Italia was the homeland of the Romans and metropole of Rome's empire in classical antiquity. According to Roman mythology, Italy was the new home promised by Jupiter to Aeneas of Troy and his descendants, ancestors of the founders of Rome. Aside from the legendary accounts, Rome was an Italian city-state that changed its form of government from Kingdom to Republic and grew within the context of a peninsula dominated by the Etruscans in the centre, the Greeks in the south, the Celts in the North; the consolidation of Italy into a single entity occurred during the Roman expansion in the peninsula, when Rome formed a permanent association with most of the local tribes and cities. The strength of the Italian alliance was a crucial factor in the rise of Rome, starting with the Punic and Macedonian wars between the 3rd and 2nd century BC; as provinces were being established throughout the Mediterranean, Italy maintained a special status which made it "not a province, but the Domina of the provinces".
Such a status meant that Roman magistrates exercised the Imperium domi within Italy, rather than the Imperium militiae used abroad. Italy's inhabitants had Latin Rights as well as financial privileges; the period between the end of the 2nd century BC and the 1st century BC was turbulent, beginning with the Servile Wars, continuing with the opposition of aristocratic élite to reformers and leading to a Social War in the middle of Italy. However, Roman citizenship was recognized to the rest of the Italics by the end of the conflict and extended to Cisalpine Gaul when Julius Caesar became Roman Dictator. In the context of the transition from Republic to Principate, Italy swore allegiance to Octavian Augustus and was organized in eleven regions from the Alps to the Ionian Sea. More than two centuries of stability followed, during which Italy was referred to as the rectrix mundi and omnium terrarum parens. Several emperors made notable accomplishments in this period: Claudius incorporated Britain into the Roman Empire, Vespasian subjugated the Great Revolt of Judea and reformed the financial system, Trajan conquered Dacia and defeated Parthia, Marcus Aurelius epitomized the ideal of the philosopher king.
The crisis of the third century hit Italy hard and left the eastern half of the Empire more prosperous. In 286 AD the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to Mediolanum; the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Malta were added to Italy by Diocletian in 292 AD, Italian cities such as Mediolanum and Ravenna continued to serve as capitals for the West. The Bishop of Rome gained importance during Constantine's reign and was given religious primacy with the Edict of Thessalonica under Theodosius I. Italy was invaded several times by the barbarians and fell under the control of Odoacer, when Romulus Augustus was deposed in 476 AD. In the sixth century, Italy's territory was divided between the Byzantine Empire and the Germanic peoples. After that, Italy remained divided until 1861, when it was reunited in the Kingdom of Italy, which became the present-day Italian Republic in 1946. Following the end of the Social War in 88 BC, Rome had allowed its Italian allies full rights in Roman society and granted Roman citizenship to all the Italic peoples.
After having been for centuries the heart of the Roman Empire, from the 3rd century the government and the cultural center began to move eastward: first the Edict of Caracalla in 212 AD extended Roman citizenship to all free men within the imperial boundaries. Christianity became the dominant religion during Constantine's reign, raising the power of other Eastern political centres. Although not founded as a capital city in 330, Constantinople grew in importance, it gained the rank of eastern capital when given an urban prefect in 359 and the senators who were clari became senators of the lowest rank as clarissimi. As a result, Italy began to decline in favour of the provinces, which resulted in the division of the Empire into two administrative units in 395: the Western Roman Empire, with its capital at Mediolanum, the Eastern Roman Empire, with its capital at Constantinople. In 402, the capital was moved to Ravenna from Milan; the name Italia covered an area. According to Strabo's Geographica, before the expansion of the Roman Republic, the name was used by Greeks to indicate the land between the strait of Messina and the line connecting the gulf of Salerno and gulf of Taranto.
In 49 BC, with the Lex Roscia, Julius Caesar gave Roman citizenship to the people of the Cisalpine Gaul. Under Augustus, the peoples of today's Aosta Valley and of the western and northern Alps were subjugated, the Italian eastern border was brought to the Arsia in Istria. In the late 3rd century, Italy came to include the islands of Corsica and Sardinia and Sicily, as well as Raetia and part of Pannonia to the north; the city of Emona was the easternmost town of Italy. At the beginning of the Roman imperial era, Italy was a collection of territories with different political statuses; some cities, called munic
Agriculture in ancient Rome
Roman Agriculture describes the farming practices of ancient Rome, an era that lasted 1000 years. From humble beginnings, the Roman Republic and empire expanded to rule much of Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East and thus comprised a large number of agricultural environments of which the Mediterranean climate of dry, hot summers and cool, rainy winters was the most common. Within the Mediterranean area, a triad of crops was most important: grains and grapes; the great majority of the people ruled by Rome were engaged in agriculture. From a beginning of small self-sufficient landowners, rural society became dominated by latifundium, large estates owned by the wealthy and utilizing slave labor; the growth in the urban population of the city of Rome, required the development of commercial markets and long-distance trade in agricultural products grain, to supply the people in the cities with food. Agriculture in ancient Rome was not only a necessity, but was idealized among the social elite as a way of life.
