Prince then, or pauper now?

Sign me up! I’ll only behead at half the rate of the previous ruler.

And the downside is … what?

It is better to be the top dog than a slave in that same society.

And it is better to have a society based on Christian, humanitarian, and liberal principles like the West

I’d take a harem over all that.

How about same time periods, but a notch or two down on the totem pole - still wealthy and somewhat powerful, but not the ruler of all one surveys?

One reason I’d go with the present over being king or emperor is friends. If you’re an absolute monarch, your expectation has to be that you don’t really have any - that anyone being friendly to you is sucking up to you to use your power to their benefit in some way.

That would be a lousy way to go through life. If I have to choose between having friends or having a harem, friends win. No contest.

To have friends, it really helps to have a peer group of some sort - a decent number of people who have little to gain from your company, and you from theirs, other than the pleasure of that company. If you’re in any of the situations described above, your peers, if any, are either too far away to develop friendships with, or are your adversaries.

Sure, I could make you a vizier or head of a patrician familiar or duke, but don’t come crying to me when the higher-up has you executed for your crazy future ideas!

And I might remind you that Ankhenaten was reviled, and possibly actually murdered … he was a monotheist and tried to greatly change the society of the times … I can go in and make the empire stronger, and try to tone down the really hard core nastiness while keeping the society in general roughly the same. Changing the tax structure to a more equitable state is doable, democracy is definitely not. Monotheism is not.

Have we considered the possibility that Qin will take the deal, become Ankhenaten and wind up reviled and murdered for bringing monotheism and liberalism to the past?

Poor people now (in the West, at least) have a better standard of living than even the rich then, especially women. Medicines, easy access to a wide variety of food, a wide variety of jobs to choose from, unlikely to die in childbirth, unlikely to have your kids and partner die young, electric lighting, heating, clean water - all things which weren’t available to even the richest that far back.

You might have to marry your brother.

[Or do I have my ancient civilizations confused?]

Take all my stuff, but I’ll stay in the present, thanks. It sounds from the OP like I’ll still have my education and job, so I’ll get a shitty apartment and work my way back to my house. No problem.
I’m female, so the past particularly holds no appeal for me.

No, you are correct, Hatsepshet probably did marry a very close relative, can;t remember offhand. I would have to go back and read up on her.

On the plus side, they are discovering that she was actually fairly popular at the time. It wasnt until the next generation they had issues with her femaleness.

I suppose I could always do the faux male thing, there is some discussion on if there was much procreation going on with the direct sibling after the first child. There seems to be a lot of secondary wife/concubine progeny going on.

Well let’s see …

Egypt is a hotass desert so that’s out. Plus their gods sucked.

The Romans – ugh.

King of England – if forced to choose between the 3 eras of the past, I’d choose this one, but I’d still rather be poor today in America kthx.

Nah, I’d just be a rich Roman nobleman who was properly respectful of the Emperor, paid his taxes, and who preferred spending most of his time with his harem on his country estate to running for Senator. :slight_smile:

The whole sex change thing would be a deal breaker for me. I don’t think I’d want to have sex as a man, and a life without sex is no life at all.

In any case, being a king sucks. When you are a ruler, your life is not your own.

While you can while away your life on luxuries, that’s not really a recipe for long term happiness. I mean, we are all probably financially capable of gorging ourselves with delicious Taco Bell until we burst. But we choose not to because it’d make us unhealthy and physically ill. Many of us could easily move to a country where prostitution is common and cheap, and have all the harem that we want. But we don’t, because we’d rather have actual love. Physical pleasures are nice, but they aren’t what makes the difference between a good life and a crappy one.

What if we want love AND a harem? Like alternating weekends or something.

It’s odd that you chose Henry III, a weak king who almost lost his monarchy to another baron’s rebellion like the one which took down his dad, good old King John.

Poor in the present thanks. Starting over sucks, but unless you’ll also be taking my work history and good rep in my industry, I’ll have a chance at a decent job and can start rebuilding my life (I’ve done it from scratch a number of times throughout my life). I love modern times WAY too much to go where there are no computers or other electronics.

I think to make the question really interesting, you’d need to take modern medicine out of it. Anybody living in modern times would be a fool to want to swap modern scientific medical knowledge for the ignorance and superstitious nonsense of earlier times.

But if you specify that a person could maintain the same level of health they have now while being wealthy in ancient times, the equation changes. It’s always better to be rich and healthy than poor and healthy.