Roman History Chat Transcripts
410  lines     Apr. 15, 2000

Cleopatra Forum on Women's Board
of Rome Forum page at Ancient Sites

Memoirs of Cleopatra April 15, 2000
Memoirs of Cleopatra May 13
Memoirs of Cleopatra June 6

Plutarch's Antony June 21
Massie's Antony July 27

Massie's Augustus August 4
Southern's Augustus August 28
Williams' Augustus, November 8

Massie's Tiberius January 2, 2001
Massie's Tiberius Chat March 3, 2001
Massie's Tiberius March 3 part two

Go to Alternate Roman History Chats Index
Go to Trojan War Chat Transcripts Index

16:52 Torrey Philemon enters...

16:53 Torrey Philemon: Cleopatra chat starting at 5pm eastern time! (I have to reboot my computer but will be back soon!)
16:53 Torrey Philemon exits...
16:53 Morgana Flavius enters...
16:53 Morgana Flavius: Hi there!
16:57 Morgana Flavius: I'm bringing some Falernian to discuss Cleopatra this evening. *smile*
17:00 Torrey Philemon enters...
17:01 Torrey Philemon: Hello Morgana! Are you still here?
17:01 aspasia Tullius enters...
17:01 Mara Durotriges enters...
17:01 Mara Durotriges: Hello people!
17:02 aspasia Tullius: Hello, Mara, Torrey
17:03 Morgana Flavius: Hi, yes, I'm here! (Not drunk yet, LOL!)
17:03 Torrey Philemon: Hello Mara and Aspasia. Feel free to help yourself to food and drink from my party menu! This is a Cleopatra-style banquet.
17:03 Mara Durotriges enters...
17:04 Morgana Flavius: Aspasia, Mara! I'm glad to see you!
17:04 aspasia Tullius: Hi, Morgana!
17:05 Torrey Philemon: Glad you joined our discussion group recently, Mara. You must have done a lot of reading in the past week!
17:06 Torrey Philemon: I think Morgana has real wine <-:
17:07 Mara Durotriges: the banquet table is beautiful!
17:07 aspasia Tullius: (away from keyboard for a couple of moments, back soon...)
17:07 Torrey Philemon: Anyone know who else is coming? I think Atalanta and Lydia are, but I haven't heard from them recently.
17:08 Mara Durotriges: Yes, I have.  I'm only to page 300 though - all the side reading slowed me down
17:09 Torrey Philemon: Anyone want to start by expressing opinions or raising  questions?
17:10 aspasia Tullius: (I'm back)
17:11 Morgana Flavius: *helping myself on Torrey's wonderful table* I was looking for that coin image that Mara posted. A slightly different (and a bit more delicate) Cleopatra profile, if I remember well. But it is not there anymore (in her message). Where did you get it, Mara?
17:11 Mara Durotriges: it was in a book by Michael Grant - Alexander to Cleopatra
17:12 Lollia Junius enters...
17:12 Mara Durotriges: can someone tell me why this screen is blinking so much?
17:12 Morgana Flavius: As you can see, I became obsessed by collecting Cleo's images. *s* (The food is delicious, Torrey, and don't worry, the wine IS real but I'm not having too much - yet!)
17:12 Morgana Flavius: Welcome Lollia!
17:12 Torrey Philemon: That must be a different book than Grant's Cleopatra biography book, just called Cleopatra. One of his histories I guess.
17:13 Lollia Junius: Ave, Morgana!
17:13 Morgana Flavius: Did you scan the image from Grant's book, Mara?
17:13 aspasia Tullius: Hello, Lollia
17:13 Torrey Philemon: Oh welcome Lollia. I guess you just got my instant message!
17:14 Lollia Junius: yep, Hello aspasia and Torrey!
17:14 aspasia Tullius: What do you all think: was Cleopatra physically beautiful? or were her charms more personal, intellectual?
17:14 Mara Durotriges: yes, I scanned it in.  That was the easy part - I'd never uploaded any graphics before
17:14 Morgana Flavius: Maybe Mara could change her chat preferences, Torrey, I just don't remember how one does that anymore... (no, not because of the wine, I swear!)
17:14 Mara Durotriges: Hi Lolloa
17:14 Lollia Junius: I think it was more intellectual
17:14 Torrey Philemon: Mara I think you can change the refresh rate of the chat room but you have to leave and enter again. However I don't see the area where you can do that....
