291 BCE – the Aesculapius temple was dedicated on a small, still existing island on the Tiber. This place was supposedly indicated by the holy serpent god, brought by Roman deputies from the temple in Epidaurus. There are remnants of the stone fortifications n the shape of a ship’s bow with a sculpture of a serpent that can be found on the island’s banks. Aesculapius, god of medicine and guardian of the doctors, received religious worship in this place, but it was also a kind of hospital in which the patients were counseled during sleep – this practice was moved from Epidaurus. Terracotta pictures of body parts confirm the hearings – they are to be found near this place. At present, the church of St. Bartholomew stands here.
153 BCE – the highest officials entered their offices. In the house of each of the two consuls, senators and friends gathered, then he set out from the house in a march to which joined other inhabitants. It was even customary that the consuls threw coins at the audience during the procession. Both marches met on Capitoline Hill, where Jupiter was offered a sacrifice of white bulls. After this ceremony, the consuls organized a party for their friends. In the days of the Empire, on that day, the officials would swear allegiance to the emperor and the army to their commander.
45 BCE – Julian calendar was introduced. Julius Caesar forced the final reform of the calendar, and although the intentions to change the calculation of time were carried out a long time ago, which even postponed the date of the new year for three months, Julius Caesar established the new calendar and it was named after him. The reason for the reform was that the previously used lunar calendar of the Roman region had become unbalanced, resulting in the fact that calendar December in 46 BCE fell in September. The new calendar was so stable that Europe used it until the 16th century, when it was noticed that this calendar is not perfect and leads to delays in relation to the natural rhythm, which led to the introduction of the commonly used Gregorian calendar.
42 BCE – posthumously, Julius Caesar received the title of Divus Julius (Julius) as a result of a Senate decree. Gaius Julius Caesar was the first officially deified Roman in history.
69 CE – Roman legions refuse to take an oath to allegiance to Galba. They mutinied and proclaimed Vitelius – an emperor the next day.
193 CE – Pertinax was chosen by the Senate, against his will, to be the new emperor after the assassination of Commodus.
404 CE – the last gladiatorial battle took place in the Colosseum. Even before that date, this brutal sport was officially banned as incompatible with the Christian spirit, but acceptance of this law took 5 years.
414 CE – Galla Placidia, Honorius’ half-sister, married Ataulf. Their wedding took place at the time when the Goths celebrated the victory and the war trophies. Ataulf had a son with her, Theodosius, who died in infancy.
417 CE – Honorius forced his half-sister to marry Constantius III, his great leader (magister militum).
69 CE – Aulus Vitellius was proclaimed emperor by the legions (under the command of Fabius Valens) in Cologne in Upper Germania. In the following days, oath of allegiance to Vitellius was made in Gaul, Britain and Retia. Vitellius’ troops moved to Rome against Galba, but Galba was killed and Otho became the new emperor. However, he did not want to fight any longer and he wanted to commit suicide. Vitellius took the throne on 16 April 69 CE.
366 CE – the Alemmani crossed the frozen Rhine and invaded the Roman Empire. They tried to invade Gaul, but they were defeated by Valentinian in the battle of Solicinium.
106 BCE – Cicero was born, a Roman politician, speaker, philosopher. He was born in Arpinum, a city on a hill near Rome, and he was the son of a soldier (equestrius). He became a great orator, philosopher and poet, but he was too much involved in political games, which led to his death at the hands of his political opponents.
46 BCE – the battle of Ruspina in the province of Africa took place. The parties that took part in the war were optimates under the command of Titus Labienus and populates under the command of Julius Caesar. It was one of Caesar’s last great defeats, in which his army was slaughtered. At some point in the battle, Caesar’s troops were dangerously encircled, at the sight of what, as the sources say, one of the warrant officers began to flee. Caesar was supposed to grab a soldier, turn around and say, “There is an enemy!” Caesar lost 1/3 of his troops in this battle and was forced to retreat. Despite the losses, Caesar managed to defeat the optimates’ army in the battle of Tapsus.
62 CE – Pompeii earthquake caused significant damage.
361 CE – Julian the Apostate took part in the Epiphany festival to endear the Christians. In the spring he set out for Rhine against the Alemmani and captured their commander Vadomar.
49 BCE – the Roman Senate, thanks to Cato the Younger, published so-called final decree (senatus consultum ultimum) depriving Caesar of power over the army and obliging him to return to Rome. He was supposed to stand by the tribunal for war crimes committed in the fight against the barbarians. In addition, Caesar was to be recognized as a public enemy and a traitor if he did not dissolve the army and did not give Gaul’s governorship to Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus.
Agonalia was celebrated, a feast in honor of the god Janus. On the day of the celebration, Rex Sacrorum sacrificed a ram in Regia, asking the god for favor and protection against evil and death. The name of the holiday comes from the question that the priest asked before the sacrifice: “Agone?”, Means “should I kill?”.
400 CE – Aelia Eudoxja, wife of the Roman emperor Arcadius, received the title of Augusta.
69 CE – Galba adopted, and thus designated his successor, Lucius Piso.
381 CE – the edict of Theodosius I was accepted, which recognized the Nicene Creed as legally effective.
347 CE – Theodosius the Great, the last Roman emperor of the entire Roman Empire, who ruled both the eastern and western parts of the empire was born. Outstanding commander. After the defeat of the Romans at Adrianople (378 CE) he was appointed co-emperor by Gratian in the eastern part of the empire. On the way of deals and victories he settled the Goths between the Danube and the Balkans (382), incorporating them into the Roman army. In 395 CE, he divided the Roman Empire into Eastern (assigned to Arcadius) and Western (assigned to Honorius).
27 BCE – time of Pax Romana. It was a term for the state of peace existing inside and outside Rome. The term literally refers to the 1st and 2nd century BCE, when the territorial range was the largest, and the Roman military expansion was limited to the minimum. No major unrests occurred, and the power was stable.
86 BCE – Gaius Marius, Roman politician and commander, died. In 105 BCE he defeated Jugurta, and a year later the Cimbri and Teutoni (102-101 BCEe). After these victories, he was recognized as the third founder of Rome (after Romulus and Camillus).
83 BCE – Mark Antony was born. Excellent Roman commander, and at the same time, brilliant politician. His father died at a young age and his mother decided to marry again, this time with Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sara. However, he was executed on the orders of Cicero. Cicero’s attitude caused a great indignity in the young man. From then on, he hated Cicero.
47 BCE – Marcus Antonius Antyllusius was born, the eldest son of Antonius and Fulvia. After the assassination of Caesar in 44 BCE he, as a small child, was held by the conspirators as a hostage to ensure their safety from his father, Marc Antony, who then was the consul. He did not achieve much in his life, because immediately after the suicide of his father and Cleopatra, by the order of Augustus, he was decapitated.
38 BCE – Drusus the Elder, Roman commander, was born. He was one of the most prominent Romans of the 1st century BCE. His friendly manners, attractive appearance and, above all, brilliant military talents, provided him with the recognition and attachment of the legionaries. He was an outstanding commander, who won numerous victories over the Germans.
69 CE – Roman emperor Galba fell prey to the plot conspired by Otho. Marcus Salvius Otho, the former manager of Lusitania and one of Galba’s earliest supporters, disappointed with the fact that it was Piso, not him to be the successor, he contacted the praetorians who proclaimed him their emperor. On 15 January 69 CE Galba, who immediately went to meet the rebels (he was so weak that he had to be kept in a litter), encountered a cavalry unit and was murdered near Lacus Curtius. According to Plutarch, in his last moments Galba was about to turn his neck and say: “Strike, if it will be for the Romans!” In total, 120 people offered assassinating Galba, wishing to win Otho’s favor and hoping for the prize. The list of their names was written down and went to the hands of Vitellius, when he took power after Otho. Everyone on the list was killed. In the end of his reign Galba was infirm and apathetic, but it was caused both by the passage of time and the desire not to attract Nero’s attention. As Tacitus writes, “everybody would have declared him worthy of the empire if he had never been an emperor [omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset]”
27 BCE – The Senate granted Octavian with the title Augustus. This way, Octavian became the first Roman emperor, however with all pretense of the continuity of the republican system (eg he was consul many times in the years 31-23 BCE). He used the official title of Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus. Augustus held full power, gathering in his hands several different offices and various extraordinary competences, given for life by the Senate. His rule was a kind of military dictatorship under the guise of maintaining the republic. According to tradition, the ruler on his deathbed was to use the phrase used by Roman at the end of the performances: acta est fabula (art played). According to other sources, his last words were: Plaudite cives, comoedia finita est (“Clap Citizens, the comedy is over”).
38 BCE – Gaius Octavius divorced his wife Scribonia and married Livia Drusilla, which ended the temporary peace of the second triumvirate with Sextus Pompeius. The relationship between Octavian and Livia proved to be very durable, but childless (their only child was born dead).
395 CE – Theodosius the Great died in Milan, at the age of 49. He was buried a few months later in Constantinople. After his death, the Roman Empire was divided between his sons into the eastern part (17-year-old Arcadius) and the western one (11-year-old Honorius). This solution, although it did not formally mean separation of the Empire, in practice was the creation of two separate political entities. Many researchers today claim that the death of Theodosius was the end of the ancient world. In ideological terms, Theodosius’ time is a triumph of Christianity as the dominant religion, while the old beliefs and its followers became the object of persecution. Changes regarding morality and culture can prove the end of antiquity in 395 CE – including the end of the Olympic Games, destroying temples and works of art and the extermination of the Alexandrian library.
52 BCE – Publius Clodius Pulcher died, Roman politician, leader of plebeian movements, who, thanks to the support of the triumvirate, could achieve his political goals. Together with mercenary ruffians, Clods terrorized the inhabitants and influenced the election results. According to rumors, he was the lover of Pompeia, the wife of Caesar, who decided to divorce her. During the trial Cicero testified against Clodius, which caused Clodius’ hatred towards him. Clodius, being the tribune in 58 BCE, led even to Cicero’s exile. It is worth mentioning the year 61 BCE, when he was accused of profanity, because he crept into Caesar’s house in woman’s disguise, where ceremonies were available only for women, in honor of the goddess Bona Dea. He died in 52 BCE in a confrontation with political opponents.
350 CE – emperor Constans died, and Magnenius took his place. The iron discipline that the emperor enforced on his army led him finally to collapse. Magnenius’ mutiny found him on the hunt, when he was murdered by the conspirators in the city Helena.
474 CE – Eastern Roman Emperor, Leo, died in Constantinople. The successor was underage Leo, the son of his daughter Ariadne and Zeno. Actually Zeno ruled.
379 CE – Roman emperor Gratin appointed himself the emperor of the eastern part of the Empire. He was the son of the commander of that name, executed a few years ago, and apparently also a descendant of Trajan. Both families came from Spain. Theodosius was 32 years old and was in favor with the Roman army because of his father’s memory and because of the victory over the Sarmatians after the battle of Adrianople. Theodosius received the Danubian and Eastern provinces.
383 CE – Arcadius was granted the title Augustus by his father, the co-emperor. From the death of his father in 395 CE, he reigned over the eastern part of the Roman Empire whereas his brother ruled the western part. On the order of Theodosius, the guardian of the young emperor, was Stilicho.
388 CE – Theodosius I celebrated the tenth anniversary of his reign.
398 CE – Empress Eudoxia gave birth to her second daughter, Pulcheria.
225 CE – Gordian III was born, who in the summer 238 CE, at the age of 13, was proclaimed an emperor, after the death of Gordiana I’s successors – Balbinus and Pupienus, whom the Roman people had earlier forced to appoint new emperor. In the years 242 – 243 CE, he regained Syria and Mesopotamia from the Persians.
250 CE – Emperor Trajan Decius began mass persecution of the Christians. Then, Pope Fabian himself, died a martyr. Persecution was one of the bloodiest in the history of ancient Rome and for the first time covered the territory of the whole empire. In the opinion of contemporary people, he was considered to be an energetic ruler and the incarnation of ancient Roman virtues. Decius was the last Roman Emperor who used the title of King of Lower and Upper Egypt.
62 CE – Nero got married to Poppaea Sabina, who was his mistress from 58 CE. Poppaea led a sumptuous lifestyle and she was known as a beautiful, hardheaded woman. Some of her cosmetic treatments became really famous (eg. baths in donkey milk). She persuaded Nero to murder his own mother – Agrippina the Younger.
393 CE – Flavius Honorius was granted the title Augustus from his Theodosius. He became an emperor at the age of 10 and together with his brother Arcadius divided the empire into the western and eastern part. This choice of Augustus meant that Theodosius refused to recognize Eugenius as a co-emperor. To revenge the death of Valentinian II, encouraged his sister, Galla. Guardian of Honorius was Stilicho, who had great influence in the court. In 402 CE Honorius transferred the capital of the Western Empire to Ravenna. He waged war with numerous usurpers for the emperor’s title.
422 CE – Honorius solemnly celebrated his tricentalia in Ravenna, or thirty years of rule (counting from getting the title Augustus). Maximus was shown tied and executed.
41 CE – the conspirators murdered the Roman emperorCaligula, his wife Cesonia and daughter Julia Drusilla. At the head of the conspiracy was to stand, among others Cassius Cherea, who has the reputation of an outstanding soldier and was a tribune of the Praetorian Guard. His duties included, first of all, a morning visit to the emperor, who gave him the quote of the day. Due to the fact that he had a high voice, he became the object of Caligula’s derision. The emperor not only called him a girl, but he invented increasingly obscene invectives. The whole community knew that he systematically insults the commander and deliberately humiliates him. Another tribune of the Praetorian Guard joined Chera, Cornelius Sabinus. He also had serious reasons for this, as he was often the object of the emperor’s perverse and insulting whims.
76 CE – Emperor Hadrian was born. He is considered to be a good emperor. He resigned from the Rome’s expansion in Asia, and his policy was rather peaceful. Hadrian was a great builder, he erected many magnificent buildings (mausoleum, Hadrian’s Villa in Tibur).
119 CE – the Olympic Games were organized to celebrate the anniversary of Hadrian’s birthday. Thousands of wild animals appeared on the arena.
41 CE – Claudius became a Roman emperor. After assassinating Caligula, some of the soldiers of the Praetorian Guard decided to proclaim Claudius the emperor, as he was the only adult representative of the ulio-Claudian dynasty. Soldiers and important personalities were afraid of the reactions of the Caligula guard counting 300 well-built Germans, unscrupulous when it comes to killing. Apparently, when Claudius was found behind the curtain, the Praetorians lifted Claudius and proclaimed him emperor against his will. He was considered to be a family branch – he had numerous health and physical impairments (stuttering, drooling, cramps, paralysis) that condemned him to life outside politics. Unexpected turn of fate made him become the fourth emperor in history. He became famous as an ally of the freedmen who held important positions at his side. He initiated a campaign to Britain in 43 CE, which resulted in the incorporation of these lands into the Empire. In addition, he was the last known man knowing the Etruscan language.
484 BCE – dedication of the temple of Castor at the Roman Forum It was, in fact, a temple of Greek gods – the twin sons of Zeus, the Dioscures. Their latinized names sounded – Castor and Pollux. Already in 496 BCE dictator Postumius vowed to erect the building after the victorious battle with Latines at Lake Regillus. It was then that these divine twins were to help the Romans fight, and then they brought the news to the city first.
98 CE – Emperor Nerva died, and Trajan took his place. Nerva, knowing that his end was close, had to somehow remedy the coming struggle for power. In October 97 CE he adopted a man named Marcus Ulpius Trajan, the legate of the Upper Germania and the commander of the Roman army, and also appointed him a co-emperor. Along with adoption, he also appointed him the consul for the year 98 CE – this positions were to be held together so that Trajan would really become a co-emperor. This way, Nerva managed to secure Rome, entrusting the throne to one person. This was one of the greatest achievements of Nerva’s short reign.
457 CE – Emperor Martian died in Constantinople.
98 CE – after Nerva’s death, Trajan (45-year-old), who was adopted by him, officially took power in the Empire. His election was enthusiastically received in Rome. The newly elected emperor pardoned many people condemned by Domitian, and returned their private property.
A festival of peace festival of peace took place when sacrifices were offered on the altars of peace. At the beginning it was a rural festival during which farmers offered sacrifices asking for peace in the state. Augustus changed the character of these celebrations after the division of Rome into 265 districts, he issued an order to put on all streets and border crossings between the districts of the chapels in honor of Lares Compitales. Then, the chapels began the cult of Genius Augustus, which eventually turned into a cult of Lares Augusti. In these chapels, sacrifices were offered asking for peace, while the main ceremonies were held at Ara Pacis.
58 BCE – Livia Drusilla was born, later wife of Augustus and the first Roman empress. The position of the first lady of the imperial court, family ties and private wealth allowed her to play a significant role throughout her life. Her descendants were all the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. She was being accused of eliminating pretenders to the throne after Augustus to secure the throne to her son. Thanks to her efforts Augustus eventually adopted Tiberius and appointed him his successor.
133 CE – Roman emperor Didius Julianus was born. After the death of Commodus and Pertinax – according to the message of Cassius Dio – he was to offer the Praetorians a high bonus of 25 000 sesterces, if they would choose him a new ruler. In the barracks, he outbid the prefect of the city of Rome, Flavius Sulpitian, who also wanted to buy power, offering each soldier 20 000 sesterces. However, Didius Julianus did not enjoy his position for a long time. After 5 months, he was assasinated.
36 BCE – Antonia the Younger was born. She was the favorite niece of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, widely admired for her virtues and beauty. In 16 BCE she married Drusus the Elder, with whom she had sons – Germanicus and Claudius. In addition, she was the grandmother of Caligula and the great-grandmother of Nero. She was an example of a woman who was as prominent and influential as men in the principate.
Paganalia was celebrated, which was a feast in honor of Ceres (goddess of agriculture) and Tellus (goddess of fertility), so-called sowing festival. This day, sacrifices were offered in the form of traditional sacrificial cakes, home baked goods and pregnant sows for Ceres and Mater Tellus, thus asking for the shield of sowing against birds, ants, cold weather, bad weather, weeds and parasites.
382 CE – Emperor of the EasternRoman Empire, Theodosius the Great settled the Goths in Thrace as allies of Rome (foederati). The Goths settled on the lower Danube, they were given wide autonomy, but they were obliged to provide the Empire with soldiers, though only auxiliary units fighting under the independent, Gothic command. These conditions were outrageous for many Romans, but they allowed to calm the situation on the border and rebuild the imperial army in the East. Theodosius gained great authority among the barbarians, which meant that they held their end up.
211 CE – after the death of Septimius Severus, his sons Geta and Caracalla. began to rule together. In his will, Septimius Severus gave equal authority to both brothers, without the division of powers or the territory of the empire. This fact alone made it difficult for them to cooperate. However, the deeper cause of the conflict was about to break out between the brothers and it was the sincere hatred that they had from early childhood. They agreement forced by their dead father did not help to overcome this obstacle – Julia Domna, mother of the co-emperors, induced this agreement. The only consistent decision of the young emperors was the completion of a three-year expedition in Britain. Eventually, Caracalla killed his brother, who took refuge at his mother’s.
216 BCE – the Temple of Concordia, the goddess of harmony, was dedicated at the foot of the Capitoline Hill. Its construction was vowed two years earlier when there were military riots during the fights with the Gauls.
2 BCE – Augustus received the title of Father of the Country (pater patriae). The idea was Corvinus’, Roman politician, speaker and patron of the writers.
62 CE – Pompeii was destroyed by the earthquake. The city was destroyed in 65%. Residents, however, managed to rebuild them in a fairly short time.
457 CE – Leon I became the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. Leon was the first emperor who accepted the diadem from the hands of the Patriarch of Constantinople (this custom was then continued in Byzantium). He started the Leonid dynasty.
421 CE – Constantius III was appointed a co-emperor by Honorius. Constantius was the commander during the reign of Honorius. He went to the position of the chief commander of after Olimpiodor’s death. Thanks to him, usurpers Constantine III, Constans II and Maximus were defeated. He mastered the situation in the Western Empire after the barbarian incursion. He settled Goths in Aquitaine. As a reward for victories, Honorius gave him his sister, Galla Placidia, for a wife and made him a co-emperor. There were two children born from this marriage: the later emperor Valentinian III and Honoria.
55 CE – the son of emperor Claudius and Messalina – Britannicus died under not entirely clear circumstances. Tacitus claims that he was poisoned at the Nero’s order during a feast in full view of the feasters by the poisoner Lucusta on the day before his fourteenth birthday, when he was to put on a man’s toga. Nero and his mother Agrippina wanted to get rid of the last possible rival to the throne. Britannicus was buried in the Mausoleum of Augustus.
244 CE – Gordian III died. He was proclaimed emperor in the summer of 238 CE, at the age of 13 after the deaths of Gordian I’s successors – Balbinus and Pupienus, whom the Roman people had earlier forced to appoint the rulers. His death is not certain. He died either killed by the prefect of Philip the Arab (later ruler) or in a battle or as a result of a plague.
