Chapter Four

1. At the Baths of Caracalla, the Thermae Antoninianae, an old man in the crowd says of the Emperor, “he has his habit of blurting out everything that comes into his head and of feeling no shame about airing all his thoughts, but he often stumbles upon a happy phrase.”  (Remind you of anyone?)  These are the words of the Roman consul and historian Cassius Dio describing Caracallus. E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/78*.html

2. At the unveiling of the Baths, the Goths hurl abuse at the Emperor, in Latin.  Most of the meanings of the epithets can be guessed at.  But for those who would like more precise meanings you can visit the Tufts University online Latin translator:  It’s likely not the first time it has been used to look up “dirty” words in Latin.

3. At one point in his address the Emperor Caracallus says, “You, the soldiers, are the ones who help accomplish all this. Our freedom and our way of life are in your hands — and they’re in the best of hands. I want to thank you for your service in the cause of Roman values. I want to thank you for wearing the tunica and carrying the scutum.”

These words are taken almost verbatim from a speech by President George W. Bush given to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on Nov. 2005, outlining his strategy for victory in Iraq:

“the tunica and carrying the scutum” was changed from “the uniform”.  Tunica is the standard issue tunic worn by soldiers, and scutum the very important shield.

4. The following phrases “I am one of you, and it is because of you alone that I care to live, in order that I may confer upon you many favours; for all the treasuries are yours” and “Pay off the soldiers; and disregard everyone else” are reported by Cassius Dio to have been uttered by Caracallus himself:*.html

5. Sol Invictus is the Roman name for Mithras.  Summus Pontifex is the Mithraite high priest.

6. “Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?  Who will keep watch over the guardians?”  Rauthwulfs is quoting Juvenal.