Capitoline Games

In Ancient Rome, the Capitoline Games (Latin: Ludi Capitolini) were annual games (ludi). They started out as religious holiday celebrations that "called upon divine support to ensure continued prosperity for the state."[1] They were instituted by Camillus, 387 BC, in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, and in commemoration of the Capitol's not being taken by the Gauls that same year.[2] The games lasted sixteen days, starting on October 15.

According to Plutarch, a part of the ceremony involved the public criers putting up the Etruscans for sale by auction. They also took an old man, tying a golden bulla (amulet) around his neck, such as were worn by children, and submitting him to public derision. Festus said that they dressed him in a praetexta, and hung a bull around his neck, not in the manner of a child, but because this was an ornament of the kings of Etruria.[2]

The original Capitoline games fell into disuse, but new ones were instituted by Domitian in 86, modeled after the Olympic Games in Greece. Every four years, in the early summer, contestants came from several nations to participate in various events. Rewards and crowns were bestowed on the poets and placed on their heads by the Emperor himself. The feast was not for poets alone, but also for champions, orators, historians, comedians, magicians, etc. These games became so celebrated, that the manner of accounting time by lustres (periods of five years) was changed, and they began to count by Capitoline games, as the Ancient Greeks did by Olympiads.[2]

Domitian Vaison-la-Romaine edit
A statue of Emperor Domitian. Reigned: 14 September 81 –; 18 September 96
Campus Martius - Theatre of Pompeius
The Campus Martius. This arena held many of the Capitoline Games.


The Capitoline Games were markedly different than that of other kinds of Roman games. For one thing, the Games were specific Greek-styled games instituted by Domitian in 86 AD during a time of remodeling.[3] From then on, these games were held every four years, a tradition held by today's contemporary Olympic Games.[4] He built the first and only permanent building, the Stadium of Domitian in the Campus Martius, to house these Greek games. Previously, Greek games had appeared sporadically since early second century BC but had not been enduring until the first century AD.

The Campus Martius laid just west of the seven hills and outside of the pomerium.[5] which was a hallowed, public space and had its separate grounds away from Rome itself. It had training rooms connected to baths, a concept that beforehand was not conceived due to the pre-existing Roman thought that bathing and physical exercise were separate on the whole (they considered physical training as warfare preparation and therefore had no place near baths). This bath/training room was a uniquely Greek custom.

History of the Games

The typical Greek games included events for javelin, long jump, and discus. Other events had wrestling and boxing. Greek styled games had several initial functions. One of them was to celebrate generals’ successes in Greece. Other functions involved power moves exercised by rulers. Roman emperors had considerable decisions over the Campus Martius.

Julius Caesar had temporary stages in the Campus, including ones with an artificial lake designed for mock water fights. The Saepta was a building located in the Campus that was reserved for voting and other such political matters. It was planned by Julius Caesar.[3]

Augustus held his own games at the arena: three sets of his own––two in his name and one for his grandson. Of his games, one was named the Actian Games in 28 BC. The Actian Games had gymnastics shows on a wooden stage. The Augustalia Games were the second in 19 BC. The third Games were held in 12 BC, used to honor his promotion to Pontifex Maximus.

Rewards and Recognition in the Games

The appreciation that Romans give particularly to the athletes competing in the events was evident in the numerous tokens dedicated to certain athletes. In other occasions, artists such as poets, musicians, and orators were recognized for their skills.[6] Such tokens included lamps decorated with foliage, flowers, and crowns.[5] This was a way to commemorate the games.

Growing Greek Influence

The prominence of Greek athletics points towards the prevailing influence Greek culture had on the minds of the Romans. The popularity of the Greek games held in the arenas only attest to the claim. Athletics was in a way a method to preserve and highlight the virility of Greek honor in a physical way, demonstrated through feats of spectacular strengths and finesse, usually naked in order to make a statement about comparing fit Greek bodies to others. This was especially contrastive with Roman morals, which decried public nudity.[3]

The Romans’ adoption of Greek games underlined a certain kind of thought reversal on Rome’s part. Such acceptance became more widely recognized, especially through the influx of Greek immigrants via slavery or other means of displacement. The ever-changing populous of Rome and its varied citizens soon added Greeks into the equations; even the governmental senators were sometimes selected from the Greek-provinces of Rome. In a sense, Rome was a cosmopolitan city, spoken in many languages such as Latin, Greek, and Oscan,[7] this shows a multifaceted empire made up of different parts around the Mediterranean area.[3] Greek arts, luxuries, and ideas were infused into Roman culture, so much so that it was not abnormal to see even Romans enact special sporting events like the ones above. The Romans merely adapted such values to their own lifestyle. In other ways, having Greek-styled games could be a tactic on the part of the Romans enjoying the culture of conquered lands.