435 CE – an agreement was made with the Vandal leader – Gaiseric – in Hippo. The Roman Empire was represented by Trigetius. The vandals recognized themselves and were recognized as (foederati) Rome’s allies, and as such they received from the Empire the territories where they were to live and manage. As Procopius of Caesarea claimed, Gaiseric resigned at the moment from continuing the conquest and agreed to pay the emperor an annual tribute and handed him the son of Huneric as a hostage (whom the emperor soon graciously released as a sign of “great friendship”). In practice, Gaiseric has become the actual master of the greater part of the African provinces and did not stop to loot Sicily.
41 CE – Britannicus, the son of Claudius and Messalina was born. His original name Germanicus was changed to Britannic to commemorate the conquest of Britain by his father in 43 CE. As the only survived son of the emperor, he was the main candidate for his father’s title. His position was not shaken by the open betrayal of his mother Messalina and her condemnation to death in 48 CE. It was only Claudius’ another marriage with her own niece Agrippina and the adoption of her son from a previous marriage – Nero in 50 CE that weakened the rights of her son to his father’s legacy. In the end, Britannicus was killed by Nero.
Parentalia started. These days, the Romans visited graves of their ancestors in cemeteries outside the city, beyond the sacred border of pomerium. They brought them gifts (sacrificia): flowers – usually violets, salt, wheat, bread dipped in wine, milk and wine, feeding them in that way they would prevent them from harming the living. The celebrations ended on 21 February.
389 BCE – Roman commander Marcus Furius Camillus took a triumphal trip to Rome after defeating Volsci, Aequi and Etruscans and rebounded everything that was plundered by the Gauls.
44 BCE – Gaius Julius Caesar was appointed perpetual dictator (dictator in perpetuum, on the coins: DICT PERPETVO) the high priest, emperor and father of the country by the Senate, They tried to proclaim him the king of Rome, but Caesar refused, as this function was hated by the people since the times of Tarquin, moreover, Caesar still tried to preserve the appearance of republican legality. In spite of everything, Caesar, was the most important person in Rome. As it turned out soon.
Lupercalia was celebrated, which was a holiday in honor of Faunus or the primary old italian god of the shepherd, Lupercus who used to guard their sheep against the wolves. The festival was to be established by mythological Evander. The cult of the mentioned Faunus – a Roman deity, half a man, half a goat – played a big role during Lupercalia. There was a Roman legend connected with Faustulus, a shepherd who would find twins (Romulus and Remus) in a wolf’s lair and take them to his home, where they were to be brought up by his wife, Akka Laurentia. The festival was celebrated in the Lupercal cave on the Palatine, where, according to belief, the legendary founders of Rome, the twins Romulus and Remus, were fed by a she-wolf. Then the sacrifices of two goats and a dog were offered, and the priests called Luperci, dressed only in the skin of a freshly killed goat, circled the Palatine hill and struck passers-byes (februa) from the skins of sacrificial animals. Childless women were particularly subjected to be beaten, which was supposed to guarantee fertility, and to others encountered – the purification of the stain and blemish of the past year. Luperci’s practices were to introduce a new element to the human body, strengthening the life and creative forces. Lupercalia are probably the prototype of today’s Valentine’s.
116 CE – Trajan sent the laureatae to the Senate with information about his victories in Parthia.
Fornacalia was a Roman festival celebrated on February 17. The festival was celebrated in honor of Fornax, who was the Roman goddess of the bread oven (fornax) or patron of the bread baking process. It was a kind of personification of the oven that prevented the bread from baking.
364 CE – emperor Jovian died. The emperor, on the way to Constantinople, was found dead in his bed in a tent in Dadastan, halfway between today’s Ankara and Iznik. It is believed that the ruler could be buried in his quarters, where he was well-fired with charcoal. It is also suspected that the ruler could simply eat mushrooms. Jovian was buried in Constantinople in the Church of the Holy Apostles.
197 CE – Roman emperor Septimius Severus defeated the usurper Clodius Albinus in the battle of Lugdunum (today’s Lyon). Severus had between 70 000 and 90 000 soldiers, when his opponent had 60 000 people. The battle was fierce and at first none of the parties had a clear advantage. When it seemed that Albinus would win the clash, unexpectedly, Letus’s reinforcements arrived at the front, whose attack from the flank surprised Albinus’ army. Severus’s troops, reinforced unexpectedly by new forces, attacked again, forcing Albinus’s army to flee. Soon the chase after the fleeing enemy turned into a real slaughter. Severus’s people stormed into the city, plundered and burned. Albinus was decapitated, and then it was taken to Severus. According to another version, Albinus committed suicide. His body was thrown to the dogs to be devoured, and his head was sent to Rome. Albinus’ supporters were sentenced to death, confiscating their property. In June 197 CE Severus entered Rome triumphantly, and his dynasty had been in the land for over 30 years.
356 CE – emperor Constantius II issued a decree closing all pagan temples in the Roman Empire.
Feralia was celebrated, a festival in honor of the ghosts of the dead ancestors, which was the main celebration ending the festive week (13-20 February) of Parentalia. During the celebration of the feast, minor gifts were put on the graves in the form of wreaths, flowers, a bit of food and wine. You always had to remember to celebrate this holiday. According to legend, during one of the war Feralia was forgotten. Because of that, the city suffered a plague, and the souls of the dead were on the streets. Only when the sacrifices were offered, the souls of the dead returned to the graves and the plague ceased.
Caristia was celebrated, a festival ending Parentalia in honor of the dead ancestors. At that time, families met for a feast. The households offered food and incense to Lares, to the souls of the dead guarding the house. The holiday was a day of reconciliation, and all disputes were to be put aside. Ovid remarked ironically that this could only be achieved by excluding those family members who were the most troublesome. The holiday is also known as Cara Cognatio.
Terminalia was celebrated, a festival in honor of the god Terminus, the god of borders between private estates, but above all state borders. His statue was on the verge of private possessions and appeared most often in the form of a stone. The owners of neighboring properties decorated the statue with wreaths and offered a sacrifice in the form of a bit of grain, honeycombs, wine. In addition, a sheep or a pig was killed in honor of the deity. The ceremony ended with singing a song of praise. The public ceremony, on the other hand, included similar rituals on the sixth milestone, along the road to Laurentum (between Ostia and Lavinium). The ceremony took place here probably because it was originally the boundary of the Roman state.
303 CE – Roman emperor Diocletian issued an edict prohibiting the practices of the Christian religion. The ruler ordered to demolish Christian temples and burn the sacred books and deprive Christians of public offices. Edict clauses were respected to varying degrees in various areas of the Empire. In Egypt, the prefect Sosianus Hierocles forced sacrifices to pagan deities and liquidated churches, while in the west Constantius Chlorus introduced these regulations rather remotly.
391 CE – emperor Theodosius completely forbade the worship of the gods in any form, furthermore, any official or judge, who would cross the thresholds of the temple, would be subject to a high penalty.
50 CE – Roman emperor Claudius adopted Nero (he was given the name Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus), who, as he was older than the biological son of the emperor – Britannicus became his rightful heir to the throne. In addition, Claudius granted Nero’s mother, Agrippina the Younger, the title Augusta and give the status of a Roman colony to her hometown, Oppidum Ubiorum. From that time, the city was called Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium – today’s Cologne in Germany.
493 CE – Odoacer got Ravenna after a three-year siege and agreed to talk with Theodoric the Great, the king of the Ostrogoths.
212 CE – emperor Geta was murdered by his brother Caracalla.. In their will, their father, Septimius Severus, gave equal authority to both brothers, without any division of competence or territory of the Empire. This fact alone made the cooperation between them more difficult and caused conflict. However, the deeper cause of the conflict that was the sincere hatred between them from their early childhood. They were not even stifled by the reconcilation above their father’s grave – to which their mother Julia Domna persuaded them. An unsuccessful attempt to assassinate his brother and the very aggressive behavior of Caracalla made Gera more and more popular among the people. So Caracalla decided to change the plan. Since the beginning of 212 CE he made gestures showing that he wanted to reconcile with his brother. Getting to formally reconcile with Geta, he arranged a meeting in their mother’s chambers on 26 February 212 CE. The brothers were supposed to be there alone and unarmed. However, Caracalla betrayed his brother, he arrived there with centurions and ordered to kill him. Geta died, trying to hide his mother;s arms, who was injured herself trying to save her son.
364 CE – military tribune of the elite infantry division (Scutarii). Valentinian (34 years old) was chosen emperor after the death of Jovian. His family came from Pannonia. He held high positions in the army for Constantius, but he was removed by Julian for his beliefs. Jovian restored him.
272 CE – emperor Constantine the Great was born. He won the civil war that followed the death of Diocletian. Then he strengthened his power and took over independent governments. He carried out a series of internal reforms, moved the capital from Rome to Constantinople and ended the persecution of Christians, which was led by his predecessor Diocletian. He was the first emperor who converted to Christianity. In 313 CE issued the Edict of Milan, proclaiming the freedom of religion for Christianity.
380 CE – the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius the Great issued the Edict of Thessalonica. The act required all Theodosius’ subordinates to accept the Christian faith in the Holy Trinity in the form adopted by the Council of Nice in 325 CE. This way, all heresy was to be prosecuted by the state. It was the legal sanctioning of Catholicism. From that moment, the traditional (pagan) religion was punished with the confiscation of property and death.
425 CE – the University of Constantinople was founded by the order of emperor Theodosius II at the suggestion of his wife Elia Eudocia Augusta.
752 BCE – Romulus, the first legendary king of Rome celebrated his first triumph over the inhabitants of the city of Caenina, after the Rape of the Sabine Women.
509 BCE – 509 BCE – Publius Valerius Publicola, one of the main participants in the plot against the Tarquinians, celebrated his first triumph after the victory over the army of the overthrown king Tarquinius Superbus in the battle of Silva Arsia.
86 BCE – Roman commander Sulla, during the war with Mithridates VI, king of Pontus, took over Athens and Piraeus. In the spring of 87 BCE Sulla went to Greece (he landed in Dyrrachium in Illyria), where he joined the siege of Athens, ruled by Aristion (the favorite of Mithridates). He captured them by storm in the aforementioned 86 BCE.
c. 40 CE – Martial was born, a Roman poet. He is considered to be the creator of the epigram, which is a short lyric piece with a distinctive point. 15 books of epigrams have survived to our times.
286 CE – emperor Diocletian granted his fellow soldier Maximian the title Augustus and gave him power over the western part of the Roman Empire.
293 CE – Constantius I (later called Chlorius) became Caesar in the western part of the Empire, as the deputy of Maximian. Before 293 CE Constantius was the governor of Dalmatia and a military man even in time of Aurelian’s reign. Flavius participated in the war with Zenobia (272-273 CE). In addition, Constantius was prefect of Maximian’s pretorians in Gaul and married to his daughter Theodora. Constantius before he became Caesar, he had received command from Diocletian in the fight against Carausius (usurper from Britain).
317 CE – emperor Constantine proclaimed in Serdica (now Sofia) a new system of co-ruling. Caesar was the 12-year-old son of the emperor, Crispus, a few-month-old son, Constantine II, and a few-year-old Licinian son of Licinius.
350 CE – Vetranio, the commander of forces in Illyria, proclaimed himself the emperor. Constantine recognized him, but immediately went to the danubian provinces.
According to the pre-Julian calendar on that day, the New Year was celebrated. Therefore, in many languages, the borrowed names September, October, November and December, ie. the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th month of the year, come from the Latin numerals septem, octo, novem, decem (7, 8, 9, 10).
A ceremony took place in the Temple of Vesta, during which the eternal fire was kindled again. On this day, the dances of Salii began. Twelve young patricians danced around Rome, holding holy shields. That lasted 19 days. Dancers celebrated each night in a different home.
Matronalia was celebrated – a Roman festival celebrated by married women (matrons).
473 CE – Gundobad (King of Burgundy) ordered to proclaim Glicerius the emperor of the Western Empire. The new emperor was not recognized by Constantinople and was a puppet ruler. In religious politics, Glicerius supported Christianity, which was reflected in the coins he minted with the image of the cross. Thanks to the bribery given to the Ostrogoths, he managed to stop the invasion of this barbaric tribes in Italy. He ruled until 474 CE, when he was overthrown by Julius Nepos by the orders of Constantinople.
51 CE – Nero, future emperor of Rome, received the title princeps iuventutis (the first amongst the young).
363 CE – Roman emperor Julian the Apostate set out from Antioch for a war expedition against the Persians, during which he died. About 65 000 to 90 000 people participated in this campaign. Without a decisive battle, he crossed the Euphrates and reached Ctesiphon over the Tigris. Despite the tactical victories, the Persian army was too big for Roman legions. In addition, the Romans did not take over any strategic city, which forced the commanders to retreat. In the battle of Maranga, the emperor Julian the Apostate was wounded during one of the Persians’ attacks. Initially, the wound did not seem serious. Ultimately, however, despite the efforts of court physician Oribasius, the emperor died on June 26.
161 CE – emperor Antoninus Pius, one of the so-called five good emperors. His reign was a time of prosperity for Rome. Antoninus Pius enjoyed a good reputation due to his approachability, kindness, love for peace and a highly moral way of life. He stayed most of the time in Rome and did not leave Italy, accepting delegations from all provinces. His place was taken by Marcus Aurelius.
189 CE – emperor Geta was born. He was the younger son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, the brother of Caracalla who co-ruled with him. He was a co-emperor with his brother and father in the years 209-211 CE and with his brother in 211-212 CE. He was assassinated by Caracalla in the beginning of 212 CE.
238 CE – in Roman Africa, there was a mutiny against the emperor Maximinus Thrax. Gordian I was proclaimed the new emperor.
321 CE – Roman emperor Constantine the Great issued an edict, in which he established Sunday (dies Solis) with a day off work in offices, crafts and trade, but did not prohibit work in agriculture. The ordinance changed the length of the week (until now, the 8-day week, the so-called nundinae) and sanctioned the Christian custom of celebrating on the first day of the week (Sunday).
413 CE – in Carthage died the rebellious governor of Africa – Heraclian. Earlier, the rebel transferred troops to Italy, where he was defeated. He hid in Carthage. His estate fell to Flavius Constantius.
As the prototype for the Women’s Day, we can take Matronalia celebrated on March 1 in ancient Rome. It was a holiday related to the beginning of the new year, motherhood and fertility. On this occasion, husbands gave their wives presents and fulfill their wishes. During Matronalia, women went to the grove near the Temple of Juno on the Esquiline Hill. The goddess was offered flowers and women prayed to her for happiness in married life, while at home they served little treat for their slaves.
241 BCE – the Roman fleet won the victory over the Carthaginians in thebattle near the Aegadian Islands. Romans, with the experience of what had happened after the year 249 BCE and their earlier failures began the reconstruction of the fleet. A hasty construction of two hundred light galleys was financed, and then they were directed (under the command of Gaius Lutacius Catulus) to the siege of Carthaginian fortresses in Drepanum and Lilybeum. Meanwhile, the Carthaginians, feeling confident at sea after their victories, disarmed their ships and released crews. As a result, a hurriedly collected fleet was directed against the Romans with little experienced sailors led by Hannon. Carthaginian ships, loaded with food for the troops in Sicily, were definitely less returnable than Roman units. The battle ended with the defeat of the Carthaginians who lost fifty submarines and seventy captured by the Romans. The defeat at sea prevented supplying the Carthaginian army in Sicily, which affected the outcome of the war. In the same year, both sides signed the peace treaty, based on which Carthage had to renounce Sicily.
222 CE – in the pretorian camp, emperor Elagabalus, Hierocles, a Greek slave, carter, favorite, lover and husband of Elagabalus and Julia Soaemias, the mother of Emperor Heliogabal, were murdered by the soldiers. The slayers had had enough of madness, cruelty and orgy of their ruler. Alexander Severus sat on the throne.
250 CE – Saint Pionius, martyr of the Church, also known as Pionia from Smyrna, died. He publicly defended the Christian faith for which he was imprisoned and murdered with fifteen companions.
417 CE – Pope Innocenty I died. The leader of the Church settled matters regarding the liturgy and church (36 letters survived). He strengthened the importance of the Holy See.
190 BCE – a solar eclipse could be observed in Rome. It is possible that on that day, the Romans defeated Antiochus’ army at Magnesia.
Ides of March. It was a Roman festival, devoted to one of the most important Roman gods – Mars, Greek Ares. At that time ceremonies and military parades took place, and the Senate had a day off from the assembly.
351 CE – emperor Constantius granted Gallus the title Caesar. He clinched it with his marrying Constantine, the emperor’s sister. Gallus was to reside in Antioch and deal with the affairs of the Eastern provinces during the war with Magnentius.
The rituals of the Argei took place on March 16 and 17, and on May 14 and 15. At the time of Augustus, the purpose of these rites was unclear even to the Romans themselves. In May there was a procession of pontiffs, Vestals and praetors around the circusmade its way around a circuit of 27 stations (sacella or sacraria), where each of them was taken with a human figure made of reed and straw. After all the stations were visited, the procession moved to the Pons Sublicius, the oldest known bridge in Rome, where the gathered figures were tossed into the Tiber River.
According to Ovid, this ritual was established as a form of endearing Saturn or Tiberinus. However, we do not know the exact reason for the ceremony.
37 CE – at the age of 77, emperor Tiberius died in Misenum on the Gulf of Naples. He was buried in the Mausoleum of Augustus. Ancient writers: Suetonius and Tacitus claim that the successor of Caligula and the new commander of the pretorians, Macron, strangled the emperor with a pillow. However, it can not be ruled out that Tiberius died a natural death.
455 CE – emperor Valentinian III was assassinated in Rome, in the Field of Mars during the review of the army, by a faithful soldier Aetius. Petronius Maximus became the new emperor – prefect of the city, prefect of praetorium and consul.
Liberalia festival took place. It was a festival dedicated to the Roman deity – Liber, whose cult came from central Italy. His cult was initially associated with horses and grain. Later, Liber was identified with the Greek Dionysus. That day, Libera, the wife of the mentioned god, was also worshiped. The day of Liberalia was a time of free speech and the entry of 15-16 year old boys into the world of adults.
45 BCE – the battle of Munda took place. It was the last battle fought by Julius Caesar against the conservative republicans. After this victory and the death of Titus Labienus and Gneius Pompeius the Younger (older son of Pompey the Great), Caesar could return to Rome and rule as a dictator. The subsequent murder of Caesar began the process of ending the Roman Republic with the rule of his nephew – Augustus as the first Roman emperor.
44 BCE – two days after the assassination of Julius Caesar, the funeral ceremony took place. The body of the murdered commander was exposed to public view at the Roman Forum, where gathered large crowds. Funeral oration was made by Mark Antony, who demanded to punish the murderers and deification of Caesar. Mark Antony also read Caesar’s testament on the Forum. The will was to pay money to the Roman people and veterans. The main heir was nineteen year old Octavian – grandson of Caesar’s sister. Then the body was placed on the stack. An uprooted crowd would throw in branches, furniture, even clothes to the pile to start a fire. Then the crowds went to the houses of Brutus and Cassius. At that time, the Senate, at a special assembly, considered all Caesar’s orders as illegal, and the killers were included in amnesty (for the first time in Rome). This took place at the instance of Cicero, who suggested that it should be introduced in imitation of the ancient Athens. Some scientists believe that the funeral could take place on March 20.
180 CE – During the expedition against the Marcommani, emperor Marcus Aurelius died in Vindobona (today’s Vienna). The ruler died because of the plague. His son, Commodus, took over the throne.
455 CE – Petronius Maximus became a Roman emperor. He was a rich and influential Roman senator. The new ruler married the widow, Lycina Eudoxia, and his son Palladius – daughter Eudocia. This controversial move, which was supposed to strengthen his power, became the cause of his downfall. Eudocia’s hand had been promised earlier to Huneric, the son of the king of the Vandals, Geeneseric. The barbarian ruler thus received a convenient excuse to intervene.
37 CE – Caligula was recognized by the Senate as the emperor after the death of Tiberius. Late Tiberius in his will recommended that Caligula and Tiberius Gemellus (grandson of Tiberius) should reign together. However, his will did not come true. Thanks to Macron (the Praetorian Prefect), the Senate annulled his will and made Caligula the only ruler.
Quinquatria or Quinquatrus festival began, initially dedicated to Mars. With time, when Minerva began to patronize craftsmen and craft guilds, they received their sacred place on the Aventine Hill, Quinquatrus changed its character and became a celebration of craftsmen and learners (the teachers were given the so-called minerval, tuition fee). According to Marcus Terentius Varro, the festival was called this way because it took place on the fifth (quinqu-) after the Ides. On the first day of Quinquatrus, Minerva was offered sacrifices, and if there was a war, the fighting would stop on that day. In the following days the gladiator games were held, and on the last day, in the shoemakers ‘hall (atrium sutorium), the trumpets were being consecrated, so-called tubilustrium (the trumpet was the goddess’ instrument).
The festival of Minerva was also celebrated (also on June 19 and September 19) – it was a time when the Romans were offering counties in honor of Minerva – the goddess of wisdom, art and craft.
363 CE – the Temple of Apollo burned down on the Roman Palatine. Sibylline Books that contained prophecies were saved. The Sibylline Books were read when the city was in trouble. Typically, the advice was to incorporate a new god into the Roman pantheon and start worshiping it.
