✯✯✯ Sejanus Caesar Research Paper
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Sejanus His Fall by Ben Jonson, Characters, Summary and Analysis
The legions of three frontier provinces— Britannia , Pannonia Superior , and Syria —resented being excluded from the "donative" and replied by declaring their individual generals to be emperor. Lucius Septimius Severus Geta, the Pannonian commander, bribed the opposing forces, pardoned the Praetorian Guards and installed himself as emperor. He and his successors governed with the legions' support. The changes on coinage and military expenditures were the root of the financial crisis that marked the Crisis of the Third Century.
Severus was enthroned after invading Rome and having Didius Julianus killed. His two other rivals, Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus , were both hailed by other factions as Imperator. Severus quickly subdued Niger in Byzantium and promised to Albinus the title of Caesar which meant he would be a co-emperor. Severus marched to Gaul and defeated Albinus. For these acts, Machiavelli said that Severus was "a ferocious lion and a clever fox".
Severus attempted to revive totalitarianism and, addressing the Roman people and Senate, praised the severity and cruelty of Marius and Sulla, which worried the senators. Reaching Ctesiphon , the Parthian capital, he ordered plundering and his army slew and captured many people. Notwithstanding this military success, Severus failed in invading Hatra , a rich Arabian city. Severus killed his legate, who was gaining respect from the legions; and his soldiers fell victim to famine. After this disastrous campaign, he withdrew. To achieve this, he waged war against the Caledonians. After many casualties in the army due to the terrain and the barbarians' ambushes, Severus himself went to the field.
However, he became ill and died in AD, at the age of Upon the death of Severus, his sons Caracalla and Geta were made emperors. During their youth, their squabbles had divided Rome. In that same year Caracalla had his brother, a youth, assassinated in his mother's arms, and may have murdered 20, of Geta's followers. Like his father, Caracalla was warlike. He continued Severus' policy and gained respect from the legions. A cruel man, Caracalla was pursued by the guilt of his brother's murder. He ordered the death of people of his own circle, like his tutor, Cilo, and a friend of his father, Papinian.
Knowing that the citizens of Alexandria disliked him and were denigrating his character, Caracalla served a banquet for its notable citizens, after which his soldiers killed all the guests. From the security of the temple of Sarapis, he then directed an indiscriminate slaughter of Alexandria's people. A report that a soothsayer had predicted that the Praetorian prefect Macrinus and his son were to rule over the empire was dutifully sent to Caracalla.
But the report fell into the hands of Macrinus, who felt he must act or die. Macrinus conspired to have Caracalla assassinated by one of his soldiers during a pilgrimage to the Temple of the Moon in Carrhae, in AD. The incompetent Macrinus assumed power, but soon removed himself from Rome to the east and Antioch. His brief reign ended in , when the youngster Bassianus, high priest of the temple of the Sun at Emesa, and supposedly illegitimate son of Caracalla, was declared Emperor by the disaffected soldiers of Macrinus.
Bribes gained Bassianus support from the legionaries and they fought against Macrinus and his Praetorian guards. He adopted the name of Antoninus but history has named him after his Sun god Elagabalus , represented on Earth in the form of a large black stone. An incompetent and lascivious ruler,  Elagabalus offended all but his favourites. Cassius Dio , Herodian and the Historia Augusta give many accounts of his notorious extravagance.
Elagabalus adopted his cousin Alexander Severus , as Caesar, but subsequently grew jealous and attempted to assassinate him. However, the Praetorian guard preferred Alexander, murdered Elagabalus, dragged his mutilated corpse through the streets of Rome, and threw it into the Tiber. Alexander Severus then succeeded him. Alexander waged war against many foes, including the revitalized Persia and also the Germanic peoples , who invaded Gaul. His losses generated dissatisfaction among his soldiers, and some of them murdered him during his Germanic campaign in AD.
A disastrous scenario emerged after the death of Alexander Severus : the Roman state was plagued by civil wars, external invasions , political chaos, pandemics and economic depression. Emperors were no longer men linked with nobility; they usually were born in lower-classes of distant parts of the Empire. These men rose to prominence through military ranks, and became emperors through civil wars. There were 26 emperors in a year period, a signal of political instability. Maximinus Thrax was the first ruler of that time, governing for just three years. The population and the frontiers were abandoned, since the emperors were mostly concerned with defeating rivals and establishing their power. The economy also suffered during that epoch.
The massive military expenditures from the Severi caused a devaluation of Roman coins. Hyperinflation came at this time as well. The Plague of Cyprian broke out in and killed a huge portion of the population. In AD, Diocletian was hailed as Imperator by the eastern army. Diocletian healed the empire from the crisis, by political and economic shifts. A new form of government was established: the Tetrarchy. The Empire was divided among four emperors, two in the West and two in the East. To adjust the economy, Diocletian made several tax reforms. Diocletian expelled the Persians who plundered Syria and conquered some barbarian tribes with Maximian.
He adopted many behaviors of Eastern monarchs, like wearing pearls and golden sandals and robes. Anyone in the presence of the emperor had now to prostrate himself—a common act in the East, but never practiced in Rome before. In he and Galerius started the persecution and ordered the destruction of all the Christian churches and scripts and forbade Christian worship. His reign ended the traditional form of imperial rule, the Principate from princeps and started the Tetrarchy. Constantine assumed the empire as a tetrarch in He conducted many wars against the other tetrarchs.
