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W. M. Murray

Actium (Ἄκτιον), a flat sandy promontory at the entrance to the Ambracian Gulf, forming part of the territory of Anactorium, as well as the NW extremity of *Acarnania. A cult of Apollo was located here as early as the 6th cent. bce to judge from the torsos of two archaic kouroi found on the cape in 1867. At this time, or soon thereafter, a temple stood on a low hill near the tip of the promontory where games were celebrated in honour of the god as late as the end of the 3rd cent. bce. In 31 bce the cape was the site of M. *Antonius (2)'s camp, and gave its name to the naval battle, fought just outside the gulf, in which he was defeated by *Octavian (2 September). A few years later, when Octavian founded *Nicopolis (3) on the opposite (northern) side of the strait, he took care to enlarge Apollo's sanctuary at Actium by rebuilding the old temple and adding a monumental naval trophy (not to be confused with the naval trophy he dedicated at Nicopolis). In ship-sheds constructed in the sacred grove at the base of the hill, he dedicated a set of ten captured warships, one from each of the ten classes that had fought in the battle (Strabo 7. 7. 6). Although the ships and their ship-sheds were gone (destroyed by fire) by the time Strabo composed his account, recent excavations have located the site where the kouroi were found in 1867 and have confirmed the location of the temple, obscured for many years.



T. W. Potter

Aesernia (mod. Isernia), a strong site near the upper Volturnus river, controlling NW *Samnium. Originally a Samnite town, a Latin colony (see ius latii) established here after the Samnite Wars (263 bce) was staunchly pro-Roman until *Social War (3) insurgents captured it (90 bce) and made it their capital.


Africa, Roman  

William Nassau Weech, Brian Herbert Warmington, and R. J. A. Wilson

The *Punic Wars made Rome heir to the Carthaginian empire. In 146 bce she left most territory in the hands of *Masinissa's descendants, but formed a new province (Africa) in the most fertile part. This covered about 13,000 sq. km. (5,000 sq. mi.) of north and central Tunisia, north-east of a boundary line (the fossa regia, ‘the royal ditch’) from Thabraca to *Hadrumetum; it was governed by a praetor from Utica. Except for *Utica and six other towns of Phoenician origin which had supported Rome rather than Carthage in the Punic Wars, most of the land became *ager publicus. Although the attempt by Gaius C. *Sempronius Gracchus to found a colonia at Carthage failed, Roman and Italian traders and farmers settled in the province in large numbers, and many of C. *Marius (1)'s veterans settled west of the fossa regia. After the battle of Thapsus in 46 bce*Caesar added to the existing province (thenceforth called Africa Vetus, ‘Old Africa’) the Numidian territory of Juba I (Africa Nova, ‘New Africa’).



Edward Togo Salmon and T. W. Potter

Antium (mod. Anzio), in *Latium. It was occupied from at least the 8th cent. bce by people with a material culture resembling that of Rome itself. It was certainly Latin in the 6th cent. bce (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1. 72; Polyb. 3. 22), but shortly thereafter *Volsci captured it, and for 200 years Antium was apparently the principal Volscian city. In the 4th cent. bce it was the centre of Volscian resistance to Rome, that ended only when C. *Maenius captured the Antiate fleet and made possible the establishment of a citizen colony (see colonization, roman), 338 bce (Livy, bks. 2–8; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. bks. 4–10). Antiate pirates, however, continued active even after 338 (Strabo 5. 232). After being sacked by C. *Marius (1), Antium became a fashionable resort (Augustus had a villa here), with celebrated temples (App. Bciv. 1. 69, 5. 26; Hor. Carm.


Asia, Roman province  

William Moir Calder, Eric William Gray, and Stephen Mitchell

*Attalus III of Pergamum bequeathed his kingdom to the Romans. After his death in 133 bce it was constituted as provincia Asia by M. *Aquillius (1). Originally it consisted of Mysia, the Troad (*Troas), *Aeolis, *Lydia, Ionia (see ionians), the islands along the coast, much of *Caria, and at least a land corridor through *Pisidia to *Pamphylia. Part of *Phrygia was given to Mithradates V Euergetes and was not made part of the province until 116 bce. *Lycaonia was added before 100 and the area around Cibyra in 82 bce. After 80 bce, the SE portion was removed and joined to the new province of Cilicia, as were the Phrygian assize-districts of Laodicea, Apamea, and Synnada between 56 and 50 bce. Under the empire Asia included all the territory from Amorium and Philomelium in the east to the sea; it was bounded in the north by Bithynia, in the south by Lycia, and on the east by Galatia.


Britain, Roman  

Martin Millett

The province of Britannia. The oldest name of the island known to us is *Albion; the earliest form of the present name, Πρεττανία, was used by the Greeks. The Latin Britannia was in use by the 1st cent. bce. It has no direct Celtic origin and is probably a Latin abstraction from an earlier form.The iron age communities of Britain showed a variety of social organization, although all were agrarian peoples organized into tribal territories dominated by a range of enclosed settlement sites. Many were agriculturally sophisticated and had developed an impressive Celtic art style (see celts). The peoples of the south-east had a long history of shared culture with northern Gaul. The islands were known to the Mediterranean world from at least the 3rd cent. bce. After 120 bce, as trading contacts between Transalpine Gaul and areas to the north intensified, Britain began to receive goods such as wine *amphorae, and Gallo-Belgic coinage was introduced.


