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[size=150:2v6oaxsr]Rules for Roman Army Talk[/size]
(fondly called "RAT" by our users)

Many online forums are a dog-eat-dog reflection of the world. You'll find that RAT is different. Here are some rules to ensure it stays that way.

[size=150:2v6oaxsr]RAT principles[/size]

The First Principle on RAT is to respect your fellow community members, eachother's opinions, countries, politics, religions and cultures. RAT is an international community where many members - one of the admins included - do not speak English as their first language. That means that not all cultural references, lingual niceties and national sensitivities are instantly understood by everyone. RAT members need to be aware of this at all times, both when posting (show some tact) and when reading someone else's post (don't be a sensitive flower).

The Second Principle is remember the reason we're all here: an interest in warfare in the Ancient World, with a particular emphasis on Rome. This is what binds us together and that's what we're here to discuss. There are lots of forums about everything else you can think of, but only one RomanArmyTalk.

All other rules follow from the above.

What you must do:
We ask every member to put their real (first) name in their signatures. Feel free to use a Roman username, but accompany it with your real first name. After all, isn't it nice to actually know who you're talking with, rather than some faceless moniker? If for some reason (job, privacy, security) you simply can't identify yourself, we do consider exceptions, just discuss your request with the mod/admin staff.

What's encouraged:
- Have fun!
- Be welcoming to newcomers and help them to become a member of the community. Build the board one person at a time. Welcome newbies' innocent questions and guide them to the Search function if the question has been asked and answered before
- Post often and post constructively and add to the discussion. We highly encourage and prize academic discussion. If you can support your arguments with sources, please do so.
- By all means goof off in Off Topic and community threads (but try to restrain yourself elsewhere)
- But always remember you are responsible for what you post in public - sometimes it's not appropriate to post a question or comment in public, but rather it should be sent privately. Things posted in public can be read by anyone and may therefore have unintended effects, so be sure it belongs there.

What's not allowed:
1. No dismissive, hostile, abusive or aggressive negative responses. Malicious behavior (personal insults, "mobbing" or just being a sarcastic thug) is abuse, and moderators will intervene at the first sign of nastiness. Discrimination on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, sex, race, religion, which way you swing, etc. is also abusive (and stupid besides). Do not characterize other members with negative labels: you idiot, fool, mannequin, so-called expert, wannabe, nazi, etc.

2. No illegal topics, no spamming or trolling: porn, bombmaking, inciting hatred, hacking, pirating, etc. No soapboxing (group) politics or prosetylizing for your chosen religion. See the second rule above and remember what we're here for.

Swastika Artifacts and Recreations:

RAT now recognizes that because the potential controversy and damage possible to academics and others in countries where public display of the Swastika is illegal, it is appropriate for us to have a formal policy regarding it. The Swastika is a very old symbol and was used by the Romans, thus is completely appropriate to discuss on RAT in an ancient context, however to be sure nothing unintentionally negative comes of such discussions the following rules are to be observed:

a) Images of ancient artifacts and recreations are hereby only allowed as RAT attachments, i.e. using the Upload Attachment function while writing a new post, so they are not publically visible, but only to registered, logged-in RAT members. They cannot be posted as externally-hosted images, since these are publically visible to anyone visiting RAT. Images not complying will be removed and the poster advised to re-post them correctly.

b) Displays should not be excessive- i.e., beyond what can be immediately shown to be correct; if one wishes to show a recreation of a tunica with two Swastikas, and two Swastika fibulae together, for example, he/she must be prepared to demonstrate that such multiple usage is historically-accurate. Moreover, artifacts and recreations should be identified- describing the source of the material in terms of date, location, etc. so they can indeed be shown to be actual ancient objects (but do bear in mind the looted objects rule as well).

c) Discussion of the symbol is restricted to its proper, ancient context only and any other discussion will likewise be removed by moderators- including questions about modern laws and opinions about its appropriety for use. These invariably lead to different rule violations, and are not relevant

The above infractions break the principles of RAT and can therefore be cause for an instant (temporary) ban. If something or someone has offended you in such a way that you are barely able to control yourself, do not respond in kind, but count to ten and lodge a complaint. Freaking out in public will cause the mods to come after you both. Anyone joining a conflict that did not initially involve them will be considered an instigator and automatically disciplined, so don't be the 'third man'.

3. No foul language: Don't use words that you wouldn't say in front of your grandmother. Mild expletives like "crap," "damn" and "hell" are okay, as long as they are not used in cursing at someone. If in doubt, use d--n or h**l, which gets the point across, yet isn't directly offensive.

4. No advertising of unprovenanced archaeological/cultural goods for sale. Members may post links to specific images (.jpg/.gif) on sale sites, but not the listing or home site itself. If you can show that the item is provenanced or held by a museum/established collector, you may discuss the items for sale. When in doubt, ask a moderator! This policy exists to discourage the trade in illegal antiquities, which destroys countless archaeological sites in the hunt for artifacts.

Infractions 3 and 4 are cause for immediate editing of your post by a moderator. They will always appraise you of the fact through a PM.

The Marketplace
The RAT Marketplace allows RAT members to buy / sell / exchange and review items in their personal possession. Long-time RAT members / small business owners in good standing with the community may be selected for a subforum in the marketplace. Commercial enterprises with no other interest than sales and marketing will not be allowed to advertise their wares anywhere on RAT or actively seek product or marketing information anywhere on RAT, likewise members are prohibited from posting on behalf of a commercial enterprise so restricted, whether formally or informally.

How to handle complaints
If you have a complaint about any member's post or behavior or a moderator's or admin's decision, please try to work it out with them first in a PM. You'll find that most RAT members are very reasonable and willing to listen. If you cannot work things out, contact a moderator (again, in PM) and see if they can mediate. If your problem concerns a moderator, contact either Matt Lukes or Jasper Oorthuys.
If you manage to get a problem with both of the admins, you're probably out of luck.

Who is the administration team and what do they do
The rules above are enforced by our moderator team. They give their spare time freely to help keep this community friendly. Please heed their suggestions and work with them to promote the well-being of RAT.
The admins of this forum are Matt Lukes and Jasper Oorthuys. Matt acts as our 'chief moderator' and is your first port of call if you have any problems with a mod. Jasper is responsible for the technical health of and improvements to the forum and the entire site. Of course you can come to him as well, in case Matt's not available for any reason.

Jasper Oorthuys
Webmaster & Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine

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