Skip to Content

Tarquin, Last King of Rome and Bloody Tyrant

by on September 18, 2020

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom

The Roman Republic was moulded rather decisively by the fall of the monarchy. The Republic was designed to prevent the re-emergence of rule by a single person. Rome’s last monarch was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (died 495 BC). His tyranny provoked a rebellion, and this was to lead to the Republic which was to change the history of the Classical World.  
The early life of the tyrant
Superbus was related to Tarquinius Priscus and son-in-law of the previous Etruscan king Servius Tullius. He was a member of the Tarquin Dynasty. His grandfather Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, had been an Etruscan by birth and had been adopted by the fourth Roman king. He later became his heir and ruled Rome for many years.

Lycurgus: Mysterious Spartan Lawgiver

by on September 16, 2020

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Sparta has fascinated people for thousands of years. One of the most, if not the most important figure in all of Spartan history was Lycurgus, the great lawgiver. The interesting thing is that we know very little about this man and his character and indeed, many suspect that he was only a myth.
Sparta at the time of Lycurgus
The Spartans were Dorian Greeks and they had probably migrated from the Balkans and occupied parts of the Peloponnese during the so-called Dark Ages (12th to 8th century BC). 

How the Ancient Romans Used to Eat: Everything You Need to Know

by on September 15, 2020

Written by Jason Dunlap, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom

Everyone likes to eat out at a nice restaurant. Indeed, modern fancymeals are considered a classic way to enjoy a special night. Have you ever wondered what the people of ancient civilizations used to eat? What was considered lavish and luxury dining in ancient Rome?

Well then, let’s walk you through the magnificent dining halls of ancient Rome and see how they used to celebrate food and eating.

A dinner spread based on meals in ancient Rome

Daily Meals in Ancient Rome

Should “The Rock” Play Plato?

by on September 14, 2020

Apparently there’s a petition for Dwayne Johnson, more popularly known as “The Rock”, to play Plato… or if there isn’t already there definitely should be one!
Now, hear me out…

While we all know the Athenian philosopher was called Plato(n), the origins of his more famous moniker are still quite mysterious. What we do know is this:

Plato was a wrestler
-Platon is a nickname based on the adjective ‘broad’
-According to Diogenes Laërtius his wrestler coach, Ariston of Argos, gave him the name
Seneca seconds the meaning of the name was given based on his broad chest

Plato

Marble statue of the ancient Greek Philosopher Plato – it clearly does not do his muscles enough justice!

Ergo, he basically went by his wrestling nickname… much like Dwayne Johnson. QED! Seems to be a pretty tight argument, if I do say so myself!

Mesopotamian Echoes in Greek mythology

by on September 11, 2020

Written by Ronan McLaverty-Head, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
When Alexander the Great marched into Babylon in 331 BC, it was not the first time that the Greek world had encountered the cultures of the ancient Near East. From around the 8th century BC, the Greek states had entered an “Orientalizing Period,” deliberately absorbing and adapting influences from Egypt, the Levant, and Mesopotamia.
This period was also the heyday of Mesopotamian political and cultural power, as part of the imperial expansion of both the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. A diffusion of Mesopotamian ideas made their way across the wider world, including the Greek states.
The term “Mesopotamia”—itself a Greek word—refers to the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now mostly modern-day Iraq and Syria. This fertile crescent saw the first urbanization and the first writing, cuneiform. Its peoples and cultures—Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians—had an important influence on the Classical world, particularly in the form of myth. One such mythic motif that found its way from Mesopotamia to Greece was the divine journey.

Communism, Class Struggle, and the Roman Republic

by on September 9, 2020

Written by Titus, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
Karl Marx said that humanity has been in a constant class struggle. According to him, the rich and poor have been in a perpetual war throughout history. His philosophy gave birth to modern communism which went on to add another dimension in the social and international divide between people and governments since the twentieth century. Marx gave what seemed to be valuable solutions to ending this struggle and achieve societal equality.
Roughly after a century, we have come to realize it was not as potent as it seemed to be. It was also not as groundbreaking or original. Ancient Roman society had successfully acknowledged and integrated the class struggle into their ruling apparatus thousands of years ago.
Roman society was much more successful than the modern communist and capitalist regimes as it incorporated both of these philosophies that often clashed with each other politically. It was a healthier inclusion of the working class into the government. It also made it infinitely more complex.