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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’).


Alba Fucens  

T. W. Potter

Alba Fucens, a Latin colony of 6,000 (see ius latii) founded by Rome in 303 bce, on a hill above the Fucine lake (see fucinus lacus) in central Italy. It was connected to Rome by the *via Valeria, a route of great antiquity. Alba usually supported the Roman government, e.g. against *Hannibal, the socii (90 bce; see social war (3)), *Caesar, and M. *Antonius (2) (Mark Antony). In the 2nd cent. bce, dethroned kings such as *Syphax were confined here. The walls, which extend for nearly 3 km. (1 ¾ mi.), originated in the 3rd cent. bce, and the town saw substantial replanning in the 1st cent. bce. Extensive excavations have revealed the forum, basilica, shops, temples, theatres, amphitheatre, etc. Decline began in the 3rd cent. ce, and the place is not mentioned after 537 when Justinian's troops were stationed here.


alcoholism, Roman  

John Maxwell O'Brien and Barney Rickenbacker

The ancient Romans were as interested in the harmful effects of excessive drinking and chronic intoxication as their Greek counterparts. In On the Nature of Things, *Lucretius writes that wine's fury disturbs the soul, debilitates the body, and provokes quarrels (3. 476–83). The younger *Seneca warns that habitual drunkenness so weakens the mind that its consequences are felt long after the drinking has stopped (Ep. 83. 26). He notes that some men become so tolerant of wine that even though they are inebriated they appear to be sober (Ep. 83. 11). Seneca also suggests that drunkenness tends to disclose and magnify character defects (Ep. 83. 19–20). In his Naturalis historia, *Pliny (1) the Elder finds irony in the fact that men spend hard-earned money on something that can damage the mind and cause madness (14. 137). Like the Greeks, Pliny comments on truth in wine (‘in vino veritas’), but emphasizes that the truths therein revealed are often better left unspoken (HN 14.



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.



John Frederick Drinkwater

Arverni, an advanced iron age people, occupying modern Auvergne, who contested the primacy of Gaul with the *Aedui (Caes. BGall. 1. 31. 3). In 207 bce they treated with *Hasdrubal (2) (Livy 27. 39. 6), and in the next century, under Luernius and his son Bituitus, they commanded an extensive empire (Strabo 4. 2. 3). Bituitus was, however, defeated by Cn. *Domitius Ahenobarbus (2) and Q. *Fabius Maximus (Allobrogicus) (121), and the Arvernian empire was reduced to suzerainty over some neighbouring tribes. In 52*Vercingetorix, son of a former Arvernian king, led the Gallic revolt against *Caesar, and defeated an attempt upon the hill-fort capital, *Gergovia. After the fall of Vercingetorix, the Arverni lost their powers of suzerainty, but obtained the position of civitas libera (see free cities), and became prosperous and Romanized. Under Augustus their capital was moved to Augustonemetum (Clermont-Ferrand). Their territory accommodated a major centre of pottery production at Lezoux, and their principal temple, on the Puy-de-Dôme, was famous for a statue costing forty million sesterces (Plin. HN 34.


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.



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).


Cestius Epulo, Gaius, senator  

Nicholas Purcell

Significant only as the builder of the conspicuous pyramid tomb beside the via Ostiensis at Rome (later built into the Porta S. Paolo). The tomb, with its grandiose Egyptian aspirations, and an inscription recording the execution of Cestius’ will (*Agrippa was an heir), shows the pride and wealth of a *novus homo in the Augustan system.



Henry Michael Denne Parker, George Ronald Watson, and Jonathan Coulston

In the early Roman republic the infantry provided by the allies were organized in separate cohortes of varying strength, each under a Roman or native *praefectus. In the legions the cohort was first used as a tactical unit by P. *Cornelius Scipio Africanus in Spain, but for over a century it was employed alongside the manipular organization (see manipulus) before the latter was superseded in the field (perhaps in the Marian period). The cohort was made up of three maniples, or six centuries, the latter retaining manipular titulature into the Tetrarchic period. There were ten cohortes in a legion.From the time of P. *Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, the general's personal bodyguard was known as the cohors praetoria. By the middle of the 1st cent. bce, the term was used also to describe the group of personal friends and acquaintances which accompanied a provincial governor. Both these usages led to developments in the empire. This entourage was the origin of the emperor's cohors amicorum (see amicus augusti); the military cohortes praetoriae were formalized in the praetorian guard (see praetorians).



