This Internet Book visited
Over 26,752,000 times since April 1997 (as of 2010)
The PREMIER JOURNEY to The Ancient World, weaving together the Peoples
of those lands and civilizations and the way they lived and - their thoughts,
their hopes, their dreams, their lives.
What is the Ancient World? Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mesopotamia,
Babylon, Sumer, Nubia, Persia, Byzantium, Turkey? Or is it Assyrians,
Chaldeans, Hebrews, Hittites, Akkadians, Etruscans, Minoans? Is it
Alexander, Plato, Virgil, Socrates, Hammurabi, Aristotle, Nefertiti, the
Pharaohs, Emperors, Caesar, Cleopatra, Sargon, Akhenaton, the Black Athena,
Homer? Or is it the dinosaurs, Stonehenge, hunters, slaves, women, rulers,
soldiers, or the Iliad, the Aeneid, the Odyssey, the Olympics? Is it found
in the ruins, temples, forums, pyramids or in the remnants of ordinary life?
Explore through this Web Book and the Online College Course.
did not begin in what we think of as the West. It did not start in Paris
or Berlin or London or Prague or Brussels or Stockholm. It grew out of the
Mediterranean breezes, the sun and desert of Northern Africa, the Persian
and West Asian lands. To study Ancient Civilization is to travel - across
parts of Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia to India. It
is a linking voyage, not a reducing trip. It CONNECTS peoples, ideas, patterns,
developments, organizations, wars, religions, art, architecture, food and
drink. It is a human endeavor about a human story.
I am an historian, not a classicist. And historians and classicists
are not the same. They focus and work differently. But the challenge
of it all is that understanding can only come by standing on the mountain
and looking at the parts in the whole. An historian of this time (from the
beginning of time through Egypt, Greece, to the fall of Rome) must be willing
and eager to reach out and know that all knowledge is important. I built
this Ancient Civilization arena for people - for students, faculty, and ordinary
folks who think it is fascinating and can be just plain fun. Just like our
lives, in this Arena there is much seriousness but also much joy and
And the wonderful range of things to think about? Culture, archaeology,
art, music, theater, books and writing, language, philosophy, politics, peace
and war, life and living. Psychology, sociology, history, geometry and astronomy
and biology, building and architecture and engineering. Economics and geography,
women and men and children, farming and town planning, rivers and deserts
and mountains, gods and goddesses. Birth and death, magic and mystery, aspiration
and despair, palaces and mud huts, the freedom to rule empires, and the chains
of everlasting slavery. Poetry, logic, weaponry, sports, courage and cowardice,
love and hate, and genius.
Return to Master Core
- Amazing Ancient World
Created for Internet Explorer
A FASCINATION WITH THE ANCIENT
ACT I of the Western Civilization Series
THE POWER THAT WAS
THE CHALLENGE THAT WAS
THE POWER THAT WAS
The land of the citizen
statesmen, the Emperors, the warriors, the Caesars. The power of an Empire
that conquered most of what we know of as Europe, ruled it, linked its roads
and laws with it, exported its culture and language to it. Baths, plumbing,
food, religion, architecture, drama, walls, palaces, slaves and servants.
Political strategy, diplomacy, and philosophy. Words falter in capturing this
mighty civilization with its weaknesses and strengths, its triumphs and its
calamities. Waiting for the Barbarians - Cavafy
- The Romans - Welcome to Roman
- The BBC Roman History
Page. Investigates range of areas. Who Were the Romans? City,
Republic, Empire, Emperors, Senators, technology, leisure, education,
army, religion, end of Rome. Take a
quiz! Intended for kids but...!
- Nova Bath Site - Wonderful DAY AT THE BATHS
- Wander through the baths. Spend a day
exploring. And enjoying. Great place!
- Daily Life in Ancient Rome
- Baths, Entertainment,
Eating, Roman Families, Clothing/Hair, Styles, Houses, Weddings, The
Forum, Toys, Games, Life in the Country, School! Great Builders.
- SPQR Online: The Life, The Times, The Legacy
- "SPQR" :stands for
"Senatus Populusque Romanus." (The Senate and People of Rome) Latin motto
of the Ancient Roman Empire that sounded imperial glory for millennia.
"Enter SPQR Online, and explore the interactive journey through the
society and culture of Ancient Rome - a city whose influence continues to
exert itself on modern civilization. A knowledge database, SPQR Online
provides a comprehensive resource on the legacy of this great empire."
Many interactive features, such as a Roman postcard generator and mailing
list. "Res Militaris" - the Roman army: units, officers, life,
equipment, organization, battles. "Domun" - Hello to daily life,
biographies, houses, fashions, det, et. al. Pantheon and the ancient
myths. History and government from
Monarchy through Republic to Empire. Arts
and Sciences. Geography and Landmarks.
- Gazetteer of the Roman World
- Rome - 254 pages, 204
photos, 166 drawings, 21 plans, 7 maps!: Includes the Palantine
Hill, Villa Borghese Gardens, Trajan's Columns, Constantine's Arch.
Tombs, Ostia, Waterworks, Theatres, Mauretania Tingitana.
Wonderful pictures and info. Use the Search Machine.
- Ostia - Harbor of
- Rome site by "an
enthusiastic group of people, Internet Group Ostia (IGO)." History, plans,
- Roman Numerals - Help For All
- "The Romans were active
in trade and commerce, and . . . they needed a way to indicate numbers.
The system they developed lasted many centuries, and still sees some
specialized use today." HANDY CONVERTER. Just type in your
number and presto!
THE OVERALL HISTORY THAT
- A Brief
History of Ancient Rome
- "The Roman Empire is
remembered today as perhaps the greatest civilization ever to exist. Site
will attempt to describe the evolution of a small tribe growing to its
peak, then leading to its downfall. . . .Divided into the different
political phases of Rome. Link containing brief description of the
event/ruler is included beside the date. By clicking links, find out about
the event in greater detail. Site best used for understanding the general
history of Rome, and background information on
specific topics. "
- Roman History
- "Roman history begins in
a small village in central Italy; this unassuming village would grow into
a small metropolis, conquer and control all of Italy, southern Europe,
the Middle East, and Egypt, and find itself,
by the start of AD time, the most powerful and largest empire in the
world. They managed what no other people had managed before: they ruled
the entire world under a single administration for a considerable amount
of time. This imperial rule, which extended from Great Britain to Egypt,
from Spain to Mesopotamia, was a period of remarkable peace. The Romans
would look to their empire as the instrument that brought law and justice
to the rest of the world. They were, however, a military state, and
they ruled over this vast territory by maintaining a strong military
presence in subject countries."
- Outstanding Time Lines
and Readings from Original Sources
- 450 BCE-175 BCE
175 BCE-100 BCE
100 BCE-1 BCE
300 CE-600 CE
- Use for the Roman period
to establish timelines, history, people in relation to the rest of the
- Rome at Its Height - the Roman Empire
- The Famous AncientSites
Site is Back!
- "AncientSites was Built on a Dream that thousands of people interested in
Ancient History could roam the streets of long forgotten cities and, in a sense,
get into the mentality of our ancient forbearers through a combination of
historical research and discussion, social activities, and roleplay and other
games. Then, the dotcom bust took away, forcing AncientSites to close its
doors. But the dream lives on - As CyberSites, the company that had formed to
create educational games. Some of the remaining material is excellent, some
not so. Use it if you don't have much else to do.
- Rise of
- From Legend to Republic.
Long article detailing the history.
- The Roman Republic
- Summary history.
- The Monarchy - Excellent Summary
- The Roman Republic From 509 B. C. Until the Elevation
- Excellent chart of the
organization. Who does what! "With its Consuls, Senators, Praetors,
Lictors, Quaestors, Aediles, and Rich Boy's Club Governing Style, the
Roman Republic Was Not Much Like Our Own Government Except in Name."
Magistrates, counsuls, 1st and 2nd triumverate. More
Empire and Dictatorship : Detailed
- The Roman Empire - Government, et. al.
- Rome: Map of the Empire
- A picture is worth a
thousand something-or-others. Outstanding addition to understanding the
Empire. Shows 54 separate provinces in the World. Map is clickable by
province - and the click brings up a good site list for many of the
provinces. Britannia is particularly interesting.
THE PEOPLES WHO "FORERAN
- "Nearly the whole of
Italy was once under Etruscan Rule ,"- Cato 2nd Century BCE. Full
site. This is the PLACE! Etruscan art, cities, history, religion,
lifestyle. The Etruscans and the sea, territory, engineering and
agriculture, language, museums. . . .
Etruscans went on to lay the foundation of the city of Rome, to clear the
shepherds huts which once littered the Palatine Hill, to drain the swamps
and transform what had been a collection of tribal sheep herders into a
true city which would eventually dominate large tracts of Europe, Asia and North Africa. From the Etruscans came
writing, and Roman history was born in the true sense."
" I can never succeed in understanding why Italians
still fail to recognize the enormous contribution that the Etruscan
civilization has made to our Western civilization. We keep on believing
the teaching that the Greeks and above all the Romans are the peoples to
whom the Western world owes its origins. All of this is considerably
exaggerated and based on historical falsehoods. However, instead it
is the Etruscans, coming from the East, who are the true founders of our
European culture, for both good and bad aspects. This truth continues to
be understated and at times hindered by various Italian historians while
it has been being recognized for numerous decades by the majority of the
historians of the whole world. "
- Etruscan Background
- "The Etruscans have
fascinated scholars and Romantics since the Renaissance: almost alone in
early Italy they spoke a non-Indo-European language, even now
untranslated. Wealthy traders, they were the patrons and perpetrators of a
startling and luxuriant art. Fascinated with death, exotic in their
pursuit of pleasure, savage in warfare and in many of their amusements.
Roman historians, with reluctance and ambivalence, record powerful
Etruscan kings as major players in developing sixth century Rome into a
true city with a paved and drained forum and impressive temples.
Historians ever since have enumerated Etruscan gifts to Roman culture: the
engineering of roads, drainage systems, bridges and walls; complex systems
of divination by observing the flight of birds or examining animal
entrails; cultural customs like gladiatorial games; triumphal procession
rituals; and the insignia (and perhaps some of the practices) of political
THE CENTER OF IT: ALL ROADS
LEAD TO ROME
- Rome: A Reconstruction of the Ancient City -
Virtual House? Good!
- Ancient World Civilizations:
- Monuments of Rome - Fine Collection
AND THE ROADS CONNECT THE
- The Evils of Rome
- Slavery, bloody games,
religious persecutions, ordered suicides, insane emperors, cruel
- The Romans - Welcome to Roman
- The BBC Roman History
Page. Investigates range of areas. Who Were the Romans? City,
Republic, Empire, Emperors, Senators, technology, leisure, education,
army, religion, end of Rome. Take a
quiz! Intended for kids but...!
