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Archive for September, 2010

Strong Ancient Roman Women Posted by on Sep 28, 2010

The general assumption is that ancient Roman women were helpless pawns of a patriarchal society. There is some truth to this, for there are many examples of women being pawned off to powerful men through a political marriage. However, there were few cases where women showed extraordinary courage and even exerted military power. Cloelia was…

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Vestal Virgin Posted by on Sep 25, 2010

Virgines Vestales or Vestal Virgins as they were called were an elite group of women who served as priestesses for the goddess Vesta. Vesta was the goddess of the hearth of the city of ancient Rome. The Vestal Virgins were responsible for guarding and maintaining the sacred fire that symbolized the continuance of Rome.  …

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The Praetorian Guard Posted by on Sep 22, 2010

Prætoriani is the Latin word for Praetorian Guard. The Praetorian Guard was a group of bodyguards who were supposed to protect the emperor. History shows, however, that the members of the Praetorian Guard were hardly trustworthy companions for the emperor. One example of betrayal is the story of how Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus died. Once…

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Oh Fortune! Posted by on Sep 19, 2010

Have you heard of “O Fortuna” (Oh Fortune) by German composer Carl Orff? My guess is you have, but you may not have realized it. Take a listen to this little tune : You’ve probably heard this song in commercials, and definitely in some movie soundtrack. “O Fortuna” is a song that is part of…

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New Man Posted by on Sep 13, 2010

Homo Novus which is the Latin term for “New Man”, refers to a Roman citizen who becomes the first man in his family to be elected as a consul. Normally the office of consul was restricted to patrician men. There were special cases when men of plebian rank obtained the rank of consul. The term…

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