Piero Treves, Cyril Bailey, and Andrew Lintott

(1) Magisterial or priestly: a board of officials. (2) Private: any private association of fixed membership and constitution (see clubs, roman).The principle of collegiality was a standard feature of republican magistracies at Rome. Although in some cases the common status of colleagues did not exclude seniority (originally one *consul may have been superior to the other and the consuls as a whole were senior colleagues of the *praetors), the principle in general was to avoid arbitrary power by ensuring that every magistracy should be filled by at least two officials, and in any case by an even number. They were to possess equal and co-ordinate authority, but subject to mutual control. Thus a decision taken by one consul was legal only if it did not incur the veto (*intercessio) of the other. This principle led to alternation in the exercise of power by the consuls each month. Under the Principate emperors might take as a colleague in their tribunician power (see tribuni plebis) their intended successors, who in many cases were co-emperors.


colonization, Roman  

A. N. Sherwin-White, Barbara Levick, and Edward Henry Bispham

The earliest colonies of Roman citizens were small groups of 300 families at *Ostia, *Antium (338 bce), and *Tarracina (329 bce). Others were added as the Roman territory expanded, through reluctance to maintain a permanent fleet. In 218 there were 12 such ‘coloniae maritimae’. The older view that such small communities were to serve as garrisons guarding the coasts of Italy, and even their title, have been disputed and a more political ‘Romanizing’, or ‘urbanizing’ purpose envisaged. (See romanization; urbanism.) Coloni retained Roman citizenship because the early colonies were within Roman territory, and were too small to form an independent res publica; some colonies, such as those at Antium and *Minturnae (295 bce), seem to be part of a double community, rapidly assimilated, even if the relations between the two populations is obscure. Later ‘double communities’, though often doubted, are attested, as at *Interamnia Praetuttiorum (ILLRP 617 f.


Column of Marcus Aurelius, the  

Martin Beckmann

The Column of Marcus Aurelius is situated in Rome’s Campus Martius, on the west side of the ancient Via Flaminia and south of the Ara Pacis in the modern Piazza Colonna. It was probably begun in 175 ce as an honour to Marcus for his German and Sarmatian victories, but it was not completed until after his death. An inscription ( CIL VI 1585 = ILS 5920) of 193 ce gives permission to a procurator columnae divi Marci (Procurator of the Column of the Deified Marcus) to build a house near the column, so that he may better carry out his duties (it is not known what these duties were).1 The column was close to and above the level of the Via Flaminia and also near the funerary altars of the Antonine dynasty, to which monuments it may have had a connection.2 Its primary function, however, was triumphal, as a victory monument to the emperor, and as such it was carefully sited beside the road that Marcus Aurelius would have used when departing for and returning from the theatre of war.


Column of Trajan, reception of  

Elizabeth R. Macaulay

Since Late Antiquity, architects, leaders, and nations have emulated, adapted, and reinterpreted the Column of Trajan. Its appeal has been due to its height, ability to dominate the surrounding landscape, and complex spiral reliefs detailing the emperor Trajan’s annexation of Dacia as a Roman province. Its form has inspired countless honorific, triumphal, and commemorative monuments in the post-antique era.

Honorary columns were erected in Rome, possibly as early as 439bce; they were certainly known by 318bce. Rostral columns—columns with the beaks of captured warships attached—were erected in 260 and 255bce to celebrate Roman victories over the Carthaginians. None were so important in the tradition of erecting monumental, honorific, columns as the Column of Trajan (figure 1). Erected by the Senate in the Forum of Trajan in honour of Trajan’s two successful campaigns in Dacia (101–102ce; 105–106ce), it stood between the forum’s two libraries and the Basilica Ulpia. The Column (38 m tall and 3.7 m in diameter) was topped by a bronze statue (4.7 m) of Trajan in military attire. The column is hollow and contains a spiral staircase to the platform at the top of the column’s capital. The Column is famous for the finely carved helical sculptural relief program that depicted the Dacian wars. If rolled out, this frieze would be approximately 200 m long. There are 155 scenes with more than 2,600 figures, each at about two-thirds life size. The height of the frieze increases, as it spirals up the Column, from 0.89 m to 1.25 m.


damnatio memoriae  

John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Barbara Levick

After the deaths of persons deemed by the senate enemies of the state, measures to erase their memory might follow. Originally there was no set package, as the phrase implies (cf. Ulp.Dig. 24. 1. 32. 7) but a repertoire (Tac.Ann. 3. 17. 8–18. 1): images might be destroyed (*Sejanus; *Valeria Messal(l)ina), and their display penalized (L. *Appuleius Saturninus, 98 bce), the name erased from inscriptions, and a man's praenomen banned in his family (Livy 6. 20. 14; 384 bce!). With emperors their acts were abolished. *Claudius prevented the senate from condemning *Gaius (1) (Cass. Dio 60. 4. 5); but decrees were passed against *Domitian (Suet.Dom.23), *Commodus (SHA Comm. 20), and *Elagabalus (SHA Heliogab.17).


Domus Aurea  

Larry Ball

The Domus Aurea (Golden House) was the opulent residence of the emperor Nero (r. 54–68 ce), set in a vast park in Rome. Ancient literary sources on the Domus Aurea are abundant, albeit not wholly reliable or fair to Nero. Both Suetonius (Ner. 31) and Tacitus (Ann. 15.38–40 and 42) describe the construction. The first phase started in c. 60 ce. This was called the Domus Transitoria, which was interrupted by the great fire of 64 ce. “Domus Aurea” refers to the second phase, after the fire. Given its enormous scale, the Domus Aurea may not have been fully completed in just four years, but at least part of it was finished, most likely the core of the residence, on the Palatine Hill, near the forum, and Nero did move in. The palatine core is largely unknown to us, but the vast parklands created to the east of the forum area include a fine villa on the Esquiline Hill that bespeaks a spectacular new standard both for architectural design in vaulted Roman concrete and in decoration. After Nero, systematic obliteration of the Domus Aurea began with Vespasian (r. 69–79 ce), who sought to erase Nero’s memory.



