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Articles (Unknown facts)

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.

Poena cullei – not only symbolism

The purpose of this text is to introduce a little symbolism and also to take a closer look at one of the most terrifying punishments of the Roman judiciary. Poena cullei, or the so-called punishment of the sack, is most commonly known as the one suffered by patricides in ancient Rome. The condemned man was sewn up in leather sackcloth with the company of four animals – a dog, a monkey, a snake and a rooster. Then the sack, along with the live contents, was thrown into the river. But this is just one of the harsh faces of Roman justice administered through poena cullei. What else do we know about it?

Poena cullei

Gabiniani

Gabiniani – this name was related to the group of Roman mercenaries fighting for Egyptian kings – Ptolemy XII and Ptolemy XIII. This term was derived from the name of the governor of Syria, Aulus Gabinius, who left in Egypt part of his troops participating in the recovery of the throne for Ptolemy XII.

Aulus Gabinius coin

When was ancient Rome really founded?

In general history, there is understanding that Rome was founded in 753 BCE by the legendary king Romulus, who according to the Romans was the son of Mars – the god of war and the priestess of the goddess Vesta, who was to descend from the family of Aeneas himself. The real date of founding Rome was not known fully even for Romans. Furthermore, archaeologists and researchers conducted their own attempts to determine when the “Eternal City” was founded.

Visualization of the Temple of Venus the Mother of Mother at the Forum of  Caesar in Rome

Antonine Plague

The Antonine Plague (pestis Antonini), also called the plague of Galen, was a pandemic brought to the Roman Empire by returning Roman soldiers from the Middle East campaign. The scourge, which according to today’s research was most likely smallpox or measles, took pride after the Empire in 165-180 CE.

The Antonin Plague

Ancient statues were colorful

Wherever we look, film productions show us the world of ancient Romans devoid of colours, and full of white and beige statues and buildings. That was even the case in “Ben Hur” (1959) by William Wyler or “Gladiator” (2000) by Ridley Scott. Certainly, this way of showing Roman civilization proved its power and role in the then Mediterranean world.

A painted bust of Caligula

Profanity in ancient Rome

Profanity is not just the domain of modern language. In the ancient and Roman times, vocabulary considered indecent was widely used. In ancient times and Roman times, descendants of “she-wolf” were commonly used in conversations, and less often in texts considered indecent.

Roman fresco depicting a sex scene

Roman sea expeditions

In addition to many land expeditions, the Romans also undertook several sea expeditions in southern directions. Greek scholars did not realize that the African continent stretches south of Libya, they believed that Libya was flowing around the ocean – according to Plutarch, Alexander the Great considered circumnavigating Libya as a shorter alternative to a trip by land from the Indus estuary to Macedonia.

World map according to Strabo

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