- Ideology, Identity and Empire -- The Romans
- "The period of Greek
expansion (800-300 B.C.) was also the period when the Roman Republic was
founded and beginning its rise to empire. If Rome was far more successful
in building an empire, it is in large part due to their creation of a more
inclusive ideology of citizenship than achieved by any Greek city. The
Romans were, of course, very good soldiers, who in Rome's early centuries
lived by a very severe standard of public virtue. Citizens sacrificed
themselves in war for the good of the community and profited and gloried
in common success. But the key to Roman
expansion was the willingness of the citizens to share the benefits of
citizenship with others. This can be
seen in the unusual Roman attitude to slavery. Romans, like Greeks and
everyone else, kept slaves, for service around the house, to extend the
productive power of the household, for dirty and dangerous work like
mining. In most ancient cultures, slaves were slaves until death. The
Romans, however, were willing to free their most useful servants; not only
free them, but grant them citizenship, a share in public affairs (res
- The Landings of Caesar in
Britain, 55 and 54 BC
- "For this period, Caesar
is the only extant source providing first-hand descriptions of Britain.
His observations, while confined to the southeast areas of Kent and the
lower Thames, are thus essential to understanding those regions. While no
doubt self-serving in a political sense when written, Caesar's account is
nevertheless regarded as basically accurate and historically
2 - History:
The Monarchy and the Kings of Rome.
THE GOVERNMENT THAT
- The Roman Constitution: As Explained and
Described by Cicero
- Rome Political Life
- The Roman Senate
- "The story of the Roman
Senate goes way back to a time before there was an accurate written
history for Rome. The Senate was composed of leading citizens who were
members of the original aristocratic families in the old Republic. The
original purpose of this group was to advise the King." And HERE.
- Evolution of the Roman
Government During the Early Republic
- "When the modern student
of Roman history begins to study the government of early Rome, he or she
is often confused by the many offices, magistracies, assemblies, military
systems, power shifts, and unfamiliar terms associated with the Roman
system(s) of government. Furthermore, the earliest history of Rome
consists of your choice of some of the finest epic poetry ever written or
a few shovels full of mud containing some artifacts and traces of
primitive settlements on the Palatine and Quirinal Hills. In order for us
to begin to understand the evolution of Roman government, we must briefly
review the process of phenomenal growth and expansion that tells the story
of this city so unique in history. "
- Political Offices in the
- Political advancement
during the late Republic.
- Roman Administration and
- The Roman invasion of
Britain brought about great changes in the way the country was run.
Instead of politics dependent on war and peace among the various tribes,
the country now formed part of a vast empire ruled from Rome. The Roman
Empire was divided into provinces nominally ruled by the Senate in Rome or
by the Emperor on the Senate's behalf. Newly acquired areas almost always
came under the rule of the Emperor. He would then entrust these areas into
the power of a governor, or 'legatus Augusti pro praetore', who was both
commander-in-chief of the army in the province and head of the civilian
THE RELIGIONS AND
BELIEFS THAT SUSTAINED IT
- Religion and the Roman Empire -- Christianity
- "The strength of
Christianity was that it offered both definitive answers to the religious
longings of the age for eternal life and contact with the divine, and a
strong community structure in which salvation could be worked out. . . It
was the bishops who taught and defined Christian doctrines and discipline;
who admitted people to full membership and eternal life through baptism;
who could cast sinners into the outer darkness through excommunication.
They also . . . controlled the common funds that were distributed as
charity to members in need. The more dedicated were celibate (post-marital
celibacy being most common). Unlike pagan priests, they formed a clergy --
an order set apart from ordinary believers by divine law."
- Ancient Rome Funerals
- "Throughout history,
different cultures had various views about the concept of death . . .
These views continually change, as do methods of treating bodies of the
dead. Like many peoples in ancient times, the Romans had a short life
expectancy due to diseases, limited medical knowledge. . They also died easily because of
gladiatorial combats, wars, and even human sacrifice. However, funerary rituals and practices
played an essential part in Roman life because the Romans believed that remembering and honouring the
deceased members of their family was very important and also a proper burial was necessary for
- Catacombs of
- Mixture - and here !
- The Cosmic Mysteries of
- Important essay from
- Mithraism - Excellent summary from Exploring
- Gods and Goddesses of
- Roman Death
- "As Christianity spreads
through the west, the attitudes about death, dying and the afterlife
radically change. The Roman Empire is strewn with countless reminders of
the lives, and the deaths of its peoples. The Romans seemed to have an
obsession with being remembered after their death. This obsession is
shown by their overabundance of funerary remains, ranging from sarcophagi
to epitaphs and grave goods. By observing these relics closely, inferences
can be made about the ways the Romans lived and died.. . . About half the
Roman population could expect to live until they were about 50, as a
result of poor diet, poor medical care and disease, particularly amongst
the lower classes. However, a few did survive into their eighties. Over
the years funereal fashions changed from cremation, where the burnt body
was buried in a pottery or glass vessel, to inhumation, where the whole
body was buried often with objects from their daily life, including
pottery and jewellery. Coins were usually placed with the body in
accordance with belief in an afterlife. Cemeteries were always outside the
town walls, and tombs, and sometimes large monuments to the dead, lined
the roads that led away from the town." Go to this great "Cremation in a Roman Town.
- Religio Romana: Roman Religion in
- Click to Family in Rome - De Lares et di Penates.
Then Roman Beliefs About After Life.
- The Vestal Virgins: Handmaidens of the
- "Hearth and home are the
backbone of Roman society. The Goddess of the Hearth, Vesta, has at her
disposal, the white-clad, whit-veiled nuns of her temple. These women, all
from the finest families of Rome, are charged with never allowing Rome's
Vestal fire go out. To do so would be to bring bad omens and bad luck to
Rome - the unthinkable sin."
THE CUSTOMS, LANGUAGE,
LIFE AND CULTURE WHICH REFLECTED IT
- Romans at Work and at
- "History is more than the
study of wars and governmental institutions. It is essentially the story
of people in their eternal confrontation with each other and with the
forces of nature." Interesting mini-lecture by Professor G. Rempel.
- "Why did the Western
calendar's architects short-change February by two or three days? A
thirty-day February would provide a much more symmetrical means of
marking the year's progress. One additional day beyond February's
twenty-eight could easily have been taken from each of two thirty-one day
months to give February its fair share." From here click to 8th to 4th
Century B.C. Calendar Changes, Early Roman Calendars, Julian Calendar,
Octavian's Calendar Changes.
- Roman Calendar
- "What day is today? Is it
just another weekday, or some great ancient festival? How about your
birthday? Is it sacred to some god in the Roman Pantheon? Our ancient
ancestors always knew what day it was -- they had a calendar so constant
it was chiseled in stone and painted on walls in their homes. The days had
names, not numbers, and the holidays were celebrated universally."
- Culture of Rome
- "Year after year thanks
to its victories all around the world Roman culture evolved, influenced by
the usage and customs of the conquered populations." Family,
education, clothes, house, food.
- A Normal Day in Rome
- Latin 2 - Culture
- Collection of info and
essays. Aqueducts, calendar, education, entertainment, food,
law/government, marriage, medicine, military, money, religion/philosophy,
baths, shopping and trading.
- Carmina Popularia: Latin Translations of Some
- Sing your favorite songs
in Latin! From Blowin in the Wind to Puff the Magic Dragon.
- Sample Plan of a Roman House
- "Click on the rooms in this plan for more information about each
area of the Roman house." Wonderful.
- Nova Bath Site - Wonderful DAY AT THE BATHS
- Wander through the baths. Spend a day
exploring. And enjoying. Great place!
- Roman Baths and Bathing
- Pictures, details,
comments on this vital part of the Roman culture. "'The universal
acceptance of bathing as a central event in daily life belongs to the
Roman world and it is hardly an exaggeration to say that at the height of
the empire, the baths embodied the ideal Roman way of urban life. Apart
from their normal hygienic functions, they provided facilities for sports
and recreation. Their public nature created the proper environment—much
like a club or community center—for social intercourse varying from
neighborhood gossip to business discussions. There was even a cultural and
intellectual side to the baths since the truly grand
establishmentsincorporated libraries, lecture halls, and promenades and
assumed a character like the Greek gymnasium.'"
- The Roman Baths
- "Many Romans visit the
Thermae or the public baths, as we know them. They went to the baths for
entertainment, healing in the case of some baths, or just to get clean.
There were 170 baths in Rome during the reign of Augustus and by 300 A.D
that number had increasd to over 900 baths. The baths were huge
buildings built at public expense or by rich emperors who wished to
impress their subjects. Sometimes rich Romans who were trying to gain
popularity paid entry for a whole day for anyone wishing to visit the
baths. Most of the Roman baths were free but those baths that had a
nominal fee had the fee to keep out the slaves and the poor who could not
afford it.There were many famous baths these included the Baths at
Caracella, the Baths of Diocletian."
- Secrets of the Ancient World
- The Roman Baths - Great site from
- History of Ancient Roman
- "It is early afternoon in
80 A.D. Clients have visited patrons, the curia has adjourned and every
man in Rome has but one thought...to the baths! Why were the baths so much
a part of daily life? Why did the wealthy frequent public or privately
owned baths when they had their own in their homes?
- Ancient Roman Baths - Pictures
- Legal Opinions on Prostitution
- The Roman Concept of Fides
- "FIDES meant
'reliablilty,' a sense of trust between two parties if a relationship
between them was to exist. FIDES was always reciprocal and mutual, and
implied both privileges and responsibilities on both sides. In both public
and private life the violation of FIDES was considered a serious matter,
with both legal and religious consequences."
- The Roman Virtues:
The Twelve Tables
- "Stoicism was one
of the most important/influential traditions in the philosophy of the
Hellenistic world. It claimed the adherence of a large portion of the
educated persons in the Graeco-Roman world. It had considerable influence
on the development of early Christianity. The Roman Stoics, Epictetus,
Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius were widely read and absorbed by the Western
cultural tradition. Indeed, the very word 'stoic' has become synonymous
with 'philosophical' and has come to represent that courage and calmness
in the face of adverse and trying circumstances which was the hallmark of
the ancient Stoics."
- The Roman Virtues
- These are the qualities
of life to which every Citizen (and, ideally, everyone else) should
aspire. They are the heart of the Via Romana — the Roman Way — and are
thought to be those qualities which gave the Roman Republic the moral
strength to conquer and civilize the world.
