Apr. 5th, 2011

lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Watching all of these mini-series about Rome always makes me sad that they clearly have no idea how to wear togas. Though I can't be surprised seeing as the Romans themselves found that garment a bit of a bollocks. Augustus once went off on the senate because people tried to turn up in TUNICS. THE SHAME.

I think part of the problem was that the toga kept getting bigger and bigger, until you ended up wrapped in this ridiculously constricting wool garment that was just about the worst thing to wear in hot weather and have to do a little orating in. And if you got too enthusiastic the thing would start falling off right in mid-speech which was just really awkward. Some Romans used to bring a guy to court with them, so that when they were giving their big prosecution/defence speech they could stop and have him re-arrange it. This was, however, a no-no, akin to buying one of the fancy silk mix see through ones that clung a bit too tight to your legs and left little to the imagination. You had to keep that thing on no matter how impassioned you got until almost the end of the speech. And then you could do whatever you wanted - the damn thing could start slipping off, your hair could be a mess and it would be fine. The amazing thing is that people like Cicero - who were actually moving quite a lot as they talked - kept the thing on until that point. And without pins. ONLY A BARBARIAN WOULD USE GIANT VISIBLE PINS.
lesbiassparrow: (Sacred chickens)
For definitions of excellent that involve taking history and trampling all over it like an elephant over lilies.

First, the not-dead Octavian has been discovered. Tyrannus has decided he wants to die. In the arena. Mark Antony is now taunting him. Or possibly just wibbling. I can't decide. Rapax has turned up to snag the wayward vestal virgin; just in time, given that she and Octavian were making goggly eyes at each other and the virgin bit was tottering. And given that they buried devirginized vestals alive, that is a dangerous state for one of them to be in.


ETA 1: Tryannus in a moment of despair has gone over to Antony. So Octavian is down a vestal and a gladiator. And now Octavian is off asking for Cicero's help. He needs his voice! Cicero appears keener on gardening.

ETA 2: In an improbable event even for this improbable show, Cicero, Agrippa and Octavian have been captured by Caesar's legendary lost legion. Which apparently wants to cut off Octavian's head because he decimated their legion. So they vanished into the mist. THE MISTS OF ITALY. Or possibly Asia, because now they're talking about Mithradates.

ETA 3: Now there is a manly face off between Octavian and Tyrannus. TRAGICALLY THEY ARE ON DIFFERENT SIDES. Some good nostril flaring as well.

ETA 4: So, I could tell you what is happening but I don't think you'd believe it. Even after all I've posted. But I am disappointed that they didn't have the guts to have Octavian and Tyrannus kill Antony...at the battle of Mutina. I mean, why stop there? Did they suddenly discover some part of historical integrity or did they think they might be a sequel. EMPIRE II: THE EMPIRING.

ETA 5: So...somehow, quite remarkably, they've decided that Vesta and Minerva are the same goddess. Oh and Augustus won't get his vestal because he's made her head of the order. THE TRAGEDY. Because she wasn't off-limits enough as a regular vestal. But Tyrannus is off to be with his kid. So someone is happy, at least. Well, Cicero appeared remarkably happy for a person who once called Octavian a murderous youth. So, yay, Cicero?

ETA 6 And so it is done. I also have The Last Legion to watch but I'm afraid that if I do so right away my head might explode.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
I never realised until I read Julius Obsequens' collection of the prodigies from Livy how frequently the Romans used to like to throw hermaphrodites into the sea to deal with a crisis. It seems like every time anything went wrong off they'd go, find some poor hermaphrodite and toss them into the ocean. I don't know if there were more hermaphrodites around then or if it was the same person who swam back to land and got tossed in again the next year.


lesbiassparrow: (Default)

August 2011

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