An Empire’s Epidemic: DNA Provides Answers to the Sixth-Century Plague

Disease-bearing mice from lower Egypt reached the harbor town of Pelusium in 540 CE. By Thomas H. Maugh IIStaff WriterLos Angeles Times Introduction By the middle of the 6th century, the Emperor Justinian had spread his Byzantine Empire around the rim of the Mediterranean and throughout Europe, laying the groundwork for what he hoped would[…]

The Roman Empire’s Cyprian Plague in the Third Century

The outbreak caused political, military, economic, and religious upheaval. Introduction The Plague of Cyprian erupted in Ethiopia around Easter of 250 CE. It reached Rome in the following year eventually spreading to Greece and further east to Syria. The plague lasted nearly 20 years and, at its height, reportedly killed as many as 5,000 people[…]

The Antonine Plague in Second-Century Rome

The horrific death toll reduced the number of taxpayers, recruits for the army, candidates for public office, businessmen, and farmers. Introduction The Antonine Plague, sometimes referred to as the Plague of Galen, erupted in 165 CE, at the height of Roman power throughout the Mediterranean world during the reign of the last of the Five Good[…]

Ruling in Ancient Rome: Why Julius Caesar Refused to Be Crowned King

Mark Antony, one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic, offered the nation’s elected leader, Julius Caesar, a crown. A Brief History of Rome According to legend, the Romans had banished their last king in 509 B.C., when they founded the republic and vowed never to be ruled by kings again. Instead, Roman[…]

Sculptor Hiram Powers and His Representation of Slavery in Ancient Greece

His work catapulted Powers to international fame in the 19th century. Introduction They say Ideal beauty cannot enter The house of anguish. On the threshold stands An alien Image with enshackled hands, Called the Greek Slave! as if the artist meant her (That passionless perfection which he lent her, Shadowed not darkened where the sill[…]