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Everything posted by Tobias

  1. Tobias

    Is Rome On The Rise?

    Perhaps the West is going through a stage of nostalgia? Maybe the idea of a universal Roman culture now seems not too bad compared to the way things are now? Seriously though, I believe Cato makes a good point. We now have more access to knowledge via computers etc. This access is educating more and more people; people actually know now about Rome, instead of it being one of those things you've heard of but don't know anything about. With this increase in access to knowledge comes a thirst for more; the people want more things to do with their past, now that they know more about it and can find more out about it.
  2. Tobias

    When Does Antiquity End?

    It is very difficult to say when antiquity ends. Perhaps it can be placed with the changing of ideas around the time of Constantine. Towards the late Roman Empire, we have the rising dominance of Christianity, and the neglect of the religions of antiquity; we have the diminishing effectiveness of infantry on the battlefield, the rising prominence of cavalry and thus an elite cadre of people, with the abandonment of the legions and strategies of antiquity. There is of course, the changing of the navel of the world to Constantinople, which could, despite the theory of the ideal of Rome merely being geographically shifted, possibly have caused the Empire to take on a different form from that of antiquity. There is the diminishing of the idea of an all-pervasive culture uniting people, beginning perhaps with the split of the Roman Empire into East and West. We also have the drift of peoples and new ideas into Europe, and the constant beleaguering of the Empire by barbarians. Perhaps their simply weren't enough of the peoples of antiquity left to keep antiquity alive? I would say that it should be earlier. The new form of Rome, and the world before 500 A.D. seems to me to be the beginning of the end of antiquity.
  3. Tobias

    An Open Ended Question

    I doubt considerably that things would have been much different. Justinian died in 565. King Chosroes II of Persia invaded in 603 A.D, and things had already been falling apart; Displaced by the Avars , the Lombards invaded Italy in 568. By the time peace came about (around 605A.D.), the Romans had lost about half of Italy, but had managed to prevent a unified Lombard Kingdom. In 575 A.D, the Visigoths repudiated Roman suzerainty and began to conquer the Roman territory in Southern Spain. The Balkans were constantly being raided by Avars, and Slav settlers were immigrating in their wake. The situation was pretty dire before the Persians invaded, and before and after Heraclius came to the throne. The fact was that the Later Roman Empire was in a rather difficult geographical and political position; it could be attacked from literally any and all directions. It is possible that the predicament the empire was in with the Persians caused the Romans to stop paying the Arabs to remain where they were, as they couldn't afford it, although this is unlikely to be the whole reason behind the Arab invasion. But getting back to the topic, had the Arabs not invaded, then it would be likely that the Romans would have been shattered by some other power that would have risen to fill the vacuum of power; possibly a resurgent Persian state later on. The wars left the Romans exhausted, militarily and financially. Some enemy would have overwhelmed them, even if it was on a different front.
  4. Tobias

    Why Was Alexander "great"?

    Slightly off topic i know, but are you suggesting that after Alexander and before Pompey and Caesar there were no able generals? If that's what you're saying, then you're dismissing a multitude of great generals, such as the Scipios Africanus and Aemilianus, Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, to name but a few.
  5. Tobias

    5.000 Years In 90 Seconds

    Now that is particularly impressive. It's always useful and interesting to see the territorial extents of the most influential empires of history, and seeing them put side by side with each other over the years is also very amazing to see. Whoever it was that put that map together is particularly clever.
  6. G'day all As i'm sure most of you know, from the early times of the Roman Republic, most people of Rome had the three names of praenomen, nomen, and cognomen. This was true of most of the nobles and notable figures of the Republic, and the Emperors of the Empire, for much of the history of the Empire. However, when we reach the run up to the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the advent of the "Byzantine" Empire, Emperors began to have only two names, or even less, and the tria nomina appears to be dying out after Emperor Majorian (Julius Valerius Maiorianus). Mostly, the Valentian and Theodosian Emperors only had two names, i.e. Valens was Fl. Valens, and Theodosius I & II were both Fl. Theodosius. From Marcian onward there is no evidence of any traditional Roman nomenclature. Why did this occur? I'd be interested in some opinions or theories...
  7. Tobias

