Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It has been fashionable lately to make comparisons between America and the Roman Empire. Thinking about this I simply could not miss the fun. If George W. Bush were an emperor, which emperor would he be? Ruminating upon the many tyrants I might choose from, one name stood out from all the rest--Commodus.
From Cassius Dio’s The Roman History, Book LXXIII, paragraph one, we have the following description:
“This man was not naturally wicked, but, on the contrary, as guileless (read stupid) as any man that ever lived. His great simplicity, however, together with his cowardice, made him the slave of his companions (Cheney?)….”
Like Bush, Commodus never actually fought in a battle, but enjoyed playing the part of a soldier. And like Bush, he felt himself to be divine, seeing himself as the new Hercules. Bush appears to believe himself on some sort of holy mission and hears the voice of God. Such are a few of the more notable comparisons.
Just to be fair and not play favorites, whom might Clinton resemble? The younger Gordian was among my first thoughts, but Bill lasted just a bit too long and was too successful for a satisfying comparison.
What are your thoughts?