31 October 2008
A Typical Roman: Emperor
...Emperors were at the top of the food chain in Rome. They were obeyed and feared given the fact they possessed such a great amount of power. Still, being emperor came with its own set of aggravations and trials. They had a reputation to uphold, an empire to run, and of course, the the threat of assassination was ever present. An emperor could be good or bad, respected or disliked : and we have a wide selection of both to interview.
...For today's interest I have arranged the following interview with two of Romes most famous Emperors - no easy task let me assure you.)I had to go back in time twice because these emperors lived and died in separate stages)
People, let me introduce our guests today. Emperor Augustus and Emperor Nero.
Press(Me:) - "Emperors do you mind telling us your time frame ; when did you become Emperor, things like that?"
Augustus - " I became Emperor in the year 27 B.C and am ruling even now."
Nero - "My excellent self received authority in the year 54 A.D. just forty years after Augustus."
Press - " And what allot has happened in that forty year time! What do you think has been the biggest change since Augustus rule?"
Nero - "It is hard to say, but I believe Augustus was more modest as an Emperor - not wanting to offend the Senate and general rabble. I however am like a god to my subjects and they love me! I have grander schemes and - "
Augustus - "And you spend money more freely. Really Nero, its like you think Rome is made of gold! You and future Emperors like you will destroy all that I have sought to build."
Nero - "You don't know that! You act as though Rome belonged to you just because you started something new! I am creating more than an Empire, I am creating a world fit for the gods!"
Augustus - "Namely yourself. Is it not true that you command your subjects to practically worship you? Its insufferable, no true Roman could bear it!"
Press - "Emperors! You bring up some excellent points, which beg a question from me. Is it true Nero that you are executing Christians for refusing to you and other Roman 'gods' ?"
Augustus - "See! That's just the thing I'm talking about! Heavens above, great Jupiter, what are you getting us into O predecessor?"
Press - "Augustus, please. Let Nero speak."
Nero - " Upon my word, I find it hard to answer these direct accusations from one who has been dead forty years! You have no idea how troublesome a place Rome has become great Caesar, it is not what it was in your time. The Christians embody just one of our pestilences, all dissenters must be brought to reason! I must have proper respect!"
Augustus - "I suppose killing them has brought you this, ahem, respect?"
Nero - "Well, you don't understand , I,- "
Press - "Speaking of respect, what is it that you two do as Emperors that garners respect from Roman citizens?"
Augustus - "I have Romes best interest at heart. Every day I listen to the Senate, read reports, and grant pardons. It rests with me to protect our borders and promote our interests. I also appoint men to office as governors of provinces. Mine is a weighty task which I cannot take lightly."
Press - "Nero? How about you?"
Nero - "Hmm, well. I can see the advantages in Augustus' duties, and I do acquit myself often of those tasks. But he has left something important out. I arrange games for the masses! Give the people bread and a circus and they will love you! I arrange gladiatorial fights, races, plays -"
Augustus - "Murders?"
Nero - "Of course not! Didn't you hear me? Are you referring to the Christians again? I told you, they are disturbers of the peace!?
Press - " Would now be a good time for me to mention that I am a Christian?"
Nero - "Ye gods! can it be so?"
Augustus - " I guess your little efforts to stamp Christians out didn't work, eh big boy?"
Nero - "But I've been trying so hard - are you sure we are talking about the same thing?"
Press - "Absolutely positive. Which reminds me of another question which may solve a centuries old mystery. Did you set fire to Rome and frame the Christians?"
Augustus - "He did what! O my Jupiter! Rome, my beloved city - you set it on fire? Hermes, I'll hamstring you..."
Nero - "Preposterous! I can't believe what I'm hearing, all lies! Can it be that there is any doubt in modern historians minds as to who set fire to Rome?"
Augustus - " I don't know about them, but there sure is in my mind!"
Nero - "I didn't do it! It was those trouble making, ungrateful, stubborn Christ-followers. But since the damage is done, I may as well tell you Augustus that I am rebuilding Rome on a far grander, richer, scale than you did."
Augustus - "I bet you are, thou avaritius aper!"
Nero - "O really, fur furem cognoscit, et lupum lupus!"
Press - "Well this interview has run out of time. Besides, our guests have relapsed into Latin. I guess we will not know the answer to history's question after all, I leave it up to you to decide if Nero speaks truth."
Press - "Thank you Emperors for your time, I know it is valuable."
Augustus - "Aye, some of us have work to do."
Nero - "Hey! I have to attend a banquet being held in my honor, oversee a gladiatorial fight, travel to my country villa - nerves you know ...."
Press - "Goodnight gentlemen."