Firstly he defeated Maxentius in In , he issued the Edict of Milan , which granted liberty for Christians to profess their religion. He was defeated by the Franks and the Alamanni during — In he defeated another tetrarch, Licinius , and controlled all the empire, as it was before Diocletian. To celebrate his victories and Christianity's relevance, he rebuilt Byzantium and renamed it Nova Roma "New Rome" ; but the city soon gained the informal name of Constantinople "City of Constantine". The reign of Julian , who under the influence of his adviser Mardonius attempted to restore Classical Roman and Hellenistic religion , only briefly interrupted the succession of Christian emperors.
Constantinople served as a new capital for the Empire. In fact, Rome had lost its central importance since the Crisis of the Third Century— Mediolanum was the western capital from to , until the reign of Honorius , when Ravenna was made capital, in the 5th century. In the late 4th and 5th centuries the Western Empire entered a critical stage which terminated with the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The situation became more critical in , after the death of Stilicho , a general who tried to reunite the Empire and repel barbarian invasion in the early years of the 5th century.
The professional field army collapsed. In , the Theodosian dynasty saw the Visigoths sack Rome. The Vandals conquered North Africa , the Visigoths claimed the southern part of Gaul , Gallaecia was taken by the Suebi , Britannia was abandoned by the central government, and the Empire suffered further from the invasions of Attila , chief of the Huns. Unhappy with this, their chieftain Odoacer defeated and killed Orestes, invaded Ravenna and dethroned Romulus Augustus , son of Orestes. This event of , usually marks the end of Classical antiquity and beginning of the Middle Ages.
Some historians consider him to be the last emperor of the Western Empire instead of Romulus Augustus. After some years of independence and nearly years as a great power, the rule of Rome in the West ended. At the time many pagans argued that Christianity and the decline of traditional Roman religion were responsible; some rationalist thinkers of the modern era attribute the fall to a change from a martial to a more pacifist religion that lessened the number of available soldiers; while Christians such as Augustine of Hippo argued that the sinful nature of Roman society itself was to blame. The Eastern Empire had a different fate.
It survived for almost years after the fall of its Western counterpart and became the most stable Christian realm during the Middle Ages. During the 6th century, Justinian reconquered the Italian peninsula from the Ostrogoths , North Africa from the Vandals , and southern Hispania from the Visigoths. But within a few years of Justinian's death, Byzantine possessions in Italy were greatly reduced by the Lombards who settled in the peninsula. Its followers rapidly brought about the conquest of the Levant , the conquest of Armenia and the conquest of Egypt during the Arab—Byzantine wars , and soon presented a direct threat to Constantinople. The Byzantines, however, managed to stop further Islamic expansion into their lands during the 8th century and, beginning in the 9th century, reclaimed parts of the conquered lands.
The aftermath of this battle sent the empire into a protracted period of decline. Two decades of internal strife and Turkic invasions ultimately led Emperor Alexios I Komnenos to send a call for help to the Western European kingdoms in The conquest of Constantinople in fragmented what remained of the Empire into successor states; the ultimate victor was the Empire of Nicaea. The imperial city of Rome was the largest urban center in the empire, with a population variously estimated from , to close to one million. Most of those centers had a forum , temples, and other buildings similar to Rome's.
Average life expectancy was about Roman law as preserved in Justinian's codes continued into the Byzantine Empire , and formed the basis of similar codifications in continental Western Europe. Roman law continued, in a broader sense, to be applied throughout most of Europe until the end of the 17th century. Praetor Urbanus were the people who had jurisdiction over cases involving citizens. The Ius Gentium "Law of nations" was the body of common laws that applied to foreigners, and their dealings with Roman citizens. Praetor Peregrinus were the people who had jurisdiction over cases involving citizens and foreigners.
Ius Naturale encompassed natural law, the body of laws that were considered common to all beings. Roman society is largely viewed as hierarchical , with slaves servi at the bottom, freedmen liberti above them, and free-born citizens cives at the top. Free citizens were also divided by class. The broadest, and earliest, division was between the patricians , who could trace their ancestry to one of the Patriarchs at the founding of the city, and the plebeians , who could not.
This became less important in the later Republic, as some plebeian families became wealthy and entered politics, and some patrician families fell economically. Anyone, patrician or plebeian, who could count a consul as his ancestor was a noble nobilis ; a man who was the first of his family to hold the consulship, such as Marius or Cicero , was known as a novus homo "new man" and ennobled his descendants.
Patrician ancestry, however, still conferred considerable prestige, and many religious offices remained restricted to patricians. A class division originally based on military service became more important. Membership of these classes was determined periodically by the Censors , according to property. The wealthiest were the Senatorial class, who dominated politics and command of the army. Next came the equestrians equites , sometimes translated "knights" , originally those who could afford a warhorse, and who formed a powerful mercantile class. Several further classes, originally based on the military equipment their members could afford, followed, with the proletarii , citizens who had no property at all, at the bottom.
Before the reforms of Marius they were ineligible for military service and are often described as being just above freed slaves in wealth and prestige. Voting power in the Republic depended on class. Citizens were enrolled in voting "tribes", but the tribes of the richer classes had fewer members than the poorer ones, all the proletarii being enrolled in a single tribe. Voting was done in class order, from top down, and stopped as soon as most of the tribes had been reached, so the poorer classes were often unable to cast their votes. Women shared some basic rights with their male counterparts, but were not fully regarded as citizens and were thus not allowed to vote or take part in politics.