43 BCE – a Roman poet, Ovid, was born. He belonged to the younger generation of Augustinian artists. He became famous for his Amores and the tragedy Medea (15 CE). Then in year 2 CE appeared Ars amandi (The Art of Loving) in three books, which was a frivolous textbook about flirt and love. In 8 CE he was banished from Rome to Tomis on the Black Sea, where he spent the rest of his life. The reasons for the exile are not entirely clear.
238 CE – Gordian I and his son Gordian II became Roman co-emperors. The emperor was proclaimed by the nobility mutinied against Maximinus Thrax, when he came to inspect Tysdrus. Thanks to the actions of senator Publius Licinius Valerianus (later emperor), he received the support of the Senate, but his reign lasted only 20 days, since the governor of Numidia-Cappelianus, remaining faithful to Maximinus at the head of one legion (legio III Augusta) attacked Carthage, which was the temporary residence of the emperor and defeated Gordian’s troops consisting of armed residents of the city and the militia. The emperor committed suicide after losing the battle, during which his son and co-emperor, Gordian II, died.
Tubilustrium festival took place, which was celebrated twice a year. The ceremony of the day was devoted to Mars and it was about purification of the holy war trumpets, which would bring victories in battles for he Roman legions.
Hilaria festival was celebrated on the occasion of the vernal equinox and the worship of the Phrygian goddess of fertility, harvest, spring and defensive cities. March 25 was an extremely positive day, full of joyful celebrations of Attis’ resurrection – Cybele’s lover. The cult of Cybeleand Attis spread in ancient Rome during the reign ofClaudius. On this day, people joyed with the nascent nature, there were masquerades, games, and everyone was cheerful. In addition, on that day, the Romans were also supposed to make fun of friends and family.
421 CE – according to the legend, Venice was founded at noon. On this day, the first foundations for the church of San Giacomo di Rialto were laid.
37 CE – emperor Caligula entered Rome. The beginning of his rule was very promising. He allowed the expatriates to come back to Rome, canceled the trials for lese majesty, published the state budget, finished the construction of the Temple of Augustus and organized wonderful games. He reigned until 41 CE.
193 CE – after less than three months of rule, the praetorians (probably in agreement with the Senate) murdered Pertinax and organized a tender for the emperor. The title was given to Didius Julianus who paid 25 000 sesterces to the members of the guard.
364 CE – Valens became a Roman emperor. His brother Valentinian I gave him the power over the eastern part of the Empire.
250 CE – emperor Constantius Chlorus was born. He was born in a poor family in Illyria, he made a career, as many at that time, serving in the army. Year 293 CE he was adopted by Maximian and received the title of Caesar. He looked after Gaul and Britain, from the capital in Trier. On 1 May 305 CE he was granted the title Augustus. He died a year later in an expedition against the Picts and Scots in Eboracum. He was a monotheist who considered the Sun Invincible (Sol Invictus) to be the only God.
The custom associated with making jokes (Prima Aprilis) dates back to Roman times. At that time, or more precisely, on March 25, the Hilaria festival took place, which was celebrated on the occasion of the vernal equinox and the worship of the Phrygian goddess of fertility, harvest, spring and defensive cities. March 25 was an extremely positive day, full of joyful celebrations of Attis’ resurrection – Cybele’s lover. The cult of Cybele and Attis spread in ancient Rome during the reign of Claudius. On this day, people joyed with the nascent nature, there were masquerades, games, and everyone was cheerful. In addition, on that day, the Romans were also supposed to make fun of friends and family.
286 CE – emperor Diocletian granted his fellow soldier Maximilian the title Augustus and gave him the power over the western part of the Empire.
457 CE – Majorian was proclaimed the emperor of the Western Roman Empire by the army. The Eastern Roman Empire, however, did not recognize this choice.
The festival of Cybele (Ludi Megalenses) was celebrated with theatrical performances and horse races in Circus Maximus. At that time, there were offered sacrifices called moretum, and banquets were organized in the houses, to which friends and acquaintances were invited.
204 BCE – a stone – meteorite – was ceremonially placed, temporarily in the Temple of Victoria on the Palatine Hill and the games were organized. The stone was brought by Roman deputies, sent a year earlier to Pergamum because of the Sibylline Books. The meteorite was there a symbol of the cult of the Great Mother of Gods who was worshiped there – Cybele.
188 CE – emperor Caracalla was born. The nickname came from the name of a Gallic hooded tunic he liked to wear. According to Aurelius Victor, a Roman historian from the 4th century CE, the emperor was supposed to distribute robes reaching his ankles to the people, hence he was to be called Caracalla. Officially, however, it was not used. The sources refer his cognomen, Antoninus.
397 CE – bishop Ambrose died in Milan.
46 BCE – Julius Caesar won the battle of Tapsus in Tunisia. The main forces of the Pompeians commanded by Scipio Nasica followed Caesar’s army. Caesar’s troops prepared themselves for defense – for this purpose they built fortifications across the nearby lagoon. Scipio’s troops, reinforced by the forces of the king of Numidia, Juba, surrounded the enemies building fortifications around theirs. Eventually, Caesar won a definite victory and after settling affairs in Africa, in July 46 BCE, he returned to Rome.
402 CE – Alaric, the leader of the Visigoths, was defeated at Pollentia, and later at Hast and Verona by Stilicho, who came to the rescue the emperor – Honorius. Alaric finally retreated to Illyria. The Roman poet Claudius Claudianus honored these events with the poem On the Gothic War.
451 CE – The Huns plundered the city of Divodurum Mediomatrici, (today’s Metz). In 450 CE the Huns started their invasion of Germania and Gaul. The cities of Colonia Agrippinensis (today’s Cologne), Magoontiacum (Mainz), Colonia Augusta Treverorum (Trier), Argentorate (Strasbourg), Durocortorum Remorum (Reims) and others were also plundered.
217 CE – on the way to the city of Carrhae, Caracalla was murdered. He was assassinated while urinating. It was initiated the praetorian prefect, Macrinus. The soldiers proclaimed him new emperor, and the Senate soon confirmed.
37 CE – during the reign of emperor Caligula, Antioch, a city in today’s Turkey, was destroyed by an earthquake. The emperor had sent two senators to the destroyed region, who were to report to him about the damage.
191 BCE – – the Temple of Great Mother on the Palatine Hill and the temple of Iuventus (Youth) near Circus Maximus were dedicated.
401 CE – empress Eudoxia, the wife of the ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire, Arcadius, gave birth to a son whom she named after his grandfather – Theodosius. Contrary to contemporary customs, little Theodosius was baptized shortly after birth. He was crowned during his father’s life shortly after his birth in 402 CE.
217 CE – Macrinus became the new emperor three days after Caracalla’s assassination – thus the Severan dynasty ended. Macrinus cleverly get rid of all suspicions of his involvement in the plot, demonstrating his grief. Adventus, because of his age, did not feel like taking Caesar’s position, so the army – without finding a better candidate – proclaimed Macrinus the new emperor.
238 CE – Roman co-emperor Gordian II, died defending Carthage from Capellianus’ legions. His father Gordian I, who ruled with him, committed suicide after his son’s death.
467 CE – Proccopius Anthemius was proclaimed Augustus near Rome. He reigned in the West Roman Empire until 472 CE.
Cerealia (Cereales) was celebrated, a festival in honor of the goddess Ceres, from 12 to 19 April. It was connected with the games (ludi Ceriales). Ovid says that during Cerealia, small torches were tied to the foxes’ tails. The animals were then released into the Circus Maximus arena. The reasons for this ritual are unknown. It is believed that such a treatment positively influenced the growth of crops and protected them from all diseases. Ovid finds an explanation of this ritual in mythical history. A provincial boy caught a fox stealing chicken. He decided to set him on fire, but he did not predict that the animal would go to the field and burn all the crops devoted to Ceres. During Ludi Ceriales there were games (ludi circenses), plays, chariot races, and from 175 BCE also theatrical performances (ludi scaenici).
295 BCE – the Temple of Jupiter Victor was dedicated on the Quirinal Hill.
43 BCE – in the battle of Forum Gallorum, the army of Senate and Gaius Octavian defeated Mark Antony. A few days later, news about Senate’s victory reached Rome. On April 21, the Senate ordered a thanking holiday and announced three commanders Triumviri rei publicae constituendae (Triumvirs for Confirming the Republic with Consular Power).
69 CE – in the battle of Bedriacum, the usurper Vitellius defeated the emperor Marcus Salvias Otho. Shaken by the defeat, Otho committed suicide two days later, stabbing his dagger in the chest. The next day, the rest of Otho’s troops commanded by Annius Gallus passed their weapons, capitulating and Vitellius appointed himself the emperor.
55 BCE – Ptolemy Neos Dionysos, after overthrowing (thanks to Roman intervention) his daughter Berenice IV, took over power in Egypt. The army under the command of the Syrian proconsul, Aulus Gabinius (who received 10 000 talents from Ptolemy) defeated Archelaus – Berenice’s husband – who died in a battle and took Egypt over.. Ptolemy sat on the throne again, and his first step in the second period of his reign was the assassination of Berenice and her supporters.
69 CE – after losing the battle with the armies of Vitellius at Bedriacum, the suicide was committed by Marcus Salvias Otho. He did it because he wanted to save Rome from the bloodshed in the civil war. Vitellius then moved to Rome, where he proclaimed himself a new emperor.
73 CE – the Roman commander, Flavius Silva, after the collective suicide of the defenders, took the Jewish stronghold Masada. Thus, the Jewish uprising ended. The fall of Masada is described by historians: “Eleazar ordered people to first kill their wives and children and then kill themselves. The next day, the Romans found 967 corpses with the exception of two women and five children hidden in the caves”.
359 CE – emperor Gratian was born, who strongly supported breaking with the pagan cults. He was a Christian ruler. He refused to accept the title Pontifex Maximus, abolished government subsidies for traditional cults, and in 382 CE he removed the altar of the goddess Victoria from the Senate hall.
493 BCE – consul Spurius Cassius devoted the temple of Ceres on the Aventineill near the Circus Maximus. Ceres was the equivalent of Greek Demeter, she took care of the crops. The construction of the temple was connected with the natural disaster and famine in Rome and the necessity of importing grain from increasingly distant lands. The temple became a political and organizational center for the plebeians. Gold and archives were kept there.
65 CE – there was an unsuccessful plot against Nero organized by Gaius Calpurinius Piso. The conspiracy failed when one of the conspirators and the emperor’s closest adviser, Fenius Rufus, betrayed his companions. The conspiracy was stuffed off by the prefect of praetorians, Ofonius Tigellinus, who waist disrepute. Gaius Piso was forced to commit suicide, and the others participants of theplot had to die also: Trasea Petus, Lucan, Rufus, Seneca the Younger and Gaius Petronius.
69 CE – the Roman people, without interrupting the games, at the news of the victory of Vitellius and the suicidal death of Otho, proclaimed Vitellius the emperor. The Senate granted all titles and rights to Vitellius.
753 BCE – Romulus and Remus founded Rome. It was also the beginning of the Roman calendar Ab Urbe Condita (traditional date).
43 BCE – in the battle of Mutina against Mark Antony, consul Aulus Hirtius was killed – the chief during the Gallic War (he completed Caesar’s diaries) and one of Caesar’s closest collaborators.
248 CE – Roman millennium was celebrated.
238 CE – as a result of the revolt, Balbinus and Pupienus were proclaimed by the Senate, after the death of Gordian I, the emperors of Rome. However, the new emperors met with common dissatisfaction, who considered Gordian’s grandson – Gordian III, who was only then 13 years old, to be the rightful successor. Only giving the boy the title Caesar calmed the situation. After three months of reign, both were murdered by the praetorians, dissatisfied with the increasing influence of the Senate. They ruled together for 99 days.
Vinalia was celebrated – festival of wine and gardens that took place in honor of Jupiter and Venus. That day, the so-called the first Vinalia (Vinalia prima, also called Vinalia urbana) took place, which had thanksgiving character for the good harvests last year and praying for abundant harvest this year. Another day – on August 19, the so-called rural Vinalia (Vinalia Rustica) took place, which was celebrated before harvesting and squeezing grapes. Venus was the patron of the so-called of profaned wine (vinum spurcum), which was consumed every day. Jupiter, in turn, was the deity patronizing the best, holy wine (temetum) In honor of Venus, the goddess whose powers allowed people to enjoy the wine, the Romans drank the most ordinary wine from the fall harvest. In honor of Jupiter, holy wine was drunk, as befits the most honorary patron. At Vinali, ordinary girls (vulgares puellae) and prostitutes (meretrices) gathered under the Temple of Venus Erycina Colline for decency, to offer Venus myrtle, mint and rushes hidden in a bouquet of roses. In return, women asked for beauty, charm and sense of humor.
43 BCE – as a result of wounds sustained in the battle of Forum Gallorum against Mark Antony, consul Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus died. Although Pansa supported Julius Caesar, after his death he was for maintaining the Republic. In his last hours, Pansa advised young Gaius Octavius not to believe in Cicero and the Senate, who would turn against him when there was an oppurtunity. Panda had a magnificent funeral.
Robigalia was celebrated a festival in honor of the deities Robigo and Robigus. According to tradition, the festival was established by Numila Pompilius. Robigo was a deity responsible for securing crops against so-called grain rust, which destroyed huge amounts of fields. During the Robigalia, the procession went to the sacred grove, where flamen Quirinalis offered a sacrifice of a red-haired dog and a sheep, which was supposed to save the crops. Then races were organized (ludi cursoribus) in honor of Mars and Robigo. There were two types of races: the younger participants ran two-horse chariots (biga) and those more experienced sat in a four-horse (quadriga).
121 CE – Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor, writer and philosopher was born. The times of this rule (161-180 CE) fell into a very difficult period: constant wars and natural disasters (Tiber’s outflow, hunger, street riots, fires, locust, plague). The main enemies of Rome were the Germanic tribes and the Parthians. Marcus Aurelius lived a modest, peaceful life, in consonance with strict stoic principles. He had a deep sense of duty to serve the country and its citizens. He took care of good relations with the Senate, carried out reforms in the field of administration and civil law.
33 BCE – Lucius Marcius Philippus, the half-brother of the future emperor Augustus, triumphed after his victories in Spain.
395 CE – before the funeral of his father, Theodosius the Great, the Eastern Roman Emperor Arcadius, married Aelia Eudoxia. Eudoxia was the daughter of Bauton, late officer. Eudoxja and Arcadius had five children (information about children come from the chronicle of Ammianus Marcellinus). She had a huge influence on her husband’s rule. To her honor, columns were erected, and the city of Selymbria (now Silivri) was even renamed to Eudoxiopolis. She died in 404 CE as a result of complications after a miscarriage.
Ludi Florales began. The festive resembled a carnival, celebrated in honor of the goddess of flowers and fertility. This was also called Floralia. People danced with colorful gilandes. Stacks of flowers were arranged on the tables.
238 BCE – the temple of the goddess of flowers – Flora was dedicated near the Circus Maximus. This resulted in a new, three-day, and later six-day festival ludi Florales. The festival included games and casual plays. There were mime and dance performances. Later there was a story made up that Flora was a prostitute who left her entire fortune to the Roman people, prOvided that the percentage of it would be used for annual play on her birthday.
12 BCE – dedykowano kaplicę Westy w domu Augusta na Palatynie.
32 CE – emperor Marcus Salvius Otho was born. He came from a well-known Etruscan family. He was a friend of Nero. Friendship ended in 58 CE, when his wife Poppaea Sabina, became a mistress and later, > Nero s wife. After Nero’s death, he took part in the events of the Year of Four Emperors. Eventually, he lost and kill himself with a dagger, for which his rival – Vitelius arranged Otho a ceremonial funeral.
220 BCE – Pacuvius was born, Roman playwright, poet, nephew of Ennius. He also used to paint. He spent most of his life in Rome. He wrote mainly satires and tragedies, from which 13 titles and few fragments have survived to our times. In his works he referred to the Greek tragedians, particularly to Euripides and Sophocles. Cicero considered him one of the greatest Roman tragedians.
65 CE – the poet Lucan died, nephew of Seneca the Younger, grandson of Seneca the Elder. For participating in the conspiracy against Nero, he was forced to commit suicide.
65 CE – Thrasea Paetus, a Roman senator, committed suicide after detecting his involvement in the plot against Nero
311 CE – Roman emperor Galerius issued an Edict of Toleration which granted Christians religious freedom. It was the first ever legal act establishing religious freedom for Christians in the Roman Empire. Thus, the Christians could freely profess their religion. They had to be released from prisons or quarries (if they arrived there on a wave of restrictions), and the sacred objects seized by the imperial authorities were to be returned to them. This edict was signed by for Augusts: Galerius, Licinius, Maximinus Daia and Constantine the Great, but the main architect of the first tolerant edict in the history of the Roman Empire was Galerius.
313 CE – Licinius II defeated Maximinus II Daia in the battle of Tzirallum.
305 CE – Roman emperor Diocletian abdicated and settled in Split, his co-emperor Maximizes also abdicated. The former Caesars of Constantinus I Chlorus and Galerius, their deputies (caesars) Severus II and Maximinus II Daia became the new Augustes.
373 CE – bishop Athanasius died in Alexandria. He was sentenced five times to exile by various emperors. As the first hierarch in the history of the Church, he so resolutely faced secular power by skillfully manipulating people.
381 CE – the First Council of Constantinople, organized by the emperor Theodosius the Great, was opened. This council was supposed to solve first of all the theological problem of Pneumatomachianism, which recognizdc the Holy Spirit as a created being.
408 CE – Emperor Arcadius died in Constantinople. Brother of the late emperor – Honorius wanted to go to Constantinople to take care of Theodosius II, however, Stilicho demanded that he would go there himself. It caused rumors that he wanted to make Eucherius the emperor of the East.
11 BCE – the Theatre of Marcellus was opened. It is the only theater in Rome that has survived to our times, preserving – at least partially – its external appearance. He owes his name to Marcellus, Augustus’ son-in-law, who died in 23 BCE in the age of 20. The building reflects the way in which the Romans adapted the Greek invention: the outer wall rises to three storeys, due to the fact that the theater was erected on a flat surface, not in a hollow. The first storey is built in the Doric order, the second in Ionic, and the third in Corinthian. The object’s capacity is estimated at 10-14 thousand viewers.
311 CE – emperor Galerius died in Sardica as a result of illness. It happenedsoon after signing the decree prohibiting further persecution of Christians. It was the first ever legal act establishing religious freedom for Christians in the Roman Empire. Thus the Christians could freely profess their religion. They had to be released from prisons or quarries (if they arrived there on a wave of restrictions), and the sacred objects seized by the imperial authorities were to be returned to them.
44 BCE – Augustus returned to Rome.
351 CE – after the arrival of emperor Gallus, the Jewish uprising broke out in Antioch. The reason for this was the anti-Jewish legislation of Caesar’s corrupted administration in Antioch. At the head of the rebellion were Isaac of Diocesarea and a certain Patricius (called Natrona). After taking control of the city, the insurgents proclaimed Patricius King and Messiah. Then the uprising spread to Tiberias and Lydda (Diospolis). By the order of Gallus, the Roman commander (magister equitum) Ursicinus responded quickly and eagerly. The cities of Sepphoris, Tiberias and Diospolis were destroyed, and thousands of their inhabitants were killed without saving even children.
413 CE – emperor Honorius issued an edict poviding tax breaks for the Italian provinces: Tuscia, Campania, Picenum, Samnium, Apulia, Lucania and Calabria, which were plundered by the Visigoths.
328 CE – Athanasius the Great became a bishop of Alexandria.
480 CE – former emperor Julius Nepos was murdered in Dalmatia. He was probably killed at the behest of one of his predecessors, Glicerius, who abdicated in June 474 CE.
70 CE – the Romans began the siege of Jerusalem during so-called Jewish war. Jerusalem, having three walls, of which the inner was the strongest and the most durable, seemed to be unassailable. The Romans spent four months fighting for the city to get it on August 29. Joseph claimed that 1 100, 000 people were killed during the siege, the majority of whom were Jews. 97 000 Jews were captured and enslaved, including Simon bar Giora and John of Giscala. Many fled to areas around the Mediterranean. According to Philostratus, Titus reportedly refused to accept the victory, as he had no merit in the victory of the people abandoned by their own God. Interestingly, during the siege of Jerusalem, the Romans painted catapults black so that the Jews could not follow their flight.
213 lub 214 CE – emperor Claudius Gothicus was born. Among Roman emperors, Claudius II is a unique exception. Certainly, no Roman emperor has so many contradictory and fictitious data about himself and his family relationships. He was credited with the fact that he was the son of juvenile emperor Gordian III (238-244), a relative of the later emperor Probus (276-282) and the great uncle of Constantius Chlorus (father of Constantine the Great). His origin was derived from the Flavians, and even from the Trojan King Ilos. Although Sirmium is mentioned as his place of birth, according to other sources he came from the Dalmatia or was Dardan from Upper Moesia.
330 CE – a new imperial residence was consecrated in Constantinople. The celebrations lasted 14 days, the Christian ceremonial mixed with a pagan one. The local Senate was considered to be lower-ranking.
