Thursday, December 21, 2006

You know you're a geek when... have a favorite Roman emperor.

Mine's Vespasian. The denarius above is from his reign, which ran from today's date in 69AD to his death in 79AD. He was the first non-Julio-Claudian emperor, a competent soldier and general, a solid administrator, and only half of his sons were bugnuts crazy, which is batting well above average for your typical Caesar.

I was thrilled to find the Lindsey Davis book, The Course Of Honor, which is a novelization of Vespasian's life, and a very enjoyable book. You should get you a copy.


Anonymous said...

"You should get you a copy."

Hopefully that was said with thick accent.

El Capitan said...

You should get copies of all Lindsey Davis's books! While you're at it, pick up Steven Saylor's books as well! Both are detective series set in ancient Rome, and they're excellent reads!

Paul said...

Have you read any of the Eagle series of books by Simon Scarrow? Vespasian is an important character in these stories, which are about two legionnaires under his command. Amazon has all of them, and you can sometimes...if you're lucky...find one at a big book store like Borders or Books a Million. There are at least five books in the series; the first is " Under the Eagle".

Matt G said...

His reign was only 10 years? Wha' happened?

Anonymous said...

Crapped himself to death.

Tam said...


Lindsey Davis: I have all the M. Didius Falco mysteries, and eagerly await each new one.

Simon Scarrow: I just got Under The Eagle from Amazon and loved it. I'll be getting the rest.

Steven Saylor: While looking for more Scarrow at the used book store last week, I stumbled across Saylor's books and bought three. I'm currently working on The Venus Throw.

" His reign was only 10 years? Wha' happened?": He made it to 70, which was no small feat for someone who spent a large part of their life soldiering in those days. It was natural causes, though.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Vespasian was the last world leader to have a coherent and effective strategy for dealing with the middle east.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

Vespasian was a good Roman of the old school: I rather liked his reign. Too bad it was so short... But his greatest feat was, perhaps, to die of old age in office. Tremendous for the time.

Please read up on Cinna. My friend Michael Lovano has written an interesting thesis on him. It amazes me just how long the Republic survived when I saw its condition in the decades before its collapse. To my mind, this explains a lot of why the Empire was the way it was for sooooo long.

My favorite Imperator is Constantine XI Palaeologus. He really was the LAST Imperator et Basileus of the Romans. He died May 29, 1453, as the Turks finally burst through the walls of Constantinople.

"Died like a man" ain't good enough to describe him.

"Died like a ROMAN" is more accurate.

He would not be embarassed in the company of the veterans of Cannae Even old Julius & Octavianus Augustus would bow.

As you can see, I'm a Byzantinist at heart.

Merry Christmas to you & yours!