Showing posts from February, 2015

Episode B10 - Insurgo

Synopsis: The ongoing rebellion of Tacfarinas, and the death of Juba.

“For Tacfarinas, in spite of many repulses, having first recruited his forces in the heart of Africa, had reached such a pitch of insolence as to send an embassy to Tiberius, demanding nothing less than a territorial settlement for himself and his army, and threatening in the alternative a war from which there was no extrication.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book III

Episode B9 - Germanicus

Synopsis: Germanicus travels to Syria to assume his Eastern Imperium.

“‘The prime duty of friends is not to follow their dead with passive laments, but to remember his wishes and carry out his commands.Strangers themselves will bewail Germanicus: you will avenge him – if you loved me, and not my fortune.Show to the Roman people the granddaughter of their deified Augustus, who was also my wife; number her six children: pity will side with the accusers, and, if the murderers allege some infamous warrant, they will find no credence in men – or no forgiveness!’His friends touched the dying hand, and swore to forgo life sooner than revenge.” – Tacitus, The Annals, Book II Updated Near Eastern Family Tree: Updated Map of the Near East:

The Germanicus Thing

The story of Germanicus is one of the great Roman tragedies.While the House of Octavian was consistently beset by scandals and misfortunes, the Germanicus affair represented a major turning point in both the reign of Tiberius and the legitimacy of the Julio-Claudians.Before Germanicus, the Principate was viewed with respect tinged with fear.After Germanicus, fear became dominant.Before Germanicus, most Romans were at least willing to give Tiberius a chance.Afterward, they just hoped to survive him.

I knew from the start of the new series that I wanted to cover the story of Germanicus in some depth.In linking it to the story proper, the closest connection was Ptolemy.They were both grandsons of Mark Antony, were roughly the same age, both began their military careers at the same time, and (as it turned out) spent roughly six years growing up together in Rome, in the household of Antonia Minor.But in the end, the story of Germanicus is so powerful and self-contained, that I decided to ta…