Marc Antony, left, offers Julius Caesar a crown; Caesar refuses.
With much public discussion of President Donald Trump as, potentially, a king, a scholar of Roman history and rhetoric sees 2,000-year-old parallels.
In the very beginning of the Roman calendar (more than 2000 years ago), there were only 10 months in the year.
December is named for the Roman word for “tenth”. So, why is it the twelfth month?
Kevin Jackson, Robyn Hendricks and Ty King Wall in the Australian Ballet’s production of Spartacus.
When Spartacus and 70 or so of his comrades revolted and escaped from their gladiatorial school near Capua in 73 BC, everyone imagined the matter would soon be dealt with. But his rebellion has continued to inspire political movements.
Without the scientific knowledge we have today, ancient cultures turned to myths and legends to understand celestial objects.
Detail from the Roman-era Sousse Mosaic Calendar, El Jem, Tunisia.
Ad Meskens / Wikimedia Commons
If you’ve ever wondered why our 12-month year ends with names that mean the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth months, you can blame the Romans.
Brothels in Pompeii were decorated with murals depicting erotic and exotic scenes: but the reality was far more brutal and mundane.
Thomas Shahan/Wikimedia Commons
Though their activities were depicted alluringly in murals, the sex workers of Pompeii were slaves who lived hard lives.
Giovanni Cavino, I primi dodici imperatori Romani (‘The first twelve Roman emperors’), plaquettes produced at Padua, c. 1550.
Suetonius’s unforgettable tales of sex, scandal, and debauchery have ensured that his writing has played a significant role in shaping our perceptions of imperial Rome.
We’ve always needed a party to look forward to in the bleak midwinter.
Malcolm Turnbull is now more circumspect when it comes to the matter of an Australian republic.
For Australians to vote in favour of a republic, it may require something more than just crossing out ‘governor-general’ in the Constitution and writing in ‘president’.