    The Seven Wonders Of The World

    I've always felt that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon sound and look like the greatest wonder of the ancient world; to so adeptly combine human architecture with natural wonders is an art that it Humans seem to take great pleasure in doing, and that i find highly admirable. However, the hitch with this is, according to several sites i looked at, it is hard to prove without a doubt that the gardens actually existed. According to wikipedia, (not an infallible source i admit) there is no Babylonian record that the Hanging gardens actually existed, and it is possible that these gardens were confused in history with those of Nineveh. However, imagination is a wonderful thing, and to imagine entering a place containing palaces covered with shelfs of overhanging plants and natural surroundings easily convinces me that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (if they existed) were the greatest of the ancient wonders. I do however, like the connotations of the Alexandrian Lighthouse. As for the pyramids; well, i am sure that they must have been hugely impressive when they were originally built, but, pardon the pun, they just don't stack up to other things. Pyramids built by the Central and South American civilisations (who didn't have the benefit of the wheel) seem to me to be that bit more impressive than the Egyptian pyramids. And, there are a fair share of South American Pyramids that are aligned to the sun and stars, i believe...
  8. Precisely. That is why there were peoples in Greece well into the 20th century who still called themselves "Rhomaioi", and possibly the reason why the Roman Empire lasted as long as it did. The people considered themselves part of the best culture in the world, and although the Empire was plagued by disaster for many years, they still kept the Roman ideal alive.
  9. Tobias

    Chalons...how Important Was It?

    They made it as far as the Po River in Italy, where Pope Leo I met him. For some reason, what Leo said to Attila made him turn around, and he died some time later.
  10. Tobias

    Your Favourite Roman City

    I voted for Nova Roma, Constantinople. A beautiful city, situated in one of the most strategic positions in Europe, well designed and layed out and a city that could be defended far better then the original Rome could. What was Massilia like during Rome's heyday?
  11. Tobias

    Steve Irwin

    Australian wildlife conservation has lost a great, great champion. Steve Irwin was a genuine, bona fide hero. I have seen few people in the world who have done so much for the animal world as Steve Irwin has. To those who think he was a grandstander, who only jumped on crocs for publicity, i'd like to see you try and subdue a huge, powerful reptile such as a crocodile in any other way without causing it serious harm. Rest in Peace Steve, and may your work be long continued and world acclaimed! The news gets worse, however. Australia has lost it's second icon in two days; the King of the Mountain, Peter Brock. He died on a notorious stretch of road in a race, smashing into a tree. He was renowned as one of the champions of Australian car racing, and a hero for Holden fans world wide. He has gained 3 ATCC titles, 9 "bathurst 1000" wins, many rally driving titles and countless other accolades. Luckily, his co-driver survived. But another Australian icon has been lost. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a sad time for Australia right now. By the way, if Germaine Greer sets one foot it Australia, she will be torn apart for her greed motivated malicious comments. So say the great Australian public
  12. I would also add that Rome was an ideal...originally based around the worship of a sort of godhead/place which was the city and spirit of Rome. By moving the capital to Nova Roma, one could say that this was transferring the ideal to Constantinople. What's that book Ursus? I might look out for it...
  13. Tobias


    Sure, Brutus was a great chap! If you were around in those times, however, you knew not too borrow money off him, not to let him near a province (Just ask Cilicia and Cicero about Brutus) and to not give him anything more than enough rope to hang himself, lest he turn and stab you for your trouble. What a load of codswallop. Brutus and the conspirators achieved NOTHING in killing Caesar. They plunged Rome into yet another civil war, when the political reform that was desperately required (rather than an oligarchy acting deliberately obstructive for the sake of being obstructive) was being installed. Before Caesar, the great Roman Republic was being dominated by the "Good Men" who, if Rome started crumbling around them, would simply call it part of the mos maiorum to stand still and be squashed flat by a falling pillar (to quote a great author). Caesar tried long and hard to gain a peaceful solution to or agreement with the Boni, but was forced to march on Rome not just to defend his dignitas, but to remove from power (yes power, for the Boni dressed up their own tyranny in "legality") the good men. Instead of remaining loyal to Rome the city and place, these "good men" soiled themselves and shot out of Rome like arrows from bows! Once Caesar had stabilised the Roman world, he settled down to tend to the injured place that was Rome herself. What did he get for his toil? He was murdered by jealous scum who thought they would restore the republic merely by killing Caesar. They intended to inspire the people with their deeds, but instead, after killing Caesar, fled the scene as fast as their cowardly legs could carry them! How loyal to the republic were these people? I cannot sit back and witness the cowardly, pathetic and jealousy motivated actions of Brutus and the conspirators dressed up in the light of liberation from tyranny.
  14. Tobias