Cicero considered farming the best of all Roman occupations. In his treatise On Duties, he declared that "of all the occupations by which gain is secured, none is better than agriculture, none more profitable, none more delightful, none more becoming to a free man." When one of his clients was derided in court for preferring a rural lifestyle, Cicero defended country life as "the teacher of economy, of industry, of justice". Cato, Columella and Palladius wrote handbooks on farming practice. In his treatise De agricultura, Cato wrote that the best farms contained a vineyard, followed by an irrigated garden, willow plantation, olive orchard, grain land, forest trees, vineyard trained on trees, lastly acorn woodlands. Though Rome relied on resources from its many provinces acquired through conquest and warfare, wealthy Romans developed the land in Italy to produce a variety of crops. "The people living in the city of Rome constituted a huge market for the purchase of food produced on Italian farms."Land ownership was a dominant factor in distinguishing the aristocracy from the common person, the more land a Roman owned, the more important he would be in the city.
Soldiers were rewarded with land from the commander they served. Though farms depended on slave labor, free men and citizens were hired at farms to oversee the slaves and ensure that the farms ran smoothly. Grains. Staple crops in early Rome were millet, emmer and spelt which are species of wheat. According to the Roman scholar Varro, common wheat and durum wheat were introduced to Italy as crops about 450 BCE. Durum wheat became the preferred grain of urban Romans, because it could be baked into leavened bread and was easier to grow in the Mediterranean region than common wheat. Grains baked into bread, were the staple of the Roman diet, providing 70 to 80 percent of the calories in an average diet. Barley was grown extensively, dominating grain production in Greece and on poorer soils where it was more productive than wheat. Wheat was the preferred grain, but barley was eaten and important as animal feed. Olives; the Romans grew olive trees in poor, rocky soils, in areas with sparse precipitation.
The tree is sensitive to freezing temperatures and intolerant of the colder weather of northern Europe and high, cooler elevations. The olive was grown near the Mediterranean Sea; the consumption of olive oil provided about 12 percent of the calories and about 80 percent of necessary fats in the diet of the average Roman. Grapes. Viticulture was brought to southern Italy and Sicily by Greek colonists, but the Phoenicians of Carthage in northern Africa gave the Romans much of their knowledge of growing grapes and making wine. By 160 BCE, the cultivation of grapes on large estates using slave labor was common in Italy and wine was becoming a universal drink in the Roman empire. To protect their wine industry, the Romans attempted to prohibit the cultivation of grapes outside Italy, but by the 1st century CE, provinces such as Spain and Gaul were exporting wine to Italy. Other crops; the Romans grew artichoke, coriander, chives, celery, parsnip, rue, thyme'from overseas', poppy, asparagus, cucumber, fennel, onions, parsley, cabbage, cumin, figs,'Armenian' apricots, plums and peaches.
In the 5th century BC, farms in Rome were family-owned. The Greeks of this period, had started using crop rotation and had large estates. Rome's contact with Carthage and the Hellenistic East in the 3rd and 2nd centuries improved Rome's agricultural methods. Roman agriculture reached its height in productivity and efficiency during the late Republic and early Empire. Farm sizes in Rome can be divided into three categories. Small farms were from 18–108 iugera.. Medium-sized farms were from 80–500 iugera. Large estates were over 500 iugera. In the late Republican era, the number of latifundia increased. Wealthy Romans bought land from peasant farmers. Starting in 200 BC, the Punic Wars called peasant farmers away to fight for longer periods of time. Cows provided milk while mules did the heavy work on the farm. Sheep and goats were prized for their hides. Horses were not used in farming, but were raised by the rich for racing or war. Sugar production centered on beekeeping, some Romans raised snails as luxury food.
