Skip to comments.Superficial similarities between presidents and Roman leaders -- kinda cool, ultimately meaningless
Posted on 03/13/2009 12:53:09 AM PDT by Jubal Harshaw
I was just going over a list of Roman leaders, and was struck by similarities to our own leadership over the recent decades. I started with Nixon, and this is what I have:
Caesar had a history that was superficially like Nixons: Julius Caesar came to leadership during the Roman social wars, a time of, well, social warring and unrest. Granted, the nominal issues during the Roman social wars were different than the issues raised during the American internal unrest of the late 1960s and early 1970s, but the widespread civil violence was a point of similarity. Both Caesar and Nixon had celebrated, early, unscheduled, departures from high office. Caesar is known to us, of course, as being the Dictator of Rome, but he was also the Pontifex Maximus. After Caesars death, the office of Dictator was not filled, but the office of Pontifex Maxiumus persisted, and was later incorporated into the office of Emperor.
Caesars successor had a similarity to James Carter: Caesar was replaced by the second triumverate of Roman history. More particularly, Caesar was replaced in the office of Pontifex Maxiumus by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Marcus can be translated as defense or of the sea. Aemilius can be translated as industrious. Lepidus is, of course, Latin for hare (as in hare vs. rabbit). So, the successor of Caesar was named for industrious sea defense against a rabbit. Seriously, does that not make you think of James Carter?
Caesar Augustus, the next leader was like Reagan: After the triumvirate fell apart, Rome became an Empire. Caesar Augustus was both the first Emporer and also the Pontifex Maximus who replaced Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Augustus brought peace to the Empire, and dedicated such substantial resources to the Roman military that he was able to achieve peace (the Pax Romana) within the Empire. We speak of Ronaldus Magnus in, I believe, the same way Romans and their enemies spoke of Augustus: as a leader who stabilized a toppling social structure, and whose armies pacified external enemies.
Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus was like Bush I: Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus was the next Emperor and Pontifex Maximus. Tiberius had been a military leader who had come to power apparently mainly due to his connections with Augustus. Tiberius had a relatively short, uninspiring reign.
The next Emperor had certain similarities to Clinton: The Emperor / Pontifex Maxiumus after Tiberius was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, also known as Calligula. Calligula was known for sexual indiscretions and various scandals. Calligula was successfully removed from office early, by the typical Roman method of being assassinated (Romans apparently didnt believe in peaceful impeachment).
Superficial similarities between Bush II and Claudius: After Calligula, the next Emperor was someone who had apparently never been expected to be Emperor, and who had a speech impediment. This was Claudius. Claudius was arguably the most militaristic Emperor since Augustus. Claudius sent troops to the edge of the Roman world, and successfully added what is now England to the Roman Empire. Claudius also expanded the numbers of Roman citizens by extending citizenship to groups (colonies, in this case) that had traditionally been considered non-citizens.
Now, we come to the last Emperor in this list of parallels: Claudius was succeeded by Nero. Nero never knew his father, who had died when Nero was three. Nero was raised by his mother. Unlike previous Roman leaders, Nero had no history of accomplishment up to the time that he became Emperor. It certainly wasnt Neros fault that he had no history of accomplishment; he was only 16 when he became Emperor. Still, the fact remains that he wasnt particularly experienced in leadership. Nero was known for being unconcerned with the administration of the Empire, preferring to spend his time at the theater or other such venues. He would later be known for playing while Rome burned. To the extent that Nero was concerned with the administration of the Empire, however, some historians believe that he was most concerned with maintaining popularity with the lower classes of the time. Does that possibly sound like any particular president? Nero is also well known for persecuting Christians.
Here is, to me, the concerning part of this list: the year after Neros death is known as The Year of the Four Emperors. That year saw Roman civil war, and, of course, four Emperors in quick succession, ending with Vespacian.
You may wish to know that Vespacian eventually apparently turned out to be an OK leader; he is known for living an outwardly simple life, raising taxes, and ending the Roman civil war of AD 69. He established a short lived dynasty from 69 to 96 AD.
I think this sort of thing is interesting. Since I cant have a late-night college bull session about this (Ive been out of college for a long time now), I figured FR was the next best thing, and I was wondering if anyone else would be interested in going over these parallels. Anyone?
Well, this certainly gives us hope for the republic. If your portrait is accurate, we still have another 300 or so years to go.
Many folks think that the book of Revelation, when it talks about Antichrist, is really talking about Nero.
And many folks view Obama as Antichrist.
When a President a appoints a horse to the Senate chamber, you’ll know we’re in real trouble. [although we already have “donkeys” and jackasses in the congress]
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Note: this topic is from 3/13/2009. Thanks Jubal Harshaw.
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