History is one of my favorite subjects and since I was raised in the public school system, my knowledge of US history is strong while my knowledge of world history ain’t that great. Fortunately, studying history is in my blood — my father is a history buff and I am now embracing that “inheritance” full-on.
Then there’s my pal, Tom Sito. I worked with him at Disney Feature animation years ago, and we got along right away because of our quick wits and fondness for trivia and history. Sito sends out a daily history email, which I’ve been getting for about 15 years now and not only is it informative, it’s a HOOT.
One of the today’s entries is no exception.
96 A.D. ROMAN EMPEROR DOMITIAN ASSASSINATED.
Domitian was a crazy tyrant in the mold of Nero and Caligula. He once ordered all the fortunetellers, sorcerers, swamis and such driven out of Rome. Their guild got together and retaliated by doing a group prediction of Domitian’s assassination: Sept. 18th on the eleventh hour.
Domitian pretended not to care but on the day spent all day locked indoors with a sword under his pillow. He didn’t come out until his slaves and butlers assured him the eleventh hour had passed. Domitian came out and was promptly murdered by his slaves and butlers. They lied. It was the eleventh hour.
BUT WAIT! IT GETS WEIRDER … A Roman mob drags Domitian’s body through the streets on a hook and chain. They tried to stuff him into the sewer but he was too fat, so they tore the body to pieces and threw the chunks into the Tiber.
BUT WAIT! IT GETS EVEN WEIRDER!! The Roman Senate told his wife the Empress Valeria no hard feelings, if she needed anything…. She requested to be allowed to keep one statue of her husband in the Forum. The Senate approved. Unbeknown to them fishermen had fished out the pieces of Domitian. Valeria took the fish-knawed chunks to an Egyptian doctor and had him sew them back into something resembling a man. Then she told her artists to make a statue of the cadaver. This horrid statue she put in the forum to remind Roman’s of ‘their ingratitude’.
See? I fucking love this stuff. He was chopped up, tossed into the Tiber, then scooped out again by a grieving but pissed off Empress, and sewn together then put on display for all of Rome to feast their eyes upon. Back then, it seems the Romans had it all over the rest of civilization when it came to enacting revenge on those who have wronged them. Today, folks do shit like make films that they know will incite riots and the rest of the world watches in horror as revenge is delivered fast and harsh. Quite cowardly, in my humble opinion.
Kinda makes me wonder what living during the time of the Roman Empire was really like.