In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality, deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual greatness. In other words, it is a behavior. Doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong; the opposite of virtue is vice. The four classic cardinal virtues in Christianity are temperance, prudence and justice. Christianity derives the three theological virtues of faith and love from 1 Corinthians. Together these make up the seven virtues. Buddhism's four brahmavihara can be regarded as virtues in the European sense; the Japanese Bushidō code is characterized by up to ten virtues, including rectitude and benevolence. The ancient Romans used the Latin word virtus to refer to all of the "excellent qualities of men, including physical strength, valorous conduct, moral rectitude." The French words vertu and virtu came from this Latin root. In the 13th century, the word virtue was "borrowed into English".
During Egyptian civilization, Maat or Ma'at spelled māt or mayet, was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, order, law and justice. Maat was personified as a goddess regulating the stars and the actions of both mortals and the deities; the deities set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. Her counterpart was Isfet, who symbolized chaos and injustice; the four classic cardinal virtues are: temperance: σωφροσύνη prudence: φρόνησις courage: ἀνδρεία justice: δικαιοσύνη This enumeration is traced to Greek philosophy and was listed by Plato in addition to piety: ὁσιότης, with the exception that wisdom replaced prudence as virtue. Some scholars consider either of the above four virtue combinations as mutually reducible and therefore not cardinal, it is unclear whether multiple virtues were of construct, whether Plato subscribed to a unified view of virtues. In Protagoras and Meno, for example, he states that the separate virtues cannot exist independently and offers as evidence the contradictions of acting with wisdom, yet in an unjust way.
In his work Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined a virtue as a point between a deficiency and an excess of a trait. The point of greatest virtue lies not in the exact middle, but at a golden mean sometimes closer to one extreme than the other. However, the virtuous action is not the "mean" between two opposite extremes; as Aristotle says in the Nicomachean Ethics: "at the right times, about the right things, towards the right people, for the right end, in the right way, is the intermediate and best condition, this is proper to virtue." This is not splitting the difference between two extremes. For example, generosity is a virtue between the two extremes of miserliness and being profligate. Further examples include: courage between cowardice and foolhardiness, confidence between self-deprecation and vanity. In Aristotle's sense, virtue is excellence at being human. Seneca, the Roman Stoic, said. Thus, in considering all consequences, a prudent person would act in the same way as a virtuous person.
The same rationale was expressed by Plato in Meno, when he wrote that people only act in ways that they perceive will bring them maximum good. It is the lack of wisdom. In this way, wisdom is the central part of virtue. Plato realized that because virtue was synonymous with wisdom it could be taught, a possibility he had earlier discounted, he added "correct belief" as an alternative to knowledge, proposing that knowledge is correct belief, thought through and "tethered". The term "virtue" itself is derived from the Latin "virtus", had connotations of "manliness", "honour", worthiness of deferential respect, civic duty as both citizen and soldier; this virtue was but one of many virtues which Romans of good character were expected to exemplify and pass on through the generations, as part of the Mos Maiorum. Romans distinguished between the spheres of private and public life, thus, virtues were divided between those considered to be in the realm of private family life, those expected of an upstanding Roman citizen.
Most Roman concepts of virtue were personified as a numinous deity. The primary Roman virtues, both public and private, were: Auctoritas – "spiritual authority" – the sense of one's social standing, built up through experience and Industria; this was considered to be essential for a magistrate's ability to enforce order. Comitas – "humour" – ease of manner, courtesy and friendliness. Constantia – "perseverance" – military stamina, as well as general mental and physical endurance in the face of hardship. Clementia – "mercy" – mildness and gentleness, the ability to set aside previous transgressions. Dignitas – "dignity" – a sense of self-worth, personal self-respect and self-esteem. Disciplina – "discipline" – considered essential to military excellence. Firmitas – "tenacity" – strength of mind, the ability to stick to one's purpose at hand without wavering. Frugalitas – "frugality" – economy and
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
The vocabulary of ancient Roman religion was specialized. Its study affords important information about the religion and beliefs of the ancient Romans; this legacy is conspicuous in European cultural history in its influence on juridical and religious vocabulary in Europe of the Western Church. This glossary provides explanations of concepts as they were expressed in Latin pertaining to religious practices and beliefs, with links to articles on major topics such as priesthoods, forms of divination, rituals. For theonyms, or the names and epithets of gods, see List of Roman deities. For public religious holidays, see Roman festivals. For temples see the List of Ancient Roman temples. Individual landmarks of religious topography in ancient Rome are not included in this list; the verb abominari was a term of augury for an action that rejects or averts an unfavourable omen indicated by a signum, "sign". The noun is abominatio. At the taking of formally solicited auspices, the observer was required to acknowledge any bad sign occurring within the templum he was observing, regardless of the interpretation.
