Episode 132 – The White Album

We leave behind the outraged censors of 434 BCE and move forward into some troubled domestic times for Rome. The solution? Fashion, darling. White togas are out, so we suggest you find something appropriate to wear for this one.

Episode 132 – The White Album

Problems Plague the Romans

433 BCE begins like many other years: irate tribunes, obstinate patricians. However, political disputes come to a screeching halt when an epidemic breaks out. How will Rome handle this crisis? The past decade has not been easy, and now a plague? Perhaps a temple will solve everything.

Image of the remains of the Temple of Apollo Medicus Sosianus.
Courtesy of Anthony Majanlahti via Flickr.

The White Album

In 432 BCE, the tribunes of the plebs are feeling well enough to start complaining. Why have no plebeians been elected to office? They pushed for the creation of military tribunes with consular power so that plebeians could hold the most elite positions in the state, but no one is electing them into power.

The tribunes decide to put forward a law that would ban the wearing of the toga candida. This garment was an especially white toga, worn by those seeking political office. This is an odd move so early in the Republic, but Livy assures us that the law was passed.

Is the banning of white togas enough to get a plebeian into power? Join us to find out!

Things to Listen Our For:

  • The Flaccinator
  • Apollo Medicus
  • Books of prophecy
  • Secret meetings
  • White togas

Looking to catch up the decade of the 430s and where this chaos all began? Jump back in time to the drama of 439 BCE with Episode 127: The Assassination of Spurius Maelius.

Our Players 433 BCE

Military Tribunes with Consular Power

  • M. Fabius (Q. f. M. n.) Vibulanus (Pat) Cos. 442
  • M. Folius – f. – n. Flaccinator (Pat)
  • L. Sergius C. f. C. n. Fidenas (Pat) Cos. 437, 429, Mil. Tr. c. p. 424, 418

Our Players 432 BCE

Military Tribunes with Consular Power

  • L. Pinarius – f. – n. Mamercinus (Pat)
  • L. Furius Sp. f. – n. Medullinus (Pat) Mil. Tr. c. p. 425, 420
  • Sp. Postumius (Sp.?f. A.? n.) Albus (Regillensis) (Pat)

Our Sources

Sound Effects

Fesliyan Studios, Orange Free Sounds and BBC Sound Effects. Thanks to the highly talented Bettina Joy de Guzman for our theme music.

Where can you buy our book?

We’re thrilled to announce that we have a written a book together!

We delve into the history, myth, and complexities of the ancient Roman kings. You can support our work and get a very cool ancient Roman history book in return by pre-ordering a copy of Rex: The Seven Kings of Rome from the Highlands Press. Due for release in late January 2023.

Highlands Press is an independent publisher supporting historians and we’re excited to be pairing up with an indie producer for our debut book together.

Headless statue of man wearing a toga

This is the artefact unedited from the top of this post. Marble statue of a togatus (man wearing a toga), 1st century CE. While this sculpture is from a little later than the action of this episode, the draping of the toga gives us an insight into what the early republicans may have worn as well.
Image courtesy of the Met Museum.

Automated Transcript

Generated by Otter AI


patrician, plebeians, power, plague, vote, romans, rome, military, people, consoles, tributes, year, bit, magistrates, temple, episode, candidates, reference, etruscans, flags


Dr Rad, Dr G

Dr Rad  00:16

Welcome to The Partial Historians,

Dr G  00:20

we explore all the details of ancient Rome.

Dr Rad  00:23

Everything from the political scandals, the love of ours, the battles waged, and when citizens turn against each other. I’m Dr. Rad.

Dr G  00:34

And I’m Dr. G. We consider Rome as the Roman Sword by reading different authors from the ancient past and comparing their stories.

Dr Rad  00:43

Join us as we trace the journey of Rome from the founding of the city. Welcome to a brand new episode of the partial historians. I am one of your host, Dr. AD and joining me in cyberspace. Ooh, woohoo.

Dr G  01:14

It’s me. It’s ducted Gee, yeah,

Dr Rad  01:17

uncharacteristically not recording together together.

Dr G  01:21

It does feel weird. Hopefully that doesn’t influence the way that anybody feels about our charisma together.

Dr Rad  01:27

Never. We are full of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. So Dr. G, the last time that we met, we had possibly one of the most confusing years to deal with. So let’s step back in time and do a brief recap of 434 BCE in ancient Roman history, but the fingers out the fingers, I don’t think a trigger to translate in the podcast media.

Dr G  01:54

It’s really disappointing. All right, I did my fingers to suggested we’ll go back in time, but you’ll just have to imagine that for yourselves listeners for 34 BCE, what a time to be alive. It was chaos, I have to say, That’s my summation

Dr Rad  02:08

in terms of who was a magistrate and who was not, it was very difficult to figure out because we had pretty much everything that the Romans could possibly throw at us. consoles,

Dr G  02:19

we had two pairs of consoles. So that’s a lot of consoles, way more than anybody needs. We had a set of military tributes with controller power, there was about three of those, and at least one dictator, maybe more dictators.

Dr Rad  02:34

We did indeed, it was very confusing. And there seems to be because there was a lot of chaos in terms of what was actually what the Romans were actually dealing with. Was there a threat from a neighbouring city wasn’t there. It all seemed to build up to something that never quite happened.

