Cassius Dio

Cassius Dio or Dio Cassius (Greek: Δίων Κάσσιος)[note 2] (/ˈkæʃəs ˈdiːoʊ/; c. 155 – c. 235)[note 3] was a Roman statesman and historian of Greek origin. He published 80 volumes of history on ancient Rome, beginning with the arrival of Aeneas in Italy. The volumes documented the subsequent founding of Rome (753 BC), the formation of the Republic (509 BC), and the creation of the Empire (31 BC), up until 229 AD. Written in Ancient Greek over 22 years, Dio's work covers approximately 1,000 years of history. Many of his 80 books have survived intact, or as fragments, providing modern scholars with a detailed perspective on Roman history.

Lucius Cassius Dio
Bornc. 155 AD
Nicaea, Bithynia
Diedc. 235 AD (aged approx. 80)
Bithynia
OccupationHistorian, Senator, Proconsul, Consul
NationalityGreek
SubjectHistory
Notable worksHistory of Rome

Biography

Lucius Cassius Dio was the son of Cassius Apronianus, a Roman senator, who was born and raised at Nicaea in Bithynia. Byzantine tradition maintains that Dio's mother was the daughter or sister of the Greek orator and philosopher, Dio Chrysostom; however, this relationship has been disputed. Lucius is often identified as Dio's praenomen, but a Macedonian inscription, published in 1970, reveals the abbreviation, "Cl.", presumably Claudius.[note 4] Although Dio was a Roman citizen, he wrote in Greek. Dio always maintained a love for his hometown of Nicaea, calling it "his home", as opposed to his description of his villa in Italy ("my residence in Italy").

For the greater part of his life, Dio was a member of the public service. He was a senator[5] under Commodus and governor of Smyrna following the death of Septimius Severus; he became a suffect consul in approximately the year 205. Dio was also Proconsul in Africa and Pannonia. Severus Alexander held Dio in the highest esteem and reappointed him to the position of consul, even though his caustic nature irritated the Praetorian Guards, who demanded his life. Following his second consulship, while in his later years, Dio returned to his native country, where he eventually died.

Dio was either the grandfather or great-grandfather of Cassius Dio, consul in 291.[6]

Roman History

Dio published a Roman History (Ῥωμαϊκὴ Ἱστορία, Historia Romana), in 80 books, after twenty-two years of research and labour. The books cover a period of approximately 1,400 years, beginning with the tales from Roman mythology of the arrival of the legendary Aeneas in Italy (c. 1200 BC) and the founding of Rome by his descendant Romulus (753 BC); as well as the historic events of the republican and imperial eras through 229 AD. The work is one of only three written Roman sources that document the British revolt of AD 60–61 led by Boudica. Until the first century BC, Dio provides only a summary of events; after that period, his accounts become more detailed. From the time of Commodus (ruled AD 180–192), Dio is very circumspect in his conveyance of the events that he witnessed.

In the 21st century, fragments remain of the first 36 books, including considerable portions of both Book 35 (on the war of Lucullus against Mithridates VI of Pontus) and 36 (on the war with the pirates and the expedition of Pompey against the king of Pontus). The books that follow, Books 37 through 54, are nearly all complete; they cover the period from 65 BC to 12 BC, or from the eastern campaign of Pompey and the death of Mithridates to the death of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Book 55 contains a considerable gap, while Books 56 through 60 (which cover the period from AD 9 through 54) are complete and contain events from the defeat of Varus in Germany to the death of Claudius. Of the 20 subsequent books in the series, there remain only fragments and the meager abridgement of John Xiphilinus, a monk from the 11th century. The abridgment of Xiphilinus, as now extant, commences with Book 35 and continues to the end of Book 80: it is a very indifferent performance and was made by order of the emperor Michael VII Doukas. The last book covers the period from 222 to 229 (the first half of the reign of Alexander Severus).

