Nicias, was an Athenian politician and general during the period of the Peloponnesian War. Nicias was a member of the Athenian aristocracy and had inherited a fortune from his father. Following the death of Pericles in 429 BC, he became the rival of Cleon. He was a moderate in his views and opposed the aggressive imperialism of the democrats. His principal aim was to conclude a peace with Sparta as soon as it could be obtained on terms favourable to Athens and he was regularly elected to serve as strategos for Athens during the Peloponnesian War. He led several expeditions which achieved little, nevertheless, he was largely responsible for the successful negotiations which led to the Peace of Nicias in 421 BC. Following the Peace, he objected to the plans of Alcibiades for advancing Athens interests. Despite this, Nicias was appointed to participate in the Athenian invasion of Sicily, the Athenian siege of Syracuse was nearly successful until the arrival of the Spartan general Gylippus, who turned the situation around so that the Athenians were themselves under siege.
Nicias led his forces in a attempt to escape by land. However, they were cut off and he and his Athenian army were overwhelmed and defeated and his army was almost wiped out, but he reminded Gylippus of all the times Nicias had spared him, and was in turn spared. Nicias inherited from his father, Niceratus, a considerable fortune and it is said that Nicias had over 1000 slaves working in the mines. Plutarch states that Nicias was generous with his wealth, using his money for charitable activities in Athens. Nicias rise to prominence occurred while Pericles was at the head of the Athenian government, after Pericles death in 429 BC, Nicias became an important Athenian politician with the aristocratic party looking to him as their leader. As such, Nicias became the rival of Cleons popular or democratic party, Nicias lacked the eloquence or charm to win popularity among Athenians, according to the historian Plutarch. Instead, Nicias gained popularity through the use of his wealth and he funded and organized choruses for Athenian dramas, sporting events, public exhibitions, and new or restored statues and temples.
Plutarch specifically refers to an example of Nicias generosity - his funding of the festival of Delos, Nicias funded the building of a bridge of boats between Delos and the Rhenean islands. The ships were decorated with garlands and rich tapestry, a richly dressed chorus walked across the boats. Nicias provided a 10,000 drachma fund to the Delians so they would continue this event into the future, such instructions were engraved onto a pillar
Carini is a town and comune in the Province of Palermo, Sicily,21 kilometres by rail west-northwest of Palermo. It has a population of 37,752, on the coast are some ruins of the ancient Hyccara, the only Sican settlement on the coast. It was stormed and taken by the Athenians in 415 BC, at Villagrazia Christian catacombs have been found. The first historical mention of a bishop of the see is in two letters of Pope Gregory the Great, in the 6th century, one addressed to Bonifacius of Reggio Calabria, the other to Barbarus of Carini. But many signs, including local catacombs, show that a Christian community existed at Carini from the 3rd century, a lead seal bears the name of a Felix, bishop of this see. One of Gregory the Greats letters show that the diocese was incorporated into that of Reggio Calabria in September 595, a Bishop John of the see took part in a synod at Rome in 649. The last testimony to its dates from the 8th century, and the Muslim conquest of Sicily. As a result, Carini/Hyccara/Hyccarum is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see, tourism is an important part Carinis economy.
Carinis lure for tourists is based mainly on shopping but on its possession of other ancient, Carini has one of the biggest shopping areas in Sicily called the Zona Industriale where more than ten big shopping centres can be found. The Zona Industriale attracts people from the areas and beyond, especially during weekends. Carini has two shopping malls, including one of sicilys largest, centro commerciale Poseidon, the other shopping mall is called Portobello - Le Gallerie del Risparmio. The excavations carried out during the recent restoration, both in the east and in the north, they have surfaced walls of earlier times to the Norman, the castle has a large courtyard, where there is the residential structure made primarily in two elevations. The ground floor consists of, a room with a vault that contains a wall in stone. Outside the chapel, a portal giving access to the bastion, a small circular staircase leads to the kitchen, while another adjoining rooms on the upper floors. From the west side there is access to an area called Foresteria, a staircase leads to the castle tower or male.