He might, take certain actions in order to ignore the signa, including avoiding the sight of them, interpreting them as favourable. The latter tactic required promptness and skill based on discipline and learning, thus the omen had no validity apart from the observation of it. The aedes was the dwelling place of a god, it was thus a structure that housed the deity's image, distinguished from the templum or sacred district. Aedes is one of several Latin words that can be translated as "shrine" or "temple". For instance, the Temple of Vesta, as it is called in English, was in Latin an aedes. See the diminutive aedicula, a small shrine. In his work On Architecture, Vitruvius always uses the word templum in the technical sense of a space defined through augury, with aedes the usual word for the building itself; the design of a deity's aedes, should be appropriate to the characteristics of the deity. For a celestial deity such as Jupiter, Sol or Luna, the building should be open to the sky, thus in theory, though not always in practice, architectural aesthetics had a theological dimension.
The word aedilis, a public official, is related by etymology. The temple of Flora, for instance, was built in 241 BC by two aediles acting on Sibylline oracles; the plebeian aediles had their headquarters at the aedes of Ceres. In religious usage, ager was terrestrial space defined for the purposes of augury in relation to auspicia. There were five kinds of ager: Romanus, peregrinus and incertus; the ager Romanus included the urban space outside the pomerium and the surrounding countryside. According to Varro, the ager Gabinus pertained to the special circumstances of the oppidum of Gabii, the first to sign a sacred treaty with Rome; the ager peregrinus was other territory, brought under treaty. Ager hosticus meant foreign territory; the powers and actions of magistrates were based on and constrained by the nature of the ager on which they stood, ager in more general usage meant a territory as defined or politically. The ager Romanus could not be extended outside Italy; the focal point of sacrifice was the altar.
Most altars throughout the city of Rome and in the countryside would have been simple, open-air structures. An altar that received food offerings might be called a mensa, "table."Perhaps the best-known Roman altar is the elaborate and Greek-influenced Ara Pacis, called "the most representative work of Augustan art." Other major public altars included the Ara Maxima. A tree was categorized as felix; the adjective felix here means not only "fruitful" but more broadly "auspicious". Macrobius lists arbores felices as the oak, the birch, the hazelnut, the sorbus, the white fig, the pear, the apple, the grape, the plum, the cornus and the lotus; the oak was sacred to Jupiter, twigs of oak were used by the Vestals to ignite the sacred fire in March every year. Among the felices were the olive tree, a twig of, affixed to the hat of the Flamen Dialis, the laurel and the poplar, which crowned the Salian priests. Arbores infelices were those under the protection of chthonic gods or those gods who had the power of turning away misfortune.
As listed by Tarquitius Priscus in his lost ostentarium on trees, these were buckthorn, red cornel, black fig, "those that bear a black berry and black fruit," holly, woodland pear, butcher's broom and brambles." The verb attrectare referred in specialized religious usage to touching sacred objects while performing cultic actions. Attrectare had a positive meaning only in reference to the action
Tiberius was Roman emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD, succeeding the first emperor, Augustus. Born to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla in a Claudian family, he was given the personal name Tiberius Claudius Nero, his mother divorced Nero and married Octavian—later to ascend to Emperor as Augustus—who became his stepfather. Tiberius would marry Augustus' daughter, Julia the Elder, later be adopted by Augustus. Through the adoption, he became a Julian, assuming the name Tiberius Julius Caesar; the emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the following thirty years. His relationship to the other emperors of this dynasty was as follows: Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, great-grand uncle of Nero, his 22-and-a-half-year reign would be the longest after Augustus's until Antoninus Pius, who surpassed his reign by a few months. Tiberius was one of the greatest Roman generals. So, he came to be remembered as a dark and sombre ruler who never desired to be emperor.
