The Death of Wang Mang, Augustus, and the Roman Republic | 11AD 20AD

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Have you ever wondered if China had station for Mao boyfriend combat to be in a republic well story for you this is the Ad History podcast weaving a tapestry of world history from one eighty two h day powered by t g get your good news that's real news at Tgi aw five visiting TJ and review dot com now here all your hosts Pool K. Di Costanzo and Patrick Foot brought to you by a London and New York City you are listening to the AD history podcast. I am pauquet. Di Costanzo and I am joined by my co host Patrick Foot. Who Have you been doing you know Patrick. It's the middle of August and it has been blistering here in the northeast but not today today is in the low seventies. It's beautiful fill out and you and I are inside recording yeah well. I'm on the opposite end of that spectrum. It's awful outside. We've had a really really rubbish weather. Eh Radio Obvious Weber in August this year. It's really sad because last summer was beautiful here in England and I spent the majority of a cost the my arm so I can really fully enjoy it so get and the weather is awful. Now is unhappy to be inside well that it makes one of us but in any case very few things that I enjoy more than recording eighty history and specifically what we have in line for today yeah because there's Patrick you are going to go into a place with long that I think has a very strong possibility to blow a lot of people's minds. It certainly did for us yet. This absolutely blew my mind and what's lucky about this. Is it so more or less perfectly fits of the structure of our podcast so one one to ten eighty one survey rungs rise to power whereas eleven to twenty eighty it more or less end. I mean actually ends in twenty eight but we'll go over just a little bit for this one because it wouldn't make sense ended twenty a d. It makes most end at twenty three so yes so if you haven't listened to the first episode I personally would really recommend gay Mac listening to it my intention. This podcast is for it to be like one continues being listened from the beginning fifties dipping from now. I'm going to fill you guys in briefly on what we talked about in the last episode. Where would I talked about anyway. Lake Patrick Right before we begin. I think this is the right time to finally introduced the highly anticipated and entirely necessary. Ad History History podcast ground rules take it away one evaluate events in the context. They occurred to over the span of recorded history. The way has been researched. It's methodology and the facts. Alton change immensely how we view in research history today is not necessarily how it was treated fifty years ago free. Nothing in history was inevitable. Tabu and for and perhaps most importantly history in the past is like a different country man's. That's a classic. I really just never gets old tawny way on with the show so in the loss of sit we talked about one monks raise voice the power how he became the emperor of China into ending the Hunt Dynasty and starting his own dynasty too. That's why we were then now today. We're going to be looking at what he did. As his time as emperor discontinuing broken into two sections here the stuff he did his impera and how his empire ended so we begin with if the stuff he did as emperor and that could be broken into two key categories his land reforms and his money reforms so what he he did for land is really interesting and I was stacked reading this and Paul. He told me to you amazed when I should you my show notes. It really blew my mind so so it was the last thing I ever expected to say same same so what he did. We've land in China. He Nationalizes Empires lands and you may be familiar with nationalization. You may not be that's fine if you're not nationalization is the is the government owning things in its most basic way is nationalized it means it's a belongs to you and it's taken care of by the government so things like a travel commu nationalized things like a gas electricity can be nationalized stuff like that one nationalizes analyzes empires land and he did was he distributed equally to all his subjects so and this how did this was by confiscating estates all of this if you own more than one hundred acres and distribution actually farmed it dyslexia about each family owning about five acres of land each every every family in China on five acres which I wouldn't say neutron sainthood five acres of land and how they pay tax on this wasn't a free the money on the Ho- what I read they pay tax on this by giving ten percent of older green food to the government and there's actually a really good quote I are found said by one moung about his views on land and he said the strong possess land by two thousand while the we have nowhere to police a needle which is if really read good quite and also he cut land taxes from fifty percent just down to ten percent now who'd when I read this this to you what would came to mind the one word that only could come to mind which is what might best be called. Proto does socialism yes yes. That's why we were so blown away by. We'll talk about this more in a bit but we have yet because Puffy Proto socialism realism even like somewhat communist and that's just bonkers to me so far back in time we had this happening in China of all countries. A country with a rich history of socialism and communism blacks a bit further down the line. I should say we have quite a few centuries ago. Just just a few centuries but like I said it wasn't only land reforms. He took part in he also reformed China's money Kwa along the way see this was replaced. China's gold coins with bronze coin of just nominal value. Now money is a weighty wait a thing. We let a five pound note or five dollar bill for yourself poor. That's actually worth five pounds old five dollars now. There's no it's a floating currency. We don't back it up with a gold or silver anymore. That's it's an old thing yeah. It used to be obviously but now is an Indus time China's county was based on actual gold so one monchy bronze coins and it's for he did this the kind of even the playing field for the rich and the poll with dishes nominal value discipline all the gold these wealthy people had would mean inasmuch because at us these bronze coins of value and it helped the poor who in debt because it meant they could get this money more easily so that you tweeted even the playing fields of all of this but it wasn't that good what was okay but something else he did which doesn't seem socialist at first and make them sound somewhat like a fire breathing drachen he holds all of China's goat like I said like Schmuck or something and still in his personal treasury and this had huge ramifications Haitians for not only China but the wider whoa baby read that this had an effect would wayne Rome with Augustus who we will be talking about a little bit later on mm-hmm will be handled by him. Just like we've mentioned in episode one one of the big one of the big benefits of Roman control over first century Palestine of course was controlling the eastern Mediterranean and having that route into Egypt eventually which is going to become the bread bags baskets of the empire but because of the immense it's either links out to the Far East and people don't realize just how interconnected this world was people think you're just pushing wheelbarrows and walking long distances instances. Yes that is true but there this is in many sense of very very early adaptation of global economy. It really is not something I I was quite shocked by when I researched this ifo at this moment in time. All of us are stories be connected it staggering that over two found years ago people in Italy had connections with people in China that that's crazy. It is very hard to envisage based on how we look at ancient history but it's there and it was incredibly important had very serious international geopolitical political consequences for decided to do if the Romans are reacting to it at this point you can feel the impact is really an incredible thing when you think about it is