10 August 2009

Vespasian Was Not Born in Kenya

In the midst of our heated debate about Barack Obama's birth certificate, Italian archaeologists have found what they claim is the birthplace of the emperor Vespasian:
The 2,000-year-old ruins were found about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Rome, near Cittareale, lead archaeologist Filippo Coarelli said. The 150,000-square-feet (14,000-square-meter) complex was at the center of an ancient village called Falacrine, Vespasian's hometown.

Even though there are no inscriptions to attribute it for sure, the villa's location and luxury make it likely it was Vespasian's birthplace, Coarelli said. "This is the only villa of this kind in the area where he most certainly was born," the archaeologist said in a telephone interview from Cittareale.

What's that you say? You'd like to see pages and pages of bad jokes about Vespasian and the Flavians? That's funny, me too!

Good thing there's a nice long thread on the subject over at fark.com. As Drew notes, it is reassuring to know that Vespasian was not born in Kenya.

My favorite comment/photo, from borg09:

"...the Flavians"


Clearly, the last of the dynasty.

Update: Mary Beard harshes Coarelli's mellow:
The talk among British and US archaeologists in Rome... is rueful. After all the 'advances' in archaeology, and what it can tell us about the ancient world, are we still looking for a 'Vespasian lived here' spot?

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