Best of 2019: Emperor Commodus Pt. 2
Roman Emperor Communists had wanted to inaugurate the New Year of one ninety. Three by emerging from the gladiator's eaters barracks clad in armor leading a charge of the city's fiercest warriors he'd shirked the traditional purple robes of royalty. He wanted everyone to know he wasn't like other emperors. He was undefeatable instead in the final hours of the year. One Ninety two. The gladiator king was strangled by the very man who taught him to fight as communist Gurgle his last breath. Narcissus pulled his arm from the emperor's neck. He slipped beneath the bathwater. His bloodshot eyes looking up at his assassins. Like a gutted fish. Narcissus looked back at Marsha who was still holding the bottle of poison wine. The emperor was finally dead but his legions of soldiers. The jurors were not. If MARSHA and Narcissus didn't act fast they would be the next targets for assassination. Aw One death can change the world. At least that's what assassins believe breath. Welcome to assassinations on the par cast network every Monday. We examined the famous assassins of history and the men and women who were assassinated. I'm I'm your host bill. Thomas and I'm your host Kate Leonard. This is our second episode on the Roman Emperor Communists who was killed by his mistress Marcia Marsha and his trusted wrestling coach Narcissus at podcast. We're grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at Har Cast Network. And if you enjoy today's episode the best way to help us is to. I believe a five star review. Wherever you're listening it really does help us? We also now have merch head to park cast dot com slash merch for more information emperor. Communists is rule was the beginning of the end end for the Roman Empire in the last years of his reign. His deepening paranoia had caused him to start executing people at a whim. Aristocrats STA Kratz statesmen even his own advisers his favourite mistress. Marcia had been the only one able to temper his insanity but even his patients for her wore thin when Marsha discovered her own name at the top of Communist is kill list. She devised a plan to save herself from the emperors madness but even with Communist gone Marsha and her co-conspirators. Were still in great danger. Everyone in Rome hated did accommodates everyone that is except for his soldiers under his corrupt rule. They were allowed to indulge in all the looting violence and and debauchery they desired. They didn't want anyone to take their benefactor away from them. Soldiers warn calmness about every previous attempt on his life and and insured the would be assassins. Were punished if they discovered Marsha and Narcissus at the scene of the murder they would meet out swift and brutal revenge. Early on New Year's Day in one ninety three Marsha and nurses summoned to collect dues the Chamberlain and lightouse the head of the PRAETORIAN Orien- guard they'd been in on the assassination plan. Their names were on the top of the execution list. To now it was their time to help. Excellent twos knew they had to dispose of the evidence before anything else could be done. But how are they going to smuggle the emperor's body out of a palace crawling with soldiers collect do summoned his loyal servants and told them to bring the emperor's dirty bed linens they wrapped communists in sheets and heaped him into a basket ask of dirty laundry. It was the early hours of the morning. The Palace guards were half asleep wearily leaning on their spears. No one batted an eye as the two. Slaves hurried past with an unusually large pile of laundry communists who had come into the world swaddled in the purple robes of royalty was carried read out of his palace in sheets filthy with his own bile once outside. They did the body into a wagon and road to the outskirts of the city when they they were far enough out they none of the heap of sheets into a gully and left it for the wild animals back at the palace Marsha ECLECTIC use in lightouse had moved on to the next problem. Explaining Communists is sudden death after some debate they came to the perfect solution. He died of a stroke. Anyone would believe that. With his heavy drinking and constant orgies he'd been in less than ideal health for a while now but before. They made the announcement they needed to have someone ready to fill the power vacuum someone with the wisdom and experience to restore Rome to its former glory. Three and someone who wouldn't investigate the fallen emperors death to thoroughly. They decided to seek out pertinent X.. Pertinence was the the urban prefect essentially the city administrator of Rome he was a former senator. A renowned military hero and most notably the last last-surviving advisor who'd been appointed by communists his father. Marcus Aurelius the rest. Had already been executed Percha next was universally universally loved and he lived humbly in borderline poverty. He was the perfect antidote to communist says extravagances so the conspirators slipped into to the night and made haste to per taxes house. Once they're they rattled the gate waking the porter who dozed off at his post. When the Porter quarter saw? Light who's the commander of the Praetorian Guard. Standing at the gate he immediately ran inside and woke up pertinent X.. Purchase Curtin acts and the porter came to the same conclusion. Communist guards had finally come to kill him. Personnel had watched as communists executed several of his advisors observers. He'd been expecting his own time to come sooner or later per tenax told the porter to let the visitors in. He didn't even get out of bed he he might as well be comfortable