Map of the Roman-Parthian War, 61-63 CE

Map of the Roman-Parthian War, 61-63 CE

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Parthian empire The

The Parthian Empire (247 B.C.–224 A.D.)
The Parthian Empire (247 B.C.–224 A.D.) Silver gilt bowl Vessel Figure of a reclining woman Figure of a standing woman Silver drachm Drachm Earring in the form of a three-lobed wineskin Rhyton terminating in the forepart

The Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire: Compared to its Roman neighbor, the Parthian Empire has seen relatively little research into its history and topography. So far, there is not even agreement on whether the 18 Kingdoms that made up the Parthian Empire (as …

The Parthian Empire was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran founded by Arsaces I, the leader of the Parni tribe of nomadic horsemen. Its name comes from Parthia, a region in northeast Iran conquered by Arsaces I in the mid-3rd century B.C. when it was a satrapy (province) in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire.

Map of the Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid empire, became a world power in 247 B.C. Arsaces I, the Parni tribe’s leader, began its rise to dominance by conquering the northeast region of Iran. At the time of its conquest the province was in rebellion against the

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Map of Roman & Parthian Trade Routes (Illustration

  • This map shows the Roman-Parthian trade route system, circa between the 1st and the 3rd centuries CE
  • During this period, the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire were the two superpowers of the region and the Roman-Parthian trade system played a key role in the geopolitics of the time
  • Maritime trade routes are shown in blue, while land trade routes are shown in orange.

Map of Iran in 200 CE: The Late Parthian Empire TimeMaps DA: 16 PA: 20 MOZ Rank: 37

  • The influence of the powerful Parthian nobility can also be seen the instability at court, with leading noble families competing for control over weak kings
  • This instability has severely weakened the authority of the Parthian regime, to the point where the empire is now in terminal decline.

Outbreak of Trajan’s Parthian War Historical Atlas of DA: 13 PA: 21 MOZ Rank: 36

  • Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean (fall 113 - Outbreak of Trajan’s Parthian War: In c.109 yet another civil war broke out in Parthia, with Shah Osroes I gaining control of the west of the empire and Vologases III the east
  • The following year Osroes installed his nephew Axidares as king of Armenia, but failed to consult the Romans beforehand and thus violated the Treaty of Rhandeia

Trajan’s Parthian campaign Historical Atlas of Europe DA: 13 PA: 21 MOZ Rank: 37

  • Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean (September 116 - Trajan’s Parthian campaign: In 116 Trajan mounted a full-scale invasion of Parthia, rapidly advancing to capture Ctesiphon, Susa, and Characene
  • He organized much of the newly conquered territory into the new Roman province of Mesopotamia, but almost immediately faced wide-ranging revolts among the local peoples.

Parthian Empire in 1 AD Parthian empire, Historical DA: 17 PA: 24 MOZ Rank: 45

  • Parthian Empire in 1 AD (1st Century) Saved by mapmania
  • Parthian Empire Sassanid Bible Mapping Cradle Of Civilization Hero's Journey World Religions Teaching History Historical Maps Cartography.

Arsacid Parthian Empire, Armenian Kingdom

  • 060 Parthian Empire mints and antiquities Map 5 Parthian Empire: Parthian Archeological Mints Map of the known locations of Parthian mints
  • This is the map of the Parthian mints Ecbatana is by far the most commonly found on the drachms, mainly because the symbol for Ecbatana became frozen as part of the reverse design of the drachm, regardless

Parthian chapters History of the

  • Parthian Prince statue from Harta
  • - 224 A.D.) a Brief Outline of Parthian History
  • Map: site of the Parthian homeland in Khorasan

Maps of the Parthian Empire – Team Parthia

  • The Parthian Empire was able to control 1.1 millions square miles of land during the reign of Mithridates II from 123-88 B.C
  • These territories are part of the modern day eastern region of Iran and central-eastern Turkey it was located on the Silk Road route between the Roman Empire and the Mediterranean Basin and

Parthia Definition, Empire, Kings, & Wars Britannica DA: 18 PA: 14 MOZ Rank: 40

The earliest Parthian capital was probably at Dara (modern Abivard) one of the later capitals was Hecatompylos, probably near modern Dāmghān.The empire was governed by a small Parthian aristocracy, which successfully made use of the social organizations established by the Seleucids and which tolerated the development of vassal kingdoms.Although not an inventive people, …

Why Was the Parthian Empire So Powerful

  • The Parthian military was the vanguard of the empire’s territorial expansion, defeating several rebellious tribes in central Asia and fighting the Romans for control of Armenia and Mesopotamia
  • Cavalry comprised the most important core of the Parthian army and it was the nobility who were the overwhelming majority of the horse-borne fighters.

The Parthian peace process and the birth of Jesus

  • The Roman Empire had its capital in Constantinople, today’s Istanbul
  • The lasting shame of the Roman Empire is that it destroyed the kingdom of Judah, its capital Jerusalem and its Temple
  • The term ‘Magi’ relates to the rival super power of Rome, the Parthian Empire
  • It extended from the River Euphrates to India and modern Afghanistan.

Map Mondays 2.0 #16: The Parthian Empire under Mithridates DA: 14 PA: 50 MOZ Rank: 75

  • Well, the Parthian Empire existed at a time when two of the greatest world powers in antiquity were at their peak
  • These being the Roman Empire in the west and the Han Dynasty of China in the east
  • The fact is, were it not for the Parthians’ presence as a powerful nation capable of holding off numerous invasions, the expansion of the Romans

Parthian Empire Military Wiki Fandom

The Parthian Empire (/ˈpɑrθiən/ 247BC – 224AD), also known as the Arsacid Empire /ˈɑrsəsɪd/,1 was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran.2 Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia3 who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia4 in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy (province) in rebellion

Untitled Document Parthian empire, Historical maps, Map

Historical Maps Historical Pictures Ancient Rome Ancient History Parthian Empire Middle East Culture Ancient Persian Asia History Photos More information More like this

Beginning of the conflict [ edit | edit source ]

Byzantine and Sassanid Empires in 600 CE

Upon the murder of Maurice, Narses, governor of the Byzantine province of Mesopotamia, rebelled against Phocas and seized Edessa, a major city of the province. ⎜] Emperor Phocas instructed general Germanus to besiege Edessa, prompting Narses to request help from the Persian king Khosrau II. Khosrau, who was only too willing to help avenge Maurice, his "friend and father", used Maurice's death as an excuse to attack the Roman Empire, trying to reconquer Armenia and Mesopotamia. ⎝] ⎞]

General Germanus died in battle against the Persians. An army sent by Phocas against Khosrau was defeated near Dara in Upper Mesopotamia, leading to the capture of that important fortress in 605. Narses escaped from Leontius, the eunuch appointed by Phocas to deal with him, ⎟] but when Narses attempted to return to Constantinople to discuss peace terms, Phocas ordered him seized and burned alive. ⎠] The death of Narses along with the failure to stop the Persians damaged the prestige of Phocas' military regime. ⎟] ⎡]

A List of AOE Scenarios about the 1st-2nd Centuries AD

I have been playing Rise of Rome a lot lately because it is one of a few games with Scenarios focusing on events of the 1st to 2nd Centuries AD. Playing those Scenarios helped me familiarize myself with the the time period when Christianity began.
Below I am listing all the Scenarios that I know of for this time period or slightly before it. I marked an X next to the names showing that I beat them unless they were glitched. For Scenarios part of a Campaign, I am indenting their titles. They are in three categories: Maps (including those for the Levant), Single Player Scenarios, and Multiplayer Scenarios.
My main question for the thread is whether you know of other Scenarios touching directly on this period.