17:14 Lollia Junius: Hi Mara!
17:15 Mara Durotriges: I think I know where - I can't stand this - back in a minute
17:15 Morgana Flavius: Aspasia, I don't think she was particularly beautiful. But not ugly, either. She must have been a very charming person.
17:15 Torrey Philemon: Aspasia, from what I remember, Plutarch says she wasn't very beautiful, but other writers said she was. It's all in the eye of the beholder I guess. Apparently she was very charming and charismatic.
17:16 Lollia Junius enters...
17:16 Torrey Philemon: Ah Morgana we're already thinking alike!
17:16 Lollia Junius: Same in coins
17:17 Torrey Philemon: Has anyone seen the picture of her with Cesarion that was supposed to appear on an Egyptian coin, or was that lost?
17:17 Morgana Flavius: I just made it to the end of the 3rd scroll in the book (up to Caesar's death). And I think that the Cleopatra portrayed by George, so far, is not mature yet. But she was only 25...
17:18 Torrey Philemon: Lollia, do help yourself to food and drink.  In Cleopatra-fashion, we're feeding our senses as well as our minds <-:
17:18 Torrey Philemon: You mentioned in a recent post that were scenes you didn't find realistic, Morgana.
17:18 Morgana Flavius: I haven't found the Cleo + Caesarion coin image yet. I'm curious to see it too.
17:18 Mara Durotriges enters...
17:19 Lollia Junius: Wow, thats a lot of cake!
17:19 Mara Durotriges: fixed
17:20 Morgana Flavius: Well, yes, Torrey. Not realistic according to my own expectations... I was hoping to find a more mature woman, even if she was only on her mid twenties.
17:20 Lollia Junius enters...
17:20 Torrey Philemon: Welcome back, Mara. Did you find the chat room controls?
17:21 Lollia Junius: There are mature 20 year olds. And I'm sure she must have been one to run the country instead of Ptolemy
17:21 Lollia Junius: and attract Caesar intellectually
17:21 aspasia Tullius: She seemed to have some remarkable strengths - pride, intelligence, political savvy. But it seems she also had some weaknesses.
17:21 Morgana Flavius: Some dialogues and conversations when Cleopatra was a child, with her friends in Alexandria and with some adults.
17:22 Torrey Philemon: I would think that many rulers used to being the center of attention, don't mature too well, since they are raised to think they're the center of the universe!
17:22 Lollia Junius: But she wasnt ruler, her brother was
17:22 Lollia Junius: when she was maturing he was the heir
17:22 aspasia Tullius: I agree, Torrey - I suspect being royal provides some real advantages, and opportunities, but also some special problems.
17:22 Torrey Philemon: Aspasia, what do you think were her weaknesses?
17:23 Lollia Junius: and she had to bat off a lot of other would be successors in her own family after taking the throne
17:23 Mara Durotriges: children took on responsibilities earlier than they do now, I think
17:23 Morgana Flavius: Those dialogues didn't sound like children's talk, no matter how mature they were...
17:23 Lollia Junius: so she would have had to have wits and maturity about her
17:23 aspasia Tullius: She comes across in George's account anyway as being rather self centered or selfish... and I think she sometimes let wishful thinking blind her to how risky some of her ventures were.
17:23 Torrey Philemon: That's right, she wasn't a ruler at first, but she was one of the elite Ptolemies in line for rulership.....
17:24 aspasia Tullius: It's quite hard for a writer to change the "voice" of a character to reflect different stages of life and maturity. 
17:24 Lollia Junius: not really
17:24 Lollia Junius: If they are good
17:25 Torrey Philemon: I only vaguely remember the earlier dialogues, Morgana, but I  remember that as a 6 year old she was talking in a very sophisticated way (in George)
17:25 Lollia Junius: you start out with simplicity and naivete
17:25 Mara Durotriges: now it's not refreshing unless I hit the button, sorry, back in a sec
17:25 aspasia Tullius: George's writing is vivid, but she doesn't seem so skillful when it comes to those kinds of nuances.
17:25 Lollia Junius: and then move into vocabulary, logic, and even a little weariness
17:26 Mara Durotriges enters...
17:26 Morgana Flavius: Yes, I guess a writer has to be incredibly good when (s)he wants to write about a person's life since childhood throughout the lifetime of that person. Specially if they write in the first person.
