This year’s challenge was to answer the question “Who was Rome’s worst emperor?” As expected the emperors Commodus and Caligula (and their various malpractices) loomed large in the scholars’ presentations. However, Nero – matricide, megalomaniac and persecutor of the Christians – was, rather surprisingly, the subject of a single presentation only. The challenge attracted a good number of scholars both in the senior (7 entries) and the junior competitions (13 entries). The overall standard of argumentation was excellent whilst the breadth of approach was impressive as we journeyed from the infancy of the imperial system under Augustus to the very collapse of the western empire under Honorius. The adjudicators, Mr Wilson, Miss Hildick-smith and Mr Jeffreys had a difficult time in reaching their final judgement. The results were as follows:

Senior

1st Ben George Commodus

2nd Stephen Whitford Augustus

3rd = Pat Bunker Caligula

Eliot Tottman Caracalla

Junior

1st William Bunker Nero

2nd Issy Montgomery Caligula

3rd= Louis Morford Geta

Hugo Till Commodus

The Emperor Nero