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Toughest gig...Roman emperor.

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posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 11:23 AM
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Between 27 BC and 480 AD, a little over 500 years, there were no fewer than 86 Western Roman emperors (Augustus through Romulus Augustulus). Each one lasting an average of 5.9 years.

Rather longer than your UK Prime Minister or US President...but not very long at all, considering that only death or abdication could end their reign, usually the former.

Of those 86, no fewer than 33 (possibly as many as 43) died by assassination, execution, or murder.

9 died in battle; 5 by suicide (though possibly 8).

Only 26 emperors are thought to have died from natural causes, making it the most precarious position of high office in the ancient world...possibly.
en.wikipedia.org...


The problem is, the further back in the past you go, the murkier are the details.

Take the Egyptian Pharaohs, for example.

Almost nothing is known about how the majority died, or indeed anything else about them.


The same for the Persian monarchs.

Between 550 BC and 1979 ( 2,529 years) there were 405 Persian monarchs. That's an average of 6.24 years per monarch, so I think we can guess that this was a pretty tough gig as well.

We do know that 108 of them died by violent means, but that's only 26.67% of the total. There are 260+ whose deaths we know nothing about.


Things look decidedly healthier in the Ottoman empire.

36 Sultans, 6 died through violence, 30 from natural causes.

Reigning from 1299 to 1922 = 623 years, averaging 17.31 years per Sultan.


And last but not least, the English/British monarchs (William I through Elizabeth II).

43, including one still living, over 951 years, averaging 22.12 years per monarch.

32 died from natural causes, 5 were murdered, 2 executed, 2 died in battle, 1 unknown (Matilda).

Positively civilised compared to the Roman empire.




posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: CJCrawley
The problem was that the Roman empire had no theory of dynastic succession, though dynasties managed to survive in brief runs. In theory, it remained the case that everybody was elected, and the Boss (PRINCEPS) was granted his powers by the Senate, but these had become formalities manipulated by whoever held the reins of power.
As Toynbee observes, the coup was virtually built into the constitution of the Empire. The very word IMPERATOR means "successful general", and it was originally a title of honour given by acclamation on the part of his army.
Democracy and "peaceful transition" stood no chance.

People call the Praetorian guard Emperor-makers. I don't see it, myself. They could kill the Emperor any time they liked, but they could rarely maintain their own candidate for much longer than it took for one of the frontier armies (usually Rhine or Danube) to win the race to reach Rome and impose their own man.



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: CJCrawley

en.wikipedia.org...

Looks like the Byzantine Emperors had no better retirement plan themselves. I counted 97 over a 1123 year time frame and my calculator puts that at an average 11.57 years. I guess that's a bit better, but not by much. It must have been extremely difficult to get life insurance.



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 11:59 AM
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Tell me about it.



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:03 PM
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a reply to: CJCrawley

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Pretty good old thread on Rome (200pages+) It's the All roads lead to Rome thread from a while back now.

Not how dangerous it was, more how it still runs the world today - well worth a read imo



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:03 PM
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a reply to: TonyS
Indeed so, because Byzantium was the continuation of Rome, and their system had the same weaknesses. One clue is the number of different dynasties recorded in Byzantine history.
There may have been more popular sentiment in favour of the dynasty reigning at the time, but this would not help if the dynasty stopped producing competent sons.


edit on 7-9-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:27 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

Tell me about it.


"Sic semper tyrannis!"



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: intrptr


Lincoln was not an Emperor but if you felt he should have been assassinated that's your prerogative.



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:35 PM
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Curious how the Popes are able to maintain extended sovereignty. Must be a "God Thing"...



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:36 PM
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I have tracked down the observations of Toynbee, which I originally paraphrased from memory;

...these successive intruders could not fairly be called usurpers; for they were following in the footsteps of the original founders of the Roman Empire more closely than those Emperors who came to the throne on the strength of being their fathers' sons. Monarchical power in the Roman state had been seized, first by Julius Caesar and then by Augustus, in a struggle for existence between rival competitors in which the ablest won the prize... At any time during the fifteen centuries covered by the long series of Roman Emperors, the Imperial Crown could be seized legitimately by any aspirant who had the ambition to seize it, and who also had the ability to translate his ambition into accomplished fact...
This revolutionary tradition, which was inherent in the institution, was benficial to the Roman Empire in as much as it made it certain that ability should come into power from time to time. On the other hand, this tradition was detrimental in as much as the price of it was periodic civil war and chronic intrigue, assassination, and consequent political instability.

"Constantine Porphyrogenitus and his world", page 13. A.J. Toynbee


edit on 7-9-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Sic semper tyrannis is a Latin phrase meaning "thus always to tyrants".



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:38 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
Sic semper tyrannis is a Latin phrase meaning "thus always to tyrants".


I know exactly what it means, your hyperlink is to Booth who shouted this after he assassinated Lincoln.



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:39 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: intrptr
Sic semper tyrannis is a Latin phrase meaning "thus always to tyrants".


I know exactly what it means, your hyperlink is to Booth who shouted this after he assassinated Lincoln.

Geez what a tyrant.



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:39 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr

Geez what a tyrant.


If you say so, most historians sanely disagree with you.



posted on Sep, 7 2017 @ 12:54 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I have found the study of the Byzantine empire to be quite fascinating. The study of their economy, even more so. Really a rather "odd" place and time. One of the strangest things about the Byzantine "Empire" is the waxing and waning of its population due to a succession of plague events. Whole cites reduced from thousands to 100 or less in the space of 2 or 3 years. Just plain strange.



posted on Sep, 24 2017 @ 12:49 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: intrptr
Sic semper tyrannis is a Latin phrase meaning "thus always to tyrants".


I know exactly what it means, your hyperlink is to Booth who shouted this after he assassinated Lincoln.


Scrolling down a tad, i read that booth was inspired by the ceasar assassination attempt. Interesting. So, he wasn't just being theatrical or intentionally mysterious with the latin.

It annoyed me when I discovered that nobody really knows how to properly pronounce latin. It's "lost knowledge" apparently. I like to imagine it was spoken with a heavy southern US hillbilly type of accent. Not like a proper southern gentleman, but more like the kind who like to wear overalls all the time, and nothing else. No shoes, no underwear, just overalls and thats it. And they look like they only own the one pair. And they look like Sloth from Revenge of the Goonies.
edit on 9/24/2017 by 3n19m470 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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originally posted by: 3n19m470
It annoyed me when I discovered that nobody really knows how to properly pronounce latin. It's "lost knowledge" apparently.

There were eccentric pronunciations even at the time. To quote a poem by Catullus, translated in my schooldays-
"Arrius said 'Hextras" when he wanted to say 'Extras'
And for 'Ambush' [INSIDIAS] he said 'Hambush' [HINSIDIAS]
And he thought he was speaking marvellously
When he cried HAMBUSH as loudly as he could".



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