Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #ahqotd

Most recents (12)

Ancient History Quote of the Day: "He said that he would leave to the Romans as his imperial successor a man who had never had second thoughts on any single matter. By this he meant Tiberius" (Plutarch, Moralia 207.11). #AHQOTD #Augustus

Image: RIC Augustus 225
On this day - 26 June - in AD 4 (the 755th year since Rome's foundation), Augustus - the first emperor - formally adopted his stepson, Tiberius, marking him out as the successor to his power.

Image: Bust of Tiberius (British Museum 1812,0615.2)
This had been prefigured by grants of the key imperial power, 'tribunicia potestas', a power which Tacitus describes as "that designation for the highest exaltedness devised by Augustus so that he need not take on the name of king or dictator" (Annals, 3.56.2).
Read 8 tweets
Ancient History Quote of the Day: "And so when he was one year short of his seventieth, he passed away mixing jokes with serious matters..." (Epitome de Caesaribus 9.17). #AHQOTD #Vespasian

Image: British Museum (1850,0304.35)
On this day - 23 June - in AD 79, Titus Flavius Vespanius, the first emperor of the Flavian Dynasty died.

He is my favourite emperor of Rome and his successful 'righting of the ship of state' following the Long Year of AD 69 makes for an exciting tale.
The man certainly seems to have been something of a workaholic, with Philostratos (Life of Apollonius of Tyana 5.31.1) noting that he would rise around dawn to deal with correspondence...

Image: RIC 2.1 Vespasian 40
Read 9 tweets
Ancient History Quote of the Day: "Hannibal decided that for many reasons Flaminius was bound to give him ample opportunity to attack: his calculations were both sound and thoroughly realistic" (Polybius 3. 81.1). #AHQOTD #Hannibal

Image: Bust, reputed to be that of Hannibal
In the autumn of 218, Hannibal had led his army across the Alps and had defeated the Roman commanders, Publius Cornelius Scipio and Tiberius Sempronius Longus, at the rivers Ticinus and Trebia, tributaries of the Po.
The presence of an enemy south of the Alps greatly alarmed the Romans, and the consuls of the year 217, Gnaeus Servilius Geminus and the popular Gaius Flaminius, knew they were supposed to do something.
Read 12 tweets
#LatinForTheDay - 22 June

"Non ego te, quamvis properabis vincere, Caesar,
si vetet auspicium, signa movere velim.
sint tibi Flaminius Trasimenaque litora testes
per volucres aequos multa monere deos."

Ovid, Fasti 6.763-6

Image: 'Ducarius Beheads Flaminius', Sylvestre
'Although you are hasty to conquer, Caesar, I would not wish
You to march forth your standards were the omens unfavourable.
Let Flaminius and the shores of Trasimene be your witnesses
That the fair gods give many warnings through birds.'
Ovid here refers to the Battle of Lake Trasimene, in 217 BC, where Hannibal's troops overwhelmed the Roman forces under the command of the consul Gaius Flaminius.

For more on this, see today's #AHQOTD thread.
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Ancient History Quote of the Day: "When Domitian... was lashing the world half to death while Rome cringed before this bald-headed Nero, by chance... a turbot of wondrous proportions fell right into a fisherman's net" (Juvenal, Satire 4.37-41 [with omissions]). #AHQOTD #Domitian
One of my favourite sources, a scathing critique of the consilium of Domitian and its members, the Emperor's 'privy council' and the most overt sign of the autocracy Domitian brought to the role of emperor.

Image: Bust of Domitian (Uffizi)
Far from discussing the enormities of state, Domitian gathers his consilium to discuss what to do with the fish of gargantuan proportions. Juvenal describes the the gathering of the consilium, a group he assesses as "noblemen all, and all of them hated" (4.73).
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Ancient History Quote of the Day: "Popular opinion demanded Agricola as general, as everyone compared his vigour, fortitude and mettle tested in wars, with the lethargy and cowardice of the others" (Tacitus, Agricola 41.3). #AHQOTD #Agricola

Image: William Brassey Hole (1897)
Born on this day - 13 June - in AD 40, Gnaeus Julius Agricola was one of the most successful military commanders of the Julio-Claudian and Flavian periods, with his career being fully documented by his son-in-law, Tacitus.
His legionary command was undertaken around AD 60, though his career was advanced by Vespasian, whom he had supported during the civil war of AD 69, and he received command of Legio XX in Britain in March AD 70.
Read 10 tweets
Ancient History Quote of the Day:

"Who would not think that Pheidias made you,
Julia, or else Minerva's artistry?
In marble white your statue seems to speak
And living beauty shines in your calm face"

(Martial, Epig. 6.13.1-4) #AHQOTD

Image: J. Paul Getty Museum (58.AA.1)
Today's thread focusses on one of the most tragic figures of the Flavian period, Flavia Julia - the daughter of the emperor Titus, and thus niece to Domitian - depicted here on an aureus of AD 82/3.

