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Crossing the Rubicon

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Republication from  followinghadrian.com

On this day (10th January) in 49 BC, Julius Caesar and his troops famously crossed the Rubicon, the river marking the boundary between the province of Cisalpine Gaul and Italy. Taking the 13th Legion over this forbidden frontier constituted an act of treason and triggered civil war in Rome. According to the historian Suetonius, Caesar uttered the famous phrase ālea iacta est (“the die is cast”).

The Green Caesar, Greywacke from Egypt, 1 - 50 AD, Altes Museum Berlin
The Green Caesar, Greywacke from Egypt, 1 – 50 AD, Altes Museum Berlin

Last June, I travelled along the Via Aemilia in the footsteps of Julius Caesar, crossing the river and following the soon to be dictator’s path towards Rome.

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XANTHIPPOS THE SPARTAN: REFORMING THE DISPIRITED CARTHAGINIAN ARMY

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phalanx

A  Macedonian  type phalanx, in  an  excellent  work  by  Johny  Shumate. The  Carthaginian  phalanx  of  the  same  type  had  much  of the  same  appearance,  because  the  Carthaginians  had  adopted  a  great  part  of   the  Greek  military  equipment (copyright: Johny Shumate)

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By  Periklis    Deligiannis

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Since  the  Archaic  Εra (7th-6th cent. BC),  Sparta  used  to  employ  mercenaries,  specifically  Cretan  archers  (Dorian  relatives  of  the  Spartans).  Since  the  time  of  the  Peloponnesian  war,  and  mostly  during  the  Hegemony  of  Sparta  over  Greece (after  404  BC),  this  city-state  became  a  significant  employer  of  Greek  mercenaries,  due  to  its  limited  number  of  hoplites.  However,  mostly  the  Spartans (Lacedaemonians)  themselves  were  sending  units  of  their  army,  under  the  leadership  of   experienced  Spartan  ‘warlords’,  to  serve  as  mercenaries  other  states,  because  of  the  financial  problems  of  their  city  which  became  more  and  more  pressing.  Despite  the  loss  of  its  power  after  368  BC,  Sparta  became  a  great  supplier  of  mercenaries,  not  only  of  its  own  Spartans  but  of  other  Greeks  also.  Gythium (the  main  Spartan/Laconian  seaport)  and  other  seaports  of  the  Tainaron  Peninsula  (Laconia)  became  during  the  4th-3rd  centuries  BC,  the  largest  mercenary  recruitment  centers  in  Greece.  The  Lacedaemonian/Spartan  mercenary  troops  consisted  mainly  of  “neodamodeis” (freed  helots),  other  Greeks (mostly  Peloponnesians),  and  secondly  by  ‘perioikoi’ (free  Laconian  and  Messenian  subjects  of  Sparta).  The  only  real  Spartans  in  these  expeditions  were  the  leader  of  the  expedition  and  a  number  of  unit  commanders  or  military  advisors.  The  expeditions  of  the  mercenaries  were  performed  under  license  of  the  official  Spartan  state.  The  mercenary  forces  used  to  depart  in  ships,  from  the  Tainaron  Peninsula.

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Forum Romanum: Architecture, part II

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Architectural reconstruction of the Forum of Rome.
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Forum Romanum: Architecture

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General reconstruction of the Forum Romanum with the temples of the Capitoline in the distant level.
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Imperial Rome urban plans

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Site plans of ancient Rome including a site plan of the early settlements on the Seven Hills, a plan of the Capitoline (Platner), and  two general plans of the Imperial city.
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The expansion of Roman rule in Asia Minor

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The expansion of Roman rule in Asia Minor from Shepherd’s Atlas of World History.

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