Dr G  02:54

And this also seems to tie into like broader issues that our sources our written sources are having with like dealing with the weird chronology that they’ve ended up with because they want every year to exist independently of each other, but they’re not sure where things started. And some of their calculations are now starting to crop up as mistake. Yeah, definitely. But certainly, there’s been some issues with the Etruscans. It didn’t seem to come too much last time, but it seems to be why we had so many magistrates. Yeah, there’s some issues and there’s this ongoing situation that Rome has at this stage with all of their neighbours, and there’s a lot of grumpiness, and there’s a lot of switching of sides. And Rome stamp sets feet and this year, it just has, like everybody had a turn. It was a carousel of magistrates. Everybody took a ride on the magisterial horse as it were,

Dr Rad  03:46

which is funny because of them were actually the Magister Equisetum

Dr G  03:52

Yeah. Gotta ride that horse. Somebody’s got to do it. We got a whole roll for

Dr Rad  03:57

that now. So master of the horse is the pattern there just in case you didn’t catch my excellent Latin. So with that in mind, the fact that 434 was building up to be something spectacular and then really fizzled out. I think it’s time to journey forward in our narrative history of ancient Rome into 433 Hopefully with livie and Dionysius our main sources by our side, but perhaps not

Dr G  04:24

Oh, you’ve got big dreams I have to die this is a harlequin so this is definitely missing.

Dr Rad  04:30

Yeah, well journey for which just leave you by our side onwards Libby.

Dr G  04:36

Libby is carrying a lot of weight

Dr Rad  05:00

I’m for 33 BC who are our magistrates this year? Dr. J.

Dr G  05:07

Look, as far as I can tell you, we’ve only got military tributes with concealer powder. That is what I have as well. But just your way I’m gonna tell you all about Yeah, like

Dr Rad  05:17

I’m here for it because I can see that one of them is a Fabian. Oh, fabulous.

Dr G  05:26

Fabulous Fabian. And yet, for me, not the most interesting of the three, but we’ll get into that. So we’ve got Marcus Fabius, some of Quintus, grandson of Marcus villainous a patrician previously consoling for 40 to be about 10 years. All right, it’s time for another tour around the block of power and then

Dr Rad  05:49

we’ve got a new name, which is a very unfortunate name. I’m gonna say

Dr G  05:53

I’m into this guy. I’m ready for it. This is my new favourite markers foliaceus Son of whoever grandson of whoever FLAC and

Dr Rad  06:03

I think for people to really capture how awful the name is. I think we need to say more more English so fascinator. I am the flat senator. I live ladies on satisfied all over the city.

Dr G  06:19

I find yourself last night. I love the way that you said we need to pronounce it more English and then immediately went into a German

Dr Rad  06:29

You had me this off. See the saucy Oh, I should Oh, I shouldn’t say too soft to see. Yeah, exactly.

Dr G  06:37

It was too much too much. One for the flag. inators right there. So the name flax and ADA. I looked into this because I loved it so much. And I had a good giggle. It comes from flax, EO to flag. So potentially this name could be interpreted as somebody who makes flags or somebody who puts up flags. Okay, somebody who flags things.

Dr Rad  07:01

I was gonna say, I don’t really associate the Romans with flags. I mean, like, yeah,

Dr G  07:05

family line is not going to last for very long. That’s the other spoiler that’s

Dr Rad  07:10

that’s even more puzzling, because I feel like flags would be more necessary later.

Dr G  07:16

Yes, but But I think maybe the sexual pun on Flesner. NATO was maybe too much for a Roman family to handle. And so they’ve left the name.

Dr Rad  07:25

Understandable. They are very big on masculinity. Yeah,

Dr G  07:29

yeah. And this, this doesn’t bode well for poor old markers now. And finally, we have Lucia circus, son of Gaius, grandson of guys for DNS previously consoler for 37. Yeah, I was

Dr Rad  07:44

gonna say now this is the guy that got the name from the whole conflict overfeeding a that colony, that treacherously turned to the Etruscans.

Dr G  07:54

Yeah, so this is interesting as well. So I did this is one of my rabbit holes for these episodes, it’s basically all they have is these three names, and nothing else. I started looking in to what’s going on with Roman names, because that’s always like part of how you can build a narrative out around them. And so we’ve got villainous, and this name is thought to be a topping mimic kind of cognomen. So it’s based on a place I was gonna say,

Dr Rad  08:23

I feel like I have heard something close to that before. And I don’t know whether it’s in the name or the place.

Dr G  08:30

Yeah, and to be honest, we’re not sure where the place that’s connected to this name would be located. Okay. So that’s a bit of a problem for us, Flack and NATO, we’ve already had that reference back to flat out. Yeah. And for DNS, as you know, is that connection to feed and a, which is this ancient sort of Latin city that the Romans have tried to claim for quite some time, entered into some negotiations with and have recently been in the bad books road because they threw their lot in with the Etruscans, which Rome was not satisfied about now. So we’ve got this sense that Rome is drawing in people from all around the local region, essentially. And that’s part of what we can say with these names.

Dr Rad  09:13

I’ve definitely not heard the name foliaceus before

Dr G  09:17

Yeah, and this seems to be a really small gains. I did a little bit of research on this one as well. So Marcus folios flax inator, as I like to call

Dr Rad  09:27

that if I can, I was gonna say please, yeah. This is one case where you do not want to drop the

Dr G  09:33

No no, I don’t the flax inator himself. He comes from against portfolios. This is a really small gains. It doesn’t produce many family lines, and we don’t know much about it. So it seems to not last beyond the early republic. So I’m fascinated to see if they come up again.