Nigel Spivey

Etruscans (Tyrsenoi, Tyrrheni, Etrusci) dominated much of Italy throughout most of the first millennium bce. Geographically, their presence can be traced from the Adriatic coast to Campania; their principal centres, however, were located in territory between Rome to the south and Florence to the north, on the western side of the Apennines. (The “Tyrrhenian Sea” usually refers to waters extending from Sicily up to the Gulf of La Spezia.) The Etruscans have a reputation for mystery generated to a large extent by the fact that their language was radically different from both Greek and Latin (see etruscan language). Substantial and consistent ancient written sources for Etruscan history have not survived; nonetheless, modern research has gone some way towards clarifying our vision of a society that, while heavily influenced by the Greeks, and eventually subsumed by the Romans, was politically and culturally autonomous.There were contradictory theories in antiquity about the ethnic origin of the Etruscans, with one Greek narrative (Hdt.


family, Roman  

Susan M. Treggiari

English ‘family’ has connotations which have changed during its long history and vary according to context. Biologically, an individual human being is related to parents, through them to ascendants, aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins, and may, by sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex, in turn become a parent, linked by blood to descendants. Blood relations for Romans were cognati, the strongest ties normally being with parents and children and the siblings with whom an individual grew up. Relationship established through the sexual tie of marriage was adfinitas; kin by marriage were adfines (in strict usage from engagement until dissolution of the marriage). Law initially stressed blood relationship through males: agnati (father's other children, father's siblings, father's brothers' children, a man's own children, etc. ) inherited on intestacy. By entering *manus (marital power), a married woman came into the same agnate group as husband and children; if she did not, her legal ties and rights were with her natal family.



Andrew Drummond

Comprised bundles of rods, approximately 1.5 m. (5 ft.) long and of elm- or birchwood, and a single-headed axe; they were held together by red thongs and carried by *lictores. An iron set from a late 7th-cent. tomb at *Vetulonia may support the later tradition of their Etruscan origin. They were the primary visible expression of magisterial authority and hence the focus of a complex symbolism of the magistrates' legitimacy and of their powers vis-à-vis citizens, subjects, and each other. They were regularly regarded (and in the republican period used) as instruments of execution and by common consent the absence of the axe from the fasces of magistrates (other than dictators and triumphing generals) within Rome symbolized citizen rights of appeal (*provocatio) against capital coercitio. The alternation of precedence between the two *consuls was manifested in alternate ‘tenure’ of the fasces (although exactly what that implies is unclear), and the number of a magistrate's fasces depended on his rank: consuls (and in the republic proconsuls) had twelve (and hence also reputedly their predecessors, the kings); dictators probably had twenty-four, praetors and magistri equitum (see magister equitum) probably six.


gladiators, combatants at games  

Garrett G. Fagan

Gladiators were armed combatants who performed in the arena during Roman games called munera. They could be slaves, freeborn, or freedmen (ex-slaves). Slave gladiators were usually trained professionals based in a training school (ludus) run by a manager (lanista). Freeborn or freed gladiators were volunteers who fought under contract to a manager (such fighters were termed auctorati). There were different styles of armaments, carefully considered to pitch advantage against disadvantage. Thus the net-man (retiarius) was largely unprotected but carried a net and a trident with a long reach, whereas his opponent (secutor) carried a short sword but was more heavily armored and had a large shield. Evidence from gladiatorial graveyards and gravestones confirms the violent, often lethal nature of the contests, though a win could be achieved without a kill and the fighters clearly took pride in their skills and status with their peers and their fans. Despite their popularity, gladiators were officially regarded as infames (people of bad reputation) and ranked alongside or below actors, prostitutes, pimps, and bankrupts as social and moral outcasts.


Iulius Frontinus, Sextus  

Brian Campbell and Nicholas Purcell

Sextus Iulius Frontinus, perhaps from southern Gaul, served as urban *praetor in 70 ce and then assisted in suppressing the revolt of *Iulius Civilis, receiving the surrender of 70,000 Lingones. Consul in 72 or 73, he served as governor of Britain (73/4 –77) where he crushed the *Silures in south Wales, establishing a fortress for Legio II Augusta (see legion) at Caerleon (*Isca (2)), and then attacked the Ordovices. He may have accompanied *Domitian during his German campaign in 82/3, was proconsul of Asia in 86, and was subsequently appointed by *Nerva in 97 as curator aquarum (superintendent of aqueducts). He held his second, *suffect, consulship in 98, and his third, ordinary, consulship in 100, both times with *Trajan. Pliny described him as one of the two most distinguished men of his day (Ep. 5. 1). He died in 103/4.