17:26 Torrey Philemon: About her blindness.....she put love before politics most of the time, didn't she? Whereas Caesar put politics first.....especially when Cleopatra was in Rome.
17:28 aspasia Tullius: Yes, Caesar put politics first, but it seems as if he must have had some genuine feelings for Cleopatra or he would have done much better in Rome to simply annex Egypt, and not to parade her in Rome in front of the senate...
17:28 Torrey Philemon: (Mara, the chats often work best with manual refresh because at least you can control the screen movement. )
17:28 aspasia Tullius: Caesar damaged himself quite a lot politically by doing those things.
17:28 Mara Durotriges: and he did make the public statement with the statues in his Temple of Venus
17:29 aspasia Tullius: And associating himself with the east, where rulers tended to be worshipped almost as gods, was certainly a bad move when Romans were afraid he was seeking just that kind of adulation in Rome.
17:29 Mara Durotriges: which at least displayed his love for her
17:29 Mara Durotriges: or what he thought was love
17:29 aspasia Tullius: It seems even Caesar had weaknesses...
17:30 Morgana Flavius: and I think that George's Cleopatra expected too much from Caesar when she was in Rome.
17:30 aspasia Tullius: She certainly expected many things she didn't get. It seems tragic that twice she loved men who would not divorce their Roman wives and acknowledge her publicly as wife, in the way she wanted.
17:30 Torrey Philemon: I find it interesting that Caesar (and Rome) chose NOT to annex Egypt or conquer it as they did with other countries.
17:31 Mara Durotriges: there was a bit where he ordered the removal of a plaque in the base of a statue  on the street which proclaimed him a demigod, so he must have been aware that it wouldn't do to appear to be setting himself up as a god
17:31 aspasia Tullius: That didn't seem an unreasonable thing for her to want, but under the circumstances it was unrealistic.
17:31 aspasia Tullius: I do too, Torrey... he did seem, for once, to put his political ambitions second.
17:31 Mara Durotriges: I agree with you Morgana, she seemed to expect too much from him in Rome and in Egypt
17:32 Torrey Philemon: Doesn't it seem strange that Cleopatra hung around in Rome for month after month, when Caesar was unavailable most of that time? Totally neglecting her  role in Egypt? Sounds like a bit of codependent behavior in 20th/21st century terms!
17:32 Morgana Flavius: That dialogue about marriage was simply awful! Anyway, I have trouble to understand how was it possible for Cleopatra to stay almost 3 years away from Egypt without being replaced back in Alexandria. No matter how clever her ministers were... it just doesn't fit with the previous scenario, when her father went away. Did the people in Alexandria changed so much after the civil war?
17:33 aspasia Tullius: George was clever to invent Epaphroditus; without help from a capable administrator such as that fictional character, her kingdom could not have run well for so long without leadership.
17:34 Mara Durotriges: I wonder who the real Epaphroditus was - somebody was running it
17:34 Morgana Flavius: I think that in respect to the Egypt annexation, George gave a very good reason: she said that Caesar wanted Egypt out of the Senate control, so he could turn to it for help should he fail to get support from Rome...
17:35 Morgana Flavius: sounds a reasonable explanation. And also sounds like he took Egypt and Cleopatra totally for granted too.
17:36 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Mara... who was really ruling Egypt during Cleo's absence? Well, at least that IS historical fact that she was absent for quite some time.
17:36 Lollia Junius enters...
17:37 Torrey Philemon: Somewhere I read that she was lucky to have extremely competent and trustworthy advisors.
17:38 aspasia Tullius: She was remarkable in many ways, for example, for her intelligence, but often the people remembered by posterity are remembered because, among other things, they had outstandingly good and/or bad luck. Her luck certainly ran out toward the end.
17:39 Morgana Flavius: And there's something I'd like to comment about the relationship Cleo/Caesar in George's book: it seems that it was not love, but a great deal of sexual desire there... in all scenes describing Cleo and Caesar in their intimate moments, Cleo was always "hungry with desire"... what was George wanting to imply there?
17:39 aspasia Tullius: At times it sounded like a romance novel!
17:40 Torrey Philemon: The Roman portrayals of her are VERY biased and part of  anti- Egypt propaganda. According to other sources she was a very competent, skillful leader.....and highly educated. Not just a pleasure-loving seductress! (The commercial for the Egypt shows on the History channel keeps saying Cleopatra,  notorious seductress of men! Grr!)