Dr Rad  09:49

I think I know why they didn’t last very long.

Dr G  09:54

Have you been have trouble keeping it up as it were? It’s hard to produce. It’s hard to continue the line when everything is So flat.

Dr Rad  10:02

Oh, I have to move on for this thing. All right. Well, I do have a little bit of detail for you about 433 Not a tonne, but I do have a little bit. So the tribunes of the plebs, they haven’t been super painful for some time. So they decided that for 33 is their moment to reassert their awfulness, at least, I believe, at least as far as Patricia narratives are concerned. So basically, they are blocking consular elections from happening. They’re absolutely adamant that it’s not going to happen. And they were being such an obstacle that the Romans were close to having to move to an interregnum. Now there’s a word I didn’t think I’d say at this point in the Republic.

Dr G  10:48

Is that even something that you can do if you’re not planning to hire a king?

Dr Rad  10:52

I guess I mean, I guess it’s that idea of, you know, not having someone holding that ultimate magisterial power.

Dr G  11:01

We’re unable to run the elections in time. And now we need a holding pattern until we can get the elections off the ground.

Dr Rad  11:07

I mean, and maybe it was just, I mean, look, this could just be living here. I mean, let’s face it. But it could also be the fact that they kind of know that this is, this is something that’s an option, I guess. They’re kind of like, well, we need to have something happening somewhere. We can’t have consoles, or we don’t want to have military attributes with constantly power, then this is really our only way out of this situation without having again. So maybe that maybe it’s that anywho as you might suspect, eventually it turns to military treatments with consular power. So that’s why we have those three guys with a spectacular array of names. The aim being that they would obviously be a poor being elected. I mean, presumably, that’s why the tribunes are being so painful, and trying to make sure that it’s not consoles, because they want to finally get a plug in, in office strategy. But then, once again, they’re all freaking patricians.

Dr G  12:10

I was gonna say, I mean, if that was the goal, surely they’ve been watered because every man on this list of military tributes with Coachella power is a patrician i

Dr Rad  12:19

there and it always seems to obviously, add some sort of justification to this idea that the plebeians really aren’t equipped to do the job. And the and the plebeians themselves know it, because they’re not voting for them. Apparently, they Well,

Dr G  12:36

I don’t know, I don’t think they ever get a real chance to to be honest, we know the voting system is pretty rigged in a chip room.

Dr Rad  12:42

It is and this is actually but I think that in in the way that it’s represented the way that live he throws out these little comments every now and then it is like the plebeians themselves aren’t voting for plebeians, that they are acknowledging the patricians to be superior candidates not in this case, specifically doesn’t specifically say that about this case, but in previous elections, this is kind of what he’s intimated.

Dr G  13:04

It’s really Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because I feel like I mean, Libby is not a Roman is he’s have? Well, I’m just I’m just trying to put this into context. You know, he’s not from a bit of, yeah, he’s not from Rome. He’s a bit of an outsider, he probably considers himself to be sort of like Romanesque in particular ways. Like obviously, HE SPEAKS LATIN and things like that. But it’s not like he is of the elite. And his investment in the elite narrative is really quite interesting to me. Well, he

Dr Rad  13:34

does hang out with Agasa. So yeah,

Dr G  13:37

yeah, maybe I should go back in time as Livi.

Dr Rad  13:40

Well, it would definitely be a way of getting an end with the imperial family, and you’d get to help Claudius with his history. So Oh, I like history. Yeah, exactly. Any. Now this is, obviously you’re shaping up to be yet another chapter in this so called conflict of the orders, which is apparently plaguing room throughout the centuries. But as luck would have it, an epidemic breaks out. And everyone’s very distracted.

Dr G  14:05

Wow. I mean, there’s a you just have so much more detail. I mean, when I have no source material, I’m really just excited to see where the story goes. I’m like, really an epidemic, no hints at

Dr Rad  14:14

all. And even better than that, they decided that they’re going to give a temple to Apolo because of his association, obviously, with, you know, like plague and medicine and that kind of stuff. Now, it’s a little tricky to verify this archaeologically, apparently, in that this temple, if it did, indeed exist at this time, was subsequently damaged in later attacks by people from the Gaulish ethnicity. Oh, yeah. And it’s not until later that it’s actually restored. But we’re talking about a location somewhere between the circus, Flaminia us and the forum. Holy Torian. Yeah, which is At this time outside if the primary and because a polar is not a room and God,

Dr G  15:07

per se, I was gonna say, Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah,

Dr Rad  15:09

absolutely. So there is some Archaea there are some archaeological remains, but none that can verify going back this early with this particular cult. However, the name associated with this particular Temple is apparently a polo Medicus, which does seem to indicate that it was a health concern.

Dr G  15:35

Yeah, they’re definitely leaning into being like, it’s not just any version of Apollo that we need to satisfy right now in order to deal with this plague. It is literally medical Apollo, please, please solve this for us put

Dr Rad  15:47

away the sunshine pal. Get out your medical kit, something along those lines. So yes, that’s just a little side note. So this all came about? Because do Unviersity or the two men consulted the civil line books? So there’s an amazing collection that the Romans have various tidbits or calls, what have you, where they could have had a lot more, but they destroyed a lot because one of the Kings was being a little bit difficult about the price and haggling and not doing very well. But anyway, they consulted these books of prophecy, to try and figure out how indeed, they could appease the gods, because of course, that’s the explanation for a plague of this magnitude. And this is obviously where we get the erection of a temple of like, this is the solution to our problem. And it’s possible that the cult came from Koumei. So maybe, sir,

Dr G  16:41

okay, the Apollo came from Kuma Yeah, okay. Oh, that’s an interesting sort of parallel because isn’t that where the some of the symbols are as well?

