Porticus Octaviae

The Porticus Octaviae (Portico of Octavia; Italian: Portico di Ottavia) is an ancient structure in Rome.

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Cassius Dio

Cassius Dio or Dio Cassius (/ˈkæʃəs ˈd/; c. 155–235) was a Roman statesman and historian of Greek origin. He published 80 volumes of history on Ancient Rome, beginning with the arrival of Aeneas in Italy. The volumes documented the subsequent founding of Rome (753 BC), the formation of the Republic (509 BC), and the creation of the Empire (31 BC), up until 229 AD. Written in Ancient Greek over 22 years, Dio's work covers approximately 1,000 years of history. Many of his 80 books have survived intact, or as fragments, providing modern scholars with a detailed perspective on Roman history.

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Geographica

The Geographica (Ancient Greek: Γεωγραφικά Geōgraphiká), or Geography, is an encyclopedia of geographical knowledge, consisting of 17 'books', written in Greek by Strabo, an educated citizen of the Roman Empire of Greek descent. Work can have begun on it no earlier than 20 BC. A first edition was published in 7 BC followed by a gap, resumption of work and a final edition no later than 23 AD in the last year of Strabo's life. Strabo probably worked on his Geography and now missing History concurrently, as the Geography contains a considerable amount of historical data. Except for parts of Book 7, the complete work is known.

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Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, commonly referred to simply as Vegetius, was a writer of the Later Roman Empire (late fourth century). Nothing is known of his life or station beyond what is contained in his two surviving works: Epitoma rei militaris(also referred to as De Re Militari), and the lesser-known Digesta Artis Mulomedicinae, a guide to veterinary medicine. This long held conclusion, that nothing is known nor ever will be, has recently been challenged.

The latest event alluded to in his Epitoma rei militaris is the death of the Emperor Gratian (383); the earliest attestation of this work is a subscriptio by one Flavius Eutropius, writing in Constantinople in the year 450, which appears in one of two families of manuscripts, suggesting that a bifurcation of the manuscript tradition had already occurred. Despite Eutropius' location in Constantinople, the scholarly consensus is that Vegetius wrote in the Western Empire. Vegetius dedicates his work to the reigning emperor, who is identified as Theodosius, ad Theodosium imperatorem, in the manuscript family that was not edited in 450; the identity is disputed: some scholars identify him with Theodosius the Great, while others follow Otto Seeck and identify him with the later Valentinian III, dating the work 430-35. Vegetius identifies himself in the opening of his work "Epitoma rei militaris" as a Christian.

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De Re Militari

De Re Militari (Latin "Concerning Military Matters"), also Epitoma Rei Militaris, is a treatise by the late Latin writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus about Roman warfare and military principles as a presentation of methods and practices in use during the height of Rome's power, and responsible for that power. The extant text dates to the 5th century.

Vegetius emphasized things such as training of soldiers as a disciplined force, orderly strategy, maintenance of supply lines and logistics, quality leadership and use of tactics and even deceit to ensure advantage over the opposition. He was concerned about selection of good soldiers and recommended hard training of at least four months before the soldier was accepted into the ranks. The leader of the army (dux or duke) had to take care of the men under his command and keep himself informed about the movements of the enemy to gain advantage in the battle.

De Re Militari became a military guide in the Middle Ages. Even after the introduction of gunpowder to Europe, it was carried by general officers and their staffs as a field guide to methods. Friends and subordinates customarily presented embellished copies as gifts to leaders. It went on into the 18th and 19th centuries as a source of policy and strategy to the major states of Europe. In that sense De Re Militari is a projection of Roman civilization into modern times and a continuation of its influence on its cultural descendants.

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Pilum

The pilum (plural pila; Classical Latin: [ˈpiːlũː]) was a javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times. It was generally about 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) long overall, consisting of an iron shank about 7 millimetres (0.28 in) in diameter and 60 centimetres (24 in) long with a pyramidal head. The shank was joined to the wooden shaft by either a socket or a flat tang. This design prevented the enemy from throwing the pilum back after it had successfully struck them.

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Parma (shield)

Parma or parmula (the diminutive of parma) was a type of round shield used by the Roman army, especially during the later period of Imperial history.

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Gladius

Gladius (English: /ɡldiəs/; Latin: glădĭuspronounced [ˈɡladiʊs]) was one Latin word for sword, and is used to represent the primary sword of Ancient Roman foot soldiers. Early ancient Roman swords were similar to those of the Greeks. From the 3rd century BC, the Romans adopted swords similar to those used by the Celtiberians and others during the early part of the conquest of Hispania. This sword was known as the gladius hispaniensis, or Hispanic Sword.

A fully equipped Roman legionary after the reforms of Gaius Marius was armed with a shield (scutum), one or two javelins (pila), a sword (gladius), often a dagger (pugio), and, perhaps in the later Empire period, darts (plumbatae). Conventionally, soldiers threw javelins to disable the enemy's shields and disrupt enemy formations before engaging in close combat, for which they drew the gladius. A soldier generally led with the shield and thrust with the sword. All gladius types appear to have been suitable for cutting and chopping as well as thrusting.

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Scutum (shield)

The Scutum (English: /ˈsktəm/; plural scuta; Classical Latin: [ˈskuːtũː]) was a type of shield which was in use among Italic peoples in the archaic period. It was adopted by the army of ancient Rome. This was probably in the fourth century BC. The Romans adopted it when they switched from the military formation of the hoplite phalanx of the Greeks to the formation with maniples. In the former, the soldiers carried a small round shield, which the Romans called clipeus. In the latter, they used the scutum, which was a larger shield. Originally it was an oblong and convex shield. By the first century BC it had developed into the rectangular, semi-cylindrical shield we, in modern times, associate the scutum with. This was not the only shield the Romans used. Roman shields were of varying types depending on the role of the soldier who carried it. Oval, circular and rectangular shields were used throughout Roman history.

