Saint Caligula??!

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Geon, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Tonifranz Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    I wonder what would be the Tria nomina names of these people from the houses of. Surely, they can't all be Gaius Julius something.
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  2. Geon Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    In the next section I'll be dealing with the spread of Christianity and the Empire beyond the Empire's boundaries. It will involve a technique known as from conversion to conquest. [too bad there's not an enigmatic look among the various Smiles.].

    Here I'll fully admit my ignorance of things like the Tria nomina. Any help in this would be appreciated.

    Also one final little heads up. Nero will have his own brief chapter in this TL. Though he won't be an emperor. Think more - an early performance artist!;)
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  3. TimTurner Cartoon Phanatic

    Apr 11, 2015
    DFW area, Texas (no, Tibecuador)
    well you could say it was...resurrected...Christ, what a sad pun...
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  4. FriendlyGhost Haunting history for 45+ yrs

    I freely admit I'm NOT an expert on this, so if someone else is, please take his/her advice over mine. For what it's worth, though, here's my opinion:

    I think the orphans would be given different personal names (praenomen) but the other parts of the name (nomen and cognomen) would be shared - probably some sort of combination of the imperial name and a reference to Christ.
    For example, for boys:
    xxx Julius Christianus could mean something like xxx of the family of Julius (the imperial family), a Christian; or
    xxx Christus Julianus could be xxx of the family of Christ, originally of the imperial Julian family; or
    xxx Christus Romanus could be xxx of the family of Christ, a Roman.​
    (xxx being the personal name such as Lucius, Titus, etc.)

    I think girls could use a similar link to the Julians and Christ, but it's more complicated as girls' first names was usually based on the family name. Hence all girls' names would, if following the 'sort of traditional' conventions, start with something like Julia Christa (or Christina, maybe) or Christ(in)a Julia, followed by something else to distinguish amongst them - first daughters were xxx yyy Maior, then xxx yyy Minor, for example. However this would quickly become unmanageable if there are lots of them, and naming 'conventions' for girls seem to have been in a state of flux around this time, so perhaps something just based on Christ might develop (I'm assuming that the link to the imperial family would be considered to be of less importance for orphan girls than boys, given the attitudes at the time). Thus, depending on where the Christ part of the name goes, the girls would probably end up with names such as these: Livia Christina or Christina Cornelia (with Livia and Cornelia being personal names given by the house).

    Alternatively (or later) for both boys and girls, there might develop a system of naming after the particular house in which they are raised, with no reference to the imperial family at all.
    So a boy and girl raised in a villa in the Aventine part of Rome might be Titus Christus Aventinus and Cornelia Christina Aventina.

    It's all a bit complicated and, just as in OTL, people ITTL would end up with names which weren't their official ones (just as Caligula was officially Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus). So basically, go with what seems good for the story!

    Apologies for the long post.

    Edit: corrected 'unusually' to 'usually' in the para about girls' names.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019 at 9:31 AM
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  5. Threadmarks: Nero

    Geon Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    And now for a slightly different take on a certain Roman.
    The Life of Nero, The Noble Clown​

    During the reigns of both the Emperors Caligula and the Emperor Tiberius the life of one Nero Ahenobarbus Germanicus stands out in stark contrast to the austerity and piety of these two Emperors.

    There is speculation among historians particularly alternate historians that if circumstances had been different Nero might have ascended the throne once Caligula was dead. There are hints dropped by the ancient writers that had Caligula not converted to Christianity it is likely Tiberius would have died and that Nero might have been Caligula’s choice to succeed him. Nero’s mother was the sister of Caligula, which gave him a spurious claim to the throne to be sure but a claim, nonetheless.

    Nero’s parents, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina sought to have their son raised with a classical Roman education and hoped he would become a senator. To be sure, the accounts of Tacitus indicate that Nero was an excellent student and especially showed interest in the literature of the Greeks and of the Roman poets.

    But Nero showed a total lack of interest in politics. Even though Agrippina tried to maneuver to get him elected into the Senate Nero showed very little interest in such matters preferring to devote himself to his three great loves; namely, chariot racing, poetry, and the theater.

