Marcus Aurelius: Are you ready to do your duty for Rome?
Commodus: Yes, father.
Marcus Aurelius: You will not be emperor.
Commodus: Which wiser, older man is to take my place?
Marcus Aurelius: My powers will pass to Maximus, to hold in trust until the Senate is ready to rule once more. Rome is to be a republic again.
Marcus Aurelius: Yes. My decision disappoints you?
Commodus: You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues: Wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance. As I read the list, I knew I had none of them. But I have other virtues, father. Ambition. That can be a virtue when it drives us to excel. Resourcefulness, courage, perhaps not on the battlefield, but… there are many forms of courage. Devotion, to my family and to you. But none of my virtues were on your list. Even then it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.
Marcus Aurelius: Oh, Commodus. You go too far.
Commodus: I search the faces of the gods… for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug… where you pressed me to your chest and held me tight. Would have been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years. What is it in me that you hate so much?
Marcus Aurelius: Shh, Commodus.
Commodus: All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. Father.
Marcus Aurelius: [Marcus Aurelius gets down on his knees] Commodus. Your faults as a son is my failure as a father. Come
[Gives Commodus a hug]
Commodus: [Commodus hugs Marcus and cries] Father. I would have butchered the whole world… if you would only love me!
[Commodus begins to asphyxiate Marcus while they hug, Marcus grunts]
MB recently traveled to Italy with family. It was his first visit to the country of pasta and pizza, and much more. And it included a two-day visit to the eternal city – Rome. Previously, MB would have selected Istanbul as his Nr 1 city on the planet. But Rome now occupies that position.
Rome is described somewhere as the city of a lifetime, as it will take a person a lifetime to understand it all. It is truly an architectural assault on the senses, with some incredible structure around every corner one turns. Huge culture and history abound, from pre-Christian to Roman Empire to Christian to modern. And food………… Such food!
As ever, MB had his gladiatorial weapon of choice in hand – his camera. The following are some of the results: