Roman Emperors and Empire

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  • #1
Astronuc
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Main Question or Discussion Point

A good start - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Emperor

September 18, 96: Nerva was appointed by the Senate to become Roman Emperor, the first of the Five Good Emperors.

Marcus Cocceius Nerva (November 8, 30 AD–January 27, 98), Roman emperor (AD 96–98), was a member of the Italian nobility rather than one of the elite of Rome; in this he was like Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerva

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Good_Emperors
 

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  • #3
Evo
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I love Fordham's Ancient History Sourcebook. :!!) I've spent many hours there.

Astronuc, Wikipedia is fine if you just want to look up names and dates and a very condensed summary of events, but the entire Roman Empire reduced to 15 minutes of text? :wink:
 
  • #4
arildno
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Fordham is great. :smile:
 
  • #5
Astronuc
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Evo said:
Astronuc, Wikipedia is fine if you just want to look up names and dates and a very condensed summary of events, but the entire Roman Empire reduced to 15 minutes of text? :wink:
This is true, but it's a good place to start.

I think it would take many moons to track down all the websites and determine the quality.

I did not know of the Fordam site. I wonder, there must be more like that at other universities?

Another university site on Roman History (Roman Internet Resources) - http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/ROMINRES.HTM

There is this one - De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

list of Roman Emperors incomplete

Roman Emperors (27 BC-491 AD) - http://www.britannia.com/history/resource/emperor.html


Then there is an interesting site, which I have yet to peruse, but the history of Romania and Rome is quite interesting:
ROME AND ROMANIA (27 BC-1453 AD) - http://www.friesian.com/romania.htm
Emperors of the Roman and the so-called Byzantine Empires; Princes, Kings, and Tsars of Numidia, Judaea, Bulgaria, Serbia, Wallachia, & Moldavia; and the Sultâns of Rûm

I don't know how much each site collects information from others, and clearly it is hard to tell if anything has been peer-reviewed. I would imagine university sites are generally peer-reviewed.
 
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  • #6
Evo
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Astronuc said:
This is true, but it's a good place to start.
Yes, it's a great way to get your feet wet and when you find something of particular interest, you can then research it farther.

I like both - the short compilations and reading the translated works of the actual historians.

Here are two resources for Roman history that are very user friendly and both are good for people that enjoy reading about history, but don't have much time, like me.

For a beginner, this site has some good information and is indexed well. I do not have enough knowledge to judge how accurate it is, but so far the info I've found holds up. Besides, where else can you get a card cut-out Roman legionary helmet to wear? :biggrin:

http://www.roman-empire.net/index.html

This site has been helpful http://www.historyworld.net/default.asp
 
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  • #10
marcus
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arildno said:
Fordham is great. :smile:
I agree, arildno :smile:

also I tend to think that the most important information about the first dozen Emperors is contained in Suetonius, who is especially valuable because of his lack of bias and careful accuracy about details, do you not think so? :wink:
 
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  • #11
arildno
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marcus said:
I agree, arildno :smile:

also I tend to think that the most important information about the first dozen Emperors is contained in Suetonius, who is especially valuable because of his lack of bias and careful accuracy about details, do you not think so? :wink:
Eeh, I would rather have said that Suetonius provides the most entertaining information about the first emperors.
Entertainment is, however, without doubt very important..
 
  • #12
Astronuc
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(Wikipedia) October 6, 105 BC: The Cimbri and the Teutons inflicted a major defeat on the Roman Republic in the Battle of Arausio.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Arausio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cimbri -
The Cimbri were a Proto-Germanic tribe who according to Pliny the Elder lived on Jutland (Chersonesus Cimbrica), and the Jutish region of Himmerland (where the contemporary Gundestrup cauldron was found) is thought to preserve their name (cf. Grimm's law). The name has been analysed as the name kimme meaning "rim", i.e. the people of the coast[1], but there is also the hypothesis that the name is related to that of the Cimmerians.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teutons -
The Teutons or Teutones (from Proto-Germanic *Þeudanōs) were mentioned as a Germanic tribe in early historical writings by Greek and Roman authors such as Strabo and Velleius. According to Ptolemy's map, they lived on Jutland, whereas Pomponius Mela placed them in Scandinavia (Codanonia). German historians did not associate the name Teutons with their Proto-Germanic ancestors until the 13th century.
 
