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Decius and His Persecution of the Christian Church

Posted September 13th, 2014 at 02:32 PM by Salah

Gaius Messius Quintus Decius ruled the Roman Empire from September of 249 CE until June of 251. By his reign, the Empire was visibly entering into what has become known as the 'Crisis of the Third Century'. The Empire's frontiers were menaced by various Germanic peoples as well as the Sassanid Persians, and plagues and military usurpations caused internal trauma. It was Decius who adopted the novel policy of attempting to appease the gods - with disastrous results for at least one of the religious...
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The Roman Empire fell in 475 CE - or is that 480?

Posted August 30th, 2014 at 08:34 PM by Salah

476 CE is the date traditionally given for the 'fall' of the Western half of the Roman Empire. The ironically-named adolescent puppet Romulus "Augustulus" was sent into forced retirement by Odoacer, who was then declared 'king' in Italy.

Of course, those who favor the date 476 ignore the Eastern half of the Empire, which endured until 1453 (or 1461, if one counts the 'rump-state' of Trebizond). It might be worth nothing, however, that Romulus was not, in fact, a true Roman...
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Who commanded an imperial legionary cohort?

Posted August 19th, 2014 at 06:24 PM by Salah

The ancient Roman army has been one of my hobbies for most of my life. But there are some aspects of it that will never make sense to me - one, is why the legionary cohort (apparently) did not have a commander.

The late Consular-early Imperial Roman legion had ten cohorts, each of these divided into six centuries. The Imperial legion was commanded by a legate, whose staff included six tribunes and a veteran centurion to serve as 'camp prefect'. The legion's first cohort was usually...
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Emperor Aurelian and the Christian Church

Posted August 12th, 2014 at 01:04 PM by Salah

Before the reign of Constantine I, most Roman emperors were supposedly enemies of Christianity. Historians continue to debate the extent of the persecutions - or even if they occurred at all. Most 'martyrologies' tell us at least as much about medieval religious folklore as they do about the experiences of Christian believers in pre-Christian Rome.

In the early 270s CE, however, a unique event took place in the Roman province of Syria. For perhaps the first time in history, a Roman...
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Celtic presence in the Imperial Roman Army

Posted August 6th, 2014 at 06:56 AM by Salah

Peoples speaking Celtic languages were prolific throughout the Roman Empire. Apart from their obvious 'heartland' in Britain and Gaul, they could be found throughout northern Italy, Spain, and the Balkans. A Gaulish-speaking community existed in central Asia minor (the 'Galatians') and there was (or historically had been) a small Celtic community in northern Africa, including Egypt. Several Roman emperors, including the Antonines, the Severans, several 3rd Century usurpers, and possibly even Trajan...
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