- Non-Standard Roman Male Sexuality
- Standard Roman Male Sexuality
- Ancient Roman Costume
- Glossary of Roman
- From Diotima. Don't know
that Ianthinus is violet or galbinus is yellow-green? Great summary of
FOOD AND DRINK!
- Eating Out! Great
- Age, Gender and Status Divisions at Mealtime in the
- Did you know that
children of wealthy Romans drank mostly water? that infants received
"premasticated" food after their weaning? that men could cook? Fascinating
- How to Host a Roman Orgy
- Be sure to click also to HERE .
- The Cooking Museum
- "There are the pots, pans
and utensils that have survived from Roman times and these give us a good
idea of what a well equipped Roman kitchen might have looked like. We also
know about the kinds of food that Romans ate because recipes were recorded
by Roman writers.Hosts spent fortunes on their guests -- serving fish
(sometimes guests were given the pleasure of watching the fish die slowly
in a glass jar set before them), roe deer, suckling pig, partridges,
flamingoes, and parrots."
- An Ode
- A Taste of the Ancient Roman
World - "Exhibit about Greco-Roman eating
and drinking, farming and starving."
Vlill - A Roman banquet with marvelous
- What did the Romans Eat - An Article On
- "Whilst it is true that
some Romans did eat dormice, larks tongues and other extreme exotic
foodstuffs, to concentrate on this aspect is to judge our own time by the
consumption of alligator carpaccio, Kangaroo brochettes and ostrich steaks with brandy and green
peppercorns. These things are eaten but in minuscule quantities in
comparison to the food that makes up the diet of the ordinary person."
THE GREAT MYSTERY STORIES OF ROME - So Great on History
and Life of Rome
- The Detective and the
- Extensive, mammoth
Bibliography of mystery novels and short stories set in Ancient Rome.
Books in a range of languages. The Full Site.
The Steven Saylor Series
- The Web Site of
Steven Saylor: Anything You Wanted to Know About Saylor
- Roma Sub Rosa: The
Investigations of Gordianus the Finder
- "The novels of the ROMA
SUB ROSA provide a panoramic fictional account of Rome in the last years
of the dying Republic. Surrounded by towering figures like Cicero, Pompey,
Julius Caesar, and Marc Antony, Gordianus the Finder and his family
encounter murder, mayhem, and mystery." Summaries of the novels and
the Saylor short stories. Works in progress.
- Steven Saylor's Rome
- "Steven Saylor's
historical mysteries are set against the backdrop of the final years of
the ancient Roman Republic - the heyday of
Julius Caesar, Cicero, and Mark Antony. His seventh installment, Rubicon, witnesses Rome on the brink of civil
war, as Caesar marches toward the capital. In this essay written for
Amazon.com, Saylor offers fresh insight into his Roman world." He
writes of that Rome:
"Rome has never been richer
or stronger. No other power on earth can rival her. The poor have their
grain dole and the rich luxuriate in wealth never before imagined. Yet a
great uneasiness hangs over Rome. For all its power and glory, the
Republic is on the verge of violent collapse. Rome is ruled by a senate of
rich elites... but not for much longer. The constitution is in crisis. The
courts have turned into political battlegrounds where rival politicians
routinely prosecute each other on real and trumped-up charges. Explosive
trials generate scandal upon scandal. Election campaigns have devolved
into mudslinging contests, with no accusation too appalling. Mere
embezzlement or abuse of power no longer shocks. Politicians accuse each
other of assault, rape, even murder."
The Lindsey Davis Series
of my favorite mystery series. Excellent history, great characters.
I have read them all.
- The Official Website of
- Details, plots of all her
books. Readers Companion. Book exerpts. Biography of the
main character, Falco. Great map of the novels.
THE MEN OF THE REPUBLIC WHO
SHAPED IT AND "RAN" IT
- Early Leaders of the Republic - Portraits
- Late Republic Leaders - Portraits
- "His legacy to Rome was
enormous. Marius had made his mark in Roman history by reforming the army.
He had achieved the office of consul no fewer than seven times. And yet he
also destabilized Rome for years to come and raped her in a gruesome siege
and a five day massacre."The
Importance of Marius
- "The career of C. Marius
illustrates a number of the trends that would lead to the fall of the
Republic. He was a novus homo (man without senatorial forebears) from the
Italian countryside who came to prominence in Rome through military
competence, and whom the oligarchy had a hard time assimilating into the
"system." He was given unprecedented power at Rome to deal with a military
emergency, which could only be solved through bending the accepted
constitution. Finally, he instituted a military reform that ended the
raising of troops only from those who owned land. In the long run this
reform was to change entirely the relationship of the troops to the
state." Career and impact of
- Plutarch's Life of Marius
- "Thus died Marius on the seventeenth day of his
seventh consulship, to the great joy and content of Rome, which thereby
was in good hopes to be delivered from the calamity of a cruel tyranny;
but in a small time they found, that they had only changed their old and
worn-out master for another young and vigorous; so much cruelty and
savageness did his son Marius show in murdering the noblest and most
- Gaius Marius and His Importance
- This issue is of enormous significance. By the
time Marius came to power, the typical Roman recruiting base was literally
non-existant. "There simply weren't enough landowners available who
weren't already fighting the Germanics or Jugurtha to field a new
army. Marius' idea would turn out to be the single greatest reform
the Roman legions would undergo. Probably without realizing the massive
implications his reform would have on a social or political basis, he had
little choice but to 'break' the law in order to fulfill his political and
military ambitions. He offered the disenfranchised masses permanent
employment for pay as a professional army, and the opportunity to gain
spoils on campaign along with retirement benefits, such as land. With
little hope of gaining status in other ways, the masses flocked to join
Marius in his new army."
- "Besides gaining an army, Marius gained something
else: the extreme personal loyalty of the Roman head count. The recruiting
of the masses would change the entire relationship between citizens,
generals, the Senate and Roman institutional ideology. Prior to Marius,
the armies may have been loyal to a general, but were fighting in theory
for the survival or expansion of the state, including their own lands.
After Marius, they fought for their Legate, provided they liked him of
course, and for the plunder and glory he could provide. With nowhere to
return to in Rome or beyond, these new soldiers became career full-time
professional soldiers, serving terms from 20 to 25 years. A whole new
class of citizen was developed from this simple change in military
philosophy. While providing an immeasurable impact on the common people,
this change would also have a profound effect on the entity of Rome
itself. The extreme loyalty to generals rather than state would lead to
open rebellion, civil war, military political power and eventually the
crowning of emperors."
- The Life of Gaius Marius
- "Gaius Marius was a
formidable and ambitious equestrian,one of the first 'warlords,' or
faction leaders that would characterize the end of the Roman Republic. .
.But he had also been, if not an innovator, at least a synthesizer of
much-needed military reforms that also drew on the changing social aspects
of Roman society. He will be remembered for his courage, his military
acumen and his tenacity, and unfortunately, for the massacres that marred
the end of his career."
- Marius and Sulla
- The Secrets of Political
Success for a Roman Politician in the Republic
- "The essential ingredient
for an aspirant politician, whatever his family background, was wealth:
the Roman elite was a moneyed elite. Constant outlay was important in
public life: a politician had to spend freely on his clients, on his
household, on slaves (particularly gladiators, for personal protection)
and on investment. The expenses for elections were also astronomical.
Candidates had to provide themselves with a magnificent retinue and
. . ."
- Lucius Cornelius Sulla - And
Civil War, and His Reforms, and His Reign of Terror
- "Sulla undoubtedly had all the hallmarks of a Stalin,
Mussolini or Hitler. He even revelled in calling assemblies at which he
would hold grand speeches, threatening and intimidating all those he
claimed to be his enemies, as well as his own audience.
But dictators like Sulla don't just stop killing
because the names on the list are exhausted. Instead he began adding new
names of people who had become 'enemies of the state. There was no place
people, once on those lists, were safe. . . . Alas, Sulla was not
only to be remembered as a butcher. He also used his position to reform
the constitution. Strangely for a man who himself ignored the senate's
wishes and who killed an unprecedented number of its members, he did much
to restore its authority."
- LUCIUS CORNELIUS
- "A famous Roman general
stood poised to take the unprecedented step of marching on Rome with his
legions, to purge the Senate of his political enemies and to ensure the
downfall of a rival general, once more famous, now vying for command of
the Roman armies. Of an old but decayed patrician family, he was famous
for his conquest of foreign kings and his unrivaled luck in battle. He was
ruthless, brilliant, alternately merciful and pitiless to his enemies. The
younger general’s actions sent shock-waves to the very foundations of the
enfeebled Republic and led to his seizing the dictatorship of Rome;
however, he would not step aside from the office in the traditional six
months, but proceeded to force through legislation to recreate Rome in his
own image. His name would become a byword for those who helped destroy the
Roman Republic in its final years."
- Lucius Sulla
- "Sulla was cunning and ruthless when necessary, but a
brilliant politician and formidable commander as well. While he didn't
necessarily begin the "Fall of the Republic", the activities of Sulla were
definitely a major contribution." Lengthy and solid analysis - by
THE MEN OF THE LATE REPUBLIC - BIG THREE PLUS
Licinius Crassus (d. 53 BC), one of Rome's richest men ever. Gnaeus Pompeius
Magnus (106-48 BC), known as Pompey the Great, perhaps the greatest military
talent of his time, and Gaius Julius Caesar (102-44 BC), arguably the most
famous Roman of all times. Became known as the First Triumvirate, a
period which saw the three of them cover all bases of Roman power so
effectively that they ruled virtually unopposed. A fourth man, Marcus Tullius
Cicero (106-43 BC), is generally understood to have been the greatest orator
in the entire history of the Roman Empire. All four were stabbed to death
within ten years of each other.
- Marcus Licinius
- "At age sixty, Marcus
Licinius Crassus was the oldest member of the first triumvirate and the
wealthiest, having made his fortune in slaves and the acquisition of
property, either from proscribed citizens or distraught owners whose
houses were on fire. Yet, this avarice, and vexation that he was less
esteemed than his rivals Pompey and Caesar, were mollified when the
governorship of Syria fell to him in 55 BC."
- Plutarch's Life of
- "People were wont to say
that the many virtues of Crassus were darkened by the one vice of avarice,
and indeed he seemed to have no other but that; for it being the most
predominant, obscured others to which he was inclined. "
- Marcus Crassus
- During the latter part of
the Spatacus revolt, Crassus was appointed to the special command with 6
new legions. "With Crassus in command, the tide was about to
turn in the Romans favor. Initially, an over eager subordinate of Crassus
led an attack on Spartacus that failed miserably. In this defeat, several
Romans fled the battle in the face of the gladiator army. In order to put
an end to the terrible performance of the legions against Spartacus,
Crassus ordered the seldom used penalty of decimation as punishment. In
decimation, one of every ten men is beaten to death by their own fellow
legionaries. While ancient reports are conflicting, at least one full
cohort was subjected to decimation, or possibly his entire force. Whether
those put to death numbered around 50 men or 4,000 is in dispute, but
there was no question among legionaries that Crassus was not a man to
accept defeat with grace. . . By the end, Spartacus himself was wounded
and likely killed (his body was never found). Crassus swept survivors and
stragglers out of the surrounding countryside by the thousands, and
prepared a horrific, if not intimidating punishment. Up to 6,000
rebellious slaves were spaced out along the Appian Way, from Rome to
Capua. Here they were crucified and left to rot as a reminder to all
future potentials rebellions."
