Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: How The Roman Republic Became a Police State

Part One: How The Roman Republic Became a Police State

Tue, 16 Aug 2022 10:00

Robert is joined by Andrew Ti to discuss The Roman Republic.

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Hey, Robert here. It's been like two months since I had LASIK and I'm still seeing 2020. All I had to do was go in for a consultation, then go in for a maybe 10 minute procedure and then my eyes have been great ever since. You know, I healed up wonderfully. It was very simple, couldn't have been a better experience. So if you want to explore LASIK plus I can't recommend it enough. They have over 20 years experience in the industry and they performed more than two million treatments right now if you want to try getting LASIK plus you can get $1000 off of your surgery when you're treated in September, that's $500. Of per eye, just to schedule your free consultation. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's breaker handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's, uh, warming? My my globe. I'm, I'm Robert Evans. My air conditioning is not currently functioning, so I'm hiding in my basement, which I think this is a historic moment. Everybody marks the first time a human being has experienced the consequences of climate change. That that's that's me right now. Number one, it is 74 degrees. Maybe in my basement. Upwards of 73 degrees. So, yeah, suffering, suffering here. Still, I mean that in a basement is that's a pretty, that's pretty warm dog. It's pretty, it's pretty warm for the basement, it might be more like 70 degrees. I don't know what temperatures are and I'm drinking coffee. Andrew, Tea, how are you doing today? Alright, what's up? How's it going? I'm I'm, I'm, I'm, I. This is the honestly probably the first or second week that me long time shorts denier is wearing shorts. Wow, I'm not in a not short. Yeah, I'm not a short person. I wore I wore black jeans to a Dodger game two years ago when it was like 110 outside and I did almost pass out. But. I I was pretty committed and now I'm now I'm wearing shorts. I I have also purchased a pair of shorts recently. I haven't worn them. Just take this evidence to any climate change and I and be like, Andrew T wear shorts now. I know that's your that's the proof. Yeah. Climate change is a real problem. This is the first evidence anyone has of it. Andrew, it's good to have you back. You are having me. Sophie and I is one of our very, very, very favorite people to have on the show. Yeah. You have been doing a lot of Holly, we, we call you Mr Hollywood with our private conversations because you're such a big Hollywood guy. But you know what other kind of guy you are? Andrew is a very funny guy who who we like to have on every now and again to talk about bits of history. You and I have talked about King Leopold of Belgium. We've talked about the Andaman Islands. We've had all sorts of history conversations. Andrew, how do you, how do you feel about the Roman Empire? Ohh, I probably I as far as like contemporary Americans go, I probably took more Latin than I think most people like. That was my primary at 2 Andrew Corn. Yeah quote UN quote. Foreign language in high same yeah. So I and ultimately all of these useless years Roman propaganda. Yeah. So yeah, I probably to the extent that I know anything. I probably I would like more aware of a sort of sugar coated version of whatever whatever the **** is happening here. Yeah we are we are today we're going to tell the story about how the Roman Republic became a police state, which it did, which is a quite a tale. I have you know we've we've we haven't done a lot of ancient history stuff on this podcast for good reasons among other things. It's kind of hard to like get good details about people who died 2000. Years ago that aren't just like nonsense propaganda, right. Because it's usually just like, yeah yeah, some like poem about some cake history. History is written by the winners especially. Yeah, when it's like ******* epigrams, like the leftover from the Romans. But also I I feel like they're they're the the. The the worry is the sliding scale of bastardos through history is yes, I would imagine the trickiest part because it's like there's sort of like no amount of fascism and or, you know, brutality that doesn't eventually get justified by everyone else was doing it. Yeah. What's interesting about the. Yeah. I mean that that's like it's are you going to call like Genghis Khan a *******? OK, well then like what? Like, sure. But. But what is I? It seems like kind of pointless to be like, and this guy was a king who murdered people, and it's like, well, yeah, they all were like, yeah. Why? Why is that? Like, nobody's, like, really going other than some people were better at it. It's not that interesting to talk about them being, like, ******. That's not the case. One of the cool things about the Roman Republic is number one, we have a lot of detail on these guys and all that's bad, right? All of our historians are propagandists, but at least there's more than one of them. So you get, like, the this dude rocked and, like, this dude was terrible. Story usually and #2, they're basically exactly the same as modern Americans politically. So you get really modern, like political **** moves from, from, from, from terrible people in a way that's like very familiar. And in fact, like, so we're talking about a lot of the things that led up to the fall of the Roman Republic and like the end of of, you know, the kind of democratic experiment that had existed there for a few centuries. And this is something that like. People are talking about a lot right now. So when when you get like, history nerds talking about how ****** ** politics are in America, they're either gonna go back to Vimar, Germany, which we've already done, or they're going to talk about the fall of the Roman Republic. Which is why there's like 3/3 books out. There's like three or four books that have come out in the last year that are like, yeah, here's what the fall of the Roman Republic can teach us about the fall of American or like what's happening in American democracy. Most of these books are stupid. There is one really good book by podcaster Mike Duncan, who does the revolutions. Podcast called the Storm before the storm. That's the one I would recommend if you want to read a book like that. We're not gonna mainly be telling that story. Instead, we're going to talk about how Rome invented militarized policing and the 1st police state and kind of the first FBI. Because that's not a history I think most people know, and it's pretty cool. But first we're going to talk about, well, some guys, well, we're going to talk about a lot of ****. We're going to have to cover quite a bit of ground today, actually. Is one of the reasons we don't do so many ancient history ones because it's like, alright, well if you want to tell this story you have to go through like 1000 years of ****. Yeah. Yeah. Well, also because the audience is like you like me, probably is like not just 1000 years of **** but so much back story and context. So I don't, I don't envy you. You have to explain a lot. But thankfully the Romans were were pretty entertaining **** ** *******. Not if they were killing or enslaving you, but like sometimes if they were enslaving. There were some Greeks who had fun with that. So the city of Rome, Andrew, founded on April 21st, 753 BC by two brothers who were nursed by a wolf. If you believe the myths that a lot of Romans didn't believe, right, like, these are like the things that we, we we tell about it. And this is what the Romans thought, like most of them are like, I don't. I've never seen a wolf nurse too, baby. It's like, I don't think that's statue of of the of like 2-2 infants sucking on a wolf's breasts. Is or you're talking about the statue in my living room, right? Yeah. Yeah, I have that instead of a television. Yeah. Yeah. I made it out of a out of macaroni. Yes. Just harrowing stuff, if you think about it. Like, just so gross. Yeah. Bad for the wolf, bad for the babies, not good for anyone. But, yeah, this is Romulus and Remus, right. Like, that's the that's the legend. There's a good line in them. I think it's the movie Spartacus where Julius Caesar and I believe it would have been. Bumpy are like walking around and talking about like, they're walking past like a temple and Caesar as a question. Like, don't you venerate the gods and and poppies like, well, publicly, sure, but privately, I don't believe in any of them. And that's probably how it was for a lot of Romans. Like, you know, everyone's like, people aren't lockstep believing these silly *** myths, but this is the myth. April 21st, 7 through 53 BC, which is absolutely not when Rome was founded. Archaeologists know that people have been living in that spot for about 14,000 years. Because very rarely do just just, there's just like a bunch of people suddenly arrive at a chunk of land and be like, and now it's a city like this that's not yeah you just have like groups of people farming. Like Rome has a bunch of hills, so you could set up shop on a hill. It's a good place to grow food. You can beat up people if they try to like, come on to your property and stuff because hills are easy to defend, you know? It's just a good place for people to exist up until the present day where it's about to die because there's no water, but. For a while, it was a good place to be a person until we invented the car. Yeah. We're changing. We're changing the good places to be a person. Yeah. Yeah. Everybody's going to have to go. Yeah. There's not going to be so many Italians in the future. I was just. I was just. Yeah. Right. I guess Peninsula life is about to be. Island life is about to be Atlantis life. Yeah. Cool. I was just in Minneapolis and there was a real palpable sense of like. We're going to be the new Miami soon, yeah, yeah. Minneapolis is going to be dealing with those 110 degree days. Time to get your beach body on Midwesterners or whatever part of the country Minneapolis is. Lakes. ******* lakes. So even ancient Romans had a lot of competing stories about the founding of the city, probably most likely like most of them tended to think that it had been basically like a Greek colonial offshoot there. Later, when Rome becomes an empire, there's this state. Propaganda line that it had been founded by a bunch of Trojan War refugees and a Trojan king named Aneus. None of that's true either, and it doesn't really matter what. What we definitely know is that sometime around the 700 species, uh, there's this city state called Rome that kind of comes