113 CE – in Rome, the Trajan’s Columnwas dedicated. It was erected in 113 CE in Rome in Trajan’s Forum to commemorate the victory over the Dacians. Designed probably by Apollodorus of Damascus. Trajan ordered to put an eagle at the top of the column. After his death, by the order of Hadrian, the eagle was replaced with the statue of Trajan, who after 392 CE was removed by Christians. It was not until 1587 when a statue of Saint Peter was put on top instead and it remains there to this very day.
The rituals of the Argei took place on March 16 and 17, and on May 14 and 15. At the time of Augustus, the purpose of these rites was unclear even to the Romans themselves. In May there was a procession of pontiffs, Vestals and praetors around the circusmade its way around a circuit of 27 stations (sacella or sacraria), where each of them was taken with a human figure made of reed and straw. After all the stations were visited, the procession moved to the Pons Sublicius, the oldest known bridge in Rome, where the gathered figures were tossed into the Tiber River.
According to Ovid, this ritual was established as a form of endearing Saturn or Tiberinus. However, we do not know the exact reason for the ceremony.
The day of the Tiber River was celebrated. On this day the Vestals offered sacrifices to the Tiber to ensure a constant supply of water for the remaining crop period.
Mercuralia was celebrated, known as the Festival of Mercury. Mercury was the god of merchants and commerce. On this day, the tradesmen sprinkled their heads, ships and items with water taken from the well in Porta Capena. They did so to gain favor with Mercury.
The rituals of the Argei took place on March 16 and 17, and on May 14 and 15. At the time of Augustus, the purpose of these rites was unclear even to the Romans themselves. In May there was a procession of pontiffs, Vestals and praetors around the circusmade its way around a circuit of 27 stations (sacella or sacraria), where each of them was taken with a human figure made of reed and straw. After all the stations were visited, the procession moved to the Pons Sublicius, the oldest known bridge in Rome, where the gathered figures were tossed into the Tiber River.
According to Ovid, this ritual was established as a form of endearing Saturn or Tiberinus. However, we do not know the exact reason for the ceremony.
495 BCE – dedication of the temple of Mercury in the Circus Maximus. Mercury was the god of trade. Roman merchants recognized him as their patron, and this day for his holiday. The founding of the temple confirms the influence of Roman merchants in the early period.
392 CE – Frankish commander Arbogast disposed to suicide (hanging in a room) or ordered to murder, constantly humiliated, the emperor Valentinian II and with time he made Eugenics a puppet emperor.
218 CE – III legio in the camp at Emesa proclaimed Elagabalus the emperor, Caracalla’s alleged son. The mother and grandmother of Varius Avitus Bassianus (his full name) convinced the military units stationed in the East (with money) that he was actually the son of Caracalla. The army moved against the praetorian prefect – Macrinus, who was not in estimation. To strengthen the legitimization of his power, Elagabalus adopted the names of Caracalla: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
14 CE – Augustus sent Caligula to his father Germanicus residing in Gaul or Germania.
113 CE – Trajan’s Forum in Rome was opened. It is the largest (a square with dimensions of approx. 300 by 185 meters) and the latest constructed Roman forum in the vicinity of the Forum of Augustus and the Forum of Caesar, between the Capitoline and Quirinal Hill. Its founder was Trajan, and the designer Apollodorus of Damascus.
363 CE – the city of Petra in Jordan was destroyed by an earthquake. The earthquake caused many destructions and contributed to the significant depopulation of the city.
325 CE – the First Council of Nicaea was organized; Arianism was condemned, the Nicene Creed was established and a dispute over the date of Easter was resolved.
The festival of Vedovus (other names: Vediovis, Vedius, Veiovis, Vendius) was celebrated. Vedovus was the god of death, swamps and volcanic movements; sometimes compared to King Di Manes. He was considered to be the opposite of Jupiter. A sacrifice was offered in honor of Vedovus. In art, Vedovus was depicted as a young man carrying arrows; in the company of a goat. The festival was also celebrated on January 1 and March 7.
120 BCE – Aurelia Cotta, mother of Julius Caesar, was born. Her husband was the praetor Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder, with whom she had three children: Julia Caesaris Major, ulia Caesaris Minor and the well-known Gaius Julius Caesar. Pliny the Elder tells us that Julius Caesar would come to the world thanks to c-section. The fact is that Caesar’s mother died in 54 BCE 10 years before her son’s death, and according to the law, this operation was used when a pregnant woman had died. Roman law forbade the burial of a pregnant woman without taking her fetus out of her womb. This name derives from the word caedere, which means to cut.
293 CE – emperor Diocletian and his companion in the West, Maximizes appointed Galerius the Caesat. This way, they started tetrarchy
337 CE – emperor Constantine the Great died in Nicomedia. The corpse was brought to Constantinople and placed in a sarcophagus in the Church of the Holy Apostles. There, more rulers rested there.
Tubilustrium was celebrated (also on March 23). It was a festival of musicians, in honor of Vulcan, responsible for the process of producing trumpets, during which trumpets used most often during public and religious ceremonies were blessed.
15 BCE – a Roman general was born – Germanicus, son of Drusus and Antonia Minor, daughter of the triumvir Mark Antony. According to Tacitus. Germanicus had outstanding physical and spiritual qualities that endeared him the recognition and love of the Romans. He was the beloved brother of Claudius, and also a favorite figure of the Roman people. From an early age he participated in war campaigns. He won many victories, leading the army in Pannonia and Dalmatia. He was considered an outstanding leader, and at the same time he was liked by the legionaries.
The beginnings of the Mother’s Day date back to the times of ancient Greece and Rome. At that time the cult surrounded mother-goddesses, symbols of fertility. In Rome took place the celebration of Hilaria (in March), dedicated to the goddess Cybele. The goddess was then offered sacrifices for three days. There were also various games, plays and masquerades.
17 CE – the triumphant march of Germanicus took place in Rome to celebrate his merits in the fightings over the Rhine. He succeeded, incl. recover Varrus’ legion eagles.
47 BCE – Julius Caesar reached Tarsus (today’s Turkey) on the way to Pontus, where he found people general acceptance and enthusiasm.
366 CE – the usurper and commander, Proccopius, died. During the battle of Nacolia in Phrygia, which he declared to Valens, he was abandoned by his officers and then executed by a legitimate ruler. His children were kept alive, and one of his descendants, Antemius, was to be emperor in the future.
363 CE – victory of the Romans in the battle of Ctesiphon, during the Roman-Persian wars (Persian campaign of Julian the Apostate). In the morning, the Persians attacked, wanting to push the Romans into the river. Legionaries were struck by the heavy cavalry behind which the infantry was walking. At the end of the formation there were elephants. There was a fierce battle that lasted many hours. The Romans finally managed to fend off the Persian cavalry. Then the legionaries attacked the enemy troops, who – with no cavalry – escaped. In pursuit of the defeated opponent, the Romans reached the walls of the capital. However, due to the exhaustion of the fight, the attempt to conquer the city was abandoned. As soon as Julian found out about the approaching Persian army of King Shapur II, he gave the order to retreat. Loaded with spoils, the Romans on June 16 headed to the north of the country where they fought with Persians.
70 CE – during the siege of Jerusalem, Roman troops broke through the second of three defensive walls. After capturing the second wall, the Roman commander – Titus guaranteed the amnesty to the insurgents, but his offer was rejected.
455 CE – the Western Emperor Petronius Maximus died when during he tried to escape from the city the Vandals attack on Rome. Petronius Maximus, abandoned by his court, tried to get out of the city on the horse. When he was near the city gate, he was recognized by a crowd of fleeing residents who blamed him for provoking the Vandals and threw stones at him. When the emperor fell from his horse, he was torn apart by a hostile crowd. He ruled only for two months.
387 BCE – the temple of Mars was dedicated behind the Porta Capena. Her erection was vowed during the war with the Gauls. Later on, the troops taking part in the campaign in the south started marching out from there. Here, too, gathered the procession of citizens belonging to the state of equites, or riders.
384 BCE – the temple of Juno Moneta was dedicated. The building was erected on the Capitole Hill, where once – according to tradition – the house of Manlius Capitolinus stood, and probably earlier the castle (arx) of the kings. Nickname Moneta means Warning, Advising. Geese were kept near the temple, as they were the holy bird of this goddess, as a symbol of purity and attachment to the home and vigilance. Later, a state mint was built near the temple, in which silver coins was minted. Because of the temple in its neigbourhood, the mint was called as Monetam or simply Moneta – and hence the name of the metal money used to this very day.
259 BCE – the temple of Tempests was dediacted, its construction was initiated by consul Scipio during a storm on the shores of Corsica.
193 CE – Roman emperor Didius Julianus was murdered by the praetorians. According to historian Cassius Dio, Didius decided to get the title when he learned about Commodus’ death. He went to the praetorians’ barracks in order to get their support in exchange for the offer of 25 000 sesterces. In the barracks, he outbid the prefect, Flavius Sulpicianus, who also wanted to buy off the praetorians, offering each soldier 20000 sesterces. As it turned out, he only ruled for three months.
455 CE – the Vandals captured undefended Rome, and then plundered it for 14 days. After the meeting with Pope Leo I, Geneseric agreed to save local people. During a long stay in the city, the Vandals completely robbed it, taking numerous prisoners, including women from the imperial family: Eudoxia, Eudocia and Placidia, as well as qualified metallurgists, whom Geneseric intended to employ in his workshops. After the city was plundered, Geneseric loaded plenty of spoils on the ships, heading for Carthage. Destitute Rome began to fall, and life in Italy was disorganized.
350 CE – the usurper Nepotian attempted to take control over Rome and proclaimed himself emperor. He was the nephew of Constantine the Great and the cousin of the legal emperor ruling in the east – Constantius II. Nepotian tried to obtain Constantius’ offer to appoint him a co-emperor promising to defeat Magnusius (usurper in Italy) and plead his influence in Rome and Italy. Despite the lack of response on June 3, Nepotian attempted to take control over Rome and proclaimed himself an emperor based largely on gladiators and criminals. For a few weeks the city was in chaos. On June 30, Magnenius entered Rome with his army. Nepotian was killed and the city pacified.
466 BCE – the temple of Dius Fidius was dedicated on the Quirinal Hill- perhaps where the palace of the president of Italy is now erected. Dius Fidius was one of Jupiter’s forms, a guardian of truth, oaths and their guarantor. Therefore in colloquial speech the phrasemedius fidius was frequently used, which was the equivalent of our “by God” or “I promise.”
Vesta Asperit festival was celebrated. It was a festival devoted to the goddess of health, which began on June 7 and lasted until June 15. At that time, numerous celebrations took place in honor of Vesta Asperit, during which bakers and millers did not work and decorate their mills or mules with violets and other smaller flowers.
421 CE – the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II married Eudocia, daughter of Leontios – professor of rhetoric and philosophy in Athens. Aelia, brought up so far in the traditions of ancient culture, was baptized and got the name Eudocia. She was interested in literature and theology interests. Some of her poems have survived.
There was celebrated the Mens Bony festival (Good Mind), who was a goddess symbolizing the clear-mindedness. She was worshipped especially by the plebeians, freedmen and slaves. The temple was erected in her honor in 217 BCE on the Capitoline Hill on the advice of the Sibylline Books. It was blessed in 215 BCE.
215 BCE – the temple of Mens (Mind) was dedicated on the Capitoline Hill. Therein, the temple of Venus Erycina was also dedicated. The construction of both buildings was vowed in 217 BCE.
62 CE – empress Octavia, the first wife of Nero, the daughter of emperor Claudius and his third wife, Messalina, was murdered. Agrippina the Younger, Claudius’s last wife suggested him that her son would marry his daughter. The marriage was purely political and Nero was never interested in his young wife. For a long time Nero did not dare to hurt Octavia – both because of her popularity and the fact that only her person legitimized his succession after Claudius and was a symbol of the continuity of power in the ruling dynasty. It was only when Poppaea Sabina got pregnant with Nero that she managed to persuade him to divorce Octavia (January 62 CE) under the pretext of her alleged adultery. After divorcing Octavia, she was banished to the island of Pandateria. Her exile was highly unpopular – the accusation of adultery was generally regarded as false, and Octavia was very popular in Rome. Riots in Rome, during which people demanded Octavia’s retreat, scared Nero, who decided, pandering to Poppaea’s suggestions, to give orders to kill his ex-wife. She was strangled in a hot bath, and her head was cut off at the behest of Poppaea, because she wanted to make sure that the right woman was executed.
68 CE – Galba became a Roman emperor. The most important problem that Galba encountered during his short reign was related to the restoration of state finances. The ruler made many unpopular decisions, of which the most dangerous was the refusal to pay praetorians the money they were promised. The emperor despised the opinion claiming that soldiers should receive bribes for loyalty. He outraged people with his miserliness and dislike of glamor. An advanced age suppressed the ruler’s energy and thus he was manipulated by his favorites. Three of them – Titus Vinius (friend of Caesar since he was a consul), Cornelius Laco (commander of the Praetorian Guard) and Galba’s freedman, Icelus Matianus – could control the ruler. Because of their impact on the emperor, they were called three teachers. All this caused an increase in social hostility towards Galba, and eventually led to his assasination.
218 CE – Elagabalus’ army, commanded by Gannys, defeated Macrinus in the battle of Antioch. Defeated Macrinus, along with his son Diadumenianus, whom he made a co-emperor, died while running away in Chalcedon.
19 BCE – the aqueduct Aqua Virgo was built in Rome. It functions to this day, supplying the famous Trevi Fountain.
53 CE – Roman emperor Nero married his stepsister, Octavia.
68 CE – Nero committed suicide. Nero believed that everyone was lying in wait for him, that is why so many people were murdered at his commands, including his mother Agrippina. The emperor’s behavior prompted senators and military commanders to get rid of him. When the Senate proclaimed him a public enemy, Nero left Rome and on 9 June 68 CE he committed suicide. His last words were: What an artist dies in me!
193 CE – after gaining power over most of the Roman Empire, Septimius Severus led a triumphal procession in Rome
40 CE – Gnaeus Julius Agricola was born. He was a Roman commander of Roman-Gallic origin who commanded the conquest Britain. We know about his life and achievements mainly thanks to his son-in-law Tacitus, who described his life in the work De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae.
389 CE – emperor Theodosius I took entered Rome triumphantly, although he was a winner in the civil war. According to the Roman custom, in order to be able to have a triumph, the victorious commander had to defeat the outside enemy. Senator Pacatus Drepanius made the welcome speech.
363 CE – Roman emperor Julian the Apostate, dreaming of the conquest of Persia, during the war with this country, could not achieve a decisive victory. Eventually he had to burn his supply ships and order a march up the Tigris River. During the retreat, the Romans had to resist a series of Persian attacks.
362 CE – the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate issued an edict forbidding Christians to teach at schools. On the other hand, Christian youth could attend schools.
386 CE – Bishop Ambrose consecrated the church, today called Basilica Ambrosiana, in its present shape, of course, much later, in the place where – as it was revealed to him in his dream – were the remains of the martyrs Gervasius and Protasius.
397 CE – in Constantinople, the empress Eudoxia gave birth to her first child, Flacilla. The girl died a few months later.
Feat of Minerva was celebrated (also on March 19 and September 19) – it was time when the Romans folded gifts in honor of Minerva – goddess of wisdom, arts and crafts.
278 BCE – the statue of Jupiter Summanus, standing on top of the Capitoline Temple, lost his head after a lightning struck him. A separate temple was built and dedicated near the Circus Maximus.
404 CE – John Chrysostom was sentenced to exile and went to Armenia. Pope Innocent chose his side.
451 CE – in the battle of the Catalaunian Plains, the Romans and Visigoths won the victory over the Huns and stopped their invasion in Western Europe. Despite the victory, the Romans allowed the Huns to withdraw and eventually they did not destroy them. However, they managed to prevent Attila’s march to Rome.
168 BCE – in the battle of Pydna, the Roman armies, commanded by Lucius Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus, destroyed the Macedonian army of Perseus of Macedon in one hour. The Romans killed about 20 000 Macedonians with relatively small own troops (about 1000 legionaries). Roman troops won the battle as well as the entire war – the third in a row. The result of the battle of Pydna was the subordination of Macedonia to Rome.
363 CE – the campaign of Julian the Apostate against Persia: the strategic victory of the Roman army in the battle of Maranga.
431 CE – the Council of Ephesus began. It was the third general council convened in Ephesus by the emperor Theodosius II in order to end the dispute raised by Nestorius regarding the understanding of the person of Jesus and the title of Mary.
217 BCE – at Lake Trasimeno, one of the major battles of the Second Punic War took place, in which the Carthagin army led by Hannibal defeated the Roman army commanded by Gaius Flaminius Nepos. Hannibal, with his victory at Lake Trasimeno, proved that he was a brilliant commander and a serious threat to Rome’s independence. Because the way of measuring time was ahead of the sun calendar by nearly two months, it can be counted that the battle took place, according to a later aligned calendar, in fact in April 217 BCE.
47 BCE – Caesarion was born, son of Gaius Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII. He was the last representative of the Ptolemy dynasty. When Octavian invaded Egypt in 30 BCE, Cleopatra sent Caesarion to Berenice, a port on the Red Sea, in order that he would escape to India. His guardian, as a result of treason or cowardice, persuaded him to turn back. Octavian asked the philosopher Arejos if he had the right to kill Caesarion. The philosopher, paraphrasing Homer, said: “It’s not good when there are too many Caesars in the world.” Thus Octavian ordered to strangle him at the end of August 30 BCE.
79 CE – emperor Vespasian died. He distinguished himself as a reformer and reorganizer of Roman statehood, he strengthened the empire’s borders. He did not terrorize senators, and according to Cassius Dio he had a proper attitude towards the Senate. He was, in the eyes of the ancients, an example for the later ruler of the Severan dynasty, Septimius Severus. He ordered the Stoics to be removed from Rome. He initiated the building of Collosseum. His wife was Domitilla the Elder – they had 3 children. Just before his death, he ordered to raise him and said: “The Roman Emperor is dying while standing.”
294 BCE – consul Carvilius dedicated temple of Fors Fortuna at the sixth milestone behind the Tiber. Some of the the war spoils were used for this construction. From that time, every year that day they were held at the folk fun temple. From the conquered weapons, the consul ordered a huge statue of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill.
79 CE – Titus Flavius became a Roman emperor. He turned out to be a gentle and forgiving ruler. Historians, including Suetonius, confirm it. Unfortunately, it was during his rule that happened various cataclysms: the eruption of Vesuvius (79 CE), a fire and a plague in Rome (80 CE). In addition, the construction of the Colosseum was completed during his reign. Titus co-ruled with the Senate in a very cohesive manner, which is why he received the favorable opinions of Roman historians. Apparently, he also hated blood in the arena and never let injured gladiators be killed before his eyes.
474 CE – Julius Nepos, after the overthrow of Glycerius, became a West Roman emperor. He was the commander of the Dalmatian troops assigned to him by emperor Leon. He was connected with the ruling family.
4 CE – the first Roman emperor Augustus adopted Tiberius and recognized him as his heir. From that time, Tiberius was called Tiberius Julius Caesar, at the same time obliging him to adopt his nephew, Germanicus.
363 CE – the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate died during a military expedition in the fight against the Persians. He was wounded with a spear during the battle. At his bed, until death, he was accompanied by a friend, Oribasius. The epithet Apostate was given to him by later Christian writers because of his resignation from Christianity, in which Julian grew up as a child, and his return to traditional Roman religious cults.
Initium Aestatis took place – the festival of the beginning of summer, which was celebrated on 27 June. It was a celebration in honor of Aestas, the goddess of summer, whose occurrence is uncertain in Roman mythology. It is possible that the deity is the product of Ovid‘s imagination. The poet describes the goddess as a figure standing at the side of Phoebus’ throne, along with other deities of the day, other seasons, years, etc. She was depicted as a naked woman with a corn wreath.
294 BCE – consul Marcus Atilius Regulus consecrated the temple of Jupiter Stator near the Palatine Hill, meaning “giving the army stability”.
363 CE – the Roman army after the death of Julian the Apostate proclaimed Jovian the new emperor. He was an officer, 32 years old, a Christian from Singidunum (current Belgrade). Jovian made peace with the Persians, giving them 15 fortresses, including Singara and Nisbis in Mesopotamia. This caused widespread indignation, but the emperor could calmly retreat.
293 BCE – consul Papirius Cursor sacrificed the temple of the god Quirinus, whose erection vowed his father. At this building, about 100 years later, architect and engineer Vitruvius set up the first public clock in Rome. In his book, De architectura, he mentions that in Rome portable solar clocks are in use – in other words, the first pocket watches. The sun clocks were the main chronometers until the Renaissance.
350 CE – the emperor (usurper) Nepotian died. Nepotian tried to obtain Constantius’ offer to appoint him a co-emperor promising to defeat Magnusius (usurper in Italy) and plead his influence in Rome and Italy. Despite the lack of response on June 3, Nepotian attempted to take control over Rome and proclaimed himself an emperor based largely on gladiators and criminals. For a few weeks the city was in chaos. On June 30, Magnenius entered Rome with his army. Nepotian was killed and the city pacified.
69 CE – Tiberius Julius Alexander, prefect of Egypt in 66-69 CE. As the first he supported Vespasian, as a new ruler. He ordered his subordinate legions to do the same.