At the same time the limited rights of women were gradually expanded due to emancipation and women reached freedom from paterfamilias , gained property rights and even had more juridical rights than their husbands, but still no voting rights, and were absent from politics. Allied foreign cities were often given the Latin Right , an intermediary level between full citizens and foreigners peregrini , which gave their citizens rights under Roman law and allowed their leading magistrates to become full Roman citizens. While there were varying degrees of Latin rights, the main division was between those cum suffragio "with vote"; enrolled in a Roman tribe and able to take part in the comitia tributa and sine suffragio "without vote"; could not take part in Roman politics.
Most of Rome's Italian allies were given full citizenship after the Social War of 91—88 BC, and full Roman citizenship was extended to all free-born men in the Empire by Caracalla in , with the exception of the dediticii , people who had become subject to Rome through surrender in war, and freed slaves. In the early Republic, there were no public schools, so boys were taught to read and write by their parents, or by educated slaves , called paedagogi , usually of Greek origin. Beginning at age 12, students went to secondary schools, where the teacher now called a grammaticus taught them about Greek and Roman literature.
There were also summer holidays. Initially, Rome was ruled by kings , who were elected from each of Rome's major tribes in turn. He may have held near-absolute power, or may also have merely been the chief executive of the Senate and the people. At least in military matters, the king's authority Imperium was likely absolute. He was also the head of the state religion. In addition to the authority of the King, there were three administrative assemblies: the Senate , which acted as an advisory body for the King; the Comitia Curiata , which could endorse and ratify laws suggested by the King; and the Comitia Calata , which was an assembly of the priestly college that could assemble the people to bear witness to certain acts, hear proclamations, and declare the feast and holiday schedule for the next month.
The class struggles of the Roman Republic resulted in an unusual mixture of democracy and oligarchy. The word republic comes from the Latin res publica , which literally translates to "public business". Roman laws traditionally could only be passed by a vote of the Popular assembly Comitia Tributa. Likewise, candidates for public positions had to run for election by the people. However, the Roman Senate represented an oligarchic institution, which acted as an advisory body. In the Republic, the Senate held actual authority auctoritas , but no real legislative power; it was technically only an advisory council.
However, as the Senators were individually very influential, it was difficult to accomplish anything against the collective will of the Senate. New Senators were chosen from among the most accomplished patricians by Censors Censura , who could also remove a Senator from his office if he was found "morally corrupt"; a charge that could include bribery or, as under Cato the Elder , embracing one's wife in public. Later, under the reforms of the dictator Sulla , Quaestors were made automatic members of the Senate, though most of his reforms did not survive.
The Republic had no fixed bureaucracy , and collected taxes through the practice of tax farming. Government positions such as quaestor , aedile , or praefect were funded by the office-holder. To prevent any citizen from gaining too much power, new magistrates were elected annually and had to share power with a colleague. For example, under normal conditions, the highest authority was held by two consuls. In an emergency, a temporary dictator could be appointed. Throughout the Republic, the administrative system was revised several times to comply with new demands.
In the end, it proved inefficient for controlling the ever-expanding dominion of Rome, contributing to the establishment of the Roman Empire. In the early Empire, the pretense of a republican form of government was maintained. The Roman Emperor was portrayed as only a princeps , or "first citizen", and the Senate gained legislative power and all legal authority previously held by the popular assemblies. However, the rule of the Emperors became increasingly autocratic , and the Senate was reduced to an advisory body appointed by the Emperor. The Empire did not inherit a set bureaucracy from the Republic, since the Republic did not have any permanent governmental structures apart from the Senate.
The Emperor appointed assistants and advisers, but the state lacked many institutions, such as a centrally planned budget. Some historians have cited this as a significant reason for the decline of the Roman Empire. The early Roman army c. It was small the population of free men of military age was then about 9, and organized in five classes in parallel to the comitia centuriata , the body of citizens organized politically , with three providing hoplites and two providing light infantry. The early Roman army was tactically limited and its stance during this period was essentially defensive.
By the 3rd century BC, the Romans abandoned the hoplite formation in favor of a more flexible system in which smaller groups of or sometimes 60 men called maniples could maneuver more independently on the battlefield. Thirty maniples arranged in three lines with supporting troops constituted a legion , totalling between 4, and 5, men. The early Republican legion consisted of five sections, each of which was equipped differently and had different places in formation: the three lines of manipular heavy infantry hastati , principes and triarii , a force of light infantry velites , and the cavalry equites. With the new organization came a new orientation toward the offensive and a much more aggressive posture toward adjoining city-states. At nominal full strength, an early Republican legion included 4, to 5, men: 3, to 4, heavy infantry, several hundred light infantry, and several hundred cavalrymen.
During the Civil War, Pompey's legions in the east were at full strength because they were recently recruited, while Caesar's legions were often well below nominal strength after long active service in Gaul. This pattern also held true for auxiliary forces. Until the late Republican period, the typical legionary was a property-owning citizen farmer from a rural area an adsiduus who served for particular often annual campaigns,  and who supplied his own equipment and, in the case of equites , his own mount. Harris suggests that down to BC, the average rural farmer who survived might participate in six or seven campaigns.
Freedmen and slaves wherever resident and urban citizens did not serve except in rare emergencies. After BC, economic conditions in rural areas deteriorated as manpower needs increased, so that the property qualifications for service were gradually reduced. Beginning with Gaius Marius in BC, citizens without property and some urban-dwelling citizens proletarii were enlisted and provided with equipment, although most legionaries continued to come from rural areas. Terms of service became continuous and long—up to twenty years if emergencies required although six- or seven-year terms were more typical. Beginning in the 3rd century BC, legionaries were paid stipendium amounts are disputed but Caesar famously "doubled" payments to his troops to denarii a year , could anticipate booty and donatives distributions of plunder by commanders from successful campaigns and, beginning at the time of Marius, often were granted allotments of land upon retirement.