    Nero was extremely fond of the chariot races and attended them at every opportunity in his young life. Much to the horror of his mother Nero began to learn about chariot racing from one of the champions of the Circus Maximus. It was not long before he began to test his skills against other racers first at the Circus in Antium. And later, in Rome itself.

    It greatly scandalized Agrippina that her son had chosen chariot racing as a career. This was not suitable for a future senator. Nevertheless, she is said to have attended every race that her son participated in until her death in the Great Riot and Fire. Eusebius would later record that she was stabbed by irate members of the crowd in the Circus Maximus after it was announced the Emperor Caligula was dead. It was believed she had given monetary support to the plot to assassinate the Emperor.

    Nero stayed aloof and avoided participation in the Great Riot and Fire. But the incident allowed him to pursue another of his passions, that of poetry. Nero had studied the classic poets of both Rome and Greece. He sought to emulate their styles. Later developing a distinctive one of his own. During the riots Nero was a bystander to the events of those tumultuous days. After Tiberius II marched into Rome and quelled the violence with the Third Legion Nero would set the events of those days into prose writing what has become known as Ode to a Rome Consumed by Fire. The work is a long one and at times tedious, but it does furnish an interesting perspective from a firsthand observer to the events of those days of the riots and fires in late August of 39 A.D.

    In the years following the rebuilding of Rome Nero became the undisputed champion of the Circus Maximus. His daring in the arena was hailed by all. One commentator said of him, “When Nero drove his chariot into the arena it seemed as if he left fear outside. It seemed as if he tempted death herself to embrace him every time he raced.”

    As a result, Nero earned many patrons among the wealthy and powerful of Rome. Which allowed him to pursue even more his writing and his love of the theater.

    Nero would attend the theater especially if classics such as Lysistrata or Electra were being performed. In addition to poetry he would also write plays three of which have survived to the modern day The Labors of Heracles, The Kidnapping of Helen (of Troy), and finally Agamemnon. The last is considered Nero’s greatest work and has developed quite a following among classical literary historians.

    Nero was known as quite the darling of his upper-class patrons during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius II. While Tiberius was known mostly for his austerity and piety Nero was known for his ribald sense of humor. Nero wrote several very explicit love sonnets many of which have survived down to the present day to entertain his hosts and patrons at the various feasts he attended following the chariot races.

    Nero sought to avoid the mistake he often accused his mother Agrippina of making, namely meddling in political matters. He assiduously in all his writings and actions steered clear of any sort of involvement in politics. When the Jupiter Riots occurred as at the Great Riot, Nero stood as an interested bystander and chose not to become involved. He would later declare the acts of the rioters to be “pure folly.” Although this comment is thought by many to be a way for Nero to distance himself from any hint that he was sympathetic with the rioters (which his writings plainly indicate he was).

    Nero continued to worship the pagan gods of Rome all his life. While he doesn’t mention Christianity by name, he does refer to “those Stoic religions that would have us chaste and eating grass.” Nero did not consider himself a stoic. He was very much a hedonist and indulged himself in various sexual escapades with both sexes, which he also proceeded to write about in his rather voluminous Journal of Love Sonnets.

    Although he had several love interests Nero did marry twice. His first wife, Drusilla bore him a son but died of a fever shortly thereafter. His second wife, Anna, is said to have been a former prostitute. She would commit suicide within a month of Nero’s death.

    Nero’s fearlessness in racing would be in the end lead to his death. At a race in the Circus Maximus in 54 A.D. Nero attempted to cut off the chariot of another racer on the last turn of the course. His chariot wheel became locked with the other charioteer’s and both chariots were flipped over. Both Nero and the other charioteer would die of their injuries before the day was out.

    Nero is said to have met the end with the same careless abandon he did all of life. When he learned he was dying from the attending physician he is said to have murmured, “What a great artist the world is losing in me.”
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019 at 1:58 PM
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  6. Threadmarks: the Spread of Christianity

    Geon Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    Someone asked about the spread of Christianity...

