By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB
This is the first of a series of fictitious interviews with important characters of the ancient Roman and Greek worlds. The idea of made-up interviews first appeared in the writings of the Italian writer Giuseppe Papini, though he ‘interviewed’ people from more recent times. Today’s interview is with Caius Julius Caesar who gladly received me at his domus in Rome. I asked him about his future plans as Rome’s dictator.
Q: Ave, Caesar. Congratulations on your victories! How are you enjoying life as dictator?
A: Well. I must admit that I love this new life since I now have time to write about my experiences. Still, I can hardly wait to get back on the battlefield! As soon as I’m done writing my accounts of the Gallic and Civil Wars, I hope to get back into action and embark on new campaigns! I’m well known as a scholar, but I’m also a soldier and a man of action. I love the outdoors, traveling, and conquering new territories for the glory of Rome. Civilizing barbarians is a noble duty. The burden of every Roman general is to spread our culture, especially our language. Latin is a beautiful language, and it is destined to be the most important language in the world. Soon every man and woman will speak it!
Q: Well…moving on. Speaking of battles, who was your most fearsome adversary?
A: The Belgians were by far my greatest opponents. In fact, you can read a description of those fierce warriors in my book which is coming out this summer. I hope the Gallic War will be a hit in Rome and throughout the world. I will tell all about the battle of Alesia and how I defeated Vercingetorix. The Gaulish chieftain was a brave commander, but his inability to organize his army gave us a great advantage. He is now imprisoned, but I haven’t yet decided what his final fate will be.
Q: Indeed, Caesar. We people of the future have heard of a certain tribe of fearsome Gauls with superhuman strength which you weren’t ever able to defeat. Are you familiar with the warrior Asterix?
A: Really? I’ve never heard this rumor before, my dear friend, but I assure you it’s nonsense, clearly fake news invented by conspiracy theorists and dishonest journalists. I’m usually in favor of freedom of speech, but spreading slander like that is simply disgusting! If I get my hands on those scoundrels, they will most certainly get what they deserve!
Q: What are your plans for the future? Some people are saying you might go back to Egypt for a while. Is this true?
A: I’m certainly considering the possibility. I’ve read everything the Greeks have written about this exotic land and I’m quite looking forward to civilizing the barbarians there.
Q: I hope you don’t mind talking about your personal life. It’s just that there have been rumors of your intention to divorce Calpurnia, and that you also may be in love with Cleopatra…
A: More of the same nonsense! My relationship with Cleopatra is purely profesional! Calpurnia is my beloved wife and always will be. As for Cleopatra, while we share the same ambitions and I do admire her intellect and wit, we are just good friends. I’ve never understood why people make up such baseless allegations. I sincerely hope that by your time people will have abandoned this terrible habit of bad-mouthing celebrities.
Q: How is your health? Some have expressed concern that you may not be as fit as you once were.
A: I want to reassure the people of Roome that my epilepsy is under control. I’ve even hired a Greek doctor, a disciple of Hippocrates and master in the art of healing the sick. Greek medicine is by far the most advanced and scientific in the world. The sacrifice of roosters to Apollo has saved my life, and I’m very grateful to the gods for my renewed health.
Q: Is there any message you’d like me to pass along to the people of the future?
A: Tell them that there is more than enough to immortalize my name in my books, which I’m sure will still be widely available and respected even in your day. Two thousand years after I go to Hades, I’m certain that people will remember me and my many achievements. Caesar’s name will be immortal and Rome will remain the mistress of the world!
When the interview was over and I was about to leave, Caesar asked me if I, a traveller from the future, might have any insight into his fate. Anticipating his response, I raced out the door, shouting over my shoulder, “Beware of the Ides of March!”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
André Bastos Gurgel, OAB (Order of Attorneys of Brazil), Academic Advisor for the Carmenta Online Latin School, is a life-long student of both modern and ancient languages. Mr. Gurgel is fluent in English, Portuguese, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Latin (the last of which he learned with Carmenta) and has a working knowledge of Danish, Hebrew, Ancient Greek, and Sanskrit. Mr. Gurgel is currently studying Old English through Carmenta as well.
Click here to read Mr. Gurgel’s full profile.