lesbiassparrow: (Sacred chickens)
[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
I will have more hilarious 'facts' about ancient Romans soon, courtesy of Maximus. But I must say that I find it absolutely fascinating that his text was written as a handbook for members of the new elite in the first century CE. Because although the Roman elite were really good at killing each other, they were terrible at replacing themselves generation after generation. The result was that under the empire they a) ran out of patricians (a real problem in Roman religion, so the emperors had to make people patricians) and b) had tons of provincial nobility who did not really have any direct connection to the manly Romans of old. Hence this book. It told you important things like ALWAYS RESPECT THE SACRED CHICKENS. And so on. If ever you were in doubt about how Scipio Africanus (either one) would have behaved in a particular situation, you just picked this one up and found out. Like a Miss Manners for the newly minted Roman senator.
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lesbiassparrow

August 2011

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