incredible and I said the Romans humans did Iraq to this they intended but go coins became like gold dust through them so there were certain things August this band purchasing so they wouldn't lose any the gold coins they had because they just weren't enough to go around because one moung would wavering China at hold the move for himself well. There's it's interesting because there's a little bit of a little bit of a pattern here in this whole concept of of hoarding a particular valuable metals is of of course during the first opium war they British were more than happy to pay silver for tea but they they were running out of silver because it wasn't capable going back to them at least not in the way they need it so the concept of hoarding a true commodity oddity of wealth is really almost almost predatory it really is. It's like I have the power because I have the valuable thing and the weird thing. We've we've given its value. That's what voice on what we've go. I mean sure it's not that common to find but just because how it looks and what we can do is given gold value when you start believing in the value of gold things wouldn't of worked out things would have worked out quite differently in our world. I think Oh yeah there's absolutely absolutely no doubt about it. That's something that's very hard for a lot of people when they're first getting their lessons while on a fundamental level about currency it simply as valuable as we accept it today yeah and that said that's what he did with the bronze coins as mentioned earlier so and he did mornings with money. It's actually four. He invented a ready pretty early form of social security payments which once again is quite crazy to hey and he collected taxes from the wealthy and he used his his taxes on the wealthy to make loans to the poor so he was also something of a overbill who've is time well. He's definitely somebody who is very ideologically. Eddie logically motivated. He's not just a cunning pragmatic powerbroker. He definitely has a mission in his mind in a very specific worldview worldview definitely and something really interesting he did a something. I think is really cool. He put huge taxes on slave owners. If you owned a slave late yet to pay a huge tax and does a couple of days as to why one moung victis some for he did this to try and unstop slavery a four if he puts enough tax on owning a slave peeping Osa even worth owning a slave now all was it just ten for him to make more money and we don't really know maybe it was both maybe it was both yeah which is nice food was. Both you know. That's really interesting though pretty much. When you're looking back at history people are always looking and yet for the definitive answer always was column? Mayo is Colin B and Model The Times. I'll stop and say to myself. Oh why can't it be you know one one from column a and one from column B Yeah Yeah things aren't things really black wide variety of reasons people do things so we we know what Mung did as Emperor of China but we didn't seem to know why he did what he did. As rule of China there were few ideas floating around their habit to reason why he led such a socialist looking empire and want really interesting ones. Is it something out out of his control. They've been to evidence that while one was emperor of China the river which goes through China a change changed course and because of this this resulted in famine drought flooding and yeah so it's for that really messed up China because we didn't think about about things like this now how nature can affect things seem so much in our modern world. We aren't affected by nature like this anymore. Like if a river the floods it it's bad obviously but went the country's a whole with such a global economy that we can depend on other people's goods to come in. We'll see how this time they can and do that. So this river was alive. Bringing a life give it to these guys and with it changing imminent one had to figure out oh my goodness. How am I gonNA GONNA sort this out so that's that's why he gave the land. Wait so many people there were more people growing food for the people trying to eat. It was a reason which we'll talk about in a bit reason people so let's get angry at one moung it's fault because of this because they will say much famine and trout and flooding trying to that's what people upset get angry at him so definitely it's four it definitely made him a bit more defenseless one way or another so a lot of other historians stories not because he will socialist but because he was confusion and Confucianism as we talked about earlier lost upsetting fat it played a real big role in Chinese history and somewhat in China Today. It's still very entrenched so actually did some dig into what exactly is Confucianism Awesome because I didn't say oh Confucianism but leave your that so luckily feeding a really good book little shift the world which I'm sure be linked down below. Oh you guys check out and had a perfect chapter explaining what Confucianism is an obviously from the name of it was founded by a fellow co Confucius and he it wasn't a nobleman but he was a son of a family who fell on really hard times and in this he got to thinking and he believed everyone should live peacefully together and one of the important things about Confucianism is e for outward appearances have lost stock. They're very important way. Retreat people people the way like barring elders he believed very strongly leaving doors open for others standing up when an authority enters the room. ooh. Ooh So stuff that you still see a lot of people doing to this day it was a huge impact in Asia and the lodge world and he also urged his fellow countryman to maintain these old habits and wanted him to stay and bucks at least they lost to this day and fundamentally he full that everyone we want was born on and good and remains deep within them today on. It's quite hard to imagine that we some people apparently everyone has a little bit good in them so and it was sort of days that's for one one lead hockey lead and you can see it like giving land to everyone. Make sure everyone can live peacefully together together. If everyone has the same amount of land they wouldn't be arguing. Oh I've got moreland. You've got Moreland so it is understandable to see why people would think this but also so it's a for he run things very confucianist early because he wanted to go back to the time of the dynasty and the Zhao Tennessee were much older a dynasty in China would be very prosperous. Chinese goods like the good old days if that makes sense of legendary dynasty that ruled really amazingly amazingly in wild and they were confucianists so one monk for hey five on things confucianist Hopefully we might be as good as Zhao Dynasty wa so that's what wanted as emperor that the changes he made to China and like I said this is a tale of two Hoff's as emperor. It's what he did and how it ended so about one month's later years as ruler of China and it's believed that he's of what restlessly he was always working there reports that he spent his collapse over his desk. You've been working all day and night and he just Bush just collapsed like that. It's even for he went a little crazy towards the end of his time. One historian whose name has left my mind right now really thinks he might even and spent a large amount this time a high of some sort of narcotic that they had enjoyed the time perhaps opium as we mentioned earlier and he even sought to delve into the domestic side of the world like he brought magicians to his palace and wanted to see their spells. Veasley disley would've entailed if he would have been pulling a rabbit out of the hat like we see now or if these people actually have actual magic though a more inclined to think as much like magic we see today and fundamentally. This was a very very different man to man introduced you guys to exit one. He's very smart and honorable by now the power had got to him which is quite sad. Little I guess we told by the loss episode houses the challenges of achieving power and Maintaining Power and wo won Monkhood Monkhood achieve it looks like he struggled to maintain it