The Romans had four systems of farm management
Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km south from Paris, 320 km north from Marseille and 56 km northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais. Lyon had a population of 513,275 in 2015, it is the capital of the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The Lyon metropolitan area had a population of 2,265,375 in 2014, the second-largest urban area in France; the city is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, historical and architectural landmarks. Lyon was an important area for the production and weaving of silk. Lyon played a significant role in the history of cinema: it is where Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematograph, it is known for its light festival, the Fête des Lumières, which begins every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title of Capital of Lights. Economically, Lyon is a major centre for banking, as well as for the chemical and biotech industries.
The city contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games, in recent years has fostered a growing local start-up sector. Lyon hosts the international headquarters of Interpol, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and Euronews, it was ranked 19th globally and second in France for innovation in 2014. It ranked second in 39th globally in Mercer's 2015 liveability rankings. According to the historian Dio Cassius, in 43 BC, the Roman Senate ordered the creation of a settlement for Roman refugees of war with the Allobroges; these refugees had been expelled from Vienne and were now encamped at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers. The foundation was built on Fourvière hill and called Colonia Copia Felix Munatia, a name invoking prosperity and the blessing of the gods; the city became referred to as Lugdunum. The earliest translation of this Gaulish place-name as "Desired Mountain" is offered by the 9th-century Endlicher Glossary. In contrast, some modern scholars have proposed a Gaulish hill-fort named Lugdunon, after the Celtic god Lugus, dúnon.
The Romans recognised that Lugdunum's strategic location at the convergence of two navigable rivers made it a natural communications hub. The city became the starting point of the principal Roman roads in the area, it became the capital of the province, Gallia Lugdunensis. Two Emperors were born in this city: Claudius, whose speech is preserved in the Lyon Tablet in which he justifies the nomination of Gallic Senators, Caracalla. Early Christians in Lyon were martyred for their beliefs under the reigns of various Roman emperors, most notably Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus. Local saints from this period include Blandina and Epipodius, among others. In the second century AD, the great Christian bishop of Lyon was Irenaeus. To this day, the archbishop of Lyon is still referred to as "Primat des Gaules". Burgundians fleeing the destruction of Worms by the Huns in 437 were re-settled at Lugdunum. In 443 the Romans established the Kingdom of the Burgundians, Lugdunum became its capital in 461.
In 843, by the Treaty of Verdun, Lyon went to the Holy Roman Emperor Lothair I. It was made part of the Kingdom of Arles. Lyon did not come under French control until the 14th century. Fernand Braudel remarked, "Historians of Lyon are not sufficiently aware of the bi-polarity between Paris and Lyon, a constant structure in French development...from the late Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution". In the late 15th century, the fairs introduced by Italian merchants made Lyon the economic counting house of France; the Bourse, built in 1749, resembled a public bazaar where accounts were settled in the open air. When international banking moved to Genoa Amsterdam, Lyon remained the banking centre of France. During the Renaissance, the city's development was driven by the silk trade, which strengthened its ties to Italy. Italian influence on Lyon's architecture is still visible among historic buildings. In the 1400s and 1500s Lyon was a key centre of literary activity and book publishing, both of French writers and of Italians in exile.
In 1572, Lyon was a scene of mass violence by Catholics against Protestant Huguenots in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Two centuries Lyon was again convulsed by violence when, during the French Revolution, the citizenry rose up against the National Convention and supported the Girondins; the city was besieged by Revolutionary armies for over two months before surrendering in October 1793. Many buildings were destroyed around the Place Bellecour, while Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois and Joseph Fouché administered the execution of more than 2,000 people; the Convention ordered that its name be changed to "Liberated City" and a plaque was erected that proclaimed "Lyons made war on Liberty. A decade Napoleon ordered the reconstruction of all the buildings demolished during this period; the Convention was not the only target within Lyon during the 1789-1799 French Revolution. After the National Convention faded into history, the French Directory appeared and days after the September 4, 1797, Coup of 18 Fructidor, a Directory's commissioner was assassinated in Ly
Alba Longa was an ancient Latin city in Central Italy, 19 kilometres southeast of Rome, in the Alban Hills. Founder and head of the Latin League, it was destroyed by the Roman Kingdom around the middle of the 7th century BC, its inhabitants were forced to settle in Rome. In legend and Remus, founders of Rome, had come from the royal dynasty of Alba Longa, which in Virgil's Aeneid had been the bloodline of Aeneas, a son of Venus. Rome's patrician families such as Julii, Quinctii, Geganii and Cloelii originated in Alba Longa. Livy said of Alba Longa, he placed it at the foot of the Alban Mount and said that it took its name from being extended along a ridge. Dionysius of Halicarnassus repeated the story, but added that Ascanius, following an oracle given to his father, collected other Latin populations as well. Noting that Latin: alba means "white" and Latin: longa means "long", he translated the name into the Greek language as "long white town". Dionysius placed the town between the Alban Mount and the Alban Lake, thus beginning a long controversy about its location.