together probably from a bunch of different, like communities in the area gradually sort of, you know, merging, and it starts to gain power and influence in central Italy. Now, like most places, it's ruled by kings and over time, the Latins. Who were like a tribe, right. The Latins are a tribe in Italy, and it's because they speak Latin. I that that's probably, yeah. Or or vice versa. But yeah, yeah, yeah. These, these at this point, they're just like primitive tribesmen wandering around Italy. They don't even know that in a couple of 1000 years you and I will be learning their language badly, Echo Romani and whatnot, because we because we got scared by French and didn't want to have to the pressure of. Winning a real language, I honestly, I I cannot get back into the mindset of the bozo. I must have made the decision in middle school to just feel like, you know what Latin I think I was intimidated by. Like, Oh no, I don't want to have to. Because the thing they promised us is you don't have to do like, pronunciation tests because nobody knows how a lot of Latin was spoken. I did actually, my senior year of high school, they let me go to the university and take Italian. Which lab? Spicy Latin, yeah. Did not help me out very much for her. I have. So my family is incredibly ******* like my my dad is first generation like American, like that's how Italian my family is. And we had some relatives when I was a kid come over who spoke only Italian. And because they were old Catholics, Latin. And so when they were in town, my dad, who was also an old Catholic, had to like translate for them so they would speak in Latin. And then my dad would translate to the rest of the family. Damn. Yeah, which I think makes this yeah, really easy. You're, you're, you're romulus's air, basically. That's what everybody says. I mean, that was one of the benefits of the fact that, like all church services in the Catholic Church took place in Latin is that, like, you could have people from like England and Spain and ******* Portugal all in the same room and they might not speak each other's languages, but they all know Latin, right? Because they have to right? To do the Jesus stuff. So anyway, so yeah, you get these Latins hanging around and, you know, these are the people who are going to become the Romans. But at the time, they're just like some other group of ******** in Italy. And these dudes called the Etruscans are much more powerful. And there's this Etruscan dynasty that comes to be the kings of Rome known as the Great House of Tarquin. But that's just kind of like what people, more modern people call them. They were not a great house. This is not Game of Thrones ****. These guys are like, like, petty, petty chiefs. These are like dudes with, like, sharpened. ***** beating anybody who like, yeah, the tarquins are the guys who have the most muscly friends with sharpened sticks and are the best at stabbing people who don't pay protection money. Right. Think of them more as like a street thugs then. Yeah, it's always it's always like, yeah, it's it's organized crime until it's taxes. Yeah, exactly. And like, the so they in the seven hundreds, they kind of start to make the jump from organized crime to taxes, but it's still more organized crime. And anything. So for a while Rome is like pretty much every other city in the Mediterranean. And then in the five hundreds shift changes. The Last King of Rome is a guy named Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, which is where we get the word superb. Although that's like anyway, that's the nickname people gave him. And it's kind of Romans have like a history of like, this guy's an ******* let's let's call him great or like superb or like an awesome or something. So he's, he gets to power like 534. You see, he has a pretty good rating for a while. He wins a bunch of wars, he signs the cities First treaty with Carthage, he builds a big *** temple, and yeah, he enslaves a bunch of people to make the first sewers and drainage systems in Rome. So he's he's definitely like, you know, that's solid king stuff. He's he's he's made a step beyond gang leader. When you're making sewage, you've made a move past year, past gang ****. And then, according to myth, his son rapes a Roman noble woman named Lucretia, and this, this becomes a problem for him. Here's how the Getty summarizes what's said to have happened. The tragedy of Lucretia began when sexist son of the tyrannical Ultrascan, King of Rome and member of the Tarquin family raped her. For the ancient Romans, a woman who was raped was guilty of adultery. A crime punishable by death, even though she had not given herself willingly. After she was raped, Lucretia made her husband and father swear an oath of vengeance against the Tarquins, and then killed herself in shame. Enraged by her death, Junius Brutus led a victorious rebellion against the Etruscan king. So, couple of things there, couple of things there. Number one, look, obviously you should be angry at the guy who did the rape, but also most of your anger might be at like the social custom that says that she has to kill herself after. Yes. Like that might that might be the thing to be angrier at. The people don't think that way. I guess it really is like this, this like it's it's spoken so matter of factly. And this is where like the context of it makes it so hard to figure out what the, what the approach of this is. Because, I mean look, the entire misogynist society, like every misogynist society. This one, you know, worse by modern standards, but this is pretty normal. But yeah, and then you're just like. You know you. You're the family members watching this happen, enraged that this had to happen, but not, not because of the like, the society. Like, it's sort of like this classic everyone is always mad at the wrong thing through history. It is. It's also though, I think if you get yourself in a different mind state, you can really feel this because like, this is a stupid rule that's like cruel and evil and is. It makes like a. A bad situation, even more horrifying. And like, we can look at that as like, oh, look at these ****** ** people and they're ****** ** rules. But also the story you get is that, like, all of the Romans are ****** at this, and Lucretia is a sympathetic figure in their history. And think about all of the different times in recent past when, like, everyone in America has been like, wait, that's the law. That's the way it works. That's stupid as ****. Why the hell are we doing it this way? But then the stupid thing happens. That's ****** ** because, like, yeah, can't change the law. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or we're not going to. Yeah, I mean, you can't just change laws and you get the feeling that's kind of the attitude people have us like, well, this is all like, stupid and ****** ** but at the end of the day, the only person we can really take our anger out on is is the Tarquin families. Let's get them kings out of here, which they do. And it's also worth noting the guy who leads the rebellion, Junius Brutus, that named Brutus should be familiar, right? That's the guy who kills, see? Well, that the guy who kills Caesar is this kid's descendant, you know, hundreds and hundreds of years down the line. That's part of why he kills Caesars. His family's got this reputation of, like, when people try to do king stuff, we murder them anyway, to be fair, pretty good family tradition. It's a cool family tradition. It does. So Junius Brutus is one of like 40 guys that all have the same name. So one of the cool things in Roman history, and by cool I mean very frustrating, is that if there's ever a guy who does anything worth noting, there will be three other guys who are also really important with the exact same name because that's how the Romans did things. So you'd be like, yeah, skipio africanus. Well which one? The one from like the one 60s or the one from like the yeah. Or like the two hundreds, the one from the one 50s and like, yeah it's it's very frustrating, but that's, you know, if you're starting out you're, if you're, if you're you're early on in Western civilization, how many names? You can't have that many. There's like 7 names. Yeah, there's like 7 names. So the details of obviously the the Lucretia story are almost certainly not exact, but there's a pretty decent chance that it broadly is accurate as to what caused the insurrection against Etruscan power. Most people probably heard of the right of prima nocta, right? Which you see in Braveheart, you know this, this right, that like nobles supposedly had to have sex with a woman the first night after a marriage and stuff that like Britain Braveheart. This is depicted as like what sparks the Scottish, but that's not a real thing. It never. It was not a thing in any medieval law. It didn't happen. It certainly had nothing to do with ******* William Wallace. There were some similar rules in history. The Epic of Gilgamesh references customs that are similar to that, as do Herodotus's histories. And we know that around this same. At least one other Italian city revolted from Ultrascan control because they're women were abused. You know, you often don't get a lot of detail about this, just so many notes that, like, they were angry about something the Etruscans had done to their women. And so, like, there's a war and they win. And. Right, right. Yeah. Right. And it is. Yeah. That's history. I mean, it's. Yeah. I mean, often angry that they're doing the thing because you were supposed to be doing the thing, but, yeah, well, it's just like it, you know, military occupations haven't changed. You can. There's a long, ugly history of, like, when the US occupied Japan, you know, rapes by US service members and stuff that caused a lot of problems. And that's the thing everywhere. It's a thing in in Iraq. It's a thing all throughout history. So whatever the excesses of Rome's Last King. They kick out that last dude, Tarquin and a Republic is founded in 509 BCE and it was, it was not a super different government in a lot of ways from the ones that are quote UN quote founding fathers established. And what I mean by that is that only the very wealthiest people could actually hold office right now. One thing that's interesting is that, like, pretty much everyone could vote though, so they they didn't have that difference. Like when when the United States is established, you have to be like a property owning white male in order to vote. And it's not until later that every guy gets the vote. Basically every free man has a vote in the Roman Republic. But it also doesn't really work that way because so the Romans have this, this system, the client