Articles on Ancient Rome

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Was persecution a consistent imperial policy, and what types of punishments were inflicted on Christians? The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)/Wikimedia Commons

Mythbusting Ancient Rome – throwing Christians to the lions

The image of cowering Christians being thrown to the lions by Roman emperors is a grisly staple of popular culture. But how accurate is it?
Nero: had a reputation as an arsonist even in antiquity. Wikimedia Commons

Mythbusting Ancient Rome – the emperor Nero

The image of a crazed and capricious Emperor Nero is immortalised in popular culture: from fiddling while Rome burns to having a sexual relationship with his mother. The historical evidence, however, is rather different.
The Temple of Apollo at Delphi, where the wisdom of the oracle was dispensed. Janet Lackey/flickr

Friday essay: secrets of the Delphic Oracle and how it speaks to us today

Cicero asked: 'how to become famous?' Nero sought to know the timing of his death. The Oracle at Delphi offered pronouncements on all manner of topics - yet as with Google today, the question posed was as important as the answer.

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