Thursday, November 03, 2011

Article: Too Good for Hollywood

Too Good for Hollywood

Antoninus PiusActually, the adjective applied to this emperor is "pius" (pious) [rather than "bonus" (good) or "melior" (too good) (see Latin Comparative Adjectives)] — an adjective applied to another figure from ancient Rome whom Hollywood has also neglected. The emperor is Antoninus Pius, and the legendary Roman hero is Aeneas. While Aeneas may be held responsible for the suicide of Dido and could conceivably be held responsible for the loss of his first wife, Antoninus Pius was good to women and others in distress.

This blog post is in response to a request from Latin teacher and prolific writer Rose Williams who describes the emperor with these words:

"He made new laws to protect slaves from abuse (his legislation is featured in Justinian), hesitated to travel because of the expense caused to provinces by a visiting Emperor, was generous with his own money in restoring and improving infrastructure, and persuaded the rich to be likewise. He also used his own wealth to relieve victims of disasters. With a record like that, and a name like Pius, it is not surprising that Hollywood has never been interested in him."

What do you think? Was Antoninus Pius too good to be made into a Hollywood lead character? Was Aeneas responsible (not for Antoninus Pius)? Other related comments?

Picture of a statue of Antoninus Pius CC Flickr User zaqarbal.

(via Instapaper)