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Roman Figures

Welcome to our website section dedicated to exploring the lives and legacies of the fascinating figures who shaped the Roman world. From emperors to generals, poets to philosophers, and even notorious figures like Caligula and Nero, the individuals who left their mark on Rome continue to captivate and intrigue us today. Through their actions, they shaped the course of history, leaving behind a legacy that continues to influence our world in countless ways. In this section, we delve into the lives and impact of these fascinating figures, examining their accomplishments, controversies, and lasting contributions to the Roman world and beyond. Join us on a journey through the lives of some of the most iconic figures in history, and discover the stories behind the legends.

Representational image of the ancient Greek philosopher and biographer Plutarch. Source: Eduardo / Adobe Stock

The Legacy of Plutarch: One of the Greatest Minds of Ancient Greece

Plutarch is a historical figure whose name is a fundamental part of the world’s shared history, standing as one of antiquity's most revered biographers and philosophers. He was born around 46 AD in...
Engraving of Cornelius Tacitus from a drawing by Brooke. Source: Public domain

Tacitus: The Master Chronicler of Ancient Rome

Publius Cornelius Tacitus, better known as just Tacitus, is arguably one of the most illustrious figures in Roman historiography. His writings cast a profound light on the intricacies and nuances of...
Representational image of Roman Emperor Maximinus Thrax. Source: JUSTIN / Adobe Stock

Maximinus Thrax's Turbulent Rule: Rome's Unsuccessful Giant Soldier-Emperor

The history of the vast and powerful Roman Empire was defined by its many rulers. After all, talented emperors were responsible for maintaining that venerable and very complex social machine. However...
Worst Roman emperors of the Roman Empire. Source: Public Domain, Public Domain, Egisto Sani/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Public Domain

The 8 Worst Roman Emperors and Their Dastardly Deeds

The history of the Roman Empire is filled with tales of grandeur, conquests, and the rise and fall of mighty rulers. From a small city-state, it rose in power, became a kingdom, a republic, and...
Two of the mummies found in rock-cut tombs in Al-Bhanasa. Source: Egypt Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities

Heart-pounding Tomb Discovery In Egypt Shakes Up Ptolemaic/Roman Traditions

Archaeologists in Egypt have made a heart-pounding discovery in Al-Bhanasa, Minya, unveiling a significant slice of ancient history. This latest find includes rock-carved graves from the Ptolemaic...
Gladiator mosaic at a Roman villa in Nennig, Germany. Source: Carole Raddato / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

Spartacus: The Rebel Gladiator and His Final Last Stand – Part 2

(Read Part 1) Led by the Roman gladiator Spartacus, the Third Servile War stretched on from 73 to 71 BC, an attempt by thousands of Roman slaves to escape the gladiatorial ring. As a Thracian, forced...
Photo of a statue of Spartacus by Denis Foyatier, on display at the Louvre, combined with a 4th-century mosaic depicting gladiators. Source: Public domain

Spartacus: Gladiator and Leader of Slaves Against the Romans – Part 1

The Thracian born Roman gladiator known as Spartacus is now considered the stuff of legend. To this day, books, movies and TV shows have been created to highlight the strength of this heroic rebel...
Roman slave life meant a fate of brutality and the Roman Republic depended heavily on free work from human beings who had no rights nor possessions.  Source:  AS Photo Family/Adobe Stock

Bread, Chains and Rebellion, What It Was Like to Be a Roman Slave (Video)

Roman slavery was a grim reality, far removed from Hollywood glamour. Slaves, stripped of rights and possessions, endured lives of hardship and cruelty . Urban or rural, their roles spanned from...
Two of the Roman seals discovered at the site of Doliche in Turkey. Source: Forschungsstelle Asia Minor

Roman Seals Showing Hundreds of Gods Unearthed in Turkey

Previous teams of archaeologists excavating in the former Roman city archive of Doliche, Turkey, discovered hoards of clay stamps used to seal official Roman documents. Now, another 2,000 of these...
This group of figures depict an early Roman victory. Marcus Furius Camillus, sometimes called the second founder of Rome, is shown in his victory over Brennus, King of the Gauls. Source: Slices of Light/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

More Than a Founder, Marcus Furius Camillus Was an Exemplar of Roman Virtue

While ancient Rome achieved many awe-inspiring feats, it is also remembered for its controversial citizens—especially its leaders—who embraced unrestrained decadence. Their conduct was so outlandish...
Ancient Roman feeding chicken. Source: AI generated.

