CAVAN HOGUE. Report from the Quotidie Praeco Romanum on the visit of the vassal chieftain Flexus Taurus to the Imperial Capital.

Emperor Trumpus Augustus graciously received in audience today a barbarian chieftain named Flexus Taurus representing the vassal province of Terra Australis.  Flexus Taurus assured the Emperor that Rome had no more loyal vassal than Terra Australis whose inhabitants were devoted to all aspects of Roman civilisation.

There was some concern in palace circles that Flexus Taurus had suggested that China did not pose a threat to Terra Australis and this did not please our Emperor. However, Flexus Taurus assured Emperor Trumpus Augustus that the stationing of more legionaries in the barbarian city of Darwin would be welcome. Should the legions need barbarian auxiliaries from Terra Australis, the answer would be as always: Ave Caesar, morituri te salutamus.

The Praeco understands that some impious plebeian voices down in the Subura have asked why the Roman taxpayer needs to send more troops to protect Terra Australis if it does not face a threat from China. Who is the threat?  Reliable Palace sources have pointed out that we cannot expect barbarians to understand the full picture and that our Emperor has only their best interests at heart. The interests of vassal states do not always coincide with those of the Empire and we must always put the interests of the Empire first if we are to keep Rome great. This view is shared by the Senate. No doubt those who question the Wisdom of our beloved Emperor and august Senate will be fed to the lions at the next season in the Colosseum. The Praeco can report that the Emperor proposes to issue swords to all loyal citizens to combat disloyal voices.

Flexus Taurus also visited the Senatew here the conscript fathers reminded him firmly that Russia delenda est.

There is an unconfirmed report than when apprised of these developments, the well known lawyer and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero was heard to exclaim: O tempora! O mores! However, the Praeco can inform its readers that this report is fake news and that these words were in fact uttered by some visiting barbarians from Terra Australis.

Gods Bless Rome

SPQR  AD 2028

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Cavan Hogue is a former diplomat who has worked in Asia, Europe and the Americas as well as at the UN. He also worked at ANU and Macquarie universities.

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