X Land of Canaan (Map) / Land of Canaan Map with Indigenous Powers (1050-700 BC)(Beat it on Moderate)
X [REAL] Maps / "8 real world maps"
_____X #1 The Middle East - Persia - 8 player - I beat it on Easy.
_____X #1 The Middle East Region 800 BC - I beat it handily on Easy.
_____X #2 Eastern Meditteranean - 8 player - I beat it on Easy.
_____X #2 Eastern Meditteranean 500 BC - I beat it on Moderate.
_____X #3 Meditteranean Sea 200 BC - When I try to Load this scenario for Play or in my Scenario Editor, my game crashes.
_____X #6 The Levant 1200 BC - I beat it on Moderate.
_____X #8 India 150 AD - I beat it handily on HARD, as Player 1 begins loaded with thousands of resources.
_____X Middle East (North) Map / Middle East (North) Map with Roman-Parthian Wars (Late 1st cent. BC - 7th c. AD) (Beat it on Moderate)

X Ages of Man (I picked scenarios that I found relevant because the campaign is very long.)
_____X (I) Lord of the Animals (600,000 BC, Africa)(I beat it on Easy)
_____X (IV) Religion (2,000 BC, Egypt) (I beat it on Moderate)
_____X (V) Monotheism (1310 BC, Canaan) (I beat it on Easy)
_____X (V) Bronze Age Collapse (1200 BC, Mediterranean)(I beat it on Moderate)
_____X (VI) Machines (500 BC, Levant)(I beat it on Easiest)
_____X (VII) Alexander the Great (320 BC, Macedonia)(I beat the scenario's "Ages of Man Part 3" version on Easiest.)
_____X (VII) Hannibal's March (218-218 BC, Spain, Alps, Northern Italy)(On MODERATE, I beat the later version of this Scenario in the "Ages of Man Part 3" Campaign.)
_____X (VII) Science and Technology (214 BC, Sicily)(I beat it on Easy)
_____X (VII) Rise of the Germans (9 AD, Germania)(I beat it on Moderate)
_____X (VII) Ctesiphon (On Hard mode I got 5/6 artifacts. The 6th one is in the southern Blue base, and to get it you have to declare war on Blue, which creates an automatic glitch.)
_____X (VII) Ascent of Rome (40,000 BCE - 1 CE)(I beat it on Easiest in 2019. The 2020 version titled "Rome the Spectacle of Antiquity" looks the same.)

X Parthian Commander (66 BC – 217 AD)(I beat it on Easiest)
_____X Raid in the West
X Drusus and Tiberius/"Drusus and Tiberius, Version 2" (c. 15 BC. On MODERATE in ROR I beat it, but it's meant for AOE1. I fixed the AOE 1.0 Version by splitting it into 2 Chapters and released it as "Version 2" with the original Designer's understanding.)
_____X Chapter 1: Drusus Duels the Vendelici Leader (I beat it on Moderate)
_____X Chapter 2: Tiberius Battles the Raeti (Beat it on Easiest as part of playtesting)
X Around The Mountain (You play as Rome and must free Tiberius. I beat it on EASIEST.)
X Tiberius Teuton-Campaign (12-7 BC)(I beat it on Easy.)
X Arminius, Hammer of the Romans (9 AD)
_____X Rome Is Not Your Friend (I beat it on Moderate.)
_____X Clipping the Eagle's Wings (Beat it on Moderate.)
_____X At the Well of Wyrd (Beat it on moderate)
_____X Wrath of the Tribes (I beat it on moderate)
X The Stadium of Tiberius (14 AD to 37 AD)(Beat it on moderate.)
X Jesus (30 AD)(Beat it on Moderate.)
X Gethsemane (30-33 AD) (I easily beat my homemade mission)
X Let's Mess Up History! (33 AD)(Beat it on Moderate.)
X Conversions and Catacombs (41 AD, I beat my homemade mission.)
X Christianity (emperor Claudius is the opponent, so 41-51 AD.)(I beat it on Moderate.)
X Thomas' Mission to Indo-Parthia (46-51 AD)(I beat my own homemade Scenario)
X The Mesopotamian Campaign of Abgar V of Edessa (49 AD, I beat my homemade mission.)
X The Cockleshell Heroes (ASO2) (Queen Boudicca, c. 60 AD)(I beat it on Moderate) (Based on a WWII movie that I saw.)
X Nero's Persecution (64-67 AD, I beat my homemade mission on Hard.)
X Fighting for Rome
_____X Beginning of the Roman Empire (Beat it on Moderate.)
_____X The Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC)(I beat it on Moderate.)
_____X The Jewish Revolt (66-73 AD, I beat it on Easiest.)
X Siege V Masada (67 AD - 73 CE)(Completed on single player, probably on moderate.)
X Aid the Batavians (69 AD)
X The advance of Antonius / Primus (October 69 AD) (I beat it on Easiest.)
X the seige of jerusalem (by yontanyontan, 70 AD) (I beat it on Easy)
X The Siege of Masada, 70 AD / "TheSiege of Masadaby10thLegion" (I beat it on Hardest.)
X Annex of the Two Rivers (115 AD, Parthia)(I beat it on MODERATE.)
X Roman Expansion into Britannia / "Roman Expansion into Britannia, Version 2" (I fixed the glitches and submitted the fixed Campaign as "Version 2")
_____X Invasion of Britania(AD 43)(In AOE 1.0 on MODERATE, I completed the Objectives in gameplay, then fixed the mission and submitted the fixed Campaign as Version 2.)
_____X Supression (c. 60 AD) (Beat it on Moderate)
_____X Building Hadrian's Wall (120 AD)(On Moderate, I met all the Objectives and then fixed the glitch that prevented a Victory screen.)
X The Eagle /"The Eagle, Version 2" (Scotland, 140 AD, based on the movie I saw.)(On MODERATE, I brought the chest to the red gate, but red soldiers block the gate so that I couldn't get it through. I fixed the Victory settings and resubmitted it as "Version 2.)
X Roman Incursion (154-180 AD)
_____X xzcRome1 (beat it on Moderate)
_____X xzcRome2 (Beat it on Moderate)
_____X xzcRome3 (Beat it on Moderate)
X Gladiator (180 AD, based on movie Gladiator that I saw.)
_____X Germania (Beat it on Moderate easily)
_____X Escape (Beat it on Moderate easily)
_____X Rise of a Gladiator (Beat it on Moderate easily)
_____X The Colosseum (Beat it on Moderate easily)
_____X Battle with Greatest Gladiator (Beat it on Moderate)
_____X Defying an Empire (Beat it on Moderate)
X Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire
_____X Beginnings of Rome (Beat it on moderate)
_____X Development of the Roman Armies (Beat it on Easy.)
_____X Masters of Italy (beat it on Moderate)
_____X First Punic War (Beat on Moderate)
_____X Second Punic War (Beat on Easy.)
_____X Third Punic War (Beat it on Moderate)
_____X Rise of Julius Caesar (Beat it on Moderate.)
_____X Crossing the Rubicon (Beat on Moderate.)
_____X Fall of Pompei (Beat on Moderate.)
_____X Anthony and Cleopatra (Beat on moderate)
_____X Nero and the Christians (c. 64 AD) [I beat it on Moderate)
_____X Sowers of Discord (192 AD)(Beat on Easiest)
_____X Rise of Constantine (311 AD) (I beat it on Moderate.)
_____X Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312, Beat it on Moderate)
X Pax Romana (Official Campaign)
_____X Actium (Cleopatra Scenario, c. 30 BC)(beat it on easy)
_____X Vespasian scenario with the Four Emperors (completed on moderate 69 AD)
_____X Ctesiphon (262 AD) (I beat it on easy.)
_____X Queen Zenobia (266-273) (I beat it on Easy)
_____X Coming of the Huns (373 - 453 AD)(I beat it on Moderate with no walkthrough)
X Pax Romana Beta Version (I beat all its missions on Easiest)
X The Last Frontier - The Romans in Britain
_____X The Edge of the World (Beat on Moderate)(Caesar's invasion was in 55-54 BC)
_____X By Fire and Blood (61 AD)(Beat it on Moderate)
_____X To Their Own Defense (410 AD) I beat it on EASIEST.
X Armageddon (predicted by John in the late 1st c.)(scenario by David Dorothy)(I beat it on EASY.)