  1. ^ Futrell, Alison (2010). The Roman Games. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. p. 120.
  2. ^ a b c  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.
  3. ^ a b c d Dickison, S. K., & Hallett, J. P. (2000). Rome and her monuments: essays on the city and literature of Rome in honor of Katherine A. Geffcken. Wauconda: Bolchazy-Carducci .
  4. ^ Nauta, R. R. (2002). Poetry for patrons: literary communication in the age of Domitian. Leiden: Brill.
  5. ^ a b Newby, Z. (2009). Greek athletics in the Roman world: victory and virtue. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  6. ^ Tegg, T. (1829). London encyclopaedia; or, Universal dictionary of science, art, literature and practical mechanics; comprising a popular view of the present state of knowledge. London: Printed for Thomas Tegg.
  7. ^ Statius, P. P., & Newlands, C. (2011). Silvae: book II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
380s BC

This article concerns the period 389 BC – 380 BC.

== Events ==

=== 389 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

A Spartan expeditionary force under King Agesilaus II crosses the Gulf of Corinth to attack Acarnania, an ally of the anti-Spartan coalition. Agesilaus is eventually able to draw them into a pitched battle, in which the Acarnanians are routed.

The Athenian general, Thrasybulus, leads a force of triremes to levy tribute from cities around the Aegean and support Rhodes, where a democratic government is struggling against Sparta. On this campaign, Thrasybulus captures Byzantium, imposes a duty on ships passing through the Hellespont, and collects tribute from many of the islands of the Aegean.

Magna Grecia

Battle of the Elleporus and the capture of Kroton by Dionysius I of Syracuse

====== China ======

Wu Qi, the Prime Minister of the State of Chu, enacts his first series of political, municipal, and martial reforms. Wu Qi gains the ire and distrust of Chu officials and aristocratic elite who are against his crusades to sweep up corruption in the state and limit their power. He is eventually assassinated in 381 BC at the funeral of King Diao of Chu, although his assassins are executed shortly after by the newly enthroned King Su of Chu.

This is the latest possible date for the compilation of the historical text Zuo Zhuan, attributed to a blind historian known as Zuo Qiuming.

=== 388 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

King Agesipolis I leads a Spartan army against Argos. Since no Argive army challenges him, he plunders the countryside for a time, and then, after receiving several unfavorable omens, returns to Sparta.

The Athenian general, Thrasybulus, sails to Lesbos, where, with the support of the Mytileneans, he defeats the Spartan forces on the island and wins over a number of cities. While still on Lesbos, however, Thrasybulus is killed by raiders from the city of Aspendus where his financial exactions has made him unpopular.

Concerned about the revival of Athenian imperialist ambitions, the Persian King Artaxerxes II and King Agesilaus II of Sparta enter into an alliance. Sparta also seeks and gains the support of Dionysius I of Syracuse.

==== By topic ====

====== Art ======

Plato, having left Athens on Socrates' death to visit Megara and possibly Egypt, travels to Syracuse at the invitation of Dionysius I's brother-in-law Dion.

Aristophanes' play Plutus is performed.

=== 387 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Antalcidas, commander of the Spartan navy, actively assists Persia against Athens. After escaping from the Athenian blockade at Abydos, he attacks and defeats a small Athenian force, then joins his fleet with a supporting fleet sent from Syracuse. With this force, which is soon further augmented with ships supplied by the Persian satraps of the region, he sails to the Hellespont, where he is in a position to cut off the trade routes that bring grain to Athens.

The Persians, unnerved by some of Athens' actions, including supporting King Evagoras of Cyprus and Pharaoh Hakor of Egypt (both of whom are at war with Persia), decide that their policy of weakening Sparta by supporting its enemies is no longer wise. So Antalcidas enters into negotiations with the Persian satrap Tiribazus and reaches an agreement under which the Persians will enter into the war on the Spartan side if the allies refuse to make peace.

