I never understood where the whole concept of Caesar’s legion came from or how it fits in an apocalyptic setting.
But after reading an interview by JE Sawyer, where he refers to Caesar as a figure similar to Kurtz, it makes sense. Kurtz is a figure in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a book about the ivory trade in the Congo. In the book, the European character Kurtz starts out as a missionary trying to help the tribes, but ends up taking over and making them worship him. This is similar to Edward Sallow, who began as a Follower missionary and ended up calling himself a god, the son of Mars, Caesar.
In a quote, JE Sawyer compares the two:
Both are men of intelligence and education who traveled from a life of relative comfort, technological wizardry, and "civilization" into a wilderness full of warring people with relatively low education and a relatively "primitive" lifestyle. Both rose to power and were essentially deified for their intelligence, knowledge and leadership capabilities. Both cut off communication with the outside world and lived in their (until now) remote, savage kingdoms, using the most brutal means possible to deal with rare instances of dissent. Both have an "unusual" way of looking at the world due to their cultural isolation. Unlike Mr. Kurtz, Caesar's reign continues for a long, long time.
Now Caesar’s Legion makes sense. Caesar is a “civilized” man who is exploiting ignorant tribals. He can play a game and make himself a Roman general because the tribals don’t know any better. He can rename people cool names he has read in books, like Vulpes and Lanius, because the tribals don’t know that he’s trying to copy Ancient Rome.
Hell, the average Legionnaire probably doesn’t even know what Ancient Rome was, or how to speak Latin beyond a few phrases.
This ignorance is gives further explanation for Caesar’s misreading if history. No one can tell him that where he’s wrong. He thinks Rome assimilated and erased the cultures of the tribes they conquered; but that didn’t happen. They kept their local deities and customs, but added Roman laws and tributes. He thinks women were simple tools of breeding and production, but he doesn’t seem to know that Roman empresses held power, Roman women could inherit, and Roman marriages were often bonds of love.
It would be like me reading one book about Ancient China and calling myself Emperor and forcing people to call themselves Yang and Han.
Source: Original link
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