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Tag Archives: Ancient Rome

The Golden Rule

By Ben Potter All that glitters may not be gold, but that hasn’t stopped the shiny yellow stuff from being relentlessly pursued throughout mankind’s civilized existence. Twinkling goodness aside, gold has the virtue of being malleable, ductile, resistant to tarnishing, abundant, easily extracted and, above all else, useless! Well, perhaps not totally, but it is

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The tainted glory of the gladiator

By Ben Potter The sun rises high over Rome’s Amphitheatrum Flavium, the mightiest arena in the world. Only the colossal statue of Nero, which one-day will lend the stadium its eternal pseudonym, dwarfs it. The 50,000 strong crowd of men and women, young and old, rich and poor, are tightly coiled; one giant organism ready

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Cato: The Roman Ron Paul?

By Ben Potter During his own era Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 BC) was known as ‘Cato the Censor’, for his role in maintaining the census, supervising public morality, and overseeing certain aspects of the government’s finances. In times after, however, he was commonly referred to as ‘Cato the Elder’, in order to distinguish him from

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Saturnalia: The Party don’t Stop

by Anya Leonard Catullus (XIV) describes it as “the best of days.” Seneca complains that the “whole mob has let itself go in pleasures” (Epistles, XVIII.3). Pliny the Younger writes that he retired to his room while the rest of the household celebrated (Epistles, II.17.24). It was a time when people rejoiced, visited friends, gave

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Cicero in Cilicia

By Ben Potter Rome’s ‘Golden Age’ is, quite rightly, thought to have reached its zenith in the days when it was making the transition from the greatest Republic to the greatest Empire of the Ancient World. Such is the breadth and depth of interesting and talented artists and statesmen from this period – Julius Caesar,

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