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In historiography, ancient Rome describes Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, in turn encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753-509 BC), Roman Republic (509-27 BC) and Roman Empire (27 BC-476 AD) until the fall of the western empire.
The civilisation began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, traditionally dated to 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The civilization was led and ruled by the Romans, alternately considered an ethnic group or a nationality. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants (roughly 20% of the world's population at the time) and covering 5 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles) at its height in AD 117.
Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, religion, society, technology, law, politics, government, warfare, art, literature, architecture and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France. It achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments, palaces, and public facilities.
The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars, Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily; took Hispania (modern Spain and Portugal); and destroyed the city of Carthage in 146 BC, giving Rome supremacy in the Mediterranean. By the end of the Republic (27 BC), Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa. The Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus. Seven-hundred and twenty-one years of Roman-Persian Wars started in 92 BC with the first struggle against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires.
Roman glass objects have been recovered across the Roman Empire in domestic, industrial and funerary contexts. Glass was used primarily for the production of vessels, although mosaic tiles and window glass were also produced. Roman glass production developed from Hellenistic technical traditions, initially concentrating on the production of intensely coloured cast glass vessels. However, during the 1st century AD the industry underwent rapid technical growth that saw the introduction of glass blowing and the dominance of colourless or 'aqua' glasses. Production of raw glass was undertaken in geographically separate locations to the working of glass into finished vessels, and by the end of the 1st century AD large scale manufacturing resulted in the establishment of glass as a commonly available material in the Roman world, and one which also had technically very difficult specialized types of luxury glass, which must have been very expensive. (Full article...)
Image 10Stone game board from Aphrodisias: boards could also be made of wood, with deluxe versions in costly materials such as ivory; game pieces or counters were bone, glass, or polished stone, and might be coloured or have markings or images (from Roman Empire)
Image 13Solidus issued under Constantine II, and on the reverse Victoria, one of the last deities to appear on Roman coins, gradually transforming into an angel under Christian rule (from Roman Empire)
Image 36Birds and fountain within a garden setting, with oscilla (hanging masks) above, in a painting from Pompeii (from Roman Empire)
Image 37The Barbarian Invasions consisted of the movement of (mainly) ancient Germanic peoples into Roman territory. Even though northern invasions took place throughout the life of the Empire, this period officially began in the 4th century and lasted for many centuries, during which the western territory was under the dominion of foreign northern rulers, a notable one being Charlemagne. Historically, this event marked the transition between classical antiquity and the Middle Ages. (from Roman Empire)
Image 48Forum of Gerasa (Jerash in present-day Jordan), with columns marking a covered walkway (stoa) for vendor stalls, and a semicircular space for public speaking (from Roman Empire)
Image 49The Roman Empire in AD 117 at its greatest extent, at the time of Trajan's death (with its vassals in pink) (from Roman Empire)
Image 50Workers at a cloth-processing shop, in a painting from the fullonica of Veranius Hypsaeus in Pompeii (from Roman Empire)
Image 51Claudius wearing an early Imperial toga (see a later, more structured toga above), and the pallium as worn by a priest of Serapis, sometimes identified as the emperor Julian (from Roman Empire)
Image 71The cities of the Roman world in the Imperial Period. Data source: Hanson, J. W. (2016), Cities database, (OXREP databases). Version 1.0. (link). (from Roman Empire)
Image 72Reconstruction of a writing tablet: the stylus was used to inscribe letters into the wax surface for drafts, casual letterwriting, and schoolwork, while texts meant to be permanent were copied onto papyrus. (from Roman Empire)
Image 79Roman hunters during the preparations, set-up of traps, and in-action hunting near Tarraco (from Roman Empire)
Image 80The Triumph of Neptune floor mosaic from Africa Proconsularis (present-day Tunisia), celebrating agricultural success with allegories of the Seasons, vegetation, workers and animals viewable from multiple perspectives in the room (latter 2nd century) (from Roman Empire)
Image 81Bread stall, from a Pompeiian wall painting (from Roman Empire)
Image 82The bronze Drunken Satyr, excavated at Herculaneum and exhibited in the 18th century, inspired an interest among later sculptors in similar "carefree" subjects. (from Roman Empire)
Halotus (c. 20-30 AD – c. 70-80 AD) was an eunuchservant to the Roman EmperorClaudius, the fourth member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He served Claudius as a taster and as a chief steward; it was because of his occupation, which entailed close contact with Claudius, that he is and was a suspect in the murder of the latter by poison. Along with Agrippina the Younger, the wife of Claudius, Halotus was considered one of the most likely to have committed the murder, although speculation by ancient historians suggest that he may have been working under orders of Agrippina.
Following the death of Claudius, much public outrage ensued, and there was a clear desire in the general public that Halotus and several other suspects (such as Tigellinus, another servant who served Claudius), be executed. Nero, who acceded to the throne, allowed Halotus to continue as chief steward and taster; Halotus served Nero until the latter's death in 68, and Galba's assumption of the throne. (Full article...)
...That when Caesar's troops hesitated to leave their ships for fear of the Britons, the aquilifer of the tenth legion threw himself overboard and, carrying the eagle, advanced alone against the enemy?
...That the most well paid athlete in human history, Gaius Appuleius Diocles, was an illiterate Roman Chariot racer, and earned the equivalent of $15 Billion US Dollars.
Marcus Aurelius (April 26, 121 CE. - March 17, 180 CE.), was Roman Emperor from CE 161 to 180 who defeated several significant invasions and put down a revitalisation of the Parthian Empire. His Stoic tome Meditations, which he wrote while on campaign, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty.
[...] Caesar is a god in his own city. Outstanding in war or peace, it was not so much his wars that ended in great victories, or his actions at home, or his swiftly won fame, that set him among the stars, a fiery comet, as his descendant. There is no greater achievement among Caesar's actions than that he stood father to our emperor. Is it a greater thing to have conquered the sea-going Britons; to have led his victorious ships up the seven-mouthed flood of the papyrus-bearing Nile; to have brought the rebellious Numidians, under Juba of Cinyps, and Pontus, swollen with the name of Mithridates, under the people of Quirinus; to have earned many triumphs and celebrated few; than to have sponsored such a man, with whom, as ruler of all, you gods have richly favoured the human race? Therefore, in order for the emperor not to have been born of mortal seed, Caesar needed to be made a god. [...]
Augustus, his 'son', will ensure that he ascends to heaven as a god, and is worshipped in the temples. Augustus, as heir to his name, will carry the burden placed upon him alone, and will have us with him, in battle, as the most courageous avenger of his father's murder. Under his command, the conquered walls of besieged Mutina will sue for peace; Pharsalia will know him; Macedonian Philippi twice flow with blood; and the one who holds Pompey's great name, will be defeated in Sicilian waters; and a Roman general's Egyptian consort, trusting, to her cost, in their marriage, will fall, her threat that our Capitol would bow to her city of Canopus, proved vain.
Why enumerate foreign countries or the nations living on either ocean shore? Wherever earth contains habitable land, it will be his: and even the sea will serve him!