Tag Archives: Roman Emperor

today’s birthday: Augustus Caesar (63 BCE)


Augustus Caesar (63 BCE)

Augustus Caesar was the first emperor of Rome. Known as Octavian for the period of his life prior to 27 BCE, he came to power after defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra. He ended years of civil war and gave Rome an era of peace, prosperity, and imperial greatness. Although he preserved the outward form of the Roman Republic, he ruled with extraordinary powers for more than 40 years and filled the Senate with sympathizers who named him “Augustus.” What was the significance of this title? More… Discuss

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Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 2 in D major: make music part of your life series


Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 2 in D major

 

 

this day in history: Roman Emperor Nero Commits Suicide (68 CE)


Roman Emperor Nero Commits Suicide (68 CE)

Often remembered as a tyrant who played the fiddle while watching Rome burn, Nero was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Though few surviving sources treat him favorably, some portray him as a competent emperor who was popular with the Roman people. In 68 CE, a military coup drove Nero into hiding, where he reportedly stabbed himself to avoid facing execution at the hands of the Roman Senate. Why do historians claim that the legend of Nero and his fiddle is false? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE WALK TO CANOSSA: POPE LIFTS HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR’S EXCOMMUNICATION (1077)


The Walk to Canossa: Pope Lifts Holy Roman Emperor’s Excommunication (1077)

The papacy and German nobility were enjoying widespread power when Henry IV became German king and then holy Roman emperor. As Henry tried to reclaim control, he clashed with Pope Gregory and was excommunicated. The nobility sided with Gregory and refused to recognize Henry’s kingship unless he sought absolution. To do so, Henry crossed the Alps in the dead of winter and allegedly stood three days barefoot in the snow at the castle at Canossa before being absolved. How did the nobles respond? More…Discuss

 

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This Day in the Yesteryear: MAXENTIUS BECOMES EMPEROR OF ROME (306 CE)


Maxentius Becomes Emperor of Rome (306 CE)

Shortly after Roman co-emperors Diocletian and Maximian retired, Maximian’s successor, Constantius, died. The Romans, discontented with the shift of power away from Rome, supported Maximian’s son, Maxentius, who claimed the throne. His father came out of retirement to help him when Severus and Galerius claimed the throne and tried to overthrow him. Severus was compelled to surrender, and Galerius withdrew. Maxentius and his father fell out, however, and Maxentius was defeated by whom in 312 CE? More… Discuss

 

Concordat of Worms (1122)


Concordat of Worms (1122)

The Concordat of Worms was an agreement reached by Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V that put an end to the first phase of the power struggle between Rome and what was becoming the Holy Roman Empire. Under its terms, the king was recognized as having the right to invest bishops “by the lance” but not “by ring and staff,” meaning he could grant them secular but not sacred authority. What message about the divine right of kings did the concordat convey? More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday: Julia Drusilla (16 CE)


Julia Drusilla (16 CE)

Drusilla was the sister of the Roman Emperor Caligula, a man widely characterized as insane, autocratic, and cruel. Drusilla was reportedly her brother’s favorite sibling. During banquets at his residence, she consistently occupied the seat of honor normally reserved for the host’s wife and, perhaps because of this practice, was rumored to be Caligula’s lover. Upon Drusilla’s death, Caligula had the Roman Senate declare her “Diva Drusilla,” deifying her as a representation of what goddess? More… Discuss

This Day in History: Fire Ravages Rome’s Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls (1823)


Fire Ravages Rome’s Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls (1823)

In 1823, a worker repairing the roof of Rome’s Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls accidentally started a fire that resulted in its almost total destruction. The church, built under Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, had retained its original character for nearly 1,500 years. Reconstruction work began almost immediately with the aim of recreating the original structure. The viceroy of Egypt contributed alabaster pillars to the rebuilding effort, while the Russian emperor sent what? More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday: Septimius Sever (145 CE)


Septimius Severus (145 CE)

Severus became emperor of Rome in 193 CE, also known as the “Year of the Five Emperors.” In the months before he ascended the throne, two emperors were assassinated and a third—Didius Julianus—earned the position by buying it from the Praetorian Guard. With the empire in disarray, Severus marched on Rome, ousted Julianus, and was proclaimed emperor. He then built himself a strong army that would protect both him and his empire. It is said that he gave what advice to his sons before his death? More… Discuss