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Egypt's Golden Empire: In 1570 B.C., when Rome was still a marsh and the Acropolis was an empty rock, Egypt was already 1000 years old. Although the period of the pyramid-builders was long over, Egypt lay on the threshold of its greatest age. The New Kingdom would be an empire forged by conquest, maintained by intimidation and diplomacy, and remembered long after its demise. Led by a dynasty of rich personalities, whose dramatic lives changed the course of civilization, Egypt's Golden Empire presents the most extraordinary period in Egyptian history: from 1570 B.C. to 1070 B.C., when the Egyptian Empire reached its zenith. -- The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance - From a small Italian community in 15th century Florence, the Medici family would rise to rule Europe in many ways. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power. They would also ignite the most important cultural and artistic revolution in Western history- the European Renaissance. But the forces of change the Medici helped unleash would one day topple their ordered world. An epic drama played out in the courts, cathedrals and palaces of Europe, this series is both the tale of one family's powerful ambition and of Europe's tortured struggle to emerge from the ravages of the Dark Ages. -- Japan: Memoirs Of A Secret Empire - Commanding shoguns and samurai warriors, exotic geisha and exquisite artisans -- all were part of the Japanese "renaissance" -- a period between the 16th and 19th centuries when Japan went from chaos and violence to a land of ritual refinement and peace. But stability came at a price: for nearly 250 years, Japan was a land closed to the Western world, ruled by the Shogun under his absolute power and control. Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire brings to life the unknown story of a mysterious empire, its relationship to the West, and the forging of a nation that would emerge as one of the most important countries in the world. -- The Roman Empire in the First Century: Two thousand years ago, at the dawn of the first century, the ancient world was ruled by Rome. Through the experiences, memories and writings of the people who lived it, this series tells the story of that time - the emperors and slaves, poets and plebeians, who wrested order from chaos, built the most cosmopolitan society the world had ever seen and shaped the Roman empire in the first century A.D. -- The Greeks: Crucible [melting pot] of Civilization - The Greeks - Classical Greece of the 4th and 5th centuries, B.C. was a magnificent civilization that laid the foundations for modern science, politics, warfare, and philosophy, and produced some of the most breathtaking art and architecture the world has ever known. Through the eyes and words of the great heroes of ancient Greece, this dazzling production charts the rise, triumph, and eventual decline of the world's first democracy. Now, through dramatic storytelling and state-of-the-art computer animation, you witness history, art, and government with giants like Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. [article link]

Amazon: When Rome Ruled - National Geographic's groundbreaking 6-part series reveals ancient Rome's hidden treasures and untold stories as never before - From iconic figures including [Emperors] Caligula, Caesar and Constantine, to epic events such as the eruption of Vesuvius, the invasion of Britain, and fall of Rome, When Rome Ruled reveals a startling up-to-date vision of the ancient empire and challenges our perception of what we know about the Romans and their lives (3 DVD Set)

FYI, this DVD contains 6 parts plus a bonus part. The original National Geographic special, and the DVDs sold on its website, contains 8 parts. This version is missing two episodes. I was not aware of this and will be returning it. I took one star off for the omission. I've viewed parts of this series on the National Geographic channel, however, and it is great and deserves the other stars. ~ By David Polsky. -- Heath_N says: After reading this review, I ordered the Blu-ray set from National Geographic directly. I got 6 episodes on two discs, one which includes 1 bonus feature. [article link]

wikipedia: Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1) - Augustus Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC - 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD - Born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, he was adopted posthumously by his great-uncle Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BC via his last will and testament, and between then and 27 BC was officially named Gaius Julius Caesar - In 27 BC the Senate awarded him the honorific Augustus "the revered one", and thus consequently he was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus - Because of the various names he bore, it is common to call him Octavius when referring to events between 63 and 44 BC, Octavian (or Octavianus) when referring to events between 44 and 27 BC, and Augustus when referring to events after 27 BC

