The Bear Market of A.D. 455
Transcript of Genseric’s testimony to the Roman Senate
Senators of Rome. There is no point in telling you that your glorious city has been sacked. Being King of the Vandals, I can speak with an objective perspective: Rome has nothing left to steal. But this is not the time to look for culprits. We must look to the future and restore a Rome that once again is worth looting.
So I am asking you for at least 700 billion denarii to rebuild and revitalize Rome. Believe me, I know exactly what the Vandals have done. Because this is an emergency, I will require your complete cooperation. No questions, no supervision, no appeals to the Pope. In fact, I will require his powers as well.
Some of you–on the left side of the Curia–might question a Vandal’s reliability. And that is exactly the type of question that can be divisive and unproductive. So, as I said, no questions. Some of you might think that the Vandals could lend Rome the money. Well, yes, we have had a good year–that is just a coincidence–but the upkeep of a barbarian horde can be expensive. And unless we sack Constantinople, next year’s profits will definitely be down. So, despite our sentimental attachment to this city, we Vandals will not be investing in Rome. No, you Romans have to make the effort and scrounge up your last denarii.
I just am here to spend it for you.