10 Ways to Upset a Roman Emperor

10 Ways to Upset a Roman Emperor

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Ancient Rome can be a dangerous place what with the lack of antibiotics, planning regulations and any meaningful attempt at policing a city of one million inhabitants. But there is one danger that you really want to avoid at all costs if you truly value your life, and that is upsetting the emperor.

One of the bonuses of unlimited power is being able to easily rid yourself of people who annoy, irritate or upset you. Emperors were not shy in utilising this power and often for very good reasons, for to be an emperor was to face daily threats and plots to your life.

However, there were also people who found themselves on the wrong side of the emperor for more eccentric reasons. So here are 10 ways to upset an emperor.

1. Being related to him

Roman history is awash with stories of emperors bumping off their relatives. Sometimes for sound reasons, such as they were plotting against them, sometimes not.

Nero was one emperor who removed a great many of his relatives including his stepbrother (and potentially better claimant to the throne) Britannicus who he had killed during an imperial banquet, which we have to assume also killed the atmosphere.

More shamefully he also ordered the death of his mother, Agrippina because she nagged him too much. Agrippina, however, proved harder to kill than Britannicus. Three failed poisonings and one failed collapsible boat scheme later, Nero had her stabbed to death.

The deepening political divide in the U.S. and an apparent realignment of the world order through President Trump’s foreign policy have prompted many comparisons to the fall of the Roman Empire. But can we really look back at ancient civilisations and draw parallels with those that exist today? And can the lessons of the past really help us to tackle the challenges of the present?

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2. Being related to an emperor who was emperor twelve years before the current emperor was emperor

Otho had been emperor for only three months during the tumultuous year of the four emperors, 69 CE. He hadn’t had the time to make much of an impact on Rome and he was generally forgotten, except by his nephew, Salvius who remembered him on his birthday each year.

A simple act that twelve years and three emperors after Otho’s death Emperor Domitian suddenly decided was upsetting and had Salvius executed.

3. Being too nice about a man who killed an emperor

Being a Roman emperor is a dangerous job. A recent study concluded that you had a whopping 62% chance of having a violent death. So, it is not surprising that emperors tend to be on the touchy side when the conversation turns to assassination and those who perpetrate it.

The historian Cordus should have thought about this when writing his history of Rome. Writing about the assassination of Julius Caesar, Cordus praised the dagger wielding Brutus and described Cassius as ‘the last of the Romans’.

The Emperor Tiberius was not amused. Cordus starved himself to death and all copies of his historical work were collected up and destroyed.

This documentary tells the story of Julius Caesar's assassination on the 'Ides of March' in 44 BC. Featuring Dr Emma Southon and Professor Marco Conti.

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4. Being related to a man who killed an emperor even though that man has been dead for a hundred years

As the saying goes, you can’t choose your family. Which was unfortunate for one Cassius Longinus who was executed by Nero for the crime of being a descendent of the Cassius that killed Julius Caesar. Innocent though he was, it was a poor interior décor choice of Longinus to include a statue of the Caesar snuffing Cassius with the inscription ‘Leader of the Cause’ amongst the busts of his ancestors.

5. Having an affair with his wife

This bleeding obvious rule for self-preservation is not always so easy to adhere to. Such as in the sorry case of the actor, Mnester who found himself fancied rotten by the Empress Messalina. Resistance was deemed futile when Messalina persuaded her husband, Claudius to compel Mnester to do whatever she ordered. Naturally she didn’t spell out that those orders might be.

Poor Mnester had no choice but to comply with the empress’ sexual demands, and this led to his execution, alongside a long list of Messalina’s other lovers when Claudius discovered his wife’s rampant lack of fidelity.

Bust of the Emperor Claudius. Image credit: George E. Koronaios / CC

6. Not having an affair with his wife

Also executed during the general wash up after Messalina’s downfall was Sextus Traulus Montanus who hadn’t slept with the empress.

Hearing that he was on the good-looking side, Messalina had summoned Montanus to her bedchamber. Only when he arrived Messalina decided she didn’t fancy him at all and sent him back again.

A very upset Claudius wasn’t accepting innocence as a defence and Montanus was executed alongside those who had enjoyed the pleasures of the emperor’s wife.

7. Looking a bit like someone who had an affair with his wife

If you think Montanus got a rough deal, then spare a thought for the hapless young actor that the Emperor Domitian had executed. His crime? He looked a bit like the actor, Paris who’d had an affair with Domitian’s wife, Domitia.

Emperor Domitian. Image credit: Richard Mortel

8. Making a joke 15 years ago

Everybody loves a good gag and the Romans were no different but a simple joke by Aelius Lamia had devastating consequences for him. He was the first husband of Domitian’s wife, Domitia, who found himself very much ditched for the better prospect. Not that this particularly bothered Lamia, for when someone suggested he marry again, he quipped amiably “Why are you looking for a wife too?”

Fifteen years later Domitian, after presumably thinking about it every single day since, decided he was offended and had Lamia executed.

Narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, The Road To Rome documents the journey of three authors of historical fiction as they walk from Naples to Rome dressed as Roman soldiers to raise money for charity. Their exploits raised over £25,000 in donations for charities Médecins Sans Frontières and Combat Stress.

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9. Owning a splendid purple cloak

The emperor is number one and you’d do well to remember that. Be extremely careful not to outshine him in any way, like by owning a purple cloak that is quite nice. As one Ptolemy found to his cost when he wore his new purchase to the theatre and caused a bit of a wow – a wow that the Emperor Caligula found so upsetting he had Ptolemy executed for it.

10. Being mean about his favourite chariot team

Chariot racing attracted fanatical fans, including the emperor Vitellius, who used his ultimate power to execute those who trash talked his favourite team the Blues.

L.J. Trafford studied Ancient History at the University of Reading and is a regular contributor to The History Girls blog. How to Survive in Ancient Rome is her first book for Pen & Sword.

European balance of power

The European balance of power is the tenet in international relations that no single power should be allowed to achieve hegemony over a substantial part of Europe. During much of the Modern Age, the balance was achieved by having a small number of ever-changing alliances contending for power, [1] which culminated in the World Wars of the early 20th century. After the World Wars, European global dominance faded and the doctrine of European balance was replaced with a worldwide balance of power involving the United States, Soviet Union and, in a later period, China as the modern superpowers.


When the Roman Empire started, there was no such religion as Christianity, although by the time of the second emperor, Jesus had been executed for treasonous behavior. It took his followers a few centuries to gain enough clout that they were able to win over imperial support. This came in the early 4th century, with Constantine, who was actively involved in Christian policy-making. Over time, Church leaders became influential and took power away from the emperor for example, the threat of withholding the sacraments compelled Emperor Theodosius to do the penance Bishop Ambrose required. Since Roman civic and religious life were the same -- priestesses controlled the fortune of Rome, prophetic books told leaders what they needed to win wars, emperors were deified, Christian religious beliefs and allegiances conflicted with the working of empire.

The Roman Empire

The murder of Caesar was followed by a decade of civil war that ended with the birth of the Roman Empire. In 43 BC, Octavian joined forces with Mark Antony, Caesar's deputy, and MarcusAemilius Lepidus form the Second Triumvirate.

Together they defeated Brutus and Cassius at the battle of Philippi in northern Greece and then started a program to attend the neglected provinces and resettle the veterans.

While Antony took on the administrative reorganization of the wealthy eastern provinces, where he also began a love affair with Cleopatra, Octavian confiscated land in Italy for the resettlement of the army. Soon jealousy and ambition led to mutual suspicion among the three men. After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra in a sea battle near Actium, in 31 BC, Octavian became the unchallenged master of Rome and the entire Mediterranean.
On January 13 of 27 Bc, the Senate awarded Octavian the name of Augustus establishing the imperial monarchy that would endure for five centuries. It was the end of the Roman Republic (509-27 BC).

The emperor Augustus reigned from 27 BC to AD 14 with absolute power.
He re-established political and social stability and launched two centuries of prosperity called the Roman Peace (Pax Romana). During the first two centuries Ad the empire flourished and added new territories as ancient Britain, Arabia, and Dacia (present-day Romania). People from the provinces streamed to Rome and became soldiers, bureaucrats, senators, and even emperors.
Rome developed into the social, economic, cultural capital of the Mediterranean world. Most emperors ruled sensibly and competently till military and economic disasters brought on the political instability of the 3rd century AD.

The Empire guaranteed the fruitful cohabitation and melting of different cultures such as the Greek, the Jewish, the Babylonian, the new religion of the Christians, and cultural elements from Persia, Egypt, and other eastern civilizations.
The Romans supplied their own peculiar talents for government, law, architecture, and spread the Latin language. They created the Greco-Roman synthesis, the rich combination of cultural elements that for two millennia has shaped the Western tradition.


Octavian's victory over Antony made him master of Rome, but it did not resolve the conflicts that had destroyed the Roman Republic.
In order to guarantee the peace and stability of the so called Augustan Age he had to follow a hard program that included every aspect of political, religious, economic, civil and military life.


Augustus's main task was to create and staff new administrative structures for the empire. He mostly worked to reinvigorate the senatorial order and to include Italians, who had helped him during the civil wars, in the new regime.
To fulfil the exigency of more administrators for his large empire, he turned to the equestrian order, that is wealthy citizens who began to perform a wide range of administrative tasks, both in Rome and in the provinces.
Once established a basic administrative structure, Augustus managed to balance Rome's budget replacing the corrupt private tax collectors with state employees.
He also established public police and fire protection for Rome and kept close control over grain distribution and the water supply. After having reorganized the administration in Rome, Augustus proceeded to unify ancient Italy culturally, politically, and economically integrating the Italians into all aspects of Roman life.
His work of reorganization concerned also the eastern provinces, that he named territory of the Roman state. Augustus considered some of them (such as Egypt) his personal property and governed them through his deputies.

Moral Reform and Religious Renewal

Part of Augustus's program was aimed to restore the ancient Roman morality and foster a repopulation of the city. In this sense he passed a legislation to encourage marriage and childbearing while penalizing the unmarried and childless.
To support the old virtues and values, Augustus revived neglected ceremonies and restored 82 temples that had fallen into ruins.
In commemoration of his victory over Antony, and of the city of Rome, he built a new temple to the war god, Mars and held splendid celebrations to mark the anniversary of the founding of Rome.