The continuous tower with a gallery from which a mullioned window with the emblem of Abbate can observe the south side of the country. Here is the time to cruise with plumes ending with Billiemi stone, a scale, which no longer exists, allowing the output to the battlements of the tower. From a door, characterized by a lancet, you exit into a small terrace, recently created
Hannibal Barca, was a Carthaginian general, considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His father Hamilcar Barca was the leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War and his younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, and he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair. One of his most famous achievements was at the outbreak of the Second Punic War, when he marched an army which included war elephants from Iberia over the Pyrenees, Hannibal occupied much of Italy for 15 years but was unable to march on Rome. An enemy counter-invasion of North Africa forced him to return to Carthage, after the war, Hannibal successfully ran for the office of sufet. During this time, he lived at the Seleucid court, where he acted as advisor to Antiochus III the Great in his war against Rome. Antiochus met defeat at the Battle of Magnesia and was forced to accept Romes terms and his flight ended in the court of Bithynia, where he achieved an outstanding naval victory against a fleet from Pergamon.
He was afterwards betrayed to the Romans and committed suicide by poisoning himself, military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge called Hannibal the father of strategy, because his greatest enemy, came to adopt elements of his military tactics in its own strategic arsenal. This praise has earned him a reputation in the modern world. The English form of the name is derived from the Latin, Greek historians rendered the name as Anníbas Bárkas. Hannibals name was recorded in Carthaginian sources as ḤNBʻL and its precise vocalization remains a matter of debate. Suggested readings include Ḥannibaʻl or Ḥannibaʻal, meaning grace of Baʻal, Baal is gracious, or Baal has been gracious, or Ḥannobaʻal, Barca was the surname of his aristocratic family, meaning shining or lightning. It is thus equivalent to the Arabic name Barq or the Hebrew name Barak or the ancient Greek epithet keraunos, in English, his clan are sometimes collectively known as the Barcids. As with Greek and Roman practice, patronymics were a part of Carthaginian nomenclature.
Hannibal was one of the sons of Hamilcar Barca, a Carthaginian leader and he was born in what is present day Tunisia. He had several sisters and two brothers and Mago and his brothers-in-law were Hasdrubal the Fair and the Numidian king Naravas. He was still a child when his sisters married, and his brothers-in-law were close associates during his fathers struggles in the Mercenary War, in light of Hamilcar Barcas cognomen, historians refer to Hamilcars family as the Barcids. However, there is debate as to whether the cognomen Barca was applied to Hamilcar alone or was hereditary within his family, if the latter and his brothers bore the name Barca. After Carthages defeat in the First Punic War, Hamilcar set out to improve his familys, with that in mind and supported by Gades, Hamilcar began the subjugation of the tribes of the Iberian Peninsula
Himera, was an important ancient Greek city of Sicily, situated on the north coast of the island, at the mouth of the river of the same name, between Panormus and Cephaloedium. Its remains lie within the borders of the comune of Termini Imerese. Himera was the first Greek settlement on this part of the island and was a strategic outpost just outside the boundary of the Carthaginian-controlled west. Thucydides says it was the only Greek city on this coast of Sicily, which was on the north coast and certainly of Greek origin, was a dependency of Zancle. However, it is likely that the power of Himeria in the immediate vicinity of the Carthaginian settlements of Panormus and Solus had already caused concern among the Carthaginians. Hence it was against Himera that the first efforts of Hamilcar were directed, who had thrown himself into the city with all the forces at his command, was able to maintain its defence until the arrival of Gelon of Syracuse. The same feeling probably gave rise to the tradition or belief and this victory left Theron in the undisputed possession of the sovereignty of Himera, as well as of that of Agrigentum.