Ancient Romans Used Chickens to Predict Battle Outcomes

Few tales capture the peculiarities of ancient Roman beliefs as much as that of the sacred chickens. These were not ordinary birds but revered animals, consulted as avian oracles before significant...
Representational image of Tullus Hostilius. Source: Pixel Matrix / Adobe Stock

Fact or Fiction? Tullus Hostilius, the Legendary Roman Warrior King

Tullus Hostilius, the third legendary king of Rome, is a figure shrouded in myth and legend. Hostilius strictly adhered to the law and held firm beliefs regarding the importance of Roman religious...
Numa Pompilius giving the Laws to the Romans.  Source: Public Domain

Numa Pompilius: The Legendary Second King of Rome

Every great kingdom and empire have to start somewhere, right? One of history’s greatest realms was the Roman Empire, but even so, it began as a struggling city-state, supposedly led by kings. But...
Largo di Torre Argentina square in Rome, Italy. Source: Pino Pacifico/Adobe Stock

“Et tu, Brute?” Rome to Reopen Square of Julius Caesar’s Assassination to Public

From this week, history enthusiasts, tourists, and other interested parties will be able to walk through the square where the famed Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, met his end through stabbing. Rome...
Dies Sanguinis, meaning “Day of Blood,” was a Roman celebration dedicated to the goddess Bellona, associated with war, bloodshed and violence. Source: Михаил Решетников / Adobe Stock

Dies Sanguinis: Rome's Day of Blood, Sacrifice & Military Might

Dies Sanguinis , meaning “Day of Blood” or “Day of the Bloody Sacrifice,” was an intense, yet sacred, day in the Roman calendar. Celebrated annually on March 24th, this day was dedicated to the...
Antony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. (Public Domain)

The Final Fates of the Children of Cleopatra VII

Cleopatra VII had four children. One with Julius Caesar and three with Mark Antony. Until 31 BC the family of the last Ptolemaic queen lived a magnificent life in a golden palace, one of the most...
Modern representation of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war.

Bellona: The Roman Goddess of War and Artistic Muse

Linked to war, destruction, conquest, and bloodlust, Bellona was a mighty figure in the ancient Roman pantheon of gods. As a personification of war, Bellona became quite a popular figure in the arts...
The profiles of the some of the most powerful and influential Ancient Leaders.  Source: Ded Pixto by Adobe Stock

9 Ancient Leaders Who Changed the Course of History

The annals of history are filled with tales of great leaders who have left their mark on the world, shaping the course of human events through their actions, decisions, and vision. From conquerors...
Proclaiming Claudius Emperor

The Praetorian Guards: To Serve and Protect the Roman Emperors… Most of the Time

The Praetorian Guard is said to be one of the most prestigious military units in the ancient world, and is arguably one of the most well-known today. These elite soldiers are best known for serving...
Pirate flag.

When Julius Caesar Was Kidnapped by Pirates - And Made Them Increase the Ransom!

Piracy is a practice that can be dated all the way back to ancient times. In the Mediterranean, pirates were not a major threat as long as they could be kept in check, usually by a strong navy. By...
Detail of ‘The Love Potion’ (1903) by Evelyn de Morgan. Unlike the creation of this woman, Locusta of Gaul’s potions were made in hatred. Source: Public Domain

Locusta of Gaul – Nero’s Notorious Poison Maker

Poison was always the silent killer. Kings and emperors fell prey to it as easily as an unsuspecting servant. Throughout medieval and classical history, poison and those who knew how to prepare it...
St. Benedict of the Benedictines receiving Totila, king of the Ostrogoths. Source: Paklao / Public Domain.

The Rule of the Benedictines, the Black Monks of Europe

The Order of St. Benedict ( Ordo Sancti Benedicti in Latin, abbreviated as OSB), known also as the Benedictines (sometimes referred to as Black Monks, due to the color of their religious habits), is...
The assassination of Julius Caesar by William Holmes Sullivan (1836-1908).	Source: Public Domain

Study Proves Statistical Probability of Violent Death for Roman Emperors

In December 2019 Ancient Origins reported that Dr. Joseph Saleh, an aerospace engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States, had published a study in the online journal Nature...
Running the Family Business of the Roman Empire: Augustus the Founder

Running the Family Business of the Roman Empire: Augustus the Founder

Over three and a half centuries the Roman Empire - as seen through the lives of 10 of the most important emperors - gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. Over the ages the emperors...

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