Pax Romana, Caligula: Fiend, Monster, or Baddie?

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, København's photo: A marble bust of Caligula (right) with traces of original paint and a plaster replica (left) approximating the polychrome traditions of ancient sculpture.
Caligula: marble bust (right), plaster reproduction (right), with original colors approximated.

Caligula is currently famous, or infamous, for being a stark-raving-mad monster with no redeeming qualities. Although scholars have been acknowledging that we don’t actually know much about him.

I’m not about to try rehabilitating Caligula’s image. But I’ve got suspicions about what the third Roman emperor was really like. I’ll get back to that.

But first, I’ll take a brisk slog through some of what Tacitus and Suetonius had to say about Caligula; followed by a bit about statues, art and post-Renaissance preferences.

And finally, what folks like Caligula and Nero were doing in the Pax Romana.

That’s the idea, at any rate.

Caligula: Little Boots and Rumors

Unknown photographer's photo: Part of the Ara Pacis, showing members of the Imperial household. Germanicus is the toddler (left) holding Antonia Minor's hand. (photo probably taken 20th century) uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by MM, used w/o permission.
Family portrait on the Ara Pacis. Germanicus is the toddler holding holding Antonia Minor’s hand.

Roman naming conventions were far from simple. But that’s not why we’ve been calling Rome’s third emperor “Caligula”, instead of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.

Young Gaius et cetera was named, partly, after Gaius Julius Caesar.

Gaius/Caligula spent part of his childhood at the front lines, in northern Germania, with his mother and father, Agrippina the Elder and Germanicus.

Bear with me, this connects to his “Caligula” nickname; and, I think, says something about his family of origin.

His mother had Caligula wear a scaled-down version of a “common soldier’s uniform”, and encouraged the troops to call him Cæsar Caligula. “Caligula” means “little boot”. Caligae were general-issue hobnail sandal-boots for Roman soldiers.

An unknown artist's bust of Germanicus (ca. 14-19 A.D.) Found at Béziers, currently at Musée Saint-Raymond via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.Germanicus — that’s a portrait bust of him, from what’s now southern France — must have had a praenomen, what I’d call his first name. But we don’t know what it was.

Germanicus was his second cognomen, or agnomen, or nickname — again, Roman names were complicated.

He became part of the Gens Julia when Tiberius adopted him.

Finally, getting back to Caligula.

Whether or not Agrippina and young Caligula being at the front lines was good news depends on who’s talking.

“…Meanwhile a rumour had spread that our army was cut off, and that a furious German host was marching on Gaul. And had not Agrippina prevented the bridge over the Rhine from being destroyed, some in their cowardice would have dared that base act. A woman of heroic spirit, she assumed during those days the duties of a general, and distributed clothes or medicine among the soldiers, as they were destitute or wounded. According to Caius Plinius, the historian of the German wars, she stood at the extremity of the bridge, and bestowed praise and thanks on the returning legions. This made a deep impression on the mind of Tiberius. ‘Such zeal,’ he thought, ‘could not be guileless; it was not against a foreign foe that she was thus courting the soldiers. Generals had nothing left them when a woman went among the companies, attended the standards, ventured on bribery, as though it showed but slight ambition to parade her son [Caligula] in a common soldier’s uniform, and wish him to be called Cæsar Caligula. Agrippina had now more power with the armies than officers, than generals. A woman had quelled a mutiny which the sovereign’s name could not check.’ All this was inflamed and aggravated by Sejanus, who, with his thorough comprehension of the character of Tiberius, sowed for a distant future hatreds which the emperor might treasure up and might exhibit when fully matured….”
(“The Annals”, Tacitus Book 1, 69 (68 A.D.) translation based on Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb (1876) via Wikisource) [emphasis mine]

A few years later Germanicus got sick and died. He was only 33 years old, and involved in the usual Roman politics, including trouble with someone named Piso. Which may have sparked rumors starring Piso as a poisoner.

Rome’s emperor at the time was Tiberius, who died a bit shy of two decades later. Probably from natural causes.

But Suetonius, writing nearly a century later, said that “some think” Caligula offed Tiberius with poison, starvation, or suffocation.

