Rome’s Bloodiest Battle – Teutoburg Forest, 9 AD

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The Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD was one of the worst military defeats of Roman times and had a long-lasting and far-reaching influence on the fledging Empire. Today, it is often called “the beginning of German history” and is recognised as one of the most glorious examples of German unification.

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The Twelve Olympians

It seems apparent that the Ancient Greeks were very fond of the number twelve. Upon multiple occassions, primarily during myths and religious tales, the number twelve has been used in relation to gods, animals, etc. The Twelve Olympians were the most important deities of Greek religion and owned their name because they lived – supposedly – at the summit of Mount Olympus. As the greatest gods and godesses of the Greek Pantheon – religious circle – they were the ancestors of all other immortals and the overseers of humans.

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Ctesiphon

Said to have been built on the East side of the River Tigris by King Vardanes (or Vardanus), Ctesiphon served as the administrative capital of both the Parthian and Sassanid Empires and attracted scientists, architects and writers from all over the Middle Eastern world. It was located twenty miles south of the location where Baghdad would be founded by Muslims in the 7th century.

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The Ancient Roman City Of Ostia

The port city of Ostia, built at the mouth of the River Tiber, was home to between forty and sixty thousand residents during its peak. Attracting merchants, traders, farmers, patricians and builders, Rome’s central naval base proved significant in its overseas operations and enabled it to conduct widespread trade between its many provinces, notably during the Republican period.

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Alexander and the Gordian Knot – A Violent Solution

One of the best known stories of the Macedonian King Alexander’s reign, is the tale of the striking of the Gordian knot, a tightly twisted and bound bundle of rope connected to a wagon. Not only is it a nice story, it is also a possibly example of Alexander’s mentality and attitude towards solving problems, which plays largely into his Persian invasion.

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An Outstanding Victory – Battle of Gaugamela, 331BC

With no defeats in his campaign, Alexander was prepared to turn his army and march to Babylon, where he hoped he could take over the city and be crowned King of the Persian Empire. But before he could do so, Darius III sent a letter asking for his wife and children to be given back. Additionally, he attempted to form a treaty with the Macedonian king, allowing him to control half of the Persian lands whilst Darius controlled the other half. Unfortunately for the Persians, Alexander did not want shared leadership. He wanted it all, and absolutely all of it.

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How did Alexander the Great overcome Tyre?

It was necessary that Alexander and his army eliminate all Persian naval threats in the Aegean and Levant before continuing inland on their campaign. If the Persian leaders realised that Greece was only defended by 13,000 men, there would be a large risk of invasion. Tyre, on the Levantine coast, was expertly defended, well garrisoned and almost impregnable. Additionally, it was a crucial trading port of the Mediterranean and controlled access to India, Carthage, Rome and other great nations across the sea. Alexander, of course, did not want to lead his army into this military headache, but the capture of Tyre was paramount and necessary to the continuation of the invasion.

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First Defeat of Darius – Battle of Issus, 333BC

With Memnon of Rhodes’ forces destroyed at the first major battle of the Persian invasion by the Macedonians, Alexander led his blood-thirsty army – which had little need for any recovery time – along Anatolia’s Aegean Coast, bribing, frightening and besieging the ports into submission. Consequently, he had diminished Persian naval dominance around the Greek homelands, but had not gained full control of the Eastern Mediterranean.

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First Clash – Battle at the Granicus, 334 BC

After crossing the Hellespont from homeland Greece to Asia Minor – the Western half of the mighty Persian Empire – with an army of approximately forty-thousand men, Alexander gathered his men and headed for the Aegean coast and Persian naval bases. It was extremely important that he captured or took out these coastal cities otherwise he ran the risk of the Persians attacking Greece by sea whilst he was on campaign.

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Why was Alexander “the Great”?

Upon inheriting his father, Philip II’s, armies, Alexander aided the unification of the petty Greek states that had for so long warred against each other to fight a common enemy – Persia – and led his men, as a general, into an invasion of Asia. Not only was Alexander titled “great” by modern historians, but by the writers of Ancient Times, such as Arrian, Curtis and Diodorius. Born in 356 BC, Pella, Greece, “Alexander, being then about twenty years of age, marched into Peloponnesus, as soon as he had secured the regal power”.

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Five (More) Commonly Asked History Questions

1. Did the Romans really control a quarter of the world?

No, they didn’t. They conquered the majority of Europe, a slice along the North of Africa and mostly dominated the east. This map shows the extent of the Roman Empire in the year 117AD, at around the height of its landmass and power. It is true that at one point a quarter of living humanity were Romans, but they had not conquered a quarter of the world.