17:41 Lollia Junius: I think you just have to look at the politcial gains she got from the relationships to see that she was thinking
17:41 Torrey Philemon: I did get the impression that there was genuine love between Cleopatra and Caesar, not just desire. Some kind of mutual respect.
17:41 aspasia Tullius: Not very many novelists seem able to describe love as a passion that is more than just physical desire.  There are such easy formulaic ways to describe physical desire, but it's not so easy to describe passionate attractions that have other aspects.
17:41 Morgana Flavius: That's right, Aspasia. But then again, George had to come up with something for the "general public"... I guess that maybe in her contract with the editor there was a clause about how many sexual scenes there must be in the book (LOL!)
17:41 aspasia Tullius: It seems to me that she had both political motives and personal passions at stake in both her relationships.
17:42 aspasia Tullius: Could be, Morgana!
17:42 Lollia Junius: Antony was pretty much a good-looking idiot, and she got half the Roman Empire out of the deal
17:42 Torrey Philemon: One of the most romantic parts for me was the journey on the Nile. I can really envision that.....a kind of nonhoneymoon honeymoon. Although it obviously served a political purpose.
17:42 Mara Durotriges: it would be normal for a 20 year old to be very sexual
17:42 aspasia Tullius: It sounds as if Anthony had a sort of physical charisma, where Caesar's charisma was more intellectual and political.
17:42 Mara Durotriges: and Caesar was reputed to be a womanizer anyway
17:43 aspasia Tullius: (But yet, Anthony did not sound too bright)
17:43 Lollia Junius: well, Caesar was 50
17:43 Morgana Flavius: I read this great essay by a French scholar, about the Cleopatra myth created by Octavian and his anti-Egypt/Eastern propaganda.
17:43 Torrey Philemon: Yes, Aspasia, her mixture of personal and political passon both influenced her relationships with men.....
17:43 aspasia Tullius: Caesar often seemed to have political objectives in his love affairs; such as having affairs with the wives of political enemies whom he wanted to humiliate.
17:44 Lollia Junius: and his mistress Servilia became a major allie and supporter later
17:44 aspasia Tullius: Yes, Morgana, the "winners" are the ones who get to rewrite the history, often to the disadvantage of the losers.
17:44 Torrey Philemon: The Hughes-Hallett book also focuses on the Cleopatra myth that was part of Roman propaganda. It makes us wonder who the REAL Cleopatra was, if much of our information about her is Roman.
17:45 Lollia Junius: she changed the minds of the wives in Rome, who in turn influenced their husbands, so he got huge political gains out of that relationship too.
17:45 Mara Durotriges enters...
17:45 aspasia Tullius: I agree, Lollia... Caesar was in some ways too much a user of people.
17:46 Lollia Junius: definitely
17:46 aspasia Tullius: Even the Roman propagandists do not seem to be able to take away from Cleopatra some of her qualities, intelligence, mostly.
17:46 Lollia Junius: It sure pissed off Servilia's son, but thats another story :)
17:46 Torrey Philemon: It seems to me that Caesar was both hurting and helping himself politically by being so allied with Cleopatra. Cleopatra pledged support to him, and Egypt had much wealth, but his involvement with her alienated much of the Senate.
17:47 aspasia Tullius: Although, for women, being identified as "intelligent" is often not entirely a positive thing!
17:47 aspasia Tullius: Yes, if Brutus was motivated in part by jealousy over his mother's affair with Caesar, then this affair might be what cost him his life.
17:48 Lollia Junius: Yeah, and the other part that motivated Brutus is that Caesar also had an affair with his sister
17:48 Morgana Flavius: yes, Lollia... and I was surprised that Servilia was not portrayed as the powerful woman she seems to have been in Casesar's life (by George in her book)
17:48 aspasia Tullius: (When did Caesar have time for politics?)
17:48 Lollia Junius: The same sister that was Cassius' wife
17:49 Torrey Philemon: I don't know Roman history well. I read somewhere that both Brutus and Cassius were previous enemies of Caesar who Caesar pardoned. How were they enemies previously?
17:49 Lollia Junius: yeah
17:49 Lollia Junius: They fought on Pompey's side
17:49 Lollia Junius: against Caesar
17:50 Mara Durotriges: Weren't Brutus and Cassius members of Pompey's or somebody's army whom he pardoned after he beat the leader?