251 CE – emperor Trajan Decius died. In 250, the Carpi tribes attacked Dacia, while the Goths crossed the Danube and began to plunder the areas of today’s Bulgaria, weakened after Decius legions had left to Italy. The emperor first sent his son, Herennius, there. Later he went alone to fight the invasion. After the first success under Nicopolis, the Roman army was defeated in the battle of Borea. After this defeat, Decius did not have enough strength to fight the invasion. He decided to gather troops and attack the Goths, when they would return loaded with spoils. The Romans blocked the barbarians’ road to Abrittus in June 251 CE. After the initial successes of the Romans, the Goths gained the advantage. First, Herennius – died, pierced by an arrow. Later, part of the Roman army, along with the emperor, was dragged into the swamp, where Decius himself died. He was the first emperor in the history of the Empire, who certainly died in the fight against the invaders.
419 CE – the West Roman Emperor Valentinian II, the son of Flavius Constantius and Galli Placidia was born. During the reign of Valentinian III, the Western Roman Empire lost a significant part of its territories to Germanic tribes (Vandals under the command of Geneseric, Visigoths, Suebi, Franks and Saxons). Valentinian III’s ineffective rule after the death of his mother led the state to chaos.
321 CE – Roman Emperor Constantine the Great issued an edict which forbade proceeding trials on Sunday. In the first edict of March 3 the same year, he introduced a Sunday rest for all categories of workers with the exception of farmers.
324 CE – the victory of Constantine the Great over Licinius in the battle of Adrianople. Both emperors (according to Zosimus) were to gather powerful – for this period forces – of over 120 000 people and several hundred ships. This number seems to be overstated, but the emperors had numerous armies. According to Zosimus, 34 000 people of Licinius died in the battle, and the rest fled in disarray from the battlefield. The defeated commander withdrew to Byzantium, and the remnants of his army found refuge in Asia.
68 CE – Salonina Matidia, daughter of Ulpia Marciana, sister of emperor Trajan and praetor Gaius Salonius Matidius Patruinus was born. After her father’s death in 78 CE mother and daughter were under the protection of Trajan and his wife, Plotina. Salonina often traveled with her uncle and helped him make decisions when he became the emperor. Like her mother, she had dedicated a series of inscriptions and monuments throughout the Empire. In 112 CE she received the title of Augusta. When Trajan died in 117 CE, his wife along with Salonine brought the ruler’s ashes to Rome.
414 CE – in Constantinople, Pulcheria, the elder sister of emperorTheodosius, received the title of Augusta. The personality of this young girl was growing stronger and stronger at the court, although the actual power was in the hands of Antemius.
Ludi Apollinares began. In the time of the republic, this holiday was associated with religious ceremonies in honor of Apollo. The festival took place for the first time in 212 BCE. and lasted one day – July 13. Over time, the festival extended to eight days, where two days were for theatrical performances, two for the games in the amphitheater, and the rest of the days for fairs. During the Empire, Ludi Apollinares was just a pretext for the theatrical shows, games and races, in order to please the crowd. Celebrating Romans used to wear wreaths on their heads during the festival.
83 BCE – the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill in Rome burned down completely.
717 BCE – according to Roman messages, the first king and founder of Rome, Romulus, was lost in the terrible storm that broke out during the joint deliberations of the people and the Senate in the Field of Mars. It was proclaimed that it was virtue and merit that took the king to heaven, where his father, the god Mars, was staying. There were also voices that the enemies, using storm and darkness, murdered the ruler and removed his body. One of the senators then appeared and swore that in the morning Romulus himself appeared to him as the god, Quirinus, announcing the power of Rome as the future capital of the world. In addition, Romulus was to demand a temple for himself.
52 BCE – Julius Caesar’ s legions captured a small fishing village Lutetia Parisiorum – the area of future Paris.
381 CE – the First Council of Constantinople convoked convened by the Roman emperor Theodosius Iended. This council was supposed to solve first of all the theological problem of Pneumatomachianism, which recognized the Holy Spirit as a created being.
455 CE – Avitus was acclaimed emperor by the Gallic chiefs gathered in Arelate. He was a representative of the Roman senate aristocracy in Gaul, where he had great goods in Auvergne. He maintained good relations with the Visigoths. He was overthrown as a result of a lost battle against the forces of Ricimer and Majorian at Placentia. The victors spared him and made him the bishop of Placentia, whom he remained until his death in 457.
48 BCE – in the battle of Dyrrachium, Pompey was close to the final destruction of Gaius Julius Caesar. In the spring of 48 BCE Caesar’s army was close to suffer hunger. This situation was not changed by Antony’s reinforcements, increasing the number of Caesar’s army to 25-35 thousand soldiers. Unable to wait, Caesar decided to fight and destroy Pompey’s army. Eventually, Caesar’s army escaped in panic, which Pompey considered a ruse and stopped the chase.
138 CE – Emperor Hadrian, who was severely ill, died, and his place was taken by Antoninus Pius. It is believed that the cause of death was heart trouble. At the end of his life, Hadrian, who was seriously ill (suffering from water drops, for example) began to make controversial decisions that mainly undermined the aristocracy. Hadrian was also deified as Divus Hadrianus, and in his honor a temple was built on the Field of Mars. All this, however, with the resistance of the Senate, who remembered the recent decisions of the emperor.
212 CE – Roman emperor Caracalla issued an edict – Constitutio Antoniniana, granting Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the Empire. The emperor justified his move with religious arguments (gaining favor of the gods). The then historian, Cassius Dio, attributed to the edict only fiscal motivations (extension of taxes incriminating Roman citizens on the majority of the population without exemption from previous benefits).
472 CE – Roman emperor Antemius was murdered. He was killed by Gundobada, Ricimer’s nephew while he was seeking shelter in the in a church. He was buried in the former Basilica of St. Peter.
100 BCE – one of the most famous and outstanding Roman chiefs and politicians was born, Gaius Julius Caesar. After a staggering career, both military and political, he died assassinated in Curia Pompeia in 44 BCE at the age of almost 56. However, it is worth mentioning, that there is no 100% certainty about the date of Caesar’s birth. Some scholars believe that his birthday and festival were celebrated (after he was deified) on July 12.
400 CE – circa 7000 Goths were slaughtered. Gajnas managed to escape and ploundered Thrace.
Dioscuri festival, during which Romans worshiped Castor and Pollux, the divine twins. The Dioscuri cult came to Rome from Greek colonies in the south of Italy and gained great popularity because of their similarity to the Roman twins, the sons of Mars. July 15 was supposedly the day the Dioscuri’s descended from heaven to help win the Romans with their enemies and personally brought the news of victory to Rome.
496 BCE – dictator Aulus Postumius defeated the Latins in the battle of Lake Regillus. According to Livy, the fight was fought in 499 BCE, but he himself had doubts about this date.
180 CE – twelve Scillium residents in North Africa were sentenced to death for professing Christianity (in fact witchcraft – St. Paul‚ works was taken for magical books). During the trial, they turned out to be Christians. The governor wanted to free them if only they would swear to the imperial genius that they would not speak badly and act wrongly (maledicere et malefacere – a clear connotation with the magic for which they were accused), but they refused. One of them, Saint Secunda, replied, “What I am this I want to remain”. So the sentence passed, their heads were cut off.
390 BCE – there was a battle of the Allia River, where the forces of invading Gauls were easily defeated by the Romans – then in the beginning of their statehood. The day of the battle became both in history and in the Roman calendar, dies ater – black day, unfortunate, that is, in which sacrifices, marriages, and any important state and military activities could not be made. The defeat in this battle led to the plunder of Rome three days later, which was remembered as one of the greatest humiliations of the Roman Empire.
362 CE – during the Roman-Persian War, the Emperor Julian the Apostate appeared in Antioch, along with his army of 60 000 people. They spent nine months there, then go on a war campaign.
452 CE – The Huns suddenly invaded Italy and occupied Aquileia, then Pavia and Milan. Aquileia never regained its former meaning, its role was gradually taken over by Venice.
64 CE – the legendary fire began in Rome. It began with a small fire in the merchant’s district, but quickly got out of control due to several unfavorable factors. It lasted more than five and a half days during which most of the city burned down. Emperor Nero, who ruled at the time, blamed the Christians for the fire, and the Christians blamed him. The real cause was probably the spontaneous fire caused by the weather and the unnaturally high density of people and buildings.
70 CE – during the siege of Jerusalem, Titus, the son of emperor Vespasian, escalated the Antonia Fortress in the north Temple Mount. Roman legionaries fought with the Zealots in narrow city streets.
230 CE – Pontian became the 18th pope in history.
285 CE – Roman emperor Diocletian appointed Maximinus his co-emperor.
365 CE – an earthquake near Crete and the tsunami caused by it destroyed the east coast of the Mediterranean. The earthquake reportedly had a strength of 8 on the Richter scale. As a result of this cataclysm, 5 000 inhabitants of Alexandria and 45 000 people from outside the city lost their lives.
According to some ancient sources on that day, the ancient Romans celebrated the feast in honor of Neptune, the god of the seas – so-called Neptunalia. For some unclear reasons, not so much information has survived about this festival, but there are speculations about the games and building mud huts/tents under which people celebrated. The reason for such a lack of information is probably the fact that Neptune and the sea played a relatively small role in the Romans’ lives.
Furrinalia, a little-known festival in honor of Furrina, took place. We know very little about is celebration, as well as about the goddess – only Cicero compared it to Fury (though probably only because of the name’s similarity), and etymological research says that originally Furrina was a deity associated with spring.
285 CE – Roman emperor Diocletian appointed Maximinus his co-emperor.
306 CE – in Eboracum (today’s York) Constantine I, the son of the late Constantius Chlorus, was proclaimed the emperor. The new emperor wanted to strengthen his position in Britain and Gaul. Constantine struggled a lot with political opposition before he established his power as Caesar, but he would have said that it was worth it – he issued a famous edict on tolerance (towards Christianity) and extended the old Greek Byzantion colony to a city known as Constantinople – that makes him, in fact, the founder of the future capital of the medieval remnants of old Rome.
325 CE – the First Council of Nicaea ended; Arianism was condemned, the Nicene Creed was established and a dispute over the date of Easter was resolved.
432 CE – Pope Celestine I died.
450 CE – The Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II died. He remained under the overwhelming influence of women – his older sister Pulcheria and his wife Eudocia (the mother of his only child – daughter of Licinia Eudoxia) and numerous advisers, especially the praetorian prefect, Antemius. During his reign, there were many controversies on the religious (demolition of synagogues) and theological background (Nestorianism). There were some attempt to stop the Hunic invasion. In the years 412-439, so-called Theodosian Wall, located about 2 km to the west of the old Constantinian Wall, which made Constantinople the largest and most powerful stronghold. He died as a result of injuries sustained after falling from a horse. He was the last eastern emperor of so-called Christian golden age.
238 CE – Roman co-emperors Balbinus and Pupienus were murdered by the praetorians, dissatisfied with the increasing influence of the Senate. Their bodies were then desecrated and dragged along the roads of Rome. Gordian III became the next emperor.
101 BCE – Roman legions, led by Gaius Marius and Quintus Lutacius Catulus, won the victory over the Germanic invaders (Cymbri) in the battle of Vercellae in Cisalpine Gaul. The battle was fought around noon, as a result of a sandstorm, they were fought in disarray. Better training, discipline and organization of Roman forces determined the victory. It can be assumed that the heavy heat in some way additionally helped the Romans, who were used – in contrast to the peoples of the north – to high temperatures. Chasing the remnants of the beaten Cymbri, Mariuss soldiers entered the fortified camp of the barbarians, just as after the battle of Aquae Sextiae, German women were massively committing suicide, murdering their offspring earlier. The losses of the Roman army were negligible (about 1000 killed). Cymbri, according to various sources, died from 90 to 140 thousand. About 60 000 went to Roman captivity. In Rome, Marius had a triumph. As the savior of the republic, he was proclaimed the Third Founder of Rome.
30 BCE – took place battle of Alexandria. Army of Mark Antony finally deserts, leading to his suicide.
294 BCE – consul Lucius Postumius Megellus consecrated the temple of Victoria on the Palatine Hill, its construction began when Megellus was an aedile and used the fines to cover the costs.
258 BCE – the temple of (Spes) was dedicated, its construction was proclaimed by the consul Aulus Atilius Calatinus, when he found himself in a difficult situation during the fighting in Sicily, and only the courage of one of the officers rescued him and the army.
193 BCE – Marcus Porcius Cato consecrated the temple of Victoria on the Palatine HIll.
30 BCE – Mark Antony, the Roman leader and husband of Cleopatra VII, committed suicide.
10 BCE – the future Emperor Claudius, son of Drusus the Elder and Antonia, was born in Lugdunum. Claudius was not respected and was ridiculed because of his numerous physical handicaps, but his fate later allowed him to take over the most important office in the contemporary world. The emperor is considered to be an educated ruler, caring for people and customs, and on the other hand a suspicious and impressionable man. It is difficult to unequivocally assess his entire figure. It is worth adding that he was the last known man who spoke the Etruscan language.
126 CE – Emperor Pertinax was born. After Commodus’ death, having the support of the Roman people and the provincial army, he was proclaimed the emperor. His choice was not well received by the Senate (the new emperor was homo novus) and the praetorians (accustomed to freedom and impunity). Pertinax tried to refer to Hadrian‘s policy, trying to lead to the revival of the middle class through a series of social and economic reforms. He lived a modest and economical life, limited spending on the court, dismissed part of the service, and put on the gladiatorial market of his predecessor for sale. The senators were accusing him of stinginess because of those actions, and their dissatisfaction also increased the introduction of fees for the return of assets stolen by Commodus. The praetorians, on the other hand, resented the Emperor for bad attempts to restore discipline – the promise of gifts for the guard (12 000 sesterces per capita) did not help. After less than three months of rule, the praetorians (probably in agreement with the Senate) murdered Pertinax and began to look for a new emperor. The title was given to Didius Julianus who had given 25 000 sesterces to each member of the guard.
216 BCE – Carthaginian commander Hannibal destroyed more numerous Roman army in the battle of Cannae. The maneuver, based on encircling Roman forces, was an innovative solution. Hannibal’s tactical plan became an example for adepts of military schools over the centuries. Its perfection is evidenced by the fact that over the centuries it has been used many times by the most prominent leaders. The battle of Cannae was a terrible disaster for the Roman Republic, which, to save its independence, had to reach for deep human supplies.
47 BCE – the army of Gaius Julius Caesar defeated the forces of king Pharnaces II in the battle of Zela.
461 CE – the emperor Majorian was overthrown by the Roman leader Rimier and beheaded after 5 days of torture.
379 CE – Emperor Gratian condemned all heresies. Their followers did not have the right to use priest titles and hold meetings. Commander Sapores, the emperor’s special messenger, was to drive the Arians out of the East from their churches “like wild animals”.
70 CE – Roman troops led by Titus Flavius occupied and plundered the temple in Jerusalem during the siege of the city. The only remnant of the temple are the remains of the retaining wall, which prevents the walls surrounding it from collapsing – so-called Western Wall, better known as the Wailing Wall. In memory of the trauma associated with the destruction of the temple in 586 BCE and 70 CE and the fall of the Bar Kochba’s uprising – Jews celebrate the sad, penitential and fast feast of Tisha B’Av.
367 CE – the future Roman Emperor Gratian (18 years) received the title of Augustus from his father Valentinian.
439 CE – In Ravenna, Empress Eudoxia received the title of Augusta.
317 CE – the Emperor Constantius II was born, the second of the three sons of Constantine the Great and Fausta. During his reign there happened to be a struggle for power. It is difficult to clearly assess the figure of Constantius II, because of the hostility of the most sources concerning him. In military terms, he seems to be an ideal commander who was able to eliminate threats and reasonably maneuver the troops. As for the psychological sphere – Ammianus Marcellinus indicates that he was conscientious, but vain and stupid. In addition, he was supposed to be shy and suspicious, which often led to many murders. Eventually, Constantius managed to kill many members of his family in aim to get the power. On his deathbed, he finally appointed his opponent Julian the Apostate, to be his successor, who is considered to be one of the best rulers in history.
461 CE – in Tortona (today’s Liguria, north-west Italia), emperor Majorian was beheaded near the river Iria (today’s Staffora). Before the assasination, his train was stopped by the commander Ricimer, who used the dissatisfaction of the population due to the unsuccessful and expensive expedition of the ruler. The barbarian had forces far superior to the modest imperial troops. The emperor was taken prisoner. After 5 days of abuse and humiliation, Rimier ordered to behead him, having previously spread the rumor that the former ruler had died of dysentery.
449 CE – the Second Council of Ephesus began, called by the Emperor Theodosius II in order to end the dispute over the nature of Jesus (monophysitism). About 150 bishops took part in it. The deliberations were directed by Theodosius II and the Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Dioscurus, both supporters of monophysitism.
48 BCE – Julius Caesar defeated the army of Pompey the Great in the battle of Pharsalus. Caesar, after the battle, allowed the senators to return to Rome, and Pompey’s soldiers were incorporated into their legions. This victory was a breakthrough in the civil war and forced Pompey to flee to Africa. All provinces and Greek states dependent on Rome now turned to the victor following the fleeing Pompey, who wanted to rebuild his army and lead the other legions in allied Egypt. However, the plan could not be realised, as he was murdered at the request of the young pharaoh, Ptolemy XIII, just after he went ashore.
117 CE – Emperor Trajan died suddenly. Before his death, Trajan managed to pass the command of the Eastern army to Publius Aelius Hadrian, son of one of his cousins. After the death of the ruler, he was immediately granted the imperial acclamation in Antioch, and the Senate ratified it. There was no official act of adoption, but Plotina, Trajan’s wife, immediately stated that on his deathbed the emperor formally appointed Hadrian as his successor.
378 CE – The Romans suffered a devastating defeat in the battle with Visigoths at Adrianople, in which Emperor Valens died. The Goths were unable to get either Adrianople or Constantinople. At the request of the governor of Asia, all the Goth servants were murdered, as mercenaries in garrisons. On these events, end the works of Ammianus Marcellinus and the chronicle of Saint Jerome.
117 CE – at the age of 41, after Trajan’s death, Hadrian became the new emperor. A day earlier, Trajan had died, probably as a result of a stroke in Selinuun, in Cilicia after having returned from the Parthian campaign. Before his death Trajan managed to hand over the command of the eastern army of Hadrian, son of one of his cousins. After the death of the ruler, he was immediately granted the imperial acclamation in Antioch, and the Senate ratified it. There was no official act of adoption, but Plotina, Trajan’s wife immediately stated that on his deathbed the emperor formally appointed
353 CE – Emperor (usurper) Magnentius died.
355 CE – in Cologne, emperor Sylvan – an officer of German descent, proclaimed himself the emperor.
30 BCE – Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt from the Ptolemy dynasty, committed suicide. Earlier, Mark Antony, had done the same thing. Cleopatra undertook actions to preserve the independence of the kingdom and to provide its children with power. However, the negotiations with Octavian did not bring successful results.
264 BCE – after the consul Marcus Fulvius Flaccus won the Etruscan city of Volsinii, the inhabitants were displaced lower, to the very shore of the lake and thousands of statues were looted. In addition, the inhabitants of the conquered town asked for the transfer of the Volsinii god Vertumnus to Rome, where he was dedicated a new temple on the Aventine Hill on 13 August.
408 CE – in Ticinum (today’s Pavia), where stood the army with which Honorius was to set out for Gaul, the riots, inspired by the Olympians, broke out. The people of Stilicho. who was then in Bologna, were murdered. His guard, consisting mainly of the Huns, was minted. Stilicho, captured in Ravenna, was executed on 22 August.
29 BCE – Gaius Octavian celebrates his triumph in Rome after winning the campaign against the Dalmatians.
423 CE – at the age of 39, the emperor of West, Honorius, died – probably for diabetes, leaving the empire much weaker and smaller (incl. resignation from defending Britain). He was buried in Rome, in St. Peter’s Basilica, where his wives, Maria and Termance rested.
465 CE – the emperor Libius Severus probably died. The details of Libius’ death are unclear. Most contemporary historians agree that he died of natural causes on 15 August. He was a ruler thanks to the commander Ricimer, who actually ruled Rome. We were not recognized by either the Byzantine emperor or some of his subjects. His rule included only Italy, Sicily and part of the Alpine countries. The Empire was attacked by the Alans, Saxons and Vandals. His reign was the next step towards the definitive decline of the Western Roman Empire.
260 BCE – the temple of Janus was dedicated. Its construction was started by Duilius. Some remnants survived near the later Marcellus Theater.
Consuales Ludiwas celebrated, which was a holiday in honor of Consus, a god caring for grain stored in granaries. During Consualia, all horses, donkeys and mules were decorated with wreaths and released from work. At Circus Maximus there were horse races, while in its undergrounds the sacrifices were offered on the Consus altar, made available only during this holiday. According to Roman legends, the Rape of the Sabine Women was supposed to happen during the Consualia.
29 BCE – the Temple of Caesar was consecrated in Rome.
353 CE – the emperor (usurper) Decentius committed suicide. In the year 350/351 he was appointed Caesar by his brother Magnentius for the defense of Gaul and the Rhine line. The defeat in the war with Constantius II led to his suicide.