system. Where every rich guy just over the course of their life picks up hundreds or even thousands or 10s of thousands of like clients. And these are like dudes who he has to give them money and or food or something on a pretty regular basis. It's kind of like their social welfare program, like this rich guy has to take care of you a little bit, but you have to do what he says when it's time to vote, right? And this is kind of what they have instead of political parties is these coalitions of rich guys and their clients who are like, well, like this is the guy that like my family, we all go and he gives us. Every couple of weeks and we vote for it, right? I guess a weird system like local local gang leader. Yeah, it it's a little different from that yet at this point in that there's not really violent coercion holding that together at this point, but it's more like an exigent of like the way familial units and tribes and stuff would have worked. And in fact, a lot of it kind of is based on tribal stuff, you know from a bit earlier probably likely, well, probably. I make that point because these are going to turn into St gangs. This absolutely ends with St gangs of people murdering each other. But I guess, I mean, yeah, it was like, it's almost, it's like the same as the Electoral College or like, you know, it's exactly like the Electoral College. Yeah, yeah. And we in America need to get to the point where our Electoral College is just several 100 people beating each other to death with saps in the street. We're getting closer every every, you know, I know. I I'm waiting for it. I got a ******* baseball bat with a nail through it. I'm. I'm down. Let's, let's, let's become electors. Do you, do you put the nail like a big nail through when you're making a spiked bat, you got a couple of options. So yeah, I mean, I think you just one of the better ways is you just kind of like hammer the nail in through the edges and stuff. So you get a couple of different nails poking out. Another thing you could do, you can actually like get long screws and just like screw with like a like a drill through a couple of areas of the back and then put them. Yeah that'll that'll help you like that's a little bit easier. You know, a fun thing to do is you get some like JB Weld or epoxy or something. You cut little Runnels and the sides of the bat, you jam razor blades in there and then you kind of, you're kind of making like a macuahuitl. Anyway, I think I know what that is. That the stick with that the the. It's like what the Aztecs used. It's like the stick with all the Obsidian, but instead of using dollar, store razor blades on a baseball bat. Yeah, alright. Yeah, right. Anyway, I get, I'm just, I'm not, I'm not as crafty, but I've just got an electric drill. I'm like you know. Yeah this. Sorry. Anywhere to interrupt? Go just just spark in your eye. When I asked you how to make a a spike bat the little little much, I knew you would want days. Yeah one of these days that's that's what we'll get back to the the the roots of Western democracy and I'll be able to have a street fight with my homemade razor bat. So, yeah, you got all these. So the Roman Republic. Yeah, 509 BC. And, you know, we don't exactly know what all of the rules were at the start of the Republic because they were unwritten. So their constitution is like, it's not put down anywhere. It exists only in the memories of the oldest rich people. So it's kind of like all of the rules are like, whatever the old people say they are. Right. So again, very similar to our current system in a lot of ways, yeah. What did and this causes problems. Think yeah, what did Thomas Jefferson think? Ohh, now the Senate parliamentarian is a thing that matters. Like nobody thought about this before, but suddenly it's a huge problem. O this caused problems overtime, which I know will surprise you because those patricians and patricians are like, they're basically nobility at the start of the Roman Empire. They're all of the rich people who's like families have been powerful for a long time. And yeah, they are the ones who kind of get to tell everyone what the Constitution says effectively. And people start very American. Yeah, it's extremely American. These are the most American, but the Roman Republic is the most. American thing that ever existed. So the poor, the the plebes, the poor people, you know, or at least you could call them the regular people, start to be like, well, this doesn't seem like a very good system. Like if we're supposed to be a Republic, it kind of seems like this this is a bad way to do things. And yeah, it it it also over time as the Republic goes on, it starts to change like the the the wealth situation. So the patricians are like noble because of their birth, but they're not necessarily rich because number one, they have all these obligations. So they have all these clients that they have to like, pay and feed. And they have all these, like when they get political office, that often means they have to throw parties for everybody in the city or like big religious festivals. So a lot of them are ******* broke all of the time and this class of merchants rises up who aren't noble, but they have a bunch of money. And they're like, well, we're the ones paying for everything now, like one way or the other, and we're like buying these patricians and having them do stuff. Why don't we get to like hold political office or have any kind of power? And part of like what's ******* these patricians over is that the only way that they can acceptably make money is like either going to war and conquering **** or like agriculture. It's kind of considered gross for them to be in business. So anyway, **** starts to change in Rome and and you get this life wealthy class of people who are like. Libyan but, but have money. And over time, like, the folks who are not patrician get increasingly angry. And, you know, you get your riots and you get people threatening each other in the streets. And then in 451 BC, they forced the patricians to Commission a series to actually write out a constitution where they're like, OK, we're going to actually, like, lay out what the rules are in a way that people can see as opposed to us just being like, Oh yeah, I remember the way it's all it's supposed to be. I remember how the law works. So because it's the past, they just like hammer a bunch of rules and the big Bronze tablets, 12 of them, and stick them in the center of town so that if you want to know what the law is, you just like walk up to the bronze tablets and read them. Which is which is a fun way to do it now. Like all democratic compromises, the new written constitution codified extraordinary powers for the wealthy. Most of it dealt with debts and debtors, and noted that in the event that a debtor was ruled to have failed to, like, pay a debt, he would have to be basically on the after three days or so, he would either be executed or sold into slavery. So, like debts, a serious thing. And this is on a separate point, something that like Cory Doctorow and a couple other people. Make a point of is that, like the Romans were, the first people to be like, debt is a thing that exists forever for you and eventually like your family, as opposed to like, every 20 years we have a jubilee and there's no more debt. The Romans, because they have this entrenched power structure that actually holds. You don't have like a king who might be like, well, every 20 years or so I'm going to do a jubilee because then people get their debts cleared and they like the king more. Now the people running it are like all of the rich people and they're like, well, no, we're never going to white people's debts. What the **** would we do? That ****. And so that's where that whole process starts. In history, that's just fine. That's the source of our power, right? Yeah, right. As opposed, yeah, when it switched from largest to money. You know what? Making me Miss kings, Robert? Yeah, well, it's not entirely a good thing that they get rid of theirs, I guess. The Constitution also enshrined incredible powers for Roman men, the paterfamilias who the head of each family was essentially a little dictator. So we don't have a king, but like, if you're the daddy, you you have the absolute power of life and death. So #1 deformed children have to be killed immediately. That's one of their that's like their that's like their First Amendment in ancient Rome. You know, it's the past, and fathers have the power of life and death over their children and their wife. So you can, as the father, execute your kids or other members of your family anytime you want to. The classic law of I brought you into this world, I can take you out. Yeah, which one is most important? Societal bedrock. Look, if that was the rule, I would have kids, I'd have a ******** of kids. And they'd be they'd be doing a lot of work for me. So. There are some, like, more sensible rules, though, that kind of limit. So among other things, if you're a dad and you sell your kid into slavery three times, then your son no longer has to do what you say. I don't know why three times is the rule, but like, you have to pick a number, I guess, where it's like, genie ****. What is ******* happening here? No, it's it's cool. So yeah, it's it's good stuff. It's this weird mix of like nightmare social laws and then like broadly reasonable stuff like, yeah, if a child's born within 10 months of the father's death, they get some of the inheritance, you know, like stuff like that was like, well, that's just like a pretty reasonable solution to a problem. The 12 tables also note that women are always legally children. They always have to have a guardian. This is because of, quote, their levity of mind. And The only exception to this are the Vestal virgins, which are basically older, like OG nuns, but they're much cooler than the nuns and a lot more weird sex stuff going on, allegedly. And you know who else is allegedly engaging in a lot of weird sex ****? Andrew, Yo, hit me. The products and services that support. This podcast, right? They never stop ******* not, not not once. And that **** I was going to say is not in the Bible, but it very much is in the Bible. What they're doing. Most of what they're doing is in the Bible, but they go off the map every now and then, you know? He's gonna enter any situation. It goes into **** 1st and you don't know what's gonna happen. Like they're just, they're just gonna they they live to penetrate. That's actually the corporate motto we live to penetrate. I was going to ask you which sponsor you were specifically referring to, and then I realized that you already had one in mind and that sorry, Chris, good luck with that bleep. I know you love it. Love a Bible that has like a it's like a map of, you know, the Bible parts, the parts of the Bible story. Like like the like any edition of Lord of the Rings or whatever. Just like a little map of the front page. Yeah, you know. They should do that. They probably do. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twist at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind now a word from our sponsor better help. If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy, and better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals, like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people? And so alleviating poverty is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. So there's this broad understanding that political violence is undesirable, and there's actually not, as far as we can tell, it doesn't seem to have been a thing that happened very often in in the early Republic, right? Like when people had political disputes, they didn't murder each other generally, which is a big thing, right? And this period of time, if you've like gotten to that point in your society, that's pretty cool. We have trouble with that today. We don't do that at all. Yeah. And one of the reasons for this. So the Romans have this written constitution kind of thing now. They also have this thing called the most malorum, which is it just literally means way of the ancestors. And it's a. It's another unwritten legal code, kind of. And it's basically just a bunch of, like, you don't murder people who are elected leaders. You know, you don't, like, bribe people in order to make them vote the way you want. You don't do this. You don't do that. And there's a couple of different things in there. Including there's a rule that you don't carry weapons inside the city. Now, this ban gets misinterpreted a lot of times. You might think of it as the ancient equivalent of an assault weapons ban, right? So they're not banning all weapons because spoilers, everybody still has weapons, but they don't have military weapons, so they're not supposed to. It's like you can get executed and **** if you're caught carrying a sword or like a dagger within the what's called the pomerium, which is this, like kind of sacred? Quasi. Ethereal boundary that like is the the supposed to be the actual like boundary of Rome. Now obviously, so again, this just refers to like military weapons. So when people do have fights and stuff, they'll usually have like chair legs that that they'll stick sharp things into. Or they'll they'll make saps or brass knuckles or super popular. The Romans have their own kind of violence. Knuckle thing? Yeah, yeah, they call it. Festus. Yeah. It's basically brass knuckles or like punch daggers that, like, really nasty fighting weapons, right? So you don't have swords and stuff. So people are just like, clawing at and beating the **** out of each other with like stuff they make in their ******* garages, which is pretty cool. It's like the warriors stuff, right? Like, that's that's right. Yeah, you spike. That is just too big. Yeah. What's the, what's the, what's the ******* Millwall? Thing where you make it with just like a bunch of additions of like the like the Daily Mirror or whatever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there's some *******. It's basically the Jason Bourne show where he fights a dude with the new, with the magazine or whatever. Yeah, yeah. I mean the the coolest thing that the ******* Romans had was this thing called a cestus or caestus or whatever. And it was basically, it was like a boxing glove that had was covered in the iron balls. So that like when you like, so it's like this combination boxing glove slash. Brass knuckles and yeah, you could. Yeah, they they. So they had plenty of weapons. They just did not allow military weapons. And you're not allowed to bring soldiers into the city of Rome. Nobody can take an army into Rome. They have to camp outside of the city if you've got an army nearby. Because again, they recognized pretty early on that like, well, if we want to have a a Republic, it's probably a bad idea to let people March their army into the city. That could end badly. That might not go well, but most of this stuff is just like, it's not written law. It's everybody knows that you're not supposed to do these things. Right, right. A wonderful way to run a government. Yes. A norm. Right. These are their norms, you know? Yeah. The other thing, too, is like the army thing is like, I think it's, I mean, obviously just because I'm a soft child of the 20th century, but it is like wild to kind of remember how threatening a parade really should be. Yeah, a parade. I mean, historically, the Romans are kind of one of the first groups of people to try to stop a parade from being a threat. Because they have this, these things called triumphs. And so if you win a military victory that's big enough, the Senate will vote you a triumph. And you basically are king of the city for a day. And you get to take your army and March them through the city with all your captives, and everybody pretty much worships you. But the whole time you're doing it, number one, it's just for a day. And the whole time you're doing it, there's a guy whose only job is to, like, walk behind you and be like, hey, bro, you're going to die one of these days. Hey, bro, like, you're still ******. Like, everybody's ******. Nobody lives forever. Like, you're not actually a king or a God. You're gonna die, dude. Like, which is kind of neat. I think it's it's one of my favorite parts of Roman history. Yeah. So the best job in, yeah, civic life. This. These were the first, like, nowadays anybody can, like, go on Twitter and ratio a political leader. Yeah, if they're if they're good enough at trolling. This was the this was that job in the ancient world. It's like the dude who follows the imperador around being like, hey, bro, you kind of suck, actually. Still see it? You would. Hell bro. Yeah, exactly. My God, Rome would have adopted Twitter immediately. Like, they basically they had like, like, they're Roman graffiti is a whole other story. But like, they had Twitter, they had their own Twitter. I think my favorite piece of Roman graffiti that was like found in ******* Pompeii is this guy being like, all of the women in Rome or all of the women in the empire should weep because I'm just ******* dudes now. Like, I'm I'm, I'm so tired of ******* ladies. I'm going to my ***** for nothing but men now. That's pretty that is peak Twitter. It is an incredibly peak Twitter and amazing Twitter. How does what it does? Is it just like paint and brush? I guess, yeah, they're just like paint and ****. Yeah, they've got paint, like they're just like painting stuff on walls and and whatnot. Yeah, I guess I was just thinking like the the advent of spray paint for graffiti, like, what a again, which they would have taken to spray paint immediately. You you show like literally any Roman citizen spray paint and they're like, oh **** I'm gonna be able to yell at like my neighbor so much more efficiently. Probably make a primitive airbrush. Yeah. So the Roman system is it's it's a little bit wacky, but it works really well. And for most of like 300 years, they get by without any massive internal political violence. Now, a big part of this is that for these first couple of 100 years, Rome is nearly destroyed like every 30 years or so. Like every couple of decades, somebody will invade Italy and almost wipe them out. And usually the way it goes is the Romans. There's an invasion. The Romans get together a massive army and they send it to fight the invasion, and they all get wiped out because some idiot makes a stupid mistake on the Roman side. And then the Romans somehow put together another army and eventually win the war. And this is like how every war works out for Rome. They take these like, the thing that distinguishes Romans as a military power is they're able to, like, lose all of their guys and then when the war anyway, which is like a mixed sort of reputation to have militarily. A good example of this would be the puric war from 280 to 275 BC. The gist of it is that the Romans go to war with a bunch of Greek cities in southern Italy. And those Greek cities are like, hey, we need help. And they called to this Greek king. Over in Greece called Pyrus, and he invades Italy to like **** ** the Romans. And Pyrus is a scary old *** ** * *****. He's got a big army, a bunch of war elephants, and he just shatters the Roman military in this series of horrible grinding, thousands and thousands of people massacred. But also every battle is so ugly that, like he loses most of his army fighting it. So kind of at the end of this series of battles, the Romans can't continue to prosecute the war. But Pyrus doesn't really want to keep fighting either, because he doesn't have much of an army left, and this is where we get the term. Eric victory, right? So he, like, goes to Rome and he's like, hey guys, you're, you're y'all are ****** let's do a peace deal. And he offers them pretty good terms. And I'm going to quote what comes next from a write up in the New York Times. When the Senate convened the debate, the offer, an old blind senator named Appius Claudius, was carried into the Senate house by his sons. As the Chamber fell silent, he stood to chastise his colleagues. I have, he said, long thought of the unfortunate state of my eyes as an affliction, but now that I hear you debate shameful resolutions which would diminish the glory of Rome. I wish that I were not only blind, but also death. By giving in to Peiris, Claudius warned the Roman Republic would only invite more outside powers to mess with it lowers the odds victory might be Rome had no choice but to keep fighting. And they they actually somehow win pirates like, yeah, it's it's it's the whole thing. He tries to bribe a bunch of his way out of like, fighting them more, but it doesn't work. And yeah, this is like, this is a somewhat idealized version of events of how like warm beats. Rome beats Pirus, and it's based on the writings of a guy named Edward J Watts, who is one of these historians who's written a book about the Roman Republic to talk about the collapse of the United States. Yeah, but as kind of biased as his take on things is, it is worth noting that, like, what they build really works. Like, as flawed as we're going to talk about all of the flaws as it is, the Romans create this political structure that's able to, like, repeatedly, almost get wiped out and disastrous military defeats. And not lose wars. And part of it is because everybody's got skin in the game. The entire ruling class is out