17:50 Morgana Flavius: I've read that Brutus might have been Caesar's son by Servilia.
17:50 Torrey Philemon: Ah, thanks Lollia. Caesar was perhaps too quick to forgive!
17:50 Lollia Junius: That was spread by Caesar
17:50 aspasia Tullius: (away from keyboard for a minute, back soon)
17:50 Lollia Junius: (Brutus was born before that affair started)
17:51 Mara Durotriges: It seems that all his pardoning of his former enemies wasnt such a good idea - remember the pirates who attacked Cloe as she came to Rome?
17:51 Lollia Junius: So you see, by having affairs with Cassius's wife and Brutus' mother, as well as the stigma attached to his affair with Cleo, it was his indiscretions that led to Caesar;s death.
17:52 aspasia Tullius: (back) And perhaps Cleopatra's affairs also led to her death? Was there any other set of choices she could have made to retain her power and her life?
17:53 Morgana Flavius: I think it was more political than personal... or maybe both in the same degree, Lollia.
17:53 Torrey Philemon: I've been trying to remember a quote that I keep thinking of reading  Cleopatra. It goes something like, "Love is of a woman's life the very center, but for a man, it is but a part." Is it Shakespeare, or does anyone know the source and the exact wording? For Caesar, Cleopatra was but a part, but Antony committed the unpardonable Roman sin of making her the center.....
17:53 aspasia Tullius: It's Byron, Torrey, and I think very apt.
17:53 Lollia Junius: yeah, it was both, but that certainly contributed
17:54 Mara Durotriges enters...
17:54 Torrey Philemon: Do you remember where in Byron, Aspasia, or the exact words?
17:55 aspasia Tullius: I'm paging through Bartlett's quotations now, to check...
17:56 Morgana Flavius: According to the essay I read, the Cleopatra myth spread by Octavian was not based on morals... but on his fear of the Eastern way of rulership that Antony was supporting: the supreme ruler, with divine power. Octavian could not overtly wish that for himself in Rome (which was still very uninclined to kings at that time). And Antony dared to wish that kind of power, although he was not in Rome.
17:57 Lollia Junius: Plus, Antony seemed to be trying to have the new center be in Alexandria, and that would have galled most Romans
17:58 Morgana Flavius: So Octavian used the worst possible descriptions of debauchery and decadence in the Eastern way of life and ruling a country in order to make Rome hate that kind of rulership and, at the same time, get rid of Antony, the only one who could really challenge Octavian's position in Rome.
17:59 Morgana Flavius: Exactly, Lollia. But... I guess that by tralking about Octavian, we are way ahead in George's book. I haven't got to Cleo and Anotny love afair yet.
18:00 Torrey Philemon: That's similar to Hughes-Hallett's argument, Morgana, except she also says that the freedom Egyptian women had was a threat to Roman male rule over Roman women. Roman women didn't have the kind of "freedom in relationship" that Egyptian women had, and the Romans didn't like the idea of women with power. Also it was a case of Apollonian vs. Dionysian values, duty vs. pleasure etc.
18:00 Lollia Junius: What do you mean "freedom in relationship"?
18:01 aspasia Tullius: Found the quote: Byron (in Beppo?)
18:01 Lollia Junius: A woman could divorce a man in his absense in Rome
18:01 aspasia Tullius: "Man's love is of man's life a thing apart, 'tis woman's whole existence.
18:02 Torrey Philemon: I don't feel like an authority on the subject, Lollia, but from what I read, women could choose their partners more freely in Egypt than they could in Rome.
18:02 Torrey Philemon: Great Aspasia! That's it. Thanks!
18:02 aspasia Tullius: Supposedly when Alexander conquered Persia he wanted his Macedonian and Greek followers to prostrate themselves in front of him as the Persians did before their king..  they refused. 
18:02 Lollia Junius: I dont know, I think in most places at the time it was political betrothals.
18:02 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Torrey, that's another thing that the myth of Cleopatra served for. Octavian made sure that Roman people would see Antony as a man who was completely under the spell of an evil woman. More dangerous because the "evil woman" really had power and was the queen of a rich country.
18:02 Lollia Junius: Afterall, Cleo had to marry her own brother
18:03 Lollia Junius: Sure Ironic when you look at Livia! LOL
18:03 aspasia Tullius: I've always found it interesting that in Egyptian statues of couples, they are so often in affectionate positions (arms around each other) - not seen much in art from other countries in the ancient world.