With Antalcidas' Spartan fleet in control of the Hellespont, Sparta deprives Athens of her Bosporus trade and tolls. The Athenians, mindful of being in a similarly serious situation as when defeated in the Peloponnesian War less than two decades before and facing Persian intervention on Sparta's side, are thereby ready to make peace.

With the support of the Persian King Artaxerxes II, King Agesilaus II of Sparta concludes "the King's Peace" (or the Peace of Antalcidas, after the Spartan envoy and commander) with Greek allied forces in a manner favourable to Sparta. Under the Peace, all the Asiatic mainland and Cyprus remain under Persian control, Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros remain Athenian dependencies, and all the other Greek states are to receive autonomy. By the King's Peace, the Persians become key players in Greek politics.

Under the threat of Spartan intervention, Thebes disbands its league, and Argos and Corinth end their shared government. Corinth, deprived of its strong ally, is incorporated back into Sparta's Peloponnesian League. After eight years of fighting, the Corinthian War is at an end.

Plato founded the Platonic Academy in Athens, where he taught Aristotle until 347 BC.

====== Sicily ======

With the aid of the Lucanians, Dionysius I of Syracuse devastates the territories of Thurii, Crotone, and Locri in mainland Italy. When Rhegium falls, Dionysius becomes the chief power in Greek Southern Italy. He then turns his attention to the Adriatic.

Plato is forced by Dionysius to leave Syracuse after having exercised the right of free speech too broadly. Plato returns to Athens, outside which he founds a school.

====== Roman Republic ======

Rome begins to rebuild after being invaded by the Gauls under Brennus.

Marcus Furius Camillus introduces the Capitoline Games (Ludi Capitolini) in honour of Jupiter Capitolinus, and in commemoration of Rome's Capitol not being captured by the Gauls.

=== 386 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Persian Empire ======

Freed from Spartan attacks by the King's Peace of the previous year, Persia turns to quieting Cyprus and Egypt. Owing to the skill of King Evagoras of Cyprus and of Egypt's Greek mercenary general Chabrias, these wars drag on for the rest of the decade.

====== Sicily ======

Dionysius I of Syracuse extends the influence and trade of Syracuse to the Adriatic, planting a colony as far north as the Etruscan city of Hadria.

====== China ======

The Chinese city of Handan is founded by the State of Zhao.

=== 385 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Jason of Pherae becomes tyrant of Thessaly.

Dionysius I of Syracuse attempts to restore Alcetas I of Epirus to the throne.

Bardyllis becomes king of Illyria and the Dardani and thereby establishes the Bardyllian Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Education ======

Plato forms his Academy, teaching mathematics, astronomy and other sciences as well as philosophy. It is dedicated to the Attic hero Academus. Philanthropists bear all costs; students pay no fees.

====== Astronomy ======

Democritus announces that the Milky Way is composed of many stars.

=== 384 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Lysias, the Athenian orator, on the occasion of the Olympiad, rebukes the Greeks for allowing themselves to be dominated by the Syracusan tyrant Dionysius I and by the barbarian Persians.

The Greeks found the colony of Pharos at the site of today’s Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, defeating Iadasinoi warriors brought in for its defense.

=== 383 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

King Amyntas III of Macedon, forms a temporary alliance with the Chalcidian League. Sparta, whose policy is to keep Greeks disunited, sends an expedition northwards to disrupt the Chalcidian League, a confederation of cities of the Chalcidice peninsula, east of Macedonia.

The Spartan commander Phoebidas, who is passing through Boeotia on campaign, takes advantage of civil strife within Thebes to gain entrance to the city for his troops. Once inside, he seizes the Cadmeia (the citadel of Thebes), and forces the anti-Spartan party to flee the city. The government of Thebes is placed in the hands of the pro-Spartan party, backed by a Spartan garrison based in the Cadmeia. Many of the previous leaders of Thebes are driven into exile. Epaminondas, although associated with the anti-Spartan faction, is allowed to remain.

==== By topic ====

====== Astronomy ======

The 19 year lunar cycle is introduced into the Babylonian calendar.

====== Religion ======

The second Buddhist council is convened by king Kalasoka and held at Vaisali.

=== 382 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Greece ======

Pelopidas, a Theban general and statesman, flees to Athens and takes the lead in attempts to liberate Thebes from Spartan control.