there fighting whenever there's a war, along with like all of the and. And in fact most of the people fighting are people with like property. The Roman army, you have to pay for your own weapons. So poor people are not fighting. It's basically like the middle class and the rich people who are actually like going to war. And one of the downsides is that all of their armies are led by the equivalent of like Nancy Pelosi, which goes really badly sometimes. Because you'll have like this 80 year old career politician trying to like, lead an army of 70,000 guys and he doesn't know what the **** he's doing probably. But there there's some argument that that is sort of why the first, the first crack at our first draft at Eddie Gifford. Roman army is sort of just the **** that needs to be. Exactly. They are. It's the guys who suck the most and you get like Ted Cruz out there and you just need to get rid of him. Anyone who survives that first one. Yeah, the fresh recruits is probably the way to go. Yeah. We got to burn off an army before we can get anything done. Yeah. Yeah. It's like they like making pancakes. First ones just for the trash. If we had invaded Afghanistan by sending all of Congress in first, I think the United States and Afghanistan would be in a state of perfect peace with each other and there would be no more problems in the world. I mean, truly this, like, you know, the the. That is the least American thing about this is about this particular iteration of Rome is putting middle class and nobles and on the line at all. Yeah, if only, if only. But all of these nobles they have *******. So like one of the things Cyrus tries to bribe a bunch of guys and he can't bribe them because they're like, well, no, this is like my whole family's fighting. Like, this is what we do. We have this, like system and we're kind of all in it together. And one of the reasons this works is that there's not a massive. Like, there's rich people and there's poor people, but within all of the people who the free men who have property, there's not a massive disparity in wealth, right? The rich are not very rich because, like, it's Rome's, just kind of this scrappy little city in the middle of Italy, right? It's not like this super powerful force. But as time goes on, they keep winning these wars, and so they wind up in control of more and more and more of Italy, and they get all of this land and all of this money starts coming in, and that's when things start to go awry, right? So after Rome beats Pirus and conquers most of southern Italy, they settled into what's what's going to be 200 straight years of unbroken victories in foreign wars, Rome's military record here. Basically, they spend the length of the time that the United States has existed as a country, winning every fight they get into, right, which is like a pretty solid record. Now they lose battles constantly, like with Dev in the First Punic War, which starts in 264 BC. This is with Carthage. Lasts 20 years. Like to tell you how silly some of their wars go. So this war starts with Rome going to Sicily to fight Carthage and they win there. They invade North Africa and they win what's probably what might be the largest naval battle in all history still to this day, like if you listen to the historians, then it's like 300,000 people or so all fighting and boats. And again, this is like 2300 years ago. ******* wild how like many people that they could put together at this point, but they win this series of. Battles. They win these naval battles. Carthage sues for peace and Rome refuses to like, have peace. So Carthage keeps fighting and then beats them and like, shatters a Roman army. So Rome has to send a fleet to evacuate the remains of this army that's gotten its *** kicked in Africa, and then the entire fleet and 100,000 men all die in a storm like heading back to Italy. That kind of **** happens constantly to the Romans, and it just never stops them. Then you've got the Second Punic War, which starts in 218 BC. It also lasts like 20 ******* years. And there's like, we've talked about the battle of Cannae, which is one of the most famous battles in history, Hannibal, you know, the elephant guy encircles their army and kills 50,000 Romans in a day. It's like 10% of the male population of the Republic he, like, wipes out, including like 8 senators like a bunch, a significant percentage of the Roman. It's like if it's like if the United States had like 10% of its male population and half of its political class. Wiped out in a battle in ******* Afghanistan, like it's pretty it it's it's a bad day for them and they just do the same thing they always do. They make more guys senators, they make more guys soldiers and they send them back out to fight, right? And it's it's fine. But while these wars are going on and they win these wars, they win the First Punic War, they win their Second Punic War, they get control of Sicily. They get a bunch of influence and power in northern in in northern Africa. They take control of all of Spain in the Second Punic War, like Rome is now running Iberia. Uh. While all this is going on, a couple of other things are happening. One is that a lot of Roman soldiers are dying, right? Like Shitload, because Nancy Pelosi is very often the battlefield commander, and she's not. Very good at that. And and since these guys, these are like the Roman middle class, right? Most of them are small, independent farmers. They have enough money to buy their own weapons and armor and stuff, and sometimes even horses. And so the system that they set up works really well when war means you have to like, walk two days to like, **** with this town across, like the river from you. But when you're going to war for 20 years and your army is all of the guys who make your food. Then it becomes a problem right there. Are you seeing like the flaw in the Roman social system also? It's it's like, I mean, and this I guess is the thing that's like distressing is like you'd hope what this would do is lead towards like more measured wars that like you know, with. Oh no, no, no, no. It's simply the opposite is we will. I mean you're we're seeing it obviously in in our time also. We will simply let society crumble rather than we are. And that's what happens. Because here's the thing. If you were to make have less wars, while the only ways that the nobility can make money is war or taking a bunch of farming land, right, because they're not allowed to have businesses, they're not allowed to be merchants. And if they don't get to have more wars and massacre more generations of Roman boys, then the merchants who aren't nobles will have more money than them and nicer houses. Do you see why this is a problem? And I know it's. So just like, but like instead of being like, the custom is weird and we could just diversify our ruling classes economy. Look at at the same point, Nope, I'm going to kill all the farmers. I'm all for restricting our ruling classes, economic sources of income. So what do? It is interesting that if you look at the two longest lived republics in history, which is the Roman Republic, and now us and both of them, you have this group, this hereditary. Nobility who are like, well, if we're going to stay rich, we're gonna have to kill the middle class. We're gonna have to, we're gonna have to get rid of those people. So yeah, you, this is you. You start to get these serious problems where like these farmers soldiers are spending like five years at a time out on campaigns and like ******* Africa or Spain, which is quite a distance from Italy when you have to walk it right, like they are far as **** away and a lot of people listening probably are not farmers. I'll let you in on a secret about farming. If you don't do anything to your farm for five years, it is no longer a farm. It's it's just the woods. Yeah. And that's that that that causes an issue. So these soldiers are spending like half a decade at a time, you know, in addition to like, whatever injuries and trauma they suffer, they come home and their farms are ruined and they can't afford to, like, put them back into shape. So again, answer, as you noted, a reasonable country might go like, well, clearly we need farmers and we need people to become soldiers. So it's in our best interest to, like, figure out a way to deal with this that is not. Was this a construct? This. Was this a volunteer army? It wasn't. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Well, they they do have conscriptions, like, especially during emergencies, they have conscriptions and stuff. So it's more, it's kind of like a draft a lot of the time with these wars. So yeah, it's generally sort of a, you get called up, your number gets called up effectively and like, it's time for you to go serve there. They do have a lot of, like, there are volunteer, yeah, anyway, whatever. It's a whole thing. We don't have the time to get into that today, but it's worth noting that, like. The money that they are making by conquering everything around Rome is plenty of money to take care of these farmers. And I want to quote now from Marxist account of Roman history written by Alan Woods quote after the Second Punic War ended in 202 BC, the economy of Italy endured a massive upheaval. The legions that conquered Spain, Greece and North Africa returned home with riches on an unprecedented scale, a pro console that's like the mix between the president and a general returned from campaign in the east bearing 137. 