Aemilianus the Moor
There is nothing in the letters
Aemilianus sent to the Senate
of his childhood in North Africa.
Nothing of the goats bleating
or his mother’s affection.
He wrote that he would ‘assert
the glory of Rome, and deliver
the empire from all barbarians
of the North and of the East’;
he declared himself a general,
where the Senate knew the people best.
His reign was short, his ideals never tasked.
He stepped out of his tent one night
woken by what he thought were goats
and his soldiers sacrificed him.