Rome

  • The Assassination of Domitian

    Titus Flavius Domitianius was born the youngest son of Emperor Vespasian in 51 CE.  This was prior to his father’s rise to emperor of Rome.  (For more on Emperor Vespasian, please see this post http://www.historynaked.com/emperor-titus-flavius-vespasian/ )  His older brother, Titus, and his father were close, leaving Domitian on the outside looking in.  After a stunning turn of events, Vespasian became emperor and passed the throne to his oldest son Titus on his death.  Titus was groomed as Vespasian’s heir, and it was assumed Titus would marry and pass the throne on to his sons.  Domitian was relegated to being a patron of the arts, and was none too happy about…

  • Insula Tiberina-  The Island in the Middle of the Tiber

    In the center of the Tiber River, the Tiber Island, or Insula Tiberina in Latin, has always been a place connected to the founding of Rome.  Legend says that it was created when Roman citizens expelled Tarquinius Superbus , or Tarquin the Proud in Latin.  Citizens through the wheat sheaves they had stolen from the the king into the river.  Supposedly, the dirt and the silt accumulated around the wheat in the river and formed the island.  Another legend says it was built on the ruins of an ancient ship.  However, these are just legends as the island was present as a crossing place for the Tiber since prehistoric times.…

  • The Lost Roman Legion of Crassus

    Marcus Licinius Crassus was one of the richest men in the Roman World and part of the First Triumvirate with notables such as Pompeius Magnus and Julius Caesar.  He had made his money through picking up the property of those killed in Sulla’s proscriptions at firesale prices.  Indeed, he was accused of adding the name of a particularly rich man just so he could pick up his property at bargain basement prices.  Combine that through slave trafficking and silver mines, gave Crassus a fortune estimated by Pliny at 200 million sestertii, or about 8.5 billion in today’s dollars.  If his name sounds familiar, you may have heard in the old…

  • Tyche- The Original Lady Luck

    Tyche, or Tykhe in Greek, was the goddess of fortune, chance, providence and fate.  Although some sources identify her as an Oceanid, a daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, other sources have indicated her parents were Aphrodite and either Zeus or Hermes.  Some sources give her a husband called Agathos Daimon, literally “good spirit”, which emphasizes her later association with good luck.  She is depicted holding a rudder as she was the deity charged with guiding the affairs of the world.  In this aspect she was a one of the Moirai, or Fates.  Tyche is also shown with a ball, showing the unsteadiness of fortune as it can roll…

  • On This Day in History, September 9th AD 9 | Teutoburg Forest

    You’ve heard of the “Teutoburg disaster”, right? It’s kinda infamous if you like brushing up on your history stuff, particularly so if you are pro- or anti- Roman. It’s so touted as an example of anti-Roman rule, that it can be somewhat overdone. Or, to quote one Roman-o-phile I know; “I’m sick of hearing about bloody Teutoburg.” And I kind of understand that, particularly the tendency to then fall into college schoolboy speak: “yeah, boyeee, we kicked yo asses right outta Germany, bitch! YEAH!” *chestbump* But let’s tell the true story here, let’s take ourselves back to Ancient Rome and the newly acquired province of Germania. Yes, “Germania.” This was…