He appears to have focused on Agrigentum, and leftthe government of Himera to his son Thrasydaeus, but the young man, by his violent and oppressive rule, soon alienated the minds of the citizens. They applied for relief to Hieron of Syracuse, at time on terms of hostility with Theron. The Syracusan despot, betrayed their overtures to Theron and he took vengeance on the Himeraeans, putting to death a large number of the disaffected citizens and driving others into exile. Himera adopted the institutions and followed the policy of the other Doric states of Sicily, a few years after this the prosperity of the city was brought to a sudden and abrupt termination by the great Carthaginian expedition to Sicily. The ostensible object of the expedition, as it had been of the Athenian, was the support of the Segestans against their neighbors, the Carthaginians, had greater ambitions. Immediately after the destruction of Selinus, Hannibal Mago, who commanded the expedition and that city was ill-prepared for defence, its fortifications were of little strength, but the citizens made a desperate resistance, and by a vigorous sally inflicted severe loss on the Carthaginians.
Their defenses failed and the city was taken by storm. A large part of the citizens were killed and at least 3000 of them, the city itself was utterly destroyed, its buildings razed to the ground, and even the temples themselves were not spared. Diodorus, who relates the destruction of Himera, tells us expressly that it was never rebuilt. Diodorus gives a different account of the foundation of Thermae. It appears to have become a considerable town, though it continued, with few and brief exceptions
The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, southern Albania, Sicily, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world, many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek colonization. The cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Alexandria, most ethnic Greeks live nowadays within the borders of the modern Greek state and Cyprus. The Greek genocide and population exchange between Greece and Turkey nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor, other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern Russia and Ukraine and in the Greek diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are officially registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Greeks speak the Greek language, which forms its own unique branch within the Indo-European family of languages, the Hellenic.
They are part of a group of ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an archetypal diaspora people. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, the Mycenaeans quickly penetrated the Aegean Sea and, by the 15th century BC, had reached Rhodes, Crete and the shores of Asia Minor. Around 1200 BC, the Dorians, another Greek-speaking people, followed from Epirus, the Dorian invasion was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the Greek Dark Ages, but by 800 BC the landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece was discernible. The Greeks of classical antiquity idealized their Mycenaean ancestors and the Mycenaean period as an era of heroes, closeness of the gods. The Homeric Epics were especially and generally accepted as part of the Greek past, as part of the Mycenaean heritage that survived, the names of the gods and goddesses of Mycenaean Greece became major figures of the Olympian Pantheon of antiquity. The ethnogenesis of the Greek nation is linked to the development of Pan-Hellenism in the 8th century BC, the works of Homer and Hesiod were written in the 8th century BC, becoming the basis of the national religion, ethos and mythology.
The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi was established in this period, the classical period of Greek civilization covers a time spanning from the early 5th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC. It is so named because it set the standards by which Greek civilization would be judged in eras, the Peloponnesian War, the large scale civil war between the two most powerful Greek city-states Athens and Sparta and their allies, left both greatly weakened. Many Greeks settled in Hellenistic cities like Alexandria and Seleucia, two thousand years later, there are still communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, like the Kalash, who claim to be descended from Greek settlers. The Hellenistic civilization was the period of Greek civilization, the beginnings of which are usually placed at Alexanders death. This Hellenistic age, so called because it saw the partial Hellenization of many non-Greek cultures and this age saw the Greeks move towards larger cities and a reduction in the importance of the city-state.
These larger cities were parts of the still larger Kingdoms of the Diadochi, however, remained aware of their past, chiefly through the study of the works of Homer and the classical authors. An important factor in maintaining Greek identity was contact with barbarian peoples and this led to a strong desire among Greeks to organize the transmission of the Hellenic paideia to the next generation
Campania is a region in Southern Italy. Located on the Italian Peninsula, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west, it includes the small Phlegraean Islands, Campania was colonised by Ancient Greeks and was part of Magna Græcia. During the Roman era, the area maintained a Greco-Roman culture, the capital city of Campania is Naples. Campania is rich in culture, especially in regard to gastronomy, architecture and ancient sites such as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Velia. The name of Campania itself is derived from Latin, as the Romans knew the region as Campania felix, the rich natural sights of Campania make it highly important in the tourism industry, especially along the Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri. During the 8th century BC, people from Euboea in Greece, known as Cumaeans, another Oscan tribe, the Samnites, moved down from central Italy into Campania. The Roman consul Quintus Publilius Filo recaptured Neapolis by 326 BC, the Second Samnite War ended with the Romans controlling southern Campania and additional regions further to the south.
