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No, I think Cincinnatus was a more prominent (even legendary) Roman historical figure than Cinna, who history has generally given a bad press.

 

But that's rather the point--to needle Antony, why would you say "even Cincinnatus..would not demean himself so" rather than "even Cinna..would not demean himself so"? If you wanted to call attention to just how very bad Antony was behaving, you'd want to compare him to the worst sorts of populares, and the foursome of Cinna, Marius, and the Gracchi would fit the bill rather nicely (at least for someone of Vorenus' politics).

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My own opinion is that Augustus was an astute and very intelligent man who put the acquisition of power ahead of everything. He leaned towards the ruthless in his youth and towards moderation in his later years. He deserves the criticism of his excesses and the praise of his later rule. There is a good case to be made that Rome survived rather than crumbling into seprerate states because of him. My greatest criticism is that he failed to set up stable measures to hand power over to the next government, but that may have been beyond any single man's ability.

I agree, he just may have been the greatest politician/statesman to have ever lived.

 

Sorry to jump in on what is perhaps an old thread, but I'm in Paradise on this Forum - at last I find a group who discuss the subject dearest to my heart......

 

I agree with your view of Augustus, Virgil - and the sentence I have highlighted is, for me, the crux. Augustus, as the creator of the Principate, had overlooked one important thing: the personality of the individual Princeps. This, I think, was the failing of the whole system. He could have set up all the stable measures he liked, but he could not legislate for the character of successive individuals.

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Caesar nor Augustus was a homo period! Where is the proof for this? Quotes by political enemies just DO NOT cut it! The number one means of character assinination by the ancient sources were accusations of homosexuality, incest, paricide etc... Is a quote such as "Every woman's man and every man's woman" what you base your post on? Really, lets stick with documented fact not documented slander!

 

The whole debate is academic. Homosexuality and bisexuality as modern concepts did not exist in ancient Rome. Perhaps this is not the right thread to go into such a deep subject, but the 20th century outrage at such 'slanders' is based on 2000 years of the post-Christian perspective. For the Romans, to accuse someone like Octavian of 'homosexuality' was not to slander his sexuality as we know it, but his 'lack of manliness' - i.e. he was the submissive partner. An active partner would not have been worthy of a lampoon. It's a subtle difference, but it should be borne in mind. And your outcry, Clodius, defending Augustus against being 'a homo' says a lot more about your attitudes than it does about the Romans'. You will remember Suetonius' illustration (Life of Augustus, 68) of the actor in the theatre who made a witty comment that had a double meaning, which Augustus took in good part.

 

We can never know for sure just who Augustus slept with or did not sleep with (apart from his lawful wives, of course) but I'm sure the slanders and lampoons were a lot less important to Augustus himself than they seem to be to us.

 

Sorry - I see that Ursus covered my point in an earlier post. Please be patient with me, Citizens, I have only just arrived and am reading through and loving it all. :hammer:

Edited by The Augusta

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Someone commented on Octavian's look at Servillia at the end of the season finale as an "emotionless" look. Personally, I saw it not as emotionless, but as a death stare. It suggested what was coming to those who murdered Caesar. As great as Caesar's death scene was, I think this scene was my favorite of the episode.

 

Yes - even though the purist in me cringes (as Octavian was in Apollonia at the time with Agrippa, Maecenas and Salvidienus) I can allow HBO the artistic licence to give us a JR Ewing 'I'm going to get you' look. I was even saying it myself!! :hammer:

 

 

May I ask you all a question? I may have missed something here - I watched the DVDs on a roll, rather than the series as it aired. The character of Sextus Pompeius - was the character introduced as Quintus Valerius Pompeius, illegitimate son of Pompey, who threw himself on Servilia's mercy, meant to be our piratical friend of the second Triumviral period? If so, why in Hades did they give him another name, and why did they make him 'illegitimate'? And how on earth could a person be of the Valerii and the Pompeii? Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall any such person as Quintus Valerius Pompeius, so I am thinking he has to return as Sextus. Is this man like the mythical Glabius?

