Marble statue of Octavian displayed at the Chiaramonti Museum, Braccio Nuovo (New Wing).
Ancient History

Octavian’s Reign: How Rome’s First Emperor Thwarted Assassination

December 27, 2019

When Octavian became the leader of Rome, his main goal was not to anger the people and be assassinated as his predecessor, Julius Caesar, had been. Therefore, Octavian’s reign was focused on consolidating power while at the same time maintaining the illusion that he did not have the absolute control that characterized a monarchy. Octavian turned out to be a clever strategist, brilliant leader, and fascinating man. […]

Medieval castle, sword and shield representing noble violance
European History

Noble Violence in the Middle Ages; The Church Mediates

December 27, 2019

Noble violence in the Middle Ages was a huge problem that even the kings could not always control. Discover how the church stepped in, offering a unique solution: the “Peace and Truce of God” movement. Did it work? […]

Polish magnates 1697-1795 (Polish nobility)
European History

Becoming a Noble: Medieval Europe’s Most Exclusive Club

December 27, 2019

Becoming a noble in the High Middle Ages was no easy task. Nobles used safeguards such as bloodlines to maintain their elitist status. Discover why they became so exclusive, and learn of the unique privileges granted to lords. […]

Noble knights statues in wall niches at Buda Castle, Hungary
European History

The Medieval Nobles and Their Fierce Fighting Methods

December 27, 2019

Nobility underwent many changes during the High Middle Ages, and for the first time, knights entered the noble class. Thanks to new technologies, medieval nobles became known as formidable warriors. Learn of their methods as well as the benefits bestowed to nobles. […]

Marble bust of emperor Caligula
Ancient History

Caligula: The Embodiment of Cruelty

December 9, 2019

At the time of his accession as emperor, Caligula was greeted with enthusiasm. Soon, people discovered just how cruel (and possibly insane) he was. What made Caligula one of the most infamous emperors in the history of ancient Rome? […]

Tiberius Portrait - Bust of 2nd Roman Emperor
Ancient History

Tiberius: Ancient Rome’s Reluctant Emperor

December 9, 2019

Tiberius was somewhat reluctant to take charge of the Roman Empire after the death of Augustus. His reign was marked by insurrection in Germany, betrayal by trusted commanders, and seclusion on the island of Capri. Follow the dramatic story here. […]

Caesar Augustus, first emperor of Ancient Rome. Old bronze statue in the Imperial Forum
Ancient History

Augustus: Paving the Way for Hereditary Succession

November 19, 2019

How did the Roman Empire end up with so many maniacal leaders? The answer lies in the actions of Rome’s very first emperor, Augustus, and the precedent he established for how emperors were selected. […]

The Flavian family, depicted on The Triumph of Titus, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Ancient History

The Flavian Emperors Encounter Roadblocks after a Smooth Start

November 1, 2019

The reign of the Flavian emperors began with Vespasian and then his son Titus, both of whom brought stability to Rome after years of strife. Eventually, though, disaster struck, peaking with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and followed by Titus’s abrupt death. His brother Domitian took over, a reckless leader with some eccentric hobbies. […]

Cameo of Emperor Augustus wearing a gorgoneion and a sword-belt
Ancient History

Evaluating Augustus’s Legacy: Monarchy or Republic?

October 21, 2019

One of Rome’s most influential leaders also ran a brilliant public relations and self-marketing campaign. Therefore, when assessing Augustus’s legacy, we must keep in mind that his main goal was to avoid assassination, which meant playing down his power and king-like qualities. We’ll take a look at his autobiography as well as the one blemish on an otherwise flawless reign. […]

The Roman emperor Augustus as pontifex maximus, with his head veiled for a sacrifice, National Museum of Rome.
Ancient History

Unpacking the Titles of Augustus: Wordplay and Double Meanings

October 21, 2019

What’s in a name? A lot, as we discover when exploring the many titles of Augustus, Rome’s first emperor. Discover the hidden meanings and oxymorons packed within these names, which were designed to assert his authority while simultaneously presenting him as a modest, benevolent figure. […]

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