Even though the emperor controlled coinage, taxation, and his own enormous estate, he allowed the economy to operate freely, with demand dictating price and profits.
Above all it was the end of civil war that encouraged economic growth. Farming remained the basis of the Roman economy. Under the emperor farming increased both in Italy and in the provinces and Romans learned new techniques for different climatic conditions.
Rome began to import many products from abroad, such as wheat from Egypt, wine from Gaul, and oil from Spain and Africa. Most of the landowners lived in the cities and the richest ones in Rome.
Metalwork, glass, and pottery were manufactured principally by small workshops and mostly at the sites where was the material. One of the most important centre of manufactory became, under the empire, Gaul, where more and more craftsmen produced weapons, pottery, boots, clothing, and building material for the increasing necessities of the militaries.
The easiest legal way to acquire a fortune quickly was trade. Trade was possible exploiting the advanced system of roads that Romans had built all throughout the empire and also by sea, even if there were risks.
Merchants throughout the empire normally used Roman coins, but the monetary system primarily served for the emperors to pay their troops.
During the reign of Augustus, a silver denarius weighted 5.7 gm and was 99 percent pure. The deficit spending of later emperors nearly halved the silver value of the coinage. Taxes felt more heavily on conquered peoples in the empire.
Romans and Italians were exempted from tribute.

The Army

One defeated Mark Antony, Augustus reduced the military forces and provided men mostly with the land of the new colonies around the Mediterranean.
In so doing he reinforced the boundaries of the empire, favoured its expansion, and created new important centres for spreading the Roman way of life.
He also established a central military treasury and set funds for the legionaries. In order to bind his troops to him he rewarded it with regular compensation, occasional bonus, and promotions.
The Roman army could count on the ability of Romans for the heavy infantry but also on the skills of the auxiliary troops, composed by conquered peoples.
This measure also fostered a stricter unification throughout the peoples of empire, spreading the Latin and Roman civilazion in all the colonies.
While settling legions throughout the empire, Augustus disposed a special troop, know as the praetorian guard, to defend and protect Italy.

Augustus left a legacy of peace and prosperity to the Romans. Internal peace revived Roman patriotism and economic prosperity throughout the empire. He expanded and reinforced the empire boundaries and reorganized the administration of the colonies.
Augustus was also a generous patron of literature and art and, in his final decades, the father figure who provided food, entertainment, and security to Roman people.
The "imperial system" he had instituted endured for the next three centuries.

Julio-Claudian Emperors

For decades, Augustus watched his chosen successors die until only his stepson, Tiberius, remained. Tiberius (AD 14-37) was a successful general and a fine imperial administrator and left the empire with secure boundaries and a healthy treasure.
Caligula (AD 37-41) was the great-nephew of Tiberius and his chosen successor.
He abolished the sales tax and sponsored frequent public athletic games and spectacles, but a severe illness transformed him into a vicious tyrant. After his death, by hand of one of his guards, the empire was ruled well by Claudius I (ad 41-54) till his fourth wife Agrippina poisoned him to ensure the throne to her son Nero.
Nero (AD 854-68), after having murdered both his mother and his wife, ruled with increasing despotic tendencies. He persecuted Christians and blamed them for the blaze that in AD 64 devastated much of Rome.
As a result of his lavish behaviour (he preferred to give vocal concerts at Greek festivities then caring for the legions), he caused resentment among the neglected legions that eventually led to a series of rebellions throughout the empire.
All four Julio-Claudian emperors lived in the shadow of Augustus, and none felt secure on his throne. Insecurity brought tyranny, which then provoked conspiracies in the Senate and in the palace.
Finally, even the army turned away from the dynasty that had created the empire.

Civil war returned to Rome as one person after another claimed the throne and marched on the capital.
The savage civil war of AD 64, known as the Year of the Four Emperors, concluded with the triumph of Vespasian(AD 69-79), a plainspoken and practical soldier from the Italian middle class.
He placated the rebellions in the eastern provinces, restored the economy, recruited the senators from among western provinces, and ensured the loyalty of the military to the new dynasty he created, the Flavians.

Flavian and Antonine Emperors

After the brief and extremely popular reign of Titus (AD 79-81), Domitian (AD 81-96) revealed himself as a tyrant who ruled in a reign of terror that eventually led to his murder.
In AD 96 the Senate elected the childless Nerva (AD 96-98) as emperor. Nerva began the dynasty of the Antonines and was followed by his adopted child, Trajan.
Trajan (98-117), a distinguished soldier, became one of the most beloved Roman emperors thanks to his numerous conquests (Dacia, Arabia, Armenia, and Parthia), his common sense, administrative skill, and genuine human compassion.
He initiated an impressive building program throughout the empire and particularly cared about the social welfare programs, such as the distribution of food to poor children.
He displayed a great humanity and tolerance. Also his cousin Hadrian (117-138), a passionate travel and a cultured man, excellently administered the empire and created a series of military highways that enabled troops to march quickly toward the walls alongside the empire.
The Hadrian Wall, his most famous building project, stretched across 117 km of Northern England.
His successor, Antoninus Pius (138-161) had a peaceful reign but the inactivity of the legions during his long reign eventually created problems to his successor, Marcus Aurelius (161-180), who had to face hard wars against Germanic tribes.
After his fruitful campaigns and successful reign he designated as heir to the throne his son Commodus (180-192), who turned out to be a startling change for the romans after the series of good emperors.
His neglect towards the business of the empire in favour of his passion for the games caused him the death by strangling and eventually led to first civil war in more than a century.

The five emperors from Nerva to Marcus Aurelius are designated as the "good emperors" because, though the great problems of the empire (plague, slavery, wars, religious conflicts), they acted as effective administrators who promoted prosperity, avoided civil wars, respected senators, and supported intellectuals and the arts.


With the election of Commodus, in 180 AD, Rome underwent a period of bad leadership that caused a collapse of the political institutions, a weakening of the army, and an economic disaster.
After the death of Commudus, in 182 AD, a civil war between rival claimants to the throne penetrated every corner of the corner and changed all he aspects of Roman life.

Severan Dynasty and Military Anarchy

From 193 to 235 AD Rome was ruled by the Severan dynasty, mostly occupied in pampering the army as to defend the empire's boundaries and to assure the future to their dynasty.
But this measure only produced the effect to weaken the defences while inflaming the greed and ambitions of the soldiers.

It became clear that imperial power depended more and more on the army. From 235 to 284 Rome underwent a military anarchy whereas the troops acclaimed numerous emperors who all lasted for a very short period.
Civil war and the collapse of the central authority had a very bad effect on all the aspects of Roman life: trade became dangerous, local services deteriorated, imperial funds disappeared and money underwent a terrible devaluation. But the crises particularly damaged the lower classes.
The farmers, unable to pay the taxes, had to abandon their lands, provoking the first widespread food shortage in centuries. The rich freedmen of the early empire disappeared, slavery declined and, except for soldiers, social mobility was impossible.
Widespread bitterness, poverty, and growing hatred of authority led to popular revolts in Rome, rural massacres in Africa, and local separatist movements that attempted to break away from the empire entirely.


The brilliant leadership of Diocletian, who ruled from 284 to 305, rescued the critic situation and restored through important reforms the political and economic system bringing back peace, stability, and prosperity to the Empire.
To better control the vastness of the empire, Diocletian instituted the so called tetrarchy, a rule of four that eventually led to the separation of the empire into east and west.
This measure had the scope to foster the administration of the empire and guarantee a secure defence of Rome's frontiers. Besides this historical step, the emperor issued a decree, the famous Edict on Prices, to fix throughout the empire the prices of all the products.
Through this economic reform, Diocletian succeeded to restore value to the currency, to control runaway inflation, and to finance the imperial budget.

Constantine the Great

The system ideated by Diocletian collapsed after his voluntary retirement. The empire was reunited under Constantine, famous for his Edict of Milan (313), that established toleration of all religions, including Christianity.
His religiosity eventually led him to found a new capital, Constantinople, on the site of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium. In so doing, the emperor established Christianity as the favoured religion of the empire.
Following Diocletian's example, Constantine greatly increased state control over the lives of Roman citizens. He tried to keep the empire under his own control through a larger army, a central economic planning, and an expanded bureaucracy. Every aspect of the life, throughout the Roman Empire, was regularized by a rigid control.
The enormous complexity of the system led to an inevitable rampant corruption.


Theodosius I (379-395) was the last ruler of the united Roman Empire.
At his death, he assigned the eastern portion of the empire to his son Arcadius, and the western portion to his son Honorius. This measure signed the final division of the empire.
While Constantinople and the Eastern Empire remained stable and prospered for another millennium, the Western part began a steady decline in concomitance with economic disintegration, weak emperors, and invading Germanic tribes.
The crises broke out in 410, when the Goths sacked Rome. Fifty years late, in 476, the Western Roman Empire would eventually fall with the deposition of the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, and the election of a gothic commander, Odoacer, as king.
The survival and prosperity of the Eastern Empire was granted, among the other reasons, by its better geographic position, its longer tradition of urbanization, the larger population, and a stronger economic base.

Do you want to read more about the Roma's History? Here the links to the other sections:

The Gospels portray an indecisive Pilate.

Josephus also mentioned Pilate’s notorious role in agreeing to the execution of Jesus. According to the Gospels, the Sanhedrin, an elite council of priestly and lay elders, arrested Jesus during the Jewish festival of Passover, deeply threatened by his teachings. They dragged him before Pilate to be tried for blasphemy𠅏or claiming, they said, to be King of the Jews. And they pressured Pilate, the only one with power to impose a death sentence, to call for his crucifixion.

Contrary to the depiction of Pilate as a merciless ruler by Philo and Josephus, all four Gospels portray him as a vacillating judge. According to the Gospel of Mark, Pilate came to the defense of Jesus before yielding to the desire of the crowd.

But Mark had an ulterior agenda, notes Patterson, since he wrote the Gospel in the midst of the failed Jewish Revolt against Roman rule between 66 and 70 A.D., while the Christian sect was undergoing a bitter break with Judaism and seeking to attract Roman converts.

“Mark’s purpose is not really historical,” Patterson says. “It’s to cast the Jewish War in a particular light. Mark blamed the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem for its destruction [during the rebellion] because the high priests and officials rejected Jesus when he had come to the city. Mark’s telling of the story of the trial of Jesus is less about Pilate and more about shifting the blame to the Jewish leaders.”

Pilate washing his hands, claiming Jesus&apos ultimate death would not be from his doing.

According to the Gospel of Matthew, Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd before announcing, “I am innocent of this man’s blood see to it yourselves.” The Jewish people shouted in response, “His blood be on us and our children.” It’s a passage that would be used for millennia to persecute the Jewish people.

“Matthew says that while the Romans actually carried out the deed, the Jews were responsible𠅊 line of argument that has of course had disastrous consequences ever since,” Bond says. “If Jesus was causing trouble at a gathering like Passover, when the city was crowded to bursting, I don’t think Pilate would have spent much time worrying about what to do with him. It was entirely up to the governor as to how he dealt with the case, and after hearing the evidence he no doubt thought that getting rid of Jesus was the best course of action.”