“…Some think that Gaius [Caligula] gave him a slow and wasting poison; others that during convalescence from an attack of fever food was refused him when he asked for it. Some say that a pillow was thrown upon his face, when he came to and asked for a ring which had been taken from him during a fainting fit. Seneca writes that conscious of his approaching end, he took off the ring, as if to give it to someone, but held fast to it for a time; then he put it back on his finger, and clenching his left hand, lay for a long time motionless; suddenly he called for his attendants, and on receiving no response, got up; but his strength failed him and he fell dead near the couch….”
(“Lives of the Twelve Caesars”, Tiberius, 73; Suetonius, (Written during or after 120 A.D.))

At any rate, Caligula became Rome’s third emperor. And survived for not quite another four years.1

Ancient Sculptures: In Living Color

Anna-Marie Kellen/Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York's photo: galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, with familiar all-white ancient statuary and pieces reconstructed with close approximations to their original colors. (early 21st century)
Familiar ancient ‘cleaned’ statuary and accurate reconstructions. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Up until a few years ago, ancient Greek and Roman statues displayed in museums were very, very white. Literally white: not the pinkish-beige skin tone some northwestern Europeans get after a long winter.

That’s not how they looked, back in the day. And, recently, some museums have started looking at ancient sculptures before putting them on display: instead of scrubbing them.

And we’re getting a more colorful look at familiar historical figures.

Analysis of a Caligula Bust

The Fitzwilliam Museum's photo: '...small, corroded bronze head has been identified as a rare surviving image of Caligula, one of only a few that escaped destruction or re-cutting after the hated Emperor’s assassination in 41 BCE....'We knew what Caligula looked like, thanks to a few of his statues and busts getting missed during the post-assassination purge.

Granted, we’re looking at official portraiture: so these bits and pieces had been metaphorically airbrushed.

But surviving Caligula sculptures each look like the same individual: what the J. Paul Getty Museum, describes as “…a young man with a high forehead, small mouth, and thin lips….”

Suetonius, who emphatically hadn’t been a Caligula fan, gave us a much juicier description:

“…He was very tall and extremely pale, with an unshapely body, but very thin neck and legs. His eyes and temples were hollow, his forehead broad and grim, his hair thin and entirely gone on the top of his head, though his body was hairy. Because of this to look upon him from a higher place as he passed by, or for any reason whatever to mention a goat, was treated as a capital offence. While his face was naturally forbidding and ugly, he purposely made it even more savage, practising all kinds of terrible and fearsome expressions before a mirror….”
(“The Lives of the Twelve Caesars”, “The Life of Caligula“, 50, C. Suetonius Tranquillus (ca. 121 A.D.) Maximilian Ihm in the Teubner edition of 1907, Loeb Classical Library (1913-1914) via Greek and Roman Authors on LacusCurtius, University of Chicago)

Since many of the few surviving Caligula sculptures had been scrubbed clean, guessing how pale or tan, blond or otherwise, Rome’s third emperor had been — was guesswork.

Happily, some ancient sculptures hadn’t been thoroughly cleaned. Like the one I put at the start of this week’s post. (From the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, København / New Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen.)

Folks at the Copenhagen museum worked out their Caligula bust’s original colors through visual examination, what they called technical imaging, and very careful sampling.

A resource I ran across asserted that Caligula had blue eyes. At the time I’d dismissed it as just another alternatively-accurate opinion piece. And partly because by the time I realized citing it might be interesting, I’d forgotten the URL and couldn’t re-locate it.

Maybe the author glanced at a report of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek work. And gotten the wrong idea about “…a strong luminescence of Egyptian blue in the right eye….”

There had been blue particles in the eye pigments: as well as in the hair and face. But they were part of complex pigment mixes.

So I figure the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek folks got it right. Their Caligula bust had originally had brown hair and eyes and a medium-tan complexion. And so, very likely, had Caligula.2

Scrubbing Statues, Chromophobia, Beeldenstorm

Iconoclastic incident at the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp; August 21, 1566. From 'Histoire de la guerre des Païs-Bas....' (1727)The good news is that the metaphorical cat is out of the bag.

Many scholars acknowledge that ancient Greece and Rome hadn’t been decorated with blank white sculptures.

The frustrating angle, for me, is that contemporary ethnic politics has been coloring some of the literature. My opinion.

But again, good news: we’re finally past the post-Renaissance obsession with whitewashing color out of European culture.

