The Antikythera wreck is a Roman-era shipwreck dating from the 2nd quarter of the 1st century BC. It was discovered by divers off Point Glyphadia on the Greek island of Antikythera in 1900. These ancient artifacts, works of art, and elements of the ship itself are now displayed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Around Easter 1900, Captain Dimitrios Kondos and his crew of sponge divers from Syme sailed through the Aegean en route to fishing grounds off North Africa and they stopped at the Greek island of Antikythera to wait for favorable winds. During the layover, they began diving off the islands coast wearing the standard diving dresses — canvas suits, diver Elias Stadiatis descended to 45 meters depth, quickly signaled to be pulled to the surface. He described a seafloor horror show, a heap of rotting corpses and horses strewn among the rocks. Thinking the diver was drunk from the nitrogen in his breathing mix at that depth, Kondos himself donned the diving gear, and soon returned to the surface with the arm of a bronze statue.
Shortly thereafter, the men departed as planned to fish for sponges, Kondos reported the finds to authorities in Athens, and quickly Hellenic Navy vessels were sent to support the salvage effort from November 1900 through 1901. Together with the Greek Education Ministry and the Royal Hellenic Navy, ships equipment included lead scupper pipes and hull sheeting, and a set of four massive lead sounding weights. These are the only sounding weights ever discovered on an ancient shipwreck in the Aegean, many other small and common artifacts were found, and the entire assemblage was taken to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The death of diver Giorgos Kritikos and the paralysis of two due to decompression sickness put an end to work at the site during the summer of 1901. On 17 May 1902, the former Minister of Education, Spyridon Stais and he noticed that a severely corroded piece of bronze had a gear wheel embedded in it and legible inscriptions in Greek. The object would come to be known as the Antikythera Mechanism, originally thought to be one of the first forms of a mechanised clock or an astrolabe, it is at times referred to as the world’s oldest known analog computer.
The wreck remained untouched until 1953 when French naval officer and explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau visited briefly to relocate the site, Cousteau returned with a full team in the summer and autumn of 1976 at the invitation of the Greek Government. Under the direction of archaeologist Dr, although the retrieval of artifacts from the shipwreck was highly successful and accomplished within two years, dating the site proved difficult and took much longer. Based on related works with known provenances, the statues could be dated back to the 4th century BC. Some scholars have speculated that the ship was carrying part of the loot of the Roman General Sulla from Athens in 86 BC, a reference by the Greek writer, Lucian, to one of Sullas ships sinking in the Antikythera region gave rise to this theory. Supporting an early 1st-century BC date were domestic utensils and objects from the ship, the amphorae recovered from the wreck indicated a date of 80–70 BC, the Hellenistic pottery a date of 75–50 BC, and the Roman ceramics were similar to known mid-1st century types
The Decapolis was a group of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in the southeastern Levant. The cities were grouped together because of their language, location, though sometimes described as a league of cities, it is now believed that they were never formally organized as a political unit. The Decapolis was a center of Greek and Roman culture in a region which was otherwise ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, most of the Decapolis region is located in modern-day Jordan, but Damascus is in Syria and Hippos and Scythopolis are in Israel. The names of the traditional Ten Cities of the Decapolis come from the Roman historian Pliny the Elder, Josephus stated that Scythopolis was the largest of the ten towns. Anglican Bishop Charles Ellicott therefore suggested that Damascus was not included in Josephus list, according to other sources, there may have been as many as eighteen or nineteen Greco-Roman cities counted as part of the Decapolis. For example, Abila is very often cited as belonging to the group, some were established under the Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled Judea until 198 BC.
Others were founded later, when the Seleucid dynasty ruled the region, some of the cities included Antiochia or Seleucia in their official names, which attest to Seleucid origins. The cities were Greek from their founding, modeling themselves on the Greek polis, the Decapolis was a region where two cultures interacted, the culture of the Greek colonists and the indigenous Semitic culture. At the same time, there was some cultural blending and borrowing in the Decapolis region. The cities acted as centers for the diffusion of Greek culture, some local deities began to be called by the name Zeus, from the chief Greek god. Meanwhile, in some cities Greeks began worshipping these local Zeus deities alongside their own Zeus Olympios, there is evidence that the colonists adopted the worship of other Semitic gods, including Phoenician deities and the chief Nabatean god, Dushara. The worship of these Semitic gods is attested to in coins and inscriptions from the cities, the term Decapolis may have already been used to identify these cities during the Hellenistic period.
