okay, but if i could just draw your attention to two minor characters in the next night at the museum movie…
(verecunda, i believe you’ll be interested in this news?)
I’M SO EXCITED OH MY GAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWD I’M NOT EVEN A TINY BIT EMBARRASSED. (We must arrange a watch of the first two after I’m home and you’ve finished your thesis! )
NELSON THO. From the trailer, I thought I saw a shot of them being cornered in Trafalgar Square by the lions from Nelson’s Column, so presumably that’s where Nelson will show up. (But will he save them from the lions, or is he the one who sicks the lions on them??? THESE ARE THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.) And I want a stupid “Kiss me, Hardy” joke. That’s all I want. There’s no point putting Nelson in a comedy if you’re not going to have a stupid “Kiss me, Hardy” joke. I don’t make the rules.
AND JED AND OCTAVIUS IN POMPEII!!!!!11!1!!! I AM FUCKIN PUMPED BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW THE DESPAIR I FELT WHEN I DIDN’T SEE STEVE COOGAN’S NAME ON THE INITIAL CAST LIST, JESUS CHRIST. Also the presence of Augustus (presuming it’s the Augustus) should confirm my headcanon that Octavius is totally not Augustus, and the Pompeii thing supports my headcanon that he is supposed to be a general from Trajanic Rome (IT’S A VERY INVOLVED HEADCANON, OKAY??!!! YES I HAVE VERY INVOLVED NATM HEADCANONS. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT, DAMMIT.)
Basically just !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I NEED TO HEAR ALL ABOUT THIS HEADCANON !!!!! also i’m so pumped i’m sO PUMPED ABOUT POMPEII although it would be kinda hilarious if he was pre-79 and recognised the town like “oh! pompeii! yes this lovely resort town near the beach what a nice place” [cue jed desperately tugging on his sleeve about the approaching inaccurately-portrayed-eruption effluvia]
OH YEAH I FORGOT THAT WAS NELSON’S COLUMN which is weird, bc i recognised the lions immediately bc i’m attached to london statuary after reading the stone heart trilogy, except nelson is in that scene too. i don’t know what my excuse is.
also yes, “kiss me hardy” jokes are compulsory
[BWAHA YES. XDD] POMPEII MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER. (Is it wrong that I already kinda want to write fic about them exploring mini!Pompeii and coming across a mini!Lupanare? Yeah, probably. Kids’ film. Kids’ film.
but just imagine Jed’s reaction tho)
THE HEADCANON, RIGHT. It was me trying to find some sort of vague chronological point for Octavius and his diorama, because I think for a while everyone identified him with Augustus (possibly because he’s probably the first result that crops up if you were to Google “Octavius”), but I was just kinda like “…nah, I’m not getting a very Augustus-y vibe from him.”
So… by examining all the evidence (and okay, I realise that looking for historical accuracy in NATM is probably a lost cause, but WORK WITH ME HERE.), I drew the following conclusions:
- Octavius’ legionaries mostly seem to be kitted out in lorica segmentata, which would suggest that they date from somewhere between the first and third centuries AD, when that armour was most commonly in use.
- The Rome diorama has the Colosseum pictured pretty prominently in the background. So presumably the diorama is showing the city at some point after c. AD 70, when construction began under Vespasian. But because it looks pretty complete, a date after its completion in AD 80 under Titus is even more likely. (And the fact that Octavius apparently, from the trailer, knows about the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 backs me up here.)
So, if you’ll forgive the gratuitous Latin (lol of course you will) that’s the terminus post quem. And for the terminus ante quem:
- Octavius, when we meet him in the first film, is pretty aggressively expansionist (“The Roman Empire knows no boundaries!”, “We expand or we die”, etc.). This suggests, then, that he doesn’t belong to the period after the ascension of Hadrian (AD 117), as it was Hadrian who was the one to go “Whoa hold on a second here. Let’s start laying down some permanent boundaries on our frontiers before this empire gets a bit too unwieldy.”
So that leaves us with a date range of AD 80 - 117 for Octavius. And, okay, an expansionist policy would be in line for a general under the Flavian emperors as well, but it would probably make more sense for a museum diorama to depict Rome under Trajan because:
a) if you’re looking for a Golden Age of Ancient Rome to portray, some point under one of the Five Good Emperors is probably the best bet (Trajan being Good Emperor No. 2).
b) it was under Trajan that the Roman Empire reached its greatest extent (give or take a few forays by later emperors which never came to anything permanent). Trajan himself is remembered for his military campaigns, so having the leading figure in the diorama be a military commander with an obsession with expansion would echo the general tenor of Trajan’s reign pretty neatly.
Which brings us, incidentally, to the question of Octavius’ rank (because hell, we’ve come this far). It seems clear from context that’s he’s supposed to be commanding a legion, which would make him a straightforward legatus. I don’t see him as Praetorian praefectus, or anything like praefectus urbanus. My headcanon is that his position as leader of the Roman diorama is pretty de facto: the Roman minis, apparently lacking an actual emperor figure, gravitated to the highest-ranking military commander in the diorama for leadership. But Octavius always acts in the name of the Emperor, since he has that whole consciousness of his role in history thing that they all have.
So, yeah. That is my reasoning for Octavius being a legatus from the reign of Trajan (ie. AD 98 - 117). Overthinking things? I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN SHUT UP.
*headdesks* lmao i’m such a loser will
"Oh, I had lessons from the very best. It’s a shame you were busy that day.”
I burst out laughing at “I didn’t like him”.