Leonardo da Vinci apparently helped scrub our perceptions of ancient sculpture.

Partly, maybe, because paint on ancient statues had mostly weathered away by the time he saw them. But Leonardo’s motives very likely also involved commercial concerns, and that’s another topic.

Like pretty much everything involving humans, it’s complicated.

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768) apparently deserves credit our tidily scrubbed ancient statuary. He also got the ball rolling on sorting out Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art.

His motives for promoting the purely pristine were — pure.

“…Some of the pigment was scrubbed off by restorers whose acts, while well intentioned, were tantamount to vandalism. In the 18th century, the pioneering archaeologist and art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann chose to view the bare stone figures as pure—if you will, Platonic—forms, all the loftier for their austerity. ‘The whiter the body is, the more beautiful it is as well,’ he wrote. ‘Color contributes to beauty, but it is not beauty. Color should have a minor part in the consideration of beauty, because it is not [color] but structure that constitutes its essence.’ Against growing evidence to the contrary, Winckelmann’s view prevailed. For centuries to come, antiquarians who envisioned the statues in color were dismissed as eccentrics, and such challenges as they mounted went ignored….”
(“True Colors“, Matthew Gurewitsch, Smithsonian Magazine (July 2008))

Again, anything involving humans gets complicated: fast.

But I’ve suspected that there’s a link between so much color draining out of northern European visual culture and religious spasms like Beeldenstorm. I see it as part of a mess that’s been boiling over since around the 1500s,

And, while researching this week, I learned that I’m not the only one who’s noticed how bland my branch of civilization had become:

David Batchelor (2000) via Google Books

“The central argument of Chromophobia is that a chromophobic impulse — a fear of corruption or contamination through color — lurks within much Western cultural and intellectual thought. This is apparent in the many and varied attempts to purge color, either by making it the property of some ‘foreign body’ — the oriental, the feminine, the infantile, the vulgar, or the pathological — or by relegating it to the realm of the superficial, the supplementary, the inessential, or the cosmetic.
“Chromophobia has been a cultural phenomenon since ancient Greek times; this book is concerned with forms of resistance to it….”

I haven’t read Batchelor’s book, but I’m guessing that “since ancient Greek times” refers at least partly to old-school gnosticism.3 And that’s yet another topic.

Tiberius Gracchus and Caligula: Enemies of the Status Quo

Jan Luyken's 'Emperor Caligula Attacked in a Vault by an Armed Gang'. (1704)
Caligula’s assassination, as imagined by Jan Luyken.

These days, when U.S. senators or representatives feel like they’ve had enough of a president, they form committees, have press conferences, and make speeches.

The Roman Republic had a very similar system, but an arguably more energetic one.

Take Tiberius Gracchus, for example. He was a clear and present threat to what in my youth would have been called “national security”. T. G. had been transferring ownership of land from the Roman state and wealthy Romans to the folks who were working the land.

I’m oversimplifying everything in this post something fearful, by the way.

Anyway, Tiberius Gracchus had reasons for doing what he did.

And Scipio Nasica had reasons for doing what he did: forming a posse/mob/strike force and killing Tiberius Gracchus.

So Cassius Chaerea, I’m back to Caligula’s assassination now, was following a well-established tradition in 41 A.D., when he and other members of the Praetorian Guard killed Caligula.

And you thought American politics was bad, which is yet again another topic. Almost.

Details of Caligula’s assassination/execution/whatever vary with who’s retelling the tale.

And we’ve got pretty much no documentation of what Caligula actually did during his stint as emperor. Documentation that’s not hearsay, written years, decades, or about a century after the fact, that is.4

I gather that Caligula had been a ‘threat to national security’ partly because he spent money on large-scale construction projects.

Julius Caesar, Caligula and Nero: a Possible Pattern

Chris 73's photo: the Aqua Claudia (ca. 2009) via Wikipedia, used w/o permission.
The Aqua Claudia aqueduct, one of Caligula’s construction projects.

That may be why Romans who weren’t wealthy and aristocratic liked him, at least early on.

Those big construction projects employed a great many workers. I see that as a good thing, partly because the ancient Roman economy wasn’t all that much unlike ours.

Folks working on construction projects got paid. And, with pay coming from their employment, those non-upper-crust Romans were less dependent on their betters.

In a way, it’s a wonder Caligula lasted as long as he did.