After the death of his son Drusus Julius Caesar in 23 AD, Tiberius became more reclusive and aloof. In 26 AD he removed himself from Rome and left administration in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro; when Tiberius died, he was succeeded by Caligula. Tiberius was born in Rome on 16 November 42 BC to Tiberius Claudius Livia. In 39 BC his mother divorced his biological father and remarried Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus shortly thereafter, while still pregnant with Tiberius Nero's son. In 38 BC his brother, Nero Claudius Drusus, was born. Little is recorded of Tiberius' early life. In 32 BC Tiberius, at the age of nine, delivered the eulogy for his biological father at the rostra. In 29 BC, he rode in the triumphal chariot along with his adoptive father Octavian in celebration of the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium. In 23 BC Emperor Augustus became gravely ill and his possible death threatened to plunge the Roman world into chaos again.
Historians agree that it is during this time that the question of Augustus' heir became most acute, while Augustus had seemed to indicate that Agrippa and Marcellus would carry on his position in the event of his death, the ambiguity of succession became Augustus' chief problem. In response, a series of potential heirs seem to have been selected, among them Tiberius and his brother Drusus. In 24 BC, at the age of seventeen, Tiberius entered politics under Augustus' direction, receiving the position of quaestor, was granted the right to stand for election as praetor and consul five years in advance of the age required by law. Similar provisions were made for Drusus. Shortly thereafter Tiberius began appearing in court as an advocate, it is here that his interest in Greek rhetoric began. In 20 BC, Tiberius was sent East under Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; the Parthian Empire had captured the standards of the legions under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Decidius Saxa, Mark Antony. After a year of negotiation, Tiberius led a sizable force into Armenia with the goal of establishing it as a Roman client state and ending the threat it posed on the Roman-Parthian border.
Augustus was able to reach a compromise whereby the standards were returned, Armenia remained a neutral territory between the two powers. Tiberius married Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of Augustus’s close friend and greatest general, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, he was appointed to the position of praetor, was sent with his legions to assist his brother Drusus in campaigns in the west. While Drusus focused his forces in Gallia Narbonensis and along the German frontier, Tiberius combated the tribes in the Alps and within Transalpine Gaul, conquering Raetia. In 15 BC he discovered the sources of the Danube, soon afterwards the bend of the middle course. Returning to Rome in 13 BC, Tiberius was appointed as consul, around this same time his son, Drusus Julius Caesar, was born. Agrippa's death in 12 BC elevated Drusus with respect to the succession. At Augustus’ request in 11 BC, Tiberius divorced Vipsania and married Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter and Agrippa's widow. Tiberius was reluctant to do this, as Julia had made advances to him when she was married and Tiberius was married.
His new marriage with Julia turned sour. Tiberius once ran into Vipsania again, proceeded to follow her home crying and begging forgiveness. Tiberius continued to be elevated by Augustus, after Agrippa's death and his brother Drusus' death in 9 BC, seemed the clear candidate for succession; as such, in 12 BC he received military commissions in Germania. In 6 BC, Tiberius launched a pincer movement against the Marcomanni. Setting out northwest from Carnuntum on the Danube with four legions, Tiberius passed through Quadi territory in order to invade Marcomanni territory from the east. Meanwhile, general Gaius Sentius Saturninus would depart east from Moguntiacum on the Rhine with two or three legions, pass through newly annexed Hermundur
Septimius Severus known as Severus, was Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna in the Roman province of Africa; as a young man he advanced through the cursus honorum—the customary succession of offices—under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of Emperor Pertinax in 193 during the Year of the Five Emperors. After deposing and killing the incumbent emperor Didius Julianus, Severus fought his rival claimants, the Roman generals Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. Niger was defeated in 194 at the Battle of Issus in Cilicia; that year Severus waged a short punitive campaign beyond the eastern frontier, annexing the Kingdom of Osroene as a new province. Severus defeated Albinus three years at the Battle of Lugdunum in Gaul. After consolidating his rule over the western provinces, Severus waged another brief, more successful war in the east against the Parthian Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 197 and expanding the eastern frontier to the Tigris.