The fragments of the first 36 books, as they have been collected, consist of four kinds:

  1. Fragmenta Valesiana: fragments that were dispersed throughout various writers, scholiasts, grammarians, and lexicographers, and were collected by Henri Valois.
  2. Fragmenta Peiresciana: large extracts, found in the section entitled "Of Virtues and Vices", contained in the collection, or portative library, compiled by order of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus. The manuscript of this belonged to Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc.
  3. The fragments of the first 34 books, preserved in the second section of the same work by Constantine, entitled “Of Embassies.” These are known under the name of Fragmenta Ursiniana, as the manuscript in which they are contained was found in Sicily by Fulvio Orsini.
  4. Excerpta Vaticana by Angelo Mai: Contains fragments of books 1 to 35 and 61 to 80. Additionally, fragments of an unknown continuator of Dio (Anonymus post Dionem), generally identified with the 6th-century historian Peter the Patrician, are included; these date from the time of Constantine. Other fragments from Dio that are primarily associated with the first 34 books were found by Mai in two Vatican MSS.; these contain a collection that was compiled by Maximus Planudes. The annals of Joannes Zonaras also contain numerous extracts from Dio.

Literary style

Dio attempted to emulate Thucydides in his writing style. Dio's style, where there appears to be no corruption of the text, is generally clear though full of Latinisms. Dio's writing was underpinned by a set of personal circumstances whereby he was able to observe significant events of the Empire in the first person, or had direct contact with the key figures who were involved.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Alain Gowing, who has edited Cassius Dio, argues that the evidence for Cocceianus is insufficient, and the ascription is a Byzantine confusion with Dio Chrysostom, whom Pliny shows to be named Cocceianus; he provides the previously unattested praenomen of Claudius.
  2. ^ Also known as Dion Kassios Kokkeianos (Ancient Greek: Δίων Κάσσιος Κοκκηϊανός),[1] Cassius Lucius Dio or Cassius Claudius Dio;[2] alleged to have the cognomen (nickname) Cocceianus[3][note 1]
  3. ^ According to some scholars, such as Millar (Millar, F., A study of Cassius Dio, Oxford 1966, p. 13), he was born later, in 163/164[4]
  4. ^ Gowing, who adopts it; Claudius, however, is usually a nomen.

References

  1. ^ Prof. Cary's Introduction at LacusCurtius
  2. ^ Gowing, Alain (January 1990), "Dio's Name", Classical Philology, 85 (1): 49–54, JSTOR 269480
  3. ^ Dio's name: L'Année épigraphique 1971, 430 = Κλ΄ Κάσσιος Δίων. Roman Military Diplomas, Roxan, 133 = L. Cassius Dio.
  4. ^ Millar, Fergus (1964). Study of Cassius Dio. Oxford University Press. p. 250. ISBN 0-19-814336-2.
  5. ^ Carter, John (1987). The Reign of Augustus. London: Penguin Books. p. 1. ISBN 9780140444483.
  6. ^ Martindale, J. R.; Jones, A. H. M, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I AD 260-395, Cambridge University Press (1971), pg. 253

Further reading

  • Aalders, G. J. D. 1986. "Cassius Dio and the Greek World." Mnemosyne 39: 282–304.
  • Baltussen, Han. 2002. "Matricide Revisited: Dramatic and Rhetorical Allusion in Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio." Antichthon 36: 30-40.
  • Eisman, M. M. 1977. "Dio and Josephus: Parallel Analyses." Latomus 36: 657–673.
  • Gleason, Maud. 2011. "Identity Theft: Doubles and Masquerades in Cassius Dio's Contemporary History." Classical Antiquity 30.1: 33-86.
  • Gowing, Alain M. 1990. "Dio’s Name." Classical Philology 85: 49–54.
  • Kordos, Jozef. 2010. "Thucydidean Elements in Cassius Dio." Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 50.2-3:249-256.
  • Mallan, C. T. 2013. "Cassius Dio on Julia Domna: A Study of the Political and Ethical Functions of Biographical Representation in Dio's Roman History." Mnemosyne 66.4-5: 734-760.
  • McDougall, Iain. 1991. "Dio and His Sources for Caesar’s Campaigns in Gaul." Latomus 50:616–638.
  • Millar, F. G. B. 1964. A Study of Cassius Dio. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Murison, C. L. 1999. Rebellion and Reconstruction: Galba to Domitian: An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History. Books 64–67 (A.D. 68–96). Atlanta: Scholars Press.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Uncertain
Consul suffectus of the Roman Empire
around 205
with uncertain
Succeeded by
Uncertain
Preceded by
Quintus Aiacius Modestus Crescentianus,
Marcus Pomponius Maecius Probus
Consul of the Roman Empire
229
with Alexander Severus
Succeeded by
Lucius Virius Agricola,
Sextus Catius Clementinus Priscillianus
Alexander Helios

Alexander Helios (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος Ἥλιος; late 40 BC – unknown, but possibly between 29 and 25 BC) was a Ptolemaic prince and was the eldest son of the Macedonian queen Cleopatra VII of Ptolemaic Egypt by Roman triumvir Mark Antony. Alexander's fraternal twin sister was Cleopatra Selene II. Cleopatra named her son after Alexander the Great. His second name in Ancient Greek means "Sun"; this was the counterpart of his twin sister's second name Selene (Σελήνη), meaning "Moon".