for show up and of course this comes into play the end of his reign and spoilers his death in his elementary loss episode his empire dies with him and this started to unrest the people in China and they wanted the to revive the Han Dynasty and this is due to the mandate from heaven which talk about a bit later on pool. I believe and Monday from heaven was Someone who was given it to rule over China from heaven a mandate from heaven as the explains and it was very changeable some people had it some people it didn't you could get it off your life and you could lose as well and we'll talk about that more bit more down the line so this letter peasants hasn't forming factions who wanted to overthrow him most notably a group of people direct eyebrows what would browse. I'm not too short to fund name. Maybe like they had read I browse as they use warpaint and these peasant uprising sorta began and defeated songs a huge armies and but fulfill Tober twenty free like I said we're going to be going over the twenty bracket exit make sense. These rebels broke into the capital and the people in the city joined them. They didn't fight back. They were like we're in your side. We can a- truncated as well and they will sit and fight to the city and fighting Wong's men and one metro to defend him but just these rebels were too strong and in one final crazed attempt he uses magic check with fences which I think went to woke his hate set by taxing magic exists well that exists. It's not magic and clearly not meant for the human experience. a one took the time just waiting in his palace. I think he knew his time was up. US defeated and he will probably would just stayed up there watching the world burned down in front of him which would really suck dyke like. I said it's hot with one. You almost feel sympathy for him here. He had tried a edges looks like he was in Kosovo power. Oh as much as he thought he was so the rebels eventually found him in his palace and they killed him but they didn't just kill him. A squeamish might want to just take the headphones out from the minute they decapitated him toyed body apart and they kept the soldiers and rebels kept puff his body a souvenir as an in one fun lack they cut out his tongue and ate it and I looked into cannibalism in a Chinese history and it doesn't it seemed to be a thing they tooken that often so that's quite the example to see that they ate his tongue and of course this led to the hunted tasty being reformed and this ended one -mongst time as a two. That's one monks story. It's an interesting one. It really is an IT opens up so many questions which pool. I'm sure you have some foamy. Here's an interesting place to start so naturally you can't ignore the part of the story story that just sticks out above all the rest and that is what appears at least in form as some form of pro socialism something that happened a good. Oh I don't know like almost eight one two thousand eight hundred and fifty years before the communist manifesto something like that yeah so that was one of the things I wrote down here. The Communist manifesto was published in eighteen forty eight to this is over a thousand years before yet that was even a thing which is crazy and of course looks like we said China have quite a history with socialism and communism and this is probably phrase. We're going to be saying quite often and I. It's a famous quote I am. I can't remember who said initially those you don't learn from history a doomed to repeat it is just you see a hey you see you see someone trying to trying to communities and not working out well well from my perspective when I'm looking at this and while you can't deny nine many of the major similarities I I am very I am very careful to to put those tags on it because they're they're very much. A you know a Western philosophy that came out of a very different time and place you know while mum never saw child labor in factories you know he never ever ever conceived of the idea in all likelihood of commoner. Labor collectively bargaining these these are some of the issues that that come around in in the in the socialist US socialist and communist thrust I into the twentieth century but what I find interesting and you get began looking into how this was affecting his people. The first thing that is very noticeable is he was going after the the high elite class every bit it as he was trying to affect his subjects ones. There were peasants city-dwellers. It didn't matter to him. Everybody was kind of on that level playing field and as far as an this he definitely he definitely made clearly a lot of enemies from the very privileged class who are clearly early lumping it right now in a way they're not ready to accept and you and I as we did an episode one. There's always that question about how power is accumulated. How does exercised and in this situation? Mrs where it's interesting. There's called the three PS when it comes comes to governing and specifically in this way given the nature of Chinese society at the time they say there are three things especially especially when you have complete one man rule. It's often been said that a government doesn't fall when the common people rise up it falls when when the noble elites abandoned them and they say there are three ways and a situation that where it's one man rule in which you can govern and manage just to keep that support their three PS versus politics second is privilege and the third is perch and in this case he certainly wasn't doing the second privilege was most certainly very much penalized in his dynasty and it seems unlikely that based on the policies that he was implementing. It didn't sound like he had too many the elites onboard for how he viewed the world or his vision of Xin Dynasty China at the time and well. Maybe you could tell me a little bitter about purge that he did to his own son but in this case he definitely definitely violated all three and on top of that the bronze coins were definitely not well received because many cases inland they read eyebrows certainly were a part of this was it was in fact taking from wealth and then they were hurting for it and on top of that then you have what happened at the Yellow River and so it's very it's obviously very difficult to understand why exactly he did this. You can't deny how much it sticks out but he was he was also very ideologically driven in a way that he most certainly wasn't in his rise to power and I find that very very fascinating and so do I you saying is g wasn't present in his. He's rise to power like when I research became a emperor. It was no talk about this. proto-socialist moves as as we've up there it just seem to come out the moment he took over and as it is absolutely fascinating. Yes it definitely is but there's the other part of this equation as well the the equation that they can't control and that of course is the Yellow River now. There's probably quite a few people that are listening into this podcast that may not exactly be up on their geography of China and that's okay. I believe it is the sixth longest river in the world is definitely one vitally important in China so I must be pretty big and it essentially flows from what we would call today up Inner Mongolia Ghalia and then out into the Yellow Sea but something that's really important for our listeners to realize is this was not some freak occasion within recorded history. The Yellow River has made a transformation from its traditional positioning as much as fifteen hundred times. I'll give you a wonderful example of this because the yellow the Yellow River has dictated so much of the history history of China that you actually have to look into to see what it's all about because obviously Wong most certainly was hurt by this and on top of that throughout Chinese History History Chinese leaders have weaponized the Yellow River a great deal. We're GONNA get to that in a moment see that. This is a really cool so in eleven twenty eight the song armies from the song dynasties breached they breached southern dykes on the Yellow River to weaponize it because they they were trying to they were in combat and they were making a