He enlarged and fortified the Limes Arabicus in Arabia Petraea. In 202 he campaigned in Mauretania against the Garamantes, he proclaimed as Augusti his elder son Caracalla in 198 and his younger son Geta in 209. In 208 he travelled to Britain, reoccupying the Antonine Wall. In the same year he invaded Caledonia, but his ambitions were cut short when he fell fatally ill of an infectious disease, in late 210. Severus died in early 211 at Eboracum, was succeeded by his sons, thus founding the Severan dynasty, it was the last dynasty of the Roman Empire before the Crisis of the Third Century. Born on 11 April 145 at Leptis Magna as the son of Publius Septimius Geta and Fulvia Pia, Septimius Severus came from a wealthy and distinguished family of equestrian rank, he had Italian Roman ancestry on his mother's side and descended from Punic – and also Libyan – forebears on his father's side. Severus' father, an obscure provincial, held no major political status, but he had two cousins, Publius Septimius Aper and Gaius Septimius Severus, who served as consuls under the emperor Antoninus Pius r.
138–161. His mother's ancestors had moved from Italy to North Africa. Septimius Severus had two siblings: Publius Septimius Geta. Severus's maternal cousin was consul Gaius Fulvius Plautianus. Septimius Severus grew up in Leptis Magna, he spoke the local Punic language fluently, but he was educated in Latin and Greek, which he spoke with a slight accent. Little else is known of the young Severus' education but, according to Cassius Dio, the boy had been eager for more education than he had got. Severus received lessons in oratory: at age 17 he gave his first public speech. Around 162 Septimius Severus sought a public career in Rome. At the recommendation of his relative Gaius Septimius Severus, Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted him entry into the senatorial ranks. Membership in the senatorial order was a prerequisite to attain positions within the cursus honorum and to gain entry into the Roman Senate, it appears that Severus' career during the 160s met with some difficulties. It is that he served as a vigintivir in Rome, overseeing road maintenance in or near the city, he may have appeared in court as an advocate.
At the time of Marcus Aurelius he was the State Attorney. However, he omitted the military tribunate from the cursus honorum and had to delay his quaestorship until he had reached the required minimum age of 25. To make matters worse, the Antonine Plague swept through the capital in 166. With his career at a halt, Severus decided to temporarily return to Leptis, where the climate was healthier. According to the Historia Augusta, a unreliable source, he was prosecuted for adultery during this time but the case was dismissed. At the end of 169 Severus journeyed back to Rome. On 5 December, he took office and was enrolled in the Roman Senate. Between 170 and 180 his activities went unrecorded, in spite of the fact that he occupied an impressive number of posts in quick succession; the Antonine Plague had thinned the senatorial ranks and, with capable men now in short supply, Severus' career advanced more than it otherwise might have. The sudden death of his father necessitated another return to Leptis Magna to settle family affairs.
Before he was able to leave Africa, Mauri tribesmen invaded southern Spain. Control of the province was handed over to the Emperor, while the Senate gained temporary control of Sardinia as compensation. Thus, Septimius Severus spent the remainder of his second term as quaestor on the island of Sardinia. In 173 Severus' kinsman Gaius Septimius Severus was appointed proconsul of the Province of Africa; the elder Severus chose his cousin as one of his two legati pro praetore, a senior military appointment. Following the end of this term, Septimius Severus returned to Rome, taking up office as tribune of the plebs, a senior legislative position, with the distinction of being the candidatus of the emperor. About 175, Septimius Severus, in his early thirties at the time, contracted his first marriage, to Paccia Marciana, a woman from Leptis Magna, he met her during his tenure as legate under his uncle. Marciana's name suggests Punic or Libyan origin, but nothing else is
Imperial cult of ancient Rome
The Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified emperors and some members of their families with the divinely sanctioned authority of the Roman State. Its framework was based on Roman and Greek precedents, was formulated during the early Principate of Augustus, it was established throughout the Empire and its provinces, with marked local variations in its reception and expression. Augustus's reforms transformed Rome's Republican system of government to a de facto monarchy, couched in traditional Roman practices and Republican values; the princeps was expected to balance the interests of the Roman military and people, to maintain peace and prosperity throughout an ethnically diverse empire. The official offer of cultus to a living emperor acknowledged his office and rule as divinely approved and constitutional: his Principate should therefore demonstrate pious respect for traditional Republican deities and mores. A deceased emperor held worthy of the honor could be voted a state divinity by the Senate and elevated as such in an act of apotheosis.