Byzantine–Sassanid Wars

Anastasian War

War broke out when the Persian King Kavadh I attempted to gain financial support by force from the Byzantine Roman Emperor Anastasius I. [ 35 ] In 502 AD, he quickly captured the unprepared city of Theodosiopolis [ 36 ] and besieged Amida. The siege of the fortress-city proved to be far more difficult than Kavadh expected the defenders repelled the Persian assaults for three months before they were beaten. [ 37 ] In 503, the Romans attempted an ultimately unsuccessful siege of the Persian-held Amida while Kavadh invaded Osroene and laid siege to Edessa with the same results. [ 38 ] Finally in 504, the Romans gained control through the renewed investment of Amida, which led to the fall of the city. That year an armistice was reached as a result of an invasion of Armenia by the Huns from the Caucasus. Although the two powers negotiated, it was not until November 506 that a treaty was agreed to. [ 39 ] In 505, Anastasius ordered the building of a great fortified city at Dara. At the same time, the dilapidated fortifications were also upgraded at Edessa, Batnae and Amida. [ 40 ] Although no further large-scale conflict took place during Anastasius' reign, tensions continued, especially while work proceeded at Dara. This was because the construction of new fortifications in the border zone by either empire had been prohibited by a treaty concluded some decades earlier. Anastasius pursued the project despite Persian objections, and the walls were completed by 507–508. [ 41 ]

Iberian War

In 524–525 AD, Kavadh proposed that Justin I adopt his son, Khosrau, but the negotiations soon broke down. [ 42 ] Tensions between the two powers erupted into conflict when Caucasian Iberia under Gourgen defected to the Romans in 524–525. [ 43 ] Overt Roman–Persian fighting had broken out in the Transcaucasus region and upper Mesopotamia by 526–527. [ 44 ] The early years of war favored the Persians: by 527, the Iberian revolt had been crushed, a Roman offensive against Nisibis and Thebetha in that year was unsuccessful, and forces trying to fortify Thannuris and Melabasa were prevented from doing so by Persian attacks. [ 45 ] Attempting to remedy the deficiencies revealed by these Persian successes, the new Roman emperor, Justinian I, reorganized the eastern armies. [ 46 ]

In 530 a major Persian offensive in Mesopotamia was defeated by Roman forces under Belisarius at Dara, while a second Persian thrust in the Caucasus was defeated by Sittas at Satala. Belisarius was defeated by Persian and Lakhmid forces at the Battle of Callinicum in 531. In the same year the Romans gained some forts in Armenia, while the Persians had captured two forts in eastern Lazica. [ 47 ] Immediately after the failure at Callinicum the Persians and Romans negotiated without success. [ 48 ] The two sides re-opened talks in spring 532 and finally signed the Eternal Peace in September 532, which lasted less than eight years. Both powers agreed to return all occupied territories, and the Romans agreed to make a one-time payment of 110 centenaria (11,000 lb of gold). Iberia remained in Persian hands, and the Iberians who had left their country were given the choice of remaining in Roman territory or returning to their native land. [ 49 ]

Justinian vs. Khosrau I

The Persians broke the "Treaty of Eternal Peace" in 540 AD, probably in response to the Roman reconquest of much of the former western empire, which had been facilitated by the cessation of war in the East. Khosrau I invaded and devastated Syria, extorting large sums of money from the cities of Syria and Mesopotamia, and systematically looting other cities including Antioch, whose population was deported to Persian territory. [ 50 ] Belisarius, recalled from the campaigns in the West to deal with the Persian threat, waged an inconclusive campaign against Nisibis in 541. Khosrau launched another offensive in Mesopotamia in 542 when he attempted to capture Sergiopolis. [ 51 ] He soon withdrew in the face of an army under Belisarius, sacking the city of Callinicum en route. [ 52 ] Attacks on a number of Roman cities were repulsed, and Persian forces were defeated at Dara. [ 53 ] In 543, the Romans launched an offensive against Dvin but were defeated by a small Persian force at Anglon. Khosrau besieged Edessa in 544 without success and was eventually bought off by the defenders. [ 54 ] In the wake of the Persian retreat, Roman envoys proceeded to Ctesiphon for negotiations. [ 55 ] A five-year truce was agreed to in 545, secured by Roman payments to the Persians. [ 56 ]