- Crassus and the First
- "Unqualified as a
military strategist, he led his army to war with Parthia and found himself
without reinforcements on the plains of Carrhae in Mesopotamia where his
army was slaughtered. Crassus' head was severed and molten gold was poured
into his mouth to exemplify his greed."
- Gnaeus Pompey the Great
- "Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
one of the great statesmen and generals of the late Roman Republic, a
triumvir (61–54 BC), the associate and later opponent of Julius Caesar.
Pompey the Great (106-48 BC), Roman general and statesman, the
erstwhile ally and son-in-law of Julius Caesar, but later his arch-rival
for power. When the Triumvirate broke down after 53 BC, Pompey was drawn
into leadership of the senatorial faction. On the outbreak of civil war in
49 BC he withdrew to Greece, was defeated by Caesar at Pharsalus in 48 BC,
and was murdered in Egypt."
- Eventually, Pompey and
Caesar faced each other as enemy commanders when Caesar, defying orders
from Rome, crossed the Rubicon. Caesar was the victor. Later, Pompey went
to Egypt, where he was killed and his head cut off so it could be sent to
Caesar. Originally, to avert civil war, Julius Caesar, whose reputation
was growing because of his military successes in Gaul, suggested their
three-way partnership, known to us as the first triumvirate, but at the
time referred to as an "amicitia" (friendship) or "factio" (whence, our
"faction"). Crassus, the capable financier, would receive Syria, Pompey,
the renowned general, Spain, and Caesar, who would soon show himself to be
a skilled politican as well as a military leader, Gaul.
- The First Triumverate
- "The triumvirate further
degenerated in 53 B.C., when a Parthian army attacked the army of Crassus
at the Battle of Carrhae, and killed Crassus. Meanwhile, although Caesar
was not in Rome, his power was growing. Laws were altered to suit his
needs. Some senators, notably Cato and Cicero, were alarmed by the
weakening legal fabric. Rome had created the office of tribune at an
earlier time to give the plebians power in the running of Rome. Among
other powers, the tribune's person was sacrosanct and he could impose a
veto on anyone, including his fellow tribune. Caesar had both tribunes on
his side when other members of the senate started accusing him of treason,
so the tribunes imposed their vetoes. The senate majority ignored the
vetoes and even roughed up the tribunes. Accusing Julius Caesar of
treason, they ordered Caesar to return to Rome, but without his army.
Instead, Julius Caesar returned to Rome with his army. Regardless of
the legitimacy of the original treason charge that had been vetoed, the
moment he stepped across the Rubicon, Caesar had, in legal fact, committed
treason. Unless he wanted to be convicted of treason, he then had no
choice but to assert his own power by fighting the Roman forces sent to
meet him. These were led by Caesar's former co-leader, Pompey.
Pompey had the initial advantage, but even so, Julius Caesar won at
Pharsalus in 48 B.C. After his defeat, Pompey fled first to Mytilene and
then to Egypt where he expected safety, but instead met his own
- Gaius Julius Caesar
- See "Mighty
Emperors" which follows
Marcus Tullius Cicero
- "His life coincided with
the decline and fall of the Roman Republic, and he was an important actor
in many of the significant political events of his time (and his writings
are now a valuable source of information to us about those events). He
was, among other things, an orator, lawyer, politician, and philosopher.
Making sense of his writings and understanding his philosophy requires us
to keep that in mind. He placed politics above philosophical study; the
latter was valuable in its own right but was even more valuable as the
means to more effective political action. The only periods of his life in
which he wrote philosophical works were the times he was forcibly
prevented from taking part in politics."
- Cicero - Life
- "During his year as
consul he put down the conspiracy of Catiline, for which he was awarded
the title of "Father of his Country." Cicero, however, as a champion of
the traditional institutions of the Roman republic and the enemy of
autocracy, was no match for the power politics of Julius Caesar and
Pompey, and was never afterwards a major influence in public affairs when
they erupted onto the scene. Cicero rejoiced at the assassination of
Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. and returned to political life with vigorous
public attacks on Mark Antony, but his association with the young Octavian
(later the Emperor Augustus) did not save him from Antony's revenge and he
was killed in the wave of assassinations which began the triumvirate
regime of Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus."
- The Quotations of Cicero
- Great set of his
quotations such as: "He only employs his passion who can make no use
of his reason." Or "Laws are silent in times of war. . . . Let arms
give place to the robe, and the laurel of the warriors yield to the tongue
of the orator. . . . Let your desires be ruled by reason. . . .
Liberty is rendered even more precious by the recollection of servitude.
THE CALAMITIES THAT FACED
- Eye Witness to the Eruption
of A.D. 79!
- "At the time of the
eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79 the Roman fleet under the command of
Pliny the Elder was stationed across the Bay of Naples at Misenum. Pliny
launched ships and sailed toward the erupting volcano for closer
observation and to attempt a rescue. No rescue was possible and Pliny
himself died during the eruption, not in the streets of Pompeii, but
across the bay at Stabiae. Pliny's nephew, whom we know as Pliny the
Younger, was with him at Misenum, but did not venture out on the ships
with his uncle. He stayed back at Misenum and
observed the events from there. He also received first-hand reports from
those who had been with his uncle at his death. Based on this information
Pliny the Younger wrote two letters to the historian Tacitus that recount
the events surrounding the eruption of Vesuvius and the death of Pliny the
Elder. The letters survive and provide a vivid account of the events."
- Pompeii Uncovered
- "..they heard the crash
of falling roofs; an instant more and the mountain-cloud seemed to roll
towards them, dark and rapid, like a torrent; at the same time, it cast
forth from its bosom a shower of ashes mixed with vast fragments of
burning stone! Over the crushing vines- over the desolate streets- over
the amphitheatre itself- far and wide- with many a mighty splash in the
agitated sea- fell that awful shower." Tour, history, photos, which capture the
- Pompeii Forum Project
- Pompeii: The City That Time Has Not
- Clic on the entry map.
Excellent pictures. Then Pompeii: Unraveling
- "On August 23, 79 AD,
Pompeii looked like any other busy, prosperous city. People were moving
about, trading goods, news, and friendly talk. . . . .
- What Happened at
Pompeii? - The good Discovery Channel
THE MEDICINE THAT PROLONGED
- Antiqua Medicina:
- "In ancient Greek
society, male dominance extended even to childbirth." Covers birth
control, caesarean section, hysteria and the wandering womb.
- Antiqua Medicina: Women In
- Women's struggle to
control their own bodies "a volatile issue in antiquity."
- In the fourth century BCE, the locus of
medical thought and practice was not Cos, the island home of Hippocrates.
Instead, it was the great center of Greek learning at Alexandria, founded
in 331 BCE by Alexander the Great and governed by a dynasty stemming from
his general Ptolemy. The Ptolemaic rulers gave lavish financial support to
the library and museum at Alexandria, which consequently attracted
researchers in all fields. Medical research in the Alexandrian museum
became world renowned. Two of its most influential investigators were
Herophilos of Chalcedon (fl. circa 280 BCE) and Erasistratos of Iulis (fl.
- Etruscan and Roman Medicine
- Great and read the article for much more: "
Early Roman medicine characteristically relied on one or two remedies.
According to Pliny, the “early Romans gave wool awesome powers,”confirming
the religious-agricultural context of early remedies. Unwashed wool,
dipped into a mixture of pounded rue and fat, was good for bruises and
swellings, according to the early traditions. Rams’ wool, washed in cold
water and soaked in oil, was used to soothe uterine inflammations. Wool
dipped into a mixture of oil, sulphur, vinegar, pitch, and soda cured
lumbago. Yet, for all its uses, wool was not the cure-all that
cabbage was, at least for Cato. Cato advocated not only the consumption of
cabbage itself to fend off illness, but drinking the urine of a person who
has eaten cabbage."
- The Doctor in Roman Society
- "There were no licensing
boards and no formal requirements for entrance to the profession. Anyone
could call himself a doctor. If his methods were successful, he attracted
more patients; if not, he found himself another profession. . . . Plutarch
grumbles that practitioners used all sorts of questionable methods to gain
patients, ranging from escorting the prospective patient home from bars to
sharing dirty jokes with him."
- Military Medicos -
- "In the case of the Roman army, it is clear that it
was the wartime doctors that created most of the innovations because they
were organized, they were distributed throughout the Empire, they were
careful about capturing and spreading any new inforamtion or technique
that worked, and they were highly motivated by the great loss of life
suffered by their soldiers during the many battles."
- Hippocrates and Galen.
- Writings of Hippocrates
and Galen. "It is
difficult to overstate the importance of Galen for European medical
thought in the centuries between the fall of Rome and modern times. Even
as late as 1833, the index to Karl-Gottlob Kühn's edition (still the only
nearly complete collection of Galen's Greek works) could be designed for
working medical practitioners as well as for classical scholars. Galen
absorbed into his work nearly all preceding medical thought and shaped the
categories within which his successors thought about not only the history
of medicine, but its practice as well."
- The Surgery of Ancient Rome: A Display of
Surgical Instruments from Antiquity
- From the University of
Virginia. Incredible. And Surgical
Instruments from a second source.
- Poison, Poisoning and Poisoners in Rome
- "It is clear that mass
poisoning in early times occurred more frequently during stressful periods
like wars and epidemics."
- Sex and Childbirth in Ancient Rome
aim of Roman matrimony was procreation, rendering theories of procreative potential extremely
important. Soranus suggests that women "from the ages of fifteen
to forty…not mannish, compact, oversturdy or too flabby and very
moist," with uteri as, "neither very moist or dry, not too lax or
constricted,"were one's best shot at producer of offspring."
- Opthalmolgy in Ancient
- "Physicians in classical
times devoted great attention to eye diseases, from both a surgical and
clinical point of view. Instruments consistent in size and shape
with use in ophthalmology are frequently mentioned in the inventory of
Roman surgical implements found in archaeological escavations.