The young Octavius came into his inheritance after Caesar's assassination in 44 BC. In 43 BC, Octavian joined forces with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in a military dictatorship known as the Second Triumvirate. As a triumvir, Octavian ruled Rome and many of its provinces. The triumvirate was eventually torn apart under the competing ambitions of its rulers: Lepidus was driven into exile, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by the fleet of Octavian commanded by Agrippa in 31 BC. ... The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana, or Roman peace. Despite continuous wars on the frontiers, and one year-long civil war over the imperial succession, the Mediterranean world remained at peace for more than two centuries. Augustus enlarged the empire dramatically, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, and Raetia, expanded possessions in Africa, and completed the conquest of Hispania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the empire with client states, and made peace with Parthia through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, and created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome. Much of the city was rebuilt under Augustus; and he wrote a record of his own accomplishments, known as the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, which has survived. Upon his death in AD 14, Augustus was declared a god by the Senate-to be worshipped by the Romans. His names Augustus and Caesar were adopted by every subsequent emperor; and the sixth month of the Roman calendar, previously named Sextilis, was renamed Augustus (August in English) in his honour. He was succeeded by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law), Tiberius. [article link]

wikipedia: Caesar Tiberius (Luke 3:1) - Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (16 November 42 BC - 16 March 37 AD), was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD - Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla - His mother divorced [Tiberius Claudius Nero] and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian (Caesar Augustus) - Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter Julia the Elder and even later be adopted by Augustus, by which act he officially became a Julian, bearing the name Tiberius Julius Caesar - The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the next forty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty - In relations to the other emperors of this dynasty, Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, great-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, and great-great uncle of Nero

Tiberius died in Misenum on March 16, AD 37, at the age of 77. Tacitus records that upon the news of his death the crowd rejoiced, only to become suddenly silent upon hearing that he had recovered, and rejoiced again at the news that Caligula and Macro had smothered him. This is not recorded by other ancient historians and is most likely apocryphal, but it can be taken as an indication of how the senatorial class felt towards the Emperor at the time of his death. In his will, Tiberius had left his powers jointly to Caligula and Tiberius Gemellus; Caligula's first act on becoming Princeps was to void Tiberius' will and have Gemellus executed. ... Tiberius' ashes would be scattered in AD 410 during the Sack of Rome; his heir Caligula not only spent Tiberius' fortune of 2,700,000,000 sesterces but would also begin the chain of events which would bring about the downfall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in AD 68. -- Legacy: Were he to have died prior to AD 23, he might have been hailed as an exemplary ruler. Despite the overwhelmingly negative characterization left by Roman historians, Tiberius left the imperial treasury with nearly 3 billion sesterces upon his death. Rather than embark on costly campaigns of conquest, he chose to strengthen the existing empire by building additional bases, using diplomacy as well as military threats, and generally refraining from getting drawn into petty squabbles between competing frontier tyrants. The result was a stronger, more consolidated empire. Of the authors whose texts have survived until the present day, only four describe the reign of Tiberius in considerable detail: Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio and Velleius Paterculus. Fragmentary evidence also remains from Pliny the Elder, Strabo and Seneca the Elder. Tiberius himself wrote an autobiography which Suetonius describes as "brief and sketchy," but this book has been lost. [article link]

wikipedia: Caesar Nero (Acts 26:32, 2 Timothy 4:16) - Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (15 December 37 - 9 June 68), was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty - In 64, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, which many Romans believed Nero himself had started [and later blamed on the Christians] in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea - He is also infamously known as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned" [apparently listened to chamber orchestra music and poetry recitals while Rome burned], although this is now considered an inaccurate rumor, and as an early persecutor of Christians - Few surviving sources paint Nero in a favorable light