for the last moments of his life. When Marsha ECLECTIC and light tubes came in they found pertinence reclining in bed utterly serene serene he said quote for a long time? Now I've been waiting for my life to end in this fashion and I was surprised that communist was so slow to the act against me. Why do you delay you will be carrying out your orders? And I will be relieved from degrading hope and constant fear the conspirators conspirators had no idea what he was talking about light. WHO's tried to explain? They weren't there to kill him. Actually they just killed communists and and they wanted pertinent to step up as emperor perch next didn't believe them he thought they were taunting an old man before cutting him down in his bed. o'clock deuce pulled a tablet from his robes. He said if you don't believe what we say. Read this tablet. You Know Communists. His handwriting you see see it. Regularly pertinent held the tablet to a candle. It was a list of names to be executed in communist is unmistakable handwriting. Sure enough at at the top of the list were Marcia. lightouse and a click tubes now he believed them pertinent set the tablet down. He was over sixty years years old in failing health and had no aspiration to the throne but he devoted his entire life to serving Rome. And if this was his duty eighty so be it once per Tadesse agreed to be the new emperor. The next step was to break the news to the soldiers. Lie To took the responsibility for that. One since he was the commander of the Praetorian Guard. The others wanted to be there to to see how they responded. Before they set out for the Praetorian Taurean camp they sent a messenger to the Senate to inform them of communist his death even if the soldiers revolted they knew the senators would be overjoyed. Overjoyed at the news. It was nearly daybreak and some of the citizens were already awake preparing for the New Year's festivities word spread quickly through the streets. That communist was dead and pertinent was taking over before dawn. The streets were a buzz with people shouting. The tyrant is dead. The gladiator is slain. Nine by the time per-tax lightouse ECLECTIC. DEUCE and Marsha walked into the Praetorian camp. Thousands of common people had gathered there our to quell any uprising from the soldiers. Light to send pertinence marched through. The joyful crowd gathered the soldiers and called them to attention. Then why twos told them quote. Commodore Your Emperor is dead of Apoplexy. You know the way. He lived his life now he lies dead choked by his own gluttony in place of combat. US We bring you a man respected for his years temperate in his way of life and and renowned for his courageous exploits. Now Fortune is giving you an emperor who is also a kindly father to you at that. The citizens exploded into into applause. After twelve years of fear and chaos. They were finally free. Order would be restored at last. The soldier stared up at personnel with cold. Narrow is he met their gaze unflinching. The older soldiers remembered pertinent with fondness. They'd they'd served with him long before. Communists came to power but there were only a few of the old guard left and the younger soldiers didn't WanNA respected temperate leader cutting off their their lifestyle of excess but the soldiers were few compared to the civilians and they were unarmed. The flood of people surrounded them cheering in support of pertinent six. The thunder of their voices drowned out any discontent from the military men. One by one. The soldiers begrudgingly touchingly joined in the throng proclaiming pertinent ex emperor. A wreath of laurels was passed through the crowd and placed on the new emperor's head as the sun finally rose on the first day of January. One ninety-three pertinent led the people and the soldiers in procession to the Imperial Palace in the streets. The people gave thanks to the Gods and called for communist his body to be dragged through the city on hooks her to Knox entered the Senate house where the senators were already gathered. The immediately turned and erupted in praise. One senator took his hand and led him to the throne pertinence. I beg the men to let him decline the position but they're cheering wouldn't subside. The old man lowered himself onto the throne and delivered his first address unquote. No ordinary task. Awaits me improving myself worthy of such an honor. Those who have grown accustomed to reveling in the extravagant excesses of tyranny not only object to any change toward a more moderate and more economical way of life but they rejected as a mean and wretched way to live. And and so you must cooperate with me and consider the management of the empire as a joint enterprise and you must entertain high hopes of living under an aristocracy. I see not under a tyranny. The Senate burst into applause. Pertinent was escorted into the Imperial Palace to begin his rain. Marsha took a deep breath letting go of the years of fear and exhaustion. She'd felt that Communists aside now it was a click to standing by her side. A man she had literally trusted with her life after a lifetime spent as a mistress manipulating men from the shadows. She'd found someone she could call. Partner collect dues and Marsha were married a few weeks later the beginning of pertinent. His reign was a time of hope and peace for the Roman empire but they would soon discover that the empire was far from safe coming up. We'll take a look at pertinent his short time time as Emperor of Rome now back to the story after pertinent was sworn in as emperor on January first one ninety three three he went back to the Senate House and