Moreover, ancient Roman writings, imply that such knowledge and practices
were much older, restilying that eye physicians were numerous, specially
in the northern regions of the Empire. These physicians were really
specialized in the treatment of eye diseases and were capable of
performing at least 24 different kinds of treatment." See how they treated
THE TECHNOLOGY FOR WHICH IT WAS FAMOUS
- Discovering Roman Technology - from the BBC
- "Adam Hart-Davis rises
to the challenge, investigating the innovations of the invaders. From
roads to recipes, Adam looks at the lasting impact that Roman ingenuity
still has in our lives today."
- Ancient Roman Technology
- Good list of Roman inventions and technology
- Historical Background on
- "Roman roads made Greek
roads look like footpaths. Constructed with great skill, the Roman roads
were strong enough to support metal-wheeled wagons weighing over half a
ton. Many of the roads were wide enough to accommodate two chariots riding
side by side. Although built by Roman
soldiers, along with plenty of muscle provided by slaves, the Roman roads
depended on the indispensable surveying skills of Roman engineers. . . .
The Romans built about 50,000 miles of paved roads throughout their
empire, in comparison to the United States which has built about 52,000
miles of interstate highways."
- Roman Traction Systems
- "The network of roads
connecting various parts of the Roman Empire was one of the crowning
achievements of Roman engineering and stretched for 85,000 km. (53,625
miles) under Diocletian. Large portions of this network were paved with
brick making for fast movement on land. The emphasis was on speed – the
roads were designed to speed government officials, and couriers, as well
as the military; they were only secondarily for commercial and private
- A History of
"No horse collars in Roman times! Most English science books
on Rome and the Middle Ages say so. According to them,
the ancient world was economically hampered by inefficient horse or mule harnessing. A problem
which, they say, was only solved at the height of the
Middle Ages." So how did the Romans do it? Take a
- The Construction, Makeup of
Ancient Roman Roads
- "A little planning goes a
long way, a Roman road from the bottom up, a ditch for every occasion, a
road is not a piece of cake."
- "Articles on Roman
Concrete that attempt to explain how the Romans were able to create such
durable structures, even when compared against modern concrete
construction. A thesis presented here is that the "secret" does not so
much lie in the ingredients, as some believe, but instead results from low
water ratio and placement. "
- Roman Roads
- "The engineers of
ancient Rome built an unparalleled network of roads in the ancient world.
Approximately 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of roads spanned the Roman Empire,
spreading its legions, culture and immense influence throughout the known
world. The old saying "all roads lead to Rome", simply couldn't have been
truer. Rome was the hub of commerce, trade, politics, culture and military
might in the Mediterranean, and the grand achievement of her road network
all led directly to the city and back out to her many territories."
- The Roads of Ancient Rome
- "It is often said
that "all roads lead to Rome," and in fact, they once did. The road
system of the Ancient Romans was one of the greatest engineering
accomplishments of its time, with over 50,000 miles of paved road
radiating from their center at the miliarius aurem in the Forum in the
city of Rome. Although the Roman road system was originally built to
facilitate the movement of troops throughout the empire, it was
inevitably used for other purposes by civilians then and now.
- History of Plumbing Index
Click to get to the Roman ones such as Pompeiii and Herculaneum,
and thr Roman legacy.
- "Water closets were in
vogue in Pompeii, and archaeologists have found ancient closets in the
back of one palace, including a cistern to flush water to the different
seats. Near the palace kitchen they also found an arched recess
approximately 3 feet deep. Although the actual wood had long disappeared,
archaeologists say they could still see outlines of hinges for the
privy seats. The kitchen's brick oven sat four feet from the privy. To the
efficient Romans who had no inkling of germs, the proximity allowed the
easy disposal of both scraps and excreta. The women used the privy
alongside the kitchen; the men went around to the back and used their
own." Great essay. And
- who has looked at
Roman ruins in Britain and elsewhere, has been stunned by the expertise
and advancement. And wondered how they did it. Excellent article explains
- Question of the Day
- How did public fountains,
like those in Rome, work without any type of motor to pump the water?
"In the earliest days of Rome there were more pressing concerns
other than the building of grandiose fountains. The first priority was
getting enough water for hygiene and drinking." And finally, The History
of Roman Plumbing. "The Roman Empire eventually encompassed all
the countries along the Mediterranean Sea, Mesopotamia, the Balkans, and
most of modern Europe, including Britain. With their plumbing engineers in
tow, the Romans left in their wake large - and small - scale water systems
that incorporated similar-style aqueducts, lead pipes, heated floors, dams
and drains. From Rome's Cloaca Maxima, largest of the ancient sewers, to
the famous spas of Aquae Sulis in Bath, England, and the colossal baths of
Emperors Caracalla and Diocletian, the early Roman plumbers left indelible
marks on civilization."
- Museum of Ancient
Inventions - Visit the excellent Smith
THE BUILDINGS AND ENGINEERING
FEATS WHICH OUTLASTED IT
- The Aquaducts of
- "The Romans are
renowned for engineering marvels, among which is the aqueduct that
carried water for many miles in order to provide a crowded urban
population with relatively safe, potable water, as well as less
essential but very Roman aquatic uses."
- Aquaducts of Rome - Detailed and Important
- Roman Aquaducts - History and Details
- And Roman Aquaducts Today.. "During the early days of Rome the water supply
came from the River Tiber, wells, and springs. It was no wonder that
Father Tiber was an important deity to the
Romans. The Tiber, however, is a very muddy river and also received all
the refuse from the Cloaca Maxima, the sewer which flowed under the Forum
Roman. By the late 4th century, when the Romans were engaged in the second
Samnite War, they urgently needed an alternate water supply. Not only was
the water supply no longer reliable for the growing Roman population, it
was also possible that enemies of Rome could poison the supply. As these
needs began to present themselves, the Romans saw the urgency of an
alternate water source."
- The Arch: Glory of the Architecture of Rome
- "In Rome, the
archaeological remains of the republican and imperial periods are numerous
. . what now exists testifies how the succession of different
civilisations on the same site for more than two millennia, caused the
looting and to the destruction of considerable parts of this patrimony"
And "the expansion of the Roman empire supported by engineering and
architectural works whose enormous functional and cultural value helped to
create cohesion among the involved people."
- Hadrian's Wall
- A World Heritage Site
- "The ruins of Hadrian's
Wall form the most spectacular Roman remains in Britain. The mighty wall
ran across the whole width of Britain, from Wallsend (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west.. The wall was originally 15
feet high with 6 foot battlements on top of that. It was begun in about
120 A.D. on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian, and was manned until it was
abandoned in 383." And Great Pictures!
- Hechingen-Stein Roman Open-Air Museum
- Roman villa in German
tour dating from the end of the 1st to the middle of the 3rd Century AD.
- History of Ancient Roman
- " It is early afternoon
in 80 A.D. Clients have visited patrons, the curia has adjourned and every
man in Rome has but one thought...to the baths! Why were the baths so much
a part of daily life? Why did the wealthy frequent public or privately
owned baths when they had their own in their homes? Why this need for
cleansing daily?" Answers! and a visit to a bath.
- Roman Archaeology -
Far Reaching Site
- The Pantheon and the Triumph
of Roman Concrete
- Anything you wanted to
know about how the Pantheon was built and its history. "The concrete dome
of the Pantheon spans some 143 feet without the aid of metal reinforcement
like modern buildings. The building even has unusual cracks and yet it
still stands. The great painter Michelangelo offered one explanation: it
is 'angelic, and not of human design. 'Certainly most if not all of our
modern buildings would not meet the harsh weathering of 1800 years that
the Pantheon has endured and survive." Site Purpose: "to
answer many of the fundamental questions regarding the longevity of this
beautiful structure and shows how modern concrete construction is just now
learning to apply some of the same technologies used by the Romans. "
Questions about their technology, labor force, tools, lifting devices.
And his site explains so much about the remarkable talents of the
THE ARTS WHICH ENHANCED
Downfall of Classical Drama
- Roman Music - [Site Down
But Info Still Important]
- "Until recently (the
1930s), it was believed that Roman music was impoverished, and that their
musical culture was little more than a synthesis of forms, styles and
instrumentation stolen from their empire. New theories, scientific
methodology, and interpretations, supported by better analysis and the
whole body of archaeological discovery have enabled the development of a
very different view in which Roman life was pervaded by music in all
aspects. Evidence shows that music was central to Roman religious
ceremony, civic activity, entertainment, the military and the culture of
work as early as the era of the Kings. Roman music was definitely formed
by many foreign influences."
- "There is a view that
Roman music should be more appropriately called Graeco-Roman music. This is too simple. Roman social, political and
cultural institutions were initially influenced by the ancient and
mysterious Etruscans. The subsequent influence of the Greeks although
early and sophisticated was one among many, in the thousand year of Roman
history. Later, as an imperial power, Rome absorbed, extended and modified
music along with many other cultural forms from the various territories it
conquered.. . . Some Emperors not satisfied merely to use the arts as an
instrument of policy, also performed. The known performers were: Caligula,
Nero, Hadrian, Commodus, Elagalabus and Severus Alexander. Only one of
these has a surviving review. The Emperor Nero invented a new sport for
the Olympic games, singing. He entered and naturally won the laurel wreath
- Ancestral Instruments - Roman
- "Music filled the lives
of the Romans -- from private nightly dining to festive public
celebrations, from serious musical performances to military parades, and
from solemn to wildly erotic religious rituals. Here are their
instruments, sans muzique, except for what your imagination might
- Discussion of Roman Music by Ancient Authors
- Such as "I will provide entertainment which is neither serious
nor frivolous: you will hear the music of a small flute." Music was
important in Roman.
- Course - Roman Theatre and Drama
"It cannot be pretended that the doom which thus
slowly and gradually overtook the Roman theatre was undeserved. The
remnants of the literary drama had long been overshadowed by
entertainments such as both earlier and later Roman emperors--Domitian and
Trajan as well as Galerius and Constantine--had found themselves
constrained to prohibit in the interests of public morality and order, by
the bloody spectacles of the amphitheatre and by the maddening excitement
of the circus. The art of acting had sunk into pandering to the lewd or
frivolous itch of eye and ear."
Early Roman Drama and Theatre
- Extensive info on a range
of theatre topics. " The turning point in Roman theatre construction
came in the last days of the Republic, when the first permanent theatre was
finally built in the city of Rome. None other than Pompey himself instigated and oversaw its
construction, in the days of his greatest glory after he had triumphed more
than once. For a man who had spent many years outside Rome, the absence of
an impressive, permanent theatre in his home town, the imminent capital of
the ancient world, must have seemed appalling."
- Rome Project: Drama Resources
- In full text, the plays of
Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, Sophocles.