    The Spread of Christianity

    During the time of the reign of Caligula and Tiberius II Christianity continued to spread throughout the Empire. In the earlier years the faith was spread by the evangelization efforts of the Apostles and their disciples. But in the early years Christianity appealed more to the lower classes and slaves in the Empire. The idea of a better life awaiting beyond the present one greatly appealed to them. As a result, the number of converts from the lower classes and slaves was high. And while there is considerable evidence that there were quite a few converts from the middle and upper classes the numbers were disproportional at first.

    This changed after the conversion of Caligula. Many in the upper classes began to see conversion to Christianity as a means of currying favor with the Emperor. As a result, many wealthy merchant families and nobility began to inquire and actively pursue entry into this new faith that the Emperor had converted to.

    This brought its own problems. Early writings from the period have local church leaders bemoaning the fact that many of these “converts” were more interested in enriching themselves rather than seeking salvation.

    In fact, Polycarp in one of his letters writes of one Roman noble, “He is just as apt to attend morning worship on the Lord’s day and then offer a sacrifice at the temple of Venus at evening.”

    Many of these “new converts” had no problem blending their old pagan ways with the new faith. Something that was completely frowned upon by the leaders of the church.

    It was quickly decided that some discipline had to be imposed. So, around 5 years after Caligula’s martyrdom church leaders began to demand a 1-year probation period for anyone desiring baptism into the faith. A potential new convert was to be catechized in the faith during this time and his behavior and lifestyle were to be observed by others in the church. Before his or her actual baptism took place, the presbyters would inquire of those who knew the catechumen best in the community whether he or she was being true to the faith. Only if an unambiguous report came back to the presbyters would they consent to the catechumen being baptized.

    Even with such precautions however, early Christian leaders such as Irenaeus and Polycarp describe how the “flock constantly had to be purged of the ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing,’ “referring to nominal Christians in the congregation.

    In addition, the Houses of Caligula were fertile sources of converts. Within a decade of Caligula’s martyrdom these houses were springing up in major cities and towns throughout the Empire. They would become places of refuge for unwanted children and would produce a generation both zealous for their faith and for Rome.

    To be sure, not all those whom came out of these Houses would remain in the Christian faith. There were a fair amount of “apostates.” But the large majority that came out of the Houses were devout in their faith and would become leaders both in the Christian Church and in the Empire.

    In addition to evangelizing throughout the Empire, rather incidentally a new strategy developed for the expansion of the Empire. While some historical scholars believe this was a plan devised by the Emperor Tiberius II, evidence suggests that such a strategy actually developed almost by accident.

    It came to be called, “A conquestum ad conversionem”, (English translation: From conversion to conquest).

    As the Christian faith grew evangelists began making their way into the areas beyond the Empire. Specifically, into that area beyond Gaul to the east known as Germania and to the islands known as Britannia at the time. Evangelists would enter these areas and spend months or years trying to get to know the local tribes. Sometimes they would be welcomed, other times they would be killed. But where they were welcomed, they began to learn the ways and customs of these tribes.

    In time many of these tribes would convert to the faith. The initial missionaries to the tribes would then send for others from the churches who had sent them who could help to better teach the faith. After these teachers came merchants who were interested in selling their goods to new potential customers and interested in any goods they had for trade. As churches in the “barbarian” areas grew so did markets for goods from the Empire. As trade began to increase so did a need to protect trade routes with these friendly tribes thus calling for Roman legions to protect the trade caravans from hostile tribes.

    It might take several years but very soon these tribes would find themselves inundated with Roman goods and indistinguishable in many ways from other Roman communities. By this point most of those in these tribes would simply take the next step and petition for Roman citizenship. By this time such a step was merely a formality in many cases.

    For the most part this method of “conversion to conquest” was peaceful. But there were exceptions. The most notable of which were the Druids’ Wars which erupted in Britannia as the old order of religions there fought against this newcomer.

    Nevertheless, this means, although apparently inadvertent allowed the Roman Empire to spread east of the Rhine and eventually form the province of Germania and allowed the Empire to claim the southern part of Britannia as a province.
  7. Xenophonte Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat.