Another element of the New Testament story still unsupported by historical evidence is Pilate’s offer to commute the death sentence of a criminal by popular vote—which according to the Gospel writers was an annual Passover tradition. In the Gospels, the crowd chose the criminal Barabbas over Jesus. “Scholars have looked for evidence," Patterson says, and so far "have never found anything in reference to the so-called custom of releasing a prisoner on Passover.” 

Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars - Index OP

Octavia the Younger (69BC – c. 9BC), also known as Octavia Minor or simply Octavia, was the sister of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus (known also as Octavian), half-sister of Octavia the Elder, and fourth wife of Mark Antony. She was also the mother-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, great-grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, maternal grandmother of the Emperor Claudius, and paternal great-grandmother and maternal great-great grandmother of the Emperor Nero. Before 54BC her stepfather arranged her marriage to Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor, consul in 50BC.

BookOneXXVII In 54BC, her great-uncle Julius Caesar is said to have been anxious for her to divorce her husband so that she could marry Pompey who had just lost his wife Julia (Julius Caesar’s daughter, and thus Octavia’s cousin once removed). However, Pompey declined the proposal marrying Cornelia Metella. Her husband Gaius Marcellus continued to oppose Julius Caesar particularly during the crucial year of his consulship 50BC.

BookTwoIV Mentioned, as sister of Augustus.

BookTwoXXIX The Porticus Octaviae built by Augustus some time after 27BC in place of the Porticus Metelli, enclosed within its colonnaded walks the temples of Jupiter Stator and Juno Regina, next to the Theatre of Marcellus.

BookTwoLXI Her death, variously dated to 11BC - 9BC.

BookTwoLXIII BookThreeVI Her son Marcellus who married Julia, and daughter Claudia Marcella the Elder who married Agrippa.

BookTwoLXIV Germanicus was her grandson (son of her daughter by Mark Antony, Antonia the Younger).

BookFiveXLI She warned the young Claudius over the sensitivity of the work on history he was writing.

Octavia the Elder also known as Octavia Major was the daughter of the Roman governor and senator Gaius Octavius by his first wife, Ancharia. She was also an elder half-sister to Octavia the Younger and the Emperor Augustus.

Octavia , Claudia, (c. 40AD - 62AD) was a daughter of Claudius by his third marriage to Valeria Messalina. Claudius adopted Agrippina the Younger’s son Nero as his son and heir and arranged for Octavia and Nero to marry in 53AD. Nero subsequently banished Octavia to the island of Pandateria on a false charge of adultery, and finally had her executed.

BookFiveXXIV Her prospective husband was Lucius Junius Silanus, but the engagement was ended through Agrippina’s machinations.

BookFiveXXIX Her fiancée Lucius Silanus was executed on Claudius’s orders.

BookSixXXXV BookSixXLVI Her persecution by Nero ending in her execution.

BookSixLVII Nero died on the anniversary of her murder (9th June).

Octavius was a mentally disturbed individual

BookOneXLIX His abuse of Caesar, derived from the relationship with Nicomedes.

Octavius , of Velitrae, was a military leader, of the Octavii family.

Octavius , Gaius, the father of Augustus, was praetor in 61BC. Subsequently proconsul of Macedonia, he defeated several Thracian tribes, and was saluted imperator by his troops. He died suddenly at Nola in 58BC.

BookTwoI Mentioned as the first of his family to enter the Senate.

BookTwoVI He defeated outlawed slaves near Thurii.

BookTwoVIII He died when Augustus was five years old.

BookTwoXXVII His colleage as aedile was Gaius Toranius.

BookTwoXCIV His prescient dream of Augustus’ future power.

BookTwoC Augustus died in the same room at Nola as his father.

BookTwoCI Augustus exhausted his father’s legacy to him on State expenditure.

Octavius , Gaius was the paternal great-grandfather of Augustus, a tribunus militum in 216BC, during the Second Punic War. He survived the Battle of Cannae, and in 205BC served in Sicily under the praetor Lucius Aemilius Papus.

Octavius , Gaius was the paternal grandfather of Augustus, possessed considerable property, and lived quietly in his villa at Velitrae. He probably augmented his income by money-lending, for both Mark Antony and Cassius Parmensis called Augustus the grandson of a money-lender

Octavius , Gnaeus and Gaius were the two sons of Octavius Rufus. The elder held high office while the younger remained a simple equestrian.

Octavius Rufus , Gaius (properly Gnaeus) quaestor c. 230BC, was the paternal ancestor of Augustus.

Oculata . The Oculata sisters were Vestal Virgins who broke their vows under Domitian and whom he had executed.

Oedipus was the prince of Thebes who unknowingly killed his father, Laius, King of Thebes, taking his place and marrying his own mother Jocasta.

BookSixXLVI Nero sang the part of ‘Oedipus in Exile’.

Olympia was an extensive sanctuary complex of ancient Greece in Elis, and the site of the Olympic Games, which were held every four years, starting in 776BC according to tradition.

BookFourXXII BookFourLVII The Statue of Zeus (Jupiter) at Olympia was made by the Greek sculptor Phidias, circa 432BC at the site where it was erected in the Temple of Zeus. Caligula ordered its dissassembly and transport to Rome.

BookSixXII The Priestesses of Demeter were allowed to view the athletics contests there.

BookSixXXIII BookSixXXV Nero initiated a music competition as part of the Games in 67AD.

BookSixXXIV Nero drove a ten-horse chariot in the Games there.

Oppius , Gaius, was an intimate friend of Julius Caesar. He managed the dictator’s private affairs during his absence from Rome, and, together with Lucius Cornelius Balbus, exercised considerable influence in the city. According to Suetonius many authorities considered Oppius to have written the histories of the Spanish, African and Alexandrian wars which are printed among the works of Caesar. It is now generally held that he may possibly be the author only of the last. He also wrote a life of Caesar and the elder Scipio.

BookOneLII Supposedly knew of Caesarion’s paternity.

BookOneLIII His comment on Caesar’s indifference to food.

BookOneLVI His possible authorship of some of Caesar’s memoirs.

Oppius Sabinus , Gaius, was consul in 84AD, and Governor of Moesia in 85AD. In that year, he fought the Dacians near Novae. His force was destroyed and Sabinus decapitated.

Orcus was a god of the underworld in Roman mythology, more equivalent to the Roman Pluto than the Greek Hades. Orcus was by extension a name for the Underworld

BookSixXXXIX Nero is identified ironically as a ‘Lord of the Dead’.

BookSevenXXXI Otho was sacrificing to Dis, originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

Orestes , in Greek mythology, was the son of Agamemnon, murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, in retribution for the sacrifice of their daughter Iphigeneia in order to obtain favorable winds for the Greek voyage to Troy. Orestes avenged his father’s death by slaying his mother and her lover Aegisthus.

Ostia , the modern archaeological site known as Ostia Antica, was the main port for ancient Rome (19 miles northeast) and close to the modern town of Ostia. Once at the mouth (ostia) of the Tiber, due to silting and a drop in sea level, the site now lies 2 miles from the sea. The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its buildings, frescoes and mosaics. In 68BC, the town was sacked by pirates and destroyed. A walled town was re-built, by Cicero. The town was further developed under the influence of Tiberius, who commissioned its first Forum. A new harbor was excavated by Claudius. This harbour silted up, and another was built by Trajan and completed in 113AD. Ostia contained the earliest synagogue yet identified in Europe.

BookFourXV Caligula brought the ashes of his mother and brother Nero there.

BookFourLV Mentioned as a point of departure for North Africa.

BookFiveXVII Claudius sailed to Britain from there, but landed at Marseilles in 43AD.

BookFiveXX The Claudian harbour was started in 42AD and completed by Nero in 64AD.

BookFiveXXIV Claudius deprived the quaestors of their duties at Ostia.

BookFiveXXV BookEightVIII Claudius stationed troops there as firefighters.

BookFiveXXXVIII Claudius reprimanded its citizens for failing to meet him with boats when he reached the mouth of the Tiber.

BookFiveXL Claudius reacted angrily to a petition of the citizens.

BookSixXVI Nero planned to extend Rome’s walls to Ostia and build a sea-canal from there to the City.

BookSixXXVII Nero sailed the Tiber to Ostia on pleasure cruises.

BookSixXXXI Nero’s project to connect Ostia and Misenum.

BookSixXLVII Nero thought of fleeing to Ostia during his last days.

Otho , Marcus Salvius (28th April 32AD – 69AD), also called Marcus Salvius Otho Caesar Augustus, was Emperor for three months, from 15 January to 16 April 69AD. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors. Suetonius appears to miscalculate his age, 36, at death/interment, and also the length of his reign, ninety-two days, which agrees with Cassius Dio’s ninety if the day Otho seized power and the day of his death are excluded from the reign.

BookSevenXVII The mutiny in Germany, and Galba’s error, opened the way to his accession.

BookSevenXX Galba’s severed head delivered to him.

BookSevenXXIV Suetonius’ life of Otho follows.

BookSevenXLIV BookEightV BookEightVI Vitellius attacked him after he heard news of Galba’s assassination.

BookSevenXLV Vitellius received news of Otho’s death while still in Gaul.

Paconius , Marcus, was a legatus of Gaius Junius Silanus (consul in 10AD, and proconsul of Asia), and one of his accusers in 22AD (prior to Silanus’ banishment by Tiberius to the island of Cynthus). He was the father of Paconius Agrippinus the stoic philosopher.

BookThreeLXI He was executed by Tiberius for treason.

Pacuvius , Marcus (220BC - 130BC) was the greatest of the tragic poets of ancient Rome prior to Lucius Accius. He was the nephew and pupil of Ennius.

BookOneLXXXIV A quotation from his play Armorum Judicium.

Paetus , Publius Clodius Thrasea, see Clodius

Palatine Hill , the hill is the most central of the Seven Hills of Rome and one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands 40 metres above the Forum Romanum, looking down on it on one side, and on the Circus Maximus on the other. Many affluent Romans of the Republican period had their residences there. During the Empire several emperors resided there in fact, the ruins of the palaces of Augustus, Tiberius, and Domitian can still be seen. Augustus also built a temple to Apollo there, beside his own palace. The Palatine Hill was also the site of the festival of the Lupercalia.

BookTwoV Augustus born there in the Ox-Heads quarter.

BookTwoLVII BookTwoLXXII Augustus’ house there destroyed by fire in 3AD, and rebuilt.

BookFourLVI The Palatine Games mentioned were held in honour of Augustus. Caligula was assassinated on the last day, the fourth, January 24th 41AD.

