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About cleopatra

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    Iudaea Province
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    Piano, reading anything to do with western history,
    cooking, travelling, daydreaming...
  1. cleopatra


    Hi everybody Can anyone recommend biographies on the Roman Emporers, a well researched biography with lots of references, one that is relatively easy to read and can be thought of as captivating literature in general on this subject? I am interested in all Roman Emporers, so it doesnt matter really which one the biography is about, as long as the biography meets these criterias (but of course it would be interesting in particular to read about Calligula, Neron, and the mad ones and hearing some psychological analyzations about them, although like I said, the most important thing is that its a well researched biography and not fictional). Also, please dont recommend Plutarchus and ancient Roman historians and biographers because I am familiar with them and want to read a historian's account and interpretation of all these sources. Thanks in advance!
  2. cleopatra

    Spartacus a Communist?

    I see it quite in a differant manner. It's not likely that the two consuls pave up the command voluntarily, since they were actually very capable at foreign relations and war(like when they fought under pompeiis command in 67 and maybe even before in Spain), and even afterwards they later were sent by the senate to be legats during the wars against thepirates and Mithridates). Its unfortunate that we dont have any records of who called in the senate and proposed to give the command over to Crassus instead of the consuls. On the other hand, there is clear evidence that Crassus did want the job and of the support he got from other nobles (Plutarchus on Crassus and also Appian). And also, there are some historoians who claim that Crassus fought with an army that he financed out of his own pocket. So. all this together clarifies the circumstances in which Crassus got the command instead of the consuls in 72. Although a private citizen, he accomplished his goal of leading the war against Spartacus by his influence on the nobles and maybe by offering to finance the army. I think that perhaps what made him do it was Pompeiis expected return from Spain and he took advantage of the oppurtunity to get a head start with his rivals supporters. This wasnt a precedent - In 83 Pompeii took charge of 3 legions and financed them himself, and took command on them when he fought alongside Sulla. Also, since the second Punic war, the only irregular appointments in Rome made by the senate was Pompeii in 82 and 77 and now Crassus in 72. All the rest were made by the Roman assemblies. For all these reasons I believe that the senate was already in a decline at that time, maybe the word weak was stretching it, but they were certainly losing power and being taken advantage of by ambitious persons.
  3. cleopatra

    Spartacus a Communist?

    those poor poor rebels... Actually in my opinion he was somewhat of a great general. He was able to take command over an enormous group of diverse rebels, composing of all sorts of slaves - gladiators, agriculture villa slaves, mine slaves, Roman proletarians, non romans, ect - and command them very efficiently. His army of rebels didnt have any discipline and not a lot in common within them, they were all from different descent and culture wich further divides them and ruins the chances of working together. But he was able to take command of them suceed in his revolt, conquering most of South Italy and other Roman territories in just 6 months. Of course, the Roman senate was very weak at the time - so weak that they had to give a private person like Crauses the imperium to lead the attack on Spartacus instead of the proper magistrates, so you can argue that the senates weakness contributed to Spartacus's success. But still, when you think of an army of thousands of hooligans and proletarians with no discipline and not a loty in common beating the Roman army, I still think its quite impressive...but thats just me.
  4. cleopatra

    Spartacus a Communist?

    Actually Ive read Marx, although embarrasingly I havent read the others as of yet. There are a lot of mistakes he makes when he reffers to antiquity times due to his misunderstanding of this period and its culture. Some of his mistakes Cato already pointed out, so I dont want to get into them again. Communism and Capitalism as far as my understanding of them are modern social-political-theories that arent a part of antiquity- the world, culture and economics were different back then. Even if Spartacus shared his loot with his army, it doesnt mean to say that he was aiming for social equality, and even if the Graccus brothers wanted to reform some laws in a way that they better with the plebs and the proleterians, it doesnt mean that they were aiming for equality and human rights within the government structure. What do you think?
  5. cleopatra

    Your Hidden Roman Name

    Wow, Im honoured Thanks so much!
  6. cleopatra

    Luke's account on Quirinius and the census

    Josephus's writings were saved do to th Christians who savored his books while the jews wouldnt have anything to do with them, so they were translated and copied over the years by Christians, which makes people believe that this passage about Jesus might have been fabricated or that it is a later addition. In 1971 an arab manuscript from the tenth century was published where Agapius, an Arab Christian scholar, quotes from memory the same passage in Josephus, but as you can see, it is somewhat different: [ This might suggest that Josephus did write about Jesus, minus the Christian belief parts included in the Testimonium Flavianum. About the Bible being an accurate history source: John, 20: 30-31 - says that the aim of the evangalists is to spread the word of Christ and strengthen the beliefs of Christians. Its not meant to tell or record history, nor is it a scientific biography of Christ (we actually dont know anything personal about him from the Evangalists - what he looked like, what he liked to do, ect ect, only his teachings are recorded. Because of this, you cant regard the Evangalists as portraying accurate history, as this wasnt their purpose (and this isnt me saying, its John). So,historical facts found in them, such as dates and names and stuff, are by chance and its not surprising that there are contradictions between them - the Evangalist wanted to spread the Christian belief by writing the Gospels, and he had no reason to double check historical facts, as this was not his purpose.
  7. cleopatra

