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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

War

Articles related to war efforts of Greeks and Romans; constant activity throughout History.

The citizens of Capua were consulted

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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".

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Some Roman public service contractors were fraudsters

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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.

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At the gates of the Roman Empire / At the gates of Europe

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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.

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The eclipses announce extraordinary events (I)

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Man has taken thousands of years, from his appearing on earth, watching the sky, sometimes impressed by the thousands of bright spots, around 1,500 naked eye, moving or standing still, and other times frightened by the influence which the sky can have on their lives.

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War destroys everything, including culture and art

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The war is the domain of the adversary first by destroying the people, whom it kills without mercy, and then everything that gets (although not opposed) passing. The most valuable losses are people, of course. Then an irreparable loss is the art and culture sometimes accumulated over centuries and millennia, that some "warriors" qualify euphemistically of "collateral damage".

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Octavian Augustus in Hispania (in its two thousandth anniversary)

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Finally the hot summer has given way to sweeter autumn . The summer lasts June, the month of the goddess Juno, the homologous Roman of the Greek Hera, to September, the seventh month of the initial year of ten months. Between the initial month and the end of summer the months of July and August are threshed day to day. July first was called "Quinctilis", ie, the fifth month, and August "Sextilis", ie, the sixth month. The general or "imperator" Julius Caesar gave his name to the fifth and his nephew and first emperor Octavian Augustus gave the name to the sixth.

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Caius Gracchus: “this is only interesting for political speakers, own interest”

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Aulus Gellius, in Book XI, Chapter 9 of his Attic Nights, tells how the famous Greek orator Demosthenes leave buy for a good amount of money for not a speech against the Macedonian Harpalus. In the next chapter 10 gives us another version now attributed to a speech of Gaius Gracchus. But the interest of this text goes beyond the different allocation, because Gracchus reveals starkly how political speakers and advocates seek above all profit and benefit.

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Exposure of corpses

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Human beings, unlike other animals, attend their dead and their corpses. This is attested since the Palaeolithic. The ways and customs of the various peoples referred to the fact of death and to treat the bodies, are many and varied. No doubt these rites are the result of confusion that causes death in all living beings; people seek immortality but man finds the decomposition of the body. It is therefore necessary to perform rites to avoid the process of decomposition . In expression of Walter Burkert, the Homo sapiens is a homo sepeliens (from Latin sepelio, burial), a man who buries his dead comrades.

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The names of the months are Roman

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Among the many things that the Romans have left us no less important is the calendar with the names of the months, days and seasons. To understand the logic and coherence of the names "september= September; october= October; november= November and december= December," which etymologically means "seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth" we must know that the primitive Roman year had ten months and began in March.

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A bridge from Italy to Greece

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Today there are great bridges that fill us with wonder by its length: the Akashi-Kaikyo with 1991 mts. in Japan, or the Great Belt East with 1624mts. in Denmark, or Runyang with 1490 mts. in China. They are the world's largest cable-stayed bridges. In ancient times the Romans were great builders of bridges.

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In Rome the declaration of war is a sacred act that only “fetial” priests can perform.

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Unfortunately war is an activity too often in the history of men. Despite the violence it engenders and which develops, war is subject to rules and rites. The Roman people, very superstitious and ritualistic, has rituals for all activities, and also for war. War is an action so important that only “fetial” priests can declare.

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