thanked lightouse for his role in taking comedy out of power as he was leaving. He was confronted by the console. Falco Falco said we may know what sort of an emperor you will be from this that we see behind you light. WHO's and Marsha the instruments of comedy Medicis crimes? The public still believed that Communists had died of a stroke. No one had any idea that lightouse and Marsha were far from the loyal sycophants that once appeared to be pert next replied. You are young console and do not know the necessity of obedience. They obeyed comedies. But as soon as they had an opportunity they showed what had always been their desire and with that the first seeds of doubt about the true nature of communist his death began to take root. As soon as pertinent took the throne he set to work writing his predecessors wrongs but he was afraid the people who had benefited from communists his corruption would be reluctant to accept change. Communists had shown no interest in actually running the empire. He'd left state matters to a string of ill-chosen advisers who sold government positions to the highest bidder. Returning Rome to some semblance of a functional government would be a massive undertaking for years. The army had roamed the streets harassing anyone who who challenged their authority pertinent X. immediately forbade the soldiers from carrying axes or attacking any Roman citizens they grumbled and discontent intent but obeyed for the most part since the Treasury was drained pertinent sold off communists personal property to fund the military. He also returned turn. Land Communist had seized from farmers and exempted them from taxes and all government duties for ten years by doing so he hoped to restore the faith between the government and private citizens that had been utterly destroyed over the past decade to honor the throne as a position of service rather than a personal power. Our pertinent didn't allow his name to be stamped on imperial property. He believed everything in the palace was the property of the people not the emperor. He also didn't allow his son to live in the Imperial Palace. If his natural air wanted to succeed him as emperor he was going to have to earn it in all ways pertinent proved to be a fair generous and morally upright ruler. Ironically his virtues proved to be his downfall the pretorious soldiers had tasted unchecked power and unlimited wealth under communist and they didn't take kindly and lead the new emperor's attempts to rein them in there was so much mutiny even lie to switch starting to regret using pertinent acts as emperor. There were also growing growing rumblings. That pertinent hadn't come to power by honest means. The soldiers were starting to wonder if compasses death was something more than a stroke. Doc perhaps for this reason light who's thought it was best to get rid of the unpopular emperor before the truth came out less than three months into taxes. Rain Lie to organized a conspiracy to remove him on March Twenty Eighth One ninety-three he marched two or three hundred soldiers to the Imperial Palace Alice rather than fight or flee per tenax came out to meet them. The soldiers stopped in their tracks. Surprised by his dignity standing right beside him was a collector's he'd risked his life to install a fair emperor and he'd risk his life defending him to pertinent spoke to them and said quote. It is inevitable that every man must die someday if you are still grieved at the death of Communis remember that it is hardly surprising that death caught up with him he was mortal but if you think his death was the result of treachery the blame does not lie with me me bring charges against someone else and quote. The soldiers began to put their swords away. The power of his words had swayed them. That is all of them except one. One soldier leaped forward and yelled the soldiers have sent you this sword the rest of the men and joined in rushing forward to attack pertinent at clipped who's drew his sword and fought back wounding a few of the soldiers but he was killed alongside the emperor he'd created per to nexus head was cut off and mounted on a spear after eighty seven days. Days is rain was over. The soldiers stood at the entrance of the Imperial Palace and announced that pertinence was dead. The people erupted in grief with pertinence. Gone so was any hope for the Roman Empire the soldiers then declared with brazen than shamelessness that the empire was up for sale. They would hand over the throne to the highest bidder. That offer made its way to a nobleman named hideous. CBS Giuliani's who was having a dinner party that evening. He'd been drinking heavily but he hurried to the walls of the army camp where the empire was being auctioned off. Giuliani's shouted up to the guard tower that he had boxes full of gold and silver. There was already a man inside. The camp offering a good bid did so the soldiers didn't want to let Giuliana sin until they knew he was serious they lower down a ladder and Giuliani's ambled up to confer with the soldiers he promised to revive communists. Memory and restore the PRAETORIAN guard to their former glory. He also promised to give them. Each five thousand centralises press' more than the other bidder had offered. This soldier shouted down to the other man. How much do you raise him? The barter for a while raising their bids by five thousand ancestors is at a time screaming their offers over the camps wall. Finally Giuliani's one out before nightfall. Giuliani Alanis was led to the Imperial Palace where pertinent XS corpse was still lying. This time the procession was met with public ridicule not celebration. The