472 CE – the leader of the Germanic origin died – Ricimer, who in fact ruled the Western Empire.
Vinalia Rustica was celebrated. That day the harvests of grapes, vegetables and the time of nature’s fertility were celebrated. During the holidays, gardens, markets and vineyards were devoted to the oldest form of Venus – Venus Obsequens. The goal of the holiday was to ask Jupiter not to bring storms, hail, heavy rain or flood before the grapes mature. In addition, he was asked about when the best time to harvest would be. On the same day, Venus was venerated as the goddess of vegetation and gardens. Venus was venerated as the patron of the so-called of profaned wine (vinum spurcum), which was consumed every day. During the holiday, a young lamb (agna) was sacrificed.
295 BCE – the temple of the goddess Venus was consecrated next to Circus Maximus.
14 CE – in the town of Nola in Campania at the age of 77, the emperor Augustus died. His last words: Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit
232 CE – Emperor Probus was born.
282 CE – during his stay in the hometown Sirmium, Probus ordered the crew there to dig drainage canals. The soldiers were not used to any work, they caused a rebellion. As a result of the rebellion, the emperor was murdered. His successor was the former prefect of the praetorians, Carus, who did not ask the Senate for formal recognition of his authority.
2 CE – on the way to Spain, in Marseilles, Lucius Caesar, son of Marcus Agrippa, grandson of Augustus died. In 17 BCE together with his older brother, Gaius, he was adopted by Augustus. In 2 BCE he was recognized as an adult and became a youth leader (Princeps Iuventutis) just as his brother had previously. He was buried in the Mausoleum of Augustus.
93 CE – Julius Agricola, Roman chief, governor of Britain died at the age of 53, . He became famous for expeditions against the Picts in Caledonia, which was the only part of Britain that was not conquered by Rome. Inhabited by the Caledonians, it successfully resisted the invasions of both Romans and the next Celtic waves. In 84 CE Agricola defeated the Picts united under Calgacus’ command, and then set up numerous border posts and forts in the passages, thus beginning a thirty-year peace with the Caledonians. Agricola was then dismissed to Rome, where he died in solitude, without accepting the proconsul’s dignity in Asia (the reasons are not clear). There were rumors that Domitian was responsible for Agricola’s death – but this is not confirmed.
392 CE – Eugenius became a Roman emperor. He was a Latin rhetoric, then a secretary at the court of Valentinian II. Formally a Christian, in fact a follower of ancient gods.
408 CE – the Roman commander Stilicho was murdered in Ravenna.
Vulcanalia was celebrated, a feast in honor of Vulcan, the god of fire. At that time, other deities were worshiped: Maia, Hora and Ops. The temple of Vulcan in Rome was located in Forum Romanum on the Capitoline Hill. Vulcan’s shrine was also in Campus Martius. Interestingly, the Etruscan priests (haruspices) recommended to the Romans that the temple should always be outside the city limits.
153 BCE – in the battle of Numantia, the insurgents crashed a Roman legion under the leadership of consul Quintus Fulvius Nobilior.
30 BCE – after a successful invasion of Egypt, Augustus condemned the older son of Mark Antony – Marcus Antonius Antyllus – and the only son of Cleopatra and Caesar – Caesarion, to death.
20 BCE – Ludi Volcanalici, took place in the temple of Vulcan. This way Augustus wanted to clinch the treaty with Parthia and the return of the legionary banners that were lost by Crassusat Carrahe.
79 CE – Vesuvius for the first time began to be active; on the day of the feast of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
406 CE – the king Radagaisus, was killed after his defeat with the Roman general Stilicho. Nearly 12 000 barbarian warriors were sent to the Roman army or captivity.
476 CE – commander of German mercenaries in the service of Rome, Odoacer was proclaimed by the army “the king of Italy” (rexItaliae). Then 5 days later Orestes, the head of the Roman army and father of Romulus Augustulus – the last emperor – was captured and killed in Placentia. Then his son Romulus was deprived of power and exiled. This event is considered to be the end of the Western Roman Empire. Odoacer was an Arian, and in his youth he fought in Gaul, then in Noricum (today’s Austria), where he met with the monk Severinus, later a saint.
79 CE – the eruption of Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. The volcanic ash which flooded Pompeii, perfectly preserved buildings and objects, which allowed us to get to know quite accurately the appearance of a Roman medium-sized city and the lives of its inhabitants. At that time, Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer and historian, was killed. Other suggested date of eruption is 24th of October.
383 CE – Emperor Gratian died.
410 CE – The Goths conquered Rome. When in 408 CE there was a disagreement between Alaric, who stood at the head of the Goths and Honorius, who refused to pay the Goths the money he had earlier promised to give, the commander of the Goths, wanting to punish Honorius, attacked Italy in November. During the siege, the city was struck with hanger. The Goths, however, did not undertake an assault, agreeing to negotiate with the Senate, which promised them a high income. After the Goths left and went to Etruria, Honorius rejected Senate’s decision, drawing additional troops to fight with Goths. Alaric again approached the walls of Rome, occupying the port of Ostia. At the end of the year, the Goths forced the Senate to proclaim the new emperor, Priscus Attalus. Soon the Goths initiated further battles with Honorius, but they did not bring much success. In the summer of 410 CE Alaric decided to dethrone Attalus, with whom he argued about the campaign in Africa. They were also trying to negotiate with Honorius, but the talks were broken by Honorius. Angered by this fact, Alaric approached Rome for the third time. After a short siege, due to the betrayal of part of the inhabitants, on the night of 24 August 410 CE the Goths got into the city. For three days they ripped the city. Residents were spared, but forced to spend their money. A half-sister of the emperor, Galla Placidia was taken prisoner. The conquest of Rome was a great shock for the inhabitants of Italy. After leaving Rome, the Goths set off south, robbing Campania. During the march, in December 410 CE Alaric died, and Ataulf took his place. Throughout 411 CE the Goths stayed in Italy, plundering it completely.
Opiconsivia was celebrated, a festival in honor of Ops Consivia, the Roman goddess of fertility and wealth, also worshiped as the guardian of agriculture. The feast symbolized the end of the harvest, and a similar festival took place on 19 December, when the storage of grain was celebrated. Not infrequently, the feast was also associated with Consus, the keeper of grains and underground containers for storing food (silos). During the festival, the Vestals along with Pontifex Maximus, dressed in white robes and carried a praefericulum – – a bronze bowl for sacrifice, they entered the temple of the deity in Regia. In the old times, the festival took place in the main grain storage location in the capital.
79 CE – Pliny the Elder, Roman commander, writer and philosopher died. He died during the eruption of Vesuvius, when he rushed to help the people as a commander of the squadron of Roman ships. He also wanted to take a closer look at the effects of volcano’s activity. His death was described by Pliny the Younger in the letters to Tacitus. His only work that survived is Naturalis historia (Natural History), a kind of encyclopedia in 37 books (cosmology, geography, botany, physiology, mineralogy, etc.). It is a mine of knowledge and imaginations of Roman times.
357 CE – the battle of Argentoratum took place, in which the Romans fought the Alemamni, commanded by Julian the Apostate. As a result of the battle the Germans lost 6 000 killed and 200 prisoners, including Chnodomar. The losses of the Romans were much smaller – 247 killed and about a thousand wounded. The next day, the victorious Julian ordered to release the Alemanmi deputies and prepare for the advancing of the Rhine, which accelerated the ceasefire between the Empire and the Alemanni.
383 CE – Roman emperor Gratian was captured and murdered at Lugdunum (Lyon) by Magnus Maximus’ soldiers.
450 CE – Martian became an emperor of the East. He was one of the commanders in the Aspar’s army (magister militum, iCE. the commander-in-chief of the Byzantine army, who derived from the Iranian people of the Alans – it was the only obstacle preventing him from becoming the emperor). Martian was proclaimed the emperor and he married the sister of his predecessor, Pulcheria, although it was a fictitious marriage.
55 BCE – Gaius Julius Caesar landed in Britain.
Volturnalia was celebrated, a festival to protect the still-ripening fruit from deterioration in the hot south-eastern winds (often occurring at this time of the year). During the festival, Volturnusa, the god of rivers the south-eastern wind was worshiped.
410 CE – Alaric’s army left Rome. After that, the Goths set off south, robbing Campania. During the march, in December 410 CE Alaric died, and Ataulf took his place. Throughout 411 CE Goths stayed in Italy, plundering it completely.
359 CE – Junius Bassus died just after taking the office of prefect, he was baptized just before his death. His beautifully decorated sarcophagus has been preserved, in which Christ is also depicted as a young man without a beard.
383 CE – near Lyon, the people of Magnus Maximus caught up and killed Gratian in the litter of his second wife, Leta.
388 CE – Emperor Magnus Maximus was executed near Aquileia.
430 CE – during the siege of Hippo by the Vandals, Saint Augustine died, after a long-term illness
475 CE – the head of the Orestes troops overthrew the Roman emperor Julius Nepos. He escaped to Dalmatia. While still there, he considered himself an emperor.
476 CE – Orestes, father of Emperor Romulus Augustulus, was murdered in Placentia (Piacenza) by Odoacer’s soldiers.
12 CE – Gaius, son of Germanicus and Vispania Agrippina, was born; the future Emperor Caligula. Parents often showed their son in soldier’s clothing. They put on shoes (sandals), which were called caligae, hence the boy received the nickname Caligula, and was treated as a mascot of the army. His initial rule was reasonable: he ordered all political trials to be discontinued, he dismissed people sent for political reasons, he burnt in public the files of the trial of his mother and brothers, and he ordered to publish the works of former opposition historians. However, in November 37 CE, the emperor had a serious illness. When Caligula recovered, he was a different man – he became a tyrant.
40 CE – Emperor Caligula, who was making fictitious preparations for the expedition to Britain, returned to Rome.
161 CE – mperor Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina was born. He took part in the expedition against the Marcomanni, with whom he entered into peace immediately after his father’s death, he hardly cared for strengthening of the borders and the development of the province. His rule was a cruel tyranny. Commodus led to the conviction of many senators. He played bloody games, during which he even performed as a gladiator himself. Like several earlier predecessors (especially Caligula orDomitian), he required divine worship. At the end of his reign, he ordered to be recognized as a new incarnation of Hercules – Hercules Romanus.
The festival of Jupiter Liber, the god of creativity, and Juno Regina was celebrated. Both deities belonged to the so-called “Capitoline triad”.
463 BCE – an epidemic broke out in Rome and ravaged the city for a year.
22 BCE – Augustus dedicated the temple of Jupiter thendering, thankful for saving him from lightning during the Cantabrian expedition.
312 CE – a fifteen-year tax cycle, called an indiction (indictio), was introduced instead of the five-year cycle. This system of counting and dating financial years persisted in Byzantium and Western Europe for centuries, even after the fall of the Empire.
31 BCE – Octavian’s navy defeated the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra in the battle of Actium, in the Ambracian Gulf. After the defeat, the Queen and Antony fled to Egypt, and their land forces surrendered to Octavian’s forces. Then, Octavian, almost without any resistance, entered Alexandria. In the face of the inevitable defeat Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. This meant the end of civil war, and Octavian began to rule the whole country.
421 CE – Emperor Constantius III died, probably due to pneumonia. He was one of the most talented, truly Roman leaders and politicians in this period.
36 BCE – the victory of Octavian’s fleet over the fleet of Sextus Pompey in the naval battle of Naulochus. Sextus Pompey was the last major military opponent of the Second Triumvirate, created after the death of Caesar by Octavian, Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. He controlled Sicily and prevented his opponent from delivering grain to Rome. In 38 BCE there was a temporary agreement between the Triumvirs and Pompey. The latter, however, did not give up blocking. Then i in the year 36 BCE Agrippa, at the head of his fleet, turned against him and defeated him in the naval battle of Mylae and then in the battle of Naulochus. This last victory reasserted Octavian’s power among the triumvirs. Thus Antony remained his only opponent in the fight for power.
301 – one of the smallest countries in the world – San Marino was founded. It is also the oldest still existing republic. San Marino was founded by St. Marinus.
476 CE – the last Roman emperor Romulus Augustulus was overthrown and exiled to Naples by Odoacer, who gave him an estate near today’s Naples, and ordered to pay an annual pension of 6 000 solids (this sum is roughly the annual income of a Roman senator). Romulus lived in the Villa Castellum Lucullanum. The end of his reign and sending the imperial insignia back to Constantinople by Odoacer is considered to be the end of the West Roman Empire. His further fate is unknown. He probably lived for a long time and collected a pension from both Odoacer and his successors, including Theodoric the Great.
The most important Roman festival – Ludi Romani; also called Ludi Magni began. Initially, during the festival, games, races and theatrical events were organized to celebrate the god Jupiter, but later the religious significance of the festival was forgotten. On September 13 (originally only at that time the festival took place), a sacrifice of a cow was offered in the temple of Jupiter, while the entire Senate and town officials attended the feast. The statue of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva were dressed and laid on the beds to feast together with mortals. Then the procession went to Circus Maximus, where the games took place. The feast was to be established by Tarquin the Elder after the capture of the city of Apiolae or, as indicated by Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Cicero, after the victory of the Romans over the Latins in the battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BCE. (the so-called votum). The festival was celebrated every year from 366 BCE.
Jupiter Stator’s festival took place, which was also celebrated on 27 June.
394 CE – in the Battle of the Frigidus (at the foot of the Eastern Alps), Theodosius the Great defeated the forces of the usurper Eugenius (who died), for the last time uniting the Roman Empire. Arbogast and Nicomachus Flavianus the Elder committed suicide. The battle was one of the largest in the history of civil wars between the rulers of the Western and Eastern Empire and contributed to strengthening Christianity in the Empire.
355 CE – the emperor Claudius Silvanus was murdered when he went to the chapel. He was a usurper of a Frankish origin who appeared in Gaul and competed for full power with Constantius II for 28 days.
394 CE – Arbogast committed a suicide, a Roman leader of the Frankish origin who wanted to take the power over the Western Empire. Arbogast after the death of emperor Valentinian II wanted to retain power in the Western empire. On 22 August 392 CE, he placed a loyal professor of rhetoric, Eugenius, on the throne. However, the emperor of the Eastern Empire, Theodosius refused to recognize Eugenius as emperor and proclaimed him a usurper. It was probably influenced by the attitude of his wife, and also by the sister of Valentinian – Galli, who blamed Arbogast for the death of her brother. When Arbogast and Eugenius were overrun by Italy, Theodosius came in armed. On 8 September 394 CE there was a battle of Frigidus, which ended with the victory of Theodosius. Arbogast, abandoned by all, committed suicide, and Eugenius was captured and beheaded. Theodosius became the last ruler of the entire Roman Empire, which after his death fell apart again.
9 CE – probably on that day began a two-day (September 9-11) battle of the Teutoburg Forest. The ruler of the Cherusci – Arminius – defeated three Roman legions in the clash. During 3 days and 2 nights, all 3 Roman legions and all other units were killed. Approximately 20 000 to 25 000 soldiers were killed with the highest command together. Among many others died primipilus of the Legio XVIII – Manius (Marcus) Celius. Others had their eyes put out and hands cut. The best fate was for those taken prisoners who had to lead the miserable life of a barbarian servant from now on. Only a few managed to get out of the trap and reach the Rhine. On the side of Arminius’ army there were about 7 000 victims. The defeat in the Teutoburg Forest was a terrible blow to the emperor himself. The army was reduced to 25 legions, and the numbers XVII, XVIII and XIX were never used. Tiberius was immediately sent to the Rhine, and all available troops from other provinces were to reinforce his forces. Soon, in the provinces of Lower and Upper Germany, along the west bank of the river, there were eight legions and at least as many auxiliary troops. Such preparations resulted mainly from the fear of a great Germanic invasion. The attack, however, did not take place. At the news of the defeat of Varus, Augustus were supposed to shout: “Quinctilius Varus, give back the legions!” (Quinctili Vare, legiones redde!)
337 CE – the sons of the late Constantine the Great, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans, shared the Roman Empire among themselves.
509 BCE – the consecration of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome by the consul Marcus Horatius.
64 CE – Julia Titi was born, the daughter of the emperor Titus Flavius.
81 CE – Emperor Titus Flavius died after a short illness in Raete – most likely it was fever. There are voices that it was his brother Domitian who poisoned him. However, there is no evidence for this. Titus died without finishing the sentence: “I only did one thing wrong…”. He did not reveal what it was. The attitude of people to Titus was changed after two defeats. During his reign an happened the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE and also there was a dangerous fire and plague in Rome in 80 CE, causing rumors that Titus was hated by the gods. During his reign the construction of the Colosseum was completed, after 10 years of work. Titus co-ruled with the Senate in a very cohesive manner, which is why he received the favorable opinions of Roman historians. Apparently, he also hated blood in the arena and never let injured gladiators be killed before his very eyes. He could sing and play the lyre, write good poems, and he was an amazingly talented stenotypist. He was deified.
Equorum Probatio – took place – the official parade of the equites. It was part of Ludi Romani (“the Roman Games”).
81 CE – Domitian, Titus‘ younger brother, became a Roman emperor.
9 BCE – Drusus the Elder, Roman commander, stepson of Augustus, and the brother of Emperor Tiberius, died. Drusus was one of the most outstanding people of his time. His friendly manners, an attractive appearance and, above all, brilliant military talents, prOvided him with the recognition and attachment of the legionaries. He was an outstanding commander, which he confirmed with numerous victories over the Germans. The openly expressed sympathy for the republican principles won him recognition in wide circles. It was believed that it could contribute to the restoration of the republic. Apparently, while crossing the Elbe river, he was distracted by a vision in which the huge ghost of a woman told him that death was close. On the way back, the accident occurred, Drusus fall from the horse and broke his leg. After 30 days, he died in the presence of his brother, Tiberius, who, at the news of the accident, quickly went to the camp. He then escorted Mary with the body of her brother, who was brought to Rome. Drusus’ ashes lay in the Mausoleum of Augustus.
23 CE – Drusus the Younger, Roman general, died.
407 CE – John Chrysostom died on his way to a further place of exile on the eastern shores of the Red Sea. He left a huge legacy of writing, mainly sermons and explanations of the Bible. Its volume better the other Christian writers. Remains of St. Jan Chryzostom were solemnly transferred to Constantinople in 428 CE
16 CE – Julia Drusilla was born, daughter of Germanicus, sister of Caligula. She was favored by Caligula, and widespread rumors claimed she was his lover too. We do not know if the close relations between the siblings were really sexual or whether they were only attempts to discredit the private life of the emperor. After her sudden death on 10 June 38 CE, Julia was buried with the honor of Augusta, proclaimed by the senate at the request of Caligula, a goddess and was consecrated as Panthea. She was the first woman in the history of Rome who was deified. Caligula gave the name Drusilla to his daughter – after his favorite sister.
307 CE – Emperor Severus II died. He was an officer of the Roman army, he served in Pannonia for many years, he was proclaimed co-emperor on 1 May 305 CE along with Constantius Chlorus. After the death of Chlorus on 25 July 306 CE, together with Galerius, he took part in an unsuccessful attempt to deprive Maxentius of power. He surrendered to Maximian (father of Maxentius) in Ravenna, and eventually was taken to Rome and killed there later.
260 CE – Macrianus Minor and Fulvius Junius Quietus were elected Roman co-emperors.
456 CE – Remistus, a Roman commander (magister militum) was besieged together with the Gothic forces in Ravenna and then killed outside the city.
14 CE – Tiberius became a Roman emperor. As the ruler, he continued the policy of Augustus. The last period of Tiberius’ life filled the trials, death sentences, deportations and imprisonment of political opponents.
53 CE – Emperor Trajan was born. A great commander and administrator, coming from Italica, who came to the throne as a result of Nerva’s adoption. During his reign, the Roman empire had the largest territorial range, Trajan extended them to Arabia, Dacia, Armenia, areas on the Euphrates and Tigris (provinces of Mesopotamia and Assyria 116). In the captured lands, he built forts and strengthened the border fortifications. He rarely stayed in Rome, exercising direct command over military expeditions. Trajan carried out internal reforms and commissioned the construction of public buildings.
96 CE – Domitian was stabbed in the palace in Rome, as a result of the praetorians’ conspiracy. Apparently the emperor was very suspicious. He was always accompanied by a guard. He placed many mirrors in his palace so that he could see what was happening behind his back. The plot that led to the murder probably involved Nerva. After the death of Domitian, he was recognized as the successor by the Senate; at the praetorians insistance. The death of Domitian meant the end of the Flavian dynasty.
The festival of Minerva (also on March 19 and June 19) was celebrated- it was a time when the Romans were offering gifts in honor of Minerva – the goddess of wisdom, art and craft.
86 CE – Emperor Antoninus Pius was born, one of the so-called five good emperors. During his reign happened the Jewish, Brits’ and Mauritanian uprisings. He was famous for the erection of the Antoninus Wall. The period of his reign is the time of prosperity and peace often called Pax Romana. He expanded the maintenance fund (alimenta for girls) introduced by Trajan, which was supposed to improve the population status of the Empire. His reign and his successors (Marcus Aurelius) fall into the best period in the history of the Roman Empire.
66 CE – Roman emperor Nero created the Legio I Italica, which existed at the beginning of the fifth century BCE, and was stationed on the border on the Danube. The emblem of the legion was wild boar.
