Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rome Needs Women!

So the story of Rome starts with these two brothers.

Not Romulus and Remus, but these two other brothers, named Amulius and Numitor.

Amulius and Numitor were Princes of this place called Alba Longa, which was made up of refuges from Troy, I guess, after they fell for the Trojan Horse Trick and totally blew it.

And Amulius and Numitor could trace their roots back to Venus, the Goddess of Love, who had a kid with this lucky bastard named Anchesis (who apparently mighta been a half-nymph or something, which woulda made Amulius and Numitor part-man, part-god, and part-nymph).

So whatever, eventually, after their dad died, Numitor became the Rightful King, and Amulius got put in charge of the Royal Treasury.

And Amulius didn't like that, y'know, so he overthrew his brother and made himself King.

Amulius didn't kill Numitor, for some reason, maybe he had a change of heart or something before he had a chance (or mebbe it woulda just ruined the story heh), and Numitor went on living his life there in the city of Alba Longa, as if nothing had happened.

Numitor musta been a really mellow dude, yknow?

'Cause Amulius did kill all of Numitor's sons, and he forced Numitor's daughter to become a Vestal Virgin, y'know, like a nun, so there wouldn't be no damn kids that could challenge him (or his kids) for their rightful place on the throne.

But... Numitor's daughter got pregnant anyways.

With the twins, Romulus and Remus.

And she tried to tell everybody their daddy was Mars, y'know, the old "Say Their Daddy Was Mars Trick," but nobody fell for it, 'cause every other guy in town was a Son of Mars heh.

I always imagine the ancient times musta been a lot like livin' in Wisconsin, where there ain't nothing to do but get drunk and screw ahaha.

And so Amulius ordered some of his dudes to have her and her babies killed, 'cause he's the Bad Guy in the Story, y'know, that's what they do.

And of course, although his dudes didn't have much of a problem killing the Bad Nun Who Said She Did It With Mars, they didn't have the heart for the baby bit, and they put the babies in a basket, and the babies floated down the river, and into the forest, where they washed down all those crappy Fig Newton cookies that the Woodpeckers were feeding 'em by suckling at the tits of a She-wolf, 'cause that's just how thirsty those damn dry cookies can make ya, y'know, they're practically crackers.

And eventually this nice Shepherd Guy found 'em, and rescued 'em from the whole Disney Tarzan Cartoon thing, and him and his wife took 'em to their cottage, and raised 'em as their own kids, pretty much.

But eventually, y'know, while they're out doing the shepherd thing, guarding sheep and stuff, the two brothers, Romulus and Remus, get in a fight with these shepherds of Numitor, because Numitor's shepherds had been pulling shit on Amulius's shepherds.

Yah, so they were helping the bad guy on accident!

And Romulus and Remus kick Numitor's shepherds' asses inside out, but then Remus gets captured, and brought to Numitor for punishment, at Numitor's house in the city of Alba Longa.

So then Remus and Numitor figure everything out, y'know, Remus realizes that Numitor is actually his grandfather and all that.

But Romulus don't know any of that, and he gets an army of people that are totally pissed off at Amulius together, and they march off to attack the city of Alba Longa and rescue Remus from Numitor.

And so there's Romulus, banging on the gates of the city of Alba Longa, with his brother and his grandfather inside, who are running around trying to raise all the folks inside the city to overthrow Amulius, too, like some kinda Ancient Three's Company Episode, where its all because of some huge misunderstanding.

So there's a big laugh at the end, when they figure everything out, and they grab Amulius and kill him before can even figure out what the hell everybody is laughing about.

And Numitor gets put back on the throne of Alba Longa, and Romulus and Remus march off to found a new city, with a bunch of the folks who were miserable living in Alba Longa, like runaway slaves and junk, under the premise that there oughta be a place where folks like that can get a Second Chance.

And that's Rome.

Well, it ain't called Rome until Remus gets killed off, after arguing with his brother about where they ought to put the place.

Yah, see, they decided to have a contest, to see which one of 'em was cooler with the gods.

And Remus had a vision, where he saw six birds flying.

And so then Romulus said he had a vision where he saw twelve birds flying (ahaha).

And then they fought over what was more important, how many birds they saw, or who had a vision first, and then somebody, and I'm not naming names, hit Remus over the head with a shovel, and maybe the shovel guy became the head of the Royal Guard for Romulus later on, and maybe he had the Roman Cavalry named after him.

Or maybe it was somebody else.

Or maybe Remus just suddenly fell over dead without getting hit with a shovel.

Y'know how these things work, we ain't never gonna know heh.

Anyways Romulus and all these runaway slaves and junk build Rome.

But... then they realize they don't have enough women.

So they invite these dudes called the Sabines to a big party, and then, in the middle of the party, they pull out swords and chase all the men away, and take all the women for themselves.

And there's a huge ruckuss over it, like another Three's Company Episode, but they all make friends in the end, and in honor of the women they stole, they name all the "noble" families after 'em.

Y'know, I'm talking about the families of the guys that become the Senators, the Patricians, who are supposed to take care of the Plebians like a father takes care of a son and all that.

So Romulus is the First King, and they do a bunch of wars and they're pretty successful and they collect a lotta loot, and then one day, there's a big storm, and Romulus disappears, and some of the Senators say that they saw Romulus Ascend to Heaven, and before he went, he told 'em to worship him as the god Quirinus (who became part of the Capitoline Triad, with Mars and Jupiter, until Q and Mars got voted out of the House in favor of Juno and Minerva).

But all the Regular People are like "uh huh, tell me another one," and they think that the Senators prolly murdered him.

So then another Senator-type village wiseman sorta guy, Julius Proculus, said Romulus came back and told him that it was heaven's will that Rome become the greatest city in the world, and that everybody oughta learn to be soldiers, 'cause no force on earth could stand against the might of their arms.

And that seemed to work.

After that, there was a bunch of other Kings.

King #2: Numa Pompilius (didn't like people worshipping images and idols and stuff of the gods)

King #3: Tullus Hostilius (struck dead with lightning because he fought too much)

King #4: Ancus Marcius (built a bridge and a prison)

King #5: Tarquinius Priscus (built the Circus Maximus, I guess it was a place for horse races, got an axe blow to the head)

King #6: Servius Tullus (instituted the Census, reorganized a bunch of stuff, and got murdered)

King #7: Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (wasn't all that Superbus, driven into exile by an ancestor of the Brutus that took the rap for the murder of Julius Caesar)

And then there was a lot of years where it was just the Roman Republic, when they quit having Kings for a while, and they just had those Co-Consul guys and the Senate and stuff.

And that went away when that Octavian guy, y'know, the Doogie Howser lookin' kid from the Rome TV show, declared that Julius Caesar, the dude who got all stabberized by Brutus and them, was divine, which made him the son of a divine guy (well, the adopted son, but he was related), and he renamed himself Emperor Caesar Augustus, and that was the end of the Republic Period, and the start of the Roman Empire.

Y'know, after Mark Antony and Cleopatra croak.

And now yer only thirty years or so away from when Jesus is supposed to show up, and you start the List of All the Roman Emperors.

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