Campania was a part of the Roman Republic by the end of the 4th century BC, valued for its pastures. Its Greek language and customs made it a centre of Hellenistic civilization, during the Pyrrhic War the battle took place in Campania at Maleventum in which the Romans, led by consul Curius Dentatus, were victorious. They renamed the city Beneventum, which grew in stature until it was only to Capua in southern Italy. During the Second Punic War in 216 BC, Capua, in a bid for equality with Rome, the rebellious Capuans were isolated from the rest of Campania, which remained allies of Rome. Naples resisted Hannibal due to the imposing walls, Capua was eventually starved into submission in the Roman retaking of 211 BC, and the Romans were victorious. The rest of Campania, with the exception of Naples, adopted the Latin language as official and was Romanised. As part of the Roman Empire, with Latium, Roman Emperors chose Campania as a holiday destination, among them Claudius and Tiberius, the latter of whom is infamously linked to the island of Capri.
It was during this period that Christianity came to Campania, Two of the apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, are said to have preached in the city of Naples, and there were several martyrs during this time. Unfortunately, the period of calm was violently interrupted by the epic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 which buried the cities of Pompeii. The area had many duchies and principalities during the Middle Ages, in the hands of the Byzantine Empire, under the Normans, the smaller independent states were brought together as part of the Kingdom of Sicily, before the mainland broke away to form the Kingdom of Naples. It was during this period elements of Spanish, French
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil /ˈvɜːrdʒᵻl/ in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature, the Eclogues, the Georgics, a number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him. Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Romes greatest poets and his Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome from the time of its composition to the present day. Virgils work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dantes Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as Dantes guide through Hell, the tradition holds that Virgil was born in the village of Andes, near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul. Analysis of his name has led to beliefs that he descended from earlier Roman colonists, modern speculation ultimately is not supported by narrative evidence either from his own writings or his biographers. Macrobius says that Virgils father was of a background, however.
He attended schools in Cremona, Mediolanum and Naples, after considering briefly a career in rhetoric and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry. From Virgils admiring references to the neoteric writers Pollio and Cinna, it has been inferred that he was, for a time, according to Servius, schoolmates considered Virgil extremely shy and reserved, and he was nicknamed Parthenias or maiden because of his social aloofness. Virgil seems to have suffered bad health throughout his life, according to the Catalepton, he began to write poetry while in the Epicurean school of Siro the Epicurean at Naples. A group of works attributed to the youthful Virgil by the commentators survive collected under the title Appendix Vergiliana. One, the Catalepton, consists of fourteen poems, some of which may be Virgils, and another. The biographical tradition asserts that Virgil began the hexameter Eclogues in 42 BC and it is thought that the collection was published around 39–38 BC, the Eclogues are a group of ten poems roughly modeled on the bucolic hexameter poetry of the Hellenistic poet Theocritus.
