Successors to Augustus

 · The Julio-Claudian Dynasty · 

Much already exists, in print and on the Internet, about ancient Rome ;  most of it deals with the conflicts fought and lands conquered by her leaders.  A rehearsal of that material here is unnecessary ;  a summary of the family tree of the dynasty founded by Augustus might, however, interest the reader and add to the colour of to-day’s* broadcast in the entertaining series A History of the World in 100 Objects on B.B.C. Radio-4, presented by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum.

* Friday, 21st. May

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Caesar Augustus

The lines of descent themselves within this family tree are reasonably simple, despite quite a lot of marriage amongst cousins ;  what complicates it are the manifold adoptions, as one emperor after another attempts to secure his succession — either by a blood relative or by a perhaps unrelated individual considered suitable.

The dynasty — known as the Julio-Claudian — really begins in the time of C. Julius Caesar.  The ‘C.’ stands for his praenomen (plural praenomina) or forename, Gaius ;  for a detailed description of Roman naming conventions see this excellent Wikipedia article ;  and a list of the most common praenomina and their conventional abbreviations.  (Links to Wikipedia articles have been given throughout :  not only are they often well presented ;  they themselves give extensive references for those wanting to pursue the subject.)

Follow the story through the links on our simplified form of the Julio-Claudian family tree.

5 thoughts on “Successors to Augustus”

  1. Thank you for the interesting potted history of Roman Emperors. I reflected upon their cynical machinations, and thought, facetiously, of how different, how very different,
    Roman government was in comparison to the home life of our own dear politicos.
    And then I heard that Milliband and Balls have both announced that they were opposed to the war in Iraq. In fact, they are now determined that we should know just how great was their opposition, as they are both running to lead the Labour party.
    Which means that when they were members of a cabinet that sent British soldiers to die in Iraq, they did nothing, and said nothing, about their opposition to the war.
    And since they know that the majority of the members of the Labour party were against the war, they now publicise their deeply held opposition to the war, in the hope that it will bring them votes.
    I am pretty sure that to hold a belief, and then act in a way that is contrary to that belief, is hypocrisy. Blatant, unalloyed and sickening hypocrisy.
    And I suppose they will say that it was better to voice their opposition within the cabinet than without. Which is the same self-serving mendacity that Albert Speer used to justify his sickening actions, too.
    Those who will not learn the lessons of history…

  2. This is about the home life of our own dear Economics:

    The £60m University Challenge Fund, which distributed money to universities in 2000, invested in 835 lab projects that led to the creation of 378 spin out companies, the research for PraxisUnico found. The scheme was remarked to have outperformed other government initiatives and employing 1985 people. (by Richard Tyler, University spin out fund proves a hit with scientists, Telegraph, 21 Dec 2009)

    VCs not being there when most needed:

    An article by Matt Bowman on the ‘2 and 20’ deal the VC funds operate under (23 Nov 2009)says that VCs are charging 2% in management fees on the money they hold from their investors and take 20%-30% on the profits they make. If you have a large fund of $200m-$500m with only 2-5 partners then there is little downside in moving slowly and only taking growth deals with no risk! Or in any words acting like a cautious bank and not a ‘venture’ capitalist at all! It is a very nice way to make money and means that despite all their lofty words about innovation that we hear from them there is, in fact, little or no money getting to where it is needed in the marketplace. New technologies and ideas that should be going to create an Apple or a Google in Europe are simply not getting the funding they need at the right time to grow and the VCs are known in this process for ‘not being there’ when they are most needed.

  3. The Romans, like other powerful civilisations and like the previous mayor, were successful because they had clear convictions.

    [Ed: inappropriate section]

  4. “VCs not being there when most needed” — Consultant

    Perhaps — for the sake of clarity, especially given the poor light in which Vice-Chancellors are so oft seen and low esteem in which held — we should explain that ‘VCs’ here means venture-capital funds.


  5. The Romans had conviction.

    This is in stark contrast to the current mayor. Giving residents a vote on the Congestion Charge western extension was always going to be a vote winner, but a rather spineless one that exacerbates London’s transport problems.

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