Early in 548, King Gubazes of Lazica, having found Persian protection oppressive, asked Justinian to restore the Roman protectorate. The emperor seized the chance, and in 548–549 combined Roman and Lazic forces won a series of victories against Persian armies, although they failed to take the key garrison of Petra. The city was finally subjugated in 551, but in the same year a Persian offensive led by Mihr-Mihroe occupied eastern Lazica. [ 57 ] The truce that had been established in 545 was renewed outside Lazica for a further five years on condition that the Romans pay 2,000 lb of gold each year. [ 58 ] In Lazica the war dragged on inconclusively for several years, with neither side able to make any major gains. [ 59 ] Khosrau, who now had to deal with the White Huns, renewed the truce in 557, this time without excluding Lazica negotiations continued for a definite peace treaty. [ 60 ] Finally, in 561, the envoys of Justinian and Khosrau put together a 50-year peace. The Persians agreed to evacuate Lazica and received an annual subsidy of 30,000 nomismata (solidi). [ 61 ] Both sides agreed not to build new fortifications near the frontier and to ease restrictions on diplomacy and trade. [ 62 ]

War for the Caucasus

War broke out again when Armenia and Iberia revolted against Sassanid rule in 571 AD, following clashes involving Roman and Persian proxies in Yemen and the Syrian desert, and Roman negotiations for an alliance with the Turks against Persia. [ 63 ] Justin II brought Armenia under his protection, while Roman troops under Justin's cousin Marcian raided Arzanene and invaded Persian Mesopotamia, where they defeated local forces. [ 64 ] Marcian's sudden dismissal and the arrival of troops under Khosrau resulted in a ravaging of Syria, the failure of the Roman siege of Nisibis and the fall of Dara. [ 65 ] At a cost of 45,000 solidi, a one-year truce in Mesopotamia (eventually extended to five years) [ 66 ] was arranged, but in the Caucasus and on the desert frontiers the war continued. [ 67 ] In 575, Khosrau I attempted to combine aggression in Armenia with discussion of a permanent peace. He invaded Anatolia and sacked Sebasteia, but after a clash near Melitene the Persian army suffered heavy losses while fleeing across the Euphrates under Roman attack. [ 68 ]

The Romans exploited Persian disarray, and general Justinian invaded deep into Persian territory and raiding Atropatene. [ 68 ] Khosrau sought peace, but abandoned this initiative after Tamkhusro won a victory in Armenia, where Roman actions had alienated local inhabitants. [ 69 ] In the spring of 578 the war in Mesopotamia resumed with Persian raids on Roman territory. The Roman general Maurice retaliated by raiding Persian Mesopotamia, capturing the stronghold of Aphumon, and sacking Singara. Khosrau again opened peace negotiations but he died early in 579 and his successor Hormizd IV preferred to continue the war. [ 70 ]

During the 580s, the war continued inconclusively with victories on both sides. In 582, Maurice won a battle at Constantia over Adarmahan and Tamkhusro, who was killed, but the Roman general did not follow up his victory he had to hurry to Constantinople to pursue his imperial ambitions. [ 71 ] Another Roman victory at Solachon in 586 likewise failed to break the stalemate. [ 72 ]

The Persians captured Martyropolis through treachery in 589, but that year the stalemate was shattered when the Persian general Bahram Chobin, having been dismissed and humiliated by Hormizd IV, raised a rebellion. Hormizd was overthrown in a palace coup in 590 and replaced by his son Khosrau II, but Bahram pressed on with his revolt regardless and the defeated Khosrau was soon forced to flee for safety to Roman territory, while Bahram took the throne as Bahram VI. With support from Maurice, Khosrau raised a rebellion against Bahram, and in 591 the combined forces of his supporters and the Romans restored Khosrau II to power. In exchange for their help, Khosrau not only returned Dara and Martyropolis but also agreed to cede the western half of Iberia and more than half of Persian Armenia to the Romans. [ 73 ]


In 602 the Roman army campaigning in the Balkans mutinied under the leadership of Phocas, who succeeded in seizing the throne, and then killed Maurice and his family. Khosrau II used the murder of his benefactor as a pretext for war. [ 74 ] In the early years of the war the Persians enjoyed overwhelming and unprecedented success. They were aided by Khosrau's use of a pretender claiming to be Maurice's son, and by the revolt against Phocas of the Roman general Narses. [ 75 ] In 603 Khosrau defeated and killed the Roman general Germanus in Mesopotamia and laid siege to Dara. Despite the arrival of Roman reinforcements from Europe he won another victory in 604, while Dara fell after a nine-month siege. Over the following years the Persians gradually overcame the fortress cities of Mesopotamia by siege, one after another. [ 76 ] At the same time they won a string of victories in Armenia and systematically subdued the Roman garrisons in the Caucasus. [ 77 ] Phocas was deposed in 610 by Heraclius, who sailed to Constantinople from Carthage. [ 78 ] Around the same time the Persians completed their conquest of Mesopotamia and the Caucasus, and in 611 they overran Syria and entered Anatolia, occupying Caesarea. [ 79 ] Having expelled the Persians from Anatolia in 612, Heraclius launched a major counter-offensive in Syria in 613. He was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin and the Roman position collapsed. [ 80 ] Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt, [ 81 ] and to devastate Anatolia. [ 82 ] Meanwhile, the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Roman Empire to the brink of destruction. [ 83 ]

During these years, Heraclius strove to rebuild his army, slashing non-military expenditures, devaluing the currency and melting down Church plate, with the backing of Patriarch Sergius, to raise the necessary funds to continue the war. [ 84 ] In 622, Heraclius left Constantinople, entrusting the city to Sergius and general Bonus as regents of his son. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor and, after conducting exercises to revive their morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war. [ 85 ] In the Caucasus he inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief, and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. [ 86 ] Following a lull in 623, while Heraclius negotiated a truce with the Avars, he resumed his campaigns in the East in 624 and routed an army led by Khosrau at Ganzak in Atropatene. [ 87 ] In 625 he defeated the generals Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan in Armenia, and in a surprise attack that winter he stormed Shahrbaraz's headquarters and attacked his troops in their winter billets. [ 88 ] Supported by a Persian army commanded by Shahrbaraz, the Avars and Slavs unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople in 626, [ 89 ] while a second Persian army under Shahin suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of Heraclius' brother Theodore. [ 90 ]

Meanwhile, Heraclius formed an alliance with the Turks, who took advantage of dwindling strength of the Persians to ravage their territories in the Caucasus. [ 91 ] Late in 627, Heraclius launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of the Turkish contingent that had accompanied him, he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Nineveh. Continuing south along the Tigris, he sacked Khosrau's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. Discredited by this series of disasters, Khosrau was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. [ 92 ] Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629. [ 93 ]

Map of the Roman-Parthian War, 61-63 CE - History

An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers

DIR Atlas

Nero (54-68 A.D.)

