Skip to comments.The Untold Story Of Emperor Vespasian [1:16:04]
Posted on 01/05/2023 9:44:35 AM PST by SunkenCiv
[snip] Vespasian, one of the Roman Empire's finest emperors remains largely unknown, yet his reign in 1st century AD transitioned a weakening Empire into a period of stability and growth that was the legacy of the other great emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus. Vespasian ultimately saved Rome from disaster and made possible the Golden Age of the 2nd century AD. [/snip]
The Untold Story Of Emperor Vespasian
Odyssey - Ancient History Documentaries
1:16:04 | 493K subscribers | 2,791,055 views | June 1, 2021
(Excerpt) Read more at youtube.com ...
The rest of the Vespasian keyword, sorted:
Vespasians last words
“I suppose I am now becoming a god.”
Making fun of the imperial practice of deification of the house of Caesar
I don’t know why his story is considered ‘untold.’ Josephus had quite a bit to say about him in The Jewish Wars.. his son Titus also...
Josephus gets his props in the vid.
He had the Flavian Amphitheater built. I think The Who played there.
I think Flavor Flav should have played there.
The Muleteer was a huge improvement over his four immediate predecessors, and Caligula, and Titus was another good one. Domitian, not so much, but even he secured borders and expanded territory.
“Meet the new boss, not really the same as the old boss.” Yeah, that original version never really took off. Luckily, by the time they had the revised lyrics, the original audience had been dead for 1800 years.
Wierd to see Constantine and Justinian left off the list of great emperors.
I think they were called Qui back then.
And they rode chargers.
What list is this?
Oh, yeah... [blush]
Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus are pretty good choices IMHO, although I'd dump the ass-ranger bone-idle bum Hadrian, and the proud Carthaginian Septimius Severus, whose short dynasty ushered in the Crisis of the Third Century.
The term "Five Good Emperors" is old, and consists of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius -- sometimes called the Adoptive Emperors, and nearly the same as the Nerva–Antonine dynasty, the two at the end being Lucius Verus and Commodus, who were the "Two Not-So-Good Emperors".
There's been research into the nature and extent of the pandemic that busted up the party during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Direct seagoing contact with the Han court of China happened under Marcus Aurelius, and the Han dynasty was having its own problems. Attempts to create a cooperative arrangement and military alliance against common enemies of Rome and China came up that time, but never came to fruition.
Suetonius' "The Twelve Caesars" covers Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, with the first six being the Julio-Claudian dynasty, the next four being from 69 AD "the year of four emperors" (and apparently the birth year of Suetonius), and the final three being the Flavian dynasty.
Justinian married a courtesan, aggrandized himself with construction and conquest, carried out the Nika riot massacre, and created a mountain of war debt and taxation that poleaxed the Byzantines. Procopius left behind his secret history in which he gives us a candid view of Justinian, among others.
Badass of the Week picked Boris the Bulgar Slayer, a great choice for best Byzantine emperor. BLUE LANGUAGE WARNING.
Among the Roman emperors, in no particular order, I'd list Aurelian (got a lot done in five years), Diocletian, Vespasian, maybe his son Titus, Trajan, Claudius, Augustus, Julius Caesar, and cheating a bit, his predecessor, imper iter Pompey the Great. In the so-called republic period, Scipio Africanus. I might even throw in some meatballs, like Maximinus Thrax, the schismatic Carausius (thanks to Rosemary Sutcliff), and Magnus Maximus (thanks to Mary Stewart).
Your summary of Justinian got me looking into the Nika riots. Sounds like Justinian was quite the populist swamp-drainer.
He massacred a crowd of people who disagreed with him — that makes him leader of the swamp.
Justinian massacred a crowd of insurrectionist, murderous bureaucrats who wanted to maintain their lifestyle of parasitism and corruption and were pissy about his just reforms. They were demolishing the whole of Rome, and murdered thousands of innocent people, destroying most of the entire city, before he re-established order. It seems that those who hate Justinian do so because he did not count the lives of the murderous, seditious, greedy, parasitic bureaucrats so far above those of the tens of thousands of people who they senselessly slaughtered without any cause at all, other than that they stood between them and the target of their real hatred. And so satan’s aristocratic preachers like Gibbons aren’t so different than the swampdwellers they shed their acidic tears for.
Wow, that’s some imagination ya got there, you’re not even close.
"[T]he two united factions demanded that the city prefect release the prisoners, setting fire to the Praetorium when he did not. The fire spread and others were set the next day, even though Justinian had announced additional races, a gesture that only emboldened the rioters, who set fire to the Hippodrome itself.
"Now the resignation of three unpopular ministers was demanded, those who were perceived to be responsible for Justinian's refusal to release the prisoners, to which the emperor conceded. When this did not mollify the crowd, a force of Goths was dispatched, but the insurrection could not be surpressed and there were more fires, which spread throughout the city, including the church of St. Sophia, which "collapsed entirely on all four sides"
So, a fire burned much of the city. Who knows how many innocent people died? But were the demos horrified at the result? No, they lit more fires, until the majority of the city of half a million people was destroyed.
Even so, Justinian attempted neither justice, nor vengeance, but appeasement. He gave in to the demands of the demos, but could not quest their bloodthirstiness.
"Finally, on Sunday, January 18, Justinian went to the imperial box, Gospels in hand, and acknowledged his errors, promising to redress the grievances of the populace and pardon the rioters. But they were not to be pacified and acclaimed Hypatius, another nephew of Anastasius, as ruler."
Now for some context, as to whose the abominable demos were, and what they were willing to kill so many innocent Romans over:
Persia had expanded to the point where it was capable of cutting off Rome's trade with China, which it had come to be over-reliant on, so Rome went to war to block further expansion of Persia. That Rome fought an expensive war was not new. But bad crop years had hit much of the empire (this was not yet the Justinian Cold Period), and cut-off trade hurt tradesman, so he relied more on demos than he had in the past. Perhaps more significantly, he also drastically cut the civil service, which had grown into a bloated bureaucracy populated by demos. Worst still to them, Justinian had initiated a series of legal reforms which would have limited the demos' authority to arbitrarily abuse and repress the plebes. So the demos revolted. (The immediate trigger was the issuance of death penalties to murderous rioters.)
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