Make Cities Not War! Win a Copy of

A winning roll
Five Answers!

Who were the Five Good Emperors?
  • Nerva (96-98)
  • Trajan (98-117)
  • Hadrian (117-138)
  • Antoninus Pius (138-161) ..."Antoninus the Devout"
  • Marcus Aurelius (161-180)
The death of the last member of the Flavian dynasty left Rome without a blood heir to power. A general, Nerva, was appointed to the task, and selected as his successor another skilled and promising soldier. The next few emperors also chose their heirs this way, adopting men who had already shown ability, good sense, and lack of interest in orgies, and who could then train in the skills they would need to govern the empire.

Interestingly, only five entries for the contest spelled "Antoninus" correctly—not only is it easy to misspell as "Antonius," that error has been propagated all across the web.
What did Roman patricians wear on their feet? Red shoes, or mullei
A modern word for a type of shoe, "mule," derives from mulleus or mulleus calceus, a reddish shoe worn by high-ranking Romans that was dyed the colour of a mullet fish. The shoes might have thick soles and wide straps and an ivory or silver crescent-shaped ornament on the outside ankles.
What is the best score called in the Roman games of dice and knucklebones? The Venus roll
It was called the Venus roll in both dice and knucklebones, though the scoring was different.
What numbers do you have to roll to get the best score in knucklebones? Knucklebones ("tali" or "astragali") could land on one of four sides, easily recognisable by their different shapes. Although the Venus roll with regular dice would be sixes, in knucklebones it was a throw of four tali in which each one landed differently: 1, 3, 4, 6.

alea iacta est
Left: die (tessera); Right: knucklebone (talus)

Where has one of the future Five Good Emperors appeared in SPQR Blues, and which emperor is it? Emperor Trajan, known for among other things a column depicting the glories of Rome, makes a cameo appearance as a teenager in Chapter 2 parts 42 to 45, a long, long time before he gets to be emperor and build columns. See also the FAQs page. (There's actually a FAQs page, and even a Wiki.)

This one was maybe a bit too tricksy, since his identity was added as an afterthought, after the character had already been drawn, and was mentioned in a comment. One entrant picked a Trajan, but unfortunately the wrong Trajan, since that character would be far too old.

The fellow on the left, modelled loosely on portraits of the emperor, is Trajan senior, a general in Judaea and Syria. His young son, also named Trajan, was eventually posted with him. It is the son who went on to become one of Rome's most capable rulers, inheriting the empire after Nerva's brief tenure. I'll do better at depicting him, should he ever appear again.

This Goes to 11. Congratulations to the winners:
Alida, Amanda, Cyndy (who gets an extra nod for most-thorough citations), Deborah, Dr. Phil, Karen, Katelyn, Kris, KT, Nadia, and Patricia

Since so many people answered "Antonius Pius" instead of "Antoninus Pius," I've made an exception on that one. But store the correct spelling in your Fun Roman Facts neurons—you never know when it will be vitally important to the safety of Planet Earth for you to know his name!

WInners will be getting an e-mail as soon as I dig myself out from under a ton of work, but if you have any questions, contact:
...with "Caesar IV" in the subject line

CAESAR IV screenshot CAESAR IV screenshot CAESAR IV screenshot CAESAR IV screenshot

Caesar IV Screenshot
Click to see larger screenshot

Caesar IV
Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) announces Sierra Entertainment's Caesar™ IV, the sequel to Caesar™ III, scheduled for release Friday, October 27, 2006. Caesar IV takes city-building into the 21st century, with new gameplay and features, and a cutting-edge 3D graphics engine developed specifically for the title.

In Caesar IV, players take on the role of an aspiring provincial governor within Caesar's empire as they build and manage an individual ancient Roman city and its province. Players lay out each city, road by road and building by building, making sure citizens have all they need to remain healthy, happy and safe from barbarian threats. As the city grows from a simple village to a cosmopolitan metropolis, so too do the challenges it presents. The ultimate goal is to rise among the political ranks of the empire, and become Caesar.

Caesar IV advances, refines and updates the city-building gameplay pioneered by Caesar III, while remaining true to its predecessor's proud legacy.


About Tilted Mill Entertainment: Tilted Mill Entertainment, Inc. was formed in 2001 by a team of veteran game developers eager to create original strategy games and simulations for the new millennium. The elite Boston area studio brings together the best elements of strategy games past, innovative gameplay concepts and the latest cutting edge technologies.

About Vivendi Universal Games: Vivendi Universal Games is a global developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform interactive entertainment. The company is a leader in the subscription-based massively multi-player online (MMO) games category, holds leading positions in the PC, console and handheld games markets, and is an emerging player in mobile and wireless games. Its development studios and publishing labels include Blizzard Entertainment®, Radical Entertainment, Sierra® Entertainment, Massive Entertainment™ and Swordfish Studios. VU Games' library of over 700 titles features owned intellectual properties including Warcraft®, StarCraft®, Diablo® and World of Warcraft™ from Blizzard Entertainment; Crash Bandicoot®, Spyro The Dragon®, Empire Earth®, Leisure Suit Larry™, and Ground Control®. VU Games also maintains strategic relationships with industry leading content partners, including Universal Music Group, NBC Universal, Twentieth Century Fox and Ludlum Entertainment.

Long Awaited Sequel to a Legendary Series: "Caesar III was a tremendous worldwide success, with this latest installment, we feel fans across the globe will once again enjoy all this series has to offer," said Bret Berry, Vice President of Production at Vivendi Universal Games. "We are all committed to ensuring that in every aspect this sequel builds on all the qualities that make the Caesar series unique."

With full 3D presentation, and all-new realistic citizen behaviors, Caesar IV is sure to please fans of the series as well as strategy gamers in general.