[Additional entries on this emperor's life by David Coffta and Donatien Grau are available in DIR Archives]

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources

The five Julio-Claudian emperors are very different one from the other. Augustus dominates in prestige and achievement from the enormous impact he had upon the Roman state and his long service to Rome, during which he attained unrivaled auctoritas. Tiberius was clearly the only possible successor when Augustus died in AD 14, but, upon his death twenty-three years later, the next three were a peculiar mix of viciousness, arrogance, and inexperience. Gaius, better known as Caligula, is generally styled a monster, whose brief tenure did Rome no service. His successor Claudius, his uncle, was a capable man who served Rome well, but was condemned for being subject to his wives and freedmen. The last of the dynasty, Nero, reigned more than three times as long as Gaius, and the damage for which he was responsible to the state was correspondingly greater. An emperor who is well described by statements such as these, "But above all he was carried away by a craze for popularity and he was jealous of all who in any way stirred the feeling of the mob." and "What an artist the world is losing!" [[1]] and who is above all remembered for crimes against his mother and the Christians was indeed a sad falling-off from the levels of Augustus and Tiberius. Few will argue that Nero does not rank as one of the worst emperors of all.

The prime sources for Nero's life and reign are Tacitus' Annales 12-16, Suetonius' Life of Nero, and Dio Cassius' Roman History 61-63, written in the early third century. Additional valuable material comes from inscriptions, coinage, papyri, and archaeology.

Early Life

He was born on December 15, 37, at Antium, the son of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus [[PIR 2 D127]]and Agrippina [[PIR 2 I641]]. Domitius was a member of an ancient noble family, consul in 32 Agrippina was the daughter of the popular Germanicus [[PIR 2 I221]], who had died in 19, and Agrippina, daughter of Agrippa, Augustus' closest associate, and Julia, the emperor's daughter, and thus in direct descent from the first princeps. When the child was born, his uncle Gaius had only recently become emperor. The relationship between mother and uncle was difficult, and Agrippina suffered occasional humiliation. But the family survived the short reign of the "crazy" emperor, and when he was assassinated, it chanced that Agrippina's uncle, Claudius, was the chosen of the praetorian guard, although there may have been a conspiracy to accomplish this.

Ahenobarbus had died in 40, so the son was now the responsibility of Agrippina alone. She lived as a private citizen for much of the decade, until the death of Messalina, the emperor's wife, in 48 made competition among several likely candidates to become the new empress inevitable. Although Roman law forbade marriage between uncle and niece, an eloquent speech in the senate by Lucius Vitellius [[PIR V500]], Claudius' closest advisor in the senatorial order, persuaded his audience that the public good required their union. [[2]] The marriage took place in 49, and soon thereafter the philosopher Seneca [[PIR 2 A617]] was recalled from exile to become the young Domitius' tutor, a relationship which endured for some dozen years.

His advance was thereafter rapid. He was adopted by Claudius the following year and took the name Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar or Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, was preferred to Claudius' natural son, Britannicus [[PIR 2 C820]], who was about three years younger, was betrothed to the emperor's daughter Octavia, and was, in the eyes of the people, the clear successor to the emperor. In 54, Claudius died, having eaten some poisoned mushrooms, responsibility for which was believed to be Agrippina's, [[3]] and the young Nero, not yet seventeen years old, was hailed on October 13 as emperor by the praetorian guard.

The first years of rule

The first five years of Nero's rule are customarily called the quinquennium, a period of good government under the influence, not always coinciding, of three people, his mother, Seneca, and Sextus Afranius Burrus [[PIR 2 A441]], the praetorian prefect. The latter two were allies in their "education" of the emperor. Seneca continued his philosophical and rhetorical training, Burrus was more involved in advising on the actualities of government. They often combined their influence against Agrippina, who, having made her son emperor, never let him forget the debt he owed his mother, until finally, and fatally, he moved against her.

Nero's betrothal to Octavia [[PIR 2 C1110]] was a significant step in his ultimate accession to the throne, as it were, but she was too quiet, too shy, too modest for his taste. He was early attracted to Poppaea Sabina [[PIR 2 P850), the wife of Otho, and she continually goaded him to break from Octavia and to show himself an adult by opposing his mother. In his private life, Nero honed the musical and artistic tastes which were his chief interest, but, at this stage, they were kept private, at the instigation of Seneca and Burrus.

As the year 59 began, Nero had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday and now felt the need to employ the powers which he possessed as emperor as he wished, without the limits imposed by others. Poppaea's urgings had their effect, first of all, at the very onset of the year, with Nero's murder of his mother in the Bay of Naples.

Agrippina had tried desperately to retain her influence with her son, going so far as to have intercourse with him. But the break between them proved irrevocable, and Nero undertook various devices to eliminate his mother without the appearance of guilt on his part. The choice was a splendid vessel which would collapse while she was on board. As this happened, she swam ashore and, when her attendant, having cried out that she was Agrippina, was clubbed to death, Agrippina knew what was going on. She sent Nero a message that she was well his response was to send a detachment of sailors to finish the job. When she was struck across the head, she bared her womb and said, "Strike here, Anicetus, strike here, for this bore Nero," and she was brutally murdered. [[4]]

Nero was petrified with fear when he learned that the deed had been done, yet his popularity with the plebs of Rome was not impaired. This matricide, however, proved a turning point in his life and principate. It appeared that all shackles were now removed. The influence of Seneca and Burrus began to wane, and when Burrus died in 62, Seneca realized that his powers of persuasion were at an end and soon went into retirement. Britannicus had died as early as 55 now Octavia was to follow, and Nero became free to marry Poppaea. It may be that it had been Burrus rather than Agrippina who had continually urged that Nero's position depended in large part upon his marriage to Octavia. Burrus' successor as commander of the praetorian guard, although now with a colleague, was Ofonius Tigellinus [[PIR 2 O91]], quite the opposite of Burrus in character and outlook. Tigellinus became Nero's "evil twin," urging and assisting in the performance of crimes and the satisfaction of lusts.

Administrative and foreign policy

With Seneca and Burrus in charge of administration at home, the first half-dozen years of Nero's principate ran smoothly. He himself devoted his attention to his artistic, literary, and physical bents, with music, poetry, and chariot racing to the fore. But his advisors were able to keep these performances and displays private, with small, select audiences on hand. Yet there was a gradual trend toward public performance, with the establishment of games. Further, he spent many nights roaming the city in disguise, with numerous companions, who terrorized the streets and attacked individuals. Those who dared to defend themselves often faced death afterward, because they had shown disrespect for the emperor. The die was being cast for the last phases of Nero's reign.

