If a man were called upon to fix the period in the history of the world when the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus.
—Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
"Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!"
—Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
For Ernie and Judy Fladell, with love
Late in the afternoon of May 22, A.D. 100, Gerald Pierce sat four rows up from the arena in Rome's new Flavian Amphitheater, the stadium later to be known as the Colosseum.