In punishment for his unauthorized action in the previous year of taking over Thebes, Phoebidas is relieved of his command, but the Spartans continue to hold Thebes. The Spartan king Agesilaus II argues against punishing Phoebidas, on the grounds that his actions had benefited Sparta, and this was the only standard against which he ought to be judged.

Evandrus takes over being Archon of Athens from Phanostratus.

=== 381 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Persian Empire ======

The Persian generals Tiribazus and Orontes invade Cyprus, with an army far larger than any King Evagoras of Cyprus could raise. However, Evagoras manages to cut off this force from being resupplied, and the starving troops rebel. However, the war then turns in the Persians' favour when Evagoras' fleet is destroyed at the Battle of Citium (Larnaca, Cyprus). Evagoras flees to Salamis, where he manages to conclude a peace which allows him to remain nominally king of Salamis, though in reality he is a vassal of the Persian king.

====== Greece ======

Sparta increases its hold on central Greece by reestablishing the city of Plataea, which Sparta has destroyed in 427 BC.

====== Roman Republic ======

The district of Tusculum is pacified after a revolt against Rome and conquered. After an expression of complete submission to Rome, Tusculum becomes the first "municipium cum suffragio", and thenceforth the city continues to hold the rank of a municipium.

=== 380 BC ===

==== By place ====

====== Persian empire ======

Persia forces the Athenians to withdraw their general Chabrias from Egypt. Chabrias has been successfully supporting the Egyptian Pharaohs in maintaining their independence from the Persian Empire.

====== Egypt ======

The Egyptian Pharaoh Hakor dies and is succeeded by his son Nepherites II, but the latter is overthrown by Nectanebo I within the year, ending the Twenty-ninth dynasty of Egypt. Nectanabo (or more properly Nekhtnebef) becomes the first Pharaoh of the Thirtieth dynasty of Egypt.

====== Greece ======

Cleombrotus I succeeds his brother Agesipolis I as king of Sparta.

====== Italy ======

The Roman Republic held elections for military tribunes with consular power . Military tribunes were as follows. Lucius Valerius (for the fifth time), Publius Valerius (third time), Gaius Sergius (third time), Licinius Menenius (second time), Publius Papirius and Servius Cornelius Maluginensis. War sprang up with the Praenestines and they soon moved to the territory of the Gabii (east of Rome ), as soon as they heard of civil disputes in Rome. In Rome the enrolment of troops could not start, the tribunes and the commons opposed it. The young men refused to enroll their names and the tribunes would not allow those bound over to be taken away for military service. The Praenstines meanwhile saw that Rome had no army in the field, so they proceeded to destroy all the fields up to Rome and appear near the walls of Rome. Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus was made dictator, and he chose Aulus Sempronius Atratinus as master of the horse. Quinctius defeated the enemy at Allia. Afterwards he captured eight towns subject to Praenste, stormed Velitrae, and accepted the surrender of Praenste. Quinctius held a triumph in which he brought with him a statue of Jupiter from Praenste.

==== By topic ====

====== Art ======

What some historians call the Rich style in Greece comes to an end.

387 BC

Year 387 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Papirius, Fidenas, Mamercinus, Lanatus and Poplicola (or, less frequently, year 367 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 387 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


== Events ==

=== AD 80 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Titus completes and inaugurates the Colosseum with 100 days of games.

The earliest stage of Lullingstone Roman villa is built.

The Roman occupation of Britain reaches the River Tyne–Solway Firth frontier area. Gnaeus Julius Agricola creates a fleet for the conquest of Caledonia; he finally proves that Britannia is an island.

Legio II Adiutrix is stationed at Lindum Colonia (modern Lincoln). The city is an important settlement for retired Roman legionaries.

The original Roman Pantheon is destroyed in a fire, along with many other buildings.

The Eifel Aqueduct is constructed to bring water 95 km (59 mi) from the Eifel region to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensum (modern Cologne).

Gnaeus Julius Agricola begins his invasion of Scotland.

====== Asia ======

Some 30,000 Asian tribesmen migrate from the steppes to the west with 40,000 horses and 100,000 cattle, joining with Iranian tribesmen and with Mongols from the Siberian forests to form a group that will be known in Europe as the Huns.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

The aeolipile, the first steam engine, is described by Hero of Alexandria.

====== Religion ======

The Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles are written (approximate date).

