Rome devotee: Call me Maximus Decimus Meridius

Tony Barnatt Jose is so obsessed with Ancient Rome that he even dresses as a gladiator and likes to call himself Maximus Decimus Meridius.

Tony has even adorned the walls of his terraced home in Durham with shields, helmets, masks, pictures and cuttings.

He spends hours poring over books and watching films about the Roman Empire and wears a full suit of replica armour.

Even his house number on his front door is in Roman numerals.

Britain was part of the Roman Empire for 367 years, from 43 to 410.

Rome devotee: Call me Maximus

23 Apr 2010
The Sun

Obsessed ... Tony Barnatt Jose
North News & Pictures ltd

A PENSIONER who dresses as a Roman gladiator and calls himself Maximus Decimus Meridius has admitted his obsession may be "over the top".

Tony Barnatt Jose, a retired lorry driver, has devoted his life to the ancient empire turning his house into a shrine and even making pilgrimages to Rome.

His fixation was sparked when he saw Russell Crowe's epic movie Gladiator.

The 66-year-old grandfather has adorned the walls of his terraced home in Durham with shields, helmets, masks, pictures and cuttings.

He spends hours poring over books and watching films about the Roman Empire and wears a full suit of replica armour.

Mr Barnatt said: "After seeing Gladiator, I read a book about Hannibal, the military commander.

"I started going to the library and reading more about Roman history, going to Roman forts and collecting antiquities.

"Since then my obsession has just got worse and worse.

"The Romans left such a legacy all over the world. Even now, Rome carries on even in America with the Senate."

He added: "Everybody knows me as Maximus Decimus Meridius. Lots of people think I am mad.

"But so what, as long as it doesn't harm anyone. I really enjoy it. The clothes and armour look real and I think they're really great."

Mr Jose estimates his Roman fascination now takes up three-quarters of his time.

The front door of his house bears the nameplate Rome and the house number is in Roman numerals.

His desk is a production line for homemade scrolls, armour and his next weapon although the law prevents him from carrying a real sword.

He is now offering to attend events and parties in his gladiator costume, to raise cash for charity.

Roman Britain, 43AD - 410AD

The first Romans to campaign in Britain were the forces of Julius Caesar, who landed in Britain in 55BC. The tyrant Caligula attempted to invade Britain in 39AD, but this mission failed in farcical circumstances before it even left Gaul. Britain was not successfully conquered by the Romans until 43AD when, during the reign of Emperor Claudius, Aulus Plautius arrived on Britain's shores with the II Augusta legion (commanded by future Roman emperor Vespasian). After defeating the Britons, Plautius halted at the Thames and sent for Claudius, who arrived with reinforcements, including artillery and elephants, for the final march to the capital of the Catuvellauni (a British tribe), Camulodunum (modern Colchester, Essex).

In 60AD, in response to the Romans murdering her husband and raping her two young daughters, Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni tribe, and her army led an unsuccessful revolt against Roman rule, during which she burnt down Camulodunum, Verulamium (St Albans, Hertfordshire) and Londinium (London), killing 80,000 people as a result.

The Romans controlled the whole of the island except Caledonia (what is now Scotland). The Caledonians thus remained a part of what the Romans viewed as the uncivilised world and, in 128AD, Emperor Hadrian built a huge wall across what is now northern England to keep out the savage Caledonian tribes. Hadrian's Wall still stands.

In 197, Britannia was divided into two provinces, Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior. In 293, it was subdivided even further and made into an imperial diocese. For much of the later period, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasion and often came under the control of imperial usurpers and pretenders.

During Roman Britain's 367 history, there were approximately 80 governors which ruled it. The first was Aulus Plautius, who defeated the defending British, led by Togodumnus and Caratacus, on the banks of the rivers Medway and Thames.

Several governors of Britain were usurpers, and several uspurpers were British, including Carausius, who was born in Britain in around 250. Carausius commanded the Classis Britannica, a fleet based in the English Channel, with the responsibility of eliminating Frankish and Saxon pirates who had been raiding the coasts of Armorica and Belgica. However, he was suspected of keeping captured treasure for himself, and even of allowing the pirates to carry out raids and enrich themselves before taking action against them, and Emperor Maximian ordered his execution. In late 286 or early 287 Carausius learned of this sentence and responded by declaring himself Emperor in Britain. He reigned until his death in 293.

During a period of revolt against Roman rule in Britain, a British soldier declared himself Emperor Constantine III of the Western Roman Emperor in 407. Constantine and his army attempted to march on Italy but was captured and executed in 411. His death, though, signalled the end, for good, of Roman rule in Britain.

The Romans left Britain in 410. After their departure, the Anglo-Saxons arrived from what is now Germany and Denmark, and colonised much of the island, pushing the Celts into the westermost and northernmost extremities of the island (those extremities later became Wales and Scotland). The Anglo-Saxon areas later became the kingdom of England.
Last edited by Blackleaf; Apr 25th, 2010 at 01:52 PM..
Maybe he hasn't noticed the fad has worn off?
maximus maximus maximus maximus maximus maximus
Quote: Originally Posted by JohnnnyView Post

maximus maximus maximus maximus maximus maximus

I heard there's a cure for that speech impediment.
Quote: Originally Posted by JohnnnyView Post

maximus maximus maximus maximus maximus maximus

you hear that gladiator??? They cheer for you, give them a show
Blackleaf? Is that you?

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