Colosseum

Sacrifice to the gods. January 3, 250 AD.

Decius became Roman emperor in 249 as a result of military victories. He made efforts to revive Rome’s “Golden Age“, adding the name of one of his most admired predecessors, Trajan, to his own, revived the ancient office of censor and restored the Colosseum. Restoration of traditional Roman piety was another of his aims, and after performing the annual sacrifice to Jupiter on January 3, 250, he issued an edict, the text of which is lost, ordering sacrifices to the gods to be made throughout the Empire. Jews were specifically exempted from this requirement. There is no evidence that this edict was intended to target Christians or that persecution of Christians was even thought of as one of the effects this decree would have; rather, it was seen as a way of unifying a vast ...

Titus Begins Sole Reign – June 23, 79 AD

During the reign of Claudius (41-54 AD), Vespasian was held in high esteem, allowing his son, Titus to be raised in the company of the royal court. Titus was taught along side Britannicus, Claudius’s son. They became close friends and Titus was at the dinner party at which Britannicus was fatally poisoned by Nero in 55. It is said Titus even drank some of the poison and became very ill, but recovered. Nero continued to rule, Vespasian had retired in 51 and Titus was sent to Germania. From c.57-59, Titus was a military tribune in Germania, arriving in Britannia c.60 with reinforcements after the revolt of Boadicea. Titus married twice, the first to Arrecina Tertulla, the daughter of one of Caligula’s praetorian prefects, when he returned to Rome in c.63. The were married until Tertulla’s de...

Let The Games Begin! – April 21-23, 248 AD

Traditionally, the date of the founding of Rome by Romulus is April 21, 753 BC. Marcus Julius Verus Philippus was the emperor of Rome in 248 AD when the 1000th anniversary arrived and celebrated with three days of festivities from April 21-23. The Greek historian, Gaius Asinius Quadratus, wrote a 15-volume work entitled “Chilieteris” (“Millenium”), chronicling the city from the founding to the reign of Severus Alexander, and intended to follow through to the reign of Philip, but died before it could be completed. The celebration took place throughout the city in the forms of theatrical performances, ludi saeculares, and spectacular games in the Colosseum. Gordian III had collected exotic animals for his anticipated triumphal parade over the Persians, but since he failed to defeat them and ...

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