Tag Archives: ancient Rome

How They Killed Cicero

Who killed him? The three leaders [triumviri] Octavian, Lepidus, and Anthony ordered his execution. But it was Anthony who hated him most. This is how the Roman historian Appian tells it: “Cicero…was condemned along with his son, his brother, his … Continue reading

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Pliny’s Heroic Death

Pliny’s Heroic Death (as described by his nephew) …He was at Misenum [in the Bay of Naples] in his capacity as commander of the fleet on the 24th of August [79 AD], when between 2 and 3 in the afternoon … Continue reading

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How to Behave in Rome

Strictly speaking, the Romans didn’t have a religion. There were gods, of course, and you had to keep them happy. Each of them had his own department: Mars handled war and Juno looked after women and Venus was in charge … Continue reading

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The Legend of Sparta (Part 3)

Spartan boys were all brought up to be soldiers, to die heroically for their country. The whole country were trained like Roman gladiators. They weren’t fed quite enough and had to steal to fill their bellies; yet they were beaten … Continue reading

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How Rome Conquered the World (Part 3)

The Army Polybius knew the army was the key, all right. He had spent years in Roman army camps as guest of his distinguished friend Scipio Aemilianus, watching how everything was done, admiring army organization and discipline, taking notes for … Continue reading

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How Rome Conquered the World (Part 2)

So Polybius told the Romans how they had nearly lost their city because they refused to ransom their own soldiers. What was that story? Hannibal’s biggest victory was at Cannae. He annihilated the Roman army of 50,000 and took about … Continue reading

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How Rome Conquered the World (Part 1)

Just after the Romans had gotten rid of the Carthaginians once and for all (they wiped Carthage off the map in 146 BC), a Greek named Polybius wrote a book about them. He was impressed. “There can surely be nobody … Continue reading

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