Image: RIC 2.1 Domitian 147
She was offered in marriage by her father to her uncle, most likely under the same legislation that had allowed Claudius to marry his own niece Agrippina, but Domitian rejected this (Suetonius, Domitian 22). Thus she was married to her cousin, T. Flavius Sabinus.
Read 7 tweets
Ancient History Quote of the Day: "Some historians have also recorded that his companions asked him to whom he left his kingdom, and he replied, 'To the best man'" (Arrian, Anabasis 7.26)

#AHQOTD #AlexanderTheGreat

Image: Alexander Statuette from Herculaneum (MANN, 4996)
I'm typing this thread today - 10 June - as it is the date that is popularly given as being that of the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. However, the situation is more complicated as Plutarch's account (Alexander 76.9) has been interpreted as suggesting 13 June.
The only contemporary record of Alexander's death is that of a Babylonian Astronomical Diary tablet (pictured here), recording the date of his death as the final day of the month of Aiiâru in the fourteenth year of his reign.

Image: British Museum (45962)
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Ancient History Quote of the Day: "Meanwhile, the men on horseback arrived and so he committed suicide, uttering that famous remark 'Jupiter, what an artist perishes with me!'" (Dio 63.29.2).


Image: Nero and Agrippina, from the Sebasteion at Aphrodisias
On this day - 9 June - in AD 68, the Emperor Nero "last of the descendants of Aeneas and of Augustus" took his own life, in the face of provincial rebellion and senatorial enmity, uttering his famous last remark "Qualis artifex pereo!"
Nero had panicked in the face of the rebellion in Gaul under Gaius Julius Vindex, although this rebellion in itself came to little, as it was defeated at Vesontio by Verginius Rufus with the legions of upper Germany.
Read 7 tweets
Ancient History Quote of the Day: "As for all the images of him, they went around hurling them down, cutting them down and dragging them down, as if they were actually injuring his very body" (Dio 58.11.3). #AHQOTD #Statues

And yes... this is topical!

Image: Jan Luyken, 1698
Sejanus, as with many other individuals whom the Romans deemed nefarious, suffered 'damnatio memoriae', which involved the tearing down of their statues and images, as well as the erasure of their names from public inscriptions.
Dio (59.30.1a, referenced by John of Antioch) tells us that in the aftermath of his assassination "statues and images of Gaius were ripped down, as the people remembered the terrible things they had suffered at his hands".

Image: Bust of Gaius (Met Museum 25.78.35)
Read 6 tweets
Ancient History Quote of the Day: "I do not wish to be unfair to the 'graecula'. She is clever beyond words, no denying it… She seemed intent upon challenging my own undeserved reputation for caustic humour" (Cicero, 'Letters to Atticus' 15.15) #AHQOTD #Cleopatra #OTD
This is the great Roman statesman's assessment of #Cleopatra, Pharaoh of Egypt, when Cicero met her in Rome. Cleopatra died on this day, 12 August, in 30 BC. A formidable character driven by her ambition to secure Egypt.
Cleopatra was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes (the ‘Flute-player’). He became pharaoh of Egypt in 80 BC. His daughter, Berenice, was born in 76 BC, and Cleopatra in 70/69 BC. His sons, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, were born in 61 BC and 59 BC.

Image: Relief: Temple at Edfu.
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Ancient History Quote of the Day: "He was orphaned as a baby, and nearly the whole of his childhood and youth was so troubled by various diseases that he grew dull witted and had little physical strength" (Suetonius, Claudius 2)

Thread on #Claudius born 1st August 10 BC #AHQOTD
Suetonius also says that "on reaching the age at which he should have won a magistracy or chosen a private career he was considered by his family as incapable of doing either."

Image: Bronze head of an imperial statue, probably Claudius, found at the River Alde, Suffolk (BM).
Other sources such as the 'senatus consultum de Pisone patre' (SCPP: 148) and the inscription from the statue group of the imperial family, possibly from Ticinum (EJ 61), both seem to suggest Claudius' remote position in the imperial family.
Read 51 tweets

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