It would be a mistake to see Virgil’s poetry as purely political propaganda. It was a matter of self-respect for Augustus to allow artists to do their art. He genuinely wanted to be admired for what he did for Rome – not for what he could do to you. His victory and the peace it…
“I sing of arms and the man”. Get ready for that classical education you missed out on because your parents couldn’t afford to send you to a real school (in the 19th century)! We’re going to spend the next THREE EPISODES talking about Publius Vergilius Maro, aka Virgil, and his masterpiece, The Aeneid. Why? BECAUSE…
Augustus does a deal with the Parthian King Phraates IV to return the standards and prisoners from their previous encounters with Crassus and Antony. And Lucius Cornelius Balbus gets a triumph – the last one awarded to a private citizen (eg who wasn’t a member of the Emperor’s family) – for five and a half centuries.
While Augustus is out in the provinces, he tends to give his speeches in Greek rather than Latin, to show how much he respects their regional cultures. He also treats them fairly magnanimously – except when he doesn’t.
One of the client rulers who is best known during these years is Herod The Great. He was brutal, but the Romans didn’t mind, as long he paid his respects and kept his people under control. He built the Second Temple in Jerusalem but it didn’t buy him much love from his main constituency – the…
For the people in the provinces, Augustus was just the latest in a long line of foreign rulers, like the Greeks and the Persians before him. For Augustus, the provinces provided him with the opportunity to let it all hang out.
In the year 22 BCE, Augustus went to Sicily, Rome’s oldest overseas province. But the people aren’t prepared to let him go that easily. They start burning shit down and breaking the furniture, until he pays them attention – and sends Agrippa home.
Gary Arndt has been everywhere. Which is why his blog is called Everything Everywhere. Since 2007 he’s been travelling nearly non-stop, taking photos – and has been named Travel Photographer of the Year three times. He joined us on Skype from an undisclosed location recently to discuss Caesar-related travel destinations.
The Primus Affair continues. Shortly after, there’s another scandal – the Fannius Caepio conspiracy. It’s time for Augustus to crack down.
The people try to convince Augustus to become dictator. He refuses. Then the proconsul of Macedonia, Marcus Primus, is brought up on serious charges of ruining the reputation of Rome. He blames his actions – on Augustus!