Tag Archives: Roman Empire

Old Roman Specularis Mines

Spain used to be a kind of Eldorado. It was fabulously rich in minerals. Rome and Carthage both financied their wars with Spanish gold and silver. Roman gold mine of Las Medulas, Leon, Spain    GNFD photo by Rafael Ibez … Continue reading

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Early Christians and a Conscientious Roman Governor

Pliny the Younger didn’t know what to do with the Christians. Bust of Trajan (reign 98–117 ), in the Glyptothek, Munich (public domain photo by User:Bibi Saint-Pol) The Emperor Trajan had appointed him governor and sent him to Bithynia in … Continue reading

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The Cicero You Never Knew 2

Educated Romans knew Greek. It was the language of culture. You needed it to talk about art, literature, philosophy. The greatest ancient poet: Homer, quoted for a thousand years.  Roman copy of a lost Hellenistic original of the 2nd c. … Continue reading

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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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Caesar’s Greatest Battle (Part 4)

The Gauls found a weak point in Caesar’s defences. Sketch of the Battle of Alesia, drawn by Muriel Gottrop  (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic license photo) The ground around Alesia wasn’t all flat. One of the hills was so … Continue reading

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A Roman Villa (Part I)

Dimas Fernandez-Galiano, the head archaeologist, had a theory. The luxurious Roman villa he was excavating near Madrid had belonged to Maternus Cynegius, the right-hand man of the emperor Theodosius. A bit far-fetched, no? Well, to a rich man named Maternus … Continue reading

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