- Oct 2018
Out of pure curiosity I'd like to know who people's favourite emperors are, beginning with the early empire. I'm allowing up to two choices in the poll.
Urine was collected from the urinals in Rome to be used in tanning etc., and Vespasian imposed a tax on the trade, anyone buying state urine had to pay a percentage ot the state; a measure that naturally provoked amusement and satire at the time, but which could also be said to have showed good sense. I one likes Emeprors for their picturesque quirks and outrageousness (and actually I think we all do) that assuredly opens up the field, and I could certainly draw up a parallel list which would include Domitian!Why are they called Vespasiennes?? I love that. Vespasian is certainly a rarity for being genuinely likeable. And I agree; Robert Graves's Claudius is more likeable than the real Claudius. I chose Augustus and Domitian. I find it fascinating how so much of Roman political, administrative, military and legal history goes back to Augustus. Not only did he successfully make himself the ruler of the empire, but he used his powers, influence and wealth to establish very many changes for the empire and solve various problems, from the issue of supplying Rome with regular grain to the problem of providing soldiers with land upon completion of their service to the issue of an under-populated senatorial class. An incredibly hands-on ruler. As for Domitian, I find it interesting how he formulated the emperorship, casting to the wind the idea that an emperor was first among equals and building the massive palatial residential and reception quarters on the Palatine. While it is possibly fiction, I also love the story of the black banquet at which he trolled a group of senators.
Oh well. Maybe you'll find emperors more to your liking when I post the next poll. And yes, it has been argued that Otho was a relatively good emperor who attempted to learn from the mistakes of Galba and sought to minimize the impact of civil war. I think Paul Roche's article titled 'The Public Imagery of the Emperor Otho' is one such piece of scholarship, as is Richard Alston's Aspects of Roman History 31 BC - AD 117.I vote none. I haven't yet been able to root for any of these names listed when I read. A lot of disgusting individuals on that list. Having said that, I do believe Augustus was a brilliant politician. In fact, I don't know that we fully appreciate his accomplishments in stabilizing the Empire. He was a true mentor for succeeding Emperors. I have always found it odd that possibly Rome's, perhaps the world's, greatest Emperor had no appreciable individual martial gifts. But, his empire endured. The Great Khan's did not. I suppose it's all a bit like modern politics... a disgusting swamp. It takes a certain type of person to aspire to top of that heap. I seem to vaguely recall that Otho's reign was brief and that he was intending to be something of a reformer? I don't quite recall. It's been a while since I read anything about him and I'm resisting the compulsion to check Wikipedia.
Bearing in mind jalidi's account of the Dictator's insane paranoia and reign of terror, which created a divisive situation only Nerva could repair (luckily), I'm interested in your motives for such admiration?[QUOTE="DiocletianIsBetterThanYou, post: 3077077, member: 54571. As for Domitian, I find it interesting how he formulated the emperorship, casting to the wind the idea that an emperor was first among equals and building the massive palatial residential and reception quarters on the Palatine. While it is possibly fiction, I also love the story of the black banquet at which he trolled a group of senators.
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