Thursday, March 29, 2018

New Guest Article: 10 Legendary Figures From Ancient Greek Folklore And Mythology


(censored and cropped version of The Apotheosis of Hercules, by Noël Coypel (1628–1707), [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)

Numerous heroes, due to their super-human strength, cunning and courage, were worshipped as gods or demigods. Their diligence in doing their duty for the good of all mankind, as well as their guts to slay monsters, have made their stories truly immortal.

Continue reading about ten of these immortalized heroes from Greek myth and legend, HERE.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New Biography: Lucius Fulcinius Trio Lived And Died By The Law In Ancient Rome


(Zoomed and cropped version of “Cicero Denounces Catiline” painted by Cesare Maccari (1840–1919), c. 1889, [Public Domain] via Creative Commons).

During the reign of Emperor Tiberius (r. 14-37), lawyers could amass huge fortunes as prosecutors. Similar to a witch-hunt atmosphere, the rich and powerful in Tiberius’ empire threw countless accusations of criminality and treason at each other. The prosecutor that won these high-profile treason cases could expect to gain a portion of the defendant’s assets. In addition to the ill-gotten wealth, the act of prosecuting supposed traitors could also lead to honorary awards and government promotions. Among the many prosecutors that participated in the judicial reign of terror was a man named Lucius Fulcinius Trio.

Continue reading about Trio's eventfull law career, HERE.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

New Guest Article: 10+1 Life-Changing Quotes From Ancient Greece

(Plato’s Academy, by Raphael (1483–1520), [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)

Greece preserves one of the most ancient cultures and one of the most inspiring histories worldwide. Its history is made up of bloody wars and occupations, but also of people who, with their ideas, visions and ambitions, have shaped the course of the whole world. Most of them are considered to be philosophers and many of their ideas, point of view and world theories still inspire modern people. Although many of them did not actually write texts, their sayings were saved by their students. Recognized virtues, such as discipline, glory, honor, and the value of family and friendship, can be traced back to their insights, and still move and influence modern people's lives.

Continue reading about these life-changing quotes from the brightest minds of ancient Greece, HERE.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

New Biography / Article: The Greatly Endowed Plot Of Lü Buwei To End His Affair With The Mother Of A Chinese King

(Career of Xu Xianqing Huanji Tu 18, c. 1590s, [Public Domain] via Creative Commons)

Lü Buwei was a prominent minister of Qin during the decades before the kings of Qin formally became emperors. He began his career as a simple merchant, and, because of his keen mind for strategy and administration, his business was extremely profitable. Nevertheless, his career trajectory would dramatically change after a trip to the city of Handan, the capital of the state of Zhao.

While in Handan, Lü Buwei encountered a Qin nobleman being held there as a diplomatic hostage—the man’s name was Zichu. He was one of more than twenty sons fathered by Lord Anguo, who had become the crown prince of Qin around 267 BCE. As such, Zichu was a member of the Qin royal family, but he was still considered low enough in the succession to be given away by his king as a hostage to assure peace between Qin and Zhao. Nevertheless, with a potential heir to the kingdom of Qin at his fingertips, Lü Buwei decided to give up the life of a merchant for that of a politician.

Continue reading about the dramatic life of Lü Buwei and the bizarre story of his downfall, HERE.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

New Article: The Numidian Chief, Tacfarinas, And His Persistent Wars Against Rome

(Hannibal at Cannae, by Heinrich Leutemann (1824-1905), [Public Domain] via Creative Commons).

In the first two decades of the 1st century, a peculiar military leader named Tacfarinas asserted himself as a constant thorn in the side of the Roman Empire by unrelentingly threatening their interests in North Africa. Thankfully for us, the Roman historian and statesman, Tacitus (c. 56-117), kept fairly detailed records of Tacfarinas’ campaigns within his book, The Annals of Imperial Rome. Even though The Annals focused on the actions of the imperial family, especially Emperor Tiberius (r. 14-37), Tacfarinas’ name made numerous appearances in the pages, popping up each time he launched another invasion of Rome, which seemingly occurred every other year. So, even though Tacitus often sidelined describing Tacfarinas’ reign of terror in favor of discussing political maneuverings in Rome, a decent sketch of Tacfarinas’ life can be drawn from The Annals of Imperial Rome.

Tacfarinas was born in Numidia, and like many of Rome’s greatest threats, he began his career in the Roman military as an auxiliary soldier serving in North Africa. He eventually deserted from the Roman military and started a new life as a bandit. His ambitions, however, were too broad for common thievery. He gathered a large band of marauders and began to teach them Roman military discipline and tactics. Once he had gathered enough resources, he even equipped an elite core of his forces in Roman-styled weaponry and armor. Finally, Tacfarinas somehow maneuvered himself into becoming chief of the Musulamian tribe, a strong Numidian people known for their great warriors. With his newfound power, Tacfarinas was able to strike up a secret alliance between his own troops and other anti-Rome factions in North Africa. Along with Tacfarinas’ own bandits and Musulamian soldiers, the Cinithii tribe and dissidents from the Roman-aligned kingdoms of Mauretania and Garamantes also joined the growing coalition.

Continue reading about the persistent campaigns of Tacfarinas against the Roman Empire, HERE.