To other men, I say, "Salvete!"
No idea how historically accurate John Williams' Augustus is, but it's a hell of a read and a meditation on how the changes from Republic to an Empire might play out in a single individual.
I restacked this for you. This is brilliant.
BTW, the answer I gave earlier today was more or less along the lines of, "Men think about the Roman Empire in precise correlation to the number of times they think about The Godfather and for the same reasons."
I came, I saw, I concurred.
“History does not repeat, but it does rhyme...” Beautiful.
Caesar sic in omnibus , Brutus sic in tram … pax vobiscum 🎓
And then there are those who are obsessed with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
This reminds me of the scene in the film of A Clockwork Orange where Alex is supposed to be empathizing with Christ, but instead imagines himself as a Roman centurion torturing Christ. Romanticizing the wrong elements of idealized cultures of the past is always best screwed up by the ignorant.
Home run x 1000. Incisive analysis, succinct summation. (Adjacent - https://youtu.be/-uOVwSmXu8s)
Nice one. I'm a weirdo leftist who has always liked Graves' works and an occasional dip into the Roman history pool; more to view their various underhanded machinations than from any ideological affinity. I do also love the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, and have found his self-talk through his attempts to practice Stoicism in the midst of chaotic daily existence useful.
Strictly speaking , that’s “Salvete” … plural … Also the word was probably pronounced Saluay or Saluatay … Because the V was really a U , but stonemasons reproduced it as a V for convenience , which is also why we have a Double U , displayed as W… Smart ? Ita Vero !
The fascist fascination begins in Rome for sure. But I wonder how many lictors Musk has and how Ukraine has anything to do with it.
The whole populares and optimates thing is a modern invention. They didn't see it that way. Reading someone like Appian, you can see there were no good guys and certainly no enlightened ones. Shoddy history to consider it otherwise.
But it's good to focus on the republic, with the elections they held for centuries until the "populares" ended public elections for good. It was a relief to the Senate to no longer have to run for office, according to Tacitus. It saved them money.
Shit is complicated and barely rhymes, other than the catastrophists and historicists.
Strong stuff, Mike.
Here. Comment lurve needs to happen in addition to restack blathering:
This piece spoke to me so hard! 😻 I’ve been joking—more like snarking about the Divided Oligarchy of America for some decades now, and it’s always the Late Republic that has too many echoes for my comfort.
I was the History Major who developed a morbid obsession with Ancient Rome in 2nd grade and yes, whenever I’m sick, the marathon binge of choice is I CLAV-DIVS. (Gotta mispronounce it just…cuz. And yeah, okay, okay, fine. ROME and Spartacus, too, although I’m more about the Antony Moment than the Atia Moment.) 😜
Being even more of an artist than I am a historian, I was so disturbed by this societal rhyme that I built a whole fantastical fiction world with an undercarriage of—not Medieval Europe like most in that day were—but Ancient Rome to deal with my angsty head and heart. Thank you for spelling it out so clearly!