The loss of his farm and the attempt through poetic petitions to regain his property have traditionally been seen as Virgils motives in the composition of the Eclogues. This is now thought to be an unsupported inference from interpretations of the Eclogues, the ten Eclogues present traditional pastoral themes with a fresh perspective. Eclogues 1 and 9 address the land confiscations and their effects on the Italian countryside,2 and 3 are pastoral and erotic, discussing both homosexual love and attraction toward people of any gender. Eclogue 4, addressed to Asinius Pollio, the so-called Messianic Eclogue uses the imagery of the age in connection with the birth of a child. Virgil came to many of the other leading literary figures of the time, including Horace, in whose poetry he is often mentioned, and Varius Rufus. At Maecenas insistence Virgil spent the years on the long didactic hexameter poem called the Georgics which he dedicated to Maecenas
In modern times, Hellenization has been associated with the adoption of modern Greek culture and the ethnic and cultural homogenization of Greece. Other tribes that underwent varying degrees of Hellenization included Thracians, Dardanians and Illyrians south of the Jireček Line, Hellenization during the Hellenistic period, had its limitations. For example, areas of southern Syria that were affected by Greek culture mostly entailed Seleucid urban centers where Greek was commonly spoken, the countryside, on the other hand, was largely unaffected since most of its inhabitants spoke Syriac and continued to maintain their native traditions. Moreover, Hellenization did not necessarily involve assimilation of ethnic groups since Hellenistic Greeks in regions such as Asia Minor were conscious of their ancestral lineages. Hellenization can refer to the medieval Byzantine Empire and Constantines founding of Constantinople, moreover, it can refer to the primacy of Greek culture and the Greek language after the reign of Emperor Heraclius in the 7th century AD.
Hellenization during the period of Ottoman imperial rule entailed the higher status which Greek culture, in 1909, a commission appointed by the Greek government reported that one third of the villages of Greece should have their names changed, often because of their non-Greek origin. In other instances, names were changed from a name of Greek origin to the ancient Greek toponym. Some village names were formed from a Greek root word with a foreign suffix, the majority of the name changes took place in areas populated by ethnic Greeks, where a strata of foreign, or divergent, toponyms had accumulated over the centuries. However, in parts of northern Greece the population was not Greek-speaking. The process of the change of toponyms in modern Greece has been described as a process of Hellenization and this led to the diminution of the community of Corfiot Italians, resident in Corfu since the Middle Ages, by the 1940s there were only four hundred Corfiot Italians left. The twentieth century witnessed a debate over the extent of Hellenization in the Levant.
Rudolf Bultmann thus argued that Christianity arose almost completely within those Hellenistic confines, in his Introduction to the 1964 book Meditations, the Anglican priest Maxwell Staniforth discussed the profound influence of Stoic philosophy on Christianity. In particular, Again in the doctrine of the Trinity, the conception of Father, Word
His main achievements were during the Second Punic War where he is best known for defeating Hannibal at the final battle at Zama, one of the feats that earned him the agnomen Africanus. Although considered a hero by the general Roman populace, primarily for his contributions in the struggle against the Carthaginians, in his years, he was tried for bribery and treason, unfounded charges that were only meant to discredit him before the public. Disillusioned by the ingratitude of his peers, Scipio left Rome, Publius Cornelius Scipio was born by Caesarian section into the Scipio branch of the Cornelia gens. His birth year is calculated from statements made by ancient historians of how old he was when certain events in his life occurred, Scipios great-grandfather, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, and grandfather Lucius Cornelius Scipio, had both been consuls and censors. He was the eldest son of the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio by his wife Pomponi, Scipio joined the Roman struggle against Carthage in the first year of Second Punic War when his father was consul.
During the skirmish at Ticinus, he saved his fathers life by charging the encircling force alone with reckless daring and he survived the disaster at Cannae, where his would-be father-in-law, the consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus, was killed. After the battle, with the other consul surviving elsewhere and Appius Claudius Pulcher, as military tribunes, Scipio offered himself as a candidate for curule aedile in 213 BC, alongside his cousin Marcus Cornelius Cethegus. The Tribunes of the Plebs objected to his candidacy, saying that he could not be allowed to stand because he had not yet reached the legal age, already known for his bravery and patriotism, was elected unanimously and the Tribunes abandoned their opposition. His cousin won the election, in 211 BC, both Scipios father, Publius Scipio, and uncle, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, were killed in battle against Hannibals brother, Hasdrubal Barca. In spite of his youth, his demeanour and enthusiastic language had made so great an impression that he was unanimously elected.