Abroad there were continuous military and diplomatic difficulties, first in Britain, then in the East involving Parthia and Armenia, and lastly in Judaea. The invasion of Britain had begun in 43 and that campaign continued for four years. But the successive governors had the task of consolidating what had been conquered and adding to the extent of the province. This involved some very vicious fighting, particularly in the west against the Silures and the Ordovices. In the year 60 the great explosion occurred. When the governor, Suetonius Paullinus [[PIR S694]], was attacking the island of Mona, modern Anglesey, to extirpate the Druids, Boudica, the queen of the Iceni, located chiefly in modern Norfolk, rose in revolt, to avenge personal injuries suffered by herself and her daughters and to expel Rome from the island. Her army destroyed three Roman cities with the utmost savagery, Colchester, London, and St. Albans falling to sword and fire. But Paullinus met the enemy horde at a site still unknown and destroyed the vastly larger British forces. [[5]] Nero is said to have considered giving up the province of Britannia because the revenue it produced was far lower than had been anticipated about a score of years before, and it cost Rome more to maintain and expand the province than the latter was able to produce. Yet, at the last, Nero decided that such an action would damage Rome's prestige enormously, and could be interpreted as the first of a series of such actions. The status quo therefore remained. [[6]]

The problem in the East was different. Parthia and Rome had long been rivals and enemies for preeminence in the vast territory east of Syria and Cappadocia. The key was Armenia, the land which separated the two great powers. It served as a buffer state the important issue in the minds of both concerned the ruler of Armenia. Was he to be chosen by Rome or by Parthia, and thereby be considered the vassal of one or the other? In the latter fifties there were frequent disagreements which led to war, fought viciously and variously. Rome suffered some significant losses, until Cn. Domitius Corbulo [[PIR 2 D142]]was appointed governor of Syria and made commander of all military forces. He won the day by diplomacy as much as by force of arms. The upshot was that the man chosen for the Armenian throne came to Rome to be crowned by Nero with enormous panoply and display.

The year 66 saw the beginning of an uprising in Judaea which was brutal in the extreme. The future emperor Vespasian was appointed to crush the rebels, which he and his son Titus were able to accomplish. Four legions were assigned to Judaea the neighboring province of Syria, under its governor Mucianus, also possessed four. This was a mighty military muster in a relatively small part of the empire.

The great fire at Rome and the punishment
of the Christians

The year 64 was the most significant of Nero's principate up to this point. His mother and wife were dead, as was Burrus, and Seneca, unable to maintain his influence over Nero without his colleague's support, had withdrawn into private life. The abysmal Tigellinus was now the foremost advisor of the still young emperor, a man whose origin was from the lowest levels of society and who can accurately be described as criminal in outlook and action. Yet Nero must have considered that he was happier than he had ever been in his life. Those who had constrained his enjoyment of his (seemingly) limitless power were gone, he was married to Poppaea, a woman with all advantages save for a bad character [[7]], the empire was essentially at peace, and the people of Rome enjoyed a full measure of panem et circenses. But then occurred one of the greatest disasters that the city of Rome, in its long history, had ever endured.

The fire began in the southeastern angle of the Circus Maximus, spreading through the shops which clustered there, and raged for the better part of a week. There was brief success in controlling the blaze, but then it burst forth once more, so that many people claimed that the fires were deliberately set. After about a fortnight, the fire burned itself out, having consumed ten of the fourteen Augustan regions into which the city had been divided.

Nero was in Antium through much of the disaster, but his efforts at relief were substantial. Yet many believed that he had been responsible, so that he could perform his own work comparing the current fate of Rome to the downfall of Troy. All his efforts to assist the stricken city could not remove the suspicion that "the emperor had fiddled while Rome burned." He lost favor even among the plebs who had been enthusiastic supporters, particularly when his plans for the rebuilding of the city revealed that a very large part of the center was to become his new home.

As his popularity waned, Nero and Tigellinus realized that individuals were needed who could be charged with the disaster. It so happened that there was such a group ready at hand, Christians, who had made themselves unpopular because of their refusal to worship the emperor, their way of life, and their secret meetings. Further, at this time two of their most significant "teachers" were in Rome, Peter and Paul. They were ideal scapegoats, individuals whom most Romans loathed, and who had continually sung of the forthcoming end of the world.

Their destruction was planned with the utmost precision and cruelty, for the entertainment of the populace. The venue was Nero's circus near the Mons Vaticanus. Christians were exposed to wild animals and were set ablaze, smeared with pitch, to illuminate the night. The executions were so grisly that even the populace displayed sympathy for the victims. Separately, Peter was crucified upside down on the Vatican hill and Paul was beheaded along the Via Ostiensis. But Nero's attempt, and hope, to shift all suspicion of arson to others failed. His popularity even among the lower classes was irrevocably impaired. [[8]]

City planning, architecture, and literature

The devastation in the center of the city presented an opportunity for Nero to build a mansion worthy of himself, the vast estate known as the "Golden House," the domus aurea. It consisted of a very extensive residential quarter, with numerous architectural innovations, a lake, and a colossal statue of himself. In subsequent years, all were destroyed or transformed. The Golden House was filled in and served as the foundation of Trajan's baths, the lake disappeared under the Colosseum, the amphitheatrum Flavium, and the statue's head was changed to that of a divinity. The entire project was a huge example of Roman building techniques and imagination. Indeed, the architects responsible, Severus and Celer, [[9]] are the first in Roman history whose names are known. [[10]]

There is little else of importance in the field of architecture. Nero did have other grand plans, such as cutting a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth in Greece, but they did not come to fruition.

The situation was different in the arts and literature. Nero considered himself a virtuoso in music, acting, chariot racing, and literary activity, to the point that he could not tolerate any rivals. In competitions, it was routine that he always won, and those compelled to attend his performances were faced with execution if they did not evince appropriate attention and enthusiasm. The future emperor Vespasian fell asleep on more than one such occasion but was spared.

We know essentially nothing about Nero's competitors in other fields, but in literature there were substantial rivals. Chief among them was Lucan, whose epic on the Caesarian civil war evoked the majesty, in subject and manner, of Vergil. Lucan offended Nero by criticism of the latter's poetry and was forbidden to recite his own work. Seneca was the other great figure of the literary age, but his specialities of philosophy and rhetoric did not appeal to the emperor. Pliny the Elder similarly devoted himself to works of massive scope, such as his History of the German Wars and the Natural History, which defied competition from the emperor.

A failed conspiracy

The year 65 was marked by a conspiracy of a large scale, the purpose of which, it goes without saying, was to eliminate Nero and replace him with a member of the senatorial order. [[11]] The chosen designee was C. Calpurnius Piso [[PIR 2 C284]], although there was talk that Seneca was the favorite of many. The conspiracy failed, in part because there were too many people involved in it and some, by action or word, caused suspicion which Tigellinus ruthlessly pursued. Once it was broken, leading members of society behaved miserably and dishonorably, squealing on others and facing their own ends with fear and shame. Only two persons who were tortured or put to death behaved in the fashion of an "old Roman," and these were members of the lower classes. A freedwoman Epicharis, after torture had not succeeded in breaking her resistance, committed suicide by hanging herself before a second day of interrogation. [[12]] Subrius Flavus, a tribune of the praetorian guard, was the only person, as reported by Tacitus, who bluntly spoke when Nero asked him why he had ignored his oath as a soldier and acted against him.

