Rome

Statue of Julius Caesar

In 2013, the author of Commemorating Augustus conducted a survey in which people on the street in Leeds, UK, were asked: “We would like to find out which Roman emperors people are most familiar with. If I ask you to name a Roman emperor, what is the first name thatContinue Reading

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Death of Nero engraving

Wanted: Roman Emperor. Lifetime position. Unlimited benefits. Good grasp of military budgets essential. People skills encouraged. Good chance of assassination. Apply today! For all the power of the Roman emperors, they had a dismal survival rate. Only about 30% died of natural causes. Everyone else died of assassination, warfare, orContinue Reading

Pompeii excavation site

Sometimes,, historical tragedy is the archaeologist’s best friend. Most cities slowly fade into obscurity as people gradually pack up their belongings and move away, chasing greener or safer pastures. The buildings they leave behind slowly crumble until there’s nothing left but foundations which often become buried by debris, newer construction,Continue Reading

Thomas Cole's painting "Fall of Rome"

As a medievalist, 476 C.E. is arguably the beginning date of my time period, the Middle Ages. That is the date we normally give for the fall of the Western Roman Empire, although it is chosen somewhat arbitrarily, as Rome was not really functioning as an empire by that point.Continue Reading