BookSixXXXI BookSixXXXVIII Nero’s Golden House, the Domus Aurea complex, covered parts of the slopes of the Palatine, Esquiline and Caelian hills.

Palfurius Sura , was a courtier under Nero, expelled from the Senate by Vespasian and re-instated by Domitian under whom he acted as an informer. He was a Stoic, and orator of some note. He was tried and executed under Trajan.

BookEightXLIX A public call for his re-instatement in the Senate.

Pallas , Marcus Antonius, (c. 1AD – 63AD) was a prominent Greek freedman and secretary during the reigns of the Emperors Claudius and Nero. His younger brother was Marcus Antonius Felix, procurator of Iudaea. Pallas was originally a slave of Antonia the Younger, Claudius’s mother. He served as secretary to the Treasury under Claudius and amassed great wealth. He was dismissed by Nero in 55AD and killed in 63AD.

Palumbus , meaning the Dove, was a gladiator, whose name Claudius made a joke on.

Pandataria , or Pandateria, the modern Ventotene, is an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, 25 nautical miles off the coast of Gaeta at the border between Lazio and Campania. It is the remains of an ancient volcano, and part of the Pontine Islands. The island has a length of 3 kilometres and a maximum width of about 800 metres. It is the island to which Augustus banished his daughter Julia the Elder in 2BC, and Tiberius banished his grandniece Agrippina the Elder in 29AD. It was also where Agrippina's youngest daughter, Julia Livilla was exiled twice by her brother Caligula for plotting to depose him, and by her uncle, Claudius, at the instigation of his wife, Messalina, in 41AD. Claudia Octavia, the first wife of Nero, was banished to Pandateria in 62AD and executed on the orders of her husband.

BookThreeLIII Agrippina’s banishment there.

BookFourXV Caligula recovered Agrippina’s ashes from there in 37AD.

Paneros , was a noted moneylender under Nero.

BookSixXXX Nero lavished gifts and money on him.

Pannonians were the Illyrian inhabitants of Pannonia the Roman province, bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. In 35BC as allies of the Dalmatians they were attacked by Augustus, who conquered and occupied Siscia (Sisak). The country was not, however subdued until 9BC, when it was incorporated into Illyricum, the frontier of which was thus extended as far as the Danube. In 6AD, the Pannonians, with the Dalmatians and other Illyrian tribes, revolted, and were overcome by Tiberius and Germanicus, after a three year campaign. Later Illyricum was dissolved, its lands divided between two new provinces of Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south.

BookThreeXVII Tiberius’ successful campaign there in 6AD - 9AD.

BookThreeXX Bato was a chieftain of the Pannonians.

BookSevenXXXII Otho drew on troops from Pannonia in 69AD.

BookSevenL The legions in Pannonia swore allegiance to Vespasian in 69AD.

Paphos , old Paphos, modern Kouklia, on Cyprus, was not far distant from the Zephyrium promontory and the mouth of the River Bocarus, about 16 kilometres from new Paphos, the modern city. The temple of Venus-Aphrodite there was rebuilt by Vespasian after an earthquake.

BookEightXXX Titus consulted the oracle of Venus-Aphrodite there.

Parilia , or Palilia, was the festival celebrated at Rome every year on the 21st of April, in honour of Pales, the tutelary divinity of shepherds. This was also the day of the year on which Romulus supposedly commenced the building of the city, so that the festival was at the same time solemnized as the birthday of Rome itself.

BookFourXVI Caligula’s accession was presumably dated by the Senate decree as taking place on the Parilia. He had entered Rome on the 28th March 37AD, after Tiberius’s death on the 16th.

Paris , Lucius Domitius, was an actor in the Roman theatre of Nero’s time. He was a slave of Domitia Lepida who became wealthy enough to buy his freedom, adding her praenomen and cognomen to his own name. Nero later declared him freeborn, despite his involvement in Lepida’s plotting.

BookSixLIV It was claimed he was executed by Nero (in 67AD), out of jealousy.

Paris was the prince of Troy who abducted and married Helen of Sparta, thereby initiating the Trojan War, according to Homer’s Iliad.

BookEightXLVI Oenone was a mountain nymph, Paris’s first wife, whom he abandoned for Helen.

Paris was an actor in the Roman theatre of Domitian’s time. According to Suetonius he had an affair with Domitian’s wife Domitia Augusta.

BookEightXLVI Perhaps this implies that he had Paris executed also.

Parrhasius of Ephesus was the son of Evenor. He settled in Athens, and was distinguished as a painter before 399BC. His picture of Theseus adorned the Capitol in Rome. His other works, besides the obscene subjects with which he is said to have amused his leisure, are chiefly mythological groups.

BookThreeXLIV An erotic painting by him.

Parthenius of Nicaea, or Myrlea in Bithynia, was a Greek grammarian and poet. He was taken prisoner by Cinna during the Mithridatic Wars and brought to Rome in 72BC. He subsequently visited Neapolis, where he taught Greek to Virgil, according to Macrobius. He is said to have lived until the accession of Tiberius in 14AD. He was a writer of elegies, especially dirges, and of short epic poems, and was sometimes called ‘the last of the Alexandrians’.

Parthenius was Domitian’s Head Valet, who took part in the conspiracy to assassinate the Emperor in 96AD. He persuaded Nerva to take power but was killed shortly afterwards by soldiers, along with the other conspirators.

Parthians , Parthia is a region of north-eastern Iran, best known for having been the political and cultural base of the Arsacid dynasty, rulers of the Parthian Empire. The Romans and Parthians fought a series of wars beginning with Crassus’ invasion in 52BC - 53BC and ending with Macrinus’ ignominious defeat and retreat in 217AD. During this time it became clear to both sides that a natural boundary existed in northern Mesopotamia beyond which it was difficult, if not impossible, for either side to maintain a permanent foothold.

BookOneLXXIX It was prophesied that only a king would conquer them.

BookTwoXIX Asinius Epicadus a mixed-race conspirator of Parthian descent.

BookTwoXXI They accepted Augustus’ claim to Armenia (Mark Antony had annexed in it 34BC)

BookTwoXLIII Augustus paraded Parthian hostages at the Games.

BookThreeIX Crassus lost the standards there, and was killed, in 53BC.

BookThreeXVI They send envoys to Augustus (c. 4AD).

BookThreeXLI Allowed to overrun Armenia c. 30AD - 37AD.

BookThreeXLIX Vonones I was king of Parthia and later Armenia.

BookFourV Tokens of mourning in the Parthian court at Germanicus’s death.

BookFiveXXV Their envoys at the court of Claudius.

BookSixXXXIX The Parthians were noted archers, firing from horseback.

BookSixXLVII Nero considered throwing himself on their mercy during his last days.

BookSixLVII Their support mentioned for the Pseudo-Neros, who claimed to be reincarnations of Nero (c. 80AD and 88AD).

BookEightXXIII Their king referred to, possibly the accession of Vologases II, or Pacorus II his uncle who deposed him c. 79AD.

Pasiphae , the wife of Minos of Crete in Greek mythology, was impregnated by a bull from the sea.

BookSixXII The myth was enacted at Nero’s entertainment.

BookSevenII Galba traced his maternal ancestry back to Pasiphae.

Passienus Crispus , Gaius Sallustius (d. 47AD) was the adopted grandson and biological great, great nephew of the historian Sallust. He was consul in 27AD and 44AD. His first marriage was to Augustus’ great niece Domitia in 33AD. Passienus married Agrippina the Younger in 41AD. His stepson was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who would later become the Roman Emperor Nero. Passienus died in 47AD, possibly poisoned by his wife.

BookSixVI He bequeathefd an inheritance to his stepson Nero.

Patavium , the modern Padua, is on the Bacchiglione River, 40 km west of Venice and 29 km southeast of Vicenza. The Brenta River, which once ran through the city, still touches the northern districts. To the city’s south west lie the Euganean Hills. Padua claims to be the oldest city in northern Italy. According to tradition it was founded in 1183BC by the Trojan prince Antenor. The city was a Roman municipium from 45BC. The hot springs at Abano Terme, 10km southwest, were known to the Romans as Aponi fons (the springs of Aponus, or perhaps Maponus the Celtic god equated with Apollo, and celebrated as Apollo Aponus at Ribchester). An oracle of Geryon (whose myth is connected to Heracles, the sun-hero, and whose island lay in the far west, and who is perhaps therefore a mask of Apollo) was situated nearby, and the sortes Praenestinae, small inscribed bronze cylinders found there in the 16th century, may have been the oracular lots.

BookThreeXIV Tiberius consulted the oracle nearby.

Patrobius Neronianus was a favourite freedman of Nero’s put to death by Galba in 68AD after being paraded in chains through Rome.

BookSevenXX His freedman avenged him, by purchasing Galba’s severed head in order to throw it down on the spot where his patron was killed.

Pedius , Quintus (d. 43BC) was the great nephew of Julius Caesar. In 57BC he served as general during Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. During the Civil War in 49BC, he allied himself with Caesar. In 48BC, he was promoted to the praetorship in Rome and in that year killed Titus Annius Milo. In early 45BC, he served as a legatus against Sextus Pompeius in Spain. Pedius claimed victory and Caesar honored him with a triumph and the title of proconsul. In Caesar’s will, Pedius was named as an heir, but renounced his inheritance in favor of the main heir, his cousin Octavian (Augustus). In August 43BC, Octavian and Pedius were elected as consuls after marching on Rome with an army. During the consulship, Pedius created a law called the Lex Pedia which sentenced the murderers of Caesar or those who called for Caesar’s death. Pedius controlled Rome, while Octavian left for Northern Italy to join Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, in forming the Second Triumvirate.

BookOneLXXXIII He inherited an eighth of Caesar’s estate.

BookSixIII Gnaeus Domitius was condemned under the Lex Pedia.

Peloponnese , is the large peninsula and region in southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth. During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea a name still in colloquial use.

BookTwoXVII Augustus’ met with a storm at sea between there and Aetolia in 30BC.

Pergamon , Pergamum or Pérgamo was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey, in Mysia, today located 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus (modern Bakırçay), and was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281BC – 133BC. The main sites of ancient Pergamon are to the north and west of the modern city of Bergama.

Perusia , modern Perugia, first appears as one of the 12 confederate cities of Etruria. It is first mentioned in the account of the war of 310/309BC between the Etruscans and the Romans. In 216BC and 205BC it assisted Rome in the Hannibalic war, but afterward it is not mentioned until 41BC - 40BC, when Lucius Antonius took refuge there and the city was reduced by Octavian after a long siege.

BookTwoXCVI A prophecy of Augustus’ victory there.

BookThreeIV Tiberius father, Tiberius Nero, fought there.