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Hasta (spear)

Hasta (plural: hastae) is a Latin word meaning "spear". Hastae were carried by early Roman legionaries, in particular they were carried by and gave their name to those Roman soldiers known as hastati. However, during Republican times, the hastati were re-armed with pila and gladii and the hasta was only retained by the triarii.

Unlike the pilum, verutum or lancea, the hasta was not thrown, but used for thrusting.

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Clipeus

In the military of classical antiquity, a clipeus (Ancient Greek: ἀσπίς) was a large shield worn by the Greeks and Romans as a piece of defensive armor, which they carried upon the arm, to secure them from the blows of their enemies. It was round in shape and in the middle was a bolt of iron, or of some other metal, with a sharp point.

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Castra

In the Roman Empire, the Latin word castrum (plural castra) was a building, or plot of land, used as a fortified military camp.

Castrum was the term used for different sizes of camps including a large legionary fortress, smaller auxiliary forts, temporary encampments and "marching" forts. The diminutive form castellum was used for fortlets, typically occupied by a detachment of a cohort or a century.

In English, the terms "Roman fortress", "Roman fort" and "Roman camp" are commonly used for castrum. However, scholastic convention tends toward the use of the word "camp", "marching camp" and "fortress" as a translation of castrum.

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Madagascar

Madagascar (/ˌmædəˈɡæskər/ ; Malagasy: Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar (Malagasy: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara [republiˈkʲan madaɡasˈkʲarə̥]; French: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinentGondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian peninsula around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar dates to 2000 BC. Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and AD 550 by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around AD 1000 by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into 18 or more sub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands.

Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed republics. Since 1992, the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009, president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014, when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community. Madagascar is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Madagascar belongs to the group of least developed countries, according to the United Nations. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state. The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education, health, and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantial economic growth, but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class. As of 2017, the economy has been weakened by the 2009–2013 political crisis, and quality of life remains low for the majority of the Malagasy population.

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Thomas Tew

Thomas Tew (fl. 1692–1695), also known as the Rhode Island Pirate, was a 17th-century English privateer-turned-pirate. He embarked on two major piratical voyages and met a bloody death on the second journey, and he pioneered the route which became known as the Pirate Round. Many other famous pirates followed in his path, including Henry Avery and William Kidd.

Much of what is known about Tew is derived from Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates, which is a mixture of fact and fiction. When reading about Thomas Tew, it is important to be able to distinguish between truth and story. Captain Johnson said, "Tew, in Point of Gallantry, was inferior to none."

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Libertatia

Libertatia (also known as Libertalia) was a purported anarchist colony founded in the late 17th century in Madagascar by pirates under the leadership of Captain James Misson.

Whether or not Libertatia actually existed is disputed. It is described in the book A General History of the Pyrates by Captain Charles Johnson, an otherwise unknown individual who may have been a pseudonym of Daniel Defoe. According to Johnson's description, Libertalia lasted for about 25 years. The precise location is not known; however, most sources say it stretched from the Antongil Bay to Mananjary, Fianarantsoa, including Île Sainte-Marie and Mahavelona. Thomas Tew, Misson and a Dominican priest named Signor Caraccioli were involved in founding it.

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Île Sainte-Marie

Nosy Boraha [ˈnuʃ buˈrahə̥], previously known as Île Sainte-Marie (and still popularly known by travellers as such), is an island off the east coast of Madagascar, to which it belongs. The main town is Ambodifotatra. The island forms an administrative district within Analanjirofo Region, and covers an area of 222 km2. It had a population estimated at 26,547 in 2013.

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Freemasonry

Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. These are the degrees offered by Craft (or Blue Lodge) Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are usually administered by different bodies than the craft degrees.

The basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. The Lodges are usually supervised and governed at the regional level (usually coterminous with either a state, province, or national border) by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient. There is no international, worldwide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry; each Grand Lodge is independent, and they do not necessarily recognise each other as being legitimate.

Modern Freemasonry broadly consists of two main recognition groups. Regular Freemasonry insists that a volume of scripture is open in a working lodge, that every member profess belief in a supreme being, that no women are admitted, and that the discussion of religion and politics is banned. Continental Freemasonry is now the general term for the "liberal" jurisdictions who have removed some, or all, of these restrictions.

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Gallic Wars

The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome's war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul (mainly present-day France and Belgium). While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes helped ease victory for Caesar, and Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic.

Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought primarily to boost Caesar's political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north. Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, which remains the most important historical source regarding the conflict.

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Cato the Younger

Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95 BC, Rome – April 46 BC, Utica), commonly known as Cato the Younger (Cato Minor) to distinguish him from his great-grandfather (Cato the Elder), was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy. A noted orator, he is remembered for his stubbornness and tenacity (especially in his lengthy conflict with Julius Caesar), as well as his immunity to bribes, his moral integrity, and his famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period.

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Diomedes

Diomedes (/ˌdəˈmdz/ or /ˌdˈɒmɪdz/) or Diomede (/ˈdəmd/; Greek: Διομήδης Diomēdēs "God-like cunning, advised by Zeus") is a hero in Greek mythology, known for his participation in the Trojan War.

He was born to Tydeus and Deipyle and later became King of Argos, succeeding his maternal grandfather, Adrastus. In Homer's Iliad Diomedes is regarded alongside Ajax as one of the best warriors of all the Achaeans (behind only Achilles in prowess). Later, he founded ten or more Italian cities. After his death, Diomedes was worshipped as a divine being under various names in Italy and also in Greece.

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