Monday, January 27, 2014


Symmachus and Pope Francis

Peter Stothard, Spartacus Road: A Journey Through Ancient Italy (New York: The Overlook Press, 2010), p. 16 (discussing Symmachus):
He was conscious of his image. He was famed during his short time as city prefect for rejecting the new foreign extravagance of a silver-panelled carriage paid for by the state. Like a British prime minister pointedly refusing a private jet, he chose the drabbest and most traditional means for his transport...
Or like a modern Pope pointedly refusing a Mercedes-Benz "popemobile" in favor of a less expensive, less ostentatious vehicle.

On the affair of the silver-panelled carriage, see Symmachus, Relationes 4 and 20.

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