Petreius , Marcus (110BC – April 46BC) was a politician and general. He cornered and killed the notorious rebel Catiline at Pistoria. From 55BC, he and Lucius Afranius administered the Spanish provinces as Legates, while the official governor Pompey remained in Rome. After the outbreak of the Civil War in 49BC, Petreius and Afranius marched against Caesar, who wished to secure Spain before moving against Pompey in Greece. The two Legates were forced to capitulate and disband their army on August 2 at Ilerda. Caesar allowed Petreius and Afranius their freedom, and the two traveled to Greece to join Pompey. After Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalus, they fled from the Peloponnese to North Africa, where Petreius continued to serve as Legate. Together with Titus Labienus, Petreius again achieved several successes against Caesar. After the defeat of the Pompeians at Thapsus, Petreius fled with the Numidian King, Juba. As they realized the hopelessness of their situation, Petreius and Juba took their lives on an estate near Zama: Petreius and Juba decided upon a duel, in which Petreius killed Juba. Petreius then took his own life with the help of a slave.

Petronia was the first wife (before 40AD) of the emperor Vitellius and the daughter of Petronius Pontius Nigrinus. She and Vitellius had a son Aulus Vitellius Petronianus. She subsequently married Cornelius Dolabella who was executed on Vitellius’s accession in 69AD.

Petronianus was the son of Vitellius and Petronia. He was blind in one eye.

Phaethon , in Greek mythology, was the son of the Sun-god, Helios, who borrowed his father’s chariot and was unable to control the horses of the sun, thereby scorching the earth and falling from the chariot to his death.

Phaon was a freedman of the Emperor Nero.

BookSixXLVIII BookSixXLIX He offered his villa in the north-eastern suburbs as a hiding place for Nero. The Via Nomentana ran from Rome to Nomentum (Mentana), it merged beyond Nomentum with the Via Salaria which ran from Rome to Castrum Truentinum (Porto d’Ascoli) on the Adriatic coast.

Pharmacussa , modern Pharmakonisi (Farmakonisi), is an island between the Dodecanese islands to the west, and the coast of Asia Minor (Turkey) to the east. To the north is the island of Agathonissi, to the west the islands of Lipsi, Patmos and Leros, and to the south the islands of Kalymnos and Pserimos. It is two square miles in area, and known traditionally for its rich flora, hence the name.

BookOneIV Julius Caesar was captured by pirates off the island.

Pharnaces II , (d. 47BC) was the son of Mithridates VI, an enemy of the Roman Republic. In 49BC, civil war broke out between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and Pharnaces made himself ruler of Colchis and Lesser Armenia. Deiotarus, the king of Lesser and the Romans fought Pharnaces at Nicopolis in Anatolia. Pharnaces defeated the small Roman army and overran Pontus. Caesar subsequently brought him to battle near Zela (modern Zile inTurkey), where Pharnaces was routed and escaped with a small detachment of cavalry. The historian Appian states that he died in battle Cassius Dio says he was captured and killed.

Pharsalus , now Farsala, is a city in southern Thessaly, in Greece, located in the southern part of Larissa Prefecture. A decisive battle of Caesar’s Civil War was fought there, on 9 August 48BC when Caesar and his allies defeated Pompey.

BookOneLXIII An incident after the battle, when Caesar crossed the Hellespont.

BookSixII Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, the consul of 54BC, died there.

BookEightI Vespasian’s paternal grandfather fought there.

Philemon was a slave who acted as Caesar’s amanuensis.

BookOneLXXIV He conspired to poison Caesar, the plot failed, and was executed, but Caesar showed clemency in not having him tortured.

Philip II (382BC – 336BC) was king of Macedon from 359BC until his assassination in 336BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great. He was reputedly killed by one of his bodyguards, Pausanias of Orestis.

BookFourLVII Mnester ominously danced the tragedy Cinyras on the day of Caligula’s assassination, which had been played at the death of Philip.

Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian and those of Julius Caesar’s assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. It took place in 42BC, at Philippi in Macedonia. Cassius was defeated by Antony, and committed suicide after hearing a false report that Brutus had also failed. A second encounter defeated Brutus’ forces, and he committed suicide in turn, leaving the Triumvirate in control of the Roman Republic.

BookTwoIX BookTwoXIII Augustus (Octavian) involved in civil war there.

BookTwoXXII Augustus received an ovation or minor triumph after Philippi in 40BC.

BookTwoXCI A warning in a friend’s dream that saved Augustus’ life there.

BookTwoXCVI A prophecy of Augustus’ victory there.

BookThreeV Tiberius born during the Civil War that ended there.

BookThreeXIV The altars there burst into flame when Tiberius passed by in 20BC.

Phoebe , was a freedwoman in Julia the Elder’s confidence who comitted suicide.

Phyllis was nurse to Domitian. She cremated his body and mingled the ashes with those of Flavia Julia Titi, who had also been one of her charges.

Picenum , a region of ancient Italy, was the birthplace of Pompey and his father Pompeius Strabo. It was situated in what is now the region of Marche in modern Italy.

Pinarius , a knight suspected of being a spy by Augustus.

Pinarius Scarpus , Lucius was a great nephew of the dictator Gaius Julius Caesar through one of his sisters (sororum nepotes). His cousins were the consul Quintus Pedius, Octavia Minor (the fourth wife of Triumvir Mark Antony) and Octavian (Augustus).

BookOneLXXXIII He inherited an eighth of Caesar’s estate.

Pincian Hill : the hill lies to the north of the Quirinal, overlooking the Campus Martius. Several important families in Ancient Rome had villas and gardens (horti) on the south-facing slopes in the late Roman Republic, including the Horti Lucullani (created by Lucullus), the Horti Sallustiani (created by the historian Sallust), the Horti Pompeiani, and the Horti Aciliorum. The hill came to be known in Roman times as Collis Hortulorum (the Hill of Gardens). Its current name comes from the Pincii, one of the families that occupied it in the 4th century AD.

BookSixL The site of the family tomb of the Domitii.

Pitholaus , Lucius or Marcus, Voltacilius,was an orator and historian. From 81BC onwards he taught rhetoric in Rome, and his students included Pompey whose biography he wrote. He also produced a history of Rome (Suetonius De illustribus Grammaticis, 27). The Pitholeon mentioned in Horace’s Satires (1, 10, 22), has been claimed as the same person.

BookOneLXXV Lampooned Caesar but was not prosecuted.

Placentia , the modern Piacenza, is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It lies at the confluence of the Trebbia, which drains the northern Apennines, and the River Po. Piacenza (like Cremona) was founded as a Roman military colony in May of 218BC.

BookOneLXIX In 47BC, Caesar faced a mutiny of his veteran Gallic legions billeted in Placentia, who refused to cross to Africa to fight Pompey. He disbanded the Ninth before re-instating it, while the Tenth marched to Rome demanding their discharges, back-pay and bonuses.

BookSevenXXXII Otho’s army won a minor engagement there in 69AD.

Plautia Urgulanilla was the first wife of Claudius. Claudius divorced her c. 24AD, on grounds of adultery and his suspicion of her involvement in the murder of her sister-in-law Apronia. Her father was Marcus Plautius Silvanus, consul for the year 2BC. She gave birth to a son, Claudius Drusus (who died young), and a daughter, Claudia, who was born five months after the divorce. As Claudia was widely assumed to be the illegitimate daughter of the freedman Boter, Claudius repudiated the child.

BookFiveXXVII Her children Drusus and Claudia.

Plautius , Aulus was suffect consul for the second half of 29AD, and held a provincial governorship, probably of Pannonia, in the early years of Claudius’s reign. He led the Roman conquest of Britain in 43AD, and became the first governor of the new province, serving from 43AD to 47AD.

BookEightIV Vespasian fought under him in Britain.

Plautius , Aulus was possibly the son of the Aulus Plautius who conquered Britain. He was allegedly the lover of Agrippina the Younger, and was murdered by Nero.

Plautius , Rufus, was convicted of conspiring against Augustus possibly in 6BC.

Plautius Silvanus , Marcus, was consul in 2BC and proconsul of Asia in 4AD - 5AD. He also served in Pannonia in 9AD, and Dalmatia and Illyricum in the time of the Great Illyrian Revolt. He had a son of the same name who was praetor in 24AD, and a daughter Plautia Urgulanilla who married Claudius c. 9AD.

Plinius Secundus , Gaius (23AD – 79AD), known as Pliny the Elder, was an author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian. He wrote an encyclopedic work, Naturalis Historia. He died on August 25, 79AD, while attempting a rescue by ship from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum.

BookFourVIII One of Suetonius’s sources.

Plotius , unknown sponsor of a bill to recall Lucius Cornelius Cinna and others from exile.

Polemon Pythodorus , Marcus Antonius, Polemon II of Pontus (c. 11BC - 74AD) was a Roman client king. Through his maternal grandmother he was a direct descendant of Mark Antony. In 38AD, he succeeded his mother as the sole ruler of Pontus, Colchis and Cilicia. In 62, Nero induced Polemon to abdicate the Pontian throne, and Pontus, including Colchis, became a Roman province. From then until his death, Polemon only ruled Cilicia.

BookSixXVIII Pontus was changed from a client kingdom to a province by Nero in 62AD.

Pollentia , modern Pollenzo, is a city the left bank of the Tanaroin the Province of Cuneo, Piedmont. In antiquity Pollentia was in the territory of the Ligurian Statielli, with Augusta Bagiennorum (modern Roncaglia) 16 km to its south. Its position on the road from Augusta Taurinorum (modern Turin) to the coast at Vada Sabatia (modern Vado Ligure, near Savona), at the point of divergence of a road to Hasta (modern Asti) gave it military importance.Decimus Brutus managed to occupy it an hour before Mark Antony in 43BC.

Pollux , or Polydeuces, and Castor were twin brothers in Greek and Roman mythology, the Dioscuri or Gemini. They were the sons of Leda by Tyndareus and Zeus respectively. Their role as divine horsemen made them particularly attractive to the Roman equites and cavalry. Each year on July 15, the feast day of the Dioskouroi, the 1,800 equestrians would parade through the streets of Rome in an elaborate spectacle. The construction of the Temple ofCastor and Pollux, in the Roman Forum was undertaken to fulfil a vow sworn by Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis in gratitude for the Roman victory at the Battle of Lake Regillus c. 498BC. According to legend, the twins fought at the head of the Roman army and subsequently brought news of the victory back to Rome.

BookThreeXX BookFourXXII The archaic temple was completely reconstructed and enlarged in 117BC by Lucius Cecilius Metellus Dalmaticus after his victory over the Dalmatians. Gaius Verres again restored this second temple in 73BC. Tiberius rebuilt and restored the Temple, destroyed by fire in 14BC, and re-dedicated it in 6AD. The remains visible today are from the temple of Tiberius, except the podium, which is from the time of Metellus. Caligula incorporated the Temple into the Palace complex, as its vestibule.

