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Lucius Tarquinius Superbus
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus ('Tarquin the Proud') was traditionally the seventh and last king of ancient Rome before it became a republic. He belonged to the Etruscan Tarquinii clan, reigned from 534 to 510 BCE, and was infamous for...
Roman Religion
Definition by Donald L. Wasson

Roman Religion

In many societies, ancient and modern, religion has performed a major role in their development, and the Roman Empire was no different. From the beginning Roman religion was polytheistic. From an initial array of gods and spirits, Rome added...
Jupiter
Definition by Donald L. Wasson

Jupiter

Among the many gods of the Romans, Jupiter, the son of Saturn, was the supreme god, associated with thunder, lightning, and storms. The first citizens of what would become Rome believed they were watched over by the spirits of their ancestors...
Roman Forum
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum or Forum Romanum of ancient Rome was the bustling religious, administrative, legal, and commercial heart of the city from the 7th century BCE onwards. Made increasingly grandiose and ceremonial in function by the Imperial...
Decebalus
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Decebalus

Decebalus (c. 87-106 CE) was the king of Dacia (roughly modern-day Romania and Moldova) who fought two wars with Rome under Trajan (in 101-102 CE and 105-106 CE) in defense of his kingdom. Trajan (r. 98-117 CE) was renewing a conflict between...
Vandals
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Vandals

The Vandals were a Germanic tribe who are first mentioned in Roman history in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder (77 CE). The Roman historian Tacitus also mentions them in his Germania (c. 98 CE), though he also refers to them as the...
Viriathus
Definition by Ludwig Heinrich Dyck

Viriathus

Viriathus (c. 180-140 BCE) was the leader of the Lusitani in their war with Rome. In 150 Viriathus escaped the Roman massacre and enslavement of Lusitani who had surrendered peacefully. Viriathus continued to fight in the resistance and rose...
Patrician
Definition by Donald L. Wasson

Patrician

The 4th century BCE Greek philosopher Aristotle once wrote in his essay Politics, “If liberty and equality…are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the...
Gallienus
Definition by Donald L. Wasson

Gallienus

Gallienus was Roman emperor from 253 to 268 CE. Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, the eldest son of Emperor Valerian, was named co-emperor by his father in 253 CE. He was one of many who would claim the throne over the next two decades...
Gordian Emperors
Definition by Donald L. Wasson

Gordian Emperors

When Maximinus Thrax was named Roman emperor upon the death of Alexander Severus, the news was not well-received by many in Rome and the Roman Senate considered him an illiterate barbarian. His financial excesses, principally used to fund...