Caesar formed a legion, the Fifth Alaudae, from non-citizens in Transalpine Gaul to serve in his campaigns in Gaul. Legionaries received sesterces a year and could expect 12, sesterces on retirement. At the end of the Civil War , Augustus reorganized Roman military forces, discharging soldiers and disbanding legions. He retained 28 legions, distributed through the provinces of the Empire. The auxilia remained independent cohorts, and legionary troops often operated as groups of cohorts rather than as full legions. A new versatile type of unit—the cohortes equitatae —combined cavalry and legionaries in a single formation. They could be stationed at garrisons or outposts and could fight on their own as balanced small forces or combine with other similar units as a larger legion-sized force.
This increase in organizational flexibility helped ensure the long-term success of Roman military forces. The Emperor Gallienus — AD began a reorganization that created the last military structure of the late Empire. Withdrawing some legionaries from the fixed bases on the border, Gallienus created mobile forces the Comitatenses or field armies and stationed them behind and at some distance from the borders as a strategic reserve. The border troops limitanei stationed at fixed bases continued to be the first line of defense. The basic unit of the field army was the "regiment", legiones or auxilia for infantry and vexellationes for cavalry. Evidence suggests that nominal strengths may have been 1, men for infantry regiments and for cavalry, although many records show lower actual troop levels and Many infantry and cavalry regiments operated in pairs under the command of a comes.
In addition to Roman troops, the field armies included regiments of "barbarians" recruited from allied tribes and known as foederati. By AD, foederati regiments had become permanently established units of the Roman army, paid and equipped by the Empire, led by a Roman tribune and used just as Roman units were used. In addition to the foederati , the Empire also used groups of barbarians to fight along with the legions as "allies" without integration into the field armies. Under the command of the senior Roman general present, they were led at lower levels by their own officers. Military leadership evolved over the course of the history of Rome.
Under the monarchy, the hoplite armies were led by the kings of Rome. During the early and middle Roman Republic, military forces were under the command of one of the two elected consuls for the year. During the later Republic, members of the Roman Senatorial elite, as part of the normal sequence of elected public offices known as the cursus honorum , would have served first as quaestor often posted as deputies to field commanders , then as praetor.
Following the end of a term as praetor or consul, a Senator might be appointed by the Senate as a propraetor or proconsul depending on the highest office held before to govern a foreign province. More junior officers down to but not including the level of centurion were selected by their commanders from their own clientelae or those recommended by political allies among the Senatorial elite. Under Augustus, whose most important political priority was to place the military under a permanent and unitary command, the Emperor was the legal commander of each legion but exercised that command through a legatus legate he appointed from the Senatorial elite. In a province with a single legion, the legate commanded the legion legatus legionis and also served as provincial governor, while in a province with more than one legion, each legion was commanded by a legate and the legates were commanded by the provincial governor also a legate but of higher rank.
During the later stages of the Imperial period beginning perhaps with Diocletian , the Augustan model was abandoned. Provincial governors were stripped of military authority, and command of the armies in a group of provinces was given to generals duces appointed by the Emperor. These were no longer members of the Roman elite but men who came up through the ranks and had seen much practical soldiering.
With increasing frequency, these men attempted sometimes successfully to usurp the positions of the Emperors who had appointed them. Decreased resources, increasing political chaos and civil war eventually left the Western Empire vulnerable to attack and takeover by neighboring barbarian peoples. Less is known about the Roman navy than the Roman army. Prior to the middle of the 3rd century BC, officials known as duumviri navales commanded a fleet of twenty ships used mainly to control piracy.
This fleet was given up in AD and replaced by allied forces. The First Punic War required that Rome build large fleets, and it did so largely with the assistance of and financing from allies. This reliance on allies continued to the end of the Roman Republic. The quinquereme was the main warship on both sides of the Punic Wars and remained the mainstay of Roman naval forces until replaced by the time of Caesar Augustus by lighter and more maneuverable vessels. As compared with a trireme , the quinquereme permitted the use of a mix of experienced and inexperienced crewmen an advantage for a primarily land-based power , and its lesser maneuverability permitted the Romans to adopt and perfect boarding tactics using a troop of about 40 marines in lieu of the ram.
Ships were commanded by a navarch , a rank equal to a centurion, who was usually not a citizen. Potter suggests that because the fleet was dominated by non-Romans, the navy was considered non-Roman and allowed to atrophy in times of peace. Information suggests that by the time of the late Empire AD , the Roman navy comprised several fleets including warships and merchant vessels for transportation and supply. Warships were oared sailing galleys with three to five banks of oarsmen. Flotillas of small river craft classes were part of the limitanei border troops during this period, based at fortified river harbors along the Rhine and the Danube. That prominent generals commanded both armies and fleets suggests that naval forces were treated as auxiliaries to the army and not as an independent service.
The details of command structure and fleet strengths during this period are not well known, although fleets were commanded by prefects. Ancient Rome commanded a vast area of land, with tremendous natural and human resources. As such, Rome's economy remained focused on farming and trade. Agricultural free trade changed the Italian landscape, and by the 1st century BC, vast grape and olive estates had supplanted the yeoman farmers, who were unable to match the imported grain price. In turn, olive oil and wine were Italy's main exports. Two-tier crop rotation was practiced, but farm productivity was low, around 1 ton per hectare. Industrial and manufacturing activities were smaller. The largest such activities were the mining and quarrying of stones, which provided basic construction materials for the buildings of that period.