Dr Rad  16:50

I think so. IB is definitely in that magnet Croatia kind of area, isn’t it? Yeah. Anywho. Unfortunately, the temple didn’t quite do the trick. And many people still died. Yeah.

Dr G  17:05

Look, I mean, I’ll put forward Well, I think is like the most reasonable question in these kinds of situations, because this kind of thing is going to happen a lot in ancient Rome, where stuff goes wrong, and they’re like, You know what, we need a new temple to the gods. But when it’s the midst of a plague, or a pestilence, who actually is healthy enough to engage in the building project, and I suspect that what might be happening here is that they make the official dedication for the space where they’re gonna build it, yes. And maybe hope for the best that things will clear up so that they can actually finish the projects, because they’re all quite ill right now. And they need some help.

Dr Rad  17:43

You are correct. It was in fact, dedicated for 31. So sometime after 433, yeah, because basically, many people are dying, it doesn’t seem to matter. If you’re in the city or the country, you’re equally likely to get sick and die from this particular plague. And it was something that was affecting cattle as well as humans.

Dr G  18:03

This sounds like one of those ones that’s been doing the rounds for a little while, because this does not sound surprising from other plagues that we’ve talked about in recent time now.

Dr Rad  18:12

Well, we aren’t we we know. And we’ve seen obviously, in our own times, that when people live in close contact with animals, there are going to be diseases that transfer from one to the other. Eventually, it’s just going to happen, particularly if you don’t respect the relationship that humans perhaps should have with the natural environment. But they’re not saying that they brought it on themselves. I think this is just one of those things. But yeah,

Dr G  18:41

ouch row.

Dr Rad  18:43

That was more commentary on our own time than in Roman times. They don’t understand how disease works in quite the same complexity. So

Dr G  18:51

no, no, fair enough.

Dr Rad  18:52

Now, of course, as often happens with a plague, and you’ve got so many people dying, and people are dying all over the place, not just in the city, there is a genuine concern that this is going to lead to a food shortage because, of course, farmers are amongst the sick and amongst the dead. So the Romans start, they start searching for grey and then trying to be proactive. We’ve seen what happens when they’re not. A few years ago, we had a bit of a disaster where we ended up having a nacho King, and that nobody wants that again. Doritos have pulled this sponsorship. We don’t want this to happen again.

Dr G  19:26

No more of those upstart plebeians do a good job on the grade supply. We can’t have that. So

Dr Rad  19:31

they’re searching around in various areas like Etruria, the pump teen District, which is possibly near the old skins Koumei again, and Sicily looking for corn,

Dr G  19:43

the breadbasket as it were,

Dr Rad  19:45

and this is kind of where the year wraps up, to be honest, because everyone’s kind of in a bit of a low point. So there’s no debate about who’s going to be in charge for Are they just like, You know what, let’s just stick with military Tribune’s with consular power seems to leave Is hassle for everyone. Nobody has the energy to get into a massive fight at this point in time.

Dr G  20:06

Although it is interesting that up until now we’ve been seeing the military tribunes with consular power coming in, when there seems to be a situation where Rome is navigating problems on multiple fronts. Like they’ve got issues with many of their neighbours, and they’re like, We need more than just consoles, we need more people who can lead with Imperium.

Dr Rad  20:28

I’ll agree and agree. I think this is just more evidence that this is not necessarily actually to do with the struggle of the artists.

Dr G  20:36

Oh, yeah, definitely. And also that maybe the whole shift in focus across the year has gone from like, let’s deal with everybody who we can’t stand around us right now to Oh no, it’s a plague.

Dr Rad  20:48

It’s when placates that you realise how much you depend on your neighbours?

Dr G  20:52

Yeah, I don’t know if the pontine marshes are going to really produce great and every time they so they’re fighting with the volsky like every five years like come on, guys.

Dr Rad  21:02

Hey, you guys are looking for corn where you can find it.

Dr G  21:07

Is it here?

Dr Rad  21:09

Alright, so that takes us into 432 in my account

Dr G  21:14

All right. All right. I’ll turn over my notes for 32 guest who’s missing for this year consoles die and SES and pelican.

Dr Rad  21:23

Yes, yes, of course, of course. Data disappearing acts but nonetheless, I feel like you’re going to tell me who the magistrates ah,

Dr G  21:31

I definitely will and I’ll go into their names because that’s that’s my current rabbit hole of choice. When I have no information, we have military champions with concealer power. There are three of them. We start with Lucia Pienaar. Yes, Malmo Cenas. And again, possibly Rufus as well in there. So mammas scenesse is considered to be one of these names that is derived from the maracas,

Dr Rad  22:03

which makes sense because I’m pretty sure we had a guy that had both those names, or maybe they switched interchangeably between names, but I remember struggling with both.

Dr G  22:12

It’s possible. The source that I was reading, the scholar I was reading today about this kind of stuff seems to classify messiness as one of those sorts of additional endings. The I notice ending as part of the denotation of being adopted.

Dr Rad  22:28

And of course,

Dr G  22:31

but to be clear, we’re talking about the adoption from the members family. Yes, it’s so it’s representing that this was their birth family like

Dr Rad  22:42

Gaius Octavius became Octavia Arness once he was adopted.

