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The Roman state existed in practice for XIII centuries, being the power which was impacting the history. Therefore, I decided that I would tell the history of ancient Rome in the articles below, which will not necessarily cover only the Eternal City.

I encourage you to send articles and point out any corrections or inaccuracies.

10 myths and lies about ancient Romans

There are many myths and lies about the ancient Romans – their lifestyle, culture and military. In this article, I will try to present selected 10 distortions that should be corrected and explained.

Gladiator Fight During Meal At Pompeii by Francesco Netti

Western provinces under Augustus

Conquest of Gaul by Caesar in 58-51 BCE was the basis of his military prestige and wealth and facilitated his struggle with Pompey. The newly conquered territories played a key role in the civil war between the two chieftains. The new province (Gallia Commata), exposed to Germanic attacks from across the Rhine, usually had its own garrison, the command of which provided political importance to the Roman generals.

Young Octavian greets the centurion

Public libraries in Roman world

The word “libraries” (Gr. βιβλιοθήκη, derived from the Greek words βιβλίον and θήκη, successively translated as book and reservoir) functions in Polish as a name for a large collection of books, both private, being the work of an independent collector, and public, in the form of a state institution with free access to the collection, which is regulated by the rules set for a given institution. This 20th-century definition significantly differs from how libraries functioned and were understood during the existence of ancient Rome.

Ruins of the Library of Celsus in Ephesus

Basilicas – first significant churches of ancient Romans

When visiting historic Latin churches from different eras, one can get the impression that they are all similar in some way. Such similarities include the plan of the Latin cross and the division into naves. When we follow the trail of sacral architecture, from today to antiquity, we will notice that the above-mentioned similarities come from early Christian art, and these, in turn, were taken over from pagan times, from civil and not sacral construction. Why, then, do our churches refer to the heritage of the basilica building, and not to Greek, Etruscan and Roman temples modelled on them?

Interior of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

Gain and loss of Agri Decumates

On the European continent, the Roman Empire based its border on two great rivers: the Rhine and the Danube. There was, however, a fundamental problem with this concept – both rivers in their initial course diverge, creating an obtuse angle on the map. This meant that the area between them cut quite deep into the Roman territory to the southwest. So it was a sensitive place where barbarians could easily enter the Empire. To prevent this, the Romans took over the lands between the upper reaches of the Rhine and Danube rivers. These areas in ancient times were called Agri Decumates, which means “tithe lands” in Polish. Today, the area is mostly located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

Roman territorial expansion in southwestern Germany in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE

Origins and development of victory theology in ancient Rome

War is one of the most radical actions that a human society can take. Among ancient societies, this type of behaviour was most often perceived in a religious and magical context. Humans appeased the gods before the conflict began, and subsequent victories or defeats were attributed to their direct intervention. Ancient Greek and Roman societies functioned no differently.

Fresco from Pompeii depicting the goddess Victoria

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