1000 pounds of raw silver, 600,000 silver pieces, and 140,000 gold pieces. So, like, the nobles are getting ******* rich in all of this, money stays in the hands of these, the patricians and this new class of people called the equitas, who are like rich businessmen, right? Because the trade is a lot the more you conquer, the better trade gets for you if you're a ******* Roman businessman. So they're making ******* bank. Now all of the land that the Roman army captures during this conquest of Italy they go over becomes state owned land, which seems fair, right? They call it the, the Ager publicists populi Romani, which means the public land of the Roman people. And over time the Senate votes to allow people to own parcels of this public land in perpetuity as long as they work it. Right. So that's how initially, like soldiers get rewarded as you get some of this public land and you can start a farm on it and that will allow you to have like a degree of economic independence. But. Then I'm going to quote here from a write up in the anthropology review quote. The problem was that if the land was left uncultivated, it could be taken over by someone who could work it. So soldiers who were out of the country fighting for the glory of Rome came back to find themselves dispossessed. Vast stretches of land were taken over by rich and powerful Romans who used slaves who were not called for military service and thus were always present to plough the fields and tend to the crops and livestock. This meant that peasants and returning soldiers had not only lost their land, but also the possibility of finding decently paid work with which to support their family. Because it was impossible to compete with slaves who had to work for free. So that's that's a bad way to have the situation work, right? So it's like it is, yeah, it's. I guess it's like, like all things, it's just cobbled together from like tradition and like, this is what happened last time, just like the fact that, well, I want to be rich, I want to be rich. Nothing, nothing really matters more to me than personally being richer. So let's let's do whatever gets me the most money in the short term and I will never back down this, this system can't change because this is absolutely can work for us. And again, people at the time noted, note that this is like bad, like there's a decent number of people. The Roman political structure, who are like, hey, guys? This is going to be a problem as as as we have in the United States, who are consistently being like this is not a good way to do things. Because they're noticing that all of these formerly independent free men, the veterans who had like conquered the world for Rome, are winding up as almost like homeless in the city of Rome itself. Like they have no work, no way to make money and they just kind of swell the city because the state will will give them food when they're in the city. Kind of like it's the the only thing they can do is kind of become clients to some ******* rich guy or whatever and, you know, basically exist to provide a vote for a rich man and live marginally. On the the the edges of society. So as you can imagine, the fact that, like the only way for a lot of these poor people to get any kind of support at all is to like vote for whatever guy has the most money and thus can give them food. It makes this political system twist even more in favor of the wealthy, right? Inequality becomes a serious problem in the Roman Republic. Now again a lot of people recognize this as an issue and in his wonderful book The Storm before the storm, Mike Duncan writes quote as early as 195. Eight of the elder warned his colleagues. We have crossed into Greece and Asia, places filled with all the allurements of vice, and we are handling the treasures of kings. I fear that these things will capture us rather than we them. Every few years the Senate would attempt to rein in the ostentatious displays of wealth, but the resulting limitations inevitably went unheeded and unenforced. By fatal coincidence, the Roman people, at the same moment both acquired a taste for vice and obtained a license for gratifying it. Yeah, it's this. It's the way it always goes, right. They're no different from us. Yeah. They just, we just have phones. Yeah. And it's interesting. Karl Marx, when he writes capital, is specifically looking at this. In Roman history. He bases a lot of his conclusions off of, like what the history that he's, like, reading about what, like what happens in the Roman Republic? And he writes in capital, quote, it requires but a slight acquaintance with the history of the Roman Republic to be aware that its secret history is the history of its landed property. Right. That like. And I essentially what he's saying is that, like, you have this vision of what the Roman Republic was that like dudes like our quote UN quote founding fathers have where they're just like ************ over these, like austere figures. And then you have the reality, which is that, yeah, this venal, corrupt, landholding class is choking out the middle class and the poor in order to make their already vast fortunes even larger. Yeah. Yeah. And destroying the entire state as they do it because they care about nothing but increasing the amount of wealth that they have. It is like like parasites on every level, obviously. Yeah, it's good stuff. Yeah. You know who else is a parasite on every level, Andrew? I've got to find out the sponsors of this podcast absolutely blood sucking ticks just just guzzling the life out of your your veins. So if he is that a good way to lead ads? Is that going to make him happy? That's the only way you can lead into ads, my friend. Excellent. Excellent. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family. And it meant. And we start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month. And no one expected plot twist at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind now a word from our sponsor better help. If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy, and better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. Don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment. We can't save chimps, forests or anything else, and that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people? And so alleviating poverty is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Ohh we're back so. This all brings us to the story of a guy who, depending on who you ask, is either the first socialist in history or the sinister populist precursor to Donald Trump. You there are think pieces that will say both things. They're all pretty silly because he's his own person, and this is a long time ago so. Stop. Stop it. But this guy's name is Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, and he's born in either 163 or 162 BC. And he he comes into into being as, like, the bluest blood ************. It is possible to be his father had served as console, which is kind of like a again, it's like a mix between President and general, like if you're constantly, which makes sense if the senators are also leading right? Yeah, exactly. It should be the same. Voted to get a military command, effectively so, and his dad like celebrates 2 triumphs for military victories is like a young man. His mother is like the daughter of this great Roman war hero. Now everybody's main source on Tiberius Gracchus's life is a guy named Plutarch who is a Greek historian who writes about him like 100 years after he died. And it's worth knowing what Plutarch says because Plutarch's working from like sources that were written by people. At the time when Gracchus was alive, but like most Roman history, we still, you're still. Just like most of Plutarch. History is like, well, a guy told me this. Like, I heard this from like a dude who was like his grandpa was around, like he was reading this thing. I heard this. I heard. The idea, a lot of it's like, I guess that's all history anyway, but Jesus, yeah, like, after this, after what happens with this guy happens is like, brother writes a pamphlet that he hands out. And like a lot of Plutarch is based on, like, what people remember from being in the pamphlet. But I don't think we have the pamphlet still. So it's like, it's like if somebody, if it's like if somebody wrote a history of the of the ******* 2020 George Floyd protests based on, like, a conversation with someone who remembered some scenes about them, right, right, right. Where it's like, yeah. Like you're you're you're probably not gonna get all of the facts. Yeah, yeah, yeah. History is ******* crazy. Yeah, yeah, it's good stuff. There's a story that Plutarch tells that, like, when Tiberius's dad is a kid, he goes to a sooth Sayer, you know, basically a a ******* you know, a fortune teller. And she's like, you're going to have to either, like. I'll just read the quote, because it's kind of weird. We are told, moreover, that he once caught a pair of serpents on his bed, and that the soothsayers, after considering the prodigy, forbade him to kill both serpents, or to let both go, but to decide the fate of 1 or the other of them, declaring that also the male serpent, if killed, would bring death to Tiberius and the female to Cornelia, that's his wife. So Tiberius, accordingly, who loved his wife and thought that she was still young and he was older and it was more fitting that he should die, killed the male serpent, but let the female go a short time. Afterwards, as the story goes, he died. So that's what happens with this guy's dad. Like, his dad supposedly dies because he he he kills the snake that represents him to let his wife live. He leaves her with twelve children, three of which survived to adulthood. Just like, what a bonkers day at the office. Delays. Dudes, check this out. I would tell him if he kills the males today, he's going to die. Yeah, first of all, I would tell him kill one snake only. Yeah, only one snake. Let the other go. They had to just be. I assume the fortune teller colleagues are just all, you know, ******* with you. Oh yeah? I mean, they're ******* high as ****. They are unbearably lit. So Cornelia takes charge of the children and the estate. She, you know, she's good enough at being a mom that, like, a solid 25% of her children live to adulthood. And two of those kids are the brothers Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. Now both of them are like, again, fancy boys. They hold a bunch of public offices. That young patrician kids are expected to hold as they climb up the political ladder. At age 17, Tiberius goes to Africa to fight, you know, in the last big war against Carthage. And he's supposed to be the first man over the walls of Carthage during that final siege. After that he goes to another war. So by the time, you know, he comes around and you know, the the one hundreds like, like ish BC, Rome is kind of locked into this Afghanistan. Style situation in Spain where they have conquered Spain. But like, it's kind of hard to hold on to Spain. Like if you're anyone, there's a reason why Spain is mostly belonged to Spain throughout history. It's not all that. It's not always all that easy for Spain to be in charge of Spain. Yeah. So they're fighting this like endless series of like, brush fire rebellions against and it is it's like Afghanistan that you've got like this, this Roman military that's very organized and fairly modern and like, it's it's command structure. And then there's these guys who are just like throwing rocks at them from the bushes and then running away. And it works pretty well for the ******* Spanish. So Tiberius Gracchus goes to go fight in northern Spain against these, the city called Namibia. And the war does not go very well. And the guy who's in charge of the Roman army gets his *** kicked, and so they have to negotiate a surrender. Now, the Newman teens knew Tiberius because his dad had beaten them in a war like 20 