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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.

Who was Jugurtha?

Jugurtha, grandson of Masynissa (an ally of Rome from the Second Punic War ) was king of Numidia from 118 BCE His ambition allowed him to defeat two rivals for the throne of the state, divided by Micipsa. Seeking the unification of the state, however, Jugurtha fell into a conflict with Rome, which led to the so-called Jugurthian War, which was fought in 111-105 BCE.

Jugurtha in chains before Sulla

Domitianus – forgotten emperor

In 1900 a groundbreaking discovery was made near the French town of Nantes. A certain Felix Chaillou found there over a thousand Roman coins from the second half of the third century. However, one unique coin attracted the greatest attention of scholars. A unique copy of an antoninianus with an image of a certain Domitianus, an unknown usurper emperor, on the obverse.

Obverse of Domitianus coin

What was Marcus Tullius Cicero really like?

Marcus Tullius Cicero is considered a great politician, thinker, philosopher, lawyer, and above all a speaker and defender. His main occupation was defence and prosecution before Roman courts. Without even realizing it, many repeat his sayings or famous parems, and young lawyers learn to speak from his speeches.

Cicero

Gaius Julius Zoilos

Gaius Julius Zoilos was born in the first half of the 1st century BCE in the Roman city of Aphrodisias (today’s southern Turkey). The excavations carried out there over the last fifty years have revealed his magnificent tomb. At first, archaeologists thought they were dealing with an aristocratic person until an inscription was discovered identifying him as “Gaius Julius Zoilos, freedman of the divine Julius Caesar”.

Relief showing Gaius Julius Zoilos

Lucius Papirius Cursor, his nickname and training

Lucius Papirius Cursor (c. 365 – after 310 BCE) was one of the most valued and respected Romans in history. He held the office of consul five times and was a dictator twice. It was thanks to him that the Romans won the so-called Second Samnite War (326-304 BCE) and took revenge for the shameful defeat of the Caudine Forks in 321 BCE. Lucius Papirius Cursor received his nickname Cursor (“Runner”) because of his outstanding speed and efficiency in running.

Roman legionnaires training

Marcus Porcius Cato Licinianus – son-soldier of Cato the Elder

Marcus Porcius Cato Licinianus was one of the sons of the famous Cato the Elder known as the Censor, who became famous for his ruthless attitude towards Carthage and an extremely strict approach to life. Licinianus was born in 192 BCE and he an example of a young Roman who came from the upper classes of society. As his father was a distinguished soldier for the Republic, a Roman tradition called for his son to follow in his footsteps.

Battle of Pydna

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