Anthony Everitt

SPQR: A Roman Miscellany

Антон Терещукhas quoted3 years ago
Sexual virility in a man was something to be proud of. Caesar had a reputation as a sexual omnivore, and both sexes were on the menu. When it was quipped that he was ‘the husband of all women and the wife of all husbands’, there was as much envy as criticism in the remark.
Антон Терещукhas quoted3 years ago
object of desire or in one kind of sexual practice was suspect. There was nothing wrong with sodomy, but you shouldn’t specialize in it (or anything else): a varied diet was best.
Антон Терещукhas quoted3 years ago
Nor did the Romans have any idea of sexual status, of being gay or straight. Sex was what one did, not what one was; in Rome it didn’t matter much whom you fancied—man or woman, boy or girl. Homosexual behaviour was widespread and generally acceptable. However, taking pleasure exclusively in one
Антон Терещукhas quoted3 years ago
Two thousand years later, this ageless youth still has his followers. He is the only personality from the ancient world known to the author to have websites dedicated to his cult—three at the last count; they tend towards the homoerotic.
Stanislav Naumovhas quoted3 years ago
ROME CREATED ONE OF THE LARGEST EMPIRES IN WORLD HISTORY. In its heyday, under the emperor Trajan in the second century AD, it governed up to 60 million people in an area of about 5 million square kilometres. It stretched from Spain to Turkey, from the Black Sea to the Maghreb, over what are now more than forty modern countries. Even so, in population and extent the Roman empire was easily surpassed by others​—​among them, the empires conquered by the British, the Mongols, the Russians, the Muslim Caliphs and the Spanish.
Where Rome wins out is in staying power. Its empire lasted as a single entity for more than 500 years, and its eastern half survived another millennium until the fifteenth century AD, when Muslim invaders brought it down. How did it manage this feat? The Romans were the most aggressive of people, and as they built their power, hardly a year passed when they were not at war with somebody. They acquired most of the then known world through conquest.
One would have thought this would have aroused resentment against their rule. But, having beaten up their victims, Romans shook them by the hand and invited them to join them as partners in the imperial project. Eventually every adult male living inside the frontier of this multicultural world became a Roman citizen. He was a stakeholder and stakeholders seldom revolt.*1
b2252896635has quoted4 years ago
The system of dating we use today was invented in AD 525. It is based on the presumed date of Jesus Christ’s birth; BC signifies ‘Before Christ’ and AD Anno Domini (‘in the Year of the Lord’).
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