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Old 03-02-2020, 07:19 PM
 
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What you may not know is that emperor was pretty much elected government job. Consider it being a prime minister or something. Emperor powers were very limited and responsibilities were vast and burdensome. What you think of is image of powerful god like emperor doing whatever he pleases, created by movies and books.

This is why emperors were so much fearing Roman populus. The people.

And if you were working government job, why would you bother with passing it onto your son.

Not everything they tell you in books, movies or Wiki is true.
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:48 PM
 
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Do gods need offspring?
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:40 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
Julius Caesar passed the throne to Augustus, who is his adopted son.

Augustus passed the throne to Tiberius, who is also his adopted son.

Tiberius passed the throne to Caligula, who is Tiberius' nephew's son - related but not direct offspring.

Caligula was assassinated and the throne went to Nero, still not blood offspring.

Nero committed suicide without heir.

So that's 0 for the first 5.

Contrast imperial courts in Arab world or Asian countries, it is very crucial to have blood offspring in order to keep the empire "in the family". They take this idea to a level that they exclusively use eunics as servants in the imperial palaces to ensure purity of the blood. This is closer to human or animal nature - when a new male lion takes over a pride, the male lion will kill all existing cubs, then sire his own offspring.

Why didn't Roman emperors have this instinct?
The Roman Empire had emperors for around one thousand four hundred years, and even as long as one thousand eight hundred years, depending on how one defines "Roman Empire".

You chose to focus on a relatively brief period.

As mentioned, there was no clear succession rule, but often the pattern was most capable surviving relative and/or by military acclamation. But succession dynamics ran the gamut, including plenty of father>son successions over the centuries. The instinct, then, for the most part was the most capable under the circumstances of the moment.

And it worked for a long time. Life is a series of short-runs.

Going back to the early centuries, the first father-son succession was Marcus Aurelius (161-180)>Commodus (180-192). In extreme summary, as in the case of Nero, it actually went well in the first half of the reign, but then he lost confidence of the military, igniting a dynastic revolution. But there is much less primary source documentation for the reign of Commodus than for Nero, so the details are murky, especially the first half of the reign and his successors of other dynastic periods wrote the history in retrospect, and we have little of even that.
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by bale002 View Post

Going back to the early centuries, the first father-son succession was Marcus Aurelius (161-180)>Commodus (180-192). .
The first was Vespasian/Titus in 79 CE. When Titus died after just a two year reign, Vespasian's second son, Domitian was given the job.
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:35 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The first was Vespasian/Titus in 79 CE. When Titus died after just a two year reign, Vespasian's second son, Domitian was given the job.
Thanks, I forgot about them.

If I remember correctly, palace insiders assassinated Domitian after some 15 years as emperor. That's a long time to last in office, so most of it must have been good, at least with most military personnel.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:30 PM
 
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This is a very important point.

In the classical world, adopted children were considered superior to biological children. You can't control how your biological child turns out, but you can control whom you adopt.

Julius Caesar actually had a biological son by Cleopatra, who was passed over in favor of Octavian. Why? Because Caesar saw more potential in Octavian.

The tradition of choosing a successor who is not your progeny was the rule during the reign of the five good emperors. That reign ended when Marcus Aurelius chose his incompetent son Commodus as his successor. That is considered a turning point in the Empire.

Bloodline succession is a stupid idea borne of vanity. It's far better to... wait for it... choose the most competent person.

(Incidentally, the earliest Christians were adoptionists who believed God adopted Jesus as his son, as described in the Gospel of Mark. This story was changed as the classical ideal of adopted sons became less prominent and bloodline succession became more prominent.)
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post

Julius Caesar actually had a biological son by Cleopatra, who was passed over in favor of Octavian. Why? Because Caesar saw more potential in Octavian.
Caesar may have indeed see more potential in Octavian, but that isn't the reason Caesarion was "passed over."

At the time of Caesar's death, Caesarion was three years old, Rome was still technically a republic and there was no position of emperor yet which Caesarion might have inherited. Additionally, Caesar never legally acknowledged Caesarion as his child. Caesar knew that the Roman people would never accept Cleopatra because she was a queen and Rome had no such position. It followed that they would never accept a foreign prince either.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Earth
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better to have the best capable man to rule
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post

Why didn't Roman emperors have this instinct?
Gay?
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by joyeaux View Post
Gay?
Not a relevant concept in Roman times.

It was not unacceptable for older men, such as Hadrian, to have fun with boys at the time.
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