Since the 16th century, the site has been at various times identified as that of the Convent of St. Paul at Palazzola near Albano, Coste Caselle near Marino, Castel Gandolfo; the last named of these places in fact occupies the site of the Villa of Domitian which, according to Juvenal, was situated on the arx of Alba. Archaeological data show the existence of a string of villages in the Iron Age, each with its own necropolis, along the south-western shore of Lake Albano. At the time of being destroyed by Rome, these villages must have still been in a pre-urban phase, beginning to group around a centre which may well have been Castel Gandolfo, whose larger necropolis suggests a larger town. In the republican period the territory of Alba was settled once again with many residential villas, which are mentioned in ancient literature and of which remains are extant. According to Roman mythology, after the fall of Troy in 1184 BC, Aeneas led a group of surviving Trojans through the Mediterranean Sea to Sicily and the Italian Peninsula.
On landing in Italy he was welcomed by king of the early Latins. Soon, Aeneas married king Latinus' daughter and founded the city of Lavinium in her name. Latinus fell in war, making Aeneas king of the Latins and his son Ascanius his successor. A few years Aeneas was killed in battle, like Latinus, Ascanius became king of the Latins. Ascanius built Alba Longa as his capital on the slope of Mount Alba, resettling six hundred families there as a colony of Lavinium in 1151 BC, only thirty years after Lavinium itself was founded, his descendants ruled the Latins for another five hundred years. Alba Longa was the leading city of the thirty cities that made up the Latin League; the league's conferences were held by the Ferentine spring, in the scenic part of the valley between Albano and Marino, Italy. The sacrifices of the league were offered on the Alban mountain from which all the country of Latium might be seen; the colonies of Alba Longa were distinct from the Alban townships which must have consisted of Albani plebs, as the genuine Albans were the populus.
Among the Alban colonies some become part of the plebs: others become Latin cities. The others were ceded to the Latins to maintain a consistent thirty townships, thirty being of great importance among the Latin kingdoms as twelve was to the Ionians. Accordingly, the Latin kingdom of Latinus, the Rutulian kingdom of Turnus must have had thirty cities each with Laurentum as the Latin capital prior to the arrival of Aeneas. In the seventh century BC, the Roman king Tullus Hostilius succeeded Numa Pompilius. During his reign, Rome's attitude toward its neighbors reflected Tullus's own predilection for war; when a dispute erupted between a group of Romans and Albans, he seized upon the mutual accusations of robbery as a pretext for conflict. Both sides sent emissaries to demand redress; when the Alban delegation arrived in Rome, Tullus purposefully gave them a such a warm greeting that they delayed making their demand. The Roman delegates, however addressed the Albans and were refused. By virtue of the Alban first refusal, Tullus was justified in declaring war.
Livy describes the war as being akin to a civil war, because the Romans were said to be descended from the Albans. The king of the Albans, marched with his army into Roman territory, established camp, dug a huge trench around Rome, which became known as the Cluilian trench. However, Cluilius died in the camp of unspecified causes, whereupon the Albans appointed Mettius Fufetius as dictator to lead the army in his place. Tullus emerged from Rome with his army, passed the Alban camp at night and marched into Alban territory. Mettius followed, camped near the Roman army, sent a representative to invite Tullus to confer before any engagement. Tullus accepted the invitation. However, both sides were drawn up for battle. At the conference, Mettius proposed that the dispute be resolved by some means other than mass bloodshed, citing the concern that the nearby Etruscans would fall upon the two Latin states if these were weakened by war and unable to defend themselves, it was agreed that a set of triplets from each side, three brothers Horatii and three Curiatii, would battle for the victory of the two states.
Livy refers to conflict amongst his own sources as to which set of brothers represented which state, but prefers the view that the Horatii were the Romans, the Curiatii Albans. Vows wer
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin; this was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea; the Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire. Classical Greek culture philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.