The term, however, is associated with the period after the Roman conquest in 63 BC. The Roman general Pompey conquered Judea in that year, the people of the Decapolis cities welcomed Pompey as a liberator from the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom that had ruled much of the area. For centuries the cities based their calendar era on this conquest,63 BC was the year of the Pompeian era, used to count the years throughout the Roman. It is from this time that historians identify the region and the cities with the term Decapolis, the Roman government wanted Roman culture to flourish in the farthest reaches of the empire, which at the time included eastern Palestine. So they encouraged the growth of these ten cities, allowing them some autonomy within the protective sphere of Rome. Each city functioned as a polis or city-state, with jurisdiction over an area of the surrounding countryside, each city minted its own coins
Battle of Mount Vesuvius
The Battle of Vesuvius was the first conflict of the Third Servile War which pitted the escaped slaves against a military force specifically dispatched by Rome to deal with the rebellion. In the Roman Republic of the 1st century, gladiatorial games were one of the popular forms of entertainment. In order to supply gladiators for the contests, several training schools, in these schools, prisoners of war and condemned criminals—who were considered slaves—were taught the skills required to fight to the death in gladiatorial games. In 73 BC, a group of some 200 gladiators in the Capuan school owned by Lentulus Batiatus plotted an escape. When their plot was betrayed, a force of about 70 men seized kitchen implements, fought their way free from the school, and seized several wagons of gladiatorial weapons and armor. These escaped slaves were able to defeat a force of troops sent after them from Capua. They initially viewed the revolt as more a major crime wave than an armed rebellion, that year, Rome dispatched military force under praetorian authority to put down the rebellion.
Glabers forces besieged the slaves on Mount Vesuvius, blocking the only way down the mountain. With the slaves thus contained, Glaber was content to wait until starvation forced the slaves to surrender and they moved around the base of Vesuvius, outflanked the army, and annihilated Glabers men. A second expedition, under the praetor Publius Varinius, was dispatched against Spartacus. For some reason, Varinius seems to have split his forces under the command of his subordinates Furius and Cossinius. Plutarch mentions that Furius commanded some 2,000 men, but neither the strength of the forces, nor whether the expedition was composed of militia or legions. These forces were defeated by the army of escaped slaves, Cossinius was killed, Varinius was nearly captured. With these successes and more slaves flocked to the Spartacan forces, as did many of the herdsmen and shepherds of the region, swelling their ranks to some 70,000. The rebel slaves spent the winter of 73–72 BC training and equipping their new recruits, the victories of the rebel slaves did not come without a cost.
At some time during these events, one of their leaders, was lost—presumably in battle—and is not mentioned further in the histories
First Catilinarian conspiracy
The first Catilinarian conspiracy was a plot to murder the consuls of 65 BC and seize power. Historians consider it unlikely that Catiline would have involved in the first Catilinarian conspiracy or, indeed. In all likelihood, Catiline was not involved in the so-called first Catilinarian conspiracy, as it pertains to Catiline, much of the information originates in Cicero’s speech In Toga Candida which was given during his election campaign in 64 BC. Only fragments of this still exist, in the writing of Asconius Pedianus. The consuls-designate, Publius Autronius Paetus and Publius Cornelius Sulla, were prevented from entering office because of ambitus, electoral corruption, under the Lex Acilia Calpurnia. Thus, the two leading candidates, Lucius Manlius Torquatus and Lucius Aurelius Cotta, were elected in a second election and were to enter office on January 1,65 BC. Then they would name themselves the consuls for the year and Piso would have sent to organize the provinces in Hispania. Alternatively, Suetonius claims that Julius Caesar and Marcus Licinius Crassus directed the conspiracy, instead of assuming the consulship, Crassus is accused of planning to become dictator and intending to name Caesar magister equitum.
