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Caligula was insane. Luckily for the Romans, he wielded absolute power.
60- No Better Slave, No Worse Master
Posted at 11:33 PM | Permalink
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maybe it's too late to change your episode now--or maybe it isn't--but you should know that "spendthrift" means the opposite of how used it: it means one who spends and spends. "thrifty" is careful with money. "spendthrift" is someone who is anything but "thrifty."
it's one of those silly things like the fact that "flammable" and "inflammable" mean exactly the same thing, despite what should apparently be the case.
June 29, 2009 at 12:26 AM
Thanks for this episode, to what extent do you think this was a wasted opportunity to revive the power of the Senate. I know you said the Praetorian Guard was too strong now but I can't help but feel that given the jobs done by the Emperors since Augustus, and everyones expectations about Claudius a senator with the ability of Cicero could have roused the people to such a point that change would have been inevitable.
Simon A |
June 29, 2009 at 01:26 PM
I'm having trouble downloading the latest episode from I-tunes. Is it just me?
June 29, 2009 at 07:02 PM
Claudius wasn't proclaimed emperor that night. According to Gibbon there were "eight and fourty hours" between the murder of Calligula and the ascension of Claudius, when the Senate had control and squabbled amongst themselves, squandering their chance to make Rome a republic again :(
(btw my name is just a coincidence, no relation to the emperor in your upcoming episode ;-)
June 29, 2009 at 07:28 PM
I doubt the Praetorians would have easily accepted demotion and return to the legions. Political power comes from barrel of a gun...or unsheathed with a drawn sword. It is a wonder why no ambitious general didn't try to make a power grab after the chaos resulting from Caligula's assassination. Legions (as well as Praetorians) can be very political too! What was the Republic to the common soldier anyhow? An ambitious general or an emperor paid better, I believe.
Anyway, who remembered life under the a true Republic at this stage of history? Did anybody believe in the Republic anymore? Could anybody really turn back the clock? Did anybody want to?
June 29, 2009 at 11:45 PM
By this time ther was certainly no senator near the caliber of a Marcus Tullius Cicero but it is interesting that republican ideas still existed even if only as 'pipe dreams'. Just a suggestion Mike, maybe the next episode takes it's title from Law#21 of Robert Green's 48 Laws of Power (which of course he uses Claudius' story as a perfect example) Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker - Seem Dumber Than Your Mark
Mike in Phoenix |
June 30, 2009 at 12:07 AM
48 Laws of Power is an amusing/disturbing/insightful read!
June 30, 2009 at 02:24 PM
I have listened to all the episodes in the last couple of weeks, having only discovered the podcasts recently. You are a great talent and I thank you. I have also sent you a donation.
Richard in Austin |
June 30, 2009 at 09:43 PM
Hi Mike, In this episode you mention in passing that one of Caligula's contemporaries that was writing at the time was Seneca. I know Seneca was a tutor of Nero but what role does he play during the time of Caligula? I must admit, I don't know a lot about Seneca but his works are on my 'to read' list. Was he Roman? I mean an 'ethnic' Roman? I caught an episode of a BBC series on philosophy and Seneca was the 'Roman' philosopher of the series. I'm just wondering if Romans are now writing and teaching philosophy and if so, is he the first to do so? As we go along, it would be great if we could also hear a little about the authors that we draw our understanding of roman history from as we cover the years and circumstances in which they lived and wrote. Keep up the good work Mike! This podcast rules!!!
Mike in Phoenix |
July 02, 2009 at 12:38 AM
I think Seneca was of 'Spanish'descent
Anyway, fantastic job Mike, really am enjoying this podcast, as I did the podcast from Lars Brownworth about the Byzantine Emperors. I hope you continue..
Matt Vonck - the Netherlands |
July 07, 2009 at 11:59 AM
It's funny, I was watching Jeopardy and I was able to answer some obscure $2000 question (or is it 'question some answer'?) regarding the Etruscans because most nights I go to sleep listening to episodes of this podcast; but as soon as the questions go beyond Augustus, I get in hot water... so please keep popping these out!
ep thorn |
July 10, 2009 at 07:24 PM
A very addictive podcast you have going. Great material with a great delivery.
Buddy Willis |
July 12, 2009 at 01:51 PM
As a grad student of history (middle east, not Roman) I have to say I love the terrific resource you created here. I'm in the processs of getting caught up to current and can't wait to get to Nero (whom I did my undergrad thesis on).
Anyway, I'm going to suggest this to everyone I know. Keep up the great work!
February 22, 2010 at 06:41 PM
I had to remind myself that these horrible things happend to terrfied people as i kept laughing at some of the things that Caligular did.
April 13, 2010 at 10:27 AM
Thanks for showing how ro discount the salacious interpretations Suetonius and Cassio Dio offered regarding Caligula. But, why couldn't Caligula appoint Praetorians more loyal to him?
Left Flank |
August 17, 2010 at 01:02 AM
I've just finished this episode and since I'd never gotten around to sending a thank you your way here it is: YOU ROCK. This is a fabulous podcast. Hopefully I catch up before you finish Roman history!
Also: You should making an episode on "the making of the 'The History of Rome' podcast" -- tell us how you get this wonderful material together!
Account Deleted |
October 16, 2010 at 04:30 AM
Caligula makes headlines again :
January 20, 2011 at 08:45 AM
listening to your no better slave, no worse master podcast on halloween perfect timing.
October 31, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Years behind but I'm loving this podcast (and this episode might be my fav so far)
June 19, 2013 at 02:54 PM
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