In the rapid changing landscape of world history occurring in 11AD to 20AD, Paul K. DiCostanzo and Patrick Foote dive into the shocking rule and fall of Wang Mang’s Xin Dynasty, and give a closer look into the death throws of the Roman Republic under the rule of Augustus and rise of Tiberius.
Xin Dynasty China: Socialism with Ancient Chinese Characteristics?
Wang Mang in the second decade of the 1st century AD begins to enact his very unusual vision for China, in what appears in form as proto-socialism. Yet is that really what Wang creates?
Wang during his short time in power turns an early feudal Chinese society on it’s head, showing an apparent deep ideological vision for life under his rule that historians still don’t fully understand.
Wang’s time a top the ancient Chinese world proved a cautionary tale for many rulers, as Patrick paints the portrait of how this very unusual period imploded in very short order.
Caesar Augustus & the Roman Republic on it’s Death Bed
The death of the Roman Republic is a long studied portion of history, for the purposes of how a seemingly democratic republic falls into one man dynastic rule.
Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian, is the model for every Roman Emperor that succeeds him to the fall of Rome itself. Augustus almost singlehanded made himself an independent force upon the Roman state.
In gaining power, achieving one man rule slowly through the guise of republican constitutionality, creates Augustus’s dictatorial rule without offending Roman animosity for the concept of monarchy.
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Tiberius as the ultimate named successor assumes the role reluctantly, following Augustus’s marching orders to consolidate the empire to avoid yet another civil war. Yet, Tiberius’s story is a tragic one. As well as at times downright strange.
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- Beard, Mary. SPQR, 2015.
- Frankopan, Peter. The Silk Roads, 2016.
- Goldsworthy, Adrian Keith. Augustus: First Emperor of Rome. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
- Evans, Rhiannon & Smith, Matt. Emperors of Rome Podcast. Episodes 9, 10, 11. Latrobe University, 2014.