Barbarian Europe 7: Vikings Introduction

Vikings. Or Northmen, Pagans, Foreigners, Rus. These and many names were given to the people who came to be one of the greatest nuisances to Europe after the Barbaric invasion and the great crisis that ended the Roman Empire. They were so feared that the Church even declared that the apocalypse was near and the Vikings were, in fact, the soldiers of the antichrist.

Norsemen came from the Danish and Scandinavian peninsula, as well as other Northern regions, and they were fierce and efficient warriors, well equipped and well trained. They specialized in the art of raiding. They were so incredibly adept to this tactic and their name, “Vikings”, was probably derived from this. 

Barbarian Europe 6: Justinian’s Reconquest (535-554 AD)

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It was one of the greatest deeds in the history of the Roman Empire – the glorious but brief restoration of the Western Roman provinces, the capture of Rome, and the series of month-long sieges in order to take back major Italian cities. From 535 to 554 AD, the Byzantines and Ostrogoths fought furiously over the peninsula. By the last year of the war, the Byzantines are able to conquer the majority of Italy, but their territorial holdings will soon come under attack by the cruel Langobards later in the century.

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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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