=== AD 81 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

September 14 – Domitian succeeds his brother Titus as emperor. Domitian is not a soldier like his two predecessors, and his administration is directed towards the reinforcement of a monarchy. By taking the title of Dominus ("lord"), he scandalizes the senatorial aristocracy. Romanisation progresses in the provinces, and life in the cities is greatly improved. Many provincials – Spanish, Gallic, and African – become Senators.

The Arch of Titus is constructed.

Pliny the Younger is flamen Divi Augusti (priest in the cult of the Emperor).

==== By topic ====

====== Commerce ======

The silver content of the Roman denarius rises to 92% under emperor Domitian, up from 81% in the reign of Vitellius.

=== AD 82 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Roman emperor Domitian becomes Roman Consul.

Gnaeus Julius Agricola raises a fleet and encircles the Celtic tribes beyond the Forth, the Caledonians rise in great numbers against the Romans. They attack the camp of Legio IX Hispana at night, but Agricola sends his cavalry in and put them to flight.

Calgacus unites the Picts (30,000 men) in Scotland and is made chieftain of the Caledonian Confederacy.

Dio Chrysostom is banished from Rome, Italy, and Bithynia after advising one of the Emperor's conspiring relatives.

Domitian levies Legio I Minervia.

=== AD 83 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Possible date of the Battle of Mons Graupius (AD 83 or 84). According to Tacitus, 10,000 Britons and 360 Romans are killed.

Roman emperor Domitian fights the Chatti, a Germanic tribe. His victory allows the construction of fortifications (Limes) along the Rhine-frontier.

Inchtuthil, Roman fort built in Scotland.

Domitian is again also a Roman Consul.

Possible date that Demetrius of Tarsus visited an island in the Hebrides populated by holy men, possibly druids.

In Rome, the castration of slaves is prohibited.

=== AD 84 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Possible date of the Battle of Mons Graupius (AD 83 or 84), in which Gnaeus Julius Agricola defeats the Caledonians.

Emperor Domitian recalls Agricola back to Rome, where he is rewarded with a triumph and the governorship of the Roman province Africa, but he declines it.

Pliny the Younger is sevir equitum Romanorum (commander of a cavalry squadron).

The construction of the Limes, a line of Roman fortifications from the Rhine to the Danube, is begun.

Through his election as consul for ten years and censor for life, Domitian openly subordinates the republican aspect of the state to the monarchical.

Domitian increases the troops' pay by one third, thus securing their loyalty.

====== Asia ======

Change from Jianchu to Yuanhe era of the Chinese Eastern Han Dynasty.

=== AD 85 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Dacians under Decebalus engage in two wars against the Romans from this year to AD 88 or 89.

Emperor Domitian repulses a Dacian invasion of Moesia.

Domitian appoints himself censor for life, which gives him the right to control the Senate. His totalitarian tendencies put the senatorial aristocracy firmly in opposition to him.

====== Asia ======

Baekje invades the outskirts of Silla in the Korean peninsula. The war continues till the peace treaty of 105.

=== AD 86 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Domitian introduces the Capitoline Games.

The Roman General Trajan, future emperor, begins a campaign to crush an uprising in Germany.

Germany is divided into two provinces, Upper Germany and Lower Germany.

====== Dacia ======

Roman legions face disaster in Dacia in the First Battle of Tapae, when Cornelius Fuscus, Praetorian prefect, launches a powerful offensive that becomes a failure. Encircled in the valley of Timi, he dies along with his entire army. Rome must pay tribute to the Dacians in exchange for a vague recognition of Rome's importance.

====== Asia ======

Ban Gu (Pan Kou) and his sister Ban Zhao (Pan Tchao) compose a History of China.

=== AD 87 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

The Roman Maternus arrives in Ethiopia.

Lyon, a city in Gaul, has a population of over 100,000.

Sextus gains power in the senate.

====== Europe ======

Decebalus becomes king of Dacia.

=== AD 88 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Two Egyptian obelisks are erected in Benevento in front of the Temple of Isis, in honour of emperor Domitian.

Quintilian retires from teaching and from pleading, to compose his great work on the training of the orator (Institutio Oratoria).

The First Dacian War ends: Decebalus becomes a client king of Rome, he receives money, craftsmen and war machines to protect the borders (Limes) of the Roman Empire.