For this reason, Classical Greece is considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics and knowledge in general. Classical antiquity in the Mediterranean region is considered to have begun in the 8th century BC and ended in the 6th century AD. Classical antiquity in Greece was preceded by the Greek Dark Ages, archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period, beginning around the 8th century BC.
The Archaic Period saw early developments in Greek culture and society which formed the basis for the Classical Period. After the Archaic Period, the Classical Period in Greece is conventionally considered to have lasted from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 until the death of Alexander the Great in 323; the period is characterized by a style, considered by observers to be exemplary, i.e. "classical", as shown in the Parthenon, for instance. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century, but displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the Boeotian League and to the League of Corinth led by Macedon; this period saw the Greco-Persian Wars and the Rise of Macedon. Following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period, during which Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East; this period ends with the Roman conquest. Roman Greece is considered to be the period between Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC and the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330.
Late Antiquity refers to the period of Christianization during the 4th to early 6th centuries AD, sometimes taken to be complete with the closure of the Academy of Athens by Justinian I in 529. The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in proper historiography, while earlier ancient history or proto-history is known by much more circumstantial evidence, such as annals or king lists, pragmatic epigraphy. Herodotus is known as the "father of history": his Histories are eponymous of the entire field. Written between the 450s and 420s BC, Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th century historical figures such as Darius I of Persia, Cambyses II and Psamtik III, alluding to some 8th century ones such as Candaules. Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Demosthenes and Aristotle. Most of these authors were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than those of many other cities.
Their scope is further limited by a focus on political and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history. In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. Objects with Phoenician writing on them may have been available in Greece from the 9th century BC, but the earliest evidence of Greek writing comes from graffiti on Greek pottery from the mid-8th century. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern dictated by Greek geography: every island and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges; the Lelantine War is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor.
A mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. This
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, friend of emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, which became an editorial model for encyclopedias, his nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus: For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading. In the latter number will be my uncle, of your compositions. Pliny the Younger refers to Tacitus’s reliance upon his uncle's book, the History of the German Wars. Pliny the Elder died in AD 79 in Stabiae while attempting the rescue of a friend and his family by ship from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which had destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the volcano’s eruption did not allow his ship to leave port, Pliny died during that event.
Pliny's dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, which would put his birth in AD 23 or 24. Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names, their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th-century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The form is an elegy; the most accepted reconstruction is PLINIVS SECVNDVS AVGV. LERI. PATRI. MATRI. MARCELLAE. TESTAMENTO FIERI IVSSOThe Vs represent Us, it should say "Plinius Secundus augur ordered this to be made as a testament to his father ler and his mother Marcella"The actual words are fragmentary. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through. Whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from an unknown source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona and that his parents were Celer and Marcella.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus. How the inscription got to Verona is unknown, but it could have arrived by dispersal of property from Pliny the Younger's Tuscan estate at Colle Plinio, north of Città di Castello, identified for certain by his initials in the roof tiles, he kept statues of his ancestors there. Pliny the Elder was born at Como, not at Verona: it is only as a native of old Gallia Transpadana that he calls Catullus of Verona his conterraneus, or fellow-countryman, not his municeps, or fellow-townsman. A statue of Pliny on the façade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son, he had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncle's breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers; this shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a "good Roman", which means that he maintained the customs of the great Roman forefathers.
This statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory. One commemorates the younger's career as the imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como. Another identifies his father Lucius' village as Fecchio near Como. Therefore, Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinia gens: the insubric root Plina still persists, with rhotacism, in the local surname "Prina", he did not take his father's cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded the Plinii Secundi; the family was prosperous. No earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Pliny's birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat, he imported a population of 4,500 from other provinces to be placed in Comasco and 500 aristocratic Greeks to found Novum Comum itself.
