Romans

Home » Romans

Roman religion – Ancient Roman gods

By | 2017-09-04T14:12:37+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Hadrian's Pantheon from the outside. Built in the early 100s AD In some ways Roman religion is a lot like Greek religion, but in other ways it is very different. Like the Greeks, the Romans thought that there were many gods, and that these gods each controlled different parts of the world: storms, the ocean, marriage, blacksmithing, and [...]

Roman Imperial Cult – emperors and Roman religion

By | 2017-09-04T14:08:04+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The Roman general Pompey The Roman general Pompey conquered West Asia around 50 BC. He was embarrassed to find that people there were worshipping him as a god. They would come out of the cities to pray to him, and bow down to him. They made statues of him and put them in temples and even sometimes sacrificed animals or incense to these statues. [...]

Castor and Pollux – Roman religion

By | 2017-09-04T13:32:34+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Greeks, Religion, Romans|

Castor and Pollux - the Dioscuri - on a votive plaque from Tarentum in southern Italy Castor and Pollux were originally Greek gods, but when the Romans were fighting the Etruscans in 496 BC, the Roman soldiers saw visions of Castor and Pollux fighting on their side. When the Romans won the battle, they decided to try [...]

Plotinus and the Neoplatonists – Roman philosophy

By | 2017-09-04T11:34:58+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Philosophy, Romans|

Bust of Plotinus (Ostia, ca. 250 AD) Around the time of Jesus, philosophers (and regular people) in West Asia and the Roman Empire started to think a lot about what happened to you after you died. The afterlife was very important to the Christians and the Gnostics. But a little later on, Roman philosophers developed a new idea. They suggested that when [...]

Lucretius – On the Nature of Things – Epicureanism

By | 2017-09-04T11:29:36+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Philosophy, Romans, Science|

A medieval manuscript copy of Lucretius' De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) Lucretius was born about 99 BC, in the later Roman Republic. Nobody knows anything about Lucretius' life. But he must have been an educated Roman from a very rich family. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to do the work he did. At some [...]

Roman philosophy – ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T10:49:06+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Philosophy, Romans|

Roman making a speech (Florence, about 50 BC) Thanks to VROMA for the image Roman men didn't begin studying philosophy until about 200 BC. At that time, the Romans were conquering Greece. So a lot of Roman soldiers and generals spent a lot of time in Greece, and got a chance to talk to Greek philosophers. The Romans found out [...]

Cicero – Stoicism – Roman philosophy

By | 2017-09-04T10:33:20+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Philosophy, Romans|

Bust of Cicero (Capitoline Museum, Rome) In the last years of the Roman Republic, great men like Julius Caesar and Pompey fought over which of them would rule Rome. Cicero was one of the last men to stand up for the old Republic. He tried to keep the republican government going. While you might think [...]

Slavery in ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T10:25:39+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A Roman shepherd, probably a slave (Istanbul, 500s AD) Many Roman people were owned by other people, or by the Roman government, as slaves. Because the Romans didn't really have hourly wage work, or salaried work, as we do now, men and women who didn't own their own land and didn't own businesses of their own were often enslaved. [...]

Roman schools – education in ancient Rome

By | 2017-09-04T10:20:52+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

A Roman teacher home-schooling, about 200 AD Most Roman kids did not go to school. Like their parents, they worked in the fields hoeing and weeding and plowing as soon as they were old enough. Their parents needed them to work, to get enough to eat. They did not learn to read or write or do math. Some rich boys, [...]

Women in ancient Rome – gender and power

By | 2017-09-04T10:15:54+00:00 September 4th, 2017|People, Romans|

Roman woman, about 50 AD. The sculptor has made her look silly on purpose to make fun of old women Roman women lived under many restrictions that did not apply to Roman men. Roman women knew that men were treating them unfairly, and they did not like living under special rules. We can [...]