Saturday, June 12, 2010

WHO AM I?

Know your Roman Republic history? This one is relatively easy. Who is speaking? Answers via comment button as usual.

From Imperium by Robert Harris (Hutchinson), (UK link click here), a superbly-told recreation of the last decades of the Republic as seen through the eyes of Cicero's secretary, Tiro:

He took up a pointer and rapped it on the painted board. ‘I propose we divide the Mediterranean into fifteen zones, from the Pillars of Hercules here in the west to the waters of Egypt and Syria here in the east, each zone to have its own legate, whose task will be to scour his area clean of pirates and then to make treaties with the local rulers to ensure the brigands’ vessels never return to their waters. All captured pirates are to be handed over to Roman jurisdiction. Any ruler who refuses to cooperate will be regarded as Rome’s enemy. Those who are not with us are against us. These fifteen legates will all report to one supreme commander, who will have absolute authority over all the mainland for a distance of fifty miles from the sea. I shall be that commander.’

Click comment to give your answer, and while you're there, if you've read Harris, tell us what you think...

8 comments:

Nan Hawthorne, Shield-wall Books said...

I dunno, Augustus? Seems too broad an ambition for Julius or Pompey.

Am reading "Libertas" by Alistair Forrest just now.. about Iberian Celts dealing with the crafty incursions of Rome and its culture. Very engrossing.

Nan Hawthorne
An Involuntary King
www.nanhawthorne.com

lordteaspoon said...

Welcome here Nan, love your choice of reading! Well, it wasn't Augustus, way before him even when he was just plain Octavian. Here's a clue, the pirate quest gave this man a 'great' reputation.

Jen Black said...

I cheated and went to look at reviews on the Amazon site. They talk of Cicero, so....the person speaking here is likely to be Tiro, his personal servant. I hope. If you don't want people to cheat, don't put the link right beside the question!

lordteaspoon said...

Aha Jen, I'm all in favour of a little, ahem, cheating but it has let you down here I'm afraid. Yes of course Tiro is the book's narrator, but here he and the author are quoting a much more famous person in the last days of the Republic! Try searching for issues between Rome and pirates and see what you get. As I say, I would cheat if I didn't already know the answer!

Scobo said...

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus - Pompey the Great.

lordteaspoon said...

Scobo, welcome. You, of course, are bang on the money, so now we know it was Pompey, does anyone want to debate the pirate issues of the first century BC? Or suggest further reading?

Michael said...

Pompey the Great. Book was good!

lordteaspoon said...

Couldn't agree more, Michael, about the book being good. I hope to get on to Lustrum soon. Have you read that? BTW, you're spot on with your answer, but I guess you knew that!