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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.

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.

Pan

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 tunics and one in red tunic

Horse or cook?

The value of the horse was enormous in terms of communication, transport and, above all, its military use in battle. Traditionally, the ancients emphasized the uniqueness of Bucephalus, the horse that had long accompanied Alexander the Great during his military conquests.

The Symposion Feast, by Anton von Werner (1877)

Seneca among gladiators!

The fate of the gladiators was difficult. Although despised and kept briefly in closed barracks, they knew very well about the views of the notables of their time, especially in matters concerning them.

Francesco Netti, Gladiator Fight During Meal At Pompeii

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