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Horae: Counting the Roman Hours Posted by on Nov 30, 2016

Distribution of horae and vigiliae for the year AD 8 - GIF animation.
The surise and sunset times for this diagram are calculated for Forum Romanum 41.892426°N 12.485167°E AD 8 (the Julian calendar). Sunrise and sunset times are used as boundaries of day and night. Many sources however are ambiguous because of confusing terms sunrise with dusk and sunset with dawn. This is important, because times of dusk and dawn differ significantly from times of sunrise and sunset. The semidiameter of the sun and atmospheric refraction are taken into account. Equinoxes and solstices are computed too, not set by Romans.

Sunrise and sunset times were calculated using algorithms from:
Jean Meeus, Astronomical algorithms, Second English Edition, Willmann-Bell, Inc., Richmond, Virginia, 1998, With corrections as of August 10, 2009, ISBN 0-943396-61-1.
There is an online calculator also based on Astronomical Algorithms, by Jean Meeus, computing sunrise and sunset times, sun azimuths and elevations:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/ NOAA Solar Calculator
(Gregorian calendar)

Courtesy of Darekk2 and Wikimedia Commons.

Salvete Omnes! I hope everyone has been well! Right now, everyone everywhere might be noticing the changing times of night and day. The beginning of Winter is coming and with that means the nights are getting longer and the days are getting shorter. Let’s see how the Romans dealt with this phenomenon. For us, we…

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Amor Fati: Stoicism in Rome Posted by on Nov 16, 2016

Court of Emperor Justinian with (right) archbishop Maximian and (left) court officials and Praetorian Guards; Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Salvete Omnes! I hope we are all doing well this week! This week, let us take a look at the ancient philosophy of the Stoics. Although Stoicism is generally a Hellenistic philosophy, Ancient Rome picked up the teachings and ways of thinking towards the end of its popularity and have helped preserve the teachings The…

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Elections in Ancient Rome Posted by on Nov 9, 2016

A coin depicting an Ancient Roman casting a vote. C. Cassius Longinus (issuer). 63 BC. AR Denarius (3.75 g, 4h). Rome mint.  Attribution: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. http://www.cngcoins.com. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Chances are, no matter where you are, you have heard about the election in the United States. While the country is dealing with the results of their votes, we might want to ponder the history of elections and democracy that have influenced the makeup of the United States. Although the Romans are famous for the…

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Ancient Romans and Toothaches Posted by on Nov 2, 2016

Plantago Major. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Salvete Omnes! I hope this new month has been treating you all well. If you celebrated Halloween on October 31st, you might have gotten or been left with some candy. For the rest of the holiday season we are usually bombarded with sweets of all kinds, so let us take a look at how the…

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What Spooked the Ancient Romans? Posted by on Oct 20, 2016


Salvete Omnes! With Halloween just around the corner let us take a look at what the Ancient Romans were afraid might be under their beds… so to speak. The Ancient Romans were a very suspicious people. They lived in constant watch in the world from signs from the gods and of the future, it would…

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