Category Archives: news

Successors to Augustus

 · The Julio-Claudian Dynasty · 

Much already exists, in print and on the Internet, about ancient Rome ;  most of it deals with the conflicts fought and lands conquered by her leaders.  A rehearsal of that material here is unnecessary ;  a summary of the family tree of the dynasty founded by Augustus might, however, interest the reader and add to the colour of to-day’s* broadcast in the entertaining series A History of the World in 100 Objects on B.B.C. Radio-4, presented by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum.

* Friday, 21st. May

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Caesar Augustus

The lines of descent themselves within this family tree are reasonably simple, despite quite a lot of marriage amongst cousins ;  what complicates it are the manifold adoptions, as one emperor after another attempts to secure his succession — either by a blood relative or by a perhaps unrelated individual considered suitable.

The dynasty — known as the Julio-Claudian — really begins in the time of C. Julius Caesar.  The ‘C.’ stands for his praenomen (plural praenomina) or forename, Gaius ;  for a detailed description of Roman naming conventions see this excellent Wikipedia article ;  and a list of the most common praenomina and their conventional abbreviations.  (Links to Wikipedia articles have been given throughout :  not only are they often well presented ;  they themselves give extensive references for those wanting to pursue the subject.)

Follow the story through the links on our simplified form of the Julio-Claudian family tree.

Augustus is coming

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Listen to Boris talk about the Roman emperor Augustus
this Friday, 21st. May, on Radio 4 at 9.45 a.m.,
repeated at 7.45 p.m. and on Saturday at 12.30 a.m.

 

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Although Rome’s empire grew throughout the late republic — from the middle of the third century to the death of Julius Caesar in 44 b.c. — the first emperor, appointed by the Senate, was Augustus.

On Friday, 21st. May, Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor — in his interesting and entertaining series A History of the World in 100 Objects (B.B.C. Radio-4, 0945, 1945 and the following morning at 0030) — will introduce Augustus in the form of a larger-than-life bronze head with inlaid eyes of glass, calcite and metal rings, staring in to the distance.

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  Caesar Augustus

The head — originally part of a statue in Egypt, which Augustus had annexed following the defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII — had been severed and taken home by an invading Kushite army from Meroë (in to-day’s Sudan), there to be buried beneath the threshold of a temple.  Any-one crossing the threshold would have deliberately trodden on the head of Augustus in the process, demonstrating contempt for him and the Roman Empire :  ironically the Kushites ensured the head’s survival in to our age.

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With contributions from Dr. Susan Walker, Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the Ashmolean, and Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Neil will tell how Augustus significantly enlarged the Empire, his image projecting everywhere the power of Rome.

Read more about Augustus at the B.B.C.’s History of the World site.

The wives of the emperors were no less colourful :  a recently published account of the life of Livia, third – and enduring – wife of Augustus, is reviewed in this week’s edition of The Spectator.

ΠΞ

Cameron is PM

Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron is the Prime Minister

 

Ministers announced here

First Cabinet appointments in the Cameron-Clegg Cabinet here 

See photos of Dave’s first days in Downing Street via flickr

Keep up to date with all the Cabinet and Ministerial appointments on the Number 10 website including the Cabinet appointments list

Boris Johnson is delighted at the news and felt that the public would:  “want to hear what these guys are going to do to sort out the country .. it’s a robust and interesting new specimen.”

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE

How should you vote? Vote Match is a very straightforward brief quiz in The Daily Telegraph and helps you decide who to vote by matching your views on the issues most important to you with each party’s policies.  Have a go and click here

You can also predict the result of the Election with a free £5 and win £10.  The Times are offering a free £5 bet with Betfair if you think you can pick a winner from the closest election in decades.  Place your bet by midnight on 5th May 2010 here

Look out for the following key seats on election night:

Orpington – Boris’s brother, Jo Johnson, is expecting the results at around 5.a.m.

Richmond Park – Zac  Goldsmith

Brighton Pavilion

Torbay

Romsey and Southampton North

Briston North West

Hastings and Rye

Feltham and Heston

Harrow West

Eltham

Waveney

Northampton North

Dudley North

North Warwickshire

Erewash

Lancaster and Fleetwood

Bolton North East

Wakefield

Tynemouth

Boris’s Second Anniversary as Mayor on 1st May

London illustrates what a bold, Conservative administration can do

I’m a one-nation Tory

He believes in the capacity of human ingenuity

Dave, he says,  will be seen in a completely different light

Benedict Brogan interview with Boris

Boris Johnson was at work on Wednesday when Gordon Brown crashed into the northern rock that is Gillian Duffy. As a connoisseur of forced apologies – Michael Howard once sent him to Liverpool to grovel for criticising the city’s “mawkish sentimentality” – the Mayor of London is forgiving. “If we judged everybody by the stupid, unguarded things they blurt out to their nearest and dearest, then we wouldn’t ever get anywhere.”

