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Ataraxidermist t1_j1du2ec wrote

In this moment, I may be the most spoken about figure in all of Greece. In a day, I will be executed and buried in history. I wonder what Socrates would think.

My name is Aristofanes, general of the Spartan army. Born and bred to be the finest warrior, mind sharpened for tactics and strategy.

We rarely used these tactics.

Mostly it was about putting down the slaves. Quite the annoyance to have a dozen slave for every warrior, we have to cull them every now and then.

Often, actually.

But it's in the blood to want for a worthy opponent. I came to hope I would see it before a slave revolt would bring us low. Crazy thought for a spartan, but with only war at home to ponder the future, I came to think that having so few warriors may be our downfall. But then, going against our two kings and rewriting tradition was a surefire way to get me exiled.


I had my wish.

They called themselves the Delian league. Smart move, Pericles, smart move. I can think of no other figure as hated as Pericles. Where we built strength, he encouraged philosophy. We culled, he nurtured. We trained, he promoted mathematics. We have kings, he proposed debates.

But the wise lion has sharp fangs.

The Delian league was a coalition of city states to stand against our encroaching presence. Soon the league was forgotten, absorbed by the city state of Athens, to face the city state of Sparta. He had planned it all, centralize power to be certain to stand a chance.

We longed for the fight, and they were rising up to meet our expectations. I am mighty, but I am smart. Athens had underhanded tactics, Sparta needed me to even the odds. And I had the gifts to catch up with accents fast.

So I was sent to spy on Athens. Oh, did I mock them, the bickering ducks on their plazas, disagreeing about the war, Athens, themselves. Weak men, leaves carried by the wind, to be crushed against our iron. I saw Him, at the Parthenon. Did I laugh.

Did I wonder.

Frictions, and the inevitable war broke out. Inevitable, because we wanted it, in our own way.

So I did what I was sent to do, get information, transmit information.

They ached for a great battle. Almost like gentlemen, they agreed on the sea. The first battle of the Peloponnesian war, maybe the last.

Get information, transmit information.

So I gave Athens our ways to fight at sea. I told our enemy how to face us, slaughter us.

We lost the battle because of me. Our fleet reduced to ashes.


Because I'm engraving this, something I wouldn't have done in Sparta. Because we don't write, we don't create, don't debate for long periods. Oh, the Athenians bicker, but it does something for the mind.

I came back home to await death by Athenian hands... And Athenians became careless, arrived in droves on our shores, our land, our territory. They could have won the war. Instead, they came like brutes, set themselves up to lose.

Captured survivors of the disastrous land battle told my brothers how they won at sea, and their eyes turned on me.

They kept me alive, to see.

The slow erosion of a civilization. Athens, bled dry. Philosophy dying, survivors too busy staying alive.

And me, in a cell, being told how the war went.

Athens, last stone turned to dust.

And yet...

I see it in my captors eyes, the infection spreading. Mathematics and philosophy gaining a solid foot. The stones are broken, but some tablets remain.

So I laugh, at the eve of my execution. In a hundred generations, we will be a footnote in history, with fantasy to fill in the blanks and myself forgotten. But Athens will have an echo, a word in the stone that will prevail, and spread

I laugh.

Tomorrow, I will be no more.

Just a leave carried by the wind.

I laugh.


PhilosopherActive677 t1_j1dr6he wrote

The cell was as small as coffin - three steps long and two steps wide. Stone walls, thin window under the ceiling. We can imagine this dark room with straw pallet, night-chair and a tin bottle of water.

Here the emperor, chained and disgraced, wrote his last words. His reign was in the end of one of the civil wars, and he was referred in chronicles just as "June-October usurper". His reign lasted for more than month, so it was necessary to include at least some words about who he was and how he came to power.

But there was only "June-October usurper". No name, no mentioning in lists of rulers, that were carved on stone. So "June-October usurper" lost his fight so badly, that he was washed out of history.

"June-October usurper was torn apart by four horsemen, ending the age of civil wars".