Asander (Bosporan king)

Asander, named Philocaesar Philoromaios (Greek: Άσανδρoς Φιλοκαισαρ Φιλορώμαίος, Asander, lover of Caesar lover of Rome, 110 BC – 17 BC) was a Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom. He was of Greek and possibly of Persian ancestry. Not much is known of his family and early life. He started his career as a general under Pharnaces II, the king of the Bosporus. According to some scholars, Asander took as his first wife a woman called Glykareia, known from one surviving Greek inscription, "Glykareia, wife of Asander".

By 47 BC, Asander had taken Dynamis, the daughter of Pharnaces II by a Sarmatian wife, as his second wife. She was a granddaughter of King Mithridates VI of Pontus by his first wife, his sister Laodice.

In 47 BC Pharnaces II put Asander in charge the Bosporan Kingdom while he went away to invade the eastern parts of [Anatolia]. This was successful and Pharnaces started to advance towards the western parts of Anatolia. However, he stopped because Asander revolted against him. Asander hoped that by betraying his father-in-law he would win favor with the Romans and they could help him become the Bosporan King. Pharnaces defeated Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus but was then defeated by Gaius Julius Caesar. After this, he fled to Sinope with 1,000 cavalry. He was allowed leave with his cavalry. He killed his horses and sailed to the Cimmerian Bosporus, intending to recover it from Asander. He captured Theodosia (Feodosia) and Panticapaeum. Asander, attacked him. He was defeated because he was short of horses and his men were not used to fighting on foot. Pharnaces was killed in this battle. Strabo wrote that Asander, took possession of the Bosporus.Asander was soon overthrown from the Bosporan throne. Julius Caesar gave a tetrarchy in Galatia and the title of king to Mithridates of Pergamon. He also allowed him to wage war against Asander and conquer the Cimmerian Bosporus because Asander “had been mean to his friend Pharnaces.”. When Caecilius Bassus plotted a rebellion against Caesar and gathered troops to take over Syria in late 47 BC or early 46 BC, he claimed that “he was collecting these troops for the use of Mithridates the Pergamenian in an expedition against Bosporus.” Mithridates of Pergamon overthrew Asander and became Mithridates I of the Bosporus.

Mithridates robbed the temple of Leucothea in Moschia.. He was then overthrown by Asander.According to Lucian, Asander had been an ethnarch and then was proclaimed king of Bosporus by Augustus. This must have taken place after Augustus became the first Roman emperor in 27 BC.According to Strabo, Asander blocked the isthmus of the Chersonesus (Chersonesus Tauricus, modern Crimea) near Lake Maeotis (the Sea of Azov) with a wall which was 360 stadia long ( 53 kilometres, 35 miles) and had ten towers for every stadium. The wall was probably built because the Georgi of the region engaged in piracy. This isthmus was probably the modern Isthmus of Perekop.

Lucian wrote that Asander "at about ninety years proved himself a match for anyone in fighting from horseback or on foot; but when he saw his subjects going over to Scribonius on the eve of battle, he starved himself to death at the age of ninety-three."Cassius Dio wrote that a certain Scribonius claimed to be a grandson of Mithridates VI and that he had received the Bosporan Kingdom from Augustus after the death of Asander. He gained the control of the kingdom by marrying Dynamis, who had been entrusted with the regency of the kingdom by her husband. Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa sent Polemon against him. Scribonius was killed by the people, before Polemon got there because they had heard of his advance. They resisted Polemon because they were afraid that he may be appointed as their king. Polemon defeated them but was unable to quell the rebellion until Agrippa went to Sinope to prepare a campaign against them. They surrendered. Polemon was appointed as their king. He married Dynamis with the sanction of Augustus. Dynamis' marriage with a usurper, Scribonius must have been forced on her. She died in 14 BC, and Polemon ruled until his death in 8 BC, succeeded by Aspurgus.

