Most evil Roman emperor ever ?

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Who was the most evil Roman emperor ever ?

Caligula
6
35%
Nero
3
17%
Domitianus
4
23%
Commodus
3
17%
Heliogabalus
1
5%
 
Total votes : 17

Oops.

Postby Aldus Marius on Sat Aug 28, 2004 10:17 pm

D'OH!!!

You're right; I got temporarily confused...I knew the way of it, somewhere, but funged the name.

There, now you've even seen me do it.

[bows]
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Postby L CLAVDIVS INVICTVS on Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:37 pm

Salvete!!

Indeed, was caracalla ( Bassianus ) who granted the citizenship to all free man under the empire's territory...
In all other aspects, we must agree that the weaknesses and delusions of the noneless that was commodus, was extremelly bad to the Roman's morale, and so...the other problems just follows...

Valete!!! ( PAX ET LAETITIA )


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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:44 pm

Salvete,

Although I agree Commudus' reign was pivotal in the degradation of the Empire, he was not the most evil. Commudus was just stupid and decadent. Truly the most evil one was Caligula and none other.

Valete,
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Postby L CLAVDIVS INVICTVS on Mon Aug 30, 2004 3:18 pm

Salve gnae!

I wonderin' how much a mad man could be implicated by their MAD man acts...


Vale!!
PAX ET LAETITIA....

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Postby AENEAS CLAVDVS SVPERBVS on Mon Aug 30, 2004 4:38 pm

The most evil.................well ..................................
ALL
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Mon Aug 30, 2004 5:42 pm

Salve,

AENEAS CLAVDVS SVPERBVS wrote:The most evil.................well ..................................
ALL


Even if in our democratic age we see an absolutist monarchy as something 'evil', we cannot deny that we'd rather be ruled by Augustus or Antoninus Pius than by Caligula or Nero, can we ?

Vale,

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon Aug 30, 2004 7:54 pm

Salve mi Invicte,

L. CLAVDIVS INVICTVS wrote:I wonderin' how much a mad man could be implicated by their MAD man acts...


I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that we can't be sure whether he was mad, because all is left are recordings of his acts?

Well, then I'd have to disagree, although I understand your caution. Caligula made his favourite horse a Senator -- even if all other outrageous cruelties are exaggerations, surely this one can't be made up. An emperor who makes a horse Senator clearly has a loose screw ;).

Vale!
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Mon Aug 30, 2004 8:03 pm

Draco scripsit :

An emperor who makes a horse Senator clearly has a loose screw .


Or he simply wanted to mock and provoke the Senate, showing how insignificant it was to him ?

Vale,

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Postby L CLAVDIVS INVICTVS on Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:03 pm

Salve!!

No! I don't mean it...
He was deranged, indeed, but i'm not sure that is enought to blame him "evil". Serial killer? Perhaps. Instable? no doubt about it...But remember, he was INSANE...not a straight moral person....
To agravate it, he grew up with the gossips that his father
( germanicus ) was poisoned! What burning down his mental balance!


Vale!
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:33 pm

Salve Luci Claudi,

Yes, in that respect I believe that you are most certainly right. I was using "evil" as a generic term (I believe "true evil" doesn't exist and is, like you say, insanity).

Vale bene,
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Warning Shot

Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Aug 31, 2004 2:44 am

Salve, Invicte, et Salvete omnes...

Claudi Invicte, as the Societas' resident mental patient, may I request of you and other newcomers that discussion of issues related to mental illness, "insanity" and related topics be done carefully and with regard to the clinical, not the pop-cultural, meanings of any terms used. I ask that discussion should be presented for its educational, not comedic, value (and certainly not the Hey-look-at-the-loony strain of ridicule which has been our lot since long before Tom o'Bedlam).

I have written at somewhat greater length, on both my experiences and the topic of Mad Emperors. My post is right here in CollHist, in a thread called "Was Nero Mad?", and is dated 26 February of this year. (The virtual-typesetting job is very colorful, as almost all of mine are; once in the neighborhood you can't miss it.)

Been there - Done that - Sold the coffee-mug - Bought the T-shirt,
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Postby M Arminius Maior on Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:12 am

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:Salvete iterum,

Perhaps I should've mentioned that Suetionius himself considered Caligula mentally disturbed.
[..]

Valete optime,
Q. Pomponius Atticus

*Though perhaps Suetonius' subtlety of expression could be better rendered as "The state of health of both his body and his mind were uncertain".


Vale


I found an article about Caligula, by Wend. He says:

"There is no way to know exactly what was wrong with Caligula since ancient sources provide no clinical information. There have been various modern theories about Caligula’s illness that include alcoholism [9], hyperthyroidism [10] and epilepsy. [11]"

and

"However it is uncertain if this diagnosis can be applied to Caligula. For the ancients to say Caligula was mad was an uncomplicated way to explain his often erratic behavior and allowed Claudius to distance himself from his nephew."


