A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Confiscated by the government

"A man of high character, free from self-seeking aims, and solely anxious to rid his country of a tyrant who was humiliating and ruining it."

So wrote Alfred J. Church of a man named Plautius in his book Pictures from Roman Life and Story, echoing Shakespeare’s eulogy of Brutus:

This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general-honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.

(Julius Caesar, Act V, Scene 5)

Brutus was one of the conspirators who killed Julius Caesar.

Plautius was a conspirator against the infamous Emperor Nero.

The conspiracy to kill Julius Caesar succeeded in the short term, but was crushed by the imperial backlash. Brutus would fall on his sword, but his name would be widely remembered in honor and dishonor down through the ages.

The conspiracy to kill Nero would fail. Plautius would be executed and all of his family’s property would be confiscated by the government.

The name of Plautius is remembered by few today, but the confiscation of his family’s property would keep the family name in the memory of hundreds of millions even to this day.

Less than three centuries after Plautius’ death, his family’s estate would be donated by the government to the newly legalized Christian church and its buildings converted into the cathedral church of the city of Rome.

The cathedral would be dedicated to the memory of St. John the Baptist, but the people of Rome also remembered the family of Plautius, the family that had made that place their home so many years before: the Laterani family.

Today the Church worldwide celebrates the anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of Rome, St. John Lateran.

(from an earlier post)