Vespasian, Civ IV, and Intro to Roman Culture

An article of mine has just been published over on Planet Civilization:

“Vespasian has converted to Judaism!”

The cheery message came as something of a shock. After all, Vespasian and his son Titus together were responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple – hardly likely converts to Judaism. But I was play-testing a scenario I had been building in Civilization IV, and so this ‘counter-factual’ brought up an interesting conundrum. I wanted to use the scenario in my teaching for my ‘Intro to Roman Culture Class’ at my university. Did the unlikeliness of the event undermine the utility of my scenario? If I used it, was I going to get papers like the one in this comic?”

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By the way, in the next session of my Intro to Roman culture course at Robert Welch University (which lasts for six weeks), I have permission from the Dean to offer Civ-related exercises and assessment. If you’re interested, contact RWU, and we’ll come to an arrangement. That’s one of the nice things about RWU – it’s small, so we can be very flexible.

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