published and it has already been debunked. The book is an incomplete rehash of work published years ago by Dr. Rex Curry (author of "Pledge of Allegiance Secrets").
Also see the video documentary on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsZxRPdDQHo
The author of "Roman Salute" is Martin Winkler of George Mason University, and his work has been exposed in the past in a professorial debate challenge (2006) by Dr. Curry.
The publisher of Winkler's book is Ohio State University Press (publication expected in 2009). OSU Press would do better to publish the work of Dr. Curry.
"Pledge of Allegiance Secrets" by Dr. Curry exposed the the modern origin of the so-called "il saluto romano" from the USA's Pledge of Allegiance and from the military salute that was used as the first gesture of two gestures in the pledge. Francis Bellamy (author of the pledge) was not attempting to do a "Roman salute" nor a "stiff-arm salute" and he never said such a thing. Bellamy did say that he was attempting to do a military salute that was then stretched out toward the flag. In practice, that became the stiff-arm salute because bored children simply extended Bellamy's initial military salute outward to point at the flag.
The raised-arm salute was used in America well before the creation of the National Socialist German Workers Party, and before Mussolini began his political career as a socialist journalist. http://rexcurry.net/fascism=socialism.html
That the pledge's author (Francis Bellamy) was raised in Rome N.Y., contributed to the use of the term "Roman salute" in the myth. In that sense, it WAS a "Roman" salute -from Rome, N.Y.- but not an ancient Roman salute from Italy. see http://rexcurry.net/bookchapter1a1f.html and http://rexcurry.net/pledgerome.html
One reason that Winkler failed to make the discoveries that were made long ago by Dr. Curry is because Winkler writes in a manner that is unscholarly, unprofessional, misleading and propagandistic. Winkler writes as if he is covering-up the actual full name of the group that called itself the "National Socialist German Workers Party." Winkler writes as if he is unaware that the group did not use the hackneyed shorthand terms that Winkler prefers to substitute for the actual name of the horrid group. How often has Winkler ever written the actual name of the group about which he writes? http://rexcurry.net/pledgehoratii.html
Winkler's misleading method with hackneyed shorthand terms was evident years ago in his abstract for the American Philological Association (APA). That piece also indicated that Winkler was unaware that the early Pledge of Allegiace used a stiff-arm salute. http://rexcurry.net/roman-salute-martin-winkler.html
During that time, Dr. Curry's work became known to Winkler and worldwide showing the origin of the stiff-arm salute from the pledge in the United States. Dr. Curry pointed out the misleading terms in Winkler's APA piece and Winkler's apparent ignorance of the Pledge's early stiff-arm salute, and the fact that the Pledge of Allegiance was the origin of the mis-named "Roman salute" from the Pledge's initial military salute. http://rexcurry.net/roman-salute-martin-winkler.html
Dr. Curry's work also appeared in a Petition for Writ of Certirorai to the United States Supreme Court. http://rexcurry.net/pledgewonschik.pdf and http://rexcurry.net/pledgewonschik.html
Winkler's method with misleading slang terms continued years later in "Gladiator: Film and History." That book also had revealing omissions by Winkler: No mention of his own earlier faulty work regarding the "Roman Salute."
Winkler's method with misleading shorthand terms continued in a poster for Winkler's speech that stated "The Roman Salute: Origin and Spread of a Fascist Symbol." The poster and Winkler's use of the word "fascist" in the speech perpetuate ignorance (or a cover-up?) of the fact that the straight-arm salute adopted by the National Socialist German Workers Party originated from a National Socialist in the USA (Francis Bellamy) in 1892. Winkler seems ignorant of (or covering up) the fact that German National Socialists did not interchange "fascist" for the actual name of their party. Winkler's bad writing habit perpetuates widespread ignorance in that regard. See the poster at http://rexcurry.net/socialist-salute3.jpg and the more accurate version at http://rexcurry.net/socialist-salute.jpg
It is embarrassing that the poster for Winkler's speech shows the painting "Oath of the Horatii." It is a funny error: As proof of an "ancient Roman salute" the neo-classical painting (from 1784) was, for a time, cited on Wikipedia, the glorified anonymous bulletin board where neo-nazis deliberately post propagandistic lies and delete information about the topics discussed here. There is where that wackiness began. Believe it or don't, Wikipedia continues to use "Oath of the Horatii" to imply proof of an "ancient Roman salute" (It depends upon when Wikipedia is viewed because Wikipedia changes by the millisecond as people literally do cyber-warfare to maintain lies there).