advance in the other direction which isn't a very nice way of saying they're on the back foot and in this case ace the Yellow River diverted again because of this causing it to divert south of Shang Dong all right that if you look at the map Shang Province so where it was going originally was in the northernmost portion of Shang Dong. It actually actually diverted completely south of that province its distance is a distance of roughly two hundred and seventy nine nine miles and if your listeners. WanNa get a good way to visualize that imagine the Mississippi River decided to go up and have a wild weekend in Kansas City. That's the kind of thing we're talking about. That's the level of disaster. It's a level of disaster that would even still be difficult for us today to handle Okudaira and this sort of thing happens a great deal obviously some of its natural some of it is man made but the most infamous incident a a weapon housing the Yellow River was during the Japanese invasion of China after the Marco Polo Bridge incident and Chenggong. I check chose to destroy some of the dykes on the Yellow River to stop the Japanese advance and in doing so a AH estimated eight hundred thousand people died and more than four million were displaced now think about that. That's the kind of thing that they deal with. When it comes to the Yellow River edition the fact that it almost always floods naturally because of all the silt builds up it makes it a very unpredictable piece of territory despite its importance and that's the thing with this it will so unpredictable and is not even one monks full. Anyone could have been a emperor at this time and they would have to deal with this. He was just fighting something so out of his control there was nothing he could have done about the change in the yellow belly river and that's. I guess that would be like an you could look if that didn't happen. One might be more successful. He might be more remembered in history is just one of these swings. We don't know no. It's absolutely impossible to down but I'm looking at margin long and we're beginning to learn more about the man he was was on the whole it is in many ways something of a cautionary tale because he decided to basically up route in early futile society and redistricting assets across the board and of course he lost the kind of support that they needed and in addition to that he also had to deal with the absolute it disaster naturally that occurred in which is kind of interesting because water is not very very big problem in modern China but yeah if we're going to compare him to a socialist of course the other great and great not immoral context very very much in a stature context. I have have no love or sympathy for Mao whatsoever. Well the thing that here's the irony about it so there's a school of thought that believes one of the reasons why he want to enact these reforms was be head was to do with certain beliefs in Confucianism. Yes yes yes. That's that's always full to be that he wanted to follow Confucianism Very strictly in his times emperor yet you compare him to Mao Zedong and the historic irony of courses that Wong Mung perhaps enacted these reforms due to a very strong belief in Confucianism and then his you know let's let's just say idealogical. I ancestor then comes back almost two thousand years later launches the Cultural Revolution which one of the hallmarks was was of course targeting Confucianism are interesting. Yes it's like. WHOA long fully say devoutly as much as we can compare one. Now Mao had the complete opposite opinion of Confucianism too. It's like it's like an alternate. Take on one if we had the socially slight days but without Confucianism we get now unless I'm mistaken putting aside any sort of death or injury that occurred heard due to the diversion of the Yellow River which was out of their control. I could be wrong but I get the feeling that under one among the body count wasn't nearly as high no no compared to mouse. Many body counts a as high as those highs mouths especially compared to his body count. Yes and it's also interesting how quickly this fell apart on him and how he when he became emperor he didn't keep that part of him. That was you know keenly savvy in regards to politics playing the political game in order to further his as a vision. It's almost like he abandoned it. It releases an like Sean. Spicer is before becoming emperor. We have this really cunning guy. Hi this guy. He really manipulate what his way in the background. I maybe maybe he just saw realized I'm here now. I can do whatever I want and he didn't really he. He's abandoned that policies mind that policies being just went. I'm here now. Let's do would I want to do. This is offered to turn of how he acts. Before emperor and Harry acts as IMPR- and like I said in his later years you bonkers he went absolutely and say. Neil's like is blitzing drugs or the time. I was obsessive like magic. It's a whole different person. Yup I it certainly appears that way and the other thing that was really incredible about this is in terms of when he fell in the military aspect of my research is correct in terms of men fighting fighting men. He actually had a three to one advantage. Yes over the forces that ultimately did Jami and they still couldn't they soon can defeat the rebels known the rebels ultimately ended up seizing the capital and they ended up going over the wall and of course. We know how'd that happen next. That's well. Luckily luckily this very wholesome. podcast is rated e deeper explicit yes yes of course that's why we have it there but just to give the audience an idea of what we're trying to do here at eighty history so the other day. I was in a bookshop could waterstones which have they like. England Bond Noble and I opened an us into war history section. WHO's also get book for Research and there's a book about Chinese history of a UN. I come in handy up a new. I wanted to go and I sole. I went to pop out the Hun Dynasty and within the chapter up to the Han Dynasty was just a couple of paragraphs about Wong Mung his time as emperor so I just I just what I was really interesting being compared to the debt we're going into here compared to like a book about Chinese history and he had a couple of paragraphs on him and I appreciate in that and what we're trying to do this book. I just really need explanation of how finally we won't go history here. I completely concur in one of the EH. When it comes to history this is true across the world. Most people are interested in the history of their own people their own country their own sweep of civilization and certainly here in America. There are very few people that would be able to identify who long long was or have much to say about the Han Dynasty or first century China. I was one of them before research this yeah and he has far as I can tell point Patrick. It seems like we may be the most people maybe the people have talked about this fellow mojos. That's generally available at the moment like one moung Zomba's. Yes for better or worse but I have every intention of keeping all of my appendages and to be devoured by no it's my tongue is stayed in my mouth and no one else's no goodness goodness. I'll I'll tell you what Patrick this has been a very very interesting and worthwhile exploration of part of Chinese history and world history that is just not available in significant different digestible way but if it comes to power politics and dynasty and power and struggle. You'RE GONNA get a lot more of that. When we we come back right after a word from Anna Domini this is the AD history podcast keep up with the show and join the discussion and by following eighty history on twitter with the handle at eighty history. PC and the HASHTAG eighty history check us out over on facebook instagram on youtube by searching eighty history podcast as well as of course T. G. and review dot com slash eighty history podcast now now back to Paul and Patrick and thank you very much who we're going to get back to ancient Rome and you could tell us about how another emperor met his demise so Patrick. This is a very complicated story as well as a