Dr G  22:47

Yes. So it’s like this reference back to his birth family and just letting you know he’s sitting in a different family now but this is where he actually came from.

Dr Rad  22:54

And that is a reference to Augustus just in case you guys aren’t super familiar with all Augustus as many identities

Dr G  23:01

which is fair enough, you know, you had a lot you had a lot and Merck is going further down this rabbit hole Merkers itself is actually an Austin pronoun or pray pray Newman, I should say. It starts out in Austin as a pre Newman and then shifts into a cognomen when it comes into Latin.

Dr Rad  23:19

Interesting. Okay, well, that makes sense. We know that the Romans had actually quite a decent amount of contact with the Oscars.

Dr G  23:25

That’s my little colour for the first character. So that’s Lucia Spinnery. Usman members seen us Rufus. A Patricia. Guy number one. Military Tribune with constant power number two, Lucia is furious. Yeah, son of spurious, fury. grand son of somebody, Mel de Linus fuses, also a patrician. So midday, Linus, I hear you ask the question. I’m here to help. Don’t worry. I’ve

Dr Rad  24:00

actually mentioned this name before, I’m pretty sure.

Dr G  24:02

Yeah, this is I think, I think we’ve come across a couple of these guys. This is a cognomen that is also derived from place. So it’s top endemic in nature. And it’s a reference to medulla them or medulla Jung, which is at place a little city north of the NAO River, and also near to Alba longa. So it’s sort of, it’s really quite close to road when you sort of do the triangulation on all of those things. Yeah. exact location on. Excellent. And we also have spurious pursued miss. Albus red gel lenses. Okay. Our third patrician that’s a three out of three for Patricia Yeah, I’m not surprised. So Albus? You know you you know, you want to take a guess you know, you do.

Dr Rad  24:54

I gotta say it has something to do with Alba longer.

Dr G  24:58

I thought you’d go Harry Potter, but

Dr Rad  24:59

how Well, I’m trying to not mention Harry Potter.

Dr G  25:03

Fair enough. Fair enough. Albus here is sort of a reference to white hair. It seems

Dr Rad  25:09

like a collector JK Rowling in that respect in other respects,

Dr G  25:14

not in other respects. And read your lenses. Again another topic nimic cognomen. From Regulus the famous late Regulus which for anybody who’s forgotten sight of a great military victory for the Romans in 496 BCE, and

Dr Rad  25:32

I’m not surprised to have you mentioned this because the post steamy I were associated with that battle. Therefore, obviously, it makes sense that they have that as a cognomen. But also it is going to come up again in this in this episode, I think there’s gonna be

Dr G  25:49

Oh dear lord, it’s gonna be Yeah, oh, that’s gonna be a nice surprise for me that because literally all I have is these names and these ancient references back to me like who remember that time in 496, where they had a battle by a lake. So we think that Regulus is near modern for Scotty. So that’s that kind of hilly region to the south east of Rome. Right. Okay. Lovely spot. There’s a leak somewhere there that seems to be connected to this.

Dr Rad  26:18

Okay, cool. All right. Well, as tends to happen in the animalistic nature of our accounts. Now that we’re in a new year, Dr. G. It seems like the disease has started to ease up, play go wow, playground the last a year really?

Dr G  26:34

Oh, look, it just comes in 12 month waves guys. Yeah,

Dr Rad  26:37

I mean, like, it’s obviously still like lingering. But it’s definitely not as bad as it was in 433. So good times ahead. And because the Romans learnt from the episode with a natural King, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re gonna have to go back and check out that episode. They are boyscout prepared. No salmon boy. Yeah,

Dr G  26:57

they got the grain. They need it. Yeah,

Dr Rad  26:58

they’re totally fine. No famine. So all is looking well.

Dr G  27:03

Very nice. Very nice. It sounds like they’re off to a great start. Yes,

Dr Rad  27:06

indeed. However, as tends to happen, once things start to come together domestically, everything starts to fall apart externally. was. So there counsels being held amongst the vol skins and the aqueous. So yes, there’s ancient enemies of our magnificent city of Rome. And they are talking of war war, you say? Well, well, well, I know war is on the horizon, I’m

Dr G  27:35

afraid Oh, chat. We’re going to get them take down the Romans one by one. Yes,

Dr Rad  27:39

exactly. So it seems that they’ve decided that they’re going to postpone for a year, and that there’s going to be no counsel to meet again, before that date. We’re just going to put it off. But unfortunately, one of the participants from the trust fund side of things, they was not pleased with the decision not at all, because they felt they’re still very much at risk after the hill feed and airfare Don’t you know, Fair enough, fair enough, old chap and dead, so definitely was on the horizon. But for now, it seems to have passed. And therefore I will stop talking in this British accent. Even though it’s very hard to stop once you start.

Dr G  28:23

I think you should just do the whole episode like that. I think it’s good. Are you telling me Have I understood correctly that they is like I’m gonna pick up the slack for what’s the AKI in the volsky I getting together but not making a decision to actually go to war this year?

Dr Rad  28:38

Well, okay, so basically, the moleskin Za, Koreans have this council meeting and it seems to be held at the Shrine of full thomna. And this is where they’re talking about war, but they’re not ready for war just yet. The Etruscan seem to have joined them, at least in some capacity. As we know, the Etruscans are a very large group of people at this point in time. So I don’t know if everybody in Korea that’s part of this meeting, but certainly they are still feeling paranoid because even though I know it’s probably seems like a while ago, now that we were talking about the whole feed nothing it’s not that long ago, actually. And therefore, it’s only about a year and a bit ago, and so they just really nervous. They’re like, if I could take out feed now where next?