Vale
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Caligula

Postby M Arminius Maior on Tue Aug 31, 2004 4:14 am

Salvete

And here, that article about Caligula
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthen ... igula.html

Vale
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Re: Warning Shot

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:21 pm

Salve mi Mari,

Marius Peregrine wrote:Salve, Invicte, et Salvete omnes...

Claudi Invicte, as the Societas' resident mental patient, may I request of you and other newcomers that discussion of issues related to mental illness, "insanity" and related topics be done carefully and with regard to the clinical, not the pop-cultural, meanings of any terms used. I ask that discussion should be presented for its educational, not comedic, value (and certainly not the Hey-look-at-the-loony strain of ridicule which has been our lot since long before Tom o'Bedlam).

I have written at somewhat greater length, on both my experiences and the topic of Mad Emperors. My post is right here in CollHist, in a thread called "Was Nero Mad?", and is dated 26 February of this year. (The virtual-typesetting job is very colorful, as almost all of mine are; once in the neighborhood you can't miss it.)

Been there - Done that - Sold the coffee-mug - Bought the T-shirt,


There is no way I would ever dream of comparing you to the likes of Caligula. In fact, I regard mental illnesses much like physical illnesses. Most of them, especially the chronic ones, are not easy to live with, and some of them can be cured. But even if it's life-long, not every chronic disease is cancer. For example, a friend of mine has MPD, but that doesn't mean he is "insane". So I sympathise with you and think I know what you're getting at.

Cura ut valeas, amice,
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Postby L CLAVDIVS INVICTVS on Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:17 pm

Salve Mari,

Changin' the subject:
You are a member of a reenactment group, that's correct?
I'm aware of that groups since 1.997, but, here in brazil, it doesn't exists ( Yet! ) unfortunatelly, so, i want to ask how much will be the prices involved to get a "Lorica segmentata" and a gallic helmet like ours? it's could be exported from your country to mine??? Is that dificult to got?

Pax et laetitia,
Signifer Marius ( of XX Valeria Victrix???), Vale!

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Legio VI Victrix?

Postby Aldus Marius on Fri Sep 03, 2004 3:41 am

Actually, Invicte, I am not now and never have been a member of any reenactment society, except as an Associate. Between 1993 and 1998, I did solo gigs in venues ranging from SCA and Renaissance Faires to JCL and a church pageant. I was even a Little League mascot one year, and I've done hospital visits.

The reasons for my "Solo Soldier Syndrome" were various, but mainly I just never seemed to be in a place with a group or aware of that group until it was almost time for me to leave. There's nothing in North Texas, and I only found out after I'd moved to Dallas that there was a BIG Legion (the IX Hispana) in Southern California (which I'd just vacated).

OTOH, I believe there is at least one reenactor Legion in Brazil!

My vita, along with my once-world-famous but now sadly-outdated Legion List, could be found on my Web site, the Roman Outpost, up until day before yesterday. My humble Pages have disappeared. I am in communion with my Web host, and hopefully any technical or billing issues can be resolved extra-soon. If it does come back, it'll be at:

http://www.romanoutpost.org/

Bummin' hard or hardly bummin'...
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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Wed Jan 19, 2005 4:15 pm

Avete amici,

Too bad one could choose only one emperor and not more. I think Caligula, Nero and Commudus were all evil Emperors. An evil Emperor is for me definitely one under which rule the people couldn't be sure of their lives. I guess it was Commodus who sent an innocent citizen to the arena just because he didn't like his face or that person wasn't laughing about the Emperor's joke etc.

Nero used a certain group (i.e. the Christians) as a scape goat for the great fire of Rome. And Caligula made his horse consul. So all these three are mad, and I'm sure there had been much more, but I'm just not familiar with their history. I have in my back that Caracalla was evil, too but don't know why.
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Wed Jan 19, 2005 4:37 pm

Salve Cleopatra,

Probably because Caracalla had his own brother killed. I also believe he smothered an uprising in Egypt (?) quite brutally, but I'm not sure of the facts.

Vale,
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Wed Jan 19, 2005 4:53 pm

Gnæus Dionysius Draco wrote:Probably because Caracalla had his own brother killed. I also believe he smothered an uprising in Egypt (?) quite brutally, but I'm not sure of the facts.