- Roman Drama
- Roman theatre derived from
religious festivals. The Romans' carnival-like festivals included acting,
flute playing, dancing, and prizefighting. Almost all festivals used music,
dance, and masks in their ceremonies.
THE SCHOLARS WHO ENRICHED
- Decline of Library of Alexandria
- Brilliant article by
Ellen Brundige tracing origin, Alexandria in the time of Caesar, Imperial
Alexandria, the history of the city its decline and the rise of
Christianity. And always the Libraries and their greatness and their
- The Alexandria Library - Myth, Legend,
- A Brief History of Roman
- "Augustus, conscious that
"a man is remembered by his works", created in Rome two great libraries
with corresponding sections of Latin and Greek: one on the Campus Martius,
the Portico of Octavia, in the year 33 b.C. It was one of the
architectually most beautiful buildings of Rome, locked by one double
colonnade, in the interior of which there were two temples, one dedicated
to Jupiter and another one to Juno. The other, founded in the year 28
b.C., was on the Palatine, next to the temple of Apollo, and was
constructed, like the temple, to commemorate the battle of Actium. It
contained on a great porch, pictures of famous writers and a colossal
statue of Apollo."
"Roman libraries were not
important to education, being generally small collections, and because the
demand of public reading was limited, since the Romans preferred to work
in their private libraries or those of their friends. Private libraries
became widespread thoughout the empire in the 1st Century AD. . . . The
disintegration of the Roman Empire also brought about the collapse of the
old traditional social order, and the light of the world that represented
Rome first languished and finally it was extinguished for always.
The cities were left, and the libraries that conserved were set ablaze,
destroyed or simply left to ruin. Many of the works that filled the
libraries disappeared for always, and only few books, by different ways,
was preserved until today."
THE SLAVES WHO SERVICED
- Ancient Roman Slavery
- "Slavery in the Roman
Empire did not suddenly end, but it was slowly replaced when new economic
forces introduced other forms of cheap labor. During the late empire,
Roman farmers and traders were reluctant to pay large amounts of money for
slaves because they did not wish to invest in a declining economy. The
legal status of "slave" continued for centuries, but slaves were gradually
replaced by wage laborers in the towns and by land-bound peasants (later
called serfs) in the countryside."
- Roman Civilization and
- The Roman Slave Trade
- " The Roman economy was
built on a foundation of slavery, which was taken for granted as a normal
feature of society. Even the early bishoprics and monastic houses kept
slaves, despite the radical ideas of Christianity which emphasised
equality. Most slaves fell into their unfortunate position after being
captured in battle or condemned for a criminal offence. Julius Caesar
brought back a million people from Gaul." And HERE.
- Selections from Roman Slave Laws
- Very interesting
collection. And a good Roman slavery presentation.
- Slavery and Christianity
- How numerous the slaves
were in Roman society when Christianity made its appearance, how hard was
their lot, and how the competition of slave labour crushed free labour is
notorious. It is the scope of this article to show what Christianity has
done for slaves and against slavery, first in the Roman world, next in
that society which was the result of the barbarian invasions, and lastly
in the modern world."
- Slavery at the Time of the
- Cost, work, earning
- Slavery in the Roman Empire: Numbers and
- John Madden's article on
slavery, exposure, children.
- Slavery in the Roman Empire -
- The Conduct and Treatment
of Slaves. How to Manage Farm Slaves, et. al. Writings of the
- The Story of Slave Revolts in the Roman
- "The view that ancient
Rome was an enlightened and gentile society can certainly be tested on
many grounds, but the matter of slavery is often overlooked. The
prevalency of slavery in ancient Rome perhaps convinces us that it was not
a brutal institution on the terms of slavery as we know of it in
nineteenth century America; this is far from the truth. How were slaves
treated by their Roman masters? And how did the historically-voiceless
THE SOLDIERS WHO PROTECTED
AND EXTENDED IT
AND WAR IN THE REPUBLIC AND
- The Roman Army - Start
- Armamentarivm: The
Virtual Book of Roman Arms and Armor
Excellent brief survey by Museum of
- Imperial Battle
- ABCD Encyclopedia of
every battle the author could think of. Including maps and essays.
- Roman Army:
- Exhaustive resource of
texts, books, articles on every aspect of the Roman army.
- The Roman Army
- The Roman army of the
empire. The Roman army pages. Roman army sites. Roman army bibliographies.
Roman reenactment. Roman citizenship. Extensive.
- Roman Army in the Late
Republic and Early Empire
- The legions, camps,
standards, uniforms, models, the works!
- Livy: The Roman Way of
Declaring War, c. 650 BCE
- Among the very old
formulas and usages that survived at Rome down to relatively late times,
this method of declaring war holds a notable place. It was highly needful
to observe all the necessary formalities in beginning hostilities,
otherwise the angry gods would turn their favor to the enemy.
- The Collapse of the Roman
- "It is difficult to reach
a conclusive verdict on why the western Roman empire fell. As these
arguments show, it was a long and complex process, made more difficult to
understand by the patchy nature of our evidence. If there was a simple
answer, the Romans would surely have found it. Whatever the reasons,
throughout the fifth century, when emperors could find money and assemble
troops, the Roman army was a powerful and effective force. The institution
itself was not at fault, but the support it received from its
commanders-in-chief, the Emperors, was often lacking. If there was a
single reason for the collapse of the western Empire, it was poor
leadership, not military failure."
- "Barbarization" in the Late
- "The term 'barbarization'
is used to describe the use of soldiers whose origins were outside the
Roman Empire in the late Roman army. It has been argued that this caused
the army to decline in efficiency, though this is a view that is coming
under some revision. There were two types of this 'barbarization.' The
first type was the recruiting of individual 'barbarians.' Many of the
army's recruits did come from beyond the empire, from Frankish, Alamannic
or Gothic tribes in Europe, from Persia or Armenia in the east. None of
our evidence suggests that this affected the battlefield effectiveness of
the army. In number, they may have made up as many as a third of the
empire's troops. The second type of barbarization was the short-term use
of tribal groups of barbarian allies. These supplemented Roman forces, for
the most part in civil wars. . . . But the continued presence of these
contingents meant that within a generation the Romans saw them as allies,
not as enemies. As allies, it was difficult to destroy them, but their
increasing occupation of Roman territory eroded the Roman tax base. This
in turn reduced the capacity of the western empire to defend itself,
though these problems were not present to such a severe extent in the
- Why Did Caesar Win the
War Against Pompei?
- "From the outset, the war
between Caesar and Pompey looked like a one-sided affair. The situation
was clearly in favour of Pompey. Gnaeus Pompey was the current 'tool' used
by the Optimates in the Senate to counteract the threat that Caesar posed
to their rule. The mass political backing of Pompey by the Senate was
therefore in conjunction with control of all provinces of the Empire
except those under the influence of Caesar. When Caesar crossed the
Rubicon, he only controlled Gaul and the Po Valley in Italy. Pompey, in
contrast, held the provinces of the East, Spain and Africa and most of
Italy. Pompey also controlled the vast resources of men and grain in these
parts. However, Caesar was able to use weaknesses in Pompey's
strategic planning to ultimately change the tide of battle in his
"The first question that
has to be asked is why did Caesar win the civil war with Pompei? Most
basically, he was the better general of the two. His army was better and faster, allowing him
always to be on the offensive, and allowing him in turn to always provide
his (retiring) soldiers with the material
bases for survival. In the post-Marius era, a general's ability to support
his current and retired soldiers was paramount in determining his own survivability. As well, Caesar
demonstrated repeatedly his ability to provide clemency to erstwhile
opponents, and was thus able to a gather more
supporters to his banners. Therefore, through growing army power,
increasing finances, and patronage, Caesar ascended to the rank of the most powerful Roman
warlord and obtained powerful supporters, made up of a coalition of some
senators, growing numbers of mounted and
wealthy equities from provincial Italian municipalities, as well as
foot-soldiers and elites fro regions where his own reputation was based, such as Gaul. All the while, he
could count on the support of centurions and veterans. While they made him
great, he looked after them, and al these groups came together into the
factio--Caesar's faction. Caesar was also unusual, in that he combined
being a good general with great political and legislative skills, as well
as excellent rhetorical capabilities."
THE EARLY AND PUNIC WARS
Hannibal - A Short Bio
Colonial Punic Wars and Hannibal
" From the middle of the 3rd century to the middle of
the 2nd century BC, Carthage was engaged in a series of wars with Rome.
These wars, known as the Punic Wars, Wars,
ended in the complete defeat of Carthage by Rome. The most prominent
figure of the Punic wars was General Hannibal of Pheonician Carthage."
A history of the wars and a biography of
the Great Hannibal.
Carthage and Rome:
The Punic Wars Excellent summary from Reed College. Sicily and the
Carthaginian control over the Straits, Carthage government, its navy.
" The navy, for which the Carthaginians (as befits Phoenicians) were
famous, depended upon tribute. In antiquity naval warfare was high-tech
warfare; a navy was relatively expensive compared to a land force, in
which combatants would ordinarily supply their own weapons. Culturally, a
fuller picture of Carthage is only gradually beginning to emerge from
excavations. Although there must have been Carthaginian histories, they
all perished completely (a phenomenon perhaps connected with the Roman
insistence upon stamping out every last vestige of Carthaginian life, in
146 BC). Of poetry and other literature we have nothing." And "For
all that Carthage was wealthy and well governed, the Greeks and Romans
viewed them as bejeweled, perfumed, effeminate, sybaritic easterners. Nor
has it helped their reputation to have it confirmed, by the excavations on
the site of Carthage itself, that the Carthaginians routinely performed
human sacrifice; not only do inscriptions mention it, but numerous urns
containing the burnt bones of sacrificial victims (some animal, some
human) have been found. In times of crisis the gods would get the choicest
sacrificial victim of all: human babies." The result of the 1st
Punic War? "The decisive battle came in 241 off the Aegate Islands
(NW corner of Sicily), and the overwhelming Roman victory ended the war.
The Carthaginians agreed, more than twenty years after Rome intervened on
behalf of the Mamertines, to evacuate Sicily completely and to pay 3,200
Talents as a war indemnity."
- The Fun
Story of Hannibal and the Cattle
- "After having fought that
battle, Hannibal advanced upon Rome without resistance. He halted in the
hills near the city. After he had remained in camp there for several days
and was returning to Capua, the Roman dictator Quintus Fabius Maximus
opposed himself to him in the Falernian region. But Hannibal, although
caught in a defile, extricated himself by night without the loss of any of
his men, and thus tricked Fabius, that most skillful of generals. For
under cover of night the Carthaginian bound torches to the horns of cattle
and set fire to them, then sent a great number of animals in that
condition to wander about in all directions. The sudden appearance of such
a sight caused so great a panic in the Roman army that no one ventured to
go outside the entrenchments. Not so many days after this exploit, when
Marcus Minucius Rufus, master of horse, had been given the same powers as
the dictator, he craftily lured him into fighting, and utterly defeated
the Romans. Although not present in person, he enticed Tiberius Sempronius
Gracchus, who had been twice consul into an ambuscade in Lucania and
destroyed him. In a similar manner, at Venusia, he slew Marcus Claudius
Marcellus, who was holding his fifth consulship." [From Cornelius Nepos:
Hannibal - Chapter 5].