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Titus Livius’ History of Rome Summary [Bk1Ch5]

In the fifth chapter of Livy’s work, we see Romulus escape capture, Remus taken for punishment to the King, and the assassination of the treacherous usurper Amulius. Here is my brief summary of chapter 5 of the first books – enjoy 🙂

  • Romulus and Remus were celebrating the festival of Lupercalia – founded by Evander, an Arcadian who had previously occupied the area – on the Palatine hill
  • Remember the brothers were fighting and stealing? Well, the brigands came to take revenge and managed to capture Remus. Romulus is not caught.
  • Remus had been raiding his grandfather, Numitor’s lands, and had not realised who he was attacking as he had never grown to know his exiled grandfather.
  • Fastaulus, the farmer that had found the boys with the wolf and cared for them through their childhood, knew that the boys were of royal blood
  • So Fastaulus told Romulus that he was descended from royalty
  • At about the same time, Numitor realised that the one boy he had in custody and his brother (Romulus) were his long-lost grandsons
  • Rom and Reme didn’t stand a chance in a pitched battle against Amulius, so they grouped their soldiers…
  • …and built a trap…

I hope this helped you! Oh, and Merry Christmas. Not sure why I am doing this on Christmas Day, but oh well.

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A brief history of Christmas through the ages…

In the oldest, darkest of Ancient Times, there existed a period of great celebration stretching from around late December to the first days of January, known to the pagans and druids of the cold and icy North.

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Meet the Romans – What did they eat? [Ep2]

So how was the cuisine down in Ancient Rome?

The food of Ancient Rome is often called the “most rounded and balanced diet of the ancient world”. And if you know the variety of different meats, vegetables and cheeses they ate, it’s not hard to see why. Although it is debatable whether they were better fed than their surrounding Mediterranean neighbours, we can be certain that if you had money, you had food – and talented chefs that could cook it.

Take today’s lesson

Titus Livius’ History of Rome Summary [Bk1Ch1]

Titus Livius’ incredible work, The History of Rome, details everything from the inhabitation of Italy by Trojans until the rise of Augustus as the first Emperor. I’ve only just started reading this mammoth work – and here is a quick summary of the first chapter of the first book which I’ve already finished:

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The Great Peloponnesian War [Research]

The war between the domains of Sparta and Athens are well known. After a 30 year piece following the initial Peloponnesian War, Athens, an Empire at the height of its culture, size and moral, allied with Corcyra, an important land for Sparta. This “act of aggression” eventually triggered the war, where the two greatest empires of Ancient Greece collided in many episodes of brutal combat.

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Ancient Greek Trading Vessel Is “Oldest Shipwreck In The World”

More than a mile deep under the Black Sea off the Coast of Bulgaria lies a huge fleet of 67 ships from Ancient, Medieval and Tudor times – one of which dates to 400 BC.

It has been named the oldest shipwreck in the world.

Credit: Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project

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Research On Roman Britain From 55 BC Onwards

roman britain caerleon

This is a documentation of my personal research on Caesar’s invasions, Claudius’ conquest and the romanization of England starting from 55 BC, but it will also serve as a general topic article about England, Wales (and part of Scotland) in the Ancient times. I hope my learning helps you in some way.

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Battle of Cannae – Second Punic War

Carthage – the crucial Mediterranean trading city in Tunisia – has, for a short period of time, had peace with its Roman enemies. However, this is only a playful grace period, as neither side intends to continue this truce. Hannibal, the greatest warrior in all of Europe, is no exception. Vowing to never forgive the Romans for their awful treatment of Carthage and astonishingly unfair terms of surrender, he fumes his way into the Second Punic War, conducting the greatest North African army in history so far and eventually causing the most terrible military failure Rome has ever suffered.

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The Organization Of A Typical Roman Army Explained [SIMPLIFIED]

Much confusion surrounds the organisation of the Roman Army and in my opinion that is mainly down to the fact that it is so advanced and there are so many roles to play on the battlefield, and while on the march. Not to mention that the army would have undoubtedly evolved over time, relative to the advance of the Roman domain and the periods of time when Rome was a monarchy, republic and empire. But I think we can all agree that there is one trait that the soldiers of the city possessed for a considerably long stretch of time – and that is their fiercesomeness and discipline. 

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