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Guest posts

Guest’s entries on topics related to the history of ancient Rome and antiquity. If you would also like to share your work with others I encourage you to send a text.

Roman legionary’s oath

Roman legionary’s oath (sacramentum) of a newly recruited legionary after training and assignment of his unit. This oath was repeated every year on the 1st of January. Below the oath:

Roman soldiers from the late Republic period attack the barbarian fortifications

Obesity in antiquity

Obesity is not just a problem in modern society. This problem was especially noticeable in the heyday of Roman power. Unfortunately, prosperity has led some to health ruin. And it wasn’t just men, among whom even Roman rulers were representative of the big belly (e.g. Vitellius ).


Plebeians want to get married

Marriages in ancient Rome are a complicated matter, to say the least. For many reasons – suffice it to say that Roman law recognized two forms of marriage, with one of them (in manum, i.e. the woman passed directly under the authority of her husband) divided into three more subcategories. But what in this matter was the merit of the plebeians pushed almost to the end of the fifth century BCE to the background, and who made them finally come out from under the social lampshade after years of disappearing into the shadows?

Bas-relief on the sarcophagus from the 4th century CE

The Dance

One of the works by Lucian of Samosata, The Dance, is devoted entirely to this entertainment. Nothing more joyful, and yet not well perceived by everyone. Already at the outset, an accusation was made against the dances and the dance itself1.

Alma Tadema, The Pyrrhic Dance

Apostle Saul, called…

The apostle Saul is a follower of Jesus better known by the name Paul. In Acts of the Apostles 13: 9 the narrative of the text goes from the Semitic name Saul (Greek Σαῦλος, Saulos) to the Latin – Paul (Latin Paulus, Greek Παῦλος, Paulos). Why this sudden name change in the text?

Apostle Paul

Bold critique of poetry

Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, was madly addicted to poetry1. Unfortunately, his graphomania was reaching its heights, rising above the waves of opinion as the worst human being, ie the flatterers. In a moment of peace, the tyrant devoted himself completely to writing poetry, gathering around him many teachers and even critical commentators.

Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse

Panic fear

The mythological god Pan (Latin Faun) was supposed to cause sudden panic, unfounded fear and terror among people and animals with his shout. This panic (θορύβου Πανικοῦ) and confusion could lead to a castling of military units that, under the influence of fear, could misinterpret the enemy’s movements.


Ancient libraries

According to Hecataeus, whose extensive account is quoted by Diodorus Siculus, the magnificent and opulent tomb of the Egyptian king Ozymandias contained a sacred library with the inscription: “Healing-Place of the Soul”1.

Ancient libraries

Trial of Rabirius Postumus

Gaius Rabirius Postumus was a son of Gaius Rabirius who was defended by Cicero in 63 BCE. He was also one of the Romans who borrowed money to Ptolemy Auletes to help him in restoring his rule over Egypt.

Statue of Cicero in front of the Palazzo di Giustizia in Rome

Solomon in Pompeii?

In Pompeii, in the so-called House of the Physician or House of the Judgement, a painting with a biblical accent was discovered in 1841. It is a scene referring to the judgment of Solomon (Archaeological Museum of Naples [inventory number 113197]).

Fresco from the House of the Physician in Pompeii showing three Roman soldiers: two in white and one in red tunic

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