In manufacturing, production was on a relatively small scale, and generally consisted of workshops and small factories that employed at most dozens of workers. However, some brick factories employed hundreds of workers. The economy of the early Republic was largely based on smallholding and paid labor. However, foreign wars and conquests made slaves increasingly cheap and plentiful, and by the late Republic, the economy was largely dependent on slave labor for both skilled and unskilled work. Only in the Roman Empire, when the conquests stopped and the prices of slaves increased, did hired labor become more economical than slave ownership.
Although barter was used in ancient Rome, and often used in tax collection, Rome had a very developed coinage system, with brass , bronze , and precious metal coins in circulation throughout the Empire and beyond—some have even been discovered in India. Before the 3rd century BC, copper was traded by weight, measured in unmarked lumps, across central Italy. The original copper coins as had a face value of one Roman pound of copper, but weighed less. Thus, Roman money's utility as a unit of exchange consistently exceeded its intrinsic value as metal. After Nero began debasing the silver denarius , its legal value was an estimated one-third greater than its intrinsic value.
Horses were expensive and other pack animals were slower. Mass trade on the Roman roads connected military posts, where Roman markets were centered. During that period, a trading vessel took less than a month to complete a trip from Gades to Alexandria via Ostia , spanning the entire length of the Mediterranean. Some economists consider the Roman Empire a market economy , similar in its degree of capitalistic practices to 17th century Netherlands and 18th century England. The basic units of Roman society were households and families. In the upper classes, slaves and servants were also part of the household. Patria potestas even extended over adult sons with their own households: A man was not considered a paterfamilias , nor could he truly hold property, while his own father lived.
Little affection was shown for the children of Rome. The mother or an elderly relative often raised both boys and girls. Unwanted children were often sold as slaves. In noble families a Greek nurse usually taught the children Latin and Greek. Their father taught the boys how to swim and ride, although he sometimes hired a slave to teach them instead. At seven, a boy began his education. Having no school building, classes were held on a rooftop if dark, the boy had to carry a lantern to school. Wax-covered boards were used as paper, papyrus, and parchment were too expensive—or he could just write in the sand.
A loaf of bread to be eaten was also carried. Groups of related households formed a family gens. Families were based on blood ties or adoption , but were also political and economic alliances. Especially during the Roman Republic , some powerful families, or Gentes Maiores , came to dominate political life. In ancient Rome, marriage was often regarded more as a financial and political alliance than as a romantic association, especially in the upper classes see marriage in ancient Rome. Fathers usually began seeking husbands for their daughters when these reached an age between twelve and fourteen.
The husband was usually older than the bride. While upper-class girls married very young, there is evidence that lower-class women often married in their late teens or early 20s. Roman hours were counted ordinally from dawn to dawn. Thus, 6 to 7 am was called the "first hour", 12 to 1 pm the "sixth hour" and so on. Midday was called meridies and it is from this word that the terms am ante meridem and pm post meridem stem from. The English word noon comes from nona "ninth hour " , which referred to 3 pm in Ancient Rome.
The ancient Roman week originally had eight days, which were identified by letters A to H, with the eighth day being the nundinum or market day, a kind of weekend when farmers sold their produce on the streets. The seven-day week , first introduced from the East during the early Empire, was officially adopted during the reign of Constantine. Romans were naming week days after celestial bodies since at least the 1st century AD, a custom that was inherited by other peoples and is still found in many modern languages, including English.
Roman months had three important days: the calends first day of each month, always in plural , the ides approximately in the middle of the month , and the none ninth day before the ides. Other days were counted from their anterior proximity in relation to these days. The Roman year originally had ten months from Martius March to December, with the winter period not included in the calendar. Numa Pompilius , the second king of Rome — BC , is said to have introduced the months of January and February, both also named after gods, beginning the month calendar still in use today. The Romans had several ways of tracking years.
One widespread way was the consular dating , which identified years with the two consuls that ruled each year their term was limited to one year ; it was introduced in the Republic and continued to be used in the Empire, even though the consular post was reduced to a ceremonial one during that latter period. Another way, introduced in the late 3rd century, was counting years from indictio , the announcement of the delivery of food and other goods to the government. Another way, less popular but more similar to the way we currently count years, was ab urbe condita , which simply counted years from the mythical foundation of Rome in BC.
Life in ancient Rome revolved around the city of Rome, located on seven hills. The city had a vast number of monumental structures like the Colosseum , the Forum of Trajan and the Pantheon. It had theatres , gymnasiums , marketplaces, functional sewers, bath complexes complete with libraries and shops, and fountains with fresh drinking water supplied by hundreds of miles of aqueducts. Throughout the territory under the control of ancient Rome, residential architecture ranged from modest houses to country villas. In the capital city of Rome, there were imperial residences on the elegant Palatine Hill , from which the word palace derives. The low Plebeian and middle Equestrian classes lived in the city center, packed into apartments, or Insulae , which were almost like modern ghettos.
These areas, often built by upper class property owners to rent, were often centred upon collegia or taberna. These people, provided with a free supply of grain , and entertained by gladiatorial games , were enrolled as clients of patrons among the upper class Patricians , whose assistance they sought and whose interests they upheld. The native language of the Romans was Latin , an Italic language the grammar of which relies little on word order, conveying meaning through a system of affixes attached to word stems.