people were disgusted at how low the empire had fallen. The senators were disgusted to but they were too afraid to do anything about it. Concerned they'd be killed like pertinent. They paid their respects to the new emperor with careful composure. Outside the Senate House. A mob corrupted shouting that he'd stolen the Throne Giuliani's came out and offered them bribes to but the people chanted together. We don't unwanted. We won't take it. Giuliani has ordered that the protesters be slain by March thirtieth. One Ninety three Giuliani's formerly you became an emperor. He immediately returned the palace to the same drunken debauchery it had known under Communist. PERTINENCE is reforms were reversed wjr. The soldiers once again revelled in excess looting houses all day and drinking all night. The people still openly reviled Giuliani's but as long as the army was on his side. There was nothing to be done. This state of affairs lasted for about a week. And then the soldiers began to realize Juliani. This wasn't quite as rich as it claimed to be the drunken bids he'd offered them were far more than he was actually able to pay soon. The soldiers had join the civilians and mocking and insulting Giuliani's. Whenever he appeared in public there was now absolutely nothing protecting the emperor from removal hearing about the chaos in Rome generals from the provinces of Syria Britain and Pannonia saw an opportunity to seize power septicemia severance virus? Who in Pannonia was physically closest to Rome marched his army towards the city? Ready to take the throne by force. It had been less less than two weeks since Giuliani's became emperor when severance is troops arrived at the city gate. The Roman people were as the historian Herodian wrote understandably standardly dismayed by the unexpectedness of this development but they hated Giuliani's too so they didn't see the point in fighting back. The people greeted you did the invading forces with Laurel branches and welcomed them in Giuliani's fortified himself. In the palace he sent the PRAETORIAN soldiers out to meet severances army but they'd spent the past decade drinking and thieving not training for battle. They were too weak to put up much of a fight with the enemy. emme already in the city and the Senate soldiers and public turned against him. Giuliani's had no idea what to do. He grew paranoid just just like communist before him and like comedies. He put Marsha and lighters at the top of his execution list. It had long been suspected that Marcia Narcissus and lightouse were behind communist sudden demise and everyone knew that light who's had led the attack against pertinent Juliana sphere the old conspirators were plotting to overthrow him as well. In April of one ninety three Giuliana sent a platoon of soldiers gers to marshes home. It only been a couple weeks since collectors had been killed and Marsha had hoped to grieve him in peace but it appeared. She'd be joining her husband. Sooner than anticipated Marsha Narcissus and lightouse were halted the Imperial Palace and forced to their knees Julie. The honest stood before them and address the gathering crowd. He said that he was the strongest emperor to ever take the throne and that any citizen who pledged their loyalty to severance would be treated the same. As traitors who had killed communists Juliana s drew his gladys the Royal Sword Inlaid with gold was was only meant as a symbol of authority. It wasn't meant to draw blood but ever since communists had come to power. The Roman Empire had been ruled by blood. Marsha who had caused the fall of one. Mad King was killed by another incarnation of the same madness. The fate she'd she'd sought to avert was unavoidable. While Giuliani was executing communist assassins severances troops had reached the Senate House by the end of May. The senators voted to execute Giuliani's and install severance as emperor. He'd only ruled for sixty six EXC days. This was the third Roman emperor dead in only four months however the chaos was only beginning over the next few months. The Roman empire was torn apart as generals battled for control of the throne. One Ninety three became known as the year of the five emperors for the number of men who laid their brief claim to the throne after a few years of civil war. Severance came out the victor. In the early two hundred he restored a brief peace to the Roman Empire and was eventually succeeded by his two sons and two nephews all of whom were eventually assassinated but Rome was already on its way to collapse by two thirty five. The Empire's unity began to fracture leading to a period of near collapse called the crisis of the third century. By four seventy six Rome's western empire had totally fallen Communist says death marked the beginning of the darkest most chaotic chapter dirt in Rome's history. But what might have happened. If comedies hadn't been assassinated would the outcome have been any different. Aw coming up. We'll take a look at how history might have been changed if communists head lived now back to the story. Comedy is twelve year. Reign brought the Roman Empire to the brink of collapse but his assassination sparked a year of even more severe turmoil and civil war. It's hard to say whether anything would have ended differently if the assassination hadn't succeeded. Aw Communist was hated. By nearly everyone in the empire it's very likely that if the conspirators hadn't ended his life on December thirty first just one hundred eighty to someone else would have done the deed sooner or later but it wouldn't have happened before comets got around to killing everyone on his New Year's execution