One of these days, Nova Roma is going to remember this is on their site and take it down. As one of the authors, I figured I’d preserve it for all time.


by Marcus Cassius Julianus and Patricia Cassia

(sung to the much-abused tune of Gilbert & Sullivan’s
“I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General”)

I am the very model of a staunch Roman Republican
I like to read from Cato because things were so much better then
I uphold all the virtues, except when they’re really bugging me
I think I’m so superior with my Stoic philosophy

My family is patrician, we’re descended from a deity
With pietas and dignitas, but never spontaneity
We clap politely at the games when gladiators spear their foes
And when we write a speech it always sounds like one of Cicero’s

My first wife I divorced because she wasn’t rich enough for me
My second ran away while I was on campaign in Sicily
I cast my vote to help a friend and so I’ve just become engaged
His lovely teenage daughter will become my wife when she’s of age

I’ve spent my whole life climbing up the Roman cursus honorum
It’s all to do with breeding, doesn’t matter if your smart or dumb
My slaves and clients tell me someday surely I’ll be Rome’s First Man
or else I’ll bribe the voters to make Consul as a backup plan

I wear my Senate toga with my sandals and my ring of gold
I don’t think anyone should lead unless he’s really, really old
My head is filled with good advice from Stoic sages myriad
Which makes up for my hair, which disappeared when I was just a lad

I’m always at my happiest when all our legions are deployed
“Because, O Conscript Fathers, it is Carthage that must be destroyed!”
I’m a military genius when I’m speaking on the Senate floor
I went out with the legions once, but they won’t have me any more

I built my family fortune up, tax-farming in the colonies
I raided someone’s temple for my statues and my courtyard frieze
I taxed grain from the provinces and shipped it promptly back to Rome
To serve bread to the Head Count, because everyone likes peace at home

The food I eat is covered with a pungent salty fishy paste
It keeps the meat good longer so it doesn’t have to go to waste
We haven’t got tomatoes yet; it really makes me want to cry
‘Cause there’s nothing more Italian than a pepperoni pizza pie

I offered sacrifice up to the great Triad Capitoline
and tied a ribbon to my sheep to let the Gods know it was mine
I also make devotions at my domicile’s lararium
Our household rites are all the same, we never like to vary ’em

I keep my cellar stocked with casks of all the best Falernian wine
It’s just what they expect of you when you live on the Palatine
When I leave town I’m glad to know that all the roads lead back to Rome
That way I can get drunk and still be sure that I will make it home

I’m very well acquainted with the Roman leaders various
I’m pompouser than Pompey and I’m manlier than Marius
I am the Perfect Roman, with the word, the thought, the deed, the look
You can find out more about me in Colleen McCullough’s next new book

And all my friends and colleagues from the Senate, they are just like me…
Because of us you can be sure that Rome will live in history!