More experimenting with digital colour.

20150916_old_panel_3I tweaked the language in panel 3. movingfinger had asked: I don’t follow Felix’s distinction when he says “Not the son of sons of a freedman.” Although Damon is an adopted Antonius, the bloodline certainly matters in some way, does it not? Although, legally, I know that to the Romans the adoption makes Damon an Antonius.

So, this is my take on it…

The bloodline matters. (Especially, I should think, for families clinging to the specialness of their old-line patrician status.) The name and assuming the mantle of representative, if you will, for a family line also carries weight, depending on how someone wants to exploit it. Or how it’s assumed that person will want to exploit it. But even when the emperors were adopting heirs, killing off heirs, and/or marrying off heirs, they tended to select from an elite circus of power players where bloodline and political clout were so intertwined as to be indistinguishable. The Antonius family were power players throughout the first century of the empire, even their freedmen. But the direct-line males tended to get disappeared.

How I see it, is that the “wow” factor of being direct son-to-son bloodline would impress the crowds if one has no actual political power, wealth, or military rank to fall back on. Popular/populist rabble-rousers were feared by the upper echelons. Though I can see the forum crowd saying, “show us what you’ve got” rather than “stick a crown on him, he’s royalty.” Feelings would probably run differently in, say, Egypt than in Italy.

Titus’s family has only been in power for a decade, neither he nor his brother have any sons, they might be feeling precarious. Bad enough there are people running around pretending to be Nero. And people actually wanted Nero back—go figure.