    Feb 13, 2014
    South America
    Very unusual approach but it's indeed a very interesting story...
    About Nero, at least he could fulfil his wishes and live his life as, in OTL, he would have wished, as an eccentric patrician and artist. Also, of course with no so many lives and spilled blood, nor harm for Rome itself, as happen in OTL.
    About the spread of the Christianity I would also expected as least so much or even bigger religious resistance as in Britain, to the could be considered as a spiritual conquest, or even bigger than Britain in Germany.
    Also, seems that would be possible to expect a bigger and earlier success of the Christianity in the Western Provinces than OTL... Also, I'm thinking that if somewhat similar it's happening in the East then would be possible to expect strong reactions both inside the Empire and outside as e.g. in the Parthian Kingdom...
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  8. Hawkeye Source?

    Nov 12, 2007
    Geon last four years:

    Geon last two weeks:
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  9. Geon Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    To my more learned friends on this page:

    First, thank you for your appreciative comments and likes. They are very much appreciated!:)

    Secondly, I ask for your help. I am terrible at keeping dates straight when it comes to some periods of history. If you could kindly help me here is my problem. I would like to know what the rough date would be in this timeline assuming the events that have occurred here. Caligula reigned for a little over a year after his illness before he was martyred. Then his cousin Tiberius reigned for 15 years. What year would that make it in this timeline and what would be occurring in OTL at this point?
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  10. TheNerd_ Noobie History Entusiast

    Mar 7, 2018
    Pretty simple, really. Historically, Caligula suffered the illness of his early reign on October 23rd, 37 A.D. Add around 16 years to that, and voilà! 53 A.D.
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  11. Geon Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    Thank you @TheNerd_ I have an interesting question to pose to those who are following this page. In what way, if at all do you think an early Christian Roman Empire might effect how the Romans respond to the Jewish rebellion starting in 66 A.D.?
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  12. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

    Apr 4, 2018
    Very early Christian Emperor facing a Jewish rebellion at Judea?

    I would bet that they would just hand over them to the most well-learned guy that is also a church father.

    Plus ITTL, there is no way this Clement wouldn't be considered a Saint and apostle of his own, considering St. Paul.

    Speaking of which, St. Paul is probably still alive and well (he died after moving to Rome and petitions to Nero to heard his case IOTL). If he still get into the same Predicament and ended up meeting Tiberius, or a Christian successor, being a Roman Citizen of considerable standing (he could move to Rome to have Nero heard his case ITTL, that alone signed that he was at least of Equites or Patrician background), AND at the same time there is Jewish rebellion probably backed by Sanhedrin...

    Bet it would be him who ended up sent as the new Procurator of Judea, along with Christian legionaries to back him up, which might give him some interesting irony of what he would do before his conversion at the road to Damascus. Which would probably butterfly up biblical canon as we knew it.
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  13. Cocytus737 Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2017
    From prosecuting Christian, to a faithful and an Apostle, and now becoming Governor of Judea, now that's irony and poetic justice worthy of being written in the Bible. It can be used to proof that God is truly kind to those who are faithful.
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  14. Evan Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness!

    Oct 13, 2010
    Quiet Resistance, People's Republic of Cascadia
    Yes - unless there were butterflies. IOTL, according to Acts 21, a Jewish mob in the Temple courts was about to kill Paul before the local centurion arrested him; and then (in Acts 23) a conspiracy linked to the Sanhedrin tried to have him assassinated before word leaked to the Roman authorities who had him secretly moved to Caesarea. If Geon wants Paul martyred anyway, he could easily be killed at either of those times.
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  15. jocay Ambiguously Brown

    Aug 21, 2018
    New York
    Given that Rome has had two Christian emperors and Nero is well being a chariot-racer and rioter, there won't be no Book of Revelations being written. Unless John of Patmos is imprisoned under other circumstances.
  16. Hawkeye Source?

    Nov 12, 2007
    It's worth pointing out that most lay Christians probably thought of themselves as Jews at this point. Maybe this video will help spur ideas.
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  17. jackson3 Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2011
    Not necessarily, Judaism has a long history of apocalyptic writings and prophecy ultimately there will be something written about it during these early years. Now it’s less likely that Rome will be used as a stand in for what kingdom of evil will be spoken of but something will be written nonetheless.
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  18. GoukaRyuu Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    I literally just spent the last 3 - 4 hours watching a lot of this guys videos. I mean this both gratefully and sarcastically when I say thank you.
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