During his reign, Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade, and enhancing the cultural life of the Empire. He ordered theaters built and promoted athletic games. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a revolt in Britain. Also, he annexed the Bosporan Kingdom to the Empire, and the First Roman-Jewish War began. ... The revolt of Vindex and Galba and the death of Nero: In March 68, Gaius Julius Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled against Nero's tax policies. Lucius Verginius Rufus, the governor of Germania Superior, was ordered to put down Vindex's rebellion. In an attempt to gain support from outside his own province, Vindex called upon Servius Sulpicius Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, to join the rebellion and further, to declare himself emperor in opposition to Nero. At the Battle of Vesontio in May 68, Verginius' forces easily defeated those of Vindex and the latter committed suicide. However, after putting down this one rebel, Verginius' legions attempted to proclaim their own commander as Emperor. Verginius refused to act against Nero, but the discontent of the legions of Germany and the continued opposition of Galba in Spain did not bode well for Nero. -- While Nero had retained some control of the situation, support for Galba increased despite his being officially declared a public enemy. The prefect of the Praetorian Guard, Gaius Nymphidius Sabinus, also abandoned his allegiance to the Emperor and came out in support for Galba. -- In response, Nero fled Rome with the intention of going to the port of Ostia and from there to take a fleet to one of the still-loyal eastern provinces. However, he abandoned the idea when some army officers openly refused to obey his commands, responding with a line from Vergil's Aeneid: "Is it so dreadful a thing then to die?" Nero then toyed with the idea of fleeing to Parthia, throwing himself upon the mercy of Galba, or to appeal to the people and beg them to pardon him for his past offences "and if he could not soften their hearts, to entreat them at least to allow him the prefecture of Egypt". Suetonius reports that the text of this speech was later found in Nero's writing desk, but that he dared not give it from fear of being torn to pieces before he could reach the Forum. -- Nero returned to Rome and spent the evening in the palace. After sleeping, he awoke at about midnight to find the palace guard had left. Dispatching messages to his friends' palace chambers for them to come, he received no answers. Upon going to their chambers personally, he found them all abandoned. When he called for a gladiator or anyone else adept with a sword to kill him, no one appeared. He cried, "Have I neither friend nor foe?" and ran out as if to throw himself into the Tiber. -- Returning, Nero sought for some place where he could hide and collect his thoughts. An imperial freedman offered his villa, located 4 miles outside the city. Travelling in disguise, Nero and four loyal servants reached the villa, where Nero ordered them to dig a grave for him. At this time, a courier arrived with a report that the Senate had declared Nero a public enemy and that it was their intention to execute him by beating him to death. -- At this news, Nero prepared himself for suicide. Losing his nerve, he first begged for one of his companions to set an example by first killing himself. At last, the sound of approaching horsemen drove Nero to face the end. However he still could not bring himself to take his own life but instead he forced his private secretary, Epaphroditos, to perform the task. Nero's famous last words from this moment are "Qualis artifex pereo" or in english "What an artist dies in me!" -- When one of the horsemen entered, upon his seeing Nero all but dead he attempted to stop the bleeding in vain. Nero died on 9 June 68. This was the anniversary of the death of Octavia. Nero was buried in the Mausoleum of the Domitii Ahenobarbi, in what is now the Villa Borghese (Pincian Hill) area of Rome. -- With his death, the Julio-Claudian dynasty ended. Chaos ensued in the Year of the Four Emperors. [article link]

6th Kingdom - Rome, Julius Caesar - March 15 (This Day in History) 44 B.C. the "Ides of March" Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Senate House of Rome

March 15, 44 B.C. On the "Ides of March," Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the senate house by a group of conspirators led by Cimber, Casca, Cassius, and Marcus Junius Brutus. [article link]

6th Kingdom - Rome, Julius Caesar - The Ides (15th) of March - Used in the first Roman calendar as well as in the Julian calendar (established by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C. - the year before his assassination) the confusing system of Kalends, Nones, and Ides continued to be used to varying degrees throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance

The soothsayer's warning to Julius Caesar, "Beware the Ides of March," has forever imbued that date with a sense of foreboding. But in Roman times the expression "Ides of March" did not necessarily evoke a dark mood-it was simply the standard way of saying "March 15." Surely such a fanciful expression must signify something more than merely another day of the year? Not so. Even in Shakespeare's time, sixteen centuries later, audiences attending his play Julius Caesar wouldn't have blinked twice upon hearing the date called the Ides. The term Ides comes from the earliest Roman calendar, which is said to have been devised by Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome. Whether it was Romulus or not, the inventor of this calendar had a penchant for complexity. The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days: "Kalends" (1st day of the month) - "Nones" (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months) - "Ides" (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months). The remaining, unnamed days of the month were identified by counting backwards from the Kalends, Nones, or the Ides. For example, March 3 would be V Nones-5 days before the Nones (the Roman method of counting days was inclusive; in other words, the Nones would be counted as one of the 5 days). [article link]