18:04 Torrey Philemon: Octavius Augustus was  well known for his heavyhanded and hypocritical morality! He could legislate what was right, but sure didn't live by what he legislated!
18:04 aspasia Tullius: And isn't it just like men to blame all the bad things in the world on "evil women" and to use that to justify further oppression of women!
18:04 Morgana Flavius: Roman women had some freedom regarding divorce and using their personal inheritances. But they were never allowed to hold any political position in Rome. And a queen would be something unthinkable in Rome, but it was possible in Egypt.
18:05 aspasia Tullius enters...
18:05 Mara Durotriges: Since Egypt made a habit of brother /sister marriages, there had to be some royal consorts or they would have become so inbred they couldn't rule - that was a sort of freedom
18:05 Torrey Philemon: Did Roman propaganda portray Caesar as being under the spell of the evil enchantress Cleopatra? Or did the anti-Cleopatra Roman propaganda develop more later with Octavius?
18:06 Lollia Junius: Did you know that Cleopatra's kids were raised in Augustus' household?
18:06 aspasia Tullius enters...
18:06 Mara Durotriges: I think it developed later
18:07 Lollia Junius: (Her kids by Antony, that is)
18:07 Morgana Flavius: She had to marry her brother not to secure her right as a ruler, Lollia, but to secure a king with "divine" origin from both mother and father side. But she was clearly a co-ruler of Egypt, together with her brother, not only a regent while her brother was too young.
18:08 aspasia Tullius: Interesting that the Egyptian system was not just patrilineal or matrilineal, but sort of a combination of both.
18:08 Torrey Philemon: It seems strange that Romans viewed Egypt as a country corrupted by pleasure and iniquity, given what we know of Roman banquets, orgies, excesses.......
18:08 Lollia Junius: Roman Orgies are kind of exaggerated
18:08 aspasia Tullius: It's Freudian - "projection" - to see and condemn faults and excesses in others that you actually possess yourself.
18:08 Lollia Junius: especially since there was a legal limit on the number of party guests
18:08 Mara Durotriges: and all the horrible bloody 'entertainments'
18:09 aspasia Tullius: I agree, Lollia, I think many people were more conservative.
18:09 Torrey Philemon: About her brother, Morgana....I think that George portrayed her relationship with her younger brother as somewhat affectionate. Whereas the biographies mention some suspicion that she might have had him murdered
18:09 Mara Durotriges: a legal limit on party guests?
18:09 Morgana Flavius: That's a question I've been making to myself, Torrey: how was Cleopatra regarded by Romans during her affair with Caesar? The "divine" Caesar? It seems that she didn't suffer much pressure at that time. Caesar was more powerful than Antony, I guess...
18:10 Torrey Philemon: Really? A legal limit on the number of party guests? Was this part of a ban against large public gatherings?
18:10 Lollia Junius: yeah, it was like 12
18:10 Lollia Junius: and yes
18:10 Mara Durotriges: even in a private home?
18:10 aspasia Tullius: Most homes had a "triclinium", Mara, with room for around 9 guests; only banquet halls such as the emperors palace were really set up to accomodate much larget gatherings. Drinking in public bars was prohibited for a time because the emperors felt people would be hatching sedition.
18:10 Lollia Junius: Plus, Vomitoriums were really just exit ways in buildings. corridors
18:11 Lollia Junius: I ahve to go, Bye!
18:11 aspasia Tullius: Right, Lollia.  And many people did not really like the games... I think of it as like football.
18:11 Torrey Philemon: My guess is that propanda and myth tends to develop in a vacuum or absence. When Cleopatra was in Rome, it was harder to create a compelling false myth about her. Whereas later with Antony, she was far away and not there to defend herself with the reality of her presence.
18:11 aspasia Tullius: Bye, Lollia!
18:12 Torrey Philemon: Glad you came, Lollia.
18:12 Morgana Flavius: The problem with the Eastern way of life for the Romans was that all that "decadence" was legal, while the Romans never "officially" admitted that their morality was as low as the Eastern one.
18:12 aspasia Tullius: Exactly, Morgana.
18:12 aspasia Tullius: Romans, like modern Americans, were a strange mixture of prudish and licentious.
18:13 Morgana Flavius: Bye Lollia, it was great to have you with us!
18:13 Morgana Flavius: Yeah, Aspasia...

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