Apart from the obvious lesson about never allowing anyone near you with a clip-on microphone, he is more interested in the subtext of the blunder than the mechanics. “The thing I thought was revealing, and went to the way he runs things, was the instant blaming of Sue Nye [Mr Brown’s long-serving sidekick whom he held responsible for introducing him to Mrs Duffy]. It’s always someone’s fault and the world is always organised by a hidden hand to conspire against him. It’s a slightly paranoid view of the universe. But it’s fundamentally insignificant. What matters is his stewardship of the country and the complete mess that he has made.”

Which is why Boris, as he is known from Bromley to Beijing, is more interested in the crisis engulfing Greece and the ramifications for Europe’s financial capital. We are in his office to mark his second anniversary as mayor, which falls tomorrow. It is no surprise that a classicist who is also a big fan of the City is keeping a worried eye on the drama unfolding in Athens. He fears we could be next if we end up with an indecisive result next week. “If we get things wrong next Thursday, this could be something that we have to face in this country. That’s why I worry about a hung parliament. If all we get is drift and indecision, then we will get the same response we have seen in Greece.”

Continue reading Boris’s Second Anniversary as Mayor on 1st May

With cat-like tread the revenue we steal

[The Chorus of Labour M.P.s]
With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;
Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal.
Of the truth
    We never speak a word ;
And Sterling’s fall
    can be distinctly heard.

[The Chorus of Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
Taxi ! Tara !

[Labour M.P.s]
So stealthily the tax-men creep
    While all across the country sleep.

Come, friends
    who used to be
Leaders of the nation
    (At a higher station),
Let’s add mendacity
    To our daylight robbery.

Gold reserves
    There used to be :
Backing for the nation ;
    Protection from inflation.
Gordon sold the lot, you seeee ;
    Now we’re up a royal gum tree.

[Geoff Samuel]
Tell them you’re a show-off
    — For so can you deny it.

Were I a keen observer …
    But no, I’m just a git !
There are some catches
    In our dark prince’s sleaze ;
Take our files
    And be sure to shred them, please !

[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
[Labour M.P.s]
With catlike tread
[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
[Labour M.P.s]
    The price of bread

With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;
Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal.
Of the truth
    We never speak a word ;
And Sterling’s fall
    can be distinctly heard.

[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara ! &c.

[Labour M.P.s]
Come, friends
    who used to be
Leaders of the nation
    (At a higher station),
Let’s add mendaciteeee
    To our daylight robberee.

With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;

Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal !

My thanks again to the
University of Iowa Summer Opera
ΠΞ

A ‘scientist’ — engaged in his employment …

A ‘scientist’ — engaged in his employment
            his employment
    And maturing his felonious little plans
            little plans
’Though he likes to interfere with your enjoyment,
            your enjoyment
    Wants a pension just like any honest man’s.
            honest man’s

Our data we with difficulty smother,
            -culty smother
    When F.O.I.* reports are to be done ;
            to be done
Ah, take one consideration with another :
            with another
    A fraudster’s lot is not a happy one.

Ah-ah …….

When F.O.I. reports are to be done, to be done,
    A fraudster’s lot is not a happy one.
            happy one

When the A.C.C.† alarmist’s not a-warming —
            not a-warming
    The carbon market closed just for the time
            for the time
He just loves to blame humanity for storming
            -ty for storming
    And listen to the cash register chime.
            -gister chime

When the fraudster’s busy fiddling the data,
            -ling the data
    He ignores the very function of the sun ;
            of the sun
But his e-mail will be found a little later,
            little later
    So the fraudster’s lot is not a happy one.

Ah-ah …….

When F.O.I. reports are to be done, to be done,
    A fraudster’s lot is not a happy one.
            happy one

* F.O.I. :  a reference to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000, as amended
† Anthropogenic Climate Change (chosen to fit the metre)

My thanks to the University of Iowa Summer Opera with Jon Meadows as the Sergeant of Police — ΠΞ

The Budget Song 2010

To keep up with a small Dungeekin tradition here is a specially commissioned little Budget Song for you all.  Enjoy.

Ronan Keating ‘When you say nothing at all’

You can keep up with Dungeekin via his inimitable tweets @dungeekin

It’s amazing how you can still try to be smart,
Thanks to you our economy’s fallen apart,
This Budget Day you have done it again,
Talked a lot but you don’t say a thing,

Continue reading The Budget Song 2010