73 years before the advent of the christian era,
as rome was taking over any land within reach,
setting up proxy governmnents in the conquered lands,
there lived one such man given just such a job.
gaius verres. go.
a praetor held a position which operated on trust.
he was to govern instead of the emperor himself.
it was an easy easy privilege to abuse.
and verres did so.
he was the governor of agrigentum which we now know as sicily.
and he stole everything that wasn't nailed down,
took improper advantage of other men's wives.
the list goes on. trust me.
cicero wrote it all down.
at syracuse verres welcomed a band of pirates.
they all drank and danced and sang on the shore,
and when the husband of one of verres's paramours
came bringing a fleet of boats with him,
verius, clever, if diabolical, gave him a job.
and enlisted the pirates to burn the whole fleet down.
the boats burned in the sicilian harbor
the flames rose hundreds of feet into the air
we stood on the shore watching them burn we stood
on the shore, we heard the old songs. hey!