Episode 5 – Numa, the God Whisperer

Life and death of the second king of Rome.

Partial Transcript

Hello, this is Abel, in Beijing, China. Welcome to my podcast.

The Tale of Rome, Episode 5 — Numa, the God Whisperer.

http://www.thetaleofrome.com/rome-005

Last week we talked about the end of Romulus, the first king of Rome.

[…]

Numa also gets credit for almost all the most important religious institutions in Rome, and here goes a short list of his achievements:

ONE – Numa created the institution of Pontifex Maximus, which was the equivalent of the highest priest of Rome. There could be only one such Pontifex Maximus, and the job was for life.

Think of a Supreme Court Justice, in the US—unless a Justice quits or resigns, he gets to have the job forever.

The number one responsibility of a Pontifex Maximus was to overview the preparation and the delivery of religious services in Rome.

The number one privilege was that he was pretty much the only person in the city who was allowed to dismiss, and in some instances, disobey, both the Senate and the king of Rome, as you will see in future episodes.

Now, check this out:

Numa knew that the future of Rome would be filled with wars, as soon as he would be gone, and he knew that if a king would also be a Pontifex Maximus, religious services all over Rome would suffer, because such king would obviously give priority to war over all other things.

So, Numa solved this by simply setting in stone that kings or any future type of supreme rulers of Rome could not be elected to the office of Pontifex Maximus, while they reigned with the city.

He simply explained that the gods would punish Rome with plagues, floods, earthquakes, and all other kinds of disasters, if ever a king was elected to that office, and if ever the services to the gods were not properly done.

And in fact, the office of the Pontifex Maximus was left in peace by rulers for centuries. It wasn’t until the first emperor of Rome, Augustus dared to take the office of chief priest of Rome in his own hands, that Numa’s rule was being respected.

And that should speak volumes. Furthermore, the office itself still exists today.

That’s right, the institution created by Numa Pompilius is currently being exercised by the Vatican’s Pope, as the head of the Catholic Church, and that’s a tradition that’s been unbroken for some 2,600 years, now.

TWO – Numa Pompilius instituted the first vestal virgins within Rome.

[…]

Episode 4 – Throne of Thunders

The end of Romulus’ life, the way the Romans describe it.

Partial Transcript

Hello, this is Abel, in Beijing, China. Welcome to my podcast.

The Tale of Rome, Episode 4 — Throne of Thunders.

Last week we saw how Romulus dealt with three top topics of the day: the army of Rome, the female population of Rome, and the Senate of Rome.

This week we will see the rest of his life and how his life ends, not an ounce less mythological than his whole life before.

But before we start, I would like to make something clear: Rome, the city on the Seven Hills, had Seven Kings.

Right? Right.

From the year 753 BC until the year 509 BC, Rome had a grand total of Seven Kings. That means, those Seven Kings ruled Rome for 244 years.

Let’s see. Seven Kings – 244 years.

If I divide 244 by 7, I get 34.8, which means that each king must have ruled Rome for an average of 34 years and 9 months.

Even though this is not a physical impossibility, I can tell you something right away. In the course of human history, there has not been any empire, or state, or nation, or even a private company or entity that has been so blessed to rule for so long, and have only seven rulers.

The exceptional case of her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, is by far one of the longest reigns in recent history, but this cannot be seen as the norm.

Yes, she has ruled since 1952 which means she held the crown for 65 years. But that will not be repeated two, three, or—let alone, seven times.

A little more on that in a bit, but first let’s go to the Latin Word of the Week.

[…]

A big thunder cracked down on them, and a great dust cloud rose up, all around the throne and around the people standing by Romulus.

But… When the cloud dissipated, Romulus was no longer seated on his throne.

According to the legend, the senators who were next to Romulus during the military exercise, searched everywhere, but never found the body of their king.

He was gone with a thunder while sitting on his throne!

[…]

Episode 22 coming to El Cuento de Roma in 24 hours

Tito Livio y Virgilio

Episode 22 of the Spanish podcast El Cuento de Roma,
Tito Livio y Virgilio” is coming in 24 hours!

Here is our future English version counterpart.

In both The Tale of Rome, and El Cuento de Roma, every 22nd episode will be a BIOGRAPHY episode.

And this time I chose Livy and Virgil

Enjoy!

My mom fell into a coma

Dear friends!

I have sad news. Two days ago my mother, who is living in Croatia, fell into a coma, due to a stroke to her brain.

She is 78 years old, and I have received news from the hospital that the outcome is uncertain.

I am flying from China to Croatia (via Frankfurt) tomorrow, Sunday. My brother is on his way there as I write this, from Germany.

The launch of this podcast will be postponed for a few weeks, until I settle everything. And right now I don’t even know what do I have to settle, because only God knows how long this whole situation will last.

I do pray for a miracle, but I wonder if such miracles do happen in our times.

Since I did have a few episodes already recorded for the Spanish podcast (El Cuento de Roma), those will go on air tomorrow and next week.

The launch of this podcast is postponed to September the 30th, International Podcasting Day.

You are welcome to visit my Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/west4east if you feel like giving me (and my brother) words of support in this tough moment, but regardless, I will be keeping you all posted about my mother’s situation.

She lived three years in the US (with me), one year in China (also with me), 16 years in Argentina, some 25 years in Germany, and the rest… well, in Croatia.

Since my dad died, which was in 1990, she only ate bread and water. That’s 27 years now. The reason was that on the day my dad passed away (we lived on a farm in Argentina), he only ate some bread and had some water. He asked her to prepare some meal, and she told him she’d do it as soon as she’d be back from a short errand to the local market. When she returned, my dad was dead. She never stopped blaming herself.

I pray to GOD that they reunite in whatever better place there is up there (or out there), and that they don’t go through the pain we mortals do.

God bless you all!

Abel

UPDATE:

Four hours after I wrote this, my cousin passed me the news from overnight. My mom had passed into eternal life, while sleeping.

 

20 Days to Launch

20

That’s right. Twenty days to the official launch of The Tale of Rome.

And so, before the end of August, you’ll have the following episodes available online, to go with your commute, break-time, or group discussing material.

Throne of Thunders

(August 20)


Numa, the God Whisperer

(August 20)


Tullus Hostilius’ Holy Cow

(August 20)


Ancus Marcius Founds Ostia

(August 22)


Tarquin the Elder

(August 27)

 

I will try to set up a LIVE event on YouTube on August 22nd, 11 PM (Beijing time), which would be 11 AM on the East Coast, and 5 PM in Europe.

Since I have ZERO experience in setting these LIVE events on YouTube, I can tell you that anything can happen, but I hope to have an hour-long chat on YouTube with whoever goes here on that day, at that time:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-G4DAjVwV16boMThyzFcKQ/live