Caesarea (2) in Palaestina  

Joseph Patrich

Caesarea Maritima was founded (22–10/9 bce) by Herod (1) the Great. Named after Caesar Augustus, Herod’s patron, it served as the administrative capital and main port of his kingdom of Judaea, later the Roman province of Syria-Palaestina. Herod’s building projects are described in detail by Flavius Josephus (AJ 15.331–341; BJ 1.408–415). Many of its structures have been uncovered in the archaeological excavations carried out at the site since the 1950s. In 71 ce, Caesarea became a Roman colony and Latin became the official language. A praetorium for the financial procurator provinciae was erected there by Vespasian and Titus in 77/78 ce. In the 2nd–4th centuries it was a prosperous city where Gentiles, Jews, Samaritans, and Christians lived side by side. It was a centre of intellectual activity.Caesarea (2) in Palaestina (Qisri, Qisrin in the Rabbinic sources), also known as Caesarea Maritima, was founded (22–10/9bce) by .



Albert William van Buren, Ian Archibald Richmond, John North, and John Patterson

Capitol, Capitolium, or mons Capitolinus, the smallest of the *Seven hills of Rome: an isolated mass with two peaks, conventionally known as Capitolium proper and Arx. Legend associated the hill with Saturn, and recent archaeological work has revealed occupation dating back to the bronze age. It is best known as the site of the great temple begun by the Tarquins (see tarquinius priscus and tarquinius superbus) and dedicated, in the first year of the republic according to tradition, to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Juno, and Minerva. Given its role as citadel and its religious importance, the hill was seen as a symbol of Roman power. It was successfully defended against the gauls in 390 bce. Here the consuls sacrificed at the beginning of the year and provincial governors took vows before going to their provinces; a sacrifice here was the culmination of the triumphal procession (see triumph).



Rebecca Futo Kennedy and Katherine Blouin

Natural environments such as the air currents, temperatures, waters, and topography were thought to shape humans, animals, and plants. For humans, the impact was physical, behavioural, and cultural. For animals, the impacts were mostly physical (e.g., oxen in Scythia have no horns because of the cold). This is typically referred to as environmental or climatic determinism. Early explicit examples of this idea include the HippocraticAirs, Waters, Places and occasional comments in Herodotus, but arguments for such a relationship between identity and environment as early as Homer’s Odyssey and Hesiod have been made.1 There is a long-standing tradition beginning with Homer and extending through the Roman imperial period of humans, animals, and their hybrids being associated with geographic distance from an imagined centre, dwelling in designated climate bands, or being earth-born or autochthonous (gēgenēs, autochthōn) that may reflect early forms of environmental determinism. The ideas continue to circulate in much the same form as found in the Hippocratic Airs in Roman authors such as Vitruvius, Manilius, Pliny the Elder, and Vegetius.



John Frederick Drinkwater

Germans (Germani), after the *Celts the second major linguistic and cultural grouping encountered by the Graeco-Roman world in northern Europe. It was the Romans' failure, between 12 bce and 9ce, to absorb the Germanic peoples west of the Elbe that compelled them to centre the defence of their western empire on the Rhine (*Rhenus) and upper Danube (*Danuvius). Sporadic German raiding in the 1st and 2nd cent. ce developed into prolonged trouble in the 3rd cent. with the emergence of the Frankish and Alamannic threat to Gaul and Italy, and with the application of Gothic pressure on the lower and middle Danube. The relative pacification of the *Goths in the 260s and 270s (see heruli) left the *Franks and the *Alamanni as Rome's most important Germanic enemies down to the last quarter of the 4th cent., after which large-scale Gothic settlement south of the Danube unbalanced imperial foreign and domestic politics. The early 5th cent. saw the Goths sweep from Thrace through the Balkans into Italy, thence to Spain and back to Gaul. *Vandals, Sueves, and *Burgundians also crossed the Rhine in force.



Nicholas Purcell

The merchant discoverer, in the Augustan or Tiberian age, of new ways of navigating the Arabian Sea: specifically the possibility of using the (very violent: his ships must have been substantial) SW *monsoon to make deep-sea voyages from the south coast of *Arabia to the NW coast of India, and the SE monsoon (a gentler wind) for the journey back to the mouth of the *Red Sea (his name was given to an African cape, part of the Arabian Sea, and to the wind itself). Regular contacts archaeologically attested from the 1st cent. bce onwards at e.g. Arikamedu (see india) suggest that Hippalus was not unique, but the increasing importance of this region and its communications in the economic history of the old world in the first half of the first millennium ce is indubitable.