====== Asia ======

Emperor Han Zhangdi dies at age 31 after a 13-year reign in which Chinese military forces have become powerful enough to march against tribes who threaten their northern and western borders. Having used intrigue as well as armed might to achieve his ends. Zhangdi and his General Ban Chao have reestablished Chinese influence in Inner Asia, but court eunuchs have increased their power during the emperor's reign. Zhangdi is succeeded by his 9-year-old son Zhao, who will reign until 105 as emperor Han Hedi, but he will be a virtual pawn of Empress Dou (adoptive mother) and scheming courtiers who will effectively rule the Chinese Empire.

Last year (4th) of yuanhe era and start of zhanghe era of the Chinese Eastern Han Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Pope Clement I succeeds Pope Anacletus I as the fourth pope.

=== AD 89 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

1 January -- Lucius Antonius Saturninus incites a revolt against the Roman Emperor Domitian. It is suppressed by 24 January.

Legio XIII Gemina is transferred to Dacia to help in the war against Decebalus.

Aquincum (old Budapest, Óbuda) is founded.

====== Asia ======

First year of Yongyuan era of the Chinese Han Dynasty.

June – The Han Chinese army under Dou Xian (d. AD 92), allied with the southern Xiongnu, is victorious over the Northern Xiongnu in the Battle of Ikh Bayan.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Change of Patriarch of Constantinople from Polycarpus to Plutarch.

Publication in Syria or Phoenicia of the Gospel of Matthew by a converted Jewish scholar.

AD 86

AD 86 (LXXXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Petronianus (or, less frequently, year 839 Ab urbe condita). The denomination AD 86 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Commodus (; 31 August 161 – 31 December 192), born Lucius Aurelius Commodus and died Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, was Roman emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 to his father's death in 180, and solely until 192.

During his father's reign, he accompanied Marcus Aurelius during the Marcomannic Wars in 172 and on a tour of the Eastern provinces in 176. He was made the youngest consul in Roman history in 177 and later that year elevated to co-emperor with his father. His accession was the first time a son had succeeded his biological father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. He was also the first emperor to have both a father and grandfather (who had adopted his father) as the two preceding emperors. Commodus was the first (and until 337, the only) emperor "born in the purple", i.e. during his father's reign.

During his solo reign, the Empire enjoyed a period of reduced military conflict compared with the reign of Marcus Aurelius, but intrigues and conspiracies abounded, leading Commodus to an increasingly dictatorial style of leadership that culminated in a God-like personality cult. His assassination in 192 marked the end of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. He was succeeded by Pertinax, the first emperor in the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors.


Domitian (; Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus; 24 October 51 – 18 September 96 AD) was Roman emperor from 81 to 96. He was the younger brother of Titus and the son of Vespasian, his two predecessors on the throne, and the last member of the Flavian dynasty. During his reign, the authoritarian nature of his rule put him at sharp odds with the senate, whose powers he drastically curtailed.

Domitian had a minor and largely ceremonial role during the reigns of his father and brother. After the death of his brother, Domitian was declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard. His 15-year reign was the longest since that of Tiberius. As emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, expanded the border defenses of the empire, and initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Significant wars were fought in Britain, where his general Agricola attempted to conquer Caledonia (Scotland), and in Dacia, where Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against king Decebalus. Domitian's government exhibited strong authoritarian characteristics; he saw himself as the new Augustus, an enlightened despot destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of brilliance. Religious, military, and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, and by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals. As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army, but considered a tyrant by members of the Roman Senate.

Domitian's reign came to an end in 96 when he was assassinated by court officials. He was succeeded the same day by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian's memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Suetonius propagated the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern revisionists instead have characterized Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural, economic, and political programs provided the foundation of the peaceful second century.

Flavian dynasty

The Flavian dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 AD and 96 AD, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian (69–79), and his two sons Titus (79–81) and Domitian (81–96). The Flavians rose to power during the civil war of 69, known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho died in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in mid 69. His claim to the throne was quickly challenged by legions stationed in the Eastern provinces, who declared their commander Vespasian emperor in his place. The Second Battle of Bedriacum tilted the balance decisively in favour of the Flavian forces, who entered Rome on December 20. The following day, the Roman Senate officially declared Vespasian emperor of the Roman Empire, thus commencing the Flavian dynasty. Although the dynasty proved to be short-lived, several significant historic, economic and military events took place during their reign.