"I hated you, yet not a soldier was more loyal to you while you deserved to be loved. I began to hate you when you became the murderer of your mother and your wife, a charioteer, an actor, and an incendiary." [[13]]

Flavus' judgment of Nero essentially expressed the views of subsequent history. Among the other deaths were those of Piso and Seneca by suicide.

Nero was now twenty-seven years old. He had been emperor for more than a decade and had overseen or been responsible for three major disasters in the space of little more than one year. The only positive result from any of these was the imposition of strict building laws for the reconstruction of the city, calling for wider streets, a limitation on the height of buildings, and the use of safer building materials. Though Rome became a healthier and more attractive city, resentment remained because Nero had taken for his own use such a large part of the central city and had brought the countryside into the city. Yet Nero's response to these challenges was to devote ever more attention to his artistic leanings, in ever more public contexts. First there came an extended visit to Naples, the most Greek city of Italy, then a trip to Greece, where he participated in each of the great festivals and won hundreds of contests. Who, after all, would dare vote against the man who held the power of life and death over all? [[14]]

The end - Nero's death and its aftermath

Nero's and Tigellinus' response to the conspiracy was immediate and long-lasting. The senatorial order was decimated, as one leading member after another was put to death or compelled to commit suicide. The year 66 saw the suicides of perhaps the most distinguished victims of the "reign of terror," Caius Petronius [[PIR 2 P294]]and Thrasea Paetus [[PIR 2 C1187]].[[15]] Petronius, long a favorite of Nero because of his aesthetic taste, had been an able public servant before he turned to a life of ease and indolence. He was recognized as the arbiter elegantiae of Nero's circle, and may be the author of the Satyricon. At his death, he left for Nero a document which itemized many of the latter's crimes. Thrasea, a staunch Stoic who had been for some years an outspoken opponent of Nero's policies, committed suicide in the Socratic manner. This scene is the last episode in the surviving books of Tacitus' Annals.

In the year 68, revolt began in the provinces, with the uprising of Julius Vindex, a Gallic noble, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. His purpose, it seems clear, was not a nationalistic undertaking but an attempt to depose Nero and offer Rome the opportunity to choose a new ruler. But he received little support from other governors indeed, only the elderly Galba in Spain indicated approval. Vindex may have been in communication with Lucius Verginius Rufus [[PIR 2 V284]], governor of Germania Superior, but when he moved his army in Gaul, a battle ensued between the two forces, perhaps instigated by the army of Germany. Upon Vindex's defeat and death, Verginius was offered the purple by his troops, which he rejected, stating that such a decision was a prerogative of the Senate. By this action he gained enduring fame, which was recorded on his epitaph almost thirty years later:

Hic situs est Rufus, pulso qui Vindice quondam
imperium adseruit non sibi, sed patriae. (Pliny the Younger 9.19.1)

Here lies Rufus, who once, after Vindex's defeat,
claimed the empire not for himself, but for his country.

Nonetheless the end of Nero's reign became inevitable. Galba claimed the throne and began his march from Spain. Nero panicked and was rapidly abandoned by his supporters. He finally committed suicide with assistance, on June 9, 68, and his body was tended and buried by three women who had been close to him in his younger days, chief of whom was Acte.[[16]] His death scene is marked above all by the statement, "Qualis artifex pereo," (What an artist dies in me.) Even at the end he was more concerned with his private life than with the affairs of state.

The aftermath of Nero's death was cataclysmic. Galba was the first of four emperors who revealed the new secret of empire, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than in Rome. [[17]] Civil war ensued, which was only ended by the victory of the fourth claimant, Vespasian, who established the brief dynasty of the Flavians. The dynasty of the Julio-Claudians was at an end.

Nero's popularity among the lower classes remained even after his death. His close friend, and successor to Galba, Otho paid him all public honors. But with Vespasian's triumph Nero began to fade from public memory. Vespasian built the enormous amphitheater known from the beginning of the Middle Ages as the Colosseum on the site of Nero's lake, the stupendous statue of himself was transformed into a representation of a god, and in the decades of Trajan and Hadrian most of the remainder of the Golden House disappeared under the Baths of Trajan on the Esquiline Hill and the Temple of Venus and Rome built by Hadrian at the extreme east end of the Roman Forum. The land claimed by Nero for his private pleasure was restored to the Roman people, for enjoyment and worship.

Nonetheless, over the two decades or so after his death, several pseudo-Neros appeared on the scene, claiming to be the emperor. But these claimants had no success, and Nero then passed entirely into history.

It is not excessive to say that he was one of the worst of Rome's emperors in the first two centuries and more of the empire. Whatever talents he had, whatever good he may have done, all is overwhelmed by three events, the murder of his mother, the fire at Rome, and his savage treatment of the Christians.

Precisely these qualities are the reasons that he has remained so well known and has been the subject of many writers and opera composers in modern times. These works of fiction particularly merit mention: Henryk Sienkiewicz's Quo Vadis, one of the finest works of the 1907 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and John Hersey's The Conspiracy. Nero unquestionably will always be with us.


Ball, L.F., The Domus Aurea and the Roman Architectural Revolution (Cambridge 2003)

Barrett, A.A., Agrippina. Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire (New Haven and London 1996)

Beaujeu, J., L'Incendie de Rome en 64 et les chrétiens (Brussels 1960, Collection Latomus 49)

Benario, H.W., "Three Tacitean Women," in S.K. Dickison & J.P. Hallett, eds., Rome and Her Monuments (Wauconda, IL, 2000) 587-601

Boëthius, A., and J.B. Ward-Perkins, Etruscan and Roman Architecture (Harmondsworth 1970)

Champlin, E., Nero (Cambridge, MA, 2003)

Eck, W., Der Neue Pauly 8 (2000) cols. 851-55

Elsner, J., Reflections of Nero: culture, history, and representation (London 1994)

Freudenberger, R., Das Verhalten der römischen Behörden gegen die Christen im 2. Jahrhundert (Munich 1967) 180-89

Garzetti, A., From Tiberius to the Antonines. A History of the Roman Empire AD 14-192 (London 1974)

Grant, M., Nero (New York 1970)

Griffin, M.T., Nero. The End of a Dynasty (London 1984)

Kleiner, F., The Arch of Nero in Rome: a study of the Roman honorary arch before and under Nero (Rome 1985)

MacDonald, W.L., The Architecture of the Roman Empire I (New Haven 1965)

Malitz, J., Nero (Oxford 2005)

Rudich, V., Political Dissidence under Nero: the price of dissimulation (London and New York 1993)

Shotter, D., Nero (London and New York 2005 2 )

Smallwood, E.M., Documents Illustrating the Principates of Gaius, Claudius and Nero (Cambridge 1967)

Temporini-Gräfin Vitzthum, H., Die Kaiserinnen Roms. Von Livia bis Theodora (Munich 2002)

Waldherr, G.H., Nero (Regensburg 2005)

Warmington, B.H., Nero. Reality and Legend (London 1969)

Wlosok, A., Rom und die Christen. Zur Auseinandersetzung zwischen Christentum und römischem Staat (Stuttgart 1970)


[[1]] Suetonius 53 and 49. All translations from Suetonius are taken from J.C. Rolfe's Loeb Classical Library edition II, 1950.

