The Caesars: Might and Madness (formerly History of the Byzantine Empire)Head of Caesar statue in red and orange colors

 Four Thursdays • 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. • Mackey Auditorium

January 26 • February 9 • March 9 • April 13

Instructor: Judge Luis Cardenas         Coordinator: Len Leventhal



January 26 and February 9

We continue with the story of Augustus, the founder of the Roman imperial system. During his long reign, the first emperor of the Roman Empire perfected the artifice of pretending he was Rome’s “first citizen” and not its monarch. The populace readily accepted the benefits of this charade as it brought peace and prosperity. The Senate grudgingly relinquished its cherished traditions and power because it had no choice. Augustus set about preserving his legacy with a grand building program, where he vowed to change Rome from a city of “brick” to “gold.” Far-reaching reforms reduced the corruption in government and increased the efficiency of the administrative process which reached the far corners of empire. Come and find out what happened.



March 9 and April 13

Rome’s second emperor was Augustus’s stepson by his second wife Livia. Augustus had undertaken herculean efforts to ensure the empire went to an heir he favored, but whether Livia removed all other contenders by sinister means or they succumbed to natural causes, in 14 A.D. Tiberius was the only capable man standing. It was under Tiberius that Pontius Pilate governed Judea. Both the emperor and Pilate had to deal with the unrest in Israel and what to make of the preacher who was known as “Jesus.” Come and find out what happened.