The reign of Titus was struck by multiple natural disasters, the most severe of which was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79. The surrounding cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were completely buried under ash and lava. One year later, Rome was struck by fire and a plague. On the military front, the Flavian dynasty witnessed the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70, following the failed Jewish rebellion of 66. Substantial conquests were made in Great Britain under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola between 77 and 83, while Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against King Decebalus in the war against the Dacians. In addition, the Empire strengthened its border defenses by expanding the fortifications along the Limes Germanicus.

The Flavians also initiated economic and cultural reforms. Under Vespasian, new taxes were devised to restore the Empire's finances, while Domitian revalued the Roman coinage by increasing its silver content. A massive building programme was enacted by Titus, to celebrate the ascent of the Flavian dynasty, leaving multiple enduring landmarks in the city of Rome, the most spectacular of which was the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum.

Flavian rule came to an end on September 18, 96, when Domitian was assassinated. He was succeeded by the longtime Flavian supporter and advisor Marcus Cocceius Nerva, who founded the long-lived Nerva–Antonine dynasty.

The Flavian dynasty was unique among the four dynasties of the Principate Era, in that it was only one man and his two sons, without any extended or adopted family.

Heraean Games

The ancient Heraean Games were a series of athletic events in which only women athletes participated. This event was held to honor the Greek mythological goddess Hera. Just like the ancient Olympic games, Heraean Games were held once every four years, but it isn't clear whether the Heraean Games were part of the Olympiad cycle and if it was, at which point of the four-year cycle it was held on. The stadium that held the Heraean Games was the same stadium where the ancient Olympic Games was held and Pausanias confirmed this along with the fact that the stadium had a different track for women athletics which was 5/6 the length of the original track used by men athletes. The length of the original track is 212.5 meters long which will make the women's track 177 meters long. Because these games were held in ancient times, the Heraean Games only included events such as running sports and combat sports were not played by women athletes.

The four main running events during the Heraean Games included:

Stadion - a sprint race on the women's track (177m).

Diaulos - a two-laps race on the women's track (354m).

Hippios - a four-laps race on the women's track (708m).

Dolichos - an 18-24 laps race on the women's track.Unlike the male athletes in the Panhellenic games, Women athletes did not participate in the nude, but wore tunics which reached to their knees. These were the same tunics for men who performed physical labor.8No real date can be proved when these games had started but historians are able to predict from the writings done by a Greek geographer, Pausanias. They predict the approximate start of the Heraean Games to be slightly sometime after the start of the Olympic Games, during 776BC. The end of the Heraean Games also is not proved due to the lack of information available to historians today, but predictions can be made which is found to be in 393 AD after the religious festivals like Panhellenic games being banned by the Roman emperor Theodosius.

Records and writings of the ancient Heraean Games are very low in numbers which all the information available to us today are from the writings of Pausanias.The Heraea champions won olive crowns, cow or ox meat from the animal sacrificed to Hera and the right to dedicate statues inscribed with their names or painted portraits of themselves on the columns of Hera's temple. It is still apparent where the portraits were attached on the temple, though the artwork itself has disappeared. The women competed in three age groups. Pausanias describes their appearance for the races such that, "their hair hangs down, a tunic (chiton) reaches to a little above the knee, and they bare the right shoulder as far as the breast.".We do know women were forbidden from competing in or even viewing the Ancient Olympics, under penalty of being thrown from the cliffs of Mount Typaion. Girls were not encouraged to be athletes. Those raised in Sparta were the exception, where they were trained in the same athletic events as boys, because Spartans believed that strong women would produce strong future warriors. These girl athletes were unmarried and competed nude or wearing short dresses. Boys were allowed to watch the athletes, in the hopes of creating marriages and offspring. A race dedicated to Dionysus (god of wine and pleasure) may have also been a community rite of passage.Heraea could have been an indication of changing social conditions and an easing in restrictions on women, or it could have been a temporary change. Greek women were allowed to compete in the same festivals as men after the classical period. The dearth of references is evidence that these changes may have been unwelcomed Roman influence. In Rome, girls from wealthy families were allowed to participate in men's festivals. A 1st century AD inscription at Delphi tells that two young women competed in races (not the Olympics), possibly in women's races at the Sebasta festival in Naples (during the imperial period) and in Domitian's races for women at the Capitoline Games in Rome, 86 AD.

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