Marcus Licinius Crassus (115-53 BCE) was perhaps the richest man in Roman history and in his eventful life he experienced both great successes and severe disappointments. His vast wealth and sharp political skills brought him two consulships and the kind of influence enjoyed only by a true heavyweight of Roman politics. A mentor to Julius Caesar in his early career, Crassus would rise to the very top of state affairs but his long search for a military triumph to match his great rival Pompey would, ultimately, bring about his downfall.
Today in Roman History —> On this day in 54 AD Roman emperor Claudius dies from poisoning under mysterious circumstances. It’s been suggested that the poison may have been made by the notorious poisoner Locusta.
Nearly all implicate his final wife, Agrippina, as the instigator. Agrippina and Claudius had become more combative in the months leading up to his death. This carried on to the point where Claudius openly lamented his bad wives, and began to comment on Britannicus’ approaching manhood with an eye towards restoring his status within the imperial family. Agrippina had motive in ensuring the succession of Nero (her son) before Britannicus could gain power.
Today in History —> Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, surrenders to the Romans under Julius Caesar, ending the siege and battle of Alesia. (52 BCE)
Today in Roman History —> On this day in 275 for the last time, the Roman Senate chooses an emperor, Marcus Claudius Tacitus.
Marcus Terentius Varro (116 – 27 BC), a Roman scholar, recorded this recipe for Beets with Chicken. It tastes pretty good, but be prepared, as the chicken comes out beet colored:
10 small beets
1/4 cup mead or sweet white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb cooked chicken pieces
Wash and peel whole, small beets and put them into a saucepan. Add mead or sweet wine, olive oil, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, add chicken pieces, and cook until done.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists.
His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. According to Michael Grant, “the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language”. Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as evidentia, humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia)distinguishing himself as a translator and philosopher. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement.
“GLADIUS” – The sword that conquered the known world back then used by the Roman Army.
~ The gladius was a miniature form of a sword, having a short blade, about 20 to 25 inches long.
~ This was one of the basic weapons of the Roman foot soldiers, used primarily for stabbing the enemy.
~ Gladius had two sharp cutting-edges and a sharp-pointed end, designed specially to have a lethal impact on the enemy, when stabbed.
~ The gladius remained the standard weapon of the Romans up to nearly the middle of the second century A.D., when it was replaced by a larger and longer sword.