In 62 BC, after Catilines death, Cicero defended Publius Sulla in court after he was indicted for being a member of the second conspiracy. In order to free his client of implication in the first Catilinarian conspiracy, he places the blame solely on Catiline who, in the end, Publius Sulla was acquitted, Catilines name was further tarnished, and Cicero received a large loan to purchase a home. Ciceros accusations prior to 63 BC are likely unfounded, since Rome had no penalty for libel, Catiline had little motive to participate in this conspiracy, especially since he had been denied very little. He still held the aspiration of obtaining the consulship legitimately the next year, and the conspiracy involved the murder of the consul, Manlius Torquatus, the First Catilinarian Conspiracy, JSTOR, July,1964. The First Catilinarian Conspiracy, A Further Re-examination of the Evidence, Reinvention, a Journal of Undergraduate Research,2011
Constitutional reforms of Augustus
The era that began when Augustus defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra in the final war of the Roman Republic in 30 BC, and ended when the Roman Senate granted Augustus the title Pater Patriae in 2 BC. The constitution of the Roman Republic was an unwritten constitution which developed organically from the Republics founding in 509 BC. Significant emphasis was placed on custom, the mos maiorum, in managing of Romes affairs, the most important institutions within the Republican framework were the Consuls, the Tribunes, the Provincial Governors, and the Senate. Consuls - Two Consuls were elected each year to serve as the chief executives over the Republican government, over time, the Consuls domestic functions were graduatelly shifted to other officials, resulting in the Consuls serving primarily as military figures. Their imperium placed all military governors under their command, while their military authority was limited within the city of Rome itself, outside its boundaries their powers were absolute.
To prevent corruption in office, each Consul held the power to veto his colleague, after a year in office, former Consuls would be assigned by the Senate to serve as a governor of one of the Republics provinces. Tribunes - The office of Tribune was established in the 5th century BC as a method of the Plebeians of checking the Patrician-dominated government of the day. Following the ending of the Conflict of the Orders, the Tribune represented the interests of the citizens against those of the state. Ten Tribunes were elected each year to serve one-year terms, the Tribunes powers were based on the sacrosanctity of his person, which prevented him being arrested and made physically injury to him a capital offense. If any magistrate was threatening to take action against a citizen, the Tribunes powers, were only valid within the city of Rome itself. Provincial Governors - The governors were the chief administrator of the Republics many provinces, the governors chief duties included collecting taxes, hearing cases and administering justice, and ensuring security as a military commander.
The Senate would select governors by extending the terms of ex-magistrates, though nominally subject to the higher authority of the reigning Consuls and to the direction of the Senate, the governors, in practice, were largely autonomous. Senate - The Senate was a body of 300 members which served as the deliberative body of the Republic. The Senate passed decrees called senatus consulta, which constituted advice from the Senate to a magistrate or legislative assembly on a course of action. While the Senates advice did not hold legal force, by custom they were usually obeyed, through its advice, the Senate directed the magistrates, especially the Consuls in their conduct of military conflicts and foreign affairs. The Senate had a degree of power over the civilian government in Rome itself. The Senate managed the Republics finances as only it could authorize the disbursal of public fund from the treasury or impose taxes, the Senate supervised the administration of the provinces, with Senators serving as provincial governors upon assignment by the Senate.
In 82 BC, the general Lucius Cornelius Sulla marched on Rome, Sulla was appointed Dictator for Writing the Constitution and Laws of the Republic by the Senate, an emergency official dating from the early years of the Republic
The Triumvirate existed for two five-year terms, covering the period 43 BC to 33 BC. Octavian, despite his youth, extorted from the Senate the post of consul for 43 BC. He had been warring with Antony and Lepidus in upper Italia and this triumvirate of new leaders was established in 43 BC as the Triumviri Rei Publicae Constituendae Consulari Potestate. Where the first triumvirate was essentially an agreement, the second was embedded in the constitution formally joining Augustus, Antony. Antony retained Cisalpine Gaul and hegemony over Gaul itself, and Octavian held Africa and was given authority over Sicily and Sardinia. )In order to refill the treasury. As all three had been partisans of Caesar, their targets were opponents of the Caesarian faction. The most notable victims were Marcus Tullius Cicero, who had opposed Caesar and excoriated Antony in his Philippics, and Marcus Favonius, a follower of Cato, the proscription of Caesars legate Quintus Tullius Cicero seems to have been motivated by the perceived need to destroy Ciceros family.