19 BCE – Virgil, at the age of 51, died in Brundisium. Roman poet, author of Aeneid – the Roman national epos. The works of Virgil became school books during the author’s lifetime. At least until the early nineteenth century, they were at the center of the literary canon, exerting enormous influence on European culture, science and even politics.
37 CE – Roman Emperor Caligula was proclaimed the Father of the Country by the Senate.
454 CE – Roman Emperor Valentinian III murdered Aecius Flavius during an audience at the Palatine in Rome. Eunuch Heraclitus participated in the plot, probably along with senator Petronius Maximus.
431 BCE – dedication of the Temple of Apollo. It was erected on theCampus Martius, later it was repeatedly rebuilt. To this day, there are three columns next to the theater of Marcellus. For four centuries it was the only temple of Apollo in Rome. He was worshiped here mainly as a god-healer.
138 BCE – d dedication of the temple of Mars on the Campus Martius.
63 BCE – Gaius Octavian was born in Rome, the future emperor Augustus, using the title princeps. His political career began with the information about the adoption by Julius Caesar. After winning the civil war, his long and sensible reign began, which brought the Roman state stability and reforms.
15 CE – Emperor Vitellius was born, who was the ruler in the so-called the Year of Four Emperors. The reign of Vitellius was characterized by great extravagance in the area of palace life. He always feasted. He ate at least three times a day: breakfasts, dinners, supper and feasts. He often vomited so he could eat more and more. One of the records was a feast with 2 000 of the finest fish and 7 000 pieces of different birds. Vitellius wanted to live like no one in front of him. The Golden House, built by Nero, full of ornaments and splendor, he found poor. It was calculated that during his short reign on the personal luxuries of the ruler was spent about 900 000 000 sesterces.
275 CE – Tacitus was proclaimed the emperor by the Senate. The election of a 75-year-old senator was probably presumed to be temporary in advance, as indicated by his old age. He considered himself to be a descendant of the Roman historian Tacitus, and therefore he ordered the copying of his works and placing them in public libraries. He was either murdered or died of fever. He ruled for less than a year.
A feast was celebrated in honor of Venus Genetrix (Venus Mother) thanks to Julius Caesar, who claimed that he owed her grace and divine protection; moreover, it was thought that the Julian dynasty was derived from Venus. For the first time, the festival took place in 46 BCE in the temple of Venus Genetrix.
48 BCE – Pompey was murdered by the command of Egypt’s ruler Ptolemy XIII. Ptolemy, sent back Pompey’s head to Caesar. Apparently Caesar, who finally arrived in Egypt and visited the scarred remains of the rival, cried and gave honor to the deceased, then ordering to build him a proper monument. Pompey’s personal estate after his death hovered seven hundred million sesterces.
351 CE – Roman Emperor Constantius II defeated Magnentius in the battle of Mursa. Apparently 50 000 were killed there. Magnentius retreated to Aquileia.
365 CE – usurper Procopius, cousin of the emperor Julian the Apostate, proclaimed himself as the Roman emperor during the riots in Constantinople. Procopius succeeded in bribing a part of senior officers, whom he promised money. He also received a lot of support from the Goths.
106 BCE – Pompey was born, a Roman politician, military commander, creator of the triumvirate. He received his nickname “Great” from the contemporaries because of his great political and military successes and his services to Rome. Son of Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo. The rival of Julius Caesar.
61 BCE – Pompey celebrated his 45 birthday in triumph on the occasion of defeating the pirates and Mithridates VI. Piracy had been a plague in the Mediterranean for centuries. Pirates kidnapped free inhabitants of coastal lands and sold them into captivity, especially young women and children. Pompey put an end to their practice. The Senate in 67 BCE granted Pompey exceptionally extensive powers, including full freedom in disposing of the state treasury and very wide possibilities throughout the Mediterranean. Defeating Mithridates, who happened to be one of the most dangerous opponents of Rome in the east, allowed Rome to expand its influence in the east. Mithridates was close to creating a power uniting the lands in the Black Sea area. Pompey’s victory finally ended the threat of the King of Pontus.
208 CE – the future Roman Emperor Alexander Severus (also called Alexianus Bassianus) was born in Emes. He was the last emperor from the Severan dynasty. He took the name Severus when in 218 CE he was adopted by his 14-year-old cousin, Emperor Elagabalus. During his 13 years of rule (222-235), Alexander showed a peaceful character. That was a time of prosperity and internal order. With time, however, his mother, Julia Mammea, known for her lust for power and wealth, contributed to his unpopularity. What was worse, his reign coincided with many external threats. Gentle by nature, the emperor had no military experience and was clearly reluctant to any wars. In order to mitigate conflicts, he sometimes decided to bribe and talk, as it was with the Germans. This fact undermined the emperor’s authority. Soldiers of Legio XXII Primigenia, seeing him as a weak and unworthy of the emperor’s office, decided to kill him after the settlement with the barbarians.
42 BCE – the first battle of Philippi took place in the eastern Macedonia. Mark Antony won the victory over Cassius (who, believing that he had lost everything, decided to commit suicide), and Brutus over Octavian. A few weeks later, the next battle took place at Philippi – this time the triumvirs achieved a complete victory. Brutus realized that he had lost and did not want to fall into the hands of the winners so he committed suicide.
382 CE – Roman Emperor Theodosius the Great signed a peace treaty with the Goths, allowing them to settle in the Balkans as allies. On behalf of the emperor, the commander of the troops in Thrace, Saturninus, appeared, and Fritigern probably on behalf of the Goths. For the first time in history, foreign people in Roman lands were treated as a subject of law. Goths, as allies, were exempt from land taxes. They were supposed to live according to their own rights under the authority of their commanders, and in case of war, to issue armed units for the emperor, for reward, and under the orders of their own commanders. This is how the process of creating autonomous countries within the Empire began. It was a growing and irreversible process.
365 CE – Emperor Valens, who – apparently under the influence of his wife Dominica – was inclining towards the Arians and returned to the policy of Constantius – he sentenced Bishop Athanasius to exile. It was his fifth exile.
456 CE – Visigoths of the ruler Theodoric II, who were at the orders of the Roman Emperor Avitus, invaded Iberia together with the Burgundians, Franks and Goths. The combined army defeated the Suevi of King Rechiarius on the Urbicus River (today’s Orbigo).
Dies ater – (the so-called “black day”) to commemorate the defeat of the Romans at Arausio, which took place on October 6, 105 BCE against the Cimbri and Teutons tribes. Almost all of the Romans involved in the battle were killed – around 80,000 soldiers.
254 BCE – the temple of goddess Fides (Faithfulness) on the Capitoline Hill was dedicated. The Senate meetings were often held there when the foreign legations were received. On the walls there were placed copies of many treatises with foreign countries, engraved in bronze or gunmetal.
105 BCE – The Romans suffered a defeat at the battle of Arausio. The Cimbri and Teutoni under the leadership of King (Boiorix) during their journey along the Rhine arrived to Arausio in October 105 BCE. At this point, they encountered two Roman consular armies. Opposite the forces of the Germanic tribes of Cimbri and Teuton, two Roman armies stood under the command of consul Gnaeus Maliuz Maximus and the proconsul Quintus Servilius Caepio. The exact course of the battle is not known, it is only known that Caepio did not want to give the command to Maximus, considering him a lower rank citizen. Misunderstandings led to a situation in which two Roman armies moved against Germans not cooperating with each other. According to messages from the battlefield, only 10 legionaries managed to escape.
69 BCE – Romans led by Lucullus defeated the Armenians commanded by Tigranes II in the battle of Tigranocerta. Undoubtedly, the battle of Tigranocerta is one of the most spectacular victories of Roman army in history. It clearly shows that not the strength, but the determination and command skills give victory.
405 CE – Empress Aelia Eudoxja, wife of the ruler of the East Roman Empire – Arcadius, died.
186 BCE – the Senate issued an order banning the worship of Bacchus, the god of wine and fun, and the gathering of his worshipers. There was a bloody terror in Rome in the second century BCE. Consuls were looking for followers of Bacchus, 7 000 people were captured in the town itself, most of them were sentenced to death. Among victims of persecution, there were mainly women. According to the custom, their relatives would kill them. If no one in the family wanted to undertake such task, the unfortunates were handed over to a state-paid hangman. Many of them committed suicide to avoid shameful execution.
13 BCE – Drusus the Younger was born – the son of Tiberius and Agrippina Vispania. He held the office of consul in the year15 and 21 CE. From the year 22, CE he had tribunician power.
28 BCE – the magnificent temple of Apollo on the Palatine Hill was dedicated, to which the Sibylline books were transferred. A library called the Palatinate was created next to the temple.
314 (lub 316 CE) – Constantine the Great defeated Licinius in the battle of Cibalae. The battle lasted till evening and ended with the victory of Constantine’s army and the escape of Licinius with the rest of his troops to Thrace. Licinius’ losses amounted to a dozen thousand people, Constantine lost only several thousand soldiers.
451 CE – the Council of Chalcedon began. Nearly 600 bishops from the eastern part of the Empire took part in it. The West was represented by the two legates of Leon I. It was the biggest council of the ancient times. The Council agreed on the existence of two natures in Christ, divine and human, with the belief that at the same time He is one Person – a personal union. In addition, the council announced 30 canons on disciplinary matters, among others, he proclaimed Jerusalem the fifth patriarchate.
43 BCE – Roman chief Lucius Munatius Plancus founded Lugdunum (today’s Lyon). Plancus was the officer of Julius Caesar during the conquest of Gaul and in the civil war against Pompey. When Caesar was murdered in 44 BCE Plancus was a proconsul of the province Gallia Comata. Plancus is one of the few Roman personalities whose tomb has survived to this day, although his body is long gone. Plancus mausoleum, a massive cylinder-shaped grave, is located in the town of Gaeta, where there is a permanent exhibition dedicated to him. He is considered a person who survived the difficult period of civil wars by effectively changing alliances. According to Suetonius, it was Plancus who suggested Octavian taking the title Augustus rather than being called Romulus, the second founder of Rome.
19 CE – in Daphne, near Syrian Antioch, died Germanicus, Roman commander. It was believed that he was poisoned by Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, the governor of Syria, on the instructions of Tiberius jealous of the growing popularity and power of Germanic. However, this is only a guess, which is not in any reliable sources. Germanic was one of the most famous Roman commanders. He became famous for effective campaigns carried out in Germania. At the turn of the year 15 and 16 CE he made two successful expeditions against Germans led by Arminius. He found and buried the remains of three legions died in the massacre in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE. When in 14 CE, at the age of seventy-six, Augustus died, and Tiberius, unpopular among the people, came to the throne, there was a riot in the Germanicus’ army in Germania. Soldiers who did not like Tiberius proclaimed Germanicus the emperor. However, he rejected the proposed title by accepting the will of Augustus and pacifying the rebellion.
Meditrinalia, a Roman festival of unclear significance, was celebrated in honor of the new vintage. At the time, the wine from new years was drunk. Thus people wanted to gain favor from the gods. It is known that the festival was connected with Jupiter and he played an important role in the agricultural rituals of early Rome.
19 BCE – Octavian returned to Rome solemnly. This day turned into an annual celebration. In addition, an altar was dedicated to Fortuna Redux, the Goddess of Happiness.
166 CE – Roman co-emperor Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus took triumph in Rome after the victorious war against the Pathians. The army also brought from there the plague, which from then on ravaged the Empire for many years. It was popularly called the Plague of the Antonines or the Plague of Galen, and it spread throughout the Empire in the years 165-180 CE. It is believed that it was either smallpox or measles. The plague killed Verus (169 CE) and Aurelius (180 CE). Scientists say that 5 million people died as a result it.
Fontinalia was celebrated. It was a festival in honor of springs and god Fons, during which fountains were decorated with flowers and the flakes were thrown into the water. In Italy, summer was unusually close, hence the Romans counted on the providence of their god, who would send regular rains and provide good harvest.
54 CE – on the night of October 12 and 13, the emperor Claudius died as a result of Agrippina’s order to poison him with mushrooms. Her son from the first marriage, Nero, who was adopted by Claudius, came to power. The new ruler announced that he would limit his power only to military affairs and restore full competence of the Senate and consuls.
409 CE – the Vandals and Alans crossed the Pyrenees and entered Spain.
In honor of the god of war Mars, Equus October ritual took place. This ritual ended the season of agricultural work and military campaigns. It took place during one of the three chariot races in honor of Mars (so-called Equirria). Two-horsel teams (bigae) competed against each other on the Field of Mars (Campus Martius). The horse, belonging to the winning chariot, and the one on the right was transfixed by a spear, then sacrificed. The horse’s head (caput) and tail (cauda) were cut off and used separately in particular stages of the ceremony. Scientists believe that many aspects of the rite were adopted from the Etruscans.
70 BCE – Virgil was born in Andes, a village near Mantua, in Cisalpine Gaul, – a great Roman poet. Author of the Aeneid – Roman national epos. The biography of Virgil is relatively well known, mainly thanks to Donatus’ biography of Virgil from the 4th century CE.
456 – Magister militum Ricimer rebelled against the emperor Avitus and defeated him in a battle near Placentia (today’s Piacenza). To save his life, Avitus became the bishop of the city. Nevertheless, he later died. He was buried in Gaul. Ricimer became to rule the western part of the Empire.
31 CE – Prefect of the Praetorian Guard, Sejanus, was executed for planning the attack on Tiberius. The plan failed, thanks to Tiberius’ sister – Antonia Minor, who warned her husband about the threat.
33 CE – Agrippina the Elder, Germanicus’ wife, died. They had nine children. After the death of her husband, her dangerous opponent – Sedans accused her of pursuing power and reported that to Tiberius. They wanted to eliminate her together as they fear she would like one of her descendants to take over the throne. Agrippina died on the island of Pandateria by starvation, despite Tiberius’ order to feed her by force.
202 BCE – the decisive victory of the Roman army against the forces of Carthage in the battle of Zama took place. The loss at Zama meant the end of a strong Carthaginian state. Thanks to Scipio’s military reform, the Roman army became almost unbeatable. Rome became the greatest power of the Mediterranean, and having no worthy competitors, began to expand to become a great Roman Empire in the future.
439 CE – Vandal commander – Gaiseric took over Carthage, which became the capital of his country.
460 CE – wife of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II – Aelia Eudocia, died.
54 BCE – the victory of the Gauls over the Romans in the battle of Atuatuca took place. Romans were commanded by the legates Quintus Titurius Sabinus andLucius Aurunculeius Cotta, and the Gallic army by its commander Ambiorix. Cotta and most of his soldiers died in the clash. A small part of the legionaries managed to get back into the camp, where they resisted the attacks of the Gauls until late night. But when it turned out in the morning how hopeless they were, everyone committed suicide. Out of the fifteen cohorts – over 6 000 soldiers who were stationed in Atuatuca – survived a few. During the bloody struggles in the valley, they managed to escape into the forest and reach the camp of Titus Labienus with information about the defeat.
180 CE – Commodus’ triumphal entry to Rome, successor to the throne after the death of Marcus Aurelius. Commodus immediately came into peace with the Germans and left the occupied lands (today’s Czech Republic). However, this was not a sign of the ruler’s peaceful attitude. The 19-year-old emperor just wanted to be in Rome sooner, as it offered various entertainment that were not present in the wild forests of central Europe. With this decision, Commodus destroyed many years of his father’s efforts and the dedication of thousands of soldiers. When Commodus returned to Rome, he only dealt with the representational matters and in fact his advisors ruled. In Rome, he was free to enjoy life. His rule consisted mainly of watching performances by actors and dancers, gladiator duels, and chariot races. Commodus took part in orgies, visited public houses and took part in hunting for wild animals and other ravines that took him whole days. This state of affairs did not disturb his advisers too much. They had a free hand about management and believed that Commodus was simply too young.
362 CE – the fire consumed the magnificent temple of Apollo in Daphne. In addition, the main Christian church was closed.
425 CE – Valentinian III was proclaimed Caesar. The eastern army led by Ardubar and Aspar brought him and his mother to Italy.
42 BCE – Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the leaders of the plot against Gaius Julius Caesar in the second battle of Philippi. Seeing his defeat Marcus Junius Brutus committed suicide. The battle of Philippi turned out to be practically the end of the republic, even though its end was actually recognized as 27 BCE. The Senate no longer had any power and it was treated rather honorably. In the empire, the triumvirs had the biggest power. As it turned out, however, three ambitious men could not wield one state together.
425 CE – 6-year-old Valentinian III was granted the title Augustus and became a West Roman emperor. He was supposed to rule for 40 years. Because of his young age, his mother Galia Placidia ruled on his behalf. The chief commander of both types of the troops was Flavius Felix.
79 CE – the eruption of Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. The volcanic ash which flooded Pompeii, perfectly preserved buildings and objects, which allowed us to get to know quite accurately the appearance of a Roman medium-sized city and the lives of its inhabitants. At that time, Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer and historian, was killed. Other suggested date of eruption is 24th of August.
51 CE – Domitian, Roman emperor, second son of Vespasian and the last member of the Flavian dynasty was born. During his reign he took the title of perpetual censor. He took part in the wars in Britain, Germania and against the Dacians. He contributed to the expansion of the defense system along the Danube and the Rhine. He wanted to introduce absolute power, which along with suspiciousness and proclivity for violence led to his murder.
69 CE – Vespasian’s supporters defeated the army of the Roman Emperor Vitellius near Cremona.
97 CE – Roman emperor Nerva adopted Trajan, thus beginning the period of adopting emperors.
312 CE- according to the legends, Constantine the Great was supposed to have a vision before the battle of the Milvian Bridge. Constantine I was supposed to see the sign in the evening when the sun was beginning to lean towards the west. See for yourself the triumphal sign in the sky in the form of a cross from the light, above the sun with the inscription saying that it would win under this sign.
306 CE – Maxentius became a Roman emperor.
312 CE – Constantine the Great defeated Maxentius in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Maxentius, like many of his soldiers, drowned in the Tiber. After this victory, Constantine became the independent ruler of the Empire in the west.
456 CE – Visigoths led by their King Theodoric I captured and burned Braga, the capital of the Kingdom of the Suebi (today’s Portugal).
312 CE – Constantine the Great came to Rome after the victory at the Milvian Bridge and took the so-called adventus, or official greeting by the city’s residents to the ruler after the winning campaign. The body of Maxentius was fished out of the Tiber and beheaded.
437 CE – West German emperor Valentinian III (18 years old) married Lucinda Eudoxia (15 years old). The Emperor of the West gave his father-in-law (Theodosius II) a considerable part of the Illyrian provinces.
39 BCE – Julia the Elder, daughter of Augustus, wife of Tiberius, was born. Known for scandalous way of life. Among her lovers were Antonius Julius, Tiberius Crispinus, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, Appius Claudius Pulcher and Cornelius Scipio and other representatives of the most famous Roman families. In the year 2 BCE Augustus exiled her on the island Pandateria, where she lived in very harsh conditions. She was accompanied by her mother, Scribonia, who got there voluntarily. Later, Julia was allowed to move to Regium. After Tiberius’ ascension to the throne, her conditions became worse, leading to her death.
130 CE – Antinous, the Greek lover of Emperor Hadrian, died. Their relationship was approved by the Empress Vibia Sabina. In 137 CE Hadrian founded the city – Antinoopolis and proclaimed Antinous a hero, built huge temples and organized games in his honor. The most important temple was erected in Mantinea in Arcadia. He ordered to create lots of sculptures and portraits. The cult of Antinous survived until the fall of Rome.
475 CE – Romulus Augustulus became a Roman emperor at the request of his father Orestes, who raised a rebellion against the rightful emperor, Julian Nepos. The title – or the second name – Augustus was distorted by people because of the boy’s non-age to Augustulus, meaning little Augustus.
82 BCE – Sulla’s victory in the battle of the Colline Gate during the First Civil War.
365 CE – The Alamans crossed the Rhine and invaded Gaul. Emperor Valentinian, forced by the situation, moved to Paris and took over the command over the army for the duration of the defensive.
472 CE – Emperor Anicius Olybrius died. He became the emperor thanks to the support of the Byzantine Emperor Leo I who sent him to Rome in order to moderate the conflict between the patrician Ricimer and Emperor Antemius, which, however, ended with the removal of Antimus and the proclamation of a new emperor, Olybrius. His wife was Placidia, the younger daughter of Emperor Valentinian III, who was the father of Julian Anicia.
361 CE – in the town of Mobsucrene, near the Asian city of Tarsus, Constantius II died a natural death. Ammianus Marcellinus reports that death was to occur after three days of illness, probably fever. On his deathbed, he appointed his opponent, Julian the Apostate, to be his successor. As it turned out later, he was a supporter of a return to traditional Roman beliefs.
Ludi Plebeii started – plebeian games – a festival in honor of Jupiter, which lasted until November 17. This religious holiday graced plebeian political freedom – either the exile of the last king or the abolition of patrician domination. During this holiday there were different festa in honor of Jupiter (November 13), Epulum lovis – a riding parade (November 14) and theatrical performances (Scaenites), races and games – ludi circenses (November 15-17). The Ludi were established in 216 BCE, and were held in Circus Flaminius until the 4th century CE.
