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The pan-Hellenic mythological hero Hercules (or Herakles) was famed for his great strength and endurance and celebrated as an extraordinary mortal who, through success in seemingly impossible labours, won his immortal place amongst the Olympian gods. Being the greatest of Greek mythological heroes, he has been ascribed a multitude of adventures and heroic exploits... [continue reading]
With the death of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in March of 180 CE, the long reign of the five good emperors came to an end and with it so did the Pax Romana (the Roman Peace). Those emperors who followed for the next century would witness a time of both chaos and decline. The first of these inept emperors was Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius, who, according... [continue reading]
A gladiator was a professional fighter who specialised with particular weapons and fought before the public in large purpose-built arenas throughout the Roman Empire from 105 BCE to 404 CE (official contests). As fights were usually to the death, gladiators had a short life expectancy and so, although it was in some respects a glamorous profession, the majority... [continue reading]