  • #14
ranger
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So many great links. I love studying how ancient civilizations lived. I'm particularly taking a liking to the Greeks. But nevertheless, I enjoy reading all... Thanks for all these awesome links everyone!

I had no idea that this sub forum existed, until "Roman...Empire" caught my eyes..lol.
 
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  • #16
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The Roman Empire - http://history.boisestate.edu/westciv/empire/ [Broken]
from
History of Western Civilization
E.L. Skip Knox
Boise State University
 
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  • #17
Astronuc
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Peter Heather's - The Fall of the Roman Empire

I'm reading Peter Heather's more recent (c. 2006) review of the decline of the Roman Empire, and it's an excellent overview. Heather is a contemporary historian of European/Roman antiquity. While it provides some background of first three centuries, the majority book covers the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries CE.

Two author/hitorians on which Heather relies are Ammianus Marcellinus and Olympiodorus (of Thebes). Here are some online sources about these two authors.

Ammianus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammianus_Marcellinus

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/index.htm#Ammianus_Marcellinus

http://odur.let.rug.nl/~drijvers/ammianus/index.htm (The Ammianus Marcellinus Online Project)

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/ammianus.html

Ancient History Sourcebook:
Ammianus Marcellinus (330-395 CE):
The Battle of Hadrianopolis, 378 CE
http://www.fordham.edu/HALSALL/ANCIENT/378adrianople.html


Olympiodorus

http://www.enotes.com/classical-medieval-criticism/olympiodorus-thebes [Broken]
Olympiodorus of Thebes c. 375-c. 430

http://www.vortigernstudies.org.uk/artsou/olympio.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympiodorus_of_Thebes

http://books.google.com/books?id=g7-AteT1eZIC&pg=PT82&lpg=PT82&dq=olympiodorus&source=web&ots=rONkBsBHDO&sig=DFmOFpeDfyoKAXevjzV0NXEziYk&hl=en [Broken]


It's really hard to find good resources on the internet - still! :grumpy:



The battle of Adrianople (Hadrianople - now Edirne, Turkey) in 378, is considered by many to be a turning point for the Roman Empire. The Goths (Tervingi and Greuthungi) and some Alan and Hun allies migrated into the Balkans and never left. The Eastern Emperor, Valens, was killed and the Roman army lost a considerable force. Over the next 30 years, the Tervingi (who apparently became Visigoths) made their way to the Italian peninsula. The Greuthungi (who may have become the Ostrogoths) followed later.

Meanwhile, various tribes Vandals, Alans, Suevi and Alamanni migrated across the Rhine. The Burgundians migrated to Worms (on the Rhine) by 412. All this was apparently a response to the Hunnic invasion from Central Asia.
 
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  • #18
Astronuc
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Huge statue of Roman ruler found

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7580745.stm
Parts of a giant, exquisitely carved marble sculpture depicting the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius have been found at an archaeological site in Turkey.

Fragments of the statue were unearthed at the ancient city of Sagalassos.

So far the statue's head, right arm and lower legs have been discovered, high in the mountains of southern Turkey.

. . . .

He reigned from 161AD until his death in 180AD.

In addition to his deeds as emperor, Marcus Aurelius is remembered for his writings, and is considered one of the foremost Stoic philosophers.

The partial statue was unearthed in the largest room at Sagalassos's Roman baths.

. . .
Also - Head of Roman empress unearthed
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7560833.stm

Archaeologists digging in Turkey have found the colossal marble head of a Roman empress.

It was discovered in a rubble-filled building where parts of a huge statue of the emperor Hadrian were unearthed last year.
. . .
The head of Faustina was lying face down in rubble that fills the ruins of a bath house that was partially destroyed by an earthquake between AD 540 and AD 620.
Statue of Hadrian - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6939024.stm

Excavation at Sagalassos - http://www.archaeology.org/interactive/sagalassos/
 
  • #19
Astronuc
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Heads up for this book. I don't know much about it yet.

Rome and the Barbarians: The Dawn of a New World (Hardcover)
by Jean-Jacques Aillagon

Amazon said:
This beautiful book opens with a highly useful geo-historical atlas and an important introductory essay by Jean-Jacques Aillagon. Divided chronologically in seven sections, the book presents wide-ranging dossiers illustrating and commenting on authentic archaeological treasures—ranging from monumental funerary sculpture to intimate pieces of jewelry—from prestigious museums throughout the world. Rome and the Barbarians is the catalog for the major exhibition at Venice Palazzo Grassi, from January 26th to July 20th, 2008.