The "Christian calendar" is the term traditionally used to designate the calendar commonly in use - The Christian calendar has years of 365 or 366 days. It is divided into 12 months that have no relationship to the motion of the moon - In parallel with this system, the concept of weeks groups the days in sets of 7 - Two main versions of the Christian calendar have existed in recent times: The Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar - The difference between them lies in the way they approximate the length of the tropical year and their rules for calculating Easter

What is the Julian calendar? - The Julian calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C.E. Author David Duncan says the Julian calendar was born of Caesar’s tryst with Cleopatra. Before the Julian calendar was introduced, priests in the Roman Empire exploited the calendar for political ends, inserting days and even months into the calendar to keep the politicians they favored in office. Tired of the chaos that this undependable system eventually gave rise to, Julius Caesar finally set out to put the long-abused calendar back on track. It was in common use until the late 1500s, when countries started changing to the Gregorian calendar. However, some countries (for example, Greece and Russia) used it into the early 1900s, and the Orthodox church in Russia still uses it, as do some other Orthodox churches. In the Julian calendar, the tropical year is approximated as 365¼ days = 365.25 days. This gives an error of 1 day in approximately 128 years. The approximation 365¼ is achieved by having 1 leap year every 4 years. [article link]

A History of the [Calendar] Months and the Meanings of their Names - July -- Julius Caesar's month - August -- Augustus Caesar's month -- "Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from *Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."

A History of the Months: The original Roman year had 10 named months Martius "March", Aprilis "April", Maius "May", Junius "June", Quintilis "July", Sextilis "August", September "September", October "October", November "November", December "December", and probably two unnamed months in the dead of winter when not much happened in agriculture. The year began with Martius "March". Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome circa 700 BC, added the two months Januarius "January" and Februarius "February". He also moved the beginning of the year from Marius to Januarius and changed the number of days in several months to be odd, a lucky number. After Februarius there was occasionally an additional month of Intercalaris "intercalendar". This is the origin of the leap-year day being in February. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar (hence the Julian calendar) changing the number of days in many months and removing Intercalaris. [article link]

The Seven-Day Week and the Meanings of the Names of the Days - Sunday -- Sun's day - Monday -- Moon's day

The Naming of the Days: The Greeks named the days week after the sun, the moon and the five known planets, which were in turn named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the Theon hemerai "days of the Gods". The Romans substituted their equivalent gods for the Greek gods, Mars, Mercury, Jove (Jupiter), Venus, and Saturn. (The two pantheons are very similar.) The Germanic peoples generally substituted roughly similar gods for the Roman gods, Tiu (Twia), Woden, Thor, Freya (Fria), but did not substitute Saturn. [article link]

6th Kingdom - Rome, Julius Caesar - mideastweb.org: After the death of King Solomon, Israel split into two kingdoms [Israel (10 Northern Tribes - Samaria), Judah (Two Southern Tribes - Jerusalem)] - Eventually, both the kingdom of Israel, and later that of Judea, with its temple in Jerusalem, were overrun by invaders [Babylon, King King Nebakanezer - 3rd Global Gentile Kingdom] - [70 years later] The Persians [Persia, Cyrus The Great - 4th Global Gentile Kingdom] restored the Judean kingdom and allowed the Jews to [return and] rebuild their temple - This kingdom fell to Greek and later Hellenic-Syrian domination when Alexander the Great [Greece - 5th Global Gentile Kingdom] conquered Persia - In 164 B.C. the Hasmonean Kingdom of Judea [Judah - Israel] revolted and became semi-independent of Syria [resulting in the Hanukkah (Chanukah) Festival] - It [Judea - Jerusalem, Israel] **was [originally] protected by a **treaty of friendship with Rome (1 Maccabees 8:17-32) - However in 61 A.D. [Roman - First Triumvirate (three part rulers) - Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius (Pompey) Magnus] Pompei [the Roman General Pompey] conquered Jerusalem, and from then on Israel or Palestine was subordinate to Rome - Parts of it were nominally independent under the rule of local kings of the line of Herod the Idumean