The granting of apotheosis served religious and moral judgment on Imperial rulers and allowed living Emperors to associate themselves with a well-regarded lineage of Imperial divi from which unpopular or unworthy predecessors were excluded. This proved a useful instrument to Vespasian in his establishment of the Flavian Imperial Dynasty following the death of Nero and civil war, to Septimius in his consolidation of the Severan dynasty after the assassination of Commodus; the Imperial cult was inseparable from that of Rome's official deities, whose cult was essential to Rome's survival and whose neglect was therefore treasonous. Traditional cult was a focus of Imperial revivalist legislation under Diocletian. Christian apologists and martyrologists saw the cult of the Emperor as a offensive instrument of pagan impiety and persecution, it therefore became a focus of theological and political debate during the ascendancy of Christianity under Constantine I. The emperor Julian failed to reverse the declining support for Rome's official religious practices: Theodosius I adopted Christianity as Rome's state religion.
Rome's traditional gods and Imperial cult were abandoned. However, many of the rites and status distinctions that characterized the cult to emperors were perpetuated in the theology and politics of the Christianized Empire. For five centuries, the Roman Republic did not give worship to any historic figure, or any living man, although surrounded by divine and semi-divine monarchies. Rome's legendary kings had been its masters. Rome's ancestor-hero Aeneas was worshipped as Jupiter Indiges; the Romans worshipped several gods and demi-gods, human, knew the theory that all the gods had originated as human beings, yet Republican traditions were staunchly conservative and anti-monarchic. The aristocrats who held all Roman magistracies, thereby occupied all of the Senate, acknowledged no human as their inherent superior. No citizen, living or dead, was regarded as divine, but the honors awarded by the state — crowns, statues, processions — were suitable to the gods, tinged with divinity. Among the highest of honors was the triumph.
When a general was acclaimed imperator by his troops, the Senate would choose whether to award him a triumph, a parade to the Capitol in which the triumphator displayed his captives and spoils of war in the company of his troops. The triumphator rode in a chariot, bearing divine emblems, in a manner supposed to be inherited from the ancient kings of Rome, ended by dedicating his victory to Jupiter Capitolinus; some scholars have viewed the triumphator as impersonating or becoming a king or a god for the day but the circumstances of triumphal award and subsequent rites functioned to limit his status. Whatever his personal ambitions, his victory and his triumph alike served the Roman Senate and gods and were recognised only through their consent. In private life, tradition required that some human beings be treated as more or less divine; every head of household embodied the genius – the generative principle and guardian spirit – of his ancestors, which others might worship and by which his family and slaves took oaths.
A client could call his patron "Jupiter on earth". The dead and individually, were gods of the underworld or afterlife. A letter has survived from Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi, expecting that when she was dead, her sons would venerate her as deus parens, a parental divinity. A prominent clan might claim divine influence and quasi-divine honors for its leader. Death masks were displayed in the atria of their houses; the mask of Scipio Africanus, Cornelia's father and victor over Hannibal, was stored in the temple of Jupiter. A tradition arose in the centuries after his death that Africanus had been inspired by prophetic dreams, was himself the son of Jupiter. There are several cases of unofficial cult directed at men viewed as saviors, political. In Further Spain i
Latin literature includes the essays, poems and other writings written in the Latin language. The beginning of Latin literature dates to 240 BC. Latin literature would flourish for the next six centuries; the classical era of Latin literature can be divided into the following periods: Early Latin literature, The Golden Age, The Imperial Period and Late Antiquity. Latin was the language of the ancient Romans, but it was the lingua franca of Western Europe throughout the Middle Ages, so Latin literature includes not only Roman authors like Cicero, Vergil and Horace, but includes European writers after the fall of the Empire, from religious writers like Aquinas, to secular writers like Francis Bacon, Baruch Spinoza, Isaac Newton. Formal Latin literature began in 240 BC; the adaptor was Livius Andronicus, a Greek, brought to Rome as a prisoner of war in 272 BC. Andronicus translated Homer's Greek epic the Odyssey into an old type of Latin verse called Saturnian; the first Latin poet to write on a Roman theme was Gnaeus Naevius during the 3rd century BC.
