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Curiosities of ancient Rome (People)

The world of ancient Romans abounded in a number of amazing curiosities and information. The source of knowledge about the life of the Romans are mainly works left to us by ancient writers or discoveries. The Romans left behind a lot of strange information and facts that are sometimes hard to believe.

Apollodorus of Damascus

Living at the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries CE, Apollodoros of Damascus was one of the most famous architects of antiquity. He worked for Emperor Trajan, for whom he was extremely useful, e.g. during the so-called Dacian Wars – designed a bridge that was thrown over the Danube to enable the Roman legions to cross the river. In addition, he designed the Trajan’s Forum, the emperor’s triumphal arches in Benevento and Ancona, perhaps he participated in the creation of one of the wonders of ancient architecture – Pantheon1.

Apollodorus of Damascus

Caligula’s disease

Most historians agree that epilepsy is the most likely candidate for Caligula’s disease. There are several details in Caligula’s biography that support this argument. It is suggested that members of Julius’ family suffered from epilepsy. Additionally, several historians point out that during his childhood, Caligula had episodes of sudden falls during which he lost consciousness and had difficulty staying upright. Analyzed from a modern perspective, these episodes may indicate atonic seizures.


“Phalangarii” of Emperor Caracalla

The son of Septimius Severus, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, known by the nickname Caracalla, after the Gallic coat he willingly wore, was greatly fascinated by the figure of king Alexander III of Macedon. His fascination was so great that from what the historian Cassius Dio described, he created troops of legionaries, who not only referred to the formation of troops of the conqueror of the Achaemenid Empire with the name phalangarii, but were also recruited from the territories of Macedonia and Thrace, and even their armament was supposed to imitate Macedonian ones (wearing cloth armour and using long spears).

Legionaries from the 3rd century CE

Mithridates VI – victim of Roman imperialism?

In Roman sources, Mithridates VI Eupator appears to us as the leader of the wars that the Romans had to wage for about 25 years in the East. Mithridates was to strive to create a regional power from Pontus and displace Roman influence from the territories of present-day Turkey. But can we really speak of Mithridates as an aggressor, or rather a victim of Roman imperialism?

Asia Minor before the outbreak of the war with Mithridates VI

About Lucius Licinius Lucullus

Lucius Licinius Lucullus (117 – 56 BCE), is a somewhat forgotten figure. He lived in interesting times, which is why many mentions of him have been preserved by various authors. A great commander, and at the same time a person who was unable to win over the soldiers. This is how Cassius Dio characterized him in his “Roman history”:

Roman general Lucullus

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