familiar and instructive story story you've heard and other places in history and in fiction but I think it's best to set the scene for the first time I'm bringing us to Rome proper and we are at fourteen. Ad On the deathbed of Augusta's and it said that his last words words were and there are several interpretations from Latin but I think this is the best one in this dark comedy. We call life have I. I played my role. Well is a very interesting and controversial question although not entirely unexpected and in the case of Augustus when you consider when he came into public life had roughly eighteen or nineteen years old between what would be two major Roman civil wars in a very very short period and how he managed to accumulate power and bring consolidation peace peace and stability to the empire despite the fact the way he did that not corresponding with the best values and customs of Roman Republicanism and democracy accuracy. You have to imagine that the answer is yes. He did inasmuch as this episode is about Tiberius. You cannot understand Tiberius or any Roman emperor that follows Augusta's his without understanding how August this came to power how he ruled how he accumulated power and ultimately how he shaped the role role for every single emperor in perpetuity for the Roman Empire unto the end of Rome itself but before we go any further Patrick get something of a misnomer to call Octavian later Augusta's emperor. That's Kinda putting a modern conception on the role that didn't the existence at the time and he didn't call himself that in fact no one in that role called themselves at or referred to that in any way prior to to the beginning of the second century in fact they went by the moniker print caps which is translated as for citizen. You know basically communicating the concept disingenuous are otherwise as a first among equals in fact the term emperor is a Roman military moniker. You're which was imperative which was given to a celebrated and victorious Roman General. But ultimately that was not how how they understood that position at that time but Augusta's at now where I will for currently as Octavian was the longest serving person in that print caps Roldan later emperor remaining in power effectively parts of five decades and there was a very good reason in for this in fact for even as a young man at eighteen or nineteen years old throwing into the charnel house of High Roman politics. He understood politics and especially especially the politics of the time far better than most anybody else. Could I certainly better than his contemporary allies and rivals because in truth he was a master of politics and later. We'll see very clearly that Tiberius was anything but that but ultimately in our as he is concerned who exactly was octavian later. Augusta's Octavian was the great grand nephew of the Guy s Julius Caesar Caesar yes that Julius Caesar the guy. He's on the front of Fuel Protocols Holding smartphone right now no no that's the Roman emperor no one's ever heard rid of Caesar auto of Cool Sir. No no that's one for you. Star Trek Deep Space Nine fans in the audience seriously will put a image comparison later on in social social media and you'll see what we mean. It's the same Julius Caesar that notably crosses the Rubicon the same Julius Caesar that created the first so-called first triumvirate which is basically a gentlemen's agreement with no legality and it was a coup and he's the same Julius Caesar that was assassinated on the is the march. He's the One Who would stab by conspirator senators including the fame Bruce. Thank you very much William Shakespeare and it was also nearly bungled in fact. It was a total total mess. The senators were looking to return senatorial rule to the republic because after winning the first romance of a war Julius issues are ended up basically crowning himself dictator for life and they want to get away from that just like they wanted to get away from what was effectively poppy as the dictator before Julius Caesar but they had a really big problem when it came to taking out Julius Caesar they had no idea how the Roman Republic Lick would react to that because in truth. Julius Caesar was actually very very popular at the time especially among lower classes of Romans. I know the reason in in many many respects he'd had many reforms that included redistribution of wealth especially in terms of land in hard currency and on top of that Julius Caesar also had a very very strong indeed fanatically loyal military followings from the Legions Legion that alternately led him to power of course it wasn't enough to save him but it certainly was there and so now that he was dead had he had a final will and testament and most important part of a witch named his successor which was his great nephew Octavian and he had definitely had other children but none that were really particularly right bore dynastic rule in fact he even had a son with Cleopatra the seventh the same clear Patrick seventh it will go on to let's say intimately collaborate with Mark Antony in fact Cleopatra will also also in Rome during the ides of March one of Julius Caesar's villas but of course when he's assassinated she flees for very obvious reasons but when Octavian arrives on the Italian peninsula eighteen or nineteen years old and here's the news that Julius Caesar is dead and he's named his successor the very first thing we he does this and we talked about this last time. Patrick is as was his right as his also adopted son which made the succession far far more fluid at at least in Julius Caesar's is Octavian assumes the name Gayus Julius Caesar. Now that's really fascinating is incredibly ably politically adept because Octavian essentially recognizes the power that is adopted father now the late Julius Caesar still still holds with a large fortune in the room Roman public in addition to the fact that he knows there are most certainly is going to be animosity against those who conspired heard and successfully managed to stab him to death in addition to that Octavian gets a really really wonderful prize which is shortly after Julius Caesar is murdered. They actually make decree basically stating that Julius Caesar was divine. This is something that's going to happen a lot more later on when we're talking the print caps role and emperors who follow simply because it was usually a a sign of how popular a a print caps and later emperor when they died but they could be given it could also be taken away. It's very interesting but it's really really helpful Octavian because basically makes him not just the name successor of Julius Caesar but it also makes him the son and appointed air to a God and that is incredibly powerful politically and culturally in the empire which most certainly accepts that as something of extreme value so here we begin to see the very initial framework for how Octavian begins to create this Britain caps and later emperor emperor roll through these slow gradual highwire high power political machinations and in a sense he begins by creating this role is also changing Rome from the republic that it was to the emperor the empire the Roman Empire and and very much secretive one man dynastic rule that will end up taking it to the very end of its days but when we're talking about this and and Octavian is very much aware of this in Roman political parlance whether you're talking to a an everyday Roman on the street or you're talking to a Roman politician there is one four letter words you can never use. Do you know what that word is. King Yeah King. I'M GONNA be talking about once. You've you told your story. I'm definitely dove into the Romans monarchy because it's it's a fascinating little world himself out of and then got himself back into no don't is absolutely incredible and I look forward to that but following the murder of Caesar there was a credible political fallout between a a conspirator assassins and what would become known as the second triumvirate the second ver was a faction that consisted of Octavian Marcus Lapidus and once again mark entity into are vying for power they entered a military coalition and Struggle Against the