- Punic Wars
- The greatest naval power
of the Mediterranean in the third century BC was the North African city of
Carthage near modern day Tunis. But, in the end, " Carthaginians who
weren't killed were sold into slavery. The harbor and the city was
demolished, and all the surrounding countryside was sown with salt in
order to render it uninhabitable. "
- Livy's Introduction - From History, Book 21
- "Second Punic War." "I consider myself at
liberty to commence what is only a section of my history with a prefatory
remark such as most writers have placed at the very beginning of their
works, namely, that the war I am about to describe is the most memorable
of any that have ever been waged, I mean the war which the Carthaginians,
under Hannibal's leadership, waged with Rome. No states, no nations ever
met in arms greater in strength or richer in resources; these Powers
themselves had never before been in so high a state of efficiency or
better prepared to stand the strain of a long war; they were no strangers
to each other's tactics after their experience in the first Punic War; and
so variable were the fortunes and so doubtful the issue of the war that
those who were ultimately victorious were in the earlier stages brought
nearest to ruin. And yet, great as was their strength, the hatred they
felt towards each other was almost greater. The Romans were furious with
indignation because the vanquished had dared to take the offensive against
their conquerors; the Carthaginians bitterly resented what they regarded
as the tyrannical and rapacious conduct of Rome. The prime author of the
war was Hamilcar. There was a story widely current that when, after
bringing the African War to a close, he was offering sacrifices before
transporting his army to Spain, the boy Hannibal, nine years old, was
coaxing his father to take him with him, and his father led him up to the
altar and made him swear with his hand laid on the victim that as soon as
he possibly could he would show himself the enemy of Rome. The loss of
Sicily and Sardinia vexed the proud spirit of the man, for he felt that
the cession of Sicily had been made hastily in a spirit of despair, and
that Sardinia had been filched by the Romans during the troubles in
Africa, who, not content with seizing it, had imposed an indemnity as
- Livy - Book 22 - The Roman Disaster of Cannae
Livy - Book 23 - Hannibal at Capua
Livy - Book 24 - The Revolution in Syracuse and
Bk 25 - The Fall of Syracuse and Book 26 The Fate of Capua
- Book 27 Scipio in Spain and Book 28 The Final Conquest of Spain
- Book 29 Scipio in Africa and Book 30 Close of the Hannibalic War (This book is
key) :"After 16 years of war. . ."
- Scipio Africanus
- "After avidly studying the
tactics of Hannibal, Scipio Africanus eventually bested his Carthaginian
adversary." The man who defeated Hannibal did not fare so well for
himself. "Scipio's popularity soon came to be marred by controversial
behavior. His love of Greek customs, literature and art soon brought him
into direct conflict with the traditional Roman party, led by the Censor
Marcus Porcius Cato. In 187 bc, his brother Lucius Scipio was accused of
accepting bribes, to which Africanus responded by tearing up the
incriminating documents before the tribunal. Later, Scipio Africanus himself
was called to the Senate to answer corruption charges--a summons that he
simply refused to obey. Retiring to his estate outside Rome at Liternum,
Scipio spent his final years complaining of his countrymen's ingratitude,
until his death in 184 bc."
- Scipio Africanus Major - Roman general, Conqueror
of Hannibal in the Punic Wars.
- The Punic Wars: A
Retelling of the Struggle between Rome and Carthage
- Rome at the End of the Punic
- ROME, with the end of the
third Punic war, 146 B. C., had completely conquered the last of the
civilized world. One writer of the war is Polybius.
- The Wars With Carthage and Macedon
- PROBABLY THE BEST HISTORY SERIES. GO THROUGH
- The Macedonian Wars -
- "I, too, feel as much
relief in having reached the end of the Punic War as if I had taken a
personal part in its toils and dangers. It ill befits one who has had the
courage to promise a complete history of Rome to find the separate
sections of such an extensive work fatiguing. But when I consider that the
sixty-three years from the beginning of the First Punic War to the end of
the Second take up as many books as the four hundred and eighty-seven
years from the foundation of the City to the consulship of Appius Claudius
under whom the First Punic War commenced, I see that I am like people who
are tempted by the shallow water along the beach to wade out to sea; the
further I progress, the greater the depth, as though it were a bottomless
sea, into which I am carried. I imagined that as I completed one part
after another the task before me would diminish; as it is, it almost
becomes greater. The peace with Carthage was very soon followed by war
with Macedonia. There is no comparison between them as regards the
critical nature of the contest, or the personality of the commander or the
fighting quality of the troops. But the Macedonian war was, if anything,
more noteworthy owing to the brilliant reputation of the former kings, the
ancient fame of the nation and the vast extent of its dominion when it
held sway over a large part of Europe and a still larger part of Asia. and
THE BIG BIG EMPIRE!
Landings of Caesar in Britain, 55 and 54 BC - From the "Athena
- Late Roman Army
- ORB Online Essay by Hugh
Elton. Reforms, changes, impact.
THE ECONOMY AND LAWS THAT
- Roman Coins of
the Early Empire
- "Roman coins offer a
unique view into ancient Roman life because they were used by almost
everyone on a daily basis, from the emperor down to the Head Count. Coins
tell us much about what was important to the Roman people, how they
celebrated holidays and religious occasions, and how the emperors wanted
to be viewed by their subjects."
- Rome: Map of Trade
- Excellent view of the
extent and variety of trade.
- Legal Opinions on Prostitution - From Justinian's
- Legal Status in the Roman World
- Interesting links to
various Roman laws: On women, including guardianship, pregnancy, adultery,
life and death, prostitute, abuse.
- The Twelve Tables, c. 450
- Roman Law Resources
- All About Roman Law
- Questions and Answers on
THE MIGHTY EMPERORS OF POWERFUL ROME - A Collection of
Humans and Not-So Human Fellows
Brilliant, stupid, brave, crazy and cowardly,
enlightened, dazed, talented, crippled, insane. But always powerful.
Who were they? What caused them to "be as they were?" They
each held an "impossible" job. To govern half of the then known world?
With hundreds of different peoples, languages, cultures, conditions,
characteristics. Most a comparative "thousands" of miles from the
center. A range of the conquered from passive to horrendously
aggressive. Yet, some emperors performed with unbelievable ability.
Others with almost unimaginable incompetence. The Roman Empire
cannot be understood without "knowing" the Emperors. I have created
a special page for your "emperor education!" Please join us
THE WOMEN WHO BORE IT -
And Their Weddings, Marriages, Families, Funerals, Lives
- (Many important sources
are offline in books, journals, articles)
- BOUDICCA: A Mother's Revenge
- For the Romans, rape "was
a property crime against the husband or paterfamilias. The story of
Lucretia (who stabbed herself rather than allow her name to go through
posterity tainted) epitomizes the shame felt by Roman victims. Boudicca,
one of history's most powerful women, suffered rape only vicariously -- as
a mother, but her revenge detroyed thousands. Here is the story.
Then move to the description by Tacitus.
- Images of Rape: The "Heroic"
Tradition and its Alternatives
- "'Rape of the Sabines,
painted in the 1630s and today in the New York Metropolitan Museum, may
well be the rape image most familiar to American art historians. It
illustrates an episode from the early history of ancient Rome. The Romans,
unable to obtain wives peacefully, staged a festival, invited the
neighboring Sabines, and, at a signal from Romulus, each violently seized
a Sabine woman. Art historians /p. 8: generally focus on Poussin's
classical style or his sources in ancient art and literature. The painting
is often termed "heroic" or cited as an embodiment of Poussin's belief
that the highest goal of art is the depiction of noble human action.
Avigdor Arikha, for example, finds the work "sublime...heroic...divine"
and argues that "Poussin looked for nobility in his subject." This
terrible story and the art.
- Dying to Have a Baby - The
History of Childbirth
- "The classical Romans had
considerable obstetric skill. Soranus (A.D. 98-138), wrote a textbook of
obstetrics which was used until the sixteenth century. Soranus described
podalic version, and the use of the obstetric chair, and gave detailed
instructions on the care of the new- born-- boiled water and honey for the
child for the first two days, then on to the mother's breast. These
skills largely disappeared during the Dark Ages; there is little record of
obstetric practice after this until early modern times." And the
Caesarean. "The oldest reference to Caesarean section on the dead
mother was in the Roman Law of Numa Pompilius. (715-673 BC). There is no
doubt that this was sometimes successful, but there is no good
documentation of section with survival of both mother and child."
- Roman Family and
- Imperial Family Roles: Propaganda and Policy in
the Severan Period
- Paper focusing on the
role of the father in the family. "There are three types of family
that figure in the propaganda and policy of the Roman empire: the family
of the emperor, the family of the imperial subject, and the metaphorical
family that the emperor and subjects together constitute. Emperors
and public alike had ideals in mind for the various roles within these
families; in this paper I will primarily be considering the role of the
father in the three types of family."
- Ancient Roman Marriage
- "Throughout most of the
history of the Roman Republic marriage transferred a woman from the
authority of her father to the authority of her husband or her husband's
father or grandfather, if he were alive. The senior father was the pater familias who had total control over all
members of his family."
- "The Roman institution of
marriage has been lauded as being the first purely humanistic law of
marriage, one that is based on the idea of marriage being a free and
freely dissolvable union of two equal partners for life. (Schulz,
1951;103) This is quite a simplistic view, as there were many differing
forms of marriage in Rome, from the arranged marriages of the elite to the
unions of slaves and soldiers. As we shall see, the Romans' actual
expectations of married life and the gains they envisioned they would
receive from the experience depended greatly on their age, sex and social
status.. . Were the Roman's expectations of marriage likely to be met? The
foremost function of marriage, the production of children, was likely to
be met by most marriages. Having those children survive and succeed you as
heirs or to look after you in old age was another matter."
- Like a Greek woman, a
Roman woman was usually under the guardianship, manus, of her
paterfamilias, male guardian, her whole life. However, during the end of
the Roman Republic and at the time of the elegiac poets, women tended to
have more freedom. " It is undeniable that the Romans, like the
Greeks before them, demanded different standards of chastity from women
and men. The preservation of virginity before marriage was essential. A
few cautionary tales were handed down as a deterrent, but the offence was
more effectively avoided by the practice of marrying girls off soon after
they reached puberty and by the strict upbringing of the daughters of the
- Midwives and Maternity Care
in the Roman World
- Fine article by Valerie
French with its detailed discussion of midwives and maternity care, and
its examination of the gap between "professional" care (the midwifes and
doctors) and folk medicine.
