First, some background.
Rome, known as ‘The Eternal City’, or ‘City of Quality Leather Goods, For You Half Price’, was founded way back, before the fifties even. Back when years were counted in reverse. Women loved this time period...
Ancient Woman #1: “How old are you this year, Madge?”
Ancient Woman #2: “I’m turning 28 BCE you know.”
AW #1: “Wow. It seems only a few years ago you were 39 BCE”
AW #2: “It’s a great time to be alive. If only we had underarm deodorant…”
It was also a time when mathematics was undergoing a transformation, brought about by chariot drivers like Ben Him…
Ben Her: “Nice move out there! Gimme Vee, man.”
Ben Him: “Wha? How about we invent the number five – it will sound better.”
Ben Her: “Okay. Gimme five. I like it! Hey – we’re going for a beer later – say around IX-thirty. Wanna come?”
So you can see, great changes were under way in the Roman numeral empire.
When it came to leadership back then, around the year Minus 59, a guy named ‘Orange’ Julius Caesar stabbed everyone and began dictating, since he was now a dictator and that’s what they do.
For his crown, he glued leaves of Romaine lettuce to his head, giving him an idea for a great salad…
Julius then focused on his conquering business and did quite well, despite looking like a goof with lettuce wrapped around his head. He was quite the rascal, invading places like Gall, Germ, Sputum, Frank and Virus.
He also invented gold coins, wrote country music (“Ruby Conned Me and I Ain’t Goin Back,”), chased his old partner Pompeii around (a race which Caesar won by a head), invented the swimsuit calendar, and came up with brilliant slogans like “Render all money unto me!”
The problem was, while everyone was rendering unto Caesar, a gink named Brutus was idly rendering Caesar, ushering in another stabbing tournament. "Masters Stabbing coverage is brought to you by Central Plumbing and Heating of Rome – your one stop shop for hypocausts, baths, and all your aqueduct needs. In business since Minus 200."
These tournaments were held in coliseums where all the wannabe Caesars were seated in an area along the first base line, an area known as…wait for it…the Caesarian Section (rimshot).
So after Julius got ventilated, his adopted grandson Augie took over and maintained the family business, Caesar Construction and Conquering (“Specializing in roads and ruins. Offices across the known world. Legions of fans. Gaul today!”).
Augie also found time to name a month after himself (April, I think), and have a fling with whatsername in Egypt (the one with the nice asp).
It was Augie who started off this whole Name Yourself Caesar thing, and after him came Caesars named Tigger, Coagulate, Claudia, Aero, Posh, Vespa, Trojan, Venereal, Hades, Constance, Romero, Shakespeare and a bunch more. Jeez, you could fill a book with these guys, and get this - they were all stabbed too!
By the later years of the empire, any emperor worth his celery would just hang around all day, drinking spicy beverages containing clam and tomato juices, waiting to get stabbed. It was a dangerous and lonely existence, especially given all the visible Goths that were allowed into bars back then. It was these visible Goth people (let’s just call them Visigoths for short), who brought on the Dark Clothing and Makeup Ages, which continue to this day.
Well, we seem to have run out of space for this chapter, students. In future history lessons, we’ll learn why all the leaders of heroic uprisings resembled Kirk Douglas, and why Roman sculptors could never quite get the arm thing right, probably due to stabbing.