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Emperor Hadrian

Time:

About A.D. 120.

Place:

Rome.

Also known as:

Publius Aelius Hadrianus.

Interview:

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.