For ancient writers, the most shocking proscriptions were those of Caesars legate Lucius Julius Caesar and they were added to the list because they had been the first to condemn Antony and Lepidus after the two allied. Octavians colleague in the consulate that year, his cousin, Quintus Pedius and this became a broad pattern of the Triumvirates two terms, during the ten years of the Triumvirate, there were 42 consuls in office, rather than the expected 20. In 42 BC, Octavian and Antony set out to war, after the victory and Octavian agreed to divide the provinces of the Republic into spheres of influence. Octavian — who had begun calling himself Divi filius after Caesars deification as Divus Julius and now styled himself simply Imperator Caesar — took control of the West, as a result, the province of Cisalpine Gaul was absorbed into Italy. Narbonese Gaul was absorbed into Gallia Comata, creating a unified Gaul, Octavian took over Spain from Lepidus. Lepidus himself was left with nothing, but was offered the prospect of control over Africa, the excuse given for this was a report that Lepidus had been traitorously negotiating with Sextus Pompey.
If he were proved innocent he would have Africa, Octavian returned to Rome to administer the distribution of land to his veterans. Antony remained in the east to bring Brutus and Cassius former territories under triumvirate control. The reduced role of Lepidus is evident in the fact that far fewer coins depict him from this point on, Octavians land redistribution caused widespread tensions, as farmers were dispossessed in favour of soldiers. Antonys brother Lucius Antonius, who was serving as Consul, stood up for the dispossessed farmers, the conflict led to the Perusine War, in which Lucius gathered an army of supporters to challenge Octavian. He was encouraged by Mark Antonys wife Fulvia, Lepidus held Rome with two legions while Octavian left to gather his army, but Lucius defeated Lepidus, who was forced to flee to Octavian
Liberators' civil war
The Liberators civil war was started by the Second Triumvirate to avenge Julius Caesars murder. The war was fought by the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian against the forces of Caesars assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 BC. After the murder of Caesar and Cassius had left Italy and taken control of all Eastern provinces, in Rome the three main Caesarian leaders, who controlled almost all the Roman army in the west, had crushed the opposition of the senate and established the second triumvirate. One of their first tasks was to destroy the Liberators’ forces, not only to get control of the Roman world. The triumvirs decided to leave Lepidus in Italy, while the two partners of the triumvirate moved to Northern Greece with their best troops. In 42 BC Gaius Norbanus Flaccus and Decidius Saxa, were sent by the triumvirs with an eight legions strong advance guard into Macedonia against the murderers of Julius Caesar, in the neighborhood of Philippi and Saxa met the combined advancing troops of Cassius and Brutus.
As they were outnumbered and Saxa occupied a position near Philipi which prevented the republicans from advancing any further, by a ruse and Cassius managed to make Norbanus leave this position, but Norbanus discovered the ruse in time to recover the dominating position. When Brutus and Cassius managed to outflank them and Saxa retreated toward Amphipolis, when Marc Antony and the bulk of the triumvirs troops arrived, they found Amphipolis well guarded and Norbanus was left in command of the town. The triumvirs brought 19 legions to the battlefield, Appian reports that the triumvirs legions were almost at full-ranks. Furthermore, they had a large allied cavalry force, the Liberators army had seventeen legions. Only two of the legions were at full ranks, but the army was reinforced by levies from the Eastern allied kingdoms, Appian reports that the army mustered a total of about 80,000 foot-soldiers. Allied cavalry included a total of 17,000 horsemen, including 5,000 bowmen mounted in the Eastern fashion and this army included Caesars old legions present in the East, thus much of the Liberators army was made up of former Caesarean veterans.