[[2]] Tacitus 12.5-6.

[[3]] Tacitus 12.66-67.

[[4]] Tacitus 14.1-11 Dio 62.11-14.

[[5]] Tacitus Agricola 15-16, Annals 14.29-39 Dio 62.1- 12.

[[6]] Suetonius 18.

[[7]] Tacitus 13.45 huic mulieri cuncta alia fuere praeter honestum animum.

[[8]] Tacitus 15.38-44, Suetonius 38. See Beaujeu, Freudenberger, Wlosok.

[[9]] Tacitus 15.42-43.

[[10]] See Ball, Boëthius and Ward-Perkins, MacDonald.

[[11]] Tacitus 15.48-74, Dio 62.24-25.

[[12]] See Benario 589-91.

[[13]] Tacitus 15.67. The translation is from A.J. Church and W.J. Brodribb, The Complete Works of Tacitus, The Modern Library, 1942.

[[14]] Dio 62.8-11.

[[15]] Tacitus 16.18-19, 34-35.

[[16]] See Benario 591-92.

[[17]] Tacitus, Histories 1.4.2, evolgato imperii arcano, posse principem alibi quam Romae fieri.

Copyright (C) 2006, Herbert W. Benario. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.

Comments to: Herbert W. Benario

Updated: 10 November 2006

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    Le Bohec, Yann and Catherine Wolff (edd.), Les légions de Rome sous le Haut-Empire: actes du congrès de Lyon (17-19 septembre 1998) 2 vv. (Paris: E. de Boccard 2000) [Collection du Centre d' études romaines et gallo-romaines nouvelle série 20].

    Alföldy, G., Die Hilfstruppen in der römischen Provinz Germania Inferior (Düsseldorf 1968).

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    Alföldy, G., "Bellum Mauricum," Chiron 15 (1985) 91-109.

, Nicholas Guy, Presence et activités militaires romaines au nord et au nord-est de la Mer Noire (1er VIe siècle de nôtre ère) (2000).

and the Parthian War ( A. D. 58-66). (texts & translations)

, Jurgen, "Caesars Partherkrieg," Historia 33 (1984) 21-59.

    Speidel, Michael P., "Exercitus Arabicus," Latomus 33 (1974) 934-939.

    Maloney, J.& B. Hobley (edd.), Roman urban defences in the West. A review of current research on urban defences of the Roman empire with special reference to the northern provinces, based on papers presented to the conference on Roman urban defences, Museum of London (London : Council for Brit. Archaeol., 1983) [Council for Brit. Archaeol. Research Report, LI].

, Michael T., "The Homogenisation of Military Equipment Under the Roman Republic," Romanization [Digressus , Supplement I] (Nottingham 2003) 60-85.

Nero Emperor of Rome

On 13 October, AD 54 Claudius died allegedly after eating some poison mushrooms given to him by Agrippina, and the same day, Nero, still only 16 years of age, succeeded to the throne.

The following year Nero married Claudius’ daughter Octavia, though he soon became involved with the beautiful Poppaea Sabina, wife of his friend Marcus Salvius Otho. Agrippina, as mother of the new emperor, was at first a woman of great importance in Rome, and her portrait even appeared on some coins next to her son’s. But Nero did not wish to share power with anyone and soon had his mother moved to a separate house away from the imperial residence and the corridors of Roman power.

What followed was a series of brutal assassinations allegedly arranged by Nero himself. In February of AD 55 Britannicus died at a dinner party in the palace – probably poisoned by Nero, who viewed the son of Claudius as a constant threat to his power. In AD 59, Agripinna was clubbed and stabbed to death on the orders of Nero. The Emperor’s marriage to Octavia had never been a happy one and in AD 62 he divorced her and married Poppaea. Octavia was then banished to the island of Pandateria (modern Ventotene) on a false charge of adultery, probably on the insistence of the new empress Poppaea. She was later executed and her severed head sent back to Rome.

The early years of Nero’s rule were, however, not known only for atrocities. Under the influence of his tutor and adviser Seneca (c4 BC – AD 65) and Praetorian prefect (Roman official, responsible for the imperial guard and the administration of justice) Burrus (AD 1 – AD 62) Nero often followed a somewhat liberal policy. He allowed slaves to file complaints against their masters, frequently gave criminals clemency rather than sign their death warrants, banned capital punishment, helped cities that had suffered from disasters, and lowered taxes.

The Emperor also devoted himself to his long-held artistic and literary interests, organizing poetry competitions and singing to the harp, at first only for a private audience, but later on, much to the alarm of the Senate, in public too. As Nero was emperor, no one was allowed to leave the auditorium during his performances, the historian Suetonius mentions women giving birth during Nero recitals, and of men faking death in order to be carried out.


In diesem Artikel wird der scheinbare Reichtum visueller und materieller Quellen im Hinblick auf Sterne und Zahlen bilanziert, die uns aus der frühen Kaiserzeit Chinas (221 BCE–755 CE) überliefert sind sowie analysiert, welch geringen Einfluss diese auf unser Narrativ der Astronomie- und Mathematikgeschichte dieser Periode gehabt haben. Und es werden Konzepte aufgezeigt, wie wir uns besser auf diese Quellen einlassen und übergreifend mit antiken und modernen Disziplinen arbeiten können. Ich werde zeigen, dass dieser historiographische Bruch zum Teil aus einer in den erhaltenen Quellen inhärenten Distanz resultiert und in gewissem Maße auch aus der terminologischen und kategorialen Unklarheit, die diesbezüglich in der Wissenschafts‑, Divinations- und Kunstgeschichte herrscht. Nachdem ich meines Erachtens gute Beispiele dafür benannt habe, wie wir vorwärts und über die Grenzen hinaus schreiten können, die uns Quellen und disziplinäre Abgrenzungen auferlegt haben, werde ich mit einer Reihe von Fragen abschließen, die es sich aus meiner Sicht zu erkunden lohnen. Wie etwa, was meinen wir mit „Genauigkeit“, wenn wir über die Darstellung von Konstellationen in der technischen Literatur sowie in den Wandmalereien von Grabstellen sprechen.

Watch the video: Η πτώση της Ρωμανίας Βυζαντινής Αυτοκρατορίας 12 (May 2022).


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