 

And on the subject of husbands and wives - where - by all the gods - is Marcius Phillipus, Atia's second husband, who by all acounts, was a pretty decent step-father to her children?

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The character of Sextus Pompeius - was the character introduced as Quintus Valerius Pompeius, illegitimate son of Pompey, who threw himself on Servilia's mercy, meant to be our piratical friend of the second Triumviral period? If so, why in Hades did they give him another name, and why did they make him 'illegitimate'? And how on earth could a person be of the Valerii and the Pompeii? Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall any such person as Quintus Valerius Pompeius, so I am thinking he has to return as Sextus. Is this man like the mythical Glabius?

 

I too was confused by this but I was under the impression that he was indeed supposed to be Sextus (or maybe he was a conglameration of both Gnaeus Minor and Sextus). I am just as baffled as you as to why they played with the praenomen and nomen though . It has been some time since I've watched the show though, so my memory of his portrayal is fuzzy at best. Maybe a reason for "Valerius" will be revealed in a way to connect him with Pullo and Vorenus (or perhaps some other characters) later.

 

And on the subject of husbands and wives - where - by all the gods - is Marcius Phillipus, Atia's second husband, who by all acounts, was a pretty decent step-father to her children?

 

He's conveniently ignored/forgotten. I suppose another Caesar supporter wouldn't necessarily add anything to the show and would probably actually distract from it since Atia would not be as much fun with a guy like Phillipus around. Of course Atia's demeanor of political aggression is also a bit of a push considering her and Phillipus' historical attempts to dissuade Octavian from accepting Caesar's will. But I suppose we can never know if she was or was not a political viper based on that evidence and perhaps she simply weighed the risk of the will as being too large after Caesar's death.

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The character of Sextus Pompeius - was the character introduced as Quintus Valerius Pompeius, illegitimate son of Pompey, who threw himself on Servilia's mercy, meant to be our piratical friend of the second Triumviral period?

Perhaps 'Quintus' was meant as a composite of Quartus and Sextus? :hammer:

 

And on the subject of husbands and wives - where - by all the gods - is Marcius Phillipus, Atia's second husband, who by all acounts, was a pretty decent step-father to her children?

 

Oh, heck, forget Phillipus, where is my Porcia? ;) I hope she shows up next season.

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The original US government system was, in a way, based on the Roman Republican system. Maybe the statue was a tribute to Rome's pre-Imperial government.

 

 

I think Washington is compared to Cincinnatus because Washington was popular enough to have become King if he had wanted. Alexander Hamilton even suggested something along those lines. However, Washington served a mere two terms in the vaguely defined office of President and then retired, much as Cincinnatus had done after serving his term as dictator.

 

 

Sorry to have seen this thread so late. The XVIII Century American founders had a fascination with ancient institutions as being about pure disinterested public service, in an age before what they saw as society being tainted with religious, Popish supersticion and despotism. George Washington was called a Cinncinnatus because after the Revolution ended he resigned all his offices and went home to his farm. This act amazed George III and Louis XVI, that "the great Generalissimo of the Americas should so casually walk away from power like some legendary Roman?" Cinncinnatus, according to Livy. And after serving his two terms as president he went home again. In Europe that simply wasn't done. monarchs don't retire. And at that time even democratic states like England and Holland had princes on top. The only other country than America to exist without a crowned head were the Swiss Cantons.

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But monarchs have other uses and advantages.

 

And many republican states have ended up with pretty undesirable heads of government or state as I recall - including a few today!!

 

But I am always inclined, personally, to get behind titles and look at the political reality.

 

Titles and terminology tends to have fashions and to reflect the dynamic of a particular historical period.

 

Thus the celts had kings and high-kings, "ricons, ard-righs, etc" but their roles and powers reflected a tribal culture and the term "king" as a transaltion can IMHO mislead.

