Tag Archives: Roman Empire

The Cimbri and the Teutones c.120 BC-101 BC

The Cimbri and the Teutones c.120 BC-101 BC


In 1891, farm workers digging in a peat bog at Gundestrup in the far north of Jutland, Denmark, discovered a large silver cauldron. The cauldron was decorated with spectacular scenes of Celtic gods, warriors, mythological animals and human sacrifice. The workmanship shows that the cauldron was made in Bulgaria in the second century BC by a Thracian craftsman, probably for a Celtic patron. This remarkable artefact is the only surviving legacy of the amazing migration of two early German peoples, the Cimbri and the Teutones.

The end of the gladiators

The end of the gladiators

In AD 350 the gladiatorial games were as popular, magnificent and widespread as they had ever been. An unbroken history of development and adaptation stretching back some 600 years lay behind the combats. A century later not a single gladiator, lanista or munus was to be found anywhere. For an institution that had survived for so long and been so popular to disappear so completely was dramatic indeed.

The African Expedition of Scipio

The African Expedition of Scipio

Nobody probably in the Roman senate doubted either that the war on the part of Carthage against Rome was at an end, or that the war on the part of Rome against Carthage must now be begun; but unavoidable as was the expedition to Africa, they were afraid to enter on its preparation. They required for it, above all, an able and beloved leader; and they had none. Their best generals had either fallen in the field of battle, or they were, like Quintus Fabius and Quintus Fulvius, too old for such an entirely new and probably tedious war.

Nero, The Emperor

Nero, The Emperor

Sumptuously housed on the Palatine Hill—the origin of our word “palace”—is His Highness Claudius Nero, Head of the State, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, Empowered to act as Tribune of the People, and Head of the State Religion: in modern times commonly called “the Emperor.” Every day and night his palace is surrounded by a regiment of the Imperial Guards, and attached to his person is a special corps for bodyguard, and orderlies.

Pictish society

Pictish society

The Romans classified some fifteen tribes in the north and loosely identified the territories they occupied. They also observed that tribal chiefs had a religious as well as a royal function. Women could have such a role, as was the case with Boudicca of the Iceni. The succession of leaders was matrilineal: it mattered more who their mother was than who their father was. Since it is possible that women may indeed have more than one husband, the matter of succession could be complex. later Romantics sometimes regarded this Pictish society as democratic, but it was in fact full of social differentiations.