Maybe he really did go crazy after a few years in office.

Or maybe the overwhelming anti-Caligula sentiment was the result of effective public relations campaigns, bankrolled by Roman bigwigs who were inspired by patriotism, self-interest, or some combination of motives.

On the other hand, maybe Rome’s blue-collar set figured that the powers that be were exercising their traditional rights. And that they might go after suspected Caligula sympathizers next.

I could be wrong about this, but I see a pattern in the leadership and deaths of Julius Caesar, Caligula and Nero.

In each case, we’re looking at someone we could call a populist. And who, once in office, acted as if non-upper-crust folks mattered.

Again in each case, Rome’s top official actively changed rules and policies that had defended the rich and powerful from the poor and weak.

Julius Caesar, Caligula and Nero each died violently.

Nero’s death was, we’re told, a suicide.

It’s a plausible explanation for his abrupt death in 68 A.D. — the Roman Senate had declared him a public enemy. But historical records describing Nero’s death and term as emperor were written after his day. And many were, at best, imaginatively lurid.5

Good Intentions: Julius Caesar and Caligula

Jean-Léon Gérôme's 'The Death of Caesar', in the Theatre of Pompey, as imagined by Jean-Léon Gérôme. (ca. 1859-1867) via Wikipedia, used w/o permission.The Roman patriots who killed Julius Caesar very likely thought they had saved the Roman Republic from a would-be king.

And they succeeded, sort of.

After Julius Caesar, a triumvirate ruled the Roman Republic. Then the Second Triumvirate split the Republic’s administrative functions, and territory, three ways.

That more or less directly led to what I still think should be called the Last War of the Roman Republic. But nowadays, I gather we’re supposed to call it the War of Actium. Sounds nicer, I suppose.

Nero’s death, assuming it was an assassination/execution, might have had similarly noble motives: or not.

Caligula’s death, again, is thoroughly but not reliably documented.

It could have been payback for Caligula’s alleged insults aimed at the chief assassin.

But Caligula had pretty much ignored the Principate, which made the emperor “first amongst the senators” / “first amongst the citizens”: on paper.

In practical terms, under the Principate the emperor was number one and everyone else a distant second. But the Senate could still pretend they were running things.

Ignoring the Principate may have been the last straw for Senators who had been getting increasingly anxious about their status and personal finances. Or who earnestly sought a return to the glorious Roman Republic.

Either way: Caligula died, Claudius became the next Emperor, and after that came Nero.6

Pax Romana: A Durable Dream

Joseph Turner's 'Caligula's Palace and Bridge' (1831) via Wikimedia Commons, in public domain except in Tate Britain, this low-rez copy used w/o permission.
‘Caligula’s Palace and Bridge’, as imagined by Joseph Turner. (1831)

Eduardo Barrón's sculpture: 'Nero and Seneca' from Eduardo Barrón/Museo de Zamora (E.Barrón: 1858-1911) via Wikipedia, used w/o permission.And that brings me to the Pax Romana, Caligula and Nero.

I still haven’t learned when Seneca the Younger’s “Romanae pacis” became “Pax Romana”, or “Roman Peace”.

Seneca’s phrase came from a ‘how to be an emperor’ book he wrote for Nero. I talked about that, Augustus, the Principate, and the Senate last year. (October 29, 2022)

I might write off “Pax Romana” as first-century political propaganda.

But I won’t, partly because Philo wrote that a great many folks in the Roman Empire saw the first part of Caligula’s term in office as a golden age. Or, more literally, “age of Saturn”.

Philo was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who was and still is controversial.7 But I don’t see him as a Palatine Hill insider, or political wannabe flattering whoever’s in charge.

It’s late Friday afternoon, so I don’t have time to summarize the Philo files.

Instead, I’ll quote from his “On the Embassy to Gaius”, which may have been written within months of Caligula’s murder/assassination/death. Philo, by the way, refers to Caligula by the emperor’s name, Gaius.

This edited-down excerpt — ancient authors seemed chatty, even by my standards — at least hints at what went wrong with Caligula.