After Dr. Curry pointed out the silliness at Wackipedia, someone there back-pedaled into speculation that the Pledge's early stiff-arm salute was based on the Horatii painting, not caring that Francis Bellamy himself explained the origin of his salute and it had nothing to do with "Oath of the Horatii" by the painter Jacques-Louis David. The back-pedaling went farther with misinterpretation of adlocutio, not caring that Bellamy explained the origin of his salute and it had nothing to do with misinterpretation of adlocutio. Bellamy explained that his salute started with a military salute that extended out toward the flag. Francis Bellamy never used the term "ancient Roman salute" ever for any reason (the concept "ancient Roman salute" did not exist during Bellamy's time). Indeed, Jacques-Louis David himself never referred to "Oath of the Horatii" as an "ancient Roman salute" nor did David use the term "ancient Roman salute" ever for any reason (the concept "ancient Roman salute" did not exist during David's time). The "Oath of the Horatii" shows three people reaching for weapons. http://rexcurry.net/pledgehoratii.html
Winkler never asks the question "what is the oldest example of 'Oath of the Horatii' used to explain the Roman salute?" Why does Winkler fail to ask that obvious question? That is the question Dr. Curry asked and answered. Does an old example not exist? Is the oldest source the wikipedia effort to cover-up Dr. Curry's work?
Winkler seems unaware (or he deliberately ignores) the fact that the term "Roman salute" came after Francis Bellamy from Rome N.Y., (as shown by Dr. Curry) and even later than that after the socialist Mussolini adopted America's mechanical stiff-arm salute in Rome, Italy. Winkler has written a book about the "Roman Salute" in which Winkler never examines the etymology of the phrase about which Winkler wrote. Winkler never asks the question "when was the term 'Roman salute' first used?" That is the question Dr. Curry asked and answered. The Oxford English Dictionary supports Dr. Curry's work. http://rexcurry.net/roman-salute-oxford-english-dictionary.html
It is odd that Winkler asks Dr. Curry's question for the term "passo romano" (Roman step), although Winkler does not ask Dr. Curry's question for the term "Roman salute." Here are the two questions: (1) when was the term "passo romano" first used?; (2) when was the term "Roman salute" first used? Winkler only answers the "passo romano" question and Winkler's answer is similar to the answer that Dr. Curry has already given: they are of recent development, and decades later than the Pledge of Allegiance. Winkler writes "Mussolini introduced [the Roman step] in 1938, after being 'greatly impressed by the [national socialist] parades he had witnessed" on his state visit to Berlin the year before. [citation omitted]. At that time Italian-German relations were so close as to make the origin of the new step obvious to all Italians. Nevertheless it, too, was officially propogated as a Roman custom and accordingly called the passo romano ("Roman step").
Winkler's misleading method continues in his book "Roman Salute: Cinema, History, Ideology," including Winkler's misleading hackneyed slang, on display in the Table of Contents. One example is the title for chapter 3 ("Raised-arm salutes in the United States before fascism: from the Pledge of allegiance to Ben-Hur on screen") that seems designed to deceive. Winkler and Wikpedia play word games with the hackneyed term "fascism" in order to cover-up the National Socialist German Workers Party and its connection to older American National Socialism and the pledge from the Bellamys. If the raised arm salutes in the United States existed before "fascism," as Winkler claims, then they existed during the enormous growth and popularity of National Socialism touted by the Bellamys, and they influenced the dogma, symbols and rituals of the National Socialist German Workers Party later (Winkler's "fascism"). Winkler wants to pretend that America's National Socialism was not "fascism" so that Winkler can evade the connections.
Martin Winkler continues and expands the long tradition in the United States of covering-up the Pledge's putrid past.
People who refused to perform the stiff-arm salute and robotic chanting to the nation's flag were persecuted, prosecutied, expelled, beaten and even lynched. Eventually, that was happening at the same time in the United States and in Germany. But it started in the United States in 1892 with the Bellamys. They wanted government to take over education under their National Socialism, and eliminate all of the better alternatives, and when the government granted their wish the government's schools imposed segregation by law and taught racism as official policy. See the photograph of a segregated class forced to perform the mechanical chanting and America's straight-arm salute at http://rexcurry.net/pledge-allegiance-pledge-allegiance.jpg
Winkler's table of contents for another chapter builds upon the widespread ignorance by using the term "Nazi" instead of the actual name of the German party.
Winkler writes as if he is unaware that Mussolini was a notorious socialist journalist when he acquired the nick-name "Il Duce" (the Leader), and that is also the time when Mussolini learned of America's stiff-arm national socialist salute. http://rexcurry.net/mussolini.html and http://rexcurry.net/bookchapter2a1b.html
The above is also why Winkler failed to make another discovery that was made years ago by Dr. Curry: the symbol used by the German national socialists, although an ancient symbol, was altered for use by socialists as overlapping S-letters for their "socialism" (It was turned 45 degrees to the horizontal and always oriented in the S-letter direction). http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-swastika.html
Winkler writes as if he is unaware that Francis Bellamy and Edward Bellamy were cohorts in preaching about "Christian socialism," "military socialism," and "national socialism." The Pledge and the early stiff-arm salute were part of their efforts toward those goals.
