How ironic!

Mike Duncan runs a podcast called The History of Rome which I thoroughly recommend. One of the things that makes it enjoyable is oddball digressions like this. You won’t run across a passage like this in a textbook.

In November of 361 AD, Constantius II died and Julian, last of the Constantinians, inherited the empire. It would be an ironic end to the dynasty. At least I’m pretty sure it’s ironic. Sometimes I think that no situation actually fits the technical definition of irony and that the word just sort of hangs out in the linguistic ether singing a siren’s song that’s designed to crash the unsuspecting against the jagged rocks of pedantry. But I’m pretty sure it’s ironic. Constantine began the dynasty by single-handedly launching Christianity to prominence, and his nephew would end it by attempting to single-handedly turn back the clock and bury Christianity. That’s ironic right? It sure seems ironic. But it’s probably just interesting.

That’s from Episode 145, Julian the Apostate. We’re down to the last hundred or so years before the fall of Rome. I have no idea how long he intends to follow events in the east. Could take a while given that Constantinople didn’t fall for another thousand years.

You know what would really be ironic? If… no, wait, suppose that… oh never mind.

2 thoughts on “How ironic!”

  1. This guy in a bar was droning on and on about how some dumb situation was ironic, when in fact it was just annoyingly concidental. I sat down next to him and calmly and patiently explained what irony really is.

    He thought for a bit, nodded, and hit me in the face with a glass for being a smart-ass.

    OK, that didn’t really happen

  2. Wow, the fact that it didn’t really happen makes your whole comment really iron— HEY, wait a second. That’s irony bait you’re peddling, mister!

    I just had the clever idea that someone should make a site called Wouldn’t you know it, it already exists: Only it’s all about dog medicine. KIDDING!

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