“…For who-when he saw Gaius [Caligula], after the death of Tiberius Caesar, assuming the sovereignty of the whole world in a condition free from all sedition, and regulated by and obedient to admirable laws, and adapted to unanimity and harmony in all its parts, east and west, south and north; the barbarian nations being in harmony with the Greeks, and the Greeks with the barbarians, and the soldiers with the body of private citizens, and the citizens with the military; so that they all partook of and enjoyed one common universal peace-could fail to marvel at and be amazed at his extraordinary and unspeakable good fortune, since he had thus succeeded to a ready-made inheritance of all good things, … For as they had never yet all together admired any emperor who had ever existed at that time, not expecting to have in future the possession, and use, and enjoyment of all private and public good things, but thinking that they actually had them already as a sort of superfluity of prosperity which happiness was waiting to fill to the brim: … On this occasion the rich were not better off than the poor, nor the men of high rank than the lowly, nor the creditors than the debtors, nor the masters than the slaves, since the occasion gave equal privileges and communities to all men, so that the age of Saturn, which is so celebrated by the poets was no longer looked upon as a fiction and a fable, {2}{the golden age was said to have existed during the reign of Saturn upon earth. So Tibullus and Virgil.} on account of the universal prosperity and happiness which reigned every where, and the absence of all grief and fear, and the daily and nightly exhibitions of joy and festivity throughout every house and throughout the whole people, which lasted continually without any interruption during the first seven months of his reign. But in the eighth month a severe disease attacked Gaius who had changed the manner of his living which was a little while before, while Tiberius was alive, very simple and on that account more wholesome than one of great sumptuousness and luxury; for he began to indulge in abundance of strong wine and eating of rich dishes, and in the abundant license of insatiable desires and great insolence, and in the unseasonable use of hot baths, and emetics, and then again in winebibbing and drunkenness, and returning gluttony, and in lust after boys and women, and in everything else which tends to destroy both soul and body, and all the bonds which unite and strengthen the two; for the rewards of temperance are health and strength, and the wages of intemperance are weakness and disease which bring a man near to death.
“Accordingly, when the news was spread abroad that he was sick while the weather was still suitable for navigation (for it was the beginning of the autumn, which is the last season during which nautical men can safely take voyages, and during which in consequence they all return from the foreign marts in every quarter to their own native ports and harbours of refuge, especially all who exercise a prudent care not to be compelled to pass the winter in a foreign country); they, forsaking their former life of delicateness and luxury, now wore mournful faces, and every house and every city became full of depression and melancholy, their grief being now equal to and counterbalancing the joy which they experienced a short time before. For every portion of the habitable world was diseased in his sickness, feeling affected with a more terrible disease than that which was oppressing Gaius; for his sickness was that of the body alone, but the universal malady which was oppressing all men every where was one which attacked the vigour of their souls, their peace, their hopes, their participation in and enjoyment of all good things; for men began to remember how numerous and how great are the evils which spring from anarchy, famine, and war, and the destruction of trees, and devastations, and deprivation of lands, and plundering of money, and the intolerable fear of slavery and death, which no one can relieve, all which evils appeared to admit of but one remedy, namely the recovery of Gaius. Accordingly when his disease began to abate, in a very short time even the men who were living on the very confines of the empire heard of it and rejoiced, for nothing is swifter than report….”
(“On the Embassy to Gaius“, II, III; Philo (maybe as early as 41 A.D.) translated by Charles Duke Yonge)

I don’t think that life in the Roman Empire was quite as blissfully ideal as Philo outlines.

But what I do know about the era — comparatively uniform laws, well-trafficked and patrolled roads, a degree of prosperity among non-aristocrats that apparently inspired near-panic in the upper crust — strongly suggests that living inside the Roman Empire was a great deal better than alternatives.

Whoosh. That was a long sentence. Moving along.

“…The Rivalries Between Leading Men and the Rapacity of the Officials….”

Henryk Siemiradzki's 'Nero's Torches.' (1876) From Henryk Siemiradzki, via The National Museum in Kraków Digital Collection and Wikipedia, used w/o permission.Even Tacitus, who was apparently no fan of either Caligula or Augustus, shows why folks might reasonably prefer life in Imperial Rome to the Republic’s “violence, intrigue, and … corruption.”

