1/7) A powerful plea to the Emperor asking for religious tolerance ..coming not from a Christian, but from a Pagan - the senator Symmachus, petitioning the Emperor in 384 AD to preserve non-Christian monuments:

"Every man has his own customs and religious practices... Image
2/7) "Just as every man receives at birth his own soul, so every nation receives its genius, its guardian spirit, guiding its destiny. The favour we have been bestowed proves to us the existence of gods; nothing illuminates the will of the gods better than our own prosperity".. Image
3/7) "We must preserve centuries of faith by following our fathers, who prospered by following their own fathers, and so on. Let us imagine Rome herself stands before us now, pleading of us: "Respect my age! Respect the religious rites that carried me through so many years"... Image
4/7) "She might ask of us: "..Let me enjoy the ancient ceremonies that made the whole world obedient to my laws, the rites that drove back Hannibal from my walls and the Gauls from my Capitol. Have I been preserved so long, just to be rebuked and humiliated in my old age?".. Image
5/7) "So we beg you Emperor for amnesty. Amnesty for the gods of our fathers, for the gods of our homeland. It is unreasonable to ask that each of us worship in a manner that is one and the same".. Image
6/7) "We are all under the same sky, we all look up at the same stars, all encompassed by the same universe. What difference does it make which system each of us uses to find the truth? It is not by just one route that a man finds answers to so great a mystery." Image
7/7) [The senator Symmachus, prefect of the city, petitioning the emperor Valentinian II in 384 AD - asking him to restore to the senate house Augustus's Altar to Victory which had been removed 2 years earlier.] #roman #religion #christianity #paganism #decline #heritage Image

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More from @OptimoPrincipi

2 Jan
1/6) It is important to remember that without modern medicine, many in the ancient world endured chronic conditions that today we could treat. Seneca suffered from asthma and described how it informed his Stoic views on mortality:

"I have been dealt one illness in particular.. Image
2/6) .."The Greeks call it 'asthma' but it is adequately described as 'laboured breathing'. Attacks usually last an hour or so - can you imagine drawing your final breath for that long? I have been visited by all types of physical pain but none are more distressing than this".. Image
3/6) .."With other ailments you might get sick but with this one you are losing your very soul's breath. For this reason doctors call asthma a 'rehearsal for death'. Even when an attack ends I can't rejoice: you don't win this legal case, you just postpone the day of the trial".. Image
Read 7 tweets
30 Dec 20
1/5) Pliny the Younger had little time for spectator sports or the fickle fans, obsessive in their support for their favoured colour chariot-racing team:

"I am not in the least bit interested in the chariot races. They offer nothing new, nothing you need to see more than once.. Image
2/5) "I'm amazed so many thousands of men have such a childish desire to see horses race and men drive chariots. If they were attracted by the speed of the animals or skill of the drivers I might understand, but all they care about is team uniforms - it's the colours they love!.. Image
3/5) "In fact I'm sure that if right in the middle of the race, the team colours were suddenly switched, the fans would immediately transfer their support, abandoning the driver whose name they had been shouting just a moment before! To think a cheap tunic could have such power.. Image
Read 5 tweets
8 Dec 20
1) Who protected and maintained the hundreds of public monuments in ancient Rome? We know at least some of the monuments had caretakers who lived close by and were devoted to their security and upkeep. This remarkable inscription tells us about one of them...
2) Imperial freedman Lucius Septimius Adrastus was the custodian (procurator) of the Column of Marcus Aurelius on the Campus Martius, at the end of 2nd century. Adrastus had recently been freed by the new emperor Septimius Severus and assigned as protector of the monument..
3) In late-193 Adrastus wrote to the Emperor and was granted permission to build a small house near the column, in order to carry out his duties more effectively. The Emperor also granted Adrastus a supply of stone and brick, wooden beams, and a rent-free plot on public land!..
Read 8 tweets
6 Dec 20
1) The tomb of Cossinia, who served as a Vestal Virgin in Rome for a remarkable 66 years during the 3rd century AD. Incredibly, the remains of Cossinia were discovered intact under the monument with a startling object placed alongside her...
2) Resting against her cheek when she was buried was this beautifully formed, articulated ivory doll with miniature necklace, bracelets and anklets of gold. Whereas most Roman girls would dedicate their childhood dolls to goddesses like Diana and Venus when coming of age...
3) Cossinia appears to have kept her doll throughout her life - its hairstyle similar to that of Julia Domna, Severan empress and dowager from 193-217 AD. It has been suggested Cossinia was buried with her childhood doll as a symbol of her lifelong Vestal chastity and innocence.
Read 7 tweets
28 Nov 20
1) In the mid 2nd century AD, two brothers stood on the bank of the newly constructed Foss Dyke canal near Roman Lincoln. Bruccius and Caratius Colasunus had together invested in a fine dedication to one of the gods, perhaps in fulfillment of a vow they had once made or hoping..
2) ..the god might watch over a coming venture. For their offering the Colasuni brothers had paid the substantial sum of 100 sesterces (25 silver denarii or 1 gold aureus) to the metalworker Celatus, for the creation of an impressive bronze statuette of Mars, the god of war...
3) Celatus had also decided to buy-in to the Colasuni brothers' dedication by donating the value of the raw bronze (12 sesterces) for free. His statuette of Mars shows the muscular god stood on a plinth, wearing nothing but a large helmet with high plume.
Read 8 tweets
21 Nov 20
1/3) The grimy mixture of olive oil, sweat and dirt scraped from the bodies of top athletes and gladiators, a mixture known as "strigimentum", was sometimes collected by officials in charge of the gymnasia and sold to the public at huge prices..
2/3) ...The gunky concoction scraped from the bodies of athletes was believed to be a medical panacea; curing inflammation, soothing aching joints, speeding recovery from injury, stimulating menstrual flow and relieving all types of aches and pains...
3/3) ...But you had to make sure you purchased the correct gladiator gloop: scrapings taken from a bather were best for dispersing fluids and soothing your inflamed anus. Sweaty scrapings from a wrestler were best for joint pain applied as a warm compress. Obvious really!
Read 5 tweets

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