The above is also why Winkler failed to make another discovery that was made years ago by Dr. Curry: Francis Bellamy (who grew up in Rome, N.Y., authored the "Pledge of Allegiance," and was the origin of the stiff-arm salute used in the early Pledge) and Edward Bellamy (Francis' cousin and the author of "Looking Backward") were notorious national socialsts in America who advocated "military socialism" and an "industrial army" and they influenced the National Socialist German Workers Party and its dogma, symbols and rituals. The Bellamys advocated a government takeover of education, and when the government granted their wish, government schools imposed segregation by law and taught racism as official policy. People who refused to perform the stiff-arm salute and robotic chanting to the nations flag were persecuted. That happened in the U.S. before it happened in Germany (and elsewhere) and it even outlasted German National Socialism. http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html
The above is also why Winkler failed to make another discovery that was made years ago by Dr. Curry: the stiff-arm salute developed from the Pledge because the Bellamy dogma of "military socialism" caused Francis Bellamy to begin the Pledge with a military salute that was then extended out toward the flag, as a gesture to the flag. In practice, annoyed students, forced into robotic ritualism, simply extended the military salute outward with the palm remaining down. Thus, the straight-arm salute developed as an extended military salute from the Pledge of Allegiance. http://rexcurry.net/i-pledge-allegiance-to-the-flag.jpg
See the video on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsZxRPdDQHo
Imagine something that did not happen: Beginning in 1892, teachers in government schools in the United States began each day by holding up a picture of someone with a raised arm and the teacher would raise his arm and instruct all students to do the same. What would Winkler have said about the influence of that behavior in the United States and worldwide? Winkler would have a lot to say about it. Now consider something that actually did happen: Beginning in 1892, teachers in government schools in the United States began each day by chanting robotically with one arm raised toward the flag and they instructed all students to do the same. What does Winkler have to say about the influence of that behavior in the United States and worldwide? Winkler does not have much to say about it.
Winkler's book "Roman Salute: Cinema, History, Ideology" overlooks and misleads regarding the "history and ideology" part in the title. Winkler missed the one actual analogy between "ancient Rome" and the origin of the stiff-arm salute in the Pedge of Allegiance: authoritarianism (then and now), militarism, oppressive taxation and the decline of a once-great society.
Winkler overlooked the "big picture" that Dr. Curry uncovered years ago: How the pledge, the salute and the socialist dogma behind it caused the current massive spending and debt in America, domestic military socialism, nazi-style numbering of babies with lifetime tracking (the "social security" ponzi scam) and the police state in the United States that continues to grow today, along with government schools that have mechanical chanting every day for twelve years of each child's life (only the misnamed "Roman salute" has changed).
Winkler overlooked another big picture that Dr. Curry uncovered years ago: How the pledge, the salute and the socialist dogma behind it influenced totalitarianism worldwide, including the National Socialist German Workers Party and its dogma, symbols and rituals.
See more at Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/7894913@N08/
and Picasa http://picasaweb.google.com/rexcurrydotnet
A book review in the "Bryn Mawr Classical Review" supports Dr. Rex Curry's comments about Martin M. Winkler's book "The Roman Salute: Cinema, History, Ideology." The review was written by Michelle Borg, University of Sydney, and in criticizing Winkler she states:
"The author [Winkler] first turns to the early form of the Pledge of Allegiance, which originally included an entirely similar gesture to the one that came to be used by Fascists and Nazis. This uncomfortable association is not explored in depth; Winkler simply asserts that the gesture had no political or historical connotations in the United States." http://www.bmcreview.org/2009/08/20090845.html
Winkler's work was debunked before it was published (see the work of the symbologist Dr. Rex Curry, author of "Pledge of Allegiance Secrets"). Comments have noted some of that with this criticism: "The author [Winkler] first turns to the early form of the Pledge of Allegiance, which originally included an entirely similar gesture to the one that came to be used by Fascists and Nazis. This uncomfortable association is not explored in depth; Winkler simply asserts that the gesture had no political or historical connotations in the United States." Winkler simply will not address the work that preceded him by Dr. Curry. The Pledge was the origin of the so-called "Roman salute" and it was the origin of the salute adopted later by socialists in Germany and Italy. The Pledge was written (1892) by Francis Bellamy, cousin and cohort of Edward Bellamy, both self-proclaimed national socialists in the USA. Bellamy explained the origin of his gesture: It began with a military salute that was then extended out toward the flag. It was also the origin of the Olympic salute. Winkler cannot bear to discuss that because Dr. Curry has long ago explained it all. That is why Winkler evades the national socialist dogma of Germany and Italy, and insteads uses the unscholarly and misleading slang "Nazi" instead of the actual name of the group "National Socialist German Workers Party." He also evades the fact that Mussolini was a self-proclaimed national socialist when Mussolini learned of the stiff-armed salute, which originated in the USA's Pledge. There has been an outstanding debate challenge against Winkler (in which Dr. Curry has prevailed by Winkler's default spanning years in which Winkler has lost/conceded) and Winkler is just not going to face the issues. He will perpetuate ignorance about the topic and not inform people.