While Latin remained the main written language of the Roman Empire, Greek came to be the language spoken by the well-educated elite, as most of the literature studied by Romans was written in Greek. In the eastern half of the Roman Empire, which later became the Eastern Roman Empire , Latin was never able to replace Greek, and after the death of Justinian, Greek became the official language of the Eastern government. Archaic Roman religion , at least concerning the gods, was made up not of written narratives , but rather of complex interrelations between gods and humans.
Romans also believed that every person, place or thing had its own genius , or divine soul. During the Roman Republic , Roman religion was organized under a strict system of priestly offices, which were held by men of senatorial rank. The College of Pontifices was uppermost body in this hierarchy, and its chief priest, the Pontifex Maximus , was the head of the state religion. Flamens took care of the cults of various gods, while augurs were trusted with taking the auspices. The sacred king took on the religious responsibilities of the deposed kings. In the Roman Empire, emperors were deified,   and the formalized imperial cult became increasingly prominent.
As contact with the Greeks increased, the old Roman gods became increasingly associated with Greek gods. The Roman gods also assumed the attributes and mythologies of these Greek gods. Under the Empire, the Romans absorbed the mythologies of their conquered subjects, often leading to situations in which the temples and priests of traditional Italian deities existed side by side with those of foreign gods. Beginning with Emperor Nero in the 1st century AD, Roman official policy towards Christianity was negative, and at some points, simply being a Christian could be punishable by death. Under Emperor Diocletian , the persecution of Christians reached its peak.
However, it became an officially supported religion in the Roman state under Diocletian's successor, Constantine I , with the signing of the Edict of Milan in , and quickly became dominant. Like many ancient cultures, concepts of ethics and morality, while sharing some commonalities with modern society, differed greatly in several important ways. Because ancient civilizations like Rome were under constant threat of attack from marauding tribes, their culture was necessarily militaristic with martial skills being a prized attribute.
Indeed, one of the primary purposes of the gladiatorial games was to inoculate Roman citizens from this weakness. Contrary to popular descriptions, Roman society had well-established and restrictive norms related to sexuality, though as with many societies, the lion's share of the responsibilities fell on women. Women were generally expected to be monogamous having only a single husband during their life univira , though this was much less regarded by the elite, especially under the empire.
Women were expected to be modest in public avoiding any provocative appearance and to demonstrate absolute fidelity to their husbands pudicitia. Indeed, wearing a veil was a common expectation to preserve modesty. Sex outside of marriage was generally frowned upon for men and women and indeed was made illegal during the imperial period. Roman painting styles show Greek influences, and surviving examples are primarily frescoes used to adorn the walls and ceilings of country villas , though Roman literature includes mentions of paintings on wood, ivory , and other materials. The first style of Roman painting was practiced from the early 2nd century BC to the early- or mid-1st century BC.
It was mainly composed of imitations of marble and masonry , though sometimes including depictions of mythological characters. The second style of Roman painting began during the early 1st century BC, and attempted to depict realistically three-dimensional architectural features and landscapes. The third style occurred during the reign of Augustus 27 BC — 14 AD , and rejected the realism of the second style in favor of simple ornamentation.
A small architectural scene, landscape, or abstract design was placed in the center with a monochrome background. The fourth style, which began in the 1st century AD, depicted scenes from mythology, while retaining architectural details and abstract patterns. Portrait sculpture during the period [ which? During the Antonine and Severan periods, ornate hair and bearding, with deep cutting and drilling, became popular. Advancements were also made in relief sculptures , usually depicting Roman victories. Latin literature was, from its start, influenced heavily by Greek authors. Some of the earliest extant works are of historical epics telling the early military history of Rome.
As the Republic expanded, authors began to produce poetry, comedy, history, and tragedy. Roman music was largely based on Greek music , and played an important part in many aspects of Roman life. Most religious rituals featured musical performances, with tibiae double pipes at sacrifices, cymbals and Tambourines at orgiastic cults , and rattles and hymns across the spectrum. The graffiti , brothels , paintings, and sculptures found in Pompeii and Herculaneum suggest that the Romans had a sex-saturated culture. Ancient Roman cuisine changed over the long duration of this ancient civilization. Dietary habits were affected by the influence of Greek culture, the political changes from kingdom to republic to empire, and empire's enormous expansion, which exposed Romans to many new, provincial culinary habits and cooking techniques.
In the beginning the differences between social classes were relatively small, but disparities evolved with the empire's growth. Men and women drank wine with their meals, a tradition that has been carried through to the present day. The ancient Roman diet included many items that are staples of modern Italian cooking. Pliny the Elder discussed more than 30 varieties of olive , 40 kinds of pear , figs native and imported from Africa and the eastern provinces , and a wide variety of vegetables , including carrots of different colors, but not orange  as well as celery , garlic , some flower bulbs , cabbage and other brassicas such as kale and broccoli , lettuce , endive , onion , leek , asparagus , radishes , turnips , parsnips , beets , green peas , chard , cardoons , olives, and cucumber.
However, some foods now considered characteristic of modern Italian cuisine were not used. There were also few citrus fruits. Butcher's meat such as beef was an uncommon luxury. The most popular meat was pork , especially sausages. The Romans also engaged in snail farming and oak grub farming. Some fish were greatly esteemed and fetched high prices, such as mullet raised in the fishery at Cosa , and "elaborate means were invented to assure its freshness". Traditionally, a breakfast called ientaculum  was served at dawn. At mid-day to early afternoon, Romans ate cena ,  the main meal of the day, and at nightfall a light supper called vesperna.
Thus, it gradually shifted to the evening, while the vesperna  was abandoned completely over the course of the years. The mid-day meal prandium became a light meal to hold one over until cena. The youth of Rome had several forms of athletic play and exercise, such as jumping , wrestling , boxing , and racing. For the wealthy, dinner parties presented an opportunity for entertainment, sometimes featuring music, dancing, and poetry readings. Public games were sponsored by leading Romans who wished to advertise their generosity and court popular approval; in the Imperial era, this usually meant the emperor. Several venues were developed specifically for public games. The Colisseum was built in the Imperial era to host, among other events, gladiatorial combats.
These combats had begun as funeral games around the 4th century BC, and became popular spectator events in the late Republic and Empire. Gladiators had an exotic and inventive variety of arms and armour. They sometimes fought to the death, but more often to an adjudicated victory, dependent on a referee's decision. The outcome was usually in keeping with the mood of the watching crowd. Shows of exotic animals were popular in their own right; but sometimes animals were pitted against human beings, either armed professionals or unarmed criminals who had been condemned to a spectacular and theatrical public death in the arena.
Some of these encounters were based on episodes from Roman or Greek mythology. Chariot racing was extremely popular among all classes. In Rome, these races were usually held at the Circus Maximus , which had been purpose-built for chariot and horse-racing and, as Rome's largest public place, was also used for festivals and animal shows. The track was divided lengthwise by a barrier that contained obelisks, temples, statues and lap-counters. The best seats were at the track-side, close to the action; they were reserved for Senators.
Behind them sat the equites knights , and behind the knights were the plebs commoners and non-citizens. The donor of the games sat on a high platform in the stands alongside images of the gods, visible to all. Large sums were bet on the outcomes of races. Some Romans offered prayers and sacrifices on behalf of their favourites, or laid curses on the opposing teams, and some aficionados were members of extremely, even violently partisan circus factions. Ancient Rome boasted impressive technological feats, using many advancements that were lost in the Middle Ages and not rivaled again until the 19th and 20th centuries.
An example of this is insulated glazing , which was not invented again until the s. Many practical Roman innovations were adopted from earlier Greek designs. Advancements were often divided and based on craft. Artisans guarded technologies as trade secrets. Roman civil engineering and military engineering constituted a large part of Rome's technological superiority and legacy, and contributed to the construction of hundreds of roads, bridges, aqueducts , baths , theaters and arenas.
Many monuments, such as the Colosseum , Pont du Gard , and Pantheon , remain as testaments to Roman engineering and culture. The Romans were renowned for their architecture , which is grouped with Greek traditions into " Classical architecture ". Although there were many differences from Greek architecture , Rome borrowed heavily from Greece in adhering to strict, formulaic building designs and proportions. Aside from two new orders of columns, composite and Tuscan , and from the dome , which was derived from the Etruscan arch , Rome had relatively few architectural innovations until the end of the Republic.
In the 1st century BC, Romans started to use concrete widely. Concrete was invented in the late 3rd century BC. It was a powerful cement derived from pozzolana , and soon supplanted marble as the chief Roman building material and allowed many daring architectural forms. Mosaics took the Empire by storm after samples were retrieved during Lucius Cornelius Sulla 's campaigns in Greece. The Romans also largely built using timber, causing a rapid decline of the woodlands surrounding Rome and in much of the Apennine Mountains due to the demand for wood for construction, shipbuilding and fire. The first evidence of long-distance wood trading come from the discovery of wood planks, felled between A.
With solid foundations and good drainage,  Roman roads were known for their durability and many segments of the Roman road system were still in use a thousand years after the fall of Rome. The construction of a vast and efficient travel network throughout the Empire dramatically increased Rome's power and influence. They allowed Roman legions to be deployed rapidly, with predictable marching times between key points of the empire, no matter the season. The Roman government maintained a system of way stations, known as the cursus publicus , that provided refreshments to couriers at regular intervals along the roads and established a system of horse relays allowing a dispatch to travel up to 80 km 50 mi a day.
The Romans constructed numerous aqueducts to supply water to cities and industrial sites and to aid in their agriculture. By the third century, the city of Rome was supplied by 11 aqueducts with a combined length of km mi. Most aqueducts were constructed below the surface, with only small portions above ground supported by arches. The Romans also made major advancements in sanitation.
Romans were particularly famous for their public baths , called thermae , which were used for both hygienic and social purposes. Many Roman houses came to have flush toilets and indoor plumbing , and a complex sewer system, the Cloaca Maxima , was used to drain the local marshes and carry waste into the Tiber river. Some historians have speculated that lead pipes in the sewer and plumbing systems led to widespread lead poisoning , which contributed to the decline in birth rate and general decay of Roman society leading up to the fall of Rome. However, lead content would have been minimized because the flow of water from aqueducts could not be shut off; it ran continuously through public and private outlets into the drains, and only a few taps were in use.
Ancient Rome is the progenitor of Western civilization. The rediscovery of Roman culture revitalized Western civilization, playing a role in the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment. A genetic study published in Science in November examined the genetic history of Rome from the Mesolithic up to modern times. In addition, one out of four individuals from Etruscan burials, a female, was found to be a mixture of local Iron Age ancestry and a North African population. Overall, the genetic differentiation between the Latins , Etruscans and the preceding proto-villanovan population of Italy was found to be insignificant. Repeated invasions of barbarians brought European ancestry back into Rome, resulting in the loss of genetic link to the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.