conspirator hitter senators once again the most notable one being brutus their coalition against these conspirators conclude successfully at the battle of Philip by which today is roughly flee what we'd be considered in Modern Day Macedonia and upon the second triumvirate victory the three coalition leaders but the Roman world into effectively three military dictatorships Octavian gets Hispania and gets goal which is awfully fitting given all the Julius Caesar did to Conquer and tame aim goal Marcus Lapidus basically what gets with a call Roman Africa which is today the northern most coastal regions of Libya Libya and Tunisia runs from SARANAC almost slightly past Tunis and Mark Antony gets the east which is a really really big deal because he focuses his power in Egypt. You makes his cab his capital Alexandria which is where the power in Egypt had been under Ptolemaic rule and with Cleopatra the seventh and also includes a great deal of wealth so at that point in time. It really looks like of the three of them that Mark Antony is the initial winner here but clearly that's not the case or certainly will not remain as such so to shore up all of their gains all three of them undertake undertake what is called the proscriptions. The prescriptions are a very very nasty political purge where on their are extra legal authority. They basically on their orders. Get rid of any potential rivals that could theoretically oppose them again and in the future in fact this is how Cicero met his fate on the orders of Mark Antony yet as soon as this triumvirate is settled the three beginning fighting each other it was never a stable or realistic arrangement especially when you stop and think about it and the ambitions of alter cleared anyone who has is to see in a a compact explanation of complicated events Octavian using the military he's developed which in fact is mostly at least initially composed of so much of Julius Caesar fanatically loyal legions that brought him to power in addition to the fact he also inherited a a great deal of wealth from Julius Caesar so he's able to not just say she stay. She hit them with the booty of victory but he also has extremely deep pockets doc. It's as well and they're going to get deeper in fact but octavian the first one to move on the other two because he figures that as soon as they find it practicable and they get their their first with a blood. They're gonNA turn on him. You Know How could you think otherwise right octavian defeats Lepres and most notably defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the famous Masui battle at axiom after which Antony falls on his sword when they retreat committing suicide and Cleopatra the seventh legendarily poisons herself with a snake bite it effectively ends the Ptolemaic rule of Egypt which had been going on since pretty much the death of Alexander the Great about three hundred or so years prior to this point a little less than that in fact and it formally brings Egypt into the Roman Empire and in doing so it accumulates so so much of the wealth that was any gyp it was clearly being mismanaged by Ptolemaic rulers at that point in time and it also has an incredibly audibly advantageous geopolitical location especially when you consider that it's going to be one of the bread basket of the empire and there are great economic links especially by sea for trade between Egypt and India of course would be very much in a way to aggrandize end enrich the Roman empire -at's yeah that that's just show the power or KVM because Egypt two way empire on the longest lasting empires on the history of the world. I believe it's free thousand years. Egypt was an empire and it reached a point when another impacting gopher is it's just it's just crazy to hear no. It really is incredible. Egyptian civilizations along sweep of history accomplishes much it changes is faces in many ways over Millennia and now it's underfoot and subject to the Romans Octavian also undertakes little side earned of his own very much in the guise of not God very much in the flavor of the prescriptions listening to the advice of a of a friend and counsellor. RSD demise is quote to caesars are one too many meaning he should purge the biological son which we mentioned earlier of Julius Caesar that he had with Cleopatra and mm to guarantee that there would be no other potential political challenges to Julius Caesar and his progeny and sort of legitimacy of who should be actually succeeding him is at once again. It's one of those three Pisa power that we were talking about in the last segment purge these victories led by Octavian haven and his top military general markets Greta unite the Roman Empire under a single flag and truly and for all intents and purposes for the first first time in quite a long time and upon ultimate victory Octavian and Agrippa go back to Rome and upon their arrival the Senate elects them both as consuls mansell's and those for that are not familiar with US councils are about the highest level of power and oversight that you can have in Roman administration. Listen consoles have what was known as the power of imperium which gives consuls and those who possess that power the full effect and force of the Roman state and law by their very edict and desire and give them everything they really need to control the provinces because this is very specific to the provinces outside of Rome in certain parts of the Italian peninsula. This is effectively when he becomes print caps. I citizen and slowly begins accumulating all the power he desired probably thought was entirely necessary to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish considering so much of what he wanted to do in no undeniable way was to consolidate the empire because after all this time without debt consolidation and you can't have a proper society you can't have an economy you can't have a proper civil society political mechanisms don't work and he fully understands that and after serving for a period of a few years. Octavian makes a great show of Republican tradition and steps down from his console pose but essentially giving back power to the Senate itself. It was nothing less than a great show political theater in deference to tradition. There's really no. They look at that but he wasn't really going anywhere. He couldn't go anywhere. The situation was just too volatile. It was his greatest wish to consolidate consolidate as I mentioned and keep the peace should he have left. It's entirely likely that you would have seen other power rivals and others with similar ambitions whether it be general's troops under the command senators with deep pockets or a combination of both entering into what could then be just another vying for power and the cycle continues news so you WanNa make sure that Rome doesn't go back to square one and the military power he wielded itself made sure that matters remained remained stable because even though he's technically given back power and made this great show of deference they understand the the whip hand he has over over event almost in their entirety but Octavian understands that neither the Senate at this point nor the Roman public will accept a bald-faced dictatorship or a monarchy or anything that looks like that this was very much one of the big mistakes that Julius Caesar me made and Octavian goes a long wait to avoid doing that himself that he had to sh- had to slowly change the nature of the power struggle and ensure rule single-handedly but through the guys of Republican constitutionality and all of the structures that had had existed traditionally in the Roman Republic and at this point he also changes his his name officially from Octavian to Augusta's which translates from Latin entangle chaz revered one and intervene of Caesar's fun science fact for me looking too much into names Veasley August this is where we the name of August from just for in the always explaining Ainun them names explaining them names at this point Octavian now Augusta's has become. I'm an independent force matching the Roman state itself not only does he have the aforementioned military structure but he's just as much a financial nanteuil