Dr G  29:24

We’re gonna fall like dominoes. That’s gonna be communism, or livery.

Dr Rad  29:27

Anyway, so yeah, basically, war is lingering in the background. But I digress. I need to return to room. So back in room, the attributes of the plebs, they’ve had to, you know, rein it in a little bit because of the whole plague thing. And particularly, nobody’s going to be interested in listening to them if they’re seeming agenda is just to gain more power for themselves, you know, or more accolades for themselves. But now, Dr. G, there seems to be peace. Ah,

Dr G  30:04

bring on the domestic chaos. Exactly.

Dr Rad  30:05

It’s time to strike the tribute and start having secret meetings at the houses of the tribunes of the plebs trying to keep everything very, very secret. They seemingly

Dr G  30:22

it’s made it into the history books, so they have not succeeded.

Dr Rad  30:26

That’s how you know you’ve really failed to keep a secret. If it’s recorded in a history, five hundreds,

Dr G  30:32

hundreds is Yeah, hundreds of years later, somebody noticed.

Dr Rad  30:36

Mostly their main issue seems to be that they’re very upset and aggravated because they feel like the plebeians don’t really respect them very much.

Dr G  30:47

Really, the tribune of the plebs don’t feel respected by the planet. Yes,

Dr Rad  30:50

because they keep getting military tributes with consular powers, like they’ve got that happening. And the last couple of years that has literally been the plan, and yet, no plebeians are being elected. See, I told you snarky little explanations from Livi about why there aren’t for the INS being elected. It’s not the fact that the system is literally stacked against them in terms of numbers, the way the votes are counted, and blah, blah, blah. No, no, it’s that the plebeians don’t respect their own kind.

Dr G  31:23

I say you can never be victorious when the enemy is coming from within. I don’t think though, that we’ve had a plebeian in this military tube unit.

Dr Rad  31:32

No, yeah, that’s their problem. That’s their problem. That’s the

Dr G  31:36

oh, well, no wonder there. And yeah, I mean, if I was a plebeian, I’d be outraged by now be like, Guys, you had one job, one job. But this

Dr Rad  31:44

is exactly this is what I mean about Levy’s explanation for why they haven’t been copied and selected tends to be that the patricians are just better candidates and the plebeians, therefore, vote for them, or whatever. And you can see it again here. The fact that the tribunes are being portrayed as being angry because the plebeians don’t respect them enough to get a puppy and magistrate elected, hello, doing not to remember the reforms of Servius Tullius. Back under days of the monarchy, the votes are counted, weirdly,

Dr G  32:18

they, they are. So like, just to give a quick overview of the weirdness of some of this vote counting structure, you’re basically put into groups that relate partly to your tribe. But then they’re also divided partly by your rank. And so what ends up happening is that you don’t all get to vote at once either you vote sequentially. And it’s not secret. It’s a secret ballot. Like many sorts of voting systems today, it’s all done in the open in sequence, and basically as first pass the post, so you only vote down to the point that there is a winner, and everybody can see you vote. So if you need to maintain certain networks, if you are being pressured in particular ways, if you got stuck in a dud voting group that you can’t get yourself out of one, you might not ever get to vote, because it’s never going to get down as far as you but also you need to show the right people that you’re voting the right way. And in this particular iteration of Roman history, as far as the latest sources like Libya and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, positioning it, the influences are wrestling with this patrician class. Absolutely. And it’s weird. Yeah, it’s weird, because we don’t. There’s lots of questions to be asked about, do we really have patricians right now, in like, you know, the fifth century BCE, we’re not sure. We don’t have good enough records to be able to, say one way or the other. But there does seem to be elite families and less elite families. And the tribune of the plebs is really working on the side of the people who are outside of the traditional elites.

Dr Rad  34:07

Yeah. And we can’t even say for certain that we really know how the voting works at this point of time, either. But I think it’s safe to say that the system seems to be rigged in favour of the powerful I know, either. Nobody was expecting that.

Dr G  34:25

We’re always fighting the same fight. That is the things who remember listeners, every generation of this, it’s always the same fight.

Dr Rad  34:32

Well, it actually reminds me if all we’re saying is true, which as I said, it might not be because there might be slight detail that have been lost over time or whatever, but it does give me strong vibes of like post Civil War America, you know, where technically, African American people have the right to vote, but because of systems of intimidation that are set up and because of power structures that have not been around advocated just because all of a sudden, African American people are no longer slaves but free. I mean, it’s still that idea of like voting being too intimidating for you to do, or people rigging it so that it’s difficult for you to do, or you having to behave a certain way to keep the power structures in your local area happy. I mean, it’s not the same. But that does remind me a little bit of that.

Dr G  35:24

Yeah, and I think for people living today, in certain areas of the US similar ideas would seem really resonant as well. There is a lot of issues around how you can vote, your freedom to vote, your capacity to get into the, into the spot where you can do it and your freedom to vote the way that you want to.

Dr Rad  35:45

Exactly, yeah. Whereas in Australia, it’s compulsory. So you have today there are

Dr G  35:50

pros and cons to that which we won’t go into right now.

Dr Rad  35:54

Any here now, not all the tributes are on this bandwagon, saying that it’s the plebeians fault for not having enough faith in them or whatever. That really is the patricians who are to blame, because they campaign so strongly for their own candidates, that the plebeians are swayed in their favour, because they’re either persuaded or threatened into voting for a patrician candidate, because they realise it’s in their best interests, either way to do so.