    How Did Octavian Hide His Power

    Hello everyone, Between the years 30-27 BC there are records of opposition to Octavianus, such as the grandson of the trimvier Crausus who Augustus felt threatened by and tried to diminish his power (Crausus is mysteriously cut out from history records after the year 27 when he confronted Augustus), and also the prefectus of Egypt Cornellius Galus who was charged in court for conspiracy against Octavianus the same year (27). So, after establishing that there was in fact opposition to Augustus at this time, it is safe to say that his rise to ultimate power was a slow one, and didnt stop in the year 27, even after he removed senators in 29. Also, his policy most of the time wasnt to kill off or remove all his political rivals from power: Quite the contrary: He learned that there was in fact opposition to him within the senate, and he worked to rectify it politically. Not by removing his rivals or killing them off, but by actually giving them political positions. For example, in the year 24 bc there was another conspiracy revealed against Augustus by the his co counsul Varro Murena. Murena was executed after being charged with the crime, and in his place Augustus offered the job as counsul to his rival (and ceasers rival) Calpurnius Piso. There are numerous other examples like this, showing that his main policy was keep your friends close and your enemies closer. After gaining wealth, political power, and so on he used it to bring his rivals up, not remove them or fight with them, and by doing this he made them dependant on him and for him and also showed that the ways of the Republic existed and he was all for them, a critical pretense he had to keep up in order to maintain the support for him. Another typical trait was rejecting all offers by the plebs to be a dictator - again, so as not to be recognized with any anti republican forms of government - but he accepted all the other political positionns gradually, which together gave him the imperium of a dictator without actually being one. He was smart to keep up the pretense of it being a republic, like after accepting the tiltle of Augustus and the procounsul imperium at 27 bc he then immediately left for Gaul and Spain, as if to show the Romans that he wasnt planning on establishing a monarchy. An important thing he did politicaly was get his status and imperium officially acknowledged by the senate at all time,and always operating according to the law. He always made sure to renew his titles and postion (like the renewing his tribune authority every year since 36). Finally, I think that apart from political brilliance and the capability of reading the situation as it is and not getting over confident, his control over most of the provinces from 27 bc given to him for ten years by the senate was a big contributer to his rise to power. This kind of power over the provinces meant control over the Roman legions there as well, enabeling him to influence politically. Caldrail said it already -,the military was vital for Romans to gain power. I think that there are a number of things that contributed to Augusts's rise to power, but no way was it only luck. He was a briliant politician and soldier and knew how to take advantage of every situation. Of course, all of the other things youve all said, like him being Ceasers official successor , the decline of the senates power and all that are huge contributions as well and are not to be undermined.
  8. cleopatra

    Your Hidden Roman Name

    This is so cool! Try my name (scrambled) ATNDSRAERO Sorry, no middle name, but it makes it more of a challenge, eh?
  9. cleopatra

    Spartacus a Communist?

    Thanks for all your quick replies! I completely agree with you Cato, that at the time slavery was considered a natural affair of things, and nobody would have thought to break this system, as such relatively modern ideals such as human rights were not a part of the antiquity world. This is why its upsetting to see how modern historians try to prove that their theories were already thought of long ago thus legitimizing their claims and ideas, such as saying that Spartacus was a communist, the Graccus brothers were democrats, and Crassus was a capitalist (havent heard of that one up till now, but it proves that there are no limits to anachronisms).
  10. cleopatra

    Spartacus a Communist?

    Hello everyone, I'me new here and its my first time posting, so forgive me if I make mistakes... I wanted to hear your thoughts concerning the nature of Spartacus's revolt. Marx thought of it as a social revolt, slaves against their masters. I dont think that this is likely, its hard for me to think that Spartacus was fighting in the name of slavery and aiming to put an end to it. In my (humble) opinion its similar to saying that the Graccus brothers were aiming at starting a democracy. Its just not realistic when you think about the time and the roman dependance on slave labor and slave economy. Furthermore, there were a lot of slaves that didnt participate in the revolt, and most of the participants were of non roman descent, which made me think that perhaps it was a nationalistic revolt, Roman against Non Romans. The fact that Spartacus didnt leave Italy when he had the chance strengthens this theory, because it suggests that the participants in the revolt were aiming to conquer the Roman territory and were willing to stay and fight for it. But then I read that there were also Roman participants in the revolt, from lower classes, proletarians and such, which made me rethink the whole nationalistic theory behind the aim of the revolt. What do you guys think? What was Spartacus's aim in his revolt?