Civil War

Otho, Emperor of Rome. January 15, 69 AD.

Galba was childless and far advanced in years, and Otho, encouraged by the predictions of astrologers, aspired to succeed him. He came to a secret agreement with Galba’s favourite, Titus Vinius, agreeing to marry Vinius’ daughter in exchange for his support. However, in January 69 AD, his hopes were dashed by Galba’s formal adoption of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus. Desperate as Otho was because of the state of his finances, he found the money needed to purchase the services of some twenty-three soldiers of the Praetorian Guard. On the morning of 15 January, Otho attended as usual to pay his respects to Galba, and then hastily excused himself and hurried from the Palatine Hill to meet his accomplices. He was then escorted to the Praetorian camp, where he was saluted a...

Crossing the Rubicon. January 10, 49 BC.

During the Roman Republic, the river Rubicon marked the boundary between the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north-west and Italy proper (controlled directly by Rome and its allies) to the south. Exercising imperium when forbidden by the law was a capital offence. Furthermore, obeying the commands of a general who did not legally possess imperium was a capital offence. If a general entered Italy whilst exercising command of an army, both the general and his soldiers became outlaws and were automatically condemned to death. Generals were thus obliged to disband their armies before entering Italy. In 49 BC, perhaps on January 10, Julius Caesar led a single legion, south over the Rubicon from Cisalpine Gaul to Italy to make his way to Rome. In doing so, he deliberately broke the law o...

The regicides of Charles I. October 17, 1660.

After the trial of Charles I in January 1649, 59 judges signed his death warrant, who, along with other court officials and several associates were subject to punishment after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 with the coronation of Charles II. With him, the Parliament signed the Indemnity and Oblivion Act, granting amnesty to those guilty of crimes committed during the Civil War that followed Charles´ I death. Of the people involved in the king´s trial and execution, many had already died, including Cromwell, and were given a posthumous execution, being their corpses exhumed, hanged, beheaded, bodies burnt and heads exhibited on spikes. Several others were hanged, drawn and quartered while others were imprisoned for life. From a total of 104, only 21 managed to escape and settled in...

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