He composed an epic poem about the first Punic War. Naevius's dramas were reworkings of Greek originals, but he created tragedies based on Roman myths and history. Other epic poets followed Naevius. Quintus Ennius wrote a historical epic, the Annals, describing Roman history from the founding of Rome to his own time, he adopted Greek dactylic hexameter. He became famous for his tragic dramas. In this field, his most distinguished successors were Marcus Pacuvius and Lucius Accius; these three writers used episodes from Roman history. Instead, they wrote Latin versions of tragic themes that the Greeks had handled, but when they copied the Greeks, they did not translate slavishly. Only fragments of their plays have survived. More is known about early Latin comedy, as 26 Early Latin comedies are extant – 20 of which Plautus wrote, the remaining six of which Terence wrote; these men modeled their comedies on Greek plays known as New Comedy. But they treated the plots and wording of the originals freely.
Plautus scattered songs through his plays and increased the humor with puns and wisecracks, plus comic actions by the actors. Terence's plays were more polite in tone, dealing with domestic situations, his works provided the chief inspiration for French and English comedies of the 17th century AD, for modern American comedy. The prose of the period is best known through On Agriculture by Cato the Elder. Cato wrote the first Latin history of Rome and of other Italian cities, he was the first Roman statesman to put his political speeches in writing as a means of influencing public opinion. Early Latin literature ended with Gaius Lucilius, who created a new kind of poetry in his 30 books of Satires, he wrote in an easy, conversational tone about books, food and current events. Traditionally, the height of Latin literature has been assigned to the period from 81 BC to AD 17, although recent scholarship has questioned the assumptions that privileged the works of this period over both earlier and works.
This period is said to have begun with the first known speech of Cicero and ended with the death of Ovid. Cicero has traditionally been considered the master of Latin prose; the writing he produced from about 80 BC until his death in 43 BC exceeds that of any Latin author whose work survives in terms of quantity and variety of genre and subject matter, as well as possessing unsurpassed stylistic excellence. Cicero's many works can be divided into four groups: letters, rhetorical treatises, philosophical works, orations, his letters provide detailed information about an important period in Roman history and offer a vivid picture of the public and private life among the Roman governing class. Cicero's works on oratory are our most valuable Latin sources for ancient theories on education and rhetoric, his philosophical works were the basis of moral philosophy during the Middle Ages. His speeches inspired the founders of the United States. Julius Caesar and Sallust were outstanding historical writers of Cicero's time.
Caesar wrote commentaries on the Gallic and civil wars in a straightforward style to justify his actions as a general. Sallust adopted an pointed style in his historical works, he wrote brilliant descriptions of their motives. The birth of lyric poetry in Latin occurred during the same period; the short love lyrics of Catullus are noted for their emotional intensity. Catullus wrote poems that attacked his enemies. In his longer poems, he suggested images in delicate language. One of the most learned. Called "the most learned of the Romans" by Quintillian, he wrote about a remarkable variety of subjects, from religion to poetry, but only his writings on agriculture and the Latin language are extant in their complete form. The emperor Augustus took a personal interest in the literary works produced during his years of power from 27 BC to AD 14; this period is sometimes called the Augustan Age of Latin Literature. Virgil published his pastoral Eclogues, the Georgics, the Aeneid, an epic poem describing the events that led to the creation of Rome.
Virgil told. Virgil provided divine justification for Roman rule over the world. Although Virgil died before he could put the finishing touches on his poem, it was soon