 

The Romans threw out their "rex" (but how much do we know about his powers) and replaced the office with balanced consuls (but the powers may not have changed, just been shared). It's all in the name.

 

Later, words like Imperator and princeps (already existing but with a different connotation were employed). The title and role of Dictator - every different from tjhe modern usage and implictions was eventually abolished. But Caesar (a name) and Augustus came into use. How nearly we might today be referring to the Roman Romuli has Octavian made a different choice.

 

Moving ahead - in the middle ages titles like king; Count and Duke did not bear their modern definitions. The latter two were derived from late Roman military ranks or positions. To interpret them with modern notions of aristocratic hierarchy would be wrong.

 

Napoleon made himself an "emperor" deiberately looking back to Rome. Today a man with similar ambitions and in a similar position, might title himself Leader, or Chancellor, President or Chairman. But that reflects modern bias and taste - NOT IMHO the underlying power or requirement.

 

My point - that simplistic analyses of contitutions which simply say "monarchy" bad; "republic" good; President = modern and democratic; king = class ridden and old -fashioned; miss the point. Look at the roles and the evolution of that state; look at the way the office has been handled. That, IMHO says much more.

 

Augustus, Gaius, Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus all held very similar titles as part of a line transmitting an office to successive incumbents. Heredity had only a partial role to play. Yet how differently they interpreted their roles, and can we be sure that gaius, nero and commodus were just mad or aberrant as so often claimed; or did they attract such a reputation because their opponents piled the invective on them because their radical and novel interpretations of government - not just of monarchy - in that age - failed?

 

It's a big subject.

 

Phil

 

Phil

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Actually, if one wants to debate Monarchy versus Republicanism outside of specifically Roman context, that would best be done in the Arena.

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I was responding to an earlier point made by another poster. I was not, personally, looking for a debate on the topic.

 

MPC - it's so nice to see you again too!! B)

 

Phil

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As I have been so exasperated by Rome 2 , im re-watching Rome 1 and on further reflection I think the gravitas of the leads is an important factor in the superiority of this series. The "everyday" storyline is a little naff but works for continuity.

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I'm actually really warming to the second series, I thought it was disappointing to begin with but it's got better as it's gone along, I thought the last episode with the battle of Philippi and the death of Cicero was really good and I'm now looking forward to the remaining episode's.

 

I've also really enjoyed the performance's of James Purefoy as Marc Antony and David Bamber as Cicero, they've stepped up to the mantle and filled the void left by Ciaran Hinds.

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Im going to order the series 2 set when its available, im suspicious that a lot of cuts have been made as well.

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There's only two epsidoes of the series left now!

 

(SPOILERS!! - For those who haven't seen the episodes- Death Mask and A Necessary Fiction )

 

 

 

 

 

Did anyone else think that the last few episodes seem rushed? We have only 2 epsiodes covering the relationship betweeen Antony and Cleopatra. Considering that the series ends in 30 BC, and that the last episode (A necessary fiction) was set in c.39 BC, that leaves out years worth of events in just 2 hours. The 1963 movie 'Cleopatra' managed to devote more time to this story than this series. It's a shame really, as I feel they could have at least had another series to go on.

 

It would seem that the Jewish subplot with Timon has come to a conclusion. I can't see why it was included in the series as it didn't seem to go anywhere, and it ended with an anti-climax. Levi, Timon's older brother, didn't seem properly developed, and it felt as if the storyline was created so that it could extend to a third series, but it had to be cut short due to the show's cancellation. I just felt that Levi's death was thrown in just to end the subplot before the second series reached its conclusion. Plus, it never fitted in with the rest of the show's storyline on the collapse of the Roman Republic, considering that Judea, Herod etc hadn't even been featured in the series before this point.

 

Did any else think that the death of Eirene was rushed as well? It seemed as if she was just killed off for no good reason (like Levi). Pullo managed to get over her (and his son) really quickly as well. He mopes around for a minute or two of the show's time, before returning back to his usual self, except that he now enjoy's biting people's tounges off.

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