Notes

Bellum Batonianum

The Bellum Batonianum (Latin for "war of the Batos") was a military conflict fought in the Roman province of Illyricum in which an alliance of native peoples of Illyricum revolted against the Romans. There were two regions in this Roman province: Dalmatia and Pannonia. The rebellion began among native peoples who were recruited as auxiliary troops for the Romans. They were led by Bato the Daesitiate (central parts of todays Bosnia). They were joined by the Breuci (a tribe in Pannonia) led by Bato the Breucan. Many other tribes in Illyria also joined the revolt.

The Romans referred to this conflict as bellum batonianum (Batonian war) after these two leaders with the same name. Velleius Paterculus called it the Pannonian and Dalmatian war because it involved both regions of Illyricum. In English it has been called the "Great Illyrian revolt", "Pannonian-Dalmatian uprising" and "Bato uprising."

The four-year war, which lasted from 6 AD to 9 AD, saw a large deployment of Roman forces in the province, with whole armies operating across the western Balkans and fighting on more than one front. In 8 AD the Breuci of the Sava valley surrendered, but it took another winter blockade and a season of fighting before the surrender in Dalmatia in 9 AD. The Roman historian Suetonius described this war as the most difficult conflict faced by Rome since the Punic Wars two centuries earlier.

Boudica

Boudica or Boudicca (also Boadicea or Boudicea , and known in Welsh as Buddug Welsh pronunciation: [ˈbɨ̞ðɨ̞ɡ]) was a queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60 or 61. She died shortly after its failure and was said to have poisoned herself. She is considered a British folk hero.Boudica's husband, Prasutagus, ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome, and left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and to the Roman emperor in his will. However, when he died, his will was ignored, and the kingdom was annexed and his property taken. According to Tacitus, Boudica was flogged and her daughters raped. Cassius Dio explains Boudica's response by saying that previous imperial donations to influential Britons were confiscated and the Roman financier and philosopher Seneca called in the loans he had forced on the reluctant Britons.In AD 60 or 61, when the Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was campaigning on the island of Anglesey off the northwest coast of Wales, Boudica led the Iceni, the Trinovantes, and others in revolt. They destroyed Camulodunum (modern Colchester), earlier the capital of the Trinovantes but at that time a colonia, a settlement for discharged Roman soldiers and site of a temple to the former Emperor Claudius. Upon hearing of the revolt, Suetonius hurried to Londinium (modern London), the 20-year-old commercial settlement that was the rebels' next target. He lacked sufficient numbers to defend the settlement, and he evacuated and abandoned Londinium. Boudica led a very large army of Iceni, Trinovantes, and others to defeat a detachment of Legio IX Hispana, and they burned and destroyed Londinium and Verulamium.

An estimated 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were then killed in the three cities by those led by Boudica, many by torture. Suetonius, meanwhile, regrouped his forces, possibly in the West Midlands; despite being heavily outnumbered, he decisively defeated the Britons. The crisis caused Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but Suetonius' victory over Boudica confirmed Roman control of the province.

Boudica then either killed herself to avoid capture (according to Tacitus), or died of illness (according to Cassius Dio).Interest in these events was revived in the English Renaissance and led to Boudica's fame in the Victorian era. Boudica has remained an important cultural symbol in the United Kingdom.

Caligula

Caligula (; Latin: Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 31 August 12 – 24 January 41 AD) was Roman emperor from AD 37 to AD 41. The son of the popular Roman general Germanicus and Augustus' granddaughter Agrippina the Elder, Caligula was born into the first ruling family of the Roman Empire, conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Germanicus' uncle and adoptive father, Tiberius, succeeded Augustus as emperor of Rome in AD 14.

Although he was born Gaius Caesar, after Julius Caesar, he acquired the nickname "Caligula" (meaning "little soldier's boot", the diminutive form of caliga) from his father's soldiers during their campaign in Germania. When Germanicus died at Antioch in AD 19, Agrippina returned with her six children to Rome, where she became entangled in a bitter feud with Tiberius. The conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted an invitation in AD 31 to join the emperor on the island of Capri, where Tiberius had withdrawn five years earlier. Following the death of Tiberius, Caligula succeeded his adoptive grandfather as emperor in AD 37.

There are few surviving sources about the reign of Caligula, although he is described as a noble and moderate emperor during the first six months of his rule. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversion, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources is questionable, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor, as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself, and initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the client kingdom of Mauretania as a province.

