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First Punic War
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

First Punic War

The First Punic War (264-241 BCE) was fought between Carthage and Rome largely over control of Sicily. The war was fought on the island, at sea, and in north Africa. Both sides enjoyed victories and suffered near-catastrophic defeats. The...
Western Roman Empire
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Western Roman Empire

The Western Roman Empire is the modern-day term for the western half of the Roman Empire after it was divided in two by the emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305 CE) in c. 285/286 CE. The Romans themselves did not use this term. At its height (c...
Warfare in Ancient China
Collectionby Mark Cartwright

Warfare in Ancient China

Chinese warfare involved perhaps the largest and most technologically advanced armies in the ancient world. Chariots, cavalry, swords, bows and crossbows were all staple features of the battles which raged as rulers forever struggled to dominate...
The Price of Greed: Hannibal's Betrayal by Carthage
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

The Price of Greed: Hannibal's Betrayal by Carthage

Hannibal Barca (l. 247-183 BCE), the brilliant Carthaginian general of the Second Punic War (218-202 BCE), had the military talent, expertise, and skill to have won the conflict but was denied the resources by his government. The Carthaginian...
Lucius Verus
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Lucius Verus

Lucius Verus was Roman emperor from 161 to 169 CE. Lucius Verus was Marcus Aurelius' adopted brother and co-emperor, a man whose time on the throne is overshadowed by the reign of the last of the Five Good Emperors. In the final years of...
Roman Literature
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Roman Literature

The Roman Empire and its predecessor the Roman Republic produced an abundance of celebrated literature; poetry, comedies, dramas, histories, and philosophical tracts; the Romans avoided tragedies. Much of it survives to this day. However...
Roman Gaul
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Roman Gaul

Roman Gaul is an umbrella term for several Roman provinces in western Europe: Cisalpine Gaul or Gallia Cisalpina, comprised a territory situated in the northernmost part of the Italian peninsula ranging from the Apennines in the west northward...
Julius Caesar
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Julius Caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar was born 12 July 100 BCE (though some cite 102 as his birth year). His father, also Gaius Julius Caesar, was a Praetor who governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, was of noble birth. Both held to the...
Brennus
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Brennus

Brennus (c. 390 BCE) was the Gallic war chief of the Senones who sacked and occupied Rome in 390 BCE. Nothing is known of him outside of the accounts given of this event which immortalized him as coining the phrase, “Woe to the Vanquished”...
Fall of the Western Roman Empire
Articleby Donald L. Wasson

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

To many historians, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE has always been viewed as the end of the ancient world and the onset of the Middle Ages, often improperly called the Dark Ages, despite Petrarch's assertion. Since...