Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Julian

  1. How did the Romans exeucute their criminals? Crucifixion or impalement? Does anyone know?



    There were many forms of execution. Some of these include beheading, crucifixion, death in the arena, drowning, strangulation etc etc.


    I cannot think now of any list outside of that included by Gibbon in his D & F, when speaking of torture.


    I must admit I've not read much Roman literature of late, due to my being too busy. Although I was reading through some of Seneca's letters recently, and I did read some Terence as well. Oh I did re-read parts of the Aeneid. But that was purely for pleasure. I hope to get back into it very soon. Hopefully then I can remind myself of the details, and then add to this forum in greater detail and depth.


    I must admit to being ashamed to have been a member for so long, and yet I have contributed so little. Especially considering my great interest in it all. This forum deserves better.


    Yours. Julian.

  2. Julian, I am in general agreement that the persecutions have been exaggerated but what advantage would a Tacitus (among others) have in describing the persecutions under Nero? If Christians were still generally disliked in the time of Tacitus (which I doubt anyone would readily disagree with) how would it benefit the propaganda theory. We have little choice to take some of the events at face value since there really isn't anything to tell us otherwise.


    I agree that the descriptions of the persecutions are likely enhanced, and Nero's agenda was probably not so much to punish Christians as it was to redirect public disapproval, but to say it didn't happen at all is just as speculative. Tacitus may not have liked Nero, but Rome in his era was still not fond of Christianity either. Would there have been enough of a sympathetic reaction in the late first and early second centuries towards persecuted Christians to actually damage Nero's reputation any more than it already had been?



    Hello Primus.

    Thanks for responding.

    I understand your position. Sadly today we have no solid proof either way as to whether Nero persecuted Christians or not. This is why I have not stated anything as factual and have left my position open ended. That is the reason I said there is no 'real' evidence. Perhaps I should have said 'physical' evidence. All we have is hearsay, written some time after the event. Hardly solid proof of anything. As I am sure you would agree.


    I do not think Tacitus wrote so as to punish Christians. Christianity at that time being a very small and unimportant cult in Rome, would hardly warrant an attack from Tacitus. I do however think it possible that a long running family feud (If memory serves, the Julio Claudians were no friends of Tacitus's forebears) may have led to Tacitus placing undue blame upon Nero. Nero was more likely to have had information as to how the fire began then we do. Nero was not in Rome at the time, as we know, and he did respond well to the crisis once he learned of it. His 'fiddling' while Rome burned is no more true than any other hearsay we possess. I believe we need to always consider the attitude of those who survived the Julio Claudians, and their willingness to portray its members as dissolute, simply as a means of ruining the family's reputation, and to assuage any ill feeling on the part of the general population after the familiy's downfall and slaughter.


    Our problem today is that we have no real way of confirming or denying the unknown or known facts. Whatever they may be. We can however use later history as a guide as to how Tacitus' books may have been used by the Christian apologist ghost writers. We do know that many books were later doctored and changed, many destroyed completely. So as far as I can tell, both possibilities are worth mentioning, i.e. that Nero persecuted Christians, and that he did not. Current discoveries in archeaology being on the latter side.


    I personally lean toward Christian propagandists writing fictional biographies and doctoring texts. But I make no claim that this was so. Just a possibility. And as such, is only based on this individual's opinion.

  3. In my recent studies I have had to spend a lot of time focusing on some of the works Psellus wrote. I was just wondering what some of the other people here thought of him.



    Yes, Psellus was very arrogant. Did he write honestly? I believe so. I think he was tremendous and certainly the most important historian after Ammianus. I learned so much from him. I've not read him in years though. I must get back to him, now that I think about it.

  4. www.encyclopedia.edwardtbabinski.us/who/a/arius/]www.encyclopedia.edwardtbabinski.us/[/url]


    Unfortunately since the notion of Arianism was virtually destroyed by it's rivals, there's not much source material other than the rebuttals of opponents (Athanasius in particular) and who knows how much of that was altered for various reasons.



    Very true.

  5. Well, if you define a rock as a book, you can read stones.


    A full-time group of religious officers, who produce no material goods and who contribute nothing to society but pledging to remove themselves from the gene pool--that's a monastic order.



    How curious a post the above. Who copied and archived much of Latin literature while educational standards all but disappeared in the former Roman Empire? The Benedictines preserved much of Roman agricultural science as well.


    Not really. Just who was it who lowered the educational standards in the first place, and placed Biblical study in its place? The Christians. At least in the west. But even in the east many books were burned.


    I hardly think they are worthy of being congradulated for their destruction. :D

  6. Under which emperor do you think that the persecution of Christians was the worst? I personally think that Diocletian's was the most widespread and organized, though Nero's was probably the most sadistic.


    First of all, there is no real evidence that Nero ever persecuted Christians. Indeed, aside from Diocletian, I doubt they were "persecuted" at all to any real degree. Punished for political subversion, yes. Religion, no.


