XXXIII – Rome’s History Lesson

Dear Journal:

Several weeks had gone by and I was up to my crown in historical research. Rome’s present condition just didn’t add up. How could a free system like the Republic have warped itself into the nearly totalitarian Empire?

The answer I was seeking lay somewhere in Rome’s past. So there I searched. The central archives of Rome had all of the Senatorial writings and decisions since the Republic’s founding. Surely, there must be something in those records that would light my way.

It was the Lady who found my answer. One busy morning, she walked in and dropped a parchment on my desk.

“I think you’ll find this most interesting, Caesar.”

I unrolled the scroll and glanced over the text. My jaw dropped and my hands shook as I stared at the reason for most of Rome’s, and my, present troubles.

The record said thus: In the autumn of 68 B.C. the Roman port of Ostia was attacked and set on fire by pirates. The Consular war fleet was destroyed and two Senators, with their staffs and bodyguards, were kidnapped. The Senate, instead of being rational about the incident, panicked. The Roman general, Pompey, took advantage of the chaos to further his own ambitions. In 67 B.C., Pompey put before the Senate a bill known as the ‘Lex Gabinia’ which would have given Pompey absolute military authority over Rome. Indefinitely.

By declaring any dissent as “Traitorous”, Pompey managed to smash his way through any Senate opposition to get the act passed. Illegally. In one deft stroke, Pompey assumed nearly absolute power over most of the Roman world. In three month’s time, he swept the Mediterranean Sea clear of the pirates, but did Pompey do the just thing and relinquish his power?

Nope.

When Julius Caesar defeated Pompey ten years later, he just continued on where Pompey had left off. The Republic was effectively dead. By the time Octavian had defeated Marc Antony, the way had been paved for Octavian to become Augustus Caesar, Rome’s first Emperor.

So there it was. Blind ambition. Again.

I needed to mull this over and see if the trend of nearly three hundred years could be reversed. The ‘Pax Romana’ had to end. Several Emperors had tried to reverse the situation much to their personal detriment, however, I had to succeed or there would be no more Rome. So thinking, I summoned the Lady, the Old Senator, Little Brother, and the Tribune to my study.

With this select group, I would do what Pompey had done, only in reverse. The Senate and people of Rome would get back their stolen government and their freedom. The trick was, how to accomplish the change without inciting a civil war. I never could do anything the easy way.

Chapter XXXIV

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Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 1:22 AM  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] Chapter XXXIII Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)XX – Rude Romans And PaybackXXIV – The Roman, The Lady, A Mutt And An AdoptionXXVI – Roman Caesar, Little Brother, and Mutts Published in: […]


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