In the year of Scipios arrival, all of Hispania south of the Ebro river was under Carthaginian control. Hannibals brothers Hasdrubal and Mago, and Hasdrubal Gisco were the generals of the Carthaginian forces in Hispania, the Carthaginians were preoccupied with revolts in Africa. Scipio landed at the mouth of the Ebro and was able to surprise and capture Carthago Nova and he obtained a rich cache of war stores and supplies, and an excellent harbour and base of operations. Scipios humanitarian conduct toward prisoners and hostages in Hispania helped in portraying the Romans as liberators as opposed to conquerors, Livy tells the story of his troops capturing a beautiful woman, whom they offered to Scipio as a prize of war. Scipio was astonished by her beauty, but discovered that the woman was betrothed to a Celtiberian chieftain named Allucius and he returned the woman to her fiancé, along with the money that had been offered by her parents to ransom her. This humanitarian act encouraged local chieftains to both supply and reinforce Scipios small army, the womans fiance, who soon married her, responded by bringing over his tribe to support the Roman armies.
In 209 BC, Scipio fought his first set piece battle, Scipio feared that the armies of Mago and Gisco would enter the field and surround his small army. Scipios objective was, therefore, to eliminate one of the armies to give him the luxury of dealing with the other two piecemeal
Pyrrhus of Epirus
Pyrrhus was a Greek general and statesman of the Hellenistic period. He was king of the Greek tribe of Molossians, of the royal Aeacid house and he was one of the strongest opponents of early Rome. Some of his battles, though successful, caused him heavy losses and he is the subject of one of Plutarchs Parallel Lives. Pyrrhus was the son of Aeacides and Phthia, a Thessalian woman, and he had two sisters and Troias. In 317 BC, when Pyrrhus was only two, his father was dethroned, Pyrrhus family took refuge with Glaukias of the Taulantians, one of the largest Illyrian tribes. Pyrrhus was raised by Beroea, Glaukiass wife and a Molossian of the Aeacidae dynasty, Glaukias restored Pyrrhus to the throne in 306 BC until the latter was banished again, four years later, by his enemy, Cassander. Thus, he went on to serve as an officer, in the wars of the Diadochi, in 298 BC, Pyrrhus was taken hostage to Alexandria, under the terms of a peace treaty made between Demetrius and Ptolemy I Soter. There, he married Ptolemy Is stepdaughter Antigone and restored his kingdom in Epirus in 297 BC with financial, Pyrrhus had his co-ruler Neoptolemus II of Epirus murdered.
In 295 BC, Pyrrhus transferred the capital of his kingdom to Ambrakia, next, he went to war against his former ally and brother-in-law Demetrius and in 292 BC he invaded Thessaly while Demetrius was besieging Thebes but was repulsed. By 286 BC, Pyrrhus had taken control over the kingdom of Macedon, the Greek city of Tarentum, in southern Italy, fell out with Rome due to a violation of an old treaty that specified Rome was not to send warships into the Tarentine Gulf. In 282 BC, the Romans installed garrisons in the Greek cities of Thurii and Rhegium, Tarentum was now faced with a Roman attack and certain defeat, unless they could enlist the aid of greater powers. Rome had already made itself into a power, and was poised to subdue all the Greek cities in Magna Graecia. The Tarentines asked Pyrrhus to lead their war against the Romans, Pyrrhus was encouraged to aid the Tarentines by the Oracle of Delphi. His goals were not, selfless and he recognized the possibility of carving out an empire for himself in Italy.
He made an alliance with Ptolemy Ceraunus, King of Macedon and his most powerful neighbor, and arrived in Italy in 280 BC. Pyrrhus entered Italy with an army consisting of 20,000 infantry,3,000 cavalry,2,000 archers,500 slingers, and 20 war elephants in a bid to subdue the Romans. The elephants had been loaned to him by Ptolemy II, who had promised 9,000 soldiers, there are conflicting sources about casualties. Hieronymus of Cardia reports the Romans lost about 7,000 while Pyrrhus lost 3,000 soldiers, dionysius gives a bloodier view of 15,000 Roman dead and 13,000 Epirot
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, lawyer, political theorist and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy family of the Roman equestrian order. According to Michael Grant, the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature, Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. During the chaotic latter half of the 1st century BC marked by civil wars, following Julius Caesars death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. His severed hands and head were then, as a revenge of Mark Antony. Petrarchs rediscovery of Ciceros letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, according to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, the Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity.