BookSixI The twins’ presence at the battle of Lake Regillus. They sent Lucius Domitius to carry the news of the victory to Rome.

Polus was a freedman of Augustus forced to take his own life for adultery with Roman wives.

Polybius , was a freedman secretary of Augustus.

BookTwoCI He helped transcribe Augustus’ last will in 13AD.

Polybius , Gaius Iulius, was a freedman of Claudius’s who assisted Claudius as a researcher and took up an official role in the imperial bureaucracy, with the title ‘a studiis’. He was executed for crimes against the state.

BookFiveXXVIII Granted special privileges.

Polycrates , son of Aeaces, was the ‘enlightened’ tyrant of Samos from c. 538BC to 522BC. He plundered the islands of the Aegean and the cities on the Ionian coast of Asia Minor, defeating the navies of Lesbos and Miletus. On Samos he built an aqueduct, a temple of Hera (the Heraion) and a palace.

BookFourXXI Caligula planned to restore his palace on Samos, mentioned by Herodotus (History of the Persian Wars, Book III:42). Its site was at Pythagorion.

Pompeia , daughter of Quintus Pompeius Rufus, a son of a former consul, and Cornelia, the daughter of the Roman dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla, was the second wife of Julius Caesar.

BookOneLXXIV Accused of adultery with Publius Clodius.

Pompeia Magna , daughter of Pompey, (b. 80/75BC – d. before 35BC) was the only daughter and second child born of Pompey from his third marriage, to Mucia Tertia. Her eldest brother was Gnaeus Pompeius and her younger brother was Sextus Pompey. Pompeia was betrothed to Quintus Servilius Caepio, but married Faustus Cornelius Sulla, a politician who was the son of the dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla by his wife Caecilia Metella. In about 47BC, Faustus died in the African War against Julius Caesar. Her two sons fell into Caesar’s hands however he dismissed and pardoned them. After 46BC, Pompeia married politician Lucius Cornelius Cinna, who was brother of Julius Caesar’s first wife Cornelia Cinna minor and the maternal uncle of Caesar’s late daughter with Cornelia, Julia Caesaris.

BookOneXXVII Caesar asked unsuccessfully for her hand as part of a political arrangement with Pompey.

BookThreeVI Her gifts to the infant Tiberius in 40BC.

Pompeius , was an unknown Equestrian who annoyed Tiberius in the Senate.

Pompeius , Sextus, was consul in the year of Augustus’ death. He was a descendant of Pompey the Great, was related to Augustus, was a friend of Germanicus, and became proconsul of Asia.

Pompeius Magnus Pius , Sextus (67BC - 35BC), or Sextus Pompey, was the youngest son of Pompey the Great (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) by his third wife, Mucia Tertia. His elder brother was Gnaeus Pompeius. In 45BC, Caesar managed to defeat the Pompeius brothers at the battle of Munda, in Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal). Gnaeus Pompeius was executed, but Sextus escaped to Sicily. Following concerted opposition to Mark Antony he was captured in Miletus in 35BC and executed without trial (an illegal act since Sextus was a Roman citizen).

BookOneXXXV BookOneXXXVI BookTwoVIII BookTwoIX Defeated by the forces of Augustus (Octavian) at Munda in 45BC.

BookTwoXVI BookTwoXLVII Defeated in the naval battles at Mylae and Naulochus in 36BC.

BookTwoLXVII He accused Augustus of homosexuality.

BookTwoLXXIV His admiral Menas betrayed him.

BookThreeIV He offended Tiberius father, Tiberius Nero.

Pompeius Macer , Gnaeus, a praetor in Tiberius’ reign, he had been appointed by Augustus to oversee the setting in order of his libraries.

BookOneLVI Forbidden by Augustus to circulate some of Caesar’s minor works.

Pompeius Magnus , Gnaeus (Pompey) (106BC – 48BC) He came from a wealthy Italian provincial background, and established himself in the ranks of the nobility by successful leadership in several campaigns. Sulla addressed him by the cognomen Magnus (the Great) and he was awarded three triumphs. He joined his rival Marcus Licinius Crassus and his ally and father-in-law Julius Caesar in the military-political alliance known as the First Triumvirate. After the deaths of Crassus and Julia, Pompey’s wife and Caesar’s daughter, Pompey and Caesar contended the leadership of the Roman state in a civil war. Pompey sided with the optimates, the conservative and aristocratic majority of the Roman Senate. When Caesar defeated him at the battle of Pharsalus he sought refuge in Egypt, where he was assassinated.

BookOneXV Caesar proposed Pompey take over the Capitol restorations.

BookOneXIX He was a member of the First Triumvirate with Caesar and Crassus, which was unofficial, and lasted from 60BC until Crassus’ death in 53BC.

BookOneXX Caesar fabricated the tale of a plot against Pompey’s life, for political purposes.

BookOneXXI BookOneXXII His marriage to Caesar’s daughter, Julia.

BookOneXXIV The First Triumvirate re-affirmed at Lucca in 56BC.

BookOneXXVI Nominated as sole consul for 52BC.

BookOneXXVIII His Senate bill regulating official privileges.

BookOneXXIX Caesar believed his veterans were superior to Pompey’s newly levied troops in 50BC.

BookOneXXX Quoted regarding Caesar’s need for public turmoil.

BookOneXXXIV He fled to Epirus via Brundisium in 49BC.

BookOneXXXVI BookOneLXVIII His incomplete victory over Caesar at Dyrrachium in 48BC where Caesar was forced to retreat, but Pompey failed to pursue the advantage.

BookOneL Caesar was reputed to have had an affair with his wife, Mucia.

BookOneLIV Caesar extorted tribute from Ptolemy XII for himself and Pompey.

BookOneLXXV He treated political neutrals as enemies.

BookOneLXXX BookOneLXXXIV BookTwoXXXI BookTwoXLV BookThreeXLVII BookFourXXI BookFiveXI BookFiveXXI BookSixXLVI The Portico of Pompey was in his Theatre complex, on the edge of the Campus Martius, and was dedicated early in 55BC. The theatre was one of the first permanent (non-wooden) theatres in Rome and was considered the world's largest theatre for centuries. The East Portico was the probable place of Julius Caesar’s assassination. Augustus relocated Pompey’s statue there. It was damaged by fire in 21AD, after which Tiberius undertook to restore it, though the restoration was not completed until after his death, by Caligula and Claudius. An arch dedicated to Tiberius was built nearby. The temple of Venus Victrix was sited at the top of the theatre with the auditorium setas forming a tiered approach to it, along with shrines of Honos, Virtus and Felicitas. The theatre was also decorated with statues of the fourteen nations Pompey had subdued, sculpted by Coponius, and placed at the entrance to the porticoes, which gave the entrance hall its name of the Porticus ad Nationes: it was later restored by Augustus.

BookOneLXXXI The king-bird, avis regaliolus, seen in the Portico, suggests, based on various myths and legends, the wren, or one of the crested kinglets (firecrest, goldcrest etc).

BookTwoIV Atius Balbus related to him through Balbus’ mother Pompeia.

BookThreeXV Pompey’s house on the Esquiline was on the modern Via di Grotta Pinta, in the Carinae district, near the temple of Tellus. The house was ornamented with a rostra, the beak-like prow of a captured pirate ship, and therefore called Domus Rostrata. After Pompey’s death the house, was granted to Antony by Julius Caesar. The house later became the property of Tiberius, and the Imperial family.

BookEightI Vespasian’s grandfather fought for Pompey.

Pompeius Magnus , Gnaeus (d. 47AD) was a son of the consul of the year 27AD, Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi. He married Claudia Antonia, Claudius’ daughter in 43AD.

BookFourXXXV Caligula deprived him and his descendants of the surname Magnus ‘Great’.

BookFiveXXVII Mentioned as the first husband of Claudia Antonia.

BookFiveXXIX Executed on Claudius’s orders.

Pompeius Rufus , Quintus (d. 87BC), was the son of Quintus Pompeius Rufus, consul in 88BC, by an unnamed woman. He married Cornelia Sulla, the first daughter of the dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Cornelia and Pompeius had two children a son Quintus Pompeius Rufus and a daughter Pompeia, who married the future dictator Gaius Julius Caesar as his second wife. He was murdered in the Roman Forum in 88BC, by the supporters of Gaius Marius.

Pomponius Flaccus , Lucius, the brother of Ovid’s friend Graecinus, served in Moesia c. 12AD and again as governor in 18AD or 19AD. He was subsequently Governor of Syria in 32AD (Tacitus Annales 6.27). He was an energetic soldier, close to Tiberius.

BookThreeXLII A drinking companion of Tiberius, he was rewarded by him with the Governorship of Syria.

Pomptine , the Pontine Marshes, termed Pomptinus Ager by Livy, Pomptina Palus (singular) and Pomptinae Paludes (plural) by Pliny the Elder, today the Agro Pontino, is an approximately quadrangular area of former marshland in the Lazio Region of Central Italy. Sparsely inhabited throughout much of their history, the Pontine Marshes were the subject of extensive land reclamation work performed periodically.

BookOneXLIV Caesar’s plans to further drain the marshes.

Pontia or Pontiae, the modern Ponza, is an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, opposite the Circeian promontory. It is the most considerable of a group of three small volcanic islands and is about 5 miles long, but in places only a few hundred yards across. The two minor islands of the group, Palmaruola and Zannone, are at the present day uninhabited. It was here that Nero, the eldest son of Germanicus, was put to death by order of Tiberius.

BookThreeLIV Nero, the son of Germanicus, killed there.

BookFourXV Caligula, his brother, recovered Nero’s ashes from there in 37AD.

Pontius Aquila (d. 43BC) was a tribune of the plebs, probably in the year 45BC. A staunch Republican, Pontius was one of Caesar’s assassins. After the Ides of March, he served Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus as a legate in Cisalpine Gaul. He defeated T. Munatius Plancus, and drove him out of Pollentia. However, he fell at the Battle of Mutina, in which Aulus Hirtius decisively defeated Mark Antony.

BookOneLXXVIII Offended Caesar, by not rising as a mark of respect.

Pontius Nigrinus , Gaius Petronius was consul in 37AD the year of Tiberius’s death.

Pontus , the Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day northeastern Turkey. The name was derived from the Greek name for the Black Sea: Pontos Euxeinos (‘Hospitable Sea’), or simply Pontos. With the subjection of the kingdom by Pompey in 64BC, part was now annexed to the Roman Empire, being united with Bithynia in a double province called Pontus and Bithynia: this part included only the seaboard between Heraclea (Ereğli) and Amisus (Samsun), the ora Pontica.

