Anna’s Update 18: jekyll and hyde

Here’s the thing about co-emperors. When they work, they work pretty well. When they don’t work, they really don’t work. Rome has seen enough of both outcomes by this time to be on its guard. Diocletian, however, has decided that the empire is too big and unwieldy for one man to rule alone, and heContinue reading “Anna’s Update 18: jekyll and hyde”

Anna’s Update 17: no empire for old men

Or for young men, if we’re being honest. The chapter divisions have handed us another threefer today. Let’s gooooooooooo Chapter 12 Part 1 Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless, laments Gibbon. Whether you’re a good emperor or a bad one, you gonna get shanked. The only bright spot for him is that at least Aurelian’s secretaryContinue reading “Anna’s Update 17: no empire for old men”

Anna’s Update 16: whack-a-mole

This chapter’s two main emperors may have 99 problems, but being called “effeminate” by Gibbon ain’t one. He loves these guys. Let’s see if his favorable opinion of Gallienus’ immediate successors is justified. Chapter 11 Part 1 What? After all that buildup about a near extinction-level pandemic at the end of the last chapter, itContinue reading “Anna’s Update 16: whack-a-mole”

Anna’s Update 15: spot the informant

You know the one — he’s the guy with inside information about the fortress his enemies are trying to invade, and he’s willing to sell said information for the right price. There’s a higher than normal concentration of such informants in this chapter, so I’ve started marking them with tiny trollfaces. Also, this term wasContinue reading “Anna’s Update 15: spot the informant”

Anna’s Update 14: break out the black lipstick

Not just because we’re talking about the Goths (although we are), but because everything at home and abroad is continuing to disintegrate. Might as well dress for the occasion. After two chapters of being studiously avoided, Emperor Philip finally scores a mention. We also get some more footnote wars, including one that basically amounts toContinue reading “Anna’s Update 14: break out the black lipstick”

Anna’s Update 13: might makes right

Gibbon’s world detour continues, moving from the short-lived resurrection of imperial Persia to the untamed wilds of ancient Europe. The guiding theme of this trip remains the same: Gibbon’s stubborn belief in the inherent superiority of the Roman way of life — though he throws the future ancestors of the English a few more bonesContinue reading “Anna’s Update 13: might makes right”

Anna’s Update 12: the mark of zoro(aster)

Philip! You’ve just taken part in the (now par for the course) Roman tradition of raising yourself to the imperial seat by hacking your way through your superiors, and you’ve thrown the launch party of a lifetime! What are you gonna do next? Chapter 8 Part 1 Psych. Gibbon has held to a straight(ish) historicalContinue reading “Anna’s Update 12: the mark of zoro(aster)”

Anna’s Update 11: the good-cop/bad-cop routine

Lol, what even is a posting schedule. I clearly don’t know. Many thanks to @zproudtexan for holding it down over here. But, I found another Roman emperor facial reconstruction artist. His name is Haroun Binous, and you can find his graphics for sale here. This interpretation of Maximinus Thrax definitely has a wrestler’s neck. TooContinue reading “Anna’s Update 11: the good-cop/bad-cop routine”

Anna’s Update 10: roman rumble

This chapter is such a chönk that we’re only getting through the first section today. A recurring thought, which I have not remembered to include until this moment: I would have had a serious talk with Gibbon about his excessive comma usage if he’d asked me to proofread. Chapter 7 Part 1 Before getting toContinue reading “Anna’s Update 10: roman rumble”

Anna’s Update 9: rich kids of ancient rome

There’s a stylish new emperor in town, he’s assumed the throne under the ruling name of his favorite god, and his top priority is … better ketchup. No, really. This week’s installment brought to you by the letter Chapter 6 Part 3 To return briefly to the last section of Gibbon I covered, he writes,Continue reading “Anna’s Update 9: rich kids of ancient rome”

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