During the last archaeological diggings on the Imperial Prison site scientists found this room. On the remaining plans it was named "special sweat-box".Thousands of years passed, and cement, that held stones of cell together, weakened. Under the one stone of floor a tiny secret cache was found.

Cache was small, but it was enough to hold a piece of parchment with words written by coal:

"I tried.

Imperator Korenus".


Delta798 t1_j1gdoxn wrote

I don't get it, could you explain?


PhilosopherActive677 t1_j1he688 wrote

Shit, I need to improve my English.

During archaeological diggings a piece of parchment was found. Becsuse it was wound on place of "special sweat-box", probably it was written by some special prisoner. Because it was signed by "Imperator Korenus", it was probably written by a man, known as "June-October usurper". So now at least name of this usurper is known.

And I thought that "I tried" is laconic in Roman style, alike the "And you, Brutus?" or "Memento mori". And also "I tried" finalises the way of failed emperor pretty good.


Ben_Dellon t1_j1dphpk wrote

Today is February 4th, 2012. It was a Saturday, which meant relax and party for the rest of the world, but for Latin 212 of Barnard College, NY, it was an extra catch up day. At least it was for the advanced of the class who were collectively attempting to translate a particular piece of Latin writing. Written by one of the cruelest emperors to ever live, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, or better known as Caligula during his life. That part of the letter was easy, his signature was clearly posted on the opening lines. The rest of the letter seemed straight forward; a letter explaining some final, frantic thoughts before his death. He knew his time was coming soon, but he was frustrated and paranoid over not knowing who it was and speculating who it could be. He even went so far as to surmise how his grandmother could be a legitimate culprit in the final scheme. And after the populace succeeded in disposing him, the Senate enacted a decree, Damnatio Memoriae, in attempts to wipe this man from memory, from history permanently. It was many decades afterward that those who were historically astute knew the principle “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it” and thus reverted the decree. Yes, beyond the untrained eye, it just seemed to be a letter, however paranoid, about a man’s last thoughts before his end he knew was coming and most likely would not survive. But to this class body, they had a hypothesis from the beginning, one which they, including the faculty, wished to explore thoroughly; the letter was a cryptic message detailing, if vaguely, Caligula’s return.

There were hints that would support this hypothesis, and the body even got as far as to what the cryptic message was most likely saying. These cryptic details, they surmised, revealed such things like how he’ll arrive, places where he most likely would arrive, potential dates of when he would arrive, etc. Many of the other scholars that translated the letter thought them crazy for this thought. But, even though the earliest date provided by the students and faculty of Bernard College of when Cragula was suppose to arrive was still at least a century out, it was proven today they were all wrong.

The heavens opened up with a bang unlike anything heard before across the world (those immediately present at the entrance point reported becoming deaf), and a nearly divine light streamed out to grace the crust of the earth. It woke everyone across the world, and every channel, radio and other forms of media was tuned to one thing; this unexpected ‘cosmic encounter’. And as the cameras showed a figure in a purple robe descend down the steps of heaven, the students and faculty of Bernard College stared in horror. And as for all who knew who this was that was coming, all they could mutter was; “Dear God help us.”


[deleted] t1_j1dr47s wrote



Ben_Dellon t1_j1dv1y8 wrote

Thank you so much, really appreciated! I did enjoy writing this a lot more than I thought I would.

Also, I fully endorse a Caligula ‘War of the Worlds’


Deathpaloma t1_j1exe9r wrote

I writte this in my last moments in the hope of not being forgotten. That someone in the future will find this and I will be remembered.

Febris Milus was my name, and if they were successful will never have heard of me

I was not the best emperor, neither the worst. Sadly most of my decision however were not well acceped by my peers, I lost several battles, and for my merciful nature I was considered weak. I told them, however great Rome is we can't expand forever, the empire grows poorer and more fragile by the day. One should not by more than he can chew... but the greed and the pride is too high amongst the romans, the people are contempt in Panis at circienses, the generals are cotempt in they glory in battle, even if most of them are in the past, as a empire we should have grown not only in size, but in means, in agriculture... construction, we expand and forget about the places that already are a part of this empire.

My father was a great ministry that taught me everything I know, and he was hanged. Now so will I.

