Author Archives: 100swallows

Charles V Quits and Goes to Yuste

How would you like to rule the world? Charles V ruled it—the best part of it, which included Western Europe and America. Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg by Titian He worked and worried day and night for forty … Continue reading

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The Cicero You Never Knew

Name me a great Roman. Julius Caesar. Good.  Name me another one. Um.  Some gladiator—no, I know: Pontius Pilate. And Cicero?  Do you know what one scholar says about him? “The influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature … Continue reading

Posted in 1, books, Caesar, history, Romans, toga | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Cervantes Leaves His Pretty Wife and Looks for a Job

A few days after his wedding Cervantes must already have suspected that he had made a mistake. His wife was cheerful and  pretty and passably wealthy but he couldn’t stand her little town. How was he going to spend the … Continue reading

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The Emperor Meets His Natural Son

The Emperor Charles V (Charles I of Spain) “Gómez!” “Sire?” “Put my leg up.” The servant stooped down to see that the board holding up the Emperor’s left leg was solid, then cranked it higher. The orthopedic chair was an … Continue reading

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How Xenophon Saved His Army

“So—is this the end?” Xenophon asked himself. “You asked for it and now you got it.” He was lying in a tent in the middle of the Persian Empire. He was with a batallion of Greek mercenaries, though he was … Continue reading

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Hércules en Cádiz

El santuario más famoso de todo el Mediterráneo occidental estuvo en Cádiz, en el actual islote de Sancti Petri. Mapa de Cádiz ( DP imagen de HansenBCN)   Estaba consagrado al Hércules Gaditano, y el mismísimo dios, decían algunos, yacía … Continue reading

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Caesar’s Greatest Battle

The most exciting thing in Caesar’s Commentaries? Commentarii de Bello Gallico, an account written by Julius Caesar about his nine years of war in Gaul (public domain photo) The battle of Alesia. What is so exciting about it? Caesar was … Continue reading

Posted in archaeology, Caesar, history, Romans, war, warfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments