Tuesday, June 07, 2011

"You're telling it wrong!"

It wasn't 'til I started reading The End of Empire: Attila the Hun & the Fall of Rome that I realized that I had picked a side in the political shenanigans between Flavius Aetius and Boniface. I mean, as it turns out, I'm definitely an Aetius partisan and the author of this book was not.

I will gracefully accept my nerd points for admitting this, since it is even nerdier than having a favorite Roman emperor (Vespasian.)

Still, Kelly's book makes for an excellent read thus far, even if he did spend ten or fifteen pages talking trash about my man Aetius.

27 comments:

Bob said...

I used to write doggerel about some of the Roman emperors:

Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Stoically died of a pain
In the bellius.

Emperor Maximinus Thrax
Skilled at war, inept at pax,
When funding for his orgies lacks
Amends it with a nova tax.

Emperor Antoninus Pius
Was quite a nice gius.



I was spending too much time reading Ogden Nash during those years.

fast richard said...

Your posts on ancient history are the main reason I've added the likes of Tacitus, Thucidides, and Xenophon to the list of audiobooks I listen to while driving.

staghounds said...

For serious, is "the Hun" really necessary?

And doesn't everyone have a favourite Roman Emperor?

Tam said...

staghounds,

You wouldn't want to get him confused with, say, Attila the Cornish Fishmonger.

genedunn said...

Vespasian? That's your favorite? Really? Didn't he invent the scooter?

Aaron said...

Now that we know your preference in the Aetius/Boniface matter, we really want to know the imnportant stuff:

Are you pro-Green or pro-Blue?

Tam said...

I think the crowd in the Hippodrome during the Nika Riots didn't take half the stomping it had coming.

Anonymous said...

Just finished reading Attila by Willian Napier. Young Aetius comes off well, as does the young Scourge.

Honorius and Galla get two thumbs down.

Gerry

Noah D said...

I think the crowd in the Hippodrome during the Nika Riots didn't take half the stomping it had coming.

I dunno, a couple more calliopes and blowers, and it might have been overkill. Might.

Tam said...

Noah D,

Nobody who's read Drake or Pournelle will ever have an unbiased opinion of that event. ;)

Don M said...

It was a fun book, but perhaps too colored by the writing of a Roman ambassador's secretary who wasn't in on the big secret.

Interesting that the Huns first show up as mercenaries in the pay of the Romans.

The odd thing is Odoacer, acting as General of Eastern Roman Empire closed down the Western Roman Empire pretender (Romulus) while ignoring or perhaps paying lip service to the rightful emperor, Nepo.

The fall was to some extend fabricated by subsequent Byzantine writers, who wanted to distance themselves from their support of Gothic foederates who were taking down Western Romans.

Don M said...

Then Odoacer failed in his negotiations with Theodoric. Ocoacer fell the need for a .45 about then...

Frank W. James said...

I dunno I'm more of a 'Mithradates' man, myself...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Rabbit said...

Scipio Africanus could have used a better PR guy in his later years, I always thought.

Charles Pergiel said...

Geez, I dunno if I like this or not. I come here for the snark and I end up gettin' edukated and everything. Well, sorta, anyhoo.

Don M said...

Another book after you finish that is "Belisarius: The Last Roman General" - by Ian Hughes

Of course some will prefer "Count Belisarius" by Robert Graves

Brian J. said...

Actually, Billy Joel fans need "the Hun" so we don't think you're talking about the duo he had with Jon Small.

The real question is, "Does Tam have a favorite Consul?"

Drang said...

Don M: Robert Graves FTW!

(Goes off to library site to see if they have Ian Hughes' book...)

WV: dinglue. There's a Rep Weiner joke in there somewhere, but I ain't goin' there, nope.

Tam said...

"The real question is, "Does Tam have a favorite Consul?""

Just how much of a nerd do you think I am, anyway?

Anonymous said...

Κωνσταντίνος ΙΑ' Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος

Now, there's a man! The West gets a boy, Romulus Augustulus. But, the East got Constantine XI Dragases. His story inspired me to major in history.

Where are his kind today?

Ulises from CA

Robin said...

Favorite Consul? Scipio Africanus of course. Although Quintus Fabius Maximus is a second choice if only for his cognomen "Verrucosus" for wartface. (The equivalent of the Mafia's nicknames).

For emperor, Hadrian was such a sourpuss that I always felt an attachment cross the millenia ... sorta.

Don M said...

Hanibal, after his 'retirement in exile' was asked who the three greatest generals of all time were.

He answered, "Alexander, Scipio Africanus, and Myself.".

"But you lost to Scipio!"

Hanibal: "If I had defeated him I would have put myself first."

WV: impot

These word verifications are the impot part.

Drang said...

Just how much of a nerd do you think I am, anyway?
If you gotta ask...

WV: adict. Damned captcha can't spell...

Chris said...

Don M. - I preferred the former.

And yes, Tam, I liked both the Drake and Pournelle versions of that classic case of crowd control.

John Farrier said...

I'm partial to Julian, m'self.

Borepatch said...

John Farrier beat me to it. A magnificent throwback - but I'm quite sentimental ...

And can I just say that not just this post, but the comments are filled with win.

Steve Skubinna said...

I think Honorius is the one I'd hop into the Delorean to kick in the butt. Bumping off Stilicho?

Frickin' moron.

Actually, maybe I'd arrange a meeting between him and Claudius Pulcher. So long to your stupid chickens, asshole!