force as well he manages to accumulate a great deal of personal wealth both from the inheritance that he got from his adopted Stepfather Julius Julius Caesar as well as all of the booty that comes with conquering Egypt which as I mentioned earlier is really considerable and it changes so much because he then also has an immense power patronage there is even a story and this is really a classic story where Octavian Opinion Proposes Building a series of roads to the Senate and the Senate declined and basically what ends up happening is Augusta's estes finances most of that out of his own pockets and you know that's kind of a scary thing to think about if you put that in a modern context when you include that the fact that he has so much military force at his command as well moreover patronage Bison political allies keeps his military power satiated did it was incredible situation all forms so once again in a compact explanation of complicated events Augusta's undergoes what is called both the the first and second settlements with the Senate because they want to keep them around but they still need to keep up this guy's of constitutionality with him in this imprint caps I citizen role the first sediment allowed Octavian to retain his counselor post powers without actually being a console essentially neither no neither send nor the Roman people would have him go so for the benefit of appearance and constitutionality the Senate made agust a proconsul for a period of ten years he retained his power of imperium and gave him complete control over proconsul that are covering proconsul or provinces and this is kind of an an interesting little twists since pro consular provinces of course being governed by pro councils are generally the more troublesome and volatile provinces NSA's of the empire. There's usually a greater military force there than you would see another places hence it puts all that underneath the dictatorial and largely discretion of Octavian and adds that military power on top of what he already has and the great great constitutional compromise still trying to keep up this guy's he then gives the Senate control over Praetorian provinces which are controlled old by pray tours in doing that the reason why is Praetorian provinces are far more stable and they have far less military due due to the lack of necessity so the Senate gets that and it has the appearance of a constitutional compromise but for anybody anybody that has is to see at this point. It's very very clear that Augusta's has much bigger plans for the role in addition to that and this is another another very interesting point. Agus has also had immediate allies who possess the power of Tribune Tribune was a power granted to the top member of the assembly who could call them into session and of course they were elected by the plea Byan class they could call them into session and they also had a veto power as well and having that Political Cardi gave Augusta's far more direct legal control over the clearly larger plea in numbers the numbers in their class and control over them legally and directly in the second settlement. The most notable change was augustus formerly assuming the power of Tribune Tribune himself so he gets rid of the Middle Man. You don't need a proxy any more more or less giving him full control over the Roman state so now August is really getting to the point where e he has this bring casserole. He has so much of the power he wants but he begins considering issues that relate to succession and there's a lot of characters who come and go but the first person who came up and this is more of a matter of age is actually the son of his second wife called Tiberius. Tiberius was a military general he spent about twenty two years on the northern Roman provinces of drain has a fair amount of success there but he's a very different character than we're used to when it comes to Augusta's because he's not a politician he's very very much a military man and his is kind of a sad story when you get to this point because in order for this to properly work augustus basically commands that Tiberius divorce his first first and current wife whom he loved and Mary his daughter Yulia you know and this is a very this is a terrible situation because those two are a match may from from Hell and he doesn't like her and she's really really know better to him whatsoever. It's it's really terrible terrible. He didn't like his wife and something I find interesting with this. We took our history normally full of such vibrant characters if insulate your likes people use their words really off of articulate amazing people Caesar Ziza. A CICERO comes to mind very elegant ray charming good talking so person and tie babies. We ever really different kind of character. Ed Ed wonder either POPs up in room issue that often yes yes yeah now. There's no question about that so the other thing that happens as well Augusta's also has two grandchildren that began raising in profile in terms of his desire for succession succession when the time comes and in the case of Tiberius having to divorce his first wife is a big issue. There's a story maybe apocryphal that even a a officer had to be assigned to his first wife to keep them away from Tiberius because they understand exactly how Tiberius feels yes and her effect on him but he sees these two and he begins seeing them as the true successor that even if he does end up taking power or it's going to be in a custodial role where he's basically keeping the seat warm until one or two of them have matured already to enter public life in that role however however in fact both of them die in two and four eighty respectively but between the two desired grandchildren and then being forced to marry a woman he loathes e- ends up going into self imposed exile on the Isle of Roads. I can't even make this up so when we begin looking further into Tiberius and we get to the point where we're looking at succession at fourteen eighty when Octavian has him on on his deathbed even though the other choices are no longer particularly in the running and obviously he's been in self-imposed exile for a time now this is not a real problem for Augusta us the reason why is because for the most part he trusts Tiberius to know that the order of the day is consolidation and that held very very properly follow through on that so when Tiberius does come to Rome on this particular occasion has definitely plays he has no love for whatsoever and he comes to the Senate and they approach him and ask him to fill this first citizen role based on the wishes of Augusta's to succeed him. He begins and doing a bad impression of Augusta's so you remember how Augustus made that show giving back power Tiberius thing goes goes on to make what lease the senators thought was a very very disingenuous and a poor attempt to decline in that he he declined to much declined with too much vigor and they they saw right through the whole thing and this I really great example of just Kinda a poor politician that he was but even though they don't really like him and he is a very mercurial character. He's a very very different man than they are are used to. They still don't make a big fuss about it because they know what the alternative is and I think they at least trust them in so far as that goes but it's very very clear that there's this personal disconnect in a mutual animosity between the Senate and Tiberius at this point and his first real challenge Allen Jr and all of this is when they start may experience a mutiny of legions in Germania and this basically is due to the fact that a lot of Romans historians at the time will claim the reason was because these legions didn't want Tiberius to enter his role as bring caps later emperor that doesn't really make any sense especially because Tiberius was a military man he understood the military. He understood them and they understood him. It's much much more likely having to do with the fact that Roman and legions at that point swore personal allegiance to the pearn caps later emperor and with Augusta's dead they. I don't have an allegiance anybody so it's a bargaining chip for them to