I have divided the pages of a book and will insert this note here in a book they would never dare to burn or desacrate.

I am Febris Milus and I did my best for my people on the 5 years I resided emperor of the grear Roman empire.


russrussrussrussruss t1_j1fn3hl wrote

1908, an excavation sight in southern Italy

Nicolas ran towards the camp, the antique wooden box decorated intricately with star-like designs clutched under his arm. This could be the find of a lifetime, if his suspicions were correct.

His 3 peers were busy, studying maps, old records, and transcripts from interviews with the locals. All related to any information on a previously unheard of Roman Emperor, supposedly called Testiclus. Nicolas burst through the fabric door, panting and dripping with sweet.

Henry jumped “for gods sake Nicolas, you almost made me spill my tea over everything! I swe-“ Nicolas cut him off, practically yelling. “I found something, none of that matters anymore.” Tara, a young but bright student of Colin, who himself was the de facto “leader” of the expedition, spoke up. “That box…it shares the same designs as the ruins we unearthed last month. Is that..?” Nicolas cleared the table, and put the box down carefully. “I think it is”.

Colin was silently studying the box, comparing the designs with the tracings they’d taken at the ruins. “This may be a replica, Testiclus wasn’t popular, but if you knew the right people, you could sell an “artifact” from his reign and never have to work again. But…these are disturbingly accurate.” Henry approached. “Should we open it?”

118, supposedly 1 year into the reign of Hadrian, Rome

“To whoever may read this, I am Marcus Julius Testiclusian, who reigned as Testiclus. I tell you this because my name will be erased from the annuls of history, my hometown burnt to the ground, and my children slaughtered. I was lord over the Eternal City. I brought peace to many savage tribes. I gifted the lower class with my holy presence. I gave many men sons of a higher class than their own. I was gracious, yet they damn me.

What is life without death? What is food without starvation? What is joy without misery? They don’t see this, they see only their trivial matters. Still, some are loyal. I will give this to a guard, in the hopes that my memory will be preserved. My ultimate victory. My last act as ruler. My last decree. Let it be known.”

“You’re all a bunch of cocksuckers. Fuck all of you. Suck my testiclus.”


“That’s…you must be joking.” Tara said.

“Unfortunately, I am not. I’ve been doing these translations for years.” Colin said, still examining the millennia’s old papyrus. Nicolas couldn’t help but laugh.

“2 years in the Roman son, digging and searching, and we finally find evidence…it’s better than evidence, we find a hand written note from the Emperor himself. And he makes a joke about his name at the end.” He sat down, still lightly laughing at the idea. “No one’s going to believe us. We wasted our time here.” Henry threw his flask to the ground in anger, before sitting next to Nicolas.

Nicolas looked over at him. “It wasn’t a waste, we all know now, without a shadow of a doubt…”

“That the mysterious forgotten Emperor of Rome was a petty little bitch.”


Kyber99 t1_j1f35us wrote

The rain was falling all night, forming puddles on the patio. Water drifted through the curtains, forcing me to step carefully as I pursued the vista I adore. The sun hadn’t fully risen, but daylight prevailed. Lingering puddles reflected the deep blue of the sky, glimmering bits of light that might have been stars or ripples. Familiar rooftops greet me, alleyways that I’d seen a thousand times and yet no more. The fountain with its mismatched stones of red and yellow, where I’d spoken with so many. No blood tied us together, but still I spoke with these citizens fondly. Petyr the fisherman complaining about his rival, Anna the weaver who spoke of her son who served as a guardsman, and others. “Surely they didn’t all wish death upon me. They seemed to speak with love.”

The sky had gone to fire when I turned. I strode across the patio with a heart not unmoved. Through the blackness searching for some comfort that I often found here. Dripping across the room I walked, squinting my eyes at the vague shapes that came into view. This tomb was well-adorned I must admit, but lacking in substance. My golden chalice filled with red wine that lie untouched. “Fitting.”

A parchment sat upon my desk, where I might write weighty words for the blind. A waste of ink.

“Igneous the Vain, last of his name”


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