Dr G  36:28

I don’t know. I just think it’s a really nice guy.

Dr Rad  36:31

No, now this is something that’s very strange, but hang on for a second, and I’ll try and explain it. At this point. Apparently, the tribute is therefore suggested a lot, that no one should be allowed to whiten their toga to show themselves off to the public as a candidate. Now Livi mentioned specifically that there seems like a very inconsequential detail, but that it was a very, very bitter feud over this law at the time, and therefore he needs to mention it, because the tribune is apparently one, and they got this law. Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Roman fashion, this seems to be a reference to the toga Candida, which is where we get the word candidate from when we’re talking about political candidates or, you know, candidates for election. And the idea was that if you were running for magistracy, you would wear like a blindingly white toga so that everybody could see that you were indeed running for some sort of political position.

Dr G  37:33

I kind of love it. I mean, I don’t know what to say about robin fashion at this point. But I do love the idea that like, you can tell who’s up for the for the candidate to see by just how shining they are in the bright sunlight of robe.

Dr Rad  37:50

Yeah, I guess it’s like, again, like with everything in our society as well, your clothes kind of tell people I suppose a lot about you know, who you are, and the kind of message you’re trying to get out there. And I can see how it would be useful in a day before you have much media available to you that your physical presence could act as an advertisement, in that respect. So it seems that Levy’s explanation for this is that the plebeians were irritated enough that they would finally vote for a plebeian military tribute. And so, you know, the law has been passed that the bands are finally at the stage where they’re like, yes, it is time for a Colombian to take this office.

Dr G  38:34

Nobody can stop us from dying out togas white, and we’ll be out there casting around for the vote. Exactly.

Dr Rad  38:41

So the patrician stepped in and make sure that that is not an option, and that it’s going to be consoles for the next year. Classic. Yeah, exactly. Supposedly, this is necessary, because of the lingering conflict that I mentioned. With the aqueous and the vowel skins. The Latins and her nations rooms allies had let the Romans know that there was talk, they made it put it off for a year, but there was talk, and that therefore, was on the horizon. And therefore you have to have consoles.

Dr G  39:14

Right, which I mean, in a way, I don’t buy it. Because one, the military Tribune’s will conceal the power part of the whole point is their ability to navigate conflict, and lots of it. And it sounds like Rome has a lingering potential for war coming from both the south and the north, with the aqueous, the volsky in the south, and they as part of a trio in the north. So it’s not like things are looking good for Rome right now from a potential military perspective, but I suppose I mean, the consoles have done it for many years. So maybe it’s only war on two fronts, not three.

Dr Rad  39:57

Well, I don’t think anybody knows exactly what They’re facing but as you say, I think it’s more the fact that the consulship has apparently more of a pedigree, I suppose when it comes to this sort of thing. The military tribunes with consular power, they’re fairly new, you know, have they been tested? I mean, nobody starved to death during the plague years. But is that enough? Now, I should flag at this moment in time that not all academics accept that this is actually something that happened, that there was no way. I’m just liking it that was that actually a law against the whitening of cloves is unclear. We do not know for sure. Yeah, I mean, this is, again, we’re in this very hazy period in the 430s, as we’ve alluded to before, where it does seem like our sources are really struggling to make sense of whatever it is that they’re working with. They do seem to have some source material, but they’re struggling to make sense of it. They’re struggling to fill in the gaps. It’s possible that this is maybe some sort of misinterpretation about what had happened the year before, which had to do with the census. And this alphas of the sense or maybe it had something to do with that, perhaps and it or maybe it’s something to do with something to do with canvassing in some capacity. But yeah, some academics have definitely flagged that they just feel like this doesn’t fit, it doesn’t entirely make sense where it’s placed.

Dr G  41:30

Hmm. And it’s the sort of thing where it’s like this period, as well, it’s a bit tricky in terms of locking in any of the sequence of legislation. So we sort of, we don’t start to feel really confident as historians about that for quite some time ahead in that narrative from where we are right now. So it’s, everything’s a bit hazy. The other thing that I would mention here is that even for us as historians, we don’t have a lot to go on from our other types of evidence either. So we’ve got the festy, capital Aloni, capital, aleni, which are these like lists of magistrates, but actually, it’s not a complete record of it, they are damaged inscriptions. And this is one of the chunks of time that we’re missing that for as well. So we don’t even have ways to clarify by going to like, the P graphy. Necessarily, there might be scraps here and there. But we don’t have like a complete set to go to. And so there’s lots of sort of haziness. So the fact that we’ve got any stories at all for the last couple of years, it’s pretty incredible. Really, yeah,

Dr Rad  42:45

definitely. I think this is one of those time periods where not all academics, but some, some academics, see our sources, kind of trying to continue this narrative of the struggle of the orders, you know, as best they can, because that’s the overarching narrative that we’ve kind of got for this time period. But this particular example, for some people seems a bit out of place, it seems a bit early to have legislation and moves made against people that may be maybe getting above themselves in terms of the way that they’re canvassing political office and that kind of thing, so I can kind of see that.

Dr G  43:25

Look, there’s yeah, there’s a lot to take in with this. I think this is actually probably a pretty good place to wrap up this episode on white

Dr Rad  43:32

tigers. All right, very well, white tokers? Yeah. All right. That means that it’s time for the partial pick. All right, so the partial pick is where we wrap up and see how room has fared for the year or in this case, two years because they are quite short ones.

