|Ancient Rome was a civilization which began as a small agricultural community on the Italian Peninsula in the 8th century BC. Rome became a large empire which straddled the Mediterranean Sea. In its twelve centuries of existence, Roman civilization was firstly a monarchy, then a republic that combined oligarchy and democracy, and finally became an autocratic empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it came to dominate Western Europe, the entire Mediterranean Basin including the Near East and North Africa, the Balkans, and the Black Sea.
The Roman empire went into decline in the 3rd century AD, and began to collapse in the 5th century AD. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire, including Hispania, Gaul, and Italy, broke into independent kingdoms in the 5th century. The eastern part of the empire, governed from Constantinople, survived this crisis, and remained intact for another millennium, until its last remains were finally annexed by the emerging Ottoman Empire. This eastern, medieval stage of the Empire is usually referred to as the Byzantine Empire by historians.
Roman civilization was part of the period of classical antiquity, alongside ancient Greece—a civilization that inspired much of the culture of ancient Rome. Ancient Rome made significant contributions to the development of law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology, and language in the Western world, and its history continues to have a great influence on the world today.
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The Marian reforms of 107 BC were a group of military reforms initiated by Gaius Marius, a statesman and general of the Roman republic. Up until the last decade of the second century BC the eligibility to become a Roman soldier in the service of the Republic were very strict.
When war threatened, the consuls of the day would be charged with the duty of recruiting an army from the eligible citizenry of the Republic. As a rule one of the consuls would lead this mainly volunteer army into battle. As can be imagined, not all elected consuls were adept at leading an army. For example, in the year 113 BC the consul Gnaeus Papirius Carbo was defeated at the Battle of Noreia by invading tribes of the Cimbri and the Teutons, losing all but 20,000 men out of an army of 200,000. This disaster was followed by a protracted war in Africa against King Jugurtha of Numidia.
||[...] Caesar is a god in his own city. Outstanding in war or peace, it was not so much his wars that ended in great victories, or his actions at home, or his swiftly won fame, that set him among the stars, a fiery comet, as his descendant. There is no greater achievement among Caesar’s actions than that he stood father to our emperor. Is it a greater thing to have conquered the sea-going Britons; to have lead his victorious ships up the seven-mouthed flood of the papyrus-bearing Nile; to have brought the rebellious Numidians, under Juba of Cinyps, and Pontus, swollen with the name of Mithridates, under the people of Quirinus; to have earned many triumphs and celebrated few; than to have sponsored such a man, with whom, as ruler of all, you gods have richly favoured the human race? Therefore, in order for the emperor not to have been born of mortal seed, Caesar needed to be made a god. [...]
Augustus, his ‘son’, will ensure that he ascends to heaven as a god, and is worshipped in the temples. Augustus, as heir to his name, will carry the burden placed upon him alone, and will have us with him, in battle, as the most courageous avenger of his father’s murder. Under his command, the conquered walls of besieged Mutina will sue for peace; Pharsalia will know him; Macedonian Philippi twice flow with blood; and the one who holds Pompey’s great name, will be defeated in Sicilian waters; and a Roman general’s Egyptian consort, trusting, to her cost, in their marriage, will fall, her threat that our Capitol would bow to her city of Canopus, proved vain.
Why enumerate foreign countries or the nations living on either ocean shore? Wherever earth contains habitable land, it will be his: and even the sea will serve him!
—Ovid, Metamorphoses, XV, 745-842
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Are you one of our regular students for Self-Improvement Wednesday? Each week, you get to learn something new - that's our Self Improvement pledge. Print page; Email this · Permalink. Share ? Share. Your lesson this week is Book Burning in Ancient Rome.
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Fri, 23 Jan 2015 06:53:33 -0800
... Middle Ages. Similar to today's stadium seating systems, the numbers — written according to the system used in ancient Rome, using letters of the Latin alphabet such as X, L, V, I — stood on the entrance gate arches, allowing an easier access to ...
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Wed, 14 Jan 2015 01:51:39 -0800
G-Rough: Ancient Rome meets modern Italy. Tatiana Rokou - 14 January 2015, 11:46. Each floor of the five-story hotel draws its inspiration from a different Italian designer from the 30's, 40's, and 50's, including Gio Ponti, Ico Parisi, Silvio ...
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:56:15 -0800
Apart from her blockbuster The Thorn Birds, she is known for a series of novels set in ancient Rome, which won her a Doctor of Letters degree for the quality of her research. Colleen McCullough was born in Wellington, New South Wales, to James and ...
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:08:27 -0800
For example, in Ancient Egypt, solid perfumes were believed to have healing properties, while Ancient Rome ingested mixtures for bodily balance. And fancy Europeans found dry scents quite chic, carrying them around in lockets. Most importantly, rumor ...
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:55:24 -0800
But looking past the shiny distractions, you see a more pernicious scene: the homeless, have been driven out of shelters and the streets they call home, all to make room for the fans and entertainment, a severe mirror to the hubris of ancient Rome. For ...
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:07:30 -0800
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Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:17:56 -0800
From Super Bowl I (as in “there's no “I” in team), the NFL carried with it the self-importance of ancient Rome. Now, with each of its 32 franchises worth the GDP of many small countries, the NFL Empire arguably has more gold pieces than its long-ago ...
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