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Adriano Zampolini  “Veni, vidi et non Vinsi” #aviation and #history #geek from the #eternalcity🇮🇹

Formally part of the Lombard kingdom with capital at Pavia, the Duchy of Spoleto was de facto an independent entity with ties to the Lombard kings.
The Duchy of Spoleto was located in Central Italy, around the city fortress of Spoletun, in modern day Umbria.
The Duchy was one of the strongest political entities of Early Medieval Italy, even surviving the fall of the main Lombard kingdom which was conquered by Charlemagne.
The political dominance that the Dukes of Spoleto enjoyed in Italy is epitomized in the figure of Alberic I, a germanic noble who became duke of Spoleto and Marquis of Tuscany in the latter half of the 9th century AD.
Alberico participated in the Papal Coalition against the Saracens in 914 AD, which culminated in a Christian victory near the river Garigliano, in modern day Campania(915 AD).
Alberic became so influential that he was wed to Marozia, daughter of Tepfilatto, a roman nobleman and captain of the papal guard.
His dynasty, especially his son Alberic II of Rome, would be the De Facto rulers of the city of Rome in the 10th century AD.
#spoleto #map #italy #duke #lombards #pope #saracens #ducato #alberic #rome #medieval #garigliano #umbria #Teofilatto #charlemagne

The ritual of Sacred Prostitution is still a taboo subject for many today.
Historians and archaeologists still struggle to grasp the historical authenticity and the dynamics of these rituals.
These practices seem to originate from the Ancient Near East, and were viewed by many ancient authors as depraved “Oriental” customers that needed to be shunned.
We hear of the Carthaginians using these rituals, especially on the island of Sicily, where they’re noble virgin women used to offer themselves to their gods, and sleep with the first individual that came to the temple.
This is all of course very romantic and all, but is it true?
Difficult to know, although we have different sources attesting this, it may be an attempt by the Omans to demonize their greatest enemy, attaching the Carthaginians (who are Phoenicians from Tyre in Syria) to those “Oriental barbaric customs” that early Romans and conservatives hated.
#ritual #carthage #east #prostitution #art #rome #east #west #custom #storia #cartagine

The “Melophoroi” or “Apple Bearers” were the personal bodyguard of Persian Achaemenid kings.
They were 1.000 in number and were called “Apple Bearers” because of the golden spherical counter weight on the end of their spears.
These men were always with the king, in his palace, on his voyages and in battle.
They are mentioned in many battles, including Gaugamela in 331 BC against Alexander the Great.
The Melophoroi were usually heavily equipped, with a cuirass and large shield.
It is unclear if this unit was part of the more famous 10.000 Immortals”Athanatoi”, since these unit classifications are given to us by Greek authors and not by Persian sources.
#persian #guard # elite #unit #spear #greek #immortals #equipment #art #apple #bearer #military #king #gaugamela #escort

Private security was extremely wide spread in Ancient Rome.
Roman villa owners and temple priests would post guardians before the entrances of important buildings.
These guards were often slaves and were most of the time led by superintendents(mostly Ex-slaves or firmer soldiers), the Auctores.
The houses of the rich and the temples were often victims of robberies during the night and so, citizen funded watches could be instituted.
These watches were led by a prefect of the watchmen, often times a citizen.
According to roman law, property owners could defend themselves against robbers and property invaders.
They could harm the thief during the day, and could also kill him if the robbery happened during the night.
We also have evidence of rich roman citizens using specialized slaved as torturers in order to extract information.
Slaves could also be posted to guard rural properties, and in this case they were led by a chief slave, a Circitor.
#security #private #rome #force #slave #guard #robbery #roma #crime #murder #rich #poor #art

The Thracian tribes of antiquity lived in what is now Bulgaria/Romania.
They were fearless warriors, especially as light spearmen and javelin men.
They were tall, with fair features and reddish blonde hair.
Romans and Greeks to the south considered Thracians as savages who sacrificed war prisoners to their gods.
Thracians however had their own rich culture and art, heavily centred around nature.
The Thracians were then conquered by the Romans who maintained their prejudice against Thracian provincials. Emperors like Maximinus Thrax and Leo the Thracian were all dubbed”The Thracian” because with being thracian came many fixed prejudices.
With time, Thracia became one of the richest provinces in the empire.
#thracians #thracia #bulgaria #romania #culture #art #danube #warriors #tracia #roman #empire #greece #tribes