improve their lot since they don't have that connection and they have very very good reason to go ahead had an rebel like this to improve their lot because if you are a Roman soldier you fight for years for hope of plunder and booty but it's very very hard life especially when you're talking about intermedia we're talking about a place that very unstable that doesn't want to genuflect to the Roman an empire at any point in time and for all that's worth. Basically you fight for years. People are killed. People are main people are injured. The conditions editions of that situation are awful. They're life effectively sucks and they're trying to use this opportunity to make the better of it. You know there are some diplomacy almost back and forth at least a token effort to be sure but at the end of the day Tiberius does what Tiberius has to do and he puts sit down but it's a very very difficult situation to be sure but he handled ultimately and the only way that he could. It's really crazy stories Greece toby poor. I didn't really know much about Tiberius for like reading for your notes in but it is sad story. He's like the room and leader. He didn't like volume mm-hmm like the best working explain it seems like didn't want to be a part of that and obviously ended up in power due to monarchy and and how these employees find as opposed to being voted in and obviously you volume was always an empire before it was the Roman Empire of must call it was the republic and became a republic because you had the Roman monarchy before that and the Roy Moore Nacchio was a BLERTA taken republic so it's just amazing that earlier how they fell into being an empire a monarchy ruled empire want to gain. Do you think Paul any point join Jerry gold of this Tiberius may be wanted to dismantle. This empire gave back to the Times with the Republican Senate. You know that's an interesting question because it's definitely something. The senators were thinking themselves at the time especially because they couldn't read the man personally they couldn't tell because like I said he was so mercurial sometimes very very very cryptic and it was pretty clear that he didn't really want the role. He really was taking a non reluctantly. This was not is great calling he had suffered a great deal wheel to simply get to this point to job at effectively he didn't want to do but at the time based on his orders from Costas than that common understanding about consolidation consolidation. It's very unlikely that he would go ahead and alter the existing power structure in a way that could any way destabilize is the situation contrary to consolidation and the marching orders that Augustus gives him an additional the fact that he's never he does not want to expand either either. Augustus was very very clear about that he basically told him to keep his rear end out of Germania which wasn't a heart cells given all the time that he spent there but there is the Roman historian Tacitus who's writing about the beginning of the second century and he's doing a history of all of those who assume the role of bring caps from the death of Augusta so this would include Tiberius all the way to about one years writing at the beginning of the second century and Taibbi tacitus acids is wondering this himself and he wonders why the the senators didn't take advantage of this opportunity and the reason they didn't take advantage of it because they knew the possible alternative. They were ready to run with it. They remember the past all too well and the fact of the matter is Augusta's did a very good job. He didn't just consolidate he aggrandizement it. Suetonius who was a who was Augusta's personal biographer basically said that Augusta's had turned Rome from from a city of brick to a city of marble. Even though Tiberius would not be much for aggrandizing Roman culture or society or for you know holding festivals for his people understood the consolidation role but in the case of Tacitus he's looking at it from a time in which this looks like it's a possibility pity for him because he's going through a pair of what are considered a couple of the of the good emperors in his case. You're looking at Antonius pious and who serve as emperor and then you also have Marcus Aurelius best known for his meditations who served as co emperor who very much made a great deal personal sacrifice to Administra- A. and governed very very well in a way that others in that role most certainly do not who use it in many ways for very very personal political and financial gain rain and whatever fund them they can have with that but tacitus totally blown away from this is also very romance romanticizing the Roman Republic. E definitely wants that but he's is also very cynical so you have to keep that in mind. He basically considers what the Senate did. At this point in fourteen eighty with transition was essentially to him the senators putting themselves in to voluntary slavery which is kind of an odd way of putting it but it's not entirely unfair either however when it comes to Tiberius Iberia's I guess he's a very unusual fellow. WE'RE GONNA learn more about him. A bit more down the road you know Suetonius who was the biographer of Augusta's talked about Tiberius and and some of his very unusual and undesirable extracurricular activities when in the next episode ill go and Tiberius that is an exile himself onto the isle of Capri in basically keeps himself there for the rest of his reign which is it's own thing but no I don't think he was ever going to change the structure and despite the amazing resource that Tacitus is it it doesn't really reflect the reality of the time and place in which the transition was occurring is is really interesting story and I I wanted to her ends poorly going to be carrying on disturbed type babies into next episode. I can tell you this much patrick for everything it's worth. We're GONNA keep a very close pulse on this because a couple episodes down the road. Tiberius has a very very interesting and infamous successor. Who who was the son of the adopted son who is the son of the adopted son would making him Tiberius grandson the son of Germanic which of of course is Caligula? I may just do a portion on whether was he mad was bag was dangerous to know was he. All three are none and that should be a lot of fun. I think the audience is really going to enjoy that. Yes food hearing about that. This is the eighty history podcast anyway. I think that brings us to the end of our journey for today. Patrick where can people find us you can find me personally on twitter at name explain why tea and of course you can find me on my youtube channel name explain and for myself you can find me on my newly minted twitter account at the handle at PK D. and history as well as on the Social Media News Platform courts by searching polychaete Costanzo also take a peek at my reader email submitted Q. and A. Column The World War Two brain bucket over on T. R. We have linked down on the description now over to Anna policy you guys thank you so much for listening and good good Bali. Yes thank you for listening be well until next time like all good things we come to an end for today thank you for listening listening to the AD history podcast. It is listeners such as yourself who make this show possible and truly awesome be sure to follow in subscribed the upcoming eighty history podcast episodes available wherever podcasts southbound ulcer follow eighty history on social media follow the show on twitter at the handle at eighty history. PC as what is on facebook by visiting FACEBOOK DOT com slash eighty history podcast and instagram instagram as eighty history podcast in addition to liking and subscribing on Youtube by searching eighty history podcast do do you have a direct comment or question for pool and Patrick drop them an email at eighty history podcast at TGI review dot com also so be sure to visit the show's homepage at Tj and review dot com slash eighty history podcast for Poulin Patrick. Thank you for listening listening to the AD history podcast. We will see you again next time in the ever-growing tapestry of Welsh history Iraq.

Coming up next