However, at least the XXXVI legion consisted of old Pompeian veterans, the loyalty of the soldiers who were supposed to fight against Caesar’s heir was a delicate issue for the Liberators. Cassius tried in all ways to reinforce the soldiers loyalty both with strong speeches and with a gift of 1,500 denari for each legionary and 7,500 for each centurion. The Battle of Philippi consisted of two engagements in the plain to the west of the ancient city of Philippi, the first occurred in the first week of October, Brutus faced Octavian, while Antonys forces were up against those of Cassius. At first, Brutus pushed back Octavian and entered his legions camp, but to the south, Antony defeated Cassius, and Cassius, hearing a false report of Brutus failure, committed suicide. Brutus rallied Cassiuss remaining troops and both sides ordered their army to retreat to their camps with their spoils, and the battle was essentially a draw, but for Cassius suicide. On the same day of the first battle of Philippi the Republican fleet, patrolling the Ionian Sea was able to intercept, the triumvirs had to send a legion south to Achaia to collect more supplies
Constitutional reforms of Julius Caesar
The constitutional reforms of Julius Caesar were a series of laws pertaining to the Constitution of the Roman Republic enacted between 49 and 44 BC, during Caesars dictatorship. Caesar died in 44 BC before the implications of his actions could be realized. During his early career, Caesar had seen how chaotic and dysfunctional the Roman Republic had become, between his crossing of the Rubicon River in 49 BC, and his assassination in 44 BC, Caesar established a new constitution, which was intended to accomplish three separate goals. First, he wanted to suppress all armed resistance out in the provinces, Second, he wanted to create a strong central government in Rome. And finally, he wanted to knit together the entire Republic into a cohesive unit. The first goal was accomplished when Caesar defeated Pompey and his supporters, to increase his own powers, he assumed the important magistrates, and to weaken Romes other political institutions, he instituted several additional reforms. Caesar held both the Dictatorship and the Tribunate, but alternated between the Consulship and the Proconsulship and his powers within the state seem to have rested upon these magistracies.
He was first appointed Dictator in 49 BC by the Praetor Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, possibly in order to preside over elections, but resigned his Dictatorship within eleven days. In 48 BC, he was appointed Dictator again, only time for an indefinite period. In February 44 BC, one month before his assassination, he was appointed Dictator for life. Under Caesar, a significant amount of authority had been vested in both the Master of the Horse, as well as in the Urban Prefect, which had not been the case under earlier Dictators. They held these additional powers under Caesar, because Caesar was frequently out of Italy, earlier Dictators, in contrast, were almost never allowed to leave Italy. Caesars actions, further submitted the Consuls to the Dictatorial executive, in 48 BC, Caesar was given permanent tribunician powers, which made his person sacrosanct, allowed him to veto the senate, and allowed him to dominate the Plebeian Council. The offending Tribunes in this case, C, after the impeachment of the two obstructive Tribunes, perhaps unsurprisingly, faced no further opposition from other members of the tribunician college.
In 46 BC, Caesar gave himself the title of Prefect of the Morals and he set the precedent, which his imperial successors followed, of requiring the senate to bestow various titles and honors upon him. He was, for example, given the title of Father of the Fatherland, coins bore his likeness, and he was given the right to speak first during senate meetings. Caesar increased the number of magistrates who were elected each year, which created a pool of experienced magistrates. This weakened the powers of the magistrates, and thus of the magisterial colleges
The Roman-Delmatae Wars were a series of conflicts between the Dalmatae federation and the Romans. After the fall of the Ardiaei kingdom in southern Illyria, the Delmatae were to pose the greatest force against the Romans in their conquest of Illyria, the first confrontation in 156 BC –155 BC finished with the destruction of the Delmatae capital Delminium by consul Scipio Nasica. The third conflict occurred between 78 BC -76 BC and finished with the capture of the Dalmatae stronghold, Salona by the proconsul C. During the Roman Civil war of 49 BC -44 BC, the fourth and final conflict occurred during Octavians expedition to Illyricum in 34 BC because of their iterative revolts. The two Delmatae commanders and Testimus surrendered and Octavians campaign finished with the capture of the new Delmatae capital- Setovia, fannius Strabo, was sent to investigate and report on affairs in Illyria and in particular on the activities of the Delmatae. The embassy reported that the latter had not only refused them a hearing but made no provision for their accommodation, in fear of their safety they had departed as discreetly as possible.