years ago. And he'd been cool about it, right? Like, he hadn't been * **** ***** beating them in a war. So they were like, well, we'll let, we'll talk with this guy. We'll negotiate with this guy because if he makes a peace treaty with us, we feel like Rome will will stick to it. So Tiberius works out a truce and a peace treaty and he saves this Roman army, but when they get back to Rome. All of these politicians who had not left the city and who wanted the war to keep going because there was money in Spain but didn't actually want to figure out how to fight it. Or like, how dare you pull out of Spain with this army? Like, how how dare you? It's a little bit familiar to some things that have happened. It's like this bad situation. And the guys back home had, like, didn't have any idea how to deal with it better than Tiberius did. But they're still angry about it because that's what you do in politics, I guess. It's probably. Well, tell me more honest to just have the military industrial complex openly advocating, like, we need this war for money to continue. We need this war for money to continue and for pride. How ******* dare you. So Tiberius, he takes a beating from these guys, but they can't punish him because he did just save the entire army's life. And that kind of makes you popular in a way that's dangerous to **** with too much. But they do. His commanding officer who had lost the war, they like. Drip him naked and chain him up and send him back to the enemy and are like, you guys can have him, like, we don't want this guy anymore. Like do whatever you want to him. Which again, if we done that with David Petraeus would have, I think been cruel. I think that's what we should have done with David. Few more consequences for some of people's command decisions, that's all. ******* strip Dick Cheney naked and just air drop him into Basra. Like like let and whatever happens, happens, right? We're not saying what the penalty should be. It's up to them to figure it out. So the people vote to clear Tiberius of all charges, yada yada. Things go pretty good for him. And this is like what you might call a pretty decent start in Roman public life. And as he's, you know, there's a story that later gets told that, like, while he's kind of going back and forth between Spain and Rome, he's like walking around the countryside and he notices, quote, or he notices basically that, like there's nobody here, there's no Romans here, it's all slaves. All of these farms are worked by slaves. All of the actual free people are, like, desperately poor because they've all lost their lands. They're just, like, huddled in these shanties at the edge of town and like, oh, wow, it kind of seems like we've done a terrible thing and destroyed the class of people who have made, like, our success possible. This is probably a problem, right? So again, basic observation. So he decides to set up this policy to reform the public lands of Rome to make it impossible for individual rich guys. To buy a puge tracts of land and to guarantee that small, free holding farmers will continue to be the core of Roman society. Now, the way the popular story gets told, it's just Tiberius who, like, sees these poor farmers who are dispossessed and has this idea to fix everything. That's not really true. The reality is that this block of senators had been working for years to figure out a way to reform the land system to fix this problem. And Tiberius is just kind of like he's young and he's popular, and these senators are like, you're the guy to be like the *******. But, man. Right. Which I guess is how a lot of big political reform has to work. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's again a fairly modern seeming story. So they, they come up with this plan where they're going to limit the amount of public land that any individual can have to 330 acres. Now, this is like too harsh for the rich people. And so they start howling. So they they kind of like, alter it in order to allow like an additional like, I don't know. 100 or so acres or a couple 100 acres if you like, already hold the left. So they they put in like some again, they immediately are like, all right, well, look like we'll work with like, we understand you're like the rich people and you already have all this land. So we'll let you have more than we think that you should be having just to try to be friendly. Now think about modern politics. When you offer to let rich conservatives like to compromise with them, do they a compromise or B go *** **** and declare war on you? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It's like, exactly. So no, we like the lesson that we, I guess we'll never learn from is like, don't negotiate with conservative terrorists. No, no, exactly. Do not. Do not talk with these guys. They're not. You can't. They're not trustworthy. Yeah, so, you know, they they start Tiberius Gracchus, and these other senators and stuff start putting together this legislation that they're going to introduce at the forum. And while they're doing all of this, this horrible war in Spain is raging on because the senates rejected the peace deal that Tiberius cooked up, which means they have to raise another army and send it to Spain. But at this point, they're kind of having trouble finding soldiers, right, because nobody has enough money to like, buy weapons and like. It doesn't matter. Even if you can script people, they don't have the ability to like arm themselves. And so there's this rich politician who's very much against land reform, skipio Emilianos, who figures out how to fix this problem, and it's by using his vast personal wealth to recruit and arm an army of his own. This is the first time this happens in Roman history. We're just a rich guy buys an army and takes it to war. This will not be the last time this happens, and it will prove to be a serious problem. He's kind of like, he's kind of like the Roman Eric Prince. Where he's like, well, what if I just buy an army? Why don't we just do it that way? And then I can take minerals and **** you know? So this guy Emilianos is again super against the land reform bill, and he's one of the big people organizing against Tiberius and his bloc. But once he leaves the city to go **** with Spain, he can't, like, do anything politically. Like, there's no sending messages back, effectively. So once he leaves the city with this army, he's bought Tiberius and his rivals take this law that they've built and they put it on the docket and they like, which literally means that they go to the middle of the city and they're like, hey guys, we got a ******* law to vote on. Everybody show up and let's vote. Our ***** off. Gather round. Gather round, *************. Now, since most of the Senate is against land reform, Tiberius and his allies decide to present the bill directly to the Assembly, to the voters, without letting the Senate debate it. Now, this was not a legal you did not have to present a law to the Senate 1st and let them debate it. But the most maiorem this, like unwritten set of agreements, says that you don't propose a law to the public without letting the Senate debate it right. So this is the first big break with like, political tradition and decorum. And it's from Tiberius aside, they're like, well, now we're ******. Senate we're just gonna take this one straight to the people. So the rich people are like, OK, well, I guess **** all of the things that we used to do, like, now, now, now there's no rules, right? So. So we're just gonna ******* do it. Yeah. You went, you went nuclear. And yeah, what? Now we're going to do that too, right? And this is, he does go nuclear because when Tiberius light goes up and he's like, hey, guys, I want to take all of this land that only the rich people have that's supposed to be all of our land and give it to all of you. And this makes people very excited, right? It's it's such a big deal. But, like, because basically he gets up and he announces this and says, and like, a couple of weeks we're gonna have a vote on it. And so all of these poor citizens start flooding out of the city and, like, finding their relatives who are living on the outskirts of town or in other towns and bringing them in. And so suddenly thousands and thousands of people start heading into Rome, including Italians, people who are not Roman citizens but agree with this, like, land reform bill. Because **** the rich people in Rome who, like, show up and, like, I, like, are protesting. Basically they're showing placards. They're, like, announcing their support. Do this thing. Obviously Rome does not have mass media the way we have it, but they do have this forum, which is like Times Square mixed with C-SPAN and also a 90s era mall, right. It's this like big stage with shops around it and it's not, it's not even that big a stage. And if you're doing politics, you stand up there and you talk to people about like what you're trying to get them to do. So every day Tiberius is up there while they're waiting for because they're like say we're going to have the vote and you know, X number of days, right. So and that's to give everyone time to get into the city because you have to physically be there to vote. So while all he's waiting for everyone to get in town, he's like speaking every day. And I'm going to quote again from Plutarch here about like that's, describing one of his speeches. The wild beasts that roam over Italy, he would say, have every one of them a cave or a layer to lurk in, but the men who fight and die for Italy enjoy the common air and light indeed, but nothing else. Houseless and homeless, they wander about with their wives and children. It is with lying lips that they're imperators exhort the soldiers in their battles to defend sepulchers and shrines from the enemy, for not a man of them. As a hereditary altar, not one of these many Romans an ancestral tomb, but they fight and die to support others in wealth and luxury. And though they are styled masters of the world, they have not a single plot of Earth that is their own. Pretty good speech, yeah. Yeah, it's pretty good speech. Yeah. You put on, you put on your speech. Voice hard for that one, though. I was. I was though, yeah, I might have been doing a little bit of Dan Carlin there. So this goes really well and this is where the Trump comparisons get in right. He is the first like populist politician in Roman history. He's tapping into decades of anger and resentment among the lower classes. He's promising to take the fight to the elite, which he is clearly a member of right on their behalf. So you could you can make some Trump comparisons, but you can also make direct comparisons to linen and Mao. Right