In early AD 41, Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted, however. On the day of the assassination of Caligula, the Praetorians declared Caligula's uncle, Claudius, the next Roman emperor. Although the Julio-Claudian dynasty continued to rule the empire until the fall of his nephew Nero in AD 68, Caligula's death marked the official end of the Julii Caesares in the male line.

Cassius Dio (consul 291)

Cassius Dio (; fl. late 3rd century) was a Roman senator who was appointed consul in AD 291.

Dapyx

Dapyx was a 1st-century BC chieftain of a Getae tribe or a tribe union in Scythia Minor (nowadays in Dobruja). Cassius Dio talks about him in the campaigns of Marcus Licinius Crassus on the Lower Danube region, being said to be a king on the region of central Scythia Minor who went to war with Rholes, a Roman ally. Crassus came in Roles' help and utterly defeated Dapyx's army, with their leader taking refuge in a fort, being betrayed and killed.

Darius of Pontus

Darius of Pontus (reigned 37-37/36 BC) was a monarch of Iranian and Greek Macedonian ancestry. He was the first child born to King Pharnaces II of Pontus and his Sarmatian wife. He had two younger siblings: a sister called Dynamis and a brother called Arsaces. His paternal grandparents were Mithridates VI, the king of Pontus and his first wife, his sister Laodice.

Hardly anything is known about Darius. We only have a mention by Appian that he was appointed king of Pontus by Mark Antony.According to Appian, Mark Antony established client kings in the eastern areas of the Roman empire which were under his control on condition that they paid a tribute. In Anatolia, Darius, the son of Pharnaces II and grandson of Mithridates VI, was appointed in Pontus, Polemon in a part of Cilicia and Amyntas in Pisidia. This was in 37 BC, before Antony's war with Parthia, when he was making preparations for it and before he wintered in Athens in the winter of 37/36 BC. The reign of Darius was short-lived. Strabo wrote that Polemon and Lycomedes of Comana attacked Arsaces, one the sons of Pharnaces II, in Sagylium because he “was playing the dynast and attempting a revolution without permission from any of the [Roman] prefects …” This stronghold was seized, but Arsaces fled to the mountains where he starved because he was without provisions and without water. Three decades earlier Pompey had ordered the wells to be obstructed by rocks to prevent robbers from hiding on the mountains. Arsaces was captured and killed. Cassius Dio described Polemon as "the king of that part of Pontus bordering on Cappadocia” Presumably, Polemon was appointed as a king of Pontus as a reward for suppressing Arsaces' attempt to assume the throne of Pontus. Pontus, which had become a Roman province, must have been assigned to several client kings who administered its various regions. We do not know whether Darius died and Arsaces was trying to succeed him or whether Arsaces was a usurper. Darius' reign must have lasted less that a year because Cassius Dio referred to Polemon as a king of Pontus when he was involved in Mark Antony's war against the Parthians in 36 BC.

Didius Julianus

Didius Julianus (; Latin: Marcus Didius Severus Julianus Augustus; 30 January 133 or 2 February 137 – 1 June 193) was Roman emperor for nine weeks from March to June 193, during the Year of the Five Emperors.

He ascended the throne after buying it from the Praetorian Guard, who had assassinated his predecessor Pertinax. A civil war ensued in which three rival generals laid claim to the imperial throne. Septimius Severus, commander of the legions in Pannonia and the nearest of the generals to Rome, marched on the capital, gathering support along the way and easily defeating those sent to impede his progress.

Abandoned by the Senate and the Praetorian Guard, Julianus was killed by a soldier in the palace and succeeded by Severus.

Elagabalus

Elagabalus (), also known as Heliogabalus (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy.

Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, lavishing favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers, and was reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard.

Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures and ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life".

First Triumvirate

The First Triumvirate was an informal political alliance of three prominent men between 60 and 53 BC, during the late Roman Republic: Gaius Julius Caesar, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great), and Marcus Licinius Crassus.

