Saturday, March 26, 2016

Election 2016 and The Nika Riots

Difficult, possibly irresponsible, to remain oblivious to Election 2016. There are some who may well have surrendered to what the younger generation might call an OMG. The more sensitive might LOL and then burst into tears. Many will of course be wholly engaged in the fever of who gets what and why. But we can all draw a strange comfort from the Nika Riots of January 13th 532 AD. And when I say all, it could well be just me who sees in the past a repeating history, a sort of depressing endlessness that serves primarily to remind us just how vibrant and wonderful we are as people when it comes to doing the same thing over and over and over again.

In 532 it was Justinian the first, who ruled the Political Class of the Byzantium Empire. He was ably supported by his Lioness of a wife. And in that year, for the same old reasons, a person can read them in the newspapers today, the populace was in no good mood with their leaders. Then on the 13th of January, during a chariot race insults were hurled at Justinian, and soon enough a riot ensued that led to pretty much the destruction of at least half of the city of Constantinople. Justinian had a mind to run away, but his wife dissuaded him with the words "Those who have worn the crown should never survive its loss. Never will I see the day when I am not saluted as empress." She told her emperor she'd prefer to die as Empress than flee the city. Justinian pulled himself together, he sent one of his trusted Eunuchs out into the enemy camp with instructions to bribe the leaders of the opposition, and then he sent in his well paid army. It all worked out for the ruling family, Justinian ruled the empire for another 33 years and he outlived his Lioness of a wife by 17 years.

No comments: