Category: Rome

Street market in Rome, Italy, 1952. Photograph by David Seymour.

Street market in Rome, Italy, 1952. Photograph by David Seymour.

Rome, Italy, 1964. Photographed by Bruno Barbey.

Rome, Italy, 1964. Photographed by Bruno Barbey.

BEWARE the Ides of March! On this day in 44 BC…

BEWARE the Ides of March! On this day in 44 BCE: Julius Caesar is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus, and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March. (44 BCE)

Read More: ancient.eu/article/803/the-murder-of-julius-caesar/ 

Old women in Rome, Italy, 1951. Photographed by Ruth Orkin.

Old women in Rome, Italy, 1951. Photographed by Ruth Orkin.

GREAT new book on the Roman Empire out now! …

GREAT new book on the Roman Empire out now! Renowned classical historian Barry Strauss tells the story of three and a half centuries of the Roman Empire through the lives of ten of the most important emperors, from Augustus to Constantine.

Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/145166883X?tag=historyinfive-20

historium:

historium:

“Vota comunista” with Sputnik themed vehicle, Rome, 1958

BOOK REVIEW: TEN CAESARS: ROMAN EMPEROR FROM A…

BOOK REVIEW: TEN CAESARS: ROMAN EMPEROR FROM AUGUSTUS TO CONSTANTINE

WRITTEN for a general audience, Ten Caesars is filled with vivid descriptions of historical moments and nuanced presentations of ten different emperors. Barry Strauss’ engaging narrative style and focus on framing each Caesar with his historical context results in a book with a panoply of unique characters, including the Caesars, military generals, and many women.

In Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine, Barry Strauss tells the story of ten notable Roman leaders. Strauss is a Professor of History and Classics at Cornell University, holding an MA and PhD from Yale University. Moreover, he published many other well-received articles and books on the subject of Roman history. As such, he is highly qualified to narrate the history of ten Roman emperors.  Scholars are trained to be analytical, critical, and meticulous, and so when they write books for general audiences, they are often erudite and informative but also dry, unengaging, and monotonous. Strauss, though, is different.

From beginning to end, Strauss’ storytelling captured my attention with vivid descriptions of historical moments and nuanced presentations of the Caesars. He accomplishes these feats by carefully showing how each individual Caesar interacted with his social, political, cultural, and religious environment in unique ways. In doing so, he unveils a new character through each chapter. This is notable because historical figures too often become flattened, one-dimensional characters, one the same as another. Strauss avoids this type of characterization, writing a refreshing narrative instead.

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COLOSSEUM: THE Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheat…

COLOSSEUM: 

THE Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre is a large ellipsoid arena built in the first century CE under the Roman emperors of the Flavian dynasty: Vespasian (69-79 CE), Titus (79-81 CE) and Domitian (81-96 CE). The arena was used to host spectacular public entertainment events such as gladiator fights, wild animal hunts and public executions from 80 CE to 404 CE.

The construction of the Colosseum was begun in 72 CE in the reign of Vespasian on the site that was once the lake and gardens of  Emperor Nero’s Golden House. This was drained and as a precaution against potential earthquake damage concrete foundations six metres deep were put down. The building was part of a wider construction programme begun by Emperor Vespasian in order to restore Rome to its former glory prior to the turmoil of the recent civil war. As Vespasian claimed on his coins with the inscription Roma resurgens, the new buildings –the Temple of Peace, Sanctuary of Claudius and the Colosseum– would show the world that ‘resurgent’ Rome was still very much the centre of the ancient world.

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CIRCUS MAXIMUS: THE Circus Maximus was a chari…

CIRCUS MAXIMUS: 

THE Circus Maximus was a chariot racetrack in Rome first constructed in the 6th century BCE. The Circus was also used for other public events such as the Roman Games and gladiator fights and was last used for chariot races in the 6th century CE. It was partially excavated in the 20th century CE and then remodelled but it continues today as one of the modern city’s most important public spaces, hosting huge crowds at music concerts and rallies.

The Circus Maximus, located in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills, is the oldest and largest public space in Rome and legend says that the Circus was originally laid out in the 6th century BCE by the first Roman kings, although, it first took on its distinctive shape under Julius Caesar. Its principal function was as a chariot racetrack and host of the Roman Games (Ludi Romani) which honoured Jupiter. These were the oldest games in the city and were held every September with 15 days of chariot races and military processions. In addition, Rome had many other games and up to 20 of these had one day or more at the Circus Maximus. Other events hosted at the site included wild animal hunts, public executions and gladiator fights, some of which were exotically spectacular in the extreme, such as when Pompey organised a contest between a group of barbarian gladiators and 20 elephants.

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INTERVIEW: ROME: A HISTORY IN SEVEN SACKINGS: …

INTERVIEW: ROME: A HISTORY IN SEVEN SACKINGS: 

NO city on earth has preserved its past quite like Rome. Visitors stand on bridges that were crossed by Julius Caesar and Cicero, walk around temples visited by Roman emperors, and step into churches that have hardly changed since popes celebrated mass in them 16 centuries ago. These architectural survivals are all the more remarkable considering the violent disasters that have struck the city. In this exclusive interview, Ancient History Encyclopedia’s James Blake Wiener quizzes Matthew Kneale, author of Rome: A History in Seven Sackings, on the fierce courage, panache, and vitality of the Roman people across space and time.

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