acution list which apart from his assassins included the newly elected consuls all the remaining advisors his father had appointed and many any prominent members of the Senate. It's quite possible that once communists had slaughtered all the other powerful statesman he would finally destroyed the Senate and declared himself the sole ruler of Rome returning the Empire's government to an absolute monarchy. That damage to the balance of power would have been extremely difficult to undo you. Even if communist was eventually removed without anyone to rein in comedy suspending the Empire would have continued to hemorrhage money. His extravagant lifestyle and poorly considered policies head already bankrupted. The treasury and the city's infrastructure had already been crippled by famine damn and fires communists had never shown any interest in governing. And if he let these problems continue to go unchecked Rome probably would have collapsed on itself solve within a matter of decades. If the empire didn't decay from the inside out it would have been decimated by an invading army during Warren. Communist is rain the barbarian forces in what would become modern day. Germany had begun attacking the Roman empires outlying provinces commoditised largely ignored this problem and left the generals stationed in the provinces to fend for themselves when September severance took power in one ninety the three he sent more forces to fight the barbarians fending off a full scale invasion without that support from the capital. It's likely the barbarians would have succeeded succeeded in overtaking Roman territory and if Rome itself was in disarray they may have overthrown the entire empire. This brings us to an interesting adding point. Once communist took the throne the eventual fate of the Roman empire was already sealed in the end. It may not have mattered. If if or when communists was removed from power He'd already set Rome on the slow path to collapse. The most serious impact of Commerce's rain was the normalization of corruption. As we saw in the months following his death once Rome was used to bribery the execution want and spending it was impossible to steer the course back to the way things were before when communists died it led to a year of chaos several years of civil war and decades of crisis a near collapse if he had lived it only would have expedited the fall of the Roman Empire. Much like Marcia ECLECTIC Narcissus and lightouse Rome may have survived compass but it couldn't survive all the chaos that followed Marsha. Dimitrius may not have achieved her goal of saving the Roman Empire or even of saving her own life but on a different note. She may have accomplished something for Christianity during her time with compass. Marsha influenced him to begin the slow process us of ending the persecution of Christians. There were no edicts issued against Christians during his reign and Marsha even convinced him to release a Christian prisoners from the minds in Sardinia. Denia one of those prisoners was a young slave named callixte who went on to become pope. CALLIXTE use the first. He only served served as pope for about five years before his death but during that time he played an instrumental role in shaping church doctrine and allowing Pagan Converts verts into the Church. It was a perfect time for that policy. The Roman people had looked to their emperor for spiritual guidance and the moral decay that started with communist left mini many citizens feeling lost the instability in the years and decades after his assassination turned many people toward Christianity and because of the chaos during and after Commerce's rain public attention was diverted from the Christians. The Church was able to quietly organize and grow. Oh while everyone's eyes were turned toward palace intrigue and Civil War. The persecution of Christianity didn't entirely end with Communist and later rulers I would impose even harsher penalties on Christians but without this period of relative safety Christianity may not have been able to grow into the powerful force. It became for better or worse without Christianity in Rome the entire course of world history would be unforeseeably different for all all his ego mania commerce's life and death taught us that an emperor is only as powerful as the institutions behind him in an effort to expand expand his own power calmed his crippled the Senate Infrastructure and morality of the very empire. He ruled this eventually led to his own demise and diminished the power of the empire moving forward and by killing communists. His assassins inadvertently set a precedent of violence and political medical intrigue that through Rome into nearly a century of chaos. They fought fire with fire and in the end the entire Roman empire burned on. Did thanks for. You're listening to assassinations. We'll be back next Monday. You can find more episodes of assassinations as well as all a podcast. Other podcasts on apple podcasts spotify stitcher Google play or your favorite podcast directory. Several of you have asked how to help us. If you enjoy the show. The best way to help us is to leave a five star review and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. We'll see you next time. UH assassinations was created by Max. Cutler is a production of cutler media and is part of the podcast network. It is produced by Max Max and Ron Cutler sound design by Michael Lang's ner with production assistance by Ron Shapiro and Paul Moller additional production assistance by Carly early Madden and Maggie admire. Assassinations is written by David Calvert and stars Kate. Leonard and Bill Thomas.