BookOneXXXVI Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus crushed by Pharnaces there at Nicopolis in Armenia in 48BC.

BookOneXXXVII Regarding the speed of his Pontic Campaign Caesar coined the phrase: Veni, Vidi, Vici, ‘I came, I saw, I conquered.’

BookOneXLIV Caesar’s plans to push back the Dacian incursions there.

BookSixXVIII The eastern half of Pontus was changed from a client kingdom to a province by Nero in 62AD.

Poppaea Sabina (30AD - 65AD) after 63AD known as Poppaea Augusta Sabina and sometimes referred to as Poppaea Sabina the Younger to differentiate her from her mother of the same name, was the second wife of the Emperor Nero from 62AD. Prior to this she was the wife of the future Emperor Otho.

BookSixXXXV Her marriage to Nero, and his treatment of her leading to her death, as well as the death of her son Rufrius Crispinus mentioned.

BookSevenXXVI Her relationship with Otho mentioned.

Poppaeus Sabinus , Gaius (d. 35AD), consul in 9AD, was governor of Moesia under Augustus, and in 15AD Tiberius confirmed his governorship and added Achaia and Macedonia. He governed till his death. He was granted triumphal ornaments in 26AD for action against the Thracians. He was the maternal grandfather of Poppaea Sabina, Nero’s wife.

BookEightII Vespasian was born in his consulship.

Porius was a gladiator, an essedarius who fought from a British chariot, who set a slave free to celebrate a victory.

BookFourXXXV Caligula envied him the adulation he received from the crowd.

Posides was a freedman of Claudius, and a eunuch.

BookFiveXXVIII Claudius awarded him a military prize.

Postumia , the wife of Servius Sulpicius.

BookOneL Caesar was reputed to have had an affair with her.

Praeneste , modern Palestrina, is a city, c. 35 km east of Rome, and connected to it by the Via Prenestina. Its citizens were offered Roman citizenship in 90BC during the Social War. Later the city was removed from the hillside to the lower ground at the Madonna dell Aquila, and the sanctuary and temple of Fortune was enlarged so as to include much of the space occupied by the ancient city. Under the Empire it was a favorite summer resort of wealthy Romans. Horace ranked ‘cool Praeneste’ with Tibur and Baiae as favored resorts.

BookThreeIV Tiberius father, Tiberius Nero, took refuge there.

BookThreeLXIII BookEightLI The Temple of Fortuna Primigenia was connected with the oracle known as the Praenestine lots (sortes praenestinae). The temple was redeveloped after 82BC on four levels, linked by monumental stairs and ramps. The oracle continued to be consulted, until Constantine the Great, and later Theodosius I, forbade the practice.

Priam , was the King of Troy in Homer’s Iliad.

BookThreeLXII He saw his whole family destroyed by the Greeks.

Priapus was a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, and gardens, and associated for fertility reasons with the male genitalia.

BookFourLVI His name used as a mock password by Caligula.

Proserpine , the Greek Persephone, was abducted and raped by Pluto, the Greek Dis, King of the Underworld, and forced to remain with him for six months of each year, as Queen of the Dead.

Psylli , were members of an ancient North African tribe or ethnic group. It is claimed that they employed tests in order to find out if their offspring was genuine and their wives faithful. Infant Psylli were subjected to snake-bites. If the infant died of the snakebite, illegitimacy was supposed to be implied.

BookTwoXVII Augustus supposedly summoned them to try and save Cleopatra’s life.

Ptolemy XII (Auletes) (117BC – 51BC) was a Hellenistic ruler of Egypt of Macedonian descent. He is assumed to have been an illegitimate son of Ptolemy IX Soter since it can not be confirmed if he was the son of Cleopatra IV of Egypt. His reign as king was interrupted by a general rebellion that resulted in his exile from 58BC – 55BC. Thus, Ptolemy XII ruled Egypt from 80BC – 58BC and from 55BC until his death in 51BC.

BookOneXI Rejected as an illegitimate ruler by the Alexandrians.

BookOneLIV Caesar extorted tribute from him for himself and Pompey.

BookTwoXVIII The Tomb of the Ptolemies mentioned.

BookFiveXVI His refusal to repay a loan mentioned.

Ptolemy XIII , Theos Philopator (62/61BC – 47BC, reigned from 51BC) was one of the last members of the Ptolemaic dynasty (305BC – 30BC) of Egypt. After opposing Caesar who allied himself with Cleopatra VII, Ptolemy was driven from Alexandria and supposedly died crossing the Nile in flight.

BookOneXXXV Pompey was murdered on his orders.

Ptolemy XIV (60/59BC – 44BC, r. 47BC – 44BC), was a son of Ptolemy XII of Egypt and one of the last members of the Ptolemaic dynasty ofEgypt. Following the death of his older brother Ptolemy XIII of Egypt in 47BC, he was proclaimed Pharaoh and co-ruler by their older sister and remaining Pharaoh, Cleopatra VII of Egypt. Cleopatra married her new co-ruler but continued to ally herself with Julius Caesar. Ptolemy is considered to have reigned in name only. An inscription mentioning him as alive was dated at July 26, 44BC. It has been assumed but remains uncertain that Cleopatra poisoned her co-ruler, after Caesar’s death, to replace him with Ptolemy XV Caesarion, her son by Caesar who was proclaimed co-ruler on September 2, 44BC and whom his mother intended to support as successor of his father.

BookOneXXXV Co-ruler of Egypt with his sister/wife Cleopatra.

Ptolemy of Mauretania was the son of King Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II of Mauretania. He was brought up in Rome, and inherited the throne of Mauretania from his father in 23AD. The Kingdom of Mauretania was one of the wealthiest Roman Client Kingdoms and Ptolemy continued to reign without interruption. In late 40, Caligula invited Ptolemy to Rome and welcomed him with appropriate honours. He then ordered Ptolemy’s assassination for reasons unknown.

Puteoli , modern Pozzuoli, is a city in the province of Naples, in Campania, and the main city of the Phlegrean peninsula. It was a main port for the Alexandrian grain ships, and other vessels from the Roman world, and an export hub for Campanian goods including blown glass, mosaics, wrought iron, and marble. The largest Roman naval base was at nearby Misenum. It was also the site of the Roman Dictator Sulla’s country villa and the place where he died in 78BC.

BookFourXIX BookFourXXXII Caligula constructed a bridge of boats over the gulf to Baiae.

BookFiveXXV BookEightVIII Claudius stationed troops there as firefighters.

Pylades was a pantomimic actor who exceeded the licence allowed his profession and was punished by Augustus. Pantomimics wore masks, were silent, and used only gesture and movement in performance. The accompanying story text was sung by a singer, or chorus, or accompanied by a flute. Pylades (Palates of Cilicia) was a freedman of Augustus,

BookTwoXLV Augustus temporarily exiled him in 18BC.

Pyrallis was a concubine for whom Caligula had a passion.

Pyrgi was an ancient Etruscan port in Latium, central Italy, to the north-west of Caere. Its location is now occupied by Santa Severa, a small sea resort on the Via Aurelia, c. 8 km south of Santa Marinella and 50 km north of Rome.

BookSixV Neros’ father, Domitius, died there in 40AD.

Pyrrhus , (319BC - 272BC) was a Greek general of the Hellenistic era. He was king of the Greek tribe of Molossians, of the royal Aeacid house (from c. 297BC), and later became King of Epirus (306BC - 302BC, 297BC - 272BC) and Macedon (288BC - 284BC, 273BC - 272BC). He was one of the strongest opponents of earlyRome. Some of his battles, though successful, cost him heavy losses, from which the term ‘Pyrrhic victory’ was coined. He is the subject of one of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives.

BookOneXXXIX BookSixXII The Pyrrhic sword dance is unrelated, and appears to have been a dance with weapons and armour, miming warfare. The name is possibly derived from the mythological Pyrrhus (Neoptolemus) the son of Achilles.

SPQR Rome as a Republic:

It was very important to the ancient Romans that their new government be a fair government, and that all laws applied equally to all the citizen Rome, be they rich or poor. That was the beginning of the Roman Republic or the age of SPQR - the Senate and the People of Rome. It was a new form of government, a republic. A republic is a type of government whereby people elect officials to represent them in government. (The United States is a republic. Over 2,000 years ago, so was ancient Rome.)

The Roman Republic was run by large group of men. They called themselves members of the Senate. The people of Rome elected the two top Senators. These two top Senators were called consuls. The consuls selected senators from qualifying patricians. You could only be a consul for one year, then you had to be elected by the people again. This system worked very well for hundreds of years.

Many of the laws created under the new government by the Senators were not new laws. But the laws were written down clearly, and applied to all citizens equally. Some new laws were added. One new laws was that you were innocent until proven guilty of any crime. Another law provided every citizen had the right to challenge their accusers in court. The law gave judges the power to set aside unfair laws. The new Roman Republic wanted to make sure that every citizen knew the laws. They engraved the laws on tablets of metal and put them in the Forum in Rome for everyone to read. These laws were called the Twelve Tables because there were twelve different sections. These laws were about crime and property and family matters like marriage and inheritance. The laws, like all laws, were adjusted over time to reflect the times. But the main laws, whatever they were, were on display at the Forum throughout the entire time Rome was a Republic. Rome was a Republic for about 500 years!

As time went on, Rome had problems that the Senate did not seem able to solve, problems that kept getting worse and worse. One of the problems was that the government kept running out of money. They needed money to pay the military, pave roads, and do the many jobs they did. They kept raising taxes, but the people were taxed out. They didn't have any more money to give. As well, Rome suffered from graft and corruption amongst elected officials. Crime was terrible. It was unsafe to walk the streets of Rome. Things were rapidly spinning out of control.

'Jeopardy!' contestants displayed their ignorance of US History and viewers were upset: 'Worst showing ever.'

Viewers and fans of the popular "Jeopardy!" quiz show were dismayed when none of the contestants were able to answer the clue based on very elementary knowledge of U.S. History.

The show aired Tuesday and was being hosted by "Big Bang Theory" actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik.

During a round of Double Jeopardy, contestant Robin Lozano chose the "Quotations" category for $800. Bialik gave him the clue from a very famous speech.

"'Government of the people, by the people, for the people' is from the end of this brief but powerful speech," she said.

The seconds ticked away before the buzzer sounded without any of the contestants offering even a guess at the solution to the clue.

The famous line came from the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln in November 1863.

Many viewers were shocked and surprised that none of the contestants knew this very simple factoid in U.S. History.

"Not know the Gettysburg Address?? Worst showing ever. None of these 3 deserved to win tonight. If they'd been asked to add 3 + 2, they'd have looked around like confused squirrels," said one critic.