    The Social War

    G'day All Recently, whilst reading about the rise of Pontus and Mithridates' attack on the Roman Empire, i found a reference to the "Social War" that Italy was just emerging from when Mithridates attacked. All i know about it is that it was when Rome was compelled to extend Roman Citizenship to include all of Italy. I wonder if anyone can can tell more about the social war?
  15. The Tarpeian Rock; traditional place of execution for Roman citizen traitors, the favourite threat of the Tribunes of the Plebs against obstructive Senators and a famous historical overhang. We have many references to this famous place in Roman history. However, where was it in ancient Rome, and whereabouts would it's position have been in modern day Rome? It is said that it was visible from the lower Forum Romanum. Unfortunately, that doesn't give the best idea of where it was. Anybody got any ideas?
  16. Tobias

    Greatest Leader In Ancient Times?

    How about Lucius Cornelius Sulla? Roman general, politician and dictator, and the one who essentially put Rome back on her feet after the Social War, the wars against Mithridates and the years of chaos revolving around he and Marius' struggle against each other.
  17. Hmm, Gibbon isn't exactly the best or most unbiased source for the history of the Eastern Roman Empire, unfortunately...
  18. I was an Internet Explorer user, but after two successive computers (complete with antivirus software and the works) were almost completely ruined by Internet Explorer and it's lack of protection from the "evils of the net", i switched to firefox. Actually, i believe it was the members of this site who recommended Firefox to me a fair while ago. I keep Internet Explorer on my system, but it is tied up in so much antivirus stuff that it can't move, and it can't access the net unless i allow it to. I'm taking no chances
  19. Tobias

    List 'o Links

    This is a site i found a fair while ago that i found extremely interesting, and put the Roman Empires into perspective for me: http://www.cit.gu.edu.au/~s285238/Roman/RomanEmpire.html I hope that is of use to you - the maps are really useful.
  20. Tobias

    Most Significant Battle In Britain.

    I would have to agree that the Battle of Britain was the most significant battle in/around Britain. Culloden was an interesting point in history though; it was the last battle fought on British soil, and the conclusive defeat of poor old Bonnie Prince Charlie
  21. Tobias

    Chalons...how Important Was It?

    Chalons is one of those interesting battles one occassionally sees throughout history. It's generally excepted that it was physically and numerically a rather phyrric victory for Aetius; yet, it had the sort of mental effect that one tends to see in battles here and there; the restoration of belief in themselves, and the moral boost in proving that Attila was not invincible. I know that it did virtually nothing to help the Western Roman Empire save delay the inevitable, but for one moment, just one moment, I'm sure that the Romans under Aetius believed that they had at last saved their Empire. It was no mean feat of Aetius either to unite the Gothic tribes with his forces. The theory that Aetius held back from routing the Huns so as to establish a balance of power between the Huns and the Goths is an interesting one; this theory is that Aetius may have believed that if he decisively defeated the Huns, the Goths would no longer need the Romans, and Rome would face yet another barbarian invasion. If Attila had won the Battle of Chalons? It's difficult to say. The Huns weren't necessarily the sort of people to settle down and set up a government like Rome's. Perhaps they would have been driven out by the Gothic tribes; perhaps they would have annihilated them and settled. It is most likely, as has been said above, that they would have been eventually indoctrined to the remnants of Romanisation. It's all very hypothetical however. Too big an IF, i think...
  22. Tobias

    Nova Roma

    I don't want to look like i'm nitpicking, but the Rumeli Hissar was built on a hill on the European side of the Bosporus, north of the "Bebek" district at Constantinople. The Hellespont was somewhat to the southwest of Constantinople and the Bosporus. Sorry, i'm a stickler for detail sometimes, back on topic...
  23. That's very interesting; i'm a physics student, so this sort of stuff is quite mind boggling I'll show that article to my physics teacher; she might find it interesting. When are the spaceships capable of reaching lightspeed going to be built lol
  24. Tobias

    Mr. Dalby In The WSJ

    Well done mate. It's great to see our forum members becoming prominent in things such as the Wall Street Journal. Keep up the good work!
  25. Fair enough, my mistake!