15 CE – Agrippina the Younger, mother of Nero was born. Daughter of a Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder, who became the third wife of Claudius. In 54 CE she poisoned her husband and took over the actual power, then, removing Britannicus, son of Claudius, she brought Nero to the throne. The influences of Agrippina the Younger became inconvenient for Nero, and she was eventually murdered at his behest.
63 BCE – the Roman consul Cicero revealed the Catiline Conspiracy during a speech in the Senate. After Lucius Sergius lost the struggle for the consulate with Cicero, he decided to make a coup and take power by force. A conspiracy was revealed by Cicero.
392 CE – Emperor Theodosius forbade offering any sacrifices and fortune-telling not only in the temples and public places, but also at homes and private lands, which – if it was found that such a crime was committed – were confiscated for the benefit of the state. Officials, who were not respecting the law, were punished with severe fines. This way, the denunciatory activities appeared in the Empire.
308 CE – the congress in Carnuntum took place. To maintain peace in the Roman Empire, the leaders of the tetrarchy proclaim Maxentius and Licinius the two Augusti, while their rival Constantine I was proclaimed Caesar of Britain and Gaul.
The November Ides were celebrated during which a festival in honor of Jupiter (Epulum Jovis) took place. During the festival, a triad of gods (Juno, Minerva and Jupiter) was invited to accompany mortals in the form of statues during the feast. If the feast was celebrated at home, they were often placed on exclusive sofas (pulvinaria) in the most important place at the table. During the dinner, the best dishes and wine were served to win the favor of the gods.
The Feroniae festival was celebrated in honor of the god Feronia, who took care of fields, forests, groves and springs.
354 CE – Augustine of Hippo was born in Thagaste. He was a later theoretician of the Church and saint. His father, a city clerk and landowner, remained faithful to the old gods almost until his death, and his mother, Monica, was a devout Christian.
565 CE – the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great died. During his time, the Byzantine Empire achieved the greatest splendor in its history.
42 BCE – Emperor Tiberius was born, son of Livia and ClaudiusNero. After the death of Gaius and Lucius, the sons of Julia and Marcus Agrippa, he was adopted by Augustus (thus he became a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty) and forced to adopt Germanicus, although he had his own son. He fought in Pannonia (6-9 CE), And after the defeat of Varus (9 CE) he defended the Rhine border. As the ruler, he continued Augustus’ policy. After the death of the princeps, he took over full power. The last period of Tiberius’ life was filled with trials, death sentences, deportations and imprisonment of political opponents. After detecting Sejanus’ conspiracy, not only people from the Senate were victims, but also Agrippina the Elder and her sons.
284 CE – Diocletian‘s soldiers finished their coup and appointed him a new Caesar.
375 CE – Emperor Valentinian I died. He ruled the western and eastern parts of the Empire (he gave the eastern part to his brother – Valens). After a few years, he appointed Gratian a co-emperor. Shortly after the negotiations with the Quadi, he was so enraged that he suffered a stroke.
Trade fairs started, which lasted until November 20. Cicero mentions that Numa Pompillius, the semi-legendary king of Rome, established a mercatus to facilitate trade and linked it with the ludi Cereales. From that moment, more people gathered on the markets.
401 CE – Visighots, led by Alaric, crossed the Alps and invaded Northern Italy. In Rome itself, the city walls were strengthened. Alaric’s troops joined the siege of Milan, in which emperor Honorius was hiding. Stilicho, who had arrived with the reinforcements, fought with the Visigoths the battle of Polentia on 6 April 402 CE. After this clash, Alaric promised to leave Italy.
461 CE – Libius Severus became a West Roman emperor by the will of the Ricimer, German commander, who actually ruled Rome. Libius was not recognized by either the Byzantine emperor or part of his subjects. His rule included only Italy, Sicily and part of the Alpine countries.
270 CE – Emperor Maximinus Daia was born. He received the title of Caesar in 305 CE (governed Syria and Egypt). After the appointment of Licinius in 308 CE, he demanded the title Augustus, which he received. After the death of Galerius in 311, he took over the command of provinces in Asia. The conflict with Licinius and Constantine led to rebellion (together with Marsentius in Italy). Eventually, he broke off the alliance with Licinius in 31 CE3, Defeated on 30 April, he escaped to Nicomedia, died in Tarsus in August the same year (perhaps he was poisoned).
284 CE – Diocletian became a Roman emperor after emperor Carus and his son Numerian (and successor) died in unclear circumstances or were murdered during the retreat. Emperor Numerian was carried almost all the way from Emesa in Syria to Nicomedia in a litter. Near Nicomedia, the soldiers opened the curtains of the litter and found the corrupt body. After discovering this fact, Diocletian murdered the praetorian prefect, Aper and he was proclaimed the new emperor by the army.
235 CE – Anteros (Greek) became a pope. His two-month pontificate happened during the persecution of Christians ordered by the emperor Maximinus Thrax. He ordered the relics of the martyrs to be collected and kept in the church scrinium.
365 CE – Felix II, the antipope died. He was installed as Pope in 355 CE by the Arian bishops to in place of Liberius.
375 CE – officers in Aquincum (present Budapest) proclaimed Valentinian’s son the new emperor. When Valentinian II became to rule, he was only 4 years old. His mother Justina had been previously the wife of the usurper Magnenius. Because the older son of Valentinian – Gratian had already been Augustus, the division of the West was made: Gratian was supposed to rule Spain, Gaul and Britain, and Valentinian II Illyria, Italy and Africa. On behalf of Valentinian II ruled the commander Merobaudes, former officer of Julian the Apostate.
176 CE – Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius triumphed over the Germans and Sarmatians.
Brumalia began, a month-long festival in honor of Bacchus or Saturn (Greek god Kronos). The name of the holiday comes from the word: bruma, meaning “the shortest day”. It is believed that its celebration began with the first king of Rome – Romulus. The legendary ruler supposedly entertained the senators, army and service throughout the month. For this purpose, he invited other personalities for games, depending on the day they were assigned to. He encouraged similar actions of senators who were to care for their subordinates. During the Brumalia festival, the goddess Demeter and Kronos were offered the pig (breeders) and Dionysus the goat (farmers). The goat was considered to be the enemy of wine, so a sack full of air was made from her skin and people jumped on it. The ordinary inhabitants of Rome, in turn, offered sacrifices to Ceres (wine, olive oil, honey and grain). The festival was full of joy and the celebrating people drank wine. The Romans, who focused on the army, agriculture and hunting, considered the November short days as a period of rest from everyday tasks. During this holiday, prophecies were foretold for the rest of winter. The festival was celebrated until the 6th century CE, when it was recognized as pagan.
62 CE – satirist Persius died. He was studying in Rome. He was interested in poetry and philosophy, and Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Cornutus had a great influence on him. Persius’ satire has little connection with the real life around him. The poet makes a philosophical problem the subject of his works.
380 CE – Emperor Theodosius I triumphantly ended his war with Goths. He spent two seasons on the battlefields, and he made his entrance to the city of Constantinople a triumphant march, called adventus.
571 BCE – King Servius Tulius celebrated the triumph after victory over the Etruscans.
43 BCE – Octavian, Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus formed the second triumvirate. It was official. It was called in Bononia (today’s Bologna) in order to organize the situation in Rome after the death of Gaius Julius Caesar and punish his killers. Triumvirs achieved their goal in 42 BCE in the defeat of Caesar’s murderers at Philippi. Then they divided the Roman empire among themselves.
117 CE – Aelius Aristides was born, the leading representative of the Second Sophistic, intellectual power developing during the early Roman Empire.
8 BCE – Horace, a Roman poet, died. Horace’s work is considered to be the crowning achievement of the Augustan Age and has had a significant impact on European poetry.
176 CE – Marcus Aurelius appointed his son, Commodus, a co-emperor, thus breaking the system of adopting future successors. After Commodus took over power, his madness came forward. His reign was one of the most cruel in the history of Rome. He used the services of the secret police and thus did not give the Senate any possibility of manifesting any opposition. As a result, during the reign of Commodus, the conspiracies and various schemes were extremely popular.
397 CE – Rufinus, the prefect in the East and the actual ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire (he ruled on behalf of the underage Arcadius) was murdered by the Goth Gainas – commander in cooperation with Stilicho and Eutropius. Rufinus’ head and hand were carried triumphantly in Constantinople. From that time on, the eunuch Eutropius had the greatest influence in the city.
450 CE – Empress Galla Placidia died in Rome. She was buried in Rome, although her mausoleum is supposed to be in Ravenna.
67 CE – for the Isthmian Games in Corinth, Emperor Nero led a ten-horse team from which he fell out. Despite the defeat, he received the crown of the winner. In gratitude from the center of the stadium, he declared freedom for the whole Greece, exempting its residents from taxes for Rome. In addition, he awarded Greek judges Roman citizenship and a large amount of money. (Suetonius, Nero, 24)
69 CE – was crucified Saint Andrew the Apostle. The apostle died after a three-day torture. He was tied to boards formed in the shape of the letter “x”. The Apostle’s body was not nailed to the cross, but only attached to lengthen his agony.
355 CE – Julian the Apostate went to Gaul. Meanwhile, the Rhine border, attacked by the Germans, actually stopped to exist. Julian brought with him a few of soldiers who – as he said – could only pray, and the officers were in fact not supposed to help him, but to watch over his loyalty.
The Bona Dea festival was celebrated (“Good Goddess”). It was a Roman feast in honor of the Roman agrarian deity, Bona Dea, daughter of Faunus. The feast was celebrated only by women, due to the character of Bona Dea – a goddess who is also virgin and responsible for women’s fertility.
311 CE – Emperor Diocletian died, who sought to introduce an absolute monarchy. He carried out reforms aimed at strengthening the state (he introduced the the so-called tetrarchy, divided the state into four parts, doubled the size of the army, taxed the population of the Empire). It should also be mentioned that the persecution of the Christians intensified during his rule.
393 CE – Eutolomius Tatian, prefect of the East in the years 388-392, was removed from this office as a result of Rufinus’ intrigues and forced to witness the death of his son Proculus, the prefect of Constantinople also in 388-392 CE. Tatian, himself was supposed to die few years later as a blind beggar.
43 BCE – Cicero died, a Roman politician (supporter of the optimates), orator, philosopher. He was a popularizer of Greek philosophy. He became famous for suppressing Catiline conspiracy. Murdered along with his brother Quintus on the order of Mark Antony, who this way got his revenge for the Philippics on Cicero. According to historian Livy, Cicero just before the soldier cut off his head, he had said: “I will die for the homeland that I have so often saved”.
Tibernalia – a festival in honor of Tiberius was celebrated
65 BCE – Horace, a Roman poet, was born. Horace’s work is considered to be the crowning achievement of the Augustan Age and has had a significant impact on European poetry.
480 CE – Odoacer, the first king of Italy, after the death of Nepos, incorporated Dalmatia into his country. Then he began working with the Roman Senate. However, only for less than 10 years. Odoacer also carried out effective campaigns against the Rugians, who worried the emperor Zeno. He, using as a pretext the complaints made by the son of the Rugian king killed by Odocaer, encouraged the Ostrogothic king, Theodoric to attack Italy. Odoacer’s army lost the battle at the Isonzo River in 489 CE, resulting in Theodoric taking over northern Italy. Odoacer defended himself until March 493 CE in the well fortified Ravenna. As a result of the final agreement, both commanders were to rule together. After a few days Odoacer was murdered with his rival during a solemn feast with his wife, brother Onufel and son Tola.
361 CE – Julian the Apostate, after the victory in the civil war with Constantius, entered Constantinople, thus securing himself the power over the entire Roman Empire. Despite the fact that he did not officially profess Christian religion, he took part in the funeral ceremony of the former emperor in the church of the Holy Apostles. As he then wrote: “This man was my friend and relative. When instead of friendship he chose hatred, the gods settled the conflict”.
384 CE – the ancient Pope Damasus I died. Several important events took place during his pontificate, including the creation of the Vulgate Bible, the classical translation of the Latin Bible directly from Hebrew, and the proclaiming Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. His successor was Siricius.
268 BCE – the temple of the goddess Tellus (Earth) was dedicated. Its construction was vowed when the earth shook during the fight with the Picentes.
Consualia took place, the festival took place twice: on August 21 and December 15. On that day, the Romans worshiped Consus, the god the harvest and stored grain, or Neptunus Equestris. According to Plutarch, Neptunus Equestris and Consus were different names for the same god. Every year, an altar dedicated to the deity was revealed, and then buried in Circus Maximus. The first one, according to the legends, to found the altar was Romulus. During Consualia, all horses, donkeys and mules were decorated with wreaths and released from work. In the Circus Maximus there were horse races at that time, while in its underground sacrifices were offered on the Consus altar, available only during this holiday. According to Roman legends, the Rape of the Sabine Women was supposed to happen during the Consualia. The holiday had an agricultural and archaic character and symbolized the end of the harvest.
37 CE – the future Roman emperor Nero, son of Agrippina the Younger and Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus was born. Nero, surrounded by good associates and efficient administrators, initially ruled wisely. The desire to become independent and specific views on the emperor’s position led to conflict with his mother, ending with her murder in 59 CE. This death began a long series of Nero’s crimes: the death of Burrus, prefect of the praetorians, the death of Octavia, as she was an obstacle to marry Poppaea, or Nero’s mentor, Seneca the Younger in 62 CE.
130 CE – Emperor Lucius Veruswas born. He was the adopted brother of Marcus Aurelius, in the years 161-169 CE he was a co-emperor along with Aurelius.
401 CE – Pope Anastasius I died. He was a Roman who cared for the development of the church in Africa, although he consistently fought Donatism. It was a movement initiated by bishop Donatus of Carthage following the persecution of Christians during the reign of Diocletian in 303-305 CE.
497 BCE – the first Saturnalia took place. It was an annual celebration in honor of the god of agriculture, Saturn. It was celebrated from 17 to 23 December. It was a day of reconciliation and equality. The most important rite of the day was that the masters provided table service for their slaves. In addition, all business activities were suspended. Saturn was offered sacrifices, and the joyful processions headed across the city to feasts and parties. The fathers of the families were given gifts – mainly wax candles and clay figurines (as a symbol of the human sacrifices o in earlier times). The day marked the dedication anniversary of the Temple to Saturn in the Roman Forum in 497 BCE. Originally it was celebrated on December 17, but over the years the holiday was prolonged, until it lasted until December 23, ending just before Sol Invictus. Over time, the holiday was extended to December 25.
218 BCE – Hannibal troops won the fight with the Roman Republic in the battle of the Trebia – a small Ligurian rivulet. About 20 000 Romans, or half of the army of consul Titus Sempronius Longus, died or were taken prisoner. Losses of the Carthaginians were insignificant. The victory opened Hannibal’s way to southern Italy.
324 CE – Caesar of the East, Licinius resigned from the Roman throne. He did it due to the unfavorable course of the war with his competitor, Constantine, escaping miraculously.
401 CE – Pope Anastasius died. His most famous achievement was to forbid reading Origen’s books as soon as these were translated into Latin.
69 CE – Vespasian, the last living pretender for the title of Caesar, officially entered Rome, which ended this bizarre year for the Roman Empire – the Year of Four Emperors. Vitellius, in turn, lost in the fight for the throne, was captured and killed by a mob. Vespasian became the new emperor of the Empire and started a new dynasty – the Flavian one.
69 CE – Titus Flavius Sabinus died, prefect of Rome, who was the older brother of Vespasian and the uncle of Titusa and Domitian.
69 CE – Emperor Vitellius was captured and murdered. According to Suetonius and Aurelius Victor, Vitellius was tortured, then with a loop around his neck in a degrading manner dragged to the Gemonian Stairs, and finally the massacred body was thrown into the Tiber. Vitellius’ reign is characteristic for its the great extravagance.
72 CE – Thomas the Apostle, also known as Didymus or Doubting Thomas, died in India. He became famous mostly as a result of distant missions, supposedly up to India and China, as well as his doubts. When he heard about the resurrected Christ for the first time, he did not want to believe it until he personally put his finger in the wound in his side. In India, he was supposed to die at the hands of local conservative priests.
244 CE – Emperor Diocletian was born. His rule began the era of the late Roman Empire – tetrarchy. Diocletian transformed the Roman state into an absolute monarchy, establishing a despotic system of government, depriving the Senate at the same time of any influence on the authority. To improve the governance, he introduced so-called tetrarchy, which consisted of the simultaneous rule of four people: two Augustus and two lower rank rulers with the title of Caesar. Diocletian also passed into history as one of the emperors who led to the mass persecution of Christians.
Larentalia was celebrated, a festival in honor of the goddess Acca Larentia, the adopted mother of the twins Romulus and Remus, and the wife of Faustulus, the shepherd who found the brothers in the burrow of the she-wolf. They both raised the boys. On December 23, priest of Qbirinus offered a sacrifice in the Velabrum ravine between the Palatine and the Capitoline Hill, where the grave of Acca Larentia was to be found. Another part of the Roman society, in turn, honored the Lares, the souls of the dead, worshipped as house-keeping deities, protecting them from misery. Larentalia was one of the holidays announcing the end of the old and the beginning of the new year.
3 BCE – Emperor Galba was born. He ruled from 8 June 68 CE to 15 January 69 CE until his death. His reign, after the death of Nero, initiated events commonly known as the Year of the Four Emperors. The most important problem that Galba encountered during his short reign was related to the restoration of state finances. The ruler made many unpopular decisions, of which the most dangerous was the refusal to pay praetorians the money prizes they were promised. The emperor despised the opinion claiming that soldiers should receive bribes for loyalty. He outraged people with his miserliness and dislike of glamor. During the late stage of his rule in the province of Galba, he was infirm and apathetic, but it was caused both by the passage of time and the desire not to attract Nero’s attention. As Tacitus writes: “everyone would have declared him worthy of the Empire if he had never been an emperor” (omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset).
Dies Natalis Solis Invicti was celebrated (“Birth of the Invincible Sun”). Sol Invictus was an ancient cult, originating in Persia, but revered mainly in Rome, from where it also received its name. The cult was introduced by emperor Aurelian in 274 Ce. It was dedicated to Mithra, identified with the Roman god Sol, or the Sun. The holiday commemorated his birth in the mountains. The Romans on that day gave each other with gifts and made wishes, they kissed under the mistletoe. Christians at the end of the 4th century CE wanting to strengthen their faith in the lands of the Empire, began to celebrate the birth of Christ on the same day.
274 CE – at the beginning of the Sol Invictus, the god was dedicated the temple on the Field of Mars. The act of consecration was performed by Aurelian himself. The Emperor recognized Sol Invictus as his guardian deity, and the cult was to become a state religion. It was very popular in Rome. This is evidenced by the fact that Christians today are celebrating the birth of Christ on this day. The Gospels do not mention any particular month or day Christ came into the world. In Rome, the Christians made this pagan festival a christian festival in the 4th century CE.
350 CE – Vetranio abdicated in Naissos and lavishly rewarded settled in Bithynia. His being an emperor was, as we can speculate, agreed with Constantius. The idea was to anticipate the possible crossing the Danube by the army to the side of Magnentius. Magnentius made his brother, Decadius, an emperor, and entrusted him with the task of fighting against the Alamans, whom Constantius stirred up against him.
352 CE – the first Christmas celebration in the Roman Empire.
439 CE – during the stay of the imperial couple in Rome, the Senate solemnly confirmed the Codex Theodosianus. He acquired validity on 1 January 339 CE.
268 CE – Pope Dionysius died.
418 CE – Pope Zosimus died.
457 CE – Majorian became the emperor of the Western Roman Empire, who was later recognized by the Eastern Roman emperor, Leo I He was an emperor in the years 457-461. He is considered the last non-war ruler of the western part of the Empire. He managed to restore power over the majority of Iberia and Gaul. One of the few West German emperors who took decisive action to save Rome from falling. Many sources mentioning Majorian have survived. Therefore, he is far better known than any other ruler of the Western Roman Empire of this period.
39 CE – Emperor Titus, son of Vespasian, was born. He became famous mostly for the fight at the time of the revolt in Palestine along with his father, after which his father emigrated to Rome to conquer the imperial throne, Titus remained and in 70 CE he ended the revolt, gaining Jerusalem and destroying the Jerusalem Temple. This event began the famous diaspora, for which he was also funded a triumphal arch in Rome. After his father’s death, as the older brother of Domitian, he took over the throne. He ruled quite peacefully, completing the construction of the Colosseum and helping the survivors from Pompeii. During his reign, the capital was troubled by cataclysms: a dangerous fire and a plague (80 CE). He died without completing the sentence: I only did one thing wrong… He did not reveal what it was.
274 CE – Pope Felix I died.
192 CE – Emperor Commodus was murdered on the New Year’s night. The conspirators included his servant Eclectus and concubine Marcia. The murder was the end of the reign of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty and the beginning of the civil war in the Roman Empire.
335 CE – Pope Sylvester I died.
406 CE – the Vandals, Suebi and Alans crossed the Rhine and began invading Gaul. The Alans swept through the country like locusts, while the Suebi crossed the Pyrenees and settled in Iberia, and the Vandals moved to distant Africa. The destruction left behind by the invasion of the Vandals themselves was so great that they passed history and language as a synonym for mindless destroyers.
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