    People who have studied the history of Christianity in detail would be aware that the many stories and biographies of the martyrs, were fictional accounts written as late as the 9th century. We must always remember the dictum of the Bishop Eusebius. "It is perfectly fine to lie on behalf of Christianity, as long as that lie helps Christianity." Quoted loosely.


    The idea that Nero persecuted Christians is based in a history that, a; may have been doctored, b; was wrtitten by a member of a family opposed to Nero's. There is no physical proof regarding this persecution at all. In fact at this date there were more than likely virtually no Christians in Rome. If there were, Christianity being an apocalyptic cult, they may have been responsible. History shows us that Christians destroyed and slaughtered millions of non Christians once they had gained power. It may not be too bigger leap to believe that Christians did set fire to Pagan temples Rome. They did so during Julian's reign and then into the following centuries. Even unto this present day. It's happening in India as I write. See this site for details.


    I have, for many years now, thought that the persecution was actually carried out by Christianity upon Paganism. It is nothing but very clever propaganda on the part of the church that has resulted in the popular idea that Christians were persecuted. My histories tell me that Christians began their long running persecution of non Christians in the late 4th century.

  7. I find these sort of questions too difficult to give a definitive answer. I doubt that a 'greatest' even existed. So many depend upon so many others to be even given a chance.


    Nevertheless, I will try my best.


    Who is the most prominent Roman leader?


    The most prominent? I take it we are speaking generally? Well among those unschooled in the subject, it must be Julius Caesar. No other Roman is as well known. Second to him is most likely Tiberius because of his association with Christianity.


    Which single person did the most to make Rome the most powerful Empire ever known?


    Rome was the most powerful empire ever known? That's news to me. My money's on the British empire.


    That out of the way; I must remain non commital. No Roman alone made Rome what it became. No single Roman destroyed it. Julius Caesar's success would not have been possible without the victory won by Scipio Africanus. There may never have been an Emperor of not for Julius Caesar and Augustus, etc etc.



    When you think of Rome which leader first comes to mind?


    It depends. I think of many people when I think of Rome. Many never became leaders. Julian is atop my list, but I do regard him as an overly superstiscious and naive individual. I think of him when I think of what was lost to us in regards to genius, and the onset of ignorance. i.e. the growth of Christianity, the destruction of logic and the beginnings of the Dark ages.


    When I think of military arms, I think of Caesar, Augustus, Constantius, Constantine etc etc. But then, I am an enthusiast after all.

  8. The worst Roman? That is a pretty big title for one to have to wear. There were certainly many who were bad. Sejanus, Caracalla, Commodus and Nero number amongst the more popular choices. How influential either one of these or others were in actually leading to the fall of them Empire, well, I think it is too hard for me to say. I believe there were too many other factors involved, including the general success of the human population explosion that grew and grew over the many centuries and forced its way into the Empire, as well as the growing sophistication of other nations or states.


    When I've read the history of the later Empire and the beginning through to the end of the Byzantine period, I see much foolishness where finance is concerned. Too many enemies, too higher price to pay for peace.....Money wasted on gifts for various lovers currently in the favour of whatever Emperor just happened tom be in charge at the time...All of it led to the fall.


    So I am left with my own personal choices of characters I have not liked in the descriptions I've read in the histories.


    Romans I dislike. Sejanus, Commodus, Caracalla, Valens, Theodosius, Gratian, Constantine, Constantius, Sulla, Cato the elder, Justinian, Theodora, Jovian, Leo I..... In fact there are many I dislike. It may be simpler to list those I do like. :D

  9. I tried reading Colleen McCullough's books, but didn't like them. You either love her writing style or don't. I'm in the minority of Romanophiles who didn't, I guess.

    You are not alone. I hated her books. She writes as if what she is saying is the exact truth. She takes herself way too seriously!


    I am currently reading David Wishart's books. I began with Nero, and now I am reading the Marcus Corvinus series. I am up to Sejanus. I really like thse books. He has a nice sense of what I think Rome would have been like. He doesn't take himself too seriously either. I can hardly wait to pick these books up once I have set them down.

  10. This is, I must admit, a sore point with me. The rough approximate estimate of people killed during the persecutions is around 2000, if what I have learned over the years is true. And if my memory serves. Now this was over the course of hundreds of years. More people than this could die in the games in a very quick time. Certainly more pagans were slaughtered as Christianity made its way to the top of the religious ladder than the oppossite. In fact hundreds of thousands were slaughtered by the Christians in the century following Theodosius. One must not forget that it went on for hundreds of years. Justinian finally made pagan worship a capital crime! He even tried to buy the Jews!

    Much is made of the "persecutions" by the Christian's themselves. They have always played the sympathy card. Begging ignorance and innocence whilst murdering millions over the course of centuries. There was no Roman religion, as far as I am aware, that commanded that non believers be killed. I am afraid many passages such as the following, have led to the death of millions.

    Exdodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;


    The amount of church driven propaganda behind the stories of the persecutions cannot be underestimated. When one pools all the years of persecution together, there are less than 2 decades over the course of centuries. Also alot of the stories cannot be confirmed. If my understanding is correct, there is not a shread of archaeological eveidence to back the story of Nero's persecution. The number of Christian's actually in Rome at that time would have been few indeed. I have heard they numbered less than 0.05 of the total population of Rome, or less. All we have is from some writings that may or may not have been tampered with. It is a well known fact that the Bishop Eusebius was a known tamperer. Who actually claimed that to tell a lie on behalf of Christianity's cause was justified. People as long ago as Voltaire's time knew Eusebius had doctored Josephus.


    Oh well, this is not a religious discussion.


    I think the greatest factor in spreading Christianity was the army. They first spread the tale of Mithras. The god who was born 25 December to a virgin mother, had 12 apostles, was crucified, rose to Heaven to join Helios etc etc. It was just a simple matter to change the name of the god from Mithras, to Jesus and alter the story a little. In an age of illiteracy, this exchange would have easily passed unnoticed by the masses. And even if many did notice... well, modern history has taught us that if one repeats a lie often enough, it becomes truth.

  11. I ticked a little bit of everything. Although to be honest, I don't really know. It began with me reading Greek philosophy as a youngster. That got me interested in Greek history. I remember well that I purposely held off from Roman history for a long time. I guess about 3 years. I knew that if ever I went in, I might never come out! Well, it seems I was right. I've been reading it for well over 20 years and love it as much today as I ever did. I have kind of moved on to Byzantium, but still keep in touch with Rome.

    My problem is that I often can't keep track of the names as time passes. If somebody were to ask me a detailed question about Scipio, or the Claudian's, I'd have to look it up. Although I'd know where to find the answer. The entire empire interests me. I can read Josephus with as much enthusiasm as Michael Psellus or Ammianus. I love it all.

  12. Julian,


    good has sent you this email from http://www.unrv.com/forum/index.php.



    From Essis Niagn





    Good a thing to write you. I have a proposal for

    you-this however is not mandatory nor will I in any

    manner compel you to honour against your will.


    I am Niagne E Essis,19years old and the only daughter

    of my late parents Mr.and Mrs.Niagne. I have a younger

    brother Charles who is just 14 and half years old.

    My father was a highly reputable busnness magnet-(a

    cocoa merchant)who operated in the capital of Ivory

    coast during his days.


    It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in

    France during one of his business trips abroad year

    12th.Febuary 2000.Though his sudden death was linked

    or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an

    uncle of his who travelled with him at that time.

    But God knows the truth!


    My mother died when I was just 4 years old,and since

    then my father took me so special. Before his death

    on Febuary 12 2000 he called the secretary who

    accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he

    has the sum of Sixteen million four hundred thousand

    United State Dollars.(USD$16.400,000) left in fixed

    deposit account in one of the leading banks in Africa.


    He further told him that he deposited the money in his

    name,and finally issued a written instruction to his

    lawyer whom he said is in possession of all the

    necessary but legal documents to this fund and the

    bank.I am just 19 years old and a university

    undergraduate and really don't know what to do.


    Now I want an account overseas where I can transfer

    this funds. This is because I have suffered a lot of

    set backs as a result of incessant political crisis

    here in Ivory coast.The death of my father actually

    brought sorrow to my life.


    Sir,I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance

    in this regards.Your suggestions and ideas will be

    highly regarded.


    Now permit me to ask these few questions:-

    1. Can you honestly help me as your daughter?

    2. Can I completely trust you?

    3. What percentage of the total amount in question

    will be good for you after the money is in your



    All that I require from you is an empty account from



    Please,Consider this and get back to me as soon as



    Thank you so much.

    My sincere regards,

    Miss Niagne E Essis


    Please do response through this email address

  13. Another reason was political...namely the long bitter rivalry between the Greek city states and the Persian Empire as a percieved semi-civillized greek region Alexander used the "Persian Threat" to cement the Greek states into a tempory alliance based on the tried and tested means of revenge and plunder.


    Ofcourse given the success of Alexander no one was complaining about the "barbarous macedonians" once the spoils caravans arrived in Greece but one has to wonder would Alexander have become Great if his campaign recruitment among the Greeks had been...


    Soldiers of Greece, I ask you forget the East, where the Persian threaten to invade again and forgive the persians, the burning of our cities, the enslavement of greek wives and daughters, put out of your mind the emmense wealth of fabled Troy and instead follow me westward where Rome, a village by greek standards is fighting it's neighbors for control of central italy where resources are fairly scarce and the march hard given the mountainous terrain but if successful pottery and grain is your spoils of war....


    Anyone...come on someone must want to head West...anyone at all...

    Etruscan pottery was said to be very very nice. :P



    And yes, Persia was already an established enemy, and I think young Al' had a point to prove. :)