Herod build many towns and fortifications (including Massada and Heordion) and extensively remodelled [the 2nd Temple - rebuilt via permission and materials of Cyrus The Great from Persia] the Temple in Jerusalem [later called Herod's rebuilt Temple or simply Herod's Temple]. After the first Jewish rebellion [against Rome] and fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., large numbers of Jews were exiled. Jerusalem was eventually rebuilt as Aelia Capitolina. After the failure of the revolt of Bar-Kochba in 133, there were more exiles and ruined towns. On the ruins of Israelite and Canaanite towns, the Romans built new ones, populated partly by inhabitants of neighboring lands. The land was divided into several districts, of which Palestine was only one. The Negev (southern district), generally excluded from these divisions was inhabited by the Nabateans, an Arab trader nation that made a notable desert civilization in cities such as Avdat (in modern Israel) and Petra (in modern Jordan). The whole area between the desert and the sea was known, later in the Roman Empire, as the Christian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, though this was not a Roman administrative division. [article link]

6th Kingdom - Rome, Julius Caesar - Bacchanalia - The bacchanalia were wild and mystic festivals of the Greek god Dionysus and Roman god Bacchus - The word has since come to describe any form of drunken revelry - Livy informs us that the rapid spread of the cult, which he claims indulged in all kinds of crimes and political conspiracies at its nocturnal meetings, led in 186 B.C. to a decree of the [Roman] Senate - the so-called Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, inscribed on a bronze tablet discovered in Apulia in Southern Italy (1640), now at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna - by which the Bacchanalia were prohibited throughout all Italy except in certain special cases which must be approved specifically by the Senate

History: The bacchanalia were originally held in secret and only attended by women. The festivals occurred in the grove of Simila near the Aventine Hill [one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built - Wiki.com] on March 16 and March 17. Later, admission to the rites was extended to men, and celebrations took place five times a month. According to Livy, the extension happened in an era when the leader of the Bacchus cult was Paculla Annia - though it is now believed that some men had participated before that. Livy informs us that the rapid spread of the cult, which he claims indulged in all kinds of crimes and political conspiracies at its nocturnal meetings, led in 186 BC to a decree of the Senate - the so-called Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, inscribed on a bronze tablet discovered in Apulia in Southern Italy (1640), now at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna - by which the Bacchanalia were prohibited throughout all Italy except in certain special cases which must be approved specifically by the Senate. In spite of the severe punishment inflicted on those found in violation of this decree (Livy claims there were more executions than imprisonment), the Bacchanalia survived in Southern Italy long past the repression. Some modern scholars doubt Livy's account and argue that the Senate acted against the Bacchants for one of the following reasons -- In Empires of Trust: How Rome Built - And America Is Building - A New World [NWO] by Thomas Madden, the author cites the words of a [ancient] Roman investigative consul in his report to the Roman Senate: there was no crime, no deed of shame, wanting (lacking). More uncleanness was committed by men with men than with women. Whoever would not submit to defilement, or shrank from violating others, was sacrificed as a victim. To regard nothing as impious or criminal was the sum total of their religion. The men, as though seized with madness and with frenzied distortions of their bodies, shrieked out prophecies; the matrons, dressed as Bacchae, their hair disheveled, rushed down to the Tiber River with burning torches, plunged them into the water, and drew them out again, the flame undiminished because they were made of sulfur mixed with lime. Men were fastened to a machine and hurried off to hidden caves, and they were said to have been taken away by the gods. These were the men who refused to join their conspiracy or take part in their crimes or submit to their pollution. ... Modern usage: In the second season of the HBO show 'True Blood' the town falls under the spell of a Maenad, who holds regular Bacchanalia with the possessed townspeople. [article link]

6th Kingdom - Rome, Julius Caesar - What was Rome's version of Mount Olympus called? In respect of where did the Roman Gods live? - There is no change - it is known as "Mount Olympus" in both Roman and Greek mythology - The gods lived in the same place in both mythologies

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