About the Author (on Amazon)
Jean-Jacques Aillagon is France’s former culture minister and director of Palazzo Grassi.
Sounds interesting.
 
  • #20
mheslep
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Anything in Aillagon or Heather on the theory that the Roman's slowly poisoned themselves, lead in water or some such?
 
  • #21
Astronuc
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Anything in Aillagon or Heather on the theory that the Roman's slowly poisoned themselves, lead in water or some such?
Aillagon's book is not out yet, and Heather concentrates on the pressures of the various barbarian groups in the Western Roman Empire, but did not mention anything about the immediate environment. I'm sure there are books on Roman metropolitan society and the impact of lead on those society.

Here are a couple of webpages on this subject:
http://ces.ca.uky.edu/energy/lead/rome_lead.htm [Broken]
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/wine/leadpoisoning.html


I read recently the fertility in Roman society was significantly reduced in the first (and perhaps second) century CE.

Ostensibly, the bases of the Western Roman Empire, Rome, and Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, Constantinople, shared similar infrastructure, but the Eastern Empire continued, if not flourished, while the Western Empire disintegrated. So it's not clear that lead poisoning was a major factor, although it certainly could have been a factor.
 
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  • #22
Evo
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Anything in Aillagon or Heather on the theory that the Roman's slowly poisoned themselves, lead in water or some such?
Here is a good article on lead usage in ancient Rome.

Although the Romans may have ingested a lot of lead, look at these figures for Americans.

By the twentieth century, the U.S. had emerged as the world's leading producer and consumer of refined lead. According to the National Academy of Science's report on Lead in the Human Environment, the United States was by 1980 consuming about 1.3 million tons of lead per year. This quantity, which represents roughly 40 percent of the world's supply, translates into a usage rate of 5,221 grams of lead per American per annum: a rate of dependence on lead and lead-containing products nearly ten times greater than that of the ancient Romans! According to Jerome O. Nriagu, the world's leading authority on lead poisoning in antiquity, the comparable Roman rate of lead usage was approximately 550 grams per person per year.

http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/perspect/lead.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #23
HallsofIvy
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Evo, "consuming" lead in the sense of using it is not the same as "ingesting" it! It would among other things depend on HOW it was used. I remember reading that the Romans used lead plate to make water pipes because it was easily malleable.
 
  • #24
Evo
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Evo, "consuming" lead in the sense of using it is not the same as "ingesting" it! It would among other things depend on HOW it was used. I remember reading that the Romans used lead plate to make water pipes because it was easily malleable.
:rofl: I mistook "usage rate". Thanks for pointing that out Halls! No more posting before my first cup of coffee!
 
  • #25
Astronuc
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I read the higher usage rate as a indicating a higher potential for ingestion, not the amount ingested.

Certainly the Roman used lead (plumbum) to make pipes, and that would likely have resulted in lead-contaminated water.

However, in the US and industrial world, lead was used in plumbing solders and packing segment wasted lines. I know this personally from having replaced plumbing and waste/sewage lines. I had to use a chisel to remove the lead from waste drain lines.

There used to be leaded-gasoline (tetra-ethyl lead as an antiknock agent). Also lead weights for fishing lines, lead counter-weights, lead bullets, lead jewelry, lead drinking vessels, . . . . Only since about the 1970's do I remember a crackdown on heavy metals in the environment.


The reference to fertility (or rather reproduction) in Rome of the 1st and 2nd century is cited in the Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization, Chapter 2 (Rome: An Empire of Tradition and Patriarchy), p. 41, which cites Jerome Carcopino, Daily Life in Acient Rome, which states ". . . , many Roman marriages at the end of the first and the beginning of the second century were childless."

Jérôme Carcopino, Daily Life in Ancient Rome: The People and the City at the Height of the Empire. Edited and annotated by Henry T. Rowell. Translated by E. O. Lorimer. Second Edition with a new Introduction and Bibliographic Essay by Mary Beard. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. Pp. xix, 346.
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2004/2004-03-23.html
 
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