Julius Caesar was a prominent politician with the populares faction and was eventually renowned for his conquest of Gaul (58-50 BC). Pompey was considered the greatest military commander of his time and commanded armies in the Third Servile War (73–71 BC) in Italy and the Third Mithridatic War (73–63 BC) against the Kingdom of Pontus in West Asia. This gave him great prestige and popularity. Crassus was a property speculator, the largest landlord, and the richest man in Rome. Pompey and Crassus had extensive patronage networks. The three men formed an alliance with which they could gather sufficient popular support to counter the stranglehold the Roman Senate had over Roman politics. The Senate had thwarted some bills these men had sponsored. With this alliance they aimed to overcome the senate's resistance to these bills and to have them passed. The alliance had been kept secret until Pompey and Crassus publicly supported a land law proposed by Caesar in 58 BC. According to Goldsworthy, the alliance was "not at heart a union of those with the same political ideals and ambitions", but one where "all [were] seeking personal advantage." The triumvirate lasted from 59 BC until Crassus' death at the Battle of Carrhae, where he was defeated during his campaign against the Parthians in 53 BC, leaving behind an increasingly fractious relationship between Caesar and Pompey as they now had no buffer.A civil war ensued after Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon with his army in northern Italy in 49 BC. The conflict eventually led to Caesar's victory over Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC and the latter's assassination in Ptolemaic Egypt where he fled after the battle. In 44 BC Caesar was assassinated in Rome and the following year his heir Octavian (later known as Augustus) formed the Second Triumvirate with Marcus Antonius and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.

List of Roman tribunes

The following is a list of Roman tribunes as reported by ancient sources.

A tribune in ancient Rome was a person who held one of a number of offices, including Tribune of the plebs (a political office to represent the interests of the plebs), Military tribune (a rank in the Roman army), Tribune of the Celeres (the commander of the king's personal bodyguard), and various other positions. Unless otherwise noted, all dates are reported in BC.

Livia

Livia Drusilla (Classical Latin: Livia•Drvsilla, Livia•Avgvsta; 30 January 58 BC – 28 September AD 29 ), also known as Julia Augusta after her formal adoption into the Julian family in AD 14, was the wife of the Roman emperor Augustus throughout his reign, as well as his adviser. She was the mother of the emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the emperor Claudius, paternal great-grandmother of the emperor Caligula, and maternal great-great-grandmother of the emperor Nero. She was deified by Claudius who acknowledged her title of Augusta.

Nero

Nero (; Latin: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD) was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius and became Claudius' heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard. Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, was likely implicated in Claudius' death and Nero's nomination as emperor. She dominated Nero's early life and decisions until he cast her off. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered.During the early years of his reign, Nero was content to be guided by his mother, his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca and his Praetorian prefect, Sextus Afranius Burrus. As time passed, he started to play a more active and independent role in government and foreign policy. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a major revolt in Britain, led by the Iceni Queen Boudica. The Bosporan Kingdom was briefly annexed to the empire, and the First Jewish–Roman War began. Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade and the cultural life of the empire, ordering theatres built and promoting athletic games. He made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician and charioteer. In the eyes of traditionalists, this undermined the dignity and authority of his person, status, and office. His extravagant, empire-wide program of public and private works was funded by a rise in taxes that was much resented by the middle and upper classes. Various plots against his life were revealed; the ringleaders, most of them Nero's own courtiers, were executed.

In 68 AD Vindex, governor of the Gaulish territory Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled. He was supported by Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. Vindex's revolt failed in its immediate aim, but Nero fled Rome when Rome's discontented civil and military authorities chose Galba as emperor. He committed suicide on June 9, 68 AD, when he learned that he had been tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy, making him the first Roman Emperor to commit suicide. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors.

Nero's rule is usually associated with tyranny and extravagance. Most Roman sources, such as Suetonius and Cassius Dio, offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign; Tacitus claims that the Roman people thought him compulsive and corrupt. Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome was instigated by Nero to clear the way for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. According to Tacitus he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire and burned them alive, seemingly motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty. Some modern historians question the reliability of the ancient sources on Nero's tyrannical acts. A few sources paint Nero in a more favorable light. There is evidence of his popularity among the Roman commoners, especially in the eastern provinces of the Empire, where a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. At least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as "Nero reborn" to enlist popular support.

Pompey

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Classical Latin: [ˈgnae̯.ʊs pɔmˈpɛj.jʊs ˈmaŋ.nʊs]; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), usually known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic. He came from a wealthy Italian provincial background, and his father had been the first to establish the family among the Roman nobility. Pompey's immense success as a general while still very young enabled him to advance directly to his first consulship without meeting the normal requirements for office. His success as a military commander in Sulla's second civil war resulted in Sulla bestowing the nickname Magnus, "the Great", upon him. His Roman adversaries insulted him as adulescentulus carnifex, "the teenage butcher", after his Sicilian campaign. He was consul three times (twice with Crassus and once a consul without a partner) and celebrated three triumphs.