"I'm gonna pretend like I just didn't see ALL THREE contestants miss 'the Gettysburg Address' just now," replied another.

"How did #Jeopardy manage to find three contestants who don't recognize the closing line of the Gettysburg Address? This isn't Elementary Jeopardy, folks," mocked another critic.

"Wow, no one knew The Gettysburg Address. That made me sad," responded another.

Some made reference to Alex Trebek, the former host of the show who passed away from pancreatic cancer in November.

"That sound you hear is Alex Trebek spinning in his grave," tweeted one viewer.

Here's a video of Mayim Bialik as host of Jeopardy!:

Mayim Bialik Starts As Jeopardy! Guest Host Monday! | JEOPARDY!

Tacitus On The Christians

Emperor Nero was one of the most diabolical of Rome’s Twelve Caesars. He practiced Machiavellian rules 1,400 years before Machiavelli wrote them. He used the absolute power he possessed to preserve himself at all costs. To Nero, the end always justified the means. When he burned Rome to the ground in July 64 AD and his heinous act became known, he cast about for a scapegoat to preserve the State—himself. “Not my fault. It’s their fault.” “Change the subject from me to them.” Politics: from Aristotle’s ta Politika, the science of government.

Tacitus on the Christians

“But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor (Nero) and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration (burning of Rome in 64 AD) was the result of an order (given by Nero). Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called “Chrestians” by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all (Christians) who pleaded guilty then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.” Tacitus, Annals, 15.44


Rome was destroyed by fire in July 64 Tacitus’ story suggests that the Christians were killed in the same summer. An early Christian tradition adds some details, such as the decapitation of Paul and the crucifixion of Peter.

Why did Nero blame the Christians? The answer may be that they were living near the place where the fire started: the eastern part of the Circus Maximus. It should be noted that the first Roman Christians were Jews and probably lived with the other Jews. (The ways of Judaism and Christianity parted later.) One of the Jewish quarters in Rome was just east of the Circus, near the Capena Gate. It is described by the Roman author Juvenal as a slum area: “Now, the grove with its sacred spring and the shrine [of a water goddess] are rented to Jews, whose worldly goods are no more than a basket and some hay. The woods has become the haunt of beggars.”

That there were Christians living among the Jewish proletariat, is also suggested by the presence of a very ancient church, the SS. Nereo ed Achilleo, which is, in a venerably old legend, connected with Peter’s last days. Both the Capena Gate and this church are situated on the Appian Road, which was also connected with the last days of Peter.

So, there were Jews living near the place where the fire started, and there was another reason to suspect the people near the Capena Gate: their part of the city was not destroyed by the fire. But Nero could never punish the Jews of Rome: there were thousands of them. The Christians, on the other hand, were an easy target.

Moreover, there may have been some element of distorted truth in the accusation, because the Christians believed that Rome would be destroyed during Christ’s return. They must have responded enthusiastically when they saw “Babylon” burning, and in fact, Tacitus tells us that at least some of them pleaded guilty, i.e. admitted something that their interlocutors interpreted as a confession.

Their execution (in a circus on the Vatican hill, where Nero’s family possessed a villa and a park) was a kind of comic relief to the badly hit Romans. Tacitus’ remark that “they were covered with the skins of beasts and torn by dogs” suggests that several Christians were the unwilling actors in a mythological tableau vivant: the death of Actaeon, a legendary hunter who was devoured by his own dogs. In the First letter of Clement, we also read about women being tortured as if they were the mythological Danaids or the legendary criminal Dirce (6.2). The climax of these cruel shows was the mockery of the crucifixion of Christ: according to a second-century tradition, the Christian leader Peter was crucified upside down.

Roman Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation

Whatever its nonreligious causes may have been, the Protestant Reformation arose within Roman Catholicism there both its positive accomplishments and its negative effects had their roots. The standing of the church within the political order and the class structure of western Europe was irrevocably altered in the course of the later Middle Ages. Although Boniface VIII’s extravagant claims for the political authority of the church and the papacy were undermined by the Babylonian Captivity and the subsequent schism, by the mid-15th century the papacy had recovered and triumphed over the conciliar movement. By the time Protestantism arose to challenge the spiritual authority of Rome, however, the papacy had squandered some of its recovered prestige in its attempts to establish its preeminence in Italian politics. Indeed, the popes were so involved in Italian cultural and political affairs that they had little appreciation of the seriousness of the Protestant movement. The medieval political structure too had undergone change, and nationalism had become a more important force it is not a coincidence that the Reformation first appeared in Germany, where animosity toward Rome had long existed and memories of the papal-imperial conflict lingered.

Accompanying these sociopolitical forces in the crisis of late medieval Roman Catholicism were spiritual and theological factors that also helped to bring about the Protestant Reformation. By the end of the 15th century there was a widely held impression that the papacy refused to reform itself, despite the relative success of the Fifth Lateran Council (1512–17), which was called by Pope Julius II. The papacy’s reputation had been damaged by the political and military machinations of popes such as Julius, and the hierarchy’s greed and corruption were demonstrated by Pope Leo X’s agreement (1514) to allow the sale of indulgences in the diocese of Mainz. The church also was plagued by the perception that professional theologians were more interested in scholastic debates than in the practical matters of everyday Christian belief and practice.

Despite, or because of, the rampant abuses of the hierarchy, there were efforts to reform the church. The most notable reformers were the Christian humanists, including Erasmus and Thomas More, who advocated an evangelical piety and rejected many of the medieval superstitions that had crept into church teaching. In Spain, Cardinal Jiménez undertook the reform of the clergy, restoring the observance of celibacy and other clerical and monastic rules of behaviour. Although condemned for heresy, Girolamo Savonarola represented the ascetic reformist piety that existed in the late 15th century.

During the Protestant Reformation the church’s conflicting tendencies toward both corruption and reform coincided with the highly personal struggle of Martin Luther, who asked an essentially medieval question: “How do I obtain a God who is merciful to me?” Luther at first attempted a medieval answer to this question by becoming a monk and by subjecting himself to fasting and discipline—but to no avail. The answer that he eventually found, the conviction that God is merciful not because of anything that the sinner can do but because of a freely given grace that is received by faith alone (the doctrine of justification by faith), was not utterly without precedent in the Roman Catholic theological tradition, but, in the form in which Luther stated it, there appeared to be a fundamental threat to Catholic teaching and sacramental life. And in his treatise The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, issued in 1520, Luther denounced the entire system of medieval Christendom as an unwarranted human invention foisted on the church.

Luther’s unsparing attacks upon the moral, financial, and administrative abuses of the church were initially prompted by the sale of indulgences in Germany by the Dominican friar Johann Tetzel. Luther insisted throughout his life, however, that the primary object of his critique was not the life but the doctrine of the church—not the corruption of the ecclesiastical structure but the distortion of the gospel. The late medieval mass was “a dragon’s tail,” not because it was liturgically unsound but because the medieval definition of the mass as a sacrifice offered by the church to God jeopardized the uniqueness of the unrepeatable sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. The cult of the Virgin Mary and of the saints, in Luther’s view, diminished the office of Christ as the sole mediator between God and the human race. Thus, the pope was the Antichrist because he represented and enforced a substitute religion in which the true church, the bride of Christ, had been replaced by—and identified with—an external juridical institution that laid claim to the obedience due to God himself. When, after repeated warnings, Luther refused such obedience, he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X in 1521.

Until his excommunication Luther had regarded himself as a loyal Roman Catholic and had appealed “from a poorly informed Pope to a Pope who ought to be better informed.” He had, moreover, retained a Roman Catholic-like perspective on most elements of Christian doctrine, including not only the Trinity and the two natures in the person of Christ but also baptismal regeneration and the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist. (He did, however, reject the Catholic teaching of transubstantiation in favour of what has come to be called consubstantiation.)

Many of the other Protestant Reformers were considerably less conservative in their doctrinal stance, distancing themselves from Luther’s position no less than from the Roman Catholic one. Thus, Huldrych Zwingli lumped Luther’s sacramental teaching together with the medieval one, and Luther in turn exclaimed: “Better to hold with the papists than with you!” John Calvin was considerably more moderate than Zwingli, but both sacramentally and liturgically he broke with the Roman Catholic tradition. The Anglican Reformation strove to retain the historical episcopate and steered a middle course, liturgically and even doctrinally, between Roman Catholicism and continental Protestantism, particularly under Queen Elizabeth I.

The polemical Roman Catholic accusation—which the mainline Reformers vigorously denied—that these various species of conservative Protestantism, with their orthodox dogmas and quasi-Catholic forms, were a pretext for the eventual rejection of most of traditional Christianity, seemed to be confirmed by the emergence of the radical Reformation. The Anabaptists, as their name indicates, were accused by their opponents of “rebaptizing” those who had received the sacrament of baptism as infants (the Anabaptists advocated adult baptism and held that infant baptism was invalid) this was, at its foundation, a redefinition of the nature of the church, which they saw not as the institution allied with the state and embracing both the good and the wicked but as the community of true believers who had accepted the cost of Christian discipleship by a free personal decision. Nevertheless, the Anabaptists retained, in their doctrines of God and Christ, the historical orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed. Those Protestants who went on to repudiate orthodox Trinitarianism as part of their Reformation claimed to be carrying out, more consistently than Luther or Calvin or the Anabaptists had done, the full implications of the rejection of Roman Catholicism, which they all had in common.

The challenge of the Protestant Reformation became also an occasion for a resurgent Roman Catholicism to clarify and to reaffirm Roman Catholic principles that endeavour had, in one sense, never been absent from the life and teaching of the church, but it was undertaken now with new force. As the varieties of Protestantism proliferated, the apologists for Roman Catholicism pointed to the Protestant principle of the right of private interpretation of Scripture as the source of this confusion. Against the Protestant elevation of Scripture to the position of sole authority, they emphasized that Scripture and church tradition are inseparable and always have been. Pressing this point further, they denounced justification by faith alone and other cherished Protestant teachings as novelties without grounding in authentic church tradition. Echoing the Letter of James (2:26) that “faith without works is also dead,” they warned that the doctrine of “faith alone, without works” as taught by Luther would sever the moral nerve and remove all incentive for holy living.

Yet these negative reactions to Protestantism were not by any means the only—perhaps not even the primary—form of participation by Roman Catholicism in the history of the Reformation. The emergence of Protestantism did not exhaust the reformatory impulse within Roman Catholicism, nor can it be seen as the sole inspiration for Catholic reform. Rather, to a degree that has usually been overlooked by Protestant and Catholic historians alike, there was a distinct historical movement in the 16th century that can only be identified as the Roman Catholic Reformation.

Watch the video: Είμαι γυμνός! Spider-Man part10. NG1 GamesTV (July 2022).


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