Although there has been a diversity of works on ancient Roman history, many of them are lost. As a result of this loss, there are gaps in Roman history, which are filled by unreliable works, such as the Historia Augusta and other books from obscure authors. However, there remains a number of reliable accounts of Roman history. The first historians used their works for the lauding of Roman culture and customs. By the end of Republic, some historians distorted their histories to flatter their patrons—especially at the time of Marius 's and Sulla 's clash. In the Empire, the biographies of famous men and early emperors flourished, examples being The Twelve Caesars of Suetonius, and Plutarch's Parallel Lives. Other major works of Imperial times were that of Livy and Tacitus.
Interest in studying, and even idealizing, ancient Rome became prevalent during the Italian Renaissance , and continues until the present day. The first major work was The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon , which encompassed the Roman civilization from the end of the 2nd century to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in Barthold Georg Niebuhr was a founder of the examination of ancient Roman history and wrote The Roman History , tracing the period until the First Punic war. Niebuhr tried to determine the way the Roman tradition evolved. According to him, Romans, like other people, had an historical ethos preserved mainly in the noble families. It highlighted the Caesarean period popular at the time.
History of Rome , Roman constitutional law and Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum , all by Theodor Mommsen ,  became very important milestones. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century. This article is about the history of Roman civilisation in antiquity. For the history of the city of Rome, see Rome. For other uses, see Ancient Rome disambiguation. Senatus Populusque Romanus. Territories of the Roman civilization: Roman Republic. Roman Empire. Western Roman Empire. Eastern Roman Empire. Politics of ancient Rome. Centuriate Curiate Plebeian Tribal. Other countries. Main article: Founding of Rome. Main article: Roman Kingdom.
Main article: Roman Republic. Main article: Punic Wars. See also: Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Carthaginian possessions. Roman possessions. Main article: Roman Empire. Main article: Crisis of the Third Century. Main article: Fall of the Western Roman Empire. Ending invasions on Roman Empire between AD — Visigoths entering Athens. Main article: Roman law. Main articles: Social class in ancient Rome and Status in Roman legal system. Main article: Roman school.
Structural history. Army Unit types and ranks Decorations and punishments Legions. Auxilia Generals. Fleets Admirals. Campaign history. Wars and battles. Technological history. Military engineering Castra Siege engines. Triumphal arches Roads. Political history. Strategy and tactics. Infantry tactics. Frontiers and fortifications. Main articles: Roman agriculture , Roman commerce , Roman finance , and Roman currency. Main article: Culture of ancient Rome. Main article: Latin. Main articles: Religion in ancient Rome , Roman mythology , and Roman temple. See also: History of physical training and fitness. Main article: Roman technology. Main articles: Legacy of the Roman Empire and Classics. Main article: Roman historiography.
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Random House. ISBN McEvedy and Jones Social Science History. JSTOR Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M. And, how mean are all the objects of our keen pursuits! Julian's quote c-d : The third to hasten in was Tiberius, with countenance solemn and grim, and an expression at once sober and martial. But as he turned to sit down his back was seen to be covered with countless scars, burns, and sores, painful welts and bruises, while ulcers and abscesses were as though branded thereon, the result of his self-indulgent and cruel life. Whereupon Silenus cried out, "Friend, you appear far different now, than before", and seemed more serious than he had wont. Historia Augusta also refers to Tiberius. This quote comes from Heliogabalus , He invented certain new kinds of vice, even going beyond the perverts used by the debauchees of old, and he was well acquainted with all the arrangements of Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero.
As I said before, no sources prior to Tacitus mentions those excesses, not even hostile or partially hostile ones like Josephus and Seneca. This is surprising, considering there must have been an original source Nonianus? The plot Mar 1, Colorado. Later authors inflated juicy stories. There's a lot of one-liners So much smoke, it's difficult to believe there at least wasn't a campfire.
Was Tiberius hated enough to foster a propaganda type narrative? There aren't a lot of sources extant for Caligula, but it's clear some inflation of behavior was present. Reactions: Tiberius Caesar. Dios said:. Last edited: Sep 22, When it comes down to interpretation, you really have to understand the motivations of the times. Augustus was desperate to legitimize himself, constantly referring to Caesar as "my divine father" It appears that Gaius legitimized himself by building up Tiberius whatever the truth may have been. Claudius comes along, and doesn't have anything to gain from overstating Tiberius, so maybe more of the truth starts to leak out? The chroniclers go by acts that were documented e.
Then they had their own biases. There's fragments of a biography of Augustus by Nicolaus of Damascus, based on Augustus' own autobiography. Nicolaus lived in the palace with Augustus, tutoring Octavia's natural children as well as Cleopatra's three fosters. What is his opinion of Augustus going to be? He exhausts the Latin dictionary for synonyms of "remarkable", "incredible", "amazing", etc. After the kids, he had a very successful diplomatic career in Judaea.Distrusting, Sejanus Caesar Research Paper, the abilities of this leader, and finding the times Gender Roles According To Spade favourable for the execution of Sejanus Caesar Research Paper project than he had at first imagined, he abandoned all thoughts of joining Lepidus, although Sejanus Caesar Research Paper received the most tempting offers. He now Sejanus Caesar Research Paper composed in two books, a discourse on Divination, in which he discusses at Sejanus Caesar Research Paper all the arguments that may be Sejanus Caesar Research Paper for and against Sejanus Caesar Research Paper actual existence of such a Sejanus Caesar Research Paper of knowledge. Her father, Edward Dickinson, was actively involved in state and national politics, serving in Sejanus Caesar Research Paper for one term.