Mark Antony

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R is for Romans

Published April 29, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

“All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

“Brought peace?”

“Oh, peace – shut up! There is not one of us who would not gladly suffer death to rid this country of the Romans once and for all.”

“Uh, well, one.”

“Oh, yeah, yeah, there’s one. But otherwise, we’re solid.”

Ah, the Romans. I’m not going to get into the mythology, because, well, they basically copied everything from the Greeks.

According to myth, Rome was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus, descendants of the Trojan prince Aeneas. Their grandfather, Numitor was deposed by his brother Amulius. Their mother Rhea Silvia was raped by the god Mars (Ares) and gave birth to the twins. Amulius feared the twins, so he ordered them to be drowned, but a she-wolf (or a shepherd woman, depending on the accounts) rescued and raised them.

In time, they went on to found their own city. Romulus ended up killing Remus in a quarrel about where they were going to set up their new kingdom. To bring in citizens, Rome became a sanctuary for the exiled and unwanted. However, this led to a population with very few women. Romulus tried to secure marriage rights with neighboring towns and tribes, but no one wanted to marry their daughters to outcasts. Desperate, Romulus invited the Sabines to a festival, and stole their unmarried daughters.

Rome was a kingdom then a republic before finally settling on the title of empire. Rome was a republic for just over 500 years, before Julius Caesar was declared perpetual dictator and his adopted son, Octavius (later, Augustus Caesar) became the first emperor of the Roman Empire. Julius took part in the Egyptian civil war between Cleopatra VII and her brother Ptolemy XIV. He sided with Cleopatra, and helped her overthrow her brother, the pharaoh. After Julius’ death, Augustus formed the Second Triumvirate with Mark Antony and Lepidus.

Later, the empire split into two, forming the Western Empire, governed through Rome, and the Eastern Empire, governed through Byzantium (later Constantinople and now Istanbul). The Eastern Empire lasted for another 900 years after the Western Empire crumbled.

And that’s all I’m writing on the Romans. Because there is a lot, and I need to get moving on other things. Like the rest of the challenge.

 

Book recommendations for reading challenges:

Fantasy                                                                                                       Sci-fi

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