The community was thus multi-ethnic and the Plinies could have come from anywhere. No record of any ethnic distinctions in Pliny's time is apparent; the population prided themselves on being Roman citizens. Pliny the Elder had no children. In his will, he adopted his nephew; the adoption is called a "testamental adoption" by writers on the topic, who assert that it applied to the name change only, but Roman jurisprudence recognizes no such category. Pliny the Younger thus became the adopted son of Pliny the Elder after the latter's death. Fo
Isidore of Seville
Saint Isidore of Seville, a scholar and, for over three decades, Archbishop of Seville, is regarded, as the 19th-century historian Montalembert put it in an oft-quoted phrase, "The last scholar of the ancient world."At a time of disintegration of classical culture, aristocratic violence and illiteracy, he was involved in the conversion of the Arian Visigothic kings to Catholicism, both assisting his brother Leander of Seville, continuing after his brother's death. He was influential in the inner circle of Sisebut, Visigothic king of Hispania. Like Leander, he played a prominent role in the Councils of Seville; the Visigothic legislation that resulted from these councils influenced the beginnings of representative government. His fame after his death was based on his Etymologiae, an etymological encyclopedia which assembled extracts of many books from classical antiquity that would have otherwise been lost. Isidore was born in a former Carthaginian colony, to Severianus and Theodora. Both Severianus and Theodora belonged to notable Hispano-Roman families of high social rank.
His parents were members of an influential family who were instrumental in the political-religious maneuvering that converted the Visigothic kings from Arianism to Catholicism. The Catholic Church celebrates him and all his siblings as known saints: An elder brother, Saint Leander of Seville preceded Saint Isidore as Archbishop of Seville and, while in office, opposed king Liuvigild. A younger brother, Saint Fulgentius of Cartagena, served as the Bishop of Astigi at the start of the new reign of the Catholic King Reccared, his sister, Saint Florentina, served God as a nun and ruled over forty convents and one thousand consecrated religious. This claim seems unlikely, given the few functioning monastic institutions in Iberia during her lifetime. Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. In this institution, the first of its kind in Iberia, a body of learned men including Archbishop Saint Leander of Seville taught the trivium and quadrivium, the classic liberal arts.
Saint Isidore applied himself to study diligently enough that he mastered Latin, acquired some Greek, Hebrew. Two centuries of Gothic control of Iberia incrementally suppressed the ancient institutions, classic learning, manners of the Roman Empire; the associated culture entered a period of long-term decline. The ruling Visigoths showed some respect for the outward trappings of Roman culture. Arianism meanwhile took deep root among the Visigoths as the form of Christianity that they received. Scholars may debate whether Isidore personally embraced monastic life or affiliated with any religious order, but he undoubtedly esteemed the monks highly. After the death of Saint Leander of Seville on 13 March 600 or 601, Isidore succeeded to the See of Seville. On his elevation to the episcopate, he constituted himself as protector of monks. Saint Isidore recognized that the spiritual and material welfare of the people of his See depended on the assimilation of remnant Roman and ruling barbarian cultures, attempted to weld the peoples and subcultures of the Visigothic kingdom into a united nation.
He succeeded. Isidore eradicated the heresy of Arianism and stifled the new heresy of Acephali at its outset. Archbishop Isidore strengthened religious discipline throughout his See. Archbishop Isidore used resources of education to counteract influential Gothic barbarism throughout his episcopal jurisdiction, his quickening spirit animated the educational movement centered on Seville. Saint Isidore introduced Aristotle to his countrymen long before the Arabs studied Greek philosophy extensively. In 619, Saint Isidore of Seville pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who in any way should molest the monasteries. Saint Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville, begun on 13 November 619, in the reign of King Sisebut, a provincial council attended by eight other bishops, all from the ecclesiastical province of Baetica in southern Spain; the Acts of the Council set forth the nature of Christ, countering the conceptions of Gregory, a Syrian representing the heretical Acephali. Based on a few surviving canons found in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, Saint Isidore is known to have presided over an additional provincial council around 624.
The council dealt with a conflict over the See of Écija, wrongfully stripped bishop Martianus of his see, a situation, rectified by the Fourth Council of Toledo. It addressed a concern over Jews, forced to convert to Christianity by Sisebut failing to present their children for baptism; the records of the council, unlike the First and Second Councils of Seville were not preserved in the Hispana, a collection of canons and decretals edited by Saint Isidore himself. All bishops of Hispania attended the Fourth National Council of Toledo, begun on 5 December 633; the aged Archbishop Saint Isidore presided over its deliberations and originated most enactments of the council. Through Isidore's influence, this Council of Toledo promulgated a decree, commanding all bishops to establish seminaries in their cathedral cities along the lines of the cathedral school at Seville, which had educated Saint Isidore decades earlier; the decree prescribed the study of Greek and the liberal arts and encouraged interest in law and medicine.
The authority of the Council made this education policy obligatory upon all bishops of the Kingdom of the Visigoths. The council granted remarkable deference to the king of the Visigoths; the independe