Sunday, August 08, 2004

The pertinent Pertinax

The past presidents game, which had recently morphed into the past monarchs game, has now evolved into the past emperors game. Blogger Agoraphillia has a post comparing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to Roman Emperor Pertinax. Before explaining the rise and fall of Pertinax, Agoraphillia admits surpise that "screenwriters appear not to have mined this true-life tale of intrigue, bravery, and heartbreak."

Actually, there is a version of the reign of Pertinax as a feature film. It has an aging general sought out as the one man who can possibly come to his country's aid, unscrupulous politicians manipulating events behind the scenes, a rebellion, a noble last stand in which dignity and awe hold the rebels a bay for just a few moments, a leader's head paraded around on the end of a lance and, finally, a promise of approaching misfortunes and miseries for the victorious rebels. The title of the film: Khartoum!

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