Will the Supreme Court Give the President More Immunity Than a Roman Emperor?

Two Centuries of Ancient Legal Scholarship Applied the Same Laws to Leaders as Everyone Else

I have been studying and writing about Roman emperors for more than 30 years. I never imagined I would live in a time and place where the judicial system might give more extensive legal immunity to an American president than any Roman emperor ever enjoyed. Until last Thursday.

Contemporary imagination often assumes that Roman emperors enjoyed absolute authority to do what they wanted with their empire’s resources, wealth, and military power. They did not. Rather, Roman emperors were magistrates who held office for life, managing the Roman state on behalf of …

Worried About Biden’s Age? Consider Claudius

The Ancient Roman Emperor Was Mocked as Feeble, But Ruled Wisely

Those who criticize President Biden as “too old” or “slow” or “confused” might learn something from the very similar treatment of the Roman emperor Claudius.

Claudius, who ruled from 41 to …

How Would Emperor Tiberius Have Handled Silicon Valley Bank?

A First-Century Roman Bailout Holds Lessons for Today’s Financial Institutions, and Their Regulators

The recent failures, and subsequent government rescues, of Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic, prompt us to consider an ancient question: How do banks prevent the actions of very rich …

Can Kevin McCarthy Outlast an Ancient Roman Emperor?

Didius Julianus’ 66-Day Reign Shows What Happens When a Compromised Ruler Runs Out of Things to Give His Allies

On January 7, cameras recorded a beaming Kevin McCarthy as he ascended the rostrum of the House of Representatives and raised the speaker’s gavel. If one knew nothing about the …

Why Are Our Sports Stadiums Becoming More Like Roman Amphitheaters? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Are Our Sports Stadiums Becoming More Like Roman Amphitheaters?

Today’s Shift to Status-Based Seating Is an Unwelcome Return to the Rigid Social Divides of an Imperial Age

More than 230 amphitheaters, among the largest and most memorable monuments left to us by the Romans, survive in cities from northern England to the banks of the Jordan River. …

How Economic Warfare Backfired in Rome | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Economic Warfare Backfired in Rome

An Ancient Conflict Sheds Light on the Consequences and Limits of Sanctions

Attacks on a state’s economy can inflict immense damage, but sanctions and other tools of economic warfare are unlikely to defeat a superior military power. Instead, economic disruptions may prompt …