“…Augustus won over the soldiers with gifts, the populace with cheap corn, and all men with the sweets of repose, and so grew greater by degrees, while he concentrated in himself the functions of the Senate, the magistrates, and the laws. He was wholly unopposed, for the boldest spirits had fallen in battle, or in the proscription, while the remaining nobles, the readier they were to be slaves, were raised the higher by wealth and promotion, so that, aggrandised by revolution, they preferred the safety of the present to the dangerous past. Nor did the provinces dislike that condition of affairs, for they distrusted the government of the Senate and the people, because of the rivalries between the leading men and the rapacity of the officials, while the protection of the laws was unavailing, as they were continually deranged by violence, intrigue, and finally by corruption.…”
(“The Annals”, Book 1 (2); Tacitus (68 A.D.) translation based on Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb (1876)) [emphasis mine]

A Slogan, Stories and Hope

Cesare Maccari's 'Cicerone denuncia Catilina' 'Cicero Denounces Catiline.' (1889)
Cesare Maccari’s “Cicero Denounces Catiline” — a 19th century view of Roman grandeur. (1889)

If Romanae pacis/Pax Romana had been a first-century slogan, like America’s “chicken in every pot” and “better dead than red” — or the other way around, depending on viewpoint — I might not be spending so much time with the phrase.

But academics are, the last I checked, still debating when the Pax Romana began and ended. My preference is from Augustus to the death of Marcus Aurelius. Commodus — that’s a can of worms I’ll leave for another time.

Thomas Cole's 'The Consummation of Empire.' (1836) From Thomas Cole's Thomas Cole's 'The Course of Empire' series, via New York Historical Society and Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.And Pax Romana, either as a slogan or as an idea, has been a top-drawer cultural item, ever since the Roman Empire transitioned from current events to nostalgic memory.

Starting at least with Charlemagne, European warlords with regional ambitions claimed that they were restoring Roman imperial values and stability.

I strongly suspect that invoking memories of the Roman Empire worked because a fair number of folks had grown up with stories of Imperial days.

And that many hoped for a day when — as in days of old — commerce flowed along the Roman roads, Roman law brought a measure of security, and the aqueducts worked.8

Aristocratic Angst and Provincial Appeal

Thomas Cole's 'Aqueduct Near Rome.' (1832) fFrom Middlebury College Museum of Art, via Wikipedia, used w/o permission.
Thomas Cole’s ‘Aqueduct Near Rome.’ (1832)

Then there were Roman-era ruins, structures which even after centuries of neglect dwarfed anything built more recently.

Those might inspire hopes that Roman peace, prosperity and technology could be restored. Or at least serve as a symbol for what the current champion of Roman values promised.

Even stories about dubiously-sane emperors like Caligula and Nero haven’t out-shone memories of the Pax Romana. Or would that be out-shouted? Never mind.

I don’t think Caligula, Nero or even Augustus were paragons of virtue.

But I’m not at all convinced that Caligula and Nero were quite as monstrous as my culture’s folklore makes them.

And I suspect that surviving records say at least as much about the fears of old-school aristocrats, as they do about the allegedly-deranged duo.

Looks like I’m not the only one:

“…In many respects, the complaints of Roman sources against the Julio-Claudians ring hollow. Effective administrators such as Tiberius and Claudius appear to have been disliked primarily because they made the aristocracy pay its fair share of taxes and because they treated the lower orders of Roman society with greater equity. Even the least effective emperors, Caligula and Nero, were wildly popular with the Roman people and the provincials. This suggests that the Roman aristocracy alone suffered as a direct result of its close proximity to the seat of power. The further removed one was from the power struggles of the imperial dynasty, the better life became. This development stands in the inverse proportion to that of the Late Republic. One could even argue that the Roman aristocracy was merely receiving its just dessert after years of abuse and the misuse of power.…”
(Classics 280: Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World, Classical World Civilizations, Chapter 18: The Pax Romana: Life in the Roman Empire; Chris Rowan, maintained by Nick Rauh) [emphasis mine]

And now I’ve run out of time this week. My next Golden Ages post will still be about the Pax Romana, but from another angle. That’s giving a lot of attention to one era. But I think those two centuries of comparative good times are worth it.

In case you haven’t had enough of my writing, here’s the usual more-or-less-related stuff:

1 Folks from first century Rome:

2 Art and color:

3 More color and culture:

4 Caligula in context:

5 Remembering Rome:

6 Rome, becoming an Empire:

7 First century Rome, viewpoints:

8 Rome, reviewed and remembered:

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About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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