Between campaigning seasons, Caracalla made a notorious visit to Alexandria in the fall and winter of 215-16. Rioting accompanied the imperial visit, and retribution was swift. The governor of Egypt was executed as were thousands of the city's young men. Alexandria was cordoned off into zones to prevent the free movement of residents, and games and privileges were revoked.

http://www.roman-emperors.org/caracala.htm

Valete,

Q. Pomponius Atticus,
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Wed Jan 19, 2005 5:00 pm

Talking about revolts and their being brutally crushed... Perhaps the most famous revolt of late antiquity (or early Byzantine history, if you wish) was the so called Nika revolt. I found the following about it on http://www.roman-emperors.org/justinia.htm :

The 'Nika' Revolt which broke out in January, 532, in Constantinople, was an outburst of street violence which went far beyond the norms even in a society where a great deal of street violence was accepted. Every city worth notice had its chariot-racing factions which took their names from their racing colors: Reds, Whites, Blues and Greens. These were professional organizations initially responsible for fielding chariot-racing teams in the hippodromes, though by Justinian's time they were in charge of other shows as well. The Blues and the Greens were dominant, but the Reds and Whites attracted some supporters: the emperor Anastasius was a fan of the Reds. The aficionados of the factions were assigned their own blocs of seats in the Hippodrome in Constantinople, opposite the imperial loge, and the Blue and Green "demes" provided an outlet for the energies of the city's young males. G. M. Manojlovic[[13]] in an influential article originally published in Serbo-Croat in 1904, argued that the "demes" were organized divisions of a city militia, and thus played an important role in the imperial defense structure. His thesis is now generally disregarded and the dominant view is that of Alan Cameron,[[14]] that demos, whether used in the singular or plural, means simply "people" and the rioting of the "demes", the "fury of the Hippodrome", as Edward Gibbon called it, was hooliganism, which was also Gibbon's view. Efforts to make the Greens into supporters of Monophysitism and the Blues of Orthodoxy founder on lack of evidence. However, in support of Manojlovic's thesis, it must be said that, although we cannot show that the Blue and Green "demes" were an organized city militia, we hear of "Young Greens" both in Constantinople and Alexandria who bore arms, and in 540, when Antioch fell to the Persians, Blue and Green street-fighters continued to defend the city after the regular troops had fled.

Justinian and Theodora were known Blue supporters, and when street violence escalated under Justin I, Procopius[[15]] claims that they encouraged it. But since Justinian became emperor he had taken a firmer, more even-handed stand. On Saturday, January 10, 532, the city prefect Eudaemon who had arrested some hooligans and found seven guilty of murder, had them hanged outside the city at Sycae, across the Golden Horn, but the scaffold broke and saved two of them from death, a Blue and a Green. Some monks from St. Conon's monastery nearby took the two men to sanctuary at the church of St Lawrence where the prefect set troops to watch. The following Tuesday while the two malefactors were still trapped in the church, the Blues and Greens begged Justinian to show mercy. He ignored the plea and made no reply. The Blues and Green continued their appeals until the twenty-second race (out of twenty-four) when they suddenly united and raised the watchword 'Nika'. Riots started and the court took refuge in the palace. That evening the mob burned the city prefect's praetorium.

Justinian tried to continue the games next day but only provoked more riot and arson. The rioting and destruction continued throughout the week; even the arrival of loyal troops from Thrace failed to restore order. On Sunday before sunrise, Justinian appeared in the Hippodrome where he repented publicly and promised an amnesty. The mob turned hostile, and Justinian retreated. The evening before Justinian had dismissed two nephews of the old emperor Anastasius, Hypatius and Pompey, against their will, from the palace and sent them home, and now the mob found Hypatius and proclaimed him emperor in the Hippodrome. Justinian was now ready to flee, and perhaps would have done so except for Theodora, who did not frighten easily. Instead Justinian decided to strike ruthlessly. Belisarius and Mundo made their separate ways into the Hippodrome where they fell on Hypatius' supporters who were crowded there, and the 'Nika' riot ended with a bloodbath.

A recent study of the riot by Geoffrey Greatrex has made the point that what was unique about it was not the actions of the mob so much as Justinian's attempts to deal with it. His first reaction was to placate: when the mob demanded that three of his ministers must go, the praetorian prefect of the East, John the Cappadocian, the Quaestor of the Sacred Palace Tribonian and the urban prefect Eudaemon, Justinian replaced them immediately. He hesitated when he should have been firm and aggravated the situation. It may well have been Theodora who emboldened him for the final act of repression. Procopius imagines Theodora on the last day engaging in formal debate about what should be done, and misquoting a famous maxim that was once offered the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius the Elder "Tyranny is a good shroud." Theodora emends it to "Kingship is a good shroud" and readers of Procopius may have thought wryly that the emendation was unnecessary.[[16]] The formal debate, and Theodora's great scene, was probably a creation of Procopius' imagination, but a splendid one.

The 'Nika' revolt left Justinian firmly in charge. The mob was cowed and the senatorial opposition that surfaced during the revolt was forced underground. The damage to Constantinople was great, but it cleared the way for Justinian's own building program. Work in his new church of Hagia Sophia to replace the old Hagia Sophia that was destroyed in the rioting, started only forty-five days after the revolt was crushed.[[17]] The two leaders of the Hippodrome massacre, Mundo and Belisarius, went on to new appointments: Mundo back to Illyricum as magister militum and Belisarius to make his reputation as the conqueror of the Vandals in Africa. The 530s were a decade of confidence and the 'Nika' riot was only a momentary crisis.
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