In the latter half of the 4th century AD, the Sassanid King Shapur II decided to invade Armenia in order to provoke the Romans to an armed confrontation.
During this time, the Roman Empire was on the back foot in the East, and Shapur cleverly wanted to exploit the recent defeat of emperor Julian in his favor.
He invaded Armenia with a force led mainly by local Nalharars loyal to him and hostile to the romans.
He defeated most of the Armenian nobles loyal to the roman emperor, throwing those who were captured in prison.
An armenian prince called Papak however fled to the romans with a small armed retinue.
The Eastern Emperor Valens cleverly exploited the situation by making to the Persians.
Valens sent his best generals, Traianus and Vadomarius, in Armenia in order to place the Pro-Roman Papak on the throne.
The Roman defeated the Pro-Sassanid Nakharars and finally Shapur himself near Bagavan.
With Pap now on the throne, Valens thought he had brought peace to a now pro roman Armenia.
But armenia was a feudal territory, and the local Nakharars resented Papak’s increasingly centralized rule.
Papak led Armenia into a crisis situation, and executed the Pro Roman Patriarch Narses.
Valens, fearing that Papak was alliying himself with Dhapur in order to defeat the feudal lords(which is probable), ordered his general Traianus to invite Papak to a lavish banquet.
Papak and Traianus feasted the whole night, but, when Trajanus gave the signal, one of Papak’s own guards produced a sword and struck him down on the spot.
Valens then placed an Armenian general with close ties to the Romans on the throne.
#armenia #persia #rome #prince #war #diplomacy #valens #emperor #shapur #eastern #armenian #sword #general #iran

Collecting taxes in the Roman Empire in the fourth century AD was no easy feat.
The local landowners, who dominated the countryside, were extremely corrupt and often payed soldiers and slaves to protect them against the imperial tax collectors.
Landowners also refused to send their workers away for the military levy, so they payed the military officers to “bypass” them.
The landowners were often the elites of local communities, being fabulously rich and influential.
In the latter half pf the 4th century AD, the central government tightened its control and power on local elites, who were conducting a practice known as “Patrocinium”, basically a Mafia style local power and money grab.
Emperors such as Valens conducted brutal campaigns against the corruption of the local elites, cleverly building legal accusations against them in order to bring them to court and confiscate their estates.
Sometimes brutal force was applied, and some local aristocrats were burned at the stake or beheaded without any proof against them.
One time, emperor Valentinian I executed a member of the local Illyrian elite only because he had ordered the production of some expensive weapons not authorized by State authority!
#roman #empire #corruption #land #art #emperor #execution #valens #augustus #elite

While chariot races were extremely popular in ancient Rome, it was during the Late roman period that events sorrounding the races really escalated.
Charioteers were like modern day stars, and as stars, they had myriads of admirers and supporters.
The charioteers of the Hippodrome were divided into different factions, like the “Blues” and the “Whites”.
Each faction had gangs of violent”hooligans” supporting them, and some of them were bitter rivals of eachother.
Riots originating from violence between the supporters of the various factions were not uncommon, and sometimes even the Praetorian Cohorts had to intervene to suppress rioters in the city of rome.
These violent “hooligans” could be also used for political leverage, as the hippodrome factions became ever more powerful, to the disdain of the roman elite, who considered the races as games for the rabble.
During the Nika riots in Constantinople, during the reign of emperor Justinian, the faction supporters were used as an armed militia by political enemies of the emperor in order to depose him.
The rioters burned down the old Church of Holy Wisdom, and nearly achieved their goal when the general Belisarius faked his support for the leaders of the gangs, rounded the rabble in the hippodrome, and massacred them to the last man with the help of the imperial guards.
#hippodrome #races #horses #art #chariots #rome #costantinople #emperor #riots #gangs #hooligans #factions #games #roman