The Senate was indignant, but Polybius reports that the decision to send an expedition across the Adriatic was a matter of considered policy, Illyria had been neglected since the defeat of Demetrius of Pharos in 219 BC and it was high times the Illyrians were reminded of Roman authority. Moreover, the Senate felt that as 12 years of peace had elapsed since the war against Perseus of Macedon it was time to rekindle the military ardor of the Romans. These were the causes of the war, but for public consumption it was the insult to the Roman ambassadors. This was not to be the occasion a Roman army was sent across the Adriatic for battle practices. The expedition of 156 BC which was led by consul C, figulus was caught off guard while pitching camp and driven back to the river Narenta, having perhaps advanced from the territory of the Daorsi. Next the Romans marched via the Trebizat valley to Delminium where the main Delmatae army was stationed, in 155 BC the consul P. Cornelius Scipio forced a surrender after fierce confrontations.
The fortifications were destroyed, the place was turned into a sheep-pasture, nearly forty years passed before the next Roman attack on the Dematae, but the motives according to Appian, were no less dubious. In 118 BC the consul of the previous year L. Caecilius Metellus, war was declared not because the Delmatae had done anything wrong but merely in order to procure another triumph for the Metelli family. In the event the Illyrians received him as a friend and he wintered among them in the town of Salona, the next campaign was altogether a more serious business, although little is known of it except that the proconsul C. Cosconius overcame most of the Delmatae in a two year campaign between 78 and 76 BC, which concluded with the capture of Salona. From 58 to 50 BC the Delmatae were in the charge of Julius Caesar, proconsul of Gaul and Illyricum, in 50 BC the Delmatae army attacked the Liburnians for the possession of the city of Promona. The Liburnians unale to resist the force of the Delmatae called on Caesar for help, the Romans immediately sent an army which was crushed by the Delmatae
Caesar's Civil War
The Great Roman Civil War, known as Caesars Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. The changes to Roman government concomitant to the war eliminated the political traditions of the Roman Republic. The First Triumvirate, comprising Julius Caesar and Pompey, ascended to power with Caesars election as consul, the First Triumvirate was unofficial, a political alliance the substance of which was Pompeys military might, Caesars political influence, and Crassus money. The alliance was further consolidated by Pompeys marriage to Julia, daughter of Caesar, at the conclusion of Caesars first consulship, the Senate tasked him with watching over the Roman forests. This job, specially created by his Senate enemies, was meant to him without giving him command of armies, or garnering him wealth. Caesar, with the help of Pompey and Crassus, evaded the Senates decrees by legislation passed through the popular assemblies, by these acts, Caesar was promoted to Roman Governor of Illyricum and Cisalpine Gaul.
The various governorships gave Caesar command of an army of four legions, the term of his proconsulship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the customary one year. His term was extended by another five years. During this ten-year period, Caesar used his forces to conquer Gaul and invade Britain. In 52 BC, at the First Triumvirates end, the Roman Senate supported Pompey as sole consul, Caesar had become a military hero and champion of the people. Knowing he hoped to become consul when his governorship expired, the Senate, politically fearful of him, in December of 50 BC, Caesar wrote to the Senate agreeing to resign his military command if Pompey followed suit. Offended, the Senate demanded he immediately disband his army, or be declared an enemy of the people, a secondary reason for Caesars immediate want for another consulship was delaying the inevitable senatorial prosecutions awaiting him upon retirement as governor of Illyricum and Gaul. These potential prosecutions were based upon alleged irregularities that occurred in his consulship, Caesar loyalists, the tribunes Mark Antony and Quintus Cassius Longinus, vetoed the bill, and were quickly expelled from the Senate.
They joined Caesar, who had assembled his army, whom he asked for support against the Senate, agreeing. The proscription protected the Roman Republic from a coup détat and this act of war on the Roman Republic by Caesar led to widespread approval amongst the Roman civilians, who regarded him as a hero. The historical records differ about which decisive comment Caesar made on crossing the Rubicon, Caesars march on Rome was a triumphal progress. The Senate, not knowing that Caesar possessed only a single legion, feared the worst, Pompey declared that Rome could not be defended, he escaped to Capua with those politicians who supported him, the aristocratic Optimates and the regnant consuls. Cicero characterised Pompeys outward sign of weakness as allowing Caesars consolidation of power, as Caesar progressed southwards, Pompey retreated towards Brundisium, initially ordering Domitius to stop Caesars movement on Rome from the direction of the Adriatic seaboard