Roman Empire

Marcus Aurelius – the Philosopher on the Emperor’s Throne

Marcus Aurelius – the Philosopher on the Emperor’s Throne

On March 17, 180 AD, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius passed away. He is often referred to as the philosopher on the emperor‘s throne and considered on of the most important Stoic philosophers. “Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditationes (161-180) Taking Up the Dress…
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Pompeii – Conquered, Buried, Rediscovered

Pompeii – Conquered, Buried, Rediscovered

Pompeii was an ancient city in Campania on the Gulf of Naples, which like Herculaneum, Stabiae and Oplontis was buried during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, but remained largely preserved under the volcanic ashes.[1] In its approximately seven hundred year history Pompeii was inhabited and shaped by Osci, Samnites, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, but was forgotten after the burial in the course of time. The rediscovery in the 18th century…
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Galenus of Pergamon – The most Accomplished Physician of Antiquity

Galenus of Pergamon – The most Accomplished Physician of Antiquity

In 129 AD, Greek physician, surgeon and philosopher in the Roman Empire Aelius Galenus also referred to as Claudius Galenus was born. Arguably the most accomplished of all medical researchers of antiquity, Galen influenced the development of various scientific disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and neurology, as well as philosophy and logic. “Employment is Nature’s physician, and is essential to human happiness.” — attributed to Galenus, In: Day’s Collacon: an Encyclopaedia of Prose…
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Edward Gibbon and the Science of History

Edward Gibbon and the Science of History

On April 27, 1737, English historian and Member of Parliament Edward Gibbon was born. His most famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788 and is known for the quality and irony of its prose as well as for its scientific historic accuracy, which made it a model for later historians. History is little more than the register…
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Marcus Tullius Cicero – a Homo Novus

Marcus Tullius Cicero – a Homo Novus

On January 3, 106 BC, Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist Marcus Tullius Cicero was born. Besides his work as politician, he is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or…
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Constantine and the Battle at the Milvian Bridge

Constantine and the Battle at the Milvian Bridge

Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Giulio Romano, 1520-24 On October 28, 312 AD, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius took place. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. According to historians, the battle marked the beginning of Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and thus fostered the rise of…
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Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

On August 25, 79 AD, Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder died, while attempting the rescue by ship of a friend and his family from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that had just destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Unfortunately, there don’t exist contemporary pictures or portaits of Pliny the Elder. Thus, I decided to show you an also imaginary picture of the destruction of Pompeii instead. Gaius…
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Marius and the Battle of the Raudine Plain

Marius and the Battle of the Raudine Plain

On July 30, 101 BC, the Battle of the Raudine Plain took place, which resulted in the Roman victory of Consul Gaius Marius over the invading Germanic tribe of the Cimbri near the settlement of Vercellae in Cisalpine Gaul. The entire tribe of the Cimbri was virtually wiped out and the plans of the Germanic tribes of an invasion of Rome was put to an end. Well, then raise your hands if you have…
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Hypatia – the first Woman in Mathematics

Hypatia – the first Woman in Mathematics

Hypatia of Alexandria The Neoplatonian philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, Egypt, was the first well-documented woman in mathematics. Her actual date of birth is unknown, although considered somewhen between 350 and 370 AD. She was the head of the Platonist school at Alexandria and additionally taught philosophy and astronomy. Hypatia was taught in mathematics and astronomy by her father, who was well known for his studies at the Alexandrian School. It is unknown,…
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The Codex Justinianus and the origins of Jurisdiction

The Codex Justinianus and the origins of Jurisdiction

Justinian I depicted on a mosaic in the church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy On November 16, 534 AD, the second and final revision of the Corpus Juris Civilis, also referred to as the Codex Justinianus, a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor, is published. The four parts of the Codex Justinianus constitute the foundation documents of the Western…
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