In mid-60 BC, Pompey joined Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gaius Julius Caesar in the unofficial military-political alliance known as the First Triumvirate, which Pompey's marriage to Caesar's daughter Julia helped secure. After the deaths of Julia and Crassus, Pompey sided with the optimates, the conservative faction of the Roman Senate. Pompey and Caesar then contended for the leadership of the Roman state, leading to a civil war. When Pompey was defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, he sought refuge in Egypt, where he was assassinated. His career and defeat are significant in Rome's subsequent transformation from Republic to Empire.

Pyrrhic War

The Pyrrhic War (280–275 BC) was a war fought by Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus. Pyrrhus was asked by the people of the Greek city of Tarentum in southern Italy to help them in their war with the Roman Republic.

A skilled commander, with a strong army fortified by war elephants (which the Romans were not experienced in facing), Pyrrhus enjoyed initial success against the Roman legions, but suffered heavy losses even in these victories. Plutarch wrote that Pyrrhus said after the second battle of the war, "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined." He could not call up more men from home and his allies in Italy were becoming indifferent. The Romans, by contrast, had a very large pool of military manpower and could replenish their legions even if their forces were depleted in many battles. This has led to the expression Pyrrhic victory, a term for a victory that inflicts losses the victor cannot afford in the long term.

Worn down by the battles against Rome, Pyrrhus moved his army to Sicily to war against the Carthaginians instead. After several years of campaigning there (278-275 BC), he returned to Italy in 275 BC, where the last battle of the war was fought, ending in Roman victory. Following this, Pyrrhus returned to Epirus, ending the war. Three years later, in 272 BC, the Romans captured Tarentum.

The Pyrrhic War was the first time that Rome confronted the professional mercenary armies of the Hellenistic states of the eastern Mediterranean. Rome's victory drew the attention of these states to the emerging power of Rome. Ptolemy II, the king of Egypt, established diplomatic relations with Rome. After the war, Rome asserted its hegemony over southern Italy.

Rholes

Rholes or Roles (Ancient Greek Ῥώλης) was a Getae chieftain in Scythia Minor (modern Dobruja) mentioned by Cassius Dio in his Roman History. According to Dio, he helped Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus defeat the Bastarnae, and when he visited Octavian, he was treated as "a friend and ally" for his support for the Romans. Later he sent for Crassus to help in his conflict with Getae chieftain Dapyx. These events have been dated to 31-27 BC.

Tapae

Tapae was a fortified settlement, guarding Sarmizegetusa, the main political centre of Dacia. Its location was on the Iron Gates of Transylvania, a natural passage breaking between Țarcului and Poiana Ruscă Mountains and connecting Banat to Țara Hațegului. This made it one of the very few points through which invaders could enter Transylvania from the south. Moreover, 8 kilometres down the passage into Țara Hațegului, there is Sarmizegetusa Regia.

Cassius Dio notes the existence of a military camp there during the Dacian Wars. The place is the site of two battles between Dacians and Romans.

Nowadays there is a small village on this site named Zeicani, located within Sarmizegetusa commune.

Titus

Titus (; Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus; 30 December 39 AD – 13 September 81 AD) was Roman emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman emperor to come to the throne after his own biological father.

Prior to becoming emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judea during the First Jewish–Roman War. The campaign came to a brief halt with the death of emperor Nero in 68, launching Vespasian's bid for the imperial power during the Year of the Four Emperors. When Vespasian was declared Emperor on 1 July 69, Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion. In 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph; the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day.

During his father's rule, Titus gained notoriety in Rome serving as prefect of the Praetorian Guard, and for carrying on a controversial relationship with the Jewish queen Berenice. Despite concerns over his character, Titus ruled to great acclaim following the death of Vespasian in 79, and was considered a good emperor by Suetonius and other contemporary historians.

As emperor, he is best known for completing the Colosseum and for his generosity in relieving the suffering caused by two disasters, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a fire in Rome in 80. After barely two years in office, Titus died of a fever on 13 September 81. He was deified by the Roman Senate and succeeded by his younger brother Domitian.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.