About A.D. 120.
Also known as:
Publius Aelius Hadrianus.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!
By LARRY SMARM, PLENTIFAX FEATURE WRITER
SMARM: Larry Smarm reporting from Ancient Rome, Or as we know it right now, Rome. Man, this new toga itches: I think I put too much urine in it when I cleaned it. Anyway, I'm here today to meet Rome's top dog. The big cheese. Emperor Hadrian.
HADRIAN: Did you just call me a cheesy dog? I should have you thrown into the gladiator pit. Guards!
SMARM: No, sir, your cheesiness. I mean, your Emperorness, it was a...
HADRIAN: Enough. Let's get on with the interview. I don't have all day. The Empire doesn't run itself.
SMARM: Right. You travel more than any other Emperor? Why?
HADRIAN: We have a big empire. A little too big, I can see that. It stretches from Spain to Turkey, from Britain to Libya. Each of these countries has its own problems...
SMARM: ...besides the fact that it got taken over by the Romans, you mean?
HADRIAN: Guards! Take this insolent brute to the gladiator pit.
SMARM: Forgive me, your majesty. Continue.
HADRIAN: They have problems. For example, I built a wall between what you now call England and what you now call Scotland.
SMARM: To stop men in skirts and no underwear with bagpipes and strange boiled meat getting across the border?
HADRIAN: I'd say it's to separate Romans from Barbarians, but yes. So I built a long wall.
SMARM: You're quite the builder, aren't you, sir? The Pantheon in Rome you commissioned has the biggest dome ever built. Why?
HADRIAN: It's a temple to the gods. The hole in the top lets the stars, the sun, and the heavens revolve above my throne. It's only right they should revolve around me. I am a near-God myself.
SMARM: A near-God? Really, I thought a near-God would be taller.
HADRIAN: Guards! This interview, and possibly you, Mr.Smarm, are terminated.