Bread & Circuses is now five years old. The challenge with any blog is to keep it fresh, and so Bread & Circuses is changing. Today sees the first episode of Emperors of Rome. The idea is to cover every Roman emperor from Augustus to Romulus Augustulus in under two minutes. A new episode will be published on a Monday morning. By the end of the year we should be in the middle of the third century.
I originally wanted to call the series "Who the hell was Nerva?" on the basis that while most of us have a fair idea of what big name emperors like Augustus, Hadrian and Constantine were up to, many - myself included - have only the haziest idea of the reign of emperors like Nerva.
Aside from filling in these imperial lacuna, part of the motivation behind the series is also to be unashamedly broad brush. There is a tendency in the history industry to focus on detail to the extent that the wider picture is sometimes ignored. On my desk at the moment is a 12 page, closely argued chronology of the first few weeks of the Emperor Galba's reign. And that does not begin to come close to being the most recherché article within reach. This is not in any way to denigrate the article, which is exemplary, more it is to make the point of what is the norm in classical scholarship.
I hope that you enjoy Emperors of Rome.