The first of several pages relating to the Roman Calendar has been added. Prior to the reforms of Caesar, while the calendar was functional, it was commonly off by months at a time. In addition to this review of the the Republican calendar, we will be adding pages on the Julian Calendar, days of the week, months of the year and names of days in the month.
The priestesses of the goddess Vesta were among the few women in ancient Rome who could play a pivotal role in the Religion of state. The Vestal Virgins, among other important duties, were responsible for the important assignment of keeping the sacred fire, in the Temple of Vesta, always alight.
The head of the state religion of the Roman Empire was the Pontifex Maximus. The pax deorum, or the 'peace with the gods' was his responsibility along with interpreting omens, controlling and keeping the official calendar, and the oversight of funerals. One of the oldest still existing official offices in the world, the Roman Catholic Pope is still referred to as the Pontifex Maximus, nearly 3,000 years after is was instituted.
Tiberius Gracchus was a champion of Plebeian rights in the Late Roman Republic. A member of the populares party, Tiberius' political tactics are considered one of the first major steps towards the fall of the Republic. Social discord led to his rise and his eventual assassination at the hands of the Senate. Emerging from wars in the east and with Carthage, the fledgling Roman Empire entered a new stage of its history in the Late Republic. Social strife and corruption led to an abrupt change in the Roman political system. The Gracchi Brothers were among the first to step onto this new stage of political transformation and set off a chain of events that would eventually lead directly to the Fall of the Republic.
The end of the Punic Wars ushered in a brand new age in Roman and world history. The Late Roman Republic was the beginning stage of Empire, and the social and political systems began to be shaken to the core. The Late Republic saw the emergence of several of Roman and world history's most influential names. The Gracchi brothers, Gaius Marius, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Pompey, Crassus, Cicero and Gaius Julius Caesar all took center stage.
Closing out the Punic Wars and Expansion chapter, we inevitably come to the Third Punic War. Despite Roman victory in the Second War, relations between Rome and Carthage continued to be strained over the next half century. Developments in the east and in Spain kept Rome's focus away from Africa, allowing Carthage to slowly rebuild an economic foundation. By the mid 2nd Century BC the call of "Carthago Delende Est" (Carthage must be destroyed), by Cato the Censor, was the rallying cry that finally bought Carthage to its knees.
The Fourth Macedonian War and Achaean War were fought at the end of a series of revolts and resistance activities to Roman rule in the east. A Macedonian insurrection by Andricus, in 149 BC, was crushed by Quintus Caecilius Metellus (Macedonicus) and Roman fury was then unleashed upon Corinth and other Greeks in the short but decisive Achaean War.
King Perseus of Macedonia continued in his father's footsteps (Philip V) and resisted Roman authority in his territory. His actions in trying to reverse earlier losses resulted in the Third Macedonian War. His only accomplishments were temporary expansion and his own banishment resulting in the abolition of the Macedonian crown.