Friday, January 03, 2003

Monday night I watched a History Channel special on "The Emperor Who Saved Rome" (Vespasianus). I wish I hadn't been so tired from driving for hours in a pouring rainstorm but I managed to stay awake through half of it and taped it so I can watch the other half this weekend. The part I did see mentioned that Vespasian was rather proud of being called a "Muleteer". He was referred to in that way because he was born in a town in Italy that was and is still known for raising quality mules. It said his mother bought him a place in the political arena even though his father was of peasant stock. He served in various roles through the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, and Vitellus - an astounding feat of survival. It mentioned that when he served as Aedile during Caligula's reign, he had a hard time keeping the streets clean (one of his responsibilities) because of Caligula's incessant lavish festivities. Caligula reprimanded him publicly and smeared him with dung.