1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world
This includes all articles directly related to Ancient History as a science, that is, the History of
History, historiography, and also those articles that are relevant to the historical knowledge of
the Ancient World. Finally, this also includes articles related to the Archaeology of the classical
Among these prodigies, the lightnings, the apparitions of divine beings wrapped in marvelous lights and halos stand out and impress the Romans. The appearance of some goddess to small shepherds is documented already in an Egyptian text of the time of The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2.000-1800 b.Ch.) to which I dedicate a next article.
"The face is the mirror of the soul", "By the way of expressing yourself, we know the way of being yourself", "May your life be like your speech" or "think that you say and say that you think" are expressions and ideas that we have been using it since Greco-Roman antiquity in which Stoic thinkers generalized them.
It is a well-established question that women in general in the ancient world, in Greece and in Rome, hardly play any public, social and political role, remaining largely invisible, even in different stays within their own home; so we call "gynoecium", γυναικεῖον, the rooms of the house for the exclusive use of women; the "andron", Ἀνδρῶν, is the part of the house reserved for men.
As it is well known, the Athenians invented back in the fifth century BC. the democracy or political system in which the citizens, the people, the "demos", chose their rulers. This grandiose fact, whose most advanced development only exists in a few present Western countries, does not allow us to ignore the great limitation of that original democracy: only the citizens, a minority among the inhabitants of Athens, had these rights; Nor women, nor slaves, nor foreigners could vote.
Neither should we ignore the ease with which the people were "manipulated", impressed, to make damaging agreements even against democracy itself, when there emerge the "demagogues" who even impose "tyrants".
The most famous Latin poets of the three of the time of Augustus, Virgil, Horace and Ovid, undoubtedly the most influential of them all in Western culture has been Ovid, although not the best valued by literary criticism. The influence of Ovid has been felt since antiquity itself, during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the present day in all arts, in literature of course, but also especially in painting and even in music. This is a subject very attended by the scholars and to which perhaps I should on my part dedicate some ample comment at some time. Something of this I have said in some of the articles that I have published in the thread of the celebration of the bimillenary of the poet’s death.
Was the exile that fueled part of Ovid's poetry real or was it only a poetic fiction with which the creative poet has deceived us two thousand years?
The question may seem a modern exaggeration, characteristic of scholars who seek notoriety at any price. But it is not so and it is worthwhile to devote some time to this topic that was already raised at the beginning of the 20th century, and to which since then serious reflections and studies have been dedicated.
In ancient Rome, and from Republican era, it is leased to private the exploitation of land and resources of the state, which were all conquered by the roman legions, and even strong companies of investors were established for it. This activity generated a space where it was easy to confuse the private with the public and produced some episodes of corruption which to some extent remind current events.
In the eighth year of our era, the cheerful and worldly Latin poet Ovid was in Elba island in the company of his friend Maximus whose full name was Marcus Aurelius Cotta Máximus, son of Marcus Valerius Messala Corvinus, the protector of some literates. There Ovid received from the emperor Augustus a letter with the charge of serious crimes and the order to appear quickly in Rome, where he received the immediate condemnation of exile to the frontiers of the Empire.
The History does not repeat itself but sometimes some events occur at different times and the have some similarity. See article http://en.antiquitatem.com/cervantes-world-book-day.
In these present times they appear occasionally comparisons of the fall of the Roman Empire with the present time of tensions between East and West. More specifically similarities are seen between the events of the year 378 which end with the defeat of the Romans at Adrianople, present-day Edirne in Turkey at the current borders of Greece and Bulgaria and the death of Emperor Valens in battle and the wars in Iraq and Syria, which move millions of displaced fugitives from one place to another.
We name “calligramme” or pattern poem or visual poem it that with the arrangement of its verses and words written in the text draws the shape that the content of the poem refers to extend the emotional content. It is therefore a beautiful visual poem; that's what "calligramme" means.
According to the moralist scheme of Roman historians and educators, the ancient inhabitants of Rome were austere farmers, who then became addicted to the pleasures and they were corrupted influenced by Greek and Asian luxury after the Punic Wars and the conquest of Greece and East.
Laurel leaves crown the best poets and the most seasoned soldiers. It is true that "weapons and the letters" quite frequently go together, but it is curious that the same decorative and symbolic element that rewards intelligence and art also serve as recognition of the value and military courage. The bay also has other values that should know, but why?
For many millennia man uses all his energy to replenish the energy spent foraging and food. He was able to accumulate wealth when he was able to cultivate the land and control the domesticating animals using their multiplication. He must to keep the accumulated wealth safe from various enemies; so kings and states created the called "treasures". Some smaller or personal amounts were kept in protected "arks" or "safe boxes". Even smaller and easier to transport amounts were kept in smaller boxes also, in bags or "piggy banks".
The ancient Romans celebrated the beginning of a new year with very special holidays, as it couldn’t be otherwise: not for nothing is very important in the ancient classical world is a mistaken idea of cyclical time just constantly reborn. See http://en.antiquitatem.com/what-is-century
One of the many intellectuals, who suffered the wrath of power, was Demetrius of Corinth (ca.7 / 10 AD -ca.90), Greek prestigious intellectual and cynic philosopher, who lived a long life of 80 years in Roman imperial era, full of disappointments. There are many ideas from him, cited by many authors, and he had a significant influence on many Roman authors, like Seneca.
One of the greatest contributions of Roma to Western civilization was the urbanization of the territory that was conquered with its legions. Rome built cities (urbs) and implemented a modern system of citizen life (civitas).
Not today, but two thousand years ago certainly all roads led to Rome, which was the capital of a vast empire. More than 380 major roads or highways with more than 80,000 kms., allowed its legions, its officials, its citizens to go out and go easily to the capital, Rome. It is curious to note how the direction of all the roads marked to Rome as final destination, like rays or spokes of a huge circle. They range from the Pillars of Hercules in Hispania or from the "Hadrian’s Wall" in Scotland to the Euphrates in Mesopotamia, from northern Germany to the North African desert.
The most famous story of the first meeting of Diogenes with Alexander served later Dio Chrysostom to recreate the meeting, to satirize the power and the powerful and to present his ideas about the divine origin of power and legitimacy of its exercise.