For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
A Bird in the Hand is Worth... : The Roman Emperor Honorius, so the story goes, had more on his mind than the impending sack of one of Europe’s iconic cities.
A Bird in the Hand is Worth...

Translated from History of the Wars III.2.25-26, by Procopius.

After the Roman Empire split into East and West, Constantinople’s glories in the East contrasted sharply with Rome’s growing vulnerability, and in 410, Alaric the Goth beseiged the former capital.

THEY opened the gates, and let Alaric and his army come and go as they pleased; and after plundering the whole city and killing most of the people of Rome, the invaders moved on.

It is said that at that time the Emperor Honorius, in Ravenna, received a message from one of his eunuchs, evidently in charge of the poultry, telling him that it was all over for Rome.

Honorius cried out, ‘And yet, just minutes ago he was eating out of my hands!’, referring to an exceptionally large cockerel which he kept, named ‘Rome’.

Realising that he had been misunderstood, his servant explained that it was all over for the city of Rome, which had fallen to Alaric.

At that, Honorius heaved a sigh of relief. “My dear fellow” he said, “there I was, thinking my bird Rome was dead!”

They say the Emperor was always uttering nonsense of that sort.

Translated from History of the Wars III.2.25-26, by Procopius.

More like this

Classical History (25) History (405)

Picture: © Sylvia Duckworth, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
Roaming emperor... This splendid cockerel rules the roost at Skipness House, Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Letters Game Games with Words

Numbers Game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
By Sir Humphry Davy
(1778-1829)
Sir Humphry Davy pleads with Britain’s scientists not to be bought by Napoleon’s gold.
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
and Wilkie Collins
(1824-1889)
At twenty-five and owner of his own business, Walter Wilding thought his world was secure, but it was about to be rocked to its foundations.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)
Elfric, the tenth-century English abbot, suggests a practical way of thinking about the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
Music by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
(1833-1897)
Despite setback after setback, Stanford was determined to hear his music played in public.
Benjamin Jesty and Edward Jenner continue to save millions of lives because they listened to an old wives’ tale.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
A duke with a passion for the art of enchantment is stranded by his enemies on a deserted island.