Banditry in ancient Rome was not as we imagine it.
Organized groups of raiders who plundered the countryside and its villages were rare, most “bandits” were in fact citizens or former citizens who engaged in acts of banditry.
Banditry was a constant problem in the Ancient world, especially along roadways and on maritime routes.
We have sources that speak of rich Roman citizens organizing armed militias from the “Iuvenes” (young men) and former soldiers in order to clean local areas from banditry.
Something similar to this happened to city of Minturnae, modern day Southern Latium, when the citizens eliminated a group of bandits who had taken refuge near the marshes of the river Garigliano in the 1st century AD.
Bandits often captured rich men and women in order to ransom them for huge sums, as when Julius Caesar was captured by pirates during a voyage to Rhodes.
We often hear however of people being killed or maimed by bandits, and of vengeful sons going on rampages to avenge their lost parent.
We also know of one italian bandit leader, Bulla Felix, who lived during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus and who had around 600 armed robbers at his disposal.
Bulla Felix was a former roman citizen from liguria, and had secret informers inside the city of Rome in order to keep himself updated on the movement of goods and troops from the capital.
Over time, Bulla developed into a sort of “Robin Hood” figure, being a leader with a code of honour.
Bulla was ultimately captured by the emperor, who punished him by giving him Ad Bestias(to the lions).
#bandit #brigands #rome #art #bullafelix #pirates #criminal #violence #raiders #thieves #crime #ancient #emperor

In the Roman controlled hellenic East, policing the provinces fell under the jurisdictions of magistrates directly drawn from Hellenic traditions.
These Magistrates had local chiefs of police under their command,the “Paraphylaxes”who were often members of the local elites.
These local police commanders had armed men under their direct control, the Diogmitai.
We can see from grave reliefs that a “Paraphylax” was an important member of local society, as he is often represented on horseback, like a military commander and with a short sword in his hand.
The Diogmitai are rapresented on foot, armed with clubs or swords and equipped with large shields, following the model of the roman legionary.
These men were mainly employed in anti-banditry operations and in the search for fugitive slaves or captured local nobles.
They were also involved in the “dirty work” during many Christian persecutions, being often the ones to capture and torture defiant Christians.
These police forces were not perfect of course, as we have many sources documenting their brutal behaviour and their corruption.
#police #roman #art #tomb #asia #polizia #criminal #chief #officer #law #magistrate #citizen #violence #ancient #crime #soldier #romanempire #greek

After Alexander “The Great” of Macedon captured the great cities of Susa and Persepolis, both capitals of the Persian Achaemenid empire, he started a march towards Central Asia in order to capture king Darius III who was trying to assemble troops in the Satrapies of Arachosia, Bactria and Sogdiana.
Most of the Persian cities along the Caspian Sea surrendered to Alexander, the region of Bactria also did not resist Alexander.
When Alexander came to Sogdiana however, a region that spannned from todays Northern Afghanistan to Southern Uzbekistan and Tagikistan, the native Sogdians and nomadic Scythians proved incredibly tough enemies to overcome.
The native Sogdians, a group speaking an East-Iranic language, knew well the terrain and could fortify themselves on the hills while the Scythians had mobility on their side.
From local revolts to the rising of the Sogdian warlord Spitamenes, Alexander lost a lot of good soldiers and officers, as the Sogdians could hit him with light cavalry when his garrisons were isolated from the main force as he was fighting the Scythians on the banks of the Oxus river.
Alexander managed to defeat the fierce Scythians thanks to his boldness and the strength pf his armies.
Spitamenes, lord of Sogdia, did not have enough men to confront Alexander directly, therefore embarking on a guerrilla campaign.
Spitamenes was however murdered by his wife or by his own men and his campaign ended.
#alexander #susa #bactria #sogdia #centralasia #history #macedon #achaemenid #spitamene #darius #caspian #sea #scythians #greece #iran #afghanistan

The disbelief on Darius III eyes when he saw Alexander of Macedon and his Companion cavalry riding directly against him at the Battle of Issus, in Cilicia in 333 BC.
The moment is wonderfully reproduced in a roman mosaic found in Pompei, now on display in Naples.
Indeed Alexander personally led his men from the frontline, being himself a commander of the Royal Squadron of the Companion cavalry.
This type of leadership often led Alexander to dangerous situations, like at the battle of the Granicus in Anatolia in 334 BC, when a group of persian mounted nobles charged Alexander, who was hit by one of them in the helmet, or during the campaign against the Mallians in the Punjab region in 325 BC, when he received an arrow to his lung.
#alexander #persia #king #campaigns #macedon #hellenicleugue #army #cavalry #anatolia #guards #darius #issus #battle #phalanx

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