Cicero was born in 106 BC in Arpinum, a hill town 100 kilometers southeast of Rome and his father was a well-to-do member of the equestrian order and possessed good connections in Rome. However, being a semi-invalid, he could not enter public life, although little is known about Ciceros mother, Helvia, it was common for the wives of important Roman citizens to be responsible for the management of the household. Ciceros brother Quintus wrote in a letter that she was a thrifty housewife, Ciceros cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was given to one of Ciceros ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is likely that Ciceros ancestors prospered through the cultivation. Romans often chose down-to-earth personal surnames, the family names of Fabius and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this name when he entered politics. During this period in Roman history, cultured meant being able to speak both Latin and Greek, Cicero used his knowledge of Greek to translate many of the theoretical concepts of Greek philosophy into Latin, thus translating Greek philosophical works for a larger audience.
It was precisely his broad education that tied him to the traditional Roman elite, according to Plutarch, Cicero was an extremely talented student, whose learning attracted attention from all over Rome, affording him the opportunity to study Roman law under Quintus Mucius Scaevola. Ciceros fellow students were Gaius Marius Minor, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the latter two became Ciceros friends for life, and Pomponius would become, in Ciceros own words, as a second brother, with both maintaining a lifelong correspondence. Cicero wanted to pursue a career in politics along the steps of the Cursus honorum
First Punic War
The First Punic War was the first of three wars fought between Ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic. For more than 20 years, the two struggled for supremacy, primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters. The war signaled the beginning of a transformation in the western Mediterranean. Carthage began the war as the great sea-power of the western Mediterranean, while Rome had, the series of wars between Rome and Carthage took the name Punic from the Latin name for the Carthaginians, Punici. This is derived from Phoenicis, and it refers to the Carthaginian heritage as Phoenician colonists, a Carthaginian name for the conflicts does not survive in any records. Rome had recently emerged as the leading city-state in the Italian Peninsula, over the past one hundred years, Rome had come into conflict, and defeated rivals on the Italian peninsula, incorporated them into the Roman political world. By the beginning of the First Punic War, the Romans had secured the whole of the Italian peninsula and it originated as a Phoenician colony in Africa, near modern Tunis.
At the height of power, just before the First Punic War, North African peoples such as the Berbers in the area around Carthage were loosely associated with Carthage. In the midst of the First Punic War some tribes would rebel against Carthage, the rich, strategically influential, and well-fortified Greek colony of Syracuse was politically independent of Rome and Carthage. Hostilities of the First Punic War began with developments involving the Romans, Carthaginians, at the same time, a group of Roman troops made up of Campanian citizens without the vote seized control of Rhegium, lying across the Straits of Messina on the mainland of Italy. In 270 BC, the Romans regained control of Rhegium and severely punished the survivors of the revolt, in Sicily, the Mamertines ravaged the countryside and collided with the expanding regional empire of the independent city of Syracuse. Hiero II, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Mamertines near Mylae on the Longanus River, following their defeat, the Mamertines appealed to both Rome and Carthage for assistance.
The Carthaginians acted first, approached Hiero to take no further action, the rivalry between Rome and Carthage had grown since the war with Pyrrhus and that alliance was simply no longer feasible. According to the historian Polybius, considerable debate took place in Rome on the question as to whether to accept the Mamertines appeal for help, many were unwilling to see Carthaginian power in Sicily expand even further. Leaving them at Messana would give the Carthaginians a free hand to deal with Syracuse, after the Syracusans had been defeated, the Carthaginian takeover of Sicily would essentially be complete. Sicily is a volcanic island, with geographical obstacles and rough terrain making lines of communication difficult to maintain. For this reason, land warfare played a role in the First Punic War. Land operations were confined to small raids and skirmishes, with few pitched battles