Relationships in Rome
- "Roman society had never
favored the idea of a free woman having a sexual relationship with a
slave, and the insinuation that they consort with slaves or low-born males
is a favorite slur of Roman satirists against supposedly respectable women. To the elder Seneca
and his upper-class audience, even legitimate marriage between a freedman
and his former master's daughter was abhorrent, for it threatened the
proper hierarchy of male over female and brought disgrace upon the woman
and her family. In the eyes of the educated male élite who made and
interpreted the law, legitimate Roman marriage was a union between social
equals, an alliance not only of two people but of their families, intended
to produce children whose legitimacy and status were not in question and
who could fittingly succeed to their parents' property and role in the
social order." Scholarly article examines the evidence for
monogamous unions between free women and slave men in imperial Roman
society, with particular attention to the relationship of a woman with her
own slave or former slave. "
- "In all of Roman
literature surviving the fall of its Empire, only six short poems from a
woman named Sulpicia have come down to us that speak in a woman's
authentic voice. Yet more has been learned of Roman women in the past
thirty years than in centuries before. From the Empress to her freedwoman,
the good wife to the prostitute, the midwife to the scholar, this site
presents an introduction to the history of the women of ancient Rome."
Historical context, heroines of Rome, Republican women, imperial women,
women of influence, forgotten women. Essential site.
in the Ancient World
- The status, role and daily life of women in the
ancient civilizations of Egypt, Rome, Athens, Israel and
Babylonia. Good sources.
- The Women of Rome: Private Lives and Public
- Valuable article by Dr.
Susan Martin, University of Tennessee. Exploring "the enigmatic,
complex world of Roman women: The ideals and cultural expectations
placed on them, and, by contrast, the taboos and tensions they lived
with as well as the system of rights and duties that mediated their
lives in public and private."
- Roman Elite
- Brief but helpful
excerpts from ancient writings.
- Six Vestal Virgins
- "The Vestal Virgins were
venerated priestesses of Vesta (the Roman goddess of the hearth fire) and
guardians of the luck of Rome who could intervene on behalf of those in
trouble. . . Their term as priestesses of the goddess Vesta was thirty
years, after which they were free to leave and marry. Most preferred to
remain single after retirement. Before that, they had to maintain chastity
or face a frightening death. Girls between the ages of six and ten,
originally from patrician and later from any freeborn family were eligible
to become Vestals provided they met certain criteria, including being free
of bodily imperfection and having living parents. In exchange for a
commitment of thirty years (ten in training, ten in service, and ten
training others) and a vow of chastity, Vestals were emancipated and so,
free to administer their own affairs without a guardian, given honor, the
right to make a will, luxurious accommodations at state expense, and when
they went out, fasces were carried before them. They wore distinctive
dress and the hairstyle of a Roman bride."
- Valeria Messalina
- "One needs not be an
historian to note that the very name 'Messalina' has become synonymous
with all the faults, vices and machinations of womankind. While it is true
that many of the lusty and criminal infamies that are attributed to
Claudius' Empress are evidently fables, not all are. Though Tacitus and
Suetonius have made us think the worst at the mention of her name, she was
more than a schemer and a senseless wanton. Surely, she was a captivating,
capricious, unscrupulous wife who never minded using the weaknesses of her
husband for gain. She came by her lust for power quite naturally it
seems.Messalina was beheaded by the guard at the order of her husband,
thus ending her seven year reign of terror."
- Women and Religion in Rome
- Women's Life in Greece and Rome
- From the work by Mary
Lefkowitz. 10 important categories, particularly Legal Status in the Roman World, and Medicine and Anatomy.
THE "COLLAPSE" OF ROME
- Collapse of the Roman Empire
- Military Aspects: Online Essay by Hugh
- How Excessive Government Killed Ancient Rome
- Covers free market
policies, food subsidies, taxation, inflation, state socialism, reforms.
Outstanding article from The Cato
- The "Best
of" Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
- "Some Excellent Bits from
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon's prose is superb, and
obviously relevant to life and world events today." Excerpts.
- Gibbon: General
- "The Fall of the Roman
Empire is one of the most widely contested issues in ancient history.
Almost every possible viewpoint has at one time or another been presented
by scholars from all across the world. '"It has remained a vital question
because each age has seen in the tale of Rome's fall, something
significant and relevant to its own situation" '(Kagan). Site presents
some of the most widely articulated theories regarding this historical
dilemma": The Economic Collapse, The Military Decay, A Gradual
- The Fall of Rome II
- "Rome fell, to be sure.
It just didn't fall when it was supposed to. All the reference books say
it fell in A.D. 476. But Romans didn't know this, and kept the empire
going for another two centuries or so. Why have we been taught to believe
it ended in A.D. 476? Because one day, about three hundred years ago,
historians decided it would be easier for students if world history were
divided into three periods: Ancient, Medival, and Modern. And they figured
that 476--the year of Rome's last emperor--was a nice date to use in
marking the end of an epoch. But the selection of 476 was arbitrary. Why
did Rome fall? Was it because Christianity weakened the bonds that had
held it together? Was it because people became corrupt? Was it because it
just got too big? Was it because of the barbarian attacks? Was it because
they had started using lead pots and got lead poisoning? (Yes, even this
argument had been advanced) Or was it simply that empires always fall and
somebody decided this was as good a time as any? The correct answer is, of
course, that none of these answers is correct. There wasn't any single
- An underestimated factor
may have been that they made too many stupid mistakes. "
- The Fall of Rome III
- "In the end, I am amazed
it lasted so long.There were Emperors who were totally insane and feared
any man who showed the least amount of skill or intelligence in either
running an army or running the government. There were Generals who marched
on Rome with their legions, leaving the frontier to defend itself. The
Games bled the empire as thousands died and free grain was given to the
poor people of Rome to keep them happy. Slaves worked the empire's farms
and factories and mines. I guess what we should really ask is; Why did it
NOT fall earlier?"
- The Decline and Fall of
- One thing can be said
with certainty -- although Rome ultimately fell in A.D. 476, the its
decline was a process that had been going on for centuries. This goes back
to the comment we've been making all along, that Roman strengths
eventually became Roman weaknesses. Another thing which we ought to
remember is that the Roman Empire was large, and when we speak of the fall
of Rome, we are talking about the western half of the Empire. The eastern
half survived as the Byzantine Empire until 1453. Lastly, there is no one
explanation that accounts for Rome's decline and fall."
- Why Rome Fell
- "There was the cost of
repairing and maintaining the temples, public baths, and the like. There
were also heavy expenditures for civic sacrifices, religious processions,
feasts and for the games necessary to amuse the proletariat. The wealthy citizens of the
municipalities who were, in effect, the middle-class, began to grow weary
of the load: especially since the constantly rising taxation rates were
shearing them closer and closer. . . .There
were other cases, beginning with Hadrian, where, when municipalities got
into financial difficulties, imperial curators were pat in change and the
cities lost their independence. The people did not seem to mind. As often
happens today, they were quite willing to resign their control of affairs
and to let the government take care of them. . . .Mere words can scarcely
convey the agony through which the inhabitants of that world passed. There
was murder, rape, and pillage. What the soldiers or the barbarians spared,
the agents of the emperors took for taxes. The old bureaucracy of senators
and knights was pretty well exterminated. In its place came a military
hegemony of soldiers who had risen from the ranks."
THE WRITERS WHO
- Internet Ancient Sourcebook: Rome
- Almost any original
writer or leader you should or would want to read is here. In very helpful
categories, particularly: Major Historians: Complete Texts , Roman
Foundations, The Growth of Republican Institutions, The War with Carthage,
Imperial Expansion under the Republic, Civil Wars and Revolution, Cicero
(105-43 BCE), The Principate to 192 CE, Augustus, The Adoptive Emperors
96-192 CE, Roman Law, The Army, The Empire and Provinces, Rome: As
Imperial Capital, Britain, Later Empire (after 192 CE), Education,
Economic Life, Life of the Upper Classes, Trade, Slavery, Everyday Life,
Food, Sport and Games, Gender and Sexuality, Women.
- Latin Literature
Pages: Use for Outline of Writers (not for
- Translation of
Latin phrases, excellent summary of writers, phases.
- Tech Classics
- Indispensable searchable
archive of 400+ classical Greek and Roman texts in translation. Use the Search Engine.
- Perseus Collection
- Rome Project: Philosophical
Resources: Plato, Aristotle.
- Catullus Page - Latin Poetry For All
- Marcus Cicero - A Comentary on His Life and Each of His Works (No
- Horace - Vignette And then to A
Brief Bio (No Original
- Juvenal: The
Livy - (59 BCE-17
CE): History of Rome
- Volume I [Books 1-5], Volume II [Books 6-10],
- Volume III [Books 21-25],
Volume IV [Books 26-32]
Volume V [Books 33-39],
Volume VI [Books 40-45]
- Marcus Aurelius: Meditations
- Ovid: Metamorphoses
- Pliny and Trajan on the Christians
- Plutarch on Marcellus
- Plutarch -
The Poetry of Praise:
Pindar's Epinician Odes
Livy - (59 BCE-17
CE): History of Rome
- Polybius -
(c.200-after 118 BCE)
- Rome at the End of the Punic Wars [History, Book 6]
- Sallust - THE ! ! ! Sallust Collection
Seneca - A Thinker For Our
- The Tacitus Home Page - Great Stuff!
- Annals of Tacitus
- Histories of Tacitus
- VIRGIL AND THE AENEID
- OkayVirgil page.
And a range of important links.
- A Bibliographic Guide to Vergil's Aeneid -
For "regular" books and articles in libraries.
- Classics' Page -
- Probably the best
site. Click to the translations of the
- Latin Poetry - Virgil's
- Very interesting,
creative, challenging project - "a collaborative enterprise dedicated to
collecting, creating, and disseminating resources for teaching and
research about Vergil...Main goal to develop on-line, interactive
hypertext database of all materials that might be of interest to any
student of Vergil, from the novice to the professional scholar, from the
passionate amateur to the casual browser."
- The Biggie. courses,
exams, lectures, discussions, questions, audio files, syllabi, online and
downloadable TEXTS, bibliography, book reviews, archaeology.
- Virgil Home Page
- The sources,
bibliography, background and essays, discussion groups.
- Virgil: The Aeneid - Complete - This is all you need of the full works.