Dr G  43:54

Indeed, indeed. There is a potential for 50 Golden Eagles across five categories, each ranked out of 10 Eagles. Our first is military clout.

Dr Rad  44:08

Hmm. I feel like it’s not much to say really. Military militaries military. Yes, exactly. Zero for me.

Dr G  44:19

Okay, well, that means we can swiftly move on to diplomacy.

Dr Rad  44:24


Dr G  44:27

Well, they seem to have acquired enough grain to mean that they didn’t go into a famine. Surely there was some diplomatic things going on behind the scenes there,

Dr Rad  44:36

I guess. But I guess I see that as more commerce, you know, like, I don’t think they talked to them into giving the grain entirely. I think it was also the money that was talking.

Dr G  44:46

We would kill you next.

Dr Rad  44:49

Yeah, I mean, yeah, you’re right. Like I I’ll give them like a one. But if money’s involved, I don’t think it’s entirely diplomacy.

Dr G  44:57

I don’t think we have any idea where the money’s going. But maybe it is and maybe I don’t

Dr Rad  45:02

Well, yeah. I say I say money, but you know what I mean? Like, good. I trade whatever. But yes, yeah.

Dr G  45:08

Would you like this excellent wooden axe? Alright, so that leads us to our third category expansion.

Dr Rad  45:17

Oh, boy. Absolutely not. Nothing on zero. Yeah, nothing.

Dr G  45:24

All right. Weird to us.

Dr Rad  45:27

Again, I’m going to say no.

Dr G  45:30

Can we give them a negative score for the flaccid, NATO?

Dr Rad  45:36

I think we have to. So does that mean they lose their point?

Dr G  45:41

I think notionally one point be taken off for, for a name such

Dr Rad  45:45

as the flack and it already suffered enough.

Dr G  45:50

He’s lying does die out.

Dr Rad  45:52

All right, I’ll be nice. They can keep that point.

Dr G  45:55

All right. And the final category is the citizens score.

Dr Rad  45:59

Normally, normally, if Rome does not score well across the other categories, it actually means that the citizens are having a bit of a break. But not this.

Dr G  46:07

One. No. I mean, they seem to be really frustrated with the voting system are frustrated with getting their candidates into power. And I mean, suffering a plague doesn’t help.

Dr Rad  46:18

But I was gonna say it’s mostly the plague that disturbs me. I mean, it was bad enough that they needed a temple.

Dr G  46:23

Yes. And who has to build the temple? The Libyans, probably,

Dr Rad  46:28

I don’t think I don’t know that they actually are building it. Like literally at this moment. But certainly, the plague is obviously pretty bad. And it doesn’t matter how wealthy you are. disease strikes everyone.

Dr G  46:40

That’s true. That’s true. Okay, so that sounds like a bit of a zero as well. Yeah,

Dr Rad  46:43

I’m afraid we’re gonna end up on 150. And even that, one was given begrudgingly.

Dr G  46:53

Yeah, I really had to convince you to give that one row. You’ve really, really outdone yourself in the last couple of years. I think this is a sign that when we don’t have really good, strong, detailed source material to go off, there’s actually no way to judge whether Rome is doing well or not.

Dr Rad  47:11

Well, okay. Agreed. My Account of levy is very short. However, there is a bit of a sense of what’s going on. It’s just not good stuff.

Dr G  47:21

And I didn’t even mention that I’ve had Diodorus Siculus for both of these years, and he gives me nothing. So

Dr Rad  47:29

yeah, to be fair, though, I was kind of imagining that we might do for 3342 and 431 in one year. So let me assure the listeners that for 31, things are going to pick up again, it’s not going to be quite simply.

Dr G  47:44

Oh yeah, no next episode, tune in because things are going to be on the up and up in 431. Believe me,

Dr Rad  47:50

definitely. So thank you so much, everyone for tuning in to hear all about the odd blankness of 433 and to VCE,

Dr G  48:01

you know, so blank that we’ve even dyed our togas more white than usual. You know

Dr Rad  48:06

what, though, I suppose if we’re going to be kind, if we look at 433 42 as being a bit late 2019 and 2020 Sorry, 2020 in 2021. It makes sense a pandemic really does put a dampener on your daily activities.

Dr G  48:24

It’s a real blow. Yeah.

Dr Rad  48:26

It’s hard to get anything done under those circumstances.

Dr G  48:29

Well, it has been a pleasure as always chatting with you doctor read and I look forward to next time.

Dr Rad  48:36

Indeed, I can’t wait to see what other vaguely medical names you have for me for the magistrates.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the partial historians, we’d like to send a special shout out to our Patreon supporters, Ensley, Joshua P and Austin, who all joined us around two years ago in 2020. Just around Christmas time, what a present. You too can become a patreon if you so desire if you love independent podcasting. In return, you receive special early access to our bonus episodes, and occasionally we make a bonus episode that’s just for Patreon is only However, if a monthly donation is not in your budget, you can always buy us a coffee on our cofee account and provide us with much needed energy. And finally, we are very excited to say that our first collaboration will be released early in 2023. That’s right, we wrote a book. If you would like to get a copy of Rex, the seven kings of room then please head to Highlands press we’ll have the link in the show notes and buy a copy to support not only an independent podcast but an independent publisher as well. So many good deeds going around. The sauces first episode can be found in the show notes on our website. Until next time, we are yours in ancient Rome

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