linen and Mao are both upper class rich people who become these socialist firebrands and ignite uprising. Going against an entrenched and decadent elite, right, you can see comparisons to all these guys, right? You can see him as like this first, uh, like, like agrarian populist sort of Trumpian figure. Or you could be like, well, he's the first socialist, you know, rapper browser. I mean, I I think, I think what it is, though, is it's the like. Contemporary illusion of the word populist with just like a small band of racists. Yeah, so that's where Trump fits in everyone. The other ones are more truly populist because he's this is a real problem he's trying to solve. It's supposed to like howling about again and like calling calling Trump like a populist, such like a New York Times thing because they think the only population that matters to them is like racists in Ohio. And also. Like, yeah, it is weird to call him a populist because he's never got literally not a popular vote. Like, it's literally not most people. Whereas most people are exactly on board with what Tiberius is saying because most people are ******* poor as **** right? Yeah. And they're like, yeah, this sounds great. So the rich people, they know, they have to be careful because he has this huge mob of people who are, like, on his side. And it would be really easy for them to just murder anybody who who tries to stop him from passing this law. So they bribe a tribune and tribunes. Like, it's this political office that the main thing the tribunes can do is they can veto any law that anyone makes right. The tribunes. Their primary power is that they can just say no and nothing can be done right. It's just like there's two guys who get that job and that's like a thing that they can do. So court type **** yeah, it is a little bit supreme Courty, although it's more of a it's more of a populist position because one of the tribunes, the tribune of the plebs. Oh yeah, right can only be a poor person, right? Or a they're not. Actually poor people, but not be a non noble and so it's noble. There is like there is a cool thing in this, which is that like, well, the poor people should have a, a representative who can just say no to everybody, right. But in this case the Tribune gets bribed and so he says, hey, you can't vote on this bill. So now Tiberius has to take action. So Tiberius is like because Tiberius is also a tribune, right. So you've got one tribune who's like, I'm not going to let anyone vote on this ******* land reform bill. So Tiberius is like, all right. Well then I won't let anyone vote on ******* anything. And I won't let anyone spin the state's money. And he locks the treasury like he physically locks the Roman treasury and says like, the government just he does a government shutdown, right? Like, that's what happens. Like, yeah, no one can do anything now. So while all this is happening, this is becoming like a show. So, like people are flooding into the forum to watch most. A lot of the people who are like in the streets arguing and debating and like, watching this political drama unfold are like veterans. They're like former farmers and sons of farmers and all this ****. And they start talking about violence, and tiberia starts stocking this talk of violence by telling everyone. He gets up on stage and he says, hey, I have evidence that my enemies are planning to assassinate me, and he starts carrying a dagger under his cloak, which is technically illegal, but he'll like, pull it out. Bring speeches and be like, **** so serious that I gotta keep a knife on me, you know? I gotta be ready to cut a *****. It's like 5050 cent with the bullet. Yeah, fast. He's exactly like $0.50. So the tribune who'd been bribed this guy, Octavius, decides at this point to let the people vote about. He's not going to let them vote on the land bill, but he'll be like, all right, look, if you guys are so unhappy with what I'm doing, you can vote about whether or not to strip me of, like, my office. So this had never happened before, and this starts to scare Tiberius because he's like, ****. We're now kind of like way off the beaten path of like what politics is supposed to be. And I'm kind of worried that the wheels, that there's no brakes on this thing because it gets scary to everyone when all of the social and political mores stop, start crumbling at once. But this vote happens. Octavius gets stripped out of his office. He only survives the mob, like murdering him because his friends like pushed their way through a crowd to get him away. And tiberius. Gets to have a vote on his law, and it passes, like resoundingly passes. Now when the law passes, they have to set up a state Commission to, like, redistribute this public land. And so his enemies, these rich people, are like, well, we won't vote to actually pay any funds for the Commission to redistribute public lands, so you can't afford to do anything with this new law. And right as this happens is they're like, **** you Tiberius. A rich king dies. And this king, for completely separate reasons, wants to **** over his **** **** kids, so he leaves all of his money. The Roman people, right. So Tiberius is like, alright, you're not going to fund me. Well, this guy left his money to the Roman people, so I'm just going to use his money to fund this land reform Commission. And this is a problem for a bunch of reasons. But basically, the rich people are #1 angry that they're not going to get that gold and #2 they're like, well, you're not supposed to have the power to decide how state money gets spent. So now you've number one, you're deciding what, what can get voted on. You've stripped this other tribune of his power. You're now like, exercising power of the purse. And like, what the state can be spent on, like you're getting kind of close to becoming a king, right? Which is not entirely like wrong. Like they're like, wow, this is like wrong. Like they're like, wow this you you are exercising more power than a single person is supposed to have in our system. So they get really, they decide, like some **** needs to get done. And I'm going to quote from Anthropology review here. At the time, tribunes were considered inviolable, so Tiberius was encouraged to run for a third term to retain the protection that the position bestowed. To bolster his popularity with the citizens and increase his chances of being elected, he proposed several new populist measures that further enraged his enemies. These included proposals to reduce the mandatory term of military service as well as change the balance of power in the Senate by increasing the number of equities to match that of the Senators. The night before the vote, Tiberius implored the citizens to vote for him because he feared for his life and the life of his family. His plea was so compelling that many people guarded his house all night to make sure he was safe. The next day Tiberius went to the capital, where he was surrounded by a crowd of people who wanted to protect him. Plutarch says that one of the senators, Flavius Flaccus, warned Tiberius that the wealthy Romans had resolved to assassinate him. Tiberius pointed at his head to indicate to his supporters that his life was in danger. This was interpreted by the spies sent from the Senate as a request for a crown, a claim they raced to relay to the Senators, who immediately sent a mob of armed slaves and supporters to attack Tiberius and his followers. So what follows is a ******* massacre. You have this group of political, this political group who have come together to, like, reform the political system of the entire government in order to make it fairer for poor people. And the rich send an army into the city of slaves primarily, and massacre them. They killed the **** out of Tiberius and like two or three hundred of his followers, like it's just this bloody nightmare. They're like throwing people's corpses in the river. Like all sorts of ****** ** ****. Now, after they massacre all these people, they pass most of the reforms that he had suggested, which is another thing that happens repeatedly in Roman history. Like they'll have like, they'll have a civil war and they'll massacre the other side, and then they'll do what they asked for anyway, because it's a good idea. So a lot of his reforms happen, but by killing him and all of his followers in the middle of town, a seal has been broken, right? And the Republic is never the same. After this. I'm going to quote from a write up in the New York Times here. Over the next years it quickly became normal for populist politicians to set aside long standing norms to accomplish their goals, for military commanders to bind the Senate to their will by threatening to occupy Rome, and for rival generals to wage war on one another. Within a generation of the first political assassination in Rome, politicians had began to arm their supporters and use the threat of violence to influence the votes of assemblies and the election of magistrates. Within two generations, Rome fell into civil war. So. That's good. And yeah, yeah, that's I mean. Don't especially want to think about I guess that I mean that is also just the American thing of like look if not that the our official like Armed Services are not just basically militias for the powerful but. Codify. Get that way. Feels like, hey you, you learned where this is going because in Part 2, part one is about how the Romans, how Roman politics turned from this like, cordial thing where violence was not common to we will murder anybody who tries to **** with the money, and Part 2 is about how they're create the FBI. Can't ******* wait. Grim as **** as usual. Thanks. Andrew, you got anything to plug before we roll out of here? Yes, actually, this Saturday the 20th, my podcast yozis racist is doing a show in Austin, TX. So if you're in Austin, please come out. But yeah, find me yozis racist. I'm Andrew T well, you know, it's funny because because you your podcast is yo is this racist? But we're talking about the Romans and racism didn't exist yet they didn't have it. They did like they literally hadn't figured out how to be racist. That hadn't been invented because we also had not invented British people, right? And they also had a lot of a lot of other **** to fight about. Apparently. They sure did. They sure did. Yeah, but but but not racist. Woke kings. The Roman Republic woke. Woke empire. No. Woke pro consoles. Yeah. All right, well, until next time up, yours woke moralists. Behind the ******** is a production of cool zone media from more from cool zone media. Visit our website, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 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