What would be the best thing that time traveler can do if he is dropped in the distant past?
If a modern person is dropped in the year 1 AD (assume it's Roman Empire), without any supplies, but with all relevant knowledge, what would be his realistic first occupation, allowing him to move up in life?
Similar questions (in many variants) had been asked here before, but unfortunately there's no suitable answer, or even consensus about it. On one hand, many works of fiction display meteoric rise of such time traveler, who becomes an emperor, or at least someone very prominent. On the other hand, there are opinions pointing out to the traveler's inexperience, deducing that such traveler would be lucky to stay free and alive. I personally think they are both extreme.
For the purpose of this question (now we are getting to a "story set in the world", but to have the question answerable we need to set limits), time traveler is:
- Young, smart and healthy;
- Does not have any outstanding talents;
- Can study Latin (or any local language, beforehand) to become sufficiently conversant;
- Can study local situation well enough to avoid getting into trouble (law, crime, disease etc.);
- Can study and practice any occupation and skill to become proficient in it;
- Once in 1 AD, he somehow finds food and shelter and can safely contemplate his next move.
Assume that no one (let alone the Emperor) would believe in time traveler's stories - until he produces an invention that would be startling enough for the time. Alternatively, time traveler can get in a business of making something novel, but not exactly revolutionary, and build his reputation and wealth that way.
P.S. My question is different from Suitable jobs in Ancient Rome for time travelers, because in my case:
- Time traveler can create any kinds of time disturbances (introducing gunpowder, for example, is perfectly fine);
- Time traveler can not bring any material back from the present.