Chapter Twenty Two

1. The Emperor’s exhortations: “The friends of our enemies are also our enemies.” and “Either you stand with Rome or you stand alone!” are allusions to President George W. Bush’s “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists”speech, part of an address he made to Congress at the US Capitol, Washington, D.C. – Sept 20, 2001.

2. The Emperor says, “We’ll defeat the Parthians abroad before they attack us at Rome!”  This is taken verbatim from a speech made by President Bush at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, June 2005.  The following remarks are also taken nearly verbatim from the same speech:

“Soldiers for their service, their courage and their sacrifice. I thank their families, who support them in their vital work. The centurions have contributed mightily to our efforts to secure our borders.”

“Rome is grateful, and so is your emperor.”

3. “My fellow Romans, we will not fail. We will persevere, and defeat this enemy, and hold this hard-won ground for the realm…”  This is taken from remarks by the President on Iraq and the War on Terror at the United States Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania – May 2004.

“Our work in these distant lands will be hard.  Subduing savages is hard.  Bringing civilization to a barbaric people is hard.  Our soldiers will face changing conditions of war, and we will require of them perseverance, sacrifice, and an ability to adapt.”  These remarks are from the same speech.

4. The Emperor concludes by saying, “And, like Alexander, history will forever record that Marcus Aurelius Antoninus is a war emperor!”

President Bush famously declared “I’m a war president” to Tim Russert On Meet The Press, Feb 8th, 2004

5.  “Dulce bellum inexpertis” – War is sweet for those who haven’t experienced it. (Pindaros)

6. Nasir quotes Galgacus when he shouts, “Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them.”

Galgacus was an ancient Briton leader.  The Roman historian Tacitus describes him, about to face the Roman army, giving a famous indictment of Roman imperialism.   This is the Galgacus speech that Nasir speaks, mostly verbatim.

Here is a longer quotation:

“Whenever I consider the origin of this war and the necessities of our position, I have a sure confidence that this day, and this union of yours, will be the beginning of freedom to the whole of the world. To all of us slavery is a thing unknown.  Former contests, in which, with varying fortune, the Romans were resisted, still left in us a last hope of succour, inasmuch as being the most renowned nation of the East, dwelling in the very heart of the country, and out of sight of the shores of the conquered, we could keep even our eyes unpolluted by the contagion of slavery. To us who dwell on the uttermost confines of the earth and of freedom, this remote sanctuary has up to this time been a defence. Now, however, the furthest limits of the world are thrown open, and the unknown always passes for the marvellous. But there is nothing beyond us except the terrible Romans, from whose oppression escape is vainly sought by obedience and submission .”