Bruno Helly

Pharsalus, city in *Thessaly, on the southern border of the central valley of the river *Enipeus, near a crossroads linking the *Adriatic to the *Aegean and central Greece and Thessaly to *Macedonia. Occupation of the site has been continuous from the neolithic until today. A few Mycenaean remains are insufficient to ensure identification with Phthia, home of *Achilles (see phthiotis); the name, unknown to *Homer, is relatively late. From the 6th cent. bce Pharsalus dominated the tetrad of Phthiotis and played an active role in Thessaly. Two aristocratic families, the Echecratids and the Daochids, shared power over the city, which was allied to Athens in the *Persian Wars, and several times received the supreme command of the Thessalians. Around 500 bce Pharsalus minted coins and constructed its walls. From the end of the 5th cent. it was involved in the struggles between *Larissa and *Pherae; its citizens expelled the Echecratids and *Jason (2) of Pherae took over the city.



John F. Lazenby

The battle of Pydna takes its name from the town on the north-east coast of Greece, where the Romans under L. *Aemilius Paullus (2) put an end to the Macedonian monarchy by defeating king *Perseus (2) (22 June 168 bce). As was the case with *Cynoscephalae, the battle seems to have been brought about by an unintentional clash, this time between light troops. The main Macedonian army deployed more quickly than the Roman, and at first the *phalanx carried all before it. But it became disrupted, possibly by the terrain over which it was advancing, and the Romans were able to infiltrate its formation by dividing into maniples. At the same time, Roman cavalry and *elephants defeated the Macedonian left wing, thus enveloping the phalanx's left flank, and the same thing probably happened on the Macedonian right. Some 20,000 Macedonians were killed, and about 11,000 taken prisoner, only the cavalry escaping in any numbers.


Regillus lake  

Andrew Drummond

Lake Regillus, the site of an alleged heroic Roman victory (aided by the intervention of *Castor and Pollux) over the *Latini (led by Octav(i)us *Mamilius) in 499 or 496 bce, was in Tusculan territory, perhaps at Prata Porci or Pantano Secco (2 miles north of Frascati). See also postumius tubertus, a.


Rubico, commonly called Rubicon  

Edward Togo Salmon

Rubico (commonly called Rubicon), reddish stream flowing into the Adriatic and marking the boundary between Italy and *Gaul (Cisalpine): possibly the modern Pisciatello. In 49 bce*Caesar, after some hesitation, precipitated civil war by crossing it.


Tarpeian Rock  

Ian Archibald Richmond and John Patterson

A precipitous cliff on the *Capitol from which murderers and traitors were thrown (see tarpeia). Some ancient sources (e.g. Varro, Ling. 5. 41) place it close to the temple of *Jupiter Capitolinus; Dion. Hal. (7. 35. 4; 8. 78. 5), however, locates it at the south-east corner of the hill above the Roman Forum. The latter seems more likely, given the proximity of the Carcer and Scalae Gemoniae, which were also traditional places of execution.



Eric William Gray, Susan Mary Sherwin-White, and Josef Wiesehöfer

Tigranocerta, city in *Armenia, in Arzanene; it was founded by *Tigranes (1) II (App. Mith.67) after 80 bce as a city in the Hellenistic style which he was building to be the centre of his new empire. Its precise position is still disputed (Silvan/Martyropolis? Tall Arman? near Arzan?), but its general location intended it to maintain communications between Armenia and Tigranes' southern possessions. He swelled its citizen body by netting the cities of conquered *Cappadocia, *Adiabene, and *Gordyene (Plut.Luc. 25 f.; Strabo 12. 2. 27). Its fortifications were incomplete when L. *Licinius Lucullus(2) defeated Tigranes in 69 and easily secured its capitulation. The captured exiles were sent home, but Tigranocerta was still an important fortified city in ce 50, for example, when the Roman general Cn. *Domitius Corbulo occupied it. In the wars of the *Sasanid king Sapor II, against Rome and Armenia in the 4th cent.


Trasimene, Lake, battle of  

John F. Lazenby

An ambush on a huge scale, Trasimene was the second of Hannibal's victories. The consul, C. *Flaminius (1), with probably some 25,000 men, followed Hannibal, with perhaps some 60,000, into the narrow passage along the north shore of the lake, and found his path blocked by Spaniards and Africans, while slingers and pikemen attacked his right, Celts his left, and cavalry his rear. The consul himself fell, with 15,000 of his soldiers, and all but a handful of the rest were taken prisoner. There is some doubt about where exactly the battle took place. *Polybius(1)'s account fits the area between Passignano and Magione, and is probably to be preferred, although it has been claimed that archaeological evidence—which may not be relevant—supports Livy's apparent location between Pieve Confini and Passignano.



John Frederick Drinkwater

Uxellodunum, an *oppidum of the Cadurci, in 51 bce the scene of the last Gallic resistance to *Caesar, who took it by diverting its spring. The precise location of the place remains a little problematic. It is now generally identified with Puy d'Issolu (Lot, near Vayrac) where in 1862 Cessac discovered diversionary works at a spring on the west side of the hill-fort.